To those who use Winthrop Post Office to recycle: New posters have been placed above the recycle bags, designating what to discard where. Personnel at Methow Recycles are proud of the “clean” products they send away. You are part of this service for the community and can help reduce processing costs by putting your unwanted mail in the proper bag. Currently only glossy magazines/catalogs and newspapers are being sorted out for separate cycling. All other envelopes, flyers, postcards, etc., go into one bag. We appreciate your taking time to help recycling by reading the posters and tossing correctly.
Dotti Wilson, Winthrop
Getting along with rattlers
The Methow Valley News article of July 29 alerting residents and visitors to rattlesnake encounters was useful. Having worked seasonally for a good many years in the rattlesnake-dense Rendezvous area of the Methow Valley, I am obliged to make additional comments. Rattlesnakes are sagebrush wildlife, making their way in a sagebrush ecosystem. In more than a dozen years of personal land restoration work and work with a small crew, we have never had a problem encounter. The snakes are seen regularly, but the language below is incorporated into our work practices.
Good sense in rattlesnake country means to keep your eyes and ears open and to not put your hands or feet any place your eyes haven’t seen. The most common view of rattlesnakes on the sagebrush project is their tail as they get away from the people. The snakes are not looking for a fight but will defend and protect themselves.
If you encounter a rattlesnake, give the animal its space, and allow it room to retreat. If you see a snake coiled to strike rather than retreating, it is almost always that you were not paying attention to all of the events leading up to the defensive coil and strike position. Pay attention, be watchful of the landscape, especially under shrubs, near rocks, and at other possible resting and hiding places for snakes.
That’s it. This language above has always been a useful guideline.
Susan Crampton, Twisp/Winthrop
Lots of questions
Obama’s presidential agenda has been to demolish our Christian history from 1776 (and even from 1620). To demolish the Christian faith and Christian church. To demolish Christian marriage and promote promiscuous male-on-male sodomy (and lesbian on lesbian). To institutionalize perverted Muslim practices, like jihad, to replace Christian institutions. To disband national unity for racial conflict and mutual hatred. To ban Christian kindness and mercy for Muslim brutality. To disband America’s economic miracles for socialism. To debase American morality for Islamic barbarism.
We are destroying America’s Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence and all our national freedoms. We are hastening America’s annihilation with Obama’s frenzied dismantling of all our defenses. We have denounced and crushed our own “One nation Under God” (our Creator and Provider). We have ruined our nation with filth and debauchery.
Obama is here with his anti-Reagan revolution — climaxing today! We now have a president with no practical skills. No work experience. No accomplishments. No goals. No morals. No values. No history. No loyalties. No integrity and no future. Is he a chameleon or a man?
Why is our military so disgusted with this commander? Why is our nation collapsing from his incompetence? Will this national suicide finally solve our problems? Will our multitude of national enemies save us or devour us? Can we accept what is now at our doorstep? Was our freefall into empty jihad worth anything?
Will today’s America be obliterated like Sodom and Gomorrah? Will the world be better off?
Ward Hartzell, Twisp
Take a hard look
I write in response to the letter by Chrystal Perrow in the Aug. 5 issue. Ms. Perrow criticizes the fine levied against the Kleins, owners of an Oregon bakery, who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding celebration. She described their reason as “their Christian belief that marriage is defined by God as being between a man and a woman, and the Kleins viewed baking the wedding cake as violating that belief.”
I would never call Ms. Perrow a homophobe since she denies being one. However, I was struck by the fact that she uses the phrase “choice of lifestyle” when describing homosexuals. She claims to have worked with homosexuals and to have such individuals in her family, but I wonder if she’s ever had a conversation with any of them about whether they are “choosing” to be homosexual as opposed to just being who they are. Has she ever wondered why an otherwise rational person would “choose” a lifestyle that would mean enduring difficulties not suffered nor even imagined by heterosexuals?
I think Ms. Perrow got it backwards. People who accept a Christian belief system, to whatever degree they do, are the ones making a choice of lifestyle. Unfortunately, unlike many other Christians, the Kleins have chosen a particularly narrow view of what it means to be a Christian. I think the Kleins and Ms. Perrow should take a hard look at their own choice to stick their noses in the air in disapproval, turn their backs on other human beings, and call it the Christian thing to do.
Susan Samuelson, Winthrop
Missing the point
Setting aside several factual errors in her Aug. 5 letter to the editor, Chrystal Perrow misses the point of the law. Religious freedom does not extend to discrimination in business practices.
If the Kleins had refused service based upon their “deeply held religious beliefs” to some other group, such as Hispanics or the handicapped, would Ms. Perrow be so outraged? If the Kleins were Muslim and imposed their beliefs by refusing service to a butcher who sells pork, would she be so eager to defend their religious freedom?
