Letters to the Editor: 01-09-2014

January 9, 2014 

Politics

If only we would hold our elected officials to the same expectations and standards that we have for the delivery of our packages, can you imagine how much would get accomplished? Wow, promises kept, working with efficiency and focus until the tasks are completed. Maybe even refunds to the taxpayers when things just do not go the way they promised. You know, Congress has set our expectations so low that we are not outraged when they meet them. Come on, let’s hold our elected officials feet to the fire and cut UPS and Fed Ex some slack.

DEBBIE MOORE, Boise

Legislators

Rep. Lawerence Denney is in his ninth term in the Legislature. Sen. Monty Pearce is in his sixth and Rep. Judy Boyle is in her third. Denney is running for Secretary of State, and Pearce and Boyle have subjected their area to fracking for natural gas.

They represent Adams, Canyon, Payette and Washington counties. Adams has an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent. Canyon is at 6.1 percent. Payette is at 6.6 percent and Washington is at 7 percent. Idaho has an overall average of 6.1 percent. Adams is the worst in the state, yet the voters in these counties keep putting these people back in office to represent them.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, in this case voting the same people into office, over and over again and expecting a different result. If you elect incompetent people to represent you, they will.

LEE HALPER, Jerome

Dog shooting

On the recent dog shooting: In the Statesman’s Dec. 24 half-page update to this ongoing saga, they completely failed to mention that among several bystanders who witnessed the Boise police officer nearly empty his service revolver on a family’s dog, there was a child present. For those who’ve never seen a living creature plugged multiple times with a Glock .45, it’s not a pretty sight. Every single shot is as loud as a cannon and and inflicts severe trauma that is often fatal.

What’s wrong with this picture? This is not the Wild West! Boise is a peace-loving town, and our police are supposed to be peace officers.

Are we prepared to turn a policeman loose on Boise’s streets with a license to kill and a fuse as short as a sneeze? This behavior does not make me feel more secure. In fact, quite to the contrary — and I know I’m not alone.

Suggestion: What if the Boise Police Department admits that when this officer fired his service revolver at a dog defending her pups, he probably used unnecessary deadly force?

It’s called damage control — and if BPD continues to dodge accountability, they’re missing a golden opportunity to restore the people’s trust.

MICHAEL HOWARD, Boise

Camel’s Back

I am 7 years old, and I think Camel’s Back Hill is great as it is. Let me tell you why stairs at the top is a bad idea. First, it would look horrible from below. It would be unnatural, but more important, it would no longer compel kids to climb the hill. If kids don’t climb the hill they won’t learn lessons about balance and braveness. They also won’t learn about erosion and that the hill is changing because of people. How much would building a big hill that teaches about erosion, bravery, balance and history cost? Luckily we don’t have to spend that money. We have Camel’s Back. Why shouldn’t we spend the money on a four-seated zip line that goes from the top to the bottom? Now that would be an improvement.

NOE KEMPER, Boise

Medicaid

The Idaho State Legislature ended the 2013 session leaving at least 70,000 Idahoans without health insurance. Because the majority of our Idaho legislators voted against expanding Medicaid — knowing that the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the expansion for three years — these people will not be insured. The Affordable Care Act was made to ensure all Americans are insured and have access to health care. Those Idaho legislators who voted against expanding Medicaid have failed to support the poorest of the poor in our state, leaving them to seek health care at emergency rooms, which we know is the most expensive way to get care. Expanding Medicaid in Idaho will not contribute to the national deficit. Having healthy people, who can work and support their families, supports a vital economy.

I urge our Idaho legislators to put this issue on the agenda for 2014 session, and reconsider Medicaid expansion. Health care is right, not a partisan issue. It is not cost-effective to leave Idahoans without health care.

MAREE MCHUGH, Moscow

Bike riders

As a former bicyclist, I understand both sides but have to agree with folks who are upset with some of the bike riders in Boise. When I was in the Navy I rode to work every day. You think traffic is bad here; I rode from midtown Manhattan to the Brooklyn Navy Yard every day. I also took my bike with me on my ship and got to ride in many cities up and down the East Coast, so I got to see the best and worst in drivers.

Now, as a driver in Boise, I have seen what others have complained about. Not all but many need to go back to their bike safety classes in elementary school. Last week I saw several bike riders ignore traffic, cut in front of me and not stop at lights or traffic signals. I know that means having to stop and start again, but it does not give bicyclists a reason to ignore basic safety. Riding in traffic is dangerous enough without adding the risk of not following the rules. If bike riders want the respect of others they need to follow the rules too.

GARY SMITH, Star

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