Monday, February 28, 2011

Idaho Congressman visits troops in Baghdad

By Staff Sgt. April Davis, 116th Garrison Command, USD-C
BAGHDAD—U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, visited Soldiers with the 116th Cavalry Brigade, Idaho Army National Guard, based out of Boise, Idaho, Feb. 2 at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. The brigade is currently serving as Garrison Command for Victory Base Complex under United States Division – Center in support of Operation New Dawn.

Labrador, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, traveled to Iraq along with members of Congress from California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Utah, as part of a congressional delegation visit to gain insight on U.S. government spending and progress in the country. The delegation took time out of their schedules meeting with military and political leaders to have an informal dinner at the Joint Visitors Bureau with service members from their congressional districts.

“Meeting with Soldiers has been the best part of the whole trip,” Labrador said. “There’s nothing better than being with the men and women from Idaho who are serving our nation and I’m just so grateful for what they are doing.”

Labrador met with the brigade commander, Col. Guy Thomas, and senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Woodall, both residents of Meridian, Idaho, to gain an understanding of the brigade’s mission in Iraq.

Soldiers from the 1st Congressional District of Idaho, serving with the 116th Cavalry Brigade’s 2nd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment and 145th Brigade Support Battalion, also attended the dinner to meet their U.S. representative and discuss issues important to them.

“I learned more about my representative and his political stances than I knew before meeting him,” said Staff Sgt. Breane Buckingham, a supply sergeant with B Company, 145th BSB, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho resident. “I think it was a learning experience on both sides because he also got a chance to learn about us. It was very informative.”
This was Labrador’s first visit to Iraq, which he said will leave a lasting impression on him.

“I’ve never served in the military, so seeing all the men and women that are here sacrificing their lives, giving up their time, being away from their family…I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be gone for such a long period of time serving your country and I’m going to take those thoughts back home with me,” he said. “Every time we’re thinking about sending someone to combat, this experience is going to be deeply ingrained in me.”

Labrador also said he would deliver messages to the Soldiers’ families and communities back home in Idaho.

“I want the family members to know that their Soldiers are doing really great work and they should be really proud of what they do,” he said. “I haven’t been more proud of my country than I am today.”

Other Soldiers in attendance at the dinner included Maj. Paul White, of Eagle, Idaho, executive officer, and Command Sgt. Maj. William Coggins, of Nampa, Idaho, senior enlisted advisor, both with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Sqdrn., 116th Cav. Regt.; 2nd Lt. Travis Hight, of Lewiston, Idaho, Spc. Joel Eggert, of Moscow, Idaho, and Spc. Matthew Hoefling, of Post Falls, Idaho, all with B Co. 145th BSB.

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, (left) meets Spc. Matthew Hoefling (right), a Post Falls, Idaho native, with B Company, 145th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade, Feb. 2 at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Labrador took time out of his schedule, assessing U.S. government spending in Iraq, to have dinner with Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers from his congressional district who are currently serving under United States Division – Center in Support of Operation New Dawn. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, 116th Garrison Command, USD-C)

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, (left), Maj. Paul White (center), executive officer of 2nd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, and an Eagle, Idaho resident, and Col. Guy Thomas (right), commander of the 116th Cavalry Brigade, and a Meridian, Idaho resident, discuss the diverse missions assigned to the brigade, Feb. 2, at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Labrador took time out of his schedule, assessing U.S. government spending in Iraq, to have dinner with Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers from his congressional district who are currently serving under United States Division – Center in Support of Operation New Dawn. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, 116th Garrison Command, USD-C)

Friday, February 25, 2011

National Weather Service: Heavy snow for some Sunday through Tuesday

A moist westerly flow is expected to develop Sunday and persist through Tuesday, according to an update issued today by the National Weather Service out of Missoula, MT.

This flow pattern normally produces periods of heavy snow for the northern Clearwaters and higher terrain of northwest Montana. Area mountain passes, such as Lolo, Lookout, and Marias Passes may see heavy snow at times.

There should be enough cold air persisting across northwest Montana valleys and higher valleys of north central Idaho early in the event, possibly followed by another weak surge of colder air Tuesday in northwest Montana that may support moderate to heavy snow in the valleys.

