October 16, 2013
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“I don’t care who served when, for how long, doing what. They did their job. Every piece of the puzzle was important. Every person from every branch contributed.” This quote comes from Dennis Moore, who served in the U.S. Marines in Vietnam, 1965-66. He’s among several interviewed in the Idaho County Free Press this week concerning their experiences as part of the upcoming 50th commemoration of the war.
Most will be off this Monday, Memorial Day, and for the commemoration we’ll be recommending you be a little selfish with your time.
Coming off Tuesday’s elections, we’re striking while the political iron is hot: You should start thinking about city council and mayoral elections this fall. While this may seem early, really, it’s not.
We’re all leery of the government when it starts charging taxes and fees, as more often than not they’ll remain in effect well after we and our children are long gone. So, it was a surprising bit of news that came across the desk last week....
Could a trust fund be the solution Idaho County has been longing for in a stable long-term funding option, in the wake of the expired Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS)?
A generous land donation has left the City of Grangeville with a new baby on its doorstep; it’s precious, yes, but what to do with it in the long term?
Next year, we can get back to party politics … as everyone is so excited about returning to that screaming monkey circus. But this year, let’s set the party names aside and work the 2017 nonpartisan elections together.
Year after year it is the same Congressional knife fight to reauthorize Secure Rural School (SRS) funding with 11th-hour saves to the program to get us through another year. This year, chances for reauthorization are as slim as we’ve ever seen them. But what if it is? What about next year? And after that?
You can’t tell us the government doesn’t have $1 million kicking around the treasury somewhere that they could throw a bone to rural law enforcement. Specifically, to reinstate federal grant funding to provide DNA testing for law enforcement agencies across the nation.
Idaho County has a strong volunteerism history when it comes to our community EMTs (emergency medical technicians) who train on their own time and dime, and are on call to leave their work or families at a moment’s notice, in all kinds of weather, day or night, and at any location from highways to rugged back country.
Good work continues for sexual assault victims, as Monday saw unanimous passage of House Bill 146 that addresses untested rape kits in the state.
Voters can’t sluff off into apathy, thinking that politics is eased off for a year, until we get into mid-term elections. Just get a load of what is coming up this year: 47 elections.
From our Montana neighbors: State legislation is under consideration that would prohibit news outlets from posting photos of fatal accidents on social media until authorities can notify next of kin. For free speech advocates – which should be all of us, press and public alike – this is disturbing discussion.
Are congressional term limits an idea whose time has come? Whoa, not so fast. President Donald Trump rode into the White House on the wave of that public sentiment voicing “It’s time for a change.” Now, looking to strike while the iron is hot, Idaho’s Rep. Raul Labrador is introducing a term limits constitutional amendment for congressional members.
Turn on the tap, or drop a line in a clear river. You’re enjoying the bounty of Idaho’s fantastic waters. So, thank a logger for this when you see one.
Your voice made a difference. And as a result, the East Kooskia Bridge is headed for repairs and continued use.
Is the recently completed Grangeville Community Survey – citizen opinions on city and community services — just all “touchy-feely” busy work with no substantial result other than yet another report to file? We’d argue that city residents’ opinions are part of the public record, they have been reviewed in official session by city officials, and the results and candid comments are on display for anyone who requests them.
The framework of a “use of force” policy continues to be shaped by trustees for Mountain View School District 244. The outcome is inevitable: A policy will be formed, no question about it. But the form it will take is still shadowy at best at this point. Two things we’ve observed through this process, now more than a year in the works.
So critical, emergency medical service is a blessing we often overlook to count.
Three-quarters of a century ago, on this date, Dec. 7, Imperial Japanese forces launched a surprise aerial attack on the U.S. Naval facilities at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; the event enraged the nation and launched U.S. involvement in World War II. We all know the story. Or do we?
Proactive forward-thinking plans by Idaho Democrats in the wake of the 2016 General Election are an inspiration for a change in state party politics overall.
What does last week’s Idaho County Sheriff’s election have to say? Here are some thoughts:
We can always find more ways to thank and support veterans. Here are a few suggestions that are easy to implement and would mean a lot to a military service person.
Contentious and gutter-scraping: the political race for Idaho County sheriff. Beyond watching the mud fly to see what sticks, of more pressing and difficult concern is the issue of recent endorsement ads for both candidates that involve law enforcement members of county and city policing agencies.
