Thursday, December 26, 2013

A new year and new owners for Orofino Physical Therapy

Orofino Physical Therapy changes owners, not services. Darin Tucker and John Garrison (l to r) work together to assure their clients the best care possible, with the same hometown environment.

There has been some talk in the community about John Garrison and his potential selling of Orofino Physical Therapy. The thought of losing one of the area’s favorite physical therapists makes more than a few residents and patients a little sad, maybe even apprehensive about the changes to come as the sale of the clinic will be complete on Jan. 1, 2014.

Since June of 2013 Garrison and Tucker have been in constant communication ensuring that this would be a great “win-win”, not only for them, but also for the community of Orofino.

Darin Tucker and Chip Sands are the new owners, but Tucker is no stranger to Orofino. His wife, formerly known as Tracy Johnson is the daughter of Neal and Jeannie Johnson. Tracy and Darin have three children, Savannah, 17, Stephanie, 13, and Ryan, 9, and presently reside in Boise. The family has been coming “home” to Orofino for the past 20 years. Opening a clinic here has always been in the back of Tucker’s mind.

“Orofino is a stellar community,” said Tucker. “I have worked in several small communities, but I can honestly say that Orofino is different. There is a very strong sense of community camaraderie here. It reminds me of the old TV show Cheers …where everyone knows your name.”

Because of this and due to his long history with Orofino, “This clinic, of all of the others is very special to me; I am going to hold it very close to my chest ensuring that excellence happens. I am very much looking forward to working with John to evolve the clinic and to be a part of a really cool community.”

Tucker continues, “John has created an excellent business, selling it to us is just a natural evolution of business ownership,” explains Tucker. “Because of his historic success, he will continue to work with us and the clinic, as advisor and consultant. We both have such a passion for physical therapy that staying connected only makes sense. By working together, we have more resources to help the Orofino Community. Out of all the clinics I have developed, I am most excited about Orofino.”

About the new owners

Tucker and Sands have owned and operated a physical therapy practice (Peak Physical Therapy) for 15 years. Their first practice started in a basement of a physician’s office and has grown to as many as 10 clinics. Currently they have seven clinics—six in Idaho and one in Colorado.

Both have an extensive background in sports medicine. Their approach involves both hands on care and proper exercise progressions backed with lots of education. The more a patient understands their condition (what causes it, what to do to get better, why certain things are done and how to avoid additional injuries in the future) the better outcome they will have and more long lasting it will be. “We don’t only want to get our patients feeling better,” said Tucker, “we want them to be as functional as possible when they are done with us so that they can resume all the activities (work or recreation) that they want.”

There are four phases of health the new clinic will focus on: 1) Preventative 2) Restorative 3) Maintenance of good Health 4) Enhancement (sports/function performance).

Tucker believes that as health organizations get bigger they become more restrictive often in the form of no longer accepting certain insurances. “We are going to do just the opposite. Our number one founding philosophy is: ‘We are healthcare providers, we are in the field of help’. We will help anyone regardless of their pathology, insurance or financial condition. Everyone deserves great care.”

Great care is derived from a combination of knowledge, experience and passion. Darin Tucker graduated from BSU with a Bachelors Degree in Athletic Training (certified from 1996 – 2010) and a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science; as well as an Associate’s Degree in Health Science (Physical Therapists Assistant).

Tucker holds certifications in the following fields: Athletic Training (1996-2010); Strength and Conditioning Specialist (1996 – 2010); United States Weight Federation (1996 – 2000); Swedish Massage and Reflexology.

Other accomplishments include: Idaho PTA of the Year 2007; First PTA to be a District Chair for the IPTA; Served as on the IPTA board for two years; President of the BNI (Southern Idaho’s most successful Chapter); Member of the Advisory Board for the Boise 100; Board Member for the PTA Program consortium (CWI/LCSC/NIC/CSI); Member of the Program Advisory Committee for Carrington College’s PTA program, and owns/ operates a Physical Therapy consulting company.

Tucker’s partner, Chip Sands, has a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy and a Bachelor Degree in Athletic Training.

Sands has a wife of 22 years and has a 14-year-old son. He currently resides in McCall, and provides sports medicine services for the Junior Steelheads. He has worked at the Olympic Training Center (1998) and at the University Games (skiing) in Slovakia (1999) Sands has also worked ski patrol for Bogus Basin.

The new clinic anticipates arrival of a fantastic therapist hired out of Texas: Josh Tilley.

In addition to being a physical therapist, Tilley also a certified athletic trainer and has a strong sports medicine background. He has been fortunate to have spent time working at the Olympic Training Center working with world caliber athletes. The new team is looking to helping out as much as possible with local athletics.

Darin Tucker shared his thoughts about the changes in healthcare, and made these observations. His business background has taught him one thing….be proactive, not reactive. “I personally believe that the reason we might have issues in healthcare is not because the system is broken, it is because people simply don’t use healthcare correctly,” he began. There are two problems that he sees:

1) Most people are “reactive” with regards to their health. They wait so long to see that doctor that by the time they do their condition is twice as bad; hence it takes twice as long and costs twice as much to handle.

Because of the inconvenience and cost of care, people avoid going to doctors, only making matters worse. So as a healthcare business owner, Tucker feels it is his job to provide solutions and recommends that if someone has pain that has lasted longer than two weeks to seek more information. The faster it gets handled, the faster it goes away and the less medical money spent.

The new clinic will be offering free pain assessments to the community to determine what actions one needs to take to protect their health and their pocket book.

2) Healthcare providers often treat the symptoms of the problem instead of the underlying problem that creates the symptoms. This results in the patients having to go back to seek medical services several times for the same thing.

If the problem is addressed initially it will decrease the need for future services. This is one of the goals new owners will incorporate in their practice; to do it well and only do it once. This will lead to long lasting outcomes helping to decrease future healthcare costs.

As for the health club, it will certainly remain open. The new owners aim is to not only maintain it, but to expand upon it.

Some of the things that the new owners would like to offer in the near future are:

1. Community In-services (free)

2. Business programs that will help business owners prevent injuries on the job, save insurance dollars (lower premiums) (free). “We want to do what we can to help other businesses succeed,” said Tucker.

3. Educational literature—information that will help individuals better understand healthcare, how to handle certain aches/pains, when to seek medical help, how to understand insurance, etc (free)

4. Fundraisers (free)

   a. “We have some excellent school/community fundraisers that we put on. These are aimed at increasing funds for schools, athletics, etc.,” said Tucker.

5. Working with local high schools/colleges to help students. (free)

6. Free pain assessments for the community.

As it evolves, the new owners envision more hours, more services and increasing the diversity of equipment. They will be asking existing members and the community about what they would like to see offered.

Friday, December 20, 2013

School board meeting shy in attendance

A School Board meeting for Joint District #171 was held Dec. 16, at Orofino High School. Attendance was low, as music concerts and holiday programs were taking place throughout the district. A comment was made in regard to planning next year’s events around the board meeting.

The evening’s agenda was approved without additions or changes.

The board approved the last meeting’s minutes and bills to be paid.

