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Posts published in “Year: 2017”

Notes . . .

notes

There's a completely reasonable argument - and I'd agree with it - that many women who have been sexually harassed and abused haven't been given a reasonable hearing when they report what has happened, and many have been discouraged from doing so. And many egregious predators have been at it for years as a result.

This is all fair enough. But stretch it out far enough and it turns into a witch hunt, and will lead to blowback and discrediting of the original, entirely reasonable, point. Anyone who wants justice for women who have been abused over the years should guard against things going too far.

The Garrison Keillor case, for example, based at least on what we know of it publicly. This is ready-made for blowback. Who among us hasn't done something, on occasion, to irritate someone else? (I get a little irked when I hear a waitress say "honey" or "sweetie", but I'm not going to file a complaint over it.)

And don't think that the recent poll gains by Roy Moore are unconnected to this.

Time to start working out wher the lines are, where something is a serious, obviously-wrong offense, and where something is just irksome or annoying. There is a difference. And not only people's livelihoods but our basic ability to get along with each other may be at stake here.

Be it noted that this finance bill working itsway through Congress is in no shape or form tax "reform." Reform suggersts changes that are made with the idea of improvement; this bill improves matters only for people who will not meaningfully benefit at all from it, and will damage conditions for almost everyone else, the overwhelming majority of people in our society.

This idea is not particularly unusual or one-sided. It appears to be very broadly accepted across mot of American society. - rs

 

What’s happening (gubernatorially)?

carlson

If you are puzzled about what is, and is not, happening in the race to secure the Republican nomination for governor in 2018 you are not alone.

Different strategies are being utilized, but the presumed front-runner, First District congressman Raul Labrador, appears to be master-minding a much different campaign than his two primary rivals, Lt. Gov. Brad Little and doctor/developer Tommy Ahlquist.

First, it appears that Ahlquist, true to his promise to spend whatever it takes, has spent well over a million dollars and he will continue to spend at that high rate as he tries to buy his way into office.

Little, in the meantime, is collecting a significant amount himself, but is husbanding the money. It’s a good guess that when the time comes his campaign will, like Ahlquist’s, spend gobs of bucks on negative television ads as they attempt to redefine who Labrador is through negative attack ads. That’s one of the rewards for being perceived as the front runner at this juncture.

The three of them plus expected Democrat nominee, millionaire A. J. Balukoff, will quickly shatter the previous spending mark for a governor’s race.

Labrador has apparently chosen to lower his profile for awhile, which is a practical as well as a necessary decision. As a respected libertarian, hard conservative voice his views are sought out and there’s plenty of work to be done in D.C. while still running for governor. Thus, he is not appearing every where his two rivals are.

This may be a smart tactic for a frontrunner, but some observers speculate Labrador is not raising the funds he needs to raise as quickly and as easily as he may have previously thought it would be. Thus, he is lowering the profile as much out of necessity as out of the book of tactics.

Labrador is going to have to rely on the conservative Tea Party/Donald Trump base to write lots of smaller checks that will still keep him competitive. He appears to have conceded that the GOP establishment wing will split between Little and Ahlquist, but he’s not bothered by lack of support from the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), the equivalent of a statewide chamber.

It makes I easier for him to portray himself as the champion of the little guy and the governor who will best protect the average guy from the predatory practices of big business.

The guess is he’ll have enough to counter the expected attack ads and still get his key messages out to Idahoans.

Conventional wisdom says this race will be decided by Second District voters. Each of the major Republican campaigns figures that they each have a fair claim to about a third of the First district vote.

Ahlquist has touted two key endorsements: that of former GOP (and fellow LDS member, as is Labrador) presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is expected to run for Senator Orrin Hatch’s seat when Hatch announces his retirement. Perhaps more important is the support of former Melaleuca vice president for government affairs Damon Watkins, who is also the Idaho GOP’s national committeeman.

People make a mistake, however, if they think this reflects billionaire Frank VanderSloot’s preference. The Melaleuca CEO reportedly has told friends he can live easily with either Ahlquist or Labrador.

Some pundits believe Labrador’s most pressing problem is the perception that he as governor would permit the Idaho National Laboratory INL) to take a proportionate budget cut as part of any national debt reduction plan. He said as much two years ago.

