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Eye On Boise archive for July 2010

THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010



Wildfire contained after dramatic fight

That was a pretty dramatic fight against the Eagle wildfire last night, with planes dropping fire retardant, helicopters dipping and dumping water buckets, crews working on the ground, smoke billowing and winds shifting and gusting. The fire was fully contained by mid-evening after nearly 5,000…

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2010


Uh, so who asked him to? 

Here's why Gov. Butch Otter issued the press release saying he "won't intervene" in the BSU-UI football rivalry spat: He was asked about it after his speech to the Boise chamber today by Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey. "The governor told him, he said, 'Personally,…

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Guv 'won't intervene' in UI-BSU football spat 

Gov. Butch Otter just issued this press release: GOVERNOR WON’T INTERVENE IN FOOTBALL SCHEDULING(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued the following statement today about the controversy surrounding continuation of the football series between the University of Idaho and Boise State University after the 2010…

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Minnick: Idaho needs a 3rd federal judge

Idaho needs a third federal district judge, according to Congressman Walt Minnick, who notes that the state hadn't gotten an additional judgeship in 56 years. "We have two judges serving two or three times as many people per capita as our neighboring states," Minnick said…

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Council: Mussel-fight cost could hit $100M

A new report from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council estimates that it could cost $100 million a year to fight invasive quagga and zebra mussels once they make it into the Columbia River Basin, which echoes alarms that have been sounded for the past…

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TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010


Allred: 'Raising gas tax is wrong' 

Keith Allred, the Democratic candidate for governor, said the state's new highway cost allocation study, released today, validates his longstanding criticism that current Gov. Butch Otter has been favoring "special interests" over Idaho citizens, particularly when the governor proposed a big car registration fee increase…

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Consultants Patrick Balducci, standing, and Joseph Stowers tell the Idaho governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday how much more damage heavy trucks do to pavement than cars. (Betsy Russell)

Trucks vs. cars on pavement damage 

Consultant Patrick Balducci of Battelle Group told the governor's transportation funding task force just now that axle weights matter, not just total weight of a truck compared to total weight of a car, when calculating impact on pavement damage. But, under questioning from committee members,…

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Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, right, presides over the governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday. At left is House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby; at center is Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell. (Betsy Russell)

Little: 'We really do need this' 

Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who is chairing the governor's transportation funding task force, says it could well be that a gas tax hike - which Gov. Butch Otter failed to convince state lawmakers to impose despite two years of pleas - could end up being…

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Task force member: 'We're way behind'

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, who serves on Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force, had this thought on the task force members' overwhelmingly ranking a gas tax increase as the top potential funding source for road fixes in Idaho: "This was the first cut of…

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Medicaid fraud lands provider behind bars

A personal care provider in Bonners Ferry has received a five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine for Medicaid provider fraud, though a 1st District judge suspended the sentence and ordered Coral Mouser to serve 45 days in jail and pay $12,465 in restitution to…

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Gas tax hike top choice of task force members 

The governor's transportation task force, after its last meeting, asked all 14 of its members to rank the various potential funding sources for transportation in Idaho on everything from fairness to public acceptance, and the results show a fuel tax increase came out on top.…

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Hart scheduled to testify to ethics committee

The House Ethics Committee has released its agenda for its Thursday meeting regarding Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol; you can see it here. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the state Capitol with discussion of constitutional provisions and House rules, then include a review…

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Toll roads for Idaho?

The hottest topic among states seeking transportation funding is imposing tolls on interstate freeways, consultant David Hartgen told the governor's transportation task force this morning. It's currently not allowed outside of demonstration projects, but he said he wouldn't be surprised to see it permitted to…

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Road funding: 'A widening gap'

Transportation consultant David Hartgen said he doesn't think Idaho's revenues for transportation will get much higher than 3 percent annual growth, given current funding sources, and they could drop well below that "if economic circumstances don't turn around." The result: A "widening gap" by the…

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David Hartgen, a transportation consultant and twin brother of Idaho Rep. Stephen Hartgen, addresses the governor's transportation task force on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

'Guess we do sort of look alike'

As the governor's transportation task force opened its all-day meeting this morning, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the panel's chairman, warned members that they were about to have "an out of body experience" with the first speaker, David Hartgen. The reason: He's the twin brother of…

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MONDAY, JULY 26, 2010

Hart cast deciding votes on state tax rules 10 

Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, who has big tax disputes pending over back state and federal income taxes, sat on a three-member legislative subcommittee this year that reviewed new state tax rules for all Idaho taxpayers, and he cast the deciding vote on two of them.…

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Judge partially dismisses Syringa lawsuit 

A 4th District judge has issued his promised new ruling in the Syringa Networks lawsuit against the state of Idaho over the big contract for the Idaho Education Network, and it has a slightly different outcome from his last ruling: He's dismissing most of the…

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Protesters also headed to Boise...

Personal injury lawyers aren't the only ones flocking to Boise for this Thursday's Multidistrict Litigation Panel hearing on the BP oil spill. A group calling itself "antibp-mob.com" has secured permits for a protest outside the U.S. District Courthouse in Boise on Thursday, where its members…

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.



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