We must disagree, in part, with our county Republican friends in their disassociation last week with Senator Crapo for his decision to rescind his endorsement of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Oktoberfest: Did you have a good time? Great. Now let’s keep that ball rolling.
At issue – yet again — are millions in federal appropriations to rural communities, including Idaho County: PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding.
This month marks a series of sad anniversaries.
The issue has laid dormant for a few years, but the matter of oversized shipments being transported along U.S. Highway 12 has returned to the public sphere. Your comments are sought for a proposed rule to regulate these along a nearly 100-mile stretch of the road.
Often times the cry is heard that public officials are “doing things behind closed doors” or pushing agendas without the knowledge or consent of the public. Could it be that we simply didn’t take the time to pay attention to what these officials were doing until we stumbled across it late in the game? It’s much easier to push the blame on public officials than take responsibility in admitting we weren’t paying attention.
Readers on this letters page will be informed that the Idaho County Democrats’ booth was vandalized during the Idaho County Fair. Of course, it wasn’t you who did this. This was the work of dumb, or perhaps both dumb and dumber, acting out the only kind of political discourse he or they were able to do: graffiti and demolition. Perhaps they celebrated their triumph later by shooting out power pole insulators.
Presidential politics. Regional economics. Immigration. Health care costs. The impending family arguments at Thanksgiving dinner. OK, we’ve got enough seriousness on our plates to literally last us through the end of the year. So let’s set that stuff aside and focus on something more locally pressing: You’re going to the Idaho County Fair this year, right?
The nation nears its decision for the next President, but this region’s residents have the opportunity for their voices to be heard in a choice that will impact them far more intimately in their everyday lives: the position of magistrate judge.
We don’t lack problems to address or opportunities to serve in Idaho County; what we lack are the people who will commit to being part of the solution and not simply pointing at others as the problem.
Enjoy festivals? Volunteers drive events; say thanks, step up, serve Enjoy community events and festivals? You’ve got your pick, starting this weekend with White Bird Days and Rodeo, and the CVRA rodeo. Should be lots of fun. And volunteers are running the whole show at these events, by the way.
As commemorations go, Flag Day is one of the oldest, and it’s a good time for not just patriotism but also action. Flag Day (June 14) commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The week is designated National Flag Week, during which citizens are encouraged to fly the American flag.
Public commemorations such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Flag Day give veterans those opportunities to remind adults about what we may have taken for granted in our ease and complacency, and to instill in a new generation the essential values of service and duty to our nation. But while we honor the dead this weekend, our ongoing efforts should be to support the living.
Right now it’s all smiles and visions of economic opportunity for Idaho’s neighbors. But while the grass is truly greener over the other side of the fence, pot legalization comes with a new set of challenges that may put some perspective to those seeing it as just gold at the end of the rainbow.
Is the candidate forum as we know it dead? Is public interest at such a low? Or is the tried and true method of finding more out about candidates in a public setting as relevant as a VHS player?
Celebrity endorsements: Harmless enough when famous faces are hawking cereal, cars or phone companies; much more insidious when it’s matters of significant public policy that national politics – often driven by the fickle fingers of public opinion — will impose on the West.
Public safety is on our minds this week; some unsung heroes to keep in mind, and a social activity you shouldn’t be doing while driving.
Thinking of writing a letter in support of your favored political candidate?
With all the big, pressing, controversial, distressing issues out there, sometimes it’s nice to digress and just hit a few of the small ones. Ever given crosswalk flags a thought?
Splitting off Kooskia from Mountain View School District 244 is not ridiculous or crazy as its board representative, Mike Dominguez, said at Monday night’s meeting. It is sheer lunacy, and it’s implementation – were patrons to be so foolish as to be led down that primrose path – would spell disaster for that community, and more importantly, its kids.
How close is too close? When the fugitive Kyle A. Odom, 30, was arrested for his alleged role in shooting a Coeur d’Alene pastor earlier this month, a portion of that news item perked our interest: After the incident, Odom drove to Spokane and headed south, and later the following day he boarded a flight at the Boise Airport to Washington, D.C. So what? Well, it’s a good bet his southern getaway route was U.S. Highway 95, meaning he traveled through a large portion of rural Idaho before the diligence of airport security allowed Odom — an alleged attempted murderer who contended Martians controlled the Earth — to continue on his delusionally merry way. But not before he likely passed by Cottonwood and Grangeville, and then right through Riggins. That’s close enough.
