Please be respectful
We enjoy living quite near Davis Lake, and particularly like swimming, boating and cooling off as the weather warms up. What we don’t like are folks who visit and don’t clean up after themselves. This includes dog poop and fire rings. There’s nothing like dragging your boat out of the water and discovering you’ve dragged it through someone’s leftover pieces of charcoal. It’s nice to have an evening fire, but please respect others!
One more thing — the signs say “do not park” at the boat launch and block everyone else. There’s plenty of room up on top to park.
Have a lovely summer!
Teresa Skye, David Ward, Winthrop
Do you feel that the deck is stacked against the ordinary, hard-working American? Well, it is, and Congress is trying hard to keep it that way. Last year the Department of Labor finalized a rule requiring financial advisers who are paid for advice on retirement savings to act in the best interest of their clients.
Surprised that such a rule would be needed? Conflict of interest is rampant in paid investment advice, enriching advisers at the expense of their clients. Conflicts include advisers reaping greater profits steering investors toward certain funds, encouraging frequent trading, and being paid more when they recommend investments that are highly profitable to the financial industry.
This is not small potatoes. The Council of Economic Advisors concluded that $1.7 trillion of IRA investments are subject to conflicted advice. The cost to retirement savers is $17 billion a year! A typical retiree will run out of savings five years earlier than he otherwise would.
Congress’s reaction to the rule was swift. Within three weeks, all 234 Republican congressmen, including our own Representative Newhouse, voted for H.J. Resolution 88, “disapproving” the rule. Every Democrat voted against the disapproval. The Senate passed the resolution in May, with three Democrats joining all 53 Republicans. President Obama vetoed it and the subsequent veto override attempt failed (thank you, Democrats.)
That was not the end of the story. In his second week in office, President Trump ordered an economic analysis of the rule, although a detailed 400-page analysis had already been completed. The Department of Labor delayed implementation by two months, announced that it will not enforce the rule before January 2018, and is seeking to weaken the rule. It is estimated that the two-month delay has cost IRA holders $181 million this year, with costs adding up to $3.7 billion over 30 years.
With pensions a thing of the past, most of us are on our own in saving for retirement. And the Republicans are all in favor of allowing us to be fleeced by the financial industry every step of the way. Ask Representative Newhouse why he supports swindling retirement savers.
Gina McCoy, Winthrop
Looking into a plat plot
Fake news and alternative facts are not restricted to Washington, D.C. They appear to be alive and well in Okanogan County!
Prospective developers can now get “preliminary approval” for subdivisions here in the Methow by simply claiming the neighbor’s water right as an adequate source of water. Check out recently approved Short Plat 2017-2!
No matter that the neighbor objects and says he will not give up his water to the subdivision, that the Water Conservancy Board has denied the legal changes necessary for the developer to utilize his neighbor’s water, or that the developer’s application had “alternative facts.” By claiming a neighbor’s water right, a subdivision can apparently be “vested” at least five years before any proof of water is necessary!
You might wonder if troublesome individuals or groups concerned with the public interest would speak out against such a practice. But it’s not a problem if no one is paying attention!
Our new county commissioners are doing their job of digging into the requirements of our Comprehensive Plan, Shorelines regulations, Critical Areas Ordinance and the implications of zoning. They are asking good questions, working with government officials and scientists when possible, looking into long-term consequences, and are making genuine efforts to avoid unnecessary litigation and legal expenses.
But with all this going on, it’s easier for less-conspicuous projects managed by other county officials to fly beneath the radar.
Scratching your head? You aren’t the only one. Ask your county commissioner if there is an explanation for the recent preliminary approval of Short Plat 2017-2 and about the related plan for a subsequent 40-unit development just outside Twisp. And have a jolley good time trying to understand the legal procedures on this one!
Oh — and maybe keep an eye on the county legal ads to see who could be eyeing your own well as a potential water right (regardless of what you say) in order to avoid procedures required to find his/her own water for a subdivision.
Isabelle Spohn, Twisp