Sen. James Risch of Idaho, who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee in June 2017, when interrogating Attorney General Sessions stated, “Collusion with the Russians – or any other government, for that matter, when it comes to our elections, certainly would be improper and illegal.” I am not sure if Risch or any other GOP senators read the transcript of the phone call to the president of the Ukraine, or the whistleblower complaint. If they had, they would see clear evidence that Trump did indeed solicit dirt on his political rival, Joe Biden. Let’s say that they, like Trump himself, can’t or don’t read. They just have to turn on the news. Trump asked Ukraine and China to investigate Biden. What will it take for Risch, Crapo, Simpson, and Fulcher to speak out finally against the crook that sits in the White House? It’s time to put country ahead of party. I’ve called my congressmen and demanded action. All good Americans need to do the same. Sen. Crapo: 202-224-6142. Sen. Risch: 202-224-2752, Rep. Simpson: 202-225-5531, Rep. Fulcher: 202-225-6611. Do your civic duty.
Michal Voloshen, Boise
If it weren’t so serious, I would almost be amused at my friends who claim they would literally die to protect their 2nd Amendment rights, but are apparently willing to let their president trash the rest of the Constitution. I didn’t realize that we get to pick and choose the parts of that sacred document, the framework of our democracy, that we want to accept and simply ignore the rest of it. That’s what they do in Russia, led by Mr. Trump’s friend, Mr. Putin. Russia, too, has a constitution, adopted in 1993. It states that Russia is a “democratic federal rule-of-law state.” And we all know how well that is working. We need to be very afraid for our children and grandchildren.
Mary Alice Davis, Garden City
I was amazed at the sneakiness of Wayne Hoffman’s commentary. Sir, I am sure you did not tell your Jewish family that Idaho has the highest per capita of hate groups in the West. Bet you didn’t tell them about the swastikas and anti-semitic slurs painted on Boise’s Anne Frank Memorial, or the swastikas painted at my neighborhood park, or the hate messages painted and chalked on two local immigrant-owned restaurants, all in the last few years. If you had, they might agree that Boise and Idaho need diversity and inclusion programs. I am sure your kin don’t know that the Idaho Freedom Foundation is a reactionary dark money nonprofit whose sole purpose is to undermine the will of the people of Idaho. A few clicks on Google can show that your “Freedom” foundation uses undisclosed out-of-state money to: harass and defeat moderate Republican legislators who voted, as their constituents wanted, in favor of the very popular Idaho insurance exchange; and sued Idaho to overturn the majority vote on Medicaid expansion. Shame on you and your foundation, sir. I am sure your family would be ashamed if they knew the truth. Fight hate. Ban dark money.
Eric Gironda, Boise
Snake River salmon
Response to Kurt Miller, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners guest opinion. Miller wants to blame the decimation of Snake River salmon populations on anything but the four lower Snake River dams. So he invokes overfishing that took place 80 years ago and adverse ocean conditions.
If those sound like evasions, it’s because they are. Fish biologists agree that removing the dams is the most important step we can take to restore salmon whose populations have dropped by 90% since the dams were built. We have proof: The Elwha river salmon populations skyrocketed after the Elwha dam was removed.
We refute Miller’s claim that dam removal would threaten our power system or impede our ability to integrate renewables like wind and solar. A recent operational study by the NW Energy Coalition found that electricity provided by the dams can already be replaced by renewable resources at little cost with little or no increase in carbon emissions, improving the reliability of the energy system.
We don’t have to choose between restoring salmon and having a clean, affordable, and reliable energy system. We can have both. Now is the time to get it done.
Christopher Hager, Portland
McLean for Mayor
When I campaigned with Lauren McLean during her first race in 2011, I witnessed a level of drive, dedication and grit that in my opinion is rare in our modern politics. Her passion for finding solutions to tough problems and eagerness to listen to the people regardless of their points of view makes her a very effective leader. Her work on a multitude of issues and initiatives throughout two decades of community service has helped Boise become one of the best cities in the nation. Despite all of the positive work and progress made, Lauren has also been very vocal and honest about the crises our city faces and her plans to deal with them. Building affordable housing, modernizing our public transportation, building a vibrant and clean economy, and building real transparency in Boise City Hall are key to her message and critical to our future. It takes incredible courage to not only stand up to the status quo, but to also fight with deep vigor and conviction for a new direction that I and many others believe is needed in our city’s political process. This is why Lauren McLean is the clear choice to be Boise’s next mayor.
Morgan Hill, Boise
Idaho football coach Paul Petrino, the “excuse king” of college football coaches, has done it again. This time in their 41-35 loss to Weber State. Instead of Weber State attempting a field goal, their punter, acting as a holder, scooped up the ball and scurried through a wide lane for a touchdown. This after a fake punt on a previous possession that sparked a score. Now Paul’s excuse. He said, “Both of them, those are bad. It’s hard to win games when you do things like that.” Huh? First of all, Paul, that’s part of the game called football. Second, if you had your team properly prepared, they would be aware of these situations that don’t work most of the time. Third, are you aware of the Boise State-Oklahoma 2007 Fiesta Bowl game where two hardly used plays (hook-and-ladder and Statue of Liberty) completely fooled Oklahoma? You should have known better and have been prepared. Of course, it didn’t help that your son, the quarterback, fumbled three times, and Weber State recovered all three fumbles. Then he seriously said, “We’re not far from being a good football team.” L.A. to N.Y.C is not far either.
Marty Kopelowitz, Meridian
Suffice it to say that in my opinion teachers are not overworked and they are not underpaid. During my productive years when my income failed to satisfy my needs or desires, I took on a side job. It worked then and it will work now. To be clear, I have no quarrel with the teachers; I simply feel that the property owners of this state should not be on the hook when more money is needed to satisfy their educational needs or desires. SOS (Save Our Schools) was the rallying cry that gave us the lottery and the sales tax. Did it happen or was it just a ruse?
Don L. Layne, Cascade
Arnold for mayor
It is time for a change and I strongly support Rebecca Arnold to be the next mayor of Boise. Rebecca doesn’t think like most politicians. As an Ada County Highway District commissioner for 16 years, she has consistently voted against increasing property taxes and constantly acts in the best interests of we taxpayers. Like a hawk, she watches over every line item in the budget spending. She believes in total government transparency with nothing hidden from the public. Rebecca believes in citizen input and listens carefully to the citizens of Boise. Then acts accordingly. Rebecca is an accountant, lawyer and experienced business woman and knows how to run a tight ship. Rebecca has been employed by me for over eight years. I have worked with her in a wide variety of situations and I know firsthand that she will be as fine a mayor as we could possibly hope for. Simply put, Rebecca Arnold as Boise’s mayor will make our city a better place in which to live, work and watch our children and grandchildren develop to their finest potential. Rebecca has my vote and hopefully she will have yours.
Winston Moore, Boise
I am grateful to Sen. Romney for his duty to speak out about the president soliciting favors from other countries to investigate a U.S. citizen's family and a political opponent. Next time, I hope government officials will take their responsibilities seriously, like Sen. Romney.
Wally Humphries, Boise