Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are conceptual site plans too restrictive in Kuna?

A proposal to tighten up Kuna’s rules regarding conceptual site plans sparked an interesting philosophical debate about how restrictive the city should be toward potential development. The issue centers around the city’s requirement that annexation and rezone applications be accompanied by a conceptual site plan.
In September, City Council members approved an annexation of a 14.8-acre parcel of land on the east side of Meridian Road just north of Northwest Lineman College. The applicant, Victor Clark, sought annexation into the city of Kuna with a commercial zoning. However, Clark said he had no idea at this point what might go there. He didn’t have a buyer on the hook; he wanted commercial designation in order to help attract potential buyers.
At the time, City Council member Lisa Bachman pointed out that city code requires that all such applications be accompanied by a conceptual site plan. City Council members, with the exception of Bachman, voted in favor of the annexation and rezone.
Kuna city planning director Steve Hasson was directed to revisit the city code that requires conceptual site plans with an eye toward possibly loosening the requirements.
Hasson, however, said that the more he worked on the ordinance, the more restrictive it became, not less.
Council members tabled a decision until the Jan. 6 City Council meeting. The public hearing portion of the matter was closed, but council members are tentatively scheduled to make a decision during the Jan. 6 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 763 W. Avalon St.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

State Sen. Russ Fulcher holds meeting in Kuna

In preparation for the 2009 Legislative Session, state Sen. Russ Fulcher will be hosting a town meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, at Reed Elementary School, 1670 N. Linder Road in Kuna. Special guests will include Legislative District 21 House Representatives Cliff Bayer and Rich Jarvis. Bring your ideas and comments.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kuna Melba News story on creekside memorial in Kuna generates responses

This month’s story in the Kuna Melba News on the creekside memorial to Vernon Bowers generated a lot of comments, both online and mailed to the newspaper. Most people seem to think the city should let the family keep the memorial where it is. The city has told the family they have to remove the memorial by the end of the year.
I received a phone call from a local resident who walks the Greenbelt often. She said the memorial does seem out of place, but she respects the family’s desire to keep a memorial to Vernon. She suggests a compromise: Give the family a six-month reprieve and allow them to raise money for a tree and stone memorial similar to others in the park.
I think that sounds like a pretty reasonable suggestion. A tree and stone memorial near the current memorial would look nice and honor Vernon’s memory.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Annual Kuna Melba News Christmas party

This weekend, Nicola and I held the annual Kuna Melba News Christmas party, to which we invite all of the good folks who regularly write for the Kuna Melba News. This year, we held the party at our house and had it catered by Fiesta Guadalajara, who did a fantastic job. Great food, very professional. Those in attendance included: Tami McCraw, our new marketing and customer service representative, and her husband, Jake, and their two children; Madge Wylie, journalist, author, all-around writer extraordinaire; Marty Nelson, Melba senior center coordinator who writes the weekly Melba seniors column; Nancy Simper, This is the Life columnist and now book author, along with three of her daughters; Cheryl McCord, Kuna Farmers Market coordinator who writes the weekly Farmers Market column, her husband, Bill Clark, and Bill's mom, Tina, from Michigan; and columnist Zeke Corder and his significant other, Shelly. Kuna seniors columnist Ernie Sandberg and columnist Steven Ricks couldn't join us, but we were thinking of them. I pointed out to the group that 2008 was a year of significant events for our little group. Madge Wylie won an Esto Perpetua Award for her documenting history, Nancy Simper has published her first book, This is the Life, a collection of columns from her first year in the Kuna Melba News, and the Kuna Farmers Market was bigger than ever this year. Personally, I had a great time hanging out with all these people with whom I communicate usually only by email once a week. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to work with such a terrific group of people.

