Mailbox

Many disconnects

Seems like AT&T wasn’t the only one to suffer a disconnect during the recent fires. The same folks who claim they hate the federal government are eager to receive disaster funds in the multi-millions. The county will take the biggest gains for “infrastructure” repairs and wants more funds for individuals who suffered losses. I am not complaining. For us liberals, we already believe this is exactly what the federal government should be doing.

In another disconnect, as wildfire risks and costs have been continuously increasing, Republicans have been working for more than a decade to reduce funds for the Hazardous Fuels Reduction and other fire prevention programs. As firefighting costs mount, even less is left to invest in training, equipment, new technology, and reducing risk. Even while our fires raged in the past weeks, the House Republican leadership let die a bill to overhaul how Congress funds wildfire suppression.

But wait, maybe it really isn’t a disconnect. Many of those tea baggers claim that clear evidence of climate changes, warming temperatures, increased drought, and more violent storms are just inventions of the liberals. In that case there’s really no need to plan for future disasters, and even less to spend money avoiding their occurrence.

The fires in the Methow Valley should be a wake-up call. We need the federal government and we need to fund its services. Instead of going on junkets out of state to fight the feds, our commissioners should listen to the message. Unfortunately: “The number you have reached has been disconnected or is not in service.”

Randy Brook, Twisp

 

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