Writing outside

OKANOGAN COUNTY – TheMethow.com is offering paid bounties to local writers for accepted articles of interest. The offered rate is 5.5 cents per word, which comes to a bit over $40 for a standard article of about 750 words. No journalism degree is required, but writers should be able to communicate clearly in English, have researched the subject and included the necessary information. Answering the “Five Ws” is a good place to start.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. Photo provided by the Office of the Governor.

TWISP – Earlier this afternoon, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee made a whirlwind stop in the Methow Valley. He was in Spokane for a couple discussions and speaking engagements, then flew here, landing at Methow Valley State airport in Winthrop (near the Smoke Jumper base) around 12:30pm. The governor and his entourage did encounter almost 40 protesters who were against his mandates and policies, outside the Fire District 6 station in Twisp.

End the Mandate Banner in Winthrop. Photo by C. Creighton.

I reported on both local anti-mandate protests that occurred recently, and I was there for all or most of the duration of the demonstrations. Later, when reading the Methow Valley News’s interpretation of the events, article archived here, I was struck by the significant discrepancy between the reported numbers of attendees. For the Winthrop protest, I reported that over 60 people attended, and their reporter claimed it was a dozen. You’d think that – even if we approach the event from different angles – that maybe one thing that we could come close on is objective numbers – such as how many people were there at a demonstration. A dozen, and five dozen are not really interchangeable. If they were, imagine sending someone out for donuts! Still, there’s a lot of variables that go into such a count. I knew how I got my numbers, and I wanted to find out how the local paper arrived at their reported numbers.

World Wide Rally for Freedom in Twisp, WA. Photo by C. Creighton.

METHOW VALLEY – Last Friday, you may have seen a number of flag-waving, sign-bearing demonstrators protesting vaccination mandates on a Winthrop bridge around noon. Or similarly in Twisp on Saturday for a couple hours in the early afternoon, near Highway 20 in front of the Commons Park.

MVSD Superintendent Tom Venable speaks to demonstrators outside the District office, with 3 of 5 school board members. Photo by C. Creighton

WINTHROP – Over 100 people turned out for a Methow Valley School District Board meeting on Thursday evening, the 9th. The concerns of the people in attendance were centered largely on COVID-19 policies that the board had enacted before the start of the school year, which participants felt were discriminatory towards children as well as teachers. A recent incident of COVID-19 exposure at the school brought the disparate treatment to the forefront, in which un-vaccinated high-school students and teachers were forced to quarantine (teachers: without pay) for 2 weeks, even if not symptomatic, and exposed but vaccinated individuals are allowed to continue as normal but take a test a few days later. The individual who was sick and exposed others in this case, was indeed vaccinated.