North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
March 13, 2023
            March 20: Noon luncheon at the Bark.  Program: THRIVE International Ukraine refugees in Spokane.
            March 27: Noon luncheon at the Bark. Speaker: Stephanie Pratt on human trafficking.
            Lenore Romney and Melinda Keberle visited Holmes Elementary this week to watch students working with the club-sponsored Mobius science kits.
            Jerry Logan, chair of the Saling Scholarship Committee, is working with North Central staff to post applications to students at NC, Shadle Park and Rogers.  He also is talking with Lumen School to consider participation there.
Holler for a Dollar:
            Laura Zahn, $2 to encourage help for Family Promise and the Ronald McDonald House. Contributions and dirty hands projects welcomed for either or both.
Happy Bucks: 
            Steve Boharski, “a couple of bucks” after some travels and to support area basketball teams, plus his Montana State Bobcats.
            Bill Simer added $1 to support EWU’s Eagles.
            Michelle Fossum added $1 for her travels, including a tour of Walla Walla wineries.
            John Mailliard added $1 after his new hybrid vehicle smoothly nicely covered a seafood-laden trip along the coast.
            Chuck Rehberg added $7 to honor his 77th birthday March 1.
Our own Pi guy
            When Lenore Romney,Sgt.-at-arms for the day on March 13, asked about the significance of March 14 (a.k.a 3/14 – “Pi Day”),  not only did Steve Bergman know about the ratio of a circumference to its diameter, but he rattled off the exact digits – 3.14159.  Nice job!
This could kill you…very quickly
            The deadly pharmaceutical first synthesized in 1959 in Belgium to cure illness has morphed into an international killer.
            At the March 13 club luncheon Dr. Francisco Velazquez, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District, discussed in sobering detail how easily fentanyl use is fatal.
            He said not only can one small pill kill you, so can smoking or even touching the drug on bare skin can be deadly.
            Velazquez distributed seven pages with 28 slides of information to members to highlight the high risks and widening use of fentanyl.  His detailed report is available to anyone who wants to delve into the details.  Just contact the Health District.
            Among his key points:
            The synthetic opiod, made in a lab with no opium precursor, is available as a patch, tablet, spray or injectable.  As often used – or mis-used – fentanyl is 100X more potent than morphine and 50X more than heroin.
            The window for intervention for a cure is as little as minutes.  Velazquez said that’s why some users come to fire stations, hoping rescuers with inhaling Narcam spray can save them.
            Fentanyl often is made in powdered form and pressed into pills, derived from poppies and sometimes mixed with heroin and with stamps looking like normal pharmaceuticals, usually in China and India and Mexico.  The drugs often are smuggled into the U.S. from Mexican cartels and from Canada.  The biggest markets are all the West Coast states, the Southwest and some Southeastern states.
            “We are a high market for fentanyl because we are a rich country,” Velazquez said.  “This drug doesn’t discriminate” by age or other categories, he said.
            He added: “The drug is so powerful that a lethal dose is small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.”  With the “Zombie” form of fentanyl, even Narcam cannot save the users,
he said.
            Two-thirds of more than 100,000 Americans who died of overdoses last year were attributed to fentanyl, he said.
            A number of the pills are brightly colored, looking like “Skittles” candy, partly to attract youngsters and young adults, he said. “Trying to build the next generation” of drug users, he added.  Most schools now have Narcam available.
            Velazquez said his information campaign is aimed at people “who say we don’t have to worry about it. Some say it only affects 14 to 18-year-olds, or some adults say “not my kid.”
            For now, he said, there is no good answer to quelling the fentanyl surge.
            This is big business and sophisticated smuggling, he said. “It’s not three guys and a donkey.”
 Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink