Sojourners’ looks for help from Council

Steve Bonnar, executive director of Sojourners’ Alliance, is looking for $125,000 to keep the group’s transitional housing facility functioning without laying off workers.

Bonnar asked the Moscow City Council’s Public Works/Finance Committee for $10,000 Monday.


He said he has been asking businesses that have helped support Sojourners’ Alliance for additional funding so it can reopen as soon as possible after it closes Sept. 1, but it has no commitments from anyone yet.

There is $25,000 in the legislative reserve – money saved for unforeseen funding issues – that the City Council can explore making available to Sojourners’, according to city officials.

City Councilor Art Bettge said the City Council will revisit the request during its July 18 meeting in hopes that Bonnar can explain better how he reached the $10,000 requested amount.

Sojourners’ Alliance lost a $100,000 grant it was expecting June 1, when the federal government suddenly changed the rules on what kind of housing programs for the homeless would be funded.

Dwight Curtis, parks and recreation director, presented alternatives for moving ahead with a rebid for downtown public restroom Monday. The City Council rejected bids on the project April 4 as too expensive.

On July 5, the City Council is expected to discuss his three primary options: rebid after modifying the existing design by Design West Architects to obtain better bids; seek bids on a similar modular unit; or delay the project.

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Viral: Spokane father recreates teen-age daughter’s sexy selfies


We wonder what Cassie Martin gave her dad for Father’s Day this year. What do you get a dad who’s been trolling you on social media? Like a lot of other fathers, Chris “Burr” Martin wasn’t happy to see his teenage daughter posting sexy selfies online. “So my daughter has been posting sexy selfies of herself and instead of telling her to stop, well, I thought of something better. #dadbod #dadselfie,” he wrote on his Instagram page in April. That’s where the comedian/podcaster/radio host/actor in Spokane, Wash., started re-creating his daughter’s sexy poses. They started out tame enough. First came his version of Cassie’s duck face — pouty lips and all.

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Idaho’s new permitless concealed-carry gun law takes effect Friday

Via Betsy Russell

Starting Friday, Idaho will become the eighth state in the nation to allow most residents age 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit – even inside cities, in bars and in government buildings.

The new law is the latest result of decades of efforts to liberalize gun laws in Idaho, a gun-loving state that already had some of the most permissive gun laws in the nation. The state Constitution bans gun licensing or registration and open carrying of firearms is allowed even in the state Capitol.

“Out here in the West, most people have grown up with guns – they see no issue,” said Vaughn Killeen, executive director of the Idaho Sheriffs Association and the former longtime sheriff of the state’s most populous county. This year, the Sheriffs Association, which long had concerns about permitless concealed carry, backed the new law.

Killeen can remember when, as Ada County sheriff a quarter-century ago, he had issued only 15 concealed weapons licenses. Today, that number tops 30,000 in Ada County, and more than 130,000 statewide. State laws that once required people to justify to their local sheriff why they needed to carry a concealed gun changed in 1990 to require that sheriffs “shall issue” permits to anyone who qualifies. Further changes broadened exemptions for anyone engaged in hunting or other outdoor pursuits, culminating in a law passed last year that removed the requirement for concealed-weapons permits for anyone 18 or older who is outside any city limits.

Then came this year’s law, which applies inside city limits, except at schools, jails and courthouses. It includes some new restrictions, applying only to Idaho residents and only those 21 or older. The new rules accompany huge and growing interest in Idaho in carrying concealed guns. Just two years ago, the state had 105,521 concealed-weapon permits; that number’s grown by more than 25,000 in two years.

The new law doesn’t apply to people with criminal records, drug users, fugitives, those who are mentally incapacitated, subject to domestic violence protection orders or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But unlike the current concealed-weapons license law, which requires background checks to verify eligibility, it’s essentially self-policing – people are supposed to know if they aren’t allowed to carry.

“It reverses everything from how it’s handled today,” Killeen said.

Also, unlike current concealed-weapon permit laws, Idahoans won’t have to prove they have training or can handle firearms in order to carry a concealed gun.

Scot Haug, Post Falls police chief and president of the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, said his group took a neutral stand on this year’s bill.

“I’m pro-gun – I think you should be able to carry them,” Haug said. But, he said, “I’m concerned that we don’t have people with a good education about how to properly carry a weapon, how to protect it, when to use it and when not to use it.”

So his department is sponsoring classes this summer and fall. The first class was just announced last week; already, more than 40 people have signed up and it’s almost full.

He noted the January 2015 incident in which a 2-year-old found his mother’s concealed gun in a special concealed-carry purse while shopping at Wal-Mart in Hayden, and the child shot the mother to death. She had a concealed-weapons license.

