Thursday, July 28, 2011

In Idaho, Older Women Outnumber Men

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM

The snapshot of Idaho in 2010 is coming into greater focus. The U.S. Census Bureau released more statistics today, detailing last year's count of men, women and children across the Gem State. Among the findings:

- While men (785,324) barely outnumber women (782,258) in Idaho, as they get older women outnumber men. From the age of 45 and older, women continually outnumber men.

- Additionally, 27 percent of Idaho's population is under the age of 18, and 12 percent of the population is 65 years and over.

- There are 579,408 occupied housing units in Idaho. Of those, 148,445 are in Ada County and 69,409 are in Canyon County.

- Idaho's Hispanic, or Latino, community makes up 11.2 percent of Idaho's population. And 7.1 percent of Ada County is classified as Hispanic or Latino, with 23.9 percent of Canyon County is Hispanic or Latino.

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Fish and Game Sets Final Rules for Wolf Hunt

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Idaho's Fish and Game Commission formally approved new guidelines today to once again allow wolf hunts in the Gem State. Thirteen management zones will begin wolf hunting seasons on Aug. 30, with most zones continuing hunts through March 31. Hunting will have no quotas in about three-quarters of the regions.

It's believed that Idaho currently has about 1,000 wolves. Gray wolves could be reconsidered for federal endangered species protection if their numbers fall below 150 individuals or 15 breeding pairs.

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Stadium Coalition: "Let's Get 'Em Right Now."

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Using Boise's Municipal Park as a backdrop (not far from the old Boise Braves baseball stadium), a coalition of private and public officials said they were ready to step up to the plate to pick an ideal site for a new multiuse stadium. The group, Better Boise Coalition, will study potential locations for a new sports complex.

"First and foremost, the best reason for a new stadium would be economic development," said Marc Johnson, president of the Gallatin Public Affairs and the afternoon's emcee. "Secondly the current stadium housing the Boise Hawks would surely require major renovations in the near future."

Johnson said another benefit to a new site would be a home for varsity sports for Treasure Valley high schools, as well as a possible minor league soccer franchise, which has been hinted as a possibility from Hawks' ownership.

"Just look at these renderings," said Joel Hickman, vice president of Key Bank, pointing to an artists' vision of a downtown stadium. "Why wouldn't we want a facility like this?"

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Bill Connors, president of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, touted examples of other small market cities that have successfully integrated new stadiums into their downtown areas: Frisco, Tex. (suburb of Dallas); Greensboro, N.C.; Davenport, Iowa; and Dayton, Ohio, which has the best minor league attendance rate in the nation.

Quoting Bob Uecker (who played for the Boise Braves in the late 1950s but is best known as an actor and network sports announcer), Johnson said the one-time baseball player held the record for saying, "Let's get 'em next year."

"Let's get 'em right now," said Johnson. "Now is the time."

(left to right) Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Marc Johnson from Gallatin Group, Dave Terrell from Washington Trust Bank, Joel Hickman from Key Bank and Bill Connors of Boise Chamber
  • (left to right) Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Marc Johnson from Gallatin Public Affairs, Dave Terrell from Washington Trust Bank, Joel Hickman from Key Bank and Bill Connors of Boise Chamber

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Highway 16 Fire, One Year Later

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Blackened fence posts and a few scorched tree branches are small reminders of the blaze that destroyed nearly 5,000 acres one year ago today. More than 60 homes were damaged by the fire but four homeowners lost everything.

The Jackson family lost everything but each other.

“The materialistic things can go right out the door,” said Jim Jackson. His family is currently in the process of moving into their new home at the same location. The family moved to a rental home in Star following the blaze, where Jim and his wife Tammy continued to home school their children and began the process of working with their insurance company. Jackson said his family is in no rush to replace everything,

“We’re going to move into the new house, have our beds and our dishes and that’s about it ... It all got taken away and that’s OK,” he said. But Jackson admitted that moving into a new home is awkward. “The view is the same, but we’re totally different and the inside is totally different.”

Just two doors down from the Jackson family lives Kurt McClenny, deputy chief of the Eagle Fire Department. His yard did receive major damage, but McClenny said defensible space probably saved his home from the wildfire.

“It’s not if, it’s when another fire will burn through,” said McClenny.

McClenny said he went to his neighbors' homes and made them aware of the fire, suggesting they turn sprinklers on as a precaution in the event of changing winds. The winds did change, for the worse, sending the fire toward homes and families. McClenny said he believed if the fire had not been contained in the area it was, it would have burned all the way to Bogus Basin, with resources running thin and access to those remote areas being extremely difficult. Forty two police units, 75 fire vehicles and 14 aerial units, with total personnel near 300 coming from as far as Vale, Ore., fought the fire.

The Highway 16 fire damaged scores of homes and destroyed nine outbuildings, seven vehicles, six trailers and 29 motorcycles. It was estimated that $7 million in property was lost.

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New BODO Sign Proposed To Draw Business

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Some merchants in Boise's BODO district have concerns that a lack of visibility is impairing business. In response, Mike Attiani, director of Property Services at Colliers International, is proposing the installation of a large electronic sign along Front Street to draw more attention.

