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THE VOICE OF PEND OREILLE COUNT Y SINCE 1901
Freeman principal new Newport schools superintendent
Dave Smith’s father was superintendent here in 1980s BY DON GRONNING OF THE MINER
NEWORT – Dave Smith Jr., a 1989 graduate of Newport High School, was formally selected as the new superintendent of the Newport School District Monday, July Smith 1, during a special school board meeting. Smith, 42, will start work Monday, July 8. The board appointed business manager Tom Crouch to serve as interim superintendent for a week. Smith said he was happy to return to Newport. “I‘m happy to come here. I know a lot of people here,” he said after Monday’s board meeting. “I wasn’t planning to apply for any jobs until I heard this one opened up.” The board voted unanimously to hire Smith. School board president April Owen said Smith stood out among the 14 candidates who applied for the job. “We thought he would be a good fit,” she said. “He has a good personality and lots of positive ideas.” Smith has been high school principal and Career and Technical Education director for the Freeman School District for the last six years. Prior to that he spent four years as elementary school principal and director of special education for Freeman. He has also worked as a
classroom teacher, teaching special education for four years at Horizon Middle School in the Central Valley School District. Smith got his undergraduate degree from Whitworth University in Spokane. He received a master’s degree from Washington State University and is working on his doctorate at WSU. Smith, who played football, basketball and baseball in high school, joined the U.S. Navy right after graduation. He served four years, stationed in California, where he met his wife, Melissa. Initially, the Smiths will live at Diamond Lake. They have four sons, ages 9, 12, 15 and 18. Melissa Smith has her teaching credentials. When the Smiths moved back to Washington after he got out of the Navy, she taught Spanish for the Riverside School District. She also teaches religious education at St. Anthony Parish in Spokane. School board members conducted a three-week search to find a person to replace Jason Thompson, the former superintendent who left to take a job as executive director of human resources for the Marysville School District. Owen said it was a challenge to hire somebody that fast. In the end, though, they ended up with a strong group of prospects, she said. “We had a good pool of candidates,” she said. The board narrowed the 14 candidates to three – Smith, Chris Rust, principal of
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Volume 110, Number 22 | 2 Sections, 20 Pages
MINER PHOTO|DON GRONNING
Ray and Dilys Raley are regulars at the Camas Center for Community Wellness swimming pool in Usk. Here they get their weekly swim. The Raleys live in Newport and ride the Rural Resources van to the center each week. Ray is 92 and Dilys is 89.
Swimming keeps these seniors active BY DON GRONNING OF THE MINER
USK – It’s a Wednesday morning and Ray and Dilys Raley are doing what several others are doing – swimming at the Camas Center for Community Wellness. But there is something unique about the couple that most wouldn’t notice: Dilys is 89 and Ray is 92. “They’re here every week,” says Sheri Webb, who works as a lifeguard at the center. They swim for about a half hour. The Raleys have been swimmers most of their lives. “I’ve always felt swimming is the best exercise,” says Dilys. They were raised in California and moved to Newport nine years ago. “We had some friends who were moving up here
SEE SUPER, 2A
The Raleys grab a bite to eat in the Camas Wellness Center cafeteria before heading back to Newport after their swim.
SEE SWIMMERS, 2A
MINER PHOTO|DON GRONNING
Pend Oreille County plans for timber harvests BY JANELLE ATYEO OF THE MINER
MINER PHOTO|DON GRONNING
Kayaking at the cove These three were out kayaking into the Albeni Cove campground area, taking advantage of the summer weather Friday, June 28. In addition to a popular swimming area, Albeni Cove has a boat launch and campsites.
NEWPORT – Pend Oreille County is planning about $140,000 worth of timber harvesting from county land this year. The commissioners approved a tentative harvest plan at their regular meeting June 24 and also hired a new consulting company to manage the county’s timber. The timber market is looking better than it has in the past few years, Pend Oreille County Commissioner Steve Kiss said. Kiss has been a self-employed logging contractor for 40 years. “Right now they’re feeling out the demand. At least it’s an upward motion,” he said.
|| Offices closed for holiday NEWPORT – Government offices and libraries will be closed Thursday, July 4 in celebration of Independence Day, and the U.S. Postal Service will not deliver mail that day. Pend Oreille County commissioners did not meet this week. The Priest River Driver’s License Office will be closed July 4 and 5 and will re-open for business July 8. The Sandpoint Driver’s License Office, located on North Boyer next to the sheriff’s office, will be open for business July 5. The Sandpoint office can be reached at 208-265-1431. The Newport and Gem State Miner Newspaper office will be closed Thursday for the Fourth of July,
On the list of potential harvest sites is: • About 15 acres on a 40-acre parcel at Anderson Lake totaling about 260,000 board feet of harvestable timber worth about $41,000, • Three harvests at Baker Lake of about 20 acres each with 411,000 feet of harvestable timber worth about $64,000, • A 35 and 79 acre harvest at the Basnaw parcel for about 190,000 feet each, worth a little more than $30,000 each, • About 77 acres in the Deer Valley to bring in 182,000 board feet worth about $39,000, • Harvesting on a 35-acres parcel at the Fertile Valley Section 16 park area where trees are diseased,
B R I E F LY
reopening Friday, July 5 at 8:30 a.m. Deadlines remain the same.
• The eight-acre Schneider 4 harvest at the Ione sand pit site, where the trees are already decaying with bark beetles and fungus, consists of 43,000 feet of timber that could be harvested by county crews, worth about $8,000, and • About 25 acres at Tiger Hill with about 121,000 board feet of timber worth about $21,000. All of those combined contain an estimated 1.4 million board feet of timber, worth about $238,000. But not all timber will be harvested this year. Some parcels, such as Anderson Lake, have access issues and easements that will need to be negotiated. Public works director Sam Castro will work with the county’s new timber consulting firm to select the
best harvest options for this year. As they do most years, commissioners have already budgeted for $140,000 of harvest revenue this year, so some cuts will have to be done before year’s end. “We have to harvest some this year because it was in the budget,” Kiss said. “Beyond that, we want to come up with a long-term plan to harvest X amount each year forever.” He said that the harvest volume would vary with market, but he thinks it would get the county on a more sustainable flow of revenue. In the past, county timber harvest was more dollar driven, and Kiss feels that maybe the county SEE TIMBER, 2A
Smith, R-Colville, voted no. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the budget Sunday, July 30.
State budget passes just before shutdown
New voters can register for primary election
OLYMPIA – Washington state passed a $33.6 billion operating budget Friday, June 28, just before many state services were scheduled to shut down because of lack of a legal authority to pay salaries. The new fiscal year started July 1. The state House of Representatives voted 81-11 to pass the budget, with 7th Legislative District Reps. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, voting in favor and Shelly Short, R-Addy, voting no. The state Senate passed the budget 44-4. Sen. John
NEWPORT – Pend Oreille County’s primary election is coming up Aug. 6. Any new voters can register online through Monday, July 8. After that, they’ll need to visit the audtior’s office in the old county courthouse in Newport to register in person, through July 29. Voters will receive their ballots in the mail on or after July 17. The following offices will have candidates appear on the ballot:
• State Senator, Legislative District 7: Mike Brunson, John Smith and Briand Dansel, • Pend Oreille County Commissioner for District 2: Mark Zorica and Mike Manus • Fire District 2 Commissioner Position 1: Rick Stone, Jon Carman and Sue Cona. The entire county will vote on the senate seat, but only District 2 voters will have their say on the county commissioner seat this time around. The entire county will vote for commissioner in this fall’s general election. The fire district election pertains only to voters in the district, in North Pend Oreille County. Those with questions can contact the auditor’s office at 509-447-6472.
