As of Tuesday, April 10, 2018
CLEARWATER VALLEY It’s National Library week so stop by your favorite library to see what’s new. I know that April at the Kamiah library has been spending time learning to use their new 3- D printer and making some fun and creative items. The Kooskia Library will hold its annual book sale on Saturday, April 21. They are happy to take donations of books, CDs and DVDs in advance of the sale. No magazines, you are encouraged to recycle those.
The Kamiah Library is planning a DIY Junk Journal project in conjunction with Kamiah’s Earth Day celebration on Friday, April 20. The library will provide old books and paper items but feel free to bring craft supplies, recycled paper, junk mail or other found materials to create your own journal. Check out the library’s Facebook or stop in for more info. Plans are progressing for Kamiah’s Earth Day celebration, Friday, April 20, 3:30-5:30 p.m., on 5th Street. Free activities will include creating art from recycled materials, games or displays about forests, soils, wildlife the hidden costs of water, along with active pursuits such as yoga and playing rhythm instruments. The Nez Perce national historic park will have an interpretive program and Smokey Bear from the Forest Service plans to visit the event. All activities will be offered free of charge. Please call Lauren Paterson at 208-935-5251 or e-mail me, Norma Staaf at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer to help with the event or if you have questions.
Some notes on supporting local businesses:
I like to support local businesses when I can even when they are more expensive. I appreciate that many of them donate to school clubs and sports, participate in organizing events like fairs and dinners and fund-raisers. They help provide vitality in our communities and provide gathering places for informal meetings and conversations with neighbors. I also would rather minimize the time I spend shopping so I can spend more time outside.
In my travels around the valley, I marvel at the difference in customer service. Like most people I assume, I return often to places that treat me well, and less often to places that don’t. Some places have great customer service, other places, not so much.
In the interest of keeping my column on a positive note, I won’t use the names of the businesses, but here are three pet peeves. No. 1-staff visiting with friends or family members who are loitering around the cash register, blocking access to paying customers. Really? One nice thing about small towns is that there are not very long lines, so of course be pleasant, but maybe not spend five minutes reviewing the dinner menu with your spouse while someone is trying to spend money in your business. No. 2. Be there for the hours stated on your door or at least post a note on the door when you will return. I get it that very small places don’t have much margin for error and life gets in the way sometimes, but the 2nd or third time someone tries to come to your business and you aren’t there they may just give up. No. 3 Not being willing to go the extra mile. I called one longtime family-run business and asked if they could order a different model of an item that they already carried. The answer I expected, sure no problem, I’ll look it up. The answer I got — “you should just order it from Amazon.” If they had explained it wasn’t from a normal supplier or it would cost them a lot to order just one item, sure, but they didn’t say that, just no, they couldn’t be bothered. So, shop local when you can and speak up when it doesn’t work out. We need small businesses to remain a vital part of our communities.