Methow Valley News - November 15, 2023

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OCEC in agreement to acquire Methownet

Merger will boost local expansion of broadband access

Two of the Methow’s venerable community institutions — the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative and Methownet — are about to join forces to expedite the expansion of broadband fiber access in the valley.

OCEC and Methownet have signed a letter of intent for the nonprofit co-op to buy the privately owned internet service provider based in Winthrop. The deal is tentatively set to close in July 2024.

OCEC and Methownet are already partners in a broadband fiber project that started with a feasibility study in 2022 and was this year funded with a $12 million federal grant, through the Washington State Broadband Office, for buildout of an extended fiber optic system. (For more information, see the accompanying story on page A2.)

That partnership led to discussions about the possibility of the co-op purchasing Methownet, according to OCEC

General Manager Gregg Mendonca and Methownet founders/co-owners Jeff Hardy and Maria Converse.

“The two entities have held discussions for the past year looking for efficiencies in the overall project and business to achieve the objective of delivering reliable and low-cost internet service to the community,” according to a press release. Under terms of the agreement, Methownet will continue to operate as an independent entity, much like the co-op’s propane subsidiary, retain its downtown Winthrop office, and keep its current employees. Hardy and Converse will continue with the company for a time during the transition. “It’s critical for us to have them [Hardy and Converse] stick around,” Mendonca said.

OCEC will operate both the wholesale and retail sides of the business in order to meet the grant requirements, according to the release. “OCEC will operate the entire business as a nonprofit just as the electric side is operated,” the release said.

Natural evolution

In an interview, Mendonca, Hardy and Converse said the conversation about OCEC purchasing Methownet

evolved as a natural consequence of the broadband project.

Hardy said the organizations are similar in having long histories in the valley as locally grown service providers that have expanded their presence over the years. Internet service “was a novelty when we started, and now it’s a utility,” Hardy said. “We [OCEC and Methownet] are in very similar businesses.”

OCEC has decades of experience owning and operating infrastructure, Mendonca said. Methownet’s “obvious expertise” in providing internet services makes the two a “natural fit,” he said.

Mendonca said the merger won’t change how Methownet operates but rather is “a bridge to where we want to go” in providing extensive internet service to the valley’s underserved areas.

“We’ve been building out fiber,” Converse said. “This will allow us to take a major step forward.”

Mendonca said the OCEC board of directors has been solidly behind the merger proposal, and the formal documents are now being drawn up. Mendonca said the deal is structured as a “purchase of assets” that will be funded out of the co-op’s revenues. He said the

Baker took the full plunge in launching eqpd

Named Entrepreneur of the Year in NCW

Jonathan Baker has taken to dunking himself in the frigid waters of the Methow River. He says it helps him cope with the stress that comes from creating and growing his own business in the Methow Valley.

“Cold plunging is incredibly challenging. The stress of starting a business in a remote place where nobody knows you is insane,” Baker said.

The business that Baker is talking about is eqpd (pronounced “equipped”), which he launched in 2014 at TwispWorks. It’s a small manufacturing enterprise that produces simple, sturdy tote bags “proudly made in Twisp,” that are designed to last and replace single-use bags.

the logos

businesses and organizations,




bags are

Election outcomes: aquatics district, hospital bond rejected

Three MV School Board races are also decided

The second round of Okanogan County returns from the Nov. 7 general election confirmed what earlier results indicated: the proposal to form a Methow Aquatics District is being soundly rejected, as is the proposed bond issue to build a new Three Rivers Hospital.

In the three contested races for positions on the Methow Valley School Board, incumbents Frank Kline and Judith Hardmeyer-Wright, and first-time candidate Jennifer Zbyszewski, were well ahead of their opponents. The first round of results were posted on the Washington Secretary of State’s website shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 7). The second round was posted on Thursday (Nov. 9), with another round set for Tuesday (Nov. 14), after the newspaper went to press. The Okanogan County Auditor’s Office said Thursday that about 468 ballots were left to count, and that the voter turnout was 40.66% The aquatics district proposal — Proposition 1 on the ballot — drew 1,033 “yes” votes in the latest returns, or 30.89%, versus 2,311 “no” votes, or 69.11%.

Three Rivers Hospital — Public Hospital District 1, which covers portions of Okanogan and Douglas counties including the Methow Valley — had proposed a $72 million bond issue to replace the aging hospital in

Brewster. Overall, it was being rejected, 2,677 “no” votes (56.57%) to 2,055 “yes” votes (43.43%).

Typically, the hospital district’s Douglas County voters are less supportive of money requests, and that is again the case in early returns. In Douglas County, 40.09% of the voters supported the bond issue request; in Okanogan County, 43.79% of voters were in favor of the proposal.

Because the proposal was for a bond issue, approval would require a 60% supermajority under state law.

Methow Valley School Board

• In the contest for the District 1 position, incumbent Judith Hardmeyer-Wright drew 2,131 votes (68.45%), while challenger Austin Lott tallied 972 votes (31.22%).

• The race for the District 3 seat being vacated by incumbent Mary Anne Quigley saw Jennifer Zbyszewski pull ahead of Scott Larson, drawing 2,447 votes (73.55%) to Larson’s 874 (26.27%).

• In the race for the District 5 (at large) seat, incumbent Frank Kline was outpolling challenger Mike Liu, 2,153 votes (66.08%) to 1,096 votes (33.64%). Board members Dana Stromberger and Gary Marchbank were not up for re-election.

Other races

Most other elected offices were uncontested, with only a handful of write-in votes for each position.

• Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, who has held that office since 2010 and has been re-elected three times, did not seek re-election. Incumbent Twisp

INSIDE ... OPINION A4 HARTS PASS A4 ARTS A5 SPORTS B1 CLASSIFIEDS B2 COMMUNITY B7 VALLEY LIFE B8 ADDRESS LABEL TUES. Nov. 21 42° 27° Mostly cloudy MON. Nov. 20 40° 31° Snow SUN. Nov. 19 44° 28° Partly sunny, rain SAT. Nov. 18 46° 31° Thickening clouds FRI. Nov. 17 43° 29° Partly sunny THURS. Nov. 16 42° 24° Partly sunny WEATHER DATA BASED ON ACCUWEATHER.COM FORECAST FOR TWISP Methow Valley News Ready for it Our Methow Valley Winter 2023-24 magazine is here INSERT Saluting the vets Community events honor those who served STORY, PHOTOS, Page B4 PUBLISHED WEEKLY SINCE 1903 TWISP, WASHINGTON VOL. 120  NO. 29 WWW.METHOWVALLEYNEWS.COM NOVEMBER 15, 2023 $1
Photo by Don Nelson Okanogan County Electric Cooperative General Manager Gregg Mendonca, left, and Methownet founders/co-owners Maria Converse and Jeff Hardy have reached an agreement for the co-op to purchase the local internet service provider. See INTERNET, A2
See EQPD, A3
Photo by Ashley Lodato Snow-dusted hills were reflected in an early morning mirror image on Pearrygin Lake.
breweries, trucking companies, colleges, arts organizations, national parks ... and maybe, if things work out, even the
of local
Methow Valley residents. Over the years, eqpd has expanded its custom-branded bag business to include customers across the country,
said. The list includes Microsoft,
EARLY DEADLINES FOR NEXT WEEK’S PAPER Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the News will go to press on Monday, Nov. 20, rather than Tuesday. That means there will be early deadlines for all advertising and news content. The deadline for classified ads and legal notices will be at noon on Friday (Nov. 17). The deadline for display ads is Thursday (Nov. 16). The deadline for news, feature and opinion page content is noon Friday. Next week, the newspaper will be delivered to newsstands on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and delivered to local post offices for distribution that day as well. For information, call (509) 997-7011.
Photo by Steve Mitchell Jonathan Baker, who founded eqpd in 2014, takes a bracing dunk in the Methow River — an exercise he finds both challenging and invigorating.


merger will not have any effect on electric utility rates, as the Methownet operations will be self-supporting.

“Broadband will pay for broadband,” Mendonca said.

Hardy and Converse said that Adam Glenn, a 1989 graduate of Liberty Bell High School who has years of expe-

rience in telecommunications, will manage Methownet’s broadband operations, working out of the Winthrop office. Glenn oversaw installation of Methownet’s towers on Patterson and Flagg mountains, they said. Mendonca also noted that the merger adds more community involvement in development of internet services. “The members own it,” he said of the co-op and its subsidiaries.

Such arrangements are an emerging model for co-ops, Mendonca said.

Hardy and Converse said they have been approached in the past by privately owned companies that were interested in buying Methownet, but they resisted such offers — preferring a community-based partnership.

“It’s not a hostile takeover,” Mendonca said. “Everybody’s positive, everyone is excited.”

WSDOT re-opens North Cascades Highway after weekend closure

After the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed the North Cascades Highway on Saturday (Nov. 11) because of heavy snowfall and the risk of snow and debris slides, the highway remained closed until Tuesday (Nov. 14).

WSDOT said in earlier updates that it would reevaluate the closure on Monday, then announced on Tuesday that the road would re-open at 1 p.m. that day. The highway had been closed between the Ross Dam trailhead at milepost 134 and Silver Star gate at milepost 171, seven miles west of Mazama.

The highway was closed to traffic for the season on Nov. 8, 2022, after a heavy early-season snowfall. The road was re-opened on May 10 of this year.

WSDOT explains it all

But for the one winter since the highway opened in 1972, the opening-closing-opening cycle on the North Cascades Scenic Highway has been an annual ritual for the valley’s residents and its visitors as they calculate which route they can safely traverse while keeping an eye on the weather. That said, the process and protocol may not be well-known to travelers who only want to know “yes or no,” and get grumpy about the wrong answer. Here are some excerpts from a WSDOT press release on the topic that was sent to media last week.

• Why do we close the North Cascades Highway?

“The stretch of SR 20 that crosses Rainy and Washington passes also crosses dozens of avalanche paths between Whistler Mountain and Delany Ridge. Unlike Stevens

Pass and Snoqualmie Pass where our avalanche control teams use a variety of techniques to clear the avalanche chutes in the winter, staffing, funding and proximity to the national park make it not feasible to do ongoing avalanche control through the winter in the North Cascades. “This route … is a useful route for freight, medical travel, commerce, and recreation, so our maintenance crews plow this section of SR 20 until it is no longer safe to work in the area due to avalanche conditions. At that point, we close the gates for the season to ensure the safety of the traveling public and our hard-working crews.”

• Why do we move the closure points mid-winter? “While initially we close the pass between mileposts 134 and 171, when winter comes to lower elevations, we have to focus our resources on those communities, so we extend the closure points to Newhalem gate (milepost 121) on the west side, and Early Winters gate (milepost 178) on the east side.

“For those that use the area behind the closure points for winter recreation and need to know where you can access or park, we’ll get the word out about the mid-winter change through the same channels we use to announce the closure.”

• Check in for updates.

“We’re already past Oct. 17, which is the earliest winter closure date SR 20 has had and occurred in 2003. We began with our regular mountain pass reports Nov. 1, which populates with real-time pass updates. Crews will plow the road as needed. As soon as the team determines the route must close, we will share that

information through our GovDelivery listserv topic “North Cascades Highway Newsletter” and Facebook.

• Why don’t we just set a date for the closure? “Every season is different and keeping the highway open for as long as possible provides a more direct route for freight, recreation, and the communities on each side of the mountains.”

• Can I park at the closure points? “The gate closure locations are in place for the safety of the traveling public, safety of our crews and at locations where adequate parking is available for backcountry users while still providing access and maneuverability for crews clearing the road to the gate.”

• Am I allowed to go beyond the gate for recreation? “Yes … [but] this is a very active avalanche area that sees a huge amount of snow and has lots of potential hazards. So always be prepared if you choose to ski, snowshoe, snow mobile, etc., beyond the closure gates.”

• Why aren’t there any traffic cameras on Rainy or Washington passes? “Since the passes close for up to half the year, the expense of installation and maintenance of cameras doesn’t justify the need. With tons of avalanche activity potentially damaging the equipment and no traffic, there’s little value in having cameras up there. There are cameras on other parts of SR 20 that remain open all year.”

• There is a snow park at Silver Star gate, why don’t we stay open all winter to the park? “At a certain point in the winter, the snowpack will become too deep for our equipment to manage and we need to focus resources on priority routes.”

Some background on the OCEC/ Methownet fiber option partnership

(Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from a story that appeared in the Methow Valley News in May of this year.)

A $12 million federal grant is enabling the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative (OCEC), in partnership with Methownet, to launch a project to deliver high-speed internet, with no installation costs, to about 2,600 potential users in the upper Methow Valley.

OCEC partnered with Methownet, the valley’s local internet service provider, on the project to build a broadband fiber optic network that will provide internet service from Winthrop to the north end of Lost River Road in Mazama.

OCEC and Methownet formed a partnership last year to conduct a feasibility study and develop plans for a broadband fiber optic network to deliver internet to homes and businesses in OCEC’s service area, which encompasses about 3,700 potential internet connections.

The grant will allow OCEC to bring high-speed internet to a portion of its service area via a fiber optic “backbone” extending north from Winthrop, serving many areas where internet service is currently unreliable or nonexistent.

First phase

This is the first phase of building out a fiber network to OCEC’s entire service area, and the project was scoped to be accomplished with a $12 million grant — the maximum amount available in this funding cycle, Mendonca said.

The project area includes some of the most densely populated portions of OCEC’s service area, which drives down cost by increasing the number of customers per mile. The full cost of the project is $13.2 million, which includes $1.2 million in matching funds, and is “by far the largest [capital] investment” that OCEC has undertaken for any project, said Mendonca.

Plans developed by OCEC and Methownet include extending fiber to the rest of OCEC’s 1,100 customers, including the Twisp River Road and Loup Loup areas. Mendonca said building fiber to the rest of the service area would cost approximately $10 million.

The new internet system will utilize overhead and underground rights-of-way already in place. Despite “leveraging the existing infrastructure,” the investment in internet will represent a major part of OCEC’s assets, currently valued at $16 million, Mendonca said.

Methownet has been working toward delivering highspeed internet throughout the Methow Valley since the company was established 22 years ago, but the partnership with OCEC and the infusion of federal funding vastly accelerated that effort, said Jeff Hardy, who

is co-owner of Methownet with his wife, Maria Converse. “For the past 20 years we’ve been planning for this … to have internet hard wired into every house or business,” Hardy said. “We’ve been stringing fiber every day. To do something on this scale, it would take us 25 years.”

Federal funding

The source of the $12 million grant for the fiber internet project is the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a Biden administration program enacted in 2021 to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. ARPA includes capital project funding administered by the Washington State Broadband Office, which awarded the grants. Mendonca said matching funds are also anticipated from ARPA funding administered by Okanogan County.

The $12 million grant requires that the funds be used to deliver reliable high-speed broadband to areas that lack it. Lost River and other areas of Mazama fit the definition of unserved or underserved, Mendonca said.

Construction is expected to begin next spring to install 183 miles of fiber up the valley. Construction must be completed by October 2026 under terms of the grant funding.

Once in place, this fiber backbone will act like a transmission line does for electric service, allowing delivery of internet to individual hookups. The fiber will be carried on power poles in areas served by overhead lines (81 miles) and buried in areas where power lines are underground (102 miles).

The line will originate at the Twisp substation, where fiber optic internet is delivered by the Okanogan County Public Utility District. The new fiber line will follow the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside County Road, on the east side of the Methow River, to Winthrop. Internet hookups for the project will be available from just south of Winthrop north to the end of the valley.

OCEC and Methownet installed a fiber line in 2010 that runs up the valley from Twisp, primarily along the west side of the Methow River. Just as OCEC has worked to create redundancy in power lines to prevent interruptions in its electric delivery system, the new fiber line “will create that same redundancy” for internet service, Mendonca said. The new line will also be an important part of expanding internet to the rest of OCEC’s service area in a future capital project, he said.

Partnership for service

With Methownet, OCEC will also be working to line up internet customers. Methownet’s two decades of experience providing internet to valley residents is essential to the project’s success, Mendonca said.

“They are already set up as an

internet service provider. We’re set up to build and maintain infrastructure,” he said.

A new website,, promising “lightning fast fiber internet,” is being developed to provide information about the new internet service. Potential customers will be able to put in their address to find out if they are within the new service area, and can see pricing for different levels of internet speeds. The retail costs are still being finalized, Hardy said.

Hardy estimated that about 1,100-1,200 of the potential 2,600 internet customers in the project area currently receive internet through Methownet. OCEC and Methownet are hoping about 75% of potential customers will want to sign up.

New hookups for the service will be free. “With no-cost installation, we tried to lower the barrier of entry as much as possible,” Mendonca said. “We want to make it equitable for everybody.”

The project will use “fiber to the home” installation, in which fiber is connected physically to homes or businesses, as opposed to an “access point” and then wireless to the premises, Mendonca said.

