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Norma Staaf


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Clearwater Valley News: Harpster fire refresher training is Jan. 26

I met up with Arden Lytle, the Harpster fire chief the other day. He wanted to let folks know that they are hosting their annual fire refresher training (RT-130). Chief Lytle welcomes people in the Harpster Fire District as well as people from surrounding fire districts who want to participate.

January 23, 2019 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Clearwater Grange bazaar, Groundhog Feed are Feb. 3

The Clearwater Grange is looking for vendors for their bazaar and yard sale on Feb. 3. Do you have unsold inventory from the Christmas craft fairs or have you been making new items since then? Do you need an excuse to clean out some closets? The Clearwater Grange would love to fill the hall with vendors and welcomes new people to participate. The event is from 9 a.m-3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, and coincides with the Groundhog Day breakfast at the Oddfellows Hall, which brings 400-plus people to town. Tables cost only $10 to rent. Call Carole Bonono at 208-926-7465 to reserve one. This is a fund-raiser for the historic, 100-year-old Grange Hall.

January 16, 2019 6 a.m. read more..

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

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.

January 9, 2019 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Valley sees a full year of activities

As I end my 2nd full year of writing this column, I reflect on the fun and interesting people and events in the Clearwater Valley. With this, my first column of the New Year will recapture some highlights of the year’s mix of events, both events with long traditions and new events. Tradition is good, as long as something works, but great to try new things once in a while, or a new twist on the past events. The Kamiah Characters reprised in early January with a live theater production of “Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will,” a murder mystery with over-the-top characters, played by various high school and middle school students. Later in January, the biggest event of Kamiah’s winter social scene, the Crab Feed had another fun three-night run of all-you-can-eat crab, rock and roll by the King pins, local entertainment and community fund-raising.

January 2, 2019 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Harpster Christmas program includes audience participation

Harpsterites gathered for the old-fashioned Christmas program on Sunday afternoon at the Harpster community center (AKA the old Harpster schoolhouse). I got in on the popcorn ball making on Saturday this year. I had fun with Nancy Charley, head popcorn popper, Jan Adams, keeper of the recipe/syrup maker and Patsy Hunter, lead popcorn ball roller. Colleen and I were trainee rollers and gift bag stuffers while Nancy’s and Jan’s husbands set up chairs and organized the room.

December 19, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Harpster program, Kamiah plays set

I met a great guy named Mr. Sandy Staab at the Kamiah Middle School Library last month. He uses the moniker “The Chess Guy,” and travels to area schools at lunchtime to teach students the game. Fun to watch the excitement of kids as young as fourth grade intent and focused on playing this ancient board game.

December 12, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kamiah event draws a crowd

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches? Creatively decorated trees, wreaths, swags and the happy voices of children and adults of all ages filled the American Legion Hall in Kamiah last Saturday. This was part of a weekend-long olde-fashionned Christmas celebration organized by the Upriver Youth Leadership Council and many partners.

December 5, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kooskia, Kamiah celebrations on tap for this weekend

I enjoyed two Thanksgiving dinners this year. In addition to our family’s Thanksgiving day turkey dinner, a friend and I participated in the Community Thanksgiving dinner at the Wa-‘A’Yas Center in Kamiah earlier in the week. The center provided the turkeys and hams while others brought side dishes and desserts. I enjoyed sharing a dinner table and visiting with Stella Penney and her lovely young children. Great food all around, but special food highlights included mini fry bread and huckleberry cheesecake.

November 28, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kamiah alumni raise $39k for schools

Idaho made national news last week once again for racist behavior. Fourteen Middleton elementary school staff dressed as Trump’s border wall and in stereotypical Hispanic costumes. They claimed that they did not do this in front of the students, they merely posted it on the official school Facebook page where it quickly went viral.

November 7, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Craft fair set for Harpster this Saturday

After the Halloween festivities are you ready for Christmas shopping? This Saturday, the first craft fair of the fall season is happening right here in downtown Harpster. The old Harpster school house, now a community center, will be chock full of handmade items ranging from baked goods to purses and totes and items from Avon and Tupperware.

October 31, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Mayor takes on state walking challenge

Clearwater Valley and Kamiah compete in the regular season as a cooperative CvK team. For districts and state meet they magically become Rams and Kubs again. Both had a great showing at the district championships in Lewiston last week. Coach Janna Privette is thrilled to be taking ten runners to the state meet on Oct. 27.

October 24, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Carve pumpkins at park this Sunday

Great news for theater lovers! I met up with three members of the Kamiah Characters high school theater group last week at the KHS library. Octavio Spencer and sisters Laura and Kara Dow are excited about a new play they are working on this fall. It is a Star Trek spoof, called “Star Track- the Expedition Menace.” I enjoyed watching two of the Kamiah Characters’ productions last year- “Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will” and “How the West Was Won- Black Hat Optional.” They are fun and light plays that allow the students to try on new personalities and provide a creative outlet. I will keep you posted when performance dates are scheduled. You can bet I will be there!

