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Preston
District 32 candidates share views

What is your vision for District 32 over the next four years?

Rep. Chad Christensen (incumbent): My vision is making sure our district is strong economically. These orders to “protect the public” have done far more harm than good. I will fight to get government out of the way so farming, ranching, and small business can thrive again. I will continue to fight for family values in our district. There is a daily fight to destroy these values, this includes our respect and love for God. Preserving traditional family values, valuing God, protecting God-given rights, and helping our district to thrive economically is my vision.

Dave Radford: We need to maintain our quality of life here in Idaho. These next four years and into the future must include getting back to normal after the most terrible worldwide pandemic. Our country and world need our food and our number one industry in Idaho has always and will continue to be agriculture. We are as a State in a great position to help the world recover. State and local government policies must reflect a super friendly support production attitude. Our vision must be to keep Idaho the greatest place to live, work and raise our families. I want to help and have the experience to tackle these challenges.

What do you think are the main issues facing our district right now? and, in the future?

Rep. Chad Christensen: The main issues at this time are undoubtedly caused by these unconstitutional stay-at-home orders. It has done great harm to our farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and our people in general. We also have a mental health crisis because of it. This order has also done great harm to our liberties. The 1st Amendment of the Constitution protects our right to assemble peacefully and to exercise our religions as we desire. These two aspects in the 1st Amendment have been blatantly violated. These are two glaring issues that I see, right now. These have to be dealt with immediately or we will continue to suffer. We do have other issues dealing with water, education, and other issues.

Dave Radford: Some of the main issues facing our district are dealing with an unstable employment picture. I believe we need to as Idahoans get back to work, get our farm to markets open and do all we can to create a stable economic business environment.

What is your plan to handle those issues?

Rep. Chad Christensen: I plan to help amend the Idaho Constitution so the legislature can call ourselves into session, in case a governor does something like this again. I also plan to help repeal the unconstitutional Idaho code that allowed the governor to do what he did. We do have other issues in the district. I will continue to help preserve water rights in our district and continue to deal with those issues when needed.

I will be looking to address education issues. Most of our budget goes to fund administration costs. I want to reduce administration by combining some districts. Administration salaries need to be examined. We need a less top-heavy approach, most of our budget needs to go to our teachers. I value our administrators and their dedication, this is not meant to undermine them. We just need to find solutions to using the money that we have more efficiently. Throwing more money at something is not a very good solution. We can throw more money at education, that doesn’t mean it will benefit our children.

I will continue to fight to keep government out of your hair. This means I will continue to fight for less regulation to help your farms, ranches, and businesses thrive. Government only gets in the way.

Dave Radford: Government has a proper role and part of its role is to stay out of the way and let the energies of our great people thrive in a worldwide economy.

Why should the public vote for you?

Rep. Chad Christensen: You voted me into office in 2018 based on my platform to protect God-given rights. This includes protecting your right to conduct business freely in the free market. I have proven that I do what I say I will do. I have fought for your rights with vigor, for less government, for the free market, and for less spending. I have a 100% score from the American Conservative Union to prove this. They rate on these principles. I also have a 98.6% with the Idaho Freedom Foundation. They ACU (a national organization) and IFF have almost identical rating metrics for bill voting.

I have proven to be a friend to farmers and ranchers. I just received the ‘Friend of Agriculture’ award from the Idaho Farm Bureau with a 95% ranking with them over the last 2 legislative sessions. Only 33 out of 105 legislators received this award. The only bill, in which they rated, I voted against was the wolf control board appropriation. Hunters have been more effective killing wolves than this government team, which uses a lot of taxpayer dollars. I wanted to issue more tags to Idaho hunters, instead of spending more taxpayer money.

I would argue that I might be the most conservative legislator in the state. The socialist agenda has led us down the path to destruction. I will continue to fight everyday against that agenda, as I have proven. Stay the course with me. You and your families mean the world to me.

Dave Radford: I have the experience in public service and private business to help on these issues. My background in agriculture and as a six-term county commissioner will help bridge the gap between state government and the political subdivisions in our state the counties and cities. I also served nine years on our 10-county public health board here in eastern Idaho and can speak from experience on these health issues we are facing now. I have spent my volunteer time with our youth. The 4-H, the executive Boy Scout committee and as a youth advisor at BYU Idaho have all underlined my commitment to our youth and future. I was given the opportunity to help transition our Technical school to a community college and it has proven to be a wonderful education resource for our whole area. now known as The Eastern Idaho Community College. To me these are just a few of the reasons if elected I will work hard to earn the great people of our districts vote every day.

Also, look at who is supporting my effort in this race. I just was endorsed by Idaho Chooses Life, the largest and longest serving pro-life association in Idaho. I’m a proud life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). All the major agriculture groups in Idaho like the Idaho Farm Bureau, Potato Growers, Wheat and Barley Growers, the Idaho Dairy Farmers, and the other members of the Ag committee of Idaho support my candidacy. They know and I know working as a team with Mark Harris and Marc Gibbs together we can continue to keep Idaho the greatest place to live, work and raise a family.

