I submitted the following letter to Senators Crapo and Risch:
I am writing to urge you not to use the fact that ex-president Trump is no longer in office as an excuse to vote against conviction in his impeachment trial. Doing so will send a message to future presidents that their actions will not be held accountable as long as they can delay judgment until they are out of office. I’d like you to reflect on your worst fear of what president Biden or a future president Harris might do in their last days in office if they knew they would not be held accountable. Before you cast your vote, consider Hosea 8:7.
Rick Simon, Boise
Senators Crapo and Risch, this letter is addressed to you. We have now seen the madness and the violence toward police officers that occurred on January 6 when the violent mob attacked the US Capitol. You have already cast votes declaring that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional.
There is no doubt in my mind that you will vote to acquit the former president. But this trial has now shown all Americans, and anyone around the globe paying attention, that this breach of the Capitol was a criminal act. And that it WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED AT ALL if Donald Trump had not whipped this gathering of rioters into a frenzy all based on a filthy lie about a supposedly stolen election.
We will remember your cowardice and willful disbelief of overwhelming evidence. History will remember it as well. You have failed in one of the most consequential acts of your term. And you will likely be re-elected for this support of insurrection against the United States. You have once again fallen to your knees in fealty to a corrupt and morally bankrupt mob boss. We know this despite all of your future efforts to rationalize this despicable action.
John Lodal, Boise
I have a question of grave concern for America's churches: Exactly WHO is their God? Put another way, from whence come the orders that, generally, people of faith follow so obediently today?
Centuries ago, their forefathers traversed dangerously wild oceans to escape political and religious tyrannies, seeking a land where they might be free to make unhampered life choices, as guided solely by their personal consciences.
Fast forward to 2020-2021. In stark contrast, what is it that dictates to believers now?? In large measure, it's the likes of Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci et al, fully enabled and backed up by equally power-hungry politicians and media moguls. Shamefully, pitifully, even tragically, these do seem to be the current gods of power and control over our people.
And with the vast majority of our churches being professedly Christian?? How is it that they've forgotten the words of their Founder Who declared of them, "Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt itself loses its savor, with what shall it be salted? It is good for naught but to be cast out and trodden under foot by men." (Mt. 5:13)
Harsh and searing words indeed, but it wasn't I who spoke them. High time to rise up, Christians, and spring the trap that's been so cunningly laid for you, lest it soon become too late forever. Truth be known, our entire world seems to be waiting for you to re-grow a spine, and show the way back to some true faith and freedom!
Carol Asher, Kamiah
It is becoming very clear that not only is the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump constitutional, it is actionable. The only reason the Senate trial is taking place AFTER Donald Trump is out of office is because Mitch McConnell delayed the process. Precedence has been shown that Donald Trump can be indicted after he is out of office.
Watching his rallies where he incites angry mobs of supporters, it was no surprise that his last rally would result in a call for violence - by him. Donald Trump watched while the Capitol siege occurred, people were killed, property destroyed, and only for the luck of timing that VP Pence and SOH Nancy Pelosi were not captured, attacked, and killed. Think very carefully about that.
Think about your choice in this trial. You can either let Donald Trump off from inciting an insurrection and causing people to be killed, then watch the GOP party be destroyed by him, or you can vote to convict Donald Trump of the charges and help the GOP party retain some semblance of honor to the constitution and the American people.
God and the American people will remember your choice.
Jennifer Pedrali, Meridian
The most expensive part of Mass Transit is the human payroll once day-to-day operations begins. The best way around this is to not co-mingle mass transit with personal transportation. Treasure Valley has unlimited concrete, lots of electricity. A raised monorail is known technology, concrete doesn’t age much here and the and can be built in a modular way without interruption to normal current transportation. Using regional colleges and universities we can allow for design competitions that don’t have to go to extremes. We would be able to grow students with internships and high skill exposure, top grading our Treasure Valley without imports. Monorails can be configured to operate with minimal human funding, interactions, and error. Using large looping routes above the valley floor we would be able to expand beyond the arteries and create new city centers without the oppressive congestion. They can be built nearly entirely of concrete, built in a modular fashion, relatively immune to all weather, completely clean, virtually no noise to disrupt life or wildlife and we don’t have to fund tearing up what we already have. Built above the valley floor won’t create boundaries between communities or neighborhoods. This place is so beautiful, let’s not wreck what we have to build something that needs to be so big to work to cover a whole valley.
