Leave it to the experts

I’d like to respond to Chuck Pezeshki’s opinion piece of Aug. 28 on mask effectiveness.

We have plenty of opinions from people who aren’t experts, and neither am I, so I’d like to refer readers to a study by the National Academy of Sciences: “An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19” (at this shortened web link: bit.ly/3Dv4ff0).

I’ll just include one quote: “We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public.”

Stephen Dodgen

Pullman

Success in difficult year

It was good news that Art Bettge and Gina Taruscio will be standing for reelection. Both are long on experience and the knowledge of the Moscow city government.

We are fast -growing, and that brings its own set of problems to a city, but a better set than economic stagnation (remember 2008).

I only partly jest when I say my preference in such times as these is for the government to keep its hand to “water, sewer, garbage, and roads issues.”

I am a “Two Cities” man, and I regard even such mundane items (add COVID-19 vaccine) as a working of God’s common grace to men (“ … thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). By seeking after knowledge and wisdom the citizen and their governments prosper.

Mayor Bill Lambert, with 21 years of public service to our city, deserves at least a short break. From others, I have learned how he served the airport project, A Street remodel, coordinating with EMSI and SEL, and labored with the council to balance the economy with the public safety back when the C-19 was novel and little understood.

To Brandy Sullivan, our thanks. City councils in towns our size are mostly nonpartisan (neither Democrat nor Republican) because deliberation and consensus are of such importance. From the public vantage, it appeared that it was mostly achieved, even in this difficult year.

Fred and Lynaire Banks

Moscow

The greater good

Two recent letters to the editor, from Kristin Frank and Lisa Kliger, address COVID-19 and the Holocaust with two very different appraoches.

Ms. Frank, shame on you for comparing proven scientific methods to help curb the spread of COVID-19 to the horrible actions of Nazi Germany. What an insult to compare the women, children and men, who lived under and many perished because of Hitler, to the temporary methods leaders in the United States of America and other countries have imposed/mandated to bring the pandemic under control.

Yes, wearing a mask is not fun, as many first responders have known since it was discovered years ago that air spreads germs and germs can come from our breath, but they know wearing a mask can help save lives. Again, shame on you, Ms. Frank.

Ms. Kliger, thank you for a heartfelt and compassionate letter. You are correct, the delta strain is here and I suspect it isn’t the last one.

We all need to do our part for the greater good, fully knowing the temporary inconvenience of wearing a mask is just that, temporary.

Kathy Weber

Moscow

The shakedown

I submitted a simple question to the Washington State “WA Cares Fund” aka the mandatory long-term care insurance program on July 28. Still no reply as of Aug. 26. Why should I trust an organization that can’t reply to a simple question in a month with something as important as my long-term care?

I work in Washington and live in Idaho, so I am required to pay (apparently) but not eligible (for sure). So, can a proponent of this please articulate to me the difference between this and a protection racket where a few wise guys stop by and shake me down?

Here is what I asked the fund: “I am an Idaho resident who works in Washington state. If I do NOT buy private long-term care insurance, under those parameters, will I be granted an exemption from this program if I submit the exemption request? Since this is not a tax and I am not an eligible beneficiary (not residing in the state of Washington), I assume I will not be required to pay. Can you please clarify and provide a definitive answer?”

Crickets. Do you trust these people to effectively and wisely manage … anything?

Daniel Griebling

Moscow

The point of taxes

Our Idaho state income tax rebate has arrived, and we plan to use ours to support candidates who understand the true role of government.

Earlier this month, Gov. Brad Little stated that “curbing government spending should be the perpetual mission of public servants. Returning taxpayer dollars should always be our goal.”

We totally disagree. The purpose of taxes is to pay for things we cannot each do on our own, like fund public schools and universities, libraries, hospitals, roads and bridges, fire and police departments. These services and other community benefits are what we should receive from our taxes which provide revenue to invest in our children, our health and welfare and our safety.

The Idaho Legislature has instead chosen to waste tax dollars on court costs defending unjust laws like the recent initiative law and have now cut tax revenue permanently with the biggest tax cut in Idaho history. Before this tax cut, Idaho already had the sixth lowest taxes in the nation. Idaho has a very regressive tax code, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. If you combine all taxes (sales and excise, property, and income) the bottom 10 percent of Idaho earners are paying 9.2 percent of their income for taxes, while the top 10 percent of earners pay only 7.2 percent.

Idaho has many needs that are not being adequately addressed. If you believe the role of government is to provide infrastructure and services from which we all benefit but cannot deliver on our own, consider joining us in donating to candidates who will vote accordingly.

Gretchen Wissner and Jim Miller

Moscow

Someone needs a tour

Kristin Frank (letter, Aug. 18) needs to take an Auschwitz tour. Equating the origins of the holocaust with mask mandates is affront to all of those who died in the holocaust. If we as a nation don’t get this we are in more trouble than I realized.

Jeff Watt

Pullman

Vulnerable to attack

We must do more to strengthen our power grid against an electromagnetic pulse event. Such an event can result from an attack by an enemy, or it can occur naturally. It could result in devastating loss of life. There is disagreement on this, but why take chances?

We should also have a ground-based GPS back-up system (like Russia has), or we could lose internet in an anti-satellite attack.

Alvin Blake

Pullman

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