Letters to the editor: 01-14-2014

January 14, 2014 

Medical marijuana

Well Idaho, it’s time to come out of the closet. For 80 years the prohibition of cannabis has destroyed lives and created a drug cartel like no other. We have wasted resources and have created harm. The science behind cannabis is overwhelming. The facts are and not limited to the holy grail of natural medicines — from alcoholism, epilepsy, MS, Crohn’s, PTSD to asthma, and the list is growing every day.

Legalize medical marijuana now! Google cannabis and cancer and see what you get; Google that and many more ailments and see where your research sends you — you owe it to yourself to know the truth. It may save your life or someone you love. So make this the year you become aware of these facts and your life will be changed forever. (compassionateidaho.org)

WILLIAM ESBENSEN, Boise

Traffic calming

In response to Jim Reed’s letter to the editor Dec. 24:

The traffic calming measures were initiated as a result of an agreement with the Crescent Rim Condos LLC, city of Boise and the Depot Bench Neighborhood Association. As part of the permit issuance, the developer made funds available to the neighborhood to develop and implement plans that would help mitigate traffic in the neighborhood. Traffic studies at the time indicated that the streets were already negatively impacted by speeding traffic in the heavily pedestrian-traveled neighborhood.

A professionally engineered design was created to slow traffic that would accommodate the anticipated increase in auto trips from the new condos and would enhance pedestrian safety. The cost of this project has been funded by the developer, not tax dollars.

The traffic calming measures approved included a traffic circle at the Depot. DBNA applied for and received funds from the Boise City Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant program, which provided the funding to produce the art and history elements that would complement the area and the depot. A historical, interpretive marker outlining the history of the area will be added soon. All art and history has been funded by the grant.

JACK CORTABITARTE and the DBNA Traffic Calming & Pedestrian Safety Committee, Boise

Gov. Otter

Fluff or substance? Once again Gov. Otter has shown his fluff with no substance. He creates an education task force to improve education in Idaho and then does not use its recommendations. (It looks like the Luna laws are alive and kicking, no matter what the voters said in the repeal of the laws.) It’s time for a new progressive governor for Idaho.

GARY HARVEY, Boise

Common Core

Bill Gates has doubts about Common Core.

As The Washington Post reported on Sept. 27, the man who poured billions into Common Core education reform revealed during an interview at Harvard, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” He repeated it soon afterward during a Clinton Global Initiative panel discussion.

So here we are in Idaho, one of the many states that signed on to Common Core without a clear picture of its outcome, having already spent large amounts of taxpayer money gearing up for it in our public schools, set to implement an education theory based on no record of success, questionable research and a wealthy philanthropist’s latest agenda, which even he now questions.

Parents and grandparents should be worried; teachers already are. Pilot schools around the country in which Common Core has been implemented show poor results, and it affects teacher assessments.

Gates has funded other education theories of his before, such as breaking up large high schools into smaller ones. It didn’t work out as he hoped. After which he wanted to link teacher assessment to student standardized test scores, contrary to assessment experts’ opinions.

ANITA PERRY, Sandpoint

Water

In a letter to the editor Dec. 13, Paul Cunningham doubts the need for more storage on the Boise River.

Although some land is converting from agricultural status to urban and industrial uses, it is a statistical fact that when converted to acre feet per year, urban/industrial consumers use about the same (and in certain cases more) water per acre as agriculture does. Before doubting that fact, bear in mind that agriculture only uses water six to seven months, whereas urban/industrial users consume water year round. So, we’re really looking at least a 1:1 exchange as land use transition takes place.

Cunningham also posed the question “Are water districts making use of this increased supply from reduced urban demand?”

As stated above, there is no net gain of water from the ag-urban transition. However, I can assure you that as with any industry, farmers and irrigation districts have used science and technology to improve and become more efficient in what they do.

In addition, there are five separate hydropower plants throughout the Boise Project Board of Control water delivery system.

So, are the water conveyors and users making efficient use of the water they deliver and use? Yes!

CLINTON C. PLINE, Nampa

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