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Our View: Cheers and Cheers to traditions that don't change, helpers and a Buhl winery

Our View: Cheers and Cheers to traditions that don't change, helpers and a Buhl winery

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Editor’s note: We thought everyone could use some extra cheer, so no jeers this week.


Cheers to traditions that don’t change, even in a global pandemic.

The 116th annual opening of the Main Line headgates at Murtaugh Lake on March 20 marked the start of the irrigation season.

Twin Falls Canal Co. General Manager Brian Olmstead said the canal company can’t afford to have workers stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak, because without functioning canals, the Magic Valley can’t produce food.

“We’re critical infrastructure,” Olmstead said. “My guys have to come to work every day.”


Cheers to those who are looking for ways to help. The Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center has asked residents to step up and sew cloth face masks for home use — using supplies they already have — in response to the COVID-19 spread in the state.

The masks made by residents are not intended to replace N95 respirator masks used by medical professionals, but they can be used by citizens for some protection from airborne droplets infected with the virus when a person goes out into the community, Burley family physician Dr. Wendell Wells said.

“I will use them in my office. When patients come in they will be given one,” Wells said. After the masks are used the patient will place them in a receptacle and then the masks will be laundered and sterilized.

“I think this is a wonderful thing for them to do.”


Cheers to Holesinsky Winery in Buhl, which won two double golds at this year’s SavorNW awards, the biggest competition for Oregon, Washington and Idaho wineries. Double gold is the highest honor a wine can receive at the competition, short of receiving both double gold and best in class.

“It’s a big deal,” said Eric Smallwood, the winery’s former general manager. “It’s the top of the top. … It’s really cool for the Magic Valley to have an award-winning winery like that in the backyard.”

Smallwood said the two wines are impressive for a few different reasons. For one, they were made with some of the most inland-grown grapes in the country — most of America’s top wineries are coastal. In addition to being inland, the Magic Valley’s high elevation can also be a disadvantage. Plus, south-central Idaho’s growing season is relatively short.


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