Letters to the Editor: 08-22-2013

August 22, 2013 

Tim Woodward

I was laughing, but I was also crying inside at Tim Woodward’s column last Sunday. As a man of a certain age I share the same pockets of forgetfulness as the esteemed writer. Henceforth, when I put the orange juice in the microwave I’m going to call it “Pulling a Woodward.” If a mistake is made, and I can’t recall if I did it or not, I’m going to tell the wife that “Woodward did it!” All the things I can no longer remember or care to forget will now be housed in an alternate universe called Wood Ward. In Wood Ward, everything that is lost can be found without a password.


Fall Creek

Gov. Otter calling Fall Creek “indefensible” was insensitive and irresponsible. Otter spoke the day homeowners were allowed to view the charred remains of cherished cabins. Instead of offering condolences, the governor blamed the grieving residents for the tragedy. It appears the governor is trying to deflect blame away from the state and Forest Service for the 38 homes lost.

I don’t blame anyone for this natural disaster. Fires are a risk everyone in forested areas face. This fire resulted from a combination of factors that could happen anywhere in Idaho that is wooded, steep or remote — thousands of properties fit that description. For the governor to single out Fall Creek and propose contacting insurance companies is condemning all Fall Creek property. Insurance companies won’t insure a home and no one will want to buy property there. Elmore County has lost the structure value from its tax base and now the governor says the land has no value.

Is he proposing a statewide program to assess all rural property for degree of fire hazard? Will he label other areas indefensible? Using what criteria? Please reconsider your statements, Gov. Otter, and offer an apology to the Fall Creek homeowners.


Spotted owls

The situation with spotted owls in the forests of the Northwest seems complicated in itself, as the species had experienced competition from the barred owl for its ecological niche. A logical conclusion can be reached that the reason for this competition is habitat encroachment resulting from the destruction of the forests, which both of the owl species need.

As evident from the failure of the reintroduction of wolves in Idaho, the federal government should not interfere in the natural selection process by removing the barred owls. Rather, the federal government should impose more stringent regulations on the true enemies of the spotted owls — logging companies — to protect the forests that the owls need to thrive. This can help ensure a future for the spotted owls, and also prevent unnecessary killings of another species.


Traffic cameras

On Aug. 1, the Statesman ran a Q&A article about the Boise Police Department’s new program for using cameras to catch people running red lights.

Twelve people ticketed. Are you serious? Twelve people. Every time I stop at the light at Veterans and State streets, I see up to five or six people running red lights. Frequently it is as if they are in a convoy as the light in my lane turns green and one, then two, then three and even four vehicles race through the intersection on their red light as if they are racing each other.

What do they need a camera for? Ten minutes at any busy intersection in Boise would yield more than 12 people running red lights. It’s a plague. The city’s coffers should fill with so much cash they could possibly afford hiring another officer or two. I see nothing wrong with the cameras but praising the fact that they caught 12 people? That should be embarrassing to the police department.

When I was a child in the ’60s it was anathema to run a red light. They would slap you with a ticket faster than you could say, “Have another doughnut, officer.” What happened?


Balloon ride

Are you planning a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful Boise Valley soon? Please read on so you don’t have the same frustrating experience we did!

Recently, my granddaughter and I were treated to a hot air balloon ride. The reservation was made over the phone, talking to the owner-pilot. We were to be at a park by the fairgrounds at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday. In short, we were bumped, after watching the balloons fill with air, and eager to board. We were told rather bluntly and directly, no reason being given. We could book a date four weeks later, impossible for us to do. In my opinion, unprofessional and inappropriate!

Before you book with a hot air company, take the time to visit websites that have reviews about the business, such as TripAdvisor or Yelp. You will be glad you did!


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