Heavier loads leadto crumbling roads
I read with interest in the Feb. 15 Statesman the article that Idaho roads are in dire need of cash.
Well, what did we expect when a few years ago the state allowed for much heavier loads for commercial trucks to be placed upon our highway and bridge structures.
Some of us at that time tried to persuade legislators that the favor to truckers in the short-term would cause a long-term road maintenance problem for the state. They weren't interested in hearing about future bad news.
Additionally, you can drive any direction out of Boise and see failed chip seal-coating projects. This is not sound management, nor efficient use of highway tax revenue.
Wake up automobile, and light pickup truck operators, or you're going to get stuck again with another big highway maintenance bill, while the big-rig heavy commercial trucks continue to be subsidized by you.
DALE R. TANKERSLEY, Boise
State-run programnot good for Idaho
Call it a "state-run exchange," but the state exchange is simply Idaho administering and enforcing federal rules ("On merit alone, state-run program could pass both houses," Feb. 10 Our View).
The benefits offered, coverages set, and rating system that helps determine the premiums you pay are based on federal rules.
And if it's a state exchange, Idaho must pay to administer and enforce those federal rules.
The claim Idaho is better at "providing for its citizens" than the federal government is true.
But that's not relevant in this case. The state exchange will collect personal financial and health information and submit it to the federal government.
The state exchange will impose new taxes on behalf of the federal government. And, the Idaho Legislature cannot pass a law that "conflicts or prevents" with federal Department of Health & Human Services regulations - Section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act.
Why doesn't Idaho explore other possibilities? Utah set up a private exchange for its small businesses. It costs only $600K per year.
Idaho could include products like Health Savings Accounts to empower people to manage their health needs.
STEVE ACKERMAN, Kuna
FOOD BANK FUND
Grant helps families to healthier eating
The Idaho Food Bank Fund made a $3,000 grant to Mercy Housing Northwest-Idaho in the fall of 2012. This grant allowed us to provide healthy cooking classes for low-income residents at Mercy Housing Northwest-Idaho properties across the state. The grant also funds healthy meals and snacks for the school-aged children in our onsite after-school and summer program.
Because of this grant, many of our families are learning nutritional values of food and appropriate ways to prepare produce and cook perishable food. After school, children can look forward to cooking in our after-school program. Low-income families are more likely to be food-insecure, therefore funding from the Idaho Food Bank Fund is paramount to meeting the needs of the low-income housing population across Idaho.
This grant has helped fund statewide onsite healthy cooking classes for adults in our community room kitchens. We've also been able to leverage this award to acquire other donations.
Through the generous support of the Idaho Food Bank Fund, low-income families are being nutritionally educated and fed at our developments, in turn creating a positive ripple effect in our community.
Please use your Idaho tax form to support the Idaho Food Bank Fund this year.
DENAE WARREN, Eagle
School board billsharmful to teachers
I was angry to read that Senate Education Committee is wanting to restrict the power that unions have in negotiating teacher's contracts.
Idaho School Board Association director Karen Echeverria claims that school board trustees have overwhelming support to give them more flexibility to override union contracts. What part of 'no' don't you understand?
All three of the propositions that were on the ballot were soundly defeated by the voters.
Sounds like the school board trustees, Karen Echeverria, Tom Luna, Butch Otter and committee Chairman John Goedde are acting like spoiled kids because they didn't get their way. I thought by winning an issue that was on the ballot should be repealed.
It's like Obama using his executive privilege to bypass Congress to get his way without their approval. Is this what Idaho has come to? Sounds like Idaho is becoming a dictatorship.
Let's all remember the school board of trustees, Karen Echeverria, Tom Luna, Butch Otter and John Goedde the next time we vote and not let Idaho's rights be trampled on. Idaho teachers and unions have rights too.
LLOYD WARNER, Boise
Revisiting Prop 1is disturbing
I have been hearing about an attempted resurrection of a few of the conditions of Prop 1.
The most disturbing is a proposal that school board/union negotiations have a deadline, and if that deadline is missed then the school board gets to set contract terms unilaterally. That is like telling North and South Korea that they have until November to make their 60-year-old Armistice the basis for a peace treaty, or North Korea gets to set the terms unilaterally.
We all know that North Korea will stonewall until the deadline passes and set the terms of re-uniting the peninsula under the North's dictatorial regime.
Not to compare the school boards to the tyranny of North Korea, but to illustrate that such a deadline takes away incentives to negotiate, and even provide an incentive not to negotiate. The school boards have no incentive to concede to any union terms, but do have incentive to stonewall until the deadline passes and then push their will on the unions.
Prop. 1 was defeated with good reason, let's not make the same mistake twice.
TRAVIS BREWER, Boise