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Why we don't need FEMA
Boise's "Blueprint for Good Growth"
– According to the Associated Press (AP), in
1997 Congress gave the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) $500,000
of your tax dollars to create an evacuation plan for New Orleans.
Instead, the money went to a commission to study building a 24-mile bridge
across Lake Pontchartrain.
A South Florida Sun-Sentinel
investigation found that FEMA blew $330 million ear-marked for victims of
fires, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes to non-victims.
Who got the money?
1. $5.3 million to LA non-victims for
wildfires that burned more than 25 miles away.
2. $168.5 million to Detroit
residents for a normal rain the mayor doesn't even remember.
3. $21.6 million in clothing losses
to Cleveland residents for a 1 1/2 inch rain.
4. $1.2 billion for 313 "disasters"
claimed by FEMA from 1999-2004, 27% of which went to areas that showed minor
to no damage.
5. $41.4 million to 28,500 Cleveland
residents for fake flood damage, $6.6 million for Cleveland's southeast.
6. $15.4 million to 13,714 parish
residents in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, undamaged and 70 miles from the damage
wreaked by Hurricane Lili in 2002.
7. $9,000 in checks to LA residents
in downtown Watts for fires outside the city.
8. $11 million for North Carolinians
200 miles away from damage done by Hurricane Frances.
Moving closer to home, Boise,
Idaho, have we learned anything about government waste and fraud? No.
The Idaho Statesman ironically reported on, and previously supported many
of, the following wasteful government expenditures to study "growth" for
Boise and the Treasure Valley:
1. Bench/Valley Transportation Study,
ACHD, 1995, $1.25 million
2. Boise Smart City Initiative, CCDC,
3. I-84 Corridor Study, COMPASS,
4. North Meridian Area Plan, private
developers, 2002, $50,000.
5. Regional Transportation Task
Force, Boise City, 2004, $40,000.
6. Treasure Valley Growth Scenario
Analysis, Treasure Valley Futures Project, 2001, $510,000.
7. Transit Development Plan,
ValleyRide, 2001, $80,000.
8. Treasure Valley Corridor Study,
Ada Planning Association, 1997, $550,000.
9. Treasure Valley Alternative
Transportation Analysis, Ada Planning Association, 1995, $190,000.
10. Blueprint for Good Growth, ??
11. Communities in Motion, ??
12. Downtown Mobility Study, CCDC,
COMPASS, ACHD, ValleyRide, 2005, $675,000, recommending $100 million for
transit (maybe light rail).
13. Eagle Road Arterial Study, ITD,
14. Regional Transportation Task
Force, 2002, $40,000.
15. State Street Corridor Study, ACHD,
But the grand-daddy of all planning
costs for Idaho has been the Boise lawyers and Cryptic Partners
raking in over $28 million in alleged pre-development costs in the $136
million University Place fiasco. Total cost to Idaho for all the above
government shenanigans: $32,775,000 ($33 million) for plans and
supposed pre-development costs that WENT NOWHERE -- except the latter which
is currently embroiled in a combined litigation of $7 million, $18 million,
$25 million, and $10 million with the U of I and UIF and the state of Idaho
suing 2 Boise law firms, 4 Boise lawyers, and Cryptic Partners, all
set to go to trial in Jan 2007 AFTER the 2006 Idaho elections so the GOP
RINOs won't have to suffer the indignity of their party being dragged
through the courts during an election year.
Conclusion: I think the
good ol Boys of Boise have cleverly created a multi-million dollar business
out of receiving govt money for perpetual growth studies, just like FEMA has
created a business for itself to distribute billions of dollars in taxpayer
money to non-victims of nearby emergencies. Let's all sing together
now, Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me...
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