Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Governor Brad Little Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Across Idaho

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(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, January 19, 2021)

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced today he will seek to increase the number of available Idaho National Guard personnel from 250 to 400 guardsmen later this week to aid in Idaho’s pandemic response.  The additional guardsmen will assist in vaccine distribution.

“Our women and men in the Idaho National Guard have stepped in to meet critical needs at healthcare facilities across Idaho since the fall, and the availability of additional guardsmen to assist with vaccine distribution moving forward will help us even more in the pandemic fight,” Governor Little said.

Governor Little also announced today the State of Idaho will offer healthcare providers new grants to more quickly administer the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine across the state.

“The safe and efficient administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho is my number one priority,” Governor Little said.  “The State of Idaho ensures available doses are sent directly to healthcare providers, but the providers are the ones to get the shots in the arms of people who want it.  We are actively working to ensure there are absolutely no resource barriers for providers in performing this critical role.”

The new COVID-19 Vaccine Capacity, Safety, and Reporting Grants can be used by enrolled vaccine provider organizations to increase staffing to administer shots, purchase needed equipment and supplies, and improve vaccine access for hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations.

The amount each enrolled healthcare vaccine provider will receive is based on the number of doses they administer.

“Since the start of vaccine distribution in our state, Idaho has had a strong safety record and we will continue to make safety a priority as we work to accelerate the administration of doses,” Governor Little said.

The State of Idaho is receiving a disproportionately lower share of vaccine compared to other states because the federal government is not allocating vaccine on a per capita basis.  The federal government allocates doses to the state.  The State of Idaho accepts all doses as soon as they are allocated.  All doses are shipped directly from the manufacturer to local public health districts and healthcare providers.  However, there will always be a lag in the number of doses Idaho has received and the number of doses administered because providers must be enrolled in the vaccine program and have received the training needed as well as have plans in place to properly administer it.  They also must administer vaccine by appointment, which takes time and preparation.

The new grants will shorten the time difference between when providers receive doses and when they administer them.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will communicate directly with healthcare providers today with the details of the new grants, and all available forms for providers to fill out will be posted later today at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

Pocatello Police Department Welcomes Three New Officers

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January 19, 2021 (Photo Credit:  Pocatello Police Department Facebook Page)

Earlier this month the Pocatello Police Department welcomed three new officers to their ranks.

Sworn in on January 6 were Callie Collins, Luke Barela, and Denver Newton.  The officers began attending the Idaho POST Academy on Monday, January 11.

The Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer would like to join with the Pocatello Police Department and local residents in extending these officers a warm welcome, our congratulations, and wishes for your safety on and off the job.

 

Pregnant? Compassion & Hope Pregnancy Center Offers Free, Confidential, Services

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January 19, 2021

Are you pregnant?  While many are excited about the prospect of having a child, for others, the news of an unexpected pregnancy brings many questions, and possibly, worries.

Not to fear.  Compassion & Hope Pregnancy Center, located at 845 S. 9th, Suite B, offers free, confidential services to women who are pregnant, and those who think they might be.  The services include:

  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Individual Peer Mentoring
  • Referrals
  • Educational Classes
  • Maternity Clothes

Compassion & Hope Pregnancy Center invites you to reach out with your questions.  No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome.  They can be reached at (208) 478-4673 (HOPE).  They also have a 24/7 Live Chat option that can be found on their website, here:  Compassion & Hope Website

You can also visit their Facebook page, here:  Compassion & Hope Facebook Page

 

Idahoans: Do Your Lawmakers Support Limited Government? Here’s How to Find Out

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(January 18, 2021; Reprinted From Idaho Freedom Foundation Article Dated 1/12/2021)

The 2021 legislative session is about to begin, and I’d like to share a resource that helps make sure you—as a taxpayer and Idahoan—are informed and educated about what really happens at the Idaho Statehouse.

This resource is called the Idaho Freedom Index, which you can find at IdahoFreedomIndex.com.

Since 2012, Idaho Freedom Foundation analysts have reviewed and scored hundreds of bills based on 12 unchanging metrics.  The Freedom Index measures whether a bill expands or shrinks government power.  We ask questions like “Does a bill create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government?” and “Does a bill directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments?”

The Idaho Freedom Index offers a taxpayer’s point of view on potential new laws, which often differs wildly from the goals of lobbyists and special interests.  They seek to game the system and get more money and power, all at your expense.

Taxpayers, those hard working folks who pay for government, deserve Statehouse representation and small government.

So how does the Freedom Index actually work?

First, an analyst decides which bills are consequential.  Minor bills that change little in law likely won’t receive a full review from an IFF staffer.

