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  • isj forumforumA6 WEDNESDAY, JuLY 3, 2013 IDAho StAtE JourNAL

    doonesbury FLAsHbACKs BY GArrY truDEAu mALLArd FiLLmore BY BrucE tINSLEY

    There are those people who go to work every day knowing they may lose their lives. Our military is filled with men and women who face this very real dan-ger each and every time they show up

    on the job. And as a nation we tend to recognize the heroics involved in our military.

    We should never forget we ask the same thing of our police and firefighters. Nineteen of them gave their lives Sunday.

    An elite squad of wildfire experts called the Granite Mountain Hotshots part of the Prescott Fire Department in Arizona died when a blaze switched directions suddenly and engulfed them in an inferno.

    They had been manning the fireline on a blaze of more than 8,000 acres. A storm front whipped high winds at the fire and it moved back on the 19 skilled firefighters in an instant. They sought shelter in their last-ditch, one-man fire shelters, but the heat was too much. In a matter of moments, the Prescott Fire Department lost 20 percent of its manpower.

    Those killed were all men. Most were young. The physical demands of a hotshot member favor the young. The oldest among the victims was squad su-perintendent Eric Marsh at age 43. Those who died with him at the Yarnell Hill Fire on a hot Sunday were: Andrew Ashcraft, 29; Robert Caldwell, 23; Travis Carter, 31; Dustin Deford, 24; Christopher MacKenzie, 30; Grant McKee, 21; Sean Misner, 26; Scott Norris, 28; Wade Parker, 22; John Percin, 24; Anthony Rose, 23; Jesse Steed, 36; Joe Thurston, 32; Travis Turbyfill, 27; William Warneke, 25; Clayton Whitted, 28; Kevin Woyjeck, 21; and Gar-ret Zuppiger, 27.

    Families and friends of all of them are trying to cope.

    We sometimes forget whats at stake when we see a cloud of smoke on the hillsides of Southeast Idaho. We may even discount that last years dev-astation in the Charlotte Fire southwest of Pocatel-lo had a miracle attached no one was injured or killed.

    On the same Sunday that claimed the 19 Ari-zona firefighters, dozens of soldiers in the war on wildfires were spread out on the slopes northeast of Chubbuck. Armed only with picks and shovels, they were trying to contain a sleeper lightning-caused fire. Lightning can strike and smolder for hours before it erupts in flames.

    Just like the Prescott hotshots, firefighters from Fort Hall, Chubbuck and the Bureau of Land Man-agement were strung out along a fireline. Radios provided their only link to the command center located away from the fire.

    And just like the 2 1/2 Mile Road Fire, the deadly one in Arizona was started by lightning.

    As tragic as Arizonas firefighting episode was, it is not uncommon for firefighters to lose their lives on the job. According to the U.S. Fire Administra-tion, 83 firefighters lost their lives at work in 2012.The number was the same the year before. Of those who died in 2012, 11 perished fighting wild-fires, a number that has been consistent the past three years.

    Police officers forfeit their lives in the line of duty each and every year as well.

    The total number of police officers in this nation killed while on duty from July 2, 2012, to July 2, 2013, was 51, according to the National Law En-forcement Officers Memorial Fund. The number of officer deaths involving firearms was nearly equal to officer deaths caused in traffic collisions.

    The men and women who fight our fires and combat crime are in harms way every day they are on the job. They know that, yet these occupations attract high-quality, motivated people who want to serve their communities.

    As memorial services are held for the 19 Arizona firefighters who lost their lives, it seems fitting that we turn to the police, firefighters and other emer-gency responders in our own area and thank them and their families from our hearts.

    They risk their lives for us

    idAHo insurAnCe exCHAnge

    Im writing to give some feedback on Idahos In-surance Exchange. As an appointed member of the exchange board of directors, as well as a representative in the Idaho House (District 28), I feel that I can speak to the various components of our insurance exchange, many of which are very positive.

