The Real Deal on Water Saving

I noticed with appreciation that you printed seven tips for outdoor water conservation (BW, Top Seven, June 3, 2009).

However, those rather anemic tips assume that everybody will retain their non-natural, water-sucking green lawns. It would be wonderful if you would print the following "let's get real" tips for conserving water. These could make a real difference.

The really serious list of outdoor water conservation tips:

1. Remove your lawn entirely.

2. Replace your lawn with low-water ornamental landscaping.

3. Use rock or organic mulch to help retain soil moisture.

4. Replace your sprinkler system with a water-conserving drip irrigation system.

5. Plant some no-water natives like sagebrush and rabbit brush where appropriate.

6. Design in some no-water pathways and/or patios of rock, gravel or bark mulch.

7. If you can't remove the entire lawn, begin removing small parts and creating low-water planting beds around the edges.

--Diane Jones, Boise

Two on Ted

Regarding Ted Rall's June 3 typically histrionic, hyperbolic and myopic column (BW, Opinion, "Mr. Obama: Resign Now"): was President [Barack] Obama being "useless" when he recently picked New York doctor Thomas Frieden to head up the CDC (a man who's been instrumental in New York City for pushing through smoking bans in restaurants and launching a highly successful campaign against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis that lowered such cases by over 80 percent there)? Maybe Rall can take just a second out from inside that lofty morality tower he lives in to stop worrying about all those poor, unfairly treated "innocent" souls there at Guantanamo Bay--a number of whom, by the way, after they were released there (because of PC-driven political pressure), were involved in high-profile bombings in Iraq and elsewhere shortly thereafter--and acknowledge that at least some of what Obama has done is indeed for the greater good ... even, yes, Rall's.

--John Pluntze, Ketchum

Tragically lacking sense. Ignorance and absolutism in one ugly package. A discussion of mortuary customs as they relate to spontaneous pregnancy loss in the first trimester in order for Herr Rall. He's been a knucklehead before and will again. I predict.

--Gary Addington, Boise

Good Riddens

Dennis Mansfield and Melissa B. Swindell aren't the only ones pining away over the upcoming (and welcome) departure of Bryan Fischer. Idaho's free-thought community is also in despair over Mullah Fischer's pending move to Mississippi. Fischer has been one of the best recruitment tools for Idaho's free thinkers.

Fischer's attempts to "make Idaho the friendliest place in the world to raise family" by opposing equal rights for gays, by denying reproductive rights to women, by attacking science, by rewriting history and by generally being in the local forefront of the fundamentalist movement to return the Western world to the 13th century helped discredit the family values movement and made it appear to be synonymous with Republican radicals determined to destroy our democratic republic. Making the world safe for Halliburton and Blackwater seems to be the real objective of both the religious right and the Republican Party.

While Fischer, who was not born or raised in Idaho, was advancing his mislabeled "Idaho values" agenda and ignoring the real problems facing Idaho's families, the number of Idahoans claiming no religious affiliation has almost doubled. Fischer has been the "dream come true" foil for free-thought groups seeking new members.

Fischer may be missed, but he shouldn't let the door hit him on the ass as he exits Idaho.

--Gary L. Bennett, Emmett

One Way vs. Two Way

And from the online world, readers had something to say about the possibility of the one-way grid in downtown Boise going two-way.

"How about: no motorized vehicles downtown. I like that better."

--Juliana McLenna, Facebook

"How about instead of spending the money and time to change something so trivial, they focus on important issues?"

--Maryanne Bowden, Facebook

"Why put that much energy into fixing something that does not need to be fixed? Why not put the thought and energy into something that actually matters, not something so trivial? Or hey, maybe better public transportation in Idaho. We need to catch up."

-- Emily Grubaugh, Facebook

"I am for two-way streets. I agree it slows traffic down with more stops, etc., but it also opens up more opportunity to each vehicle, and that is what downtown Boise is all about, opportunity!"

--John Berryhill,


On the American Dream

Fantastic story about resilient and highly deserving individuals (BW, Feature, "The Idea of America," June 10, 2009). Thanks to all the local resettlement agencies for the great work they do. Their work exemplifies the very best ideals of this country.

--idealist, BW online

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