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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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Mason County Journal
December 2, 1971     Shelton Mason County Journal
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December 2, 1971

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Highway Department busy Tuesday clearing slide which had blocked ~on Highway 101 just north ~ort Monday night. slide occured some time 9 and 10 p.m. Monday, said. :covered an area about 100 and was about five feet rtly after the slide a car driven by Billy who lives north of hit the slide. The of the vehicle was by a tree branch from the slide. from the District Three district at Gorst and with the help of a got the road opened to traffic about 3 a.m., to Ron Ernst, a Department District addition to clearing the the highway, workmen a large maple tree which en undercut by the slide. a large fir tree and large evergreen tree, both had been undercut by were removed before 0n removing the remainder was undertaken, Ernst said in addition to the a large front end loader half a dozen dump Were used in the clearing 111111 THREE LARGE TREES, left clinging precariously high on !~ a bank above a mudslide +~'i occuring on Highway 101 north of Hoodsport on Monday night, were felled and removed during clean-up , operations. ~ said about 500 yards of earae Iown off the bluff in the slide. agreement between the Shelton and the Olympic Control Authority 'een worked out, City B. Franklin Heuston commission Tuesday told the commission provides that the the jurisdiction of it pollution group over and that the pollution agrees to grant the city to continue burning, grant renewals until such the city and county rehensive waste disposal is being developed, is case will remain in court, said, but will be inactive time. ~ agreement also contained lents that allowing the I~Stible material to at the dump grounds a fire hazard, and, that Thursday, +Dec. 2, 1971 Published In Shelton, Wa. Entered as second class matter at the post office at Shelton, Wa. 98584, 3 Sections -- 26 Pages under act of Mar. 8 1879. Published weekly except two issues during week of Thanksgiving, at Ten Cents Per Copy 85th Year - Number 47 227 W. Cota. $5 per year n Mason County, $6 elsewhere. the decomposition of them would cause ground and surface water pollution. The Olympic Air Pollution Control Authority had filed a suit in Mason County Superior Court last year seeking an injunction against the city to halt burning at the garbage dump. The agreement, which is a part of the suit, was worked out between Heuston and Fred Gentry, attorney for the air pollution authority. The commission, after being informed +of the agreement by the attorney, instructed City Engineer Howard Godat to file an application with the air pollution authority for a variance. R. M. Aitken, a resident on Dearborn St., appeared at the commission meeting to ask that stop signs be placed at the intersections of Dearborn and Homan and Dearborn and Ridgeroad. He had requested these stop Aitken the city would take signs previously, along with one another look at the two other one. At that time, city intersections. officials had investigated and had A resident whose home is agreed one stop sign was needed, adjacent to the Inn Quest appeared but, the other two were not to protest about the amount of justified, noise and disturbance coming Mayor Frank Travis told from the parking lot there. He stated there was no problem from those who were on the inside, but, it was what was going on outside that was causing the problem. Travis told the property owner the area in which the Inn Quest is located is zoned commercial. An attempted escape by a convicted murderer on his way to the Washington Corrections Center here was halted by officers who were transporting he and another man. The incident happened in the Mud Bay area along the freeway Monday afternoon. Arthur Aiken and Antonio Wheat, who had been sentenced to three life sentences each in King County Superior Court earlier were being transported to the Corrections Center by King County Sheriff's deputies. Officers said Aiken apparently got his hand cuffs loose and struck one of the officers who was transporting him and attempted to get a gun away from another officer. A third officer halted the attempted escape. Officers said Wheat did not take part in the escape attempt. The officer who was struck was treated at the Corrections Center for a wound on his head. The two prisoners are now being held at the Corrections Center. The two men were convicted of killing three service station attendants in the Seattle area several years ago. They were given death sentences which have been in appeal. The King County Superior Court action last week commuted the death sentences to three life sentences each. The Shelton City Commission held a hearing Tuesday night on a preliminary budget calling for $1,359,350 in expenditures during the coming year. The budget is up slightly from the $1,338,000 budgeted this year. Mayor Frank Travis said the budget includes salary increases of three per cent for city employees. Also included in the budget are increases in salary for the mayor and commissioners which increases the mayor's salary from $2,100 to $3,000 and the commissioners from $1,800 to $2,400. The salary increases were approved by the commission earlier this year to