Senate's rejection sends a poor message
The Idaho Senate missed the mark by not confirming Joan Hurlock to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. The legislative message - if you don't have decades of hunting and fishing experience you are not qualified to represent Idaho's fish and wildlife resources.
The commission currently needs an advocate that will represent nongame and watchable wildlife. The Fish and Game Department is searching for new revenue that will likely be found from other than consumptive users.
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, noted that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.
Introducing children and young adults to the outdoors is essential to preserving Idaho's wildlife heritage.
The MK Nature Center is central to Fish and Game's mission. Tens of thousands of young people experience the outdoors and nature every year in the MKNC.
BERT BOWLER, Boise
What Senate means ...
Let's be honest about the state Senate's rejection of Joan Hurlock to head Idaho's Fish and Game Commission: "She doesn't have enough hunting and fishing experience" is just code for "She doesn't hate wolves enough."
CHRIS NELSON, Boise
Luckovich cartoons don't meet standards
To be effective, an editorial cartoon should be well drawn and have humor, in that it should be able to elicit a smile, even from those it skewers. Third, for the humor to work, the cartoon should have an element of truth.
The Mike Luckovich cartoons featured by the Statesman, fail on all three counts. They are crudely drawn and they totally lack humor, but are instead just hit pieces. Finally, they have little relationship to the truth. The Feb. 14 effort is only the latest example.
Why does the Statesman publish this stuff? There are many better editorial cartoonists out there. Why not try some of them?
BRUCE MOORE, Boise
Baker had the right to refuse service
Aaron Klein, the Christian owner of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery of Gresham, Ore., is under extreme criticism, pressure and pending legal action from the Oregon Department of Justice for his courageous stand in refusing to bake a wedding cake for two lesbians. He says, "I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God."
For him to be forced to bake this cake would violate his religious convictions. Our forefathers came to this great land because of religious persecution in England establishing religious freedom in this country.
We Christians need to support Aaron Kline in this time of his persecution. Go to www.sweetcakesweb.com, click on Contact Us, and get his address, phone number and e-mail and send your support for him and his stand. Also, go to www.doj.state.or.us to get Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum's address and phone number to remind her that our United States Constitution prohibits all forms of religious persecution from the government, and that Aaron has the right to refuse to bake a cake for lesbians since to do so would violate his Christian convictions.
RONALD JAMES RICHARD, Emmett
Couple should have found another baker
The lesbian and mother who went to an Oregon bakery for a wedding cake are examples of the people who promote hatred, intolerance and retaliation.
Instead of respecting the owner's religious beliefs and find another bakery (it's not like it's the only one), they cry foul, name call and fan hateful public opinion - which in the long run could put him out of business.
Retaliation? You bet it is! Their "you'd better accept us and our lifestyle or we'll take you down" attitude is widespread. This bakery isn't the first business to be so targeted.
If I don't like a business, I shop elsewhere. I don't go crying to the media. Gays demand tolerance, respect and acceptance but deny the same to us who believe homosexuality is wrong. Christ said love the sinner but hate the sin. He also said don't be quick to take offense.
The gay community is very quick to take offense and this incident with the bakery is a prime example. They need to practice what they demand from others. Shame on you for not respecting another's religious beliefs. Now watch for the name calling and intolerant responses to this letter.
LEAH SHAW, Boise
State employee program serves Idahoans well
In response to Mr. Loren Townley's letter to the editor, Jan. 24, he should be thankful to be a member of PERSI. It's one of the most successful employer-sponsored retirement programs in the nation. In fact, a recent compensation survey conducted by the state Division of Human Resources found that our state PERSI retirement benefits are at least as good, if not better, than those offered by most private employers.
It is through the most frugal investment efforts of Mr. Bob Maynard, PERSI chief investment officer, along with the PERSI board's support that keeps our PERSI accounts profitable and solvent.
With regard to Mr. Maynard's 15 percent bonus and 5 percent salary increase, I agree wholeheartedly with the PERSI board's decision. Well deserved, Mr. Maynard.
And finally, I would like to respond to Mr. Townley's sarcastic remarks that the PERSI board's failure to grant a discretionary COLA, "is really looking out for its members." Well, Mr. Townley, it is my opinion that PERSI is doing a great job of looking out for its members' best interests.
In closing, I feel that Mr. Townley's remarks were unfair, especially at a time when many financial institutions are struggling.
JERRY ARMSTRONG, Boise
Appreciate the good
While watching the presidential inauguration, I was touched by the greatness of the country I am lucky enough to live in. From the moving rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner," to the hundreds of thousands of people who were there to share in this solemn occasion.
It served as a reminder to me of the freedoms that so many have died to protect. The beauty that is its people and the reason so many people have strived to become its citizens.
What also touched me was that, with all the greatness that is this country, I am saddened by what I see as a growing lack of compassion for others.
We argue about who should pay to help others and whether we even should. Whatever happened to caring for others less fortunate? Not out of obligation, but out of a desire to make this country a prouder place.
It is my dream that no child should go to bed hungry, that we educate those who want to make a better life for themselves, clothe those who are cold, and give thanks to those veterans who have sacrificed so much for our ability to prosper in such an amazing country.
JEFF HUIZINGA, Boise
Different candidates, same dismal results
McCain in 2008. Romney in 2012. The outcomes were predictable. It begs the question: Are the two parties, the left and right, wings of the same bird of prey?
McCain, not Obama, was the catalyst for the grass roots revolution loosely organized under tea parties and 912 groups. Now it appears traditionalists/conservatives want a divorce; can you blame them? They have no voice.
If it is not a conspiracy, what is happening? The GOP has lost credibility by lowering its volume and capitulating over and over. The base views the party as illegitimate and lacking conviction.
Where there is disagreement within the party, the guardrails of the debate should be the platform not widening the road. Party ambivalence toward the platform has created a sinkhole as members fall out of ranks and reregister as independents.
After putting up a candidate incapable of articulating the message in 2012, we hear the call for how only "diversity" will save us. While I agree the GOP needs to do better reaching out to the ethnically diverse new majority, I fear it will do so at further cost to the platform. It is simple. We need a diverse audience, not a diverse message.
DOUG TRAUBEL, Mountain Home
Lawmakers: Don't be controlled by the NRA
What hypocrites the legislatures are about gun control. A group of gun carrying visitors visits the Capitol and causes the Legislature to close down its chambers. Gee, why do you think they did that? Maybe a little nervous about all those guns too close to them? What about the rest of us in society? You know until something tragic happens close to your home you seem to ignore the frightening issue of little control on guns.
My family urges lawmakers to oppose legislation allowing guns on campuses, close a loophole allowing some gun sales without a background check, reinstate a ban on military-style weapons and require safety standards for guns.
True hunters do not need assault weapons nor multiple magazines. Let's get serious and realistic about what is best for America as a United States. We are not saying take guns away for the hunter but take the killing weapons away and make a background check and training a requirement for possession.
Please be responsible as my representative. Do not be controlled by the NRA. You will be supported by the people for doing what is good and right.
CORY MITCHELL, Boise
Bring back the flag
Thank you, Billy Brumette (Payette), for voicing our question "What happened to the American flag at the Langley Gulch power plant?" We drive daily between Nampa and Fruitland, and every time miss seeing the flag flying high and proudly in the Idaho breeze.
Kudos to Charlie Demming (project superintendent) for showing his patriotic pride in our great country to the many travelers along this stretch of I-84. We, too, ask Idaho Power to bring back the flag!
DALE AND LINDA KRAUSE,