Guardian Top Stories

Honor Or Country At Grad March?

Christy Little, who bills herself as a “Proud Army Mom” has shared with GUARDIAN readers her request for graduation ceremony procedures for her son who is about to become a Borah High alumni and a U.S. Army basic trainee.

In a written message she claims to have been denied any satisfaction from school administrators.

She wants her son to be able to wear an “Army Stole”(apparently provided by the recruiter) during the ceremony similar to those who are in the National Honor Society. (A stole is a band of colored cloth worn over the graduation gown draped around the neck) Here is her request to the Boise School District board members:

“My request is this:
1. For this graduation cycle:
–All ROTC members at all BSD schools should be allowed and encouraged to wear their uniforms and/or military stoles the entire ceremony;
–All military recruits at all BSD schools should be allowed and encouraged to wear their military stoles for the entire ceremony;
–Inserts should be created for all BSD schools to include in the graduation programs that recognize ROTC and recruits. (I will commit to fundraising and making this feasible for Borah High School, if necessary.)
–And/or, during the graduation ceremony, these individuals be recognized for their service.”

In this election year it would be a good bet that a call to the Guv, or any of the congressional delegation would garner support for her request. After all, are good grades any more honorable than joining the service of one’s country?

Election (or not) With No Voters Is Possible

The May 17 election is set to include a ballot measure seeking bonding authority for nearly $ billion to build a development of about 7,000 homes in a development called “Spring Valley” north of Eagle.

At last check the GUARDIAN found the Ada County election office could not find any “qualified electors” living within the “community infrastructure district” (CID) which was established years ago to finance the proposed project through sale of municipal-style bonds. Under the scheme lobbied into law by the developers of Avimor rather than using their own money, developers are able to sell the bonds and then place the repayment financial liability on each parcel as it is sold. The election would consider taking out up to $600 million in debt, with an additional $311.5 million in interest — for a total of $911,560,484, to be paid back over 30 years.

The Idaho constitution states in ARTICLE VI, SECTION 2. QUALIFICATIONS OF ELECTORS. Every male or female citizen of the United States, eighteen years old, who has resided in this state, and in the county were [where] he or she offers to vote for the period of time provided by law, if registered as provided by law, is a qualified elector.

So what happens when they hold an election and there are no voters? Ada County’s legal staff and the election office are studying the issue. So far, we hear the developer is struggling to come up with a couple of voters.

It appears there will be challenges if the developer is unable to come up with legal Idaho residents of the CID who own property and have lived there for at least 30 days. In reality it would seem nearly impossible to find financial backers who would rely on the vote of a handful of property owners to finance nearly $1 billion.

Here is the Idaho law on voting:
IDAHO CODE 50-3102
(13) “Qualified elector” means a person who possesses all of the qualifications required of electors under the general laws of the state of Idaho and:
(a) Resides within the boundaries of a district or a proposed district and who is a qualified elector. For purposes of this chapter, such elector shall also be known as a “resident qualified elector”; or
(b) Is an owner of real property that is located within the district or a proposed district, who is not a resident qualified elector as set forth above. For purposes of this chapter, such elector shall also be known as an “owner qualified elector.”

Legal scholars we contacted agreed that provision 13(b) could face constitutional challenges in that it allows non-residents to vote if they own property.

The GUARDIAN visited this issue back in 2011.

Bikeboy Peddles 200,000 miles


The following feature by “BIKEBOY” is a bit long, but it took him years of huffing and puffing the streets of Boise to chalk up 200,000 miles. Here is his account of life on the street.

BY STEVE HULME

In 1986, I was a working-class guy, married with two kids and another on the way. And a dilemma. I had a new job – downtown. (Up ’til then I’d been in easy walking distance from the office.) With one car between us, suddenly we were competing for the wheels. Occasionally I drove to work; more often I took the bus, or Robin dropped me off and kept the car.

Betty, a friend at the office, rode a bicycle… and she lived twice as far away as me! Betty was always cheerful and energetic… and was an enthusiastic proponent of bicycles-as-transportation. Her steed was a pretty red Gitane road bike; she had a choice parking spot in the back hallway. (That was another thing about driving to work… sitting in traffic, finding a parking spot, etc., etc.) Betty really put me to thinkin’.

I told wife Robin I was going to get a bicycle and start riding to work. She was skeptical… confident I was just negotiating for some “new toy money” from our very limited budget. But I forged ahead, ultimately deciding on something that was new-fangled in ’86 – a “mountain bike,” they called it. Nobody was sure whether they’d catch on.

