Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wolf Hunt Winding Down in Three Areas

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Season quotas have been nearly reached in three of the state’s 12 wolf hunting zones less than two months into Idaho’s first wolf hunt.

Hunt limits in each of the hunting zones determine the length of the season, and once the maximum number of wolves are taken in each area, that zone is closed. A statewide limit of 220 wolves can be taken this year.

According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, three wolves have been taken from the Upper Snake River zone, which has a limit of five wolves. Hunters have taken an additional two wolves from the Palouse-Hells Canyon zone, where five wolves can be killed.

Hunters have already taken a dozen wolves from the McCall-Weiser zone, which has a take limit of 15 wolves. One of the wolves shot in this area was taken illegally by an Eagle man charged with killing the wolf out of season and with shooting from a public road.

In the Lolo zone, with a limit of 27 wolves, only two have been killed, while in the Salmon zone, one of 16 wolves has been taken.

In the Southern Idaho zone (which includes the Boise area) no wolves have been taken, although up to five can be killed this season.

Fish and Game officials are pointedly reminding wolf hunters that it is up to the individual to know the status of each hunt area, as well as the zone boundaries. Hunters can call 877-872-3190 to find out if an area is still open, and the department updates harvest info as soon as possible.

For their part, hunters are required to report a wolf kill within 24 hours, and must present the hide and skull to Fish and Game officials within five days.

Wolf hunting permits are still proving popular. Recently, wolf tag No. 1 was auctioned off at the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation’s Wine, Wheels and Wildlife event in Lexington, NC for $8,000 to Bass Pro Shops founder Jonny Morris, who will reportedly give it to his son for a fall hunting trip. Typically, wolf tags cost $11.75 for residents, while out-of-state hunters have to pony up $186.

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Boise State Hosts Healthcare Debate

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Boise State's American Founding Initiative, along with the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs will host a health care reform debate on Monday with two noted policy experts: Roger Stark from the Washington Policy Center and Lou Schlickman of Idaho Health Care for All.

Schlickman, a Meridian internist who has been in these pages many a time over the last year is holding out for a single payer health care model.

Stark, also an M.D., is a Washington State policy analyst for the free market think tank Washington Policy Center. The Center also has education, environment, transportation and labor tracks. Stark has produced a large body of "research" in defense of his organization's positions that health insurance is best left to the free market, including this defense of HSAs, the high risk-low benefit Bush administration brain child that citydesk begrudgingly carries.

Incidentally, the Washington Policy Center is affiliated with the Idaho Freedom Foundation through the right wing State Policy Network.

Here is how the debate invite reads:

Health care reform is the central policy debate of our time.
What will be the outcome? Market reforms that rely on
the private sector, or a greater role for the government?

You Decide ... Monday October 26, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Boise State University Special Events Center in the Student Union Building. Free Parking provided in the parking garage at University and Lincoln. This event is free and open to the public.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Candidate Amy Aaron Surveys Eagle Residents

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Amy Aaron
  • Amy Aaron
Eagle City Council candidate Amy Aaron has launched a surveymonkey of Eagle residents, asking visitors to her Web site for feedback on how Eagle's doin'.

You may recall a few weeks back that citydesk readily admitted to not knowing who Aaron was.

According to her communications manager, Andrea Dearden, who is also the spokesperson for the Ada County Sheriff's Office, Aaron is planning and research supervisor for the sheriff, which means she tracks all of the data coming through the county agency, including the jail, and helps the agency with strategic planning.

Aaron also worked for Trout Unlimited, according to her bio.

Aaron is one of five candidates vying for two seats on the Eagle City Council, and it appears to be a group of classic overachievers.

John Grasser
  • John Grasser
Saundra McDavid
  • Saundra McDavid
John Grasser is Director of IT Business Services for the St. Luke’s Health System, Saundra McDavid has a law degree and an MBA (and a horse), and the incumbents are Jeanne Jackson-Heim, former mayor of Jackson Hole and ED of the Idaho Real Estate Commission, and Norm Semanko, also a lawyer and head of the state GOP.

Here's another weird thing. Aaron and Boise City Council candidate Lucas Baumbach both hold degrees from Cornell University, as does a certain BW citydesk blogger (ahem!). It appears to be an attempted Big Red takeover of the Treasure Valley politico-media machine.

Note: citydesk never met Aaron or Baumbach in Ithaca.

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Rock the Conservation Vote

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Conservation Voters for Idaho is taking inspiration from an old MTV standby this season.

While the conservation PAC won’t be airing bad reality programming geared toward the still-need-a-fake-ID crowd, it is trying to rally the apathetic Boise masses through a Rock the Vote event.

Boise musician—and CVI board member—Bill Coffey will be performing along with an array of local musicians to raise money to support Conservation Voters, which will, in turn, support pro-conservation political candidates.

Conservation Voters has already handed out its endorsements for this election cycle, tapping Boise City Council incumbents Maryanne Jordan and Vern Bisterfeldt, as well as political newcomer TJ Thomson for the three City Council seats up for grabs this year.

The musical line-up is an impressive list of who’s-who in the Boise music scene, including: David Andrews, Amuma Says No, Audio Moonshine, Belle of Les Bois, Belinda Bowler, Andy Byron, Billy G. Camp, Dan Costello, Ned Evett, Steve Fulton, The Heaters, Jeremiah James, Kill Uncle, Thomas Paul, Bernie Reilly, Rebecca Scott, Sherpa, Curtis Stigers, Travis Ward and Tim Willis.

