Sympathy for Risch
I’m with Sen. Risch, who bought his ranch adjacent to the Boise airport but reportedly has grown tired of the noise; so weary, he attempted to flex his political muscle and send the noise to his constituents in Meridian. Similarly to Risch, I bought a house on a golf course. I grew tired of errant tee shots hitting my home and littering my backyard. I complained to course management and they rejected my request to reroute the fairway.
I feel your pain, senator.
Timothy Rosandick, Caldwell
Fairweather budget hawks
According to a Jan. 14, 2021 report from the site ProPublica, the national debt grew $7.8 trillion under the Trump administration. Rep. Ralph Norman in a PBS interview guaranteed a government was 100% likely. Are Republicans more worried about the national debt when a Republican is not in the White House? Why weren’t these Republicans more concerned when the Trump administration was running up nearly $8 trillion on top of the national debt? When asked about the negative effect a shutdown would have the economy, Norman didn’t seem to be very concerned about the economy tanking. Congressmen don’t have to worry about putting food on the table. Members of Congress are more concerned about keeping their fat-cat donors happy than being concerned about regular citizens who are living paycheck to paycheck. The congressman then mentioned that tax cuts were yet another solution to the problem. While Trump was running up the national debt, these congressmen were lacking responsibility by giving massive tax cuts to the super-rich. Do the math, congressman. Trickle-down economics doesn’t balance the budget.
Sidney Asker, Boise
Salmon running out of time
I am a senior at Boise High School and a member of the Youth Salmon Protectors — a coalition of young advocates for the conservation of salmon and steelhead. I, like many people in Idaho, am avidly involved in whitewater rafting, skiing, and other outdoor recreation. It makes me so happy to see that Idaho makes outdoor recreation so accessible to the population. Unfortunately, the Idaho Legislature claims to care about the protection of public lands. Salmon are a keystone species in Idaho and their impact affects over 137 species of animals that don’t just reside in Idaho. Salmon are also a crucial figure in Native American culture and livelihood. Knowingly letting the population decline disrespects the treaties we agreed on in 1855. The treaties guarantee the tribes on the Columbia River Plateau to continue their livelihood. How can they continue to do this if the Lower Snake River dams are rapidly depleting the population? The Idaho Legislature continues to disregard the demands Youth Salmon Protectors and other organizations in Boise are trying to make. Time is running out. It is up to the people and the Idaho Legislature to decide if they want to conserve our public lands.
Olivia Case, Boise
The Statesman printed a story about a disagreement between the Meridian mayor, city council and the Idaho Department of Transportation concerning the speed limit on Eagle Road. As a person who drives the portion of Eagle between Chinden and Franklin in the morning both ways six days a week, let me say I am in full agreement with the position of ITD. I too believe lowering the speed limit will solve much. Early in the morning before the retail shops open, drivers make much better decisions. Later in the day, not so much. I believe a couple of actions could be taken to reduce the opportunity for drivers to make bad decisions and perhaps reduce the chances of a crash. First, ITD should eliminate all opportunities for uncontrolled left turns. All along that portion of Eagle a left turner has to cross 2 oncoming lanes. They could be directed to a U-turn at a controlled intersection, and then make a right turn. Second, ITD could install flashing warning lights when the lights at controlled intersections are about to change like they have done at Idaho 55 and W Avimor D.r north of Eagle. Let’s think about taking away opportunities for bad decisions.
Jack Keifer, Meridian
Scott McIntosh recently suggested that Idaho needs background checks for private gun purchases. “Universal background checks” is a euphemism for something gun control enthusiasts have long desired. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968, he said “But this bill . . . still falls short . . . we just must have licensing . . . we must have registration in this country.”
Black’s Law Dictionary defines license as “a permission . . . conferring the right to do some act which without such authorization would be illegal”. That’s exactly what background check laws require. And registration of gun owners is necessary to enforce the laws. Otherwise, there’s no way to know who lawfully owns guns.
Fortunately, Idahoans listened to gun control enthusiasts decades ago. Eighty-two percent of Idaho voters thwarted their schemes by amending the Idaho Constitution in 1978 to prohibit laws imposing “licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition.”
McIntosh is welcome to make a short move to Washington, Oregon, or Nevada where voters approved universal background check initiatives. But he might not like those gun control paradises. Their homicide rates are much higher than Idaho’s.
Don Fleming, Pocatello
The Editorial Board, in its August 31 piece, “What Tuesday’s election results say about Idaho public education,” seems to miss both the forest and the trees.
For instance, the Board writes that Hillsdale College is “increasingly important for the Christian nationalist movement.” I do not know what that is except a contradiction in terms. One of the glories of Christianity is its essential transcendence of politics. Jesus taught, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Hillsdale has unwaveringly held to that teaching for almost 180 years. Just as the first sentence of our founding document salutes “civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety,” we today promote respect for freedom and religious tolerance. The College puts a passage from George Washington‘s letter to the Hebrew congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, on our annual Christmas card, reminding our friends that America’s Constitution goes beyond even religious tolerance supporting as it should all our inherent natural rights, including freedom of worship.
These things can’t be missed whenever one looks carefully at Hillsdale College or, for that matter, at Christianity. Looking carefully doesn’t seem to be the purpose of the Idaho Statesman these days — shame on it.
Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale