Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sherman Avenue Utility Work Begins April 4th

Phase I of a two-phase Water Department project begins Monday, April 4th. In the first phase, eight water services on Sherman Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets, that are no longer in use, will be abandoned. In addition, a service at 7th Street and Sherman will be updated. The first phase of the project will take approximately one week and will take place mostly in the parking strip and sidewalk. During this time, there may be temporary traffic and pedestrian disruptions. Access to buildings will be maintained at all times. The second phase of this project involves extending the water main from the alley south of Sherman and 5th Street, north to the water main in Sherman Avenue. Additional information will be sent out prior to starting this portion of the project. Businesses directly affected by either phase of the project will be notified prior to construction. For additional information, please contact the Water Department at 769-2210.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tubbs Hill Planting Project Begins in April

Goal is to Restore Native Tree Species By Karen Haskew Urban Forester Coeur d’Alene is privileged to have Tubbs Hill, a unique lakeside natural park, in the midst of the city. Tubbs Hill serves as a welcome escape, a play area, a nature adventure, and a scenic backdrop for exercise. Fans of Tubbs Hill revel in its tall trees, wildlife, scenic vistas, and wildflowers. The health of native vegetation on Tubbs Hill plays an important role in maintaining the values the hill offers to so many people. As part of an effort to restore native trees to parts of Tubbs Hill, over 2,500 native tree and shrub seedlings will be planted on the hill this April. In an effort led by the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department and the Tubbs Hill Foundation, volunteers will be planting ponderosa pine, white pine, and larch seedlings, as well as chokecherry and Syringa shrubs. In addition, these volunteers will be up-rooting small maple and cherry seedlings, and picking up trash. The scheduled work days are April 9th and 16th. Tubbs Hill historically has been composed of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir trees, with some larch. With the exclusion of wildfire, shade-tolerant Douglas-fir became a larger part of the tree population than it would have under natural circumstances. The Douglas-fir developed root rot, a fungal disease that spreads underground by root contact. The large numbers of Douglas-fir made it easy for the root rot to spread quickly. The result can be seen in the deaths of many of the Douglas-fir trees over the past decade. Meanwhile, wind and birds were carrying seeds of Norway maple and cherry trees from adjoining neighborhoods onto the hill. Where sufficient moisture could be found, the seeds sprouted in the shade of the native forest. This process was aided by the sudden loss of trees to ice storm damage and root rot. The non-native tree seedlings responded to the increased sunlight with quick growth. The shade of these non-native trees has prevented the sun-loving young native trees from becoming established. To restore native habitats, non-native trees were removed last summer from the north and east sides of Tubbs Hill in conjunction with a project to reduce the fuels that might lead to wildfire. It is on 20 of these acres that the new seedlings will be planted, and these are also the sites on Tubbs Hill with the greatest moisture. Ponderosa pine seedlings have been spot-planted on an additional 10 acres over the past five years. Because of their susceptibility to root rot, Douglas-fir seedlings will not be planted. For more information on the planting project and native habitat restoration on Tubbs Hill, visit the Parks Department web site at http://parks.cdaid.org/ or call the Urban Forestry division of the Parks Department at 208/769-2266.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Library Offer Four Programs April 6-8

A travelogue, Fabulous Flix at the Library, and two concerts with a Northwest balladeer are on the schedule at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library April 6-8. Click on the photo for a video update of library activities produced by Jeff Crowe for CDA-TV. Cable Channel 19 provides live and recorded covereage of public meetings and other information of interest to the citizens of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. More library news is available at cdalibrary.org.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Test Irrigation System Backflow Assemblies Annually

Lawn irrigation systems make watering lawns and gardens easier, save you time, and can be designed to be water efficient. However, water that is contaminated by weed killers, fertilizers, and animal waste can “flow back” into your drinking water (a problem known as backflow).

To protect your drinking water from potential contamination, it is important to have an approved backflow protection assembly/device located on your irrigation system. It is equally important to make certain that this backflow assembly is tested annually – in fact, it’s required by Idaho State law and City Ordinance 1776.

Backflow assemblies must be tested annually at spring irrigation start up. This test, performed by a private, state-licensed backflow tester (the City of Coeur d’Alene has a list of approved testers), verifies that the assembly is functioning correctly.

A lawn irrigation system that is not protected by an approved backflow prevention assembly, or protected by an assembly that is not functioning correctly, endangers the health of a household, neighborhood, and an entire community.

