Home News Sports/Outdoors Social Business Calendar

Events & Entertainment Letters Obituaries Archives Advertise
Search ...
Letters & Opinion
June 5
Thank you for helping me stand: I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to an old friend who caught my arm as I struggled to my feet Saturday for the Bonners Ferry High School Band's excellent rendition of the National Anthem at the Class of 2023 graduation. By Mike Weland
There is no victory in debt ceiling deal: The United States is grappling with a severe spending addiction that shows no signs of abating. Year after year, our government fails to implement responsible budgetary measures, instead opting to borrow more money to fund its excessive expenditures. The recent decision to raise the debt ceiling, while it may help us avoid immediate disaster, does little to change the trajectory of government growth. By Dorothy Moon
May 31
Let's hope truth starts lacing up its boots fast: A sure sign the politics of Idaho have changed for the worse is when attacks on good legislators begin weeks after the Legislature adjourns and a full year before the next election. That’s what is happening in our state right now. By Rod Gramer
May 29
The steep price of a poisoned body politic: Day by day it becomes more clear that our nation's politics are suffering grievous illness, one side of the political spectrum vociferously accusing the other of being the enemy, of being and championing evil, while theirs embraces lies and conspiracies and does actual ill to our nation, the rule of law and the very constitution upon which this nation is founded. It is certain that there are extremists in any assemblage of ideologies, but at present, there is but one that's allowed the most radical of its members to have hands so high on the reins of power. It's not the Democrats. By Mike Weland
May 22
The Great Boundary County Library Scandal: Last summer, Adrienne Norris and Donna Capurso circulated recall petitions which falsely claimed that Library Board members are “further adopting potentially sexualized, pornographic, pervasive [sic] and deviant material into our library.” No recall election ensued because few county residents signed on for the lies. By Timothy Braatz
May 20
'One man, one vote' means each vote counts equally: In 1964, only 568 people lived in one legislative district in Nevada, while approximately 127,000 lived in another. Idaho had a similar gap in voting power, with 969 people in the smallest district and 93,400 in the largest. These types of differences in the power to choose state legislators led to the United States Supreme Court decision in Reynold v. Sims, explaining that such unfair voting power violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. By Tom Arkoosh
Senator Len Jordan reflected the values of Idaho’s traditional Republicans: Former U.S. Senator Len Jordan served Idaho with distinction from 1962 through 1972. He was a conservative Republican who brought courage and individualism to the Senate. He differed with Idaho’s other Senator, Frank Church, on a number of issues, but they worked together in harmony on issues affecting Idaho. Both were dedicated to safeguarding democracy They had a relationship of mutual trust and respect. By Jim Jones
May 19
Extremists, have you no decency? In 1954, after years of successfully smearing innocent people, ruining lives and careers, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy launched a new attack against an unlikely target – the United States Army. Unlike his other victims, the Army had the power and influence to fight back. By Rod Gramer
May 18
The art of conversation: In the furor of our divisive Idaho politics right now, we have lost the important ability to talk with each other as people. We have lost the art of conversation. TV and internet news is full of reports and images of angry people yelling nasty names at those who disagree with them. Is anything constructive accomplished by the screaming? No. And even those who organize the fight know this. By Mary Souza
May 17
Time for the radical right to quit stirring fake outrage: Many today celebrated the outcome of Tuesday's election, with some seeing the retention of the incumbents on the Boundary County Library Board as vindication of the traditional conservative (read RINO) values of the community and as repudiation of the values of a new breed of radical right-wing "conservatives" (read fascists) building up here of late who would usurp tried local values to impose upon us their wrong and radical points of view. By Mike Weland
Zone 5 library board trustee says thanks: I would like to thank all the people who voted Tuesday. It really is what makes America great. I am honored to be elected as one of the five people guiding the Boundary County Library. I would especially like to thank all the people who helped me in my first campaign ever: Laura Anderson, Steve Howlett, sign posters, phone callers and all the people who endured my campaign speech. By Lee Colson
