The way to truth includes reasoning, study, discussion and listening. Over time, rule of law will come into konvergence with the values of the majority, writes Steve Piet. Are we a nation of rules or values, or both? That’s the underlying issue in many recent columns, letters to the editor and controversies. It’s also part of a decision science research project I led at Idaho National Lab; we called it “konvergence.” We spelled convergence with a “k” to denote knowledge. The v and r in konvergence denote values and resources. Decisions can be made, and kept over long time periods, only if the decision is consistent with knowledge, values and resources. A project manager would instead say that a decision must fit with knowledge, rules and resources. “Rules” means Constitution, laws, regulations, etc. Both perspectives require a set of knowledge and an understanding of what resources (facilities, materials, trained personnel) are required … [Read more...] about Local column: Nation of values or rules?
There are big differences between a service animal trained to assist with a diagnosed disability and an emotional support animal which has no official training. So why are dogs in public spaces everywhere? writes Dawn Anderson. When I saw a leashed dog in the meat department of my neighborhood grocery store, I stopped and stared in surprise. That’s my typical reaction. I should be used to it by now—seeing live animals in places that have not allowed them historically. I don’t hate animals or wish to deprive someone of emotional support through a pet. But to what extent do we leverage someone’s need of an Emotional Support Animal, or ESA, against the public good? Maybe it’s because I have family members with severe animal allergies. I mentioned this in a social media platform where I was gathering opinions to write this piece. One participant responded that the allergy-sufferers in my family could just “take a pill.” This answer vastly … [Read more...] about Local column: Public spaces going to the dogs
Before our worst nightmare becomes a reality, schools and parents should develop a school shooting ‘stress test,’ writes Jay Gaskill. After the 2008 banking crash, U.S. financial institutions underwent “stress tests” to determine if they had enough financial clout to survive another crash. They failed in 2009 but passed in 2018. Law enforcement is starting to address school security, particularly after the rash of deadly shootings in early 2018 (per CNN, as of May 25 there were twenty-three shootings where someone was killed or seriously injured). We need a stress test. Yes, the Bonneville County Sheriff and the Idaho Falls Police Chief are giving heightened attention to the issue, but what about our schools? District 91 alone has four high schools, two middle schools, and 12 elementary schools, and this doesn’t count the charter and other schools where young people are vulnerable to attack, let alone all the schools in D93 - more than 10,000 students. Set … [Read more...] about Local column: School safety measures — A stress test
Editor’s note: Besides the parts about power outages being caused by squirrels 60 to 70 percent of the time, and the city council considering a $3 fee for disposing of trapped squirrels, most of this column is satire. In light of the city council proposing a fee for disposing of trapped squirrels, I thought it was time for a (tongue in cheek) review of American squirrel history, writes Terry Miller. Past readers of my columns know that squirrels and I don’t mix. A recent Post Register article pointed out 60-70 percent of power outages in the city causing $200,000 in damages were from squirrels. In addition the rodents eat phone and cable wires, decimates fruit trees and although cute, are general pests. They are not native to the area and it’s illegal to shoot them or dump them on a neighbor. I’ve been catching and delivering them to animal control for disposal for years My record so far is 18 in one month. This becomes expensive considering the price of peanut … [Read more...] about Local column: Oh, the squirrel-manity!
My grandfather, an Italian immigrant with a thick accent, who worked hard his whole life passed on something invaluable to me and to the rest of his family — a love for education and learning the truth, writes Steve Piet. My grandfather’s message has guided my entire life. It’s more important today than when he was getting it into my thick skull. That’s not easy. Salvatore Pietrangelo immigrated to the United States on the steam ship Olympic, the sister ship to the Titanic. As a poor man from a poor part of a poor country, Italy, he had but $20 to his name. As a brave man, he came here to make a new home in the “Home of the Brave.” He knew no one, he had a room in steerage, the riskiest part of either Olympic or Titanic. Picture me as a little boy: We’d sit on his old sofa, the one grandparents share with their grandkids. Mostly he would talk and I would listen. Sorta. He left me a hat. More important, he left stories inside me. “Steve, … [Read more...] about Local column: Live and learn the truth