Letters to the editor - 12-15-2013

December 15, 2013 

Coal power

Robert Ehlert’s recent editorial on coal power generation was right on target. This followed Lisa Grow’s article calling for a discussion on the subject. Ehlert’s advice to Idaho Power that “We’ll tolerate coal but you need a plan to lose the habit” and to the detractors, “Throwing a tantrum won’t generate electricity” set the boundaries for that discussion of the future of energy in Idaho.

Cheap power in huge quantities is essential for Idaho to be able to compete with the rest of the nation and the world. Idaho’s economy is already struggling with enough disadvantages. Renewable energy advocates continue to preach that the cost of their alternatives is coming down. So is the cost of sports cars and private jets, but it will be a while before most can afford them.

I am a supporter of wind- and solar-generated electricity, except if they are going to double and triple my power bill. Wind and sunlight are free but turning them into power is expensive. Every extra dollar spent on electricity is one that cannot go to education, health care, or to improve the standard of living for Idaho's families.


Random kindness

On Dec. 10, I was stopped behind a school bus exiting the freeway at Franklin Road. I looked up and a young boy — middle school age — was looking back at me. I smiled and waved. A huge smile came across his face as he excitedly said something to his friends. They were all laughing.

He put his thumbs and pointer fingers together to form a heart, showed it to me and pointed to me. I mocked him back. The laughter on the bus was contagious as others seemed to join in. He put his hand up to his lips and blew me a kiss — I mocked him back. They were all laughing.

We moved on to the next stoplight, where I was going to have to leave the school bus. My friend then mouthed the words “Have a great day,” and I pointed to him and then put two fingers up, indicating “you too.” He smiled and gave me the thumbs-up gesture. He has no idea how much his act of kindness meant to me today. His parents should be very proud him.

Pass on an act of kindness and feel the joy!


Trail signs

I am dismayed ... once again an effort is in the works to try to steal away citizen-requested tax funds designated for Off Highway Trail Systems throughout the Idaho.

The effort to hijack those funds was already successfully thwarted by a campaign of public outcry and it seems once again we citizens must rally to preserve what shouldn’t need to be debated at all.

Citizen access to much of Idaho's public lands for motorized off highway use is restricted to Off Highway Trails. What our state government is proposing by redirecting designated funding for creating and maintaining those Off Highway Trails is to effectively deny proper motorized access to Idaho’s public lands. There now exists a working relationship with clubs and organizations from both the environmental and recreational communities within our state.

If Idaho fails to continue its quality trail system, motorized recreationalists aren't going to just put their equipment away to collect cobwebs. They will get used. Remember the ads that ask the public to “Stay on Trails?” Hey ... Yank funding for those ads too! Just think of all the money that could be saved ... and all the new headaches created for our public lands.



Congressman Raul Labrador seems to feel that he has a better grasp on issues over and above Idaho's two senators and congressmen. He seems to say “these guys are not effective and I know better what Idahoans want.”

Labrador no doubt is an intelligent and savvy politician who has found favor with the electorate. His attitude sometimes drips with arrogance “and I really do know what is best” — an element of danger for this politician. His opinion is important but so is mine and yours — something I worry he may forget.


No Otter support

I recently received a letter from Gov. Otter asking for money to help him in his campaign for another term in office. However, I am not inclined to do so.

As a member of the Idaho Land Board, Mr. Otter has voted for the state to purchase more commercial business properties such as the affordable storage units and a brew pub. In addition, the Land Board owns and manages eight parking lots and seven office-retail properties in Boise.

The Land Board plans to buy more commercial properties including office, retail, light industrial business, ski resorts, etc.( Asset Management Plan p. 23) Thus increasing the size of state government.

In a letter of Nov. 18, Otter advocates, “expanding the portfolio (endowment fund) to include more commercial properties.”

In Gov. Otter’s recent letter to me, he says, “I am proud of the conservative values of limited government and accountability that have guided us in Idaho.”

The state buying more commercial property is not “limiting government.”

As a long time Republican, I am not inclined to support Mr. Otter in his quest to grow government in Idaho and compete with private commercial business.


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