Parents must serve as role models
My daughter, Casey, was killed by a distracted driver. Before she was killed I drove distracted all the time. I now speak with teens and adults across the country about distracted driving.
Last week, as part of an initiative by the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association to give distracted driving presentations to high school teens, I spoke at Boise area high schools. When asked if their parents drive distracted, nearly all the teens raised their hands.
Boise-area parents, like parents all across the country, are texting, sending e-mails, putting on makeup and making phone calls with their children in the car. As parents, how can we justify taking chances while driving with our children in the car? Shouldn't all of us be worried about what driving habits our children have learned from us?
When I asked the students what kind of a role model I had been for safe driving for my children, they all agreed not a very good one. What kind of role models have we been for our children and, more importantly, what kind of role models do we want to be going forward?
JOEL FELDMAN, Philadelphia, Pa.
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES
Sales tax teaches real-life lesson
I think the Legislature is missing a teaching opportunity by eliminating the tax on Girl Scout Cookies. What better way to teach business than to have the Girl Scouts experience real-life business ethics by paying the taxes on their sale of cookies.
Since Idaho is in dire straits regarding income, I don't think any existing tax should be eliminated. This is also giving the Girl Scouts preferential treatment on the sale of their product.
Not that I have anything against the Girl Scouts. It's a fine organization that teaches life and business skills to young women.
JOAN WILKERSON, Meridian
Public would pay to subsidize business
My coffee cronies and I are opposed to repeal of the personal property tax. We pay state income tax on our Social Security and retirement incomes, sales tax on goods and groceries, and property taxes on our homes. We may whine, but dutifully pay taxes because we recognize the essential and desired services they provide. Instead, some corporations hire lobbyists to promote legislation like this to avoid taxes.
The governor's office says it circulated this proposal to all stakeholders. Well, none of us got it. From news accounts, we hear it goes something like this.
They would take tax revenue we all pay and give it to the corporations. Amazing! Then our property taxes will increase to further offset the taxes these corporations aren't paying.
Since school districts will be shortchanged, they will float override levies which further increase property taxes. To make it easier for the school districts to impose these levies, school districts wouldn't be required to hold elections. Unbelievable!
We don't want to subsidize big business with our taxes. Instead, members of IACI should dutifully pay for receiving fire and police protection, treating their sewage, educating their workforce and providing the roads to transport their goods.
WILLIAM GOODNIGHT, Boise
Give more focus to pro-choice side
How in the world did Dan Popkey's obviously slanted article on the anti-choice "prayer warriors" make the front page of the Idaho Statesman?
Popkey makes martyrs of these self-righteous religious zealots, casting them as martyrs who turn out on "a cold, windy morning" to make their point. The article goes so far as to list information about how others can join on the siege against Planned Parenthood.
This piece is a joke. Why doesn't the Idaho Statesman ever run any articles on the brave people who work at Planned Parenthood and provide life-saving health screenings and services not just for women, but for entire families.
If the Idaho Statesman is going to claim to be a nonpartisan newspaper then I suggest you give equal representation to the pro-choice movement, to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to walks and events that represent the majority of us who believe in women's reproductive choice. Or is that against your agenda, Idaho Statesman?
If you're going to run ridiculously slanted and biased pieces like Dan Popkey's on "Bearing Witness in Boise," then put it in the opinion section where it belongs and try reporting some actual news for a change.
ANGELA BUSH, Eagle
The blame game
Many of us like to blame others for our problems. The sequestration is the fault of the Congress, the president, the Republicans or the Democrats. And yet, to paraphrase someone in the past, the problem is not in our government, but in ourselves.
For the past 30 years or so, we have elected people that told us we could have it all - low taxes and a top flight K-16 education system, and the infrastructure that makes our society what it is today. We elected people that told us what we wanted hear, not what we needed to hear. Don't tell us the inconvenient truth, those consequences that each action has.
We wanted to lock up the criminals, but we didn't want to tax ourselves to pay for the prisons and guards to do the job. We want education reform, but only if it's on the cheap. We want a limited government, but we also demand that government provide things we want. If we are true to ourselves, the problem lies within each of us.
As long as we blame someone else, we will not have to take on our own responsibilities; and it will continue to be someone else's fault.
JOHN OWENS, Boise
Policies put profits ahead of people
I read with interest the article in the Feb. 27 issue of the Idaho Statesman saying Idaho has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the nation.
It goes on to say "Idaho's minimum wage workers increased by 63 percent from 2011, when the state ranked 30th."
This is not a big surprise to me as I have personally witnessed Gov. Otter's policy of protecting corporate profits over rights of the citizens. When I asked him about this at a public forum in Weiser last month and showed him the independent study from stateintegrity.org giving Idaho a "D-" rating for legislative integrity, he downplayed it and made some comment about Washington, D.C.
I asked about Lemke v. state of Idaho (Idaho Statesman Sept. 2011) and my personal experience with the Department of Insurance (which scored an "F" in the same report) protecting corporate interests as opposed to citizens rights. He supported Bill Deal as director of the Department of Insurance (specifically named in lawsuit).
How much is this policy of protecting corporate interests and profits vs. citizens rights really costing the taxpayers of Idaho, Mr. Otter?
JAMES MUNDELL, Fruitland