Zone 3 library board member thanks voters: I’m humbled and honored to once again represent my district on the Boundary County Library board. By many accounts, this was one of the highest turnout elections in the library’s history. For me, that was the true victory because it shows the attention and care our community has for our library. I should say something grand and punny about new beginnings or closed chapters but in truth, the story continues. By Aaron Bohachek
May 11
Trusts our librarians, library board: Book lovers of Boundary County: next Tuesday, May 16, is an important day. If you live in Boundary County Library Zone 3 or 5, it is the day to vote for Aaron Bohachek or Lee Colson for the freedom to choose to read what you want to read. For a number of years, my husband and I taught at American or International schools in the Middle East. By Jolyn Horton
May 10
On Tuesday, hear truth, not hypocrisy: A recent candidate forum held at the Mt Hall Community Church and the video of that forum being shared, along with other disinformation, has led to a volume of disputed statements circulating through our community about Boundary County Library. I’d like to shed light on these statements prior to the Zone 3 and 5 library board elections by relating some substantiated facts. By Alison G. Henslee
Beware those who profess to know good from evil: The upcoming library board election has taken on new importance this year. A vote for Lee Colson and Aaron Bohachek is a vote for experienced and responsible leadership for all people in Boundary County. Library boards, like school boards, are non-partisan and secular positions. Yet there is a new movement in our county trying to merge politics and religion into both our public library and schools. By Barbara Russell
Library libel and other false witnessing: Mt. Hall Community Church recently held a rally for their two library board candidates, Mary-Esther Wilson and Lewis Clark. They are running against incumbents Lee Colson and Aaron Bohaceck. Familiar faces were present: Mark Moseley, Steve Fioravanti, Adrienne Norris. Both Wilson and Clark said God told them to run for office; their mission is to stop pornography. By Timothy Braatz
May 9
KCRCC/IFF: A pig’s tale: The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee and its conjoined twin, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, remind me of the pigs in George Orwell’s prophetic novel, Animal Farm. Written in the 1940s, the book is an enlightened, entertaining yet frightening study of human nature. We can almost see the actions of KCRCC/IFF in the pigs’ behavior as rulers after the animal takeover of the farm. By Mary Souza
May 8
A son endorses his mother's candidacy for library board: I'm writing this in regard to my mother's application as library trustee. Mary-Esther Wilson is more than qualified for this position within the community. She has resided and been involved in the community for 10-plus years. If it's time spent in a library, then she more than qualifies. Throughout my childhood the community library was utilized by my parents for schooling material and resources. By Matthew Wilson
MAGA lies are unraveling under the harsh light of evidence: While the process has been excruciatingly slow, the questions regarding the veracity of former president and current Republican frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination Donald J. Trump are steadily being answered in the negative. Yet still a flag flies upside down on Main Street in Bonners Ferry, "Let's Go Brandon!" graces the sign board of a Main Street business. Trucks drive by with "F**k Biden" flags alongside American flags denoting not patriotism, but fealty to a would-be despot. A sign coming into town still proclaims this beautiful place "Trump Country." By Mike Weland
Idaho has a chance to moderate political climate: Idahoans will have the opportunity in November of 2024 to open up our elections so that every eligible voter can participate in choosing their public officials. There will be an “Open Primaries” initiative on the ballot to establish a primary election where all candidates run on a single ticket, allowing every voter to select from the entire field. The four top vote-getters will be placed on the general election ballot, where all voters can vote for the candidates in their order of preference. By Jim Jones
May 5
Support Wilson, Clark for open government: Boundary County Library is a taxing district supervised and controlled only by the people. The library’s operation in recent years has been curtailed and even closed with the board hiring a law firm to investigate that specializes in defending public entities from liability. The resulting report was withheld in total, an act of censorship. Open government is the cornerstone of a free society, the opposite is a shroud of secrecy cultivating fertile soil for rumors, lies and improper management. By Steve Tanner
