Today is Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016
Updated February 3
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by Don Nelson
Updated February 3
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Updated December 23
Our readers write
Updated December 9
More cartoons by Tania Gonzalez Ortega
Corrections & Clarifications
Aug 3, 2014
I love Tania’s cartoon! Very creative and oh so true! I would add a few things:
10. You keep going outside to scan the horizon for new smoke plumes.
11. You sleep fully clothed in case you have to evacuate in the middle of the night.
12. You get up in the morning determined to have a normal day and get some things accomplished, and end up dropping everything to run up to the community center to find out what all the sirens are about.
Craig Lints says:
Aug 5, 2014
Dear Editor, Methow Valley News
People should understand now how important reliable power is. In fire season it means well water to protect your home. In the winter it means heat. Having two routes into the valley is critical.
The argument that we should switch to a route down the center of the lower valley is a Trojan Horse. It will result in another ten year delay before we have a redundant line.
The engineering for the T/P line is complete. All but a handful of easements are resolved. Switching to the “valley floor” will result in years of negotiation with landowners and the engineering cannot be completed until the easements are resolved and the exact route is determined. It is not true that the existing easements and route will work for a much bigger line. (You can’t use the easements for a county road to build a highway.) And there is the issue of multiple crossings of a salmon bearing river. More red tape.
Imagine an ice storm on the Loup followed by frigid temperatures. An ice storm can take down many, many miles of line. Think of it. I have seen 30 below. In 1948 it was 50 below. Cars don’t start. Pipes freeze. Animals die. Maybe even people. Two weeks without power. Think of it.
Craig Lints, Carlton
509 322 1094
Rich Millard says:
Jan 16, 2015
Where is the next destructive fire?
As we all enter the next fire season, we must ask ourselves where the next fire storm will occur. As we continue to study, then study some more, then study to the end, what will be decided. Lets say in all probability, the Twisp River drainage is a fire looking for a place to happen. As we watch year after year the increasing quantities of standing dead material increases significantly. Should we perhaps allow the wood cutters to do something as simple as remove that material. Or, should we study the situation again. Can we selectively log the river basin? In the day, you could ride a horse anywhere you chose on the Twisp River. Today, completely impossible on the majority of the river. The popular saying is “do we prevent fires” as smokey always said, or as we do now we “Manage” the fires
Bonny Lince Stephens says:
May 14, 2015
On behalf of the Methow Valley Farmers’ Market, I want to say a huge thank you to the Boy Scouts of America, including Ed Sellers, Kermit Nykriem, Bryan Alexander, Grayson Alexander and Quinn Wengerd for installing our new market sign on Highway 20 just west of Winthrop. Great job guys and a pizza party is coming soon.
We can’t thank Dawnie Moss enough for so graciously allowing us to put our sign on her property. Thank you again. Bonny Lince Stephens
Nancy Soriano says:
Aug 17, 2015
It is almost impossible and extremely expensive to get insurance in areas of Okanogan County especially where there is no fire district.
Just over a year ago, in April 2014, we had a fire at our place in Tunk Valley. We lost a cabin, hay barn and hay, as well as our beloved Heston tractor. We did not have insurance. It was a significant financial hit. In the past people could get insurance through the Grange, but now, even our local Grange cannot get insurance.
It is ironic that the County Commissioners are zoning for high density development, in places that insurance companies, given increased risk of wildfire, will not touch.
This year in Tunk Valley, where the Commissioners would allow 2 (uninsured) houses per acre, we have fires in the West portion of Valley and also to the East. Which way will the wind blow?
Willy-Nilly high density zoning throughout the County by incumbent County Commissioners is incomprehensible, given last year’s Carlton Complex Fire and the widespread fires throughout the County this year. The resources are spread so thin, throughout the West, that there is talk of reaching out to New Zealand for help. The County Commissioners land-use “planning” puts people in harms way.
Insurance companies recognize the risk. We need County Commissioners who can recognize risk and care enough to adopt responsible land use planning for this County and its people.
After two fire seasons, the Commissioners still refuse to incorporate the Community Wildfire Protection Plan into the Comprehensive Plan. Incumbent Commissioners have burned their bridges and lost credibility, by insisting on maximizing development over all other considerations, including wildfire risk and water scarcity.
Cynthia Mitchell says:
Aug 24, 2015
Having to do with the fires, here is my take on it, in poetry form:
The curtain of smoke parted
for a short while, this morning,
from burning eyes–
not to be confused with
relief from burning fires.
Many beings of mountain forests
losing more than humans,
whose homes somehow
rated more valuable,
are built on top of theirs.
Tragedy measured in lost lives
Wolves, Bears, Moose, deer
and other creatures,
coming in second.
An eerie beauty in the smoky sky
creates artful sunsets
and a momentary relief
from an ancient fear…
So sad for you all and for all of us suffering from the forest fires…
Bernard and Nancy Ryan says:
Sep 2, 2015
Nancy Soriano is exactly correct. When we owned a home in the Valley, we were just outside the boundaries of District 6. It took a long time to get enough organization to get a sufficient number of people to submit applications for annexation into the District. It meant an increase in property taxes, but it was well worth it. It made the house more valuable, more likely to sell (a bank could make a loan, knowing there was fire insurance) and the peace of mind was great. Nobody, of course, saw the Carlton Complex coming and nothing could be done about that but all in all it was worth it. The District 6 staff and Commissioners were all helpful and patient in the process.
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Feb. 3, 2016
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