Cheer

Cheers to U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, who has introduced legislation to protect the Scotchman peaks in northern Idaho.

The bill would protect from development about 88,000 acres overlooking the Clark Fork River delta. About 14,000 acres are in Idaho; separate legislation could protect the remaining land in Montana.

The protection bill comes on the heels of Rep. Mike Simpson’s efforts to protect the Boulder-White Clouds.

We salute the Republican lawmakers for realizing that pristine lands are just as important to some Idahoans as economic development.

The proposal has wide support, including from local political leaders and the timber industry.

“There are some parts of the national forest that should be managed for timber production and some parts of the forest that should be managed for wilderness,” Bob Boeh, Idaho Forest Group’s vice president of government affairs, told The Spokesman-Review.

If Risch’s bill gains congressional approval, the wilderness would be kept that way forever.

Jeer

The Twin Falls School District angered hundreds of parents Friday when it canceled school for some students but required others to attend classes.

In a message to parents, the district said:

“School will be open this morning; however, we will not be able to run buses south of 3600 North, west of 2800 East, north of 4200 North, or east of Hankins Road. Any students living in affected areas will be excused from school. We will watch conditions and attempt to run buses at a later time. Should this happen you will be notified. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Parents flooded the district’s Facebook page with complaints, most of which pointed out that icy conditions existed in other parts of the district’s boundaries that made it difficult for parents to drive or children to walk. Most parents seemed to want a snow day for the whole district, and many said there were keeping their students home regardless of whether they lived in the affected area.

Wrote one parent: “Picking and choosing which kids to keep safe by having them stay home, and having the rest still face the dangers of getting to school is absolutely ridiculous! Not to mention the teachers that you are putting at risk too, only to have them teach half their students.”

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We understand it’s a difficult call for district leaders to cancel classes – any snow days have to be made up at the end of the year – but we wish they would have been clearer with parents and made a more decisive decision. The district probably should have canceled classes for all.

Perhaps the backlash will have district leaders thinking differently next time.

Cheer

The Goode Motor Group is thinking outside the box for plans to expand its dealerships — it has big plans for the former Twin Cinema 12, 160 Eastland Drive.

The theater has been closed for years, and the building is a sad shell of what the property used to be. But Goode owner Matt Cook sees potential.

His plans include using part of the old theater for a community-meeting center, and using the remaining areas for a car showroom. There may even be interest in a restaurant on the property, a prime location on the city’s east side at Eastland Drive and Kimberly Road.

We’re always pleased when developers and business leaders can make use of existing structures. Cook will need a special-use permit from the city. We hope his plans work out.

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