Mission Ridge expansion deserves support

Dear Chelan County commissioners, I am writing this to try to understand what has happened to the Mission Ridge expansion project? It seemed as though everything was going along good and then all the sudden it isn’t.

Having followed Mission Ridge for a long time, it seems as though they have been great stewards of public land and have operated responsibly. I feel it is very important to support our local areas and they continue to expand and are able to offer more positive outdoor experiences to all the people who pour into these areas looking for recreation opportunities.

In my opinion, this expansion would give Mission Ridge a better chance to compete with some of the other larger recreation areas in our state, which by the way are being bought up and controlled by large, out-of-state companies!

It is my hope, and the hope of many others, that you take a serious look at the expansion project and come back in support of this project. I’m not sure what has caused the reversal of support for this project, but it is never too late to take another look and get things right!

Lou Dillinger

North Bend

Let the grizzly bears roam free!

Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Trump Administration had it right the first time, when they called for restoration of the North Cascades grizzly bear.

The National Park and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services worked hard and developed action plans that were scientifically sound, widely supported and legally required to protect our endangered species. The administration even listed grizzly recovery in Washington state as one of their top accomplishments in 2019! Grizzly recovery was popular then, and it remains popular now, with about 80% of public comments supporting the action alternatives.

Sadly, current Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has flip flopped and broken the Trump administration’s promise to restore the grizzly bear to its ancestral homeland. The secretary has demonstrated that he values entrenched special interests over ecological interests.

The decision is a betrayal of the good work conducted by the local agency staff, and a retreat from the Department of Interior’s mission to “protect and manage the nation’s natural and cultural resources” of which the grizzly bear is both.

The grizzly clings to 2% of its historic range in the lower 48 states, making it incredibly endangered, despite the secretary’s claims that it is not. But this administration has never been interested in science, as shown by its approach to the current public health crisis.

As a wildlife biologist, forester, avid hiker and backcountry skier, I believe that the future of the grizzly will not be decided in Omak, 100 miles away from North Cascades National Park. The fight to protect and restore this iconic creature will continue, and the pristine and lush habitat in the North Cascades can patiently outlast this failed administration.

Advocates like me will keep speaking up for the wild places, and our responsibility to leave our parks better off than we found them — with all the native animals that have roamed there for thousands of years.

Gus Bekker


COVID-19 is no laughing matter

I was sitting in truck with window down at Chelan Safeway as my husband went in to pick up an item. My last trip shopping there was March 13 as I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart issues.

Two young men parked next to us returned to their truck from the beach (shouldn’t have been parked there). The one walking by my window looked directly at me, stuck his head forward, coughed on me three times then laughed. He jumped in truck and drove off.

I was so shocked, I didn’t think to get a license plate number! Please, please younger people ... this is no laughing matter.

Glenda Ritter


Keep kitty inside

Please keep your cat inside!

Yesterday while walking my dog, I came across a cat that had not one duckling in its mouth but two. Upon seeing me, the cat ran off, leaving one of the ducks to die in my hand and the other one running off, hopefully not too injured to make it back to its mom.

Last week, I saw another cat with a chipmunk it had killed. Don’t let your cat continue to kill our precious wildlife!

Cat predation is a big reason that one in three American bird species are in decline. Keep your cat safe and indoors.

John Dantoni