Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New young adult book depicts authentic Nez Perce story

The first young adult book from Washington State University (WSU) Press, Be Brave, Tah-hy!: The Journey of Chief Joseph’s Daughter, is unlike many popular and historical novels written for adolescents, because the protagonist is not portrayed as a modern heroine. Instead, her thoughts and actions are appropriate for a girl of her age, time and background.

Author Jack Williams, a Colorado native, worked and lived on the Nez Perce Reservation in northern Idaho from 1969 through 1974. During that time, several tribal members, hoping to correct errors and misconceptions from previous accounts as well as educate future generations about their history and culture, approached him with an idea for a book.

Begun in the 1970s and revised numerous times but never published, the project could not be undertaken today. The author worked closely with elders and cultural demonstrators to reconstruct Tah-hy’s story as accurately as possible—some contributors had heard accounts directly from relatives who experienced the 1877 war and its consequences first-hand.

A chance encounter between Williams and Native American artist Jo Proferes resulted in an enduring affiliation, and she illustrated the text with exquisite pen and ink drawings as well as twenty large oil paintings. The canvases were displayed at the 1976 Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit.

Now in his late eighties, Williams shared the completed manuscript with a friend. That ally, retired from a lengthy career in publishing, was so impressed he would not rest until he saw it in print. He insisted Williams submit the story to WSU Press. Staff members and the editorial board decided to publish it—despite its young adult focus—because the content is relevant to their core editorial program and to the university. (The institution houses author and historian Lucullus V. McWhorter’s extensive collection of Nez Perce artifacts and photographs.)

Based on actual events and narrated by Tah-hy’s youthful voice, Be Brave, Tah-hy! begins with the announcement that Chief Joseph and his people would be forced to relinquish their homeland and relocate.

A few weeks later, on June 17, 1877, the twelve-year-old heard the gunfire that marked the start of war—one that swept the Nez Perce into a harrowing journey across the American West.

Relentlessly pursued, they endured multiple battles, cold, hunger, and death. The biographical novel also covers their escape to Canada and their time with the Lakota and Chief Sitting Bull. It continues with their return to Lapwai and a new life under the influence of missionaries and Agent John Monteith.

Be Brave, Tah-hy! is available at bookstores or can be ordered from WSU Press by calling 800-354-7360 or online at

WSU Press is associated with Washington State University located in Pullman, WA, and publishes scholarly books with a cultural or historical relationship to the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, February 22, 2013


By Ken Harvey

As a kid growing up on Riverside we had a lot of fun playing in the open fields that surrounded our house. There was an orchard field across the street. We would pick apples, cherries, pears and plums. Another field we could ride our bikes or in later years ride motorcycles there. Behind Margaret Wilson’s house was a basketball court. Not concrete or asphalt, but good old fashioned dirt and when it rained and you tried to dribble the ball it was a splattering mud that got your face and clothes pretty dirty. At the end of the street was a great restaurant called the Idaho Inn. Mary and Carl Peterson ran the business and it also was our bus stop area. When it was raining it was always nice to be able to stand inside their business and stay dry until you would see Howard Brundage swing the school bus in for our trip to school.

Next to the Idaho Inn Punch Deyo had the Saw Service business where he sold a lot of us kids our first motorcycle. Going to motorcycle races back then was a big thrill. Just up the highway (where Riverside Sport Shop is) was the original Bee Line gas station. Emma and Earl Williams owned the business. Next door to that (the Camp, Cabin and Home site) was the Riverside Market. Pat and Ellie Hayes owned the grocery store where I made several trips on my bicycle to pick groceries up for my mom. The building next to that (it is vacant now) was the Riverside Hardware store owned by Beth and Pink Dennison. Great people and I used to go there just to listen to Pink tell his stories. When Riverside Lanes was built, what a boom to Riverside that was, not only a great place for many people around the area to try their skill at the game, but this was a fantastic place for kids to hang out. Pin ball machines, Jr. Bowling league on Saturday mornings, and a bumper pool table.

