Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BW Publisher Voted on to Alt Weeklies Board

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Boise Weekly Publisher Sally Freeman was elected to the board of directors of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies last week during the group’s annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

Freeman will serve as an at-large member for the association, which is made up of about 130 papers from cities across the country.

“As a member of the board of AAN, I will work towards catapulting alternative weeklies to continue to represent the cutting edge in media in both print and digital journalism,” Freeman said. “Though the association represents a coalition of many alt weeklies of different sizes and formats, our mission and challenges remain the same. Boise Weekly will continue to work toward being the best independent media source in the Treasure Valley representing our local community.”

Alt weeklies have evolved in recent years as journalism has moved online. Much of the focus at this year’s convention was on new ways to present information, deliver advertising and engage readers. But alternative press fundamentals—the honest practice of journalism—remains the link between AAN papers: “What ties them together are a strong focus on local news, culture and the arts; an informal and sometimes profane style; an emphasis on point-of-view reporting and narrative journalism; a tolerance for individual freedoms and social differences; and an eagerness to report on issues and communities that many mainstream media outlets ignore,” according to the association Web site.

BW Editor Rachael Daigle, Art Director Leila Ramella and citydesk curator Nathaniel Hoffman also attended the raucous confab in Tucson, earning Boise a spot in yet another Top 10 list, the Wisest Company Cost Cutting in the Alt Weekly Association list: While all the other, big-shot editors paid $6 for beers and $22 for steak sandwiches at the posh golf resort south of town, the BW crew holed up in our rooms with vodka and avocados from Safeway.

It also may have bettered our chances of hosting the event in, maybe, 2011, after all the verdant golf resorts in Arizona dry up and whither.

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Boise's Coldest Beer

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:38 AM

It's done.

I've just sent the final version of this year's Coldest Beer contest to the production department where it will be shot into cyberspace and land on the press.

Want to know who this year's winner is?

Ha! Like I'd spill the ice-cold beans. I'll give you a hint: it's a first-time winner. That really narrows it down, huh?

Check back tomorrow or pick up an issue to see who wins this year's coldest and warmest honors. Don't know where to get a Boise Weekly? Check out this new map. Enter your address and you can find the BW drop nearest to you.

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Finn Riggins Named One of Boston Phoenix's Top 50 New Bands

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

The Boston Phoenix just announced its annual Top 50 Best New Bands in the United States, and Finn Riggins took the honor as the Gem State's entry.
Since relocating to Boise—and losing the parenthetical punctuation in their name—the trio of Cameron Bouiss, Eric Gilbert and Lisa Simpson has been playing out all over town and throughout the West. Their summer schedule even has them going abroad, including a show in Kenya.
Could their spot on the Phoenix's list be what propels them into the stratosphere of stardom? Maybe not, but for months, I've been suggesting it may not be long before we see FR shaking hands with Jimmy Kimmel or Conan O'Brien or Ellen DeGeneres after a talk-show performance. So if one of their talent scouts happens to see the list ... who knows?
Boise-based band The Very Most made the list last year and, along with Low-fi, the two bands are playing a show at the Linen Building this Thursday. Pick up tomorrow's issue of BW for more info.

Here's why the Phoenix found FR so fab:

CITY: Boise
SONG THAT GOT US: “Pankakes”
RECORD LABEL: Tender Loving Empire
WHY THEM? Finn Riggins deliver a winning combo of whirling post-punk, krautrock, and psyched-out organ jams. The Boise trio dabbles in a little bit of everything. Steel drums bang away in hypnotic little patterns while singer Lisa Simpson (for real?!) croons and vamps like the spooky ghost of a coffee-shop balladeer. They’ve been ripping up the Pacific Northwest and Idaho for a few years now, and their new record, A Soldier, A Saint, An Ocean Explorer, bristles with friction and brilliant ideas. Whoever the other band in Boise is should be taking close notes.
BONUS BIT! The co-ed threesome formed when they met in college in Moscow—but before you haul them off to Guantanamo, realize that it’s Moscow, Idaho.

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I Want My Trash Cans

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

As ridiculous as it might seem, I was actually pretty excited for the delivery of my new trash cans yesterday.

A colorful flier had been stuck to my doorknob the week before, informing me of the impending arrival of my fancy new trash and recycling cans. So, it was with great anticipation that I turned onto my street yesterday evening only to find a great void on the sidewalk.

I stood there, looking a little confused, taking stock of my neighbors’ brand-new, non-trash-splattered cans sitting in front of their homes. “What about me?” I wondered aloud, suddenly feeling like I was back in high school and the butt of some prank.

Disappointed, and with nowhere to put my recycling, I called Allied Waste this morning to inquire why I seemed to be singled out. Turns out, I’m a victim of my own desire not to be wasteful.

Since I made a special request for cans smaller than the average 95-gallon size, I’m just going to have to wait.

The helpful customer service agent said the smaller can sizes are being delivered on a separate truck, and crews are already falling behind despite only starting to drop them off a week ago.

Delivery for the 48-gallon cans is now running roughly four days behind schedule, and arrival of the 65-gallon versions is delayed by several days.

I’ve been assured my new blue and gray cans will show up soon, but I’m still feeling a bit like the only kid not invited to the party.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, Bloody, Sunday

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:34 PM

I'll admit, I'm used to getting calls about Food News. Over the last few days, I've fielded a handful of phone calls and e-mails about my most recent brief on Eagle restaurants.

