Thursday, May 31, 2007

Big Bucks for Community College

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter just announced the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation has pledged $10 million for the new community college in the Treasure Valley.

Update:

Otter made the announcement with several other community college supporters this afternoon in the newly-refurbished Capitol Park in downtown Boise.

"This is absolutely huge," said Milford Terrell, from the Idaho Board of Education.

With the pledge from the Idaho Legislature of $5 million, the school has $15 million in startup funds to work with.

The check from the Albertson Foundation comes on the heels of the successful passage of a new taxing district to create the first state-funded community college in the Treasure Valley. The school is tentatively set to be located in Nampa, at the site of the Boise State Selland College of Applied Sciences.

Yet to come: The naming of a set of five trustees, by the state Board of Education, who will later be elected to those positions.

Terrell said the board was actively taking in applications for the trustee positions.

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna said the qualifications for the job weren't really set in stone yet, but that he thought they might be similar to those expected from a member of a local school board.

"I think we'd look at the whole gamut," Luna said in an interview.

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Air Quality Rainbow

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Ada County has moved up a notch on the magical rainbow of air pollution—and not in the good direction.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued an orange air quality alert earlier today, putting the valley’s air in the unhealthy level. The air quality index moved from 70 yesterday to 102 today as a heat inversion holds more ozone in the area.

DEQ officials expect air quality to continue to worsen over the week, which means Boise may dip into the dreaded red air quality warning level.

As usual, all outdoor burning in Ada and Canyon counties is banned, and the public is asked to limit car trips and to wait until evening to fill up at the gas station.

To find out more information, visit the DEQ Web site.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Patricia Kempthorne joins Tibbs Team

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Boise mayoral candidate (and City Councilor) Jim Tibbs announced his advisory committee today.

Pretty straightforward stuff, but for one name: Patricia Kempthorne.

The former first lady of Idaho is the top of the list of advisors to the candidate's team. Also on the list is Paul Collins, M.D., a columnist for the Idaho Statesman.

Tibbs is so far the only other candidate to challenge Mayor Dave Bieter for the city's top post. The election is in November.

The announcement comes on the heels of Tibbs's recent announcement that Velma Morrison would be joining his campaign as the finance chair.

“Along with Velma Morrison leading our finance efforts, we have yet another group of high caliber individuals joining our efforts,” Tibbs said in a prepared statement. “I thank all of them for their support and am pleased they share my passion for the kind of leadership I can bring to the City we all share.”

Here's the full list:

Former First Lady Patricia Kempthorne

Jack Robertson

Andy Giacomazzi, Ph.D.

Dave & Jeannie Eiguren

Col. Bruce Wong (Ret)

Patricia Frederickson, Ph.D.

Brian Donnesley

Richard & Martha Ripple

Jack Robertson

Bob Greenwood

Paul Collins, M.D.

Kevin Kirk

Dave Goss

Mike Shirley

Brian Ballard

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The New Old Spaghetti Factory

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

To celebrate its grand opening today, one of Downtown's newest denizens, the Old Spaghetti Factory, had an invitation only charity lunch in which some of the afternoon's proceeds will benefit the Idaho Food Bank. Now, OSF is ready to start plating the pasta and serving the salads to the public and is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. 610 W. Idaho St., 208-336-2900.
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Hold Your Breath

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

You may want to think twice before you step outside to get some fresh air. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has once again issued a yellow air quality alert for the Treasure Valley.

The alert means no open burning in Ada or Canyon Counties, and a plea to limit drive time.

With warm temperatures settling into the valley, the air quality index rose to 70 this morning, and DEQ officials expect it to get worse throughout the week. Anyone sensitive to air pollution is advised to limit strenuous outdoor activity until air quality improves.

The public is asked to limit car trips, and wait until evening, when temperatures are cooler, to fill gas tanks or mow the lawn.

To check the current air quality index, visit the DEQ’s Web site.

