As the Idaho congressional delegation continues to support Trump’s attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 general election I would remind them that three of them are up for reelection this year and their reelection legitimacy will also be in question if the presidential election is in question. Mike Simpson, Jim Risch, and Russ Fulcher are all running for reelection this year. If the results of the election show them all being reelected why should we believe it? The election is being run by Lawerence Denney, Secretary of State, part of the Republican machine so is as likely to be rigged as the presidential election.
Steve Simpson, Boise
I am proudly writing this letter to endorse Rebecca Y. Hanson’s candidacy for Idaho State Legislature District 10A. I have known Becky for over 50 years and have always found her to be an honest, thoughtful, dedicated and passionate person. She has continuously been one who could bring sides together by listening, as well as clearly stating her opinion. I know that in that spirit of cooperation, Becky will work tirelessly to bring both sides to the table to make Idaho better. As a retired educator, I am particularly impressed with her commitment to fixing the many problems in our education system. We are currently near the very bottom nationally in education funding. Our children are suffering. Rebecca comes from a family committed to quality education and was a music teacher for many years; so she knows well the needs of Idaho students and has a passion for improving their current situation. She will also bring her tenacious spirit to work cooperatively across the aisle to improve our crumbling healthcare system and out-of-control property taxes. I am very excited and hopeful for the change we will see in the Idaho State Legislature if we elect Rebecca Y. Hanson for District 10A. Make your voices heard...VOTE!
Christy Cooper, Caldwell
Melissa Wintrow, District 19 Senate Candidate: A Mental Health Advocate
As a mental health clinician, educator, and researcher residing in District 19, it is clear that Idahoans need the leadership of Melissa Wintrow as District 19’s Senate candidate. Melissa’s consistent and longstanding mark on policy in District 19’s House of Representatives demonstrates her commitment to marginalized voices, such as women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, victims of domestic violence, and refugees. Further, Melissa’s unapologetic and continual pledge to Planned Parenthood’s mission has resulted in protecting inclusive, trauma-informed reproductive healthcare. This commitment inherently translates to advocating for the mental health of Idahoans, as her impact on policy translates to promoting individual’s autonomy, community-building, and dismantling institutionally oppressive systems that have harmed Idahoans for far too long.
As Idaho’s ultra-conservative legislature continues to promote policy that harms the autonomy, access to healthcare, and mental health of Idahoans, it is critical to support a candidate who supports equity and justice. Supporting Melissa Wintrow as District 19’s Senate candidate means supporting the mental health and wellness of Idahoans.
Kelsey Sarasqueta-Allen, Boise
I really enjoy your paper but the quality of the printing is diminishing and is becoming very hard to read. Please use more ink. Thank you.
Jennifer Anttonen, Eagle
Lets say that a nursing home administrator is informed that the covid-19 virus will soon arrive in the U.S. and that elderly residents will be at severe risk of illness or death. The administrator closes one of the doors to the facility claiming that this will save many lives. The administrator assembles a team of infection control experts. They restrict visitors and close the dining rooms and activity rooms. They recommend that the residents be isolated, that testing begin, and that infection control measures such as distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks be implemented The administrator tells everyone that the virus is not serious and will soon disappear, that the dining rooms and activity rooms should re-open, and that the experts are exaggerating the danger. He recommends unproven treatments. He does not wear a mask or social distance. Half of the nursing staff observe infection controls and the other half ( following the example of the administrator) do not. Nursing staff ask for more protective equipment. The administrator states that this is the responsibility of the individual nurses and that the administrators role is that of a “ cheerleader”. He holds large meetings with admirers who ignore infection control recommendations. As residents begin dying in large numbers the administrator claims that the disease is a hoax created by a rival facility then states that the danger was known but that the truth would have caused a panic. Lets say that you are the owner of this nursing home. Does the administrator keep his job?
Mike Atkinson, Boise
COVID-19 has taken its toll on rural hospitals throughout the state and country. Congress must step up to protect rural health care access here in Idaho now. That means adjusting the terms of federal loans that our local hospitals took to remain financially viable throughout the pandemic.
Under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs (MAAPP), struggling hospitals were able to receive loans based on their standard Medicare fee-for-service payments. But these same struggling hospitals are facing unrealistic repayment terms. Congress must extend the deadline to begin loan repayment and the deadline to fully repay these loans.
Moreover, MAAPP repayment terms call for hospitals that have begun repayment to have 100 percent of their Medicare payments withheld until loans have been completely repaid. For rural health care providers, withholding all Medicare payments will be financially devastating as patients in rural areas are often times older, sicker, and less affluent than their urban counterparts.
Senators Crapo and Risch must prioritize adjusting the terms of MAAPP loans to provide hospitals serving rural Idaho communities greater flexibility so they can continue to serve at-risk patients and contribute to their communities.
Gretchen Manning, Caldwell
More than 550 wolves were killed between 7.1.19 and 6.30.20. Killed by hunters, fur trappers, USDA Wildlife Services, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game in cruel traps and in aerial attacks. Included in that total are 27 pups/juveniles, some brutally killed near their den.
The wolf population is estimated at 1000-1500 thus 1/3 to 1/2 of the wolves unfortunate enough to live in Idaho have been killed. With this “harvest”, they’ve also disrupted any possibility for ecological health for the system.
Why? To prevent depredations, in recompense for depredations on livestock, and to boost elk numbers which do not need boosting. Wildlife policy is set by the Fish and Game Commission which refuses to manage predators with the science of its own biologists or consideration for conservation or ethical concerns.
The Wolf Control Board spent nearly $400,000 of your tax dollars on these activities. In addition, IDFG provided funds to a dubious organization of trappers, the Foundation for Wildlife Management, to fund bounties or rewards or compensation for their efforts.
Wilderness and wildlife are what make Idaho such a wonderful place to live. Those of us who care deserve a say in how these precious resources are managed. What is happening at the hands of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is just plain wrong. We have petitioned, we have pleaded but the IDFG Commission refuses to listen and has instead ramped up this war on predators. Will you lend your voice for wildlife?
Christine Gertschen, Sun Valley
The Sunday, September 13, 2020 Idaho Press featured a call for us to unite in to defeat the coronavirus by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Most importantly, we need to unite in prayer to Almighty God for the development of an effective vaccine and an end to the pandemic.
Jim & Mary Ellen Nourse, Boise
There are so many issues to write a letter about: our nationwide pandemic with so many infected, dead, and so poorly handled on many levels, millions of lost jobs, many homeless, loss of health insurance and Trump attempting to destroy the Affordable Care Act, imminent danger of losing Social Security and Medicare, foreign cyber warfare on our election, schools reopening...
Wait, what? I’m a senior--loss of Social Security and Medicare? How did that get in there and why aren’t we hearing more about it? Trump, instead of supporting the HEROES Act, did a couple executive orders, one temporarily halting the collection of the FICA tax which supports Medicare and Social Security. He’s promised to continue that if he wins re-election.
If he wins we lose. The FICA tax is like an insurance premium for Social Security programs and Medicare. It not only helps seniors but younger people with disabilities. These are two of the most successful programs in our country’s history and hated by Republicans since their inception.
Do you really want Granny and Gramps moving in because we did not care to help our elderly?
One of many reasons to vote Trump and his Republican Cult out of office.
Dallas Chase, Boise