The bowling alley was a second home to many kids and a great place for mom to know where you were at. Roy Soule was manager and Margaret Wilson worked there in the kitchen and she was the rock that took care of the bowling leagues and kept track of the huge tournaments that people from all over the region would come to compete. I know at one time there were 85 teams signed up for three weekends of competition. It was a big thing to be asked to keep score at these functions. 10 cents a line was a lot of money back then.

Just across the street from Riverside Lanes (where Wolverton’s vet clinic is now) was the Erickson’s CafĂ©. Across the street from that was the Union 76 gas station. A little further up the road (where Farmers Insurance is now) was the Phillips 66 gas station. For the people that think Riverside never had a fast food place, a Dairy Queen was located behind the gas station. I know that for a fact, because my mom worked there. There was also an A&W Root Beer stand located where the airport is now and the old highway went around the airport. Lots of good memories as a kid on Riverside.

The 1960’s brought a lot of changes to Riverside and surrounding areas. Riverside citizens saw a need for a water and sewer project for the Riverside and Chases Flats area. The project could not have come at a better time because there were many projects starting to evolve that had the population of Clearwater County area growing quite rapidly. Dworshak Dam, Dworshak Fish Hatchery, the new four-lane highway down Riverside and Chases Flat area that did away with the old highway going around the airport. Jaype Mill was being constructed along with the Grangemont Road project to help with the traffic to Jaype Mill and log hauling. Dent Bridge and Granddad Bridge construction. The school district saw a need for a new Orofino and Timberline High School. Washington Water Power constructed their new building across from the Elementary school. Konkolville Motel and the Avery Apartments were new construction. Idaho First National Bank was having an additional branch built on Riverside (Just Brew It is in the building now).

A few more construction jobs on Riverside were the airport was being remodeled, Stoddard Electric’s new building, Hayes Food Store built new and had Rod’s Drug Store in the new building for awhile. Barneys was constructing their new grocery store at that time. The LDS Church was constructing their new building out on Riverside. Down river towards the end of Chases Flat (where Deano’s is now) was the Payless gas station owned by Frank Davis. In town the Shell Station (where the health food store is now) was new, First Security Bank built a new building on the site where (Wells Fargo is now) Sam Harding had built a new hardware store along the road to Konkolville, Valley Recreation was a new business (where the DMV and County Road shop is located towards Konkolville). Phil and Ron Johnston’s were the owners. Boats and Motorcycles were sold there. Across from the Konkolville Lumber Mill, Geraldine (Jerri) and the late Bill Russell built a new lumber and hardware store called Gem State Supply. Yes the 1960’s and early 1970’s were big times for our community. The population of Orofino in 1960 was 2,471 and Clearwater County had 8,548 residents. In 1968 the combined Orofino elementary, junior high and high school enrollment was 1,640 students. 1969 enrollment increased to 1,675 students. The school year of 1970-71 brought about the highest enrollment of the Orofino schools. There were 1,739 students. Orofino’s population grew in 1970 to 3,883 and Clearwater County’s population was 10,871.

In 1969 Clearwater County was still maintaining the roads, streets, culverts, stop signs, bridges, and doing the snow plowing for the residents of Riverside and Chases Flats area. I am talking from the airport to the end of the four-lane highway. The Clearwater County Sheriffs Department took care of the Riverside and Chase’s Flat area. We had Clearwater Power and Washington Water Power for electricity and Riverside Water and Sewer for our other utility needs. The residents of Riverside and Chases Flat were happy with their community the way it was. Then came the talk of Orofino wanting to Annex Riverside.

June 19, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) The City of Orofino discussed Annexing Riverside. It was stated that Orofino would realize greater state aid with the annexation.