SPORTS 2B - RECORD 4B - POLICE 4B - OPINION 4A - CLASSIFIEDS 6B-10B - PUBLIC NOTICES 7B-10B - DOWN RIVER 9A - LIFE 1B - OBITUARIES 4B
| JULY 3, 2013
The Newport Miner Serving Pend Oreille County, WA
FROM PAGE ON E
TIMBER | Harvest would help fund roads FROM PAGE 1
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cut it a little too much. He wants to see a more sustainable harvest so the county doesn’t have to wait 40 years for the next cut. Last year, the county harvest brought in $413,000 and $355,000 in 2011. The amount of revenue has varied widely over the past 10 years. No harvesting was done in 2009, and in 2007 the county brought in less than $70,000. The type of logging planned varies by stand. If the trees are diseased, Kiss said they would probably do a shelterwood cut. That involves thinning smaller trees pretty heavily and leaving some larger trees for shade and a seed source, he explained. After about 20 years, when the young trees are well established, loggers take out the bigger trees that were left. “That’s real popular right now,” Kiss said. The county usually performs logging that would be considered thinning, selective harvesting or partial cutting. The actual revenue from the county’s timber harvest this year will vary depending on how bids come in from logging contractors and the price of logs at the time. The price of logs took a big run up this spring increasing $100 per thousand board feet, Kiss said. That saturated the market, and lumber didn’t move as quickly as anticipated, so loggers backed off a little bit. “It’s still in better shape than last year,” Kiss said. “My crystal ball says it’s going to go up again in the fall. But if I was that smart I’d probably be in a different business.”
Park harvest would be with an eye to recreation The board of commissioners have been discussing new ways to allocate the timber harvest revenue. In the past, logging on county park land, such as the Fertile Valley Section 16, all sale revenue would go directly to parks. That gave the park fund a big boost recently, but it’s the only revenue parks has to work with. Commissioner Mike Manus said they have talked about designating a percentage of all timber revenue to go to parks. In turn, the parks
doesn’t put money into maintaining its roads they would soon be beyond repair. Manus said they would like to get back on a seven year cycle of chip sealing roads, but the cost to do that work has risen considerably in the last decade. When the county moved away from the seven-year rotation around 2005, chip sealing cost $12,000 per mile. Now it’s more than $20,000 per mile. Commissioner Karen Skoog has been working to push the U.S. Forest Service to do more timber harvesting, which in turn helps the county as a percentage of their timber sales receipts would be used by the county to maintain roads.
New timber consultant will manage county land The commissioners chose a new company to replace retiring forester Steve Gibson of Four Seasons Forestry. Northwest Management Inc. will handle the county’s harvest planning and long term forest management of the county’s 3,300 timbered acres. Commissioners approved proceeding with a contract with Northwest Management at their June 24 meeting. A committee from the county interviewed three companies before selecting their top candidate. Northwest Management is based in Moscow, Idaho, but has had an office in Deer Park since 2000. The firm has 55 employees. The county is considering a two- or three-year contract with one-year openers following the initial term. The county will pay the consultant 10 percent of the harvest, and in some cases it will be an hourly rate – the same arrangement the county had with Gibson. The county is planning to remove hazardous trees from the campground at the fairgrounds in Cusick. The project could cost up to $7,000, but volunteers have offered to do some of the work. In light of the coming expense, the commissioners approved a new policy that uses money from the timber fund to finance hazard tree removal. This is a change from when trees were removed from the Hall of Justice parking lot last year. That expense was charged to the buildings and grounds budget.
County seeking funds for roads The county needs to find ways to fund road work such as chip sealing and rock crushing. Money from the parkland timber harvest could go to that. “We want to put it back into infrastructure,” Kiss said, adding that he doesn’t want the timber harvest revenue to disappear in the general fund. Last summer, a previous board of commissioners considered using timber revenue from park timber sales for general fund expenditures. A resolution that pre-dated that board states that any revenue from timber sold within the park must be used for park projects. It wasn’t written in the deed for the Section 16 property that the harvest revenue must go to parks, when the county received the land from the Department of Natural Resources about five years ago. Kiss noted that the county is still looking to sell off some parcels of land to gain revenue, but not timber land. “We made a commitment to start maintaining our roads again,” Manus said. The commissioners met with engineers from the County Road Administration Board this spring and discussed road maintenance. The CRAB members had visited before and warned that if the county
SWIMMERS | Both are longtime swimmers Rural Resource van schedule NEWPORT – The Rural Resources van carries people from Newport to the Camas Center for Community Wellness four days a week, with six runs a day. FROM PAGE 1
and we like small towns,” she says. They soon discovered the Camas Center and the Rural Resources van. “We’re so happy they have the Camas Center,” says Dilys. She is equally happy there is a bus that picks them up at their house to take them to the Camas Center and then returns them to their home in Newport. “I think more people would use the center if they knew about the bus,” she says. Both have been swimmers most of their lives. She started swimming when she was 4. When she was 10 years old, Dilys swam two and a half miles across Lake Elsinore in California. “My father accompanied me in a rowboat,” she says. “I got my name in the paper.” She continued her swimming, winning a trophy as an adult at Green Valley Lake in California for being the fastest swimmer in
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and recreation board would share revenue from timber harvest on park land to help cover other county expenses, such as road repairs. Before the park land was logged in 2011, the county park fund had dwindled so much that the operating budget was less than $4,000 a year. Recently, logging on an 80-acre parcel brought in $357,000. “It would give them available funds on an annual basis, and it would give us funds now,” Manus said. The board hasn’t yet determined what percentage of revenue would go to parks. It will likely be a topic as the board plans for the 2014 budget. Commissioner Kiss said they’ve emphasized with their timber consultant if they do a harvest on park land, it would be with an eye to recreation. Loggers would take out diseased trees and thin the dense, dark areas, but leave way more trees for shade and scenic beauty.
Vans leave Newport at 6:30 a.m., 9:05 a.m., 10:55 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:55 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. A donation of 50 cents each direction is suggested. People
can make reservations by calling 1-800-776-9206. You can see the complete schedule online at www.ruralresources. org/wp-content/uploads/PendOreilleCountyDAR.pdf.
her age group. Ray acknowledges she is the faster swimmer. “She can swim side stroke faster than I can swim the crawl,” Ray says. “And she doesn’t get her hair wet.” After the Raleys swim, they soak for a bit in the hot water whirlpool, then have a bite to eat at the cafeteria before catching the van back to town. “We really like the food in the cafeteria,” Dilys says. The Raleys have been married 67 years. “We met at church,” Dilys said. “We were having a membership drive and I said come to our youth group.” She was 18 and he was 20. More than a half-century later they are still together, but they belong to a different church. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Dilys jokes that Ray converted because the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t ask their parishioners for money as often as their previous church.
