Idaho Public Television on Opinion Pages
Gov. Butch Otter's blown-up budget empowers lawmakers A larger than originally estimated shortfall of $185 million is sending budget hawks back into the fray to find programs to trim more, or to cut altogether.
What’s proper government role: That’s the real question Commentator Wayne Hoffman argues that even though Idaho Public Television produces excellent, stylish and substantive local programming, its activity falls outside the scope of the proper role of government.
Forest Service made a common-sense decision Bethine Church and Peter Morrill argue that that former Idaho Sen. Frank Church, who was one of the creators of the Wilderness Act, would have agreed with the Forest Service's decision to allow IdahoPTV to film in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area.
Video cameras are a wilderness no-no The decision to deny Idaho Public Television the right to film in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness was reversed after public complaints. But an interim plan that will guide access into the wilderness for the next 18 months as a permanent policy takes shape still leaves matters so unclear that individual Forest Service officials may exercise more discretion than they deserve.
A reel-life lesson in managing federal land U.S. Forest Service officials did the right thing by reversing an ill-advised decision to ban an Idaho Public Television film crew from the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. And they have drafted a guideline acknowledging the role film crews can play in helping the public understand the inherent, enduring values of their public lands.
Otter picks righteous fight with feds this time Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's frequent spats with federal agencies are often misguided. But his latest fight - over a Salmon-Challis National Forest official's decision to deny an Idaho Public Television request to film in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area - is spot on.
Be honest about why you’re not debating Gov. Otter has the right to decline the invitation to debate on Idaho Public Television, but he should be forthright about why. And it seems far-fetched to believe that it's out of fairness to a few fringe candidates.
Forum-shy incumbents do disservice to democracy Idaho voters may be feeling like Goldilocks after hearing the explanations some candidates have given for participating or not participating in an upcoming series of televised debates.
Cheers & Jeers Cheers to Idaho Public Television and the taxpayers who fund it for continuing the three-decades-long tradition of broadcasting statewide political debates. Jeers to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for skipping the debate.
Help needed to keep IdahoPTV running The JFAC vote to keep IdahoPTV funding in place is good news, but individual viewers will have to step up their donations to ensure the long-term viability of the statewide public television network.
Compassion? Don't look for it here, Butch Speaking to the Idaho Press Club last week, Gov. Otter contended some newspapers have portrayed him as relishing the role of budget cutter but said, "It's not fun." Whatever the governor's experience, it's not the job of the press to give politicians a break.
Imagine that, Butch - politics is a rough 'sport' Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter pleads for compassion for the hard budgetary decisions he's had to make, but there are a lot of ways to obey the constitutional mandate to balance the budget, and they don't all include gutting education or doing away with public television.
Otter’s methods juvenile If the Governor wanted to pressure IdahoPTV to trim its budget, he should have done it in private rather than threatening to phase out its funding altogether.
Cheers and Jeers Jeers to the State Affairs Committee for voting against a 1 percent cost of living increase for retired state and local government employees. Cheers to the Idaho congressional delegation for standing up for discounts enjoyed by senior citizens and disabled public land users.
Picking sides Last week Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna persuaded the Idaho Land Board to drain an extra $22 million from an endowment reserve account to soften the budget hit on public schools. This week, he derailed a proposal to pump more money into it by raising rents on state-owned lakeside cottages.
Butch Otter's budgeting - Version 2.0 Gov. Otter says he'd like to get agencies such as Idaho Public Television, the Human Rights Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department as close to self-funding as possible, but claims that he wasn't serious about zeroing them out completely.
Legislative Notebook: IPTV explains legislator appearances A senator's question prompted Idaho Public Television to explain a little more in detail about informational spots with legislators in them - and take them off the air for now.
State should keep IDLA, phase out IPTV funds Bottom line: Idaho Public Television is no longer a vital role of government. Idaho Digital Learning Academy is.
Public TV too valuable for Idaho to abandon Before weighing whether to eliminate funding for Idaho Public Television, the Legislature should first weigh what would be lost.
The Kill Joy: Otter's inferior past is Idaho's inferior future Columnist Bill Cope argues that the Public Broadcasting System, and Idaho Public Television as one of its pieces, is government at its best and should be supported with tax dollars.
A case for dollars for higher education, landing with a thud Where is the public outcry - or even public heartburn - over proposed cuts to higher ed budgets? Does Idaho believe in higher education's power to change lives and drive economic growth? Or is that cheap talk in a legislative session defined by tight budgets?
Proposed cuts to IPTV rile supporters, founders Former KUID station manager and U of I School of Communications Director Peter Haggart conveys his "stunned" reaction to the news that the state may end support for public broadcasting in Idaho.
Gov. Otter's initiatives are foundering on the details The governor has failed to make a case for why the agencies he proposes to de-fund should go and what should happen to the services they provide and the clients they serve.
Idaho Public Television Gives Budget Presentation IdahoPTV general manager Peter Morrill explains the impact proposed budget cuts will have on broadcasting and transmission operations.
