Worker or passenger?
If socialism/communism is so wonderful, why are people from those countries fighting to get into America? Socialism/communism always ends with despots in charge, and the people being milked as funding sources. When the money runs out, there’s usually a bloody revolution.
Capitalism works if it stands on a moral foundation. America was founded on the foundation of the Christian faith. If success is measured only by how much money you have (huge amounts of money create huge amounts of power), capitalism becomes blatant greed and we lose our moral foundation. We are watching our society evolve into a minority of the very rich attempting to control the rest of us. Another recipe for revolution.
Every generation must choose what it will support. Work to change what you don’t like. If you don’t, others will determine the fate of your children and grandchildren. As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream.”
I believe in the “melting pot” vision of America: If you come here legally, work to support yourself and your family, honor God and your new country, you are welcome here. People can succeed if they are willing to work and follow our laws. America is still a place of hope.
I also believe powerful people see America as the last game pawn to be taken down before a global government can be established. That is why we are currently seeing such violence and political maneuvering. But people are waking up.
America is a big ship politically, socially and spiritually. It takes a huge amount of pressure to change its direction. You are either working to steer the ship or a passenger just along for the ride.
Chrystal Perrow, Winthrop
Dealing with change
With regard to the matter of development on Allen Elementary flats I would like to enter my two bits worth. First of all, the Caswells and the Schrock/Smiths are both friends. But I have to say that objectively speaking, Ms. Appel has my sympathy. Towns should be densified and sprawl should be contained.
We all take advantage of spaces that appear to be vacant to enjoy ourselves with dog walks, people walks; then, when the area is bought by someone who wishes to build his home, we suddenly protest that our lives are being infringed upon. The profiles of the hills are interrupted by human habitat; our neighbors are closing in on us; soon all we will have to enjoy is the acreage within our own lots.
Much as it hurts, however, the property you have become used to enjoying was merely good luck. If it meant so much to you, you could have purchased the property and kept it for your own enjoyment. But since you did not, it now becomes a place to be developed at the behest of the new owner, within the already established zoning restrictions.
Change is the way of the world. If privacy and isolation is what you want, don’t expect to get it within town limits. Town planning should include some green space, but that planning must come before that space is purchased by an individual, not after.
I hope I haven’t lost any friends by expressing my honest opinion, which, as my friends know, is the only opinion they will ever get from me.
Carolanne Steinebach, Twisp
We all have minds, we all have emotions, we all have situations.
So listen to the words of both parties on the same subject.
Who is doing things to keep America strong?
Sit on both sides of the table. The United States people voted Trump to be our president and lead our country. The losers can’t accept this.
More time and money is being spent by our elected government officials on claims about before the election of Trump. They are the losers.
Our government officials need to take their knowledge and apply it to the United States’ problems and need to keep America great.
Our government officials need to get to work and get things done that support the United States, not themselves, and spend time to help the goals of our President Trump who was the people’s choice to make America great. Together we stand, single we fall. Think positive, not negative. These are the facts.
Phyllis Sansaver, Twisp
Racial bias in juries
We think of Washington state as pretty progressive. Sadly, even here we have overwhelming evidence of racial bias in our judicial system.
In recognition of this evidence, last October the Washington State Supreme Court held the death penalty unconstitutional. This decision doesn’t reverse any convictions. The eight men on death row in Washington will be imprisoned for life.
The decision wasn’t based on liberal vs conservative politics. Nor was it based on moral or ethical grounds. The court ruled unanimously that the application of the death penalty was racially biased and therefore violated the Washington Constitution.
The court’s opinion was based in part on a study showing that “black defendants were four and a half times more likely to be sentenced to death than similarly situated white defendants.” This should shock us all. And think what it must be like in conservative states.
