Monday, April 30, 2007

Back To Shealy

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Reaction to our story about City Councilor Alan Shealy’s consideration of a run for the U.S. Senate was widespread, and has now prompted an apology from Shealy to his fellow city councilors.

In the story, Shealy described his frustration with the minutiae of city council work, including the weekly slog through a number of subdivision reviews. He singled out such drudgery as one of the reasons he’s had a hard time deciding whether to run for re-election to council or not.

In a subsequent interview, Shealy says that he intends to apologize to the council, and says his dedication to the job has never wavered.

“I’m immensely proud of what this council does,” Shealy told BW. “We’ve done a lot, and we’re going to do a lot more. I didn’t mean to imply that the council was ineffective.”

He remains frustrated that the council spends too much time working on issues that are, as he put it, “below our pay grade.”

But he said the impression that he was not dedicated to the council’s work was incorrect.

“I don’t want people who I am representing to feel that I think it’s all for naught,” he said.

As for his pondering a Senate run, Shealy says he’s still thinking about it, but wasn’t ready to answer which party he’d run for. He has been a Republican. Some Democrats and Republicans alike have questioned which party he might run for. He declined to answer that question directly.

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Hey, You in the Lycra

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Ride a bike? Thinking about it? Hate the thought of it?

Tell the Ada County Highway District what you think about bikes in the Treasure Valley. Take their survey already. It's easy (we've tried it).

Why do it? ACHD is writing its Roadways to Bikeways: Bicycle Master Plan for Ada County. So, they're looking for input from all you bike and non-biker types out there.

Let ACHD know what biking links (lanes, better shoulders, etc.) are missing.

The study is to be finished next year, but getting the real data considered now is vital. Tell your friends.

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Bungalow Now Does Breakfast

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Erik and Jennifer McLaughlin and Fred Moffitt say they're ready to open Bungalow, the revision of Richard's Restaurant.

Among other new ingredients: breakfast, lunch, and a liquor license.

McLaughlin sent a note out today to say Bungalow will be familiar to Richard's fans, but "more casual and affordable." They say it's busy already, so one thing hasn't changed: call ahead and get reservations.

Where Richard's was primarily a dinner spot, Bungalow will feature a breakfast menu and a full cocktail selection. Not that you should be mixing the two, but we're just pointing things out.

Bungalow is located in the former Richard’s Restaurant location at 1520 North 13th Street. The phone number is 208-331-9855.

The hours: open for dinner seven nights a week (from 5:00), Lunch Monday through Friday (11:30 until 2:00) and Breakfast Saturday and Sunday (9:00 until 2:00).

The peek we got at the breakfast menu has us ready to order: Idaho Elk Sausage Omelet, a "Tuscan Hash" with Prosciutto and fresh basil in a wild mushroom cream sauce, Eggs Benedict and a few other breakfast classics.

Erik and Jennifer McLaughlin also own the 8th Street Wine Company in Downtown Boise’s BoDo District. Fred Moffitt was previously the executive chef at Richard’s of Hyde Park and now joins the McLaughlin’s as Partner/Chef at Bungalow.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Hang Up In Front of Otter

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter made a relatively gaffe-free appearance on Idaho Public Television last night, entertaining questions from callers and host Jim Peck for about an hour.

Our favorite answer? He's ready to ban cell phones while driving.

When asked by a caller about the subject, he replied that when he's motoring in to work in the early morning hours from his ranch in Star, one of the things that bugs him the most is getting behind a driver with a cell phone glued to their ear.

"I would fight to outlaw any kind of distraction from the very serious job of driving," Otter said. Cell phones in cars are "especially an irritation to me."

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Boise's "Invisible Children"

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 4:00 AM

If you see a herd of local children walking from Hillside Junior High to Anser Charter School Saturday night, looking like refugees, you've just gotten the point.

Sammi Cronk, a 13-year-old Anser student, says the idea to re-create the Ugandan refugee experience came from her school's study of African issues this year.

In particular, Cronk and her friends were inspired by the documentary Invisible Children, about displaced children in Uganda who are often kidnapped, then pressed into service as child warriors.

The idea of re-creating a refugee march came from the film, which describes how kids in that country make a nightly walk, for several miles, with only a blanket and some water, to sleep in a protected area.

"Otherwise, they're afraid that the rebels will abduct them," Cronk said.

Saturday's effort is part of a national "Displace Me Night." Students have been collecting sponsorships to help send money to help students in Uganda. For every $300 the effort raises, Cronk said, they can help to send a child to school for a year. Their goal is to sponsor between four and six children this year.