Chris Rowell, Boise
Continued bias from the Idaho press. It seems every month or so the Press tries to defend the accusations of bias. Here is another prime example of why readers are sure that bias exists. In an AP article in the 2/10 paper regarding the Trump impeachment trial, the paper used a quote from President Trumps' speech to his supporters "to fight like hell" against his reelection defeat. They conveniently left out the part of his speech where he told his supporters to "go to the capital and protest "PEACEFULLY AND PATRIOTICALLY". Words matter and the Press seems to always select the words that will be the most beneficial to Democrats and their voters and omit those that would benefit Republicans and their voters. If the Press is truly concerned about their appearance of bias, they should take a poll of their audience to see what their opinion is. I'm relatively sure you get more complaints for conservatives about bias than you do liberals. Everyone knows the AP picks up stories from across the country and inevitably the Idaho Press picks a story from some paper that is negative to Trump and his supporters. There must be some positive stories about Republicans out there even if most of journalists are biased against them. Find one that presents both political views if you are not biased. It is quite obvious that like most of the mainstream media, the Idaho Press is a left leaning news organization, however being in a conservative State you would think they would at least try to be fair and unbiased. Not the case. I would suggest you revisit you choice of Editorial board members and try to find more balance. Or you can just continue to explain away your bias. My subscription hangs in the balance.
Fred Helm, Meridian
This last year, healthcare providers have turned to telehealth as a solution to reach patients for healthcare needs. Sadly, telehealth isn’t much of a solution to rural communities lacking access to broadband internet. The need for immediate action is evident, particularly as rural Idaho becomes increasingly reliant on internet-based technologies.
When communities don’t have broadband access, local healthcare providers are at a disadvantage. That’s why rural Idaho needs an enhanced broadband infrastructure. Happily, fiber-optics provide the answer.
Fiber-optics use small glass fibers that transmit data using pulses of light. Because these cables are typically buried in the ground, this helps to preserve the beauty of our great state. More importantly, by implementing broadband internet in this manner, Idaho will be less reliant on technologies that use electromagnetic radiation. As a medical provider, I can tell you that’s a good thing.
To help rural Idaho, a group of community leaders have joined together in an effort called Imagine Idaho. The coalition is committed to serving rural Idaho by promoting state policy favoring communities needing broadband and securing significant federal funding to deploy broadband communications infrastructure in a pro-competitive way.
Idaho’s rural internet divide is real and when telehealth has been offered as a way to improve access to healthcare, it can only work if healthcare providers and patients have access to a reliable broadband internet connection. The opportunity to have access not only to healthcare, but to live, learn and work anywhere should be available to all in the Gem State. Increasing broadband access to rural areas will help improve the quality of life of all Idahoans.
Joseph Petrie, Challis
It is amusing to see people without masks shopping in our stores. I get they are expressing their constitutional rights. But what I wonder is what happens when the pandemic is over and they did not get Covid 19.
Will they proudly crow that they were right and we who wore masks were wrong, that masks were not really needed?
I hope not. Because as I see it, they should be thanking us for protecting them from Covid 19 by wearing our masks. All they proved was that they owe us big time. But we will want them to know that those of us who wore our masks were happy to have made it possible for them to get through this pandemic unscathed. You are welcome.
Dick Larsen, Meridian
Congressman Simpson has served up a, comprehensive regional enhancement plan that will provide much-needed infrastructure upgrades while adding the benefits of healthy, sustainable salmon runs back into our lives. The plan is additive: Restoration of the lower Snake River and its unmatched salmon runs will restore cultures, traditions, livelihoods, and spiritual health that only salmon can deliver, while rejuvenating and invigorating communities throughout the basin. It will be successful because it meets the socioeconomic needs of the people and the biological needs of the fish; “They need a river”. The alternative is a disgraceful legacy and an unjust, impoverished sentence for future generations.
To the science deniers and dam-removal doubters, I offer this: the five federal “salmon recovery” plans, soon to be six, have been rejected because they didn’t recommend the only scientifically supported action to restore our runs, removal of the four lower Snake River dams. Salmon and steelhead populations in rivers above two, three, or four dams are viable; ours are not- same ocean. There have been 1,500 dam removal projects in this country, three in Idaho; every one of them has been ecologically, culturally, and economically successful. We would do well to support Congressman Simpson’s bold plan.
David Cannamela, Boise
Many school Districts, property taxpayers, and wannabe legislators have asked for several years for the word "schools" to be added to the assessments in our fast growing out of control influx of people from other states to help pay for infrastructure. Not all of them are rich, old and past child bearing age.
It is past time to "add the words"-- schools-- to the State Code concerning impact fees.
