Invest in Three Rivers
Where do you plan to go for urgent care or childbirth as a Methow Valley resident? As residents of Hospital District 1, our taxes are helping to support Brewster’s Three Rivers Hospital. We have the option to go to any hospital for services, and many of us choose hospital services outside of our hospital district. Some of us can afford the expense of traveling to Wenatchee, or may choose another hospital in the county. Have you considered making the local choice? When you choose Three Rivers, you are helping to sustain and finance a very important local resource.
In the past three years, we have utilized Three Rivers for the births of our two grandchildren. The care our family members received at Three Rivers was exemplary. Staff are very highly qualified and the attitude is patient-centered. The hospital provided every necessary service by a team that is efficient and compassionate. Their dedication is reflected in their longevity of service to Three Rivers. Our local hospital has received the highest honor of baby-friendly OB services, one of only five hospitals in the state with that distinction.
During our stay at Three Rivers Hospital, it became apparent that the building is deteriorating, and we learned that some of the equipment needs replacing. Our local hospital depends on us to make improvements through taxes and levies. The current levy is asking for monies desperately needed to bring the hospital up to date, to replace a leaky roof and to install an updated heat/cooling system for the emergency department. If this levy doesn’t pass, we may be facing the possibility of losing this important resource for the Methow/Pateros/Brewster communities.
Please consider joining us in investing in the future of health care for our communities by voting yes on the hospital levy and levy lid lift. This may be one of the best investments you ever make, and you can feel good about investing locally.
Karen Jacobsen and Bruce Morrison, Twisp
Learning from mistakes
Wildfires have increased attention to forestry and land management, on both private lands and public lands. Good. May we learn from past mistakes and incorporate ongoing changes.
Pacific Northwest forestry history includes pre-European old-growth forests, Native American purposeful burning at selected sites for uses such as hunting and berry picking, white-man’s commercial and industrial logging in the last 100 years or so, environmental protection laws from the 1970s to address resource damage and abuses from industrial logging, and continued reactionary protectionism that further limited logging.
To accomplish better forestry, recent multi-interest group collaboration in the Methow Valley and in the north central Washington region has been a foundation for several successful forestry thinning and prescribed burning projects in the last few years. Multi-interest involvement has included timber industry, conservation groups, government agencies, private landowners and others.
The Methow Valley Ranger District has made changes in forestry practices in recent years as well. The results of selective thinning and prescribed burning can be seen on the ground, with tree density decreased, with larger diameter trees continuing to grow, and with healthy natural understory vegetation of serviceberry, snowberry, and other shrubs. The results after wildfire tell the story. Thinned and under-burned forest areas are more resilient, not bulletproof, but more resilient.
The current collaborative Mission project proposal for the Libby Creek area and the Buttermilk Creek area of Twisp River has mixed responses from adjacent landowners. Those areas are a firebox, waiting for the next wildfire, but in particular some Libby Creek residents are suspicious after having seen logging violations from a local contractor where “by mistake” boundaries were not followed, ground was damaged, and large diameter trees were logged out.
With good forestry principles, and good responsibility, we should go forward. Let’s learn from past mistakes. All wildfires are not forest fires, and forests are more than trees, but forests burn, and Methow Valley residents have seen in the last two extreme fire seasons that we need to evolve our response.
Susan Crampton, Twisp/Winthrop
Facts about Planned Parenthood
Chrystal Perrow’s claim that Planned Parenthood (PP) sold aborted baby parts for profit (Oct. 7) is, simply put, a lie. The truth was known long before she wrote her letter, and the creator of the doctored videos used to build the lie later publicly admitted it on CNN.
Ms. Perrow supports contraception but ignores the fact that PP has done more to promote contraception and reduce abortions than any other organization in the country. Until they won a Supreme Court case in 1965, PP employees were criminally prosecuted for providing contraception information and devices to married couples. Today, PP is the largest provider of birth control services to poor people in many areas of the country. Over 97 percent of its budget goes to contraception and sexual health services. No federal funds support abortion services.
There is little question that widespread availability of modern birth control methods reduces abortions. An experimental program in Colorado widely distributed free, long-acting reversible contraceptives to teens and young women. Over six years, it resulted in a 40-percent decline in birthrates among teen mothers and a 42-percent decline in teen abortions.
While Ms. Perrow supports contraception, unfortunately many of her fellow conservative Christians do not. There continue to be attempts to defund public availability of birth control information and supplies in many states. Provisions of Obamacare that include birth control have been widely and bitterly attacked. Many school districts limit or prohibit sex education courses from providing useful birth control information.
At the same time, mostly at the behest of conservative Christians, federal and state governments spend more than $100 million per year on “abstinence-only” programs.” These replace fact-based sex education with falsehood-based teaching (e.g., condoms don’t prevent disease or pregnancy). Recent studies show that abstinence training has been a total failure. In some areas, teen-pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases have increased slightly.
It seems to me that if Ms. Perrow got her facts right, she would be urging everyone to contribute to Planned Parenthood to reduce abortions in this country.
Randy Brook, Twisp
It has been brought to my attention that false and misleading statements have been put on the Internet anonymously, and I wish to address them.
I have not condemned the new fire hall in Winthrop. However, it does need to be addressed from a fresh perspective, the site also needs to be reassessed, and all of this must be done in a prudent manner as the end results will be a direction that we will have to live with for decades to come. The proposal, as submitted, has failed twice by levy. I think because it costs way too much. Willfully ignoring the voice of those served will almost certainly result in far worse results than a setback, and this would be unfortunate as the current facility in Winthrop is badly out of date.
Lost in the past? Anyone familiar with my past record and the accomplishments of the 1980s and 1990s, especially considering the minuscule budgets of those times, knows better. I was partly responsible for the revival of EMS, vehicle extrication and the most certified instructors of any department except possibly Wenatchee. This was done with small budgets and tremendous public support.
Cut training? What I suggested is a different level of training for specific jobs such as driving tender or assisting on brush fires. My opinion is that every position that can be filled by a qualified volunteer frees up a fully qualified firefighter for interior attack, a rapid intervention team and other structural and leadership duties. This requires more training, not less, and would be geared to the level of the personnel in need.
My decision to run was based, in no small part, on the need for change, and I would like to see it addressed gracefully. I could not condone some of the actions District 6 had taken, and as such bowed out eight years ago. Many in the lower valley are unhappy, especially after last year, and want to see changes made yesterday. That’s hard to do gracefully, but addressing problems and having a commissioner who listens is a good start.
Les V. Stokes, Candidate for Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioner
What if — nah, that’s ludicrous, but what if? What if all these considerations for ATVs being allowed on more roads in the Methow Valley — they only have 788 roads open in Okanogan County now — what if it’s because they want to establish a for-sale and rental shop headquarters here in Winthrop? And advertise nationally. A new business! Bringing jobs! And money! Nah, that’s silly.
Well, Google Gary Prewitt and the National OHV Conservation Council. Look at ABATE and their legal services. Or the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. Or even the North Central ATV Club. You don’t have to look too far to see how to open up roads in your county. Hello, commissioners. Yet even the manufacturers state these vehicles aren’t meant to be ridden on pavement. The last completed year of statistics show 755 deaths on ATVs in 2008. Almost 100 were kids under 16. What age do you have to be to drive on our roads? Some towns give them complete access to any road. An ATV shop here in Winthrop? Nah, that’s ludicrous.
John Marshall, Winthrop