The new system will deliver internet at speeds starting at 100 megabits per second for uploads and downloads, considerably faster than much of the internet currently available. “We now have accounts that have 10 megabits per second as the base,” Hardy said.

Areas in the far northern part of the valley that are currently unable to access internet due to their remote location, including some parts of Lost River, “will be able to purchase a gigabit up and down” when the project is completed, Mendonca said.

Under the provisions of the ARPA grant funding, Methownet will have exclusive rights to sell internet services for three years after construction is completed, and then the fiber broadband system will open to other retail internet service providers.

Hardy said Methownet has seen demand for internet in the Methow Valley grow by almost 30% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by an influx of new residents and people who began spending much more time living and working in second homes.

Finding ways to improve internet service in the Methow Valley has been an ongoing issue for years, as full-time and part-time residents have complained about unreliable or nonexistent service in parts of the Methow Valley.

A Broadband Action Team was formed by local business and government leaders in 2018 to address issues with internet access, and has been very supportive of OCEC and

Page A2 Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Methow Valley News
Page A1 Twisp Medical Monday-Friday 8am-5pm HEALTH CENTERS FAMILY WHOLE PERSON HEALTH
800 660-2129 for information on FHC Dental hours and closings 509.996.2211 | Thanksgiving Dinner at Sun Moutain Lodge
together for an inventive twist on a harvest tradition
Methownet, Mendonca
Creating the fiber network
ensure a reliable future for internet in the valley, Hardy said.
Photos courtesy of WSDOT The weather can change quickly on the the North Cascades Highway. These pictures were taken within two days of each other in October.

911 blotter

Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office

• On Nov. 8 at 7:50 a.m., a caller on Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road reported that two dogs had attempted to kill the caller’s sheep.

• On Nov. 8 at 7:57 p.m., a caller reported a suspicious vehicle at the intersection of Twisp River

Town Council member Hans Smith did not seek re-election to his current position because he ran for mayor to replace IngMoody. Council incumbents Mark Easton and Alan Caswell did not file for re-election. Elliot Thrasher is running unopposed for the Position 3 seat now held by Caswell. Will Menzies seeks the Position 4 seat now held by Easton and is unopposed. Tim Matsui is seeking the Position 5 seat that Smith is giving up to run for mayor, and is also unopposed. Council members Katrina Auburn and Aaron Stu-

Road and Elbow Coulee Road, parked off the roadway with its lights on for about four hours.

• On Nov. 8 at 7:02 p.m., a deputy reported that a suspected DUI driver on Riverside Avenue in Winthrop had driven away and then been involved in a rollover accident.


See additional follow-up coverage of the Nov. 7 general election on pages A6 and A7.

den were not up for re-election.

• In Winthrop, incumbents Seth Miles (Position 4), Ben Nelson (Position 3) and Bill McAdow (Position 5) all filed for re-election and were unopposed. Mayor Sally Ranzau and council members Joseph O’Driscoll and Kirstin Vanderhalf were not up for re-election.

• The sole candidate to replace Jerry Palm for a six-year term on the three-member Fire District 6 board of commissioners (Position 3) is John Lindsey of Twisp. Commissioners Miles

Milliken and Darold Brandenburg were not up for re-election.

• In Hospital District 1 (Three Rivers Hospital), board incumbents David Garcia and Tracy Shrable both filed for re-election to six-year terms.

• Gary Marchbank was unopposed in seeking re-election to the Cemetery District 1 board of commissioners; Leone Johnson-Edson was unopposed in seeking re-election to the Cemetery District 2 board of commissioners. All of the local offices are non-partisan.

Water banking discussion set

The Okanogan Conservation District and the Methow Watershed Council are partnering to host an update on the process of forming the Okanogan County Water Bank, on Friday (Nov. 17) at 5:30 p.m. at the Twisp Valley Grange.

That story has worked for us,” he said.

It’s worked so well, in fact, that Baker was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the NCW Tech Alliance at its “Annual Innovator Awards” meeting on Nov. 8 in Wenatchee. NCW Tech Alliance is a nonprofit organization that supports growth and development of business and technology in North Central Washington.

“Jonathan started eqpd because he wanted to locally make products to help everybody in their daily lives and at the same time, lighten their impact on the planet,” NCW Tech said in an announcement of Baker’s award.

“He believes in American design and manufacturing, and that great, everyday products can still be built right here in the USA for great value. He’s mixed classic, proven manufacturing techniques with modern materials and good design principles to create highly functional bags with minimal manufacturing ... and contributes to an honest Form Follows Function aesthetic,” NCW Tech’s announcement said.

No rainbows and unicorns

Baker said being chosen for the award was a “total surprise,” and he appreciates the affirmation of all the hard work — and stress — involved in building a business.

“Being an entrepreneur is not rainbows and unicorns. Every day is an effort and nothing comes for free. You hope your good work catches up with you at some point,” he said.

The support has gotten him through some difficult times — many difficult times, he says. He’s worked through wildfires, pandemics, supply chain problems, and employee shortages. He said he’s gained perspective over the years, and laughs when he talks about the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur.

“It takes teamwork, and tripping over our own mistakes, and spending tons of unnecessary money. We understand how dynamic you have to be, how flexible you have to be. It’s crushing one minute, on top of the world the next. Every month I wonder if I can make it. It’s incredibly volatile,” Baker said.

“I have so much respect for other businesses in the valley. It’s epic what our little place can do. This is a scrappy place,” he said.

“That really warmed my heart,” he said. “We’ve made a place for ourselves.” Business customers for customized logo bags – eqpd’s biggest market — are drawn to eqpd’s “authentic story,” Baker said. “We’re trying to tell a story of making things in the U.S., and things that don’t end up in landfills.” He said eqpd is “trying to sell that story to the Seahawks.”

Baker has high hopes for the future of eqpd, including perhaps building its own manufacturing facility someday, and moving out of the 1940s-era renovated shed that eqpd occupies at TwispWorks. “The concrete floor is so cracked you can barely roll a cart across it,” Baker said.

Organic growth

Contact Jordana Ellis, Okanogan Irrigation Planner, at or Sarah Lane, Methow Watershed Administrator, at for more information.

Representatives of the Water Bank Team, Okanogan Conservation District and Methow Watershed Council will give a short presentation on the current status of Okanogan County Water Bank. The presentation will be followed by small group gatherings to discuss and develop questions and feedback regarding the goals, needs, benefits and issues of the local water bank to inform the development process. Community members invited to take a survey before the meeting. Go to or for more information.

Baker is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and worked in New England as an industrial designer with a dream of starting his own product line. He was initially attracted to the Methow Valley for its outdoor recreation, and was drawn to TwispWorks after learning about its support of start-up companies.

“I came here like every other dreamer,” Baker said. “When you want to be in a place, you learn to work within the place.”

He is grateful for the mentoring and support he got from other small bushiness owners in the valley, and the support of the community as a whole, as he has grown his business.

“In a small community you can work together face-to-face. I knew I would need that kind of support for our business. I wasn’t savvy enough on my own. I needed a whole group of people to believe in me,” Baker said.

From two employees (including Baker) in 2015, eqpd’s team has grown to eight people now. When working at maximum capacity, eqpd can make 500 bags in a week.

“That’s why we came here, for that slow, organic growth,” Baker said.

Most individual sales are made directly online, with a small percentage from walk-in customers at eqpd’s manufacturing facility at TwispWorks. “We have no advertising budget. You can’t find us on Amazon,” Baker said. “Our customers are our greatest advocates. Many sales happen through word-of-mouth.”

Recently a visitor to the valley from North Carolina walked into eqpd’s shop at TwispWorks. The woman looked around, and exclaimed, “This is the town that makes the bags!” Baker said.

“I’m an entrepreneur. I want to grow this business and create something of value to the community. I hope it lives beyond me ... that it has legacy and value,” he said.

Meanwhile, he plans to continue coping with the stress of his entrepreneurial lifestyle by cold plunging in the frigid Methow River, a practice he started in the summer of 2022 and continued during the past summer.

“You’ve got to stay in for a moment of time, controlling your breathing and heart rate,” Baker said.

“Cold plunging is a way to deal with the terrible stress. It flips the switch. Sometimes there’s no better way than jumping in 42-degree water,” he said.

Baker said he’s challenging himself to continue cold plunging throughout the year, not just in summer, and made himself get in the river during a recent early snowstorm.

I made a pledge, ‘Don’t let it faze you,’” Baker said. “If you can start a business in the Methow, you’re tough enough to cold plunge.”

Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page A3 ELECTION From Page A1 EQPD From Page A1 FOR THE 2023 Holiday Card edition OF THE Methow Valley News SPONSORS NEEDED CALL TO BE A SPONSOR TODAY! (509) 997-7011 Sponsor a 2nd Grader’s Holiday Card! DEADLINE: Thursday, Dec. 14 published December 20 A portion of each sponsorship goes to Neighbors Helping Neighbors Your name here I like winter because there is frost on my window. I love winter because it is so much fun and everywhere you go there is snow! Ellie Laughery Holiday Deadlines For classifieds and legals For display ads Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving issue Dec. 27 - Christmas week Jan. 3 - New Years week Friday, Nov. 17 Friday, Dec. 22 Friday, Dec. 29 Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving issue Dec. 27 - Christmas week Jan. 3 - New Years week Thu, Nov. 16 Thu, Dec. 21 Thu, Dec. 28 Seattle Seahawks. The company is the realization of Baker’s vision that brought him from New England to Twisp to set up shop. “I want to create something incredibly tangible that you can walk into, and touch. You can come to the factory and visit the people that made your bag.
Photo by Don Nelson Business customers for eqpd’s customized logo bags make up the company’s biggest market.

a bit about herself in her inaugural column, on page B8, in which you’ll learn that she has been a practicing veterinarian for more than 40 years. What she doesn’t mention is that she earned a certificate in nonfiction writing from the University of Washington with an emphasis on journalism. “The class taught the principles of fact-gathering, interviewing, editing and revision,” she said in her application letter. She has published several articles, and is a lifelong photographer, which is handy for our columnists.

“I have a thorough knowledge of the Methow Valley after spending many summers hiking, riding, river rafting and working for the U.S. Forest Service in Okanogan County,” she noted in her application letter.

In the community, she has been a volunteer for Methow At Home, Classroom in Bloom, Methow Arts and C6F2F, and is a long-time member and officer of Methow Valley Back Country Horsemen.

We had other applicants who I am certain would have made fine columnists. It’s encouraging to know that there is so much talent in our little community.

Michelle has lots of her own ideas, but she welcomes yours. To reach her, email

Another calculation

It’s been nearly four years since we raised our mail subscription rates in March of 2020, and lately people have been suggesting that we raise them again — out of concern that we continue to stay viable as a locally produced newspaper in an uncertain journalistic environment.

It’s sound advice. Out of prudence and necessity — with some reluctance because we know the cost of everything is going up — we will raise our subscription rates on Jan. 1, 2024. They will go from $39 to $45 a year for in-county mailing, from $50 to $60 for out-of-county subscriptions, and from $65 to $70 annually for out-of-state subscribers.

Before that 2020 increase, it had been six years since we hiked the subscription prices. Two price hikes in 10 years isn’t excessive, given how dramatically all of our operating costs have gone up during that time — for personnel, printing, supplies, postage and pretty much everything else. Meanwhile, while our revenues have recovered from the hits they took during the COVID years, they have never reached the levels they peaked at before I got here more than 12 years ago.

Also on Jan. 1, for the first time in more than 10 years we will be raising our newsstand price from $1 to $1.50. I haven’t wanted to do that because it’s easier to hand over a dollar bill for the paper than to add some change. We split the newsstand revenues with our retail partners, so they will also see a slight increase in their share of individual sales.

A subscription will still be a pretty good deal for our in-county readers: less than $1 a week, and we pay the postage. That makes it advantageous over a newsstand purchase, but many people still like to buy the paper at one of our outlets rather than wait for the mail. We hope not to discourage them.

All told, subscriptions and single-copy sales still only account for a fraction of our overall revenues. As has historically been the case, readers continue to be subsidized by advertisers, who pretty much pay the way — for which we are grateful. I recently surveyed other weekly newspapers, in Washington and elsewhere, to get a sense of what they are charging for subscriptions these days. Our new rates won’t be the highest or the lowest.

As we did in 2020, we’re going to give readers some time to extend their existing subscriptions at the current rates, for up to two years. We hope some folks will take advantage of that offer.

We are always looking to strike a balance between keeping ourselves afloat and keeping costs manageable for readers and advertisers, while continuing to produce the best local journalism we can. Over the past several years we have periodically raised rates for our newspaper and special publications advertising by small incremental amounts. Sometimes we go a couple of years between increases, mindful of our advertisers’ costs. The price for classifieds has stayed the same as it was when I arrived in 2011. As always, we appreciate your support and feedback. Our commitment to quality community journalism remains absolute.


Box 97:

Letters to the editor

Thanks for a fun Halloween

Dear Editor:

Thanks to all the residents of Burgar Street for once again making a special place for all the valley kids to enjoy Halloween. The amount of money and time and effort you put into your decorations and the candy you gave out was noted and appreciated greatly by all of us families! Thank you.

Thank you also to all the community members who helped make the haunted house in Twisp this year! All I can say is, wow! Your effort was appreciated and it was impressive and very fun. I hope it becomes a new valley tradition.

Lastly, thank you to the Winthrop businesses, the headless horseman, and the Pine Near RV park staff for again making it a fun place for Winthrop kids to head out to on Halloween as well. You should not miss the Pine Near RV park and their amazing decorations (and hot dogs!) next year. I don’t know who that headless horseman is, but they don’t miss a year, and are such a memorable part of our Halloweens.

Blue Bradley Winthrop

Great service from Blue Star

Dear Editor:

On Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, Randy’s Towing was working a wreck site on Rainy Pass where a fully loaded propane tanker had crashed through the guard rail, and went down a tree-covered embankment before it stopped resting on its side. My crew of seven men had been working the wreck for many hours in the cold, rain and snow. One of my employees stopped at Blue Star Coffee Roasters in Twisp looking for coffee to take to the site and the customer service that was provided was exceptional and rarely seen in this day and age.

The staff didn’t hesitate and offered him the store coffee pot full of hot coffee together

with cups, sugars and creamer. The only request was that we return the pot (it must have held 30 cups) on our way down and leave it by the door. This was the first hot thing anyone had all day in the 10 hours we had been up on the mountain. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. Thank you, Blue Star Coffee Roasters, for going the extra mile and helping us out.

Ryan Houston Randy’s Towing Okanogan

A terrific Halloween

Dear Editor:

Halloween night at the Methow Valley Community Center was a big hit, thanks to the 31 business sponsors, the 51 volunteers, and over 600 visitors who braved the Zombie Takeover or trick-or-treated through our Happy Halloween Lane. We are grateful the community embraced this event and hope it becomes a yearly tradition. We also hope you will be inspired to get involved next year, bringing new creativity and fresh ideas to our event. There are dozens of ways to get involved so please email if you want to be contacted next fall when we prepare for another Halloween at your community center.

Anita Lince Outreach Coordinator Methow Valley Community Center

Honoring the vets

Dear Editor:

The Methow Valley Senior Citizens Association was privileged to sponsor a lunch in honor of our veterans. The lunch was a small way of thanking all who have served in the Armed Forces and for protecting the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy in this country. We would like to thank the veterans and guests who attended and also thank the following:

As a long-time resident of the upper Twisp River, I was deeply disappointed in your inclusion of Scatter Lake in your recent article about places to go to see the larch. In recent years we, residents of the Methow Valley, have seen many trails in the North Cascades become overrun and over-used. While in many ways it is good to see so many people

taking in the beauty of our natural surroundings it also creates challenges on how to best manage our natural resources. Scatter Lake is an amazing place. While there are many other beautiful lakes in the Cascades, few offer the pristine beauty Scatter does. Its remoteness and unspoiled surroundings are what make it stand out. If you have been there, you know parking is very limited as there is no real parking lot. And campsites at the lake are also few without trampling the delicate flora on the shore. So it has remained untainted. Until

your article. On the weekend after your article, 18 cars were parked at the trailhead, squeezed in between the trees and on the road. Normally, there would be two or three on such a weekend. Our neighbor passed through the lake on his way to Abernathy and saw people camped out “all over the place.” A place where people have always gone for solitude and solace is now forever changed. This is not the way to manage and protect our special places.

We do not begrudge those who take the time and effort to find

these places on their own. Those who do often appreciate, respect and protect them the way we do. But those who are shown the way through social media posts and articles like yours often do not. They leave big footprints, trash and toilet paper. They post and promote their “find,” They don’t see the consequences, but we do. So what I would ask is that you take all this into consideration the next time you write about one of these “off-thebeaten path” places, so the paths may remain unbeaten. Denise Tompetrini lives near Twisp.