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Caswell to Lead BLM

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 4:00 AM

President George Bush has nominated another Idahoan to run a major federal land management agency.

First it was former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, to run Interior.

Today he nominated Jim Caswell to be the new leader of the Bureau of Land Management. If he gets the job, he'll work for Secretary Kempthorne.

Most recently, Caswell was the director of the Idaho Office of Species Conservation. He was a big part of Idaho's effort to move toward a new roadless management plan under then-Gov. Jim Risch.

Caswell will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Bush's announcement, made today without much fanfare, came on a day when Bush was also busy nominating a new head of the World Bank, so it's no wonder it slipped under the radar.

Of course, many readers were probably distracted by another item in the same White House news release:

"The President intends to designate Senator Ted Stevens, of Alaska, to be Personal Representative of the President of the United States at the 47th International Paris Air Show."

Stop the presses!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blogging With Larry

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Ever the campaign innovator, Democrat Larry LaRocco will kick off the first of a series of live-blogging "events" tonight over at the Democratic Web site IdaBlue.

LaRocco has announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Larry Craig, a Republican. (Sen. Craig has yet to say whether he's running or not.)

Live blogging. So hip. So "now." Will it help?

LaRocco is nothing if not clever. In his failed run for lieutenant governor against Lt. Gov. Jim Risch in 2006, LaRocco embarked on a massive hand-shaking quest around Idaho. It was a good gimmick, and got him a fair amount of press attention, as well as stories to tell on the campaign trail. In an unsuccessful attempt to beat Craig in 1982, he took a job in every county in Idaho.

Since then he's been a columnist at New West, and made the announcement of his candidacy early this spring. Risch, too, is considering a run if Craig opts not to run for re-election.

Unfortunately for LaRocco, his innovations have yet to get him a ride back into political office, since his ouster from Congress in 1995.

Will this work? Ask him yourself. The live blogging begins at 8 p.m. tonight.

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Depot Will Open Sundays

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The City of Boise will now open the historic Boise Depot on Sundays, starting June 3.

Jeez, you happy now, Guardian?

Starting June 2nd the Boise Depot, Great Hall and Bell Towers will be open Sundays from 10am to 6pm through September 30.

Admission is free.

"Almost any panoramic photo of the City of Boise includes the Depot,” said Mayor Dave Bieter. “It is one of our icons. The citizens of this city have been asking that we allow for more public access. This is the first in a series of steps to do just that and we are very excited about future plans."

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Monday, May 28, 2007

RSVP ASAP

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Chef Jered Couch of Eagle's SixOneSix prepares a five-course raw food dinner paired with wine Thursday, May 31, in conjunction with valley raw foods enthusiasts. With a focus on eating raw, enzyme-rich, "living" food, raw foodists seek a plant-based diet that excludes cooked food (which also means those icky cooked carrots we all hated as kids), as well as chemically processed, preserved and pasteurized foods. However given those slightly constricting food preparation parameters, Chef Couch's menu for the evening is hardly bland or simple. Zuccini pasta alfredo and a cheese stick with marinara start the evening, followed by watermelon gazpacho with cucumber sorbet and a Greek salad with almond feta cheese. Sloppy joe and flatbread pizza with hummus are planned for the entree course and dessert is a lime mousse tart with a coconut macadamia crust. Diners can choose all five courses paired with course-appropriate wines for $75 per person, or pick and choose from several courses for $15 per segment. Thursday, May 31, SixOneSix, 1065 Winding Creek Rd., 208-938-3010.
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New Downtown Steak House Open

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Hotel 43 recently opened Chandler's Steakhouse, its upscale steak and seafood house serving American-style cuisine.

A fine dining experience featuring prime steaks and fresh seafood, Chandler's Steakhouse also has a martini bar and a wine cellar with nearly three-dozen choices available by the glass.

Dinner is served daily at 5:30 p.m. Chandler's Steakhouse is located in Hotel 43, 981 Grove St., 208-342-4622.

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