Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Payette County Commissioners Listen to AEHI Testimony in Marathon Hearing

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 11:43 AM

The latest act in the ongoing saga surrounding Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.'s proposal to build a nuclear power reactor played out last night at the Payette High School auditorium.

Payette County Commissioners (left to right) Larry Clark, Rudy Endrikat and Marc Shigeta
  • George Prentice
  • Payette County Commissioners (left to right) Larry Clark, Rudy Endrikat and Marc Shigeta.

Payette County commissioners listened to more than 30 people testify for or against AEHI's plan. Proponents outnumbered opposition two to one, and most of those testifying on behalf of AEHI either worked for or were contracted by the Eagle-based company. Commissioners must ultimately decide whether to rezone a parcel of land in New Plymouth from agricultural to industrial, allowing AEHI to move forward with its proposal.

Water usage, environmental impacts and nuclear safety were all grist for the mill. The nearly four-hour marathon also included references to Jesus and Mother Goose nursery rhymes. You can read all about the hearing in Wednesday's BW.

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Video: Opponents Deliver Petitions in Effort to Halt "Luna Laws"

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Monday's late afternoon downpour didn’t stop volunteers from passing hundreds of boxes hand-over-hand all the way to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa’s office at the Statehouse. Inside the boxes were more than 72,000 signatures for each of three bills from Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna.

A group dubbed Idahoans for Responsible Education Reform set out to obtain 47,432 verified signatures to put before voters the three so-called "Luna laws" dramatically revamping the state education system that were recently signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

Cheers ran down the line of volunteers passing the boxes labeled with the counties they came from and the number of petitions inside.

“Canyon County coming up next,” shouted Mike Hranac, one of the volunteers. “We’re a vocal majority, not a silent minority.”

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“I hope we can work together to get a plan that everyone can agree on,” said Karen Gillette, a teacher for 30 years. Gillette said she came out to show her support because the public should never be silenced and recognizes that there is still “a lot of work ahead of us.”

After all the boxes had been stacked in a conference room next to Ysursa’s office, the volunteers gathered on the second floor of the Capitol. Referendum leaders spoke behind a podium that read, “Over 210,000 signatures... Idaho says NO,” as volunteers' applause echoed through the rotunda.

Ysursa said it’s always interesting to watch the people exercise their right to a referendum and that his office will make the petition count official in the next couple of days.

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