Certified and Classified Employees of the Month were announced by board member Amy Jared. They are: OHS Principal Dan Hull and Jerry Bordoni, respectively. Next Volunteers of the Month, Earl Vicory and Rex Robinson were introduced by Mr. Hull. Watch for articles in the near future featuring these incredible and dedicated members of our school community.

Superintendent Vian reported that enrollment is up 14 over last year at this time.
Committee reports

The Wellness and Nutrition Committee met to select policies which were long overdue to be updated. Policies changed were presented before the board for approval later in the meeting listed under “Action Items.”

Due to the recent survey results not being available, the Strategic Planning Committee will postpone their discussion scheduled for the December meeting until the meeting in January 2014.

Building and Program Reports were exceptionally brief. It was noted that some parents and the principal were attempting to attend all the events in one evening. The board watched them scramble from one site to the next in order to attend everything. Unfortunately, OES Principal, Mrs. Brooks was ill and had spent the day at home. Hence, most building and program reports were postponed.

The board did receive a report from Mr. Jenkins with the Transportation Department. He explained that everything had been running up to par, therefore he had little to report other than news of the three furnaces which received a good cleaning and a little maintenance for better efficiency

Technology report

Next, Russ Miles, informed the board that there had been a disconnection of internet service from Friday, Dec. 13, until sometime Saturday afternoon on Dec. 14. The reason for the disruption was due to the district implementing an increase to the broadband width available for students

Superintendent’s report

Mr. Vian reported to the board that he has signed a contract with the National Guard to provide food service to the Youth Challenge School in Pierce for the second half of the school year, Jan. - June 2014.

The contract amount is $228,852.46 and is for “Reimbursement of (to) Joint School District 171 for actual costs and related expenditures for approved food services provided by the school district.”

Because Youth ChalleNGe students attend school seven days a week and are there all day long, food expenses are higher per student than those for the rest of the district. By providing the food service to the new school on the hill, the district makes 14 % of the contract amount for compensation.

Next, Vian explained that engineers from Aerton Environmental Control Systems visited Orofino Elementary School. Orofino High School and Timberline Schools in late November to help the district control energy usage. The team will return to the district with some heating and window contractors to submit quotes for renovation. Aerton will give the district an estimate for a control system for the heating and ventilation units.


Both high schools continue to work on Accreditation. Site visits will take place in February. Accreditation occurs on a six-year cycle and assures that student transferring to other high schools and moving on with a post-secondary career or education will received credit for their high school learning.

District vehicles

The district needs to make a decision concerning the vehicles which are tired, and which vehicles need to retire or be repaired. A direction for the future needs to be determined, to either purchase newer vehicles, convert to a mileage system, or purchase a couple of vans for multi-employee use and have individual trips bill mileage.

Drivers Education faces the same issue, as the cars are worn out. The district subsidizes driver’s education. Newer vehicles will mean larger subsidizing in the future. We should consider whether we want to continue the driving portion of driver’s education or turn it over to a local business.

Last in his report, Mr. Vian gave a PowerPoint presentation on maintenance projects which were completed over the summer, to include before and after pictures of the boilers and water heaters at OES, the patchwork and painting of Timberline Schools and the roof and skylight repairs of the bus barns. A new covered walkway was constructed to access the new portable.

Bob Reggear exercised his first opportunity to thank Mr. Vian for his tireless efforts in moving education forward and in his leadership of the school district to date, during the Public Comment section of the meeting.

As mentioned earlier, the board listened to the first reading of suggested policy updates recommended by the Wellness/ Nutrition Committee. These include: Policy # 8200 Healthy Lifestyles; #8210 District Nutrition Committee; #8220 Food Services, #8230 Child Wellness; #8235 Water/Energy Drink Consumption; #8240 School Meals; #8245 Competitive Food Services; #8250 Individual Food and Beverage Sales; #8260 Vending Machines.

Before adjourning, board member Charity Robinson thanked other board members for sharing information they received from the November conference in Coeur D’Alene, as she was unable to attend.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clearwater, Idaho counties file suit over travel plan

Clearwater and Idaho counties have filed suit against the United State Forest Service concerning the travel plan. The counties have filed jointly, because “most of our issues with the USFS are identical,” according to a press release issued by the counties.

Both counties are members of the Clearwater Basin Collaborative (CBC); however, the CBC itself has chosen not to become involved in the travel plan issue, “because we felt that consensus would be too elusive,” according to the press release.

In the suit filed against the Forest Service, the counties allege the Forest Service:

Did not consider the local land use plan of Clearwater County as required by federal coordination mandates;

Closed trails to single track (motorcycles) because of conflicts with little or no evidence that conflicts exist;

Failed to consider the economic impact to the citizens of the two counties;

Relied on data which was speculative insufficient or non-existent;

Constituted a management plan whereby de-facto wilderness areas are created without the required Congressional designation;

Failed to consider the impact by snowmobiles or even how much use there actually is.

The counties “attempted to resolve our claims administratively, by appealing the travel plan and those appeals were denied,” said the press release. “We believe the travel plan decision lacked sufficient data, and was therefore arbitrary and capricious. The travel plan does harm to our Counties and our residents and we believe the plan was not done in accordance with federal law. We felt this is a place to take a stand and we would be remiss if we had not.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

Idaho employment stabilizes in September, October

Idaho employers maintained jobs at or above normal levels in September and October, and total employment rose fractionally, injecting some stability into the economy as the state approached the holiday season.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged from August to September at 6.8 percent, and then slipped to 6.7 percent in October, ending an upward trend that saw the rate increase seven-tenths of a percentage point from April through August - the second largest percentage point increase in the nation. Massachusetts rose eight-tenths of a point in the same period.

Locally, unemployment rates saw miniscule changes. Clearwater County’s rate increased by .2 percent, up to 13.3 from September’s rate of 13.1 percent. From August to September the rate stayed at 13.1. Last October Clearwater County’s unemployment rate was 12.5 percent.

Lewis County’s unemployment rate dropped incrementally to 6.2 percent, from September’s rate of 6.3 percent. Last October’s rate was also 6.2 percent. Nez Perce County also saw an incremental decrease, from 5.9 down to 5.7. In October of 2012 the rate was also 5.7.

Idaho County ticked up to 9.6 percent, from September’s rate of 9.5 percent. Last October Idaho County was at 8.7 percent, and in August of this year it was 9.1 percent.

Nationally unemployment dropped in September to 7.2 percent and then increased in October to 7.3 percent, reflecting the temporary layoff of federal employees during the government shutdown the first 16 days of October.

Idaho’s rate has been below the national rate for a full 12 years.

The number of Idaho workers without jobs rose slightly in September before falling more than 1,000 to 51,400 in October - the fourth straight month unemployment has been above 50,000.

At the same time, total employment was up 300 over the two months to exceed 721,000 but remained slightly below employment levels of October 2012 when the rate was 6.6 percent.

Although Idaho’s labor force saw a slight increase in September from August, it fell by 900 in October. That combined with the marginal increase in employment was enough to push the jobless rate down.

