Friday, October 22, 2010

New York Times Reports on Mega-load Controversy

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 8:39 AM

It was just a matter of time...or maybe we should say in New York Times. The paper that trumpets "all the news that's fit to print" profiles the controversy over proposed mega-loads on Idaho's U.S. Highway 12 in Friday's edition.

The business feature by Tom Zeller Jr. introduces Times readers to a number of the players in the real-life drama, players that BW readers are now pretty familiar with: Lin Laughy and his wife Borg Hendrickson of Kooskia, who launched legal action against the Idaho Transportation Dept. for trying to permit ConocoPhillips' efforts to ship huge pieces of equipment across the highway.

"We're really very nice people," Laughy told the Times. "Unless you're a big oil company."

You can read the full article here.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

JUMP Appeal Scheduled for Monday, Dec. 13

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 6:41 PM

The Simplot family wants a chance to reverse the recent denial of the JUMP project.

Simplot spokesman David Cuoio confirmed to Citydesk that the family and their developers will appear before Boise's Design Review committee on Monday, Dec. 13.

On Oct. 13, the committee voted 4-3 to deny the proposed $70 million project. JUMP,—Jack's Urban Meeting Place—was planned for the downtown block bordered by Front, Myrtle, Ninth and 11th streets. he project was to include office space, kiosks for non-profits, indoor and outdoor theaters and a salute to Idaho's agricultural history.

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Allstate Announces Idaho Call Center-Expected to House 500 New Employees

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Allstate Insurance will soon break ground in Eastern Idaho where it will build a $21.9 million customer information center.

The 75,000-square-foot facility will be built in the Pocatello-Chubbuck area, and is slated to open in September 2011. Currently, Allstate has 82 agency owners and 73 claim employees across Idaho.

The nation's second-largest home and auto insurer is expected to hire more than 500 people to staff the Eastern Idaho center.

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Allred Blasts Otter on Molina, Wolves, Mega-Loads

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred came to the steps of the State Capitol Thursday with his political guns loaded.

Allred fired a number of shots at Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter regarding wolf management, the Idaho Education Network and the shipment of mega-loads across U.S. Highway 12. But Allred made his biggest splash in attacking Otter's mismanagement of the medicaid mess involving Health and Welfare and Molina.

Molina is the California-based health-care administrator which earlier this year took over the management of the state's Medicaid system. The transition led to a months-long list of headaches, including non-payment to thousands of Idaho providers.

"I believe there's been a breach of contract," Allred told Citydesk. "Molina has fundamentally missed on fulfilling the basic obligations of the contract that I think they're in breach. We'll have to look at the exact timing and manner of ending the contract, but the pattern has been so incompetent that I just don't think they can restore trust at this point."


Allred also put Idaho's controversy over wolf management in his sites.

"Idaho needs to resume management of the state's wolf population," said Allred. "We should be expanding state control, not giving it away to the federal government."

And Allred also lambasted Otter for only "listening to big oil companies" while supporting mega-loads of oil equipment to travel across U.S. Highway 12.

"I flat-out oppose the transit," Allred told Citydesk. "I've listened to enough residents in the region to know that the equipment should not be allowed to travel across U.S. 12."

Allred told Citydesk even if the loads were beginning to roll by January, if elected he would immediately order the Idaho Transportation Department to cease any permitting process for any further shipments.

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Report: Idaho Fails to Provide Proper Treatment for Pregnant Inmates

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Idaho received failing grades today on a new report card that examined treatment of mothers and pregnant women in prison.

The report, Mothers Behind Bars: A State-by-State Report Card and Analysis of Federal Policies on Conditions of Confinement for Pregnant and Parenting Women and the Effect on Their Children, was issued by the National Women's Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights.

Some of the major findings:

Idaho received an overall grade of D for prenatal care.
The report found a systemic failure to ensure that pregnant inmates receive basic and essential prenatal care.

Idaho received a D for not limiting the use of restraints on pregnant women during transportation, labor and delivery, and postpartum recuperation.

Idaho received a F for having no family-based treatment programs for non-violent inmates who are parents.

"Women in prison may be unseen and forgotten, but it's in society's best interest to protect their health and well being," said Jill Morrison, co-author and NWLC Senior Counsel. "These failures not only compromise women's health but also jeopardize the health and well-being of their children and our communities."

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Air Connection Between Boise and City of Angels

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 5:16 PM

American Airlines is flying back into Boise. American announced Wednesday that it would add two daily flights to Los Angeles from Boise, effective April 2011. The routes mean a new air carrier for the Boise market.

The announcement comes in the wake of Horizon Airlines elimination of a Boise-Los Angeles connection earlier this year.

The American route is joined by nine other new connections by the airline to Los Angeles International Airport.

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ITD Agrees with PETA to Add Warning in Manual About Pet Safety

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 5:11 PM

How often do you see PETA and the Idaho Transportation Department in the same sentence, let alone the same news story?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals regularly lobbied the ITD regarding the issue of leaving animals in hot cars, and earlier this month, Edward Pemble, ITD's driver services manager informed the activist group that a warning will be added to the Idaho driver's manual about the danger of leaving cats and dogs in parked cars.

"Death from heatstroke is slow, agonizing and terrifying," said PETA vice president Daphna Nachminovitch.

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Crimes Hearing Scheduled for Thursday at Lewis-McChord

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 4:34 PM

An Article 32 hearing is set for Thursday, Oct. 21, the second in a string of hearings for a dozen soldiers, including a Boise native, charged in one of the most serious war crimes cases to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.

An Article 32—which will convene at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle—is the equivalent of a grand jury proceeding. At Thursday's hearing, Staff Sgt. David Bram of the Fifth Brigade, Second Infantry Division, will face charges of conspiracy, cruelty and impeding an investigation. Bram is one of 12 soldiers facing more than 70 criminal charges.

Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise, along with five other soldiers in the brigade, are accused of murdering three Afghan civilians and the beating of one or more fellow soldiers. Holmes and the five others face charges of keeping trophy body parts from Afghan corpses, including a skull and fingers.

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Idaho Mine Hit with 10 Violations from Labor Department

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 10:50 AM

In the wake of the miraculous rescue in Chile, mining safety has taken on a new urgency worldwide. Last month alone, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration issued more than 550 violations in 15 states including Idaho.

The Galena mine near Wallace—Idaho's second largest mine—was slapped with 10 violations in September, including accidents, injuries, a fatality and inadequate exams.

MSHA inspectors began surprise mine visits last spring following the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, killing 29 West Virginia miners. A spokesman for the U.S. Labor Department said they are targeting mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Thousands Bottles of Beer on the Hill ... A Thousand Bottles of Beer

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Have you seen Boise's mountain of glass? Have you heard of it? If you've brought your empties (beer, wine, liquor) to one of the 17 collection sites around the city, it's a good bet that your glass is part of the mountain.

In this week's issue of BW, we begin a two-part series where we follow the glass out to South Boise, where the mountain grows taller and wider every day, every week, every month, every year.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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