Help fight MS
On Saturday (April 18), a team of people living with multiple sclerosis, their family members and friends will represent the Methow Valley for the second year in the annual Walk MS in Wenatchee. Last year, our “team” had over 25 participants. In total, there were 224 walkers and over $34,000 was raised. The walk begins at 1 p.m. at Walla Walla Point Park.
I am asking you to support Walk MS because this cause is meaningful to me as I have been living with MS for over 15 years. I know of several other people here in the Methow Valley also living with this unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.
Team Methow invites you to join us in the cause, either by walking or donating. Every person makes a difference and every dollar counts. For more information, call me at 997-0818 or visit http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/LauraBannick2015.
Charlene Burns Hawley, Twisp
Oregon Rep. Blumenauer and Oregon Sen. Wyden have put forth a tax reform effort to eliminate IRC 280E, which results in a huge tax burden for legal marijuana businesses in Washington state. Its effect is that a legal marijuana business cannot deduct “ordinary and necessary” business expenses on their tax return; think rent and utilities. These businesses are unable to deduct the 25 percent excise tax that is currently levied on marijuana in Washington state. Legal marijuana businesses in Washington state are paying federal income tax on state excise tax.
Okanogan County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state of Washington. According to data from the Washington State Liquor Control Board website, Okanogan County currently has three state-licensed marijuana retailers, 23 state-licensed marijuana producers, and 18 state-licensed marijuana processors, all of which are struggling with the added federal tax burden of IRC 280E. This same data tells us that, since inception, legal marijuana businesses statewide have sold to date $141,872,649 (yes, million) of marijuana, with state excise tax collected of $35,468,164 (again, million!), none of which, because of IRC 280E, is deductible for federal income tax purposes. As businesses struggle with the limitations placed upon them because of IRC 280E, many of these business owners are questioning their financial viability. Jobs that were created with the inception of Initiative 502 will go away, throwing Okanogan County back into the race for highest unemployment rate in the state.
I urge you to join me in encouraging our Senators Cantwell and Murray, and Rep. Newhouse, to support Blumenauer and Wyden in their effort to eliminate IRC 280E. Encourage them to eliminate IRC 280E effective Jan.1, 2014, which will ease the financial burden on small businesses and job creators who operate, not only in the state of Washington, but in the other 22 states and Washington, D.C., who have legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational uses.
Carol Fisher, Winthrop
Eat, don’t spray
This is easily my favorite time in the Methow. The golden flowers of our native arrowleaf change our hillsides to gold while my favorite weed covers our lawns in little golden buttons.
It might sound strange to have a favorite weed, but dandelion has so many virtues that it’s an easy choice. The tender spring leaves of dandelion are full of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K1, potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene. It’s a time-honored tradition in many countries in Europe to pick those spring greens and eat them, not only for their valuable nutrition, but also for their ability to stimulate healthy digestion. The roots are similarly nutrient-dense and are currently being studied for their ability to prevent and address many types of cancer. Those beautiful golden flowers can be made into fritters, jelly, a delicious wine or even a salve for relieving aches and pains.
Because this is such a delicious and health-promoting plant it completely confounds me that so many people despise it. Instead of rushing out with their harvesting tools to enjoy this free food and medicine, they spray harmful chemicals to kill them. Many of those herbicides are proven to promote cancer and poison our soils and waters.
Why is there all this hatred against dandelions? Because lawns should be “pure?” Because dandelions make an area look “unkempt?” Are those good enough reasons to poison our beautiful valley? I say it’s time to end our war on dandelions and embrace them for the many benefits they so freely offer.
Rosalee de la Forêt, Twisp
Better judgment needed
Hundreds of millions of acres of rangelands, wildlife refuges, national forests, wilderness areas and historic sites could revert to the states or local governments or be auctioned off if measures recently agreed upon by the U.S Senate, House, and Okanogan County commissioners are implemented.
The U. S. Senate recently voted to support selling or giving away all federal lands other than the national parks and monuments. The House approved a nonbinding resolution proclaiming that the “federal estate is far too large,” supporting more control by states and local governments over resources. And in a county which treasures our public lands, the Omak Chronicle applauded similar plans winding a path through the Washington state Legislature.