Idaho employers added 4,000 jobs in September, slightly above the 10-year average of 3,700 that included both a strong expansion and a severe recession. Job losses held to just 300 in October, when the number of jobs typically drops 2,200, based on the average over the last 10 years. Goods producers added several hundred jobs in October when they typically cut employment, primarily in construction, and the service sector kept job cuts to 80 percent of the 10-year average loss.

Total nonfarm jobs for October were 2.3 percent higher than in October 2012, down from a 2.6 percent year-over-year spread in September. October’s numbers likely reflected the shutdown of the federal government and economic uncertainty it created.

Businesses reported hiring nearly 20,000 people in October, the second highest total for any month since the expansion ended in December 2007 and the highest October total since 2000. Nearly all of those jobs were replacement jobs. Combined with the decline in the labor force, the numbers reflect the increasing size of Idaho’s population 55 years old and over – 25.3 percent in 2012, up from 19.6 percent in 2000.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate, which is the share of adults working or actively looking for work, dropped below 64 percent in October for the first time since 1981. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the share of Idaho households where neither spouse is in the labor force increased from 16.5 percent in 2007 to 20.1 percent in 2011 - the largest percentage point increase of any state during the recession and above the national rate of 19.7 percent for the first time.

The national labor force participation rate in October was 62.9 percent, the lowest since May 1978.

As Idaho’s employment picture stabilized and began to decrease, October’s unemployment benefit payments were down 37 percent with the number of claimants 40 percent lower than October 2012. Nearly $9 million in state and federal benefits were paid to a weekly average of 8,800 claimants in October. Just over a quarter of the payments were federally financed extended benefits, which will cease at the end of the year. An average of 2,600 people a week received federal extended benefits in October.

A year ago, over $14.2 million in state and federal benefits were paid to a weekly average of 14,500 claimants. Almost 44 percent of the payments were federally financed extended benefits.

At the depth of the recession in March 2009, an average of 50,000 workers a week received $54 million in state and federal benefits.

Thirty-five of the 44 counties posted declines in their unemployment rates from September to October, as did all five metropolitan areas.

The same six rural resource-dependent counties that have been reporting double-digit rates continued to do so in September and October. Adams County again posted the highest rate at 14.5 percent in October, down slightly from September.

Twenty counties recorded rates below 6 percent led by Oneida and Franklin at 4 percent. That was up from 15 counties with sub-6 percent rates in September.

URM assures shoppers that using their cards is now safe

United Retail Merchants (URM) a wholesale cooperative serving as many as 160 stores in Washington, Idaho and Montana, wasted no time to enhance security in their payment processing system, after a recent outbreak of fraudulent credit card cases were found to have originated at URM affiliated stores, to include Harvest Foods, Rosauers, Family Foods, Yokes, Super 1 Foods and Yoke’s stores.

URM stores issued a statement Dec. 2 announcing that they have finished implementing enhanced security measures designed to block the cyber-attack against its payment processing system. Customers may now resume using their payment cards (credit, debit, EBT, gift cards) in all member stores.

“Working with a leading payment card industry security firm, we have taken steps to block the attack,” said URM CEO Ray Sprinkle. “We are incredibly grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding. we are humbled by their support and continue to extend our sincere apologies for the frustration and inconvenience caused by this incident.” Sprinkle also commended the employees of URM and its member stores, “We are extremely proud of their dedication and hard work throughout this process.”

“We are learning from this experience and will continue to constantly look for ways to make our system more secure.” added Sprinkle.

Although this attack has been blocked from continuing, any card used before the attack was blocked (except separate stand-beside transactions) could have been accessed and may still be used to make fraudulent purchases. Thus, customers who used their card in a store before the attack was blocked out should continue to monitor their accounts for unauthorized charges and immediately report any such charges to the financial institution that issued their card.

Major credit card companies have “zero liability” policies that guarantee cardholders will not be responsible for fraudulent charges. Again, cards used through a separate stand -beside or dial-up system from Nov. 25 - Dec. 2 were not affected.

URM is working with the security firm, its payment processor, and the credit card companies to identify cards that may have been affected by this attack. After finding signs of the attack, the company devoted all of their efforts to stop it.

The investigation will now turn towards identifying the stores that were affected and for how long. When that occurs, alerts will be sent out to the companies that issued cards which might still be at risk. After they receive alerts, those companies can apply enhanced monitoring techniques or cancel and reissue the cards to protect their cardholders. We are also working with law enforcement to apprehend those responsible.

A dedicated call center remains open for customers who have questions. Customers may call (877) 237-7408, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. PT and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. PT on Saturday. Up to date information can always be found on the URM web site at under the “Credit/Debit Card Announcements.”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

City of Orofino hot topics still undecided

The Building and Fire Committees met Nov. 19 to further discuss the city pros and cons of purchasing the former Health and Welfare building for relocating City Hall. The issue is still in session. Additional information is required before a decision could be made.

The Planning and Zoning Commission met following the Building and Fire committees to continue their work session on annexation. Chairman Dewey Stewart announced that the meeting would open with a brief period for public comment and that the commissioners would continue their work session afterwards to try and reach an agreement.

Emotions ran high as business owners and residents voiced their concerns of annexation, and how to afford additional taxes. There were comments and questions about the previous draft of annexation boundaries they had requested from the previous meeting.

Building Official Todd Perry informed the commissioners that city staff had recommended the addition of four pieces of property to be added into the present proposed boundaries for annexation in Konkolville.

The board was split on whether the four parcels should be included or not. All commissioners were present except for Commissioner Harvey.

A few more questions from the public were accepted but as tempers flared it was agreed that it would be better to wait until all commissioners were present. The item is still under scrutiny. Hopefully, some progress will be made at the next meeting, as it is presently a rather unpopular and uncomfortable topic for all.

2010 US Census Bureau Demographic profiles for Clearwater County

The U.S. Census Bureau counted 3,142 people in Clearwater County in 2010. All kinds of information can be drawn from the data collected. Demographics or the “statistical studies of human populations” are used in a myriad of ways, from education to healthcare, delegation of products and services at municipal, state and federal levels. One can be certain that demographics are used in sales and marketing, Here are just a few of the figures discovered in this area’s 2010 census. Some of the information and numbers may surprise you.

Age and gender

The total population for Clearwater County included 3,142 people, of which 58.3 percent are male, and 41.7 are female.

The median age of the total population is just shy of 44 years old, For men, the median age is 41, and 48 for females.


The question of race is somewhat confusing as some individuals may claim two different races. Therefore the sum of the various categories may add to more than the total number. For the inquiry, “Race alone or in combination with one or more other races,” Clearwater County reports 2,954 of the county’s 3,142 residents are white; 28 are black, 136 are American Indian and Alaskan Native, 135 are Hispanic or Latino; 51 are Asian; and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders were reported to have 10 people in the area.

Relationships and households

“Family households” consist of a householder and one or more other people related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. Of the county’s total population (3,142) 2,536 live in 1,167 households in both privately owned and rented housing.

