mailboxAnnexation is equitable

Dear Editor:

A recent article about the Town of Twisp’s budget would lead the public to believe that the town is paying the fire district $41,202 in 2013 and $54,845 in 2014. The actual amounts — according to the signed document that is a matter of public record — are $35,000 for 2013 and $42,000 for 2014. This is a five-year contract that began in 2013 and ends in 2017 with a cap of $48,620.

Okanogan County Fire District 6 encourages the Town of Twisp to place a measure on the ballot that allows its residents to annex to the fire district. Annexation would be the most equitable way to fund fire and emergency services for Twisp and other fire district residents.

Darold Brandenburg, Board of Commissioners, Okanogan County Fire District 6


Kudos to OCEC

Dear Editor:

Our household would like to thank Paul Taylor and the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative (OCEC) board for their decision to offer a one-time waiver of our base charge for December 2013. Thanks should also be extended to David Gottula and his staff for instituting the gains in operational efficiencies that allowed this decision to be made.

Some kind of corner has been turned here. It appears as though our local, member-owned electrical utility is now on firmer ground after years of struggling with some significant budgetary challenges that had been either unanticipated or glossed over, depending on your point of view. Currently generating the margins needed to pay out capital credits as well as offering this one-time gesture regarding the base charge, it feels as though the organization is trying hard to live up to the full scope of its mission.

In a few months, the demand charge will finally be a thing of the past for most customers. Paying for what you use seems like a fair proposition to us but it doesn’t mean that conservation shouldn’t remain at the top of every member’s “to-do” lists.

Best of luck to OCEC and its members in the coming year! May the (properly grounded) force be with us.

Jim Brennan, Twisp


Unsung heroes

Dear Editor:

As quite a few residents of the Methow can attest, when late fall rolls around it’s not uncommon to start hungrily watching the weather forecast, hoping for signs of flurries and the first snowfalls of the year. And for the past several years (at least), cross country skiers especially have had reason to wake up excitedly to the first dump of snow even as high as Washington Pass, and that is because we have Scott Johnston and Dave Ford in our community.

As soon as 4 or more inches hit the pavement at the Washington Pass overlook road, Scott and Dave hitch up their snowmobiles and load special tow-behind track groomers in their trucks, and drive up to the pass to spend hours preparing tracks so that we skiers can get a head start to the season.

Grooming ski trails, as any of our superlative groomers at the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA) can attest, is a delicate business, and a slow task. And with each new snowfall, or in changing conditions, grooming must be refreshed. Beginning on Oct. 20 of this year and continuing through this Christmas Eve morning (where I experienced beautiful, mid-winter tracks at Klipchuck), Scott and Dave have spent upwards of 100 hours without thought of compensation, grooming and preparing trails on the overlook road and more recently at Klipchuck Campground, all for the benefit of our skiing community. Locals and visitors alike have used and enjoyed these trails for the past two months, in many cases without even realizing where the service came from. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Scott and Dave for their generosity of time and energy in making sure we have fantastic skiing despite lackluster winter weather.

Like so many others in the Methow, these two men are unsung heroes, providing something that enriches and sustains our community as the unique place which we all love. If you have been able to take advantage of the skiing at Klipchuck or at Washington Pass, please thank Scott and Dave, and MVSTA for helping to provide equipment support for them to do the work. Their contribution goes a long way in maintaining the Methow Valley’s place as the premier Nordic skiing destination in the United States.

Sam Naney, Mazama