VFW flies flags at Grangeville events | North West
The articles in this roundup of regional news are taken from weeklies across the region. This is the second part, the first having appeared in the Sunday’s Tribune.
GRANGEVILLE – For every patriotic holiday and event in town, American flags on Main Street seem to magically appear, waving proudly from every lamp post.
However, it’s not magic that makes Old Glory fly – it’s hard work and a sense of civic duty that preserves and maintains these flags.
Post 3520 Foreign Wars Veterans raised flags for Veterans Day, Border Days, Flag Day, 9/11 Remembrance Day and other holidays.
“There are about six weeks where they stay up, but otherwise they are up for shorter periods of time and then removed,” said post commander VFW Clinton “Chad” Miller of Grangeville. Miller is one of a handful of VFW members who physically place the flags, take them down and help maintain them throughout the year.
Miller said the VFW has taken on this task since the early 1960s. When Grangeville’s main street received new streetlights in the 2000s, the number of flags increased from 30 to 65 currently.
Lions Club President Abner King recently presented a $500 check to Miller on behalf of the Lions at the VFW to help replace the flags, if needed. The donation came with a bonus:
“Lions will provide up to an additional $500 for any donations from businesses, organizations or individuals in the community,” he said.
Although flags may appear to have a long lifespan, wind, weather, temperatures and vehicle road grime do not. The flags fly hundreds of days a year, and about two sets a year are needed, as the flags wear out, fray, and become too dirty to use.
“If we could figure out a way to clean them up, that would be great for those that are left a bit worn out,” Miller said. “But we tried, and the debris covering them from the road is too oily and dirty. It is embedded in matter. The fabric is nylon-like, and Miller said canvas flags wear out even faster. As traffic, especially diesel trucks, has increased on Main Street over the years, the flags wear out faster.
The VFW also maintains the flags at Heritage Square and the Veterans Memorial Garden. In total, it costs about $3,500 each year to replace all the flags.
Flag poles are purchased and then powder coated (“Otherwise they also pick up dirt and then it rubs on the flags, which deteriorates them even faster,” Miller explained). The VFW placed all brackets and hardware on the lampposts when they were first installed, so they are now serviced as needed.
“I hadn’t realized the work or the cost that went into it every year,” King said, adding that the Lions Club felt the project was “very worthy.”
Those wishing to donate for the Main Street Flags can deposit funds at the Idaho County Veterans and Community Outreach Center, 318 E. Main Street, Grangeville, or send checks to VFW Flags, 450 Whitetail Drive , Grangeville ID 83530; make checks payable to VFW Post 3520.
— Lorie Palmer, Idaho County Free Press (Grangeville), Wednesday
Bingaman steps down as Valley County Commissioner
CASCADE, Idaho — Valley County Commissioner Dave Bingaman will step down April 1 to take a job with the county recreation department.
Bingaman was elected District 3 Commissioner in November 2018 for a four-year term.
“Being commissioner has been one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs I’ve ever had,” Bingaman said.
“I am honored to have served, saddened to leave my term early, but excited about my new position and the opportunity to continue working for Valley County,” he said.
Bingaman was hired for the newly created position of Recreation Planner effective May 1.
“The Recreation Planner position was created to meet the growing demand for recreation and to ensure access to recreation throughout Valley County,” Bingaman said.
Bingaman will chart future recreation goals and projects, as well as work with county grants writer Mary Rosen to secure funding.
Since Bingaman is a Democrat, the Valley County Democratic Party will recommend up to three candidates to replace him.
Candidates will be sent to Governor Brad Little, who will make the nomination.
Bingaman’s current term expires on December 31. If the appointee wanted to serve beyond that term, they would have to stand for re-election for a further two-year term.
— Max Silverson, The Star-News (McCall), Thursday