Guardian Top Stories

Perfect Medicine Prescribed At Denver Airport

Actual players in airport drama detailed below.

Actual players in airport drama detailed below.

Between flights at Denver sitting in McDonald restaurant with fellow travelers–most with mouths full of junk food and ears full of iPhones. A setting devoid of human interaction or emotion.

A nice looking woman–possibly Hawaiian or Asian–joins the masses and makes a call on her electronic device.

Soon she begins to whimper, then cry louder. She hangs up, buries her face in shaking hands and breaks into heavy sobbing. She obviously has received bad news. Probably a death in the family.

A white haired matron walks past with her professor-looking husband to an empty table nearby. As she sheds the assorted foam and paper wraps from their meals, she notices the distressed younger woman.

Without prelude, questions or introduction, the matron approached the sobbing younger woman and announced, “You need a hug.”

The pair stood and embraced–strangers in an impersonal setting–for at least a minute. The sobbing ceased and both returned to their meals. People power at its best!

Now, I can hardly see the keyboard through MY tears. A hug would be nice.

GBAD, Gardner “Got Some ‘splainin To Do”

In the old time “I love Lucy” TV comedy Ricky would say, “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do.”

Today in Boise the Gardner Company and the Greater Boise Auditorium District have some explaining to do. Gardner doesn’t own the so-called Parcel B where they plan to build a hotel, condos, and a parking garage. The citizens of the GBAD own the property and Idaho law requires the board to declare the land to be “surplus” and not in the public interest. It is to be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

They have not done that. Instead they made an insider deal with Gardner, asking for a proposal. To our knowledge the GBAD Boys and girl didn’t even advertise for proposals from ANY other developers. We suspect there is some sort of lease, trade, or other gimmick that will be exercised.

The board has played fast and loose with their holdings. In a blatant effort to go around the voters, the board has spent an estimated quarter of a million dollars in legal fees to deny voters the right to approve debt to spend more than $20 million with Gardner for a ballroom and kitchen expansion.

GUARDIAN editor David Frazier has called them out in court, winning two consecutive rulings in 4th District court. GBAD has appealed the issue to the Idaho Supreme Court. A hearing is expected in September on the constitutional issue of public debt without public approval.

We are also shocked that none of the other hotel projects in Boise’s downtown have challenged the Gardner-GBAD insider trade in light of the pending case at the Supreme Court and GBAD’s record of losing in court and at the polls.

Too Funny For Words?

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Three Alarm Fire Near Harris Ranch

One man was bitten by a dog when he and another neighbor forced entry into a burning modular home Wednesday to rescue two canines as a three alarm fire broke out at Harris Ranch east of Boise.

Dense black smoke could be seen for miles, leading some to believe the fire was fueled by more than typical building materials.

Because of the intense fire as well as the 90 degree temperatures, extra fire crews were sent to the scene to relieve those battling the flames. One of the double-wide modular homes was destroyed and two others were damaged.

Flames engulf a home in the Golden Dawn Estates modular structure park at Harris Ranch.

Flames engulf a home in the Golden Dawn Estates modular structure park at Harris Ranch.

Firefighters battled heat from the sun and the flames Wednesday during a three-alarm blaze east of Boise.

Firefighters battled heat from the sun and the flames Wednesday during a three-alarm blaze east of Boise.

A neighbor tends to two dogs rescued from a house fire Wednesday in the Harris Ranch area.  Firefighters from as far away as Meridian responded.

A neighbor tends to two dogs rescued from a house fire Wednesday in the Harris Ranch area. Firefighters from as far away as Meridian responded.

Land Board To Get Out Of Business

Five years after the GUARDIAN first broke the story of the Idaho Land Board going into the business of running businesses, the Board has voted to divest itself of more than 20 commercial real estate parcels, most of them in downtown Boise. The big story back then was a STORAGE business.

The poster child property which was vigorously defended by land board members is Ten Barrel Brewing. The state spent millions in “tenant improvements,” even hiring a construction manager. The place is owned today by Budweiser.

For five years state officials claimed they had a “constitutional mandate” to get the best return on the education endowment funds and in their collective mind that meant owning tax-exempt property in Boise. Now, based on the advice of a consultant they will divest themselves of an estimated $25 million worth of commercial property and put cash into what sounds like Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT). We applaud the vote of the board which is long overdue.

The board is comprised of state elected officers (guv, controller, sec/state, atty/gen, sup/intstruc).

The only worry for citizens of Boise is the location of the various parcels. While the state owns them, there is no revenue generated from the tax-exempt property. However, if any of the real estate is within an urban renewal district the taxes on improvements and appreciation will go to CCDC, not the city of Boise.

The Boise Guardian

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