Letters to the Editor, Feb. 23, 2012

A vote of confidence

Dear Editor,
Knowing that our county is suffering under a depressed economy, I checked the school levy election results on Tuesday night with a bit of apprehension. I was elated to see levies in all school districts were passing! I had to stop and drink in the reality of this news. The levy system is blatantly unfair as it asks only those who own property to help pay for the education of children in our districts. However, we were given a vote of confidence by you, the tax payer, as you said, ‘the education of our children is of great value to me.”
I am an educator at the Tonasket elementary school and I do not take this vote of confidence lightly. I understand that we must be creative, persistent and responsible in our role of teaching the next generation. While fulfilling our role as educators, we must be good stewards of the money you have entrusted to us. I personally feel education is a high calling and one that cannot be taken lightly. I thank you for entrusting your children to us, expecting excellence and providing the dollars to enhance the enrichment of their lives through the education they receive. For those of you without children who continue to support the schools, you also know that we are in this together and a strong education will grow a strong community. I thank you for your vote of confidence.
Kathy Duchow

Wise use makes more sense

Dear Editor,
As we have been discussing the past four to five weeks, the P.U.D. plan for a hydroelectric plant at Enloe Dam, Similkameen River, raises a lot of economic questions. It is a costly, $40 million plan and doesn’t seem to generate enough power, two to three percent of demand, to justify all the negative impacts it creates.
I was trying to understand why the P.U.D. needs to do this project and went back to the P.U.D. Website, “okanoganpud.org” and clicked on “power resources.” There I found some graphs which show megawatts consumed and megawatt resources available each month of the year. B.P.A. provides abundant energy, when the Similkameen would be generating the most power, precisely when we don’t need it, and at a lower cost, just $.03/KW/hr. This was one reason previous licenses were not issued. Later in summer, July, August and September, cooling is a big user, just when our resources decline steeply. The months we need energy resources, the flows in the Similkameen just aren’t available.
Instead of taking Enloe Dam and Similkameen Falls from our scenic trail and harming our tourism and fisheries, why not put more resources into insulation, weatherization and energy efficiency? Help all the ratepayers, reduce their current electric usage with energy audits and help with the improvements they identify. With wise use and conservation we can gain back the cushion between load and supply and create good jobs for local contractors, which will circulate in the local economy, and we won’t need to sacrifice our scenic beauty and tourism dollars.
Thanks for the forum,
Joseph Enzensperger

The voice of the animals

In the month of February the serious problem of unwanted cats and dogs in the U.S. is recognized through “Prevent-a-Litter” Month, “Responsible Pet Owners” Month, and “Spay Day USA.” Sadly, the story that follows is the antithesis of responsible pet ownership and population control.
A woman was standing at a window in her home that looks out to an orchard when she saw a man drive to the edge of the orchard and remove two boxes from the back of his pickup. To her horror he dumped out the cats contained in the boxes, got back in his truck and drove away. Acts of abandonment, neglect and abuse like this occur on a daily basis in Okanogan County. If this story angers and chills you, you can do something to help the unwanted animals whose short lives often end in tragedy.
City and County officials are unwilling to fund humane animal care and control so you are their only voice. You can speak for the animals by supporting Animal Foster Care cat shelter and their partner, Okanogan Regional Spay & Neuter Project (OK-SNIP) in significantly reducing the overpopulation of the thousands of unwanted cats and dogs in your area through an aggressive, affordable spay and neuter program that targets the cats and dogs of low income families and feral cats. To help fund our programs please attend the March 3rd “Spay-ghetti” Dinner/Live & Silent Auctions/Dance event at the Cariboo in Okanogan and/or send donations to P.O. Box 3385, Omak, WA 98841.
Dot Shrank


Dear Editor,
The wise man/woman will not allow an act of physical violence to occur in his/her presence, regardless of the personal risk at stake. Increased vigor will be used to stop the violence when it involves children, the elderly, the disabled and others who are physically limited in their ability to protect themselves. It is a long-held myth, but a myth nonetheless, that a man/woman of wisdom will always remain aloof from their surroundings, only to speak when called upon for sagacity advice.
Furthermore, most wisdom seekers believe that perhaps the most important ingredient that will allow individuals, nations and humanity to evolve in a positive direction is by having hope for the future reintroduced into the social fabric of every nation or culture. This task is daunting because restoring hope for the future to any society cannot be accomplished by writing or talking about it. Only with each individual choosing to set a positive and inspirational example for others will allow the process of social, economic and political evolution to begin.
Ray Gattavara
Auburn, Washington