Shooters, polluters, solicitors and Willis watchers
Commentary by PAT MURPHY
Now that voters have rescued the Blackjack Ketchum Shootout Gang from
the worst fate of amateur thespianscanceling their actwill the Ketchum City
Council demand changes in the Wagon Days shootout they discussed weeks ago?
Organizers wanted the shootout cancelled because its painfully
short on showmanship and long on grown men playing with guns as well as risky: some
gunslingers brandish harmful weapons after guzzling booze to steady their nerves.
So, why not tap some of the best known gun handlers hereabouts who also
know something about showmanshipactors Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood or Arnold
Schwarzeneggerto teach the shootout gang how to perform?
Bringing a touch of Hollywoods professional gunplay to the Wagon
Days shootout by stars of Die Hard, Terminator or Dirty Harry would be an
One devoutly hopes that Ketchum councilman-elect Maurice Charlat is a
man of his word.
Charlat upset Ketchum Councilwoman Sue Noel with his sloganeering about
"change" in government, without specifying what "change" means.
One welcome "change" would be thisCharlats
promise to never again plaster utility poles and fences with his last minute hand lettered
campaign signs that amounted to visual pollution.
Charlat also should read the preamble to the citys "dark
sky" ordinance, which eloquently expresses the towns opposition to light
pollution. It could apply just as easily to visual pollution of political signs.
Im not alone in the disgust with phone solicitors who interrupt
dinner hour tranquility with spiels on behalf of organizations with law enforcement names.
After my Oct. 27 column about the Idaho State Fraternal Order of Police
receiving as little as 36 cents on the dollar from a professional fund-raiser, I learned
the Better Business Bureau of Boise is investigating so-called "badge"
BBB executive director Nora Carpenter invites information about such
solicitors, either by e-mail to the BBBs website, http://www.boise.bbb.org;
by phone, 800-218-1001; or letter, 4619 Emerald, Suite A-2, Boise 83706.
Also, an apology in connection with that column.
I clumsily wrote that the Idaho attorney generals office
"was of no help." Not true.
Deputy attorney general Michele Butts, who keeps an eye on charity
solicitations, had no information about my specific inquiry, but otherwise was expansively
helpful with background on law and explaining investigations of "badge fraud."
The nighttime caller was the female producer of BBC radios early
morning news show in London. A radio friend in Phoenix suggested she talk to me about Dan
Quayles withdrawal from the presidential race, since Id watched Quayle for
years from my perch as an Arizona newspaperman.
"You live in Ketchum, right?" she asked. "Thats
near where Bruce Willis lives," she said without pause.
Which proves that London news people not only know their American
geography but are just as fascinated with Bruce Willis as Dan Quayle.
Pat Murphy is the retired publisher of the Arizona Republic and a
former radio commentator.