Wrong priorities

Dear Editor:

I see in the legal briefs the call for bids to repave Lincoln Street from Twisp Avenue to the park and pool area. I fail to see the priorities on these street repairs. It’s one of the town’s better streets that has no potholes in its driving surface. We have other streets that have potholes and patches on patches that are so rough they beat your vehicle to pieces, East Second Avenue from Lincoln to its end by the low-income apartments being one of them. If whoever is making these decisions had to drive this street almost every day like I do, it would probably get top priority!

Lincoln Street to the park and pool area gets a lot of traffic in the summertime but after it snows the only traffic on it is to the houses at its upper end. On the other hand, East Second Avenue gets the same amount of use the year around.

When the town is trying to apply for grant money, it should be to fix these terrible streets, not a new town hall!

Al Ames, Twisp


What’s the message?

Dear Editor:

The Winthrop Town Council, hoping to give guidance to their new marshal, took up the issue of legalizing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Winthrop at last week’s meeting. Despite no notice of the subject appearing in the previous week’s Methow Valley News, the meeting attracted about 50 people. The North Central ATV club was obviously well aware of the meeting and, along with supporters, made up perhaps half the crowd. Pretty much anyone wanting to speak was able to do so. A number of points were raised.

Concern was expressed over ATV trailer parking taking up space in the Winthrop Barn lot. Councilman Rick Northcott suggested that he didn’t expect a significant number of people to trailer their ATVs to Winthrop. Though I disagreed, I think the council generally shared his view. Two ATV club members suggested that ATVs could access Winthrop streets from private land, though one of these said he lived in the Twin Lakes subdivision from which it is not, in point of fact, possible to access the town without crossing private land either by permission or by trespass.

I think it’s fair to say the council was not of the belief that a significant number of ATV users would access Winthrop from private adjoining land. Finally, a citizen pointed out that not a single road accessing Winthrop, county or state, is presently legally open to ATVs. The issue was debated, and the council deadlocked, 2-2. The issue will now apparently be decided by the mayor’s vote.

So here, it appears, is the situation: The council does not expect that a significant number of people will bring their ATVs to Winthrop legally, either by trailer or from private land. Passing an ordinance to allow ATVs in Winthrop will therefore amount to something of an attractive nuisance as the only way that it is reasonably expected that ATV operators will get there is to violate either county or state traffic laws. So what’s the clarifying message this would send to our new marshal about the council’s attitude toward law enforcement?

John Morgan, Mazama


Buy it here

Dear Editor:

Now more than ever you hear the “shop local” message. It is important for all of us to support our local economy, especially at a time when so many have lost income and homes this summer. Local dollars are well spent. Those dollars cycle through many hands before they leave town, thus helping friends and neighbors keep their businesses open and pay their employees. Look around the valley — many of the articles you use every day can be bought here. You don’t have to leave the valley to purchase groceries, gas, clothing, kitchenware, hardware, lumber, concrete, nights out, art, books and gifts. As an added bonus, you can help your neighbors in need by giving them a gift certificate from a local business.

Shopping local in downtown Winthrop is not easy during the summer as we are a tourist-driven town. Unfortunately, all of our county farm-to-market roads lead onto crowded Highway 20, and finding a parking space in downtown Winthrop is difficult. Former Mayor Don Johnson encouraged business owners and their employees to park off Riverside Avenue on their private property or park at the Winthrop Barn. It is my hope that our current business owners are doing so today. This would give locals and tourists a better opportunity to park and shop at their businesses.

I am lucky; I live in town and can easily walk or ride my bicycle to purchase items for friends and myself. I hope that you, as a local shopper, will make the added effort to come to Winthrop and help our local business owners. If you are physically able, walking from the Barn or from the Town Trailhead parking lot is an enjoyable experience. Our bridges afford a unique opportunity to watch wildlife and give great views of this special place in which we live.

Please shop local.

Roxie Miller, Winthrop