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Mail and Commentary May 11, 2011

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Condom Kudos

Regarding "Condom Chatter" (BW, Opinion, April 27, 2011): In addition to the comments of Steven Scanlin of the Board of Health, I commend you for inserting a condom in the Boise Weekly. A long time ago (1970s), I spent several years as a public health nurse for physicians who were studying the acquisition and transmission of sexually transmitted infections in the Seattle area.

There already was much information about syphilis and gonorrhea but some of the characteristics of other sexually transmitted diseases had not yet been developed. The cooperation of those providers of their blood samples, cultures of parts of their body, and information about factors in transmission of the organisms provided valuable data that could lead to control of infections. Some of the data confirmed what was already known. Some of the information provided new understanding of the characteristics of the who, what, when, where and why some people had symptoms and some did not. After exposure, some people grew the organism(s) and some did not.

It would be wonderful if there could be vaccines that would stop all of these infections. We are not there yet. Condoms are still very much needed--both male and female condoms. Maybe someday we won't need condoms, but that "someday" has not yet happened. Boise Weekly, thank you for providing the reminder that condoms are needed and providing one to help people (users and nonusers) realize their importance.

--Joanne B. Anderson, Twin Falls


On Bin Laden

Several readers sent in commentary about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Due to the length of the submissions, they are not included in their entirety here. Visit boiseweekly.com and click on Opinion for the full versions. Ellipses (...) indicate omitted text.

... And now it's been 10 years. My entire adult life. Every major milestone I've passed on my own has been on his watch. Saying his existence, along with what he stood for, "defined a generation" is an understatement. It has altered every generation on the planet, and it has defined the lives of every American born since Sept. 12, 2001

... Our trajectory for the next century was established by his actions and guided by the following pursuit. Presidents have been chosen because of him. People have killed and people have died because of him. The relationships of global religions will be forever changed because of him.

... For me, this is the end of the pervasive fear that lurked in the back of my mind for more than a third of my life. A fear that wasn't always noticeable and wasn't always apparent. But it was there. It was there because it was the "new normal." But not anymore. At least not for now. And that feels pretty good.

--Brian Rich, Boise

Almost 10 years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is dead. The news found me this week as I finished tagging online documents with metadata for a monolithic hi-tech client. It's mundane work and brought me back to Sept. 11, 2001, when I set out to complete another mundane task: to paint an old dresser a fresh yellow. I lived in New York City--more specifically, in Astoria, Queens, just across the East River from Manhattan--and, instead of painting, from my rooftop I watched the Twin Towers fall, one by one. (More accurately, I watched them fall on CNN, only to run back up to the roof to confirm that indeed they were gone.)

Even though I was there, witnessing the event with my own eyes, I told myself it was happening over there, across the river (or on TV), away from me, to other people. And that's how I dealt with the trauma of the greatest tragedy to happen on American soil: with a hefty sense of separation.

... And then, the news arrives: Obama has killed Osama. As an isolated event, this is not good news: another killing, more death, revenge. But it's not an isolated event; it's a cap to a catastrophe that scarred America. And despite my differences with so many of my fellow citizens, I am an American.

... I'm smart enough to know that the end of Bin Laden isn't the end of militant extremism. One bullet won't stop the war. Or bring back those who perished in 9/11. Even though I know that killing people doesn't stop people from killing, I'm happy we got him.

--Hollis Welsh, Boise


Correction

In the May 4 story on Wicked, "The Wonderful Witches of Oz," we incorrectly matched actress to witch. Natalie Daradich plays Glinda the Good Witch and Anne Brummel plays the part of Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West.

Also, for a correction to last week's news piece, "Convention and Visitors Bureau Broke Rules of Incorporation," please see Page 10.

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