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MEDICINE & WELLNESS in our community

Take charge of your health Resources to help you live beyond your challenges Eating gluten-free in the real world Baby boomers living longer

PLUS Hiking the mighty Quinault Celebrating the harvest A tribute to the Sequim pioneers FALL 2013 WWW.SEQUIMGAZETTE.COM/LOP Supplement to the Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader


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Departments

Contents 21

Out & About 6 | The Mighty Quinault 30 | Pioneer Memorial Park: A Place of Rest & Remembrance Arts & Entertainment 13 | Something Native: The Art of Linda Weichman

Heart & Soul 15 | Sacred Elements of Healing Pour & Taste 17 | Mussels in Spicy Tomato Pesto Now & Then 33 | Sequim & Port Townsend in history 8

The Living End 34 | Burden, Baby Boomer, Burden 18

In Focus Medicine & Wellness on the Olympic Peninsula 8|

The Cardinal Rule Stay focused on patients and provide quality care

10 | Fields of Delights Jefferson & Clallam County Farm Tours make the harvest accessible to all

10

18 | Gluten-free? That all depends A fad or necessity?

Vol. 9, Number 3 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.

21 | Viva Tapper A scientific and spiritual perspective 24 | Mending Broken Minds Peninsula Behavioral Health

147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 © 2013 Sequim Gazette

27 | Courage in Crisis Periodic paralysis survivor shares hope with others

John Brewer, Publisher Steve Perry, Advertising Manager Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor pcoate@sequimgazette.com

MEDICINE & WELLNESS in our community

Take charge of your health Resources to help you live beyond your challenges Eating gluten-free in the real world

13

Baby boomers living longer

PLUS Hiking the mighty Quinault Celebrating the harvest A tribute to the Sequim pioneers FALL 2013 WWW.SEQUIMGAZETTE.COM/LOP Supplement to the Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

4 LOP Fall 2013

On our cover:

This dramatic shot was taken by Jay Cline during the Sequim Balloon Festival in September 2012.

Production: Cathy Clark, Page Designer Mary Field, Graphic Designer Advertising Sales (360) 683-3311 • (360) 452-2345 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Fred Obee: fobee@ptleader.com © 2013 Port Townsend Leader


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OUT &

ABOUT

The mighty Quinault

Hiking Lake Quinault

Story and photos by Michael Dashiell

After a restful stay in one of the lakeside boat cabins at the Lake Quinault Lodge (highly recommended, as they are cheaper and quieter than the main lodge rooms), we set out for the Colonel Bob Trail on the lake’s south side. Colonel Bob, it turns out, was Colonel Robert G. Ingersol, a Civil War veteran, politician, orator and “free thinker.” He also never set foot on the trail that bears his name. My guess? He’d be thinking, “Why on earth would they name this trail after me? Did Walt Whitman put you up to this?”

How hard: Easy to difficult How to get there: From downtown Sequim, take U.S. Highway 101 west toward Port Angeles and Forks. About 65 miles south of Forks, turn left onto Shore Road. In 2.3 miles, turn left into the Lake Quinault Lodge parking area. Trailheads are accessible from here. No park passes necessary.

Step it up

Apparently, since a 2007 windstorm, the Colonel Bob has been what one Washington Trails Association trip reporter called a “hike from hell.” Already a steep hike with several switchbacks and about 30 blowdowns, the trail has been getting a makeover from the trails group since then. In July 2012, trail workers finished Lake Quinault clearing the trail from the lake side. The Colonel Bob, as far as you want to go, is a swell hike — once you get

Lake Quinault-area trails

World’s Largest Sitka Spruce

0.2 miles

0.4 miles

0.3 miles 0.4

Lake Quinault Lodge 0.4

Lakeshore Trail

• 14.5-mile (round trip) hike to top of Colonel Bob • 1.3-mile Kestner Homestead Trail loop Peak (4,492 feet) to get a glimpse of the whole lake on the lake’s north shore • 6-mile (round trip) to Pony Bridge that extends an• 1.1-mile (one way) Irely Lake trail finds other 10 miles into the Enchanted Valley area a small lake that’s a haven for waterfowl Cedar Bog and amphibians • 4.8-mile (round trip) Fletcher Canyon trail Rain Forest Nature Trail • 0.2 mile off the main road is the world’s • 3.9-mile Lakeshore Trail/Cedar Bog/Falls Creek largest Sitka spruce Trail, with Rain Forest Nature Trail loop Or, don’t get out of the car and take the 31-mile Quinault Loop Drive around the lake

0.6 mile s

1.1 miles

s

1.6 miles

0.7

s

mile

Big Cedar Trail 1.7 miles

mil

Trail of the Giants

es

1.5 miles

0.6

Falls Creek Loop

0.5-mile loop

6 Fall 2013 LOP

mile

m

0.9 miles

s

hen considering a hike or hikes at Lake Quinault for your next hiking adventure, keep in mind a couple of things. One, it will likely be wet, one way or another. Two, it will not be a simple day hike. And that’s a good thing. My wife/hiking partner Patsene and I have made several treks to the Quinault Valley. Our first initiation was in late spring. It’s almost always rainy season here, but in March it was downright ridiculous. To put things in a bit of perspective, we passed Noah and family headed the other way. But a fall hike at Lake Quinault proves to be a slightly drier and even more pleasurable experience. Nestled about 18 miles inland from the Pacific and about an hour south of Forks, the Quinault Valley already was getting splashed with a moderately heavy storm by our arrival on a Friday afternoon. (One of the hotel employees told me, “Yes, we do get sunshine here.” A wistful look spread across his face. “A couple of weeks ago it was beautiful,” he said. “Now this. Again.”)

ile

W

Above: Lake Quinault, in all its overcast splendor. Above, left: It’s not exactly grand rapids, but Willaby Creek does have its rolling spots here and there.

Connie’s Trail


The Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop is just two-tenths of a mile long but features a number of interesting informational displays. past the jagged, broken rock that covers the first On our way back to the lodge, we hit a quarter-mile. It’s a nice albeit workmanlike jaunt sure-fire tourist trap, particularly for the lazy through old-growth conifer forest, past deep beds hiker. About one-fourth of a mile from the main of ferns, the occasional carnivorous beetle (True! South Shore Road is the world’s largest Sitka I saw one going to town) and all the trappings of a spruce. No joke. An easy 10-minute saunter great Western Washington forest hike. brings you to a clearing and, well, there she is. There’s actually another way to the top of the All 191 feet of her. This beats the world’s largest Colonel Bob, by way of The Pete’s Creek Trail. ball of twine, right? (That’s in Darwin, Minn. Or Because of the closure of Forest Service Road 2204 Cawker City, Kan., or Lake Nebagamon, Wis. Or in September of last year, however, access to that Branson, Mo. All depending on your parameters, trailhead is shut down. Seems there’s always i.e. weight, by single person or community — I something going on with the Colonel Bob. digress). One way or another, if you are brave/energetic South side, north side enough to go the seven-plus miles to the top, The Quinault offers more than a few great there’s a great view at the 4,492-foot summit. hikes, which we still are finding out about with From the top, assuming it’s a clear day — and each visit. Our favorite is the Rain Forest Nature that’s never really a guarantee here, but possible Trail. — you can get neck-bending, jaw-dropping views Start out at the lodge and skirt the lake’s of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, the Pacific and, south shore, and in nine-tenths of a mile the trail of course, good old Lake Quinault.

Preserving your present... Securing your future

meanders into the Willaby Campground. Just south of the campground, turn off the main trail and onto the Rain Forest Nature Trail loop. Here is when the lake view drops away and the real fun begins. Surrounded by lush maidenhair ferns, Douglas-firs, western hemlocks, Sitka spruces and western red cedars, you step into a tropical rain forest minus the heat. Everything drips life, from the yellow chanterelles, skunk cabbage and Oregon lungwort to the banana slugs underfoot. The trail eventually crosses Willaby Creek, revealing stunning views of small- to mediumsized waterfalls, and loops back to the lodge. It’s a beautiful, easy hike. Of course, bring a raincoat or three. On the north side, there are several other fine hikes, including the Irely Lake and Three Lakes trails, Big Cedar Trail and trails along the North Fork Quinault. Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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Fall 2013 LOP 7


The

Cardinal rule

Stay focused on the patient & provide quality care

been through big changes together. large and small. Today she is a registered nurse with a “We have a great staff,” she says with obvious pride. master’s degree in business The hospital, like all health care institutions, administration. also stands on the threshold of changes brought As Chief Nurse Executive, by implementation of the Affordable Care Act. she is responsible for all inThe legislation is complex and integrating all its patient nursing, from births to requirements will be a challenge, Cardinal said. surgeries, from the pharmacy A positive side is that when more people have to Home Health and hospice. insurance, Jefferson Healthcare Hospital will start Her job is make sure the staff getting paid for a portion of the charity care it already is meeting quality standards provides. The bill for charity care in Jefferson County for care. runs into millions of dollars each year. “It’s a good job and I love it While it is hard to know exactly what the here,” Cardinal says. “I have impact of the Affordable Care Act will be, Cardinal to feel like I’m still making a acknowledged that somehow, health care institutions difference,” and at Jefferson in the future will need to stand the entire health Healthcare, a small 25-bed care process on its head, so organizations are facility, Cardinal says it’s compensated for keeping people healthy, not just easy to see almost immediate for treating them when they are ill. The best way to results in efforts to improve reduce health care costs, everyone acknowledges, is patient care. to keep people healthy. One huge, recent change at Jefferson Healthcare already has started down the hospital was the adoption that road with educational initiatives and programs of Epic, an electronic patient reaching out to the community. They hired Chef record system that integrates Aaron Stark to supervise hospital food services and Joyce Cardinal is the Chief Nurse Executive at Jefferson clinical information, health provide healthy meals and the Home Health program Healthcare Hospital in Port Townsend and is responsible all in- histories, registration, patient aims at keeping people in their own homes longer. More efforts like that in the future will be necessary patient nursing, from births to surgeries and from Home Health scheduling and billing in one platform. Caregivers enter if health care costs are to be controlled, Cardinal said. to hospice services. information directly into She’s in her third year now as the Chief Nurse the system and that patient Executive and it’s clear that the job is a personal Story and photos by Fred Obee record follows people wherever they go. If patients labor of love. oyce Cardinal navigates the halls of Jefferson move from one department to another, for example, Unlike big city hospitals where you might never Healthcare Hospital in Port Townsend with and they need some kind of special assistance, know any of the patients you serve, “In here, we’re easy familiarity, almost gliding as she the department receiving the patient gets all the taking care of our friends and neighbors,” she said. walks. Around each corner there is a quick necessary information. Before Epic, those processes That makes her efforts to improve the quality smile and a little wave of acknowledgement as were more informal and there was less consistency of care doubly important. At the beginning of hospital staff members weave in and out of patient from patient to patient and staff member to staff their quality care initiatives, the staff gathered rooms and administrative areas. Everyone knows member. all kinds of data on patient outcomes and patient her. She is the Chief Nurse Executive with broad “Handoffs are so important,” Cardinal says, opinions and started focusing on different areas to administrative responsibilities, but she speaks softly referring to any time a patient moves from one see if they could raise their standard of care. Staff and has the easy manner of someone who spent caregiver or department to another. She said she members were offered more training, processes were years reassuring and comforting patients. likes that under Epic those processes are “I loved bedside nursing,” she says, “and I think more formalized, but she says the new that’s helped me in my administrative career.” software also is bringing big changes. She says her mother says she always wanted The system touches every process at the to a be a nurse from a very early age, something hospital and that has its challenges as Cardinal does not deny. “I wanted to be a nurse that job responsibilities and procedures are gave out babies,” Cardinal says with a small chuckle. redefined. That seemed like a dream job because she had this In addition to making patient care more vision of women getting babies and everyone being consistent, she said the whole process so happy. Those initial thoughts led her to volunteer of Epic adoption has been a bonding as a candy-striper in high school and from there experience with the staff. So many people she started climbing the nursing ladder, adding put in so many extra hours to make the degrees and qualifications and working at hospitals system work that now they all feel they’ve Improving quality care is Cardinal’s main focus at the hospital. Here, patient data is reviewed in the intensive care unit. 8 Fall 2013 LOP

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Jefferson Healthcare always has focused on creating pleasant spaces, like this courtyard, but that effort continues, and plans are in the works to remodel the entire facility so patient care is improved. examined and revamped, and today the hospital is seeing the results of those efforts. Consumer Reports recently ranked Jefferson Healthcare alongside Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and five other hospitals as the top hospitals in Washington to have surgery. Jefferson Healthcare also recently was designated a Baby-friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization. It is only the fifth hospital in the state and one of 128 in the United States to achieve this title. The Babyfriendly Initiative recognizes hospitals that implement best practices in breastfeeding support for new mothers. Cardinal says she is especially proud of the Baby-friendly designation because it was a nurse-driven process and because the staff was focused on making it happen. “They worked really hard at it. That’s what makes me proud,” Cardinal said. She is part of the senior leadership team at the hospital and she oversees a diverse and complicated health care delivery system that is changing every day. And even as the whole world of health care morphs and evolves, Cardinal keeps her focus guided by the lessons learned at patient bedsides. “I’ll be a nurse until the day I die,” she says. “It’s been a great career.”