Others say this will reinforce his image as a fiscal conservative hawk who takes consistent stands on principle. It appears that Labrador has succeeded in carving out the far right most conservative side of the GOP knowing full well the GOP primary is designed to maximize their clout.

Little is betting that a lot more establishment Republicans will turn out and will opt for his steady hand. Labrador is quietly confident that the hard conservatives and the anti-establishment voters are in ascendency and he will emerge as the winner.

Both Little and Labrador will continue to work to make Ahlquist be the odd man out and the race to become by next May a two person face-off between them. Come late May we will know who was correct.
 

These children have a right to life

jones

In counting my blessings at Thanksgiving, good health was at the top of my list.

In January I learned I had pancreatic cancer, but it is now in remission thanks to the talented doctors at the Mountain States Tumor Institute. Dr. Akshay Gupta diagnosed it, Dr. Joshua Barton skillfully removed the cancerous tissue, and Dr. Dan Zuckerman finished off the cancer with the help of the MSTI staff. We are lucky to have such highly skilled medical practitioners in our fair State.

Unfortunately, some of our most vulnerable citizens are not able to share in the blessing of good medical care.

Young children of the Followers of Christ, mostly in Canyon County, are denied necessary medical treatment because of their parents’ religious practices. Idaho law exempts faith-healing parents from two statutes prohibiting neglect or endangerment of their children. Section 18-1501 of the Idaho Code prohibits conduct that is likely to endanger the life or health of a child. Section 18-401 prohibits the denial of necessary medical care to children.

However, there is an exemption in both statutes that has allowed these parents to refuse to provide readily available medical care to their children, resulting in needless suffering and death. The exemption says that the “practice of a parent or guardian who chooses for his child treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone shall not for that reason alone be construed to have violated the duty of care of such child.” This awkward language should be eliminated from both statutes in order to protect the helpless children of faith healers.

Adults can decide for themselves on healthcare matters. If they decide to forego medical intervention for themselves for religious reasons, that is their prerogative. The State has an interest, however, in safeguarding the health and safety of minor children, who cannot decide for themselves. Our laws have numerous protections for children that do not contain religious exemptions - marital age, child labor, ability to contract, and the like. The right to have basic life-saving healthcare trumps all of those protections.

Article I, section 4 of the Idaho Constitution guarantees religious liberty for Idaho citizens. However, it mandates a strict separation of church and state, more so than the U.S. Constitution.

Among other things, it flatly states that no preference shall “be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.” The statutes purporting to exempt faith-healing parents from child-protection laws certainly appear to violate this constitutional provision. The great majority of Idaho citizens who do not advocate or practice faith healing are subject to criminal penalties under Idaho Code sections 18-1501 and 18-401 for endangering the health of their children. Yet, those same statutes provide a specific legal preference for faith-healing parents by giving them the right to deprive their children of medical care.

During the last several decades, the Legislature has passed numerous statutes intended to support the right to life by using the power of the government to require women to carry a fetus to term. None of those measures contained a religious exemption. The question arises as to whether the right to life of some children in Idaho ceases upon birth.

It is time for the Legislature to stand up for our children and to require faith-healing parents to provide basic healthcare to their children. Tell legislators it is morally and legally wrong to allow parents to deprive their children of life-saving medical care.
 

Patterns under the surface

stapiluslogo1

We went shopping for a new TV today, armed with a little online research and several brands and models that looked like they might be in range of what we wanted. (Cyber Monday was at hand, so it seemed like the thing to do.)

They were substantial brands available online - if you wanted to wait and buy without seeing them in action first personally - with a week's shipping, or so. But we wanted to buy in store, so we went to some of the stores where those models seems likely to be found - big boxes, the Wal-Marts and Fred Meyers and Targets.

Here is what we found:

A bunch of television sets for sale, none the particular make or model we were seeking. That's understandable; you can see why there might be a little less variety in the brick and mortar than in the cyber.

What was really striking was this: They were basically the same - mostly the same selection - in each of the big box department stores we visited.

Eventually, we went to a specialty store (in our case - and hey, why not a plug? - Video Only) which did have a variety of makes and models on the floor. We took a set from that store home with us.

The point here again isn't the lesser variety in the broad-based stores; what's what you usually should expect in most categories of goods. It makes sense even in a really big box.

