Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Leashes, No How

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 4:00 AM

We don't need no stinkin' leashes—at least a growing number of Boiseans don't think they do.

A group opposed to a proposed leash requirement on some Foothill trails has organized a petition drive, and so far they have more than 1,500 signatures.

The Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee will be considering a report prepared by a working group next week. The report recommends that all low and mid-level trails, accessible within 5 miles of Boise, allow dogs on leash only.

This includes popular trails like Hulls Gulch and the Military Reserve.

The report is in response to growing conflict on Foothills trails between dogs and other users. Some non-dog people have taken issue with unleashed dogs causing safety hazards, as well as with owners who don't clean up after their dogs.

The working group surveyed communities across the country to come up with its proposal.

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What a Feeling

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 4:00 AM

New modern dance company residents, the Trey McIntyre Project, brought their cutting-edge performance style to town and clearly wanted to find a way just as cutting-edge to let people know about it. In conjunction with some Boise State students working on a public relations project, they created Flashdance, a roughly three-minute performance choreographed by artistic director McIntyre and performed by TMP executive director and dancer, John Michael Schert. Schert, dressed in tennis shoes, jeans and a sweatshirt—likely to help ward off the icy chill of today's gusty winds—combined elements of ballet and modern dance to the tune of the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun." His face expressionless, Schert's movements ranged from jerky to smooth, provocative to classical. It was over as quickly as it began and left the group of onlookers amused, bemused, entertained and definitely curious. For more information, visit
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monitoring the Message

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM

It seems that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is trying to rein in the messages getting out to the media.

In an e-mail sent to all state agencies, Otter's communications director, Mark Warbis, reiterates the governor's policy that all media inquiries must be reported to Warbis, and that all but the most routine press released must be approved before being sent out.

The memo was first reported on Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Russell's blog, Eye on Boise.

Apparently, Otter doesn't like being surprised when he opens the paper.

According to Warbis' letter, agencies taking it upon themselves to answer media questions has, "resulted in a number of instances of the governor’s office finding out about agency representatives’ interactions with the news media from the newspaper clips.

"In some cases those media reports actually have involved what amounts to public disagreements between state agencies over a point of policy. That is entirely unacceptable," Warbis wrote.

"Our media policy is designed to prevent those, but it requires your full compliance," he states in the letter. Check out Warbis' full letter.

This isn't the first time that Otter's tight control of information has caught the media's attention.

It's also not the first time Warbis has had to do some spin control.

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Hungry in BoDo

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM

It's getting harder to find a quick snack in BoDo. Two recent closings show just how hard it is to make it on busy Capital Boulevard. The Capital Boulevard side of BoDo is emptying out one by one. Junga Juice is gutted and its neighbor, burrito cult favorite Ketchum Burritos—better known simply as KB's—closed its doors yesterday.

Known for its bitchin' fish tacos and vegetarian-friendly menu, KB's has a loyal following—as evidenced by the copious amount photos featuring KB apparel globetrotting courtesy of KB's fans. The BoDo closing is especially bad news for BW employees. KB's was officially the closest eatery to our offices and over the course of its two years in business, the BW staff has essentially kept the store in business. Apparently our efforts were too feeble.

Owner Brian Kriesien stopped into our offices on Tuesday afternoon to break the news personally. He cited the store's corner location as problematic in attracting foot traffic or providing convenient parking for customers. Apparently, though, none of Kriesien's other KB's locations are experiencing similar downturns in business. The Hailey and Ketchum stores will keep on rollin' burritos.

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UI Isn't Alone

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM

The University of Idaho is about to be in a hunt for a new president, if Tim White is serious about looking at another job opportunity.

White became UI's president in 2004. He informed the Idaho State Board of Education that he was pondering a job offer at the end of last week.

Must be the season for university president job-hunting. Today, the University of Oregon announced that its longtime president, Dave Frohnmayer, is going to retire.

Wait; didn't White work in Oregon before?

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sali ROMPS in D.C.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 4:00 AM

>Updated to correct an error about House Minority Leader John Boehner's title.

The D.C. Republicans are taking care of their own. In a party last night, U.S. Rep. Bill Sali picked up $66,000 worth of campaign cash.

The fundraising came courtesy of House Minority Leader John Boehner and the party's Regain Our Majority Program. The ROMP program is designed for candidates who are "politically vulnerable and/or have been targeted by the Democrats for defeat," according to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Boehner has been a good friend to Sali, who faces a primary candidate in Matt Salisbury, followed by the well-funded Democrat Walt Minnick in November.

The new money would also augment Sali's relatively weak fundraising record so far.

In addition to last night's fundraiser, Sali's office reports that Boehner has personally donated $9,000 to Sali. The money includes cash from Boehner's personal campaign account and his Political Action Committee.

Earlier this month, Boehner appointed Sali to a House economic development task force. In comments relayed by Sali's office, Boehner called Sali , “creative, knowledgeable" and said he possessed "a real knack working [for] together with divergent interests in order to benefit his constituents and the nation.”

“I am honored that my campaign is receiving such overwhelming support,” said Sali in a prepared statement. "The message I am getting day after day is that people appreciate my willingness to stand firm for Idaho values, for lower taxes and smaller government, to reform Congress and to return to conservative principles."

Ever since Larry Grant dropped out of the Democratic primary against Minnick, the Sali campaign has pumped up the volume. A flurry of news releases tout Sali's comments on various Congressional issues, and the National Republican Congressional Committee wasted no time in hitting against Minnick.

For his part, fresh from a run in the Boston Marathon, Minnick has hired a new campaign manager to replace local political consultant Tara Wolfson. Minnick announced this week he's hired Adam Harris to be his new campaign manager.

