City Government

“Sound of Freedom” Different in Foothills

Many residents of the Vista and Hillcrest neighborhoods have expressed opposition or concern about noise if F-15 or F-35 fighter jets are based at Gowen Field.

Proponents of the noisy aircraft claim “That’s the sound of freedom!” City officials have lobbied to get the F-35 based in Boise and their mantra is, “You knew the airport was nearby when you bought your house, live with it.”

Comes now the issue of the convoluted manipulated purchase/trade of the police shooting range in the foothills behind the V.A. Fort Boise complex. Coppers and city officials claimed they HAD to use the facility at that location because it cost too much for coppers to drive out to the desert.

The HISTORY of a decent shooting range is one of manipulation, back room deals, legal maneuvering, and general bumbling on the part of Boise leaders.

It turns out neighbors don’t like the sounds of gunfire in their backyards and they raised safety issues when it comes to live rounds in the area. The remedy to this list of financial bumbling seems to be spending even more tax money. Boise officials have agreed to dump $550,000 into 120 acres of desert land near Kuna-Mora road for a shooting range.

The GUARDIAN can only think: “The shooting range was in the foothills when they bought their homes. Live with it.”

Seems the SOUND OF FREEDOM has a different tone when it involves the Foothills and North Enders.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Super Fund Site
    Apr 8, 2016, 4:33 pm

    Are the lefty liberal foothills fools gonna make the BPD clean up the lead at the old range. It surely represents an unlawful hazmat dump and is upstream of the nearby river and wells many drink from.

  2. Christiane Rudd
    Apr 8, 2016, 5:20 pm

    Amen. So, not so nice when it’s in YOUR backyard, is it? And the city is taking $550,000 of everyone’s tax money to make sure foothills residents are not inconvenienced? Wow. I live in the Hillcrest country club area, and yes, we knew the airport was close to us when we purchased here. We purchased in this neighborhood knowing that the actual Air Force base was 50 miles out into the desert. We didn’t expect that Gowen’s relatively quiet A-10s would be replaced with the billion dollar dangerous and up to 10 X noisier F35s (or some other version of another new deafening jet). We didn’t expect that our neighborhoods would subsequently be classified as “Unsuitable for Residential Living” by the Air Force’s OWN report. Their words, not mine. All we get from the City is that this is “good for everyone” and I don’t see any money spent by the valley to help out residents here. Sad and outrageous.

  3. Any idea who the lucky person is that gets a half a million for sand and sagebrush? Someone the mayor or council members know?

  4. Yossarian_22
    Apr 8, 2016, 6:55 pm

    Great contrasts here. I live on the Bench and am lucky enough not to have to hear the major brunt of high performance fighters. But I have been near the airport when F-15s, F-16s, F-18s operate fro Gowen. It is pretty intense if you are situated in their sound cone of high impact on takeoff. It must be pretty loud for those fairly close by. The F-35 is a money pit and right there I oppose it. I would think that the USAF would be more thoughtful in basing selections for high perf aircraft. They need to make as many friends as they can. We fork over $600 billion a year to keep this empire going worldwide. Mtn Home AFB seems like a much better facility for top line fighters. They even have a nice alert ramp at the east side of their main runway.

    Regarding the shooting range in the foothills…..if I have to drive out to just south of the powerlines to shoot, then LE should. The ISP has a range out there near the prison. I have to drive farther than that. And it does seem that the City Council favors the D19 voters more than any other. It’s a double standard.

  5. Bieter begone
    Apr 8, 2016, 7:36 pm

    Lately there have been a lot of complaints here and at the dead tree website about how the Mayor and City Council don’t seem to be listening to the citizens. Well guess what? They never have. And there was just an election where everyone got re-elected. So Boise, you get what you voted for, or if you didn’t vote, then shame on all of you. You had an opportunity for change and you blew it.

  6. This is a serious missed opportunity for a multi-modal noise center. We could have had a Gazillion $$ shiny new F-35 / F15 Air Gaurd Station built far out in the desert featuring an underground year-round shooting range, with a circulator for attention seeking poseurs racing around the multimodal complex on a ring road in their cars, trucks and motorcycles with “off road / racing only” non-mufflers and thumper stereo systems. It could feature restaurants for people with screamer babies and folks who can’t stop talking on their cell phones. There could be vast lawns where old men could spend their days riding around on roaring lawnmower tractors mounted with whining leaf blowers. Hockey games, rock concerts, illegal fireworks… The possibilities are endless.

