City Government

Everything Old Is New Again

Using the same old tactics of surveys, studies, and lots of manipulation of public opinion, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter’s “Trolley Folly or Desire named Street Car” has risen from the ashes of bad ideas like a Phoenix.
IDAHO STATESMAN‘s Sven Berg has the latest edition of the rails-in-the-street plan posted today with an even bigger costly dream (nightmare?).

It seems that today’s politicos don’t feel they are doing their job unless they are growing the size of the city, building more fire stations, attracting deadly F-35 fighter jets, planning ball parks and building schools. Ang each agency has designs on someone else’s money. BOISE DEV has a step-by-step scenario about the ballpark financing options.

GROWTHOPHOBES are maligned for wanting to improve the bus system, limit city growth, repair fire stations, refuse the condo developer’s ball park, and retain a quiet flying mission at Gowen Field. You simply cannot spend your way to prosperity.

In other “Old News”–
We used to enjoy poking fun at the TV newsies wading in even the most minor floodwater by awarding “Dope Reporter” status. Today, with few exceptions, they all manage to find a wetspot to stand within. We still get a laugh watching an adult standing in ankle-deep water looking into the camera trying to be taken seriously.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I saw a double wading yesterday. Channel 2 reporter and Channel 7.. both in the same cam shot. They aren’t newsies. They have merged self-promotion and entertainment and news into one thing–and it’s a stretch to call it news.

  2. Foothills Rider
    May 19, 2017, 2:10 pm

    I don’t understand Bieter’s rail in a small downtown area that is touted nationwide for its walkability. Link has history of trolleys in Boise, and actual purpose for them. We’d be better served duplicating/expanding the “Boise Valley Loop” via bus or other regular circulator, and capitalizing on cross-county visitors (both directions) rather than overspending on an unneeded legacy/ego project. This strange need to win/earn matching government money? My Dad always said: it is not savings nor a deal unless you were prepared and able to pay full price for it. (this adage holds true for stadium, too)

  3. It's called breaking up the gang
    May 20, 2017, 5:44 am

    What is apparent over and over again is how the corruption becomes more complete the longer an individual holds office. Nothing new here in politics. One can read about political power mongers back to the beginning of history. This is the fault of the population’s apathy. In the case of the local military however it’s a different animal, and a very concerning sociological development which runs counter to the American way.

    I propose military units be dissolved and the pieces scattered about every few years to prevent the kind of thing we see here in Boise today. We have ANG officers who have decided to try to push the population around. We’ve given them power, big guns, and most of our money. So now they speak against a large faction of the population — be damned what the population wants — be damned the population has credible concerns — the population is not as important as the ANG so to speak. It’s called epaulet syndrome — Think Napoleon Bonaparte. Nothing worse than a military officer without proper respect for the civilian population. So rip the unit to bits and put it back together in a different form in a different place. Move a completely different unit here from elsewhere. Most everyone will still have a job doing something at Gowen and the top officers will have other things to worry about in the service of the population.

    I am angry and disgusted. It’s not the same military I took pride in. It’s become self-serving like the military of so many failed nations before us. I respect and assist our vets, but not the senior leaders. So disband, rotate out, and retire senior leaders. It’s called breaking up the gang.

    What if instead of airplanes Gowen became a new military/VA medical facility. There is disgusting shortcomings in the military’s ability to care for wounded and retired vets. The need is very real and lasting. Big money for Boise with no noise. A regional medical facility would offer huge synergies for local doctors and universities. Wages would be way higher than guys who fix airplanes and such. Probably attract lots of people who would ride on a trolley too. More electric cars – fewer stinky diesel pickups. What more could a liberal mayor want?

  4. A bit off topic here but with respect to how the news media operates:

    We must remember that we the people own the radio spectrum. We give broadcasters a protected slice of that spectrum. Wasn’t it in the 50s or so the gov’t said in return for a protected frequency you must supply an hour a day of “news” as a public service.

