Letters to the editor image -- Idaho Press

Letters to the editor image — Idaho Press

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Shame

Jeers to the Idaho Department of Corrections regarding the Women in Prison Complain of Overflowing Toilets article published July 31. Shame on IDOC’s failure to provide running water and indoor toilets for the populations most vulnerable people. These prisoners are struggling to find soap and water to wash their hands. The state of Idaho can do a lot better taking care of our citizens.

Katy Place, Boise

Logic?

I cannot follow the logic of reopening. People unemployed because of COVID-19 get no more unemployment, they must return to work NOW. Schools must reopen, in person, in AUGUST. But in NOVEMBER, it won’t be safe yet to hold elections, so they should be postponed. Someone, please explain this to me.

Claudia Moberly, Middleton

Compensation

In response to Sidney Freeman Jr.’s article in this paper dated, July 24, 2020. The associate professor wants to see only black student athletes get paid for playing college sports. He wants the schools to fund black cultural centers on campus. He also feels the schools should pay for research on black issues only, and fund initiatives and policies that specifically impact black students and black staff. He would like to establish commissions on black institutional history, and the age-old song of, “150 years ago my ancestor was a slave, so I want somebody (who never owned a slave) to compensate me for that.”

Why all the special benefits for black students? Why shouldn’t White, Hispanic, Asian, etc. students have the same special welcoming benefits? With this kind of “Higher Instruction” in our colleges, it’s no wonder our country has the issues we are now going through.

Terry Albers, Kuna

Open schools

We closed schools to save lives. We will use distance learning. Can we expect kids to learn math or chemistry on a computer screen? Keeping a child’s attention is hard enough in person. They won’t do any significant learning online. They will also miss the discipline and social interaction online. What about those with learning difficulties?

Who will care for children with parents at work? Daycare? Cram kids into daycare facilities, so they don’t get too close to each other in schools. Insane idea! Is the plan for parents to stay home to school the kids. How will they pay bills? Most lower income workers don’t have the luxury to work from home.

Put COVID-19 risk in perspective. Three children drown in the US daily – over 1000 annually. Tragic yes, but we don’t lock kids up to prevent this. On average, seasonal flu kills over 550 children annually, despite a flu vaccine. We don’t close schools over this. Through last week, 36 children 14-years old and younger died from COVID-19. These are CDC statistics for the US. A recent study from Sweden found NO DOCUMENTED CASES IN THE ENTIRE WORLD of a student transmitting COVID-19 to a teacher.

We are scared and trying to save lives. At what cost? We are destroying the lives and futures of millions of children to save a few thousand lives. If it is about saving lives, ban the wheel — cars, bicycles, engines. Thousands of children die every year because of the wheel. Ban doctors and hospitals also. Thousands of people die every year from medical mistakes. Ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than closing schools. Stop piously saying we are saving lives while we are “killing” our children. Killing their spirit, personalities, and futures.

Open schools now for in-person learning.

Alan Coleman, Meridian

Free press

Kudos to the Idaho Press for its stellar line-up of Op-Ed writers. Luke Malek is bold, articulate, and principled. His emphasis on the rule of law speaks volumes. I so much appreciate the positive, insightful thoughts of Tommy Ahlquist; his voice is refreshingly unifying. Judy Ferro challenges my thinking and gives me a new perspective. That would benefit us all at times. Levi Cavener is informational, forthright, and forward-thinking. What a great voice for educational issues! Jim Jones is not just knowledgeable and ethical; he speaks with wisdom borne of experience. Randy Stapilus and Chuck Malloy add to the line-up. Almost all of the guest writers have something worth reading. The purpose of the op-ed page, in my opinion, is to spark rational thought and, hopefully, discussion. Each of these writers brings thoughtful viewpoints to the table for our consideration. My appreciation to the Idaho Press for a diverse group of intelligent contributors who don’t rely on stale rhetoric, but give us all some important things to think about. In this way and many others, the Idaho Press reflects what a free press should be about.

Becci Carmack, Meridian

Data

The coronavirus data we really need

With surges in both Ada and Canyon counties, we need more specific local information--by county--to understand the real state of the coronavirus in the Treasure Valley.

It’s not possible to find or derive the county testing positivity rate (positive tests per county divided by total tests per county) from the state coronavirus dashboard. Why not? Without that data, we can’t know whether the local coronavirus situation is improving or getting worse.

From the Washington Post on August 1, 2020: “Fauci and Birx have pointed to a critical metric: the percentage of positive test results. When that figure starts to tick upward, it is a sign of increasing community spread of the virus.”

The state positivity rate (usually around 15%, while 5% is considered acceptable) is of little help to those of us in the counties with the worst spread. I implore the state to both capture those data points (if not doing so) and publish them. (At minimum we should have the positivity rate for each public health district.) Knowing the local positivity rate would give Ada and Canyon county residents truly useful information on which to base decisions and assess their risk.