Bills of consequence receive thorough vetting by the analyst.  Each bill receives a numbered score based on how it affects government power and individual liberty.  For example, a bill to raise taxes would receive a negative score, while a bill to reduce red tape would garner a positive mark.

Then, we share the ratings with you so you can understand legislation and how it might affect your life, your family, and your career or business.

Throughout the session, IFF tallies up the scores to show how lawmakers are voting.  Those with high scores vote for limited government and personal freedom.  Those with lower tallies support bigger, more expensive government.  At the end of the session, we double-check the scores and issue each lawmaker a letter grade that corresponds to the percentage shown on the Idaho Freedom Index page.

I love the Freedom Index because it cuts through legislators’ rhetoric and gets to the truth of their actions:  Did a lawmaker vote to expand or shrink government, to cut or raise taxes?  Legislators receive a score based how they’ve voted on all bills reviewed by IFF.  The scores tell an accurate story about each lawmaker’s voting habits.

Idaho Freedom Index analysts do not engage in partisan politics.  The analysts rate each piece of legislation based on the 12 metrics, regardless of a sponsor’s political affiliation.

Once issued, Idaho Freedom Index bill ratings rarely change.  Typically, IFF analysts will alter ratings only if lawmakers amend legislation.  At that point, the changes are noted for full transparency.

Though IFF happily works with all legislators to improve legislation and ensure freedom is maximized, IFF analysts never have decided a rating, nor ever will decide a rating, at a lawmaker’s request.

Analysts score a bill based on the Idaho Freedom Index’s 12 metrics and nothing else.

If you ever have questions about specific legislation or a Freedom Index rating, please reach out.  Or, if you want to better understand your lawmakers’ scores, feel free to contact us via email. The best email address is Media@IdahoFreedom.org.

 

PragerU Video: There is No Apolitical Classroom

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January 18, 2021

PragerU has released a new video, entitled, “There is No Apolitical Classroom.

The summary of the video states, “Do you know what’s going on in your kid’s school?  The three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic – have taken a back seat to a fourth R.  Max Eden, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explains what that fourth R is, and why it’s so destructive.”

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

Let Your Customers Know You’re Open! Contact the Pocatello Chubbuck Observer and let us help you get the word out!

 

Raven’s Affordable Boutique Offers Trendy, Affordable Accessories

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January 18, 2021 (Photo Credit:  Raven’s Affordable Boutique Facebook Page)

Beautiful, Affordable Accessories at Raven’s Affordable Boutique (Photo Credit: Raven’s Affordable Boutique Facebook Page)

What woman doesn’t love adding a beautiful accessory to her collection?  The only problem is cost.  Well, now that problem has been solved for women living in Pocatello.

Melanie Marowitz is the owner of Raven’s Affordable Boutique.  She offers a wide variety of the latest trending accessories at the amazing price of only $5.00 per piece!

From earrings to bracelets and necklaces to rings, you’ll find something for every taste.

To see the latest affordable jewelry offered by Raven’s Affordable Boutique, visit their Facebook page at:  Raven’s Affordable Boutique | Facebook

Let Your Customers Know You’re Open! Contact the Pocatello Chubbuck Observer and let us help you get the word out!

White House Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2021

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January 18, 2021

President Donald J. Trump (White House Official Photo by Shealah Craighead)
Every human life is a gift to the world.  Whether born or unborn, young or old, healthy or sick, every person is made in the holy image of God.  The Almighty Creator gives unique talents, beautiful dreams, and a great purpose to every person.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonder of human existence and renew our resolve to build a culture of life where every person of every age is protected, valued, and cherished.

 

This month, we mark nearly 50 years since the United States Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.  This constitutionally flawed ruling overturned State laws that banned abortion, and has resulted in the loss of more than 50 million innocent lives.  But strong mothers, courageous students, and incredible community members and people of faith are leading a powerful movement to awaken America’s conscience and restore the belief that every life is worthy of respect, protection, and care.  Because of the devotion of countless pro-life pioneers, the call for every person to recognize the sanctity of life is resounding more loudly in America than ever before.  Over the last decade, the rate of abortions has steadily decreased, and today, more than three out of every four Americans support restrictions on abortion.

Since my first day in office, I have taken historic action to protect innocent lives at home and abroad.  I reinstituted and strengthened President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, issued a landmark pro-life rule to govern the use of Title Ten taxpayer funding, and took action to protect the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor.  My Administration has protected the vital role of faith-based adoption.  At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life.  Just a few months ago, our Nation also joined 32 other countries in signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which bolsters global efforts to provide better healthcare to women, protect all human life, and strengthen families.

