If there is something to learn from this coronavirus epidemic, it’s that dependable broadband communication is essential and required for many of the daily tasks of modern living, especially in education. High-quality internet access is lacking in rural regions across Idaho and without access to high-speed broadband at home, students and teachers are forced to find solutions to continue their education and complete assignments. Sadly, many families are forced to travel to libraries and school parking lots for a reliable connection to further their education.
With these barriers in mind, a group of community leaders have come together in an effort called Imagine Idaho, they are working to help underserved communities build reliable broadband infrastructure that will allow families to access high-speed internet from home. I applaud their efforts in working with elected officials and a number of Idaho organizations and community leaders to create broadband solutions for rural areas. We all must come together to address Idaho’s lack of broadband infrastructure, so a generation of children in underserved, rural communities won’t be left behind.
Malorie Pope, Twin Falls
Idaho has a long history of being a hardworking state that puts food on tables across the country. Besides potatoes, farmers in Idaho grow more hard white wheat than any other state, as well as huge portions of our supply of other fruits and vegetables, all parts of an industry worth more than $1 trillion nationally.
As a dairyman, I know the current H-2A visa program does little to help due to its narrow, seasonal definition of approved agriculture immigrant workers. Dairy is Idaho’s number one ag industry, representing $9.1 billion — one-third of the states agriculture economy. To staff that industry, 6,800 jobs are filled by immigrant workers. These workers help create 30,000+ additional support jobs that depend on the 15 billion pounds of milk supplied by foreign dairy workers.
Senators Crapo and Risch should work to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, previously passed by the U.S. House, to reform our work visa program and create a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented workers who are already contributing to our industry and economy.
Terry Jones, Emmett
Margery Taylor Green was stripped of her committee assignments in the House of Representatives Only ten Republicans voted to strip her of the assignments and our Representative Mike Simpson was not one of them.As a Republican, I am ashamed of his inaction. She has denied 911, said the fires in California were caused by the Governor of California and Jewish people.She said the US Speaker of the House of Representatives should be executed, she posed with her AR 15 and imposed photos of three democratic representatives, her colleagues, and said her gun is their worst nightmare.She took offense because two Muslim Representatives were not sworn in on the Bible- a Christian Book
She is a dangerous woman.She spews Q-Anon conspiracy theories, threatens people she doesn’t like, including her colleagues, she lies.Mike Simpson did not do his job.He did not vote to remove her from committees.Shame on Mike Simpson.
Jean Weingartner, Boise
Telehealth is a key method for patients to receive health care in their homes without spending time and money on traveling to the nearest healthcare facility. However, access to this technology is one of the biggest challenges providers face in offering telehealth services in rural towns. These areas lack internet access altogether or have low-bandwidth internet that can’t support video conferencing or downloading documents that are needed to successfully use telehealth resources.
To help areas receive needed broadband infrastructure not only for telehealth services but overall public well-being, Imagine Idaho, a coalition of Idaho community leaders and economic development groups are working to ensure state policy that favors communities in need of broadband. Also, to secure significant federal funding to deploy broadband infrastructure in a pro-competitive way. I hope everyone will reach out to Idaho’s state legislature members and urge them to bring more broadband to our state. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, telehealth offers patients safe and effective options in health care, and it’s time to bring reliable broadband to every Idahoan.
Marshall Hurst, Rigby
Representative Brent Crane somehow became chairman of the House State Affairs Committee this year. That perceived power has caused him to act very much like those we fear nationally. Nancy Pelosi comes to mind. Having heard all the horror stories from citizens and legislators I got an appointment and went to see for myself. I have never been treated so poorly. He used terms like teaching people lessons and says he is not responsible to the people of the State. Being challenging, demeaning and condescending is common practice. He has become the enforcer and moral authority in our State with unlimited power. He sponsors legislation benefiting himself yet he won’t allow the Two Billion Dollar Horse Industry to get a simple housekeeping bill introduced and the list goes on. A dictator in the making!
THIS IS IDAHO AND HE NEEDS TO GO!
Edward McNeils, Nampa
Every day United Way of Treasure Valley sees local people working together with locally created plans as a recipe for community success. That opportunity for success was taken from Idaho communities with the recent defeat of House Bill 266 (Preschool Development Grant) in the Idaho legislature.
When House Bill 266 was defeated it meant resources to help communities unite for success were gone. So who lost? Families with young children? Certainly. Our littlest learners? Without question. But there is more. Local non-profit organizations who provide high-quality early learning lost. Local businesses who rely on early care to help their employees remain employed lost. Community groups who were ready to help provide family support and literacy programs based on local needs and interests lost.
There is no prescription curriculum for this program. Just funds needed for local communities to accelerate early learning in a way that makes sense for their families.
Idaho can unite for success. Let’s tell our local Legislators to support local success by supporting early childhood education.
Nora Carpenter, Boise
I am writing to complain about an offensive cartoon in Sunday edition. I do not believe in banning the offensive material, but would have like for you not to put in edition of paper but a note that stated it can be seen on online version of the paper due to offensive nature of it. What I am objecting to is the Doonesbury cartoon in Sunday comics that compare 75 million voters to Nazis.. This is unacceptable in civil society. The editor that OKed the publication should be put on a non paid administrated leave for insensitivity to your readers. If this continues to call me hateful names because of who I voted for I will have to end my subscription to this normally fine paper. Do not ban Ideas but put them online with ability to observe if desired,not in publication that shows you support such hateful ideas that call people racist or worse Nazis.
John Brown, Eagle
CHEERS to Jim Jones and legal experts defending our Constitution! JEERS to the voters who elected the worst Idaho legislature in decades with their power hungry, over-reaching, lawsuit-baiting, priority mixed-up mess of a session; we’d all be better off if they just adopted the motto “Do No Harm.” CHEERS to new Idaho Press editorial policy. CHEERS to writers who actually study the issues.
Becci Carmack, Meridian