Shannon Polson; Fred Cooley; American Legion Auxiliary Unit 120; Blue Star Coffee Roasters; Bart and Sue Northcott of BS Bar-B-Que; Methow Valley Community Center; Kiwanis and Key Club; Methow Valley Cascaders 4-H Club; and the Methow Valley Senior Citizens volunteers for helping with everything. Judy Tonseth, President Methow Valley Senior Citizens Association Harts Pass By Erik Brooks Page A4 Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Methow Valley News Don Nelson CORRECTION: An article in the Nov. 8 issue about a proposal to place electric vehicle recharging stations in Winthrop should have said that the property including the current Winthrop Visitor Information Center should be used as a “public park” under terms of the original conveyance of the property to the town. The News regrets the error. Display advertising deadline for this newspaper is on the Thursday previous to publication at 5 p.m. Classified advertising deadline is Monday at noon. The deadline for news items is Monday at noon. THE METHOW VALLEY NEWS (USPS Publication No. 343480) is published weekly by MVN Publishing, LLC, 502 S. Glover St., Twisp, WA 98856. Subscription rates: $39 inside Okanogan County, $50 outside of Okanogan County and $65 outside of Washington state per year (in advance). Periodical class postage paid at Twisp, Washington, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE METHOW VALLEY NEWS, P.O. Box 97, Twisp, WA 98856. THE METHOW VALLEY NEWS does not refund subscription payments except to the extent that the newspaper might fail to meet its obligation to publish each week of the individual subscription period, in which case the prorated cost of those issues missed would be refunded. Member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Front page banner photo by Steve Mitchell PUBLISHED WEEKLY SINCE 1903 502 S. Glover Street • P.O. Box 97, Twisp, WA 98856 (509) 997-7011 FAX (509) 997-3277 • Methow Valley News Don Nelson, PUBLISHER/EDITOR Marcy Stamper, REPORTER Rick Lewis, SPORTS MyKenzie Bennett, DESIGN Tera Evans, AD SALES/OFFICE MANAGER Trish Rouse, OFFICE ASSISTANT CONTRIBUTORS: Joanna Bastian Shelley Smith Jones Ashley Lodato Michelle Schmidtke Ann McCreary Erik Brooks Marsha Moratti Len Baublitz Colleen Ramiskey Solveig Torvik Dave Ward NO BAD DAYS Taking care of business The News has some news to relate. This week, we introduce our new Twisp columnist on the Valley Life page. Michelle Schmidtke replaces Sarah Schrock, who was our Twisp correspondent since taking over from the late Sally Gracie
will tell
Okanogan County Sheriff Paul Budrow;
note: this was written as a letter to a Seattle
MY TURN Protecting the off-the-beaten-path places
Times writer; a copy was provided to the News by the author.)
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS DISTRICT 7 LEGISLATORS Sen. Shelly Short 409 Legislative Building PO Box 40407 Olympia, WA 98504 (360) 786-7612 Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber 425B Legislative Building PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504 (360) 786-7908 Rep. Joel Kretz 335A Legislative Building PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504 (360) 786-7988 OKANOGAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 123 Fifth Ave. N., Room 150 Okanogan, WA 98840 (509) 422-7100 District 1, Chris Branch: District 2, Andy Hover: District 3: Jon Neal: TOWN OF TWISP Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, (509) 997-4081 P.O. Box 278 118 S. Glover St., Twisp, WA 98856 TOWN OF WINTHROP Mayor Sally Ranzau, (509) 996-2320 P.O. Box 459 206 Riverside Ave., Winthrop, WA 98862 OTHER CONTACTS Methow Valley School District: https://; (509) 996-9205 Okanogan County Fire District 6:; (509) 997-2981

‘Clue’ preps for December opening at Merc Playhouse

Rehearsals are underway for The Merc Playhouse’s production of “Clue,” the classic “whodunit” romp, which opens on Friday, Dec. 8, and continues with performances through Sunday, Dec. 17.

The play, directed by Kira Wood-Cramer, The Merc’s executive director, is based on the cult classic film and the popular board game, adapted for the stage.

“‘Clue’ is a madcap comedy that will keep you guessing until the final twist,” according to The Merc’s website. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m.; Sunday performances are at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $18 in advance; $20 at the door. Youth tickets are $5. To buy tickets, visit

• The Merc will conduct auditions for the upcoming production of “James and the Giant Peach,” directed by Jane Orme, on Dec. 11 and 12 from 4-5:30 p.m. each day. Actors aged 8 to 18 are encouraged to audition. There is no need to prepare ahead of time. Sections to read will be provided & actors should

Bacon will read from new poetry collection

Methow Valley author Subhaga Crystal Bacon will be doing a series of readings from her newest poetry collection, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award-winning “Transitory,” which was released this week by BOA Editions.

“Grounded in protest and solidarity … ‘Transitory’ is a collection of elegies memorializing 46 transgender and gender-nonconforming people murdered in the US and Puerto Rico in 2020,” according to a BOA press release. “Epistolary in nature, these commemorative poems are ‘gleaned sketches’ attempting to reconstruct lives and deaths from the typically scarce information made available on the internet.”

The readings are:

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 5 p.m., at Bob’s Burgers and Brews in Wenatchee, with the Third Thursday Poets.

• Saturday, Nov. 18, 3 p.m., with the Seattle Trans and Non-binary Chorale Ensemble at Rainier Presbyterian Church in Seattle.

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 1 p.m., via Zoom with Diane Seuss, CA Conrad, and Jill McDonough for the Hudson Valley Writers Center, calendar/bacon.

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m., with the Seattle Trans and Non-binary Chorale Ensemble at Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University.


• Tuesday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m., Elliott Bay Books in Seattle. Read more of Bacon’s work at www.


The Methow Valley Spinners & Weavers guild will host its annual Show and Sale, sharing their love of fiber arts, on Friday (Nov. 17) from 2-6 p.m. and Saturday (Nov. 18) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The free shows will be at 137 Old Twisp Highway, off Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop. There will be one-of-kind handwoven towels, blankets, rugs, scarves, handspun yarns, hand-dyed techniques, and more. Cash or checks only. Visit for information.


Join C.S. Lewis scholar and author Greg Wright for a fun and educational interactive tour through the creative language Lewis embedded in his classic fantasy series “The Chronicles of Narnia,” on Sunday, Nov. 26, from 7-9 p.m. at Brix Wine Bar and Bottle Shop in Winthrop. Beverages and small plate service will be available. The free event is presented by Methow Press.


The Confluence: Art in Twisp opens its next main gallery exhibit, “Life’s Little Pleasures: Small Works Show,” on Saturday, Nov. 25, continuing through Jan. 6. There will be an opening night reception from 5-7 p.m. Curators are Joanne Marracci and Cheryl Quintana. Also opening in the Community Gallery on Nov. 25 is a show by Salyna Gracie, “Awakened Dreams,” that will continue through Jan. 6 as well.


The information below was provided by Methow Music Monthly and other sources. For more information, visit www.methowmusicmonthly. com.

• Sundays, classical guitarist Terry Hunt at Twisp River Tap House, 5:30 p.m. No cover.

• Mondays, Cascadia Chorale rehearsals, Methow Valley United Methodist Church, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

• Wednesdays, dance instruction with Debbie Bair at Twisp River Tap House, ages 12 and up, 6-8:30 p.m. $5.

• Wednesdays, Zumba 101 with Tani at Winthrop Physical Therapy & Fitness, 9:30 a.m.

• Wednesdays, Methow Ukulele Group meets at Mazama Store, 4-6 p.m. More information at

• Thursdays, Zumba workout at Methow Valley Community Center, 5:30-6:20 p.m. By donation.

• Thursdays, Pipestone Orchestra rehearsals at Methow Valley Community Center, 6 p.m.

• Thursdays in November, team Twisp Trivia with host Ryan D at Twisp River Tap House, 6-8:45 p.m. Up to six players, $5 each.

• Fridays, open mic jam with Gregg Hardy at Twisp River Tap House, 6 p.m.-closing. No cover.

• First and third Fridays, Friday Feels (Soleil Kelley, Loren Boley, Isaac Shaw, Noah Ashford and friends) at Meza restaurant, Winthrop, 6-8 p.m. No cover.

• Thursday, Nov. 16, Angus Brookes plays bluegrass, country, Celtic traditional and other eclectic folk music at OSB Taproom, Twisp, 5:308:30 p.m. No cover.

• Friday, Nov. 17, SmallTown Strings, a brother-sister duo from Curlew (niece and nephew of Brandi Carlisle) offer a mix of folk, Americana, and indie at Sun Mountain Lodge, 6 p.m. Benefit for Cascadia Music; $10 donation suggested.

• Friday, Nov. 17, Kris Borgias performs rock, blues and folk at Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop, 6-9 p.m. No cover.

• Saturday, Nov. 18, Marcus Duke Project at Twisp River Tap House, 6:30 p.m. No cover.

• Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Snowberries play jazz standards and more at Mazama Public House, 5:30-8:30 p.m. No cover.

• Wednesday, Nov. 22, international artist Jill Barber at Sun Mountain Lodge, 7 p.m. $25.

• Friday, Nov. 24, Stephen Kish at Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop, 6-9 p.m. No cover.

• Friday, Dec. 1, open mic with Stephen Kish at Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthop, 6-9 p.m. No cover.

• Tuesday, Dec. 5, Karen et Gil at Mazama Public House, 5:30-8:30 p.m. No cover.

• Friday, Dec. 8, Itterly & Pitman, a folk/blues duo from Vashon Island, at Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop, 6-9 p.m. No cover.

• Thursday, Dec. 14, open mic at OSB Taproom, Twisp, 5:30-8:30 p.m. No cover.

• Friday, Dec. 15, local singer/songwriter Ken Bevis at Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop, 6-9 p.m. No cover.

• Tuesday, Dec. 19, jazz and classical standards from Ben Wheeler and Sarah Stephens at Mazama Public House, 5:30-8:30 p.m. No cover.

Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page A5
dress comfortably and be prepared to get creative and move. Rehearsals begin Tuesday, Jan. 2, and are scheduled for Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Sundays from 4-6:30 p.m. The show will be stage March 14-25, 2024. For information, visit
Photo courtesy of The Merc Playhouse The cast of “Clue” has started rehearsals for The Merc Playhouse production that opens Dec. 8. Photo by Jack Kienast Subhaga Crystal Bacon will offer several readings from “Transitory,” her just-released collection of poetry. Image courtesy of The Confluence: Art in Twisp “Yellow Camero” by Don Deleva will be among the works at The Confluence: Art in Twisp’s next show. Photo by Don Nelson The snow flurry that bustled through the valley last weekend left an early impression of what winter will look like, notably in the Mazama area.

Friends of Pool to ‘regroup’ after failed pool proposal

Valley voters reject aquatics district by more than 2-1 margin

After Methow Valley voters last week rejected a new taxing district to build and operate a swimming pool, backers of the proposal said “there is no clear path forward” for a new pool in the valley.

“We’re going to regroup,” Bo Thrasher, co-chair of Friends of the Pool, said after the Nov. 7 election results showed the Methow Aquatics District proposition being defeated by a more than 2-1 margin.

With some votes still being counted, the most recent tally was 1,033 votes (30.89%) in favor and 2,311 votes (69.11%) opposed to the proposition that would have created a metropolitan park district to levy taxes for a proposed aquatics facility.

The election results were “resounding,” Thrasher said. She said Friends of the Pool, which led the campaign for the district creation, would need time to figure out its next steps. Pool proponents would probably meet again after the beginning of the new year, she said.

“We worked hard. We’re thankful for

the support and feedback,” Thrasher said.

Friends of the Pool will be open to “new ideas and working with new people,” Thrasher said. “We’re looking forward to creating a solution that works best for the community.”

In an email sent to supporters after the election, Friends of the Pool said that with the failure of the Methow Aquatics District proposition, “a governing body and sustainable operating funding for a new facility has no clear path forward.”

Friends of the Pool will continue to support the existing Wagner Pool in Twisp, as it has for almost 20 years, “as long as the Town of Twisp chooses to sustain it,” according to the email from the organization.

Based on a feasibility study and public input, Friends of the Pool advocated for an indoor facility that would provide year-round swimming. A conceptual design by consultants proposed a competition pool and smaller recreation pool in an enclosed building, estimated to cost about $21 million.

Friends of the Pool said the primary purpose of the district would be to provide operating funds. They said a secure funding source for operations and maintenance [the taxing district] needed to be in place before a fundraising campaign for construction was launched.

The proposed metropolitan park district would have provided funding “to

develop, construct, operate, and maintain the Methow Aquatics Center and related existing and future facilities,” according to the ballot proposition.

The district would have been able to levy regular property taxes up to 75 cents per $1,000 assessed value, and issue bonds. The boundaries of the proposed district were the same as the Methow Valley School District.

Too many questions

Opponents of the metropolitan park district said too many aspects of the proposed district were unknown, including the tax rate, how the governing board members would be selected, and the design, cost and financing of a swimming facility. They said voters were being asked to approve “a blank check” for a new, permanent taxing entity without knowing the specifics of the facility it would support.

Ray Peterson, a Winthrop resident, led the opposition through a website and social media, and yard signs that urged voters to vote no on the metropolitan park district. Peterson and others argued that this type of taxing district would not be accountable to voters because the board is not directly elected, and district tax levies would not need voter approval every six years, as required in other types of park and recreation districts. Peterson advocated for finding another way to fund a swimming facil-

ity, such as sales taxes. Two days after the election, he sent an email to the mayors of Twisp and Winthrop, urging them to explore the idea of a “public facilities district.”

“RCW 35.57 allows towns to create their own public facilities districts and initiate a 0.2% sales tax add-on to support projects. Pasco recently did this to build a pool facility,” Peterson said in his email, which he shared with the Methow Valley News.

He suggested that the towns could each create a public facilities district and combine the sales tax funds through an interlocal agreement to support a pool, and perhaps other valley facilities like the skating rink and library. Peterson has also pointed to the town of Tonasket as an example for funding a new pool. Community members there formed a nonprofit organization that raised money for construction of a $1 million seasonal pool that opened in 2017, and voters subsequently approved a parks and recreation district to fund maintenance of the pool and city parks.

The Methow Aquatics District proposition became contentious, much like a similar proposal to create a metropolitan park district in 2014. That proposition, which would have supported the swimming pool, trails and other facilities, was defeated by an even larger margin of 78% “no” to 22% “yes.”

Discussions about funding for recre-

ation lost momentum after that election, until about four years ago when Friends of the Pool began holding community meetings about a new pool.

Aging pool

The 56-year-old Wagner Memorial pool in Twisp, which is maintained by the town, has deteriorated beyond repair, according to consultants hired in 2019 to evaluate the pool. A maintenance fund created by the Wagner family, for which the pool is named, is nearly depleted. Friends of the Pool has raised about $400,000 over the years to supplement the town’s pool budget and help pay for repairs and operations.

Looking toward a future facility, Friends of the Pool hosted community meetings in 2019 and received a grant in 2021 to hire a recreation consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study. Community input gathered during the study favored an indoor, year-round swimming facility. Consultants analyzed construction and operation costs and developed conceptual designs for an aquatics center. They also advised on potential sources of funding.

Friends of the Pool opted for a metropolitan park district to fund an aquatics center and gathered about 1,200 signatures earlier this year to qualify the proposition for the November ballot, although it appears that just over 1,000 voters ended up supporting the idea.

Despite bond issue loss, Three Rivers CEO ‘heartened’ by

support Hospital board will consider next move

A $72 million bond proposition to rebuild Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster fell short of the votes it needed to pass in the Nov. 7 election.

But the fact that over 43% of the voters supported the proposition is encouraging, said Scott Graham, Three Rivers chief executive officer.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with the outcome. But I’m heartened by the fact that we got 43% of the vote. We weren’t crushed. It felt validating to know we had the support that we did,” Graham said this week.

Voters in the hospital district, which includes portions of Okanogan and Douglas counties, turned down the bond proposal with 2,055 (43.43%) in favor and 2,677 (56.57%) opposed. The bond would need approval by 60% of voters to pass.

The hospital’s board of commissioners will be discussing the outcome of the election to determine if Three Rivers Hospital will try to win voter approval for the bond in a future election, Graham said.

“We knew that it was a big ask and we were hoping that it would go forward. A lot of hospitals that try to get this sort of initiative passed often have to do it two or three times. We were prepared that it might take more than one time,” Graham said.

The bond to rebuild the hospital would have been repaid through property taxes, with a levy rate of $1.39 per $1,000 assessed valuation. That would equal $695 per year for a home valued at $500,000.

Voters may have had “some sticker shock from the $72 million,” said Jennifer Best, business development coordinator at Three Rivers Hospital. “We totally understand that.”

If the hospital runs a bond proposition again, “it may look different than what we initially proposed, but it’s really too early to say,” Best said.

Three Rivers Hospital officials say the bond is needed to replace the 75-year-old hospital, which has been remodeled and retrofitted many times over the years. Consultants hired by the hospital concluded that the building can no longer be retrofitted to meet current medical standards, and replacing it with a new facility would be less expensive in the long term, hospital officials said.