As a Nation, restoring a culture of respect for the sacredness of life is fundamental to solving our country’s most pressing problems.  When each person is treated as a beloved child of God, individuals can reach their full potential, communities will flourish, and America will be a place of even greater hope and freedom.  That is why it was my profound privilege to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life, and it is what motives my actions to improve our Nation’s adoption and foster care system, secure more funding for Down syndrome research, and expand health services for single mothers.  Over the past 4 years, I have appointed more than 200 Federal judges who apply the Constitution as written, including three Supreme Court Justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.  I also increased the child tax credit, so that mothers are financially supported as they take on the noble task of raising strong and healthy children.  And, recently, I signed an Executive Order on Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children, which defends the truth that every newborn baby has the same rights as all other individuals to receive life-saving care.

The United States is a shining example of human rights for the world.  However, some in Washington are fighting to keep the United States among a small handful of nations — including North Korea and China — that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks.  I join with countless others who believe this is morally and fundamentally wrong, and today, I renew my call on the Congress to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion.

Since the beginning, my Administration has been dedicated to lifting up every American, and that starts with protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in our society — the unborn.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we promise to continue speaking out for those who have no voice.  We vow to celebrate and support every heroic mother who chooses life.  And we resolve to defend the lives of every innocent and unborn child, each of whom can bring unbelievable love, joy, beauty, and grace into our Nation and the entire world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2021, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born.  I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home.  And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

 

Guest Column – Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman: Sales Tax on Groceries Makes Absolutely No Sense

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January 18, 2021

Sales Tax on Groceries Makes Absolutely No Sense

By:  Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman

Wayne Hoffman, President, Idaho Freedom Foundation

Idaho law makes it economically advantageous for poor people to get government help, and punishes those who don’t.  Those who get government assistance—those who apply for and receive help in the form of food stamps—don’t pay sales tax when they buy groceries.  Purchases made with food stamps are exempt from the sales tax.  They leave the grocery store paying 6 percent less than everyone else.

Those who don’t use government assistance and use their own cash, checks or debt instruments to buy groceries are compelled to pay Idaho’s 6 percent sales tax.

This is one of the fundamental reasons why I believe it is important to eliminate the sales tax on groceries.  Under Idaho’s very strange tax system, people who use government assistance are rewarded, and people who don’t are penalized.  The people on government assistance can buy more and spend more on groceries than everyone else.  That’s the straight-up experience at the grocery checkout counter.

But Idaho makes things even more complicated from there:  Those familiar with Idaho’s sales and income tax law will point out that the state allows people, whether they’re rich or poor, to get their sales tax dollars back the following April when they file their state income taxes under what’s known as the grocery tax credit.  The credit is $100 per person, or $120 for the elderly.

What that means is Idaho residents who really need access to their own money today are told to wait.  You can think of this as a mandatory Christmas Club account that matures each spring.  You’re required to participate, that is, unless you’re getting government assistance in the form of food stamps.

And, unlike your Christmas Club account, there’s a very real possibility you’ll end up with less money than when you started.  For a family of four spending about $600 a month on groceries (an average amount, says the USDA), they’ll have $36 a month or $432 a year taken away from the family and handed to government accountants.  What does the state of Idaho do with a family of four’s hard-earned $432?  The state will give them back $400.

Eliminating the grocery tax credit and simply making groceries sales tax exempt for everyone would simplify the state’s tax code, stop the state from unnecessarily taking money from people only to give it back later and would very likely cost the state nothing to accomplish.  It might even save money, because tax auditors would no longer have to figure out whether Idahoans are improperly applying for the grocery tax credit.

This proposal is generally supported by conservatives and liberals alike.  We asked candidates for governor their position on the idea.  Libertarian John Bujak and Democrat A.J. Balukoff said they were favorable to eliminating the tax on groceries.  Gov. Butch Otter’s spokesman declined to say whether he would support it or not, which is too bad, because this is a pretty big deal.

There are a lot of things that the state of Idaho can do to make Idaho’s tax law fairer, rates lower and more predictable.  There are a lot of things the state of Idaho can do to help Idahoans get ahead and stay ahead.  This is just one, very important tax reform that would make Idaho a better place for all Idahoans, no matter what their income.

 

Host Registration Now Open for National Bible Bee

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January 18, 2021

Host registration is now open for the 2021 National Bible Bee.

According to the National Bible Bee website,

“A host is someone with a passion for encouraging others to study and memorize God’s Word. They are leaders in their community and eager to see the impact of Scripture in their hometown. A host partners with the National Bible Bee in its vision to “Know God’s Word and Make Him Known” in their local community.

