Monthly Archives: April 2018

Latah County Candidates April 25 Forum

Nine Idaho District 5 legislative candidates answered written questions from a large audience at the League of Women Voters of Moscow election forum on April 25 at the Latah County Fairgrounds.


District 5 state senate candidates in attendance were incumbent Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Moscow; Marshall Comstock, R-Moscow; and David Nelson, D-Moscow. Comstock and Foreman face off in the primary on May 15.

“I grew up on a farm in Genesee,” Nelson said. “I got an engineering degree from the University of Idaho and an advanced degree from the University of Massachusetts. I worked for Chevron Oil for a number of years and then I founded a software company down in the San Francisco bay area.”

More information:

Comstock is the former mayor of Moscow. “I’ve lived in Latah County for the past 45 years,” he said. “I am a 1976 graduate from the University of Idaho with a degree in agriculture and forestry.”

More information:

Sen. Foreman is running for re-election. “I represent Beneway County and Latah County,” he said. “Thanks to all of you for caring enough about state government and local government to come out and participate.”

More information:

District 5 House seat A candidates included Hari Heath, R-Santa; Bill Goesling, R-Moscow; and incumbent Rep. Margaret Gannon, D-St. Maries. Heath and Goesling face off in the primary on May 15.

Rep. Gannon, who was appointed by Governor Otter to the seat held by Paulette Jordan, who’s running for governor, cited her experience on the city council and school board in St. Maries. “I really think I have something to bring to the table and would appreciate your vote.”

More information:

“I work in the woods, in salvage logging,” Heath, a resident of Santa, Idaho, said. “I’ve been a student, an educator, and an advocate for the Constitution for quite some time and I’m running to get principles happening again in Boise and get our state turned back to where it belongs.”

More information:

“Many of you already know me,” Goesling said, citing his experience on the Moscow school board and Idaho State Board of Education. “I understand education. It is one of the major issues that we do have in front of us today.”

More information:

District 5 House seat B candidates included Terry Hardman, D-Sanders; Laurene Sorensen, D-Moscow; and incumbent Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee. Hardman and Sorensen face off in the primary on May 15.

Hardman said he’s a holistic rancher, small business owner, and family man. “I’ll fight for proactive solutions that improve the quality of life in District 5 in Idaho,” he said.

More information:

Laurene Sorensen took part via video-conference, telling the audience, “I have lived in Moscow since 2003, and those 15 years have rushed by. I love the quality of life here on the Palouse. I believe in keeping public lands public, providing health insurance to our gap population…connecting Idahoans with good paying jobs in thriving towns.”

More information:

Rep. Troy is seeking re-election. “I am a fifth generation Idaho farm girl,” she said. “I know how to pick rocks and build fence. My daughters are the fourth generation in my family to graduate from the University of Idaho, and I work very hard to represent Latah and Benway County and it is my honor and privilege to do so.”

More information:

Here’s the link to the Latah County Elections site:

Posted April 30, 2018




“Excellence is a state of mind”

by Elyse Blanch

Idaho Public Radio


“To me, excellence is a state of mind. Attitude. This will help an ordinary person, like me, achieve extraordinary things,” Kristin Armstrong, professional road bicycle racer and three-time Olympic gold medalist said.

Keynote speaker and UI alumna Kristin Armstrong took the University of Idaho audience through a journey of her life and down the road to her success as Team USA Olympian, featured as the annual UI Margaret Ritchie Distinguished Speaker on April 11 in Moscow.


(Jaxon Evers photo, April 11, 2018)

Armstrong shared her experiences around holistic athletics, catering to the students in the audience who were enrolled in the UI integrated seminar (ISEM) on the holistic study of athletes.

She started off by asking the students in the auidence why they chose that ISEM course, and one athlete said, “I wanted to become a more complete athlete.”

“I’m going to bring you into my world,” Armstrong said. “My mantra is: ‘Are you hurting more than anyone else? Are you feeling good? If you are, then you’re probably not working hard enough.’  I ask myself that when I’m racing.”

Armstrong prefaced her successful race stories with some imagery as a reminder.

“Even then, there are plenty of peaks and valleys and plateaus. Even then, the stars had to be aligned. Even then, I was almost 43,” she said with a smile as audience laughed.

Armstrong dove into sharing her journey, starting with her post-college self.

“After college, I started to work full time, because that’s what you’re supposed to do,” she said as the chuckled. “Then one day, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Woah, what’s happened?’’