The average household size is 2.17; the average family size is 2.77. There are 698 family households in Clearwater County, with a total of 259 children living at home under the age of 18. There are 541 husband-wife only families; There are 49 male householders (with no wife present) and a total of 28 children among them. Of 108 female householders there are a total of 71 children.

Four hundred, six people live alone; 204 men and 202 women; Of men, 80 are 65 and older, while women number 124 in the same category. There are 426 households with individuals 65 and older.

Of the county’s residents, 19.3 – almost 20 percent or 606 people, are institutionalized. Of 606 people, 567 are men and 39 are women.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Idaho’s rich heritage inspires long-time resident’s poetry

Author and poet Tom Logan is the grandson of early Idaho settlers who came to northern and southern Idaho in the mid to late eighteen and early nineteen hundreds. Indian Valley near Weiser and the Clearwater River area are where his roots are in Idaho.

With a father who was an outfitter and guide in the wild lands of the state and a mother who was an entrepreneur and business women, he grew up with a great admiration for the natural resources of Idaho and a deep appreciation of the commerce and people of the state.

A 1966 graduate of OHS, Tom served in Vietnam with the Idaho National Guard, and worked as a disc jockey at KLER and other radio stations in Idaho and Washington.

As an author and poet, Tom draws on this rich heritage and admiration that many retain from the places of their youth and their formative years. His writing has a unique way of relating life's experiences with the language of food. The title poem, "A Batch of Pancakes," is an example of how he is able to create images using simple things with which we are familiar.

From the humor of the Clearwater Limericks to the more serious reflective and sensual "Shadow Rider;” from real life ghost stories like "The Brick House Stairs" to the spiritual "In My Garden," the reader is treated to a broad range of poetry styles and subject matter.

Read here an excerpt from the foreword written by Mr. T. L. Washington in Toms' soon to be published first book "A Batch of Pancakes:" "The poems are fantastic, but much more than that, they are beautifully layered with lessons that only a steward of spiritual competency can profess."

Tom also submits regular offerings of encouragement and observation called “From My Office Window” on his Facebook page, where new friends are always welcome.

The Dream Pool, by Tom Logan

Have you ever had some profound thought in the night, but by morning the only thing left is the memory of having had the thought not the thought itself?

Much of the material in my writing comes at such a time. It probably has something to do with the open and relaxed state of consciousness or some other such phenomenon

Part of the writing experience for me has been to develop the discipline to arise and put pen to paper so as to not lose these once in a lifetime opportunities.

Thoughts from which came the following writing occurred at such a time. In the small hours of the day, before light and noise complicate matters, came “The Dream Pool:”

Precious are these hours between twilight and forever. The thoughtful mindful ramblings of care and concern and order are abandoned to the abyss of night and sleepfulness.

With consciousness marking time at half rest, the imagination and creative heart roam field and forest of the wonderfully improbable.

In this half minded place between slumber and awake, thoughts become fluid knowing neither rein nor constraint.

Into this fertile cauldron flow composites of life and circumstance. Color becomes insignificant, bowing away to sound, softness and fragrant memories.

Slippery things that flee before conscious thought, worthy of the pen but flittering and darting away beyond the grasp of some disciplined dialect.

Now then, the process of searching, sorting and sifting back through the recesses and shadowed paths of memory to rediscover what it is that gives birth to these sublime mindscapes of the invisible that seize only tailings of the wealth there present but moments before.

Is this really all it is or could there be some other more mystic and intriguing design that prompts one to come early to the hearth of rhyme and rhythm.

Ah but alas, more questions than answers to these ageless quandaries.

My soul is satisfied, my gifts beholden to those precious hours between twilight and forever as I linger at creations edge there alongside the Dream Pool.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Idaho high schools that are gone, but not forgotten, is topic of presentation

Dick Riggs of Lewiston will be the guest speaker on Monday, Nov. 18, at the meeting of the Lewis County Historical Society in Craigmont. Mr. Riggs is the past president of the Nez Perce County Historical Society and a long-time public school teacher, coach and district administrator. He has written extensively on many subjects of local history.

Riggs, a former superintendent at Highland High School, has been researching former high schools and will present a program entitled “High Schools That Are Gone but Not Forgotten in North Central Idaho.”

The program covers twenty different schools that were lost through consolidation, including Peck, Gifford, Southwick, Bovill, Elk River, Juliaetta, Pierce, Weippe, Craigmont, Reubens, Winchester, Cottonwood, Ferdinand, Greencreek, Kooskia, St. Gertrude’s, Stites, Whitebird, Ursuline, and Riggins. Dick will have a comment or anecdote about all of them.

The presentation will begin at 2 p.m. in the Craigmont community building located at the city park. Prior to the program, there will be a business meeting of the Lewis County Historical Society in the office of the Ilo-Vollmer Historical Society adjoining the community hall.

People who attended any of these former schools are invited to bring their memorabilia such as diplomas, annuals, letter sweaters, rings, belt buckles, pictures and other items to show. Everyone is welcome to attend the business meeting at 1 p.m., the presentation at 2 p.m., or both. You may come early to visit and to view the items on display.

For more information, please contact Liz Hess, president of the Lewis County Historical Society at (208) 937-2570, lele or Shelley Kuther, president of the Ilo-Vollmer Historical Society at (208) 790-7890, or skuther@camas

Suspected case of Hepatitis A prompts cancellation of some visiting at Pocatello prison

The Idaho Department of Correction has suspended visiting for 90 inmates assigned to Unit 2 at Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center (PWCC) after an inmate who was incarcerated there tested positive for active Hepatitis A.

The inmate arrived at PWCC on Oct. 31. Out of an abundance of caution, IDOC has also suspended all inmate moves into and out of PWCC for at least two weeks while health care providers watch for more possible cases.

While the risk of infection is low, Unit 2 inmates will be receiving Hepatitis A vaccine and immune globulin as a precaution.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A can affect anyone.

Hepatitis A virus is usually spread by eating or drinking food items that have been contaminated with hepatitis A from someone who has not properly washed their hands after using the bathroom.

Symptoms usually occur abruptly and may include:

• Fever

• Loss of appetite

• Abdominal discomfort

• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

• Tiredness

• Nausea

• Dark urine

Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can help prevent hepatitis A. Outbreaks of hepatitis A are relatively uncommon in the United States; however, when they occur, public health efforts are required to control the spread of the disease.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Let’s serve veterans as well as they have served us

By Daniel M. Dellinger

During the recent government shutdown many numbers were thrown around. But there is one number that stands out and it has nothing to do with the debate over the federal budget.

More than one a day; that is how many members of our active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve forces have committed suicide over the last year. Simply put, we are losing more service members by their own hands than we are by the enemy in Afghanistan.

Only those who experienced firsthand the horrors of combat can understand why most of these young men and women feel compelled to take such drastic and permanent measures.

As Veterans Day ceremonies and parades occur throughout the country, it is important that we commit ourselves to do everything possible to prevent these needless and tragic deaths. We are their friends, their family, their co-workers and their neighbors. It is up to us to ensure that every veteran feels that his or her service to this country is appreciated by their fellow Americans. There are many tangible ways that we can acknowledge their sacrifice, but the easiest is to simply say, “Thank you for what you have done for our country.”

