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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

UPDATE: All Power Restored to West Treasure Valley Customers After Outage

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM

UPDATE: March 31, 2015 11 a.m.

Officials with Idaho Power confirmed that electricity to all west Valley customers that were hit by an outage saw their power restored by late Tuesday morning. Idaho Power said the source of the problem originated in the Eagle area, but the exact was still under investigation.

ORIGINAL POST: March 31, 2015 9 a..m

Thousands of Treasure Valley people had good reason to be late for work or school this morning. Idaho Power reported that up to 30,000 customers were impacted when a major transmission line that feeds into five substations went dark. Businesses, homes and schools in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Middleton and Star were affected. 

Idaho Power officials said an Eagle transmission line in the western portion of the Treasure Valley went out around 7:30 this morning. The Boise school district reported that there was no power at Cynthia Mann Elementary, Pierce Park Elementary, Riverglen Junior High and Shadow Hills Elementary, but classes were still scheduled.

And law enforcement added that a number of traffic signals were dark, so motorists were cautioned to treat the intersections as four-way stops.
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Friday, March 27, 2015

City of Boise Shelves Proposed Uber Rules; Forwards All Questions, Concerns to Statehouse

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 1:23 PM

The City of Boise issued a statement Friday regarding its ongoing tug-of-war with Uber that said, in effect, if anything goes wrong with Uber, "don't coming crying to us." In fact, the statement refers all questions and concerns regarding the operation of the app-driven ride share service should henceforth be directed to the State of Idaho.

"Legislation approved by lawmakers this week makes the State of Idaho responsible for oversight on TNCs (transportation network companies such as Uber or Lyft) operating anywhere in the state and precludes oversight of such companies by all Idaho cities, including Boise," read the statement from the City of Boise. "Moving forward, any complaints from Boise residents about TNCs operating in the city will be promptly forwarded to the State of Idaho and closely monitored for swift action by state regulators."

City of Boise officials had moved forward with a proposed ordinance to provide operating guidelines for Uber, but the company suspended its operations in the city and instead lobbied the Idaho Legislature for looser guidelines and found success when both the Idaho House and Senate approved House Bill 262 which provides the framework for TNCs operating in Idaho.

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Boise Police Issue Description of Attempted Child Abduction Suspect

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 11:27 AM

Boise Police say they're investigating a possible child abduction in a southeast Boise neighborhood.

Law enforcement were dispatched to the intersection of East Whitman and East Eastgate drives Thursday afternoon. That's where citizens told police that a man approached two two children and tried to abduct a girl under the age of ten. The alleged suspect was stopped by another juvenile and a pet.

Police offered the following description of the male suspect:

- A dark-skinned Caucasian male in this twenties or thirties
- Brown hair
- Wearing brown pants and a white shirt
- The suspect had a "noticeable dental imperfection on a front tooth."
- He was last seen driving away in a "white box van"

If anyone has any information, they're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS or Ada County Dispatch at 377-6790.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Idaho Judge Denies GBAD's Finance Scheme (Again) For New Convention Facility

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:33 AM

  • Harrison Berry
The Greater Boise Auditorium District has had its knuckles rapped one more time by an Idaho judge who says GBAD continues to try to make an end-run around the Idaho Constitution. The auditorium district has been trying to find a way to fund its piece of the renovation of the Boise Centre, which includes the construction of a new ballroom/banquet facility for GBAD.

"The devil is in the details," wrote 4th District Judge Melissa Moody in an August 2014 ruling, insisting that GBAD was trying to circumvent the Constitution by paying the Capital City Development Corporation, which in turn would finance the project through millions of dollars in bonds. The judge ruled that the deal "violated the spirit and purposes of the [Idaho] constitutional limitation against indebtedness."  Article VIII, Subsection 3, of the Idaho Constitution reads, "no county, city, board of education, or school district, or other subdivisions of the state, shall incur any indebtedness...without the assent of two-thirds of the qualified electors."

In November 2014, GBAD directors voted to continue pursuing a so-called "petition for judicial confirmation" to approve financing for the project, instead of going to voters to approve indebtedness. Boise Guardian editor Dave Frazier continued to bring action against GBAD's end-run.

And in yet another ruling, March 23, Judge Norton denied GBAD's plan one more time.

"The lease, as formulated, subjects the District to significant liabilities beyond the year in which the contract is incurred," wrote Norton March 23. "The District argues that such liability is not beyond the income and revenue provided for it for a given year, because the District currently has sufficient funds and anticipated income to cover the entire expense of the new facilities and lease agreement. The District even has adopted a resolution committing available general funds for 2015 to cover the purchase price of the new facilities. However, this argument is fleeting: if the money is dedicated but not actually used in 2015, there is no guarantee that it will be available for the renewal of the lease in 2016, 2017, or beyond. The District may either use the funds to pay for the new facilities up front, or it may submit the long term liabilities to the qualified voters int he District. But the Court will not confirm the lease agreement as currently presented to the Court."

Frazier said he was gratified that his legal staff had prevailed once again, but "I am concerned that members of the Auditorium District Board continue to spend large sums of public money in efforts to deny citizens a vote on the auditorium expansion plans."
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Hoff Up For Sale; Homes Away From Home Planned for Central Addition Houses

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 9:43 AM

The Hoff
  • The Hoff
The 80-plus year old Hoff Building in downtown Boise is for sale.

