Continuing disdain

Dear Editor:

I almost thought it was April 1 when I read Solveig Torvik’s column “Of mice and books.” Warning labels on books that might be thought-provoking and cause discomfort? That would be as ridiculous as prohibiting the teaching of critical thinking skills in school. Oops, wait a minute. The Texas Republican party tried to do just that in 2012.

There is an interesting parallel to other stories in the Methow Valley News, mostly about the county commissioners. In vote after vote, public statement after public statement, they show their disdain for laws they clearly have never developed the capacity or desire to understand.

Watching the commissioners in action would be humorous — if they didn’t have so much power over the well being of the Methow Valley and the ability to transfer our money to their coffers.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Not in Texas or the government of Okanogan County, it appears.

Randy Brook, Twisp

Go our own way?

 Dear Editor:

I have not lived in this valley long, but I have to wonder. The people for the most part of the Methow Valley, down to Pateros, up to Mazama, and over to maybe Loup Loup, seem to be very unusual in that they care for the Earth and what happens to it, and they care for each other. On the Okanogan side of the county, it seems to be business as usual, whatever makes money, regardless of how, is good. Like most of the rest of rural America. And the country suffers for this.

Why does the Methow Valley have to remain part of Okanogan County? Why can’t we form our own county and govern it appropriately?

John Marshall, Winthrop

Nothing but whiners

Dear Editor:

The recent announcement by Canadian-owned Kinross Gold Corporation to withdraw from mining exploration in Jackson Creek Roadless Area sounded to me like whining.  Not only that, but they got the response they were looking for — editorials that accuse the U.S. Forest Service of not being soft enough on them. So, people think they will take their toys, jobs and “gifts to the community” and, with no mention of their environmental record, go slinking back to Toronto. Don’t worry, that won’t happen.

If I thought it was true, I would say good riddance! But I know better. If one read the Kinross letter to the Forest Service, you would see that they say they are withdrawing from this proposal. They leave the door wide open. So open, they forgot to tell us about their Toroda Creek exploration proposal!

Don’t get me wrong, this company gave our Okanogan and Ferry county communities many “good paying” jobs. How many more jobs were made by trying to get this company to comply with clean water laws?

The Kinross Community Relations team will tell you how much they have contributed to our community. They don’t tell you about what damage they are doing to our water, nor how much money they sack away in Toronto banks.

The Buckhorn Mine and its potential offspring will create problems in the future. Kinross has been fined for failure to comply with clean water laws for years. I think we can expect to have years and years of those “good paying jobs” cleaning up Buckhorn, so hopefully our children and grandchildren may once again drink the water there.

Kinross has taken over $1.5 billion worth of our gold. Their corporate executives will laugh all the way to the bank. The 1872 Mining Law still allows the sale of public land for $5 per acre. This Canadian corporation paid the taxpayers all of $800 for the 154 acres of the Okanogan National Forest, purchased in 2006 by invoking that law. They have not paid a penny in royalties to us. Yet they continually whine about our laws being too hard on them.

Michael “Buffalo” Mazzetti, Tonasket