Letters to the editor: 10-15-2013

October 15, 2013 

Gas prices

The wholesale price of gasoline closed on the commodities market on Oct. 4 at $2.60 per gallon. Why are the people in the Treasure Valley paying $3.79 per gallon, and why is gas in Winnemucca, Nev., 35 cents per gallon cheaper than Boise? So what is your response, Standard Oil pipeline?


What’s with our gasoline prices? Having recently traveled to the Oregon coast, I found myself in disbelief every time I needed to fuel up my vehicle. Not only was there someone pumping the fuel for me, but the cost was less than here in Boise. I was in one small Oregon town called Redman that was 50 miles from the next town with a population greater than 100, and the price for fuel was $3.49 a gallon. Why does Boise have one of the highest fuel costs in the nation?


Treasure Valley gasoline prices: Can anyone explain the reason we are paying significantly higher for regular grade gasoline compared to most major cities in the West? Our prices are on a par with Southern California and as much as 50 cents higher than cities like Tucson, Ariz., Chicago, Salt Lake City, Reno, etc.

This is a large swath of area, but there is no sense for this, especially when the average wages in the Treasure Valley are much lower than the cities I noted. I’ve drawn my own conclusions as to why, but I’d like to hear from someone with factual data, and don’t give me the old “pipeline bit"! Thanks.

TOM KOPKE, Meridian

Cable One says 'thanks'

I want to take a moment to thank all of our Cable One customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to work through our difficult negotiations with Turner Networks.

As you know, recently Cable One announced the removal of Turner Network channels CNN, CNN en Espanol, Headline News, Turner Classic Movies, TruTV, and Boomerang from our channel line-up following the expiration of the Cable One/Turner Network contract in which Turner demanded a 50 percent rate increase for channels with steadily declining ratings. Shortly thereafter, Turner Network deauthorized our signals to TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network, despite the fact that Cable One has a signed contract to continue carrying these channels.

Rest assured, we are continuing to work to get Turner Networks to restore TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network to our customers as quickly as possible. We are also hoping that Turner will continue negotiating with us for its other five channels.

We hate that these disputes happen, and that our customers get caught in the middle. We understand the frustration that our customers are experiencing and appreciate those that are standing with us while we continue to fight for a fair deal.

CELYNDA ROACH, Cable One general manager

Cable One is doing the right thing by protecting its customers from arbitrary price hikes due to a media giant imposing its will (and mediocre programming) upon Cable One subscribers. Don’t give in!


Asphalt problems

Is the company that is supplying blacktop for the Interstate 84 work east of Boise going to do any cleanup of Federal Way? The ever-growing clumps of blacktop from West Eisenman/West Memory Road along South Federal Way toward town is getting out of hand. Especially around the Micron area, where the once small droppings are turning into major clumps on the roadway.

These droppings continue to at least Apple and are becoming a safety hazard.


Motorcycle riders

Regarding the Sept. 26 article on motorcycle accidents: I was one of the young, dumb riders without safety gear for a few years. Luckily, I survived — 90 percent of riding is mental preparation; 10 percent is skill, skill you learn through practice and training. Listen up, riders, emergency personnel have a name for accident victims who don’t wear helmets: “organ donors.” Getting killed on a motorcycle is not the worst thing that will happen to a rider. Brain injury is! Do you really want your family burdened with a brain-injured son or daughter, husband or wife? I’m appalled every time I see motorcycle and scooter riders in shorts, sandals and no helmet.

I’m a huge fan of the STAR training and take the course every year or two to refresh and practice. Ride safe and keep the shiny side up!


Stem article

The Oct. 8 edition of the Statesman contained an article regarding STEM education. It contained typical questions to which STEM claims parents should know the correct answers. The answer to the question of whether or not “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals” was stated as being true. That answer is inaccurate because the question is a theory touted by evolutionists. It is not a proven fact. If STEM personnel and researchers at the U of I don’t understand the difference, the entire project must be a mess.


Food stamp cuts

On Sept. 19, the House of Representatives voted for a $40 billion cut to SNAP (food stamps). It is shameful that Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador voted to increase hunger in Idaho and across the country when more than 1 in 5 Idaho households are struggling to put food on the table, and tens of millions of Americans are struggling with unemployment, inadequate wages and hunger. The decision to vote for these massive cuts was completely divorced from the reality of constituents’ lives. Too many Idahoans work for wages below the level required to meet basic needs such as housing, transportation and child care, leaving them with little choice but to keep reducing their food budget to the point that assistance is needed.

Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office found that this bill would end benefits for approximately 3.8 million low-income people in 2014. Those cut off will be primarily children, seniors, veterans, active-duty military, and working parents earning low wages.

The fight isn’t over. Our elected officials in the House and Senate must stop playing politics with poverty and produce a farm bill that helps low-income people and places us on the path to ending hunger in this country.


Missing hiker

I read that the families of the missing women (one found dead) at Craters stated that neither woman would leave their dogs for more than an hour. Strange that they weren’t gone only an hour. Something doesn't smell right?


Problem geese

Life just doesn’t seem to be fair. The local news just reported about an elementary school that was having a small flock of geese visiting the campus. The school thought they were a problem and wanted to get rid of them.

I’m sure an animal rights group would probably say, “Why can’t a few geese get a little education or have a little fun on the playground or basketball court?”

Maybe the school could even give a hands-on bit of learning and tell the students that what the geese leave behind is valuable fertilizer. A very practical lesson would have the kids clean it up and take it home for mom’s flowers or dad’s garden. It could even cut down on the high cost of artificial chemical plant food.

To just chase them away into the wild would be putting them in danger of a good NRA citizen waiting to have them for lunch, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Charitable giving would be another good lesson for the students. Have the students trap the birds and donate them to the Boise Rescue Mission for a good cooked goose meal.


Zion building

I was quite surprised when I entered the city early the morning of Sept. 27 to find that the new Zion building has been illuminated. I was disappointed that it has such a strong resemblance to that of a temple which seems to dominate the view. The Boise skyline has been converted.


Butch Otter

Rumor has it that Butch Otter may seek a third term as governor. Who exactly gave him permission to do this? Not even the President of the United States has that prerogative.

Why should Otter expect a third try?

It would be beneficial for the state of Idaho to enjoy a progression to someone with fresh ideas and a world of experience. We have a respectable successor in the wings.

Butch — take a bow and retire!


City of Trees

This is all fine and good, but quite often people plant too many big trees in a small yard. They plant trees and bushes on fence lines knowing full well they will hang over in a neighbor’s yard, but they don’t seem to care. Let’s be better neighbors.

I had to pay a tree company to trim my neighbor’s trees. I don’t think this is fair.

I contacted our homeowners association, but it said it’s kind of hard to regulate. All it has to do is say “you plant, you trim.”


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