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April 16, 2014- Letters to the Editor

Concrete park sought for Omak

An ambitious fundraiser will try to raise enough money for a permanent skate park in Omak’s East Side Park.

There is an area to skate now, but its wooden jumps, which are falling apart, are on a flat concrete pad.

Nicholas Ferriell, 25, who lives in Tonasket but works in Omak, is spear-heading the effort to raise at least $150,000 for the park that will be located near a walking area and tennis courts in the park.

“The wood is actually burnt and has been rebuilt,” Ferriell said. “The old skate park is broke down.”

Vandals have damaged jumps, the wood is rotting and it’s impossible to screw down some panels.

“It’s turning into a safety issue,” Ferriell said. “The bars are coming off. So, kids are skating around town. But you can’t go on Main Street because they are going to get their boards taken away.”

Ferriell, a 2007 Tonasket graduate, will be seeking various grants, including approaching the Tony Hawk Foundation for help.

The foundation helped fund the skate park in Tonasket.

The need to find funding is a bit urgent, Ferriell said, since the city’s park plan shows the skating area being moved.

“They want to move it to the front of the tennis courts near the statues,” Ferriell said. “The city has plans for the whole park, how they want it including adding another baseball field.”

The $150,000 will provide for a small park, although it will be about twice the area of the current park.

Ferriell is getting estimates from Seattle’s Grindline Skateparks Inc., which did the park in Leavenworth.

“They sent a guideline for getting the funding,” Ferriell said. “They are going to help as much as they can. As soon as we get up the funding, they will (send) someone to look at the area.”

There is an attempt to establish a nonprofit account for raising money at North Cascade Bank, 721 Okoma Drive, Omak.

“Lynn Coffey is helping,” Ferriel said. “I am hoping in a year that we will be able to put the shovels in the dirt and actually start building our skate park.”

Auctions and car washes are planned to raise money.

“We will do as many little things as we can so we can get the community involved and aware of trying to better it,” he said.

“We need to give kids a place to go. We need a safe place to go. It’s going to have easy maintenance since it’s all concrete.”

Brian Gregg, who grew up in the Methow Valley, finished third in the 50K classic cross country race at the U.S. National Champ-ionships late last month in Anchorage, Alaska. The finish secured Gregg the SuperTour Distance title.

His wife, Caitlin, won the women’s SuperTour overall crown after racing in Alaska.

The Greggs currently live in Hayward, Wis.

Caitlin Gregg, a 2010 Olympian, became the first woman to win three American Birkebeiners when she won her second straight 50K Birkie freestyle race and $10,000 in prizes at Hayward in February.

Sadie Bjornsen of Mazama won the women’s 30K classic national title at the national championships.

It was her fourth individual and fifth overall title. The Chronicle carried information about Bjornsen in the April 2 issue.

She and her brother, Erik, won the national title in the 4x5K relay March 25, winning by 46 seconds.

There’s a lot of 3-on-3 basketball action coming to the region.

The 13th annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, the largest indoor tournament of its kind in the nation, at Eastern Washington University returns April 19-20.

Cheney is expecting about 150 teams, which is down from 200 five years ago.

Monday was the deadline to enter.

To learn more see ewushootout.com .

Apple Blossom 3-on-3 basketball returns May 3-4 in Wenatchee.

You can learn more online at http://www.appleblossom3on3basketball.com/.

Closer to home, the Hoops for Hope tournament is planned for June 7 in Okanogan.

Naomie Boesel is the organizer.

There will be a 3-on-3 tournament in downtown Omak on June 13.

Jeremiah Riggle is the organizer.

A Seahawks helmet signed by quarterback Russell Wilson will be one of many free giveaways to anyone attending the Colville Confederated Tribes’ fifth Earth Day on April 22.

You must be present during the event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., win the helmet that comes with a certificate of authenticity.

There will be 50 informational booths and a free lunch with hot dogs and chips, spokesman Joaquin Bustamante said.

“Everyone is invited to Celebrate Mother Earth’s birthday,” Joaquin said.

There also will be entertainment plus drumming, dancing, color guard and flute player.

A Banks Lake bass tournament qualifier is planned for Saturday.

On-site registration and check-in will be 4-8 p.m. Friday at Coulee Playland Resort on Banks Lake, 401 Coulee Boulevard, Electric City, and again Saturday, 4-5:30 a.m.

A drivers meeting will be at 5:30 a.m. before blast-off at safe light, around 6 a.m.

Registration will resume after the drivers meeting.

All boats must have live wells checked and be in the water before the drivers meeting.

Weigh-in is tentatively scheduled around 3 p.m.

The Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is accepting applications for eight positions in the 2014 summer Youth Conservation Corps program.

Positions are available at Spring Canyon, Fort Spokane, Gifford, Evans and Kettle Falls.

Applicants should indicate the area or areas where they would like to work June 15-Aug. 9. It’s a nonresident program, so applicants must be able to get to the work site from home.

Enrollees will be paid a minimum wage for a 40-hour work week.

Applications will be accepted through April 26.

More information is available from either Ron Sacchi at 509-754-7821 or Alberta Gonzales at 509-754-7857.

The second round of the USA TODAY High School Sports’ America’s Best mascot contest should enter the second round this week at http://contest.usatodayhss.com/.

There were 408 mascot nicknames in the first round (state round), which was to finish Tuesday.

There are three rounds of voting in the contest, which last year drew nearly 80 million votes.

A champion will be crowned April 15.

Last year, the Centralia (Ill.) Orphans won the first best mascots contest with more than 25 million votes in the final round.

Thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and Discover Your Northwest, an ePass was made available starting April 1.

You can use a mobile device to purchase the ePass to enter information, such as date you want to visit and the vehicle you will be using, before printing the pass for use on national forest lands.

The Okanogan Wildlife Council will sponsor the 2014 Okanogan County 4-H Shooting Sports Match on June 1 at the Okanogan Wildlife Council Upper Range on Spring Coulee Road in Okanogan.

Registration is from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Burgers and soda will be available as a fundraiser for the Top Guns 4-H Club.

Al Camp is the sports editor for The Chronicle. Email him at sports@omakchronicle.com.

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