“We’ve had a couple of incidents,” Haug said. “We want to prevent those tragedies.”

Lt. Stu Miller, spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, said interest in concealed weapons permits has been so strong in the county for the past few years that “every day we have people lined up outside the door – it’s always busy.”

That interest hasn’t waned with the approach of the new permitless carry law, he said. Idahoans still will be able to get permits; their advantages include being recognized in some other states that don’t have permitless carry laws.

“We’re so close to Washington and Montana, so in order for them to go either direction, they have to have a permit,” Miller said.

Seedy Taco Truck Where Ruth Bader Ginsburg Grabs Lunch More Regulated Than Nation’s Abortion Clinics

WASHINGTON, D.C.—After championing what is being called the Supreme Court’s most significant abortion ruling in fifty years Monday, striking down Texas laws enforcing abortion industry safety regulations, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reportedly pressed for time and “too tired to make something herself,” grabbed some lunch at seedy-looking taco truck “Jose Loco’s Crazy Tacos” during her lunch break, opting for two carne asada tacos from the rolling food vendor which is more regulated and held to higher safety standards than America’s abortion clinics, according to sources.

Via The Babylon Bee

Labrador land bill angers Montanans

When a Montana lawmaker voted for an Idaho Congressman’s anti-public lands bill, all hell broke loose. Rep. Ryan Zinke is Montana’s lone member of the House of Representatives. As such, he’s under a great deal of scrutiny, particularly when it comes to something Montanans treasure: public lands. So when Zinke voted in favor of an anti-public lands bill authored by Idaho’s Rep. Raul Labrador, it was as popular in his home state as the punch bowl at Jim Jones’ funeral.

Via Better Idaho

Gun group to celebrate permitless carry

So-called “permitless” firearms carry becomes law in Idaho on Friday, July 1, and Idaho Second Amendment advocates won’t waste any time celebrating the milestone. The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance rally will take place on the Idaho State Capitol Mall from 5-6 p.m. Similar rallies, which pressed for such a law to go into effect, drew hundreds of demonstrators to the Idaho Statehouse in recent months

Via Inlander

Abortion ruling disappoints Idaho Rep. Labrador

Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt. The Court struck down a Texas law that protected the health and safety of women in the state’s abortion facilities.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has sided with the abortion industry and erased health and safety protections for innocent women and unborn children. This decision means abandoning common-sense clinical standards and the perpetuation of abuse and negligence. Today’s decision is a stark reminder of the importance of electing a new president who will appoint conservative justices to the Court.”

Christians most persecuted

Via The Associated Press

Christians are the most persecuted of any religious group around the world, facing harassment in 108 countries. A study by Pew Research Center found that harassment of Christians in 2014 by both governments and society as a whole increased from 102 countries in 2013. The study considered harassment to be both verbal and physical assaults as well as arrests, detentions and desecration of holy sites. Discrimination on religious grounds was also found in employment, education and housing decisions. There are 2.3 billion Christians worldwide, and it is estimated 8,000 are martyred each year. This is equivalent to one person dying in the name of the faith each hour of every day. 

Supreme Court rejects pharmacists’ religious rights appeal

Via The Associated Press:

The Supreme Court is allowing Washington state to require pharmacies to dispense Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, rejecting an appeal from pharmacists who said they have religious objections to providing the drugs.

The justices’ order on Tuesday leaves in place rules first adopted in 2007 following reports that some women had been denied access to emergency contraceptives that are effective when taken within a few days of unprotected sex. Pharmacies must fill lawful prescriptions, but individual pharmacists with moral objections can refer patients to another pharmacist at the same store.

A Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy in Olympia, Washington, and two pharmacists sued, saying the rules required them to violate their religious beliefs.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have heard the appeal.

Try Libertarian Candidate

The following Letter to the Editor appeared in the Spokesman Review:

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. That’s my impression of what’s going on in our electoral process. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are in a race to the bottom.

Why not take an adult approach and consider the Libertarians? They are headed by two Republican ex-governors, so at least we have adults in the race. If there are areas of the Libertarians that you may not appreciate, you will find many that are excellent ideas often offered by the Democrats and Republicans but not delivered.

Ray Betts

Bernie Fever in Idaho Leaves Opening for Republicans

sanders“Be it resolved we adopt in total Senator Bernie Sanders campaign platform for our legislators to work toward.”
Idaho Democrat Resolution – June 17

Now, that’s a break from tradition for Idaho Democrats, who for years have assured voters that the Gem State variety of Democrats were far different from those liberal kooks on the East Coast.