Wake-up call

The bond proposition has some residents of the hospital district questioning the wisdom of putting more money into what they call an “outdated” health care delivery system.

“I think it’s time to question our current model and engage in a comprehensive planning process for our county as a whole,” said Peter Morgan, a retired health care executive and Winthrop resident.

Okanogan County has three critical access hospitals — Three Rivers in Brewster, Mid-Valley in Omak, and North Valley in Tonasket — all approximately 30 minutes apart. A critical access hospital is a federal designation for hospitals that provide affordable and accessible health care in rural, often underserved areas.

“Our concern is that our current configuration of three critical access hospitals ... is based on a 1950s model of care and needs to be revisited,” Morgan said in a letter to the Methow Valley News,


co-authored by David Clement, a retired anesthesiologist.

Patients who might have been hospitalized 60 years ago are now treated as outpatients. Seriously ill patients who require specialized equipment and expertise are often stabilized at critical access hospitals and transported to larger hospitals, Morgan and Clement said.

“Many patients from Okanogan County travel to Wenatchee, Spokane or Seattle because none of our three hospitals treat enough patients to justify the scope of services we might have if they were coordinated or consolidated,” Morgan and Clement wrote.

The three area hospitals are competing for limited funding and patients, Morgan said in an interview after the election. Consolidating care in one hospital could allow expansion of services like surgery and orthopedics, “and maybe we could keep more care in the community” instead of requiring patients to be transferred to other hospitals. Morgan said.

“I think this hospital bond failure should be a kind of wake-up call to all three hospitals,” he said. “All of these hospital districts are going to face a lot of resistance from taxpayers if they are going to try to capitalize in this current environment.”

Morgan said draws from his experience as an executive vice president of Group Health Cooperative, which operated hospitals and clinics for 400,000 members statewide during his tenure. When enrollment began shrinking, Group Health was forced to close hospitals. “We were facing our own capitalization issues,” Morgan said.

Complex process

A new model of health care delivery could address the need for urgent

after-hours care in communities like the Methow Valley, which has no afterhours care, and could utilize newer technologies like telehealth, remote diagnostics and remote health care management, Morgan said.

“It looks like it’s going to be challenging to fund renovations and construction of hospitals,” he said. “My sense of what is needed is to get support for a county-wide planning grant … the missing piece is who leads it,” Morgan said.

“Those of us who opposed [the bond] feel some obligation ... to look at this. It’s a question of the ‘how,’” he said.

The idea of consolidating hospitals in Okanogan County is not new, said Graham. “In my first week here as CEO nearly 10 years ago there was discussion on this with the Okanogan County Commission. I understand the argument.”

Graham said he served as CEO of both Three Rivers Hospital and North Valley Hospital for a couple of years. “Part of the idea was to reduce administrative burden and increase collaboration to be more streamlined and efficient,” he said.

Graham said the three hospitals continue to collaborate to provide health care efficiently, and he is open to discussions about how to improve health care delivery.

Consolidating public hospital districts, which are separate taxing entities, would be “a complex process” for a number of reasons, Graham said.

Critical access hospitals are small hospitals with 25 beds or fewer, that provide health care to underserved populations. Because they are intended to provide essential health care in rural areas, reimbursement rates through Medicare and Medicaid are more favorable for critical access hospitals than other types of hospitals, to reduce their

financial vulnerability.

Consolidating hospitals might result in a different hospital designation and less favorable reimbursement rates, he said. “The cost-based reimbursement we get as a critical access hospital is most sustainable,” Graham said.

Critical access hospitals also benefit from being allowed to include capital improvement costs in allowable costs for determining Medicare reimbursement. That could “offset” some of the tax burden from a construction project, Graham said.

Consolidating the hospital districts would require a vote of the entire county, Graham said. “I’m not sure everybody is of one mind. It’s more palatable to communities to keep their hospitals.” The COVID pandemic, he said, showed that “having some redundancy in hospitals makes sense.”

Centralizing health care in one facility would increase travel time for some patients, which could be a burden for lower income residents who may have more difficulty traveling longer distances for medical care, Graham said. “Transportation has to be on the table.”

All three district hospitals in Okanogan County were built with federal funds in the 1940s, and have had to upgrade and modernize over the decades to accommodate changes in health care, Graham said. North Valley Hospital renovated in 2011 and Mid-Valley Hospital remodeled its emergency room about 10 years ago, Graham said. “We’re the last hospital to consider it,” he said.

If Three Rivers Hospital chooses to run the bond proposition again, the general election in November of 2024 would be a logical choice, Graham said.

Page A6 Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Methow Valley News Okanogan County Dispute Resolution Center TALK LISTEN RESOLVE • Parenting Plan • Divorce • Small Claims • Landlord/Tenant • Neighbor/Neighbor • Workplace Disagreements We also provide Your Child and Divorce Classes. Servicio de traducción disponible 509-826-1776
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the concept,
hungry deer tried to
a bite or two
from a bird feeder.

Winning MV School Board candidates appreciated the competition

Races have often been uncontested

The Methow Valley School Board will look slightly different when it meets on Nov. 30, with Jennifer Zbyszewski replacing director Mary Anne Quigley, who didn’t seek re-election after 16 years on the board. But voters returned incumbents Frank Kline and Judith Hardmeyer-Wright to the board by generous margins. Zbyszewski was elected with 73.5% of the vote over Scott Larson, who received 26.3%. Kline outpolled challenger Michael Liu 66% to 33.6%, and Hardmeyer-Wright defeated Austin Lott 68.5% to 31.2%. As of press time, 10,510 ballots had been counted, with 468 left to go. Between 3,100 and 3,300 people cast votes in the three school board contests.

Having three contested races for the school board is a rarity, since candidates have run unopposed in almost every election for the past two decades. With five school board seats, up for election every four years, there have only been three contested elections since 2003.

Kline, just elected to his sixth four-year term, ran unopposed for his first term in 2003. Since then, he’s had only one chal -

lenger before Liu ran against him this year. Hardmeyer-Wright, first elected in 2015, ran unopposed for her first two terms.

Gary Marchbank, who wasn’t up for re-election this year, has had two challengers since he was first elected in 2007. Dana Stromberger, who was first selected to join the board in 2009 to replace a director who resigned mid-term, has never run in a contested election.

“I’m still excited about the participation — the fact that we had competition on all seats,” Kline told the Methow Valley News this week.

Having a challenger spurred him to revisit his positions and to evaluate if the district is still heading in the right direction, Kline said. A contested race forces incumbents to make sure they’re doing the best they can for the schools and for students, and the election results show that people believe the district is on the right track, he said.

When Kline first ran 20 years ago, one of his goals was to make the school board a body that people would want to serve on — a position that’s rewarding and important, not merely an obligation, Kline said. The interest in serving this year shows that’s increasingly how the school board is viewed, he said.

“I feel so fortunate to live in this community, where so many people care about our kids and our schools,” Zbyszewski told

the News this week. “Despite our different opinions about some issues, we are all standing on that strong common ground,” she said.

Staying involved

Liu, who’s consistently heard concerns from parents about declining academic achievement and poor math-proficiency scores — and about disciplinary issues from both parents and bus drivers — told the News after the election that he plans to be a voice for these people and for others with similar concerns. Liu wants to ensure there are consistent and meaningful consequences for bullying and unacceptable behavior at school and on school buses.

Ultimately, it’s not about who’s in a board position — what’s important is to make sure important issues are addressed and that parents and students are heard, Liu said.

Lott, the only candidate with school-age children — he has four children at Liberty Bell High School — will remain engaged in school issues.

Running for the school board gave Lott additional perspective. Misconceptions about some of the candidates — the notion that Larson, Liu and Lott were “Christian fundamentalists who were anti-science” — persisted throughout the campaign, although from the beginning, those candidates stressed the

Main St. TWISP: 997-3777; 205 Glover St.

WINTHROP: 996-2282; 1110 Highway 20



HOSPITAL: 910 Highway 20, Winthrop: 996-3231;

VALLEY VETERINARY CLINIC: 20335 Highway 20, Twisp; 997-8452; www.valleyveterinaryclinictwisp. com

WINTHROP VETERINARY CLINIC: 523 Highway 20, Winthrop; 9962793;


■ INFORMATION CENTERS TWISP: 997-2926; 201 Methow Valley Highway (Methow Valley Community Center) WINTHROP: 996-2125; 49 Highway 20

■ NEED A PLACE TO STAY? METHOW RESERVATIONS: 996-2148 or (800) 422-3048; www.; info@

■ OPEN LATE HANK’S MINI MARKET: 410 E. Methow Valley Highway, Twisp; 997-4332; until 10 p.m. every day; 24-hour fueling MAZAMA STORE: 50 Lost River Road, Mazama; 996-2855; 24-hour fueling PARDNERS MINI MARKET: 900 Highway 20, Winthrop; 996-2005; until midnight every day; 24-hour fueling TWISP CHEVRON: 126 N. Methow Valley Highway; 997-3181; until 10 p.m. weekdays and Sunday, 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 24-hour fueling

■ AIRPORTS TWISP MUNICIPAL AIRPORT: 40 Wagner Road, Twisp; 997-2311

METHOW VALLEY STATE AIRPORT: Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road; (360) 618-2477


■ POST OFFICES CARLTON: 997-6091; 2274 Highway 153 METHOW: (509) 923-2759; 34

TWISPWORKS: 502 S. Glover St., Twisp; 997-3300;

PINE NEAR RV PARK: 316 Castle Ave., Winthrop; (509) 341-4062;

INN AT MAZAMA: 15 Country Road, Mazama; 996-2681; www.

SUN MOUNTAIN LODGE, WINTHROP: 996-2211; www. sunmountainlodgecom

TWISP RIVER SUITES: 140 W. Twisp Ave., Twisp; 997-0100; www.

EAST 20 PIZZA: 720 Highway 20, Winthrop; 996-3996;

ABBYCREEK INN: 1006 Highway 20, Winthrop; 996-3100; www.

TWISP TOWN HALL: 118 S. Glover St.

WINTHROP LIBRARY: 112 Norfolk Road; 996-2685; www. winthrop-public-library





MENT: 997-6112; townoftwisp. com/index.php/departments/ police-department

importance of addressing academic issues, Lott told the News. Larson told the News that he plans to remain engaged with the community by promoting traditional values. He’s already involved with the reintroducion of a local PTA and will be meeting with concerned parents of girls who participate in sports.

“I will continue to represent those values that I ran on, specifically transparency within the school district and parents, and adhering to our state constitution regarding ‘freedom from sectarian influence,’ including the influence of ‘woke and gender ideologies,’” Larson said by email. It’s not new to have different ideas about how to get things





AERO METHOW RESCUE SERVICE: 997-4013; www.aeromethow. org

■ LIBRARIES TWISP: 997-4681; 201 Methow Valley Highway (Methow Valley Community Center);; wireless hot spot

WINTHROP: 996-2685; 112 Norfolk Road; locations/winthrop-public-library; wireless hot spot


LAUNDROMAT, SHOWERS AND FREE WI-FI AT WASHWORKS: 325 E. Highway 20, Twisp; 997-0336;


U.S. FOREST SERVICE: 9964000; 24 W. Chewuch Rd., Winthrop

METHOW TRAILS: 996-2387; 21 Horizon Flat Road, Winthrop;

WINTHROP RINK: 996-4199;



NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK: Newhalem visitor center, (206) 386-4495 ext.11; www.nps. gov/noca/index.htm.


& WILDLIFE: (360) 902-2200; www.

LOUP LOUP SKI BOWL: https://; (509) 557-3401

■ CAR WASH CASCADE KING’S: 1421 Methow Valley Hwy S., Twisp; 997-2513;

■ BANKS NORTH CASCADES BANK: 101 Methow Valley Highway N., Twisp;

done — school board members have differences of opinion all the time, and they discuss and debate the issues, Kline said. But once they reach a decision, they all support it, he said.

“Competition is good — my hat’s off to everyone who ran,” Kline said.

Hardmeyer-Wright couldn’t be reached by press time.

997-2411; www.northcascadesbank. com

FARMERS STATE BANK: 159 Riverside Ave., Winthrop; 996-2244;


TWISP: 997-2020;

WINTHROP: 996-2125; www.

OMAK: (509) 826-1880 or (800) 225-6625;

OKANOGAN: (509) 422-4034;

BREWSTER: (509) 689-3464;

PATEROS: (509) 923-9636; www.


METHOW RECYCLES: 997-0520; 12 Twisp Airport Road; www.

■ GOVERNMENT CITY OF PATEROS: (509) 9232571; www.

TOWN OF TWISP: 997-4081; 118 S. Glover St.; www.townoftwisp. com

TOWN OF WINTHROP: 996-2320, 206 Riverside Ave.,


MID-VALLEY HOSPITAL, OMAK: (509) 826-1760;





BREWSTER CLINIC: (509) 826-1800






METHOW VALLEY NEWS: 9977011; 502 S. Glover St., Twisp; www.;



KTRT, 97.5 FM

KCSY, 106.3FM

KOZI, 93.5FM


KOMW, 95.1

All 996 and 997 prefixes are in the 509 area code.

Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page A7
Visitor Information
Judith Hardmeyer-Wright Austin Lott Jennifer Zbyszewski Scott Larson Frank Kline Michael Liu

Tournament time at the Rink

The tournament season has kicked off (or is that faced off?) at the Winthrop Rink, which will host a series of 12 youth and adult competitions drawing teams from around the region over the course of the 2023-24 season. The Great Puckaroo Roundup No. 1, where these photos were shot, took over the ice last weekend. Here’s the upcoming schedule: Dec. 1-3, Great Puckaroo Roundup No. 2 (B level); Dec. 8-10, The Joyful Jamboree No. 1; Dec. 15-17, The Great Outdoor Classic (18U level). The rink operates under a modified schedule during tournament weekends. Visit for details.

Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page A8
Photos by Steve Mitchell


Mountain Lions ready for state playoffs matchup

The Liberty Bell High School Mountain Lions begin the defense of their 2022 WIAA-Gesa state 1B football championship this Saturday night (Nov. 18) in Wenatchee’s Apple Bowl.

As the No. 1 seed into the tournament, Liberty Bell enjoyed a first-round bye last weekend and will take on Wellpinit on Saturday, kickoff at 7 p.m.

The 8-2 Redskins could provide some challenges for the undefeated Mountain Lions with their short, quick-hitting passing game. Senior quarterback Grant Denison guides the Wellpinit offense, throwing often to a pair of junior running backs Kaden McRae and Andrew Moyer, mostly coming from out of the backfield.

The Wellpinit offensive lines appear under-sized and Liberty Bell will look to exploit that with their powerful and larger front lines, anchored by junior center Damon Alumbaugh and an athletic cast on both sides.

Sophomore running back Remington Paz should find holes to run through. Paz has proven quickness and has been able to outrun some good defensive backfields with regularity all season long. When Paz goes out, there’s no rest for the Redskins as Bodie Thomson, Alex Ramsay-George

and Baker Smith all have size and breakaway speed that can cause problems for a leg-weary defense.

When Paz isn’t running the ball, older brother and junior quarterback Lucien Paz has a fleet-footed and sure-handed core of receivers in senior Brody Barnhart, junior Baker Smith and Remi out of the backfield, and an offensive line that is athletic, big and tough. Lucien is also a threat to run. Several times this year he has rushed for over 100 yards while connecting on passes exceeding 200 total yards in a game.

The late kickoff on Saturday follows two earlier games slated for the Apple Bowl. Okanogan plays Goldendale at 1 p.m. in the 2B 11-man state bracket.

The Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed and the Timberwolves are No. 7. State 1A No. 4 seed Cashmere hosts Seton Catholic at 4 p.m. in the same venue.

A win on Saturday and the Mountain Lions will take on the winner of the opposite bracket matchup between No. 4 Liberty Christian and No. 5 Neah Bay.

The Mountain Lions will know their next round opponent before their Saturday kickoff as that game is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Richland, and should be concluded by 3 p.m.

As of Monday, a location for that semi-final game on Thanksgiving weekend has not been set. The state finals for all classes will be in Husky Stadium in Seattle’s Montlake district on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2. The 1B title game will kick off on Friday at 11 a.m.

Liberty Bell’s Dexter Delaney holds his own in 5K regional cross country race

There was one more cross country race for Liberty Bell High School’s 2023 1B/2B state champion Dexter Delaney this past weekend. The Mountain Lion junior distance runner headed for Boise, Idaho, at the invitation of the NXR Northwest regional 5-kilometer run, held near the capital city of the Gem State on Saturday (Nov. 11).

The regional 5K boys’ championship drew 214 elite runners from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. Delaney was a bit under the weather with coldlike symptoms but would eventually be the 27th runner to cross the finish line.

