Twenty years ago, Moscow students showed ‘Spirit of America’

Editor’s note: Just days after the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, children at Renaissance Charter School in Moscow sent work gloves to the men and women working at Ground Zero. The gloves included inspirational messages and the names and ages of the students at the school. In spring of the following year, the school received this letter from a fire commander in New York City. The letter was recently shared with the Daily News by Stan Smith of Viola, a teacher at the school back in 2001. Portions of that letter appear below.

Dear students, faculty and parents,

I would like to thank you for your compassion, support and prayers for the rescue workers and for those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The World Trade Center was a symbol of America, but as has been shown, America is not buildings. America is a people like you, the students and faculty of the Renaissance Public Charter School, coming together with the rest of this great nation with one just cause. The body and soul of the American people may have been wounded but the body contains a heart and you, the student, are that heartbeat which beats with steadfast resilience and convictions that we shall overcome and move forward as one nation.

As my men and I worked at Ground Zero nonstop shortly after the towers collapsed, one thing was for sure. Supplies would be needed to keep the operation from stopping. The call went out and you answered the call. All of my men were using … the gloves you sent to the World Trade Center to help in the rescue and recovery effort. Hopefully this brings you great joy and satisfaction to know what you did could and did make a difference.

The towers may have fallen but what rose with the smoke and ash was the Spirit of America. You are that Spirit!

From a grateful firefighter, from a grateful fire department, from a grateful city, from a grateful state from a grateful nation. Thank you. Always remember, never forget 9/11.

Capt. John A Joyce


NYC Ladder Co. 155

Buckle up, Moscow

Buckle up, Moscow. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Recently, the city annexed, rezoned, and approved subdivision plats involving hundreds of acres of farmland. Pullman is experiencing similar growth. They still haven’t worked out where to find replacement for the declining aquifer, effectively promising water they don’t have.

Wildfires, floods, and extreme heat remind us the Inland Northwest isn’t immune from climate change. Health, food production, financial stability, and water are at risk. Simultaneously, big changes lie ahead in leadership and management, electing a new mayor, three council members, and transitioning to a new city supervisor. It will be a steep learning curve.

Solutions to water issues will be complex, contentious, and expensive. Alternatives include pumping water up from the Snake River, pulling it out of Flannigan Creek, Paradise Creek, the North Fork of the Palouse River, and/or the South Fork, with or without injection of surface water into the aquifer. Acquiring property and restricting land uses in the watershed will be difficult. Solutions that benefit some stakeholders might injure others. It is important for policymakers to recognize their own blind spots and biases, and those of people who advise them.

Ironically, in 2006, at the invitation of Idaho Departments of Commerce and Labor, consultants from Battelle Technology reported on core competencies to grow jobs for Idaho’s economy. They determined that this region is best-suited to establishing a center for ecological health and sustainability, citing water quality and quantity as a “common denominator” in ecological health issues as economic drivers. Politics and the recession got in the way of realizing that objective. However, that rationale is even more compelling now.

This isn’t the time for a full-speed-ahead approach. Moscow, take your foot off the gas (literally), and invest in a systems approach toward a sustainable economy and environment, including water.

Nancy Chaney


Supports retirement plan

Any small business owner will tell you that they consider their employees to be like family and many take an active interest in their well-being and long-term success, including retirement. Unfortunately, most like myself are not in a financial position nor have the capacity to offer retirement plans to their employees. However, new legislation could change that.

My business, BookPeople of Moscow, has been a mainstay in downtown Moscow for nearly 50 years. What sets us apart from Barnes and Nobles and Amazons of the world is that my employees and I do everything with a personal touch. Some of my employees are just starting their careers and I would love to offer them great pay and benefits including a retirement plan, the way larger companies can. The challenge is not unique to my business. A recent study found that many small businesses cannot afford the costs and administrative burdens that come with retirement security plans.

The proposal being considered by Idaho lawmakers would provide a low-cost way for me and other Idaho small businesses to do so. The bill creates a state-facilitated retirement program that employers sign up and then give their workers the opportunity to elect to have a portion of their pay go into an individual retirement account (IRA). The paperwork is minimal and can be rolled into my other monthly and quarterly administrative duties. Similar programs have been launched in other states with success.

The bottom line is that small business owners just want to offer a retirement program for their employees. This type of program could give us the ability to do so regardless of our size or unforeseen circumstances like this pandemic.

Carol Price


Lemonade stand a success

We just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who were a part of our Make-A-Wish Lemonade Stand this year. From the amazing bakers to our sign holders to everyone who came by on such a hot day to those who donated online — you continue to amaze us year after year!

This year, our fourth annual event, raised over $17,000 for Make-A-Wish. That equals two therapeutic hot tub wishes or eight puppy wishes or five shopping sprees or four trips to Disney for a family of 4!

Thank you for continuing to support our efforts and truly making kids dreams come true! We’ll see you next year.

The Connell and Carper families


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