There to help
While a number of charitable organizations deserve our support, Methow At Home is specifically directed toward helping the ill and elderly of the Methow Valley. The sincere concern of its staff and volunteers was recently displayed to me.
I am 82, immune compromised, and my request for a COVID shot through the Washington state JOB system (that’s Jigsaw of Bureaucracy) had twice gone unanswered.
Upon learning of the Liberty Bell High School inoculations on Feb. 13 (the next day), I signed up by both email and phone message immediately. I received no response by early afternoon, so called Dierdre Cassidy at Methow At Home to ask if there was another contact possibility. Her response was to offer me her own confirmed appointment time if it turned out there were no vacancies left!
This is Methow At Home.
Republicans, tell the truth
I believe that unity begins with truth-telling. No matter what differences of opinion we may have, Republicans and Democrats alike, the truth is the truth. Kansas City fans acknowledge the truth that Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl. To our Republican representatives and senators as well as all Republican elected officials, tell your constituents the truth that Joe Biden won the election. That you would speak the truth is an essential step toward unifying our nation.
President Biden won 81,283,098 votes to Trump’s 74,222,958 votes. Biden/Harris won by over 7 million popular votes. Biden/Harris won 306 electoral votes to 232 votes cast for Trump (the same count by which Trump beat Clinton in 2016 — another significant truth in our country’s political history).
President Biden and Vice President Harris were elected strictly in accordance with the Constitution. It is a truth. The majority of our country’s secretaries of state are Republican, as are a majority of the state legislatures. Each one of these officials and legislatures recognized this truth in certifying their respective electoral votes whether for Trump or for Biden. Until all Republican leaders confirm this fundamental truth for their supporters, there will be no hope for unifying this country we love.
Draw the line
What is a conservative? According to Webster’s online dictionary, the first definition is: disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc. or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
There is nothing wrong with being a conservative. If you want to be one, be one. But I want to point out one thing.
The definition reads “preserving institutions.” Do you think the mob who attacked the Congress on Jan. 6 was trying to preserve the institution of our Congress and Constitution? Our institution and tradition of voting and accepting the outcome, win or lose, with grace? I think not.
Do you think the elected officials who voted to acquit Donald Trump were trying to preserve the institution of government? Again, I think not. What they are trying to preserve is their political skin. They are gambling that Trump still has enough political clout to support them if they support him. (Apparently they haven’t had their eyes open for the last four years to see that Trump eventually throws everyone under the bus, no matter how “loyal” people were to him. Think Mike Pence.) These politicians chose to not draw a line in the sand between conservatism and violent extremism.
It’s past time for the Republican party to draw that line. It’s time for them to return to their original roots of conservatism and to break away from extremism which is the polar opposite.
Our elected officials are only as bad as we let them be. If you’re a Republican and you agree with this, please let your elected officials know you have drawn that line in the sand and if they want your vote again, you expect them to do likewise.
Kudos to Newhouse
I would like to commend Rep. Dan Newhouse for his vote to impeach now ex-President, Donald Trump. The last four years have been divisive, to say the least, and Mr. Trump repeatedly showed his willingness to do anything for his own gain, despite the effects on the country.
The Republican Party really needs to look deep inside. It is OK to be a conservative, but not OK to tear down democracy to further your cause. Mr. Trump incited an attempted overthrow of the government. History will bear this out. We need to face this, and all of his other betrayals. He lied from his first day in office. He cheated his taxes, his wives, his military service, his businesses, his government, his people. He is a bad person that needs to face consequences for his actions. It is unfortunate he wasn’t convicted in the second impeachment.
Mr. Newhouse was correct. Those who did not vote to convict, including Mr. McConnell should be ashamed. C’mon, the Trump show was crazy. Let’s get back to normal, please? We have work to do.
Thank you, Rep. Newhouse. I might even vote for you next time.
Vaccine for educators
Thanks to Marcy Stamper for her detailed story about the failure of the state’s vaccination plans for teachers. Her thorough reporting addressed many of the questions I’d been mulling over for the past several weeks.
While there’s general agreement that students fare much better with in-person rather than remote learning, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the integral elements needed to make that happen.
Over the course of the summer of 2020, the Methow Valley School District, with the guidance of Supt. Tom Venable and a team of staff and community members, devised plans (based on the best COVID avoidance protocols) to offer a hybrid model of in-person learning as well as a remote option for our school district students.
Certainly, teachers and staff who were engaged in the in-person learning option knew that there would be a risk for COVID exposure, but they trusted the protocols that were in place would mitigate those concerns, and they returned to the classroom ready to engage with students and move forward.
In late December, COVID vaccinations became available for medical workers and first responders; in January there was much discussion across the country about who should receive vaccinations in the general population. Most states agreed that the elderly should receive priority, but many states pushed for teachers to receive vaccinations so that schools could be open for in person learning. A worthy goal.
I’ve learned that Supt. Venable and State Sen. Brad Hawkins have been diligently trying to get the attention of Gov. Jay Inslee about the deficiencies in the state’s “Get Ready” plan for reopening schools. Both Venable and Hawkins have addressed the flaws in the plan to vaccinate teachers and school staffs. Neither has received a response. Inexcusable.
If the OSPI really plans to “focus on supporting a safe return to school for communities across the state” while ignoring districts like the Methow Valley School District and others in north central Washington, it’s time to make vaccinations available to those teachers and staff who have demonstrated their commitment to their students by being in the brick and mortar classrooms since last September.