It’s a celebratory week in the Methow Valley.
• One of our homegrown Winter Olympics heroes, Sadie Bjornsen, returns to the Methow Valley on Thursday (April 12) for a visit that will include a parade through downtown Winthrop. Sadie and her brother Erik, who couldn’t be here this week, have each represented the United States as Nordic skiers in the past two Olympic Winter Games, in Russia and South Korea. Both have also competed for years on the European World Cup Circuit.
The hastily organized parade — actually, Sadie in a horse-drawn carriage — will be what we make of it: flags, signs, noise, cheers. That is perfectly fitting for how a small community celebrates one of its own — personally, and with pride. Thanks go to Rita Kenny at Winthrop Mountain Sports for putting the event together on short notice. Let’s give Sadie a big turnout.
We’re also congratulating the winners of two noteworthy statewide awards that most people around here probably don’t know much about, but reflect extraordinarily well on the local winners.
• The Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) has bestowed its Key Award for open government to Okanogan County Watch. WCOG is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that promotes and defends the people’s right to know. “The Coalition’s driving vision is to help foster open government processes, supervised by an informed and engaged citizenry, which is the cornerstone of democracy,” according to organization’s website.
Okanogan County Watch (OCW) volunteers take notes at county commissioner meetings and post them for public review, and monitor other county activities. According to OCW, “our goal is to work toward a high level of transparent, responsive and accountable government for the citizens of Okanogan County.”
• Melbourn Insurance Agency has been named the “Family-Owned Small Business of the Year” by the Small Business Association (SBA) Seattle district. The insurance agency now is owned by Kelsey and Korrie Bourn. They took over the business last year from their mother, Melinda, who founded it in 1976. The award honors a family-owned and operated business that has been passed from one generation to another and has been in operation for at least 15 years.
These are big deals, folks. Let the winners know you appreciate them when you have the chance.
• Little Star Montessori School really cranks up its ambitious fundraising campaign, and the music, with a “barn bash” on Saturday at the Winthrop Barn, which will also feature the talents of Methow Valley natives. Performing will be Luc and the Lovingtons, fronted by Luc Reynaud, and St. Claire, more familiarly known around here as John Sinclair. Have fun and learn about what Little Star is up to. You can get the full story from the four-page insert that Little Star has in this week’s Methow Valley News. It’s packed with information about the school’s vision and how the fundraising campaign will help fulfill it. The insert was produced by the News with materials provided by Little Star.
Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) started the serious work of clearing the North Cascades Scenic Highway from the Methow Valley side this week.
And lest we forget, the Methow Valley Farmers Market opens for the season on Saturday in the Methow Valley Community Center parking lot. It’s a little early for produce, but there will plenty of other locally produced items to peruse.
We’re also working on several other stories that have been happening so fast we can barely keep up — new businesses, new owners of existing businesses, expansions and new management among them. We’re getting to them as quickly as we can, which is incentive enough to pick up the paper every week. As if there weren’t a few other reasons.