  7. Steve Rinehart
    Apr 8, 2016, 9:05 pm

    So, you can just whine about the Northenders finally winning a round against the rock heads at city hall, which gets you zip. Or you can try to get more thinking people from all over Boise to support moving combat Air Force units to Mt. Home AFB — freeing up Boise airport space while reducing noise pollution and saving tax dollars all in one.

  8. apples & oranges

    When’s the last time an ANG training mission using tracer bullets started a 15,000-Acre fire in the foothills? …or narrowly missed a hiker or biker on a nearby trail?

    EDITOR NOTE–For the record the guy who started the fire with tracers was indeed an Idaho National Guardsman. The issue here is the fact the shooting range–just like the airport–predated the construction/purchase of the homes.

  9. I’d heard it was a cop.

    The issue with moving the shooting range is partly one of public safety. Recreational uses on the surrounding foothills has increased exponentially over the past 30 years.

    EDITOR NOTE–He was also a cop, but using his GUARD M-16 with tracers…cops don’t use tracers. Again, my point is they want to move the shooting range to accommodate the folks who came after, but no sentiment to do the same with the noisy combat aircraft. Those fighters belong in Mt. Home, not in the most populous spot in all of Idaho.

  10. Steve Rinehart
    Apr 9, 2016, 8:17 pm

    With respect, Mr. Editor, pre-dated uses is not the issue. Communities change, inevitably. They tend to grow. Homes surround a firing range; the town grows around the airport. Safety and noise become a real issue, for quality of life and property values and a bunch of other reasons. Do we refuse to adapt — keep the range in the wrong place and keep the noisiest jets flying over the city — because people failed to see the future or “should have known better?”

    EDITOR NOTE–Steve, I agree totally with you. My issue is the fact city fathers and mothers are willing to adapt in the foothills, but continue to promote noisy high-performance fighters being based at Gowen. The jets belong at Mt. Home. It is absurd to have two very similar units within 30 air miles of each other.

    I also spent a significant amount of personal time trying to show the city the error of their ways when they entered into the three-way transaction/trade to avoid public comment. I was treated with total disdain by the council and mayor with the exception of one former councilor. They wasted our money, even attempted to de-annex the range when their own P&Z board refused to approve the shooting expansion. The land they traded to a group of doctors sits fallow and is owned by St. Luke’s. The entire matter was filthy.

  11. BTW: The foothills firing range next to the Ft. Boise Reserve was still being used a few weeks ago.

    When they get home from wherever they’ve been deployed this time, someone should ask the air guard members who train at Gowen Field how they feel about moving the operation to Mtn Hm.

    While I may not agree with wars they go off to fight, I’m willing to cut them some slack when they try to lead normal, civilian lives and yet stay prepared to go off to war.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rabula, you are the epitome of my argument!. You seek to displace the valiant first responders who use the foothills range to maintain their firearm skills to protect YOU and themselves against marauding thugs, and even terrorists. Why not move the hikers and recreationists to the desert south of town?

  12. Just as the shooting range is being moved, so should the Air Gaurd Station be moved to Mountain Home.
    There is a rediculous proposal / non-solution being floated by the local political criminals to move the Air Gaurd base a few hundred yards to the South, which would be insanely expensive and do nothing to solve the noise problem.

    Boise is increasing feeling like a city under siege by military occupation. We are seeing more Blackhawk helicopters over the city, and now even military scout helicopters. Are they intentionally trying to intimidate us?? Just last week an F18 flew over Meridian and Boise at 100′ with full flaps and landing gear down at close to stall speed, which endangered everyone along its flight path. It scared a lot of people and animals, which was evident with a flurry of posts on It feels like the Government is intentionally displaying a show of force to frighten us, and the sounds we are hearing have nothing to do with “freedom”.

  13. …and, did you notice all the chem trails yesterday? Surely, the New World Order is upon us! Man the barricades; lets go occupy something governmental & show ’em we mean business….