Harris worked on the successful 2006 re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. John Spratt from South Carolina. He was recently unemployed when his new boss, Democrat Mike Ciresi dropped out of a nomination race in Minnesota against former Saturday Night Live comedian Al Franken. Harris had been Ciresi's field director.

Minnick is buoyed by support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which named him to a list not unlike Sali's ROMP group, the Red to Blue Program. To get on their list, DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen said, you have to show an ability to raise money.

“Walt Minnick’s Idaho values, experience as a business and community leader and commitment to bringing people together to solve problems make him an independent, effective voice for change for Idaho’s families," said Van Hollen. Being on the list means the DCCC will help Minnick with financial, communications, and strategic support.

The new money appears to have emboldened Sali a bit; in a release today he chided House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for hiding a "super-secret" gas price relief plan.

“If Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have a plan to reduce gas prices, let’s see it. So far, the only solutions we’ve seen are non-solutions, because they involve raising taxes so that consumers pay more," Sali said.

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Boise Community Radio Gets Its License

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 4:00 AM

"Things are really exciting right now," said Jeff Abrams, the executive director of Boise Community Radio. "This is the news that we've been waiting for. Now we know that this is going to go forward."

We're still sifting through the FCC documents, but it looks like Boise Community Radio might have a go at a signal based in ... Caldwell.

They've been granted to use 89.9 FM for now, according to the documents.

If you want the most informed take on this, swing over to Idaho Radio News, where the blog's author and his well-informed commenters are likely to parse out just what this means.

The various FCC documents focus on Caldwell.

Abrams said the official language means that Caldwell is the "city of license." The group has to transmit our signal from within 25 miles of the city of license.

"We fully intend to have our studios remain downtown," Abrams said. The studio has been broadcasting online from the Alaska Building in downtown Boise.

But, the signal may be just what the nonprofit radio boosters need.

"It's just such a blessing that we're finally out of this bureaucratic and regulatory morass," Abrams said. "We can now be driven solely by the community."

Fundraising is the name of the game now. Money will go toward equipment purchases and operations, Abrams said. The group needs to build an antenna, purchase a transmitter and build and maintain a studio. No small matter.

"We have proposed and submitted a federal grant request, to help pay for construction funds and to purchase equipment," Abrams said. The grant is for $500,000, about a quarter of which would need to come from local matches.

He's hoping to get another $100,000 for ongoing operations.

All in all, he's expecting to need about $250,000 in local dollars.

We have great resources in this community," he said. "It's been apparent over the six years that we've been working on this, that people want to make this happen."

For now, this permit will allow them to get on the air, and show potential donors that they're a viable franchise, worth some donor bucks.

But you might expect them to wait for a big money push on radio just now, at least until Boise State Radio finishes its fund drive that's now underway.

Here's their official release.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Earth Day; Why Are You Reading This?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 4:00 AM

You carbon-footprint stomper, you, with all those kilowatts zooming through your hard drive, you need to get outside.

Here's a few earthy ideas for your light-on-the-land day:

Did you drive to work? Ada County says 9 percent of its courthouse-based employees take some form of alternative transportation.

“The turf may be blue, but the campus is green.” Oh, those clever kids at Boise State. Well, they'll have ongoing events today. Their campus Green Team will be busy today. Some of the two-wheeled nuts there will be readying for Friday's Bicycle Congress.

Our Calendar Guru, Elaine Lacaillade, found a passel of events requiring gloves and a yen for yardwork. Check 'em out here.

Or, um, carpool over to Nampa for the College of Idaho Earth Day events. Vendor booths will be on display and speaker presentations will start at 11 a.m. and a low-carbon lunch will be available for $6.73 for non-students starting. Student organization TERRA will offer interactive booths as part of their sustainability fair such as petition-signing and a booth for recycling batteries, light bulbs and other hazardous materials.

Get out of work and go mountain biking in the Foothills.

Finish your day with a presentation on bird research: Greg Kaltenecker executive director of the Idaho Bird Observatory, discusses some of the research results of the observatory. The event is set for the MK Nature Center. This event, hosted by the Audubon Society, is free at 7:45 p.m.

It's late. Turn out the lights, already.

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"It's no fun, but we have no choice."

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Hey, now that's a rallying cry.

It's also part of the video that employees of the Idaho Statesman are likely to be watching today.

McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt, hoping to calm a jitter or two, sent a video message to employees today, with the theme song straight from the Rolling Stones: "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Oh, great. Wasn't that played during a funeral in some movie we remember our parents watching? (See below.)

Faithful doubters of the mass media will no doubt recall that McClatchy, the owner of our local daily, hasn't had the best year.

Read the Editor and Publisher story about Pruitt's upbeat message here.

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Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Kudos to Idaho Public Television for pulling in eight regional Emmy nods.

The nominations include two for occasional BW contributor Marcia Franklin's work with astronaut Barbara Morgan.

Here's the list:

—Marcia Franklin, "Barbara Morgan", Human Interest-News Series

—Joan Cartan-Hansen, "D4K", Children/Youth

—Jim Peck, "The Idaho Homefront:of Camps and Combat", Historic/Cultural-Program Special

—Joan Cartan-Hansen, "Dialogue, Open Idaho", Politics/Government-Program/Special

—John Crancer, "Outdoor Idaho, Motorized Idaho", Sports Program-Series

—Marcia Franklin, "Dialogue, Barbara Morgan", Interview/Discussion-Program/Special

—Bruce Reichert, "Outdoor Idaho, A Middle Fork Journey", Informational/Instructional-Program/Special

The awards will be announced on June 7 in Seattle.

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