Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Let's not presume that newspapers have suddenly ceased to be effective

I am about to write something that will make hundreds of newspaper editors cringe.
Craigslist works. Yup. You read it right. Craigslist works.
While we’re at it, radio advertising works. Television advertising works. Billboards work. Direct mail works. Social media works. Newspaper advertising works.
I’m particularly partial to that last one.
I am troubled by newspaper editors who viciously defend their medium by disparaging the effects of other media. It only serves to hurt their credibility, and the credibility of our industry, in general. We’re not a bunch of curmudgeonly fogies with ink on our fingers who don’t know how to check our cell phone voicemail.
But I also detest the notion that just because new forms of media work, that must mean that newspapers no longer work. This, too, is simply hyperbole and is wrongheaded in the opposite direction.
Just ask Garnet Green how her ad in the Kuna Melba News worked last week.

Read the rest of this editorial in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ask not what your Chamber can do for you

“The Chamber doesn’t do nothing for me.”
In addition to being grammatically incorrect, the phrase grates on me for a number of reasons.
First of all, the Kuna Chamber of Commerce does plenty for its members. A $150 annual membership gets you several benefits that help pay for the cost of your membership — and help you grow your business. Chief among those is the bulk mailing permit, which allows a business to mail at a reduced rate. Using the permit just once saves you enough money to more than pay for your membership.
Another benefit is the distribution of welcome packets. Mary Anne Sugai, the chamber’s administrative assistant, hand-delivers to new residents welcome packets that are filled with coupons and flyers about participating businesses. Because it’s absolutely 100 percent free to chamber members, it’s a wonder to me that more businesses don’t take advantage of this perk. There’s one guarantee: It won’t work for your business if you’re not in it.
Every month, the chamber puts on a luncheon, catered, with a guest speaker, such as Gov. Otter, state superintendent of schools Tom Luna, marketing specialists, motivational speakers, etc.
Lunch costs only $10, takes a little more than an hour out of your day and gives you an opportunity to network with other business owners and potential customers. Again, it’s an absolute wonder to me why more businesses don’t take advantage of this opportunity to try to grow their businesses.

You can read the rest of this opinion piece, icluding details of the first-ever Kuna Business Buzz-About, in my Editor's Notebook in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coupons are coming to the Kuna Melba News April 28

Manufacturer coupons are coming to the Kuna Melba News.
A 28-page insert from P&G Brand Saver will be found inside the Kuna Melba News issues on Wednesday, April 28.
“Manufacturer coupons are something our readers and local residents have requested to see in the Kuna Melba News,” said Kuna Melba News publisher Nicola McIntosh. “We are very pleased to provide this added benefit to our readers. If you are a shopper who uses coupons for your regular shopping, you can now turn to us instead of relying solely on a daily newspaper.”
Money-saving coupons are available for dozens of such household brand names as Bounty, Puffs, Charmin, Bounce, Downy and Scope.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is the city of Kuna looking for a new city hall?

Kuna City Council members went into an executive session last week to discuss potential property acquisition.
The original posted agenda for the April 7 City Council meeting stated only that City Council was going into executive session to discuss potential litigation. But then when it came time for the executive session portion of the meeting, Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy announced that they needed to add an item to the agenda to also discuss potential property acquisition.
A couple of dozen people were originally in attendance at the meeting but left after the consent agenda was approved. The mayor requested to add the agenda item only after everyone left the meeting.
I had to inform the mayor and council that in order to add an agenda item, a motion was required to add the item, including a statement of the good-faith reason that the item was not placed on the original agenda. Idaho Code 67-2343, Paragraph (4), section (c): “An agenda may be amended after the start of a meeting upon a motion that states the reason for the amendment and states the good faith reason the agenda item was not included in the original agenda posting.”
Readers of this column are aware of past indiscretions by this council in what I consider abuses of executive session. Last year, the council spent a couple of hours in executive session to spend $1 million out of the sewer fund to buy 107 acres for a park, then earlier this year, council went into executive session to agree to spend $1.3 million toward the local improvement district that’s funding the new wastewater treatment plant.
So here we go again. I would think the city would know better by now.

You can read the rest of this opinion in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Anyone interested in starting a 'Kuna Aethenaeum'?

The concept of a Kuna Aethenaeum has been rattling around in my brain for the past couple of years. I guess I’ll just put it out there and see if there’s an interest in starting a Kuna Aethenaeum.
Generally speaking, an aethenaeum is “a building or room in which books, periodicals, and newspapers are kept for use” or “a literary or scientific association,” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Basically, my definition is that it’s where a bunch of adults come together to learn something just for the sake of learning it.
Here’s my idea for the program, anyway. The Kuna Aethenaeum would meet once a month, say, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the fourth Friday of every month, something like that. Each month, there would be a different topic of interest to its members. We might have a couple of members interested in Japanese pottery or the history of the New York Canal or how to read Shakespeare. (The members would have to have a planning meeting to come up with the topics in advance, based on interest.)
Then, each month, a speaker is invited to come “teach” the class. I think we might have success with a one-hour lecture, then maybe a half-hour of questions and answers, then a half-hour of informal social time where we could talk about what we’ve learned and ask more pointed questions of the speaker. We could set a nominal fee to join, say $5 per meeting, or $60 for the entire year. If we signed up 20 people, we’d have $100 per meeting to buy refreshments and pay the speaker a small fee for his or her time. We would even be able to pay a couple of teenagers to watch children for the two hours.
The Kuna Library Community Room would be a natural location for the aethenaeum, and the program probably could be tied in with the library’s adult education program.
It seems like the program would require a minimal amount of planning and would mostly just require showing up and listening and learning.
Let me know what you think of the idea. Would you have an interest in starting a Kuna Aethenaeum? If so, send me an email,, or just give me a call, 922-3008.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Melba voters approve $600,000 supplemental levy

Voters in the Melba school district Tuesday approved a $600,000 supplemental levy for the 2010-11 budget.
The vote was 299 yes votes, or 67 percent, and 147 no votes, or 33 percent. In all, 446 voters voted. A simple majority is required for supplemental levies.
“The Board of Trustees thanks the patrons for their tremendous support,” according to a press release sent out by Melba superintendent Bob Larson.
The $600,000 supplemental levy is a $190,000 increase over last year’s $410,000 supplemental levy, which voters approved by a vote of 274-126, or a 69 percent approval.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kuna High grad earns national championship in speech and debate event

Kuna High graduate Josh Watkins, a member of the Boise State University speech and debate team, won a national championship at the 2010 National Comprehensive Tournament held recently in Minneapolis.
Watkins earned the national championship in the experimental event “To Honor the Environment.”
He was part of the BSU speech and debate team that finished in fourth place in overall sweepstakes standings at the national tournament, with two team members winning individual national championships in their event.