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Treasure Valley Skate Set to Open in Former Boise Location of 20th Century Lanes

If all goes as planed, Treasure Valley Skate should have a grand opening on Thursday, May 31. In the meantime, the rink's website says they're hiring cashiers, floor guards (think of them as lifeguards for roller rinks) and DJ's. Treasure Valley Skate, a new Boise roller rink that has has taken over the State Street location of the former 20th Century Bowling Lanes, is now days away from opening. "It's been two and a half years in the planning, but we'll swing the doors open just as soon as the [City of Boise] inspectors give us the green light," said Scott Stevens, who along with wife Tammy took over the real estate in the Collister Shopping Plaza soon after 20th Century shut its doors in June 2017. "This is new for us, but my wife and I are longtime roller skaters." Stevens said Treasure Valley Skate's general manager will be George Cogswell, who previously operated roller rinks in Illinois and Oregon. "Our general contractor has put in the skate floor; we're laying down the carpeting as we speak," said Stevens. "We're in the final permitting stages and awaiting approval of occupancy from the City of Boise." Stevens said, if all goes as planed, Treasure Valley Skate should have a grand opening on Thursday, May 31. In the meantime, the rink's website says they're hiring cashiers, floor guards (think of them as lifeguards for roller rinks) and DJ's. 20th Century Lanes rolled its last bowling balls a year ago after operating at the 4712 W. State Street for nearly 60 years.…

Published on 22 May 2018 | 2:56 pm


May 22, 2018: What to Know

The Supreme Court makes it harder for employees to sue employers, Russ Fulcher is hospitalized following a bad motorcycle accident, police say "click it or risk it," and Serena Williams could use a little more "amour" at the French Open. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues. CNN reports the decision could affect 25 million employment contracts. In a major victory for employers, Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority, his first major opinion since joining the court last spring. Three days after winning the Idaho GOP Primary for the 1st Congressional District, Russ Fulcher was badly hurt in a May 18 accident. Fulcher's daughter Meghan confirmed that her father was hospitalized with broken ribs. She explained that Fulcher was driving a motorcycle, headed to visit his in-laws in Melba, when he encountered some loose gravel on a sharp curve, leading to the crash. Fulcher was wearing a helmet. A new release said Fulcher "is expected to make a full recovery and will be back on the campaign trail soon." Meanwhile, law enforcement across the Treasure Valley will be focusing on seat belt compliance over the next two weeks in the "click it, don't risk it" campaign. The Boise Police Department said 20 of its officers will solely focus on citing unbelted drivers. Memorial Day kicks off what has become known as the "100 Deadliest Days" until Labor Day when Idaho and the nation see the largest number of highway fatalities. A new report confirms that eggs aren't so bad for you after all. Reuters reports that a new study suggests people who eat an egg a day may have a lower risk of heart attack or stroke than individuals who don't eat eggs at all. It's a full three months before the Boise State Broncos kick off a new football season, but some of the nation's high-profile polls are ranking BSU's chances pretty high. USA Today ranks BSU 14th best in the nation and ESPN says BSU is a "leading candidate" to appear in a major New Year's Day bowl game. Tennis superstar Serena Williams isn't getting much "amour" from organizers at the French Open, which begins this coming Sunday, May 29. Williams will enter the two-week tournament unseeded, making her route to the final very challenging. ESPN reports that while it's true Williams has taken some time off to give birth to her first child, she is still a three-time French Open champion. …

Published on 22 May 2018 | 2:12 pm


Gird Your Funny Bones: Boise's Funniest Person Returns

Auditions will take place Saturday, June 16, from 2-6 p.m.; Monday, June 18, from 6-9 p.m.; and Tuesday, June 19, from 4-7 p.m. Auditions are now open for one of the yukkiest contests in the City of Trees: Boise's Funniest Person. The competition is in its sixth year, and beyond mere glory, there's a $1,000 prize to be won. Being part of BFP is as easy as ever, and participants don't need to prepare routines or have much in the way of experience to qualify. The only requirement is the ability to make one of three audition dates at the downtown comedy club Liquid Lounge. Auditions will take place Saturday, June 16, from 2-6 p.m.; Monday, June 18, from 6-9 p.m.; and Tuesday, June 19, from 4-7 p.m., but the real action starts on Saturday, July 7, at a 20-contestant kickoff event at Liquid. Then, on Saturday, July 14, judges will pair the 10 remaining participants with working comedians to further develop their routines. In the past, aspiring comedians have been paired with the likes of Sophie Hughes, Olek Szewczyk, Emma Arnold, Gabe Dunn and Mikey Pullman. The field will be whittled down even more on Saturday, July 21, and the final round will take place on Saturday, July 28. …

Published on 21 May 2018 | 7:49 pm


New Grant Program Throws Lifeline to Flood-Stricken Idaho Communiites

The Idaho Department of Water Resources Board will accept applications through Friday, June 15, and will award grants on Friday, July 27. A year after several Idaho communities saw some of the worst flood damage in recent memory, the Idaho Water Resource Board is accepting applications for a newly funded grant program to assist flood-prevention. Applicants may request funding of up to $200,000 per project. The Board's Flood Management Grant Program was authorized earlier this year by the Idaho Legislature, with lawmakers earmarking $1 million for flood management projects. The IDWRB will accept applications through Friday, June 15, and will award grants on Friday, July 27. The winters of 2016 and 2017 triggered record-setting flood damage to a number of Idaho streams and rivers, prompting a number of flood control districts to approach the Legislature about creating a statewide program to assist in flood prevention. …