They spend quite a bit of time on church activities. “Spiritual life is important to us,” Dilys said. When they are not at the Camas Center, they spend time at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses. She figures time she spends walking door-to-door talking about her religion also contributes to their health. Ray, who worked most of his career as a mechanical engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, no longer does the door-todoor calling, although he is still involved with the church. Their adult children, who are seniors themselves, still live in California. The Raleys have two daughters, age 65 and 62, three grandsons and a granddaughter and three great-granddaughters. The Raleys like just about everything associated with the Camas Center. “We feel the exercise we get here helps us to live longer,” Dilys says.
THE NEWPORT MINER
High court rules beach is for everyone BY MICHELLE NEDVED OF THE MINER
SANDPOINT – A group of landowners at Priest Lake maintained their access to the local beach after an Idaho Supreme Court ruling affirming the judgment of First District Court judge Steve Verby. The case involved the Steamboat Bay Lots subdivision, located on the east side of the lake, where eight lots extend out from the lake in a horizontal line, with the first lot adjacent to the beach. The appellants, Tommy and Erin Dorsey, argued the beachfront property belonged to them after they purchased Lot 1, which is adjacent to the beach. The respondents, owners of the other seven lots, contend the beach was dedicated for the use of all eight lots in the subdivision. The district court agreed with the respondents, ruling the property was privately dedicated as an easement, benefitting all of the lots. According to court documents, the original owners of the prop-
Priest River airport being upgraded Closing July 15 for month
stationed there. “We have plans going on to make OF THE MINER it more accessible, and give more reasons for people to fly in and visit what PRIEST RIVER – The Priest River this town has to offer,” Batsch said. Municipal Airport will be closed The airport has one asphalt runfor about a month to undergo some way that measures 2,950 feet long by upgrade work. Starting around July 48 feet wide. 15, the airport will be closed as crews While Bonner County owns the expand taxiways, “We have plans going airport, the operations create a new tie are overseen by the down run and open on to make it more Priest River Airport some real estate Advisory Board. The accessible.” for building more county commissioners hangars. are in the process of apDennis Batsch The work will pointing a new member Airport Manager be done with a to the board to repre$655,000 grant Bonsent the city of Priest ner County received River government. through the Federal Aviation AdminCurrently on the board are istration. The low bidder for the work Batsch, George Weaver, Jim Caviglia, was Woods Crushing, coming in at Randy Blinn, Todd Sudick and Glenn $545,693. Rohrer. Airport manager Dennis Batsch Board members are appointed by said they hope for the airport to the Bonner County commissioners re-open within a month. Planes for three-year terms, and members won’t be able to fly in or out during report directly to commissioners. the closure. In summer months, the The board meets the last Thursday of site is used mostly by travelers visiteach month at 6:30 p.m. at the Priest ing family, he said. Ten aircraft are River Senior Center. BY JANELLE ATYEO
SUPER | Staff, community met candidates Wednesday FROM PAGE 1
Warden High School and Steven N. McCullough, superintendent of the Curlew School District. Teachers, staff and community members met with the three Wednesday, June 26. The teachers and staff met with the candidates first, with the community members meeting with the three in the evening. Smith was offered the job late Wednesday night, Smith said. “Everything went pretty fast because I needed to let my school district know as soon as possible,” he said. Smith’s father, Dave Smith, was superintendent of the Newport School District from 1984 to 1989. He came to the district in 1979 as principal at the elementary school in Newport. He left the superintendent position in 1989 to take a job as superintendent of the West
T H I S W E E K’S FO R EC A ST
Wednesday Thursday Sunny and Warm
Sunny and Warm
Source: National Weather Service and Accuweather.com, Newport, WA
erty included a clause in their deed dedicating the beach to everyone in the subdivision when the first subdivision plat was filed with the county in 1966. In 1999, the Dorseys acquired lots one and two via a quitclaim deed. In 2009, the other property owners filed a complaint stating, “the language of the Plat of Steamboat Bay Lots and (the deed) have created a cloud on title as to right, title and ownership” of the beach property. The district court ruled last summer that the plat, along with the deed, created an easement. The trial court stated that, “every owner of each lot has an easement to use the disputed property or beach area between the ordinary mean high water line and the west boundary of Lot 1 of Steamboat Bay Lots.” The court further ordered that “no owners of any lots in the Steamboat Bay Lots subdivision have any fee simple interest in the disputed beach property or private road.” The Dorseys appealed but the high court concurred with Verby.
June 25 26 27 28 29 30 1
L A ST W E E K
High 64 66 71 77 89 75 93
Low Precip. 53 .36” 53 .16” 55 - 53 - 55 - 59 .15” 58 - Source: Albeni Falls Dam
Valley School District in Spokane. Two of the current board members – Keith Cordes and Jim Brewster – were on the board then. The senior Smith said he was thrilled his son got his first superintendent job at Newport. “Newport was where I got my start as a superintendent,” he said. “It’s great that it will be his first superintendent job, too.” The new superintendent’s salary hasn’t been finalized and wasn’t public yet, Owen said. She expects the board to finalize it next Monday. Thompson earned $115,000 annually as superintendent. Smith said he will spend the first week or so settling in and meeting people. Word of Smith’s hiring spread quickly following Wednesday’s interviews. “It was on Facebook by Friday,” board member Lynn Kaney said.
L A ST Y E A R This time last year we had a mix of temps ranging from the lower 70s early in the week to mid 90s towards the end of the week. We closed the week with showers and temps in the upper 80s.
JULY 3, 2013 |
Know your fireworks rules and regulations
BR I E FLY Stay fed with free food NEWPORT – The Newport School District is offering free lunch for children, served in the Newport City Park this summer. The free lunch will be served July 2 through Aug. 1. Serving time is noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Children under 18 are encouraged to come and eat. Lunch will not be served July 4, in observance of the holiday.
Man crashes after falling asleep CUSICK – A man was hospitalized after his car ran off the road when he fell asleep while driving about 4 p.m. Friday, June 28. According to a press release from the Washington State Patrol, Archie Schrader, 50, of Cusick was driving by himself west on Highway 20 about five miles south of Blueslide, when he fell asleep. The 1993 Nissan Quest van he was driving crossed the road in a curve and came to rest in the eastbound ditch. He was transported to Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville with minor injuries. He was wearing a seatbelt and drugs and alcohol were not involved. He was charged with second degree negligent driving.
School board will discuss budget CUSICK – The Cusick School District Board of Directors will hold a meeting Thursday, July 25 at 3 p.m. at the Cusick High School library. The purpose of this meeting is for the 2013-14 school budget hearing, as well as to hold their normally scheduled board meeting. The board typically meets on the third Tuesday of each month.