go into effect for the coming year. The budget anticipates revenue of $261,000 from property taxes and $I10,000 from the city's share of the half per cent sales tax with the remainder of the funds coming from a variety of other sources. The budget for general government which includes the city commission and clerk-treasurer's office is $105,138 for 1972 compared to $104,820 for this year. The engineering department budget for the coming year is $26,622 compared to $25,494 for this year. The fire department has a budget of $99,563 compared to $92,421 for this year. The budget for the legal department is set at $7,228 for 1972 compared to $6,792 for this year. The police department has a 1972 budget of $175,579 compared to $163,312 for this year. The park department budget for the coming year is $34,750, a Strong Being ;tudied Prosecuting Attorney Byron Mcclanahan said Wednesday he is still considering what action to take in the death of Allen Strong. Strong was found stabbed in a parking lot in the Hoodsport area earlier this year. The prosecutor commented he had just recently received the written report on the autopsy from the pathologist. He stated he is considering filing a charge in justice court and asking for a preliminary hearing to determine of there is enough evidence to bring charges in Superior Court. McClanahan also commented he has 379 cases pending in his office. drop of $250 from the $35,000 for this year. The library budget for the coming year' was proposed at $39,730.80 compared to $35,480 for the current year. Frank Maranviile, chairman of the library board, asked the commission to consider putting the assistant librarian on a 40 hour week instead of 35 in order to make it easier to schedule library personnel so there was an adult on duty at all times. He stated the library had recently started staying open until 5:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. to give users a chance to stop at the library after they got off work at 5 p.m. Maranville told the commission this addition would increase the amount of money budget by $582.40. The commission agreed to study the request to see if there were funds available to meet the request. The street department budget of $264,720 is down about $20,000 from the $283,610 budgeted this year. City Engineer Howard Godat stated one area in which there was a reduced amount of money was in the funds for city participation in street improvement LIDs. He stated the program this year did (Please turn to page 2) II By JAN DANFORD "I had no idea that I was addicted until the day I tried to quit," states 28-year-old Gary Lee Wells, who has kicked the drug habit after 13 years as a user. Wells, now a narcotics counselor for the Small Tribes Organization of Western Washington, Inc., began his experiements with mild and readily obtainable drugs as a 15-year-old. "When I first started," he explained, "1 got a good feeling. I liked it. I did it again and again, and found myself needing more and more of the drug to obtain the same lift." Gary Wells dropped out of Lincoln High School in Tacoma before completing his junior year. He found employment as a laborer. "There wasn't any other sort of job I could get with my limited education," he said. In a year's time, Wells was on morphine. In the company of a casually-formed group of approximately ten boys, he obtained the drug by the theft of doctors' bags carelessly left in unlocked cars. Physicians began to lock their autos and to carry smaller quantities of drugs. The young men then supplied themselves by burglarizing drug stores. "Crime went against the grain with me," Wells declared. "Somehow, it hadn't bothered me too much to take the stuff from parked cars; but when it came to breaking into stores, I decided to quit. "My resolution lasted for one day," he continued. "For the first time, I realized that I couldn't quit. I was addicted:" Gary Wells continued to work as a laborer, not always able to make it through the day without a fix. He carried morphine with him on the job. "Very few users are able to work." Wells stated, "I was the exception. My addiction had come slowly, and my body had become accustomed to working while I was using. "The harder I worked, the faster the drug wore off, and although I had a fix just before going to work, I often needed another about mid-day." For several years Wells and his friends stole their supplies, but soon druggists took precautions to make narcotics inaccessible. The gang was forced into outlying towns where thefts were still possible, and finally their stealing sprees spread throughout the western states. The Tacoma police department made up a flyer bearing the photographs of the young addicts, now numbering 15. It was widely distributed throughout the area in which the gang was operating. "They were all on the look-out for us," Gary recalled. "We'd hit town needing a fix badly and have to leave right away. It was terrible." The agonizing sickness that occurs when a fix is needed is an ever-present threat to the addict, and a horror to be avoided at all costs. "When it hits," Wells explained, "the user is too sick to get the drug he needs so badly, even if he has the money. "If you can imagine a migraine headache of the worst type, combined with a violent stomach-ache, and an equally terrable aching of the back, legs, arms, the entire body - well, then you might have a faint idea of what it's like." Gary Wells