Not so little

Dear Editor:

I attended the U.S. Forest Service meeting at the Winthrop Barn on May 19 to hear about the Blue River plans for drilling (on Flagg Mountain).

I left thinking of Carl Sandberg’s poem about the fog:

The fog slips in on little cat feet,

It sits on silent haunches

and then moves on.

So too, Blue River would have us and the Forest Service believe that they will move in on little “cat” feet, with a flashlight in hand, silently drill, and then move on.

Who are they kidding?

Gerry Evans, Winthrop


Thanks for caring

Dear Editor:

Thank you to the generous people of the Methow Valley who made our spring food drive so successful. The Cove’s 15th annual postal food drive brought in 3,000 pounds of food and good. Our shelves are stocked.

Thank you also to the Methow Conservancy for its donations from the Bill McKibben event. And to the Bear Creek Golf Course for their “will golf for food” day.

Our primary financial support comes from the caring people here in the Methow Valley, who are willing to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Glenn Schmekel, Director, The Cove, Twisp


Double standard

Dear Editor:

For those who wrote to oppose the Methow Valley Recreation District based on their belief that the county would do a better job of allocating recreation funds than would Methow residents, once again the county has proved you wrong. It allocated nearly half of the so-called 2 percent tourism funds to just one item – new bathrooms for the county-owned fairgrounds.

This was despite the fact that the fair’s application was so lacking in information that the county’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee “couldn’t even judge, when the fair made their presentation.” I particularly appreciated the irony in Marcy Stamper’s report that the “commissioners took extra time to weigh the application from the fair.”

The commissioners are clearly applying a double standard. Small nonprofits have a difficult burden to justify receiving even small grants. The county-owned fairground apparently doesn’t need any justification to get a large grant.

Randy Brook, Twisp


All about the money

Dear Editor:

Re: exploratory drilling for copper deposits on Flagg Mountain. The U.S. Forest Service thinks drilling is going to be OK? It would be 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for three months, bothering animals, people and the forest. That’s the start of a big problem.

The mining company doesn’t care about you or our land. All they just want is money! They have people (Congress, the Forest Service and more) with their hands in the cookie jar.

The mining company will take out the forest, mountains and whatever they want. We won’t have a valley left to enjoy. They will lie and “BS” you, saying it’s going to be OK. We get nothing but problems.

When vegetables that you grow and the water you drink make kids, people, animals and fish sick and they have cancer, you will know it’s coming from the mining.

We will take them to court and it will take a long time. They have big attorneys. They want to make more money. When they lose and have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars, the mining company will go bankrupt so they don’t have to pay a penny.

The mining company has all this figured out. And as soon as they get a little nibble, they get you, hook, line and sinker. You don’t have a chance.

The mining company doesn’t care for anything but themselves and more money! No drilling! Grow up. See what they do to the land. These people don’t live here and don’t see the beauty of the valley. They don’t care about what is going to happen here. They just want money. This is our land, not theirs.

Gerald Broadbent, Mazama



Dear Editor:

Another job well done! A big thank you to Jim and Donna Schultz for making the sign project for the Methow Valley Community Center such a success! Thanks to Carolyn Sullivan for her idea of selling letters “Vanna White”-style to the community, to Bob Elk for preparing the surface, T.R. Stewart for painting the sign, Larry Smith, and Keith Strickland for loaning us the lift. It looks great! And thanks to all of the individuals and businesses who “bought” a letter. We will be making a plaque soon to display your name and letter. It’s not too late to be included in this history. Call the office at 997-2926 to buy your letter.

We also want to thank the youth at the Independent Learning Center for designing and installing a beautiful mosaic near the gym entrance this past week. They did an excellent job and worked well together. We will announce a dedication ceremony soon.

Kirsten Ostlie, Methow Valley Community Center


Insurance ratings improve

I would like to thank our Okanogan County Fire District 6 firefighters for helping to improve the insurance ratings for the Town of Twisp and the fire district. The Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau recently informed us that both the town and district have improved by one protection class. The Town of Winthrop stayed the same.

More than 90 percent of our emergency responders are volunteers and without them we wouldn’t qualify to be rated by the rating bureau, let alone be able to improve on our previous ratings.

In 2013, our volunteer firefighters logged 1,716 hours responding to emergencies and another 3,002 hours in training, plus additional time maintaining our apparatus and equipment. Relying on volunteers saves the fire district taxpayers $2.3 million per year in personnel costs. We can’t save lives and protect property without them.

The new ratings take effect Aug. 1, and could mean lower insurance premiums for homeowners. Residents of Twisp and the fire district are encouraged to contact their insurance carrier or agent for more details.

Roy Reiber, chairman, Okanogan County Fire District 6


First things first

Dear Editor:

I have worked with several different types of Alaska ore mining operations. It seems that the U.S. Forest Service has the cart before the horse. Copper mining requires considerable volumes of water. The previous core samples drilled in the proposed Mazama complex were of a low copper grade which needs more than the usual amount of water to process.

Core samples cannot be drilled without an adequate source of water. More water is required for drilling in rocky places as is this locale. Isn’t a simple question for USFS to first require Blue River to identify the source and volume of water required? In addition, the number and frequency of water trucks required should be identified as each drill may take more than 10,000 gallons of water.

To date, USFS has stated that they don’t know anything about the water for the project. They have only said that water will be recycled, so what is the guarantee that project water will not leech into other water sources? Water source, use and disposal should be the first USFS consideration rather than putting this as the last after all the other expensive studies. If the supply of water and disposal of processed water do not meet strict standards, further consideration of this project should not proceed.

In addition, not mentioned, is the fact that drilling is to start on August, the height of fire season. There will be mechanical and other work, which may involve welding, which could create sparks. There has been no mention of standby firefighting equipment being required.

Duncan Bronson, Winthrop


Book sale rocked

Dear Editor:

Thank you to all who donated so generously to the Twisp Library Friends Book Sale this year. A donated collection of books about airplanes, model airplanes and the history of flight drew lots of interest at the special books table. I’d love to know the person who gave us those beautiful books.

Librarian Terry Dixon insisted that I display an older, unabridged Webster’s dictionary, the kind that sat open on podiums in school libraries in the old days. Young parents brought their kids over to look at it, and I was amused to watch teenagers figure out what the massive volume was for. One 40-ish dad suggested we tape the title Google Word Book on the cover to help the younger generation understand how it was once used.

Walt Pearce donated his late wife Dee Dee’s piano sheet music archives, which will be used and used again by local piano teachers.

A couple at the sale from the west side really know books. Don is a retired rare book dealer and U.S. Marine general officer. His wife, Paula, is also knowledgeable about selling books online. They gave me tips on some valuable, “common” books that we‘ll be looking for as we sort the next batch of donations.

The proceeds from this sale even exceeded the usual, and it’s because of your generosity! Proceeds will be spent on library programs: summer reading, speakers, etc.

Sally Gracie, Twisp Library Friends board member