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Lesson learned at young age

     As a youngster at the age of 12, I was allowed to work a team of three horses while cultivating a plowed field in preparation for crops to be planted. All the horses pulled the equipment as I directed. I unhooked them from the equipment and led them back to the barn lot. Wishing to reward them with a drink of cool clean water, fresh water was drawn and put into their water trough.

     After the lunch break I noticed they had not drank from the trough. Fearing they were perhaps sick from exhaustion I returned to the owners’ house and had him come look at the team.

     He assured me I had not harmed the team then told this simple fact and told me to always remember this fact. “BOY, YOU CAN LEAD A TEAM TO WATER BUT YOU CAN NOT MAKE THEM DRINK.”

Bill Dillon



Lets be one community under God

     “Treat all men alike. Give them the same law.” These simple words from the wise Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce should shame our current state of affairs. Today on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation not all men are treated alike, not all men have the same law. The outside world may think that the days of U.S. government enforced racial discrimination are over, however those of us who the call the Nez Perce Reservation our home know different. Here on our reservation the government divides us into Indian and Non-Indian based upon our ancestry. Each group has their separate laws, separate courts, separate police and hence their own separate governments.

     The series of lies, wars, murders, greed, and racial hatred that led to this current arrangement are numerous and should not be forgotten. While we cannot change what happened in the past, the present is ours to mold. We can choose to separate ourselves based upon our race or we can choose to live as one people, as one nation under God. We do not need separate governments just because we have separate ancestors; we do need to heed the wisdom of great leaders and join together as one community.

     “Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we will have no more wars. We shall all be alike—brothers of one father and one another, with one sky above us and one country around us, and one government for all.” -Chief Joseph

Matthew Taylor



Less pork more salmon

     If there was ever a pork-barreled project, dock extension at the Port of Lewiston is it. The Port employs six people. Yet, it was just awarded a federal grant to double the size of its dock. Over the past decade the Port has seen container shipments decline by approximately 75%. That includes lumber, paper, and grains. Unit trains are coming to the Palouse, indicating barge traffic will decrease further.

     If Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Port Manager David Doeringsfeld are serious about creating jobs and boosting the regional economy, then we need a modern facility that can efficiently transport goods to domestic and international markets to the east and west. Viewing the Columbia River system as a “marine highway” is a dead end.

     There’s a growing sediment problem at the Snake and Clearwater confluence, too. The Army Corps of Engineers will soon release a plan that will most likely propose raising the dikes and dredging the river. Endless rising of the levees and dredging of the rivers is unsustainable with no clear-cut solution or public benefit.

     With wild salmon populations declining, and the Obama administration’s biological opinion declared illegal, dock extension makes even less sense. If dam decommissioning is going to be “on the table,” as Senator Crapo suggests, then why are taxpayers being forced to invest in the status quo?

     At the end of the day we need less cement in our rivers, a 21st century transportation system, and more wild salmon in our rivers.

Brett Haverstick



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