Thanks from Little Star
As most members of our community know by now, Little Star Montessori School has embarked on an ambitious expansion and accompanying capital campaign. In fall 2017, we opened our doors at Little Star South Collaborative, working with Room One and TwispWorks to serve infants and toddlers at our new Twisp campus. We are now nearing completion of our new building on the Winthrop campus. This fall, we will be occupying our new building, in addition to the older one, expanding our capacity even further.
Our programs have remained nearly full throughout this expansion, demonstrating the need which we continue to serve as quickly as we can. There are just a few spaces in infant through early childhood. As our enrollment expands, so has our staff. We’ve made some wonderful new hires in the past few months, and are excited to welcome them to our team.
Our Little Star Builds capital campaign has been very successful. We still have money to raise, yet our progress has been better than expected. Soon, Bailey Peplow will paint a beautiful permanent mural in our new building, honoring every donor to this campaign. There may still be time to appear on the mural before it is finished. Even children have made small donations to be a part of this effort! If you would like to contribute, visit www.littlestarschool.org, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important facts and figures for this fall:
• we will be serving 115 kids, up from 63 prior to our expansion.
• we will award $75,000 in financial aid annually, up from $35,000 prior to our expansion.
• this summer, we will serve 55 kids per day in camps, up from 33, with plans to continue expanding in 2019.
• there is still one more classroom to grow into, which will complete our expansion in fall 2019!
Thank you so very much to all of the people who have supported our efforts in so many ways. It is truly humbling to see how this community has come together. From the donors, to the builders, to the volunteers, the staff, the parents, and even the children, thank you all for everything that you’ve done.
Steve Hirsch, Little Star Builds Capital Campaign chair
Voters in the 12th Legislative District have the opportunity to elect an exciting new candidate to fill Cary Condotta’s seat (Position 1) in Olympia. That candidate is Dr. Ann Diamond. She is a smart, motivated and extremely hard-working individual. During the many years she owned and operated a medical clinic in Winthrop, it was common for her patients to receive follow-up phone calls well into the evening as she worked late reviewing medical charts and bringing herself up to speed on all the day’s activities at her business. She will bring that same work ethic with her to the legislative sessions in Olympia.
What she will not bring to Olympia is any party affiliation. Ann is proudly running as an Independent. She will thus not be beholden to either of the mainstream political parties, and will work tirelessly to seek common ground somewhere in the middle. We are all quite tired of the endless partisan bickering, and the frequent gridlock, that occurs in Olympia. Having a legislator willing to consider both sides of an issue, and able to actively seek compromise in the center, is a refreshingly simple idea.
Dr. Diamond was always willing to take time and listen carefully to her patient’s concerns. Those listening skills will serve her constituents well as she represents them in Olympia. Please join me in supporting Ann Diamond for Position 1 in the 12th Legislative District of Washington state’s House of Representatives.
Don Davidson, Mazama
Reject water rights sale
I am writing to urge the Okanogan County Water Conservancy Board to reject the application for the water rights sale between Crown Columbia Water Resources Inc. and the Lundgren family. Water is a valuable public resource, and vital to life in the Methow Valley. If 97 percent of the available water in the Chewuch River is sold, as proposed, it will have a dramatic impact on our economy and way of life.
We will lose farmland, which will result in a landscape of dry weeds. The consequences of this are more than just an unsightly view. The fire danger would increase, jobs would be lost and tourism business would decline. Who wants to visit a barren wasteland? Our county gets a large portion of it’s income from the higher property values in this area, and the communities rely on the sales tax generated from the tourism industry. All would suffer when we start selling our water, a public resource, down the river.
I see this as nothing more than a modern day gold rush – speculators hoping to make a buck on the backs of the community. Once the water is sold down the river, we will never get it back. Please put the interests of your community ahead of the Wall Street investors. We are counting on you.
Katie Haven, Methow
In anticipation of celebrating July 4, America’s Independence Day, I put up three flags at the entrance of my business. By sunset on July 3, the Stars and Stripes blew freely in the wind above the Canadian flag and the rainbow stripes of what is commonly referred to as the LGBT or pride flag.
By the evening of July 19, the rainbow flag was stolen (theft) and the flag pole destroyed (destruction of private property). It’s my opinion that the pride flag was specifically targeted for theft and destruction because the rainbow colors are routinely used as a show of solidarity and acceptance of the LGBT community.
Ironically, this public show of welcome to all people, guests, tourist and wedding couples regardless of their sexual orientation was exactly the reason I choose to fly the rainbow flag in a place where everyone entering the ranch and driving by could see it. I want Methow Valley citizens as well as those visiting our beautiful valley to feel comfortable, safe and welcome on the piece of property that I tend to and care for year round. I’m disappointed that an act meant to show acceptance and love was taken in an act of violence, theft and destruction.
Perhaps the individual(s) that destroyed my flag needed to show their friends that people of all walks of life are welcome in their home. If that’s the case then fear not – I have another flag ready to take the place of the one you pilfered. Next time, please ask me for a flag of your own and I will gladly gift you a new one. Special thanks to the Winthrop Marshal’s Office (Dan Tindall) as well as the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department (Deputy Leeman) for their quick and thoughtful responses.
Sarah Berns, Spring Creek Ranch, Winthrop
Hawley for sheriff
I must admit this constitutes two “firsts” for me after living in the Methow Valley 30-plus years: writing a letter to the editor; and being involved in a political campaign. That being said, I have been involved in law enforcement for 27-plus years, 22-plus with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office prior to retiring in 2017. I felt compelled to give my experienced input for the upcoming election, as I am not able to talk to all of you personally before the primary election.
I’m sure that most in the valley don’t recognize the names of the candidates. I’ve worked with four of the six for years, minimally with Chief Koplin and not at all with Court Creighton (volunteer firefighter). There is no question in my mind that Sgt. Tony Hawley will take the Sheriff’s Office in the best direction! Between working with Deputy Hawley and also six years with him as my sergeant, the citizens of the Methow Valley will only benefit from electing him as sheriff. He is motivated, educated and has realistic ideas to take the Sheriff’s Office in a positive direction after Sheriff Rogers retires.
Sgt. Hawley believes in supporting all the employees at the Sheriff’s Office, to include the deputies, sergeants, corrections, dispatch and records staffs and the Task Force, as well as well as having his administration out of the office assisting with daily calls. He has been supporting his squad since 2012 and has the right ideas to get more training and different organization within the office. The other candidates do have some positive qualities but not enough to lead the Sheriff’s Office into the future.
Laura Wright, Retired deputy, Okanogan County, Winthrop