If the Republican-dominated Legislature’s attempt to scuttle the Medicaid expansion initiative doesn’t show you how much contempt Sen. Grow and his colleagues have for their constituents, his attempt to cripple citizen initiatives altogether most certainly does. His bill reflects the “I know better than the people” attitude that has been prevalent in this Legislature for years. His bill is outrageous, dangerous, ill-advised and most certainly not in the spirit of our Constitution or democracy. It seems clear that Sen. Grow wants to deny citizens their constitutional right to make law because citizens had the audacity to pass the Medicaid expansion, by an overwhelming 61 percent of Idaho voters, because the Legislature refused repeatedly to address the issue. This is not the “Idaho way.” This is not the American way. Citizens of Idaho must stand against this misguided power grab.
During his Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln reminded us that America “…as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Don’t let his words die in vain. Contact your senators and representatives and tell them. “Citizens initiatives are my right! Don’t tread on me.”
Tex Beauchamp, Meridian
Many Second Amendment activists state that their passion is rooted in protecting the rights afforded them. They also state that they as a group are mostly law-abiding citizens, free of gun violence.
I am also a constitutional rights supporter and a domestic- and gun-violence survivor. Additionally, I have a conceal carry license. Gun violence is defined as threats of suicide and the use of a displayed weapon as a threat or intimidation. I have attended many public meetings at the Idaho Legislature, and at each of these public meetings, I have seen many Second Amendment activists actively displaying their guns.
To be clear, I recognize that their display is not illegal; however, I do contend that it is extremely disrespectful to those like me who are survivors of gun violence. That display can be a trigger for a PTS-related anxiety attack. Further, and to me even more concerning, is that I see this display as an act of intimidation, or in other words, abuse.
Unknown numbers of Idahoans proudly carry loaded guns without the display. I would ask those passionate Second Amendment activists why they feel the need to show their weapon. We can discuss the Second Amendment without the brandishing of firearms.
Jennifer Beazer, Boise
Rules for dogs
Two women were mauled to death by dogs last week in two separate incidents here in the U.S. Both women were going about their business in a normal fashion, one on a public road and the other in her yard. Dog attacks are fairly common. In Idaho, dogs are required to be restrained from roaming freely, regardless of whether they are living in a rural area. There seems to be a common misconception by rural dog owners that because they live in the country, they can leave their dogs roaming freely. This misconception causes difficulty for people trying to use the road to walk, ride a bike or motorcycle, run and even just drive by in a car. Roaming dogs are a problem all over rural Idaho. Rural dog owners need to realize their responsibility to their pet and the other people they share the country air with. Dogs need to be confined to the property they live on. This is an issue that continues to be neglected by law enforcement. Idaho people deserve enforcement of a policy that provides protection for people running or riding a bike to safely pass without harassment or attack from dogs.
Sheila Clark, Payette
The residents of Meridian will have the opportunity to vote yes to expanding the Meridian Library in May. I firmly believe that we have an obligation to provide our residents better access to library resources, which are a cornerstone to a healthy and vibrant city. The library represents so much more than “just books,” offering programs and services that are enjoyed by young and old alike. Libraries give people the opportunity to find jobs, explore technology, experience new ideas, get lost in wonderful stories, while at the same time providing a sense of place for gathering. The Cherry Branch was opened in 1997 and served as a bright spot in our community when the population was just over 23,000. We now have more than 100,000 residents and are in desperate need of more facilities. A North Branch in Linder Village and a South Branch at The Hill would serve our community well and help Meridian remain one of the premier cities in the country to call home. Let’s get the vote out and support this long-overdue project.
Josh Cummings, Meridian
In his new book, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” David Wallace-Wells takes humans to task for our complacency. The opening line isn’t too comforting either.
“It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all … The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now. 86 percent of all species dead, 450 million years ago; 70 million years later, 75 percent dead; 100 million years later, 96 percent; and two later ones that left 80 and 75 percent dead. You may think that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs involved climate change produced by greenhouse gas... We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably fast rate. And there is already, right now, fully a third more carbon in the atmosphere than at any point in the last 800,000 years...”
We can avoid most of this disaster if we act quickly, mostly by demanding U.S. and international government policy, to mitigate climate change. Now.
Paul Dawson, Boise
Rethinking the wall, we should build it, but around Idaho. It wouldn’t cost as much as the border wall because it would only be at ports of entry to Idaho. Surely the foreigners wouldn’t carry their belongings on their backs and walk the children miles through unfamiliar land. They would be in U-hauls and other carriers.
If we could keep the foreigners out, our rents and home prices wouldn’t escalate beyond the natives being able to afford the cost. The auto traffic would be manageable. Infrastructure wouldn’t be maxed. Our aquifers would not be sucked dry by overpopulation.
Are we like the indigenous natives, years ago, when the gold- and land-seeking foreigners came, and people were forced into the poorer areas in isolation and not being able to compete in the new economy?
I propose instead of MAGA we introduce MISA (Make Idaho Secret Again.) In doing this we could also keep the 21st century out for a longer time, which we have been successful at for years. Get your MISA T-shirts and ball caps on and see if we can’t stop the invasion before it gets out of hand.
OMG, it has already.
Ronald Judd, Nampa
On Borah’s Austin Bolt’s character: My wife and I attended many games in the boys basketball state tournament. We’re no strangers to the competitiveness that exists. But this tournament had a wide array of sportsmanship that deserves comment. It was apparent in every game we attended. The 5A championship game, however, between Borah and Madison had a paramount example.
We witnessed the talented Austin Bolt not hitting his shots as he did all year long. As such he shifted his efforts to getting the ball into the hands of those who were contributing to the score by putting on a rebounding and passing exhibition. But what impressed us most was his team awareness and character. He didn’t get caught up in his missed shots. Jogging to the end of the court to assist his injured teammate, Biggie Bergerson, who was left alone in pain, and then again back cross the court to the team trainer was a highlight capping off a tournament showcased in excellent play and sportsmanship.
There’s so much to be said about this young man. We compliment Austin’s family and coaches for the guidance they clearly have given him, and to Austin for his character.
Rex Larsen, Meridian
I am really trying to understand the Republican Party that I am part of, but in regard to the 2016 elections and Russian meddling, confirmed by multiple sources, Trump took Putin’s word; in regard to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Trump takes the word of the ruler of Saudi Arabia in lieu of believing the evidence and intelligence sources; and, now, in regard to Otto Warmbier’s torture and death, Trump believes Kim Jung Un.
Dictatorships like North Korea, whose human rights record is abysmal, do not torture American citizens without the knowledge of Kim Jung Un. Neither do agents of Saudi Arabia enter Turkey to murder Khashoggi without the ruling prince’s knowledge and approval.
Is Trump so naive? Are our Republican elected officials so afraid of losing their seats that they are afraid to speak up despite all the evidence calling for them to do so? This is and will be a red state, but I refuse to follow the party blindly and without conscience.
Peter Lucier, Boise