Ensuring our nation remains a free and prosperous republic: Since I started my time as chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party, I’ve put a lot of miles on my rig. I’ve crisscrossed the state to attend Lincoln Days, county GOP meetings, and community events. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel out-of-state for Republican National Committee events. Just last week, I traveled to Oklahoma for the RNC’s spring training. By Dorothy Moon
May 4
These sheepish, naive North Idahoians don't need saved: Do you ever stop and think just how lucky we are to have had all the new people move into Boundary County from all points of the compass and save us from ourselves? Before these folks came, we had to run our county, towns, schools, volunteer fire departments and libraries by ourselves. The leaders of these governments or organizations were led by generations of locals or people who moved here over the years that both "fit in" and "stood out." Dr. Marty Becker
A civics lesson; no travesty in May 16 election: Bev Carr's letter of May 4 suggests that voting rights have been eliminated for the citizens of Moyie Springs. This is incorrect. Voting rights have not been eliminated. Rather the May 16 election is for qualified electors residing within the city limits of Bonners Ferry and for those residing in Library Zones 3 and 5. There is no travesty. Elections are specific to library zones, school board zones, a fire district, a municipality, a county or state. By Mary Ollie
Tucker vs. town hall: Tucker Carlson suddenly left Fox News. This is upsetting to hear because he was considered by many as a trusted source for conservative information. Tucker’s Fox Nation interviews were most fascinating, in my opinion. He interviewed a wide array of interesting experts discussing current issues pertinent to our world. By Mary Souza
Moyie residents have no vote May 16: Are you aware that citizens of Moyie Springs cannot vote in this election? Only those living in Bonners Ferry can vote, along with the other areas listed on the sample ballot. We in Moyie Springs have no vote concerning the only library available to us to use, though we pay taxes to support it. We have no vote about the one-percent tax issue. By Bev Carr
May 3
How far do we let 'them' go? Let's find out together: Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve as trustee in your independent library district for the past term. I’ve applied for the position again, and on May 16 voters in my district get to decide if I’m still the right fit for the job. When I agreed to take on this task, I didn’t realize I would be caught in the middle of a culture war battle. The strain of this has been difficult for the board and staff but I can’t emphasize enough how proud I am of everyone that continues to keep our library functioning and growing. By Aaron Bohachek
May 2
Retain Colson and Bohachek: Please consider these valid reasons to retain Lee Colson and Aaron Bohachek on the Boundary County Library Board: They both recognize that the library serves the entire community; Their opponents have self-serving agendas backed by radical groups. By Janis Kerby
Mary Esther will serve community well: I had the honor of serving with Mary Esther Wilson on the Library Policy Design Committee beginning August of 2022. It was here that I quickly recognized Mary Esther's high moral courage and her value-based leadership. Mary Esther is a mother and she knows the importance of protecting those without agency, that being children. By Doug Nowak
May 1
Senator Herndon continues with dirty tricks: Having read on the front page of the April 24 Daily Bee that the Bonner County Republican Central Committee (RCC), chaired by Idaho District 1 Senator Herndon, awarded a no confidence vote for District 1 Representative Mark Sauter, along with the April 29 Kootenai County RCC article alleging our same senator paid out-of-state McShane LLC $80,000 to attack fellow Republicans in the last election cycle, I feel compelled to respond. By Tony McDermott
Stayed in the lane of a responsible conservative Republican: As one of your elected representatives for District #1, it is important that you, the residents of Bonner and Boundary Counties, know where I stand on the real issues that impact your life. You might have read Senator Herndon’s recent broadly distributed press release, wherein he publicly pointed out some of the differences between me and the Bonner County Republican Central Committee, the Idaho Freedom Foundation  and the State GOP platform. By Mark Sauter
April 30
Thank Herndon? Idaho's students deserve better: With "four-million-plus advocates in all 50 states," Americans for Prosperity, a "premier grassroots advocacy organization transforming country policy" based in Arlington, Virginia, spent who knows how much putting a glossy mailer in Idaho District 1 mail boxes telling the people of North Idaho that Idaho students deserve more, and to say thank you to Senator Scott Herndon, who agrees. By Mike Weland
Good library, but room for improvement: A nation cannot be both ignorant and free nor can it be immoral and free. Our public library could and should be an institution for promoting both morality and freedom. I keep hearing that we have a great little library and President Bush said so, which gives it credence and preserves the status quo. By Robert Vickaryous
