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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.

Letters to the Editor Print E-mail

Second levy is insulting to voters

     We were asked why we didn’t pass a levy, and then told our “no” vote is unacceptable and we have to vote again. That is an insult to voters!

     It seems an annual levy is how Kamiah has decided it will fund each school year. We are subjected to emotional blackmail each time: “If you care about our kids and our town...” I resent this emotional appeal that has nothing to do with what our school really needs.

     This year we were told a little about what the “needs” were, and the voters said, “No, we don’t need it.” But this was not an acceptable answer!

     I care about our kids. I care that they can read and can write full paragraphs and even spell.  I don’t care if they have an art program or not...their future and their tender psyches will not be irreparably harmed without one. Can they fill out a job application or read instructions or make their thoughts known in writing? If not, all the art and music programs or sports or entertainments that the school can offer will not prepare them for a future. I care about that.

     Schools are not meant to entertain or make kids “well-rounded.” They are there to teach basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Science would help. American history so they appreciate their country’s heritage would help. Teaching them HOW to think instead of WHAT to think is important, and teaching them how to do their own research would help. Anything else they can learn on their own if they are interested.

     Here’s an idea:  Present a full budget to the voters, with all the classes and activities it is funding, and have the voters approve what they think is most important and drop the rest. We all have to live within our budgets and the school will have to do the same…

     This levy would have added $100 a year to some property taxes. Many people may have bought their homes when they could afford it but can’t afford more taxes now. But the articles make this seem like a small thing. Taxes are not a monthly expense but are due once a year. A sudden $100 extra is not a small thing for most of us.

     Voters said “enough.” Forcing more votes until they get the “right” answer is a profound insult to all of us.

Lana Hiemstra



School board needs more money?

     At the same time the Kamiah School Board states that it “desperately needs more funding,” it assures us that “everything will remain the same this school year” - Levy Supporters Hope Second Time’s a Charm, Progress, June 18, 2015. This means that ‘everything’ they’re spending on is absolutely essential; otherwise some serious budgetary cutbacks would be announced. But no, government, even local government doesn’t work that way. Public schools—because they are government schools—assume a social engineering and humanitarian mandate.

     Households and businesses base their spending on real income, and then prioritize that spending. On page four of the Progress’ June 18 issue, we’re informed by the same school board that the Kamiah School District will provide “free meals to all children ages 1-18.” What about 19 or 20-year-old ‘children?’ And this, during the summer break.

     At the risk of being insensitive, and knowing that we live in a society that ‘takes a village,’ it is (or should be) the sole responsibility of parents to feed their own children. This obvious notion will at least free-up some funds. Meantime, school board, concentrate on what we hired you to do.

John S. Allen



A challenge for Kamiah teachers

     Several years ago there was a movement locally to require the Kamiah school teachers to undergo drug testing to be hired as a teacher and random drug testing thereafter.

     The teachers whined, cried, and sniveled so loudly that the school board whimped out and as usual gave in and greased the squeaky wheel. For many years the nation’s truck drivers, factory workers, mill workers and practically everyone has to undergo periodic drug testing. What are some of the teachers afraid of? Okay now I am prepared to offer our local teachers a challenge.

     I voted against the last $325,000 levy. If the school employees from the Superintendent, Principal, and all teachers will agree to drug testing starting Aug. 1, 2015 then I promise you all that I will vote for the $325,000 levy and I will encourage everyone else to vote yes. If the teachers revolt and refuse then I will vote against the levy and publicly encourage everyone else to do likewise. I guess now it is up to the teachers. If they scratch our backs we will scratch theirs.

Merrill Hartley


Guest Editorial Print E-mail

Restoring forest health should be about facts, not ideology

By Raul Labrador

Idaho Representative in Congress

     In the laboratory of ideas, results should count.

     Recently, I introduced the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act, H.R. 2316, which would set aside up to two percent of the 193 million acres in the National Forest System for state and local management. Sadly, some critics seem uninterested in whether local management of federal lands might restore forest health, reduce catastrophic fires and revive rural economies.

     One editorialist wrote that the bill “might sound appealing” to those living in one of Idaho’s struggling timber communities. Indeed it does – the idea came from a bipartisan group of county commissioners in the 1st Congressional District.

     Idahoans are alarmed by our forest crisis. Under federal management, they’ve watched timber harvest crash since the 1990s. Consequences include high unemployment, erosion of the local tax base and essential services, and devastating fires.

     Thirty percent of the nation’s national forests are at high risk for catastrophic wildfire, according to the Forest Service. These fires damage water quality, wildlife and property, undermining the government’s stewardship duty. Worst of all, lives are lost: In the last 20 years, there have been close to 350 wildfire-related fatalities in the U.S.

     Working with local officials, I first introduced the bill in 2012. It passed the House in 2013, but wasn’t considered in the then-Democratic Senate. Now that Republicans control the Senate, prospects for final passage are improved.

     Perhaps that explains some of the overheated rhetoric, including claims I’m doing the bidding of corporate interests hungry to buy up our public lands and lock out the American people. One representative of an environmental group called the pilot projects in my bill a “slippery slope,” saying, “…if you can’t get title to the lands today at least go for management of them so tomorrow you can make a case for title.”

