Letters to the editor-07-18-2013

July 18, 2013 


The new "plan" for the Boulder- White Clouds is an obsession from those who have failed historically to pass legislation people don't want.

The BWC have been under protection from the Idaho Roadless Rule since 2006.

This agenda would like you to believe that the BWC is going to sprout legs and run away. Rick Johnson and team are actively "bamboozling" folks in places like New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and Maine who don't understand the impacts of wilderness and what you can't do there. You cannot drive to Merriman peak or Castle peak. But you can hike or mountain bike there today, tomorrow or any day of the year. A national monument would require more roads and infrastructure. It would apply the most restrictive management possible to these public lands while setting aside local collaboration and excluding the people that are the stewards of the land.

Time to move on and champion something noble, not obsessing with excluding users and disabling local land managers/communities from using public lands for the general public. We've got other pressing problems in America that need attention.

Let the BWC be and let everyone enjoy them for what they are.



I support the Sawtooth Society's cautionary position regarding the proposal by some to declare the Boulder-White Cloud area as a National Monument. Since Congress seems unwilling to pass Rep. Simpson's wilderness legislation, maybe a monument is the next best thing, but let's get the facts and consider the implications first. It's the smart thing to do.



New Jersey enacted sequestration cuts on June 30, forcing a 22 percent cut in unemployment benefits. (Idaho Statesman, July 3.)

When Micron underwent a financial shock some years ago, management cut salaries, reduced the workforce and absorbed cuts equal to or greater than the rest of the plant. The message: we will ask no more of others than we are willing to give ourselves.

Members of Idaho's congressional leadership? Not so much.

I contacted my congressional representatives three times from February through June asking what pay cuts they and their offices have taken in response to the sequester. Rep. Simpson's office replied in June; Sens. Risch and Crapo? Nothing.

Rep Simpson's office has taken an 8.2 percent cut in appropriation and a 2.9 cut in FTE (full-time equivalent staff). Rep. Simpson has NOT taken a personal pay cut. Since they chose not to respond, I am assuming that our two senators, Risch and Crapo have taken NO cuts in staff, NO cuts in office expenses and NO cut in pay.

We hear the relentless matra: "Government needs to act more like business." "Accept responsibility for your actions."

Look into a mirror gentlemen. Look into a mirror.



I read with great respect, Rocky Barker's front-page newsliner in the Statesman titled "Don't Burn The Solar Users." The PUC's decision was a blistering karate strike at Idaho Power Company's executive board and CEO. The board will be back again with a counter proposal in a few months or maybe they will see "the light ... and the sun" and decide to support solar power options. Other investor-owned utilities are underwriting solar installations within their grids through 20-year leasing contracts and making it financially viable.

Imagine the number of kilowatts captured on the Fourth of July if 50,000 homes and businesses instead of 386 had rooftop solar panels. The panels would power your home power needs, and if you had a Nissan Leaf in the garage, they would power your car, too.

Writing this on Fourth of July, I salute all those who wrote letters and voiced their opinions to the PUC supporting the net-metering program. Salutes also go to those working for the PUC who composed the decision. Good work.



Regardless, of individual feelings about the definition and sanctity of marriage, or the morality of sexual orientation and behavior, the real issue at hand is "government of the people, by the people and for the people". Citizens identified an issue and went through the proper procedure to have the voice of the people decide that issue.

A vote was held and the people decided that marriage should be defined as one man and one woman. As opponents rallied, a judge single-handedly overruled the will of the people, a move made much more egregious by the fact that the judge was appointed and not elected.

Such a dictatorial move by anyone in our country ought to be a concern for Idahoans and Americans everywhere. The democratic process protects our republic and ensures that the voice of the people governs. The more that we allow our officials to overstep the boundaries set in place, the more our government fails us.

The time has long been coming when we say enough is enough and the people come together to take back their country by the voice of the people. We simply cannot afford not to.


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