At this time it appears the main valley threat areas for significant snow are Pierce, Headquarters, Libby, Yaak, Troy, Eureka, West Glacier and Essex.

Other areas, such as Kalispell, Whitefish, Orofino and Seeley Lake may also see periods of snow. At this time the amounts are not expected to be excessive.

Travelers should be prepared for another round of snow across much of the northwest Montana and the Clearwaters of Idaho Sunday into Tuesday. 

Across west central Montana from Missoula to Drummond and southward, temperatures should slowly moderate into Monday; however, some light snow may create hazardous morning travel.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Survey: 95 percent of Idaho educators oppose Luna plan

In a web-based survey that’s been answered by about half of Idaho’s 15,200 elementary and secondary school teachers, nearly all say they oppose Superintendent Tom Luna’s plan to overhaul education in Idaho.

The Idaho Education Association opened the survey February 14 to ask all Idaho teachers – IEA members and nonmembers alike – whether they support the IEA’s stand against Senate Bills 1108 and 1113. Here are the results: 97 percent of IEA members oppose the bills and 88 percent of non-members agreed. Taken together, 95 percent of all respondents support the IEA’s positions against the bills.  

 “These are the people who would need to implement Tom Luna’s plans,” said IEA President Sherri Wood. “Clearly, they are not buying what he is selling.”

IEA membership includes about two-thirds of the state’s classroom teachers, but the Association advocates for all Idaho educators, members and non-members alike.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Woodlot in Ahsahka has new owners

The Woodlot Café in Ahsahka, voted as having the Best Hamburgers in the Northwest, has been sold to a Moscow couple.

Dave and Donna Clifford, who have owned and operated The Woodlot for the past 16 years, sold The Woodlot to a Moscow couple who took over ownership Monday.

The new owners, Roger and Karen Virgin, always enjoyed eating at the Woodlot and as far as Clifford knows they do not plan to make any changes.

The Cliffords have purchased H&R Block. Donna is experienced at doing taxes as she has worked at H&R Block for 17 tax seasons.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alf Johnson's Sawmill

This early photo of Alf Johnson's sawmill was among a collection given to Charlotte (Woolfolk) Nelson, a 1952 Orofino High School graduate once employed at White Pine Lumber Company, and who now lives in the Seattle area. The photo belonged to her grandfather, M.T. Kelley. He moved to Orofino in 1926, and the photo is believed to have been taken not long after his arrival and employment at the mill. M.T. worked there until his retirement in about 1950. He has one surviving daughter, Nannie B. Carrico of Orofino, who will be 92 in July. M.T. Kelley is located in the front left of the picture, and Ken Ladd is on the front right. Alf Johnson is standing, in the center. The other men pictured are unknown. Anyone who might know their names is invited to call the Clearwater Tribune at (208) 476-4571.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Imprisoned in Paradise: Digging into Kooskia’s past unearths a timeless lesson

By Donna Emert

Historian and historical archaeologist Priscilla Wegars, founder and volunteer curator of the University of Idaho's Asian American Comparative Collection, recently published the only complete historical account of Idaho’s WWII internment camp near Kooskia. The camp is located about 30 miles outside of Kooskia. 

The book, "Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Internee Road Workers at the World War II Kooskia Internment Camp," unearths the history of the detention center and the site upon which it was built. 

Wegars will present a slideshow, discussion and book signing at Saturday, Feb. 19, in the 1912 Center, 412 East Third St. in Moscow. The event is hosted by the Palouse Asian American Association and the American Association of University Women, and is sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.

Wegars’ book focuses on the period between mid-1943 and mid-1945, when the Kooskia camp held 265 “enemy aliens” of Japanese ancestry.

That story began late Dec. 7, the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the U.S. government began arresting people of Japanese ancestry, particularly those on previously established “watch lists.”

Denied due process, many were shipped to Justice Department internment camps run by the Immigration and Naturalization Service at Missoula, Mont., and elsewhere. Some residents were later sent to Santa Fe, N.M., and other camps. From there, they volunteered for work at the camp near Kooskia.

The Kooskia Internment Camp was an INS detention and road building facility. Many of the 265 “enemy aliens” interned there were from California. Others were taken from Alaska, Hawaii, Peru, Mexico and Panama. The Kooskia camp was one of many in the nation: beginning in February 1942, the War Relocation Authority removed and incarcerated approximately 120,000 West Coast Americans of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were American citizens.

