Letters to the Editor - 08-18-2013

August 18, 2013 

North Star Charter

My son has attended North Star Charter School since the second grade and will be a senior this fall. He has loved this school and its teachers. North Star has provided him with a safe place to learn and the opportunity to graduate with an IB diploma. He had been given the choice to change schools once he entered high school, but he choose to stay there. His grades are fantastic and so is his attitude.

All of his classmates that have visited our home have been polite and respectful. The school has played an important role in this positive behavior as well as the parents. Our family has and always will support this wonderful school.

REGINA WILDEISEN, Star

Boise bond issue

I noted on the news Mayor Bieter's plug for a new bond to update some of Boise's firehouses, including Fire Station No. 5. I can speak to its age, as a friend and I were sent down to the Volunteer Fireman's Convention held in Boise in 1953, in the early summer. I, as fire chief for Riggins, was 17, and my assistant fire chief was about 15.

A lot of the demonstrations for the volunteer firemen there were given at Fire Station No. 5. I and my assistant were properly impressed.

Google says that Fire Station No. 5 was remodeled and renamed in 1951. So it was only a couple years old when we were there in 1953. We learned a lot about firefighting at that convention. We went home and tried to incorporate all we'd learned into the operation of our little Jeep firetruck that was all Riggins had.

I think it is high time that Fire Station No. 5 is remodeled and updated (along with the others on the mayor's list). So I urge all you citizens to vote favorably for the mayor's bond issue.

BILL WILSON, Boise

Tree huggers

Well, the environmentalists and the looney-tune tree huggers should be walking on air with all the forest fires we're having. I could name them, but I won't. They know who they are.

They are the same ones that sabotaged the logging industry, shutting down the mills across the country. And, after the fires are out, there should be tons of salvage, right? Wrong, we have to let the trees stand there and rot. Who in their right mind would go in there and harvest the dead trees and plant new ones? It will never happen. It makes too much sense.

I remember back when the Forest Service, as a way to avert the disaster we are now witnessing, was saying the forests must be thinned to keep them healthy. The looney tunes responded, saying, "It's not the forests that are sick, it's the Forest Service."

So if you happen to be walking down the street and see some wacko cartwheeling down the sidewalk or off in the park getting their jollies by kissing and hugging on a tree, you'll know who they are, and don't worry, it's not contagious. These freaks are born that way.

DON L. LAYNE, Cascade

Public lands

The opponents of public lands transfer invoke misdirection through clever use of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD); they insinuate Idaho and other Western states can't take care of our lands, as do all the other states east of the Rockies. That is insulting, and belies the facts.

Return for timber on state lands is 55 times that of federal forests, per acre, and the burn rate is less than a quarter that of federal lands. The feds now employ "environmental clear-cutting." Idaho loses in every way possible. We lose the forest, jobs and tax revenue to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Both federal and state constitutions direct the transfer of all public lands to the state. Article X, Section 4 and Article XXI, Section 19 clearly direct the disposal of the lands to the state upon admission: If you believe the feds were supposed to retain control of two-thirds of the state, read those sections twice. Why even be a state then? There was no "implied promise," as opponents assert. It was a constitutional commitment and obligation to transfer the land.

The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 and the 1976 FLPMA kept the feds in control in a way not done in any state east of the Rockies. Both are patently unconstitutional and abused endlessly by the feds.

JEFF WRIGHT, Lowman

Women, voting rights

Since the GOP has voted against every job creation bill President Obama proposed, creating jobs is clearly not the top priority they claimed it was. Their real priorities are stonewalling Obama, overturning abortion rights, keeping women in their place and suppressing the rights of minority voters. They couldn't repeal Roe v. Wade constitutionally or win the 2012 presidential election so they have chosen to do their damage where they can — at the state level.

While federal Republicans waste time on nonproductive witch hunts and trying to repeal Obamacare, their colleagues in GOP-controlled states are methodically stripping away constitutional rights from women and minority voters.

Ironically, the party waving our flag and shouting "I love the USA" the loudest seems more interested in replacing USA laws with state laws. Remember those "patriotic" members of the "United" States of America who threatened secession? The party of "old white guys" intends to keep it "old white guys," whether by hook or by crook. That means keeping women subordinate and African-Americans and Hispanics away from the polls. This is the 21st century. "All men are created equal" doesn't mean white males only.

TEX BEAUCHAMP, Meridian

Firefighters safety

Concern for the safety of the firefighters. They are the ones fighting the fires and know the dangers to property and people. That is why they issue the evacuation of areas. Those people who ignore the warnings are putting the firefighters at risk. Now they have to worry about someone behind them to save.

Take a page from the Gulf Coast. The emergency personnel there, when a hurricane is imminent and the people say no to the evacuation, ask for a list of next of kin.

Something to think about when you live in places like that.

JACOB FRANZEN, Meridian

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