Don No Bad DaysBy Don Nelson

A few things to be thankful for:

• Except when they don’t work, public works are usually under the public’s radar. But the past couple of weeks in Twisp have actually been kind of exciting: We’ve got new sidewalks and repaved streets.

That’s a big deal if you’ve ever tried to walk from Glover Street to Highway 20 on any of the cross streets, especially in the winter, to get to the Methow Valley Community Center/library/Farmers Market or any of the businesses on the west side of the highway. The pedestrian corridors are much improved. And the streets look nice with their newly striped parking spaces (no more random placement of vehicles, we hope).

Now if we could just convince people not to head west on our little stretch of Second Avenue, which is one-way eastbound. It happens every day.

• For the past couple of weeks at the News, we’ve been pleased to have the company and fine work of Joe Novotny, who has been our interim designer while we look for Sue Misao’s replacement.

Joe is retired and lives on Whidbey Island, but he’s done just about everything there is to do in the newspaper business from reporting to design to production to photography to management to systems technology at much larger newspapers, and seems to enjoy being in our little newsroom. He also happens to like the valley. We’re grateful to have a real pro helping us out.

• Every year we can count on a couple of near-perfect fall days, and we (including our visiting hunters) had them Sunday and Monday – notwithstanding that I had to scrape ice off my truck windows for the first time this season on Monday morning. It was bracing, but of course the novelty will wear off.

While it looked like glorious weather to be outside, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Scott Fitkin told me at the WDFW deer check station last weekend that some hunters prefer worse conditions for various reasons (among them that hunters make less noise walking over wet ground than crunching through dry underbrush).

I only saw a few dead deer. One was on the side of Highway 20, with its tongue hanging out like in a cartoon. A Washington State Department of Transportation truck stopped to attend to it. One – or its hide, at least – was in the big garbage can that “professional wilderbabe” Katie Russell puts out on Highway 20 advertising free deer-skinning. And three – antlered heads only, no bodies – were in the bed of a big pickup truck parked on Glover Street. I guess nobody slings carcasses over their fenders any more.

• It’s been another bountiful run for the Methow Valley Farmers Market. The last day this year is Oct. 26. There’s still time for apples and gourds.

• Just about every award given to journalists in local, state and national contests is decided by other journalists, but the recognition for our work is always appreciated. At the recent annual convention of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, the News collected 20 awards in advertising, photography, news and special publication competition (we won 20 last year as well).

I’m proud of the News staff members for their hard work. They deserve the accolades for whatever we manage to do both week in and week out and with our many special publications (which won two second-place awards and one first-place award).