Armstrong was in her mid-20s and finding out she had osteoarthritis in her hips, decided to turn her life around, despite what doctors said her limits were.

Her first milestone was competing in a local triathlon, but she ended up walking the second half of the footrace. Despite this rocky start, she didn’t let that stop her from getting back into shape, and she still attracted contractors looking for a promising athlete.

“I was offered three professional contracts for competing in the Olympic trials in California for bicycling, and I accepted one,” she said.

Thus began her training. She trained with women who had had much more experience biking and had many more years of training under their belts.

However, the Olympic trials race day proved to be hot and humid, and when her bicycling team reached the point in the course where the cyclists were all supposed to step it into high gear, Armstrong was the only one who did.

“I memorized the rock along the course that was our marker to attack,” Armstrong said, “but when I attacked, no one else attacked with me!”

Armstrong’s tenacity won her a spot in the 2004 Summer Olympics, marking the first of many successes she would have over the course of her career as a cyclist.

The Olympics took place in Athens, Greece, but Armstrong didn’t make the podium, crossing the finish line in eighth place.

“Imagine making the cut, only to stop there,” she said. “My takeaway from Athens was that I had a goal, but I didn’t have a vision. I didn’t compete that day. I just went through the process.”

Armstrong said that after she realized that not only did she need to have a vision, she knew that her team needed to grow.

“My team had to be greater than just my coach – it had to be my husband, my dietitian…” she said, listing off several supporters she needed to propel her towards success.

Four years later, Armstrong qualified to compete in the summer Olympics in Beijing, and this time, she took the gold medal.

“My takeaway from Beijing is that it took a team,” she said. “You’re kidding yourself if you think you can do it alone.”

After Beijing, Armstrong wanted to retire. She gave birth to her son in 2010, two years before the next Olympic tournament in London, thinking that she was done.

However, her “team” pulled her back in, and before she knew it, Armstrong was training again.

Three months after training, the media was critical of her, highlighting every race she didn’t win.

“Nothing I could do was positive, because I’d come off of a gold medal,” Armstrong said.

Despite the public criticism, she made it to the 2012 summer Olympics and won another gold medal. Her ultimate vision had been to have her son Lucas up there on the podium with her.

“My vision, my dream came true,” Armstrong said. “My son Lucas was on the podium with me.”

At that point, Armstrong’s successes were so infectious that she just couldn’t bring herself to quit for good.

“I made it to nationals, and ended up on the top step,” she said, “and top American at the worlds tournament.”

Despite her success, her fellow female cyclists on the American team told her that it wasn’t her turn anymore, saying that they’d been practicing harder and longer.

“I told them: ‘I mean, I didn’t come here to practice, I came here to win’,” Armstrong said with a gleam in her eye. “You can have the spot… if you win.”

Armstrong couldn’t be stopped, sweeping up another victory at the Olympic trials. She was selected again by the Olympic selection committee, and won the Olympic arbitration.

Armstrong was, once again, on her way to the Olympics, and this time, it was in Rio. She won a third gold medal.

“My takeaway from Rio is that my formula had to change,” she said. “I had a vision, but I was getting old.  I needed a new formula to get a new vision.”

As a part of her wrap-up, Armstrong reiterated the fact that a holistic approach means you have to meet athletes where they are, and not expect them to immediately be at a level they is not at.

She concluded by imparting four key elements for success.

“First, you have to have a vision… Second, you have to have a team…. Third, you need to have passion…. Fourth, you’ve got to have character.”

During the question and answer period following her speech, one student asked if you can set too high of a goal.

“I don’t believe you can set too high of a goal,” Armstrong said, “but it’s the steps to get there that have to be realistic.”

Towards the end of her talk, Armstrong advised that you not get too caught up in the process of accomplishing your goal.

“Don’t let process take over passion,” she said. “Passion is the bookends that keep everything together. If your passion goes away, you have nothing.”

Posted April 30, 2018


Idaho Women Win 2018 Big Sky Golf Championship

For the second time in three years, the Idaho Vandals have won the Big Sky Women’s Golf Championship.

Idaho won the 2018 title Sunday at the Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nev.


(Photo courtesy Big Sky Conference)

“It feels amazing,” coach Lisa Johnson said in a news release. “It’s great to be able to represent the Vandals this well and perform under pressure. I started to get nervous with about six holes to go, but I told myself  ‘don’t over coach, just trust them. Trust that they love this back nine and they’ll start making birdies like they have been all week.’ That’s exactly what they did.”