What was a little disconcerting was the lack of difference between the stores. If didn't find it at Wal-Mart, you probably weren't going to find it at Target or Fred Meyer, or the other way around. And the prices weren't very different either.

In more casual observation, this seemed to be roughly true for a bunch of other goods, too.

Usually, in past years, stores - even sprawling chains - tend to do things, offer things, or offer terms or prices, very different from competitors, as a way of differentiating from one another. Now, they seem to be converging, becoming ever less alike. They're no longer a hamburger place and a chicken place and a taco place; they're all burger places.

Or so it seemed today on the television hunt.

If that's the ongoing case, the future doesn't seem too wonderful for a variety of retailers out there, or for meaningful competition.

It gave the feeling of subterranean patterns. An uneasy feeling.
 

The legal, the illegal – and nukes

rainey

The U.S. Air Force general who would control all this country’s nuclear weapons in wartime has publicly made a claim that should curdle your blood.

In at least two recent public forums, Gen. John Hyten has said he would not necessarily launch nuclear weapons despite being ordered to do so by the President. That statement should get your full attention!

Especially because Hyten is Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, successor of the old Strategic Air Command, dreamed up by Curtis LeMay in the late 1940's. For decades, the four-star at the top has had responsibility to launch - or not launch - nuclear weapons in all services - not just USAF.

When a general makes public statements that he - and he alone - will decide the legitimacy or legality of a presidential order to launch the forces, it seems in keeping with the political mess we have in the White House. Damned dangerous!

The caveat Hyten offers with his statement is if he feels or believes the order from Trump to be “illegal.”

“If it’s illegal,” he said, “I’m going to say ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And he’s going to say ‘What would be legal?’”

Someone else at the top is saying the same thing. Retired General Robert Kehler, who preceded Hyten at Strategic Command, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this month “the U.S. military is obligated to follow legal orders - not illegal ones.”

In neither case did the generals describe which they’d consider “legal” and which would be “illegal.”

My last two years of military service, I sat at a console about six feet from the “red phone” the SAC commander would use to order a nuclear strike - an order for the Army, Navy and any other branch with nukes. The commander and senior staff sat at desks above our heads on the command balcony from where the order would come to pick up the phone - should it be given. The whole place was tense 24/7. Highly professional. But tense.

During my time, we had the Cuban missile crisis. I know intimately how close we came to launching. But the President was John Kennedy and the SAC Commander was General Thomas Power. Despite the danger, we knew orders from the White House and the response would be legal.

Now, we have senior officers creating wiggle room if we get that close again. I have no idea what constitutes an “illegal” order. But I’m damned familiar with Trump and his fits of pique - of childish anger. He does things and says things that show he’s not a stable person when faced with crisis events. Even little bitty “crisis” events.

Military personnel - no matter the branch - are trained from the gitgo to obey lawful orders of anyone a rank or two up the chain. That’s the very backbone of structure that provides the clarity to try to keep people alive in wartime. Or it could kill them.

There have been many changes since my years of service. Personnel are smarter, better trained, work with better equipment and seem to have more leeway in most responsibilities. But the demand to obey a lawful order has not changed. Not one word. It is still the first commandment.

When a general - or two - or three - says he (or they) will decide which order is lawful, that frightens me. Especially when we don’t know what criteria he’d use to make the distinction. During the Cuban crisis, LeMay - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time - wanted to launch a strike on Cuba and promised Kennedy he’d “make a parking lot” out of the small nation. Legal? Yes. Crazy? Certainly!

A lot of political and military types have chewed on this “legal-illegal” business since Trump became Commander-In-Chief. They’ve talked of how to deal with him if he flies off the handle as he does regularly. Suppose that madman in North Korea says or does something crazy and Trump decides to launch. He’s already said publicly the response would be “something the world has never seen” and that “North Korea would be destroyed.”

Is that a “legal?” Or an illegal?”

General Hyten and others in the military are going to have to decide. And I’d like to know what the Hell their criteria is going to be.
 

At Rediscovered Books

Author events are nothing unusual at Rediscovered Books in downtown Boise, but so many authors present for a single one - a dozen to use the most limiting count - was something a little different.

