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February 16, 2012     The Adams County Record
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February 16, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Page 9 County Wages War on Weeds Adams County Weed Department 2011 End of Year Report Commissioners by Dave Klaw, weed control agreements treatments started April stimulus funds have Superintendent, Adams County Weed Control As usual, we sprayed most of the county roads this past year. Not only do we try t@ eliminate noxious and invasive weeds there, but in doing so the R-O-W's look nicer, it is our primary way of finding new infestations, and shows the residents of Adams County that we are actively trying to control weeds. All roads, including Highways 55 and 95, have shown some i degree of improvement over the years. We sprayed pre- emergents around the Road & Bridge shops, Weed and Recycle buildings, County Extension and the Courthouse. The lawns at the Courthouse and county park near the Post Office are sprayed twice a year. We have an agreement with the City of Council to spray the city park, around the public restrooms and City Hall. Spraying was done on private land, on IDL and Potlatch timberlands, and BLM and USFS lands for priority weeds such as Med sage, knapweeds, Whitetop, Poison hemlock, Yellow Starthistle, Orange hawkweed and Leafy spurge. We fulfilled our yearly with ITD ($3,200), BLM ($12,500) and the USFS {87,000). Bio-controls (bugs) were released in the Goodrich area on state and BLM land for Leafy spurge. These bugs we collected near Cambridge, working together with employees of the BLM and Valley County Weed Control. We will continue to do bio releases as they become available from the BLM and from the Nez Perce Bio-Control Center. We participated in 5 CWMA workdays, in cooperation with private landowners and personnel from the USFS, BLM, IDL, Idaho Power and Idaho County. These workdays were south of Council for Med sage, Goodrich area for Yellow Starthistle, Big Bar for a variety of weeds, Rubicon for knapweeds & thistles, and along the Little Salmon (Smokey Boulder to Pinehurst) for primarily knapweeds. We also supervised the work of the CWMA Leafy spurge contractors who worked in the Goodrich and Little Weiser areas. Chris Friend and I do the quarterly reports, the End-of-Year and next year's Annual Operating Plan reports for our CWMA. Chemical weed 19th and ended October 27th. Hand digging and surveying areas for weeds lasted from March into December. With the federal stimulus funds (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] to create Jobs in the county, we employed 4 Weed Control/Fuels Redtction workers and one Administrative Assistant as seasonal employees. Those employed were Jake Eich, Chris York, Dave Herold, Ron Jones and Debbie Paradis. All did a great Job this year spraying weeds, and also working on fuels reduction jobs through Building Inspector Don Horton, and Warren Rice. All were laid off by December 9th. Depending on the weather, all should retum working full-time around April 1st. Those hired worked a total of approximately 5,724 hours, treated for weeds approximately 1,467 acres and did fuel reduction on approximately 80 acres. Over the last 2 years, 10 residents of the county have benefited from these funds through work in our department or on a contract basis. In contrast to all the negative we hear on the news, these Brave New World losing that much of our revenue?" As Superintendent Dalgleish put it, "The small 1A schools and the 2As will not survive the next five years if Students Come First is fully enacted; not in the format that it's in right now. We don't have enough resources to provide the choices we need to be making." Nothing is Constant, Except Change Wayne Freedman explained that the school simply cannot continue to function as it has. One reason is the new mandates and lack of funding, but another is the incredible changes in the world around us. Our kids have grown up in a different world than we did, and as much as we want them to learn in the way we did, it is just not going to happen. Things are changing so quickly that there is no way to know what the future holds. It has been estimated that much of what college freshmen are now learning will be out of date by the time they graduate. So how are we going o prepare kids for unknown requirements? For one thing, schools need to go from being teaching-centered to learning-centered, using collaborative learning. The teacher and schoolbooks are no longer the repository of all the needed information. The few books that the school can provide are a tiny fraction of the information available through the Internet. Teachers will need to help students find the information and guide them in organizing and evaluating it. Instead of just knowing facts, kids are going to need thinking skills. School will need to be more about process than content. A huge issue is the fact that many kids are not independent learners. In the Brave New World of education, students who are self-motivated, who are curious and seek out information will have an immense advantage. So how do schools instill that in students? Freedman continued: "Education has been structured around Individual competition between schoolmates for Continued from front page Freedman pointed out that 20 years ago (1992) we had no cell phones, no Google, no social media, no texting or tweeting and the Internet was in its infancy. The second question: What skills will students need to be successful in that world? Is the way we structured education in the past going to prepare our kids to face the world in 20 years? Freedman then showed a PowerPoint presentation that illustrated how dramatically