Translation: Opponents of the forest products industry fear that local management will prove superior to control from Washington, D.C. Such evidence, of course, would boost efforts in Congress to reform federal land management.

     New data shows the potential. In a March report, the Property and Environment Research Center compared state and federal management. PERC found that Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona earn an average of $14.51 for every dollar spent on state trust land management. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management generate only 73 cents in return for every dollar spent on federal land management. But the critics don’t care about facts. They’re making an ideological argument – federal control is better than local – not one based on what’s best for the land and the people.

     I think most Americans trust outcomes. If it turns out governors and their advisory committees – working in consultation with Indian tribes – do a better job managing our forests, the federal government should transfer that authority.

     With an $18 trillion deficit, Congress and the American people are hungry for ideas to cut spending. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects my bill would return a net of $64 million to the U.S. treasury over the first eight years. Across the forest system, the savings would be very significant.

     I believe local management is an antidote for the sickness that ails our forests and rural communities. That includes more harvest and efficient salvage following fires. It also means higher paying jobs and fewer devastating fires.

     Just as a scientific hypothesis is tested in the laboratory, my bill tests the hypothesis that state control is better for forest management. It’s a shame that critics aren’t interested in learning what works best for the health of our forests and rural communities.

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


     A very powerful emotional ceremony was held during the Chief Joseph & Warriors Pow-wow this past weekend; as the Nimiipuu welcomed and paid honor to our visitors from the Sitting Bull camp of Little Eagle South Dakota. A group of Nimiipuu traveled to Little Eagle South Dakota, last July 2014 for a reunion with the Lakota Sioux. Stories of the Nimiipuu War of 1877 were shared, stories that were never in the history books. The Nimiipuu who fled into Canada were starving, they were cold, they didn’t have blankets; were welcomed by Sitting Bull. The Lakota gave them water, fed and clothed the Nez Perce; they provided a safe place for them to live. During the pow-wow gifts were given to the Lakota to show our gratitude for protecting and saving our people. Virgil Taken Alive, Terry Yellow Fat, and Cedric Goodhouse from South Dakota also shared touching stories during the special ceremony. Himeeq’is Qe’ciyew yew to Otis Halfmoon and the Chief Joseph Pow-wow Committee for organizing this amazing reunion!

     2015 Elder Abuse Awareness Event will be held at the Wa-a’yas Community Center, June 30, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be door prizes, information booths and at noon there will be free lunch. “Whether the effort is great or small, once a year or throughout any positive interaction with an Elder, empowers you to make a long-lasting difference in the lives of elders. TOGETHER, we have the power to prevent Elder Abuse! This event is hosted by the Nez Perce Tribe Adult Protection and Nez Perce Tribal Housing Program. For more information contact Nez Perce Tribe Adult Protection, Margaret McCormack at (208) 621-3873 or by email, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

     Chief Lookingglass Pow-wow raffle tickets will be printed soon!  Individuals or families wanting to donate a raffle prize please contact Nancy Wheeler at (208) 790-0262 as soon as humanly possible! The Chief Lookingglass Pow-wow Committee will have a Spaghetti Dinner and Bingo fundraiser July 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Wa-a’yas building. Families planning to have memorials or name giving ceremonies or host dance contest specials during the 38th annual Chief Lookingglass Pow-wow Aug. 21-23 are encouraged to attend the next Chief Lookingglass Pow-wow meeting Tuesday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m at the Lookingglass Senior Complex.

     Talmaks Camp Meeting will begin Friday, June 26, at 7 p.m. with Hymn Service with Jeanie Wheeler Strong, welcome and greeting by Maple Stuivenga, Camp President, with Corbett Wheeler presiding. Talmaks Bible Study will be lead by Volkhard and Marianna Graff and Talmaks Choir director will be Wanda Dunn.

     SPOKANE HOOPFEST will be this weekend! Players and spectators please take precautions to prevent heat emergencies, drink plenty of water and when possible stay in the shade! Good luck to all our area teams taking it to the streets at the world’s largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament. It is so exciting!

     Birthday blessings to Randy Bowen Sr., Shon Kenally, Laura Lozon and my precious granddaughter Quintana Lozon!

Yox Kalo^ (That’s all)

Wolf Problems? Print E-mail

The following list of numbers is offered for anyone who experiences problems with wolves. 


Suspected Livestock Predation

Call USDA Wildlife Services, 1-866-487-3297 or contact Justin Mann, local Wildlife Specialist at 208-869-3297. Personnel will be dispatched to investigate.


Frequent Wolf Sightings

Contact the Nez Perce Tribe, Curt Mack at 208-634-1060. They will gather and record information, then provide advice.


Report Sighting of a Wolf

Go to Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game website to fill out a wolf report form: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/


Health and Human Safety Concerns

A wolf may be killed if life and human safety is at risk. Contact Idaho Fish & Game at 208-799-5010 or call Nez Perce Tribe at 208-634-1061 or 911 Sheriff dispatch. All wolf kills will be investigated.


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