Boise’s city fathers and mothers are once again grappling with how to “get the bums off the streets.” (no political correct notes please)
Tuesday the councilors will discuss three proposed ordinances which are wrought with definitions and circumstances bound to cause confrontation, diverse interpretation and enforcement.
Aggressive Solicitation Ordinance: prohibiting solicitation of money from motorists on a roadway, soliciting from persons who are eating and drinking at sidewalk cafes or standing in service lines, soliciting outside entrances to banks or near ATMs, solicitation within 20 feet of bus stops or taxi stands or solicitation within 20 feet of any parking payment station or within any public parking garage. Violation would be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
Would firefighters still be able to fill the boot? And just WHERE can those sad folks holding creative pasteboard signs stand? And more importantly, where does the beggar come up with the cash to pay a $1,000 fine?
Civil Sidewalks Ordinance: prohibiting sitting on or lying on a publicly owned infrastructure not designed for sitting, such as planters, trash receptacles or utility boxes, in building entrances or exits, in driveways or loading docks. Violators would be issued a warning before any citation is written. If a citation is written, it would be an infraction costing $61.50. A subsequent violation within 24 hours would be a misdemeanor. The ordinance includes exceptions for medical emergencies, wheelcahirs and strollers, special events and parade viewing.
Are we really asking coppers to accost “decent people” propped up against a planter or doorway chatting about a new baseball park because the object wasn’t designed for sitting? Equal protection under the law!
Public Placement Ordinance: requiring a permit for erecting a tent, stage or placing tables or chairs on public property. The ordinance exempts personal property such as bikes and other temporary items used while visiting a park, attending a picnic, sporting event or parade. Violations would be a misdemeanor.
It would appear those entrepreneurial kids with lemonade stands face the $1,000 and six months in jail as well!
Note to city mothers and fathers: FAGETTABOUTIT! There are already enough laws on the books to cover disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, obstructing traffic, etc. When a law is aimed at a specific segment of society, if the trigger is pulled it can backfire.
The GUARDIAN has had numerous inquiries of “Who should I vote for in the GBAD election?”
The big issue is what to do with a $13 million nest egg from the hotel room tax burning a hole in the collective pocket of the candidates. Some want a publicly funded baseball park. Others want a bigger convention center jammed into an already crowded downtown. No candidate has suggested locations outside the downtown core which would provide easy freeway access or at the fairgrounds where parking is not an issue and a ballpark already exists.
We don’t endorse candidates, but in this election we think the best advice is to keep the board balanced–or off balance–to prevent a strong majority for either the Mayor Dave Bieter pro baseball park camp or the incumbent “expand the convention center group.”
The conservative slate includes Peter Oliver, Stephanie Astorquia, and Rob Perez.
Those in the Team Dave takeover group include George Tway, Jim Walker, and Steve Berch.
The Bieter/takeover group all have Demo leanings and the support of chairman Hy Kloc who also is a state rep. We oppose allowing officials to hold more than one elective office. Kloc has proven it doesn’t work as he missed several Greater Boise Auditorium District meetings during the legislative session.
The DAILY PAPER did an admirable job Sunday of Q & A with the candidates.
When a mere five electors cast their ballots in the May 21 election, they will determine one of the biggest financial decisions in Idaho history, totaling $781 MILLION dollars.
At stake is a proposed 7,000 unit housing development north of Eagle encompassing more than 5,600 acres using a law passed by the legislature several years ago called a “Community Infrastructure District.”
The Spring Valley CID was created by the city of Eagle at the behest of M3 Development. At the time, October of 2011, the GUARDIAN pointed out nobody lived in the district. The developer paid big bucks for some homes off Idaho Highway 16 which were annexed into the CID. Only two of the homes are occupied–3 people in one and 2 in the other. They appear to be the only legal voters.
