Letters to the editor: 11-01-13

November 1, 2013 

8th and Main, downtown Boise

Crews finished the exterior of the striking Boise building this month. It will open in January.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Zions spire

Curses! Our super secret plan to influence and eventually take over the world through architecture has been foiled by the vigilant citizens of this great state.

We Mormons were sure that nobody would catch on to our plan through the building of spires on skyscrapers as a surefire way to imprint ourselves on the minds of citizens and then eventually control their minds in the end. Well, at least we’ve managed to get our Mormon-looking spires up on the Bank of America Tower, The New York Times Tower (yes, we control the New York Times ... mwahahaha!) and even the Emirates Tower One!

OK, I’m done with the sarcasm. I just thought that we were above such religious bias as to harass building architects like some of those people who made a non-issue into an issue. I sure don’t go walking around thinking, “That looks too Catholic, that looks too Jewish, that looks too Islamic.” Again, I thought Idaho was above such petty behavior. By the way, if nobody has figured it out yet, I’m Mormon and I respect all faiths!

ALLAN ONEY, Meridian

Regarding the spire on the Zions Bank building: So many comments reflect a community aware of a visual disturbance on the skyline. The initial renderings depicted a building with a harmonious balance of forms and materials.

Unfortunately, the surprise spire added a jarring note to the expected structure. The building is topped with an addendum that is a too small feature that does not mesh with the overall proportions. It is an awkward and almost comical element that does not fit the grand whole.

Previously mentioned solutions included lights, etc. This would only “tart up” an unfortunate portion of the building. Perhaps it is time to go back to the drawing board and come up with something that will complement and enhance this new addition to Downtown with greater consideration for the overall harmony of proportion.


The new Zions Bank building at the corner of 8th and Main streets is a fantastic structure and wonderful addition to our Boise skyline. The spire, however, does not fit the building and looks out of place. The architects wanted to add a powerful element, but there is no need for that because the structure on its own is magnificent. The spire at the top is an unnecessary distraction to an otherwise beautiful building.


Gas prices

I retired six years ago to this great state. Recently I have found out that we have some of the worst school systems in the whole USA. The highest percentage of people working for minium wage and the highest gas prices. Why? Boise $3.72, Oregon $3.43, Washington $3.45, Montana $3.39 — why? Could it be our elected officials?

Seems to me they are interested in their own well-being. If they don’t know how to serve us, all they have to do is ask our surrounding states; maybe they can give them some good advice. It is better to ask for help and become a hero than keep your mouth shut and look like an idiot.

If we don’t get some help soon we need to kick everyone out of office all the way to the White House and start all over. Just think what a Christmas present we could have if gas prices were like in Missouri — $2.99. We could even afford a gas tax increase to fix our roads. Even 50 cents a gallon less would help everyone and really help those on minimum wage. You elected officials need to get off your highhorses and go to work for us. Help us, not just yourself.


I read recent letters from Rick Irvin, James Bammert and Tom Kopke questioning why we have such high fuel prices in the Treasure Valley.

May I suggest that they look up the word cartel in the dictionary. Mine states that “a cartel is a combination of independent commercial or industrial enterprises designed to limit competition or fix prices.” There is no logical explanation for our high fuel prices except price fixing. If consumers could ever band together and boycott the high price leader in this area, prices would go down.

The only other option is legal action by the federal government or the state of Idaho and there is little chance of that ever happening. Since it is highly unlikely that a boycott or legal action will ever be taken, we consumers will continue to pay through the nose for our fuel while the cartel members will continue to get very rich.



Regarding the CableOne issue. CableOne has been telling its customers regarding the elimination of the eight channels to be patient and wait.

The issue not addressed by them is that these were all the channels we originally signed up for, yet are continuing to pay for the whole package which we do not get now. Customers are told the ratings were down on these channels. Really? I have not talked to anyone who is pleased with missing all the baseball and sports, and CNN national news, to name a few. Are those seldom-watched programs? I think not.

It seems to me CableOne wants to lay low and hope all this will go away. But do be sure to pay their bill on time, no exception to the rule there.


To CableOne:

Basic deal: 65 channels for $60/month.

New deal: fewer channels for $60/month.

Regardless of negotiations, regardless of needing to figure out an equitable lower price, fewer stations equals less money per month.

It’s just common sense.


Bicycle safety

Eleven p.m. I started my right turn onto Fairview. Three blocks to the left, cars banked at Mitchell — to the right, empty all the way past Maple Grove. Another glance left, and there, nanoseconds away, the black outline of a bicycle coming fast at a 45-degree angle. Too late to brake, I hit the accelerator and cringed, awaiting the impact.

Silence. Heart racing, breathing thanks to God, I moved to the center lane searching my rearview mirrors. He had dropped back — recovering. Finally he came. Surprisingly, a bright light emanated from a headband — no helmet.

Curly hair, young, ashen-faced. As he pulled ahead, a flashing red light became visible beneath his seat. Warning signals forward and backward, but almost all bicycle/car collisions are sideswipes, not head-on collisions or rear-enders. Reflective tape or lights on the sides of bike or rider would have provided an earlier and better view.

Even now I still see that bicycle silhouette. If you are a cyclist, or love one, please, right now, do a safety check from every angle.



Former Sawtooth Society Executive Director and President Bob Hayes has it right when he asks proponents of national monument designation for the Boulder-White Cloud Region to provide the public with details of their proposal. Without disclosure, it would be unwise to buy into a monument plan that might pose a problem for the existing Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

I endorse Mr. Hayes’ opinion in his recent op-ed where he states:

“Hence, it is imperative that any monument proposal be carefully scrutinized to ensure that it avoids unintended and adverse consequences to the Sawtooth NRA, that it considers the interests of all area stakeholders, and that the process is open and transparent. Thus far, none of these conditions have been met.”

Idahoans and visitors to Idaho have been the beneficiaries of this great treasure. Any reluctance on the part of the national monument proponents for disclosure of their objectives, raises questions as to their intentions. The simple question is what effect would this proposed change have on the multiple uses, access and benefits of this area of the SNRA that we have all enjoyed for over 40 years? I believe it deserves a clear answer.


Adler column

Professor Adler’s recent editorial on Idaho’s education spending raised some questions. The professor sarcastically comments on the lack of per pupil spending by “family value” states like Idaho and Utah.

There is no explanation by this expert as to why our educational outcomes surpass many of the states that spend more. Who are the specific companies that didn’t locate in Idaho due to our “inadequate support for education?”

The Statesman has written articles this year relating to several companies that have moved here from out-of-state. How would he explain the success bottom-of-the-rung Utah has had in attracting good-paying jobs in recent years?

Ideological opinion pieces like this one are short on creative, thoughtful solutions, other than to simply increase funding. Adler might also note that agriculture-dependent economies such as Idaho have less emphasis on education spending. Provincial elitists like the professor tend to forget that this is the state of Idaho, and not the state of Ada.


Statesman letters

I loved all your letters to the editor on Sunday, Oct. 27, particularly the ones about Mr. Denney and those concerning our Idaho senators and representatives. It’s nice to know there are still many reasonable and intelligent people living in this lovely place called Idaho. Thanks for printing them.

KAREN SHUTT, Garden City

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