A welcome return for Oktoberfest celebration


Oktoberfest: Did you have a good time? Great. Now let’s keep that ball rolling.

PILT, SRS again at issue; funds no less warranted


At issue – yet again — are millions in federal appropriations to rural communities, including Idaho County: PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding.

Somber anniversaries mark need to avoid complacency in region’s back country


This month marks a series of sad anniversaries.

Local voice needed in oversize shipments issue


The issue has laid dormant for a few years, but the matter of oversized shipments being transported along U.S. Highway 12 has returned to the public sphere. Your comments are sought for a proposed rule to regulate these along a nearly 100-mile stretch of the road.

Become engaged in hospital plans

Syringa Hospital’s board has a huge job: to ensure quality medical care is provided to its patrons. With 10 healthcare providers on staff, it’s well on its way to fulfilling that mission. However, there’s all those federal regulations and economic trends to consider, and neither have been in favor of the small, rural, independently owned hospital.

Stop being passive; you need to be engaged


Often times the cry is heard that public officials are “doing things behind closed doors” or pushing agendas without the knowledge or consent of the public. Could it be that we simply didn’t take the time to pay attention to what these officials were doing until we stumbled across it late in the game? It’s much easier to push the blame on public officials than take responsibility in admitting we weren’t paying attention.

Hey, watch your political mouth


Readers on this letters page will be informed that the Idaho County Democrats’ booth was vandalized during the Idaho County Fair. Of course, it wasn’t you who did this. This was the work of dumb, or perhaps both dumb and dumber, acting out the only kind of political discourse he or they were able to do: graffiti and demolition. Perhaps they celebrated their triumph later by shooting out power pole insulators.

Life is more fun in person; get to the county fair


Presidential politics. Regional economics. Immigration. Health care costs. The impending family arguments at Thanksgiving dinner. OK, we’ve got enough seriousness on our plates to literally last us through the end of the year. So let’s set that stuff aside and focus on something more locally pressing: You’re going to the Idaho County Fair this year, right?

Choosing magistrate judge a big deal ... and you have a voice in that decision


The nation nears its decision for the next President, but this region’s residents have the opportunity for their voices to be heard in a choice that will impact them far more intimately in their everyday lives: the position of magistrate judge.

Disgusted ... that said, hoping for finality in a Lankford sentencing, conviction


This year marks 25 years since the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in dissent about a troubling case in which his colleagues ruled our local court had flubbed the process by which Bryan Lankford was sentenced to death. Earlier this week, the Idaho Supreme Court undid the outcome of the related case against Mark Lankford.

Addressing community problems starts with us


We don’t lack problems to address or opportunities to serve in Idaho County; what we lack are the people who will commit to being part of the solution and not simply pointing at others as the problem.

Fire prevention is elementary


Everyone who believes in personal, individual responsibility ought to know what they can do to prevent forest fire, and everyone ought to expect their neighbors to know, too. Fire safety basics should be common sense – and, in our region, they are – but not everyone acts like it.

Transparency — keeping meeting open — good move by hospital board


Syringa Hospital’s board of trustees is not only looking to the future sustainability of the hospital and clinics it represents, but they are also concerned with those they represent in other tangible, meaningful ways.

Voters rejected Chmelik for his style


If you’ve asked the people you know who voted why they think Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik lost, they’ve probably already told you what they’ve been telling us: Mainly, they just don’t like his style.

Old Glory isn’t clothing... and other thoughts about Flag Day June 14


As commemorations go, Flag Day is one of the oldest, and it’s a good time for not just patriotism but also action. Flag Day (June 14) commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The week is designated National Flag Week, during which citizens are encouraged to fly the American flag.



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