School safety, and guns on high school campuses: The topic is so emotionally and politically charged that it seems unlikely that the matter can be brought down from the rhetorical heights – whether federal to local — which such adamant passions have driven it to. But it has to be if Mountain View School District 244 is to discuss its proposals for a firearm policy.
You may love living in Idaho, but what do you really know about the Gem State? This Friday, March 4, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter kicks off commemoration of Idaho Day, recognizing Abraham Lincoln’s signing the congressional act to make Idaho a territory on March 4, 1863.
Just so you know, next Monday, Feb. 29, filings open for state and county elected offices that Republicans will be filling come the November elections. That is, of course, if no other parties choose to file candidates.
We challenge public entities within Idaho County to follow the lead by the City of Grangeville on proactive efforts to engage citizens.
Did activist Robert LaVoy Finicum have to die? Opinions are heated on last week’s shooting of the spokesman for activists who have staged a month-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore. Was it justified, or was it an ambush and murder? That’s a conclusion we’re not ready to jump at, because more importantly we’re asking whether this whole situation justified actions that resulted in a man losing his life. And with this also brings to mind the role of law enforcement as public servants and protectors of the peace.
If you know all about the trending illegal drug scene, then you can stop reading here. But, if you are like us, you likely have no clue as to the extent of what is really going on … and so perhaps, you should be paying better attention.
Will they be good neighbors? That’s the question we ask ourselves when someone pulls up with the moving van into the vacant house next to us. Can we get along? Will they maintain their property to both its benefit and that of the neighborhood? Will they not be disruptive? Overall, will they reflect our values?
Unmarked police cars patrolling for driving violations has the appearance of a game of “gotcha” where officers are looking for an excuse to drop the hammer on drivers. It feels sneaky and deceptive; an enforcement tactic way we don’t feel is commensurate with the infractions – not misdemeanors or felonies, mind you – that highway enforcement officers largely deal with.
Normally, at this time of year, we would be encouraging your New Year’s resolutions to become part of your community organizations, to volunteer your time to those groups and nonprofits that benefit us through celebration and tragedy. Not this time, as there’s something more important to focus on: building and fostering relationships.
Neighbors help neighbors around here. No news there; this is one of the reasons we love living in Idaho County, and as well being part of the great Gem State that for two year’s running has been recognized for its volunteering efforts.
Checkerboard ownership within the upper Lochsa needs to be addressed to the land management benefits of both private and public ownership. Until this is resolved, this problem will remain with us despite wishes to disregard or dismiss it as a “dead issue.”
Neighboring Adams County has a nightmare on its hands that reverberates throughout our region, and rightly so.
Your experience and insight is critical to the service of your community. And we’re asking you to challenge yourself, step up and serve on your city council.
We’re sliding this deadline in at you close to the wire, but hopefully you’ll still have some time to comment by Aug. 17 on a critical issue raised nationally by the Forest Service.
Now that the state is assured the Internet isn’t some passing fad, the order has come down from on high from Governor Otter to establish an Idaho Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force to address the growing threat of cyber attacks.
Rural communities are needy: needing jobs, needing access to services (social, health), needing a healthy retail district, needing a crime-free environment.
The week following Border Days is a good time to think about what community organizations we support and thank those who are members of those groups.
Whew! Hot enough for ya? What a way to start off the week going into Border Days.
Do town hall meetings matter? Is there value in exercising your free speech to your elected officials among your fellow citizens? Can you truly say it’s made a difference?
Good effort by Congressman Raul Labrador who remains persistent on his proposal to allow state and local management of federally managed forests.
Editor’s preface: Of our many holidays, Memorial Day is a standout for encouraging remembrance of those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
You’ve heard the quote before. In fact, we’ve printed Margaret Mead’s words of wisdom here on this very page in the past:
Many things should be mandatory, such as slow speeds in school zones and that you don’t hit people you dislike with hammers. But voting?
As firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) rushed about at Saturday’s mass casualty drill in Kamiah last Saturday, one observer made the comment that the EMTs are looking pretty gray.