If he is showing signs of unhappiness or depression, encourage him to seek help through the VA immediately. If she has had difficulty obtaining the benefits that she is entitled to, let her know that The American Legion has thousands of trained service officers nationwide that will help her navigate the bureaucracy free of charge.

And if that veteran has made the Supreme Sacrifice, remember the price that has been paid for our freedom and offer your support to the loved ones left behind.

Veterans Day is a time to honor not just those who have fought for us in battle, but, in fact, all of the outstanding men and women who served in our nation’s Armed Forces since our founding more than 237 years ago.

Not all veterans have seen war, but a common bond that they share is an oath in which they expressed their willingness to die defending this nation.

Perhaps most significant in preserving our way of life are the battles that America does not have to fight because those who wish us harm slink away in fear of the Navy aircraft carrier, the Coast Guard cutter, the Air Force fighter squadron or the Army soldier on patrol. Or they have heard the words that recently retired General James Mattis shared with his Marines: “Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

While we should all be grateful for the remarkable advancements made in military medicine and prosthetics, the fighting spirit and inspirational stories of our veterans are not due to technology. These traits come from the heart.

Many of these veterans are women, such as Army Chief Warrant Officer Lori Hill. While piloting her helicopter over Iraq in 2006, she maneuvered her chopper to draw enemy gunfire away from another helicopter and provide suppressive fire for troops on the ground. Despite flying a damaged aircraft and suffering injuries, she landed the helicopter safely, saving her crew. For her actions, she became the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Women are major contributors to our military presence in Afghanistan and many have given their lives in the War on Terrorism. The American Legion recently issued a report calling upon VA to improve its response to the unique needs of women veterans. The VA and military health systems need to adequately treat breast and cervical cancer as well as trauma that resulted from domestic violence, sexual harassment and assault. America is home to more than 1.2 million women veterans and they deserve our support.

In the poem “Tommy,” the great writer Rudyard Kipling lamented over the rude treatment a British soldier received at a pub. Writing in classical old English, Kipling compared the abuse with the more favorable treatment that “Tommy” receives by the public during war.

“For it’s Tommy this, an ‘ Tommy that, an’ ‘Chuck him out, the brute!’

But it’s ‘Savior of ‘is country’ when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!”

Let us always treat our 23 million veterans as the saviors of our country that they are; even when the guns are no longer shooting.

Daniel M. Dellinger is national commander of the 2.4 million-member American Legion. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at Contact: John Raughter or Joe March at (317) 630-1253, (317) 441-8847.

Eighteen percent in Clearwater County without enough to eat

Clearwater County’s food insecurity rate is at 18% (or 1,570 people), according to the Map the Meal Gap study, conducted annually by Feeding America, the national network of food banks. Among children it is 22.9%, or 350 kids.

The study measures food insecurity, which is the inability to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life. In other words, it counts people who are not sure where their next meals will come from.

You can see the entire study, which includes an interactive map, at =map-the-meal-gap-2013.

In Nez Perce County, the food insecurity rate is 14.6% or 5,710 people. Among children, who are included in the larger total, the rate is 19% or 1,620 kids.

In Lewis County, the rate is 15.2% or 580 people. Among children it is 23.7%, or 200 kids.

The rate in Latah County is 18.4%, or 6,800 people. Among children it is 19.2%, or 1,310 kids.

The rate in Idaho County is 17.6% or 2,830 people. Among children it is 24.6%, or 830 kids.

In total, there are 17,490 people in the five North Central counties who are not sure of their food supply and often don’t get enough to live healthy lives. Among that total are 4,310 Idaho children.

The state average is 17.3% or 274,230 people. For children the average is 23% or 96,090 kids without enough to eat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Steelhead fishing on the Clearwater is good

Mike Bush, of Spokane, WA, is shown with the beautiful steelhead he recently caught. Photo by Charlie Pottenger
By Charlie Pottenger

Steelhead fishing on the Clearwater is good, with fish being regularly caught. Although the large “B run” fish have not returned in expected numbers and the Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) has reduced catch and keep limits to one fish smaller than 28 inches per day, the enthusiasm of fishermen seems undiminished.

According to Evelyn Kaide, owner of The Guide Shop in Orofino, there was great concern when the projected numbers of Clearwater bound steelhead continued to drop from the optimistic original levels to a paltry 7,500 or so big “B run” fish. It was thought that fishermen would decide to forego this season on the Clearwater and seek other waters where the limits were more generous. This has not happened and there have been few cancellations.

Furthermore, anglers are catching steelhead every day and have been enjoying excellent weather on the river. She said there are lots of happy fishermen with lots of success stories as well as stories of the “monster that got away!” Most anglers are appreciative of the restricted limits, realizing that IDFG must save enough of the big “B run” fish for the hatcheries to assure we will enjoy larger runs again in future years.

It seems that the small 2013 return of the big fish is a mystery. Whether the numbers were reduced by ocean conditions, extreme in-ocean commercial netting, or other events is currently unclear. However, it is certain that all efforts to assure the hatcheries achieve a full complement of “B run” eggs must be taken to make recovery in future years probable.

Currently fish are being taken by the three basic methods commonly employed, Fly fishing has been very popular during October with good results. Fly fishing is exciting but somewhat less productive than back trolling plugs or side drifting eggs or shrimp. To rate the three methods is impossible because each angler has a preference.

There a few openings for guided fishing trips in late November, December and January. It is certain that the steelhead are here and that to get one you must put your line in the water!
Super Grilled Trout Recipe
Provided by Evelyn Kaide of The Guide Shop

Try this recipe to prepare a wonderful grilled Steelhead or Salmon at home!

First, fillet your fish and remove skin.

Second, prepare marinade in a plastic bag:

- 2/3 cup Brown Sugar

- 1/3 cup Rock Salt

Third, place fillets in bag shake well and let marinate for 2 hours, turning occasionally. (Do not exceed 2 hours.)

Four, remove fillets rinse with cold water and dry with paper towels.

Five, sprinkle with coarse pepper and grill!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Orofino Water Plant progress right on schedule

Water Supervisor Mike Martin explains to young guests Paul and Elisa Morris that water in the new plant will be cleaned and recycled, Paul aged 8.5, especially seemed to like the idea that it could be recycled. By the time the children finished asking all those questions that Martin so patiently and simply answered I was certain I had learned quite a bit more that day, than if I had gone alone. My thanks to supervisor Martin for all his time and information to share, and to Paul, Elisa, JD and Jeremiah for accompanying me to the water plant.

Always looking for a teachable moment, I invited new friends to accompany me to the water plant. What child isn’t fascinated by water? Although he would like to explore the site further, Tori Howard holds JD Morris in check while heavy equipment passes nearby. JD is one of three sons belonging to Josh and KC Morris. 

