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Editorial Policy: Letters to the Editor may be up to 250 words in length. A handwritten signature (unless emailed), address and telephone number must be included. Letters must be received by no later than Monday at noon. Letters should pertain to a local issue and not be libelous or distasteful. Letters may be edited for content and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Clearwater Progress.

All I Have to Say Print E-mail
Written by Ben Jorgensen, The Clearwater Progress   

Finish your race

     The fastest runner doesn’t always win his race so don’t ever give up on trying to win despite trailing.

     This notion was reinforced during the Idaho State Track meet at Middleton last weekend where hundreds of boys and girls from all over the state competed.

     And some fell. Hard.

     One particular 300 meter hurdle boys race resulted in a difficult ending for one young man. He had sped beyond all competitors to give himself a very comfortable lead when the unthinkable occurred at the last hurdle. His foot caught the top of the obstacle starting a chain reaction leading to him thudding face first into the track.

     It seemed if he could have bounded right back up he would have still had a chance to fight for a qualifying position for the next day’s medal winning race. He willed himself to his feet, took a step and then fell again. Seven racers whooshed past ending any dream he had of medaling in the event. To his great credit he rose again and hobbled across the finish line. Expectations can quickly change from feeling the hope of victory to hoping you can just plain finish what you started.

     Life and track are much alike. Sacrifice, commitment and much effort must be given in the pursuit of performing well, no matter whether it’s the triple jump or parenting. Success comes at a cost of lots and lots of time practicing the same action again and again until it becomes muscle memory.

     You don’t get to State simply by wanting to just as you don’t end up with well-behaved kids simply by wanting them to be good. You have to do very well at districts in order to qualify. In order to do well at districts you have to do a mountain of training.

     So it is with the day to day living. We train our habits, both good and bad. Sometimes we need some coaching to run straighter or try a different approach.

     But despite all the training, surprises still happen beyond one’s control. This year, the sky spat and cried all over the track for much of the day. Athletes carried on. There were some slips and dropped batons, abrasions, bruises and tears, both physical and emotional.

     There are moments when we feel like life is going along nicely and the future looks ever so promising. Then discombobulation arrives; A deer runs into our lane, a mill closes, a relationship unexpectedly hits the dirt.

     Expectations slip away shockingly fast as questions abound: what happened, what went wrong? Now what?

     Kamiah has certainly hit some hurdles over the past year. The destructive wildfires of 2015 and the recent closure of one of the community’s largest employers, Blue North mill, have knocked the sail from the mast.

     Like the kid who had victory in his grasp one moment only to hurt badly while limping onward the next, so too has our expectations been given a reality check. We find out what we are made of through loss and disappointment that cannot be discovered by winning every race.

     We will not win every race, but we should prepare, and practice, and run as if we can. For the young man who rose from a tangled heap at Middleton’s track, he demonstrated greatness of courage and strength in rising up and finishing his race. He won much more than the value of a medal that day and so can we by following such an example.

Letters to the Editor Print E-mail

Kids infuse hope for the future

     A pleasant surprise awaited me at the last Kamiah School Board meeting. The graduating class presented their Senior Projects to the school board and school officials. What a joy it was listening to each student describe their project. It was obvious that many of these projects will have a direct impact on the student’s career choices. I walked away from this meeting with a renewed hope in the future of our great state. Go Kubs!

Bob Blakey


Candidate for the Idaho House of Representatives

Withdrawing candidacy

     It was not my original plan to be a candidate for elected office this year, however, I decided to become a write-in candidate because of my dissatisfaction with Commissioner Chmelik’s positions and performance.

     I oppose his position on the takeover of public lands which, in my view, is a total waste of time and contrary to the majority of residents’ feedback in Idaho County.

     I also disagree with the commission’s decision to spend county funds on Mr. Chmelik’s personal public lands foundation. I oppose brothers-in-law serving together as commissioners because it threatens transparency and open meeting laws.

     It’s disheartening to watch the commission’s lack of support for community and organization block grant requests i.e. Kids Klub, hospital…; they make community organizations, who are already hard working volunteers, jump through unnecessary hoops to gain their grant approval sponsorship.

