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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2008

TUESDAY, JAN. 29, 2008

iSTARS is off the agenda

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna’s “iSTARS” teacher pay plan was supposed to come up for a vote tomorrow in the Senate Education Committee, but now it’s off the agenda. “We’re just taking a cautious approach, making sure we have everyone’s questions answered before we…

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Guv out of commission for 'several weeks'

Here’s the press release on the outcome of Gov. Butch otter’s hip surgery today:Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter underwent successful resurfacing surgery on his right hip today. He thanked Idahoans for their support and asked for their patience during his recovery. “Lori and I will be…

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Idaho prisons getting more violent

Idaho’s prisons are becoming more violent places, as three major prison gangs extend their membership through the system, state Corrections Director Brent Reinke told lawmakers on JFAC. That’s creating management issues, including a need for more solitary segregation cells at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.…

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MONDAY, JAN. 28, 2008

Stennett taking leave for surgery

Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, will take a leave from legislative service to undergo surgery to relieve minor swelling on his brain, a condition identified during a checkup last week. Stennett is arranging for a substitute while he’s gone, former Sun Valley Mayor Jon…

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Chambers back registration fee hike

The Idaho Chamber Alliance has come out in favor of increased vehicle registration fees to pay for transportation improvements. The group, which includes 20 chambers of commerce from all around the state, also has endorsed continued GARVEE bonding and local-option sales taxes to allow communities…

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73 Idaho inmates refuse parole

In the past year, 73 Idaho prison inmates refused to be let out on parole – preferring to serve more time behind bars in order to finish out their sentences and then get out scot-free, without any need to check in with a parole officer,…

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Of politics and closed primary elections

In Idaho, one of the most successful state political parties in the country is trying to torpedo the very electoral system that put it in power. Republicans now hold every statewide elected office in Idaho and three-quarters of the seats in the state Legislature. But…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 25, 2008

'A training ground for those who sue us'

The Idaho Attorney General’s office is having increasing trouble recruiting and retaining attorneys, because its salaries are 27 percent lower than those in the Ada County prosecutor’s office and 45 percent below private-sector market rates in the Boise area. “We have a number of very…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 24, 2008

Naturopath rules rejected

An Idaho Senate committee has unanimously rejected proposed naturopathic physician licensing rules, saying they were too vague on education and examination requirements to protect public health. According to the Associated Press, the Senate Health & Welfare Committee decision came after Deputy Attorney General Bill von…

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Ah, the 'Domes of America'

Every year, legislative offices receive a lovely calendar from the National Conference of State Legislatures titled “Domes of America,” with colorful close-up pictures of six of the nation’s state capitol domes, in all their intricacy. The calendar apparently was inspiring to some, including House Assistant…

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Midwives rally for licensing law

Dozens of midwives, supporters, moms and babies rallied in Capitol Park and are parading around the block now, pushing strollers and carrying smiling, well-bundled babies. The group was rallying for licensure of certified professional midwives, which they’re pushing for in all 50 states. They maintain…

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'Makes milfoil look like a dinner salad'

Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, took on the nickname “Morty Milfoil” the last couple of years as he pushed to address the invasive Eurasian water milfoil that’s infesting Idaho’s lakes and waterways. Now, Anderson is concerned about a new menace: Quagga mussels. The thumbnail-sized mussels…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 23, 2008

Duncan told Shasta he killed other children

Young Shasta Groene told authorities that killer Joseph Duncan, during the weeks he held her captive at a remote Montana campsite, described killing at least three other children – a tip that prompted authorities to investigate Duncan as a possible serial killer. Duncan now is…

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Only exemption repeal killed

The House Rev & Tax Committee earlier rejected five of six proposed repeals of existing tax exemptions, but agreed to consider one, regarding vending machine sales. This morning, that one got killed too. There was a motion to pass the bill, but it failed, 3-13.…

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Horrific, but true

When FBI Special Agent Michael Gneckow was being questioned by Joseph Duncan’s defense attorneys in federal court yesterday, attorney Thomas Monaghan asked Gneckow how authorities knew how to judge the credibility of the details provided by the sole surviving victim of Duncan’s attack on the…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 22, 2008

Idaho, Washington reach water management accord

Idaho’s Department of Water Resources and the Washington Department of Ecology have jointly announced an agreement that they say will “guide how the two states will continue to coordinate with each other about water supply issues in the face of unprecedented growth on top of…

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Shasta described Dylan's murder

The night she was rescued from killer Joseph Duncan, young Shasta Groene gave such a vivid description of Duncan’s killing of her brother, Dylan, that authorities were left with no doubt that 9-year-old Dylan was dead. That came out this morning at a motions hearing…

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Good news and bad at Health & Welfare

Kicking off three days of budget hearings on the giant Department of Health & Welfare, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning heard from H&W Director Dick Armstrong, who had good news and bad news. Among the good: Application processing times in both food stamps and…

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MONDAY, JAN. 21, 2008

Marina, dock rules win committee support

The House Resources Committee has voted to approve two new sets of state regulations governing docks and marina leases on state-owned lakes, including a provision to allow up to 50 percent of a commercial marina to be converted to private, condominium-style ownership, as long as…

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Idaho considers anti-discrimination law

An Idaho Senate committee voted 6-2 this morning to introduce legislation to extend Idaho's anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation. If enacted, the bill would make Idaho the 21st state to make that change. Legislative sponsors, who include both Republicans and Democrats, say the issue…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 20, 2008

Craig: 'A sterling three-peat'

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has put out an op-ed piece about his website winning a third top award for congressional websites. Here’s his opening:“Just a few days ago, the Congressional Management Foundation recognized the best websites in Congress and awarded my website,, a Silver…

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SATURDAY, JAN. 19, 2008

First lady not enamored of hilltop mansion

It turns out that Idaho’s first lady, Lori Otter, doesn’t think much of the prospect of moving into her husband’s ex-father-in-law’s hilltop mansion, which is now slated to become Idaho’s governor’s mansion. “Frankly, it’s not in a condition where I’m comfortable using it,” she told…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 18, 2008

Role of Board of Ed debated

Idaho’s troubled state Board of Education should limit itself to policy-setting and not try to run programs, the board’s interim director told JFAC today. “I do not think the state Board of Education is particularly good at running programs,” Mike Rush told the budget writers.…

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