Guardian Top Stories

“Vanishing Boise” Facebook Worth A Look

The folks who organized to stop the CVS drive thru on State have established a Facebook site called VANISHING BOISE. They appear sincere in their efforts to preserve what many think is still the “small town flavor” of Boise.

VANISHING BOISE is worth a look as is Don Day’s BOISE DEV. Day tries to be objective as he presents the latest in planned growth via trolling the city building permit rolls and talking to retailers and developers. VB tends to be more in line with the GUARDIAN growthophobe philosophy which sees growth for the sake of growth as nothing more than a cancer. We welcome business or citizens who wish to pay their taxes and offer a fair wage, but if they expect “incentives” or tax breaks, they need to look elsewhere.

The Daily Paper ran a very lengthy story about VB and others who are part of a growing trend in folks who oppose the rapid growth. They will all be out in force at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when the legislature considers House Bill 568 in committee which would eliminate citizen referendum in land use matters. The bill is a direct challenge to citizens who won a small victory in court against the Ada County approval of the Dry Creek development east of Highway 55.

GUARDIAN Library Plan Still Valid After 11 Years

We cannot stress it strongly enough. The citizens of in Idaho are empowered by the State Constitution to control the purse strings of public debt.

Boise City and Team Dave have once again launched a public relations blitz to create support for a $70 million edifice to replace the main Library on Capitol Blvd. near the river. The question before Boiseans is quite simply: “DO YOU WANT A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING OR GOOD LIBRARY SERVICE?”

Nearly a dozen years ago the GUARDIAN offered up a common sense plan to provide first class library service to ALL of Ada County and share the costs. We once again offer up our sound advice which includes a vote of the people for a consolidated Library to serve Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Eagle, Star, Kuna. There is an existing “consortium” of libraries which does a good job sharing assets and talent.


Before Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and his Team Dave go too far politicizing libraries, he better talk to the hardworking folks who make it all work.

The GUARDIAN has been working below the radar to come up with a plan for a county-wide system of libraries in Boise and we can assure you it involves ALL citizens who understand and value the services and rewards of a good library system.

People in Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Eagle, Star, and Kuna are all residents of Ada County. We should have just one library and Boise should NOT be the 900 pound gorilla.

Insiders at all levels–BPL staffers, Ada Community Library, and several 35 year library veterans–tell us the best thing we can do is have a COUNTY-WIDE LIBRARY. One former staffer tells us the State Library favors county libraries and they work toward such systems.

Guess what? TODAY, through a “consortium” of libraries that runs from Caldwell to Twin Falls and even to Hailey, you can use a Nampa library card to borrow a book in Boise and return it to Hailey when you are finished. Or any combination of transactions at those libraries.

If we consolidated just the Ada libraries we could have a greatly simplified system and EVERYONE would share in both the costs and the benefits.

As it is now, Boise residents are getting hit unfairly in the pocketbook and Team Dave wants to build more libraries–he just doesn’t know how to fund them. The library law provides for consolidation with–A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE! We need to get this rolling before Boise gets a debt load or committed to one program without exploring consolidation.

Because Boise annexes beyong its ability to provide services, they PAY other libraries toprovide services to Boise residents. HOWEVER, users (insiders call them “patrons”) from those districts can use their cards in Boise for free.

Without getting into a debate about what libraries should offer, we feel computer access is absolutely essential. The days of card files and 10-year-old encyclopedias are gone. Today’s libraries offer traditional printed books alongside videos and access to just about any information on earth through the internet.

While Team Dave was busy offering up an ill fated and outdated $38 million library bond, the worker bees in the library business continue their efforts at making services available to library types everywhere.

We already share the books, how about sharing the control, funding, and costs countywide and we would all pay just once?

Since the original post, Team Dave wisely opted for neighborhood libraries. Two are new stand alone buildings and two are store front remodels in shopping centers. Good effort, good results, and it was all done out of pocket change in the city budget with no bond debt or solicitation for donations.

The current $70 million plan has plenty of hoopla, a “world class architect,” the usual drawings and color photos in the Daily Paper, but no word on where the money will come from to pay for the dream.

Police Evicted From Capitol Blvd. Due To Mold

Boise coppers have been evicted from their substation at 1025 S.Capitol Blvd. across from Boise State University due to hazardous mold and probable asbestos contamination.

