One of the greatest world challenges of our time, without a doubt, has been the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. Although we have seen progress at various times, lasting, concrete peace has eluded world leaders, and its attainment has eclipsed administrations. The recent Abraham Accords …

Though Lenny had won the last round with his uncle the previous Halloween, when he asked me if I wanted to be in on his next prank, I declined. From my record of the pranks over the years, his uncle had more wins than Lenny did. But Lenny knew he could count on Butch and Buster, and, true to…

Gov. Brad Little recently announced that the state is on track to end the fiscal year with a budget surplus of more than half a billion dollars, or roughly 14 percent of the state’s general fund budget. That admission potentially added a whole new level of complexity to an already daunting p…

I, Jim W. Tarpley, sincerely wish to apologize to the Jefferson Star, Earlene, and the reporter that interviewed me, and my son on the phone.

When Hitler took over Germany, he controlled the schools with propaganda, organized the youth to right perceived wrongs, created shortages, closed churches and controlled citizens comings and goings. He proclaimed Germans as the superior race. None of that was right but it sounds very famili…

I've heard it said that Joe Biden is a nice old man and, if elected, will sit in his cell in the White house wearing a mask. He will say nice politically correct things to make people feel good. The country will be run by Kamala Harris and the Bernie Sanders wing of the party. I feel Biden i…

I just want to tell everybody what a wonderful School District I live in and have the pleasure of being a Trustee in! I'm thankful my job allows me the flexibility to effectively volunteer (school board members are not paid) and work.

Next legislative session, city and county officials and their hired lobbyists will arrive at the Capitol to object to property-tax relief. I hope they get laughed out of the building. Local officials’ handling of Gov. Brad Little’s proposal to provide a one-time property-tax cut to Idahoans …

There are only a couple of jobs that I really hate to do, and I have been working on one of them this month. I am getting old enough so that I don’t brand cattle anymore, so I was doing the other job I hate—painting the house.

It has been an honor serving on the Eastern Idaho health board as the representative from Jefferson County with the seven other county representatives and a resident doctor who also has a Master’s degree in public health. I have enjoyed it despite our current situation. I don’t think anyone …

The 2020 wildfire season has been one of the most active on record. So far, 44,174 wildfires have burned 7.1 million acres, with over five million acres in California, Oregon and Washington alone. In Idaho, 15 wildfires have burned more than 200,000 acres so far.

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David, an old high school friend, sat by me at a football game. After we watched the opening kickoff, he turned to me and asked, “How did you end up becoming the kickoff person for our high school team? That seems unusual for a lineman.”

Congratulations to the Jefferson County Commissioners, and the Idaho Transportation Department, District 6 in Rigby, Idaho for their cooperation by improving Highway 48 at 4000 East and 4100 East.

As participants in the decisions made in Congress, Idahoans contact me with valuable input about the issues our country faces. One of the issues Idahoans have contacted me about is the 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the United States Postal Service (USPS). The following is my response:

Most of my college students are bright, hard-working, and fun to teach. But each semester I get interesting letters, emails, phone calls, and other correspondence from a select few. I save these and, occasionally, I compile them into a column. I don’t think any of these comments need any exp…

Idaho state senators who voted to table a House-passed resolution that would have ended Gov. Brad Little’s Covid emergency have stepped forward with some embarrassingly ridiculous excuses for their cowardice.

Idahoans have met the challenges of the pandemic with thoughtful, determined efforts to help others. Instead of being overwhelmed by circumstances, Idahoans were busy assisting others and shining bright lights of hope through these difficult times. Since the threat became apparent, individua…

I was only twenty-five when I was hired to teach in the Math and Computer Science Department of a private, religious junior college. Our department has grown over the years, and we have since become a university, but there has always been a strong camaraderie and concern for each other’s wel…

Legislative leaders have summarily decided to shut down any talk of expanding school choice options for the upcoming academic year. The reason? They claim there’s not enough time to consider school choice options. Thus, Idaho schoolchildren, parents, and teachers will likely find themselves …

My friend, Nathan, is an electrician at the university where I work. He put in long hours recently because the campus was finishing a new natural gas heating facility to replace the old coal-fired one. It is huge, and the equipment inside warms every building on campus with heat to spare.