Port, PUD, county commissioners meet July 9 USK – Commissioners from the Port of Pend Oreille, public utility district and Pend Oreille County will meet Tuesday, July 9, at the Camas Wellness Center in Usk. The meeting will start at noon. Commissioners from the three agencies meet periodically to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Tourism group to meet in Ione July 23 IONE – The Northeast Washington Sustainable Tourism and Recreation Team (NEWSTART) will hold their monthly meeting in Ione July 23 at Ione City Hall. The two-hour meeting will start at 10 a.m. NEWSTART is a group that promotes sustainable tourism in Pend Oreille, Ferry and Stevens counties. Business owners, chamber members and citizens are invited to attend the July 23 meeting.
County beginning pavement work NEWPORT – Pend Oreille County is beginning its pavement preservation program for the summer, doing chip sealing and patching. Some work is taking place on Coyote Trail Road between Deer Valley Road and South Shore Diamond Lake Road. The count approved bids for chip seal oil in mid-June. Idaho Asphalt was the low bidder at $122,282. “We’ll do as much of it as we can afford. We’d like to do more,” county engineer Don Ramsey said about their pavement preservation program.
Name change proposed for Amber Lane NEWPORT – Amber Lane in the southeast corner of Pend Oreille County will be changing to Moonbeam Court, if approved by county commissioners. The board will hold a hearing on the matter July 16 at 10 a.m. at their meeting room on the first floor of the old county courthouse in Newport. Amber Lane is located off of Willms Road near Ellery Ranch Road and Becker Road.
COURTESY PHOTO|COLVILLE NATIONAL FOREST
Cally Davidson of the Newport Ranger District, left, and Capitol grounds superintendent Ted Bechtol check out a possible Christmas tree candidate in Pend Oreille County.
Christmas tree choice in D.C.’s hands
Tree might come from Pend Oreille County forest BY JANELLE ATYEO OF THE MINER
NEWPORT – The Capitol grounds superintendent visited the Colville National Forest last week, June 26 and 27 to choose the Christmas tree that will adorn the West Lawn in Washington, D.C., this winter. Grounds superintendent Ted Bechtol and a team of U.S. Forest Service employees visited 10 trees throughout the Colville: five in Pend Oreille County, three in Stevens and two near Republic in Ferry County. He’ll take information about those trees back with him to D.C. and examine pictures and information on each tree . Colville officials expect a decision in a few weeks. At that point, they’ll announce which county the tree will come from and which ranger district. “It’s a big honor for us,” said Jen Knutson, a civil engineer working out of the forest supervisor’s office in Colville. For this project, she’s serving as the Capitol Christmas tree coordinator. “It is fun, but I did it because I love my agency and I love my communities,” she said. “What an opportunity for us. I get to talk about our corner of the state and what we’re all about up here.” No matter where on the Colville the tree is cut, all counties will get to take part in the
celebration. The tree will make time,” Knutson said. stops in Newport, Colville and The Colville Forest will also Republic before it tours the rest of supply about 70 companion the state. trees, small trees that will go in “We can keep it a forest-wide Capitol offices. Two trucks will celebration,” she said. make the cross country trip, one Knutson said they plan to with the big tree for the Capitol make it all the way to the Inlawn, the other with the comterstate 5 corridor in Western panion trees and about 5,000 giWashington. It will ant ornaments, which will “What an also make stops be handmade by Washingsomewhere in cen- opportunity for tonians to adorn the outtral Washington side tree. More ornaments us.” – possibly Omak or are being donated for the Wenatchee – and it indoor trees. The ornawill go to Yakima Jen Knutson ments will reflect the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree theme “Sharing Washingor the Tri Cities just before it leaves Coordinator ton’s Good Nature.” Washington, headThose interested in ing for Boise. making ornaments can contact The exact location of the tree local coordinators, Amy Dillon at will be kept secret, to prevent 509-447-7361 or firstname.lastname@example.org. vandalism, until a few days us or Olivia Giannasi at 509-447before it’s cut Nov. 2. 7325 or email@example.com, All but one of the trees the who will get them to the truck selection team visited were Enas its staged in Republic. Ornagelmann spruce, the other was ments should be delivered to the subalpine fir. Newport Ranger District office by Last year’s Capitol tree was an Sept. 27. Engelman spruce from Colorado, Kids between 5 and 19 can near Aspen. Knutson and others make an ornament and be enfrom the Colville attended the tered into a drawing for a trip to cutting ceremony, and Cally DaWashington, D.C., for the Christvidson from the Newport Ranger mas tree lighting ceremony in District helped wrap the tree for early December. Traditionally, its journey on the semi truck. one child from the tree’s state The Capitol lawn has been lights the Capitol Christmas decked out for Christmas each Tree with House Speaker John year since 1964. The only other Boehner. Find criteria for the time the tree has come from contest and the ornaments at Washington state was in 2006, capitolchristmastree.com/ornawhen the Olympic National Forments. est supplied a Pacific sliver fir. “Come out and join the celebra“We’re really excited. In Easttion. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” ern Washington, this is our first Knutson said.
NEWPORT – The rules for fireworks depend on where you live. Only the “safe and sane” type fireworks are legal. In Washington, including within Newport’s city limits, fireworks may be sold and discharged June 28 from noon to 11 p.m., June 29 to July 3 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight and July 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Washington residents caught firing fireworks outside of the prescribed hours may be charged with a gross misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time. Idaho law allows fireworks to be sold and ignited from midnight on June 23 to midnight on July 5 (plus Dec. 26 through midnight Jan. 1). Within Priest River city limits, igniting fireworks that fly in the air is prohibited. Non-aerial fireworks devices are permitted, such as ground spinners, fountains, sparklers, smoke devices or snakes. Discharging fireworks of any kind is illegal on all federal lands, including National Forest campgrounds. Regulations are enforced, and violation is punishable as a misdemeanor by a fine up to $5,000. Forest visitors are also reminded to ensure that all fires are extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them. In Spokane County, no fire-
works of any kind are allowed in the cities of Spokane and Spokane Valley. “Safe and sane” fireworks are allowed in Deer Park, Airway Heights and Medical Lake. There were 354 fireworksrelated injuries and fires reported to the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office in 2012 by fire departments and hospitals. Of those reports, there were 128 fires and 226 injuries. Most incidents were cause by males between 8 and 21. There were seven residential fires totaling $880,500 in loss. One was caused by an illegal device, three were caused by legal fireworks. A total 26 fires and 64 injuries were caused by devices which are illegal to own or possess in Washington state. Seven sparkler bomb incidents included five fires and explosions. Two caused facial, torso and hand injuries. These devices are considered improvised explosive devices which are illegal to manufacture and possess. The fire marshal encourages parents to talk to your kids about fireworks and safety. Set family boundaries. Only adults should light fireworks. Store fireworks in a secure location out of the reach and sight of curious children. Be prepared; have water nearby and put pets indoors.
Area Fourth of July festivities Usk and Cusick: The Kalispel Tribe of Indians Independence Day celebration starts at 2 p.m. with games and prizes, a band, free snow cones and popcorn. A free lunch is served from 3-4 p.m. Firworks are after dusk. The Usk Community Club pancake breakfast is from 8-11 a.m. The parade starts there about noon and travels to Cusick, where the American Legion Post 217 will have family Bingo at 1:30 p.m. and a band at 7 p.m.
