Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clearwater Rocks

Charlie Pottenger’s boat being towed up the North Fork by Rusty and Darell Bentz. Rusty driving and Darell watching.

Darell Bentz (on the boat) and Rusty Bentz after safely retrieving stranded Charlie Pottenger’s jet boat from the shore of the U.S. Fish Hatchery on the North Fork Clearwater River.

By Charlie Pottenger
  We had often watched other fishermen guide their boats past the junction of the main Clearwater into the North Fork just past the U.S. Fish Hatchery, envious of the success we observed. Our plan was to go through what we knew was a narrow channel and try our luck. Ten seconds after committing the boat to the chosen course it became obvious from the grinding of the bottom on the shallow rocks that those others watched river levels with more wisdom than I possessed.
  We were stuck, grounded on rocks in about 8 to 15 inches of water in a boat needing more than 18 inches! We finally realized we were in a fix!
  At that point we had two choices: first, we could have abandoned the boat and sought help. Second, we could work together to move the boat over these miserable rocks toward the “deeper” waters of the North Fork. Naturally, as boat owner and certified genius, I selected the worst choice, to move the boat to the North Fork. My guest fishermen, John Baldwin of Spokane and Marcie and Darold Stanton of Orofino all helped as we rocked and pushed “Old Ironsides” across some of the devilish boulders.
  Later, Bryce Sundquist, a wonderful vision, thankfully appeared over the jagged rip-rap rocks defining the boundary of the hatchery armed with a huge coil of strong rope and a ratcheting Power-Pull. At this point Darold waded ashore to assist Bryce and an unidentified Idaho Fish and Game Officer who also volunteered. With the rope we moved the boat ever closer to the North Fork.
  At this point Deputy Mike Gladhart of the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol and a second officer arrived on an inflatable jet sled and offered additional help and safety advice, prompting us all to don our life preservers as we were outside of the boat in swift water trying to lift and coax the leaden boat over the last rocks before the North Fork. They also opined that we should have sought help when a 20 or 30 foot upstream tow might have freed the boat and that now that we were in the North Fork we might have to spend massive dollars to get out!
  This was looking grave. Bryce thought I might make it up stream to the Ahsahka boat ramp, but when we tried the trolling motor fouled in the lush North Fork weeds and the jet also was immediately clogged with weeds. Soon thereafter the trolling motor propeller was broken on some of the many large, weedy rocks and we were stuck. We gave up, tied the disabled boat to the Hatchery rocks and went home to spend a miserable, sleepless night.
  The plan was to seek wisdom and make a plan to extract the boat. I called a friend with great boat and wild river experience, Darell Bentz, founder of Bentz Boats in Lewiston. Darell said the only day free in his immediate schedule was Sunday so I drove to pick him up. When I arrived he had recruited his brother, Rusty Bentz to bring his big Bentz boat and we three set out to assess the situation. Three hours were spent trying to understand the complex low-water riverscape in the area between Ahsahka on the North Fork to Pink House on the main Clearwater.
  We drove to the private homes of Mr. Bob Davaz and of Tim and Sharon Barnett. Information gained there led Darell and Rusty to decide to launch their boat at Ahsahka and back it down under the highway and the railroad bridges and down through the riffle where I had destroyed my propeller and plugged my jet. Their wisdom was based on the knowledge the Bentz boat requires only eight inches versus my boat’s 18 inches.
  Well, the happy truth is that even with the catastrophic decisions I had made on Saturday the great skill of the Bentz brothers had rescued my boat and a little of my self esteem. They were able to tow me back to Ahsahka Landing without touching bottom while I sat in my boat coasting gently touching dozens of the mossy blocks lurking close under the surface.
  The good news is that the boat will be inspected and repaired, if necessary. The best news is no one was hurt. The lesson I needed to experience and learn is that the operator of the boat must be positive there is no risk of grounding before going into unknown channels. Another fact...we caught no fish!
  I am encouraged my guests have all expressed a willingness to go again and I am not bribing them!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

From this Chair…

By Cloann McNall

I am sorry to learn this week of the death of Aretha Chilton, 98, of Orofino.

She sold me my first and only Jaguar car for only $100 over 20 years ago. It’s a 1920’s model.

I still have the car and the things I like best about it are the low gas mileage and the fact I can replace the steering wheel or tires when they fall off with Elmer’s Glue.

It’s small enough to park in the guest bedroom above the garage. It has a beautiful wood-toned finish that hasn’t faded over the years. It’s about 15 inches in length and has movable parts.

