Tracking code caldwell guardian

Thursday, August 29, 2013

City Elections This Fall Registration Deadline September 6th, 5:00PM

Think you have what it takes to make a difference in your city, then now is your opportunity to rise to the occasion.  I pay more attention to Caldwell than other cities because I live here.  Mayor Nancolas is up as well as four (4) city council seats.  Two are incumbents and have been there for a very long time and two are recent appointees.  They are in no particular order,  Rob Hopper, Dennis Callsen, Clarnece Biggers, and Mike Pollard.

Mayor Nancolas has served as Mayor of Caldwell for the last 16 years he also served two terms on the Caldwell City Council if my memory is still intact on this point.  Mayor Nancolas and his City Finance Director/Ubran Renewal Chairman have overseen the distribution of about $60,000,000 in URA funds appropriated from property taxes in Caldwell.  Mr. Hopper and Mr. Callsen have served on the URA board. 

City council people make about $12k/year and get health insurance as an added benefit for serving on the city council.  I will check on the pay and update this post as necessary.

It could not be easier to get your name on the ballot.  All you do is go to city hall and pick up a packet, get your affidavit filled out, get five and preferably 10 registered voters to sign your petition, go to the County Elections Office and have a clerk verify your supporters of 5 or more people and then take all the completed paperwork back to city hall and hand it over to the City Clerk. 

Before you can start spending any campaign money you will have to get a
Campaign Treasurer on your team.  That person can be anyone you choose like your wife or a relative.  They will be in charge of documenting you inflow and outflow of campaign money along with submitting campaign reports to the City Clerk on dates noted in the campaign stuff.  Anyone who can add and subtract at a 6th grade level can do this task.  It is all spelled out in all the paperwork.

For the rest of you, if you don't vote, don't complain about who is in office.

Caldwell Speed Trap Beware!

THE GUARDIAN has been made aware of Caldwell's latest speed trap in the worst possible way with a citation..  The speed trap is ARTHUR STREET between 12th and 19th Avenue.  This street is downhill when travelling from east to west and very easy to exceed the 20 MPH speed limit. 

THE GUARDIAN found this out today with a ticket with a $90.00 price tag.  I was cited for doing 31 MPH.  So be careful or Officer Gregory will he happy to issue you a citation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New County Admin. Office Groundbreaking Ceremoney Sept. 3, 2013

The Board of Canyon County Commissioners will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new $6.5 million Canyon County Administration Building on Tuesday, September 3 at 11:00 a.m.  Representatives from Meridian-based Engineered Structures, Inc. will join the Commissioners to break ground and officially kick-off construction on the project.  Several community members will also be recognized for their valuable input and support during the planning phase.

Construction on the three-story, 50,000 square-foot facility, is expected to be completed in May 2014.  The building will house the Assessor’s Office, Clerk’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, Development Services Department, Indigent Services Department and the Public Defender’s Office.

The project is being financed through an agreement with the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency and will not increase property taxes for residents of Canyon County.

New Roundabout at Ustick and Indiana Open

A brand new roundabout is now open at Ustick and Indiana in Caldwell and it is doing great for traffic movement.  Heretofore, it was a clog point for traffic in every direction.  THE GUARDIAN has driven through it twice at peak traffic hours and found it wide open for motorists. 

There will be some sidewalk work along with what appears to be some landscaping at this intersection before all work is completed.  It would be interesting to hear reader comments on their impressions of this new intersection and how they feel it works for them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Is Your Backflow Device Updated to Current Code? If Not Guess What?

Day before yesterday THE GUARDIAN got a nice form letter from one of the good people at the Caldwell City Water Department telling me my back flow device was not in compliance with current code.  And, to add misery to the letter we will have to get it checked on an annual basis.  The additional annual cost for this is unknown an the person who does my sprinklers has no idea how much this will cost or how the approval process works to become one of the "chosen" to inspect these devices every year.