Published on 21 May 2018 | 5:23 pm


May 21, 2018: What to Know

'Laze' threatens the residents of Hawaii's big island, a report of a drowning in a Caldwell canal, Starbucks makes a major policy shift, the Royal Family updates its website and Tina Fey gets by with a little help from her star-studded friends. The threat from Mount Kilauea on Hawaii's big island is intensifying as residents now have to cope with something called "laze." It's a dangerous mix of lava and haze created when lava oozes into the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. Meanwhile, CNN reports the lava has cut off parts of Highway 137, a major thoroughfare on the island. Caldwell Police are investigating what appears to be a drowning in a canal Sunday night. Law enforcement was called to a canal near North 14th Avenue just after 8 p.m. KTVB-TV reports when police arrived, they found an adult male face down in the water. The victim hasn't yet been identified, pending notification of next of kin. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife says the cougar that killed one mountain biker and wounded another May 19 appeared to be emaciated. The Seattle Times reports that a necropsy will possibly determine why the animal was underweight. The two cyclists were riding on a trail in the Cascade Mountain foothills east of Seattle when the mountain lion attacked them. State wildlife officials later tracked, shot and killed the cougar. Starbucks has instituted a new policy that allows anyone to sit in its cafes or use its restrooms, even if they don't buy anything. ABC News reports that the policy shift comes in the wake of an incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were arrested after a store employee complained to police that the men had been loitering. It's estimated that more than 22 million sleepy-eyed American television viewers watched the May 19 nuptials between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Hollywood Reporter says all of the major U.S. networks aired the wedding live Saturday, but NBC had the largest audience—6.4 million viewers. Meanwhile, the official Royal Family website has been updated to identify Markle as the newly-anointed Duchess of Sussex. The website barely mentions her 15-year acting career, focusing instead on her charity work and activism. Tina Fey hosted this past weekend's season finale of Saturday Night Live, putting a cap on the show's 43rd season on NBC. Like most other season finales, the May 19 episode included a boatload of celebrity cameos. USA Today reports that during the opening monologue, Jerry Seinfeld, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Rock, Anne Hathaway, Donald Glover and Robert De Niro all showed up. When Seinfeld raised…

Published on 21 May 2018 | 2:03 pm


How a Typical Government Leak Turned Into a Three-Way War Between Comey, McCabe and Trump

Two former allies, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, have offered contradictory accounts of the orchestrated FBI leak that spawned a critical investigation. That means one of them has to be lying – as President Trump is happy to tweet to the world. One of them has to be lying. That conclusion is inescapable if you closely examine the sworn testimony of two erstwhile FBI allies, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, about the leaking episode that led to McCabe’s firing in March. After all, two diametrically opposed accounts can’t both be correct.President Donald Trump has seized upon the situation — laid bare in a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general — to assail both men, long among his favored targets for reasons having nothing to do with their veracity. “He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote, in a veritable presidential tweet-gasm, hours after the McCabe report’s release. “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”This is much more than a venomous 21st century personal duel — tweet versus tweet at 10 paces. The credibility of Comey and McCabe is crucial, giving Trump every incentive to tar them. The former has offered withering accounts of his interactions with the president. And given what the two men observed both before and after Trump sacked Comey, both could be called on for key testimony in a potential obstruction of justice charge against the president.The truth is that, in this case, Trump is partially right: One or both of the FBI’s former top officials is almost certainly lying. The irony is that the entire episode is at complete odds with Trump’s long-running claim about a “Deep State” FBI cabal that’s out to get him. The leak at issue, in fact, brought election-eve attention to a second investigation of the Clintons, news that helped Trump’s campaign.It’s yet another improbable turn of events.Comey and McCabe were both long thought to embody the square-jawed, gray-suited ideal of the honest G-man. And by all accounts, they were close colleagues. Comey elevated McCabe, over more traditional candidates, to be his deputy; McCabe then served as acting FBI director for three months after Comey’s dismissal.But they diverged dramatically in their testimony for the IG’s investigation, which focused on a leak that McCabe orchestrated to the The Wall Street Journal about an FBI probe into the Clinton Foundation. In his damning 35-page report, the IG concluded that McCabe made an “improper media disclosure” and demonstrated “lack of candor,” repeatedly lying about it under oath.McCabe’s punishment was swift: He was fired on March 16, just two days before he would have…

Published on 20 May 2018 | 10:00 am


More than Sixty Eastern Idaho Homes Threatened by Eroded Levee

Sand Point Generating LLC of Boise has been awarded the emergency-repair contract. More than 60 homes in the eastern Idaho town of Lorenzo are threatened by possible flooding after U.S. officials confirmed that serious damage had occurred to a nearby levee system. As a result, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded an emergency-repair contract to fix the Heise-Robert Levee System on the Snake River. In the meantime, Jefferson County emergency crews have been diverting strong river currents away from the crippled riverbank, about 3.7 miles downstream from the U.S. Route 20 bridge. Officials are warning families in about 65 homes to keep a close watch on changing weather conditions, with particular attention to river flow data and possible flood alerts. Sand Point Generating LLC of Boise has been awarded the emergency-repair contract. As of May 19, flows of the Snake River were about 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and were expected to increase to rise to about 12,00 cfs by Monday, May 21. Officials said at the damaged levee site, the additional 2,000 cfs in flow could result in six-to-twelve inches of additional water depth. …