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Fields of delights

Expanded Jefferson County Farm Tour is just the thing for your taste buds Story by Fred Obee

I

n recent years, no sector of Jefferson County’s economy has been more vibrant and innovative than the county farms. From small patches of leased land to sprawling family farms, everyone, it seems, is growing fresh, organic foods and crafting them into gastronomic wonders. Cheese, breads, ciders, wine and all kinds of local fruit and produce are featured now on area restaurant menus, at farm stands, farmers markets and mainstream grocery stores. Eating locally has never been easier or more delicious. To get a close look at the farms and sample some of these local products, there’s no better opportunity than Washington State University Extension’s Jefferson County Farm Tour, Steve “Bear” Bishop shows farm tour visitors around at Alpenfire Orchards, the this year featuring 24 farms. home of Alpenfire Cider. WSU’s Small Farms will be featured. Coordinator Kellie Henwood is heading up this year’s Then, on Sunday, Sept. 15, all the farms are open Farm Tour and she said she’s excited by the growing for touring. That includes the fiber farms, as well as number of farms on the tour and the number of farms featuring produce and specialty products, like partnerships the tour is generating. For example, wines and ciders. Edible Seattle is stepping up to sponsor an Edible Another new feature this year, Henwood said, Pedal, which encourages bicycle tourism. is the showcasing of three aquaculture operations: “We’re encouraging people to do the farm tour Hama Hama Oyster Company, Discovery Bay by bicycle,” Henwood said. Chimacum High School’s Shellfish and Quilcene’s Big Quil Enterprises, a 4-H campus will become a campground for bikers. “They student-led business. can set up their tent and call that their home for the While people often think of fields, farmhouses weekend. That’s going to draw a lot of people from and pastures when they think of agriculture, other counties,” Henwood said. aquaculture actually is a bigger business for The tour this year is split into two, one-day Jefferson County with 1,200 acres in production. segments. The tour features three local hubs of information From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, only fiber and activities. In Port Townsend, the Port Townsend farms will be open to tour. This is the first year that Food Co-op will be information central for the farms raising sheep, llamas, alpacas and other fiber north end of the county. Other information and animals will be included on the tour and six farms

10 Fall 2013 LOP

The surge in small farms is keeping agricultural lands in production and that includes this field of grain at Finn River Farm. Photo by Allison Arthur activity hubs will be the Chimacum Farm Stand, at 9122 Rhody Drive, and the Quilcene Village Store. All locations will offer information, free farm tour guidebooks and biking maps. Although not technically part of the tour, the Chimacum Corner store will be alive with all kinds of activities. In cooperation with Edible Seattle, the store will roast three pigs from Moonlight Farms in its parking lot from 4-7 p.m. on Sept. 14. Chef Dan Ratigan, from the Resort at Port Ludlow, will cook all the side dishes in the same pits, using local produce. Tickets for the pig roast are $15. A beer, wine and cider garden featuring local beverages will sell drink tickets for $5. Those sales will benefit WSU’s Small Farms program. On Sunday, the weekly farmers market will take over the corner in a continuing festive atmosphere. “The overall emphasis of the farm tour is promoting the bounty of Jefferson County,” Henwood said. “The farm tour is a chance to learn about various growing practices, to discover what makes this part of Washington unique and for people to connect with where their food comes from.” For more information go to jefferson.wsu.edu.

Jefferson County Farms are located in and around Port Townsend, Marrowstone Island, Discovery Bay, Chimacum, Port Ludlow, Quilcene and Brinnon. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and no dogs, please.


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oin us on the 17th Annual Clallam County Farm Tour from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 5. Our tour showcases an amazingly diverse array of farms, including an organic lavender farm, a diversified organic vegetable farm, a cattle farm and riding school, a tree farm and organic orchard, a historical centennial farm and a raw milk dairy. This year’s theme is “Clallam Agriculture: Then and Now” with each stop on the tour featuring displays, demonstrations and activities about what farming was like in the past century-and-a-half and what it looks like now. There will be fun for adults and children alike: great food, live music and lots of great family activities. This year the Farm Tour is teaming up with the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival and the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley to feature exhibits in downtown Sequim at the festival headquarters. Visit our website, clallam.wsu.edu, for a list of participating farms and activities, and a printable farm tour map. The tour is sponsored by WSU Clallam County Extension and the North Olympic Land Trust. Come spend the Dungeness Valley Creamery’s purebred day in beautiful Clallam County! Jersey cows are certified for raw milk production. Photo by Matthew Nash

Annie’s Flower Farm

303½ Dahlia Llama Road, Sequim Sid Anna Annie’s Flower Farm is a 1-acre flower farm and cutting garden.

Bekkevar Family Farm

273054 Highway 101, Blyn Dave, Trish, Nelson, Ole & Eli Bekkevar Bekkevar Family Farm is a historical pioneer farm producing beef cattle, grain, hay and hogs.

Dungeness Valley Creamery

1915 Towne Road, Sequim Ryan and Sarah McCarthey Dungeness Valley Creamery is a 38acre certified raw milk dairy along the picturesque Dungeness River.

Freedom Farm

493 Spring Road, Agnew Jerry Schmidt & Mary Gallagher Freedom Farm is a 120-acre beef cattle and hay farm, with an amazing equestrian center for youth and adults.

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Participating Farms: Jardin Du Soleil Lavender Farm

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Lazy J Tree Farm

225 Gehrke Road, Agnew Steve Johnson Lazy J Tree Farm features Christmas trees, a certified-organic orchard and a major composting operation which sells finished organic compost.

Nash’s Organic Produce

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Story and photos by Christina Williams

A

n old quarter horse stands near the house that Linda Wiechman and her husband built on Indian homestead property that was passed down in her family. The Lower Elwha artist talks about her love of horses that goes back to childhood. “I used to draw pictures of horses all of the time,” she says. Since those days, her artwork has developed in numerous ways. As a young woman, she learned a variety of indigenous arts and crafts, many of which she now teaches. She took classes at the Lower Elwha Reservation near Port Angeles and at Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Reservation. “My earliest experiences in artwork started when I became president of the Head Start Parent Policy Board at Lower Elwha,” she says. The group would bring artists in to teach traditional crafts, the first of which was drum-making. She remembers, “My good friend Nancy Littlefish taught us how to cure elk hides. The hides had not been flushed. They still had meat on them and hair.” This caused problems, as Wiechman recalls. “The hides stunk — nobody could stand the smell!” At the time, she thought about how the hides had been donated, and despite the odor, she said, “OK, I’ll do it — I’ll flush ’em.” Once Wiechman started working with the hides, she realized that the smell didn’t seem so bad. As she cleaned them, she thought about how “these animals gave their lives for us.” She thought, ‘We’re here to learn something and I’m willing to learn.’ She took all the flesh off At left, from top: • A mask Linda Wiechman carved. • A group of baskets photographed against snow • Linda and her 30-yearold beloved horse Chessy nuzzle each other. • Detail of a drum showing a man in a canoe — he raises his arms to honor a whale as it rises from the waters beside his canoe. Two other whales leap from the waters as riders cling to their backs.

the hides, despite their condition, so that she and the others could learn. The result? “My friend Nancy taught me and everyone else how to make hand drums — I made over 20 and gave every one of ’em away to the children on the rez, so they could drum.” That was two decades ago. Today, Wiechman still prepares her own hides. “I pray over my own skins when I get them,” she says. “I flush ’em first and then I’ll rinse ’em for a couple of days. It takes maybe a week or two for the hair to start slipping and then I start making drums.” She displays several of her drums at home and each has its own story. One drum shows a man in a canoe — he raises his arms to honor a whale as it rises from the waters beside his canoe. Two other whales leap from the waters as riders cling to their backs. Wiechman explains the whale’s role as protector and guide to coastal tribes. Pods of them have been known to surround and raise a sinking canoe in trouble, to rescue drowning people from the water and to guide canoes safely to shore during a storm. After Wiechman learned to make drums, she studied basket-making with Theresa Parker, her friend from Neah Bay. She recalls that Parker taught her how to “switch” the colors, but Wiechman wanted to learn design. Her quest for this knowledge was practical and spiritual. She describes how she asked the Creator, “OK, God, I’m trying to figure this out — how can I do design?” Her answer came in a dream 28 years ago. Since then she has taught design in baskets and has continued the craft. She began teaching through Northwest Indian College where she gave classes in basketry and drum-making. Wiechman with her painting “Whispering Woman”

Fall 2013 LOP 13


Wiechman discusses her introduction to carving at the Lower Elwha. She points to a large mask with rounded lips that hangs near a window. She says, “That’s supposed to be a Pook mask.” The Pook is a drowned fisherman, but Wiechman tells how the design “transformed” after she and others saw eagles in the wood as she began carving it. She carved and painted a male and a female eagle on the cheeks of the mask — a striking piece for a novice carver. The mask is called “Eagle Woman.” As a teacher, Wiechman has traveled to other tribes to teach drum-making, hat-making and basketry. She studied traditional foods and medicines at Northwest Indian College for several years and says that she had a calling to work with plants when she was 18. She describes the tribal protocol for learning this plant wisdom: “You have to ask your elders.” She recalls how some of these elders practiced non-Native religions that discouraged the practice of this tradition. They were concerned about her intentions, but she sees it this way, “I have this calling about healing people.” She uses plants and creates art for healing purposes, saying, “It’s just who I am.” Wiechman brought her indigenous learning back to the Elwha when she worked at the Lower Elwha Health Clinic. “I learned another craft,” she said, “and that was making salves for arthritic pain.” The golden salve has a pleasant fragrance of the plant known (in English) as “Devil’s Club.” Wiechman devised other recipes for lotions and lip balm. She gathers tea and grasses for her tribal elders. She gathers bark and teaches others this native

Linda in one of her woven cedar hats. tradition. The Lower Elwha Health Clinic now has its own “traditional foods and medicinal garden.” Wiechman planted the seed and now it has grown. As gathering isn’t done in the wintertime, Wiechman decided to concentrate on drawing and

TH NOR WEST

N

AT IV

Something Native

Contact Wiechman for more details on her work.

Linda Wiechman, owner Lower Elwha Tribal member 461-4792 or 457-4196 somethingnative@gmail.com

GIFT SHOP

E EXPRESSION

S

ART GALLERY

painting during this quiet season. After three years of creating unique native designs, her husband helped her get a loan so she could scan her artwork and develop a notecard line for her new business called “Something Native.” She joyfully confides, “I paid him back within six months … The tribe bought a lot of my art and started giving it away as gifts to dignitaries.” Olympic National Park began ordering her work. About a year ago, her artist friend Harvest Moon introduced her to a buyer from Aramark, the company that handles concessions for the region’s national parks. Wiechman’s work is now featured in parks and lodges up and down the coast and elsewhere. Wiechman views herself as “a teacher, a mother and a friend.” The busy artist shares a story: “My aunties call me Sta?ta?ci which means ‘Spider’ in the Klallam language.” I ask them, ‘Why?’ and my elders say, ‘Because you’re always so busy — just like a little spider.” How awesome is that?” She adds, “I have several names that were all given to me by the Creator. He’s always placed people in front of me, to teach me, so I can share my knowledge with whomever wants to learn. I don’t create a separation between races of people. If they want to learn my culture and about our people, I’m here to teach.”