    The problem is congress, and we the people have dropped the ball on overseeing the broadcast networks. The “news” is barely anything of the sort. Nearly every story is some kind of advertisement or agenda piece from corporate hq. We should be able to file a FOIA at any time to get the networks to divulge if a story, presented as news, is paid for, and who paid for it. In fact there should be a mandatory disclosure at the beginning of every broadcast like the warning label on cigarettes.

    For example: “Production of this story compensated by $Facebork” or “Warning: Viewing this broadcast may cause brain damage”

    I read a really good essay on this not too long ago but sadly didn’t bookmark it.

    Back on topic:

    I have a hard time with the expense of a trolley. I have a really hard time with how they blocked off Grove at 8th which was the obvious route for a downtown trolley.

    However, have you people been downtown lately? The traffic has grown immensely and grid lock is rapidly becoming ever more common. This will only get worse, trolley or no trolley. I don’t have the answers.

    Can any of you suggest a better solution?

    EDITOR NOTE–One solution would be to do as many of the European cities do. Preserve their historic centers and build the high rise offices on the periphery. It is absurd to attract people to the center of a city to park a car and then ask them to ride a trolley once they get there. Much as we hate to admit it, it makes sense to build offices at places like I-84 and Ten Mile, State and Highway 55, Gowen and I-84, etc.

  5. My experience with trolleys is not good. I was at a job in downtown Memphis and to save money I rode the trolly . One day all of a sudden the trolley driver stopped the trolley and told everyone to get down because the man that just crossed the tracks had a gun and was waving it at us. That was my last trolley ride in Memphis.

    Plus the fact it was broke down most of the time. I started taking a taxi. My guess is that if Boise gets one it will be broke down most of the time also.

  6. Paul Jurczak
    May 20, 2017, 10:03 pm

    Visual propaganda is strong with the trolley proposal. Note how the last page ( shows two trolleys: one arriving at the stop closely followed by another. This was intended to double the “cool factor” Idaho Statesman’s article is referring to as one of the main reasons of favoring a streetcar over a bus, but instead it shows a streetcar system plagued by poor traffic control.

    EDITOR NOTE–And like most other “visions” it is all dependent upon the Ada County Highway District. THAT is why Bieter wants control of the streets. ACHD is not likely to go for a trolley at this time.

  7. If the downtown didn’t have offices (gov’t and other) it would have nothing at all. I won’t go down there unless I have to, and I am sure many agree (and disagree). And yet it’s the focus of city government.

  8. Oligarchs Rule
    May 21, 2017, 7:18 pm

    Why is that “reporters” stand in puddles and only tell stories the way the corporations want them told?

    A new study conducted by neuroscientist Tara Swift and the London Press Club determined that “the highest functions of journalists brains were operating at a lower level than the average population, due to dehydration, self-medicating, and fueling their brains with caffeine and high-sugar foods”

  9. Chickenhawk
    May 26, 2017, 8:02 am

    The city and state governments are going to continue their spree of downtown choo-choos and welfare for multimillionare baseball team owners so long as the local news chooses to devote attention to piping out corporate propaganda instead of real news.

    As for the F-35 jets, it seems that Boise is obsessed with loud noises. Does anyone know if any city ordinances exist for those loud car exhaust modification devices?

  10. Noise @Chicken
    May 26, 2017, 11:14 am

    Good question chicken. I think the cops like to drive loud cars/scooters themselves when off duty and are resistant to policing noise. The cops claim they can’t measure noise well enough to write a ticket. This is bullshit because ya can buy a meter for less than $20. A certified cop meter is probably less than $100. It’s a hell of a lot simpler than measuring air quality. Probably cheaper much than a speed gun.

  11. Las Vegas Rebel
    May 28, 2017, 5:53 am

    Noise@Chicken. The officers are right. They can’t enforce the noise ordinance without a certified decibel reader. The police administration has not made this a priority to purchase this equipment so the patrol officers are unable to enforce the law. Same with the window tint readers. Again administration has not purchased the proper equipment for officers to enforce the law. Boise PD administration has a bad habit of not giving their officers the proper or updated equipment to do their jobs effectively. If the public wants these laws enforced they need to let higher ups know that it should be a priority and demand that the department invest in the proper equipment and training for the officers on the street.

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