Palouse Falls State Park photo

Gorgeous Palouse Falls State Park.

CLEARWATER VALLEY — Drought, what drought? While I know there is a difference between long-term climate and short-term weather, it seems a little damp lately. Here in Harpster Heights, we have recorded more than four inches of rain, just in the first week of May. I love how green the grass is. The little intermittent stream near our house is roaring as it cascades out of the culvert onto the riprap below. For some serious water drops, I stopped to see the dramatic falls at Palouse Falls State Park near Pomeroy.

The moisture has wreaked havoc with spring sports. CVHS athletic director Alan Hutchens sends updates to his sports-lovers email list multiple times a day to keep up with cancellations and rescheduling of softball, baseball and tennis. Even when it’s not raining, sometimes the fields are just too wet for play.

Track and field seem less affected by the weather than the other sports. Even though Clearwater Valley practices on a dirt track, all their meets are held on surfaced tracks. Congratulations to the Clearwater Valley Rams Middle School girls’ team, who placed first of 11 teams at the Kamiah Middle School invitational. The Rams bested the Prairie Pirates by nine points. Great job, Rams!

Pickleball anyone?

With the end of spring sports in sight, the effervescent Hutchens is sharing summer sports options. He wonders if anyone wants to play pickleball on the tennis courts this summer? What the heck is pickleball? It is a racquet sport with roots in badminton, ping pong and tennis. The sport was first played in the 1960s, but has exploded in popularity in recent years. Hutchens is considering starting a league for people 15 years or older. Contact him by email at if you are interested.

Both basketball and football day camps are offered for kids. Coach Bryson Shira invites boys and girls ages 8-14 to “take your basketball skill to the next level.” The camp, scheduled for June 6-11, runs from 10 a.m.-noon each day at Clearwater Valley Elementary School (both indoors and outdoors). The cost is $30 per child. Call Shira at 208-305-0153 or email Sign up by June 1.

The second annual Coach Hutchens Youth Football camp is planned for June 25, from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. It is open to boys and girls in grades 3-8. The $50 fee includes an event T-shirt. I stopped by football camp last year and it seemed like a hit with the kids. Register by June 2. Contact Hutchens by email at or by phone at 208-816-9395.

The Friends of the Elk City Wagon Road invites you to join them for their annual “Dessert at the Museum” event on Saturday, May 14, 1-4 p.m. at the Elk City Wagon Road Museum located in Clearwater Grange Hall. Coffee, tea and dessert by donation. For information call Carol at 208-926-7465 or Susanne at 208-926-4278.

Election signs for county, state, federal and tribal elections proliferate throughout the valley. Congrats to the winners in the Nez Perce Tribal Executive committee (NPTEC) elections last weekend with Elizabeth Arthur Attao, Shannon Wheeler and Mary Jane Miles prevailing for the three seats on the nine-member committee.

As the May 17 primary election draws near, the fever pitch of letters to the editor, social media posts, mailers and candidate visits have intensified. Sad to see the ugliness of the Republican-on-Republican attack ads, the name-calling, the blatant lies to try to discredit candidates. Glad this phase will be over soon! Remember to vote on Tuesday, May 17 at your regular polling place. If you don’t vote, you give away your power.

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