Friday, December 19, 2008

First annual Kuna Christmas Festival is noon to 3 p.m. Saturday

The First Annual Kuna Christmas Festival will be at the Sandstone Plaza on 4th Street from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20. We will have a number of activities for both kids and adults, including: pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, “Reindeer” pony sleigh rides, holiday crafts, bounce house, free pizza from Domino’s Pizza, free hot chocolate and coffee, and a “Holiday Boot Camp” by Freedom Fitness Center. There will be free drawings for gifts, and services that include: a Nintendo Wii, a dual LCD car DVD system, professional family portrait sitting and digital picture frame, 4 Tickets to Thunder Mountain Line, 2 Tickets to “Walking With Dinosaurs,” $150 Holiday Party Basket, an electric race car (that kids can sit in and drive), a full suspension mountain bike, dinner for two at Tannins, free dental whitening, a spa package and several others.

Shop local this weekend in Kuna

By Nicola McIntosh, Kuna Melba News Publisher
The Kuna Melba News is pleased to bring you the third annual Kuna Holiday Shopping Guide, loaded with great gift ideas from Kuna businesses. You can find the Shopping Guides all over town at various retail outlets and businesses. Each year (and throughout the year, really) we’ve touted the benefits of shopping locally. But this holiday season, in the midst of an economic recession, it’s more important than ever to make as many purchases locally as possible.
Sure, you might not find the Wall-e remote control robot that your 3-year-old covets in Kuna, but I’ll bet you can find something for almost everyone on your list right here in town.
Did you know that for every $100 spent in a locally owned, independent business, $70 is returned to the community compared to $30 from a national retailer? For example, when you spend $100 at Treasure Valley Gift Shoppe – owned by Kuna resident Renee Harper – you’ll see that money go back into your community two-fold.
You won’t have to fight mall madness, you’ll find many unique and high quality gifts and in many cases you’ll find prices that beat Boise’s.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feeling like they're on a sinking ship

During a recent meeting of landowners who are participating in Kuna’s local improvement district, some of the landowners began to discuss the boundary dispute between Kuna and Meridian. Kuna wants to go north to Amity Road, while Meridian lays claim to south of Lake Hazel. Some of the landowners began to debate the merits of the arguments and where the line should be.
LID participant Tim Gordon interrupted the debate and chimed in with the best line of the week: “We’re all on the Titanic right now, and you’re all talking about the deck chairs.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Commissioner's e-mail is a waste of taxpayer money

Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule forwarded a joke e-mail he received comparing incoming First Lady Michelle Obama to a black widow spider because of a black dress she wore that had a red hourglass-shaped pattern on the front.
Rule’s forwarding of the e-mail has set off a firestorm of protests and even national media coverage. The e-mail also compares Obama to the black widow spider because she is black and has a “wide backside.”
There has been much debate over whether the e-mail is racist. Rule defenders claim the joke merely refers to the dress and not Obama’s race.
Personally, I think it’s pretty ridiculous to suggest the e-mail has nothing to do with race. At worst, it’s a viciously racist e-mail. At its best, it’s a stupid joke on the level of perhaps a high school sophomore.
However, I think there is a larger issue that merits much more concern and debate. Rule sent this e-mail using his county computer.
I have to tell you, like most computer users with an e-mail account, I receive many joke e-mails and conspiracy e-mails and fake rumor e-mails. Usually, if someone sends me one of these e-mails, I automatically dump it into my junk or spam folder. If someone sends me something inappropriate, I’ll respond to that person, asking him or her not to send me any more e-mails.
I give little or no time at all to these e-mails. Here’s why: I work for myself. As a small-business owner, my time is my own. The more time I spend looking at stupid e-mails, the less time I’m spending making money. I simply can’t afford to waste my time with this garbage.
Usually, when I receive such e-mails from friends or former co-workers, I usually think to myself that they’re wasting their employers’ money and time by doing this at work. In fact, my former employer had a strict policy of using company computers and e-mail accounts solely for company business. Eventually, my employer began monitoring e-mail accounts because of abuse.
Turns out Canyon County has a similar policy limiting e-mail use to county business, but it applies only to employees and not elected officials.
But Canyon County taxpayers should be incensed.
Commissioner Rule works for you, the taxpayer. Fiscally conservative voters who favor small government should take great offense at Commissioner Rule using your tax money to send out sophomoric e-mails.
Whether you think the e-mail is racist or not, it’s kind of beside the point. The bigger issue, for me, is what makes Commissioner Rule think it’s OK to send out joke e-mails on the taxpayer dime?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand

Kuna City Council member Lisa Bachman last month brought up the need for Kuna to get involved in Ada County Highway District’s Transportation Land Use Integration Plan. ACHD’s Transportation and Land Use Integration Plan, or TLIP, is “an attempt to better link land-use and transportation planning,” according to their web site.
“The plan will feature policy decisions — such as which roads will become higher-volume, higher speed ‘mobility corridors’ and which will remain smaller, lower-volume facilities — that are expected to generate great public interest,” according to ACHD.
Kuna city officials, perhaps justifiably so, are skeptical of ACHD’s motives. Some have suggested that ACHD is trying to get into the land use business, which is the purview of cities. They fear ACHD will run roughshod over municipal decisions regarding subdivisions and commercial centers, using TLIP as justification for opposing a project.
But sticking your head in the sand and saying you’re not going to cooperate or participate is not the right answer. Look at Idaho Power’s plan to put a 230,000-volt transmission line through the middle of downtown Kuna. Kuna didn’t participate in the planning, so folks from Meridian and Eagle and Boise drew a line on a map that puts a series of 120-foot metal poles through Kuna. They must still be laughing at the little fast one they pulled on Kuna.
So Bachman’s admonition to participate in ACHD’s TLIP is a wise one that Kuna would do well to heed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kuna mayor's endorsement of Langhorst an interesting twist

This week, Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy announced his endorsement of Democrat David Langhorst in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Rick Yzaguirre for the Ada County Commission. Certainly, Mr. Yzaguirre gained no fans among Kuna city officials last month when he approved Vista, the massive, 1,048-acre, 3,000-house planned community just outside Kuna's borders. Kuna city officials, including Dowdy himself, testified before the county commissioners against the proposal, which is being shepherded by Rose Law Group Borton, a Boise law firm headed by former Meridian City Council member Joe Borton, no stranger to squabbles with Kuna city officials. Mr. Yzaguirre, along with fellow commission member and chairman Fred Tilman showed little respect for Kuna's Planning Director Steve Hasson, when Hasson enumerated his reasons for opposing Vista. Kuna City Engineer Gordon Law also presented some sound reasons against approving Vista. All, however, were set aside when the commissioners unanimously approved Vista. But I think what really got Dowdy's goat came a couple of weeks later, when Rose Law Group Borton hosted a fundraiser breakfast meet and greet for none other than Rick Yzaguirre. As I wrote in an Editor's Notebook in the Kuna Melba News a couple of weeks ago, Kuna city officials must feel like the ugly girl sitting on the bleachers at the dance. Well, the ugly girl just got up to dance with someone else.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kuna is a hotbed for corn mazes

Don't let the press releases fool you — the two corn mazes in this area are in Kuna. The Idaho Corn MAiZE, on Meridian Road between Hubbard and Columbia is actually in unincorporated Ada County. True, it has a Meridian mailing address, but for all intents and purposes, it's in Kuna. It's within the Kuna school district, and several parcels of property to the north have already been annexed into the city of Kuna, most notably the Anchor Baptist Church on the northeast corner of Columbia and Meridian roads. And the corn maze at Linder Farms, on Linder Road, between Columbia and Lake Hazel, actually has been officially annexed into the city of Kuna. We should be proud that we have two fantastic corn mazes right here in Kuna.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ted Mason's Walnut Creek event was a family fun day

