An act of public service

I subscribed to the Daily News four years ago so that I had a ready supply of fire-starter. Now I eagerly await the paper so that I can read the local stories, editorials and letters to the editor. The Daily News has developed into an important, almost daily, habit that helps me to feel more in touch with the local community. I now agree with my friend who once told me, “I subscribe to the Daily News as an act of public service.”

There are many articles to be found online, and in the Daily News, of how journalism is in dire jeopardy. Whether it is from the production of “clickbait” stories, or the damage done by talking heads like Tucker Carlson and Jake Tapper, journalism needs to improve. One way I see this happening is by the taxation of social media that could return advertising dollars to local publications. Such taxes are being attempted in Australia and we should all be watching this closely.

Reading a local paper has served to quell my anxieties over the dismantling of our society as I can witness a vigorous dialog among people who do not always agree with each other but live peacefully in the same communities. We need to be concerned by the shrinking budget of the Daily News and our loss of Monday’s paper. Being attentive to local journalism strengthens the community. I would like to suggest that subscribers to this paper start conversations with people about becoming subscribers. If there is a larger subscriber base then advertisers will return to help support a vital civic function. Supporting local journalism is an act of public service, just like my friend once said.

Seth Magnuson


The simplest answer

Since the second impeachment ended without a conviction, Trump likely feels vindicated in telling lies about election fraud and inciting his followers to violence. And Mitch McConnell likely thinks he’s made the right calculation, to vote not to convict him and to also declare Trump’s guilt. He gets to assure the deep pocketed supporters that he’s not crazy, and to keep his name off the list of those who would condemn Trump on the floor of the Senate. And then there are those seven senators who were willing to step up and vote their conscience, to agree with the prosecution, that Trump had committed a deliberate crime against the people and the Constitution. They will likely land on the right side of history and the wrong side of the next primary challenge. Occam’s Razor says the simplest answer is probably the true one. How does this event cut our politics today and into the future? I’m taking notes.

Zena Hartung


Opposes initiative bill

Sen. Steve Vick dropped an enormous pile of political bovine excrement at the feet of Idaho voters. He hopes we won’t notice.

SB 1110 will put further restrictions on the rights of Idaho voters to use the initiative and referendum process. He is playing the rural versus urban card. Vick claims that rural voters don’t have a voice in the initiative process. He is absolutely wrong.

The initiative process does two things. One is, if successful, that an issue is put on the ballot for Idaho voters to decide. The other is that going through the initiative process makes all Idahoans aware of the issue. It’s this second piece that is important as Idaho’s constitution states, “All political power is inherent in the people.”

Idaho’s current law works. Senate Bill 1110 will make it more difficult for rural Idahoans to exercise their political power. In order for an initiative to get on the ballot we would need more signatures from more counties. Rural voters would have less opportunity to have our voices heard. It would be more difficult for rural counties to get an initiative important to us such as rural medical clinics, airports, school funding or growing hemp on the ballot.

The initiative process is used to get an issue on the ballot so all of us can vote. This is not about rural versus urban. What Sen. Vick wants to do is deny us the opportunity to vote.

Please join me in opposing SB 1110.

Mary Ollie

Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Muzzling the people

It is much easier to govern if you don’t have to listen to the wishes of the governed. Some members of the Idaho legislature are again trying to further muzzle the voice of the people.

Sen. Steve Vick has introduced a bill making the citizen initiative process nearly impossible.

The writers of our state constitution wisely established the right of regular citizens to create and pass legislation through the initiative process. Previous bills passed by the legislature have made the initiative process very difficult. Currently to bring an initiative to a vote signatures by 6 percent of all registered voters including 6 percent of voters in each of 18 legislative districts. Senator Vick’s bill would require 6 percent of every district in the state.

The initiative process has not been overused in Idaho. Many initiatives never make it to the ballot due to the already high hurdles to get there. Many legislators are still mad because Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion by a 61-percent margin with majority approval in nearly every county. Apparently even though a large majority of citizens favor a bill, Vick and his friends feel they should be ignored.

In 2019 the legislature passed an even more restrictive bill, which was vetoed by Gov. Little. The current bill has a strong chance of passing unless citizens speak up. To protect our rights as citizens we must work to see that Vick’s bill is defeated.

Robert Johnson


Jerks and tolerance

The way former (thank goodness) President Donald Trump lashed out at Sen. Mitch McConnell last week, we might wonder what kind of real friendships Trump could possibly maintain. Those of us who attended public high schools can easily imagine what kind of fellow student Trump would have been.

I am pretty sure he couldn’t have won a student election in my high school, even with his family’s wealth. Normal American kids can spot an entitled lying jerk when they encounter one. He couldn’t have influenced religious students like he does adult evangelicals now, because his basic immorality would have been obvious and intolerable to the religious students I knew. Trump wouldn’t have won over the high school bullies either, like he did the Proud Boys and other of his current thug supporters. Such wayward teenagers don’t respect an obvious coward.

Lucky for Trump his father consigned him to an elite military high school where jerks like him were better tolerated.

Richard Shafer


Kudos to vaccination team

Kudos to the Gritman COVID vaccination team. What a great experience we had while receiving our shots. The organization and coordination of the group was amazing. The number of people they were able to service in a short time was incredible, all the while making everyone feel comfortable. There may be problems in other parts of the country with these procedures but our local hospital had obviously spent a great deal of time planning their operation and it was evident. Thank you Gritman and everyone involved. Our community is so fortunate to have you. We’ll be back for our second vaccination later this month.

Howard and Jan Peavy


The big hoax

Wow. A presidential candidate who, I believe, has dementia has been elected. This country has depreciated so much. People are more concerned with manners and protecting the political party interests than protecting the Constitution and rights that make this country unique and great.

