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Saving farmland

For the last several years, Ada Soil and Water Conservation District (Ada SWCD) has made farmland preservation a priority. We have been working hard to educate the public, create coalitions, and garner political support for a statewide Agricultural Preservation Fund. As more and more residents become concerned with the pace and manner of growth in the Treasure Valley, we have seen increased excitement and interest in saving farmland; over the last few months there have been articles, forums, and events dedicated to the topic of farmland preservation.

The preservation of agricultural and working lands is a complex and pressing issue facing the Treasure Valley and beyond. At Ada SWCD, we’ve been researching how farmland preservation works in other states and we have presented information about possible paths forward for Idaho to farmers, politicians, and the public. To continue this important conversation, Ada SWCD is hosting the forum “How Do We Save Farmland?” on April 21, 2020 in Caldwell, Idaho. Tickets and more information can be found on our website:

Glen Edwards, Nampa


Last week I was driving home from work at 130 am I made a right hand turn on to Midland, then into the Jacksons, behind me was a Police car, he came up to the car, and very nice asked did I know why he stopped me? i said yes, asked me for the usual then another officer pulled in and came to the window and said my plates did not match reg. then noticed i had the plates in the window. I told him i could not get the plates off to change them. they asked me for the plates. both of the officers changed them in the parking lot for me. they both were beyond great. I thank you both, Officer Krohn#316. and officerZodrow #361 you both were hero’s

Mary Ann Freeman, Nampa


House Bill 500 seeks to prevent transgender girls from participating in sports teams aligning with their gender identity. Many organizations including the Women Leaders in College Sports support inclusion of transgender girls in competitions. Despite many fears that transgender athletes might have an unfair advantage over their competition, these worries are grossly exaggerated. Even so, notable institutions like the Olympics have created policies that allow transgender athletes to compete in sports consistent with their gender identity.

Instead of protecting cisgender girls, HB500 bill seeks to further alienate transgender children seeking an environment of inclusion. The bill would mandate schools and coaches to “out” transgender children, potentially robbing them of this highly personal decision. Even more problematic is that this bill proposes to examine the “internal and external reproductive anatomy” of children, as well as examining their DNA and hormones. This vile violation of privacy would set a dangerous precedent that every Idahoan should be concerned about.

Studies have found the benefits of participating in sports teams: not only does it offer physical exercise, but it also can lead to better grades, higher self-esteem, and a sense of community. Transgender people are valid members of our community. Not only does this bill disrespect their gender identity, but it also demonizes them and suggests that they are unworthy of the benefits associated with athletics. Perhaps the House ought to focus on Title IX issues that are not only existent in our state, but pandemic, including unequal funding in sports and rampant assault on our campuses.

Elizabeth Berendts, Boise


I’ve just finished watching the Nevada Democratic debate. The part I liked best was recess. The candidates attacked each other like an angry pack of pit

bulldogs. If they will do this to their own party, just think what they will do to the Republicans to help reunite our very divided Country. Whatever happened to the word: nice?

In general, I’ve felt most Idaho politicians are fairly nice. In the news this week, we’ve learned one of our local politicians, Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb, will be retiring from her post this year. However, she plans to continue to move forward with the motto: “Disturb the Peace.” That doesn’t sound very uniting either. Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are the peacemakers,”? Do you suppose, with all the divisive anger, bitterness and hatred, that this just might be what is keeping our Country unblessed?

Curt Vieselmeyer, Boise

Big issues

I found the recent article about the upcoming levy vote for Caldwell rather interesting. Seems that the parents of possibly 600 students may pull their kids out of public school and enroll them in charter schools.You would think the district officials would see that Caldwell schools must have a serious problems and have come up with ways to rectify them.The only thing they can come up with is to increase the levy by 1.5 million dollars. As it is now 23% of my taxes go to the school district.Everyone is complaining about property taxes but you had better take a hard look where your taxes will be if you vote yes on this Levy. I do believe that we all need to support the schools. But sometimes one has to say enough is enough. Caldwell schools evidently have some very big issues that need to addressed

Lon Wolff, Caldwell

More normal

State Senator Steve Vick’s plan to put Boise on year round daylight savings time does not appeal to me. A better plan would be to put Southwest Idaho in the Pacific time zone where it belongs. Northern Idaho is Pacific time, and 50 miles south of Twin Falls is on Pacific time. Boise is the odd one out. This would make nighttime and daylight a bit more normal. It’s hard to go to sleep in mid summer when it’s still light outside.

Charles Gantner, Boise


For four years, I’ve been an educator with INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy and I have never been more optimistic about the future of education in Idaho. Families have a range of diverse options for quality education for their children and education is no longer one-size-fits-all. That’s why I am thankful for learning options and I’m celebrating Digital Learning Day this February 27. This is a day that celebrates the effective use of technology to improve learning experience in grades K-12 with high-quality instruction.

At INSPIRE, an online public school for students throughout Idaho, I’ve had the opportunity to help educate students from a variety of backgrounds and build relationships that led to motivated, independent and successful learners. One of my favorite aspects of INSPIRE is getting to interact with students with diverse experiences from all parts of Idaho. For example, I’ve helped students learn about heredity while they work to raise cattle on their parents’ ranch. Other times, I’ve scheduled one-on-one lessons with students while they were away at national gymnastics competitions. Instead of having to miss school, they could simply bring it with them. Throughout the years, I’ve heard numerous students say that INSPIRE helped build confidence in their education as they took ownership of their learning. Being able to choose a school that meets their specific needs is crucial to staying on track and reaching that goal of graduation!

I encourage you to learn more about the ways families are elevate the quality of education through digital learning by attending an information session. Please join me in celebrating digital learning in Idaho.

Sarah Burke, Boise

The deadline to submit any letters pertaining to the March 10 election is noon March 3. Letters submitted about the March 10 election after this deadline will not be published.

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