It seems that each time we open a newspaper we are assailed with stories of marijuana’s ability to rescue state economies and its power to heal. But little if any data is included about what actually is happening in states that have legalized the drug. Idahoans deserve to know what outcomes this social experiment has produced so far.
Last June, Gov. Butch Otter signed an agreement designed to finally put in place a set of comprehensive mental health services for the children of Idaho. The plan to create these services is known as the Children’s Mental Health Reform. As we did last year, we commend Gov. Otter for taking this visionary step. Now Idaho needs to keep the ball rolling. We call on Gov. Otter and the Legislature to fund the reform this year and put enough resources in the budget to make sure that the plan becomes a reality.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, highlighting the important role of vaccinations in protecting yourself and the community. One of the various vaccines recommended by health officials is the flu vaccine. With the new flu season quickly approaching, many Idahoans might question whether it’s worth the trouble to get this annual vaccine.
One can only marvel that our elected, business and civic leaders could actually take pride in their three-quarters-of-a-million-dollar expenditure for legal fees during their recent effort to deny citizens of the Greater Boise Auditorium District the right to vote on financing an expansion.
In April, Matt Peters (on behalf of third-year Idaho students at the University of Washington School of Medicine) submitted a Guest Opinion describing the important issues regarding the physician shortage in Idaho, expansion of medical-student and resident-training programs in the state, and the possibility of a private, for-profit Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. As Peters mentioned, the issues and opinions surrounding the college and its potential founding have been both complex and impassioned. As an Idaho medical student attending the University of Utah, I would like to add my sentiment to the conversation.
As I marvel at the daily progress of the City Center Plaza/Boise Centre construction, I tip my hat to the many leaders in our community who have been champions of expanding the Boise Centre and growing the economic impact of meetings and conventions here for nearly 20 years.
A legislative working group recently held hearings regarding whether to amend an Idaho statute that protects parents who choose prayer over allopathic medicine. The issue gained considerable media attention when Dan Sevy, a leader of the Followers of Christ church, testified that “medicine is a product from Satan” and promised to resist any changes to the law.
The deteriorating health of Western sagebrush landscapes has sparked an unprecedented and proactive partnership to conserve the uniquely American habitat that supports the greater sage grouse and 350 other species, outdoor recreation, ranching and other traditional land uses. Recently, some public opinion has suggested that livestock grazing may be incompatible with conserving the sagebrush ecosystem, specifically sage grouse habitat.
Boise has a shortage of 8,200 units of affordable housing for its very low-income citizens. That seems like a staggering number. There’s a lot of housing to build and a lot of change Boise’s neighborhoods will see. And, it’s change for the better.
Looking back fondly at my 40-year career, one of the most memorable experiences was my time at the Department of Energy’s Idaho site and the people I worked with. Returning after 13 years, I’m impressed not only with the visible cleanup progress that’s been achieved, but the emphasis and true adherence to the safety culture that’s been established and embraced by the 1,700 employees that currently make up the Idaho Cleanup Project.
Have you looked at your bank or credit union statement recently? Not too many years ago you would have been earning 3 to 4 percent interest. Now savings accounts, 401(k) and pension plans are returning little or nothing. Essentially zero after inflation. So what has caused this decline in investment and retirement income? If you guessed “global warming,” it would be wrong, although a lot of people would have agreed with you. Global warming seems to get credit for much of the ills of our society. But if you guessed that it is caused by the nearly $20 trillion national debt, you would be spot on. Here’s why.
Most Idahoans would be immediately skeptical of someone who claimed that they were going to do 10 times their normal amount of work in less than one-third of the time. If such a thing was even possible, then the quality of the work would surely suffer.
On Sunday the Statesman published commentaries by Bill Manny of the Statesman and Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute of Civil Discourse about promoting civil discourse in Idaho politics and more generally in our society.