Reject amendment

I want to take a moment to talk about a little discussed item on Idaho’s ballot with major implications. I speak of House Joint Resolution 4.

HJR 4 was put on the ballot at the bequest of the Legislature in the latest session and would set the absolute number of legislative districts at 35. Currently, the state constitution sets the number of districts at between 30 and 35.

On the surface, HJR 4 seems simple. Well, let’s just keep the number at 35.

It is anything but simple. It is a power-grab by suburban Republicans and urban Democrats who want to lock in the voting power of these districts and thus ensure they drown out the needs of rural communities. Yes, even Lewiston is rural.

Setting the maximum number of districts at 35 would mean new districts drawn next year would likely have to be added in urban/suburban areas to the detriment of rural areas with slower growing or stagnant populations.

After all, it is much easier to set public policy and budgets that benefit these interests if you can effectively drown out the needs of rural communities by merging rural with suburban/urban districts. ...

This creates a perverse incentive to ignore rural and less-populated areas. ...

Rural areas have the same issues their more concentrated fellows do, including road funding, education and property taxes. HJR 4 should be voted down and legislators should look for solutions that benefit all Idahoans — not some of us.

Gabriel Iacoboni

Lewiston

Laughed out loud

Robert Dean’s Oct. 12 Letter to the Editor made me laugh out loud. Obviously, Dean doesn’t understand irony. He believes that anyone who burns the American flag should be executed. And then he goes on to say that “veterans served and fought for free speech and freedom of expression.”

He doesn’t comprehend that burning a flag is expressing a view. That’s right, Mr. Dean. Burning a flag expresses a view and that action is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

I understand that it hurts your little feelings, but you need to man up.

You’re a big boy. You can handle it. And if you truly can’t handle it, you need to move to a country that doesn’t allow freedom of expression. North Korea comes to mind.

Also, you might want to take a history lesson.

Bless your heart.

Jeanie Stanton

Clarkston

Supports Nelson

I’ve lived on the Palouse for 26 years and have had the good luck to know Dave Nelson for almost that entire time. He grew up on his parents’ and grandparents’ farm here on the Palouse near Genesee. I’ve seen that Nelson is a person who is always looking for practical solutions to real problems.

He listens to people and works to solve important problems in ways that are fair and make sense. There is already proof of that in his work across the aisle in our state Senate on how to actually maintain our roads and to dedicate funds specifically for bridges in our wider area.

There are common-sense routes to protect and fund Medicaid in our state while building better cost control processes — and to make drugs for treatment of opioid overdoses more available.

Nelson is working on these.

He has an unusually balanced perspective that helps him solve hard problems. I believe this is partly because he grew up with practical perspectives that had to accompany any successful farm, and partly due to his knowledge of the business and technical world. He started and ran a highly successful tech firm producing software that increases the energy efficiency of oil refineries.

I hope you’ll help all of Idaho by voting for Dave Nelson in the state Senate. He listens, makes sense and can get things done.

Mac Cantrell

Moscow

Following Trump’s lead

In what ways are the Lewiston City Council and President Donald Trump alike?

1). Neither follows the public health, COVID-19 guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that support the requirement to wear masks and keep socially distanced when in public, in businesses or public offices.

2). Trump incites armed, militia-style “wannabe” groups to intimidate communities into opposing these important — and proven — requirements.

The Lewiston City Council caved to that minority of weapon-waving folks and reversed its earlier support for mask-wearing.

They merely counted the number of emails they’d received — pro or con — rather than conducting an easily constructed and meaningful survey instrument.

The lesson? Bring your semi-automatic weapons to meetings at which you oppose some issue. Be sure to line up others to repeatedly provide long-discredited information.

The mask advisory would have added Lewiston to a growing list of Idaho cities (including Boise, Moscow, Driggs and others) to pass such an ordinance. It would have made sense in a valley that is functionally one community, where Clarkston and Asotin County follow mandates set out by the state of Washington.

Diana Ames

Lewiston

Elect Mitchell

Brandon Mitchell is worthy of my vote and yours for Idaho state representative for District 5A.