Diamond Lake: A boat parade is at 2 p.m., and fireworks are set off at dusk from a barge in the lake.
Priest River: Fireworks are set from Bonner County Park. Bands play in the park at 6 p.m.
Metaline is holding a potluck at 5 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.
Spirit Lake: A parade starts at 11 a.m., and vendors will set up in the Big City Park. Fireworks are at dusk, set from the baseball park on Jefferson Street.
Priest Lake: A kids parade is at Granite Bay at 10 a.m. The Coolin Civic Center is holding a free ice cream social from 6-8 p.m. Fireworks shows are at Hill’s and Elkins resorts on July 4 and at Grandview July 5.
LaClede: The Community Club is hosting a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. The parade will start there at 11 a.m. . Fireworks are at dark.
Volunteers help monitor water quality BY JANELLE ATYEO OF THE MINER
COEUR D’ALENE – Twice a year, Master Water Stewards collect water samples from IDAH2O monitoring sites, analyzing them for nutrients and bacteria. The spring 2013 Snapshot was held May 29. Idah2o Master Water Steward volunteers are encouraged to
|| C O R R E C T I O N S || A story in last week’s edition of The Miner incorrectly stated the amount of the line extension fee for those who did not sign up for PUD fiber by the Sept. 28, 2012, deadline. The PUD will pay the first $1,500 of the cost to run the line to the house, and the customer will be responsible for the remaining cost. The Miner regrets any confusion this may have caused. A photo cutline about a garage fire on Coyote Trail Road last week incorrectly listed the year of the vehicle the property owner lost in the fire. A 1955 Ford was destroyed. The Miner regrets any confusion this may have caused.
bring a water sample from their monitoring site to the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene Harbor Center water lab to have it analyzed for Nitrate-N, total phosphorus, total coliform bacteria, and E. coli bacteria. Total coliform is a measure of all coliform bacteria in the water, of which E. coli is one type. Over time, our snapshot events can provide valuable data,” said Marie Pengilly, Idah2o Volunteer
Coordinator with the U of I Extension. The data from the Snapshot events indicate that both Diamond Lake and Sacheen Lake are not impaired for either bacteria or nutrients. Test points at Diamond Lake are located at Elu Beach and North Bay. Diamond Lake Samples were taken last fall too. Nutrient levels SEE WATER, 8A
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O U R
O PI N I O N
Happy Fourth of July
Newport needs an airport
f a few of the diehard aviation buffs that spent their spare time around the former Newport airport were still alive, they would be at every city council and county commissioner meeting asking for their airport back. Their pleas at the time should be haunting our leaders today. They said if the city sold the property to the Newport School District for a new school then eventually the community must find a new location for an airport. It never happened and it is hurting this community. As Priest River, Ione, Deer Park, Sandpoint and Colville receive federal aviation grants to upgrade their community airports, south Pend Oreille County leaders haven’t even talked about establishing an airport site. As development and environmental restrictions grow, there will be less suitable airport sites close to Newport. Someday there won’t be any. Small airports are not only important for the growing number of recreational pilots in our communities but are increasingly important to business. This demand will only increase as technology makes planes lighter, safer, cheaper and more fuel-efficient. Every futurist predicts air transportation being essential to future communities. If in doubt about the use of private planes for transportation, visit XN Air, the FBO at the Spokane International Airport any day of the week. Small private planes to executive jets come in regularly. Coming off the planes are families going to events like Hoopfest, companies flying in technical help to fix a production problem, executives closing a land deal and tourists from around the world. There are also regular medical flights. This scene goes on at Coeur d’Alene airport and in Sandpoint, and is increasing at the others in the region. Newport is being left out of the flight plans and economic prosperity. The federal government awards grants to help with airport development because they realize that airports are as important to the infrastructure as highways and the Internet. The south Pend Oreille County leaders need to realize this as well and get to work: Find a site, get a design and look for funding. --FJW
Keep student loan rates from doubling Constituent’s college days mirror my own, and Democrats are playing politics with her future It’s not every day you meet a college sophomore who serves burgers at the local McDonald’s drive-thru just to put herself through college and graduate with a degree in quantitative economics. But in light of recent tuition hikes and the threat of some student loan rates doubling in less than a week, that’s exactly what 18-year-old Hayley Hohman – an Eastern Washington native and Washington State University “Cougar” – is doing to fund her final years of college. I know what it’s like to be in Hayley’s shoes. As someone who once worked the drive-thru window at our neighborhood McDonald’s, just a few miles north of where Hayley works now, that is exactly what I had to do to put myself through college, too. More than two decades later, I am still paying off my student loans. Just like Hayley – and the 12 million college students like her who are forced to take out loans – I understand firsthand the challenges students face when it comes to putting themselves through college. My mom dropped out of college after her dad passed away, and many years later, I was grateful to become the first in my family to graduate from college and be able to access a federal loan to go to graduate school. But it’s far more difficult now than it ever was before – especially when state budgets are being cut, college tuition is going up and the president and Senate Democrats refuse to act on the impending rise of student loan interest rates in the days to come. On July 1, students and families
all across this country will see interest rates for new federally subsidized student loans double if the Democrats who run Washington fail to act. Just last month, House Republicans passed The Smarter Solutions for Students Act, which would prevent federal loan interest rates from GUEST doubling, and OPINION take WashingREP. CATHY ton politics out MCMORRIS of students’ RODGERS R-WASH. wallets. But even with the deadline looming, Democrats have not acted. In fact, President Obama threatened to veto the bill and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said with unequivocal conviction, “I am not looking for a compromise.” What they haven’t said, though, is far more important: their failure to compromise is putting students in danger of not being able to attend college. It is students like Hayley who will pay the price for Democrats’ inaction if student loan interest rates double. Not only have her academic scholarships expired, but like most students at American public universities, her tuition has already increased by over 16 percent in just the past year alone. As the oldest of four children – all of whom plan to go to college in the foreseeable future – her mother is currently working to finish her bachelor’s degree in nursing so she can help put her kids through school. With the cost of college going up, Hayley, like many other students, will be forced to take out loans to
SEE RODGERS, 5A
THE NEWPORT MINER
The Miner Staff
|| What qualifies Sen. Smith for office? To the editor: Is John Smith the best the Republican Party can offer in Stevens, Ferry, Pend Oreille, and parts of Spokane and Okanagan counties? A man who won’t list his educational background on his own Legislative webpage, who ran a failed business, The Court House Café, and runs a nonprofit Farmer’s Market for his own profit? Things must be pretty grim on the far right side of the party. Only two of the 15 Republican county commissioners abstained from voting for John Smith. It appears that Brian Dansel and Steve Parker stood up to the party leaders and wouldn’t be pushed into voting against their conscience. Now Brian is running against Senator Smith, I wonder will Mr. Dansel share his educational background. I know he has served as Ferry County commissioner for the past three years that at least gives us a window in how he might work as a Senator. Senator Smith, can you explain why you supported the building of a new airport in Colville? What in your background leads us to believe you have the management skills that would be expected as a senator? What is your financial record as a private citizen that shows that you know how to navigate around a multi-billion dollar state budget? Oh I know, you claim to be a rancher. Ranching is a tough business, lots of up and downs, tough decisions to be made daily, that could be where you learned the old fashion way of making ends meet, so tell us about your ranching experience so we can get a better understanding of your on the job training. How many head of cattle, or horses, or pigs, or whatever you ranch? -Scott Christensen Mead