October 17, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Smiths clown around in China

The historic Kooskia Opera House Theater is on the market again after selling just a year ago to a private buyer. In 2017 a local group organized to raise money to buy the opera house, but did not raise enough funds in the time allotted by the previous owners. I haven’t heard if the group will try again. It’s a great facility with a second-floor performance space that has hosted many theatrical and musical performances throughout the years.

October 10, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: CvK runners fare well at Potlatch Invitational

There have been lots of recent accolades for current and former Clearwater Valley and Kamiah student athletes and coaches. Two coaches, two teams and four student athletes from Clearwater Valley High School or Kamiah High School have been nominated for honors in the Warrior Athletic Association high school awards for the 2017-2018 school year.

September 26, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept. 25

There have been rumors for months that the Cottonwood credit union would expand their reach to Kooskia. They confirmed last week they will open a branch in the former Umpqua bank building on Main Street. We joined Cottonwood credit union (in addition to being Freedom Northwest Credit Union members) a few years back because they have a great construction loan program. They were nice to work with and contractor liked it because he got paid quickly. (Although Freedom Northwest Credit Union can in some cases help people to find construction financing, they do not have a formal construction loan program.) It will also be great to have one fewer vacant building in Kooskia.

September 19, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Flerchinger 3-on-3 memorial tourney will be Oct. 20

Fall sports are off and running, literally. The Clearwater Valley-Kamiah (CVK) cross-country team had a good showing in Deary (Moose Creek) last week, with Melanie Gianopulos winning the girls race, 41 seconds ahead of her closest rival during the 5 kilometer (roughly 3.1 miles) course. Three CVK boys placed in the top 20 led by Kevin Hill in 9th place, Preston Amerman in 16th, followed closely by Jace Sams in 17th place. The boys placed 3rd as a team; unfortunately, the girls don’t have enough runners for a team score. Great job to all the runners. I’ve heard there’s a tough hill in this race. When I saw Melanie warming up before the McCall race she was sporting a sweatshirt with “My sport is your sports punishment.” You’ve got to love running to be willing to put in the miles.

September 12, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Navajo Taco Feed set for this Friday night

I spent last Saturday afternoon amidst happy chaos at the youth zone at Kamiah Barbecue Days. I volunteered at the obstacle course, a large brightly colored inflatable feature with two lanes. Kids of all ages attempted to leap from one large ball to the next landing on their feet, their bellies, however they could manage, making their way across the course, then climbing out and shooting down the slide at the far end. My role, trying to keep some semblance of order, was an interesting challenge.

September 5, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kamiah and CV combine to form cross-country team

I spent a beautiful Saturday morning at the “dash and splash” high school invitational cross-country meet at Ponderosa State Park on the shores of Payette Lake near McCall. It was the first meet of the season for the combined Clearwater Valley- Kamiah High Schools. The team sports a different uniform with C-v-K instead of the usual CV Rams and Kamiah Kubs. Male and female runners from both schools share a single coach (Kamiah science teacher, Janna Privette) and practice and travel together.

August 29, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: ‘Black Panther’ to be shown Thursday night

Do you want to see the new science fiction/fantasy movie Black Panther? You’re in luck. It will be shown at Riverfront Park in Kamiah on Thursday, Aug. 16, as part of the Free Movie Night under the stars series sponsored by the Upriver Youth Leadership Council (UYLC), with support from the city of Kamiah, 3 D Video, Inland Cellular, and the chamber of commerce. Not only is the movie free, but if you want dinner beforehand, they are offering a free barbecue beginning at 6 p.m.

August 15, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Deaths of local young men sadden communities

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.

August 8, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Wagon Road Days set for weekend

The Silver Dollar Pizzeria and Pub painted their building a sharp looking dark blue green just in time for Stites Days. With the addition of the outdoor seating and the paint job, their whole look has changed. It appears that painting buildings is catching on in downtown Stites, first City Hall, now the Silver Dollar. That’s almost half the business district. I wonder who’s next? Stites Hardware? They even sell paint.

July 18, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Stites Days events set for this weekend

Far out! Mrs. Privette served as mission commander to lead the Space Shuttle Enterprise to outer space this summer! Kamiah High School science teacher (and track and cross-country coach) Janna Privette travelled to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama where she participated in a simulated space flight to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station. Her interest in participating began with the fascination that her students have with space travel. She was one of 224 science and math educators from around the world, chosen to participate in this five-day camp. Designing, building and launching rockets is one of the skills she hopes to share with her students.

July 11, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Fly In set for July 7 in Kamiah

Do you have a child or teen who wants to fly? The Clearwater Valley Aero Club will share the joy of flying by offering free introductory flights for youth ages 8-17. What an exciting opportunity and a beautiful area to fly over! This is part of the Kamiah Fly In on Saturday, July 7, at the Kamiah Airport at 121 Airport Road. Other activities are a classic car show, face painting and a silent auction. Breakfast and lunch are available for sale, with breakfast at 7 a.m. ($10 for adults, $5 for youth) and lunch at noon for only $3.

