Photo by Sarah Schrock
The Methow Housing Trust broke ground for its first affordable housing project at a site in Twisp.

By Sarah Schrock

Methow Valley Elementary School will finally host a full student body this week as the halls will be stirring with the anxious and curious minds of the kindergarten kids who arrived Monday. Now that everyone is breathing a little easier, the clear skies will give kids the proper welcome back to school they were robbed of by being forced inside due to the smoke.

You might have missed a few Twisp columns in August. Now that I am back in the valley after a final summer escape, there are a few events and activities to catch you all up on.

One of the big changes at the Okanogan County Fair this year was the absence of carnival rides.  As a parent, the lack rides brought relief. Don’t get me wrong, I like rides. I enjoy watching kids soar and spin with grins wide while shrieks of panic and exhilaration pierce the air. But as we all all know, the fair is one endless expense beginning with the entrance fees and doesn’t end until the last scoop of ice cream plops to the ground, which then results in shrieks of sadness as the inevitable tantrum associated with too much fun ensues. Plus, no rides meant no haggling with kids over how many ride tickets to buy multiplying “x” number of tickets by “x” number of rides. Thank you, Okanogan County Fair for sparing us the mental math!

Practicing mental math in the form of spatial creativity is coming to the Twisp Library with a new “LEGOs at the Library” hour. Master builders in the making, kids will get the chance to collaborate or build independently with LEGOs on the first Thursday of each month at 3:45 p.m. and the third Saturday at noon. Come check it out this Saturday (Sept. 16). The monthly STEM program also runs this Thursday (Sept. 14) at 3:45 p.m. for kids ages 6-14 and is titled “Make Do!” Weekly Adventure Reading with exciting chapter books for older homeschool kids runs every Tuesday at 11 a.m., and younger kids can visit the library for Storytime each Friday at 11 a.m. Check out the What’s Happening banner on the Twisp Library website of all wonderful library events.

Ribbon cutting for the first Methow Housing Trust site took place on Canyon Street last Tuesday (Sept. 5). The Canyon Street project will be the first phase of a multi-site program to develop affordable homes targeted to home buyers who can’t enter the traditional housing market.  For more information about the Housing Trust, visit their TwispWorks office.

More ribbon cutting will take place on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Twisp Park for the groundbreaking of the Twisp Community Trail! The beginning of construction of the trail marks a monumental moment that has taken years of voluntary time and energy from town staff, elected officials, committee members and the mayor.  Former council member Traci Day and Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, especially, put in countless hours in grant writing, negotiating and feasibility studies to finally secure funding to extend a trail from Twisp Park along the river.

Finally, if you happened to chance a upon the Twisp Park Sunday evening you might have caught a glimpse of the East 20 Pizza employee party that coincided with a celebration of their long-time employee Lyndsay Frady’s 40th birthday, with food, face painting, lawn games and Cuban opera. That’s right. An impressive, impromptu live opera performance by their special guest employee, Roberto, a Cuban-born opera singer, captured the audience’s hearts as he performed “Ave Maria,” moving onlookers to tears.  Thanks, East 20, for 10 years of great pizza and live opera at the park!

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