Friday, April 29, 2011

School News This Week!

Invitational Track Meet

The YMCA track meet is an invitational track meet and is treated like a State Meet for Middle School students.
The following students have qualified for the meet on Saturday, April 30th in Boise:

100 mH— Ally Miran (20.8) 20 sec is qualifying
200mH— KZ Fetters (36.9) 36 sec is qualifying
4X100-- Avery, Mack, Michael, Jimmy (56-58)
Shot— Jimmy (33’4 ¼”), Michael (31’1”) 30’ is qualifying
Discus— Michael (103’2), Zach J (85’9”), Jimmy (80’4”) 80’ is qualifying
High Jump— Michael (5’2”), Casey (4’4”) 4’6 is qualifying
Long Jump— Brandon (14’3), Mack (14’7), Jimmy (14’10), Avery (13’1) 13’6 is qualifying.

Book Fair

Teachers' Lounge/Break Room

Monday, May 2nd, 3:30 to 4:30
Tuesday, May 3rd, 3:30 to 4:30
Wednesday, May 4th, 3:30 to 4:30
Thursday, May 5th, 5:30 pm to 8:15 pm, during the Concert
Come and see all the New Books they have.

Thursday, May 5
7:00 p.m.
In the Multipurpose Room

Mr. Defoe's Garden Valley Music Students
are Award Winning Performers
Be sure to Catch this Show!

Schwan’s Fund Raiser
If you enjoy Schwan’s fine selection of foods, you can help raise money for extra-curricular activities here at school, when you purchase your favorite snacks, pizzas, or other foods. Jeff Corder, the local Schwan’s distributor has an offer for us that is too good to miss. You can order on-line or buy gift cards to use for your purchases (the gift card has to be used completely on each purchase, no credits are given, so please order the $10 cards unless you make large purchases over $25). If the community spends $3000 on this campaign, the school will receive a 20% commission on all purchases.

Jeff feels we can sell $5000 plus by the end of the May campaign, which will raise $1000 for field trips and extra-curricular activities next school year.

On-Line Orders

1. Go to to see all the Schwan’s products
2. Or go to for the online order option.
3. Enter the requested information.
4. Our fund raising campaign ID# is 33956.

Schwan’s Gift Cards

If you already have Jeff calling on you, please order some gift cards to purchase your products from him. They work just like cash, but he cannot give change, so $10 cards must all be spent in their entirety. If you have an order of $18 dollars use a $10 card and $8 cash, etcetera.

To order gift cards:

1. Go to and click on the Gift Cards link.
2. Or call 1-888-Schwans and inform customer service that you would like to purchase cards.
3. Use the fund raiser ID# 33956
4. Select Denominations $10 or $25
5. Gift Cards will be mailed to your address of choice and you can use them the next time Jeff calls on you.
6. Gift cards purchased during April and May will be credited to our fund raising, even if they are spent later in the summer, so consider buying a couple of extra cards if you are a regular Schwan’s customer.

Jeff will also set up a day in May, about the 18th or 19th when he will have his truck at school for the afternoon serving anyone who doesn’t get regular service at home.

The Old Merc News: Countdown to Opening!

From Greg & Gerold at the Merc

We are entering our final month in our current location. Sounds so sudden when you put it to paper, but we’ve been working a long time building a more appropriate space for a full service grocery store. We’re excited and certainly hope that you’re excited as well. Our overarching goal has always been to invest in our community through improving services while maintaining our rural character.

Gerold and I will certainly miss the charm of the Old Merc and all of the memories we collected. Many of you have memories as well, even prior to our owning the store. Because the Merc has continually been a store during the lifetime of the building, we know that the name Crouch Merc is attached to this structure and should not move with us.

The new store will be called Garden Valley Market. It’s appropriate to start fresh and build upon the growth of the Merc. Another item that will be transitioning is our Preferred Card program. The current program will end, but a discount and rewards program will begin based on earned useage. More details will follow in future messages.

We’re on facebook now (Garden Valley Market GV Idaho). Join us as a friend. We’ll be posting photos, specials, news, etc. For some of you, FB might be more convenient than email. Our new website is in development and when up and running, you’ll have the option of printing coupons, printing our flyers, utilizing our shopping cart feature and much more.

As of our opening (targeting Memorial Day Weekend), we do not have a pharmacist yet, nor will the gas station be completed. We will continue ahead with both, but they won’t be available when we first open.

We will keep you posted of our progress via email and facebook. As I’ve mentioned in earlier messages, we will close for a few days in order to move all equipment and remaining product to the new space. That date will be announced as soon as we have a firm time frame.

In the meantime, Spring Cleaning is in the air.

You’ll be surprised what you’ll find at the Merc to help you with
this annual rite of Spring.
These items along with produce and meat specials go on sale
Wednesday April 27th through Tuesday, May 3rd.

Tide Liquid Detergents: 50 oz $6.99
Shout Trigger Bonus size: $2.79
Scrubbing Bubbles: $2.79
Pinesol Cleaner: 2 for $6
Fantastik Trigger Spray: $2.79
Formula 409 spray: 2 for $6.00
Windex Cleaner: $2.79
Hefty Lawn and Trash Bags: $6.49

Back by Rosemary demand, at the Chevron:

Every Tuesday we will be featuring our fantastic Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Every Thursday we will again be offering our French Dip Au Jus Sandwich.

We have Habanero Tornado's daily, and Chicken Wrap for lunch.

We have Waffles, Biscuits n Gravy and other yummy Breakfast Items, including our current Morning Combo: 2 Tornado's and 16oz coffee/cappuccino for 2.99!

And Fresh Fried Donuts too.

The Chesterfried Chicken is as good as ever!!!
Come in and see what other goodies are here for you.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Garden Valley Photos Needed

The Garden Valley Syringa Club is looking for that special photo
for its 2012 Birthday Calendar.

Please submit photographs, historical or not, of the local Garden Valley area.
There is no pay involved, just lots of exposure!

E-mail to Judy Prachyl in the jpeg format, by June 15, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fill 'er Up!