We just got back from the Family Fun Day at Walnut Creek, a new mid-range subdivision off Ten Mile Road near Hubbard being built by Ted Mason Signature Homes. It was a great turnout. We estimated 75 to 100 people made their way through over the course of a couple of hours. Ted Mason himself was on hand for the festivities, which included hot dogs and apple pie, live music by the Dan Sevy Band, cheerleaders, jumphouses for the kids, games, and of course, tours of the houses. He has two houses built currently, with 56 more coming. The houses will range from $280,000 to $350,000. The houses are clearly very well-built with high-quality materials and built-ins. There is a definite, Americana, old-fashioned country theme going on. The street going into the subdivision is called Heartland, and Mason had a huge American flag raised by crane with the National Anthem to kick off the event. Nicola, as chamber president, Kerri Avery, as chamber vice president, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Ted Mason and Steven Schrader, as City Council member Rich Cardoza was kind enough to do the honors. Of course, a lot of folks showed up out of curiosity, but I noticed there were definitely some serious buyers. It was a packed work-related day, as we started the day at the final day of the Kuna Farmers Market for Oktoberfest and a meet the candidates session. Then we headed over to Advanced Family Medicine, where they had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their expansion, adding a new doctor, Molly Armijo, and adding 800 square feet of additional office space. Good things happening in Kuna.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The real reason behind Kuna's expansion

Dave Taysom, who lives up off Meridian Road south of Lake Hazel Road, testified at last night's Kuna City Council meeting at which council members voted to extend the city's planning boundaries north to Amity Road. The extended boundaries also include the 3,400 acres recently annexed in as part of the Osprey Ridge development as well as thousands of other acres to the east of Kuna. Mr. Taysom said it would be impossible for Kuna to actually serve all that land, so it just didn't make sense why Kuna would be seeking to include all of that land in its comp plan. "Then I figured it out," he said conspiratorially. "You want to get big enough so the feds will bail you out."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Statesman condescends to Kuna: Here we go again

Here we go again. That's the first line of the Idaho Statesman's editorial today telling Kuna to think about what it's doing. That should also be the first line when talking about the Statesman's position on anything to do with Kuna. It's not so much that Kuna covets a strip of land between Lake Hazel and Amity roads. A couple of landowners representing 180 acres of land are seeking annexation into the city of Kuna. There are more out there, too, who have an interest in being a part of Kuna. Here's one reason: Meridian wants low-density for that area, something like one house per three acres. How's that jibe with the Statesman's Vision for the Valley? As far as Kuna not taking its time? Read my story that originally appeared in the Kuna Melba News on Aug. 27. It documents in painful detail (I know, I was at every meeting; the Statesman was not) all of the meetings and hearings and rehearings on the matter. Perhaps that's part of the problem; the Statesman only reads the Statesman. Finally, the bottom line is that this is a private property rights issue. If a landowner doesn't want to be a part of Kuna, the answer is simple: Don't annex your land into Kuna. If your neighbor wants to be a part of Kuna, what gives you the right to tell your neighbor that he or she can't do that?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

An idea to bring Kuna and Meridian together

Today was Luke's first day of hockey practice. His dad grew up playing hockey, and I have to say, I always love that first day back in an ice rink. The cold, dry air, the smell of the Zamboni exhaust, the sound of sticks slapping the ice. Of course, the closest rink is Idaho IceWorld, a very nice, double-rink facility run by the Boise Parks and Rec Department. It's about a half-hour drive, which, really, isn't that bad. But it does give one time to think about the possibilities. I'm certain Kuna wouldn't be able to come up with a rink of its own, and I'm sure Meridian wouldn't mind having some help building a rink for its constituents. Plus, the school districts could use such a facility not only for organized hockey teams but also for phys ed instruction. How about a joint project among the cities of Kuna and Meridian and the school districts to build a small but usable pragmatic ice rink, let's say, somewhere in the disputed region between Lake Hazel and Amity roads? Wouldn't that be a great, feel-good project that would bring our two cities together? What do you think?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Would a Meridian City Council member want anything to do with the city of Kuna?