The event went well. Visitors to the shop were handed a "passport" and encouraged to visit each of the authors and get their signature; a discount on book purchase prices were the store's reward.

The roster of Ridenbaugh Press authors at the event was large - half of the dozen. They included (on the front row here) Randy Stapilus and Mike Blackbird, and (on the back row) Stephen Hartgen, Hal Bunderson, Rod Gramer and Martin Peterson. Former Supreme Court justice Jim Jones, whose column appears on ridenbaugh.com, was there, as was congressional candidate David Leroy.

The store pronounced itself pleased with the event, and there's potential for another something like it down the road. We'll keep you posted. - rs
 

Idaho Briefing – November 27

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for November 27. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

Thanksgiving week was a relatively quiet week in Idaho, as elsewhere. And as elsewhere, Black Friday seemed to be a smaller economic factor than in recent past years, a point likely to make ripple effects through the retail economy.

A special meeting of the State Board of Land Commissioners is scheduled for Dec. 5 to vote on a final grazing rate approach and formula for endowment lands. The meeting will start at 9 a.m. in Senate Room WW55 in the Idaho Capitol, located at 700 W. Jefferson Street in Boise.

A popular community attraction – the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park – inches forward toward expansion thanks to a cooperative venture between the City of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County.

Clearwater Paper Corporation on October 19 reported financial results for the third quarter of 2017. The company reported net sales of $426.5 million for the third quarter of 2017, down 2.0% compared to net sales of $435.3 million for the third quarter of 2016.

Idaho Power will honor Idaho State University’s Holt Arena on November 20, for a major lighting upgrade that resulted in substantial energy savings.

Idaho Power Company recently completed work on the last phase of its King to Wood River 138-kilovolt (kV) transmission line rebuild. The power line upgrades provide improved reliability and capacity thanks to new steel structures and larger wire.

PHOTO Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and his wife Lori (with Santa and an elf) prepare for the annual Christmas tree lighting. (Photo: Governor Otter)
 

Notes . . .

notes

Mostly, media companies will run political ads excepting in the most extreme cases, involving distasteful imagery, potential libel and so forth. None of that excuses the reported failure by a billboard firm to refuse a tastefully-designed and clearly pertinent billboard aimed at Senate candidate Roy Moore.

(Of course, this isn't the first time Moore has been at the center of a billboard controversy, either. And be it noted: I've seen a specific reference as to what company has denied the billboard placement, or what its side of this might be.)

A Tweet reposted the image (seen here) and commented, "It would be a shame if god-forbid it went viral on social media and was seen by even more people than the actual billboard would have been." Wouldn't it, though . . .
 

Values in the tax fight

trahant

There is no better way for any legislature -- be it a tribal council, a state assembly, or a Congress -- to telegraph what’s most important to a society than through tax policy. How a government collects revenue says what constituent groups are seen to matter. And, conversely, what groups and issues are insignificant. And, that of course, is Indian Country.

As Adrian Sinclair wrote in Cronkite News: “Indian Country once again does not have a seat at the table.” Tribes “aren’t treated the same as state and local governments across the board on a whole series of issues,” John Dossett, general counsel for the National Congress of American Indians, said after the hearing. “Tribes are … either ignored or they’re an afterthought.” He said there are many cases where state governments have more power than tribal governments, like the federal Adoption Tax Credit, which gives a credit to parents who adopt a child with special needs. But the credit only applies when a state court, not a tribal court, rules that a child has special needs.

So Indian Country is a perfect illustration for my larger point: A country’s tax policy shows what it values. The key to this idea is simple when a nation wants more of something, then taxes it less. And, other hand, if a nation wants less of something? Tax it more.

All interest was deductible when the first income tax was created in 1894. Why? Because Americans did not like to borrow. It was almost immoral. As a writer for Harper’s Weekly warned a man in debt “must smile on those he hates, he must extend his hand where he would strike, he must speak pleasantly with a curse in his throat … He wears dependence like a yoke."

But Congress made debt a better deal. You could borrow money for that new farm, or especially a home, and the government would subsidize the loan by making it a tax deductible transaction. By the 1920s car loans were the bigger deal. Americans were borrowing, buying and deducting. Congress created a monster with that policy and today debt is one of America’s great loves. Then in 1986 Congress switched gears: Today individuals can only deduct mortgage interest. But even that single benefit was generous. You could buy a big house. A bigger house. A ginormous house. And deduct 100 percent of the interest up to the cost up to $1.1 million of debt. And that tax deal includes second homes.

