Letters to the editor image -- Idaho Press

Letters to the editor image — Idaho Press

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Mining

The release of the U.S. Forest Service’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement represents another milestone in the permitting process for the Stibnite Gold Project. As we look to the project’s future, it’s important to look back at Midas Gold’s actions to date.

We have planted nearly 60,000 trees to help reforest and stabilize the site. We’ve recycled nearly 20 tons of materials left at the site by legacy operators. We’ve signed a binding agreement to work with eight of the communities closest to the site, so they can always address concerns and opportunities directly with our company and benefit from profits generated by the mine. We’ve already invested more than $90 million in the project inside of Idaho. And we currently provide well-paying jobs to more than 30 Idahoans.

Our actions to date tell a story of commitment and collaboration and this is what we want to continue.

If the Stibnite Gold Project is permitted, Midas Gold will invest a billion dollars in Idaho. We will bring hundreds of jobs into the state and contribute significant local and state tax revenue.

This project is about much more than dollars and cents. It’s also about giving the historical Stibnite Mining District the environmental attention and restoration it deserves and has been lacking for far too long.

Modern mining and the environment can work together, and we are committed to working closely with local communities in a transparent, collaborative manner to make that vision a reality. Now that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is released and the public comment period is open, we will continue to focus on actions rather than words. We will continue to invest in the community, focus on environmental restoration, and work hard every day to bring this crucial project to life.

Laurel Sayer, Boise

Lost

I believe President Trump has lost his way. The only real pleasure he has are his in person rallies where he entertains crowds. He has no plans for the future of America. He looks exhausted and is afraid of looking like a loser. There is no economic plan other than deregulate and no health care plan that he talks about and nothing but a hope for a vaccine.

I believe his supporters hang with him primarily because of the abortion issue and maybe other moral beliefs that they are hoping will be supported by conservative judges. I ask you, is the demise of our government worth one issue? I am totally against abortion but there are many ways to fight this scourge.

We have lost a lot of government structure and good employees because of the President's style. Soon, no one will be left who speaks truth to power if there are any now. I find another four years of Trump is a collapse of America as I know it. The world is waiting to see how Americans think of themselves. They cannot work with Trump and are watching us, the voters.

Marianne Graham, Boise

Bias

The Trump administration brokers a historic peace treaty between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain (the first middle east peace treaty in decades) and it isn't celebrated let alone reported by the Idaho Press. It is becoming apparent that the Idaho Press is quick to print negative Associated Press articles regarding our President, however, when it comes to publishing positive accomplishments by this administration, the sound of crickets is deafening. Yet another example of liberal media bias in the Idaho Press…ugh. I cancelled my subscription to the Idaho Statesmen for their bias reporting. Looks like my days of subscribing to the Press are numbered….

Michael Chew, Eagle

Editor's note: Our priority is filling the newspaper with news about the Treasure Valley. We encourage readers who want more national/international news to visit our website, idahopress.com, which is updated throughout the day.

Energy

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has sent a shockwave through Idaho’s economy – hitting the clean energy sector particularly hard. In just a few short months, Idaho shed 1,864 clean energy jobs, just under fifteen percent of the total clean energy jobs in the state. Pre-COVID-19, the clean energy sector was one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy. More than forty percent of the nation’s entire energy workforce worked in clean energy.

We are all ready to begin rebuilding Idaho’s economy, but the pandemic continues to take a toll on every employment sector, and energy is no different. The clean energy industry is not seeing a recovery. Since March, more than 620,500 clean energy jobs were lost across the country and future estimates only show there are more to come.

Many small businesses employ nearly two out of three clean energy workers. As a small business owner and job creator in Idaho, I know firsthand that we’re all going to need to work together to rebuild our economy. That’s why it’s so important that as Congress evaluates what support is needed in the energy sector that our clean energy workers are not ignored.

