Mail March 5-11, 2008 

Ugly City

The cartoon "The City" regarding the "Door" in this week's edition (BW, "The City," Feb. 27, 2008) is the lowest thing I've seen in a long time. The author says that they hate Hillary so much they want her to win the election just so she has to confront the door that leads to the room where Monica "serviced" Bill when he was president. What the f***? Derf is an ignorant f*** and I hope you can relay my disgust to the twit that penned this. You should be ashamed to have wasted paper and ink on publishing it.

—R.P. Ringelstetter, Boise

Rock On, Cope

OK, Cope. As usual, you're mostly right. When I compare what I got to listen to and experience musically in my childhood to today's kids' music scene, I feel alternately fortunate and disappointed (BW, Opinion, Cope, "Take Thatkins," Feb. 20, 2008). I fondly remember the innovation, creativity, rebellion, risk-taking and downright talent in that scene. Right now I'm listening to some Tower of Power that absolutely cooks.

So what? The music industry is in total disarray, corrupted by money. Bland recorded music is everywhere. People can't ski, exercise or walk on the Greenbelt without something buzzing in their ears. Cheap and perfect digital reproduction allows any track to spread like a virus through the universe.

Here's a thought, Cope. Get out from behind your word processor, pull that old 'bone out of the closet and come out and play. Kids think music comes out of an iPod. Show 'em the truth. Play in the schools. Play in the coffee shops. Play on the streetcorners. Let's start every city council meeting with a song. Music can light people's souls on fire. Let's worship it again.

—Daniel Reed, Boise

BW's A Suckup

I recall the days when weeklies were an alternative to the daily rags, but I guess those days are long gone. I've been following the "30th Street Corridor" issue since I became aware of it. Pardon my sarcasm but given the okey-dokey, smiley-face spin the BW put on their story of the issue, it is easy to see your paper as the latest annex of the Chamber Of Commerce, rather than as a challenger of the powers-that-be (BW, Feature, "West End Story," Feb. 6, 2008). My, how bread gets buttered.

Allow me to get this right: A "river sports" store owner, collaborating with the metropolis, wants to sell us back the river experience, a thing many of us already enjoy for free. And since they can't actually sell water by the side of the river, they rent toys so that many more people (who would likely just leave the river alone otherwise) can clutter it up for the rest of us, and even more so once Mayor Bieter gets his magnificent white-water park built.

And to sweeten the ugly deal, nearby property owners get to watch their land values skyrocket (if they aren't ruined by eminent domain). Bulldozers plow up peaceful, oh so useless land to make way for even more people to live on or near the river. And here is the icing on the cake: Once the Greenbelt is soon connected to Eagle it will become a veritable bicycle freeway.

The losers are those of us who quietly walk and ride the paths, not to mention the birdwatchers and the local wildlife who will lose any sense of solitude. As the deluge follows, it will be convenient if we who oppose just shut up or just get shut out. Thanks BW for your underdog values and defense of nature on the run.

—Steve Vetter, Boise

Feed 'em beans

Last Sunday's recall of 143 million pounds of beef by the U.S. Department of Agriculture should provide a loud and clear wake-up call that federal inspection is not adequate to ensure a safe meat supply.

This largest meat recall in U.S. history was actually brought on by an animal-rights organization's undercover video showing California slaughterhouse workers using kicks, electric shock, high-pressure water hoses and a forklift to force sick or injured animals onto the kill floor. USDA regulations prohibit sick animals from entering the food supply, because of the high risk of contamination by E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease.

About 37 million pounds of the recalled meat went to school lunch and other federal nutrition programs since October 2006, and "almost all of it is likely to have been consumed," according to a USDA official.

Parents must insist that USDA stop using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. The rest of us must learn to treat all meat, and particularly ground beef, as a hazardous substance to be consumed at one's own peril.

—Glenn Newkirk, Boise

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