Letters to the editor-11-09-2013

November 9, 2013 

Thank you

On Oct. 21, my brother, a Navy veteran, passed away. He wanted to be buried in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. Because a DD-214 form is required for burial at the cemetery, we contacted the VA for a copy of the document. The uncaring and rude employees of the VA were extremely unhelpful when we requested a copy of the document.

I called the Ada County Sheriff's Office and spoke to an employee who handles concealed weapon licenses. I explained the situation and was told that she would call me back within a half hour. Ten minutes later, my phone rang and the employee told me that she had found a copy of the DD-214 on microfilm. I asked her if she could make me a copy. She said, "I've already made a copy for you and you can pick it up at our office."

Thank you Sheriff Raney for having such a caring and compassionate employee on your staff. This employee made a sad occasion a little easier and made it possible for my brother to be buried with his Navy buddies at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

JOHN CAMPBELL, McCall

As a Boise native, my competition schedule only allows me to come back in the summer and fall, but when I'm there I'm always impressed by how friendly the people of Boise are. So friendly that I'm much friendlier myself and I have practiced being that way and nicer also.

Perhaps it is because I see such friendly folks on the Greenbelt or the Ridge to River trails. But I also see them at the Co-op, Whole Foods, Primary Health, Dr. Staley's, 10 Barrel, Riverside RV Park, Eastside Cycles, George's and many other venues.

I'm going to keep being friendly and helpful and give back to the people of Boise what they give to me every time I'm there. Thanks to all of you.

DAVIS STRAUB, Boise

Deepest thanks to the virtuous person who found my lost credit card and returned it to my bank. If you ever stop to wonder why Treasure Valley is such a great place to live, I will tell you that it is because there are many honest, trustworthy, caring people who do the right thing. Your act of honesty exemplifies a quotation from the Baha'i writings which shows the importance of the actions of the individual: "the betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct."

Thanks for making the world a better place through your goodly deeds. I am grateful and inspired.

BARBARA MARK, Boise

With the recent car/bicycle accidents giving Boise a bad name, I want to reverse that trend and give a big thank you to our great city and citizens. I am both a cyclist and motorist in Boise and I recently had a bad bicycle crash downtown. Almost before I could get off the ground, several motorists stopped, blocked traffic, assisted me, started first aid and called emergency services. I spent several days in the hospital with multiple injuries, including seven broken ribs, spleen, hip and knee injuries.

I want to give a big thank you to all the people who stopped and especially the kind woman who got me out of traffic and stable, and the nurse in training that started diagnosis. I'm sorry that I didn't get your names in that chaotic event, but all of you make Boise the best and safest city. I hesitate to think how much worse off I would've been if not for your actions.

Thank you, Boise.

TIM ROHRER, Boise

We're visiting grandparents from Wisconsin, and compliment your dedicated teachers and school personnel for their contributions to our grandchildren and all students and parents in the Boise school system.

On Wednesday (Oct. 23), we attended the Washington Elementary School Jog-a-Thon, a great and creative approach to fundraising for the school's educational and playground needs that enabled students, teachers, parents (and grandparents !) to have a great time while raising funds on a fabulous fall day here in Boise!

Congrats not only to Washington School but to ALL Boise schools for your contributions to our youth through your dedicated work. We enjoy our visits to family here in Boise, which includes many trips to Washington dropping off and picking up our grandsons. Keep up your great work, and know it is appreciated!

We enjoy your paper and your recognition of the many community events you feature. Keep up the good work; we return shortly to Packerland with fond memories of our Boise visit.

JIM & AUDREY ALT, DePere, Wisc.

I want to say Thank You to "the Johnsons" who found my purse at Albertsons on Oct. 24 and took it to the store's office. It is so wonderful to live in a city where people are so helpful and honest. I was trying to get my shopping done so I could go on vacation for a while and, obviously, was a bit frantic and careless. Thankfully, the Johnsons saved me from a great deal of worry and effort.

GLENDA BLESSING, Boise

Monument

As an avid backpacker and user of the Boulder-White Clouds/Sawtooth National Recreation Area for over 45 years, I am very concerned about the proposal to make this area into a national monument. The monument process itself is suspicious since it has little or no public input. The larger question is, what is broken about the current process of managing this area for a number of uses?

As for the Sawtooths, the SNRA has been an outstanding example of how to manage and maintain this treasure for the past 40 years. There is too much opportunity for mischief with the monument process, which could have many unwanted consequences for an area that is working well for those of us who use and treasure this place. The ICL (which I generally support) should be forthcoming about their agenda and stop their "back room" shenanigans to force something most Idahoans don't want.

JIM MITCHELL, Boise

A recent article regarding the proposed Boulder-White Clouds National Monument stated, "So far, only the Sawtooth Society has formally come out questioning the effort, expressing worries about 'unintended consequences.' "

It's true the society has expressed concerns such action could have adverse consequences for the area if not done carefully. However, we are hardly alone in such concerns.

Anyone attending recent meetings in the Sawtooth Valley on this matter knows numerous local groups and individuals have expressed similar concerns. Among these are the city of Stanley, Stanley Sawtooth Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association, Custer County Commissioners, Custer Search & Rescue and most area businesses. These are the people who live and work in the area most affected; they do not simply visit to hike, ride, hunt and fish and go home elsewhere. They would have to bear unintended consequences, like challenges and costs of more search and rescue, inadequate camping and recreation facilities, and more wear on local environment and infrastructure, that increased visitation could bring.

Experience with hasty governmental decisions, done without appropriate forethought and input to address possible consequences, provides an important lesson. We all want good BWC protection, but let's remember and be careful.

PAUL HILL, President, Sawtooth Society, Stanley

Adler influence

On Oct. 24, Dr. David Adler wrote on the need to spend more state money on education. His model is flawed, his data supporting his conclusions are manipulated, his conclusions are biased. He says Idaho and Utah are the two lowest among all "state" education spending.

But he talks only about "need more money." He never addresses student accomplishment. I used the same data and went further. Biggest state spenders are near the bottom in standardized testing. Idaho, second lowest in spending, is nearly five times higher in student performance than second highest spender.

California state funding is 34 percent higher than Idaho, but it is 45 percent lower in achievement, according to No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measures known as AYP. Using AYP, the District of Columbia performs nearly 500 percent lower than Idaho, and spends 270 percent more. Dr. Adler lists many achievements and claims great influence in his BSU bio. That worries me. His data hiding is not sloppiness. He publishes regularly in the Statesman. If not called out, he is dangerous to the truth and selling his agenda.

All data can be found at governing.com. The disclaimer there says "don't compare states' spending ..." Dr. Adler.

BOB MICHAEL, Bonners Ferry

Zion's spire

I think I have a solution for any one who falsely thinks the church is trying to Mormonize Downtown Boise with a large spire.

Why not do this: Remove the spire and replace it with a flagpole the same length. Put a large American flag on top and the Idaho state flag below it.

Make it like all other flagpoles witha rope pulley system so it can be lowered to half staff for sad events that happen every so often.

This would surely not cost the contractor as much as other suggestions. Flags can be obtained that are weatherproof and can be used all year.

This would stop complaints from those who don't like Mormons and even those who believe in atheism.

Also it puts to rest any look of a Mormon temple.

LLOYD WARNER, Boise

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