The U.S. Supreme Court did recently have to face that question in a case from Mississippi. There, a black defendant was tried six times for murder. Each time, the prosecutor systematically excluded black jurors. His sixth conviction and death sentence were upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court, despite overwhelming evidence of the prosecutor’s misconduct.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision last week overturning the conviction was on a 7-2 vote, including three of the court’s five very conservative justices in the majority. The newest of those conservatives, Justice Kavanaugh, wrote the opinion for the majority. He stated: “Equal justice under law requires a criminal trial free of racial discrimination in the jury selection process.”
Fairness in jury selection seems pretty basic, doesn’t it? Ironically, the court’s one African-American justice, Clarence Thomas, doesn’t think so. His dissent made it clear that he didn’t think the courts should even consider the unfairness of racial bias tainting the administration of criminal justice.
Randy Brook, Twisp
Wrong info about fire station
I am writing to respond to the My Turn article written by Ross Darling last week. It contained some egregious misinformation. Mr. Darling lists two important reasons we need a new station — to provide proper clearance around the fire trucks, and to provide a ventilated room where contaminated firefighter outer clothing can be safely stored. But he misrepresents many other facts.
Firstly, the Town of Twisp negotiates with Okanogan County Fire District 6 for fire protection and they get an extremely reasonable price. There were a lot of numbers thrown out about the cost of the station, but there isn’t any levy planned for the fall election!
The money has been spent to design a building that not only complies with current requirements of the National Fire Safety Standards, but also keeps future demands of valley growth and increased wildfire occurrences in mind. You said the 1,000-square-foot multi-purpose room has no purpose. Mr. Darling, if you had your facts right instead of grinding out your personal agenda, you would state that this room will be a mezzanine used for ladder drills while allowing safety harness use — an OHSA requirement — as well as for storage of records and exercise equipment used for fire fighter health. A meeting room is essential — for classroom training and conferences. The chiefs and captains need offices. If we had a bunk room volunteers could choose to stay overnight and provide quicker emergency response. I could go on and on.
With 20 volunteers, the Winthrop fire station responds to calls throughout the district from Gold Creek to Lost River. So yes, this station does matter to those areas. The Carlton station only has four volunteers, Mazama has seven, and Twisp has 12. So a robust Winthrop response benefits the whole valley. Further, a proper station would enhance education and training for all the district volunteers.
So yes, please, people should come to the fire commissioner’ meetings and get true information about our fire district. Mr. Darling, it appears to me that you are working against the firefighters instead of with them. These folks put their lives on the line 24/7 and deserve a safe and efficient station which would benefit us all.
Karen Mulcahy, Winthrop
Still strong after 24 years
On opening night of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, I sat in the barn at Signal Hill Ranch and listened to the music of Mozart, Wiancko and Dohnanyi and thought of John Konigsmark, who died April 25, 2019, in San Francisco. John, the founder of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, had a vision that chamber music could be performed in the meadows and barns of the Methow Valley and that people would come to hear it. So they have for 24 summers because the idea of making this music accessible outside of a formal concert hall appealed to so many in the Valley and beyond. John started the concerts by inviting friends from the Juilliard School in New York to play with him, virtually for free at first. They were in awe of the beauty of the Valley and came back repeatedly to further the idea that chamber music can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.
On July 27, the Festival musicians will play the Piano Quintet in A Major, “The Trout,” by Franz Schubert. In the early years of the Festival, John and friends played “The Trout” in a huge unused barn near Early Winters Campground in Mazama. The hayloft had an open, windswept floor, reached by a large ramp. After an inspection, the floor of the hayloft was considered structurally sound enough to bear the weight of a grand piano and the 150 people who might attend. Volunteers cleaned the barn, decorated the beams with found deer antlers and native foliage, and slowly pushed a rented Steinway grand piano up the ramp to the hayloft. Once the music began, the only sound we heard other than the quintet was the gentle sighing of the pines surrounding the barn and the water flowing in Early Winters Creek. We were the trout swimming down the Methow river.
This year the musicians will fill the barn at Signal Hill Ranch with their own interpretation of “The Trout.” It is a joy to know that with so many volunteers and the support of a loyal community audience, the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival is still swimming down the Methow.
Nan P. Hodges, Shoreline