Letters to the editor: 11-15-2013

November 15, 2013 

Mark Patterson

Now I've heard it all! Another legislator in trouble, this time for purgery on his concealed weapons application. Mark Patterson claims he doesn't remember being arrested for rape, not once, but two times! He does remember, though, that the cops lied. How does he remember that if he doesn't remember the arrests?

He also had a lapse of memory on his website when he ran. He thought he was an engineer, but wasn't. He thought he was a professional racer, but wasn't. And whose fault is it? Gary Raney? If you know the sheriff, and I do, he would never use his office for a personal vendetta.

Also, this man was backed by former Speaker Lawerence Denney, who supported tax dodger Phil Hart. He's running for secretary of state. Neither of these guys deserves to be in office. I can vote against Denney, but it's up to the people in Patterson's district to fire him. I hope they do the right thing. We need to continue weeding out the nonqualifieds from positions of trust.

JOHN TREHARNE, Boise

It's unfortunate that Rep. Mark Patterson's sordid history didn't come out before the elections, when voters might have made other choices. My question is, now that we know, what happens next? Was the Idaho Republican Party aware of Rep. Patterson's background? If so, why did they keep it silent? If not, why not? Don't they check the people running under their banner?

Were the elected officials who endorsed him, such as Rep. Moyle, Congressman Labrador and Rep. Denney - who is running for a position where he will have oversight over elections - aware of his background? If not, why not? Don't they check out the people whom they endorse? Now that they know his background, what will they do?

Now that House leadership - who, according to Rep. Moyle's endorsement on Rep. Patterson's website, were "looking forward to having Mark Patterson join us at the Statehouse" - are aware, what do they intend to do about it?

And finally, what steps are the Idaho Republican Party taking to better vet its candidates to ensure there isn't a repeat of this incident?

SHARON FISHER, Kuna

Idaho Power

Regarding Rocky Barker's recent article "Idaho Power waits for Obama rules," (Sept. 23) rate payers here in Idaho, not Idaho Power, will be the ones gambling on a high-risk plan. New air pollution safeguards for CO2 from existing power plants are due in June 2014. Other controls for mercury and coal ash are coming. Idaho Power plans to invest $130 million in the old Jim Bridger plant without knowing what the regulations will be, how much it will cost to comply or whether operation into the future will even be feasible.

Idaho Power will not be taking the financial or health risk. We will. Burning coal for electricity makes sense only if the huge amounts of really awful toxins it produces are not put into lungs or on crops. There are more efficient, less public health-impacting ways, like cutting down the amount of electricity we use and generating it with solar and wind energy. There is a PUC public hearing scheduled in Boise on Nov. 25 about this $130 million investment. In the old days, investing in coal made sense. It no longer does.

LURA MORGAN, Boise

Veterans Day

What gives? The intent of Veterans Day is to honor our soldiers — those men and women who have given their lives, arms, legs, eyesight and mental health to maintain our basic freedom to agree or disagree with the government shutdown, to vote for whomever we choose and conduct our daily lives freely.

So why on earth is Veterans Day just another day unless you are a federal employee? Is this how we honor those who have given so much? Go to work, go to school and go shopping? Without our veterans it is very possible we could not do those very things. Parades and celebrations should not just be for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Close the stores, the schools, the businesses. All Americans should take time off to honor our veterans by participating in festivities, parades, speeches and a genuine show of gratitude by the entire country, not just federal workers.

MYRA THOMPSON, Boise

Logging

The recent news article about opposition to logging bills pending in Congress reflects another effort by environmentalists to not manage federal timberlands for the common good. Forest fires are by nature destructive. Failure to manage forests results in overcrowding of trees, and as evidenced this past year, results in conflagrations difficult to control.

When fires do occur, rapid removal of dead trees will provide jobs and needed wood for homes and other structures. Forests can be replanted after logging. Just leaving thousands of acres of dead trees will lead to further insect infestations around the perimeters of each fire.

Environmentalists that pass themselves off as scientists are pulling a slight of hand that does not fool those of us who live in the West outside of San Francisco.

LARRY WOODARD, Meridian

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