Letters to the editor-10-19-2013

October 19, 2013 

Thanks

On October 7, myself and several others were injured in an unfortunate car/pedestrian accident. I want to thank the first responders who cared for us at the accident scene, namely paramedics, firefighters, police, and bystanders. The outpouring of love and concern has been overwhelming, not only with friends who were there, but with total strangers. The doctors and nurses at St. Al’s were fantastic. I’m proud to live in this great city of Boise and thank everyone for their prayers, love, and support

KAREN DARRINGTON, Boise

Nuclear power

Oh, wonderful. It’s time for the nuclear power cheerleaders to show up. On Oct. 1, the Statesman featured an OpEd boosting small reactors. Lots of fun there, especially for people who create their own truth. In this separate reality, “a transition to more nuclear power is underway.” And wait: “nuclear power is environmentally benign.”

Well, the Oct. 2nd paper brought us quite-connected news: “In a nuclear ghost town, and longing for home.” Daily, more news comes out about the continuing environmental disaster in Japan, created by an earthquake-caused tsunami two years ago, devastating the Fukushima nuclear reactor complex and nearby farms and villages. 83,000 nuclear refugees, evacuated, can’t go home. And another article: The “It can’t happen here” element: “Jellyfish shut down nuke reactor.” This included the info that marine biologists “would not be surprised if more jellyfish shutdowns occur.” We don’t have a lot of jellyfish in Idaho, but we have lots and lots of nuclear waste. And we don’t need any more. Not one bit more. Nuclear waste. The gift that keeps on giving.

This isn’t yesterday’s news. We haven’t learned what we need to learn. Nuclear power is not the answer. It’s a big part of the problem.

KERRY COOKE, Boise

Small nuclear reactors aren’t really so benign.

Dr. Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics at Idaho State University recently touted all of the apparent benefits of small nuclear reactors. It all sounds pretty impressive until you get to where she says “... nuclear power is environmentally benign.” It seems that she forgot about the persistent little problem of long-term storage and disposal of high level nuclear reactor waste. Waste from nuclear power reactors includes Plutonium-239, which has a half life of 24,000 years. The half lives of two other waste products, Caesium-135 and Iodine-129 are 2.3 million and 15.7 million years, respectively. Nobody wants this stuff in their backyard and a technically and politically viable long-term solution is nowhere in sight. Until the nuclear waste issue is solved for thousands of future generations nuclear power will never be environmentally benign.

CHARLES BLAIR, Boise

Eagle Sports Complex

I'm writing this letter in support of Gateway improvements to the Eagle Sports Complex. My family and I are very excited for the new park improvements. Please don't let Ada County Commissioners ruin such a wonderful recreational venue for our community. My children and family will benefit tremendously from this project.

TERESA ROUNDY, Boise

I am writing in support of the proposed Gateway Park at the Eagle Sports Complex.

What a wonderful opportunity for our community to have the snowpark/waterpark addition to the already great biking/hiking trails and skateboard park — and at no cost to the taxpayers! This park is being built by a local company, which has become a world leader in snowboard terrain park design and construction. They know what they are doing.

I believe this innovative park would be an asset to the whole valley. It will give people of all ages a place for more outdoor recreation, give kids a supervised place to go to see friends and have fun, create jobs, increase the City of Eagle's exposure to tourism (thus increasing revenue) and use less water than Optimist Football Fields.

Ada County Commissioners, this is a unique opportunity. Do not let this fail! Do you know other communities look at the Eagle Sports Complex as a model for their own community? There are new ideas, new industries and new sports that benefit the people of Ada County. Open your mind to the possibilities! Come join us in the 21st century!

NANCY NEGRI, Eagle

I just would like to take this time to elicit support for the Gateway Park, to be operated by Ryan Neptune.

As an Olympian and small business owner of SimBale Sports, I think it is extremely important to create as many sporting opportunities for our youth as possible.

Boise is such a great place to live with many people who crave to be active in our environment. Kids love the extreme adventures that Gateway Park would offer and support. It would also allow the winter enthusiasts the chance to ski and board several days of the week since it is so close to the city. I hope that city council will consider this Boise entrepreneur and this opportunity to share his skills in our city limits!

