Cheers to new council members, mayors, lawmakers and other elected officials who have been sworn in or will be sworn in this new year. We look forward to everything you have to offer. Harness the enthusiasm you feel now and save it for a rainy day when you’ve had angry constituent phone calls, an extra-long work session or are struggling through the budgeting process. Remember why you started. We need dedicated public servants now more than ever.
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Jeers to Rep. Chad Christensen, a Republican from Idaho Falls, who is floating the idea of a bill that would require school boards to get voter approval to change a mascot. Since last session, we’ve heard lots of issues that voters are worried about. Medicaid expansion, teacher pay, administrative rules and the state’s initiative process all come to mind. School mascots? Not so much. This is precisely the kind of time-wasting bill that prevents lawmakers from getting any real work done. We hope the idea is shelved and legislatures keep their focus this session.
Cheers to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists, technicians and volunteers who are keeping track of the Magic Valley’s mule deer. Cheers as well to the property owners whose land the crews work on. The agency puts GPS tracking collars on mule deer every year to monitor mortality rates. The program ultimately helps determine the number of hunting tags it gives out each year to keep deer numbers sustainable.