Next Monday, the Grangeville City Council will be hearing a proposal for a helicopter demonstration at the proposed Syringa Hospital helipad site on Main Street.
Let’s set the scene for you on public participation with your local government: Imagine multimillion dollar budgets being discussed, tens of thousands of dollars being authorized for expenditure on infrastructure projects, and changes proposed in zoning ordinances.
Don’t let people mislead you with their defeatist talk; you can make a difference. And it all starts in your city government. It’s not quite that time, yet, for filing candidacy petitions for open city council positions.
Prescription medication misuse and abuse is not exclusively a big-city problem; it’s here – right here in rural Idaho — and we have work to do to raise public awareness about the problem.
Good solutions that cut out wasted spending and arbitrary decision-making. Empowering individuals to serve justice.
“My name is Mrs. Glenda Buthelezi. I am a South African and a financial consultant working with a financial institution. I am contacting you to partner with me to secure the funds ($34M) kept in the custody of a bank in South Africa by one of former associate of the late president of Libya who is now deceased.”
When highway district representatives, county commissioners and state elected officials came together Saturday for a meeting on a world without Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funds, two things came to mind.
Public turnout at last Friday’s Idaho-Lewis Capital for a Day event showed lots of folks had questions for their governor and public officials.
Sorry to spoil your festivities planning for the new year, but elections are coming up.
We’ve had our heads hunkered down for so long trying to make a living that we may have forgotten those things that make life enjoyable. Public art is one.
That hard-to-find, last-minute gift item we’re going to be suggesting this Christmas won’t fit in a box or under a tree. It’s not diamonds or two tickets to that thing your wife really likes.
A parade, a recognition ceremony, flags along Main Street: All are great and honorable ways leading up to Veterans Day to recognize the men and women who served in U.S. Armed Forces.
Did you see that? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was on the sidelines, suited up and ready to go. And he just stood there. Doing nothing.
Last week, the Grangeville City Council began discussion on proposed code changes that, if adopted, would end licensing cats.
Someone once said that the value of a survey is not in the results but in the controversy it generates in its aftermath with folks vying to contradict its findings.
Usually in this spot we’re calling your attention to an issue and yapping about what we’d do to make the world a better place if we were named kings for a day.
How does it feel to be working for a dying industry? Well, you must be talking about eight-track tapes or Chia pets, because newspapering is humming right along, thank you...
Is your stuff safe? Are you sure? Have you checked?
Chances for success improve when you are engaged with partners sharing mutual goals. And we have a lightly tapped resource that could be the catalyst for such a cooperative effort.
It’s good to be reminded that our opponents are not necessarily our enemies, and just because they oppose us doesn’t mean they are moral degenerates.
How are your tax dollars spent? Specifically, how much money are local retailers being paid through participation in the food stamp program?
This letter is in response to David Rauzi’s editorial printed on June 25 in regards to the Clearwater Economic Development Association’s new initiative titled, “Putting All the Pieces Together for Success.
Accidents happen, but there’s lots we can do as far as prevention, and as well to minimize the resulting negative aftermath.
The old town gets a little busier during Border Days, what with all our returning kids and friends showing up for reunions and some general holiday malarkey. For all the homegrown folks – and for us somewhat seasoned transplants from elsewhere – we’ve got the unique characteristics down for this rural Camas Prairie town (and all our rural neighbors in Idaho County).
When it comes to community empowerment, we’re right in line with the old adage of “Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.” Unless he doesn’t like sushi — then you also have to teach him to cook.
When checking through your May 20th ballots you may have noticed on your way an unheralded – and uncontested – race: precinct committeeman. The lack of interest in this race is a shame, as this is a good spot to start for those political enthusiasts to become more involved in the process and in starting a political career.
We’re pretty helpful around here to give a hitchhiker a lift from point A to point B; maybe they’re broken down, or just between jobs and a means of transportation. At least, that’s their story.
Rest areas are a hot and cold subject: Desperately important when you need them, but otherwise they are pretty low to nonexistent on our day-to-day agendas.
Voting is important, but if we’re being serious here, we could really care less if you put your hand to a ballot or not next Tuesday, May 20. That’s not our editorial opinion. That’s our state talking.
Before you know it, the May 20 primary elections will be here. Unless you’ve already voted absentee, you’re still kicking around the “who” and “why” of your choices, so here are a few things to help you get ready.
