Thanks from the Housers

Dear Editor:

The Houser family would like to say thank you to the Methow Valley Senior Center, the volunteers, those wonderful cooks and dessert makers, Hank’s Harvest Foods for providing the food, and to anyone else who helped with this unbelievable event. Wow.

Our appreciation has no words that could even come close to expressing how thankful we are for this giving moment. All of this has made such a huge impact in our lives. We wouldn’t have been able to get through these hard times without the love of our valley. We truly do live with amazing people, and in a wonderful place. Thank you so much.

Tina, Keith, Mollie, Mitchell, Amy, Emalie and Emmitt Houser; Carlton

Rec district is needed

Dear Editor:

I am writing about the formation of the new Methow Valley Recreation District that is being proposed in a special election this coming April. I would encourage everyone to read the Friends of the Recreation District website,

Over the past couple of weeks, I have read nothing but the negative issues raised thus far and I would like to remind this community that there is no such thing as a perfect RCW. Too much power, condemnation and taxing authority, are the same powers that this community has given to the towns, the school district and the fire district. Creating a recreation district is not much different except recreation is what drives our economy, keeps our community healthy and is why everyone wants to move here.

A new recreation district, in my opinion, has far more positive issues than negative. As a parent who raised kids here, I watched them participate in many sports, and the benefits were enormous. We need to make this available for every child in this community and by forming this district, we could offer 100 percent participation.

As a businessperson here, it is obvious to me that recreation is our industry and we need to keep being creative and perfect our business model. The Winthrop RiverWalk, the Susie Stephens Trail and the Twisp Town Trail are on the table now and have been planned to enhance the economic viability of our towns. If the district is formed, we can help these projects and assist the under-funded projects like the Twisp pool and the Winthrop ice rink.

As a taxpayer, I am willing to pay my fair share to make my community a better place. By forming a recreation district, we all become partners. In April, vote yes and become a partner in our mission to sustain all recreational opportunities for generations to come.

Kristin S. Devin, Candidate for Position 4, Mazama

Total imbalance

Dear Editor:

Ten cougars killed, and more being decimated due to conflicts between wild animals and humans. How many wolves to go, or elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, sharks? The numbers will keep rising until the wild animal kingdom is gone, exterminated, extinct. The planet’s wild animal and fish habitat will disappear in 50 years, and the human population will exceed 9 billion!

Do we ever have a discussion on human overpopulation, zero population or negative population growth? We humans are changing the climate, decimating the natural earth and creating a total imbalance of natural life that took millions of years to evolve. In 100 years, will any other life exist except for humans, dogs, cats, cows, sheep and roaches? Maybe climate change or a human-created plague or pandemic will be a good thing to rebalance the animal species of our earth.

Mark Ripple, Seattle/Methow Valley

Economic benefits

Dear Editor:

As a property owner in the Methow Valley I am interested in the economic benefit of recreation and trails in our community. Creating recreation opportunities brings people to the valley, which helps businesses and provides jobs. We have an opportunity to improve our economy through expanding recreation in our valley.

The current proposed recreation district keeps control within the Methow Valley. With good community involvement we can make a difference. Choose five of the candidates you like and vote yes on the proposed recreation district.

Mike Port, Twisp

Help neighbors first

Dear Editor:

Whoa … friends and neighbors in our Methow Valley community. No one has mentioned the most important, in my opinion, reason to vote against the Methow Valley Recreation District.

We have people in our community struggling to put food on the table, clothe their children and find jobs. They should be our first priority. We are considering a new tax to fund “play” while some of our neighbors are lacking the bare necessities. They are not just younger families, although that is true of many. We have older citizens who need help facing the challenges of aging. We have many of all ages who are fighting illness and trying to keep going. All of the above will feel the pinch of any new tax, from general higher prices to rent, even if they are not fortunate enough to own property. It puts another burden on those who can least afford it.

Taking care of our neighbors should come before we institute a new tax to pay for our fun. Talk to people at The Cove, Room One, Senior Center, our churches, our doctors and dentists, our nurses and aides, our fire department, our police, school personnel.  They will tell you of the need.

Some will say there are places and people to help those in need — and that is right, but there are not enough people and facilities. We also have many, many recreational opportunities and the argument for a Methow Valley Recreation District is that there is not enough — perhaps so. But between not enough areas for play and not enough social safety net, let’s help our struggling neighbors first. We all want to have fun, but first we need to help our neighbors.

So, since I am against forming the recreation district, why am I running for a commissioner position? Simply put, because, should my neighbors vote this into law, I want to make sure the district hears all points of view and considers different opinions on their actions. I want to make sure all valley voices are heard.

Chris Holm, Winthrop

An alternative

Dear Editor:

Most of the folks I have spoken to regarding the proposed Methow Valley Recreation District are against the present proposal under RCW 35.61, although these same people agree organizing recreation is a good idea.

There is another way: According to Okanogan County Commissioner Ray Campbell, Title 18 of the Okanogan County Code allows for the origination of a recreation committee which would investigate a particular idea from stem to stern, report back to the county commissioners and then, assuming the idea was a good one, the commissioners would implement the plan to bring the idea into reality. The personalities on the committee/subcommittee would probably change depending on the scope of the proposal.

This concept does not generate a new bureaucracy; it does not add a new recreation tax; it does not establish a new commission or new employees and it would not have the power to condemn property via eminent domain. It does establish a concept for decision making at our grass roots. This might just be a dandy way to organize recreation without all the expensive hoopla RCW 35.61 brings. Best of all, this concept is already in place. It was established in October 2013 under County Code, Title 18.04.080 Cultural resources, recreation, wildlife and wilderness.

Ron Perrow, Winthrop