Thank you ...
We have had a cabin in Prairie, a small community near the South Fork of the Boise River, for more than 30 years. There was an enormous wildfire in this part of Elmore County in 1992 the Foothills Fire. Last year the area was threatened by the Trinity Ridge Fire. This summer Prairie is sandwiched between the huge Pony Complex and Elk Complex fires. I suspect that when we can get back to the cabin, every hillside and mountain peak in any direction will be burned.
Knowing how bad the past fire situations have been and how bad they currently are, I am in awe of the people living in the mountain community areas and the city, county, state and federal agency firefighters who stubbornly fight these wildfires. A huge thank you to all who are risking their lives 24/7 in the heat and smoke and terrain to try to contain those fires. I would thank each one of you separately, but thats not possible. Your efforts are appreciated. Thank you!
DEB STANLEY, Boise
Thank you to the city of Meridian and the Meridian Arts Foundation for making Meridian the place to be this summer for local music. We enjoyed listening to High Street, Kings of Swing, and Kevin Kirk and Onomatopoeia. These are great concerts and they are all free thanks to the sponsors. We look forward to next summer.
CHERYL KNIGHTON, Meridian
I would like to thank all those both Indian and non-Indian that came together to exercise our constitutionally protected right to assemble and our free speech rights during the Megaloads blockades along Highway 12.
I view our efforts as successful due to the publicity both local and national that has resulted due to our activism and coordination of efforts to collectively speak our minds. As this issue brought to light the tragedy and toxicity of the Tar Sands in Canada where these oversized evaporators are headed, we must always remember those first nations and other indigenous people (elders, women and children) that live near the Tar Sands, and the harm and exposure to the toxic byproducts of the Tar Sands when they process the tar sand for oil. I personally do not and never have liked the dictatorial stance taken by Boise when decisions are made for Idaho citizens up here. Why doesnt Gov. Butch Otter and/or Brian Ness come up here and explain and support their decisions? I feel that the Idaho State Police, the Nez Perce people and others are being used as pawns in their game by Gov. Otter and Brian Ness.
JULIAN MATTHEWS, Pullman, Wash.
Recently, I witnessed something that will forever change my life for the better. On three successive nights, I observed men, women and children of the Nez Perce Tribe fighting for their treaty rights, fighting for our ever-fading democracy, and fighting to prevent U.S. Highway 12 from becoming a permanent high-wide industrial corridor.
I witnessed leaders of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee put their bodies in front of a 600,000-pound truck and get arrested. I witnessed women with newborn babies strapped to their chest standing in the middle of the highway confronting multinational corporations for trespassing. I witnessed children carrying protest signs and placing rocks in the road as a machine the size of a football field barreled towards them.
Not to be forgotten, I saw dozens of Idaho State Police officers, county sheriffs and tribal police officers provide a red-carpet escort for the Omega Morgan megaload. Regrettably, I witnessed our federal government fail to honor tribal treaty rights, fail to enforce federal law(s) and completely whiff on an opportunity to defend its citizens against corporate tyranny.
I proudly stand with the Nez Perce and everyone else fighting the good fight on Highway 12. I got your back.
BRETT HAVERSTICK, Moscow
National TV ads by the APWU are airing on our local stations. They outline the problems facing the USPS.
2006 was the best year ever for the USPS. Automation and increased productivity were reducing costs. The USPS supports itself, and was flush with cash; Congress wanted it.
Legislation was passed requiring the USPS to prefund employee retirement benefits for the next 75 years, something no other company or federal agency has to do. Money had to be set aside for retired employees who werent born yet. The $5.5 billion annual payments went directly to the Treasury, where Congress squandered it.
Then the economy went bad; revenue declined. The USPS supports itself through sales of stamps and products; there is no allocation of tax money. The USPS asked for relief from the prefunding requirement, Congress said no.
So the USPS had to begin cost-cutting measures. Staffing was cut, vacant positions not filled, small offices and processing centers were closed, producing a negative impact on the service to the public.
The USPS has a Universal Service Obligation that is delivery to every address in the nation.
Contact your congressional delegation; stop the robbery of your USPS.
DANIEL SCHRUP, retired rural letter carrier, Caldwell