Contact information:

Rep. Chad Christensen: Facebook: Chad Christensen for Idaho, chadforidaho.org, cchristensen@house.idaho.gov, 208-419-3020

Commissioner Dave Radford: Facebook, daveradford56@gmail.com, 208-589-1295.


Spring run-off

Watercress stretches around the sides of a waterfall as last week’s spring rains swelled streams. This week calls for a warmer forecast.


Preston
East Oneida shut down for continued construction

East Oneida closed today, May 4, as crews begin the second phase of raising the road through the hollows that intersect it on either side of 800 East. The process began in 2018, and is expected to be finished in another couple of years.

However, the road closure for this phase is expected to last through July, 2020.

Crews are raising the roadbed in Creamery Hollow, which is within Preston City’s boundaries, with 12 feet of fill and are installing new drainage pipes there.

In the county hollow to the east of 800 East, they will begin building a retaining wall, said Kyle Wood, project manager. Once this phase is completed, the road “has to settle another 12-18 months,” said Wood. “Then we will come back in for last stage: curb and gutter, black top, other amenities,” he said.

Wood noted that no traffic will be allowed through the barricades. Local traffic will have to use detours.

“There will be no cars through the county hollow,” he said. There may be some minor traffic allowed through the city hollow, but instrumentation set up for settlement in the middle of the road will prevent most of that, he said.


Preston
School admin mulls options with graduates

It has become clear that not only will school remain online for the remainder of the year, but graduation will not be quite the same even in the best case scenario. For Preston High School seniors, multiple options are being offered through an online survey to determine when graduation will be and what it will look like for the class of 2020.

Superintendent Spencer Barzee noted that West Side was still in the process of working out the options for graduation and plan to have a survey for seniors and their parents ready soon.

The Preston School District has already sent out their surveys knowing that their much larger enrollment meant changes were inevitable. “I think the main thing for us at this point is to make sure we are able to honor seniors in the best way possible for their achievement,” said Superintendent Marc Gee.

“Based on the feedback from the last survey and information from the governor’s step-by-step plan for opening up restrictions from the state we have four, more detailed, possibilities for graduation. Many indicated that they would be willing to postpone the graduation ceremony to hold it live, but not indefinitely. Based on the governor’s criteria it is clear that even in the best of circumstances, large groups will not be allowed to gather on our original graduation date,” he said.

Listed below are the possible options as set forth in the survey:

Live graduation in mid to late June

This would be predicated on the state moving through their stages of reopening on the proposed schedule. At this point gatherings of 50 or more could be held, but social distancing criteria would still be in place. This would allow for a live graduation but, depending on the venue, we may have to limit the number of participants. If we were to hold the graduation in the gym, limitations on guest numbers would be in place. At a venue like the rodeo grounds we may be able to hold the ceremony and have more guests but may be limited in some of the activities that could take place because of continued social distancing requirements. If limitations to guests were in place local radio stations have offered to live stream the event for those who could not attend.

Live graduation in early July

If Idaho were able to progress through stages on time, restrictions should be lifted and a live graduation could be held as normal. This event could still be live streamed.

Virtual graduation on, or around, May 21st

This option could take a variety of forms, but at its core, we would film each student individually in their cap and gown receiving their diploma, there would be an opportunity for pictures to be taken in the cap and gown. These would be clipped together along with speakers, musical numbers, etc and streamed from the school at a specific time but would also be available after as a recording. This could also include things like virtual cap toss, a parade down main street to recognize students and their achievement, or other methods of recognition where the school could continue to meet social distancing requirements.

Virtual graduation on, or around, May 21st with follow up live event.

This option would be the same as the previous option, except that the school would organize a live event for students that were able to attend when restrictions are lifted. This would include individual recognitions and opportunities to hold activities that were limited as a result of social distancing.

“It is important to note that if a live graduation is selected, a date for that graduation will be determined,” said Gee. “If, as the date approaches, it is apparent that Idaho has not progressed to the stage that would allow for that type of ceremony, the live event will be canceled and a virtual event will be organized for the same date.”


Preston
breaking top story
School year to be finished out online

Preston and West Side School District teachers and officials had hoped national and state restrictions would be eased enough to open schools in May, but despite small changes that are beginning to be implemented to reopen things in Idaho, those measures will not reduce restrictions enough for schools in Franklin County to open before the end of the academic year.

During a meeting on April 29, with local hospital and regional health department representatives, school officials determined that it is in the best interests of the students and community to continue schooling online rather than returning to the classroom.

“Due to current restrictions from our local health officials, West Side School District will not be back in session for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year but will finish with our current online platform,” said West Side School District. “Please expect to receive further guidance in the near future regarding school sanctioned activities and events. As always, we will communicate those items to you as we receive them.

“Preston School District will not be opening for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year,” said superintendent Marc Gee. “Details will follow tomorrow from the district to parents, teachers, and students.”