Letters to the editor-11-2-2013

November 2, 2013 

Thanks

On Oct. 4, about 9 p.m., two young boys knocked on our door.

They said they had been riding their bikes by our house. They had knocked down the mailbox, which they said was hard to see, they both apologized for damaging our mailbox. We accepted their apology.

By stopping and being responsible for their actions, they are a good example of someone doing the right thing. Thank you!

We put reflector tape on the mailbox so it is easier to see.

GARY LA FAY, Boise

Living wage

Until all of the working men and women of the United States receive at least a living wage, the U.S. economy will continue to slumber.

The U.S. economy consists of 70 percent consumerism and with the working class having stagnant or dropping wages, there is less and less family income to spend on consumer products and services.

The rich have only so much need for products and services so the their large income is invested in financial markets, not to produce jobs as we have been led to believe. Further, fewer taxes are collected by government and a lower percentage of tax is paid by the rich to provide the government services necessary for society to function.

Eventually, less spending means less profit for business and less profit impacts not only jobs, but the wealth of the rich. Unless this is turned around the entire U.S. economy teeters as a house of cards. Government, corporations, businesses, the wealthy and society in general depend on all of us doing well and that cannot happen until the majority of the working class has a living wage. It is time to increase the minimum wage to a living wage for the benefit of all.

ROBERT GEHRKE, Pocatello

Hunger in Idaho

Thank you Hillview United Methodist Church for welcoming my husband and I into your congregation on Sunday, Oct. 20, while watching the movie about hunger in America, “A Place at the Table.” So many of you were so gracious in your understanding that churches need to take a leadership role in solving our hunger problem in Idaho right now.

A minimum wage worker in Idaho should be able to earn enough to buy nutritious food, housing and transportation to work. The $7.25 per hour that Idaho’s poorest earn, often being given less than 30 hours per week, is simply not enough to survive. And then the government ends up subsidizing the very businesses that accentuate this problem.

Our organization believes we are answering Christ’s and a human rights call to raise the minimum wage in Idaho at www.RaiseIdaho.org. We have many more signatures to gather before we can bring this initiative to the ballot. Please spread the word in churches and organizations. Take the individual challenge of gathering 12 signatures on your own. Change Idaho history and help to instill a respect for hard-working Idahoans. A 20 percent to 40 percent poverty rate in our state is unacceptable.

ANNE NESSE, Boise

ACA & working poor

Some people still don’t get it. If you live in a red state, and your governor has rejected the Affordable Care Act, you will not be able to get the same assistance as people living in states that have accepted the ACA.

Idaho’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act hurts the most vulnerable among us — the working poor. Folks excluded are stranded without insurance, stuck between people with slightly higher incomes who qualify for federal subsidies on the new health care exchanges, and those who are poor enough to already qualify for Medicaid in its current form.

People shopping for insurance on the health exchanges are already discovering this bitter twist. “How can somebody in poverty not be eligible for subsidies?” This is a benefit offered to Americans on the federal dime.

Idahoans, if you are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help, you can blame the Republicans running Boise for stealing your health insurance coverage.

If you don’t vote, it might behoove you to get off your butt and get informed this time. If you tend to vote for everything with an (R) behind it, stop voting against your own self-interest.

SHERRIE GOFF, Pocatello

Cancer awareness

Breath is life, and now is a good time to remember that November is both Lung Cancer and COPD Awareness Month. Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths from cancer than any other type, and kills more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined — yet it lags behind these diseases in awareness and research.

While smoking is a primary cause, you don’t have to smoke to develop lung cancer — exposure to secondhand smoke and radon gas can also be responsible, and new studies point to air pollution as a direct cause. COPD — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — is a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema that kills more than 120,000 Americans each year. More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD annually, and another 12 million likely have the disease but remain undiagnosed. There is no cure for COPD, but like other chronic lung conditions, it can be managed. The American Lung Association invites anyone with lung disease, their families, caregivers and friends to take part in our one-day Respiratory Rally on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hampton Inn & Suites in Meridian. Contact Kera Goold at 345-2209 or visit RespiratoryRally.org for more information.

JAN FLYNN, Boise

Tea party

The tea party bullies have bankrupted the rest of us Americans. So, I think it is time to sue each and every one of them. Jim Risch was thrown out of Ada County once — how is he able to be a congressman now? Raul Labrador is just stupid. And Mike Crapo has fallen into the dregs. Gov. Otter Otter retire and give us a break. Doesn’t Ted Cruz look like orange SpongeBob SquarePants without the orange? No disparagement meant to the orange. The Koch brothers should buy an island somewhere near the Bermuda Triangle and move there so they can continue to play with the other aliens and take the rest of the nuts with them. The local yokel tea party candidate with 10 kids on Medicaid should also join them.

What are these ding dongs drinking — it’s certainly not just tea. I’m an American, served over 20 years in the military, retired from state government after more than 35 years and am on Social Security, so I earned my way. Just remember, tea partiers that there are other Americans and we have a right to free speech, too.

CATHY PARSONS, Nampa

Bonds

Voters need to send a clear message to the mayor, City Council and the school district that they will not tolerate devious, underhanded tactics to pass a parks and open space bond. Here are a few undisclosed relevant facts.

During the Boise School District’s 2006 bond election, the district published a “Here are the Facts” voter pamphlet to answer specific questions. Item 3 stated that “proceeds from the sale of land (Franklin and Cole Elementary schools) will be added to the Plant Facilities Fund so that the overall cost of the bond is lower.”

Both properties are listed as prime commercial sites and their sale should fetch top dollar proceeds. Yet, the park’s bond allocates only $5.5 million for an assortment of parks. Is a portion of this amount enough to pay for prime property? Is the school district selling these properties to the city at a highly discounted rate? In effect, dishonoring their 2006 pledge to school patrons to keep the school bond cost lower?

Furthermore, by exempting prime commercial property from the tax rolls, the city will stiff taxpayers two fold. First, we lose business tax income. Then, taxpayers will be assessed a higher property tax mill rate. Clearly, a lose-lose proposition.

MARK A. RINEHART, Boise

Voting

People are sheep. They decry the leaders that they have elected but are so afraid of change that they vote them back into office for another term. I think that no matter how much you like someone or how good of a job they are doing, let’s leave feelings out of it.

The solution is to start completely over, everyone who is in office is voted against and out of office. Now they can run again next election, but the message will have been sent, state and federal, work for us and not for your personal gain, or go home.

JIM WILLETT, Caldwell

No pay grandma

A response to Michelle Ward and others who think I should provide for their food stamps, etc. I am a senior who is on a limited income. When I was young I worked full time, went to college, paying my own way and only taking the number of classes I could afford to pay for.

We have created a generation of people who think they should have everything. It is called an entitlement society. Look around. Most of them have some very nice phones and other electronic devices. I do not want to pay for all their gadgets. Go watch people streaming into the food banks, or go to school and see the children who get free meals and in the summer visit your local park where free lunches are provided.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and you feed him for his lifetime. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it or get it. What an idea that would be. Our president wants me to take care of all of you, but I don’t want to!

PEGGY STEWART, Boise

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