Meanwhile the Ada County Election Office is sending 50 ballots–one for each parcel of land owned by M3–to the authorized agent at the developer’s Phoenix, Arizona headquarters. Clerk Chris Rich told the GUARDIAN he will keep those 50 ballots apart from the other five until the legal issues surrounding electors have been resolved by the various attorneys and perhaps a judge.
The GUARDIAN was concerned about the constitutional aspects of the election process which is an official government election conducted under the consolidated election process by the Ada County Clerk. We contacted state Senator Branden Durst with our concerns about exactly WHO can be an elector and vote. He sought an opinion from the office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. We have circulated that opinion to all concerned.
The informal opinion referred to the constitutional mandate that only citizens of Idaho and residents of the county are allowed to vote. That position seems to be in conflict with the CID law. The law was lobbied by the Suncor (Avimor) developers.
In short, the law allows developers to sell revenue and general obligation bonds on the open market to be repaid by future homeowners. That way the developer doesn’t have to get loans or otherwise fund streets, sewer, water, etc. Each new home sold would have a lien for the cost of development in addition to the costs of taxes, construction, insurance, interest etc.
While there would be virtually no security for bond investors, we were concerned that it would be very easy to market the project as, “Approved by the voters of the district created by the local governing authority.” When in fact, no property owners can vote because they don’t live in the state and the approval–if it comes–was at the whim of 5 renters.
The AG opinion letter to Sen. Durst follows: Continue reading here…
The scandal evolving over the quarter million dollars reportedly bilked from Idaho Senior Sen Mike Crapo’s campaign fund sounds like the Catholic Church and its abusive priests: “shuffle the offenders and keep mum unless someone squawks.”
Lost in all the revelations reported by both the STATESMAN and ASSOCIATED PRESS is the ethical issue of keeping silent for at least three years and passing off the errant staffer to work for Representative Raul Labrador.
Any way you cut it, Crapo and his minion were using the money paid to him by corporations, political action committees, and individuals as speculative seed money for dubious investments in Las Vegas. The money is gone which is at least some poetic justice, but Crapo is spinning the deal as though he were the victim.
Back in 2008 former Crapo campaign manager Jake Ball put the $250,000 into a loan deal with a guy named Gavin McCaleb. McCaleb ran a now-defunct Idaho corp. called Blueberry Guru. He then invested in something called Pyramid Global Resources. McCaleb is bankrupt, Pyramid is defunct, and Ball resigned from Labrador’s staff “coincidentally” last Thursday on the eve of the scandal being revealed by AP. Crapo said he learned details of the matter in 2010 from the FBI.
Meanwhile, Sen Sen Crapo continues to make decisions and vote on laws which determine the financial fate of the United States of America. He still has $3 million in that campaign fund paid by folks who presumably “want nothing in return for their cash.” And that’s exactly what they got for at least $250,000 of their payments.
However, according to an ASSOCIATED PRESS/IDAHO STATESMAN story, the guy hasn’t a clue his staffers are using the political payoff cash in his war chest to make loans to political pals. Crapo told the AP Friday he was informed in 2010 of a $250,000 loan his campaign made in 2008 to Idaho-based Blueberry Guru, that’s now defunct. Ex-Crapo campaign manager Jake Ball is a longtime friend of Blueberry Guru owner Gavin McCaleb.
Crapo said he has approved other federally-protected investments in the past by the campaign but had no knowledge of this transaction until it was brought to his attention in 2010–by the FBI no less.
Interesting to note Crapo has waited nearly three years to reveal the financial irregularities in his campaign finances. Last time we looked, Crapo had more than $3,000,000 stashed from people and corporations who had made payments to his political campaigns despite never having a viable opponent.
Jake Ball, the former Crapo guy who made the now-defunct loan, left the staff to go to work for Idaho Republican Rep Raul (“Rep Rep Raul”) Labrador. When word got out Thursday of the impending revelation about the private loan of campaign funds, Ball resigned from Labrador’s office.
…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.