The Kooskia camp had two features that most facilities housing Japanese internees lacked: residents were paid for their work on Highway 12 between Lewiston, Idaho, and Missoula, Mont.; and the camp was built on the scenic Lochsa River

Though internees were considered “paid volunteers,” they were not at liberty to leave the camp.

“These men had never done anything against the U.S.,” Wegars said. ”They were Buddhist ministers, reporters, photographers, martial artists – some even had sons in the U.S. Army. They just looked like the enemy.”

There is a strong push to realign historical fact and what passes as history, said Wegars, and establishing accuracy begins with clearly defining some terms: President Roosevelt called the U.S. camps concentration camps. That reference was changed when history revealed the devastation of Nazi concentration camps. Historians are now fighting for clarity.

“We use the term 'internment camps' too freely for all these confinement sites,” said Wegars. ‘Internment camp’ is accurate for Kooskia and other INS camps, whereas the WRA camps are more accurately called incarceration camps. We really need this revised terminology to distinguish between the two types of camps."

Wegars hopes clarifying the details will illuminate the big picture and provide insights into recent events.

“I hope the Kooskia Internment Camp becomes better known, so this type of injustice never happens again,” said Wegars.

“When Muslim Americans were being profiled after 9/11," said Wegars, "it was Japanese Americans who bravely stepped forward and said, ‘You did this to us. You can’t do this to them. Be careful what you do here. Your reaction is once again based in fear and not on facts.’”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boater, Bruce Gott, rescued from the Clearwater River

By Alannah Allbrett

Thursday, February 10, Kevin Korbel, his wife Christine, and their 17 year old son Daniel were heading home from Lewiston. Kevin said, as they rounded a corner near the boat ramp (below Hog Meadows), they noticed a boat turned toward the boat launch near Clearwater Ridge Development. “The boat made a run toward the shore,” Kevin said, which they thought was very strange. “As we watched, the boat slammed into the shoreline and went into the rocks.” Kevin turned the car into the boat ramp to investigate. Daniel said he spotted a man in the river.

Bruce Gott, 57, of Lapwai was the operator of the boat. He had been trying to turn the boat to go back to the boat ramp, when it skidded out of control.

Christine Korbel called 911, while Kevin and Daniel ran along the shore. Kevin told his son to find a long piece of wood.

Kevin ran through underbrush, rocks, and poison ivy and kept shouting out encouragement to Gott, telling him he was close to the shore – to “keep paddling.” Kevin said Gott was not fighting the current, but he was tiring out and still in pretty deep water. “There was a pretty deep drop-off there,” said Kevin. He waded out as far as he was able and, with the pole Danny found, and pulled Gott out of the river.

By this time Daniel was bleeding pretty badly from dental surgery he had just had. But he had the forethought to bring a blanket down with him. They put Kevin’s coat and the blanket on the man, and rubbed his hands and arms to warm him up. Another motorist came to help, and The Nez Perce Sheriffs showed up with a rescue boat in tow and took Gott with them.

Kevin, with a bad case of poison ivy and scrapes and bruises, gives a lot of credit for the rescue to his son, an Eagle Scout and senior at Orofino High School. “Danny was bleeding, in pain, and kind of shaky, yet he helped with the rescue. If Danny had not spotted the man in the water the outcome might have been very different,” said his father.

Kevin Korbel urges everyone to be prepared when driving along the Clearwater. “We learned that we should carry a throw-bag with us for just this kind of emergency. I was glad to have been able to help just as any other passerby would have,” said Kevin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Governor, Superintendent welcome changes to Students Come First

(BOISE) – After a week of public testimony, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna presented changes to Students Come First today, in the form of three pieces of revised legislation. All the changes are based on citizen feedback heard in the Senate Education Committee public hearings, and from legislators. 

“I am both pleased and encouraged by the actions being taken in the Senate Education Committee,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said.  “I believe we proposed meaningful legislation to the Legislature.  The changes, based on input from the public and members of the Senate, have only enhanced the package.”

“Over the past week, we have seen our legislative process in action as many Idahoans came to the Statehouse to discuss education reform. The public testimony we heard was not window dressing. We gathered several good ideas and have made changes based on this input,” Superintendent Luna said.