I have witnessed the integrity Mitchell carries in every facet of his life since 2013. I first met his wife and daughter at the elementary school where we moms were joining our daughters for lunch. Through the years, I have seen the Mitchells’ dedication, research and action toward the academic well-being of their daughter.

That said, if elected, I know Brandon will extend that same effort to bring our community’s education into the 21st century for K-12, including finer services for special needs children and their families.

He possesses the maturity and wisdom needed to effectively hold the important representative function in our community that is gained only by decades of being in the trenches. He is and has been an irreplaceable team member and leader as a multibusiness owner, directly providing jobs and tax revenue to our community.

He has been an irreplaceable family man, raising several children (biological and adopted).

Brandon is a family man and a successful local businessman who believes in a balanced budget, strong family values, religious freedoms and Second Amendment rights. He is an honorable leader, talented in listening to the views and needs of all to soundly represent the citizens of Idaho.

Annette Bieghler

Moscow

Wants equal treatment

I am a resident of Asotin.

I have noticed that the light board has a message supporting police and the Blue Lives Matter movement.

While I don’t necessarily take issue with this, as a person of color (with native Hawaiian lineage) who knows there are other people of color who are Asotin residents, I find it concerning, upsetting and, honestly, offensive that there is no message supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

I am also sending this open letter to the Asotin City Council.

At the very least, I would greatly appreciate it if a message supporting the Black Lives Matter movement was also displayed on the light board.

Heather Hausen

Asotin

Legislature needs balance

We had her sign in our yard, so she knew we planned to vote for her. She could have moved on to an uncommitted voter. But Dulce Kersting-Lark really cares about what voters think, so she rang our doorbell.

“What important issue does the Idaho Legislature need to deal with?”

We said, “Adequate education funding, health care, public health, tax equity, infrastructure,” and the list went on.

And Kersting-Lark listened. She wasn’t just looking for our vote, but truly wanted our input.

This is the kind of representative she will be. I was impressed with her months ago when she asked questions at a townhall with state legislators. She had done her homework. I have been impressed with the energy and creativity she brings to the Latah County Historical Society. She has moved Latah County history out into the community. Understanding history is important to making wise decisions for the future.

Some argue that a Democrat doesn’t hold any power in our lopsided Legislature. But supermajority rule isn’t serving us well. The Republican Party has become more extreme and demands its members vote for its platform.

We need more Democrats to balance the Legislature and moderate the extremists.

Kersting-Lark, through her work at the historical society, has shown she can work effectively with people of many viewpoints and will be able to reach across the aisle.

Please vote for Dulce Kersting-Lark who will listen and vote for the interests of District 5 in the Idaho House of Representatives.

Diane Prorak

Moscow

Retain Seubert

As we come to the final days of the 2020 election, I want to reiterate to the voters of Asotin County how fortunate they are to have a candidate like Chris Seubert running for reelection for the position of county commissioner.

Seubert brings an ability to understand complex issues with a dedication to seeing them worked through. As a public servant, he understands that his first duty is to the citizens of Asotin County and their general welfare. In a day and age when common sense seems to be in short supply, he knows there is nothing wrong with keeping America great.

Seubert is an intelligent, hard-working, and dedicated leader who benefits his constituency, the region and the state by his continued service.

I highly encourage you to cast your vote for Chris Seubert for county commissioner.

Charles Amerein

Commissioner, Columbia County District 3

Waitsburg, Wash.

Endorses Shinn

I wholeheartedly support Brian Shinn for reelection to the Asotin County commissioner, District 1.

Shinn has been a business owner, lifelong resident of the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, and has knowledge of the business climate and economy of the county.

He is an instrumental board member and executive board member of Southeast Washington Economic Development Association.

With Shinn’s participation, knowledge of the business community and effective leadership as county commissioner during this COVID-19 pandemic, SEWEDA has given $947,500, in small business emergency grants within Asotin County.

Shinn interacts and has a good working relationship with the Legislature, inter-local governments and the governor’s office, and he knows the issues that affect Asotin County.

His open perspective and hard work to improve Asotin County benefits us all. This COVID-19 pandemic is a time when we need experienced leadership within the county.