June 27, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Stites City Hall gets a new coat of paint

Does this cool, wet weather have you dreaming of Christmas? You’re in luck, the Clearwater Christmas Affair, Christmas in July event is coming up Friday-Saturday, July 13-14, at the American Legion Hall in Kamiah

June 20, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Plethora of summer activities available for all

School’s out for summer! Congratulations to all of the Kamiah High School and Clearwater Valley graduates! It turns out caps and gowns aren’t just for high school. I caught a video clip on Facebook of Maylei Ryan and her class graduating from pre-school last week wearing bright blue caps and gowns while reciting their A-B-Cs. Too cute for words! Off to kindergarten in the fall.

May 30, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Bar to host patio dance, live band this Friday night

The Silver Dollar Pizzeria and Pub in Stites is celebrating the completion of their outdoor covered patio with a grand opening on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. The Grant Webb Band will begin at 8 p.m., for dancing. They are a three-piece band described as southern rock and blues with country twang. You are welcome to come early for dinner. A mini-bar is available outside for beer and a few select drinks, so you don’t have to go inside at all if you don’t want to. I’ve enjoyed watching the transformation of the old outdoor space, a muddy patch with a chain link fence around it, to a nice paved patio with a high open-air roof. These last couple of weeks people have been out enjoying the space. They will have ice buckets with six beers for $13.

May 16, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Take mom to museum for dessert

I spent a fun Friday evening enjoying the last Kamiah Characters theater performance of the year as part of a great crowd of all ages. The play “How the West was Won or Black Hat Optional,” was a spoof on Western melodrama. It seemed a perfect play for the “Characters” since the parts encouraged them to have some fun and be over-the-top in their acting.

May 9, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Earth Day event draws about 100

The weather couldn’t have been better for Kamiah’s first Earth Day Festival on Friday. A week ago, it was raining and snowing, in the end we needed the tents for shade. We had a great crowd of 80-100 people show up to enjoy a diverse set of activities including yoga, gardening, making elk tracks, recycled art projects, trying percussion instruments and several natural resource booths on water use and forestry. It was fun to see the families enjoying pushing baby strollers and riding bikes to the event. People are already talking about what activities to do next year!

April 25, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Presbyterian spaghetti feed set for Friday

On Friday, I’ll be in downtown Kamiah for a spring festival for Earth Day, April 20, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. It’s a good variety of free activities geared for youth, but open to all ranging from recycling to forestry to yoga, water use, wildlife, culture and art. Hoping for nice weather, but will be mostly under tents if not. It’s a great opportunity to bring a mix of people and activities downtown, for the first outdoor event of the season.

April 18, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Create ‘junk journal’ April 20 at library

It’s National Library week so stop by your favorite library to see what’s new. I know that April at the Kamiah library has been spending time learning to use their new 3- D printer and making some fun and creative items. The Kooskia Library will hold its annual book sale on Saturday, April 21. They are happy to take donations of books, CDs and DVDs in advance of the sale. No magazines, you are encouraged to recycle those.

April 11, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Vendors sought for Earth Day activities

After last weekend’s Easter Services, egg hunts, family dinners, etc. the Easter season isn’t quite over. There’s one more chance to hear some inspirational Easter music. The Valley Singers will have our final performance of our Easter Cantata at St. Gertrude’s Monastery chapel at 3 p.m., on Sunday, April 7. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place to go, and if the weather’s nice a chance to go for a stroll behind the monastery. St. Gertrude’s will provide cookies and coffee afterwards. The concert is free to the public.

April 4, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Sunny track meet sees Smith take first in pole vault event

I spent a glorious sunny afternoon last Tuesday at the Kamiah invitational track meet with nine teams participating. I arrived in time to watch Kamiah runner Derek Loewen, in his bright red glasses, run a gutsy race to take third in the 3,200 meters (eight laps of the track takes strength and determination to run.) Then Luke Snyder placed 1st and Caden Massey, placed third, in the 100-meter hurdles. (I recognized Massey as the swaggering sheriff in Kamiah’s high school play this winter.) Kaleb Oatman had a great day winning shotput and discus as well as 1st place as part of the winning medley relay team along with Jace Sams, Michael MacMenamin and Thomas Reynolds. MacMenamin placed 2nd in the 800 meters and third in the pole vault.

March 28, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Busy week in valley schools

It was a week of back-to-school for me, spending time at three area schools. Tuesday afternoon, I stopped at Clearwater Valley elementary school for the spring art show/art-in-action. I walked into a gym filled with happy children, with glitter, glue and paint in abundance and music setting the pace. Displays of artwork created by each student in the school adorned the old room dividers (donated to the school from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest). Parents checked out the art displays, visited with each other and watched the art-in-action happening before their eyes.

March 21, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Valley Singers set Easter cantata dates

Spring is the time for singing, dancing and theater! This week the Clearwater Valley High School is presenting a musical version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella the Enchanted Edition. The CV theater program has performed spring musicals for the past three years since Mrs. Elizabeth Nuxoll began teaching music at the school. Nuxoll enjoys directing musicals since they are fun and lively. The larger cast sizes in musical theater allow more students to be involved. Twenty-six high school students form the cast and crew. In addition, shop and art teachers and their students constructed and painted the sets. Several parents are helping behind the scenes with costumes and props making this show a community affair.

March 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

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

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.

