By Madge Cook Wylie
Last week four events happened – and that’s just what I know about. They were informative, entertaining and educational. There were about 30 people at each event (and they weren’t the same 30.)
On Tuesday night several people running for State offices came to Melba for a forum sponsored by the Melba Cottage Library. The event was held at the Harker Barn on Melba Road. Christie Preisler chaired the event. It was a chance for the community to meet some of the candidates who will be running for state offices in the primary election in May.
Those attending were Mitch Toryanski and Evan Frasure, both running for Secretary of State, the office formerly held by Pete Cenarrusa. Phil McGrane of Boise, who couldn’t be present, was represented by an associate, Dave Case, as well as Steve Ackerman in for Lawrence Denney, both of whom plan to run for Secretary of State.
Jim Chmelik talked about his desire to be Lt. Governor. Todd Hatfield’s wife, Maureen, spoke on her husband’s behalf as a candidate for State Controller. Russ Fulcher presented his case for running for Governor in the primary and the fall election.
On the panel Dr. Jana Jones of Nampa, a Democrat, stated that although she won’t be involved in a primary election, she is looking forward to running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November. The last presenter was our own School Superintendent, Andy Grover who was held up at a school board meeting and came at the last minute. He is also running for State Supt. of Schools.
Larry Lincoln, Melba high school history teacher, did a fantastic job as moderator for the evening. He had one microphone with a long cord and a timekeeper keeping everyone on the clock.
What was impressive was how dedicated these people were to their cause. One guy was a West Point graduate and a military veteran. One was a history teacher. Most were businessmen. They came from as far away as Cottonwood and Pocatello. Some of them had never heard of Melba but they thanked us Melba people for taking the time to come and listen to them. I was impressed that they came this far and gave us their undivided attention. We were allowed written questions – as many as we wanted.
On Wednesday night the Melba American Legion Post sponsored a free chili feed. They, along with others in the Third District, are striving to enlighten the community as well as enlist new members. The Post has been coming back from almost being defunct a couple of years ago to viable strong group that it has been since its organization in 1946. They sold tickets on an assortment of prizes. Every active member brought a big pot full of chili. A good time was had by all.
Three members of the Meridian Post, who are also officers in the Third District American Legion, attended and commended Melba for their perseverance in getting the Post back on track.
On Thursday following the dinner at the Melba Senior Center the Melba Valley Historical Society presented its monthly program. This time it was David Leroy, former State Attorney General and Lt. Governor, who talked about Idaho becoming a state due to the association of President Abraham Lincoln with various people who became his representatives in acquiring this area for the gold and other minerals to support the North in the Civil War – ultimately, in Idaho becoming a state. Mr. Leroy is an impressive speaker on history and brings it alive.
It was announced that the Melba Valley Museum will be holding a Grand Opening on Saturday, March 29 and everyone is welcome to come and view the displays. They include farm tools, military uniforms and pictures of veterans and their stories. Also, there will be a family display case which now includes pictures and artifacts from the Todd family, as well as original Melba documents. There is much, much more to see and enjoy.
And finally, if you haven’t checked out the Catholic’s corned beef and cabbage feed, you haven’t lived. Up to 500 people come every year to enjoy good food, green beer and green sherbet. Everyone was adorned in green – clothes, hats and jewelry.