“I woke up Saturday morning feeling kind of sick, like I was coming down with a cold,” he said. “But it was like, if I didn’t think about it, I could run and be OK.”

So, run he did. “The first mile was pretty good and I thought I was going to be OK,” Delaney recalled. Indeed, at the one-mile mark, he was in 18th place at 4:43, a full 10 seconds ahead of his pace at state.

But, at a mile and a half there was this hill. “It was a steep, 100-meter climb and I really worked hard going up,” Delaney said. “But once we got over the top I really started feeling it.”

He was in the top 20 and had been passing some people, but then could feel he was slowing down a bit. “I lost five or six spots in the final 500 meters. I really felt good about the race overall, even feeling sick and losing those spots at the end,” Delaney said.

At that, Delaney set his new personal best for a 5K race. He was buoyed and pulled along by competition. And he said he felt honored to be able to make the trip. “To be able to run around with a lot of fast people was a great opportunity,” he said. “They are all serious runners, many of the best in the Northwest. You don’t get a chance to run against that kind of competition very often during the season.”

Next up for the Liberty Bell junior is

the winter Nordic season, skiing in the Methow Valley’s Youth Nordic program, after a little break to recover from the high school cross country season which began in late August.

While Delaney really enjoys the skinny

to enjoy during the winter season. Parking at these sites requires special permits.

Seasonal or daily Sno-Park permits can be purchased online or through a licensed vendor. Snowmobilers also must register their snowmobile through the Washington Department of Licensing and receive a free Sno-park parking permit.

skis, the winter season provides continuous training for the spring Liberty Bell track and field season. His focus is on the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. He was sixth in the 1,600M and runner-up in the 3,200M at the 2023 state championships.

The other two games in the 1B quarterfinal round have No. 2 seed Wilbur-Creston-Keller facing No. 10 Naselle at Lions Field in Moses Lake. The Comets upset No. 7 Pomeroy in a Saturday afternoon touchdown extravaganza, 78-58.

Lions in the gym for winter sports practices

SPORTS BRIEFS Section B Methow Valley News WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2023
No. 3 Mossyrock will host No. 6 Almira-Coulee-Hartline at 12:30 p.m. Photo by Rick Lewis Junior quarterback Lucien Paz went over Wellpinit game film with team members on Monday in the film room.
SNO-PARK PERMITS ON SALE Washington Sno-Park permits are now on sale. The State Parks Winter Recreation Program manages over 130 recreation sites, or Sno-Parks, across the state for recreators
Photo courtesy of Peter Abraham Liberty Bell’s Dexter Delaney, left, competed against some of the region’s elite runners at the NXR Northwest 5K in Boise, Idaho.
A Discover Pass is not required at Sno-Parks, and the SnoPark permit is still required, even on the 12 days a year when the Discover Pass is not required for parking on state lands. Washington State Sno-Parks provide access for a variety of winter recreation activities like cross-county
Dec. 1
OPEN SKATE FRIDAYS Open Skate Fridays are back at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. The Open Skate program is held every other Friday through spring from 6-10 p.m. Entrance is $5 or $3 with your own skates. Check the schedule at https:// If you would like to volunteer as a helper, call Ronda Smeltzer at (509) 868-9632. PARKRUN ON SATURDAYS Winthrop Trailhead parkrun, a free 5-kilometer run/ walk starting from the Methow Trails trailhead on Horizon Flat Road, is on Saturdays starting a 9 p.m. For information, visit or email
skiing, snow shoeing, dog sledding, tubing and more. Some Sno-parks are also designated for use by motorized vehicles including snowmobiles. Sno-
permits are
through April 30.
girls’ basketball
wrestling at Liberty Bell High School. Activities
19 boys
18 girls
for basketball so far this year, and 16 boys and girls have registered for wrestling under second-year coach Kyle Erickson. Varsity competition opens for basketball at Omak on Nov. 29; wrestling starts with a home match on Nov. 29.
Winter sports practices began Monday (Nov.
Director Michael Wilbur reports that
are out
Photos by Rick Lewis Top: Senior post Kyler Mitchell received some early-season instruction from boys’ head coach Ryan Surface. Bottom: Girls’ head coach Korrie Bourn watched an early practice shooting drill as sophomore Sophia Baribar popped one from the end line.

or deliverables or whether you are a social media influencer. What we need is a reporter who is productive because they are curious, who loves to dig into things and who strives to continually improve their fact-gathering, interviewing and writing. We want someone who thrives in a diverse community, and has the flexibility and willingness to take on all kinds of stories, from briefs and routine items to hard-hitting scoops to heart-tugging features. You need to be a competent photographer. Added value if you are fluent in InDesign and the Adobe production suite, know your way around social media platforms and/or have newsroom management experience that enables you to take on additional tasks as needed. (The Editor needs a vacation.) You need to demonstrate applicable experience through clippings or links to your work. You could be a recent college grad with potential, or a veteran who wants to keep doing great work at a newspaper where it’s appreciated. You can start quickly and accelerate. As good as you are, we can help you get better. We are a small paper with big ambitions and accomplishments to match, including regional and national awards. Competitive salary, and a health care subsidy is available. Hiring bonus if you make it through a probationary period and it looks like you’re committed. Speaking of that, you will need to live here. If that sounds like a good situation for you and us, please be in touch. Check us out at https://methowvalleynews. com/ and our Facebook page. Make a case for yourself by emailing editor@methowvalleynews. com with a cover letter, resume and work samples. References would be helpful. No calls, please. LOOKING FOR AN upbeat fun work environment that’s family owned and operated? Need some extra cash or something to occupy your time? THE WINTHROP STORE has year-round positions available. Looking for motivated self-starter to work in Guido’s Deli, make

al to join our team! Located in Winthrop and Twisp, we have an opening for a Full-Time Insurance Agent. We offer competitive pay, ongoing professional development, a flexible working environment, and caring and knowledgeable staff. Visit our website at about-us/career-opportunities/ to view a full job description and apply today!

METHOW CYCLE AND SPORT is seeking a full-time Retail Sales Manager. Position requires a love for cycling, skiing and/or SUPing, great customer service skills, ability to work as part of a team in a fast paced environment, along with motivation to learn new information and skills. Benefits include a 4-day work week, paid health insurance and vacation, and industry perks. Email a letter of interest and a resume to juliem@ No phone calls please.


The Methow Watershed Council welcomes your vision and energy!

Seeking a motivated, independent person to work with our mostly volunteer team to support the MWC’s Technical, Policy, and Water Banking Committees. Work will include developing and implementing all aspects of several key projects, such as the drought response project. This position will also perform scheduling, note-taking and other responsibilities for committees as needed, and occasional assistance with public events. Position is currently 10-15 hours per week, with room to grow. Compensation commensurate with experience. This is a one- year, contracted position with options to renew.

Requirements: Experience and/or background with water resources or natural resources management; experience and demonstrated planning and execution abilities with project coordination, excellent communication skills, proficiency in key computer programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Zoom, etc).

Preferred skills: Degree in environmental science or engineering, natural sciences, biology or planning, or at least two years’ compensatory experience. Grant-writing, budgeting, reporting, public speaking. To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter demonstrating possession of required and preferred experience, education and skills. Position open until filled.

For more information, contact Jean: (909) 243-3085; jean.bodeau@

drinks and retail. Must be 21 or older. Hourly wage is $18/hr DOE + tips, with discounts and employee shift meal. Must be available to work weekends. Email your resume to: winthropstore@ or stop by and pick up an application.

IMMEDIATE OPENING FOR TRUCK DRIVER/YARD ASSISTANT, Methow Valley Lumber. In addition to making deliveries, the position will include customer service, forklift operation, and general yard maintenance. Applicants must have a valid Washington driver’s license. CDL certification helpful, not required - will train. Health/ Dental benefits. Please stop by for an application. Wage DOE. METHOW VALLEY SCHOOL District is accepting applications for a Maintenance/Groundskeeper/Custodian. Visit the district website at

CASCADE OUTDOOR STORE is looking for a positive, dependable, fun-loving outdoor enthusiast. You’ll need to be motivated, and supportive– and work well within our team. Previous shop or Nordic skiing experience a plus but willing to train the right person. We focus on creating a welcoming environment, sharing our knowledge and providing customers with the right gear to make their outdoor experiences memorable. Wages commensurate with experience. Please email us at


We depend on

FOR SALE 10 YARD SALE 14 AUCTIONS 16 REAL ESTATE 20 FOR RENT 24 WANTED TO RENT 25 BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES 30 EMPLOYMENT 31 WORK WANTED 32 SERVICES 34 VEHICLES 40 ANIMALS 50 MISCELLANEOUS 70 WANTED 75 THANK YOU 80 COMMUNITY EVENTS 83 PERSONALS 85 FREE 90 LOST & FOUND 95 E-MAIL DEADLINE: MONDAY, NOON ALL CLASSIFIEDS MUST BE PREPAID Weekly: $6.75 for 15 words or less. $8.75 with email or web address. 20 cents for each additional word. CLASSIFIED SPECIAL: BUY 3 WEEKS, GET 4TH WEEK FREE. No refunds or changes. Prepayment required to qualify. Classified display ads: $10.00 per column inch. DEADLINE FOR CLASSIFIED DISPLAYS & LEGAL NOTICES: MONDAY AT NOON CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING 997-7011 PUBLISHER'S NOTICE: All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or an intention, to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.” Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. To complain of discrimination, call HUD toll-free at 1-800-669-9777. 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it stand out IF YOU HAVE an interest in strengthening our town and serving our people, the Town of Twisp needs volunteers for the following positions: Creative District: Two Twisp Residents, one Arts Organization member within the district, and one business member within the district. Please submit a letter of interest or an application (Available online at ) to the Clerk/Treasurer at 118 S. Glover, PO Box 278, Twisp, WA 98856 or email 95 LOST & FOUND REWARD OFFERED FOR Jill St. John black, designer pants size 6 and Monet’s Garden book, reward offered for information for recovery, call 360-701-8443 STATEWIDE ANNOUNCEMENTS SEE MLB GAMES at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, etc. Quality game tickets, hotels and motorcoach. Call/text for free brochure: 507-217-1326. LOW COST HEALTH COVERAGE. Government subsidies available for families earning $111,000 or less a year. See if you qualify. Call for your free quote! 1-877-765-1117. DONATE YOUR CAR TO CHARITY. Receive maximum value of write off for your taxes. Running or not! All conditions accepted. Free pickup. Call for details, 855-635-4229. ELIMINATE GUTTER CLEANING FOREVER! LeafFilter, the most advanced debris-blocking gutter protection. Schedule a FREE LeafFilter estimate today. 20% off Entire Purchase. 10% Senior & Military Discounts. Call 1-888-360-1582. PREPARE FOR POWER OUTAGES today with a GENERAC home standby generator. $0 money down + low monthly payment options. Request a FREE Quote. Call now before the next power outage: 1-888-674-7053. LEGAL NOTICES PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE BUDGET SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners acting as the Board of Directors for Oroville Rural EMS District that a Public Hearing is set 10:20 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2023 and will be held in person and via ZOOM, in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room. Those wishing to attend may do so in person or via the following Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 or Join by phone Audio Only +1 253 215 8782 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment for or against the consideration of a budget supplemental appropriation within the Oroville Rural Emergency Services District Budget in the amount of $103,607. Funds are from the Ending Fund Balance and will be used for Professional Services. The hearing will be held in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room located at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington. Persons wishing to comment may attend the hearing in person or via Zoom to be called on for comment or submit comments in writing to the Commissioners’ Offi ce at 123 5th Avenue North, Rm 150, Okanogan, Washington 98840, or by email to ljohns@co.okanogan. Published in the Methow Valley News November 8, 15, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 9, 16, 2023. OVG987032 PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE BUDGET SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners that a Public Hearing is set 10:15 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2023 and will be held in person and via ZOOM, in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room. Those wishing to attend may do so in person or via the following Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 or Join by phone Audio Only +1 253 215 8782 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment for or against the consideration of a budget supplemental appropriation within the Infrastructure Fund 117 in the amount of $37,200. Funds are from the Ending Fund Balance and will be used for Professional Services. The hearing will be held remotely in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room located at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington. Persons wishing to comment may attend the hearing in person or via Zoom to be called on for comment or submit comments in writing to the Commissioners’ Offi ce at 123 5th Avenue North, Rm 150, Okanogan, Washington 98840, or by email to Published in the Methow Valley News November 8, 15, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 9, 16, 2023. OVG987033 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING OKANOGAN COUNTY 2024 PROPERTY TAX REVENUES NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners that a Public Hearing is scheduled, in accordance with RCW 84.55.120, on the revenue sources for the Districts following year’s Current Expense, Miscellaneous & Road Fund budgets. The Public Hearing will be held on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. in order to hear public testimony on the County’s Current Expense, Miscellaneous & Road Fund Revenue budgets for the year 2024 including the consideration of possible increases in property tax revenues. The County’s Current Expense, Miscellaneous, and Road Fund budgets are primarily funded by taxes and charges and reflect the provision of ongoing services. The Public Hearing will be held in the County Commissioners Hearing Room located at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, WA 98840. To request 2024 preliminary budget please call 1-509-422-7105. Persons wishing to comment on the County’s 2024 Revenue budget, may do so by joining the following ZOOM link: Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web. Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 Or Join by phone Audio Only 1 253 215 8782 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 Published in the Methow Valley News November 8, 15, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 9, 16, 2023. OVG987036 PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE BUDGET SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners that a Public Hearing is set 3:30 p.m. on Monday, November 20, 2023 and will be held in person and via ZOOM, in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room. Those wishing to attend may do so in person or via the following Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 or Join by phone Audio Only +1 253 215 8782 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment for or against the consideration of a budget supplemental appropriation within the Current Expense Elections budget in the amount of $20,000. Funds are from the Current Expense Contingency Reserve and will be used for Operating Supplies and Professional Services. The hearing will be held remotely in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room located at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington. Persons wishing to comment may attend the hearing in person or via Zoom to be called on for comment or submit comments in writing to the Commissioners’ Offi ce at 123 5th Avenue North, Rm 150, Okanogan, Washington 98840, or by email to Published in the Methow Valley News November 8, 15, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 9, 16, 2023. OVG987039 PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE BUDGET SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners that a Public Hearing is set 9:35 a.m. on Monday, November 27, 2023 and will be held in person and via ZOOM, in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room. Those wishing to attend may do so in person or via the following Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 or Join by phone Audio Only +1 253 215 8782 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment for or against the consideration of a budget supplemental appropriation within the Mental Health Fund 105 budget in the amount of $42,000. Funds are from the Reserved Beginning Fund Balance and Real & Personal Property Taxes and will be used for transfer to Alcohol/ Drug Abuse fund 105 and Ending Fund Balance. The hearing will be held remotely in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room located at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington. Persons wishing to comment may attend the hearing in person or via Zoom to be called on for comment or submit comments in writing to the Commissioners’ Offi ce at 123 5th Avenue North, Rm 150, Okanogan, Washington 98840, or by email to ljohns@
readers to help us keep the community informed, so we encourage you to submit events, letters, news tips and photographs and anything else you think we should know. (509) 997-7011 or stop by at the Twisp Works Campus.
your classified


proposed district boundaries to determine if the district should be formed. The public hearing will review the boundaries of the proposed district and the assessments to be collected on an annual basis. The proposed district boundary includes property adjacent to Lake Osoyoos. There are 308 parcels owned by 238 owners within the boundaries of the proposed district. If approved by a simple majority of the property owners the district will conduct control measures for milfoil and other invasive species for 5 years at which time the district will dissolve. An annual assessment of 160.00 dollars per parcel on all properties included in the district will be collected every year for 5 years. Total collections in 5 years will be approximately $244,000.00. The SEPA Responsible Official has determined this proposal is categorically exempt from environmental review in accordance with WAC 197-11-800 (16). The public hearing will be conducted on December 4, 2023 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Oroville City hall. Verbal testimony will be taken with a time limit of 3 minutes per speaker. Written comments may be submitted at the hearing. Written comments will be accepted prior to the hearing and may be submitted in writing or electronically to: Okanogan County Office of Planning and Development, Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, 123 5th Avenue North, Suite 130 Okanogan, WA 98840 or emailed to You may attend the hearing in person or you may join via zoom using the following link: Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 Join by phone Audio Only • +1 253 215 8782 Meeting

ditorium in the Virginia Grainger Building at

to a special assessment or annual special assessments that are not filed in writing as required shall be deemed waived and shall not be considered by the governing body or a court on appeal. You may attend the meeting in person or you can join the meeting by going to the following link:

Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263

Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263

Join by phone Audio Only

• +1 253 215 8782

Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263

Objections may be filed in writing or electronically to: Okanogan County Office of Planning and Development, Pete Palmer, Director, 123 5th Avenue North, Suite 130 Okanogan, WA 98840 (509)422-7218 or spalmer@ The special assessment roll for Lake Management District #1 is available for public inspection on the Okanogan County Planning Department website at and on the City of Oroville website. A paper copy of the assessment roll is available for inspection at the following locations

