When we marked last year’s 80th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s visit to Boise, town historians reminded us not to overlook the significance of The Cabin and its setting in Boise’s history.
That Civilian Conservation Corps cabin sits on the spot where New Deal-era forestry began in Idaho. It’s why you’ll see The Cabin’s photos prominently on our new FDR historical plaques in Boise’s East and North Ends.
Now, for a better view, a new library could evict The Cabin, a National Register landmark, converting its historic site to just another anonymous scrap of land in the “new” downtown Boise. (Such a travesty could soon become Boise’s moral equivalent of, say, booting Paul Revere’s house from downtown Boston to lesser digs elsewhere — an affront to the importance of “place” in a great city’s history.)
A new library would be grand, but at what cost? Continued displacement of Boise heritage to obscure, out-of-the-way spots that no longer count, as happens here constantly?
Like the Little Church Around the Corner that has survived for 169 years beneath Midtown Manhattan’s skyscrapers, surely a pleasant little cabin can still live unmolested in Boise, right where it is, where it was born.
David Klinger, Boise
Two thoughts. First, in this day of digital communication, do we Boiseans really need an $85-$100 million city library? Since so many already have access to internet why not build an online library access system partnering with other great organizations already into the modern age? Develop or buy into a city, county, statewide WiFi or other public internet access system and create a charitable foundation to buy and distribute low-cost e-readers to children who cannot afford them. My youngest grandchildren can use a tablet better than I can. Second, I did not get a 15 percent raise in income this year and don’t believe the Boise city budget should increase that much either — for a dinosaur bricks-and-mortar library or any other opulent money-spending idea the mayor and City Council can come up with. New growth in the area should pay its own way. Please keep a reasonable lid on city taxes and spending, or Boise will not long be on the most desirable places to live.
Dave Ogden, Boise
So the city “needs” to replace our wonderful downtown library? Our beautiful plaza in front of City Hall just had to be torn out also? Capitol Boulevard needs a bike lane, no, yes, no and back again? What we really need is a trolley — to nowhere? How about a ballpark? The city must be flush with money. We are so rich that we can finance rainbow banners and lights to advertise our sexual preferences. Our seniors are being forced out of our community when their fixed incomes cannot absorb the property tax hikes. Young families are fleeing to the west because rents outpace incomes. Homeless, many of whom are our wonderful veterans, are sleeping under bridges and in our parks. Please, city leaders, just name something – anything – after our mayor. Give him a legacy. Maybe the Bieter meters on our streets or the Bieter memorial bike lanes, so this reckless spending can stop.
Darrel Hansen, Boise
In response to Sven Berg’s article on the new Boise Library, I would like to respond as follows:
Where to park?
He says that the current library has 102 spots which are often full. They are always full early in the morning. The new library would have 40-50 spots and maybe 250 to 300 more in a parking garage the city is discussing buying.
The library is a public library, meaning it should be able to be easily accessed by the public. I would much rather see a large parking lot available to the public and a utilitarian building housing books and other public functions rather than a monument to architecture.
I visited the Salt Lake City library once, it’s a beautiful building where it is impossible to find a parking spot.
Benjamin Franklin founded the first public library in this country so its resources would be available to the public. Being a common-sense person, I’m sure he allowed space for hitching horses and carriages.
Mike Lemke, Boise
For nearly 50 years I have earned my living in one way or another in the music products industry. Selling, buying, composing, performing, recording, marketing, teaching ... you name it, I’ve probably had some experience in it, and with some of the largest music products corporations in the world.
Now we come to a new era — the one Donald Trump has built. For decades the music products industry has shared technologies, components, manufacturing, marketing and distribution with nearly every country in the world. Profitably. There have been issues, but we as an industry have done well in rectifying the issues.
But now we are faced with Donald Trump’s tariffs. Components and parts purchased from China by nearly every American company making music instruments rely on this trade with China. This is simple math: These tariffs will increase prices, slow sales and will ultimately eliminate American jobs. Enough of this nonsense. Fight this policy now. Demand that these tariffs be rolled back and that fair trade with our allies be reinstated.
Additionally, eliminating these unnecessary tariffs and getting back to business with our allies is good for all industries.
Mark Altekruse, Boise