February 28, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kamiah looking to raise another $60k for track resurfacing

This past week I stayed up way too late watching the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Our American athletes, brown, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, immigrants or native born have skated, skied, jumped, flown, flipped and spun their hearts out on the world stage. Great to see the grace and style of our athletes and their respect for their teammates and competitors. It’s about so much more than sports and watching them makes me proud to be an American.

February 21, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley: Art show, BrewFest liven up week in Kamiah

Last Tuesday night the Muse Media February art opening was the place to be in Kamiah! Lauren Paterson, artist and Muse Media owner, welcomed a diverse group of artists with the theme What Does Equality Mean to You? An interesting mix of people came by to enjoy the varied art pieces and to mingle, snack and meet the artists. Ashlei Ryan was on hand with a display about YWCA’s local programs to support women and to answer questions. Cameron and Amelia provided some fun live music with guitar, drumming and vocals. Maylei Ryan, at age 5 the youngest artist featured in the show, painted a colorful piece almost as tall as she is. The show will be up for the month of February at Muse Media (410 Main Street, Kamiah). Artwork is for sale and 25 percent of the sales price will go to support the YWCA. We had fun at the Febrewary Brewfest in Kamiah on Saturday seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones. This chamber of commerce event featured local and regional craft beers and hard ciders. Lots of good brews, got to sample five, five-ounce drinks. It’s great to see the Chamber recognizing the craft brewing culture that is developing in our area with beer:30 taproom owner Brian Brokop leading the event. Local band the Syndicats entertained in the afternoon until the auction started.

February 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Brewfest on tap for this weekend

Last Tuesday, the women of Rose Wellness Center gathered at the Center for the full moon to honor the life of Julie Rose Wells. The group, led by Stacy McCusker, shared an evening of yoga, meditation and prayer. We also shared stories and poems about our unique friend Julie and the joy she brought to our lives and the Kooskia community. Her openness to people and acceptance of different ideas continues to inspire us. We enjoyed a potluck and fellowship afterwards.

February 7, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Groundhog Feed is Sunday

Lolo Pass is a bit of a drive, at the outer limits of Idaho County, but it is lovely up there, especially in wintertime. If you miss the snow and want to enjoy a full moon, the Lolo Pass Visitor Center will have their warming hut open from 4:30-8:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Friday, Feb. 2. They’ll have a fire going and hot chocolate and coffee. People are encouraged to cross-country ski or snowshoe on the trails there. You can rent snowshoes for $4 in both kids and adult sizes. Full moon skiing can be a thrill if you haven’t done it! Bring a headlamp to guide you when you’re in the trees. You will also need a winter recreation pass to park in the lot.

January 31, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Crab Feed on tap for Jan. 25-27

The biggest event of Kamiah’s winter social scene is fast approaching. The 41st annual Crab Feed offers three nights of all-you-can-eat crab dinner and entertainment on Jan. 25, 26 and 27th at the American Legion Hall in Kamiah. This year’s theme is Land of the Lost. A rock and roll band called the Kingpins will play Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets cost $30 for Thursday night and $35 for Friday and Saturday. Call 208-935-0200 or stop by the flower shop to buy tickets.

January 24, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kamiah whodunit play draws a crowd

A man has died under suspicious circumstances, alone in a locked garage. Household staff, Martha Lysol and Percy Wateryard, hoping for a windfall from his will make promises they may not keep. Then two women breeze into town claiming to be the victim’s long-lost daughters. Crazy Aunt Jemmy Jean, the victim’s sister, seems stuck in the past. A swaggering small-town sheriff, searches for clues and struggles to get to the bottom of it, with help from an intrepid news reporter, Freida Post, as bodies pile up.

January 17, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Kamiah News: Live theater returns to Kamiah

The “Kamiah Characters,” comprised of Kamiah High School students, returns to the stage this week performing a comedic play called Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will by Pat Cook. The play, directed by teachers Jody Dow and Taylie Hopkins, includes a large group of 20 students who have practiced intently since October. Dow describes the play as “soap opera, parody, dark comedy, murder mystery.” It sounds like fun to me! Hopkins and Dow teamed up to revive the high school drama program with their first murder mystery last spring. It’s wonderful to see these two fun, enthusiastic teachers offering students a creative outlet and some midwinter entertainment for the rest of us.

January 10, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Kamiah News: Live theater returns to Kamiah

The “Kamiah Characters,” comprised of Kamiah High School students, returns to the stage this week performing a comedic play called Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will by Pat Cook. The play, directed by teachers Jody Dow and Taylie Hopkins, includes a large group of 20 students who have practiced intently since October. Dow describes the play as “soap opera, parody, dark comedy, murder mystery.” It sounds like fun to me! Hopkins and Dow teamed up to revive the high school drama program with their first murder mystery last spring. It’s wonderful to see these two fun, enthusiastic teachers offering students a creative outlet and some midwinter entertainment for the rest of us.

January 9, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: America already is great

One of last year’s buzz phrases was “make America great again.” It makes me sad, that people don’t think this is a great country. I have always thought America is great. Maybe I come from a different perspective as a first generation American. My mother’s parents chose this country, or more accurately people in this country chose them. An Ohio farm family, through a Lutheran church program, sponsored my grandparents and my Mom to come to the United States after World War II. My grandfather was chosen because of his good deeds helping fellow refugees at a camp in Germany.

