I want to say thank you to responders at my accident. Also, thank you to Dr. Varnavus in Wenatchee. I am extremely lucky and thankful to be alive.
Micah Knox, Twisp
The annual car seat round-up was a great success! Locally, 20-plus expired/unsafe car seats were collected and the components recycled or discarded. That means unsafe car seats are out of circulation. We were also able to assist nine parents with car seat installation and recall checks, and provide replacement seats as needed. Thank you, Hank’s Harvest Foods, for use of your parking lot space, and Brewster Police Department technician Juana Escobar for assisting us with seat checks. Call Aero Methow Rescue Service at 997-4013 or Okanogan County Fire District 6 at 996-2227 if you have car seat questions or need a car seat installation checked.
Theresa Remsberg and Brian McAuliffe, Methow Valley Child Passenger Safety Team
Les Stokes has been a volunteer firefighter, former Twisp Town Council member, and planning commission member. He has also worked extensively with private firefighting companies and understands the firefighting business. Most of the fires that Okanogan County Fire District 6 responds to are wildland fires. Les Stokes’ goal is for District 6 to be better prepared with appropriate equipment and training for its volunteers to fight wildland fires. Les Stokes has promised to create a citizens’ advisory committee in order to allow the community to be better informed and provide input regarding District 6’s future. Les Stokes has promised to create a better working environment with the towns of Winthrop and Twisp for everyone’s benefit. I strongly encourage you to vote for Les Stokes for Fire District 6 commissioner.
Mike Port, Twisp
I have been remiss in not writing this sooner and for that I apologize. We have been to Twisp four times between July and October. When we came over in July we inquired about the ramp to the Education Station at TwispWorks. I use a wheelchair and wanted to participate in ClayFest in August. Sure enough thanks to Tori and Matt, the beautiful ramp was finished in only three weeks and in time for the event! I had a fabulous time, thanks to these two. We feel as though we are part of a community every time we visit. We love the farmers market, TwispWorks, and the art community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Gretchen Baar, Seattle
It’s not ‘hard’
Congratulations to the Sinclairs on the success of their new venture into cider. Anytime anyone makes a commitment on a business, especially around here, and has positive effect on the market they should be commended. I just wish they would not use and wouldn’t have to use that tacky four-letter “h” word to precede cider. Unfortunately, we “Merikans” have dubbed the ancient drink and the first adult beverage made by European/Americans in this country as “hard.” I’ve never found it hard — I think it goes down pretty easy!
In England, where our cider culture came from, plus the rest of Europe, all you have to say is cider, cidre or apfelwein and you know it means an adult beverage. If you were to ask Casey Ruud at Old Schoolhouse Brewery or John Morgan at Lost River Winery if they would like to have their drink called hard beer or hard wine, I’m pretty sure of their answers. Cider is to the apple what wine is to the grape, simple as that. If it’s not fermented, it’s apple juice. Oh, and thank you John Sinclair for pointing out your cidery, and I guess you meant to say our cidery, are the only two in the country that do live unpasteurized keg cider. Yes, we’ve been doing it for years, I didn’t know you knew!
Richard J. Wasson, Methow Valley Ciderhouse, Winthrop
Trust is at the very center of our relationship with any elected official we put in office. Roy Reiber violated that trust when he told me at a fire district commissioners’ meeting, “Well, yes I guess we did ignore the last election.” That is insane. The very foundation of our republic is the voice of the people, and it cannot be ignored.
Not only did the Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioners ignore our voice, they continued to spend our tax money like it was water. They maintained their position that what we specifically denied was going to happen, whether we liked it or not. This is also insane.
Simply put, we absolutely need to replace our District 6 commissioners, beginning with Roy Reiber.
Ron Perrow, Winthrop
Reiber is committed
It’s obvious that this year’s race for Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioner has come down to the issue of the replacement fire station in Winthrop. Roy Reiber is for it and Les Stokes is against it.
I have been a volunteer firefighter in Winthrop for nine years. I, along with all the members of the Winthrop Firefighters Association, and 28-plus members of Fire District 6, support Roy Reiber.
Based on comments made at the recent public forum, I was able to learn about Les Stokes and some of his ideas. He emphasized “thinking outside the box,” listing challenges such as adding more volunteers. That is excruciatingly obvious and efforts are continually being made in this direction, but it’s hard to keep up with attrition due to age, training requirements, and the fact that we are asking them to volunteer. He also talked about creating limited role positions so we wouldn’t have to fully train each volunteer. As a state-certified Structural Firefighter I, Wildland Firefighter II, Extrication Tech and lieutenant of the Winthrop station, I would say “thanks, but no thanks.”
Unfortunately for our community living in the urban interface, things don’t work this way. We could go to an auto accident that turns into a wildland fire, or we could get called to a small grass fire that morphs into a structure fire. This idea is not safe, not fair to me, not fair to other firefighters, and most importantly not fair to my wife and kids who depend on me to get home.
The last and maybe most concerning thing about Les is that he was asked to run by a group of taxpayers who don’t want to pay for a new fire hall. He’s being promoted and supported by a group that is willing to put my safety at risk because they don’t want to pay for a replacement fire station.
Roy supports the firefighters of District 6, and he’s been committed to this community for over 29 years in various roles as a firefighter, EMT, teacher, school administrator and Kiwanian. He’s committed to doing what it takes for our fire district to be safe. Join me in voting for Roy Reiber.
Mark Crum, Volunteer Lieutenant, Fire District 6
Valuing our firefighters
I attended the Twisp Valley Grange’s forum for the Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioner candidates and came away with concerns.
Mr. Stokes advocates governmental transparency by setting up a citizens’ advisory committee tasked to represent the general public in meetings with the commissioners. Mr. Stokes did not have a plan for how to set up this committee, how its participants would be selected, or how the public could make their concerns known. Isn’t the board of commissioners the district’s existing, democratically formed advisory committee?
In Mr. Stokes’ days of firefighting, the district had one paid position. Mr. Stokes plans to determine whether five paid positions are warranted. However, we are not “back in the day.” Today, our forests are overgrown, continued drought is possible, our population is growing, and fire behavior has become extreme. Having a stable base of several paid firefighters is an important safety measure, and insurance that someone will always show up for a fire.
Mr. Reiber believed appropriate training and equipment, public recognition and mentorship would attract needed volunteers. Mr. Stokes agreed recognition is needed, and recommended lifting time-consuming requirements for volunteers to become certified on structure protection. To swell ranks, Mr. Stokes would let volunteers get limited training fighting brush fires. What happens, then, if a brush fire threatens a structure and no certified structure fire fighters are at the scene, or even worse, only a couple are on scene and they put themselves at risk trying to fight the fire? This issue decided my vote. I disagree with Mr. Stokes’ “thinking outside the box” if firefighter safety and homes are at stake.
Let’s put value on this amazing resource — firefighting volunteers — by making sure they are well trained and well equipped, by making our homes as defensible as possible, by signing up for the reflective street number signs, by standing behind the seasonal “thank you firefighter” signs with a willingness to work with the commissioners, and yes, by asking our firefighters to proudly drive their rigs in each and every parade! You can bet volunteers will then want to join.
Kathryn Joy Heim, South of Winthrop