Thanks for response

Dear Editor:

I wanted to send a huge thank you to the staff who were on duty late Friday morning at Hank’s Harvest Foods when I had a dizzy spell as I walked into the produce department. It was very disorienting and weakening and I must have sagged as I grabbed on to the edge of a counter. The staff’s response was immediate and exactly what was needed.

No one ignored me. No one even hesitated. Immediately, a tall man with a dark brush cut came over to take my arm and find out what the problem was. There were several others who stopped by to help, if help was needed. Someone sped away and brought back the electric shopping scooter so I had somewhere to sit down. This was a great help, as I couldn’t walk far enough to get over to the deli area.

Soon, it was decided that I should get checked out medically. A reassuring young woman stayed with me and walked with me (in the scooter chair) over to the parking lot. There, Buddy Thomas drove me in his own car over to Aero Methow Rescue Service and made sure I was being taken care of before returning to work.

I think it says a great deal about the character and kindness of the people who work in this store that they were attentive, helpful and competent in dealing with my situation, which was clearly out of the ordinary. It made me feel very safe and confident that things would go down in the best way possible.

I want Hank’s staff to know how grateful I am for their attentions and to encourage them to keep on being the kind and community-minded individuals they so clearly are.

Pat Sloan, Vancouver, B.C., and Libby Creek

Misplaced outrage

Dear Editor:

Ms. Spohn is penny-wise and pound-foolish (April 27). Make that penny-outraged. With all due respect to her arithmetic acumen, I must put her numbers in context.

She reckons the near-treasonous expenditures by the county commissioners to total around $30,000 over three years. That represents a tiny 0.01 percent sliver of the $4 million-a-month county budget ably administered by the commissioners.

Over the last 25 years, land-use planning has rapidly moved from the local level to Washington, D.C. The land of many uses is now the land of no use at all. Ms. Spohn’s outrage that rural county leaders should meet about reversing that trend is over the top.

Finally, to use the Kevin Bacon game to connect our honorable county commissioners with the extremists who vandalized the Malheur Wildlife Refuge is a despicable bit of thought policing.

Dan Aspenwall, Winthrop

Earth Day efforts

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to everyone in our valley who invested their time and energy to celebrate Earth Day with litter cleanups and the metal drive. So many of you made an outing with your friends, families, coworkers or community groups to clean up a stretch of road or trail a fun time together.

The wonderful AmeriCorps volunteers helped with several projects. Hank’s Harvest Foods, Farmers State Bank, Arrowleaf Bistro, eqpd Gear, TwispWorks and the Methow Valley Community Center celebrated in their own way. I’m sure I’ve missed many others. Please send pictures if you haven’t already. Thanks to Casey Bouchard of WasteWise for partnering with us again this year. Still more celebrated Earth Day with Confluence Gallery’s Trashion Show. What a valley!

Methow Recycles’ annual metal drive wrapped up the celebration with a huge success over this last weekend. Many thanks to Chad Patterson of Cascade Concrete for once again hosting the event. Very special thanks to the 47 volunteers who contributed over 125 hours in the two-day event. It could not happen without you! A few volunteers have worked every metal drive since 1998, and confessed to being hooked. We had several first-timers at this event, which quietly exceeded our expectations — 271 trips were made by metal recyclers and many came more than once! All together they brought in more than 168,000 pounds!

Thank you to Methow Trails for the use of cones, arrows and especially a big trailer for a couple of days. Finally, a big thanks to Hawaiian shirt and straw hat-wearing volunteer Steve Oulman, who directed traffic in the pit with his blue golf club for both days. It sure is a community effort and we’re so happy to be a part of it!

Betsy Cushman, Executive Director, Methow Recycles

Zombie project

Dear Editor:

What started out 23 years ago as a public/private partnership to build a business park to revitalize Twisp’s economy has not produced a single public benefit, while transferring substantial public assets to the Lloyd corporation. Over time, the business park project has been transformed by the Lloyds into a swap of the Wagner Street easement for an alternative route, by which they gained exclusive access to that section of the Methow River shoreline.

The current town administration claims that the Lloyds have met their obligations, but this is true only for only a limited part and not the entire project.

While it is true that the Lloyds paid off a publicly subsidized loan (only a portion of the public funding), the purpose of the partnership was not to provide them a loan to acquire exclusive shoreline. While it is true they used that money to build an alternate terminus for the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road, that was simply a requirement of the Wagner Street vacation, not its justification. While it is true, at least in regards to the loan, that the Lloyds do not appear to have broken the law, the whole affair has a bad odor.

The agreed purpose of the public/private partnership, the legal justification of the vacation, and the requirement that allowed the Lloyds to obtain public financing, of any kind, was the public benefit of a business park. It appears that they may never have intended to develop the project. Water rights were not a fatal impediment, only an excuse. Unresolved, the business park has become a true zombie project that continues to lurch into the present, bringing the town loss and division, as in the recent shoreline trail affair.

In the grand scheme of things, Twisp’s business park is small potatoes. But we are having a national and global debate about how government has become an unwitting conduit of wealth from the many to the few, eroding our trust and our democracy. This is our small part of that. Admonitions to “get over it and move on” will not heal the division this creates in our communities, but justice might.

Mike Price, Twisp