When the libertarian lobbyists The Idaho Freedom Foundation announced they would reopen their non-essential business against Governor Little’s Stay at Home order, the press release from President Wayne Hoffman read: “We have learned about social distancing and how to implement it…we will take special precautions to protect the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.”
Mr. Hoffman’s argument was: We are smart enough to do what we need to do to stop the spread of COVID-19, we don’t need government to tell us what to do.
Imagine my surprise then when the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s “Disobey Idaho” protest at the Capitol on Friday featured hundreds of “responsible” Idahoans, standing shoulder-to-shoulder without a single mask between them.
The protest at the capitol proved that the people demanding the Government reopen private enterprise have absolutely no desire or intention to protect those at risk of dying from COVID-19. I would not be surprised if there is a spike in cases in the next few weeks as those at the event get sick, and get others sick.
Ironically, their irresponsible actions will likely spread the contagion and may delay the state’s reopening.
Don’t be like Friday’s protesters: Stay home. Stay safe. And be smart when you go out in public. Wash your hands, wear a mask, protect others. If we all do this, we can reopen sooner, rather than later.
Lauren Ghazikhanian, Meridian
We all know of various effects climate has on our environment. Did you know it also effects our national security? Have you read the report published February 28, 2020: A Security Threat Assessment of Global Climate Change, a product of the National Security, Military and Intelligence Panel on Climate Change? The report identifies major threats, such as risks to U.S. military missions, infrastructure, and security institutions. You can find this online.
And the compelling documentary, The Burden, portrays in action, color, and with military officials and veterans, the impact that dependence on fossil fuels poses to immediate and long-term national security. (The trailer is available at www.amresproject.org/the-burden.)
As we quietly contemplate Earth Day 2020 in the midst of a pandemic that many say we were not prepared for, let’s consider this thought carefully—and how continued delay in climate action will have a dramatic effect on our national security.
A conservative bill is supported by conservatives through the Climate Leadership Council (at their online site, you can view The 12 Reasons a National Carbon Fee is the Most Cost-Effective, Environmentally-Ambitious & Politically-Viable Climate Solution and the interesting Frank Luntz poll). The bipartisan bill, H.R. 763, is supported through the bipartisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby. You can learn about these carbon dividend bills online through either one of these organizations.
Our Representatives need to hear from constituents that addressing climate change is important. And our Representatives can act by becoming another co-sponsor--or, in the case of our U.S. Senators, they can join Senators Rubio, Graham, Romney, and others on the Bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. The fees charged oil companies, to cover externalized costs that we all pay for, are disbursed as dividends to American families; create jobs; and includes carbon border adjustments.
Meanwhile, the clock tics…
Christine Sugg, Nampa
I think a little humor might help at this trying time. So I have come up with this idea of Toilet Paper Cuisine for those people that have gathered up all of the T.P. so that no one else can get any.
Recipe 1 – Toilet Paper Dumplings – Roll T.P into balls, dampen, roll into flour, drop into chicken broth recipe for dumplings. mmm good
Recipe 2 – Toilet Paper Pot Pie Crust – dampen T.P., roll out with rolling pin, put one T.P. crust on bottom of pie tin, fill with filling of choice, finish off with top crust.
Recipe 3 – Recipe for Pulled T.P. – Put T.P. into crockpot, shred, mix in barbecue sauce, put on sandwich rolls.
Thank you to all the doctors, nurses, first responders and health care workers putting themselves in harms way for all of us.
Harvey Brockett, Emmett
Have you no sense of decency, Mr. President? Inciting partisan upheaval during a national health crisis is your idea of leadership? At least step back for those who can do the job, who will place the common good above their self interests. Your early mentor, Roy Cohn, also advised Joe McCarthy. Please have the decency to review that page of history.
David Horsman, Meridian
I consider it a great privilege to call Dr. Kim Keller my friend. I write to wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy for Idaho State Representative, Legislative District 13, Position B.
We are living in historic times; times which require historic leadership. Over the past fifteen years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with Kim in many different volunteer settings. One common observation I have made during that time is that Dr. Keller has an uncommon ability to see past the fog and the irrelevant and to quickly identify not only the heart of a problem, but, invariably, a path toward its solution. He has a rare gift to lead by example, and to bring out the best in those around him. These attributes will serve him well in the legislature – and will bless the lives of all Idahoans.
