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Be prepared!

     I felt bad after reading the quote by Mr. Shane Bytheway, pertaining about the way things were handled during the fires. Not all firefighters can be everywhere at the same time. We need to understand first of all, why our homes were in harm’s way.

     Did we have firewood under our porches, did we have propane tanks right next to our homes, did we have volatile vegetation surrounding our home? Trees may provide shade to our house, but can be like a matchstick hanging over our roof. Maybe many of the homes could have been saved had there been some better planned landscaping around our homes.

     Fire districts have gone individually to homes to try to get them to make their homes better protected from fires, and continually, many of those residents told us to leave them alone and they had no concerns of what the future may bring. Now some of us have paid the price.

     If we live in an area where there is a chance of fire, we need to ask ourselves what have we done to protect our homes. Do not point your fingers at outside agencies, when we ourselves are not taking care of the problem before it starts.

David Montgomery

Kamiah

Never should have had a re-vote

     Superintendent Fred Mercer was quoted as saying: “The board was between a rock and hard spot because it didn’t want to ignore supporters’ (of the levy) concerns.”

     Superintendent Mercer, you seem confused. You chose to “hear” some a little louder than others. The voters already had decided the issue, and you had no right to second-guess them by calling for another vote.

     On every issue, there are supporters and opponents, and you cannot try to please them all unless you want pure chaos. On this issue, we all had a chance to vote the first time. Supporters of the levy were a minority of voters, and they have to live with the results, like it or not.

     In a democratic society, you do not keep calling for another vote until your faction gets the results it wants. When you do this, you take over authority that is not yours to take. The will of the voters needs to be respected if we are to keep what is left of our government “by the People.” Trust me when I say that we are getting fed up with being ignored by our elected government officials at every level.

     This is what you should have told them: “The vote was already taken and it was ‘No.’ We need to live with it.” There is no rock and no hard place.  Simply, the vote was ‘no.’

     Please do not do this to us again or we might have to consider recall votes at the time of the second vote AND require those who forced a re-vote to pay the $4,000+ costs out of their own pockets. We are not willing to have our votes disrespected like that again. Any ordinance allowing this to happen should be taken off the books.

Lana Hiemstra

Kamiah

Hope Kamiah learns from levy vote

     My heart hurt when I heard that Kamiah did not pass the levy. The week prior, I followed in horror from afar as I saw my hometown in flames and homes lost. Watching myself and others who attended Kamiah School District help our hometown enlivened me.

     As students, we felt supported by our community. Those of us who graduated in the ’90s had the best teachers—Mr. Kries, Mrs. St. Tourangeau, Mrs. Houston, Mr. Brocke, and Mrs. Paradis to name a few. After I graduated, Kamiah lost some great teachers to other school districts with better funding, but others stayed for personal reasons. Since then, Idaho voters passed and then smartly repealed the “Luna laws.” Kamiah can do the same the next time a levy comes to a vote.

     Yet, the levy failure has some teachable moments for both sides. Those with a strong anti-tax sentiment and retired persons voted in large numbers. These reasons were known obstacles to passing the levy. Even more telling is that there are those in the community who do not trust the school district, which the school district must address. To sit idly by and acquiesce to the vote is a disservice to the next two generations.

Mikal Brotnov Eckstrom (1994) Center for Great Plains Graduate Fellow, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Kudos to area angels

     I would like to give thanks to a couple of businesses here in Kamiah. Jacobs Lumber is legendary. Jacobs donates thousands of dollars every year to help the community. The firestorm has awakened me to better appreciate what we have here locally.

     Another business to mention is Clearwater Builders Supply. My neighbors, Chuck and Jane, lost their home to the fire. They had no renter’s insurance. To make matters worse a lowlife stole all Chuck’s work equipment. Clearwater Builders Supply came to the rescue giving Chuck new work equipment including a gift card for $250. Thank you Clearwater Builders Supply for helping them. It would be nice to hear about other local angels.

Skyler Massey

Kamiah

We need answers to what happened on Aug. 14

     After reading and hearing reports from some local people about how the state and federal officials did a poor job at protecting our homes and property I find it necessary to share my observations and questions.

     Because we were surrounded by the threat of losing our home to the wildfires for more than two weeks, my wife and I kept a close watch on the winds and fire location both day and night.

     I observed the professionals conduct three back burns as they were directed by the request of the incident commander and control. Every back burn worked well and was conducted in a safe manner.

Questions:

     Was the back burn conducted by the Carrot Ridge fire folks on Aug. 14 a lawfully approved operation directed by the regional incident command and control?

     Did they check the weather forecast that reported a strong wind advisory for the 14th prior to conducting a back burn?

     Did they inform their intention to conduct such an ill-fated operation to the proper authorities?

     Were they trained and certified to meet the standards necessary to perform such an operation?

     Who gave the order and who lit the fuse that may have been the cause of so much destruction?

     This community deserves an explanation from the Incident Command of exactly what happened on Aug. 14, 2015, and not rumors and innuendos.

Walt Willis

Kamiah

Build up your school, stop tearing it down

     It would be nice to know if those against the levy got their education from our Public School System.

     The funding money that comes to a district is determined on the enrollment, and how many days those enrolled, attend. If you take away 50+ students and do not send them to Public School, guess what? You are taking money away from the District!

     Instead of finding fault with your education system and taking money from it, put yourself at every meeting, stand up and voice your opinions and SUPPORT, instead of tearing down your own Public Education. “Public” means all of us—this is yours/my school district.

     The little city of Troy passed a levy about three times larger than ours! God Bless ’em!

     When the child you do not send to Public School wants to play sports, have music, drama, or some other extra and needs to use the public school, he/she is never turned down. Think about it.

     When you think of the value of your house and your community, remember that the Public School District is one of the largest contributors of our economy. People looking to move here who have children automatically examine the school situation.

     When our communities worked so hard together and everyone gave donations I was so proud! I went over to vote, thinking, “Now the final show of how we care for our community will show, when we pass this levy!”

Jo Piller

Kamiah

 

Graciousness has been appreciated

     I wish to thank everyone that has been so gracious and kind. For all the help from friends, strangers, and businesses. So many I can’t thank them all.

     And our brave firefighters for all they have done.

Ray and Joyce Halvorsen

Kamiah

 


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