I was pleasantly surprised that despite the restrictive nature of the Special Session of the legislature as defined by the governor, that the house did take up the issue of the governor’s overly used emergency powers which are defined in the state statute title 46, chapter 10. That stature s…

Now, maybe more than ever, as Americans face months of dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, and we anxiously await effective vaccines and treatments to advance, we must be thorough in considering all cost drivers affecting the affordability of medical care. Over the past months, Congres…

One of the most critical jobs of Congress is providing for our national defense, and this is the 60th consecutive year that Congress has fulfilled its constitutional duty. Our country’s Founders delineated this responsibility in Section 8 of our Constitution, providing Congress with the powe…

Idaho’s special legislative session produced a giant victory over interest groups. The interest groups desperately wanted businesses to enforce government mandates in exchange for the coveted prize of immunity from lawsuits. However, the lawsuit immunity bill that ultimately passed — on most…

Mateo looked at the paper in his hand and smiled. He felt one of the greatest feelings of satisfaction he had ever felt. But then a memory came back to him—one that was a mix of both good and bad.

After concerned constituents pleaded for a special session to address Governor Little’s “emergency” orders, it appears we may get some true representation from our legislators, and reclaim the balance of power under which our state should legally function.

This week the state legislature will meet in a Covid-19-related special legislative session called by Governor Little. Among other things, our representatives will consider passing a new law about “civil liability during emergencies” that proponents claim would “protect entities against lega…

America has seen times of civil and world war, economic turbulence and pandemic. Through these difficult and disruptive times, elections have always been preserved. Today we face very real difficulties conducting elections in the midst of this global pandemic. As in the past, we must meet th…

The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on June 30, 2020, to discuss the Judicial Conference of the United States’ most recent recommendations for more federal judgeships. The Judicial Conference has recommended a third judgeship for Idaho consistently since 2003. As a memb…

There are world-famous sand dunes near where we live. Though they are about a mile away, on Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends, the amount of noise late into the night is so loud we have to close our windows to get some sleep.

As positivity rates of the dangerous COVID-19 virus continue to increase in many Idaho communities, the course of action for public schools in those areas is clear—school buildings in communities considered “hot spots” should remain closed and districts should shift to online instruction. It…

My dad and my brothers always told me that our old horse, Annie, was likely the smartest horse in the world. My brothers even joked that she might be more intelligent than some people. But it wasn’t until the first time my dad sent me on Annie to cut a cow from the herd that I began to under…

Recently, some organizations in Idaho have been agitating for additional federal spending to finance direct subsidies to individuals. Some have even resorted to publicly displaying banners on a busy street in downtown Boise calling on elected officials to further increase spending.

After serving as a Deputy Sheriff/Sheriff for 31 years, I am planning on retiring December 31, 2020. I sought out a career as a Law Enforcement Officer because I was an adrenaline junkie and the thought of chasing down speeding vehicles and taking various high-risk calls seemed right up my a…

Lewiston Tribune opinion writer Marty Trillhaase boldly claims that if Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, Rep. Heather Scott, or I were to recommend people wear coverings over their noses and mouths, it will convince skeptical Idahoans to drop their opposition to government mask mandates. Though his…

A 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicates that more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women and men experience violence in their lifetimes.

Access to affordable and reliable options for transporting Idaho goods to markets is an important part of Idaho small businesses’ success and ability to grow and innovate. I am a longtime champion of tax incentives that encourage and support investment in short line railroads because of shor…

My university colleagues and I always tried to find summer work and then returned to share stories of our adventures. But John’s story was unsurpassed that year.

Recently, civic and societal leaders joined with mayors, politicians, NAACP and others in expressing outrage over George Floyd's death. While all lives matter, this was poorly timed as it empowered protesters to move beyond the right of free speech and protests to riots, murder, looting, van…