Published on 19 May 2018 | 9:03 pm


Boise GreenBike's Dave Fotsch Talks Setting Up Bike Shares at Bike Week Summit

Fotsch delivered his remarks as dockless bike-share program LimeBike tries to make inroads in Boise. Boise GreenBike Director Dave Fotsch said he may have a "master's, if not a Ph.D" in bike shares, and at a Friday morning presentation at the Idaho State Capitol, part of the Idaho Walk Bike Summit 2018 symposium, the City of Trees' bike share guru discussed options for other cities looking to hop on the pedals and start bike shares of their own. "Partnership is absolutely critical to bringing bike share to your community," he said. Years of research, planning and fundraising led up to the April 2015 launch of Boise GreenBike, and it took many partners, including sponsors SelectHealth and St. Luke's, as well as close work with stakeholders like the City of Boise, the Ada County Highway District and Valley Regional Transit—of which GreenBike is a division—to deploy a fleet of 114 bikes parked at 15 stations across the downtown area. Since then, GreenBike has grown to include 127 bikes parked at 81 stations and "flex hubs," and wide use has made the bikes a common sight around town. People make approximately 25,000 trips on GreenBikes each year. The GreenBike system, which partners with public and private entities, and relies on sponsorships and grants for financing, isn't the only model cities have used to put publicly available bikes on the streets, and Fotsch pointed to bike "libraries," where people can "check out" bikes just like they would a library book; privately funded ride shares, city-run programs; and third-party, contracted bike share services. By working closely with cities and communities, Fotsch said bike shares can enjoy success in promoting public health, reducing roadway congestion and improving air quality—but without public buy-in, he warned, cities could end up like Dallas, Texas, where an influx of bike share programs have littered city streets and sidewalks, sometimes impeding use and ADA access; or some cities in China, where rapid and massive implementation of bike share programs has left tens of thousands of bikes abandoned in urban areas. "These are virtually disposable and many of the companies went out of business [in China]," Fotsch said. He delivered his remarks as a potential competitor, LimeBike, tries to make inroads into Boise. LimeBike uses a "dockless" system, which means users use their smartphones to locate and unlock bikes scattered about the city, reducing the need to rely on expensive "hubs" like Boise GreenBike uses, but potentially making its bikes less secure and more…

Published on 18 May 2018 | 10:30 pm


Pedal Power: Boise Rides to the Office on National Bike to Work Day

Did you participate in National Bike to Work Day? May 18 is National Bike to Work Day, and as part of what is now a Boise tradition during Boise Bike Week, commuters on two wheels gathered at the North End Boise Co-op for free coffee, pastries and conversation before work. Pictured: Nicole Stern of the Ada County Highway District Commuteride program and Tom Law of the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, who set up tables, handed out swag and chatted with riders who stopped by the Co-op this morning.…

Published on 18 May 2018 | 8:47 pm


Idaho STEM Action Center Wins $50,000 Grant for Mentorship Program

The Idaho STEM Action Center announced today that it is one of eight winners of the US2020 STEM Challenge. The Idaho STEM Action Center, an agency added to the Governor's Office in 2015 to give Idaho students more access to and guidance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, announced today that it is one of eight winners of the US2020 STEM Coalition Challenge. The challenge, which is a nationwide competition that rewards programs bringing STEM "mentoring and maker-centered learning" to underserved students, splits $1 million in cash and support among chosen STEM-related agencies, companies and nonprofits. The Idaho STEM Action Center is slated to receive a $50,000 cash award. Angela Hemingway, executive director of the center, said the bulk of the funds will go toward expanding the STEM Action Center Mentorship Portal, an online initiative that pairs STEM mentors and teachers with students across the state, particularly in rural areas, for work on specific STEM projects. "It's kind of like this matchmaking system that allows the mentor and student to connect," said Hemingway. "...It really is a chance for the mentor to be in the comfort of their own office and [for example] engage with a student from Challis while the engineer is sitting right here in Micron. " The Idaho STEM Action Center competed with more than 90 other applicants for the award, representing 82 communities in 35 different states nationwide. Other recipients include The Promise Zone Coalition/SRS Community Reuse Region in Allendale, South Carolina; the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership in Buffalo, New York; Project Exploration in Chicago; the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative in Cincinnati; the Columbia Gorge STEM Hub in The Dalles, Oregon; Remake Learning in Pittsburgh; and DC STEM in Washington, D.C. Esra Ozer, Arconic Foundation president and a US2020 STEM Coalition Challenge sponsor, said in a press release that the Idaho STEM Action Center "represents the very best of organizations dedicated to bringing STEM to students who might otherwise not have access and insight into how STEM can positively shape their futures." …