If you have any questions or wish to obtain a state-licensed backflow tester list, contact Greg Schrempp (676-7408), or Gary Nolan (769-2220, Ext. 818), City of Coeur d’Alene Water Department. Water Department offices are located at 3820 Ramsey Road.

Friday, March 18, 2011

CdA Arts Commission seeks Artists for "ArtCurrents"

The City of Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission is seeking artists to participate in its new “ArtCurrents” program. Artists submit applications for placement of their sculptures around CdA’s downtown for a period of one (1) year. The displayed works will also be offered for sale, with the City of Coeur d’Alene receiving a 25% commission from the sale.

Ten art pieces will be selected and the artist or artist team will be awarded a $500.00 stipend to cover the cost of shipping. The selected artwork will be displayed along Sherman Avenue, Lakeside Avenue, and City Park.

Public art can be a change agent for the community. It creates and enhances neighborhood and community identity. It enhances the visual landscape and character of the city. It turns ordinary spaces into community landmarks and promotes community dialogue and, most importantly, it’s accessible to everyone.

Information packets are available online at City Hall, 710 E. Mullan Avenue, or online at www.cdaid.org. Artist proposals are due by 5:00 p.m., April 18, 2011. Installation of the artwork will begin the week of June 6th.

Artists who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact Steve Anthony, Arts Commission Liaison, at 769-2249.

To view the Call to Artists, please click on the following link:

http://www.cdaid.org/mod/userpage/images/ArtCurrents2011.pdf

Sherman Avenue Utility Work Could Start March 28th

Traffic interruptions on Sherman Avenue may begin as early as March 28th when the Water Department begins a project in advance of this summer’s overlay. The project consists of two phases: (I) work on water services and (II) a short, water main extension. Work will begin as soon as asphalt is available for road patching.

In Phase I of the project, eight water services on Sherman between 2nd and 3rd streets, that are no longer in use, will be abandoned. In addition, a service at 7th Street and Sherman will be updated. The first phase of the project will take approximately one week and will take place mostly in the parking strip and sidewalk. During this time, there may be temporary traffic and pedestrian disruptions. Access to buildings will be maintained at all times.

Phase II involves extending the water main from the alley south of Sherman and 5th Street, north to the water main in Sherman Avenue. The extension of this water main will involve the temporary closure of Sherman Avenue during that portion of the work on Sherman Avenue. 5th Street will remain closed during the entire phase. Additional information will be sent out prior to starting this portion of the project. Phase II will take approximately two weeks. Alley access will be maintained throughout the project.

Businesses directly affected by either phase of the project will be notified prior to construction. For additional information, please contact the Water Department at 769-2210.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Library Screening ‘Secretariat’ April 7

The 2010 Walt Disney film “Secretariat” will be screened Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave.
This family movie is offered as part of “Fabulous Flix @ the Library” and is sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.
A $5 donation is suggested. Free popcorn is provided.
“Secretariat” shares the true story of housewife and mother Penny Chenery who agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. With the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin, Chenery manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be one of the greatest racehorses of all time.
Starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich, And Amanda Michalka, the film was directed by Randall Wallace. It’s rated PG and runs 123 minutes.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208/769-2315. More news and information about the library is available online at cdalibrary.org.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Author Jamie Ford Scheduled for Several North Idaho Events

Jamie Ford, author of “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” – the 2011 title for the Our Region Reads project – is scheduled to attend several events in North Idaho in connection with the regional community read.
The primary public activity will be Wednesday, March 16, when Ford will be at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library at 7 p.m. in the Community Room. The author will speak, answer questions, and will be available to sign copies of his book. Admission is free.
Ford’s novel tells the story of Henry Lee, a boy of Chinese heritage who is 11 years old growing up in Seattle when the attack on Pearl Harbor marks the entrance of the United States into World War II. But it is also the story of Henry Lee late in his life when a surprising discovery in the old Panama Hotel in Seattle brings back memories of a time when Japanese-Americans were rounded up and sent to internment camps.
The background music for “Hotel” is the sound of jazz being played in Seattle’s clubs and homes in the 1940s.
Prior to his presentation at the Coeur d’Alene Library Ford is scheduled to speak to the area high school students at Lake City High School. A discussion about the book by the 3Cs Book Club will be held Wednesday at the Coeur d'Alene Resort and will be led by Virginia Johnson. On Tuesday the author was greeted by a reception at the Post Falls Library with representatives from several area book clubs.
Upcoming public Our Region Reads activities include:

March 18, 7:00 p.m.(doors open 6:30 p.m.): “Bitter Sweet Memories: Music of the Second World War” with vocals by Ruth Pratt, Jacklin Cultural Center, 405 William St., Post Falls, tickets $20, art@thejaclincenter.org, 208-4578950.