MELANIE SIMBOLI, Boise

My 15-year-old son was overjoyed to hear that Ryan Neptune was going to build a new terrain park at the Eagle Cycle Park. But what a disappointment when he heard the Ada County commissioners are trying to kill the project, raising all kinds of weird objections.

The rumor is the commissioners are worried the terrain park would hurt Bogus’ business. Certainly, anyone who learns how to ski or snowboard at the Eagle terrain park would also ski and ride Bogus. If anything, Bogus could increase their customer base by working together with Ryan Neptune, not against him.

It’s my understanding that the City of Eagle has a long-term lease at the Eagle Cycle Park. The county owns the dirt. If the lease needs to be amended to accommodate a revenue-generating activity like a terrain park, then get on with it.

Work out the details. Ryan Neptune has built terrain parks all over the world. He grew up here. He’s trying to give back and do something progressive and wonderful for our kids and our community. The Ada commissioners need to step up and help make the project a reality.

STEVE STUEBNER, Boise

Shutdown

The tea party so desperately wants to go back in time to the “Good Old Days.” They may get their wish. How does the 1930s sound? The wars we have fought against tyranny that made us the world leader will be for naught. We will not be “The Greatest Nation on Earth.” Just another country that can’t pay its bills.

A lot of people are reaping benefits of ACA. Closing the Medicare Part D donut hole for seniors. Wellness exams and other potential life-saving tests with no co-pay. The ACA was passed just like any other law, and if we don’t like it, we can repeal it. But we can’t shut our government down.

Terrorists salivate bringing this country to its knees. Now our elected officials are doing what they can’t. Why is it those with the greatest insurance plans don’t want those without insurance having it? Greed, jealousy? I’m to the point just shut it down. Funny how quickly members of the House can move when it comes to death benefits for veterans’ families. I thought it wasn’t hurting the country? Do your jobs, or we vote you out. Anyone agree?

KEVIN W. MANESS, Boise

What an insulting headline in Sunday’s paper (Oct. 13) that Idahoans urge for a continued shutdown. This Idahoan does not support the shutdown. And when trying to call my congressional representative to tell him so, his voice mail was full and they couldn’t promise a response because of the government shutdown!

As a registered nurse for 40 years, I have seen the trauma that lack of health care wreaks on families. I want the Affordable Care Act to stand. I want Congress and the Senate to do their jobs.

When my husband and son were sent to Afghanistan, they did their jobs. As an Air Force nurse, I did mine. My Navy son has done his job overseas and stateside. We are a family of service, as many are in the Treasure Valley. We deserve a government that cares for us, not holds us hostage and runs our country into the ground.

I want the government to reopen, to fund the Affordable Care Act and balance the budget. If that is too much of a job for them, then they need to resign and allow others to run for their office.

LIBBY BURTNER, Boise

Disgusting ... sequester, shutdown, deficit, debt ceiling ... It's enough to make a person sick. I want to go into the corner and just throw up. I’m talking about Democrats, Republicans, and the White House (President Obama). All are acting like 6-year-olds pointing fingers. Remember, when you point, there are three fingers pointing back at you. Government needs to take responsibility for its actions. Perhaps a start would be for all government employees (including Congress and executive branch) live under Obamacare. If it’s good enough for me, should be for you, too. Also shutdown starts with congressional and executive pay termination. It’s time for our government to put on their big boy pants, do what they are elected to do, and live by their own rules.

TOM DATER, Eagle

Despite the federal government shutdown, faculty and student researchers at Boise State University continued to advance knowledge vital to our community, state and region. But there was no question that a continued impasse would have crippled our efforts to find ways to detect cancer earlier and easier, to continue work on blocking the onset of Alzheimer’s, and much more.

As our agency partners like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health closed their doors, Boise State and other universities faced immediate cash-flow questions and longterm financial uncertainty.

Though more than 400 students and faculty could have been affected by an extended shutdown, we kept all of them working and contributing except for six people in a partnership with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Organization that offers free worker-safety consulting to Idaho small businesses.

