State Government

Old Growth Timber Clear Cut

From a Statehouse GUARDIAN reader–

I’m sitting here in my office in the Capitol building these days watching them outside cutting down all the historic old trees on the grounds where the Legislature’s Poseiden Adventure is going to be built.

I don’t know if I’m more disgusted by what’s going on, or by the fact that no one cares. Your tax dollars at work. I’m SO impressed by our “conservative” Republican Legislature.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. My questions are: will we have more legislators or a longer sessions in the future? Why does a part time legislature need more room? What a piece of garbage. You know, Guardian, we old people just don’t like change, but maybe for good reason.

  2. Hey, anything that can wipe out history and the environment while spending lots and lots of money on unneeded “improvements” is what Idaho really needs — according to our esteemed legislators.
    Otherwise, all that money might just be wasted on schools, health care, eliminating the grocery tax, etc., instead of on glorifying our egomaniacal solons.

  3. What are you, some kind of “greenie” tree hugger? 😉

    Lot’s of people care about the Capitol, the trees, the lame government. Some of us care so much it about makes us sick every morning as we read the news and follow the action in the legislature. But being able to actually DO something is another story. Perhaps you’ve noticed that many of our legislators don’t give a hoot what citizens think, about the trees or anything else.

    Unless voters care enough to get rid of some of these dinosaurs (yes, Lawerence Denney, I’m talking about you) and their associated lamprey lobbyists, it doesn’t really matter what issues blow up our skirts. We’ve got to get real with election and campaign finance reform and make the process work for the people.

    Phil Batt had a decent OpEd in the Statesman recently, calling the current shenanigans in the legislature “outrageous”. It’s a good first step, but something more tangible than open criticism is needed here. Gov. Batt could boycott party functions, form a new caucus within the party, or even create a new party (though that’s not easy). He could stir things up and make waves, but will in all probability return to the party and continue closing ranks regardless of how backwards the candidate might be to those that think like Gov. Batt.

    Sure we like trees all right, but do we like trees and common sense more than party allegiance and say…. football? Civic involvement, for most people, is on more of a part time basis than the legislature. More folks in Boise can name the BSU quarterback than can name their local legislators. We need to get off our tail ends and pay attention to what’s going on in our government. And some of us have to step up and be candidates, as well as complaining and showing up to vote every few years.

    As for the legislature, I wouldn’t care if they were in session 24/7, 365 days a year if it meant we would have thoughtful, fair and representative legislation as a result. I know I do better work with a little time to think and reflect. Asking the legislature to crank out bills in a few weeks just begs for half-baked bills.

    I’d like to know, aside from complaining (one of my favorite pastimes too, but I’m trying to change) what else are Guardian readers DOING about the critical issues we all face. Do you write or call the legislature? Active in and organization, neighborhood association, civic group? How are we engaging in the community. I don’t mean this to come off like an accusation, I would really like to know how people see this issue.

    Here’s my profile:

    Chief election judge for a precinct on the bench.
    Attend meetings and volunteer with Neighborhood Association
    Volunteer with my home district legislators.
    Attend and participate in Democratic party functions (surprise, surprise, though somewhat reluctantly and as a small “d”)
    Follow City Council, P&Z and County meetings as much as possible
    Work for and contribute to (yes, give money) inspirational candidates (like Jim Hansen)
    Vote in every single election for which I am eligible

    There’s more, of course, but that kind of covers the civic involvement end. Just wanted to make clear that many people do care, and do what they think that they can. But, we could probably all do more.

    The trees may be a good analogy for the relationship between the legislature and the citizens. If our roots are shallow and our limbs weak, we are easily removed and shrugged off. But if we send our roots deep. and become a fixture in the community, we’re much more difficult to remove or replace without notice. And, if local natives (and those that are locally adapted) are not nurtured and protected, we’ll be replaced by weedy exotics. Are we tending our own civic gardens?

  4. I suggested to a State Legislator (in person) that Otter’s idea that limiting square footage as a means of limiting government is a valid approach and that the wings were unnecessary.

    We then talked about how, if we really wanted to save money on the wings, we would do one 2-story underground wing, not two 1-story wings. He said that would never work because the House and Senate would never agree on which side of the building the 2-story wing should be built. Your government at work.

  5. There is a bright side to all these issues. What say we get ALL of our legislators into their fancy little wings and when they keep acting like they are doing this session, we just lock the doors and flood the bloody thing! Then when we elect their replacements, if they don’t do what they pledged to do, we don’t “take them to the woodshed” we just send them “Downstairs”!

  6. curious george
    Mar 29, 2007, 12:04 pm

    The Taiwanese government, acting in perpetual fear of an invasion from mainland China, built explosives into every freeway overpass. These can be detonated in case of invasion, thereby blocking the freeways and slowing the progress of enemy troops and tanks. This would give the Taiwanese people a fighting chance to rally their defenses.

    Any way of passing on this suggestion to the architects of the “bunker”?

    EDITOR NOTE–You just did it George!

  7. I think it would be fair to call our legislature a bunch of “wing nuts”. I bet none of them are smarter than a 5th grader.

  8. Oh my. I was afraid of this but cannot understand why no one has discussed it — including our esteemed statehouse reporters from throughout Idaho. Or, did someone mention that the wonderful underground wings would sacrifice our mature trees and I missed it? And what of the Harrison tree? And others that were planted by people of importance.

    I have asked the question: Why do they think they have to have the added room? There’s no added legislators.

    It seems to be one of Idaho’s larger boondoggles and now it seems, one of the saddest too.

  9. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with the old Ada County Courthouse? I never did understand why underground wings are the answer when this grand and historic building right next door. I do remember a lot of people saying the courthouse could be renovated into offices for FAR less than the cost of new construction, as well as something about how courthouse was likely to outlast any new building.

    Then the city, the county and the state got into a huge pissing contest over who actually owned the building and what was to be done with it, the eventual upshot of which is the building is vacant and we’re (everybody in the state) is spending millions unnecessarily on these bunkers. We can’t even take a tour of the courthouse (much like the depot.)

    Can anyone refresh my memory about why this happened?

  10. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than nature and some of the old growth trees on the capitol grounds are a source of enjoyment for me. If I need to tell you ( and I am full of faults and know it) what I and MANY idaho citizens think of the State legislature and their refusal to do anything for our Citizens( no option tax for a better bus system,no help for the medically uninsured,many schools that are extremely UNSAFE, a Right to Work law( like a dog for poverty wages )etc,etc.,etc.Destroying those trees is just another addition to the above by a ” Greedy,Do Nothing Legislature!”

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