Letters to the Editor: 11-29-2013

November 29, 2013 

WANT YOUR SAY?

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- Online: Navigate to IdahoStatesman.com/opinion. Select “Submit a Letter.” If you click on “Reader’s Opinion” from the drop-down window you’ll see a column for “Submit a Reader’s Opinion Piece.” You will be limited to 200-word letters and 600-word opinion pieces.

- Mail: Letters to the Editor, Idaho Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

All submissions become the property of the Idaho Statesman.

ITD

The Idaho Transportation Department is at it again.

I read with interest the Nov. 4 article concerning a private landowner and ITD. The landowner is being asked to pay over a million dollars in ITD's legal fees. What a crock. The representative from ITD said 90 percent of landowners take the offers made by ITD. I can see why. Why doesn't ITD consider making a fair offer and provide just compensation when taking people's land? This is another case of government gone bad. The governor needs to review the dealings of the transportation department.

BARBARA WATERFIELD, Eagle

Greenbelt

I love the Greenbelt. I also ride my bike a lot. This is why I love to live in Boise. There are many animals to see and the river is really cool as well. However, Garden City blocks all bike users from riding on one section of the Greenbelt. This means that all bikers riding through this area have to ride on the street with cars. Even young children have to do this. I think that it is selfish of Garden City to block this area and put young children and others in a dangerous situation.

ZACH CHILDERS, age 12, Eagle

Failed bond

I am just trying to understand the reactions of some people toward the recent bond issue.

I have read several letters from people who claim to “love Boise, its people and its culture,” but perhaps they don’t understand it. They feel smugly satisfied; happy at having thwarted the will of the majority of voters in this city who truly care about its quality of life. Sixty-two percent of voters have clearly stated they care about open space, parks and fire protection. Obviously a minority of our residents clearly don’t care about or want these things, and that 38 percent was enough to sink them. But some comments have been rather mean-spirited. It’s almost like, let’s stick it to those who do enjoy the outdoors and want fire protection.

If they claim to love “the city, its people and culture,” then perhaps they might enjoy Los Angeles, Phoenix or Detroit much more — concrete jungles where parks, fire protection and open space are clearly not as valued as they are among Boise residents.

People are entitled to their opinion. But most people who live here truly appreciate the lifestyle Boise offers. Those who don’t, I would hope, would respect those that do.

MATT CIRANNI, Boise

Mortgage rate

It’s taken several years, but the Treasure Valley housing market has finally weathered the mortgage crisis from 2008. Just as Idahoans are beginning to put trust back into the housing market, members of Congress are looking to reform government sponsored enterprises (GSE’s), such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

While finding a way to prevent a repeat of the mortgage crisis is necessary, the proposed reforms could stunt the progress and growth of the Treasure Valley housing market. The strong housing market has proven to help many sectors of our local economy by adding jobs that were lost during the mortgage crisis.

The proposed GSE reform proposals being considered would virtually eliminate the 30-year fixed-rate loan without providing a viable alternative. As a veteran realtor, I believe this would prove disastrous for not only the housing industry, but the community as a whole.

Without the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, rates could be unattainable for many homebuyers. While GSE reform is needed, I urge legislators and members of the community to stand up for legislation that provides a reliable and affordable source of mortgages. It’s my firm belief the 30-year fixed rate loan is needed to preserve the American dream of homeownership.

BECKY ENRICO CRUM, Boise

Progressives

Progressives in Idaho often complain that Idaho does not spend enough on education, is “right to work,” and needs more public investment to meet the needs of a modern economy.

When you look at other states, you can’t find clear evidence that these proposals yield better results. Texas has one of the stronger state economies yet has no state income tax and is “right to work.” However, let’s not confine the discussion to the 50 states. When you pull Europe into the mix, it is harder to find evidence that combining big spending, inexpensive higher education, and a unionized workforce yields better results. Only Germany, among the large European nations, has an economy that is functioning well enough to provide jobs for young people; due in part to a sterling apprenticeship program.

The unemployment rate for young people is 56 percent in Spain, 40 percent in Italy, and 26 percent in France. All of these countries have strong unions, have run huge deficits to “invest” in people and offer low cost higher education. What progressives are missing is that sound tax and regulatory policies drive productive investment, and productive investment, not make-work programs, is the cornerstone of prosperity.

FRED BIRNBAUM, Boise

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