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Tribe picks and chooses what commerce it likes

     I am respectful of the Nez Perce Tribe’s right to protest; however I struggle for an understanding as to why.

     The megaloads are a source of economic stimulus for our region, providing added employment and dollars infused into our local economies. Idaho State Route 12 road was built for commerce, the very commerce that allows disposable income for the many tourists to utilize the Nez Perce tribal casinos and resorts.

     The Nez Perce Tribe collects the value of state gas taxes at their pumps yet they do not contribute these dollars to the state for the construction of roads and their maintenance. The Nez Perce Tribe also received $193,000,000 in the Nez Perce Snake River Basin Adjudication agreement. These dollars came from taxes collected through commerce; commerce the Nez Perce leadership wishes to halt.

     Without commerce and industry you do not collect taxes. You do not fund Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, workman’s compensation, unemployment payments, food stamps and the many other social safety net and entitlements programs funded through government transfer payments.

     The FS does not have jurisdiction over a state highway even though it goes through the national forest. The state has an easement and therefore a legal entitlement to its right-of-way. This is similar to the right-of-way my neighbors have through my property to access their property and their utilities. I can in no way interfere with this legal right. Yes I own the property, however they own the right-of-way.

     I support the Nez Perce and their ability to benefit from the free exchange of commerce our form of government allows, however I am disappointed they do not view this as a two-way street.

Jim Chmelik

Idaho County Commissioner

District III


Survival of Meal Site depends on support

     “Thank you!” to the many people who donated to the Senior Citizens’ Society/Valley Meal Site! Your generosity is amazing!

     I need to address some items in recent issues of this paper. The Kamiah Kiwanis members donated $171. Herman spoke to them about where money comes from to operate the meal site and senior center. The meal site receives money from Community Action Partnership (to subsidize the cost of meals), donations at the meal site, money from those who receive home delivered meals, monetary donations and grants.

     The Senior Citizens’ Society owns the building and receives income from rental of the building, annual dues, the spaghetti and chili feeds, pinochle, donations and grants. I thank Herman for his efforts to make people aware of the needs of the meal site.

     The cost per meal in July was $5.58 for meals at the meal site and $8.35 for home delivery meals. This figure comes from the CAP representative. Cost per meal must include all expenses: food, wages, rent, mileage for meal delivery and supplies.

     The July 2011 through June 2013 financial statements showed expenses were $7,667.84 more than income. We have received many donations and a loan from the Senior Citizens’ Society so we are in the black now. CAP is going to increase our re-imbursement per meal effective Sept. 1.

     The senior center and meal site are important to this community. A recent audit report showed “Cash flow and profits are too low to keep it going. Only grants keep it open.” Members are committed to keeping the center and meal site open and serving the great meals our cooks prepare. Please join us for lunch any Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 12:00.

Janette Hiatt


VMS Accounts Payable Clerk


Safety does not justify suspending our rights

     A recent guest editorial by Mike Simpson encouraged those who are worried about NSA to think about our security, and that maybe we should give up some privacy for that.

     Simpson asks:  “Does the proven potential for saving lives outweigh the risk to the personal liberties on which this country was founded?”

     Mr. Simpson, how can you even ask that question?  Only totalitarian nations are “safe” except from their own governments: You cannot have total security while still protecting rights of the citizens from government over-reach.

     Every day, there is evidence that NSA and other governmental agencies are consistently going way beyond their constitutional bounds and are at war with its own citizens. Even NSA admits they have violated their own privacy rules “thousands of times!” 

     Today there is a Drudge Report that NSA has collected thousands of emails and other online details on private citizens, without warrants and without reason. NOT email addresses, but emails themselves, Mr. Simpson. 

     You say it is to protect us against terrorists. But Homeland Security has labeled tea party members, veterans, “anti-government” types, and even some gun owners as being “potential terrorists.” You say that NSA does not actually record phone conversations, but we know they HAVE done it to congressmen and newsmen and you only have a questionable reassurance from government itself that they don’t do it to common citizens.  The fact is, they CAN, and what government CAN do, they usually will.

     What is happening with these warrantless searches and even arrests is chilling. Since the Patriot Acts, government is allowed to jail anyone without charge, without warrant, and without trial, indefinitely, just on a “suspicion” of terrorism. 

