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Posts published in “Day: March 11, 2014”

Don’t laugh at the natives

malloy CHUCK

In Idaho

Growing up in the Silver Valley, I remember taking a trip with my father one day to visit clients in Kellogg, where he did most of his business as a public accountant. Along the way, I saw a sign saying, “Don’t Laugh at the Natives” – or words to that effect.

I’ve kept thinking about that sign during the ongoing political debates over guns and management of federal lands. The words from my father more than 50 years ago hold true today.

My dad said that the sign was a display of civic pride – to show that people in the Silver Valley were proud of who they were, what they were and their heritage. He said the sign served as fair warning to outsiders who might have had any thoughts about looking down upon the good people in the Silver Valley.

At the time, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to laugh at the people for I was sheltered from the seedy side. I didn’t fully appreciate that working all day in those dirty and smelly mines was a helluva way to make a living. One of my dad’s clients was a bar owner and it didn’t occur to me that the bar, along with others that lined one of the main streets of Kellogg, were sanctuaries for many of the hard-working miners. Some of the more frisky ones would go from the bars to the whorehouses in Wallace, and people often joked about that. Mining was the leading industry in the Silver Valley, but prostitution might have been a close second.

When I want to be reminded about how things were, I go back to my old neighborhood on Division Street in Kellogg, where we lived from 1956-58. It’s like a time warp. One of my childhood memories was seeing an old washing machine on the front porch of one of the houses. I’m not certain, but when I visited the neighborhood a few years ago, I think I saw that same washing machine on the porch of that same house.
Now, that’s laughable. (more…)

Reinvesting in their homeland

carlson CHRIS


Recently, Joe Pakootas announced his candidacy for the fifth congressional district seat in the state of Washington. Most experts think he has little chance against incumbent Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.

A member of Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team, she has served ten years and last time out defeated her Democratic opponent, 62% to 38%.

Besides, Pakootas is a Native American, a member of the Colville Nation and conventional wisdom is faux Americans do not elect first Americans to high public office. Occasionally there is a rare exception.
Coloradoans elected Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell to two terms in the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1993 to 2005. A member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation he eschewed pursuing a third term.

And voters in Idaho elected Larry Echohawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation, to the Attorney General’s office in 1990 and in 1994 he came within a whisker of becoming the first Native American to be elected governor of a state. Idaho was also one of the first western states to elect a Native American to its State Legislature with Chief Joseph Garry of the Coeur d’Alene Nation serving in the State Senate for the 1967 and 1968 sessions.

Another member of the Coeur d’Alene Nation, Jeanne Givens, was one of the first Native American females to be elected to a State House of Representatives, serving from 1985 through 1988. She left the Legislature to challenge then First District congressman Larry Craig, but was soundly defeated in the November, 1988 general election.

Pakootas should not be dismissed lightly. A former tribal chairman and now head of the Colville Tribal Enterprises, he has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Washington. He took over the Tribal business operations when they were deeply in the red and within a year had the operations in the black.

He is smart, articulate and savvy. In his initial expression of candidacy he clearly lifted a page from Republican campaign uber-strategist Karl Rove that says go after your opponent’s chief area of strength. Pakootas said he would go after the congresswoman in farm country.

Smart move. All over this nation farmers are angry with their incumbent largely Republican representatives because of their so far abject failure to get together and pass a new Farm bill. It is especially true in Washington’s 5th. For years they were represented by Tom Foley who was thoroughly familiar with the most arcane parts of farm law. On his way to the Speakership he also served as chairman of the House Ag committee. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

More funds for education, not tax cuts (Boise Statesman)
Condos may rise near main Boise library (Boise Statesman)
Rails to trails lands may be RR owned (Lewiston Tribune)
Flood stages nears in some places (Lewiston Tribune)
School WiFi still raising questions (Moscow News)
Domestic violence protections bill in WA (Moscow News)
Bill could require twice-daily sobriety checks (Nampa Press Tribune)
Disabled veterans helped by Caldwell garden (Nampa Press Tribune)
School safety cut from state budget (Pocatello Journal)
School bonds on ballot (TF Times News)
Insurance bill for firefighters stopped again (TF Times News)

Increase in garbage fees possible (Eugene Register Guard)
Lane considers administrator salary (Eugene Register Guard)
Cougar killing creatures at Eugene (Eugene Register Guard)
Homeless site approved at Eugene (Eugene Register Guard)
SOU president on no-confidence vote (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Another dog park possible at Ashland (Ashland Tidings)
Jackson seeks to reduce cat euthanasia (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton Roundup's first paid manager (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Umatilla River running high (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Hanjin Shipping will stay at Portland port (Portland Oregonian)
TriMet loses service, repute (Portland Oregonian)
Legal questions on rails to trails (Salem Statesman Journal)

More nurses for Snohomish jail (Everett Herald)
More goat by allowed at Lynnwood (Everett Herald)
Roads at Arlington area falling behind (Everett Herald)
Nuclear plant inspected three times (Kennewick Herald)
Fishing restricted in three rivers (Longview News)
PUD pay standards to be discussed (Longview News)
New prosecutor at work at Clallam (Port Angeles News)
Port Angeles economic developement director (Port Angeles News)
Big crack found at Alaska viaduct (Seattle Times)
Rails to trails jeopardized (Spokane Spokesman, Yakima Herald Republic)
Dispute over public docks on Lake CdA (Spokane Spokesman)
Employment agency for pot business (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark County generating legal pot (Vancouver Columbian)
New manager expected for Ridgefield (Vancouver Columbian)