Letters to the Editor

June 2, 2013 

BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS

Tougher laws are welcomed

Recent research has indicated that several safety agencies want to change the legal blood alcohol (BA) level to .05.

Here is the reason: We drive with our eyes. Our hands, which are steering the vehicle are merely doing what our eyes tell us to do. While it is apparent that we always need to wear our seat belts, securely fastened over our laps and shoulders. (You can still die of a closed head injury if the shoulder part of your seat belt is not used.) I won't talk about the needless recent tragedies due to not wearing seatbelts.

The science part of the change in the BA level is participants in the recent study registered changes in their vision at the .05 BA level. Since driving is a privilege, let us all support the proposed change in the legal BA level to drive.

It seems like a ludicrous oxymoron to talk about driving and drinking in the same breath. Please let us put some substantive legislation in the books. Tougher DUI penalties, mandatory seatbelt use infraction as a primary offense. Plan your trips. Lastly, if you are the last car in road repairs, put on your flashers to avoid being rear-ended.

JONI GRANRUD, Boise

PANHANDLERS

Stop talking, take action

It's time the people of Boise said goodbye to panhandlers. I am not alone when I say I am sick of being accosted, followed, harassed, and more on a daily basis on the streets in Boise.

There is a beggar with a sign on every corner. The parks are becoming less the "string of pearls" and more the "string of vagrants." Recently, I walked up 8th from Myrtle to Jefferson and was hit up more than 10 times. Additionally I was followed for two blocks by one guy who yelled profanities at me when I refused him. One woman had her three small children begging for her (where was child services?).

In the past I've lived in major cities, and I don't ever remember being as aggressively solicited as I am in Boise. I work hard every day, I contribute to the Idaho Food Bank, Boise Rescue Mission, and the Idaho Youth Ranch, among other charities, when I can, and I'm a taxpayer.

My empathy toward these individuals is rapidly dissolving only to be replaced with anger. It's time to stop talking about the problem and do something to effect change to make citizens feel safe again.

ANABEL LOPEZ, Boise

Council should act

It is our hope that the Boise City Council will implement "no panhandling" immediately.

To have people on almost every corner is distracting. It is sad that our society has to resort to these means to get money, but there has to be a better way. While in a parking lot we were approached by a couple asking for gas money. It is very unsettling to be approached by complete strangers. I am not comfortable with this type of conduct. This is not a good representation for the city of Boise.

RITA R. GREEN, Meridian

MEDICAID

Governor is off-base

More personal accountability to obtain Medicaid? The governor's joking, right? I might mention to the governor that fewer people would need Medicaid if companies paid their employees decent wages, and if they could get time off when they were sick - to seek help and not spread illness to customers. But the governor isn't fond of either because he is in bed with the corporations. And by the way, Butch, why don't you have to qualify for your outrageous benefits from the taxpayers - the same ones you seem to have such contempt for?

DARYL PULLEN, Boise

RISCH

Senator is part of the problem

Sen. Risch takes pride in his service to Idaho, but forgets that he previously was voted out of office because he was so arrogant, he ignored the needs of the people. Due to a partisan political appointment, he was able to continue his political career.

Risch says he can't explain how dysfunctional Congress is, yet he takes pride in blocking the president's Cabinet appointments and in making filibuster threats on gun legislation. He takes government-paid junta's to North Africa and the Middle East without apparent results. He says he savors the social benefits of the job and since nothing gets done, he is free to pursue his own interests. Maybe Risch is part of the problem.

Recently, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation sent a letter to Republican House leadership instructing members not to govern, but instead, to focus on "scandalizing" President Obama. Since HF is one of the largest campaign contributors to the GOP in Congress, Republicans were more than happy to oblige. This mandated dysfunction should assure Risch that, with his help, Congress will continue to get nothing done. Enjoy your job, senator.

JAMES PAULS, Eagle

EDUCATION

Now's not the time to cut school funds

I am writing in disagreement of the future budget cuts for the coming school year in Idaho.

Trimming back on funds for our children's education isn't the place we should be cutting. Since there has already been $550 million cut from Idaho education in the last 10 years, it is vital that we keep the funds that we have.

Cutting back on things like physical education in elementary schools will not benefit the students' learning abilities. Many of the children affected by the cut won't be receiving the amount of exercise needed and will have a harder time focusing during class.

Think of all those squirmy kids who haven't yet the ability to focus and sit still for long periods of time. To add to these thoughts, P.E. is not only a time for physical activity, it's for learning how to take care of yourself and how your body works. During this time children learn important skills needed for the rest of their lives. So maybe we should take a step back and reconsider this. After all, aren't there other effective ways to save money without cutting from our children's schooling?

ALEX COLBERG, Meridian

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service