Why is it, when it comes to spending on education, your editorial staff and David Adler focus only on where Idaho ranks on how much money we spend, instead of what we get for our money? They never mention that the highest-spending districts in the country are some of the most dysfunctional. Idaho students perform very well on college entrance exams and grade level testing.
With all the waste that is seen right now on all levels of government, it still amazes me to see how many "experts" still believe if we throw enough money at something, it will make it better.
BOB WOLF, Boise
Zions bank spire
I am among those who found it interesting how the spire on the new building downtown seemed to resemble that of an LDS temple. To me it was a pleasing aspect of the new building, having grown up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and having positive memories associated with the temple. I recognize, however, that many within this valley feel otherwise about the LDS church. So, to remedy this problem, I suggest that we replace the spire atop the new Zions Bank building with a large circle. Or a square. Or perhaps a rectangle. In any case, something less offensive than a mere straight line. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that we wouldn't want to send the wrong message.
RYAN WIGHT, Boise
I am so glad someone else saw the new church in downtown Boise where the hole in the ground used to be. I saw the very familiar steeple and thought it was just an illusion. I wonder if our city officials are aware of the "new church."
MARIE OWSLEY, Boise
Open space bond
People come to Boise for many different reasons, but we stay for the beauty of the rivers, the wildlife and easy access to outdoor recreation - an economic engine that keeps us in business and contributes to our vibrant, thriving community.
That's why we're supporting the Open Space and Parks Bond this November, the measure to protect and preserve our clean water supplies and reinvest in the big business that is Boise's recreation economy.
According to Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation contributes over $6 billion annually to the Idaho economy and supports 77,000 jobs.
The Boise River Park is a great example of how local investments in recreation pay economic dividends. The park provides just one more reason to visit and enjoy Boise while renting gear from local shops. It's a wonderful spot for paddlers, surfers and families. Natural amenities like these attract youthful talent, making our community more economically competitive.
The protection of our public lands and clean water like the Boise River provide direct and tangible returns on investment, and we're excited to continue investing in Boise. That's why we're supporting the Open Space and Parks Bond this November. We urge others to do so as well.
JO CASSIN, Idaho River Sports, and NOAH BRYAN, Core Concepts, Boise
The Nov. 5 election gives us an opportunity to move Boise forward with the re-election of TJ Thomson in Seat 4 of the Boise City Council.
As a council member, TJ Thomson has worked to ensure that Boise has the infrastructure and amenities necessary to attract and retain great businesses, allowing our city to maintain one of the lowest unemployment rates in Idaho.
Boise must be forward thinking. Increasingly, people from across Idaho and outside our state are moving to Boise. We must assure that as we grow we protect air and water quality, retain open space and parks and avoid congestion plaguing other growing cities; TJ Thompson has done just that.
We need planning that includes alternative transportation that reaches across the city, with potential to eventually link to other areas of the Treasure Valley. TJ Thomson worked with the community developing plans to improve amenities around the 30th Street extension, improved Boise's safety by adding additional sidewalk and bicycle lanes and added additional bus routes throughout town while maintaining a tight budget in lean times.
Join me in voting for TJ Thomson for Seat 4, as well as voting for Maryanne Jordan and Ben Quintana on Nov. 5.
COLLEEN FELLOWS, Boise
Meridian is one of the best cities in the country to raise a family or start a business. By electing Joe Borton to Seat 2 on the city council, we will ensure that an outstanding family man and business leader will help guide our city for the next four years.
Joe has been an active participant in Meridian for many years as exemplified by Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney's endorsement for Joe's work in support of public safety. Joe has also been an active volunteer in support of parks, community arts programs and the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. Please vote for Joe Borton for Seat 2 on Nov. 5. Joe's common sense, fiscal conservatism and family values make him an ideal leader for our city.
DAN BASALONE, Meridian
Meridian residents, please support Russ Joki for city council. Russ will bring the kind of pragmatic leadership that has been missing. As a Meridian resident from 1997 to 2012, I lived with the same poor planning and ideologic leadership year after year that continues to gobble up land and turn Meridian into a giant subdivision next to a giant strip mall.
We need leaders with the integrity and experience of Russ Joki. I moved to South Boise in part because of what a mess Meridian truly is today. Electing Russ to city council would restore my faith in making Meridian livable again. Please vote on Nov. 5 for Russ Joki for Meridian City Council.
THOMAS M. HOWELL, Boise
Are things in Caldwell better today than 24 years ago, when the current mayor of Caldwell began serving in city government, the last 16 years as mayor?
Take a good look at downtown compared to 16 or 24 years ago. Does it look prosperous to you? Look at the impact urban renewal is having on our property tax bills; more than $60 million spent and you had no voting rights in how any of this was spent.
Was the city spending millions of your tax dollars in a death struggle with Pioneer Irrigation? Was the Canyon County Fair about to leave Caldwell? What is needed is a change in leadership. Elected offices in any city should never be a career. Our current mayor is trying to make it a career.
Paul Alldredge has lived here 35 years. He will have a straightforward agenda using his experience as a Navy veteran, past chairman of planning and zoning, 18 years at Simplot in production and quality management to develop policies that will encourage industrial and commercial job growth and lower our property taxes.
We need to elect Paul Alldredge mayor.
DICK WINDER, Caldwell
We ask your support in selecting Elfreda Higgins and Jeff Souza on your ballot in the Garden City Council election.
Elfreda and Jeff do their homework, listen to constituents, and maintain excellent records of attendance at city council meetings. They vigorously support the Garden City Comprehensive Plan, police department, public works projects, library outreach programs and an active arts community. Both have a long history with the city council in making Garden City a better place to work and live for businesses and residents alike. Elfreda and Jeff work in a constructive, positive manner with other council members and with our current mayor, John Evans.
Through their skills in working with others, they get things done. And that is like a breath of fresh air for city government. Keep the Garden City Council the best in the Treasure Valley. Vote for Elfreda Higgins and Jeff Souza in the Garden City Council election.
HOWARD AND CONNIE SATTLER, Garden City
I was delighted that Elfreda Higgins is running for office in Garden City. She is genuinely interested in citizens' concerns and finding possible solutions.
BETTY LUGINBILL, Garden City
Yousef Alsaffaf and Khalid Aldosari, who are here from Kuwait for three years, said, "the Syrian war started out as a revolution to remove the dictatorship from power. The dictatorship from the '70s replaced the dictator with Bashar al-Assad, president of Syria, who is the son of the dictator who died. Assad inherited the position from his dad, and it was not a vote of the people."
Alsaffaf and Aldosari both disagree with the Syrian government using chemical warfare on their own people. Their comment about the war takes a turn.
But the interesting opinion twist to this war is, "it has become nonsense because the war has turned into a religious war. Briefly, there are two basic parts to the Islam religion, Shia and Summa. The president of Syria is Shia which is the minority of the two."
Both said that they feel when America gets involved in a war that it just gets worse. Khalid states, "It is like a scar in your arm, if you keep messing with it, then it will just get worse. Let Syria handle their own war and keep the U.S. out."
JOY PINE, Boise