Saturday, June 25, 2011

After Break-In, Boise Bike Project Rolls On

Posted By on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 1:47 PM

The Boise Bicycle Project headquarters is almost patched up, a week after someone kicked in the back door and stole $1,000 worth of donations and merchandise.

Ron Friedli, a frequent visitor to BBP, installed a new door for free, and the organizers of the Halo Effect screening at the Egyptian Theatre donated all the proceeds from a raffle on June 18.

“It’s been amazing,” shop manager Amanda Anderson said. “We’ve received so many donations, mostly bikes and parts, but some money.”

Catherine Fischer, upon learning about the burglary, set up a ChipIn fund. So far 20 percent of the $1,500 goal has been met.

Additional steps have been taken to improve shop security. From now on would-be burglars will have to face a motion-activated floodlight, additional barbed wire and a stronger front door.

Boise police have yet to apprehend anyone for the theft, but Anderson provided a good profile of who it could have been based on the items taken.

“We’re assuming it’s a younger person. We know they’ve been in here before,” she said.

Anderson, however, was quick to relegate the incident to the past and focus instead on today's grand finale of BBP’s Pedal 4 the People campaign.

“We’re sticking to our mission,” Anderson said. “We still have faith that people are good.”

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Micron Stock Plummets

Posted By on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Micron stock plunged Friday, less than a day after analysts said its third-quarter sales didn't meet expectations. Net income was $75 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with $93 million, or 92 cents, a year earlier.

"There's no way to sugar coat this," Alex Gauna, a San Francisco-based analyst at JMP Securities told the Wall Street Journal. "There's clearly been an unanticipated further slowing in the market."

Micron has reported an annual profit in only four of the past 10 years. At the end of trading yesterday, Micron stock fell $1.22 cents, or 14 percent, to $7.21 per share.

Micron employs approximately 5,000 workers in the Treasure Valley.

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Asteroid Heading Near Earth

Posted By on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 10:32 AM

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NASA, which is not as busy scheduling space launches anymore, is focusing a great deal of energy on an asteroid about the size of a tour bus that is expected to make an extremely close pass by the Earth on Monday.

On June 27 the asteroid should fly 7,500 miles above the Earth's surface. The asteroid, named 2011 MD, was discovered last Wednesday by a pair of roboti telescopes in New Mexico that constantly scan the skies. NASA estimates that an object this size comes this close to Earth on an average of every six years.

NASA said for several hours prior to its closest approach, 2011 MD will be visible in moderately large amateur telescopes.

Of the thousands of objects discovered by NASA, approximately 827 are asteroids with a diameter of approximately a half-mile or larger. They're classified as Potential Hazardous Asteroid. NASA is planning to launch a probe to visit one of the dangerous objects before the asteroid makes its way near the Earth.

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Americans Divided on Debt Ceiling

Posted By on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 8:24 AM

A new poll by the Associated Press reflects what BW reported last week: that while most people are deeply concerned about the fast-looming debt crisis, they're also divided on what to do about it.

The current United States debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion has been raised, extended or revised 78 times since 1960.

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According to the poll, 41 percent opposed the idea of raising the country's borrowing limit but 38 percent said "let loose the consequences." The survey found no significant differences by education, age, income or even political party, in perceptions of whether a crisis is likely if the limit is not increased.

Among the comments BW staff heard from professionals, retirees and students:


- "It's out of control."
- "We're passing that onto our children."
- "Comletely irresponsible."

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Bad Food Review Lands Critic In Slammer

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 10:33 AM

There's a reason that Citydesk doesn't get involved in restaurant reviews ... it's too dangerous. According to the Taipei Times, a blogger has been sentenced to 30 day behind bars, two years of probation and $200,000 New Taiwan dollars (approximately $6,926 U.S.).

The blogger, surnamed Liu, writes about a number of topics, including food, and has reportedly received more than 60,000 hits on her website. In July 2008, Liu wrote that a Taichung beef noodle restaurant served food that "was too salty," was unsanitary and the owner was a "bully." The restaurant filed changes against her, alleging defamation.

The Taichung branch of Taiwan's High Court ruled that Liu's criticism exceeded reasonable bounds. Liu has since apologized to the restaurant for the incident.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

U.S., Other Nations Release Massive Amounts of Crude

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM

The United States is poised to join other nations in the International Energy Agency in its biggest release of reserve oil in an effort to stabilize global economies. The sale of 60 million barrels of crude is only the third release of its kind in history. The IEA released oil in the early 1990s after Iraq invaded Kuwait and again in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

Half of this year's sale will come from U.S. reserves. The IEA is made up of two dozen countries. Sixty million barrels of crude would cover only what the world uses roughly every 16 hours.

The IEA and the White House said they were acting to increase the supply of oil available during the peak summer driving season. Prices at the pump have already fallen for 20 days in a row. They were down another penny Wednesday, to a nationwide average of $3.61 per gallon. The average price for unleaded in Idaho is $3.65 per gallon.

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Aryan Nations Promote Valley County "Eat, Greet and Meet"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 8:45 AM

The Northwest Region of the Aryan Nation is promoting an all-day "eat, greet and meet" event Sunday, June 26, at Valley County's Lake Cascade State Park.