But – it caught on with me! That’s what matters. That bicycle became my primary mode of transportation. Riding up “Mount Protest Road” seemed like a daunting task at the time! But I got to coast down in the morning, and the rest of my route was pretty flat.

I immediately started appreciating some of the benefits – no traffic headaches… no parking headaches… no pumping gas! But as the days got longer and the weather nicer, my route started varying (at least in the afternoon, when I wasn’t pressed for time). Bicycling proved itself as recreation and exercise, besides transportation.

That first year, I ended up riding 2195 miles. (I spent $80 or so extra for another new-on-the-market gizmo – a Cateye bike computer.) 1986 was the last year I bicycled less than 4000 miles, as the bike became my primary transportation. (I still occasionally rode the bus, or a motorcycle, or caught a ride, but 95% of my commuting was on the bike – year ’round.)

The last day I drove a car to work was in September, 1997. I retired in 2019 – twenty-one years later, and exactly one year before the pandemic.

On September 6, 2004, I hit 100,000 cumulative bicycle miles.

Today – April 23, 2022 – I hit 200,000 cumulative bicycle miles. It doesn’t seem as momentous. I s’pose it’s like birthdays – after enough of ’em they lose a bit of luster. Bike miles are bike miles.

I still average about 350 “bicycle days” per year. I still ride about 5000 miles per year, and have no intention of letting up. 300K seems pretty unlikely, but I’d like to shoot for 250,000 miles, 9 or 10 years from now. Back during the employment years, probably 2/3 of my miles were transportation, 1/3 pleasure/exercise/recreation. Those numbers are reversed now… the majority of my miles are just because I love to ride! The best rides these days, are rides with my grandkids. (Oh, and 2022 Steve is considerably slower than 1986 Steve, despite all that “training”!!)

The number of HOURS spent riding over 36 years? That is a sobering thought! But consider how many hours a lot of people are sitting in traffic over the course of a year. Consider how many gas station fill-ups I’ve skipped. And – most of that bicycle time is combined transportation/recreation/exercise! Win-win-win!

There IS a down-side to transportation cycling. There is some effort involved (if you consider that a “down-side”). Cold and wet weather… really HOT weather… and slippery road conditions… wind… an unpleasant encounter with another roadway user, can take the gilt off the lily. You are severely limited in carrying capacity – no stops at the lumber yard on the way home from work. Probably a half-dozen times I got home… took my shoes off… and poured water out of ’em. I’ve had a few crashes – some painful! – fortunately never involving a serious injury. But the wonderful days far outnumber the marginal days.

One thought that gives me comfort: Lots of old geezers get to a certain age, and their kids intervene and take the car keys. For me, that won’t be too painful. (Now if they lock my bike up and hide the key… THAT might be a problem!)

If you are thinking about riding a bike to work – START TODAY!

I’d love to answer any questions you GUARDIAN readers might have – please submit them, and with help from Mr. Frazier, I’ll do my best to provide a forthright response. THANK YOU to everybody who is patient with bike riders, and gives us space to operate. Be safe – keep the shiny side up!

“Bikeboy” Steve Hulme

Council Adopts Guardian District Idea

It looks like Boise City Councilors have come to their senses and adopted the GUARDIAN philosophy for the upcoming requirements for members of the commission that will set districts. The action took place at the Tuesday meeting.

The GUARDIAN had suggested ( see previous post) the expertise of members was more important than their geographical residence. A draft ordinance had been drawn up with a map which was less than logical. It came under fire from some citizens at last week’s council meeting.

Council District Commission Important Move

Boise City Councilors will consider an ordinance Tuesday to create a commission to fashion the new districts mandated by the Idaho legislature. It will be a public hearing.

While we recognize the need to have ONE MAN-ONE VOTE districts, this first step is only to establish the commission members. These planning units are indeed absurd since they have no basis in population. Instead they are from a “planning department map” and hopefully will not be used to select commission members. The Bench area has nearly 100,000 residents while the area north of the river is chopped up into four fistricts including one that runs the length of the foothills.

The REAL issue is to get decent impartial commissioners on the team. Having them come from geographic areas would only concede those who will establish the districts will have their own agendas. They should be spread out, but their talent, not residence location is most important.

We need:
–A GIS guy who understands mapping
–A political science major (like a BSU Prof)
–An election expert from Ada Clerks office who understands precincts
—A school planner who sets school attendance boundaries mostly by population
—A “Joe the plumber” person who has no special interest

Districts should be divided by voting precincts so they aren’t split. Those precincts are pretty much established by population already. The exception is natural barriers such as the river, freeway, bench.

Even if a representative from the Ada Clerk’s office is not on the commission, they should be the major guidance factor.

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