By Rich Smith

Yesterday I stopped at the GV Chevron station and filled my tank with liquid gold. Talk about sticker shock, the pump read almost $60, and I own a Subaru. The national price of gasoline is now $3.85 and rising to $4 a gallon. Consumers want to know what is driving this sudden increase. President Obama addressed this issue last week and proposed a “study” conducted by his advisers, to answer this perplexing question. Well Mr. President, just use common sense and save us a few million tax dollars on another study.

The price of gasoline is this high because it can be. In other words, OPEC and the gasoline companies can charge whatever they want for their product and we sheep will pay it. It is called the “milk the consumer to maximize profit” theory of economics. For those who may doubt this is the case, watch for the quarterly profits announced by Standard Oil, Exxon, Shell or BP. These companies will use any handy excuse to maximize their profits. For example, because the rebels in Libya blew up a guard station, or the King of Saudi Arabia went into the hospital for a hernia operation, speculators bid up the price of oil and, in concert, the price at the pump instantly increases. Have these incidents increased oil well or gasoline production costs? No, not by one drop. When OPEC decides to increase the cost of a barrel of oil by $5, why does a non-OPEC barrel of oil produced in Wyoming or in the Gulf of Mexico have to follow suit? Because it can.

Here is evidence that we are being had. How long does it take a barrel of oil produced in Saudi Arabia to arrive at your pump in the form of a gallon of gas? Considering the storage time oil waits for shipment in the mid-East, or the time in transit on tankers, at refineries, stored in large gasoline tanks, and then finally shipped to your gasoline station, the average delay is four months. Four months worth of supply! So why is it that when a speculator or OPEC decides to increase the price of oil by $5, does the price of a gallon of gas at the pump increase fifteen cents? All that oil in transit and gasoline in storage tanks have suddenly become more valuable.

Who benefits from the windfall? Certainly not the gas station owner; the oil companies and OPEC benefit. None of that more costly oil has yet hit the marketplace, yet my pocketbook felt the result at last fill up. OPEC claims they have a worldwide surplus of oil and gasoline demand in this country is down 2%, yet the cost of gasoline is up $1 a gallon from just a few months ago. Obama’s study will do nothing to stop this fleecing of America, by OPEC and the Oil Companies. What can stop them is to buy less of their commodity.

Remember the days of gas wars, where the law of supply and demand dictated price? Let’s all use less and perhaps it will have a lasting effect. I was just figuring that a round-trip to Crouch (18 miles) for a gallon of milk costs about $2.50 for gas. That is one expensive bottle of milk. I think we will wait and combine our trips into town. If everyone did this, say cut back their purchase of gasoline by 5%, the oil companies would get the message.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Prose: Contemplations for Easter

Nineteen-year-old author Jesse Anna Longshore shares her thoughts on life and loss. 

Beauty Amongst the Broken

For those that don’t know, my mom is sick. She isn’t just unhealthy, she is disease-ridden. Yet she is still the best mom I could ever ask for. I was having a hard day the other day; I needed her to be my mom, as selfish as that sounds. I went and wept on her. I was finally able to suck it up and put everything out of my mind, to try and enjoy the beautiful moment that God had allowed. I made a joke, saying ‘she could have given me some motherly advice,’ and as I started to smile to indicate that I was joking, she looked so deep into my eyes, I am sure she saw my heart stop beating. She spoke so softly as to keep from coughing and said, “I wish someone would give me advice.” Well, there went my efforts to stop crying. As I lay back down, I felt her praying. She mustered the strength to lift my chin up and tell me, “Jesse, always remember there is God in the good and the bad. You have to be thankful for the time you have.”

I felt a ribbon of goose bumps creep across my body, as I held her hands in mine. I prayed, I prayed so hard for the words to comfort her and the words that came out of my mouth were not my own. I looked at her with my tear-stained face and I told her that “everything will be okay here. We will be okay. We have each other.” Not until I said those words to the person who needed to hear them most, did I truly believe them.

All we have is each other in this small world. We have family and friends and nothing more. Never take for granted those that have given you something in your life. Never take for granted the love surrounding you, because I can tell you from firsthand experience that when it comes time to say good-bye, all you have to think about is all the things that you never said or the things you did and want to take back.

There are moments you want to hold on to, but you can’t. All we have as humans are the memories; memories of the love that has touched our hearts. It’s amazing how the smell of the cookies in the oven can bring back the night that you and your mom solved world peace in the kitchen. Or even a song, that you sang on the way to the beach, when your hearts were full of happiness, can play on the radio and you never will hear it without feeling that same happiness.

Sometimes I go running at night. Just to inhale the smokey air deep into my lungs. I breathe in the moisture and I feel the wind blowing my hair. I fill every ounce of my lungs until they are filled to their tidal volume. I do this for the people that are not equipped to do this. I think of those who have been hit by a drunk driver and can’t get out of bed without help or tools. I think of the beautiful children who have never known what it is like beyond the hospital walls. I hold my arms out for the ones that have never known what it is to be free. I do that for the people who won’t ever know the feeling of wind blowing their hair. And I breathe, I breathe for my mom. I breathe a breath that she can’t.

Because I have seen someone looking at life from the outside and not be able to take part in the parts that were built for them, I refuse to take life for granted. I refuse to take the ones I love for granted. This is a beautiful life and this life was meant to be lived. To live means to love, because as much as I wish I could make my heart turn to stone to save myself from pain, I would never take back the happiness that was felt, because in those moments there was beauty. A glimpse of beauty in this broken world~

Stopping Time

Everyone has asked for a countdown for something in their life, whether it is to get out of bed, to jump into water knowing it is cold, or making one important phone call. When someone says, “Three, two, one,” you immediately have a feeling for each number. With three, you know you have two more seconds to let the breath you just inhaled, out. At two, you know you have to let it out, because whatever it is you are resisting, is coming. At this point your heart beats a little faster, whether it is from fear or excitement. At the moment the word “one” is formed, you let your breath out and you jump in with two feet.

From the time you come out of the womb, you are counting down for something. Parents count down for the baby to come. They count down for the first word...and then the first steps. When you grow older, you are counting down to things that involve you, like getting boobs or your first kiss. The biggest one is getting your driver’s license. The only thing that is not appropriate to countdown is for Mondays. I have never heard anyone say, “Man, I cannot wait for Monday to get here.”

