July 23, 2014

Relay for Life marks 19th year

Relay for Life marked its 19th year in Colfax Saturday with a new schedule. As part of the survivor/caregiver ceremony, participants released balloons.


Concrete River Festival returns for second edition

By Sally Ousley
Gazette Reporter

Colfax is rolling out the welcome mat with the Concrete River Festival set for this weekend, July 18-20. This will be the second year for the festival which brought back a summer celebration to Colfax after an absence of several years.
Beginning on Friday night, a beer and wine garden will be in the parking lot located on Mill Street, north of city hall. Sponsored by the Colfax Chamber of Commerce it will be from 5 to 10 p.m.
At 7:30 p.m., the Rolling Hills Derby Dames will have a scrimmage on the same parking lot.
At 8:30 p.m., the second annual Colfax Cruise Night will begin on Mill Street.
Any mode of transportation to cruise Mill Street is acceptable. A “ticket” from local “law enforcement” will net a prize. Tickets come with a chance to win a bigger prize and that drawing is at 10 p.m. The cruise lasts until 10:30 p.m.
From 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., families are invited to grab some water toys and enjoy a swimming party at the Colfax City Pool.


Start this day with a breakfast at the Colfax United Methodist Church. The breakfast benefits the Whitman County Chaplaincy program and will be served from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, juice and coffee.
A craft sale also will be at the church from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. with proceeds benefiting the United Methodist Women’s program.
Starting at 9 a.m., local vendors will be in Schmuck Park selling their wares.
The Colfax Car Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the park.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., children can make a splash at the kiddie pool. At the CRF Carnival, children can take rides in the Tiger Trolley and try out the newest rave at the Zany Color station with rainbow hair colors and festive face painting. Balloons, popsicles, prizes and surprises wait for the children at the CRF Kids’ Carnival.
Runners of all levels will be on their marks ready to go on the Concrete River Color Run starting at 10 a.m. A 3.1 mile colorful event of vibrant hues thrown at runners of all ages and abilities. At the finish, a beer garden, music and more fun awaits runners at Schmuck Park.
At 10:30 a.m. the Colfax Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Duck Dash which this year will be on the North Fork of the Palouse. The Ducks will launch off the Sixth Street bridge and the finish will be upstream from the ice breaker.
Half of the proceeds go to Relay for Life. Ducks can be adopted at the Hyde Out, Top Notch, Colfax Computer Services and at the chamber office for $5 each. First place winner receives $250.
The Concrete River Parade will start at 11:30 a.m. on Mill Street.
At 5 p.m., Shiloh Sharrard will perform classic country, along with modern country and classic rock in Schmuck Park.
At 7 p.m., Eclectic Approach will be the main performers for Concert at the Park.
After the music, a Saturday Night Pool Party will start at 9 p.m. and end about midnight.
On Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m., Church service will be conducted at the Park.
For more information: www.concreteriverfestival.com.


Fire levels Rosalia airport hangar;

A hangar at the Rosalia Airport was destroyed by fire July 9. Rosalia Fire Chief Bill Tensfeld said the report was received at about 1:30 p.m. and volunteers responded to the scene. Fire crews also responded from St. John, Steptoe, Colfax and Spangle. Approximately 13 trucks were at the scene. Fire crews and a hazmat team from Spokane also started toward Rosalia, but their response was called off. The Hazmat concerns involved containers of pesticide for use by aerial applicators. The fire destroyed the Quonset-type hangar building which contained two planes, a boat, jet ski and a snowmobile. A preliminary estimate of the loss was about $200,000. The chief noted some of the vehicles in the building were destroyed to the point that it was difficult to identify them. One firefighter sustained minor burns on the back of his hand when he got too close to the fire. He was treated at Whitman Hospital in Colfax and released. The hangar building is owned by the City of Rosalia with the contents owned by lessees. Chief Tensfeld said the cause of the fire is unknown. People had been working in the building until about 11 a.m. Wednesday, but no one was present when the fire started.



