The undiscovered Methow
No one can know the Methow Valley. There are new experiences every year Every year there are undiscovered hikes, more bird species to find, or undiscovered back country ski trails. We have produced several world class cross-country ski racers. After 20 years, I thought I had done all of the hiking trails; I had not. Last year I found the wonderful trail on the west side of Lewis Butte. This year I found the dirt road to the Fish and Wildlife camp was open in early spring, with its marvelous views. Just this year I found a new lake in which to swim.
And the animals. A cougar killed a deer in my back yard; not everybody’s cup of tea but wonderful for me. Not seen the wolves yet, but some coyotes and some bears, lots of eagles; I love the redwing blackbirds.
If I am allotted 90 years, 80-some are gone away, but I can safely say, I enjoyed here my day.
Richard O. Zerbe
Need a solution
Twisp is my go-to town. I like its character and diversity. However, while the mayor and Town Council have had their attention on the more glamorous projects, such as the new civic center, the Canyon Street crossing project and new sidewalks, they have not been addressing the basic needs of its citizens. I am referring to the article in the April 21 edition of the paper, concerning the public toilet situation. First, Andrew Denham should be given an award, for taking the initiative to bring in a public toilet near the Methow Valley Community Center. I do hope it will be maintained due to the busy Farmer’ Market each Saturday.
The COVID virus last year caused the shutdown of many public facilities that people depended on. With us getting through a year of how to live with the virus, it is a scientific fact that it would be extremely hard to catch the virus from public toilets.
“The town currently doesn’t have the funding for anything more permanent,” yet as Denise Tompetrini states in her letter to the council that we are promoting tourism, without providing this basic service.
Winthrop has restrooms outside their Town Hall and Methow Trails in Mazama was able to provide a new heated facility with actual flush toilets and running water. And the town of Twisp has one portable toilet?
Which leads me to the question: Will our new civic center in Twisp have public toilet facilities? Perhaps that is part of the solution.
Caregivers must have strength and a kind heart. Caregivers certainly are the heart of Jamie’s Place. They provide love, support and care to our residents 24 hours per day. This important work can be challenging, both physically and emotionally and unfortunately burnout can be high in some settings. We have been fortunate to have a team of dedicated caregivers at Jamie’s Place over many years.
We are in a caregiver crisis in our own community and nationwide. Stressors imposed by COVID-19 have taken a toll during a time when our population is aging faster than we can provide support throughout the Methow Valley.
Jamie’s Place wants to highlight the importance and satisfaction of a career as a caregiver. Sadly, this noble career is underappreciated by our society. We wish to raise awareness and celebrate those who are choosing this career path.
Jamie’s Place is working with local partners to provide caregiver training through Jamie’s Place. Our goal is to train caregivers for employment at Jamie’s Place while also creating a pool of caregivers that would be available to serve our community. This program is a small part of our new focus through SASH, Senior Assessment for Support and Housing.
SASH is researching the needs of the community to assist in connecting resources to our aging population in the Valley. The focus of SASH is to determine what is needed and how our community wishes to be supported as they age.
SASH will conclude the initial phase of work in August and will be looking for feedback from our community as we navigate these challenges together. There is a sizable gap between what we have available now and what we will need in the future. We need to act quickly to determine what resources and assistance our community needs to navigate aging in the Methow. Our caregiver training program is a first step towards expanding eldercare in the valley.
If you have a caring heart, enjoy working with the elderly, please consider the noble career of caregiving. Our team at Jamie’s Place is here to help make it happen.
Rana Clarke, executive director
There must be a way
We have 911, we have 511, we have 711, and 811 and 411.
Surely the tech wizards who make these work, pretty much wherever we may be, surely they can make yet another three-digit number work nationwide (call forwarding perhaps?), without forcing an entire nation to dial 10 digits for a local call that used to be just four.
Leading the way
I had the fortune of being able to compete in both the Methow Trails Ski to the Sun race this past February and the Sunflower Marathon this past Saturday. As we slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, events such as these provide those of us looking for competitive outlet a small reprieve from the partially restricted lives we’re still living.
Given the enormity of safety protocols, statewide restrictions and challenges that hosting events like these present, I want to publicly thank Methow Trails for their amazing efforts. Through their innovation, web-based tracking for the ski race, and commitment to safety, Methow Trails is leading the way for other race organizers to follow. I would be remiss if I did not thank the volunteers who helped with last Saturday’s marathon, the sponsors and the private landowners who provided access for the course. In the words of MVCC, together, we are Methow Strong!