I guess it should be no surprise that Vista wants nothing to do with the city of Kuna. After all, the lead developer is Joe Borton, who is a former Meridian City Council member. As many people know, the relationship between the cities of Kuna and Meridian has been contentious, to be polite, and downright hostile, to be frank. Vista has resisted all attempts to be annexed. Kuna and Meridian have fought for years, and continue to fight, as we'll see on Tuesday night, over annexing land, and expanding areas of impact. Just before Ada County Commissioners approved Borton's Vista as a planned community under the auspices of Ada County, Commissioner Rick Yzaguirre said Vista would eventually become a part of Kuna, as the city of Kuna is "annexing like wildfire," which drew a lot of laughter. Borton responded, "I have no comment on wildfire annexations."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Denali Heights holds ribbon cutting for clubhouse, pool

I was invited to the Denali Heights ribbon-cutting ceremony and barbecue Monday night for the subdivision's new clubhouse and pool. I guess the clubhouse has been open for a while, and the pool opened recently. When I got there at 6:30, there were a couple of dozen residents there hanging out, having a good time. It's a nice group of people in a very nice higher-end subdivision in Kuna, something Kuna needs more of. Resident Kayla Rich gave me a tour of the clubhouse and pool. It's very nice, with a full kitchen, a great room with a couple of leather sofas and a fireplace, an office, and couple of bathrooms off a hallway leading to the pool, which is small but definitely usable. It makes me excited for our own clubhouse and pool here in Crimson Point, which is coming along slowly but surely but looks like it will be very nice when it opens. Congrats to Denali Heights residents on a nice facility in a very nice subdivision.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kuna school board passes emergency levy

As the Kuna Melba News reported this week, school enrollment is up in the Kuna school district once again. Officials were still tallying the numbers when we went to press on Tuesday, and supertintendent Jay Hummel wasn't comfortable releasing definite numbers for this week's paper. Somewhat understandable. Jay got back to me yesterday and let me know that enrollment is indeed up by 203 students, from 4,508 to 4,711 students. Because of the increased enrollment, the Kuna school board early this morning passed an emergency levy of $807,364, which is the maximum amount allowed, or 0.0006 for every $1,000 of assessed property value in the district. The estimated September 2008 market value of all property in the school district is a whopping $1.346 billion. Yes, that's billion with a "b."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kuna Chamber of Commerce annual dinner

Nicola and I just got back from the Kuna Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, where Nicola was officially installed as the chamber president, taking over from Allen Gamel. Other board members installed tonight were Kerri Avery, Tammy Croft, Steven Ricks, Julie Combs, Bill Clark, Charlie Long and Gamel as past president. I think it's going to be a very interesting year for the Chamber, with a lot of new energy and positive input. I'm excited about what the Chamber can accomplish, and not just because my wife is the president. I think there's an excellent mix of minds on the board and a lot of good ideas out there waiting to bubble up to the surface and take shape. Also tonight, Kuna Lumber was named Business of the Year, based not only on owner Dave Browning's contributions as a board member but also for the Browning family's major investment and expansion into hardware with a new 4,000-square-foot showroom. Named Chamber Member of the Year was Steven Ricks for his contributions to the chamber as the government relations director. About 50 people attended the dinner at Castle Gardens. It was great food, great company, great conversation. Terrific night all around.

