The Methow’s gift

Dear Editor:

I was driving home from work the other day and saw Jason, our favorite and world’s best UPS driver, pulling a huge rig out of the snowbank. I thought it was such a neat thing to see our UPS guy, of all people, taking the time out of his busy schedule to help someone in need. I was thinking this on a full belly, mind you, as Ryan and the East 20 Pizza staff so tirelessly fed, what seemed, the entire Methow Valley just the night before. And for free! I thought free pizza was a Christmas myth, but I am here to tell you the spirit of pizza is alive and well in The 509! A Christmas miracle.

Then I attended the super-adorable Winter Wonder show at The Merc Playhouse and watched kids of all ages perform, sing and dance their hearts out in the spirit of Christmas (Lyndsey was especially stirring). Well, all this to say — in a world a bit hell-bent on being divisive and a bit crazy, it made my week to know that we live in a community of people that take care of each other. Sometimes we forget to open our eyes to that.  I’ve been taken care of this week and what a gift. Thanks, Methow!

Mandi Smith, Lost River

Where the wealth is

Dear Editor:

There is some general suspicion about those nefarious 1 percent of Americans who control the bulk of the nation’s wealth. If you are looking for them here is a hint: Today you will find them in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Of the 3,144 counties in America, six of the 10 wealthiest are all adjacent the nation’s capitol. The other four are adjacent to New York City.

I rather expect New York to be wealthy. That city is famously industrious across the board. New Yorkers make a huge contribution of goods and services to the national economy.

Back in 2000, the top 10 counties included one in Colorado and one in California. Not any more. The national wealth is being diverted to D.C.

The federal regulatory state has become a shakedown racket. Regulate another molecule and presto, every company and corporation in America goes to D.C., hat in hand, to seek either a new permit or a new bit of special interest legislation whichever comes first. All the while, the company wages and profits must be split with D.C. lawyers, consultants and lobbyists.

Meanwhile the news bundle dutifully spouts the meme “corporate money in politics.”

Dan Aspenwall, Winthrop

Thanks from Community School

Dear Editor:

All of us at the Methow Valley Community School wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to our community for making our 2015 holiday performance and dessert auction such a success. It was truly a “community” school performance!

The opportunity to collaborate with the Liberty Bell High School Drama Company, under the direction of Kelly Grayum and Danbert Nobacon, really made a difference in how our kids were able to articulate what they have learned so far this year about trees and their role in a healthy habitat.

The Liberty Bell kids, Bryce Tillman, Lucia Clay, Lily Cooley, Cash McLane, Megan Dammann, and three Community School alumni, Nate Hirsch, Kyla Colon, and Leo Shaw, turned folk tales into scripts, cardboard into props, and lent their enthusiasm and experience to all aspects of the production. Nobacon’s directorial guidance and contribution of a song that reflected our study of trees unified the show.

The Community School’s teachers, Sabrina Freedman, Kari Bown, and Tara Rickabaugh, worked countless extra hours on costuming, and set construction, liberating a mountain of cardboard from Methow Recycles, transforming it into scenery, and then breaking it down and recycling it again.

Our board members and school parents set up the dividers and chairs for the performance and the tables for the auction and then broke it all down. Many people from the community, including the Cinnamon Twisp and Rocking Horse bakeries, donated delicious desserts.

The Community Center helped us with the gym, and Jody Love of Methow Valley Theater Company helped with stage rental and volunteered her time to run the lights.

The “house” was filled with family, friends and neighbors, former and future students, folks who love a good story and who support multi-aged, individualized learning experience steeped in place and nature. It was a beautiful night of stories and songs, the seeds of future stewardship of our valley’s precious resources. Thanks to all who played a part!

Crystal Bacon, Director, Methow Valley Community School