Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Idaho Power lines

Idaho Power supports the controversial Boardman to Hemingway (B2H) transmission line with claims that electricity demands will result in a shortfall by 2025, but Idaho Power’s billed sales (in all categories) for the last 10 years have been essentially flat, if not declining.

Due to rapid changes in the utility industry, most analysts now propose “strategic positioning” as the best investment at this time. However, the B2H is a highly centralized, $1.2 billion mega-project guaranteed to provide $80 million profit to Idaho Power and its partners’ shareholders, with no proven benefit to ratepayers or the public. Constructing this 300-mile transmission line will create irreparable environmental and cultural damages, and increase grid defections. The poorest communities will pay the bills.

For about a century, affordable electrification was based on large generating plants sending power to distant users through a vast transmission and distribution grid. The insecurity of outmoded centralized transmission systems is no longer in our best interest. Considering decreasing consumer demands, and the rapid and dramatic changes in the industry, Idaho Power’s self-serving efforts to support the B2H are neither credible nor realistic. Stop B2H.org provides valuable information on joining efforts to stop the project.

JoAnn Marlette, Baker City, Wash.

Livable city

Does “making Boise America’s most livable city” include being able to afford the taxes to live here?

J. Alan Smith, Boise

Firearms

Bob Kustra is apparently unaware that Article 1 Section 11 of the Idaho constitution forbids laws that “permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.” While it allows for regulation of firearm possession by felons, it specifically prohibits laws to regulate possession by everyone else.

Kustra is frustrated because our legislature won’t pass laws to confiscate firearms from people convicted of misdemeanor crimes. Last year, all Democrats and 20 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for a bill to do that. The bill was defeated by Republicans who honored their oath to support the constitution of the state of Idaho.

It’s likely that legislators who voted for confiscation would say that they support the right to keep and bear arms. But they obviously don’t support the constitution that protects the right. And that makes them unfit to hold office.

In 1978, 82% of Idaho voters approved the current text of Article 1 Section 11. Kustra wants us to elect people who will dishonor their oath of office and ignore that section. Instead, we should purge our legislature of people who vote for laws that are clearly prohibited by our constitution.

Don Fleming, Pocatello

Boise library

Over the past six months many citizens and members of Boise Working Together have repeatedly asked the city to be transparent and reveal the full cost of the library. No solid answers were provided regarding the millions in interest and financing costs that would be baked into the lease financing payment method. Lease financing is always a more expensive payment method than voter-approved general obligation bonds, and can increase the original amount by nearly half as much.

But now we know. The $30 million that was to be paid via lease financing would have an additional cost of up to $15 million in interest and fees. Therefore the $85 to $103 million price tag the public was told was actually $100 to $118 million when factoring in these hidden costs.

No wonder the financial services/banking industry showed up in force at the legislative sessions on HB 217 – they had a lot to lose. And now the city is using the $15 million we would pay in interest and financing costs to claim we will save millions if we pay cash instead, while claiming “no new taxes,” which is not the same as no increase in existing taxes.

Erika Schofield, Boise

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