June 8, 2005 

Boise River Booze • A Parable of Terror • Anonymous Neighbor

Boise River Booze

The decision to ban alcohol on the Boise River is the latest in a string of poor decisions by Mayor Bieter. Since Bieter's coronation, he has caved to gay-bashing groups by removing the Ten Commandments monument and told the public they did not have the right to vote on this "administrative decision." A few months later, he thumbed his nose at the police force and community by telling us that Jim Tibbs was not qualified to be our chief of police.

Now we are being told that we can no longer enjoy alcohol on the Boise River. We are told that a few irresponsible drinkers are ruining it for everybody and that floating the river has ceased to be a family activity. Despite the public's 2-1 opposition to this idea, the mayor has the attorney general reviewing the ordinance for enforceability. Perhaps the Mayor should ask his police chief to enforce existing laws against public nudity and urination and arrest the irresponsible people who are breaking the law. Instead, he has decided to punish the law-abiding for the behavior of a few.

Being one that enjoys a nice float down the Boise River, the only problems I have encountered on the river have come from teenagers hanging out on the riverbank. Following the mayor's thinking, since teenagers belong to families, maybe we should ban families from the river as well.

Mayor Bieter was elected largely in part because of his service to the Boise community and his strong roots here. These same reasons cause his erroneous decisions to be even more bizarre. One would think that a person who lived in Boise for his entire life with a record of community service would fight to protect our values and way of life. Instead, the mayor has trampled on them with his poor decisions. Perhaps we should take a page from Bieter and look nationwide for a better-qualified mayor.

-Jerel Thomas,

Boise

A Parable of Terror

There once was a neighborhood of many poor men and a few very wealthy men. The wealthiest man, through his wealth and control of the homeowners association, dominated the affairs of the neighborhood. Many of the poor men hated this domination and wished there was something they could do to freely control their own property.

So one day one of the poorest men blew up the wealthiest man's mailbox. This so frightened the wealthiest man that he spent almost all his money on a big security system. The wealthiest man bullied all of the neighbors to help him track down the man who had blown up his mailbox. The wealthiest man even hounded one of the other poor men through the power of the homeowners association. Finally, the wealthiest man assaulted the poor man whom he hounded. Everyone in the neighborhood became so angry with the wealthiest man that he lost all his friends and his good reputation. Eventually, the wealthiest man was consumed in a spiral of paranoia and financial ruin. The end.

-Dave Cuthbert,

Meridian

Editor's note: You're scaring us, Dave.

Anonymous Neighbor

Hey neighbor! Thanks for leaving an anonymous letter on my doorstep the other day. It was so sweet of you, considering we are neighbors and all. I mean, I realize you just live over the fence and it is probably hard for you to come over and talk to me face to face, let alone sign your name to such a lovely letter. I imagine you have seen me in the yard. I believe we may have spoken on one occasion. So did I come across as scary or combative? Perhaps you were worried I would cause a scene or maybe worse ... be abusive? My 5'7" frame that carries one hundred and ten pounds of kick-ass is a bit imposing to some, but I digress.

You remember the letter, something about my dog barking most of Monday? I am not sure what your definition of "most" is, but I would say if most is describing a day, as it was that would mean conservatively four hours, maybe more. So, you might be right, I left around 8 a.m. and returned home around 1 p.m. So I was horrified that Anonymous Dog could be so obnoxious for so long. But since I don't know which neighbor you are, I could not be neighborly and come by to apologize for the rude dog's behavior.

The other line about how you called Animal Control really brightened my day. It was almost like you had left a plate full of cookies on the doorstep rather than a nasty note. Again, since I could not apologize to you directly or find out what I can do to make you feel better about me being your neighbor, I called Animal Control to see what I can do to be a better neighbor. It turns out that you, Anonymous Neighbor called at 8:45 a.m. Meaning you did not even give Anonymous Dog a chance. I was somewhat saddened. However, maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day. Perhaps you even woke up to Anonymous Dog's barking. We all know that barking dogs are a nuisance, but so are screaming kids and lawn mowers. Is there an agency to call about those auditory abuses? But to not even give me a chance to rectify the situation neighbor-to-neighbor is awfully cowardly. No warning, nothing. If I am not home, how am I supposed to know that Anonymous Dog could be so obnoxious?

In an effort to make you, Anonymous Neighbor, wake up in better moods, I went and got Anonymous Dog a shock collar. A fancy one, with adjustable levels, since I would hate to have the whole neighborhhod hate and fear me as much as you do. If you had told me who you are, I could tell you that Anonymous Dog wore the collar for two days. Maybe you noticed the neighborhood was quieter, but I doubt it. Every time Anonymous Dog barked the collar went off and instead of barking, Anonymous Dog screamed. Do you know what a dog scream sounds like? You probably do, since you are my neighbor. It was heartbreaking. So I took the shock collar back. You should sleep better now, since Anonymous Dog is now afraid to go outside and is a whimpering shell of her former self. The experience was so horrific for Anonymous Dog and for me. I just wanted to let you know that I am trying, and I have not given up. Anonymous Dog is a lot quieter these days, even though Anonymous Dog did not seem too loud those other times, just being a dog ... a lookout. Since we have only spoken once and have only been neighbors for two years, you probably don't know that someone broke into my house. And seeing as I can not afford an alarm system, I got a dog whose bark is much meaner than her bite. Oh, but back to the letter.

The last line is my favorite, the one about being "respectful of your neighbors." How did you know that I trained Anonymous Dog to bark while I am gone, just in the hope that I would be disrespecting my neighbors? Hell, isn't that why we have neighbors in the first place?

-Your Anonymous Neighbor,

Boise

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