THANK YOU ...
... to Valleyride driver
Thank you Valleyride bus driver, Sissy, who brought a shovel from home to clear the path of ice and snow from bus to bus so that the passengers could transfer safely to other buses. Sissy, you're the best.
EMMA COWSER, Boise
Students receive a valuable lesson
My wife and I were privileged to hear Marion Blumenthal Lawson, a survivor of the Holocaust, speak at the Eagle Middle School students recently. They were the most attentive students I have seen in years and were riveted to their seats as she recounted her experiences as a small child in the Nazi concentration camps.
In her conclusion, she gave them a short course in civics. She reminded them to study closely the beliefs and thinking of prospective leaders, because Germany had not in the 1930s when the Nazis came to power. She cited Germany as an example of a very cultured society that had not done its homework. As we look at the downward spiral of morals and standards that made this country great, her talk was like a breath of fresh air.
LARRY WOODARD, Meridian
The rich get richer
Facebook earned billions and paid no taxes by using loopholes. To add insult to injury, Facebook received a refund. Our politicians cannot be trusted and have duped us by making the tax code so complicated. Now is the time to demand a flat rate for everyone, businesses and individuals. With corporations paying, I would think the rate could be 10 percent or less. If you don't pay into the system you should not be able to get a refund. Sounds like common sense, but if we don't demand it now we will never see it.
JOHN VRBANAC, Meridian
Winder's standard shouldn't apply to all
As the nation moves forward with changing the failed drug war, Sen. Chuck Winder wants Idaho to prohibit marijuana at all costs and keep Idaho in the dark ages.
The IOM Report from 1999 (requested by Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey) identified the benefits of marijuana for cancer patients going through chemo, people who suffer from MS, and various other ailments. Many returning veterans are discovering that marijuana also helps with their PTSD. You can visit the website at veteransformedicalmarijuana.org for further information.
Why is it that the DEA insists on keeping the actual marijuana plant itself a Schedule 1 drug, yet they are working with various pharmaceutical companies on using the actual cannabinoids from marijuana to create drugs that could be sold to consumers for large amounts of money, yet these would be considered Schedule 2 & 3 drugs?
Ask your kids if they know someone in their school who sells marijuana, because there's a 91 percent chance they do. Ask the same thing about alcohol and tobacco. There's about a 6 percent chance they know someone who sells these. Why the difference? We regulate alcohol and tobacco! If we did the same with marijuana, that 91 percent would drop.
JEFF JENSEN, Boise
GOP acts like Dems
So some Idaho establishment Republicans want the federal government to raise more taxes and spend more money imposing federal marijuana laws on sovereign states that disagree with the federal government. Who do they think they are? Democrats.
VAUGHN FISHER, Boise
Idaho looks foolish
The education of the children in the Idaho schools is in real trouble with nitwits like John Goedde leading the Senate Education Committee. He also makes Idaho a laughing stock with his latest antic.
The Senate will now have to waste its time on his bill to make the reading of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" a high school graduation requirement.
Friends living out of state emailed to laugh at Idaho again. Of course, most of the Republican leadership is no better. Their constituents must like to look foolish since they keep re-electing them. Luckily I live in District 18 and have representatives with more common sense.
JAMES MCLAUGHLIN, Boise
Cutting service opens door for more later
The announcement to end Saturday delivery of mail by August 5 is an unnecessary and negative procedure in order to save money. Trading 17 percent for service for 2 percent in savings does not make much business sense. No taxpayer dollars are used. The 2006 congressional mandate to pre-fund future retirees' health benefits for 10 years is the real problem accounting for 80 percent of the Postal Service's red ink.
This loss in service would disproportionally affect the elderly, rural communities and small businesses.
I have heard some say that they would not care if Saturday mail delivery was discontinued. Are you willing to take a chance that something important may come for you in the mail only to be delayed? Why take chances when it is unnecessary?
Once Saturday mail delivery is gone, it will be gone forever. What will be the trend after that; four day delivery, three day, and then two day delivery?
It is estimated that 25,000 jobs, which would include many veterans, would be eliminated if Saturday mail delivery was discontinued.
Ending Saturday delivery would greatly endanger the mission of providing the best possible service to the American people.
JOHN PAIGE, Idaho State Association of Letter Carriers, Pocatello
Parents, students make stand for choice
Hundreds of Idaho parents and students were a visible force recently as they took to the hallways of the State Capitol.
These families continue to emerge as a growing voice in the debate over Idaho's education future.
Parents, teachers and students traveled from all corners of the of Idaho to be part of the legislative process that will directly impact their children's education.
A new report released by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation reveals how Idaho is falling behind other states in charter school growth. At the same time, the report, titled "Idaho in Focus: The School Choice and Digital Learning Landscape," demonstrates the state's charter schools outperformed other public schools on the fourth and eighth grade reading and math assessments.
Parents want the Idaho legislators to provide fair and equitable funding for their charter school and online children. Providing the right level of funding for these schools is an investment in our state's future.
I look forward to working with Gov. Otter and state legislators who recognize the benefits that expanded charter school options will provide.
RENEE MCKENZIE, president, Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families
A dangerous precedent
Recent assassinations by drone by presidential executive order make for an interesting dilemma.
As commander-in-chief of our military, I believe the president could expect, or call for execution of any enemy combatant regardless of citizenship status.
But the problem is, although we consider ourselves "at war" with al-Qaida, war has not been declared by Congress. I'm not sure why, but with no war or a legal process designed for the situation it is extremely concerning to me that such an execution of a United States citizen without due process can be carried out, especially by this president. The precedent is dangerous and Congress should deal with it.
BOB JESSEN, Meridian
New market looks good
I look forward to a new "Farmer's" Market.
It appears that Michael Smith has an ongoing ax to grind.
Based on the strong-armed tone of his comments appearing in Letters to the Editor Feb. 7 concerning The Boise Public Market, maybe we should peel back the layers of the onion and re-evaluate all of the facts that lead to this market split.
Could the origin of the stench be a little too close to home for Smith? I believe the Statesman readership would be very interested in knowing of his role in bringing about the situation that has led to the split. I'm always suspect of someone like Smith who has such a short term history in the area, "knowing" what is best for many who are far more vested in Boise and the market than he is.
Regardless, I'm sure that he's not bothered by a little competition.
Based on the new market vendors listed in The Statesman - I know where I'll be on Saturdays!
NORM ZACHARY, Horseshoe Bend
Rate payers deceived
In the Idaho Statesman on Feb. 5 letters to the editor by Ron Marquart, Jack Goodman, and Ed Wardwell pointed out the latest efforts by Idaho Power to change the previously agreed to rules concerning net metering for small renewable energy producers. This action continues the efforts of Idaho Power to deceive rate payers by stating publicly that it supports renewable energy but then running to its friends at the PUC to change the game in its favor. Idaho Power does this knowing that the deck is stacked in its favor since Idaho Power and other public utilities regulated by the PUC pay annual fees that pay the PUC salaries and operating budget. And the PUC generally votes in favor of the utilities. The only way the rate payers are going to win these battles is when the rate payers get involved and demand fair treatment by the PUC.
NORMAN E. ANDERSON, Kuna