    First, by using local re-sources and many Idaho vendors to create our ex-change, we are able to keep costs down. Our exchange fee will be only 1.5 per-cent of an insurance plan premium, rather than the federal governments fee of 3.5 percent, saving Idaho residents 2 percent on each individual plan. In addition, using Idaho vendors cre-ates additional jobs for our Idaho residents, helping us improve our economy.

    Next, our exchange is completely voluntary, while the federal exchange requires individuals to use their portal. Though PPA-CA requires everyone to have insurance, our Idaho statute allows Idaho resi-dents the option to explore what avenue is best for them when purchasing an insurance plan; an indepen-dent broker or agent, the Idaho Health Exchange, employer-offered benefits, or other options that meet their unique needs.

    Another component that Im very grateful for, is that our insurance ex-change is not allowed to use state funds to implement or manage the exchange. Idaho legislators made a stand and refused to put this burden on the backs of Idahoans. The federal government may be able to mandate the use of an exchange, but we refused to let them build it at our

    residents expense. They will foot the bill for this re-quirement, not us.

    Though I dont agree with PPACA and I know it isnt the answer to our health care crisis in this state, or in the nation, I do strongly feel that Idahoans are better served to have locals organizing, imple-menting and monitoring an exchange, rather than the federal government. I want residents of Idaho to know that the exchange board is working hard to establish a marketplace tool that will bring positive opportunities to Idahos residents.

    We are building a por-tal where Idaho residents may go to shop for the right coverage and the most cost-efficient package for their individual needs. We are creating a tool to help fami-lies find an insurance plan that fits their unique situa-tion, at a competitive price. Time has proven, over and over again, that where com-panies compete for business, the consumer wins.

    Rep. Kelley Packer,McCammon

    Pets in storesI have just about had it

    with people bringing their pets into places that pets dont belong, such as gro-cery stores, restaurants, and other businesses where food is present.

    I am not talking about service dogs, but that little pouch in the purse or being carried. For the health of everyone these pets should not be taken to such estab-lishments.

    While I know you think your little dog is your baby, it is not a person and is not entitled to go everywhere you do. I dont want to buy meat or produce in a grocery

    store with your pets hair on it, or eat at a restaurant and find your dogs hair on my plate. Service dogs are to be kept below the line of sight of food from cases such as meat displays, produce, etc. They do not belong in the shopping cart where others will place their food or other purchases.

    No matter how cute you dress your pet or how well behaved you think they are, please keep them at home where they belong. A service dog is a dog that is trained to do a service for a disabled person; guide, hearing as-sistance, PTSD anxiety help, pull a wheelchair, etc. If your dog is not trained or doesnt fit the definition set up by the ADA, your pet is not a service dog.

    Please, for the health of everyone (especially people with life-threatening aller-gies to pet hair and dander) keep dogs that are not service dogs at home. See ADA website for definition of service animals and what is allowed. (http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm).

    Marie Govan,Chubbuck

    The 43rd starJuly 3rd marks the 123rd anniversary of Idahos admittance into the union of states we call the United States. A 43rd star went onto Ameri-cas flag. Across Idaho this year, though, the focus has been primarily upon the 150th anniversary of the creation of Idaho as a ter-ritory within the union. Nothing wrong with that as long as Idahoans, as they prepare for the 4th of July festivities, also take a moment to reflect on the great state we are privi-leged to inhabit and to offer thanks as the states birthday is duly noted. Some accuse me of being almost snobbish in the pride I take in being a native born Idahoan. Whenever I re-enter Idaho upon returning from a jour-ney to a neighboring state or a foreign land, to the embarrassment of those with me, I sing loudly and often off-key (Im told Im tone deaf), the State song, Here We Have Idaho. During the recent book promotion tour Randy Stapilus and I took around the Gem state, we were the program at the Twin Falls Rotary. Cant begin to tell you how pleased I was that the Twin Falls Rotary still has as a standard part of its program the singing of the state song. The following day when we were introduced as guests at the Pocatello Rotary I could not help contrasting the failure of the Pocatello Rotary to sing the state song. Its a tradition one hopes all service clubs around Idaho will maintain. Thinking about Idahos sesquicen-tennial celebration of territorial status led to memories of Idahos wonderful statehood centennial celebration in 1990. Extremely well organized by a commission headed by Wallace busi-nessman Harry F. Magnuson, with Marty Peterson serving as the execu-

