Today is Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

My Turn

Legislature, governor should support wildlife and rec funding

By Gary Schalla As we approach the holiday season, there is no better time than now to start thinking about the state budget. Don’t believe me? We have a fast-approaching opportunity to secure abundant gifts for our children and grandchildren if our elected officials commit robust funding for the outdoors. The counties of North Central...
Why no mention of wildfire in county’s comp plan?

Why no mention of wildfire in county’s comp plan?

By Isabelle Spohn Following the events of this summer, why would our county now adopt a comprehensive plan that doesn’t even mention the words “wildfire” or “landslide” and withdraws the previous incorporation of Okanogan County’s 2013 Community Wildfire Protection Plan, agreed upon since 2006 by over 50 agencies, county departments and citizens?   Considering that...
Dead trees are part of forest’s life cycle

Dead trees are part of forest’s life cycle

By Ken Bevis When forests burn, trees die. It’s a fact. Particularly in hot fires in dense fuels — cambium cooks and needles fry. Conifers are particularly flammable and can go up in a spectacular crown fire. The resulting sea of black dead stems causes some people to think we must do something immediately. Not so fast....
Thoughts on telling our stories, and listening to others

Thoughts on telling our stories, and listening to others

By David Asia “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” Muriel Rukeyser, The Speed of Darkness, 1968 We love to tell stories. When we can’t tell them aloud, we tell them to ourselves, quietly, in our heads, stories welded together by repetition until the map we have created in our heads begins to breathe...
Considerations for fire district levy proposal

Considerations for fire district levy proposal

By Ross Darling For about 11 months, I served on the Okanogan County Fire District 6 advisory board, learning about the district and waiting for them to give us a task or asking what we thought about regarding various district concerns. That was not to be. Finally, the commissioners said they had mis-named the board...
Is levy proposal blowing smoke?

Is levy proposal blowing smoke?

By Fred Wert The Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioners have proposed a new fire hall in Winthrop for a number of years. They put it to a vote earlier, and it was rejected by the voters. What did they do? They went out and purchased a piece of land for a total cost of...
New station a critical need for   District 6 firefighters

New station a critical need for  District 6 firefighters

By Alan Fahnestock Autumn means elections in this fair country of ours. We are, once again, pondering the deep, abiding questions: “Does the pink envelope go inside the yellow one? Or the other way around? Did I put a stamp on it?” This November election is critical for Okanogan County Fire District 6 firefighters. Proposition...
Help your kids deal with stress and change

Help your kids deal with stress and change

By Katharine Bill and Dani Reynaud Like so many plans for this summer, Little Star’s Summer Naturalist Camp, planned for the third week in July, didn’t happen. Instead, the entire valley experienced a sort of naturalist camp, featuring fire ecology, geomorphology, and the basic interconnectedness of all parts of our home. Suddenly, the invisible parts...
Winthrop R&B Festival supports the Methow Valley in many ways

Winthrop R&B Festival supports the Methow Valley in many ways

Submitted by the Winthrop Music Association board of directors For the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival, as for everyone in the valley, the fires have been a test of our commitment to this community and place. With fire raging east of us, and prevailing southeasterly winds pushing smoke and flames away from the Blues Ranch, the festival...
A memorable visit to the Methow Valley

A memorable visit to the Methow Valley

By Otto Brask My Aunt Marie Cockrell lived in a little house across the road from the Chewack River Ranch, a few miles north of Winthrop. She had this place for free while working as a housekeeper and companion to Mrs. Wagner, whom she had known in Okanogan. There, in the summer of 1954, I...