What a host does

  • Invites their local community to participate in the National Bible Bee Summer Study.
  • Invests in their local community by:
    1. Encouraging Summer Study participants (ages 7–18) to study and memorize God’s Word through the National Bible Bee Discovery Journal.
    2. Supporting participants throughout the Summer Study who wish to qualify to compete in the National Bible Bee Competition.
  • Inspires their local community by hosting a National Bible Bee Proclaim Day.”

Also according to the website, “National Bible Bee was founded in 2009 with the mission to engage young people in the memorization and study of God’s Word and provide opportunities to proclaim it through local, national and broadcast competitions.”

Students, ages 7-18 who participate have the opportunity to compete for over $100,000 in prize money in contests on Scripture knowledge and memorization.

To learn more, visit:

About 2020

 

First Lady Melania Trump: Honoring American Craftsmanship in the People’s House

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(White House Press Release, January 18, 2021)

Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States (Official White House Photo)

Over the last four years, my family has had the immense honor of being able to call the “People’s House” our home.  We were welcomed and supported in this personal journey by a team whose dedication to the house in which they serve transcends administrations and serves as the living legacy of a building that remains the symbolic epicenter of our national life.

As First Lady, and as the temporary custodian of this national treasure, I was inspired by the example of my predecessors.  Their reverence for the White House, and their love of history ensured the long-term preservation of the building in which they both served and lived.  In similar fashion, the projects that I have overseen during the last four years are ones which I believe will not only preserve the house’s heritage but enhance the experience of its beauty and solemnity for generations to come.

Through a team of dedicated advisors whose passion rose above mere cosmetic alterations, my attention was brought to areas of the house which were in great need of structural restoration and preservation.  In 2018, we completed the first full renovation of the Queen’s Bathroom since the 1950s.  Our goal of updating and restoring “The President’s Elevator,” which is used by the First Family, visiting dignitaries, and White House staff, was accomplished in the same year.  In 2019 we embarked on a several months-long restoration of the East Room floor, which brought to life the true magnificence of this historic space.  This was done in tandem with work performed on the marble floors of the State Entrance and Hallway.  These are the first areas to greet all visitors to the White House, and the impact of the painstaking work of re-grouting, restoring and then re-polishing them has been profound.

The Bowling Alley also underwent a full renovation in 2019, and I hope it will be a space that is enjoyed by all who use it.  The restoration and conservation of the priceless Zuber wallpaper in the Family Dining Room, perhaps the most ambitious project of the Administration, remains to be completed, and will be, I hope, admired by all who see its beauty.  The advice and input of the White House curatorial team was critical to the success of such endeavors, and it was with great pride that I was able to work with them directly to renovate their offices and ensure they had the necessary archival and curatorial infrastructure to enable the continuation of their invaluable work on the collection.

Throughout, our goal has been to balance the needs of the present with the continuity of overall architectural tradition of the White House.  This aim could not have been realized without the group of American craftsman whose knowledge and enthusiasm ensured the work was completed through the application of traditional methods that keep with the long history of the building itself.

Over the course of 2020, our country has suffered the devastating and unexpected loss of life due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The economic impact of the pandemic, which has been felt by so many in this country, has profoundly shaped our shared experience of American life.  As a result, it was with a great sensitivity to the wider national backdrop that I unveiled two long-planned projects on the White House grounds.  In November 2020, we publicly marked the installation of “Floor Frame” by Isamu Noguchi in the newly restored Rose Garden.  The Rose Garden celebrates the history of many previous First Ladies, and it was my privilege to introduce into its design the first work completed by an Asian-American artist to enter the White House collection.  The simplicity and beauty of Nogochi’s sculpture provides an enduring message of strength, which felt particularly relevant at the moment of its unveiling.

Shortly thereafter, in December 2020, I had the great privilege to announce the completion of the refurbishment of the Children’s Garden and the construction of the new White House Tennis Pavilion.  This project planning began in 2018 and was approved by the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission in June 2019.  The Tennis Pavilion was constructed in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service, and funded entirely through private donation.  The team of American designers, builders, and artisans, who relied on locally sourced materials, created for the Nation a monumental addition to this historic home that I know will be part of its enduring legacy.  Their achievement was made all the more notable as it was accomplished despite the many challenges they faced because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As this chapter comes to a close, it is important to acknowledge the many people and departments without whom my role as First Lady would not have been possible.  Both the White House Office of the Curator and the White House Historical Association have worked tirelessly to ensure these projects met their standards of preservation, conservation, and scholarly excellence.  I am grateful for those who in a private capacity have so generously donated to my initiatives and to the collection as a whole.

Sincerely,

Melania Trump