Mail Aug. 15-21, 2007 

Of Bike bans and Bill Sali

GC's Bike Ban

I am a new resident of Garden City, and as I was researching this area for my home purchase, I specifically refused my realtor's pleas to look at homes in Riverside Village because of the bike ban there. The Garden City position, recently reinforced by the official passage of the ordinance banning bikes, seems at the very least ridiculous, and quite possibly illegal! Why do a few elite residents have the power to dictate to everyone else in the city ... and to neighboring cities? If Garden City wants to function as an honest-to-goodness "grown-up" city, they need to behave more responsibly to their citizens at large–in this and other areas!

It would sure be interesting to know how many of the Garden City Council members, who passed this ordinance unanimously, actually live in Riverside Village. I know for sure that Mayor John Evans, as a developer there, was instrumental in approving the initial ban of bikes and is also a current resident of Riverside Village. It seems a bit questionable to me that he was able to recently push this ordinance through the council. Why is it that an elite few are allowed to dictate policy that is contrary to the public good? This ordinance is not only anti-bike, it is anti-family, anti-Eagle and anti-Boise.

If Riverside Village wants a pedestrian-only path, why not put in a bike path adjacent to it? Why does this have to be all or nothing? Is there not some way for Garden City to peacefully co-exist with the rest of the groups who are involved? We cannot permit a few homeowners who are hoarding their precious riverfront to thwart these efforts.

­—Jacki Liddell, Garden City

Sali's Rant

I was extremely annoyed when I read about Bill Sali's comments on U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota (see BW News, page 8). From what I gather, Mr. Sali basically feels that anyone who doesn't think exactly how he does is an imminent danger to our nation. According to Bill, "He got elected the same way I did. People certainly have the right to elect anyone they want." In other words, hey, if you want to elect the crazy Muslim guy, go for it, but you are making a mistake. One of the reasons America is so great is the freedom to believe in any way we choose. This is absolutely essential and certainly a principle that this nation was founded upon. If the people of Minnesota elected Keith Ellison, it is because they were confident in his abilities to represent their state and make policy. He is not going to start some Islamic fundamentalist group and radically change the United States of America. Minnesota is not waging a jihad. I am fed up with political talking heads, especially ones that make my home state look bad. Comments like those by Mr. Sali are divisive, when the goal is to work together for the common well-being of everyone.

—Sam Hill, Boise

Embarrassed by Sali

I am embarrassed by Rep. Sali's recent remarks. Our Constitution is a living, breathing entity, and many things have changed since its creation, including women's right to vote, the abolition of slavery, and the addition of 37 states into the nation. I can't imagine that the citizens of the state of Idaho are happy to be looked at as bigots, racists and extremists, yet again. It's unfortunate that our elected representative reinforces these views with his outrageous and thoughtless remarks. Our state and country are made up of a multitude of races and religions. Sali's blatant disregard for freedom of religion is unbelievable. Maybe one of the requirements for office should be knowledge of our constitution and its Bill of Rights, which states in the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." Why would our Founding Fathers have written that? Was it to belittle other faiths? I think not.

—Dawn Lea, Boise

Sali, Resign

Bill Sali says a Muslim member of Congress was never envisioned by our founders.

Our founders said, "No religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." See Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution.

Bill Sali objects to Hindu prayers in Congress and wants only his own religion's doctrines preached there.

Our founders said, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." One wonders why Congress persistently violates this provision by establishing prayers of any religion at all.

This country's founders were educated and articulate. If they had intended for the government they created to have the power to exclude members of this religion or that religion from holding public office, surely they would have thought to say so in the documents they wrote. Certainly they would not have written the words I quote above.

Mr. Sali has demonstrated woeful ignorance of the constitution he supposedly swore to uphold and has embarrassed and disgraced our state of Idaho. He should resign.

—Paul D. Rolig, president, Humanists of Idaho, Boise

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