Don’t demolish it
A recent news article stated the Town of Twisp was granted $500,000 to help with planning for a new civic center. I have no problem of a new building, just the plan to demolish a useable one that probably has a market value of a few hundred thousand dollars if it was put up for sale. Maybe it doesn’t fit the town’s needs anymore but would suit some other business fine.
It would seem more logical to take the money needed to demolish it and buy the corner lot that’s for sale on the other side of the old bank building and build it there. A plus for this is that Town Hall business wouldn’t have to relocate twice while demolishing and rebuilding. Business could still be conducted in the old building until the new one was completed, and then the staff could relocate on one of their three-day weekends. Also, traffic on Glover Street and Third Avenue wouldn’t be impeded like it would be during demolition and site clean-up. It wouldn’t have to be built all at once, it could be done a little at a time as grant money became available.
The old building’s problems, like the hollow walls, have been exaggerated out of proportion to justify demolishing it. I can almost guarantee that every block building in this town and around this valley, built 65 years ago, have hollow walls. None of their occupants seem concerned. However, they might not know it either if they aren’t 65 or older like me! Town Hall’s 8-inch walls have now been filled with cement and rebar which also repaired the cracked wall and is probably the most solid building in town now.
The old grade school, The Merc Playhouse and the Gibson building are all brick buildings around 100 years old and they are still in use. Properly maintained, the Town Hall building will be standing another 65 years or 165 for that matter if it isn’t demolished for want of something better!
Al Ames, Twisp
More about Lyme
Concerning the article “Winthrop family worries tick bite exposed child to Lyme disease,” I’d like to make certain points.
Blood tests for Lyme disease are notoriously unreliable due to the life cycle of the Lyme spirochete.
Lyme disease is spread most commonly from the juvenile tick in its first year of life. At that time it is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Few people notice being bitten by a tick that size.
There is a myth that someone bitten with a Lyme-infested tick will develop a “bulls-eye rash” at the site of the bite. This is not necessarily true, and recent research suggests this is likely more the exception than the rule.
The most important idea to grasp about Lyme disease is its status as “the great mimicker.” Due to its ability to invade and infect different tissues, people with Lyme disease are often diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, ALS, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
This is complicated by the fact that a tick bite that does transmit Lyme is often going to transmit co-infections such as babesia, ehrlichia, bartonella, and mycoplasma, making diagnosis and treatment even more demanding.
Many insurance companies, for arcane reasons, will not cover testing for Lyme, in spite of patients giving classical clinical evidence of having the disease.
Sadly, few doctors have any depth of understanding of the disease. Most patients with Lyme, especially chronic Lyme, see 10 to 40 doctors before finding one who can help them. If Lyme is suspected, it is essential to find a doctor who is familiar with the research into diagnosis and treatment.
Finally, the argument that a non-FDA-approved laboratory is not to be trusted seems questionable. If one reads the small print on our FDA-approved prescription drugs as to side effects, including death, when one looks at the drugs the FDA has approved and then had to recall, due to side effects, including death, one can’t be terribly comfortable with their understanding of medicine.
Most Lyme disease specialists claim that the only truly reliable method of diagnosis is a clinical evaluation.
Lawrence Hooper, Twisp
Many thanks to Don Reddington and his entire team for the excellent series of articles on living with Alzheimer’s disease. The practical advice in these columns has been invaluable in interacting with friends and family members with various stages of the disease. It has helped me understand the process of mental deconstruction much better. As more and more people receive this diagnosis, and as I get older, and possibly face this future myself, I feel better prepared.
Has thought been given to assembling these columns into a book? I think they deserve a wider audience.
Marian Exall, Bellingham and Winthrop
Commissioners put us at risk
It is almost impossible and extremely expensive to get insurance in areas of Okanogan County, especially where there is no fire district.
Just over a year ago, in April 2014, we had a fire at our place in Tunk Valley. We lost a cabin, hay barn and hay, as well as our beloved Heston tractor. We did not have insurance. It was a significant financial hit.
In the past people could get insurance through the Grange, but now, even our local Grange cannot get insurance.
It is ironic that the county commissioners are zoning for high-density development, in places that insurance companies, given increased risk of wildfire, will not touch.
This year in Tunk Valley, where the commissioners would allow two (uninsured) houses per acre, we have fires in the west portion of valley and also to the east. Which way will the wind blow?
Willy-nilly high-density zoning throughout the county by incumbent county commissioners is incomprehensible, given last year’s Carlton Complex Fire and the widespread fires throughout the county this year. Fire resources are spread so thin, throughout the West, that there is talk of reaching out to New Zealand for help. The county commissioners land-use “planning” puts people in harm’s way.
Insurance companies recognize the risk. We need county commissioners who can recognize risk and care enough to adopt responsible land use planning for this county and its people.
After two fire seasons, the commissioners still refuse to incorporate the Community Wildfire Protection Plan into the comprehensive plan. Incumbent commissioners have burned their bridges and lost credibility, by insisting on maximizing development over all other considerations, including wildfire risk and water scarcity.
Nancy Soriano, Tunk Valley