Guardian Top Stories

St. Luke’s Threatens “Migration” To Meridian

In a post card sent to thousands of Boise residents over the weekend, the giant St. Luke’s medical facility in Boise threatened to “migrate” various services if the Boise City Council fails to follow its wishes and close a portion of East Jefferson St.

The mailed SL_Flyer_L threatened to “migrate over time” the cancer center, heart facilities, and a children’s hospital to Meridian.

Our first thought was. “FINALLY! The 800 pound gorilla will go away.” Since The hospital is one of the largest consumers of Boise Fire Dept. services and pays no property taxes, citizens could get at least a small break.

What better place than Meridian for additional medical facilities since it is without question the center of population for the treasure valley? St. Luke’s staffers–many of whom live in Meridian, Nampa, Eagle, and Caldwell–would have shorter commute times.

Also, folks who still choose to spend their medical insurance dollars to keep some of those million-dollar-a-year administrators and docs on the golf course and behind the wheel of fine European cars wouldn’t have to navigate the heavy traffic through downtown Boise from their West Boise and Bench homes.

The corporation has been the subject of numerous anti-trust lawsuits, racking up $10,000,000 in legal fees alone. The latest “takeover attempt” involves running a tax-funded public hospital in Weiser. The Idaho Attorney General has warned the medical giant such a move is illegal in Idaho.

One GUARDIAN reader characterized St. Luke’s as “a rapacious tax-evading corporate conglomerate using their “non-profit” profits to metastasize their empire.” He may have been the ghost of Spiro Agnew.

A public hearing is set for April 7 with a second session April 14 at Boise City Hall.

Horseless Racing At The Finish Line

Only a last minute gallop in the form of a gubernatorial veto will save Idaho’s horseless racing from being pulled off the track.
Horse race in Boise, Idaho. horse, race, jocky, competition, ride, track, run, sport, turf, jockey

The Idaho House voted by more than two to one odds (49-21) to repeal the so-called instant racing currently being conducted on slot machines at three Idaho facilities. The bill earlier passed the Senate on a 25-9 vote.

With such a solid opposition and many legislators saying they were duped when they approved the machines two years ago, it is unlikely Gov. Butch Otter will protect the three groups running the gambling establishments at Post Falls, Boise, and Idaho Falls with a veto.

Slot machines are prohibited by the Idaho Constitution.

The GUARDIAN has written extensively about the machines over the past few years.

ISP Brass Tarnished With DUI Charge

Kudos to the Idaho State Police with their press release today detailing the arrest of one of its top command officers for DUI. A difficult issue to face, but better to be open than attempt a cover-up.
rollins
Here is the release:

MERIDIAN – Idaho State Police have placed Major Clark Rollins on administrative leave following his arrest Wednesday evening for misdemeanor driving under the influence and misdemeanor unlawful transportation of an alcoholic beverage. The arrest was made by the Meridian Police Department after Rollins was pulled over for a traffic violation.

In addition to criminal proceedings, Rollins is subject to an internal investigation regarding applicable polices of the Idaho State Police.

The Idaho State Police demand the highest professional conduct from its officers both on and off duty.

While Rollins is “presumed innocent,” it has to be noted the conviction rate for driving under the influence charges is between 90% and 99%.

Court Denies GBAD Plan…Again

For the second time in seven months a Fourth District Judge has denied the Greater Boise Auditorium District permission to go around the voters to finance expansion. The action was brought by GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier.

Article VIII, Sec. 3 of the Idaho Constitution requires local governments to seek permission of voters to go into debt. The court ruling says the Petition for Judicial Confirmation violates the Constitution.

Judge Lynn Norton told GBAD, in an order “Denying Petition For Judicial Confirmation” issued Monday, they can either pay for new facilities up front, or submit the long term liabilities to the qualified voters of the District. “But the Court will not confirm the lease agreement as currently presented to the Court.”

At issue was a convoluted financial arrangement which proposed GBAD would purchase a condominium unit in a new Gardner Development on The Grove in downtown Boise. The space would have housed a ballroom and kitchen. Calling the proposed $21.2 million long debt a “lease,” GBAD would have used the Capital City Development Corp. (CCDC) as some sort of “pass through” of funds from Wells Fargo Bank—all without seeking permission of voters as mandated by the Idaho Constitution.

Frazier testified repeatedly before the board, but his pleas for voter approval were ignored twice, despite the recent decision which also denied the attempt. In the previous case, Judge Melissa Moody said, “Pay cash; otherwise, go to the people.”

“While I am gratified that my legal staff headed by John Runft has prevailed once again, I am concerned that members of the Auditorium District Board continue to spend large sums of public money in efforts to deny citizens a vote on the auditorium expansion plans,” said Frazier.

Read the entire doc20150325090254.

CWI Outgrows Big Brother BSU

While enrollment at Boise State University has flattened, the folks at College of Western Idaho are scrambling to accommodate fast paced growth.

BSU revenues are slowing to about a 1% annual growth rate, down from 4% in past years, prompting administrators to cut back on spending to save more than $7 million.

Meanwhile CWI is going gangbusters. According to a press release, College of Western Idaho (CWI) is helping future students take the first step in starting college this fall with Free Application Week, March 23-30. Anyone who applies to CWI during Free Application Week will have the $25 application fee waived. To date, more than 3,900 people have taken advantage of the free application initiative to advance their education.

Free Application Week is intended to encourage future students to apply now so they are ready to register for the fall semester when class registration opens in April. Students who register early have a greater opportunity to get classes before they are full as well as complete other important steps like applying for financial aid and scholarships.

Anyone interested in applying to CWI can fill out the online application at CWI. For more information on becoming a student at CWI, visit cwidaho.cc/go.

The Boise Guardian

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