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Cheers and Jeers

Cheer

Hundreds of high schoolers across the Magic Valley received diplomas this week and now begin new chapters in their lives.

Congratulations to all. You’ve made it this far; now, why not go a little further?

Employers across the region report trouble hiring skilled workers. And with low unemployment rates at what one economist called “crisis levels,” a little more education holds that much more value as companies compete for the best-trained workers.

Many students will go on to four-year universities. More should pursue community college programs and vocational training.

The prospect of continuing your studies after just finishing 12 years of school might seem daunting, but a short-term commitment now to a better education will reap benefits your whole life.

Jeer

It is Memorial Day weekend, which means Idaho’s tourism industry is entering its busiest season of the year, when people flock to some of the most beautiful destinations on Earth, right here in Idaho.

But some of those locales aren’t quite as beautiful as they deserve to be because some folks seem to think they’re dumping grounds for garbage.

How often have you taken a visitor to a favorite spot, only to find it littered with soda cans and junk?

But what can you do?

First, we can all do our part by not littering. Second, join one of the many volunteer efforts underway this time of year to clean up garbage on public lands. And lastly, if you see somebody dumping garbage or littering, speak up. Contact the authorities.

Public land belongs to all of us, after all.

The Bureau of Land Management this weekend is kicking off its second annual Don’t Dump Idaho campaign and has more information about how to keep our public lands clean.

If you see someone dumping garbage or come across a dumpsite, report it at BLM_ID_DontDumpIdaho@blm.gov or by phone at 1-844-327-5572 or 208-373-4096. In south-central Idaho, call SIRCOMM at 208-735-1911 or BLM Law Enforcement at 208-735-4600.

Cheer

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The Twin Falls City Council on Monday unanimously approved new ordinances aimed at keeping pets safe. New rules will give police more powers to intervene when animals are trapped in hot cars.

We all know leaving children in hot cars can have devastating consequences. More than 700 children have died since 1998 from being left inside cars, according to noheatstroke.com, a website that tracks such deaths.

But heat can be even more devastating for pets. Dogs lack the ability to sweat to cool their bodies down. Cracking a window often simply isn’t enough. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates hundreds of pets die each year from being left in hot cars.

Twin’s new ordinances make it illegal to leave animals unattended inside motor vehicles. It also allows police to break into a car when an animal is in danger. Car owners could face fines up to $100 for leaving Fido unattended.

Don’t think this is a big problem? City police have already responded to seven calls about animals in cars this year, and it’s hardly been warm outside.

Councilwoman Suzanne Hawkins supported the ordinance but rightly pointed out that it was a shame the government was having to legislate something like common sense. Responsible pet owners should know it’s not OK to leave animals unattended.

We agree, but now there will be consequences for their stupidity beyond the loss of a pet’s life.

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