August 14, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) Orofino Mayor Bert Curtis stated the annexation must be completed before January 1st, 1970 for the people of Riverside to be included in the Orofino’s 1970 census count. Planning and Zoning regulations are being considered.

October 9, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) when annexed, Riverside streets would be maintained by the Orofino street department. However, improvements such as paving, curbing and gutters would have to made through local improvement districts (property owners and the city) as has been the case in Orofino. Annexation will mean an increased mill levy for Riverside property owners. Orofino’s city levy for lights, airport, recreation and general funds would likely be added and the fire department levy would increase.

November 6, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) Riverside Zoning Study Completed.

December 4, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) Final Reading of Riverside Annexation Ordinance.

December 11, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) Annexation Ordinance is approved by city council. Approximately 60 persons were in attendance at the meeting, largely from the Riverside area. Many of them voiced their opposition to the annexation procedure, asking that it be dropped at this time. Mayor Curtis said that with the population of the town increasing from slightly over 3,000 to approximately 5,000 it would have a stronger voice in the state legislature, and would also be eligible for more state and federal programs.

November 6, 1969 (Clearwater Tribune) The most favorable aspect of the proposed annexation of Riverside to Orofino, Mayor Curtis said Tuesday is that the combined population would place the city in the population rank to become eligible for state and federal aid as well as giving the city a stronger voice in state government. The city planning commission favors zoning Riverside as a means of controlling its development and prevent its naturalness and beauty from diminishing into a lower grade urban area. The planning commission feels as separate identities it is not practical to provide the city parks and recreation space valley residents will need. The commission states without annexation Orofino cannot provide these facilities for Riverside and Riverside cannot not do it alone. The commission feels that until some union is made between the two communities the people of the valley will not likely recognize or realize the full value of where they live. If annexed Riverside will continue to have their own independent water and sewer system and anticipates no changes in the future. How will annexation affect the county revenue-wise is one of the questions put to Casey Beghtol, council woman. Her answer is “very little as new things coming into the county (such as Dent Bridge construction) will help absorb cost so the county will not suffer any large loss of revenue.”

Part of my reason for telling the past of Riverside and Chases Flats was to show that since the annexing of 1969 and the promise of a park and fixing the streets with curbs and gutters, in 43 years nothing really has changed on Riverside. Yes new business, but they have taken the place of old business. You might say the Health District office is new, yes new building, but there was a business in that spot before. Yes Orofino wanted the new population count for the census and I am sure they did not mind the $500,000 in new valuations from the annexing of Riverside.

My letter to the editor of the Clearwater Tribune last year stated I had attended a City Council meeting on 3-13-2012 to ask the council a specific question. Has the City Of Orofino in the past or intended to in the future discuss the annexation of the Riverside and Chases Flats area (from Barneys Market to Deano’s or the end of the 4 lane). Mayor Smathers said “It has been mentioned” and asked the cities Building Inspector (Todd Perry) what he knew about the possibility of the annexation and Todd stated it had been brought up at the City Planning & Zoning meeting. I told the City Council I could understand the annexation if we were not developed and needed water, sewer, roads, fire and police, but we have all of that. We have Riverside Water & Sewer, We have the Rural Fire Department, We have the Clearwater County Sheriffs Department. We have Clearwater County Road Maintenance for plowing and maintaining our roads.

I told the council that in my opinion the only reason for annexing Riverside and Chases Flats was for TAX BASED REVENUE.

My research from last March in 2012 until February of 2013 has been done by attending Orofino City Council meetings, reading their minutes and Comprehensive Plan, attending Orofino City Planning & Zoning meetings and reading their minutes. researching regional maps from the past to present time. I have spent countless hours at the Clearwater Tribune researching past copies that relate to County and City information related to annexation.

The City of Orofino’s Comprehensive plans states that the City of Orofino should promote policies to compliment the desirable features of the community. A stable population, with a slow growth factor, would be the ideal characteristic that the community most desires. With that said, the population of Orofino in 1960 (2,471) - 1970 (3,883) - 1980 (3,711) – 1990 (2,973) – 2000 – (3,113) – 2010 (3,142). The Comprehensive plan stated that the City of Orofino would not meet its population year 2000 of 3,313 people until the year 2030.