The river parted to expose the new water intake pipes will be visible until the end of this month. Clear weather has allowed the crews a little more time to work before the rains come and the river rises. The curious looking red tarp in the river is scheduled to be removed beginning Oct. 29.
Masons have begun work on the new water plant facility, which will house the offices, computers and the electrical system for the plant. This picture was taken three weeks ago, and has amazingly been transformed already. Much has been added since I last visited and the building will continue to take shape in weeks to come.
By Elizabeth Morgan

It’s been since June 2010, since my dear friend and predecessor, Alannah Allbrett, toured the water plant on Main St. to get a first hand look at where the city’s drinking water comes from and ultimately, why the city needed a new facility to replace it.

They say “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” and quite frankly, the photos were pretty scary. I still remember them. I’m not sure what concerned me most - the rust and corrosion of the pipes, or the fact that plant workers were risking their lives either by electrocution (remember the little frogs?) or by daily exposure to any one of a myriad of molds growing from every nook and cranny, or the realization that this was where my drinking water came from.

Let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly anxious to revisit those scenes, except for that big red tarp parting the mighty Clearwater River.

I met with Water Supervisor Mike Martin for a tour earlier this month beginning with the placement of the intake pipes in the river bed. The tarp blockade or coral, was to come down by Oct. 15, but JC Constructors received an extension date of a couple weeks, and now the days scheduled to remove the tarps are Oct. 29-31. Just in case you were wondering…

I learned to swim and grew up along that river. It has been a magnet each summer no matter where I’ve lived to bring me home for swimming, floating and family picnics. The whole idea of the ground beneath the river exposed and dry was intriguing to say the least. I had to admit that I wouldn’t mind getting a little closer look at all the activity taking place in the past few months!

The Clearwater Tribune has had a few recent inquiries as to the company selected from more than a dozen bidders to attempt the amazing feat of making water pure enough to drink.

As money was an issue in the construction of a new water plant, JC Constructors of Meridian was selected for the bid of 5.7 million dollars, while the average bid ranged closer to 6.3 million with some of the bids extending up to 6.9 M.

Construction of a water plant in town, along the river, with all the EPA restrictions was no easy task. Not just anyone could take on such a project, requiring both the knowledge and experience. But work has definitely progressed, and how quickly some things change!

The company has done such an impressive performance thus far, that the site in Orofino will be used in the company’s promotional video for prospective clients. Jesus Morales is the on-site contractor.

The pipes installed in the riverbed will lead to the raw water pump station being constructed on the bank of the river showing the skeleton of rebar to house the pumps. Parris Rebar specialists were sub contracted to install the framework, while Walker and Fox Masonry was sub contracted to lay the cement walls of the membrane and pump station.

The onsite inspector is Dick Bentley of CH2M Hill. A third party inspector, Allwest, oversees all of the plant’s operations, even collects samples from every load of bricks delivered to be assured that every aspect of the job is up to code and that all the systems work together.

The new facility to replace the old water plant (the building is literally hugged by Main St,) is taking shape quickly, and will soon be ready for local electrical contractor Kary Anderson of Weippe, subcontracted by Mountain States Electrical contractors.

Completion is still a ways off, but keep your eyes open, as the site changes almost every day, and if you’re like me you’ll be out there waiting to watch a river turned loose. Be careful not to get too close - remember, safety first!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Orofino city pool project makes progress

By Amber Hanes-Miller

If you visited this and past Lumberjack Days festivities, you likely were greeted by a menagerie of stimulants: smells, tastes, lights, crowds, and a handful of people working very hard to fund-raise for our city pool project.

Each year, for more than 20, the Orofino Pool committee has operated a bingo booth at Lumberjack Days. In the past the booth’s proceeds benefited the swim team; present day, proceeds fund the effort to build a new city pool. For the third year, the annual ATV raffle ticket sales have also been a large part of fundraising. One hundred percent of money raised from raffle ticket sales and the bingo booth are deposited to the “Orofino Community Complex, Inc.” account. Raffle tickets are $50 and only 600 will be sold. The committee continues to sell personalized tiles as well; all tiles will be placed at the new pool facility on a designated donor space.

Financial overview

The Orofino Community Complex, Inc. combined accounts currently have a balance of $56,783.78, detailed as follows:

Pool tiles: $7,602.41

Regular shares and CD: $35,831.37

2013 RZR Raffle ticket sales, to date: $13,350 

Thank you

The bingo booth is a meaningful fundraising tool, procuring over $1,200 during this years’ event; however, its operation would not be possible without the support of volunteers. We truly appreciate the contribution of our volunteers this year and hope they and others will participate by volunteering for a two-hour shift at next year’s event. Your contribution is so very helpful and appreciated!

For a schedule of meetings, to purchase a tile, or to be added to the bingo volunteer list, please contact Lyn Anderson at 208-476-5908 or lynavon4u@

To purchase a raffle ticket, visit an outlet: Orofino Body Shop, Valley Motor Parts (NAPA), Barney’s, LCCU, or P1FCU, or a committee member. Visit us on Facebook at Orofino Pool.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Street Committee opens dialogue for diagonal parking

By Elizabeth Morgan
The Street Committee met Oct. 2 in Council Chambers once again, to address downtown parking. The meeting opened with a bit of confusion, as Johnson Avenue was repeatedly and mistakenly referred to as Main Street, but as the meeting bore on, emotions grew tense, more information surfaced, and then...

It became clear that the wheels were in motion. It was the very dialogue that the dozen or so in attendance were waiting to hear. In fact, the discussion took a surprising turn in favor of further exploring the options for diagonal parking.

In the attempt to reduce further confusion and discord (there has been too much already), this article will focus on the new information brought out during the last meeting. This information caught the attention of more than a few council members to look closer into many of the merchants’ pleas for solutions other than timed parking, including diagonal parking.

Chief Jeff Wilson announced that he and Public Works Supervisor, John Barton had taken some measurements of Main and Johnson streets, which were 40 and 43 feet wide, respectively. This would allow diagonal parking on one side of the street only. They also discovered that for every car parked parallel to the curb, two vehicles could fit diagonally in the same space.

Wilson remarked that while no significant change would appear in the number of spaces, that those spaces that were available were much easier to access and utilize all of them, in spite of a person’s ability, or inability in this case, to park.

The problem with marked parallel parking is that some cars are more compact, requiring less than the 22-26 foot long space, taking up valuable space that could also be used for others to park. Just one badly parked vehicle can throw parking off right on up the block. The other problem was that marked parking still had to be monitored and enforced, when our police officers already have their hands full.

Teri Bolling commented that the truck route on Johnson Avenue was one of the concerns of diagonal parking and one-way streets. “Ask any truck driver and he’ll tell you the four way stop.” Why? “Because it’s easier and safer to enter Michigan.” This raised a few eyebrows and nods of agreement from the audience as well as the Chief of Police. It seems to be yet another reason to further explore the options.

From there, I witnessed the cooperation of everyone involved. More questions arose and still more dialogue came forth, but perhaps a meeting of the minds finally occurred. It was decided that having a plan on paper in front of the council was essential for the next meeting. It would then be possible to look at several options and how to resolve the issues at hand.