March 23, 10:15 a.m.: Pageturners Library Book Club, discussion “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” open to any adult reader, free, Coeur d’Alene Library Community Room, 702 E. Front Ave., 208-769-2315.

March 23, 7 p.m.: Living Voices – “Within the Silence:” A one-woman show characterizing the forced relocation of Japanese-American to internment camps, Coeur d’Alene Library Community Room, free, 208-769-2315.

March 24, 1:30 p.m., “Within the Silence:” A one-woman show characterizing the forced relocation of Japanese-American to internment camps, Post Falls Library, 821 N. Spokane St., free. 208-773-1506.

*****

Our Region Reads is a cooperative effort by area libraries to encourage the residents of North Idaho to read together a shared book and to enjoy educational and cultural events related to that book. The selection for 2011 is "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," by Jamie Ford. Our Region Reads is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council as part of the "We the People Initiative" of the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from the Friends of the Library at Post Falls, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene libraries. Community Partners include the Jacklin Cultural Center and the Human Rights Education Institute. Additional information about Our Region Reads is available at www.ourregionreads.blogspot.com.

Alley Trash and Recycling Services Resume March 21st

Waste Management of Idaho has announced that trash and recycling services provided in alleys will resume in Coeur d’Alene beginning Monday, March 21st. Until that date, please continue to place your trash and recycling materials in front of your home on your service day.

Alley trash and recycling services were suspended last December after persistent, heavy snow storms made it impossible for Waste Management trucks to safely navigate in alleyways.

For additional information, please call 765-4968.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Street Maintenance Department Kicks Off Spring Clean Up

By Tim Martin
Street Superintendent

With spring-like weather arriving, your Street Maintenance crews will begin their spring clean-up program. Once arterial and collector streets are cleaned up, city crews will be working to complete initial sweeping of residential streets. Street sweeping is an activity that street crews continue until the winter snows fly. It reduces dust and creates an environment that benefits everyone whether we live here or are visitors. Residential streets are swept an average of four to six times annually and all arterials are swept bi-weekly.

The following tips will help us in our efforts to meet the goal of providing a high quality of life which is sustainable and which we have come to enjoy: fresh air, beautiful views, and clean water. Your continued assistance is appreciated.

· Sweep your sidewalks as soon as possible.
· It’s okay to sweep sidewalk sand debris into the street for sweepers to pick up during the Spring Clean-up, but please do not make piles in the gutter. Sweepers are not designed to handle excessive amounts of sand, gravel, dirt, or large rocks.
· Do not put debris such as sod, garden or wood waste, limbs, or branches, in the street.
· Try to move parked cars if you hear the sweeper operating in your neighborhood.
· Trim low-hanging branches and limbs from your curbside trees, shrubs, or plants to allow the sweeper to clean as close to the curbline as possible. Street sweepers have a higher profile than cars and pickup trucks. Damage to mirrors, antennas, and strobe lights are costly in terms of repairs and down time.
· Trying to schedule certain streets on certain days for sweeping is not a feasible option at this time.

Please listen to KVNI for daily updates and to learn when the sweepers will be in your area.

For more information, please call 769-2233.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Children's Programs Begin March 29

Children's programs will take a break March 21-25, but new programs get under way on March 29. Here's a video update of activities at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library produced for CDA-TV by Jeff Crowe. Cable Channel 19 provides live and recorded coverage of public meetings and other information of interest to the citizens of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. For more about the library visit cdalibrary.org.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Specialized Needs Recreation Presents St. Patrick’s Day Dance!

On Friday, March 11th, Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR) will hold a St. Patrick’s Day Dance at the Prairie View Elementary School in Post Falls from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The address is 2478 East Poleline Avenue.

Snacks will be provided, prizes awarded, and a D.J. will provide the music. Come on out for a night of fun! Don’t forget to wear green! Please call and register for this event. There is a $5.00 entry fee per person.

If you have any questions about the dance, want to volunteer, or would like more information about SNR’s programs, please call Angie Goucher at 755-6781. Please visit our website at www.snr.bz.

