I enjoyed the excellent article by Terri Colby on the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail. My ancestors crossed Idaho on the Oregon Trail in 1863 from Independence, Mo., to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. My great-grandmother had three children to watch during the trek and was pregnant, so she could not ride in the bumpy wagons. Besides cooking supper for the family in a large frying pan over a campfire, the same pan was used for washing baby diapers. Ultimately they settled in what was called Bilyeu Den near Scio, Ore. It was called Bilyeu Den because in the winter months they could not cross the river to get to nearby towns and so were “denned up for the winter.”
Twenty-five years ago we bought five acres on Linder Road and Almaden Street in the north part of Meridian. To our surprise we found ruts of the Oregon Trail across our lot and now have them marked by the Oregon Trail Society folks. I am told that this is one of the few areas to see remains of the trail because this particular lot was not farmed.
Larry Woodard, Meridian
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A recent MetLife Survey showed a steep decline in teacher morale. The survey cited high teacher turnover, fewer candidates enrolling in university teacher education programs (down 53 percent), and less than 5 percent of high school students who took the ACT for college admission expressed any interest in majoring in teacher education.
Dr. Bullough said, “We ought to be deeply concerned that the teachers of our children are happy, engaged, and highly committed to their work and the children they serve.”
Here are suggestions to improve and strengthen our teachers and our public school education. 1.Make the profession of teacher noble. 2. Increase teacher pay. 3. Reduce teacher turnover. 4. Make learning activities more fun/enjoyable. 5. Involve parents. Let them extend the classroom day by helping with homework.
Think of all the distractions students are plagued with: television, computer games, cellphones, texting, etc. For a teacher to compete with all those distractions, makes teaching an uphill battle.
Plus, society has put a lot of extras on schools/teachers that limits a teacher’s time with students — immunizations, nutrition, counseling, extra curricular activities, delinquency, drug education, etc. These extras require teachers to leave their core teaching assignments to handle societal issues.
Morris Bastian, Boise
GOP sleight of hand
While we are distracted by constant photo ops, outrages and fiascos .... they quietly do away with the health care pre-existing conditions guarantee and make asbestos legal again and wreck the environment. Now this fresh hell:
With our attention focused on Trump’s horrific treatment of immigrant children, House Republicans recently quietly unveiled their 2019 budget proposal that calls for $537 billion in cuts to Medicare, $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and $4 billion in cuts to Social Security over the next decade — so that all of us ordinary people can pay for their tax cuts to the super wealthy.
If you don’t get out and vote blue, you deserve what you get.
Sherrie Goff, Pocatello
Man up, Congressman Labrador, and vote for an immigration bill that is what America stands for and that is moral and ethical. Don’t hold immigrant families hostage for a billions of dollars isolation wall. Secondly, get your budget and spending priorities in order.
You say “you are gravely concerned by Washington’s out-of-control spending and borrowing.” If so, how can you justify voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which added a trillion dollars to the national debt, and also voting for the $1.3 trillion spending bill in March which had $1.3 billion for a start on the wall and added another trillion dollars in debt? Tax cuts, or trickle-down economics as it is described, is just that, a trickle. We need a deluge to lower the national debt. Read the Budget and Spending Issues section on your website.
Do what is right, Congressman Labrador. You are not up for re-election so you can stand up and vote as an American, not as a Trump loyalist.
Gary Martin, Boise