    tive director to oversee the almost flawless imple-mentation of various local celebrations at the county level, Idahoans every-where radiated pride. Like many families, the Briggs clan (originally from Twin Falls, Good-ing and Pocatello) held a family reunion in Garden Valley coincidental with the concluding celebra-tory activities of the Cen-tennial and we watched

    the grand finale on television from Boises Bronco Stadium, where a full house crowd of 35,000 people roared their approval as a certain tall, bald-headed governor, doffed his Stetson in a sweeping salute to the people of this great state. Then I came across an old yellowing copy of a wonderful tabloid newspaper put together by Idahos weekly and daily newspapers in 1976 as a salute to the nations bicentennial. Printed by the Twin Falls Times-News (Wiley Dodds was the production manager and Bill Howard was the projects busi-ness manager), it had items of histori-cal significance and short biographies on various Idahoans who had achieved success in a number of endeavors over the years. The project was spearheaded by Hope Kading, then chair of the Idaho Parks Foundation and a member of the Idaho Bicentennial Commission. The list of contributors from Idahos newspaper industry reads like a Whos Who of leading journalists over the years: John Corlett, Jerry Gilliland and Jim Poore of the Idaho Statesman; Dick High, Dave Hors-man, Bart Quesnell and George Wiley of the Times-News; Butch Alford and Jay Shelledy of The Lewiston Tribune; Dave Morrissey of the Idaho State Journal; Ted Stanton and David John-son of the Daily Idahonian.

    Television and radio contributions came from luminaries like Mindy Cameron, Paul J. Schneider, Vern Nelson, and Jean Hochstrasser. Other contributions came from state agency public information officers, as well as folks such as Arthur Hart and Judith Austin at the State Historical Soci-ety, and Idaho history buffs such as Louise Shadduck, then representing Idahos timber industry. The publication is chock full of in-formation that reminds one that it is Idahos people as well as the unique state we inhabit that exist in a combi-nation found nowhere else. As we take time to reflect about Idaho on July 3, lets hope that on July 4 we will also reflect on what makes the United States the shining city on the hill that Ronald Reagan often spoke about so eloquently, a nation and a melting point of people unlike any other gather-ing in history. Let this also serve as a reminder to those Tea Party types that espouse the terrible notion of nullification and a states questionable right to secede that when we all stand and recite the pledge of allegiance to that flag that has Idahos 43rd star on it, we alto-gether say the words one nation, un-der God, INDIVISIBLE, with liberty and justice for all. Have a happy 3rd and 4th of July.

    A native of Kellogg, journalist Chris Carlson pens his column from his retirement home near Medimont in Northern Idaho. He is a former teacher and was press secretary to Gov. Cecil Andrus.

    Lettersn Letters must include the writers name, address and phone number for verification. Limit letters to 300 words or less. All letters are subject to editing and the Journal reserves the right to publish/not publish submissions. Limit one letter per person per month.

    n Send letters to Editor Ian H. Fennell at 305 S. Arthur, Pocatello, ID 83204 or [email protected] Letters can also be dropped off at the Journals office or faxed, (208) 233-8007.

    To comment on this editorial and to read other comments, see idahostatejournal.com.

