Home Opinions Opinions Letters to the Editor
Font resize: Increase SizeDecrease SizeReset font to default
Letters to the Editor Print E-mail

Strong supporter of Kamiah schools   

     I am writing this letter in support of the March 11 school levy. The main point of my argument is that the quality of education is extremely important for each individual and collectively for society in general.

     First, let me give you a little history of my own education and how I came to settle in Kamiah, Idaho. I was born and raised in Moscow, Idaho where I also attended the University of Idaho. I graduated in 1955 with a degree in Forest Management. I then joined the United States Air Force and on one fine spring day I was returning from Montana. I was flying an F-89 J Fighter Jet at low level over the valley of Kamiah. I became entranced by the setting and beauty of the valley and the surrounding country. As a TWA pilot I lived in New York, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts. After seven years I decided it was time to move back to Idaho. The Kamiah area was always on my mind. After one session with realtor Paul Mattoon I was sold and bought my home in 1970 from Laurence Spivey. This home is where I still reside today.

     Soon after arriving in Kamiah I put my education to work and began managing forest land. For 20 years Kent and Monty Rupp have helped me log my property. I have never worked or associated in all my life with a finer group of people than I have in Kamiah, Idaho. Without the vast amount of support I've received in the public education school system, I would have never been able to accomplish everything I have done today. In 1995 Kamiah needed computers for their technology program. I saw the need and contributed seven thousand dollars to Kamiah's public schools so the students would have the same support and opportunities I did.

     Over the last five years Kamiah has cut various expenses for supplies, programs, decreased the number of teachers, hired a half-time superintendent, froze teachers' pay, and reduced teachers' contract days. This is only a partial list of the number of cuts that have been necessary to keep the doors open. The end result is a deterioration of the education our students deserve. All the nearby communities have been regularly passing levies for years. It gives their students the tools they need for academics, technology, and industrial programs.

     I believe strongly in supporting the Kamiah School system and I'm voting yes on March 11. I hope you will too.


Hunt Hatch


This letter was paid for by Hunt Hatch

Please vote yes

     Please vote YES on the Kamiah School Levy March 11. Due to reduced funding, the school districts in Idaho must go to the patrons for override levies and Kamiah is no different than all of the other districts in our area.

     The levy will maintain the current programs offered to our students, no new classes or programs are included in the levy.

     Recently, the boys' basketball team was named winter Academic State Champions for Class 1A Div. 1, what an honor for them. It shows that Kamiah produces champions, not only in athletics but more importantly scholastically.

     Let's continue to give the Kamiah School District the tools to produce champions.

Greg and Donna Johnson


We support schools, levy

     The Mayor and City Council of the City of Kamiah would like to formally voice our support for the upcoming school levy. We encourage the residents of the school district to support our schools, our kids and our town by voting "yes" on the levy.

Mayor Dale Schneider, Councilman Mike Bovey, Councilman Paul Schlader, Councilman Dan Millward, and Councilman Glen Hibbs

District has failed to convince me

     In the school levy issue, we are bombarded with emotional exhortations to support our schools and our kids and to have pride in our community, but we are never told where the monies for the levy are actually going except for some undefined "extracurricular activities."  It's a "trust us, we need it" meme, and they have given us no hard information at all on which to make a decision.

     In other words, they have failed to make their case that we need one. "Just trust us" doesn't cut it. Give us details or quit harassing us!

     Our schools were meant to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, not to entertain. Science and a little undistorted American history would be nice too. This is how success in education is defined and all we have the duty to give the kids through the school. The community can offer other experiences beyond that: Community involvement, through freely given dollars, labor, self-funding, and volunteerism, is a true measure of community pride, not simply taxing us more when we are already taxed enough at all levels and many of us already hurting.

     Next year, we will have paid off our huge 15-year levy and will be able to either decrease property taxes or give the community a choice to fund more activities with that same money.  No one has given us answers as to why we need another tax levy this year. Until they do give us details, don't fall for the emotional appeals, ask for hard facts! They have already indicated they are going to keep throwing levies at us every year, whether we pass any of them or not.