Idaho shot  283 in the final round for the 10-stroke victory and a Big Sky record of 866 for the 54-hole tournament.

“Going five shots under par while trying to win a conference title is no small feat,” Johnson said. “The reason why we won this tournament is that we were extremely relaxed and loose. We know that about ourselves and we sought out ways to have fun while also knowing we had goals to reach. We had to make it fun on and off the golf course and we succeeded in doing that.”

Sophie Hausmann was named the Big Sky Individual Champion with a 54-hole tournament record of 206. Heading into Sunday, Hausmann had a four-stroke lead over the field, including back-to-back eagles on 13 and 14 on Saturday. Hausmann came away with her second individual title in three years while breaking the Big Sky individual record by two strokes.

“I was pretty relaxed all four days, including the practice round,” Hausmann said. “I felt really good about the whole team and our approach, so I didn’t put or feel any extra pressure on myself or get real nervous. I got through the first round playing OK. Then I made a couple of putts to start the second round and everything clicked from there.”

Hausmann was named Big Sky Player of the Year last week.

Michelle Kim was the only golfer in the tournament to shoot under par all three rounds. After shooting a 71 In the first and second rounds, she recorded a 68 on Sunday to finish second overall. Three layers had been tied for second place after two rounds.

“I couldn’t be more impressed with Michelle,” Johnson said. “This semester she didn’t perform as well as she’s capable of, but she didn’t let that define her season. The last three weeks she went to work on her putting and her mental game and it paid off immensely. She has won some big events in her career and to see that Michelle come back this week was incredible.”

Valeria Patino finished in a tie for 12th, moving up the leaderboard Sunday with an even-par 72. Patino shot 7-over (223) for the tournament. Laura Gerner shot a 3-over 75 Sunday finishing the tournament in 28th at 12-over 228. Senior Kendall Gray, playing in her final conference championship, shot 16-over, tying for 34th.

Idaho and Sacramento State were tied for the lead after Friday’s first round; Idaho led by five shots after the second round on Saturday.

Idaho will represent the Big Sky Conference at the 2018 NCAA Women’s Golf Regional from May 7-9. The regional championship field will be announced Wednesday, April 25 at 3:30 p.m. MT on Golf Channel.

“I have to stay relaxed and have fun out there,” Hausmann said. “Obviously making it to nationals is one of the team’s goals and one of my goals, but playing too tight is never going to get us the results we want. This week proves that and definitely need to remember that at regionals.”

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will be held at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. from May 17-30.

Posted April 22, 2018


State Board Approves U-Idaho Athletics Plan

The Idaho State Board of Education today approved a waiver for the University of Idaho that gives the university some time to balance its athletics budget. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:10)


It has been an emotional couple of weeks for members of three Vandal Athletics teams, after they learned that their sports– women’s soccer, men’s golf, and women’s swimming and diving– might have to be eliminated due to a projected budget deficit.

This is Vandal soccer player Kelly Dopke, speaking to the State Board:

Kelly Dopke: “Please do not let this be a deciding moment, ending our athletic careers, and those of future Vandals to follow in our footsteps. But consider this a defining moment in your service by allowing the growth of the University of Idaho’s athletic program so that you may bear witness to the value that these young woman behind me, and those who follow in our footsteps, bring to the great State of Idaho.”

Over 14,000 people signed an online petition supporting the three teams.

The sports are safe for now following the State’s Board’s vote today.

At issue was a projected negative fund balance in the Athletics budget. The UI asked for a waiver from current State Board policy requiring that deficits be eliminated within two fiscal years.


The State Board has directed the UI to put a plan in place to eliminate its athletic deficit within three years, by the end of FY ’21, and to provide progress reports on the budget plan.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted April 19, 2018




State Board of Education Approves 2018-19 Higher Education Tuition, Fee Hikes

Each April, when the Idaho State Board of Education meets at the University of Idaho, tuition and fees are set for the the state’s higher educational institutions for the coming year.

Today, there was a long discussion, including several motions and failed votes, before 2018-19 higher education tuition and fees were set.

