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 some effort, be woven into a rich tapestry that tells the full story of 2014.
We intend to do that, but we need your help.
In December the Methow Valley News will chronicle those personal stories, along with every other aspect of the disasters the valley endured and the challenges it faces, in a multi-faceted special publication that we hope will be a keepsake. We intend for the publication to be not only a historical record, but also a reflection of the valley’s character under pressure and its resiliency moving forward. It will look in depth at the emotional, economic and environmental impacts of the summer’s events.
It’s a huge undertaking, but we are committed to making it happen as a community-based effort. Your assistance will make the publication as complete and compelling as possible.
We’ve heard, anecdotally and directly, dozens of retellings about incidents large and small — instances of heroic response, acts of kindness, even the inevitable moments of despair — and we want to begin collecting whatever you would like to share.
If you’d like to make your story part of the whole story, let us know as soon as possible. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a letter to P.O. Box 97, Twisp, WA 98856, with a brief description of what you’d like to share, and your contact information. You’ll be hearing more about our special publication soon. In the meantime, we’re collecting all the information and ideas we can, as fast as we can. Let us know your thoughts.
In the good news department, it hardly gets any better than this: Dr. Joe Jensen is selling his Methow Valley Family Practice to Family Health Centers (FHC), a nonprofit that operates clinics all over Okanogan County.
Jensen is a very healthy 68 years old, but many of his grateful patients have surely wondered what might happen when he retires. The local clinic’s sale means that quality health care will continue to be available in Twisp (along with that provided at the Country Clinic in Winthrop) without disruption. Jensen will stay on for two years as an employee, giving FHC time to hire another doctor to take his place.
The availability of rural health care can be a deciding factor in whether a community grows or stagnates, and the Methow Valley is fortunate to have not only the two clinics but also Aero Methow Rescue Service and, now, Northwest MedStar emergency helicopter service. And soon, FHC will establish a dental office in Twisp as well.
For a look at the health care availability issue and other topical stories about the status of health care in our region, make sure you read the Health & Wellness 2014 – 15 supplement included in this week’s Methow Valley News. The supplement’s advertisers represent the full spectrum of available care, which makes it a keeper for future reference as well.