This sturdy little car is here for the duration. Aretha, a retiree of the Clearwater National Forest, handcrafted it from wood from the Clearwater National Forest. I purchased three different models from her and chose the Jaguar for myself.

I remember I purchased a replica of the Walton’s 1930’s Chevy pickup for my son-in-law Darold Stanton and a 1927 Ford sedan for my Dad.

I received a letter last week from Bonnie Bessent in Yuma, AZ, where she winters. When I opened the letter and unfolded a page from the Nov. 13 Yuma Sun I was surprised to see a large photo of my nephew Kevin Wilkins, 51, standing in front of the Yuma City Hall.

The photo cutline read: “Kevin Wilkins is the city of Yuma’s new economic developer. Wilkins accepted the position in October, moving there from Colorado. He has made his home in the Colorado/Nebraska area all his life. As a young man Wilkins started his career in the newspaper business with his father the late Bryce Wilkins. He spent several years in the newspaper industry before focusing on his passion-economic development. In 1994 Wilkins sold his interest in the family newspaper and started his career in the field of economic development.”

Looking at the newspaper picture of Wilkins in a suit with his arms folded across his chest I recall seeing him as a newborn at the Hugo, CO hospital. I lived next door to him until he was three-years-old but have kept in close contact with him down through the years.

The Yuma Sun quotes the president and CEO of GYEDC as saying in part “…having him (Wilkins) will be an asset…it’s a real plus to have someone with his background. He brings a great deal of experience. And I’m already seeing the benefits of having Wilkins on board.”

His mother said “He loves it there.”

So what does his Aunt Cloann have to say about him? He was a sturdy blond kid with a keen sense of humor. He entertained the family as a youngster, mimicking Tiny Tim’s rendition of “Dancing through the Tulips” and doing the soft shoe dance to the song “Bo Jangle.”

Wilkins is married and the father of three daughters and six grandchildren. And an excellent chef, a tradition handed down through the family.

The Phantom and I hope to visit him in Yuma this winter.

Quote: It might not be opportunity you hear knocking—it could be one of your relatives.

How to avoid holiday weight gain

(NAPSA)-Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that most Americans gain one to two pounds over the holidays and that the vast majority of Americans do not lose this extra weight once the season ends-but there are steps you can take to stay out of such statistics.

"Although one to two pounds may not seem like much, the numbers gradually add up over the course of a lifetime and contribute to weight gain as we age," says Dr. Hilton Hudson, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Franciscan Physicians Hospital. "This cumulative weight gain puts the body at a greater risk for conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis."

Thus, avoiding that initial holiday weight gain can help you keep your weight in check for good. Here are some simple ways to maintain your weight throughout all the holiday parties and festivities:

Enjoy food in moderation. There's no need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods over the holidays. The key is to make sure you don't go overboard with portion sizes. In other words, instead of having two servings of mashed potatoes, limit yourself to one.

Don't try to lose weight. Instead of trying to drop pounds this holiday, aim to maintain your current weight. Rather than dieting, just try to live a healthy lifestyle. Often, following a restrictive diet can backfire, causing you to give up and overeat.

Get moving. One of the reasons people gain weight over the holidays is due to inactivity. Many people tell themselves that they're just too busy to exercise. Make a point to schedule your workout times in advance. Think outside the box and plan activities that you actually enjoy, such as an after-dinner walk or a ski trip with your family.

By taking action to avoid weight gain, you'll be well on your way to a happy-and healthy-holiday season.

There's no need to gain weight or deprive yourself of your favorite foods over the holidays.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mystery of the OK Rock partially solved

By Alannah Allbrett

The mystery of the meaning and origin of the OK Rock is solved. One sees this rock north of the Orofino Bridge, in the Clearwater River, while traveling towards Riverside. Recently there was letter to the Editor by Diane Upton, which raised everyone’s curiosity about what the rock with the letters OK stood for and how it came to be.

The speculation began. . . Some folks thought it had to do with water levels on the river – when it was safe to boat, etc. Others thought it was a weather indicator.

Super Sleuth, Jim Routh gave the Clearwater Tribune a tip that Tom Province was the man to see to learn of the rock’s origin. Tom filled us in on the details and admitted that he was indeed the man responsible for the rock being painted. He said it has been that way for well over 25 years.

Tom was a diesel mechanic for Clearwater Equipment (where McLaughlin Logging is now). He said that one of his fellow employees was very politically opinionated and very vocal in expressing it. “Everything about him was okay” said Tom. His response to this man was painting the rock OK. “I am the villain who painted it” said Tom. “I don’t know who’s been keeping it up all these years though, because I haven’t painted it in at least 20 years.” Will the mystery painter please step forward.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Athens Guitar Trio delights with classical guitars

The Athens Guitar Trio (AGT) arrived in Orofino last week on their first stop of a concert tour in Idaho and put on a spectacular performance for the first concert of the 2011-2012 Community Concert series on Nov. 10 at the Orofino High School. The audience was treated to an evening of superb classical guitar playing by the trio. 

