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Letter Writer: What Will We Do After the Fireworks Are Over?


May 15, 2021

Something to think about.

My oldest daughter is a nurse.  On July 3rd a service man escorted an older relative into her clinic.  As she was taking vitals, she said to the man, “Thank you for all you do to defend our freedoms!”  He replied, “Thank you for being worth the sacrifice.”  Wow!  I have never thought of that.  Have you?

July 4th is Independence Day for these Great Untied States of America.

For a few days prior to and on the 4th of July we party, have picnics, BBQ, games, parades, fun, fun, fun and fireworks!  Whoot!  Whoot!  We are patriots.  We are thankful for all that have sacrificed for us to be free!  For a lot of us in Utah, Idaho, and through out the U.S.A. and around the world, we continue to celebrate our heritage of the Mormon pioneers.  The faithful, diligent, courageous pioneers that suffered and sacrificed so much to settle this wild frontier.  Until the 24th of July, Pioneer Day.

And what about the days, weeks, and months after?  Are we making any sacrifices to keep and maintain the liberties and freedoms we enjoy?  That so many sacrifices were made and so much blood was shed to gain?

After the fireworks are over do we return to our gods of competition, sports, and entertainment?  As the pagan Romans of old?  In the fall (weeks past) will we send our children back to the federally funded/subsidized public schools to be further indoctrinated with Marxist philosophies?  To be subjected to the drugs, sexual abuse and constant bullying that is so prevalent?  To be segregated into classes because of athletic abilities, academic abilities or because of family situations which are totally out of the child’s control?  Whatever it takes to make my child or children “The Best,” that is our god.  Too bad for the rest.  We suppose this makes our children better citizens.

“From the fifth grade through the fourth year of college, our young people are being indoctrinated with Marxist philosophy, and I am fearful of the harvest.  The younger generation is further to the left than most adults realize.  The old concepts of our Founding fathers are scoffed and jeered at by young moderns whose goals appear to be the destruction of integrity and virtue, and the glorification of pleasure, thrills, and self-indulgence.”   Ezra Taft Benson  (“The Greatest Work in The World.” Improvement Era  70  [January 1967]; 26.)

I was 8 years old at the time.  And where are we some 54 years later?  “As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions.”  Ezra Taft Benson (God, Family, Country, p. 225.).  The false Gods before mentioned and Common Core curriculum are blatant sign of this.

Alma 47:18 And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer Poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.  (The Book of Mormon).  Do we feel we are patriots because we vote?  Because it is our right and our responsibility.  Truth be known, how many people that could vote, do vote?  How many of them that vote really know what they are voting for and/or what their candidate really stands for?  But we still get that warm fuzzy feeling.

Do we feel we are patriots when we are lounging in our plush recliners watching our big screen television?  With all the hot drinks, cold drinks, and every snack food that can be thought of?  Of course we are as long as we are cheering for Team U.S.A. Olympics, World cup soccer and so on…………

Over and Over we hear/say, “Why don’t they do something?”  “The system is broken!  They need to fix it.”  The truth is, the system is not broken.  The Constitution of these great United States of America is A God inspired document that provides and protects the freedoms of all Americans and allows us the responsibility to uphold it.  The politicians have become corrupted and self-serving.  “We The People” (The Government) are slowly but surely becoming “We The Sheeple,”  believing and following all the propaganda the major news media and politicians dish out.

“We are going through what J. Reuben Clark, Jr., once termed the greatest propaganda campaign of all time.”  Ezra Taft Benson (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp.58-59).  Somewhere along this path of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, this liberal train we are riding has to be slowed down and stopped!  

The first thing we have to do is put Jesus the Christ back as the leader of nations and recognize him as the author of liberty.  And then it will take every true blooded freedom loving person in this country to stand tall for Liberty.  “Yes I’m in!  Wait, sacrifice?  Give up something?  Let me think about this…”

What is the difference between a lazy blinded liberal waiting for the government to provide everything, or a self-centered, self-serving, conservative waiting for the government to fix everything?

“We need not solicit persecution, but neither should we remain silent in the presence of overwhelming evils, for this makes cowards of men.” Ezra Taft Benson (CR October 1964, Improvement Era 67 [December 1964]: 1067).

Darnell R. Shipp, St. Anthony, Idaho

Editor’s Note:  Darnell Shipp is the Chapter Leader for the John Birch Society (JBS) in Rexburg, Idaho.  To learn more about JBS, and the work they do educating citizens about the U.S. Constitution and principles of freedom, contact Mr. Shipp at (208) 206-9487.

Bicameral Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Facilitate Disaster Assistance for Communities


(U.S. Congress Press Release, May 13, 2021)

(U.S. Senator James Risch, Official Photo)

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) reintroduced the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, which would allow rural homeowners, renters, and small businesses to more easily access disaster relief in the wake of a natural disaster.

Additional cosponsors of the bill include Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and John Kennedy (R-La.).

Under current law, bureaucratic roadblocks prevent small businesses and homeowners in rural communities from accessing Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance following a natural disaster.  This legislation creates a waiver at no cost to taxpayers allowing rural communities to more readily access and secure SBA disaster assistance in the case of a presidentially-declared disaster.