That’s not the case this time around. Delegates at the state convention, inspired by Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ spirited presidential campaign, have decided that Democrats here should move left of the national ticket. As if Hillary Clinton is not “left” enough. But Clinton, who lost badly to Sanders in the Democratic caucuses and was perhaps even more badly outnumbered in the party’s convention earlier this month, is not the guiding light for the new wave of Democrats in Idaho that showed up for the convention.

Bernie is. And this new wave of Democrats wanted a resolution reflecting their sentiments.

For Republicans, the resolution was a combination of Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July rolled into one. Dave Johnston, the state GOP’s executive director, wasted little time blasting out the news.

“You’ll never believe what just happened at the Democrat State Convention,” Johnston wrote just after the resolution was approved. “They passed a resolution that tells lawmakers to act more like Bernie. What does this include? A weaker military. Support for the Iran deal. Climate change regulations. A higher minimum wage. Socialized healthcare. Free college. All paid for by higher taxes.”

Johnston’s job of uniting the divided Idaho Republican Party may have gotten a bit easier – at least for this election cycle.

“From a strategic perspective, they just gave us gold,” he said.

Idaho Leads Nation In Job Growth, But Trails In Wages

Via the Idaho Business Review

Idaho’s nation-leading job growth has been widely reported, but a report by the Idaho Department of Labor says that Idaho isn’t as far ahead of its neighbors as it appears.

Idaho added the most jobs in the country between March 2015 and March 2016. The number of Idaho jobs increased by 3.6 percent. But several of Idaho’s neighbors kept close pace. Oregon and Utah both grew by 3.3 percent and Washington grew by 3.2 percent, according to the department of Labor.

But the wages for Idaho’s new hires are significantly lower than those in neighboring states, said Ethan Mansfield, regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.

“I’m just trying to point these things out in order to move Idaho into the 21st century,” Mansfield said. “There are ideas in the surrounding states (which employers to attract) that are providing higher earnings and are high-powered job engines.”

Idaho’s average wage for new hires in 2014 and 2015 was about $1,900 a month. That was $237 less than the average wage for new hires in Utah, $436 less than in Oregon and more than $1,000 less than in Washington.

The biggest difference between the four states is the type of jobs each state saw the most growth in. Most of the states saw a large increase in construction jobs (6.5 percent increase between March 2015 and March 2016), which paid wages well above Idaho’s average ($2,621 a month). Idaho’s top five industries also included hospitality and food service jobs, an increase of 6.2 percent paying an average of only $971 a month. Idaho also saw a large increase in educational services, 5.3 percent and an average salary of $1,451 a month; and retail trade, a 3.8 percent increase and an average salary of $1,556 a month.

Educational services? 

Idaho Community Divided Over School District Transgender Policy

Via the Idaho Mountain Express

Blaine County residents came out in droves to voice support for and opposition to a newly developed Blaine County School District policy that would protect transgender and gender-nonconforming students during the school board’s regular meeting in Hailey on Tuesday, May 14.

The policy, which was up for discussion last week and may be formally voted on at the board’s July 12 meeting, covers issues facing transgender students in the district’s schools, from discrimination and inclusion in school activities such as sports and physical education to accommodations for restroom and locker-room options.

The new policy, developed by the district’s Policy Committee over the past several months, is intended to comply with state and federal laws requiring all district programs and services to be free of discrimination and to “create a safe learning environment for all students and to ensure that every student has equal access to all school programming and activities.”

Chief Idaho federal prosecutor warns: “The spread of false information or inflammatory or threatening statements … may violate federal law”

Idaho federal prosecutor’s office issued the following statement

The United States Attorney’s Office extends its support to the five-year-old victim of assault, and her family, at the Fawnbrook Apartments in Twin Falls. The United States Attorney’s Office further encourages community members in Twin Falls and throughout Idaho to remain calm and supportive, to pay close attention to the facts that have been released by law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney, and to avoid spreading false rumors and inaccuracies.

“Grant Loebs is an experienced prosecutor, and Chief Craig Kingsbury is an experienced law enforcement officer. They are moving fairly and thoughtfully in this case,” said Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for Idaho. “As Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury informed the public, the subjects in this case are juveniles, ages 14, 10 and 7. The criminal justice system, whether at the state or federal level, requires that juveniles be afforded a specific process with significant restrictions on the information that can be released. The fact that the subjects are juveniles in no way lessens the harm to or impact on the victim and her family.

The spread of false information or inflammatory or threatening statements about the perpetrators or the crime itself reduces public safety and may violate federal law. We have seen time and again that the spread of falsehoods about refugees divides our communities. I urge all citizens and residents to allow Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury and their teams to do their jobs.”