Hubert Osborne, Nampa
DMV suggestion to use the old Kmart building on Cleveland in Caldwell. This would take care of plenty of parking space for all types of vehicles (RV's, trailers etc.) lots of office space and more for immigrants that's setting vacant or even voter information. Lets use some of the space vacant for good use again. There are lots of opportunities around us.
Chris Kiselich, Caldwell
I would like to thank Governor DoLittle for what has to be one of the worst vaccine rollouts in history. What we needed was a single portal site, with all vaccine providers listed, times available, appointments clearly listed, wait lists established. In a workable, clear website that could be navigated easily. What we got was a hot mess. I have had to navigate web sites of: St. Al's, St. Lukes, Walmart, CVS, Primary Health, CDC, Health Department, Albertson's, Fred Meyer, Crush the Curve (which for some reason isn't a site because their web page is pretty decent). None of which are remotely the same. The governor knew we would have a vaccine, I don't understand why he couldn't get his act together to make a user friendly single port website so that citizens could get a simple appointment for a vaccine. We have people getting so competitive that they're jumping the line. So, again. Thank you Governor DoLittle. Next time hire the tech crew from any STEM high school. This was an unnecessary frustration in a very frustrating time.
Fran Ciarlo, Boise
My community needs Planned Parenthood. Idaho House Bill 17, a.k.a. the Defund Planned Parenthood bill, would be incredibly harmful for constituents who most need the services that PP provides. Groups facing discrimination, including the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, people with disabilities, and women, are more likely to have low incomes and use programs like Medicaid. Blocking access to Planned Parenthood can make it impossible for people who already face unequal and unfair treatment to access the care they need.
The idea of eliminating healthcare services like cancer screenings, wellness exams, birth control, and STD testing and treatment would create a more unsafe and unjust Idaho. In other states that have blocked access to care at Planned Parenthood, the results have been devastating—including an HIV outbreak so severe it was declared a public health emergency in an Indiana county whose Planned Parenthood was forced to close after funding cuts.
My loved ones and my community need Planned Parenthood’s services. I urge Chairman Crane to NOT hear this harmful legislation, and show that he supports ALL of his constituents in doing so.
Sam Gilbert, Boise
Which Republican Senator has an approval rating of 84% in the state he allegedly represents? Which Republican Senator has stated that it is constitutional to try a private citizen on impeachment charges and actually voting to impeachment a President? Which Republican Senator has stated that there is no evidence of corruption of Hunter or Joe Biden in their Burisma connection and the pay-to-play scheme with Ukrainian? Which Republican Senator is more pro-abortion than Ted Kennedy? Which Republican Senator supports crony-capitalism? Which Republican Senator supports gun control? Which Republican Senator votes against the citizens of his "RED" State? Which Republican Senator received praises and special recognition from Joe Biden stating he has enormous integrity but earlier stating he will put people ‘back in chains’? Which Republican Senator says impeaching a President will bring unity back to the country? The Answers. The 84% approval level comes from the Democrats in Utah as Romney wears and displays continuously the blue democrat color proudly. Liberal law professors, Turley and Dershowitz says it is unconstitutionally to try a private citizen on impeachment charges. So Mr. Romney is now a constitution law professor? If Congress can impeach private citizens as Romney says it can, the first one that comes to mind with absolute evidence is Mr. Obama for treasonous act. 1). Paid 1.7 Billion of tax dollars and in secret to a regime chanting "Death To America - Iran, 2). Spied on citizens and a sitting President where plans were drawn up in the basement of the White House with Biden, Clinton, Brennan, Rice present. 3). Trying to take out the Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel by using $350,000 in taxpayer dollars. The unity Mr. Romney calls for is conformity to the media and Democrats. Beware of conniving men in fake sheep's clothing. Caveat emptor!
Galen Kidd, Boise
Recently, in a letter to the editor, Ms. Regina Seward of, Coeur d’ Alene told us we were thinking about ourselves when it came to thinking about legalizing marijuana.
I am not sure if her statement was based on scientific facts, and she really knows what she is talking about regarding legalizing the “new marijuana”.
If she did her due diligence, and knew the facts about legalizing it she may have a different opinion.
Idaho is surrounded by states that have legalized it. Initially, they have made some tax money, but if she talked to the states that have their citizens getting stoned, the honest ones who have witnessed their children missing school, and the growth of crime they might have a different opinion.
Drug free Idaho, where I am on the committee, has made a film showing how it destroys those states. The wealthy marijuana lobbyist have stated how safe the drug is. What they don’t realize is how the “jungle chemists” have made the new potency climb to 80% more potent than it was in the hippie days. Like more serious drugs, the new pot can cause irreversible damage to the brain such as schizophrenia.
