Kids need support
Last year my 16-year-old grandson was living with us in Twisp. During that time he spent a short time in the Okanogan County Juvenile Detention Center. My husband and I were there for each and every visitors’ day available to us. By doing so, my grandson knew we were sticking by his side. And we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Moving the detention center out of the area would be detrimental to those young kids, for sure. Whether the person was guilty or not, it is important to show them that we care. I feel moving the detention center would not give the kids the moral support they need.
On another note, though not as important as giving the juveniles the moral support they need, some of our tax money goes to support the juvenile detention center. Do we want our tax money going out of the county?
Please read Jack Burchard’s editorial in the March 2 Methow Valley News.
Janice Timbers, Twisp
Thanks to everyone who came out on a busy night last week to attend the benefit concert by Jovino Santos Neto and Paul Taub, who generously donated their performance to honor last summer’s firefighters. Over $2,000 was raised, which will be split between the Methow Valley Education Foundation in honor of Tom Zbyszewski and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in honor of Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Daniel Lyon. Thanks, as well, to those community volunteers who picked up the tab for the venue rental, advertising, piano tuning, housing and meals.
Lynette Westendorf, Winthrop
The war in Syria may be the worst disaster to befall the human family since the end of World War II, with more than half of the country’s 22 million people now being refugees — 300,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the war in 2011.
What happened in Syria? It is a complex story, but one early indication of trouble was when Deane Hinton of the U.S. State Department said in response to a 1949 American plan to overthrow the Syrian government, “This is the stupidest, most irresponsible action a diplomatic mission like ours could get itself involved in; we have started a series of these things that will never end.”
There were more U.S. sponsored coups in 1950, 1956 and 1957. Jumping ahead, the United States initiated economic sanctions against Syria in 2004 (for letting Iraqis into the country, refugees from the U.S war in Iraq), outlined a strategy for destabilizing the Syrian government in 2006, and began funding opposition to the Syrian government in 2007 — including supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is a fundamentalist Sunni Islam organization, like ISIS and like Al Qaeda.
Prior to the war in Syria, that country was a pluralistic society with many religious beliefs living together peacefully — Sunni and Shia Muslims, Christians, Druze, Jews, Alewites. With the advance of the Sunni fundamentalists (supported by the United States), more than half of the Christians in Syria have been killed or forced out of the country. The same is true in Iraq; since the U.S. invasion in 2003 more than half of the Christians in Iraq have been killed or have left.
The United States also supported the fundamentalist Islamists in Afghanistan; funding first the mujahadeen and later the creation of the Taliban. Hopefully the reader can see the irony of first helping to create the Taliban, and then spending 15 years and a trillion dollars fighting them (and obviously still in the process of losing this lengthy war).
The important question is, why does the United States government support radical fundamentalist Islamic organizations?
Dana Visalli, Twisp
Praise for Kiwanis
I don’t think I can thank the Winthrop Kiwanis enough for all they do in our valley. What a great group of dedicated people. They are all about helping the kids of our valley. The Bite of the Methow was a well-attended evening of fun and food put together expressly to raise money for all the activities funded by the club. From parks to scholarships, to Key Club and Builders Club, to helping with the pool to the duck races to Classroom in Bloom and the ballpark, they help with all manner of things for the student athletes — from uniforms to fees, to paint stripes and building bleachers.
There are no limits to the aid provided by the Kiwanis of our valley. I wish to thank each member of the Kiwanis for their dedication and devotion to the cause of helping our children all year long. This is just a short list of their aid. Thank a Kiwanian today.
Patty Yates, Twisp