    Have your sayidahostatejournal.com

    y o u r l e t t e r sy o u r l e t t e r s


    Serving southeast Idaho since 1892



    ian Fennell

    Managing editor

    lyle olson,

    Editorial writer

    Mike odonnell

    Assistant managing editor

    The editorials on this page are written by Journal Editor ian H. Fennell, assistant Editor Michael H. o'donnell and former Journal Editor lyle olson. Helping us to develop ideas for the editorials is an advisory board consisting of Journal Publisher andy Pennington and community members dick Sagness, Marjanna Hulet, Karen Johnston, Evan Frasure, randy Spencer, Tim Forhan and dan Cravens.

    CHris CArLsonCommentAry

    What do you think?To comment on this column, visit

    our Politics Blog. our Politics Blog.


  • isj forumforumA6 THurSDAY, JuLY 11, 2013 IDAHo STATe JournAL

    doonesbury flAshbAcks BY GArrY TruDeAu mAllArd fillmore BY Bruce TInSLeY

    With the 2014 off-year election for U.S. Congress something far enough in the future most of us dont want to think about it, Bryan Smith, an Idaho Falls lawyer and announced primary opponent to Second Congressional District Republican Mike Simpson, is still making his moves.

    Smith came out early in his bid to defeat Simpson, a Blackfoot dentist who first won his congressional seat in 1998 against Democrat Richard Stallings. Simpson now lives in Idaho Falls when hes not in Washington, D.C. Last week Smith declared that he had raised $147,000 in one month. Not bad for a rookie.

    However, Simpsons camp announced he had se-cured $300,000 in campaign contributions between April and June.

    This week Smith has come out thumping his chest that he had secured the endorsement of a po-litical action group called Club for Growth. Smith painted the endorsement as a real feather in the cap of his conservative credentials.

    Actually what Smith received from Club for Growth was more than an endorsement. The Wash-ington, D.C., group has stated it recruited Smith to run against Simpson and we can assume that along with that recruitment came a promise of money big money.

    The Club for Growth said recruitment of Smith shows how the Club for Growth PAC, for the first time in history, used the internet to solicit a viable primary challenger to an incumbent member of Congress.

    But this group of conservatives with deep wallets has used its resources before to help bring victory to Republican candidates it deemed worthy of sup-port. One of them was Bill Sali of Idaho in his first bid for a First District Congressional seat in 2006. Club for Growth pumped $1.1 million into Salis run and he won a six-way bid for the GOP candidacy before winning the general election.

    Sali became such a loose cannon in Washington during that one term that Idahoans gave him the boot in favor of Democrat Walt Minnick in 2008.

    So if Sali is any indication of the quality of can-didates that Club for Growth recruits or supports, Idahoans should be a little wary of the hugs Smith is receiving.

    Then there is the rhetoric piling up against Mike Simpson. Smiths camp and camp counselors in the Club for Growth have labeled Simpson a RINO Republican in Name Only. They have lumped Simpson in with others carrying the label Crazy Liberal.

    What has Simpson done to deserve these shots from right field?

    After all, Simpsons conservative Republican pedigree is pretty solid.

    A news release from Simpson this week reminds voters that he has an A-plus rating with the NRA, a 100 percent rating with National Right to Life, and annual recognition from the American Conserva-tive Union.

    Simpson has also led efforts to cut funding for the EPA, delisting of wolves as protected, and fought Obamacare. He also pushed for a balanced budget amendment and lower taxes.

    As a backwoods Idahoan might say, He dont sound like no liberal to me.

    Members of the Journal Editorial Board have met with Simpson several times over the past few years to discuss politics and his views on solutions. Not once has he struck us as being a liberal. How-ever, he has struck us as being a problem-solver and someone who refused to close his mind in the quest for a solution.

    This tendency to look for a way to solve national problems has drawn right-wing critics. They point to Simpsons leadership in the Go Big Coalition, a bipartisan group of about 100 lawmakers who maintain a long-term solution to the nations debt and deficit woes involves both spending cuts and tax increases. Club for Growth members believe that approach is wrong.

    They feel the only way to make the government work for us is to break its back and theyll snap the spines of a few Republicans like Simpson if thats what it takes.