When we had a Drug Free Idaho meeting, where 400 families attended at the Egyptian theatre, an ER Doctor told the audience an boy came in overdosing on an unknown drug. He didn’t make it, and when they went through his pockets they found a marijuana cookie wrapper, and on the instructions it said to only eat 1/8 of the cookie. He ate the whole cookie and died.
First the lobbyist try and legalize medical use, and then it goes to recreational.
It is a path for disaster especially for the young.
Beware Idaho families.
Dave Silva, Boise
Editor's note: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been no reported deaths resulting solely from marijuana/cannabis use.
Considering the COVID-19 response and vaccination preparedness on the part of our state and federal elected officials, and the willingness of them to place blind party loyalty over science and truth, to largely remain silent about the fact of the election, (Trump lost) insurrection in our nation’s Capitol, we must face this- we elected them!
We all talk about needed change. How about this-DON’T RE-ELECT ANY OF THEM!
Insist on a term limit amendment.
Gary Van Hees, Letha
Representative Doug Okuniewicz (R), Haden proposes to double fees for out-of-state campers so Idahoans have a better chance of getting reservations in state park campgrounds. The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution may come into play here. That aside, the problem is about geography and population. People in Eastern Washington recreate in Northern Idaho because that’s where the best camping is. The same happens in the southern end of the state when Utah campers and swimmers flock to enjoy the beach at Idaho’s Bear Lake State Park. During busy summer days, the park often has to close access two or three times because parking lots are full.
Such a law, if it held up, would likely give Idahoans a better chance of getting a camping reservation. But it sidesteps the real problem. Idaho hasn’t opened a new camping park since 2003 when Castle Rocks State Park opened south of Albion.
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation has virtually quit promoting parks because there is little room for visitors during the summer season. In 2020, our state parks hosted more than seven and half million visitors, an all-time record. More than 647,000 of them were campers.
When Castle Rocks opened, there were 1.35 million people in Idaho. Today, the population is estimated to be 1.8 million. That’s a 33 percent increase in less than 20 years.
A 2016 economic impact study conducted by Boise State University showed that park visitors spent more than $127 million dollars per year, on which the state collected more than $14 million in taxes annually. Parks bring in much more money to the state of Idaho than they cost. Few state services can claim that. We need more Idaho state parks.
Rick Just, Boise
Time to gripe about a pet peeve in the area professional news-writers/producers: Bad grammar and lazy presentation.
Since reporters are presumed to be professional writers, one would assume they knew and could use reasonable grammar. That does not seem to be the case here. I'll grab one case in point, since it appeared in the Sunday (2/7) paper, and the article is written by an editor (presumably a higher-level writer than a reporter). First: "I will have gotten my first COVID-19 vaccine.'' Sorry folks, "have gotten" should never be used by a professional writer. "Have had", "Have received" would be fine.
Next, and arguably worse: "Me and the other hotline volunteers…". I realize that the sloppy and inappropriate "Me and" terminology is commonplace today. I submit that it should never, and I will emphasize never, be used in professional writing. "Hotline volunteers and I" or "The other hotline volunteers and I" would be proper.
The trend toward lazy and improper language does not stop with print. Locally, our TV newscasts all regularly try to dazzle the audience with video rather than the older style "talking head" story. That would be fine, except now we see the same 3 or 4 scenes from 3 to 5 times during a story. That's simply lazy.
Finally, starting several sentences, especially when answering an in-studio colleague's questions, with "So…." also demonstrates a lack of journalistic ability, and a bit of laziness in simply falling back to typical street-style.
I'll readily admit, I'm an older-coot. I worked in the broadcast media, wrote and produced news, features, programs, and commercials, albeit several decades ago. I am an avid fan of print news and local news. It's just a shame to see the profession cheapened by a lack of professionalism.
Alexis Rutter, Nampa
Millions of average, work-a-day Americans are about fed up with the mainstream media. They, and almost all newspapers, have become the news and no longer are just reporters of the news. Americans have had just about all they can handle of the double standard, disinformation, deliberate misinformation, provocations, half-truths and just plain lies we are being fed by left wing elites.
We want an accounting of problem elections, government that works for just a favored few and we want one that isn’t prejudiced from the get-go. What is going to happen? I don't know but I have a feeling it won't be boring. Just don't expect the mainstream "we hate Trump loyalists and Republicans" media to tell you much about it, not the real story anyway. They haven’t for 30 years. So, to the reader, I suggest you have to do your own research by reading a variety of sources and not just the ones who agree with you.
