Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Power Outage, Gas Leak Keeps Boise Emergency Crews Busy

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 9:19 AM

Emergency crews had a very busy Tuesday morning.

A number of homes were evacuated near Franklin Road in the pre-dawn hours following a report of a gas leak. Police said a driver had crashed her car into a gas line on Franklin near Hilton Street. That prompted the evacuation of nine homes as Intermountain Gas shut off the gas and repaired the line. Neighbors were let back into their homes a short time later.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

Meanwhile a power outage near Boise State University knocked out the lights to about 2,400 customers early Tuesday morning. Idaho Power reported that most power was restored by 7:30 a.m. The outage stretched from the Boise Bench to the area around Boise State.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Take a Look at New Plans for New Central Addition Apartment/Retail Building

Posted By on Sun, Apr 19, 2015 at 10:08 AM

"Roost," 401 S. Fifth Street - HOLST ARCHITECTURE
  • Holst Architecture
  • "Roost," 401 S. Fifth Street

Don't blink.  Big changes are coming to Boise's Central Addition, the long-neglected neighborhood that, once upon a time, was a thriving area. 

In the coming weeks, a few of the once-threatened historic homes in the Central Addition will be moved away from the neighborhood in an effort to save the structures from the wrecking ball.

Soon thereafter, the city of Boise will begin extending its geothermal line through the neighborhood. The Boise City Council will be asked on Tuesday, April 21 to transfer $1.3 million to the geothermal project.

Portland, Ore.-based Holst Architecture will stand before the city of Boise Design Review Committee in mid-May to unveil details of its planned seven-story, 204,000-square-foot apartment building at 401 South Fifth Street, which would see retail and live-work units on the ground floor and structured parking on the first and second levels.

The project is being called "Roost." According to architects, the development will include:

-"Farm-to-table" experience for residents, with garden plots and cooking/dining areas
-Five housing levels "to humanize the building with an organic, sinuous and lyrical volume, expressed as a rippling wave in plan"
- Second floor community spaces, as well as ground floor retail spaces
- A community open space along Broad Street
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Boise GreenBike Rollout: 8 Bikes Available Now, Full Access by April 22

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Passersby and attendees checked out the bikes at the Boise GreenBike rollout. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Passersby and attendees checked out the bikes at the Boise GreenBike rollout.
Boise GreenBike is within a week of being fully operational.

At a rollout event held in the Grove in downtown Boise, GreenBike Director Dave Fotsch told Boise Weekly that the eight bikes that were on display at the Grove station are available for checkout, and by Earth Day—Wednesday, April 22—the public will have access to all 114 bikes available through the bikeshare program.

The bikes can be found at 15 stations that are currently being installed in locations across the GreenBike service area. A smartphone application through Social Bicycles—now ready for download—allows GreenBike users to check out bicycles remotely.

The rollout was attended by stakeholders, including Boise City Council Presidet Elaine Clegg, who described Boise GreenBike as "the culmination of a lot of work we've been doing for the last few years," as well as fitting in with Boise's LIV initiative.

Representatives of GreenBike's title sponsors were also in attendance, including SelectHealth President and CEO Patricia Richards, who told the crowd that SelectHealth and fellow Boise GreenBike title sponsor Saint Luke's Health System "share a common commitment to improving health."

"It's really about taking steps toward better health," she said, referring to lifestyle choices that improve health outcomes like riding a bike to work, walking up stairs instead of taking elevators and adopting a healthful diet. "It's all about health and building healthy communities."
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Mayor Dave Bieter Calls for Students to Serve on City Boards, Commissions

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 5:00 PM

In every Parks and Recreation commission meeting, sitting among the venerable commissioners is always a young high school student. It's a chance for any high-schooler living within Boise city limits to get a taste of public service. Starting April 13, Mayor Dave Bieter opened applications for the next crop of teenagers willing to take on the challenge.

"It is rare for students to have the opportunity to engage directly in the affairs of our community," Bieter wrote in a news release. "Real world experience like this is enriching both for the students, who get to learn about the many different aspects of local government, and for the boards and committees that benefit from hearing the student's perspective."

