Senator Crapo, consider doing the research required to take the border, geographic section by section, and determine how to best protect it. Consider drones, satellites, roads, border patrol buildings and yes, barriers. Do the work to estimate the cost that protects each section of border, present this budget to the people and the president. Consider more judges to process immigrants with legitimate asylum requests. Consider more resources for countries with issues that are driving their citizens out. This would be an investment in U.S. security. Costs may be more than $5.6 billion, maybe less. Let’s find out.
The American public is not stupid. The “wall” is now nothing more than a political tagline, and a real solution would be a win-win for both sides. In my job, if I believe a solution is possible, I do the work to sell my solution, the cost, the timeline, the expected results, the risks.
Please, I implore you to be the senator who steps up and provides a solution. An apolitical solution that solves the problem. It will take more than talk. It will take real work and a detailed, multifaceted solution.
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Be the solution.
Linda Bowen, Eagle
The Trump mutiny
The truth slips into the abyss. Hordes of huddled masses coalesce on our teeming shore. Affordable health care is unaffordable. The country’s infrastructure has leaking pipes. And where is our leader, Captain Queeg? He’s on the White House south portico watching the USS United States complete a full circle and sever its own line connecting to the American people. Blaming, then firing his top aides for gross inattention, Queeg retreats to the White House kitchen, where he discovers the strawberries are missing. A cursory check yields no strawberries. On the recommendation of his chief strategist, Rush Limblaaa, Queeg orders a White House lockdown until the strawberries are found.
Meanwhile, an increasingly alarmed House of Representatives deliberates Captain Queeg’s eccentric behavior and irrational decision making, and impeaches him on charges of nepotism, cronyism, malfeasance, paranoia and sporting a 1950s pompadour. At his Senate trial, Queeg suffers a nervous breakdown when it is revealed that the kitchen staff ate the strawberries. Removed from his command, Captain Queeg was last sighted working at a retail outlet on the ground floor at Trump Tower, selling cheap Chinese suits and passing out souvenir Mar-a-Lago golf balls.
Tom Yount, Boise
Forty-one counties are left without emissions testing. No one would be breaking the law with emissions testing statewide.
Carlyn F. Entrikin, Boise
As a participant in the New Library campaign, I feel a responsibility to help keep written statements factual for Boise citizens.
I’m referencing a Jan. 1 letter.
1. We are not paying $11 million to our lead architect. Facts: Mr. Safdie’s firm will receive $3.4 million; local architects CHSQA and structural engineers KPFF, $5.5 million; and various consulting specialists (safety, environmental, etc.), $2.1 million.
2.The current project budget is $80-$85 million: $18 million, philanthropy; $15 million, from CCDC for parking garage; $15 million, the city and the balance from long-term lease financing.
3. Taxpayers will not be burdened with increased taxes to support this project. If taxes increase, it will be due to reasons other than the library project.
4. There was no “vote” about the relocation of The Cabin. The city received email comments about the proposed move; 322 comments received during Nov. 16-26, 2018, 194 expressed varying degrees of support for keeping The Cabin on site. However, that tally did not account for duplicate submissions.
5. Options for relocating The Cabin are being considered, improving the physical condition and parking. None of the alternatives involve “a hole in the wall.”
Bev Harad, Boise
Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre served eight years in public service, worked long hours, made millions for taxpayers and streamlined operations, only to be charged with three felonies for expenditures of under $150, which she paid back.
She questioned the commissioners’ proposed spending, refused to be a “yes man/woman” to power, and I believe that the good old boys found a way to punish and discredit her.
She suggested mediation. They told the press she did a bad job.
The crime — she purchased tickets for her deputy treasurer and herself to attend a hockey game that was advertised and purchased through their business conference. Then, needing to brief her deputy on duties while she’d be away, they stopped at the Linq to enjoy the city views at a quiet place on the way back to their hotel.
Double standards and privilege: The commissioners and clerk conduct business over meals paid with a “Rewards & Recognition” account no one else can access. Her deputy treasurer benefited from the same conference activities but hasn’t been charged.
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” (Thomas Jefferson)
Cynthia Ellis, M.B.A., M.ED., business consultant, Boise
Race and injustice
Mr. Westin’s discovery (“This Longtime Boisean” Jan. 1) about Idaho’s history regarding people of color was a welcome way to begin a new year. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Santayana) Having seen “Green Book,” I would highly recommend it as a very well-written film that doesn’t preach but serves as a very funny yet compelling true story about one unequal relationship between two men that could serve as a template to all to bridge the brutal divide that defines us still.
For those who are interested in our nation’s history of racial and economic injustice in order to participate in restorative truth-telling, go to the Equal Justice Initiative: www.eji.org.
Margot Callahan, Boise
In response to the Sunday, Jan. 6, “5 Deadly Myths” — In 1990 President Bush signed the Chief Financial Officers Act requiring federal agencies to complete annual audits. All but one of 24 have complied — the Department of Defense attempted only one audit in 27 years and failed. An article in The Nation (Jan. 7) reports that a Michigan State University professor and his students examined Inspector General reports back to 1998. What they found: “a mind-boggling $21 trillion in financial transactions between 1998 and 2015 could not be traced, documented or explained.” That’s $21 trillion (not billion). DoD books show they cannot account for more money than Congress even appropriated — multiple times more.
Congress can’t effectively review DoD budgets because there is no relationship between the budgets and reality. So Congress just adds money to the previous year’s bogus figures and $716 billion goes into the DoD account without any accountability. Of course, I’m not suggesting that no money go to national defense. But shouldn’t we be curious about where all that money goes? And make us conclude (along with President Eisenhower) that all this lost defense money is a tragic unacceptable theft from our children, grandchildren, and future of our country?
Steven Michael Randolph, Boise