Letters-mailbox-no-linePreventing suicide

Dear Editor:

Losing a member of the community to suicide uniquely affects the entire Methow Valley; because our community is small and interwoven, it is likely that many of us will know the individuals lost or intimately know those grieving after a suicide occurs.

Below is a list of local, county, and national resources available to support those, contemplating, affected by, or interested in preventing suicide. Room One staff can offer support navigating the difficult topic of suicide and provide comprehensive information on local mental health providers, support groups, the local Suicide Response Team, and upcoming depression management or mental health workshops. For uninsured adults in need of counseling support, a mental health counselor is available at Room One twice a month.

If you have thoughts of suicide or know someone you think may be at risk of suicide, contact the Okanogan County Crisis Line, a National Hotline, or Room One at 997-2050. For immediate help call 911.

Room One staff, Twisp


Suicide prevention resources


Okanogan County Crisis Line 24/7

(866) 826-6191


National suicide hotlines 24/7

(800) 784-2433

(800) 273-8255


Hearing- and speech-impaired

(800) 799-4889



Vet 2 Vet Crisis Hotline

(877) 838-2838


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth

Crisis intervention and suicide prevention (866) 488-7386



Great festival

Dear Editor:

We have just wrapped up an amazing 10 days of Methow magic as we concluded another successful Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival Saturday night (Aug. 3). On behalf of the board of directors I would like to thank all of the volunteers, sponsors and donors who gave generously of their time and money to help make this year’s Chamber Music Festival the best ever.

I personally want to thank the hardworking members of our board of directors who all work tirelessly to make your experience at the festival unforgettable. For next year we continue to work on our fellowship and outreach programs and look forward to not one but two programs for your enjoyment. The Winter Concert is returning on Presidents Day weekend 2014 and our Artistic Director Kevin Krentz has promised that next year’s summer program will live up to this year’s experience. It has been our privilege to bring this program to the community and we look forward to seeing all of you next year.

Sandy Mackie, President, Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival



Not lost yet

Dear Editor:

I want to extend a big “thank you” to all of my friends and neighbors who wrote letters and attended the public hearings on opening roads to ATVs in Okanogan County and especially the Methow Valley. Many of you have visited with me after the county commissioners decided to ignore the rules of the old law to open 50 mph roads and the new law, which allows ATVs on 35 mph roads. But the intent of the law speaks to wheeled ATV use on some roads, not all roads. Many of you said, “we lost.”

We of the Methow Valley, and all citizens of Okanogan County, did lose. However, Commissioner Ray Campbell did tell us to use the courts to change their ruling. Commissioner Kennedy suggested that if we felt a road was unsuitable for ATV traffic, the commissioners could revisit their decision.

So to speak, the ball game is now in our court, no pun intended. Unsuitable? How do you reach that decision? Perhaps by using the Okanogan County Transformation element, which gives commissioners the following statistics: Average daily traffic, level of service, roadways with unacceptable accident histories, intersections that do not have signals, and general road conditions, using a Washington state grading system.

Many of us just attended a very moving ceremony of life celebration for Vicky Welch. The people in attendance were inspired by her dedication to her values, community involvement and her love of place. Many of us now wear an “I’m a Vicky volunteer” button to exemplify that we too believe that we can make a difference if we don’t give up.

I ask you not to give up. There are legal avenues to use that will allow the citizens of Okanogan County to realize more-justified wheeled ATV use which will follow the intent of Washington state law.

Roxie Miller, Winthrop



Commissioners go off-road

Dear Editor:

In opening hundreds of miles of previously tranquil county roads to off-road vehicles (or all-terrain vehicles), our commissioners have shown that they, like most politicians, are the best that money can buy. The Washington State Patrol was against this ill-conceived idea for good reasons. In regard to Commissioner DeTro’s comment about “fairness” and public roads, I hardly consider it “discrimination” to prohibit from those roads vehicles that are not designed to operate on them.

Who will admit to responsibility when the inevitable tragic accidents occur? While there was considerable opposition to the newly approved ATV use in the Methow Valley, apparently those opposed did not have enough money in play to get the commissioners’ attention. I couldn’t be more disappointed.

Peter Fitzmaurice, Mazama