Your roads, your rights
We the citizens of Okanogan County have the right to expect that our paved county roads be used for their lawful intent. The major and minor connector roads that we all use to go to our jobs, our towns, our doctors, our schools and our county seat should have a reasonable speed limit. Yes, we as citizens can petition the county to change speed limits on certain roads if we feel they are unsafe at speeds over 35 mph or if they have severe infrastructure problems.
Petitions by special user groups such as the ATV lobby who want to change our connector roads of 40/50 mph to 35 mph for recreational use should not be considered a benefit to the citizens of Okanogan County.
The county engineer will, by order of the county commissioners, assess the need for changing portions of East Chewuch Road, Bear Creek Road to Pearrygin Lake, and Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road to 35 mph (look for the little red signs). This assessment should be based on use, unsafe driving conditions and infrastructure problems.
You have the right as a citizen to comment on these proposed changes. Be proactive. Write a letter, go to the hearing. If the county commissioners approve this change to 35 mph for recreational use, it will set a precedent to continue these changes.
Contact your commissioners through email@example.com, or send a comment to Jo Ann Stansbury, Department of Public Works 1234-A, Okanogan, WA 98840.
Roxie and Carl Miller, Winthrop
Recently, my wife and I spent a few days in Twisp. We found much to love: old friends, new friends, great scenery, impressive artisans, polite young men selling homemade ice cream, and the cantor at St. Genevieve’s Catholic church, who truly has the voice of an angel.
However, something occurred at the Methow Valley Farmers Market which troubles me still. My old friend, a courageous Vietnam War veteran, was verbally accosted simply because he was a veteran of that war. The man who did all the yelling had a booth of sorts at the entrance to the market. I, too, am a military veteran of that difficult time, and am proud of my service to our country.
To hear this man rant and spew hatred brought back memories of being spat upon in an airport at the end of my overseas deployment as I was about to rejoin my family. Those who verbally abused me and spat on me were, by all accounts, too cowardly to serve and unfit to wear the uniform. I truly believe the man’s behavior in Twisp has no place in a wonderful, family-oriented atmosphere such as your farmers market.
In spite of the poor behavior of that individual, we will fondly remember our visit to Twisp. Thank you for your hospitality.
Dr. James F. Hermoe, Saint James, Minnesota
Methow At Home making progress
Since presenting a public forum on March 31, Methow At Home has made real progress toward becoming a local institution to help us remain in our own homes as we age. Half the valley’s population is 50 and older, and 24 percent of the people with Twisp and Winthrop ZIP codes are 65 or older. This gives the Methow Valley a higher percentage of older people than the national average!
Over 100 people attended the public forum, and since then many have backed up their belief in the value of creating Methow At Home by signing up as founding members, making donations, and becoming benefactors.
Methow At Home is being developed under the fiscal sponsorship of The Cove, and is part of a national movement to create membership “virtual” villages. Through our village we can connect and help each other with everyday tasks, transportation needs, and finding ways to get the services we need and want in order to continue living in our community.
The $30,000 donated by our benefactors will allow Methow At Home to hire a part-time employee now, before having enough members and dues to afford staff. The coordinator will have a voice in shaping how we function, be the communications hub for members and volunteers, and, using software designed for virtual villages, become our online management “expert.” Methow At Home is currently seeking applicants for the coordinator position.
Founding members pay their dues now and can join committees to help launch Methow At Home. When enough volunteers have signed up and attended volunteer orientation, we will be ready to start filling members’ requests for assistance. Then, founding members will get 15 months of services for the price of a one-year membership. Enrollment of Founding Memberships closes July 31. We will be welcoming regular members after that.
Members can also be volunteers, and many will be. Younger people and those of us not ready to ask for help will also sign up as volunteers to create a sustainable institution. For more information go to www.methowathome.org.
Ellen Lamiman, Winthrop
Right now the U.S. Forest Service and the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative are angling for a massive logging operation that would damage approximately 6,000 acres of the Libby Creek and Buttermilk watersheds. Interestingly, it’s called the Mission Project, a name which veils the exact drainages it will affect.
The project is founded on selective and circular reasoning that supports the forgone conclusion that logging is beneficial to these lands. This reasoning is not looking to the past as a teacher, the present as an amazing opportunity to truly be stewards of the land, or the future which holds our children and the survival of the planet.
The justification for the project is so-called “restoration.” But all of the ideas being discussed (fuel reduction, stand rejuvenation, thinning) boil down to a single approach: cut trees. Some of the actual impacts, on the ground, will include soil erosion, destruction of wildlife habitat, stream sedimentation and water temperature increases, altered snow-pack retention and run-off due to decreased canopy.
With cutting likely to start in 2016 unless the brakes are put on, I encourage all of us who care about these areas to lobby for their protection. Interested people are meeting regularly and a Facebook page for sharing ideas and information has been created.
Donna Pema Bresnahan, Libby Creek Watershed Association, Carlton
Better for bears
I read your paper way down as far as you can go in Florida.
My heart just about broke in two when Cinder (the bear) was found half-burned to death. The way you people handled her was amazing to say the least.
Down here in Florida, every day or so the news of the day is another black bear seen running through some backyard. The way that is handled is to shoot the bear, and now they are holding a bear hunt to kill them all! Dumb!
Thank God for you people, you all, who live way up there, where the sight of a black bear is something to behold.
Homer F. Bruneau, North Fort Myers, Florida
I would like to thank all the wonderful Methovians who came to my birthday party on June 25 to wish me a happy 75th. And special thanks to my wonderful daughter, Jennifer Duguay, and Bill and their kids, and my wonderful daughter-in-law, Shelley Lima and our son Ben, and their kids for putting it on. I loved the skits our grandchildren did. Also special thanks to Family Dog, who donated their time and talent for the gala. It was also great to have a number of out-of-town guests, like former Liberty Bell High School exchange student Jorn Seppelin and his wife, Monica, who surprised us all the way from Finland.
Wayne Mendro, Twisp
Thanks so much to the Winthrop Kiwanis for the timely work on the Classroom in Bloom gazebo and the Little Star “Louie.” Restoring these wooden structures will benefit hundreds of kids, for many years to come. We truly appreciate your time and skilled work!
Katharine Bill, Mazama