Letters to the editor-11-16-2013

November 16, 2013 

Thank you ...

A big thanks goes to everyone who planned, participated in or volunteered for the wonderful patriotic Veterans Day parade Saturday, Nov. 9. The parade was very organized, started right on time, and flowed smoothly through the planned route.

It was wonderful to see the variety of veterans’ groups, current military personnel and equipment, young people from various branches of the service as well as the motorcycles and fancy cars.

The bands from all of the Boise School District’s junior highs and high schools as well as the Mountain Home High School looked and sounded fantastic.

What an experience for the Brownies and Cub Scouts to get to march in the parade. The Shriners in their putt-putt cars are always a hit.

The gigantic American flag carried by the Air Force people from Mountain Home was a fitting end to a great parade. Hats off to all the people on the sidewalks who turned out to show their support for our military. Kudos to the organizers for a job well done. Another feather in the cap for the city of Boise.

VICKI HARTWELL, Boise

As grandparents of two children who attend Trail Wind Elementary School, we would like to express a huge thank you for the outstanding Veterans Day program, which was presented by fifth-and sixth graders on Nov. 8. Mrs. Cheryl Hampton shines as the talented Trail Wind music teacher and put her heart and soul into this program. It was an honor to attend the program and very heartwarming to see the children’s patriotism and appreciation of our country’s military. We have attended other events at Trail Wind during the years, and have been continually amazed by the dedicated and awesome teachers who work there, exceptional teachers who truly love their students and do their utmost for the children’s success. So thank you to all the wonderful staff at Trail Wind, especially Mrs. Hampton. You are shining stars in the Boise School District and a tribute to our public school system.

LARRY AND ANNA MARTIN, Boise

My wife and I were treated to one of the finest Veterans Day assemblies we’ve ever attended recently at the Meridian Middle School.

The music by both choir and orchestra students was outstanding. Command Sgt. Major Phil Hawkins, the service director of the Idaho Veterans Home, gave a motivational speech that literally had the students jumping to their feet in enthusiasm.

It was a morning of honor for us veterans that I will not soon forget. The students (grades sixth through eighth) showed that they had indeed learned to respect and remember the military service of this nation, both present and past.

I only wish members of the press could have been present to record the event for the whole community to enjoy.

Thanks again to all the students and staff at Meridian Middle School for a job so well done!

PATRICK J. O’LOUGHLEN, Korean War veteran, Boise

Great people of Boise — On my recent trip through Boise my dog Annie became separated from me while visiting family there. My family’s efforts to find Annie were tremendous and people in the vicinity of Vista and Overland Road are very familiar with my brother and I walking the streets for 11 days posting signs and handing out fliers.

I want to say “thank you” to all the great people who cared enough to help out. We had taxi drivers, UPS, mailmen, retail businesses, homeless people, Humane Society and people on the street who provided tremendous support in our efforts to recover Annie. It is amazing that in my time of need the people of Boise were there. After 11 days the person that originally picked up Annie finally saw fit to call me. I picked up Annie on my last day of the trip. One more day and I would have been heading back to California without Annie. Thanks again people of Boise.

JIM LAMBERT, Foresthill, Calif.

I was just reading online about a special needs football player in the Boise area and wanted to tell you about another inspiring event by some boys on Halloween night.

My daughter took my 8-year-old special needs grandson out trick-or-treating. It was kind of late because she had to work that night. There was a small group of boys going house to house in the same area. As they got to each house, they would wait for my grandson to get up to the door with them before they would knock. Then when someone would come to the door, they would wait for him to press the button on his communication device that said “trick or treat.”

They loved it! Because my grandson had not been out very long, he did not have much candy. One of the boys noticed and shared his candy with my grandson. I don’t know who these boys are, but I do know that they are very special. I hope someone recognizes who they might be. These are extraordinary boys who are going to grow up to be very extraordinary young men. Thank you for making my grandson’s night special!

DEBBIE ADAMS, Boise

Thanksgiving

We celebrate something once a year. It’s tied to life sustaining help in a new country. It’s Thanksgiving.

It teaches one simple lesson: We all rely on others to survive. We’re taught how pilgrims in a new land, aided by the people native to that land, were able to survive, to grow and thrive. Regardless of the rest of the story, the actions of others provided the reason for the holiday. Seldom in the decades and centuries that have followed have we “newcomers” lived up to the same standard. Germans began to immigrate and they were reviled, the Irish were discriminated against. Africans were brought here in chains. Chinese came for a new life and they died building railroads.

The examples go on and on. We have people from all over the world coming here to America. They come for education, jobs, for a chance to live in the light of a torch upheld to the world. There are many who come here to simply escape the horror and brutality, of the lives in their homeland. It’s time we, as compassionate people, remember our holiday: Thanksgiving — how it came about; what it truly means.

Thanksgiving should be a way of life, not a one day event.

JAN ROWE, Boise

Holiday shopping

I think that everyone should be able to spend the holidays with their families and that would mean that everything would have to be closed. Are we really that money hungry that we can not have two days out of the year that people could spend the time with family?

MARY EDWARDS, Boise

Dog safety

Recently I received my November/December magazine from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill society in Kanab, Utah. We visited there a few years ago. What a fantastic place! An article in this magazine jumped right out at me. “Officers and Dogs Gone Wild.” Does this remind you of something that happened in Boise recently?

As the article states, “The best preventive measure is proper training for police officers and education on how to handle encounters using nonlethal means.” With more than 78 million people owning dogs in the United States, it is safe to say that police officers are likely to encounter dogs in the course of their daily work.

Let’s stop this killing of dogs that look like they may be going to walk up to you. Don’t kill them! Try carrying dog treats with you like mail people do. We have two dogs. Treats work every time. Try it. Colorado has taken action to protect man’s best friend. Their legislators passed the “Don’t Kill My Dog” bill. We can do it here in Idaho, too! Let’s git-r-done.

JOYCE HARNESS, Boise

Occupy

The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I agree that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators should have the right to assemble. I don’t agree with their reason for demonstrating, but I admire their tenacity. The action that I do not agree with is setting up tents, temporary buildings, portable kitchens, etc., on sidewalks, streets or public property.

Nothing in the First Amendment indicates that tents or structures of any kind have the right to assemble. Any court that condones erecting structures or tents on public property is reading something into the First Amendment that isn’t there.

CLARENCE L. RHEA, Caldwell

USPS

The primary mission of the U.S. Postal Service is to provide safe, reliable, affordable delivery of mail and packages to every address in the United States and its territories.

However, as long as the ominous pre-funding of future retiree health benefits mandate remains in place at the rate of $5.5 billion per year, especially during this holiday season, it makes it extremely challenging for everyone, customers and employees alike.

I believe that our customers like the convenience and best rates possible. Rural states such as Idaho want to have the same kind of service that the most populous areas receive.

The closing of mail facilities such as post offices and mail processing plants, along with reducing service is not the answer.

The positive and most effective solution to the Postal Services financial challenge is to pass laws in Congress to use its own over-payments in the retirement systems and to eliminate the unnecessary pre-funding requirement.

No tax dollars whatsoever are involved with the Postal Service revenue. Currently, there are two bills in Congress to positively solve the Postal Services’ financial challenges using no tax dollars: HR 630 and S 316. The positive solution is out there: let’s use it.

JOHN PAIGE, Pocatello

Obama

Pity, President Obama never read the sign that President Harry Truman had on his desk every day of his presidency: “The Buck Stops Here.”

SALLY BAKER, Boise

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