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citydesk (4/22/09)

Markets, Tea Bags and Strippers



Wednesday market denied

Boise Department of Parks and Recreation won't allow a group of small farmers to use Capitol Park as a venue for a Wednesday night farmers market, according to a memo presented to the Parks and Rec Commission last week.

A small group of local growers sought permission to sell produce on Wednesday evenings at the park on Bannock Street.

Now they are collecting signatures for a petition in favor of the weeknight market and asking Boise Mayor Dave Bieter to overturn the denial.

According to the memo, Parks and Rec director Jim Hall felt the proposal did not match Boise park policy, and sent the market coordinator, Lindsay-Rose Medoff, a letter explaining why.

Among the reasons for denial: for-profit vendors are generally not allowed in any park and concerns with turf conditions and parking.

"What kind of profit do you think we are making selling tomatoes in the park?" asked Medoff. "It's locally grown food."

Boise tea and cookies

More than 2,500 marchers crammed into the very same Capitol Park at lunchtime on April 15 as part of a nationwide Tax Day protest.

While commentators across the country struggled to define just what the Tea Party groups wanted, Idaho state Rep. Lenore Barrett, a Republican from Challis, shouted 10 reasons for the gathering from the back of a pickup truck:

1. Congress wouldn't recognize the Constitution "if it fell in their lap and called them daddy."

2. The lack of a gold standard.

3. Global warming, which is a decoy designed to create a global panic.

4. Stop apologizing for the Judeo-Christian heritage of the country.

5. American sovereignty and withdrawal from the United Nations.

6. State sovereignty.

7. Bailouts and stimulus is just buying votes.

8. Keep your hands off my kids, abolish the secretary of education position.

9. My kids were the product of a "traditional marriage" from the moment of conception.

10. Secure our borders and, finally, "Come get your killer wolves."

the other tea baggers

Also last week, Boise City Hall moved to shut down the Torch II, a "strip" club on Vista Avenue, for violating zoning laws.

The Torch II is technically located too close to homes to operate as an adult business, according to the city's adult business ordinance, which passed in 2002. But since the Torch II was opened prior to 2002, it was grandfathered in, with the stipulation that it not expand.

Now, in the midst of an exterior renovation, Boise accuses the bikini bar of expanding its "entrance vestibule," and has revoked its permit to act as an adult business, pending an appeal.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said the decision to revoke the Torch II's permits was a zoning level decision and that the club is not being targeted.

"This is a very specific legal right," Bieter said. "I think they've pushed it and expanded."

The owner of the bar, Mans Montgomery, did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him, including a visit to the Torch II. He has indicated he intends to appeal the decision.

—Nathaniel Hoffman

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 4,277 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,433 in combat and 844 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,215. In the last week, one U.S. soldier died.

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 48 soldiers have died.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 91,466 and 99,861.


COST OF IRAQ WAR: $662,002,425,079



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