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Appreciation

If you are reading this as a city policeman, sheriff’s deputy, or any other person who works in law enforcement, I’m writing to say thank you.

Thank you for literally risking your life every time you put on your uniform and go out the door.

Thank you for protecting me, my wife, my friends, and everyone else from the dangers of robbers, murderers, and every other variety of criminal.

Thank you for being willing to continue on in your profession despite the insults and negative publicity that are bombarding you because a few of your fellow officers have lost their way.

The list of things you do for which I am grateful goes far beyond the 300 words allowed in the Letters to the Editor section.

Please take heart. You are appreciated far more than you will ever realize.

David Cuoio, Boise

Need change

Dear Political Figures of Idaho and Registered Voters:

We recently had a very successful mail in ballot primary election. The outstanding turn-out surprised quite a few of our election officials. The larger counties were not ready for it though.

The other day I heard some of our elected politicians and election officials state that this was a rare occurrence and would never happen in Idaho again.

The reasoning behind this was “Idahoans would rather go to their polling places, vote, and get their sticker stating that they had voted”. Plus our Legislators would not go for it and our system-machines are too old to handle that many paper ballots and, and, and…...

With the pandemic still raising its ugly head people do not want to go stand in line and be exposed. With the Rural make-up of our state we could possibly get MORE people to vote if we all could do mail-in ballots this November. Or Every Idahoan can go to the website https://idahovotes.gov/ and request an Absentee Ballot for the November election. Do It Now and Get Your VOTE Counted!

Do some people believe in the Fairytale coming out of Washington D.C. that mail-in ballots will be fraudulent? When you mail in your Federal and State Taxes are they fraudulent?

We have voted absentee ballot and by mail somewhere in these United States since 1860 during the Civil War. Every Registered Voter in Idaho has the right and opportunity to vote in every election by mail if they so desire.

Elected Officials and Election Officials……Make It Happen!

Registered Voters of Idaho VOTE this November...WE NEED A CHANGE!

Steve McCain, Meridian

Never lose hope

Bless the young lady, Gracie Messier, of Idaho, “Idaho teen uses statewide billboards to advocate against child marriage..”. I was an underage teen many years ago, in northern Idaho, when I was forced into underage marriage. I was given one day notice that I would be married, the next day it happened. A month later I became pregnant. Soon I realized how violent this man was, and his drug and alcohol abuse. It was a living hell, I had nowhere to turn. As a child I had dreams of Veterinary college and strived for that, despite my father telling me I would “never amount to anything”. His forced underage marriage shattered all my dreams of college. I survived the severe abuse and thoughts of suicide, I finally escaped a few years later when he began to abuse the children.. Now my priority was raising my children in a healthy environment. 40 years later, my children grown, I’m still constantly haunted by the forced marriage that nearly killed me, I’m too old to be accepted into college of my dreams. I now live a small part of my dreams helping animals, by being an advocate for neglected & unwanted pets, volunteering with rescue groups and animal shelters. I also became volunteer advocate for victims of domestic assault and rape. It’s a far cry from my dream of college, but the horrible experiences led me to a passion in my heart to help in the little ways I can. To victims – never lose hope! Reach out to Justice centers to find help in your area! Be a survivor! Thank you so much, Gracie, for your dedication and advocacy against child marriage! You are an angel! It is such an important, life saving message!

Cyndi Lynne (Faulk), Star

Equality

The more frequently we see videos of police brutality against blacks, the more frequently we pay lip service against racial inequality before falling back into silent inaction hoping that someone else will come up with solutions to racial injustice. Being raised in my white cocoon in Idaho, I failed to recognize the problem as being an Idaho problem. That has changed as Idaho has changed. I continue to think Idahoans are overwhelmingly welcoming to everyone, but some in the Idaho legislature are now more openly biased against people of color, maybe because being in the supermajority in the legislature allows them immunity from repercussions. Last year, 28 Idaho Republican House Legislators openly opposed programs of inclusiveness and diversity being available in Idaho schools. If that isn’t blatantly racist, what is?

