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Guest Commentary

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Open letter to USFS Regional Forester Marten

What to tell constituents on smokey skies? An open letter to Regional Forester Leanne Marten, Northern Region United States Forest Service, Missoula, Montana 59804 Dear Supervisor, I have been inundated with calls from my constituents relative to what can be done about the smoke in the air from forest fires. They talk of their health being compromised, and their quality of life significantly diminished. They go on to contend that this is just another in a series of many smoke-and-ash-filled summers in recent years. These citizens expect those of us in public service to provide them answers. As the leader of the largest land management organization in northern Idaho, what would you suggest I tell them?

Mental health, substance use disorders: Recovery is possible with right help

Guest Opinion

Mental Health and substance use disorders impact thousands of people in Idaho, including many of our friends, neighbors and co-workers. Everyone reading this likely knows someone struggling with mental illness or addiction, and is well aware of the cost these issues can take on individuals and families throughout the state.

Labrador, addresses lobbyists on state pensions; other candidates dodge question

Guest Opinion

But a loophole of sorts remains in place. Though new organizations can’t join PERSI, private lobbying groups that already pay into PERSI get to stay — and the new people these private groups hire would have their retirement benefits underwritten by you, the Idaho taxpayer.

Only 374 great teachers in Gem State

Guest Opinion

Idaho’s State Board of Education finally released their recommendations for determining Jedi quality master teachers last week. The report concludes that only 374 teachers in Idaho will qualify for the Master Educator distinction out of an eligible pool of 18,710 educators in Idaho.

Backing agriculture, rural economy

Guest Opinion

“Today, we need to feed some 7 billion people. By the year 2050, that population will swell to 9.5 billion . . ." America’s farmers and ranchers are expected to meet this enormous challenge while more and more burdens—high input costs, excessive paperwork and regulations, uncertain labor availability, credit and tax variables, to name a few—have accumulated.

Idaho sewage plants not making grade

Guest Opinion

Idahoans love to fish and swim in the many rivers and lakes in our state, so sewage treatment plants are absolutely vital to protecting human health and water quality. Imagine how you’d feel about your kids wading a creek with poorly treated sewage in it.

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Voice Your Opinion: Letters policy

Write a lettter to the editor

An important function of a community newspaper is to provide residents with a forum to express a variety of opinions and viewpoints. With this in mind, the Idaho County Free Press attempts to publish as many letters to the editor as possible.

To clarify election integrity misconceptions

Guest Opinion

There are times when it is not worth fighting to correct being misquoted or straighten out a misperception. There are certain times, however, when for the benefit of others, the battle for transparency must be fought. In light of recent media coverage surrounding a letter from The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, I feel strongly that right now is one of those times.

Modern media believes government is the solution for everything

Guest Opinion

After reading Andrew Ottoson’s article last week [July 19 issue] I am reminded of a quote from Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Address: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” But that was in 1981, the year Andrew Ottoson was born. This brings to mind another Reagan quote: “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Brandt about to make the county’s budget problem your budget problem

Editorial

Idaho County Commission chairman Skip Brandt has a problem. And he’s about to turn his problem into your problem. The problem is one taxpayers pay commissioners to solve. There is a hole in the revenue side of the county road and bridge department’s fiscal 2018 budget – a hole where federal forest funds used to fill in for lost federal timber revenues.

Unleashing potential of American entrepreneur

Guest Opinion

Small business owners need real regulatory relief. They need an advocate to force government agencies to consider the impact of regulations on their businesses. They need a chance to look up from the massive piles of paperwork required by each of the thousands of new regulations passed over the last eight years. And, most importantly, they need Washington out of their way.

OPINION: New fed commission invades voting privacy, wastes money

The secret ballot and voting privacy is one of the most precious constitutional rights we have as Americans, but this right is being threatened by a federal government demand for all of Idaho’s voting records since 2006. You would think Washington, D.C. has enough of our information.

OPINION: Roll back the federal intrusion

On March 7, the Senate passed H.J.Res. 44, a resolution of disapproval to overturn the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Planning Rule, also known as “Planning 2.0.”

Men’s mental health: Let dads know they are not alone

Guest Opinion

Most dads understand the importance of staying healthy so they’re ready to handle the demands of fatherhood, whether it’s giving a piggyback ride or a first driving lesson. But total wellness is about more than just eating right, exercising, and getting regular checkups....

Property seizure abuses must end

Guest Opinion

In past columns, I have written about legislative efforts to stop the abuse of asset seizure laws to take Americans’ property without proof of a crime, or even an arrest or warrant. A recent report from the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) sheds further light on the alarming property seizure practices of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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