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BOISE - With a “difficult” fire season looming, firefighters are facing budget cuts that will result in 500 fewer firefighters for the Forest Service alone and 50 fewer engines available, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said this morning in a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. “We’re going to be faced obviously with a difficult fire season, make no mistake about that,” he said. “The resources are limited. Our budgets have obviously been constrained.”
BOISE – Idaho’s four-member congressional delegation didn’t do a ton of fundraising during the first quarter of this year, what with it not being an election year and all. But the numbers do yield some intriguing trends, including that Sen. Mike Crapo has, by far, the biggest campaign war chest. Crapo, who’s not up for re-election for another four years, had about $3.3 million in the bank at the end of the reporting period in April, compared to $259,523 for Sen. Jim Risch, who’s already announced he’s seeking re-election next year; $235,433 for 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador; and $71,826 for 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson.
You may know that Coeur d’Alene Councilman Steve Adams decided not to appeal a judge’s decision to allow sewer expansion without a public vote. But did you know that Adams lost a different appeal last week? Seems Adams, who is a stickler for his version of the federal and state constitutions, believes elected officials shouldn’t get parking tickets when they’re conducting official business. Adams was involved in a joint meeting of the council and Lake City Development Corporation when his red Ford pickup was tagged with a ticket for overstaying its two-hour welcome in the Coeur d’Alene Library lot. Which, BTW, is reserved for library patrons.
BOISE – It’s more than a year before the primary election, but Idaho Sen. Jim Risch announced last week that he’ll seek re-election in 2014. “When I ran for this office just over four years ago, I said our country was facing many challenges,” Risch said in a statement. “Those challenges not only remain, they have gotten worse. … Idahoans are opposed to the ever-growing role of the federal government in their lives, and my votes in the Senate have reflected that sentiment.” Risch, who turns 70 in May, knows the importance of getting into a race early. When he was considering a run for governor in 2006, then-congressman Butch Otter jumped in just after he’d taken the oath of office for his third two-year congressional term, a move that allowed him to tie up GOP contributors and outmaneuver Risch, who decided not to run.
Nic Casey, of Coeur d’Alene, hasn’t purchased rubber cement for some time. But he’ll be ready with his driver’s license if he has to do so. You may think rubber cement is harmless. But someone out there doesn’t. Seems a 50-something co-worker of Nic’s was carded when she and her husband tried to buy rubber cement at a local Wal-Mart during the New Year’s weekend. Nic laughed when the co-worker told him the story. His colleague and her husband are old enough to be Nic’s parents.