     I oppose commissioners spending little time on the job for receiving $25k salary plus benefits. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the commission voted to pay themselves $100 per meeting outside of the courthouse—that put me over the edge. When I served six years as commissioner, I attended over five meetings a week outside of commission meeting days; frankly, it’s part of the job. I consistently hear the commissioners complain about the federal government’s inefficiencies and then watch their mishandling of the county garbage issue.  They brokered a 10-year contract for garbage service touting it to save county money when in fact, according to the county’s budget/expenditure report printed in the local newspaper, there is over a 30% increase in garbage service expenditures with no sensible solution to county garbage in sight.

     I am an experienced county commissioner elected to two terms and worked hard for those I served. I know what good county commission service looks like and wanted to be sure this commission seat went back to good service which includes listening to and working with Idaho County residents.

     I disagree with Mr. Chmelik that the election results were the result of a rigorous campaign against him by “green groups – environmentalists” who did a hatchet job on him, but rather, concerned Idaho County Republicans were overwhelmingly opposed to his performance and actions.

     I visited with Denis Duman, who defeated Mr. Chmelik, and am satisfied with his views and goals as county commissioner. Knowing the commission position is adequately filled, I am withdrawing as an Idaho County Commissioner candidate.

Jim Rehder


Crafty Democrats

     So Jim Rehder and other Idaho County Democrats urged other like-minded non-Republicans to register as Republicans to vote in the primary to defeat Commissioner Jim Chmelik and Senator Sheryl Nuxoll. (Tribune May 21)

     They just lie about their party affiliation to cheat the system. No big deal to them. Of course lying and cheating seems to be the way of the Democrats from Hillary on down nowadays. Hard for us fair and honest people to think like that. No wonder Democrats can’t get elected here.

     I’ve known Carl Crabtree for over 50 years and always thought highly of him. I don’t know Denis Duman. I just hope those two were not a part of the unfair, sleazy tactics used to get them elected and that they are really conservative Republicans at heart. We’ll see.

Lucky Brandt


Guest Editorial Print E-mail

Life is positioning

By Glenn Mollette

     Good fishing requires positioning. Baiting your hook and dropping it in a place where there are fish is a start to successful fishing.

     A salesman needs prospects and attitude. One shoe salesman was sent to Africa and called home crying, “Get me out of here! Nobody wears shoes!” Another salesman was sent and called back saying, “Send me every pair of shoes in the warehouse. I’ve never seen so many prospects!”

     Selling requires having a product that people either need or very much want. People don’t need candy but they want candy so they buy it. People don’t really want to spend money on insurance but they need it. Sell what people want or need and you will sell.

     Obtaining a certain job requires positioning. Becoming a schoolteacher requires college, teacher education, supervision and certification. You have to work hard and position yourself for potential opportunities.

     A young man wants to be lucky in dating and maybe marriage. Yet, he may refuse to change his lifestyle. He doesn’t want to hold down a job, refuses to lose twenty pounds and is rude and inconsiderate. Thus, he refuses to try to position himself for potential dating prospects.

     Every facet of life requires positioning. Positioning yourself for stability, success, or a major change always requires lots of time, training, sacrifice and commitment. Nothing is guaranteed, but with positioning comes potential.

     Retiring at 65 most likely requires sacrifice the 30 years prior. It doesn’t always require 30 years.  A friend of mine was flat broke at 50. He rented an old abandoned hamburger stand with an option to buy. He and his wife cleaned it up and worked it hard for sixteen years. They made the best food in town and averaged pocketing over $300,000 a year. They were able to retire. He knew at the age of 50 that he had to position himself if he had any chance of truly retiring.

     Where do you want to be and what do you want five or ten years from now? Start positioning yourself today and in a few years it just might work. However, it never comes with a snap of the finger. A garden is produced from preparing the soil, planting, cultivating and tending to the field. In time, you will reap some kind of a harvest if you don’t quit.

     A lot of counties across America are hurting economically. People have left and nobody seems to be coming back to take over. The future of depressed areas begins today and it will probably take years to position these areas for economic stability. We all want it now, but we have to start today with hopes for tomorrow.

     America needs to recuperate. We have debt to pay. We have an infrastructure to rebuild. There are millions of jobs that we must recapture and bring home. We have a military to strengthen and healthcare challenges. We can get to where we need to be. Getting there will take hard work and positioning ourselves to be where we need to be to accomplish what we want to do.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of 11 books and read in all 50 states.  

