Women’s retreat

“Journey of the Heart,” a two-day retreat for women featuring speakers Jacque Dotson and Tracy Walker-Maddy, will be hosted on Feb.7 and 8 at the Friendship Alliance Church, 809 Highway 20, in Winthrop. The event will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday. A donation of $25 is suggested.

Interpreter at Room One

Room One, the nonprofit social services agency in Twisp, is adding a bilingual In-Person Assister (IPA) to its staff to help Spanish-speaking clients with enrollment in the state’s health care exchange. The interpreter will be available on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 997-2050.

Deadline for chili, salsa entries

Chili and salsa chefs have until Feb. 7 to complete an application to compete in the Methow Valley Community Center’s second annual Beat the Chill Chili Cook-off on Feb. 8.

Forms and rules are available at www.methowvalleycommunitycenter.org, or at the community center on Highway 20 in Twisp. The entry fee is $20 for chili and $10 for salsa.

Prizes are $200 for the first-place chili, a stainless steel stockpot for second place, and a market basket for the people’s choice award. The first-place salsa will win $50.

Doors open to the public at 5 p.m. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for youth.

Forest Service seeks firefighters

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is seeking to fill temporary seasonal firefighter positions in the Methow Valley and Tonasket Ranger Districts.

Those hired will be stationed in either Winthrop or Tonasket. Starting pay for seasonal firefighters is $12.07 per hour and those selected should be prepared to work weekends, holidays and overtime.

Potential employees must be at least 18 years old and meet minimum requirements based on job duties. For more information, go to www.usajobs.gov, or call Kathy Busse at 996-4069 in Winthrop or Jeff Ayers at (509) 486-5106 in Tonasket.

Donations needed for kids’ book swap

Methow Valley Elementary School will host its annual Book Swap on Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., and donations of books appropriate for students ages 5 – 12 are needed. Drop-off locations include the Winthrop and Twisp libraries as well as the elementary school. In particular, books for fifth and sixth graders are needed, as reading material for these age groups tends to be more limited than that available to younger students.

Volunteers are also needed to help distribute books on the day of the event. For more information or to volunteer, contact Ashley Lodato at 996-3363 or ashleylodato@alumni.stanford.edu.

Course on farming

Washington State University Extension will offer “Cultivating Success,” a series of courses for those interested in learning the basics about operating a successful small farm, beginning Feb. 27.

Classes will be held Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through April 24 at the Virginia Grainger building in Okanogan. The cost is $150 per family to cover study materials. Call (509) 422-7245 for more information or to register.

What about spring?

Don’t go looking for Wilbur the Whistlepig this year. The annual Winthrop event celebrating Groundhog Day, originally scheduled for Sunday (Feb. 2), has been cancelled.