“Under the current system, disaster victims in rural communities have experienced significant delays in relief funding brought on by bureaucratic red tape.  This bipartisan legislation aims to fix that,” said Senator Risch.  “The Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act will make critical resources available for rural small businesses affected by natural disasters.”

“Our small businesses face enough obstacles, especially today as they’re working to put the COVID-19 crisis behind us.  The last thing they should have to worry about when a disaster strikes is if they’ll be able to access the relief they need when they’re most vulnerable,” said Senator Shaheen.  “That’s why I’m glad to reintroduce this bipartisan, commonsense legislation with Senator Risch that will help address these bureaucratic barriers and ensure emergency resources are available to rural Granite State business owners when they need it most.”

“When a disaster like a flood or an ice storm hits a community, small businesses are supposed to have access to emergency resources from the federal government.  However, restrictions from the Small Business Administration have delayed or completely stopped federal disaster relief from going to small businesses in rural areas.  I’m working across the aisle with Congressman Hagedorn and Senators Risch and Shaheen to fix this bureaucratic nightmare and restore all rural small businesses’ access to disaster relief and resources,” said Congressman Golden.

“I am proud to partner with Rep. Jared Golden, Senator Risch, and Senator Shaheen to introduce the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act,” said Congressman Hagedorn.  “This bipartisan bill would make it easier for rural communities impacted by natural disasters to qualify for SBA disaster loans.  As someone who represents a predominantly rural district, I know the profound impact this will have on our communities that are most in need of assistance but haven’t been able to access available resources because of unrealistic population thresholds and bureaucratic red tape.  The Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act is a commonsense approach to providing a much-needed fix for our most rural small businesses who previously had difficulty accessing these, oftentimes, vital SBA disaster loans.”

You can find the bill text here.

Background: In the spring of 2019, Idaho County in the Idaho panhandle experienced severe and unprecedented flooding, prompting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance that helped rebuild roads and public infrastructure.  In response to scores of affected small businesses and homeowners in the region, the state also applied for SBA’s disaster assistance programs.  However, Idaho’s request was denied due to the county’s rural geography.


Last Day for Early Voting on North Bannock Fire District Levy is Today, Friday, May 14; Voting at Polls on May 18


May 14, 2021

Today is the last day for early voting on the North Bannock Fire District levy.  Vote between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm at the Bannock County Elections Office located at 141 N 6th Ave.

After today, residents in the District should plan to vote at their regular polling location on Tuesday, May 18.

North Bannock Fire has 27 firefighters and 5 Command staff for a compliment of 32 individuals serving the North Bannock Fire District.  North Bannock Fire District Commissioners recently held an open house to answer questions from residents about the levy.  You can read more about the meetings by clicking on the image, below:

North Bannock Fire District Commissioners Meet With Public to Discuss Levy


Chubbuck Mayor’s Blog Posted, May 14, 2021


(City of Chubbuck Video Release, May 14, 2021)

Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England has released his Mayor’s Blog video for April 9, 2021.

As noted on the video description, “Update Includes: Idaho Legislature (HB389), Town Hall Meeting, Idaho Gold Star Memorial, East Idaho Credit Union, City Hall Open House, Community Development, Chubbuck Days, and Movies in the Park.

To watch the video, click on the image, below:


What Did Your Legislators Accomplish in Boise This Year? Find Out This Saturday at Community Town Hall


May 14, 2021

The Idaho Legislature has wrapped up the longest session in Idaho history.  What did your legislators accomplish?  What was left undone?

Bring your questions to a community town hall this Saturday, May 15, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Chubbuck City Hall, 5160 Yellowstone Avenue.

Idaho State Senator Jim Guthrie and Representatives Randy Armstrong and Kevin Andrus will each give a presentation and then take your questions.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn what YOUR representatives are doing, and find out how well they are representing your interests in Boise.


Celebrate Three-Year Anniversary and Building Dedication with Mountain Valley Baptist Church, Sunday, May 16


May 14, 2021

Mountain Valley Baptist Church Pastor Don Whitecar and Family

Members of Mountain Valley Baptist Church, 202 S. 7th Avenue in Pocatello, will be celebrating their three-year anniversary and dedicating their new building this Sunday, May 16, and the public is invited to attend.

The dedication service begins at 11:00 a.m., along with a children’s service.  After the service, church members are hosting a complimentary lunch.

Join Mountain Valley Baptist Church this Sunday, hear the amazing story of how God has blessed this ministry, and get to know Pastor Don Whitecar, his family, and the members of their congregation.  They look forward to welcoming you and celebrating together.


Gov. Little Comments on 2021 Legislative Session


(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, May 14, 2021)

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little commented today on the 2021 legislative session following the Idaho Senate’s vote to adjourn sine die and the Idaho House of Representatives’ vote to recess for up to the end of the year.