Idaho Public Television is Government Waste The arguments once used to validate the existence of taxpayer-subsidized government television no longer hold true.
Speak up if you want to save Idaho Public Television The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee will consider the future of state funding for the public broadcaster when general manager Peter Morrill presents the agency's budget.
Will Idaho Public TV get the ax? Here's my best guess Parks enthusiasts raised cain over Gov. Butch Otter's ill-advised plan to shut down the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. On Friday, Otter blinked, patching together a plan to keep Parks and Recreation alive.
A bipartisan group of leaders wrote a sharply worded appeal to save Idaho's Human Rights Commission. On Friday, the state cooked up a plan to keep the commission going, under the auspices of the Idaho Department of Labor.
Why cut public TV? State liquor is quicker If the governor wants to privatize something and raise additional revenue for the ailing state budget, he's not asking the obvious question: Seventy-seven years after Prohibition's repeal, why is selling liquor a legitimate function of government?
Ah, c’mon . . . not public television The commitment of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter to hold tight to the purse strings of the state in a down economy is admirable, as a good leader should do. But the fact that Idaho Public Television is on the cutting block is too much.
Cheers and Jeers Jeers to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for his recommendation that the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation be eliminated. Cheers to Jerome Republican Maxine Bell for recognizing that Idaho Public Television has value.
To save thousands, Otter wastes millions Whatever Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter's reasons are for cutting public television's budget, saving money isn't one of them.
The government takes on 'government TV' The public TV budget has been a perennially popular pinata around the Statehouse. But it has taken desperate times to force the issue - and give conservatives their bright and shining opening to stop paying for something they derisively call "government TV."
IdahoPTV programming worth every state dollar Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's plan to eliminate annual state funding for Idaho Public Television is more than a surgical budget cut; it's a TV lobotomy.
Should we really take the public out of public TV? IPTV's future without the Idaho taxpayers would almost certainly be successful. But would Idaho taxpayers do as well without IPTV?
Boise Public Television The recession has given religious conservatives and libertarian proper-role-of-government types the opportunity they've long desired: to cut taxpayer funding for "government television."
Maybe there were worse days for Idaho; we can't think of any Monday, Jan. 11, set a new standard for Idaho: We, as a state, pulled the plug on our kids.
Otter the incrementalist just getting by Gov. Butch Otter cut his teeth in the '70s as a back-bencher determined to dismantle Big Gub-Mint. Now that he wields real power, Otter's lost his bite.
IdahoPTV Not Answering the Phone this Afternoon Governor proposes four-year plan to phase out state funding for the agency during his State of the State address.
What Does Wayne Hoffman Have Against Big Bird? Despite the blogger's allegations, Idaho's arts and public television are not being supported on the backs of cystic fibrosis patients.
Arts funding isn’t just government waste Artist Teresa Burnett argues that cultural expression, including publicly-funded arts programs, enrich our communities and also draw tourism and commerce into local areas.
Arts and gov't TV: Good candidates for the budget ax Columnist Wayne Hoffman argues that Idaho shouldn't spend money on arts and public television in light of so many other competing budget needs.
Public television is a bargain, and it enhances life in Idaho IdahoPTV General Manager Peter Morrill argues for continued state financial support of public television, stating, "There are few other state-funded programs that touch as many Idaho taxpayers each day as Idaho Public Television does."
State should end taxpayer funding of Idaho Public TV Commentator Wayne Hoffman says Idaho Public Television does a good job, but questions whether it's a necessary government function or if taxpayers really need to spend $1.6 million a year to continue it in the face of competing demands such as funding for the state police.
Feds should help stations back on the air Unrealistic FCC deadlines and state budget woes could hamper IdahoPTV's efforts to fill gaps in its digital television signal.
Idaho News Media
Newspapers and News sites
Idaho Statesman (Boise)
Bonner County Dail Bee (Sandpoint)
South Idaho Press (Burley)
Coeur d'Alene Press
Sho-Ban News (Fort Hall)
Wood River Journal (Hailey)
Idaho Falls Post Register
Idaho Mountain Express (Ketchum)
Lewiston Morning Tribune
Sun Valley Online
Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Mountain Home News
Idaho Press Tribune (Nampa)
Idaho State Journal (Pocatello)
The Standard Journal (Rexburg)
Spokesman-Review (Spokane and North Idaho)
St. Maries Gazette Record
Twin Falls Times-News
Idaho Business Review
Broadcast MediaIdaho Public Television (PBS)
KBOI TV-2 (CBS - Boise)
KIVI TV-6 (ABC - Boise)
KTVB TV-7 (NBC - Boise)
KTRV TV-12 (Boise)
KIFI TV-8 (ABC - Idaho Falls)
KLEW TV-3 (CBS - Lewiston)
KPVI TV-6 (NBC - Pocatello)
Northwest Public Radio
Boise State Radio
BlogsEye on Boise (Betsy Russell of the Idaho Spokesman-Review)
Ridenbaugh Press/Northwest (Randy Stapilus; covers politics in ID, OR, and WA)