The Students Come First plan is a comprehensive plan for improving Idaho’s public education system by ensuring it is customer-driven and educates more students at a higher level with limited resources.

For the past two years, the State of Idaho has cut revenues at the State level but has done nothing to reduce costs at the local school district level.  Under Students Come First, the State will take a different approach in order to put our public education system back on firm financial footing. It will not just reduce revenues at the State level, but also reduce the costs that our local districts must shoulder so we can stabilize the public schools budget and direct more money into the classroom, where it’s needed most.

While pleased with the transparency of the legislative process, Governor Otter was critical of those unwilling to join in the discourse. 

“Senate opponents of the legislation listened to the same testimony we did.  We were open for discussion to make the package more perfect and we got not one idea back in return,” he said. “The only thing we’ve heard is raise taxes, and that does not serve Idaho’s students or Idaho taxpayers.”

Here are highlights of the proposed changes to the Students Come First legislation:

Digital learning:
·  Students will be required to take four credits online any time during high school. That’s down from the original proposal of eight online credits.  Students must complete at least 46 total credits to meet minimum State graduation requirements.
·  To meet the State requirement, school districts can offer a blended model, which includes both online and in-person instruction as long as the majority of the instruction is online. Districts can meet the digital learning requirement through the Idaho Education Network, an online provider such as the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, or a blended model.
·  The State Board of Education will develop standards for a digital citizenship course that local school districts can offer students.

Mobile computing devices:
·  Until a high school reaches a 1:1 ratio, the local school district will have the flexibility to determine when students are given mobile computing devices in high school, instead of requiring mobile computing devices by grade level.
·  The local school district will own the mobile computing device and will determine whether students are given the device upon graduation. 

Great Teachers and Leaders:
·  The State will increase the minimum teacher salary to $30,000 and implement a mechanism for raising the minimum salary in the future as the State appropriates additional dollars for teacher pay.
·  The State will require local school boards to conduct at least one performance evaluation before deciding not to renew an employee’s contract. 

For more information on the Students Come First plan, visit

Friday, February 11, 2011

Letter to the Editor about School District 171 budget issues, options

Dear Editor:
  I would like to take the time to commend the school board members for their active efforts to listen to the people of this community. They are diligently seeking solutions to our current school issues. Last Saturday, they held a work session allowing anyone present to voice their concerns and recommendations. In fact, for several months there has been an open format to school board meetings, encouraging patrons to participate.
  As most of you know, this has been particularly tough with closing the Junior High School. There are now crowding issues – at both OES and OHS - and supervision issues with busing the students for classes and activities. The OJHS teachers are commuting back and forth to the high school as well with resultant effects particularly in the area of special ed. This has been not only difficult on our schools, but on our community as well. If we knew this was only temporary, it would be easier.
  Now the current plan is potentially to move the 7th graders to the high school to at least minimize the effects socially of splitting the junior high students and teachers. Unfortunately, there is not room for 75 more students at that facility. We will then need to move in modulars to accommodate extra classrooms. These are expensive and not a permanent solution. It sounds easy; open the junior high back up. Unfortunately, OJHS is very old and tired and will cost greatly to repair and ultimately to staff as a stand along facility. Furthermore, this school district is facing significant state cutbacks again this year.
  We need your help. What do we want our schools, and ultimately our community, to look like? The school system dramatically affects our ability to draw in businesses and professionals (like doctors and hospital staff, etc) to our community. Do we want people to seek out other areas in order to get the best education for their students, or do we want them to move here? Do we want to retain our current businesses and professional staff? Or would we rather spend our money on social issues and juvenile delinquency? Either way, it will cost our community.
  These are the options (in no particular order): Rerun the school bond to add needed classrooms to OHS in order to maximize staff (administration, teachers, lunchroom, custodial, support staff, etc…) and minimize student issues. OJHS would be allowed to have an attached but separate area to learn and function. This would maximize matching funds currently available for new construction and could be done with very little interest charged to our district. (This won’t be available to us after 2012).
  Reopen OJHS. We would need to spend as much or more (than an addition at OHS) to remodel/restore/upgrade the building to get it suitable for long term use. This would require a facilities bond at much higher interest and no matching funds. It would also require raising our current override levy (paid for yearly on our taxes) to staff (an additional administrator and support staff).
  Build a stand alone OJHS to house 6th-8th graders on the property below OHS. We could share staff easier between OHS and OJHS. The students would have their own facility, funds to build would be low interest and matching as with the addition, but the amount for a separate building would be larger than an addition at OHS. Extra support staff and possibly administration would be needed with a resultant increase in override levy amounts yearly to operate.
  Move 7th graders to OHS and move in modulars to accommodate extra classrooms. There is limited space at the high school site for these modulars with resultant effects on parking and access. To move them in, set them up, and rent or buy them is expensive, and would require additional override levy funds yearly to pay for them. Junior high students would be mixed with high school students with potentially resultant social issues. Student numbers have been dropping in our district, but not enough to ever house 7th-12th graders all in OHS. The modulars placed at OES in the 60’s are still there… (and falling apart).
  Others? We need to hear from you. The amounts for all these options are available through the district office. Please contact your school board members with what you are willing to support. Our kids, our schools, our community needs us to come together on this and find solutions to the issues at hand.
Darlyn Lanier

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From this Chair...

By Cloann McNall
  Last week I received a call from a person wanting to know who I leave Mary Jane with when I want to leave town. Mary Jane is my five-year-old black female Pug. A country dog with a city attitude.
  I told her Mary Jane stays in Spokane with my daughter Diane Baldwin when I go on vacation. Then Mary Jane comes back to Orofino with her uppity city girl attitude.
  When I try to call Mary Jane back into the house from the yard she flips her head and “snarffs” as if she has just smelled a foul odor. “Well, now, Mary Jane,” I ask, “who is running this household and paying taxes on this joint anyway?”
  For some reason Mary Jane does not like for me to use the word “joint” in the same sentence with her name. I wonder why? She came from Boise with the name Mary Jane. I did not name her.
  I continued my conversation with her: “Who works to earn the money to go to the store to buy the bacon, and I’m not talking about Beggin’ Strips, and then drives home and feeds you? Not the Baldwin Spa in Spokane!”
  “You know I pay to leave you there so you can get spoiled and hopefully trimmed down.”
  By then she realizes she can’t win because I can swat her behind and herd her into the house. And even though people say “Your dog’s fat” I’m still bigger than she is.
  I tell people “she’s not fat, she’s just big boned.” They laugh.    
  Due to the winter weather and lack of exercise, Mary Jane, who has always been “thick” through the middle, has continued to “thicken” during the winter.
  So the other day when the temperatures were in the 40’s and the ground was bare of snow I decided to take Mary Jane for a walk.
   We had just rounded the corner and were strutting our way back to the house when halfway down the block I realized the leash was dragging and Mary Jane’s glitzy studded collar was dangling from the end of it.
  I looked over my shoulder and no Mary Jane! I glanced at the houses along the street to see if anyone was looking out the window laughing at me and my invisible dog.
  I called her name, “Mary Jane,” promised “peanut butter and good girl treats” and finally when I called her dog cousin’s name, “Skippy,” Mary Jane came running down the street towards me.
  She got the good girl treat, a frosted animal cookie, and a peanut buttered bone, but there was no Skippy.
  Skippy was at the Baldwin’s retreat in Spokane. I’m wondering how many times the Skippy threat will work before Mary Jane figures out Skippy is not at our house and that’s it’s just a trick on my part to get her moving.
  Whatever works with this slippery little city slicker.
  You can see a picture of Mary Jane in the pet section of “Lil’ Darlings,” published in this week’s paper. They will also be posted online later tonight at, and can be viewed for free.
  Quote: Isn’t it wonderful how dogs can win friends and influence people without ever reading a book.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pierce Winter Festival Photos

Here are some photos of the always entertaining Pierce Winter Festival, held last weekend. All photos were submitted by Colleen Nelson.

