Letters to the editor: 08-16-2013

August 16, 2013 

New Greenbelt

The new westernmost section of paved Greenbelt is a delight to ride. The Federation for Ada/Canyon Trails System (FACTS) put up a nice sign taking credit for the effort. But it seems FACTS failed to set up a system to maintain those two miles of new pathway.

By mid-July the path was so overgrown, it was dangerously narrow — bikes coming from opposite directions could have easily crashed. Many thanks to the folks from the fairgrounds who took care of the worst section when I called them. After the recent winds, the rest of the Greenbelt is clean today. Well done. Except for the new section — it’s still covered in small branches. Not really a problem, just indicative of my point. Is anyone responsible to maintain the new two-mile mile stretch?

RICK FEESER, Boise

Shooting range

As a combat Marine, I know of the many things that can go tragically wrong on a firing range.

In 1996, Boise police Officer Sherman Fletcher illegally fired tracer ammunition at the present range. That ignited the Foothills Fire. The residents of Mountain Cove Road should not have to feel that they are living in a free-fire zone. The range should be moved south of Gowen Field. Emergency response time from the desert range would be faster for most areas of Boise.

DALE D.M. WINDHAM, former captain, USMC, Boise

SNAP remedy

I see that Congress wants to reduce funding to the SNAP (food stamp) program by $4 billion. That ain’t pocket change, folks.

I have a modest proposal that can clear this unnecessary expense right up, once and for all. With most of the SNAP funds going to senior citizens and children, we are throwing money at the least productive members of society. Those children probably never worked a day in their lives. And you can bet that seniors on food stamps will never work another day in their lives.

Most of the children are probably illegals or minorities, who would be limited in life to minimum or sub-minimum wage work that will qualify them for food stamps when they grow up.

I suggest we simply eliminate these beneficiaries altogether. We would be doing the seniors a favor, as they will never again have to worry about aches and pains, the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or the expense of long-term care. These unfortunate children can be relieved of a future of servitude and their elimination will relieve the rest of us from the burden of paying their way. This solution is a win-win.

LOREN PETTY, Boise

Cats

A love story, Aug. 9, about Carol Bachelder’s cat. Now, my side.

There are eight cats in our area that are allowed to roam free. They use our backyard as their bathroom. Consequently we cannot use our patio. I have sprayed cat repellant, put out mothballs, glass containers of H2O — nothing helps. Our bird feeders are without food — the cats again. Bachelder’s disregard for her neighbors is really appalling.

VIVIAN GILMOUR CULLIGAN, Boise

Obama/Putin

President Obama snubs President Putin of Russia and cancels his trip to Moscow.

The reason for this snub is Russia’s granting of asylum to Edward Snowden, former NSA employee who leaked details of several classified programs. What’s next, Mr. President? A U.S. boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? We tried that approach back in 1980, when President Carter directed a boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. In turn, this prompted a Soviet boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

This time around, I urge greater restraint; otherwise, we dash hopes of the USA’s Winter Olympians for political reasons that are contrary to the Olympic movement and its ideals.

ROBERT BLEVINS, Garden City

Postal Service

Realistic positive and negative solutions exist to solve the Postal Service financial problems.

The negative solution: Reduce delivery service from six days to five days in a week. Make customers inconveniently walk or drive to the nearest intersection to pick up the mail. Close processing plants to delay the mail travel between destinations. Jobs would be lost. The ominous, unnecessary prefunding of future retiree health benefits would remain.

The positive solution: Two bills introduced in Congress this year, S. 316 and H.R. 630, both called “The Postal Service Protection Act,” would solve the financial problem in a positive way. No tax dollars are used whatsoever. Six-day quality delivery would be maintained. Processing plants could remain open. Post offices, city and rural, could remain open. The overpayments made in the Civil Service and FERS Retirement systems would be used to pay debts. The prefunding of future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years would cease. Jobs would continue.

Why focus on negative solutions when there are positive solutions that exist?

Reductions in services are totally unnecessary. The people of America deserve the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.

JOHN PAIGE, president, Idaho Association of Letter Carriers, Pocatello

Service dogs

I hope that Idaho will consider passing legislation to regulate service dogs. We sent our dog to a trainer and took him to follow-up classes for months to prepare him to be a service dog for our daughter.

While we’ve had no issues taking our dog into local businesses, I’ve seen other dogs that are ill-mannered and give true service dogs a bad name. I hope laws will be considered that will allow legitimate service dogs to continue to do their valuable work.

KATIE ROMANS, Boise

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