Thanks for support
Thank you to the community for the kindness and support shown to our family following the death of our son, Robert Scott Brown. We received so many calls, cards, flowers and much appreciated food. A special thank you to my dear friends at the Methow Valley Senior Center – they have gone the extra mile to help us get through this loss.
The Graves and Brown family, Winthrop
We are filled with gratitude for the wonderful and generous people who produced the recent Kids for Congo Concert: Lisa Wallis and Stephanie Strong, Liv and Margo Aspholm, and Sarah and Keeley Brooks. Also, thanks go to Terry Hunt for doing all the sound and to all the wonderful, talented participants, including Lisa, Liv and Keeley. It’s so amazing that these kids care so much for needy children whom they don’t even know.
Thanks to the Methow Valley United Methodist Church for allowing us to have the concert there. We raised over $2,000 and got three new sponsors who agreed to send Congolese orphans to school. Mungu amibariki (God bless you in Swahili).
Linda and Wayne Mendro, Twisp
We are two 17-year-old Liberty Bell High School juniors who attend Mrs. Monahan’s chemistry class. To prepare for Earth Day this year, we did a life-cycle analysis of a product of our choice, and researched the energy consumption and the chemistry of raw and recycled materials. For further understanding, our class embarked on a field trip to Methow Recycles and the Okanogan County landfill to witness their processes and inspire us to get involved with the community.
It worked! Each student in our class began an “action project” – some sort of community service that would educate as well as benefit the community in some way during Earth Week. We decided to join forces with Methow Recycles and sort as many aluminum cans as we could that had been picked up by volunteers. We first had to separate the aluminum cans from the litter. Then, we selected, at random, about 1,082 cans, roughly 40 percent of the total number of cans that had been collected.
We sorted all of the 1,082 cans according to brand and whether they had contained alcoholic beverages. Our data was astounding. From what we sampled (keep in mind, this was only about 40 percent of the total number of cans), alcohol content accounted for about 87 percent of cans. With rough math, this makes the total number of aluminum cans collected 2,705 and the total number of alcohol cans about 2,353.
This information is overwhelming for us, because as many of you should know, having an open container of alcohol in one’s car at all can lead to a $124 ticket per person in the vehicle, and is 100 percent against the law. If over 2,353 cans that contained alcohol are ending up on our roadways, then clearly there are many people out there who still find drinking and driving an acceptable option. Worse yet is that turning the evidence into litter is considered a reasonable solution.
And Dorothy thought lions, tigers and bears were scary.
Katlynn Umberger, Santana Johnson, Twisp
Drug addicts are people, too
I take offense with Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow’s policing tactics and goals as described in the May 14 edition of the Methow Valley News. Paul describes a policy of forcing drug offenders to leave Twisp through intimidation and harassment. He describes using surveillance cameras on people’s private residences, possibly illegal searches, “if they are driving down the street there is always something I can stop them for,” and a general disrespect for the people he is interacting with.
I would like to remind Paul that the “10 percent of the people that commit 90 percent of the crimes” are members of my community. I have watched some of them grow up and some have watched me grow. Though drug addicts may not necessarily lead the most functional lives, they are members of our community.
Rather than work to drive these people away to communities where no one knows them, and rather than push them into a justice system that is “overcrowded,” costly and ineffective in dealing with mental health issues, perhaps we should look to help them.
Shiah Lints, Winthrop
Question for Forest Service
Your article last week on the U.S. Forest Service opening up hundreds of miles of public lands to ATVs failed to answer (or even raise) an important question: Why is the USFS so hell-bent on ignoring its own statutes and regulations to open roads to ATVs?
In March 2014, then forest supervisor Michael Balboni unilaterally (that is, without public input except privately from ATV organizations) opened most Forest Service roads to ATVs. After the Methow Valley Citizens Council and Conservation Northwest pointed out the blatant illegality of this action to his superiors, Balboni reversed his decision.
Less than a year later, it’s the same story. After closed-door meetings, the Forest Service announced it will bypass the legally mandated travel management planning process and open forest roads to ATVs next month. The News should be asking: Why? Is there some hidden political motivation or other connection between the Forest Service and the ATV lobby?
Finally, why does the Forest Service believe that volunteer monitors will be an adequate substitute for actual Forest Service enforcement of regulations limiting off-road riding? Please ask anyone in the valley whose private lands have been criss-crossed by ATV trespassers what they think about that, and report the answers. Then ask the Forest Service why it thinks relying on self-enforcement will work.
Randy Brook, Twisp