Letters to the editor: 09-17-2013

September 17, 2013 

Soliciting

No one I know favors aggressive solicitation in Boise. That is why we have an “aggressive solicitation” ordinance in place.

Yet, tonight at 6 p.m. in City Hall, the Boise City Council will vote on replacing the existing ordinance with a new “public solicitation” ordinance.

The new one criminalizes public solicitation, aggressive or otherwise, possibly shuts down street performers, and gags people who lack the advantages and access to make “approved solicitations.”

We hear unending approved solicitations from candidates hoping to gain seats at decision-making tables. In glossy fliers, robo-calls, and over radio and television airwaves, those with advantages and access still ask, “Can you spare a dime to help my re-election campaign?”

In a hypocritical twist, council members at that decision table will consider imposing infractions and misdemeanors for “others” who make requests in public places — the bastion of free speech guaranteed to all by our First Amendment. Instead of creating solutions, for which there was ample time but apparently not much will, the city may perpetuate the cycle of poverty/homelessness/infractions/jail time, risk a lawsuit, and waste taxpayer funds — again — for its mishandling of our most vulnerable citizens. Contact mayor@cityofboise.org, 384-4422. Tell the council to create solutions, not criminals.

BARBARA KEMP, Boise

Credibility

Being fully honest and trustworthy are essential to great and effective leadership. The phrase, “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say” is critical to being trusted and believable. I knew someone who quit a furniture and appliance store because the company operated on the deceptive philosophy of: “It’s not the deal they got but the deal they thought they got is what counts.”

American credibility took a serious hit when a high America national official went on national TV numerous times and said: “Benghazi was a spontaneous attack, resulting from an American-made video and not a terrorist attack.” America’s credibility took another devastating hit recently when President Obama said, “I didn’t draw a red line, the world drew the red line.”

America’s credibility is being compromised and squandered with such acts of deception and cover-up. President John F. Kennedy wrote a book, “Profiles of Courage.” Each chapter highlights a past American leader who exhibited extraordinary courage to do the right thing under pressure, even in the face of possible wrongful punishment and consequences.

America’s credibility must not be squandered or compromised. Our citizens and leaders must be honest, true and courageous.

MORRIS BASTIAN, Boise

Destination trail

I propose a “destination” bike trail from Teton National Park, Wyoming, to Tri-Cities, Washington, following the Snake River. This trail would bring cyclists from all corners of the Earth, increasing revenues. Restaurants, motels and campsites all along the route would benefit.

“Destination” hiking trails, like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, are tourist magnets. People from all parts of the world come to hike them. Their economic value to their states is immense. Today, “destination” biking trails are becoming just as popular.

My proposed trail could utilize existing city hike/bike trails along the Snake. The cities of Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, for example, have trails along the river, which could be incorporated into the whole. The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area would provide exciting biking challenges!

We could start small, by connecting the greenbelts of cities along the way. Idaho Falls could connect to Shelley’s greenbelt, which could connect to Blackfoot’s, etc., as the Idaho Transportation Department wrote about finishing the “Blackfoot Trail — a portrait of collaboration.”

It began with a vision, was built on a model of collaboration and culminated in a regional treasure.

We can do this. All we have to do is start.

ROBIN L. PIET, Idaho Falls

Tom Luna

Let me get this straight.

Tom Luna sent out a bid for Internet services for Idaho schools. He selected an out-of-state company that had contributed to his campaign. He then used “one-time” money from the Idaho Legislature and wrote a five-year contract with his campaign supporter. It was reported that two local Idaho companies submitted lower bids but had not contributed to his campaign. It’s also been speculated that Luna plans to retire and go to work for this contributor.

Goodness, it makes one breathless on just how corrupt this government has become under the one-party rule of the Republican Party.

ANDY HEDDEN-NICELY, Boise

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