     The answer, Mr. Simpson, is:  No, safety is not reason to suspend our rights. Eventually we will wake up without any of the rights guaranteed us. To ignore that is being stupid, and to advocate more over-reaching is treasonous. To tell us to reserve judgment until congress gets around to investigating NSA is simply incredible. We’ve seen enough already and more still to come. I hope you rethink your stand.

Lana Hiemstra



I am not a “crook”

     I must reply to last week’s letter to the editor suggesting that I am a “crook.” Here are the facts.

     It is a true fact that all $170 was counted by Kiwanis officer, Jennifer Konrad, and placed in an envelope by her with the amount written on the envelope before giving it to me at the Kiwanis meeting. I gave the entire amount of $170 plus a few cents to our new Valley Meal Site Accounts Receivable Clerk. A receipt was written for the full amount. I am in possession of a copy of that receipt proving this action. Our Senior Center Secretary mailed a copy of the receipt and a Thank You note to the President of the Kamiah Kiwanis.

     It is a fact that one of two articles in the Progress written, not by me, reported a lesser amount. This lesser amount was an error and was corrected as $170 in the “Over-the-Hill Gang” article written on Aug. 22 (page 10) of The Clearwater Progress. Without talking to any of the new current officers or confronting me, personally, the author of last week’s article postured that I was a “thief.” I am not a thief as the proof above indicates.

     I was reminded by others that at our June election membership meeting that I and others recommended a change in the organizational leadership of the Valley Meal Site. The author of “Numbers Don’t Add Up Herm” received one vote for her to continue her role as the Meal Site Manager and thus, was not returned to her position as the Valley Meal Site Manager.

Herman Yates



No justification for imperialism

     Unbelievably, all indications are that the United States government is positioning itself to move militarily against yet another sovereign Mid-East nation  - once again, unconstitutionally and without provocation.  Shades of Iraq and Afghanistan continuing!

     The pretext this time is that poisonous gases were used on innocent people, albeit a tragic fact apparently beyond question.

     Glaring problem, however: While an ever-compliant U.S. media continuously confirms that such crime indeed was committed, it meticulously avoids exploring by whom it was committed.  Except for us Americans, practically the whole world knows that the perpetrator was not the Syrian government, but was instead U.S. and Israeli-backed, anti-Assad, rebel forces.  But, as with Iraq before, if regime change is the pre-decided objective, such mitigating truth is not allowed to matter.

     Hence, this personal appeal to my countrymen:  If government “of the (good) people, for the (good) people and by the (good) people” means anything at all, it means that we all should be screaming for justice here. Understand: A U.S. military assault on the nation of Syria is every bit as wrong at a national and global level as would be like my assault upon you, your home and family on a personal level. Which of us would ever stand by for that?!

     Please call the White House at (202) 456-1414 and tell Mr. Obama that he has no justification.  Contact also your “vacationing” congressmen and demand they turn and do right.  U.S. imperialism must cease, or America itself will soon be finished.

Carol Asher



Pleased to see opposition of megaloads

     I read with great interest the letters to the Editor in your paper involving the megaloads issue. I would like to praise the Nez Perce Tribal council, the Friends of the Clearwater, and all the Tribal members who stood up to the megaloads. Also those individuals who wrote letters opposing the megaloads, including all environmental groups that oppose them as well.

     When I read letters supporting the megaloads it makes me sick to my stomach. Many of them only see money as the solution to everything, including destroying the beauty of scenic drive and the environmental sensitivity of the area. Dollars and cents is their motto, it proves they have no sense.

     I hope the Nez Perce Tribe will continue their efforts to stop the megaloads and prove we have say and rights on our reservation. And no one has the rights to tread on them. It’s obvious the Nez Perce Tribe has plenty of support.

Ken Jones



Most effective remedy for wasp stings

     The remedies suggested for wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket stings did not mention the most effective one: the plantain weed that grows in everyone’s lawn. Just mush the leaves up a bit to make it juicy, press against the sting for a few minutes, and presto! The pain is gone, it won’t swell up or itch, as if it never happened. I’ve had four stings this summer, and cured all of them this way.

     The comfrey plant works even better and faster, and is super easy to grow.

Janet Cruz



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