As we look to recover, I urge Congress to consider the entire energy workforce and make sure Idaho’s clean energy workers are included in legislation to provide relief to American families and workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Tyler Hurst, Star

Final exam

Property Taxes. The first 8 months of owning, our tax in Canyon County (highest rate at .94) went from $1700 to $1900 (2019). Repeatedly, the Idaho Press reflects our legislators know the insanity of rising Property Taxes for home owners, due to massively inflated home prices. An article on July 19, 2020 in the I.P. by Betsey Russell, “Lawmakers work towards structural change on property taxes.” Monthly meetings planned through Nov. Speaks of the newly created data spread sheet for transparency’s sake, for the public’s review yet, does not address the tax issue.

Yet, a repetitive tune by our legislative officials, of Tip-Toe through the Tulips, seemingly in avoidance of the issue in its entirety is played. We are looking at; the circuit breaker; at raising the home owners’ exemption, etc. Meanwhile, home prices continue to escalate. A 2006 home like ours 1 block away, with no upgrades, sold in two days for $52,000 more than we paid 1 ½ years ago. The next tax bill will be far higher as it will be for everyone who owns or even rents? We all should be more than alarmed at this trend.

Cities and state gives big businesses and developers huge tax breaks, reductions of impact fees. The brunt of the tax burden must be removed from the residential sector.

When will our elected officials put the stop sign up in this seemingly inept act of avoidance? Lock our tax rate in at (.94) for what we paid for our homes like many other states do? Not at the constant out of control inflated market value. Then with the never ending 3% plus increase maybe we'd be better able to set our family budgets. Or will those we elected keep reviewing or studying the subject? Isn’t it time for the final exam?

Terry Engelking, Nampa

Leadership

I am continually amazed by the lack of leadership among our political officials in Nampa, Canyon County and the State of Idaho. We only see, “recommendations” on how we combat COVID-19. Basically, “we don’t want to make anyone do something they don’t want to do.” Science says wear the mask when within 6’ of another. That means mandatory mask wear in public. But, our elected officials appear afraid to issue such orders, like SW District Health acquiescing to a bully’s assault. My background is 24-years service in the Army. We lived by the mantra, accomplish the mission and take care of our soldiers. In other words for local and statewide leaders — defeat Covid-19 and take care of our citizens. Nothing less works. Mandatory mask wearing is the only solution short of a 100% lockdown. Those refusing to comply should be issued citations and fines. Subsequent violations must result in more severe fines. Those possessing so-called “exemptions” to wearing a mask, must remain at home. These people can infect the rest of us just as easily as anyone else. (Apparently, impaired breathing statements are as easy to acquire as fake documentation allowing airline passengers to declare their pet kangaroo a comfort animal.) Retailers must also require masks. And many do now. But some people don’t want to follow the rules. When confronted by non-conformers, security personnel must escort them away or call 9-1-1. You may lose customers, but they are ones you are better off without. This is the same cohort of people who text and drive, don’t wear seatbelts and drive.Finally, if we continue to not follow the science to defeat COVID-19, many good people will continue to die. The COVID 19 pandemic will not end until we all comply with the use of masks and/ or separation or until all non-conformists are sequestered from those who do follow these best practices.

Danny Braudrick, Nampa

Vote Ferro

Toni Ferro understands that the Caldwell community from which she graduated high school in 1989 has had an explosive transformation from a largely rural farm bedroom community to a thriving center with a quadrupled population. Our needs in District 10 have changed insurmountably even in just the past decade.

Ferro understands the frustration in our district with soaring residential property tax and an utter lack of basic infrastructure to support the population growth despite folks writing a larger check to the county assessor each year. She understands our value for public education, and has a plan to make sure the state is meeting its obligation to fund our public schools instead of placing it on the back of property owners through levies as is the current status quo.

When you talk to Ferro you quickly understand she has a vision to invest in and attract the very best businesses into district 10 by making sure we have first class infrastructure and schools that encourage businesses to set up shop in our communities. She listens to our concerns with compassion, and has a plan for working across the aisle as a team player.

A vote for her to represent our district as State Senator is a vote to bring the very best paying modern jobs to district 10. Our community deserves nothing less.