The former motel and restaurant is owned by the City of Boise and has been used for low cost housing for years. Police moved in after the new apartments were built in the Lusk neighborhood bringing in several thousand college students.

The exit move took place recently after officers suspected mold was present. A contractor was hired to evaluate the concerns and came back with a report indicating mold was present.

Chief William Bones moved his troops out to temporary quarters for another downtown presence. Officers have been provided with health information as part of the move.

One observer told the GUARDIAN, “frankly, the place is filthy!” When we talked to residents of the adjacent public housing apartments of the same vintage and people working in the same structure formerly occupied by coppers, they were all unaware of any mold or asbestos concerns.

The apartment residents said their quarters had not been inspected and they were puzzled at the sudden departure of the police at the complex.

Guardian Back On Duty

Apologies to loyal readers of the GUARDIAN for the lack of topics recently. Editor Dave Frazier was in Florida for two months looking for warmth and it turns out the place for that has been Boise. Florida had record cold snap.

–We notice Boise is quietly hiring an architect to design a new Main Library building. Nothing wrong with updating the old one, replacing it, or any combination. As usual we are concerned about the lack of citizen input. Financing estimate is currently at about $70 million with what has become the usual vague details about who will pay and how much. We would like to see Team Dave get citizen approval for the debt after presenting a sales pitch instead of the cart-before-the-horse. We have seen the same combination of finance options with the proposed sports stadium.

–A reader sent us this little gem from the CCDC which uses public money to put awnings on a private building:

10th & Main Rendering
Sawtooth Development has secured a new tenant for their office building at 10th and Main (behind their recent new condo project – The 119). Kount will lease the upper floors of the building and 2 retail tenants will lease the ground floor. The developer will make various interior and exterior improvements to the building including installing awnings. CCDC can reimburse for these new awnings through the Type 1 Participation Program as long as they meet the Participation Program Policy requirements. Sawtooth Development submitted a Type 1 application in November, and the CCDC Board of Commissioners “Designated” the project as eligible to receive funding through the Participation Program in December. CCDC staff has finalized the Type 1 agreement with the developer and it was on the January 8, 2018 Board Meeting consent agenda for approval.

–After talking with some knowledgeable folks regarding the proposed park and annexation along Warm Springs near the Highway 21 bridge, we can see the city facilitating more development east of town under the guise of building a park. The area known as the “Barber Pool” has long been a nature preserve owned by Ollie Gregorson who is now deceased. We understand his daughter has a life time right to live there, but if the land gets annexed, it will be eagerly sought by developers.

We will have more posts in the near future.

We Need Stories And Topics

Hate to admit it, but we have run out of topics to discuss.

Now is your chance to offer up some opinions and topics of discussion….don’t just give us work to do, give us the facts in your own words.

Legislature is in town, but generating little interest. We have new councilors in the city and the biggest sporting news seems to be a call for cheerleaders for a possible indoor football team in Nampa.

Perhaps the cheerleaders should be men in skimpy costumes doing high kicks….

WESTERN GUY leads the pack with the following items.

City of Boise is advertising for a new full-size bus. Why not lease/rent from school district or Valley Ride?

How about if city/CCDC published on one easy to fine website a summary of parking opportunities in Downtown: lots/garages/street, and prices? And a link from City to Valley Ride website to make it easier for bus riders or potential bus riders. Who knows to look up ‘Valley Ride’?

When summer comes, Downtown sidewalks will again be overrun with outside seating, restricting pedestrian access. When will this end?

Are the “way finding signs” ever going to be installed? GUARDIAN has been on this for about 10 years and so far no sign of directional messages for tourists.

Guardian needs people to monitor CCDC and City Council and Auditorium Board meetings. Take notes (see my prior comment on this matter).

Why does ACHD pay for the info Q and A in Sunday Statesman when there are hundreds of ACHD employees who drive to work every day, drive home, and drive vehicles all day long when working? Dont’ these employees notice problems with traffic flow, lights, lane markings, signs, etc? Citizens shouldn’t have to bring these issues to ACHD’s attention when there are all these employees going back and forth and back and forth.

The Boise Guardian

…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.

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