Newhouse fail

Dear Editor:

Trump’s most recent challenge to DACA failed when on Feb. 26, 2018, the Supreme Court refused to review lower court decisions that keep DACA in place indefinitely. This administration will undoubtedly continue to challenge the path to citizenship for people brought into our country at a young age. Newhouse could change that but apparently, he won’t.

There are 19,500 potential citizens in Congressional District 4 alone who meet the criteria to walk the path to citizenship under the Dream Act of 2017. According to the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, this could improve Washington State’s GDP by as much as $527,582,000 per year. In March 2016, Newhouse voted yes for the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time ever to submit an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court, opposing an Obama executive order that included an expansion of DACA. In January 2017, Newhouse co-sponsored H.R. 496, the Bridge Act, that would have extended DACA for three years.

However, Newhouse has failed to follow through with the procedure necessary to force a vote. If Newhouse would sign discharge petition 115-4, filed in September 2017, it could force House Speaker Paul Ryan to have a floor vote on the bill. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t listen to what Newhouse says, look at what Newhouse does.

If Newhouse wants to be a champion of this issue he needs to bring it to a vote. Ask him to take action now.

Pat Leigh, Winthrop

Good lessons

Dear Editor:

I’ve two daughters that finished senior projects. Senior projects are a good thing. Good for learning how to plan a project of any kind. I’m all in with helping our seniors learn life lessons by doing.

The Twisp River Pub is in private hands, it’s on the market. How lucky to find a teenager willing to wash walls and windows (and bring more help!). Most seminars cost money to attend. I wish my daughters would go to one. I hope cleaning lessons are learned.

Yours truly,  Huck. I mean …

Tim Anderson, Winthrop

Support solar

Dear Editor:

I appreciate the Methow Valley News coverage of the Westernization code amendment presented at the Winthrop Town Council Feb. 21 meeting. I write to add some clarifications and encourage support letters or emails to the Winthrop mayor and Town Council.

The amendment allows solar power and water heating panels on gable roofs of commercial buildings in the W-3 district where the solar equipment cannot be seen from Highway 20, but which can be seen from other adjacent “public ways.” This means solar panels installed on, and at the same angle as, roofs of business buildings south of the Methow River bridge may be seen from Norfolk and Greenwood Roads, White Avenue, a portion of the Town Trail or public parking lots. This visibility is not allowed under the current code.

All owners of businesses with direct views of this area support the ordinance change. The area includes nine vacant lots where new business construction could take advantage of energy cost savings from renewable energy systems. As previously reported in the News, Fire District No. 6 is considering building in this area. There are eight more lots in the vicinity where solar panels could either be installed on existing roofs or eventually new structures built with qualifying roofs.

Business owners and managers throughout downtown Winthrop, the W-2 area, and W-3 strongly support the code amendment; 52 signed a face-to-face survey in support. Many stated it would be good for tourists to see solar energy generation in parts of the W-3 area not along Highway 20. Only one person objected to the ordinance change.

Tourists enjoy the old-west downtown, which is an important economic generator to be preserved. And tourists come here to ski, hike, bike, swim, camp, fish, float the river and enjoy our sunshine and clean air, which is also why many of us live here. The majority of businesses, and the 50-plus local residents attending the council meeting, think solar equipment generating clean energy on roofs of businesses, located away from the western theme corridor, will make a positive statement about our community.

Notice of a public hearing will be forthcoming.

Ellen Lamiman, Winthrop

Limiting your rights

Dear Editor:

What do Congressman Dan Newhouse and the Republican Party have against United States citizens’ relying on the courts to defend their rights, their lives, the places they love, and their livelihoods?

Wonder what I’m referring to? During the 115th Congress, Republicans have introduced at least 50 bills to limit your rights as a citizen to take cases of corporate and private misconduct to the courts. Eleven have passed in the House of Representatives and Newhouse voted for all 11 of them.

These include: H.J. Res. 111, which limits your ability to sue banks for doing things like setting up fraudulent accounts in your name; H.R. 620, which shifts to the disabled themselves, including hundreds of veterans without limbs, the burden of removing barriers to accessibility; H.R. 732, which limits restitution from polluters for damages caused by environment disasters like the Exxon Valdez oil spill; H. R. 1215, which restricts people from seeking relief from harm suffered from medical malpractice.

Congressman Dan Newhouse voted for these and seven more like them. Let’s ask him how he intends to vote on the remaining 40.

