Once again, the Methow Valley has outdone itself in generosity. The annual Give Methow campaign closed at the end of October with more than $800,000 in donations, surpassing last year’s previous record, which surpassed the previous year’s record, and so on.
This year, 40 local nonprofits share in the bounty of support this community supplies. Some will benefit from a few thousand dollars, which will be certainly be appreciated. Others will see quite a bit more, and will put it to good use. That is the expectation, and valley residents are rarely disappointed.
The value of Give Methow is not only that it is focused exclusively on local organizations, but also that it provides donors so many choices — including a “give all” option that allows contributions to be distributed among all 40 nonprofits. Those of us who have lived in larger communities have likely taken part in the big United Way campaigns that also aggregate donations in an organized fashion. It’s a great system for givers and receivers.
The Community Foundation of North Central Washington deserves thanks for its oversight of Give Methow, making it possible to take advantage of “one-stop shopping” when it comes to fulfilling one’s charitable inclinations.
For an overview of this year’s campaign, and a list of fund recipients, see the story on Page A1 of this week’s newspaper. Last year it might have been difficult to imagine that the community would come up with even more support this year. Next year may surprise us again.
Ursus versus us
Consider the grizzly bear, buffeted about like a (rather large) ping-pong ball in the political game over whether the noble critters should be reintroduced to the North Cascades — an area they once frequented as though it were their rightful home. Which it was.
The on-again, off-again consideration of reintroduction is back on, which might have been expected with a change of administration. For an explanation of the latest chapter in the debate over where ursus arctos horribilis should be allowed to roam, see the story on page A1 of this week’s paper, and also find a My Turn column on the subject elsewhere on this page.
Grizzlies of course have no concept of boundaries — that’s a human affectation, one that creates endless, pointless disputes. They are just lines on a map, and we are the only beings that pay attention to them, often irrationally and even manically at times. Bears and other denizens of nature will go where they can to survive and thrive, without inquiring about passports, visas or permits. Yet people continue to think they can force them to conform as if they were misbehaving, inconvenient children who deserve to be punished — or failing that, simply exterminated.
Forgive the grizz if they are confused about what humans expect of them. We seem to have a hard time agreeing on that. The discussion is about to be taken up again, and you have a chance to participate. Take advantage of that opportunity while you can, before the ping-pong ball caroms to the other side of the table again.
The safe choice
We’ll take a look at election outcomes in more detail in future issues, but one observation worth making now is that the community is to be congratulated for again approving the Methow Valley Emergency Medical Services District levy, whose proceeds are vital to Aero Methow Rescue Services.
The levy request, which only comes around every 10 years for most Methow Valley residents, was passing with about 80% approval as of the most-recent round of vote-counting from the Nov. 8 general election.
That’s a great vote of confidence in what Aero Methow means to the community, but you have to wonder — what were the other 20% thinking? The levy rate of 50 cents per $1,000 of property valuation is hardly onerous, amounting to $250 a year on a $500,000 home. Have you priced an ambulance ride lately? Or would you just thumb a ride to the hospital the next time you need immediate medical care?
Some people just vote against all taxes all the time, but they often are also voting against their self-interest. In this case, the community’s best interests were clear, and voters checked their ballots accordingly.