Published on 18 May 2018 | 7:37 pm


May 18, 2018: What to Know

Trump proposes a new rule to slam Planned Parenthood, a HAZMAT scare in Emmett, Australia's "man with the golden arm," and Meghan Markle asks her future father-in-the-law to walk her down the aisle. The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is calling for federal funding to be stripped from clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do. Abortion rights advocates say such a policy threatens women's reproductive health and would lead to higher mortality rates and more unintended pregnancies. A suspect is in custody and at least ten are dead following a school shooting early today, this time in Santa Fe, Texas, near Galveston. The New York Times adds that there were multiple injuries, including at least one police officer. The gunman was reportedly uninjured. A Hazmat team was called to an Emmett residence Thursday night when a couple said they got very ill after discovering a powdery substance below their bathroom sink. KTVB-TV reports that the Gem County Fire Department was summoned to a home on the 800 block of South Boise Avenue, and while the couple was transported to a local hospital, hazmat, EMS and fire officials tried to determine what had caused the couple to experience burning sensations in their eyes, noses and throats. The incident remains under investigation. A new study by the United Way ALICE Project indicates that nearly 51 million American families don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone. That's 43 percent of the households in the United States. The figure includes more than 16 million households living in poverty, in addition to the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE—Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed, also known as the working poor. NPR has a fascinating report on a longtime blood donor in Australia whose bloodstream contains a rare antibody that has reportedly saved the lives of more than two million babies. 81-year-old James Harrison is known as "the man with the golden arm." Despite his distaste for needles, Harrison has donated blood all across Australia, and this morning, he made his final blood donation in Sydney. Medical officials decided it was time for Harrison to protect his own health. Big news from Kensington Palace this morning in advance of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Prince Charles will walk Markle down the aisle tomorrow in what promises to be the most ogled nuptials of the year. People magazine says it was Markle's wish that her future father-in-law do the…

Published on 18 May 2018 | 1:33 pm


ProPublica: Police are Mislabeling Anti-LGBTQ and Other Crimes as Anti-Heterosexual

ProPublica sent public-records requests to more than 50 police departments that reported anti-heterosexual hate crimes to the FBI. None of the reports we could track down actually included evidence of hate crimes against straight people. Rob heard a loud knock at his door late one night in August 2014. His landlord had been calling him about maintenance issues in his Columbus, Ohio, apartment, but that night she came with a male companion and began to scream at him. According to a police report, the man jumped into the argument and threatened Rob — who asked that we not use his full name — with a homophobic slur. Fearing an escalation, he called the police.“A thing that I’ve dealt with my entire life as a gay man is extreme prejudice, from threats to constant harassment,” Rob said, noting that his landlord had previously told his neighbors that he was a “filthy queer.”Columbus police acknowledged Rob’s concern that the incident may have been motivated by bias, but they got a key detail wrong in their incident report: They mistakenly marked it as a case of anti-heterosexual harassment.Since 2010, Columbus police have reported six incidents that list bias against heterosexuals as the purported motivation. That’s more than any other local law enforcement agency in the nation reported during that period. Columbus Police Department Sgt. Dean Worthington acknowledges it’s likely that the officers who filed the reports marked the wrong box.“Given the fact that our officers are human, we are prone to make the occasional mistake,” said Worthington. “I can assure you these mistakes were not intentional.”Each officer has a supervisor whose duty is to check such reports, but it’s possible the errors still got through, Worthington added.Those reports made their way from Columbus to Washington, D.C., where they were compiled with thousands of others into what the FBI calls the Uniform Crime Report. Every year a small number of anti-heterosexual hate crime reports end up in the UCR. From 2010 to 2016, the FBI reported that local law enforcement agencies noted a total of 142 of them.ProPublica reviewed dozens of these reports, however, and found few, if any, actual hate crimes targeting people for being heterosexual.We sent Freedom of Information Act requests to every law enforcement agency that reported a heterosexual bias crime in 2016 — the most recent year for which FBI data was available. We also sent requests to every agency that had reported two or more such crimes since 2010, as well as to any agency available in an online service used to send public-records requests called Muckrock.In total, we were able to locate records…

Published on 17 May 2018 | 9:58 pm


Idaho Board of Ed Presses Reset Button on Search for Kustra's Replacement

"This does not reflect on the finalists—all are very qualified and accomplished," wrote Linda Clark, president of the ISBE, in a press release. The Idaho State Board of Education is passing on three finalists for Boise State University president, instead opting to continue its search, the board announced Thursday. "This does not reflect on the finalists—all are very qualified and accomplished," wrote Linda Clark, president of the ISBE, in a May 17 press release. The board's announcement was part of an open board meeting conducted at the Boise State campus a day after its members interviewed three finalists. In April, the university named five finalists for outgoing Boise State President Bob Kustra's replacement: Dr. James Lentini, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oakland University; Dr. Kevin Reynolds, Vice President for Finance and Administration at Portland State; Dr. Jack Thomas, President of Western Illinois University; Dr. Robbyn Wacker, Senior Campaign Advisor for Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Northern Colorado; and Dr. Daniel Weeks, President and Vice Chancellor at the University of Northern British Columbia. Thomas and Wacker later withdrew themselves from consideration, leaving Lentini, Reynolds and Weeks to contend for the top spot, being vacated by outgoing President Bob Kustra in June. As ISBE's search continues, the board said it would appoint an interim president for the university.…

Published on 17 May 2018 | 5:59 pm


Idaho Republican Leaders Come Together for Unity Rally After Bruising Primary

"We're all wearing one jersey to win in November," said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, now the Republican nominee for Idaho governor. On Tuesday, several of them were rivals, but on the Capitol steps Thursday morning, Republican leaders—some of whom faced off in competitive and high-stakes primary contests—gathered for the Republican Unity Rally, a show of party solidarity. "We're all wearing one jersey to win in November," said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, now the Republican nominee for Idaho governor. Standing behind him were his primary opponents, Boise developer Tommy Ahlquist and Rep. Raul Labrador. Other speakers included Russ Fulcher, who emerged as the nominee for Labrador's House seat from a packed field of candidates; Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney; Idaho Education Secretary Sherri Ybarra and others. …