Orofino’s High School, Jr. High School and Elementary School total enrollment figures for 1968 (1,640) 1969 (1,675) 1970 & 71 (1,739) 1971 & 72 (1,647) From 2003 until the present time the total enrollment figures are (1,408) – (1,382) – (1,372) – (1,322) – (956) – (935) – (882) – (769) – (721) & as of a few weeks ago the enrollment for Orofino High, Jr. High and elementary was (746).

I would say by the statistics of the population and the schools enrollment count that this area is not exactly busting out at the seams with a growing factor enough to warrant an annexation.

At the 11-13-2012 Orofino City Council meeting the council was discussing not being in favor of annexing the Riverside Chases Flat area at this time, but would let the Orofino Planning & Zoning do their research with the goal of giving the final annexation review to the City Council for a decision of whether to annex or not. One of the Council members stated that this process could take a few years and Rick Laam (Orofino City Administrator) stated that was incorrect. It would take some time, but it could be done in several months to gather the annexation information. So far the City Planning & Zoning has discussed the Annexation issue at their meetings on 7-19-2011, 1-17-2012, 2-21-2012, 4-17-2012, 5-15-2012, 6-19-2012, 10-16-2012, 11-20-2012, 1-15-2013 and they will discuss the annexation issue at their next meeting.

Not a lot of annexations have gone in favor of the property owners being annexed – until recently. My research has brought to my attention the recent Annexation in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. A group of about 73 property owners that were being annexed as of Dec 6, 2011 decided to fight the annexation. They hired attorney Fonda Jovick from the law firm Paine – Hamblen. Months of hard work by Jovick and the property owners were rewarded by Judge John Brudie’s decision on October 12,2012. He ruled in favor of the Bonners Ferry property owners not being annexed.

I want to be ready if and when the Orofino City Council decides whether or not to annex the Riverside/Chases Flat area. Property owners only have a short time (28) days to formally respond to a publicly announced annexation.
 Please remember this: In 1969 when Orofino started discussing the annexation of Riverside the process of annexation only took 6 months. From discussing it on June 19,1969 to December 11, 1969 when the annexation Ordinance was approved by the City of Orofino.

That is why I have formed a non-profit organization called the Land Owners Against Annexation-Orofino (L.O.A.A.-O) and have an account set up at Potlatch No. 1 Federal Credit Union so that anyone who wishes to donate to the account may do so. I have retained the council of Fonda Jovick so that if the time comes that we might possibly be annexed, the property owners of the possible annexation area will be ready. It not only cost to prepare for an annexation, but it also cost to fight an annexation. Remember this, if you want to know roughly how much your taxes would go up if you were annexed into the city, take what you are paying for property taxes now and times it by 76%. Then subtract what you are paying for the Rural Fire District tax and you will be in the ball park.

Forest Service rep comes to council meeting

By Alannah Allbrett

Forest Service Deputy, Ralph Rau, addressed Orofino City Council’s regular meeting February 12, regarding the upcoming move of forest service offices to Kamiah. The joint Nez Perce Clearwater forests will be managed in one office in Kamiah, central in the district, to save money.

Rau said that not everyone “cherished that idea” but it boiled down to economics. Rau said that a lot of projects (such as fire management) have been zoned across the two forests for a number of years. It just made more sense, with budget reductions, to combine and operate as one forest. Rau stated that with the nation going through wars and other tough times, the forest service has a role to play in “balancing things” as much as any other federal agency. Rau stated that other forests in the U.S. have had to be consolidated as well. “The reality” he said, “is we did not have the resources to staff two forests. But by pooling our resources we are better able to fulfill our mission.”

