OK ... so the city's position and spin is represented in this article ... but what about the community members that showed up to the meeting and decried these ordinances ?
Why were their concerns not articulated in this article ?
I hope that people understand the affect that ordinances like these will have to everyone's civil liberties. The way it works now - police can't search or seize citizens without (a) consent; or (b) reasonable articulable suspicion - which includes the police witnessing a crime (misdemeanor or felony). Fourth Amendment U.S. Constitution (See: Terry v. Ohio). By criminalizing ubiquitous activities such as sitting on a sidewalk, leaning against a trash-can or bike-rack, etc - the city ordinance would dramatically expand police powers to search and seize citizens - frisk, etc. - without having actual probable cause (or other articulable 'suspicious' facts as established via Terry and its progeny).
These ordinances are analogous to New York's 'Stop and Frisk' laws, and they should be characterized as such.
At the hearing, we heard a great deal from the police chief requesting 'benefit of the doubt' for the department, in response to legitimate concerns about how such ordinances may be enforced by police. What about the 'benefit of the doubt' for citizens in Boise ? We know that there are corrupt and abusive police officers (even if the minority) - and we know that even when officers 'mean well', their exercise of authority can often lead to the abuse of citizens' rights. These ordinances dramatically expand the discretion of police by criminalizing common activities in public spaces, and in doing so set about conditions which are rife for abuse - whether purposeful or even inadvertent. Abuse is going to happen - with laws like these it's going to happen as a matter of course.
This is to say nothing of the impact that it will have to the economically underprivileged. What these ordinances communicate is that the BPD and, if passed, the Boise City Council - sees the need to deal with the increasing poverty that is occurring in the Boise community by sweeping it under the rug - and into the gutter - even into jail - rather than using the significant resources that it will take to enforce these ordinances (police, public defenders, prosecutors, courts, jail, etc.) on city programs and policies that provide opportunities for Boise citizens to be fed, housed, medical care, and plugged back into work - programs which contribute benefit to all Boise citizens. Instead, Boise is considering criminalizing poverty, which is deeply, deeply disturbing. Those looking to gain a leg up, to catch a footing in these times - will have to somehow come up with $1,000 and potentially figure out how to keep above water while serving time in jail. Let's not pretend like so many of these members of our community don't have children to try to take care of - families. How will a significant fine and potential jail time effect their ability to purchase food ? purchase an item of nice clothing for an interview to secure a job ? etc. etc. etc.
And then there's the direct alienating effect. I've been homeless. The feeling of being woken by a police officer and told that your activity is criminal while sleeping in a public space ... With these ordinances people with children resting in public spaces that are confronted by police in this way ... it's indescribable ... imagine a child who's parent is confronted by police like this trying to mentally and emotionally understand what's happening ... it's a city policy that will terrify children already vulnerable - that experience will be steeped in alienation - being on the WRONG side of the law just for being there ... you need to be outside/away from public spaces ... because you are wrong ... that's a feeling that lasts as a child grows into maturity.
Is this how the Boise City Council wants to deal with the growing epidemic of poverty in our community ?
I hope not.
One should add, Bedke - the sponsor of HB 404 - uses public lands to graze his livestock whereas citizens are using the grounds to engage in constitutionally assured speech and political expression
i find it troubling that anybody that cares about working americans, the environment, health care, education, or any other meaningful agenda item that those of us who pounded the streets on his behalf during the last election cared about would put their support behind this president. Obama has been a monumental failure - he has failed to lead, failed to act from principle, and utterly failed to advance any semblance of a meaningful agenda that matters to most Americans. He puts his political capital behind capitulation, or as i'm beginning to suspect more and more - he just doesn't share the values and convictions of the grass-root supporters that he depended upon for election.
a vote for obama is a vote for more of the same of this. no thank you.
Simplot owns this state. Water quality is failing standards all over the state, particularly in trib streams on public lands used to graze livestock.
Don't drink the water.
I can respect your acceptance of a hunt. i think that many wolf-advocates would agree with you conceptually on a regulated hunt. However, the problem we see right now is with who in the state is going to be in charge of managing a hunt and control orders on behalf of Livestock ...
The ESA is very clear, and I think it to be biologically important - not just some procedural nuance, that it's not enough for a population to be at recovery levels, a delisting rule has to demonstrate the adequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms in a state to keep wolves at or above those recovery levels. The state of idaho is not doing that ... Idaho promises dramatic reductions in wolves. Even if one were to conceptually agree on a number (which advocates argue must be biologically determined ~ not politically), in order to earn management, a state must demonstrate an ability of the states to ensure recovery into the future. Idaho can't do that . There's no meaningful public process/oversight that has any level of enforceability. Idaho politicians can just change the law and wipe out wolves --- certainly faster than USFWS could sweep back in to save the animals (they, after all ARE beholden to regulatory mechanisms including public process/oversight) - which in this case would hamper their level of agility in responding.
Idaho shoots itself in the foot (if it hopes to demonstrate competency/ability with respect to ensuring recovery) every time it makes another knee-jerk reaction which demonstrates its willingness and ability to spite its own science in favor of the politicized positions of the likes of Rex Rammel, "Butch" Otter, & Tony Mayer.
ranchers have been fully compensated via Defenders of Wildlife private compensation program - a program which has been wholly unsuccessful at it stated goal of increasing tolerance for wolves in the NRM. Additionally, many of the lost calves or sheep people talk about are grazed on public lands which are leased to these individuals at a vastly less than market rate, the reason Livestock claims for the lower rate is to hedge it against predation. So, many ranchers are double-dipping in taking compensation on the front-end, in the form of reduced rates to use public forage (whether the have any livestock losses or not) - and via Defenders' financed moral hazard on wolves. As for the elk comments ... there's not a lot one can say in response when people just make stuff up ...
@retrocynic - WWP (and other conservationists) were not party to the compromised recovery goal numbers, as you suggest. The Sierra Club wasn't either, the SC actually litigated that decision - arguing that the numbers were politically arbitrary. At that time, the courts ruled against wolf-advocates buying the governments position that the delisting threshold would still be based on science - that politically established threshold could not trump the ESA. Both groups (WWP & SC) were not involved in re-introduction negotiations, instead advocating for full ESA protection.
Regardless, even if certain wolf advocacy groups (like Defenders) did not initially contest the re-introduction (and the compromised numbers that existed in the rule) they do not have the authority nor the responsibility to trump the statute, nor does USFWS have the authority nor the responsibility to trump the statute.
The rule-book has always been plain and clear - anti-wolf disinformation which would suggest otherwise is unfounded.
Republican Senator Conrad Burns, a rancher - is largely responsible for the incorporation of those numbers, AND for championing re-introduction as opposed to recolonization. Burns saw the writing on the wall realizing that if USFWS listed wolves without the 10(j) compromise/'non-essential experimental designation' that accompanied re-intro, ranchers wouldn't have had access to heavy-handed management with which to kill fully listed wolves, they'd be forced to address their husbandry practices and in all likelihood their (ab)use of public lands would be compromised. Land-use agencies would have to consult and mitigate.
Anti-wolf activists are decimating our elk herds
All Comments »
© 2016 Boise Weekly
Website powered by Foundation