Guest Opinions

Idaho kids still can avoid ‘summer slide’

I love summer, but as a parent it can be stressful to keep kids safe and busy. Fortunately there are summer programs to help. If you have a child engaged in one, you may also have the peace of mind that they are likely offering much more than safety and fun. Summer programs can also offer extended learning opportunities and help prevent the “summer slide.”


This time, Idaho’s Medicaid gap panel must turn talk to policy

The bad news came last April when the Idaho Legislature walked away from its 2016 session without hammering out a solution to assist the estimated 78,000 Idahoans who face today and tomorrow without health insurance. The good news is that members of the Legislature — in the form of the bipartisan Healthcare Alternatives For Citizens Below 100 Percent of Poverty Level committee, made up of Idaho House and Senate representatives — is back talking about care for our neighbors who don’t make enough money to enroll in the Your Health Idaho exchange, and who make too much to benefit from coverage under Medicaid.


Trump doesn’t get ‘global leadership’

A MAJOR theme of the Republican convention was that a vote for Donald Trump is a vote to restore America’s position in world affairs, which President Obama has, in the GOP view, deliberately undermined. Trump “will rebuild our military and stand with our allies,” vice presidential nominee Mike Pence proclaimed. He also said: “We cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies and abandoning our friends.”


Fewer nukes could make our world less safe

Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” recently issued a dire warning about the man he worked for, declaring, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

Letters to the Editor

Kuntz letter: Private airstrip

There is a time and place for everything. Approving a new private airstrip adjacent to a pre-existing wildlife management area and a wildly popular public open-space trail system is akin to approving a strip club or casino next to a school. The Ada County commissioners will hear public testimony Wednesday to determine if a private landowner should get approval to build an airstrip and airplane hangar and land his airplane up to 14 times a week on a ridge near Table Rock. While I believe protecting private property rights is certainly important, I firmly believe common sense and responsible planning need to be the ultimate guide in land-use decisions.

Letters to the Editor

Conley letter: Private airstrip

Mr. Dean Hilde has proposed to build a private airstrip in the Boise Foothills in a subdivision up behind Table Rock. This is an inappropriate use of the Boise Foothills area especially since it is so close to the Wildlife Management Area that includes the Hammer Flats area. We citizens approved a levy to protect the Foothills as open space for recreation and wildlife, not for the landing of private planes. The airport is only a 30-minute drive away. This area is in the Boise City Area of Impact, and any activities that happen there should be coordinated with Boise City’s Comprehensive Plan, which it does not. The approval of this airstrip seemed to based on the fact that Hilde is a nice person. That is not what zoning issues should be based on. This area also has no real fire protection and the folks living there have refused to pay to set one up that would actually protect them. Please attend the hearing to appeal this decision by the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission before the Ada County commissioners at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ada County Courthouse.

Letters to the Editor

Pluntze letter: Twin Falls assault

Just finished reading Michelle Malkin’s superbly written June 22 article, “Horror & Hush-Up In Twin Falls, Idaho” — an article that literally had me shaking with anger, not only because of the truly cowardly and brazen sexual assault on that 5-year-old girl, but also just as infuriatingly the desperate and pathetic political correctness-inspired response to it (including by the Statesman itself, which apparently couldn’t wait to try to discredit internet writers). Not exactly a shining example, either in the Magic or the Treasure Valley, of either responsible mainstream journalism or political leadership. Here in the Wood River Valley, I’d very much expect the sort of noxious, obnoxious radiantly liberal responses that emerged in the wake of that June attack (currently there are a number of CSI-processed Somalian refugees working and living at SV Resort, and you can practically hear our unceasingly self-serving liberals in this valley celebrating their arrival here, an arrival that probably had a lot to do with the fact that so many employers in the Magic Valley quite understandably were not going to hire Refugee-Resettlement people at any price, anymore than many Treasure Valley ones are) but not in other counties.

Letters to the Editor

Jacobsen letter: Hybrid fee

I have read several letters from hybrid car owners complaining about a $75 fee on their annual vehicle registration they think is unfair. I would like to suggest that you consider the idea that, given all the fuel you save driving your hybrid compared to the rest of us, you pay far less toward the maintenance of the roads and highways in fuel taxes than we do. I believe the intention of the $75 fee is an attempt to somewhat equalize that, given that we all cause about the same wear and tear on the roads.