    Simpson is no RINO

    ThAnks To librAry personnel Im not disabled as you are (letter from Lisa Hor-ton, June 30), but I have a heart problem and am out of breath a lot of the time, and Im only 89. Those ladies and gentle-men who work at the li-brary are just wonderful to me. They offer to pick out my books while I sit down if I want them to. They carry them out to the car and open doors for me.

    Im sorry I didnt write a letter thanking them a long time ago. Donna Grooms, Pocatello

    peTs in sTores

    I am writing in response to Marie Govan Pets in Stores letter. Bravo to her! I am a local dog trainer who receives at least one call each week about people wanting me to certify, reg-ister or document that their little doggies are service dogs. I could certainly tell them if their dog is appro-priate to be a service dog, but if the dog has never had any formal training, the answer would probably be no! Dogs posing as service dogs have an owner that is breaking the law. There

    are some service dogs in this area that have been trained, that behave in public, help their disabled owner, are fine around other dogs and appear to be well-cared for. Then there are others that have little or no training, walk on a leash way too long, dont appear to be well-cared for, many are overweight and have never been brushed or had their nails done. If you want your doggie to be a service dog for you, at least do some training to make sure they are, or will be, with some training, an appropriate one. Jane Guidinger, Pocatello

    Planned power-line route is a problemAn unknown num-ber of unfortu-nate Idaho farm and ranch families are about to learn the meaning of the phrase Step back and let the big dogs eat. Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power are preparing to create a right-of-way across southern Idaho to ac-commodate a massive power trans-mission corridor called Gateway West. We all need power and infrastruc-ture upgrades are necessary. Howev-er, the proposed route of this 250-foot wide, 990 mile-long project will come at a significant cost to many land-owners. Over 700 miles of the project is slated to cross private land. In spite of the fact that 63 percent of Idaho is controlled by the federal government and ample amounts of that public land are available for this and projects like it, the utilities are planning on taking the path of least resistance in other words, private land. The cheapest, easiest, most efficient route provides the utility companies and their shareholders with the optimum return on their investment. Its much easier for the utility com-panies in the process of purchasing a right of way to insist on confidential negotiations with single landowners and bully them with the threat of eminent domain than it is to deal with the federal government and all its encumbrances, not the least of which is the Endangered Species Act. Its much easier to cross flat farm-land that somebody else already went to the trouble of clearing and leveling than it is to find a way through the foothills and sagebrush. Its much easier to engineer and build roads to haul towers and con-struction materials and set up large areas for stretching cable on a farm. All of these things may make it easier, but none make it right. According to the American Farm-land Trust, Idaho lost 32 million acres of crop and pasture land be-tween 1997 and 2007. How will this project contribute to this disturbing trend? Agriculture is a significant contributor to our states economy. Gateway West will be a severe detriment to private land in

    Bannock, Power, Cassia, Twin Falls and Owyhee counties. Agriculture is an important sector of the economy in all these counties in terms of both job creation and revenue generated. A power line should not be made a higher priority than agriculture. In a recent interview, a Rocky Mountain Power

    spokesman said they will only negoti-ate with landowners on an individual basis. The same spokesman said they dont know how many landowners are affected. Idaho Power deferred questions to Rocky Mountain Power. These responses provide some evi-dence of things likely to come. First, not knowing how many landowners are involved, or at least not being willing to disclose the information is a red flag. The process of negotiating the purchase of a right of way across 700 miles of private land with possibly hundreds of different landowners is a daunting task. There are dozens of things to consider and each property will be different. Things such as how much crop land will be disturbed and for how long, values of various crops, yield loss, irrigation refits, cost of access for future maintenance of the power line and many more. From the power companies perspective, it will be much easier if the landown-ers up and down the line cant share information. Landowners in the path of this project have a lot at stake and should be compensated fairly. Second, were puzzled why Rocky Mountain Power is speaking for Ida-ho Power, when the majority of the project is in Idaho Powers service area? When we asked that question, we didnt get a straight answer an-other red flag. A BLM official has acknowledged that high-voltage transmission lines are likely to create mechanical and electronic interference with irriga-tion equipment and GPS units used to guide tractors and other farm equipment. This is a serious problem with unknown implications and yet another very good reason to move this project away from farms. Its close to impossible to calculate the loss to a farm operation that no lon-ger has reliable irrigation or GPS.

