mailboxHelp Beebe Springs

Dear Editor:

The Beebe Springs Natural Area (BSNA) is a new roadside attraction. The 200-acre site has been purchased by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and its riparian portions have been reworked for salmon habitat, the upland portions sculpted into rolling hills for shrub steppe native plants. I want the BSNA to be successful. The location is nice for walking the dog on a trip to Wenatchee.

The site features fine signage and access from Highway 97, ample parking and accessible vault toilets. There are trails meandering along the Columbia River decorated with statues of Native Americans. Beebe Springs is funded by electric ratepayers as a fish mitigation project. It is the result of an extensive, inclusive and transparent planning process. By any checklist of virtues it is a towering success. There is just one problem. A thick cover of noxious weeds has taken over the site.

One could hardly design a better stationary vector for spreading weeds to far places than to invite travelers to stop at Beebe Springs. As it is, the place should be quarantined.

No amount of planning can deal with weeds. The current plan calls out “shrub steppe restoration seeding by owner,” which is now WDFW. They recently reported that seeding efforts by volunteers and time will restore the desired vegetation. I doubt it.

Beebe Springs should have a team of full-time groundskeepers equipped and empowered to keep weeds down and to nurture the plantings and landscape.

Dan Aspenwall, Winthrop


Valuable editorials

Dear Editor:

I am writing about your editorials in the Dec. 25 issue. As a reader, it was especially enjoyable to read an editorial in the paper that covered community happenings. Reading about conditions that affect the Methow Valley community is appreciated and enjoyed. We learn more about what is happening of interest in the Methow Valley as well as conditions, needs and developments.

Thank you for this valuable approach to your editorials.

Don Reddington, Twisp


Informative and whimsical

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all at the Methow Valley News for providing the readership a continued informative newspaper. I have had the opportunity to enjoy the paper for the last 30 years. I especially would like to thank the “archduck” of the SLIME group for his whimsical and yet educational history of the upper valley life and the world. Great job to all and to you Bob Spiwak. Best health to all. Have a great New Year.

Dell Schweitzer, Mazama


Thanks, neighbors

Dear Editor:

I would be remiss if I did not recognize all of the people and businesses that made the 2013 Neighbors Helping Neighbors Holiday Food Basket program and the Manger Mall such a huge success. Thank you to the scores of volunteers who sorted, packed, loaded and delivered food, the gals who emptied coin jars weekly, Okanogan County Fire District 6, all of the businesses and individuals who made financial contributions, the Mazama and Carlton stores, KCSY Radio/Sunny FM, KTRT FM/The Root, KOZI Radio/Chelan, the Methow Valley News, Blue Star Coffee Roasters, Cinnamon Twisp Bakery, Liberty Bell High School, Methow Valley Elementary School, the Independent Learning Center, Homeschoolers, The Methow Valley Community School, Little Star Montessori, Wildflower Preschool, the 4-H Club (the students either collected and sorted food, donated gifts, and created ornaments, handmade gifts, holiday cards, gift tags and package décor), Evergreen IGA, which generated a tremendous amount of additional food donations through in-store promotions, and Hank’s Harvest Foods, where all the action takes place the week prior to and on distribution day.

Hank opens his storeroom to us for almost a week, where we stage and sort our food and spend four hours completely monopolizing that space on the Saturday morning of distribution day. Hank and Jimmy give so much of their time, energy and space and for that, they need an extra special thank you!

Kudos to Wendy Braden and Kathryn Eisenhauer, who spearheaded the Manger Mall and with the help of this community were able to provide holiday gifts for over 180 children in the Methow Valley.

And last but not least, my deepest gratitude to the people without whom my job would be so much harder: Pearl and Kurt Ramcke, Valynn Putzke, Carol Goudge and Agi Ottlyk, MaryAnn Kirkland, Brian McAuliffe and Wayne Mendro.

Jennifer Elden, program manager, Neighbors Helping Neighbors