Guardian Top Stories

BSU To Use A “Forced Out” For Baseball Field

Even with the home team advantage, Boise State University has been unable to get to first base with several property owners over attempts to build a baseball field.

Owners of properties at the following locations have loaded the bases during negotiations:

A)–1104-1108 South Grant Avenue, the current location of an eight-unit apartment complex, owned by South Boise Apartments, Ltd.
B)–1116-1122 West Beacon Street, the current location of a four-unit apartment complex, owned by Cotner Properties and Investments
C)–1101 South Denver Avenue, the current location of a surface parking lot owned by Boise Church of Christ

BSU has been pitching to owner (A) and they have a 3-2 full count going. One more in the strike zone (tentative agreement) and he’s outta there! The other two owners are on-deck, but they don’t appear ready to hit into any forced outs.

At a Thursday meeting of the State Board of Education, BSU sought permission to initiate a double play and use “eminent domain” to pick off the remaining parcels needed for their 2020 baseball season if they can’t out score the property owners.

Idaho Growth Defies Logic


I have lived in Boise for 50 years. All but two of those years in the same house. I am the oldest guy on the block and number two for length of residency behind a neighbor who was born here.

I have pretty much lived my entire adult life in Boise and cannot think of anywhere else I want to live. That said, I witnessed unbridled growth, massive traffic impacts, urban sprawl and a constant effort on the part of city, county, and state politicos to increase population and then work to solve the problems they create through various incentives and public relation stunts designed to attract more people.

Annual smoke photo.

Our air is dirty all summer due to forest fires. We have inversions all winter. We rank in the top 10 states for minimum wage jobs. Teacher pay is near the bottom rung of the ladder. Housing costs are so high there is no “affordable housing” for the worker bees. West Ada School District has annual bond elections to build new schools. ACHD needs more cash for roads. Jails and prisons are stuffed full. We don’t have enough cops. There is a shortage of courtrooms and judges. The library is sub-par based on population. Gasoline cost is always above the national average. The legislature is practically a one party body. We rank low in kids going on to college and graduating…etc. etc.

This is all the result of a growth-oriented mentality that has altered–if not destroyed–our culture and the way of life we used to cherish.



Idaho is #7 for suicide rate according to CDC.
Idaho is in top 10 states for vehicle deaths according to INSURANCE INSTITUTE.

GUARDIAN Editorial–ACHD Fee Hike Wrong!

This heavyweight truck pays NO ACHD fees.

This lightweight pays up to $70 in ACHD fees.

Passion about a particular cause can be an admirable trait, but use of elected office to manipulate public opinion on a ballot issue demonstrates a lack of respect for voters and a questionable use of financial authority on the part of Ada County Highway District commishes.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? The commishes took a lesson directly from the “Team Dave F-35 playbook” and created a “private” political action committee (PAC) aimed at manipulating public sentiment to vote in favor of a 75% vehicle fee hike. They claim it is needed for “infrastructure improvements.”

Three of the ACHD Commishes voted July 11 to increase motor vehicle fees on passenger cars and pick-ups weighing less than 8,000 pounds while exempting all the heavyweights and commercial rigs that do damage to our highways and profit from using those roadways. They obviously had worked out an agreement to vote for the fee hike prior to the meeting because they filed the C-1 PAC organization document the same day.

Exercising their passion at the expense of justice and equality on behalf of the citizens of Ada County is ill advised and inexcusable. We have seen all sorts of “friends of…” groups formed supporting various bonds for schools, libraries, etc., but we have never seen elected officials forming such groups along with their staff directors.

The ACHD is entrusted with spending $130,000,000 in public funds annually. Much of that cash is doled out to contractors who have joined forces with the Board, “supporting” passage of a proposed 75% fee hike on locally owned light vehicles. Those contractors and developers will be the direct beneficiaries of the fee hikes they seek.

Idaho State code allows the local tax and Ada County is the only place in the state that has a “county wide” highway district qualifying to assess the unfair tax which caters to businesses and heavier vehicles. Rather than seek equality and a remedy at the legislature, the Commishes and the contractors they support will ask voters to approve the fee hike on the Nov. 6 ballot.

If approved as written, ACHD will have authority to impose local fees while exempting trucks FOREVER! The proposed fee has no expiration.

ACHD Commishes, Director Push Fee Hike On Advocacy Website

Highway District Commishes in Ada County are sponsoring a WEBSITE advocating passage of a fee hike on private cars.

Ada County Highway District Commishes are openly campaigning to impose a 75% vehicle fee hike on Ada County car owners, but not on vehicles over 8,000 lbs. Rather than campaign to use some of their heavy equipment to create a level playing field, they are asking voters to “trust us,” pass the open ended fee hike and then hope for the best from the legislature.

They hide behind the state law which enables them to impose local fees in addition to those we all pay to the state for vehicle registration–car licenses. That law currently exempts heavier vehicles like cement trucks, dump trucks, lumber trucks, and all those delivery trucks that profit from the use of highways they want the little guys to pay for.

The fee hike will be on the November ballot and has become quite the political football. Commish Jim Hansen is under investigation for possible illegal activities in violation of the Idaho Open Meeting Law. He wants to use part of the fee hike for public transit.

Finally, the list of supporters reads like a “Who’s Who” list of those benefitting from a fee hike. Contractor associations, developers, and politicos running for the ACHD Commission.

UPDATE 4 p.m. The filing for the group calling itself CITIZENS FOR BETTER TRANSPORTATION is with…(ready for this?)… the ACHD offices! Charles Rountree is chairman and Paul Wasser is treasurer. It was filed July 11, same day the Commishes voted to put the fee hike on the ballot. Here is the document: 08082018153120

ACHD Commishes Feud Over Secret Fee Hike Attempt

The Ada County Proseutor is looking into complaints from Ada County Highway Commishes over a series of e-mail messages from Commish Jim Hansen which appear to cut a “back room deal” to raise Ada County vehicle registration fees.

IDAHO STATESMAN reporter Cynthia Sewell paints a picture which portrays Hansen as a power broker attempting to get ACHD fees used for his pet public transit projects. Other Commishes worry that Hansen violated Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.

We have reported on the proposed fee hike which will appear on the November election ballot because it targets sedans and light private trucks while exempting any vehicles in excess of 8,000 lbs.

At a public hearing on the matter in July we were discouraged that so little attention was paid to the issue of fairness and equality on what is really taxation. Many who testified favored using the fee hike money for bike lanes, safe routes to school, and public transportation. Most ignored the intent to tax the little guys and ignore the heavier vehicles that damage streets and make a commercial profit from the fees paid by cars alone.

The Boise Guardian

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