December 27, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: ‘Xmas’ is OK: Christ is still there!

Wishing you a happy winter solstice on Thursday! We have almost survived the darkest days of the year. Winter solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years as the beginning of the solar year, a time to welcome the light back into our lives. Great to have a bonfire or light candles, the days only get longer from here. (I think I’ll get the seed catalogues out and dream of gardening.)

December 20, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Harpster program draws large crowd

Happy anniversary to me! It’s been a whole year since I started writing this column. It’s an honor to be a Free Press correspondent in the long tradition of historic icon Frances Zaunmiller-Salmon River and more recent “living legends”- Marie Smith- Lowell/Syringa and Jeannie Fitch- Riggins who have been correspondents for a long time. I’ve had fun going to events and new businesses in my column area- Harpster, Clearwater, Stites, Kooskia and Kamiah. I’ve met some great people along the way and learned some interesting things about the communities.

December 13, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Get a real Christmas tree in Stites or Kamiah

Christmas tree, O Christmas tree… If you want to cut your own live tree close to town, check out McFeron’s Christmas Tree Farm on Lukes Gulch Road. Just cross the South Fork bridge in Stites, turn left and go ¼ mile and turn right. Trees are $25 each. Call 208-926-7301. For a blue spruce tree, a place at 1580 Roby Road off Highway 162 near Kamiah is selling them, also $25; call 208-935-1220.

December 6, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: CVES book fair on tap for this week

I’ve been seeing bald eagles perched on trees or fishing along the South Fork and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers on my way to work. This magnificent bird has been an official symbol of our country since 1782, representing freedom and strength. We almost lost the species in the 1960’s. Bald eagle populations have since recovered to roughly 10,000 breeding pairs thanks to the conservation protections in the Endangered Species Act. The recovery of bald eagles is a true conservation success story with delisting in 2007. It would be a terrible thing to lose the bird that symbolizes our freedom. While there has been a lot of hype this fall about a different symbol of our freedom, the national anthem, I am thankful that bald eagles have endured and are still flying high!

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

Clearwater Valley News: Singers, bell ringers to perform next week

The Valley Singers & Bell Ringers and the Children of God singers (COGS) are providing two free concerts to inspire people for the Christmas season. Concerts are at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 29 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Both performances will be held at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church at 407 7th Street in Kamiah. People are welcome to stay afterwards to meet the musicians and enjoy cookies, punch and coffee.

November 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Millage is featured photographer

I’ve been watching the progress of the new construction of a log cabin in Stites for the past few months. It’s a nice looking little cabin at the downstream end of town. It’s great to see a new building going up in Stites. I’ve been curious about the fate of the Kooskia Opera House, so I stopped to see Marcia Graves at Graves Nursery and Thrift Store. She and Mike are excited to have sold it to a younger family who are in the process of moving here from out of state. I checked with Umpqua Bank about what they are planning to do with their bank building in Kooskia once they close the bank in January. They plan to sell the building as quickly as possible. Hoping that someone with deep pockets will see a future for this building.

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

Clearwater Valley News: It’s T. Hanks month at the Kamiah Library

On Halloween I strolled through downtown Kamiah with a couple of friends to check out the cute costumed kids. Main Street closed to vehicle traffic and the children lined up on the center line for costume judging. Some clever costumes, a woman dressed as a giant M&M candy, with all her kids dressed as mini M&Ms, a ghost buster family, a dragon, Cruella.

November 8, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kooskia’s Umpqua to close

Saturday was a beautiful day to run fast! Two CV Rams runners and seven Kamiah Kubs runners travelled to Eagle, Idaho, to compete in the 1A State Cross-Country championships running a 5 km (3.1 mile) course. CV Rams runner Melanie Gianopulos placed third in the girls’ race in a time of 20:24:98. Cross Country coach Janna Privette told me that this was Melanie’s first trip to state and a huge accomplishment for such a young runner.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Cross-country runners qualify for state

Our Kamiah Kubs and CV Rams cross-country runners competed at the district meet last week with great success. Nine of the 18 runners qualified for the State of Idaho meet in Eagle Saturday, Oct. 28. CV Rams runner, Melanie Gianopulos, and Kubs runner, Michael MacMenamin, both placed first in the girls’ and boys’ races respectively, both setting personal records with their winning times! The Kamiah boys team placed third and qualified for the state meet as a team of seven runners. Freshman Kub runner Jace Sams placed eighth overall while sophomore Derek Loewen placed 19th overall, reducing his time by an astounding five minutes from last year. Rams runner, junior Kevin Hill, qualified for state after just missing qualifying last year. Good luck to the CV and Kamiah runners at State! Coach Janna Privette is optimistic about her runners’ continued success next weekend. On Halloween, kids are invited to join the October costume contest after school. They will line up in front of the Kamiah fire station for judging, then proceed to trick-or-treat at the Main Street businesses. Taffee at the Chamber, tells me this is her favorite event of the year; the costumes and the kids are great!