Guest Editorial Print E-mail

The time to prepare for wildfire season is now

By Anna Fernández-Gevaert

American Red Cross

     The devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta, are a wake-up call that we all need to prepare for wildfire season here in Idaho. Most communities are at risk for wildfires—burning embers can travel far and cause wildfires almost anywhere, even in large urban areas. To make sure you and your family are prepared for whatever happens this summer, follow these tips from the American Red Cross.

     Download the Red Cross Wildfire App. The free Red Cross Wildfire App is a great tool to have at hand—it tells you what to do before, during and after a wildfire, and sends you critical alerts when you need them. It also gives you instant access to information from local, state and federal agencies. The preloaded content is available even without mobile connectivity and the app features an “I’m safe” feature that lets family and loved ones know you are okay. The app also has flashlight, strobe light and alarm, all of which can be lifesaving features during an emergency. Visit your app store for a free download or go to redcross.org/mobileapps.

     Prepare an emergency kit. You should have emergency supplies ready to go in case you need to evacuate. At a minimum, your kit should include the following supplies:

•Water—one gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)

•Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)


•Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

•Extra batteries

•First aid kit

•Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items

•Multipurpose tool

•Sanitation and personal hygiene items

•Copies of important documents (medication list, pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

•Cell phones, chargers

•Family and emergency contact information

•Extra cash

•Emergency blanket

•Map(s) of the area

     For a complete list of items, go to http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready.

     Post emergency phone numbers in your home. Post the numbers by every phone in your home and enter them on your cell phones.

     Protect your home. Keep your gutters clean, store firewood and other combustible materials at least 30 feet from your primary dwelling, use fire resistant materials when building decks and porches, and make sure your street number is visible from the street.

     Plant responsibly. If you live in an area prone to wildfire, consider planting fire resistant trees and shrubs instead of conifers. Keep your lawn short and watered. Consider using rock, gardens and flowerbeds as alternative landscaping.

     Know your route. Familiarize yourself with at least two different evacuation routes out of your neighborhood. Practice often, and include everyone in your household.

     Select a rendezvous spot. Select a place outside your neighborhood for family members to meet in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.

     Be ready to evacuate. If wildfires are reported in your area, listen to your local radio or television stations for updated emergency information. Back your vehicle into your driveway, put your emergency kit in your car, and gather your pets in a central location so you can evacuate quickly when the order is given.

Anna Fernández-Gevaert is the regional communications director for the American Red Cross of Idaho and Montana. 

What's new Print E-mail
Written by Angela Broncheau   


     We are proud of you Kamiah Kubs Track Team for bringing home the State Championship! Way to represent!  You all rock!

     Former Kamiah Elementary School student Kevin Keefe received his MBA degree in ceremonies last week at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School.  Kevin also received a Master of Arts degree in International Studies at the Lauder Institute, also part of the University of Pennsylvania.  His very proud parents, JoAnn Kauffman and Tom Keefe, and sister Julia were in Philadelphia for the ceremonies.  Kevin is scheduled to leave for Brazil in August, where he has accepted a position with a Brazilian business consulting firm.  Congratulations Kevin!  You make your Nimiipuu family very proud!

     Kamiah and Lapwai NMPH Clinics will be closed Monday, May 30, for observance of Memorial Day.  They will resume regular business hours Tuesday, May 31.

     R.E.D. “Remebering Everyone Deployed!”  The month of May is ‘wear red month’ for our soldiers; especially on Fridays! Wearing a specific colored shirt might seem like a trivial act, but the meaning behind it is significant.  It translates to mean that as you prepared for your day, you recognized that others are playing an active role to allow you to go to work or class with relative peace of mind that you are safe!  That’s why we should be proud to actively honor everyone serving overseas.  We do not know all their hardships facing those currently deployed!  Our service members are on all call 24/7.  They willingly ensure our safety and freedom.  In recognition of their sacrifices, please consider joining in the effort to wear red this coming Friday, May 27.  Members of our military deserve our support!  Let’s wear red and make it a point to REMEMBER EVERYONE DEPLOYED!  This message was shared by Sandy Holt, a very proud military mother.

     Anniversary blessings to Harry and Serena Wheeler.

     Birthday blessings to lil’ Skarlett Wheeler, Roger Amerman, Kim Stuivenga, Jennie Nichols, and my dear grandson Tennison Broncheau!

     To Kamiah and our surrounding communities, “This too shall pass!”  We will survive, because we are a very strong community!  We are Kamiah!

Yox Kalo^ (That's all!)

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