Opinion » Mail

Corrections and Mail - March 14, 2007

Corrections

Emily Saliers' name was misspelled (BW, Our Own Private Indigo Girls, March 7).

The photograph of Mo Kelly and Niccole Bayley was taken by Joyce Alexander (BW, Noise, March 7).

The Wine Walk at Bogus Creek Ranch and Outfitters will be held on May 12, 2007 (BW, 8 Days Out, March 7).

The photo from the "Capture the Moment" exhibit was courtesy of Albertson College of Idaho/Capture the Moment (BW, Art Feature, February 28).

Urine not Noise

I read Amanda Peachers' article "Last Call?" (BW, News, March 7) and laughed. Boise thinks that noise is THE problem in Downtown Boise after the bars let out? What about people urinating in the parking garages after "last call" on Friday and Saturday nights? I am not talking about homeless people, though they do utilize the spaces underneath the stairwells as shelter and lavatory at times.

I am talking about adults of means, of all ages and genders, pouring out of local establishments and pouring out their bladders onto any available surface: vehicles, walls, floors, stairwells and elevators inside the garage. They do so in full view of the other patrons who pay to park at the garage along with the incontinent miscreants. The non-incontinent patrons then have to navigate through a liquid multi-level obstacle course in order to get to their conveyances and exit the garage. Would the staff of the Boise Weekly be interested in this matter? Or am I just "pissing in the wind?"

--Jim France,

Boise

BRAVO FROM PETA

Bravo to the Nampa Police and the Ada County Sheriff's Office for breaking up a cockfighting ring in Kuna (BW, Gamecocks on final lowdown, February 28).  

Chickens are social, intelligent, interesting individuals who show affection and feel happiness, love, loneliness, fear, and pain just like dogs and cats do. But roosters raised for fighting are often confined to tiny cages and tormented to make them aggressive. Cockfighters pump "gamecocks" full of stimulants and blood-clotting drugs and attach razor-sharp spurs to the birds' feet. Even the so-called "winners" suffer from broken wings and legs, punctured lungs, severed spinal cords and gouged-out eyes.

The chance of a bird flu pandemic is only increased by cockfighting, which has been tied to at least eight cases of the disease. According to the National Chicken Council, cockfighting causes a "continuing hazard for the dissemination of animal diseases." Illegally transported birds have already caused an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle disease in California in 2002. For more information on cockfighting, visit www.peta.org.

--Heather Moore,

Norfolk, Virginia

DAY-CARE WOES

Once again our legislature has failed to act to protect the safety and health of Idaho's children in day care. Our current minimal law allows all providers who take care of six or fewer children to operate without any kind of regulation, and has only minimal certification requirements for those taking care of seven to 12 children. It does allow local governments to pass their own regulations, but most have not done so because they lack the resources to create and administer the regulations. The result is that small day-care programs have no regulation or oversight. Some do but most do not, leaving thousands of children at risk. A regional inspector with the Panhandle Health District stated that most of the problems she finds are in small and often rural day-care programs.

Yet, as the sponsor of H163, the failed child-care bill, I made numerous attempts to reach a compromise that would have allowed those small providers to continue to operate without licensure, while at the same time achieving greater safety and health standards for children in larger day-care programs. This approach would have met the needs of both rural and urban areas of our state, avoiding a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

At the same time, the intent of the current statute to leave the primary responsibility for selection and evaluation of day care with the parents remains unchanged. There is no intent to interfere with parental authority, only to help them find safe child care, and to protect the well-being of children.

Even for those day-care center facilities currently licensed, standards are minimal. Right now, there are no requirements that all adults who have direct unsupervised contact with children need to have a criminal background check, nor are group-care facilities prohibited from operating on premises where a registered sex offender lives. Neither are there restrictions on the use of alcohol or tobacco, and no safety requirements for guns or swimming pools on the premises. This lack of safety is one of the prime reasons why the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies ranked Idaho as dead last in child-care rankings.

Opponents' arguments that mothers should be at home with their children ignore reality. Often, both parents need to work, and many children are in one-parent families. There are now 70,000 children under the age of 5 being cared for every day in Idaho by someone other than their parents. Idaho families are being put at risk by our inadequate and antiquated child-care statute, and by those lawmakers who let their personal ideology take precedent over the needs of children.

--Rep. George Sayler, D-Couer d'Alene

Tags