I believe Biden is cardboard cutout window dressing for a cabal that has run the Biden campaign and now the presidency. All along, the permanent government employees and law enforcement branches’ top level administrators have resisted the Trump administration’s attempts to run his presidency.

Why would Biden agree to being a stooge for this ruse on the American people? Probably due to his family’s long and deep financial illegal activity with special interests — China in particular. Politicians are the problem. Unfortunately, many congressional politicians are so invested in donations and personal financial gain at the country’s expense. Term limits will help remove this cancer in America.

After the cabal gets all the policy changes to align with Obama’s blueprint to “fundamentally change this country,” Biden will resign due to claimed recent dementia. The country will then have a president that had only 2 percent Democrat party support in the primary. President Harris will continue to push the cabal’s agenda. Any attempt to challenge the policies will be met with charges of racism and sexism.

In the end, these policies will create ballooning debt, government regulations, and an increase in taxes on the middle class. The open borders policy will assure millions of new Democrat voters to help secure future election victories, but will increase unemployment, social and financial problems. The foreign policies will benefit our adversaries and reduce U.S. competitiveness in the world and propel the U.S. down a road of historical decline. Our children and grandchildren will have our enormous debt to finance resulting in a lower standard of living.

Dan Worsham


Simpson’s bold framework

Rep. Mike Simpson has developed a bold framework for “reimagining the Northwest energy landscape and recovering critically endangered salmon.” It calls for removing the four Lower Snake River dams. One knee-jerking politician called Simpson a “traitor,” demanded his resignation, and shrieked the plan will “destroy Idaho!” He didn’t read it. Give Simpson’s Energy and Salmon Concept the reading it deserves.

Benefits the dams provide can be replaced. $17 billion has been spent on Columbia Basin fish mitigation. Yet more salmon species are listed as threatened or endangered today than in 1980, including all of Idaho’s wild salmon species. The salmon cannot be replaced

One problem is too many obstacles along their up-to-900-mile swim from ocean to spawning bed. Salmon need a smolt-to-adult return ratio (SAR) of 4 percent to achieve recovery. With eight dams to go through (four on the Columbia, four on the Snake), Idaho’s wild salmon SAR is .84 percent. This is a road to extinction.

Another problem is warm water. The Lower Snake, once free-flowing and cold, is now a string of reservoirs and dams. Only 16-20 percent of migrating Snake Basin juvenile salmon reach the ocean, which is increasingly warm and acidic. Forget about snowpack cooling the rivers. Average annual snowpack in north Idaho is expected to drop 72 percent by the 2090s.

Fossil-fuel-based energy must be replaced with renewable, sustainable energy. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR763) is a great place to start. Supported by economists and politicians across the political spectrum, it will quickly reduce carbon emissions and encourage efficiency and new energy technologies. There is no more “status quo.” We need to act quickly and urge our members of Congress to support the Simpson plan and other legislation that addresses the climate crisis.

Diana Armstrong


Vaccination process laudable

Hats off to Gritman for conducting a Covid Vaccine Clinic at the UI Student Recreation Center. It was efficient, well organized, and the friendly staff were so professional. I had an 11 a.m. appointment and was greeted immediately, given the paperwork to fill out which was short and simple. As soon as I was done with that, a staffer collected it and took me to the next station. They scanned my insurance card, and escorted me to a nurse who administered the vaccine painlessly. I had to wait 15 minutes to make sure there were no side effects and I was out. Again, kudos Gritman.

Roger Hayes


Earlier treatment

Two New York City emergency room, Richard Levitan and Nicholas Caputo, were interviewed (Amanpor & Co, Jan. 25, YouTube). They say that while increasing numbers of people are being admitted with COVID-19, the number of deaths in their hospitals is not increasing because treatment has improved. Still, they wish that people would come in sooner.

Since April, they have been working on early detection and treatment. They have learned that pulse oximeters show trouble before people feel it. Patients say, “But I feel fine! I don’t need to hospitalize.” And that’s exactly the trouble with COVID-19.

If you wait until it’s hard to breath because a large part of the lungs are damaged, then bad outcomes are common. But if you hospitalize when only a tiny part of your lungs are damaged, you have a significantly better chance.

People are at higher risk if they have been exposed or tested positive or have been released from a hospital. They should get a pulse oximeter (under $100), and self monitor twice daily. If oxygen drops, they should hospitalize immediately.

People who come in early are treated on a floor bed, not an ICU bed, and are released in 3-4 days. Just like former President Trump.

Treatment: steroids, oxygen, a proning cushion to make patients more comfortable so they can breath, dexamethasone and remdesivir.

You might call around to discover which hospitals will honor this experience-based knowledge, this approach and these medicines.

Levitan said a patient came in with advanced symptoms. She had tested positive, and was told to self-isolate. Levitan called the testing center, and asked why they didn’t advise her to monitor her oxygen. A person said, “I’ve been reading your stuff, Rich, but the CDC doesn’t recommend it yet.” Is your provider open to this?

Wiley Hollingsworth


The real ‘cancel culture’

In his Feb. 17 column, Dale Courtney decried the “cancel culture” of the left. In doing this, he joined other right-wing pundits and politicians such as the Republican governor of South Dakota who denounced the efforts to remove monuments to Confederate leaders while speaking at the Mt. Rushmore National Monument.

The irony of this is unbearable. This monument to U.S. presidents was built on land sacred to the Sioux.

It is a prime example of the dominant culture’s centuries-old attempt to cancel Native American culture.

I agree with Mr. Courtney that it is important to protect free speech. It is at least as important to acknowledge our historic and ongoing participation in efforts to white-out, to wipe out the cultures of Native American, Black, Latino and Asian-American people.

This is the real “cancelculture.”

Walter Hesford


Recommended for you