Friday, September 28, 2012

From one pound to 20, Hayden Pratt turns two

Hayden Pratt, soon to celebrate his second birthday, is pictured with his parents, Beth and Ken Pratt of Orofino.

By Alannah Allbrett

Hayden Colt Pratt, an Orofino boy born prematurely at one pound, 11 oz., will be celebrating his second birthday next week. His mother, Beth Pratt came in to give an update on this special little boy. Hayden was expected on January 11, 2011 but put in a surprise visit, much to everyone’s consternation, on October 1, 2010.

The baby’s progress had been checked, via an ultrasound test, two weeks previously, and everything appeared right on course. Without ever going into active labor, Beth delivered the little guy at home, however. Beth’s mother (Abbey Walker) wrapped him in a blanket and put him in Beth’s arms, and they were rushed to the hospital.

Both mom and baby arrived at Clearwater Valley Hospital and then were LifeFlighted to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane where Hayden stayed in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) for 133 days.

Beth said, out of the five months the baby was in NNICU, they were on the waiting list to stay at the Ronald McDonald house four of those months. Hayden’s father Ken and Beth had to leave their tiny firstborn child and commute much of the time to visit him on weekends.

The Pratts own their own business in Orofino (Khaybes Optics), and had to run the business as well as trying to spend as much time with their newborn as they could. They were told their son had only a 15 percent chance of growing up without suffering from long term effects of his early birth.

Happily, Hayden came home from the hospital February 10, and was five months old when they welcomed him home.

The Pratt home is a happy home with an active toddler who weighs a whole 20 pounds now and gets his share of tumbles and bruises that two year olds seem to manage. Beth says they’ve discovered a good distraction for when he bumps himself into a wall or some toy. They go over to the wall and pat it to determine if it’s survived the bump, and reassure Hayden that the wall is okay. “Hayden is so mesmerized by the process, he forgets his owie,” she said.

Hayden’s favorite toy is a plastic cow, but he’s also into electronics and loves to push anything with a button on it. Beth says he’s infatuated with lights and loves anything that lights up.  She wonders if this is a holdover from all the bright lights in his early days in the hospital.

Hayden happily goes around his house humming a little tune. He loves the theme song from Barney and hums that often. His Jack Russell Terrier, Jake is his best buddy. The Pratts were a little hesitant about having a family dog at first, but Jake snuggles up next to Hayden whenever he is on the floor. Friendship only goes so far, however, as Hayden will not share his mommy with Jake. Beth said Hayden will try to shove Jake off the couch or use him as a footstool to climb up on, if the dog occupies space next to mommy.

Soon, Hayden will have someone else to share his parents with, as the Pratts are expecting a little brother or sister for Hayden. Although he doesn’t understand about having a new sibling, Hayden points to his mommy’s tummy and says, “Baby, baby.” Beth’s parents, Abbey and Jim Walker live in Orofino as well and are very supportive.

If the weather is good, the family will go camping to celebrate Hayden’s birthday. They hope to make this a family tradition, as they were scheduled to go camping when Hayden chose to make his entry into the world.

Although the Pratts certainly do not wish for an early delivery of their new little one, they wouldn’t trade the experience they had of watching their baby develop for four months, as he would have developed inside the womb. “Although it was extremely hard on us, we got to see him developing in a way we would never would have gotten to see” said Beth. “He’s smart; he’s really smart, and I just know he’s going to be something” said his mom. “But for right now, he’s gone from one pound to twenty, and that’s good enough for me!”

Hayden Pratt is pictured with his best buddy and pal, his Jack Russell Terrier, named Jake.

Hayden Pratt is pictured in the Deaconess Hospital's Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Forest Service Plan Revision in the works

By Alannah Allbrett

Forest Supervisor, Rick Brazell was on hand in Orofino Sept. 11, to participate in a Forest Service Plan Revision meeting, facilitated by the University of Idaho.

The Nez Perce/ Clearwater National Forests were selected as one of eight “early adopters” of US National Forests, to be among the first to work on preparing a revised forest plan governing management and uses of the forests. The process will take a minimum of two years to complete and will be done with the participation of Idaho, Clearwater, and Latah Counties co-hosting meeting sessions.

