Santa is still welcome at the Magic Valley Mall, but another Christmas symbol, the Salvation Army bell-ringer, no longer is welcome.
Salvation Army Capt. Roger Davis says he's been told that another religious group wants the same access the bell-ringers have enjoyed. Rather than opening the mall to every group that wants to seek donations, or face charges of favoritism, the mall and the Salvation Army have reached an understanding, Davis said.The mall will continue helping the Salvation Army with some charitable projects, but the bell-ringers won't solicit, he said.
He said the mall and some of its tenants have helped the Salvation Army. "They're awfully good to us, and I wouldn't want to do anything to cause problems or bring grief to them," he said.
He calls the dispute "just life in modern American society - somebody wanting in on something."