Mail June 4, 2008 - June 10, 2008 

MRI Guys

Great article (BW, News, "(Not) For Profit," May 28, 2008). Another fine aspect of all this was how the MRI Center of Idaho lost almost all of their best employees. I hope the employees that stuck with them and helped see them through this will be rewarded.

—"Blue Collar Boise," online

On Ringer

Isabel Ringer's letter (BW, Mail, "No Self-haters, Please" May 21, 2008) in response to Dr. Marcy Newman's Opinion piece the previous week deserves commentary. Ringer callously charges that Newman is a "self-hating Jew," apparently because Newman happens to be concerned for human rights, international law and justice for all people, and in particular since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is her area of expertise, she recognizes the injustices done against the Palestinians and fully supports the rectification of those injustices. Just because one disagrees with Israel's governmental policy and actions, that does not warrant being called a "self-hating Jew" or even "anti-Semitic." Which, for that matter, is often incorrectly used, since "Semitic" refers to both Jews and Arabs from that part of the world.

When the "Partition Plan" (U.N. Resolution 181) was proffered and rejected in 1947, there were 1.3 million Palestinians in Mandate Palestine and 600,000 Jews. Palestinian Arabs owned roughly 94 percent of the land and the Jews owned 6 percent. Resolution 181 proposed that 56 percent of the land would become a Jewish state, and the remaining 44 percent would go toward a Palestinian state. Note also that the majority of the most arable lands were part of the 56 percent designated to go to the Jews, and that it was with intense U.S. and Zionist pressure that 181 passed in the United Nations. The Jews counted on the Palestinians and Arab countries not accepting such a deal and realized additional gains could be won by perpetual war.

The rest of what Ringer had to say is fantasy and distortion that is propagated by pro-Zionist groups such as American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and others. I would encourage Ringer and others to seek out the vast array of Jewish-Israeli historians and scholars who describe a much different narrative than the one she presented.

—Blaine Chandler, Boise

Gutsy

Well-written and gutsy (BW, News, "(Not) For Profit," May 28, 2008). Having lived this for nearly seven years myself, your article is right on target.

—"Life is Good, Boise," online

Schnoor's Standard

This sets a gold standard for writing about the arts in Boise (BW, Arts, "Beyond the Intellect," May 21, 2008). In fact, it reveals an area where BAM might have brought better educational programming to the Hartley show by offering talks or workshops germane to Hartley's life as a poet as well as painter. Bravo.

—Norman Weinstein, Boise

Shame on BW

I would like to correct a couple of inaccuracies in your article "More Mission Suits," (BW, News Shorts, "More Mission Suits," May 21, 2008) and provide you with a little information about the Rescue Mission.

First, the Rescue Mission has not been found in violation of any fair housing standards by any court or governmental entity. To the contrary, the Rescue Mission has been cleared in all housing discrimination complaints (including the three plaintiffs in the recently filed lawsuit) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sometimes people mistakenly believe that the Rescue Mission was a party to the litigation between the operator of the now-defunct Community House and Boise City. That is not correct. In November 2006, a split panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals attempted to place temporary restrictions on the city while it still owned the old Community House facility out of concern with governmental entanglement with the Rescue Mission's operations. The temporary restrictions were never implemented because the Rescue Mission purchased the facility and eliminated the concerns.

Second, there are no undecided housing discrimination complaints against the Rescue Mission with HUD. A number of cases were filed in 2006 and one in 2007. A few of the cases were withdrawn by the complainants, and the remaining complaints were investigated by HUD and dismissed in as unfounded. The lawsuit makes the same allegations as the dismissed complaints, so we expect the lawsuit to suffer the same fate and be dismissed as unfounded. The Rescue Mission does not engage in unlawful discrimination.

You might reasonably wonder why Intermountain Fair Housing Council is so upset at the Rescue Mission. So do we. They have never tried to talk to us. If we give their complaints any credence, we suspect that they are upset that the Rescue Mission does more than just offer food, shelter and clothing to the homeless. Most homeless people are desperately low in spirit. In fact, we have found that the spiritual needs of the homeless are as great as their physical needs. So we offer voluntary counseling, spiritual guidance and Christian teaching to our emergency shelter guests who desire to learn about Jesus Christ. For a person whose life is falling apart, it helps them greatly to know that God loves them and offers salvation, hope and help in their predicament.

The Rescue Mission offers nutritious meals, safe nights of shelter and clothing to anyone in need —regardless of religious belief or non-belief—with the aim of returning the poor, needy and homeless to society as self-sufficient, productive citizens. The demand for our services has grown dramatically. In the first four months of 2008, we provided 97,268 meals, 30,000 safe nights of shelter And over 12,000 pieces of clothing to people in need. We provide meal service for all guests of Sanctuary—a fellow shelter in Boise. The demand for meals in 2008 is double what it was in 2007. In addition to meeting the emergency needs of the homeless, we also provide job training programs, education programs, counseling programs, medical programs, discipleship/addiction recovery programs and other services.

—Rev. Bill Roscoe, executive director, Boise Rescue Mission Ministries

Correction:

Traps, electronic devices, bait or tracking dogs will not be allowed during the wolf hunting season this fall. (BW, News Shorts, "Wolf Season," May 28, 2008.)

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