Editorials

January 09, 2008

DINNER WITH THE FAMILY

As we begin 2008, many people have "lose weight" on their resolution lists. For some, these extra pounds are the result of more than one family dinner of traditional "comfort food" and celebrations from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. While it's important to shed extra weight for our health, what's even more important is that we continue the practice of spending meal time with our families, the focus for many of us during the holidays. Time and again, studies show that children of families … Continue Reading


December 12, 2007

SNOWBALLING TAX TROUBLES

Procrastination is rarely a good thing. It's especially troublesome when it's the U.S. Congress and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Most people now know the history: The AMT was an income tax formula passed in the 1960s to address the problem of a small percentage of high income taxpayers who were legally avoiding paying any income taxes.  Congress has had numerous opportunities to index the AMT to inflation: a major reform effort in 1993 was rebuffed by the majority; and, in the late 1990s, … Continue Reading


December 05, 2007

A WINTRY FORECAST FOR ENERGY

The early season snows that have come to parts of Idaho this year are generally a good thing, but they also bring home the hard reality of rising energy costs. We're already experiencing considerable discomfort at the gas pump; with winter's arrival, heating bills are also increasing. Congress has been working to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of important energy legislation passed this summer. The best compromise will encourage conservation with incentives, promote cost… Continue Reading


November 28, 2007

THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT-IDAHO STYLE

 "Here, then, there was a cessation from toil, from hunger, and alarm. Past ills and dangers were forgotten. The hunt, the game, the song, the story, the rough though good-humored joke, made time pass joyously away, and plenty and security reigned throughout the camp."                          -Description of Captain B. L. E. Bonneville's trapper's camp, Stanley Basin,                                                December, 1832 (Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series)   In 1832, … Continue Reading


November 21, 2007

HEALTH CARE: CHOICE, ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY

Not too many years ago, Idaho doctors still made house calls, spending considerable parts of their days (and nights) visiting patients and getting to know their families. That era is gone-today's health care often requires patients to visit the doctor, virtually or in person, not the other way around. What hasn't vanished is the sentiment that health care is extremely personal. We want to choose our doctors and medical professionals and we want them to know us. Almost as compelling is the issue … Continue Reading


November 14, 2007

A STORY OF HOPE

Although verifiable facts about our first Thanksgiving are few, they have proven fertile ground for myths, stories and traditions that have taken root over the past 386 years. Greater insight into our Thanksgiving tradition and our uniquely American spirit can be derived by examining events that occurred in Plymouth, Massachusetts, from the time a disparate group of entrepreneurs and religious dissenters landed that bleak December, to their famed celebration with a local Native American tribe a … Continue Reading


November 07, 2007

FREEDOM'S DEFENDERS, PAST AND PRESENT

 "A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."                         -John Stuart Mill   At the 11 th hour on the 11 th day of the 11 th month, 89 years ago, an armistice, or "cessation of hostilities" went into effect between the Allied nations and Germany. Although fighting in … Continue Reading


October 31, 2007

SUCCESS FOR U.S. AGRICULTURE

For almost 75 years, the federal government has worked with U.S. agriculture producers to keep domestic food supplies robust and affordable, preserve food security and promote a globally-competitive commodity market. Major agriculture legislation occurred a few times every decade from the 1930s through the 1970s. In 1973, it took the form of an omnibus "farm bill." The 2007 Farm Bill is the latest iteration of this multi-program legislation that provides policymakers the opportunity to comprehen… Continue Reading


October 24, 2007

IDAHO'S WILD OUTDOORS

This time of year, many Idahoans take to the woods and fields to fill their elk, deer, bear, or mountain lion tags as well as hunting waterfowl and upland game. Whether bow or rifle hunting, Idahoans pack up gear, ammunition and supplies to spend time enjoying breathtaking natural resources with family and friends-the very reason why many choose to call Idaho home.    Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway are just a few of the famous figures who have joined us locals hunting or fishing in Idaho… Continue Reading


October 17, 2007

TRUE THEN, TRUE TODAY

 "The history of taxation shows that taxes which are inherently excessive are not paid. The high rates inevitably put pressure upon the taxpayer to withdraw his capital from productive business and invest it in tax-exempt securities or to find other lawful methods of avoiding the realization of taxable income. …capital is being diverted into channels which yield neither revenue to the Government nor profit to the people."             -Andrew Mellon, Treasury Secretary for Presidents H… Continue Reading