Specialized Needs Recreation is a non-profit organization that provides recreational opportunities for youth and adults who have disabilities.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Author Priscilla Wegars Speaking at Libraries

Author Priscilla Wegars has been added to the schedule for programs presented by regional libraries as part of the 2011 Our Region Reads project.
Her presentation is “Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Road Workers at the Kooskia Internment Camp,” which is also the title of one of her books.
Wegars tells the story of this obscure and virtually forgotten World War II facility. The Immigration and Naturalization Service-run camp held “enemy aliens” of Japanese ancestry from Idaho and other states as well as from Mexico, Panama, and Peru. Her talk includes information from both internees and employees to illustrate camp experiences.
Wegars is a historian and historical archeologist who has worked on excavations in Idaho, Washington, England, New Zealand, and Belize. She received her doctorate at the University of Idaho and is the author of several books.
► Tuesday, March 8, 7 p.m., Hayden Library.
►Wednesday, March 9, 6 p.m., Spirit Lake Library.
► Thursday, March 10, 7 p.m., Post Falls Library.
►Friday, March 11, 6 p.m., Athol Library.
►Saturday, March 12, 2 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
►Saturday, March 12, 5 p.m., Pinehurst Library.
Our region Reads is a cooperative effort by area libraries to encourage the residents of North Idaho to read together a shared book and to enjoy educational and cultural events related to that book. The selection for 2011 is "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," by Jamie Ford.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council as part of the "We the People Initiative" of the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from the Friends of the Library at Post Falls, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene libraries. Information about Our Region Reads will be available at local libraries as the program develops and at www.ourregionreads.blogspot.com.

Libraries Offer Drawing for Concert Tickets


Tickets for “Bitter Sweet Memories,” a concert featuring the songs of World War II at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center, are going fast, but regional libraries are offering patrons an opportunity for free tickets.
Winners in the drawing will be selected Friday, March 11, but there is still time to visit a participating library to fill out an entry slip. Participating libraries include those in the Community Library Network, Athol, Harrison, Hayden, Pinehurst, Post Falls, Rathdrum, and Spirit Lake; and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
“Bitter Sweet Memories” will feature the vocals of popular area singer Ruth Pratt. The concert is Friday, March 18, at the Jacklin Center, 405 William St., Post Falls. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7. Call 208-457-8950.
This concert is offered in conjunction with Our Region Reads and is made possible thought the support of BankCDA and Susan and Duane Jacklin.
Our Region Reads is a cooperative effort by area libraries to encourage the residents of North Idaho to read together a shared book and to enjoy educational and cultural events related to that book. The selection for 2011 is "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," by Jamie Ford.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council as part of the "We the People Initiative" of the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from the Friends of the Library at Post Falls, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene libraries. Information about Our Region Reads is available at local libraries as and at www.ourregionreads.blogspot.com.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Town Hall Meeting to be Held March 12th

Legislators to Discuss 2011 Session

The City of Coeur d’Alene’s Legislative Committee, in partnership with the Panhandle Coalition, will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting this Saturday, March 12th, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., in the Library Community Room, 702 E. Front Avenue.

North Idaho Senators John Goedde and Jim Hammond will be available to talk about and answer questions regarding this year’s legislative session. Other north Idaho legislators have been invited as well.

This will be the fifth year that the City of Coeur d’Alene has hosted a Town Hall Meeting, and the fourth year that it has partnered with the Panhandle Coalition.

In past Town Hall Meetings, the subjects that were discussed ranged from daycare legislation and Public Infrastructure Districts (PIDs), to Texting and Education Reform. In the past few years, the main topic has been Idaho’s budget.

An important topic for cities has been the threat to reduce revenue sharing, or as Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) Executive Director Ken Harward more succinctly stated when he visited in February, “state collected city revenue.” Due to budget shortfalls, certain members of the Idaho House of Representatives were looking at diverting as much as $30 million from Idaho cities and counties. Coeur d’Alene would have seen its share of revenue reduced from $557,493 to $258,965 – or by more than half (based on FY 2010 figures). Thankfully, Harward said, economic reports from Idaho’s budget office seem to have put that idea to rest.

Legislative efforts to overhaul, restrict, or completely eliminate urban renewal agencies and/or their districts may also be raised as a Town Hall topic. Urban renewal agencies are one of the most powerful economic development tools in Idaho.

Everyone is welcome and the event will be broadcast on CdA TV Channel 19. For more information, please call 769-2204.

