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Garden City tower
About a year ago we attended the neighborhood pep rally for Las Vegas developer, Michael Talbott’s, plan to build a nine-story boutique hotel in Garden City next to the Boise River. Energetic young representatives from Erstad Architects showed us lovely drawings of the project and offered us snacks and drinks.
Now the original hotel wants to become an 18-story, 252-foot tall condominium tower. Our newspaper quotes Mr. Talbott as saying, “We are increasing access to the Greenbelt.” I am reminded of a sleepy fishing village on the north end of the Sea of Cortez called Puerto Penasco. Sandy beaches, warm water and fresh fish. Access was never a problem because the endless beach was wide open. Today there are about 10 hotel complexes in a row stretching along the shore. They are all walled and private. Public access is one 30-foot-wide passage with room to park 10 cars. If you can afford to stay in the hotels, your beach access is fabulous. If you live in Puerto Penasco, not so much.
Our neighborhood is funky, quirky, low-income, messy, diverse, safe, quiet, leafy and cooled by the soul-restoring Boise River. All sorts of people find their way down to walk, bike, swim, yell, commute, scoot and catch snakes. Greenbelt access is just fine.
Daniel Reed, Garden City
Get the vaccine
We just returned from remote Cuba a month ago. Traveled in a bubble from Nassau, Bahamas, to a bus, to a boat, with 16 vaccinated Americans. Saw no one else except for the Cuban staff on our fly fishing boat for the week. Such sweet people who are suffering so much under communism and our previous presidents’ sanctions. They have no food, no vaccine, no medicine, electricity is turned off at night, so no fans to move their very hot summer air. I had a dollar store fan that I gave to our fishing guide so he could cool his very young daughter at night so she could sleep. The fishing guides have the best job on the island at $25 a week. We wanted to bring everyone home with us. I hope all of you who are not taking the vaccine realize how lucky we are in the United States to have easy access to something that can save your life and those around you. Please get vaccinated! You are making what should be a non-political pandemic so much worse. Please find your common sense before you become a statistic.
Janet Downey, Boise
Save the salmon
I am a youth salmon protector, and I’m entering my junior year of high school. I’m really appreciative that Congressman Mike Simpson took the time out of his busy schedule to meet with the students at Boise High and answer our questions about his Columbia Basin Initiative. It’s unfortunate that after writing nearly 800 letters to Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Gov. Brad Little demonstrating how much we care about saving Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead, we got no response.
These elected officials have shown that they don’t want to even come to the table and talk about dam breaching or engage in conversation with their constituents. I encourage Idaho politicians to take youth voices seriously, especially when robbing us and our descendants of once-renowned wild salmon and steelhead. We can’t vote yet, but their blatant disregard for our ideas will be remembered when we can. I urge any adults reading this to call their offices and tell them that the youth care about salmon and demand that the four Lower Snake River dams be removed.
Emma Combs, Boise
New Path housing
In a recent article, our elected Ada County commissioners discussed their decision to reduce funding for New Path housing and questioned the value of the Housing First model to treat people with chronic homelessness. I urge the commissioners to continue full support of New Path community housing and to read the evaluations and feasibility studies conducted by Dr. Fry, Boise State University. This is a local, successful solution to a national problem. Findings from this study showed a 63% decrease in utilizing emergency services, 1.4 million cost savings from annual costs of services and increased well being of the residents. Without stable housing, people are not able to attain any level of health. In fact, a preponderance of studies use housing as a social determinant of population health. Where you live or if you have a home is important. Housing First is an approach that does work. The Ada County commissioners need to support financially the existing New Path housing program and consider expanding it.
Ingrid Brudenell, Boise
The first thing on the agenda for the next legislative session should be changing the state name to “Ida-ssippi.” Since the majority in the legislature is aiming us at the bottom they should be honest about their goal. Or they could invest the budget surplus in education and the housing trust fund and prove me wrong. I dare them!
Steven Michael Randolph, Boise
I believe the next generation deserves to have at least the same opportunities to experience the outdoors that I had. I spent my childhood exploring the hills and streams around my grandparents’ home in Orofino, building forts and picking berries in fields behind my home in Oregon, and hiking throughout the West’s wild spaces.
Unfortunately, climate change is jeopardizing those opportunities for our children. We are already experiencing dangerous heat waves, increasing drought, and catastrophic wildfires that destroy the homes of our loved ones and our cherished wild spaces. Yet, I am confident that we have the tools, resources, and determination to tackle these challenges and that climate action can grow our economy and advance equity.
That is why I am heartened by the leadership role the city of Boise has taken in creating the Climate Action Roadmap, a bold plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Boise is becoming a nationwide leader in climate action and showing that we can create the brighter future that both current and future generations deserve.
Ryan McGoldrick, Boise