In the two hour meeting at the Best Western Lodge at Rivers Edge, the emphasis was on forming a collaborative work group to hammer out suggestions in a series of team meetings which ultimately will be decided upon by Brazell and subsequently submitted to the Missoula, MT office.

Brazell said historically, the forest service formulated its own plans, and that has not been a successful model. Ideally, people with diverse points of view (on how the forest should be managed) will give input in the planning stages, rather than initiating law suits after- the-fact.

Brazell said that there are at least 21 designated groups, ranging from environmentalists who want roadless areas, to people who believe the forests should be worked. He said they are looking for committed people who will stay with the process until it is complete.

“It’s a matter of getting everybody together to figure out how to manage all the acres out there. I can’t give away the authority,” Brazell said, “but agreement makes the job easier.”

The U of I reps pointed out “cultural assumptions” people carry with them ranging from Utilitarian Views – working the land; Naturalistic Views – leaving some natural places alone; Stewardship Views – using and conserving land for the future; to Nez Perce Tribal Views – having a long-term relationship between natural and community health.

Planners will have to take those views into account, along with describing roles and contribution of the forests, identifying priority watersheds, identifying lands for recreation, identifying timber removal needs, and identifying the eligibility of rivers as wild scenic rivers.

Community orientation meetings such as the ones already held in Orofino and Grangeville, will next take place in Moscow (Sept. 25) at 1912 Center; Lolo, MT (Sept 27) at the Lolo Community Center, and in Lewiston (Oct 4) at the Red Lion Hotel.

Following the orientation meetings, a two and one-half day Forest Plan Summit will be held for participants October 26, 27, and 28, to initiate the collaborative process. The location has not yet been finalized, but will be held in either Orofino or Kamiah. Meeting specifics will be published once known.

The summit is open to both observers, who could not attend the orientation meetings, and to highly committed individuals who are willing to be a part of the revision process for the entire two year period.

Supervisor Brazell has been at this for 34 years and is looking forward to the day when he can retire and spend more time with his grandchildren. He said his passion is for the land, and wants to see this through and be “the first forest in the nation to get this done and get everybody’s interests met the best we can.”

Dr. Hartshorn says goodbye

Dr. Damon Popovics and Dr. Jeffrey Hartshorn
By Alannah Allbrett
Dr. Jeffrey Hartshorn, and his wife (and office manager) Wendy, were planning to move from Sitka, Alaska four and a half years ago to open a chiropractic practice.
They were tired of the rain. Also, they were looking for a small town atmosphere in which to raise their two children Kylie and Hunter. They found it; Orofino fit the bill. Jeff enjoys fly fishing, and even admits to sneaking out to do a little fly fishing during his lunch hour.
Since opening his chiropractic office, Dr. Hartshorn says he has treated over 1,000 patients in an underserved area. Since he started his practice in 2008, he is proud to have never turned away a patient who needed care. He is moving on to a new challenge, however, as a Force Support Officer in the US Air Force. He will leave for officer training school at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama next month. Jeff said he comes from a long line of people who have served in the military or law enforcement, and he has always wanted to serve.
Taking over Dr. Hartshorn’s practice will be Damon Popovics, originally from upstate New York and more recently Bend, Oregon. He credits Dr. Hartshorn with “bringing me out of retirement” – in the chiropractic field. Jeff told him he had been selected as an officer candidate and asked if he would be interested.
It didn’t take much persuasion. Damon had visited here a couple of times before and said he liked the conservative, small town atmosphere, and the self-sufficiency of the people. With hunting opportunities and places to hike with his dogs, he was convinced.
Dr. Popovics took over the reins Sept. 15, and he is excited to open in a brand new location on the corners of Michigan Avenue and Riverside Avenue, across from Builders Supply. Dr. Popovics will host a community welcome after he gets settled into his new offices and also be offering a health lecture series. His lectures cover such things as nutrition, stress management, exercise, symptom-based conditions, and even back pack safety for kids.
Dr. Popovics attended Cornell University and graduated with a degree in Nutritional Biochemistry. He then attended New York Chiropractic College and, after receiving his Doctorate in 1996, he opened his first office in Prescott, AZ.
After seven years in practice, he moved to the San Diego, California area where he opened a complete natural wellness center. In 2009, after seeing over 75,000 patient office visits in his career, he left California and retired from his practice to teach other chiropractors how to be successful in practice.
Dr. Hartshorn’s last official day in his office was Sept. 15, and he wishes to thank his patients and the medical community for embracing him in his time in Orofino. “It meant a great deal to me to be making a living doing what I love and helping others. After seven years it is time for a new adventure and new challenges – to keep pushing myself personally and looking towards the future.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Destination fun for Dworshak Reservoir