Located at Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center

Open Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 1033 Old Blyn Hwy, Sequim

SHOP ONLINE www.NorthwestNativeExpressions.com 14 Fall 2013 LOP

838326

360-681-4640


Sacred Elements of

HEART &SOUL

Healing By Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith

The Pacific Northwest is a living embodiment of Divine life. From the old-growth forests to the mist-capped mountains to the tidal flows of the Salish Sea to the subtle changes in shimmering light that adorn this beautiful place. All reminders of the depth and breadth of life. All part of a greater whole in which we are blessed to live. Corinne Heline in her classic book “Star Gates” reminds us of how deep our inner connections with the outer world are: “Man is a universe in miniature. All that lies about him in the heavens and upon the earth have their small reflection in his being … So the great wheel of the universe turns, and renders its own unique contribution to the human unfoldment, and the gifts it brings are spiritual as well as material.” We are intrinsically interwoven with the natural world that lies around us. To embrace this awareness is to realize

true wholeness and integrity of being. The ancient mystical traditions all celebrated the transcendent aspects of nature. In more modern times, we have reconnected with this essential truth through quantum physics that show our essential unity and through the reemergence of the ecological movements of Gaia, Mother Earth. Matthew Fox has developed Creation Spirituality that reunites us with the natural world of which we are a part and to which we contribute our energies for good or ill. To be whole, to be complete, to be truly healthy is to reestablish this lost connection between us and the Divine. In wellness, one remains connected to the Source of all life … the Divine Well. One of the clearest ways to realize the multi-level nature of our Being is to honor the various elements in the world around us of which we are a part. In the mystical Jewish tradition of

Kabbalah, the place of manifest creation is called Chaith Ha Kadesh, and the first appearance of Spirit in form comes as the four elemental energies … earth, air, water and fire. From these four emerge all of the myriad complexities of the manifest world that lie all around and within us. To do healing work is to return to this point of creation … to this elemental grid of possibilities … to unlimited co-creative space. It can be done at every level of being: body, mind, heart and soul. EARTH represents the physical realm that includes our bodies. It is the manifest world of form and function. It reminds us of the importance of walking upon the world in a connected, grounded way. It invites us to open to receive the blessings of life that nourish and sustain us. It is the energy of the South which represents

Home Care Is Our Mission Providing the highest quality home care to seniors and people with disabilities for more than 30 years • Licensed by the state, we accept insurance, private pay and DSHS. We serve all income levels. • From housework to personal care, medication reminders, incontinent care, transportation, bathing, dressing, transfers and protective supervision.

SOUND SLEEP CLINIC 1/4 860429

• From 1-hour to 24-hour live-in care. Respite and overnight care.

Please call for a free in-home evaluation:

(360) 417-5420 or 1-855-582-2700

www.ccsww.org

Serenity Acupuncture, Inc. Jennifer Frey, L.Ac.

10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Serving the Community,Health & Well-being

MAKE APPOINTMENT PHONE

(360) 683-8550 ONLINE

www.Serenity AcupunctureClinic.com

NEW OFFICES

520 N. 5th Avenue • Sequim, WA 98382 Oct. 1, 2013 just across parking lot from old office

NEW WEBSITE www.SerenityAcupuntureClinic.com

Fall 2013 LOP 15


family and those who have gone before. Through the power of the Earth, we honor our physicality and celebrate its healing nature. For our bodies are created to seek wholeness, which is why they respond instantly to injuries and illnesses at the cellular level with regenerative forces. The calling of Earth Wisdom is To Be. Look to the trees that surround you here in the Northwest to remind you of the power of Earth … with roots extending deep into the rich soil and with branches reaching skyward in growth. AIR represents the mental realm that includes our thoughts, perceptions and communications. The way we view ourselves, our lives and our world profoundly affects our life experiences. It reminds us of the importance of being in the world in a conscious, connected way that expresses our intentions. It invites us to open to receive the blessings of life that guide us and bring awareness. It is the energy of the North which represents our true North Star which ever guides us through life with focus. Through the power of Air, we honor our consciousness and celebrate the healing possibilities that arise with new understanding and revised perceptions of our outer world. The calling of Air Wisdom is To Choose. All around you the mountains abide. Allow them to remind you of higher vision, elevated understanding,

and the eternality of your soul. WATER represents the feeling realm that includes our emotions, responses and unconscious life. It is the invisible world of the web of life that links us heart to heart. It reminds us of the importance of true abiding … being deeply connected with the world around us. It invites us to recognize the importance of how we feel about the flow of the unfoldings in our lives and how we replenish our inner current. It is the energy of the West which represents the intuitive and responsive aspects. And there is truly no greater mystery than how profoundly the presence of love can change our lives. Through the power of the Water, we honor the profound heart healings born of loving compassion and forgiveness. The calling of Water Wisdom is To Embrace. Journey to the shore of the waters that surround you here on the Olympic Peninsula and allow yourself time to simply embrace the beauty of nature, life and your own soul journey. For a ship is safe in the water of the harbor, but that is not what ships were made for. You, too, were created to voyage upon the waters of this world. FIRE represents the spark of life itself that radiates from everything. It is the passion, strength, faith and courage to live. It reminds us of the creative nature of life itself as it serves as catalyst for change. It

invites us to recognize the wonder of infinite creation, burning away the dross to reveal the gold. It is the energy of the East which represents the coming of the new day, of new life, and of new possibilities. Through the power of the Fire, we honor our soul selves and behold it in others as we heal our doubt and release our hesitations. The calling of Fire Wisdom is To Dare. On these clear nights, look to the night sky for the inspiration of the heavens. By day, be enlightened as you watch the water and see how the sparks of light are released by the dance between water and sun. There is one final and most essential elemental energy honored in the sacred traditions. It is that of Ethos or Spirit. This is the transcendent reality … the vibrational frequencies of creation … the Light found in all of life. Though this element of Ethos we see the great Divine grid in which all are held in vibrant potential. As we do so, we are incorporating all the elements into one cosmic unity and recognizing our place within it. And therein lies the greatest healing of all … the replenishing of our Inner Well that we might have true Wellness at every level of being. Namaste. The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith serves as minister to the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend. She found heaven on earth when she came to the Olympic Peninsula 10 years ago. She is a spiritual pilgrim and student of the universe with a special dedication to the interfaith movement. She can be contacted at revpam@unitypt.org.

When your doctor recommends physical therapy, you have a choice! Choose well. Choose experience. Choose personal attention. Choose Sequim Physical Therapy! “Move Better. Feel Better. Live Better.”

Your Skilled Specialists in the Art and Science of Movement.

Sequim Physical Therapy Center 500 West Fir, Suite A Sequim, WA 98382 • 360-683-0632 • Auto Accidents • Post-surgery • • Rehabilitation • Work Injury • • Medicare Accepted •

Clinical staff: Clinic owner Jason Wilwert, PT, DPT, OCS; Dale Rudd, PT; Sheila Fontaine, PTA; Sonya White, PTA; Vonnie Voris, PT, CLT 16 Fall 2013 LOP


Mussels in Spicy Tomato Pesto

POUR &

TASTE

Recipe courtesy of Blondie’s Plate Restaurant in Sequim 1 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup roasted tomato pesto (see recipe below) 3 cloves garlic, crushed 3 sprigs of thyme 1 lemon wedge, seeded

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon chopped green onion 15 mussels

Combine white wine, tomato pesto, garlic, thyme, lemon, crushed red pepper and butter in a sauté pan and bring to a boil. Add mussels to boiling broth. Remove mussels from broth after they open. Continue to reduce broth until about two-thirds remains or until desired thickness. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour broth over mussels and sprinkle with green onions. Makes 1-2 servings.

Roasted Tomato Pesto Blondie’s Plate is a restaurant at 134 S. Second Ave. in Sequim serving small plates of Northwest Contemporary Cuisine. Owners Kim and Rick McDougal opened the restaurant in July. Kim always has enjoyed dining tapas-style with the sharing of “small plates” so patrons can try lots of different flavors. Blondie’s serves fresh, local seafoods, vegetables from Nash’s Organic Produce and Pane d’Amore breads. An intimate yet comfortable bar serves “Top Shelf” libations. Kim McDougal said Executive Chef Nick Dorcy takes contemporary fun dishes and cranks them up about 10 notches, including Mac N Cheese, Fried Chicken with Parmesan Cream Sauce, Burger Sliders and Fries and Gravy. Hours are 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, with Half-off Happy Hour specials from 4-5 p.m. daily.

Makes 2 servings PER SERVING: 293 CAL. 12 G PROTEIN 15 G FAT 26 G CARB (18 G SUGAR) 225 MG SODIUM

6 Roma tomatoes 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon minced garlic dried oregano dried basil salt and pepper

Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch disks and line a baking sheet. Generously sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Pour olive oil over tomatoes, just enough to coat them. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 2 hours or until tomatoes are dried and slightly darkened. After tomatoes have cooled, pulse them in a food processor until they reach a pesto consistency.

Now Open!!

683-2233 • 134 S. Second Ave., Sequim

SMALL PLATES OF NORTHWEST CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

Open for Dinner • 7 Days A Week • Full Bar Sun. - Thurs. 4-9 p.m. • Fri. & Sat., 4-10 p.m.

YOUR LIFE,

our

Commitment

O LYM P I C R E H A B I L I TAT I O N of SEQUIM A PART of the AVAMERE FAMILY of COMPANIES

www.avamereolympicrehabofsequim.com

McCurdy

Hwy 101

Avamere

838302

360-582-3900

Sequim Ave.

1000 South Fifth Avenue, Sequim, WA 98382

S. 3rd Ave.

Prairie

S. 5th Ave.

360-681-Duke (3853) | 2634 W. Sequim Bay Rd. | Sequim, WA 98382

Washington Street

S. 5th Ave.

www.johnwayneswaterfrontresort.com

• 24-hour Skilled Nursing • Respite Care • Hospice Care

S. 7th Ave.

General Store & Gift Shop • Cabins • RV Sites • Open Daily

• Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy • 7 Days Per Week Therapy Program

Fall 2013 LOP 17


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Story and photos by Christina Williams

A

n old quarter horse stands near the house that Linda Wiechman and her husband built on Indian homestead property that was passed down in her family. The Lower Elwha artist talks about her love of horses that goes back to childhood. “I used to draw pictures of horses all of the time,” she says. Since those days, her artwork has developed in numerous ways. As a young woman, she learned a variety of indigenous arts and crafts, many of which she now teaches. She took classes at the Lower Elwha Reservation near Port Angeles and at Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Reservation. “My earliest experiences in artwork started when I became president of the Head Start Parent Policy Board at Lower Elwha,” she says. The group would bring artists in to teach traditional crafts, the first of which was drum-making. She remembers, “My good friend Nancy Littlefish taught us how to cure elk hides. The hides had not been flushed. They still had meat on them and hair.” This caused problems, as Wiechman recalls. “The hides stunk — nobody could stand the smell!” At the time, she thought about how the hides had been donated, and despite the odor, she said, “OK, I’ll do it — I’ll flush ’em.” Once Wiechman started working with the hides, she realized that the smell didn’t seem so bad. As she cleaned them, she thought about how “these animals gave their lives for us.” She thought, ‘We’re here to learn something and I’m willing to learn.’ She took all the flesh off At left, from top: • A mask Linda Wiechman carved. • A group of baskets photographed against snow • Linda and her 30-yearold beloved horse Chessy nuzzle each other. • Detail of a drum showing a man in a canoe — he raises his arms to honor a whale as it rises from the waters beside his canoe. Two other whales leap from the waters as riders cling to their backs.

the hides, despite their condition, so that she and the others could learn. The result? “My friend Nancy taught me and everyone else how to make hand drums — I made over 20 and gave every one of ’em away to the children on the rez, so they could drum.” That was two decades ago. Today, Wiechman still prepares her own hides. “I pray over my own skins when I get them,” she says. “I flush ’em first and then I’ll rinse ’em for a couple of days. It takes maybe a week or two for the hair to start slipping and then I start making drums.” She displays several of her drums at home and each has its own story. One drum shows a man in a canoe — he raises his arms to honor a whale as it rises from the waters beside his canoe. Two other whales leap from the waters as riders cling to their backs. Wiechman explains the whale’s role as protector and guide to coastal tribes. Pods of them have been known to surround and raise a sinking canoe in trouble, to rescue drowning people from the water and to guide canoes safely to shore during a storm. After Wiechman learned to make drums, she studied basket-making with Theresa Parker, her friend from Neah Bay. She recalls that Parker taught her how to “switch” the colors, but Wiechman wanted to learn design. Her quest for this knowledge was practical and spiritual. She describes how she asked the Creator, “OK, God, I’m trying to figure this out — how can I do design?” Her answer came in a dream 28 years ago. Since then she has taught design in baskets and has continued the craft. She began teaching through Northwest Indian College where she gave classes in basketry and drum-making. Wiechman with her painting “Whispering Woman”

Fall 2013 LOP 13


She says, “That’s supposed to be a Pook mask.” The Pook is a drowned fisherman, but Wiechman tells how the design “transformed” after she and others saw eagles in the wood as she began carving it. She carved and painted a male and a female eagle on the cheeks of the mask — a striking piece for a novice carver. The mask is called “Eagle Woman.” As a teacher, Wiechman has traveled to other tribes to teach drum-making, hat-making and basketry. She studied traditional foods and medicines at Northwest Indian College for several years and says that she had a calling to work with plants when she was 18. She describes the tribal protocol for learning this plant wisdom: “You have to ask your elders.” She recalls how some of these elders practiced non-Native religions that discouraged the practice of this tradition. They were concerned about her intentions, but she sees it this way, “I have this calling about healing people.” She uses plants and creates art for healing purposes, saying, “It’s just who I am.” Wiechman brought her indigenous learning back to the Elwha when she worked at the Lower Elwha Health Clinic. “I learned another craft,” she said, “and that was making salves for arthritic pain.” The golden salve has a pleasant fragrance of the plant known (in English) as “Devil’s Club.” Wiechman devised other recipes for lotions and lip balm. She gathers tea and grasses for her tribal elders. She gathers bark and teaches others this native tradition. The Lower Elwha Health Clinic now has its own

Linda in one of her woven cedar hats. “traditional foods and medicinal garden.” Wiechman planted the seed and now it has grown. As gathering isn’t done in the wintertime, Wiechman decided to concentrate on drawing and painting during this quiet season. After three years of

TH NOR WEST

N

AT IV

Something Native

Contact Wiechman for more details on her work.

