Letters to the editor - 5-20-13

May 20, 2013 

BRISTOL BAY

Don't give salmon fishery the shaft

Thanks to the Statesman for covering the recent release of the EPA's updated Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. As an avid sportsman, I can say there are very few places quite like Bristol Bay left, with an abundance of salmon that feeds bears and eagles and people and the land. It's clear the construction of the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay would harm the fish, people and fishing economy that depend on the bay's productive waters. Bristol Bay is home to nearly half of the world's sockeye salmon population. Building a giant open-pit mine that would be 20 times larger than ALL of the mines in Alaska combined will destroy up to 90 miles of salmon streams - causing irreversible harm. Yes, we need mining. But not here. Not in a place where salmon still swim in historic numbers. We've seen how difficult it is to recover salmon populations in Idaho. Let's get it right this time. Please tell the Obama administration to act now and stop the plan to dig the largest open-pit mine in the United States at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

MATT MILLER, Boise

EARL HOLDING

This great American left great legacy

Our country has lost one of its great entrepreneurs with the passing of Earl Holding in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I have always been impressed how as head of Sinclair Oil Co., Earl could invest his capital, take a risk and make things better.

A perfect example is Sun Valley, Idaho. Earl's improvements have made Sun Valley a world-class year-round resort. He lived the American dream every day of his life. This is Earl Holding's legacy.

Thank you, Earl, for your good example. America is a better place because of your efforts.

DANE WATKINS, Idaho Falls

IMMIGRATION

Consider impacts of legalization

I'd like Mr. Obama to explain how legalizing 20 million illegals makes life better for American citizens. How does more people competing for scarce jobs and driving wages down benefit citizens, especially the citizens the illegals compete against? How does the crime and violence their drug gangs bring to our cities help citizens? How does social services sucked up by these illegals and now not available to citizens help us? How does illegals filling our emergency rooms seeking medical care make medical care more affordable for the average citizen? How does the thousands of car accidents and resulting injuries from uninsured illegals driving help citizens?

How does their filling our schools and slowing down our education process help citizens? How does the pollution these people cause improve our environment? How does illegals taking college slots and money away from American kids help citizens? How does taking more taxes out of our pockets to provide illegals housing, food stamps, medical care and education help the average citizen?

Only Mr. Obama and the Democrats benefit as they get a whole new population of government-dependent voters.

AARON AMOS, Burley

Amnesty creates new voting bloc

Amnesty? Are you kidding me? These people snuck into our country's porous southern border and have sucked the social programs to where legal citizens such as you and I are being threatened with reduced Social Security, Medicare, etc. - in large part because of potential voters, read Democrats, who are allowed status. Wake up. It's coming. It shouldn't come, but it will if you sit on your hands.

MICHAEL DUNCAN, Nampa

EDUCATION

Albertson Foundation misses the point

Once again the Albertson Foundation is at it. Attack and demonize the public education system in order to satisfy the political elite and justify the continued erosion of public education funding. Strange that they do not mention that the Legislature has failed to adequately fund public education for decades. This has resulted in fewer class choices, fewer qualified teachers who want to enter the profession, and less financial assistance for those students who do "go on" to higher education.

Even stranger is that their often-quoted statistic of the attrition rate for Idaho college students fails to mention that most Idaho students leave college not due to a lack of ability, but due to the rising tuition costs that are the result of the policies the Albertson Foundation supports and the politicians they bankroll.

Strangest of all is their grossly inaccurate media offensive which deliberately fails to point out that the Republican-driven economy of Idaho will never produce jobs that would attract college graduates. The majority of graduates from Idaho colleges leave the state for more lucrative employment opportunities elsewhere.

If any organization is failing Idaho, it is the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and their campaign of misinformation.

ADAM COLLINS, Garden City

GUN BILL

Firearms initiatives were off the mark

After reading three weeks of letters to the editor in one sitting, I felt compelled to comment. Many of the letters concerning the failed gun control legislation quoted the "90 percent" of Americans that supported it, with apparently no one questioning the figure.

First, question who conducted the poll, what question was actually asked, and what population was the question presented to. The liberal media will likely not be forthcoming with this information, as it would reflect poorly on the validity of the poll. I believe that a majority of Americans support universal background checks. A felon should not be able to purchase a gun anywhere. But since when does a felon follow the law?

Second, this legislation had much more to it than just background checks. President Obama is a slick speaker, and he deftly applied the "90 percent" figure (questionable) to the entire bill. This is patently dishonest, and the easily deceived will believe it.

If this bill really had 90 percent approval by the people, it would have passed easily. Blaming the NRA is absurd! This was bad legislation, hurried to the floor by emotion, that would not make anyone safer. It failed for good reason.

LAYNE CREA, Meridian

BUSH LIBRARY

Does George W. stack Mad collection?

I need to know if someone can corroborate as a fact or an urban myth that the new President George W. Bush presidential library had dedicated an entire wing to George's more than 30-year collection of Mad Magazine?

DENNIS GRAY, Boise

LARRY CRAIG

Give the ex-senator a break already

Cut it out on Craig! It begins to speak of the Statesman's animosity rather than Craig's sin to constantly remind us of it. If graduates of U of I want him as a speaker, that's OK with me.

I'm reminded of the song "Did someone slip and fall? Was that someone you?" It's not "Did someone slip and fall? Let's keep him down."

Enough already.

EILEEN HITESMAN, Meridian

MARIJUANA

Legalizing pot could get personal

I wonder if the people who think pot is OK or are not sure have asked themselves these questions:

Would you want someone on pot to diagnose or do surgery on you?

Would you want a nurse on pot taking care of you, giving you medication?

Would you want an EMT that's on pot trying to save you, putting an IV in you?

Would you want a fireman on pot to put out a fire for you, possibly hurting himself or putting others in danger?

Would you want someone on pot taking care of your own children? What if there is an emergency?

How about drivers on pot - would their judgment cause an accident?

Anyone on pot using poor judgment, would they go the next step to hard drugs?

I think all you have to do is look at the abuse and the problems that Oregon, Washington state, Colorado and California have been having. Are we not smart enough to know better?

MARGARET LEE, Caldwell

SENATOR RISCH

Senator's comments may resonate in 2014

In Dan Popkey's article describing Jim Risch's interview with the Statesman editorial board, Sen. Risch gives Idahoans many reasons not to vote for his re-election ... and all in his own words.

LYNNE MATTISON, Boise

Popkey interview painted nouveau Risch

Dan Popkey's recently published interview with an arrogant Senator Jim Risch was revealing to an extent Idaho voters could scarcely have imagined.

Having just returned to Boise via air travel expedited by virtually immediate Congressional action when those folks were facing some slight inconvenience caused by their previous inaction on necessary budget cuts, Mr. Risch seems mighty content with his lifestyle at the taxpayers' expense.

How nice for him and his spouse, sitting in their Pennsylvania Avenue condo, pleased to be watching the peasant class on the street below involved in "misguided" protests. And frequent entertaining at Ford's Theatre. And already running for re-election even though he says he has not and still cannot get anything done in Washington. He seems OK with that. Not even a hint of embarrassment in so recently being ineffective at keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

Anyone for term limits?

DON LOJEK, Boise

HUMANE SOCIETY

Complaint's bite has no bark

Regarding the article about the Idaho Humane Society:

This quote begs a response: "Rosenthal noted that a church across the street doesn't pay property taxes, and neither do the nearby federal buildings.

" 'If the church had bought it, would they be protesting?' Rosenthal asked."

Of course not: churches don't bark and keep people awake at night!

WENDIE LOSHBAUGH, Meridian

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