Guardian Top Stories

Editor Recalls First Encounter With Chloroquine And A President

By David R. Frazier, editor
Excerpt from his book, “DRAFTED! Vietnam at war and at peace”

President Donald Trump’s advocacy for the drug Chloroquine brought back memories from 52 years ago for Frazier who was prescribed the “malaria pill” following his Vietnam service in the Army.

In July of 1968 while working at the Ypsilanti Press, I got a call from Art Chernicki, the UPI photo chief for Michigan. The White House had just announced President Lyndon Johnson was making a surprise visit to the American Legion Convention in Detroit. Could I cover his airport arrival?

Detroit Metro Airport was midway between Ypsilanti and Detroit, so the drive didn’t take more than half an hour. The field was divided in half with the civilian terminal on one side and the
Air National Guard hangars on the other side much like Gowen Field in Boise.

Frazier and Gen. William Westmoreland have intimate conversation in 1968 at Detroit.

Access was surprisingly easy. I just walked up and joined the media folks gathered at the entrance of the biggest hangar. The presidential limo was parked inside and there were Secret Service agents, assorted military, and a covey of reporters and photographers.

Soon I noticed a slender old guy wearing a white dinner jacket festooned with medals standing off to one side by himself. He looked like either a Navy captain or a chauffeur. Then it hit me. It was General William Westmoreland, my former top commander in Vietnam and now chief of staff of the U.S. Army.

It was a hot Michigan July day with huge thunder clouds billowing up in the distance. We were all killing time awaiting the arrival of Air Force One.

“Those clouds look almost like a monsoon don’t they,” I
remarked to the general for openers.

“Were you over there son?”
“Yessir. I got back a month before you did. I work for a local
paper and UPI now.”

About then the broadcast media boys recognized Westy and stuck microphones in his face.

“Gentlemen! Would you excuse us. This young man and I are talking,” he admonished. They backed off and we continued our idle chitchat. No doubt he was using me as an excuse to not talk to the media or take the spotlight off his boss, President Johnson. An unknown photographer made an extremely respectful and kind gesture when he silently walked up behind me and removed one of my cameras from my neck. He made several shots, including one (above) which made the rounds of the wire services
captioned, “Two Veterans discuss the war.” Little did they know the real conversation.

We talked a bit more about returning home, my old unit in Saigon, etc.

At that point he asked, “How long did it take you to get

“I wasn’t regular sir. I got drafted so I was U.S.” I explained referring to my service number prefix.

“No no. I mean REGULAR. I have had the trots ever since I got back and I can’t get regular,” he confided.

Responding way outside my pay grade, I advised the chief of staff of the Army to stop taking the malaria pills–CHLOROQUINE– we were all instructed to take every Monday for several months after returning from Vietnam.

“You think that will work?”

“Worked for me,” I said with a smile.
About then there was a stirring among those standing around the black presidential limousine as Air Force One taxied off the runway.

“Well, I have to greet the president. Nice chatting with you,” said the general as he strode away to stand at the foot of the portable stairs and offer a salute to the commander in chief.

Idaho National Guard To Host Inmates

The term “summer camp” means different things to different people. To kids it can be two weeks at the lake swimming, fishing and sitting around the campfire singing songs.

To members of the Idaho National Guard it can be two weeks in the desert south of Boise driving tanks and playing soldier with a rifle. Even the military calls it “war games.”

To a group of about 200 inmates at the Idaho Correctional Institution testing positive for COVID-19, it will mean staying in the National Guard barracks at Orchard, but no rides in the tanks or playing with rifles.

A number of low security-risk inmates have tested positive with the COVID virus, but are asymptomatic. Officials at the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) working to isolate infected inmates decided to “send them to summer camp” at the Idaho National Guard facility.

The “Orchard Training Range” is a modern military base south of Boise (south of the Boise Stage Stop) with tank maintenance facilities and barracks capacity for around 880 part time soldiers. No word regarding whether the barracks have “rooms” or “cells.” With the COVID outbreak, the military facility has been on reduced duty status, so they have plenty of spare bunks.

The GUARDIAN would like to know how long the IDOC “deployment” will last, assuming the inmates will need at least 14 days of quarantine before “demobilizing.”

Repeated attempts to seek comment from both the Idaho National Guard and the Department of Corrections were unsuccessful Monday .

Foothills Levy Spending Update

The recent purchase of 325 acres of foothill land by Boise City from the family of Gov. Brad Little prompted one GUARDIAN reader to do a little research on the activities of the committee entrusted to spend the $10,000,000 levy. Here are some results of their examination.

The (Little) parcel is not within the current Boise City limits but is partially within the designated boundary of Boise’s Area of Impact. And the ballot language did not specify the funds could only be used within the City limits, so funds have already been spent outside of the City limits.

