Letters to the Editor, Jan. 19, 2012

Keep Similkameen wild and beautiful

Dear Gary,
The time has come when I can no longer remain silent. My own inner voice, my conscience, will no longer allow my silent acceptance of an intolerable situation. The P.U.D. is planning the destruction of a very special place to many here in north county. I speak of Enloe Falls on the Similkameen River.
As I write you, an application for the Licensing of a Hydroelectric Power Plant waits approval by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC. Our Utility District Commissioners have already spent millions to proceed this far. In brief, their project would position a power plant on the north side of the river just above the places we all fish for salmon and steelhead trout now. Taking its intake from above the existing falls, their proposal plans divert almost the entire stream flow of the river through their turbines, leaving only a thin veil of water over the falls and what amounts to a dry riverbed from the falls base downstream well beyond the old powerhouse. It would be fenced and lit to the sky at night. It would be automated, controlled and monitored from their new headquarters in Okanogan with remote cameras keeping a watchful eye on everything. New transmission line towers would no doubt march from the Oroville Sub-station up the river to the new powerhouse.
This diversion of a river’s entire stream flow through a turbine is certainly nothing I have ever seen done before, but since there really isn’t great generating potential at the site, they must be going for every possible kilowatt they can get? Our commissioners have told FERC in written documents the Similkameen River is in a remote region, with low population and nobody really gives a damn about this river anyway.
No mention is made of the annual return of the Kings! The Chinook Salmon that will make their way to those dry upper pools when the damage is done. No mention of the growing fishery that has brought many local and regional fishermen and women out for the rush of a lifetime, when you hook the King of the Salmon on light tackle. No thought of the value of a 30 pound salmon at an average $10 per pound or the quality of the food we feed our families when we bring them home to our tables. Our wild run is a miracle and a blessing on us all. They survive the turbines, the birds, the seals, the many hazards of the vast Pacific and return home to us after three or four years in the ocean, strong magnificent creatures swimming through a gauntlet of international fishing fleets, countless commercial fishermen and sport fishermen and coming home to us here on the Similkameen River. It’s an odd way of showing our appreciation.
There is also no mention of our Similkameen River Trail, on which so many of our community members have labored and we all can now finally enjoy. Our north county commissioner Ernie Bolz told me personally at a commissioners’ meeting I attended recently down at headquarters in Okanogan, that he thought I would be surprised at how many people will want to use the trail just to see the new power facility. I would like to ask those great Oroville High School Students of ours, how they feel about their handmade benches every half mile along a trail that leads to a new shiny power plant?
But here is the best part Gary. The “estimated” cost of this project is $40 million and it will yield just two to three percent of Okanogan County’s electrical energy needs. Check it out for yourself. It’s all available through their website, though they have been pretty quiet about their plans. I really want this story out everywhere across the Okanogan from Oroville to Pateros, from Keller and Nespelem to the Methow Valley.It is my fervent prayer that this story will be talked about in every church, Grange and Longhouse across this great county. In every school, in every Town Hall and Senior Citizen Center we need to hear an angry buzz of discontent. Grab your paper and pens, put your outrage to paper and write FERC and any other person, group or organization you can bring to this fight.
We must mobilize quickly and act with courage and conviction to stop this outrageous assault against ourselves and nature. There are speakers ready to make a presentation to any group wanting to learn more. There will be a meeting at the Oroville Depot Museum every Monday night at 6 p.m. to plan our campaign. My number is (509) 476-4072. If we stand together we will win! Similkameen, Wild and Beautiful. Thanks for allowing the space.
Joseph Enzensperger,

Why PUD rates are so high

Dear Editor,
It looks like there isn’t any common sense at the PUD. Did you receive the mailing stating that they would be closed for Martin Luther King’s Birthday? I want to know why they couldn’t have included this mailing into their regular billing mailing. If they are using the excuse that they sent out their Watts Up articles and whatever else was in the mailing, this could have gone out in the billing also.
I would like to know just how much this mailing cost with the cost of the printing of the letter, stuffing the envelope, the envelope and the postage. Why can’t you do like everybody else that will be closed on a particular day and put an ad in the paper or put a sign on your door ahead of time? It is like me wanting to go to WalMart to pick up a gallon of milk instead of waiting until I go to the grocery store for all of my shopping items. Must be nice to be able to spend someone else’s hard earned money. Just another excuse to raise our rates again.
Jackie Daniels

Only one man for ‘little guy’

Dear Editor,
The idea that only bigger government can save us from ourselves, our enemies, our health problems, our financial problems and any other calamity that might “trample the little guy” seems to be growing. What would this nation look like if our founders held this vision of a socialist utopia?
In the field of candidates running for president (both parties) all but one, offers this bigger government solution. Only one man is advocating a sound monetary policy, limited constitutional government, and a return to an understanding of what liberty for the “little guy” as well as all other Americans means. If big government is the answer to society’s problems then why do we have so many problems?
It is odd that the funny looking old man in the ill-fitting suit is the only one warning the nation of the troubles big government continues to get us in. Does the clown who has been on the golf course 80 times, while promising to give the “little guy” all he needs, and has never proposed a budget, who in the fashion of a dictator bypassed congress to make more czar appointments and who is ready to ask for another $1.2 trillion in stimulus money, while the Federal Reserve is ready to push another quantitative easing stunt, not know he is stealing from the “little guy” and the little guy’s children’s children. Ron Paul is redirecting the conversation on these issues for the Republican Party, which is good, even though he is hated for it.
The Democrat party seems to be on the predictable path of offering more to some, while taking more from others, while stealing liberty from all. Looking for a legitimate candidate in either party is especially hard, now that our nation has been trained to look to the state for answers to problems that have been created (for the most part) by the state.
Steve Lorz

The real villains

Dear Editor,
Marines – The real villains of this story are people like Hillary Clinton who want to pun
ish the Marines that are demonstrating their disgust and distain for the faceless cowards that are responsible for the road-side bombs that are killing and maiming our soldiers. Do we need to show respect for Al Qaeda the ones that made the video of a beheading of a live prisoner. Not me.
Kenn Tuttle

March for Life

Dear Editor
On Monday, Jan. 23 at 12 p.m. at Omak City Park there will be a March for Life in Omak so that we will not forget that is it legal to kill an innocent, helpless baby in a mother’s womb through abortion. Everyone is welcome to join us. Jan. 22 commemorates the sad, infamous day that the U.S. Supreme Court passed the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand in the United States of America in 1973. Common sense tells us that this is wrong. It seems that not much attention is directed at the killing of these babies any longer, it seems to be an acceptable part of society’s norms.
I participated in the National March for Life in Washington DC, which took place the day after President Obama was inaugurated. There were 400,000 Pro Life marchers and as usual the media did not hardly even mention this newsworthy event. At the same time that we were marching, the first bill President Obama signed was an executive order removing the ban on tax payer funding of abortion overseas (the Mexico City Policy). I wonder what God thinks when he sees 1.4 million babies a year in the USA along being killed because of our selfishness. How much longer is he going to put up with us? God is so merciful that even now if we repented he will forgive us.
There is another victim in abortion that suffers immensely in the heart, the mother especially and also the father. They know that they have killed their child and have kept it locked inside for up to 50 years while society tries to tell them that everything is okay, but they know it isn’t okay inside. My heart goes out to their silent suffering and I pray that they may know hope and healing is available. No sin is too great for God’s Mercy.
Al and Judy Bosco