On May 24, 2018, Claudia Gomez, a Guatemalan immigrant, was shot in the head and killed by a U. S Customs and Border Patrol Agent (CBP) near Laredo, Texas. She was unarmed and posed no threat. Initially CBP stated she was an assailant, then discovering the incident had been recorded and posted on Facebook, they changed their story indicating she was not an assailant. The witness indicated that there was no verbal warning — just the sound of the gun. She was killed for trying to find a better life. She was not a murderer, rapist or criminal. Crossing the border, without documentation while not posing a threat should not be a death sentence. Claudia Gomez was a human being, one of God’s creations, not an “animal” as Trump would like us to believe. She is now dead. This was murder, plain and simple, in the name of “national security.” Make no mistake that each and every one of us bears some responsibility for her death. A gofundme.com account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. There are some human animals involved here, but it was not #claudiagomez.
Tom Lorentz, Boise
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Once again let me say that the sagebrush steppe never existed and does not now. Presettlement, those areas now in sagebrush and juniper were bunchgrass communities.
The exclusion of natural fire cycles and 150 years of overuse and abuse by domestic livestock have resulted in the current conditions of our grasslands.
Prior to settlement, every seep of water had a diverse and healthy riparian zone of native plants. Upland gamebirds nested at the base of the big trees and foraged on the herbs and forbs and insects in the grassland communities. Grasshoppers were an important protein source for them and their chicks. Riparian zones provide cover and food in winter.
The oral histories of First Nations people support this environment. They were responsible for over 40 percent of the fires that maintained these grasslands. The rest were lightning-caused.
Every stream on the public lands is contaminated by fecal coliform and destroyed by domestic livestock.
When is enough, enough?
All of our invasive plants are susceptible to fire. Removal of domestic livestock and re-establishing natural fire cycles would eliminate this problem.
Odos Lowery, Boise
We’ve seen too many fireworks vendors on newscasts in Idaho regarding the sale of aerial fireworks, with these vendors claiming they are not breaking the law by selling illegal aerial fireworks simply by requiring the buyer to sign an “affidavit” agreeing not to use them in Idaho. This is not enough. There are already 30 wildfires burning throughout the West and Idaho has been lucky — so far. But the risk of aerial fireworks starting a wildfire is too great to even allow the sale of these fireworks — even if the buyer signs such an affidavit. Since the use of aerial fireworks is in fact illegal in Idaho, the only way to ensure they are not used is to ban the sale or purchase. We must protect our forests, our homes and the citizens of Idaho by not allowing the use, sale or purchase of aerial fireworks in Idaho, period. I hope Gov. Otter will find the time to speak personally in a televised public service announcement about this subject to protect our forests, homes and citizens.
Janna Nikkola, Boise
When are the state officials going to move all trucks to the right lane? With the weight and length they shouldn’t be out running with cars, as we saw again recently with a big wreck. With the weight and bouncing when it gets hot, they will be tearing up every lane on the road. Keep them to the right and ruin one lane, much cheaper and safer.
Art Pemberton, Meridian