Systemic racism exists because people of color are in the minority and the majority turns a blind eye to the injustice of it. Unequal opportunities in all facets of life will continue until the majority levels the playing field. People of color cannot level a playing field they have no control over and unfortunately the Idaho legislature is unwilling to extend them a helping hand. In a more perfect world, making opportunities available based on race/ethnicity would be abhorrent. In our less perfect world, overcoming disparity in employment and education opportunities requires affirmative actions. This spring the Idaho legislature made it illegal to use affirmative action programs to level the playing field for people of color. And they replaced that helpful tool to end disparity in education and employment with what tool?

Tribalism within the Idaho Republican supermajority is providing opportunity for those seeking to lead their party further way from being inclusive and diverse to being bigoted and racist, as we silently watch and do nothing.

VOTE FOR EQUALITY!

Tom Newton, Caldwell

Panic

Pandemic.PANdemIC.PANIC.There’s no doubt that the coronavirus is sickening many people and claiming many lives, both in this country and around the world. One cannot open a newspaper, turn on the radio or the television, or open an app without being deluged by information leading us to believe that life as, we have known it, is gone forever. As a result, sheer panic, often driven by media, has overtaken much of the population. Panic is an abandonment of rational thinking, and it the coronavirus context, has lead to such insanities as the hoarding of toilet paper hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes. it’s my belief that this health situation is God’s judgment on this country, and the world, because of countless ways we have offended him by disregarding his commandments and doing our best to eliminate him from our personal lives and our public attitudes and actions. In plain language, we have all sinned against the supreme being, the creator of the universe, and it’s his absolute right to do as he pleases to punish people for their actions and try to get their attention so they might repent and seek his forgiveness. As a Christian, I would implore each person to ask him or herself: am I a sinner? Have I offended God? I believe that if each person would ask these questions honestly and seek God’s forgiveness, our current circumstances would change for the better. If, however, we continue to condone child pornography, abortion, same-sex unions, or any of a dozen other things I could include here, then we should stand by for calamities far worse than we are now experiencing.

Walter Varnes, Nampa

The law

Legal vs. Illegal

Having a legal rally/protest in front of a church, where no one is breaking the law, broken up by police with teargas and rubber bullets, is beyond criminal. When does the criminal in MY Whitehouse get arrested? No one will admit to knowing anything about authorizing this. Where is an Administration that takes responsibility? NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!

Errol Waters, Meridian

Victim blaming

Coming from a family of police officers, it is difficult but necessary to address the issues plaguing our nation. The horrifying footage of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis rightfully added fuel to a fire that’s been burning for decades. Protesters of all demographics flooded the streets, fed up with seeing grotesque police brutality towards Black Americans time and time again. However, members of the media and countless leaders continue to unfairly discredit the legitimate issues we face by participating in victim-blaming.

Victim-blaming occurs when the victim of a wrongful act is held at fault for the harm that befell them. This past week, the media has put too much focus on the small minority of protests that escalated to looting and still are not fully focused on the problems. The violent behavior of people who hijack peaceful protests to loot is abhorrent; but victim-blaming has not solely been a problem with violent protests. In 2016, NFL players were met with public outcry for peacefully protesting the same issue. Instead of focusing on what players were protesting, the media chose to change the focus and blame protestors for disrespecting the flag.

Victim-blaming shifts the narrative from the issues at hand and ultimately undermines the true problem. A survey from YouGov found that 63% of Black Americans are worried about the police using deadly force on them or a family member. The rate at which Black Americans are killed by police is more than double the rate of White Americans. Cato Institute found that Black Americans were significantly more likely to be sworn at and experience physical abuse by the hands of police. Clearly, there is a problem.

We must condemn victim-blaming and focus our attention on the underlying causes of this movement: systemic racism and flagrant police brutality towards Black Americans.

Josh Weistaner, Post Falls

Responsibility

Cheers to Tommy Ahlquist for his thoughtful and heartfelt opinion in Tuesday’s , 6/2/2020, IPT.

