This year was the first winter of the new snow removal contract with Pennock Construction. Overall the board feels Pennock is doing a good job and has been happy with the condition of the roads.
We did have one or two snow events in December with a delay in getting the roads plowed. This was caused by challenges with communication with Toby, who lives in Carlton. We have since worked to improve this process, so things have been going smoothly since then.
Determining when to plow is a difficult balancing act. We want to keep the roads in good shape, but at the same time we have a limited budget for plowing. If a foot of snow falls overnight, then it is an easy call to plow immediately. However, when snow falls in smaller amounts over a series of days, and when the temperature warms up and cools down during that time, when to plow is a tougher judgment call.
If you have any concerns about snow plowing, please let us know by contacting us through the website.
Of Roads and Snow Machines
The year-rounders on the board report that drivers of both autos and snow machines have done a good job of minding the speed limit on the roads this winter.
We haven’t had any complaints via the website regarding speeding or loud snow machines past quiet hours. It is very nice to report good news in this regard. Good job community members—thank you.
You have probably noticed that the new additional bay for the third dumpster is sitting empty. The new dumpster was ordered this fall. Dumpsters, however, are out of stock and are on backorder. Who knew this was possible?
We should have the new dumpster sometime this spring. We will also stain the addition to the shed to match the original section when the snow melts, the weather cooperates, and someone on the board has a free weekend. Hopefully this will all be completed by the community meeting in May.
A big shout-out to Micki Thomas, who has taken over responsibility for maintaining the garbage and recycling shed.
She sweeps the floor, throws out items left behind by our resident rule-breaker, keeps the recycling area organized, and chips the ice off the concrete in front of the sliding doors. She puts a lot of effort into this very thankless but important job. If you see her tell her thanks. And most importantly lets all help her out by doing our part to keep that shed clean and clear of stuff that doesn’t belong in there.
To the person(s) who keeps leaving household items and building materials on the floor of the shed: all you are doing to making someone else in our community clean up after you. Please take these items to the Twisp Transfer Station.
With Great Fruit Comes Great Responsibility
The Methow Valley has been designated an Apple Maggot Quarantine area, which has implications for the Lost River community in terms of both what we transport AND what we put in the dumpster. As the Washington State Department of Agriculture Apple Maggot website says: “With great fruit comes great responsibility.” It really says this.
When Highway 20 is open it is possible to transport homegrown fruit from King County to the Methow since the entire route falls within the Apple Maggot zone. In the winter however, you cannot do this without crossing the maggot line. To be safe, just leave homegrown fruit at home.
The bigger impact relates to what can be placed in the dumpster. According to the Washington Ag Network website, “Those living in the impacted area must separate their waste, meaning woody debris, yard waste, fresh fruits and non-commercial raw veggies will no longer be accepted in normal waste.”
Each of these items must either be composted at home or separated and dropped off at the Twisp transfer station (in the winter they are only open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday).
You can read-up on the implications, requirements, and restrictions at: https://agr.wa.gov/PlantsInsects/InsectPests/AppleMaggot/Homegrown.aspx
Dues and Water Invoices
The LRAA dues statements and water fee invoices have been sent to all members. Remember that payment is due by March 31st.
LRAA members have been doing a great job paying on time. We have been near 100% compliance with on-time payments.
Great everyone. Keep it up!
The Blood Moon
A couple of weeks ago I was in Lost River the night of the Lunar Eclipse and the Blood Moon. My family and I walked up to the runway, drinks in hand, to witness the surreal celestial display.
It was fun to see many other community members of all ages out enjoying the show. Standing there beneath Last Chance, Driveway Butte, Goat Wall, and all the other peaks with no light pollution to interfere with the grandeur of the sky is an experience I will not soon forget. Walking back to Buck Circle I appreciated the number of cabins with their exterior lights turned off.
It seems that most community members buy into this Dark Skies ethic. I would encourage everyone to consider keeping your lights off when they are not needed. For those who want lighting for security reasons you might consider adding a motion sensor light instead of having exterior lights constantly left on. This way we can maximize our enjoyment of the beauty that has brought us all to Lost River in the first place.
High Speed Internet
We all know that this phrase is a bit of an oxymoron out here in Lost River. However, there might be hope on the horizon.
An organization called Partners for Rural Washington has conducted a survey with TwispWorks and held a couple of community meetings recently to understand the problems in the valley with internet access and to try to work on solutions. The Methow Valley News posted an article explaining the effort. Check it out if you missed it.
“Sharing a book…changes the world”
Several community members have lamented the loss of the free-cycle bookshelves in the garbage shed that were removed in order to make room for the new dumpster.
Many people enjoyed the book exchange system that used to exist. In order to meet this need a new Book Nook/Tiny Library is being built and will be added outside the shed this Spring. Thanks to those who expressed interest in this and who have worked on the new Nook.