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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2010

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24, 2010

Business group: Megaloads should roll 

A business group that actively supports the prospect of megaloads of oil equipment traveling on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho has issued a statement that it's "concerned" over a hearing officer's ruling today that opponents of the loads have a right to be heard…

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The hearing officer's decision...

Hearing officer Merlyn Clark, in his 20-page ruling, detailed how ITD reviewed the proposal for the four ConocoPhillips megaloads and determined they could travel safely - but he also found that the three opponents who sued to block the loads clearly have a "direct and…

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Megaloads opponents: 'It is good news'

Linwood Laughy and Borg Hendrickson, two U.S. Highway 12 residents who were among those who sued to block megaloads of oil equipment two lanes wide from traveling the route, had this statement today in response to the hearing officer's decision:"We feel that it is good…

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ITD: Will review hearing officer's recommendation

The Idaho Transportation Department just announced that its hearing officer, Merlyn Clark, has ruled that opponents of the four proposed ConocoPhillips megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 have a right to contest permits for the loads. ITD Director Brian Ness "will review the recommendation," the agency…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 23, 2010

Members of Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force listen to presentations at their final meeting on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

Lake: 'We chose a cautious way out'

Here's a link to my full story at on today's final recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force, which were 18 months in the making. House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, cast the only vote against the task force's final resolution. "I…

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Task force: 'Our work is done' 

The governor's transportation funding task force also has agreed to support a legislative task force's recommendation to permanently restore to the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation the 3 percent share of gas taxes that it's long been receiving for trails, reflecting the amount of…

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Task force: 'We can't do it now'

Rather than come up with specific proposals to raise gas taxes, registration fees or other revenue sources, the governor's transportation funding task force has opted to simply send along a matrix it agreed to earlier in which it defined and prioritized the various ways the…

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No decisions yet, but plenty of disagreement 

No decisions yet. House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, noted that if Idaho were to raise its gas tax enough to fund the whole $540 million-plus need the governor's transportation funding task force has identified, "We'd be facing a 66 cent a gallon fuel tax…

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Little: 'Now things get more interesting'

The governor's transportation task force has been wordsmithing by committee various "whereas" clauses in its proposed resolution, on things like how funding for local highway jurisdictions should fit needs, rather than just follow a distribution formula. Some districts have dozens of bridges, for example, while…

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Road needs: $543 million

The total figures being tossed around by the governor's task force on transportation funding are big: $262 million to operate, preserve and restore the current road system, both at the state and local level; plus $281 million needed for "capacity and safety enhancement" at both…

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The Idaho governor's transportation funding task force begins debating how to increase road funding in the state. (Betsy Russell)

Road funding: How to fill in the blanks

The governor's transportation funding task force has begun working through a proposed resolution - which currently contains lots of blanks - on what it should recommend for future road funding in Idaho. Among its clauses: One saying that federal funding likely "will remain essentially flat…

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Road funding debate to start at 12:45 

The governor's transportation funding task force has been kicking around some questions about how it should fashion its recommendations, but hasn't yet begun debating the specifics - that'll happen this afternoon. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the task force chairman, is passing out a draft resolution…

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Bogus opens Thursday for season

Here's some news: Bogus Basin ski resort will open for the season on Thursday - Thanksgiving Day. "Recent storms have delivered 2-feet of snow for a 'front side' opening," the resort just announced on its website. Chairs 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, Easy Rider and…

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H&W closes 8 offices for day due to weather

Severe winter weather and hazardous driving conditions in central and eastern Idaho have prompted the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to close all of its offices in regions 5, 6 and 7 for the day - that's Burley, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello,…

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Missoula extends fee on megaloads

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The Missoula City Council has voted to make permanent a $200 fee for companies seeking permits to haul oversized loads through the city. Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil is seeking permits from Idaho and Montana to…

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ITD Deputy Director Scott Stokes briefs the governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday (Betsy Russell)

New ITD management system set to go live

ITD Deputy Director Scott Stokes is briefing the governor's transportation task force on efficiency moves at ITD. The agency's goals are safety, mobility and economic vitality, Stokes said. Its new computerized management systems - a key recommendation from a legislative audit - "begin going live…

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Hilde Kellogg dies at age 92

Longtime Idaho state Rep. Hilde Kellogg, R-Post Falls, died Monday at the age of 92. She served in the state Legislature until age 88; she died of natural causes at Kootenai Medical Center and services are pending. You can read the Coeur d'Alene Press's full…

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Immigration sweeps round up 13

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Federal immigration officers arrested 13 illegal immigrants across southern Idaho last week and all but one are expected to be immediately deported. The Post Register reports the Boise office of the U.S.…

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