Letters to the editor: 11-26-2013

November 26, 2013 

Bicycle crashes

John Sowell’s excellent article on cyclists and motorists in Boise was timely and thorough. Thank you. All of us should educate ourselves on the risks of using our roads. When accidents occur, the news media report what, where and who was hurt or killed. But the media can expand their role in this dialogue and add information to improve general public safety.

What cyclists and pedestrians also need is detailed information on who was moving in which direction at the time of the crash. It would tell everyone what dangers to look out for at that location and where they can be coming from. Cyclists often ride in BoDo at 8th and Myrtle, as well as all along Federal Way, two locations with recent crashes. Media coverage with details about who was moving or turning and in which directions is especially critical in high-traffic areas. News purveyors, please give us more details we can learn from, and more chances to save lives.

JIM VANCE, Boise

Bond vote

Boise taxpayers survived another bond initiative promoted by out-of-touch, tax-and-spend mayor, fire chief, media and the North End cabal.

Mayor Bieter said he was disappointed by the failure of recent bond measures but felt he was on the “right track” because his so-called “Yes! Yes!” campaign convinced 16,000 like-minded residents to raise taxes. Fortunately, 9,000 engaged voters sent a message of “Please! Please!” give us a break.

Many residents generously supported a tax increase to keep teachers working and are still paying for the last Foothills purchase scheme but are now feeling tapped out. Taxpayers are working harder than ever to make ends meet. They are experiencing high unemployment, suppressed wages and hours, increased insurance costs, and worries about the record demand for food stamps. Homeowners are under growing pressure to maintain a basic standard of living and survive continual rate increases for water, sewers, electricity and natural gas due to more government regulations and spending.

The mayor should abandon his trolley car spending mentally and pay attention to what motivated many voters to oust several incumbent mayors around Idaho.

Yes! Yes! the “no panhandling law” should apply to the city of Boise, and not just the homeless.

GEORGE SOLVERSON, Boise

Medicaid expansion

Idaho spent approximately $60 million in 2012 to cover costs incurred by patients who could not pay their hospital and doctor bills. Most of these bills were racked up at the most expensive venue available, the emergency room. The Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act would shift these costs to the federal government and offer access to more cost-effective care in doctors’ offices. First though, the Idaho Legislature has to find the wisdom to approve the Medicaid expansion portion of the law.

ELAINE GARRIS, Boise

Insurance

KBOI reported St. Luke’s will soon stop accepting Medicare/Humana plans. People covered by Medicare/Humana will have to find other doctors, the report said. People everywhere are having to give up what they like and spend lots of time and money to satisfy the federal government. It’s supposed to be the other way around. In this country, the people are supposed to be the master, not the government.

A spokeswoman for Blue Cross said that people are confused because they thought the Affordable Care Act was going to reduce cost. All they’re experiencing are ACA rules making them change the coverage they’re used to.

With the high premiums you’d spend more buying insurance than you would if you just paid your own doctor bills. People would be better off putting all that premium money in a health savings account and buying low-cost catastrophic insurance.

SHEILA FORD, Caldwell

Abedini

On Nov. 11, Sen. Ted Cruz sent President Obama a letter, signed by 23 senators, asking him to renew his call for Boise Pastor Saeed Abedini’s (#saveSaeed) release from an Iranian prison where he is incarcerated, tortured and in grave danger for his life because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

The European Parliament wrote a similar letter to Catherine Ashton, high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Council of the European Union.

At the beginning of the month, Pastor Saeed was transferred from Evin prison to Rajai Shahr prison, where he is denied both visitation and the medication needed for the injuries he suffered at Evin.

The ACLJ has provided a petition we can all sign to aid in the release of Pastor Saeed: beheardproject.com/saeed#sign. Please take a moment to add your voice in calling for Pastor Saeed’s release by signing online.

Remember the prisoners as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. (Heb. 13:3).

Saeed’s story needs to be frequently seen on the pages of this newspaper.

Grace and peace.

PHIL DEBENHAM, Boise

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