Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vandals Deface Eagle High School With Slur

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

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Culprits defaced the exterior of Eagle High School the evening of April 28, changing the school logo to read "Fag High School."

According Meridian Joint School District spokesman Eric Exline, campus security cameras caught footage of the perpetrators, though because of darkness their identities could not be immediately ascertained. Exline confirmed to Boise Weekly that the suspects gained access to the roof of the high school to deface the logo.

"It's at least a case of vandalism. I don't know if anybody would be charged with a hate crime," Exline said.

If the vandalism were committed by students, Exline said, the consequences range between suspension and expulsion.

The defacement was discovered the morning of April 29 and removed before classes were in session.

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'City Guy' Peter Kageyama Urges Boise to Make a Love Connection

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Peter Kageyama is a self-proclaimed "city guy."

"I think CG should be a new acronym," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. "Whether the term "CG" sweeps around remains to be seen, but I kind of like it."

Bieter introduced Kageyama the morning of April 30 to a packed ballroom at the Boise Centre, as hundreds of early-risers came to hear the Downtown Boise Association's annual State of Downtown address.

"I've been hearing good things about your city for awhile," Kageyama told the gathering, which included all of the community's elected officials from the City of Boise, Greater Boise Auditorium District and Ada County Commission. "There's something going on with what we call 'New West' cities and you guys don't disappoint."

Kageyama's core message was about love.

"Do you love your city?" the author of For the Love of Cities asked repeatedly. "People are universally consistent with what they hate; traffic, parking, potholes, bad weather. But love matters."

And when the elected officials are in what Kageyama called "god-awful meetings" he challenged the public officials to ask "Where's the fun in this?"

"Change the dynamic when you're considering problems," he said.

Kageyama pointed to a series of fun solutions that cities, big and small, have attempted in their love for their downtowns: Millenium Park in Chicago, closing New York City's Times Square to traffic, Raleigh, North Carolina's Walk Your City initiative and even Boise's Freak Alley.

"Take Brattleboro, Vermont. It's a small city, not much money. They asked themselves, 'What do we have?' Well, their answer was, 'Cows. A lot of cows," said Kageyama. 'So they have their own version of the Running of the Bulls. They call their event the Strolling of the Heifers."

Kageyama's recurring theme was for public officials to encourage citizens to come up with untested ideas.

"I know how you work. You ask if an idea has been tested. You ask about the imperical data. You should be engaging with more residents," he told more than a dozen elected officials.

But twenty minutes prior to Kegayama's caution, all three Ada County Commissioners stood up and walked out of the meeting, presumably heading to a prior commitment.

"Why do I preach to the choir? Because sometimes they sing back," Kegayama said in his conclusion.

At that moment, a woman stood up and sang in a beautiful voice. It was Michele Detwiler from Opera Idaho. She began singing a sultry passage from Bizet's Carmen, stopping for a moment to serenade the Mayor.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ballroom, her husband Jason Detwiler stood to join her in a duet. The musical stunt was met with generous applause.

The Ada County Commissioners would need to hear about it later.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

UPDATE: Medical Marijuana Advocate Goes Public After Children Are Taken, Placed Into Foster Care

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM

UPDATE: April 30, 2013

The Boise Police Department released information regarding the April 24 incident involving Josh and Lindsey Rinehart, which resulted in the placement of the Rinehart's children into the custody of the State of Idaho.

According to law enforcement, they were contacted by a local school official who said that an 11-year-old child had become ill, requiring medical treatment from a school nurse. Police said the child had eaten a substance which was identified as marijuana. Police said the marijuana had come from a home on the 2900 block of W. Malad Street. The child who became ill did not live at the residence but is acquainted with the Rinheart's children.

Police said they went to the residence and found children, being cared for a babysitter while the parents were away. Police said they discovered drug paraphernalia and "a quantity of a substance that appeared to be marijuana in locations inside the house accessible to the children." Patrol officers contacted narcotics investigators who secured a search warrant signed by a judge. Police added that their investigation has not yet resulted in criminal charges.

Detectives made the decision to contact Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials who deemed that the children were in "imminent danger," thereby putting the children into protective custody.

Police said typically they did not release information on cases that remain under investigation, but the suspects "in this case have chosen to identify themselves and the department believes it is in the public interest to clarify that evidence in a criminal investigation led officers to the Malad Street home."

ORIGINAL POST:

Marijuana advocate Russ Belville, center left, is flanked by Lindsey Rinehart, center, and her husband Josh, center right.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Marijuana advocate Russ Belville, center left, is flanked by Lindsey Rinehart, center, and her husband Josh, center right.

