The Idaho Way: Highway 55 intersection, multimillion-dollar land deals and border patrol

·3 min read

By Scott McIntosh, Opinion Editor

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When our family moved to Idaho in 2006, we soon began making those summer trips up Idaho Highway 55 with our two young sons to go camping.

Scott McIntosh is the Idaho Statesman’s opinion editor.
Scott McIntosh is the Idaho Statesman’s opinion editor.

Our favorite spot was Amanita Campground, a U.S. Forest Service site on the west side of Cascade Lake in Donnelly. I’m sad to report that it’s difficult if not downright impossible to get a campsite there any more, as they book up by January.

Such is the common refrain of growth in Idaho.

On the way to Donnelly and other points north, you probably know all too well the intersection of Idaho 55 and Banks-Lowman Road. If you’re driving west on Banks-Lowman Road and trying to turn south onto 55, it can be a frightening ordeal, especially on a Sunday afternoon, as thousands of vehicles are heading back to Boise from a weekend getaway.

The Idaho Transportation Department has committed to stationing traffic guards with flags for six days out of the summer to help control traffic and improve safety.

But this is clearly not a long-term solution.

It’s a tricky situation because that intersection is bounded by two rivers and a hillside, making any improvements a challenge, likely an expensive one.

Read what our editorial board would like to see happen at that intersection.

After reading the editorial, tell me what you think should be done. You can take my poll that I posted on LinkedIn.

Yes, multimillion-dollar land deals can help affordable housing

Auctioneer Kent Corbett, left, of Corbett Bottles Real Estate Marketing, signals for another bid from developer Corey Barton, right, during an auction of 282 acres of state farmland on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Auctioneer Kent Corbett, left, of Corbett Bottles Real Estate Marketing, signals for another bid from developer Corey Barton, right, during an auction of 282 acres of state farmland on Friday, June 11, 2021.

While the recent multimillion-dollar sales of development land in Caldwell and Eagle are a sign of the Boise area’s red-hot housing market, the reality is building million-dollar homes actually will help our affordable housing crisis.

It’s all a matter of supply and demand.

Idaho tax dollars shouldn’t go to the border

FILE - In this Thursday, June 10, 2021, file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum. The U.S. government has put an end to two Trump administration policies that made it harder for immigrants fleeing violence to qualify for asylum. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that immigration judges should no longer follow the rules that made it difficult for immigrants who faced domestic or gang violence to win asylum. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 10, 2021, file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum. The U.S. government has put an end to two Trump administration policies that made it harder for immigrants fleeing violence to qualify for asylum. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that immigration judges should no longer follow the rules that made it difficult for immigrants who faced domestic or gang violence to win asylum. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

Gov. Brad Little, don’t spend Idaho taxpayer dollars on sending “law enforcement” to the Mexico border. That’s not your job, and that’s not what we should be spending Idaho tax dollars on.

Don’t we have better things to spend Idaho taxpayer money on? Such as public education?

‘Pack of lies’ in Whitman history

A statue of Marcus Whitman is displayed in the Legislative Building at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., Wednesday, May 12, 2021. For generations, Whitman has been viewed as an iconic figure from early Pacific Northwest history, a venerated Protestant missionary who was among 13 people killed by the Cayuse tribe near modern-day Walla Walla, Washington, in 1847. But this past year has seen the continued reappraisal of Whitman, whose actions are now viewed by many as imperialistic and destructive, and the Washington Legislature voted to remove a similar statue of Whitman from Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A statue of Marcus Whitman is displayed in the Legislative Building at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., Wednesday, May 12, 2021. For generations, Whitman has been viewed as an iconic figure from early Pacific Northwest history, a venerated Protestant missionary who was among 13 people killed by the Cayuse tribe near modern-day Walla Walla, Washington, in 1847. But this past year has seen the continued reappraisal of Whitman, whose actions are now viewed by many as imperialistic and destructive, and the Washington Legislature voted to remove a similar statue of Whitman from Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The convoluted history of Marcus Whitman comes as something of a shock after staying at the venerable and tradition-bound Marcus Whitman hotel in Walla Walla, Washington, and walking the campus of Whitman College, the distinguished liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest named after him.

Bob Kustra this week details how this distortion of history offers lessons for today.

An Idaho business case for diversity and inclusion

Idaho business leaders speak out on diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace and send message to their team members advocating for human rights.
Idaho business leaders speak out on diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace and send message to their team members advocating for human rights.

“As CEOs and Idaho employers, we recognize the importance of ensuring everyone feels safe and included — not only within our workplaces but also in the communities where we live and play. Being able to live in safety and with dignity should not stop when you leave the office. Everyone should be able to take their kids to the park, shop for groceries, rent an apartment or participate in other day-to-day activities without fear or worry of discrimination.”

A group of Idaho’s top business leaders from Micron, Albertsons, Simplot and more shared a letter they wrote to their employees stressing the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Students push back against ‘indoctrination’ task force

Students from Boise State University and local high schools gather to paint messages on T-shirts Monday. The shirts’ messages are aimed at getting the attention of Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s special task force as they investigate indoctrination in Idaho schools.
Students from Boise State University and local high schools gather to paint messages on T-shirts Monday. The shirts’ messages are aimed at getting the attention of Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s special task force as they investigate indoctrination in Idaho schools.

A group of local students has organized to speak up against the task force assembled by Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin to look into claims of indoctrination in Idaho schools.

You can read their reasons for opposing the task force in this in-depth report from our new education reporter Becca Savransky.

What you’re saying

Letters To Editor
Letters To Editor

This week, we’ve received letters on Murgoitio Park, critical race theory and Idaho helping at the border.

You can read those letters and more by clicking here.

You can submit a letter to the editor or guest opinion by clicking here.

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