A few thoughts
Here are a few things on my mind:
• Patterson Lake. Hey WDFW: The “upgrade” of the access point may be a bad idea. We need to keep the peaceful nature of this special place. How? (I go there a lot. I know this place.)
Do not install a dock of any type. The lake rises and falls approximately 12 feet each year. It would not be functional much of the year, and would encourage the wrong type of use. We don’t need more big boats than already show up there scaring people on SUPs and in kayaks.
A new outhouse would be fine. (But maintain it please).
Installing some tread for the boat launch would be OK too, but it would need to go way out in the lake. It works now without. Leave the launch alone.
Do not fall a bunch of “hazard” trees. The cottonwoods are host to many birds and wildlife.
Maintain the speed limit on the lake. Enforce it. (No one ever does.)
The main point is really, don’t change Patterson Lake with too much “upgrade.” If this leads to water skiing or jet skis on Patterson, the place will be ruined.
It is a quiet gem in the Methow valley. And it is a fun place to fish and do nature observation from kayaks, SUPS and small boats. We do not need another Pearrygin or Alta.
• Night lighting. Thank you to those who turn out, or down, their outdoor lights. You don’t need security lights here. Turn them on and off when you go outside. (timers?). Do something about the ice rink. Shroud those lights. Our night skies are precious, and when the clouds clear, the winter sky is spectacular. Let’s protect this precious scenic resource.
• Neighbors. This tough winter snow threatens roofs, driveways, walkways, sliding snow, etc., and calls for neighbors and friends to help each other. We are a rural community and rely on each other. Help one another. This is really why the Methow is special. If you are new here, welcome. Get to know your neighbors and make some friends. We are community.
Should Okanogan County Electric Cooperative “shareholders” lobby for OCEC to merge into the Okanogan County Public Utility District?
Broadband expansion is desperately needed. OCEC, yet again, drops the ball. Almost a third of its customers were left out — including it seems most of those near Twisp and the Twisp River Road.
Broadband is defined as 25 megabits per second (or Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. Only one potential option for those abandoned by OCEC (and Methownet) exists: Starlink. If you have hills in the way, trees in the way, or other issues, your options are zero. Higher-orbiting satellites (HughesNet and ViaSat) do not meet the definition of broadband.
Mendonca talks about legacy and Internet as a utility. The legacy will be abandonment and not treating Internet as a utility — despite the need to. By the way: it is 25 mega bits, not bytes, per second. The standard will probably be 100mbps very soon, to match the rest of the world — so fiber is crucial. Looks like two-thirds of the OCEC customer might be in luck (gotta get the grant first), but one-third of us are not.
For higher rates I get a cooperative that abandons me and one-third of my compatriots and have to live in the hope that they do indeed “continue to research and potentially apply for additional grant funding?” Hmm.
By the time OCEC gets anywhere my child will have graduated high school, left the valley and never return because he won’t be able to work here, conduct business, communicate with peers, get virtual doctors’ visits, and live in the 21st century. So much for the Internet being a utility when a third of your customers are ignored. Cooperatives were created to bring utility to everyone they serve. If OCEC can’t meet that contract, maybe it’s time for it to cease existing.
The good news is that our property values over time in upper Twisp River and Loup Loup will stay lower. It’s the solution to affordable housing: keep a third of the Valley in the 20th century and drive down the values.