Tim Johnstone, from 94.9 The River, will host the musical/political event (a muspo if you will), on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., in Garden City. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door for those aged 21 and older. A $20 bill will get you in and give you a one-year membership to CVI.

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November 3 Election in October

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Some of you have already voted for Boise City Council. Deputy City Clerk Wendy Burrows-Johnson tells citydesk that the city has received about 700 to 800 absentee ballot requests and that early voting began this morning at the Ada County Elections Office at 400 N. Benjamin Lane.

Early voting runs through Nov. 2, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and the office will remain open until 5 p.m. on Nov. 2 for last minute early voters. Candidates Lucas Baumbach and Dan Dunham announced earlier today they were going to vote early, today.

Burrows-Johnson said absentee requests are still coming in and that the city is sending out ballot request forms soon to voters in newly consolidated precincts along with information on their new polling places.

People are voting way too early these days. We're not opposed to early voting, but it makes it much tougher to plan election coverage. That's part of the reason we launched Electionland, to provide an ongoing forum throughout the voting season.

But there are still plenty of chances to get educated on the candidates, if you have not yet voted, or even if you have.

The AM talk radio set will meet with all eight Boise City Council candidates on Saturday at the Doubletree Riverside for a “Town Hall style debate” moderated by KBOI talker Nate Shelman. Then, on Monday it’s the Northenders letting the candidates share. On Wednesday, the civic types—League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women and the Idaho Statesman—will grill the same eight guys and gals at the Boise Public Library at a time-tested forum hosted by time-tested moderator Jim Weatherby of Boise State. The third option, for you alternatives types, as we've mentioned, is to log on to electionland.boiseweekly.com and ask the candidates anything you want, raw and uncut.

Candidate forums that we know of:
KBOI, 3-6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, Doubletree Riverside, 2900 Chinden Boulevard or at 670 AM KBOI.
North End Neighborhood Association, 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26, Hyde Park Mennonite Church, 1520 N. 12th Street.
League of Women Voters, 7-9 p.m., Oct. 28, Boise Public Library auditorium, 715 S. Capitol Boulevard. And Electionland.boiseweekly.com. All free.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Announcing Electionland: You Ask City Council Candidates the Questions

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 6:15 PM


There is a Boise City Council election coming up Nov. 3, with three seats on the line. In lieu of the standard old election guide (which is never standard, nor old at BW), we are letting you the readers and/or voters, call the shots this year.

At Electionland you can ask the eight candidates whatever you want:

What's you favorite color?
What's the square root of 749?
Why did you take money from ____________ (ACORN, Club for Growth, Nazis, Commies, fill in the blank)?

And then the candidates can answer you directly, without the media spin, or filter.

This is a form of crowdsourcing, where we harness new technologies to greatly expand our reporting. We hope you will take advantage of it, and who knows, your question and their answer may appear in the Boise Weekly in the next few weeks.

Good luck and happy querying. It's not as easy as it looks...

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Minnick Up $1 Million for the Year

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick has raised more than $1 million for his presumed re-election bid in 2010.

Raising $286,727.55 in the last three months, Minnick is far eclipsing the two Republican contenders vying for his freshman seat.

"I am pleased and humbled by the support Idahoans are showing for my independent, fiscally responsible voting record," Minnick said in a press release. "I'm just doing my best to keep my promises to them, and to represent their values and beliefs as I work in Congress."

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Even Destructo Plans to Take the Streetcar

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Cincinnati is another medium-sized U.S. city working on a streetcar line. Next month, Cincy voters will consider a ballot measure to force a vote on any future rail development within city limits. The Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, Hamilton County Business Owners, and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes are oppose the streetcar there.

Here is a little viral Youtube that came across the citydesk this morning:

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Tibbs Backs Litster

Posted By on Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Today, Boise City councilman Jim Tibbs announced that he will endorse City Council candidate David Litster to fill the seat Tibbs is leaving at the end of the year.

“The voters have a clear choice on November 3. Dave Litster’s life experience and commitment to holding the line on spending make it easy for me to throw my full support behind him,” Tibbs stated in a press release.

Tibbs, a vetern of the Boise Police Department for 34 years, is completing a four-year term on city council. His position, seat number four, is now contested between Litster, and TJ Thomson.

“Boise is at a critical juncture, and in Dave we will have both an innovator and a watch dog for the taxpayers. With his business experience, community involvement, and relationships with government leaders, Dave Litster is in a unique position to move Boise forward,” Tibbs continued in his statement.

Thomson has received endorsements from Rep. Walt Minnick, the Boise Fire Fighters union, as well as Mayor Dave Bieter.

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Minnick: Stand for Main St., Not K St.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM

That's the message for Rep. Walt Minnick on healthcare reform from a group of Idaho small businesses. They rally tomorrow on Idaho insurance row:

“Small businesses need real health reform so we can do our part for economic recovery,” said Michaile Metro, Idaho small business owner. “The insurance companies and their lobbyists are trying to hijack reform so they can keep padding their profits at our expense. We can't afford to let that happen. We need real reform — including the choice of a public option, true affordability, and a reasonable employer contribution that spreads the costs of health care fairly.”

The group, the Idaho Main Street Alliance, will rally in front of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, 1211 W Myrtle, at noon tomorrow.

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