Limits to freedom  during a pandemic

There are limits to freedom. Tonight I passed some people protesting the requirement to wear masks. They asserted it was their right to freedom — but it’s known that not wearing a mask can make others sick if you happen to have Covid. And it’s known that you can have Covid without knowing it. Given the number of U.S. deaths from Covid it’s statistically certain that not wearing a mask has killed at least one person.

And in my opinion, that exceeds the limit of freedom. You do not have the freedom to kill others. In fact, in my opinion, you don’t even have the right to make other people sick. The government should be allowed to arrest people for endangering public health. Of course arresting somebody infringes on their freedom — but

it’s justified when a person commits a criminal act. Like infecting somebody with Covid.


East Wenatchee

Les Moscoso for Cashmere School Board

Campaigns are expensive, time consuming, and stressful, but they don’t need to divide communities.

Unfortunately, even expressly non-political campaigns are currently being pushed toward issues that seemingly need to be labeled with R’s and D’s.

Conversations, digital

or analog, too often spiral into doomsday scenarios

— painting pictures full of fear for our future. Overall, I wish individuals could run for elected position without being painted as an “invading force” bent on conquest and revolution.

Such is the challenge facing Les Moscoso as he runs for Cashmere School Board. Les and his family have been knocking on doors introducing themselves, and more importantly, listening and learning from community members.

Les understands that the strength of our community and schools rest within

the stories of its families. Les’ character and values align word for word with the school district’s stated core values. He is a father and active community member with the energy and commitment to help our Cashmere schools continue their tradition of success.

Yet, his mere candidacy versus an incumbent has resulted in him being labeled as a radical invader to be feared. This is a deeply unfortunate assumption, and a sad situation.

I support Les Moscoso for Cashmere School Board, not for any specific agenda, but because I know he will put in the time and effort necessary to be an informed member of a strong team that will continue to put the students’ needs first.



School candidates shouldn’t drag schools into culture wars

More than a month has passed since I watched

the YouTube replay of the Aug. 24, 2021 Wenatchee School Board meeting where two Wenatchee School Board candidates, Katherine Thomas and Matt Van Bogart, partici-pated in an unruly, uncivil, disruptive Unmask Our Kids protest that effectively shut down a regularly scheduled school board public meeting because they and the other protesters refused to put on masks at the request of the superintendent, Paul Gordon, and all school board members except for Julie Norton who wanted to allow their presence unmasked.

As a retired 20-year veteran math teacher at Wenatchee High School I find many aspects of this particular Unmask Our Kids protest saddening. But what particularly disturbs me is the two candidates for school board mentioned above and one incumbent, Julie Norton, would choose to drag the Wenatchee School District (WSD) and its children into the culture wars and use our district students to fight Gov. Jay Inslee and his mandates.

I get some don’t like masks, mandates, and Inslee but, really, do you want people on our school board who are willing to fight these battles placing our students and schools at the center of the storm?

If individuals have issues with mask mandates or Governor Inslee there are better places and ways to wage this war without involving Wenatchee School District and its kids.

As a former Wenatchee High School teacher and parent of a young woman who as a child attended Lewis and Clark Elementary, Pioneer Middle, and Wenatchee High schools I ask the voters of Wenatchee please continue to elect school board members who will put the education, safety, and health of our students first and not drag our students and schools into the messy political theater of the culture wars.

If you agree with me on this then please vote for Maria Iñiguez, Dr. Michele Sandberg, and Miranda Skalisky for Wenatchee School Board.



Epidemic of homelessness and drugs

We have a huge epidemic with homeless and drugs in our community and it’s going to get worse if we don’t stop it now! It will be like the big cities.

Camping at Entiat in the beautiful PUD park we were exposed to disgusting drug addicts camped in there tent space which is next to playground. It was trash and needles everywhere.

