Necessity or luxury?
There used to be a time in this nation when people were fiscally responsible and only incurred debt or spent money they personally had or could afford. Now the attitude is no, we can get someone else to pay for our wants and desires through grants where we get Joe Schmoo 3,000 miles away, and will get no benefit from our spending via a grant, that has nothing to do with the “Impact of COVID-19 pandemic” to pay for it (Jan. 4, Methow Valley News article). There was a time when this would have been termed misappropriation of government funds as it is clearly spending money for something that was not for its intended use. But then if everyone else is doing it why shouldn’t we?
Both the companies mentioned in the article are private businesses and at one time it would have been an expense those businesses would of/should of incurred as a business expense without getting aforementioned Joe Schmoo to pay for their business expansion. While I agree that maybe the broadband would be a benefit, for some, to have throughout the entire valley is it an absolute necessity or a nice to have? Necessity or luxury?
This country is currently in debt for over $30 trillion dollars with a legal population of roughly 300 million, which means if you are a new family and had a child born today your child is already in debt for close to $100,000 the day they are born. Is this something you want to pass on to your children who will have it tough enough without this debt on top of everything else life throws in their way? It was mentioned in said Jan. 4 article that a person involved wanted to leave it as a legacy, Is helping to create a $100,000 debt to your children a legacy you really want to be a part of? Personally, I would rather leave a legacy that I left my children/ grandchildren debt free.
Regarding the Jan. 18 story regarding snow management issues at Twisp Gardens Apartments, although there were challenging circumstances and reasonable frustrations for those involved, that story could have been written about any number of parking lots, office buildings, HOAs, hotels and private residences around the region that weekend. The entire community struggled to manage the snowfalls and conditions. It seems unfair to hold the managers of that neighborhood to a standard that no one was able to meet under the unexpectedly difficult post-storm circumstances.
The real story is that many of us are not prepared for the convergence of climate change impacts (like unprecedented accumulations of heavy snow) and worker shortages. The story is not unique to the subsidized housing units in Twisp that were written about. It is a larger community issue that warrants thoughtful planning, strategic investments and patience, not finger pointing.
Better solution needed
Several recent Methow Valley News stories do not bode well for the future quality of life in the Methow. One mentions the shortage of plumbers in this time of freezing pipes. But the shortage of skilled labor is nothing new. Nor is the lack of water at some homes and businesses.
Unfortunately, the lack of water goes far beyond the cold weather. Every summer, more farmers see their interruptible water rights shut down early. More residents find their wells running dry. That’s due in part to climate change and resulting increasing drought. There are also more local causes.
Are the county or the towns doing anything meaningful to plan for a future with ever more limited water, whatever the cause? It sure doesn’t seem like it. To the contrary, they are all hell-bent on increasing new development. (Lots of reports about this in the News, too.) That will continue to deplete our water resources. It will also reduce even further the availability of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc., when people with existing homes need their services.
Does anyone have a solution to this worsening future for the Methow? In our culture of “growth is good,” it doesn’t seem so.