Rau was asked if the forest service is planning a building program in Kamiah, to which he answered, “No.” The agency owns houses there and has already converted one of them into an office and is in the process of doing that to another house. Likewise, they have the option of converting a warehouse there for additional space. Altogether, they will be moving approximately 160 positions. The offices in Grangeville have another 10 years remaining on the lease. Rau said it cost nearly as much to try to get out of the lease as if they stayed in the facility. The Orofino offices have about a year and a half remaining on the lease.

Speaking of the road crews and fire suppression, Rau said that they will still be in Orofino because they are centrally located here and contracts are already set up. “Once the lease is up [in Orofino] we are going to have to get an office here. It does not logistically make sense to put that office somewhere else” said Rau. “We are the last forest in the region that has road crews. Others contract work out.”

Rau said, in the future, forest service staff will be happy to come to Orofino to make presentations and to answer questions if needed. Supervisor Brazell was unable to attend the last council meeting due to obligations with OSHA and sent his apologies.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sheriffs take stance on gun violence

By Alannah Allbrett

The Idaho Sheriffs’ Association (ISA) met Feb. 4, in Boise. On their agenda were the topic of gun violence and the attendant questions of whether the association wanted to, or should, take a formal position.

Clearwater County Sheriff, Chris Goetz said a good two hours of debate ensued among the 41 (of 44) members present, who meet annually. Goetz, (2nd Vice President and Secretary of the Association) said members were furnished with a roughly drafted position as a starting point toward tackling the tough issue. He said the original draft ended up being “thrown out the window entirely” as it was hashed over by group.

Agreeing that guns are not the cause of violence but merely an instrument to carry it out, the sheriffs felt it was necessary to make a statement that addresses three major points: 1) they acknowledge that they, as law enforcement officers, are sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States; 2) that the courts are the ultimate authority in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights and; 3) they strongly support citizens’ protected rights to bear arms.

Further, the ISA supports the rights conferred by the second amendment while recognizing the efforts of the state legislature, congress, and the president to “provide for safer communities by a reduction in gun violence.”

Without outlining specifics, the statement declares: “We take different paths, but the goal is the same. In order to achieve success, we must work together on issues upon which we can agree.”

When asked if this statement makes individual sheriffs liable, Goetz replied, “It does not. We are sworn to uphold the constitution of the U.S. and Idaho and feel this is a part of that.”

Asked if the position is stronger or weaker than the one issued by the state of Oregon, Goetz said, “It is different.” He went on to say that violence is manifest in many ways, such as gang violence, lack of mental health treatment, drugs, the breakdown of the family, and kids becoming desensitized though violent video games and the media. “Guns are not the underlying issue,” he said. “We thought it was important, when talking with state legislators about the topic of gun control, to come to the table with a stated position.”

The official statement closes by advising people to contact their local sheriff for further explanation to his/her position on various bills being proposed by state legislators and congress. It encourages people to contact their state representatives to let them know they feel on this issue.

To read this document in its entirety, visit the ISA website at: and follow the link in the middle of the page.

Forest Service finalizes consolidation of Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests

Leslie Weldon, U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief for the National Forest System, announced today the decision to administratively combine the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests in Idaho. The decision finalizes a five-year process of working toward consolidating leadership and programs between the two National Forests. Due to its central location, the official headquarters will be in Kamiah. There is currently enough space in Forest Service buildings in Kamiah to accommodate this decision.

“I am very appreciative of the concerns, questions and comments from everyone who has been involved,” said Weldon. “All of the input has helped to inform the final decision.”

In 2008, the two forests began to take steps toward the combination with the intent of generating savings of $2 million per year. That goal has been met to ensure funds can be used to maintain on-the-ground-management and service to the public.

 “With the budget challenges we face, there are some administrative combinations that make sense,” said Weldon. “Over the past five years, the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forest have demonstrated that this is a move that allows more taxpayer money to be put toward improving and maintaining Idaho’s natural resources.”

