Opinion » Mail

Mail September 24-September 30, 2008

Our Ticket to Nowhere

They bawl and beller like mavericks, they wear the GOP brand, run with the Republican herd, bed down with the constipated evangelicals, and are fattening up in the right-wing conservative feedlot. They bray like asses, yap like jackals, and grunt like pigs, but still insist they're cattle very well. Vote for the cow and the steer, but bear in mind what happens when cattle are confined in small spaces (not forgetting "mad cow" disease) and who will do the muckin' of America's byre.

—John Thomsen, Boise

Yard Sale Hell

Well, I took my 9-year-old daughter to the Hyde Park Street Fair, held at Camel's Back Park, so that she could watch her older sister dance with her belly dance troupe. When we got to the North End, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Yard sales. Yard sales to the left of me. Yard sales to the right of me. We were surrounded by yard sales. Many even tried to block off the street in front of their houses to keep people from parking in front of their yard sale. (Sorry folks. Public parking is just that, public parking. You don't own the street in front of your house.) Because of all the yard sales, traffic was many times more congested than it would have been for the festival itself.

I'm not begrudging a person's right to make some money by selling their own belongings, but they really made it difficult for festival-goers to find any kind of parking. I'm not sure how many people went to all of these yard sales, but it had to have had an impact on the traffic on all of those narrow streets in the North End. While we were navigating to the back of the park to get to the handicapped parking area, we saw three instances where people were almost hit because of the congestion created by people craning their necks to see what kind of "bargains" were available in peoples' front yards.

I know all of these people had their yard sales because the Hyde Park affair would draw lots of people into the neighborhoods, and so more would see their yard sales. But why don't you yard sale bozos get together and have a Hyde Park Flea Market or some other way to hold your yard sales without interfering with a remarkable neighborhood event?

—Bear Rogge, Boise

On Duncan

What does it mean that your readers are able to imagine cruelty more sick and sadistic than Joseph Duncan did? If there is any slight possibility for good to come of his death, it lies in whatever his execution means to his sole surviving child victim.

—Robert Engle, Ph.D., Boise

Oh, Cope ... Usually I'm the first to defend anything you have to say but regarding this recent death penalty (BW, Opinion, "Let's Kill Duncan," Sept. 17. 2008) article, you are way off. You stated, "Statistics prove the death penalty does not prevent heinous crimes from happening and never has." Really? Funny, because I think the fact that the sonofabitch is dead kind of tends to prevent him from killing again, wouldn't you?

Overall, I would have to state that statistics prove the death penalty does in fact prevent heinous crimes from happening and always has. I really don't think that dead killer is gonna be doing any more killing, do you? Hell, the most he will be doing is rotting, as he deserves to.

—Kevin Karstens, Boise

*Editor's Note: Bill Cope hit nerve a last week. Go to boiseweekly.com for more reader responses.

Looking Away

Thanks for covering this story ("Interior Scandal," BW, News, Sept. 27, 2008). It's received surprisingly little attention by the state's daily newspapers, though the Statesman reprinted an editorial written by the editors of the Magic Valley Times News.

I worked at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality when Stephen Allred was appointed its director by then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne in 1999. In the press release issued by the Governor's Office, Gov. Kempthorne was quoted as saying that Mr. Allred "... will be very progressive in maintaining the strong balance we must have between a good environment and a good economy." The press release went on to state that Mr. Allred was "... a partner in Corporate Finance Associates/Thornton-Oliver-Keller ... one of the largest commercial real estate sales, leasing and management organizations in the Northwest."

One of Mr. Allred's first pronouncements at IDEQ was that the various entities regulated by IDEQ and USEPA were now "our customers." Though it was never spoken, the supposition by most employees was that we were to proceed as though the customer was always right. Mr. Allred is a personable fellow who distinguished himself academically and professionally. He served as director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources for 14 years before joining Morrison-Knudsen in 1981. He has proven himself in a state where natural resource extraction and utilization is the major economic driver. He knows what to say, when to say it, and how to say with sincerity. I doubt that Mr. Allred has ever advocated for the management of natural resources in a manner than didn't place economic value above all other values, and he's probably well practiced in looking the other way when necessary. And he certainly will not claim this scandal as his responsibility.

—Callisto, online

Rall: Get a Job

I am appalled that Ted Rall can justify the murder of babies in his recent article about Bristol Palin (BW, Opinion, "Bristol Did the Wrong Thing," Sept. 17, 2008). I am disgusted that he would even mention ending a life so that the parents would have a better life. We have become an extremely selfish society and this article is proof of that. It is never right to take a life no matter what stage of development. We all truly know deep down inside that it is a life, not a blob of tissue, we just don't want the hassle. Shame on you Ted Rall. Your mother did not kill you, so do something good with your life. I will not be reading your weekly anymore.

—Zach Folwell, Star