OBAMA AND GUNS
Keep an open mind
Ive been seeing a lot of anti-Obama sentiment lately, and I urge people not to judge everything he does based on your perception of his character. Im talking specifically about the gun laws here. We are seeing more and more violence and shootings in America, and something simply has to be done, whether we like it or not. We cant let the shootings continue without any effort. Consider the laws Obama is trying to institute, dont just avoid everything he advocates like the plague.
The Obama administration is not trying to ban all guns, or take away your Second Amendment rights, just to make the more dangerous ones unavailable. Similarly, I think a background check could be very effective in dissuading violence, and even an ammo limit would be better than worse.
Just because you may distrust Obama doesnt mean his words have no merit. Something needs to be done, and for compromise everyone needs to keep an open mind.
KYLIE WILLIAMSON, Boise
A job for the Guard
Gary Porteniers Jan. 8 letter to the editor says it all. Having family in the National Guard and seeing the training they go through I think we all would feel better them guarding our schools rather than arming our teachers. The cost should not matter, keeping our kids safe should! National Guard units are trained, equipped to protect life and property. Let the teachers teach and let the National Guard do what they do.
MICHAEL D. KRENNING, Boise
A FEW THOUGHTS
On guns, Congress and doing good
A few thoughts. First, with over 250 million guns in this country, isnt it too late to do anything effective, but we still need to try. The rights of the majority should be taken into consideration and not be overruled by the National Rifle Association and its supporters.
Secondly, it is time for Congress to grow up and work together and not have more full days of recess than full days of work. Thirdly, a big thanks to all who do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
GEORGE FORTIER, Meridian
Expansion would aid vulnerable Idahoans
Medicaid expansion for all Idahoans is critically important to the health of Idahoans medically and economically. Providing affordable coverage to our most vulnerable individuals will prevent more life-threatening and disabling disease that will ultimately incur greater costs to our state. Sick and disabled individuals cannot work, which erodes the tax base, further draining medical and disability resources. Furthermore, more affordable health care insurance coverage puts more money in the pockets of patients who are more likely to support local businesses and thereby growth of the economy.
One-hundred-fifty thousand of our most vulnerable are at much higher risk for death and disability if Medicaid is not expanded to cover them. This problem is especially acute with the recession and high unemployment we are experiencing. Given the federal governments mandate to pay most all of these health care costs, it makes no sense to leave money on the table. Though the governors reticence is disappointing, we are optimistic that state legislators will carefully consider all sides of this issue and pass an economically responsible law that reflects compassion and respect for all its citizens.
LOU SCHLICKMAN, M.D. AND E. GREGORY THOMPSON, M.D., Boise
The circus returns
The circus is back in town. Let the merriment begin again. The ringmasters have gathered the Keystone Kops and the Bowery Boys under the big tent for a four-hour cure called ... ethics training. Do the movers and shakers of Idaho really think that four hours can fix arrogant, self-serving, bought-and-paid-for, partisan, narrow-minded and just plain stupid? We put them there, didnt we? We keep re-electing them, dont we? We must do better, dont we? Or lets all go to the circus for a sad laugh!
BRENT HANSEN, Boise
Another tax shift to favor businesses
I couldnt help but notice the article on Idaho having the lowest wages in the country and our politicians bragging about being the most Republican state in the union. The thought that there might be a connection should be apparent. Lets just hope that no one does a survey on which state has the lowest IQ.
I see that our benevolent society for the criminally insane, better known as the state Legislature, has come up with another way to shift taxes from the rich and give it to the working folks and further strain our schools by repealing the personal property tax.
After watching this shifting of taxes of over $200 million in 10 years and another $141 million about to be, I have to wonder what taxes corporations have left to pay?
PAUL VALAS, Meridian
Idaho lags behind
Are you as proud of Idaho as I am? On Jan. 1, Washington state raised the minimum wage to $9.19, Idaho is at $7.25 and isnt that great. That is why mothers, fathers and singles need to go to the government for help with food, medical and shelter. So we should all thank Idaho and our leaders.
LINDA WAGNER, Meridian
Board fails to look out for the states retirees
Once again the PERSI board has decided not to give the retirees the cost of living allowance for the year.
In December 2011, the board advised us that, in making the decision for the mandatory 1 percent COLA, the board cited as influencing factors the uncertainty in global markets and the next years presidential election. In December 2012 the board said, Given the economy and PERSIs 1.6 percent return last fiscal year, the board felt a discretionary COLA could not be justified this year. It is odd that the fiduciary duty of loyalty the board cites says, The primary duty of the retirement board and PERSI staff, as fiduciaries, is that of loyalty, or setting with an open eye to the interests of the members. I find this at odds with its actions at the Oct. 23, 2012 meeting, per the minutes on the web. Under executive session, During the executive session the annual performance evaluation for Bob Maynard, chief investment officer, was discussed. Trustee Sullivan made a motion a to give Mr. Maynard a 15 percent annual bonus based on current salary and a 5 percent salary increase going forward. Way to go board, really looking out for us.
LOREN TOWNLEY, Meridian
As we remember Sandy Hook, we continue debating about gun control and helping the mentally ill. I believe the job of each parent is to create boundaries and fair consequences, teaching children to take responsibility for a choice and to make good choices.
1. Cut down the amount of time a child spends on the TV, computer, video games, etc., to one hour a day. Children becoming numb to violence will destroy our society.
2. Connect with your children. An uh-huh parent will find himself or herself with a destructive child who seeks attention in negative ways.
3. Love your children enough to say no in a way that is kind and loving so they comprehend their choice is about choices, not about pleasing Mom or Dad.
SANDY MCDANIEL, Meridian
Contributions help friends and neighbors
The Horseshoe Bend Community Pantry has been in service for the past 3 1/2 years.
We depend on the generous donations of our community members both with monetary assistance and with food drives, but the bulk of our food supply comes from the Idaho Foodbank.
We generally serve the area of Horseshoe Bend, but with a depressed economy we began to see the numbers of local families increasing, but also included clients from outside our area as well.
We could not financially continue without further assistance from other sources. In 2012 we applied and received a grant from the Idaho Foodbank Fund in the amount of $4,176. This grant will provide us the opportunity to purchase nutritional food items for our clients on a monthly basis for 2013. Without this grant our food pantry would not be able to provide food to families who are food insecure. Please remember when filing your 2012 Idaho income tax forms, that there is the option of the Foodbank Fund donation once again. By donating to this you may be helping your family, friends, and neighbors.
ROBIN GREEN, Horseshoe Bend