Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Trump, taxes, rentals

Child mental illness

Thank you for shining light on one part of the myriad problems associated with Idaho care of some of our most vulnerable citizens in “Idaho children with mental illness… ” (Sept. 25). For children who are not in residential care, and the families who love them, we struggle under a school system that pretends to serve children with mental disabilities while subjecting them to restraints, threat assessments, suspensions and other treatment under the guise of safety and security, aka: school liability. Teachers within classrooms that are supposed to support our children need no more than a GED and be over age 18.

Even when given scientific evidence that expensive systems like “Right Response” (used in the Boise school district) which can have as many as four adults pinning a child to the ground, are counter-productive and physically and mentally harmful, there is no change. Hiring competent adults to work with our children in settings outside an office is near impossible.

Please continue these articles. Bringing Idaho to the level of mental health help that other states have will benefit all.

Margo Callahan, Boise

Trump and Giuliani

President Trump and Rudy Giuliani have become the Oliver and Hardy of American politics. Their slap-stick routines are generating few laughs among Americans desperate for competent government and congressional Republicans who are still masquerading as statesmen.

It’s forcing Senate and House Republicans to steal Abbott and Costello’s “who’s on first, what’s on second” skit in a last-gasp effort to keep voters confused. These well-educated GOP legislators realize any voter who didn’t flunk out of elementary school or is blindly loyal to their party can recognize corrupt behavior when they see and hear it.

President Trump’s actions are so flagrant and unlawful, Republicans should cut their losses by admitting it was a horrific mistake to make Trump their party leader and continue enabling his irrational behavior. Putting country above party loyalty might cause temporary political pain, but following unhinged Trump over a certain cliff threatens GOP survival. This might be a safe choice for Republicans unless medical researchers discover a cure for memory loss. Will Rogers observed 100 years ago that “the short memory of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.”

Sandy Jones, Boise

Illegal activity

According to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the State Department, under President Obama, gave $349,276 in taxpayer dollars to a political action group in Israel to build a political campaign encouraging Israelis to vote against Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election. Illegal activity.

In May 2018, four Democrats wrote to the Ukrainian government urging them to continue investigations into President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign. Illegal activity.

In 2019, speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, declared that just the remote possibility that President Trump had asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden could be grounds for impeachment. In 2018, Biden boasted that he had forced the Ukraine government to remove its prosecutor that was looking at Hunter Biden business associations by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid.

The way I see it, the Democrats need to impeach themselves, hold a trial and put into prison for high crimes against the US.

Galen Kidd, Boise

Renewable energy

Are you ready for 100% renewable energy in the Treasure Valley? Do you want to live in a healthier community? Currently, more than 100 cities across the United States have made clean energy commitments. The city of Boise took action in April 2019. Idaho Power independently joined the effort, and this fall, the Eagle City Council may consider it.

What does that mean? Cities that have committed to 100% renewables believe it is important to produce healthy, pollution-free energy for their residents from sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric or geothermal. Nuclear, coal or any other forms of carbon-based energy production are not considered clean or renewable and would eventually be phased out.

Why should we do this? A bold vision for a healthy and affordable energy future will help us to address the climate crisis and replace the injustice of the fossil fuel economy with a more democratic and equitable system of energy production.

Let your elected officials know that you support this transition by signing the Idaho Sierra Club petition at sierraclub.org and writing a letter to or speaking up at a local City Council meeting. Future generations are depending on us.

Tyra Benoit, Eagle

Arts building

Hmm, Dr. Kustra spends roughly $490 per square foot for the new arts building on BSU’s campus ($48 million/98,000 sf). Mayor Bieter would spend roughly $667 per square foot for the library ($100 million/150,000 sf). Maybe Dr. Kustra should manage big projects for the city.

Bob Goyden, Boise

Public lands

The clearing, earlier this year, of juniper trees from public lands in Owyhee County was billed as an effort to restore habitat for greater sage grouse. Nope. It was instead all about fostering the growth of grasses for foraging by cattle – a non-native critter whose grazing on public lands has long been subsidized by taxpayers. The cutting and junking of juniper trees – all of them native to the northern reach of the Great Basin Desert – was also subsidized by us taxpaying folks.

One positive step toward helping the population of this rapidly dwindling bird would be the removal of cows from public lands looked after by the BLM and U.S. Forest Service. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states: “habitat fragmentation and development have caused severe declines for this spectacular bird.”

Undisturbed, high-quality habitat (which includes sagebrush) is imperative for sage grouse. Cutting down junipers to create grassland for cows is not a winning strategy.

Alan Gregory, Mountain Home


The so-called “wealth tax” proposed by the “Democrat/socialists” running for president is grossly unconstitutional. Importantly, it is not a tax at all. It is a seizure of property (money) remaining after the full income-based tax has been paid by the taxpayer. The 16th Amendment to our Constitution states clearly that the government has the power to “collect taxes on income” only. Not after-tax private property (money). More importantly, the 5th Amendment within the Bill of Rights bars all governments in the USA from seizing “private property (including money) without just compensation.” The government theft of money owned by a citizen as after-tax money is simply outlawed by the Constitution. Of course, such a legal bar means nothing to the elitist socialists seeking to turn our country into a South American-style dictatorship. If they own the Supreme Court in the near future, the Constitution will be no protection in any event. Think before you vote. If they can steal from the rich, they can steal from you.

Jim C. Harris, Boise

Short-term rentals

I have been trying to understand the mayor’s stand against short-term rentals. Reading Scott McIntosh’s opinion I am more confused than ever. His proof that short-term rentals are evil is that there is a house near him that had cars in front of it with out-of-state license plates (hence it must be a short-term rental, but we never really know that), and because of this, the house went into disrepair. Then, it was sold, and clearly no longer a short-term rental, because rainbows and fairy dust rained over this house and all was well with the world. Has he, or the mayor, ever stayed in a short-term rental. Do they know that the renters rate the houses in which they stay and vice versa? This dramatically cuts down on renters who are disruptive or damaging of the property. And the rentals, if they receive even one poor review, their future as a rental is greatly diminished. Hence, short-term rentals are much more likely to be maintained, and the guests less likely to have parties and cause problems in the neighborhood than many of the long-term rental units, particularly near BSU.

Meg Kaspar, Eagle

Short-term rentals

Regarding Scott McIntosh’s Sept. 27 on short-term rental regulations: The only regulation the city and the HOA should adopt and enforce is heavy fines for not maintaining the exterior of the home and its yards.

Michael W. Walters, Meridian