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Eye On Boise archive for March 2011


Dems say GOP 'purging their ranks'

The Idaho Demcratic Party is accusing the state Republican Party of "purging their ranks" with the push to close GOP primary elections in Idaho. Larry Grant, new Idaho Democratic Party chairman, said, "Idaho is the loser today. “Public elections are not meant for private clubs.…

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Ysursa: 'Some challenges ahead' 

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said he hasn't yet consulted with the Idaho Attorney General on how best to proceed in light of today's federal court ruling declaring Idaho's open primary election law unconstitutional, so he doesn't know if an appeal or other move…

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Bill to protect feedlots advances

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A bill headed to the Idaho House would make it easier for farmers to enlarge their feedlot operations, but more difficult for opponents to challenge those plans in court. The House Agricultural Affairs…

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Idaho Dems choose Grant as new party chair

The Idaho Democratic Party announced today that its central committee has elected Larry Grant as it new state party chairman. Grant, a former congressional candidate and former vice president and general counsel for Micron Technology, is from Payette. Click below for the Democrats' full announcement.

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How they voted... 

Here's how the House voted on HB 109, the measure that makes a technical change to prevent Idaho from becoming ineligible for $65 million in extended federal unemployment benefits this summer; had the bill failed, 17,000 unemployed Idahoans would have lost their benefits. The bill…

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Fernandez named LCSC president

The state State Board of Education, which held a special meeting in Lewiston today, has announced the hiring of Tony Fernandez as president of Lewis-Clark State College, where he's been serving as interim president since last April; before that he was vice president and provost.…

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Idaho state schools Supt. Tom Luna addresses the Idaho Press Club on Wednesday; he said he thought student opposition to his school reform plan was due to "misinformation." (Betsy Russell)

Luna: 'Lots of misinformation' 

Idaho state schools Supt. Tom Luna is addressing the Idaho Press Club today. His big point: "As far as SB 1113, I think that reports of the death of that bill have been greatly exaggerated. ... I don't agree that it's dead or on life…

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Idaho's open primary declared unconstitutional 21 

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill has declared Idaho's open primary election system unconstitutional with respect to the state's Republican Party primary, which the party passed a rule saying it wants to close. "An important corollary of the right to freely associate is a right not…

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Student protests continue... 

KBOI2-TV reports that 100 or more South Junior High students walked out of class this morning and walked about two miles to the state Capitol to protest the school reform plan; you can see their story here, and an Idaho Statesman report here.

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Brian Smith, a government teacher from Sandpoint High School, testifying against the teacher contract bill, SB 1108, in the House Education Committee on Wednesday, asked, "If this is about local control, then why doesn't my district have the right to continue a process that works for our students and our community?" (Betsy Russell)

Testimony: 'Atmosphere of fear'

Kendon Perry, a business owner from Sandpoint, 37-year Idaho resident and father of two school children, asked the House Education Committee, "Will professional, passionate, hard-working teachers flee Idaho? Could Idaho become what I call the minor leagues or the training ground for teachers? And will…

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Boise County may declare bankruptcy

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Officials in Boise County say they may file for bankruptcy in the wake of losing a federal lawsuit and getting hit with a $4 million judgment in the case. Commissioners in the southwestern…

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Ed hearing: Nonini threatens to clear room 

Scott Nicholson, who described himself as a Vietnam veteran and a Republican, said he congratulated state schools Supt. Tom Luna on Election Night on his re-election, because he fought for education. But Nicholson said he's against SB 1108 and 1110. "I'm a tad tired of…

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Boise school trustee Janet Orndorff testifies Wednesday against SB 1108, the teacher contract bill, and SB 1110, the teacher merit pay bill. She said the measures are problematic for Idaho school districts and will "devastate rural districts." (Betsy Russell)

Orndorff: 'Would devastate rural districts'

Longtime Boise school trustee Janet Orndorff told the House Education Committee, "Please remove sections 6, 10, 11 and 12 from SB 1108. Sections 10 and 11 impose rules on districts that are heavy-handed and impose unnecessary bureaucracy. Section 10 removes the 99 percent floor. ...…

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Student Brock McConnehey was the first to testify Wednesday morning at the second day of House Education Committee hearings on SB 1108, the teacher contract bill, and SB 1110, the teacher merit pay bill.  (Betsy Russell)

House Ed opens second day of hearings

Today's House Education Committee hearing has opened, and in addition to all those who signed up yesterday to testify and haven't yet gotten a chance, there are 53 more people signed up to testify today - all against the bills, SB 1108 and 1110. Rep.…

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Centerpiece of Luna plan may be dead

The centerpiece of Idaho's controversial school reform plan may be dead for this year, senators indicated, even as separate bills on teacher contracts and pay move through hearings in the House. The main bill, SB 1113, was pulled back to the Senate Education Committee last…

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Eye On Boise

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