Cronk expects about 70 people on the walk, which will have several chaperones.

Similar events will take place in Seattle, San Francisco, Austin and Phoenix.

Once they finish their walk to Anser, the students will sleep with only the things they carried: a blanket, some water, and a book.

"Those kids don't have pads," Cronk said. "They pretty much have a sheet, water, and that's it."

As part of their African studies, Cronk has also built a model of an African drum, and has been learning to play it. She said the experience has inspired her to want to travel to Africa some day.

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BW Weekend Planner

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The BW Staff Weekend looks musical and earthy:

Lots of us, including Juliana, will be heading to the Boise Experimental Music Festival on Saturday, over at the Visual Arts Collective.

But plenty more of us will be moseying on down to Pengilly's Saloon later on Saturday night, because Blake will be playing with his band, A Slow Moon.

The sun will be out this weekend, lots. Good weekend to join Wendie when she takes on the plants at Edwards Greenhouse out on Hill Road.

Still need more music? Nancy will be taking her Sunday evening in with the Early Music Ensemble at the Morrison Center..

When she's not at the BEMF, Chelsea plans to catch one of the last few shows of Butterflies Are Free, over at the Boise Little Theater.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bye-Bye, Vasquez

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Robert Vasquez, former Canyon County Commissioner, returns to life as a political footnote. See links here and here.
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Journalist Dives Into Politics

IBR's John Foster to take Idaho Dem Party job

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 4:00 AM

John Foster, the former managing editor of the Idaho Business Review, will become the new executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party.

Foster, 33, will replace Maria Weeg, who has gone to work for the Arizona Democratic Party.

"I love journalism, I love investigative reporting. But this was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that I couldn't overlook," Foster told BW this morning. As a longtime fan of former governor Cecil Andrus, Foster said he's always had a spot in his heart for the Idaho Democratic Party. He has been with the Business Review since May 2006.

He was offered the job by party chairman Richard Stallings earlier this week.

"I was not looking to leave the Idaho Business Review," Foster said. "It was a great job, I very much enjoyed the opportunity there. They placed a lot of trust in me, and I'm deeply appreciative of that."

When the possibility of his hire by the party came up three weeks ago, Foster took a leave of absence from the Business Review, he said, to avoid any conflict of interest. Jumping from journalism, something that Foster has been working at since he was a 19-year-old freelancer for the Twin Falls Times-News, was not easy.

"It's a chance to become a part of something that I've always enojoyed and, more importantly, to make an impact in the state that I love," he said.

Born and raised in Boise, Foster attended Borah High School. He did not go to college, instead going straight into newspaper work. He was also, at one point, a freelancer for the Boise Weekly.

Eventually he worked his way to New Mexico, where he was the news editor of the small but scrappy Rio Grande Sun in Espanola. Foster and his reporters were known as hard-hitting investigative journalists in a state known for its tough political climate.

"Covering New Mexico politics is like going to graduate school in political science," he said. "It was a great place to learn how politics really works on the ground."

He said he expects to carry on with Weeg's work building the political operation of Idaho's minority party, and that this will be a long-term job.

"I'm not taking this job to do it for two years and become someone's chief of staff or campaign manager," Foster said. "A lot of people I respect a great deal have put a lot of trust in me and I'm going to work hard not to let them down. "

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Ask Otter

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Why did he veto the bowling-alley smoking bill? Why is he supporting the community college election?

Heck, we're tired of asking. You can ask Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter yourself when he shows up on a special "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television tonight at 8 p.m. He'll take viewer calls and e-mails.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Work at Asiago's

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Asiago's Downtown has finally re-opened their Main Street restaurant, in a totally remodeled space just west of where they used to be.

Co-owner Jason Driver wrote in to tell us about all the work now complete, and the new options to come.

Phase 1, he tells us, is done and ready for customers. They built an entire new kitchen, bar area and dining space, and redesigned the whole kit and kaboodle with what Driver calls "vintage Italian style."

Several large wall murals, and paintings inspired by early to mid-1900s European art all highlight the their menu style.

Phase 2 sounds even more ambitious: They've taken over the old kitchen, bar and dining areas.

"We are now building out new dining areas in that former space; the front dining area along Main St. will include an "openable" front window system to create an open-air dining experience that will tie in with the sidewalk tables out front," Driver wrote in an e-mail to BW. "The interior dining area will be a bit more private, and will be designed in a wine barrel cellar room fashion."

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