Air Quality Summit:
This message is for Mayor Bieter. I'm calling in response to the Air Quality Summit that is taking place this evening at 7 p.m. I'm not able to attend the meeting but I would certainly like to contribute a brief input if I may. Obviously I'm as upset about the air quality as anybody else and desire to have it much improved. I know there's also concern about losing Federal highway funds, etc. I don't know much of that as far as the monies go, but for me the obvious thing that we have to deal with is growth and increased pollution is obviously the bottom line the growth in people and cars. I know the Mayor is very interested in providing public transportation, mass transit improvements, and infrastructure, and I applaud his efforts for that, but Mayor I think that's a lot of money not well spent as far as air quality. There are not enough people who will use mass transit to improve our air quality. What we need is emissions testing and accountability in the entire Treasure Valley, not just Ada County. We have to have Canyon County on board; it should be headed up by the Department of Environmental Quality. All cars and gross polluters in any county that are in this area need to be fixed or taken off the roads. They need to meet the guidelines that people do in Ada County. Thats the bottom line. Most people who commute from Canyon County, you can see the freeway traffic reports every day, work in and around the Boise area because that's where most of the employment is. That's just a fact. There is no magic wall of separation between Ada and Canyon County when it comes to air quality. There are cars going back and forth from surrounding counties and they also contribute to the whole problem in the Treasure Valley just as much as Ada County. Unless you can get a handle on that and get it under control, there is no answer; its only going to get worse. I hope you take that to heart, and I wish you and the Council members well tonight at the meeting in coming up with positive solutions. Have a good day.
Action Taken: shared w/ summit
Half Way Houses:
My complaint has to do with Mansfields transition homes. I feel that we have reverse discrimination; all of the rights go to the young men who are out trying to start their lives over and nothing for the neighborhoods. We pay the taxes, we keep the neighborhoods up, but we have no rights. I can't even get the Fire Department to call me back and tell me how many people can be in a one-family dwelling. Thank you very much.
Air Quality Summit:
I can't attend tonight, but I do want to talk about the issue because its probably the most major issue in my life. In fact I'm probably going to die if I don't leave Boise within a few years I imagine. I was born and raised here on N. Eighth Street and it was beautiful, clear, blue, beautiful, beautiful skies, clean, you could leave your doors and windows open in the summer. Nothing ever stunk or choked you, or took your breath like it does today. I left for 20 years with the military and I came back in 1980. I was here six months before I had my first asthma attack; I've never had asthma in my life. I went to a doctor then called Torrington who was a pulmonary specialist and he told me how filthy the air was here and that was in 1981. He said that the reason I became asthmatic was because I came back here and I hadn't lived in this area for 20 some years. Because people were moving here there was a lot more pollution and all of this going on. My asthma was bothersome but not like it is now (24-7) 12 months a year. I just continued to get worse and worse. They finally gave me a breather to use at home, but I still got worse as the pollution got worse. I now take strong doses of prednisone to keep my asthma under control. My face swells like a balloon when there is really bad pollution; I have sinus infection and ear infection. When the air is better, I have a voice, but when the air is bad I either croak or dont have a voice at all. When I talk to people in stores, some of them say they have just moved here but are moving back because they are all sick from the pollution. If I could breathe, I might have a life; my life isn't worth anything here in Boise, Idaho.I would like to know why it is when there is a burn ban, why doesn't the law apply to the factories around here. Ive asked the air quality board about that but they never call me back with the answer. I think you need some air monitors, some people who patrol the neighborhoods when the air quality is bad. The people who continue to burn wood during burn bans should be fined a lot. Boise is a beautiful city but it's very unhealthy to live here. All this pollution, smoke, and ozone also affect our landscape because it's unhealthy for the plants. If Boise does nothing else in this next 100 years, fix this problem today. Don't wait another two years. People here don't know and don't care because they're ignorant. They need to be educated and have it shoved down their throat. You need some kind of rail system and you need to force people to use it, although I don't know how youre going to do that. If I were you, I would put a toll booth on the Interstate and on every other entrance and exit that comes from Canyon County, goes through Meridian to Boise. I would make people stop and pay a toll to come to Boise. If they're going to bring their stinking cars to Boise but wont get the emissions tests, catch them every day coming in to Boise and make them pay a toll. That's exactly what I would do.
Action Taken: shared w/ summit
I'm calling about our pollution problem. I think we need a rapid rail system in this town; I think we have enough rail line tracks that it could be viable. I think maybe there should be some way that people who use it could be given a tax break. I'm not exactly sure, maybe something along what they did with energy savings back in the 70s where people got a break on their taxes or got a tax credit for energy savings. I'm not sure how the city would do that, I just think it's something that is necessary. I think you have to talk to people in their pocket book before they're willing to come around and use something like that. I know our bus system could probably use more lines and more areas where they go. I've heard several people say that they would like to be able to use the bus system but it doesn't go where they work and it's not in service late enough to be able to meet their needs. Thank you for all you do, Mayor Bieter; I voted for you.