Jack Fuller, Nampa
Open letter to Idaho’s Congressional Delegation
As a life-long Republican (that is, until 2018), I am troubled by the deep partisan political divide in the U.S. I ponder with great concern and often, with downright disgust, the direction our republic is headed.
Former President Trump still insists that the 2020 election was rigged, stolen, and widely fraudulent even though 50 states certified their respective elector’s votes (after several re-counts in certain states)! Even more disturbing to me is that a large number of Congressional Republicans have been complicit with Trump’s non-stop “I won” proclamations post-election, even to this day. Is this the Republican party you want to lead? Do you really think it is okay to allow extremist groups to hijack the party? This is NOT the Republican party in which I and my mid-western kinfolk were raised.
On February 1, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to the nation: “Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican party and our Country”. His remarks were largely directed toward the radical, conspiracy-wielding freshman congresswoman from Georgia. However, McConnell’s words seem very fitting in describing the entire convoluted chain of events and public disinformation effort that began months before November 3; up to and including the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by violent, far-right-wing and white supremacist protesters--thanks to Trump’s “encouraging” remarks fueling and inciting rally goers.
I hope Senators vote their heart, based on facts presented, in the second impeachment trial of Trump, putting our nation first and foremost. The insurrection at the Capitol happened under his watch! If he is acquitted, when is there ever any accountability? Donald Trump’s coat tails are getting shorter and shorter. Anyone still hanging on to them should consider letting go!
Dan Pierce, Moscow
We are writing out of concern over the focus of the Idaho Legislature on vengeful actions, rather than the significant issues our state is facing. Last year Legislators focused on penalizing the populace of our great state for forcing the issue of Medicaid coverage. This year we are seeing a focus on penalizing our Governor for doing his job during the pandemic, and an on-going interest in polluting the Idaho Constitution with ridiculous preemptory limits to what citizens can put forward in an initiative. It all looks like a big power grab to us.
We do not always agree with Governor Little on everything, but we believe he has done an outstanding job of balancing the science with the voices of Idahoans in keeping COVID-19 from overwhelming our medical facilities and causing even more tragic death, disability, and economic distress. He has responded to each change with nuanced adjustments intended to keep a balance between unreasonable restriction and unnecessary viral spread.
We cannot see how shifting powers from the Governor to the legislature would allow for timely adjustments to help our economy, our healthcare infrastructure, or our populace. In fact, prioritizing $4 million dollars to fight self-imposed lawsuits, while diddling around with allocation of pandemic aid to people who desperately need it illustrates just how out of touch our lawmakers can be. We shudder to think of the damage the legislature could do if given the power to call themselves back into session. The sooner they go home the better!
We would ask that our legislators rethink their priorities and get busy doing the people’s work of addressing pandemic aid, economic health, infrastructure, education, and all the things that really matter.
George & Rhonda Wolfrum, Boise
Your reporter needs to inquire a little more deeply into Saint Alphonsus’ self-serving statements. He quoted Mark Snider as saying: “Saint Alphonsus will contact those whose appointments were canceled to reschedule.” I am one of the patients whose appointment was cancelled. When they called me to cancel, I was told that they would not call me to reschedule. Instead, they would send me an email informing me vaccine appointments were available again, but I would have to call them to reschedule. If you’ve tried to call Saint Alphonsus recently, you know it’s virtually impossible to reach them by phone. So, they call you to cancel, but they throw up a huge barrier to you rescheduling.
John Prusia, Nampa
A forgotten number of people in this the world are being shamefully neglected. They are those wishing to come to live in America and using the correct legal procedure to make that wish come true. They apply to the American Embassy for a visa.
When my wife and I emigrated to this country in 1957 there was a set procedure and rules which were utilized to facilitate our acceptance here. Those were: You must have a sponsor in the United States willing to sponsor you and be responsible for any bills you fail to pay in your first three years in America. Then the American Embassy in their home country sends a representative to the applicants' local police force to make sure that they have no criminal record and they also make contact with the local doctor to make sure they have had no infectious disease in the last three generations of their family. Then, and only then, are they granted a visa which allows them to emigrate, legally, into the United States. How frustrated do these people who have legally applied to come to live in America feel when they hear of and see on televisions hordes of people illegally entering the States. Then we add insult to injury to them when we legalize the people entering against the rules and, many times, add further financial burdens to the states which welcome them by utilizing the welfare system of that state.
Keith Briggs, Nampa