The Good, The Bad, and 2021

Most folks are probably bidding a well-earned bon-be-gone to the backside of 2020.

For every upside like the 30,400-plus record high reached by the Dow Jones Stock Index on the last trading day of the year there is enough downside to more than compensate. Stats like the nearly 350,000 deaths from COVID or the record 81,000 opioid fatalities predicted by the Center of Disease Control (CDC).

In times like these it is a good policy to look around for signs of local progress as a reminder that proactive people and communities are taking the hits but putting their heads down and pushing forward. The Quad Cities are as good a place to start as any.

There is a food bank once again operating in Bridgeport thanks to new visionary pastors Carlos and Zuni Henriquez at the Wellspring of Life Church at 1300 Foster Avenue. The new service is filling the vacuum left when the previous food pantry had to close its doors after 25 years of providing food for those in need.

The City of Brewster and the Brewster-Bridgeport-Pateros Senior Center are close to inking a deal that would ensure that the Center will have a secure financial home. The general outline of the agreement has the city taking ownership of the Senior Center building at 109 S. Bridge St. and assuming the estimated $30,000 annual operating costs to maintain it. The deal will allow the Center to redirect its resources at building membership and expanding senior activities.

The City of Pateros is closing in on a project that will see a new community commercial kitchen located in the building that once housed a grocery store. The city joined forces with the Pateros-Brewster Community Resource Center to promote the project in the Economic Development District’s Supernova Business Launch Competition and made it into the final four voting. The kitchen also was a top selection by the Economic Alliance for funding priority by the Okanogan County Commissioners.

The Town of Mansfield – The Town at the End of the Rails – dodged a bullet last September when the Cole Spring wildfire pushed by gale-force winds bypassed the city proper as it laid waste to much of the surrounding property.

The City of Bridgeport embarked on an ambitious project to energize the downtown core with its Community Revitalization Plan for the SR 173 corridor that runs through the business district. Spearheaded by contract city planner Kurt Danison of Highlands Associates and encouraged by port and county commissioners, the Bridgeport city council is pushing ahead with plans to accomplish for the business core what its development of the Conklin Landing RV Park did for tourism.

Pateros city officials are working on a plan to give business activity a shot in the arm through a Pop-Up Outdoor Market proposal that would provide a venue for entrepreneurs and customers alike to come together in 2021. Public discussions have been held, survey responses digested, and options considered for a new opportunity that would conform to existing COVID restrictions and still provide an outlet for innovation.

These are just a few of the examples of what local communities are doing to keep spirits up and hopes alive. There are many more and they are all right her in our own back yard.

All Good Medicine, citizens.








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