Guardian Top Stories

Stop The Press! Time For Paperless Legal Ads?

Banks, stock brokers and every service provider from cell phones to cable TV urge us to “go paperless.” Even news providers encourage us to “visit our website.”

All this got us to thinking about saving public money on legal ads–those notices about foreclosure of property, public auction sales, bankruptcies, and myriad other official notices full of small print posted in the local newspapers across the state and the nation.

The solution is obvious: Stop the press! Establish a central repository for legal ads, logically within the office of the Idaho Secretary of State. We are told Ada County Commish Rick Visser brought the idea before the Idaho Association of Counties, but the politicos were fearful of killing local newspapers which depend upon legal ad revenue.

It makes no sense for local governments to prepare notices, upload them via a website to a newspaper that prints the notice. Far more people have internet access than subscribe to a newspaper.

Legal notices have to be published in the “newspaper of record.” To qualify for that official status, a paper must have a second class mailing permit and at least 25% editorial content. To get the permit the paper must have been published for at least a year. This rule has its roots with the beginning of the postal service. A printer named Ben Franklin needed a way to deliver his newspapers and the U.S. Postal service which he founded was the answer.

Its probably time to curtail the newspaper subsidy.

Airlines also were once subsidized by the Post Office. In fact, United Airlines can trace its roots to Boise and the first commercial airline license in 1926. Air mail carriers evolved into passenger carriers, thanks to postal subsidies. Today Fed-X carries most of the nation’s air mail rather than the airlines.

Topic For Legislative Discussion

The issue of tax-exempt status for non-profit organizations has raised its head once again with the J.R. Simplot Foundation challenging a property tax bill on JUMP during the construction phase.

The STATESMAN provided a detailed look at the property tax issue.

Private hospitals like St. Als and St. Luke’s pay top staffers huge salaries and earn tens of million dollars in excess of costs each year. Yet they are tax-exempt.

Churches are also exempt. Well over $1 billion in property within Ada County pays no tax, but receives benefits such as police and fire.

Does the contribution to the community out weigh the value of property tax?

Cali Fires Spark Idaho Concerns

Fire fighting pros call it the “Urban wilderness interface,” but for us Idaho folk, it boils down to “the foothills or the Boise Front.”

In California similar properties are called ASH.

Apart from the devastation in Ventura county and the terrible tragedy faced by so many people, there is an object lesson for those of us living in the Treasure Valley: despite the spectacular views and proximity to the wildlife, DON’T BUILD IN THE FOOTHILLS.

Recent fires in California serve as an anti-growth example of foolhardy development opposed by level headed Idaho growthophobes.

Local governments in Boise, Eagle, and Ada County are all faced with approving requests for developments subject to wildfire. Houses along Bogus Basin road create an unfair financial burden on both the Boise Fire Department and the citizens who fund that department.

BFD contracts with the North Ada Fire District to provide fire protection all the way to the county line. Every alarm is answered by a disproportionate number of apparatus and fire fighters due to the lack of water. Running up and down hills at break neck speed is tough on the rigs as well as the personnel. Every lightning storm and errant firework is cause for concern.

Avimor off highway 55 and the M3 development north of Eagle create similar dangers. Commishes and Councilors owe it to all of us to curtail their headlong dash to outgrow each other. They stoke the flames of growthophobes who oppose growth for the sake of growth.

We have seen McMansions beginning to slide down the east Boise slopes, its only a matter of time until we copy Cali and burn the beautiful Idaho hillside structures.

Give Us Some Blinking Directions!

From a GUARDIAN reader…

How many people has the blinking arrow injured/killed? They have signs to explain left turn must yield on steady green but no such sign explaining to yield on flashing yellow. We do have a problem with bad drivers and careless drivers to be sure, but this stupid flashing yellows are misread or miss understood by far too many people. I’ve even had a road-rager from Cali think he had right of way and other side was running a light.

Having driven all over this great USA, we can tell you the blinking yellow arrows are everywhere, bike lanes are squeezing traffic, round abouts are in all NEW developments, and there are so many special lines it is easier to navigate a game board than drive.

Growthophobe Movement Gaining Ground

Under the heading of “You saw it first on the GUARDIAN,” we are taking heart at recent success of the North Enders who are fighting the proposed CVS pharmacy at 16th and State.

The group of citizens who are looking to preserve the character of Boise were able to convince the Boise Planning and Zoning commishes to deny a building permit. A well orchestrated media campaign which began with a GUARDIAN guest opinion by Stephen C. Fischer has worked–at least for now.

In other development news, it looks to us like Boise City officials could be grasping at straws when it comes their subsidized stadium scheme. Seems that College of Western Idaho is also having SECOND THOUGHTS on their plans to build on the old Bob Rice Ford land they purchased for about $10 million. A former CWI Foundation board member was the lawyer for the Rice family sellers.

The GUARDIAN covered the bungled bond saga repeatedly.

In a nutshell there is talk among CWI and Boise proponents of the stadium to basically trade locations. That would out the bass park along the Boise River at 29th and the CWI project on Americana.

Team Dave is talking about a Town Hall public meeting which has always meant a sales pitch.

Meanwhile the City Council turned down a 430 unit urban URBAN SPRAWL deal near Micron. Developer Jim Conger has made three attempts to get the city to annex 110 acres, but concerns over single point access and traffric have stalled the process.

The Boise Guardian

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