Opinion » Mail

Mail and Commentary Sept. 19, 2012

Hunting and Conserving

As an Idahoan who does not hunt or fish but one who cares deeply about Idaho's land and wildlife, I attended the Idaho Wildlife Summit at the end of August. Virgil Moore, director of Idaho Fish and Game, his staff and the commissioners really put on a terrific event. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from a great diversity of folks.

Shane Mahoney, an international conservationist and hunter, spoke about the critical and urgent need to protect Idaho's wildlife diversity, including non-game animals. Conservation was a common theme to all of the speakers, and while the department is charged with managing all wildlife, the majority of funding comes from hunting and fishing licenses. It is a dilemma that will need attention into the future. The message could not be clearer that conservation may be the most important consideration of all, and we will all need to share in its support.

I dream of a future in which Idahoans of all ages learn to know the plants and animals that make up the communities of their bio-regions. I believe that partnerships between land and wildlife managers and conservationists will make it possible to grow conservation education programs with the ultimate goal of conserving the natural world.

Many thanks to Idaho Department of Fish and Game for giving Idahoans the opportunity to share our views on Idaho's wildlife.

--Christine Gertschen,

Sun Valley

Voters Left in Dark Over School Levy

In a recent editorial in the Kuna Melba News, I asked for a detailed plan as to how the Kuna School District would spend the proposed levy funds. I wrote that I was "inclined to support" the levy. My only ask was a detailed plan as to how my school district would spend the money.

The KSD's answer? A vague response, claiming the money would go "primarily" to teachers. Beyond that, they offered no specifics. For example, in the budget, there is $100,000 listed for "textbooks." However, it is not allocated by grade, school or subject.

Moreover the KSD includes in that "textbook" category items labeled "technology," "technology equipment," and "equipment." Textbooks then show up later in the budget under another category, "supplies-KHS" (Kuna High School). And while the "supplies" category is for the Kuna High School, there are also items listed "textbooks" and "curriculum" for the Kuna Middle School under the "High School" category.

Why didn't the Kuna School District offer votersa budget that enumerated how the money would be allocated?

As a tutor in Kuna, I purchase textbooks and materials for my students--including family. I speak regularly with the teachers of my students. And I donate other resources to ensure my students learn.

I am glad teachers will get more money. I am disappointed no government official told me how they planned to spend the estimated $252 to $515 from my pocket. Thank you.

--Steve Ackerman,


What's Asphalt Got to do With It?

Shame on Garden City Mayor John Evans and the City Council. He paid $9,800 of my tax dollars to the Land Group of Eagle to tell us that it would take $1.3 million to pave a portion of the Boise River Greenbelt that doesn't need to be paved. This was the cheapest scare tactic ever devised by a politician to get the public support to keep his stretch of the Greenbelt off limit to bikes. There are lots of other sections of the Greenbelt that are not paved between Boise and Eagle and beyond. We don't need to pave the Greenbelt in order for a trail to be used by bicyclists, walkers and joggers as it was originally intended. In November 1980, the State of Idaho required the Riverside Village developer to construct a bike path beside the Boise River in Riverside Village in exchange for permission to build upon state owned lands there. On Nov. 6 remember to exercise your rights. Lift the ban.

--Oliver W. Thompson.

Garden City