Published on 17 May 2018 | 5:06 pm


Boise Brewing Expands to Serve Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Boise Brewing announced Wednesday that it has begun distributing its beers in Wyoming. On the heels of scoring first place with its Black Cliffs American-style stout at the 2018 World Beer Cup, Boise Brewing announced Wednesday that it has begun distributing its beers in Wyoming starting on May 11. “We are excited to be teaming up with Bomb Beverage to expand distribution of our award-winning community brewery to Wyoming," said Boise Brewing Sales Manager Neal Ryan in a press release. "I’m looking forward to sharing Boise Brewing beer with the beer lovers over there. Next time you visit Jackson Hole don’t forget to pick up a six-pack!” Jackson Hole will be the first city in Wyoming to sell Boise Brewing suds, specifically the Hip Check IPA, Syringa Pale Ale and Broad St. Blonde. Both grocery stores and local bars and restaurants will stock the brews. …

Published on 17 May 2018 | 3:58 pm


May 17, 2018: What to Know

A huge settlement from Michigan State University to hundreds of sexual abuse victims, yet another major downtown Boise construction project, the U.S. birth rate takes a dramatic drop and Meghan Markle gets some alone time with her Guy. Michigan State University has agreed to pay the largest known settlement in a sexual abuse case involving an American university. The New York Times reports that the settlement goes to hundreds of young women, many of them some of the nation's most elite gymnasts, who were victimized by Michigan State physician Dr. Lawrence Nassar. Many of the women said the university enabled Dr. Nassar's abuse and for years ignored those who came forward with complaints. Things are getting extremely dangerous near Mount Kilauea on Hawaii's big island. The BBC reports that the volcano is now blasting out "ballistic blocks" the size of kitchen appliances, as well as an ash plume that now rises two miles above the earth's surface, prompting an order to pilots to avoid the area. Boise motorists are being warned of the latest downtown construction projects underway on Myrtle and Front streets and on Broadway Avenue. The Idaho Transportation Department says it needs to repave all three major roadways. Most of the work will be limited to weeknights from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m., but motorists are being warned that the surfaces will be rough or gravelly for at least the next two months. Construction got underway this week on Front and Myrtle, forcing traffic to merge into two lanes at night. Work on Broadway is expected to begin in late June or early July. That's when motorists can expect Broadway to merge down to one lane in both directions at night. ITD said it will notify impacted businesses when nighttime paving will temporarily block driveways. The American birth rate has plummeted to its lowest point in thirty years. USA Today reports that new a new government report issued early today indicates that births have been declining steadily since 2014, but 2017 saw the greatest year-to-year drop, of about 92,000 births, since 1987. Regular visitors to the gardens near Kensington Palace have noticed a brunette woman in a baseball cap walking a dog in the park, with what appears to be some security in tow. It's no big surprise to conclude that it's Meghan Markle, trying to get in a bit of pre-wedding alone time. Vanity Fair says Markle likes to jog with her beagle, Guy. Guy is a rescue dog from Kentucky. But Markle is a bit heartbroken, says Vanity Fair, because her labrador-shepherd mix, Bogart, was apparently too old to travel to London and…

Published on 17 May 2018 | 2:10 pm


UPDATE: Suspect Identified in Downtown Boise Hit and Run

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS or leave a a confidential tip on a smart phone using the P3 Tips app. UPDATE: May 16, 2018 5:30 p.m. Boise Police say a suspect in a May 15 hit and run accident has been identified.  After releasing some details on the incident in morning of May 16, BPD said the suspect "self-reported" in the afternoon and is cooperating with officers. The incident is still under investigation and when the probe is completed, details will be forwarded to the Ada County Prosecutor's Office for review of possible charges. Meanwhile, the hit and run victim remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. ORIGINAL POST: May 16, 2018 1:30 p.m. Boise Police say they need the public's help in finding a hit and run driver responsible for seriously injuring a pedestrian in downtown Boise on the evening of May 15. BPD responded to a call of a hit and run injury accident near Myrtle and 13th streets. Investigators said the victim, an adult male, received serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was rushed to a local hospital. A preliminary investigation shows the victim was walking northbound on 13th Street at the intersection of Myrtle Street when he was struck by the suspect's vehicle driving eastbound on Myrtle. The victim said the vehicle sped off, continuing eastbound on Myrtle. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS or leave a a confidential tip on a smart phone using the P3 Tips app.…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 11:49 pm


UPDATE: Boise GreenBike Director Responds to LimeBike Presentation Before City Council