My complaint is about our garbage service, BFI and the way they pick up trash and the way they scatter it up and down the streets. It appears to me, and I have seen this on numerous occasions, that they spread almost as much trash around as they pick up. This complaint is about our whole trash system; I have already complained to BFI. Thank you.
: I am calling to address the topic of air quality in Boise. I thought that one of the obvious solutions was overlooked in the paper today. I have lived near Boise High and have moved to an area near Capitol High. The driving age in Boise is so young and there are thousands of teenagers, who require cars, car insurance, gas, and they are living close to high schools and everybody is driving to school. When I first saw this, I thought it was laughable because kids are becoming obese yet they are demanding cars. In my own neighborhood, which is two blocks from Capitol High, kids are being picked up and driven to school by friends. They may participate in other things, but they seem to have lost the concept of walking to high school. In Boise High in the North End, which I left because I thought the air quality was becoming so frightening there; hundreds and hundreds of children are driving in from a small area to go to school. I had a house guest from an affluent suburb of the Greater Bay area, Piedmont, and her high school solved the problem of teens wanting to drive to school by simply doing away with the parking lot; there is no parking lot at the high school except for the teachers. When you look at this group of kids, they appear to be a lean, healthy group of kids who have not forgotten the meaning of the word, exercise. I think if someone were to take a picture of our parking lots at our high schools, it's pretty shocking. The neighborhoods are crowded with cars, it's contributing to the financial stress of Idahoans who have difficulty paying their mortgages, but their teenagers need cars and insurance. I think it is a huge contributing factor and it should be reviewed or looked at by each high school, and possibly the driver's age be re-examined, looking at the number of drivers that would take off the road. I am thrilled that you are Mayor and that the city is functioning so beautifully, but clean air and clean water are not options, they're obligations, and there's a big difference between the two. Thank you for all that you do, it does not go unappreciated.
I don't need a response. I'm just calling to applaud the efforts of the city, and I understand its mostly the property managers, who do the Christmas lights. They're so lovely and its such a nice feeling. I think it reflects the spirit of our city and I understand from the Boise Downtown Association that it is the property managers, but I wanted to tell the city too because we work so collaboratively in this town. Thank you so much for all the efforts to make Boise so special and Happy Holidays to everyone.
I would love to see an outdoor inline hockey rink built in one of our parks. It's an up and coming sport across the country; it would something that kids and adults could use for fun and recreation as well as for leagues. It would be a great additional sport for kids to participate in here, especially considering we have ice skating rinks at the far end of the city. It might promote more ice hockey as well, but it would be fun to have one in the city; it could be used year around outdoor. It would be a fun outlet; instead of a skating park, more of a hockey type rink. I recently moved from Florida where there were a number of them down there and they're a very popular sport among the kids with adult leagues, as well as just kids and families using it when the leagues were not. Thank you very much.
I'm calling about the Air Quality Summit you had last night. I was not able to attend, but I do want to mention something that I have been following elsewhere. UPS and some of the other carriers, I think FedEx as well, but UPS I know for sure is distributing several thousand hybrid trucks for delivery. They're trying to stick their chest out right now and be really out front in the world about Green. I read an article in Business Week
as well as read about the trucks in one of the automobile magazines. I know UPS and FedEx have these types of trucks, and I think we could talk to FedEx and ask them to replace these huge, smoky, diesel trucks that they have, with their new hybrid ones. They plan on having 56,000 of them worldwide, so I think a few of them here in Boise wouldnt hurt.
Action Taken: contacted
I'm calling about public transportation. I would really like to see the buses run more frequently, at least every 20 minutes and on more routes. I think we need to concentrate on that rather than a long-term pie-in-the-sky idea about rails, which I have nothing against, but we can actually do the more frequent buses. I would love to talk to somebody about it.
Action Taken: left msj
Tim and Rebecca
Air Quality Summit:
I saw the townhall meeting around 10 p.m., which was a little late but it was very educational. We saw there was one aspect that was missing there. We do agree it is important to have good trans via the bus system etc. but even so I wanted to leave some important info. We drive around a lot and see a lot of big trucks who just sprew lots of pollution and we haven't heard anything about that. The police haven't pulled them over. But anyway it is very important and something we wanted to get across and good transportation is important. We are from Portland and lived pretty simplistically because their bus system is all over the place. They get lots of financial support from cities surrounding Portland. You can call if you want or leave a message and our answering service will pick it up.
Action Taken: shared w/ summit
I called about a month ago about lighting the greenbelt and no lights under tunnels and someone was supposed to call me. I left a message and someone called me but I need to have them call me again.