Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Discharge flows from Dworshak Reservoir to further increase

Discharge flows from Dworshak Dam were increased again March 22, from approximately 17,000 c.f.s. (cubic feet per second) to about 20,000 c.f.s., to make room for anticipated inflows resulting from additional rainfall and snowmelt in the Clearwater sub-basin, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water-management officials.

Corps officials advise boaters and other people using regulated waterways to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Water-management changes can be pretty dynamic this time of year as weather systems come through the region and temperatures begin to rise.

Managing water levels to reduce flood risk throughout the reservoir system requires constant weather and snow-pack monitoring and making appropriate adjustments to ensure enough storage space is available for rainfall and snowmelt that occurs each spring.

Current water-management conditions can be viewed online at -- click on "Hourly" and look in the "TOTAL" column under the "OUTFLOW" heading on the reservoir report. Reservoir elevation is found in the "FOREBAY" column under the "EL AT POWERHOUSE" heading.

During fiscal year 2012, 1.98 billion kW hours of electrical power was produced by Dworshak Dam's three generating units. Since Dworshak Dam became operational in June 1972, it has prevented about $2.8 million in potential local flood damages.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dent Acres boat ramp is open; early season camping starts March 28

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir are gearing up for the early recreation season by opening the Dent Acres boat ramp, as of March 14.

“With the weather beginning to warm, kokanee fishing is really starting to pick up in reservoir areas near the dam and at Canton Creek. Most are averaging about 10-inches long and pretty fat." said Paul Pence, natural resources manager at the dam. "It might be a little cold for swimming this time of year, but Dworshak still has a lot to offer outdoor-lovers—camping, hiking, picnicking, visitor center activities, fishing and boating,”

Rangers encourage campers to make reservations soon for space at one of their scenic campgrounds. The following recreation opportunities are scheduled to open as listed below:

Dent Acres Campground will open on March 28, weather permitting. Dent Acres campsites cost $10 per day by self-deposit registration during the early season. Regular season camping will start May 22, for $18 per night. To reserve a favorite camping spot and date, please make reservations well in advance of your target date.

To reserve your site at Dent Acres Campground, Dent Acres Group Camp, or Dent Acres picnic shelter you can call 1-877-444-6777 or go online to Golden Age and America the Beautiful discounts are accepted, so please have card numbers available to include when registering.

Merrys Bay day use area, Dam View, Canyon Creek and Grandad campgrounds will open on April 1, weather permitting.

Turkey hunting season starts soon, with a youth hunt April 8-14, and general season starting on April 15. Hunting is allowed on all Corps property around the reservoir except in developed recreation areas. Be aware that ATV operation is prohibited off of designated roads, and behind gates or fences. Please, follow all safety precautions while recreating in the forest during the hunting season, and be aware the reservoir is still very cold from the spring runoff.

Water discharged from Dworshak Dam may fluctuate to accommodate run-off as warmer springtime conditions melt snow. Corps officials advise boaters and other persons using water ways, both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River, to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Always be aware of the risk of hypothermia, and wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. Boat operators should also keep the fluctuating reservoir levels in mind when anchoring or tying-off their vessels.

School groups are invited to visit Dworshak Dam Visitor Center where they can learn about hydropower, and the natural and cultural history of the area. The visitor center offers a variety of interpretive displays, tours, water safety activities, and historical movies, including the popular "Last of the Log Drives" and "Dworshak Dam Construction."

For more information about the visitor center, water safety, recreation opportunities or current conditions, call 208-476-1255, or stop by the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Community support of Youth ChalleNGe is phenomenal

By Pam Jones

Derek Newland, Director of the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy (IDYCA) of Pierce, spoke to Orofino Chamber members at the March 5 meeting. Derek was raised in Boise, graduating from Boise State in 1981. He had been retired from the National Guard for three weeks prior to accepting the opportunity to be the director at Pierce.

He has been working with Superintendent Bob Vian to get through the legislative process. There is a 75/25 Federal/State match for funding for the program. There are a total of 49 employees, all living in Pierce, Weippe and Orofino. All employees are state employees. Four additional positions will be open this summer. Currently there are five teachers and one principal. All of the teachers and cooks are employees of the school district. Bob Vian commented that for each position filled at the academy, another position opened up in the area from those leaving previous jobs. “The love of the staff is what makes this program so successful,” commented Newland.

“The first two weeks were difficult, as you can imagine, for these kids coming out of their environment, losing their cell phones, losing their iPads and their iPods, their computers and Facebook, their caffeine and nicotine, narcotic drugs, and then we’re going to throw them all together in a barracks and learn how to get along. It’s been quite a journey to see them transform and doing what they are doing,” said Newland. The cadets had no contact with anyone outside the academy for the first two weeks. After the initial two week period the Candidates were allowed a five minute phone call with their families.