Vote Brian Shinn for continued effective leadership in Asotin County.

Dawn Smith

Director, SEWEDA

Clarkston

It’s not the same

The Lewiston Tribune published an article on Oct. 6 about a Clarkston man who was arraigned on a charge of attempted strangulation. The article uses the word “choke” five times to describe the assault on the victim. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would like to clarify the difference between choking and strangulation.

Contrary to popular misconception, choking and strangulation are very different. Choking occurs when a foreign body obstructs the trachea and inhibits air from moving in and out. Typically, choking is a result of food or a foreign object lodged in the throat.

Strangulation, on the other hand, is the compression of the neck, which causes a limitation in airflow, which can lead to death. Other traumatic effects from strangulation include psychological injury, neurological injury delayed fatality and physical damage. It is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. Strangulation has been found to be a predicator of future lethal violence and it increases the victim’s risk of being killed by her intimate partner by 1,000 percent.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one out of four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

It’s important to differentiate between choking and strangulation. It’s not the same.

Strangulation is a violent act performed by a person with the intent to harm another individual. Choking is an accident. By making a clear distinction between these two terms, strangulation is understood to be the dangerous and serious act that it is.

Chelby Smith

Lewiston

Nelson works for us

Caroline Nilsson Troy’s sweeping denigration of Democrats as quoted in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News on Oct. 12, was appalling. She believes, apparently, that Democrats don’t care about Idahoans, about farmers, loggers or small business owners, that Democrats don’t vote to support Idaho’s road system.

David Nelson is a Democrat, a fourth-generation Idahoan who grew up on a Genesee wheat farm.

He owns a small business.

Contrary to Nilsson Troy’s claim, Nelson has championed increased funding for Idaho roads, especially for repairing or replacing the outdated and potentially hazardous bridges that are essential to transporting farm products to markets. He also serves on the Governor’s Broadband Task Force and is a strong advocate for increasing access to broadband, an electronic “road” that is essential to communication and education across the state.

Nelson has been working for months on a Right to Repair bill that would counter egregious manufacturers’ requirements that their products, such as smart phones, computers, home appliances and farm equipment that relies on electronic instruments, be repaired only by dealers or manufacturers’ repair facilities.

These restrictions block independent repair shops, our local small businesses, from fixing the equipment we depend on, resulting in lost time and extra cost.

Sen. Nelson’s proposed legislation will protect Idahoans, including farmers, loggers, and small business owners, from these outrageous business practices.

In short, Nelson, a Democrat, is working for us, for Idaho. He has my vote and he is worthy of yours. Please vote for David Nelson for Idaho Senate.

Lauren Fins

Moscow

Stepping up

Thanks, Joel Mills, for the article on repairing the steps of early-day Lewiston. I’ve always been fascinated with the steps since we moved here 30-plus years ago. I think it was because we moved from the flatlands of Nebraska. John Killen, a former reporter for the Tribune, wrote an interesting article on the steps back in the ’80s. I hope we can repair and again use these steps. They are a hidden historical treasure of Lewiston.

Since more people are walking for exercise, it would be great to have more ways to get to downtown Lewiston. I think there are a total of six sets of steps. I think the most important set would be the one going up to the old library and Pioneer Park. That has been closed since I moved here and it is a wonderful way to show off Pioneer Park and our beautiful fountain.

Mary Jo Furstenau

Lewiston

Won’t stoop so low

When I realized our Biden-Harris signs had been stolen the other day, along with many taken from the yards (private property) of our neighbors here in Moscow, I was quite angry. But upon calmer reflection, I felt sad. My father, many dear relatives and good friends are or have been loyal supporters of the Grand Old Party, as I was in my earlier years.

I regret to see the depth to which some Republicans have fallen. It particularly saddens me to see such behavior resorted to in support of so poor an excuse for a president as has been foisted upon this nation. Like their hero, the thieves are simply pathetic. That’s the word for it — pathetic.

One more thing, dear thieves. Do not fear that I would stoop to your level by stealing or vandalizing signs aiding and abetting your candidate. Instead, I have decided to make a nice donation to the Biden-Harris campaign in your honor.

Ron McFarland

Moscow

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