Research progress is vital to our economy, our industry partners and our community. The innovations of tomorrow depend upon it.

I want to thank Congressman Mike Simpson for having the courage to put Idaho’s jobs and economic future first, and for casting his vote to end the shutdown and get back to the business of governing in Washington, D.C.

DR. ROBERT KUSTRA, President, Boise State University, Boise

Congratulations to Rep. Mike Simpson for being the only adult in our Idaho congressional delegation and voting “Yes” to end this needless government shutdown and peril to our national credit. It took courage for Simpson to vote the way he did, and courage sadly seems to be a rare commodity in our nation’s capital these days. It's a shame that some of Rep. Simpson’s wisdom didn’t rub off on our Rep. Raul Labrador.

DICK & BONNIE NEWTON, Eagle

People are blaming the Democrats, the Republicans and the president for the shutdown and refusing to work a deal to raise the debt limit. Friends are arguing with each other, their spouses and their neighbors about who’s fault this mess is. People, go look in the mirror. Argue with yourself. You’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

ERROL WATERS, Boise

Playing with the livelihood of American citizens to make their point that they don’t like the Affordable Care Act is dirty politics. Businesses can go out of business with 16 days of no income, and it hurts the individuals who will not receive back pay. Trainings that come around once a year were cancelled due to this shutdown. Allowing the tea party to hold America hostage was a bad move for the Republican Party.

JANETTE YOUNG, Boise

Our congressional delegation is considering refusing to raise the U.S. government’s debt ceiling. I want to provide the impact on one family if they and their party succeed.

I have turned 70 years old and will now be required to withdraw from my IRA savings. Not raising the debt ceiling will cause the financial markets to drop; making the value of my IRA less than it is today. Most experts expect the market to drop sharply.

Every 10 percent drop in the stock market will affect my IRA by an amount that would reduce a potential annuity payment by over $200 per month. If the market drops 30 percent the amount lost monthly would be over $700.

That is a loss every month for the rest of my life.

Since I am required to act soon, I won’t be able to wait for the market to return my IRA to its current value before I make any withdrawals.

This is not a loss of some entitlement, but money I saved.

So I hope the delegation will keep my family in mind and other Idaho families like us when they vote on the debt ceiling.

KIRK HALL, Boise

Tea Party-GOP

There are three major tea parties — The Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, and The Tea Party Patriots. They got their foot in the door via the Republican Party. Because none have pledged their support, allegiance, or loyalty to the Republican Party, I would say none of them are Republicans. They do, however, have a strong stranglehold on the party and they are “the tail that wags the dog” or in this case, “the tail that wags the elephant.”

This is a party within a party. For the most part, this happens when a small group is unhappy with its leadership. The Republican Party, as we know it, is under attack. If the Grand Old Party is to survive, I believe they need a friend. Which gets me to that old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It would seem to me, if you can look across the aisle and see your enemy — you’re much better off than having your enemy at your back with a knife in their hand saying, “I am a friend.”

ROY LUNSFORD, Kuna

Barack Obama

As an ardent independent, like most Idahoans, I find it impossible to understand the American electorate voting this president in for two terms! I understand ideology and emotion, but not the logic to the bulk of the vote. In 2008, a genuine American hero, with acknowledged domestic/international experience; a track record of middle American politics, proven government success, losing to an arrogant, inexperienced neophyte, a recognized ultra-liberal with radical supporters — promoted through life by government required minority quotas.

His first term lacked any bipartisan unemployment reducing policies yet promoted new bureaucratic requirements on industrial growth. Second term, elected over a proven business leader/ex-governor is unconscionable.

Think about this: He never speaks lovingly about America. Raised outside our country, did he hear Kate Smith sing “American the Beautiful” or listen to the Lone Ranger, or his grandfather telling him how Americans saved the world during World War II? Did he eat hot dogs at a July 4th picnic while watching a patriotic parade, play Little League while his father cheered? No. Instead he faults us — claims we are ignoble; creates envy, divisiveness; incites disrespect to those with differing opinions, lowered U.S. standards to Chicago gang level. He is a demagogue. Wake up America.

TOM WOODALL, Boise

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