Guardian Top Stories

ACHD Commishes Don’t Sit On The Fence

When it comes to taking a position on college students playing in traffic on Capitol Blvd. Ada County Highway District Commishes don’t sit on the fence–they build one.

Despite opposition from Boise City, ACHD will soon begin installing a four foot wrought iron fence in the median of Capital Blvd. in the area of Boise State University where students habitually dash out into traffic or weave their way through stopped cars on a daily basis.
capitol jaywalk
The problem became critical with the completion of about 1500 apartment units in the “Lusk Neighborhood” west of Capitol. A little known part of the bid on the new one block extension of Royal Blvd. between 8th and Capitol was the fence. It was recommended by ACHD staffers for several years.

The ACHD commishes also requested that Boise coppers enforce the J-walking ordinance. If the ordinance is unclear, then Boise city councilors need to clarify the law to include the area near BSU.

The GUARDIAN would like to see the fence expanded south of University up Depot Hill where bicyclists and pedestrians also dash across multiple lanes of traffic and the median on their way to higher education.


On-Line Poachers Hack Idaho F&G

It may not be Wikileaks or Hillary’s missing 15,000 missing messages, but a computer breach that is more serious than politics was revealed Wednesday evening in Idaho. Other states are checking for breaches as well.

Here is the report from Idaho’s Fish and Game Department.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 – 9:10 PM MDT
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Wednesday announced it has temporarily suspended the sale of licenses and tags online after being notified that its online license vendor’s computer system was breached. The State of Idaho online licensing system will be down indefinitely until state officials can ensure the public’s information will be secure.

In the meantime, the public can still buy licenses and tags at any Fish and Game office or business that sells licenses and tags through a separate system that was not part of the breach. Fish and Game officials regret the inconvenience to hunters and anglers, but are taking these steps out of abundance of caution.

Whether any of Idaho Fish and Game’s license buyers’ information was obtained has not yet been determined. Fish and Game is working with the online vendor to investigate the matter and determine whether and to what extent Idaho data was accessed.

Other Western states are investigating similar reported breaches and have also taken precautions.

Idaho officials are confident people can safely buy licenses and tags in person at Fish and Game offices and businesses that sell licenses and tags.

Tracy Challenges Baker For ACHD Seat

We have announcements from long time politico Mike Tracy and incumbent Sara Baker announcing their runs for a seat on the Ada County Highway District.

While each of the five board members gets to weigh in on issues district-wide, we citizens get to vote for only one commish. That means that 80% of the citizens of the District are disenfranchised. At the local level we feel it is only proper to force candidates to live within a representative district, but to be elected “at large,” just like the county commishes. We get to vote for all county commishes and all city councilors.

It would be nice if one or both candidates endorsed our position instead of being elected by the majority of a mere 20% of the district voters.


I am announcing my re-election bid for the Ada County Highway District Commission, District 5 seat. I have been privileged to represent you for the last eight years. During that time I have remained committed to moving traffic in Ada County, bringing transparency to the organization and to making absolutely sure that all funding is spent wisely. Reducing congestion has been a major goal of mine, so I am proud that I brought the blinking yellow left turn signals concept to Ada County roadways. That small idea alone has saved an incredible amount of time for drivers who don’t have to sit at a signal waiting for it to change and has reduced pollution.

I hope you will join with me to keep Ada County moving, whether it’s by car, walking, biking, carpooling, or riding the bus. I would appreciate your vote.

Please follow me on or on Instagram @saraforachd to learn more about my campaign and for news on what’s happening at ACHD.


Longtime media and political consultant, Mike Tracy, filed his paperwork for sub-district 5 on the Ada County Highway Board (ACHD). He is a business man in Boise has been operating Tracy Consulting for the last ten years.

“I’ve lived in Ada County since 1990, 17 years in Southeast Boise and nine years in North Meridian right in the middle of District 5 which gives me a unique perspective on the road issues in our region. I live right in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in Idaho and roads are going to be critical to the massive growth in residential and commercial property in that district. There are far too many two lane roads that are going to have to be expanded to three to five lane roads in the next five years,” Tracy said.

