Guest Commentary | Idaho County Free Press tablet version

Guest Commentary


Laying ground for state management

There’s a growing consensus that our system of federal land management is broken. It is not protecting forests, waters and range and it’s not sustaining local and regional economies.

Medicare 50th anniversary call to action for tough decisions, reforms

July 30th was the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Medicare, which has been of considerable importance to many Americans.

Maine expands gun rights while Idaho lawmakers balk

Idaho lawmakers should take note of what just happened in Maine. Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill that will let Mainers carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Hot and bothered about nature being nature

Spotted Owls are sluts. Polar bears, not so much. There is probably no good explanation why anybody would spend money to buy a newspaper to learn such drivel. But we are sure glad you did. And keep it up. Despite what all those self-help gurus claim, some habits -- like buying newspapers -- are good.

Work to improve veterans services

Throughout my travels across Idaho, I have heard loud and clear the frustration many veterans feel while trying to access the services they deserve.

Idaho had highest increase of any state in nation

Leader in raising taxes, hurting families

If you’re angry about Idaho’s new, higher fuel taxes, here’s a reason to be a tad angrier: The start of a new month brought gas tax increases to six states.

Doing better as land stewards

Idahoans know firsthand wildfire’s devastation. The most recent example is the Cape Horn Fire near the resort town of Bayview on Lake Pend Oreille. Hundreds of residents were evacuated last week and six homes destroyed.

Clearing smoke on fire, public lands

I was wondering who appointed the East Coast environmental cartels the kings of our lands. I believe local people care more about the true health of our forests and will do a better job of managing them because clean water and air and access and jobs matter to our families. So let’s clear up the smoke around wildfire and our public lands.

TPA passage vital to Idaho agriculture

U.S. agriculture took a big step forward with the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan passage of Trade Promotion Authority.

EPA must not undercut water projects

The importance of having clean water cannot be overstated. The fact that we can turn on the tap in most places of our country and know that the water we drink will not make us sick happens because communities across our nation invest in the infrastructure necessary to ensure high water quality.

Forest collaboration needs federal support to be model of the future

There’s growing consensus that something must be done on federal lands to improve the health of our forests and rural communities. To that end, collaboration is commonly touted as the model for resolving controversial issues in federal forest management.

Rerouting of pension bill won’t fly with Idaho taxpayers

Last legislative session, a bill suddenly disappeared from radar, and only now do we know why: It had the potential to impact the retirements of people serving in the state Senate.

Gov. Otter’s flip-flop on medical marijuana hurts Idaho’s kids

Here’s a study in contrasts and contradictions: Nine years ago, Republican Butch Otter proclaimed his support for medical marijuana. Yet this year, he vetoed a bill that would have let parents give their sick kids a treatment using an oil derived from marijuana plants.

Father’s Day: Encourage focus on men’s health

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the official awareness period of Men’s Health Week, which is June 15-19 — the week of Father’s Day.

Syringa Hospital helipad: Denial not the end; still an answer here

Pedestrians, patients, residents, travelers, business patrons, children, crossing guards, medical personnel. Vehicles, gas pumps, power lines, trees, debris, rotor wash, noise. Wind, rain, snow, sleet. City streets, Highway 13, U.S. 95. Distractions, human vulnerability, safety.