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City of Pocatello: Meeting Schedule for Week of December 16 – 20


(Press Release)

The City of Pocatello has released the following schedule of meetings for the week of December 16 – 20:

 Monday, December 16

Complete Count Committee Meeting
11:00 a.m., Paradice Conference Room

Pocatello/Chubbuck Mayors’ Youth Advisory Council Meeting
3:15 p.m., Council Chambers

 Tuesday, December 17

Site Plan Review Meeting
1:30 p.m., Iwamizawa Conference Room

Library Board Meeting
4:00 p.m., Marshall Public Library
113 South Garfield Avenue

Portneuf River Vision Committee Meeting
5:30 p.m., Council Chambers

 Wednesday, December 18

Senior Building Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting
10:00 a.m., Council Chambers

Pocatello Development Authority Meeting
11:00 a.m., Paradice Conference Room

 Thursday, December 19

City Council Liaison/Work Session Clarification Meeting
1:00 p.m., Council Chambers

City Council Clarification Meeting
5:30 p.m., Paradice Conference Room

City Council Meeting
6:00 p.m., Council Chambers

 Friday, December 20

No Meetings Scheduled



Pocatello: “Coffee with the Mayor” Slated for Dec. 17


(Press Release)

Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad (photo credit: City of Pocatello website)

“Coffee with the Mayor” is on the calendar for December 17.

Copper Summit Assisted Living, 2424 Birdie Thompson Drive, will host Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad for an informal meeting with residents from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. During “Coffee with the Mayor,” Blad will take resident questions as well as hear their comments and concerns. Some of the topics of previous coffees include Zoo Idaho, the City’s pavement management program, the Pocatello flag, and more. The meetings are held quarterly and give residents who might not otherwise have a chance an opportunity to speak with their Mayor.

This edition of “Coffee with the Mayor” is sponsored by Phil Meador Auto Group with coffee and light refreshments provided by Main Steam Coffee and Desserts.

City Hall is accessible to persons with disabilities. Program access accommodations may be provided with three (3) days’ advance notice by contacting Skyler Beebe at; 208.234.6248 or 5815 South 5th Avenue, Pocatello, ID.

City of Pocatello Planning and Zoning Commission Votes in Favor of Annexation Request at December 11 Meeting


The City of Pocatello Planning and Zoning Commission, following one public comment at their December 11 meeting raising a potential legal concern with respect to property access, voted to approve an annexation request for a portion of Northgate Parkway.

The agenda for the meeting can be seen, here:

The meeting can be seen, here:


Retired Air Force General Steven L. Kwast on the Urgent Need for a U.S. Space Force


Retired Air Force General Steven L. Kwast recently delivered a talk at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship entitled, The Urgent Need for a U.S. Space Force.

The full text of his speech can be seen, here:



Guest Column: Vice President Mike Pence on USMCA

(Photo: Mike Pence Facebook Page)

The Time Has Come. Congress, Pass USMCA.

Vice President Mike Pence (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

As vice president I’ve had the opportunity to travel all across this country and meet Americans from all walks of life. Literally everywhere I go, the American people tell me that they couldn’t be more proud of the progress that this country has made under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

As a candidate, the president promised to fight for policies that put American jobs and American workers first, and from the first days of this administration, he has delivered. As a result, today America is stronger and more prosperous than ever before.

Since the day Trump was elected, businesses large and small have created 7 million American jobs. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in 10 years, and disposable income for the average American household has skyrocketed by more than $5,000 a year.

Trump has achieved these results in the face of historic obstruction. Rather than focusing on the needs of the people they were elected to represent, congressional Democrats have spent the last three years on endless investigations in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Despite their partisan impeachment, Trump has remained focused on how to keep our economy growing, and he negotiated the largest trade deal in American history, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The U.S. International Trade Commission says that within five years, the USMCA could add up to $235 billion in new economic growth and 589,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.

The USMCA will put in place the strongest and most comprehensive labor protections of any trade agreement in American history.

The USMCA will also remove unfair restrictions on America’s farmers so they can sell more products to Canada.

