Not too long ago, St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood found itself in need of a medical lab scientist. After searching eight months for a qualified applicant, hospital officials worked with their local Idaho Department of Labor office to develop a registered apprenticeship program. Today the program is working so well St. Mary’s plans to set up a second apprenticeship for the same skill set.December 6, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The community has asked that the district spend its reserve money and do what it can to be fiscally responsible. I will tell you that from a new superintendent’s perspective, the district has listened and may have listened too well.November 29, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
While our colleagues will no doubt debate us on many issues, we are making this pledge to every Idahoan: We will fight for the issues that provide opportunity to all Idahoans, but we will not engage in personal attacks.November 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
By now we’ve all seen or heard the headlines: The U.S. is in the midst of a national opioid crisis that claims the lives of 91 Americans each day – one person every 16 minutes. Overdose deaths due to opioids, which include commonly prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine, are now responsible for more deaths in this country than car accidents or firearms.November 15, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Fittingly, it was an educational writer (William Edward Hickson) who popularized this old proverb. The sentiment has a dual meaning when it comes to one of the recommendations of the governor’s Higher Education Task Force: the so-called “Adult Completer” scholarship.November 15, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
I met Tim Christopherson of Kamiah and Mark Mahon of Council in 2014. They were in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the American Loggers Council, which represents the timber industry in Idaho and 29 other states. They told me about an inequity in the law that prohibits young loggers from learning their trade in family-owned mechanized logging operations under parental supervision. An exemption allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to work on family farms has long applied to young agricultural workers.November 8, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The only thing putting our Idaho forests at risk are environmentalists like Jonathan Oppenheimer [in response to his Oct. 18 issue guest opinion]. Our public lands will not survive the misguided polices of his radical ideas and how fire is a good thing. If anybody is selling snake oil, it is Mr. Oppenheimer.October 25, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Idaho’s police officers have a dangerous job, not to mention an ever-expanding one. In order to make good decisions, police need the tools necessary to protect communities. How best to utilize those resources dominated discussion at last week’s Idaho Chiefs of Police Association conference in Twin Falls. That debate will continue. However, as we both made clear during our speeches to the chiefs, there is no debate over how we must treat victims of sexual assault.October 25, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Our national forests are at risk from beetles, wildfire…and the U.S. Congress. While forests have evolved with fire and insects, it’s not clear they’ll survive attacks from misguided politicians. One thing about busy fire seasons is we all breathe the smoke. It’s unhealthy and miserable. But we shouldn’t let it blind us. And politicians shouldn’t use it as an excuse to sell snake oil.October 18, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Obamacare has not worked for Idahoans. Since Obamacare has become law, premiums have gone up exorbitantly, without a corresponding increase in quality of health care. Last month’s release of 2018 state insurance premium rates — with an average increase of nearly 30 percent — confirm this reality.October 11, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
As wildfire season winds down in Idaho and other parts of the West, one initiative ramping up in Idaho has the potential to tamp down fears about the future of federal lands that make up so much of our state. Working together through a federal law called Good Neighbor Authority, the State of Idaho and U.S. Forest Service are implementing plans to remove dead trees and other fuels, use fire’s natural benefits on the land through prescribed burning, plant new trees, and carry out other on-the-ground activities on federal lands.October 4, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Republican gubernatorial candidates say they’re concerned about Idaho’s reliance on federal money, but they offer differing approaches for tackling the issue.October 4, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Getting a fishing or hunting license is a rite of passage for thousands of Idaho boys and girls. While it seems like a small thing (a combined hunting and fishing license in Idaho costs $33.50 according to Fish & Game), those licenses, tags and permits are more than just a piece of paper.September 27, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
What to tell constituents on smokey skies? An open letter to Regional Forester Leanne Marten, Northern Region United States Forest Service, Missoula, Montana 59804 Dear Supervisor, I have been inundated with calls from my constituents relative to what can be done about the smoke in the air from forest fires. They talk of their health being compromised, and their quality of life significantly diminished. They go on to contend that this is just another in a series of many smoke-and-ash-filled summers in recent years. These citizens expect those of us in public service to provide them answers. As the leader of the largest land management organization in northern Idaho, what would you suggest I tell them?September 20, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
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