Guest Commentary

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Stopping civil asset forfeiture abuses

Guest Opinion

I have been alarmed to read outrageous reports of abuse of civil asset forfeiture where Americans’ property is being seized without it first being proven that a crime was committed or without even an arrest or warrant. From reports of the use of new devices to scan a motorist’s cards and seize money during a traffic stop to a person’s life savings and family business being taken due to unproven suspicion, excessive use of civil asset forfeiture requires action.

Struggle to maintain school-year gains; avoiding the summer slide for kids

Guest Opinion

I love summer, but as a parent it can be stressful to keep kids safe and busy. Fortunately, there are summer programs to help. If you have a child engaged in one, you may also have the peace of mind that they are likely offering much more than safety and fun. Summer programs can also offer extended learning opportunities and help prevent the ‘summer slide.’

It’s time for Idaho lawmakers to address education funding formula

Guest Opinion

Twenty years ago, the World Wide Web was an infant, Operation Desert Storm had just ended and The Grateful Dead played their last concert. It was also the last time the Idaho Legislature addressed the education funding formula, which drives a $1.6 billion annual budget and determines the education of Idaho’s children.

Presentation misrepresented by paper

Guest Opinion

I was disappointed to read the article “Conversation hits issues for county health,” and the opinion written by Mr. Rauzi “Addressing community problems starts with us “ (Wednesday, July 13). The information presented by Idaho County Free Press about the community gathering organized by Kirsten Jensen of U of I, Idaho County Extension Health, Nutrition and Fitness Educator, that discussed ways to prevent and fight childhood obesity couldn’t have been more misrepresented.

On the importance of mentoring

Guest Opinion

Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the importance of mentoring in encouraging achievement in our nation’s youth. Mentors across America are helping ensure young people reach their goals and goals they may never have thought they could achieve.

On minimum wage: Legislators correct to keep hands off

Guest Opinion

Oregon’s journey into brave new minimum-wage world is fraught with peril

Trevor’s Law: an honor to Idaho

Guest Opinion

Trevor Schaefer of Boise not only fought hard and survived after being diagnosed with brain cancer at the young age of 13, but also he has fought for the last seven years to get legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk that will help others through the documentation and tracking of childhood and adult cancer clusters in Idaho and around the nation.

Wildfire season becomes a misnomer

Guest Opinion

In the past, warm spring weather touched off the start of the worst wildfires. Now, unfortunately one fire season essentially runs into the next.

Ideas I battle for are based in truth

In Rebuttal

Well, it’s been five weeks since the election and based on the amount of press, and e-mail comments from the left, I must be winning. The ideas I battle for are based in the truth and they ring faithful to the blessing of our liberties and freedoms. That we are endowed with certain inalienable rights and governments are instituted among men to secure the blessings of these liberties, not abridge them.

Idaho knows how to manage lands for outdoor recreational activities

Guest Opinion

Outdoor recreational activities — hiking, mountain biking, hunting, skiing, fishing — are a way of life for many Idahoans. However, as the state population has increased, a decline in access to federally managed public lands has occurred, especially for recreational purposes. This is true throughout the West.

Enjoy festivals? Volunteers drive events; say thanks, step up, serve

Guest Opinion

Enjoy festivals? Volunteers drive events; say thanks, step up, serve Enjoy community events and festivals? You’ve got your pick, starting this weekend with White Bird Days and Rodeo, and the CVRA rodeo. Should be lots of fun. And volunteers are running the whole show at these events, by the way.

Senators work to improve forest management, wildfire budgeting

Guest Opinion

Late last month, U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash,, released draft legislation aimed at improving forest management and wildfire budgeting. The bipartisan discussion draft reflects the work of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to examine and find solutions for these issues over the past two congresses. The bill uses a cap adjustment to end the practice of fire borrowing similar to the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, which Wyden and Crapo first introduced in 2013.

Legislators: Reconsider your political pension payoff perk

When a government board member compares a special perk for state lawmakers to an “insider trading” scheme, something sketchy is going on. The pejorative assessment came during the biennial meeting of the citizens committee charged with determining legislators’ salaries and benefits.

Call for county payments extension

Guest Opinion

The federal government is responsible for the impact of federal land ownership on local communities, and it must meet this responsibility within its budget. A bipartisan group of 33 fellow senators, including Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), recently joined me in calling for the reauthorization of critical payments to rural counties that help ensure this responsibility is met.

Getting attached is not bad thing for foster parents; don’t fear it, embrace it

Guest Opinion

As a foster parent, I am surprised by how often I hear the objection “I could never do that, I would get too attached.” If you’ve thought this before, let me suggest that you might make the ideal foster parent. Seriously. Consider signing up, there are children who need your heart.

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