The "dockless" bike-share program, which could compete with Boise GreenBike, delivered a presentation to the Boise City Council on May 15. Update: Wednesday, May 16, 2:35 p.m.: Boise GreenBike Director Dave Fotsch expressed skepticism following a presentation before the Boise City Council from a possible competing bike-share program, LimeBike, during a May 15 work session at Boise City Hall. “This is certainly going to present significant challenges to us if they’re allowed to operate in this market,” Fotsch said. Over the last several years, Boise GreenBike has cultivated community partners such as the Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise, and sponsors like St. Luke's and SelectHealth, to deploy more than 120 bikes in the downtown core, but a purchase order and a donation from a sister program will more than double the size of its fleet by year's end and allow GreenBike to expand into the Boise State University neighborhood. The introduction of a possible competitor like LimeBike, Fotsch said, could force GreenBike to adopt LimeBike's "dockless" model that allows users to pick up and drop off bikes anywhere, rather than be geographically tethered to a network of hubs scattered across the GreenBike service area. While GreenBike has dockless technology on its bikes—and even piloted a dockless pilot project during Treefort Music Fest this year—Fotsch said competition with a native dockless bike-share operator could stretch his operation, now in its third year, thin. "My sponsors are very concerned about the possibility of this unproven model coming into the market," he said. LimeBike is a newcomer, and not just to Boise. Launched in January 2017, its bikes first hit the road in June 2017, and has since sent 35,000 bikes to cities across the U.S. and around the globe, its wheels greased by $132 million in venture capital, which has allowed it to launch into cities with little, or no upfront costs. But according to LimeBike Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Development Gabriel Scheer, who made the LimeBike presentation to Boise officials on May 15, the company is already looking at financial sustainability. "The funding becomes really important when you’re talking about longevity: How are you going to run a sustainable business, and how will we be there to get into markets? That said, we’re not relying on that forever," Scheer said. "We have markets already that are showing themselves to be successful where, when venture capital is no longer how we survive, we will actually be surviving on revenue from usage." During the presentation, he responded to…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 8:46 pm


Paulette Jordan, Brad Little Poised for Historic Idaho Gubernatorial Race

On Tuesday night, voters set the table for what should be a high-profile gubernatorial contest in November—pitting a young former representative against a veteran of Gem State politics. Idaho's 2018 election season got a whole lot more interesting Tuesday night as voters set the table for what should be a high-profile gubernatorial contest in November—pitting a young former representative against a veteran of Gem State politics. Former Idaho House Rep. Paulette Jordan, 38, pulled a major upset in the Democratic Primary for Governor, handily defeating Boise millionaire A.J. Balukoff, 58 to 40 percent. Jordan took Balukoff's home county of Ada by more than 8,000 votes. Ada County election officials reported a 34 percent overall voter turnout (including all parties) Tuesday, much higher than the 25 percent that had been projected.  Jordan also defeated Balukoff in Canyon and Latah counties. It has not gone unnoticed in the national media that if Jordan is victorious in November, she will be the first Native American governor in the U.S. history. In the hotly-contested Republican Primary for Governor, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, 64, emerged as the victor over Congressman Raul Labrador and millionaire Tommy Ahlquist in what had spiraled into a particularly nasty and expensive primary contest. When the dust settled, Little won just over 37 percent of the vote, compared to Labrador's 33 percent and Ahlquist's 26 percent. Little beat the field in Ada And Twin Falls counties, while Labrador grabbed the most votes in Canyon and Kootenai counties. Ahlquist's only success was in eastern Idaho, where he won the majority of the votes in Bonneville County. In the race to see who will take Labrador's open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Russ Fulcher easily won over the Republican field with just over 43 percent of the vote. He'll face off in November with Cristina McNeil, who won the Democratic primary with just over 69 percent of the vote. A number of high-profile Republican members of the Idaho Legislature were ousted by their own party in Tuesday's primary. In eastern Idaho, Rep. Ronald Nate (R-Rexburg) lost to GOP challenger Doug Ricks by just 159 votes. Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Idaho Falls) lost to GOP challenger Gary Marshall by a 19 percent margin. Rep. Thomas Loertscher (R-Iona), the long-time chairman of the House State Affairs Committee lost in Tuesday's GOP primary to challenger Chad Christensen. And Rep. Julie VanOrden  (R-Pingree), chair of the House Education Committee, lost to GOP challenger Julianne Young by a 9 percent margin. In Ada County, Sharon Ullman upset incumbent Ada County Commissioner David…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 2:38 pm


A Bigger Tent

"It's just going to take us some time. We've got some behind-the-scenes operational changes to make." The pushback was immediate, taking David Kemper, CEO of the Ore-Idaho Council of Boy Scouts of America, by surprise. "They thought it was the end of the world. Some said it shook the Boy Scouts to its very core," said Kemper, whose council encompasses hundreds of Cub and Boy Scout packs and troops spread over 14 tcounties in southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. Kemper wasn't talking about the Boy Scouts of America's recent name-change announcement or its decision to accept girls. Instead, he was referring to 1988, when the BSA said it would begin recruiting women into leadership positions, including scoutmasters, ending a male-only policy. At the time, Kemper had just joined the BSA executive ranks in a Chicago suburb following a previous career in accounting. He went on to assume other BSA executive roles in West Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, in that order, and ultimately assumed the top job at the Ore-Idaho council in 2006. "Right now, we have about 14,000 kids in more than 550 packs or troops in the Ore-Idaho Council," he said. While Kemper has helped manage a number of previous changes in the last 30 years, none has been more dramatic than the most recent developments, including the decision to change the organization's name next February from the Boy Scouts of America to Scouts BSA. The move comes in the wake of the program's other major decision: to include young women in its ranks for the first time. "Think for a moment of the scout pledge: 'A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, etc.' It doesn't say, 'A male scout is trustworthy, loyal and helpful,'" said Kemper. "Now, think of today's families. They're more complex. There's really no reason that our program simply fits a boy or a girl. There's nothing that they all can't do. Girls want to go camping, they want to shoot, they want to climb, they want to hike, they want that outdoor adventure that is the main core of what the Boy Scouts have always been about." None of the packs or troops in the Ore-Idaho council include girls yet, but Kemper expects the change to happen in early 2019. "We want to do it right, so we took our time. Each chartered organization can decide how they want to be structured," he said. To be clear, Kemper said each Cub and Boy scout pack or troop that accepts…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 10:02 am


