Letters to the editor-11-23-2013

November 23, 2013 

Thank you ...

First I want to thank the many sponsors for our Wreaths for Idaho Veterans, a program that supports the Wreaths Across America.

Both programs endeavor to obtain enough sponsors in order to purchase wreaths for the veterans laid to rest at the Idaho State Cemetery.

This year on Dec. 13 we will again place wreaths beginning at 2:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. we will have a ceremony to honor all services and the POW/MIA.

Last year we were able to have a wreath for every grave site; this year we are behind in sponsorships.

We will attempt to purchase as many wreaths as possible and make wreaths on Nov. 30 from 7 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. at the Civil Air Patrol Hanger at the Nampa Airport, the second hanger behind the Warhawk Museum. Volunteers are welcome, red bows are needed. We will make wreaths until supplies are exhausted. Last year we made over 900 wreaths. Visit our web site at www.boisecap. org for more information. This is a tremendous community effort. Thank you.

COLONEL DAVE GUZMAN, Idaho Civil Air Patrol, Eagle

I would like to thank all the people who shook my husband’s hand and thanked him for his service in Korea. He loved to wear his Korea veteran hat whenever we went out any place because people would come up to him and thank him. He wore that hat everywhere, even to bed sometimes. He passed away in July on his 80th birthday. The next time you see a veteran, thank him or her for their service. It may mean more to that veteran than you realize.

ALICE TRYON, Boise

Thank you, Congressman Labrador, for your kind words of support for all veterans.

If only all we veterans could get even a fraction of this support from the VA. I sit here with a painful 9th service-connected knee surgery, and six shoulder surgeries, service-connection denied, the VA’s response was that, “Major Hill was just clumsy.”

Your staff is helping me with my two head injuries. Both required transport by ambulance, but service connection has been denied as they can’t assess my impairment, it does not exist.

I struggle with it all of my life. Both my ankles have been painful since early in my USAF career. In my 20-plus years of service, I did my absolute best to maintain the required physical conditioning. With more than 20 surgical scars on my body, I still must fight for a proper and fair disability rating that accurately represents my line-of-duty injuries.

Pardon me, but why are we vets forced to fight and fight for years for our earned benefits and yet when millions of illegal immigrants walk/crawl/swim into this country they collect food stamps, subsidized housing, and free medical care nearly instantly?

VICTOR H. HILL, Major, USAF (Ret), New Plymouth

Idaho Power

Idaho Power knows there will be further regulation regarding coal plants as well as regulations regarding CO2 emissions.

They realize that coal plants will have to be shut down in the long term. To maximize their rate of return on investment they seek the PUC approval for a rate increase to cover upgrades in a depreciating asset. In the future they will again seek the PUC approval for a rate increase to cover more upgrades. In the end they will seek the PUC approval for a rate increase to cover the cost of decommissioning.

They take no risk and collect all of the reward. The PUC should come up with a way to transfer some of the risk from the rate payers to Idaho Power.

A coal plant is like an old polluting car. At some point repairing it will cost more than it is worth. Why put more money into an old car when you can have a new car for the same amount of monthly outlay? The new car will save you money on maintenance and in fuel. Regardless, we know the old car will need to be replaced and have to plan for it.

JOHN WEBER, Boise

Solar power

I see a connection amongst these facts and events:

1) Idaho Power wants to upgrade the Jim Bridger coal-fired power plant and continue its use for many more years.

2) Micron recently shut down a solar energy chip program.

3) Hoku abandoned a new solar energy chip plant in Pocatello.

4) Petroleum industries have many highly paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who constantly work for relaxing restrictions on exploring and developing petroleum resources in the off-shore and arctic areas that are very sensitive ecosystems.

5) Coal industries have many highly paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who work for relaxing coal plant emissions standards and mining environmental standards and land restoration requirements.

I wonder if there would be a need for the Jim Bridger power plant if most of the houses and commercial buildings in the Treasure Valley had solar panels on the roofs?

Write your state and national senators and representatives and demand renewal and increased incentives for solar power to be included in new construction and retrofits for existing buildings.

