It takes a community
I write to express appreciation for our community’s support of the arts, in general, and, in particular right now, of the current production of “Peter Pan” by the Tom Zbyszewski Children’s Theater at The Merc Playhouse.
“Community” theater certainly self-describes: from the director’s vision to everyone who makes it happen, it takes a community! To the young actors and to their parents who rearrange schedules and balance mealtimes in order to get them to rehearsals, many kudos. And to all the behind-the-stage volunteers who make the magic happen — set builders, costume makers, sound and light technicians, offstage monitors, concession workers — wholehearted thanks. Your efforts sparkle on stage.
The Merc is fortunate indeed to have Missi Smith as our executive director. Not only can she balance the many tasks that the job demands, but she can also whip a group of kids into spectacular production! Missi’s directing of this children’s show adds one more success to her many, as both director and actor.
And let’s not forget that the most important thing we can do for community theater is to keep it alive and well by attending the productions! So, I encourage you to come see “Peter Pan” at The Merc, to enjoy what our children can accomplish on stage as we laugh, applaud and “believe” Tinker Bell back to life! Perhaps like me, you’ll want to see it more than once to catch all the nuances that the young actors bring to performance.
For all that you do to keep The Merc, one of our many valley treasures, vibrant, thank you.
Jane Hill, Board chair, The Merc Playhouse
Another bright Sunflower
Thanks to Methow Trails, all the landowners, and the volunteers who once again put on an amazing event with the Sunflower running races. It’s truly a fantastic endeavor that impresses visitors, locals and business owners year after year. Hip, hip, hooray.
Brian Sweet, Cascades Outdoor Store, Winthrop
Hoping for better advice
It appears the U.S. Forest Service will be hiring an outside consultant to study the “reconstruction” of the smokejumper base. The last time an outside contractor worked for USFS in the valley, they designed a bridge at 30 Mile which was too small to accommodate packhorses and mules. This forces packers to drop into the river in order to cross. I hope that at the smokejumper base, a more accurate and realistic report will be presented. I also hope that the many organizations active in supporting the valley activities unite to allow this important resource to remain.
Duncan Bronson, Winthrop
Thank you for the article in last week’s paper about the Little Star South Collaborative (LSSC). I’d like to emphasize how honored Little Star is to be partnering with Room One and TwispWorks — all of our organizations together made this child care center possible.
Room One, the hub of Methow Valley’s social and human services, had the bold vision to initiate the partnership, recognizing the importance of child care to the health of our community and creating the scaffolding for this collaborative to take root.
TwispWorks, the Methow Valley’s engine behind economic vitality, is hosting the child care and has stepped up to raise significant startup capital funds and manage the remodel of the child care space.
The LSSC is comprised of three strong organizations that bring their unique strengths to the table, each committed to the shared goal of creating a permanent resource for families and their children. This type of collaboration is unprecedented — the stars have aligned and the strength of this child care is in the partnership.
I’d like to thank Room One and TwispWorks for making it happen. If you see them, thank them too!
Dani Reynaud, Little Star Montessori School director
In spite of all the economic factors pointing in the opposite direction, our Okanogan PUD is pushing ahead with the electrification of Enloe Dam. This decision has no basis in reality and defies common sense.
The estimated construction cost of $42.5 million is only just a guess. The commissioners admit they have no idea what the actual cost will be. Whether $45 million, $60 million or even higher, this powerhouse will never pay off the borrowing required to build it. The annual losses of $2 million projected by the PUD make this a losing project.
The 4.5MW of power generated is only one-fourth of that required by the Oroville substation. The new power-sharing agreement with Douglas PUD for 22 percent of Wells Dam is equivalent to 170 MW of additional power. The current Okanogan PUD average daily load is 77MW; 22 percent of Wells Dam power equals 34 Enloe Dams with no associated risk, expensive financing or long-term debt.
The PUD makes a false argument claiming the cost of dam removal will be carried by the ratepayers. There is no legal binding document that substantiates this claim. NOAA has offered to serve as the lead agency for the dam removal option. NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service administer $22 million in new revenue each year allocated for salmon and steelhead recovery by the mid- Columbia River PUDs. The Similkameen would be a high-priority project.
With 350 miles of river and stream spawning habitat, the Similkameen River is considered the best and most effective investment for the recovery of upper Columbia River Steelhead. Steelhead spawning in the Similkameen River could number 100,000 adults and result in a viable, self-sustaining fishery. This improved sport fishery would benefit all the motels, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, gas stations, retail outlets, guide services and other small businesses in Okanogan County.
The Okanogan PUD is ready to award a contract to a major dam building corporation in the next few weeks. The estimated cost will not be known for three or four months. Write, phone or email your commissioners. Congressman Newhouse also needs to be informed by your opinion.
Joseph Enzensperger, Oroville