    Will stray voltage make farm equip-ment inaccurate? Can farmers expect constant in-terruptions or inadvertent interrup-tions? Our fear is that once the line is in place, no one is going to care about the effects of stray voltage on farms except the farmers who are forced to deal with it. Sage grouse and the Endangered Species Act are a big part of the reason private landowners are being forced to bear the cost of this project. This nonsensical scenario reminds us of another bird. The actions taken by the federal government to protect the spotted owl resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs in Idaho, Oregon and Wash-ington. Sage grouse are a major hurdle in the path of the project. But we dont believe its the sole responsibility of private landowners to bear that burden. We dont want this project to usher these desert birds toward their demise, but we believe a greater pub-lic good comes from the production of food, the revenue it creates and the families it supports. We can anticipate the power com-panies response to moving their lines away from private land will be that power rates will increase. We also know that with or without this project, power rates are going to in-crease anyway. A lot remains unknown about this project and the future, but one thing we are certain of is that the power companies are going to continue to be profitable. If rates increase, the cost of food production follows and those costs will be passed along to consumers. We urge all Idaho farmers, ranch-ers and landowners to rally toward this cause. If this project is allowed to move forward as planned it will set a dangerous precedent for private landowners all across our state. Frank Priestley of Franklin County is president of the Idaho Farm Bu-reau.

    leTTersn Letters must include the writers name, address and phone number for verification. Limit letters to 300 words or less. All letters are subject to editing and the Journal reserves the right to publish/not publish submissions.

    n Send letters to Editor Ian H. Fennell at 305 S. Arthur, Pocatello, ID 83204 or [email protected] Letters can also be dropped off at the Journals office or faxed, (208) 233-8007.


    What do you think?To comment on this column, visit

    our Politics Blog our Politics Blog



    Serving southeast Idaho since 1892



    Ian Fennell

    Managing editor

    lyle Olson,

    Editorial writer

    Mike Odonnell

    Assistant managing editor

    the editorials on this page are written by Journal Editor Ian H. Fennell, assistant Editor Michael H. O'donnell and former Journal Editor lyle Olson. Helping us to develop ideas for the editorials is an advisory board consisting of Journal Publisher andy Pennington and community members dick Sagness, Marjanna Hulet, Karen Johnston, Evan Frasure, Randy Spencer, tim Forhan and dan Cravens.

    y o u r l e t t e r sy o u r l e t t e r s

    To comment on this editorial and to read other comments, see idahostatejournal.com.

    Have your sayidahostatejournal.com

  • isj forumforumA6 TuESDAY, fEBruArY 12, 2013 IDAho STATE JournAl

    doonesbury BY GArrY TruDEAu mAllArd fillmore BY BrucE TInSlEY

    Americas first Independence Day came on July 4, 1776, two days after the Continen-tal Congress approved severing ties with Great Britain. It came when that same congress adopted the Declaration of Independence written mostly by Thomas Jefferson.

    The document listed all the transgressions of liberty perpetrated by the King of England and his minions, but the most memorable part of that dec-laration is:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    July Fourth celebrations became commonplace throughout the nation from that point forward, but it wasnt until 1941 the same year the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor that it became a federal holiday.

    It was 1863 when Idaho officially became part of the Union, achieving territorial status upon the sig-nature of President Abraham Lincoln. It would not become a state until 1890.

    This year Idaho is celebrating the 150th anniver-sary of achieving territorial status.

