BEDKE AND LANDS
Speaker on wrong pathon land management
The Statesman Jan. 12 Popkey story "Bedke backs Idaho management of federal lands" puts new House Speaker Bedke in cahoots with departed Sagebrush Rebellion folks like Helen Chenoweth (remember the "Black Helicopters?") and with current anti-fed zealot and ideologue Raul Labrador.
Bedke thinks he would have a better chance of controlling resource management decisions on Forest Service and BLM lands if the Idaho Lands Department were in charge. He could push state employees around more easily.
Bedke, referring to the management change, is quoted by Dan Popkey as asking: "It's worth (sic) of our best effort, isn't it?" The succinct response to that question is "No."
DON CHAPMAN, McCall
Treatment is betterthan incarceration
The Idaho Statesman's editorial endorsement of Gov. Otter's support for a "secure mental health facility south of Boise" represents a welcome voice given that it places the operation of this facility within the context of treatment, rather than incarceration.
The recent and tragic spate of rampage shootings have driven otherwise enlightened commentators to speak of firearms violence and mental illness in overly simplistic, cause-and-effect terms.
The actual data, derived from a variety of international sources, suggests a relatively strong correlation between firearms and risk for suicide, but relatively weak correlations between mental illness and homicide or suicide with the intent to harm strangers.
In other words, society fools itself when acting on the belief that mental illness per se predisposes people toward violence, and that locking people up makes for greater security.
Everyone might do well to Web search the terms "famous people and mental illness." Names such as Neil Armstrong, let alone Abraham Lincoln, J.C. Penney, Isaac Newton and any other number of noted artists, writers, scientists, athletes, physicians and politicians will appear on such lists.
People living with mental illness deserve full support. Incarceration without treatment toward recovery offers little more than inhumane punishment.
PETER WOLLHEIM, LPC, Boise
No California dreamin'for this Idaho resident
Idahoans lowest paid; teachers lowest paid; families have to move to North Dakota. And it's all the people's fault that vote with "R." Really?
Let me tell you what's right about Idaho. Even with low wages we buy homes, kids go to college and high schools, children play outdoors, neighbors care about each other.
A little insight from California: taxes on the home we sold, $300 a month; kids are afraid to play outside; most first-year college students must take remedial classes; children get sex education starting in kindergarten; parents have little to no say; drugs and guns fill the schools; San Francisco citizens are upset because they have to bring a towel with them to set their naked butts on; bankruptcy looms; and still they vote for higher taxes.
The grass might seem greener on the other side, but the green on the West Coast and the East Coast is AstroTurf. Idaho is an amazing place to live.
DEE KEY, Mountain Home
EAGLE BOND ELECTION
Ownership of city hallwill save taxpayers money
Eagle residents have a great opportunity to save the city over $160,000 a year. By voting "yes" (in favor of) the City Hall bond election on May 21, we can own our City Hall free and clear in just 15 years, without a tax increase.
Right now, the city is paying rent for the building on a long-term lease that never accrues an ownership interest in the building, and the rent is higher than the bond payments would be. It's just silly to keep wasting our tax dollars on lease payments that don't put us any further ahead, and interest rates are at all-time lows. Voting "yes" is a smart business decision and a "win-win" for Eagle.
Vote at your regular precinct on May 21, or you can vote absentee by contacting the Ada County Elections office for an absentee ballot. There will also be early in-person voting at the elections office in May. Don't count on your neighbor to do it - we need you to vote in favor of the City Hall bond on May 21.
JEANNE JACKSON-HEIM, Eagle
Regulations, new taxeswill keep economy down
Public sector workers please have patience. The problem is after many Americans file their taxes, including money they received from social programs, a high percent get back more money from the tax system, than they pay in!
I don't see that trend changing over the next four years.
President Obama added: Obamacare, 200,000 new federal employees (czars, Obamacare staff, lawyers, IRS agents, etc.); 15,500 pages of new regulations, new taxes/penalties/fines for Obamacare and over a million Americans moved from unemployment to disability last year.
New regulations and taxes will make it harder for American companies to compete, hire workers and expand. I hope Gov. Butch Otter's tax relief (double taxation) for Idaho companies will offset the new Obamacare taxes.
Public sector employees, please recognize that many Americans have moved in with family or friends, are working several part-time jobs, have no benefits (often work when sick) and work at minimum wage jobs that were once held by students or retirees that wanted part-time work.
Simple math: only private sector jobs aided by tax reform, fewer but more effective regulations and a level playing-field tariff program will help.
VICTORIA CAULFIELD, Nampa