Letters to the editor: 12-18-2013

December 18, 2013 

Republicans

Guess which three of our four national representatives voted to continue the government shutdown? This expensive, embarrassing and totally unnecessary vacation was paid for by our tax dollars. Yes, you heard me right. They voted to keep 800,000 federal employees, (a bunch of them right here in Idaho) off the job.

They were more concerned with the extreme right wing of their political party then they are about Idaho economic interests. Sens. Crapo and Risch, joined by extremist Rep. Raul Labrador, all members of the Republican Party, voted to keep our government in a state of vacation. This erratic behavior sort of makes sense with Sen. Crapo. First he gets a DUI, then his staff are playing funny money with hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars — in Las Vegas of all places. And now this.

I guess being totally detached from Idaho values has become acceptable to the Republican Party. Proof positive that the great political pendulum has reached its outer crazy conservative limits and is swinging back toward what Idaho really stands for.

ANDY HEDDEN-NICELY, Boise

Money in politics

Regarding Dale Fisk's letter ("Root causes," Dec 4):

He should make his question to Sens. Crapo and Risch, and Reps. Labrador and Simpson easier to answer by making it multiple choice.

For example: "Do you believe that the unending chase for money has corrupted politics?"

A) Absolutely not; in fact. I am offended by any mention of corruption in politics.

B) I am much too busy trying to defeat this ridiculous notion of "Affordable Health Care" to be bothered with such a silly question.

C) Yes, anytime you have an economy based on money/debt you will have corruption. I am actively working to devise an economy based instead on our vast resources. Some of the worldwide advantages would be improving the environment now that we value our resources, eliminating starvation and related disease as this planet has ample resources to feed all, greatly reduced crime and possibly ending war as there would be nothing left to fight about, other than religion of course.

D) No response.

TERRY SECHLER, Boise

Greenbelt at night

Something needs to be done about the Greenbelt for night-time travelers, especially bicyclists. The problem is visually identifying road boundaries. It is exactly the same thing as occurs on highways.

There are edge reflectors, dangerous curve reflectors, and white and yellow lines on the road to define the road at night.

There are also cheap solar power LED lights that could be installed. Any bicyclist who has traveled the nighttime Greenbelt bicyclist highway can testify to the truth of these observations.

And nighttime pedestrians: please wear some sort of reflector, whether on clothing or shoes. We bicyclists cannot see you at night! Thank you.

DAVID HEWITT, Boise

Reading

I saw the televised program of the four specialists on the "Reading Summit." I'd ask, can we identify school practices that develop a love for reading, and, can we agree on how to live with children in a manner that promotes a love of reading? Not all teaching of reading activities result in the behaviors we want to achieve.

Can we differentiate between them, and use those that do, while eliminating those that fail? How can a teacher help students practice library book reading while she is present?

I believe elementary children come to school wanting to learn to read. I've been a teacher, principal and professor whose interest is to encourage attitudes in children that promote reading. Jim Trelease recommends strategies teachers and parents should employ to nurture volitional readers.

His, "The Read-Aloud Handbook," 6th Edition (2006), by Penguin Books should be examined by all who wish to preserve volitional reading. He proposes several strategies important to both parents and teachers and includes respected research results. He describes how parents and schools that succeed in instilling a love for reading did so.

LEWIS B. SMITH, Boise

Hunting

I've been fortunate to have bow-hunted for elk in some of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the world. From Idaho's panhandle down to the Boise river; the Selway-Bitterroot, Salmon river — anywhere I could temporarily escape the rat-race and find elk (or trout and steelhead — can't resist Idaho's world-class fly-fishing). Along the way, I've visited places so remote and pristine that I would be surprised if anyone but God and I have laid eyes upon them; some of the most beautiful places this side of paradise.

Twenty years ago, gas prices forced me to recreate closer to home. Eight years ago, transplanted non-native wolves pushed the elk out of my secret "closenuf" elk haven, so I temporarily quit hunting elk.

When I returned this year, wildfire had consumed or scarred the whole area — previously one of the most magnificent elk sanctuaries anywhere! Then, wildfires ravaged both of my "closenuf" favorite fly-fishing drainages (Owyhee and South Fork).

I don't want any so-called conservationist to tell me that wolves and wildfires are "just nature's way."

Smokey Bear taught my generation to prevent wildfires. That bear obviously had more common sense than today's government forestry and wildlife policymakers.

MICHAEL F. HOWARD, Boise

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