The Idaho Business Review reports that the Hoff, currently owned by a group that includes John Comick, Patrick March, Jim Tomlinson and Darryl Wong, went on the market on Friday, March 20, and is being listed by Colliers International.

IBR reports that the 14-story Art Deco building is currently managed by Tomlinson & Associates. According to its current leasing agency, The Hoff has 86,791 square feet of leasable space and is linked to Boise's geothermal line.

Meanwhile, a lifeline has been tossed to some of the last remaining historic homes in Boise's Central Addition. In Wednesday's Boise Weekly, we'll have details on plans to move, salvage and/or deconstruct five of the homes that were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The cluster of homes, on Fifth Street between Broad and Myrtle streets, needs to be moved for a planned  six-story, 160-unit residential/commercial complex.
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Police: Idaho Family Triggered Deadly Melee at Arizona Walmart

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Arizona law enforcement say six members of an Idaho family are behind bars in connection with a deadly brawl at a Cottonwood, Ariz., Walmart. Police said the family had been camping in the store's parking lot and had been playing music for passersby. The March 21 melee left one man dead and 10 others seriously injured.

The incident began when police received a 911 call from a citizen saying one of the family members had assaulted a woman who worked at the store. When police arrived on the scene, eyewitnesses said someone opened fire, leaving three people shot including a police officer. One of the family members died of a gunshot wound. Ultimately, six members of the Gaver family, of Boise, were taken into custody. 55-year-old Peter Gaver, 52-year-old Ruth Gaver, 28-year-old Jeremiah Gaver and 27-year-old Nathaniel Gaver were taken to jail. And two Gaver children, ages 11 and 15, were taken to a juvenile detention center. A seventh family member, David Gaver, is being treated for a gunshot wound and will be charged when he's released from a hospital. Two more suspects are also in custody.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Big Changes Coming to Boise's Idaho Street

Posted By on Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 8:56 AM

Proposal from Gardner Company
  • Proposal from Gardner Company
More details are beginning to emerge on some high-profile proposals that would continue to change the face of downtown Boise.

The Capital City Development Corporation put out requests for proposals on some redevelopment property on Idaho Street near 14th Street. So far, two major proposals have surfaced.

Proposal from Local Construct
  • Proposal from Local Construct
The Gardner Company has proposed a $9 million, five-floor apartment/retail building that would include a total of 80,000 square feet with 8,000 square feet set aside for commercial space. The proposed structure would include 50 residential units and 35 parking stalls. Gardner estimates that it would take 12 months to complete.

Site of proposed redevelopment from Clay Carley, Tim Gibson, Peter Oliver and Dean Pape.
  • Site of proposed redevelopment from Clay Carley, Tim Gibson, Peter Oliver and Dean Pape.
 Meanwhile, Local Construct is proposing a $4 million, three-floor apartment/retail building that would include a total of 37,000 square feet with 14,500 square feet set aside for commercial space. The proposed structure would include 39 residential units and 31 parking stalls. Local Construct estimates that it would take nine months to complete.

Meanwhile, at Idaho Street near 5th Street  (site of the now-closed Gibson's Funeral Home), developers Clay Carley, Tim Gibson, Peter Oliver and Dean Pape are moving forward with plans to redevelop the property, which is part of Old Boise.

The developers are planning an $11 million apartment/retail building that would include 84 apartments, 3,000 square feet of retail, 84 underground parking stalls and 6,000 square feet for an adjoining public park. The CCDC board has agreed to further negotiate and finalize terms of agreements for streetscapes and public easement for the park.
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Boise Flower Shop Blaze Investigated as Possible Arson

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 12:19 PM

Flower Aroma, located at 222 S. Orchard St. in Boise.
  • Flower Aroma, located at 222 S. Orchard St. in Boise.
The Boise Fire Department is investigating a two-alarm fire at a Boise flower shop as a possible arson.

Multiple engines responded to the blaze at family-owned Flower Aroma on South Orchard Street near Franklin Road at 10:30 p.m. Friday night.

No one was injured in the fire, but firefighters reported that there was an open door at the flower shop when they arrived. Adjacent businesses were not affected. Boise police said there were "a number of unusual issues," prompting an investigation.

The fire was reported by a passerby who spotted flames coming from the building.

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Motorcyclist Killed in Two-Vehicle Crash on Fairview Avenue in Boise

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 10:28 AM

UPDATE: The Ada County Coroner identified the victim as 52-year-old Mark Varneau of Star. He died of blunt force trauma.

Boise police are investigating a crash between a motorcycle and pickup that claimed a life.

Officers responded to the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Mitchell Street late Friday night, where they found wreckage in the westbound lane of Fairview.

Police performed first aid to the driver of the motorcycle, who was transported to a local hospital but died a short time later. He was not wearing a helmet. The man's identity is being withheld pending notification of family.

The westbound lanes of Fairview were blocked for a period of time while detectives and crash reconstruction experts tried to determine exactly what happened. No citations have been issued, but the investigation is ongoing.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Final Chapter for Hyde Park Books

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 10:26 AM

The owners of Hyde Park Books have confirmed that they're closing the iconic book shop in Boise's North End at the end of this month.

"My heart is breaking today," wrote owner Marti Martino on the store's Facebook page. "It's been a difficult, emotional decision, but necessary."

Hyde Park Books will have a two-for-one sale until the end of March, with the store open Wednesdays through Sundays.

The shop has hosted countless readings, workshops and community events for more than three decades.
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