Air quality

Saturday, April 4, 2015

American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb Raises Around $30,000

Posted By on Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 3:06 PM

Last year's Fight for Air Climb attracted several first responders, who returned again this year as well. - AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION
  • American Lung Association
  • Last year's Fight for Air Climb attracted several first responders, who returned again this year as well.
More than a few people spent part of their Saturday breathing heavy. The American Lung Association's Fourth Annual Fight for Air Climb drew 250 community members aged 8 to 81 to the U.S. Bank Building in downtown Boise to climb all 32 floors. Some particularly ambitious participants climbed a total of 128 stories in all.

"The thing about lung health is that a lot of us are healthy enough that we don't think twice about the air we breathe," said Heather Kimmel, with the Idaho branch of the American Lung Association. "But most of us have a friend or family member that has suffered from asthma or bronchitis or complications from smoking."

The American Lung Association states that lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and lung cancer kills more people than the other top three cancer killers combined. Asthma is also the leading cause of missed school days due to chronic illness.

Registration cost $35 for each climber, with a $100 fundraising requirement. That means the organization walked away with an estimated $30,000 from today's event. Kimmel told Boise Weekly that money will go toward lung health programs here in Idaho and advocacy work to keep clean air in Idaho communities.

She added that clean air faces many threats, from vehicle emissions to wildfires.

Also participating in the climb were about 60 first responders from various fire and police departments, SWAT teams, and service members from the Gowen Field Air National Guard Base and Mountain Home Air Force Base. Kimmel said first responders are particularly drawn to events like these because they have a high exposure to smoke and chemicals in their jobs, which affect their lungs.

Kimmel called the morning a great success.

"It looked like a lot of people beginning at a start line and disappearing up a staircase," she said with a laugh. But that's exactly what she hoped for.
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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Making SkyMall's Boise Connection

Posted By on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 10:26 AM

SkyMall: "We make it safe to throw your iPod in the pool."
  • SkyMall: "We make it safe to throw your iPod in the pool."
On Jan. 23, SkyMall, which for years was the only in-flight magazine on most major U.S. airlines, turned a page in its 25-year-long career in the magazine-and-sick-bag storage seat pocket when its parent company, Xhibit Corporations, filed for bankruptcy.

"We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic 'SkyMall' brand find a home to continue to operate as SkyMall has for the last 25 years," said Xhibit CFO and Acting CEO Scott Wiley.

Xhibit is filing for approval of a bankruptcy court-supervised sale of its companies and assets, so the dissolution of the parent company doesn't necessarily signal the ultimate downfall of the purveyor of FitPedal laptop pedal workout desks and In God's Hands cat memorial statues.

Lest we forget, SkyMall has a Boise connection via its founder and former Idaho State Sen. Bob Worsley:
In March 2014, made the pages of Boise Weekly for his former role as Executive of the Board of Directors of the Institute for American Values, a nonpartisan interest group that focused on the "renewal of of marriage and family life" and had ties to State Rep. Lynn Luker's "religious freedom" bill during the 2014 legislative session. 
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Orange Air Quality Alert for Boise

Posted By on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

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The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is cautioning residents of the Treasure Valley that the air quality on Friday, Aug 16, is expected to deteriorate even further.

An Orange Air Quality Alert has been issued for Friday, with an AQI index of 125 (Thursday's AQI was 110.)

Smoke from the region's wildfires continues to be "variable and unpredictable," according to DEQ officials, especially in the Boise and southeastern Treasure Valley. Some areas are expected to experience heavier smoke impacts than others throughout the day. Due to the lingering smoke, air quality is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups including the elderly, children and people with respiratory or heart disease.

Meanwhile, a Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16 for areas north and east of Boise, including portions of the Boise, Payette and Sawtooth national forests.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Orange Air Quality Alert for Treasure Valley

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM

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The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality announced late Monday what most people in the Treasure Valley already knew: The air quality is lousy, as smoke from regional wildfires continues to blanket the Boise metro area.

But the DEQ took it a step further, issuing a rare orange air quality alert for Tuesday, Aug. 13, with an AQI forecast of 120, meaning the air quality is expected to deteriorate further and be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including people with respiratory illness or heart disease, the elderly and children. Those sensitive to particulate matter, ozone and/or smoke are encouraged to limit outdoor activity. It's also recommended that all other individuals limit prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity.

