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Note February 25, 2009

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In News this week is a story from former Boise State Radio news director Sadie Babits about treating the mental health needs of refugees in Boise. It's the second story we've run in as many weeks on refugees in Boise; last week, Nathaniel Hoffman wrote about one Iraqi family who may lose their home after their benefits run out, with no prospects for employment. Watch for an update on their status in the coming weeks but, meanwhile, read about the mental health effects such day-to-day stress has on refugees who are already struggling with past traumas and the adjustments to life in Idaho. Although we try to mix up the news coverage with a variety of topics, it seems to me that the most important task is telling a compelling story, and Babits' piece, like Hoffman's, certainly fits that criterion.

I'd also like to publicly express my disappointment with several members of the Idaho Legislature. Last Friday, I watched all but two members of the Senate State Affairs Committee vote against printing a bill that would've allowed the Legislature to consider adding protections for gender identification and sexual orientation to the Idaho Human Rights Act. The continuing marginalization of the nation's LGBT population is wrong, and I sincerely believe that history will judge gay rights opponents as harshly as those who vehemently denied blacks equal rights. I'm disgusted such narrow minds have the privilege of calling themselves Idaho's leaders. Well done, Sen. Nicole LeFavour. Maybe next year you'll have the support of your peers.

—Rachael Daigle