Fiber optics are a gift To the editor: You removed Joe Onley as CNS Manager? Really? Does Pend Oreille County realize what a gift he has brought to the county? To have fiber optics run to your house,
R E A D E R S’
Newport Hospital offers great care To the editor: I have just spent a month in the care of our local doctors and community hospital in Newport. I now have a profoundly widened appreciation for the services we have locally. All of the staff were so caring and giving well beyond the call of duty. Let’s hope everyone in our community realizes the quality of care available when needed. Thanks so much to all who cared for me and my family while there. -Audrey Hunt Diamond Lake
To the editor: In many states the conservative political element has taken over the state legislatures and crazy bills and agendas are being promoted. Texas will hold a special session to take up an anti-abortion bill that recently failed. Our own legislature came close to shutting down the state after two special sessions to pass a state budget, and state employees were given lay off notices. It seems that governing has been replaced by conservative stalling and obstruction. No government is better than a functioning one. There is no right to life when it comes to abortion. Rich people have options to travel to other places that allow abortions and poor people will simply self-abort without medical help. They won’t have unwanted children and the law isn’t going to prevent abortions. It would be about as effective as outlawing suicides. Abortion laws are just a means to lockup women and people that aid them in nonmedical abortion. That’s what happened before Row v. Wade. It’s just amazing that Republicans want limited government unless it’s about sex and reproduction. There is simply no religious basis for what is called pro-life and then supporting wars of choice and the death penalty. The abortion issue came to
Visit The Miner Online to answer our readers’ poll question through Monday afternoon. Find it on the left-hand side of the page at www.PendOreilleRiverValley.com. The results will be printed next week on this page. You need not be a subscriber to participate. If you have ideas for future readers’ poll topics, submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Obama administration announced plans to cut emissions from hundreds of coal fired electric power plants by using rules to be developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The idea is to address climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. This would bypass Congress. Do you think using the EPA and bypassing Congress is the best way to deal with climate change? Yes, we should have done this years ago. Time is running out. No, the coal will be burned somewhere, it might as well provide family wage jobs in this country. Yes, the corporate controlled Congress will not allow any meaningful legislation to addresses climate change to pass. No, the president isn’t king. Congress must be consulted on something that will have this big an economic impact on the coal industry.
The Miner staff invites readers to comment on select stories on our Web site, www.pendoreillerivervalley. com. Commentators have the option of adding their name or writing anonymously. The Miner staff will review each comment before it is posted and reserves the right to omit or edit comments. If you want to comment only to our writers and editors let us know that you do not want your comment published.
the forefront only when neo-cons teamed up the religious right to make abortion a political wedge issue. Frankly, conservatives are only pro-life for purpose of imposing their political will on others. Our own state senate fell apart when a couple of Democrats went over to the dark side and now we have the same ineptness as the federal congress. You might note that our own congresswoman recently failed to lead her party to pass the farm bill. The dark side wanted more cuts to food stamps and eating less food isn’t exactly farm friendly idea. -Pete Scobby Newport
Conservatives cause more stalling, obstruction
Web story comments policy
LE T T E R S
what a gift! So you have cost overruns that are $2 million. Progress costs money, and you were able to get the federal government to pay for 80 percent of it. He has done nothing buy try and prepare the county for the coming century. You’re going to have a gold mine (of information, not actual gold) at your fingertips and you don’t realize it. If this project fails it will not fall on Joe Onley’s shoulders, it will on the citizens of South Pend Oreille County who didn’t have the vision to support him. -Jeff Pittman Post Falls Submitted via The Miner Online
P O LL
LETTERS POLICY We welcome letters to the editor. Letters should be typed and submitted to The Miner and Gem State Miner office no later than 5 p.m. Friday for publication the following Wednesday. No letter will be published unless it is signed by at least one individual, even if the letter represents the view of a group. The letter must include a telephone number and address for confirmation of authenticity. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. The Miner reserves the right to edit to conform to our publication style, policy and libel laws. Political letters will not be published the last issue prior an election. Letters will be printed as space allows.
Thanks to firefighters To the editor: The Umbarger Family would like to thank the heros at the fire department who were able to put out our garage fire and prevented further damage to our property. We are eternally grateful to have such brave, selfless people who put their lives on the line every day in service of the community. There are no words that can really express our gratitude. We encourage everyone to take the time to thank these men and women for their valiant service. -Robert Umbarger Newport
R E A D E R S’ P O LL R E SU LT S
How big do you go with your fireworks on the Fourth of July? My display rivals the biggest and The bigger the best professional shows in the area. better. I spend top It’s more fun to do it yourself. dollar for the coolest exploders. It might be illegal, but I make my own explosives. More bang for your buck.
13% 13% 4% 26%
I leave the big displays for the professionals. It’s more fun to sit back and watch.
Total Votes: 23
43% I don’t buy fireworks. It’s money gone up in flames.
JULY 3, 2013 |
Newport graduates 86
Many get thousands of dollars of scholarships
COURTESY ILLUSTRATION|JAMES A. SEWELL & ASSOCIATES
Every residence in Sacheen Lake’s Local Improvement District will be required to connect to the system. Lots shown in green are within the system.
Sacheen Lake sewer system construction will finally start Bid opening is July 24 BY DON GRONNING OF THE MINER
SACHEEN LAKE – Sacheen Lake is one step closer to having a sewer system, as the Sacheen Lake Water and Sewer District has called for bids to do the work. District commissioners plan to open the bids July 24. “They’ll take about a month to evaluate them,” said Kevin Koesel, consulting engineer for James A. Sewell and Associates, the firm that designed the $7.8 million system. If the weather cooperates, work will be well underway this year, with completion slated for 2014. Sacheen Lake Water and Sewer District commissioners could award the contracts to three different firms, Koesel said, one to do the work on the treatment plant, one to work on the collection lines and one to work on the onsite improvements. Or they could award it to one firm. The area will be busy this summer, as crews work to build the system, which will serve 388 lots around the lake. Regardless of how many firms get the bid all will be working simultaneously on the three parts of the project. The sewer will be similar to the Diamond Lake system except for one key component. “The Diamond Lake system has septic tanks,” Koesel said. While the liquid waste from Diamond Lake system is still pumped to a treatment plant located on Telephone Road, the sewer district has to periodically empty the sludge from the 1,000-gallon septic tanks at each home and business using trucks. That won’t happen at Sacheen Lake, as all the sewage will be pumped to the treatment site.
