Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Boise Working Together

On March 16, 2019, Boise Working Together kicked off a petition drive to place two initiatives on the November ballot. Our goal was to give Boiseans the ability to vote for or against an $85 million-$103 million downtown library/civic center, and a $34 million sports stadium. On April 30, we filed more than 7,000 signatures for each petition – 40 percent more than required – collected across the city in just six weeks.

We give heartfelt thanks to each and every person who signed a petition and to those who carried petitions to their friends, neighbors and co-workers. Everywhere, they heard people say they want to be involved in major city decisions affecting their lives and pocketbooks; they want transparency in city decision-making; and they want clear explanations of where money will come from to pay for these projects. They share our trust in the wisdom of the people.

Thank you, Boiseans who work together.

Adelia Simplot, chair; Mark Baltes, John Bertram, Alex Jones, Dave Kangas, David Klinger, Richard Llewellyn, Ed McLuskie, Diane Ronayne, board; Lori Dicaire, director

Property values

June is the start of Idaho’s property tax battle season. First the arrival of the higher assessment notices and hours of research you need to complete, for those with the means, to convince the assessor that their value is incorrect. State law allows the assessor to be off by 10 percent. If you have a unique property, the valuation is more likely to be incorrect. You can appeal to the county commissioners, whose minuscule knowledge of property valuation is barely increased by training from the assessor. They might give you a 5 percent reduction in value, despite your data. The Board of Tax Appeal then awaits you. Here two to three county appraisers and you appear before a hearing officer, who understands the assessor’s methods more than those used by thousands of professional appraisers. The odds are against you. Step two, the budget hearings, in which 10-12 taxing districts meet when you are on vacation to raise their budgets by 3-6 percent. The 3 percent statute limit is bypassed with foregone revenue and new construction factors. Your chance of influencing the budget by attending the hearing is zero. I say the property tax has become a wealth tax for the hardworking citizens of Idaho.

Rod Wickstrum, Star

Abortion rights

Once Roe is struck down expect LGBTQ rights will be next. Trump is already stripping them of their rights (discharging them from the military; legalizing discrimination based on “religious conviction”). Then what? Voting rights for poor African Americans? Inconceivable?

Once Roe is gone, women and girls will be forced to bear the children of their rapists (while the rapists get hand-slapped because they’re “good Christian men”). Imagine armed guards in the girls’ bedrooms for the duration of the pregnancy (Religious Police Bureau vacancy announcement: PSO-1 pregnancy security officer. White males only.)

Once Roe is history, I’m sure the Republican Party will guarantee the children will have all the rights and privileges of the American people. Except, of course, those unfunded-government-mandated babies born of “undocumented” girls and women. What will you do with those babies? Take them and deport them, leaving the moms sitting in detention in a cage in Texas?

Seriously, how are you going to police the abolition of abortion? I shudder to think. And I thought conservatives didn’t like “unfunded government mandates.”

Hey, Republicans, you’ve ended democracy, voting rights, gay rights and abortion. What are you going to do next? Go to Disneyland?

Jefferson Young, Boise

Foote center

This letter is to express appreciation to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Lucky Peak Dam and Lake for their generous support over the past five years to the Foote Park Project. The Foote Park Interpretive Center design, planning and construction was under the direction of Janet Worthington and Mary Ann Arnold as a nonprofit project. The center is on USACE property near Lucky Peak at the site where two pioneers, Mary Hallock and Arthur DeWint Foote, built a lava rock house in 1884. The center has exhibits and interpretive panels highlighting the important contributions of the Footes. Without the collaboration of the USACE, the project would not have been accomplished. It is an outstanding example of citizens and government working together for an outcome to benefit the community.

Mary Ann Arnold, Boise