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Cheers and Jeers

Cheer

It’s a popular trope to chastise teenagers. They’re too engrossed in social media (as if adults aren’t), they feel entitled, and they’re killing our subpar national chains of department stores and restaurants.

It’s nothing new; pretty much every generation since the beginning of time has criticized the following generation of teenagers.

But on the heels of student-led school walkouts and impressive political engagement after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., we reported on six notable senior projects from high school seniors at Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge High School.

Those projects included a humanitarian trip to Belize (Barrett Humble) and starting a printing business (Anna Jensen).

The days of chastising teenagers and young adults for being engaged neither politically nor civically seem to be over. This generation appears attuned to the issues we face as a nation, and ready to jump in and have their voices heard.

In short, teenagers will someday rule the world. Despite what you may have heard on the contrary, we think that’s not so bad.

Jeer

Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter passed on offering his signature to the “stand your ground” bill Wednesday. Instead, he let it become law without his signature. His reason for not providing a signature? “Among my biggest concerns are the potential consequences on our children.”

Otter foresees a scenario in which a mischievous kid sneaks onto someone else’s property and steals a soda from an RV or sneaks into a cornfield in the middle of the night. With this bill, he fears that kid will be shot and killed, while the property owner’s “fear and action is deemed reasonable.”

The kid should certainly be punished. He is a trespasser. But Otter rightly sees that a bullet is improper punishment for his crime.

So why, then, did Otter forego providing his signature instead of just killing the bill? If he is truly concerned that this bill gives property owners a dangerous legal right, surely he feels the bill worth shutting down altogether.

Cheer

The House approved a federal spending bill that includes a bipartisan plan to create a wildlife disaster fund to combat wildfires in the West.

The bill sets aside more than $20 billion over 10 years to allow the Forest Service and other federal agencies to stop raiding the funds of other accounts to pay for the costs of wildfires.

Wildfires in the West have grown in severity the past few years, causing lawmakers to throw budgets into flux with so-called “fire borrowing.”

Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho are credited with playing key roles in getting the bill passed, along with lawmakers from Washington and Oregon.

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