Linda Wiechman, owner Lower Elwha Tribal member 461-4792 or 457-4196 somethingnative@gmail.com

GIFT SHOP

E EXPRESSION

S

ART GALLERY

creating unique native designs, her husband helped her get a loan so she could scan her artwork and develop a notecard line for her new business called “Something Native.” She joyfully confides, “I paid him back within six months … The tribe bought a lot of my art and started giving it away as gifts to dignitaries.” Olympic National Park began ordering her work. About a year ago, her artist friend Harvest Moon introduced her to a buyer from Aramark, the company that handles concessions for the region’s national parks. Wiechman’s work is now featured in parks and lodges up and down the coast and elsewhere. Wiechman views herself as “a teacher, a mother and a friend.” The busy artist shares a story: “My aunties call me Sta?ta?ci which means ‘Spider’ in the Klallam language.” I ask them, ‘Why?’ and my elders say, ‘Because you’re always so busy — just like a little spider.” How awesome is that?” She adds, “I have several names that were all given to me by the Creator. He’s always placed people in front of me, to teach me, so I can share my knowledge with whomever wants to learn. I don’t create a separation between races of people. If they want to learn my culture and about our people, I’m here to teach.”

Located at Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center

Open Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 1033 Old Blyn Hwy, Sequim

SHOP ONLINE www.NorthwestNativeExpressions.com 14 Fall 2013 LOP

838326

360-681-4640


Sacred Elements of

HEART &SOUL

Healing By Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith

The Pacific Northwest is a living embodiment of Divine life. From the old-growth forests to the mist-capped mountains to the tidal flows of the Salish Sea to the subtle changes in shimmering light that adorn this beautiful place. All reminders of the depth and breadth of life. All part of a greater whole in which we are blessed to live. Corinne Heline in her classic book “Star Gates” reminds us of how deep our inner connections with the outer world are: “Man is a universe in miniature. All that lies about him in the heavens and upon the earth have their small reflection in his being … So the great wheel of the universe turns, and renders its own unique contribution to the human unfoldment, and the gifts it brings are spiritual as well as material.” We are intrinsically interwoven with the natural world that lies around us. To embrace this awareness is to realize

true wholeness and integrity of being. The ancient mystical traditions all celebrated the transcendent aspects of nature. In more modern times, we have reconnected with this essential truth through quantum physics that show our essential unity and through the reemergence of the ecological movements of Gaia, Mother Earth. Matthew Fox has developed Creation Spirituality that reunites us with the natural world of which we are a part and to which we contribute our energies for good or ill. To be whole, to be complete, to be truly healthy is to reestablish this lost connection between us and the Divine. In wellness, one remains connected to the Source of all life … the Divine Well. One of the clearest ways to realize the multi-level nature of our Being is to honor the various elements in the world around us of which we are a part. In the mystical Jewish tradition of

Kabbalah, the place of manifest creation is called Chaith Ha Kadesh, and the first appearance of Spirit in form comes as the four elemental energies … earth, air, water and fire. From these four emerge all of the myriad complexities of the manifest world that lie all around and within us. To do healing work is to return to this point of creation … to this elemental grid of possibilities … to unlimited co-creative space. It can be done at every level of being: body, mind, heart and soul. EARTH represents the physical realm that includes our bodies. It is the manifest world of form and function. It reminds us of the importance of walking upon the world in a connected, grounded way. It invites us to open to receive the blessings of life that nourish and sustain us. It is the energy of the South which represents

Home Care Is Our Mission ❃ Fully Accredited ❃ by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

(360) 683-8544 Jakdej Nikomborirak, M.D. Diplomate, American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Providing the highest quality home care to seniors and people with disabilities for more than 30 years • Licensed by the state, we accept insurance, private pay and DSHS. We serve all income levels. • From housework to personal care, medication reminders, incontinent care, transportation, bathing, dressing, transfers and protective supervision. • From 1-hour to 24-hour live-in care. Respite and overnight care.

The Best in Rest on the Olympic Peninsula since 1998.

• parasomnia

(abnormal behavior during sleep)

• narcolepsy, etc.

Home sleep studies are available. Self Referrals Welcome. Medicare Accepted.

www.ccsww.org

Serenity Acupuncture, Inc. Jennifer Frey, L.Ac.

10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

“Dr. Jak” treats all types of sleep disorders including:

• sleep apnea • restless leg • insomnia

Please call for a free in-home evaluation:

(360) 417-5420 or 1-855-582-2700

Serving the Community,Health & Well-being

MAKE APPOINTMENT PHONE

(360) 683-8550 ONLINE

www.Serenity AcupunctureClinic.com

NEW OFFICES

520 N. 5th Avenue • Sequim, WA 98382 Oct. 1, 2013 just across parking lot from old office

NEW WEBSITE www.SerenityAcupuntureClinic.com

Fall 2013 LOP 15


family and those who have gone before. Through the power of the Earth, we honor our physicality and celebrate its healing nature. For our bodies are created to seek wholeness, which is why they respond instantly to injuries and illnesses at the cellular level with regenerative forces. The calling of Earth Wisdom is To Be. Look to the trees that surround you here in the Northwest to remind you of the power of Earth … with roots extending deep into the rich soil and with branches reaching skyward in growth. AIR represents the mental realm that includes our thoughts, perceptions and communications. The way we view ourselves, our lives and our world profoundly affects our life experiences. It reminds us of the importance of being in the world in a conscious, connected way that expresses our intentions. It invites us to open to receive the blessings of life that guide us and bring awareness. It is the energy of the North which represents our true North Star which ever guides us through life with focus. Through the power of Air, we honor our consciousness and celebrate the healing possibilities that arise with new understanding and revised perceptions of our outer world. The calling of Air Wisdom is To Choose. All around you the mountains abide. Allow them to remind you of higher vision, elevated understanding,

and the eternality of your soul. WATER represents the feeling realm that includes our emotions, responses and unconscious life. It is the invisible world of the web of life that links us heart to heart. It reminds us of the importance of true abiding … being deeply connected with the world around us. It invites us to recognize the importance of how we feel about the flow of the unfoldings in our lives and how we replenish our inner current. It is the energy of the West which represents the intuitive and responsive aspects. And there is truly no greater mystery than how profoundly the presence of love can change our lives. Through the power of the Water, we honor the profound heart healings born of loving compassion and forgiveness. The calling of Water Wisdom is To Embrace. Journey to the shore of the waters that surround you here on the Olympic Peninsula and allow yourself time to simply embrace the beauty of nature, life and your own soul journey. For a ship is safe in the water of the harbor, but that is not what ships were made for. You, too, were created to voyage upon the waters of this world. FIRE represents the spark of life itself that radiates from everything. It is the passion, strength, faith and courage to live. It reminds us of the creative nature of life itself as it serves as catalyst for change. It

invites us to recognize the wonder of infinite creation, burning away the dross to reveal the gold. It is the energy of the East which represents the coming of the new day, of new life, and of new possibilities. Through the power of the Fire, we honor our soul selves and behold it in others as we heal our doubt and release our hesitations. The calling of Fire Wisdom is To Dare. On these clear nights, look to the night sky for the inspiration of the heavens. By day, be enlightened as you watch the water and see how the sparks of light are released by the dance between water and sun. There is one final and most essential elemental energy honored in the sacred traditions. It is that of Ethos or Spirit. This is the transcendent reality … the vibrational frequencies of creation … the Light found in all of life. Though this element of Ethos we see the great Divine grid in which all are held in vibrant potential. As we do so, we are incorporating all the elements into one cosmic unity and recognizing our place within it. And therein lies the greatest healing of all … the replenishing of our Inner Well that we might have true Wellness at every level of being. Namaste. The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith serves as minister to the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend. She found heaven on earth when she came to the Olympic Peninsula 10 years ago. She is a spiritual pilgrim and student of the universe with a special dedication to the interfaith movement. She can be contacted at revpam@unitypt.org.

When your doctor recommends physical therapy, you have a choice! Choose well. Choose experience. Choose personal attention. Choose Sequim Physical Therapy! “Move Better. Feel Better. Live Better.”

Your Skilled Specialists in the Art and Science of Movement.

Sequim Physical Therapy Center 500 West Fir, Suite A Sequim, WA 98382 • 360-683-0632 • Auto Accidents • Post-surgery • • Rehabilitation • Work Injury • • Medicare Accepted •

Clinical staff: Clinic owner Jason Wilwert, PT, DPT, OCS; Dale Rudd, PT; Sheila Fontaine, PTA; Sonya White, PTA; Vonnie Voris, PT, CLT 16 Fall 2013 LOP


Mussels in Spicy Tomato Pesto

POUR &

TASTE

Recipe courtesy of Blondie’s Plate Restaurant in Sequim 1 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup roasted tomato pesto (see recipe below) 3 cloves garlic, crushed 3 sprigs of thyme 1 lemon wedge, seeded

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon chopped green onion 15 mussels

Combine white wine, tomato pesto, garlic, thyme, lemon, crushed red pepper and butter in a sauté pan and bring to a boil. Add mussels to boiling broth. Remove mussels from broth after they open. Continue to reduce broth until about two-thirds remains or until desired thickness. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour broth over mussels and sprinkle with green onions. Makes 1-2 servings.

Roasted Tomato Pesto Blondie’s Plate is a restaurant at 134 S. Second Ave. in Sequim serving small plates of Northwest Contemporary Cuisine. Owners Kim and Rick McDougal opened the restaurant in July. Kim always has enjoyed dining tapas-style with the sharing of “small plates” so patrons can try lots of different flavors. Blondie’s serves fresh, local seafoods, vegetables from Nash’s Organic Produce and Pane d’Amore breads. An intimate yet comfortable bar serves “Top Shelf” libations. Kim McDougal said Executive Chef Nick Dorcy takes contemporary fun dishes and cranks them up about 10 notches, including Mac N Cheese, Fried Chicken with Parmesan Cream Sauce, Burger Sliders and Fries and Gravy. Hours are 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, with Half-off Happy Hour specials from 4-5 p.m. daily.

Makes 2 servings PER SERVING: 293 CAL. 12 G PROTEIN 15 G FAT 26 G CARB (18 G SUGAR) 225 MG SODIUM

6 Roma tomatoes 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon minced garlic dried oregano dried basil salt and pepper

Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch disks and line a baking sheet. Generously sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Pour olive oil over tomatoes, just enough to coat them. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 2 hours or until tomatoes are dried and slightly darkened. After tomatoes have cooled, pulse them in a food processor until they reach a pesto consistency.

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Fall 2013 LOP 17


Gluten-free?

That all depends Eating gluten-free is gaining in popularity, but is it a fad or necessity?