LEGAL NOTICES LEGAL NOTICES LEGAL NOTICES LEGAL NOTICES LEGAL NOTICES LEGAL NOTICES Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page B3 List your business for just $8 a week (509) 997-7011 or advertising@ AD DEADLINES HEALTH & SERVICE DIRECTORIES Friday @ 5 p.m. 997-7011 ROOFING BUILDING SUPPLIES Premium Building Products, Windows/Doors, Stoves, and More! (509) 996-2264 Horizon Flats, Winthrop AUTOMOTIVE Quality Lube & Automotive Repair Quality Service since 1999 Engine Maintenance AC Inspection/DIAG/Service Scanning & Diagnostics Quick Lube Services Pre-Trip Inspections 509.997.5823 All your excavation & construction needs. PALMCCI953CW Over 35+ years local experience 509-996-8178 (509) 997-5420 Residential Commercial Industrial A & J Enterprises, LLC Lic# JELECJE825QH 509-997-6394 #MCHUGEI036KL ALL PHASES OF EXCAVATION EXCAVATION ELECTRICIANS Pennock Excavation, LLC Jake Pennock Lic #PENNOEL831D2 (509) 429-2695 Tree Removal Full Site Development Road Grading “ Deal’n Dirt ” with Full site prep, Septic systems, Road grading, Fire hazard reduction, Tree removal 509-341-4109 full-service recycling & garbage collection 509-997-8862 GARBAGE COLLECTION FINANCIAL Installed Insulation & Garage Doors We now install seamless gutters! ALL VALLEY INSULATION, LLC Office (509) 486-2624 Cell (509) 429-0417 INSULATION LAND & FARM OFFICE SPACE PAINTING PLANTNE953BF 509.341.4133 • Tractor work & Excavation • Restoration & Landscaping • Farm, Garden & Forest RCJJR s Painting Lic RCJJRL*801QC Proudly family owned & operated for 90 years Residential | Commercial 425 -359 -3429 PROPANE SALES Property Maintenance, Cleaning and Security Visits 509.996.3332 WA lic# METHOHW847DT STORAGE SAND & GRAVEL Twisp Mini sTorage 997-8072 For All Your Concrete Needs (509) 996-2435 Horizon Flats, Winthrop WELL DRILLING TACKMAN SURVEYING PLLC 119 Glover Street in Twisp 509.996.3409 Call “The Water Professionals!” • Water Well Drilling • Pump Systems • Water Treatment • Full Service Store • Hydrofracturing • Geothermal Heat Loop Systems Lic. #FOGLEPS095L4 Serving Northeast Washington Since 1981 (800) 845-3500 • (509) 775-2878 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE SURVEYING SERVICE DIRECTO RY CONTRACTORS Auto Detailing | (509)972-6365 Current newspaper Service Directory (above) Proposed newspaper advertising (below) Jon Moore Financial Advisor 503 Hwy 20, 2nd fl Suite 5 Winthrop, WA 98862 509-508-0388 Securities & Advisory ervices ffered hrough: American Independent Securities Group, LLC (AISG) Member FINRA/ S PC. AISG is a SEC registered investment advisor. P.O. Box 579 Eagle, ID 83616 Comprehensive Financial Strategies is not Affiliated with AISG. 509 508 0388 KEEP IN TOUCH! Subscribe to the Methow Valley News. Call 997-7011 Troy Triplett 509-996-3808 / 509-375-6943 #TTTCO1*066DU Snow Country Specialists R O O F I N G Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 22, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 23, 2023. OVG987322 PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE BUDGET SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners that a Public Hearing is set 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 27, 2023 and will be held in person and via ZOOM, in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room. Those wishing to attend may do so in person or via the following Join Zoom Audio and Video https://us02web.zoom. us/j/85243019263 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 or Join by phone Audio Only +1 253 215 8782 Meeting ID: 852 4301 9263 The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment for or against the consideration of a budget supplemental appropriation within the Current Expense District Court budget in the amount of $7,040. Funds are from the Current Expense State Grant AOC Therapeutic Court Coord and will be used for Overtime, Small Tools Minor Equipment and Travel. The hearing will be held remotely in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room located at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington. Persons wishing to comment may attend the hearing in person or via Zoom to be called on for comment or submit comments in writing to the Commissioners’ Offi ce at 123 5th Avenue North, Rm 150, Okanogan, Washington 98840, or by email to Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 22, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 23, 2023. OVG987323 PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The Okanogan County Central Landfi ll, Ellisforde Transfer Station, Bridgeport Transfer Station & Twisp Transfer Station will be closed on November 23, 24, & 25, 2023 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. All locations will resume regular schedules Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 22, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 23, 2023. OVG987324 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING LAKE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT #1 BALLOT PROPOSAL NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Okanogan Board of County Commissioners will conduct a public hearing on December 4, 2023 to take public testimony regarding the Board of County Commissioners resolution of intent (142-2023) to re-form a Lake Management District on Lake Osoyoos in accordance with RCW 36.61. Following the public hearing regarding the adoption of the resolution of intent
for the formation of the district a mailed ballot will be issued
the property Information regarding
posal can be obtained from: Okanogan County Offi ce of Planning and Development, Pete
of Planning, 123 5th Avenue North, Suite 130 Okanogan, WA 98840 (509)422-7060 or Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 22, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 23, 2023. OVG987327 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ANNUAL SPECIAL ASSESSMENT ROLL LAKE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT #1 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing will be
the Okanogan
123 5th Ave N in Okanogan Washington. Objections to the proposed special assessment roll must be made in writing, shall clearly state the grounds for objections, and shall be filed with the governing body (BOCC) prior to the public hearing. Objections
within the
ID: 852 4301 9263 Maps of the proposed district boundary may be viewed on the Okanogan County Planning Department website at www.okano-
this pro-
conducted by
Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), acting as a Board of Equalization, to hear objections against the special assessment levied by Lake Management District #1 formed on August 28, 2018 by Ordinance 2018-14 around Lake Osoyoos near Oroville WA. The public hearing is scheduled for December 4, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. in the Commissioners Au-
during the hours noted: 1) Okanogan County Offi ce of Planning located at 123 5th Ave North Suite 130, Okanogan WA between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 2) Board of County Commissioners Office at 123 5th Ave N Suite 150, Okanogan WA between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 3) Oroville City Hall located at 1308 Ironwood Street in Oroville, WA between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Questions regarding the special assessment roll and public hearing should be directed to: Okanogan County Office of Planning and Development, Pete Palmer, Director, 123 5th Avenue North, Suite 130 Okanogan, WA 98840 (509)4227218 or spalmer@co.okanogan. Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 22, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 23, 2023. OVG987330 VB EDGE SATELLITE INTERNET STATION, SEPA 2023-11 FINAL SEPA DETERMINATION VB Edge LLC is proposing to construct an Earth Station for high-speed broadband services within a fenced area on parcel 3728350018. The 53,484 square feet compound will consist of 21,066 sq ft facility premises, 22,560 sq ft access roadway and 9,858 sq ft utility easement. The 21,066 sq ft facility premises will consist of 4,424 fenced communication area, 3,025 sq ft parking area, and 625 sq ft fenced utility compound. The fenced communication area will have five 12-foottall satellites on a 9’ x 9’ slab, a 7’ x7’ concrete slab for GWSE equipment cabinet and mast with security camera, and a 5tf tall by 4ft wide H-frame. The fenced utility area will have a 6ft tall by 8 ft wide H-frame and adjoining fi ber pad with meter for power and fiber and a 10’ x 6’ concrete pad for a generator for temporary power. Project Location: The project is located at 946 Highway 20 near Tonasket WA on tax parcel number 3728350018. The SEPA Responsible Official issued a final determination of non-signifi cance (DNS). This decision may be appealed in accordance with OCC 14.04.220. Appeals must be made in writing to the Okanogan County Hearings Examiner, 123 5th Ave N Ste. 130, Okanogan, WA 98840. Appeals must be submitted or postmarked by 5:00 pm on December 1, 2023. Appeals shall state with specificity the elements of the environmental checklist and resulting determination the appellant finds objectionable and shall state the reason therefore. Appeals must include the $1,250.00 appeal fee. Failure to file a timely and complete appeal shall constitute waiver of all rights to an administrative appeal under county code. Information is available at the Office of Planning and Development. Direct questions to: Pam Wyllson, Planner II, Okanogan County Office of Planning & Development, 123 5th Ave. N, Suite 130, Okanogan, WA 98840, (509) 422-7122. Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 2023. OVG 987391 OKANOGAN COUNTY NOTICE OF FINAL DECISION Boundary Line Adjustment: (parcels 5000031103, 5000031101 & 5000031206) Proponent: Suzanne & Louis Taylor Decision: Approved The Okanogan County Office of Planning and Development made a final decision on the above-noted projects. Within 20 days of publication, parties with standing may appeal these decisions to the Okanogan County Hearing Examiner at 123 5th Ave. N. Suite 130, Okanogan, WA 98840, pursuant to OCC 2.67.010. An appeal must include the $1,250.00 appeal fee. Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 2023; Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune November 16, 2023. OVG 987398 TOWN OF TWISP NOTICE OF DECISION Preliminary Approval Published Notice of Decision Date: November 1, 2023 Open Record Public Hearing Date: Planning Commission – September 13, 2023 Closed Record Decision Date: Town Council – Tuesday, September 26, 2023, and October 10, 2023 Proponent: Diversified Designs Inc Proposal: Blackbirds Garden Apartments Planned Development Action: The Twisp Town Council, at its regular meeting on October 10, 2023, based on a recommendation from the Town Planning Commission, granted preliminary approval of the Blackbirds Garden Apartments Planned Development subject to modified conditions and findings. Appeal: Any person with standing may appeal this decision in accordance with TMC 14.05.070(6) and Chapter 36.70C RCW. Published in the Methow Valley News November 8 and 15, 2023. LEGAL AD A poll-site election for a board seat on the Okanogan Conservation District will be held on March 12, 2024 at 1251 2nd Ave. South, Okanogan, WA 98840. Polls will open at 2:00 PM and close at 6:00 PM. Registered voters who reside within the Conservation District boundary are eligible to vote. The last day and time an eligible voter can request an absentee ballot from the District is February 20, 2024, by 3:00 PM. Ballots can be requested by calling the Okanogan Conservation District Election Officer, Becky Drenner, at (509) 4293418 or emailing Ballots returned by mail to 1251 2nd Ave. South, Rm. 101, Okanogan, WA 98840 must be post-marked no later than Election Day, March 12, 2024. Candidates interested in the elected position must be registered voters who reside within the boundaries of the Okanogan Conservation District. Election candidates may be required to be landowners or operators of a farm, depending on the current composition of the District board of supervisors. The filing deadline for candidates to file their candidate required information is February 9, 2024, at 3:00 PM. Interested candidates may request a form by contacting the Election Officer, Becky Drenner, at (509) 429-3418 or, or at the Okanogan Conservation District offi ce in the USDA Building, 1251 2nd Avenue South, Rm. 101, Okanogan, WA 98840. Candidate required information must be filed with the district and will be accepted by mail, postmarked no later than February 9, 2024, or by email to Conservation District board supervisors are public officials who serve without compensation and set policy and direction for the Conservation District. Published in the Methow Valley News November 8 and 15, 2023. MEETING NOTICE The NCW Libraries Board of Trustees announces plans to hold a public hearing of the library district’s preliminary 2024 budget at their regular meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 16 , 2023 at 1:00 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearing being held at 16 N. Columbia Street, Wenatchee, WA. A link to attend the hearing virtually is available by emailing the Board Clerk, Tim Dillman, at Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 2023. LEGAL NOTICE TOWN OF TWISP NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS Notice is hereby given that the Town Council of the Town of Twisp, WA will be holding a hearing on See LEGALS, B4

Veterans, community gather for Nov. 11 events

Approximately 25 local veterans, along with family, friends and partners, joined for the annual Veterans Day luncheon at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp on Saturday (Nov. 11).

Meanwhile, about 20 veterans, plus friends and family, gathered outside in the snow for the tradition lowering of the flag to half-mast at the Mazama Store at 11 a.m., which included a moment of silence to express gratitude for the veterans’ service and the playing of “Taps.” Store co-owner Rick LeDuc was the master of ceremonies, and read a brief tribute to vets. The gatherers then found complimentary coffee and baked goods inside the store.

About 125 people were in attendance for the Twisp gathering, featuring Okanogan County Sheriff, veteran and master of ceremonies Paul Budrow, keynote speaker and U.S. Army veteran Shannon Huffman Polson, and a complimentary lunch catered by B-S Bar-B-Que.

The highlight of the early afternoon gathering was the introduction of every

veteran in the audience, complete with their telling of their branch of service, specific unit or station of duty, the years of service and a brief statement by some of how their service impacted their lives. Several were overcome with the emotion of the moment, a display of their passion for their time of service and their experience. Budrow opened the program precisely at 11 a.m. with a moment of silence to commemorate the armistice ending World War I, at 11 a.m. (Central European Time) on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance followed, and Fred Cooley, another veteran, performed the National Anthem in his customary a capella baritone voice. A former Apache helicopter pilot, local author Shannon Huffman Polson delivered a 10-minute presentation prior to the lunch.

Members of the local American Legion Auxiliary Unit 120, Liberty Bell Key Club, Blue Star Coffee Roasters, Winthrop Kiwanis and Methow Valley Cascaders 4-H Club all contributed their volunteer efforts to make the day a memorable success for the guests of honor.

Page B4 Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Methow Valley News Scaled for (5.3” x 2.4”) CINNAMON TWISP BAKERY Free Wi-Fi • 509.997.5030 Wed-Mon 7am-3pm 116 N Glover St, Twisp Cold weather? hot coffee!! MV COMMUNITY CENTER, TWISP Sunday, November 19th, 10 a.m. Unitarian Fellowship Methow Valley SPEAKER: Peter Morgan (and, we hope, his daughter Laura Adler!) TOPIC: Interested in the civil rights movement, they will be presenting the story they shared on their blog “Cycle of History”. the 2024 Preliminary Budget. Said hearing shall be November 28th, 2023, at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers of the Twisp Town Hall, 118 S Glover Street, Twisp, WA. Remote access to the meeting will also be made available, a link to the meeting will be posted on the Town’s website in advance. All interested persons may appear and be heard at said time and place. Questions about the process or advanced access to documents can be directed to Randy Kilmer, Clerk/Treasurer at 509-997-4081. Published in the Methow Valley News November 15 and 22, 2023. IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON OKANOGAN COUNTY In re Estate of Sylvia J. Smith, Deceased No. 19-4-00112-24 NOTICE OF SALE OF REAL PROPERTY under RCW 11.56.090 and 100 Richard B. Price, as personal representative of the Estate of Sylvia J. Smith, deceased, provides notice of the sale of the following real property located in Okanogan County, Washington, by negotiation under RCW 11.56.090 for the cash price of $35,000.00 together with other valuable consideration: Government Lot one (FR. NENE), LESS County Road right of way, and that portion of Government Lot two (Fr. SE ¼ NE ¼), lying west of the County Road right of way in Section 30, Township 34 North, Range 27, E.W.M. Government Lot one (FR. NWNW), LESS the North 448 feet thereof in Section 29, Township 34 North, Range 27, E.W.M. That portion of Government Lot two (Fr. SWNW) in Section 29, and that portion of Government Lot Two (Fr. SENE) in Section 30, Township 34 North, Range 27, E.W.M., lying North of the following described line, to wit: Commencing at the one-quarter corner common to Sections 19 and 30 of Township 34 North, Range 27, E.W.M., which bears N 89 degrees 54’51”E., 2,639.93 feet from the Northwest corner of said Section 30, thence run N. 89 Degrees 54’51”E., 2,758.09 feet, thence South 1,518.97 feet to a 2 x 2 inch wooden hub, thence S. 85 degrees 50’17”E, along a fence to the meander line of the Okanogan River, and the initial point of beginning of said line. Thence N. 85 degrees 50’17”W., along said fence line to the above described wooden hub (wooden hub bears N. 85 degrees 50’17”W, 28.8 feet from a 14 x 14 inch concrete post 5.5 feet high), thence N. 0 degrees 00’W., 57 57 feet, thence N. 79 degrees 15’W., a distance of 395.60 feet to a point on the center line of the County Road, to the terminus of said line. Less the County Road right of way. To include also an Easement for a road 60 feet in width, beginning at the Southwest corner of the SE ¼ of Section 19, Township 34 N. R. 27 E.W.M., Okanogan County, Washington, and running East along the South line of said SE ¼ of Section 19, a distance of 1380 feet. Okanogan county tax parcel number 3427290003. The date after which this sale can be confirmed by order of the Okanogan County Superior Court is November 25, 2023. Date of Publication: November 15, 2023. ADDRESS FOR MAILING OR SERVICE: PO Box 3059, Winthrop, WA 98862 Attorney for the Personal Representative: Natalie N. Kuehler, WSBA #50322, The Kuehler Law Firm, PLLC Court and Case Number: Okanogan County Superior Court – No. 19-4-00112-24 Published in the Methow Valley News November 15, 2023. DEADLINE FOR LEGAL NOTICES is noon Monday for publication the following Wednesday. Call (509) 997-7011. LEGALS From Page B3
Photo by Don Nelson Photo by Don Nelson Photo by Don Nelson Photo by Rick Lewis Photo by Rick Lewis Photo by Rick Lewis

Twisp earns AWC’s risk management recognition

The Town of Twisp has been recognized for its risk management practices by the Association of Washington Cities Risk Management Service Agency (RMSA). The award goes to RMSA members that contributed to an improvement in their liability claims experience over the past year.