In collaboration with Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, our commissioners passed Resolution No. 28-2014 supporting transfer of federal public lands to Washington state or Okanogan County; management of federal lands by Washington Department of Natural Resources (despite Carlton Complex Fire history); and outreach to the American Lands Council and others lobbying nationwide for such transfers. This council is supported by membership dues from 47 counties nationwide, a total of $219,000 (averaging $4,660 per county).
How much of this $219,000 came from Okanogan County in locally difficult times?
We, the voters of Okanogan County, elected three commissioners who have neglected important local issues in order to be at the forefront of this national movement. Commissioners’ meetings reveal significant time and resources spent promoting these ideologies while crucial county issues are back-shelved. The commissioners have substituted their often ill-informed judgment for that of experienced, well-trained wildlife specialists, forestry and entomology scientists, and economic analysts; declined to support Chiliwist citizens requesting that a public road remain open for fire-related needs; thoughtlessly canceled contracts with Methow citizens who pull their own roadside weeds; patronizingly ignored public testimony on land use; and accrued litigation expenses unnecessarily.
When county voters choose two new commissioners in 2016 for four-year terms, let’s vote for candidates who have shown better judgment, consider their local responsibilities a top priority, and have genuine respect for the public process.
Isabelle Spohn, Twisp
‘Yes’ on levies
We strongly urge you to vote “yes” for the upcoming school levies.
As a nonprofit volunteer group whose mission (including fundraising efforts) is to support Liberty Bell High School student participation in activities, we understand that our schools are facing a critical juncture regarding facility and transportation improvements.
These same facilities are used by the community at large, and school district activities/athletic events bring an economic boost to our community. School officials have been dealing with hard issues regarding provision of safe facilities, refusal of other schools’ participation in events due to the undesirable conditions of some of our facilities, and inability to provide adequate equipment for our students and student athletes.
The levies are a bargain when considering all those in our community who will benefit from the improvements. Please support our valley youth in their endeavors. Vote yes!
Dee Townsend, Shaun Seibel, Mary Moseley, Tom Kennedy, Rick and Cathie Lewis, Jennifer Duguay, Heidi Miller, Don and Gale Haley, Pam Purtell, Emily and Lincoln Post, Stacey Cooley
Liberty Bell Booster Club
A stupid law
Who would have thought? The county commissioners are ready to sign off on the comprehensive plan after many years and much taxpayer money spent fighting Methow Valley Citizens Council (MVCC) lawsuits. But as soon as they sign, MVCC will file multiple lawsuits. Again! This has been happening for decades. Costing taxpayers many millions, maybe billions. Example: The residents vote to allow ATVs on county roads. MVCC files suit again! This minority group constantly files suits against the majority.
I understand the commissioners may get rid of the ridiculous Shoreline Master Plan. This plan says that riverfront property owners must allow public use access to the property from the average high-water mark back 100 feet. But the public can’t cross private property to reach this strip of land. So, if some group of floaters pulls out along my property, I’m supposed to allow them to come up on my 100-foot strip and camp, picnic, cut down trees, dig fire pits or whatever? When they leave their trash and human waste, who will clean it up? I’ll be calling the MVCC to do the clean-up!
The plan doesn’t protect fish and wildlife or the shoreline habitat, and doesn’t improve river access. It’s just a stupid law that was force upon us by environmental groups, state and federal governments.
This river already has great public access. I’ve had thousands of anglers stay at my park and never heard any say, “I can’t find river access.” If you have waders, you can practically walk the length of the river mostly on dray below the high water mark.
Myself and most of the landowners along this river are angler- and floater-friendly as long as they stay below the high water mark. This river is unique because except for maybe 5 miles there are roads and public access on both sides.
But really, MVCC isn’t about protecting the environment. This group doesn’t want any growth in our valley and their goal is to make so many land use regulations that no growth can happen.
I’m grateful our commissioners are trying to stop the stupid state and federal regulations imposed on our county.
Randy Moore, Methow