As of Thursday, April 9, 2015
Grizzly meeting was informative
I attended the forum in the PUD auditorium March 4 concerning grizzly bear reintroduction in the North Cascades. Unlike many past public meetings dealing with controversial wildlife issues, this meeting was a textbook example of how to encourage meaningful input, positively engage attendees and develop dialog.
This meeting was well-planned and the room setup was inviting. Anyone who truly took the time to visit with any of the various biologists and naturalists could learn a great deal about grizzly bears. The presenters were excellent.
You couldn’t come away without a greater understanding of grizzly bears, their lives, preferred habitat, potential for human interaction and the possibilities of what may happen if reintroduction takes place.
In my past experience, these types of meetings with public agencies here in The Okanogan have sometimes devolved into an “us versus them” rhetoric that didn’t further reasoned discussion or increase communication. In the past, I have seen politeness and civility fly out the door. Quite frankly, I almost did not attend because I was afraid discussion of grizzly bears would turn into the same kind of difficult discourse.
I was very surprised. For example, attendees could meet individually and chat one-on-one with the experts in attendance.
My questions were answered and anyone who desired to do so could actually learn about grizzly bears.
After those conversations and a perusal of exhibits, there was a specific way any attendee could weigh in with personal conclusions and opinions — you simply sat down and wrote.
There were plenty of places to sit and write; pen and paper were provided. If you were there, you knew you had as much time and paper as you needed. For the hour or so I attended, there were always empty chairs at the comment table.
I applaud the groups involved in how they presented this information. I came away with a great understanding and a sense of enlightenment about a difficult topic.
Wage column lacked support
In response to the column “Minimum wage bill will hurt area,” I would love to see some real numbers that back up the claims. Publisher Roger Harnack’s column is nothing but rhetoric based in what — facts or fear-mongering.
Roger Harnack claims employment will drop, inflation will increase, and shatter many rural residents ability to grow economically and socially. Where are the facts to back up these statements?
Lynn Thompson of The Seattle Times wrote an article, “Studies look at what happened when cities raised minimum wage” dated March 12, 2014. According to Lynn Thompson’s article, the only changes have been positive, both for the worker and for the employer. Contrary to Roger Harnack’s opinion, this article is backed by facts. What a contrary approach in this day and age of fake news.
As publisher and editor of The Chronicle, Mr. Harnack, it would be nice to think you would hold yourself to a higher level of responsible journalism than you voiced in the column. As a person who likes to grow food and flowers, I will leave you with this analogy. A plant given minimum water, sun and nutrients will survive. A plant given more than minimum water, sun and nutrients will thrive.
Do we want our fellow residents on this side of the mountains to just survive, or to thrive?