Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Beijing claimed it is prepared for a “long-term” conflict with the U.S. after it effectively stripped Hong Kong of its sovereignty this week in an editorial published in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper Global Times on Wednesday.
The editorial read:
Since China is determined to push forward the national security legislation for Hong Kong, it has been prepared for any possible reaction from the U.S. Many Chinese people have realized that some U.S. politicians are seizing China by its throat. A long-term rivalry between China and the U.S. is inevitable. In the face of U.S. aggression, China should … be prepared to engage in a long-term battle with the U.S.
On Thursday, the CCP’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), passed a draft law terminating Hong Kong’s historic autonomy from mainland China. Under the proposed law, acts that Beijing deems as inciting “secession” or threatening “national security” may be punished as crimes. World leaders have condemned the move for violating China’s international obligations. On Thursday, the U.S. and some of its allies — the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada — issued a joint statement denouncing the legislation and expressing “deep concern” for Hong Kong’s future:
“China’s decision to impose the new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally binding, U.N.-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the statement read. This refers to Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” framework, which allowed the former British colony certain freedoms after it was transferred back to China in 1997. Since then, “Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom,” the statement said.
In a separate article on Thursday in the People’s Daily, another Communist Party mouthpiece, Beijing argued that the United States’ “failure” to properly address its Wuhan coronavirus outbreak demonstrates the shortcomings of American democracy, suggesting that this proves America’s political system is incompatible with that of the Communist Party. The framing further bolsters Beijing’s claim in the Global Times on Wednesday that a “long-term rivalry between China and the U.S. is inevitable.”
“[T]he … practices of the U.S. politicians have not only hurt the life and health of the Americans and led to the global spread of the virus, but also exposed the true colors of the American democracy,” the People’s Daily article stated. “[T]hey tried every means to seek selfish political gains, such as … downplaying the COVID-19 [Wuhan coronavirus] pandemic at home and fantasizing that the virus will disappear. These conducts have revealed the indifference and cold-bloodedness of the U.S. politicians and ran completely against democracy.”
On May 10, CCP authorities detained Zhang Xuezhong, a constitutional law professor, after he openly criticized the CCP’s political and legal systems. Zhang was abducted from his home in Shanghai after writing an open letter to the Chinese government in which he condemned its handling of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and decried the CCP’s suppression of free speech. A former defense lawyer for Chinese human rights activists, Zhang had long been a vocal critic of the CCP.
In his letter, Zhang argued that the absence of scrutiny inherent in China’s political system allows the CCP to suppress information, limiting the peoples’ ability to protect themselves.
“[T]he outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 [Wuhan coronavirus] epidemic is a good illustration of the problem,” he argued. The lawyer also denounced China’s “backward” system of governance for lacking a modern constitution. Zhang was released by authorities on May 11.
The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic — which originated in Wuhan, China, late last year — is now responsible for at least 361,270 deaths worldwide. The Communist Party’s cover-up of China’s initial outbreak in Wuhan has been universally condemned by global health authorities and world leaders, who blame the CCP’s lack of transparency for allowing an isolated epidemic to evolve into a pandemic and global economic crisis.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
By Mia Suchoski
Republican Candidate for Benewah County Commissioner – District 1
Hello, Everyone. I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these uncertain times. My name is Mia Suchoski and I’m a real estate broker for Timber Realty, property manager for St. Maries Property Management, and a manager for Interstate Drilling & Pump. My husband (Ryan Suchoski) and I – together as a team – started all three companies among others.
Within these companies, there are several roles for which I am responsible: navigating clients through the complexities of buying, selling or investing in real estate; managing building/development projects; facilitating commercial/business opportunity transactions; as well as overseeing remodels and building new homes. I have over 20 years of experience in all aspects of real estate including investment, building, development and management.
I have also been involved in starting and sustaining numerous businesses which have included septic service, commercial cleaning service, women’s retail store, jewelry store, antique stores, furniture importation, deli, early education programs, patents, well drilling/pump installation, and more. I am a firm believer that if you work hard and believe in yourself…anything is possible.