Patti Nordby, Winthrop

Fire adaptation

Dear Editor:

We live in a fire-prone landscape, yet there are many things we can do to reduce the risks of losing our homes, businesses, recreational lands and wildlife. The Winthrop Town Council has issued an invitation for citizens – residents and neighbors of the town – to join a team that will focus on learning from experts and other communities what we can do to become a “fire adapted community.” This team will help promote existing programs such as Methow Ready and Firewise, and will lead educational and implementation projects to make us better prepared to survive and recover as a community when wildfire does strike.

Those of us who’ve lived here during the recent wildfire seasons can’t forget or ignore the predictable, persistent and interlocking conditions of heat, dry vegetation, wind and lightning or human error that can result in fast-moving destruction. We can’t eliminate fire from our lives here. But we can become less dependent on the luck of being out of the line of fire, and less dependent on fire-fighting resources that may be stretched too thin or up against uncontrollable infernos. As individuals, neighborhoods and a whole community, we can take more responsibility for reducing the fuels that feed fire and for preparing our homes and businesses to resist flying embers and firebrands. We can also become more aware of our own, our neighbors’ and our community’s vulnerabilities so that we can minimize loss and recover well if we are struck.

There are many communities across Washington and the West already ahead of us in learning how to live more safely in fire-prone landscapes. We will learn from them and work with others here who care deeply about this community’s health and livelihood. If you’d like to join our team to help make Winthrop a safer place, please contact one of us:

Nancy Farr, (509) 846-5701
Max Jones, Fire District 6, (360) 317-8911
Sally Ranzau,, 996-2320

Bans don’t work

Dear Editor:

Re: “Reason to hope” (Feb. 28). Unfortunately, the government cannot ban anything. All they can do is create a black market, completely unregulated and totally beyond their control. 

The drug wars show us this simple reality, and it doesn’t matter how many billions of dollars they spend, the government has no control. They haven’t slowed the use of illegal drugs, in fact it appears to be expanding. 

We don’t need to look only at the drug wars. Prohibition? Created a black market and did not stop alcohol from entering the country or being manufactured in the country. Abortion? Created a back-alley industry with no government oversight and few safeguards.  

The government does not have the power to ban or outlaw anything that the people want.  They can deny law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves. They can guarantee that criminals will always be better armed than citizens, and they can create an uncontrolled black market, but they cannot ban guns.

I find it interesting that the letter writer referred to Washington, D.C., a city with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, and one of the highest rates of gun violence in the nation. Gun control laws don’t work, never have, never will. 

It has been against the law for criminals or people suffering from mental illness to purchase guns since at least 1968. The Florida shooter sent red flags to his friends and teachers, guardians and local law enforcement. The FBI was even notified and yet he was still able to purchase weapons. We all need to do a better job keeping weapons out of the hands of people that should not have them. 

Mike Newman, Twisp/Sedro-Woolley

What to expect?

Dear Editor:

Planned Parenthood “protects kids” by supporting the gun control lobby while they have no problem participating in the murder of millions of unborn children.

Many Americans believe in socialism. But look at socialist Venezuela (where years ago the government disarmed the people while heavily arming themselves). The government and the bad guys are the only ones able to protect themselves. People are starving. Zoo animals are eating each other. The general population is leaving in droves.

There are armed guards for our politicians and entertainers, in banks, at football games, at academy awards ceremonies, etc., but our schools are completely defenseless except for the “gun free zone” signs.

While promoting “tolerance” many will spit in your face or verbally and physically attack you for disagreeing with them. Most colleges do not allow free speech on campus.

Christians are labeled “mentally ill” by the likes of Joy Behar for their belief in God.

A political party buys a false document against the opposing party’s candidate and presents that document to a secret court as the primary evidence for a warrant to spy on the competition during the campaign. And nobody finds out until after the campaign is over.

Federal legislators have slush funds to quietly pay off those who would expose a legislator’s sexual misconduct or illegal actions.

Whistleblowers are told they will be treated fairly but are almost always marginalized, demonized by the press, fired, financially ruined, and often murdered for speaking out against corruption.

A federal Supreme Court judge dies at an elite “ranch” in the middle of nowhere under very suspicious circumstances. No autopsy is performed. His body is whisked away and promptly cremated, destroying any forensic evidence that could have shed light on the facts surrounding his death.

Federal employees are virtually impossible to fire. Because of the federal employees union, it is easier and faster to transfer or promote a problem employee than to fire them. And just try and shut down a federal program that has outlived its usefulness.

What’s next?

Chrystal Perrow, Winthrop