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Unrealistic dream of owning land - farm land - in the Swan Valley

I just stumbled across the Free Press by accident and wanted to compliment you on your writing style. I particularly enjoyed the article about the designer septic systems.

I was raised in San Anselmo, which is a small town in Marin County, California. When I was growing up, Marin had its "hoity-toities" but it seemed like most people were decent folk with normal values (probably blue-bloods - classy and with an old-fashioned etiquette book somewhere in their bookshelves). I would swear that somehow everybody seemed to know each other. That was back in the 1960's and 70's. Then Marin became The Place to Be - peacock feathers and hot tubs (cocaine), along with arrogant know-it-all, holier-than-thou attitudes. I became a firefighter and escaped, moving to a small town in Sonoma County. Very few people that I grew up with can afford to live in Marin and most have moved away, leaving an alien population. I rarely return to my hometown, and when I do there's a lump in my throat.

The same thing is happening here in Sonoma County - houses are selling for over a million dollars, my co-workers are commuting 1-2 hours for - as we were told during wage negotiations - "the chance to work in the heart of the wine country." You need a permit to cut a tree in your yard, and bare land is reserved for megaliths, man's tribute to himself, by virtue of the cost per acre and because, even if you can afford the land, the "average" person certainly couldn't afford the process of building even the most simple of homes.

Which brings me to my point - I stumbled onto the free press website because every morning I sit at my desk pounding out detailed descriptions of why we were out in the middle of the night when we should have been sleeping. And every so often I take a peek at the web cam image of one of my favorite places, Swan Valley and the Tetons from the "back" side. Until today, when I chanced to follow the link to your paper, I would imbibe in an unrealistic dream of owning land - farm land - in the Swan Valley. My dream had chapters - a small farm house, a simple life, good people, my children looking at bugs under rocks rather than watching TeeVee or shopping. And an underlying theme of no one telling me how I should live my life or showing off their wonderful life. I must admit, I considered the payback for living around this pretentious decadence, the opportunity to move away and pay cash for everything, to live the rest of my life with an average job and money for emergencies sitting safe in a bank account. But I see that no matter where I might go, there THEY will be. THEY ruined MY small towns, and because I somehow survived, working a blue-collar job and being sensible with my income, I am one of the wealthy hoards that dreams of invading your paradise. I have, despite what I consider admirable resistance, become THEY.

So I will continue to view the images of the Tetons, but rather than chance more cold and unfriendly folk I'll re-direct my dreams to some other paradise. Good luck with your battle - and it IS a battle. I hope that the next time I drive through Swan Valley I encounter signs of your victory, NOT Hummers and Beemers at one of the new stoplights.

I should have listened to my guru - he told me never to read the news.


Steve Emerson Sonoma County, California

Tyranny Of The Masses

A few miles from here on the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho a developer was going to put a condo development on the prettiest section of this scenic world class trout river. It was a terrible thing. Mark Rockefeller was outraged but instead of going to the lawyers he did the honorable thing, he went to his bank and bought the project from the developer. As I understand the story the developer made a profit as if he had developed the property. It is now a pristine nature conservancy property and I'm dang glad about it. The Hole In The Wall section of the South Fork is a treasure.

Do I want to see a development at historical Astoria Hot Springs? No, however I do not own the property, an investor/developer does and America's free market deemed that particular property as commercial and while on the open market a developer bought it instead of a conservation group or government entity.

If you want to save Astoria Hot Springs buy it. Yes that would be more expensive than a truth twisting lawyer but at least it would be an ethical and honorable route as well as being our former American way.

It is the job of the successful to invest in America to keep us all working. When investors can no longer invest in America because of the tyranny of a gullible misinformed or egocentric populace they will reluctantly take their money and invest elsewhere where the natives are more accommodating, and we will reap our just reward of a floundering and decadent economy.

Founding father James Madison said "As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected."

Daryl L. Hunter
Irwin ID

In 12-17-2002's "Our View" the Post Register's J. Robb Brady wrote

In 12-17-2002's "Our View" the Post Register's J. Robb Brady wrote about George Bush's war on the environment. I hope everyone read it as J. Robb Brady outlined many of the reasons we voted for George Bush here in Idaho and why George continues his extreme popularity here. Of course J. Robb Brady predictably as part of the 89% of journalists that are liberal didn't side with the great majority of Idahoans who wish to make a living off of our land.

I used to be a greenie but I found their rationalization of their noble cause justifying their lies was inconsistent with my belief system. As a person that sought out sparsly populated mountain nirvanas I also found that I was always on the wrong side of my community's financial well being and inadvertently was putting myself out of work. Surviving in rural America is tough enough as it is without our own citizenry and legislators stabbing us in the back.

As a freelance photographer I value the landscape, the rivers, mountains, the timberlands, wildlife and especially the wilderness. I also value my ability to continue to survive here and to be able to access its treasures.

After 8 years of Clinton's environmental extremism you have to go the extra mile to undo the damage of such regressive economic policy. George Bush has to get what he can while the getting is possible because the rural community advocate, pro-economy party won't always hold the presidency. Sadly in 2008 or 2112 The lying Eco-Tally-Ban jihadists may get another one of their guys in the presidency and rural community economy's nationwide will once again be under siege. Go George Go!

Daryl L. Hunter
Irwin ID

Eco-tally-ban's Junk Science

I once was a pawn for the Eco-tally-ban. With all the conviction of a hell-fire and damnation evangelical street preacher convinced the second coming of Christ was tomorrow, the Eco-tally-ban instilled in me the fear of a dying world

As time went on the Eco-tally-ban's junk science became evident. A Spotted Owl's nest was found in a K-mart sign. Peregrine Falcons discovered the hunting and nesting was good on the roof of tall buildings and their bogus Canadian Lynx shortage was proven to be a lie to advance their anti-use agenda of the forest.

As I grew older and wiser I grew to value the wood in my home the leather of my shoes, the safety of my SUV, the magic of my light switch, and the ability to make a living in the mountains. I have always valued the rejuvenation of my soul after doing anything in the woods.

As a nature lover that moved to the Rocky Mountains for its many blessings it is my hope that the Eco-tally-ban quits crying wolf about their pet peeves. Their divisive and deceitful ways ruin the cause of honest purveyors of environmental science and as a concerned citizen of earth I prefer to trust the messenger and the Chicken Littles of the Eco-tally-ban negate my

Daryl L. Hunter
Irwin ID