Food: It’s what’s for dinner

Story and photos by Mary Powell

W

Every living being needs nourishment to live. That’s a given. But it turns out not everyone can eat everything. Case in point: About 0.6 percent of the population has a peanut allergy, one that can be lethal. Recent news stories include a 19-year-old college freshman who ate a half a cookie that had peanut oil in it and subsequently died, and a 13-year-old Utah boy who, although aware of his peanut allergy, inadvertently popped a peanutbutter pretzel into his mouth and died two days later. Other common food allergies include milk, wheat, shellfish, eggs and fish. Depending on the severity of the allergy, eating even a small amount of the offending food can be lifethreatening.

the gluten-free bandwagon, seeking a healthier diet or way to lose weight? It’s not always the best idea, contends registered dietitian Shelley Case, author of “Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.” “People who avoid gluten must be aware that they do not get enough fiber and nutrients from their diet,” Case warned. “Many gluten-free products are made with refined white rice flour and starches, which are not only low in fiber but low in iron and B vitamins.” It’s true people drop pounds when they go gluten-free, but it’s not necessarily because gluten has been eliminated. What happens, Case said, is that when people follow a gluten-free diet, they tend to eat better overall, avoiding breads, pasta, cakes and cookies, eating more fruits and vegetables. Who should go gluten-free? If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the answer is yes, you have to. But if not, giving up gluten can be a “giant pain in the butt,” Case said. “It’s much easier to stick to a healthy diet, focusing on fruits, vegetables, lean protein.”

hen the Food and Drug Administration in early August of this year finally released its latest regulation regarding food labeling, Sue Eliot, for one, was thrilled. And why would Eliot, along with a few million others, be excited about food labeling? Because the new ruling provides uniform standards for labels that will make shopping easier for those on gluten-restricted diets, specifically, those who have celiac disease. Eliot is one of about 3 million Americans who have the autoimmune digestive condition that can be effectively managed only by “Although we’ve been eating wheat eating a gluten-free diet. for thousands of years, we are not Gluten: What is it exactly? “Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very Gluten is a composite of starch and proteins engineered to digest gluten.” disruptive to everyday life,” FDA Commissioner found in certain grassy grains, such as wheat, Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said. “The FDA’s new – Alessio Fasano, M.D., University of Maryland barley and rye. Almost all grains have gluten; Center for Celiac Research gluten-free definition will help people with this corn gluten, for example, works well as a fertilizer condition make food choices with confidence and and weed suppressor, while glutinous rice is in allow them to better manage their health.” many Asian foods. However, those grains — and However, a bad reaction to a particular food Exciting news, indeed, for Eliot, who was the gluten in them – are perfectly safe for people doesn’t necessarily mean someone is allergic. It diagnosed with celiac disease nearly 43 years with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. could be an intolerance, which is unpleasant, but ago and has since championed awareness of It’s the gluten that occurs in a specific subnot life-threatening. the condition. She helped start The Gluten group of grains, including wheat, barley, oats and Now it seems as though everyone is talking Intolerance Group and has traveled the world, rye, that cause specific reactions in those that are about gluten sensitivities. From newspaper spreading information regarding celiac disease headlines to magazine cover stories to the and its connection to gluten intolerance. “Dr. Oz Show,” going gluten-free is the topic Sue Eliot and a There are many foods already labeled as du jour. dietician friend started gluten-free and they may be able to meet the new Just 10 years ago, barely anyone knew The Gluten Intolerance federal definition. Before the new guidelines, food what the word gluten meant, let alone Group in 1974, not manufacturers could include traces of gluten given any thought to avoiding it. But now, long after she was at their discretion. Under the new FDA ruling, gluten-free diets are all the rage, with highdiagnosed with the products labeled gluten-free will have to contain disease. profile stars being linked to the gluten-free less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The news lifestyle. comes as a relief to parents whose children are To people with the chronic digestive diagnosed with celiac disease or those who have order celiac disease, gluten is truly evil. other gluten intolerances. Their bodies regard even a tiny crumb The process has been slow. Fifteen years ago, of it as a malicious invader that in turn Eliot met with FDA officials regarding labeling causes an immune response, according to and has petitioned for changes in Washington, Dr. Alessio Fasano, medical director of the D.C., on several occasions. University of Maryland Center for Celiac “This has been a long-awaited announcement Research in Baltimore. that will make life so much easier for those on But what about those who don’t have gluten-free problems eating gluten, yet have jumped on diets,” Eliot said. 18 Fall 2013 LOP


gluten-sensitive. Most of us love gluten because it’s what gives our favorite foods that special touch: it makes pizza dough stretchy, gives bread its texture and is used to thicken sauces and soups. Some researchers say the grains we are eating today have changed dramatically, causing what seems like an explosion of gluten-related health problems. “In our greatLinda Engeseth, right, owner, and Siera Layman, left, are ready for customers at the grandparents’ era, Crumb Grabbers Bakery in Sequim. Gluten-free goodies include cakes, cheesecake and wheat contained sandwiches on gluten-free bread. very low amounts as a flight attendant with then Western Airlines, of gluten and it was harvested once a year,” later bought by Delta Airlines. She was based in explained Fasano. “Now we’ve engineered Los Angeles and San Francisco, but in 1971, was our grains to increase yields and contain transferred to Seattle. It turned out to be a fortunate more characteristics, like more elasticity. The move. consequence is extremely rich, gluten-containing “I started getting sick when I was in San grains.” Francisco,” she said. “I got a bad diagnosis there and With wheat being the third largest crop in the when I got to Seattle, I ended up at the University of U.S., behind corn and soybeans, no wonder gluten Washington Medical Center.” is so difficult to avoid. Nonetheless, a glutenTwenty-seven years old and weighing only 85 free diet is critical for people with celiac disease, pounds, she spent two months in the hospital because eating gluten causes the body’s immune while her doctors struggled to make a diagnosis. system to attack and damage the lining of the Her dietician finally put two and two together, small intestine. As a result, the body is unable concluding gluten was the culprit and celiac disease to absorb nutrients was the answer. necessary for health Celiac disease and growth. And wasn’t recognized until “If you don’t have celiac disease, giving 1952 and that was in since all derivatives of wheat, barley, rye and up gluten can be a giant pain in the butt.” Birmingham, England. oats must be avoided, It was several years – Shelley Case, registered dietician and author later that Fasano, a cross-contamination with gluten from these world-renown expert other grains makes on celiac disease, learning to cope with a gluten-free diet a bit brought it into focus in the U.S. difficult. “Early on, doctors thought it was a babies’ At first, that is. disease, that they would outgrow it,” Eliot explained. “Life does become a bit more complicated, but Actually, Eliot most likely has had celiac disease the trade-off (a gluten-free diet) is worth it,” said all her life, as there is a genetic disposition for the Cathy Van Ruhan, who was diagnosed with celiac disease. Her father had type 1 diabetes, and likely disease seven years ago. celiac disease, as well. Van Ruhan moved to Sequim 22 years ago “We ate gluten-free when I was growing up, so I and worked for the Sequim Gazette for 18 years. had no symptoms.” Recently retired, she said eating a gluten-free diet That, of course, all changed when Eliot was on means her anemia and osteoporosis have abated her own and flying around the country, eating all and she feels healthy. sorts of good — yet bad for her — food. “Once you are able to absorb nutrients, all Once diagnosed, Eliot took to the streets, the symptoms go away,” she said. And now that literally, wanting to inform and help those with grocery store shelves are filled with gluten-free celiac disease and sensitivity to gluten. She and her products, buying food is easier. “Going out to dietician became close friends and began traveling dinner or potlucks is difficult,” she admits. the world educating people about celiac disease. Six and a half years ago, Eliot and Blaine, her Celiac disease: Not a death sentence husband of 30 years, retired to Sequim, where she continues to be a crusader, making sure those who Eliot agrees a diagnosis of celiac disease is not have or wonder if they have celiac disease have the end of the world. the support and knowledge they need to live an “Frankly, it was a relief when I found out what I enjoyable, uncomplicated life. had and there was a ‘cure,’” she related. Also known as “Sunny Sue,” Eliot volunteers at Born and raised in Oneonta, N.Y., Eliot attended radio station KSQM FM 91.5. If you want to know college in Ithaca, N.Y. After graduation, she moved what Sunny Sue is up to, tune in from 5-8 p.m. on to Minneapolis, Minn., where she began working

Best bets

Choose your restaurant wisely It’s easier than ever to eat out for those on a gluten-free diet. Many restaurants, including some fast-food chains, offer gluten-free menus and have taken the time to serve the needs of people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. However, it’s possible to run into trouble for those who are sensitive to gluten. In most cases, the problem isn’t glutenfree ingredients in the food itself — it’s cross contamination. Which means for a truly gluten-free restaurant, the kitchen must be what is called a dedicated kitchen, one that cooks only gluten-free. Preparing gluten-free food in the main kitchen makes it difficult to prevent cross contamination. Utensils, pots and pans and dishes all have particles of gluten, even after being washed, and can cause serious illness for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Even wheat dust in the air can be problematic. There are several eateries on the North Olympic Peninsula, some with dedicated kitchens and certifiably gluten-free and others that serve gluten-free fare, but not prepared in dedicated kitchens. When eating at a restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask management or your server where and how the gluten-free food was prepared. That goes for personal kitchens, as well. Sue Eliot says her kitchen at home is literally divided — one side for her, one for her husband. It works just fine, she says. Following are a few best bet restaurants — and a couple of good places to shop — on the North Olympic Peninsula that serve gluten-free food:

• Nourish, Sequim: One of Sequim’s newest restaurants, Nourish offers healthy menus created around locally produced food, including edibles grown on the property and vegetables from Nash’s Farm Store in Sequim. The restaurant, owned by Tanya and Dave Rose, Larry Baugh, Laura Reaves and Mandy Gaskill, is 100-percent glutenfree with a dedicated kitchen. 101 Provénce View Lane, 360-797-1480. • Crumb Grabbers Bakery, Sequim: The bakery, owned by Linda Engeseth, bakes and serves an array of baked goods, including cakes, pies, cookies and special treats. Engeseth has a dedicated kitchen for gluten-free goodies, which includes cheesecake, chocolate cake and other delectables, as well as a variety of sandwiches served on gluten-free bread. 492 W. Cedar St., 360-504-2931. • Westside Pizza, Sequim: A dedicated kitchen for gluten-free crust. Wide variety of pizzas, eat in or delivery. 10125 Old Olympic Highway, Suite 17, 360-683-3100. • Pan d’Amore, Sequim: An artisan bakery, sells gluten-free breads on Monday and Friday, and gluten-free cookies and almond cake daily. Kitchen is not dedicated. Bakeries in Sequim and Port Townsend, owned by Linda Yakush. Moving to 104 E. Washington St. in late September, 360-681-3280. • Water Street Crêperie, Port Townsend: Bagels, egg creations and of course, crêpes. The restaurant serves gluten-free crépes, using rice flour and rice milk. Not certified gluten-free, no dedicated kitchen. 1046 Water St., 360-385-1151. • Sunny Farms Country Store, Sequim: Fresh fruits and vegetables, some locally grown, and a wide variety of gluten-free products, including bread, pasta, snacks and cereal. 261461 Highway 101, 360-683-8003. • Walmart, Safeway, QFC, Sequim: The three primary grocery stores in Sequim all have a fair amount of glutenfree products, the best, according to Eliot, is Walmart.

Fall 2013 LOP 19


Saturday or Sunday to listen to her show.

Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Celiac disease affects people in all parts of the world. Originally thought to be a rare childhood symptom, there are more than 2 million people in the U.S. that have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine, 2003. In fact, Eliot was the first midlife adult to be diagnosed in 1971 with celiac disease at the University of Washington. Because celiac disease can be confused with several disorders, it has long been under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, can lead to similar celiac symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and bloating. But unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or intolerance, if you will, doesn’t damage the intestine. It can be uncomfortable, but not lifethreatening. For years, health professionals didn’t believe non-celiac gluten sensitivity existed, but experts are now acknowledging that it may affect as many as 20 million Americans. “Gluten sensitivity affects six to seven times more people than celiac disease, so the impact is tremendous,” Fasano said. “For the first time we can advise those people who test negative for celiac disease but insist they’re having a bad reaction to gluten that there may be something there, that they’re not making it up, that they’re not hypochondriacs.” People with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of certain autoantibodies — proteins that react against the body’s own cells or tissues — in their blood. To diagnose celiac disease, a patient’s blood is tested for high levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies or anti-endomysium antibodies. However, doctors warn,

before being tested it’s important to continue to eat a diet that includes foods with gluten, otherwise the results may be negative even if the disease is present. If there was ever a good time to have celiac disease or be gluten sensitive, now would be that time. Thanks to the health hype and the corresponding interest in gluten-free diets, as well as the uptick in foods marketed to those with celiac disease, living without gluten is doable. Now, with the FDA’s new standards for labeling, consumers can feel more confident in their gluten-free choices. And that, indeed, is exciting news. For more information regarding celiac disease or gluten intolerance, visit www.gluten.net or call Sue Eliot, co-founder of The Gluten Intolerance Group, 360-477-4548. Above, Nourish is one of the newest restaurants in Sequim, serving fresh, local food, often from Nash’s Organic Produce. The restaurant is at the bottom of Bell Hill on the historical grounds of a former lavender farm. Photo courtesy of Nourish Right: Owners Tanya and Dave Rose offer gluten-free meals in a dedicated kitchen, ensuring no cross-contamination. Photo by Mary Powell

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20 Fall 2013 LOP

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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Viva Tapper sees patients in the serene setting of her home office over looking Discovery Bay in Port Townsend.

A scientific & spiritual perspective

Story and photos by Kelly McKillip

“W

e need many more people doing this work,” says Dr. Viva Tapper, 59, about her practice as a doctorally degreed Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Working from her beautiful and serene home office overlooking Discovery Bay in Port Townsend, Dr. Viva’s work days are filled to the brim with a steady flow of people in need of evaluation, counseling, support and medication management for a variety of mental health issues.