April 28
Retain sanity on the library board: I can remember when the late Jim Marx and Sandy Ashworth traveled to the White House to receive the "Best Small Library in America" award from First Lady Laura Bush not that many years ago. Since then, a group of disgruntled employees leveled embellished claims of mismanagement resulting in a multi-year closure and limited operations to the detriment of library patrons and Boundary County taxpayers. By Gerald B. Higgs
April 27
Big lies marching us toward authoritarianism: Why do some candidates and politicians make a big deal out of problems that are not problems but a failure to recognize boundaries? Despite any evidence of coercion, they suffer the vapors claiming that another’s personal choice is violating their rights. Why concoct something so outrageous that no one thinks that anyone would make up a lie so big? It’s because many people will believe it to be true. By Mary Ollie
April 26
Paying homage to a true North Idaho legislator: On April 24, under the leadership of chairman Scott Herndon, who also serves as Idaho District 1's state senator, the Bonner County Republican Central Committee voted unanimously to declare they have no confidence in District 1, Seat A, representative Mark Sauter, who ranked a mere 39.5-percent on the illustrious Idaho Freedom Foundation's education index, 51.9-percent on the "freedom" index, and a dismal 8.3-percent on that august body's spending index. By Mike Weland
Protecting our nation's agricultural lands: There has been increased concern in Idaho and across the country regarding Chinese companies’ purchases of U.S. farmland. Idaho agricultural land is a precious resource that should be protected from foreign adversaries. I recently co-sponsored legislation that would prevent foreign adversaries’ purchases or investment in U.S. farmland. There are no federal restrictions on the amount of private American agricultural land that can be owned by foreign entities. By U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
April 25
Library board incumbents have proven themselves: A healthy public library has always been a stabilizing force in a community. Boundary County is no different, and an important election is coming up May 16 when voters in Zones 3 and 5 will choose their representatives on the library board. Incumbents Aaron Bohachek (Zone 3) and Lee Colson (Zone 5) have demonstrated their leadership abilities during these past challenging months. By Robin Lundgren
Dreaming of a return to a live-and-let-live attitude in Idaho: Idaho has never been perfect, but over the long haul Idahoans have generally been practical in their politics and tolerant in their dealings with one another. Idaho Territory was given life by Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. Statehood followed in 1890. Idaho residents were concerned with real problems–getting the Gem State up and running. By Jim Jones
Partisan U.S. Supreme Court a threat to democracy: Thomas Jefferson said "The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens." However the increasing politicization of our Supreme Court nominees, especially since 1991, has undermined that “most sacred of duties” and thus our democracy as no other threat has before. Historically, justices for the U.S. Supreme Court, were elected with a three-fifths majority vote of the senate. By Georgia Earley
Keep the library open for our community: We are so fortunate to live in a community that has vast beauty, clean air and many caring constituents. Having lived in Boundary Count6y for 40-plus years, the Boundary County Library has always been an inviting place to gain knowledge. As trustees, Lee Colson, Zone 5, and Aaron Bohachek, Zone 3, have strived to keep our library an institution that serves the entire community. By Laura Anderson
April 24
Look to our forests this Arbor Day: I’ve spent more than a decade serving the people of the great state of Idaho. I continue to be amazed by our tremendous natural resources and how they benefit our citizens. As state controller, I am responsible for accounting for all state expenditures by providing accounting services to state agencies, processing payroll for approximately 25,000 state employees and operating one of the state’s largest data centers. By Brandon Woolf
April 22
A better approach? We opened our mail box yesterday and found an attractive card inside from the City of Bonners Ferry soliciting our vote for Local Options for Local Services. A one-percent sales tax proposal for the city to fund vital services within the city. I’m curious why this is being proposed when the state has an admitted budget surplus of nearly $1.4 billion dollars on hand. By Chuck Giordano
Holding on to lies to spite truth: "Right now, our nation is heading into a time of trial. We live in a deeply divided nation, where public discourse is broken and respect for different opinions has dwindled to nothing. Two opposing ideologies fight for the future of America," reads the home page of the Heritage Foundation's website, a group that touts leading the conservative movement for 50 years. "We have a White House and legislature bent on pushing a far-left agenda." No, we don't. By Mike Weland