WILLIAM BRUDENELL, Boise

Parkinson’s

As Sen. Mike Crapo serves on the federal budget conference committee over the next few weeks, we urge him to make ending sequestration among his highest priorities.

Sequestration has already resulted in a $1.5 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health budget this year and a $209 million reduction to Food and Drug Administration. Without congressional action, sequestration will remain in place through 2021, cutting these and other programs so important to my Dad as one of the 500,000 to 1.5 million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease.

There is no treatment that prevents, slows, stops or cures Parkinson’s, which is estimated to cost $14.4 billion annually. It is critical that Congress strengthen investment in priorities that support the work of the broader medical research community, as well as patients and their families.

Additional cuts to federal research funding could also result in a loss of over half a million dollars for Idaho, which may have a devastating impact on the local economy. Ending sequestration and supporting medical research funding and innovation are investments in our country’s future. I, along with other members of the Parkinson’s community in Idaho will be watching their leadership on this issue very closely.

LISA BAIN, Parkinson’s Actin Network Idaho State Director, Meridian

Boise congestion

Boise’s Character Gone: Boise’s increasing population has crossed a line of demarcation. Heavy traffic on roads most anytime. Worse, Greenbelt has too many uncooperative pedestrians, walking three and four abreast; and too many speedster bikers even at congested points. I really fear this is ruining Boise’s greatest asset, The Greenbelt.

Boise is yet a nice town, but its former character is gone. Sad. I’ve spent June through October in Boise, 2009-2013; and three-week stays in Boise every summer 1997-2000. No secret that population has been increasing, but at this point a definite line of demarcation has been crossed. Again, sad.

DENNIS KASNICKI, Atlanta, GA

Don’t fail meaning

Everyday I hear the advertisement, “Don’t fail, Idaho.” I don’t know whether the comma should be there because I only hear it, but either way I am bewildered by it. It appears the ad is trying to encourage Idaho students to go to and finish college because to create viable businesses and accompanying job opportunities within Idaho requires education and training beyond high school.

What thoughts come to mind when you hear this phrase? I’d love to know. I’ll tell you what thoughts come to my mind every time I hear it.

It sounds like an instruction not to do something. I don’t know about you but when one gives instructions that are phrased as a negative how does one measure success?

I prefer instructions that are goal oriented and whose success can be measured. “Go to college and finish college, Idaho!”

What phrase can you come up with to motivate our students to get higher education so that they can contribute to the creation of businesses and jobs in Idaho?

JASNA SEKOVSKI, Boise

Trapping

Trapping season is here.

Is it right to inflict unwarranted pain and suffering? Any of us would be horrified at the thought of being caught in one of those traps. Most of us would be horrified if one of our dogs were to be caught in one. Wolves are our dogs’ cousins. They suffer the same pain. Of course, trapping is not limited to wolves. Traps are intended for other animals as well, but any person or animal could be a victim. The Idaho Constitution was recently amended to say that trapping is a right, but is it right? Shouldn’t we rethink that?

DARALENE FINNELL, Hailey

Parasites

A recent op-ed in the New York Times by Beppe Severgnini uses the term Generazione Pitone (the python generation) to describe the way his post-war generation in Italy is crushing its young with debt and low-paying jobs. Severgnini’s metaphor motivated me to ponder a symbol for my own generation, the baby boomers.

In the 1960s, I might have chosen a noble totem like the falcon. Today, the only symbols that seem appropriate for our willingness to bankrupt our children seeking an education and exposing them to automatic weapons and slaughter as a part of their school experience, is that of the vulture or vampire.

A more appropriate symbol of my generation — the one in power right now — is a tick: deceptive, blood sucking and disease carrying. If you doubt that the tick is an accurate representation of our generation, spend some time at the Legislature when it is in session. Experience first-hand engorged mega-ticks feeding on the resources, hopes and rights of our most vulnerable citizens. Not only do women, the poor, our children and the elderly suffer so that the white, male elites of the species can bloat themselves; their bite may doom future generations to the terminal disease of despair.

ROBERT MCCARL, Boise

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