Nana has an old stopwatch that sits by momma’s bed. Nana uses it to see the time when she gives mom her medication, as to not lose track. I walk in there and amongst the heavy breathing, I hear the stopwatch ticking. The sound of time passing makes me want to turn back the time. To me, that watch is counting down. With every tick of the hands, I am losing time. I have been sitting in that room, a room that I can describe to a tee. I can tell you that there are gold sheets on the bed. The comforter is pulled to one side. There are seven pillows and a pad underneath her. I can tell you there is a treadmill in the corner and cards spread around the room in baskets that are overflowing. There is a mirror with a picture of Jamie and me taped to the right side. There are buckets on either side of the pillows and the peace of God is ever so present in there.

Sitting in this room makes me think of the ever so apparent future. I picture changes within my life and I am self-consciously counting down for things in my life. As I sit in this room, the ticking of that stopwatch is unending and I sometimes count the seconds until the hand moves all the way around.

But the truth is that whether we get the countdown or not, the future is going to come. Whether we force a child to walk or wait patiently, they are going to take those steps. Whether we force love to receive a kiss we long for, or you wait until love comes to you, the kiss will come. Whether you live life on the edge with no concern about death or you are careful with each step, you are going to die.

We cannot change the future. We cannot stop the inevitable countdown. This world is so caught up in the future, that we cannot appreciate the present. I can’t count the times I have been spending with someone and through the text, have been planning my next move. A harsh reality says that I am at fault. I drive fast so that I get to where I am going as fast as I can so I don’t miss out on anything...but really, in driving as fast as I can, only watching the tracks of the car in front of me, I am missing God’s creation. It becomes a blur beside me. My priorities are just wrong. I sit in the room and cannot stop focusing on what I cannot fix, that I may miss out on a smile or an expression of love. I hear the ticking and I am reminded of what is about to happen.

People are in and out of my house all the time. The smiles are plastered on the faces of those that come, as to bring a sense of hope, but beyond the smiles are the eyes. Sometimes even windows to the soul can’t be shut and we get to see in. We see the pain and the reality sets in.

Tonight I decided to go in her room, kind of escape the murmur of words that hurt. I put the stopwatch in the drawer of her nightstand. I stopped time. I held her hand and she squeezed mine back. Through the pain medicine and the pain, I know that she was praying just as hard for me as I was for her. The prayers weren’t out loud and they weren’t bringing tears, but they were powerful. I didn’t pray for anything but the present, as she prayed for the future. She doesn’t have a future here; she has now. I have a future on this pain-ridden, beautiful earth...I still have things to countdown for. When it was time to let her sleep, I gave a countdown, and at “one”, I let her hand go and time picked up where I left off.

What we as a society need to do is to become one with time. Cling to it like it is running away. Embrace the now with all we have. We can’t change the future, so why not hold on to those seconds instead of trying to outrun them. We have the power to stop time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

~Easter Week-End~


6:30 pm: Gabriel Faure's Requiem performed by the Church Choir.
7:00 pm: Good Friday Service
St. Jude Catholic Church, Banks Lowman Hwy
(across from GV School)
All welcome.

7:00 pm: Good Friday Service
Crouch Community Church


Spring Fling!
All Day, Downtown Crouch
Vendors, Horse & Wagon Ride, Food and Skits

11:30 am: Easter Egg Hunt at LDS Church


8:00 am: Easter Cowboy Breakfast & Service w/ Bluegrass Music on River
10:30 am: Easter Service
Crouch Community Church
Greg and Gerold offer

We wish everyone a Happy and Safe upcoming Easter Weekend. To prepare
for family or guests and not break the budget, here’s just a sample of what
you can find this week in your own hometown!!!! All items while supplies last.

WF Large Eggs (dozen)~~~~~~~99 cents
Western Family Butter~~~~~~~$2.79

Folgers Coffee~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$8.99
Libby’s canned vegetables assorted~~~88 cents
Nabisco Crackers assorted~~~~~~~~~~2 / $4

Pompei Olive Oils~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$8.99
WF All Purpose Flour 10 lb~~~~~~~~~$3.79
WF Sugar 5 lbs~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$2.99
Wesson Oils (Vegetable or Canola)~~2 for $7

WF Sour Cream~~~~99 cents
WF Cream Cheese~~$1.09

Marie Calendar Frozen Pies~~~~~$5.99
Marie Calendar Pumpkin Pie~~~~~$3.99
Shasta 12 pack soda~~~~$2.99
Pepsi 12 pack Sodas~~~~$3.99

There’s much more to see throughout the store including new items

such as Flat Breads, Take n Bake Pizzas
and Food should be this good Tortilla Chips.

Helen has some great fresh produce which will catch your eye and
make your wallet happy!

Don’t forget Spring Fling on Saturday, April 23rd –

New York Steaks –starting at $5.99 per lb for family pack,
$7.99 lb single steaks 
 $8.99 lb fillet cuts
Whole Seasoned Chickens - $5.99 each.
Sugar Tree Spiral-Cut Hams~~~~$1.40 lb.
"Ready for the dinner table"

Tee-Shirts, Garden Items and more during Spring Fling

in our canopy outside the store for Spring Fling.

Have a great week and we look forward to your next visit.

Greg and Gerold

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crouch Bridge: What Were They Thinking Of? or, We Don’t Like To See A Small Town Die

Residents of Crouch and Garden Valley filled the expansive GV Senior Center on Monday night, to react to the new design of a replacement bridge for the 1935 Crouch bridge, over the Middle Fork of the Payette River, next to the tiny downtown village of Crouch.

Fifteen years ago, according to Boise County Road and Bridge Department Superintendent, Bill Jones, the State gave the Crouch Bridge a sufficiency rating of 50, out of 100. As of today, it is rated 23.7, by Idaho Transportation District. (Brooklyn Bridge has a 0 rating, with 150,000 cars whizzing across every day). In 2003, Boise County Commissioners were convinced it was the right thing to act in accord with ITD and agree to a bridge replacement project, and the Mayor of Crouch wrote a letter of support.