    In the Pocatello area, it is also the 50th anniver-sary of the dedication of the Fort Hall Replica at Ross Park. July 4, 2013, has additional significance statewide and particularly in Southeast Idaho. It is why additional efforts were made to reach out to all potential participants in a celebration to mark this milestone.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was no exception.

    Mormons have their own history of celebrating each July. It was July 24, 1847, when members of that faith, led by Brigham Young, first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Those pioneers eventually expanded in numbers and began to settle the south-east corner of Idaho. LDS Church members have celebrated July 24 as Pioneer Day for decades, especially in Utah and this part of the Gem State.

    This year will be different in Pocatello and Chub-buck. Stake presidents representing LDS member-ship in the two communities have decided to join the Fourth of July festivities and parade in Pocatel-lo. The collective energies of government groups, civic organizations and religious entities are set to come together to make this July Fourth a memo-rable one. The suspension of the traditional Pioneer Day celebration in Pocatello has drawn some criti-cism from both Mormons and non-Mormons alike.

    The most vocal complaints have come from people who are not members of the LDS Church. They say they fear the church will take over July Fourth and turn a secular holiday into one with un-welcome religious themes.

    Opponents have been critical of Pocatellos city leadership for fostering this melding of Indepen-dence Day and Pioneer Day. They want an opportu-nity to express their views in a public forum.

    We see nothing wrong with Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad and Chubbuck Mayor Steve England granting this audience. It might be a good time to explain the significance of the sesquicenten-nial and the benefits of focusing the energy of both communities on a single summer event perhaps permanently. Time at Mayor Blads Feb. 25 Town Hall meeting could be set aside specifically for this discussion. Pocatello has a history of diversity in its population. Because it was born with the railroad, it became a melting pot for many ethnic groups and races Greeks, Chinese, Europeans and African-Americans.

    The land where the city exists was part of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and was home to the Shoshone-Bannocks. Mormons joined the mix.

    The LDS population in Pocatello/Chubbuck is now close to 50 percent and moving their energy to support a single July Fourth celebration should be seen as a welcomed concession, not as a threat.

    Perhaps together we can celebrate Jeffersons declaration that we are all equal and pursue happi-ness as a unified community.

    July Fourth can bring us together


    Serving southeast Idaho since 1892

    Editorial boardian FennellManaging editorlyle olson, Editorial writer

    Mike odonnell, Assistant managing editor

    the idaho State Journal has an editorial board that decides the newspapers editorial stance. Members of the Journals staff are also free to participate in the boards weekly meetings.

    Politics My previous correspon-dence to the Idaho State Journal has normally con-cerned boxing, but during the last year I am so fed up with politics on both the state and national scene that I have had an overwhelming urge to voice my opinion. I have been in this world almost 80 years, grew up during World War II, served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict and I am very patriotic towards my country. I had two presidents while serving in the military, Truman, a Democrat, and Eisenhower, a Republican, and as my commander-in-chief had the utmost respect for both of them. Since that time I have seen a lot of changes take place and dont like the di-rection we seem to be going. Since the last Obama/Rom-ney election there has been a major change in attitudes. In watching the news, reading the newspapers and talking to people, I can see so much hatred out there. There have always been disagreements and disputes among Democrats and Re-publicans, but never with so much hate. For one, when reading articles written by columnist Richard Larsen, he has so much hate for Obama and the Democrats I can almost feel the daggers

    jumping out in my face. He is not the only one, as I have seen many more just like him, both Democrats and Republicans. These people need to take a good look at themselves because there is only a fine line between them and our former ex-tremists from up north. Our elected officials are so engrossed in their party, they forget that they are there to represent the people and what is best for the state or country. What-ever one party proposes the other fights, so little gets accomplished. A prime ex-ample in Idaho is the Luna Laws. This bill was pushed through by the Republicans with little regard to what the people wanted and later re-jected unanimously by both Democrat and Republican citizens alike. Gun control, if these same proposals were made by a