So as a policy the Congress was telling we the people buy bigger houses. And go ahead, get that second house in the woods or on the lake.

That’s what tax reform is, setting parameters for what the elected leaders think important for a national policy. So, if it becomes law, this tax reform will change the way we consumers spend money. Perhaps we'll buy and build smaller houses and rent a cabin on the lake instead of purchasing one. This might be a good outcome for all of us. This is actually a pro-climate policy (please don’t tell Congress.)

This same priority process is true for renewable energy. Congress created incentives for wind, solar and other renewable energy. But, now the Republican plan is to reverse course, and reward oil, gas, and especially coal. Tax policy will favor fossil fuel development and renewable energy will therefore cost more. But will companies still invest? Who knows? We do know the calculations will be way more complicated. And, did I mention, renewable energy will cost more. . . .

Congress wants to wrap up this debate before the end of the year and begin the provisions in the new tax year.

One more thing about values. The two tax bills define what’s important to a society. Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski was a champion on health care and was a key vote to stop the last Affordable Care Act repeal effort in the Senate. But this time there are competing values. She has also been a longtime supporter of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. That’s in the bill. It's her provision. So is she willing to give up on health care for more oil? And what about climate change? Murkowski was eloquent at the Alaska Federation of Natives saying that she is witnessing first-hand the impact in northern communities. This tax bill gives fossil fuels a boost - at the expense of the climate.

What’s really important? We are about to find out.
 

State and district

stapiluslogo1

On his Facebook stream, first district congressional candidate Russ Fulcher, of Meridian, has posted an item noting he has always lived in that district. And: “Fun Fact: Russ Fulcher’s family has lived in what is now Idaho’s first Congressional District since 1886, four years before Idaho became a state.”

He is making more than a biographical point. His chief opponent, former attorney general and lieutenant governor David Leroy, currently lives outside the district. Leroy is not far from it; he lives in Boise, just not the portion now carved into the first. He has lived in the first before, and has said he plans to maintain a residence inside the first.

But from Fulcher’s implicit point - I’m a resident of the district, and he isn’t - two ideas emerge.

The first is, you don’t have to live in the CD to represent it. You do have to live in the same state. The U.S. Constitution, which sets only a few requirements for serving in the House (at least 25 years old and a United States citizen for seven years) does require a person to “be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.” State yes, but being in the same district, no.

The issue came up this spring in the high-profile House race for an open seat in Georgia, where Democrat Jon Ossoff famously lived several miles outside his suburban Atlanta district. No one charged he couldn’t legally serve, but the point about his living elsewhere was hammered around persistently through the campaign.

Several months ago, the Washington Post researched congressional residences and found 20 incumbent members of Congress who live outside their districts. In some cases a member originally elected from a district where he was a resident, saw the district boundaries shifting away, and opted not to run in the district which now included his house. In some cases it becomes no big issue, and in others candidates have lost races at least partly because of it. Specifics matter.

The newest member of the House from Washington state, Pramila Jayapal, lived about two miles outside the district she was running to represent when she was elected; it wasn’t a big issue there. Then there was Oregon’s Delia Lopez, a resident of the small rural community of Oakland, about 150 miles south of Portland. She was running to represent Oregon’s third district, which mostly is central urban Portland, about two hours by freeway from her house. She lost overwhelmingly, though the fact that she was a Republican in a district even more Democratic than Idaho is Republican, also had a lot to do with it.

Lopez’ case was like, in Idaho terms, someone living in Arco running for the first district, which runs along the west side of the state from Canada to Nevada. There’s not much connection.

Leroy’s case is a little different. Boise, in whole or in part, has been within the Idaho first congressional district for half a century. Boiseans are legally divided between the districts but as a more practical matter they have a foot in each of them. Leroy’s first district credentials are in reasonable order: He grew up in Lewiston, attended the University of Idaho at Moscow and has lived in the 1st at various points through his decades of residence in Boise. And he ran for the 1st district seat once before, in 1994 (when he lost the Republican nomination to Helen Chenoweth).

