Tracking code caldwell guardian

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nampa Seat Belt Campaign Skirts Idaho Law

Nampa Seat Belt Campaign Skirts Idaho Law

SEAT BELTS SAVE LIVES. THE GUARDIAN ADVOCATES THE USE OF SEAT BELTS. We also advocate the rule of law and the constitution.
By Dave Frazier, May 30,2011

According to a story in the DAILY PAPER, Nampa coppers are joining a national publicity campaign called “Click It.” They say people driving at night are less likely to fasten seatbelts, thus extra shifts and manpower will be dedicated to unfastened scofflaws.
Since seat belt violations in Idaho are a “secondary offense,” that means coppers will be looking for excuses to stop people…like taillights, no turn signal, minor speeding, etc. This type of patrol has the P.R. potential of a major backfire. Sounds like it is probably a grant or something that has to be spent soon–otherwise they would go after the drive by shooters, and drunks, protect vulnerable convenience stores.
Here is the Idaho Code on safety restraints:
49-673.Safety restraint use.
(1) Except as provided in section 49-672, Idaho Code, and subsection (2) of this section, each occupant of a motor vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight of not more than eight thousand (8,000) pounds, and which was manufactured with safety restraints in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standard no. 208, shall have a safety restraint properly fastened about his body at all times when the vehicle is in motion.
(5) Enforcement of this section by law enforcement officers may be accomplished only as a secondary action when the operator of the motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of another law.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nampa Wants to Partner On Questionable Energy Project

Energy Project May Be Just Garbage

After getting some negative comments as well as talking with an engineer, the GUARDIAN’s red flag began to wave over the electric generation project with Dynamis and Lloyd Mahaffey at the Ada Landfill.
Last week the DAILY PAPER ran a big page one story which clearly said the firm operates a trash-to-electricity project at Barrow, Alaska. After talking directly with the plant operator on the frigid North Slope, we determined that to be NOT TRUE. There is NO ELECTRIC GENERATING PLANT at the Barrow trash facility. In fact the Dynamis thermal incinerator CONSUMES cheap locally abundant natural gas to heat the trash and reduce the mass by a factor of 10. Ten yards of municipal solid waste shrinks to 1 yard of ash. Not only was the Statesman under the impression trash was generating electricity in the tiny borough of about 4,500 souls, but Ada Commishes had same thought.
In the Statesman piece, Commish Sharon Ullman acknowledged the county put $2 million toward the Dynamis project, which it will get back within the next six months, Ullman said. “We paid for development of the plans. Dynamis will purchase the plans back from us. This arrangement qualifies for stimulus money,” Ullman said.
It is a very real possibility the county could be left holding a set of worthless plans for “dream power.” If it turns out that way the Commishes need to cut their (our) losses and not try to create a warm glow out of cold trash, claiming it is worthwhile to reduce the volume of waste even if the energy science turns out to be faulty and the pretense false.
We tried to get Idaho Power to comment on the proposed project for our skeptical July GUARDIAN post, but the utility declined, citing a policy of not commenting on proposals that have not been agreed upon.
EDITOR NOTE:  The above article first appeared in the Boise Guardian.  Of interest is the fact that project will consume large amounts of Natural Gas before the garbage can be used as fuel.  Nampa and Team Tom have bought into this project and are satisfied with a less than 2% ROI, for those of you non accounting types...the city of Nampa is going to put up $55million and they might see a $1million a year return on their investment of Urban Renewal property tax dollars.  This deal smells about as bad as the garbage they will use to fire the project.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ron Paul On Legalizing Drugs

We missed the first debate of the Republican Candidates on FOX News last week (no cable or dish feeds in our home).  It was reported to THE GUARDIAN Mr. Paul is in favor of legalizing drugs. The reaction of the audience was palpable.  Mr. Paul gave some very good reasons to legalize drugs by asking the audience who would choose to do heroin if it were instantly legal to do so.  The issue noted in the debate was the impact we would have on the prison population in this country.  50% of our prison population is for drug issues and 90% of that 50% is prohibition related law enforcement.

There would be no shortage of jail and prison space along with a demonstrable decrease in the costs to keep people behind bars because they are no longer taking up jail bed space. This would require states to redefine their drug laws and prescriptive sentencing parameters of drug offenses.  The costs of incarceration for prohibition uses of drugs is out of line with results.  Making Prohibition offenses infractions v. felony or misdemeanor issues would have a huge impact on the social costs of drug enforcement.

It is no secret THE GUARDIAN thinks the drug laws in this country are creating all kinds of social issues and crime statistics costing all of us a bundle of cash.  Let the punishment fit the crime.  Marijuana laws and incarceration are under reform all over the country.  It would seem much more practical to stop putting people in jails and prisons for drug use and simply cite them for a "infraction" level issue rather than putting otherwise law abiding people in prison.

