[Vision2020] Question for Mr. Ament and Mr. Curley

Donovan Arnold donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com
Fri May 13 19:48:46 PDT 2005

Mr. Curley,

Thank you for your in depth response to my email, your
involvement in the community, and your email informing
us of the BOA meeting. However, I think you
misunderstand what I was saying, so please allow me to

I would like to start forward, instead of backwards.

Moscow City Code defines an educational institution as
such, MCC 4-11-9(47)
“.Institution, Educational. A college or university
supported by public or private funds, tuitions,
contributions or endowments, giving advanced academic
instructions as approved by the State Board of
Education or by a recognized accrediting agency,
excluding preschool, elementary and junior or senior
high schools, and trade and commercial schools;
including fraternity and sorority houses.”

NSA is not an accredited college. Therefore it cannot
be called an "educational institution" because that is
required according to the law and city code. You based
your argument on this. This is a factual legal error.

Second, even if Mr. Dickison, Joe Plaskon, Aunt
Jamima, and Jesus Christ himself all agreed NSA was an
educational institution, which none of them did to the
effect they were according to city code, that would
not make it an accredited college. Mr. Dickison said
that NSA was NOT an accredited intuition as DEFINED by
city code. Plaskon did not comment on the legality of
this point. Even if he had, to the effect that he
agreed with your argument, does not legally validate
your point because the law, or city code, states the
contrary. In addition, if you wish to say that Joe
Plaskon is the valid authority of the law on this
issue, as your referenced him as being, then why are
you arguing against his decision on this issue?
Further, the accreditation that NSA is seeking is not
an accrediting agency recognized by the city code. So
that has no legal merit on the case or your argument
regarding potential future accreditation. 

Now as to your second point, you wrote,

"If that is the case, then they are prohibited
downtown. Because they are not a listed use--an
'unaccredited college.'"

First, there is no such thing as an "unaccredited
college" according Moscow City Code. This a term you
are making up. If not, please provide a link or code

Second, NSA does fit the definition of a
commercial/trade school which IS expressly PERMITTED
in the downtown commercial zone.

“School, Commercial. A program whereby instruction is
given to pupils in arts, crafts or trades and operated
as a commercial enterprise.” That is the exact and
complete definition. 
(Ord. 99-38, 12/20/99)”

NSA does fit this definition, from a legal standpoint.
NSA does offer programs in instruction in the arts. It
is also operated as a “commercial enterprise”
according to city code,  

 “Commercial Use. An activity maintaining a display of
goods, merchandise or services, for sale or involving
a rental fee.” MCC § 11-9(21) This is the exact and
complete definition. 

NSA does offer and maintain services for sale,
education in the arts. 

“As to the other issue you raised, Mr. Dickison's time
was not limited at all.”


 “Mr. Dickison was in no way limited from making any
legal argument he wanted to make.”

Yes, he was. He was limited to the comments he could
make and he was not allowed a rebuttal to your
remarks. I think if one side gets a rebuttal, so
should the other. Also, doesn’t the accused usually
get the last word anyway, not the plaintiff?

“Mr. Ament noted below that the chair on several
occasions had to ask Mr. Dickison to refrain from
attacking the complainants personally and to stick to
the law.”

 I do not recall Mr. Dickison making personal comments
about Joseph Hansen. In fact, I do not recall him
mentioning Mr. Hansen or any of the other two
plaintiffs by name at all. I do recall him questioning
the motives to the case. This is a concern for many
people, including myself. Are they after just NSA? Or
are they going to go after all organizations downtown
that do not perfectly fit the definitions in a
commercial business zone?

As to the legality, there was no violation of law to
bring up motive. This was something that two members
of the board decided, for this case only, to limit the
arguments to what they wanted to hear.  

So again I ask, when did NSA get accreditation? 

And why do you ignore the fact that NSA fits the legal
definition of a “trade/commercial school” as defined
by Moscow City Code?

I look forward to your response. Thanks for responses
Mr. Curley, I appreciate it!

Take Care,

Donovan J Arnold 

--- Michael Curley <curley at turbonet.com> wrote:

> Donovan:
> Let me start a little backwards perhaps by assuming
> that NSA is not 
> accredited.  If that is the case, then they are
> prohibited downtown.  
> Because they are not a listed use--an "unaccredited
> college."
> As you recall from the discussion last night, the
> city code says that 
> if a "use" (meaning simply, what kind of work or
> activity is done in 
> the building) is not specified as permitted, it is
> prohibited.  So, 
> whatever NSA is that is not a college, they are
> prohibited.  
> No one--not Mr. Dickison or Mr. Plaskon or anyone
> else on behalf of 
> NSA came forward to say "we are not an educational
> institution--not a 
> college."  In fact, you recall that Mr. Dickison
> quoted a letter he 
> had previously written to Mr. Plaskon wherein Mr. D
> said:  "From the 
> naure of New St. Andrews College, the most readily
> appliocable 
> definition under the zoning code is "Institution,
> Educational" found 
> at MCC 4-11-9(47):. . .
> Also, you will remember that there was an exhibit
> introduced that 
> showed that when a previous complaint was filed
> against New Saint 
> Andrews for illegally operating in a residential
> area in violation of 
> the zoning code, Mr. Plaskon himself determined that
> NSA was an 
> educational institution--and NSA did not deny that
> it was.
> So, that just wasn't an issue at the hearing and
> never has been 
> during the course of the discussions on the current
> issue.
> I believe that Mr. Dickison also indicated that NSA
> has been pursuing 
> accreditation through the Transnational Association
> of Christian 
> Colleges and Schools and that they have a sort of
> temporary or 
> pending status in that process.  
> Now, whether that would qualify them in an
> ultra-technical and wooden 
> reading of the ordinance (as the appellants were
> accused of doing by 
> Mr. Dickison), I don't know. For example, if NSA
> isn't an educational 
> institution, are they prohibited everywhere in
> town--or would they 
> get to apply for a conditional use permit in the
> areas where 
> educational institutions are actually allowed?  I
> think that is the 
> very type of area where Mr. Plaskon could, should,
> and would exercise 
> his "reasonable discretion" (as the code allows in
> that circumstance) 
> and find that, sure, NSA is covered by the
> educational institution 
> definition even though they may not be
> "hypertechnically."
> As to the other issue you raised, Mr. Dickison's
> time was not limited 
> at all.  He was only limited by the chair to the
> same extent the 
> chair said at the beginning of the hearing that it
> would limit 
> everyone's comments--they had to be relevant.  The
> chair, the entire 
> Board, and the City Attorney had all previously
> agreed that 
> "intentions" were not an issue and were not relevant
> to the 
> discussion.  Mr. Ament noted below that the chair on
> several 
> occasions had to ask Mr. Dickison to refrain from 
> attacking the 
> complainants personally and to stick to the law. 
> Mr. Dickison was in 
> no way limited from making any legal argument he
> wanted to make.  He 
> was never told there was a time limit.  He was asked
> to "sum up" when 
> he stopped making legal arguments and continued to
> try to denigrate 
> the individuals personally.
> Thank you for your questions.  It was good to see
> you last night 
> after so many "conversations" on this listserve.
> Mike Curley
> On 13 May 2005 at 14:58, Donovan Arnold wrote:
> > When did New St. Andrews become accredited?
> > 
> > Mr. Curley made his argument that NSA is violating
> the
> > law because NSA is an "educational institution" as
> > defined by city code. The city code does not allow
> > "educational institutions" downtown or in
> > commercialized zones. 
> > 
> > The trouble with this argument is that NSA does
> not
> > meet the legal city code definition of
> "educational
> > institution". Because in order for any entity to
> do so
> > it must be accredited by the state of Idaho or
> another
> > national or regional accrediting agency as
> recognized
> > by the state of Idaho through the Idaho State
> Board of
> > Education. 
> > 
> > Only one of the three board members caught this,
> and
> > he voted "no".  
> > 
> > In order for your argument that NSA is violating
> the
> > law to be correct, it must be an "educational
> > institution". 
> > 
> > And for those that are a little slow, I am NOT
> > defending or saying that I agree with NSA
> curriculum
> > or religious beliefs. I am simply saying, that if
> the
> > plaintiffs "claim" that this has nothing to do
> with
> > NSA or Doug Wilson and is about the law, should
> that
> > then not be their chief concern?
> > 
> > Mr. Dickison's comments, although I strongly
> disagreed
> > with much of the words and arguments he made, were
> > limited. He was only given 1/2 the total time to
> speak
> > as Mr. Curley. I would tend to think that in a
> fair
> > case, both sides would be given time to speak
> their
> > side of the issue.  
> > 
> > So I ask again, Mr. Ament, and Mr. Curley, when
> did
> > NSA become accredited and therefore an
> "educational
> > institution" validating your claim that NSA is in
> > violation of the law?
> > 
> > Inquiring minds want to know. 
> > 
> > Take Care,
> > 
> > Donovan J Arnold
> > 
> > 
> > --- aaron ament <citizenament at moscow.com> wrote:
> > 
> > > Last night I attended a public hearing held by
> the
> > > Moscow Board of Adjustment.  By a 2 to 1 vote,
> the
> > > commissioners ruled that Zoning Commissioner
> Joel
> > > Plaskon was wrong to say that New Saint Andrews
> use
> > > of its downtown property was allowed under
> existing
> > > code.  The board ruled for the complainants.
> > > Joel Plaskon spoke to the relevant issues as did
> the
> > > complainants attorney, Mike Curley.  Not so the
> > > representative for New Saint Andrews, a Mr.
> > > Dickenson[?].
> > > He refused to address the issue and spoke
> instead of
=== message truncated ===

Discover Yahoo! 
Have fun online with music videos, cool games, IM and more. Check it out! 

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list