If you are unfamiliar with Kim’s many accomplishments, and the many ways in which he has served our community, I would encourage you to visit his website. But, more importantly, I know him to be a keenly intelligent and unselfish leader of integrity and principle. To paraphrase words first used to describe another hero of mine, I would offer: “To those who suggest that one must compromise one’s values to succeed in the hard-nosed world of business – I commend the name of Dr. Kim Keller. To those who say that ‘connections’ are more important than commitment, I commend the name of Dr. Kim Keller. To those who say that they lack the time for family and profession and Church and community, I commend the name of Dr. Kim Keller.”
Please join with me in happily voting for Dr. Kim Keller, and don’t forget to visit IdahoVotes.gov to request your absentee ballot!
Aaron Seable, Nampa
To whom this may concern: I am writing to you to voice my support for Ben Adams as a local state representative. I have known Mr. Adams for a number of years, even attending college with him, and highly recommend him for this position! His love for God, passion for the military, and service to his community are some of his primary attributes. We need leaders like this in the Treasure Valley.
Ezra Byer, Nampa
How students learn has taken on new meaning as the coronavirus has forced Idaho to take school online. Today’s unexpected transition will inform decisions that need to be made before our kids head back to school next year.
Maybe, out of this devastating pandemic will emerge a school of thought around the delivery of learning. I hope to see an appreciation for all stakeholders in the education ecosystem, as well as a commitment to expand resources that help our kids succeed academically. Because I know the last ring of the school bell does not mean learning stops. It signals a change in location to a different building or--now--online.
Working parents are already attuned to the vital role of afterschool providers, but even more so now as many are juggling working from home along with their children’s remote learning requirements. Even before the pandemic, nationwide, 74% of parents said afterschool programs help them keep their jobs. Our work is more important now than ever.
In Idaho, afterschool professionals have been called on by our communities to engage in new ways, contribute expertise, and meet local needs. For example, not only are afterschool sites now operating as emergency food distribution sites and providing childcare for essential workers, but we are also offering virtual one-on-one tutoring and lessons for children now at home.
How can we best continue to use resources and implement innovative solutions going forward as we recover?
There is no question the role of afterschool providers in supporting parents, educators, and whole communities will be understood in new and meaningful ways. I encourage our policymakers to support the increased needs, including access to summer learning opportunities that afterschool programs provide, to ensure our youth can re-enter into school next year prepared for success.
Anna Beckman Almerico, Boise
As a long time subscriber to the Idaho Press, I now question my choice for a local paper. Your front page story on Apr.19,2020 “Few safety nets for undocumented Idahoans” left me gaping like a fish out of water. What happened to calling people what they are? ILLEGAL immigrants.
Why are so many people on welfare when they are capable of working?
Why are children of hard working Idahoans doing without the phones, cars, clothes, etc. that the “welfare” children have?
During these days of the Covid-19 pandemic with very high unemployment, businesses failing, and very few “safety nets” for legal Idahoans, have we all forgotten that we’re legal tax paying AMERICANS?
Does anyone else remember mortgage interest in the double digits? Massive foreclosures? Hunger?
We need to find a common purpose: preserving and protecting our democracy!
Sharon Comstock, Caldwell
Keller for Seat B
Thank you to Representative Gary Collins for representing District 13 so well and congratulations on the retirement. Now we need to decide who will step into that role and continue to represent District 13 and I believe Kim Keller is the best person for this. As I look at who to consider I want someone that is service oriented, has integrity, kind, a small business owner, and listens to people when they come to them with ideas or issues. Kim Keller is the right person to be our next District 13 Seat B State Representative.
We are facing challenges that we have not faced. There are 100,000 people out of work in Idaho. We need someone that understands what our small businesses are going through. Kim Keller is a small business owner and like everyone else trying to make sure that his staff is getting paid and that they can weather the storm. Kim cares about his employees and their families and it shows.
I want someone that follows the rules, not when it is just convenient, but all of the time. Nampa has a city ordinance that states campaign signs must not be in public right of ways (this includes putting them next to every stop sign at intersections) and if you put them on private property you need to get permission from the land owner.
