Dear Editor:

I would like to apologize to the person I did not stop for as they were crossing Glover Street on Wednesday, May 22. After not stopping for them, I parked to drop off my wife, and as this person walked by on the sidewalk, we had an unpleasant exchange of energy and words. This person is a stranger to me, and yet, I got upset and acted in a way I do not approve of.

I don’t know what got into me or what thoughts I had at that time that brought it out, but there simply is no excuse to me for this kind of behavior. This mystery person was carrying a copy of your paper and so I thought I would write you and maybe they would see it in the paper. I strive to be kind to all humans and I fell short this past week, so again I apologize for my shortcoming, but I also have to thank this person as I have been given reason to look at myself and my actions and use it to become a better version of myself. Peace on Earth is not something we have, it’s something we make.

Josh Rickabaugh, Twisp



Dear Editor:

I read with interest an article (May 22) concerning local attitudes in teen use of alcohol and pot.  I was particularly taken by the perception of tolerance for marijuana use vs. cigarettes by Methow teens relative to their peers.

The article suggests that “Young people’s perceptions of community attitudes towards smoking, drinking and drug use may explain some of the differences in behavior,” and teens believe that attitudes towards alcohol and marijuana are somewhat lenient in the Methow. With legalization of marijuana, we are poised to see a substantial increase in usage. Hence, it is of interest to compare the heath effects of marijuana vs. tobacco, particularly in light of local perceptions of relative harm.

There is no question that tobacco remains a top public health issue and use results in diseases including cancer, pulmonary, and cardiovascular. The CDC estimated the annual health-related economic cost at $193 billion, resulting in 5.1 million-years of life lost. Hence, it is not surprising that smoking is perceived as an unhealthy behavior to be avoided.

So how do marijuana and tobacco compare? Both are drug-delivery systems, where canabinoids and nicotine (the pharmacologically active agents), respectively, are delivered to the brain. Although molecular mechanisms and brain receptors are different, both drugs activate brain pleasure regions; hence there are pharmacological similarities.

In both cases burning produces a complex smoke, with similar toxic constituents including human carcinogens such as benzene, nitrosamines and heavy metals, and concentrations are comparable between tobacco and marijuana. Recent studies suggest that marijuana smoke was more toxic and mutagenic than tobacco and in general marijuana impacts the same molecular processes as tobacco producing DNA damage, inflammation and oxidative stress, all processes known to lead to chronic disease.

Although strong epidemiological evidence associating cannabis smoking with lung cancer has been limited, a recent study conducted in New Zealand suggests an increased risk of cancer with the risk of lung cancer increasing 8 percent for each year of cannabis smoking. The toxicological similarities are likewise pretty clear.

So buyer beware, perceptions are quite often not reality!

Charles (Chuck) Timchalk, toxicologist, Winthrop



Dear Editor:

In our class, we studied about how we got the iPads. We wrote notes and questions and looked at newspapers. I learned that the community helped us get the iPads.

The iPads are useful. They help us with our writing, math, reading and other work. In my class, we use the iPads for IXL Math. IXL Math is a program on the Internet and my teacher got an account for all the students. Because there are not enough computers in our classroom, the iPads allow everybody to use the program at the same time. We also used them for making movies using the iMovie app. The movies were one minute long and they had to have a box in it. My group’s movie was about a kid that got made fun of. If we didn’t have the iPads, we couldn’t have made the movies because we don’t have enough computers and the computers wouldn’t work because the computers don’t have an iMovie app. It was fun because we learned how to make a movie. We had to plan each scene on paper before we filmed it. We edited the movie by putting in sound effects and music.

Thank you to the Tech Committee, Methow Valley School Board members and the voters who helped get the iPads for the Methow Valley Elementary School.

Kaleb Mowen, fifth-grader, MV Elementary School