Letters to the Editor

Falcone letter: Hybrid fee

Regarding Dave Griffel letter dated July 7. Thanks Dave for your insightful and accurate report on an inconceivable, ludicrous penalty that the state of Idaho imposes on owners of hybrid automobiles. My research has revealed the following. At least 42 states offer some form of support for alternative fuel vehicles, and many of them have attractive programs that can seriously offset the expense of acquiring one. (Alas, Idaho is not one of them ). The federal government offers a tax credit of $2,500-$7,500, and in states most in sync with the federal government’s goals, legislatures have been willing to kick in extra dollars as a rebate credit or in some cases exemption from sales tax. Idaho has created $140 annual fee for all electric vehicles. Only 10 states charge extra fees for plug-in & hybrid cars. Therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with Griffel regarding our legislators, who have to be better informed and more intelligent with their decision on penalizing the owners of alternative fuel vehicles.


Hate is still the norm online

Leslie Jones of "Saturday Night Live" and "Ghostbusters" fame has been under attack. For the crime of being in a movie remake, the actor was called ugly names, sent racist images and relentlessly attacked for hours by dozens of accounts on Twitter. "I feel like I'm in a personal hell," Jones tweeted to her 189,000 followers. "It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this."

Letters to the Editor

Koch letter: CRNAs help veterans

To reduce wait times for veterans needing health care services, the Veterans’ Administration recently proposed fully utilizing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and other advanced practice nurses throughout VA hospitals (currently only some VA hospitals do that).

Letters to the Editor

Beauchamp letter: Hillary emails

A funny thing happened on the way to Hillary Clinton’s “EmailGate” lynching. When questioned by Congressman Matt Cartwright, FBI Director James Comey admitted that the emails he said were “considered classified” were not actually marked classified. He also admitted that since the documents were not properly marked, Secretary Clinton would rightly assume them to be unclassified. Oops. Conclusion? When she said she never sent or received any emails marked classified, she was right. Not surprising, though, the media has failed to correct its reporting while the GOP ignores the truth and continues to perpetuate the myth that Hillary is dishonest. Remember all those Hillary “scandals”? Whitewater, TravelGate, Benghazi? You can add “EmailGate” to the never-ending list of GOP witch hunts that have produced no evidence of wrongdoing. Wake up, folks, you’re being conned.

Letters to the Editor

Brewer letter: Nampa rentals

What madness has gripped the Nampa real estate market? I just accepted a job offer as a teacher in Nampa, I’m single with no kids, I currently live in a one-bedroom house in Payette less than 400 square feet. My rent is $450. I go looking for a similar dwelling in Nampa and I find five; three are Section 42 i.e., limited income, my teaching salary is too much for that; the other two are luxury condos with rents starting at $800, and my salary isn’t enough to afford that. Earth to Nampa, bachelors need a place to live, too, and teachers don’t make six-digit salaries. I’ve heard that common sense really ain’t so common sometimes, but this is ridiculous.

Letters to the Editor

Bastian letter: History

Many have the mistaken idea that America was founded by a group of intellectual secularists, who permitted religious colonists to share this great nation if they stayed in the shadows and promised not to make trouble. However, the truth is America was founded by Pilgrim Calvinists, Catholic colonists and persecuted Pennsylvania Quakers. They all came for one paramount reason — freedom of conscience and religion for all. Although they differed in some particular doctrine, they all came seeking a place of refuge and a new beginning where they could live freely and worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience.


Boise Sanders supporters hold firm

Boise North End residents Angeline and Michael Blain will stick with Bernie Sanders as their presidential candidate even though Hillary Clinton has amassed enough delegates to earn the Democrat nomination.
Boise Sanders supporters hold firm 2:32

Boise Sanders supporters hold firm

Leon Panetta on public service 1:44

Leon Panetta on public service

Nampa native helps kids around the world with shoes that grow 2:53

Nampa native helps kids around the world with shoes that grow

How Table Rock Mobile Medicine does house calls 1:45

How Table Rock Mobile Medicine does house calls