Letters to the editor: Public lands, Mass dispensation, Ammon Bundy, public records release, careless drivers, unemployment benefits

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Recreation impacts

I’m glad more Idahoans are experiencing the outdoors, especially since the arrival of COVID-19, but I worry about the impacts on fish and wildlife as our mountains and plains become more crowded. I encourage public land managers to update the plans that guide how public lands are used. The plans that set management goals for Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands are decades old and do not address growing recreation demand.

Deer, elk and pronghorn need room across a vast landscape to search for food and security, yet the current land plans were written in the 1980s and have little to say about migration, much less direction for how to assure those routes remain unbroken.

I ask our public land agencies to update management plans and address increasing use and the needs of fish and wildlife, specifically, the need for large animals to move on the landscape in pursuit of survival. Updating those land plans will make sure my kids and grandkids will enjoy Idaho’s public lands as I have.

Marshall Hurst, Rigby

Mass dispensation

Recently, Idaho’s Catholic bishop has ended the dispensation for attending Mass in person unless one is ill; at risk; or wants to socially distance. Given that 65% of Idaho’s population is not fully vaccinated that means in all likelihood 65% of the people attending Mass will not be fully vaccinated, as well. The removal of the dispensation should have been accompanied with a recommendation to get vaccinated. The bishop pinned his removal of the dispensation on the governor’s movement of the state to Stage 4.

While I am fully vaccinated, I suspect I can spread the virus to anyone not fully vaccinated — such as all kids under 12. This seems like confusing religious decisions with health decisions.

Joseph Gallagher, Boise

Careless drivers

I have never experienced such greed in my life other than those behind the wheel of a vehicle. Turn signals are equipped on each and every one of the vehicles on the road. Not using your signal doesn’t make you look cool, it makes you look like the complete selfish moron that you are.

Tailgating is also a huge problem. Slow down and leave yourself an out. Accidents are 100% preventable, there is no excuse for causing accidents and injuring, or God forbid, killing people. Slow down and use your signals, stop tailgating and speeding.

As a new father I am deeply concerned about the welfare of my wife and child. I don’t want to see them harmed because of the pure stupidity and carelessness of others. Please put your cell phone down, stop tailgating, and for Gods sake move your hand the few inches it takes to signal where you’re going.

I am sick and tired of seeing people get hurt in what I can only describe as incredibly selfish behavior by careless drivers. Let’s work together so we can all go home to our families at night.

Robert Vincent, Boise

Ammon Bundy

Oh my, Tom Luna is afraid of Ammon Bundy’s candidacy for governor. This is evident as he trips all over himself stumbling to the mic in his June 4 statement to declare that he doesn’t support Ammon’s “antics” and “political theater” ending with his statement that Ammon is “not suited to call himself an Idaho Republican let alone run for governor.” I think this is great — Tom warning his establishment arm of the Republican Party about Bundy.

This is exactly how Trump was elected — when the establishment went berserk proclaiming their disdain. When the swamp creatures shudder, liberty lovers take note. Well, he certainly overplayed his hand in this political misstep. Unless it’s all intentional to urge Bundy’s supporters on in an effort to divide the anti-Little vote with McGeachin and hand the victory to his man Brad Little? Whether Bundy or McGeachin, we need Little out. Freedom fighters have had it. Perhaps Bundy and McGeachin can work something out? Or do they need to ask for Tom’s permission first?

Sean Borzea, Caldwell

Releasing identities

So Rep. Priscilla Giddings and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin will protect to the death the identities of those who testified before their indoctrination board witch hunt, but it is perfectly permissible for Giddings to identify the protected identity of the young intern who came forward to identify a sexual predator among their ranks. Words fail me.

Jean Lynn, Nampa

Jury duty

In the past year my faith in humanity and our government has been shaken. However, I was required to appear for jury selection in April. I was very impressed with all those involved that day. Everyone from the prospective jurors to the judge, court personnel, defense team and prosecuting team were extremely professional and kind. Shortly after, I was asked to donate some time serving with the local Salvation Army. Again, working with the men and women who work there on a daily basis was rewarding and serving those usually on the fringes of society that were requesting services was very fulfilling.

One of my ecclesiastical leaders recently stated, “There is nothing wrong with our country that can’t be fixed by what is right with our country.”

If your faith in humanity and/or our great country has been shaken like mine, may I encourage you to volunteer in your local community and help be part of the solution.

Shellece Gruber, Nampa

Unemployment benefits

Governor Little:

Your decision to stop unemployment benefits for self-employed individuals next week will have some extremely negative consequences for Idaho. Most small businesses are started by self-employed people.

Studies by the U.S. government show that small businesses are responsible for the creation of between 60% and 80% of new jobs. They also account for almost half of total jobs. Jobs are the engine that drive any State’s economy.

By halting support for self-employed people, you impair the creation of small businesses. Without small businesses, new job creation evaporates. Without new job creation, the State’s economy stagnates.

Please reconsider your decision to stop support for Idaho’s job creators.

Respectfully, serial entrepreneur,

W. Jeff Hastings, Garden City

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