Letters to the editor: 08-29-13

August 29, 2013 

Fresh food donations

I took 30 pounds of fresh-picked cucumbers, summer squash and eggplant to the Rescue Mission recently. The kitchen staff was appreciative, and the gal who helped me unload it said, "Thank you for bringing produce that is tender and young. We get a lot of produce past its prime, tough, overgrown, like 3-foot long zucchinis."

So I looked around, and sure enough, there sat a big box of old, overgrown, yellow crookneck squash that was so big and tough, they were more like gourds. And I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring this kind of produce to the poor?" So it is too old for the donor to eat, but he/she doesn't think twice about hauling it down to the foodbank or the Rescue Mission?

I've got a better idea. Folks, the next time you want to haul your overgrown produce to someplace where people are desperate for food, save yourself the trip. Feed it to the pigs, or the chickens or the ducks, or compost it. But don't donate it to hungry people, because they most likely will not be able to use it, and into the trash it goes. Give what you would enjoy eating.


Downtown Boise

Two recent events prompted me to submit this letter:

(a) The recent dialogue concerning the new parking meters and how they are being programmed so that the free time is reduced, as well as leftover minutes. Hard to see how this encourages people to use the Downtown area more rather than less.

(b) Dividing the farmers markets in the Downtown central area — the market on 8th, Idaho and Main streets, and now the parking lot off Front and 11th streets.

Both of these changes have had a negative impact on the vibrancy of the Downtown, and you can feel it not only in talking to shoppers and business owners of the Downtown area, but also in the overall atmosphere.

Alive After Five continues to dominate and adds significantly to the overall positive Downtown atmosphere. The farmers markets' division and parking meter setup should be reconsidered as to how they can bring back the same vibrancy.



Republicans in the House voted 40 times to repeal/defund Obamacare. They voted 13 times to defund ACORN after the organization folded. Of the about 200 bills they have passed, one was to create jobs. They refuse to appoint members to a conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate and House budgets.

Charles Krauthammer describing Republicans in Congress: "I don't fancy suicide. It tends to be fatal." It sounds like suicide if voters are educated. As soon as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia went to work to restrict voting — cut early voting, eliminate same-day registration, require specific forms of ID, etc.

A new Wal-Mart just opened in Meridian. A study in Wisconsin (whose data was analyzed and released by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce) found that due to very low pay and benefits, about $26,000 per year, the employees of a typical Wal-Mart collect more than $1 million in welfare benefits per year. The company earns $13,000 profit per employee, which goes to the Waltons and the stockholders.

Phillip Handzel, it took me about six years to recover all of the money that I and my employers paid into Social Security, not the 95 that you claim.


Elk Complex Fire

To me, I blame no one for the damage that was done by the fire. I didn't have a cabin but I did have a trailer under a snow roof and sheds full of stuff. When I found out that it was a 100 percent loss, the first thing I started was to find a way to actually try and get natural grasses planted to prevent erosion. Everyone can sit back and make comments toward others, but they don't remember that their place in the forest started out small as well. I won't point fingers or talk down to others, but I do feel we all need to be adults and find ways to help, instead of finding ways to talk bad about others.

In our area we did have McCoy come through and clear out all of the deadfall as well as the standing dead, which did not stop or slow down the fire. Also, there were loggers working in our area that did not affect the progression of the fire. So I say let's all grow up and help instead of pointing fingers and stirring up the proverbial bull.


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