Police were called they said: city park, contact them city said they’ll deal with it Monday!!! Seriously should of been taken care of on 10/6 no one seems to be taken this seriously & I’m disgusted

I took pictures of the wide open tent for anyone animals to walk inside and get stuck with bio hazard materials



Vote for Van Bogart, Katherine Thomas and Julie Norton

I support Matt, Katherine and Julie because they believe the schools are for educating our kids not indoctrinating them. They also do not think Washington, D.C., Olympia and the teachers union should stand between you and your children’s education.

They believe the parents have a right to attend and voice there concerns and opinions without being tagged as domestic terrorists. What is happening is so

un-American. There are groups out there that are burning and destroying whole cities, killing police beating and harassing anyone that disagrees with them, and that seems OK with the left, but god forbid you want to voice your thoughts and opinions on your children’s education you run the risk of being tagged by some people on the school board, some teachers, the teachers union and your government a terrorist.

There is only one choice if you want to be the arbiter of your children’s education and not the Government and that’s too vote for Matt van Bogart, Katherine Thomas and Julie Norton.

Educate not indoctrinate.



Vote for Maria Iñiguez

There are many candi-dates for Wenatchee School Board. One who has proven herself through what she has done and who she is: Maria Iñiguez. Among other things Maria has come up from poverty to obtain a college degree. She has worked in administration at the WSD so she’s familiar with that system and its strengths and weaknesses. She has served on the school board and has proved herself as a strong advocate for all students and their families as well as the teachers who work tirelessly for their students.

Maria is Latina. She is

bi-cultural and bilingual. This allows her to communicate at a deeper level with many of our students and their families who are often marginalized. Maria is a parent of a student in elementary school. And most importantly she listens and balances needs and concerns with responsible actions.

I am a community activist, volunteer with AVID High School students, a parent of a bi-lingual teacher at the elementary school level, and a grand-parent of two WHS graduates. As a retired social worker I have had the privilege of observing Maria in action. We need her on the Wenatchee School Board. Please vote to retain Maria Iñiguez. Position 2. Thank you.



Construction hurts neighbors’ quality of life

As a former resident of Leavenworth, I am disap-pointed and dismayed by the mayor and the city council’s blind eye to the elder abuse carried out on a daily basis during the construction of riverfront apartments at Garten Haus.

My elderly aunt has lived in the building for more than 15 years and her quality of life is severely impacted by the intrusive construction that begins as early as 6:45 a.m.

My aunt has reached out to members of the city council and to the hospital staff when access to the building was cut off earlier this summer and while the Spokane-based construction company met with residents to reassure them steps were being taken to ease their discomfort, those words have not trans-lated into action.

What recourse do these low-income seniors have when trying to reason with the developers pushing this project through? At the very least, they should have been given the option to relocate to another facility while this disruptive process took place.

The Garten Haus is managed by the Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee.

I’m trying not to be overly dramatic in writing this letter, but it seems like the community of Leaven-worth has lost its soul when it allows this kind of development to negatively impact its most vulnerable citizens.



Mission Ridge expansion plans are too much

As someone who has grown up a few miles down the road from Mission Ridge, I strongly oppose the Mission Ridge expansion.

In response to the proposal by Tamarack Saddle LLC

(Mission Ridge Ownership), Chelan County issued a Determination of Significance (DS). Tamarack Saddle has several courses of action they could take, one being to have an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) conducted, which would provide residents of Chelan County a more thorough understanding of the possible environmental impacts, and whether or not they can be adequately mitigated.

For a proposal that includes 621 condos, townhomes, duplex units, 275 single family homes, an overnight lodge, and 110,000 square feet of commercial space, we as residents of the Wenatchee Valley deserve to have a full understanding of how this project would impact and fundamentally change this place we call home. However, Tamarack Saddle is currently suing Chelan County for $6.4 million, with the process starting after the DS was issued. I wonder if that had anything to do with it? 

One of the reasons I felt compelled to write this letter, was after viewing a video on the Mission Ridge website. This video attempts to instill a homey feeling of both the Wenatchee Valley and Mission Ridge. Some remarks by the narrator include, “ground we fight to preserve”, “it’s here we nurture our relationship with nature”, and “a refuge from the chaos of life…find space to see life in a new light.” 

