Photo detail

Stories this photo appears in:

Road block to established access

Forest Service Road No. 30 is an example of access issues facing those of us who enjoy recreating on publicly owned lands managed by a government agency. It makes you wonder how many public roads with prescriptive rights are now off limits, locked behind a government gate.

Sustainable means maintainable

Having a sustainable plan means striking a proper balance, rather than tipping the scales further toward environmentalism.

Focus funding on our agriculture

In the wake of the Carlton Complex wildfires, you’d think the only industry here in Okanogan County is tourism. It’s a narrative a self-serving group of state agencies want you and the world to believe.

Philae gave me reason to believe

I’m usually not much of a movie-goer. And I certainly don’t plan to sit around and watch TV when there is life to live and work to be done. But then there are times I can be such a geek. I can sit motionless in front of the big screen or the TV. And on occasion, I can even tune out my favorite hard-rock songs and tune into “Coast to Coast.” Last week was one of those weeks.

Large ‘habitat’ buy raises concern

I’ve often voiced my concern over state agencies continuing to buy land in the name of habitat protection. But rural residents should also be aware of the economic pitfalls that will follow large acquisitions by environmental groups.

Student election results intriguing

Last Friday, students statewide had an opportunity to participate in a mock election that included the same measures and congressional candidates as on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Ratepayers deserve a break

In the short six year’s I’ve been living here in Okanogan County, I’ve seen power rates increase, and then increase again. Now, it looks as though the Okanogan County Utility District wants me to dip into my wallet further.

Agency spin not helping economy

Last week, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted a local meeting on its “tourism” effort. Interestingly, the effort looked more like an effort to sell a political agenda than it did a concerted tourism plan.

State moving to close Columbia

During the last two months, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has been flying a fishing proposal for the Columbia River under the radar. That proposal would reverse the way fisheries are managed on the Columbia River, its tributaries and their beaver ponds.

GPS data may resolve wolf issues

Just when you thought the intense discussion over the re-introduction of wolves in Washington state was quieting down, livestock deaths in Stevens County has added fuel to the fire. And the Stevens County Commission has stepped to the forefront of the debate.

Attend Oct. 1 fish, wildlife session

It’s that time again when you have an opportunity to make sure the “top brass” at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife hear you. The annual Brewster Roundtable is coming up Oct. 1. It’ll run from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Columbia Cove recreation building, 508 W. Cliff Ave., Brewster.

Social media the bane of parenting

Many middle and high school students today consider it a rite of passage to have a Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Skype, MySpace, Twitter or other social media account. My own daughter believes all the “cool” kids have one.

Success comes from basic studies

How do you measure schools? Which ones produce students who excel? Which ones aren’t making the grade?

Setting an example, the hard way

There’s nothing like an injury to remind you of one of the first things you learn in kindergarten — follow directions.

Say 'thank you' through advertising

In the days since the height of the wildfires, we’ve had a few requests from readers to publish thank yous to friends, neighbors, volunteers, firefighters, etc.

Pateros shows strength, resiliency

The night was Thursday, July 17. A firestorm was coming, but Pateros residents didn’t know it until it was too late. Before the night was over, about 30 homes in the city and adjacent subdivisions would burn to the ground. Later that night and in the coming days, another 41 homes would burn at Alta Lake and other communities that consider themselves to be part of Pateros.

Inept state response propels fire

Okanogan County Commissioners Jim DeTro, Ray Campbell and Sheilah Kennedy didn’t mince words when they laid the blame for the catastrophic fires squarely on state government.

Inslee’s effort smells fishy to me

I enjoy eating seafood as much as the next guy. But the assumptions Gov. Jay Inslee made last week about how much fish we eat is a bit ridiculous.

Be a part of the editorial process

In the past, our editorial board for endorsements has consisted mostly of Chronicle staff. This year, we’d like to try something a little different. I’d like to alter the composition to include more community members.

Dead Horse Cliff: Another chapter

Standing along Omak-Riverside Eastside Road and looking up, Dead Horse Canyon looks like a daunting hike and climb.

Allow ATVs on more roads

Okanogan County commissioners Ray Campbell, Sheila Kennedy and Jim DeTro heard from the public, tribal officials and so-called environmentalist groups Monday on plans to open more roads for ATV use.

Remember, honor Dad on Sunday

It seems that our American society has relegated fathers to second-class parental status.

Wishing everyone Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. There, I said it. I didn’t wish you happy holidays or a joyful Kwanzaa. I wished you a Merry Christmas. After all, the holiday predominately celebrated in North America and Europe this time of year is just that, Christmas.

Bringing Santa to town closes gap

Last week, I had the opportunity to help Santa Claus navigate the streets of Omak and Okanogan as he brought Christmas cheer to area children and collected donations for area food banks.

You can make Christmas merrier

It’s that time of year again, when we shop for presents, load up the refrigerator and put up Christmas trees. We go to church, proclaim our good will toward each other and wish everybody we meet a Merry Christmas.

Letter illustrates deceitful tactics

My how time flies, at least within the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. In the last few weeks, we’ve reported on the Haeberle family’s dismay at the agency’s attempt to use their ranch to boost Fish and Wildlife’s land acquisition efforts.

‘Catching Fire’ reflects our excesses

More than a year ago, I stood in a long line to see “The Hunger Games” on opening night. This past weekend, I was surprised to be one of very few people arriving early to see “Catching Fire,” the next installment of the series written by Suzanne Collins.

Photos tell more than you know

Are you one of those people who takes selfies and posts them to your Web page or Facebook? Do you use your cellphone to photograph your children and upload images for friends, family and others to see?

Deceased’s story isn’t easy to tell

Covering death in small communities such as ours isn’t an easy thing for any journalist to do. As reporters, editors and photographers, our job is to lay out the facts of tragic events for you, the reader, to get the big picture. At the same time, we need to be sensitive to the family and friends of those who die.