     We have the right to know what they are using the money for and not be shamed into voting for it until we know: The burden is on them to prove they need it and can't get it through better budgeting. Honoring our will as shown through other levy results is the mark of a responsible government. Demanding a detailed accounting is the mark of an informed citizen. We need both.

Lana Hiemstra


Make cuts at the school

     The paper writes articles about levy supporters. They spew their propaganda and don't need to write letters. No opposition articles appear.

     Trustee Yates did a pro-levy guest editorial.

     I wrote a 10-page letter but couldn't get it published. I asked Mr. Jorgensen to publish it as a guest editorial and he told me I didn't have the proper credentials, but I could pay to have my letter published.

     In Mr. Jorgensen's pro-levy editorial, he referred to levy supports as part of the community, but referred to the opposition as "the other side."

     School employees have great benefits. Retired employees seem to live well. Ask Trustee Yates.

     Teachers actual days worked is less than seven months a year. Calculate salary divided by actual hours worked and their hourly rate is enormous. Most school employees' standards of living is probably higher than 90% of the rest of us. If the levy passes they will maintain their higher standard of living and property owners are forced to pay for it.

     Gloom and doomers say it's about the kids. That is far from the truth. It's about job security and benefits most of us will never see. Greed is their motivator, not kids!!

     Many high incomers, some of whom probably have hidden agendas, support the levy because they can afford it. We lower income, low-quality, uneducated taxpayers will be tremendously hurt by the tax increase.

     I am not against education, but cuts have to be made. Schools are unwilling to make any sacrifices. They want property owners to do ALL the sacrificing! People will be hurt, but they don't care.

     Administrators are paid enormous salaries and don't educate a single child. Get rid of administrators. Superintendents and principals ARE administrators. Don't duplicate positions. Employees should pay more for their health insurance. Stop free babysitting like latchkey. Stop kindergarten altogether. It's taxpayers paid daycare. Stop extracurriculars. If kids want music or sports, let their parents pay for it.

     The school's ONLY responsibility is to educate kids. Nothing else!!

     Wish I had credentials to get my 10-page letter published.

Will Jones


Editor's note: The Clearwater Progress has not published pro-levy articles as asserted by Mr. Jones. The Progress has published informational articles based on material presented at school board meetings and a community meeting called for by two proactive community members not employed by the school district. Furthermore, it is Progress' policy to edit letters and guest editorials for length. In the event a letter writer does not want his or her letter edited they are given the option to have their opinion published as a paid for opinion piece. To conclude that pro-levy voters are given editorial preference is false. Mr. Hunt Hatch, a pro-levy supporter, paid for his letter this week that exceeded the word limit.

Flood the Senate

     We need to stop Senator James E. Risch's intentions of legislating the corrupt Upper Lochsa Land Exchange. We don't have to trade tens-of-thousands of acres of valuable public lands to obtain the Lochsa lands. The 39,000-acres of checkerboard land owned by Western Pacific Timber can be purchased through the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Congress created the fund for this type of situation.

     Two Environmental Impact Statements and five years of Forest Service analysis failed to prove that an exchange was in the public's best interest. Records indicate that the comments received by the agency during this time were approximately 90% in opposition to an exchange. This bi-partisan opposition includes a host of retired Forest Service employees.

     Any legislation sponsored by Risch has to go through the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. Please send letters to Chairman Mary Landrieu at 304 Dirksen Senate Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. Include the above committee name in the address. The phone number is (202) 224-4971.

     Let's not lose fishing, hunting and other recreational opportunities, including productive low-elevation fish and wildlife habitat. These lands are part of our national heritage, too. Flood the Senate with letters and calls.

Brett Haverstick


Money won't solve the problems

     We live here in Kamiah and are seniors. We have not received a raise in Social Security in four years.

     I understand the schools are in bad shape, we cannot afford this levy, money does not grow on trees. We will be asked again for money but this does not solve the problem, it never does!

     The people that live here are retired, on welfare, this is a small community, too small to put a strain on an already strained community now.

     The government keeps telling us there is no inflation. Everything is a lie and here we all are trying to survive.

     I wish when we support our schools we would get control of where the money is being spent. We never do, it's always closed meetings.

