Today is Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

No Bad Days
The boats of summer

The boats of summer

By Don Nelson The noise was unmistakable, even before I looked to see what was making it. From my room at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan, I instantly recognized the throaty, unmuffled roar of a Rolls Royce aircraft engine (or maybe an Allison) like those used to power unlimited hydroplanes back in the day. That...
Willing to walk a long way for friendship

Willing to walk a long way for friendship

By Don Nelson Randy Montgomery intends to make a lot of friends over the next few years — and spread the idea that we can all get along better if we’ll just make the effort to talk to each other. Montgomery, 62, a former log truck driver from Mount Shasta, California, is in the early stages of...
Tell us your summer of 2014 story

Tell us your summer of 2014 story

By Don Nelson The Methow Valley’s big story of 2014 really is made up of hundreds of small stories — human moments of loss, fear, struggle, sacrifice, bravery, innovation, perseverance, generosity, faith and hope as the fires and floods swept through our beautiful home. Taken together, all those threads of what happened here this summer can, with...
Best of times, worst of times

Best of times, worst of times

By Don Nelson Believe it or not, 2014 could be a record year for Methow Valley tourism by one indicator. At a joint meeting of the Twisp and Winthrop chambers of commerce last week, local business owners got an update on hurry-up marketing campaigns and long-term recovery efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of fire,...
Methow’s instant karma’s gonna get you

Methow’s instant karma’s gonna get you

By Don Nelson I’ve about given up trying to explain what I call the “Methow karma,” that mystical web of connections, coincidences and absurdly serendipitous encounters that create a universal community all out of proportion to the valley’s size and population — in defiance of the Methow’s rural remoteness and persistent state of un-discoveredness. I just accept...
Remembering Mort

Remembering Mort

By Don Nelson Mortee-Anne Banasky took civic involvement seriously. She spent much of the past 30 years since she arrived in Winthrop serving on the Town Council, and was also mayor for a time. That perspective and experience often paid off during council discussions which, as is often the case in small towns, cycled back...
Adapting every day

Adapting every day

By Don Nelson You’ve heard the expression — when someone thinks you should calm down a bit, they might say “take a deep breath.” Well, that’s not going to work. While the major remaining fires affecting the Methow Valley seem not to be directly threatening inhabited areas, they are close enough to cause some discomfort...
Waiting for a break

Waiting for a break

By Don Nelson The scanner next to my desk crackles almost constantly these days, with fire-related dispatches playing out in bursts of scratchy static and cryptic communication. The terse report I heard last Friday afternoon caught my attention among other hectic messages: a brush fire in the Signal Hill area, threatening a residence. For some...
Just being us

Just being us

By Don Nelson Where to begin? How does one adequately catalog, characterize and credit all of the generosity, bravery, selflessness, determination, ingenuity, strength, community spirit, inspiration, patience, endurance and even humor that have sustained this community the past two weeks? It’s almost too risky to compile a list of the good stories, because we’d be...
Putting out a newspaper with a low-tech, high-tech mash-up

Putting out a newspaper with a low-tech, high-tech mash-up

By Don Nelson The feeling of helplessness began to build right after the electricity died and our frail tethers to the world beyond Twisp snapped. The physical reality of power lines burning, roads being closed and everyday goods and services becoming scarce was inconvenient and frustrating. But what left us really drifting and uncertain was...