Lyme lessons

Dear Editor:

As pointed out every fall by a stub-fingered Methowian elder, the newspaper is a place to post “Joe Safety,” “don’t-do-what-I did” service announcements.

If you do get bitten by a tick, keep the tick and remember where the bite was. Keep the tick in a container, with air only and the date of the bite. Watch the bite area and photograph any swelling, redness and rash. A bulls-eye rash is a telltale sign of Lyme infection. Lyme is only one of many things any tick can carry and infect the body with. Symptoms may never occur, that does not mean infections haven’t happened!

I went 18 years undiagnosed, by a few doctors who placed their beliefs and or what insurance would cover over my life. While my medical records grew by the inches, hospitals and big pharma cashed in on my symptoms; the fix-it-in-15-minutes medical center paradigm was an enabler of my infections.

Lyme and tick-associated infections are beyond the non-expert’s ability. Post-bite, contact an ILADS-approved professional at (301) 263-1080. Ignorance is temporary bliss, yet enables our oligarch health insurance system’s farming of the working class for money, while treating the working class like fertilizer and bankrupting us all. Get bit, go pro.

Brandon Sheely, Twisp

Not nearly enough

Dear Editor:

I’d like to thank Dan Newhouse for his invitation to an Opioid Summit in Moses Lake this Friday. I might even go. I’d also like to thank him, albeit with somewhat less enthusiasm, for his affirmative votes on the CARA and CURES Acts of 2016, both of which at least demonstrated some interest in the subject of the current opioid/heroin addiction crisis.

The attenuated enthusiasm probably needs explaining. You see, both of those acts passed with 90-plus percent of the House vote, so, in effect, this was roughly the equivalent of voting for the Better We Avoid Pulverizing Puppies Act (BWAPPA); no Gold Star for you, Dan. For CARA, only Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert and three other more-or-less irredeemable cranks voted against, and voting in opposition to those guys is generally a pretty good bet, if only because your mom is less likely to smack you up-side the head for being an idiot. And, as it happens, both laws were passed under the 114th Congress and the Obama administration, which is, well, interesting.

As for the other three bills mentioned in the invitation, odds of passage are estimated by as follows: 33 percent, 19 percent, and “Seriously? Don’t hold your breath.”

And let’s talk money. Dan says $1.5 billion for drug treatment nation-wide. If Washington is kind of average, that’s $30 million for us. A low average cost for treatment might be 10 grand, so maybe we’re looking at 3,000 folks getting the treatment they need. As of 2016, according to SAMSHA, the federal substance abuse folks, 458,000 Washingtonians needed treatment but were unable to get it. Nice try, but don’t expect a standing ovation.

Sorry if I’m a bit acerbic, but this is a big deal. I’ve seen addiction from the inside. I got help, and I’ve helped others get help. It takes money. We spent $100 billion-plus on HIV/AIDS, and good for us. Opioids are going to take at least that much, not this penny-ante stuff. What do you think, Dan? Maybe you could ask your buddies, the plutocrats, for some of that trillion-dollar tax-cut back?

Alan Fahnestock, Winthrop 

Buy a brick

Dear Editor:

As we approach the 40th anniversary of our beloved Methow Valley Community Center, I’m writing to ask residents to join us in expanding our Memory Garden. See our ad in last week’s paper, or check out our website, The bricks are on special for $45 and can be ordered directly at Bricks can be imprinted in memory of a loved one, or to plant your family’s name in our garden for posterity. The choices are limited only by your imagination.

The board of the community center is committed to serving the Methow Valley with education, entertainment, information, books, dance, yoga, a respite from whatever the world might throw your way. By joining in our push to expand the Memory Garden, you’re making an investment in our future.

Crystal Bacon, Board member, Methow Valley Community Center

Thanks to TwispWorks

Dear Editor:

A big thanks to TwispWorks for recognizing the North Cascades Smokejumper Base’s (NCSB) important role in the economy, history and culture of the Methow Valley. Since 2017, TwispWorks has identified the base as its “advocacy priority” and has committed its staff to support keeping the base in the Methow Valley. They have convened, and continue to facilitate, a leadership group comprised of local mayors, chambers of commerce, county commissioners and area/state politicians to guide the process.

The TwispWorks website generated over 50 letters of support that were sent to the U.S. Forest Service. Their efforts helped establish NCSB as the preferred location of the three candidate locations being considered for the base and influenced the decision allowing a three-year period for securing the required funding for base improvements. Additionally, TwispWorks took the initiative to engage the support of the North Central Washington Economic Development District. The district has the NCSB project as its No. 1 2018 priority.

The advocacy group authored a letter sent to James Pena, Pacific Northwest regional forester, requesting a “face-to-face” meeting with Pena and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest supervisor to discuss the importance of NCSB to the community, community support for the retaining the base in the Methow and possible partnerships to help finance the project. The meeting, held on April 24 at TwispWorks, was reported in the May 2 issue of the Methow Valley News. It’s not a “done deal, but NCSB is now the Pacific Northwest Region’s No. 1 funding priority.

Much is owed to TwispWorks Executive Director Don Linnertz and Ashley Thrasher, program manager, for making NCSB their advocacy priority.

As a former NCSB manager, having gone through a half-dozen “threats to the base,” this is by far the most-organized community effort in support of retaining the base in the Methow — thanks to TwispWorks.

Bill Moody, Twisp

War not the answer

Dear Editor:

War solves no problem. War creates more problems. Consider the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2002. Based on lies and false evidence, we bombed a civilized country back into the Stone Age. In violation of every international law and our own Constitution, we destroyed another nation’s water and sewer systems, electric power plants, schools, universities and hospitals. We attacked because we wanted Iraq’s vast oil reserves not because they posed a threat to us. Today, the Iraqi society is in total disarray. One-fifth of the population is homeless within the country. One-fifth of the population has been forced to seek asylum in neighboring states and is living in desperate makeshift refugee camps. No jobs, no employment, no hope. We have created the perfect conditions for brutal organizations like ISIS to flourish in Iraq, Syria the Middle East and other Islamic states around the world.

The violence within in our own society, highlighted by the many school shootings and the nightclub and movie massacres we have witnessed should be a wake-up call for all of us. It reflects the complete disregard for human life that war fosters. Dehumanizing labels make it easier for young soldiers to kill other human beings. We claim to be a “Christian Nation” but where is our love? Who would Jesus bomb?

Our entertainment is often violent, from the movies we watch to the games we play on the consoles in our living rooms. Since our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the value of human life has been cheapened and devalued by these senseless bloodbaths we have unleashed on ourselves and the other nations of the world.

We spend over 60 percent of our discretionary budget on our military. We spend more on defense than the next 19 major countries combined. War has become a profit-making machine. War is killing us. No more war!

Joseph Enzensperger