I want to share information with our town leaders, local organizations and the public to get the word out about a website that can be utilized post-disaster. It uses online software to connect organizations and folks needing assistance and there is no fee. I am not affiliated with them but had been seeking something similar for months after the fires and floods of the past summer. There is a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talk about how it came about. I spoke with the chief operating officer and it sounds like it could be a strong tool in our recovery. Here is the organization and TED talk: https://recovers.org/about.
Ananda (Sabold) Bajema, Carlton
Yes on levies
Most mornings we see the yellow buses that take children, including our granddaughter, to the Methow Valley schools, where capable and caring teachers ensure that they learn well and grow in healthy ways. That bus fleet, unfortunately, is aging and therefore costly to maintain, diverting resources that could support teaching. Like the bus fleet, the schools’ buildings, campus grounds, and athletic facilities are aging too. They need ongoing care to maintain safe and effective places for students to learn.
Residents of Winthrop for more than seven years, we are retirees who appreciate the transparent and common sense planning by the district’s Facilities Task Force. We enthusiastically support the two levies on the April 28 ballot. A modest tax increase is a small price to pay for the efficiencies and improvements that the levies will produce. Our schools belong to all of us. We are responsible for their care and upkeep. Vote “yes” on both levies.
John and Lyn Roth, Winthrop
No frills in levies
As a member of the school district’s facilities committee for the past seven years, a former Liberty Bell High School head maintenance employee, a former and current high school welding instructor, a tax-paying land owner and parent of a school district graduate, I urge you to support our kids’ learning environment by voting “yes” in the upcoming double levy election.
For the last year, the Facilities Task Force has taken a detailed look at the many and varied needs of the entire school district. The Task Force encouraged community members from all interest levels to participate and give input. After prioritizing a large list of needs, the Task Force sent its recommendations to the school board. The board’s decision was to run two levies, one by law restricted to just purchasing badly needed buses (the transportation levy). The other levy includes a wide range of needs at the high school, elementary school, Independent Learning Center, bus garage, and grounds.
There is no fluff in these levy requests. We did not include many needed projects in our recommendation to the board. The board chose to run a six-year levy, instead of a four-year levy, to help lessen the annual out-of-pocket tax expenses to those on fixed and limited incomes.
I again ask you to consider the above information and opinion and vote “yes” to support our schools and valley children. Please get your ballot in before April 28.
Barry Stromberger, Twisp
Kudos to Twisp Town Council Member Dwight Filer on Okanogan County Fire District 6: Yes, there have been missteps, but these guys (and I doubt he meant just the volunteers) are professionals.
But let’s do some fact-checking. First off, as I understand it, District 6 provided a tad under 30 percent of the cost to modernize the Twisp fire station and build the current engine house, and it retains that percentage ownership of the buildings, at least; using your own stuff is not usually termed “complimentary.”
Second, District 6 had to put a stack of money into an old Twisp Fire Department engine to make it usable and compliant with safety standards.
Third, District 6 does the maintenance, upgrades and annual inspections/testing on the buildings and apparatus, and owns the newer rigs that get used most; they’ve provided a ton of other equipment, as well.
Finally, an un-manned fire station doesn’t use a lot of domestic water or sewer; presumably the town is okay with using town water to put out town fires.
It’s not real clear to me why this is such a big deal. Twisp currently pays about the same as Winthrop for contract service, with a significantly larger population and area. In both cases, District 6 just wants everyone in the district to pay the same, based on property value, so talk of “doubling” the price is plain old nonsense. And if Twisp wants to disappear the issue altogether, it’s pretty easy: just explore annexation to the fire district, as they apparently agreed to do in the last negotiations. Then citizens of Twisp would get taxed directly, same as everybody in the unincorporated county, and Twisp government could concentrate on things that it does well.
I’m a bit of a geezer, and, over the years, I’ve noticed that most folks who accuse others of trying to get something for nothing are the first folks to try to get something for nothing. If everybody will settle down and approach the negotiations in good faith, it shouldn’t be a tough row to hoe: it’s just numbers on paper. Ego and innuendo aren’t useful.
Alan Fahnestock, Winthrop
Support artistic expression
Your editorial (April 1) regarding the “discussions” about Confluence Gallery’s current “XX XY” exhibit was very balanced — perhaps too balanced. Yes, we need to talk about whether there are forms of artistic expression that “go too far.” But it should be beyond question that this exhibit doesn’t. Given the critical importance of freedom of speech to every one of us, the presumption must be that artistic expression should be censored only in extraordinary circumstances.
I strenuously object to depictions of extreme violence, torture, and subjugation of humans and other animals, which are widespread in almost all media and express a facet of the human psyche that I think all would agree is abhorrent to a civil society. I’m disturbed that it can negatively influence our culture, but I would still exercise caution as to censorship of violence in media
To voice opposition to “uncomfortable” depictions of breasts or sexual organs in a private art exhibition is unjustified. If you don’t want to see it, don’t go to the exhibit! Thankfully, Confluence declined to withdraw any of the controversial pieces, and advocates of freedom of artistic expression actively demonstrated their support. I’m proud of our community for responding in this way to a request that would deny artists free expression and viewers the right to see provocative art.
Melanie Rowland, Twisp