Cheer

Let’s all extend our solemn appreciation and gratitude for veterans. There are more than 138,000 veterans living in Idaho today — more than 8.5 percent of the state’s population.

Schools across the Magic Valley marked the Veterans Day holiday on Friday with presentations and lessons, and most Magic Valley communities planned ceremonies for the weekend. Many restaurants are offering vets a free meal.

These are all excellent gestures, but let’s not forget that veterans continue to face serious challenges, both at home and abroad. Veterans’ issues must be considered beyond a single day in November.

Jeer

We should all be alarmed by the apathy shown Tuesday when a pitiful 14.7 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Twin Falls. Other communities saw similar dismal turnout.

We get it. Voters are busy. In Twin Falls, in particular, things are going good, which sometimes lowers turnout. Anger is often a better voter motivator than satisfaction.

But when fewer than 1 in 6 people vote, it’s essentially that 1 person who gets to determine the fate of 6. That’s not good democracy.

Far too many people fail to understand just how substantially local government influences their lives, from taxes to development to roads and even law enforcement.

Perhaps, you told yourself Tuesday, your vote probably wouldn’t matter much anyway. Wrong. A city council seat in Heyburn ended in a tie. A single vote either way would have swung the entire election.

If you’re one of the folks who stayed home on Tuesday, remember your decision to abstain next time you want to gripe about something the city is up to. You had your chance to matter.

Cheer

A round of applause, please, for the Magic Valley Arts Council, who provided a grant that funded workshops led by the Missoula Children’s Theatre this week at eight high-poverty Magic Valley schools.

The workshops allow children to get an up-close look at a theater production, from the actors on the stage to the people designing costumes and sets. It’s a behind-the-scenes look many of the youngsters wouldn’t get otherwise.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre is in Twin Falls staging a production of “Aladdin” featuring local actors. Shows are today at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Sligar Auditorium at the arts council.

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