Commentary

Empty school classroom

The U.S. Supreme Court warns against state funding of private schools

BY: - July 6, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has again ruled that a state will be required to fund religious schooling if, but only if, it provides funding for private schooling. Speaking for the court’s Republican supermajority in Carson v. Makin, Chief Justice John Roberts put it this way: “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a […]

Robb Elementary School vigil

Parents must be prepared to talk to their kids about school shootings. Here are tips on how.

BY: - July 5, 2022

The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so the saying goes. In January 2021, I wrote a column called “Talking to your kids about recent mob violence.” The recent tragedies in Uvalde, Texas, and several other states bring on the sad occasion to write this piece again. I need to repurpose […]

Abraham Lincoln Memorial

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, just what is an American patriot?

BY: - July 4, 2022

As the nation observes the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we will often hear mention of patriots and patriotism. But, just what does it mean to be a patriot? The dictionary defines the term as “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” That […]

Jason Kessler

After Patriot Front arrests in North Idaho, meet the new ‘Conflict Entrepreneurs’

BY: - June 30, 2022

“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession and in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” said Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White. It’s not every day you see a […]

At-home COVID-19 test

The Biden administration said insurers must cover home COVID tests. It didn’t say how.

BY: - June 27, 2022

I read the announcement in January with mixed emotions: The Biden administration would soon require health insurers to pay for eight at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests per person, per month, it said. What a helpful move to improve testing access for Americans whose jobs, schooling and daily lives expose them to the virus, I thought. Especially […]

A house for sale in the North End of Boise.

Want to help keep Idaho families housed? Try a state tax credit for working families.

BY: - June 24, 2022

I didn’t come from wealth.  Growing up, my dad worked as a mechanic and my mom became disabled when I was young, so our income options were limited. Up until recently, my parents rented our home, both of my grandparents were also renters, and despite how much my parents did to make ends meet, we […]

Minidoka honor roll

Idaho’s Minidoka National Historic Site reminds us to remain vigilant against racial injustice

BY: - June 22, 2022

I had the privilege of speaking at a ceremony held June 13 at what was once known as the Minidoka Relocation Camp in Jerome County, recognizing the 80-year anniversary of the start of camp construction. Minidoka was one of 10 locations established in Western states in 1942 to imprison Japanese Americans who were uprooted from […]

Yellowstone National Park f

How might floods in Yellowstone National Park influence seismic and hydrothermal activity?

BY: - June 21, 2022

Last week, flooding at Yellowstone caused catastrophic damage in the region, destroying homes, roads, and bridges, and isolating entire communities. Despite the size of this event, the impacts on seismic and hydrothermal activity are likely to be minor. From June 10-13, 2022, an “atmospheric river” event — a system of warm and extremely wet air […]

June is Men’s Health Month: How to help a man in your life who may be struggling with depression

BY: - June 16, 2022

The troubling reality of the world we live in today is that many of us, whether directly or indirectly, have felt the devastating impact of depression-linked suicide. As we try to process these traumas, many are left to ponder the incomprehensible answer to the question: “Why?” Suicide, in all its forms, is most often the final […]

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards

Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards reminds us what heroism looks like

BY: - June 13, 2022

Every Republican who’s ever denied, or tried to minimize, the hideously destructive reality of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, should be required to sit and listen to the testimony of Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards. And if it takes strapping them into a chair, and propping their eyelids open, “A […]

Idaho Sunbeam Dam

As smolt-to-adult returns continue to dwindle, salmon can teach us a lesson at Idaho’s Sunbeam Dam

BY: - June 10, 2022

This is a story from one lifetime ago in the highest salmon grounds on earth, Idaho’s upper Salmon River. It bears on a judgment many Northwest residents and elected leaders are now making: whether restoring free-flowing conditions in the lower Snake River, by removing its dams, can restore a new version of salmon abundance in […]

Yellowstone National Park petrified trees

Yellowstone, known for thermal features and wildlife, has a secret: fossils rivaling other parks

BY: and - June 8, 2022

The thermal features and “charismatic megafauna” of Yellowstone are more than enough to draw crowds from all over the world, with the park seeing over 4 million visitors in 2021. But Yellowstone has a secret that very few visitors are even aware of: Yellowstone has fossils. Enough to rival other national parks that are renowned […]