Carol Jean Petrovksy, Boise

Moving

Welcome to anyone choosing to move to Idaho.

From the Idaho Transportation website, a new resident has “to apply for an Idaho driver’s license within 90 days of moving to Idaho. Whether your out-of-state license has expired or not, you need to apply for an Idaho driver’s license within 90 days of moving to Idaho.” Also from the website is, “You must title and register your vehicle within 90 days of moving to Idaho. Whether your out-of-state vehicle registration has expired or not, you must title and register your vehicle within 90 days of moving to Idaho.”

Today, I encountered two out-of-state cars with expired license plates. One was expired in May 2019 and the other was January 2018. Both cars had California plates on them. While I’ve seen many out-of-state cars with expired plates, including Washington and Oregon, California cars seem to be in the majority with expired plates.

I do not care for people who do not follow our laws. Your license plate fees pay for the infrastructure that you and I depend on. By not changing your license and plates, you place a greater burden on those that live here already. Please follow our laws!

Vicky McIntyre, Nampa

Perspective

Why Wear Masks?

The Covid-19 outbreak that has gripped the world and our nation has prompted mandated face mask ordinances in many communities. These ordinances have sparked outrage among some who feel that their freedoms are being suppressed by the mandate.

Some perspective:

We should start by asking “Why do we wear seat belts?” Seat belt wearing is mandated across our nation. Seat belts significantly reduces serious injury in an accident. Not only is this good for the individual in the accident, but it is also good for the health care system as a whole. Less serious injuries means less people will need emergency room treatment for car accidents. Less people will need immediate and long term care. This reduces the cost burden on hospitals and insurance companies, and thus reduces overall health care costs for the nation.

According the CDC, which by the way is the most respected disease authority in the world, wearing a mask helps reduce the spread of the virus. It provides protection for you, and more importantly, those around you. Reducing the spread also reduces the cost burden of hospitals and insurance companies. Reducing the spread helps the broader economy as well, as businesses may be able to remain open if the rate of spread can be controlled It certainly is not harder than wearing a seat belt.

Patriotism is about selflessly doing what is good for the nation. Many have sacrificed their lives over the years to do what was determined to be good for the nation. None of them want to make the ultimate sacrifice, but they did because they were patriots. Wearing masks is easy. It is also good for the nation and therefore patriotic. Wear a mask.

Glen Atkinson, Boise

Protect kids

Sen. Crapo stands up for kids in face of marijuana industry pressure

The marijuana industry is a powerful lobbying force in the U.S. Capitol, spending $5.8 million on 92 lobbyists last year alone, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Why does the industry spend so much? Because its agenda would put billions of dollars more in marijuana companies’ pockets.

Unfortunately, the nation’s kids could pay the price for this industry windfall.

The marijuana industry’s primary focus in Washington has been the SAFE Banking Act, which would expand its access to the nation’s financial system and give the legitimacy it craves.

Thankfully, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and he’s speaking up for kids.

In December he stated: “Significant concerns remain that the SAFE Banking Act does not address the high level potency of marijuana, marketing tactics to children, [and] lack of research on marijuana’s effects….”

Whether one supports or opposes adults using marijuana products, everyone — including the marijuana industry — should all agree we must limit its harm to kids.

Products that are nearly pure THC — marijuana’s main mood-altering chemical — pose a serious threat to kids.

Unfortunately, the marijuana industry has ignored Crapo’s common-sense suggestions and criticized him for raising them.

Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, has seen mass marketing by marijuana stores that outnumber Starbucks and McDonalds outlets and offer a variety of deceptively dangerous products.

Unsurprisingly, official Colorado youth surveys report an increase in the use of ultra-potent THC concentrates.

Crapo is a quiet hero for U.S. kids and has remained steadfast in the face of industry pressure and criticism.

Rebecca Lattin, Weiser

Vote Biden

For seven years (1993-2001), I was honored to serve as the United States Attorney for Idaho, the chief federal law enforcement officer in the state. I have watched with growing concern as President Trump has eroded our system of justice, and politicized the Department of Justice for his own purposes.

I’m supporting Joe Biden because we need a president who will not threaten judicial independence, but protect it. We need a president who will appoint an attorney general who understands that their client isn’t the president; it’s the United States.

We need a president who will not reward his political cronies with pardons and commutations, threaten – without reason – to prosecute political opponents, and interfere in legitimate law enforcement investigations.

And, finally, we need a president who is committed to providing equal access to justice to all American citizens, and who, above all, honors the rule of law. Joe Biden will be that president. Join me in supporting Joe Biden this November.

Betty Richardson, Boise

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