What would be on your wish list if you could fantasize about what might be under the Methow Valley’s community Christmas tree this year?
I think we’re allowed to dream a bit. We’ve been nice, after all. No lumps of coal for us. Unless we needed them for heating, which we don’t.
I can imagine a few things we would ask Santa for, if he would entertain a letter from us. Nothing outlandish or fanciful. Just plain old practical things, the equivalent of socks or scarves or neckties.
The list could include:
• Everlasting protection of the Methow Headwaters area from future mining activity of any kind. The gift that keeps on giving. No elaborate packaging necessary — it can come wrapped in copies of the appropriate federal legislation.
• Funding (perhaps in the form of a gift card) for necessary improvements at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base. Santa must surely appreciate the value of people coming down out of the sky to do good things.
• At least one fire-free, smokeless summer, so we can catch our breath. We don’t want to get greedy or unrealistic and ask for too much — there will be future fires, and Santa disapproves of over-reachers. We’ll count whatever blessings come our way.
• A solution for the water availability issue caused by the Washington state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. We got an early Christmas present in November when control of the state Senate returned to Democrats, who can make it a very happy new year by undoing the damage dumped on all of us by Republicans who held the state’s capital budget hostage for indefensible political reasons. Naughty.
• Snow, lots of it, not under the Christmas tree but on it — on all of the trees, actually.
• Peace on earth, goodwill towards all. Especially in Winthrop, which could use it.
The voting is underway for our “Top 10 News Stories of the Year” list that will be determined by Methow Valley News readers. The ballot appeared in last week’s paper, and dozens of people have already responded.
Make your vote count! You’ll find the ballot in the paper again this week. Clip it and mail it in, email me a list of your choices at firstname.lastname@example.org, or vote online at methowvalleynews.com/2017/12/11/2017poll.
We’ll publish the ballot again in the Dec. 27 issue, then compile the results for our 2017 Year in Review issue that will be published on Jan. 3. This is the first time we’ve tried a reader survey like this one, and I’m hopeful we’ll get a good “turnout.”
I haven’t sneaked a peek at returned ballots yet so I don’t know how things are trending, and I have no intention of forecasting the outcome before the polls close. But I can guarantee that it will be a clean election free of fraud, and that we are watching out for Russian interference.
Mazama will be heard from
You can blame me, Mazama.
We have had several excellent applicants who expressed interest in becoming the next Mazama columnist for the Valley Life page, now that Mandi Donohue has decamped to California. I’ve had a few starts and stops in trying to connect with them, but other events and demands demanded my attention at the newspaper. I’m sure it’s been frustrating for everyone who is interested.
My New Year’s resolution to Mazamans and all other fans of the newspaper is to get someone in that slot as soon as possible. I hope the people who applied are still serious about it. It’s a strong field, which will make it difficult to choose but will likely guarantee another wonderful voice for the community.
In the meantime, longtime Mazama columnist Bob Spiwak is providing an occasional offering for the page. Bob still has more than a few words left in him.