Idaho Parks and Recreation Communications Manager Jennifer Blazek told Citydesk Lake Cascade’s park manager has been communicating with John Bolen, Aryan Nations NW Coordinator, informing him of Camp Buttercup's park rules.

State parks require a per-approval application for groups larger than 25 persons. Blazek said the park has yet to receive an application from the group and so far only two campsites were reserved for attendees.

“Because it is public property, we cannot be selective on who utilizes the property," said Blazek. "We do ensure everybody abides by the same rules.”

Fliers promoting the gathering posted on the Aryan Nation website claim, “lying, cheating, sexual deviants are running America," "hate crime legislation targets whites," "non-white crime is underreported" and "by 2020 there will be no white child-bearing age females to sustain a viable population.”

The website has a link to the state park page for Lake Cascade that, when clicked on, opens the state’s park page framed inside the Aryan Nation website under the banner: “Fighting Jewish Takeover for 35 years.”

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“I prefer our agency didn’t at all look as if it was affiliated with or endorsing that entity, because certainly we don’t," said Blazek. "There is really nothing we can do to control the links or windows they have pop up on their website.”

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bergdahl, Still in Captivity, Will Be Parade's Grand Marshal

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Only a driver will be in the grand marshal’s car during Boise's 4th of July Liberty Day parade. The passenger seat will be vacant for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, captured by the Taliban two years ago. While most of the procession is expected to be a boisterous celebration, "We the People" organizers are asking parade watchers to be solemn as the vehicle with no passenger passes by.

“We couldn’t think of anyone better to represent our theme, ‘Stand for Liberty,’” spokesperson Elysse Barrett told Citydesk. “There’s been a lot of support in Idaho and Boise specifically.”

The missing soldier’s parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, accepted the title for their son in his absence.

“While it’s a celebration, we remember that there are still Idahoans out there fighting for our liberties and freedoms, even today,” said Barrett.

Larry Knapp will serve as the second marshal in the parade. Knapp is a Vietnam war veteran and a businessman, operating the 3K Ranch and Event Center in Star. The parade will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 4, in Downtown Boise.

A division of the Taliban supported by the Haqqani network reportedly captured Bergdahl, 25, at the Afghanistan-Pakistan boarder on June 30, 2009. He is currently the only U.S. service member in captivity. The Taliban released five videos of Bergdahl. In each, the soldier stated that he was fine, but wishing to return home. Since his imprisonment, Bergdahl has been promoted twice: to the rank of specialist in June 2010, and most recently to sergeant.

Brig. Gen. Rick Mustion, the adjutant general of the U.S. Army, presents Sgt. Bowe Bergdahls promotion certificate in Hailey, Idaho, to Robert Bergdahl, Bowe Bergdahls father.
  • Courtesy: U.S. Army
  • Brig. Gen. Rick Mustion, the adjutant general of the U.S. Army, presents Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's promotion certificate in Hailey, Idaho, to Robert Bergdahl, Bowe Bergdahl's father.

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SNAP Judgment Could Hurt Idaho's Neediest

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Proposals to cut funding for a national food program may leave Idaho’s most vulnerable citizens with growling stomachs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is on the Congressional chopping block, aiming to cut costs by changing the grant structure to one with so-called "preset" funding limits.

In April, the U.S. House voted to cut SNAP’s funding by $127 billion, nearly 20 percent. SNAP aims to put healthy food on the table for over 40 million people each month. Those tables in need are usually kids tables. According to the Food Research and Action Center, nearly 80 percent of those using SNAP in Idaho are homes with children.

The largest section of recipients of these funds is families living with dangerously low incomes. as well as the elderly and those living with disabilities. Ellen Vollinger of the Food Research and Action Center told Citydesk that cuts to SNAP’s funding would “seriously undermine the program for all people.”

Vollinger also points to the retailers who have partnered with SNAP to provide food. These retailers, she said, are beneficial in helping when need is increased. Natural disasters and economic downturns leave many without food on their plates. In recent years, SNAP has been there to help. A change in the program to the block-grant structure would mean that those difficult times may not receive any extra funding.

Kathy Gardner, director of the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force, said a change like this would be “a disaster.” Gardner also said more than 220,000 Idahoans would be affected by this decision to move funding to the block-grant structure, and that families could see their personal support cut by more than $100 a month.

A petition signed by 15 organizations across the state, as well as 2,500 groups nationwide, has been delivered to all members of Congress. Signed primarily by religious, senior and children's groups, the letter urges members to oppose proposals that cut funding to SNAP. The letter and a list of organizations that signed it can be found at frac.org

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Paul's Founder Dies

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

The Owyhee Avalanche reports Paul Zatica, one of Idaho's most famous grocers, died Saturday at his Homedale home at the age of 84. Zatica opened his first store, Paul's Grocerteria in Homedale in 1955. He spent more than a half-century managing his chain of Paul's grocery stores, opening locations in Boise, Caldwell, Hailey, Kuna, McCall, Meridian, Mountain Home, Nampa and Riggins. The chain currently operates eight locations.

His sons Stan and Steve now run the operation from Paul's corporate office in Homedale. Zatica is also survived by his wife, Jean, another son Bryan, daughter Paulette, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Following a funeral mass, Zatica will be buried at the Marsing-Homedale Cemetery in a private ceremony.

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