Letters to the editor-05-02-2013

May 2, 2013 

TRAIN STOPS

Drivers shouldn't take crossings lightly

On April 9, you had a brief article about car/train accidents.

We live on a rural highway that borders Ada County on one side, Canyon County on the other. Our property borders the train track that runs from Nampa to Boise. It is used during the week by the railroad. There is a stop sign on both sides of the track. Invariably, half the cars will run this stop sign. Not only do they like to run the stop sign, upon approaching the tracks it is like a contest to see how fast they can go thru the crossing without stopping.

We have even witnessed the train having to stop because of almost hitting the cars. People simply do not understand that a train cannot stop on a dime.

There is no respect from these drivers, regardless of age or gender, they believe they do not have to acknowledged the stop signs. I have called the sheriff to have an officer check this crossing. But they cannot be here everyday. Drivers need to be aware that the track is used, and you never know when the train is approaching.

PEGGY PAUL, Nampa

BULLYING

Parents can place schools on notice

I am responding to Katleen Jordan's article about bullying. My son experienced the same thing except with three boys. After the third incident, I went to my son's counselor and I told him "if these three boys ever harass, hit or bully my son again, I will sue you personally, the principal, the school district, and each of the boys' parents."

I was told, "Well let's not get in an uproar." I said "no, this is no idle threat this is a promise." Problem solved, until my son went to high school along with the same three boys that were bullying him.

After the first incident, again I went to my son's counselor and told him the same thing as I did when my son was in middle school. So, I suggest you do the same thing.

See how quickly you get some positive results. In fact the three boys involved were told "if you see my son coming down the hallway, class, lunch you'd better give a wide as birth as possible."

CHRIS HITESMAN, Meridian

DESCRIPTORS

Words can be hurtful

I can't help but immediately become distracted when somebody talks or writes about "the handicapped" or "disabled people." I always stop listening in mid-conversation or stop reading as I am taken back about just how many do not realize what is coming out of their mouth.

According to the CDC, about 50 million Americans has at least one disability. I am a 23-year-old individual with multiple disabilities. I cannot describe the feeling that comes over me when somebody describes me as having a "disease" or a "sickness." I have a syndrome.

See the person, not the disability. Remember that a disability descriptor is merely a medical diagnosis and People First Language simply puts the person before the disability. When we see the diagnosis as the most important characteristic of a person, we devalue her/him as an individual. Do you want to be known for your psoriasis, gynecological history, the warts on your behind or any other condition?

I hope that in the future, there are more individuals using the phrase, "people with disabilities" rather than "disabled people" or "the handicapped," as choice of words are noticed far more than you realize.

CAMI SMITH, Boise

NONPROFIT TAXES

Paying state sales taxis a civic obligation

In response to your April 12 article on the tax ramifications of the St. Luke's-Elks venture, that mentioned the Idaho Youth Ranch, I think it is important to clarify that nonprofits are not all the same when it comes to tax exemptions.

Like other 501 (c) (3) charities, the Idaho Youth Ranch does not pay business income tax or property taxes related to fulfilling our mission - helping Idaho children. However, we do collect sales tax from store purchases ($662,000 last fiscal year) and pay sales tax on things we purchase to run our operations ($52,670 last fiscal year).

We feel fortunate that our donors receive tax breaks, including a state tax credit, when they donate to the Idaho Youth Ranch. Cash donations or noncash donations to our stores allow us to provide needed services to Idaho children and their families who can't afford, or don't qualify for other private and public services.

We know that not paying sales tax would leave us more resources to help more children. We also understand how necessary that tax revenue is to our state. It supports civic priorities like infrastructure and schools, which benefit us all by making our community stronger.

STEVE WOODWORTH, president and CEO, Idaho Youth Ranch, Boise

HARRIS RANCH

Once quiet area is part of sprawl

Having recently read the self-congratulatory accounts of saving Foothill space from developers and sprawl, I am led to believe that Boise will continue to be a city with regard for its environment and its citizen's enjoyment of the great outdoors. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case in Southeast Boise and the Harris Ranch area.

It appears that profit driven expansion has turned a once quiet and peaceful area in which to live into a mishmash of suburban sprawl, contorted driving patterns and general hubris that makes it a challenge to live here. For all appearances, the developers of this project are allowed to close taxpayer maintained roads with impunity. These developments must be a wonderful new tax source for the city. That does not take into account the huge profit that must have been made on the sale of the land itself.

While I do not speak for any formal group, I feel it safe to say that for many of us here, there is a feeling of having lost a special place. What it has been replaced with is certainly not that special.

PHYLLIS J. PIERCE, Harris Ranch, Boise

OBAMACARE

Legislating health care not in the Constitution

I'm appalled that American voters continue to send to their federal and state legislatures persons so frighteningly ignorant of the supreme law they almost mindlessly swear to uphold. The disastrous effects are obvious.

But should we be surprised? Almost to a man, today's politicians are products of a grotesquely socialist-oriented education system. For all their initial "public service" intent, most lack solid roots, and easily become as political millstones around an already-drowning people's necks.

One glaring, current example here in Idaho? Obamacare. "Conservative" Republican Gov. Butch Otter buys into, and consigns us all, to the death of it, nor did this year's Legislature accomplish anything to counteract.

Moscow-area legislator, Dr. Dan Schmidt, apparently representative of all too many of his colleagues, published a guest editorial entitled Unfinished Business, lamenting the Legislature's failure to pass a proposal he purports would improve health care for Idahoans and also help our economy.

Just one problem, Dr. Schmidt: Legislating "health care" is not part of government's job description. First, please go back and get a real American education (if you can still find one). Wake up, Idaho! Totalitarian world government is coming fast, under which life will not be pretty!

CAROL ASHER, Kamiah

HOME SCHOOLING

Court case puts right to choose in jeopardy

The Romeike family from Germany fled to the United States because they home-school their children, and the German government requires the children attend government schools. The Romeike family is a Christian family, whose parents want to teach according to their beliefs and not have their children taught beliefs they do not agree with.

If the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rules against this family (an earlier judge ruled in their favor), there will be a strong implication that your rights as parents to choose to home-school or not could be a lost right, that our government could ban home schooling entirely at some point. Stand up for your rights as parents, as people of faith, as Americans, whose forefathers gave their lives and their fortunes so that we could live in a free country, and for our Constitution, which is being challenged.

The Romeike family could be sent back to Germany, assessed huge fines, and the parents could lose custody of their children to the German government. This has happened in Scandinavian countries. Please go to hslda.org/romeike and sign a petition. Your voice counts.

JULIE CHRISTINA SHATTUCK, Boise

STATESMAN

Paper ignored walk

I cannot believe the Idaho Statesman did not give any publicity, nothing, regarding the MS Walk that occurred Saturday morning, April 20, at Julia Davis Park! There were about 3,000 MS families who lovingly participated. Multiple Sclerosis is an enormous, awful disease that affects everyone - meaning, I would bet that each one of you reading this letter knows someone with multiple sclerosis! Once again, shame on the Idaho Statesman and your lack of community outreach! Such a disgrace!

LORI THOM, Boise

FAILED GUN BILL

Thanks for nothing

Thanks Sens. Risch and Crapo for your vote against any form of gun control. Let the carnage continue!

DAVID GINAL, Boise

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