Thanks for series
I want to add my voice to those who have spoken, and written, thanking you for the series on Alzheimer’s disease. It is so fitting and appropriate — and timely for all of your readers. It seems we all know someone in the throes of, or diagnosed with, this terrible disease. Hearing how our community members are dealing with it has been incredibly helpful. It takes some of the fear and mystique away, and demontrates what is important in life — i.e. slowing down, appreciating people, nature and life while promoting a sense of humor.
That helps with the emotional and attitudinal aspects, but the article also deals with the physical and mental aspects, providing specific ways to (perhaps) slow it down. One does not have to give in to despair; one has choices to make in determining how to live life. I do not know Jerry or Raleigh, but I do know Don Reddington, who has been so open in sharing his experiences with all of us. While it is probably true of all who face this disease, I know it is true of Don — that being his generous acknowledgement of those who have been involved with him in this process, but never mistake that he is the one who has done the work.
Don is the one who, each day, strives to do all he can to make the best of the situation. Those around him can cheer him on, help with the minutiae of life, but he is the one who makes the choice to find a way to laugh, to do the exercises (mental and physical) to minimize the onslaught. He is the one who experiences the emotions and chooses to persevere. We readers also “get” that Don and Ginger are a team — a formidable one at that — and Ginger’s part in this is phenomenal. That comes through also in the articles. I agree with the letter-writer a few weeks ago saying this should be turned into a book. Whether that happens, I do thank you for being a part of and publishing this series. It’s one of the best decisions made for our paper.
Chris Holm, Winthrop
So Lindsey Swope wants to put in a mega-development at Skalitude (Methow Valley News, Sept. 9). What comes to me immediately is, why would she want to spoil a lovely piece of property near the headwaters of Libby Creek? What would that do to all the downstream residents’ water supply? It’s far from town (and fire rescue) on an unimproved road in a densely wooded area. Do her neighbors get a say in this?
Why did she not put in an offer for the Tice Ranch, which is already zoned for such usage?
Carolanne Steinebach, Twisp
Really bad idea
Last week as I watched helicopters crisscross the valley sky I could not help but again reflect on the tremendous loss of life, wildlife, the scarring of this beautiful landscape and the loss of personal property. Will perennial drought and wildfires be the new norm in the valley? I’ll remain optimistic they won’t be but unfortunately science is not on our side and time will certainly tell.
Other thoughts soon began to surface in my head, low snowpack and an even lower river, a valley heavily dependent on tourism revenue and the aforementioned helicopters but different helicopters, the military training variety the Army proposes to fly randomly, per their scoping document, “day and night, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” The Army think tank maintains the need to “be ready for immediate deployment worldwide in support of the National Defense Mission.”
While I am still wrapping my head around “deployment worldwide” and a relevant correlation to our “National Defense Mission,” it’s easy to vision the catastrophic effect that a phalanx of Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters thundering 500 feet above the valley floor will have. The random, unpredictable and unnecessary intrusion of these machines will prove to be a disruptive blight to both man and animal.
For the sake of economics, the environment and our sanity, allowing the Methow Valley to become a military training zone is a bad idea, a really bad idea. Let your voice be heard in Washington, D.C.
Edward Gutekanst, Methow and Snohomish
When we received the evacuation orders on Aug. 19, we decided to leave the valley with our three horses, dogs and cats. It was a surreal drive as we passed fires and emergency vehicles while heading south. Along the way, we posted messages to the Facebook group Okanogan County and to Methow Valley Local Topics of Interest to ask if anyone had space for three horses. There were many gracious offers but most were in the Omak area, where they were dealing with their own fires.
We decided to head to Wenatchee with the hope that Appleatchee Ranch would have room for our horses. We arrived late at night and put our horses in empty stalls. The hotels in Wenatchee were all booked, so we camped in the Appleatchee Ranch parking lot. As we got ready to sleep, Annie Budiselich and her volunteers arrived with 15 horses from Moccasin Lake Ranch. For the next several days, we helped each other find hotel rooms, tend to our horses and share news about the fire. It was great to be at Appleatchee with the Moccasin Lake volunteers.
The staff of Appleatchee Ranch was extremely gracious. One of their members anonymously donated bedding for our horses. We want to send them a big thank you. You made us feel very welcome, and we truly appreciate your generosity.
Jae Cremin and Mark Manzo, Winthrop
Part of something bigger
I am a veteran firefighter, and was in Twisp when they said farewell to our firefighter brothers! I drove up to Woods Canyon and said a quick prayer. I drove down to Hank’s Harvest Foods for a bite of food. While I was in line at the deli ordering, I saw the memorial ceremony on TV. After 27 years in the fire service, it still hits me like a brick to hear “Amazing Grace” and know why it is being played.
I can tell you this tune brings great sadness when I hear it played. I got chills and began to choke up as I watched the scene unfold on TV, as well as the other customers’ reaction to this tribute.
Life changes so suddenly, and we never know what the day will bring. These men got up and began their day just like any other. They did not know the fire would start or the fact they would be trapped. They simply went to work to be a part of something bigger than themselves. These men sacrificed their lives to fight to save property that did not belong to them, nor did they probably even know the owners. Yet they drove up a steep road with high, erratic winds because the fire demanded their efforts and actions to stop it.
God speed to you, my brothers!
Jeff Stephens, Chelan County