Free Street Trees Available

The City of Coeur d'Alene has announced the availability of free street trees for new neighborhoods. The trees are available to homeowners or residents in new neighborhoods who are willing to provide care for street trees. Interested people should contact the Urban Forestry division of the Coeur d'Alene Parks Department to sign up for a street tree. There are a limited number of trees and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funding for the trees has come from a street tree fee collected on residential building permits. The street tree fees can be refunded to builders or new homeowners who plant a street tree upon completion of a new home. Six months after the completion of a home, unclaimed funds are forfeited to the city. The city is now using these forfeited funds to purchase and plant trees in new neighborhoods.

The owners of the homes whose building permit fees were forfeited are the first choice for using these funds. The city has already contacted those property owners regarding the planting program. However, there are still some trees unclaimed. These street trees are being offered to any homeowner who is willing to make sure that the trees are watered and protected from string trimmers and mowers.

The tree species still available for spring planting are honeylocust, hackberry, London planetree, and baldcypress. The trees will be planted by contract tree planting crews in May. Since there are a limited number of trees, interested homeowners are encouraged to reply as soon as possible. A response form is available on-line at http://www.cdaid.org, by sending an email to kkosanke@cdaid.org, or by calling Urban Forestry at 415-0415 or 769-2266.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HREI Brings ‘Within the Silence’ to Schools, Libraries as Part of Our Region Reads

The experience of a Japanese-American family forced to relocate and live in an internment camp will be shared at North Idaho schools and libraries in conjunction with the series of programs for Our Region Reads.
Performances of “Within the Silence,” a one-woman play produced as part of the Living Voices series from Seattle are sponsored locally by the Human Rights Education Institute (HREI) and will be presented Tuesday through Thursday, March 22-24.
“Within the Silence” will be performed for students at Prairie View, Borah, Hayden Meadows, Dalton, Sorenson, and Twin Lakes elementary schools, and at Lake City High School over the three-day run. Free public performances are offered Wednesday, March 23, 7 p.m., at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front. Ave., and Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m., at the Post Falls Library, 821 N. Spokane Ave.
In 1942 FDR’s Executive order 9066 imprisoned thousands of loyal American families of Japanese descent living on the West Coast. They were removed to internment camps in the American West including sites in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
“Within the Silence” tells the story of Emiko Yamada, a teen-age girl growing up in Seattle's “Nihonmachi” (Japantown). When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor Emi and her family are the victims of anti-Japanese hysteria. The story follows the Yamadas as they are forced to sell or give away their possessions and home; as Emi’s father is separated from the family; and as they are removed to the internment camp at Minidoka.
Emiko is portrayed by Lily Gladstone, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in acting and a minor in Native American Studies from the University of Montana in 2008. Most recently, she completed a year-long tour with the Montana Repertory Theatre's production of Harper Lee's “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
The Seattle-based Living Voices ensemble was created in 1992 and tours several productions examining life and history in the United States through multimedia performances.
The HREI was created in 1998 to provide proactive human rights education to promote tolerance, reduce prejudice, and encourage appreciation of diversity in the region. Since then, HREI has worked hard to achieve its mission of inspiring transformation and promoting human rights through education and raising awareness in our community. HREI promotes human rights by developing and presenting school programs, sponsoring events that celebrate diversity, and providing workshops and trainings for community members, business leaders and educators.
Our Region Reads is a cooperative effort by area libraries to encourage the residents of North Idaho to read together a shared book and to enjoy educational and cultural events related to that book. The selection for 2011 is “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” by Jamie Ford.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council as part of the “We the People Initiative” of the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from the Friends of the Library at Post Falls, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene libraries. Information about Our Region Reads is available at local libraries and at www.ourregionreads.blogspot.com.

Safety in Schools – A Partnership

By Sergeant Christie Wood
Public Information Officer
Coeur d’Alene Police Department


In 1995, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department began a new, innovative program with the Coeur d’Alene School District. This joint project was financed equally for the length of the school year by the Police Department and the School District. The School Resource Officer program (SRO) started at Coeur d’Alene and Lake City high schools. In a very short amount of time, the program experienced great success and achieved tremendous support from students, parents, and school district employees.

Over the course of the last sixteen years, the SRO Program grew to six officers (one officer was assigned to Project CDA, and one to each of the three middle schools). Last year, due to budget cuts beyond the district’s control, the SRO program was reduced to five officers. Although Chief Longo worked diligently with his budget to temporarily absorb the majority of SRO program costs, regrettably, a position was eliminated from Canfield Middle School. It currently operates without a full-time SRO.