Josh and Lindsey Rinehart believe the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Boise Police Department erred in their decision to place their the Rinehart's two sons in foster care, citing "imminent danger" because of the presence of marijuana found in the house.

"We're taking issue with the 'imminent danger' charge," Lindsey Rinehart said on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol. "I am a multiple sclerosis patient. The reason I had cannabis in my household is I'm a multiple sclerosis patient."

Lindsey uses marijuana, she said, for medicinal purposes to treat her illness, which can cause violent muscle spasms. Boise Weekly readers may remember Rinehart from her testimony at the Idaho State Capitol regarding medical marijuana. As director of Compassionate Idaho, Rinehart has helped spearhead a petition drive to legalize marijuana in Idaho.

While the couple were on vacation April 23, she told Boise Weekly, Health and Welfare and Boise Police entered their home, confiscated marijuana found there, and ultimately placed her 5-year-old and 10-year-old boys in protective custody.

"We had just gotten cell service, and right when we entered Donnelly my cell phone kicked on and somebody had said the cops are at your house. And I knew," she said.

The Rinhearts told media that on April 30 they will have supervised visitation with their children, and have begun the process of working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to have their children returned to them. She said criminal charges have not yet been filed against her, but she anticipates they may be.

"Right now all I've heard is that they could be pending. There's no warrant. I don't know—it's kind of this constant anxiety attack of when they're going to come," she said.

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Leak in New York Canal Shuts Down Irrigation

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 1:44 PM

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Irrigation customers across the Treasure Valley might have noticed their sprinklers spitting nothing but air. That's because on the the valley's main irrigation canals sprung a leak April 28.

A leak was discovered on the New York Canal by a farmer landowner in the area of Eckert Road and Federal Way in Boise who heard some trickling water. Officials with the Boise Project Management Board of Control confirmed that the leak was coming from the canal and immediately shut off the supply of water.

Tim Page, project manager, said crews are now able to reach the bottom of the canal and have narrowed down the location of the leak, although a cause has yet to be determined. Repairs are expected to begin as soon as possible.

In the meantime, nearly 100,000 acres of land are without irrigation water. Page said he expects repairs to take several days, after which it will take several more days for crews to refill the canal.

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Stop the Presses: Newspaper Reporter Is 'Worst Job in America'

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Time Magazine reports that the 25th annual rankings of the best and worst jobs in America reveal that if you're a good with numbers, you'll probably be in pretty good shape—career-wise. If you're good with words, think again.

Careercast.com analyzed numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ranking the 200 most common jobs in America, based on salary, stress and hiring outlook.

The top job for 2013 is actuary—number-crunchers who mull statistics and financial theory for insurance companies and financial institutions. The second best job is biomedical engineer, followed by software engineers. The least stressful job of 2013, according to careercast.com, is university professor, which came in at 15 best on the overall list.

On the flip side, newspaper reporter is considered the worst professions in America. Low pay, high stress and the lack of jobs are key reasons. Second worst is actor, followed by lumberjack.

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Wife of Boise Pastor: Husband Moved To Iran Prison's Solitary Confinement

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini
  • Courtesy ACLJ
  • Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini

The wife of an Idaho pastor, sentenced to prison in Iran after being accused to trying to convert someone to Christianity, says her husband has now been moved into solitary confinement. Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Saeed Abedini of Boise's Calvary Chapel Church, shared the update via Facebook the evening of April 28.

"Last night Saeed was taken with 10 other prisoners to solitary confinement," she wrote. "I heard from trusted sources inside of Iran that there was a silent protest by the prisoners of ward 350 protesting the harsh treatment and their own treatment and lack of medical attention inside of the prison."

Abedini also wrote that she has reason to believe that her husband's health "is worsening."

"He has internal bleeding and now issues with his kidneys because of the beatings," she wrote.

In January, Saeed was sentenced to eight years in prison after being put under house arrest in June 2012 and then jailed in September 2012. He had traveled to Iran to visit family and help build an orphanage.

“From the very beginning, Iranian authorities have lied about all aspects of this case, even releasing rumors of his expected release," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice. "Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights. We call on the citizens of the world to rise up in protest. We call on governments around the world to stand and defend Pastor Saeed.”

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Congratulations U of I Graduates; Now a Few Words From Larry Craig

Posted By on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

After spending four (or more) years, and tens of thousands of dollars to secure a degree from the University of Idaho, this year's graduates at the U of I's satellite campus in Idaho Falls will be rewarded by listening to former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig as their commencement speaker.

Craig, a 1969 University of Idaho graduate, is scheduled to speak Thursday, May 2 at the U of I's University Place campus, where 73 degrees will be distributed, including nine doctoral degrees.