before long found himself on heroin, the drug he had sworn that he would never take. "Everybody knows that heroin is the end," he stated, "but when you're as badly hooked as I was, nothing matters any more." Shoplifting on a large scale helped to support his addiction. Stolen merchandise was sold to fences or returned to the stores for refunds. Money bags were stolen from stores and locks were picked on vending machines. "Heroin is easily obtainable if you know the right people," Wells' announced. "However, they form a tighter group than do the users of other drugs, and it's harder to get the original connection." He was eventually arrested by Seattle narcotics officers who told him upon his release that he would be arrested each time he entered the city. "We'll find a charge," they assured Wells. Two days in a row he attempted to sneak into Seattle to get a connection. Each time he was arrested. With no fix for two days, he was racked with agony. "My physical condition had degenerated through the years," Wells said, "and I was in very sad shape." It was then, two years ago, that through a friend he learned of the Methadone Program, which had originated in New York City several years before and had recently been instigated in Seattle. By the substitution of the drug methadone for heroin, the user may be kept at a steady level on one dose per day at a daily cost of one dollar. The methadone was mixed with orange juice to be drunk by the addict in the presence of a pharmacist in a Tacoma drug store appointed by the Seattle headquarters. Weekly meetings, at which attendance was mandatory, were held in Tacoma as a part of the federal program. The participating druggist was present as well as a minister and a psychologist, all of whom served on a volunteer basis. On methadone the user suffers no physical sickness and is spared the need to steal. However, the mental yearning for the lift of drugs is not dispelled and must be combatted by the individual. Gary Wells slowly decreased his dosage until he was entirely free of the habit. For most addicts, the methadone program is a way of coasting maintenance rather than a cure. Why did Wells successfully break the habit from which so few escape? Perhaps because he was not basically the type of person who turns to drugs. Throughout his years as a user he attempted to control his addiction, never taking more of a narcotic than necessary.. "When I first started on drugs," Gary Wells remembers, "I had no particular sense of wrong-doing. I knew it was something I shouldn't do, but I classified it along with smoking and drinking. "Not until it was too late did I realize where my experimentation was leading me. I tried just about every type of drug - the speed drugs, others the effects of which are principally physical, and the hallucinatory ones. Terrors unbelievable may be encountered." Ten months ago, when Gary Lee Wells knew that he had completely liberated himself, he was anxious to do all possible to help others to avoid the pitfalls by which he had been so insiduously ensnared. He lectured throughout Tacoma in high schools and at. meetings of PTA organizations, Kiwanis Clubs and Lions Clubs. Two months ago he answered an advertisement; a narcotics program, mainly for Indians, had been set in motion and counselors were needed. Wells and two other men were selected, one to serve as a roving counselor, one to function in another area and Gary Wells to maintain a headquarters office in the old Tribal School on the Skokomish Indian Reservation. There he will be available to all who wish to consult with him. He will conduct research in education concerning drugs and in the prevention of drug abuse. He and his wife, Bobbie, were married in 1966 and a daughter, Heather, was born to them three months ago. "Bobbie helped me a great deal in my battle to get off drugs," Wells declares. "She stuck by me through it all, and she never touched the stuff herself." Wells, part Indian, feels that his home life contributed to his addiction, although he does not deny his own weakness. He came from a broken family. An older brother died as a result of drug abuse and a younger brother is now serving time in a penitentiary. Never a religious boy, Gary Wells was not a church-goer. "I readily admitted the existence of a Supreme Being who had created the universe," he said, "but I guess I just sort of took God for granted. I know now, though, that without His help I would never have survived my ordeals. I have felt the touch of death; but I am alive and well and thankful." Gary Lee Wells stresses the necessity for enjoyable and worthwhile activities to counteract the boredom which leads to the initial sampling of drugs. He emphasizes the need to provide adequate and understanding help for confirmed users. "We've come a long way," he announced. "Not until recently was there a helping hand extended. A few years ago anyone who voluntarily turned himself in, admitting addiction, was sentenced to jail." Gary Lee Wells will welcome the opportunity to speak before interested groups. He will gladly talk privately and confidentially to anyone of any race. He may be contacted by phoning his office, 877-9293, or his home, 426-8483. "It's wonderful to be free," he declares. "For so long I was an absolute slave. 1 couldn't even go on a family picnic, or take my wife to visit her folks without scheming to be back in time for my fix. It's wonderful to be free."