Students can sit on boards and commissions like Airport, Arts and History, Design Review, Development Impact Fee Advisory, Historic Preservation, Housing Authority, Library, Mayor's Council on Children and Youth, Parks and Recreation, and Planning and Zoning. Participation runs from September 2015 through May 2016.

Applications must be turned in by 5 p.m. on May 1. All positions are voluntary and unpaid.
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Inn at 500 Capitol Gets Green Light From Boise Planning & Zoning

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 11:52 AM

The Inn at 500 Capitol conceptual rendering - OBIE DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS LLC
  • The Inn at 500 Capitol conceptual rendering

A boutique hotel planned for the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Myrtle Street has gotten the go-ahead from Boise's Planning & Zoning Commission.

The Inn at 500 Capitol will be a 104-room, 7-story hotel is expected to cost approximately $25 million to build. Construction is expected to begin in August of this year and be completed by the end of 2016. 

"This is going to happen. We're committed," said Brian Obie, a former mayor of Eugene, Ore., and president and CEO of Obie Development Partners, LLC, which is fronting the project. 

One unusual feature of the development is guests' access to parking. According to its P&Z application, the hotel will have 26 parking spots, primarily for patrons for its attached restaurant. According to Obie representatives, a valet service run by the hotel will be the primary mode of transportation for the hotel's guests. 

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Boise GreenBike: Equipment Has Arrived, Installation Coming Soon

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Boise GreenBike equipment. The bikes themselves can be seen at the top of the picture. - DAVE FOTSCH/BOISE GREENBIKE
  • Dave Fotsch/Boise GreenBike
  • Boise GreenBike equipment. The bikes themselves can be seen at the top of the picture.

Boise GreenBike has been teasing its rollout for some time, but it wasn't until a photo of the bikes and related equipment showed up online that the imminence of a rideshare program in Boise hit home.

The photo shows kiosk and station parts wrapped in plastic, strapped to shipping palettes and sitting in a warehouse. According to Valley Regional Transit, the bikes arrived March 30. GreenBike organizers had hoped to have the bikes on the street in time for Treefort Music Fest, but a labor dispute at the Port of Portland, which has also affected agricultural shipments at the Port of Lewiston, delayed the rollout.

Now, Dave Fotsch, executive director at Boise GreenBike, hopes to begin installing kiosks and stations at numerous locations across Boise as early as next week.

Got another shipment of bike share stuff today. These are the physical parts of the station hubs; racks, base plates, kiosks, map/ad panels. Can't wait to get these on the ground!

Posted by Boise Bike Share on Monday, April 6, 2015

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

City Under Construction: Mayor Breaks Ground on Another Downtown Development

Posted By on Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 1:29 PM

While lanes of traffic are blocked on Front, Myrtle and Main streets; construction fencing encloses the Grove Plaza and JUMP; and two new boutique hotels are planned for Capitol Boulevard, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter welcomed the construction of yet another development downtown: One Nineteen.

Developers celebrated a groundbreaking at the corner of 10th and Grove streets on April 2, preparing the way for 26 two- and three-bedroom "contemporary urban" residences ranging from $300,000 to $900,000.

Designed by Boise-based CSHQA Architects, One Nineteen's upscale living spaces will feature ceilings reaching from 10 to 18 feet, high-efficiency contemporary fixtures, European-inspired kitchens with solid surface countertops, Energy Star stainless steel appliances, high-efficiency windows and urban loft-style concrete floors. Each unit will be built with sustainable materials and low-volatile organic compound paints and finishes. 

Residences also include outdoor decks, a two-level garage with storage and secure bike storage.

Boise-based CSDI Construction is building the $9.5 million project, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2016. 

"One Nineteen is a beautiful addition to downtown Boise; exactly what we're looking for, given the city's focus on creating more residential opportunities," Bieter said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "As part of that effort, the city has a goal of creating 1,000 housing units in the downtown area by 2020. This project is a great example of how we're working to make Boise the most livable city in the country."
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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Radio Boise Names New General Manager

Posted By on Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Twelve years after launching Radio Boise, general manager Jeff Abrams announced his retirement in February. Taking the reigns is Jessica Evett, who will transition into the top job at Radio Boise this month. 