Of course, in a thinly divided and closely contested contest, as this one is shaping up to be, every issue matters. Including the matter of ten or fifteen minutes travel time.

Thanks at Thanksgiving

carlson

Twelve years ago, the week before Thanksgiving, I was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroendocrine cancer and told I had the proverbial six months left at best. As my former boss, the late Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus, would on occasion say, “there’s nothing like a hanging in the morning to focus one’s attention.” I focused fast.

This was of course stunning not the least reason being that my neurologist who had diagnosed five years earlier my Parkinson’s Disease, had told me a silver lining was that those with PD seldom contract cancer. One of my first calls was to him to let him know what a rare bird this patient was.

Like many couples and families do when receiving such news, we (My wife was trained as a Registered Nurse) read up as much as we could find of the literature on this form of cancer and on the facilities noted for the best practices in treating this always fatal disease.

Turned out that the best place to seek treatment was Houston’s M. D. Anderson Hospital. I drafted a note and enclosed copies of blood tests, MRI’s, PET scans, whole body scans, CT’s and cardiovascular work. I was absolutely floored when they declined to see me saying that the disease was too far along and there was nothing that could be done but to stay home and make my final preparations.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to bring this inexplicable denial to the facility’s attention. To their credit they looked into it, wrote me an apology, revised their admission protocol and even had the CEO send me a personal note.

The denial turned out to be a blessing in disguise for it created the opportunity for a friend of mine, Jay Shelledy, the then editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, to strongly recommend that I allow the relatively new Huntsman Cancer Center attached to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to be my primary treatment provider.

Shelledy was familiar with the Huntsman family and good friends with Jon Huntsman, Jr., a future Utah governor. So I flew to Salt Lake, met with the hospital’s chief of staff and the team assigned to me. Together we worked out an attack strategy.

Somewhere in my body, most likely in the colon, exists a generating tumor that periodically starts to significantly increase the production of this rare form of cancer cells. It can attack one, two or three vital organs: the liver, the heart and the lungs. In my case it was the liver and heart.

The most immediate threat was to my liver, covered with lesions and tumors almost to the point they could not be treated because the risk of liver failure was too high. My tricuspid valve was also starting to deteiorate, but that would be the second point of attack, and for addressing that it was decided I would go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

During 2006 I underwent three chemoembolization procedures at Huntsman which shattered almost all the tumors. I then underwent an experimental procedure whereby Yrtrium 90 radioactive pellets were placed on the shattered tumors and this appeared to stop temporarily the cancer from spreading rapidly. For two weeks though I was a hot dude literally.

Since then there have been relapses but mostly I’ve been able to manage well. I’ve had 15 sessions of targeted radiation, a bland embolization procedure,and my monthly chemo is a 40 mls shot of Octreotide that the drug company charges $17,000 for a shot.

Bottom line, though, is I’m still here and each morning I thank the good Lord for another day of life. As I reflect this Thanksgiving I wish to send a special thanks to the many people who through modern medicine to good old fashioned prayer have helped keep me alive: Jay Shelledy and Pat Shea, who introduced me to Huntsman; Dr. James Carlisle, my interventional radiologist at Huntsman; Dr. Joseph Rubin, my oncologist at Mayo; Dr. Robert Gersh, Dr. Robert Laugen, Dr. Maryann Parvez, my oncologists at Cancer Care Northwest; Dr. Chris Lee, my interventional radiologist at CCNW; Dr. Mark Wilson, my interventional radiologist at Deaconess; Dr. David Greeley, my neurologist at Northwest Neurology;
Dr. Michael Kwasman, my cardiologist at Sacred Heart; and Dr. Scott Spence, my general practitioner at Benewah Community Hospital.

Also, my friend, pastor, and fishing bud, Father Steve Dublinski, who is so patient with me during our weekly stalking of the wily cutthroat on the St. Joe. He is but one of many fine friends too numerous to list who call, send notes and offer encouragement.

Last, but not least is a loving and supportive family led by my wife of 47 wonderful years, who along with our three daughters, son, spouses and two grandchildren sustain me simply out of love I don’t deserve but gratefully accept. To all who care accept my heartfelt thanks.

A blessed Thanksgiving to all, and all glory to the Almighty.