I support less government involvement in property that should be owned and developed by the private sector. I support community involvement. I believe that government should be ruled by the people, not the other way around. I also believe that less land should be sold to the State because such sales take land off the tax rolls thereby making them unavailable for development.
I attended Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College. I have Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education and in Child Development. I hold a Real Estate Broker’s License and am a Certified Commercial Sales Specialist, Certified Staging Expert, e-Pro, Accredited Buyer’s Representative and Residential Sales Specialist. But, mostly it’s the hands-on, real life expertise I’ve acquired in real estate & in other areas of business that I can put to work for the benefit of our community.
The logging industry is the heart and soul of our county. We can build on the logging industry to balance out economic development and job growth in our area. We are in definite need of more jobs for folks in our county. The first step is to help sustain existing businesses in the county. We need to support our fellow business owners and help them with resources to improve or expand their business. The second step is to create a team of well-positioned professionals to serve as a resource to members of our community who want to own/operate their own business by helping connect them with the right investors. Third, we need to expand our horizons by actively soliciting outside companies that find St. Maries an attractive and viable place to relocate/build their business. This plan is definitely doable, and we can achieve it in a short period of time.
Next, I’d like to focus on building more affordable housing. As more and more people move to our area, the real estate values are being driven higher. It’s become difficult for local people to purchase a home in the area given the base rate of employment wages. With my business connections, this plan is also very achievable. There are builders & developers who understand that we, as Benewah County locals, would like more housing without sacrificing the qualities that are integral to why we all live here.
Finally, our roads suck. Some of our roads are downright dangerous. I’d like to focus on improving county roads to make them safer for everyone. In an effort to achieve this goal, I’ve read through the general road expenditures for the last five years and I believe there is room for more money to be allocated for road improvements.
I would be honored if you vote for me so I can use my business expertise to take our county into the future. Change is good when everyone is involved in the plan. When we all work together as a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) we all win.
You can call/text me at 208-582-1216 if you have any questions for me or would like to discuss concerns you may have.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
No government has ever, will ever, or can ever infringe the rights of any citizen. Bashing ‘The Government’ is meaningless, futile, misdirected, and an absolute waste of energy.
It is never ‘The Government’ or ‘The State’ or ‘The Legislature’ or even ‘City Hall’ that issues laws, orders, statutes, or ordinances that infringe your Natural Rights. Nor are such infringements ever enforced by these entities.
Every single infringement upon your Natural and Constitutional Rights, both ordered and executed, is done by people. Individual people vote yea or nay. Individual people process the paperwork. Individual people enforce the infringement.
People get together in a gang, or a mob, and impose their collective will and call themselves ‘The Government’ and wrap their actions in patriotism or moral righteousness or ‘The Law’ and other motives – but at the end of the day it is just people – individual people. Too often, these are bad or self-serving people with personal agendas.
This is why elections are so important. We, the voters, choose the people who go to the legislature, to the governor’s mansion, to the White House, to the Commissioners Office, to City Hall, and to the Sheriff’s Office. If we send the right person into an elected office, we are one person closer to stopping infringements from ‘The Government’. Because the right person will not propose nanny-state nonsense and will roll-back any such nonsense they find on the books. The right person will not enforce unconstitutional laws or rules. The right person will stand up and call Shenanigans! when necessary.
Apathy and non-participation have elected more people than Democrats, Republicans and Independents combined. This year voting in the May Primary is unique, thanks to COVID-19. Voters must take several actions to vote this year, more than merely stopping by their traditional polling location.
If you haven’t voted yet, or even started the process of receiving your ballot – there is still time! You can find complete instructions and contact information on Page 2 of this paper for requesting and casting your ballot.
Friday, May 22, 2020
By Katherine Hoyer, Panhandle Health District
and Andrea Nagel, Kootenai Health
Reports in national media lately have been all about antibody testing (also known as serologic testing) and the excitement of being one step closer to understanding the total impact of COVID-19. This news is hopeful and encouraging, but where are we at in our area?
