Mail March 19-25, 2008 

You Missed TJ's

I have lived in Boise for over six years and have been an avid reader of the Boise Weekly. I especially enjoy Bill Cope's opinion column each week. As you might guess, I was excited to read this week's feature (BW, Feature, "Eternal Burgers: The Nirvana of Vintage Drive-Ins," March 12, 2008). I was however, disappointed to find that one restaurant was excluded from this otherwise great story, TJ's Burgers. As an employee of TJ's I can say with confidence that we use only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. We use fresh beef patties and all food is cooked to order only. We even offer an all-veggie patty for those who choose not to eat meat. The restaurant decor and menu setup certainly hearken back to the vintage '50s-style drive-in, leaving no room to exclude us from the story.

Secondly, speaking now as a patron, not an employee, I can say that our burgers are the best in Boise. The fat-free sauce on the regular burger leaves no room for improvement, and the mushroom burgers are especially delicious. I strongly encourage the highly selective BW food critics to come give us a try.

—Miles Stirewalt, Boise

Harpies vs. Wolves

Did you know the harpy eagle is endangered? Their habitat ranges from southern Mexico to Brazil. Their wingspan is 6.5 feet, their claws the size of a grizzly's, and they hunt the rain forests. Because their habitat is disappearing, and they curiously approach encroaching men, they are killed. There are 20—(count that on fingers and toes, animal-lovers) breeding pairs remaining. They desperately need your help. They have two advocate groups—The Peregrine Fund in Idaho and Mission Harpy Eagle in Panama.

Let's talk gray wolves. Did you know gray wolves were never endangered in Canada and Alaska? In hundreds, maybe thousands of years, the historical population of gray or timber wolves in Idaho never exceeded 260. Those 260 wolves were maintained when the ecosystem's food sources were plentiful—unhindered and unaided by human intervention. Reintroduced in 1995, wolves increased from the original 57 to 800 by 2008, a number which increases exponentially by 24 percent annually. Do the math, folks—by 2018, wolves will number 5,545. Take a minute to meditate on how that many voracious predators are going to eat.

Let's talk control and delisting. How many wolves can a licensed hunter with a wolf tag who happens on a wolf during the legal season kill? One? Certainly not enough to cause "mass killings and possible extinction." For 15 years, I've applied for an elk tag in a unit above Weiser. There are 50 tags available, and so far, I've never gotten that tag. If the same rules apply to wolf tags, hunting will hardly impact wolf populations—other forces such as lack of food or bounty hunting could, but it's unlikely a bounty hunting program would be allowed in the region. Not yet.

Come on people—we have a brain, and 10 fingers and toes for a reason—use your powers of logic and multiplication. Quit being duped by bleeding-heart groups that prey on the American people's soft spot for animals. Did you fall for their rhetoric? Are you giving them money?

Please, send it to the harpy eagle instead. The rest of you individuals and groups wanting to save an endangered animal—your time, money and rhetoric should be spent on something that needs your help. Get with it, harpies, and save the harpy.

—Marri Champie, Boise

Hands off the wallet

Butch Otter is out of line. First he wants to raise the automobile registration to a flat fee of $150. That failed. Now he wants to add a tax at the gas pumps. We are at or over the national average for the gasoline prices as it is. This is Idaho, not California, Washington or New York. Otter says the money is needed for repairs to Idaho roadways and bridges. Maybe this should have been a factor before beginning a multi-million-dollar renovation on the Capitol building, a perfectly safe and sound structure. The roads did not get this bad overnight. The freeway has ruts deep enough to go fishing in. Throughout Boise, Nampa, Meridian, we are running into many road constructions, several detours and torn-up roads.

Maybe the governor and Idaho representatives should evaluate the situations more closely and stop trying to increase the taxes and trying to raise prices just so they can have a comfortable life. The average Idaho family has two incomes, not just for fun, but to make ends meet. Before the Idaho government begins to add taxes, increase prices and make life harder, they need to evaluate and prioritize.

—Valerie Pareja, Nampa

Kids are all right

Cope's article was condescending in its expression of concern that young people who support Obama might not follow through when the time comes to vote on November 4 (BW, Cope, "Grow Up Time II," March 12, 2008). The article is insulting, and views young voters as equivalent to small children who "get hopped up about something, then leave it out in the sandbox to rust whenever the next big thing" comes along. He questions whether we will lose young voters if they're otherwise occupied doing something trivial on November 4. It is absurd to suggest that young voters are incapable of following through on their support for Barack or prioritizing.

I managed not to forget my opposition to the Vietnam War during the 1970s even though there may have been a good movie on somewhere. If a young person wrote a column wondering if old geezers like me could manage to remember what day the election was or where the polling location was, given the distractions of age, work and kids and grandkids, everyone would scream about ageism.

Cope's form of insult against young people is no more excusable. I am proud to have stood in line at the Barack rally and to have attended the Democratic caucus with these thoughtful young people. It is an incredibly positive event that young people have come to life around a political event in this country, after lying dormant so many years. My youth was filled with powerful social movements that swept many of us up and we marched in the streets to demand change. There have been no similar historical and social movements in play for years and years. Barack has somehow managed to touch our youth and bring them into political life.

Don't include me in your claim that "we old people fear" the young. They are the future, Cope. Not has-beens like you and me. Get over yourself.

—Pam Woodies, Boise

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