the world has changed and is still changing. The third question: What would learning look like ff it was designed around your answers? How can we prepare kids for the changes ahead? Freedman went on to explain that the meeting was to starta process of community involvement in finding the answers to those three questions and find a way to design what the school does to deal with the answers. Some Background The Bush era No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program still exists, but federal officials are being more lenient with states' participation. Plus, the program was never technically reauthorized. Idaho got a waiver from the federal government to develop its own plan, which is how and why Idaho's State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Luna came up with his "Students Come First" program. This program relies heavily on technology-- -computers and remote instruction shared between schools via the Internet. The Students Come First program allows some flexibility for local schools to choose how they do things, and yet there are a blizzard of mandates coming from the state, with big reductions in funding. The Council School District has already lost 20% of its funding over the past three years. Now the state is going to shift 5% of the schools' staffing and discretionary money to technology every year . for the next four years. Council could lose 20% of its funding over the next four years. The school is left wondering, "How do we survive in an environment where we're a grade. Now, when you go into the work place, they want people who know how to cooperate, not compete. They need to learn to communicate and be creative---to find information. Schools in the rest of the world are way ahead of us in terms of instilling cognitive information. But where we have the advantage is the creativity to apply information in outside- the-box situations that are practical. That's what we've got to capitalize on and increase in our educational system." Students must learn how to apply what they learn to deal with real world challenges, rather than simply "reproduce" the information on tests. Demand is increasing for skills that computers cannot mimic, such as the ability to solve unpredictable problems and the ability to engage in complex communications with people, along with foundational skills in math, reading, and writing. A slide projected onto the wall illustrated that, in addition to the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), students need the four Cs: -Critical thinking and problem solving. -Communication - Collaboration - Creativity and innovation Let's Get Organized! The purpose of the meeting was, first, to relay information about the challenges facing the school district. The next step is to form committees to study the issues and report to the board with their findings and recommendations, The ultimate goal is to create a five-year plan. Superintendent Dalgleish repeated one of his themes: "We need to be proactive instead of reactive, to plan ahead. If we don't get in front of this, we will not survive." Speaking for the school board, Freedman said, "We want your input so we can make good decisions." He outlined a plan to form committees composed of local volunteers, There are some really difficult choices to be made since every program that people want just can't be funded. "When you work on these committees, always keep in mind been a blessing to those employed, to our department, and to Adams County and the residents of it. Equipment purchased this year with the stimulus monies was a 1999 Chevy S-10 pickup for 8150 from Idaho State Department of Agriculture surplus. I feel this was another. successful year from a weed control standpoint and for creating Jobs in the county. Thru the second year of the 4-year USFS stimulus award, we have spent approximately 52% of wages/benefits allowed, so there is money to keep people employed for 2 more years. This award ends Sept30, 2013. I'd like to thank the residents of the county who inform us of weed infestations we were not aware of: Bohemian knotweed near Evergreen Campground, Meadow knapweed near the Adams County Health Clinic, Yellow Flag Iris along Orchard Road and in Indian Valley, Yellow Starthistle off Orchard Road, Orange hawkweed near Fish Lake, and Whitetop, knapweeds and Leafy spurge around the county. Weed Control OfficePhone: 208-253- 4669 what is best for the students- -what skills we want them to have when they graduate," Freedman advised. Dalgleish added, "It can't be a wish list; it's going to have to be a priority list, And then the top of the priority list is going to be sorted out by the school board." Three committees will be formed to come up with recommendations for the School Improvement Plan (SIP). One committee will focus on each of these central issues: l--Curriculum--what do we teach and how do we teach it? 2- -Staffing--How do we meet mandated requirements and deliver a quality curriculum in light of new challenges? 