Funds will improve the country just as they did 75 years ago


These efforts put Idahoans back to work back then and met essential needs today. From northern to southern Idaho, we still use the canals, forest roads and trails, bridges and dams built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) 75 years ago. In urban areas such as Boise, look at the Boise Art Museum, the Log Cabin Literary Center and the old Ada County Courthouse with its controversial but beautiful murals. It's where the Legislature meets today. Canyon County is filled with similar sites, including Van Buren and Lincoln elementary schools in Caldwell. All were built with New Deal funds - stimulus money.

Similar legacies can be found in almost every Idaho county. We've not had public works on that scale since. These projects did more than build things. They changed lives. My grandfather Burnet headed up a CCC camp at Mountain Home, which provided impoverished big city kids with work, training - and cash to send home to sustain entire families. That big, tough Westerner and those kids came to respect one another. He prepared many of them to serve in the world war that was to come.

Now President Obama wants to build infrastructure again and, if we look to the past, he's on the right track, once again improving the country one bridge at a time while educating young people and training them for the future.