May 16 election important, vote Bohachek: If you live in Boundary County Library Zone 3, as I do, or in Zone 5, you have an important upcoming election to choose your zone's library board trustee. Check with the courthouse clerk to discover which library zone you are in. Small elections can be confusing because of varying boundaries, sometimes with only a few districts voting. By Jo Len Everhart
April 14
The history of the obituary: There is a phrase in the King James Bible that resounds with me, "For the wages of sin is death." It ranks right up there with a line written by author Larry McMurtrey, attributed to Captain Woodrow F. Call, "I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it." As a journalist, I never imagined that both would come to apply to that most solemn of my duties; publishing obituaries. By Mike Weland
We must find solutions to hotter, longer wildfires: Idaho has the unfortunate distinction of being in the top five states for acres burned by wildfire in 2022, including the disastrous Moose Fire that impacted Salmon, Idaho, and other nearby communities. The Moose Fire burned for more than 100 days and consumed more than 130,000 acres. Wildfires are burning longer and hotter, harming natural resources, wildlife habitat, budgets and workforces. By Mike Crapo
The real obscenity isn’t library porn, it’s propaganda: Last month, 68 Republican legislators told 1,939,033 Idahoans what they can’t read in libraries. That’s how many of them voted for House Bill 314, which empowers Attorney General Raul Labrador to prosecute and punish every public and private school library for anything on the shelf that he decides is “harmful to minors.” And don’t think he won’t do it. By Steven Berch
April 13
Gaffe leaves Idaho without a primary election: The 2024 Republican Presidential Primary is shaping up to be one of the most consequential primaries of the last 40 years. Selecting the delegates who will decide the next Republican nominee can seem a complicated and arcane process. Across the country, state Republican parties use different procedures to select delegates to send to the Republican National Convention. By Dorothy Moon
Thanks for nothing, conservative legislators: While Senator Herdon and the rest of the conservative Idaho legislature are busy patting themselves on the back for a job well done, I would like to also thank them first for passing one of the most restrictive abortion (or women’s health care) laws in the county when Roe v. Wade fell in 2022. They then went on in this legislative session to pass HB242 addressing the problem of abortion trafficking. By Celia Phaete
April 12
Let's talk about war: Why are we constantly engaging in it? Who benefits? What is the military industrial complex? The names of companies that might come to mind are Ford Motor Company, International Harvester, Caterpillar, Boeing Aircraft and perhaps hundreds of others. But what about the Russian military industrial complex? Who built the factories in Russia where the tanks, guns, trucks and aircraft are made that were used to kill American soldiers in Vietnam and Korea and now Ukrainians? By Robert Vickaryous
Idaho no longer has a presidential primary: The Idaho Constitution specifies that it is the duty of the Idaho Legislature to establish a system of free public schools for the purpose of providing a stable republican form of government. However, it is in this primary mission, endowing our citizens with a basic understanding of civics, that our public schools are failing miserably. Few and far between are the citizens that have a well-rounded knowledge of how our government actually works, or fails to work. By Brent Regan
April 11
Will the Legislature be able to financially starve the courts into submission? No doubt about it. A large swath of the legislature is still honked off about the Idaho Supreme Court’s 2021 decision overturning a raw legislative power grab. In reaction to voter approval of Reclaim Idaho’s initiative to expand Medicaid coverage, indignant legislators passed a law designed to make it virtually impossible for the people to ever again exercise their constitutional right to legislate. By Jim Jones
On gun control: My dad was a career soldier, first a military policeman, then an infantryman. For my sixth Christmas, he bought me a BB gun and taught me to shoot that very night, he and I taking turns plinking ornaments off the Christmas tree while my mom objected strenuously. When he was satisfied I would be responsible, he gave me leave to carry it with me on my solitary travels through the woods, and I carried it often. By Mike Weland
April 7
