Santa visits Weiser for Ho-Ho Express and brings many presents

Mayor Randy Hibberd
This week has not been a normal one for the week before Christmas. Instead of going to parties and get-togethers with friends and family, it has been spent with quiet outings and evenings with my best friend and wife, Cathy. Christmas shopping has mainly been limited to being done online. 
 Other family members, who have had to be in public due to work, school teachers and such, are quarantining themselves from us in order to protect Cathy and me from the virus. This is not an ideal situation but we have adapted. 
 This last Saturday, the Ho-Ho Express completed their annual Christmas mission with a revised version of the bus caravan. Instead of taking the children as a group, the shopping was performed by high schoolers going at various times. The teenagers then wrapped the presents, which were distributed Saturday to families in their cars. There were 14 no-shows. However, a UPS driver happened to be there, knew all of the addresses, and volunteered to deliver the rest. 
 Thank you to all of the many people who volunteered to again make the Ho-Ho Express a success for the benefit of less fortunate children in our community. This is truly a wonderful expression of caring for children and showing the true meaning of Christmas. My hat is off to all who participated. The Ho-Ho Express and all that it represents is another example of why Weiser is the BEST place to live.
 In other news this week, the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Weiser and were administered to healthcare workers. I would encourage all who have the opportunity, as they have the opportunity, to take advantage of the vaccine.
 I realize that there is concern because the vaccine is new and relatively untested for side-effects. It is my understanding that there have been some reactions, but that these were quickly and easily brought under control. 
 In researching the matter, I believe the vaccines are about as safe as we could ask for. Vaccines in the past were often made using a dead or weakened form of a virus as its base so that the person’s body would build an immunity to the “invasion.” 
 With this vaccine, instead of using a dead or weakened form of the virus, an inert protein, unique to the virus, is injected. So, instead of introducing a form of COVID-19 into the system, which is what is done with small-pox and many other vaccines, a harmless protein is substituted instead. The body recognizes this protein as a “foreign” object and begins to build specific antibodies as a defense so that if or when the actual COVID-19 virus enters the system the body recognizes the protein and attacks with antibodies ready and capable to destroy. 
 The process of building the antibodies takes time and requires an extra shot later, so follow-up is critical to making sure the effort is effective. However, given the risk to ourselves and to others, I believe risk is worth the effort.
 In order to achieve the “herd immunity” to bring the pandemic under control, the CDC tells us we will need to have approximately 70 percent of the population to have either had the virus or the vaccine. The vaccine is much better of the two options. Therefore, I would again strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated when you have the opportunity. 
 In city business this week, the West 9th Street project began on Dec. 11 with the removal of the bridge. Currently, excavation and backfill for the base of the new bridge is taking place. This project has been at least 12 years in the making. My thanks to all who worked hard and with persistence to see this project move forward. The end product will be a much better, safer, and attractive street for the residences along West 9th St.
 Well, that’s it for this week. Here is wishing you a wonderful and very Merry Christmas.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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