GUARDIAN European Thoughts

While Tibbs is sniping at Bieter and the valley is filled with smoke, the GUARDIAN editor is working the day job in Northwest France, Belgium, and Holland making photos for textbooks and other publications.

Don’t want to lose any of our valuable readers, so here are some random thoughts to be followed by some nice photos.

–BIKES are not only a part of life in Holland (The Netherlands), but pretty much a center point. Lots of paths clearly marked and with their own set of signs and signals. Like variopus models of cars, there are bikes with front seats for kids, cargo haulers, speed, and commute. Even a fat bald guy from Boise can handle Amsterdam traffic with a little practice.

–WWII is long passed, the EU has united Europe financially, but there are scars and reminders everywhere, especially along the Atlantic Coast with German gun emplacements serving as picnic platforms in nature preserves!

–ENGLISH CHANNEL was once the only thing between German invasion and a free England. Today with the Tunnel, hourly ferries from multiple ports, yacht people visiting daily, and loads of right hander steering wheels on French roads, the barrier is vastly diminished. Standing on a hill at Calais and looking at the white cliffs of Dover in England brought home the proximity of the continent to England.

–ENVIRONMENTAL concerns are on the mind of all. Recycle bins abound in France and the small cars prevail–mostly for ease of parking and navigation on narrow roads. Sprawl is nearly non-existant and vast housing developments are not apparent.

–U.S. finance problems with “sub par” loans are hitting banks in this part of the world due to international ownership. Americans are viewed by most as “consumers.”

–CATHOLICS dominated to an extent impossible today. The majestic cathedrals dominating every major city and the village churches attest to a historic past.

–AMERICAN HERITAGE seems to be around every corner. Gouda and Parma are villages in Holland and Italy. Cartier is not a watch, but an explorer who sailed from CHERBOURG where this posting is being written.

–CONSTRUCTION of Nazi fortifications astound the visitor of today. How could they build huge cement bunkers, submarine docks (pens) etc. and not have them bombed?

Just some grist for the mill and all the more reason we need to watch over our governments and officials, lest they become too dominate.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I live in Boise and I am actually staying in Germany at the moment, I’ve been here for over a month now. There are so many things that are done here that I don’t see why we can’t do in the US. Recycling is huge here, even in private homes there are seperate trash bins for paper, plastic, glass, and just waste. Public transportation is key to life here, for kids who just want to go party, or for the businessman that uses the train and bus system everyday.

    In Köln there are actually bikes you cant rent by just putting in money, driving it to where you need it, and then parking it and leaving it for somebody else. It’s interesting to see the minor differences that make a big change.

  2. I also want to add that I really like the idea of the Pfand here in Germany.

    Say you go to the store and buy a bottle of Coca-Cola, if the bottle costs 1,-€ you pay 25 cents extra for the bottle so the whole cost is 1,25-€. When you return the bottle to the store, or any store that sells Coca-Cola you get your ,25 cents back. They also use the Pfand at Beer Gardens where you pay 1-€ for the glass and then whatever price for the beer and when you give the glass back to them without it being damaged you get your Euro back. It serves to help recycling and also keeps places clean like at sporting events, even if the cup you drink out of isnt going to be recycled people take it back for their one Euro and it keeps the area clean.

  3. I just wanted to say thank you!

    I enjoyed this post 🙂


  4. Good to hear from you Big Guy. Regale us with your work. We have no view here today. And Tibbs isn’t shining any light on the matter. Most the council has jumped down his throat for his latest artifice. He’s got three months to eday and he’s struggling to create an issue let alone a platform.

  5. Dave,

    You forgot to mention that in the Netherlands they believe that the drug problem has proved to be unsolvable, it is better to try controlling it instead of continuing to enforce laws with mixed results like in the states where the drug laws create black markets and illicit activity. People who want drugs get them weather they are legal or illegal here. The drug war cannot be won and I am personally sick of my tax dollars being wasted on it.

  6. bert farber
    Aug 2, 2007, 5:00 pm

    The Chunnel is actually the English nickname for The Channel Tunnel. In French, it is called le tunnel sous la Manche.

  7. Finally Tibbs is showing some political “weasel-ness”. I agree with the other council members that if Tibbs thought that this was an issue then he should have stuck around to voice that rather than leave so that he could use is a a political jab.
    By the way, I’ve also heard from a reliable source that Tibbs made promises to Jennifer Swindel, Brian Fischer and so called “Family Values” people that if elected mayor he will reverse the Ten Commandments decision and return the slab of stone to the park. I’m not sure how he can possibly do that since the voice of the people have already been heard on that closed subject. It would be nice to get some further verification on that.

  8. Let’s get a couple of things straight right now.
    I am a volunteer on Jim’s campaign and am, as a result, close to the process. Jim Tibbs has promised nothing to anybody! I don’t know who told you this but it is flat wrong!
    Relative to the events of last week, Jim will clarify what went on in the near future. Let’s discuss the “contract” for just a little bit. If you want to get sucked in by Bieter’s BS then be my guest. If the given is that the city council voted to hire the Gallatin group to lobby for them in the state legislature last year, why wasn’t Dave Bieter’s(and Mary Ann Jordan’s) paid relationship with Gallatin disclosed at that time? It wasn’t questioned because it wasn’t disclosed. When Dave Bieter wrote his letter to have the council hire Gallatin to do a study of the Transit situation,why wasn’t it pointed out that the Blueprint for Growth, Compass, and IACI were already doing studies. This alone would seem to be a $65,000 “payoff” to some political allies to do a “redundant” study. It amazes me that a significant percentage of this city’s population seem perfectly OK with a mayor who’s main accomplishment in FOUR years is he rides his bike to work! And don’t even try to give him credit for cleaning up City Hall! That accolade goes to Mayor Carolyn Terteling Payne and the sitting city council of four years ago. ALL 18 issues that were identified to clean up City hall were implemeted before dave Bieter took office. His much touted “Ethics” commission was proposed prior to his term, and the only credit he deserves to take is, he was in the room went it went into effect!

