Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

The bigger story on the new thing on Riverside Avenue in Winthrop is covered elsewhere in the newspaper (page A1), but there are a couple of additional interesting tidbits about the former Winthrop post office that will be the new site of Cascades Outdoor Store, scheduled to open in June 2014 by Brian and Amy Sweet.

In the process of doing some demolition to get ready for a spring remodel, the Sweets uncovered the pink concrete blocks that made up the original exterior of the building. Deciding to spare the rest of us a winter of looking at a Pepto-Bismol colored block of a building, the Sweets replaced the siding and will remove it only when its days of visibility will be limited.

The other interesting aspect is that the roof of the building is actually made up of two roofs, one directly over the other – the first is about 12 or 13 feet tall and the other is a 20-foot façade.

Meanwhile, across the street the Trail’s End Bookstore is doing a nice sale to benefit the public school libraries in town. On Thursday (Nov. 21) and Friday, everything in the store is 5 percent off and each day 10 percent of the day’s sales will be used to purchase materials for the local public school libraries.

Studies show a correlation between access to a wide array of reading materials at school and lifelong student interest in reading, as well as improved reading-related test scores, so the dollars you spend at Trail’s End later this week will have a direct impact on the quality of students’ education in the Methow Valley. Thanks, Trail’s End!

More literacy support is taking place out of the valley, too. Rob Crandall and his family have settled into their winter digs and routine in Cofradia de Suchitlàn, in the state of Colima in western Mexico. Rob and Heidi are spending four months volunteering for Project Amigo, which promotes education as a means of ending poverty in Colima.

Project Amigo volunteers provide literacy assistance, and dental, vision, and hearing services to the children of Cofradia.

The Crandalls are living in a building that serves as a dentist’s office for a few weeks of each year and Rob reports that Heidi finds the reclining position in the dental chair, with its accompanying direct overhead lighting, to be the perfect place to enjoy some evening reading. The whole family has been engaged in distributing books to the children in the community, but you won’t be surprised to learn that Rob has managed a couple of juggling performances, too.