A New Hot Dog Joint Gets Down and Durty in Star

There are plenty of gourmet "dawgs" on the menu, including the Downtown Dawg, Junkyard Dawg and the Guac-a-Long Lil' Dawgy The red and yellow canvas signs that hang over the door of The Durty Dawg seem to promise fast food, but inside, the restaurant is curiously elegant, with hanging lights in iron cages, dark wood and a full bar. The hot dogs, burgers and thick-cut steak fries that arrive on black plastic trays lined with black and white checkered paper only underscore the contrast. The Durty Dawg is a new presence in Star, located in the business strip at the corner of Plummer Street and State Highway 44. It's locally owned, and in a town that leans heavily on two pizza joints, an Asian eatery and an Irish pub for dining options, it comes as a breath of fair food-scented fresh air. To hear the waitresses tell it, the place has been slammed since opening its doors just over two weeks ago, a statement borne out by the fact that the kitchen was out of a handful of menu items by 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday. As the name suggests, hot dogs take pride of place on The Durty Dawg's menu, with 20 different "dawgs" to choose from, topped with everything from mango salsa, shredded cabbage and mango habanero sauce (the Mad Mango Dawg) to barbecue pork, coleslaw and fried pickles (the Slaw P Dawg). Diners can also choose from a shorter list of burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and steak fries topped with anything from gravy to chorizo chili. Pickle fries are the most popular appetizer. The prices are a bit steep (most dogs cost $10 and up) but the right entree warrants them. The Backyard Dawg, a Coney Island-born Nathan's dog wrapped in thick-cut bacon and smothered with tangy barbeque sauce, shredded cheddar and fried onions, is one solid choice. The dog itself was cooked perfectly, with a bit of resistance to each bite and a varied texture that promised real meat rather than meat-product slurry. The combination of smoky sauce and crunchy fried onion put it over the top in taste and texture, although eating it—and the Rolly Polly Dawg, a Polish sausage heavy on sauerkraut and onion—was a messy endeavor. The same went for the mac and cheese-topped Caliboy Burger, a comfort food dish saved from boredom by a crisp layer of bacon. Though the spot is clearly still finding its feet, with friendly staff and an unusual menu, it's sure to lock in soon. Next time…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 10:01 am


Disobedience: Unorthodox Intimacy

Now playing at the Edwards Boise Downtown Stadium 9 Upon hearing of the death of her estranged rabbi father, New York City photographer Ronit (Rachel Weisz), reacts by swinging from unorthodox adult behavior—drinking heavily, engaging in anonymous sex—to more childlike activity: She goes ice skating. We immediately learn that a big part of Ronit's soul is shackled to her past. Even when she deliberately rips some of her clothing, an ancient Jewish tradition of rending a garment to express unspeakable emotion, we see that an equal part of her soul remains an Orthodox Jew. She's soon aboard a jet heading back to England and the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where she grew up. But she is shunned by nearly all of her former neighbors. Even her father's obituary in the local Hebrew newspaper reads, "Sadly, he had no children." Thus begins a deep, self-aware dive into Disobedience, a fine adaptation of Naomi Alderman's best-selling novel of the same name, which won the author the 2007 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. I loved the book, so I must admit to some trepidation in approaching its big screen transformation. But I'm happy to report that director Sebastian Lelio (an Oscar winner this past March for A Fantastic Woman), and the performances of Weisz and Rachel McAdams—who portrays Esti, Ronit's former lover—raise Disobedience to a must-see film. I first saw a screening of Disobedience in Toronto last year, and would have bet my last dollar that it would have been promoted as a serious Oscar contender, particularly for Weisz's and McAdams' performances. Yet for reasons I can't fathom, distributors chose to hold Disobedience until this spring. When the film opened in New York City and Los Angeles, it immediately became the fourth-best per-theater box office success of the year, only following Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Isle of Dogs. It will open in Boise on Thursday, May 17, at Edwards Boise Downtown Stadium 9. There is a lot to love in Disobedience, but two scenes—one of them rather subtle and the other quite provocative—top the list. Early in the film, Ronit and Esti are walking through the now-empty home of Ronit's late father when Ronit spots an old radio on a fireplace mantle. She turns the radio on, but tunes away from a Hebrew-only station to land on pop music. A second later, the 1989 tune Lovesong by The Cure fills the room, and for a moment, the two…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 10:01 am


