I once worked at a brand-new federal conservation training center in West Virginia. My job, ironically, was running the library.
Before a spadeful of earth was turned as ground was broken in the 1990s, line-of-sight balloons were lofted overhead to gauge the height of proposed buildings from every angle on the horizon. We wanted the campus to conform respectfully to the landscape, not loom above it.
Regional limestone was quarried to sheathe the classrooms in the same exterior veneers as the stately stone barns of nearby Maryland and Pennsylvania. Trees were preserved, rather than cut, purposely to screen the campus from the Potomac River. Nearby historic buildings were lovingly kept.
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For $130 million, a small college campus rose that blended with its environment, now aging as gracefully as neighboring farm buildings from the 1700s.
I may not know as much about architecture as the great visionary Moshe Safdie, and his proposed $103 million downtown Boise events center/library. But I understand how good design complements its surroundings and doesn’t impose its will upon them. A costly project forcing so much disruption and emerging impacts is an ostentatious display of architectural arrogance, needing taming.
David Klinger, Boise
Justice denied: After reading the story in the Sunday, Jan. 27 Statesman about the backlog of rape kits, I’m stunned. These women have been violated and traumatized, some have to wait for over a year for the wheels of justice to start turning for them. Rapes are not usually a one-off thing; they continue to prey on our wives, mothers and daughters, while victims who have been attacked have to wait for up to a year for justice, while the perpetrator could be free to continue stalking new victims. The Legislature should enact legislation that rape kits be prioritized when submitted to the Idaho State Police for testing. Then justice is done for the women of our state who have been submitted to this brutality, and we get rapists off the street before they can continue these evil deeds.
The Legislature is in session now; women and men need to press their representatives and the governor to correct this terrible injustice.
Rocky Rotharmel, Boise
Regarding “Lawmaker wants to end Idaho’s outdated liquor license laws — and turn them over to your city.”
This proposal is as stupid as stupid gets — adding layers of cost and governance and forcing cities and counties to create new agencies with no promise they can cover the expense. Furthermore, since it does not provide for fixing the current law that requires anyone wanting to open a new bar or nightclub to privately purchase a grandfathered state license, means that private ventures are still stifled which means that our entertainment economy is still stuck in a rut. I commend Rice and Lodge for seeking change, but it’s time to just change our existing antiquated and draconian laws on a uniform statewide level.
Benjamin S. Schroeter, Boise
“Caligula was emperor of Rome from 37-41 A.D., and in four short years established a reputation for strange behavior which has endured for 20 centuries.” Does this sound familiar?
If Trump declares an emergency in order to build a border wall, and the courts uphold this power play to sanction a false emergency as justification, the president will be shown to have absolute power in this country. Hail Caesar, our modern-day Caligula.
Frank Walker, Boise
It is no secret that Trump tells a lot of false/misleading claims. So many that The Washington Post, among others, has kept track of the lies. The most recent article I have seen regarding this was from the Jan. 21 WAPO article “President Trump made 8,158 false or misleading claims in his first two years.” What is really crazy is that Trump made 6,000+ false/misleading claims in his second year, averaging around 16.5 mistruths per day — almost tripling the 5.9 false/misleading claims per day in his first year.
The biggest source of misleading claims has been immigration. People lie for many reasons, including: avoid punishment/prosecution, deceive/cover-up/mislead, and to make oneself look better. The downside of Trump’s many lies is that it becomes difficult to believe anything he says. When our elected leaders lie to us it erodes trust in our government and society. You didn’t accept lies from Obama, Bush, Clinton or Reagan. So why do so many blindly accept lies from Trump? Is it because he is your guy and that is all that matters? Trump couldn’t even be trusted to run his charity or his university without committing fraud. The truth matters.
Tom Lorentz, Boise