Twisp Town Council extends overnight rental conversions moratorium again

RMSA members share in the costs of coverage and losses. The efforts of any member in preventing or reducing risk can affect the cost of risk for all members, according to the release. RMSA is a municipal risk pool protecting the employees, assets, and officials of 106 of Washington’s cities, towns, and special purpose districts from property and liability risks and cost.

“The awards acknowledge the hard work and dedication RMSA’s members put into proactively managing their risks and keeping their communities safe,” according to a press release. “Actively managing risks and engaging in risk management helps keep municipalities running effectively, efficiently, and promotes stronger, more resilient communities.”


Town has another 6 months to develop, adopt new policies

The Twisp Town Council has approved another six-month extension of the current moratorium on overnight rental conversions, which means the moratorium will have been in place for two years in May 2024.

It also means that final decisions about revising town’s regulations of what are now being called “short-term vacation rentals” (STVRs) may be made by the new Town Council that is seated in January 2024, if the issue cannot be resolved before then.

The council held a special public hearing on extending the moratorium, which was set to expire Nov. 9, on Nov. 8. Several people spoke in favor of extending the moratorium, and some urged the council to make any regulatory changes by the year’s end so it would not fall to the next council to decide.

Three new members will be joining the council in January. Current council member Hans Smith will move over to the mayor’s chair.

The Twisp Planning Commission earlier delivered its proposals for revising the town’s regulation of overnight rentals to the Town Council. The commission was assisted by a volunteer citizens group that did research on overnight rental practices in other towns. After considering the council’s feedback on that report,

the Planning Commission held an Oct. 25 public hearing on revised proposals.

The Planning Commission’s updated recommendations have not been reviewed by the council yet.

Twisp extended its then-year-long moratorium on conversion of existing dwellings to overnight rentals for another six months in May of this year.

The current moratorium stops conversions of existing residential housing to overnight rentals, including properties in commercial zones. It does not affect hotels, motels or existing overnight rentals including B&Bs.

Support for extension

At last week’s special meeting, the overwhelming public sentiment was to extend the moratorium, but with some urgency about finally taking action.

Paula Mackrow said the town needs to act decisively to avoid “the free-for-all that other mountain towns experience” when dealing with conversions of existing housing stock to overnight rentals.

Sandra Strieby supported the extension but added that the council needs to address how to enforce compliance with any new regulations.

Isabelle Spohn reminded the council that one of the original motivations for the moratorium was to assure that the town seriously addressed the need for affordable family housing. She said several Twisp neighborhoods, including her own, are at risk.

Carolanne Steinebach, who was on the citizen task force that assisted the Planning Commission, said the extension is necessary, but that a new council would need to get up to speed

quickly if the issue is to be addressed before the new moratorium expires.

Barry Stromberger also said he was concerned about “kicking it down the road again” and leaving resolution to a new group of council members. The Planning Commission’s earlier recommendations included redefining overnight housing as “short-term vacation rentals” (STVRs), exclusion of such housing from any of the town’s residential zones, increasing permit fees, expanding the list of owner application requirements and guest obligations, and stepping up enforcement.

The first moratorium was adopted in May 2022 after residents expressed concerns about the potential effects of overnight rental conversions on the housing market and on neighborhood ambience. Most of the comments asked the town to suspend applications for conversions to overnight rentals, which can occur through a licensing and administrative process without council review or approval.

Commenters have cited the loss of housing options for workers, possible negative effects on the character and safety of established neighborhoods, and the potential for taking business away from established tourism lodging businesses including B&Bs.

Twisp currently has no overt prohibitions of overnight rentals in its municipal code. An overnight rental conversion requires a business license, a land use application and an administrative permit, but no council review. Applicants must meet several requirements included in the town’s code. Nightly rentals are currently allowed in every zone except industrial and at the municipal airport.

Christmas tree permits available

For those yearning to cut their Christmas tree from the national forest, there are three options for obtaining a Christmas tree permit, the U.S. Forest Service said in a press release. Permits may be purchased online through, at Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices including Winthrop, and from local vendors. A list of vendors is posted online at Christmas tree permits cost $5 each; if they are purchased online there is an additional $2.50 charged for the transaction fee. Each tree permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Only two permits are allowed per household. The permits are non-refundable and are only good on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Christmas trees cannot be harvested in wilderness areas, campgrounds, developed recreation areas, or tree plantations. Free tree permits are available to fourth-graders as part of the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative. Visit for information.

Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page B5 We’ve got issues... Don’t worry, there’s still time to make it into the next one, or maybe the one after that! Can’t wait? Contact us today for an ad in the weekly paper! Design services included with all ads. | (509) 997-7011 HEALTH 2023/24 Methow Valley FREE Growing older in the Methow Getting ahead of the 'tripledemic' 10 ideas for healthier living & Wellness Health & Wellness publishes in fall Winter Guide In this issue!! 2023 A guide to getting married in the Methow A supplement to the Methow Valley News •FREE• Valley Vows publishing soon FREE HOME METHOW 2023 HOUSING FOR LOCALS REAL ESTATE It’s competitive market BEING HERE Making yourself at home Methow Home publishes in early spring Information for an enjoyable Methow Valley visit Dining and lodging guides Activities for every interest & all ages FREE Summer Guide publishes in late spring Methow Made NEW FOR 2023 FREE The Methow Valley News FOOD & DRINK Natural, nutritious & tasty ARTS & CRAFTS Creativity on a personal scale HOME & HEALTH Surround yourself with well being Methow Made publishes in summer UP contactNEXT! us today to claim your spot!
Photo by Don Nelson After years of planning and delays, work was completed last week on a crosswalk that extends the Susie Stephens recreational trail across Highway 20 near Pardners Mini Market. Motorists will need to be attentive.

In Winthrop, Christmas at the End of the Road is the beginning of an eventpacked holiday season.

As usual, downtown will come alive on Thanksgiving weekend with shopping, activities for kids, the town lighting and of course the fireworks extravaganza to close things out on Saturday night.

For your planning purposes, here is a schedule of events:

Thursday, Nov. 23

• 9 a.m. Turkey Trot (park run) at the Methow Trails headquarters, 21 Horizon Flat Road. Free, visit register for more information.

Friday, Nov. 24

• 10 a.m.-5 p.m., local shops and Visitor Information Center on Highway 20 will be open.

• 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Shafer Historical Museum will be open with old-fashioned holiday decorations, hot cocoa, a fire and a children’s scavenger hunt for the holidays.

• 5:30-7:30 p.m., skate with Santa at the Winthrop Rink.

Saturday, Nov. 25

• All day, shops, Visitor Information Center and Winthrop Rink will be open.

• 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Shafer Historical Museum will be open with old-fashioned holiday decorations, hot cocoa, a fire and a children’s scavenger hunt for the holidays.

• 1-4 p.m., Children’s Winter Fest at the Winthrop Barn. Includes Santa photos, hot chocolate, hot dogs, and other treats hosted by the Winthrop Kiwanis.

• 1-4 p.m., horse-drawn carriage rides from downtown to the Winthrop Barn.

• 3 p.m., Liberty Bell Booster Club will be selling food and treats on Riverside Avenue.


Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School will continue its “Be A Scientist” program for the 2023-2024 school year. Local scientists, engineers, and science enthusiasts are invited to inspire seventh-grade students on their science projects. Volunteers will help students frame questions, design experiments, analyze data, and present results. The program’s goal is to boost student engagement and enthusiasm for science.

In previous years, Liberty Bell students have excelled in science fairs, and this year, the school aims for every student to prepare projects that can be entered in the regional fair.

A volunteer orientation and training session is scheduled for Thursday (Nov. 16) from 2-3 p.m. For more information, contact Matt Hinckley at


Game night returns to the Mazama Community Club on Thursday (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m. Choose from Qwirkle, Code Names and Scrabble, or bring a favorite of your own. The free event is open to the public.


The local chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society is offering a free power point program on local wildflowers, presented by local wildflowers aficionados, on Thursday (Nov. 16) from 7-8:30 p.m. at The Cove II building in Twisp. For more information, email


• 5 p.m., town lighting. Riverside Avenue businesses will turn on their holiday lights.

• 5:05 p.m., choir performance and caroling at Town Hall.

• 6 p.m., fireworks show — a 20-minute display viewable from downtown Winthrop. Riverside Avenue is popular and crowded, but not the only place to be. Online viewing of the fireworks is available at North Village Properties provides the launch site for the show.Visit https://winthropwashington.

com/events/christmas-festival to donate to the fireworks fund. Online viewing of the fireworks is available on the chamber of commerce Facebook page, WinthropWashington. All events are subject to change.

The event is organized by the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local merchants. For more information, email info@, or visit https://

Another award for Winthrop library design


The last Repair Café of the year will be on Saturday (Nov. 18) from 10 a.m.-noon at The Cove in Twisp. The Repair Café is a free event where a team of expert fixers and menders volunteer to get your things working again. Items must be small enough to be carried and not be leaking fluids or hazardous in any way. You must stay with your item during its repair. Bring any parts you may have to complete the fix. The sewing team only mends items, no custom alterations. For information, email


Coldwell Banker Cascade Real Estate/Winthrop has launched its Fall Coat drive for local kids, and will continue the drive through Dec. 9. Bring new and slightly worn, clean coats, vests and parkas to the Coldwell Banker Winthrop office at 503 State Highway 20; or to Hank’s Harvest Foods in Twisp. The clothing will be sorted, cleaned, and transferred to local nonprofit partners for distribution to needy kids.


Methow At Home is offering a free four-part series, “Caring for People Living With Dementia,” on Nov. 21, Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 at the Twisp Valley Grange, from 2-4 p.m. each day. Learn more about this disease process and how it relates to communicating, connecting and serving someone living with the disease. The sessions will be facilitated by Kathy Merwin, who is part of the Methow At Home team as staff, member and volunteer. To register, visit


The Methow Community Club will

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center in Twisp offers “traditional twined sally bag” classes on Saturday (Nov. 18 for) beginners and on Sunday (Nov. 19) for advanced students, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Cost is $60 per class or $110 for both classes (includes supplies). Limited to 12 participants, registration required at The classes will be led by Culture Keepers and master weavers Bernadine Phillips and Brandon Finley, members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and are descendants of the Wenatchi, Methow, Lakes and other tribal bands. Students will learn how to make two small Plateau twined sally bags, using acrylic yarn and hemp.

The Winthrop library design team has won another award, this time the prestigious Award of Honor — the highest accolade — from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle chapter.

The library, designed by Johnston Architects and Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects, was one of five projects to receive an Award of Honor. The building opened in 2022.

“The jury appreciated the beauty in its simplicity and felt it was a restoration of civic spirit and a space that allowed the mind to expand,” according to the AIA Seattle website. “Across the broad view of project types, the jury acknowledged the strong design culture represented in our region that collectively and beautifully expresses the feel and culture of this place.”

The honor was announced Nov. 6 at AIA Seattle’s annual awards meeting. Johnston Architects principal Mary Johnston said in an email that the awards are very competitive and are chosen by a jury of nationally recognized architects.

Earlier, the Winthrop library was

have a general membership meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m.


Methow At Home offers a free presentation, “Methow Creative Aging Memory

Care Café” at Confluence: Art in Twisp on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 2-4 p.m., led by local artist Janet Fagan. This is a program for adults living with dementia and their care partners that offers an opportunity for social and expressive engagement in a setting that is designed to promote confidence and inspire joy in participants. The Cafe hosts hands-on artmaking along with music and art discussions that meet all involved where they are with love and acceptance in a sensory sensitive environment. To register, visit


Methow At Home will host “The Evolutionary History of Plants in the Methow Valley (AKA Everything’s a Miracle),” with naturalist Dana Visalli,

2023 Civic Design Awards.

via Zoom on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 9-10 a.m. Visalli will tell the evolutionary story of our local plants, including how they acquire the energy for life, how they reproduce, and how they have managed to adapt to the heat and drought of summer and the freezing temperatures and deep snows of winter. To register, visit


The annual Christmas Bazaar at the Winthrop Barn will on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Local artisans and craft vendors will offer holiday gift options.


Reserve the date: Mistletoe Madness, Twisp’s season shopping event, returns on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 2-6 p.m. in downtown Twisp and beyond.

Local shops will be adorned with holiday decorations and offering special discounts and other deals.

Other attractions include art and

food vendors, entertainment and performances featuring holiday tunes, horsedrawn carriage rides, holiday crafts and a gift-wrapping station. For information, visit www.twispwa. com.


Sun Mountain Lodge is planning

several events in the coming holiday season:

• Enjoy a Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 23) buffet from noon-8 p.m. Cost is $89 for adults. Make a reservation by calling (509) 996-9707.

• Celebrate Christmas (Monday, Dec. 25) with a four-course gourmet dinner in the ballroom, offered noon-8 p.m. Stay tuned for pricing.

• Ring in the New Year on Sunday, Dec. 31, from 6 p.m.-1 a.m., with dinner, dancing, games, fireworks and more, featuring live music with Brennen Leigh. Cost is $150 per person. For more information, visit www.

Page B6 Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Methow Valley News Methow Valley Spinners and Weavers Guild 2023 Show and Sale Friday, November 17, 2:00pm - 6:00pm Saturday, November 18, 9:00am - 3:00 pm 137 Old Twisp Hwy off hwy 20 between Twisp and Winthrop Featuring handcrafted fiber arts created by our Guild Members, including on-of-a-kind handwoven towels, blankets, rugs, scarves, handspun yarns, hand-dyed techniques and more. Cash or Checks Only, Please e t h o a l l e C o m m u n i t C e n t e r 2 0 1 H 2 0 S T i s p F R E E E N T R S T U R D Y N O V 1 8 & D E C 9 - 3 L O C L L Y D E R T S & C R F T S TWISP CHRISTMAS BAZAAR The Farmers Market Board would like to thank all Vendors and Shoppers for making 2023 a beautiful community market season! See you next year! WWW . METHOWVALLEYNEWS . COM
the End of the Road
Get in the spirit with Christmas at
Above: file photo by Steve Mitchell. Right: file photo by Don Nelson Above: The annual fireworks show will light up the sky on Saturday. Right: Santa will be in residence at the Winthrop Barn for photos. awarded a Citation from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Washington Chapter in that organization’s The library building was also named a runner-up in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce’s 2022 Building of the Year Awards. Photo by Benjamin Drummond The team of Johnston Architects and Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects has colleced another accolade for design of the Winthrop library.

Manger Mall registration is underway

The Methow Valley Manger Mall, an extension of The Cove in Twisp, has launched its 2023 children’s gifting program. Parents who pre-register to personally shop will select from a variety of gifts to place under the tree on Christmas for their children, ages infant to 18.

There will be toys, games, sporting goods, cosmetics, books and more, as well as new pillows with handmade pillowcases or decorative fleece blankets. The event will be early in December.

Registration for parents runs through Nov. 21. Forms will be available through the schools and by request by emailing methowvalleymangermall@ Some printed copies will available at The Cove on Thursdays, from 1-4 p.m. during food bank hours.

Donations of new, unwrapped gifts are welcomed, and may be brought to collection boxes at the Mazama Store, Winthrop Store, Winthrop Physical Therapy and Fitness, Ulrich’s Pharmacy,


Cheryl Lynn Swayze

Cheryl Lynn Swayze (Barnes), 68, of Everett, Washington, died at home of Cortico Basal Degeneration on Oct. 20, 2023.

She was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1955 to Richard and Maurene Barnes. After attending the Seattle World Fair, her parents moved to Seattle and Cheryl began school in the Latona neighborhood, attended junior high in Lake City and high school at Woodway in Edmonds. After a few years of eastern Washington life, Cheryl returned to Lake Washington Technical, completing the bookkeeping program with flying colors.

Cheryl then moved to the Methow Valley and after some time with the U.S. Forest Service went to work at Bear Creek Lumber. In 1988 she met her future husband, James Swayze, while skiing near Cutthroat Pass. After their marriage she moved


Mark your calendars! This Saturday, Nov. 18, is the Christmas Sale No. 1. Hours are 9 a.m.-noon.