Treatment plant The Sacheen Lake system will pump all sewage to the treatment
plant, which will be located about a mile north of the lake on 160 acres of wooded land the district owns. Sixteen acres will be used for the treatment system. Sewage will be held and treated in a lagoon system. There will be three lagoon cells constructed, with the option to add another as needed. All the lagoon cells will be double lined with high-density polyethylene liners to prevent leaking. Two of the cells will be able to hold 5.3 million gallons each. These will be used to treat the sewage with aeration – using air to treat the sewage. In warm weather, it will take about 30 days to treat the sewage in the lagoon. That will extend to 180 days in the winter. The third lagoon will hold 13.2 million gallons and will be a storage lagoon. The treated wastewater will be used to irrigate the forest. The sewage will be disinfected with chlorine prior to land application, Koesel said. Since irrigation won’t be possible in the cold months, the district will have to store the sewage about seven months of the year. There will be an 800 square-foot headworks building constructed at the treatment site. That’s where the system’s operator will be housed. Sewage will be pumped to the headworks building from the collector lines, entering the building through an eight-inch line. At the headworks building inorganic materials such as plastics will be removed before the sewage goes to the lagoons.
Collector lines Before it gets to the treatment plants, the sewage will travel through eight miles of collector lines. The collector lines, which will be varying sizes, will run down the highways and roads around Sacheen Lake. The lines will be underground, which will involve a lot of digging. “It will be challenging,” Koesel
said. “It’s not like going into a new subdivision.” Crews will likely encounter a great deal of solid rock, he said, although there will also be areas where it will be relatively easy digging. Nevertheless, Sacheen Lake residents will likely see plenty of heavy equipment and crews around the lake as the lines are installed.
Onsite improvements Workers will do the onsite improvements at each home at the same time they are building the lagoon system and the collector lines. Each home will get a pumping station, with 1 ¼ inch pipe taking to sewage to the collector line, which in most areas will be on the street. The pumping stations will are about 30 inches in diameter and about 6 ½ feet tall, but will be installed underground, with only the top showing. They will operate using an electric pump with an electric controller on each home. Koesel said that the plan is for crews only spend a couple hours at each home installing the pumping stations. Since each home likely has a septic system, the old septic tanks will be pumped and filled with gravel. “Some of the septic systems are in pretty bad shape,” Koesel said. Crews will install the new system, test it and make sure it’s working and then dig up the pipe and connect it to the new system. All but 21 property owners within the LID have given permission to do the onsite improvements, he said, with more still coming in. Since everyone in the Local Improvement District (LID) will have to be connected to the system, if the onsite improvements aren’t made at the time the system is constructed, property owners will be responsible for paying for the onsite improvements necessary to connect.
Fake calls from courts demand money SEATTLE – Scammers are calling Washington residents claiming to represent various Washington courts and demanding residents wire money by 10 a.m. or face arrest. People who receive these calls assume the calls must be about outstanding fines or warrants they are unaware of. It’s only when they follow up with the court they discover there is no violation, and confirm they got scammed. The Washington Attorney General’s Office believes the scammer is spoofing court phone numbers, so it looks like a court is calling. Most recently, the scammers are using the Des Moines Municipal Court’s phone number. The attorney general suggests people keep these facts in mind if you receive a call: Courts never call people to collect debts, nonpayment of debt is not a crime; and most courts accept cash or credit cards and don’t encourage
wiring money as an option. The attorney general encour-
ages consumers to be skeptical of any call demanding money.
NEWPORT – Eighty-six seniors graduated Newport High School in a ceremony held June 8. Cathi Rawley played “Pomp and Circumstance,” Kyle Genther and Ann McGetrick were guest speakers, Valedictorian Sydney Siemsen and Salutatorian Jenna Kersting also spoke and school board members April Owen and Jim Brewster presented diplomas. Newport grads received $595,560 in scholarships and grants. Margaret Abercrombie plans to attend Washington State University. She received a total of $93,746 in scholarships and grants, including: $10,868 per year from the Washington State Grant, $6,000 from the Hubert Smith scholarship, $5,000 over two years and $1,000 over two years from the Washington State Opportunity Fund, $5,195 per year in federal grants, $1,036 per year from the College Bound Scholarship, $2,000 from the Washington State PTA Scholarship, $1,500 Verne and Lorraine Lindsay
Memorial Scholarship, $1,000 from Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame Scholarship, $1,000 James and Mildred Sewell Scholarship, $1,000 Honorable Mention AOA Waiver, $600 Newport Priest River Rotary Scholarship and a $250 PSE II Scholarship. Jenna Kersting will attend the University of Puget Sound. She received $81,200 in scholarships and grants, including $19,000 per year from a PS Trustee Scholarship, $1,500 from the Verne and Lorraine Lindsay Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 Newport Alumni Scholarship, a $1,000 Maw and Paw’s Scholarship, a $700 Diamond Lake Ranch Scholarship, $500 from a PEO Scholarship and a $500 from the Wilma Black Scholarship. Sydney Siemsen will attend Whitworth University. She received $74,400 in scholarships and grants, including a $17,500 per year Presidential Scholarship, a $1,000 Maw and Paw’s Scholarship, a $1,000 Newport Alumni Scholarship a $700 Diamond Lake Ranch Scholarship, a $500 Durham School Services Scholarship, a $500 PEO Scholarship and
a $500 and a $200 NAT Family Scholarship. Alexandra Abercrombie will attend Washington State University. She received $70,146 in scholarships and grants, including a $10,868 per year Washington State Grant, federal grants worth $5,195 per year, a $1,500 Verne and Lorraine Lindsay Memorial Scholarship, a $1,036 College Bound Scholarship and a $250 PSE II Scholarship. Rebecca Daigneault will attend Whitworth University. She will receive $67,300 in scholarships and grants, including a $12,500 per year Whitworth Scholarship, $13,800 in grant aid and a $3,500 Music Grant. Ethan Tafoya will attend Eastern Washington University. He will receive $51,008 in grants, including $5,555 per year in federal grants and $7,197 per year in state grants. Arielle Walden will attend the University of Montana. She received $37,645 in grants and scholarships, including $5,000 per year from the Leadership Achieve-
an education, and find a job once they graduate. That’s why House Republicans acted, but by refusing to compromise on student loans, the president and Democrats are doing just the opposite. Despite the many years that separate Hayley and me, our shared stories – of Eastern Washington roots, long McDonald’s workdays, and the determination to put ourselves through school – are strikingly similar. When I was young, my parents told me the same thing
Hayley’s told her: higher education is an investment from which I would benefit long after I collected my diploma. Nothing could be more true. To receive an education at one of America’s pre-eminent colleges or universities is, by far, one of the greatest opportunities of living in this country. Republicans have fought to make sure more students like Hayley can afford to go to college. We’ve acted to prevent their rates from doubling. Now it’s time for Democrats to join us.
