Time for meaningful changes
Shame on any politician who is so enamored of party power they would overlook collusion with a foreign power to sway an election. There was a time when collusion with a foreign government would have been the worst thing imaginable. The very worst. Russia? Really? What’s happening to America? I can’t help but think of how my father, a decorated WWII veteran and Republican, would view today’s political climate. I’m glad he isn’t still alive to see how far his country has fallen.
Just a few years ago America was viewed as the best country in the world. Yes, we were also viewed as the policeman of the world and not without justification. But we were also viewed as good neighbors, as humanitarians providing aid to every corner of the globe. We were the country every refugee saw as the Garden of Eden, the place they could start over, where their families could not only survive, but thrive.
So what’s happened to us? Can’t we still be humanitarians and take care of our own? We can, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It just requires a change in priorities. Reduce the military budget and we can afford to improve programs to help the poor of this country and enrich the lives of all Americans.
It’s time America joins the rest of the first world nations and provides universal health care to its citizens. It’s time for America to reform its tax system so that those who have the most money pay the most taxes. It’s time for us to take our place at the top of countries providing the best in all levels of education. And it’s time America took a long hard look at our political structure. We need to get away from the “us-versus-them” mentality to which they have fallen victim. It’s time for America’s politicians to remember who they work for — their constituents — not their party. And it’s time for them to work together as respectful team members working for the benefit of all Americans. What citizen in any party doesn’t want that?
In my humble opinion, this is how we make America great again.
Patti Nordby, Winthrop
Kudos for Methow At Home
Over the past few years, our community has celebrated some local organizations which have been serving the Methow for decades. There are many more that are younger, and also worthy of praise. I am grateful for all who work so hard and make the Methow a special place to live, work and play — and retire. Volunteering is alive and well here!
There is a relative newcomer to the awesome family of groups that offer services to our valley. It’s called Methow At Home (MAH). MAH helps older adults stay in their homes as they age. Its mission includes offering volunteer support for members who are recovering from health-related episodes.
My wife, Maggie, and I live on the Twisp River. We joined Methow at Home at its startup a couple of years ago because we thought it was a great idea and could be valuable to us later on, much later we thought — when we were much older.
Recently, I had a surgery that put me out of commission for a couple of months while I recovered. We needed help.
So we contacted MAH. They sent out a call for volunteers to help us take care of our place. And wow, did they show up and help out! The response was amazing.
We are enormously grateful to MAH and all the volunteers who have offered their time and talent to keep us going during my recovery.
Here’s a big shout out to Methow At Home for being there for us in a critical time when we needed it. They are MAH-some!
Mark Wolf-Armstrong, Twisp
Keep smokejumper base here
Imagine you’re a career smokejumper who has started a family here, and whose spouse also has a job in or near the Methow, and then the base is moved to Wenatchee or Yakima. Would you want your kids to move to a city after starting life here? I suspect we taxpayers could loose some of our most talented and experienced fire personnel that way.
As a retired ranger and smokejumper I’m painfully aware that personnel continuity is one of the most critical aspects for safety and effectiveness. Unfortunately, it is often influenced by a misinformed public and inexperienced, or even corrupted, government decision-makers. This is illustrated by the latest smokejumper movie (2008). It’s from Canada, but is a fictional story about a women smokejumper in Idaho. It nevertheless quite accurately portrays bureaucratic misogyny, and some misconceptions about fire, even within firefighting families. But there are also many inaccuracies in the movie.
For us trying to retain the smokejumper base however, the fire inaccuracies may not be helpful, and movies like this one have a greater impact than the many books out now about fire. Timothy Egan’s “The Big Burn” illustrates that big fires are not new in spite of all the press lately to the contrary. The youngsters promoting this idea probably started their careers right after the 10 a.m. policy helped cause the current excessive fuel buildup, which was produced by the resulting smaller fires and environmentalist resistance to thinning and prescribed burning. Fuel matters, and don’t be fooled by its deniers.
Flight time is the crucial factor for rational scientific fire management as opposed to “firefighting,” and Winthrop is closest to the remote fires where fixed wing access is faster than helicopters. I think the base should remain here, and be greatly upgraded, as should the roadside Fire Ecology center near Entiat. Both are important means to educate voters and legislators. I’m also hoping more retired smoke jumpers will weigh in on this.
Eric Burr, Mazama