Letters to the editor-06-25-2013

June 25, 2013 

COMMON CORE

Education plan on same track as failed proposals

Well, it was deja vu, Ottercare public forums all over again. Citizens came to the Meridian Town Hall Common Core meeting with questions, concerns and source documents to question Luna & Co. Hosted by Kevin Miller, KIDO, we formed a line, waited patiently to query Luna about specific evidence found in documents from his own website concerning Common Core, which contradict the talking points he adheres to in public encounters. Many times there was loud anger and disbelief at his responses.

The citizenry was hurried along by the host, while Luna & Co. was allowed to take all the time they wanted to ramble along with generic responses eating up time.

Several people said, "You didn't answer my question," to no avail. Common Core is being rammed down our throats just like Ottercare was - in spite of overwhelming opposition by voters.

At one point, a frustrated Luna said, "Well, get it on a ballot and vote on it." The crowd shouted "We already have - it was defeated!"

Common Core was never even reviewed by the full Legislature before costly implementation.

The fix is in; again, it doesn't matter what the voters think. We, the People, no longer run Idaho.

SUSAN FRICKEY, Boise

BROADBAND ACCESS

Solutions needed for rural areas, but consider costs

As a Valley County resident I applaud Rep. George Eskridge's interest in getting broadband access to all parts of Idaho.

He encourages private sector investment in broadband, but a business cannot afford to run miles and miles of fiber optic or high-speed cable for a few rural customers.

Already the Obama administration has a stimulus spending package that includes $7.2 billion of taxpayers money to expand high-speed Internet access to underserved areas. The problem with spending all those billions wiring up rural areas is twofold. First, the FCC says only 40 percent of Americans who have access to DSL or cable Internet service actually use it. Second, many rural customers cannot afford the average $40 monthly bill, let alone the cost of a modern computer and modem.

Rep. Eskridge, I support your statement that we need to find solutions to bring broadband to the rural areas of Idaho.

But with the Idaho poverty rate in 2011 at 17 percent and 20 percent of us under 65 don't have health insurance (Idaho Statesman, June 20), please keep a close eye on spending priorities with taxpayers money during the upcoming legislative session.

DAVE HAGEN, Cascade

EBT CARD

Man would trade benefit for a job offer any day

Please explain how the mayor of a city can "take aim at low wages." Even the governor has no power to engage in free enterprise labor. If the mayor will pay me $7 per hour cash (less than "minimum wage") to weed the flower beds or clean the bathrooms at city hall then I will return my ebt card to the state. That is the same standing offer available to the governor and remains unanswered. I fall down laughing at the Republican rants about welfare dependency and something called "the right to work." These politicians clam up real quick when presented with an offer like mine. Not only do I enjoy the free food, but I am well-assured that the state and its sprawling bureaucracies are more addicted to the vicious cycle of welfare dependency than the beneficiary. To be clear. . .that is one ebt card in exchange for $7 per hour labor. Don't hold your breath.

ROGER WELLS, Boise

DAMS

Changing times should open path to breaching

In 1947, the Army Corps of Engineers completed its plan to dam the lower Snake River, demonstrating the arrogance they still display today.

At that time, according to the Corps' own report, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Fish Commission of Oregon, the Oregon State Game Commission, and the Washington Department of Fisheries all told the Corps "that any series of dams on lower Snake River would be hazardous and might entirely eliminate the runs of migratory fish on that stream."

The Corps' reaction: "this office does not concur with this unfounded opinion."

This is the same Corps that today claims perpetual dredging of the lower Snake is beneficial to fish because maintaining the navigation channel enables the agency to barge juvenile salmon downstream.

They propose additional sediment management actions to lower the flood risk at Lewiston - a risk the Corps created with Lower Granite Dam.

The lower Snake River dams did not make economic sense in 1947, or when the Idaho Statesman called for dam breaching in 1997.

With a decade of declining barge shipments, increased maintenance costs and an explosion of wind energy, these dams make even less sense today.

DAVE HAYES, Boise

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