Letters to the editor: 11-20-2013

November 20, 2013 

Boulder-White Clouds

Is a new national monument the answer? Let’s put threats to the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains into perspective.

Recent ideas are being discussed regarding the potential need for additional protection of the Boulder-White Cloud area. The proposals I hear make no mention of existing layers of applicable, protective federal law and regulation.

Major existing legislation include: National Forest Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Public Law 92-400 (the act creating the Sawtooth National Recreation Area that specifically protects most of the area from listed threats), as well as existing regulations limiting activities in “roadless areas” that have potential for wilderness classification by Congress.

Additional legislation designed to provide additional protection presents an illusion of political progress. What good is added protection if it and existing protections are not funded and implemented adequately? First, we should avoid sounding alarms regarding what isn’t likely to happen and instead lobby politicians to provide applicable federal and state agencies needed funding to implement existing law and regulation already designed to protect this beautiful area.

F. CARL PENCE, USDA Forest Service retired (former SNRA ranger), Nampa

Obama

The latest statements by President Obama should earn him a new nickname, Pinocchio. His deceptions — “If you like your insurance company, you can keep it,” and “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt” — just add to his “credibility.” Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t have any credibility. To quote Pinocchio’s sidekick, Jiminy Cricket, “What does an actor want with a conscience, anyway?”

TONI SWEENEY, Boise

Some children caught lying try to get out of it by making excuses for themselves.

But when they continue the lying it becomes a disgraceful deception, which shows how foolish they are. Parents who enable their children in continuing this behavior or not seeing the truth in it shows their very poor judgment.

President Obama and his administration are the children who have run amok. Right now the deceit and dishonor permeates through the walls of the White House to the point that a skunk smells better.

We as parents need to do a better job of making our children accountable.

MARGARET LEE, Caldwell

President Obama’s apology for his promise to the American people about Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act: If you like the health care plan you have now, you can keep it no matter what. Period.

It was as sincere as the one from the then head of BP after the catastrophic oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico: “No one regrets this more than I do, I want my life back.” Obama: “I got burned because the website crashed.”

In both cases it’s all about me. Don’t blame me, I’m the victim and the rest of us don’t matter, we’re just minor collateral damage. Same apology, brings tears to my eyes. LOL, Mr. President, LOL.

DUANE COATES, Meridian

Mike Simpson

In this age of political half-truths, voters are looking for real leadership from our members of Congress.

We are desperate for courageous leadership on the issue of immigration reform. Sens. Crapo and Risch bravely stood up to the liberal pressure, voting against President Obama’s rushed Senate immigration reform legislation, S.744.

Now the House is working on immigration reform legislation. President Obama is pressuring them to rush through this complex issue. President Obama’s devastating style is to rush legislation for political purpose.

Rep. Simpson, this letter is for you.

Your constituents, loyal campaign workers and friends need you to be courageous. Stand up for us. Stop any immigration reform legislation this year. Immigration reform is too important to hurry and pass in the dark of night.

Don’t let President Obama manipulate you for his political gain. His health care legislation is nightmare enough. Please be the courageous leader we Idahoans need you to be.

MARY AND BRUCE HARVEY, Meridian

Gas prices

I would like to know how many people from the state government are having their pockets lined by the fuel companies in Boise. It is so strange that the attorney general is trying to find proof that there has been price fixing. You think?

There is no excuse, when we have the highest fuel prices in the continental U.S. It is disgusting that we are being gouged by the likes of Jacksons, Stinker, Maverik and so forth. We recently travelled to Pocatello and also Baker, Ore., and found the price of fuel in both directions was cheaper than in Boise.

I don’t want to pay for all the new Jackson stores that are being erected in our area, and the local fuel barons are making yourselves rich on the likes of your neighbors. Shame on you all!

TERRY HYLAND, Boise

My wife and I left Northern Wisconsin two weeks ago and went through seven states and the gas prices were $3.32 when we left. Minnesota was $3.32; Sioux City, Iowa, the cheapest at $2.81; Nebraska at $3.34; Wyoming at $3.32; Utah at $3.34; and, of course, Idaho the highest.

Where are our Idaho representatives at a time like this? Or our governor who we voted in? It looks like (not saying that’s what’s happening) somebody’s pocket book is getting pretty fat. Come on Idaho, let’s wake up or wake someone up. We need “Idaho Care!”

GERALD MAKOVSKY, Boise

Older drivers

I would like to respond to the gentleman with the Nov. 8 letter concerning older drivers.

I agree retesting should be required, both written and a driving test — but for all drivers, not just the older drivers.

I do not know how old the gentleman writing the article is, but if the gentleman would pay attention to all the drivers when he is out and about, he might observe people talking on cellphones while impeding traffic, making unsafe turns (left and right), changing lanes, no signals, speeding, stopping in crosswalks, turning left on very late yellow lights, barely stopping on right turns, following too close, going 10 or more miles over the posted speed limit, throwing cigarette butts out windows ...

The list goes on, but the point is older drivers are not any worse than younger ones.

I bet most of them are a whole lot better because they are practicing defensive driving and not me-first type of driving.

I do not know where the gentleman writer of Nov. 8 fits in, but I am a defensive driver or try to be all the time. I do make mistakes, but hopefully not on purpose.

GARY CHAMPAGNE, Boise

Bike riders

I would like to reply to the letters regarding bicycle riders. I ride my bike to and from work every day. I wear reflective clothing as well as have lights and reflectors on the front and back of my bicycle. And yet every day, I have to take the extra time to make sure I can get across the crosswalk or street without some driver hitting me.

They either are talking on the phone, texting, talking to kids or passengers in the car and do not even see me.

I follow the laws on my bike, the same as when I drive. I signal, I stop at stop signs and ride with the traffic. So, before you criticize all riders, you should try riding yours to work and experience what we go through each day.

Not all bike riders are law breakers any more than all drivers are reckless! All travelers need to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings and there would be fewer accidents all together.

DIANA JONES, Boise

I concur with the recent letters about bicyclists ignoring the rules about lights, riding on the wrong side of the road and not wearing visible clothing.

On one recent evening, I was returning from Garden City to travel west on Ustick from Sawyer Avenue, just west of the Curtis/Ustick intersection. I came to a full stop before the right turn on Ustick to wait for cars to pass. While waiting I looked to the right and saw no one.

As I started to make the turn, my wife said, “There is a bike.” I looked over to see a bicycle coming from the west driving the wrong way in the bike lane with no lights, and wearing dark clothing.

I accelerated quickly and he barely passed behind me, just missing hitting the side of our car.

His actions were no different than a person driving a car in the wrong lane with his lights off. Even though legislation is not a solution for stupidity, I would encourage fines and enforcement for bicycle violations to be equal to those for vehicle operators.

JACK KEIFER, Boise

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