Opinion

Guest Opinions

Free speech includes right to criticize the courts, president

I have never been a supporter of President Donald Trump and probably never will be. I do believe, however, there is at least one thing he has a right to complain about. The national press and talking heads have recently seized on the president’s attacks on the courts. Some have said his tweets will create a constitutional crisis. Calm down. We are nowhere near a constitutional crisis — at least not yet. In fact, the only decision we have is on an interim order pending trial.

Letters to the Editor

Lyons letter: Immigrants

This past summer I was able to visit New York City. While I was there I was able to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I saw very visibly the effects immigration has on this country. The stories I heard of people who came to the United States and made a life for themselves is quite amazing. My stepmother was able to see pictures and see the name of her grandfather, an immigrant from Sweden. She was so grateful to be able get a better understanding of her roots. There are millions of examples just like this, yet President Trump has attempted to put heavy restrictions and stoppages of immigration. The United States is a melting pot and a place for people who need to get out of terrible situations to come and find a new life. We are a country that should have open arms to those who need our help and not put walls between us. Something needs to change.

Letters to the Editor

Gonzalez letter: State surplus

Why not reinvest our state’s surplus and make sure folks can feed their families? We have a state budget surplus that is nearing $139 million. This is a boon for our state as it faces some serious challenges ahead in improving our education system, which according to Education Week is ranked last in the country in financing our schools and repairing our crumbling infrastructure. Yet, lawmakers are proposing (HB67) to cut state revenue more than $50 million through tax breaks that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy and harm those who depend on schools and roads to get where they need to go. It’s short-sighted and potentially harmful.

Letters to the Editor

Fairchild letter: Bus riding

There is a reason people aren’t riding the bus. When my car broke down, I had to walk nearly a mile to reach the nearest bus stop. Then it went in the opposite direction from where I needed to go. I had to reboard a different bus to go where I needed to go in the first place. A drive that normally took 20 minutes turned into an hour and a half. I ended up borrowing a friend’s bike. It was faster. The routes could be much better planned. Create a “spoke system.” Two circular routes around the city ... one closer in than the second, then have buses that just run into and out of the city. The first time I ever visited San Jose, I was able to find my way around in a timely manner. I suggest consulting them on how it’s done right.

Letters to the Editor

Erisman letter: Bus ridership

I’d like to offer a perspective on the lack of bus ridership. We live in an area where it’s a convenient 10-minute walk to a bus stop, which is then a convenient 15-minute ride downtown. But we seldom ride for one simple reason. Lack of evening hours. As retirees, we don’t need the bus for commute, but we do like to go downtown for restaurants and other entertainment. The lack of evening service prevents this. I noticed that Eugene (with whom we were compared) has service to 12:30 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Bishop letter: Grizzlies

U.S. Fish and Wildlife has recently decided to consider “delisting” the grizzly bear. Unfortunately our state Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 5-2 to support the effort. A part of the proposal would have the Idaho Fish and Game Department “manage” the bears after the delisting. What a horrible idea.

Letters to the Editor

Williams letter: Bieter and ACHD

I think it is a real cheap shot for Mayor Bieter and other local politicians to jump on the ACHD during a major snowfall plus very cold and prolonged weather event. To me it is obvious that one highway district that plans, coordinates and implements traffic control, road building and maintenance on a countywide basis is not only the most efficient and cost effective, but also the most able to assist the smaller cities and rural part of the county with their road needs. All of Ada County should operate as one coordinated system. It is the best for us all, and that includes Boise.

Letters to the Editor

Wilkerson letter: Medicare Advantage

In less than 60 days, CMS will announce funding for Medicare Advantage, and the time is now for Idaho seniors to tell our congressmen to demonstrate a strong show of support for continued funding. My Medicare Advantage plan, which is privately administered and offers comprehensive coverage, allows me to lead a healthy life, assured that I will be able to receive the care I need. If federal funding is reduced for the program — possibly making my plan unaffordable for me or causing my provider to reduce my coverage — I’d be in real trouble. Idaho seniors, it’s time to speak up for this critical program.