“This was a truly historic legislative session in many ways – some good, and some not as good.  I have spent my time as Governor listening to the people about their expectations of state government and how we can deliver on what’s really important to them.  Fully funding schools, addressing the impacts of unprecedented growth by investing in our roads, and supporting individuals, families, and businesses through responsible tax policies top the list.  I believe the people of Idaho vote for their elected officials with the expectation they will prioritize the issues that impact their day-to-day lives.  I was able to secure legislative support for historic tax cuts, historic investments in transportation and other critical infrastructure, and a financially solvent state budget.

 “This is the longest legislative session in Idaho history.  That’s not something anyone should aspire to happen. This is Idaho, not Washington, D.C. Our citizens expect legislators to get in, do the work of the people, and leave expeditiously.  That is what the Idaho Constitution intended.  I appreciate the Idaho Senate for upholding the spirit of the Idaho Constitution and voting to adjourn.

 “An unknown end-of-session date and important work left undone create major dysfunction in state government, namely with the implementation of administrative rules.  I know that’s not an exciting topic, but it comes down to the nuts and bolts of state government and our ability to provide service to Idahoans.  My executive administration and I will find ways to make state government function and move forward – as we have before – but it will cost time and money.

 “I recently received a note from a mayor whose grandpa, Jack Murphy, served as Idaho Lieutenant Governor for eight years until 1975.  When he left the Senate chambers for the last time, he said, ‘There can be no personal victory or triumph for those who serve here.  There can be no individual defeat… The only victor when we are wise – is Idaho.  The only victim if we are unwise – is her People.’

 “The people of Idaho have a lot to celebrate for what we accomplished for them this session, but in other ways we can do much, much better.”


Gov. Little Announces $1,000 “Defend the Police” Bonuses for Frontline Idaho State Police Personnel


(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, May 14, 2021)

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

Boise, Idaho – During this National Police Week, Governor Brad Little is showing our law enforcement that Idaho “backs the blue” by providing $1,000 hazard pay bonuses to frontline personnel at Idaho State Police.

“Idaho truly is a state that ‘backs the blue.’  While other places seek to ‘defund the police,’ here in Idaho we are defending the police!  Our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect us.  The new $1,000 ‘Defend the Police’ payments are one small way we can recognize their courage and sacrifice, especially during the pandemic.  I encourage all Idahoans to thank a police officer this week, and throughout the year,” Governor Little said.

More than 360 commissioned officers and regional communications center personnel at the Idaho State Police will be the recipients of the $1,000 Defend the Police payments.


Pocatello Police Department Issues Advisory Notice About Recent Overdoses in Community


May 13, 2021

The Pocatello Police Department has issued the following advisory notice:

The Pocatello Police Department is issuing a warning that anyone using illegal drugs is placing themselves at risk of ingesting unknown toxic substances that could be lethal.

Over the past few weeks, officers have responded to multiple overdoses of opioids where illegal pills and heroin were ingested containing toxic substances, like fentanyl.  Several people experienced medical emergencies like respiratory failure that required life-saving measures and the administration of Narcan by emergency medical personnel and officers.

If you or someone you know uses narcotics and experiences a medical emergency, immediately call 911.  Under Idaho Code 37-2739C (, “a person acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for any person experiencing a drug-related medical emergency shall not be charged or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance… for using or being under the influence of a controlled substance… or for using or possessing with intent to use drug paraphernalia was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance.”

Additionally, “a person who experiences a drug-related medical emergency and is in need of medical assistance shall not be charged or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance… for using or being under the influence of a controlled substance… or for using or possessing with intent to use drug paraphernalia… if the evidence for the charge of possession of or using or being under the influence of a controlled substance or using or possessing drug paraphernalia was obtained as a result of the medical emergency and the need for medical assistance.”

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers “a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders” at 1-800-662-4357.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Behavioral Health’s Substance Use Disorder Services Program “provides statewide treatment and recovery support services for qualifying individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction.”  They can be reached at 1-800-922-3406.


Children’s Day Classes at Zoo Idaho to Begin June 2


May 13, 2021

A variety of children’s day classes are scheduled to begin at Zoo Idaho on June 2.

According to the posting on the City’s website:

“These short, single-day classes are perfect for children (ages 5–13) who have an investigative mind!  Groups study various topics with age-appropriate activities.  Registration required!

Roots to Fruits:  June 2 Have a green thumb?  Interested in learning about native plants and their usages?  This is the class for you.  Dive into ethnobotany and give it a go at cultivation your own plants.

Pollinators Nature’s Most Important Job:  June 9 What is a pollinator?  Why are they important?  Find all this out and more as we investigate Idaho’s pollinators.

Are You Afraid of the Dark….I Mean Bats?:  June 16 Find out why bats are one of the coolest mammals on earth and how important they are to ecosystems.

Birds of a Feather:  June 23 If you think feathers, flying, and dinosaurs are cool than you’ll want to sign up for this adventure into the life of birds!

Wild Hunters:  June 30 If cougars, coyotes, and bears are your thing, join us in this investigation into our wild Idaho hunters.”

For more information, or to register, visit:  Zoo Idaho June Day Classes