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David Erin Anthony

I find it an eerie parallel to the town I grew up in Pennsylvania (yes all, I am one of those horrible "invaders.") Warren had just over 20,000 people at its height. We had an extention of Edinboro University, an airport, bus/train station, mall and many signs of propserity. In addition Warren was blessed with the Kinzua Dam only 7 miles away. For those who do not know what the Kinzua Dam is, take some time and do a search for it. Anyway, over the course of 20 years Warren was successful in closing the campus, airport, bus/train stations. Warren also fought for over 20 years to keep another shopping center from coming into town. A developer wanted to build a resort near Kinzua and that was shot down. The few industries Warren had (United Refinery, Phillips Lighting, Whirley, etc) have scaled back or completely closed. Now the town is barely 10,000 and those remaining can't understand why no one wants to stay.
I tell this story because it reminds me of the trail of our current Governor. He seems to think that the Idaho he grew up in is the same Idaho today and will stay the same. Guess what, it doesn't work. Idaho is a beautiful state. I miss Pennsylavnia and the beauty my home state offers. However Idaho surpases in many ways.
I find it funny the hyporacy of people. They stand up and say how much they are in favor of business and bringing good jobs into Idaho but then don't realize the corolation between government, business and popluation. They advocate how much they want to protect our way of life and the beauty of Idaho while driving thier huge Hummers. They advocate how high the moral majority is here but Idaho has one of the highest rates of spousal abuse and child abuse in the nation. Hmmm, for those who either saw the film or the presentation by Al Gore....the slide show from the administration of the choice between gold bars and the ENTIRE GLOBE. HMMMM, Gold bars....

Julie Fanselow

DEA, I grew up in Pennsylania, too, in the South Hills of Pittsburgh (Bethel Park). I miss its politics, more than anything else - much more moderate and less hypocritical than here.

Idaho has better weather, and I also appreciate the positive, innovative, anything-is-possible aspects of the frontier mindset here.

Many parts of PA are struggling, but the same can be said for many smaller communities in Idaho. This is partially due to lack of amenties but also because of short-sighted economic policies.

Anyway, you took my point about how growth inevitably changes a place, and how Otter et al don't seem to realize that - or want the growth to benefit business but not people and quality of life.

Kurt Marko

I was completely against the excavation/expansion of the Capitol, primarily for aesthetic reasons. A letter I sent last week (before the deal) to Otter more fully explains my position. In sum, I'm sorry to see even this half-a-loaf project get approval.

======================

Dear Governor Otter:

I wholeheartedly support your move to stop construction of the quasi-bomb shelter at the Capitol -- stick to your guns. While I am always concerned about the cost of state expenditures, what bothers me most is the aesthetics, or lack thereof, of this subterranean complex. We must remember that anything done to the Capitol is our contribution to the State's future -- generations to come will be living with decisions made today. How would we like it if our forefathers had skimped on the original building and taken a purely utilitarian approach to the Statehouse? Would we be satisfied with a bland, brick office building instead of the beautiful edifice we currently enjoy? I'm sure something like the old Eastman Building would have been much cheaper per square foot than our current Capitol. Let us be proud of any additions we make to our Capitol complex and let it reflect the beauty and majesty of this great state!

I strongly agree with your desire to incorporate the old Borah Post Office and Ada County Courthouse in the expansion plans. I would encourage you and your staff to look at what Nevada has done with their Capitol Mall area in Carson City. They had an old, cramped Statehouse that was far too small for current needs; however instead of defacing it with add-ons, they restored it to its original glory and added additional state buildings along a landscaped mall. These newer buildings are sufficiently distinct from the original Capitol so as not to detract from its stately position, but incorporate the architectural gravitas suitable for housing the most important offices of government. I believe Idaho could incorporate the Borah and Courthouse buildings into a similar mall that could augment rather than detract from our existing Capitol.

Thank you for your leadership on this issue and know that you have many supporters relying on your continued resolve. I'm confident you will eventually convince the Legislature of a plan that is both architecturally and fiscally sound.

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