The design that was shown to residents on March 15, 2011, in the Crouch Community Hall, was not what  many people had in mind. Hence, on Monday evening, the community formed a cohesive unit of grassroots power and yes, expressed themselves.

The following is a general rundown of the meeting.

Let’s talk about Options:
A. Redesign the Bridge?

County Commissioner and Chair of the Board, Jamie Anderson, jumped right in and started addressing concerns: “If we back out...once the County signs up for Fed aid—we pay back about $300K. The original project is so old, there is a 20% match for every dollar, which taxpayers have been paying. When it goes to construction (the rate changed in 2006), we’ll pay 7.34%.

“We could back out. We could delay. We have 10 years to pay it back. It’s a lot in our budget—it means less services. We could delay with a cost--Federal Highways has said they will not pay for redesign.

“The $300K includes design, permits and environmental studies up to the present.”

Commissioner Terry Day assured the audience with a laugh, “We’ve had 40+ invoices, month and after month...if I had my druthers, I’d hand this project to you.”

“I don’t know anybody who’s happy with the solution of this bridge,” said Commissioner Bob Fry. “We’re looking at least $100K for redesign. $1.3M for construction...the cost of materials, would go up, if we delay. When you take money from a state or federal agency, there are strings attached. Be careful.”

Someone corrected a commissioner: “We don’t want to do what’s best for the County. We want to do what’s best for Crouch and Garden Valley.”

B: Remove the Bridge?
Anderson: “We’d want to consult our emergency services; since the Ambulance responds from Highway 17, this would be more of a concern for fire response. In approximately 3-4 years, ITD will condemn the bridge, as it is."

The bridge is 100% within the jurisdiction of Crouch. Yet, Mayor Bob Powell avers that
though Mayor Elaine Baker wrote a letter of support for a bridge, in 2003, “we had no opportunity for consideration—we have never been approached with a design.”

Bill Jones said it is not economically feasible to repair the bridge and it should be rebuilt. He commented, “At the first meeting, every person wanted a sidewalk for pedestrians.”

Who approved the design of the bridge? Anderson stated that federal aid has certain federal standards. When the matter finally came to the City Council, six days ago, via Marcia and Mike Hefner and other community members, they suggested a covered bridge. The Hefners are property owners who would stand to lose more than just parking space.

Mike Hefner handed a petition with 555 signatures of residents opposed to the bridge design, to the Board of Commissioners. He said, “This has brought up thoughts on what not to do, to correct a bad situation. If we don’t do what’s right, we will regret this.

“The girders are 7’ high. Greg and Gerold’s trailer court will be put in a big hole—no one has talked about that. I figured this was a speeding zone, with bike lanes...the height of the also has to withstand a hundred year flow with no structure supporting the center on this. The width is their standard. When they considered the traffic, bicycles have to have a lane on each side. A covered bridge is the only way to go. I don’t like to see a small town die.” Affected property owners are the Hefners, Greg Simione and Gerold Dennett and the Youren family.

C. Not build? How about No Bridge?

Folks had ideas about this:
*Federal government is broke. Why don’t we impose on our senators and representatives and have them de-fund us and put the money back into the government's pocket. Leave the bridge there, do repairs and press on, so we don’t have to ruin downtown Crouch.
*The old road used to go through Mountain Shadows. In 1961-62, they built Davey’s Bridge—the reason for the bridge was to provide a road. We do not need two high-load bridges within one mile of each other. The economy is bad, the County is broke, the federal government is broke, I’m nearly broke. I do not want to spend one more dollar!
*Let’s take control and get the Federal government out.
*For people who want to build a new bridge, get into your pocket book. Let the bridge we have stand as long as it will and rebuild as it deteriorates. Then take it out and use Davey’s and see how the economy goes.

D. Re-engineer a bridge that would fit in our community?

Lots of answers were offered:
*The encroachment is on private property—90% is Marcia Hefner.
*Crouch is the epitome of Americana—we need a new bridge but I’d hate to see this big, huge concrete monstrosity come through to the middle of town.
*1-lane metal bridge, or condemn it and make it a walking bridge. With the old bridge, we’re able to walk to the store, kids can cross. A bigger bridge means bigger trucks, somebody will get killed.
*I’m from Pennsylvania. We have covered bridges. Stop paying consultants that you don’t know what you’re paying for. In Vermont, in Pennsylvania, they have covered bridges—they get it done.
*I'm concerned about the height and faster speeds. This is a rustic town, we don’t need a million dollar parking lot.
* The one-lane bridge is a good lesson in manners—we have to wait for each other and be patient. If people had known what they would design—just remember, we pay all the taxes—federal, state, and county~
*Bridge design is extravagant~
*I gave the engineer an F. There are other alternatives. A company makes beautiful arched wooden bridges, priced less. At the last meeting, several engineers brought this up, it was totally ignored. The community needs to set up barricades and not let them do it.
* I think it’s unspeakable. They haven’t involved the City of Crouch in the design. We could scale it down to two lanes, keep the old bridge, get timber and craftsmen to fix it up and even put a cover over the metal one. We need to take a deep breath, and not spend another dime on holiday engineers.
* This bridge is worn out. It needs to be replaced or moved—or stop driving across it!
*We could design a bridge digitally and get all specifications for it, for nothing.

The Trading Post is owned by Marcia Hefner. Employee Jerry Hines spoke out: “Marcia is the angel of Garden Valley. How many times has she helped people when they couldn’t pay for a water heater or needed help? Christy Morgan said, “Marcia has had the longest-standing business in town. Mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. Marcia has helped us all—we owe it to her.”

Before the meeting broke up, people wanted to know, “How do we get involved?”

Terry Day said, “We can’t make the decision tonight—but we have to make a decision. The “go ahead” option is a no. I know there is some resentment for the board; if you had shown this much interest in the beginning, these things would not have gotten out of control.”

The crowd responded that they never expected this kind of design, after expressing what they wanted.  How can they legally force those charges on us, now that we’ve rejected the design? A certain reporter reminded the commissioners that the engineers produced a bridge design that the town specifically said they did not want. “We need to hold them accountable for that money.”

