Letters to the editor: Climate change, Interfaith Sanctuary, election audits, unconstitutional laws, debt and tax incentives

·5 min read

Climate and skiing

Ski season will likely shorten again this winter as Boise, one of the fastest-warming cities in the nation, is affected by global warming. Our temperatures continue to fluctuate, detrimentally affecting wildlife and humans alike, especially vulnerable populations such as our children and elderly.

As the Associated Student Body president at Boise High, I am deeply concerned about my school’s climate impact. Our situation continues to worsen and action must be taken to protect our planet’s future. School districts are some of the largest institutions in our communities, so a district-wide change to more sustainable practices could help achieve greenhouse gas emissions targets, mitigate the ecological impacts of the climate crisis, and protect every citizen’s health interests.

The city of Boise has taken a step in the right direction by adopting its Climate Action Roadmap earlier this year committing to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and carbon neutrality by 2050 citywide. Now, the Boise School District must create a similar, more aggressive clean energy commitment and long-term sustainability plan, to save money and ensure today’s students a livable future. I urge readers to contact their Boise school board members and push for a clean energy commitment.

Lizzy Duke-Moe, Boise

Interfaith Sanctuary

Over the past several years, Interfaith Sanctuary has done an exceptional job of providing services to Boise’s homeless people. Homelessness is an issue that affects almost every US city of any size and has confounded and perplexed many who have tried to address the issue. Interfaith Sanctuary has tackled homelessness in Boise with energy, enthusiasm, and compassion and at little cost to taxpayers. While Interfaith Sanctuary may not be perfect, the organization has proven to be open-minded and resourceful in addressing problems and shortcomings. The people who operate Interfaith Sanctuary are amazing.

The proposed move of Interfaith Sanctuary to the location on West State Street provides us all with an opportunity to continue to provide caring, compassionate services to Boise’s homeless and to expand those services to meet our growing needs. The West State Street location is a good solution for the relocation of Interfaith Sanctuary that ticks off many of the boxes and is economically viable for the organization. I have no doubt that the staff of Interfaith Sanctuary will work with all involved to help make this a good, workable solution and to address any issues that arise in the new location.

Roy Schiele, Boise

Election audits

Ten sitting members of the Idaho legislature have signed a letter calling for audits of elections in all fifty states. If they truly believe that there is a problem of this magnitude it is not unreasonable to suggest that these individuals recuse themselves from the duties of their elected positions until their elections have been audited and recertified.

Silly suggestion? Not half as silly as the deafening bleating amplifying the unfounded assertions of widespread and consequential voter fraud. The damage that these bogus accusations do to confidence in American governance is serious enough to keep this from being merely amusing.

George Moses, Boise

Unconstitutional laws

May I suggest an amendment to the state constitution. Often legislators or elected state executives draft a bill, and the state attorney general offers a legal opinion, and they choose to ignore that advice and seek outside counsel who tells them what they want to hear. When that law or bill is ruled unconstitutional, the cost of the legal fees would be divided among the individuals that signed on to the law or bill. It should also be necessary to implement a recall of the individuals because they have demonstrated no self-control and their inability to manage state funds in a responsible manner.

Because they cannot manage reality very well, state taxpayers’ money should not be used to cover delusions of uncontrolled power.

Scott William Murray, Boise

Republican debt

To Sens. Crapo and Risch:

I’ve read several reports that your deep concern for our national debt and fears about the Democrats increasing the size of the federal deficit are the reasons you have voted against raising the debt ceiling and will do so again.

To my great surprise, it appears that you weren’t aware that the federal deficit increased under presidents Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George Bush, and Trump, and was reduced under presidents Clinton and Obama. You must also know that the need to raise the current debt ceiling stems from the 2017 tax cuts that you voted for, not any potential future expenditures.

In other words, the facts show that Democratic policies result in deficit reduction, while Republican policies have increased it.

Rick Simon, Boise

Homeowners

It is well established that families, communities and our society benefit from single-family homeownership. Not only have stagnant wages and increasing land cost been squeezing families out of the housing market, more recently the huge home price increases caused by investor groups buying single-family homes for use as rentals is pricing families out of homeownership.

It is now common for investor groups to snap up homes without an inspection or appraisal, moving much faster than families who must finance the purchase of their homes and causing housing prices to skyrocket. Why our tax codes were written to encourage investments in single-family homes by investors, I don’t know. Why investors can claim depreciation as well as maintenance and repairs as deductions on their income tax from these investment homes, yet owner-occupiers of homes cannot do so is baffling to me.

Congress can and should change tax codes to discourage investors from buying single-family homes, causing them instead to invest their funds more into multi-family “affordable” and “market value” housing production. This would increase the production of apartment units. This would also make the price of single-family housing more affordable, benefiting families, communities and our society. A win-win.

Tom Newton, Caldwell

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