Drive starts to extend goal for new Colfax High track

A fund drive for the Colfax High School track has been launched this summer. The aim of the drive is to build up a fund to expand the scope of the project which was originally scheduled to start this summer after local use of the track ceased.
“We think we can get it done with the help from a lot people,” Mark Mackleit of Colfax, who heads up the committee, commented.
A lot of the planning for the drive is still underway. A committee of volunteers has been assembled, and they plan to meet approximately once per month to check their progress and plan a strategy as the drive progresses, Mackleit added.
The name of the drive will be “C-Town Project.”
Track Coach Jason Cooper said the name emerged from an impromptu discussion of track team members on the way to last spring’s NE district finals. He said he asked the team members to come up with a name as a means of getting them involved in the project at an early stage. The C in C-Town project stands for Colfax.
Colfax School directors last spring had scheduled a resurfacing of the eight-lane track during the summer break. The school board had a bid of approximately $130,000 to put a new surface on the track.
Cooper said he and other coaches, parents and track supporters believe the track needs a complete rebuild for a long-term term improvement.
“We need to take the track completely out and put in a new one,” Cooper said.
He and Assistant Coach Todd Kinley met with the school board and gave a Powerpoint presentation on what they believe should be the scope of the track project. Their presentation swayed the board to put the $130,000 fund on hold and see what kind of support can be generated from the community, and also from Colfax track grads and others who would like to see a more comprehensive redo of the track.
The goal of the C-Town Project board is to raise another $300,000 to combine with the $130,000 the school district has set aside after deciding not to undertake the surfacing project this year.
The present eight-lane track was constructed in 1980. The track includes an asphalt sub-surface with a rubberized covering. It was resurfaced in 1999.
The track surface has deteriorated over the years and wear and tear has left cracks in the surfaces and pieces of the track cover missing. The track’s present condition led to scheduling most of the season’s meets away from Colfax. The Bulldog track season, which concluded with a state title win by the Colfax girls, this year included a lot of road miles for competition at other school tracks.
Other members of the C-Town Project board are Brian Becker, a member of the school board; Brenda Kneeshaw, a retired teacher and coach; Bob and Cheryl Lothspeich, Al Vorderbrueggen, a member of the Colfax city council and Colfax Park Board and State Trooper Rob Aucutt.
Cooper noted the track also served other groups over the years, including grade school competitors and youngsters at recess. Joggers and other residents also use the track. One example of public use was last Saturday’s Relay for Life which was staged on the track for the 19th year.
Cooper noted one big improvement for the track would be installation of a drainage system. Standing water on the track can play havoc on the track surface, especially during the spring.
Committee members have already contacted approximately 15 local businesses and have received pledges of support. Mackleit noted one fundraising tactic could be naming the track lanes after business donors.
Another funding tactic is expected to involve contacting Colfax track grads and other grads who would be interested in the rebuild. One track grad who has already assisted is Robin Slate Doloughan, who is now Freeman’s track coach. She has designed the C-Town project web site: www.ctownproject.com.
Donations for the track will be done through the Colfax Schools Foundation, an independent organization which provides scholarships and funding for other projects. Organized in 2002, the foundation is a non-profit organization with 501 C3 status.
Donations can be sent to the foundation at 223 N. Main in Colfax. Donors are asked to designate “track” on the memo line of checks.



Gordon Forgey

The middle East is in turmoil.
Hatred of all things different seems to be the norm.
Tribes fight one another. Ethnicity divides people living as neighbors. Differences in political ideologies are cause for violence. Religious differences are justification for murder and brutality.
It is virtually impossible to get a grasp on all the various sects, parties, organizations and groups that are violently warring with one another.
Conflict has become a way of life.
Many in America look upon the Middle East with dismay. How could such old and proud cultures be so chaotic? How could such a religion be so unforgiving?
We need only to look at ourselves.
America is turning violent. Children, police, teachers, politicians and innocents are being killed daily in what is often cold-blooded executions.
Americans from all walks of life are protesting in the streets, often armed to the teeth. Discrimination is rampant for any number of perceived reasons.
Political discourse has broken down. Political parties cannot see any reason to compromise or, for that matter, to even conduct the business of the country without a battle for supremacy.
Strong beliefs, strong opinions and strong convictions are good. They need, however, to be tempered with strong restraint. That may be what we are missing.
Gordon Forgey


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