Monday, October 23, 2006

Idaho Protection the Federal Way

It defies logic that this administration’s strong point is protecting us from terrorism.

In 2005, The Boyd Group ( reported:

• “The United States is just as vulnerable as it was on 9/11...very little fundamental progress has been made in light of five years of trying.

• The Transportation Security Administration is a raging failure, run at the top by patronage appointees who have no fear of accountability.

• The proof for these conclusions is overwhelming - GAO reports, instances of major security breaches, instances of near-zero security on major airport ramps, and what is outright confusion on the part of Homeland Security. Further, note that in nearly every case where there's been a failure, the TSA never admits mistakes or faults.”

Meanwhile, Idaho’s own airborne threat does not seem to be of major concern to many local governments.

A Times-News editorial on Nov. 13, 2003 protested the state’s failure to notify news agencies for two weeks that the first human case of West Nile had been identified in Twin Falls. Rather than allow the potato vine to spread the news, they felt people should know it was not a public health threat.

In August 2004 the arrival of West Nile in Idaho was confirmed in a dead magpie; followed by infection of a Gooding County man and six Gooding horses in September 2004.

The adult Culex species of mosquito and any virus they carry are capable of surviving winter. Also, while resistance can build as the virus wends its way through birds, animals and humans, it is also true that the virus can replicate and become more virulent to overcome that resistance.

Gooding County Commission candidate Troy Hurd recently presented an emergency petition to county commissioners for creation of a mosquito abatement district. The commission has failed to take action.

Stan Metcalf

Submitted 10/22/06

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