Prisoners, taxpayers benefit under House bill
Amazement. Outrage. This is how I'd describe my reaction to a presentation by the Idaho Innocence Project. Stingy Idaho opposes spending less than $200,000 to test DNA samples that could set innocent people free from our state prisons. It means that Idaho taxpayers are continuing to pay the costs to imprison, feed and care for possibly innocent people while the real perpetrators remain free to commit more crimes.
The Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab could test the 6,000 specimens at $900 per test and clean up the backlog in six years. Independent, nationally certified labs apparently can do it for $30 per test and finish in three months. Which would you want as an Idaho taxpayer? How does HB 102 that is before the Legislature play into this calculus?
Justice delayed is justice denied. Putting a lock on testing and keeping it at ISPFS seems like it's not cost-effective or fair to Idaho taxpayers and those innocents that may be imprisoned.
I'd like to see the Idaho Statesman invite side-by-side guest editorials that spell out the arguments for each position. Then the public can make an informed decision about what's fair. One more Charles Fain is too many.
GARY HANES, Boise
Regulators should stand against twisted logic
Idaho Power recently submitted testimony to the IPUC complaining that ratepayers who own small residential solar installations "unduly reduce collection of revenues."
Following Idaho Power's logic:
- If you brush your teeth, you have "unduly" underfunded your dentist.
- If you stop smoking, you have "unduly" underfunded Philip Morris.
- If you ride a bike, you have "unduly" underfunded ExxonMobil.
- If you eat low-fat foods, you have "unduly" underfunded your cardiologist.
As if having an actual monopoly weren't enough, Idaho Power executives admit they feel entitled to guaranteed profits (i.e. their "revenue requirement"), regardless of whether we need less of their product. They arbitrarily demand quadrupled fees to subsidize their outdated coal plants and even the right to confiscate valuable solar power from its ratepayers without fair compensation.
Unless the IPUC feels Idahoans deserve punishment for energy efficiency, it's time to push back against Idaho Power. I urge the IPUC and all Idahoans to reject Idaho Power's radical, anti-solar agenda.
JOHN RYAN, Boise
Congress does disservice
House of no representation.
Enjoy, Fox News loves you. Pack your bags in 2014. America wants to go ahead, and your sick games to down the middle class and suck up to the rich are not working.
You were elected to support the people, not the tea party. You are something to be laughed at.
ROBERT BATES, Boise
Society runs askew of facts
The huge annual deficit established under Bush has decreased each year under Obama, and there have been $1.475 trillion in budget cuts.
The U.S. Senate is controlled by 41 uncompromising senators who represent 11 percent of the population. The House is also under minority control. The Democratic minority polled 1.4 million more votes than the Republican majority.
Prior to 1996, the CDC was funded to research the effect of guns on the population. It discovered that if there is a gun in a home, a resident is three times more likely to be killed by a gun than in a no-gun home and five times more likely to commit suicide. The NRA got funding for this research cut.
Gov. Otter, the four most right-wing governors - Brewer, Scott, Kasich and Snyder - have endorsed Medicaid expansion in their states. Are you going to step up for the citizens of Idaho?
The minimum wage is $11 in France, $15 in Australia and $10.25 in Quebec. And, they each have universal health care.
When Social Security was modified in 1983, it taxed 90 percent of all income. To do that now, it would need to tax the first $180,000, not the first $113,700.
LEO E. FADDIS, Kuna
McDevitt Park neighbors' concerns deserve respect
Re: Letter to the Editor dated March 2 - "Lacrosse field: A win for everyone," by Lesa Coleman
If this letter is representative of the attitudes of people in the lacrosse community, then I have lost all respect for their cause.
I personally had the privilege of delivering signed petitions from more than 100 of my neighbors objecting to very specific issues we had with the revisions to the master plan for McDevitt Park. The addition of some 50 light towers, with 250 fixtures, at a height of 70 feet, generating almost 400,000 watts of light until 10 p.m. is a very legitimate concern when the original rules for this park have been "operational hours only until sunset." Second are the parking and safety impacts that have been imposed on our neighborhoods in the past and will only be worsened with the poorly conceived access to the new parking lots from Eagle Road - anyone northbound on Eagle Road will be making a U-turn to access the new parking lots.
This is not "whining." These are legitimate concerns. But rather than argue the facts, the writer opted to call us names - all respect is lost when this approach is used.
WILLIAM MARTIN, Boise