Levi Cavener, Caldwell

Vote Spencer

Ellen Spencer is running for Senate as an Independent in Eagle (Idaho Legislative District 14) because she cares about Idaho citizens’ constitutional right to make law by ballot initiative. Right after Idaho voters passed Medicaid Expansion by a landslide, Ellen’s opponent, C. Scott Grow, introduced and helped pass a bill that would make citizen ballot initiatives virtually impossible. Fortunately, Governor Little vetoed the bill and Medicaid Expansion now brings close to $400 million annually to Idaho to cover over 84,000 Idahoans. Imagine all of those people trying to navigate this pandemic without healthcare coverage.

If you put Ellen Spencer in the Idaho Legislature, she will defend citizens’ constitutional rights, protect public lands, support quality education and create effective solutions to growth and transportation issues. I urge you to check out SpencerForIdaho.com and support this highly-qualified candidate who will put citizens’ needs first.

Sam Sandmire, Boise

Liberals

I have been giving a great deal of thought to the positions of some of my liberal friends who say they hate Trump, but do not give any reason why. When we talk politics, we are to a degree mocked and denigrated for expressing support of Trump.

I do like and agree with the vast majority of the things he has done over his term. The economy, pre-covid, has been amazing. The stock market has soared, unemployment was low, the labor participation rate was at a 70 year high, told NATO Allies to start paying up, stopped funding the 1940’s Marshall Plan, told China where to go, lowered all minority unemployment rates and raised minority incomes to record highs, brought jobs and companies back to America, and other policies that have helped the average American regardless of ethnicity, color, etc. No President has come close to these feats. Trump is a result oriented individual, not someone who has to have hearings, meetings, etc.

Liberals though are totally emotion oriented. They cannot expound on their policies as they would never get any votes as they are so absurd….. free college, guaranteed income, free health care, much higher taxes and a green policy that would bankrupt the economy.

The liberals that hate Trump and cannot define why are totally emotionally committed; they have no sense of what has positively occurred under the Trump Administration. His policies that are lifting the minorities up the economic ladder should be applauded by all of us. Really for some Liberals it is their inability to do any critical thinking because they are totally committed to seeing things in an emotional way, not a logical and reasonable way. Because of this myopic way of looking at things it is difficult, yet impossible, to have any substantiate discussion.

Dick Williams, Garden City

Proactivity

Contrary to most thoughts about this often-spoken phrase which sounds like an ancient, oriental blessing; it is more like a curse than a blessing. Yes, the level of turmoil in today’s world is high. The combination of Corona Virus, national and international civil unrest, a contentious national election, and wildfires make this year weigh heavy on the tranquility most of us prefer.

When you analyze the causes, some are hard to avoid, like Corona Virus. However, others, like the wildfire situation make many of us with natural resource management backgrounds sad, because there are management practices available to avoid the conditions which create such destructive fire.

Climate change is the most quoted cause expressed by today’s media and most politicians. But forest health and fuel loading are the real issues. Us old Foresters know proactive management practices to reduce the threat of uncontrollable fire despite possible changes in climate. Not only do they reduce the level of fuels in the forest which cause uncontrollable fire; they create jobs, useable products, income and healthy forests and rural communities. I wonder if educational institutions even teach those practices anymore because they are not “politically correct” given today’s “environmentalism”; which feels old growth and overstocked forests are the desired condition for forests.

I started my career with the US Forest Service in the “60’s” and remember the thriving forest industries in states that now suffer most from uncontrollable forest fires. Those industries no longer exist and in the last 50 years the health of their forests have suffered.

Uncontrollable wildfires will continue until proactive forest management is applied. Society does not seem to learn from history, and it is sure to repeat itself if we do not apply practices to avoid it.

Carl Pence, Meridian

Diversity

JEERS to SYDNET FREEMAN’S BLACK STUDENT CAMPUS AND THE U of I for hiring him.