As the Sesame Street song goes, “One of these things just doesn’t belong.” This is the case with a piece of hype stating the Clearwater and Lochsa rivers as among the top 10 endangered rivers.
At $174,000 annually, our federal legislators – essentially functioning as the board of directors for the “largest economic entity in the world” — are woefully underpaid.
An AARP Armageddon? Tone down the hysteria involved in news reporting of our graying population and let’s focus on what we need to do to meet the future – and in some cases, present – challenges of our growing group of older folks.
Grangeville residents: Would you be in favor of adding a half-percent tax on sales within the city? What if that meant additional revenue to improve city services? Extend city pool hours? Or (just name your particular municipal project here)?
Yet more proposed federal legislation? Yep, and this time it’s on gun owner data collection. But there’s a couple reasons to get behind this, neither of which specifically deals with guns.
... and that don’t exist in Grangeville
Have you been to Annie’s Saloon in Grangeville? Whatcha mean there’s no such place? It’s on Bing maps, and the Internet is not wrong; Wikipedia says so. If you have a little downtime for some Internet surfing, bring up the Bing map of your community. In a geeky sort of way, there’s some fun to be had, such as finding where you live. Or you can try to guess the time of year, even the month, the aerial shot was taken (hint: That looks like the fireworks stand in Asker’s Harvest Foods parking lot).
You like Idaho County, right? For the most part, that’s why you live here, work here, play here. So, do you think all that you enjoy about North Central Idaho happens for free? Well, apart from God’s nice touches on our mountains, rivers and prairie … nope. Someone (a whole lot of someones actually) has to work to make things happen or keep them from happening.
Thanks: David Rauzi
Just a short note to say how great an event we had on Monday with the Larry Ramos Farewell Concert with The Association. Our appreciation goes up the chain, starting with Larry himself providing this opportunity here in Grangeville at the Blue Fox Theater, and as a benefit for the Clearwater to Salmon Rivers Relay for Life. Appreciation also to band members who came in for this event, and the army of organizers who made this happen.
Two weeks ago, Grangeville High School underwent a lockdown due to a report of a person on campus with a firearm. In due course, this was determined unfounded, and life went on. In reflection: Was this an overreaction? Was it unnecessary? Even in pro-gun Idaho County, the reality today – as unfortunately demonstrated in past incidents nationwide — argues “not at all.” In fact, response by both the Mt. View School District 244 and local law enforcement showed a proper response that followed procedure and focused on quick response and safety.
Many of us push the limit (and maybe a little past?) of regulated speeds on our roads and highways, but we may want to be questioning a little deeper a proposed Idaho Senate bill that would — in certain circumstances — allow for increased speeds.
It’s those teenagers and their gadgets, texting and talking on the phone while driving, that is the problem. Public perception on this hazard is such that there has been support to legislate prohibitions on this activity for novice drivers ages 18 and younger.
Spouse beaters, gas station robbers and drug dealers: All are criminals, but not all these folks should be treated the same when it comes to sentencing.
A year following the approximate $6.1 million donation through the Orrin Webb estate, the Grangeville community is seeing improvements in infrastructure, buildings and programs, as well as plans for more good works down the road.
It’s time to be one of those “glass half full” people as we head into Thanksgiving, because we’ve got a lot to be thankful for here in Idaho County. How so?
Washington State Rep. Doc Hastings (R) is taking editorial flak lately for his proposed legislation to make logging a requirement on public forestlands affected in this year’s Rim Fire in California to speed timber sales and deter legal challenges.
The statement was shocking: a man recently told a local middle school student (… really, a kid??) that the President needed to be assassinated.
Let’s support labor for a change
Is your candidate pro-business? A better question to ask is whether he or she is pro-labor. The Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry (IACA) is pushing this week prior to next Tuesday’s, Nov. 5, elections that voters consider candidates with strong business backgrounds.
Sorry to add yet another item to your “to do” list, but you should really clean out those old medications.
Yesterday, United Action for Idaho (UAI) was to demonstrate at the Idaho Capital, asking for a cease-and-desist order to the state’s Congressional members to stop the shutdown and pay the nation’s bills, and as part of that they were to lay flowers on the statehouse steps representing all Idahoans who have been impacted by the GOP’s negligence and obstructionism.