And finally, the deal’s new rules on intellectual property will better protect American businesses and innovators, and will serve as a template for future trade deals.

The USMCA makes a strong statement to the world that the era of U.S. economic surrender is over, and that if other countries want access to the most prosperous economy in the history of the world, then they have to give American workers access to their markets, too.

In stark contrast to the Democrats’ partisan impeachment, the USMCA will benefit Americans of every political party and every background. Since the president negotiated the USMCA more than a year ago, I’ve visited dozens of businesses, factories, and farms across America, and one of the most rewarding things I saw was Democrats responding to their constituents to put partisan politics aside and support the USMCA.

I remember standing before the behemoth Caterpillar trucks in Arizona, and seeing the excitement of their employees, who know that the USMCA is going to expand their digital trade and create more jobs. I can still see the look in the eyes of Ford auto workers in Michigan as I told them that we would finally end NAFTA and raise autoworker wages even higher. I can still hear the roar of more than one thousand workers at Manitowoc Cranes in Pennsylvania when I said that the USMCA will create nearly 50,000 American manufacturing jobs.

With limited time on the congressional calendar before the end of 2019, the clock is ticking. But now more than a year after the president negotiated the USMCA, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party have finally acquiesced to the will of the American people and agreed to bring it before the Congress and give it a vote.

While Democrats have spent most of 2019 on endless investigations, passing the USMCA is a step they can take to finally start working with the president to serve the American people.

It’s time for Congress to pass it so that Trump can sign it into law, and it can create jobs and opportunity for Americans all across our country.

Mike Pence is vice president of the United States.

This op-ed appeared in The Detroit News on December 11, 2019.



Pocatello City Council Work Session; Update on Arts Council, Northgate Proposal, More


The City Council for the City of Pocatello held a work session on Thursday, December 12, at which they heard an update from the Pocatello Arts Council, a discussion of a proposal to establish a water line partnership for the upper water line loop of the Northgate Development area, and more.  The agenda for the meeting can be seen, here:

The meeting can be viewed, here:


Lillian Vallely School Invites Public to Christmas Program, Friday, December 13


Lillian Vallely School invites the public to attend their annual Christmas Program, Christmas Kindness: Sing Christmas Songs for Joy.  The program will be held Friday, December 13, at 1:30 p.m.  The program, which will run approximately 45 minutes, will feature a Native story of the Creation and the brotherhood of man told in word and song, Native song, Native flute, and a lot of fun.  Light refreshments will be served following the program.

The Christmas program will be held in the gymnasium of a local church near the school, at 700 W, 300 S, Blackfoot, Idaho.  Taking exit 89 in Blackfoot is the easiest way to reach the event.

The mission of Lillian Vallely School is to help Native American children, grades K–5, build a bridge to their future success educationally, socially and spiritually through a quality education consisting of academics, Shoshone/Bannock cultural preservation, and basic Christian values. The measure of success is to expand a student’s ability to navigate Native and non-Native cultures, to compete academically, and to become a constructive influence at home and in the community.

The Lillian Vallely School is a private non-profit elementary day school serving Native American children who live on the Fort Hall Reservation in Southeastern Idaho.


President Trump Issues Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism

Photo Credit: Aaron Kittredge

(Press Release)

President Trump issued the following executive order on Wednesday, December 11, 2019:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. My Administration is committed to combating the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and around the world. Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since 2013, and students, in particular, continue to face anti Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance. While Title VI does not cover discrimination based on religion, individuals who face discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin do not lose protection under Title VI for also being a member of a group that shares common religious practices. Discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual’s race, color, or national origin.

It shall be the policy of the executive branch to enforce Title VI against prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in anti-Semitism as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI.

Sec. 2. Ensuring Robust Enforcement of Title VI. (a) In enforcing Title VI, and identifying evidence of discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, all executive departments and agencies (agencies) charged with enforcing Title VI shall consider the following:

(i) the non-legally binding working definition of anti Semitism adopted on May 26, 2016, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which states, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”; and

(ii) the “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism” identified by the IHRA, to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.