Pictured on Dworshak’s newest floating dock No. 7 are: (front row l to r) Sheriff Chris Goetz, John Allen, Tom Stroschein, Don Ebert, Dave McGraw, Carole Galloway, Ed Lozar, Bert Snyder. Back row: Marine Deputy Mike Gladhart and Stan Leach.

By Alannah Allbrett

A new floating “destination dock,” the seventh of its kind, temporarily anchored at Bruce’s Eddy, was dedicated with an official ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 4.

The dock, with a circumference of 75’ x 48’ is valued at $120,000 once one tally’s the set-up costs. The flexible, bobbing docks can be configured in a number of ways according to need. No. 7 will be permanently installed at Merrys Bay. The rectangular configuration allows for family swimming in the center, with boats tied up on the outer edge. Marine Deputy Mike Gladhart said he has seen the boats tied up four deep, with approximately 100 people enjoying the water.

The new dock was made possible by a donation from Latah County Waterways Committee. The US Corps of Engineers helped to set-up and install the dock which must be anchored with a flexible mooring to accommodate the rise and fall of Dworshak’s water levels.

Clearwater County Commissioners were present at the ribbon cutting ceremony, sheriff’s deputies, and members of Latah County Waterways Committee. Ed Lozar of Dworshak Waterways Commission was also present.

Clearwater County Commissioner Don Ebert said that, with partnerships between counties and collaborative cooperation, they are able to get more done working together. Commissioner Stan Leach said that cooperation between counties makes a difference also when applying for future grants. People from neighboring counties enjoy using Dworshak Reservoir for recreation; one person commented that he has seen the parking lot full at times with 1/L license plates as well as our own 6/C plates.

The end of an era

The modulars are hauled away after being dismantled.

By Alannah Allbrett

If you grew up and went to school in Orofino in the last 50 years, chances are – you attended school in one of the “modular” temporary school rooms which turned out to be not so temporary.

Marcie Stanton, publisher of the Clearwater Tribune, remembers lining up for school “in the trailers.” Orofino’s Mayor, Ryan Smathers, said he went to kindergarten in them.

In the late 1960’s the need for classroom space greatly increased due to construction workers moving to Orofino to build Dworshak Dam.

The metal frames were built by Milton Stanton. “He worked out of the basement of his home where he and his wife, Stella, raised their family,” said Diane Russell.

Diane’s late father-in-law, Bill Russell (Russell Construction), completed the trailers. The old Banner School building on Grangemont Rd. and Harmony Heights Loop was converted to a shop for his construction company. The modular buildings were placed on the east side of Orofino Elementary School in 1966. All four of the Russell children attended kindergarten in those buildings.

The Clearwater Tribune ran an online poll asking residents what decade they attended school in the modulars. Of the responders, 38 percent attended school in the 1960’s; 33 percent in the 1970’s; 8 percent in the 1980’s; 17 percent in the 1990’s and 4 percent in the decade of 2000.

All of the children at Orofino Elementary School will now be housed in the school building proper, saving on high utility bills. The children will be safer and will enjoy being part of the real school; teachers will enjoy the convenience. But it also marks the end of an era for a little town, spurred on by the construction of the third tallest dam in the United States and the tallest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wally Rugg, 27 years a printer, and life is still good

By Alannah Allbrett

One of the Clearwater Tribune’s own, Wally Rugg, came to work at the paper in December of 1946 as an assistant printer’s devil. But Wally’s story begins in Canada where he was born. His parents moved to the big town of Peck when he was only two, so I guess you could call Wally a “native.” He graduated in 1942, from Peck High School which, in those days, was on “top of a hill.”

Wally served in the Air Force in WWII, stationed in St. Petersburg, FL during his basic training and later at McCord AFB. He was with the combat aviation engineers who built airfields for fighter planes.

