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David Rauzi

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Time to commemorate Vietnam war; to give, receive peace

“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.

June 21, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Not too early to consider city council races

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.

May 17, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Surcharge suspension surprising, a start

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....

May 10, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

SRS a ‘sick’ option but only one for rural counties

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?

April 12, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Support re-instating fed grant for DNA testing

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.

April 5, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

EMTs: support them, their efforts, join them

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.

March 29, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Proposed Montana legislation restricting photos unconstitutional

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.

March 1, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Constitutional amendment for term limits? Whoa, not so fast

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.

February 15, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

City survey’s value is in accountability to citizens

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.

January 18, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Observations on district’s use of force policy

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.

December 28, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Human experience conveys more meaning than a date

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?

December 7, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Endorsements cause issues with agency relations, community

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.

October 26, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Local voice needed in oversize shipments issue

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.

September 14, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Stop being passive; you need to be engaged

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.

August 31, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Hey, watch your political mouth

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.

August 24, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Life is more fun in person; get to the county fair

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?

August 17, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Addressing community problems starts with us

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.

July 13, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Enjoy festivals? Volunteers drive events; say thanks, step up, serve

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.

June 15, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Old Glory isn’t clothing... and other thoughts about Flag Day June 14

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.

June 8, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Honor dead by keeping obligations to the living

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.

May 25, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Candidate forum format needs to change

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?

April 27, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Base grizzly delisting on opinion of TV vampire?

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.

April 20, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Splitting Kooskia off from district? Sheer lunacy

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.

March 23, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Evil travels US 95 — need for vigilance; supporting, monitoring police

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.

March 16, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Before any firearms draft, district needs discussion, involvement of patrons

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.

March 9, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

More than spuds: Idaho has much to celebrate

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.

March 2, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Challenge GOP; need for political diversity

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.

February 24, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Was occupation worth taking a man’s life?

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.

February 3, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Question with Wilks: Will they be good neighbors?

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?

January 13, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Maintain trust: Keep ISP patrol vehicles marked

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.

January 6, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Resolve to work on relationships in 2016

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.

December 30, 2015 6 a.m. read more..

EMTs are looking a little grayer these days

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.

April 29, 2015 6 a.m. read more..

Education alone won’t drive civic participation

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.

April 8, 2015 6 a.m. read more..

Preparing for fall city elections starts now

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.

April 1, 2015 6 a.m. read more..

Make it harder for scammers the next time

“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.”

February 11, 2015 6 a.m. read more..

SRS issue: Time to send the feds an invoice?

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.

February 4, 2015 6 a.m. read more..

Renew public art efforts in county

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.

December 17, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Ideal gift is time to community

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.

December 10, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Crash reminder of veterans’ service

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.

November 12, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Newspapering is just fine ... thanks

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...

September 10, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Border Days 2014: New to town? Well, you should know...

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).

July 2, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Community program needs long-term focus

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.

June 25, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

One last election thing...Importance of your precinct committee

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.

June 18, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Expand, improve escape notifications

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.

June 11, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

A few things to get ready before election

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.

May 7, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Threatened rivers designation a farce

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.

April 23, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

$174k congressional salary: not enough?

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.

April 9, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

County’s aging population requires new discussions

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.

April 2, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Local Option Tax? Let the discussion begin

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)?

March 26, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Easy to get a GRIP on this legislation

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.

March 19, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Fun with Bing maps: Find places you never knew about

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).

March 12, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

County government deserving of your time, talents

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.

March 5, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Thanks to many on Association concert

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.

February 26, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

GHS lockdown: Reaction, aftermath appropriate

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.

February 26, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Keep higher speeds limited to interstates

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.

February 19, 2014 6 a.m. read more..

Teens and texting while driving: not what you expect

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.

January 15, 2014 8:14 a.m. read more..

Money is not the only way to make a difference

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.

December 23, 2013 6 a.m. read more..

Old argument revisits lie about logging

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.

November 20, 2013 6 a.m. read more..

Of course, business is important, but...

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.

October 30, 2013 6 a.m. read more..

Shutdown, flowers and police tasers?

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.

October 16, 2013 6 a.m. read more..


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