    Republican president, then it would be the Democrats making all the fuss. This is just turning into another political issue. All of our elected repre-sentatives and hard-core party members need to remember we are AMERI-CANS first and then Demo-crats and Republicans. Until then, our country will con-tinue to decline. We cant let that happen. We need to work together and get the USA back on track and continue to be the greatest country in the world. It is going to be up to our elected officials as to which way we go. Jack Woods, Pocatello

    2nd Amendment We do not have a well-regulated militia as is stated in the Second Amend-ment. Consequently, we must not consider it neces-sary to the security of our free state. We had the National Guard for local military duties before they were shipped off to Iraq. Their guns were supplied by the U.S. government. If we were invaded by foreign forces, we now have the U.S. Army, as well as the Navy and the Air Force. We did not have them in 1776, or whenever the Constitution was written. So, it looks to me like the

    Second Amendment to the Constitution is moot! Thus, we no longer NEED the un-restricted right to keep and bear arms. Further point, we do not need the National Rifle As-sociation to worry about that obsolescent right to keep and bear arms! We have the citizens right to own a car, a fishing pole, a lawn mower and all sorts of things that make life worth-while. There is no reason why we cant also own a rifle or a pistol. They are also tools. The various governments have the duty and the re-sponsibility to protect us from various dangers or be-havior. They can set controls on things like medicines, cosmetics, various types of machinery, cars, etc. You know the facts as well as I do. Therefore, it is not unrea-sonable to expect that the governments of our states and of our nation can set limits on guns as well. It seems to me, then, that if some types of guns are re-ally not suited nor intended for civilian usage, that our governments can rule them to be illegal. Sounds simple to me. Gosh, what will the National Rifle Association do with all those millions of dollars that they have? Jack Contor, Pocatello

    History repeats itself on ed billsWhile it seems that time is flying by so quickly, we were sud-denly taken back two years when the pieces of legislation presented to resurrect Propo-sition One were all pulled from committee last week for rewriting. It feels like dj vu from the 2011 session when the hastily written school reform bills were removed from committee when there were not enough votes to pass. They were then tweaked and tweaked until enough legislators could be convinced to vote yes on them. They say history repeats itself, but, my gosh, it should take more than two years. While I am sure these bills will be back, it would be so nice to wait un-til the focus group completed their work before attempting to take us down that dark roadway again. Speaking of education, a recent bill was presented for printing that would require all high school gradu-ates to read an obscure book at least one that I havent read prior to graduation. This was an action to let the State

    Board of Education, which recently removed the requirement of on-line instruction, know that the Legislature was more powerful. Such should not be the case and this bill will probably not be heard in committee, just some grandstand-ing.

    Some good news from Fish and Game as a bill is moving through quite handily to allow the sale of a three-year license for hunting and fishing. This will be beneficial to many and may save some trips to the vendors. However, you would still need to purchase your individual tags for each year. Maybe someday these tags will be available over the inter-net. Hint, Hint to the F&G!! The Statewide Health Exchange has passed the Commerce commit-tee in the Senate and will be coming up on the Senate floor sometime this next week. The vote was 8-1, yet, there will probably be a lot of debate on the floor. The state-controlled exchange is in Idahos best interest. This was emphasized in a presen-tation with director Deal of the De-

    partment of Insurance and was the recommendation of the task force that met this summer. Additionally, Gov. Butch Otter has placed his full support behind establishing this state-controlled exchange. This is good for Idaho and, in fact, even without the re-quirement of the Affordable Care Act, an exchange would be benefi-cial to Idahoans. During the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of meeting with people from Pocatello: citizens, chamber members, county and city officials and these visits have made my week. I enjoy visiting with folks from home and am excited to share my day with them. If you travel to Boise, please stop in to visit with me Room WG-12. I also enjoy phone calls and e-mails at [email protected], or 208 332 1406. This article was written by state Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello.

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