Mail June 11 - June 17, 2008 

Art intervention

As Mr. McNeil states in "Reclaim the Mural" (BW, Opinion, "Reclaim the Mural," June 4, 2008), the [old] Ada County Courthouse mural of a Native American being lynched is a "chronicling" of past events, good or bad, an historical rendition, which "seems to call out for an intervention from indigenous artists." I wonder if this professor of art would also disapprove of the NEA for funding the free artistic expression of crucifixes in urine and fecal-stained statues of the Virgin Mary, and call for intervention from indigenous taxpaying Christians?

—Ron Sestero, Boise

Green expo done good

I read the "Mail" article from Melanie Berg in the May 28 issue of BW titled "Takes Green To Be Green." I was disappointed. I went to the Idaho Green Expo as well, but obviously I went in with a better attitude than hers.

I, too, drove to the expo, and I, too, was confronted by the lady who also drove to the expo who was handing out "carbon neutral" stickers. She did not, however, shrug herself away in disdain. She made me feel a little less horrible because I wasn't the only one who drove. She was stationed there in the first place to ask for $1 donations for some worthy cause if you did drive, which I happily donated. And, yes, most of the booths there were businesses requiring you to buy something to be "green," but I took it as good inspiration for quick-fix things I can do.

Also, my favorite part about the whole shebang were the seminars. If you didn't do anything else there, hopefully at least you went to the seminars. Yes, you had to actually wait or schedule to go to the expo to catch a certain one, but they were jam-packed with good tips, tricks and ideas without being tied to a certain product or company. I feel they were the real substance of the expo that Melanie seemed to get so little out of.

—D'yani Schnider, Boise

Loves that ranch

I am very disappointed in this review (BW, Food, "Ranch Club," May 21, 2008). I just recently joined the Navy and I can't say that a day goes by that I don't wish I could go to the Ranch. I know the owner and the staff personally, and I would like to say that Neil, most likely your cook, puts his heart and soul into the food there. His prime rib is to die for.

But the point I want to make is that because of the smoking, you should be smart enough to know that it is not a place for eating, it's a place for drinking.

There are drinks there that you won't (and I know this for a fact) find anywhere else. All the bartenders are on their game and if you happen to go on a Friday or Saturday night, hit up the back bar. There you will find Faxon; not only does he amaze with his own drink recipes (he makes my favorite, the Liquid Cocaine) but you can also get him to blow fire. I have a gang of friends there and after a few nights, everyone knows your name. I don't know if the girls' bathroom is still that crappy puke-pink but I do know that the people there never change. So, if you're looking for a good time, I would hit up the Ranch Club. I know I would—my hubby works the back bar. Tell him I sent you.

—"Rougette," Boise, online

Whose rules are they, anyway ?

Suzanne Stone is no better than Hillary (BW, News, "Wolf Ruling," June 4, 2008). If you don't agree with the results, change the rules. Suzanne was quite happy with the recovery goals six years ago. Now that they are exceeded by three times, she wants the rules changed. —Ponder, online

Dem dinosaurs are all right

Point of clarification. My description of institution types in the Democratic party as "dinosaurs" is by no means a critique of our Party faithful, but rather a compliment (BW, News, "The Campaign Within," May 28, 2008). Nor is it a reference toward physical age, but rather an individual's commitment to electing good Democrats to public office in prior years.

As an active volunteer for the Democratic Party for over 20 years now, I, myself, am part of that same institution and my thoughts and views have been crafted primarily by those who came before me. I have the "dinosaurs" to thank for my bedrock understanding of the world we live in.

My point was that, in an election year such as this, when hundreds of new volunteers have come into the fold, it will be difficult for those who have volunteered in the past to go to the convention if they did not also volunteer on the Obama campaign.

I say this simply because there will be a swarm of Obama supporters competing for a small number of seats, making the competition steep for all of us. Thanks for your understanding.

—TJ Thomson, online

Real women, the real west

I thought journalists were supposed to be the kind of people who prize the facts first and foremost. Perhaps Shea Andersen has a different opinion. Sure, the line "like any predictable Western, it looks like it's going to be harder on the womenfolk" sounds clever (BW, Feature, "Real Western," May 28, 2008). It may even be all-too-accurate in certain contexts. However, in resorting to this glib description of Idaho's political landscape, Andersen overlooks the fact that, despite whatever "old-fashioned Western sexism" still haunts us, Idaho was actually at the forefront of the movement for women's suffrage.

Ancient history? Maybe. Irrelevant? Hardly. At least I hope that historical realities are still more important to our lives than Hollywood stereotypes. As a third-generation Idahoan, I am proud that my home state—along with Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado—granted women the right to vote decades before the U.S. Congress got around to passing the 19th Amendment in 1920. Give me some more of that "old-fashioned West."

Maybe Andersen was too busy packing for his move east to concern himself with such dusty details. Hopefully, he will take the time to learn a little more about Idaho history once he settles into his new home. If and when he does, these facts will surely make him more fully equipped to address the complex realities of his community—and to serve this great state as a truly great journalist.

—Gretchen Jude, Boise

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