Guardian Top Stories

Hot Time At Bandshell, No Music

Boise firefighters battled a stubborn blaze Monday night at the 90 year old bandshell in Julia Davis Park. The bandshell was named in honor of the late jazz pianist Gene Harris a few years ago.

The historic structure presented a challenge because they didn’t want to damage the structure as the flames began peeking out between the clay tile roofing of the historic structure. Normally they would fight the fire from inside, ripping holes in the walls and ceiling, but fear of structural weakness forced them to attack from outside.

Cause of the fire was unknown, but it appeared to have started inside the backstage area in a corner. The flames went up the inside of the wall and into the rafters.

Got A Spare Bear To Kill?

Guest Opinion

The proposal to hunt a lonesome male grizzly bear in Eastern Idaho is not in the public interest. There is no scientific proof that killing a single bear is “wildlife management.” It certainly is not a hunting season.

Idaho F&G does not want to provide protected habitat for large predators such as bears and wolves, because the position of the State is pro-development. This is how we ended up being the fastest growing state in the nation this year.

Idaho Fish and Game proposes to shoot a single grizzly bear as he or she ventures out of the protection afforded by the Yellowstone National Park. That’s akin to fishing at the mouth of the fish hatchery or shooting tame pheasants as they are released from cages (some call that hunting).

I visited Yellowstone National Park four times. While dining at the Lodge, the guests were informed of passing bears. Most diners jumped up and left their dinners to go outside. That speaks tons about us. Our food is plentiful, but our wildlife is scarce.

The population of Grizzly Bears before European settlers arrived in North America is estimated at 50,000 to 100,000. Now, there are about 700 grizzlies in the Yellowstone area, and a few dozen in Idaho. Does that mean Idaho has one “extra” grizzly? I think tens of thousands of them are missing from America’s lands.Tens of years and millions of public dollars went into the species recovery effort. To now allow hunting, is to destroy the public investment in the program, destroy the public trust in Idaho’s ability to manage the grizzlies, and to betray the public interest in keeping our wildlife not just recovering, but thriving.

It will cost the state less to keep the grizzly protected, than to manage the grizzly program while allowing hunting. Most people in Idaho do not benefit from hunting grizzlies.
A F&G survey found there are twice as many wildlife watchers as hunters. Idaho’s tourism promotions don’t say “Come see dead bears”. They show images of Idaho’s pristine nature. Most tourists want to see the part of Idaho that has been preserved by its thoughtful people, not a dead bear.

Idaho’s Senator Risch recently tried to oppose the naming of the White Clouds Wilderness area for the legendary Idahoan Cecil Andrus. What I take from that story, is that the only thing that Risch will be remembered for is poor judgement and rude behavior. Andrus’ name will live on as an environmentalist and outdoorsman.

Fish and Game biologists will present proposed grizzly bear hunting season options for Commission action at a May 10 meeting in McCall. One can only hope they have good judgement and value the grizzly as part of our pristine environment just as Andrus did.

I ask the Fish and Game Commissioners to be the leaders that Idaho needs, and to keep the grizzlies protected. The ONLY potential justification to a grizzly hunt would be “rogue bears” who attack humans or livestock.

Let the beauty and abundance of Idaho be perpetual.

EDITOR NOTE–You can see the proposed regulations and answer a F&G survey HERE. It would appear to the GUARDIAN that administration of the application process, returning fees to those hunters not selected for the single permit, and related meetings would far outweigh any costs recouped by a license fee.

Greenstone Properties Operating Illegally?

After a GUARDIAN reader commented about Greenstone Properties, the developer seeking to build the downtown stadium and related housing and commercial complex, we decided to check the law regarding doing business in Idaho.

Here is what the Idaho Constitution has to say about “foreign” (out-of-state) corporations:

ARTICLE XI, SECTION 10. REGULATION OF FOREIGN CORPORATIONS. No foreign corporation shall do any business in this state without having one or more known places of business, and an authorized agent or agents in the same, upon whom process may be served; and no company or corporation formed under the laws of any other country, state, or territory, shall have or be allowed to exercise or enjoy, within this state any greater rights or privileges than those possessed or enjoyed by corporations of the same or similar character created under the laws of this state.

