News » Citydesk

October 6-12 2004




Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom at Boise State University as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series.

Robinson's lecture, "Social Responsibility and Ethical Globalization," is free and open to the public. No tickets will be issued; seating is limited and is available on a first-come basis.

As a practicing lawyer in Dublin, Robinson argued landmark cases, including her successful fight for the right of Irish women to contraception in the 1970s. Robinson was also involved in efforts to decriminalize gay male sexual behavior in her homeland, which finally occurred with the passage of the Sexual Offenses Act in 1993.

Robinson served as president of Ireland from 1990-1997 and was the first female elected to that office. She resigned her presidency only three months short of finishing her term in 1997 to assume the role as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, a post she held until 2002.

Now based in New York City, Robinson is leading a new project, the Ethical Globalization Initiative, supported by a partnership of the Aspen Institute, the State of the World Forum and the Swiss-based International Council on Human Rights Policy.


Area radio listeners will have a new choice in political talk radio this fall as "The Progressive Voice" debuts Thursday evenings on KGEM 1140 AM.

"For a long time, political talk radio has been dominated by far-right personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity," said Chris Struble, who co-hosts the show with Gary Allen. "Even on the local level, Republican views have prevailed. 'The Progressive Voice' will show that many Idaho Democrats and progressive independents are working hard to help our state make progress, with values that include a world-class education for every Idaho child, good jobs, fair taxation, and health care as a right, not a privilege."

With the 2004 general election near, the first few programs will focus on candidates and issues on the November ballot. Del Bunce, the Democratic candidate for Idaho House District 14B, will be the guest for the debut program from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, October 7.

After the election, "The Progressive Voice" will continue to present a wide range of guests who will discuss issues and opportunities facing Idaho. "We know there are a lot of Democrats and independents in the Treasure Valley who don't feel represented on local radio," Gary Allen said. "We want 'The Progressive Voice' to be their voice. We'll welcome callers and we look forward to lively discussions that show how we can all pull together to make Idaho a state that works for us all, not just the economically and politically privileged."

The show, which, will also be webcast live and archived online at, is a project of the Idaho Progressive Caucus, which launched after the 2004 Idaho Democratic Convention. For more information on the group go to


The Winter Wildlands Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes human-powered winter sporting opportunities, hosts its second grassroots advocacy conference from Friday, October 15 to Sunday, October 17 at Bogus Basin Ski Resort.

The conference is intended to inform and empower WWA grassroots members and other human-powered winter recreation activists with current law, changing policy and winter recreation planning in Forest Service management plans. Guest speakers include Mike Finley, president, Turner Foundation and past Yellowstone National Park Superintendent, and Dave Holland, director, USDA Forest Service, Office of Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resources, Washington, D.C.

In addition, two new WWA reports will be presented: "Comprehensive Analysis of Forest Service Winter Trail Designations on National Forests" and "The Economic Importance of Skiers and Snowshoers."

For more information and to register, go to, or contact Sally Ferguson, 386-9227,



U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled a Clean Air Act lawsuit against a proposed "mega-dairy" in the Magic Valley will go forward. The proposed K&W Dairy had sought dismissal of charges brought by the Idaho Conservation League, claiming that the dairy would violate the Clean Air Act by failing to obtain an air quality permit from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The Court rejected K&W's arguments that the Idaho air quality rules do not apply to emissions from mega-dairies. K&W holds a county siting permit for up to 6600 animals.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality had asserted the mega-dairy did not need to apply for a permit. But the Court found "no deference is due when the IDEQ's interpretation cannot be reconciled with the plain language of its regulations," and "the IDEQ's interpretation has no basis in the plain language of the regulations."

The Court has yet to decide whether this mega-dairy will emit more than 100 tons of toxic chemicals or particulate matter in a year, requiring it to obtain a permit to construct. In January this year, another southern Idaho mega-dairy itself reported annual emissions of about 130 tons of ammonia.



The U.S. lesbian and gay population spends an average of $1.4 billion each day, totaling $500 billion a year, and Boycott for Equality is organizing a one-day nationwide economic "walkout" on Friday, October 8 to make that point clear.

The one-day event is designed to highlight the contribution that lesbians and gays make to the domestic economy and tax base, at the same time they are denied the full legal protections and civil liberties afforded heterosexual Americans.

"We want to remind those in our nation who don't always see the impact of our community in terms of dollars and cents that we do have real market power," said Boycott for Equality Co-Founder Dale Duncan. "We were inspired by Don't Amend Founder Robin Tyler's famous quip, `If being gay is a disease, let's all call in sick to work' and decided to put those words into action."

Up to 27 million Americans identify as being primarily lesbian or gay, yet no Federal law provides protection from discrimination in the workplace and many state and federal laws prohibit access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

According to the Washington D.C.-based public relations firm Witeck-Combs Communications, the U.S. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) population contributed an estimated $500 billion to the U.S. marketplace in 2003, while The University of Georgia's Selig Center at the Terry College of Business estimates that the African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native-American markets contribute $688 billion, $653 billion, $344 billion, and $45 billion respectively.


U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1,061 U.S. service members have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 806 in combat and 255 from noncombat-related incidents and accidents.

Injured service members total 7,730.

Last week 10 U.S. soldiers died.

Since President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, 923 soldiers have died and 7,188 have been injured

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 12,976 and 15,033.


COST OF IRAQ WAR: $138,400,000,000.


--Compiled by Cynthia Sewell