Guest Commentary


One-size-fits-all approach to public lands management the wrong direction

Guest Opinion

As active participants in the decisions made in Congress, Idahoans contact me with valuable input about the issues our country faces. Realizing that many may not have the chance to contact me, I post the top five issues of concern from Idahoans and my responses on my website. Idahoans have contacted me regarding potential monument designations and land acquisitions in western states.

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Big impression with Little interview

During his Thursday stop in Grangeville, Lt. Governor Brad Little sat for an hour-and-a-half interview with the Idaho County Free Press. I asked the best questions I could think of, and I listened as intently as I could. These are my impressions....

‘Bible Bill is constitutionally sound’

Veto reactions: Sen. Nuxoll, ACLU of Idaho

Last Tuesday, April 5, Gov. Butch Otter vetoed a Bible-in-schools bill, saying it violates the Idaho Constitution and could result in “costly litigation for Idaho public schools.” According to a Spokesman-Review story, “I have deep respect and appreciation for the Bible as religious doctrine as well as a piece of historic literature,” Otter wrote in his veto message. “However, allowing S1342 to become law is in direct contravention to the Idaho Constitution.” Responses from Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, ACLU of Idaho

ISAT testing starts April 6; students need rest, breakfast for best efforts

Guest Opinion

School wide testing is going to be taking place at Grangeville Elementary Middle School (GEMS) now that students have returned from spring break. The dates for the GEMS testing window are April 6 to May 13. During this time period, all 3-8 grade students will be on a rotating schedule for taking their ISAT tests. The staff at GEMS would like to pass on some helpful ideas for students to reach their optimum level on the testing.

Idaho makes progress on standards, funding public defender services

Guest Opinion

For almost a century the American Civil Liberties Union has been in the forefront in protecting the people’s constitutional rights. For this column I will focus on the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees full due process to criminal defendants and their right to legal counsel.

Fire borrowing must be fixed now

Disaster-scale wildfires are going to continue to be a threat. We can better prepare for the increasing costs of wildland fire suppression by providing land managers and firefighters the certainty needed to plan and allocate resources properly without robbing from other priorities during each fire season.

‘Need to step away from the past and focus on our future’

Guest Opinion

We are messing our nest. Our trash is everywhere; strewn along roadways, heaped in containers, scattered around dumpsters. For years, county residents had access to multiple dumpster sites and, for prairie folks, an accessible transfer station. Several factors necessitated changes to that comfort zone.

Mind your dog’s business in city

Guest Opinion

Cottonwood Police has been getting several complaints regarding dogs, so we thought we’d send everyone a little reminder.

We have the right to sit back or help

Guest Opinion

One well-known fact is that change is for sure and certain. It’s happening to us all, at all times. It’s all around us, everywhere we look, consistently, no matter what our take. For our community, I am doing my best to redirect the changes taking place.

Democrats create healthcare gap; say only more government can fill

Guest Opinion

Life is simple for Democrats. They distort markets. Mandate programs. Then when problems arise, as inevitably they do, like magic the only solution is more government, more regulation, more taxes, and less coverage.

Education spending: Legislature should look before it leaps

Guest Opinion

Lawmakers need to address the lack of rigor in the teacher performance evaluation system before they simply fork over more money for the career ladder.

Healthcare delivery in Idaho: Eventually, system to make fiscal sense

Guest Opinion

The maze of healthcare delivery in Idaho may become even more complex this year.

PCAP: great start to keep more Idahoans healthy

Guest Opinion

I’ve read and watched with interest in recent days as legislators, healthcare providers, community leaders, columnists, editorial boards and citizens have reacted to the Primary Care Access Plan that I unveiled Jan. 7. Responses have run the gamut from “It’s not enough – just expand Medicaid” to “We shouldn’t do anything but focus on repealing Obamacare.”

Vocational training – is it enough?

Guest Opinion

We need a well-trained work force, on that most agree. But the current emphasis on vocational training and de-emphasis on ‘liberating’ knowledge such as humanities and the arts is a dangerous tradeoff.

Initiatives evidence that citizens disillusioned status quo to change

Guest Opinion

There is some irony in the precarious position the Gem State has found itself in. Despite setting a goal in 2010 for 60 percent of Idaho’s young people under age 34 to attend postsecondary education, the Idaho Legislature then decided the way to encourage young people to attend college is to significantly inflate the tuition costs for those would-be students in the subsequent years that followed.


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