Updated: After Spitting Incident and Library Facebook Post, Boise Advocates React 

Updated Post: March 30, 2:45 p.m.:
Lori DiCaire, administrator of the Facebook group Vanishing Boise, responded to an inquiry about civil discourse via email:

It has long been a tenet of civil discourse that questioning growth in any meaningful way is an extreme position. At Vanishing Boise, we believe we need to get beyond this and have consistently staked out a position to ask whether it’s good for everyone and/or the planet.

There are many questions surrounding growth: is it inevitable, is it good, how to manage it, slow it, and/or make it better.

For the longest time, it’s always been the people who are directly profiting from growth that call it “progress." However, the many “losers” are rarely considered: taxpayers who are subsidizing growth (especially seniors at risk of being priced out of their homes), renters caught in the rent/wage gap, people with low-wage but essential jobs, a diverse community made up of people at all levels of the income scale, air quality, open space, wildlife, agricultural land, tree canopy, permeable surfaces, pedestrians/bikers, etc...

As a critic of growth, now that Vanishing Boise has become effective, we are drawing the city’s ire as they have come to rely on the revenue from growth to remain solvent.

Original Post: March 29, 5:56 p.m.:
When a pedestrian spat on one of his employees during Treefort Music Fest, Boise Library Director Kevin Booe took to social media, decrying the incident and calling on two prominent groups critical of a hot-button main library branch construction project to "disavow this type of repugnant behavior."

"The employee notified me and told me about it. I was a little angry. Nobody should be treated that way. I  think the rudeness of the incident really sparked my anger, so to speak, and that's why I posted it," he later told Boise Weekly.

click to enlarge GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
Ultimately, the incident was determined to be unrelated to the controversial library project, or growth and development in the City of Trees generally; but it did speak to an increasingly tense climate surrounding those issues, and the groups Booe mentioned—Vanishing Boise and Boise Working Together—said that they had no knowledge of the incident and discouraged their supporters from engaging in rude or untoward behavior.

"There's a lot of conversation going on," said Diane Ronayne of Boise Working Together, "and we have no idea about this incident that [Booe]'s talking about. That's something he posted. We said we're sorry that happened, and we didn't have anything to do with it, and we appreciate what he's done."

Boise Working Together seeks to put an initiative on the ballot that would, if passed, put library projects over $25 million and stadium projects over $5 million up for a vote. The other group, Vanishing Boise, has become a message board for issues related to the growth of the City of Trees, from access to affordable housing and transportation to historic preservation and capital construction projects.

In a Facebook post, Vanishing Boise page administrator Lori DiCaire wrote that Booe's reaction to what happened to his employee was "rash but understandable," accepted his apology, and condemned spitting. She added, however, that civility may be the price of growth in a city that has developed and changed as rapidly as Boise.

"The big city 'vibrant' comes with a price, and if you are shocked when we forget our manners or 'Boise Kind' when speaking our truth in reaction to [the city's] actions prioritizing growth over existing residents, then take it as a mild foreshadowing of the resulting transformation you are so intent on pushing," she wrote. 
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