(b) In considering the materials described in subsections (a)(i) and (a)(ii) of this section, agencies shall not diminish or infringe upon any right protected under Federal law or under the First Amendment. As with all other Title VI complaints, the inquiry into whether a particular act constitutes discrimination prohibited by Title VI will require a detailed analysis of the allegations.

Sec. 3. Additional Authorities Prohibiting Anti-Semitic Discrimination. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency charged with enforcing Title VI shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, identifying additional nondiscrimination authorities within its enforcement authority with respect to which the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism could be considered.

Sec. 4. Rule of Construction. Nothing in this order shall be construed to alter the evidentiary requirements pursuant to which an agency makes a determination that conduct, including harassment, amounts to actionable discrimination, or to diminish or infringe upon the rights protected under any other provision of law.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


December 11, 2019.


OPINION: Now, more than ever, we need support for Trump’s trade agreement with Canada and Mexico


(Guest Column By Governor Brad Little)

It’s been over a year since the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi motioned for the trade agreement to be brought to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.

Finally, Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats listened to Americans, dozens of Governors from both parties, and many others in agreeing to allow a vote on USMCA in the House.

This is a critical moment.

Our neighbors to the north and south play an integral part in Idaho’s economy.

The USMCA modernizes the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement and promotes mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America.

The USMCA would enable Idaho businesses to continue competing in a global market and enhance their customer base in North America.

If Congress ratifies President Trump’s USMCA, Idaho businesses and rural communities across the state will reap the benefits.

Canada and Mexico combined make up more than 25 percent of Idaho’s total exports and nearly 50 percent of Idaho’s total food and agriculture exports.

More than 1,700 companies in Idaho export goods and services to more than 150 countries around the globe, and the two most accessible and important markets are right next door.

Canada alone, as Idaho’s number one export market, purchased $926 million worth of goods ranging from fertilizer and locomotives to precious metals and cattle.

Mexico was Idaho’s fifth largest market with sales topping $230 million led by malt, milk powder, frozen potatoes, cheese and electronic integrated circuits.

Clearly, the products exported to these two markets reflect a vast range of sectors and businesses from every corner of the state.

The USMCA is important to Idaho because it preserves and enhances critical gains made in previous trade agreements for Idaho products. It would also create additional market access in Canada for Idaho wheat, wine and dairy products. The agreement would eliminate the Class 6 and 7 milk pricing system that created tremendous disadvantages to dairy processors in global markets. It also makes progress in the areas of labor, intellectual property, and digital trade.

I have been steady in my support of this important trade agreement, and I encourage Idahoans to speak up and share their support of it, too.

We need to do all we can to ensure Idaho’s long-term economic prosperity into the future.


Governor Brad Little Issues Statement on Idaho Becoming Least Regulated State in the Nation


Governor Brad Little, joined by members of Idaho’s legislature, issued the following statement on Idaho becoming the nation’s least regulated state:

(Press Release)

“Congratulations, Idaho! We’re now the least-regulated state in the nation!

I joined members of the Idaho Legislature in announcing that Idaho surpassed South Dakota in becoming the least-regulated state in the country by cutting and simplifying 75 percent of regulatory rules in one year.

Idaho’s conservative approach to governing has truly transformed the state’s administrative code into a set of regulations that are streamlined and easier for citizens and businesses to navigate. When we reduce the friction on entrepreneurs and businesses, good-paying jobs follow. I appreciate the support of the Legislature and the agencies within my administration for helping me achieve the largest regulatory cuts in Idaho history.

Since I took office in January, I’ve worked with the Idaho Legislature and agencies within my administration to eliminate 1,804 pages of the administrative code. For every chapter added, 83 chapters were cut.

President Donald Trump has taken on regulatory reform to reduce and streamline federal regulations, an initiative led by Vice President Mike Pence. The White House is turning to the states for ways to achieve reform, and Idaho is being held up as the shining example of how to get it done.

All proposed changes were vetted through the required public participation processes agencies must follow under Idaho law. The Legislature is expected to approve the changes during the 2020 legislative session.”