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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2010

THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2010

Sheer rock walls and sharp curves... 

Some stretches of U.S. Highway 12, shown in slides on a big screen at this morning's megaloads hearing, have a sheer rock wall on one side, and a guard rail on the other above the river, with just 31 feet between the two, along sharp…

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Doral Hoff, ITD District 2 maintenance engineer, left, is questioned by attorney Natalie Havlina, right, of Advocates for the West, at Thursday's megaloads hearing in Boise. (Betsy Russell)

Megaloads hearing Day 2 begins

Day 2 of the contested-case hearing on ConocoPhillips' proposed megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho has resumed this morning, with attorney Natalie Havlina continuing to question ITD District 2 maintenance engineer Doral Hoff. Asked how long the entire convoy, including the giant truck,…

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Rammell charged with poaching

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell has been charged with poaching an elk in eastern Idaho. Bonneville County Prosecutor Bruce Pickett says the Idaho Falls man was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor possession…

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Attorney Natalie Havlina of Advocates for the west, standing at right, questions ITD District Engineer Jim Carpenter, left, at a contested-case hearing in Boise on Wednesday. (Betsy Russell)

Opponents call Lewiston district engineer

The intervenors have now called their next witness, James Carpenter, ITD's district engineer in Lewiston. Carpenter told attorney Natalie Havlina that when he attended a meeting in Kooskia about ExxonMobil's proposed megaloads, he was asked about traffic delays. "My response was that I was unaware…

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ITD didn't solicit public comments on megaloads

ITD public involvement coordinator Adam Rush, under questioning from attorney Natalie Havlina, confirmed that ITD received a petition over the summer opposing the megaloads with signatures from about 3,000 people, opposing the granting of permits to ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips or any other corporation "to transport massively…

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Crowd grows restive at megaloads hearing 

As attorney Laird Lucas continued cross-examining ITD motor vehicles administrator Alan Frew, he noted that Frew, in his memorandum of decision, described public comments the department received as "subjective and hypothetical concerns," and asked whether he'd reviewed the chances of an accident. Frew said there…

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ITD: Frequent passing means every 15 minutes

There's been lots of sparring over how an ITD regulation says over-legal loads shouldn't block traffic for more than 10 minutes, but ITD used a 15-minute delay standard in issuing the ConocoPhillips megaloads permits. Alan Frew, ITD's motor vehicle administrator, said his interpretation is that…

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Megaloads hearing goes on noon break

The ConocoPhillips megaloads hearing has gone on a break for lunch; it'll be back in one hour at 1 p.m. Boise time, at which time cross-examination of the second witness of the day, Idaho DMV chief Alan Frew, will begin. (Note: The time stamps on…

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ITD: 'Scenic nature' of route not a factor

Alan Frew, ITD motor vehicles chief, said, "In my experience, there is nothing 100 percent safe on the highway. We checked and rechecked to make sure we were reasonably sure that these loads could move safely." Asked if he received public comments about the planned…

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