Mr. Paul does give us all fodder for the brain to digest and think about.  The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  We have 1/100 or nearly 3 million people in prison or jail in this country at a huge cost to taxpayers.  People who are a clear and present danger to society need to be imprisoned.  There are better ways to deal with nonviolent people not conforming to societal norms.

Here's a link to Mr. Paul's debate response on the Herion and drug issues in this country Congressman Ron Paul on Drugs

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 17th Is Your Day To Be Heard...You Can Vote School Board, Hwy Dist. And NAD


May 17th is the day to vote for those of us who hold this a right as well as an obligation to let our voice be heard.  The issues this time around are School Board members, Highway District Board members, and if you live in Nampa, the NAD opportunity (Nampa Auditorium District).

We expect there will be some confusion as to where you will vote but to get around this confusion you can vote early during normal business hours clear up to the Friday before the election at the County Elections Office at 11th and Chicago in Caldwell.  So far the interest has been underwhelming at the elections office.  THE GUARDIAN was number 3 to vote early in all of Canyon County as of this past Tuesday morning.

Voting early at the County Elections Office is quick, easy and not the least bit confusing. The staff at the elections office are always happy to see folks turn out early.  Partly patriotic and partly some  job security but in any event they will get you in and out in short order.

 The IPT has done some good work on getting candidates to put their views out there for all of us to look over.  We can't do much about the stuff that goes on at the Federal level here in Idaho but these seemingly insignificant entities like the Highway Districts, School Boards and the NAD guys and girls are going to be in charge of spending millions of tax dollars.

 I'd like to think we put the best people in elected office but we all know that just isn't always the case and apathy along with uninformed voters can cost all of us millions.  And finally the downside of elections like this is the minority gets to decide these elections.  Most of you simply will not bother with this election cycle.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nampa Auditorium District (NAD), More Waste And Spend

The good people at NAD (Nampa Auditorium District) want to engage in more waste and spend.  We were trying to come up with a brief and to the point post on this issue and our friend Wayne Hoffman says it all in his IPT editorial copied with his permission below.

Auditorium district would hurt private sector options.
By Wayne Hoffman

This month, voters in Nampa and Idaho Falls will be asked to create new government bureaucracies called auditorium districts. Auditorium districts collect taxes of up to 5 percent from hotel guests to fund local convention centers and to market those facilities in an effort to attract more tourists and other out-of-towners.

Supporters of such tax districts contend it’s a win-win-win-win-win-win scenario, because the people paying the tax are folks who, for the most part, don’t live here. They’re asking voters to approve a tax that you’re very likely to never have to pay.

That’s not always the case, and this is not a victimless crime.

The defenders of auditorium district taxes are opting to create a new taxing district and companion government bureaucracy despite less expensive, less intrusive options.

For example, there’s nothing prohibiting local hoteliers, restaurateurs, chambers of commerce and other businesses from using their own resources, individually or collectively, to market the community or their own industries. If they really wanted to, those businesses could do it tomorrow in a way that does not require the creation of a new taxing district.

They are instead opting to use the power of the government to extract wealth from people because they can and because it’s easiest.

In creating a taxing district, the government will collect money that otherwise would be spent in the private sector. This is money that might have gone into the coffers of local restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters and other establishments. Instead, the money will be used to fund a government program, a government facility and government employees.

Make no mistake that local businesses will be deprived the money collected through an auditorium district tax. Travelers will make decisions on how to spend a finite amount of money; a 5 percent bed tax will give those travelers less money to spend, and they’ll make decisions accordingly.

Local businesses will do without, but the one that won’t do without — the chief beneficiary — will be the newly-created taxing district, which will grow with the size of the tax collections.

This will affect me, too. When I bring guests to town, I will pay the 5 percent hotel tax. That $5 on a $100 hotel room is money that I would spend in the community at local businesses. Instead, that money will go to the government.

Unlike government, I can’t “create” another $5 to go into my coffers. I’ll just have $5 less to go into the economy, $5 less to spend at local businesses or put into payroll. Or maybe I’ll decide to bring one fewer guest to the state. Remember, a good way to discourage an economic activity is to tax it.

Idahoans are constantly being asked to approve one tax or another, with claims that great, great good will come from either the creation of a tax or increase in an existing tax.

There is nothing philanthropic in a government tax scheme that claims money for a government bureaucracy at the expense of the private sector. Regardless of how it is couched, that is exactly what an auditorium district tax will do for the communities of Nampa and Idaho Falls.

(Editor note: Let's not forget the folly of the Idaho Center and the ongoing costs of this monstrocity to the taxpayer's of Nampa to the tune of around $600K this year.)