30-21-502. REGISTRATION TO DO BUSINESS IN THIS STATE. (a) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership may not do business in this state until it registers with the secretary of state under this chapter.
(b) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership doing business in this state may not maintain an action or proceeding in this state unless it is registered to do business in this state.

To satisfy this constitutional mandate, corporations need to register as a “foreign corporation” with the Idaho Secretary of State. As of April 18, 2018 we can find no registration for Greenstone Properties, their location, or agent. We were also unable to detect any assumed business name for Greenstone Properties.

As a practical matter it would seem difficult for the City of Boise to consider a rezone application from an unregistered foreign corporation which MAY have been conducting business within the state while in violation of the state constitution or Idaho code.

UPDATE 4/23/18–Boise Planning and Zoning has no requirement regarding business registration when considering applications.

Crowd Jeers Stadium Guy Like An Umpire

Dressed in a dark blue blazer and light blue shirt, Geoff Wardle, local counsel for the developer who wants to build a ball park on Americana looked remarkably like a baseball umpire and the crowd treated him like one.

They jeered him and challenged most of his statements, cutting him off in mid sentence when he attempted to explain “the history of baseball in Boise.”

The “neighborhood meeting” required when submitting building applications to the city was set in the corner of the old K-Mart parking lot on Americana which is now owned by St. Luke’s. With no sound system and little more than an architect’s rendering for a prop, Wardle stood for questions from local residents.

They taunted, shouted, waved protest signs, and generally treated him like an umpire who called strikes on their favorite batter. Like a good ump, Wardle remained calm.

At issue is a plan by Greenstone Properties to build a ball park and develop the area with assorted residential and commercial structures, using public funds from the city, the urban renewal agency, and even the auditorium district. None of those agencies has approved any funding, and there doesn’t seem to be much support from Boise citizens. A downtown stadium has been one of the many pet projects of Mayor Dave Bieter whose absence was noted with disdain by the crowd of about 100.

If built as planned, the project will avoid a vote of the citizens, call the Idaho Constitution into question, and remove the commercial and residential project from the tax rolls for 20 years along with a multi-million dollar stadium structure from the tax rolls for all eternity.

Boise Coppers Get Civilian Advisory Board

For the first time in its history, the Boise Police Department has a board of citizens offering advice.

While not an official “Police Commission,” Top Copper Bill Bones has called upon a dozen citizens of diverse backgrounds to form a “Community Advisory Panel” (CAP) so the department can have a better communication with the citizens.

The Panel serves as a resource for the Chief in the formation of strategies, development of community policing concepts, improvement of public services, and building public trust.

BPD received almost one hundred nominations from people willing to offer their time to help better serve the citizens of Boise.

“I truly appreciate your nominations and am grateful to serve a community where so many people are working to take part and make a difference,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones. Our police department is a reflection of the community we serve and it’s imperative that we include our community when setting direction and priorities for the department,” said Bones. “This panel has already proven its value by offering ideas and partnerships that will help us maintain a high quality of public safety and law enforcement services for years ahead.”

Here is a list of the members:

Dr. Willie Baber – Professor of Anthropology and on the NAACP Exec Board
Dr. Don Coberly  -Boise School Superintendent and possesses a Doctorate
Shannon Decker – Speedy Foundation, very involved in suicide prevention
Erin Erkins – Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, strong ties to small business
Tracy Hitchcock – CEO of Create Common Good
Carolyn Holly – St Als, prior media
Drew Lorona – Founder of Treefort
Steve Martin – Regional Officer for PRIDE Foundation
Ericka Rupp – Dept of Health & Welfare
Andy Scoggin – Sits on the Catch board along with also Albertsons (large business)
Juan Saldana – Idaho Hispanic Commission
Phillip Thompson – President of the Black History Museum, past president of the Mosque

During the panel selection process, they recognized three areas which would require additional focus. Members of three additional subpanels will be called upon to provide feedback and guidance on examining diversity in Boise, assisting those with mental illness and those experiencing homelessness.

The GUARDIAN offers a heartfelt “thanks” for the gesture. We have advocated a citizen’s panel for 25 years and no prior chief, mayor or city council would provide the citizen voice which is standard for airport, parks, library, public works, zoning, and other city boards or commissions.

The BPD is the biggest department in the city with an annual budget of $63 million with 309 sworn police officers and a civilian support staff of about 100. It is also the biggest police department in Idaho except for the Idaho State Police.

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