Health Plan Finder failing epically

Like many people around the country, I’ve been following the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. And since we live in an arguably economically depressed area of the country, I specifically am interested in finding out how many of my friends and neighbors were benefitting from a program that supposedly would give many health care for the first time.

Board changes should be normal

In case you haven’t heard, three members of the Omak Stampede’s governing board have stepped down, trading their directorships spurs for the “honorary” board.

‘Sagebrush Rebellion’ alive, well

Should the federal government continue to own large tracts of land in western states?

Some lawmakers in D.C. continued to hear from constituents during partial shutdown, others didn't

Democrats shut down communications; Republicans keep lines open

Parks, forests belong to the people

Federal officials shouldn't have blocked access to public lands during partial government shutdown

Chronicle Website updates loom

All businesses must change with the times. And The Chronicle is no exception. Don’t panic. You’re still going to get the award-winning local news coverage, photographs and local advertising that you’re accustomed to. And no, our print edition is not going away anytime soon.

Tell wildlife officials how you feel

Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials’ ears must be burning. Many area residents are talking about catching them in the act of trying to change wolf-kill rules in violation of an agreement made to pass a law giving the agency more money through license plate sales.

Don’t force community service

Two weeks ago, the Tonasket School Board stepped into the debate over whether to require community service to graduate.

Go get a dictionary and look it up

I’m not squeeing much this week after checking out the new words recently added to the dictionary. Oh, you’ve never heard of “squee”? That’s because it’s one of those new buzzworthy words in the Oxford Dictionaries, srsly.

Did ranger exceed his authority?

State law generally prohibits public employees from lobbying for or against proposed laws while on duty.

River programs offer possibilities

The Okanogan River ties the communities of Oroville and Brewster — and all the towns in between — together.

Keep forest roads open, repaired

Nothing irks me more than heading out into the mountains in my four-wheel drive on what was once a wagon trail or logging road only to run into a berm blocking access.

Open forest roads to ATV use, too

It feels like the U.S. Forest Service is trying to do everything in its power to limit the use of public lands.

Chairman change may open door

Kirby Wilbur. He’s somebody you may or may not have heard of. But in recent years, he’s influenced the rural voice of Eastern Washington, even though he didn’t live here.

State shouldn’t ‘rehab’ Spectacle

Like many of you, I enjoy a good day of fishing. Trout, salmon, bass, steelhead, sturgeon, walleye and once in a while, even catfish.

We’re not a societal ‘melting pot’

For more than a year, the media has been fascinated by the story of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

Tease photo

New ATV law means opportunity

A new state law will give those of us who live in The Okanogan a much needed boost — both in terms of the economy and accessibility to services.

Daughter is coming into her own

The day has come where I finally can see my daughter’s words coming true. But let me set the stage...

State shutdown may not be so bad

State employees should be receiving notices of potential layoffs in the coming days, if they haven’t already received them.

Don’t mandate community service

The 7th Legislative District Senate debate Monday night shed some light on a hot-button issue that’s sure to come up again. The issue is whether state law should be enacted to require volunteer service for high school students to graduate. Candidate Sen. John Smith said he supports the idea; challengers Mike Brunson and Brian Dansel both opposed it. Smith said mandating community service teaches leadership. He has a point. You don’t have to go very far in our neck of the woods to see who the movers and shakers are. In fact, it’s likely they are volunteering on a number of boards from chambers to rodeos to booster clubs; you get the picture. Dansel and Brunson said schools are in place to teach academics, not how to act as a member of society. They have a point, too. How can you mandate community service, something that is supposed to be voluntarily given? I’ll side with Dansel and Brunson on this issue. Coercing our youth to give s0-called “freely” of their time cannot guarantee leadership. In fact, that’s just the opposite. Leadership stems from making a decision, not being told what to do. If we want our youth to grow and develop, we definitely should encourage them to volunteer in activities they believe in, not order them to “volunteer” in activities and social programs we believe in. The bottom line is public schools were created for one single purpose — to educate students on reading, writing, mathematics and other academic subjects. In supporting that effort, shouldn’t our students choose where to spend their time and effort? Nothing irks me more than seeing parents use children to further political causes they do not understand. Mandating community service can devolve to just that. Given a chance, our high school students will find a way to make our communities a better place to live. But it only becomes better if they choose to do something. Indeed, several students already choose to make their hometowns better. Look at the ranks of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, etc. and you’ll see they have chosen to join a group that emphasizes volunteerism and helping others. And yes, there are also many students who choose not to be a part of those groups. But having choices is a fundamental building block of American society. Forcing youth into community service is counter-productive to making our communities better and building leadership. Rather than thinking about how to make our communities better, this type of coercion leads to “How can I fulfill another graduation requirement?” I’d rather reward students for taking initiative, than coerce them into helping out a teacher’s or parent’s pet project. Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at rharnack@omakchronicle.com.

Enjoy weekend with your father

I always knew my daughter, Olivia, would have an athletic injury. That day has finally arrived.

Don’t try to outrun these officers

It makes me nervous when I’m driving down the road and see the red-and-blue lights coming up behind me.

Time for FCC censorship to end

I spend a lot of my time in my truck driving to remote locations in our county, racing in out-of-state locales and just traveling to travel. Because of that wanderlust, I tend to listen to radio probably more than most people. So, I have an XFM subscription.

Memorial Day more than time off

This coming week, flags will be flying as Americans remember their war dead. But all too often, Memorial Day devolves into a weekend celebration of camping and fishing, boating and drinking.

Utility needs ratepayer oversight

It seems like only yesterday that the Okanogan County Public Utility District said it had to raise rates in order to stay solvent.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment