Friday, April 29, 2011

Pierce Pool Auction is Saturday

The Pierce Community Center is holding a pool fundraiser auction and spaghetti feed this Saturday, April 30 from to at the center.

Spaghetti, green salad and garlic bread will be served. There will be a silent auction, and tickets will be sold for drawings every 15 minutes for special items. There is also a drawing for the two night get-a-way to Liz Butte Cabin on the Lolo Motorway, donated by the Forest Service; and the two night stay at Boyer Park and Marina's Suite located outside of Colfax, WA. There will also be a 50/50 drawing.

Last year, with local communities’ great support of the fundraiser, enough money was raised to keep the pool open until 1860 Days weekend in August.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Peace Corps celebrates half-century mark

Moe Paré was there

By Alannah Allbrett

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Peace Corps (PC), established by President John F. Kennedy for the stated purpose of “Promoting peace and friendship around the world.” Many residents of the Clearwater Valley were part of that historic effort that has helped form who they are today.

Many of your neighbors shared their amazing and colorful stories with the Clearwater Tribune and some return volunteers are displaying pictures and memorabilia of their years of service in the Clearwater Historical Museum. In the next few months, the Clearwater Tribune will feature some locals who went to exotic places which taught them more about their own country as well.

Moe Paré is one such example. After graduating from high school, Moe Pare volunteered for the draft and served two years in the military. After his military service he completed four years of college and decided he “hadn’t done very much worthwhile” yet. [Most people would disagree with that statement.] He had three job/opportunities: working in Switzerland, working for a California company, or joining the newly formed (1961) Peace Corps. He chose the latter, and Switzerland’s loss was Ecuador’s gain for that’s where he was assigned for two years.

Moe received about three months language and cultural training in Bozeman, MT and further training in a boot camp-like setting in Puerto Rico. Since the Peace Corps was brand new, its founders thought it necessary that applicants undergo rigorous physical testing. Moe said volunteers were required to rappel down mountains, complete survival swimming in the ocean, and be able to survive in the jungle. He reports many otherwise qualified people dropped out of the program, so that kind of rigorous testing was discontinued. Moe said, “The locals thought we were training to invade Cuba.”

The Spanish speaking country of Ecuador is situated along the Equator with the coastal region being hot, steamy jungle ranging to the Andes Mountains’ 20,000’ frozen peaks. Moe was trained in forestry management, so he was sent to the town of Ibaña (population 20,000) in a hilly region in the Province of Imbabura in north central Ecuador. He likened the hills there to the bare ones around Lewiston. The job there was to teach the planting of trees and to establish forestry cooperatives.

Moe arrived to the rural area by bus. Since the people of the region are predominantly Catholic religiously and culturally, everything is tied-in with the Catholic Church. Moe said the local Bishop lived in a complex with a cathedral on one corner, and a church on the other end of the block. There was a vacant shed (a storage room) in between the two buildings where he and his roommate were told they could live. The shed had electricity, a toilet, and a sink, but did not have a stove or hot water.

When asked, ‘What was the most valuable thing he took away from the Peace Corps?’ Moe said, “My wife Joan.”  Joan, another PC volunteer, was trained in extension work and school luncheon programs. After being in Ecuador a year together, the couple married and their first child, Shawn was born there.

Moe said that since the PC experience is so unique and the Corps highly selective, most PC volunteers have a great deal in common with each other when they serve together in a foreign country. Six of the volunteers (during the time when he was there) not only got married but had children while serving.

Moe and Joan brought their three month old baby home to the states, and their family continued to grow. They had two more children, daughter Michelle, and son Tom (all OHS graduates).

The couple’s daughter Michelle grew up and served in the Peace Corps in Mali Africa which pretty much answers the question, ‘Would you recommend this experience to your children?’

Moe lost his wife Joan in 2003, but they shared not only a life together, but a great story to tell of their beginnings as a family.

Moe Paré took this picture of friend and fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Nick Pfeifer, around the cook fire with a village woman and child. Food gathering and preparation is labor intensive for the people.

Moe’s late wife Joan (far left) is pictured holding their baby son Shawn who was born while they were serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. Next to Joan is Nick Pfeifer.

Moe Paré worked with villagers in the town of Ibaña (population 20,000) in a hilly region in the Province of Imbabura in north central Ecuador. He likened the hills there to the bare ones around Lewiston. His job there was to teach the planting of trees and to establish forestry cooperatives.

While looking at local goods, Nick Pfeifer talks with a woman and her young daughter. The people of the region are predominantly Catholic, both religiously and culturally. Moe Paré took this picture.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No bids made on junior high building; second parcel awarded

There were no bids received on the purchase of the former Orofino Junior High School (OJHS) building. It was appraised at $500,000. A second parcel up for bids, appraised at $115,000, went to the highest bidder for $176,800, reports School District Supt. Dale Durkee following Monday’s board meeting at Timberline.

Paul and Lee Pippenger won the bid on the 2.49 acres on the old forest building site on Hwy 11. Riverview Construction was the only other bidder with a bid of $117,282.

Durkee said because there were no satisfactory bids made or received on the abandoned OJHS building, Idaho Code states that the school board may proceed under its own direction to sell and convey the property for the highest price the market will bear. The sale is under the direction of Clearwater Realty.

Other business conducted at Monday’s school board meeting included:

*Adoption of the 2011-12 school calendar.

*Recommendations by the facility committee were heard and are being considered and will be on next month’s agenda. Recommendations may reviewed at

*The board approved proceeding with Timberline’s waste water project to eliminate settling ponds and install a leach field system. The design was done by Progressive Engineering of Lewiston, who will put up the bids for the job with the board’s approval.

*The board approved the certification election of uncontested incumbent Amy Jared for school district zone one trustee and Cindy O’Brien for zone two trustee to fill the position currently held by Don Ebert, who will not seek re-election.

*Approval was given for a zone three trustee election between incumbent John Schwartz and Danielle Hardy.

No action was taken on the 2011-12 administrative salary schedule.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Riverside Physical Therapy welcomes new front office personnel

Brian Crecelius will be replacing Sandi Burrell of Riverside Physical Therapy, who is leaving to spend more time with family.

Sandi Burrell is handing over the front office details as well as welcoming her replacement Brian Crecelius. Sandi has decided to spend more time with her family and soon-to-be second grandchild. Therapist Alison Thomas is sad to see Sandi leave the office but understands Sandi’s desire to be more available for her family.

Alison is also pleased with the new recruit. After combing through several very qualified applicants, Riverside PT would like to welcome Brian and is very confident in his skills and abilities for the front office.

Brian is an OHS Valedictorian Alumnus and 2009 graduate from The College of Idaho with a major in Math/ Physics and a minor in Human Biology. He is excited to experience and increase his knowledge from the front office perspective. He plans to continue his education as a graduate student at some point, but while in Orofino hopes he can give back to the community by being involved with the youth sports programs as his schedule allows. He also enjoys walks in the rain.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Urban Forests of Orofino Legacy Tree Program

Urban Forests of Orofino (UFO) has implemented the Legacy Tree Program. The first legacy tree in the city’s new program was planted earlier this month at Lewis Clark Park in honor of Leola Stoneback.  Members of the Urban Forests of Orofino Committee for the City of Orofino were on hand to plant a tree in memory of her.  A granite monument was also placed at the base of the tree in her honor.

Planting a legacy tree is a remembrance of the past and, at the same time, a renewing of life. It is also a way to pay tribute to a loved one or friend – a gift that can last a lifetime. A legacy tree can be planted for other occasions such as celebrating a birthday, a graduation, a wedding, or retirement.

If you are interested in the program and would like more information about the Legacy Tree Program contact the city’s Arborist – Todd Perry at: 476-4725 or stop by Orofino City Hall at 217 1st Street, to pick up a brochure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New business complex coming to Orofino in the fall

Lori Turner and her husband Darren found shop space scarce in Orofino and decided to build their own. Darren’s business – Alpine Heating and Sheet Metal, has been helping customers with their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) needs in Clearwater County for the past five years.

During that time, Darren has had to operate his office from his home and store equipment in rented units in town. Not having a drop-off location for equipment deliveries has necessitated frequent trips to Lewiston to pick what he needs – adding up to a lot of wasted time and extra expense.

The Turners felt other businesses might have similar problems finding suitable business locations at reasonable costs in Orofino. In partnership with Lori’s sister and brother-in-law (Denice and Richard Haner of Boise), they plan to build a business complex at 2080 Michigan Avenue, between Carney Dr. and Braun Rd. in Orofino. The present building there is being torn down to construct a one-story structure with high ceilings which will not only house their own business but have four additional 30’ x 30’ spaces for lease which may be customized according to customer needs.

The front of the business complex (which is not yet named) will have an office look to it with customer parking and an entry door for each business. The back of the building will have industrial roll-up doors for deliveries. The building will be fully insulated and be cable, phone, and internet ready. It will also have a modern look with attractively painted, exposed pipes and vents in the ceilings.

The complex will furnish snow removal, an asphalt front parking lot, rear parking for trailers, a drop off box for FedEx and UPS deliveries, and safe access for customers. The anticipated completion date is for the fall of 2011.

Business owners interested in leasing a unit in the new facility may call the Turner’s home office at: 476-3489 or their cell phone number: 720-8170 between , or email:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Low levels of radiation detected in Idaho, pose no public health threat

Boise — Trace levels of radioactive iodine-131 (I-131) showing up in Idaho from Japan continues to pose no public health risks.

