Concerning Dana Visalli’s recent letter, I’m not sure what lie he is talking about, so I will restrict my comments to a few of his questionable statements.
• “The United States divided Vietnam into North and South.” This is untrue. When the French surrendered to the Vietminh in 1954, both parties signed the Geneva Agreement that stated the country would be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel for two years, then an election would be held in July 1956 to see if the country could be united. Other countries that participated in coming to this agreement were Britain, Red China, the United States, Russia, Cambodia and Laos. With eight countries involved and three of them cold war enemies, I have a hard time believing the United States could simply divide Vietnam and have the others say OK. The Vietnamese themselves in the 16th century divided their country at the 16th parallel.
• “United States created North and South Korea.” Again not true, there were other countries involved like Russia, Japan and Red China. Korea ended up divided because when Russia entered the war against Japan, Roosevelt and Stalin agreed that Russia would invade from the north and the United States would come up from the south and meet at the 38th parallel, rounding up Japanese soldiers. Russia got greedy and wanted all of Korea, and the United States resisted the Russian power play, hence the world ended up with two Koreas.
• Ho Chi Minh, an avowed communist for 20-plus years, reading the U.S. Declaration of Independence sounds like a skit from “Saturday Night Live” or “The Daily Show.” If Uncle Ho was such a believer in the Declaration of Independence, why did he not use it as an outline when he formed his government, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (truly an oxymoron)? Instead he became a “mini me” Stalinist and started killing and jailing tens of thousands of Vietnamese during his repressive agrarian land reform. Close to a million escaped the north for South Vietnam.
Tom Larson, Mazama
I am writing because I feel it is important that people vote for a particular candidate in the upcoming election for Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioner. Roy Reiber has been a long-time supporter of the local fire district. He has undoubtedly ruffled some feathers at various times throughout his previous terms as fire commissioner. However, he always has the best interest of the volunteer firefighters as his main concern.
The decisions the commissioners make affect the firefighters. I am concerned that the alternate candidate running for the commissioner position will make decisions based solely on saving money. Unfortunately, fire fighting isn’t cheap. I don’t want to be sitting in the cheapest fire engine money can buy. The commissioners need to make decisions based on budget and safety needs.
I believe I am alive today due to choices that were made several years ago by the current commissioners to purchase an urban interface engine. I unfortunately was entrapped in the Twisp River Fire up Woods Canyon with no way out and had to ride out the fire in the cab of our engine. This new style of engine has an external, remotely operated water cannon that we were able to spray around our engine to survive the burn over. It was terrifying, but I survived, and I wholeheartedly believe it was because of the excellent training and the equipment provided by the fire district.
We are a small rural district and have a limited tax base. Yes, decisions need to take costs into account. I feel Roy Reiber has done an excellent job of spending the taxpayer’s money. Please cast your vote for Roy Reiber.
Bill McAdow, Volunteer firefighter, District 6
Consider Les Stokes
Regarding the upcoming election for Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioner: While Mr. Reiber has served as a firefighter and EMT he is, like all of us, good at some things and not so good at others. As an administrator and chairman of the commissioners, he has not done well. His lack of ability to show respect to the voters has been shown with thoughtless remarks that need not be repeated. His comments during negotiations with the Town of Twisp were no better.
Twice the voters said “no” to the district’s proposed building levy, but Mr. Reiber continued to march on and try to go around the voters. He could have met with the voters and come up with a plan that would have been acceptable to both the district and the voters, but no attempt was made at this. Financially, Mr. Reiber has OK’d spending in excess of $1 million toward a building that voters said “no” to.
The volunteer firemen are not being supported with this kind of attitude. They have heard promises for about eight years and have nothing to show for it. The time for change is now. With this said, take a look at Les Stokes. He was a fireman for many years and a city council member for the Town of Twisp. After speaking with Mr. Stokes, here are some of the items he supports: He wants to have a citizens’ advisory council and find out what the voters feel the direction of the district should be. He feels our hard-earned dollars should be spent wisely when they need to be spent at all. He wants to support the volunteers and grow their numbers so the Mazama and Carlton stations can be at full strength.
This is the time your vote does mean something, so be sure to vote.
Thanks, volunteers, for your efforts again this summer!
Ross Darling, Twisp
Thinning the forests
Thank you for Tania Gonzalez Ortega’s forest cartoon on last week’s editorial page. It’s not just little trees that feel our forests are too crowded. As an old smokejumper and retired national park ranger, I know they’re too crowded. Our challenge is to somehow convince the tree-huggers who have been brainwashed by the Sierra Club to finally face reality.
I was also encouraged by your front-page subtitle that mentioned “grazing to reduce fire risk.” Alan Savory, Judith Schwartz, Dan O’Brien and Dan Dagget need to be read as much for grass, as Steve Arno needs to be read for trees. The website www.newforestrycoalition.org will provide enlightened information for those who missed the presentation and discussion at the Twisp Valley Grange last month.
Eric Burr, Lost Mazama