“It is a Solomon-like decision that we are asked to make,” board member Richard Westerberg said. “Considering that we want to keep fees and tuition as low as possible to encourage students to come, and yet provide for the institutions adequate resources to be able to provide a good quality education for students.”
“The primary concern that I hear from a lot of our students is the affordability of higher education,” ASUI President McKenzie MacDonald told the board.
MacDonald said she supported the university’s request for a 6% increase. “I don’t think the University of Idaho is an institution that’s just passing off any financial woes due to enrollment decline onto their students without even giving it a second thought. I don’t think that at all.”
The board held a lengthy discussion about affordability and access. “We give a lot of things a lot of thought, but I think this is one that probably weighs on all of us significantly,” board member Andy Scoggin said.
Lewis-Clark State College, the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and Idaho State University all made presentations.
For the University of Idaho, the approved increase is 5% for undergraduate resident students and 8% for undergraduate non-resident students.
For Lewis-Clark State College– 4.5% increase for tuition and fees for both resident and non-resident undergraduate students.
Boise State University– 5% increase for tuition and fees for both resident and non-resident undergraduate students.
Idaho State University– 3.5% increase for tuition and fees for resident students and 5% non-resident undergraduate students.
Posted April 18, 2018

“Students want to feel like they belong”

by Nicole Etchemendy

Idaho Public Radio


“Students want to feel like they belong.”

That’s what Lindsay Bernhagen, Director of the Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin, told a classroom full of teachers and faculty at an April 5 presentation at the University of Idaho.



(Photo by Nicole Etchemendy)

In her presentation, “Inclusion by Design,” Bernhagen addressed topics such as language gaps, ways that teachers can identify implicit bias and overcome it in their classrooms, and ways to make teachers confident in implementing inclusive practices.

“We want our students to learn,” Benhagen said. “We have to know what our students are bringing into the classroom in order to tap into that.

“Students want to feel like they belong,” she said. “So either we can design environments where we exacerbate those things, those inequalities, or we can try and mitigate them as much as we can from where we sit.”

Bernhagen referenced research done in 2013. “By the time kids are three years old, kids who grown up in low income house have about 300 vocabulary words,” she said. “Those who grow up in working-class households have about 500-600 words, and those who grown up in upper middle-class households have about 12 hundred words.”

Having books around the house is also a factor in children early development of literary skills, she said. “I grew up in a working class family and the only literary book we had in my house was Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Bernhagen spoke on the impact of ‘implicit biases’ that have an impact not only on teachers in their classrooms but in our daily lives.

“We talked about differences that we keep track of and measure, like gender and race, but there are a lot of different things that cause challenges for our students our colleagues, for our peers, it can make campus feel inclusive or not inclusive,” Bernhagen said.

When Bernhagen asked the teachers what they believed the greatest diversity barrier facing students on the University of Idaho campus, a teacher responded that students have expressed challenges with gender identity and race.

Bernhagen discussed the importance of teachers being willing to learn from mistakes as well as identify their own biases in order to overcome them. She spoke about how making adaptations to classroom structure without changing expectations can be beneficial for students.

“Communicate clear and high expectations provide constructive feedback to encourage a growth mindset,” she said.

Bernhagen holds advanced degrees in ethnomusicology, women’s studies and comparative studies, and serves as associate editor of To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development.

Posted April 18, 2018



Simpson: Budget Bill has “Big Wins” for Idaho Agriculture

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson says the 2018 omnibus budget bill contained “big wins for Idaho Agriculture.”

U.S. Capitol


“Whether it is resources for our farmers and ranchers or research that guarantees a safe and efficient food supply, USDA plays a vital role in Idaho,” Congressman Simpson said in a March 22 news release.

Simpson highlighted the following agriculture-related items:
* Funding for the USDA Rural Utilities Service Circuit Rider program which helps fund rural communities to provide safe and affordable drinking water.
* Funding for National Institutes of Food and Agriculture potato and wheat research.
* Continues previous years’ language authored by Congressman Simpson that blocks the President’s proposed closure of the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station in Dubois, Idaho.
* Language directing the FDA to develop a standard identity for dairy based on existing standards which is similar to Congressman Simpson’s bipartisan DAIRY Pride Act.

“Idaho’s history of agriculture excellence is critical to our economy, accounting for 20% the state’s gross state product,” Simpson said in an April 13 news release. “With over 25,000 farms and ranches and 185 different commodities, it isn’t just Idaho that we are feeding – it is the world.

“No doubt that ideal climate conditions, irrigation systems, and generations of family farmers are responsible for this agriculture dominance,” Simpson said. “However, the state also needs cutting edge research and fair cooperation on reasonable rules and regulations for farmers and ranchers to succeed. The recently passed appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 included big wins for Idaho agriculture. I was proud to champion many of these efforts so Idaho can continue to lead in agriculture production.”

Simpson is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and a senior member and former Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment.

Posted April 14, 2018