The opening piece, Dance No. 1 from La Vida Breve, whetted the musical appetite of the audience with a taste of melodic sounds of the Spanish guitar.

Most of the classical pieces performed were arranged for the guitar by members of the ensemble, Dusty Woodruff, Rylan Smith, and Matt Anderson, who each have a masterful command of their guitars. Individually they play with passion for the music and collectively, as the trio, their sounds blend to produce one harmonic tone that is pleasing to the ear and tends to soothe the soul. 

The trio changed the pace at one point in the concert by playing a Scott Joplin piece, "Ragtime Dance".  The audience responded with a rousing applause to show their appreciation for the musical diversity demonstrated by the AGT.  The trio has a comfortable demeanor on stage interacting easily with one another and with the audience as they introduce each musical selection or tell tales on one another...their camaraderie and love for their music is evident. 

After the concert the trio signed autographs and visited with members as they left.  Remarks such as "wonderful concert," "they were just great," "thank you for bringing them to Orofino," were frequently heard. The Clearwater Community Concert season is off to a good start and the remaining concerts promise to be equally entertaining.

The Athens Guitar Trio warms up before concert Nov. 10.

Dusty Woodruff and Ryland Smith sign autographs after the Nov. 10 concert.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Group forges strong “Friendship”

Submitted by Jo Moore

Just three years ago, a small group of people came together to see if they could help the Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) to complete some much-needed upgrading and maintenance projects, as well as help raise monies to purchase new equipment.

The group re-organized as the CMPL Friends, formed a Board of Directors, and secured a “Wish List” from the Director of the library. They began meeting on a regular basis each month, and promptly began work on their “projects,” under the leadership of newly-elected President Kitty Geidl. 

With some funds remaining from the previous Friends of the Library, now defunct, their first donation was a new commercial vacuum cleaner in 2008. They also donated to the Summer Reading Program.

One of their first goals was to improve the appearance of the library’s grounds, and with the enthusiastic leadership of member Bernie DeLallo, a landscaping plan was adopted, and money was voted to get the first year’s work started. This has been an ongoing project, and with the help of the members doing the summer watering, the library’s lawn is looking its best ever!

In 2009 funds were allocated toward a big new clock for the library, landscaping, and summer reading, while fundraising efforts were focused on book sales during the summer and at the Patchwork Bazaar.

The Friends were challenged to find money-raising ideas which would net them enough to tackle the really expensive needed projects, so in late 2009, member Cathy Jenni came up with the idea of a Dinner Theater for the following summer, and the rest is history. 

The first dinner theater was held in 2010 at the High Country Inn, with the facilities and cooking, donated by member Jo Moore. Volunteers from the Friends formed the labor, and the group was able to raise over $3000, enough to pay for replacement of windows in the children’s section.

This year, 2011, due to problems finding a cast and director who could all be available at the same time, the annual Dinner Theater had to be postponed, but in its stead, an outdoor Texas Barbeque was held in June at the High Country Inn, and this time, the net proceeds exceeded $4,000!  That money was allocated toward the new heat pump cost for the library, which was $5,000.

Other projects included a Book Cart, donated by Cathy and Don Jenni, which was launched this summer at its outdoor book sale as “Books a la Carte,” The cart was used all summer and will be on display again during the Patchwork Bazaar.  The sign for the cart was made and donated by ASE. 

A major decision for the Friends was to decide on a new bench to replace the old one which had sat in front of the library for several years as a tribute to former library director Peggy Flowers. The bench, no longer repairable, had to be replaced, and a new one now stands in its stead for patrons to enjoy, thanks to monies raised by the small group. 

Ongoing donations include those made to each Summer Reading Program, and “Let’s Talk About It,” the book discussion group sponsored by the library.  There are several projects yet on the “Wish List” and it is hoped that the community will continue to support the Friends’ fund raising efforts in the future, as plans are already in the works for a new “dinner theater” for next summer, with many surprises in store!

The group would like to invite those who would like to be active supporters of the library to attend the group meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of the month at in the library annex. 

For more information, check with Library Director Ellen Tomlinson.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OPD Christmas 911 is off to a good start

King’s Department Store of Orofino donated an abundance of toys, clothing and other items to the Orofino Police Departments third annual Christmas 911 project. Pictured (l to r) are Orofino Police Chief Jeff Wilson; OPD Office Manager, RenĂ©e Hedrick; Laura Wolverton of King’s, and Officer Matt Russell.

