Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: 5G, rails, public lands

5G antennas

Several hundred Ada County residents have expressed concerns over the new 5G antennas that are being installed in our communities without public comment, and without our consent. Areas of concern include: declining property values, security, safety, privacy, civil liberties, negative health impacts, aesthetics, increased energy consumption and impact on the environment.

Hundreds of phone calls and letters have been sent to Mayor Bieter, Boise City Council members, Ada County commissioners, and Gov. Little, only to be ignored. This is unacceptable. Our elected officials have a responsibility to uphold the health and safety of their constituents and to protect their quality of life. While the industry likes to persuade us that there is no “conclusive evidence” of health impacts from this technology, there is an alarming difference in the conclusions found by industry-funded research versus independent research. In fact, there are thousands of studies that have shown clear biological impact from EMF (electromagnetic fields) exposure.

While many 5G antennas are already functional throughout the Valley, our lawmakers need to ensure they will be kept out our residential neighborhoods and follow the lead of dozens of other communities across the country.

Cathy Cooke, Boise

Use the rails

As a Boise native, I have seen our Treasure Valley go from a sleepy, traffic-free community to a sprawling metropolitan area teetering on gridlock. Idaho needs to take a deep look in the mirror and ask ourselves the following questions: 1. Do we really think adding another lane to Interstate 84 and Highway 44/State Street will allow the Treasure Valley to accommodate a projected 1 million residents (currently we are at about 709,000)? 2. A commuter rail line from Caldwell to Micron is built for us, why aren’t we using it?

I would encourage Together Treasure Valley to organize and fly a delegation of Idaho leaders and media to the politically like-minded state of Utah and meet with their Utah Transit Authority. Take a ride on UTA’s incredible FrontRunner commuter rail line and TRAX city rail lines and observe. When you come back to Idaho please give us a report on the following: 1) Is Utah’s FrontRunner commuter rail corridor or Idaho’s Treasure Valley’s I-84 freeway corridor attracting more business and development? 2) Who has the better path forward? UTA’s rail transit model or ACHD’s model of chipseal and widening roads?

Please visit www.IdahoRail.com for an innovative rail transit proposal.

Rich Pagoaga, Jr., Boise

Public lands

Hunting is my passion, and fall is my favorite season. I archery hunt for pronghorn, deer, elk, turkey and bear on public lands, often Bureau of Land Management lands. Recent news from Washington, D.C., has me concerned about what could happen to Idaho’s public lands and our access to them.

Last week, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt quietly extended the appointment of William Perry Pendley to remain as the unofficial leader of the BLM, without proper vetting from the Senate. Mr. Pendley doesn’t believe in the concept of public lands. His now-infamous quote, “the Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold” illustrates his personal agenda, of which he is proud. He is explicitly dedicated to taking away our hunting grounds and our children’s hunting future on public lands.

Mr. Pendley’s appointment is a threat to all of us who hunt, fish, camp hike or enjoy recreating on our public lands. I urge fellow sportsmen and women to let Senators Crapo and Risch know you are not happy about Pendley’s backdoor appointment to lead the agency which manages public land, including prime hunting areas such as the Owyhees and Bennet Hills.

Scott Schmid, president of Idaho State Bowhunters, Nampa