Friday, March 27, 2015
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Tag Archives: Idaho

In Idaho, a Controversial Health Care Bill Passes Senate

Despite bipartisan opposition primarily focusing on end-of-life services, the health care workers "conscience bill," which purportedly lets professionals deny making certain medications and services available based on their personal moral beliefs -- but which critics say is an attack against birth control for women -- passed the Senate on a 21-13 vote. “The intent of this legislation is not to restrict or limit in any way health care services to women or men in Idaho,” said sponsor Senator Chuck Winder, R-Eagle. When opponents brought up the fact that rural areas might already have a limited number of health care professionals to choose from, Winder responded that a survey supporters had performed of rural health care providers found that some of them didn't provide those medications and services anyway. Read More »

Keith Allred to Form Committee for Idaho Governor’s Race as Democrat

Keith Allred of Eagle is expected to appoint a political treasurer and file the required C-1 form with the Secretary of State which will mark him as a Democratic candidate for governor in 2010, NewWest.Net has learned. Allred, a public policy negotiator and leadership expert who has won respect and praise from both parties, can’t officially file for office until March 8, but a preliminary fundraising committee is the usual signal that a candidate will run. Until now, Allred hasn't claimed membership in any political party and has based his work with Idaho lawmakers on his declared nonpartisan status. Fifth-generation native Idahoan Allred, executive director of The Common Interest in Boise - a nonprofit, nonpartisan good-government organization - is a respected Statehouse figure who has worked at brokering compromises between political parties and competing interests in the state legislature. His private business, Allred Solutions, is “a training, consulting, and mediation practice which helps public and private sector clients achieve solutions to difficult problems and controversies.” Read More »

Clap on One and Three, Go to Jail

Dear owners of Pengilly's Saloon in Boise, My friends and I often spend an evening of music at Pengilly’s. It’s a wonderful place and we thank you for keeping it as it has been for more than a century. In fact, we remember when you could choke in there from the smoke of a thousand Democrats. Thanks for clearing that up. Read More »

Idaho ‘Innovation’ — More of the Same?

The big news event out of Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's Innovation Summit today at Boise State University was the announcement of a $5 million grant to Micron to help it develop light-emitting diode (LED) technology. While the money was awarded by the state, it comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly referred to as the federal stimulus package. Otter, as well as Scott DeBoer, Micron's Vice President of Process Research and Development, praised the announcement as supporting green technology, as well as providing new jobs for Idahoans. "Through our 30-year history, the success of Micron and the state of Idaho have been closely tied," DeBoer said. That's the problem. Read More »

Idaho Republicans Should Step Up and Denounce Threatening Language

UPDATE, Friday Aug. 28, 9:45 AM: Rammell released this: "Due to the large amount of press concerning his statement Dr. Rammell would like to clarify his comment: 'Anyone who understands the law, knows I was just joking, because Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue hunting tags in Washington D.C.'" You’ve probably heard that Jared Hopkins, reporter from the Twin Falls Times-News, reported in another one of his scoop-them-all stories that at a Republican fundraiser Wednesday in Twin Falls, Idaho Republican candidate for governor Rex Rammell gave a speech. Hopkins wrote, “After an audience member shouted a question about ‘Obama tags’ during a discussion on wolves, Rammell responded, ‘The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those.’” Rammell told Hopkins it was a joke. Let’s start with some basics. What would Rammell’s mother say? Mine would have said, “Threatening the President is a felony, and you will never say anything like that again. Clear?” What would Rammell’s father say? Mine would have said, “I expect you to take this matter seriously. And if you ever hear anyone make a statement threatening the President, you will loudly object and then call the police.” Dad meant the law enforcement experience to make an impression on the person who threatened the President and thought it was funny, not to have the threatener arrested. Read More »

Difficult Days in Boise, Idaho

These are emotional days for a lot of people in Idaho. In one afternoon, a serial killer was sentenced to two life terms for murdering two young Idaho men, and two horrifying arrests were made for the murder of a little Boise boy. When the news of Tuesday afternoon’s arrests in the murder of eight-year-old Robert Manwill of Boise hit the internet and airwaves, it was nothing Boiseans didn’t expect, but still very painful for not only the thousands of sorrowful volunteers who spent days searching for Robert, but his father, his extended family and thousands of others, including me. That the prime suspects are Robert’s own mother and her boyfriend is sickening. Wednesday, both were charged with first-degree murder and the repeated violent torture of the little boy. Read More »

