"I hearby officially declare myself premier of the State of Idaho."
--onmyway (Boiseweekly.com, Citydesk, "'Light Foot' Militia Created in Ada County to 'Assist' in Protection of Lives, Property," June 6, 2013)
I begin this letter by stating plainly that I don't think much of the majority of the nonsense that the Boise Weekly contains. I suppose that the most likely response would be, "so why are you still reading it, then?"
I would answer by quoting a character from an old John Christopher trilogy, as follows: I occasionally review it because "sometimes it is useful to know what kind of nonsense people are thinking." Certainly this is the case with the opinion pieces by Messrs. Cope and Rall, which could sorely tempt one to openly question whether or not everyone truly should have a right to his own opinion.
Having made my disclaimer, then, I would like to say that I enjoyed Zach Hagadone's note entitled "The Bike Crash Kid" in the May 8 edition (BW, Opinion, Note). It was simply a nice, nostalgic story about innocent (albeit mildly dangerous) boyhood fun, without any accompanying silliness about the supposed rights of sodomites and pedophiles, or impassioned support for government mandates implementing the forcible seizure and redistribution of wealth or any number of other poorly fleshed out theories so often extolled in your paper.
Ironically, Hagadone's brief tale of childlike things displayed far more maturity than the Weekly's purported "grown-up" content. Print more stuff like that (and fewer unenlightened opinions) and one day a man may be able to give the rag credit for something other than inducing near whiplash as a result of exasperated head-shaking.
Boise Weekly received many online comments on a story we ran about Boise's proposed panhandling ordinances (BW, News, "Out of the Panhandle and Into the Fire," June 5, 2013). Here are some of what readers had to say.
Panhandling exacerbates or even initiates urban decay. This contributes to problems the writer of this article has highlighted. Yes, homelessness is a problem that should be addressed. No, allowing panhandling is not the way to address it. People should not give to panhandlers. Please give to local charities that help the poor.
I agree that we don't need new panhandling ordinances, but I do think the city of Boise needs to enforce the existing laws that make it illegal for panhandlers to approach people on the street. I have no problem with the man or woman standing by the roadside or by Albertsons with a cardboard sign--and if the sign is funny enough, I'm glad to give them a buck. But I do take issue with not being able to walk around downtown during the noon hour or to get from my car to the grocery store without being approached by a teenager or young person asking for help or change or gas money or a cigarette--that's what I visit San Francisco and New York for.
Giving my hard-earned money to aggressive panhandlers who have not done a damned thing to earn it but beg, is like asking the squirrels to stay out of the bird feeder I just keep filling up over and over after they rob it. My conscience might feel better thinking I'm feeding the birds, but the birds must go hungry while those squirrels are being taught getting fat is caused by starving the birds I was trying to help in the first place.
Here's what one online commenter had to day about the city of Boise considering charging for on-street parking on weekends.
Genius! Parking becomes less convenient. Less people come downtown. Less taxable transactions are made. City raises less money. Businesses leave downtown. Wait... what was the goal again??