by Richard Uhlhorn
The upcoming Protest March at noon on Sunday, June 7, was the big topic at the weekly Leadership Response Team virtual meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Sgt. Chris Forman reported that the plan was for a march through the downtown corridor to Riverwalk Park. “We have had business owners call concerned,” said Foreman. “They wondered if they should have people posted outside their businesses with firearms like other communities have.”
Sgt. Foreman told the group that he was bringing in Washington State Patrol to help if needed. “That is what I’m currently working on.” He has had meetings with Sheriff Brian Burnett and Mayor Bob Goedde.
Mayor Goedde asked if there was any indication of people being transported in to cause destruction? Sgt. Foreman replied that nothing has been substantiated on social media or over the Internet. “I don’t have anything in that regard.”
Mayor Goedde also stated that he is somewhat fearful that First Amendment Rights of peaceful protesters might be affected. Sgt. Foreman replied that he has had conversations with the organizer, Chelsey Eyre Martin, a local teacher on maternity leave. “I think she has the best intentions. She said she would be mortified if something bad happened,” Foreman stated. “If she was asked to cancel it she would cancel it.”
Mayor Goedde said the biggest concern he has is the anxiety that could be created by the protest. He’s asking council members and staff to volunteer to go downtown ans stand in front of businesses as a show of solidarity.
Sgt. Foreman also reported that Liquor Control agents have responded to complaints at B.C. MacDonalds. “It sounds like some positive agreements regarding compliance with the Governor’s orders are taking place. I don’t know what that is.”
Mayor Goedde reported that the City is still trying to reopen it RV Park. “My concern with the court systems is that it is slower than the Governor.”
One of the biggest complaints from visitors and residents is that after picking up their takeout food at local restaurants, there is no place to sit and eat.
Erin McCardle, Downtown Historic Association, reported that guidelines were being prepared and that hopefully there will be some current restrictions released. “There are a lot of people in town and it is unbelievable there is no where to sit and eat,” said McCardle.
They are looking at securing up to eight to 10 parking stalls in downtown where tables can be placed for eating. She said the Lakeview Drivein has offered its picnic tables for use since they can’t use them under the Governor’s orders. She also highlighted Andante’s. The restaurant has been handing out free meals to all comers on Monday evenings. What began in March with 75 takers bloomed to 500 meals handed out last Monday.
In a phone conversation, McCardle said they are also looking at closing down the alleyway between Andante’s and Chelan Teriyaki to create a European style outdoor sitting area. “This would just be between the two buildings,” stated McCardle.
In other news:
Kari Grover Weir, Chelan District Ranger, reported that the District has had no positive cases. “All the potentials have turned out negative so far,” she said. She also reported that all the campgrounds are still closed and the Forest Service is looking to open them as soon as possible. Disbursed camping on Forest land is still an option.
Jim Cobert, Chelan Fruit, said the first cherries will be harvested over the weekend and the company is responding to Governor’s new regulations to take each employees temperature and to fill out a questionnaire. He expects to have 150 people on the cherry line. Colbert said masks have been made available and the company is working diligently to get them out to the employees including growers. “Our focus is to keep everybody safe,” said Colbert.
Chelan School Superintendent Barry DePaoli reported that the district is still hoping to reopen this fall. “We have drafted a letter to the Governor and will be working closely with the Health Department. The planning process is well underway.” The District is working with parents, students and staff.
“June 19 is our last day of school,” said DePaoli. “Food service will be gone, but we are working with Thrive,” said DePaoli.
On an afternoon telephone conversation, Barry stated that the planned drive-in graduation ceremony has been changed to a virtual graduation that will take place around June 9.
This Power Point presentation will include student photos and what their plans are. There will also the standard speeches by the Salutatorian and Valedictorian. “There will also be a social distancing photo shoot,” DePaoli said.
This decision was made after concerns by Chelan-Douglas Health District’s Joyous Van Meter and director Barry Kling.
Manson Chamber of Commerce president, Debbie Conwell, reported that Manson will have a fireworks show on July 4. “We are working with the Sheriff and Fire District,” she said. “People will be able to watch from their cars or boats to keep social distancing.” The Chamber is preparing a map of some areas the fireworks display can be viewed from.
“Wenatchee is also having a fireworks show so we won’t see Wenatchee folks coming up here,” Conwell said. Chelan has decided not to have a fireworks show and will dedicate some of their fireworks funds to the Manson show. “Mike (Steele) felt one show would be enough this year.”
Sgt. Kent Sisson, EOC (Emergency Operations Center) said the center would be receiving 50,000 masks on Friday. “We are working on distribution with priority to agency entities that need them.” Other masks will be handed out to farm worker camps and the rest of the fruit industry. “I thinks we have a decent plan in place. I’m hoping we can get open sooner than later. Barry (Kling) is hard at work on a Phase II proposal and hopefully we will get some good news on that.”
The State will be receiving 3.6 million masks and is asking the EOC on how to contact the 200 percentile of people in poverty to get two masks to each person. “I think you will see each county coming up with their own plan.” Sisson expects the Food Banks, Churches and other entities to disperse them.
Kristi Morris, Columbia Valley Health, reported that they are transitioning to have more patients. “We still have a COVID area, but we need to see more (normal) patients.”
Manuel Navarro, Columbia Valley Health, added that they are working on providing TeleHealth services to Heritage Heights. “Residents should be able to access any provider. Our goal is to get that ordered up and in next month.”