Guardian Top Stories

Ratings Plummet For BSU TV Production

Visitors pose for pictures on the “Blue.”

By DAVE FRAZIER, editor

Blue turf and a dog chasing the kick-off tee only go so far when it comes to Boise State football.

The GUARDIAN freely admits to a certain degree of apathy when it comes to being a citizen of the so-called “Bronco Nation.” It is nice when they win and the country is amazed that we have a unique blue turf and trick plays. Fans are frustrated to pay big bucks for tickets and learn their neighbors are getting the same tickets for free or at reduced prices just to fill the seats for TV appearances.

College football today is owned-operated, catered to and hostage of television and TV is for the most part ENTERTAINMENT. BSU football has lost its entertainment value. Some fans are loyal, but with weekday games, late starts, and lackluster shows, the ratings are down and the series faces cancellation.

Back in the early days of my journalism career I covered Michigan State sports when Duffy Dougherty was head coach. Like Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra, “Duffy” was always good for a quote. He once motivated his players at half time during a Notre Dame contest saying, “The Gipper’s” ghost would reach up from the turf and grab them if they didn’t get into the end zone quick enough. (George Gipp was the star of legendary coach Knute Rockne’s team).

BSU’s Brian Harsin lost me when he called out a reporter for addressing him as “Brian” at a press conference. “My mother is the only one who calls me Brian,” he warned the reporter who apologized and referred to him as “coach.” He acted like an Army colonel demanding to be addressed as “sir” by a civilian. We have had a few off the field encounters with BSU players and they never have demonstrated a fondness for Harsin.

What we need at BSU is simple. We need the smiling face and astute mind of a guy who is a known commodity, has a great personality, is likable, and without question is an astute scholar of the game, destined to be a great football coach: KELLEN MOORE!

KELLEN MOORE

With five years in the NFL, he knows the game literally and figuratively. He loves Boise and Boise REALLY loves him. He would be the youngest or at least one of the youngest college division one coaches ever. Heck, football is in his DNA. His dad has had a career in coaching high school teams in Washington.

BSU could offer Moore a bit more than the Dallas Cowboys are paying for him to hang around and it would be a true “win-win” for all concerned.

Consider this the opening segment in the DRAFT KELLEN MOORE show.

Meridian Gives Public Money To Developer

ICOM Building under construction on ISU Meridian campus.


Growthophobes often ask, “why is there such rapid and massive growth in Meridian?” The answer: the city uses citizen money to pay developers to locate there.

When an out of state entrepreneur came to town with plans to make money off a for-profit osteopathic med school, the city mothers and fathers at Meridian fell all over themselves, even going so far as to commit $200,000 in cash to the developer. That money is collected from the hard working residents of the city in the form of property taxes. State taxpayers were also tapped.

Apparently that wasn’t enough, so they “forgave” up to $100,000 in building permits and fees. Try that if you want to build a new garage or patio onto your house.

On the face of it, the “Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine” seems to be a new branch of Idaho State University. Far from it. The ICOM is strictly a for-profit private venture, but it appears Dan Burrell, the force behind the venture, is adept at obtaining funding from sources as diverse as the Wisconsin Public Finance Authority, Idaho Department of Commerce, and City of Meridian.

He leases land from New Mexico State University research park at Las Cruces for his BURRELL COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE in a deal somewhat similar to the ISU deal which has him leasing land at the Meridian Campus for his private venture.

Dr. Kevin Boberg, Vice President of Economic Development at NMSU, told the GUARDIAN his orders in vetting BCOM were two-fold: “No public money was to be spent, and the project had to benefit New Mexico communities,” said Boberg who also was complimentary about the BCOM “integrity and drive.”

Boberg confirmed that Rice University Foundation of Houston is a “silent partner,” with Burrell, monitoring the diversity of the student body at its investment. One document listed Rice as a 53% partner. With Burrell in the venture for profit, NMSU leasing land for profit, and Rice investing presumably seeking profit for its endowment fund, it would appear the price of an osteopathic education would cost more than comparable classes at a public school.

The GUARDIAN has obtained hundreds of pages of documents detailing various aspects of the deal. Because of the volume of material and the complexity of the project, along with heavy political involvement by everyone from Gov. Butch Otter to local politicos, it is difficult to comprehend or explain.

A letter from Mayor Tammy de Weerd to the Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin “approving” a $55,000,000 revenue bond sale on behalf of the private osteopathic school is an example of the obfuscation. Why is the Meridian Mayor sending an official approval of a private financing scheme to a Wisconsin State Government lender? (see Meridian letter and Wisconsin policy below).

The answer is Wisconsin policy. The Wisconsin Public Finance Authority requires local government approval for capital improvement projects. It appears that Wisconsin sells tax-exempt bonds on the national market to benefit private borrowers…in 43 states according to their own statements on a website.

Exhaustive research by a GUARDIAN reader turned up concerns among educators, medical doctors, and others. Chief among the concerns was enough positions for students in the medical community at local facilities.

DOCUMENTS FOLLOW. Continue reading here…

Air Force Chickens Out On GUARDIAN Challenge

We recently applauded the U.S. Force decision to “answer the GUARDIAN challenge,” to bring in an F-35 so Boiseans could see and hear it.