Another LDS church slated for Kuna

It looks like another LDS church is planned for Kuna, at the northeast corner of Ten Mile and Columbia roads. A proposal to annex a 5.77-acre property right on the corner was presented to the Kuna Planning and Zoning Commission last night. Commission members recommended approving the annexation with the expectation of the parcel becoming a new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building. The Kuna Stake just opened a new church building the first weekend in August on Linder Road, just south of Columbia Road. That building is large enough to be a new stake center but currently is being used to house Wards 7 and 11 in the Kuna Stake. At the time, Stake President Shane Beus hinted that some big changes are coming but he wouldn't let on. Is this a sign of a North Kuna Stake and a South Kuna Stake? President Beus told me that the Kuna Stake is bursting at the seams with about 5,800 members, that's up from about 5,300 last year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First day of school exciting and sad

What is it about first grade? We sent Luke off on his first day in first grade today. It seems almost more poignant than kindergarten for some reason. We were sitting around the breakfast table this morning, and it struck me, "We are parents of a first-grader."
Things seemed to be going well at Crimson Point, where Luke goes to school. They tell me they took in about 100 more students than expected, and that enrollment was looking like 644 students. Crimson Point's capacity is 640. I'll be checking with the district on enrollment figures at all of the schools to see how we did. But based on Crimson Point's numbers, it looks like the school board will be passing another emergency levy, based on higher-than-expected enrollment. I'll keep you posted. Check back here and in next week's issue for the details.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't give away the store to developers

The time for being polite and begging developers to come to Kuna is over. Kuna needs to look out for Kuna, and all of the taxing bodies — the school district, the library district, the city, the fire district, etc. — all need to look out for its existing taxpayers.
Future development is going to have a huge impact on what taxes we pay. Our taxing bodies should be making sure that growth is paying for itself and that we, the current taxpayers, are not paying for new amenities created by future growth.
Let’s take, for example, the Vista planned community.
I remember first writing about Vista way back in 2006. It was around the holidays, and I needed something to fill a hole on a page during a slow news week. I put the Vista proposal story on something like Page 16, thinking that it was so far out of Kuna that it was of little consequence. How wrong I was.
Vista is a proposed 1,048-acre subdivision consisting of 3,110 residential lots, 257 common lots, a 42-acre town center lot, two, 2.5-acre neighborhood commercial lots, its own water treatment facility and its own wastewater treatment facility. The development is about one mile south of Kuna Mora Road and immediately west of South Cole Road — 10.6 miles from Kuna High. In addition, Vista is planning for 512,000 square feet of retail and mixed-use space.
The development is being proposed under the auspices of Ada County — not the city of Kuna. Ada County planning staff recommended approval as did the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission.
However, after Kuna city officials and a Kuna library board member testified against the proposal at the Aug. 13 county commission meeting, the County Commissioners voted to table the proposal until Sept. 10, admonishing the developers to work with the city and the library board on resolutions.
One of the things that’s a growing trend is large-scale development. Instead of smaller, 80-acre developments here and there, developers are talking about massive 600- to 1,400-acre development with thousands — not hundreds — of homes.
That will make it even more important for the school district — and the school board — to be tough negotiators with developers. I, for one, will support the school district in telling developers no to insufficient compensation for the privilege of being in the Kuna school district.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Best Bath gets final approval from Kuna City Council

Kuna City Council members Monday night gave the final green light to Best Bath, paving the way for the company to move its entire operations from Boise to Kuna.
City Council members, on a split vote of 3-1, conditionally upheld a special use permit approved earlier this year by the Kuna Planning and Zoning Commission.
“I’m content,” Best Bath owner Gary Multanen said after the decision. “We will move forward to build our facility and move to Kuna. I am willing to accept the conditions that council placed on us.”

Kuna man, 55, clinging to life after Indian Creek floating accident

A 55-year-old Kuna man is clinging to life after falling in the water Sunday, Aug. 17, while floating Indian Creek with a group of friends.
Police and paramedics were dispatched to the Indian Creek Greenbelt near the skatepark around 4:30 p.m., Sunday, for a report of a drowning.
Witnesses said the man, whom police are not identifying, entered the creek with a group of friends on inner tubes at Stroebel Road, according to Ada County Sheriff’s Lt. Kody Aldrich. At some point, the man became separated from his group of friends, who made their way back up the creek looking for him, Aldrich said.
His friends spotted the man unresponsive underwater in Indian Creek near the skatepark, pulled him out and called for help, Aldrich said.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and found the man without a pulse, unresponsive and not breathing. Deputies began performing CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to St. Luke’s, Meridian, where he was on life support Monday, Aldrich said.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kuna Farmers Market was packed today