Cassi Aderhold enjoying the Kid's Crafts

Jim Hall, Vicki Ludwig with their love seat entry

Justin Karst on Longhorn Steer Racer, Josh Radke catching a ride down the hill

Christopher Jenkins riding an examination table

Mary Jo Medley, Linda Turrill, Val Armachardy, The All Girls Ice Man Relay

Linda Applington (in background) driving tractor with riders Brian, Kori and Anna Ross from Lewiston

Ethan Gilliam from one of the two Orofino teams jumping in Orofino Creek during the Ice Man Relay

Colton Jared, Dustin Hodges, Jake Jared and Greg Gerot (Studio 205 team - second year winners)

John Bergen, Greg Gerot walking their entry over the finish line

Josh Radke with S&S Foods’ Shopping Cart entry

Linda Smith and Randy McKinnon with Linda's Toilet Seat Racer

Lonnie Cowger with his son, Kelly

Harv Nelson signing "Passports to Pierce" for Joy Hall, her daughter Serina, and grandchildren Sasha and Dakota. Three of them won the drawing.

Shiloh Sharrard performing

Pete and Ben Lawrence, Sarah Nelson at Bald Mountain Ski Hill Sledding Party

Greg and Diane Gerot of Studio 205 with one of their winning team members, Dustin Hodges

Austin Flemming, Todd Billups, Jason Young, Randy McKinnon, Charlie Billups, Rob Harrell, Timber Inn's Ice Man Team

Todd Billups, reigning Bar Stool Champion won both trophies for the regular class and the Open class, pictured with Charlene and Joe Douglas from Black Dog Tackle

Rocky and Karen Smith from Lewiston

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fish and Game conducting big game aerial surveys

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is conducting aerial surveys of big game in the elk ecology research study area in the northern portion of Big Game Management Unit 10 and also in the Dworshak Zone, Unit 10A. The helicopter surveys are scheduled during the winter months to cover areas at the same time of the year so that information gathered is comparable from year to year. The goal is to compare population trends, and age and sex ratios. This information allows biologists to be more precise in setting seasons and permit levels which results in maximum opportunity for hunters. Besides finding big game animals congregated on lower elevation winter ranges, winter also brings two requirements needed to conduct accurate surveys - clear weather for good visibility and snow covering that aids in locating and identification of species. A helicopter flying low and slow over some of the most remote areas of the state is the most efficient tool for gathering big game herd information. In spite of the high costs and the danger associated with low-level flying, helicopter surveys continue to provide wildlife managers with the best information to use in managing wildlife.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Responses to "A Message from Mayor Smathers"

Dear Editor,

A double standard exists between what is said and what is promoted in Orofino. In last week’s Clearwater Tribune there were articles and advertisements against underage drinking and drug abuse. Our Mayor had a message that spoke of a "Community Problem" about alcohol and prescription drug abuse in our school. I agree with him, there is a problem.

Why then, is the main visible activity of the Orofino Chamber of Commerce a Beer Wagon/Garden. This vehicle, and associated seating, is set up whenever a major event is happening in Orofino. This seems to be at odds with what this or any organization should be promoting in our city.

Thank you.
Steve and Jo McGill
Dear Editor:

I would like to express my appreciation to Mayor Smathers for his statement in last week’s paper. He is right that the drug and alcohol problem is a community problem and will require the community to solve it. His statement appealed to adults in this community to cease activities that compound the problem. The flip side of this is that young people need to be given a vision that will help them focus on their future. I would like to refer you to the JK Albertson Foundation website, and their Go On Challenge, which outlines a community role in the success of students.

This Saturday, Feb. 5, at the school board will be holding a meeting at the Orofino High School library. This is a work session, not a decision making session. Because of proposed changes in educational funding at the state level and also local school issues, we need the help of the patrons to plan for the future of our schools. Parents, I urge you to get involved even if your children are too young to attend school. Decisions based on these discussions will be long term.

There are many community groups and agencies that are working to better our community and support our youth. We have some wonderful staff members in our schools that are going the extra mile to support our students in their endeavors. They are an important part of finding solutions. It would be wonderful if they would each send a representative to this meeting to give input.

Some people feel that if they do not have school age children, school issues do not affect them. As taxpayers and residents these issues do affect you. If we fail to produce students who can be successful in life, the taxpayer and the community will bear the burden. Likewise; although it is easy to place blame on the students, the parents, the schools, the internet, the economy, the state government, the federal government etc. The solutions have to come from local participation by the community. Please take the time to attend this very important meeting. Thank you.
Alyce Arnsberg