Guardian Top Stories

Final Round Of Top Cop Q&A

The final round of questions and answers from retiring Boise PD Chief Mike Masterson is presented here.
He will leave in January, becoming the second longest serving chief in the department history. GUARDIAN readers
have provided significant input for the department over the years and the chief has been an active commenter.

Question relating to department budget and dept budget as % of entire city budget.
When I started in 2005 the BPD budget was $33.533M and the City Budget was $130.42M (25.7%) In 2015 as I finish the BPD budget is $49.325M and the City Budget is $190.751M (25.85%)

What does the Ada County Sheriff’s department do a better job of than the Boise Police?
This may seem like a “cop out” but I don’t compare agency to agency. I will say this – The sheriff does an exceptional job of running the jail. It’s not just providing beds with cells, holding those arrested for court appearances or serving a sentence of up to a year for a conviction. He offers a myriad of programs design to educate and assist people. Alcohol and drug treatment programs, medical and mental health services to working with military vets in need of services are just a few of the innovative ways the ACSO provides high quality services. In my opinion, no one does it better.

Police car responding to an emergency in Boise, Idaho, USA.
Blinding Lights
Why do the police lights, particularly on the rear of the vehicles, have to be so bright at night when making traffic stops, blocking lanes (like at BSU games), etc? Highway traffic signs dim at night (usually) so why can’t police car lights dim at night? Do we really need all those really bright flashing lights at night? I can understand bright flashing lights in daylight, but at night?

We have a different overall policing mission than the State Police does, specifically when it comes to the traffic directional lights to the rear.
Their needs are to help make people aware of lane directional need due to a traffic stop and other issues. In the rural environment, almost all of their work occurs on the right side of the roadway, which allows for an easier configuration of directional lighting. In our urban environment, the needs vary from call to call. Our light bars and other emergency equipment are configured to meet the needs of every officer, regardless of their assignment, and time of their shift. The decision on when and where to use overheads or the lesser of the lighting setting are made by the officers and their supervisors based upon the individual situation, setting and available resources. I understand the concerns, but this one size fits all is the best configuration for us. Granted it may be bright to some, but we’d rather risk on the side for safety than not be seen and create additional risks for the officer and motorist who is stopped. Couple of suggestions for better safety at night. Slow down and focus on the road ahead (no rubbernecking); don’t look directly at the lights as they are bright, and if you see far enough ahead and want to avoid them all together , turn off the road leading to the emergency light location and take a different route, it may even save you time.

Great resource that outlines all of the issues regarding EMERGENCY LIGHTS.
Continue reading here…

DRAFTED! Shameless Literary Pandering

It has taken 45 years, but GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier has finally published a book about the lighter side of the Vietnam War. The book is entitled “DRAFTED! Vietnam at War and at Peace.”

Readers may recall some brief posts about return visits to Vietnam over the years. DRAFTED! recalls numerous vignettes and anecdotes about Dave Frazier’s Army service in Vietnam. It’s a good read for all ages with some little known insights and lots of pictures made during the war and on recent post war visits.

As a young man Frazier had up close and personal encounters with former presidential candidate Gov. George Romney, Gen. William Westmoreland, and U.S. Army Major Al Thomas who armed and trained Ho Chi Minh in 1945 to fight Japan. Those yarns make for interesting reading.

You can get DRAFTED! at RIDENBAUGH PRESS for $15.95

Idaho Beer Brewers Balk at Belgian-Brazilian Boys

A bar fight is brewing between the local craft beer producers and the big multi-national Anheuser-Busch Budweiser boys who recently acquired 10 Barrel Brewing at 9th and Bannock in Boise.
German woman drinking beer. germany, german, europe, european, deutsche, woman, drinking, holding, beer, beverage, alcohol, hat, fashion
Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association, which represents 18 distributors that employ 900 people says Idaho law grants special rights to small breweries – which include every Idaho-based brewery – but not to large ones such as Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light.

The outcome should be interesting because the 10 Barrel building is owned by the Idaho Land Board and it leases tax-exempt space to the craft brewer. The board spent several hundred thousand dollars doing “tenant improvements” for the brewer in exchange for a 15 year lease.

If the Alcohol Beverage Control boys –read that “Idaho State Police”– decide 10 Barrel is acting illegally under the new ownership, it could put the Land Board lease in jeopardy. We expect the poor folks at the Attorney General’s office will be forced to advise both the State Police and the Land Board.

We’d bet a beer the ultimate ruling will favor the big Belgian-Brazilian beer brewer over the locals.

“Cleaning Woman” Is Bieter Council Finalist

Three years ago she wasn’t good enough to mop floors for Boise City and today Sylvia Hampel is among seven finalists seeking appointment to the City Council to fill the vacancy created when David Eberle moved to Garden City.

As CEO of Clearview Cleaning Service, Sylvia Hampel was awarded a contract in 2011 to clean Boise City Hall and City Hall West. Shortly after winning the contract, Boise suddenly rescinded the $368,000 contract.

The GUARDIAN provided extensive coverage of the conflict between Hampel and Boise.

Hampel, whose firm had been named the 2010″small business of the year” by the Chamber of Commerce, provided services to the National Guard and St. Alphonsus Hospital to name a few. She was outraged at the snub by Team Dave and sued the city when Bieter staffers refused to provide documents in response to a records request.

Fourth District Judge Thomas Neville ruled the City of Boise acted frivolously when it withheld 7 of 10 public record requests filed in that contract dispute between the city and Clearview Cleaning. The court ordered Boise to pay $4,137 in attorney fees to Clearview. That figure was on top of the $43,000 settlement the City paid her.

In the ensuing years we hear Hampel and Clearview actually have been awarded cleaning contracts by Boise. Perhaps she discovered more dirt than expected.

It would seem impossible for Hampel to remain connected with Clearview if the firm does business with the city.

Other finalists include Brian Ellsworth, Jeff Gabica, Rich Harris, Scot Ludwig, Beth Oppenheimer, and Holli Woodings.

ESPN, CBS Rule Statesman Newspaper, Bronco Football

In an apologetic column in the Saturday STATESMAN, editor Vicki Gowler explained why the newspapers have been delivered hours late for two weekends in a row: It’s all the fault of ESPN!

Not only does the commercial sports TV network set the starting time of BSU football times, that also determines when the DAILY PAPER goes to press and ultimately land in the front yard of what few readers are left to scan a printed version of the news–all the news, not just a single BSU game that was played on TV.

We have suggested to Miss Vicki it is time for the paper to mount a campaign among those loyal readers to put some pressure on BSU officials. Do we have a football team and “program” for the local community or are we just a bit player for commercial TV? Not a single game was played on an Autumn afternoon this season.

We find it ironic the DAILY PAPER promotes Bronco Nation, dotes on every word from whomever the multi-million dollar coach may be, deprives loyal readers a timely news product–all to promote a commercial TV show which makes millions of dollars in 3.5 hours at the expense of our community.

The Boise Guardian

…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.

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