Weldon said one of the clear messages she heard throughout the combination effort was that the local communities want the Forest Service to maintain offices in their current locations. Her direction is for the combined forests to continue to have a substantial presence in Grangeville and Orofino, the towns that formerly hosted the headquarters offices for the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forest.

Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell says he will continue to work out of the Grangeville and Orofino offices as needed.

“As a result of this decision, I’m most pleased that forest visitors and the communities we serve will not see any reduction in services to the public,” said Brazell. “This process has always been about decreasing administrative costs to deliver needed work to the ground.”

The reduction in the work force and employee salaries has largely been accomplished through attrition as employees have retired, moved on to other jobs, and the workloads have been streamlined. No employees will be required to move as a result of this decision.

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are located in the heart of north-central Idaho. Its four million acres of National Forest System land stretch from the Oregon border on the west to the Montana border on the east, and borders the Idaho Panhandle National Forests to the north and the Payette National Forest to the south.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Forest plan revision community check-in meetings begin Feb. 19 in Orofino

Rick Brazell, Forest Supervisor for the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests, would like to invite the public to participate in upcoming Community Check-in Meetings for the Forest Plan Revision Collaborative process to be held Feb. 19 through March 4. This is the first of a series of community meetings. 

These two-hour sessions will be co-hosted by the Forest Service with Idaho, Clearwater and Latah Counties and facilitated by the University of Idaho. The Community Check-In Meetings are designed to provide updates to community members who are interested in the revision process but are not able to attend monthly collaborative meetings. The Check-In Meetings will include overviews of the revision process, revision timeline, and collaborative input gathered from the November through February working sessions. Members of the Revision Collaborative will be present to discuss their views of the process. The public will be invited to participate in the process and they will be provided information regarding alternative avenues of participation.

The meeting schedule is as follows, and all meetings will be held from 6-8 pm.:

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 6-8 pm: Orofino Idaho; Forest Supervisors Office

Thursday, Feb. 21, 6-8 pm: Lolo, Montana; Lolo Community Center

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6-8 pm: Lewiston, Idaho; Idaho Fish and Game Office

Thursday, Feb. 28, 6-8 pm: Grangeville, Idaho; Senior Citizens Center

Monday, March 4, 6-8 pm: Moscow, Idaho; 1912 Facility

In the Spring, 2012 the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests were selected as one of eight early-adopter forests to revise Forest plans under the new 2012 Planning Rule. Input is currently being sought on the Forest Plan Revision Draft Assessment and on Draft Forest Plan Components. This collaborative effort provides important supporting information to the Forest Supervisor for the plan revision.

If you would like to learn more about the Revision Collaborative and how to participate, please go to the Forest Plan Revision website for more information: or contact Carol Hennessey, Collaboration Coordinator at or Cell: 208-451-6273.

W~i~l~d times at the library

Pictured are Margaret and Richard Whitten clothed in specimens from their collections. The yellow tailed specimens on the left are Argema Mitrei, comet moths from Madagascar (now known as Malagasy Republic). The brown months are Attacus Atlas moths – the world’s largest moths from the Philippines.

By Alannah Allbrett

Friday, Feb. 15, marks the beginning of an exciting new nature series at the Clearwater Memorial Public Library. Noted entomologist, Richard Whitten, together with his wife and partner Margaret, spent many years of their lives in Central America and Africa. Richard has put together video presentations from his collection of over 300 hours of nature filming he compiled over a 30 year period.

The first video program, entitled Tropical Rainforest Adventures will cover the following topics: 1) bioluminescence featuring the headlight beetle (Cucujo Click Beetle) with headlights and a landing-takeoff light on it’s underbelly; 2) White Lipped Peccaries – dangerous giant, forest pigs that actually attack the people who live by them in Panama and Columbia; 3), black light insect collecting – the art of collecting beetles with a white sheet, illuminated with ultra violet light.