October 25, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Ringers and Singers start holiday practices

I woke up early to the sound of silence on Sunday, yes the dreadful silence of another power outage when the refrigerator and freezer stopped. We fired up the camp stove and made coffee and eggs on the porch. Thankfully this was a “short” outage of only six hours. Nothing like the weeks long power outages in Puerto Rico, I hope things will improve there soon. Good news for the Elk City Wagon Road and the town of Clearwater. The Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest awarded a contract to improve the driveability of the route, while maintaining its historic character. The successful bidder is Flash Excavation of Harpster. Great to see a local contractor get this job. The improvements will make it easier for people to travel and enjoy this historical route.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Muse Media opens its doors in Kamiah

Lauren Paterson has just opened a great new business in Kamiah called Muse Media at 410 Main Street (between the post office and the Hub) She combines her experience and education in art, journalism and technology to offer digital media support to small businesses, non-profits and everyday people to help them connect to the larger world. I stopped in to meet her last week and found her easy to talk to and bubbling over with creativity in sharing the types of digital solutions her business offers.

October 11, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: CV communities work together for residents

No column for me last week as I was traveling in the Black Hills of South Dakota with my sister. It gave me a patriotic feeling to walk around Mt. Rushmore, through the Avenue of the Flags (featuring all of the state flags). Seeing the carved faces of four of our early presidents carved eloquently in stone reminded me of the enduring nature of our country. I met people from many states and other countries. For the last few weeks, people have weighed in on patriotism based on whether NFL football players stand or kneel for the pre-game national anthem. For me the flag and the anthem are not an end to themselves but a symbol of our country’s values. It’s about how we treat other people and welcome other into our communities and our respect for other people’s first amendment rights.

October 4, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Celebrate ‘Banned Book Week’ by reading

Next week, Sept. 24-30, is Banned Books week, an annual awareness campaign by the American Library Association and others that celebrates our freedom to read what we choose. The Clearwater Valley has a great library system- Prairie River Library District, with branches in both Kooskia and Kamiah.

September 20, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Beer :30 taproom opens in Kamiah

Clearwater Brewing Company just opened their taproom in Kamiah! We checked it out last weekend. It’s a small, casual place with a variety of craft beers and ciders on tap. (They also have a few wines and huckleberry Mountain Dew and huckleberry Pepsi). I’m happy to see they feature Idaho County beers with two of Wolftrack Brewery’s most popular beers from Cottonwood. Beer :30 owner, Brian Brokop worked for months on remodeling the building, installing equipment and pursuing various approvals from the city, county and State of Idaho.

September 13, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Eat Navajo tacos in Big Cedar this Friday

If you’re looking for a great deal for dinner Friday night, (Sept. 8) head up in the hills to the Big Cedar Schoolhouse for a Navajo taco, soft drink and dessert for only $5 per person. Dinner is from 5-7 p.m. This annual event by the Big Cedar homemakers women’s group raises money to maintain the historic 1920 schoolhouse, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you haven’t been to the schoolhouse it’s about 10 miles southeast of Kooskia at 948 Red Fir Road, at the junction with Big Cedar Road.

September 6, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Drop used solar eclipse glasses at libraries

Are you wondering what to do with your eclipse glasses? April Blankenship at the Kamiah library told me the library district is collecting used solar eclipse glasses for Astronomers without Borders. (Who knew there was such a group?) They will stockpile them and distribute glasses to schools in South America and Asia for the 2019 eclipse. It’s a great way to recycle your glasses and help some kids safely enjoy the eclipse in the future. You can just drop them off at any Prairie River Library Branch- Kamiah, Kooskia, Lapwai, etc.

August 30, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Chief Lookingglass Powwow impressive

I went to my first Chief Lookingglass Powwow last Friday in Kamiah. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I showed up at the “Powwow grounds” on Friday night, next to the Wa-a’Yas community center. People gathered in a large circle, sitting on lawn chairs or bleachers with a great view of the surrounding hills.

August 23, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Valley Market offers lunches

So many festivals, so little time! I only passed briefly through Kooskia Days on Saturday on the way to a birthday party at Colter Creek Winery in Juliaetta. It looked like a lot of people in town and booths all up and down Main Street in Kooskia. Sadly, I was too full on the way home to stop at the fry bread booth.

August 9, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Harpster RV Park grand opening draws crowd

A bunch of people turned out for the grand opening of the Harpster Store and RV Park on Sunday night. Great to have something happening in downtown Harpster! New owners Michelle and Will Sherriffs and former owners Monty and Brenda Spears cooked up some tasty ribs and chickens on the grill, with pasta salad and baked beans. People enjoyed hanging out in and around the gazebo on the banks of the South Fork Clearwater, having a beer or a soda and visiting with friends and neighbors.

August 2, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News - Modern day adventure had on Magruder Road

Instead of going to the Elk City Wagon Road days two weekends back, I had a modern day adventure on another historic trail, the Magruder Road. The route follows roughly the Sout#hern Nez Perce Trail that cut through the Bitterroot Mountains by climbing to seven ascents to summits followed by descents to water sources.