Jeers to me! As a white male, having all the privileges that come with that status, I have failed to do more in addressing the systemic racism in our state and community. The past 35 years I have participated in marches, written letters, and quietly confronted racial slurs and actions when I encountered them in the workplace and in public. However, this has not been enough. We have citizens of this state, participants in our community, that do not feel safe walking alone on our sidewalks or among us, the privileged class. They may not show it nor they may not express it, but the fear is there.

I personally feel responsible, rationally or not, for the discomfort they feel, and since the death of George Floyd on May 25th I have been thrown into an emotional spin wrought with grief, anger and disappointment over my complacency. I plan on getting more involved in addressing the discrimination that not only our citizens of color face, but also women, the LGBTQ community, our disabled, immigrants and religious minorities... if not by participating in marches, then at least addressing them when I am confronted with it. I do apologize, and hope that those outside my sphere of experience know that I do stand with you and support you in your grief and fear. I can never understand what you are feeling, but I can support you, empathize with you and hope and pray that the events of the past weeks will be the catalyst that truly brings about the change we have all hoped and worked for over the last 50 years, and the anguish I have felt over the past two weeks wasn’t for naught.

Doug Clegg, Nampa

Education

This week Reclaim Idaho filed a federal lawsuit seeking an extension of the signature collection deadline and permission to use electronic signatures for the Invest in Idaho K-12 education initiative. The lawsuit claims that failure to provide a safe way to collect signatures for the initiative during the Covid19 pandemic violated citizens’ constitutional rights.

I am a volunteer with Reclaim Idaho. When the pandemic hit, we were well on the way to collecting the required number of signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot. When in-person signature gathering became unsafe--and even illegal, we requested accommodations that would allow safe signature gathering to continue. However, Governor Little and Secretary Denney denied our request to allow online signature gathering, a request that was made to protect the health of Idahoans.

Before the pandemic hit Idaho, we had momentum. Personally, I had collected over 700 signatures for the initiative. People heard and agreed with our message--Idaho needs to adequately fund education for the future of our children. During the March 10 primary, our campaign collected over 5,000 signatures from all over Idaho. It was incredible! Then the pandemic hit and made it unsafe to continue in-person signature gathering.

Now more than ever, our schools need adequate state funding. Idaho is 50th in the nation in per-pupil investment in education. Politicians have already cut the fat and the meat. Now that schools are left with the bones, it’s time for the State to fairly fund education. I received a quality public education and want the same for the children of Idaho.

April Frederick, Boise

Real leaders

As I pick up my groceries at Wal-Mart I can’t help but notice all the people going into the store, some with small children and the majority of them not wearing protective masks. Wow are they oblivious to what’s going on worldwide with the deadly Coronavirus? While a lot of us are adhering to the stay-at-home order, ordering groceries online, sacrificing not being around our families and wearing masks when we do have to go out in public where do these people get off by acting so recklessly. Those that are defying the stay-at-home order including the protestors not practicing social distancing and/or wearing masks are a selfish lot. Of course it doesn’t help that Trump is egging them on to stand up for their rights.

Trump is such a boorish, narcissistic, selfish person who can’t possibly understand the suffering many people are going through from not having jobs, the uncertainty, waiting in food lines for hours, and grieving the loss of loved ones. He could at least pretend he cares about what’s really going on, offering words of hope, comfort, and compassion to everyone at this time.

A real “War Time Leader” would not turn his back on the millions of people he’s supposed to protect. He did away with the Pandemic Response Team and shrugged the responsibility of providing PPE’s, ventilators, and masks for our first responders Where is the federal government in all this?

My heartfelt thanks to our first responders; doctors, nurses, EMT’s, Law Enforcement, etc., who are our real heroes, and we pray for their safety while doing their jobs. Thank you to our State and local leaders who are doing their best to keep us safe, and to all our community people who have stepped up to help the less fortunate.

Maggie DeLeon, Nampa

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