Opinion » Mail

Mail and Commentary, Dec. 2

Quote of the Week

“In 10 to 20 years, there will be a history book with a chapter titled: ‘Age of Idiocy, when Democrats and Obama ran it all.’”

—ObeyMyObama, BW online

Extension Cuts?

I am disappointed that there has not been more widespread concern over the fate of the University of Idaho Parma (Agricultural) Research and Extension Center. The proposed closure is not only a problem for a few orchard owners and wine producers, but should alarm every Treasure Valley resident who cares about locally owned business and sustainably grown regional food sources.

Contrary to growing national awareness of the food security problems and high resource costs of industrialized agriculture, our land grant university is proposing to shut down the only research center in southwestern Idaho when it should be expanding its efforts to support small acreage food production. When budgets are tight, it’s time to focus on the original mission and reduce non-agricultural cooperative extension services available at other organizations. Farming will continue to be a major contributor to our state economy—even technology workers need to eat.

There is no point in keeping the faculty if they have no means to conduct field research. The orchards and vineyards, with their carefully documented history of cultivation, are irreplaceable. Funding has been found to keep Parma R and E open until June 2010, a rather “fruitless” gesture if UI pulls the plug at the beginning of the growing season. Consumers need to tell our educational institutions that support of this region’s agriculture is a critical obligation to the public.

—Gena Delucchi, Boise

Micron Bailed

This month (November) I have finally sold my house for 40 percent less than what the assessor thinks it’s worth, now I have my family in the closest place to the Boise style: Olympia, Wash. My job has been here for 14 months, but I kept having to lower the price on my house until someone decided they wanted it. This after 14 months out of work since Micron sent my high-paid software job to India for 16 guys to do for cheaper. After nearly two and a half years, I’m finally working and coming home to my family. I had to go out of state; I had companies pulling job offers after they were tendered; in one case I had signed my W4 and had a day to start. When I showed up, they decided the job was no longer available. And from the looks, several other jobs were going bye-bye as well.

I was told by one person hanging on, “good riddance,” apparently hoping for the return to the glory days when downtown was a ghost city. Well, unless you’re willing to work like the Chinese and Indians (12-hour days, seven days a week, $1.25 an hour, live in company-provided housing to save money, buy in company stores), you are not getting those jobs back.

The last production 8-inch fab at Boise is shut down. So when Aptina needs more 8-inch CMOS sensor wafers, they now go to Micron Japan’s still functioning 8-inch fab. Because we all know how much cheaper it is to live in Japan than Boise. Ask your elected ones, ask your investigative reporters (if there are any left in the world) why did Micron toss Boise under the bus yet build and acquire in Manassas, Va., and Lehi, Utah, and they still have Italy, China, Singapore, Japan, Formosa.

Take the LDS advice if you’re currently working for Micron. Have two years food, money and gas put away because when the last high-tech place in Boise goes to Bangalore, you can’t go.

Bonne chance to my friends I leave behind in Boise. I will miss you. Farewell to the “friends” I had at work who never called me, I know now what a friend is. Learn and move on. Idaho for Idahoans, huh. Have fun while it lasts. Whoops, it’s gone. Sorry.

—Dave Coffman, Olympia, Wash.

Guns Vs. Tasers

Tasers are the best new tool for law enforcement in years (BW, News, “Do You Feel this Lawsuit on Your Nuts?” Nov. 25, 2009). I am a convicted felon and have been shot with a real gun. I only wish they had Tasers then.

—Dailylarrna, BW online