Once again, the Orofino Police Department (OPD) will be sponsoring and participating in the Christmas 911 project, a project which provides food, clothing, and toys to children with a need.

King’s Department Store of Orofino has generously kick-started the Christmas 911 giving for this season by donating a wide selection of items for children. The gifts range from gloves and warm clothing to toys like talking Kung Fu Panda, baseball bats, Air Hockey, and high chairs for babies.

A big thank you is extended from OPD for the many items that will make Christmas extra special for children in Orofino.

The last two years the Orofino Police Department has been providing full Christmas dinners and gifts to families in our area who have experienced hardship, and most likely would not have had much for Christmas. 

The department collected donations from businesses and community members and raised over $5000 in the first year and tallied over $9,000 last year.  They were able to provide meals and nice gifts to 16 families the first year and helped 26 families last year. 

The meals included turkeys, hams, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, vegetables, milk, and desserts. The gifts were age appropriate for all children in the family under the age of 18 and were of extremely nice quality. The needs of each child were identified early so that many of the gifts accommodated actual needs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It’s goodbye to one of the area’s best known and loved pastors

By Cloann McNall
  The Weippe community and surrounding area will soon say goodbye to one of the best-known and loved families when the Rev. Don Blain’s resignation from the Weippe Wesleyan Church becomes effective Dec. 1 after 25 years of service.
  Blain and his wife, Patty, are moving to Rapid City, SD to be near his parents, Elmore and Phyllis Blain, as Elmore has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  A farewell potluck dinner will be held at Sunday , Nov. 20 at the Weippe Wesleyan Church. Another farewell dinner will be held at the church after services on Thanksgiving Sunday, Nov. 27 when the couple’s four sons are present.
  A search committee has been established to find a new pastor for the church. During the Blains’ years of pastoral service the church experienced a successful and thriving youth ministry.
  In announcing his resignation Rev. Blain said in part. “over the past 25 years it has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as Pastor of the Weippe Wesleyan Church.” He resigned Sept. 25 after pastoring the church for 25 years.
  Patty has resigned her position as a teacher in the Timberline schools where she has taught for the past eight years. She plans to pursue a teaching position when they move to Rapid City.
  Blain said “I will be moving Blain Construction to Rapid City with me.” Blain Construction is a local business he established and operated here the past several years.
  He said he has been approached about pastoring another church in the Rapid City area but at this time he has no plans to pastor another church.
  During their 25 years as pastor of the Weippe church. Patty and Don raised their four sons, Tom, Josh, Andrew and Austin all graduates of Timberline High School where they received publicity for their scholastic and athletic achievements.
  Tom graduated in 2002, Josh in 2004, Andrew in 2009 and Austin in 2010.
  Tom, a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, who worked here in Blain Construction with his father, is employed in Bartlesville, OK where he moved this year to be near his brothers, Andrew and Austin, both students at Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OWU) in Bartlesville.
  Andrew, a junior at OWU is majoring in physical education and is the intramural director at OWU. He hopes to be on a church plant team in Bozeman, MT this summer.
  Austin is a sophomore at OWU where he is a ministry major and hopes to go to Asia this summer on a church plant team.
  Josh and his wife, Ashley, who met at OWU are pastoring at the Eternal Hope Wesleyan Church in Kooskia where Ashley teaches English at Clearwater Valley High School. Josh was ordained as an Elder in the Wesleyan Church this past July.
  Don and Patty have purchased a home in Rapid City, which has a population of around 100,000. He said “I won’t be walking two blocks to church and leaving the house unlocked there like I did here.”
  “Weippe is an incredible place to live and work. There is no better community to raise four boys,” Don said. “We have been blessed by the community and the schools.” he added.
  He said the fact he pastored the Weippe church for 25 years, after replacing Gene and Bonnie Whetstone who pastored there 17 years makes a positive statement about the church.
  The Whetstones are retired and reside in Lewiston.
  Don said their new home is eight miles out of Rapid City and is close to Mt. Rushmore, Lead and Deadwood, SD where Black Hills Gold is mined.
  He said when at their new home recently their dog Quiver was chasing a ball and a deer grabbed the ball. That’s how tame the deer are there, he added.
  “It’s hard to leave Weippe but it’s time for us to move on,” Don concluded.
  (Editor’s Note: It’s difficult to have the Blain family move as our ties go back to years of association in Colorado and Oklahoma through the Wesleyan Church. I wish the best for Don, Patty and their sons.) CM