July 26, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Wagon Road Days set for this weekend

On Friday night, July 14, the Kamiah High School gym will be open for families to play games and compete in activities. From 6- 8 p.m., kindergarten through seventh grade youth and their families are welcome to participate in this free, healthy, family-friendly event. A similar session for teens from 8th grade to 12th grade, and their families, will run from 8:30 -11 p.m.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Stites Days events set for this weekend

The summer season is here and seems like an event or two every weekend. If you want to get out of the heat on Friday, July 7, head up to Lolo Pass Visitor Center, elevation 5,233 feet. Chuck Raddon, an Orofino resident and member of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Association will share his knowledge of Lolo trail history with a free, family-friendly interpretive program. His talk is entitled “Where history bumps into itself on the Lolo Trail”. Meet at the Visitor Center 10 a.m., Pacific Time. His talk will end with a short walk at nearby Packer Meadow.

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

Clearwater Valley News: ‘Christmas in July’ vendors sought

Ever heard the term “ham” radio and wondered what the heck it is? The Three Rivers Amateur Radio club wants to show you at their field day on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. They will have three radio transmitters and temporary antennas at Kamiah’s Riverfront Park and encourage the people to stop by and check it out beginning at 11 a.m., on Saturday ending at 11 a.m., on Sunday. This technology has been around for 100 years but can now work in conjunction with smartphones or tablets. It can be set up almost anywhere as an independent communications network. For information call David Brainerd at 926-7886 or visit

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

Clearwater Valley News: Harpster RV has new owners

Mea Culpa, I inadvertently referred to the Backroads Diner in Kooskia as the Hometown Diner in last week’s column. I guess I conflated home cooking with hometown, or thought I was somewhere else. I did get the caption right for the photo, since the name is on the sign. I still need to try a burger to see if they are really the best around.

June 7, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Grab a huckleberry shake at the Log Yard

The Kamiah cemetery always looks so patriotic for Memorial Day, with many large flags flapping in the breeze. People were streaming in on Friday placing flowers. (see photo) I stopped at the Log Yard restaurant in Kamiah for a huckleberry milkshake. (It’s just the thing on an 80-degree day!) I learned from Crystal the exciting news that Dawn Marie just got a full liquor license and will start serving drinks in addition to food. It’s a cozy little place, with a simple menu and some interesting specials.

May 31, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Couple marries at Harpster area ranch

Spring is for weddings, track meets and graduations. Last Saturday, Calla Hagle and Jake McGarry married at her parents’ (Sue Hagle and John Hetzner’s) 2 Lazy H ranch near Harpster. Countless friends and family members from all over the country gathered for a beautiful outdoor ceremony. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The couple travelled in traditional style in a horse-drawn cart driven by Larry Nims. (see photo). The celebration continued for several days, with many guests camping on site. Best wishes to this wonderful couple!

May 24, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Help clean up Stites this Saturday

Great to see all of the Nez Perce Tribal members in Kamiah for spring general counsel meetings last week. The three-day event at the Wa-A-Yas Center included meetings, presentations and booths from tribal leadership, tribal staff and affiliated groups. The week ended with elections for the Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee. Bill Picard, McCoy Oatman and Casey Mitchell won council seats 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Educators invited to partake in some free pampering

On my drive home today, within a few miles of my house, I saw grass so green it hurt to look at it, fruit trees in blossom, turkeys strutting their stuff, intermingled with a herd of whitetails, elk galloping about, what a beautiful site. And the rain continues. I feel badly for farmers, ranchers, loggers, etc., who have a hard time working because of the endless rain and mud, but soon we may be complaining about the hot and dry weather.

May 3, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Equine education day set for April 29

Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day. Americans have observed this day since 1970 to raise awareness of air, water and soil pollution. Typical activities are picking up trash along roads, planting trees and recycling. The Kooskia recycling center will be open 10 a.m. to noon. Drop off sorted metal cans, office paper, newspaper, catalogs, magazines, cardboard and plastic containers (with caps removed). For information about what they accept go to

April 19, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Kidder celebrates 97th

Kenneth Kidder (AKA Kenny), a longtime Harpster area resident celebrated his 97th birthday last weekend. He moved to the Harpster area in 1938 when his parents Ray and Flo bought a homestead property east of Harpster. Kenneth lived on the property until recent years when he moved to Grangeville. A kind, happy and thoughtful man, he always has stories to tell and makes us smile. He began playing the fiddle at age nine and played for many dances and other events over the years. Family, and friends from his Harpster neighborhood joined Kenny Sunday afternoon and shared laughter, stories, hugs, desserts and homemade blackberry and plum wines.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Witches Brew offers organic coffee

I stopped at the new Witches Brew Coffee and Tea Shop in Kooskia last week and had a great cup of organic coffee with Julie Wells, the owner. (see photo). It is a small, simple, brightly colored space intended to complement the massage, yoga, meditation, book groups and other activities that she offers at Rose Wellness Center.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Join committee to save Opera House

I talked to Gloria Taylor of Harpster about the newly formed Old Opera House (Kooskia) Cultural Committee. She is excited that 25 people came to the initial meeting in early March, with lots of great ideas. They plan to buy this lovely historic building and use it as a community center, artist studios, art gallery and performance space for children through adults.

