St. Mary's Clinic in Kamiah

The construction on St. Mary’s Kamiah Clinic is coming along nicely.

CLEARWATER VALLEY -- This Sunday is one of the few days a year where the normally sleepy streets of Clearwater are packed with vehicles. The popular Groundhog Day Breakfast, in its 57th year, runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features pancakes, eggs and sausage for $8 each. It is held at the Oddfellows (IOOF) Lodge on Main Street, Clearwater. Mary Bishop, a delightful woman, the group’s oldest member, well into her 90s, is providing a quilt for this year’s raffle. I caught up with the event’s leader, Patsy Hunter, this weekend to ask about the breakfast, a fund-raiser for the lodge. Hunter, a 4th generation member of the lodge, has been involved since she was a young girl, more than 50 years ago. Funds raised from the breakfast help maintain the IOOF Hall, built in 1907, and support Lodge programs including donations for people’s medical expenses, local food banks, dinners for local funerals, and a scholarship fund. The building is used for free for local funeral dinners and service events like the Clearwater QRU spaghetti feed (March 14 this year). It is available for rent for $30 per day for other activities such as children’s birthday parties and monthly Bingo gatherings.

Are you ready to get fit in February? Do you like 1.) hitting stuff, 2.) burning calories fast, 3.) building endurance and 4.) working out with a motivated group? Matt Hickman at the HKD Martial Arts Academy (the dojo) is offering a new High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.T.T) kickboxing class beginning Feb. 12 continuing each Wednesday through April 1, from 6-7 p.m. at 4347 Highway 12 (between Kooskia and Kamiah). Classes are $10 each or $70 for all 8 classes. See HKD’s Facebook page for info.

For more fitness, on Feb. 15, at 10 a.m., Melanie Gianopulos (a star runner at Clearwater Valley High School) is hosting a 3-kilometer (approximately 1.8 miles) fun run/walk as her senior project. The event will take place on the grounds of the Clearwater Valley junior/senior high schools. Funds raised will benefit St. Mary’s heart rehab center in Cottonwood in honor of Melanie’s dad, Tim, who died in September of congestive heart failure. Preregistration is $15 for adults, $10 for ages 13-18 with 12 and under free. Prices increase by $5 after Feb. 8. The short distance and off-road location make it a great family activity. Celebrate the day after Valentines Day by keeping your own heart healthy and help others. Looks for Melanie’s senior project on Facebook.

Speaking of the St. Mary’s Clinic, the new Kamiah building is coming along nicely. It dwarfs the current building, encompassing half of a city block. Construction is continuing into the spring.

I spend a bit of time on Facebook and enjoy the inspirational quotes, cute baby, dog and cat photos, etc. I don’t think I am alone in being annoyed with people trying to debate complex issues by ranting at strangers in all caps. The new adage “Life is short, so don’t spend your time arguing with strangers on Facebook!” holds true for me. For the most part, I resist the urge to weigh in. If you want to have actual face-to-face conversations with real live people about challenging topics, the Kamiah Community Library hosts a unique monthly book club, called “Open Minds, Open Books.” Past topics include white supremacy, missing and murdered indigenous women, misogyny and gender identity. The group meets in the back room of the Kamiah Community Library (505 Main Street) at 5 p.m. (until roughly 7 p.m.) on the first Tuesday of each month and includes a potluck dinner. Unlike most book clubs where everyone reads the same book, this club is organized by topic, with each member finding their own choice of books, podcasts, articles, etc. with help from their friendly library staff. Each person has a chance to share what they have learned about the topic from their book plus their own life experience. The topic for the Feb. 4 meeting is “immigration” and the March 3 meeting “body image.” Anyone who wants to participate in a deep dive into the topics and a respectful discussion is welcome to attend. Contact the Kamiah community library at 208-935-0428 for info.

“Without truth there’s no trust. Without trust there’s no good democracy.” Last week I addressed the Mountain View School Board about meeting their newly signed ethics standards. Let’s hope that more people will speak the truth and demonstrate integrity in 2020.

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