Mail November 26-December 2, 2008 

What's the word, bird?

Yesterday, as I spent my day in Boise, I picked up a Boise Weekly. As I studied the front cover I realized that was a bird in the package (BW, Cover, "In the Toy Aisle," Nov. 19, 2008). I would like to know if that is a real dead bird in that package? That is really gross. I am not a member PETA, but in my opinion that is not art.

—Michelle Hines, Mountain Home

(*Editor's note: I, too, was curious about the bird, so we posed the letter writer's question to artist Brooke Burton. Here's her reply: "This series of photographs does include the use of both live and deceased birds, however none of the birds were harmed in the making of the images. Dead birds were found and collected by the side of the road, on the sidewalk, in the grass and many other places outside. I agree that it is rather gross.")

In the Wake of Tacabi News

Sumteen restaurants have closed in downtown Boise. It is a tragedy for the city, the owners and the employees. The downtown is being decimated by the lousy economy. Big corporate restaurants are not the answer to quality, independently chef-owned restaurants. The question to the Downtown Boise Association is: Do you still think there is nothing wrong with the Boise economy?

—Yvette Sedlewicz, Boise

Hope, Finally.

Established systems tend to persist until there seems to be little or no chance for their survival. Change requires audacity and a sort of goofy feeling that we can make things better, even if we are scared. We have reached that point as a nation. During the recent presidential campaign, [Barack] Obama said, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." He was immediately attacked by [John] McCain and his pals as being a socialist, a Marxist, a redistributionist. Oh my!

Maybe things have grown so bad that we are ready to reexamine the trickle-down method, and to consider using our money to begin a massive nationwide program to repair our deteriorating roads, bridges, schools and parks while beginning again to conserve our land, our trees, and our rivers. To an old person like me, this sounds a bit like FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. Maybe it has come a time to rethink our priorities. Perhaps it would be a tad better to put billions of dollars to work here rather than squandering our money in Iraq, and on the 1,500 military bases we have established around the world. Let us build a safer, cleaner world at home. The only Marx I enjoyed was Groucho, not Karl.

—Tom Edgar, Boise

One city

I really enjoyed reading last week's issue spotlighting the western Treasure Valley (BW, "Beyond 1A Issue," Nov. 19, 2008). It started out perfectly with the cover photo by Brooke Burton, who is from Nampa.

I was familiar with most of the featured highlights, but a few were new to even me. Boise Weekly has a heavy presence in the western part of the Treasure Valley. There are several familiar Boise Weekly boxes within a 10-minute bike ride from my house. This presence, along with the fact that almost one-quarter of the valley's population lives in Canyon County, justifies an increase in coverage of Canyon County happenings. One tone I picked up from the article "2C or not 2C" was that people from Boise are surprised to find something actually cool in the Nampa/Caldwell area. In my opinion, everything in the 2C is cool and that's why I enjoy living here.

—Mark Pemble, Caldwell

More on the 2C Issue

I applaud Laurel [MacKinnon] and Lisa [Meyers] for their efforts. It's very clear to land planners and demographers that there will be revitalizations of the public realm and centers in each community as the new era of households arrives like a train. These communities will evolve on their own. Lisa and Laurel are positioned to help the efforts. Their vision will be rewarded.

—Bryant Forrester, online

Semantics

I realize that initiating collections of people for a common purpose is catching, but it is likely to be a very real possibility that my seeing the words "initiative" or "collective" again are going to throw me into either a) a date with my lunch, which was only recently ingested or b) long-term spasmodic episodes. Due to my fear of hearing these words in yet another title for a group of people having a good time, I have created a small list of alternate words to help get those creative juices flowing in an exciting new direction.

Initiative: foundation, commencement, beginning, introduction, creation, formation, origination, production, program, project, enterprise, genesis, kick-off, foundation.

Collective: society, association, clique, crew, crowd, outfit, troupe, bunch, party, gang, formation, body, club, assemblage, platoon, posse, organization, team.

I hope that you have enjoyed this list of words, if you would like more information please consider joining the "Genesis Thesaurus Assemblage," which is a collective that is previously known as The Thesaurus Initiative.

—Jennifer Bell,

Boise

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