Opinion » Mail

Mail and Commentary, Nov. 4

Quote of the Week

"Ummmmmm, yeah. I had wayyyyyy too many enemas growing up in the late '70s and early '80s ..."

--siri, BW online

Race in Idaho

I have really enjoyed Bill [Cope]'s "That One Thing" in the Oct. 28 issue. He eloquently expressed our experience (we are not black). We are from the South and knew we were at one time prejudiced/racist and worked on not being that way. We moved to Arizona and found most of the people there proudly say they are not racist. However, their conversations are replete with derogatory comments about Mexicans and Indians, all the while speaking about the South being racist. I believe most of it is unconscious. We find the same conversations here in Idaho. It is great that the young people, our children's generation, seem unaware of color of skin and elected [President Barack] Obama. However, it unfortunately has raised the nasty and sometimes buried racism to the forefront. Maybe it needs to be aired.

--Belva Kerstetter, Boise

Race for Light Guv

A citydesk post on Lt. Gov. Brad Little's campaign run stirred up some dust.

Idaho needs to rid itself from its wealthy, cowboy dress'n, pseudo-ranch'n, flag wavin', Rush lovin', tree cuttin', wolf kill'n, land pavin' McMansion building, river damnin', water polluting, right wing Republican stigma.

--Jim Sutton, Facebook

Racin' to Transit

Even though I applaud the City of Boise's vision of a trolley system in downtown Boise, I do not think now is the time to usher in a $60-million project for a two-mile loop.

It is time, however, for Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Ontario and Mountain Home to combine resources, write grants, and get folks educated about the need for a light rail system that would serve the entire valley. In these economic times, this effort is warranted to maximize our public transportation dollars, spending them wisely to realize a more efficient relief from the daily commuter congestion and wear and tear on our highways. We cannot continue to spend dollars on an antiquated road system that takes up more space, adds pollutants to our environment, and demands constant mending and patching.

A year ago, I wrote a small piece pointing out the need for mass transit in the valley. In that piece, I delineated some suggestions of already existing rail corridors, such as the old Amtrak route. Or, we could start construction of an elevated rail system that parallels the I-84 corridor through the state. Yes, the initial outlay would be staggering, but the long term benefit to us, the residents of the valley, would be enormous, particularly as our valley continues to grow. Other progressive states have already done this, saving them, in the long run, tremendous amounts of tax-payer transportation costs.

We have the great fortune of many resident experts in rail transportation living here in the valley. Many are retired, but I am sure they could be coaxed to join any effort to plan and design the infrastructure, promulgate operating rules, and plan for the equipment to be used without having to import workers from other areas.

We need to stop thinking small and address our upcoming transportation needs. There will be a day in the not-to-distant future when it just won't be expedient to drive down the highway in our four-by-fours, heading to the market to buy our daily loaf of bread and gallon of milk. We need to think about that day before it gets here. A mass transit system would also alleviate the burden of those in the lower income brackets to own, insure and maintain a vehicle. It would lower the emissions from internal combustion engines; it would reduce the accidents on our poorly maintained highways.

One never knows--it might be successful enough that it could expand, or at least be linked, with bus service to the outlying areas of our valley.

--Doug Clegg, Nampa


: Last week, citydesk incorrectly attributed a quote from Shoshone-Paiute cultural resources director Ted Howard about the removal of Rocky Canyon Hot Springs to KTVB, when in fact, it should have been attributed to the: Idaho Statesman. :