In what Richard calls “a grab bag of tropical adventures,” many diverse species will be discussed in the series’ future meetings – it’s up to YOU the viewer, however, what will be featured, as Richard promises to let people choose the critter in which they are most interested for the following presentation.

Neotropical adventures

Some tropical species which might be included for future programs are: leafcutter ants; army ants; tropical butterflies; tropical flowers; monkeys; snakes, lizards, frogs, sloths; spiders; scorpions; wasps; bees; and others.

The Great Beetle Fight film is something you might request, or you might want to learn more about the Whitten Museums of Costa Rica.

African adventures

Richard has plenty to offer if one is interested in Africa, as he spent time studying alongside Dr. David Roubik, a hymenoptera specialist (bees, wasps, and ants) through a study partially sponsored by The Tropical Research Institute, a branch of the Smithsonian Institute. The topics of interest about Africa include: the bee forest of Gabon; carpets of butterflies; Umbaya, the sun monkey; African driver ants, forest elephants, and a program called the, “Horror in the Jungle Laboratory.”

Richard said that his time spent in the bee forests of Gabon – located near the Belgian Congo, were some of his most memorable and disturbing. It required the scientists wearing special protective equipment just to walk outside of the research facility there. “It was a scary thing” said Richard “to get used to the millions of bees of all types, because they want the salt from your body which is not available to them in the rain forest.” [This video footage may be too disturbing for younger children.]

The programs are scheduled from 2-3 p.m., on Fridays, so that school children may attend. One need not be a child to enjoy these free-of-charge meetings, but a child-like sense of wonder and curiosity will bring greater rewards.

This exciting video presentation will be held in the Annex Building, directly behind the library at 402 Michigan Ave. Seating is available for approximately 15 people. First come; first served. For more information, call: 208-476-5033.

A collared peccary is pictured in this photograph. Wild pigs are a dangerous nuisance to inhabitants of Panama and Columbia. Richard Whitten said at times he was surrounded by many of the “white lipped” peccaries while doing his work in Central America.

New road weather cameras installed on Grangemont Road

This image was taken by the Grangemont Road weather camera.

This is a screenshot of the weather camera's website page.
By Don Gardner

Traveling motorists will now be able to monitor the conditions of the road and weather on Grangemont Road, thanks to a grant received by Clearwater County.

The Road Weather Information System (RWIS) site includes a camera, temperature sensors for air and pavement temperature, a winds gauge, precipitation gauge, relative humidity sensor and a road surface sensor that can show the condition of the road surface. Due to its location at the intersection of Grangemont and Band Mill road the site is powered by solar energy.

The new RWIS site will be extremely useful to multiple agencies and the traveling public in monitoring the weather, and road conditions. The County Road and Bridge Department, who completed the installation, utilizes the site to better understand the conditions of the road in that area. This helps with winter maintenance of Grangemont Road.

You can view the new RWIS online at

Just follow the “Check your Weather” link to “Road Conditions Camera” page and you will find the Grangemont camera.

Now it is even easier to know what the road is like if you’re traveling to the Clearwater backcountry or just to the city of Pierce.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Forest Service Supervisor Brazell invited to Orofino City Council meeting

By Alannah Allbrett

Forest Service Supervisor, Rick Brazell, was scheduled on the agenda for Orofino City Council’s regular meeting Jan. 22. Brazell was invited to attend the Tuesday meeting to discuss the Forest Service pulling their headquarters out of Orofino’s Highway 12 offices in favor of a move to Kamiah – taking multiple jobs with it. There was no response by Brazell to Orofino’s invitation, however.

The proposed location for the headquarters, of the now merged Clearwater and Nez Perce National forests, is projected to be moved to Kamiah as a more “central location” for the joint forests. Correspondence has gone back and forth between Brazell and the City of Orofino in 2012, expressing Orofino’s concern at losing this important employer.

