There has been a good bit of positive news in Twin Falls and Idaho lately that has made me feel hopeful about the future. Fair attendance was up. I hope that means that we are enjoying our rural roots. State legislators were informed in creative ways (a luncheon in the street!) about the specific concerns of our area. The Times-News posted the hopeful picture of a recovering Braxten Nielsen on the front page because so many would be relieved to see good news after the scary incident at the fairgrounds. Downtown is beginning to really shape up. And, need I mention, Fit Donuts has come to Twin Falls. This will be a great partner to the ice cream from Cloverleaf Dairy at Lucky Scoop!
I want to shout out to the Idaho legislators who have crafted a solution to the health care situation uniquely applicable to Idaho. It is not my preference, but it is thoughtful and has the advantage of being adopted in Idaho within our current national health care climate. I would love to see even more creativity added as we approach the legislative session.
I’m even more excited about the proposed City Club. There are many clubs in Twin Falls dedicated to civic action, and I think every adult in Twin Falls should choose to be a part of at least one. The City Club will, I think, be especially useful because it will concentrate on information needed to be an informed citizen. It will encourage discussion of current local affairs in an informal, friendly setting. The kickoff luncheon was a great start, and I am waiting to see this develop into something creative.
I’m highlighting some of these things because they show a stark contrast to the overwrought political discussions on various cable channels and in social media. In the past week, we have also seen an example of how a foreign government can propagandize our political discourse for no other reason than to sow seeds of disharmony and suspicion of government at all levels.
The national media took notice of how the Magic Valley pushed back against the forces of discord over refugees, and I was extremely proud of my friends and acquaintances who in large and small ways furthered that effort. Without any kind of a scientific sample, I also note a widening group of people who are interested in building our community around the unique sets of circumstances we have.
As I study the opinions of people who forecast the future in technology, economics, or any of the social sciences, I see the impulse to consider the local in the context of universal wellbeing. We have the most control over our community and our state, and there is a lot we can do to improve the quality of our life without depending on or forcing federal action. We can plan, we can act, and we can invest in our own future.
We cannot hold back the tide of change, but we can form it to our needs. The important ingredient in that sentence is we. Yes, family is important; yes, cultural heritage, religious belief and individual traditions are important. However, we need community to be secure throughout our life. We cannot live without a diversity of skill and innovation.
Twin Falls and the Magic Valley have the ingredients to build a strong and resilient local community. I hope to encourage my readers to be a part of it.