I was horrified to read guest commentary by Sydney Freeman Jr. for welcoming black students. As a professor of higher educational leadership, he should be welcoming All Students. I am ashamed that the U of I would employ such a person—of any color or creed. This man doesn’t know the difference between diversity (meaning variety) and divisive (meaning creating disunity). It appears is doing exactly the opposite of what he presumably was hired to do.

(Incidentally, when I went to a University for four years several years ago, no one made me feel welcome. It was, “OK, so you got into this school? Pay your money, attend classes, get passing grades through hours of study and preparation, and prove yourself. If you can’t do that, you don’t belong here.” I will say, the athletes, at least 50% black—did get the welcome that I never received. Free tutoring, copies of tests, etc. That being said, they were obviously more important than I was for reasons we now know. I might also add that while I attended this school my roommate was black. She was my closest and dearest friend. We shared the same church and did many things together. I loved her parents as I did her and know they thought well of me also.)

Mr. Freeman’s article really struck me as being the most racist I have ever read. If I wrote an article like that with white or Jewish or any of a number of human attributes or cultural distinctions I would likely have my house burned down with me in it. Let me point out that all races/cultural groups can be racist as shown in this article.

Sandra Long, Star

Trump 2020

Let’s cut right to the chase and present the facts about the actual accomplishments of President Trump to help the American citizens and make the United States a stronger, safer and healthier nation, all while having to defend himself against fake impeachment proceedings, false claims of colluding with Ukraine, lies about using degrading names about our military, who, by the way, he loves and supports, and the lies about him supposedly having Russia spy on the Clinton 2016 campaign.

Energy independence from the Middle-East, first time in over 75 years.

Brokered Middle-East peace deal with U.A.E. and Bahrain, first such deal with Israel in 25 years.

Completed middle-class tax cuts.

Cut staggering government over-regulation and red tape resulting in economic growth, employment growth and wage growth, including record Black, Hispanic and women’s employment.

Historic judicial reform, appointing nearly 200 pro-constitution federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices.

Began and continues construction of a secure border wall to stem the tide of illegal immigration which costs billions every year in taxpayer funded benefits.

Stopped taxpayer funding of sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens.

Defeated ISIS and eliminated the top radical Islamist terrorist masterminds.

Rebuilt our military and restored America’s defenses to the strongest they’ve been in years.

Brought back manufacturing jobs from overseas.

Massive overhaul of veterans administration and enacted the Veterans Choice Act ensuring our veterans get medical treatment swiftly.

Cut millions in taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.

This list is not exhaustive. Trump has done much more to help and support our nation than his opponent, who has spent almost a half century with no accomplishments. It’s time to decide which direction you want this nation to go. The choice is crystal clear if you actually take the time to think about it. Trump 2020 - four more years!

Melodi Horrell, Caldwell

Forests

It's about time that the foresters finally let out the problem of what has happened when the environmentalists of the 1970's and 80's are gathering their questionable rewards of how not to manage the forests of the united states be it in various forests in the Forest Service,Bureau of Land Management,and states of the united states. The environmentalists with their degrees convinced those mentioned agency heads that they had to stop logging these land before the lands could no longer be protected from the loggers and engineers. The loggers had actually been providing a way to use the large mature trees that were ready for harvest, and then plant these areas that had been logged for the next crop of trees. By doing this work would have provided a way to control large forest fires from occurring in these areas. While the loggers were logging these various areas the loggers heavy equipment could be used to stop many areas from burning in more trees and and homes from burning now unprotected from fire. While its true that we wouldn't have had many large fires had it not been for climate change, the small fires grew to big ones,and no amount of manpower could stop the large fires from spreading. Its also true that thousands of homes should not be permitted to be built where the possibility of large fires could sooner or later burn the homes. Times have now changed for various reasons, and our environmentalists need to be placed to where their work can be used to a better environmental advantage. without the environmentalists realizing it, our loggers were one of the best environmental tools ever used and they provided a large payroll for the communities wherever they worked.

Richard Svenson, Boise

The Idaho Press does not vouch for the factual accuracy or endorse the opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor. If you would like to respond to anything you read here, please submit a letter at idahopress.com/opinion

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