Letters to the editor: 12-25-2013

December 25, 2013 

Student quotes

I am teaching American Government at Columbia High School in Nampa. We have been covering political beliefs and behaviors in class for several weeks and I have been asking my students to analyze voter apathy; they have vocalized many bright comments on the subject. I picked my favorite quotes from all their essays, and then had my students vote on the best quotes in class. Here they are in order:

"I heard once that the ocean is made up of drops … so if nonvoters could realize that even though their vote feels small, it is part of something still."

- Kevin Fehrnstrom

"An uneducated populace is easy to control; such control is exactly contrary to the ideal of America."

- Matthew Brown

"I think instead of worrying about our 'popular' vote, we should worry about our morals."

- Dustin Hawker

"I believe Americans like to have a choice and voting is how you do it; let your choice be known."

- Devin Thorp

BREANNA CARMACK, Meridian

Teen drivers

The Idaho Graduated Driver Licensing program is allowing our teens to obtain a driver's license at the age of 15 to 17.

Every one of them is anxious to get a driver's license as soon as possible. For parents, letting teens drive at an early age is a much better choice because this gives more time to train them. However, once teens finish the professional driver's education course, they only possess novice driving skills, and no hands–on driving experience. Besides 50 required supervised hours, it's essential for parents to provide their teens with the knowledge that driver's education does not provide. Even after the teen gets a driver's license, continuous monitoring is a must in the process of training them to be a safe and responsible driver. The leading cause of death for U.S. teens is motor vehicle crashes. Teens crash three times more often than adults, resulting in some 2,700 teen deaths every year. The factors that are most commonly involved are inexperience and lack of driving skills.

Parents are the key in reducing the risk of motor vehicle crashes. Please actively get involved in your teen's driver education.

HA NGUYEN, Boise

Land management

Can people of Idaho manage their land?

Is taking responsibility of public land in our state of Idaho really a question? Some people say "no" to being responsible for our own lands because someone will purchase it and the land will become private. Consequently, they believe the land becomes unavailable to use.

I don't see much change. Currently, we cannot utilize the public ground fully as it is. And who said the Idaho Department of Lands or people of local counties were too inept to manage greater tracts of ground?

The bigger question to me is: Are Idahoans interested in increased quality of life and autonomy OR do we want people outside of our state (not elected by us) dictating what we do because they hold the purse strings. It seems almost "crazy" …. we lose the money from our lands to others outside the state (or whine about them "squandering" the renewable resources), and then we politically have to please others outside the state to get the money back. (Look at Idaho Education. We bow to a board of trustees outside the state for our money. Two months ago look who bought lunch for whom).

SCOTT PERRIN, Cottonwood

Mike Simpson

I enjoyed the full page ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the other day giving full Support to Mike Simpson for all he has done for Idaho.

I hope they keep up the good work. As a voter who supports more liberal legislation I'm sure I couldn't find a better representative for the ultra wealthy. The Chamber wants the bottom lines of corporations to look better and is fully in favor of sending our jobs overseas, cutting corporate taxes and toeing the line on giving employees better wages ... good work.

So if you're having trouble surviving in the present economy (most of us are) things will only get worse ... for us, not for those that tip the scale in their favor.

DARYL PULLEN, Boise

Nampa school levy

Proposed Nampa increase on school tax levy:

Here we go again. I do not have children attending any learning centers in the valley. If you want to raise taxes, do so at the expense of those who have kids.

JOHN DUNCAN, Nampa

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