Realistic vision needed
Personally, I don’t give a whit about the Westernization theme, and I imagine that is true for many who come for recreation and the beauty of the Methow. I doubt they care about the occasional visibility of a solar panel, in fact if they notice at all, they probably will applaud our forward thinking. Many, however, do care about the conservation of our rapidly diminishing natural resources, especially expensive water used to generate power. Replacing that with solar is not only the right thing to do for the earth, in the face of rising costs, it is clean, natural and economic.
More to the point, the required roofline configurations do not begin until the Rio Vista and extend two blocks through town. There are none south of this hotel.
The Western theme is fun but consider the real meaning of Westernization: No electricity or indoor plumbing, ankle-deep mud and horse manure in the streets — the reason for boardwalks — and worse, the systematic massacre of bears, wolves, eagles, buffalo and Native Americans. Women and Chinese didn’t fare well either. And decent health care was non-existent.
The new West, wisely, is re-introducing the grizzly and wolves to their native wilderness home; we no longer kill eagles on sight; we are cleaning up the river and streams, grazing cattle in a way that is harmonious with a healthy eco-system, and finding good, economical alternative energy systems. The primary one being solar energy.
It is time to marry a realistic vision of the future to our nostalgic view of the past.
It’s fine to keep cute roof lines and lethal boardwalks, but we want and need solar not only for our town, but for the country and the world. The finite earth cannot support the status quo or sustain our increasing appetite for energy consumption.
Julianne Seeman, Winthrop
I attended the Okanogan County Town Hall For Our Lives event last weekend. I’m so impressed with the ideas and eloquence of the speakers, both the youth who organized the event and the candidates who participated. I’m sorry that none of the invited seated representatives for our districts showed up. They missed an opportunity to hear the voices of current and future constituents, and to explain their positions for us to consider. Thanks to Christine Brown and Karen Hardy for coming and not being afraid to answer hard questions.
We spent an afternoon of informative, questioning, non-blaming conversations about all the ramifications of gun-related violence, and there are many. Some people are quick to say it’s all about guns, but it’s more than that. However, guns are part of the equation and cannot be excluded from the discussion.
I’m feeling very grateful that we have such bright, thinking, questioning and well-organized young people in our county.
Sandy Vaughn, Oroville
Support Little Star
We are so proud of the significant contribution Little Star Montessori School has stepped up to make for our community in expanding their early child care and infant programs in both Twisp and Winthrop.
As the parents of three boys who attended Little Star and the employers of nearly 20 families locally, we feel very strongly about the need for high-quality and affordable child care for working families. Little Star has created the momentum and put in the hard work to build their programs and facilities, and now it is our turn as a community to support them both through recognition and financial contributions to their current capital campaign. Join us.
Jeff and Molly Patterson, Twisp
Ratepayers of Okanogan County will have a north county opportunity to speak to their PUD commissioners at a public comment session set for Monday, April 23. The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be held at the Tonasket School District Board Room located at 35 Highway 20 in Tonasket. This PUD-organized “listening session” is our opportunity to influence the direction of our public utility.
I will be attending to lend my voice to those opposing the electrification of Enloe Dam. After six years of campaigning against electrification, I know the overwhelming majority of people in the north county oppose this plan to electrify Enloe Dam.
Producing hydropower on the low seasonal flows of the Similkameen makes no sense. There has been $15 million already spent on this FERC license. Construction costs are still unknown but estimates range from $31 million to $45 million. Interest will add an additional $25 million to $30 million to the cost of the project. The PUD expects Enloe to lose $2 million per year for 20 years, and produce only a 4.5 MW output. Electric rates will be raised as a result.
Similkameen Falls is one of the most beautiful natural places in our region. We oppose industrialization. We live on fixed incomes and cannot afford electric rate increases. We are concerned by the borrowing and growing debts incurred by our PUD.
We now have a guaranteed 170 MW of additional power from Wells Dam. That is 38 Enloe Dams and all the power we will need for the next 50 years, according to the PUD. We should use the cheap power available from Wells Dam and with the money saved build the infrastructure we need.
Your input will help our PUD turn away from a very poor decision made by an earlier board of commissioners.
Joseph Enzensperger, Oroville