Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sowing the Seeds of Hatred

I am so disgusted as I write this I'm having to reign in my anger. The photo is of a section of land not too far south of Coeur d'Alene. It is filled with gently rolling hills coupled with forest land and farm fields. It is here, at the cross roads, a developer wants to build 141 storage units on ten acres. It would require a conditional use permit because the area is rural.

Area residents turned out in significant numbers when the County Commissioners held a hearing. They were against the project. Why? According to The Mica Kidd Island Property Owners Association the facility was opposed because they didn't want a precedent set for possible commercial sprawl, it would infringe on the visual tone of the community, create traffic hazards and would be incompatible with the historical atmosphere of century old farms, barns and Grange Hall. Among others.

The argument that the facility would have a barn like appearance to fit in with it's surroundings and there was a need for boat storage in the area was not enough to outweigh the objections of the area residents. The Commissioners, in my opinion, to their credit, turned it down.

Sounds like run of the mill procedure doesn't it? Right. Wrong. Today, the Coeur d'Alene Press headlined the fact that the developer, one Haitham Joudeh, has filed a discrimination suit against the commissioners and the Mica Kidd Island Fire District claiming religious and racial discrimination.

Please. This is the most preposterous allegation imaginable. I really don't believe the area residents nor the commissioners care one iota that the man is of Middle Eastern descent nor that he follows the Islamic faith. I doubt anyone gave it a thought until this came up!

I do not know if the claim that Grange members and the Fire District held an anti-Joudeh rally or not. If they did I should like to think it was to drum up support for denying his project and had nothing to with him as an individual.

We live in an area where the vestiges of the neo-Nazi's still haunt us. I find it highly unlikely that the Commissioners would partake in any action that even smacked of that kind of racial discord.

Steve Tucker, a Spokane attorney who would do well to stay in his own state and city, tells us Mr. Joudeh was born in Idaho and graduated from the University of Idaho. If true, he well knows the attitudes in this town about that kind of simmering suggestiveness and he should be ashamed of himself.

A $25 million lawsuit this day and age, in a community of this size where the majority of the wealthy only vacation here and the less then privileged well outweigh the privileged, is a slap in our collective faces in the name of prejudice of the worst kind.

I could be wrong in my assumptions. I have only the news report and the comments from the Owners Association web site to draw from, but I just can't get my head around malacious intent of such intensity. I should think Mr. Joudeh might want to consider moving on. I doubt he'll be welcome around here and it will have nothing to with his race nor faith except for the way he's using them to drive a wedge.

Maybe Spokane would welcome him. They have a higher level of tolerance. They have Steve Tucker.


Anonymous said...

When all else fails, scream racism...bigotry. I read this this morning with rolling eyes. Does this outrageous suit have merit, not an ounce. But it does work as a threat. Costs next to nothing (relatively) to file such a suit. Costs a fortune to defend it. And just who will pay for the and me. I am sure these groups have insurance. But that is not necessarily good as insurance companies just want to make these things go away and will settle (followed by either cancelling or raising rates) as the path of less $$$ resistance. And of course the county and the fire district are in a catch 22 situation. Fight this blackmail scheme and cost the tax payers. Settle...and cost the tax payers.

It does not escape notice that all the decent residents of this area are still paying for the disgusting activities of a small but vocal band of miscreants. And this long after they are dead and gone. CU

Word Tosser said...

The thing is,if they don't fight is as good as saying that he is right, they were against him and not the plan. Leaving everyone one else use it as an example.

I have been thru that area, and it is a beautiful area. To turn it into the likes of hwy95 near the Hayden/Cda border line with those 20 units... would be a crime.

Anonymous said...

Word Tosser, you are correct...except that very often there is no choice. The insurance comapny makes that decision. In todays world, most people understand how these things work and would not necessarily believe that the plaintiff was correct. The amount of this suit goes way beyond absurd. It is outrageous. As a taxpayer do I want the county to fight this? You bet your boots. I would be interested in hearing the so called evidence. Actually, the suit hasn't been filed. They simply stated their tort claim. Could be a fishing expedition. I consider it a threat and hope that it is thrown back in their faces. I would also hope that, if filed, it is thrown out as frivolous. It is rather difficult to prove a state of mind. And even if some unpleasant comments were made from the floor, it doesn't follow that the decision was based on these comments. Hopefully, this is a loser going in. CU

Linda said...

This is bad. I too wish the man would go somewhere else. He certainly isn't helping his minority population as they try to prove they can be good Americans.

Shame on him.

TropiGal said...

I don't blame you for being frosted. Trumping up this kind of argument where is so clearly does not apply only leads to further bad feelings toward the group trying to gain respect -- be it women, African-Americans, or any other group asking for dignity. It would be different if other development claims had been approved and this one zoning request had been singled out. Even then, one would have to look at the architectural details of the other projects, compared with a storage facility. For example, some big box stores have been permitted to build near more carefully-zoned communities in Florida, but only when the facility and parking lots are hidden behind landscaped setbacks and certain architectural details are added to the structure.