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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 2005

MONDAY, FEB. 28, 2005

Limit on citizen testimony stands

Usually, anyone who wants to can testify at a public hearing on a local planning and zoning issue. But if it’s about a confined animal feeding operation – those big, smelly operations called CAFOs – only residents who live within a mile of the project…

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Revelation after revelation

As if Sen. Jack Noble’s ethical problems – the subject of the first Senate Ethics Committee investigation in 15 years – weren’t enough, more revelations keep piling up. On Saturday, the Idaho Statesman reported that the state has placed liens against Noble’s convenience store and…

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FRIDAY, FEB. 25, 2005

'I'm a loooooser!'

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, earned himself the “crow” in the House this week for getting his bill, HB 129, overwhelmingly killed. The mock statue of a crow is presented to any representative whose bill or motion gets fewer than 20 votes. This time, Clark’s…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 24, 2005

Dramatics at Senate ethics panel

During the Senate Ethics Committee meeting today, accused Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna, brought in a prominent lawyer, admitted he lied to the same panel two days earlier and closed out the two-hour-plus meeting with an emotional apology.Noble is under investigation for failing to disclose his…

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 23, 2005

No vote tonight

The House Resources Committee won’t vote tonight on the Nez Perce water rights agreement after all. As Chairman Bert Stevenson opened this afternoon’s hearing on the huge agreement, he said the vote is being put off to Friday, to allow more time tonight for public…

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Tax goodies for business

Four new bills were introduced in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee this morning to give tax breaks to business. The first, from Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, answers complaints that his big corporate incentive package would help only the biggest businesses, which likely would be in…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 22, 2005

Doings on the depot

There’s lots of interest among North Idaho lawmakers in a meeting coming up at 1 p.m. between representatives of BNSF Railway Co. and the state Department of Environmental Quality. DEQ officials said it’s a “compliance conference,” requested Friday by the company in response to DEQ…

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MONDAY, FEB. 21, 2005

He made it just in time

The 3 p.m. meeting of the Senate Education Committee already had started when Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, finally made it back to Boise and slipped into his seat to chair the meeting.“We did have an interesting set of circumstances today,” Goedde said. “But I…

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Another special plate

The Idaho Senate just passed a bill to create a new special license plate to honor science and technology, with proceeds to go to the state office of science and technology. But the bill didn’t pass without some protests that the state’s getting too many…

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FRIDAY, FEB. 18, 2005

First ethics panel in 15 years

History was made in the Idaho Senate today, as a six-senator ethics committee convened to consider a complaint against Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna. Noble introduced a bill to rewrite a section of state liquor laws to permit his own convenience store to sell liquor, even…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 17, 2005

Charge 'em room and board?

About 100 Idaho prison inmates each year refuse parole, opting instead to serve out their full terms and get out with no conditions or oversight. State Commission on Pardons and Parole Director Olivia Craven told JFAC this morning that offenders need treatment programs to change…

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Not really pretty flowers

Jim Caswell, head of Idaho’s office of species conservation, brought a big vase of what looked like colorful flowers with him to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning – but it was actually plastic reproductions of various noxious weeds that are found in Idaho. “This…

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 16, 2005

Lawmakers want depot shut down

Four state legislators from Kootenai County issued a joint statement this morning calling for the entire Burlington-Northern refueling depot to be voluntarily shut down until all problems are corrected. The statement was in response to a leak in one of the depot’s three main fueling…

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MONDAY, FEB. 14, 2005

They want northern hearings

Idaho Democrats are calling for hearings in North Idaho on the water rights agreement with the Nez Perce Tribe. Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene, said, “The judge’s gag order shut out the people’s opportunity to participate in the settlement, and now the people’s voices will…

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Semanko throws hat in ring

Norm Semanko, executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association, says he’s running for the 1st District congressional seat that Butch Otter will vacate in two years. Otter announced even before he was sworn in for his current term that he’ll be leaving after this…

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North Idaho program won't change

Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, questioned whether expanding Idaho’s smoke-management program statewide would mean funding being funneled away from the North Idaho program. The program, which requires farmers to register their fields in advance of field-burning and to burn only when weather conditions are favorable, now…

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Job one is helping industry

If anyone had any doubts about the attitude of the state’s Department of Agriculture, which has been charged in recent years with key roles in regulating such issues as field-burning and dairy odor, Director Pat Takasugi put them to rest today as he concluded his…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 10, 2005

'The provisions of this bull are...'

Word is still going around about a one-letter typo in the Statement of Purpose on the bill that the Idaho Association of Counties introduced yesterday, to deny most county-funded indigent medical care to illegal aliens.Dan Chadwick, head of the association, didn’t have the typo in…

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Helen's back on the scene

Legislation approving the Nez Perce water rights agreement was introduced in the House Resources Committee this afternoon, with a standing-room-only crowd in attendance. Among those looking on: Former U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage.After three bills to implement the agreement were introduced on 16-1, 15-2 and 15-2…

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And for our next number...

Idaho State Police Chief Dan Charboneau introduced some of his staff before he started his annual budget presentation to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning. Next to him sat Rick Ohnsman at the computer, operating the Powerpoint presentation.“To my left, playing the keyboards, is our…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 8, 2005

Now that's non-controversial

The Senate is “rolling votes” – using the same unanimous roll call repeatedly, in order to save time while passing non-controversial bills. But on the last one, Senate President Pro-tem Bob Geddes may have gotten a little overenthusiastic. He initially reported that without objection, SB…

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MONDAY, FEB. 7, 2005

Closed caucus discusses state budget

Idaho Republican senators went behind closed doors today for about an hour to discuss the state budget – specifically, a shortfall in the public school budget that’s anticipated this year because enrollment is up higher than anticipated.Often, enrollment falls short of projections, leaving extra money…

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It finally surfaces

Now that we’re into the fifth week of the legislative session, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s big tax-incentive package to attract corporate headquarters to Idaho is going to be unveiled. “The long-awaited corporate incentive bill from the governor’s office has arrived,” House Tax Chairman Dolores Crow told…

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Not saying they're sorry

House Tax Chairman Dolores Crow issued a warning to her committee this morning: “From now on, it’s crunch time,” she said. “We will be getting a lot of bills.” She warned lawmakers that if they see a proposal they don’t support, “for heaven’s sake don’t…

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FRIDAY, FEB. 4, 2005

Idahoans hate those fax ads

The biggest complaint from Idaho consumers to the Attorney General’s consumer protection office in the past year was about unsolicited fax ads – by far. Of the 4,078 consumer complaints the office received in 2004 – the highest number since 1998 – 2,726 were about…

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