  9. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Aug 6, 2007, 1:52 am

    Jennifer Swindel works for the Statesman as an editor. RiverCity is probably actually referring to Brandi Swindell, Fischer’s lieutenant.
    I would seriously doubt the Tibbs made any such promises. I do not doubt that someone is pretending to be a reliable source.

  10. Cyclops,

    Both Councillor Jordan and Mayor Bieter did disclose their relationship with Marc Johnson–on their campaign reports. Incidently, you’re wrong about Ms. Jordan’s “relationship” as you put it was an individual contribution from Johnson, it was not from Gallatin. Mayor Bieter has recieved contributions from Johnson and his campaign paid Gallatin about $4,000 for media training; both were disclosed on campaign reports.

    Also, you’re either incredibly ill-informed about both the transit contract and the Mayor’s accomplishments in cleaning up city hall or you’re lying to make hay for your boy. The contract proposed is to hold a transit summit with area (and other influential) legislators, local officials and transit experts to work on developing a legislative strategy that’ll help bring real mass transit to the valley. It is not for a “study”. This is at least the second time I’ve seen you deliberately mis-lead the public about this issue. Please get your facts straight.

  11. Cyclops Thanks for the laugh.

    “It amazes me that a significant percentage of this city’s population seem perfectly OK with a mayor who’s main accomplishment in FOUR years is he rides his bike to work!”

    If what you say is true on the Gallatin ordeal, then it needs to be known. Hopefully the mainstream will pickup on this put it all in print with nice little graphic timeline.

  12. You know, this is getting just a bit tiresome, but once again, Marc Johnson is the president of the Gallatin group. What he does with his personal funds is strictly his business. What about the monies that Maryanne’s campaign received from the fundraiser he sponsored? Do you honestly think that The Gallatin group is going to walk into the Andrus Center in the fall, sit down and put their feet up on the table and say ” Whassup boys and girls!” Nick, if you believe there will be no preparation made by the Gallatin Group in the form of amassing information to present to the attendees, ( gee, starting to sound like a study?) then you and Jill are the two most incredibly naive people in this city!
    The decision to bring up the contract extension with Gallatin was made at the leadership meeting on Monday. Dave Bieter KNEW there was a conflict, otherwise there would have been no reason for the letter in the first place. Just because he got up and left the room doesn’t mean the deal wasn’t already done. This whole thing not only looks bad, but it smells even worse! The bottom line of this whole thing is that if Boise needs to hire The Gallatin Group to “fix” it’s image with the legislature, then why, oh why, do we need Dave Bieter? And in conclusion, why don’t you enlighten us about all the cleaning up of City Hall that Dave Bieter is supposed to have done? Those 18 proposals that Carolyn Terteling Payne and the then City Council enacted don’t count!
    One more thing Nick, just because you disagree with someone, doesn’t give you the right to call them a liar.

  13. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Aug 6, 2007, 5:40 pm

    Cyclops certainly has more credibility with me than Nick Adams.

  14. I’ve never been a huge Bieter fan. Not a hater, just never really warmed up to him. That said, at least I have a pretty good idea of his style, and I’m comfortable with it. Hell of a lot better than Coles.

    Tibbs, on the other hand… What will he look like as mayor? I’ve been casually following City Hall, and have been to a couple council meetings. Tibbs tends to strike me as somewhat of a bump on a log. What has he taken a lead on during his tenure? Anything? Seems to me he’s trying to cruise into the mayors office solely on the strength of the R following his name.

  15. Come on who cares about Tibbs and stuttering Stanley (Bieter), lets see some of those pics from Europe.

  16. Cyclops, it seems as if Tibbs is missing the bigger story and that is, why does the City need a paid lobbyist for anyway?

    If he agrees it’s important for the City to have one, then does he agree with the issues pursued? Was the lobbyist worth the money last year? What issues were lobbied and were the lobbyists successful?

    He left himself open for ridicule by leaving the meeting and then whining about the outcome on the lobbyist. He may have had a doctor’s appointment, but really, he couldn’t have scheduled at a time that didn’t conflict with his council duties? It’s not like he has another job.

    If Tibbs wishes to be successful he needs to distinguish himself on issues before the City and not whine about Maryanne’s comments.

    Where is he on the police contract? Where is he on property taxes? Are they too high? Is he going to propose a rollback? Does he agree that the City is spending just enough? too much? not enough?

    As the old lady in the Wendy’s commercial used to say “Where’s the beef?”

  17. Sara has hit the nail on the head on all counts. Why should a branch of the gov’t take my money and then hire someone to convince me of something? Or even worse, hire someone to convince another branch of gov’t (that I also pay for) of something. Uncle Roy makes a very good point, too.

  18. Nick Adams wrote, “Ms. Jordan’s “relationship” as you put it was an individual contribution from Johnson, it was not from Gallatin.”

    Sorry, Nick, but that DOES constitute a “relationship” and a potential conflict of interest. In politics, it is not possible to separate the people from their organizations. Follow the money trail to see what is really happening, whether it comes from individual pockets, PACs, or corporations.

    Sara hit the nail on the head with her comments. The City of Boise is looking for new leadership, but Jim Tibbs has yet to show that he has what it takes to fill the current void.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: