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?