Commissioner Anderson said, “We are exploring all the options, but we need strong words from Crouch."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Setting The (Idaho) World Right": School Super Speaks Out

By Dr. Mike Tomlin
Monday, 4/18/2011 

Today was an amazing day, starting with good coffee at Emilio's and reading the Idaho Statesman's lead news article on the Boise Schools. Except for the word "Boise" in front of schools, and the dollar amounts, the story could have been written about our Garden Valley Schools. The Boise school district is down $36 million from the 2008-2009 school year. And no one is asking where their "contingency fund" went, like a former stalker and resident of Garden Valley did of our school principal last week.

It was an intelligent article written to inform. The Boise district has cut staff and supplies, and is in the final stages of using up its "rainy day fund". The article quoted district spokesman Dan Hollar -- in itself a joy to see the Statesman staff actually finding their way to ask a district office employee of the facts.

Then down the block to the 20th Annual Education Law Institute at the Boise Center on the Grove. Well over 300 people representing Idaho's 115 school districts. Fellow Superintendents, Board Clerks, HR Managers, and Trustees. I know many of them, and we laugh as we reunite, most thanking me for keeping Garden Valley in the news, evidently the only district in the state with money woes and certainly the only district trimming staff. "Hey Tomlin, we appreciate you, and your people who would rather trash their home community than know the truth." In truth, they each know they are one phone call from being next, and they wish us no ill will, but in this business, every day off the media cycle is a good day.

They see the bias on Channel 7, and try to avoid it and interviews there too. I show them the "Heads saved" and "Chopping Block" article by Kathleen Wilson in the Idaho World. They laugh at the writing and the column. "These people need to come up for air sometime," they say. They know. The paper is small town, but it could be accurate. It could be honest.

"Administrators say" the "sweeping staffing cuts...were necessitated by slashed state budgets?" No we didn't. The funding cuts have hurt, but mostly our cuts are needed because the district has been overspending to keep elective programs and small elementary class sizes it cannot afford. That was the reason for the levy. That is why the levy was run even before we got our revenue numbers for next year. That is why we reported the need for a 2011 levy in our budget hearing last year.

The Board fully understood this as they approved the levy. Idaho World reporter Kathleen Wilson understood it too, as she served on the levy promotion work group. One can only speculate on what caused her to write falsely in the paper.

She also wrote that I "axed three clerical workers, keeping just one to help run the district." Not true. We only have three clerical workers. And while we anticipate one may retire, the others know full well they have a chance to be hired back in a reconfigured job. Wilson could have known it too if she had bothered to ask. The truth, man. It is there for people who want it, and it is there to be ignored by those who do not.

The Idaho World also stated that our plans left "just two teachers in grades K-5." That is untrue. Since the Idaho World's reporter didn't care to ask for the truth, I can share what she doesn't know - first, we "could" reconfigure middle school and move a teacher there, adding our Title I teacher. That would fully cover the K-5 grades with four very good teachers. But we likely will not do that - more probably combine a couple of grade levels and hire back from the laid off pool. The teachers knew that, and the Idaho World could have known it with a simple question and competent reporting. Their reporter chose neither.

But competent reporting would not have allowed them to conclude we would have "no teacher's aides to work with Special Education students." The week before the Monday "massacre" I assured the district's Special Education Director that she was authorized to hire over the summer what help was needed to meet our responsibility to special needs children. We will meet it in the fall also. But laying off when work is done, and hiring back when tasks require is not a new concept. It is just new to education, and the kind of "new" demanded by this year's legislature and today's taxpayer.

Always spot on, Trustee Jeff Bass noted in the Idaho World that the board had "put off the inevitable." Exactly, and it was their right. They know the figures and have since December been working the dollars right through the levy campaign. Those dollars won't change when we get our new revenue numbers from the state. The job before the board remains.

In the category of even blind squirrels find an occasional nut, IW reporter Kathleen Wilson did correctly note that "teaching positions are funded by the state." We are a state school district...but this may still be "news" to some.

And finally the drama. I find it ironic that those who call the television news, and who print headlines stating "Heads saved from the Chopping Block..." would infer that the District desires a "dramatic effect." That is simply untrue. And of course our 300 friends in the Center on the Grove know that it is untrue, as they listened today to the same updated legal reports from the recent legislative session, that we listened to. All hoping they could avoid that next media cycle.

Then we all headed home, to head back tomorrow for round two. And in parting, one after another tells the GVSD contingent - "hey we'll see you tonight on Channel 7." Too funny.

But we learned a lot, and it was a day well spent. Tomorrow we get the finance side of the new legislation, that finance side that is funded in fact by the state, Idaho, that funds our teaching positions. But I am certain you will read all about it in the Idaho World.

Friday, April 15, 2011


NEIGHBORLY NEWS Contributed by concerned residents

Marcia Hefner needs help with the bridge project. As you know, the state has designed a huge new bridge to replace our quaint one-lane wood bridge. It is wider than Davey's bridge, down on Banks Lowman road, and 7.15 feet higher above the current bridge, so it will be a huge build up on both sides to get up to the bridge and off the other side.

Apparently, letters of support of building a new bridge were signed way back like 2003, by the City Council and County commissioners at that time, but it just blows us away to think that the state did not actively keep the City of Crouch involved in the design process and then just last month drop the final design concept on everyone.

Then the county is being told "if you don't like this and we stop it or
redesign it, you will be on the hook for $285,000, that has been spent so

A Meeting with the Commissioners is scheduled for next Monday, the 18th, at 6:30 p.m., at the Senior center. This is an opportunity for community members to get information and make comments about the bridge.

Marcia, to date, has collected over 400 signatures, in opposition to the design, as presented last month.
Some thoughts to consider for Monday's meeting and come up with your own.

1) Address the $280,700+ the County has spent on traffic study, surveying and engineer plans. This was suggested as a dilemma of the commissioners. I don't believe the money was wasted on the first two items--they were needed by ITD. As to the third, why would we have to pay for plans we were not consulted about? Clearly (I wrote the first article last year about the bridge) our ideas were not taken into consideration at all! I remember the ideas, some were mine. But if we blew a few bucks on plans, okay.

2) We have funding, right? So we need to get the County behind this. Get some figures on the safety of covered bridges, if that is what the town wants. Include statistics of accidents on this bridge...? Cover any points of debate they might bring up.