A common anecdote we hear is, “I think I had COVID-19 a few months ago. I was never tested, but could I have immunity proven through the antibody test?”
There is important value in understanding individual immunity as well as potential herd immunity among our community. With the science on COVID-19 still evolving, there is a lot we need to learn about antibody tests and how well they can help us answer our questions.
“Serologic testing has the potential to provide a powerful tool in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Michael Harvey, M.D., medical director of Laboratory Services at Kootenai Health, said. “This testing methodology will play a vital role in assessing how prevalent the disease actually is.”
Here is some information from the FDA on serological testing.
How the Test Works
Unlike a test designed to diagnose an active COVID-19 infection (specifically from the SARS-CoV-2 virus), serological tests can help identify individuals who have developed an immune response to the virus, either as part of an active infection or a prior infection. The test detects the presence of antibodies in the blood – if antibodies are present, that indicates that the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the virus. In the early days of an infection when the body’s immune response is still building, antibodies may not be detected, which is why serological tests should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
There is still a great deal about COVID-19 immunity that we don’t yet fully understand. For example, we don’t yet know that just because someone has developed antibodies, that they are fully protected from reinfection, or how long any immunity lasts. We do expect that data from more widespread serological testing will help us track the spread of the virus nationwide and assess the impact of our public health efforts now, while also informing our COVID-19 response as we continue to move forward. Determining the next steps in our response to COVID-19 is partially dependent on an accurate assessment of our national efforts thus far, and the quality of data for making this decision is dependent on accurate testing products.
How reliable are the tests?
Most antibody tests have not been sufficiently evaluated to know how reliable they are. The Infectious Disease Society of America advises that antibody test results should not be used to make staffing decisions or decisions regarding the need for personal protective equipment.
Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the FDA has allowed serology tests to be marketed based on the manufacturer’s evaluation only and without the usual FDA evaluation – few serology tests have been evaluated by the FDA at this time.
“Within the past several weeks, multiple companies have introduced rapid point-of-care testing kits for the detection of antibodies against COVID-19,” Dr. Harvey said. “We’ve see fundamental reliability issues with many of these tests. Because this is a new virus, there is no gold standard to serve as a comparison to these new tests. One common issue is cross-reactivity with non-COVID-19 coronaviruses, such as the virus that causes the common cold or the one that causes SARS. This means a positive antibody test could be detecting antibodies from the wrong coronavirus, a false positive.”
FDA is currently working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate serological tests. Dr. Harvey and other medical leaders in our community are monitoring developments and will continue to provide guidance on the issue. He said as soon as a reliable test is available, he and his team will organize a plan to implement serologic testing in our community.
What else can you do to help?
According to the FDA, if you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma. Because you fought the infection, your plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for your immune system to fight the virus when you were sick, so your plasma may be able to be used to help others fight off the disease.
Several resources are available regarding options to donate convalescent plasma. To learn more and find the site nearest you visit:
· America’s Blood Centers
· American Red Cross
· Blood Centers of America
· CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance
· National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project
· Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association
Kootenai Health and the Panhandle Health District are actively working to share information about COVID-19 with our community. You can find the latest updates and ways to protect yourself at cdc.gov/covid19. If you have questions about COVID-19 or think you may have the virus, call the Panhandle Health District COVID-19 hotline at 1-877-415-5225.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Municipal governments traditionally have clear mandates outlining their responsibilities to residents:
- Provide clean, safe water
- Provide for sewage & garbage disposal
- Keep the city or town clean
- Maintain infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks, parks and streetlights
- Address zoning and building regulations
- Promote economic development
- Provide public transportation
- Provide emergency services coverage: fire, ambulance, rescue and police
The residents of St. Maries generally enjoy clean, inexpensive water and satisfactory sewer & garbage disposal services. Our streets and public areas are clean. Our parks are well maintained and enjoyable. Our streetlamps work and the town has very pleasant curb appeal. There is room for improvement with roads, sidewalks, zoning and building regulations, but these are perpetual issues in any town or city.