Evett grew up in Boise, graduated from Boise High School and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and creative writing from the College of Idaho. She went on to the University of Denver, where she earned a master's degree in mass communications and public relations. 

Since 2000, Evett has worked with nonprofits and federal agencies, including as a wilderness ranger and executive director to Friends of the Dillon Ranger District in Colorado. Most recently, she founded and worked as principal consultant for Colorado-based Owl Call Consulting and Communications. 

"Ensuring that Radio Boise remains healthy in this stage of development is critical to the mission of providing inclusive, community-driven programming, and I'm eager to work with Radio Boise's Board of Directors to this end," Evett said. "Honoring the collective vision and drive of the volunteers, programmers, staff and supporters is very important to me."

Applicants from across the country, as well as Canada, were considered for the job. 

"Jessica's leadership experience and fundraising skills make her the standout candidate," said Radio Boise Board Chair Daniel Felkins. "We're also excited about her longstanding ties to the area. We feel fortunate to have someone of her caliber join the organization." 

Abrams will remain on the radio station's board of directors.
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Boise Council Cancels Public Hearings On St. Luke's Master Plan; 'Potential Revisions' Being Discussed

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 12:37 PM

A significant change was announced Friday afternoon that may provide some daylight in the public debate surrounding the St. Luke's master plan, which has included the permanent closure of a portion of Jefferson Street to make way for a big change to the medical center's downtown Boise campus.

Initially, the Boise City Council had set Tuesday, April 7 to take public testimony on the plan. Then, in the past week, the Council announced that it would take testimony over two evenings—April 7 and Tuesday, April 14—to accommodate the expected heavy turnout.

On Friday, the city announced that it had removed the issue from both its April 7 and April 14 Council agendas. Instead, the Council has decided to take up the issue—without public testimony—in an afternoon workshop session on April 14.

The city said it will hear and discuss "potential revisions" to St. Luke's applications.

"The revisions ... are designed to address concerns of impacted neighbors and the Boise City Planning and Zoning Commission," the city stated in a news release.

Planning and Zoning commissioners voted on Feb. 9 to recommend denial of the master plan because it included the Jefferson Street closure. The Boise City Council has the final say in the matter.

According to the Friday announcement, "The Council also will explore alternative options for addressing connectivity and transportation concerns voiced by residents. Council members will not make a determination on the application at the workshop and no testimony from the general public will be taken. Plans for continued public discussion of the application, including opportunities for public comment, will be announced after the April 14 meeting."
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Slideshow: Boise GreenBike Pedals Toward Debut

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:11 AM

  • Harrison Berry
Passersby may have noticed a slew of new signs indicating that bike share stations will be coming soon to downtown Boise. 

After multiple setbacks over the past few years, Boise GreenBike, formerly known at Boise Bike Share, is getting closer to what organizers are hoping adds another effective way to get around downtown. While organizers hoped to have the stations installed and bikes ready for checkout ahead of the Treefort Music Fest, the signs are an indication that though delayed, the rollout date for the program is fast approaching.

“We still have some gears in motion, but we are hopeful to have the system up and running by the end of April,” said Dave Fotsch, Director of Boise GreenBike.

Those gears still turning are centered around the electronic components that will go into the stations and bikes themselves. Delivery of those key elements will be occurring within the next few weeks. After that, Organizers hope to install the kiosks and stations themselves by the week of April 13.

Bikes will be positioned at stations in 15 locations across downtown Boise. Bikes are listed online, and each is outfitted with a GPS beacon, so members can find bikes close to them, even if they're not parked in a main station. Users can then reserve bikes online or on the new Boise GreenBike app. Lastly, riders enter their specific pin number, remove the lock, and ride. The program has a tiered fee structure as well as monthly and yearly rates. Student discounts are available for Boise State University and University of Idaho students.
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