Pray people pray: Remember the good old days when the president actually took questions from the press, kept millions of illegals from sneaking into our country, gave us energy independence, had the economy roaring, had our enemies actually fear us, lifted up our military and our police, when the words "Make America Great Again" were proud words and the American Flag was respected, when men could be men and women were women, when we expected the FBI to be men of integrity and when the news media actually were interested in news and truth? By Ginny McCormick ... comment added
Where are the leaf cutter bees? I have a question for the community ... What happened to the leaf cutter bees? I was born and raised in rural Southern Idaho. Among other crops, we raised alfalfa seed. To help pollinate it, we facilitated the use of leaf cutter bees by putting up bee boards, about a 5” x 5” pine board with hundreds of pre-drilled holes, that had been filled with larvae the previous year. By Dr. Marty Becker
New Republican legislators lead return to conservative principles: In July of 2022, the Republican Party gathered in Twin Falls for our summer convention to elect new leadership of the party. The grassroots came together and overwhelmingly voted for change from the top down, setting a mandate that the party return to conservative principles. When I took the gavel, I made a commitment to Republicans in Idaho that I would work to ensure their voices were heard in the statehouse and resolutions passed by our grassroots would be represented. By Dorothy Moon
Legislators spreading hate in wake of veto: Idaho citizens who this week were relieved that Governor Brad Little vetoed the latest horrible bill out of the legislature, HB314a, were doubly grateful to legislators like our own Representative Mike Sauter for voting to sustain his veto. But defeat of that terrible bill has left a destructive, unjust wake. By Clarice McKenney
Time for the adults to stand up to the young'uns: Every day, the news brings sordid yet irrefutable confirmation that the depths to which the radical faction of our body politic in ascendancy today will stoop knows no bounds. But the fault of it isn't theirs. They are the kids running amok in the candy store. The fault lies with the adults in the room who consistently keep letting them get away with it. By Mike Weland
April 6
Idaho or Idastan? Idaho, always a state with a healthy respect and tolerance for the rights of individuals, is seeing an influx of of people and organizations with extremist views that seek to take away or severely limit our rights. They are very successful. The state legislature has been busy legislating details of our private lives and how we must behave. Prison sentences and fines await anyone or any organization that dares defy Christian nationalist goals. By Doug Kim-Brown
Public education fared better than expected in the 2023 legislative session: Public education came through the 2023 legislative session much better than anyone had expected. It was not a banner year, but the prospects for Idaho’s public schools appeared dim at the outset of the session because a number of new anti-education legislators were elected last year. Fortunately, because of their inexperience or overzealousness, they were not able to disable our public school system. By Jim Jones
Idaho's anti-doctor bill signed into law: On Tuesday, 78 legislators and Governor Brad Little enacted a law, H71, that will throw Idaho doctors in jail for up to 10 years if the parents of a minor seek approved, professional medical treatment for their child suffering from gender dysphoria. An act of utter hypocrisy. The majority party believes that parents of a minor with gender dysphoria cannot decide to have a medically trained doctor treat their child. By Representative Steve Berch
The IFF Files Part 8: Donations and Conversations: Idaho Freedom Foundation’s board member, Heather Lauer, tried to twist the truth and misstate my intentions. She wrote a quick response to my column last week, claiming I want to “expose and target Idaho residents who support charities, churches, or advocacy organizations.” No, I do not. Current law does not require those donors to be publicly reported. By Mary Souza
April 4
We're done! ... (almost): The House and Senate have cleared their calendars of all remaining bills. The legislature is now in recess, waiting to see what bills (if any) the Governor vetoes. Three bills being closely watched are the “library bill” (H314), the “anti-transgender bill” (H71) and the "abortion trafficking" bill (H242). The legislature will be returning to the Capitol on April 6 to finish up all remaining business. Barring the unexpected, the legislature should then officially adjourn the 2023 session (formally referred to as “Sine Die”). By Idaho Representative Steve Berch
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

A 9B Media LLC publication

9B News welcomes letters to the editor on any topic of interest to readers in Boundary County, Idaho, written for a family audience and without malice. Email letters to mike@9b.news and be sure to include a daytime phone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for style and clarity or to withhold publication.
Sign up for breaking news alerts