The frustrating part of all this is the device currently in use was approved by an Idaho State Plumbing inspector and done under permit back in the day.  Thirty four years down the road we find we are no longer in compliance with code and have to install a new device.  The cost of this will run about $350-$400 and will have to be inspected annually.  So far it is friendly coercion from the people at the water department.  We checked with what is going on in Boise and United Water has assumed the role of neighborhood bad-asses with respect to compliance with this new and improved approach to full employment for installers of these devices.  United water (Suez) will shut your water off for non-compliance.  They are the ones that bring us "Eddy Trout" via the annoying PSA's we all have to suffer through on TV.
Lately, United Water has been blasting the air ways with the back flow check program well under way in Boise.

It is our intent to comply with this new bureaucratic prescriptive burden without the threat of facing a real set of "back-flow" problems should the good people at Caldwell Water Department get the green light to shut down the ability to flush my toilet.  So if you got one of these annoying letters your only recourse is to comply or face the prospect of having your water shut off when the "Tea Party" decides our Forefathers found no need for this new device .

The only way to escape it is to move out to the country and see if you can tolerate a rural well and a septic tank.  We think Caldwell water is some of the best we have ever tasted and will do our part in this effort as soon as our sprinkler guy can get it done.

The device in the photo for this post may or may not be the one you need to install.  So don't go out and buy one of these expensive gadgets without knowing what will be accepted by the mavens of this program. 

Finally, as much as I hate the intrusion of government upon the sovereign soil of my personal residence we have to respect the notion the water we drink (and take for granted) needs to be adequately protected from harm.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Portland's Wapato Jail Sits Empty Nearing 10th Year and No Inmates

THE GUARDIAN went on a search to see if the ill fated Wapato Jail in Portland ever got open for business.  Nearly ten years have passed and the $58,000,000.00 jail still sits empty.  It costs between $300 and $400 thousand dollars per year for this jail to sit empty.  This means Multnoma County taxpayers have spent $3.5 million just to keep the place mothballed.

Tax exempt bonds were issued on the project and will be paid off in 2016.  However, until that time the alternative uses for the jail remain limited.  County Commishes could reissue the bonds to nonexempt status but it would come with a bite to the county of an additional $1.5 million. 

We can all be thankful Canyon County is not sitting in the same situation had any one of the three bond elections for a new jail been approved.  Wapato and other prison projects all over the country are proving to be costly mistakes with no inmates and no money to staff, maintain and operate all of these poorly thought out projects.

Despite the tough on crime stance of the Idaho Legislature that continues to pay homage to keeping non-violent people behind bars for extended periods of time at huge costs to taxpayers crime rates all over the country continue to drop for adult and juvenile offenses. 

Wapato is a monument to a complete disregard for the costs of keeping people locked up that pose no threat to society.  We just wanted to give readers an update on this fiasco.  The good people in charge forgot about the costs to staff and maintain this ill-fated project.  The number were around $30 million a year just to staff the place.

Here's a link to the Oregonian story

Friday, August 2, 2013

California Ruling Forces Release of 10,000 Prison Inmates

Most people who have been around since the inception of the War on Drugs back when President Nixon first declared this crazy War would tend to agree; this particular war has gone on for way too long and put way too many people behind bars for way too long. 

Today, the first cracks of daylight on ending the War on Drugs and the Big Money behind private prisons happened in California.  A Federal mandate is in place and has been upheld forcing the early release of 10,000 inmates in California prisons. 

Overcrowding in the Golden State prison system has been around 150% of capacity for years and now the limits to growth in the Prison Industry may have reached the limits to what California taxpayers are willing to fund.  The United States has for years been very hard on crime and willing to pay the price if incarceration for lengthy sentences.  State legislators haven't been bashful about putting the costs squarely on the backs of taxpayers while they beat their chests about making the world a safer place.  Forget about all the faux and real crime the War on Drugs has brought to the fore over the last 40 years and the insane costs of prosecuting this fiasco.

Idaho had a great opportunity to get a new prison built at no cost but the catch was the legislature had to promise to keep the place at 90% capacity for the next 20 years.  The costs of incarceration for minor offences has escalated to the point taxpayers are less than willing to fund these kinds of dubious deals.  Canyon County got a jail bond election shoved back at them three times during the administration of Sheriff Chris Smith. 

With this latest ruling about overcrowding in California we may see the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs.  They can start by dealing with marijuana convictions and letting those offenders out first.

Put the people who are a danger to society behind bars and figure out something else for minor offenders.