As expected, monitoring activities in and around the state have picked up very low levels of I-131 in air, drinking water, rainwater, and milk; however, the levels detected are far below levels of public health concern.

Low, but measurable, amounts of I-131 were first detected on March 21 in an air sample from a portable Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) radiation network (RadNet) monitor in Boise. Levels detected since then are declining and are expected to decline further as the situation at the Japanese nuclear facility is being brought under control.

Later monitoring in Boise, showed trace amounts of I-131 in precipitation as well as one municipal drinking water system that draw its water from the Boise River.

Due to detection of I-131 in this drinking water system, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is screening other municipal drinking water systems throughout the state that use surface water (rivers or lakes) as their source.

Monitoring by DEQ’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Oversight program has also detected the presence of I-131 in air and milk samples at minuscule levels, similar to those detected by EPA in other states.

DEQ’s INL Oversight program has routinely monitored for radiation in the air and milk from around the Department of Energy (DOE) facility near Idaho Falls since 1994.

"At no point have detected levels come close to levels of concern," said Mark Dietrich, DEQ’s Emergency Response Program Coordinator.

Idaho will continue to closely track radiation levels detected by the EPA RadNet monitors as well as our own INL Oversight radiation monitors. Due to the events in Japan, DEQ and other state agencies are working closely with EPA and other federal agencies to ensure Idaho citizens are kept informed of all monitoring results in the state.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Back Country Medics join in IOGA Spring Roundup

Back Country Medics joined with the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association Clearwater Chapter April 9 at the Orofino City Park to celebrate and help raise funds to benefit area communities during the annual IOGA Spring Roundup.

Each year, the Clearwater Chapter hosts the roundup activities as a fundraiser for ICARE (Cancer Awareness and Recovery Effort) and to provide scholarships for local students.

One of the popular raffles at the event was for three people to take a helicopter flight in the Hillcrest Aircraft Bell Long Ranger with pilot and company owner Gale Wilson. Brenda Drobish was the winner and she gave her three children Nathan, Nick and Mattie the opportunity to see the Clearwater Valley in a way they won't soon forget.

Back Country Medics dropped ping pong balls for the youngsters at the event. Those balls were turned in for prizes.

Back Country Medics participate in a variety of community events around the region each year to teach about helicopter safety, to support other community organizations and to let people know they are there to help when a serious accident or illness make expedited transport because as their motto says, "We Care About People."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pierce Youth Challenge program gets go ahead from State

The co-ed boot-camp style program to be implemented at the former Pierce Elementary School located on 21 1/2 acres in rural Idaho is expected to bring 50 or more jobs to Pierce and targets at risk youth who are unemployed, drug free, dropouts between the ages of 16 and 18.

A delegation of around 15 persons from Pierce and Clearwater County Commissioner Chairman Don Ebert will be on hand Wednesday when Gov. Butch Otter signs the bill allowing the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program to be held at the former Pierce Elementary School which was closed by the school district in 2007.

Legislation for the program passed its final legislation last week allowing the National Guards to use the old Pierce school to set up a 22-week residential program followed by a year of mentoring with volunteers, often Guard members, from their former communities.

The program focuses on academics and life coping skills. There are Youth ChalleNGe programs in 27 states and Puerto Rico. The program has a success rate exceeding 90%.

Major General Gary Sayler, Idaho adjutant general, wants to launch the Pierce project in July 2012 with a class of about 120 students. To get there he needs to come up with about $300,000 in private donations.

The school needs an administrator and marketers to get the students in the door. The program needs some temporary trailers as dormitory space until it has money to build housing. Cell phones or texting will not be allowed. Visits with parents will be limited.

National Guard personnel said the building is in such good shape it means just going in and turning on the lights. The building needs updates in the wiring for modern technology.

If the program fails the school goes back to the school district.

“We are fairly comfortable the money is there between the federal input and donation from the Albertson Foundation” said Col. Tim Marsano, spokesman for the National Guard.

After the first year the Guard needs $900,000 to keep it going. The Albertson Foundation has offered half of that amount for the program’s first four years.

The legislative bill states that the governor and legislature can discontinue the program if money isn’t available.

Website address is hhtp://

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Public input sought on nutrients added to Dworshak Lake

Persons wishing to comment on the US Army Corps of Engineers proposal of a nutrient supplementation pilot project of nutrients, specifically nitrogen, to be added to Dworshak Reservoir have until April 22 to do so.

Persons wishing to comment or request a public hearing be held may do so by writing the United States Environmental Protection Agency region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900 M/S OWW-130, Seattle, WA 9801.