Finding her way

Dr. Viva loves her work and the opportunity to use her education and spiritual insights to serve as a mirror and mentor for others. Before beginning her medical studies, she spent 10 years working in the motion picture industry with her former husband, a well-known costume designer. Despite the famous and fascinating people she came to know, a very different path beckoned. She entered a seminary to study theology and pre-med, eventually changing courses to pursue nursing. The 1990s were a busy decade as she earned her bachelor’s degree followed

by five years of rigorous graduate work at the University of Washington. She loved the university and one of the highlights of her graduate studies was when she and another Ph.D. student were invited by the World Health Organization to participate in a Collaborative Scholars Program in Beijing, China. At that time, China’s nursing schools did not have mental health studies as part of their curriculum. The UW students gave an extensive three-week presentation regarding their nursing program, which was very well received by the Beijing Ministry of Health. After graduation, she and her husband, psychologist Dr. Bruce Tapper, opened a clinic, Partners in Well-Being, in Port Townsend in 1995. Although still colleagues, Viva Tapper now has her own private practice.

Centering on conscious compassion

Dr. Viva’s clinical method is well-grounded in science but she also has a profound respect for people who are motivated to understand themselves. She believes this knowledge is the first all-important step in creating better relationships. Sessions are an opportunity to be a mirror to others as they evaluate their symptoms and decide if they want to change. She invites the patients’ primary care provider to work together as a team to resolve presenting symptoms which may need to be differentiated from physical issues. Dr. Viva has prescribing privileges for adults and children but also employs a variety of non-

medication modalities to assist her patients. Sleeping problems are a common issue and stabilizing the person’s circadian rhythms (the body’s natural sleep and waking cycles) must be resolved before other therapy can be implemented. She makes a point to be nourished and well rested as she suggests that “her cup must be filled” before being able to be of assistance to others. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is a treatment often employed for conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar and obsessivecompulsive disorders, post traumatic stress, addictions, ADHD, psychosis and personality disorders. Teaching personal control through breathing techniques and relaxation skill building are aids to mood stabilization and impulse control. She encourages her patients to design their own degree of fine tuning that allows them to remain focused on their goals by achieving that middle place between chaos and flatness called the optimal pattern amplitude. Another technique, hierarchical desensitization, is helpful for individuals with phobias. The Gottman Model is used for couples counseling. Non-violent communication skills improve life for the patients and their relationships to others.

A spiritual journey

Although she welcomes and honors seekers from all spiritual and secular traditions, Dr. Viva’s Christian faith and the belief that God wants us to know Him has been what sustains her. Two years ago, she found herself waking up in Harborview Medical Center after a car accident that left her with a serious eye injury, three broken limbs and the inability to walk for six months. She was overwhelmed by the generosity of her community. This incident confirmed her belief that adversity offers

Fall 2013 LOP 21


an opportunity to learn compassion for others and to understand the degree of resilience and strength that comes from God. Although the accident was a life-changing event, most of what she believes about the purpose of her life as a healer began with a startling and completely unexpected event nearly four decades ago. A struggling 21-year-old single mom living and working in Los Angeles, Viva went into the hospital for routine surgery and during the initial stage of anesthesia, had a cardiac arrest. Finding herself hovering over her body while viewing the pandemonium in the operating room was the first of four dimensions of experience which she says was more real than anything in her earthly life. Subsequently, she began flying through darkness, feeling very alone and without personal control at first. She cried out to God, perceived a tiny, bright star and then began to feel the love and perfection of belonging. Moving with great and exhilarating speed, she found that her numerous questions were answered before she could finish asking them. Described as a faceted diamond monolith, Jesus incorporated her into the shared wisdom and purpose of human experience. Additionally, there was a review, of sorts, about the history of mankind, past to future which consisted largely of war and strife but also people helping others. As is often described in the Near Death Experience (NDE) literature, she found herself traveling down a tunnel with the Golden Light of God at the end. She had an image of her home with the Light and had to make a difficult decision whether to stay in this perfect place or return to her

previous existence. Her responsibility as the mother of a 3-year-old dictated the choice, and she found herself slammed back into the body that already had been pronounced dead. One can only imagine the shock of the operating room staff as she waved them back to the table. Six weeks after the NDE, her life and relationships changed dramatically. She married, moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, and began the intriguing path that has brought her to her current work. Dr. Viva has a special interest in spiritual counseling and would like to spend more time researching and writing about NDEs. The chronic problem of good and evil from a Christian psychiatric perspective is an ongoing area of study. For individuals who are looking to support themselves but challenged to seek psychiatric services, Dr. Viva suggests using the same criteria as choosing a specialist in any field. The right psychiatric provider can offer a valuable, safe and clear environment to see ourselves better and our pathways more clearly. Most insurance covers psychiatric care and payment plans are available for those without coverage. Dr. Viva also invites credentialed professionals with excellent grounding and integrity to contact her about partnering in this much needed work. She has participated in the UW’s rural Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner preceptor program and hopes to mentor another intern again. Viva Tapper, Ph.D., ARNP, B.C., is a Doctor of Nursing Science and Research and is an Advanced Registered Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner licensed in

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the state of Washington with prescriptive authority for children and adults. Dr. Viva also treats couples, families and groups in relationship building. She has a private practice in Port Townsend. Contact her at 360-379-8482 or viva@drviva.com. To learn more about Dr. Viva Tapper and her work, visit on the web at drviva.com.

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VICTORIAN HOMES

HOLIDAY TOUR December 14, 2013 • 1 to 5 pm

presented by Victorian Society of America-Northwest Chapter

Three Victorian homes decorated in their finest holiday finery will be open for visitors to tour and enjoy. Light refreshments will be offered and ticket holders may participate in the ambiance of the season while touring the homes and listening to holiday music. Costumed docents will describe each home’s history Ticketing and further details can be found on the VSA-NW website: www.vsa-nw.org After your tour, stop downtown for a little yuletide cheer! Visit www.op-s.net for details.

Fall 2013 LOP 23


Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour training certification course that teaches participants to identify, understand and respond to signs of a mental health crisis. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Mental Health First Aid training is open to professionals, community members, family members and other interested parties who wish to improve their mental health literacy. For more information, visit Mental Health First Aid or contact Julie Calabria, clinical director, at 360457-0031, ext. 158 juliec@peninsulabehavioral.org. — Courtesy of Peninsula Behavioral Health specialized services for children, crisis services, residential and community support, working with people who are chronically mentally ill in case management and day programs and some recreational therapy. We’ve developed an array of residential services because we can’t treat patients effectively unless we’re assisting them with housing. If they’re not living in a communal way, it’s hard to manage their mental illness.” One example is the Arlene Engel Home, named after a longtime Olympic Medical Center board member who was a tireless advocate for the mentally ill. The 19-bed facility is a boarding home for chronically mentally ill people who need a high level of staff assistance 24/7. Three transitional living houses are part of a continuum of care in a step-down recovery process to patients being stabilized where they can live independently, have social networks and be monitored on their medications. PBH is a licensed mental health and certified chemical dependency treatment organization with nearly 100 on staff, including physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, mental health and chemical dependency counselors. Two-thirds of its professionals have clinical or bachelor’s

Mending broken minds Relationships, working and having support — all these things are possible for people with mental illness. By Patricia Morrison Coate In 2008, Congress passed The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act that requires “group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that co-pays, deductibles and visit limits applicable to mental health or substance use disorder benefits are no more restrictive than the prevailing requirements or limitations applied to most all medical/ surgical benefits.” That continues to be good news for the 3,500 patients that Peninsula Behavioral Health in Port Angeles treated in 2012, be they on Medicare, Medicaid, state health insurance plans or private insurance. Peter O. Casey, Peter Casey, Executive Director MSW, LICSW, has been the 24 Fall 2013 LOP

agency’s executive director since 2006. “We’ve been a provider in Clallam County since 1971 and started out as a small agency. In 2006, when I came, we just served patients funded from the state with a diagnosis of mental illness,” Casey said. “In 2008, we did a needs assessment and found there were a lot of people with psychiatric illnesses but they did not qualify for state money, such as those with PTSD and anxiety. So we changed our mission to treat anybody who had a psychiatric need. Between 2008-2011, we increased our client census by 1,000 and it’s rising from 200-300 every year, mostly due to poverty issues and the economy’s impact.” The agency began with five programs and now offers 18, with three focusing on helping veterans. “We offer an array of services: individual, group and family therapy and we treat from young children to seniors,” Casey said. “In addition to traditional outpatient services, we also provide Jerry Remick, Residential Aide, and Dee Dee Hanson, Arlene Engel Site Coordinator


degrees. Staff expertise runs the gamut from pediatric to geriatric. Last year, the agency saw 692 children under the age of 18 and 474 adults over the age of 60.

Adult Outpatient Services Angela moved to Port Angeles in November 2010. She had left a violent relationship and she and her 10-yearold child were homeless. Fortunately our local program serving victims of domestic abuse, Healthy Families, sheltered them in their safe house and referred Angela to Peninsula Behavioral Health for counseling services. “At first, I was really scared, but I sat in a room with someone that didn’t know me and told my story. Finally somebody understood me.” Her counselor helped her understand that her symptoms of nightmares, shakes, fear of leaving the house and fear of riding in a car with the windows up were all part of a disorder called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Angela was then referred to the medical staff who

Psychiatric needs of seniors “What we’re seeing, as our population ages, are people breaking down and developing psychiatric symptoms that, to the untrained eye, give the impression of a psychiatric diagnosis rather than a medical one like Alzheimer’s disease. In the elderly population, we see depression, some neurological issues, relationship issues, anxiety over how to make ends meet — do they get their meds or eat?” Casey queried. “Their personalities begin to change and they may have aggressive behavior caused by physiological changes in the brain. They don’t have the resources to control their thoughts and behaviors as they used to and so the response is a much more intense affect,” he said. Casey noted that for the past two years, PBH has provided behavioral services to the Jamestown Family Health Clinic in Sequim. “We’re treating a lot of older adults in Sequim — the psychiatric needs in Sequim continue to increase,” Casey said. That’s why he said he was quite surprised and dismayed when the City of Sequim killed its annual contribution of $7,500 to the nonprofit without any discussion with PBH staff. “We see Sequim as an area of older adults we serve with functional issues — they’re depressed because of many kinds of losses. People think of the Sequim area as well-off, but many aren’t,” Casey said. “It costs $1,700 to treat one client and

so we really depend on local funding services. We’re in a dilemma: How do we continue to serve Sequim residents with the cut by the city and the state as well? People we serve without intervention will mean more ER visits, more law enforcement. It’s a tough time.” PBH organizes its services under the following categories: children and family, adult, community support services, medical, residential, 24hour crisis intervention and consultation and education. The nonprofit has an annual budget of $5.6 million with $4 million capitated from the state for inpatient and outpatient costs. Of the $4 million, $3 million comes from Medicaid reimbursements. “The more we use for inpatients, the less

found the right medications to manage symptoms, even the nightmares. She also was referred to the Dialectic Behavioral Therapy Skills Group. That group, she said, “changed my life forever. Everyone needs those skills. I incorporated them into my life and brought them home to my family.” She has overcome her depression and anxiety and has some stress management skills that are helping her cope with the challenges of raising her children who are living with her. “All this time I thought I was alone. Probably millions of people suffer like me. The skills I have learned make me grateful. I think everyone could benefit from them,” Angela said. She continues to attend the DBT Skills Group and shares her progress and encourages other group members. — Supervisor Bob Nuffer contributed this story.

we have for outpatients, but if we don’t treat outpatients then we have more inpatients,” Casey said. “Last year we hospitalized 120 people. Of those inpatient admissions, 42 were for 36 Sequim residents and if the residents were uninsured, PBH paid for the hospitalizations.” PBH primarily is funded by the state of Washington through a contract with the Peninsula Regional Support Network, which is managed by Kitsap County. It also receives funding particularly for children and families through the Department of Social and Health Services, as well as from grants for specialty populations from United Way, grants and a 1-percent sales tax for treatment of residents with chemical dependency and mental health problems.

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Fall 2013 LOP 25


By the numbers

Fiscal year 2012-2013 • $5.6 million budget • 47,620 non-crisis face-to-face services for  3,443 clients; 704 were low income, uninsured or unfunded • 10,890 services for 1,027 Sequim residents; 384 were low income, uninsured or unfunded • 52,396 total services   • 4,776 crisis services, with Sequim-area patients at 1,468. 