Back home, one of Wally’s first jobs was driving a laundry truck route that covered Pierce, Weippe, and Grangeville. He dropped clothes off at the Orofino Laundry, across Orofino Creek. Wally spent some time working for the Sports Shop and later was hired at the Clearwater Tribune where he apprenticed and worked his way up from a printer’s devil to a career as a pressman and compositor. Wally said it took six years to become a Journeyman Printer. He got on-the-job training, subsidized through the GI Bill.

Wally learned many things in his newspaper years, such as running the hand press, a platen press – used for smaller print jobs like envelopes, campaign cards, letterhead, statements, and prescription pads. In those days, the paper did all the printing jobs for local businesses and the courthouse. Printing was not easy in those days working with hot metal, melted at 560 degrees, in an electric pot. Wally melted the metal for the metal pigs that were fed into the linotype machine. The news was set, one line at a time, and a page of set type slugs weighed 50 pounds. Wally said they almost ran a dog through the press one time when it jumped up on the paper.

During the flood of 1948, which put some of the equipment and paper supplies under water at the Tribune, Wally and Harley Casteel shoveled about two feet of snow off of the roof. Twenty-two inches of water ran through the building that day, and still the paper was published.

Wally met his sweetheart, Louise Conard in 1946. She was a local girl of 19, working as a waitress at the Riverside Café. He was an older man of 23 when he swept her off her feet. Louise became Mrs. Rugg in August of 1946, and the couple raised three children together. Their son John and daughters Marilyn and Patty all live in Lewiston today.

In his career as a printer, Wally worked for 27 years until health issues forced him to give it up. He served his community as the Post Commander of VFW Post 3296, and has served in all offices in the Odd Fellows Lodge. He is a Life Member of both organizations. Wally stayed in Orofino until 1993, but since his kids lived and worked in Lewiston, he relocated there. He lives in a seniors’ apartment building where he says he enjoys playing cribbage, the monthly dances, and he still goes out once in awhile to the casino. “Nothing can take your money quicker than the nickel slots,” he said. So Wally wisely sticks to playing the penny machines. Life is good for this retired printer, especially a day out fishing with his son.

Wally Rugg (seated) is surrounded by his family, Patty Rugg Leonard, John Rugg and Marilyn Rugg Britain.

Pictured is Wally Rugg, setting type for an advertisement, in his glory days at the Clearwater Tribune.

Co-worker of Wally Rugg, Julian Dahl is pictured working at the linotype machine at the Clearwater Tribune in October of 1967.

Julian Dahl (left) and Wally Rugg, pictured hard at work putting out the paper.

The Blue Moon, not so blue after all

August’s Blue Moon, as viewed through a smoky haze, hanging over the Clearwater Valley Friday evening. Photo by Alannah Allbrett
By Alannah Allbrett

August’s Blue Moon was viewed through a smoky haze that hung over the Clearwater Valley Friday, August, 31.

Folklore calls it a Blue Moon when it is the second full moon to appear in one month; the first occurred on August first. Our word for month is derived from the word moon.

The blue moon phenomena usually happens every couple of years. Depending upon what source you use, the next blue moon should fall on July 31, 2015 [Washington Post], or on August 21, 2013 [EarthSky News a Clear Voice for Science], etc.

While the moon is not actually blue in color, it has fostered several colorful customs – proposing under a blue moon, naming alcoholic beverages for it such as the Blue Moon Martini. And, in Idaho, there is a Blue Moon Café, Blue Moon Bar & Grill at Lava Hot Springs, and a Blue Moon Outfitters.

The name seems to have been derived from a goof-up when, in 1946, amateur astronomer James Hugh Pruett (Sky & Telescope) “incorrectly assumed how [the term] blue moon had been used in the Maine Farmers’ Almanac. Pruett unintentionally mangled the original blue moon definition, and it thus became the second full moon in a given month.”

According to an article from Mail Online, Science & Tech, blue moons came about after the eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883, when “Ash soared right into the upper echelons of the atmosphere; blue moons were reported around the world, for up to two years.”

Americans took to the blue moon idea, and the concept lives on. The Slooh Space Camera broadcasted the lunar event this year and dedicated it to the late Neil Armstrong, America’s legendary astronaut who first set foot on the moon. Cosmically, the blue moon sighting fell on the day Armstrong was laid to rest. His family suggested looking up at the moon in the night sky and giving Neil a wink.