Letters to the editor - 08-04-2013

August 4, 2013 

POLITICAL CARTOONS

Another letter to the editor appeared in the July 26 paper from yet another outraged conservative reader that was upset by a Mike Luckovich cartoon lampooning one of their own. These letters appear regular as clockwork, and the authors are typically aghast and outraged that the Idaho Statesman continues to publish these politically biased and demeaning cartoons.

I realize that I live in an overwhelmingly red state, but it still amazes me that people can be so incensed by a cartoon making fun of a conservative, but totally OK with frequently published cartoons by conservative satirists that lampoon President Obama, Vice President Biden, Harry Reid and other prominent Democrats.

I’m sure that this will come as a revelation to many of you, but political cartoons are meant to be satirical and even politically biased.

If you want to be exposed to only one side of the political spectrum, you probably should go ahead and cancel your Statesman subscription, as many of you have threatened, and stick to watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the many other conservative talking heads that dominate talk radio. That way you won’t be exposed to the differing views and opinions that might offend you.

MIKE MATHIS, Boise

CARTOON BALANCE

It’s very refreshing to finally see some balance in your cartoons. The Statesman, in my view, had a very unfair liberal slant.

For many years, it seems that the only cartoonist was the ultra-liberal Luckovich. There finally is some balance on the editorial page with the cartoons and not just the crap Luckovich puts out. I might even subscribe to the Statesman again. It seems the slant has changed, and whoever is responsible for it, they have my sincere gratitude. There is a much better balance in what is reported. It’s nice to begin to see both conservative and liberal sides being reported.

CHUCK VER METT, Eagle

NORTH STAR CHARTER

I am a parent of a seventh-grader at North Star. After being in the lottery, my daughter was chosen to attend. Our family was excited and nervous about the change. We understood that the school’s curriculum was challenging, but the Harbor method they use sounded promising.

My child is now caught up in math and has outstanding ISAT scores in all subjects. My daughter also “fits in” better at North Star. This school is not for everyone, but it is for us. She is a better student because of the teachers at North Star. They genuinely care about the success of the children. This unique school is a chance for my child to learn and grow.

I would like to invite other parents of struggling children to look into North Star Charter and find another option like we did. We need these options for children who may fall through the cracks and not be noticed with traditional schools.

I am a parent who will fight to the very end to keep this school open for my child’s future. We need options, and North Star is the best option for my family.

ELAINE WELLS, Eagle

MEDICARE CUTS

As a dialysis facility administrator at Table Rock Dialysis Center in Boise, I help care for well over 100 kidney failure patients. My patients require four-hour dialysis sessions three times a week to rid their bodies of deadly toxins and to enable them to live full and active lives.

I am writing because I am disturbed over a recent proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would cut Medicare reimbursement for dialysis care by nearly 12 percent. Many of my patients rely on Medicare to help pay for much-needed dialysis services, and these proposed cuts could be devastating.

The effects of these proposed cuts may force reductions in staffing, reduced access to services such as social workers, nurses or dietitians, and dramatically reduced access to dialysis care in Boise altogether. Clinics may be forced to close, requiring patients to travel greater distances for their life-sustaining care.

Lawmakers must understand that without ready access to dialysis care, patients with kidney failure will die. I hope your readers will contact our members of Congress ... and help ensure that CMS maintain appropriate funding to continue providing life-saving care for vulnerable Boise residents.

ZACH PHELPS, Boise

BOISE RIVER

The true treasure of the Treasure Valley is undoubtedly our watershed. The Boise River and its associated waters sustain us with essential fluids, food, fiber and fun. Last year, Outside magazine ranked Boise as one of the top three best riverside towns in America because of everything that our river and Greenbelt do to enhance our community. We fish, float, cultivate, camp, hunt, harvest, boat, bike, hike, snowmobile, ski/board, raft and play on and near its banks, yet rarely do we count our liquid blessings.

Most of us don’t give this precious resource much thought since a simple turn of the faucet gives us an “infinite” flow. Consequently the focus in my environmental science classes has been our watershed, so students will appreciate this complex interconnected system.

In April, I brought Christopher Swain to Boise because he is the only person to have swum the entire 1,243 miles of the Columbia River. His swim showed how a river can connect communities.

My dream is to bring him back to Idaho in 2015 to swim the 102 miles of the Boise River and unite rural and city folk who simply love the river. Join us!

DICK JORDAN, Timberline High, Boise

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