Welcome to Boise
I read with interest the article about Ms. Maureen OHara. I would like to welcome her to Idaho. I loved watching her movies, my favorite being McLintock! with John Wayne. Other favorites being Rio Grande, Spencers Mountain, Parent Trap, The Christmas Box and last but not least, Miracle on 34th Street. She was fun to watch. She was and always will be one of my favorite actresses of all time.
Welcome, Ms. OHara, to Boise.
LINDA BOOTS, Boise
Idahos new royalty
England has its royalty with Queen Elizabeth. Now Boise has its own royalty with actress Maureen OHara. What a silver screen treasure to be living in Boise.
The Idaho Statesman did a great job of welcoming the actress by its excellent front-page story. How appropriate that the story appeared with the popularity of Miracle on 34th Street showing on every channel on television. I remember growing up with Maureen OHara movies. She is a talented person that has given us so many memorable performances and has worked with every big name in Hollywood. What a thrill to have her in Idaho.
PATRICIA KELSEY, Weiser
A wonderful gift
Welcome home to Boise, my love.
Bill Roberts story about Maureen OHara in The Idaho Statesman on Sunday, Dec. 23, was an early Christmas gift of epic proportions because, as my wife of 53 years is aware, I have secretly been in love with Miss OHara for most of my life.
The feisty, fiery redhead captured my heart in her screen antics years ago, and time has not extinguished the flame.
In fact, as a writer, I have often been asked if the character, Kaitlin, in my book, The Last Confederate Battle, was patterned after any particular woman. Indeed, it was; she being Maureen OHara. And it is with great pleasure that I report that my readers have fallen in love with Kaitlin, just as I fell in love with Miss OHara. What a wonderful Christmas gift experience it was to read Bill Roberts story in the Statesman.
Welcome home to Boise, Maureen OHara.
JOHN CLINE, Boise
Private sector can do better than some agencies
Approximately 100 years ago, the federal government, for national defense, collected 1 percent of the income from individuals making over $3,000 per year. Today the federal government collects approximately 35 percent to fund 497 federal agencies. (www.usa.gov, A-Z list of agencies.)
How would you rate the following government agencies that might be cost-effective in the private sector?
Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. Federal government mortgage companies $183 billion in the red, not done yet purging bad loans.
National Flood Insurance Program. Federal government hazard/homeowners insurance program several billion dollars short after Hurricane Sandy.
Federal post office is estimating $16.4 billion in the red for 2012.
Simple math: Taxpayers fund public sector agencies and taxpayers make up the difference when they are short.
Public sector jobs compete with private sector companies that would have contributed into the tax system, resulting in billions of dollars that could go toward police, fire, education, highways and bridges.
Our Founders warned us about the size of government. In Washington, D.C., in the 2012 election, 91.4 percent voted for President Obama.
Obamas desire to tax the top 2 percent would only fund the federal government for 16 days. That wont help!
MARTIN V. DUARTE, Kuna
Private prisons dont work
It is time to revisit our parole laws and revise them so that we rehabilitate our ex-prisoners and return many of them to society as good citizens.
We need legislation that helps them become taxpayers, not tax liabilities. We need to be smart on crime!
The Ohio state Legislature passed two laws to reduce the prison population and return offenders to active life as good citizens.
They did this after years of increasing correctional facility costs that took funding away from critically needed state programs. Sen. Bill Seitz of Ohio led this offender-saving and money-saving legislation.
Ohio has successfully reduced its prison population and turned many nonviolent offenders into good, working and taxpaying members of society. Money saved, after rehabilitation costs, is available for education, health and welfare, and other critically needed programs.
It is also time to close all of the private prisons in Idaho. These prisons are not only an eyesore to Idaho but also a money sink. Private prisons are in business to make money, not rehabilitate offenders. The prison gangs are running the private Idaho prison, with the prisoners out of control. This must stop!
ROBERT GEHRKE, Pocatello
Public schools must come first in Idaho
The founders of this great state held dear the populist idea that a strong public education system is necessary for the well-being of a republic, and the success of an economy.
They felt so strongly about this that in the Idaho Constitution it was written that one of the states greatest tasks is to provide for and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.
This is something our state Legislature has neglected for well over a decade. Now, the Idaho Freedom Foundation and monied interests seek to further wreak havoc against our public school system by robbing education to feed for-profit schools (and to a lesser extent private church schools).
I am not against donating to private schools, but the states tax dollars first and foremost belong to the public, and the definition of public is free and nonexclusive. If you want to provide subsidies or funding to privatize and decimate education in Idaho, fine. Change the Constitution of the state first. Put it to a vote and lets see just how many Idahoans agree with these lobbyists and ideologues. Until then, lets fix our outdated schools statewide with real reform, not a joke.
JOSHUA PETERS, Boise
Tougher sentencing could stop epidemic
In many cases, people who abuse drugs are sentenced to longer terms than someone who molests a child. How very sad this is, because when you look into the eyes of a victim of child abuse or molestation, you see a deep pain, mistrust, anger and often self-loathing that often stays with that child into adulthood, even after counseling.
Child abuse is an epidemic that has been an issue throughout this country for many years now. But less than 3 percent of child sexual abuse perpetrators serve jail time for their offense. Those who are incarcerated for child abuse serve the average of 44.8 months, and molesters of teens serve a mean sentence of 17.3 months.
My opinion is that it is not fair to have someone who chooses to harm their own bodies with drugs serve longer jail terms than a child molester. The child did not choose to be abused. Abusers are released and more children are abused. This epidemic can be prevented. We can prosecute those who have hurt children and sentence them to longer sentences.
SIENNA MARIE CHASTAIN, Boise
Program fraught with false promises
A Dec. 12 letter from Andrea Wassner was sent to set the record straight regarding Social Security misinformation.
Unfortunately, the letter rehashed much of the Social Security false promises and fabrications.
The Social Security Administration itself states in its 2012 report that it will have a deficit for the next 75 years, averaging $66 billion annually until 2018, when it starts increasing. The deficits will be funded by our Treasury, which is borrowing 43 cents of every dollar spent. The past Social Security Trust Fund surplus has flowed into general spending since the 1960s, in exchange for imaginary IOUs, made to ourselves. Sure sounds like a deficit to me. Wassner further states that Social Security funding is 100 percent reliable. I suppose it is, as long as we can continue to print money that we (the Fed) buy from ourselves. Smells kind of like a Ponzi scheme to me.
Social Security has been robbed by Congress since the 1960s, when the trust fund was initially pillaged, due to the tantalizing prospect of future cash-flow surpluses.
We have been left with worthless promises, backed only by more borrowing.
BRITTNEY OLSON, Boise