In it, I complained loudly about the lack of Sunday food choices in Eagle, which recently resulted in a pretty crappy experience at one of the only open joints. Then I swore off that restaurant for good, as well as all other Eagle eateries on Sunday.

I'll admit that I'm inclined to change my tune ever so slightly in retrospect, at least as far as the latter is concerned. Two Eagle restaurants, both of which have pretty glowing recommendations from trusted foodies, are open on Sunday. Neither of which I'd thought of, and both of which I would have checked out had I thought of them. Follow?

So where will I be dining next time I'm in Eagle on a Sunday? I'll have to toss a coin. Heads: Rachel K's Bistro; tails: Bella Aquila. Both serve brunch and if you're an Eagle-based, mimosa-swilling, Sunday brunch seeker, I hear both will do you right.

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Three Feet to Pass, with Kristin Armstrong

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 1:05 PM

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Appliance woes

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 12:29 PM

When a fridge goes out you usually can tell by the awful smell that wafts in your face as you open it for a beer. Mine didn't do that. It slowly got warmer and warmer until the butter was the consistency of creamy frosting. The freezer was still working so I couldn't figure it out.

Last time the freezer went out, and a $70 repairman visit later, I discovered that the thermostat button had been turned accidentally to full on warm. That was an expensive lesson.

This time I checked all the buttons, knobs and switches but to no avail. They were all fine. So the repairman is here as I speak and informs me that my defrost switch/thermostat thingy (accessible only by a repairman) is broken. At least it wasn't my fault this time.

The repairman told me that with the economy most people are buying used fridges and repairing their old ones. So Maytag apparently has lowered the price on it's fridges, but increased the price on their parts. So what normally would have been a cheap part, now was much more expensive. Funny how companies take advantage of economic woes.

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Grudge Match: Car v. Bike

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:37 AM

I've been waffling about when I should weigh in on the car/cyclist collision course Boise is currently navigating.

Last night, as I drove down Sixth Street, I was given good reason.

First, I'd like to preface what I'm about to say with these facts, which are in no particular order: I bike. I drive. I try to do both responsibly. A good friend of mine spent three days in a hospital after being hit by a car on his bike and the driver never even realized he or she had mowed down a cyclist. I've written about Idaho's progressive bike laws for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and I've been a guest on a Portland, Ore. radio station discussing bike safety and the driver/cyclist dynamic in Boise.
I'm no expert, but I do know Idaho's bike laws fairly well, and I do defend the freedom we Idaho cyclists have that other, more progressive states, do not.

Back to last night.

Me: driving eastbound on Fort Street, blinker on to turn right southbound onto Sixth Street. (Disclaimer: I bike Sixth Street south an average of five times a week.)

She: cycling westbound on Fort Street, turns southbound onto Sixth Street without yielding to the car who had the right of way (me).

Me: I know I've committed similar errors as a cyclist by mistake, so I give her plenty of room to navigate the road.

She: while riding smack down the middle lane of a three-lane road, gestures at me in anger as I pass her on the left.

Although I've sat back over the last few weeks as the cyclist/driver debate simmers on medium heat in the blogsphere and in media coverage, this particular incident was a prime example of why so many drivers hate cyclists and why so few cyclists are causing grief for many responsible cyclists.

This woman, who was riding right down the middle of Sixth Street, was a completely irresponsible rider. She should have been riding as far to the right as she could get, and she should have yielded to traffic when turning onto Sixth.

Instead, she was in the wrong and she hollered at the driver.

Lady, learn the bike laws.

Same goes to Carol Huteson of Boise, who left this in a message on the Mayor's Hotline on June 16:

"... why not make the sidewalks wider and then create a marked-off area on
the sidewalks just for bicyclists, just like it is on the streets? They’re supposed to be walking their bikes across the intersections anyway..."

Thanks for the thoughtful suggestion, Carol, but clearly you don't know the law, either. Here it is:

A person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicyclist.
A person shall not operate a bicycle along and upon a sidewalk or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, where the use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic control devices.
A person operating a vehicle by human power, or operating a motorized wheelchair or an electric personal assistive mobility device upon and along a sidewalk, or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

I don't see any law requiring cyclists to walk across a street.

None of my ranting will prevent an accident. My hope, however, is that these incidents are furthering education for all the uneducated drivers and cyclists out there. After that, I can only hope that drivers and cyclists both pay attention and quit blaming one another.

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River Ho!

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:06 AM

0426/1246291807-7692999.jpgGet out your rafts, waterproof sunscreen and water shoes: The floating season on the Boise River is about to officially kick off.

While Ada County always points out that the river is never “officially” closed to floating, high water levels this spring have kept conditions unsafe for casual floating (as witnessed by several rescues of over-confident boaters).

But with river flows set to decrease during the next two days, the county will begin raft and tube rentals at Barber Park at noon on Wednesday, July 1. Shuttle bus service will also start on that date.

If you need to rent some flotation, in addition to several private raft rental locations in the valley, the rental shop at Barber Park will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Friday through Sunday and on holidays. Shuttle service costs $3 per person and leaves the park every hour on the hour, running from 1-8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 1-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday and on holidays.

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Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 7:25 AM

When does a speed bump a speed hump make?


As seen on Mountain View Drive between Ustick and Cole.

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