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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2005

TUESDAY, DEC. 27, 2005

Bogus Basin reopens

In a surprise announcement this morning, Bogus Basin ski area reopened – after shutting down for several days after a rain-out and disappointing a valley-full of kids off from school and others ready for some holiday-week skiing. The resort got 2 to 4 inches of…

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THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 2005

We're growing fast, and it shows

Idaho is the now the nation’s third-fastest growing state, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. To hit that rank, we added 33,956 new residents in the past year. And judging by the traffic around the Boise Towne Square mall today, they’re all…

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 2005

Both sides praise school lawsuit ruling

Both sides are praising the Idaho Supreme Court’s ruling in the long-running school funding lawsuit today, though the court sided with school districts who sued the state. “I’m not surprised by the opinion at all – in fact, I think it was a very friendly…

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Residential share is even higher now

The latest figures are out from the Idaho Tax Commission, and Idaho’s property taxes have continued their sharp shift onto residential property. The share of property tax paid by owners of residential property rose to 63.2 percent in 2005, up from 61.6 percent in 2004…

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MONDAY, DEC. 19, 2005

Congressman responds

Here’s Otter’s response. He doesn’t say anything about the impact of his public land-sale bill on hunting, fishing, or other public access.“I find it interesting that, at a time when many local governments are struggling to make ends meet, some would oppose an effort to…

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FRIDAY, DEC. 16, 2005

They got him on that one

Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, is known for his lawyerly manner of speaking and often going into elaborate detail about minor points, occasionally with tongue in cheek. Thus, it was in character today when, as he was moving to approve the minutes at a meeting…

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THURSDAY, DEC. 15, 2005

Wild Transportation Board meeting

There were some interesting moments at the Idaho Transportation Board meeting on Wednesday, which was uncharacteristically packed – every seat taken, including rows of extra chairs lined up along both sides and the back, and it’s a big, theater-style meeting room to begin with.It was…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 13, 2005

Chigbrow announces for state controller

Royce Chigbrow, a CPA and longtime campaign treasurer for GOP candidates, announced today he’s running for state controller – the position that Republican Controller Keith Johnson is giving up to run for Congress.“It has been a great honor to serve Republicans during my professional career,”…

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THURSDAY, DEC. 8, 2005

New group sets legislative agenda

More than 100 people packed the Gold Room of the state Capitol on Wednesday to discuss legislative issues affecting Idaho children, from day-care regulation to social services to early childhood education. By the end of the day, after in-depth discussions, the new group, Idaho Voices…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 6, 2005

Teachers file initiative

The Idaho Education Association has filed an initiative with the Secretary of State’s office to reinstate the recently expired 1-cent sales tax hike, and this time direct all the money to local public schools across the state. Under the “Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Act,”…

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MONDAY, DEC. 5, 2005

Bringing 'em in, sending 'em out

Is your town a job importer or a job exporter? The state Division of Financial Management, in its monthly “Idaho Outlook” publication, analyzed some Census figures that show the difference between various Idaho cities’ resident populations and daytime populations. If there are fewer residents than…

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FRIDAY, DEC. 2, 2005

Boise's ski season starts with shimmer

It's a vision in white over the brown hills of Boise today - Bogus Basin ski resort is open for business. Hundreds of skiers reportedly flocked to the opening day, ditching work or school to frolic on chilly, groomed slopes under on-and-off sunshine, while the…

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30, 2005

Citizen group pans closed meetings

The Common Interest, a citizen group dedicated to reducing partisanship and special interest influence, has announced the results of its in-depth study of open legislative committee meetings, one of three issues it selected to examine over the past year. It found that after extensive briefing…

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They said, 'Please don't go'

Carl Bianchi’s not-retiring-yet story is better than a certain senator’s. Bianchi, director of legislative services for the state, had announced plans to retire at the end of this month. But with a legislative session looming and no replacement for the director in sight, Bianchi was…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 29, 2005

Federal judge overturns anti-union bill

Back in 2003, Republican legislators who were angry at the state’s teacher’s union pushed through the “Voluntary Contributions Act,” outlawing unions from using dues for political activities, requiring them to pay for political activities out of separate, segregated funds, restricting how they can raise those…

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MONDAY, NOV. 28, 2005

Speaker says 'None of that!'

House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, R-Burley, issued a stern statement today to members of a legislative interim committee who held a closed-door Republican “caucus” meeting this morning to work out a deal on state employee pay legislation.“I would like to make it clear as speaker of…

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 23, 2005

Risch drops out of governor's race

Idaho Lt. Gov. Jim Risch now says he’ll run for re-election as lieutenant governor – rather than running for governor next year. Risch had been widely expected to challenge U.S. Rep. Butch Otter in the Republican primary this spring – a campaign he’d long anticipated.…

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MONDAY, NOV. 21, 2005

Announcements, announcements

State Sen. Bert Marley, D-McCammon, will announce his candidacy for state superintendent of schools tomorrow on the Statehouse steps at 1:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Coeur d’Alene High School Principal Steve Casey, a Republican, is making his formal announcement for the same position today.Already in the race…

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FRIDAY, NOV. 18, 2005

It could be even worse for E. Idaho

The Idaho Falls Post-Register, in a recent editorial, says Eastern Idaho interests that are challenging the current legislative redistricting plan, claiming it favors North Idaho, “should be careful what they wish for.” Why? Because growth in the past five years, since the 2000 census, has…

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16, 2005

Just go right ahead and eat

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was touting his Medicaid reform initiative to more than 400 folks at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho conference today over lunch, when he had a few comments about the high health and financial costs of obesity. The average American gained 10 pounds…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 15, 2005

You can tell the governor is excited

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is clearly excited about his Medicaid reform initiative, which he officially unveiled at a press conference in his office today. The plan, which depends on federal authorities issuing an unprecedented blanket waiver or super-waiver of dozens of federal rules, would vastly simplify…

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THURSDAY, NOV. 10, 2005

Not too flippin' sweet

What’s up in Preston, Idaho – the town where the popular Napoleon Dynamite movie was filmed? Just today, former Preston Police Chief C. Scott Shaw was sentenced to one to five years in prison for misuse of public money and perjury. And yesterday, the Idaho…

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Senator says he ‘drilled’ oil execs

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig put out a news release declaring that he “drilled oil executives” in a hearing yesterday on gas prices. “When gas is cheaper on Capitol Hill than it is in Idaho, I’m frustrated,” Craig said. “Idaho consumers are paying through the nose…

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National voice brings debate to state

The national debate that’s raging over the idea of teaching “intelligent design” in public schools comes to Idaho this week, as the Rev. Barry Lynn arrives in Boise to speak. Lynn’s in town to speak at an ACLU banquet, but on Friday morning, he’ll give…

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