Local economic development from City Hall would benefit greatly from a combination of real-world business experience and principles of limited government. So, too, would the bureaucratic burden of the City Code which could be lightened considerably by a ‘limited government approach’ by City Hall officials.
Emergency Services available to St. Maries are excellent. This includes the keeping of the peace by the Sheriff’s Office.
The obligation of the Mayor and City Council to provide safety to the city is well-satisfied under the current arrangement with the Office of the County Sheriff. There is no observable, measurable increase in crime or mischief in St. Maries since the dissolution of the city police department. The job of keeping the peace in St. Maries is getting done – and it is being done well.
If, for whatever reason, it is the position of City Hall that more coverage is necessary, then the prudent, and fiscally responsible, solution is to negotiate with the Sheriff’s Office for more deputies to be assigned within the city for more hours each day, and to pay the associated costs for that increase. The Sheriff’s Department has the experience, resources, and infrastructure already in place, and is, in fact, already doing the job.
Adding another layer of bureaucracy to City Hall and another major tax burden to the residents of St. Maries is not good governance. Adding the burden of an entire police department onto the shoulders of city residents, for the benefit of increasing parking ticket revenue, goes beyond mismanagement and waste. It rises to the level of abuse of power. What it would accomplish, besides an expansion of government, is creation of a police force that answers directly to the Mayor’s Office. How would a local police department have conducted itself in the midst of our stay-at-home order? Would they enforce directives from Boise at City Hall’s direction, or would they behave Constitutionally, as has
the Sheriff ’s Office and Deputies?
Fix our sidewalks, without forcing the cost on business owners. Fill our potholes. Survey property lines and reduce the burdens being imposed on property owners seeking to improve their homes. Roll back the redundant, expensive, and intrusive building permit process recently adopted by City Hall. Cut the ridiculously over-priced fees imposed on businesses operating within the city. Cut extraneous and nanny-state ordinances from the City Code. Or, stop adding to it.
Lead with genuine economic development. Or, get out of the way of business leaders who know how to get it done and want St. Maries to thrive and grow in new directions as our local economy evolves.
When it comes to keeping the peace in St. Maries, City Hall should not be in the business of trying to fix what ain’t broke.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Republican Candidate for Benewah County Commissioner – District 1
I have lived in St. Maries for 41 years. My wife and I raised our two daughters here. I have worked for the City of St. Maries for 24 years. The communities that make up Benewah County are full of caring, hardworking people. Our communities have developed outstanding young people because our quality of life is second to none.
Why do I want to be commissioner? The short answer is to help protect our quality of life.
We know changes are coming, and we need to be in control. I have the experience and the knowledge to represent you, the people, and the needs of Benewah County. I have been a public servant for many years. I truly care for the people. I hear your needs. A need is a necessity. A want is something you work to achieve. As taxpayers, what are your needs and wants? If those are not recognized, neither gets accomplished.
A commissioner is required to wear many hats: facilitator, decision-maker, worker, enforcer, responsible for public relations, and a protector of all. I believe with our experienced county employees and the right leadership, Benewah County can be a model for the state. Common sense and a commitment to doing the right thing can go far.
If elected to office, one of the first things I would do is apologize to employees for their increased workload. Then, I would ask that they trust me.
My plan would be to look at revenues by area, develop expenditures by area, drive every square mile, and work with other commissioners to assess our needs. I would work with the maintenance departments to prioritize their needs and work toward their wants. It always comes down to money, but I think there are ways to increase our revenues without increasing taxes. For example, I would look at property holdings and work with staff to explore options that may create revenues for the county. I would make sure expenditures are spent wisely and responsibly while protecting investments and assets. Our decisions should always be made for the best interest of the public. We provide a service to the taxpayers.
Once again, I would work my hardest to meet the needs while working toward the wants of our community. These statements do not reflect the job that is being done by the current commissioners.
These words are 100% from Mark L. Reynolds, wanting to build upon what has already been established and continue to prosper. We are in this together. I will work hard to keep what we value the most. It is going to take all of us as one big community.
Mark L. Reynolds