Enforce the law

Dear Editor:

Now as I understand it, somebody who has a business south of the southern bridge in Winthrop, where the speed limit is already 25 mph, is asking that the speed limit be lowered to 25 mph everywhere inside the city limits. Their reasoning, it seems, is that doing this will slow down drivers where the speed limit is already 25! Kinda like saying that we should ban alcohol to reduce drinking. I don’t think that worked too well, did it?

Maybe the answer is to start enforcing existing laws rather than passing new ones. If people are going to ignore the existing speed limits, why would lowering them elsewhere make any difference? Hopefully, Winthrop now having the start of its own police force will help on the enforcement side. At any rate, what good are laws that aren’t fairly enforced?

Bill Karro, Winthrop

Doing our part

Dear Editor:

I love being part of this community and seeing all the ways others participate to bring us such a high quality of life. The Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp needs us now as does the valley. The pool is the “go-to” place for so many people, young and old. Of the $170,000 the pool needs to do the required maintenance, $100,000 has been raised. Let’s be sure each of us has done our part to keep this valley resource running well. I may be calling you to nudge you. Please let me know I’m too late because you’ve already contributed.  

Carolyn Sullivan, Winthrop

Your input matters

Dear Editor:

The North Central Washington Economic Development District, a federally designated economic development district for Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties and the Colville Confederated Tribe, is leading the development of a plan to build economic resilience in areas of Okanogan County impacted by the 2014 and 2015 wildfires, including the Methow Valley.

This plan, the Okanogan Economic Recovery Plan, will include strategies and projects that can strengthen and diversify the county’s economic base to build resilience in the face of future threats. 

Why does this matter for the valley? In short: future money for valley priorities. Methow Valley-focused projects will be more competitive for future federal funding if they are highlighted in the plan. Unfortunately, the online tool that has been set up to get public input on priorities is very light on Methow Valley comments. You can learn more and submit comments at

The team writing the plan will also draw on past community input exercises, a series of focus groups, and input from the board members of the North Central Washington Economic Development District.

Hannah McIntosh, Economic Development Coordinator, TwispWorks

No respect for jurors

Dear Editor:

On Thursday (June 30), I reported for jury duty in Okanogan as requested. I was surprised to find that our county commissioners have not seen to any sort of special parking for potential jurors, but leave us to whatever is left over after all employees have arrived, except for time-limited spaces!

Later in the morning, we were informed that we would function in a room that no longer had air-conditioning! All this for a pittance that has not been raised in 30 years. Even the janitors get more per hour than we received per day. One lady even had to provide child care so she could fulfill her “civic” duty. Seems our county commissioners have some work to do.

Bob Hoffman, Twisp

Censure needed

Dear Editor:

Hats off to the League of Women Voters and the Okanogan Farm Bureau for delivering a쟷ell-deserved rebuke to Represent Okanogan County (ROC) aka쟦ttp:// The website has been raising money for a negative ad campaign against our incumbent county쟠ommissioners. The months-long campaign included advertising buys spread across radio,쟮ewspapers and billboards.

This is pure negative money in politics at the local level. The matter is coming to the attention of the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).  It is to be hoped that the PDC delivers a stern censure to ROC. ROC should receive at least “Double Secret쟑robation.”

Dan Aspenwall, Winthrop

Dubious causes

Dear Editor:

Well, isn’t this precious: insurance companies suing private citizens to recover funds that said companies receive from private citizens to insure said citizens against unexpected eventualities. If that isn’t head-scratching enough, it’s all based on the “findings” of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) investigators who are developing a pretty impressive record of pulling fire-causes out of their collective, um, nose.

I’m not an investigator, nor an expert, but I don’t need to be to discern that the Rising Eagle Road Fire couldn’t have come down as it has been portrayed in the DNR reports and쟧n these pages: the narrative as written simply isn’t reasonable, given the topography, ostensible time-line, fire behavior, sight-lines, etc. Basically, all the DNR is teaching us is that it’s a really bad idea to report a fire: They’ll just pin it on you if they can’t come up with something better, or maybe just on general principles.

Similarly for the Twisp River Fire last year.잸 “water birch,” my left hind foot. Unless I’m really, really mistaken, the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative has arc-fault equipment on that transmission line, which means that any arc (that’s what starts the fire) will shut down the line instantly.쟙ell, don’t look now, but that line was still live when I arrived on scene to help fight the fire, roughly 45 minutes after it got started, so there wasn’t any such arc. Surprise, surprise.

Are these investigators paid to simply find a “cause,” however bogus, and someone to blame?? Paid by whom? What’s the incentive to come up with this kind of nonsense?

Alan Fahnestock, Winthrop