We need to know why Idaho pays more
Headline in MSN Money: “Is gas headed below $3 a gallon?” I’m always curious why it is that Idaho seems to be not only one of the highest states for gas prices, but also in the top list of states where gas prices fall late. I know that many will make the argument that so many different factors go into calculating gas prices, but come on. The national average is below $3.50, and recently our prices were above $3.75 at 95 percent of locations.
Not only are experts predicting the price of gas to fall below $3 per gallon, but they say it could happen in the summer months, which are peak travel times when gas prices usually rise. The last time this type of situation occurred, the attorney general had to start an investigation into price gouging.
People wonder why our economy continues to be so poor and so slow in recovering here in Idaho. It’s issues like this that make a huge impact. It’s time for the attorney general to open another investigation, but to hold those responsible accountable for their actions — and not back down once fuel prices start to fall like the last time.
ELI LINK, Nampa
There have been several recent articles about Terry Ash, the man who was convicted of his 14th DUI. He doesn’t have a license, but he seems to have a vehicle. Why don’t we just confiscate permanently every vehicle used in a DUI? It shouldn’t be any harder than confiscating cars and property used in drug deals. The vehicle could be impounded and held for evidence at arrest, and then permanently confiscated on conviction. The people who have been lending, renting or selling cars to Mr. Ash would not be as likely to do that if the cars were all confiscated.
JILL JASPER, Boise
Idaho should refuse to sign on
I am thankful to live in a state that has fewer health insurance regulations and costs than most other states. As a recent graduate of Boise State University, I am now employed as a full-time bookkeeper. I enjoy contributing to the services market and look forward to many professional opportunities that await me.
As a bookkeeper, I have seen just how the costs of government regulations can negatively affect the organizational revenue and suffocate growth. It’s a shame that employers must provide employees with health insurance, only because of a tax code.
The upcoming Obamacare regulations are even more unsettling. To mandate the purchase of such a commodity is unconstitutional. The state of Idaho should refuse any Obamacare exchange as much as possible to increase the chances of proving Obamacare’s unconstitutionality.
If Idaho refuses to participate and internalize the costs of Obamacare, CATO estimates each state can save from $10 million to $100 million a year. Surely the federal government cannot sustain the costs of implementing Obamacare if enough states refuse to participate.
I surely hope Idaho is on its way to a freer health insurance market than the market the federal government has planned.
LEA E. JOHNSON, Kuna
Luna’s plan stalls progress
I agree with Norm Semanko when he reflected on Wisconsin’s union fight; Idaho is the next battleground. But he sees a political battle. I see a crucial battle in the American education war.
To say Students Come First is “progress” demonstrates ignorance about what real educational progress looks like. The teachers we believe “coast” due to “tenure” are few and far between. The way to solve that problem is to hold administrators accountable for getting those teachers out of the classroom. That’s their job!
If the overall quality of education is declining, we need better teacher preparation, continuing education and an acceptable standard of practice. Very few people know enough about “education reform” to make it successful. Look at Luna. He has been heading up the “accountability movement” in this state for more than a decade. Have underperforming schools made significant and sustained improvement? Has he done his job?
“Collective bargaining” used to be used to improve working conditions. Improving those conditions in schools would improve the learning climate for students. With the Luna laws, things like class size are off the table. How’s that progress?
Saying Students Come First is like saying No Child is Left Behind.
VICTORIA M. YOUNG, DVM, Caldwell
Throw out those who support reforms
As Tom Luna and his band of cowering supplicants prepare his lies to the public, and Frank VanderSloot opens his wallet to bankroll this propaganda, the public should know of the educational damage these laws have had. More than 1,300 public education teachers have left the profession since the passage of these wretched laws. These teachers are being replaced by mandated online courses with a failure rate between 40 percent and 50 percent.
Your tax dollars are being siphoned away from the public education system to finance the corrupt practices of private, Internet-based schools that are under investigation for fraudulent business practices. Rather than retain great teachers, your tax dollars are also being diverted to purchase antiquated laptop computers for every school child.
Ultimately, the choice is stark. Do you want your child taught by a corrupt and ineffective business in a virtual domain on an antiquated computer, or a live professional educator whose daily interaction with students fosters a safe and nurturing learning environment conducive to academic success and college preparation? Remember this come November, and vote to throw out the detestable Luna laws.
ADAM COLLINS, Garden City
‘Clarification’ exposes problem
In the June 22 Statesman you had a little item under “Clarification,” stating that Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center kept $42,585 from charitable contributions of” (are you ready for this?) “$381,961, after event-related expenses.” Outrageous — $42,585 for Saint Al’s out of $381,961 donated. Well, I hope they had fun ’cause they ain’t ever getting any money from me.
GENNIE ISON, Boise