Merchants and residents of Orofino are invited and encouraged to attend this special meeting with any concerns or input. The Street committee and merchants and residents are all eager to have this issue resolved as soon as possible, to better serve all of Orofino.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Adopt a Block Project Launch with Matt Potratz

By Elizabeth Morgan
Have you ever known a person who has just been there - whether to chat, or listen, to laugh, to share? Have you ever considered how much it would mean to someone who has no family to reach out and let them know that someone cares – that they still matter? Is there a child or a family in your neighborhood with unmet needs?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, here’s one more: Do you have 30-40 minutes on Wednesday evening (6 p.m.), Oct. 16, at the Rex Theatre, to hear how Matt Potratz is planning to bring the community together in his vision of “Adopt a Block” Project for Orofino?

All I knew about Matt was that he was a person of tremendous spirit and he had been miraculously bounced back into life after being in a coma in a close brush with death. He had been caught in an avalanche a few years back while snowmobiling. I’ve ready several of his columns and heard he was an incredible inspiration to others. He hasn’t missed a beat. Matt sports a fierce determination to make the most of his life and the situation at hand.

As I approached the house to learn more about Adopt a Block, a couple of young boys asked who I was and who I was looking for, they sent me to the front door when another young man answered, and invited me in. Eight little guys altogether were playing contentedly around the house. It was noisy, but a happy noise and they all seemed to understand the rules. “Three of the boys are mine,” claimed Matt, “the others are friends over to play.” “They seem to have no where else to go.” he states simply. On this particular Friday and most of the others, “they come here where they know and their parents know it’s safe.” Sometimes they come to eat; sometimes we watch movies or do activities. It’s what we do. It’s just one way I can help.”

Adopt a Block originated in some of the more desperate neighborhoods in L.A. Matt attends church at New Bridges in Lewiston and the congregation has made some big changes for some very needy residents.

Technically, it was a faith based program, but that’s not a priority in Matt’s perspective. Adopt a Block is all about people serving people, and what better way to serve God than by helping those around us who need it most?

“It’s not about me, my ordeal, or my book,” he clarifies, it’s about helping those who don’t really have a choice,” and that’s why he has focused on serving the elderly and youth in our area. “I’ve checked around and identified a few areas of particular need right now. Brookside Landing and Clearwater Health and Rehabilitation are such examples. Both facilities have many residents without family near and who rarely receive visitors. Matt would like to facilitate small groups (two-five people) to go and share an hour once a week with some of the residents.

At the other end of the spectrum, he is working with the schools to help locate the families of young children with unmet needs. Matt would like to pair them up with a family able to help make a difference, in whatever way they can.

“The best part,” he said, “was that while we think we are the ones giving, we are actually the one’s receiving. Once a person feels the fulfillment that helping others brings, it’s hard to stop. Matt considers it a way for him to give back to the community that never gave up on him and gave him a second chance at life.

He tells how his accident helped to open his eyes to being a person and a father. As one might anticipate, priorities shift after such an event, and Matt wants others to know that we are all capable of rearranging our priorities - we shouldn’t need a tragedy as a catalyst to begin.

“If I had the chance right now to go back and be the old Matt, I wouldn’t do it,” he shares. “No way. I had no idea what life was really about." The relationship with his God, his family, and his sons has evolved ten-fold since the accident.

As the days get shorter, darker, holidays lurk around the corner, and our paychecks (if we have one) are having to stretch even farther, it is also a time of loneliness and hardship for many. A visitor with a familiar face an encouraging word, can make a world of difference to those without.

So on Wednesday, Oct. 16, do yourself a favor, see what all the excitement is about, learn how you can help. Meet with Matt Potratz, and others in our community who want to make a difference at 6 p.m. at the Rex Theatre. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, September 27, 2013

City committees face tough decisions

By Elizabeth Morgan

Orofino Fire and Building committees met Sept. 17, to discuss the city’s consideration to relocate their offices to the vacant Health and Welfare building.

The city has budgeted $25,000 this year for maintenance and repairs at the present site. Presently, City Hall is not in compliance with the ADA, nor does the amount budgeted for this year’s maintenance and needed repair, begin to address the fact that the police department, city offices and city chambers are all limited for space.

These were some of the reasons for the council to question whether or not it may be time to seek a larger and more updated facility.

City Administrator, Rick Laam suggested that more information be collected before making a decision. He would like to research the new building further, including utilities, parking and property taxes and compare those to what the city now pays.

The Planning and Zoning Committee also met Sept. 17, to discuss the zone change from (P) public to (C-2), sales and service district for the old Junior High School building.

The committee felt that the building’s change of ownership from public to private necessitated the zone change and felt the new owner could be better served under a C-2 zone. In doing so, a C-2 zone would make the zoning along Michigan Avenue more consistent.

The committee is considering changing the zone from P to C-2, and would like to hold a public hearing before the City Council at the next meeting, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at Orofino City Hall.

Next on the agenda was the work session and discussion of annexation. There are two areas that the city is considering. Four lots along Hwy. 12, two on Hartford, and two on 105th Street are the focus of one area. It was explained that the last annexation of Riverside which took place in 1969, excluded parcels of five acres or larger. Over the years those parcels have been subdivided, bringing the boundaries to their present configuration. The committee wanted to clean up the lines in the areas mentioned.

The other area the city is considering annexing is Konkolville, and part of the problem is that half the mill lies within the city limits (the area that housed the former bar and steakhouse) the other half is county. “Who will pay what to who for water?” is another question residents would like to know.

Residents and business owners voiced a strong opposition to annexation, most felt that additional taxes owed to the city - (approximately .76 to .8 percent) would be a hardship financially, several to the extent of losing their home or business.

One question heard throughout the meeting was “what benefit of annexation would exist for county residents who are currently not within the city limits?” One person asked “if by being annexed, he would be finally able to run for City Council? A councilmember assured him he certainly could and welcomed him to join them.

The committee is still in session, though it is crucial that any party wanting to address the issues of annexation be present to voice those concerns in the next few council meetings. The public’s input and comments will be taken at those meetings. Building Official Todd Perry will provide the committee with a second draft of the areas involved.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Medicaid Expansion

By Idaho State Senator Sheryl Nuxoll

Medicaid Expansion is the second part of Obamacare that will stifle and destroy our country with its cost, regulations, and “government is the answer” attitude. Expansion would remove citizens from the labor force with inability to move out of entitlement.

A free clinic in Caldwell for healthcare was started by a Bible study group looking to give something to their community. The clinic operates one night a week, serving people who have no insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid—people served by the county indigent program. It saved county taxpayers $500,000 on a 2.5 million county indigent budget. It is so successful that the program is adding another night per week. What a great way to expand healthcare so people have a way to stay in the work force.

To help the poor, we need to help the whole person—material, spiritual, and emotional. The government cannot do that. Why? Because law requires government to treat everyone as the same and equal. But we are not all the same since we each have different needs. People in government, even though working hard, can’t give the personal attention needed for all the different needs for the whole person. These needs are best met outside of government, through churches, non-profits, and families. Our duty is to limit the power of the federal government.

Concern for the poor doesn’t require faith in big government. It requires faith in the fullness of the Christian message, just as the parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us. It demands personal attention from us. The free-enterprise system provides this opportunity for us. This is the power of people working together. Freedom is power.