The Beauty of Big: Fattitude aims to spread body positivity in Boise

Fattitude will screen Wednesday, May 30 at The Flicks. The body-positive documentary Fattitude doesn't pull any punches. The mission page of the film's website begins: "Did you know that fat people are paid $1.25 less an hour than their thin counterparts? Or that a fat person who excels can still legally lose a job just because s/he's fat? How about the reality that one in three doctors associate fat bodies with hostility, dishonesty and poor hygiene? Fat people are subject to discrimination everywhere they look." For local body positivity activist Amy Pence-Brown, creator of the radically feminist support group the Boise Rad Fat Collective, these are must-hear messages. That's is why she's been monitoring the production of Fattitude for years, waiting for its release so she could bring it to Boise. On Wednesday, May 30, at 7 p.m., the film will make its Idaho debut for a one-night screening at The Flicks. Directed by Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman (I Am Evidence, The Sentence), and featuring interviews with Guardian and GQ writer Lindy West, National Eating Disorders Association Program Director Claire Mysko, supermodel Tess Holliday and a host of other experts and activists in fields ranging from fashion to nutrition, Fattitude attempts to illuminate the challenges and triumphs of being "fat"—a term both its creators and Pence-Brown embrace—in a world where thin is the cultural ideal. Pence-Brown said it was this multitude of perspectives she found most powerful about the film, which she previewed on the Oregon State University campus earlier this month. She was there to speak to students in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department; the Psychology Department; and a course called Fat Studies. "The variety of voices that they brought together, from academics to activists to artists—the artwork in [Fattitude] is really great—to writers and models, and actresses and clothing designers...I mean, there's a wide range of people with different experiences and expertise that tell these stories and help paint this fuller picture of what life is like right now for fat people in this country," said Pence-Brown. "I think [the documentary] is super inspirational about where we're headed, to a really great, more positive and inclusive life." The film has been touring the country since its release in 2017. Through a company called Tugg, Pence-Brown was able to bring it to Idaho by partnering with The Flicks and pre-selling a portion of tickets. As of May 15, 95 of the seats in the roughly…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 10:01 am


Loving the Alien: Chrome Keeps It Weird

Now performing with a five-person lineup, the Helios Creed-led Chrome continues the legacy of what San Francisco NPR radio station KQED once dubbed "The Most Influential Band You've Never Heard." By the mid-1990s, singer-guitarist Helios Creed hadn't played in the band Chrome in over a decade. Band founder Damon Edge had called him more than once to suggest that they work on new material, but Creed always refused. "He sounded terrible, kinda drunk and drugged out," Creed said in a 2017 interview with Mojo. "I knew he was overweight, eating to excess. He was like, 'We should make a Chrome record,' but he didn't want me to see him. I said I didn't wanna do a mail record. Then, three months later, he died." After Edge's death from heart failure in 1995, Creed restarted Chrome with fellow ex-members John and Hilary Stench. "I wasn't planning on it," Creed told Boise Weekly, "but all these people just started using the Chrome name—or trying to use the Chrome name—and it just got to the point where, 'Wow, I gotta once again try to protect the Chrome name.'" Now performing with a five-person lineup, the Creed-led Chrome continues the legacy of what San Francisco NPR radio station KQED once dubbed "The Most Influential Band You've Never Heard." The group will kick off a month-long US tour with a show at Neurolux on Friday, May 18. Local rock groups Casual Worship and Evils will open. For the 64-year-old Creed, rock and roll has been a lifelong passion. "I remember Elvis [Presley] when he was brand new," he said. "I was four years old. ... Before Elvis, the radio, I thought, was very boring. I used to think to myself, 'Why would anybody want to make music?'" Seeing acts like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Black Sabbath as a teenager had an even greater impact. A well-known piece of Chrome folklore involves a Sabbath show that Creed attended while tripping on LSD. "I got so scared that I ran out of the place, thinking that the devil was after me," he said in a 2014 interview with the UK-based fanzine Fear and Loathing. "I went on a devil trip with Black Sabbath, right? I was screaming, 'He's gonna send me to hell!' I was looking for my friends and my brother, but some guy said he'd take me to my seat instead. Then Black Sabbath came on and started playing the best songs." The sounds Creed heard that night inspired his fiery, effects-heavy guitar style, a style which helped transform Chrome's sound when Creed joined…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 10:01 am


Thought for Food

BW visits with some of the creative women who inspire JUMP creativity, community conversations and our taste buds. In a food-crazed culture where celebrity chefs are known for their on-camera preening and explosive tempers, Chef Ann Tapia breaks the mold. She's soft-spoken, doesn't have much time for social media and politely smiles when you praise her work. But ask her about the multitude of delicacies that come out of her kitchen at Jack's Urban Meeting Place, aka JUMP, where Tapia is the executive chef, and her eyebrows rise like a perfect souffle. "I'm living my dream," she said. "I couldn't imagine a better job. They're so open to these creative things that I want to do." A constant flow of guests attending JUMP's multi-faceted events and workshops get tastes of Tapia's food. "We'll be serving more than 1,200 guests here this week," she said. "No, hold on. That's just Tuesday through Saturday. When we add the food prepared for the next TEDx Boise event, that's another 500 people." Tapia doesn't work alone, mind you. She's surrounded by what she says are four of the most talented chefs in the region. Plus, a steady stream of guest chefs and caterers circulate in and out of the kitchen, which has a high-profile footprint on JUMP's ground level. The menus are as varied as the guests. For preschoolers, there are "Flavorful Fairytales," which combine storytelling and imaginative recipes—a Unicorn Noodle Bowl, for example, changes colors before your eyes. For downtowners, there's Connect on the Deck on JUMP's fifth-floor terrace each Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon, an event that offers live music, mingling and an ever-changing menu—Tapia said she's working on a "JUMP burger." Then, there are the high-profile conferences at JUMP, such as a three-day ConvertKit conference in late June that promises to attract global craft and commerce entrepreneurs. "I want to present something new and unusual for every one of their events throughout the three days. I love listening to people who are planning events at JUMP; it inspires some really cool, interactive food items to go along with their particular mission," said Tapia. Finally, there are JUMP's Community Dinners. "It's all about being a family friendly, affordable evening. They're open to everybody and we really think we're on to something," said Jess Libes, a Share Studio coordinator who plans cooking and food programs at JUMP. "The dinner is the centerpiece of an evening that includes a number of activities. They cost $10, and kids under [age] 5 eat…

Published on 16 May 2018 | 10:01 am








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