Weekly competitions earn cadets additional phone time and other privileges. Students start out as Candidates. After the first two weeks they progress from Candidate to Cadet; then from Cadet to Cadet Airman, which is the same as a single stripe in the Air Force. From Airman they advance to Airman Basic and then on to Sr. Airman. Each progression in rank earns them more privileges.

Twenty-five percent of the students are girls. The students are divided into three groups: the Mountain Gems (girls), the Ax Men (boys age 17-18), and the Scouts (boys 16-17). The three groups do not interact.

Out of 99 beginning candidates, 83 are with the program today. It is a volunteer program that takes sacrifice and commitment on the part of the students. The students are working towards achieving 14 credits (which is one and a half years’ worth of credits) in five and a half months. The cadets are involved in academics from morning until evening five and six days a week with huge successes.

Upon graduation the community can help by doing mock interviews with the graduates for job positions. This does not mean that the employer is going to hire the student; they are just providing a real-life experience to help them prepare for the interview process.

The cadets are required to fulfill 40 hours of service to the community prior to graduation. They recently were able to assist at the VA Home in Lewiston and spend a day with the vets and play games with them, etc. They will be working with Dworshak and the Forest Service. The main goal is to get the students to a point where they will be able to graduate with their class and become contributing members of society.

The students will have mentors for a 12-month period after they graduate that they will work with on a weekly and monthly basis to make sure they are following the goals they have put together when they leave the academy. Youth ChalleNGe has had 120,000 graduates nationwide in the 20 years the program has been in existence.

Mr. Newland commented that “the community support is phenomenal. I would like to thank the community for looking at Facebook, watching the paper and keeping track.”

The academy does not provide the extracurricular activities that the other schools have for the cadets. An individual in Pierce has offered to provide music/choir to the cadets for a couple of hours once a week. “We are looking for someone that wants to teach art for a couple of hours once a week. I would love to find somebody that knows how to weld that has his own welding equipment to hold welding classes for some of the young men who have a real want and desire to do something like that,” said Mr. Newland.

The requirements to be a student at the academy are:

- Must be ages 16 to 18

- Must be a high school dropout or at risk student

- Must be a resident of Idaho

- Must have no felonies

- Must volunteer for the program

The program is free to the students.

Youth ChalleNGe is the only alternative school in Idaho that is required to have the same amount of class hours as public school students. Core classes are from Monday through Thursday and alternative classes (art, physical training, music, etc.) are from Friday through Sunday. Classes start after breakfast at 7:45-8 a.m. and go throughout the day and into the evening with lunch and dinner breaks. The cadets “hit the rack” at 9 p.m. and are up at 5 a.m. A whole school year is completed in a matter of weeks compared to months in the public school system. “Everything is earned-nothing is given,” said Newland.

Cadets at the meeting commented that they like the physical training and that the staff is very supportive; they don’t like the drama between the girls and that they have no contact with their families. Newland commented that there is just as much drama in the boys’ dorm as there is in the girls’.

Chamber guests

Tabby Haskett, with the Clearwater Tribune, was introduced by Pam Jones. Tabby will be covering the Chamber meetings for the articles in the newspaper.

Jeff Jones introduced Jason Mechling as the new manager of Les Schwab.


CVH Ladies Night Out will be March 27 at 5:30 p,m. Free mammograms and pap smears will be offered for those who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

Bob Vian encouraged everyone to vote on the upcoming Maintenance and Operating Levy for Orofino Joint School District #171.

Amber Hanes-Miller will be hosting a Chamber After Hours on March 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the DMV building. This is an opportunity to introduce the various services that are available in the building. The community is welcome to bring the family.

Special events

The Chamber Auction is Friday, March 14. The doors will open at 5 p.m. at the Best Western. The theme is “Pot of Gold”. Contact Kim S-Browning at the Chamber office to donate items for the auction.

The Fun Run will be in June. Contact Kim or Monica Jones for more information.
Executive Director’s report

The Discover guide from North Central Idaho Travel Association (NCITA) will be printed at the end of the week. Stephanie Deyo is working on the social media for NCITA. If anyone has pictures, events or information to promote the area, feel free to contact Stephanie.

The Orofino Chamber of Commerce Adventure Guides are here. Contact Kim at the Chamber office.
Committee reports

Matt Sartini reported that on the last legislative conference call a bill is going through regarding trauma centers. The closest trauma center to us is St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, which means that some emergency services could completely bypass CVH as a care facility.

The April program will be presented by SCORE, a business mentorship program. The CBC Wilderness Society will present the program in June.

The Chamber of Commerce meets the first Wednesday of the month at noon at the Ponderosa in the banquet room.

