Since 2008 the Mazama Advisory Committee (MAC), commercial land owners and stakeholders have been meeting and brainstorming to develop a cohesive plan for Mazama’s commercial core. Over the years we have had public meetings and have seen many improvements to the corral trailhead and parking area. MAC’s role in this process is to gather information, facilitate and offer support. Private land owners are in the driver’s seat, but all agree that public input is very important in the planning process.
We are continuing the work and now that the CenturyLink telephone building is being removed (down the road past the community club), the town’s entry and town center design elements are being considered.
Welcome to Mazama. As you drive from Highway 20 and reach the intersection of Lost River and Goat Creek roads, what would you like to see? How do you know you have arrived in Mazama? Some ideas and suggestions that have been proposed include landscaping, benches, kiosks, walking paths, directional signage, public artworks, a water feature, a rock feature, an intersectional realignment or a roundabout versus a four-way stop.
The committee is seeking public input and ideas. A representative of MAC will be at Mazama’s World-Famous Pancake Breakfast on Saturday (May 25) with information and comment sheets that can be mailed back to the committee. Additional information may also be found on our Facebook page @MazamaAdvisoryCommittee or email MazamaAdvisory@outlook.com. Thanks to all that participate.
Karen Reneau, Mazama
Remember our veterans
In honoring our fallen warriors and contributing to the continuing needs of our veterans, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 120 will have poppies available for a donation on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 23–25) at Hanks’ Harvest Foods in Twisp and the Methow Valley Thriftway in Winthrop. They will be available at the Methow Valley Rodeo grounds on Saturday and Sunday also.
The Flanders Field poppy has become an internationally known and recognized symbol of the lives sacrificed in war and in the hope that none died in vain.
Wear the poppy this Memorial Day weekend and honor and remember our fallen warriors who willingly served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red, crepe paper flowers.
In 1923, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion Family in memory of the soldiers who found on the battlefields during World War I. The image of the poppy as a memorial flower to the war dead can be traced to a single individual beginning in 1918, Ms. Moina Michael, who bought a bouquet of poppies and handed them to businessmen where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen.
Susie Gardner, President, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 120, Winthrop
Kudos to school district
I was pleased to read last week’s article about the health and fiscal stability (relative to many other school districts in the state) of our local school district. As a former high school teacher and maintenance person, it always hurts to hear of school districts having to make serious cuts in staff and programs. The news recently has been pretty grim for schools all over the state: Mead School District looking at a $12 million shortfall, west side districts in similar situations. I’ve picked enough brains to understand that the issues of school funding and current shortfalls have come about from very complicated and hard-to-explain formulas, legislation and union lobbying. There is no easy answer or blame to be placed on why so many school districts are in trouble.
Given the above scenario, I would like to congratulate our local administration and teachers and staff for the compromises and good faith negotiations that have and hopefully will continue to take place in our small community. Ensuring that staffing and programs will not be cut or reduced is vital for our kids to have not just a decent education, but, as recognized throughout the state and nationally, a superior educational experience.
Thank you Tom Venable and all the Methow Valley School District staff for working together for our kids’ future.
Barry Stromberger, Twisp
Disrespecting Native culture
While making my way through Winthrop in the wake of the ’49er Days parade, something caught my eye on the boardwalk: a small group of people enjoying the early summer day, dressed in their finest cargo shorts, T-shirts and plastic Native American headdresses. This sight was troubling to me for several reasons.
Even if these people had been Native, which they were not, the wearing of feathered headdresses is considered an honor to be earned in Native culture. To wear plastic red-and-white feathers as an accessory on an outing to your favorite Old West town is not appropriate in any way. The history of subjugation of indigenous people in this valley adds another layer of appropriation to this spectacle, especially given the ’49ers tradition of celebrating the accomplishments of the white man.
It is worth noting that in 1849, while the California Gold Rush was in full swing, there were no miners or mining in the Methow valley. While I appreciate the ’49er Days festivities for all of the business they bring to the valley, there is no excuse for this kind of cultural appropriation. To live or vacation in the Methow Valley without acknowledging and respecting the history and culture of its Native people is to promote the very ignorance and greed that forced them out in the first place. If that culture was never yours, please leave the plastic feathers and war paint at home; you are doing nothing but disrespecting an already oppressed people.
Lazo Gitchos, Twisp
Through a collaboration between the Okanogan Conservation District, Methow At Home, Kiwanis and Key Club, this past weekend four members of Kiwanis and six high school Key Club members reached out to an older member of our community who needed help creating a fire-safe zone around her home. She had had an assessment through the Okanogan Conservation District but was daunted by the recommendations. Methow At Home contacted Kiwanis. Kiwanis worked with her to make manageable what felt overwhelming. This work serves everyone in our community, not just an individual homeowner. Our responsibility to protect our own home, protects our neighbors.
We are so fortunate to have the talents and experience of Kiwanis and the energy and heart of Key Club in our community.
Betsy Weiss, Methow At Home Board