The DEQ recommends that residents car pool or use mass transit, avoid idling their vehicles, delay fueling vehicles until late in the day and reduce the use of gasoline-powered equipment until late in the day.

The National Weather Service forecasts for smoky days and nights until at least Wednesday evening, Aug. 14. Daytime highs will be in the low 90s and overnight lows will be in the low 60s.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Continuing Unhealthy Air Triggers Burn Ban; More Snow Coming

Posted By on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM

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Bitter cold and an ice storm that crippled the Treasure Valley have nothing on the region's longer-lasting weather challenge: poor air quality.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued another air quality alert for today—the latest in a string warning of unhealthy conditions for the very young and elderly. The alert cautions sensitive people to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

Today's Air Quality Index is 80, which has triggered a ban on both outdoor burning and residential wood heating.

Meanwhile, dense fog blanketed the region this morning, causing hazardous driving conditions, coupled with a wintry mix of freezing rain and snow.

Snow levels are expected to drop to 2,800 feet this evening, with Boise's overnight lows below freezing. More fog is expected for Sunday, Jan. 27.

The long-range forecast calls for snow showers on and off through the week ahead as a storm system sweeps through the region, bringing up to 2 feet of new snow to the upper levels of the Intermountain West.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Air Quality in Lemhi and Custer Counties 'Very Unhealthy'

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Warnings from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare urge residents in Lemhi and Custer counties to stay indoors as much as possible.

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Air quality in those areas has reached the purple "very unhealthy" category because of wildfire smoke, prompting the Department of Environmental Quality to forecast poor conditions for the next few days.

Older adults, children and those with medical conditions are advised to stay indoors as much as possible. All residents are advised to avoid heavy work or exercise outdoors during poor air quality.

Meanwhile in the Treasure Valley, green or "good" air quality has returned to the Boise, Caldwell and Nampa areas.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

State of the Air Gives 'C' to Treasure Valley, 'F' to Benewah, Lemhi and Shoshone Counties

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Treasure Valley air quality has improved so much that the Boise metro area (including Nampa) has been listed among the Top 25 cleanest cities for annual particle pollution in the United Sates.

The American Lung Association's State of the Air 2012 moved Ada County smog levels from an "F" ranking in its last report up to a "C" grade. Ozone (smog) is the most widespread air pollutant, created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles and other sources. Ozone is blamed for wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death.

On the downside, Benewah, Lemhi and Shoshone counties all received an "F" in the latest report for short-term particle pollution.

The air is a bit clearer in Butte and Kootenai counties—two of the cleanest, when it comes to ozone.

But the Lung Association still warned that more than 40 percent of people in the United States—more than 127 million people—live in areas where air pollution continues to threaten their health.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

City Says "Be Idle Free," Citizens Say "Duh"

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 6:04 AM

On August 17 Boise joined a number of key cities that are embracing idling reduction programs. In districts across downtown, the city has posted metal signs that say “Turn your key / be idle free boise.org,” urging residents to switch off their vehicles when parked. The sign sports a logo and a QR code that links to the website.

“Our goal is to educate residents on the effects of idling,” said spokesman for the mayor Adam Park.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Greenhouse Auto Stickers Unveiled

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 8:49 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation unveiled new fuel economy window stickers Wednesday. You will see them on all new vehicles beginning with the 2013 model year. Simply put, the sticker will, for the first time, estimate annual fuel costs and the vehicle's overall environmental impact.

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Original designs included a letter grade from A to D comparing a vehicle's fuel economy and pollution impact to those of other cars, but the EPA and DOT rejected the letter system due largely to pressure from automakers. Instead the label will include a greenhouse gas rating and a smog rating. The sticker will also include an estimated annual fuel cost based on 15,000 miles traveled at a fuel price of $3.70 per gallon. It will also estimate how much fuel the vehicle should need to travel 100 miles.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Nothing Says Monday Like a Yellow Alert

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Following an oppressively hot weekend, the Treasure Valley begins another week with a yellow air alert.

The Department of Environmental Quality has posted the warning, with special attention for sensitive people—very young children, seniors—to take extra caution. The DEQ has already posted yet another yellow alert for Tuesday. Track the Air Quality Index atairnow.gov.

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