Letters to the editor: 09-19-2013

September 19, 2013 

No texting

Last year, AT&T hosted No Text on Board Pledge Day— a nationwide event where drivers committed to never text while driving (TWD). More than 2.5 million people have pledged. While Idaho law bans texting for all drivers, there is still a need to make this practice socially unacceptable.

This year, the It Can Wait movement has organized Drive 4 Pledges Day on Thursday, Sept. 19. Here in Idaho, we’re asking every driver to take the pledge to never text and drive. According to the National Safety Council, TWD causes more than 100,000 car crashes in America each year.

Once you pledge, ask others to do so. Place the It Can Wait hand sticker on your car. Arrange a viewing of the documentary “From One Second to the Next” at your school, work or home.

A whole host of resources is available here.

Your participation can have a profound impact, especially on teens. A ConnectSafely.org study found that 78 percent of teen drivers are unlikely to text and drive if friends tell them it is wrong or stupid. Together, we can stop this deadly epidemic and make Idaho’s roads safer for millions of Americans.

For more information, visit www. ItCanWait.com.

TOM WILLIAM, director of sales, AT&T Idaho

Stadium for concerts

Sure, sell more tickets to Bronco football. But the problem with that this year is twofold: a) an incredibly weak home schedule and b) what looks like it may be a super-boring offense under Robert Prince. Heck, even I let my season tickets go after six years.

Nope, talking here about using the stadium as a concert venue. We now have an amazing new video board and sound system. Combine those with a major act’s sound/lighting, then pack the place with 25,000 to 35,000 fans for the likes of U2, Springsteen, the Stones or Foo Fighters, and voilá!

Been to Taco Bell lately for a concert? The sound is terrible and the seats turn anyone over 6 feet tall into a whimpering pretzel. I really enjoyed The Killers there a couple of years ago, but I’m 6-foot-5 and was indeed nearly killed. Plus, barely over a third the capacity (even Idaho Center is less than half) rules out many really big acts who fly over Boise on their way to Portland and Seattle.

This concept benefits the university, city and area businesses drawing visitors from outside the metro area, plus neighboring states. Let’s collectively think outside the September-December football box.



Regarding Karianne Fallow’s “Doctors’ criticisms of milk are flimsy.” I don’t envy Ms. Fallow’s arduous task of defending the dairy industry against the mounting scientific evidence of dairy consumption doing more harm to one’s health than good. Several pre-eminent physicians have joined the nondairy chorus. Could their scientific findings explain dwindling milk consumption in America? Forbes and Slate magazine, as well as several other news outlets, report milk consumption in America being down 36 percent since 1970.

Health and science aside, I ditched all dairy when I learned about the undeniable cruelty of the dairy industry (that’s another letter entirely). Yes, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been!

For now, I encourage everyone reading this letter to read and/or watch “Forks Over Knives” and parse through “The China Study.” Read the well-researched “Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow’s Milk and Your Health,” by Joseph Keon. May I also recommend Dr. Mark Hyman’s “Got Proof? Lack of Evidence for Milk’s Benefits.” And lastly, Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine: “Health Concerns About Dairy Products.” Suffice it to say, I would much sooner believe in the science touted by these good doctors than the “science” put forth or sponsored by the powerful and monied dairy lobby.


Property values

I am responding to a letter to the editor recently submitted by Orofino resident Julie Chenoweth.

Ms. Chenoweth’s comments focused on how the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) reports the performance of commercial land assets that support public schools and other state institutions. In particular, she questioned how the agency came up with the value appreciation figure for commercial assets in the 2012 annual report.

The value appreciation of commercial assets was 21.27 percent in FY12, a figure determined by a professional broker’s price opinion that compared the value of the buildings at the beginning of the year to their value at the end of the year after extensive value-adding renovations had taken place. The IDL spent much of the past five years addressing maintenance needs on the buildings to increase their value and enhance leasing opportunities long term. Cash returns are 1.2 percent, but improving with the rest of the economy. Cash returns provide the short-term snapshot of the assets’ performance and have been low because of the economy and the money spent on the maintenance needs.

The value appreciation figure in the annual report reflects improved market conditions and value added to show the long-term return on the buildings.

EMILY CALLIHAN, public information officer, Idaho Department of Lands

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