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The allure of fishing

Anglers’ successes in Curlew Lake are intriguing

I haven’t been fishing in years, but I still enjoy hearing about fishing successes. Most of my fishing successes were of the small variety – the kind that will fit in a 10-inch skillet with not much tail hanging over the edge. In short, I never caught any lunkers.

Audience ecstatic over ‘Wiazard of Oz’

All the work to put on musical was well worth it

An ecstatic audience left the opening night performance of “The Wizard of Oz” on Friday at the Omak Performing Art Center.

April 30, 2014- Our View "Bigfoot coming to your home"

This week, our shopper takes on a whole new look in Okanogan County. As part of The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle’s continued growth strategy, our Bottomline shopper has been renamed Bigfoot Ads.

Constituents ask questions

Each month I receive thousands of emails, phone calls, letters, tweets and Facebook messages. Here are a few questions I have received recently: What is being done to hold former IRS official, Lois Lerner, and the Obama Administration accountable for their continued overreaching actions? When concerns were raised about IRS officials targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, several House Committees – including the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which I serve on – began investigating. Unfortunately, when Ms. Lerner testified in May 2013 and again in March, she refused to answer questions or shed light on the necessary information to evaluate the degree of wrongdoing by the IRS. Congress has a clear constitutional duty to conduct robust oversight of the executive branch and to ensure the laws are being faithfully executed. Given her ongoing refusal to cooperate, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted earlier this month to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress. The motion will now go before the full House of Representatives for approval. As the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, I have overseen numerous investigations into the Obama Administration and can tell you firsthand that it is failing to live up to its promise of being the most open and transparent administration in history. What is Congress doing to get more Americans back to work? House Republicans’ focus remains on creating jobs and growing our economy. One common sense way to support small business job creators is to eliminate burdensome red tape and excessive government regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. The House passed several bills to halt some of the Obama Administration’s most damaging regulations and ensure Congress gets final say on new rules that will have a major impact on the economy. In addition, the House has passed a number of bipartisan measures to create jobs and unlock America’s energy potential – including approving the Keystone pipeline, which is shovel-ready and has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs. Finally, the House is working to eliminate barriers to trade by creating new opportunities for our growers and manufacturers to compete in a global marketplace, and we are working to fix the tax code to improve competitiveness. Rep. Doc Hastings represents Washington’s 4th Congressional District, including part of Okanogan County.

Social promotion caught up to us

For years, teacher competency has been a topic of contention in our state’s public schools. And for years, rather than focusing on the basics of education, our school curricula has slowly transitioned into a feel-good system where few failing students are held back.

Life is full of those ‘almost’ moments

Have you ever had cold chills over something unpleasant that nearly happened but didn’t quite? I call it having an “almost.” This one happened some 50 or 60 years ago. I was working in a school of music in downtown Chicago, commuting from home, some 20 miles from home to work. One of the students invited me to her home for dinner. I went home, and got ready. My mother and I agreed that since it was a dinner invitation, it would be inappropriate for me to eat before going to the dinner. I caught the interurban, went to the proper stop, walked the few blocks to her house and knocked. She came to the door and exclaimed, “Elizabeth, you’re on time! Come in.” A little surprised at such a greeting, I did. Other people began to arrive, and presently there was a congenial group. But no sign of food. The evening wore on, and presently I realized that it was almost time for the last train. Making my excuses to the hostess, I left to walk to the train stop. For a time I had the feeling I was being followed. Arrival at the train stop ended that. I reached the station platform to see the light of my train just approaching that stop. With a gasp of relief, I got on. My mother gave me something to eat. I never got an explanation for the dinner that wasn’t, and the student and I have not kept in touch. I do not even know if she is still alive. Now, we jump many decades and half a continent to Okanogan County. Here people do not invite others to dinner and then forget it. They feed them when they have not been invited. There are people who, if you drop in for a visit, won’t let you go until they have offered refreshments. It’s sort of like having to eat your way out. And since there are wonderful cooks hereabout, this is a great pleasure. I think they would be horrified at not giving a guest something to eat after a visit. And it’s delicious. As I said, they are fine cooks. It’s one of the tenets of the code of hospitality out here, and there are no frightening almosts, of the kind here described, in visiting friends here. Elizabeth Widel is a columnist for The Chronicle. This is the 2,885th column in a series. She may be reached at 509-826-1110.

Dollar has its roots in German valley

What is it that makes you think of something decades after you have not done so? Back in the hot metal days when The Chronicle was located on North Main Street, they gave me an article to set it in type. It was about the dollar.

April 23, 2014- Our View "Street project to boost economy"

We’ve all sat in our vehicles frustrated by road construction delays and one-way alternating traffic managed by seemingly inefficient workers. That won’t likely change anytime soon. But the outcome of road work just getting under way in Omak may be well worth the wait. State officials are starting into a project that will resurface the main thoroughfare through downtown Omak and Okanogan. In Omak, the work is being done in conjuction with a much-needed streetscaping.

Kudos to our volunteers

I have served on the Omak City Council for approximately seven years now, and the one major item that continues to astound me is our volunteers.

Election about to get interesting

The election season is about to get very interesting. On Saturday night, I attended the Lincoln Day Dinner, where political newcomers and seasoned campaigners unveiled their plans to run for office this year.

Road projects continue to make driving challenging

We’re about to

If you think driving the main drag between Omak and Okanogan has been challenging during the past year or so, just wait. We’re about to be surrounded. Road construction season is here, and the highway through Okanogan and Omak will be repaved. The project involves rebuilding sidewalk ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, installing “bulb-outs” at several corners, grinding off the old pavement and putting down new asphalt. The utility projects we’ve endured for the past year – Omak’s sewer project and a telephone fiber installation – paved the way, so to speak, for the paving project. Pressure was on to get the utilities done before the paving project began. But wait, that’s not all. State highways all over the county will be under construction soon, with flaggers and delays expected. Paving work is planned on U.S. Highway 97 between Brewster and Okanogan and north of Tonasket, state Highway 20 over Loup Loup Pass and east of Tonasket, and on highways in the Bridgeport, Leahy Junction and Grand Coulee areas. In short, we’ll be driving over torn up roads all summer. I’m sure the windshield chip repair places and front-end alignment shops are salivating over the prospects for the coming construction season. In the end, after the state pours more than $18 million into the projects, we should have nice, smooth roads to drive on. At least until next year’s construction season begins. Dee Camp is a reporter at The Chronicle. She can be reached via email at dcamp@omakchronicle.com.

Erosion not only reason for mountains

Continents slide on moving plates

We have considered erosion a number of times as a means of producing mountains. There also are other considerations.

April 16, 2014- Our View "Could stand-off happen here?"

Agencies, cattlemen need a common-sense middle ground

A lot of area cattlemen are talking about last week’s Nevada stand-off between rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal Bureau of Land Management over access to decades-old grazing lands and related fees.

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