But to much of the nation, Craig is still known as the U.S. Senator who was busted in a June 2007 arrest for lewd conduct in a Minnesota airport restroom. He ultimately entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. Just last month, a federal judge told Craig that he was out of line to use campaign funds to pay for his legal defense in the matter. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Craig's arrest had nothing to do with his official duties as a U.S. Senator. Craig was trying to fight a lawsuit from the Federal Election Commission, which charged Craig had improperly used $200,000 from his campaign war chest to fight the disorderly conduct charge, which he ultimately admitted to.

Of late, Craig is a high-priced lobbyist through his consulting firm New West Strategies.

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Boise Council Asked To Fund New Circulator Study, Neighborhood Grants, Foothills Purchase

Posted By on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM

When the Boise City Council meets this coming Tuesday, April 30, it'll be asked to consider a series of changes to the current fiscal year 2013 city budget, including $437,500 to fund an analysis of a possible downtown Boise circulator system. The lion's share of the funding—$375,000—would come from a Federal Transit Authority grant. The additional $125,500 would be picked up by the city of Boise and the Capital City Development Corporation, the city's urban renewal agency.

The analysis will key on the best mode of transportation to connect downtown Boise with the Boise State University campus and the Boise Depot. It will also consider a possible circulator on the Boise State campus.

The Council will also be asked to give its OK to a one-time transfer of $400,000 from the city's capital fund to fuel neighborhood reinvestment grants.

On April 18, the city of Boise unveiled a list of 26 community projects that secured recent grants, including a series of sesquicentennial-inspired projects, including specially designed traffic boxes, oral histories, historical research of the Morris Hill neighborhood and a Central Bench spring festival, garnered more than $50,000. Another grant is awarding $28,000 to help fund public art near roundabouts along the new Whitewater Park Boulevard in the city's Veterans Park Neighborhood.

Finally, Council members will be asked on Tuesday to transfer $1.9 million from the Foothills Levy Fund to purchase 260 acres for seven more parcels of the Foothills, this time from Boise Foothills LLC (formerly known as DBSI Boise Foothills), a consortium of 51 individuals. The parcel of undeveloped land is a major section within the area commonly known as the "Hillside to the Hollow" property, located north of Hill Road between Bogus Basin Road and North 33rd Street.

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Nampa School Chief: Budget Crisis 'Worse Than Expected'

Posted By on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM

For Thomas Michaelson, there's bad ... really bad ... and there's the tide of red ink that has swamped the Nampa School District. Idaho Education News reports that when Michaelson was hired to become Nampa's interim school superintendent in November 2012, the difficult decisions to shut down one school, ask faculty to take furlough days and outsource custodial services was "a larger task than I originally thought it would be."

The Nampa School District budget mess, triggered by a $4.3 million shortfall—due, in large part, to accounting errors and improper oversight—resulted in the resignation of Superintendent Gary Larsen. That's when the district turned to Michaelson, who had retired from education after being superintendent of other troubled school districts in California.

"My question was, 'How in the word did you get my name?'" Michaelson told Idaho Ed News.

Soon after coming on board, though, Michaelson said it was important to keep up morale and praise teachers for the work they've done amid the turmoil.

"I purposely would rather encompass the whole of the job, rather than a piece of it," he told Idaho Ed News.

And in the wake of what Idaho Ed News calls "no-win" decisions to close Sunny Ridge Elementary School, furloughs and layoffs, the district still has to find another $2.9 million in additional cuts.

“I think he’s in a really hard position,” Molly Lenty, a member of the group Community for Nampa Schools, told Idaho Ed News. “The fat’s already been cut.”

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Report: Nevada Mental Hospital Accused of 'Patient Dumping'

Posted By on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

The Sacramento Bee reports that a Nevada psychiatric hospital, for several years, released and bused hundreds of patients to a number of other states, including Idaho, prompting a federal warning and multiple investigations. Many of the individuals were purportedly suicidal and/or confused with no access to food or medications and lacking identification. According to The Bee, Las Vegas' Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital has sent 1,500 patients, since 2008, to almost every state in the continental United States.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval announced that his administration has launched three investigations, but denied his state has engaged in "patient dumping."

"Let me be clear, improperly discharging one patient is one patient too many," said Sandoval. "I take the concerns regarding Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital very seriously. And it is not the policy of the state of Nevada to engage in 'patient dumping' as has been alleged."

The Bee reports that a separate investigation from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found the hospital to have "serious deficiencies" in its discharge policies and gave the state of Nevada 10 days to fix its problems, or risk losing federal funding, which could cost Nevada tens of millions of dollars.

In addition, none of the 10 state mental health agencies contacted by The Bee said that placing a psychiatric patient on a bus without a chaperone would be permissible, and none recalled being contacted by Rawson-Neal.

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