Opinion » Mail

January 17 - January 24 2007

idaho shows podunk status

Doesn't the Statehouse have better things to do with its time (and our tax money) than to pass resolutions congratulating the Broncos? Idaho only shows off its inferiority complex as a Podunk backwater when it is unable to realize when the back-slapping should end. Is it possible that anyone thinks that the Broncos would stop performing without state-sanctioned adulation?

--Steve Vetter,


get stats right

Today I heard a program on NPR about the death count in the Iraq war. That program got me to thinking about your publication's inclusion, weekly, of the latest death count. The question is why are you not using the figures compiled by Gilbert Burnham of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath, with assistance from the Center for International Studies at MIT? I understand that those numbers may be somewhat stale compared to numbers collected by a "passive" methodology. But reminding us, the general public, that we may collectively be responsible for 654,965 Iraqi deaths is sobering. The first step in an intelligent discussion is to have the facts available to us. A discussion about how those figures are compiled would also be helpful. Finally, holding our elected officials, including the president, responsible for those deaths will be a motivator for change.

--Bill Amaya,


all in the family

The Idaho Statesman noted during the 2006 campaign that Sali had given $50,000 to three family members and that he was lavishly reimbursing his daughter for her work with the campaign. If Sali serves three terms, he'll get a nice federal retirement with good health benefits.   Republicans are great about bashing the poor for being "welfare queens" even as they have their snouts in the public trough. The 2006 election was the "Make Bill Sali Rich" campaign! And he's even taken care of his buddy Gerry Sweet (Sweet is the only man who went out of business in Idaho selling guns--what does that tell you?). Then there's Tom Luna, who couldn't seem to make it in private business, either. But he's great sucking at the government teat! Republicans are the biggest freeloaders in the country (look at the defense industry!).

--Gary L. Bennett,


idahome road

We don't have to wait for the professionals to tell us a bona fide syndrome exists, that something is rotten and at epidemic destructive levels, in order to act. While many of Boise State's "true" fans were busy scrambling to turn their televisions back on the other night to find out why in the hell their neighbors were unleashing an arsenal of fireworks, I lay in bed mourning. As a person convinced that an undiscovered Boise is best, the night's twists and turns could not have been worse. 

I now concede that, though I'll never understand why it took football to do it, all roads lead to Boise on the map, and the good life we have known for decades in Idaho is fast decaying. Anyone who thinks a crowded city is beneficial to your health is a quack. I have worked in the backcountry of Arizona for the last two years and can tell you that the forests and reservoirs are overrun by the motorhead population of Phoenix. Peace and quiet is a concept now forgotten. This will be Idaho's fate. Where once there was a therapeutic call of the loon from a canoe, there will be the roar of Jet skis and RVs with generators. 

Folks in the statehouse know this transformation means big bucks. You will continue to see planned communities lauded as good things. They are not. The Cliffs and others are a crime against Idaho. Commissioners cannot line their pockets with deer pellets, so they approve building in critical wildlife habitat rather than make a frugal vote to restrict growth. As a biologist, I can safely say the idea that prong will share space with bone-headed Labradoodles is biologically irresponsible. I have been fortunate to live here most of the past two decades but I can no longer stomach the rape I witness in the foothills on a daily basis. I am not a native but was fortunate in my estimations to move here while still young enough to be shaped by Idaho, not to try and shape Idaho to fit me. Lucky for me, my girlfriend is as misanthropic and disillusioned by wealth as I am. We are off to study some beast on the brink of extinction in the Midwest. We will be leaving our families behind and not returning Idahome to live again.        

--Ethan Kelley,


Lions roar

The Lions of District 39W thank the public for all their support. Some of our accomplishments include recycling about 25,000 pairs of eyeglasses and 280 hearing aids, supporting swimming pools and building a playground, and helping provide about 320 corneas to be used in sight-restoring transplants. Clubs raised money through many events and the sales of over 5,000 Idaho Monopoly games.

--Curt Kelley,



The "True Crime" column from January 10 incorrectly identified the author of Tremble for My Country: Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Gentry and the article "Answering the Call: The First Inaugural Addresses of Thomas Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton," among other works. The author is Idaho State University professor Ron Hatzenbuehler.