As Simple As Breathing

Talk about a positive approach and “good news!”

Three headlines in the printed paper Thursday demonstrate a certain “dope reporter “ mentality. They detail a problem with vehicle air pollution in one story and even acknowledge growth as a cause. The story below crows about 14% growth in Meridian and describes Boise’s .2% growth as “anemic.” Obviously they think growth is “healthy”–even if all those new people can’t breath once they get here!

They also offered a headline saying white water rafting is “still a hit” despite a couple of recent fatalities. That story went on to say folks died despite wearing life jackets and helmets.

Conclusion: Growth is good even if you breath poisoned air and rafting is fun even if some people die. Statesman gets a “Dope Staff Award” on Thursday’s paper.

The story about a report to be released by a regional panel on the subject of air pollution was full of irony.

One of the plans is expanded emission testing, according Peter O’Neil, chairman of the panel appointed by former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. Ironically the staffers at the regional COMPASS planning agency said growth in the valley will soon overwhelm any benefits of an expanded testing program.

The true irony is that O’neal is one of the biggest developers and growthoholics in Boise and has brought us most of the rooftops along the river and especially Surprise Valley” which has all those crowded dwellings near the Highway 21 bridge east of Boise. Each of those homes has a car or two or three pushing pollution into our air.

The GUARDIAN has a simple answer which should appeal to any self respecting growthophobe. A simple law which says: “THOU SHALT NOT POLLUTE”.

Testing does nothing to create clean air–it only costs money for those who have newer cars which have converters and computers. “Old Smokeys” are exempt along with a bunch of others like tractors, big trucks and lawn mowers.

We think modern testing methods set up along major roads–just like radar–would serve to catch and fine polluters. That way, ANYONE from ANYWHERE would be subject to the rules. Proceeds go to more enforcement and pollution abatement.

We certainly don’t allow out-of-county drivers to speed through the county. We test them with radar and fine ‘em if they violate. Same with drunk drivers. A big rig dripping a pint of insecticide could close the freeway and tie up traffic traffic for hours, but the same diesel truck could belch smoke into the air from Mountain Home to Nampa with no complaints from local regulators.

The other pollution solution is to simply slow or stop the developments.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. It seems the Statesman uses a type of logic that is only logical when challenging normal logic.So what if a few rafters died… it’s still fun. Then again a few parachute jumpers from that bridge died as their chutes didn’t open…the thrill of sky diving is total! Then there’s the large number of motorcycle accidents involving people without helmets. Those bikes sure are macho and all that manly noise and ,after all, helmets are for nerds.

    Just because downtown boise is turning into a parking lot while the inversion in the valley can be cut with a knife is no reason to junk that prestigious SUV that gets 12 MPG. Think of the luxury and you beat the Jones’s. Their SUV is only half the size of your Tank!

    Well, maybe I’m a wimp, but illogical logic, as popular as it may be in the treasure valley, just isn’t logical.

  2. One of my cars was rear-ended recently and while it was being repaired I had a rental car. The first thing I noticed was that it was licensed in Canyon county. It made me think that there are a number of advantages for the rental company to do this, such as no emission testing and lower taxes.

    I think that until we have a regional air program (not just Ada Co.) the city should consider taxing these outfits for each car that has no emission test that is rented out or delivered for use in Boise or at the airport. The tax charged should be high enough that would make it more economical to get emission testing done instead. This action would be consistent with Team Daves goals to reduce air pollutants from vehicle use in the valley. I know that the city is using bio-diesel in its big trucks and is encouraging other ways to reduce the pollutant loads from vehicles.

    However, I bet this idea goes the way of the motorcycle parking suggestion.

  3. Is there some directive upon high at the Statesman that we have to portray news with the”shiny happy people” mentality? No problems here that need fixing. Its insulting to be pandered to in this way. Its misleading to the public and it smacks of deliberate misinformation urging the media consumer to draw incorrect conclusions. Also the media’s role in failng to expose the conflict of interest O’neal has on the issue leaves little confidence on the fourth estate and question whether democracy can function properly with a misinformed citizenry.

    But by the same token there are ample sheep out there who’d rather endure the occasional inversion when they can actually see the dirty air rather than be required to amend their habits in contributing to it.

  4. I think the “shiny happy people mentality” demonstrates that the Statesman is pandering to their true customers – advertisers. In a pure coporate sense, the mission of the paper isn’t to deliver news to the reader, it’s to deliver reader eyeballs to the advertiser.

    The Statesman apparently thinks the smiley face approach to news gathering is the best way to deliver their product to the customer. It seems to have gotten worse since the new owners took charge.

  5. Jon Q Publique
    Jun 23, 2006, 9:25 pm

    Rental Cars

    The other rental car licensing Mecca seems to be 8B. As in Bonneville County (Idaho Falls). Perhaps another concern is where do the local road maintenance taxes go? Bonneville County, ACHD, or ….? Does anyone have some info on that?

    Registering your personal vehicle in Valley County because you have a vacation home there or at a relative’s home in Canyon County because you get better hunting access in some parts of the state (1A plates are said to have killed many a hunters chances to hunt on private land) is one thing. Registering a fleet of rental cars to avoid local emissions tests or highway district fees is another. But it does add to the rental car company bottom line doesn’t it?

    Shiny Happy People Mentality

    Perhaps the local media have picked that up from the local politicos who continue to deny, with increasing frequency it seems, that anything is wrong or out of place. I agree with Sisyphus.

    The “shiny happy people mentality” may sell more newspapers, which puts more eye balls to the ads, which generates more revenue from both readers and advertisers, which adds to the corporate bottom line. And that’s the really important thing.

    When Knight – Ridder took over The Statesman, it first appeared the paper might be moving more toward in-depth local news and investigative reporting. Hasn’t happened very much yet as far as I can tell. Except for the very top, the staff (and the local culture) seems to have remained the same. Some reporter reassignments, but not much more. In-depth reporting and investigative reporting only detract from the bottom line. Perhaps the “shiny happy people mentality” is the mantra of the new owners – McClatchy. After all, who wants to read negative news?


  6. Test every vehicle coming into the valley and no more burning of firewood, plants or garbage. Especially the control burns. PU

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