Exner for District 1

As we enter the election season, we need to elect candidates who know firsthand what the residents need and want. Johnna Exner is that person.
She is a long time resident, who operates a large ranch on White Mountain with her husband Lou. She knows how to manage resources to carve a living out of the land. She has also worked tirelessly as a volunteer member of the Ferry County Planning Commission for more than eight years, drafting the language that makes up the County’s shoreline management program. She is an expert in dealing with the Washington State Department of Ecology to protect and defend ranchers’ rights to use the open range. This effort speaks volumes about her willingness to work hard for her family and for the county.
Johnna knows what we need and want: good fiscal management, honesty in dealing with the public, and protection of our environment without infringing on private property rights. She possesses the requisite skills and knowledge to be our next commissioner.
Vicky Arnold

(Cigarette) butt count down

Walking the Tiger Trial on Friday, I met two friends who greeted me with “The butt patrol lady is on duty.” Then they asked if there had been any changes since your publication of my original letter.
I can heartily respond “yes.” If those folks who read the paper were influenced in any way by prior articles, then again I thank you and them for recognizing what a beautiful little part of the world we live in and responding. It is incumbent on all of us who hope to keep it that way to refrain from carelessly dropping any trash, not just cigarette butts!
I appreciate Knotty Pine for the cigarette butt container placed just outside its entrance, and I have noticed it being utilized! I hope other establishments will emulate and/or the tourism organizations or city will buy and place some of these to help people act responsibly by not littering.
I met several people this morning who told me they were here for the motorcycle event. In my usual way, I said “good morning” as they headed for breakfast. One even shook my hand and thanked me for the greeting! Way to go Republic for making folks welcome for this big occasion!
Pat Reagan

Bench disappearance a mystery

Where did the co-op’s bench go?
Nancy Drew might ask “Who moved it and why?”
The old wooden bench was seen in the alley behind the co-op on Thursday afternoon, then seemed to disappear altogether.
How many years has the bench been sitting in front of the co-op and Kettle Crust Bakery, providing local shoppers with a grateful respite?
Does anybody have any answers to this mystery?
Susan Laster

Funding real public safety

In 2014 Ferry County commissioners declared a state of emergency regarding wolves. The cost of livestock is significant and we appreciate the fine line between profits and breaking even on a ranch.
Declaring a state of emergency to get state help on wolves may assist a few ranchers, but respectfully, what about the human emergency in Ferry County? How many Ferry County residents have committed suicide or died of drug overdoses in the past ten years? How many drunk or drugged-up drivers have not been removed from our roads? Why has burglary become a fact of life here? How many significant incidents requiring law enforcement did not receive a fast enough response to preclude further harm or loss? What is the value of a human life?
The International Association of Chiefs of Police states the essential need for 2.2 law enforcement officers per thousand residents. Ferry County’s population of over 7,000 translates to needing 14 or 15 officers. We currently have seven on days when none are ill, injured, or otherwise unable to serve and this does not account for days off when they remain on standby. When Kinross exits, the company will no longer underwrite the cost of one of those seven officers.
Our law enforcement officers are dedicated to protecting our community with resources so limited the lack might be considered criminal. We (and we suspect most Ferry County residents) have no issues with removing predators deemed to have killed livestock. But, regarding declaring of a state of emergency in Ferry County: we respectfully ask Ferry County commissioners: Where is the priority for public safely and human life?
Tom and Melissa Rose

ATV connector jeopardizes funding

As part of our ongoing effort to acquire grant money for trail improvements and educate the public we would like to call your readers’ attention to a recent development.
The Ferry County commissioners signed Ferry County Resolution #2016-09, “COUNTY RAIL TRAIL, LUNDIMO MEADOWS ROAD TO TOWN OF CURLEW.”
The scope of the project is summarized this way: “Complete and submit non-highway and off-road vehicle [ATV] activities (NOVA) grant application to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Proposed project to include engineering, right of way and construction of a motorized trail from Lundimo Meadows Road to the Town of Curlew.”
This resolution, the $6,000 allocated by the commissioners to support it, and the lack of a public plan are troublesome. It is our concern that motorizing any portion of the rail corridor in Curlew adjacent to school property is contrary to the public vote (61% for a non-motorized trail), contrary to the adopted Ferry County Rail-Trail Concept Plan, contrary to resulting ordinances and may jeopardize our efforts to win much needed non-motorized grants such as Safe Routes to School and Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Grants from Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement funds. While there are allowances for ATVs to cross the non-motorized trail and to use the county roads, we cannot support this vague resolution that could include 3,000 feet of the narrow right of way.
This situation is similar to when the county commingled non-motorized and motorized funds on the Golden Tiger Pathway. The use of funds was found to be in violation of the stipulation of those FHWA TE funds and as a result The Golden Tiger Pathway is no longer eligible for those development funds.
We ask your readers to stay informed about this issue and ask the county commissioners to continue to support the county-wide vote for a non-motorized rail-trail.
Bob Whittaker
President, Ferry County Rail Trail Partners

Working together

I have really enjoyed the articles regarding the Colville Tribe. I believe sometimes we forget that the reservation is part of Ferry County and vice versa. I am glad to see the commissioners and the Tribe are meeting on a regular bases. This county is a very special place to live and we all should work together to keep it that way.
Kelly Burbank