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home : opinion : opinion May 29, 2016

2/13/2014 10:17:00 AM
Letters to the Editor

Envision three fingers
When you follow the Columbia River south on 97A through Entiat, you'll see an extensive park-like development in progress on the shore between the town and the Entiat River. It is an impressive beginning of an ambitious plan to enhance the recreational and business opportunities in Entiat.
When you follow the Columbia River north on 97A towards Chelan, you'll see three of the original four fingers, still obstructing public access to the lake. They are the useless remainder of decades of failure to enforce a state law which that endowed the people the right to access the finger area in perpetuity.
The contrast between the Entiat and the Chelan ambivalence, demonstrates what can be achieved by imaginative vision, consultative consideration, comprehensive planning and cohesive public enterprise.
Ironically, both Chelan and Entiat were substantially affected by water level changes made to increase power generation. Portions of each community were sacrificed, property boundaries changed, homes, businesses and structures disrupted. Those consequences were considered in proportion to benefits provided to the public good of the region.
In Entiat, much of the town that formerly lined the river, was moved to higher ground or abandoned. In Chelan and Lakeside, civic leaders recognized the attraction of Lake Chelan, and realized the long-time use of their shoreline could be compromised unless protected by law. They took historic action to forever codify in state law, the right of public access to the area now occupied by the fingers.
Today, access to the fingers is still blocked by their ownership. Their very existence impedes access, compounded by intimidating trespass deterrents. Considerable time, effort and money has been expended to resolve the issue. Legal actions are still underway to mandate their removal. Unfortunately, regardless of that outcome, there is no apparent vision of how to restore public access to the fingers area.
The absence of a comprehensive initiative is a serious impediment to resolution. If people don't see the benefits of a favorable solution, or the jeopardy of unfavorable outcomes, they are not likely to be supportive. If they don't realize that fundamental human rights are at stake, they are not likely to oppose a threat. If no opposition is presented, other assaults are enabled. A rational solution is possible.
The solution must restore public access. It should be collaborative, respect rules of law, rights of people and actual ownership rights; while considering obligations and finances of city, state or corporate enterprise. The outcome can be equitable enhancement, which benefits all people, while complimenting the innate attraction of Lake Chelan.
Consider the possibilities. Share your ideas.

Bruce Powers

Resident pleads: Support RACC
Submitted by Debbie Miller

As I drive to my house after work I always feel like I made a good decision to relocate here from my home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From day one I have felt welcomed into this community. My position as a Children's Behavioral Health Specialist working out of the Chelan office of Columbia Valley Community Health, was approved because of collaboration by community groups like Bridges and Chelan Valley Hope advocating for the needs of kids in this community.
For the last six months, my program assistant and I have been providing service one day a week for each service site located in Chelan, Manson, Mansfield and Bridgeport. I have had the rare opportunity to hear from the families in these communities concerning the struggles they face on a daily basis. I have also had the privilege of meeting with the Bridges Group, Chelan Round Table, Lake Chelan Hospital, Law Enforcement, crisis responders, church leaders, Refuge and Chelan Valley Hope as well as the school staff and administration guiding the schools we serve. I have heard a lot. Here's what I've heard.
The problems being faced in each community are almost identical. More and more communities are being forced to deal with issues associated with drug, alcohol and tobacco use. Many families struggle with cross cultural and immigration issues. In many homes kids are taking care of kids or are out on the streets unsupervised because both parents have to work long hours. Teen pregnancy, gang activity and human trafficking are encroaching. Kids and parents alike tell me they would like to have a place to go in order to strengthen their families, a place where they can have fun together or take classes together.
Problems are not the only thing I have heard about. I have heard the collective heartbeat of our communities. Everyone I meet is expressing a desire to create solutions for these needs. I have been overwhelmed by the compassion this community shows on a daily basis. Several have expressed the need to create a hub to coordinate care and services to this community. A place where families can play, learn and serve together. From a mental health perspective I think a recreation and community center is the number one way to provide preventative care in a community. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Put a pencil to that and it will be easy to see the benefit of building success into the fabric of our future.
Please consider supporting efforts now underway to build a recreation and community center in our community.

Sturtz missed
The Lake Chelan Recreation Development Foundation (LCRDF) wishes to express our extreme sadness for the loss of our friend and co-worker, Ron Sturtz. Ron was a founding board member when our foundation was formed in 1999 and was instrumental in the accomplishment of numerous local LCRDF projects over the past 15 years.
A seasoned professional, Ron would routinely guide LCDRF with astute advice. His quiet and efficient demeanor belied a rugged composition and inner strength reminiscent of the early pioneers. He provided a stable and consistent presence that supported the best possible decisions. Although deeply involved in serving his numerous clients in his successful business, he patiently and regularly provided a stabilizing force for our foundation. Ron was a man who lived a life of victory.
It is with intense sadness and a profound sense of loss that we accept the loss of Ron, and we extend our deepest sympathy to the family.

LCRDF Board of Directors

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