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Clearwater Valley News: March in support of schools draws about 30 advocates

Clearwater Valley


Clearwater Valley



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Norma Staaf 208-993-0689 nstaaf@live.com

— The 1st amendment is alive and well in Kamiah with the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly on display. Friday afternoon a diverse group of Kamiah area residents marched in support of education in Idaho in advance of the upcoming area school levies. The larger-than-expected group of about 30 ranged from young children to retirees who value education included a large showing from the Nez Perce tribal community. The event, not supported by the Kamiah school district, included several teachers. The group waved signs, played drums and tambourines and chanted “School is cool, school is great, we’ll all have a future if we educate!” Passing motorists waved and honked in support with curious onlookers taking photos. KLEW news featured video of the march as their lead-off story on the 11 p.m. news Friday night. Check out KLEWtv.com to see the video and the statement from the march’s organizers, Kamiah business owner Lauren Paterson, and me. In talking to people in advance of the march, many said they support students and education but didn’t want to state that publicly. I’m not sure who is actually against educating children, it seems the dispute is more about who should pay for it. Special thanks to Kamiah Public Library manager, April Blankenship, for use of the library’s back room to gather, make signs and launch the march and to the Friends of the Library for providing sign-making supplies.

YAB dance set

The Youth Advisory Board is planning a St. Patrick’s Day youth dance on Friday, March 9, at the Kamiah Legion Hall. They welcome participation from students from grades 8-12 from Kamiah and surrounding area schools plus home-schooled kids. They are seeking adults to volunteer as chaperones for the event who will be “kindhearted, but strict.” Call the office at 208-743-0392 or stop by their office at 413 Main Street for more information.

A large crowd gathered for the Upriver Youth Leadership Coalition and Youth Advisory Board 2017 Volunteer and Partner Appreciation dinner last Wednesday at the Life Center. Following an introduction by vice-president Kelly Lineberry, they showed a video featuring their many fun, family-friendly events last year. Staff member Jasmine Huerta and board president Sharlene Johnson presented awards to outstanding youth board participants- Thomas Moss-Mozley, Jace Sams, Jace Johnson, Hailey Brotnov, Spencer Flerchinger, Kaylee Hunt and Mikal Brotnov. Awards went to numerous partners in various categories including law enforcement, media, health care and education. It was impressive to see how many people support this organization in their quest to reduce substance abuse in area youth.

I met some nice women at dinner and learned that a non-profit is forming to provide a place to go and sports, games and educational activities for Kamiah students on Fridays next year. The schools will go from five-day-a-week school to longer school hours four days a week. This shift to shortened school weeks is being planned as a cost cutting measure even if the levy passes. This troubling trend to four-day school is happening across rural Idaho with kids having longer school days and no school on Fridays. Many students whose parents work during the day will need adult supervision on Fridays. The details are being worked out, but great to hear that community members are concerned about this and are stepping up to fill the void left by insufficient funding for rural schools.

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Free Press / Norma Staaf Pictured at the Upriver Youth Leadership Coalition and Youth Advisory Board 2017 Volunteer and Partner Appreciation dinner last Wednesday are (top photo) Kaylee Hunt and Jasmine Huerta and (above” Sandra Slickpoo with her grandsons.

The Youth Advisory Board is planning a St. Patrick’s Day youth dance on Friday, March 9, at the Kamiah Legion Hall. They welcome participation from students from grades 8-12 from Kamiah and surrounding area schools plus home-schooled kids. They are seeking adults to volunteer as chaperones for the event who will be “kindhearted, but strict.” Call the office at 208-743-0392 or stop by their office at 413 Main Street for more information.

A reminder that March 9 is the last day to change your political party affiliation with your county courthouse for the May primary election. With Butch Otter’s decision to retire, the governor’s race has attracted many candidates with contested primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides. Due to Idaho’s closed primary system, if you’re not affiliated as a Democrat or Republican you will have no say in the governor’s race until the general election in November.



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