Monday, April 11, 2016

The Heat Goes On . . . .and the Voting Too

Actually, the title for this morning's post could be a bit misleading because we had an overnight frost, and these early blossoms which popped out over the warm days of late may have taken a hit.  

We'll keep our fingers crossed.

Another warm day awaits us after the chill of the night, and we'll keep on putzing away at the projects around the place.  

As the photo below illustrates, Bill is progressing with the new garden fence. Happily, I've been able use the woven wire from the old fence to shut off inviting openings where dogs might decide to visit the Meserve Preserve.  

That will be especially nice when the cows show up, and Liam sees them for the first time.  Definitely no guarantees that he's gonna stay home and simply admire them from afar.  

Soon, the hayfield, playfield for the pups will be off limits when the grass starts growing, so we're planning to prepare a play field along the lane, an area where we harvest about a dozen bales of hay.

Hay is certainly not cheap, but having an open space far away from the road where the pups can still race around in circles or play keep-away will be helpful. 

So, it's a trade-off. Heartache is much more profound than having to pay for a few bales of hay. 

In other news, during a conversation last night, Bill noted a guest column in yesterday's local paper.  It was written by Sandy Patano, a member of the Republican North Idaho Political Action Committee.  

Ms. Patano's message:  don't bypass the Idaho primary election, May 17.  If you do, you may have given up your chance to have an impact on the race, especially on the Republican ballot.  

Since her piece in yesterday's paper is not entirely available online for nonsubscribers to the online edition of the local paper, I'll post a link to her commentary of a similar nature, published in the Coeur d'Alene Press this past January: 

Both Bill and I view this commentary by Ms. Patano as well worth the read and vitally important, especially for voters who do not have the time to keep up with some dramatic changes that have occurred in Idaho primary voting. 

Since Idaho is a predominantly Republican state, this year's primary should be viewed as every bit important as the general election.

Bottom line:  many political races at the local level (legislative, commissioners, sheriff) will be determined through primary voting May 17. 

Those not paying attention may be in for a surprise when they see that candidates they normally and enthusiastically support are not on the general election ballot. 

This happened last time around, and many members of the electorate who had not voted in the primary were stunned, as were their favored candidates. 

After reading Ms. Patano's column in yesterday's Bee, I saw a well-intentioned response which may have been a bit misleading in that it suggested that it might be too late for voters to register as Republicans.  

So, I asked my friend Trish Gannon, publisher of The River Journal.  The monthly paper's most recent issue provides a guide for primary voters who may be confused about what to do at voting time. 

Below are a few important points of clarification that she shared with me. 

“There are a couple of options here,” Trish writes. "If someone has never affiliated, or never registered to vote, they can get a Republican ballot at the primary.

“If someone was previously affiliated as a Dem, or anything else (libertarian, constitutional) then they cannot change that now, and cannot vote in the R primary.

“The Dems did not require that people actually affiliate in order to vote in the caucus. So registered Rs could vote (and many did).

Thanks, Trish, for your information. My goal in addressing this issue concerns people like me who don't always necessarily read the fine print or who sometimes miss out on the key action.  

Case in point: years ago back in the 1970s when we had a streaker at a Sandpoint High School graduation, at that very moment I was distracted and busy gawking off into the audience.  

By the time I focused back on the the important action in the stage area, I had missed the whole show----definitely one of the regrets of my teaching career. 

The same thing can happen to our local electorate in this year's election if we're not a bit more vigilant.  

So, if you're a qualified Idaho voter, don't be like me when I missed the streaker. Keep your eye on the political ball, and make sure you exercise your voting privileges as wisely as possible May 17. 

Thanks. Happy Monday. 

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