ACLU of Washington lawsuit: Whatcom County Jail violating ADA by refusing medication to people with opioid use disorder / News Release, ACLU of Washington

aclu whatcom county courthouse

June 7, 2018  News Release, ACLU of Washington

The ACLU of Washington has filed a class-action civil rights lawsuit against Whatcom County and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for denying people with opioid use disorder (OUD) in the County Jail medications necessary to treat their addiction.  The lawsuit challenges the Whatcom County Jail’s policy of refusing to provide people access to “Medication-Assisted Treatment” (MAT), including buprenorphine (Suboxone and Subutex) and methadone, even though it provides other clinically appropriate medications to inmates.  This policy is harmful, unwise, and illegal. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids discrimination against people with OUD, who are just as entitled to medication as those suffering from any other ailment requiring medical treatment.

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One Year Anniversary for Dignity Vigils in Bellingham / Letter to Bellingham City and Whatcom County Councils, Dena Jensen

February 13, 2018  Dena Jensen

Dear Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council:

I am writing early this week to let you know that next week there will be a special Dignity Vigil honoring the one year anniversary of these vigils in downtown Bellingham held in solidarity with immigrant and undocumented people, and to stand against law enforcement and federal immigration collaboration which leads to deportation. I hope you will all plan on attending during any portion, or all of the 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. time period. I will send you more details about next Monday’s vigil when they are available!:

https://www.facebook.com/events/144972296180055/ Continue reading

Help us stop failing the jail / Noisy Waters Northwest

many existing system deficiencies strauss.jpg

January 24, 2018  Dena Jensen

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, now that new Council Members are officially sworn in, the Whatcom County Council’s Finance and Administrative Services Committee (freshly composed of Council Members Rud Browne, Tyler Byrd, and Satpal Sidhu) and Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee (which now is served on by Council Members Barry Buchanan, Tyler Byrd, and Satpal Sidhu) will be discussing some issues related to urgently needed renovations of the Whatcom County Jail in downtown Bellingham.  The Council will then revisit, and potentially vote on, results of the earlier committee discussions at their evening meeting at 7 p.m. that night. Continue reading

Stand up for dignity / Letter to Whatcom County and Bellingham City Councils, Noisy Waters Northwest

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL FOR NWNW

October 11, 2017  Dena Jensen

Subject: Further perspective on ordinances to protect members of our undocumented immigrant community

Dear Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council:

I wrote to all of you last week regarding creating ordinances that would provide more protections for members of our undocumented immigrant community. I recently had a local government official share their perspective on that letter with me. In this case, it doesn’t matter who made the statements because I think portions of the perspective expressed to me were similar to those I have heard expressed at council meetings. Continue reading

‘An unwillingness to spend money’ to keep the Whatcom County Jail facility functioning: Where does the buck stop? / Facebook post, Sj Robson

elfo and louws sketches

3 hrs  September 1, 2017  Sandy Robson

Back on August 2, 2017, I had written a piece about having heard Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, who was a guest on KGMI’s “Saturday Morning Live” (SML) July 22, 2017, conservative talk radio program, hosted by local Tea Partier, Kris Halterman. Sheriff Elfo was there to discuss the proposed new Whatcom County Jail which would be funded by a sales tax, a tax that would last for the next 30 years. The jail sales tax proposition will appear on the November general election ballot, to be rejected or approved by Whatcom County voters. Continue reading

County Sheriff Bill Elfo points finger at County Facilities Management Department for County Jail being in disrepair: My phone conversation with County Facilities Manager, Mike Russell/ Facebook Post, Sj Robson

saturday morning live elfo on jail

August 1, 2017  Sandy Robson

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo was a guest on KGMI’s “Saturday Morning Live” (SML) talk radio program, hosted by local Tea Partier, Kris Halterman. Sheriff Elfo was there to discuss the proposed new Whatcom County Jail which would be funded by a sales tax. That sales tax would last for the next thirty years. Continue reading

Elfo asks, why citizen oversight for community safety? Answers become apparent / Noisy Waters Northwest

August 2, 2017  Dena Jensen

On Saturday July 22, 2017 Community to Community Development posted a live-feed of their Family Forum for Community Safety that was held that evening at the Bellingham Public Library.

Near the end of the event, the facilitator, Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Devolopment, explained why she was being direct and public with this discussion.  She said that people are concerned about the federal government finding ways to impose immigration regulations and to make the county sheriff comply with immigration enforcement. Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo responded, indicating that federal officials had already tried to exert pressure and impose regulations, but that his sheriff’s office had said no and that they would continue to say no to federal mandates. Continue reading