Guardian Top Stories

Boise Copper Quits After Domestic Charges

Gary MillerThat Boise copper who was charged with domestic violence on his house mate and simple battery on an Ada County Sheriff’s Department CSI has left the department.

The GUARDIAN confirmed former officer Gary Miller was allowed to resign effective last week.

Trooper or Dog Has Defective Nose

We have been reluctant to weigh in on the controversial traffic stop by the Idaho State Trooper who is subject of an internal investigation after detaining a Colorado man for two and a half hours on suspicion of marijuana possession.
U.S. Customs and Immigration agents use a drug detection dog on automobiles waiting to enter the United States port of entry at the Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico/San Diego, California border crossing.
The driver is alleging the trooper “profiled” him based on the Colorado license plates. The trooper said he could smell marijuana, therefore he had “probable cause” to search the vehicle. The man and vehicle were taken to the Payette county sheriff’s office where a “certified” trained drug sniffing dog went over the vehicle. Dogs are used to establish “probable cause.”

The dog found no odor of marijuana, contrary to the claims of the trooper. The man was released after being detained for several hours.

The big legal issue as we see it is this: IF THE DOG COULDN’T SMELL THE WEED, HOW COULD THE TROOPER? Also, if the trooper actually did smell marijuana, how did the dog miss it? One or the other has a defective nose.

Apparently something didn’t smell right in the incident.

Why No Parking Along Desert Road? MPG Overtakes Speed in 18 Years

no park2
Taking a little Sunday drive with Mrs. GUARDIAN we noticed a couple of “NO PARKING” signs along Kuna-Mora Rd. south of I-84 east of Boise.

The seemed so out of place we stopped to see if we could figure just why they were installed. There isn’t a structure within sight. There wasn’t another road or or even a break in the barbed wire fence for a driveway.

There wasn’t a construction site or other spot where farm equipment or construction trucks would be entering the roadway.
No Park sign
The location is outside the city limits, so Team Dave’s parking Nazis wouldn’t be able to write tickets. The only conclusion we could make is that SOMEONE with enough political pull has requested the signs. We will await word from our friends at Ada County Highway District to track down the rationale for installing no parking signs on a lonely desert road.

Meanwhile, feel free to offer your own thoughts.

THE ANSWER IS…

It took a while, but we got to the bottom of it: ACHD installed the signs in 1996 at the request of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office to help fight drag racing – presumably, the spectators stopping along the side of the “track,” I guess. (Your memory or intuition was right on.) Eight signs went in and only three remain. We checked with S.O. today, and they no longer want the signs along the road, as the issue seems to have gone away sometime in the last 18 years. We’ll be pulling them out in coming days/weeks, as work allows.

Craig Quintana
Chief Information Officer
Ada County Highway District

GUARDIAN Reader Seeks Second Opinion

Calling himself “Boise Cynic,” a long time GUARDIAN reader has taken it upon himself to seek a 2nd opinion on how downtown Boise should be managed with regard to traffic, pedestrians, and bikes.

BY
BOISE CYNIC

Request to ACHD, Boise City, CCDC and/or BSU: Please pay for urban planner Robert Bruegmann to come to Boise to speak in rebuttal to the Jeff Speck walkability plan to reconfigure downtown. It’s only fair.

Many may be aware — at least vaguely aware — of the plan to reconfigure downtown Boise’s street grid. Without going into too much detail it involves changing some one-ways to two-way but the most significant change arguably is reducing Idaho and Main to 2 lanes while adding a buffered bike lane– an example of which can be seen on the right side of Main just past the new Whitewater Parkway.

Although there has been a “new urbanist” movement in Boise for quite a while, the downtown grid plan seems to have been sparked or justified by the June 2013 speech by new urbanist Jeff Speck at the Egyptian theatre.

This leads to my point. I assert that one of our relevant local planning agencies, in the interest of fair debate, should pay for Robert Bruegmann to come to Boise and talk about the plan. Bruegmann has credentials at least equal to Speck. Bruegmann is the University Distinguished Professor of Art History, Architecture, and Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Sprawl: A Compact History (2005) and The Architecture of Harry Weese (forthcoming, 2010).

Bruegmann lives in Chicago. I’m not sure what his speaking fee is but he agreed to come here and speak if his trip was paid for. That’s right, I personally e-mailed him and he replied as such. However, he might need to overnight here and have a helicopter trip around the valley to give him the knowledge he would need to address our local situation.

So, $1000 or $2000, certainly not more than $5000, could get us a very interesting and scholarly speaker here to give us another perspective on how to make Boise better.

Further reading:

Jeff Speck Walkability Report (Elaborate 76 page PDF report):

http://www.ccdcboise.com/Walkability/BoiseReport.pdf

Brugemann’s review of a Jeff Speck Book:

http://www.architectmagazine.com/books/how-smart-is-smart-growth.aspx

Bruegmann on London’s sprawl, the attempt to stop it and the unintended consequences:

http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/11/defense-sprawl-suburbs-biz-21cities_cx_rb_0611sprawl.html

A third party gets in on the action:

http://planning-research.com/smart-growth-and-one-of-its-mad-men/

Caldwell GUARDIAN Vindicated Over Nampa Library

Thursday the Gardener Company sent Nampa Development Corporation (Urban Renewal) a letter backing out of the retail/officeportion of the Nampa Library Project. Caldwell GUARDIAN editor Paul Alldredge had filed legal action to allow citizens to weigh in on the indebtedness, but backed out when threatened with being forced to pay legal fees.

In the letter, Gardner told Nampa Development officials, “We have reached this determination after diligent efforts to pre-lease the buildings on the parcels and to finance construction,”

Translation: there were no takers, no matter the price for this grandiose project in downtown Nampa. Mayor Tom Dale and his URA board failed to see and learn what happened at the Ada County Courthouse retail part of that project — it was a huge flop.

The Boise GUARDIAN has warned officials in the Capitol City to proceed with caution in dealing with Gardner — or any developer who depends on public money to fund even portions of their projects.

Alldredge sought to give citizens the right to approve public debt in his lawsuit on this project but had to back off when faced with the possibility of paying NDC legal fees. NDC spent $108,000.00 to fend off THE GUARDIAN whose only issue was to let the people of Nampa vote via a bond election for the library and the police building.

We find the misuse of urban renewal money to build public works projects which would otherwise be subject to voter approval to be shameful. These projects will never be subject to property tax and the use of urban renewal is simply an end run around voters.

GARDNER’S LETTER FOLLOWS: Continue reading here…

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