mailboxSeattle ruined the Methow

Dear Editor:

It was interesting to read your paper for a short time but I do not want to receive it any more. This is so obviously not the same town or quality of people that I lived with there in my youth. It has been taken over by alien Seattle yuppies, more concerned with million-dollar housing than helping put food on your community’s tables.

The “who’s who” reads more like the “rich and arrogant.” In my time, it would be more about crops, pinochle parties, barn dances, music jams, etc.

My best memories are of my life in Mazama and the valley. Squabbling over the perfect house, and absurd rules and regulations that restrict freedoms makes me cry. Perhaps we should have never put the North Cascades Highway through. They told us it was to evacuate Seattle when the communists come. We thought we were going to save them. I never dreamed they would take us over and bring Seattle to Mazama. We couldn’t afford to live there now.

I have many wonderful stories and a good memory, and I’m planning to write a book I hope you’ll read. I sure miss the Mazama Sunday school and the two Marthas and the greatest teachers in the world.

Kathy Langston (aka Cass Roberts), Winthrop High School class of 1962, Lakehead, Calif.


Senseless confrontation

Dear Editor:

I was concerned with things I read in the [Dec. 11] article by Marcy Stamper on how the county commissioners are trying to “up the ante” with federal agencies whose actions they apparently don’t like. I was left with the clear impression that commissioners DeTro and Campbell are determined to get into a legal battle with the federal government, a battle that will cost Okanogan County taxpayers money we can ill afford and which the county will almost certainly lose.

And it is far from clear what they’re upset about. “Incremental destruction of our culture, customs and economic stability” by a vaguely defined “opposing side” is hardly the basis for a fight. Surely a specific issue with clear consequences for all citizens of Okanogan County could be identified.

I looked at the websites of [attorney] Fred Kelly Grant hoping for clarification. The most polite thing I can say is that he appears to be a trouble-making agitator who is feeding his law practice (and his ego?) by stirring up fears and resentments and creating unnecessary battles. He may be colorful and entertaining, but he’s not the sort of person I would want on my side if I were trying for some serious and long lasting progress based on shared needs.

Then I went to the website of the Eastern Washington Council of Governments where it lists Jim DeTro as the chairman. I was hoping for a clear statement of the agenda of this agency, but was unable to learn much of anything by reading the minutes of the most recent meeting that are available.

If DeTro is truly interested in responsible, open and accountable government I suggest that he start closer to home. Be clear and specific about your concerns. Mining, grazing and timber have been important parts of the economy of Okanogan County for years and they still have a role to play, but they are no longer the only areas of economic significance. An economy based primarily on extraction industries is shaky at best.

I urge DeTro and Campbell to expand their understandings of the county they have pledged to serve in all its current dimensions. I encourage them to work with other agencies, local, federal and state, on shared interests and needs in a cooperative and good faith manner, rather than engaging in senseless confrontations that will only serve to make matters more difficult and will waste scarce resources.

Sern Watt, Mazama


A better system

Dear Editor;

Patrick McGann had me with him on his vision of future U.S. health care for everyone “just as efficient and just as accessible as every other industrialized nation” (Dec. 11). He lost me when he got to reaching this worthwhile goal with an imaginary “Republican plan” that “will keep the insurance corporations in charge of the insurance.” Hello? Those other nations have good health care systems in large part because they do not leave insurance companies in charge or in a position to reap obscene profits and executive salaries.

Once the technical problems are worked out, Obamacare will make health care accessible to many millions of Americans who have gone without. It will save or improve many lives. Unfortunately, it relies on subsidizing insurance costs without real price limitations. This raises the national cost of medical care without necessarily improving results.

For once, I actually find myself in agreement with Mr. Aspenwall (Dec. 18): “Oh, for an American single-payer health care system.” A single-payer system like in France, with private (not socialized) doctors, costs less than half per person what our health care costs. France’s system has also shown significantly better health results by most measures.

Randy Brook, Twisp


Superb music

Dear Editor:

A big thanks to all the folks who performed in the Cascadia holiday concert. The music was superb. I really appreciated that they played or sang songs I am familiar with.

Betty Wagoner, Twisp