Letters to the Editor, 01-08-2014

January 8, 2014 

Bike transit

No disaster. Valley Regional Transit and others are to be applauded for harnessing Boiseans’ love for cycling — in the form of the “Boise Bike Share” — and taking it to the next level. However, to categorize the 1994 Yellow Bike Program as a “disaster” is akin to calling the Wright Brothers’ abbreviated flight a “failure.” Rather, both were necessary precursors to what came later. Whether due to funding limits — paint was the largest capital outlay — a population not yet quite ready to embrace something that was “free” and a bit quirky, The Yellow Bike Program did not survive for long. However, that it captured the interest it did was always thought by some as evidence that a well-funded program might one day become permanent. Today, Boise’s appreciation of biking is broad and deep; witness the Foothills Initiative, which owes its success to many, but certainly bike enthusiasts. And, biking is seen as more than just recreation, but a genuine alternative form of transportation. Hopefully, VRT will create the necessary critical mass of bikes and bike stops, but local leaders should be prepared to invest further, if necessary, to make this work, since, as acknowledged: “ Bikes are a lot cheaper than buses.”

FREDRIC V. SHOEMAKER, co-sponsor, Yellow Bike Program, Boise

Property taxes

I recently received our property tax bill and was shocked. Our taxes went up 26 percent this year. In further research, I found our taxes had gone up over 56 percent since 2009. We certainly have not received 56 percent more government service.

This time period included the worst recession since Jimmy Carter with the highest unemployment in my lifetime. It seems everybody out there had to tighten their belts except the city of Meridian, Ada County, and our school districts. How can you possibly justify this Meridian and Ada County? You should all, including the school districts and the teachers union, be ashamed of yourselves. I will remember this in the next few elections, and I hope every citizen of Ada County will, too.

STEVE SPAFFORD, Meridian

Morality

When I consider the current widespread acceptance and approval of homosexuality (not to mention abortion, pornography, glorified violence, gambling and socialism), I am reminded of one of those hypnotism shows at the county fair. A persuasive person can convince a willing participant to believe that he is a dog, a baby, or Napoleon, until the one who was granted control snaps his fingers and the subject suddenly realizes how foolishly he has been behaving, and sheepishly slinks back to is seat.

However, the analogy apparently breaks down. After all, if Oklahoma City, 9/11, Virginia Tech, Newtown, a host of fallen soldiers, and impending national financial ruin hasn’t awakened this country to the fact that it has voluntarily subscribed to a plethora of absolute absurdity, I wonder if it’s possible for any finger-snapping to be loud enough to accomplish it.

LANCE WELLS, Meridian

School levy

Reference the letter from John Duncan Dec. 25, complaining about the proposed Nampa schools levy. Poor baby. Perhaps he should read the letter (same day) from Breanna Carmack, Columbia high school teacher, quoting her student Matthew Brown. “An uneducated populace is easy to control; such control is exactly contrary to the ideal of America.”

LEE BERNASCONI, Boise

Eagle terrain park

Once again, the Eagle City Council held a “special” closed-door meeting to negotiate a deal with Ada County regarding the much controversial Eagle terrain park. The last open-door meeting was held on October 22 of this year, two months prior to this meeting and two week before the new council members will be sworn in. The fact that the council held the meeting one day after Christmas while most residents of Eagle were either out of town or spending time with friends and family, proves that the council’s lack of transparency will not be ending anytime soon.

On Dec. 27, the Statesman Opinions page made reference to some New Year’s Resolutions for some of our politicians, and we agree ... if any of the Eagle City Council members have future asperations of higher office, they may want to start speaking to local residents before making reckless offers on spending our money.

LINDA AND CHARLES CONN, Eagle

Political cartoons

Is someone at the Idaho Statesman related to Mike Luckovich, the political cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution? I can only assume that is why we are treated to his cartoons several times a week. I get it, he hates Republicans and that’s fair enough, but his cartoons are neither funny nor insightful. Surely, out of the hundreds of political cartoonist available, the Statesman can afford to mix things up a bit more.

STEPHEN HILL, Boise

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