RODGERS | FROM PAGE 4A
pay for school. And if the Democrats allow loan interest rates to go up, she may not be able to afford to finish college. With student debt at an alltime high, it is easy to see why this is so problematic. According to a recent study conducted by Fidelity Investments, 70 percent of those in the class of 2013 graduated with some kind of debt, averaging over $35,000 per student. Over 60 percent of college students nationwide borrow annually to help cover the cost of college, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that today there is $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States. And with the economy still struggling to expand, it’s Locally 31 3 311 11 W. Walnut harder than ever for recent col- Owned Newport, N Ne e WA lege graduates to find jobs and & Operated (509) 447-3933 pay off their student loans. That’s why raising student loan interest rates is, without a doubt, the worst thing we could do to college students right now. We’re elected to WITH COUPON Congress to help the people we represent – to make it easier for Most Vehicles • 4x4’s & Diesels Extra them to go to college, receive
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| JULY 3, 2013
High traffic drug area causes sheriff concern BY DESIREÉ HOOD OF THE MINER
NEWPORT – Sheriff Alan Botzheim held a special session of the Pend Oreille Youth Task Force Monday, inviting more than 27 Newport residents, to discuss the drug activity that has plagued the neighborhood south of the railroad tracks in Newport. With more than 41 reports of suspicious activity at three houses that nine families call home in the past year, residents fear that this situation will only get worse before it improves. Martina Coordes, drug free communities program coordinator, and the sheriff, led the discussion about what options are available to curb the growing problem and concern of the nearby residents. “If you want to survive, you have to be aware of your environment,” concerned resident William Paylor said. He has been in the area for the past 10 years and according to him, he has watched the suspicious activity get worse in the last several years. Although a specific solution is hard to come by in terms of curbing the growing drug problem, many different options were discussed that may eliminate some of the activity and give residents more peace of mind. Homeowners who live in the problem areas are encouraged to write letters to the sheriff’s office. Botzheim feels that an open door
policy is important and wants to know what the residents see and have concerns over. Keeping law enforcement informed by calling in suspicious activity is also important. It notifies them of current activity and according to the sheriff, all calls are responded to. A Block Watch was discussed. For the past year, the neighbors in the area have been diligently calling and watching the high number of cars that frequent the three houses in question. One resident has formed the block watch, but Coordes is hopeful to find a volunteer to coordinate more blocks into the equation to watch the other houses as well. The block watch is encouraged to take pictures, write down license plate numbers and call in the activity if it can be done in a safe manner. Prosecuting Attorney Tom Metzger said getting a nuisance charge placed on the tenants causing the problem is more difficult than most understand. He feels that involving the landlord of the rental houses will help stop some of the problem. Sending out letters and copies of the reports that the officers take, called Form 1s, to the landlords was high on the list of options. Metzger and the sheriff will be discussing this option further over the next 30 days, and plan to notify the homeowners of the situations. “You want the landlord to have an incentive to do the right thing and evict the people. It needs to
be specific and they need to have notice. I have to be able to show that that landowner had notice,” Metzger said. He also stated that calling the landowners would be the first step before sending out the documents to give them an extra option of being notified. Community awareness is also critical. Mayor Shirley Sands is a resident of one of the areas in question. She has dealt with this situation in the past and had success getting a problem family evicted by diligently watching with binoculars and mailing out letters to the house. She got the neighbors involved and shortly after, the house came up for rent. “We ganged up on them,” Mayor Sands said. Chris Johnson, a concerned resident, is in agreement with knowing who your neighbors are and being diligent about keeping track of the situation. “I make a point to wave at everybody that goes by, right before I look at their license plate,” he said. The sheriff will take the information that was gained from the meeting and start making the appropriate changes to solve some of this issue. He will hold another meeting Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. to see how the changes have affected the area. He encourages residents to attend. Residents can reach the sheriff’s office by mail at P.O. Box 5075, Newport, WA 99156 or call 509-447-1901.
COURTESY PHOTO|PEND OREILLE PUD
Fish planted at Power Lake The fishing’s fine, especially for the little anglers at Power Lake, where Pend Oreille Public Utility district recently planted 2,500 10-inch triploid rainbow trout. PUD natural resources staff suggests anglers give the fish a couple of weeks in their new environment. Amenities at Power Lake include a campground and sheltered picnic area. Only non-motorized boats may be used there.
Lavender fills the air for 10 years OF THE MINER
NEWPORT – Lavender plants, good food, live music and arts and crafts delight area residents with the celebration of the 10th annual Lavender Festival, that now takes up the Newport City Park for a two-day, fun filled event with festivities for everyone. The festival, July 6-7, is held annually in July when the lavender is in full bloom along the Pend Oreille River. The founding organizers for the event were the WSU extension office in Pend Oreille County and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. Many volunteers also came from the community and businesses to develop the artisan event. It originally started in 2004, on Jerry and Wendy Kepelke’s 259acre homestead along the Pend Oreille River north of Usk. From there, more vendors and events
Burning banned on forest land County recreational fires okay NEWPORT – Strict fire rules are in effect in Pend Oreille County from now until Sept. 30, with a state wide burn ban in effect in all forestlands under Department of Natural Resources fire protection, and a county law preventing outdoor fires on most private lands in the county. In the county, there is an exception for attended recreational fires no larger than three feet by three feet by two feet tall. Under Pend Oreille County law, when the DNR puts a burn ban in place, it applies to lands within the county except for recreational fires. The recreational fires must have a fire break around the fire and a shovel and a charged hose or five gallons of water must be on hand. If a recreational fire escapes, the property owner is responsible for any and all fire suppression costs. The use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbecues will continue to be allowed under the ban. The DNR burn ban will apply to all forestlands in Washington under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands. Already this year, DNR has had 57 wildfire starts simply from escaped outdoor burn piles, which have burned approximately 202 acres. “The threat of wildfires from escaped outdoor burning is highest during the hot and dry days of summer,” said Commissioner of Public Lands
Peter Goldmark. “Wildfires are serious threats to public safety, private property, and wildlife habitat. We must take prudent steps to prevent wildfires and minimize the large expenditures of public resources spent to fight them.” The ban will apply to all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands with the following exceptions: 1. Recreational fires in approved fire pits within desig-
were added and visitors came from all over the area to smell the lavender, taste lavender flavored food and listen to live music from many regional bands. The first festival showcased thousands of lavender plants for festival visitors to view along with other indigenous flora. The visitors wandered among the plants and enjoyed the gourmet food and local artists’ talent. The festival grew every year with more visitors coming and by 2008, the event outgrew the family homestead and moved to the Newport City Park. Moving the location to the park allowed for more vendors to take part, for an array of gourmet cooking and the Newport/Priest River Rotary Club sponsored a wine and beer garden featuring local wineries and breweries. Parking was also better at the park and the venue became known for the safe, family friendly atmosphere.
BY DESIREÉ HOOD
nated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds, and 2. DNR-approved prescribed fires, implemented to enhance or restore fire-dependent ecosystems and forest health. In Idaho, open burning is prohibited within the Priest River city limits until further notice, according to Les Kokanos, Fire Chief for the West Bonner Fire District. In Bonner County, burning is allowed by permit only, he said.
In 2008, more than 3,000 people came to the park, marking the highest number of visitors in the Lavender Festival history and more than doubling the attendance from the first festival. The park is decorated each year to give the ambiance of a Tuscan Garden complete with planters of lavender, flags, chandeliers and live music. More than 80 vendors were chosen on a jury system so that the variety of options at the Lavender Festival remains open, assures high quality and there will always be something for everyone. The food is selected by the particular dishes the chefs offer. Those include lavender flavored baked goods, sausages, fresh wildberry jam, barbecue sauce and lemonade. With a variety of activities for the young and old and options for everyone, area residents are sure to leave the park with the smell of lavender still filling their nose.
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