Agency philosophy “We treat everything from depression and anxiety to ADHD and psychosis,” Casey said. “We’re very conservative with medications and that’s not our first intervention — counseling is because not all symptoms are necessarily biologically based, for example, depression. Is it from losses or a biochemical depression, which we can determine through talk therapy.” Casey said most patients are seen from a few weeks to a few months. “I’ve learned,” he said, “people come here because of a crisis that’s really thrown them off in their functioning, work and relationships. I see our job to see what caused the changes in their

lives and what tools we can use to get them back in their lives. I see our task to get them back on track, help them with issues and give them the tools to deal more effectively.” He acknowledged that the era when mental health providers could give their clients as much care as they needed over a long period of time is over. “If we treat people respectfully and successfully within a short time to a place where they can incorporate skills, then they can get back into their world,” Casey said. “This work is not just cognitive but emotional. That’s the important part of doing this work. There’s a whole movement and philosophy of recovery. We have people who have been homeless, not able to take care of themselves, who’ve become contributing citizens again. Relationships, working and having support — all those things are possible for people with mental illness.”

Residential Services

“My name is Mike Martin and I’ve lived at Arlene Engel House for the past 10 years. When I started going to PBH’s Horizon Center, I made friends and became good at playing pool. Horizon is a good place to go. They have groups and fun outings and I like the dinners best. My case manager and I started talking about me getting a job. One day I walked into Safeway and spoke to the manager; he told me to fill out an application online. Max, the peer counselor at Horizon, helped me fill out the application. I’ve been working at Safeway every since. I like going to work, being around people and being busy very day. PBH has helped me out a lot. The people who work there support me, believe in me and help me work through my problems. I want to say thanks to everyone for their support.” — Mike Martin

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Courage in

crisis Sequim couple unravel mysterious illness, share expertise and hope with others Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate

“I wake up nearly every morning totally paralyzed. I cannot move in any way. I cannot open my eyes. I cannot speak. My mouth is open and dry. I have urges to swallow but I am not able to so there is choking and an unusual sound in my throat every few minutes.”*

A

new non-fiction book by Sequim author Susan Knittle-Hunter may not ever make it onto the bestseller list but she believes its contents are worth more than any accolades. This summer Hunter and her husband, Calvin, self-published “living with Periodic Paralysis: The Mystery Unraveled,” their account of them diagnosing her baffling metabolic disease, walking the tightrope of managing it and guiding physicians in its diagnosis and treatment. After a “sickly” childhood and decades of being misdiagnosed, mismanaged and in some cases maltreated by the medical profession, Susan finally found out in 2011 she has one of the rarest of rare genetic diseases — Andersen-Tawil syndrome — a subcategory of periodic paralysis. An estimated 100 people in the world are known to have ATS, with just 2,500 suffering from PP worldwide, but the Hunters suspect there are many more that haven’t been diagnosed or correctly diagnosed.

First do no harm In 1990 at the age of 52, Susan had her first episode of full-body paralysis after years of progressive muscle weakness, fainting, severe pain, tachycardia and therapies that only made her condition worse. Her doctors initially thought she’d had a stroke. Her increasing incapacitation forced her to retire from being a teacher and case manager for children and adults with disabilities. “Doctors treat it as a neurological disease but it’s not,” Hunter said from the confines of her recliner, tethered 24/7 to an oxygen nasal cannula (tube). “It’s

Susan Hunter reclines in her power chair with husband, Calvin. a disease unlike any other — it’s in a category of its own and needs to be treated in unconventional ways. Doctors should keep an open mind and think out of the box in recognizing and treating periodic paralysis.” Although a soft-spoken woman who sometimes has to catch her breath to speak, Susan’s voice becomes edged with steel and she doesn’t mince words when she tells about so-called experts who sent her packing from one specialist to another over several decades, all the while piling on more medications that caused new and worse symptoms, Susan said. It was a toss-up whose attitudes were the worst — the ones who said it was “all in her head,” the ones who said she was faking symptoms or the ones who said there was nothing they could do for her. Even when the Hunters told medical staff firmly that glucose, saline and lidocaine propelled her into paralysis, the couple was ignored or even deceived, they said. “For a long time, after a really big episode, I was so weak and I just kept feeling like I was going to die,” Susan, now 65, said. “For a long time I was very depressed but when I found out about periodic paralysis and could put a name to it, I was angry about how I’d been treated by doctors. I wanted a diagnosis so I could get treatment and I had a new reason to live, but then I was diagnosed and five medications almost killed me. Three or four specialists said, ‘There’s nothing I can do for you.’ I have this fight in me and I know something is wrong.”

Defining periodic paralysis According to the Hunters’ book, periodic paralysis is “a rare, hereditary disease characterized by episodes of muscular weakness or paralysis without the loss of sensation or consciousness. It is a channelopathy, a disease involving dysfunction of an ion channel for potassium, sodium, chloride and calcium.” The genetic disorder affects the contraction and relaxation of skeletal and cardiac muscle fibers

at the cellular level, weakening both permanently. Susan’s symptoms included pins and needles sensations, not being able to move her legs, foot dragging, shortness of breath and a heart rate ranging from sluggish to racing. Over the course of a decade, she was diagnosed with everything from multiple sclerosis to malingering. At least one physician believed she had a conversion disorder, a psychiatric illness. With each new diagnosis and rounds of tests and therapies, new symptoms arose and caused her condition to look like yet another disorder. This vicious cycle culminated in her being on 15 medications a day. “It felt like the beginning of the end so I gradually stopped taking the medications one by one and the different symptoms stopped. If you have the type of periodic paralysis I have, medications will cause weird and odd symptoms that doctors don’t recognize or a paradoxical effect that can put me into paralysis or an arrhythmia,” she said. Episodes of extreme muscle weakness and partial or total paralysis can last minutes or hours — the longest one Susan has endured was seven hours — and leave her physically and emotionally exhausted. An accompanying heart arrhythmia called long QT syndrome may lead to sudden death and Susan and Calvin live with that knowledge every day. An hour of conversation and she begins to pause in her thoughts and grasp for words. A dose of potassium in solution brings her back to clear thinking within 15 minutes.

Walking the tightrope “It’s a wonder that I’m even alive,” Susan said, “because when I finally got diagnosed, there was nothing that doctors knew to do. Based on my symptoms, Calvin researched it on the Internet and did several brave things to save my life — he put me on a pH-balanced diet with supplements … and focused on what things caused my metabolic acidosis.”

Fall 2013 LOP 27


*Quotes from the introduction to “living with Periodic Paralysis: The Mystery Unraveled” by Susan Knittle Hunter and Calvin Hunter. Available at Pacific Mist Books in Sequim and online at www.periodicparalysisnetwork. com and www.amazon.com.

“My heartbeat increases and decreases intermittently and beats irregularly. As this happens, my blood pressure also increases and decreases and my breathing may become labored and sometimes stop. These attacks may last from 45 minutes to several hours. During these episodes I am awake and I am aware of and can hear everything going on around me.”* This serious condition occurs when the body produces too much acid or when the kidneys are not removing enough acid from the body and can lead to coma or death. The Hunters realized triggers include any kind of exertion, diet, cold and heat, saline and glucose IV solutions, anesthesia (both gaseous and injectable) many medications and unfortunately, sleep. “I usually wake up in paralysis since there’s no way to avoid sleep but I don’t worry about it as much now,” Susan said. “When I’m in total body paralysis the only thing I can do is hear. Before we changed things, I’d have episodes four or five times a day but it happens once or twice a month now.” Regulating Susan’s potassium levels is a delicate balancing act because her body reacts to hyperkalemia, hypokalemia and normal potassium levels and can swing wildly among the three, sending her into a paralytic state. “I will look dead or unconscious and Calvin will have to watch my swallowing and keep me elevated because I can choke.” The couple have learned that “walking the tightrope” means a pH-balanced diet, supplements, avoidance of exertion and stress, continuous oxygen therapy and monitoring her potassium, blood sugar and oxygen levels, body temperature and blood pressure. They’ve assembled a “vitals” kit — and recommend it on their website — consisting of a blood pressure cuff that identifies arrhythmias, a glucometer for blood sugar, a Cardy potassium ion tester which measures potassium levels, an oximeter and a pH meter for acidity/alkalinity, all for about $500. “We basically had to develop at home these tools and started charting Susan’s patterns,” Cal said. “It takes a lot of uncertainty out of it for people. When you can see actual measurements, you can calm down and not have to call 9-1-1. It’s been for my peace of mind — otherwise I’d be a nervous wreck.”

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The human body naturally has a pH balance that’s 70 percent alkaline and 30 percent acid to be in homeostasis and Cal soon realized that his wife’s diet needed to reflect that. “Cal was frantically trying to find ways to save me and because he knew I had metabolic acidosis, he found an alkaline diet — it was really strict — with fresh vegetables and fruit, no meat and no simple carbs, sugar, salt or caffeine,” Susan said. “He put me on supplemental amino acids and after six months I’d lost 25 pounds, lowered my blood sugar and cholesterol, and went from four or five paralysis episodes daily to one or two a month, except after sleeping.” Cal added, “Basically we eat raw foods without additives.” The Hunters moved to rural Sequim last fall for the climate and are pleased to have found a physician willing to listen and learn about periodic paralysis, internist Dr. Samantha Reiter of Sequim Medical Associates. On their initial visit, Susan said, “She was listening to everything I said and believing me. No specialist could know more about this disease — she’s taken time to study it.” On a recent visit to the ER at Olympic Medical Center for a suspected mini-stroke, the Hunters said they found everyone from the first responders to the paramedics, nurses and doctors to be very professional, accommodating and caring. “We do not fear the ER any longer – at least on the peninsula,” Susan said.

of periodic paralysis who have or may not have been diagnosed, with its complex treatment and to educate medical professionals so they may recognize, diagnose and properly treat their patients in a timely manner. The 430-page book begins with Hunter’s personal story of a history of bizarre symptoms, progressive disability and rising frustration with a plethora of physicians with no answers — or at worse, ridicule; a detailed analysis of what periodic paralysis is and isn’t and its prognosis; managing and treating the disorder; and what to expect psychologically and socially. “Once we knew what I had, we decided to write the book and started our own website for people with periodic paralysis because there is a real need for it,” Susan said. “So far we have 70 members and get new ones everyday from all over the world. We do the best we can to help others with natural methods of controlling symptoms so people will have less and less severe episodes. If it’s caught early, people would not be as bad off as I am for lack of proper treatment.” Susan has researched her family medically six generations back and has found signs and symptoms of periodic paralysis in its depth and breadth. “I know it killed my mother so when I got my diagnosis, I wanted to share and know everything I could. I knew there must be other people like me and I knew they needed help,” she said. “We’ve never been the kind of people to lay down and get run over. We come back stronger,” Calvin said.

Helping more than themselves

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Married 31 years, Susan and Cal know she’s living on borrowed time and both deal with her

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limitations. Yet, despite their separate and united burdens, it’s easy to see their overwhelming love for each other. Susan writes in the book’s afterword that like in John Denver’s song, some days are diamonds, some days are stones. The diamond days are just having one relatively brief paralysis episode upon waking, going outside in her power wheelchair to enjoy their forested acreage and connecting with other people worldwide with symptoms and/or diagnoses of periodic paralysis via their website at www.periodicparalysisnetwork.com.

“At any time during an episode I may have an irregular heartbeat or I may go into cardiac arrest and/or respiratory arrest and die. Due to this knowledge, each episode can be frightening and frustrating and at times I cry. I can feel the tears running down my cheeks, but can do nothing to wipe them away.”* What keeps her going? “I don’t have an answer to that,” Susan said, pausing. “My children and grandchildren (who have some symptoms) and my loving, caring, wonderful husband Calvin, all the members of our board and their children. Before I die, I want doctors to read this book and have periodic paralysis be something everybody knows about. I don’t want anybody to go through what I have. The book is to provide hope — if you think you can’t do something, be in my shoes. Do the best you can every day. I really didn’t think I’d live to see it published. Don’t give up, have hope and believe in yourself — knowledge is the key.”