Our present unrivaled health care system came into being through the Christian Churches and private charity who established all of the hospitals, clinics, and healthcare work. Christendom invented the hospital under the umbrella of Christian mercy. The solution of first resort for health care for the poor ought to be private, local charity, where needs are best met locally. Depriving citizens of private means by over taxation is not compassion. How can they give personal attention to the poor at the level closest to the person? Paying taxes limits the resources for individual and local involvement.

Forcing us to pay taxes to support charity may “feel good” to us, but where is the local personal involvement? If we are going to genuinely assist suffering humanity, then our feelings must be disciplined according to reason and common sense. Other private organizations, individuals, charities have a major responsibility to provide the necessary care before the state gets involved.

Trapping people into dependency is not compassion. St. Paul warned against a church not to provide a daily distribution of food to young, able-bodied widows lest they become idlers gossips and busybodies. In place of generous souls animated by love of neighbor, we set up a soulless bureaucracy run by distant bureaucrats and funded by politicians seeking out constituents by promising benefits. Free enterprise allows us to use resources to care for ourselves and others. It allows us to use our gifts to help others needs.

Why do we find resistance to free enterprise? Yes, there is greed, but greed is found in government as well as free enterprise. In fact, government is worse because there is little or no competition to control that greed. The greatest opportunity for greed is government cronyism, which knows how to exploit lists and lists of regulations.

As humans, we have the right to basic care, love, attention, including medical care, but not the right to every single desirable product and service available by demanding the limitless efforts of others without remuneration nor do we have the right to assume that the government is the primary means of fulfilling that right. Some solutions are:

Expand Health Savings Accounts which give the consumer the price sensitivity and flexibility in health care decisions.

Set up a defined contribution method as opposed to defined benefit in Medicare and Medicaid so recipients have a choice how to use it.

Let the consumer pay the provider instead of providers competing for the business of bureaucracies.

Deregulate codes that bind providers to rules rather than common sense and compassion for the patient.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another successful fundraiser for LCECP and Orofino Head Start

Hanna Johnson, Anson Hanes-Miller and Jenna Johnson advertise last weekend’s dog wash to benefit Orofino Head Start and LCECP.

Friends of LCECP serviced approximately 26 dogs at the dog Wash held Sept. 7, at Orofino Elementary School and raised $845.50 to benefit the new Head Start program.

Friends and volunteers stayed busy most of the day. Many donated more than the suggested donation and some donated without bringing a dog (one person donated $100 and only had a hot dog)

During the fundraiser LCECP sold four “The Works” packages, one door stopper to a non-dog owner, and sold home baked treats. Thank you to all who helped make this a fabulous success.

Kathy Deyo, “dog lover, groomer, trainer and expert” and her group of 4-H members enthusiastically bathed, dried and clipped a myriad of dog species, both small and large during the event.

Friday, September 6, 2013

City Council seeks three new councilmembers

By Elizabeth Morgan

A note to those residents who would like to make a difference in the community by serving on Orofino City Council, here is your opportunity. There are currently three positions open; a councilmember’s term is for four years. Applications are available at City Hall and must be returned by Sept. 6.

A public hearing was held for each of the following items:

Fee increases

Burn permits will no longer sold for $2.50 but will now be available for $5. The permit will be good for 30 days.

The 10-year Wastewater Reserve Program will increase $5 beginning this October, until a $20 Cap has been reached in 2016. Fees from 2013-2016 will be placed in a Dedicated Reserve Program for future renovation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The new Reserve Program includes 150 Orofino/Whiskey Creek users as well as 850 city users.

The Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 received a third reading and was passed. Annual Appropriation Ordinance No. 775 passed for the Fiscal Year beginning Oct. 1 2013, appropriating the sum of $15,046,110 to defray the expenses and liabilities for the City of Orofino.

Committee reports

At the city’s Building and Fire Committee meetings held in August, there was a discussion of City Ordinance 704 – Nuisance. Prosecuting Attorney Clayne Tyler was present to assist the council in finding a more efficient manner to dealing with the numerous properties that are repeatedly in violation of the Nuisance Ordinance.

Typically an owner is given 30 days to comply, and although this works for some of those in violation, often the property is cleaned up just enough to avoid prosecution, and allowed to return to its previous condition soon after, requiring the city to repeat the process all over again.

City officials are unanimously asking for a more aggressive approach when it comes to future nuisance violations. Owners will need to be in 100% compliance with the Building Official in cleaning up the property. Repeat offenders will no longer be given a time limit to comply, receiving a citation instead.

The Community Beautification Committee presented awards to the Winners for the Curb Appeal contest. The winner for the New Home Curb Appeal is Carol Crawford, and winners for the Existing Home Curb are Bill and Marlene Feldpausch.

Departmental reports

Building Official Todd Perry declared a building in the Riverside area to be dangerous. The owner received notice and has had 30 days to repair or demolish the property. In a recent inspection nothing appeared to have been done to comply. The owner will now be required to appear before the council to explain the reason for noncompliance.

Also up for discussion was the status of the zoning for the old school building. Now that the owners have been established it is now listed under the category of being owned by a private entity. But the city council still does not know the owners’ plans for the building.

An inspection is scheduled for the old section of the building among the State Fire Marshal and local Building and Fire Officials on Sept. 4. Once plans are made the city can go forward with safety requirements. The building was zoned P for public. Once a private entity purchases the building the zoning would typically be reverted to a C-2 Zone. More information and discussion will be necessary to proceed.

Enhanced patrol

Police Chief Jeff Wilson informed the council that in addition to the enhanced patrols for impaired driving, there was also an enhanced check on commercial vehicles this past week due to the number of complaints from the telephone company regarding lines being pulled down by trucks loaded too high. Several vehicles were cited for being overweight and only one for exceeding height. Patrols will take place later in the fall as well,

The speed trailers will be out throughout town and residential areas, to help remind drivers of reduced speeds and to use extra caution near schools and crosswalks.

Wilson also announced that his department was gearing up for Fair Days. Signs will be posted the night before the parade to help clear cars off the parade route. “We almost always have two to three vehicles that are left on the street. We plan to close Michigan Avenue to through traffic a little earlier this year. It would be nice for once to have the whole parade route from B St. on Michigan, up Johnson, and all the way to Les Schwab, clear for the parade,” he added.

There will be one-way traffic on Brown and Kalaspo avenues during the parade. Everything will be blocked off Michigan Avenue between B and A streets beginning at 9:40-9:50 a.m. for the parade.

Mike Martin, Supervisor for Water/Wastewater informed the council of the continued progress of the new water plant. Work crews will return after Labor Day and leave again before Lumberjack Days. He also mentioned that one of the city’s dump trucks was cited for being overweight, recently.

Fire Chief Mike Lee claimed he would be praying for rain from now till the end of summer. Many of his crew was out helping neighbors fight fires. Lee also confirmed that no fires of any kind would be permitted.

Council comments

It was mentioned that the sound system is still in need of updating, with continued comments of the public not being able to hear.