According to the IDAHO STATESMAN, they will have a pair of the reputedly noisy birds on silent static display at the GOWEN THUNDER AIR SHOW, but not fly them after arrival nor will they let the public know when they are scheduled to depart. The air show is set for October 14 and 15 and will feature both the Thunderbird and Canadian Snowbird acrobatic demonstration teams.

To us, the move only serves to lend credibility to opponents of stationing a squadron of F-35s in Boise. Opponents claim the F-35 is the noisiest fighter in the Air Force inventory. If, as the pro F-35 folks claim, it is not deafening, then why not announce departure times and demonstrate the noise levels?

P.U. C. Prompts Gas Rate “Math Story Problem”

Idaho’s Public Utilities Commission sent out a press release today explaining that the average homeowner would see a rate INCREASE of 37 cents per month from Intermountain Gas.

The GUARDIAN world Headquarters got a gas bill today as well of $5.67 for not using any gas. We also got a bill insert explaining that Intermountain has filed for rate DECREASE of $3.32 per month for the average residential consumer.

That would appear to show a DECREASE of $2.95. But wait, there’s more! We got a “clarification” from the P.U.C. so GUARDIAN readers and gas company customers would understand.

“So here’s the context that was left out of the Intermountain release:
The company has two other cases pending before the Commission that could impact rates this fall. Intermountain has asked for both proposals to take effect Oct. 1, but that doesn’t seem likely given that today is 9/14.

If the Commission were to approve the two pending proposals in full, combined with the settlement of the rate case, the overall impact for residential customers would be an average monthly decrease of $2.73, or 6.6 percent. Commercial customers would see an average monthly decrease of $15.65, or 8.8 percent.

Here are the specifics of those two cases that are still before the commission:
Case INT-G-17-05 calls for a decrease in the Purchased Gas Adjustment, an annual billing mechanism that is adjusted each fall to reflect changes in costs the company incurs purchasing natural gas. It allows the utility to recover expenses when they outpace PGA revenue, or credit customers when revenue exceeds expenses. If approved in full, the company’s proposed PGA for the coming year would lower the monthly bill of a residential customer by an average of $3.32 or 8.1 percent.

Case INT-G-17-03 calls for the creation of a billing mechanism that would allow Intermountain to recover from residential customers the costs associated with the Energy Efficiency Rebate Program. The proposal would lead to a 22-cent increase on the average residential customer’s monthly bill.”

Our frequent commenter, EASTERNER, should be able to help out if you don’t get this.

Sen. Crapo Endorses Switchblade Knives

Interesting what you can get with a plaque and award when it comes to switchblade knives. This story has all sorts of “cutting edge” elements sprinkled with references about not being the “sharpest knife in the drawer.”

The following press release is a great example of how to spin descriptions and prey upon conservative values, but bottom line is a United States senator wants an Idaho company to be able to manufacture switchblade knives, calling them “automatic knives”. While the bill has little hope of passing, it is likely to get support among inner city gangs and late night TV infomercial vendors. Switchblade knives are illegal in 23 states.

Pictured above is Senator Crapo receiving a “Common Sense Award” from CJ Buck, Chairman and CEO of Buck Knives, Inc., as well as other members of the American Knife & Tool Institute.

Here is the entire press release from Crapo:

CRAPO INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO REDUCE BURDENSOME REGULATIONS ON SALES OF AUTOMATIC KNIVES
Bill Would Enhance Manufacturing Growth, Interstate Commerce and Consumer Choice Beneficial for Idaho Sportsmen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo last week introduced the Freedom of Commerce Act, S. 1779, which would allow consumers to purchase an automatic knife legal in their state, regardless of where it was manufactured in the U.S.

“In states allowing the possession of automatic knives, it is imperative that law-abiding citizens and sportsmen have the ability to buy and sell the tools vital to their trade,” said Crapo. “This measure would remove one of the many federal regulatory burdens that have hindered manufacturing growth, interstate commerce and consumer practices for far too long.”

Enacted in 1958, the Federal Switchblade Act (FSA) leverages the federal government’s power over interstate commerce to prohibit the purchase, sale and trade of automatic knives between any of the 50 states or U.S. territories. Current federal law prohibits the interstate sale and importation of switchblades, curtailing states’ rights to legislate the legality of certain tools within their borders.

Legislation introduced by Crapo would repeal certain provisions of the FSA and allow domestic manufacturers to ship and sell their products to buyers in other states, as well as permit the importation certain knife parts. Moreover, the bill would not replace or alter any existing state laws regarding switchblades and other automatic knives. Buck Knives, Inc., a knife manufacturer based in Post Falls, Idaho, supports the legislation.

“Drafting legislation is always a balance between satisfying an emotional drive to fix something, and finding common sense mechanisms that will truly deliver a solution,” said CJ Buck, President of Buck Knives. “In this bill, Senator Crapo has done an exceptional job of striking that balance in a way that will help knife owners and consumers, remove unnecessary federal burdens, and allow states to decide what tools are legal within their jurisdiction – as the Constitution guarantees. We’re thrilled to see this legislation introduced, and couldn’t be prouder to have Buck Knives’ senior senator leading the charge.”

Currently legal in 27 states, automatic knives are defined based on their opening mechanism and are used primarily by professional trades and outdoor recreationalists.

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