Eugene Volokh is an instructor in First Amendment law at UCLA, and writes the following: 

This, it seems to me, goes beyond calling for accuracy (and trying to deter threats, which are indeed criminally punishable). The prosecutor — a prosecutor backed by the might of the federal government — is not just condemning “threatening statements.” She is equally condemning “inflammatory” statements “about the perpetrators or the crime,” as well as “the spread of false information.”

There is no First Amendment exception for “inflammatory” statements; and even false statements about matters of public concern, the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, are an inevitable part of free debate. While deliberate lies about particular people may lead to criminal punishment in some states that have carefully crafted “criminal libel” statutes, that would be under state law, not federal law; and though Idaho still has an old criminal libel law, it is almost never used, and is likely unconstitutionally drafted given modern First Amendment standards. Moreover, honest mistakes on matters of public concern are often constitutionally protected, especially against criminal punishment.

The federal prosecutor surely knows how to speak carefully and precisely about what very limited sorts of speech she can prosecute. Yet she chose to equally threaten federal prosecution not just for the punishable true threats — or for the deliberate lies that may be punished under state but not federal law — but also for an unspecified range of “inflammatory … statements about the perpetrators or the crime itself,” as well as for “the spread of false information” (with no limitation on the spread of deliberate lies). It looks like an attempt to chill constitutionally protected speech through the threat of federal prosecution.

UN Official Found Dead Was Set To Testify Against Hillary Clinton Same Day. “Barbell Fell On His Neck”

Bbhh1From ABC News

DOBBS FERRY, New York — A former president of the U.N. General Assembly awaiting trial in a bribery scandal died in a weightlifting accident when a barbell he was lifting from a bench dropped on his neck, an autopsy revealed Thursday.

John Ashe was declared dead late Wednesday afternoon by a paramedic who responded to his Dobbs Ferry home.

Dr. Kunjlata Ashar, Westchester County’s medical examiner, said the cause of death – traumatic asphyxia – was determined during an autopsy, though she did not perform the procedure herself and did not have additional details. It was deemed an accident based on a combination of information from the autopsy and an investigation by the Dobbs Ferry Police Department, officials said.

The police department said in a statement that the death appears accidental, but provided little information otherwise.

What’s the link to Hillary? 

Ashe was due in court Monday with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who is charged with smuggling $4.5 million into the US since 2013 and lying that it was to buy art and casino chips.

Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration. (Ng was not charged with any crime.)

Ng and Trie had visited the White House several times for Democratic fund-raising events and were photographed with then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

One source told me, “During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed.”

Supreme Court Rules to Regulate the Murder of Unborn Babies

Babies are Murdered Here 633x450

Words matter. That’s why the pro-killing of unborn baby industry describes their movement as “pro-choice” without ever describing what an abortionist is choosing to do. Those engaged in same-sex sexuality uses words like “gay” and “pride” to mask that their movement is all about immoral sexual choices.

For the most part, the pro-life movement has been about regulating abortion. That’s like regulating the holocaust. Maybe only allow the infirm and unproductive Jews to be gassed. Next year we’ll try to get some more restrictions.

Causes of death 2016

“In the majority opinion, the justices who ruled in favor of abortion advocates in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt argued Texas’s laws were in contention with a 1992 Supreme Court ruling (Casey) in which the court had determined that laws restricting abortions must not place an ‘undue burden’ on a woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy.” (Source)

Substitute “‘undue burden’ on a woman” with “‘undue burden’ on a Nazi to murder more Jews.”

Harambe the gorilla got more sympathy and media attention than the slaughter of unborn babies that happens daily (see chart below).

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Supreme Court Upholds Wide Reach of U.S. Gun Ban for Domestic Violence

Gun Law Supreme Court jpg

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the broad reach of a federal law that bars people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from owning guns.

The justices rejected arguments that the law covers only intentional or knowing acts of abuse and not those committed recklessly — where a person is aware of the risk that an act will cause injury, but not certain it will. As examples, the court mentioned throwing a plate in the heat of an argument, or slamming a door.

The case involved two Maine men who said their guilty pleas for hitting their partners should not disqualify them from gun ownership.

Writing for herself and five other justices, Justice Elena Kagan said that Congress enacted the gun law some 20 years ago to close a loophole and “prohibit domestic abusers convicted under run-of-the-mill misdemeanor assault and battery laws from possessing guns.” She said if the law were read to exclude misdemeanors in which a person acted recklessly, it would “substantially undermine the provision’s design.”

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