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Editorials
Editorial: Nov. 11, 2015

Editorial: Nov. 11, 2015

Message repeated Call it a portent. One year ago, voters residing within the rural boundaries of Okanogan County Fire District 6 rejected a property tax levy increase to pay for construction of new, $2.4 million fire station in Winthrop. Last Tuesday (Nov. 3), voters apparently turned out incumbent Roy Reiber in the race for an...
Scoping it out

Scoping it out

Just so nobody misunderstood where they were, Melanie Rowland told a group of about 20 people gathered at the Twisp Valley Grange last week, “this is not a neutral presentation.” Rowland and Maggie Coon were there representing the Methow Valley Citizens’ Council (MVCC), a nonprofit community interest group that has been actively involved in a...
Editorials: August 26, 2015

Editorials: August 26, 2015

And now, worse Before this week, the Carlton Complex Fire of 2014 was the largest in Washington state history. The brutal destruction of landscape and structures, the painful impact on hundreds of lives, made it not just big but also an enduring nightmare. But the much smaller Twisp River Fire — officially now Branch 3 of the...
We are not a landing zone

We are not a landing zone

Forget the black helicopter jokes and whacko conspiracy theories. What the U.S. Army has in mind for the Methow Valley and a sizable surrounding area is real, a lot scarier and not the least bit funny. The Army wants to substitute the Methow Valley and a substantial swath of North Central Washington for Afghanistan and...
Down the wrong road, again

Down the wrong road, again

Nothing about the Okanogan County commissioners’ recent decision to vacate Three Devils Road makes sense, stands up to reason or indicates concern for ordinary citizens. It was a bad decision based on faulty reasoning, and possibly illegal. Worse, the commissioners’ decision was a slap in the face to their constituents, the people they were elected...
Editorials: May 13, 2015

Editorials: May 13, 2015

Can’t be too careful Some troubling things we typically think happen only elsewhere can, we have learned too often, happen here as well. Last week’s article about an elementary school student who fired a toy cap gun on a Methow Valley School District bus was a reminder that our community isn’t immune to such incidents,...
A case for the kids

A case for the kids

You could nitpick, cavil or quibble over the list of improvements and repairs that would be paid for by two tax levies placed on the April 28 ballot by the Methow Valley School District. But there’s no arguing that the items on the list are needs, not luxuries — and that they represent only some of the...
In the weed patch

In the weed patch

Sometimes it seems like county government just can’t help contradicting itself, which would be perversely comical if it didn’t affect people’s lives. From a board of county commissioners that rails against what it sees as precipitous, unchallengeable state or federal actions that are taken with no regard to local concerns comes this gem: cancellation of...
A learning process

A learning process

Please, everyone: Just. Calm. Down. As more information has emerged about the International Baccalaureate (IB) program that the Methow Valley School might — might — elect to pursue after a lot more exploration and discussion, it seems that some kind of Internet hysteria has gripped a portion of the valley’s population. Online discussions have generated some good questions about...
Editorials: January 24, 2015

Editorials: January 24, 2015

Need some reasons The Winthrop Town Council will likely have an item on the agenda of its Jan. 21 meeting to discuss acquiring GPS tracking and information-generating devices for the vehicles used by the police and public works departments. As suggested by council member Vern Herrst, who requested the agenda item, the devices could be...