• Updated

Our flag is a powerful image of our national strength and American principles.  The flag has stood on the Moon.  Determined American soldiers raised our flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima.  It was flown on buildings after the Sept. 11 attacks.  The coffins of our best and bravest, who paid t…

Congratulations to all students across Idaho who recently graduated from university or any work-force training program! Your hard work and dedication to advancing your education is one of the most invaluable resources to our state. The education that you have received represents your future …

Last November, 61 percent of voters expanded Medicaid for Idahoans who make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but not enough to qualify for tax credits on the health exchange. I’ve been collecting the stories of Idahoans in the gap to help them share their share experiences of bei…

Idaho County property owners will be receiving their 2019 Assessment Notices next week. Like most of Idaho, Idaho County shows no signs of a depressed real estate market.

Four percent of the nation’s forested public wildlands remain undeveloped today. These landscapes are either designated wilderness or lands that qualify for designation. Many lands not protected as wilderness are called roadless areas. There are approximately 60 million acres of unprotected …

A new law passed this legislative session may allow Idahoans to have a larger voice in federal land management. This law, deemed the, “Federalism Bill,” appoints a group of legislators to help chart a better path for cooperative efforts between the federal government and its citizens. I have…

Spring brings new life and beauty to Idaho County. It is also the time that the board of trustees at Mountain View School District starts looking at our budget for the next year. Per the state constitution, funding for public schools is supposed to be provided from state tax collections, but…

On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress wrote what would prove to be one of the largest blank checks in our nation’s history.  The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorists gave President Bush authority to attack the Taliban, the Sunni fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan and the…

When it comes to growing the economy, we often focus on job growth through starting a new business. However, there is also a lot to be said about job retention and growth through transitioning current businesses to the next generation.

Last year, nearly 10,000 Idaho high school seniors applied for admission to our state’s public post-secondary institutions. That fall, 2,600 recent graduates did not show up. That is why we have drafted legislation known as Idaho Promise to remove the barriers that prevent Idahoans from obta…

When Idaho’s founders drafted our state’s Constitution, they went to great pains not to forget the source of their authority—the people. While Idaho is set up like most other republican forms of government with three co-equal branches, it also provides a system of checks and balances by the …

    In the last three months, the Idaho Legislature has moved to grab power for itself, and done so despite the express will of Idaho voters.

    If the voters of Idaho don’t act quickly and decisively, the 2019 legislative session may go down as the year we all lost a cherished constitutional right: the right to take matters into our own hands when our elected leaders refuse.

    “Agriculture: Food for Life” is the theme for this year’s Ag Day – March 14. Our country’s farmers and ranchers work hard to provide food and clothing for our country and the world. Their dedication is an inspiration to us and to the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Without them, we …

    Fearing discrimination for their sexual orientation, some in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community have sought protection under Idaho’s Human Rights Act. Currently, the Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination against a person based on race, color, religion, sex, natio…

    On Feb. 6, 2019, Mountain View School District Board Chairman, Lot Smith, wrote an opinion in which he continues to misrepresent the facts regarding the school board’s unfair and disrespectful treatment of our teachers.

    On March 8th, Idaho and Lewis county Republicans will have our county Republican party “Lincoln Day Dinner.” From now through the end of April, nearly every county Republican party across Idaho will hold a celebratory event honoring Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President and the first Rep…

    The Mountain View School District Board of Trustees (the Board), has been approached by several members of our community asking questions about misleading information that is being circulated through our district by the Central Idaho Education Association (CIEA), the teacher’s union. The Boa…

    Throughout my professional career and as a state legislator, I’ve purposefully worked and advocated for positive change on behalf of all parties involved in the justice system in Idaho. Whether it’s serving on the Public Defense Reform and Justice Reinvestment committees or supporting the wo…

    The collection, protection and use of personally identifiable information by both the government and private companies deserves close scrutiny.  Americans are rightly concerned about the collection and use of their data, and how such data is secured and protected.