The police officers in the schools have a wide variety of duties. Their most important function is to provide a safe, secure environment for students so that they may focus on their education.

SROs investigate all criminal activity in schools as well as all juvenile crimes that occur in the city. They work side by side with building administrators to address student behavior concerns and safety issues on campus. SROs teach character education classes, and counsel students and parents on a daily basis. Most significantly, they are role models and mentors to the youth in our community. An example of the impact SROs have in the schools is contained in the following true accounts. The names of the students have been omitted to protect the students’ privacy.

In one case, an SRO was contacted by a student about a variety of issues including drug abuse, alcohol use, low grades, her relationships with boyfriends, and her assigned school discipline. The student trusted the SRO enough to open up and share information about her life and the decisions she was making. After several failed attempts to change her behavior she sought out the SRO for counseling. She began to see what was wrong in her life and slowly started improving.

The SRO held her accountable through the Juvenile Justice system and continued to mentor her as well. Approximately one year later, she completed her court requirements, cleaned up her life, and stopped her involvement in substance abuse. The student wrote a letter to the SRO explaining her gratitude: “Thank you for helping me realize the life I was living was not the life I deserved or wanted. I have been sober for five months. I am loving it, and I seriously believe you helped me make that choice.”

In another instance, an SRO was contacted by a high school counselor after friends of a student had expressed concern for the student’s well-being. The friends reported that the student was depressed and had been “cutting” him/herself. The SRO and a high school counselor met with the student and confirmed the friends’ concerns. The SRO also discovered that the student was very close to committing suicide. The SRO immediately took preventative steps and obtained continuing assistance for the student. The student received the care needed and is now doing very well.

In another case, at the beginning of the school year, a female student and her younger sister consistently came to school displaying very poor hygiene. They were released from class several times to speak with the counselors about hygiene. The girls could provide no reason for why they appeared to care so little about themselves. After several days of this problem, the SRO was asked to speak with the girls. While speaking to them, the SRO immediately detected a very strong, rancid odor which permeated every part of their clothing. He asked the girls if he could help them, but they provided no personal information. The SRO contacted Health and Welfare and found the girls’ family had been visited by the agency in the past. The SRO helped the girls to understand he was their friend and could be trusted if they needed to speak with him for any reason. Approximately a month later, the older girl confided in the SRO that her parents used drugs and that she didn’t want to go home to that environment any longer. The student provided solid information about the location of drugs in her house.

The SRO Unit executed a warrant on the residence. The front yard was cluttered with old cars, appliances, and household garbage. The floor of the home was not visible; it was covered with dirty clothing, rancid food, and other clutter. The kitchen counters were covered with dirty dishes and spoiled food. Illegal drugs were discovered. The sisters smelled exactly like the filthy home. No manner of good hygiene would have overcome this odor, nor was there any possible way for the girls to obtain a private place to bathe. The girls had been criticized by adults and students for a condition over which they had no control. The girls were removed from the home and placed in foster care. They appeared clean and happy the following week at school.

The SRO began to see a change in the attitude of the girls from one of despondence to one of cheerful engagement. The parents were directed into counseling and placed on probation. The front yard and the inside of the house were cleared of the rubbish. After a period of time, the girls were returned to their parents, who were successful under the terms of their probation. Both the attitudes and the grades of the girls improved markedly until the sisters were indistinguishable from other students. A SRO worked diligently to assist these children and he made a big difference in their lives.

In yet another instance, a SRO was contacted by a teacher and made aware of threats being made and behaviors by a student which were very disturbing. The SRO intervened and started talking to the student and building rapport with him. Through this interaction and over time, the SRO learned that the student was planning on hiking into the woods, after taking a family member’s rifle, to kill himself.
The SRO was able to provide the means for this student to begin getting treatment. After some treatment, the student returned to the school. The SRO again began interacting with the student and learned that the student was making a list of people he wanted to kill within the school. The student indicated he would have a “shooting buddy” and told certain teachers they were not “on the list.” He also indicated he would “save a bullet for himself.” The SRO was able to again intervene prior to any incident occurring at the school. The student was able to get the long-term treatment he needed due to the interactions and observations by the SRO.

In the many years that the SRO program has flourished in our school district, there have been hundreds of stories like this and many children’s lives impacted in a positive way. SROs have been a critical component in keeping gangs, violence, and drug dealers out of our area schools. The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is proud of the partnership it shares with School District 271.