  14. Light Bulb Illuminated
    Apr 10, 2016, 1:28 pm

    J Smith, Those are all flying over the city to intercept wireless traffic for the NSA. J, are you a bad guy? We just can’t tell who the bad guy is anymore, so we’re going to search everyone’s junk and record everyone’s electronic traffic. J, there are even frogmen in the sewer and RFID chips in each load of trash. Then, after collections of everything, to sort the meta-data, they gave the low bid to a building full of muslim refugees in Pakistan to determine the good recordings from the bad. Face East and bend over 7 times a day and you’ll be fine.

    Noisy low flying military jets: Why!?!? are there noisy military jets over our fair city? (not to be mistaken with the quite A-10) Several possibilities. But first note they do not say USAF on them. In fact it might say something in some foreign scribbly backward writing. Speculations: 1) Mountain Home AFB is where the USAF keeps lots of super secret stuff that goes boom and the guys just dropping in for a few days from Timbuktu couldn’t pass the security clearance for the McDonald’s secret sauce recipe much less our nuke secrets. They are only in the States because LMT-BA promised their country they teach their guy how to transition from the Mig-17 into the F-16 with only 20% losses in the first year. 2) Boise has better bars than MHAFB. 3) Boise has better girls than MHAFB. 4) The Mayor sent them a personal invitation to fly over your house. 5) We could do this all day… but it comes down to MHAFB is not as appealing to a guy zooming around America in a personal fighter jet.

    Why Southern Idaho? We have a really cool training range where countries from all over the world send their military forces to train. Yes, integrated training from boots to trucks to tanks to artillery to AA to high tech aircraft and everything in between.

    Gowen is a big part of all this foreign training stuff. It’s so important, some think the Air Force would rather close MHAFB and expand in Boise. Such talk is very arousing to the city leaders because it means pouring several cubic miles of new concrete at their airport.

    So in short, the low flying FA-18E/F could very well be a thirsty, sleepy, horny foreign pilot with the King’s credit cards and a weekend pass.

    There is another way to look at this. Maybe the Mayor is right. Boise is circling the drain jobs wise. Did you know some of these large military training bases in the South, South East USA employ 100,000 people? I’m thinking build an elevated cable tram from the General’s office at Gowen through the Downtown Bars-n-Girls district and then right the top of Bogus… and try again for the Luke contract.

  15. Good topic Gaurdian.
    And a fair comparison. Rabular and Rinehart are missing the point.

    However, the current shooting is an in adequate facility in any location and in any regard.

    Boise City SHOULD use that site and build a nice indoor range available for the paying public and on particular days available for free for city police and school security persons.– Operated by City Parks and Rec.

    Shoot em, if you got em.

    EDITOR NOTE–I have brought it up to the Police Chief as recently as Friday! LAPD had a range open to the public for years.

  16. Yossarian_22
    Apr 11, 2016, 2:02 pm

    Light Bulb – wow, that was quite a comedic dissertation. I’m still trying to figure out what your position on F-35s at Gowen and the BPD shooting range is. But, if you are a member of Cass Sunstein’s cognitive infiltrators then you are certainly one of the more creative writers I’ve seen.

  17. Light Bulb Illuminated
    Apr 11, 2016, 4:25 pm

    I don’t care, I don’t even live there. HQ assigned me to tease a bit… and I can sip the vodka when working from home. The sad part is most of what I wrote is true. (My gosh western booze is so much better than the solvent in Russia.)

    Do you find it weird that ‘Snowden’ was a crew member… and change agent on Yossarian’s aircraft?

  18. ironic, perhaps?

  19. 33 years on, and insulting others anonymously is still seen as a supreme act of cowardice…
    “…The term “flaming” may originate from The Hacker’s Dictionary, which in 1983 defined it as “to speak rabidly or incessantly on an uninteresting topic or with a patently ridiculous attitude”…” Wikipedia

    For those who never heard of Cass Sunstein…
    “…Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs.”

    In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-“independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists…” Salon Jan 15, 2010

    EDITOR NOTE–OK guys. Since you have veered so far off the topic of foothills shooting noise vs fighter

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