3) Emphasize this is a back road now, not the main bridge for Middle Fork Road any more. It is a rural Crouch community bridge, not a Garden Valley-Banks Lowman intersection.

4) With that, surely these skilled engineers could design a safe bridge that meets the city image and expectations. They can use all of their engineering innovations to create a small, attractive and long-lived bridge. Work with the community, not against--so much easier, non? I was told that considering aesthetics adds more cost. Well, they have not considered the aesthetics we asked them to and it has cost us for them to create plans for an ugly, unnecessary bridge we said we did not want in the first place. They need to be accountable for this! And if they gripe about a covered bridge, have some alternatives in mind. Bring ideas!

5) And to that, if WE are being funded by federal stimulus money, WE applied for it, didn't WE? They are funds for us and our need, not what the ITD wants. All the money that it would cost to build this monstrosity would be put to best use by building something more to the scale of necessity at this river crossing into the small, rural town of Crouch. Surely the cost of the work and materials for that over-the-top bridge would would be plenty to cover the cost of our cost-effective, safe and historically-appropriate town bridge.

Encourage them to consider preserving our small-town-America ideals by boldly bringing them into the 21st century! Perhaps a little ego-titillation wouldn't hurt--why not create something that will be historical and attention-grabbing--it will be our (and their) ticket into fame.

(Incidentally, I heard there is no covered bridge in Idaho--but I believe there is one on Hwy 21, built in 1977, maybe 5 miles south of Idaho City.) ~Angel~

{New policy on comments, due to abuse. Sorry folks, hate to be a policeman, but please sign your names or come on with your Google , etc. ID. If you choose to be here anonymously, I may have to delete the content of any nasty comments or name-calling. Let's keep this civil. )

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Payette Seniors Events


The Payette Senior Center is hosting:

The Queen's Banquet on Thursday, May 5th.
For information or tickets, call Jamie White
at (208) 405-3177.

Mrs. Senior Payette Pageant
on May 11th, at 11:00am

Lunch will be served, for a donation of $5 for Seniors
and $6, for those under 55 years of age.

Annual Hamburger Feed on May 14th

Serving before and after the Parade, 10am to 2:00pm

We will be serving Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, with
a choice of fries or chips, salads, soft drinks, and
cinnamon rolls.

The Payette Senior Center is located at 137 N. Main St.
Payette, Idaho. All are welcome to join us.
(208) 642-4223

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anarchists? Revolutionaries? A Hot Night at The School Board Meeting

Poor old Charles the First just wanted to be taken seriously. He was king under God and by gum, he deserved some respect. Parliament had other ideas. I wondered the other night at the school board meeting, which was better? Being led by someone who believed he had divine right to rule over the multitudes or by a group of people who thought they were serving the masses but were really only working for another tyrant, Oliver Cromwell, who turned out to be a pretty bloody nasty cup of tea.

One way or another, someone leads and all the others follow. These are the little gnidges that run through the gray cells while listening to a mass of people all expressing the same uneasiness, via different levels of vexation and distress, to veering upon threats.

None of the concerns were surprising, having been there before:

1) Gee, we didn’t pass the levy, so golly, some staffers will have to be let go: What caused one to jolt in one’s crowded little seat space was the bewilderment of so many patrons and teachers, caused by the realization that some people will actually lose their jobs. Did they think Principal Bob Vian was kidding when he stated vehemently, many times, that the result of not passing the levy would be “draconian. We do not want to go there...if the levy doesn’t pass...we’ve looked at salary cuts, day cuts, staff cuts.” ...or when Superintendent Tomlin said, “If it doesn’t pass, very likely athletics will go, some or all elective programs will have to be severely cut or cancelled altogether.”

2) John Haworth is a teacher whom patrons don’t want to lose. The math teacher has rallied his devotees to a frothing defense of him and his superlative teaching skills, ad nauseam. In reading a letter he sent to his supporters, which was accidentally (?) sent to this news blog, it wasn’t difficult to see where the source of the rabble-rousing spouts. On top of holding anti-establishment meetings in his classroom, he’s clearly done something to affect his noble standing with his superiors, having been put on probation, which he keeps talking about (although the board was not at liberty to answer him or patrons on this matter). His letter states that the principal and superintendent want him to dumb down his teaching. Knowing the standards of both fine educators, Vian and Tomlin, it is hard to conceive of them asking a good teacher to alter his skills as a communicator or to not give every child the best education he can. I am not privy to the words the math teacher’s superiors used when asking the math teacher to dumb down, but it is likely that there has been a miscommunication.

Yes, John is probably right—if he’s a creative, innovative and demanding teacher about which, to his credit, he seems to have no false humility, it would be a degradation of his genius to have to dumb down. A perfect teacher, yes. On the other hand, smart people usually figure out who their employers are—it appears this enlightenment has yet to be achieved. He might be perceived as being a less than perfect candidate for employment. Perhaps a school of his own would be in line, whereby the world at large would have the privilege of his teaching prowess and would be a better place indeed.

3) Anne Keddy-Hector aka Delores Bedard Public Records Request over-charge: It appears that since this fiasco is in litigation, we can no longer talk about it. Thank goodness. You got yourselves into this one, guess you can try to cheat the school out of a few bucks and cause a bit more grief in the process. Have at it. Taxpayers will thank you for it.

4) Legal bills for presence of attorney during school board meetings. Hmm, what to say about this one that hasn’t already been said. Let’s say it again. Long time ago, the Fiends of the Garden Valley School District began harassing the school administration, over just about everything. If one opened one’s mouth or kept mum, it didn’t matter, it was going to be scrutinized and deemed suspect, by the Fiends. Every day there was the necessity of communicating with the District’s attorney, either by e-mail or telephone. This cost an enormous amount of money to defend the District constantly from the harassment, threats and accusations of these patrons and teachers—none of which, it appears, ever had any validity. If it did, we would have heard about it, yes? At some point, a board member advised saving funds by striking a deal with the District’s attorney to attend meetings at a reduced fee, thus saving the District money and time-lag of advice. If patrons want to complain about the cost of defense and careful administration, gee—the District could go back to calls and one complained then. Good idea.

5) Snipes at Dr. Tomlin: This one is so much fun for everyone. No matter how the board tries to get the community to avoid personal attacks on administration, staff and students, we somehow manage to get around this. Sigh. We may be stuck with the old fart for awhile yet...sigh. Someone or two or...don’t know, don’t care...managed to mention 300 signatures, don’t let the lay-offs be in relation to “No Confidence”, system is broken, laying off across the board, getting rid of...sigh...
One patron after another suggested to the board that when Bob Vian and Mike Tomlin informed staff members who possibly would be affected by cuts, they acted without the Board’s consent, telling the Board what the board already knew to not be true. The Board was too respectful to embarrass them in a full room, but they did come back and set the record straight. “The superintendent and principal do what the Board directs them to do.” Again, rumormongers have caused more trouble...sigh...Somehow, it just gets old.

Angel’s Picks: Highlights to look forward to in the new season:#1 Best: We had a taste of the new board the other night. Rob Hazen was appointed by the board to sit in as interim trustee for the rest of the school year—some board trustees were adamant that the Zone II seat be filled for full board consideration of budgetary cuts. Rob is also a candidate for the May election of Zone II. He brings some strong sentiments to the board; some yet remain to be exposed. We had a visit from the “newbie”, as the lone Lowman candidate described himself. With his own strong opinions, which he had no trouble expressing, he will add another masculine bit o’ spice to the mix. I predict a struggle within the alpha male sector of the new board, considering Alan Ward’s virile frowning, leaning back away from the table posturing-- we will see some heads roll or at least some blood for sure. Never underestimate the power of a good woman, though, who has already proven herself to be a first-rate warrior. Terry Elmore may prevail.

#2. The administration may see some definitive victories coming from litigations against the school district. I predict a sure positive outcome against the Bedard disaster, much like the judgment against the kindergarten teacher’s accusations last year. Blood has already been spilled on this field though, so no victory can heal the wounds that have been inflicted.

#3. There are a lot of patrons who think it will be possible for the GV School District to find creative solutions to save jobs, keep programs and continue giving the students an A-1 education. I predict the administration will pull miracles out of the hat. We may be a bunch of socialists, anarchists, fascists, liberals or pacifists, but I’d like to think that our mission is guided by a deep love of the kids and their education. Any other motivations should be left at the door.

{New policy on comments, due to abuse. Sorry folks, hate to be a policeman, but please sign your names or come on with your Google , etc. ID. If you choose to be here anonymously, I may have to delete the content of any nasty comments or name-calling. Let's keep this civil. )

Monday, April 11, 2011

School News: Schwan's Fundraiser for Activities!

Neighborly News
From GV School Principal Bob Vian 

Schwan’s Fund Raiser
If you enjoy Schwan’s fine selection of foods,
you can help raise money for extra-curricular
activities here at school, when you purchase your
favorite snacks, pizzas, or other foods.

Jeff Corder, the local Schwan’s distributor, has
an offer for us that is too good to miss. You
can order on-line or buy gift cards to use for
your purchases (the gift card has to be used
completely on each purchase, no credits are given,
so please order the $10 cards unless you make
large purchases over $25). If the community spends
$3000 on this campaign, the school will receive
a 20% commission on all purchases.

Jeff feels we can sell $5000 plus by the end of
the May campaign, which will raise $1000 for field
trips and extra-curricular activities next school

On-Line Orders
1. Go to to see all the Schwan’s
2. Or go to  for the
online order option.
3. Enter the requested information.
4. Our fund raising campaign ID# is 33956.

Schwan’s Gift Cards
If you already have Jeff calling on you, please
order some gift cards to purchase your products
from him. They work just like cash, but he cannot
give change, so $10 cards must all be spent in
their entirety. If you have an order of $18 dollars,
use a $10 card and $8 cash, etcetera.

To order gift cards:
1. Go to and click on the Gift
Cards link.
2. Or call 1-888-Schwans and inform customer service that you would like to purchase cards.
3. Use the fund raiser ID# 33956.
4. Select Denominations $10 or $25.
5. Gift Cards will be mailed to your address of
choice and you can use them the next time Jeff
calls on you.
6. Gift cards purchased during April and May will
be credited to our fund raising, even if they are
spent later in the summer, so consider buying a
couple of extra cards if you are a regular Schwan’s

Jeff will also set up a day in May, about the
18th or 19th, when he will have his truck at
school for the afternoon serving anyone who doesn’t
get regular service at home.

Science Class
Mrs. Johnson’s fourth grade science class experienced some hands-on
learning Wednesday, with the help of Kari Wier from the U.S. Forest
Service. Kari brought a USFS trailer with sand and running water to Garden
Valley Elementary, to help students learn more about watersheds and erosion.

Track team
We are looking for 8-10 railroad ties to build a shot put pit. If anyone has

one or more, please contact Principal Vian, who will pick them up. We could
really use a couple of truck loads of cinders or pea gravel for the pit if anyone
could help.

Spring Food Drive
For the next two weeks, students will be collecting food for the Garden Valley
community.  Please drop off non-perishable food in the lobby of the school,
or send it with students.

Picture Day~
Spring Pictures will be taken on April 12th.

Student Council purchases new blinds for MPR~

The student Council has approved spending about $3000 to purchase power-
operated blinds for the Multiple Purpose Room. They will be professionally
installed for that purchase price. The blinds will operate with a remote
control and should black out almost 100% of the light coming into the room
from the windows. This will allow us to use videos and power points much
more effectively at events like graduation or when a guest speaker talks to
the students.
The student council is using funds that they have accumulated over the
history of Garden Valley student council. These monies may only be spent
by the student council. They are not taxpayer provided funds.
Choral Festival Success~
The GVSD choir (grades 6-12) participated in the Idaho Music Educator’s
District III evaluation at Eagle High School on last Thursday, the 7th.

This was the first performance evaluation Garden Valley has ever entered.
The group was rated by three judges and received a Superior Evaluation from
all three. No group can score higher than this.

Congratulations to the Garden Valley Vocal Ensemble and Mr. DeFoe.

