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Clearwater Valley News: Country, county in turmoil; let’s try to meet in the middle in 2019

Clearwater Valley

Clearwater Valley


Norma Staaf 208-993-0689

— I try to keep this column pretty positive, but right now there is not much good news. With a big chunk of the federal government shut down, most of the Nez Perce-Clearwater NF employees who work in the Kamiah and Kooskia offices (as well as the rest of the offices in the country) have been sent home without pay for an indeterminate amount of time. The main thing that the Constitution requires of Congress is that they fund the government. The last Congress couldn’t get it done despite the House, Senate and the White House control by one party. They just let a big chunk of the government shut down, then gave up and went home for Christmas, leaving it for the new Congress. In its third week, it is shaping up to be the longest shutdown in history with no end in sight. It’s a chaotic way to run a government for the people who rely on the services and for the employees themselves who want to do good work. I am hoping that our senators Risch and Crapo and new congressman, Fulcher, will step up to do their jobs and help find a path forward that is good for Idaho.

Clearwater Meal Center luncheon set for Jan. 16

CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Meal Center’s next luncheon is set for Wednesday, Jan. 16, noon. Vegetable soup, rolls and dessert are on the menu. Meals are served the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the Clearwater Baptist Church. No charge for the luncheon, $5 donation appreciated when possible. Call 208-926-7776.

Turmoil is also apparent in local governments. Before Christmas, the entire three-person Kamiah Marshal’s Office quit, leaving Kamiah without a city police force. Thankfully, Jason Davis, Lewis County Sheriff (and other agencies) have started providing some law enforcement, so anarchy does not reign in Kamiah. One city council member quit and, now, there is a recall effort for the rest of the city council. In Kooskia, first a conflict with the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, then one with the EMS and now there are threats of trying to recall the mayor there. In both cases local people are taking sides and airing their grievances in local newspapers.

I hope that in 2019 the people involved can come together and rationally come up with a plan to move forward for the good of both Kooskia and Kamiah cities. Can you imagine a person who is thinking of moving to the area, investing in property or a small business reading the local papers and wondering what the heck is going on in these little towns? Who would want to move here right now?

Now for the good news? When I was in Cottonwood last week, I learned that the new branch of Cottonwood Credit Union is planning to open in Kooskia in the old Umpqua Bank building by the end of January. Remodeling work has been happening there for several months. It will be good to have one fewer vacant building in downtown Kooskia.

If you’ve noticed the construction of a new shop building along the river in Harpster, that’s the expansion of McCoy and Sons business. I ran into Alvin McCoy before Christmas and the custom cabinet business is going well. They are expanding into other products and needed more space to work. (More on this in a future column.) In Clearwater they are getting ready for the annual Groundhog Day feed (eating pork sausage, eggs and pancakes, not groundhogs) planned for Feb. 3.

The “Save the Pool” all-you-can-eat Crab Feed in Kamiah is coming up Jan. 24-26; doors open at 4:45 p.m., at the American Legion Hall. Thursday is family night (the other nights may get a little rowdy for kids). Tickets are $30 for adults and $12 for kids. Tickets are now on sale at Kamiah Flower Shoppe on Main Street; call 205-935-0200. I’ve never been to this event, but heard it is a fun time.

Quote for the week. “When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation or accept it, all else is madness!” — Eckhardt Tolle


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