The Kleins’ behavior has not been particularly Christian since the original incident, and they only narrowly avoided harassment charges on top of the initial fine. The law, if anything, appears to have been applied with some constraint.
Bob Hunt, Renton and Twisp
Have you served?
If the position opposing the Army’s pilot training proposal had been the country’s prevailing attitude circa 1941, those of us who survived would be speaking German or Japanese now. How many of you who oppose allowing our helicopter pilots to train in landing techniques at high altitude in your backyard, due to the bothersome noise and harmful effect on animals and plants (plants?), have served your country?
Steve and Anne Peck, Winthrop
Denying a basic freedom
I hope that last week’s letter about an Oregon bakery refusing to provide a cake for a lesbian wedding and being subsequently ordered to pay damages has nothing to do with the Methow Valley. Indeed, in the one instance I remember of a blatant, public anti-gay act in the Methow, the response against the perpetrator(s) was overwhelming and reassuring. There were more signatures on a protest letter to this newspaper than I have ever seen.
Religious freedom means the right to worship (or not) as you choose. It does not mean you can run a business as your church dictates when it violates the law. From the decision of the Oregon Labor Commissioner: “Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society. The ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry. … The denial of these basic freedoms to which all are entitled devalues the human condition of the individual, and in doing so, devalues the humanity of us all.”
I wonder how the letter writer would feel if different bakery owners reneged on an agreement to make a wedding cake on learning that the wedding was to be Jewish or interracial. Or is this case different because anti-gay church teachings are different from anti-Semitic or racist teachings?
The amount of the award may sound high if taken out of context. The lengthy final decision describes much more than simple refusal of service, including telling the mother who went with one of the couple to the bakery that gay people are “an abomination.” Taken with extensive other facts in evidence, the administrative law judge and then the commissioner found ample basis for the award.
Finally, the bakery owners publicly released personal information about the couple and made repeated media appearances. This was followed by the lesbian couple receiving death threats and vicious attacks on social media. The final decision noted this but did not take it into account.
Randy Brook, Twisp
Scoping document available
There is a scoping document and a petition regarding the Joint Base Lewis-McChord off-base helicopter training areas, at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp, with information regarding making comments on the proposal. Comments are due at the Army’s environmental office by Sept. 4.
L. Simpson, Twisp
Thanks from the Whales
The Methow Valley Killer Whales Swim Team board of directors would like to thank those who helped make this swim season such a success!
A special thanks to our swimmers and their parents; volunteers; the Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp and lifeguards; the Town of Twisp for the extra hand in making sure our home meets, especially championships, were successful; Friends of the Pool; and the biggest thanks to our wonderful coaches! It definitely takes a team effort to ensure such success for our kids. We look forward to next year’s season.
Andy Floyd, Georgia Darwood, Alicia Dammann, Stacey Cooley, Lisa Wallis, Tina Bakke, Kim Odell, MV Killer Whales board of directors
A few corrections
In response to Ms. Seeman’s letter (Aug. 5), I will start where she says the young Vietnamese she met referred to the United States as invaders. You cannot be an invader when you are asked to help. In December 1961, the president of South Vietnam requested help from the United States because of the North Vietnamese aggression into South Vietnam. President Kennedy sent U.S. military personnel to help the south deal with invading North Vietnamese troops.
The North Vietnamese government was breaking the Geneva Agreement it and the south signed in 1954 after the defeat of the French. Any unification of the two countries was to be handled by a general election monitored by Canada, India and Poland. This election never happened. Soon after that, close to 1 million North Vietnamese civilians left the north and migrated to the south. Ho Chi Minh and his Communist thugs realized they were not going to win any election to unify the north and south, and so believed their only option was to invade and defeat the south. The young Vietnamese must have missed that class in Vietnam’s history.
Several other points she makes are incorrect. For example, she states that “poor, largely uneducated and mostly very young black men were drafted to fight the war and were ill prepared to fight a guerrilla war.” Outside of being young, not one of these statements is true. We were well trained. The majority of troops were middle- and lower middle-class. Education wise, 79 percent had a high school education or higher compared to 45 percent for WW II troops; 25 percent of the U.S. force in Vietnam, compared to 66 percent in WW II, were draftees. Of the number of Americans killed in Vietnam, 87 percent were white, 12 percent black. Blacks at the time were about 13 percent of the general population.
Lastly, I never said the United States did not commit atrocities. I only referred to my tour over there and was responding to Dana Visalli’s earlier cheap-shot comments. My opinion on My Lai and other atrocities: The military leadership responsible should have been court-martialed and sent to prison.
Tom Larson, Mazama
This public forum is open to all who would like to comment on issues of importance to the Methow Valley community. We encourage letter writers to be civil and respectful in their comments, elevating the quality of the public debate. Letters must be fewer than 350 words and may be edited for libel, grammar and taste.
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