The City website page for Levy Projects shows the following:

$40,000 – Highway 21 Wildlife Overpass
The project proposes construction of a wildlife overpass at Cerivdae Peak, MP 19.3 on State Highway 21. The City is partnering with the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation (IFWF) on behalf of Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), Idaho Transportation Department D3 (ITD) and many others to fund this project. This will be Idaho’s 1st wildlife overpass project and since 2016, 77 elk and deer have died due to collisions in the area where the wildlife overpass is proposed. The total expected cost of the project is approximately $3 million. The City’s contribution is up to $40,000. The project is currently in the design phase with construction expected to occur in 2022.

Nov. 1, 2018 – OSCWAC recommend approval to Council
Jan. 29, 2019 – Work Session – reviewed project
Feb. 5, 2019 – Work Session – Council approved project

$200,000 – Daylighting of Cottonwood Creek (running the stream above ground)
This project was submitted by the Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc. It seeks to daylight about 440 feet of Cottonwood Creek near Julia Davis Park. The creek currently flows through a pipe underground. This daylighting project will create more than 1/3 acre of riparian habitat and wetland habitat. The process will enhance fish habitat and improve the ecological function of this tributary of the Boise River. This project is a cooperative effort with the Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) and the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley. Levy funds will be used to match other grant dollars to complete the project.

$440,270 – Intermountain Bird Observatory trail development
This project, which was submitted by the Boise State University Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO), proposes improvements to 20 acres of riparian habitat located downstream of the Diversion Dam and between the Boise River and Warm Springs Avenue.
Project managers plan to use levy funding to build bridges and construct pathways that would reduce erosion and sediment loading into the Boise River.

The plan includes restoring a natural side channel of the river to improve fish and wildlife habitat, developing an interpretive trail system, spanning wetlands with raised boardwalks to protect critical habitat, constructing wildlife viewing blinds, restoring upland habitats, and creating pollinator gardens.

Amount of Open Space and Clean Water levy funding approved for this project (with conditions): $440,270

IBO has launched a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million for the overall project.

For both the Creek and Bird projects:
Jan. 4, 2018 – OSCWAC recommend approval of both projects to Council
Feb. 27, 2018 – Regular Council Meeting – Approved both recommendations

Gov Little Family Paid 79 Cents Per Acre In Taxes On Foothills Land

The recently announced deal between Boise City and the family of Gov. Brad Little to purchase family-owned land in the foothills to be set aside for public use points out the need for property tax reform in Idaho.

The six parcels are taxed at the rate of 79 cents per acre. The Little’s paid $255 in total taxes for 2020 on 325 acres.

The city is paying $1.2 million for 325 acres. The price and value are uncontested and represent a “good deal” for city taxpayers. The city is making the purchase with funds approved by voters to stop development in the area.

The land–highly coveted by developers–was taxed at a mere 79 cents an acre. That’s right folks, with the agriculture exemption, The Littles paid only 79 cents per acre because it was appraised as “dry grazing” land. Yet, when it comes time to sell, the owners–any owners–turn around and claim it is worth many thousands of dollars per acre.

The land in question is between Seamons Gulch Rd. and Pierce Park Ln. It lies north of Hill Rd.

Had they sold to a developer rather than the city, the GUARDIAN suggests a “development or zoning adjustment fee” should be established. Just for fire protection alone the cost has certainly exceeded 79 cents per acre on an annual basis.

The biggest cash crop in Southwest Idaho is rooftops, but current Idaho law requires taxes are based on “current use” of the land, allowing farmers to avoid taxes on the “true value” of land and cashing in when they sell. Meanwhile, they reap the subsidy of those of us who pay the higher tax rate.

Boise Bench Representative John Gannon called the tax example a “gross under taxation.” He is serving on the Interim Legislative Property Tax Committee for comment.

Gannon went on to say, “This purchase price is a good deal for Boiseans and I appreciate the Little family selling it. I hope Boise can buy some open space on the Boise Bench too. But this gross under taxation once again shows the unfair, unjust and unconscionable Idaho Property tax system. You can’t even start to put out a fire for 79 cents an acre. This past tax treatment is another reason why property taxes continue to shift to homes.”

Coppers Plead “Not Guilty”

Amid a growing awareness of a recall effort aimed at Mayor Lauren McLean and Councilor Lisa Sanchez Boise coppers have gone on record denying any connection with the effort.

The Treasure Valley Fraternal Order of Police also denied involvement with recall of the Boise mayor. Just to show our support of law enforcement, the GUARDIAN also is not involved in any recall efforts.

The police union issued the following press release Thursday:
“Amid speculation, the Boise police union denies any involvement in recall efforts for City of Boise elected officials.

“The Boise chapter of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers has no affiliation with any recall effort,” said union President Chad Wigington.

“We will continue our positive working relationship with Mayor McLean and all members of the Boise City Council,” Wigington said. “We are one team, one city, with the common goal of making Boise the safest, most livable city in the country.”

FOP release follows…
Continue reading here…

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