August 21, 2018: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • An unusual Facebook event is making the rounds this morning: It's called "Throw rocks at the smoke to make it go away." According to the event's description, "The smoke is preventing us all from going outdoors and going to work, and doing pretty much everything. I strongly believe with enough rocks, we can make the smoke leave. So throw your rocks! (Preferably towards Canada)." It's a gag post, but the frustration is real. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Air Quality Forecast and Caution to people in eight southwestern Idaho counties, including Ada, Canyon and Boise counties. Residential and outdoor burning, including wood stoves and backyard bonfires, is restricted, and people with sensitivities to smoke should limit their time outside.

  • Following a grand jury report from Pennsylvania chronicling the Catholic Church covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 minors over 70 years, Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics calling the long-term abuses "atrocities," The New York Times reports. Though Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, removed many offending priests, Francis himself has been slow to address the problem of sex abuse within the church. His recent letter marks one of his most forceful condemnations of the problem to date. Critics, however, have pointed out that the letter did not signal any courses of action the church might take.

  • Former President Barack Obama's much-anticipated summer reading list has been released. In a Facebook post on Aug. 19, the 44th president told his fans about which pages he turns when he finds a free moment: Tara Westover's Educated (Westover will be in Boise as part of The Cabin's Readings & Conversations series in February 2019); Michael Ondaatje's Warlight; A House for Mr Biswas by the recently departed V.S. Naipaul; and Factfulness by Swedish physician and academic Hans Rosling.

click to enlarge - Dockless bike-share company Lime has expressed interest in doing business in Boise. Shown here is an abandoned LimeBike in San Diego, California. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Dockless bike-share company Lime has expressed interest in doing business in Boise. Shown here is an abandoned LimeBike in San Diego, California.
  • The Boise City Council will hold a public hearing considering fees and licensure for dockless bike-share companies at its regularly scheduled meeting this evening. Specifically, it will consider three ordinances that would, if passed, establish a fee structure for those companies to do business within city limits, create rules surrounding the use and deployment of electric scooters, and establish terms for dockless bikes-share companies to obtain business licenses in the City of Boise. Dockless bike-shares have been a controversial topic in Boise: GreenBike, a hub-based bike-share already operating in Boise, has criticized the dockless business model, and other cities, including Seattle and Chicago, have experienced problems with the sudden introduction of thousands of bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters into their markets.
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