Box 97: Letters to the editor
Towards a cure
On behalf of the Chavey family I would like to thank all of the generous people of the Methow Valley who made this year’s Cystic Fibrosis Bike-a-Thon a huge success. On hundred people participated and we raised over $10,000 for critical research. This wonderful event would not be possible without the many business sponsors, volunteers and riders that donate their money and time in order to create a day of giving and service to those 30,000 American children and adults living with cystic fibrosis. As a result of events like these there are great strides being made towards a cure. Thank you, Methow Valley!
Methow Valley School District
Not so confident
In the May 8 issue, Patrick McGann had a fine romp in his column by simply presuming desirability when the respondent said possibility. McGann refers to a poll of Americans where one-third of the respondents thought it might be possible that the national government could become a tyranny. He paints that third of Americans as comically irrational.
In the context of the current administration’s use of the all-powerful IRS to suppress political opposition in the 2012 election cycle and the wholesale crackdown on the Associated Press wire service, I am not so perfectly confident in our democracy. A president might decide political opposition or criticism was getting in the way of fighting terrorism.
I agree with Oliver Cromwell’s advice while dealing with a king: “Put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry.”
I want to extend my deepest gratitude to our amazing community for its support of the Valley Teen Center’s production of Methow Voices: Teens Speak. This was an inspiring project to be a part of thanks to the great energy and drive contributed by the teens as well as the generosity of many adults.
Three adults that shouldn’t go without huge acknowledgement are Lois Garland, Elan Ebeling and Annie McKay. Lois brought an existing connection with the teens that made the production possible and a vision that made this project shine. Elan and Annie both worked tirelessly to bring together the final production, certainly above and beyond their duties as AmeriCorps volunteers.
The teen center has been fortunate to have their service over the past year, for their dedication to so many projects including this one. I am fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with them. Special thanks go to the Twisp Valley Grange and KTRT for sponsoring this important event, which helped foster connections between the adults and youth of our community!
The Valley Teen Center is actively recruiting volunteer chaperones for Friday nights. This is a fun opportunity to build deeper connections with our local youth and give back to your community. I’ve been working with the teen center for the past couple years and it is truly one of my favorite things to do. The wisdom and humor of the teens is endlessly entertaining and becoming a role model is highly rewarding. If you or someone you know would like to get involved, contact the teen center volunteer coordinator Jill by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t be silent
The intense and confidential work of narrowing down potential candidates for the Methow Valley School District superintendent’s position to a short list is nearly done. The public’s part will begin soon.
The school board is interviewing finalists this week in executive sessions. Beginning next Wednesday (May 29), the candidates who survive will return for a long day of meetings with school employees, students and the general public. Check out next week’s Methow Valley News and our website, www.methowvalleynews.com, for more information about the community forums.
The forums are an opportunity for residents to ask questions and assess the finalists’ strengths. It’s important that people who care about how this community’s children are educated show up at the public meetings. A superintendent’s public persona isn’t the most important qualification, but how a candidate responds to direct, probing questions will say something about their leadership ability.
In the running
The tepid response to filings for local elected public offices is disappointing, but perhaps not surprising.
Only a few contests will be actual contests. Most positions drew only one candidate, and most of those candidates are incumbents.
It’s not easy to be a local politician, even if the positions aren’t especially political (all of them are non-partisan). There’s little or no compensation involved, the hours can be long, the issues complex, the decisions controversial, the criticism ugly and personal. Payback comes mainly in a sense of doing something important for the community. It’s not always easy in smaller jurisdictions to find people who are ready to take on the responsibilities and consequences of office.
Then there’s the public attitude problem. Universal anti-government grumbling has become tiresome and essentially meaningless. Government-hating is a trite fallback position for uninformed people who don’t have anything useful to say. It’s just background noise.
Actually running for office is what people do if they are serious about affecting how things work. So offer a “thank you” to those who have held office, are seeking to continue holding office, or are trying for the first time.
Speaking of public officials, we applaud the hard work that council members from Twisp and Winthrop are putting into the question of how the communities will provide policing in the future. It probably feels like a slow trudge through tedious process for those involved, but the discussions so far seem to be pointing in the right direction.
There will be tough choices to make and it’s probable that not everyone will be happy. Community pride, turf disputes and practical considerations will all play roles in how the issue is resolved. Acknowledging that complexity is crucial. More important is sustaining the willingness to battle through to a solution that suits the communities’ needs for a long time.