Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: F35s, climate, mayor


Bob Kustra’s hit piece on the “Boom from F-35 Supersonic Jets” was beyond irresponsible. Opposition to airplane noise is a legitimate concern, and yes, most jet fighter aircraft are louder than modern airline jets and than A-10s. But Kustra screams the words “supersonic” and “boom” repeatedly, and it should be crystal clear to him and everyone else that military aircraft only fly supersonic and create sonic booms in restricted military airspace over unpopulated wilderness, never over or near a city. Boise or Meridian residents will never experience a sonic boom from F-35s, any more than they do from the F-15s from Mountain Home or the F-18s from various Navy bases that routinely use Gowen Field on a daily basis today.

Two F-35s visited Gowen Field during last summer’s airshow, and the pilots both said they understood civilians’ concerns about noise and had noise abatement techniques they could use (as airlines do). We live 3 miles off the end of Boise’s runway and compared the F-35s’ departure noise to the F-16s’. As your embedded clip shows, F-35s project noticeably LESS noise forward, and are about the same as F-16s passing directly overhead.

Kustra’s column was intentionally deceptive.

Stephen D. Leonard, Boise

Climate change

Where have all the song birds gone? There’s been a 29% decline in wild birds in the past 50 years or 3 million vanishing birds. Today there were no birds in my neighborhood. I don’t ever remember a time when there were no birds around my home. When I first moved to Boise in November 2013, I was enchanted by the migrating birds flying overhead and honking away. Will we see them again this November? Or they also vanished? Today there are demonstrations around the world in 150 countries of young people marching in protest that politicians are doing nothing to combat the effect of climate change on our planet.

We’ve lost most of our bees, and what will we do when we’ve lost all our bees and there are no bees to pollinate our crops? We’ve had a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean for over 30 years now and it’s now the bigger than Texas, and there are now three more garbage patches in our planet’s largest ocean. And nothing’s been done. What can be done and what will be done to bring back our birds, or is it already too late?

Janna Nikkola, Boise

Animal products

As a bit of an animal lover, I have been scouring the internet for some special occasion celebrating animals. I came across an international observance called a “day for animals,” but it wasn’t quite what I expected. I was shocked to learn that nearly 99 percent of all domesticated animals are bred and raised for food. That, unlike our cats and dogs, they get no compassion or respect from the meat and dairy industries.

Male baby chicks are suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive because they lay no eggs. Groups of laying hens are packed into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows spend their entire lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cows are artificially impregnated each year, and their babies are snatched from them at birth, so people can drink their milk.

Like many others, I always thought of cows, pigs and chickens as simply “food on the hoof.” Now, I realize that each dollar I spend on meat and dairy products at the checkout counter subsidizes animal atrocities. I will be replacing animal products in my diet with the new healthful, cruelty-free plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my supermarket.

Ike Schneider, Boise

Thanks, BSU fans

I want to say thank you to the city of Boise and the fans of Boise State University. We traveled across the country to attend the Marshall-Boise game a few weeks ago. I have admired the Boise football program from afar the last 20 years. I didn’t know what to expect when making the trip out West. Would the fans be arrogant because of all the success the program has had? Or would they be friendly?

Friendly would be an understatement. From the time we arrived at the stadium (about three hours before kickoff) until well after the game was finished, we were offered countless meals, drinks, even shots. Everyone was very welcoming and did everything they could to make sure we were enjoying our time in Boise. We even exchanged phone numbers with a few of the fans with promises of visits to Huntington next fall when Boise State comes to the Joan.

I’ve been to many road games supporting the Herd. This trip by far ranks No. 1 in large part to the Boise state fans and the city of Boise, Idaho. Kudos to you guys! We cant wait to return the favor in 2020.

Travis Townsend, Culloden, West Virginia

Simison for mayor

Meridian is one of the top cities in our America. And why do we rank so high? Could it be our great schools, low crime rate, truly outstanding parks in various neighborhoods, our libraries that win national awards, easy access to our numerous higher education facilities? Our unemployment rate is very low, Idaho State Police Headquarters and local Police Department reside right here in our city. And how did all of this come about?

Our city government has concern for each and every citizen who resides here. Now, a new mayor is to be elected this fall. Our mayor stands at the head of this city government, and under the leadership of Robert Simison, we will continue to be the best. Robert has served as chief of staff to our current mayor for 12 years. He is knowledgeable and enthusiastic in all areas of our city.

Voting is such a privilege and being informed as to a candidates’ history and goals are paramount in electing the right person to lead us. Robert is a family man with a reputable record in leadership.

Remember: A vote for Robert Simison is a vote for a progressive Meridian.

Eva Bailey, Meridian

FreedomWorks Ad

On Aug. 22, I noticed a full-page ad in the Idaho Statesman paid for by “FreedomWorks” thanking our Sen. Crapo for opposing “socialist price controls” on “medicine makers.” Then on Aug. 28 another full page ad appeared in the Statesman, this time paid for by “Americans for Tax Reform.” In this ad, Sen. Crapo is congratulated for actions to stop price controls once again. I have written to Sen. Crapo several times and have asked him to comment on who “FreedomWorks” and “Americans for Tax Reform” are and why he supports them. I pressed for answers to my questions and finally Sen. Crapo’s office responded on Sept. 20. I was advised that Sen. Crapo is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and that the committee passed the Prescription Drug Price Reduction Act, PDPRA, on July 26, 2019. The vote in committee was 19-9 with the senator voting against the measure because the bill would apply an inflation penalty to price increases. Personally I have no sympathy for the drug makers after reading how they have profited in the manufacture of opioids. It appears that Sen. Crapo’s interests are with drug makers, not his constituents.

Bob Connor, Boise

Rock party success

The Rock Party on Sept. 15 at the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology was a huge success. Approximately 700 children and adults attended this engaging afternoon of geology activities. Special thanks go to Patsy Wolter and Pat Ware (Kid-Station Facilitators) along with 80 volunteers including retired and current teachers, museum volunteers, and assorted family, friends, and neighbors. We are grateful to the Idaho Humanities Council for their financial support. I would also like to thank the Idaho Botanical Garden, Old Idaho Penitentiary, Event Rents, Boise Public Schools, Idaho Statesman, Idaho Family Magazine, Signs Now, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, East Boise Community Work Center, and Office Depot/Max. We would not have had such a fabulous Rock Party without this help and support.

Shirley Ewing, Boise


“What’s your take on the mayor’s race?” It’s a question I get every day. I don’t mind. I’m in a unique position to share my observation. I served with Mayor Bieter as president of the Boise City Council. I was there when he appointed council member McLean and served with her for nine years.

On the big issues facing Boise, there are no significant policy differences. Council member McLean has stated that her reason for running is a perceived lack of transparency at City Hall. This is problematic. She was elected twice by voters to her council seat and has never raised this issue. She was elected by her colleagues twice as council president and again, nothing.

This is not a fresh new candidate. For 10 years, she has had the responsibility to call out problems if she saw them. Ignoring issues until deciding to run for mayor calls into question her ability to face problems head on. Agree or disagree with Mayor Bieter, but he never fears raising issues. Conversations about the big issues facing Boise are tough and often contentious. I’m supporting Mayor Bieter because he’s never afraid to take them on in the best interest of Boise.

Maryanne Jordan, Boise