Tracy received a key endorsement from District 20 Senator Chuck Winder(R) earlier this year. Winder served on the ACHD Board and the Idaho Transportation Board and was Board Chair for both. He is also the Assistant Majority Leader in the Idaho Senate.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience at the local, state and federal level on transportation issues and how agencies should work. His leadership and experience will be invaluable to the citizens in District 5 and all of Ada County. He will be a valuable asset to the ACHD Board and I heartily endorse his candidacy,” Winder said.

A number of other members of the Idaho Legislature within the ACHD Sub-District 5 have already endorsed Tracy’s campaign including District 14 Senator Marv Hagedorn(R) who sits on the Transportation Committee, District 15 Representative Pat McDonald (R), and District 20 Representative James Holtzclaw (R) and outside the district District 21 Representative Tom Dayley (R).

“I’ve had several great conversations over the last few months with many other legislators, individuals, and organizations that are very supportive. Those groups, businesses and individuals are concerned about our roads in Ada County. I’ll work to reduce congestion, make commutes quicker, safer and improve quality of our neighborhoods.” I will be releasing them in the coming days,” Tracy added.

Tracy is married to Debra Tracy, has five children and eight grandchildren. He served as U.S. Senator Larry Craig’s Communication Director for 1996 to2006, and at the Idaho Farm Bureau as Information Director from 1988 to 1996. Prior to that he worked in media related jobs in Moscow, Pocatello and Twin Falls. He’s a 1977 graduate of the University of Idaho and received his Masters from Idaho State University in 1990. He’s worked on dozens of campaigns including U.S. Senate, House, Legislative County and City races. Tracy also handled the advertising campaign in 2007 for Western Idaho College known as “Community College Yes.”

GBAD Brags About Denying Citizens Right To Vote


When the Greater Boise Auditorium District came up with its convoluted plan to expand the Boise Centre convention center without obtaining voter approval for their debt plan, I asked the board to hold an election as the Idaho Constitution requires. The board refused my request, so I sued them.

With the able efforts of my legal staff headed by John Runft, we won in Fourth District Court. GBAD refiled a petition seeking judicial confirmation of their financing scheme, altering their plan to avoid the court’s objections. They lost again before a different judge. Both times the court ruled that an election would solve the issue. The District appealed the decision to the Idaho Supreme Court which ultimately ruled their annual “lease” with 20 renewals and no collateral avoided the Constitutional mandate for an election.

At that point, I was content–unhappy, but content–to concede defeat and realize the folks who control the tax money control the rights of citizens to vote. Even when the STATESMAN revealed the board spent $750,000 for lawyers to avoid an election, I declined to offer public comment.

However, when GBAD member Peter Oliver offered up a glowing OP-ED endorsement of the bonding scheme “marveling” at the construction progress, he prompted me to share my thoughts here and in the Sunday STATESMAN.

Any way you cut it, spending three-quarters of a million in public money to avoid an election is contrary to our principals of democracy.

Help After The Fire Is Out

Here is a project being launched by the Boise Fire Department that is worthy of consideration–sort of like a patient advocate program. It may duplicate some Red Cross services, but it sounds like a parallel effort.




“Good Samaritans Wanted To Assist Deputy Sheriffs, Firefighters and Paramedics”

The Trauma Intervention Program of the Treasure Valley is seeking citizen volunteers for its crisis intervention program. Volunteers will be trained to help fellow residents who have experienced a tragedy in their lives. Volunteers are called to emergency scenes by deputy sheriffs, firefighters, and paramedics to assist family members after a sudden death, disoriented older persons, and victims of other crisis situations.

“The first few hours after a crisis situation has occurred are very confusing for everyone involved,” said Wayne Fortin, program founder. “TIP volunteers provide the necessary temporary support to survivors of tragedy until they are able to depend on family members, friends and others.”

Firefighters assist a resident during a house fire in Boise. FILE PHOTO

Firefighters assist a resident during a house fire in Boise. FILE PHOTO

“We have found that volunteers from the community can be very effective helpers in the immediate aftermath of tragedy,” said Fortin. “They can provide basic emotional support, practical assistance, and referral to professionals. This support is very important to survivors, but often police officers and firefighters don’t have the time to provide it,” he said.

The Volunteer Training Academy begins on September 15th, 2016. No experience is necessary to attend training or to become a volunteer. To register go HERE or call (208) 794-9280

The Boise Guardian

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