"Forty thousand cars a day pass on Front Street," Attiani told Citydesk. "Our goal is to augment visibility as much as possible."

Attiani will unveil plans for the sign on Wednesday, Aug. 10, before Boise's Design Review Committee. The proposed 10-foot-by-15-foot sign would hang above the Urban Outfitters window at the corner of Eighth and Front streets. Attianti said the sign's colors are in keeping with the BODO design scheme. Merchant names would be displayed in designated spaces.

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"It's a tough economy," said Attiani. "This sign is an attempt to make them more successful."

Existing merchants include Helly Hansen, White House Black Market, P.F. Chang's and Tully's.

"BODO is a critical retail location. And part of our goal is to draw people to the city's core," said Attiani.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boise Hole to Be Filled?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 12:03 PM

The Boise Hole on the corner of Eighth and Main streets may finally have someone looking to fill it.

Gardner Company COO Tommy Ahlquist said the company has the property “under contract,” and that it's looking into the feasibility of building an office building on the site. The Gardner Company—operating out of Meridian and Salt Lake City—has developed numerous office spaces across the West.

The downtown crater has been an eyesore for longer than some downtown regulars have been alive. At the turn of the 20th century, Hosea Eastman acquired the property with plans to build a hotel so grand that even the Idanha would look up to it. Finances got in the way, so instead, an office building was put in the location.

In the early '70s, the Boise Redevelopment Agency bought the property with plans to tear it down and build a mall. Citizens wishing to keep the historic building fought the agency in court and won.

It was more than a decade until more changes took place. In 1987, the landmark building burned to the ground and was condemned and torn down.

Then, in 2001, Rick Peterson broke ground for the Boise Tower, a 25-story, mixed-use building. But in 2003, the building permit was revoked for lack of progress. Financial woes and legal battles kept the would-be Boise Tower at it current condition for six years.

Capps Holdings LLC purchased the infamous location in 2009 at auction with no plans for the property.

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Remembering Jeret

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 10:27 AM

To the world, he was an amazing athlete: the 2001 Freestyle Junior of the Year, an 11-year member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, World Cup Champion in 2007, and an Olympic Silver Medalist. But to Boise, Jeret "Speedy" Peterson was the kid from Timberline High who regularly wore a belt buckle emblazoned with the names of his high-school friends: Jay, Mase, Skiff and Tyler.

Salt Lake City Police reported that Peterson died Monday evening from a gunshot wound. He left a note in his pickup truck in Lambs Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake.

Peterson's young life was scarred by tragedy. When he was 5 years old, his older sister was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. When he was 24, he lost a friend to suicide. Later the same year, Peterson was accused of felony burglary and grand theft. The next year, he was sent home from the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, for being involved in a bar fight.

But in February 2010, Peterson's fortunes changed with with a silver medal performance at the Vancouver Winter Games. The following month, he was presented the key to the city of his hometown.

This past weekend, Peterson was charged with DUI, speeding and using fake license plates outside of Sun Valley.

"The entire Olympic family is heartbroken to hear the news of Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson's untimely passing," said U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun.

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  • U.S. Ski Team

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Collister P.O., 22 Other Idaho Locations Tagged For Closure

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Boise's Collister Post Office branch is one of 23 Idaho locations and 3,700 branches across the nation that the U.S. Postal Service has targeted for closure. The Postal Service released a list of the locations today, representing about 10 percent of all post offices in the country.

In its 2010 fiscal year, which ended in September, the Postal Service lost $8.5 billion. Postal officials estimated that the branch closings could save as much as $200 million. Other cost-cutting measures the agency is considering include ending Saturday delivery and raising stamp prices.

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More Arguments Over Wolves in Montana Courtroom Today

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 2:59 PM

U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy didn't hand down a ruling today on the fate of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, but did indicate that he would issue a decision "as quickly as possible."

Molloy heard arguments this morning in a Missoula, Mont., courtroom from U.S. government attorneys facing off with conservation groups over the recent actions that took wolves off the endangered species list. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups accused Congress of attaching a rider to a government spending bill, which made an exception for gray wolves in Idaho and Montana, knocking wolves off the ESA. but government attorney Andrea Gelatt said Congress had followed the law by "carving a very narrow hole" to allow an amendment to the ESA.

Molloy came under fire by wolf opponents when he reinstated wolf protection in 2010. But the congressional change to the ESA trumped his ruling.

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New Team Suits Up to Find Ideal Spot for Proposed Stadium

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 2:56 PM

In the wake of a just-released market viability analysis of a new multipurpose stadium for Boise, a new group calling itself the Better Boise Coalition wants to step up to the plate.

"Where stadium projects have been well-planned, they have offered a tremendous boost to the local economy," said Bill Connors, president and CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber, along with ownership of the Boise Hawks, and representatives from Washington Trust and Key Banks, will team up with Boise Mayor Dave Bieter on Thursday to take the lead on finding the ideal site for a new Boise stadium.

On June 29, Citydesk first reported that an analysis concluded that Boise could attract a higher caliber of baseball, could boost attendance to baseball games by as much as 43 percent, and could host a variety of varsity athletic events. Hawks ownership even expressed interest in purchasing a minor league soccer franchise to serve as a second anchor tenant" to a new stadium.

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