     Our Idaho State Constitution requires the U.S. Constitution be taught in our schools, the schools don't teach it.

     If you vote yes on this levy, the schools will keep asking us for more and more money. Money does not solve the problem, they keep asking more and more!

     The schools should stand on their own feet and look for ways to budget carefully and put what's most important on education that is important for our children, not just sports.

     We do not make what a teacher does and we do not get three months off without pay. We are still seniors and tired but not retired. We can't afford to retire. The cost of living is just too high and keeps going up day after day.

Millicent Daines


Vibrant school benefits community

     We don't write very many letters to the editor. But the upcoming school levy is important. I encourage all to go and vote FOR the school levy. I am in favor for the levy even though I may disagree on many of the public education standards and teaching ways.

     I feel that we as community members and landowners owe it to ourselves to pass this levy. Any community who has a vibrant school enjoys many unseen benefits and advances for having a good school.

     I will be the first to stand up and say there have been many mistakes made by past administrators. However, after having many public and private discussions with administrators and board members I have seen a desire for them to become more accountable for their actions. You cannot fix past problems overnight. It takes time.

     Look yourself in the mirror and ask: Are you part of this community and would like to continue to see the community grow? Have you had kids go through the Kamiah School? Do you do business in Kamiah? Then you have a vested interest in Kamiah, show your community pride, VOTE YES for the levy March 11.

Ted and Tiffany Weeks


Program cuts will hurt Kamiah students

     I am but one of five of the current Kamiah School Board Members. Some people want to know exactly what the levy money will buy. It will buy the students an offering of education like the current year and that is found in neighboring schools.

     If a supplemental levy is not approved by voters to operate the schools for next year, I will be suggesting the following cuts from the General Fund: no sports or extracurricula programs at any level; a serious reduction in the number of teachers employed by packing more kids into elementary classrooms with fewer teachers and at the secondary level a reduction in the number of teachers in a discussion of the possible elimination of classes such as shop, business and consumer classes, Art, Drama, foreign language, selected college preparation classes, and certain physical education classes; buses used only for transportation required to and from school; no buses for field trips and reduced safety busing of children living within one mile of their school; no new textbooks; a postponement of building repair and significant reductions in instructional and building upkeep supplies; reduced teacher contract days; less student access to new electronic technology because of reduced purchases.

     Such cuts or reductions will impact students, parents, employees, and the community for years to come. Ninety-five of Idaho's 115 Idaho school Districts have supplemental levies. I believe that continued levy failures in Kamiah will only breed discontentment ,bitterness, resentment, recrimination, and divide in our community; that our best teachers will leave Kamiah; that some families will leave the community or place their children in other school districts because certain classes and sports programs are no longer available to them in Kamiah; that we will lose even more state allocated funds because of students leaving the District; that our remaining students will recognize the lack of community support for their education.

     I attended schools in Kamiah from grades one through grade 12. My wife and I both are proud graduates of Kamiah High School. I served as a young Superintendent of the Kamiah Schools for five years back in the late 80's before moving to another State. I retired from education in 2006. My wife and I immediately moved back to our roots to the beautiful community of Kamiah and became involved in Kamiah organizations

     Please do not make our kids embarrassed and disappointed at not having the same academic programs and extracurricula activities available to them as found in neighboring schools. I will be extremely disappointed if school levies in Nezperce, Genesee, Potlatch, Cottonwood, and Craigmont (Highland) are approved by their voters while voters in Kamiah defeat our local school levy. The kind of school you wish for your children is in your hands. All parents, employees, and citizens must get to the voting booth on March 11 and vote their conscience. You will determine the programs and education setting you want by your vote.

     As a member of the Kamiah School Board, I believe that I have been a good steward of school monies and ask for your support for the Levy.   Please show community support so that a levy failure does not effect our community and especially our young people for years to come.

Herman Yates


This letter was paid for by Herman Yates


Send Us Your Idea!

The Clearwater Progress welcomes your news and story ideas!

Communicate with Us

Call 208-935-0838, or send mail to The Clearwater Progress, P.O. Box 428 Kamiah, ID 83536, or email progress@clearwaterprogress.com with questions or comments about this web site.

Order Prints Here