Rest in peace

Bob Schaefer was a public servant of the finest order, built with the “old school” of honesty and integrity, determined to do his best for the people he represented. In the legislature for an honored 14 straight terms he upheld the conservative values of rural Idaho. His position defense often put him at odds with a governor lured by federal dollars, but he did not yield and we avoided many entanglements that hit adjoining states. Later, he served on the Nampa Planning Commission, which is even more unforgiving from public pressure than was his legislative seat. Then, he served in perhaps the toughest public job: member of the School Board. Through it all, he did his best to serve the interests of all the people, and his best was the best.

Our paths crossed several times in the years since we graduated together from Nampa High School in 1954. He always had a good analytic response to my diatribes targeting bureaucratic abuse. I regret that I did not get to attend this year’s reunion to discuss my newest project with Bob, but my own hospitalization prevented that.

All citizens of Nampa and Canyon County suffered the loss of a real friend and public servant when Bob was called Home. He was indeed cut from the old cloth of a true servant of the people. My Irish blood pushes me to publicly praise him as a lost friend and classmate:


May the Road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warmly on your face

And until we meet again, May the Lord

Hold you in the Palm of His Hand.

Rest in Peace our friend.

Fred Kelly Grant, Nampa

Whine, whine, whine

Ms. Ferro’s latest writing sounds like whining to me. Elections do matter because new people are put in charge. She complains about the current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) but she sure wasn’t whining when Obama stacked the board the other way. She quotes a 30 page report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) which is nothing more than a spokesperson for the national labor unions. EPI was founded in 1986 by six far left economists, one of which, in January of 2018 was quoted “Sometimes I want to just see Trump impeached other times, quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing him dead”.

Eight labor unions made a five-year funding pledge to EPI at its inception: AFSCME, United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers, United Mine Workers, International Association of Machinists, Communications Workers of America, Service Employees International Union, and United Food and Commercial Workers Union. So much for impartial reporting.

She whines about only one in every 20 Idaho workers belongs to a union. Well that is not Right -to-work’s fault. Nothing in the Right-to-work laws prevents workers from forming a union. So if only 1 in 20 are union members, then that surely says that most workers are just not interested in joining a union. Remember, it is unions that use “Card Check” and push for non-secret certification ballots; both of which are designed to intimidate those who do not want to vote for a union.

Finally, she admits that Idaho employers compete to keep good workers, and then suggests that may not continue. Well, I for one have a lot more faith in business owners decisions than Ms. Ferro.

James Graham, McCall

We must do more

I’m concerned about the millions of children around the world who are dying, suffering or not given a healthy, strong start to life. That is why I attended an event called “Idaho Cares about Foreign Affairs” event on November 1 in Boise. Clearly, I’m not alone in my concern as evidenced by the overwhelming turnout of more than 100 Idahoans who agree that foreign assistance is an investment worth making.

I was grateful to hear Senator Risch (R-ID) speak about the power of foreign assistance at the event. In fact, the U.S. has been a global leader and partner to many countries around the world who are also doing their part to increase their own efforts to address maternal and child health, poverty, food insecurity and more.

Foreign assistance works! Largely due to U.S. leadership, the deaths of children age 5 and under have been cut in half since 1990. But our work cannot stop there because more than 15,000 children still die each day from preventable causes and 420 million children are impacted by war.

We must do more for the world’s children. I urge Senator Risch to continue to support foreign assistance programs to build on our success and help more children thrive.

Megan Smith, Boise

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