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OUT &

Cherry trees are in full bloom at Pioneer Memorial Park in Sequim. Photo by Reneé Mizar

ABOUT

A Place of Rest and Remembrance

Preserving Sequim’s Pioneer Memorial Park By Reneé Mizar, Communications Coordinator, Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley

Q

uietly nestled along one of Sequim’s busiest streets lies what is for many – and in more ways than one – a serene resting place. Maintained with marked dedication by the Sequim Prairie Garden Club and boasting a cross-section of North Olympic Peninsula cultural artifacts as diverse as its flowering foliage, Pioneer Memorial Park has become as much a regional heritage site as a roadside park. With enough flowers, plants and heritage trees to rival that of a Seattle arboretum, including the native Garry oak tree, the park at 387 E. Washington St. bears little resemblance to the blackberry stickerstrewn field it was some 65 years ago. By the late 1940s, the land had been longabandoned as Sequim’s first cemetery and cows freely grazed among the battered and broken headstones that remained. The evolution of the park from forgotten cemetery to flourishing community grounds is a tale of dedication, foresight and respect for history that continues today among club members. “I feel that the park is an undiscovered jewel on the peninsula,” park historian and Sequim Prairie Garden Club past president Priscilla Hudson said. “So many locals haven’t even driven through and visitors don’t know it exists.” By 1951, just a few years after 18 local women formed the Sequim Prairie Garden Club, club members

had taken up the cause of improving the ramshackle state of the former cemetery grounds. Making it their collective mission to rehabilitate the abandoned acreage, the group and a host of community volunteers raised funds, cleared the brambles, added an array of plantings and set in motion a deep commitment to continually improve the land and preserve its history that still guides the club. “The serenity that occurs naturally as you enter under the tall trees with the expansive lawn surrounded by flowers is priceless,” Hudson said. “The flowering trees were donated in honor of early club presidents and require tending by certified arborists. Now, each Arbor Day, another flowering shrub is planted.”

Sequim’s First Cemetery

In the southwest corner of the park, a chain-link fence surrounds a small grouping of headstones inscribed with the names of pioneer families and those long forgotten. Some largely intact and others semi-reconstructed bits and pieces, the headstones serve as visual reminders for park visitors that they are walking on hallowed ground. Records show that in the 1888, homesteader John Bell sold a portion of his Sequim Prairie land to Clallam County in order to create Sequim’s first cemetery just on the outskirts of town. Within about 20 years, however, burials had ceased as the cemetery was continually plagued by flooding problems from nearby Bell Creek. In the years that followed, family members of

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those buried in the cemetery were tasked with finding new final resting places for the deceased, including the new Sequim View Cemetery. According to Sequim Prairie Garden Club documentation, Clallam County deeded the cemetery to the Sequim Cemetery Association in 1919 and family members of the deceased were given until the following year to finalize any more burial transfers. While some bodies were moved, others – be it to financial constraints, inability to locate relatives, or other circumstances – remain buried within the park. “In Washington, once a cemetery, always a cemetery and that is certainly the case with Pioneer Park” said Museum & Arts Center in the

By the late 1940s, overgrown brush and broken, scattered headstones characterized Sequim’s long-abandoned first cemetery. Courtesy of the Sequim Prairie Garden Club

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Executive Director DJ Bassett, who toured the park earlier this year as a Clallam County Heritage Advisory Board member. “The majority of the interments were moved in 1913 and 1914 to different area cemeteries but many remain, plus some of those graves were never marked.” A couple of years ago, to reignite interest in the cemetery, Hudson initiated a club project to research those named on the headstones. With information compiled A Sequim Prairie Garden Club work crew 1951. by several club members and Courtesy of the Sequim Prairie Garden Club volunteers in the community, the club now has more thorough documentation of those whose headstones remain within park grounds. Much of that genealogy research, as well as the history of the cemetery itself, will be recounted on Friday, Oct. 18, during a Cemetery Tour at the park. The tour, presented by the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley (MAC), is an official Sequim Centennial event. Details are available on the MAC website at www.macsequim.org. “I was surprised to learn that there was a cemetery in such an unusual place, and some of the genealogy information we’ve uncovered is just so interesting,” said genealogy enthusiast Kathy Bare, who helped with the headstone research project. “For instance, there is a man who came to Sequim and died at age 19 and we haven’t been able to determine where he came from or why was he here. Was he a sailor, lumberman, or just passing through? We may never know.”

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Cultural Objects Displayed Over the years, the park has become home to several large-scale historical artifacts. A pioneer log cabin from Chicken Coop Road in Blyn, a Pysht River canoe, and a totem pole by late Jamestown S’Klallam tribal elder Harris “Brick” Johnson are among the donated pieces that represent varied facets of North Olympic Peninsula history and culture. “As I learned about the history of a family who once lived in the log cabin and the meaning of the symbols on the totem pole, I knew the history of the park and its contents needed to be documented and shared,” Hudson said. The clubhouse that sits at the center of the park is also a vestige of area history. Originally a 20-by-24-foot building from the Carlsborg Mill when donated in 1960, it was significantly remodeled and expanded after being moved to the park. The public can rent the facility for any number of functions, such as reunions, estate sales, and meetings, with rental fees going to support the club’s ongoing efforts to maintain and preserve the park.

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Seeking Historical Designation Highlighting the park’s history as a cemetery, Hudson is seeking to have it designated a historically significant site by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, thereby placing it on the Washington Heritage Register. She said she also plans to seek National Register of Historic Places status. “It is my hope that the park remains quiet and peaceful and to impart the history within its borders,” Hudson said. “With official historical designation, I think more community members would hold onto this treasure and help ensure it doesn’t get razed for something like a big box store or noisy playfield.” Membership in the Sequim Prairie Garden Club, which is a member of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs, is open to women and men of all ages. For more information on how to become a club member or about Pioneer Memorial Park, including clubhouse rentals, call 360-808-3434. “It’s a labor of love to pick up sticks, pull weeds and plant new items, but it is also very rewarding,” Hudson said about being a club This Pysht River canoe is among member. “Park upkeep takes many hands the North Olympic Peninsula throughout the months and we greatly welcome cultural artifacts on display within new members to help us maintain and improve Pioneer Memorial Park. this invaluable community asset.” Photo by Reneé Mizar

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Former Presbyterian Church of Sequim Site

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ow a drive-thru for motorists needing a java jolt, the lot at the southeast corner of West Washington Street and South Third Avenue Photo by Reneé Mizar, Museum & Arts Center in Sequim was for many years in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley a place of worship. More than a quarter-century ago, when Washington Street was still U.S. Highway 101, passersby would have gazed upon the Gothic Revival-styled Presbyterian Church of Sequim. The striking building at 279 W. Washington St. served as an unofficial local landmark until October 1989, when it was demolished to make way for an ARCO AM-PM Mini Mart following its congregation’s move to a new location on North Fifth Avenue (now Sequim Community Church). White Cup Espresso currently occupies the former church site.

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Historical photo from The Jefferson County Historical Society collection Below left: Photo by Fred Obee.

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ort Townsend was a very different place in 1917. Soldiers drilled on the parade grounds at Fort Worden and the sound of cannons dug in to bluff-top bunkers rumbled across the Admiralty Inlet. But then, as now, when the duties of every day service relaxed, people headed to a popular green spot, 10 acres of gardens and picnic grounds known since 1904 as Chetzemoka Park. In this yesteryear photo, World War I era soldiers peer out from the rustic shelter at the park, on leave for the moment from wartime duties. Chetzemoka Park was established in 1904 when civic club volunteers cleared the hillside parcel. According to historical accounts, 200 people showed up to do the work on the newly donated land. In the years since, additional property was purchased by the city and added to the site. The shelter in this yesteryear photo is long gone. Today in its place are gardens and a gazebo with wide views of Admiralty Inlet, the Cascade Mountains and this sheltered path under a trellis. The park is located on Jackson Street between Garfield and Roosevelt streets. The park takes its name from Chief Chetzemoka, a Native American leader who was friendly with the settlers of Port Townsend.

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LIVING

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Burden, Baby Boomer, Burden

By Bertha D. Cooper

I am what you could call a cusp baby born on the early edge of the baby boomer years. By the time early boomers were sprung from high school and took to the streets, I had finished college and was well into a job that had me watching boomers clog the freeways in protest from an office overlooking I-5 in Seattle. The boomer bulge of lifestyle revolutionaries is now emptying out into years of retirement. Any one born during the years 1946-1964 and still living are considered baby boomers, referring to the population boom that began at the end of World War II and lasted well into the sixties. Since 2011, boomers begun turning 65 and will be arriving in their sixties over the next 17 years, a reality that is causing considerable hand wringing in the other Washington. The generation that brought us the end to the Vietnam War, race riots, free love, drug love, living together without marriage, mothers working, acquisition culture and a technology revolution, to name but a few, is being viewed as a burden! The political angst and resulting stand-off is centering on the very real threats to our economy of uncontrollable health care costs. Many are alarmed over what could become a spectacular national deficit but more are alarmed about their own fate as they age, the time they will most likely need medical care. Paying for treatment for serious illness is very costly and threatens loss of retirement and in some cases bankruptcy unless one has very good health care coverage. Proposed programs to relieve the Medicare burden range from Medicare for all to voucher programs that reduce access to care. In part because I am a health care professional and in other part because I am a human being, I advocate for measures to lower government spending by lowering the cost of care and opening access to needed care, including preventive care, for everyone. I simply do not understand those that would deny needed care to anyone and especially old people. Proponents of programs that limit access do not seem to understand that people will die sooner and likely with debilitating chronic disease. Programs proposed that are reliant on a market system forget that markets have no incentive to maintain the health of the individuals and families in this country. Both these approaches promise profits for business and considerable anxiety for consumers. As long as one must turn 65, most boomers breathe a sigh of relief to finally get on Medicare and escape at least their financial devastation if not the country’s. Even those that loudly protest against government anything say in the same protest

34 Fall 2013 LOP

“Leave my Medicare alone.” I am thinking that boomers do not like thinking of themselves as a burden. They are after all the generational leaders of change. I also suspect that many see Medicare as an earned rather than an unearned entitlement. So what should a 100-percent product of the baby boomer generation do? Protest to keep Medicare? Perhaps, although it does seem a tad narcissistic to fight for health care access only for oneself. My thought is that boomers, along with those of us who precede them, insist that our elected officials use the compelling data from the Institute of Medicine and the Congressional Budget office to develop policy that makes a healthy nation a priority at a cost the country can afford. Until that time, the best solution for baby boomers is “Take Care of Yourself.” Work hard to not need health care by practicing prevention of serious or chronic disease. Sometimes fate or our genetics doesn’t let us live without chronic disease. Some of us will get lung cancer even though we never smoked. Most of the time we can improve our odds of preventing chronic disease, living into old age and dying in our sleep at the end of what we thought was a good life. Unfortunately not all boomers are catching on.

at the time]. Boomers were more likely to have high blood pressure (43% vs. 36.4%), high cholesterol (73.5% vs. 33.8%) and diabetes (15.5% vs. 12%). A full 38.7% of boomers surveyed were obese, compared with 29.4% of their elders. They also had a higher rate of cancer (10.6% vs. 9.5%) but the difference wasn’t big enough to be statistically significant.” “Despite their longer life expectancy over previous generations, U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability and lower self-rated health than members of the previous generation at the same age,” the authors concluded. What’s remarkable about this study is that the age of participants was 54 or 10-11 years before being eligible for Medicare. We can expect those already impressive percentages to increase if the lifestyle habits that maintain it don’t change. Boomers are living longer but not well. Boomers, you are not taking care of yourself. Never mind the country, you are becoming a burden to yourself, a burden none of you want. Not being a boomer, I may have this wrong but I think boomers had a sense that anything was possible, were greater risk takers and lived more in the moment than say me, whose primary concern was long-term security. In the case of restoring health, they are right — anything is possible. It’s never too late — after all you are the generation

It’s never too late – after all you are the generation of change. A recent study (The State of U.S. Health, 1990-2010: Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors July 2013) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported, “In a marked shift, nonfatal disease and disability accounted for almost half of all health burden in the U.S. in 2010. [There’s that word again.] Despite progress in extending lifespans, population health in the U.S. has not kept pace with advances in other wealthy countries.” The report goes on to list the related causes at the top of which are poor lifestyle choices such as too much food, too much of the wrong food, too little exercise, smoking (still!) and too much alcohol. Then this from the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 4, 2013, based on a different but related study also published in JAMA: “Only 13.2% of boomers [around 54 years old] rated their own health as “excellent,” compared with 32% of those in the older group answering the same questions in 1988 and 1994 [around 54 years old

of change. Some boomers already have arrived. Many boomers have seen the future of limited coverage and Medicare doctors and already have made changes. Who brought us yoga, running, Tai Chai, fitness centers and home exercise equipment? Who was the first to count calories and read food labels? Boomers can spread healthy paths to quality lives just like they spread antiwar and free love movements. Anyone who embarks on correcting old dangerous habits and become healthy knows it’s hard to let go of those comforting habits and adopt new habits that don’t seem as comforting like running on a treadmill. Better to try than not, it feels better and is better for the country. Bertha D. Cooper is retired from a 40-plus year career as a health care administrator focusing on the delivery system as a whole. She still does occasional consulting. She is a featured columnist at the Sequim Gazette. Reach her at columnists@ sequimgazette.com.


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Living On the Peninsula, Fall 2013  
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