DISH Network scam reported in Orofino

An Orofino resident this week contacted the Clearwater Tribune regarding a phone call from DISH Network that she believed to be a scam.

On Monday, out of the blue, an individual claiming to be a representative of DISH Network called her to say that her satellite receiver needed to be replaced. The caller said it would cost $100 to replace the receiver, but that they would give her $10 off her monthly bill, over a period of 10 months, to pay for the receiver.

The caller then asked for her debit card. By this time, she had given the phone to her son, who refused the caller’s request for a debit card.

The Clearwater Tribune is frequently contacted about all manner of telephone scams, from callers purporting to represent legitimate companies or government agencies. These scams usually target senior citizens.

If you receive a call and are at all uncertain about the legitimacy of the call, hang up. Use the internet, a phone book, or some other means to find a legitimate contact number for the business or agency the caller claimed to represent, and call and ask the business or agency whether they actually contacted you.

Victims of these scams always report that the caller was very convincing, but real companies and agencies do not call you out of the blue and request credit card or bank information.

In an interesting twist in this particular case, the Orofino resident said that the day before, this past Sunday, a man claiming to be with DISH Network came to her house and worked on her satellite dish. The resident reported that, while he was working on the dish, she did not notice a marked DISH Network vehicle parked anywhere within sight.

It is unknown whether or not the repairman was involved with the telephone scam, but she and her son reported him to the police.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tough Mudder: For Wounded Warriors

Two local employees of Nightforce Optics, Christopher Stump of Orofino, and Josh Stuart of Peck, will be traveling to Las Vegas, NV on April 26-27, to take part in the “Tough Mudder” competition.

The competition raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project and is a physical adventure challenge that promotes teamwork and camaraderie. This is something they have chosen to do on their own, without sponsorship or monetary help for any expenses incurred.

Chris and Josh are former Navy servicemen, hence the team name they’ve chosen: the “Idaho Squids.” They are looking forward to tackling the obstacle courses which are designed to test all-around strength, stamina and mental grit, qualities that surely served them well while they were enlisted men.

If you are interested in donating to the Wounded Warrior Project as a gesture of support for one or both of these veterans, please go to the following website to contribute in their name: click on the “Donate Now” link under either of their names.

If you have any questions about Chris and Josh’s adventure, or wish to extend either of them words of support and encouragement, please send an e-mail to them in care of:

You can check out the Tough Mudder website for more information about this worthy worldwide event at

About Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses and over one million inspiring participants worldwide, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.

Tough Mudder is a proud supporter of Wounded Warrior Project. To date, Tough Mudder participants have raised over $6 million to support thousands of warriors returning from the battlefield. Every dollar raised is well spent:

Providing combat stress recovery programs; adaptive sports programs; benefits counseling. employment services.

These are only a few examples of the programs offered to our injured veterans! These programs and services aid in brave Americans’ transition from service-connected injury to civilian life.

Tough Mudder is more than an event; it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time and discover camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days.

Tough Mudder by the numbers

78%: Average percentage of participants who finish a Tough Mudder.

80%: Percentage of participants who do Tough Mudder as part of a team.

1,000+: Number of people who have the Tough Mudder logo permanently tattooed on their body.

3.5 hours: Average time it takes to finish a Tough Mudder course.

10 to 12 miles: Length of a Tough Mudder course.

If you are interested in participating in this event and participating on a team, please contact Chris Stump or Josh Stuart.

Good luck, Chris and Josh, and thank you both for your past service to our country and for supporting our wounded servicemen and women!

Two school levies go to vote March 11

The Orofino Joint School District #171’s two school levies will go to voters Tuesday, March 11. Voters will decide on a two-year Maintenance & Operations levy with no increase either year. If passed by patrons the amount will remain at $2,285,000 per year for two fiscal years (total two year levy is $4,570,000.)

According to School Superintendent Bob Vian a two-year levy would allow the district to better plan for the future, providing more security for younger staff by assuring more stable funding and allow the taxpayers to know what taxes will be in the future for personal budgeting. The two-year levy will also reduce the cost and number of elections by 50 percent.

If the levy passes it will also guarantee taxpayers that there will not be a tax increase in locally funded operating expenses over the three years that the current and proposed school levies are in effect.

Last year’s levy of the same amount, $2,285,000, resulted in a property tax rate of approximately $4.55 per thousand dollars of taxable property value during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The second levy is a School Facility Plant Levy for 10 fiscal years at $100,000 per year. This is for health and safety improvements in the district’s five schools. If approved by 55% of voters the tax rate is expected to be less than 20 cents per thousand of property tax value.

For more information on the election see the Sample Ballot on page 4B of this week’s Clearwater Tribune.