Collaborative Christmas dinner

Dear Editor:

It has always amazed me how our community comes together. The Christmas Dinner at the Winthrop Barn is one of the latest examples. Here’s what happened: All of the turkeys and hams were donated by Food Services of America, Hank’s Harvest Foods and the TriRivers Snowmobile club. The Methow Valley Thriftway in Winthrop donated 30 pumpkin pies and 124 Christmas donuts. Suffice to say: “We had plenty of food.”

Individuals from the community and the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association prepared and served dinner to just under 200 folks on Christmas Day at the Barn. The Barn kitchen is “certified” by the Washington State Department of Health, and it is an outstanding resource. Volunteers began cooking at 7 a.m. and by 11:30 a.m. the turkeys were being carved. By noon, dinner was served.

Thank you to everybody who helped.

Ron Perrow, Christmas Dinner Organizer, Methow Valley Snowmobile Association

Thanks from Mary

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful friends, neighbors and families who came to my birthday party at the Methow Valley Senior Center. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did.

Mary Bean, Twisp

What about us?

Dear Editor:

I was very disappointed of your 2018 Arts in Review. There were 13 pictures, all of which were either school activities or nonprofits and most of these performances charge a fee. What about the pubs, bars and eateries that are the “bread and butter” of arts and music every weekend in the valley such as OSB, Copper Glance, Twisp River Suites, Methow Valley Ciderhouse and Six Knot Taphouse? Not one picture! And most all of the events are free. Next year it would be good to see a little more comprehensive coverage.

Richard J. Wasson, Methow Valley Ciderhouse, Winthrop

Supporting our neighbors

Dear Editor:

As I reflect on the last year, I am appreciative of the place we live and the good people around here. I am, however, disappointed in the way that our friends and family and neighbors who are federal employees are less than appreciated — especially recently. Keeping them indefinitely on furlough stresses family budgets. Eliminating annual salary adjustments that allow their wages to keep up with inflation is another economic impact to them and another reduction for our local economy.

These are not minor services that we all enjoy. We all have benefited from having trained professional forest fire managers here. We live within a national forest and next to a national park that will have no visitor services until the shutdown ends. Snow parks are not maintained. Annual range management meetings are not happening. Those here that rely on food, rent and health assistance are facing delays in needed services. Tax returns are not likely to be coming in a timely manner, not because the agency employees who work for us are not willing to work hard. They are locked out.

Irrigation water and drinking water come from places that are managed by our neighbors who work for the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service. The Bureau of Land Management (minerals), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (fisheries), the Natural Resource Conservation Service (snow and soil), and the Forest Service (timber, water, and recreation) are all natural resource agencies staffed with people we know who do their jobs well.

Agriculture is our most important economic generator in Okanogan County. Recreation and tourism drive the Methow machinery. These rely on a partnership with well managed federal land and water resources (USDA, USDI, NRCS, FSA, APHIS, BPA). If you know what those acronyms mean, you likely are a rancher or farmer or maybe a skier or snowmobiler or fisherman benefitting from the work of people who live here, shop here and spend money on local goods and services.

As we start 2019, I am going to take some extra time to let those whose offices are closed and who are not getting paid know that I care about them and am glad they are here.

Kent Woodruff, Twisp