October 10, 2007

OCTOBER: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; the perfect time to highlight progress we've made and the rough road ahead in our march against domestic violence.    We've come a long way in the past few decades concerning public discussions of domestic violence. Women, men and teens are joining community efforts to talk about domestic and dating abuse; slowly, but surely, reducing society's tolerance of these terrible crimes. Violence committed in homes against mothers, children, fathers, or in… Continue Reading


October 04, 2007

GROWING RETIREMENT SAVINGS

Did you know that nearly half (49%) of the half-a-million households in Idaho own at least one mutual fund? That is approximately $35 billion in mutual fund assets for those households. If you are in one of these households, you already know that current law requires you to pay annual capital gains taxes on these investments, even if you don't sell any shares and capital gains distributions are re-invested into fund shares? Even though you own a mutual fund that includes individual stocks, tax… Continue Reading


September 19, 2007

THE WILD BLUE YONDER

September 18 th marked 60 years of an independent United States Air Force. This independence was necessary then, and remains so now in order that, in the recent words of Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., the United States has "one service that focuses on maximizing options for decision-makers by optimizing airpower."   One hundred years ago in 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division to oversee "military ballooning, air machines and all kindred subjects." Fo… Continue Reading


September 12, 2007

HOMELAND VIGILANCE: AS IMPORTANT NOW AS SIX YEARS AGO

(from CNN transcripts, September 11, 2001)   "This all began at about 8:48 this morning. Again, what we know in case you are just joining us, a small plane, not a Cessna-type or five or six seater, but instead, perhaps a passenger flight ran into the north side of the World Trade Center…"   "perhaps some type of navigating system or some type of electronics would have put two planes into the World Trade Center within it looks like about 18 minutes of each other…"   "Associated Press is rep… Continue Reading


September 05, 2007

WORKING TO KEEP AMERICA IN THE LEAD

For many, Labor Day is the final burst across the finish line of summer. We intend to take time over the summer to relax, but reality can instead resemble a race through June, July and August, our list of things to do (fun and inevitable summer projects), often keeping us busier than we are the rest of the year. Consequently, Labor Day becomes a needed last shot at summer recreation before fall routines begin. Labor Day is time away from work, but also helps us appreciate the fact that we have j… Continue Reading


August 29, 2007

OUR PROUD AMERICAN LEGACY

Remember that our nation's first great leaders were also our first great scholars. -John F. Kennedy And great scholars they were: Arguably the most educated of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson was studying Latin at age ten. In his middle teens, Jefferson also studied Greek language and the classics. He was involved in sports and music, learning to play the violin and becoming an accomplished equestrian before age 20. At 16, Jefferson enrolled in college and studied mathematics,… Continue Reading


August 01, 2007

THE AFTERMATH OF FIRE

First and foremost, I applaud the heroism and bravery of firefighters everywhere.  These amazing individuals willingly risk life and limb to protect life, land and property.  They deserve the highest commendation for their backbreaking efforts. There is something to be said for a bird's-eye view, especially from the helicopter in which I rode on July 30 over the Murphy Complex Fire. From horizon to horizon, mile after mile was burned black; charred remains of trees and bushes testaments to a pe… Continue Reading


July 25, 2007

IDAHO IS BURNING

Idaho is on fire from the Panhandle to the Nevada border, endangering property, wildlife, timber and people.   As of July 25, 14 large wildland fires were burning in Idaho, encompassing more than 840,000 acres. Many have lost power; some have had property destroyed. To complicate matters, multiple federal agencies' resources are strained fighting fires of this number and magnitude.    The stage has been set for many years for this catastrophe-the frustrating result of forest manage… Continue Reading


July 18, 2007

SUCCESS FOR MORE THAN JUST A FEW

A 67-year federal project came to a triumphant close in June.   Our nation's majestic symbol, the Bald Eagle, was officially removed from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) list of threatened and endangered species.   While ESA protection has only been in place since 1973, the bald eagle has been federally protected since 1940.   Today, the bald eagle has been restored to over 9,700 breeding pairs.   This historic event happens at a time when Idaho is dealing with protection and propos… Continue Reading


July 11, 2007

CELEBRATING A PIONEER OF FLIGHT

Pioneers come in all shapes and sizes.   Our ancestors went west to find a better life and, for many of them, particularly the earliest explorers, they were motivated by that simple human desire to see what was beyond the horizon.  Their trek was often dangerous and many didn't make it but no matter what the odds, they kept trying and soon succeeded in blazing a trail to a new way of life. That's what all pioneers have in common.  They are full of hope and daring; willing, alm… Continue Reading

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