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The answer is still no

     This is a note to all those in the Kamiah area (School Dist.); on Aug. 25 we will be voting one more time on a levy for the schools. Well between water, sewer and school levies that only property owners are held responsible for, the purse is nearly empty!

     Even though I will be labeled a self-serving old man that cares only for myself I will be voting NO on this levy and encourage you all to do the same. There are other ways to find the funds. A sales tax that we all can share.

     Recently the local paper stated there was an estimated 25 drug houses in this community, maybe those people would like to help share the responsibility too and or maybe the government that took the funds away (should find a way) to fund education? ONE MORE TIME VOTE NO FOR THE LEVY!

William Jones


Volunteer at schools instead of complaining

     The implications in Merrill Hartley’s letter of 6/25 regarding the staff of the Kamiah School District are very unfair, to say the least. Comments such as these only fuel the flames of division. I’ve worked with most of the staff on a regular basis for a number of years. I find the majority to be good, hardworking people, putting in long hours for very little pay. When was the last time Mr. Hartley gave up his evenings and weekends for several months so a group of kids could participate in sporting events or other activities?

     One former member of the staff was named Teacher of the Year in a NATIONAL program. Another, as reported on the front page in the same issue of the paper, was awarded for going above and beyond her duties for the benefit of her class.

     Instead of issuing a challenge, Mr. Hartley, how about you and anyone reading this letter volunteer one morning or afternoon each week in the classroom of your choice and help? Everyone benefits when our community gets involved with our school.  It is far more productive to have a hand in the solution rather than a critical voice in the conflict.

Roxanne Hicks


Local economics don’t support levy

     Here are the people who have to pay for school levies in Kamiah:

For the year 2014:

Median household income $30,820

Per capita income $18,002

Median resident age: 49.0 years (the second largest number over retirement age)

Percent unemployed (citizens over 25 years old): 13.5%

2014 poverty guidelines for family of 3:  $19,790

Percent of people whose income in the past 12 months is below the poverty level: 23.3%!  (There are another large number who are very near poverty level)

Kamiah School students: Total Economically Disadvantaged (% of total) 63%! These are the students whose parents have to pay for each levy that supposedly is “for the children?”

In 2012, the last year I found data for it:

Median gross rent $589

Median real estate property taxes $832

     Renters also pay property taxes indirectly, as the landowners pass the rising cost on to the renters.

     In 2012, Kamiah’s median household income was $29,698 but in Idaho as a whole it was $45,489.  Kamiah continues to lag behind the state average.

     Pauline Malone in the [Lewis] county treasurer’s office says there are currently about 130 tax-delinquent homes in Kamiah. That is greater than 10% of the total family households in Kamiah! This is without a new tax hike.

     It hardly seems democratic for a second vote to be called when officials don’t like the results of the first one!  This should not even be legal in a system that is “by the people!” The demographics show that Kamiah citizens cannot afford more taxes, and they voted accordingly.

     I request that a second levy be cancelled and the will of the people, as shown by their last vote, be honored.  That’s how it is supposed to be done in a democratic system.

Lana Hiemstra


Seniors care, they just don’t have the money

     Just finished reading your editorial regarding Kamiah’s School Levy, and I think you handled the issue about as well as anyone could. But I think the analysis is incomplete, and the assertion that “Kamiah Residents Don’t Care About School, Community” is probably unfair. This issue indirectly raises the specter of a personal pet peeve of mine that I’m compelled to comment on, the “senior position.”

     We hear a great deal about how life and the economy in modern America impacts the “middle class.” But we hear relatively little about the impact on senior citizens, especially those whose only income is Social Security.

     Perhaps, instead of being “uncaring,” it is at least in part a matter of a large senior and otherwise low income population long ago left behind, likely never to catch up.

Jack Mosher


Journalistic slam on Ericksons unjustified

     The purpose of this letter is to speak a word of defense concerning my neighbor Chad Erickson, who was recently defamed by a lengthy article in a nouveau journalistic publication.

     Mr. Erickson has always been a kind and good neighbor. When we employed him as a surveyor some years ago, he was highly competent. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him as a surveyor. He is also well informed on issues of public concern.

     I read most of the long, boring accusatory piece maligning him. It certainly was slanted and uncomplimentary. Also, its timing was uncharitable, considering that the Ericksons just lost a precious daughter to a rare, incurable type of cancer.

Mary Hohmann


How can illegal acts be allowed?

     Citizens of Idaho violations of laws by Lewis County are they an excepted practice by other agencies. Many of you have been cited and fined for violating environmental laws and Lewis County got paid for violating similar laws.

     Lewis County was cited for a violation of section 404 of the Clean Water Act, by the Army Corps of Engineers. Lewis County’s contractor excavated and trucked away approximately 11,500 cubic yards of cobble and vegetation and it was stored away from the site and was paid for storage of that material.

     The unlawful act changed the location of the Lawyer’s Creek. Believe this, Lewis County was paid by FEMA for this illegal work done with taxpayers’ dollars?

     Idaho citizens should take lessons from Lewis County, they got paid for their illegal acts with taxpayer’s dollars. (Wow)

     I have more information with facts involving this issue that cover their violations under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, also photos of their illegal operation.

     An engineer from the ACOE stated the creek naturally moves during a flood. Is using a crawler, backhoes, bulldozers, a front-end loaders, and dump trucks a natural way to change the location of the Lawyer’s Creek? He missed his calling. He should have been a comedian.

     Idaho laws chapter 6 under Boundaries of Non navigable streams states the thread of the stream is the boundary. Does this mean an illegal act that changes the stream location is valid and land owners can lose their property automatically?

Ken Jones



What you don't know...can hurt you!

     I will be honest and say that I’ve attended very few school board meetings in my 24-year history in Kamiah. When I see the financial issues continuing in our local school I figured it was time to do some investigating and get more involved...you see if you do not have knowledge...then really you do not have the power to complain. By getting involved I was made aware of how and where different funds are spent. I also discovered many false statements and/or misconceptions among Kamiah residents.

     Over the next several weeks I am going to ask each of you to carefully read over levy material and do your own homework...and to please attend the school board meetings to educate yourself on why we are asking for another levy. I ask you to seek out the facts about what passing another levy means to you, to the school, and to the community. Please remember that this is for our youth, the future of Kamiah!

Carol Langston


The future is bright if we work together

     “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For Indeed, that’s all who ever has.” -Margaret Mead

     This is one of my favorite quotes—and I really believe it to be true. It is difficult reading all the negativity in the paper—and I have to admit that I was surprised when our school levy didn’t pass. I really think most people finally understand how vital a good school is to every aspect of this community.

     Having a strong school is essential to attracting and keeping young families in our town. Our economy would not survive without these families and much of what people take for granted would slowly disappear. People would spend a lot more money than the cost of the levy—simply in travel to get the things they want or need. Our school is very good. We are blessed with excellent staff and amazing students.

     The school is the hub of this community. We need to continue to offer as many opportunities as we possibly can and keep our school strong. We have come a long way in the last few years, but it is clear that many still have no idea about all the great things going on at the school—and how a school budget (and levy) works. Please get involved and get the facts for yourself. Misconceptions are everywhere...so please come to a meeting, or make a call and get your questions answered.  It is so important!

     The negativity needs to stop so we can all work together to accomplish incredible things! I see a very bright future for our town if we can just be positive and move forward...together! I would love to see our positive caring people come out in numbers in August to voice their support for the school, our great kids, and our future! I feel a sense of pride being part of the solution...and for doing what I believe is the right thing. Our kids are worth whatever it takes! Please vote YES!

Leah Kludt



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