Phone number to call is (206) 553-0523 or 1-800-424-4372). Email address is

The proposed permit and other related material may be viewed at the Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality, Lewiston regional Office 1118F St. Lewiston, ID 83501.

Monday, April 11, 2011

March precipitation boosts snowpack across the state

Boise - April 7, The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s snow surveyors recently completed the April 1 snow measurements and found that March’s above average precipitation ensures an adequate summer water supply for Idaho's numerous water users.

“With more snowy days than sunny ones in March, snowpacks increased measurably and now range from 100-140 percent of average for most Idaho basins,” said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist with the Idaho NRCS.

Streamflow forecasts also increased. “With the good precipitation in March, most people would have thought the March streamflow volumes would be higher than they were,” Abramovich said.

“But most of the 60 plus stations that we use for water supply forecasting were in the 70-90 percent of average range.”

That’s because most of March’s precipitation fell as snow in the higher elevations. Streamflow forecasts range from near average in the Salmon basin to 150-160 percent for southern Idaho's high desert rivers. 

What does this mean for Idaho’s water supply?  Irrigation water supplies will be ample with most reservoirs holding enough supplies to last through the summer. Water is being released from some reservoirs to make room for the anticipated snow melt.

Most of southern Idaho's reservoirs will fill except for the large storage facilities such as Salmon Falls, Oakley and Bear Lake. However, their water users will still have adequate irrigation supplies based on current storage and projected inflows.

Abramovich added, “How the snow melts and fills our rivers and lakes greatly depends on spring air temperatures and rain.” The three month extended forecast calls for wet, cool weather.

The Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program is developing a web-based tool that will allow users to access data and perform data analysis. Visit the National Water and Climate Center web site at to try out the tool and provide feedback on the tool’s operation by June 3, 2011.

View April’s full report on snowpack, precipitation, runoff and water supply predictions at and click on the ‘Water Supply’ link.

Friday, April 8, 2011

OHS Youth Legislature sponsors blood drive

Some of the Youth Legislature participants (l to r) are: front row, Kaitlin Lamé, Silas Hull, Monique Stamper, Corey Kleer-Larson and Maddie Faler; back row, Drake Hernandez, Hayden George, Sean Perkins, Sarah Campbell, Kaylee Hosley, Rachel Bonner and Jacglen Brown.

Orofino High School’s Youth Legislature club sponsored a blood drive on March 17. The group appreciates everyone who signed up to give blood or help with the drive.

There were 23 first-time donors and a total of 33 units of blood were collected.

Special recognition is owed to Blood Drive Coordinator Hayden George, and his assistants, Corey Kleer-Larson and Jacglen Brown, for a job well done.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

School override levy set at $1.94 million

After much discussion last week trustees of Joint School District #171 set the override levy at $1.94 million, which is up $200,000 from last year’s amount of $1.74 million. The election will be held May 17.

“The board hashed the levy amount over and over,” said Trina Snyder, clerk and business manager, “and came to the new figure which is still below the $2 million mark.”

“It was not an easy thing to do,” she added. “State funding has gone way down as well as the school enrollment is down and all this affects revenue received from the state,” Snyder said.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Forest Service is paid full restitution for resource damage

The US Forest Service recently was paid full restitution in United States District Court concerning a resource damage case involving a fraternity from the University of Idaho.

On May 5, 2010, several members of the fraternity were charged with creating a road into Vassar Meadows located on the Palouse Ranger District, Clearwater National Forest.  

Suspects admitted that they knew it was wrong to drive in the meadow, but once the rough road was created, others arriving followed suit creating more damage.  At least one vehicle was stuck creating deep ruts in the meadow.

USFS law enforcement worked with the Palouse Ranger District hydrologist to put together a damage assessment to seek restitution.

On Jan. 20, 2011 in the United States District Court in Moscow, a federal prosecutor agreed with the defense to allow the fraternity to pay full restitution for the resource damage.  The court agreed and restitution was made to the US Forest Service for the amount of $4382.00.

The Forest Service will use the money to decompact the soil, plant vegetation, block access to the meadow, and design/install a sign.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Salmon Season Update, Hunting Season Changes to Highlight April 5 Sportsmen’s Breakfast Meeting

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to an Idaho Fish and Game morning meeting to be held Tuesday, April 5 beginning at 6:30 a.m. at the Idaho Fish and Game Office, 3316 16th Street in Lewiston.

Department personnel will present information on a number of topics including season changes for Trophy, Big Game and Turkey hunting seasons; and an update on the upcoming Spring Chinook salmon season. Fish and Game staff will also seek public comments concerning potential ideas for fisheries non-biological rule changes. Results of the recent statewide fur auction and other Fish and Game topics will also be discussed.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in wildlife and is designed to stimulate informal discussion about local wildlife issues. Coffee and donuts will be provided.