    Idaho’s salmon and steelhead populations are in serious decline and our wild runs are teetering on the brink of extinction. Spend a few hours in Idaho’s river towns and you will see that fishing businesses and outfitters are taking a hit from the lack of steelhead, while our state leaders ar…

    While Idaho had good intentions 26 years ago, it’s time we made a decision based on what we know today. Idaho’s mandatory minimums for drug crimes generate real injustice and expense, with little if any deterrence.

    These are all major decisions that I do not take lightly, because they are very important to north Idaho.

    December is the time of year we reflect on the highs and lows of the past 12 months. When it comes to small business, 2018 was definitely a high. In fact, I believe it was one of the best years for our region’s entrepreneurs and job creators.

    I commend those working to protect and help children in all of our communities. This work is no doubt heartbreaking, but also motivating continued progress. Those working to bring healing and hope to troubled and hurting children and families are making a difference in the lives of many throughout Idaho.

    Guest Opinion

    As we look ahead to the new year, a new state government administration, and the 2019 legislative session, I offer the following select thoughts. The elections are over, it’s time for elected officials to dig in to do the hard work. So, let’s begin with chocolate.

    Guest Opinion

    As members of the Baby Boomer generation reach what was once considered the “golden years,” many are redefining what it means to be an older adult. Instead of retirement and rocking chairs, they’re working longer and living more active lifestyles than their parents ever did. But while Baby B…

    Idaho has not had a take permit since 2010. The federal government has not approved Idaho’s Fisheries Evaluation & Monitoring Plan (FEMP) in eight years. It is crucial that management plans be updated and legal.

    At a closed-door meeting at Trails Restaurant on the evening of Nov. 20, local sportsmen and Idaho Fish and Game officials met to discuss the status and future of elk herds residing in the Elk City Zone surrounding Grangeville.

    A Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) call came in Oct. 16 from a concerned sportsman who had located multiple elk shot in close proximity to one another on the Whitebird Hill Access Yes! Property. Upon investigation, four bull elk were found butchered within 40 yards of one another and a fifth bull was located approximately 100 yards away.

    Having been involved in steelhead management as a professional biologist, and being a steelhead fisherman for over 40 years, I’m well aware how important steelhead fishing is to Idaho anglers and local economies. The loss of that opportunity, even temporarily, due to a lawsuit and unprocessed permit is truly regrettable.

    Our children are growing up in a world where personal privacy is “old-fashioned.” Everything we do we record, video, or snap pictures of it. Almost everything that happens is monitored somehow, usually by ourselves, then shared to the world.

    Veterans, by putting their lives on the line for their country, communities, fellow servicemembers and fellow Americans, represent the ultimate sacrifice, which is at the core of their service. We honor veterans this Veterans Day by recognizing the foundation of their service and helping to ensure that their immense commitment is acknowledged and respected.

    Proposition 2 is critical to the health and viability of not only our rural hospitals, but more importantly, our local economies. Medicaid expansion benefits the hardworking members of our local small businesses, farms, and forest workers, in both emergency situations and important preventative care.

    The Idaho Primary Care Association today endorsed Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative. If passed, Proposition 2 will provide healthcare for the 62,000 Idahoans who fall into the state’s health coverage gap.

    A new Center for American Progress report quantifies the potential benefits of Medicaid expansion in Idaho and the 18 other states that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The report looks at multiple ways that Idaho’s failure to expand Medicaid is harming Idahoans, depriving them of health-related benefits such as additional lives saved, as well as nonhealth benefits such as fewer bankruptcies, lower medical debts, and enhanced public safety.

    If Medicaid expansion is bad, Proposition 2 is worse because of how it is worded: Prop 2 would give immense power to federal politicians and bureaucrats over Idaho. Said federal power would very likely be in violation of the state constitution. Further, such power could prove damaging to myriad programs.

    The week of Oct. 9, Christians and other faith leaders launched a week of prayer and action in support of Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion ballot intuitive. More than 40 religious leaders around the state have signed their names to a letter urging people of faith to support Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative.

    The Idaho Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has endorsed Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative. The endorsement comes on World Suicide Prevention Day and at the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week. If passed, Proposition 2 will provide healthcare for the 62,000 Idahoans who fall into the state’s healthcare coverage gap.

    News and information from our community partners

    If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.