3--Facilities--How can we maintain our buildings, etc. with less money? A staff member Will facilitate each committee, and the goal is to report to the school board in mid April. Wayne Freedman compared what the committees will be doing to the "project" approach to learning. It requires the use of several disciplines. For instance, kids are given an assignment to design a golf course. To do that, they need to use math, art, English, economics, environmental studies Continued from front page Road and Bridge There was some discussion about what would happen if the budget cuts that may be forthcoming would happen and how it would affect the Road and Bridge department. The cuts could be quite severe. Dave Hughes, the state Bridge Inspector, was introduced and spoke with the Commissioners on the state of Adams County's Bridges. We have 50 bridges in the county and 14 of them are classified as having some kind of problems. On the rating system from the state, there are 10 bridges that fall below a 50% rating. Mr. Hughes said that most of these are from scouring, which means that the water has started to wash around the base of the footings. Most of these bridges can be fixed with back filling and riprap. Sheriff's Office Sheriff Green was not present due to illness. Under sheriff Borger, Officers Ogden, and Zolman and head dispatcher Zielinski were in attendance. They reported that Idaho Correctional Department responded within two hours of last week's decision on the health care of the state inmates. They will be trying to keep the jail populated with female and male prisoners. The Commissioners were pleased with this news. Mr. Borger revisited the prospect of buying fuel in buik. Buying 10,000 gallons at a time would save the county 50 cents per gallon. There was some discussion on how long fuel would last in a tank. Mr, Borger stated that at the present rate of consumption, 10,000 gallons of fuel would last the county approximately 2 months. He also stated that it would be a good idea to have that fuel on hand for emergency personnel If something were to happen and the fuel supply was interrupted in some way. Mr. Paradis suggested that they seriously review this question with an eye on saving. Officer Zolman stated that Steve's Automotive was now doing the oil changes on the Sheriffs vehicles at a savings of around 830 per vehicle. Grant Management General Shawver was present to discuss the status of the County emergency responders who need to complete the required training to be in compliance with FEMA regulations, At this point there is not enough documentation that the County has enough representatives from all of the emergency responders. There needs to be a good cross-section from all departments of first responders who have completed the 300 and 400 classroom certification process to keep Adams County in compliance with Federal Regulations and keep us eligible for FEMA funds when needed. General Shawver stated that ff they could get a verbal commitment from the Commissioners in the next 90 to 120 days, they would be willing to put on a class here in Council so that these people could receive their certification. Don Horton and Mr. Borger both asked about funding, and General Shawver stated that there was funding available for this purpose and it would be available to the County. Mr. Okamoto stated that as a Certified Instructor, he would be willing to help with the class to help keep cost down. Cond/t/onal Use Permit Ed Robinson of the Knife River Corporation requested a one-time conditional use permit to use the Purdome Gravel Pit north of New Meadows to bid on a 4.8 million dollar ITD road construction project near Boulder Creek. There was a lot of discussion on the heat that was taken the last time someone wanted to use this gravel pit. Commissioner Holmes stated that this pit is grandfathered in and was used by the State long before the County had any kind of regulations regarding use. There was also some discussion on the difference between a one-time use permit and a Commercial Use permit. The Commissioners requested that Mr. Robinson get more about what is required for the project, and the Commissioners will revisit this at their next meeting. Redistricting Neal Thompson, a candidate for the new District 8 seat in the state house appeared before the Commissioners to ask for their support in his quest for that position. Adams County had been moved to district 8 and then after a lawsuit by Twin Falls, was returned to district 9. As the map stands now, Adams County is again in district 9. The commissioners seemed content with that and wished him luck on his pursuit. and much more to work out all the Adams County details required. The committees will be doing a project assignment Settles Lawsuit for our community. They are going to have Continued from front page to use their education, knowledge and skills wreck, who filed the claim on to come up wlth the "Matthews' driving behalf on the family, did answers, pattern, at the time not reply to requests As the meeting closed, of the collision, was to comment on the everyone was asked to consistent with setflementpayment. fill out a brief form to a fatigued driver," Jennifer Zampogna, give some feedback and, according to conclusions whose last known ff they were willing, to of the ISP's final report, address was in sign up to be on one The documents Cheyenne, Wyo., also of the three committees, showed Matthews was did not reply to requests Anyone willing to serve nearing the end of his to comment. on a committee is third straight day of Adams County Sheriff urged to contact any working 12-hour shifts Rich Green would not school board member when the accident comment directly on the or Superintendent occurred, settlement on Tuesday, Dalgleish at the high The claim by the saying his office was school (253-4217). Zampogna family said not involved in the The evening ended the sheriffs office was investigation. on a positive note, with "negligent in allowing "The investigating Dalgleish stating, "Wece or requiring Deputy agency (Idaho State been challenged before: Matthews to work three Police) and forensic we can do thisl" The straight days of 12-hour examiners are the audience chuckled when shifts, causing him to subject matter experts he continued, "Our new become overly fatigued and their determination mission statement is, and tired." contains the facts of More With LessI" Mountain Home attorney Jay Friedly, rec ,"oxi Green said.