It was the article about the food banks in Clallam County, and the headline summed it up pretty well: Food banks draw nearly a quarter of county residents, Port Angeles director says.
The article goes on to explain: "Once food banks in Clallam County began comparing figures last year, they found that nearly one-quarter of those living in the county had used their services in 2014, said Jessica Hernandez, director of the Port Angeles Food Bank. "When we put all of our information together, we saw...our food banks served one in every four people in Clallam County," said Hernandez.
She goes on to explain: "Year over year for the past three years, we have seen an increase of twelve percent in clients. And that is not people coming back every time, every month. Those are individuals, another twelve percent, that I didn't see the previous year."
Are any other (for profit) businesses growing 12% a year in Clallam County?
Good news? No. Sustainable? No. Are these comparable rates to other areas? Unknown, but...Shocking? Yes. And again, is this sort of negative growth sustainable? No. As in,
No community is undone by one thing. No one indicator spells doom, generally speaking. But an indicator like this, coupled with the persistently high rates of unemployment and drug abuse, as well as the shrinking, failing schools and the overall aging of the population in Clallam County, in addition to the huge numbers of people who can't pay their utility bills each month...Well, it's not a pretty picture. Yet, to bring it all back to the previous topic, some members of the City Council are worried that not adding fluoride to the water will make Port Angeles less marketable, less likely to succeed, while essentially ignoring all of these other issues. The fluoride issue is a debatable one, from a PR and image perspective. But there can be no doubt, none at all, that these other issues weigh heavily indeed upon the City, the County, and all the people therein.
Or, to put it in a simpler form that may be more digestible for elected officials: It's right hard to market a town that's poor, unemployed, drug-addled, run down, aging, ugly, and, yes, just plain hungry. You've carefully created a town that is both depressed and depressing. Residents live with it every day; visitors can't help but notice it. Yet you, you City Council members and County Commissioners, you do nothing but enable this despair. You go through the motions of fretting about tooth decay in "the children," yet you do nothing to stop the systemic decay of their community, their schools, and their future.
How many of those City Council members look like they've missed a meal lately? How many of them do you think actually care or worry about indicators like this? And how likely to do you think real change is when these cold, clueless morons, the Fluoride Four plus more, are in charge?
Clallam County is fucked up at the county level,
but Washington State is pretty fucked up, too.