March 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: ICARE barn dance set for March 25

Water, water everywhere! Whew, what a storm last week with heavy snow, then rain and wind that wreaked havoc with power lines out throughout our area. Thanks to the Idaho Power and Light crews who worked hard to get everyone’s electricity restored. Though outage times varied, in Harpster Heights we were dark for 38 hours, the longest outage I’ve experienced in five years here. The tiny intermittent creek in front of our house roared so loudly after the storm that it sounded like a waterfall. Water is cascading off the cliffs along the South Fork Clearwater and shooting out in surprising places. Ducks were swimming in flooded pastures to get out of the river current. It’s been nice to see the calm weather and sunshine over the weekend.

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

Clearwater Valley News: VEST dinner is Saturday

March 14th is National “Pi” day. It’s a day to honor “Pi”, the number that represents the ratio of circle to its diameter, roughly 3.14. (You may remember this from high school math class.) A great way to celebrate this day to eat a slice of pie, since a pie is a circle. The Hearthstone Bakery (in Kamiah) serves some great pie, my favorite is the coconut cream. They display their pies in a revolving glass case by the front counter. I sometimes watch the pies spin while I wait for my coffee. They will even sell you a whole pie if you order ahead.

March 8, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Construction renovation work continues on East Kooskia Bridge

It’s construction season in the Clearwater Valley. Work will continue on the east Kooskia bridge (see photo) for a few weeks. In Kamiah, two buildings disappeared without a trace last week- the house on Hill St. that, sadly, burned in a house fire last month, and the building just above the Freedom Northwest Credit Union on Main Street. Separate work crews made quick work of dismantling the buildings and leveling the sites for future work.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Becoming a ‘locavore’

Bummer about the Lolo Pass snow sports demo day getting cancelled last weekend due to warming conditions. It sounded like it would have been a fun time. Hopefully all of the same partners will rally and make it happen next year.

February 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: ‘Surf’ at Lolo Pass this Saturday — or take in ‘Brew Fest’

Groundhog Day seemed to be a turning point in the weather, with snow, rain, hail, mudflows since then. An exciting and beautiful drive on Friday, as the ice broke up and huge chunks floated down the Clearwater River. It’s not quite spring yet, but it sure seems possible now! The final count for the Groundhog Day Feed in Clearwater is 444 breakfast eaters and 3,540 pounds of sausage (including sausage sold to take home). Wow, that’s a lot of hogs!

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

Clearwater Valley News: ‘Febrewary’ — Kamiah Brewfest on tap for Feb. 18

When is it okay to spell February as “Febrewary”? When you are talking about Kamiah’s upcoming Brewfest! This event, sponsored by the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce, features local breweries- Wolf Track, Trestle, Clearwater and Riverport. While I can’t personally vouch for the rest of them, I’m a big fan of Wolf Track, Idaho County’s oldest brewery. We always carry an empty growler or two to take some beer home when we’re heading to Cottonwood and enjoy visiting with brewers John and Polly.

February 8, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Brandt chosen as commission chair

One benefit of the longer days is that I’m commuting in the daylight more often. I’ve noticed some gorgeous ice falls on the cliffs along the South Fork Clearwater. I stopped to take a photo of the ones across from Clearwater Valley High School.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Groundhog Feed set for Feb. 5

I’ve been hearing some buzz about the Rose Wellness Center in Kooskia so I tried a yoga class. I enjoyed the energy of Stacy McCusker’s yoga somaflow. One movement flowed into the next, calm, never rushed. At the end of an hour, every muscle in my body felt relaxed. Wonderful! Check out Stacy’s Facebook page- Vital Movement Therapy — for class times and descriptions. If you want to know more about the other two women- Julie Rose and Sharon Sedgwick and everything else that happens at Rose Wellness Center, check out the Rose Wellness Facebook page. Great to see this new women-owned small business added to downtown Kooskia at 33 and 101 Esther Street.

January 25, 2017 6 a.m. read more..

Clearwater Valley News: Event includes ‘tastes of heaven’

I had fun tasting a variety of food with some friends at the Taste of the Clearwater event in Kooskia on Saturday night. Five Kooskia-Kamiah restaurants provided small plates of some of their favorite foods while Cloninger’s provided beer and wine. Kooskia Café, The Hub Bar & Grill, Backroads Diner, The Log Yard and the Kamiah Hotel Bar & Grill hosted the food booths. After tasting all of the food, people voted for their favorite restaurant, with Kamiah Hotel winning the people’s choice award for the second year.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Talent great at Christmas show

As I write this, I’m still high from watching the Kooskia Opera House’s Christmas variety show. The joyful buzz as we entered the Kooskia Opera House, the women dressed in sparkling holiday dresses, the festive decorations, and the audience sing-alongs of familiar tunes all got me in the Christmas spirit.

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

Clearwater Valley News: Stores open for last-minute needs

Do you believe it’s only the first day of winter? Happy winter solstice! From Latin “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (stop), it is the day that the sun appears to stop moving across the sky. People around the world have celebrated it for thousands of years on this shortest day of the year, traditionally with singing, dancing, feasting and bonfires. So light a fire in your fire pit, or a candle or just sit by your woodstove with food and drink and welcome the return of the light and longer days.

December 21, 2016 6 a.m. read more..


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