Grangeville, conversely, has been active in trying to get the office located in their town, forming a committee called the Grangeville Forest Service Retention Committee, which has been very vocal in trying to sway the Forest Service to relocate to Grangeville, calling their town “a full service community.”

Criticism has been leveled towards Orofino officials, saying they have not been assertive enough in trying to retain the offices in Orofino. Mayor Ryan Smathers maintains that they have been active in making their position known without making a “media spectacle” of it. “We are asking Mr. Brazell if the focus has changed. We are here to go over alternatives and not sitting idly by waiting for them to leave town,” said Smathers.

Petitions Applications Woody Biomass

Mike Hoffman, District Manager for Clearwater Soil and Conservation District, gave an update on the Woody Biomass Project Initially; it will be funded by a Forest Service $110,000 grant through 2014. Hoffman said, ideally, they would like to find a group of investors to fund the construction.

Wisewood, Inc. of Portland, OR, was selected as the consultant out of 10 engineering design entities. Only three companies actually submitted proposals for the project. Hoffman estimates the engineering design aspect will take about nine months to complete. A specific location for the plant has not been selected, nor is the exact size determined. The primary energy consumer from the woody biomass fuel will be the prison with the possibility of providing fuel at some later date to the new CVH Clinic, the high school, the ManiYac Teen Center and the bus garage.In consideration of the neighborhood, the project is estimated to be a “low key” one with possibly two truckloads of fuel per day being sent to the site and offsite storage of logs. Hoffman said support from the community, and county commissioners, is necessary and public input will be sought.

Appaloosa Express

A motion passed to provide the Nez Perce Tribe with a letter of support of the Appaloosa Express Transit, as they seek state funding for 2013.

CVH Clinic

City officials attended a meeting with NAC, Inc., (architectural firm) January 8, to review scheduled plans for the new 20,000 square foot clinic to be constructed for CVHC between Dunlap Rd. and Hospital Dr. The one story building will house 24 examination rooms, tele-med rooms, digital x-ray, a lab, and physical therapy services.
Planning & Zoning

Bobbi Samuels announced her retirement after 30 years of serving as secretary to the Planning and Zoning Committee. Kim Norris will be taking her place. Rick Laam made the recommendation that the pay be increased, in the next cycle, from $50 per month to $100.


The Building and Fire Committee met Jan 15 and made the recommendation not to consider a lease agreement on the Orofino Rural Fire Department’s new station until the building is completed and more information is available. A motion passed in support of the recommendation.


Officer Mike Shore will seek his Idaho certification for K-9 handling. The original dog trainer, from K-9 International, is no longer with the company, necessitating that Officer Shore go to Kansas, with the dog, for three weeks to complete the course.
OPD is delighted with the dog’s drug detection performance, but she needs further training on patrol duties. If Pia cannot meet the training requirements to Orofino’s satisfaction, Officer Shore may choose from other dogs of which he will have had the opportunity to work while in Kansas.

OPD, in conjunction with Clearwater County Sheriff’s Dept. and Idaho State Police, conducted an emphasis patrol on Hwy. 12 recently. Police Chief, Jeff Wilson, reported that it went very well. He stated that they want to take an aggressive approach concerning vehicles containing drugs on the highway. More patrols like this one will take place in the future.

Officer Toombs is spearheading a class at the National Guard Armor, concerning domestic violence. Forty-three people had signed up at the time of this meeting.

Water, Waste Water

Supervisor, Michael Martin, reported that the crew frequently had to go out into the Clearwater River to beat the ice out of the intake vales. By 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening, they could no longer fight the freezing temperatures and just closed down the plant.

The storage water levels were down to six feet – the lowest they’ve ever seen. Kudos to the team, for working so hard, in frigid conditions, to rebuild the water levels which are now at 20 feet.

Future meetings

City Council meets at 6 p.m., the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at Orofino City Hall at: 217 1st St., Orofino.