Reminder, our Thrift Store hours have changed to 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. When donating items, please refer to the list of items we do not accept. There is a board listing these items outside the Thrift Store on days we are open. Please do not donate clothing that is torn, soiled or with broken zippers. You can refer to the list for more information.

The November Senior of the Month is all Methow Valley veterans.

Colleen Ramiskey


North Cascades Bank, Blue Star Coffee Roasters, the Carlton Store, Winthrop Ace Hardware and the Winthrop library. The final pickup date is Nov. 28

Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop offers a 10% discount on books purchased at the store and has a collection box on site.

Monetary contributions may be made at The Cove, P.O. Box 895, Twisp WA 98856, designated for Manger Mall. All donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

to Seattle with Jim and lived in the Greenwood area until her retirement from American Seafoods. She then moved with Jim to Everett so she could be closer to her family. She enjoyed walking the area with its fine mountain views and decorating the house with art. Three years laster she was diagnosed with the neurological condition that resulted in her death two years later.

Cheryl is survived by her husband, Jim, mother and father Maurene and Dick, sister Linda Butler and husband John and daughters Tara and Lauren, brothers Mike and wife Donna, Rick and wife Laura, and David and daughters Natalie and Lindsey. She was a kind woman with a wonderful smile that will be sorely missed. A memorial will be held at a later time.

THURSDAY, NOV. 16: Split pea and ham soup, turkey sandwich, lettuce and tomato salad, pineapple tidbits, dessert.

FRIDAY, NOV. 17: Biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, oven-browned potatoes, V-8 juice, orange quarters, dessert.

MONDAY, NOV. 20 : Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, broccoli salad, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, pumpkin pie.

THURSDAY, NOV. 23, AND FRIDAY, NOV. 24: Closed for Thanksgiving.

MONDAY, NOV. 27: Barbecue chicken, macaroni salad, buttered peas, Greek salad, mixed fresh fruit, biscuit, dessert.

THURSDAY, NOV. 30: Hamburger steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered corn, garden salad, whole wheat roll, apple crisp. Call (509) 997-7722 to reserve meals 24 hours in advance. Suggested donation is $5 for persons over age 60; charge for $10 for persons under 60.

Birth announcements


Lydia Masombo and Patrick Doran are thrilled to announce the birth of their son O’Connell “Oak” Patrick Jabali Doran on Aug. 2, 2023. Little Oakie Doran was born on a bright and sunny August morning in Bellingham, Washington. Delivered at 37 weeks, the Mighty Oak weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds, 12 ounces and measured a height of 21 ½ inches. His mother, Lydia, was born and raised in Musakasa, Kenya, near the Ugandan border. O’Connell’s late maternal grandfather, Patrick Masombo, was a Ugandan man who took a Kenyan wife: Grandma Jane.

Coming from a sprawling but tight-knit family that rivals the Dorans in size, there are dozens of aunts, uncles and a plethora of cousins that eagerly wait to meet their American relation. Patrick Doran, O’Connell’s proud daddy, grew up in Twisp and swears that the night Oak was born the moon turned a fire red. Pat’s parents, Gretchen Dieringer and James Doran, are proud paternal grandparents overjoyed by the arrival of their first grandchild. The youngest Doran’s godmother and godfather are Methow Valley locals Emily Potter and Galen Hunt.

Methow Valley News Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Page B7 HEALTH DIRECTORY Aero Methow Rescue Office: 997-4013 EMERGENCY Methow Valley Clinic 1116 WA-20 Winthrop, WA 98862 Open: M - F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 509.996.8180 Samuel P. Van Meter, Ph.D. Administrator Wendy Hernandez Director of Nursing We offer Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy (with licensed therapist) along with Audiology & Podiatry Services, Skilled Nursing Care & Respite Care (509) 689-2546 River Plaza, Brewster HEALTH DIRECTORY Ads are $8 per column inch, B&W, $10 color. Call 997-7011 to have your service listed. AA MEETINGS TWISP Twisp Group (O): Sun. 9:30am at Masonic Hall Mon. 6:30pm at Masonic Hall Tue. 6:30pm at Masonic Hall Twisp Men’s Group (C)(M): Wed. 6:30pm at Masonic Hall Twisp Women’s Group (O)(W): Wed. 5:30pm at Cove2 or Zoom WINTHROP Methow Valley Group (O): Thur. 7:00pm at Friendship Church What’s Normal Group (C): Fri. 7:00pm at Friendship Church O=Open, H=Handicap, C=Closed, M=Men For more info, call: (509) 429-1683 or (509) 449-0044 Al-Anon Tue. 6:00pm at Cove2 Fri. 8:30am at Cove2 Zoom option 812-4777-9360 Pin#505050 For more info, call (509)341-4121 Alateen Alateen is not meeting at this time. For more info, leave a message at (509) 341-4122 Narcotics Anonymous Fri. 6:00pm at Cove2 For more info, call (888)942-0042 Domestic Violence Services THE SUPPORT CENTER For 24/7 help, call 888-826-3221 ROOM ONE For information about services, call 509-997-2050 EMERGENCY - CALL 911 “Professional hearing care with a personal touch.” Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 5 West Central Avenue • Omak • 509-422-3100 Locally owned and operated for over 20 years. Insurance and L&I Accepted. Walk-in’s welcome Free Hearing Aid Cleaning Hanna Moomaw, HS, COHC Hearing Instrument Specialist “Professional hearing care with a personal touch.” Walk-in’s welcome Free Hearing Aid Cleaning Locally owned and operated for over 20 years. Insurance and L&I Accepted. Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 4 p.m. 5 West Central Avenue Omak (509) 422-3100 406 Burdin Blvd. Grand Coulee
Sign up now for Neighbors Helping Neighbors
before Christmas. The deadline for registering is Tuesday, Dec. 2. Holiday food baskets will be delivered to more than 130 Methow Valley households on Saturday, Dec. 16, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. You may only register for yourself or your family, and must be home to receive the food baskets on delivery day. Registration forms can be requested via email at; at The Cove in Twisp (during regular food bank hours on Thursdays, 1-4 p.m., there are also registrations in a plexiglass holder outside of the front door); at Room One; at the elementary school, high school and ILC; or call (360) 733-2134. Return entry forms to The Cove on Thursdays from 1-4 p.m.; or there is a drop box outside 206 Glover St. (across from Twisp Post Office); or mail to The Cove, P.O. Box 895, Twisp 98856; or email to Monetary donations to help provide items for the food baskets can be made to The Cove,
Cove more than 35 years ago.
Registration is underway for The Cove’s annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, which delivers holiday food baskets to local families
P.O. Box 895. Twisp, WA 98856; or at All donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by
There will be no food drive this year. Neighbors Helping Neighbors started as a project through The
Cheryl Lynn Swayze
The first of two annual Christmas Bazaars in Twisp will be held on Saturday (Nov. 18) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Methow Valley Community Center. The free event showcases more than 60 artists and craftspersons, offering high-quality original art, photography, silver jewelry, beaded earrings, pottery, clothing, quilts, herbal products, glass, handmade soap, wooden items, handmade bags, ornaments, cards, and fresh wreaths. The American Legion Auxiliary will be in the kitchen to provide lunch and treats. The bazaar will be back on Saturday, Dec. 2, with the same hours. Go to for more information. File Photo by Don Nelson SUBSCRIBE & SAVE! YOUR PIGGY BANK WILL THANK YOU! (*OR YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT... IT'S 2023, DOES ANYONE OVER THE AGE OF 12 STILL USE AN ACTUAL PIGGY BANK?) Our subscription prices are going up in 2024, subscribe for up to 2 years NOW to save up to $20! Call us at (509) 997-7011 or email to take advantage of this limited time offer! * On Jan. 1, 2024, our subscription rates will increase to: $45 in county $60 out of county $70 out of state The newsstand price will increase to $1.50 Lock in our current subscription prices for up to 2 years by subscribing, or by extending your current subscription, before the prices go up!
Bazaar in Twisp this weekend


This, my first column written for the Valley Life page, is where I introduce myself. Like so many of us, I lived in the Methow part-time before making the leap “over the hill,” full-time. I’m a third-generation Seattleite who was raised in the home my grandfather built in 1910 near Ravenna Park, a park with a stream flowing through it that emptied into Green Lake where my father fished for trout. My mother was born in Paris and danced the cancan in the Folies Bergère. My uncle had the distinction of being the first person to ski down Mount Rainier.


If you ever lived by a Washington State Ferry schedule, you know what I mean when I say you cannot approach the ferry dock without some exhale of emotion — you are the last car to board (whew!), you are the first car to have the “ferry full” sign given (dang!), your timing was perfect to get that first space on the side ramp where the view of the approaching skyline is spectacular (woohoo!), or you missed the late night ferry and the last one doesn’t leave until it’s way past bedtime (sigh!).

North Cascades Highway 20 elicits some of the same feelings. If you live in the Methow, part-time or full-time, or are a visitor here, no doubt the status of Highway 20 has impacted your travels in one way or another. It might be fire and smoke, snow, ice and avalanche, or a tanker truck overturned on a steep embankment that prompts Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to stop the flow of traffic for what might be days, weeks, or months.

It seems like we have consistently picked the weekend most likely to be


A horse or a pony isn’t a piece of sporting equipment like a bike or a pair of skis; you don’t stuff them in the garage for the off-season and fetch them back out again when the weather is right.

Although equestrian riding pauses for the winter — unless you have an indoor arena — the relationship between horse and rider is one that is best nurtured year-round. That’s why Methow Valley Riding Unlimited (MVRU) has developed a new program to provide a bridge between the fall and spring riding seasons. Let ’Em Stride complements the existing Let ’Em Ride program by allowing kids in grades 3-6 to remain connected with the MVRU horses and by continuing

I left Seattle at 17 when I was hired (thanks to affirmative action) for a summer job working for Umatilla National Forest. For the next eight summers, all the way through my undergraduate studies and veterinary school at WSU, I worked all over the state for various national forests including Okanogan National Forest. I never returned to urban life. Because I’ve lived, worked and been educated all over the state, I like to think of myself as a native of Washington.

I’ve been in and out of Okanogan County for 50 years, including traveling Highway 20 when it was first opened in 1972 shortly after Gov. Dan Evans made his inaugural drive over the North Cascades highway accompanied by his chauffeur, Ted Bundy. In the early 1970s, several of my friends fled the city to live on communes in the Okanogan Highlands where I was a frequent visitor, much attracted to riding full-tilt boogie across the landscape on their half-broke Arabian horses. This was when I fell in love with the arid wide-open country east of the mountains.

When I was still in veterinary school, my partner and I bought 40 acres of land near Lemanasky Lake, 15 miles

west of Tonasket, a very remote location. We drove up to this land from Pullman every chance we got, occasionally skipping classes to extend the weekend. In the spring of 1980 as my stint in veterinary school was coming to an end, I studied for national boards by the light of a campfire while liv-

affected by early winter weather to cross the passes for a family visit in Bellingham. Such was the past weekend. Friday (Nov. 10) might have been slightly dicey as we happened upon a car that obviously had slid across the roadway and slammed into the hillside — airbags deployed; front end destroyed. However, temperatures on the downhill west side rose and all was well.

Saturday (Nov. 11) brought the real storm and, sure enough, the highway closed at 10 a.m. (it might be back open when this paper is delivered, as it was planned to be reevaluated on Monday, Nov. 13.) A three-hour trip becomes at least doubled when one must “drive around.” That requires a stint down I-5 followed by a climb over Stevens Pass before going back up valley.

I’m a sign reader. No matter how many times I’ve read a “Don’t Drink

to support the socio-emotional development of the little community these horses and riders form during the program, says MVRU Program Director Annie Budiselich, who is widely known as Annie B.

Annie B emphasizes the time and energy devoted to “building community and culture through positive relationships amongst students, as well as between students and adult and teen volunteers.” In the past, these relationships, as well as those developed between horses and riders, were paused between November and April, since Methow Valley winters are not very conducive to outdoor riding. Let ’Em Stride now sustains these relationships for five weeks in the late fall and five weeks in the late winter.

The “non-riding version of Let ’Em Ride,” Annie B says, Let ’Em Stride allows students to be in the presence of horses without riding them. “They get the grounding of being around horses and they get a chance to learn a lot more about them — about the many ways there are to work with horses.”

Annie B has always wanted to have more time in the riding program for “reflection and creative expression,” she says, and Let ’Em Stride provides this

and Drive” or “Watch for Motorcycles” sign, my eye goes to them again each time they sail by. I read the brown signs, the green signs, the boring signs, the flashing signs. On this trip “around,” while contemplating a topic for this column, I thought about billboards. Flashing all along the I-5 corridor, I’ve always thought the bright digital billboards are a driving distraction. To verify my thinking, I found in Scenic America’s “Billboard Fact Sheet” that there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that digital billboards do pose a threat to traffic safety.

Some other interesting billboard facts:

Four states — Maine, Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii — prohibit billboards. My home state of Montana prohibits digital billboards! Lady Bird Johnson led the effort to pass the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 that requires states to

ing in a tepee, waking up one Sunday morning to the sound of distant booming followed by falling ash that covered us like snow. (Mt. St. Helens going off for those of you who weren’t born yet or too young to remember)

After graduating from veterinary school, I had hoped to be a country

vet somewhere in eastern Washington. But circumstances took me to Whidbey Island where I eventually had my own practice, raised my daughter and met my husband, George Schoenfeld. On Whidbey, I was able to fulfill my dream of raising and training horses for performance events as diverse as dressage, jumping and gymkhana, but most of all, so I could ride them up in the high country of the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

In 2008, my husband and I decided it was time to leave Whidbey Island and buy a place in the Methow Valley, a dream both of us had nurtured for many years. Whidbey Island had been good to us, but it was no longer rural and having to take a ferry every time we wanted to leave was getting old. Besides, I wanted a place where I could ride my horses out my front door without trailering them or getting on a ferry — and be surrounded by public lands. And that’s how we came to live in the Methow Valley.

My columns may lean heavily towards animal stories since critters have been my life focus, but I’m curious about so many things, I’m sure I can diversify. I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for a column. My email is listed at the bottom of the page.

maintain effective control of billboards on federal highways. Traditional billboard posters were pioneered by Jared Bell in the 1830s. The large signs were created for shows and events such as a circus or exhibition. Moving into the 20th century, billboard structures became standardized and appealed to larger companies to launch national outdoor advertising campaigns. McDonald’s has been ranked at the top of billboard users for decades. A few other big companies that you are most likely to see on billboards are Coca-Cola, Apple, Amazon, Geico, and Nike.

Then there were the Burma-Shave signs that first appeared in the 1920s and remained along roadways until 1963. A series of six signs kept a motorist and passengers engaged until the punch line

time. “We have guided reflection time, we’re engaged in art projects, and we’re writing poetry to overlay on the art,” she says. The group will also complete a collaborative art piece, which Annie B says is “kind of like a mosaic that includes various aspects

of what the students are doing during each five-week session.”

Using the indoor space of the MVRU office (in the former retail space of Crown S Ranch), half of the Let ’Em Stride group works on creative projects while the other half is “horsing around

sign and the final sign advertising the shaving cream. “Every shaver / Now can snore / Six more minutes / Than before / By using / Burma-Shave” or “Does your husband / Misbehave / Grunt and grumble / Rant and rave / Shoot the brute some / Burma-Shave.”

Advertising was much simpler then. So was driving. When the interstate system was expanded and vehicle speeds increased, it became more difficult to attract motorists’ attention with small signs. Soon they disappeared. Annabel Lee wrote in “Route Magazine:” Today, only one full set of Burma-Shave signs exists, and it’s housed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. One important digital sign that doesn’t flash, only reports, is WSDOT’s sign on the edge of Winthrop stating the status of “SR20 NC HWY.”

outside,” Annie B says.

Annie says that MVRU is grateful to the education research organization foundry10 for their support of Let ’Em Stride. The organization has “a philanthropic focus on expanding ideas about learning and creating direct

value for youth.” MVRU has also received a grant from Confluence Health and the Wenatchee Valley Medical Group that will partially fund a pilot program this spring, providing mental wellness workshops for teens.

Valley Life Contacts Twisp:
Schmidtke Winthrop:
509-341-4848 or Lower Valley: Joanna Bastian
Ashley Lodato
LIFE Page B8 Wednesday, November 15, 2023 Methow Valley News
Mazama: Shelley Smith Jones
Michelle Schmidtke Shelley Smith Jones Ashley Lodato Photo courtesy of Michelle Schmidtke Michelle and her veterinarian school classmates. She is on the far left. Photos by Shelley Smith Jones Above: The WSDOT sign in Winthrop alerts motorists to conditions. Right: One last trip over the North Cascades Highway? Photos courtesy of Methow Valley Riding Unlimited The Let ’Em Stride program offered by Methow Valley Riding Unlimited allows kids to get connected with horses.

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