Kim Keller is a Conservative Republican that was taught all throughout his life what the proper role of government is and that it is better closest to the people. He will work to get Idahoans back to work, protect the 2nd amendment, protect small business, lower taxes, and be smarter about education. He loves God, his family, Nampa, Idaho, and the country. Vote for a proven leader, vote Kim Keller.
Jay Madison, Nampa
I want to offer my support for those who insist they have the right to meet in public and to reopen nonessential facilities. I recognize the importance of all of our civil rights and, as many point out, those of us who disagree can just stay away from you.
In order to do this, are you willing to avoid those essential places that we must continue to frequent? Will you pledge NOT to visit grocery stores, drug stores, hospitals? Will you wear a sign saying “I could be positive for COVID-19” so I’ll know to stay away from you?
If you won’t do that, then you’re violating MY civil rights.
Rick Simon, Boise
COVID-19 is a health crisis that has turned into an economic crisis, too. Businesses are closing and millions are staying home. Americans are feeling unprecedented economic pain.
To help, Congress passed a relief package giving direct payments of $1,200 to most adults. The Senate, House, and Trump administration all supported cash payments. We’re encouraged to see the broad agreement that during a crisis, it helps to put cash in people’s pockets.
When Congress turns to climate change—another looming crisis—it should remember that direct payments are a simple, transparent, and fair way to support Americans when economic winds are shifting.
Climate change demands moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy. That major change should not be as acute as this one. Giving cash payments to Americans can ensure a healthy economy during the transition.
Here’s how: Congress puts a price on carbon pollution, driving us toward clean energy sources, and it rebates that money monthly as a payment, or “dividend,” to all Americans who decide how to spend it: on bills, groceries, an energy efficient car, etc.
This is especially important for low- and middle-income households, who might otherwise struggle with cost increases as we shift to a clean energy economy. When dividends are given to everyone, low- and middle-income Americans benefit dramatically.
Money in the hands of Americans keep our economy running. That’s why Congress and the President are using this tool in the current crisis. When we’ve dealt with COVID-19, let’s use that same tool to combat climate change.
Linda Rytterager, Boise
While Friday’s protestors outside the State Capitol have every right to protest, those who compare Governor Little to Hitler and call him Nazi are sadly lacking in historical facts.
I am 90+ and blessed with a good memory. I grew up with men who fought against Hitler’s army. The truth is:
Had the Nazis noticed your protest, you would either have been machine-gunned down or herded onto one of the trains you mention. You seem not to know who was on those trains.
Hitler was not out to disrupt small business, but about getting rid of Jews. My college friend Erica was Jewish, her father a doctor. Forced onto one of those trains along with her parents, Erica later watched them stripped of their clothing and forced into a gas chamber. Erica spoke seven languages. She lived because the Nazi’s could use her.
Hitler did not close schools and assign children to the safety of home. He took children from their homes and trained them in the Nazi Youth Movement, where they were taught to hate their parents and perform sadistic cruelties. A young man who grew up under the influence of NYM once offered to pull out all ten of my fingernails simply because I chose not to date him.
Governor Little has asked us to shelter in place, practice distancing, avoid gatherings and to shop only for what is needed, all for our own protection as well as to protect others. Hitler’s plan to do away with Jews and those opposed to his evil plans left people abandoning homes and businesses, and going into hiding to escape almost certain death.
Protest if you must but leave Hitler and his Nazis out of it because you know not what you are talking about.
Clara E. Watts, Nampa
In this time of COVID-19 and social distancing, I saw one person comment ,on social media,that this is a free country, and mandating distancing is like Nazi Germany. I saw this comment on Holocaust memorial day, which made it all of the more outrageous. Let me remind people that Nazi Germany didn’t murder 6 million Jews and millions of others, in order to keep them safe. How does this compare in any way, shape, or form? The recommendations from the CDC are to protect us all, especially the most vulnerable populations. You might not die from the virus, but your grandmother, aunt, immuno-compromised cousin may not be as lucky. Sure it’s hard. I understand that people are facing tough financial issues. This is a time when we need to come together as a country. We need to help those who are suffering from being out of work. Those of us who are doing ok, need to make sure that our neighbors are also. There are many ways to help out people in need. That’s what we need to do. Not protest in large groups, without social distancing, and endanger all who we may come in contact with. Wake up America!
Michal Voloshen, Boise