Letters to the editor: 06-04-2013

June 4, 2013 

Patrick Taylor performs an emissions test in Boise in 2008.

CHRIS BUTLER / IDAHO STATESMAN FILE

EMISSION TAX

Kuna drivers forcedto pay higher rates

Kuna residents now have to pay double the vehicle emissions tax. We have the same base tax of $10, but we have to drive to Nampa to find a vehicle taxing station. The 20-mile trip costs another $10 in vehicle travel costs. The $20 is double the fees charged to residents of the affluent cities. And think of the vehicle emissions from the extra 220,000 vehicle miles of travel.

Our wise leaders can let us pay the tax by mail and not go out of town, they can defer our tax assessment until there is a local taxing station, or drop the whole program and add this tax to the annual registration tax. The current system is equivalent to making us drive to Salt Lake City to pay our income tax.

The whole program is a scam anyway. The taxing procedure does not affect the air quality forecast, none of the money goes to any mitigation effort, and it is just another tax on us poor people who can't afford new trucks.

DAVE SZPLETT, Kuna

HOMELAND SECURITY

Keep the feds outof local police business

What's the deal with Homeland Security (HS) calling themselves the "police?" I recently followed a SUV into Downtown Boise. It was marked "police." It was also marked "Homeland Security." To my knowledge, police forces are reserved for local governments (i.e. city levels) and state levels (the ISP). We also have sheriff departments.

Our U.S. Constitution does not grant the feds the power to create a national police force or anything related to one. Police chiefs are appointed by an elected mayor. A sheriff is elected by county citizens, and he/she is tasked with enforcing the state Constitution. This process ensures communities and states enforce the laws established by the city, county or state. On the other hand, HS is under the control of the executive branch. They answer to the president. By definition, their assignment is to protect the homeland, not to "police" the citizens of individual states.

I challenge local police and elected sheriffs to draw a line in the sand. Let HS know they are not in charge of law enforcement in our communities. Tell them to stay out of Idaho! Trust me, Idahoans can take care of Idaho.

SCOTT STANFIELD, Kuna

LOGGING

Crapo stacking the deck

The headline story in the Statesman on May 24 titled "Clearwater Collaborative reaches milestone" is an untrue political statement to smooth the way for corporations to profit financially from logging, while simultaneously harming the natural resources of our public lands.

Sen. Crapo uses the "USFS collaborative model," that the Forest Service uses to replace input from the general public with recommendations of their hand-picked collaborative members. The USFS convenes such collaborative groups to eliminate any risk of being forced to act according to the wishes of the majority of the public - when the majority might oppose a proposed project.

So, you might want to ask Sen. Crapo why his representative to the Collaborative Advisors and Liaisons is a retired lumber mill manager, rather than a randomly chosen constituent.

Then, ask the senator why three out of four of the "citizens at large" group members are retired USFS employees.

If the Clearwater Basin Collaborative work plan is implemented, nearly 3,000 square miles of your national forest will become a heavily roaded tree farm.

The fix is in. Either we stop Sen. Crapo and Supervisor Brazell now, or future generations will inherit stumps and logging roads on their public lands.

DICK ARTLEY, USFS retired, Grangeville

GOVERNMENTS

We can learn from past

Similar stories: In the 1930s, dynamic speakers and dictators in several European countries and Asian countries came to power. To ensure their position, in some cases, they gathered together their competition and eliminated them, blamed them for any and all problems, or they were already dictators in those countries.

To gain more popularity, they started to single out certain ethnic groups or countries for hate based on their religion and political positions. They soon pushed out the leaders and assumed their position. They set about using the military and the government to tax, eliminate or imprison certain ethnic groups, political groups, mental patients, deformed and sickly people, etc.

They also dominated or suppressed the press and reporters that had a negative word about their party or leadership. They spent millions building highways and buildings, employing citizens to spy on other citizens and financed them by moving into other, smaller countries and taking over their wealth.

The citizens on both sides just stood by and allowed this without crying out, until the knock came on their door too late.

RUSS CONN, Eagle

TAXES

The problem is revenue

When one realizes the fact that American corporations are holding $1.7 trillion overseas to avoid taxes, you have to wonder who are these congressmen claiming America has a spending problem? Are they in on it? What is their cut, and who encourages that cut with tax-exemption status?

So, now that the truth is out, what are these liars in Congress going to do about it? I'll tell you. They're going to spend all their time ranting about some Internal Revenue Service office in Cincinnati trying to distract the voters from the real issue.

The real issue is we have a revenue problem in America, and I have some ideas to create more that most Idahoans should agree with.

First off, overseas havens for tax avoidance need to be closed. That goes for individuals like Mitt Romney and corporations, too. Next we should make them pay taxes on all those annoying campaign commercials. Finally, we'll eliminate all farming subsidies and tax breaks. We'll call it "Right to Farm." What do you say Idaho?

LARRY LUGAR, Boise

REJECTED HELP

Paint donations refused

Recently, I tried donating five 5-gallon buckets of unopened paint to the Idaho Youth Ranch, Paint the Town and Habitat for Humanity (Restore). I was turned down by all three organizations.

I understand the Youth Ranch, but Paint the Town is supposed to be here to help people that need their homes painted. Habitat for Humanity (Restore) is supposed to be there to help people also.

The Youth Ranch told me to call Paint the Town and they told me to call Habitat for Humanity (Restore). The latter told me that it was not "cost effective" for them to pick up the paint.

I have a very hard time picking up one let alone five, and my car is so old I'm surprised it's still alive. It would probably refuse to let me open the doors if I tried putting even one bucket in it. It would have taken Habitat all of maybe 10 minutes to go from where they are on Overland and Five Mile to get to my home on Five Mile. This is how organizations that are supposed to help people treat other people who also want to help. Pretty sad.

CATHIE FARR, Boise

BUS TERMINAL

Location consideration

Regarding the search for a local bus terminal: I offer for consideration the block between 12th and 13th streets and Front and Grove.

This half block is offered for sale, and the only occupant on the remainder of the block is a barber shop. This location is within a few blocks of the city center and would not require the disruption of the business district to place it on one of those streets. It may also stimulate the growth and redevelopment of the immediate area.

JAMES BRENNAN, Boise

IDAHO POWER CO.

Company works to killalternative energy

Don't trust Idaho Power Co. It has decided to upgrade coal-powered plants, costing ratepayers more than their original cost. Idaho Power's management decision was repeatedly opposed by many of its Integrated Resource Advisory Committee (IRPAC) members. IRPAC members opposed the plan because Idaho Power indicated it/ratepayers would pay all solar energy capital costs, not homeowners as presently happens. This biased plan favors coal costs over solar energy.

Lisa Grow's Idaho Power response to Ken Miller's LTE misleads the reader. The "expert, third-party review" she spoke of was partial input before the IRPAC review and was not the independent review IRPAC members vociferously requested.

Idaho Power's sleight of hand comes at a time when it also plans to kill the current "net metering" program, where it buys excess electricity from homeowners' solar panels and resells it at a substantial profit. Solar panel costs are dropping so low they have become attractive to more homeowners. Idaho Power's decision effectively kills development of solar power. Is it afraid of losing income if solar development makes more homeowners independent?

Idaho Power's "reliable" hydropower will eventually evaporate during the forecasted extended drought its coal burning helps create. Idaho Power would rather buy needed power out-of-state.

DAVID MONSEES, Boise

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