Women must take charge of health
This is a letter for all women out there, whether they're young or mature, to please pay attention to their bodies and to be an advocate for their own health.
I was a healthy, active 27-year-old female about to celebrate my first wedding anniversary when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Having no family history and no risk factors, it came as bit of a shock to many friends and family. I was treated with chemotherapy and radiation and received annual mammograms and breast MRIs annually to watch for recurrence.
No one mentioned that a cough could be a sign of metastatic cancer in my lungs. Four years after the end of my cancer treatments I complained of a severe cough to my oncologist. He listened to my lungs but didn't hear anything of significance and sent me on my way.
It wasn't until I saw my nurse practitioner five months later, on the fifth anniversary of my original diagnosis, for my yearly appointment that I was ordered a chest X-ray and a subsequent chest CT. It was discovered that my cancer was now widespread.
NICOLE HELMS, Boise
Special trees have a place in our hearts
I enjoyed Tim Woodward's column Sunday, Feb. 2. It is nice to know that there is someone else who becomes so attached to certain trees that they leave a real hole in your life when they are gone.
Whether it is the locust that smelled so sweet in the spring, the pine that sheltered birds but outgrew its space or the beautiful umbrella willow that shaded a bench at a hot spot on the Greenbelt, they are all missed when they are gone. These losses remind us of our other losses, great and small.
Goodbye trees, we will remember your stately beauty.
CHERYL WEEDON, Boise
Say it ain't so ...
The prettiest place in Boise, weeks away from being destroyed.
Springtime in Boise is beautiful and full of lovely trees. The spring before last, I discovered the prettiest place in Boise where there are 18 bright pink flowering plum trees in a row.
This lovely row of trees is behind the playground at my daughter's school. I had the privilege of discovering this beautiful place that brightened my daily school drop-off routine. Last year I marveled at this beautiful spot but never could get a picture to really capture its beauty.
This fall I learned that the city plans to remove these trees while extending the street and widening it into a five-lane thoroughfare. I may cry; I may even go hug a tree.
JENELLE TIBBS, Boise
Ryan has right plan for the budget
Government threatens cutting our wants and needs (national defense, border security, compensation for doctors through Medicare). Sequester cuts 8.8 percent off defense if Congress doesn't agree to quit funding unnecessary expenditures listed in Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, while cutting about 5 percent from non-defense programs.
Why cut almost twice as much from defense? Why are non-defense items listed: FBI, Federal Aviation, Disease Control ? They know we want those! Why not cut F-16s and Abrams tanks, plus economic assistance being given to Egypt, subsidies for Amtrak (billions!), "Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change," death gratuity for congressmen who die in office?
Snopes.com lists some things Ryan proposed cutting. Urge your congressman to cut things Ryan proposes. They make sense. Congress arguing incessantly over what to cut, never coming to an agreement makes no sense.
Congress wants to implement more spending. And people have the nerve to criticize Sen. Nuxoll for her accurate analogy comparing insurance companies' support for exchanges to Jews boarding Nazi Germany's trains to death camps. She's absolutely right. Once exchanges are established, facilitating government-paid health care, the federal government will phase out insurance companies.
Congress cuts what we want and keeps what it wants. It's supposed to represent us!
SHEILA FORD, Caldwell
Senator votes against women
Sen. Risch has voted twice against bills that would better protect victims of domestic and sexual violence. The first time was in October 2009 on Sen. Al Franken's Justice for Rape Victims. More recently, Feb. 4, it was on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. In the latter case, coverage is being extended to Native Americans, lesbian and possibly immigrant women.
Women of the class, race, and culture enjoyed by Sen. Risch have had adequate protection most of their lives unless they made the mistake of joining a branch of the nation's military. So the "Soft on Rape" cabal of Todd Akin (Missouri) and Richard Murdock (Indiana) is being joined by the junior senator from Idaho. May they, and those like them, perish at the hands of the women in their constituencies at their next election.
IRENE E. WRIGHT, Meridian
Vote sends poor message on women
On Feb 4, the U.S. Senate voted 85 to 8 to take up a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. Idaho's Sen. Risch was one of the eight senators who voted no.
Wanting to protect your daughters and wives from physical abuse is not a partisan political issue.
Politicians who are reelected vote the way their constituents want them to vote. Who was Risch trying to please with his no vote?
Isn't it time to tell Sen. Risch that his vote is unacceptable and we will remember it in the voting booth in November 2014?
Clearly Risch has forgotten that women vote.
DICK ARTLEY, Grangeville
Keep land under federal ownership
Idaho and other Western states are considering proposals to take over ownership of public lands in their respective states. It's the same repeated attempt made in 1976 called the "Sagebrush Rebellion." which our friend, Ted Trueblood said was nothing more than an effort to "lock out the public."
The Legislature's goal is to obtain these lands for the revenues produced from timber sales, coal and oil and gas leasing and other royalties and fees.
The proposal to control 33 million acres of public lands is a bad idea. It would benefit selfish interests whose goal is to exploit our natural resources.
The states do not have the political will, or the capability to manage these lands. Grazing and commercial land uses would be permitted without adequate environmental protection. Millions of acres of mountain and desert lands would be sold. Big money interests would prevent local landowners from competing on land sales. Land owners could lock up lands from public access. The public would be big losers.
To protect our national treasures, government must represent the people and keep our land in federal ownership.
ROBERT MINTER, Cascade