Letters to the editor-10-05-2013

October 5, 2013 


As a former Boisean and BSU alumnus (Class of ’74), ensconced too many years in the Bay Area, I wish to offer a resounding accolade to the good character and amistad extended by many residents during recent trips to “shape up” a fixer-upper for family habitation next summer. Good-natured friendliness seems ubiquitous, including the local fauna and Greenbelt waterfowl!

Specific good Samaritan thanks to note: to Johnathan, the youthful veteran, who expeditiously responded to help push my disabled pickup to safety that midnight arrival; to Will and Gary, who freely loaned work tools; to Heidi, who watered the lawns without charge; to Jared, who helped to repair the fence and gate, knowing one person was not sufficient; to the station wagon family who proclaimed their thanks to my military service; to the Farmers Market folks for their gratis fare; and to Great Harvest for their wholesome generosity!

Bay Area Sunday mornings unveil frequently glutted freeways that require the talent of Boise State running backs to thread the miasma of traffic to reach the sanctuary of a Sabbath service. Boise streets appear open. Perhaps there are manifold benefits to the practice of meditation and steadfast religion.

JIM BARKER, San Jose, Calif.

Boise borders

Have you noticed in the recent past that the borders of Boise City are reaching out, in all directions? At a recent City Council meeting, with two members absent, the remaining four voted to annex 97 parcels of land of varying sizes into the city.

Most of the parcels were entirely surrounded by Boise City, which meant that the owners purchased it before the present borders were in place.

Two couples came to protest the annexation. Both were annexed as planned. One protester, a lady, and her son, who was dressed in his Army camos, had owned and improved their acreage for 25 years, with no request for city services.

The 2013 Boise Bond issue will bring $10 million to the city’s planners for the purchase of additional land toward the Foothills. The land will then not be available for private purchase and normal taxes.

Another development settling Boise borders and shrinking tax base is the purchase of land and businesses by the Idaho Land Board. Add to that the recent Council-approved expansion of city property by Boise State University.

Councilman Elaine Clegg voted against the BSU acquisition, commenting that it was not good stewardship of Boise’s money.

We citizens are going to be feeling the tax pinch. It all adds up to a bond issue that shows our need of more restraint.



People have been propagandized about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to the point that many think it’s bad for them and bad for the country. However, the truth is that this law intends to help those unable to afford health insurance and others who, for reasons such as pre-existing conditions, have been unable to access lifesaving health care.

The vision of health care for all did not originate with President Obama. The vision goes back nearly a century. We are the only developed country in the world lacking universal health care. Even developing countries such as Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador provide high-quality universal health care, and they provide it much, much more cheaply than here in the US.

Most individuals and families who have been unable to purchase health insurance should be assured that health care will now be available to them and will be affordable. That's why it’s called the Affordable Care Act. Those who cannot pay entirely on their own will receive a subsidy.

Information can be found at HealthCare.gov. Unfortunately, Idahoans with low incomes who do not qualify for Obamacare will still need to apply for indigent care through their respective counties.


School threats

I’m a high school teacher. In the wake of shooting rampages, it’s shocking to learn from counselors that high school threat profiles of students are purged after graduation for privacy’s sake.

If a counselor feels ethically obligated to pass on a student’s threat profile, then they should be enabled to act. Information sharing and good judgment needs to be encouraged. We don’t need new surveillance technology to prevent some of these threats, we just need to let people do their jobs. Instead of isolating government entities like high schools and universities in their own little boxes, open up communication between them. Private student information like grades, SAT scores and transcripts are already shared between these two entities. It should be required to pass on safety information like threat profiles, too, if they want to attend a university.

I would argue that the threat profile information would actually be more important. The university needs to be informed so they can make sound decisions for safety plans and precautions, and react appropriately to future incidents by noticing behavior patterns. If a university only knows what it sees, then they will miss escalating threat trends. Look into UI shooting and 9/11 to see noncommunication faults.


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