Here is some background info for my three letters of public interest:
Elk making a comeback is a follow up of sorts to a column I wrote for the Express five years ago titled: Golf Course offers Links to Nature. That account of my experience working as an irrigator for two summers ran synchronisticly the day before an Idaho Fish and Game elk round up, where in a remarkable display of ungulate athleticism, one legendary cow escaped by leaping clean out of the 8 foot tall corral!
This letter gained 87 replies on the Express website, making it their most commented letter of 2010. Within those comments I was pleasantly surprised to see a few hunters temporarily exchange their arms for pens and healthily scribe some poetic dialogue probably good enough to make Lawrence Ferlinghetti smile.
My second letter, Lower speed limit has benefits mostly speaks for itself, while urging citizens to consider advantages they can gain by adjusting to slower paces.
Considerable telephone calls and concerned community letters like my third; Soldiers deserve to have a flag, were enough to pressure the Copper Ranch Homeowners Association to capitulate into allowing the Perfect family to display an American flag on their porch as a symbol of support for their son Edward; recently deployed overseas to the war in Iraq with the Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade. I’m especially proud of this letter, because I was the person who first gave the Express the tip of this story’s newsworthiness. The feature Family fights for right to fly flag became the most commented news article of the year on the Express’s website with 132 comments.
The morning that this story ran in the Mountain Express, a person closely associated with the family, called to say that she had talked with Robin Perfect, who was overwhelmed with emotion, seeing how supportive our community is.
Further regarding news tips; perhaps this is something that the Idaho Press Club should consider for a future category. In the spirit of Idaho’s Mark Felt (Watergate’s Deep Throat) the Press Club could name the award in honor of this Twin Falls native. If circumstances necessitate it to be so, the Press Club could present the award in secret -only revealing the deserving recipient’s name at a much later date.