Sixth Grade’s Experienced Friends~

Mrs. Ward’s sixth grade had some of the Garden Valley’s “experienced
adults” in,  to discuss their “personal history”. The visitors answered
questions about their aspirations as youngsters and their lives since. 
Thanks to Leta Ryals, Robert McIntyre and Karen Phillips.

Elementary Wrestling~

Elementary Wrestling began on Monday, the 4th.  Other practices will be April 11,
13 and 16. . Practice will  run from 3:50 PM to 4:45 PM. Wrestlers should
meet coach Palmiotto in the wrestling room.

Idaho Standards Achievement Tests will start April 18th. These high stakes
tests are given to students between 3rd and 10th grade in math, reading,
language, and science. Idaho requires students meet 10th grade competency
in math, reading, and language,  to graduate.

Travel Club~

The Travel Club is raising funds to travel to France and Italy next year
during spring break. Mrs. Grosvenor is the club advisor. The students
will host a Wi Night in the Multipurpose Room on April 14th between
7 – 10:00 AM as a fund raiser. Cost is $5 for “players” and $1 for spectators.
Hotdogs will be available, so there is no need to cook dinner. If you have
tasks the high school students can perform to earn funds or want to make
contributions for the group or individual students, please see Mrs. Grosvenor.


April 11: School Board Meeting in FLEX room 6:00
Golf team at Ridgecrest in Nampa 3:00
April 13: HS Track at Parma 3:00
April 14: MS Track at Horseshoe Bend 4:00
April 18: Cheerleading Awards and banquet Mult-Purpose Room 6:30
April 19: Golf team at Buffalo Peak in Union, OR 1:00
April 21: MS Track at Horseshoe Bend 4:00
HS Track at New Plymouth 3:00
April 23: Prom in MPR 8:00
April 28: MS Track at Horseshoe Bend 4:00
Junior Job Shadow in Boise 7:00 am (spend the night)
April 29: Junior Compass Test in Nampa
Golf team County View in Vale, OR 10:00
Capitol and zoo trip for 6th grade students
April 30: HS Track at Horseshoe Bend 10:30
May 4: Golf team at Terrace Lakes in GV TBA
PTO meeting in FLEX room at 4:00
May 5: Music concert HS/MS band, all choirs, elementary band and

strings~~ 7:00
May 7: HS Track at Long Pin meet in Horseshoe Bend 9:30
May 9: School Board Meeting in FLEX room 6:00
May 10-11: Senior Project presentations 3-7 PM
May 12: HS District Track at Horseshoe Bend Noon
May 14: HS District Track at Horseshoe Bend 9:30
May 16-17: State Golf at Lakeview in Meridan TBA
May 17-18: Senior Finals
May 17-20: Fifth Grade Outdoor School in Cascade
May 19: Graduation Practice
May 22: Graduation in the Multipurpose Room 6:00
May 26: Last day of school

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mountain Rendezvous: Idaho Off Road Club Looking for Demonstration Location

The Big Guys are looking forward to "The Mountain Rendezvous" this year.
We all see this event as a wonderful event for the Garden Valley community
and The Big Guys encourage the local folks in Crouch and Garden Valley to
be a part of this year's event.

As a new feature, The Idaho Off Road Club (I.O.C.) will be attending and
would like to do a short demonstration of their vehicles, to make the
community aware of their club and activities.

They would like to have your help to find a location with rocks, that might
allow them to do an event like you see in this video clip:

To learn more about The Big Guys and their event, they would also like to
 direct you to their MOUNTAIN RENDEZVOUS Face Book page:

While this event has started out as a motorcycle event, they welcome
everyone to attend and enthusiasts of motorcycles, hot rods and trucks
to participate.
(See Flyer Below) 

If you have questions feel free to call or email, check their sites and,
more than anything, participate in their event.
Lonny R. Willis (208) 250-8507


By Mike Uhl
Garden Valley--It is rare for a Garden Valley student to have this happen
 to him, but senior Casey Hileman has signed a formal letter of intent and
has given a verbal commitment to play college football for the Montana
Western University Bulldogs, in Dillion, Montana.
Casey "The Hurricane" Hileman had several offers from colleges all over
 the west, such as Eastern Oregon Redlands, Humboldt State, Puget Sound,
Pacific Leathern and others. He decided on the Bulldogs after Assistant
Coach, Nick Whitworth, who was a coach at Idaho State University in
Pocatello, joined the staff of Head Coach, Ryan Nourse, for the Dillion,
Montana school.

The Montana Western Bulldogs will play 11 games this year, with a
season opener on September 3, against Montana State Northern. The
season will end with an away game on November 12, against Montana

Good luck to Casey in his future college education and football career!

What do these schools have in common? Texas A&M Kingsville,
Slippery Rock, Hillsdale, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Delta State,
Midwestern State, Mount Union, Fort Valley State, Fort Hays State,
North Dakota State, Rutgers, Idaho, Appalachian State, Ohio,
East Carolina, SMU, Tulsa, Nevada and Boise State.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Mike the Video Guy says take some time
 and try to see the following movies~~

Out now on DVD:
BLACK SWAN: 103 minutes: Natalie Portman won the best actress
award this year. It's a drama about the New York City ballerina. The
battle of wills between ambitious rivals. This is a psycho-sexual thriller.
Rated R. People keep wanting a movie to watch without the kids.

DUE DATE: Rated R, 95 minutes, from the director of Old School and
The Hangover. You get the idea about this comedy. Do I need to say more?
 If so, Peter Traavers says, " A RAUCOUS RIDE" ,

THE FIGHTER: Based on A TRUE STORY. Christian Bale won Best
Supporting Actor award. ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR.
Inspirational drama about "Irish" Micky Ward.

TANGLED: Animated feature. A classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with a
twist. Starring the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy.
99 minutes, but seem to go by so quickly!

FAIR GAME: Rated PG 108 minutes  Inspired by true events. From the
director of The Bourne Identity. Naomi Watts and Sean Penn star in this
international thriller.

HOW DO YOU KNOW? Rated PG. 121 minutes. A new comedy from
writer/director James L. Brooks. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson,
Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. This is a romantic comedy that is "Funny,
Romantic and Refreshingly Playful" according to Jeff Craig. How do you
know? Watch this movie and it will answer your question!