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Clearwater Valley News: Deaths of local young men sadden communities

Clearwater Valley

Clearwater Valley


Norma Staaf 208-993-0689

— It was a very sad week in the Clearwater Valley with the tragic deaths of two teenage boys. Spencer Flerchinger, a Kamiah High School student, from a fall at Glacier National Park and Michael Routh of Kooskia in a car accident on Highway 12 on his way back from the hospital after the birth of his daughter. My heart goes out to the families and friends of these two young men. An account has been set up at Freedom Northwest Credit Union to help their families. Donations of any amount are welcome.

Kamiah has two of the biggest events of the summer coming soon. The 42nd Chief Looking Glass Powwow is scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Powwow grounds adjacent to the Wa-A’Yas Center in Kamiah. Last year I enjoyed the drumming, dancing and singing with participants dressed in regalia made of various animal skins, porcupine quills and feathers. It begins Friday night, Aug. 17.

Last year Brian Brokop of Clearwater Brewing opened the Beer:30 taproom just in time for Barbecue Days, so he has almost reached the one-year mark. What a great addition this has been to the community. The outdoor patio is nice; I celebrated with friends and family there after my last day of work in June.

Kamiah Barbecue Days set for Aug. 31-Sept. 2

KAMIAH — The 82nd annual Barbecue Days in Kamiah will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 2, Labor Day Weekend. It’s time to start thinking about a float for the parade. Categories include horses, antique cars, community or organization, marching unit, royalty, commercial and other/novelty. The organizers are also looking for vendors for food, service or arts/crafts. The cost is $30 to rent a 10’ by 10’ space. Check the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce website to download parade or vendor applications.

If you’ve missed my column these last few weeks, I have been travelling, spending time with my mom. We spent a week at the Chautauqua Institute in rural upstate New York for a week of summer learning. “The Ethics of Dissent” was the theme for the week. We attended numerous talks from both clergy from various religious faiths plus journalists, historians, activists and community organizers. It was a good reminder of the proud history of dissent that started the United States and continues to this day to make real change. Many of the speakers encouraged us not to demonize people that we don’t agree with, but instead to try to listen to and understand them.

Speaking of dissent, American women were only granted the right to vote on Aug. 18, 1920, when the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. This only happened after decades of dissent by women who would not be silenced. Happy 98th anniversary to my fellow women! I hope you are all registered to vote. Only three months until the midterm election, with early voting even sooner.

I read an interesting article in the Idaho Statesman the other day. The writer reviewed voter registration data for the largest 100 cities in Idaho and ranked the 20 most conservative and 20 most liberal cities. Interestingly, Kooskia, with only 651 people, is one of the 100 largest cities in Idaho. Kooskia is ranked 16th on the conservative list (Grangeville is 20th) and none of our other local communities made the top 20. It seems that we have a more diverse voter pool than many of the southeastern Idaho communities that filled most of the top 20.

Enjoy the rest of summer, school starts soon!


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