Opinion » Mail

Mail: May 31, 2017

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'Listen, Listen. Love, Love'

In response to several articles that have run in this publication about various situations in the Idaho Department of Correction, I would like to inform the general public of an ongoing solution to the problem of the 2.2 million people incarcerated in the states.

At ISCI (Idaho State Correctional Institution) just south of Boise, the volunteers of Kairos are bringing hope to a complication situation.

Kairos (The Greek word for "God's Special Time") is an inter-denominational, lay-led Christian ministry that trains volunteers to go inside modern prisons, using only the theme of, "Listen, listen. Love, love," to change hardened inmates before they are released back into society—preparing Kairos graduates to be functional, mentally and spiritually changed citizens.

No particular denomination is allowed to manipulate the program or change the "Listen, listen. Love, love" theme. Along with the lay leadership, we have volunteer clergy of many Christian denominations who can give confidential counseling to participants.

The traditional Kairos is an annual 3½-day retreat held at ISCI with the help of past Kairos graduates, and with the assistance of the prison staff. We bring in muffins, cookies, coffee and sometimes pizza for a really special time and fellowship. All kinds of uplifting music is shared with the inmates. Many creative activities have been designed to deepen the Christian experience, instill cooperation with each other and prepare the "changed" person to re-enter society.

Since 1976, Kairos has made the difference in the lives of thousands of men and women who have been given a free gift that can get them back on track and instill in them a love for themselves and others.

I was last year's Kairos Inside Retreat director, and I implore any person interested in Kairos to contact me at tedroy97@netzero.net or 208-469-0947. Our biggest challenge is a declining number of volunteers. We have many distinguished, experienced men and women who are retiring or moving away. Any suggestion or donation is a blessing, and will help our beloved relatives, friends and loved ones who are imprisoned.

Visit mykairos.org for additional information.

—Tim Byrne, Nampa

Hold Crapo Accountable for Gas Vote

The U.S. Senate failed to get the votes to rescind the BLM Methane Waste Rule, holding in place this common sense regulation that limits gas emissions. This rule creates energy efficiency jobs, ensures limited waste of natural gas and provides clean air benefits.

After visiting his office earlier this spring and speaking to his representatives about this issue, I am disappointed that Sen. Mike Crapo did not vote to keep this rule. Idaho had nothing to gain by his vote, and in fact it would've negatively impacted residents of the state.

I never heard back directly from Sen. Crapo or his office about why he supported this, but imagine it's related to the $100,000 dollars he has collected from oil and gas interests.

Money seems to speak louder than the hundreds of calls he received from constituents in favor of keeping this rule.

It's time to hold Sen. Crapo accountable for his indefensible position. When will we get an independent thinker who puts Idaho—and then country—ahead of party politics?

I'm thankful that Sen. John McCain voted against the party line because he found it unconscionable to rescind a rule that would take away permanently our ability to go back and monitor methane emissions in the future.

—Tami Osterday, Boise

Crapo Votes in Favor of Campaign Cash over Idahoans

Recently, senators from both sides of the aisle came together and voted in favor of keeping a common sense BLM rule regulating methane. The rule is simple: It conserves natural gas while also cutting harmful emissions. It was encouraging to see that common sense ruled the day in Washington.

Less encouraging is that Idaho voted against common sense and public good. Sen. Mike Crapo voted to scrap the rule, preferring instead that there be no limit on wasted natural gas and allowing the natural gas industry to self-regulate. This rule only applies to federal public land, meaning the natural gas belongs to all of us. Why would Crapo vote against the interests of Idahoans?

Tellingly, the natural gas industry is an important campaign contributor to Sen. Crapo—an industry, mind you, that has barely any presence whatsoever in Idaho.

This isn't hard to figure out. Crapo's vote clearly favored the industry writing him checks, not the people he was elected to represent.

Many senators on both sides of the aisle stood up for their citizens, but not ours. The natural gas industry today, what else tomorrow? What will it take for Crapo to put Idahoans over campaign money?

—Eric Oliver, Boise

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