The boys and Nicola and I just got back from the Kuna Farmers Market, and it was jammed. The Model T Club came to the market, and I think that drew a lot of new customers. Vogels sold out of their now-famous breakfast sandwiches by 9:30 a.m., just 30 minutes after opening. By 11:30 a.m., there was still a line about a dozen deep for folks lining up to get a $1 pulled pork sandwich. Debi Vogel said they were busy like that all morning long. Ione Zufelt over at Navajo Willow Farm said she was sold out of just about everything. We bought her last carrots. I chatted for a while with Don and Mary Johnson over at the Kuna Grange bake sale booth. Don and Mary were wearing matching Hawaiian shirts they bought over in Hawaii. They tell me they're planning another trip there in December. Chassidy Gaunavinaka, 12, performed a traditional Hawaiian dance for the crowd. She's the granddaughter of Neil Durham, who sells fruit at the Market. Great job and congrats to market organizers Cheryl McCord and Bill Clark. Well done. Hope to see some of the new faces back again in coming weeks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don't believe the (negative) hype about media companies

Here’s a good example of why newspaper and media companies are getting a bad rap and are suffering under the unrealistic expectations of Wall Street.
I’ve written before about the shortsightedness of newspaper executives who fail to play to their strengths and listen unreasonably to the unfounded fears of Wall Street.
Today, the Associated Press reported a story on the second quarter results of Thomson Reuters, a financial information services company similar to Bloomberg and News Corp.
Here’s the headline: Thomson Reuters 2Q Profit Slides 54 percent.
Oh boy, here we go again, right? Another media company going down the tubes, right?
Here’s a closer look at the numbers: Net income (profit) fell from $377 million down to $173 million. Let me point out that it’s still a highly profitable company at $173 million. And that’s just one quarter!
Revenue rose 73 percent to $3.13 billion. What?!?! Revenue rose 73 percent? Why isn’t that the headline? $3.13 billion?!?! That’s a lot of money. A whole lot of money.
But what did Thomson Reuters’ shares do on Wall Street? They fell, of course.
Boy, with revenues at $3.13 billion and profits of $173 million, it sounds like it’s time for some layoffs and cost cutting.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Walgreens could lead the way in Kuna

Last week's Kuna Melba News reported that Walgreens, the nation's largest pharmacy chain, is considering building and opening a store on the southeast corner of Kay Avenue and East Kuna Road.
Kuna's planning director, Steve Hasson, makes an interesting point about Walgreens' decision, which could prove to be a watershed in Kuna's commercial development growth.
Hasson notes that the folks at Walgreens, with thousands of stores nationwide and millions of dollars to conduct marketing and demographic research, have concluded Kuna is a good place to set up shop. Not only does that send a strong signal to other national retailers to consider Kuna, but it also helps smaller regional and local retailers make a decision about setting up shop in Kuna. Regional and local stores may not have the same marketing and demographic research budget as Walgreens, but they can ride Walgreens' coattails, knowing that Walgreens has done its homework, Hasson says.
And that could mean more commercial outlets will feel comfortable moving to Kuna in the near future.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kuna needs new post office now

Let me say right from the start that I love our cute little Kuna post office in its quaint little postage stamp spot along Main Street. I love taking the short walk from the Kuna Melba News office down to the post office to pick up mail and buy stamps. Invariably, you'll run into someone you know and end up spending a half-hour chatting. However, Kuna needs a new post office.
Kuna is the fastest-growing city in Ada County with around 15,000 residents. That's a far cry from 1985, when Kuna had just 1,800 residents.
My Editor's Notebook in the Aug. 6 issue of the Kuna Melba News tells you more about Kuna's post office and what you can do about voicing your opinion.