Guest Opinions

Repeal of hybrid surcharge likely — now figure out Idaho road funding

It’s refreshing when Idaho legislators admit passing a flawed law that wrongly cost Idaho households tens of thousands of dollars, and then write a law to fix that mistake. Here is House Bill 20 (passed in both chambers and headed to Gov. Butch Otter), and thanks to Rep. Stephen Harris, R-Meridian, for bringing the remedial bill and to all legislators who supported it after hearing from hundreds of Idahoans who were unfairly billed burdensome fees because we drive efficient vehicles.

Guest Opinions

Frank Church helicopter ruling a victory for wilderness, wildlife

Conservation groups cheered when a federal judge ruled last month that the Forest Service and Idaho Department of Fish and Game violated federal law by landing helicopters in an Idaho wilderness area to attach tracking collars to elk and wolves. The court also ordered the data gathered through these illegal activities destroyed. The now-halted project gives every appearance of an unscientific witch hunt, tailor-made to scapegoat wolf predation as the cause of elk population declines and to justify a wolf-killing program in wilderness.

Opinion

We all contribute to the pervasive contempt poisoning our politics

When President Donald Trump tweeted that the news media “is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” the outrage on the left was palpable. That’s how dictators speak, they cried, comparing Trump to everyone from Lenin and Stalin to Mao and Mussolini. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod declared, “No other president would have described the media as ‘the enemy of the people.’ ”

Letters to the Editor

Roy letter: Moyle tax cuts

Mike Moyle is at it again. Proposing tax cuts, promising that they will stimulate the economy and make us all more prosperous. It’s the same story that some in the Republican Party has been putting out for the last 35 years and promising to shrink the debt. George H.W. Bush called it Voodoo economics. In 1980, the top-tier federal tax rate was 70 percent. By 1988 it was 28 percent. People making millions saw their taxes cut 60 percent. Middle class people barely saw any cuts, some saw increases. The result was that the income gap, which had been shrinking for 35 years, began to grow. The growth in the economy didn’t happen, the federal deficit didn’t shrink, it exploded.

Letters to the Editor

Bergesen letter: Pillars

Communities have many pillars — not only the brick and mortar kind but human pillars — pillars of influence, strength, virtue, trust, kindness and generosity. This month our community lost three pillars — all within weeks of one another.

Letters to the Editor

Loveland letter: Horse racing

The racehorse community is looking at another summer with no racing at Les Bois Park, and the small county fair tracks are trying to survive without the supporting funds that come from Les Bois. The Idaho Legislature thought the operators of Les Bois Park were bluffing when they said they couldn’t operate the park and would have to close without the revenue from the Instant Racing Machines. Meanwhile, Indian Gaming and the Lottery roll on, business as usual, despite the fact they are also electronic gambling devices. When the Idaho Racing Commission discussed a possible solution with the governor to help the struggling industry, Sen. Brent Hill, Rexburg, immediately started talking of defunding the Racing Commission. Perhaps it would be easier to understand if Hill was waging an equal attack on all gambling venues. What does Hill have against horse racing? Para-mutuel gambling has been present in Idaho since the ’60s. Racing is part of our heritage and if Les Bois Park closes it will probably be lost forever. People in Idaho are upset by this, and when it’s time to vote again we will remember.

Videos

Interior Secretary Jewell recounts events that kept her up at night

United States Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks with the Idaho Statesman Editorial Board on a visit to Idaho Jan. 3, 2017 in the waning days of her administration overseeing federal lands. She responds to the question of what events kept her up at night.
Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com
Interior Secretary Jewell recounts events that kept her up at night 4:17

Interior Secretary Jewell recounts events that kept her up at night

Why the Idaho Statesman endorses political candidates 1:48

Why the Idaho Statesman endorses political candidates

Boise Sanders supporters hold firm 2:32

Boise Sanders supporters hold firm

Leon Panetta on public service 1:44

Leon Panetta on public service