It appears as though these words are just talking points, when compared to the latest 

actions of Tamarack Saddle. Proposing to build a 4,000 occupancy resort, then suing Chelan County in response to a Determination of Significance (and subsequent EIS), while at the same time speaking of nurturing a relationship with nature and fighting to preserve this place we call home, is completely hypocritical.

I ask that as fellow residents and visitors, we support Chelan County in the their issuance of a DS, so that we may fully under-stand and voice our opinions on a development that would permanently change both Mission Ridge and the Wenatchee Valley.



Re-elect Baranouskas to hospital board 

This Letter is to Encourage your Support to Re-elect Tom Baranouskas for Commissioner position

No. 3 for Chelan County Public Hospital District No. 1 (Cascade Medical in Leavenworth).

I have had the pleasure to serve Cascade Medical in two very different capacities:

(1) From mid-2009 to early 2012, I served as Cascade Medical’s Chief Executive Officer. During this time the major remodeling and construction project was completed. During this time the hospital’s Shared Values was also initiated; and

(2) Since 2016, my wife Terri and I have served on the hospital Foundation Board (a separate fund-raising corporation).

I continue to have a deep devotion and respect for Cascade Medical and its people, as well as, the hospital’s ongoing commitment to serve Leavenworth and surrounding communities.

From my perspective, in any “normal” year, the governance and leadership of our smaller rural hospitals are challenging. However, the threshold of this challenge has significantly increased during this past 18 months with COVID’s impact on fluctuating patient loads and increasing staffing demands and the stresses overlayed on our vital health care workers. This situation has been made more complex with new State and Federal requirements.

Need for Continuity in Leadership: The dramatic nature of these changes on health care delivery necessitates ongoing sound governance and administrative leadership. Tom’s 6 years as an effective Commissioner brings that strong experience and continuity of Board leadership to Cascade Medical.

Tom also brings strong financial experience, is approachable, works collaboratively and is committed to patient care, employee interests and the needs of our community. One example is, as a resident in the Lake Wenatchee area, Tom continues the efforts of prior commissioner Jim Passage to improve the emergency response service to Lake Wenatchee by fostering a strong relationship between the hospital and Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue.

I urge you to consider these thoughts and vote to re-elect Tom Baranouskas as our Hospital Commissioner at Cascade Medical.



Norton is solution-oriented

Having participated in most of the online school board meetings since the beginning of the pandemic, I was thrilled that the Aug. 24 Wenatchee School District meeting was being held in person.

What a welcome surprise to see so many others at the meeting. I thought, “Finally, the community is waking up to the importance of advocating for our kids!”

The room was fairly full, but I did not count. There were masked and unmasked people. I was masked.

When I arrived, a discussion was underway regarding the “emergency” mask mandate, announced a week prior, but not effective until the day before. This was the first meeting under the new mandate, and Superintendent Gordon explained that the district and board were “under” the mask mandate. Respectful conversation ensued. There were masked folks expressing their discomfort with the unmasked. And unmasked stating their comfort with those masked.

The board arrived in the room masked and sat at the front of the room. Then they tried to sort out how to proceed considering

the mandates, completing business before the first day of school, and health of those present in the company of the unmasked. Julie Norton suggested a practical solution to continue the meeting in a hybrid fashion respecting the mandate, and individual choices in a public forum. Anyone unable or uncomfortable proceeding with mask/unmasked present could participate online.

At this point, I hoped that the hybrid option would be chosen. We’d all been in the room together, masked and unmasked, for over 15 minutes. Tension was mounting, but I never felt unsafe. Those in fear for their health due to those unmasked would have already left. The board took an at-ease and left the room. Upon return, they voted to adjourn the meeting and reconvene online in 30 minutes.

Sadly, there was no instruction on how to make public comments online to those in the room. Instead of a record number of public participating, only four 4 participated online.

Working together, respecting our differences, we must do better — our kids deserve it. Thank you Julie Norton for your leadership.



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