Writings and observations

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Neighbors from the Hillcrest Place Homeowners Association, Vista Neighborhood Association sounded off over a noise survey conducted by the Boise Airport, but with very little notification of homeowners.

It looks like the 75 property owners who attended the meeting at Whitney Community Center Thursday night were roused to action by social media posts on the internet. One owner told the GUARDIAN a “neighborhood” site was buzzing with folks who feared their homes would be purchased out from under them or severely devalued following a noise survey conducted by the airport.

In a nutshell it is a continuation of the quest by Boise’s City fathers and mothers to get the U.S. Air Force to base high powered fighter jets at Gowen Field when the A-10 is eventually phased out of service. The big fear is having the thundering roar of F-35 or F-15 fighters rattling windows and making life south of Overland nearly “unlivable.”

Henry Wiebe appeared to ramrod the meeting. He created a playground-type confrontation with area resident Elliot Werk (former state rep) at one point when he interrupted a presentation by BOI airport manager Rebecca Hupp with a noisy battery powered electric drill–a stunt to emphasize the annoyance of military fighter jets.

Werk demanded that Weibe stop the noise, jumped out of his seat and rushed Weibe. Weibe shouted, “Don’t touch me,” and they eventually parted. The incident was indicative of how upset the neighbors are over the city efforts to justify the noise through an expensive survey which they claim could qualify some residents for “mitigation” or even purchase of their homes. They claim the Federal Aviation Administration would provide financial grants following the noise study. It is all aimed at expansion of the airport and retaining a military presence.

The simple solution was voiced by many of the folks attending. They favored having quieter military aircraft or moving the Air Guard to Mountain Home.

City Councilor Elaine Clegg promised to call for more citizen comment for the noise survey in an attempt to calm the audience, but most were unconvinced.

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Frazier

In his New York Times column today Nicholas Kristof talks about global poverty, which isn’t a new subject for him – but the angle is, and it surprises me, and probably will surprise you. What I thought I knew, at least in the back of my head, about global poverty is that it’s always there, we’re stuck with it, it’s more or less insoluble; we can try and do good deeds here and there, but they really on scratch the surface. Surveys say most Americans think it’s worse than that, that global poverty is on the rise. But is that true? Kristoff looks at the best available studies and finds that the portion of the globe’s population enduring “extreme poverty” did rise through the middle of the last century but then plateaued and since has dropped from 35% in 1993 to 14% in 2011. Worldwide, the number of children who die by the end of five has fallen by more than half. Among other conclusions, Kristoff writes that “Cynics argue that saving lives is pointless, because the result is overpopulation that leads more to starve. Not true. Part of this wave of progress is a stunning drop in birthrates.” Hopelessness is overrated. – rs (photo/Poverties.org)

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