Taking a Lesson in Boise Public Transit

There's a Northwest city. The population of its metropolitan area is 272,000. Government is one of the larger employers. It has a major university with a large, popular football team, in which the entire state takes pride. And as described by Wikipedia, "The city is also noted for its natural beauty, activist political leanings, alternative lifestyles, recreational opportunities (especially bicycling, rafting, and kayaking), and focus on the arts." The city isn't Boise. It's Eugene, Ore. And it has one major difference from Boise: it spends four times as much per capita on public transit than Boise does. What does that look like? Read More »

Boise’s Vista Interchange Project Includes Beautification

Having once written that Boise’s Vista Boulevard, a main artery into the city from the interstate, was a “tasteless trail of trashiness,” I’m happy to hear that the Vista Interchange project broke ground this morning. In a press release, Governor Otter said, “For thousands of people a day, the Vista Interchange is the Treasure Valley’s gateway to commerce. It provides a primary link from Idaho’s largest airport to our largest metropolitan area. It’s the first part of Idaho that many people see on the ground, so it plays an important role in our efforts to attract and retain quality employers who provide the kinds of careers our people need.” Anybody who follows Idaho politics knows that Otter is a madly enthusiastic road-builder, and has spent a lot of political capital fighting for the money he thinks is needed. There is a backlog of road and bridge repair and new construction of over $240 million dollars in the state, and the past two legislative sessions have been mighty power struggles between the governor and the legislature to allocate money to address it. Read More »

Idaho Senators Crapo and Risch Will Vote No on Sotomayor

Idaho Republican Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch each issued statements Monday saying they’ll vote against the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Each object to her stance on the Second Amendment and other topics. Crapo: “Judge Sotomayor has distinguished herself throughout her career, serving as a strong role model for many as she has excelled in her chosen field. She has demonstrated one of the greatest things about America—the opportunity to become whatever you want with your God-given abilities. I enjoyed my meeting with her and found her to be a personable individual. “However, after having studied her positions and taken careful consideration through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings earlier this month, I have concluded that I cannot vote to confirm her to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her testimony was evasive and lacked substance; in some circumstances, it was misleading and even contradictory to her own previous statements and writings. “Most particularly, I found a number of her rulings and writings to be of great concern. First, she rejects that all Americans have an individual 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In the Maloney case, she wrote that the right to bear arms is in fact not a “fundamental” right. If confirmed, she may very well be on the Court to hear that very case, Maloney. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Idaho, has ruled the opposite way in a similar case--that the 2nd Amendment is binding on the states. Should Judge Sotomayor’s position in Maloney be upheld by the Supreme Court, Idahoans would lose their 2nd Amendment protection against state gun control laws. “Also troubling is that she has made statements acknowledging that her experience allows her to choose the facts she wants to see when determining a case, rather than applying the law. And she has repeatedly stated that U.S. judges may look to foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States to maintain our country’s standing in the world community. The U.S. Supreme Court has directly reviewed ten of Judge Sotomayor’s decisions, and eight of those have been reversed or vacated. Most recently, the Court reversed a decision noted in an unsigned and unpublished opinion without any analysis regarding Ricci v. DeStefano, commonly called the New Haven firefighters case. Read More »

The High Mountain Pleasures of an Idaho Family Hike

Hiking to Shirts Lake, accessible from West Mountain Road around Cascade Reservoir in Idaho’s beautiful Valley County, was a part of our kids’ childhoods. The fishing, camping, swimming and messing around in the mountains turned them both into lovers of nature and the earth. Son is a hiker and mountain biker, and Daughter, close to finishing a degree in environmental science, wants to spend her life trying to save the planet. Getting kids outdoors really does help them stay rooted in what’s real. The lake, no doubt named after somebody named Shirts, rises from the town of Cascade’s 4,760 foot elevation to 7,700 in Idaho’s beautiful Valley County, where it is no longer early spring but not quite mid-spring. That means wildflowers and songbirds, and a weekend family hike to Shirts took us through meadows and mountainsides grinning with both. Read More »