Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: arena name, schools, property assessment, cartoon, spending

ExtraMile Arena

When my wife woke me up on the morning of May 22, I thought I was having a nightmare when she told me that the Taco Bell Arena is going to be changed to ExtraMile Arena. I guess the nightmare could have been worse by her telling me that present Mayor Bieter was reelected. What a dumb name, ExtraMile Arena. It has about as much appeal as a “wet noodle arena,” why not “the arena.”

Earl Benedict, Boise

School failure

A recent article outlined the failure of Idaho schools in meeting benchmarks for academic improvement. Its seems from what I can tell that the education department believes no changes or adjustments are needed at this time. Really? There is a sure fire action that can be taken by Idaho schools to improve academic scores, and guess what, it takes no money to do so. A shocker I know. What is that you say? Feel that smart phone in your pocket? That’s a major problem. Having taught and helped at-risk students at a local high school, I can tell you that the battles being fought in classrooms over student use of their phones and the utter distraction and defiance that occurs by far too many students when controls over use are attempted is impacting learning more than most people realize. The large, and I mean large, majority of student phone use has nothing to do with academics. Some teachers try to control their use while others have entirely given up and look at the phone as a babysitter in keeping students quiet. Come up with a plan that works. It’s not that hard, and then hold schools accountable. It will work.

Garee Braun, Marsing

Property assessment

Just received my new property assessment. No surprise, another large increase. These steady increases in property values are good for sellers, not so for those of us who wish to remain in our homes. For a retiree and veteran like myself, on a fixed income, all I see is steadily increasing property taxes, homeowner insurance, etc. Both of those are paid via my escrow within my mortgage loan. So each year, my mortgage goes up. When is Idaho/Ada County going to increase homeowner’s exemption? Have seen steady increases for past nine years, but no increase in homeowner’s exemption. Meanwhile, numerous new housing developments provide an increased base of taxation for the county and state. I realize all these new homes bring increased needs for schools and road expansion. But one would think that the increased revenue from property taxes, gas taxes, etc. would more than cover those costs. We need serious homeowners exemption relief in Idaho, especially for seniors on fixed incomes.

Bill Burns, Boise

Lukovich cartoon

Responding to the reader’s letter from May 29 about African-Americans and the police: We should ask Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, or Philando Castile about their experiences. Oh wait, we can’t. They were killed at the hands of the police. The Lukovich cartoon was spot-on in my opinion. I know the police do their best in a really tough job, but implicit racial biases rise to the surface in stressful situations like traffic stops. Only with extensive bias training (for everybody, but especially police) will cartoons like that become obsolete.

Tim Ernst, Boise

City spending

Spend, spend, spend. How about those property assessments? Got to pay for all that spending, especially here in Boise, right? $100 million, or more, library, $50 million, or more, sport stadium (if you think it will be less can I interest you in some swamp land or a bridge?). The mayor doesn’t care, it’s not his money, it’s yours. And yes, I know the mayor doesn’t develop the assessment, but he surely salivates over what new things he can buy with the higher tax. What if there were to be a change to the laws that govern assessing property taxes to where they could not be increased beyond a certain amount from year to year? Or even an additional law that caps what the elderly or one’s income level have to pay? Would you vote for that?

Bob Goyden, Boise