Letters to the editor: 07-30-2013

July 30, 2013 

NORTH STAR CHARTER

It is easy to make the Meridian School District the villain in the saga of North Star Charter, but North Star’s problems have been years in the making. Those include major cost overruns on the construction of its new building, overspending on supplies and salaries, and overestimating its projected enrollment. Also, like all other public schools, it has suffered from the drastic cuts in education imposed by the Idaho Legislature.

The Meridian School Board does not want to take away North Star’s students. What it does want is a guarantee that North Star does not close in the middle of the year, leaving those students scrambling to find a place to be educated, impacting not only them, but also the students currently attending Meridian schools who would see major disruptions in their own learning. The students would be absorbed into Meridian schools, but the funding to educate them would have already been dispensed to North Star.

North Star’s representative told the board that it has a forbearance agreement to renegotiate with bondholders by Feb. 28, 2014. That is not the guarantee that the Meridian School Board needs to ensure quality education for all of the students in its care.

SUE DARDEN, Meridian

SALUTING FRED NORMAN

Many, many thanks to the Idaho Statesman and Tim Woodward for the story on Fred Norman in the Sunday, July 21, issue.

Fred touched so many lives and did so many things for the Boise community. For the Idaho Statesman and Mr. Woodward to do a remembrance article on Fred helped a little to move beyond the shock of his passing.

Fred Norman was a talented and multifaceted individual who:

• Produced and directed myriad theatrical productions for the community;

• Discovered new talent and involved hundreds, if not thousands, in his theatrical productions;

• Helped raise funds for a variety of causes through his productions;

• Spent a countless number of hours advising and mentoring students at BSU through his various roles at the university;

• Kept many coffee shops busy (and waitresses charmed) by using those shops as meeting places with students, faculty, staff, alumni, cast members and community leaders; and

• Lifted the spirits of those around him by his energetic and positive spirit.

Mr. Woodward did an admirable job of capturing the many facets of Fred Norman. Whether any of us ever saw every aspect of this remarkable person is something to ponder.

He was a valued friend who will be missed by many.

DAVID TAYLOR, Boise

ZIMMERMAN VERDICT IGNORES BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS

A handgun not only creates a sense of security, it can also create a false sense of bravado, even invincibility. If George Zimmerman had been unarmed the day he crossed paths with Trayvon Martin, odds are slim that a confrontation would have ensued — and Trayvon Martin would still be a young man with a future.

Florida’s “stand your ground” law allows any citizen to shoot and kill another person whom he or she deems a threat to personal safety — even if the armed individual initiates the confrontation and even if the other person is unarmed. This law essentially allows anyone to commit murder and then go free. It is the single most dangerous, irresponsible “law” ever enacted, and it will no doubt be the death of many more innocent victims.

The unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent exoneration of George Zimmerman flies in the face of the millions of lives that have been sacrificed in the name of racial equality and basic human rights — from the Civil War to southern black lynchings to South Africa to Dr. Martin Luther King — and so much more spilt blood that this single act in Florida presumes to trample upon.

MICHAEL F. HOWARD, Boise

I AM NOT TRAYVON MARTIN

On July 22, the Statesman headed an article with the line “We are all Trayvon Martin.” I’d like to go on record as stating I am not Trayvon Martin.

What trial evidence there was indicated that Martin was probably, and unfortunately, shot after he jumped Zimmerman. He, as everyone on the planet knows, was following Martin because he was the neighborhood watch dude. I don’t think Martin deserved getting shot, but whose head was beat up? And unfortunately for Martin, Zimmerman packed a gun.

All this outrage we see after the verdict is mob justice, pure and simple, and reverse racism on the part of a lot of those people. And instead of being encouraged to cool it, that the evidence didn’t support a guilty verdict, many of our “statesmen” from the president on down play up to the protesters. And who is the biggest loudmouth — the Rev. Al Sharpton. Old Tawana Brawley Sharpton. That was a fraud from beginning to end, and so is he.

So, please don’t call me a Trayvon Martin. I’m not him, and I'd rather not be associated with his apologists.

JOHN ROLLINS, Boise

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