Letters to the editor-09-07-2013

September 7, 2013 

Thank you ...

A belated, heartfelt Thank You to the gentleman in the big truck, U.S. Marine stickers. You pulled out in front of me in Nampa; I nearly hit you. I'm thanking you because you did something absolutely unprecedented in my experience — you apologized sincerely at the next light! Thank you so much— not only did I smile all day, I've told everyone I know how cool that was. You must be one of a kind!


Kudos to the very professional pilot of the Panda hot air balloon. It was obviously coming down in the middle of The Boise Farmers Market, but with her expert guidance and members of the market she managed to avoid hitting all the market’s canopies. She kept enough air in the balloon for it to be moved safely to the adjoining parking lot. It was an exciting way to start our market day.


Pug Ostling

Boise Mayor Bieter’s 2013 selection of Pug Ostling for a Lifetime Achievement award plays well here in Napa Valley. Pug adds a certain luster to Boise. He was an early wine pioneer reaching out to premium wine regions to learn about and purvey fine wines to thousands of diners in Boise for years.

Here’s the real measure of his sense of community. When scheduling a winery educator to come to conduct training for his own staff, Pug invited his friends and competitors in the restaurant business to sit in, too. This is the perfect example of “all ships rise in a rising sea.” I’m convinced that those unselfish efforts were instrumental making Boise the place it is to enjoy good food with good wines.

No, Pug didn’t forget your own Idaho wine regions. I can recall him driving me to your wine country to taste.

I’m also pleased to count the many years that he was a customer and the many more that he is a best friend. Here’s my street cred: It’s a source of pride to tell you that I unpackaged the original bar stools when they were setting up Grape Escape. Thanks for the memories, Pug.

BILL RYAN, St. Helena, Calif.

Otter-barred owls

Fellow Idahoans: Got quite a kick out of reading Gov. Butch’s latest anti-fed rant regarding the proposal to eradicate some barred owls within the range of the northern spotted owl.

For clarification, the proposal does not affect Idaho, because barred owls would be removed in Oregon and Washington where northern spotted owls actually occur. Northern spotted owls do not occur and have not occurred in Idaho, outside of coffee shops, uneducated imaginations and in the governor’s dreams! (Check any reputable bird guide, eg. Sibley or Peterson.)

Further, listing of northern spotted owls, and subsequent effects on Northwest timber harvests did not encumber timber management in Idaho, because the Northwest Forest Plan did not restrict operations in Idaho. One can argue indirect effects, but Idaho timber actually should have become more valuable as Northwest timber became scarce. Since barred owls are not proposed for control in Idaho, and northern spotted owls do/did not occur in Idaho, it seems the good governor “has no dog in this fight” and no science behind his rant.

Living in Emmett, I see loads of large and small Idaho-grown logs headed to LaGrande, Ore. I doubt ranting against federal owl plans will bring those jobs home!


Some thoughts

Many, many “thank you’s” to all the doctors and nurses who saved my life Aug. 3. My four daughters, thank you too. No “thank you’s” to whoever ended up with all my belongings.

Daniel Schrup: Excellent explanation of the Postal Service’s woes (a retired rural letter carrier from Richland, Wash.).

Tim Woodward: If you were serious about needing a helper, put my name on your “available” list. And don’t lose the list.


Knudsen House

Monday evening, Aug. 26, in a travesty of historic proportions, the Boise City Historic Preservation Commission, on a 4-3 vote, upheld the staff's recommendation to not relocate the Morris Knudsen House from 603 W. Franklin to 812 W. Franklin.

The majority stated that it was not within their purview to determine the historical difference between the Knudsen House and a “working class” home at 812 W. Franklin. In my opinion, however, this is exactly what they are commissioned to do. Granted it was a tough decision, but at some point someone has to decide which structure is the more historically significant to the City of Boise — and it certainly isn’t the dilapidated structure at 812.

Some may have based their decision on the misguided idea that the state won’t actually demolish the Knudsen House, or that an alternative plan might come forward before the end-of-the-year deadline. But, the commission’s time for action has past and without further intervention it is now likely that the historic Knudsen House, like others in the past, will be lost forever to Boise’s citizens. One can only hope that the City Council may be more mindful of the city’s history in this year of our 150th anniversary.


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