Mail April 16-22, 2008 

Old Dems Like Obama, Too

I really enjoyed reading this opinion (BW, Opinion, "The Kids Are All Right," April 2, 2008) and agreed with everything said. I also have a high regard for Bill Cope's talents but disagree on the issue of Democratic candidates. If Bill had been present at the Democratic Caucus, he would have noticed that while there were a lot of young people present, there were also a lot of middle-aged white women like myself, and we were firmly encamped on the Obama side of the stadium. One of the reasons, though, that I am an Obama supporter is because of the enthusiasm generated among young people. Benjamin Schmitt and his generation are the hope for the future of this country, and if they have found someone to believe in to carry their dreams forward, then we should listen more closely to the candidate they support and cheer all of them on. It's their turn. Our generation has made a huge mess of things, in particular, as Benjamin says, allowing the Democratic party to be "the only party in the world incompetent enough to lose the presidential election to George W. Bush, twice."

—Jackie Manning, Boise

Don't Like Smoke? Stay Home

In response to Kristi Brumley's letter (BW, Mail, "Get A Spine, Council," April 2, 2008), I have a few things to say. You don't need to go to the bar. It's not like a hospital or grocery store. The decision to allow smoking in a bar should be up to the business owner, not the city, state, or Kristi Brumley. The decision to smoke should be up to the individual.

Secondly, drinking alcohol has negative effects on humans too, i.e. liver damage and drunk driving can lead to death. I mean, I hope you wouldn't drink in Boise, get in your car and drive to your home in Star. On that note, what about the exhaust your vehicle puts into the environment and the harmful effects it causes on not only humans but also the cute and cuddly animals that share our habitat? Should we ban automobiles, too? And don't get me started on all the other poisons our government enables to sicken people daily.

—K.C. Martin, Boise

OK, You Got Me

After my head stopped spinning, my stomach stopped churning, I stopped hyperventilating, and I got the rational part of my brain back in gear, I realized that "Filling in the Gaps" (BW, Feature, March 26, 2008) is an incredibly well-written April Fools' joke. However, given what has happed in the Treasure Valley over the last decade I have this deep seated fear there is a 1 percent chance I could be wrong. If the former, my hat is off to the authors. If the latter, it's time to move to Centerville.

—Bob Fritsch, Boise

P.J. Was Funny

There is one problem with Bill Cope's argument that conservatives aren't that funny (BW, Cope, "Humorlessesque," April 2, 2008), and that is writer/columnist P.J. O'Rourke. This "Republican Party Reptile" may wear a suit, but he partied with Hunter S. Thompson, and like the late Thompson, wrote for Rolling Stone. His book Parliament of Whores is a masterpiece of political satire. And no matter what one's political leanings, his essays such as "The Bicycle Menace" and "How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink" shatters Cope's assertion, if only in O'Rourke's case. If only more conservatives were like him, politics might not be so depressing.

—Matt Dunn, Boise

Pay To Play

Without positive action, you may arrive at your favorite campground in June and find the fee to be $10 or $12 a night instead of the previous $5 or $6. A modest fee for developed sites with potable water, toilets, tables and paved roads has always been accepted by the public. However, the land management agencies should not succumb to using wholesale campground fee increases as the "panacea" for maintenance backlogs. Another disturbing trend is the privatization of campground management. Concessionaires are typically interested in maximizing their profit. Public service is secondary. Outsourcing has its downsides.

On the BLM and Boise and Payette forests there is a plethora of proposed increases. The Sawtooth only has a couple. My view is that there should be no fee increases whatsoever. The only viable answer to the dilemma of recreation infrastructure maintenance and management is that the American public must demand that Congress redeem their clear responsibility to adequately fund public land recreation.

In backcountry venues such as rivers and trailhead fees are totally inappropriate. Fee repeal legislation to rectify this has been progressively co-sponsored in the Senate by Montana Sen. Max Baucus and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo. (Senate Bill 2438) Please stand up for your precious public lands.

—Scott Phillips, Hailey, Idaho

Correction

We really wish we had spelled Huston Republican Sen. Patti Anne Lodge's name correctly in the March 26, 2008, "Unda' The Rotunda" column.

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