Monday, January 31, 2011

Do you know of a historic structure in Kuna?


In 2009, the Ada County Historic Preservation Council honored six Kuna houses as Ada County Treasures.
The time has come again to make nominations for this year's awards.
The Ada County Historic Preservation Council is now accepting nominations for this year’s Ada County Treasure Awards.
The Ada County Treasure Award program first began in 2003. The Ada County Historic Preservation Council honors up to six historic sites on an annual basis through this program, by placing a special County Treasure sign on the selected properties for two months. Last year’s County Treasure award winners include the Eagle Hotel, a rectangular, two-story molded concrete block structure, representative of the development of a small commercial center development to serve the rural settlement of Eagle during the period 1902 to 1910. Two Johnson Barns on or near Joplin Road were also honored with the award, as well as two homes near Eagle – The Simonson House built in 1910, and the Ross House built around 1905.
The Historic Preservation Council aims to raise awareness about historic buildings and landmarks, so they can be preserved as a part of Ada County’s history for future generations to enjoy. Anyone who knows of an old property or structure is encouraged to nominate it for award consideration. These awards help educate the public about the importance of historic preservation in Ada County.
Properties may be nominated for consideration by their owner, a local government entity, or local special interest group. Nominated property/structures must meet the following criteria:
1. Must be located in unincorporated Ada County, or must be related to the County’s rural history, government history or early infrastructure
2. Structures must be more than 50 years old
3. Must have historic significance. Properties which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or listed on Ada County historic resource inventories will likely qualify. To see the historic resource inventories, visit the Historic Preservation Council website at: http://www.adaweb.net/HistoricPreservationCouncil/Programs/CountyTreasures.aspx and click on Historic Site Inventories. The gallery of previous award winners is also available at this website.
4. Uniqueness
5. Visible from public right-of-way
6. Still serviceable or at least in reasonably well preserved condition
7. Cooperation of owner in participating is essential
Nominations should be submitted to Ada County Treasure program chairman, Al Bolin by email at: balein@msn.com or by mail at: 918 Ranch Road, Boise, Idaho 83702. Call 342-1298 with any questions. The deadline to nominate an Ada County property for the Treasure Award is March 1, 2011. Winners will be announced during the Idaho Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month in May.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ada County Assessor's Office will be in Kuna to help with tax preparation

The Ada County Assessor’s Office will provide free property tax application assistance from 10 a.m. to noon at the Kuna Senior Center, 299 Avenue B, on the following Mondays: Feb. 7, 14, March 7, 21 and April 4. Ada County property owners may now apply for the State of Idaho’s Property Tax Reduction and Property Tax Deferral programs for 2011. Eligible residents are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible before the April 15 deadline.
Qualified property owners can reduce their annual property tax bill by up to $1,320. The State of Idaho reimburses Ada County for the reduction in property taxes, up to the claimant’s qualifying benefit amount.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kuna High science program rocks at BSU Discover Engineering Day


The Kuna High School science program was a definite star at Saturday’s Discover Engineering Day at Boise State University.
Kuna science teachers and students put on several demonstrations throughout the day at the annual free event intended to expose children and families to engineering and science concepts.
One of the more popular stations put on by the Kuna Science Club allowed participants to build their own wind turbines out of PVC pipe and paper plates or cups and have the electricity generated by their designs measured. Above, Max Blitman helps test a wind turbine.
In another demonstration, Kuna showed participants how to make their own rubber band-powered spool car, which kids could decorate and keep.
Perhaps the coolest program that Kuna put on was the Bristle Bot station, in which students used a toothbrush end, some pipe cleaners, a batter pack and a motor to create a Hexbug-like invention that vibrates, moves and spins and which students could take home with them.

Head over to the Kuna Performing Arts Center today


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs performances are today at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Kuna Performing Arts Center.
Venture into the terrifying Black Forest with Snow White and her friends when the Missoula Children’s Theatre and more than 60 Kuna and Melba students perform “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” An original musical adaptation of this classic tale, the performance is sure to entertain audiences of all ages.
In all, 219 students from Kuna and Melba auditioned for roles in the performance.
In addition to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the audience will be treated to the opening show, a song and dance medley from the Disney movie “Newsies.”
The production is sponsored by Crimson Point Elementary PTA. The Opening Show performance is choreographed by Madelyn Reid of Tavaci School of Performing Arts.
Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. at the Kuna Performing Arts Center, at Kuna High School. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children 4 and under. Tickets are available at the door.
For more information, contact Lori Kelly, 891-1549, or MCTcoordinator@crimsonpointpta.org.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kuna and Melba drivers: Emissions testing deadline is Monday

Like it or not, for those of you living in Kuna and Melba, the deadline to get your car emission-tested is Monday.
Owners of vehicles in Canyon County and Kuna with an October 2010 emissions testing deadline are reminded by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality that they will have their vehicle registrations revoked by the Idaho Transportation Department unless they complete a passing test or receive a waiver by Monday, Jan. 31.
Vehicle owners who are unsure when their testing deadline is can find out online at www.IdahoVIP.org. Click on the Test Due Date link and enter the vehicle’s identification or license plate number.
When a vehicle’s registration is revoked as a result of failure to obtain a passing emissions test, the owner must get the vehicle tested and purchase a new registration.
Owners of vehicles with an October 2010 test deadline have been sent up to three notices advising them of the vehicle emissions testing requirement.
Emissions testing is available at more than 20 locations in Canyon County and Kuna at a cost of $10 per vehicle.
Motorists without Internet access can call the Vehicle Emissions Testing toll-free hotline at 1-866-623-8378 to speak with an emissions testing program representative.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kuna's Crimson Point to hold spelling bee next week

Remember that breakout sleeper movie that came out of nowhere, "Akeelah and the Bee," about an inner-city girl competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee?
Well, go rent it or take it out from the library and prepare for next week's Crimson Point Spelling Bee.
Crimson Point Elementary is holding its first spelling bee on Wednesday, Feb. 2, and Thursday, Feb. 3.
Students in grades 1 through 3 will compete on Feb. 2, and students in grades 4 through 6 on Feb. 3. The spelling bee will take place at 6 p.m. on both nights.
Teachers will be holding in-class spelling bees, and the top three spellers from each class will move on to the school spelling bee.
Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy will be the spelling bee master both nights with Kuna Superintendent Jay Hummel, assistant superintendent Wendy Johnson and Crimson Point Principal Kim Cammack serving as judges.
The top two students and one alternate from each grade from the school spelling bee will then move on to a multi-school bee which will include Siena, Lake Hazel, Mary Mac, Christine Donnell and Crimson Point.
That bee will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 10 and 11, at Siena Elementary School.
Students in grades 6 through 8 will compete on Feb. 10, and students in grades 1 through 5 on Feb. 11.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How would Luna's education reforms affect Kuna?


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna should be commended for seeking ways to improve public education in Idaho.
But I have some misgivings not only about the end proposals he’s come up with but also his methodology for coming up with solutions.
And I hope that our state legislators look very closely at Luna’s proposals and hold them with great skepticism.
Luna has proposed raising the state’s student-teacher ratio from 18.2 students per teacher to 19.1 in order to reduce spending by about $63 million.
If approved, it appears that the money would be used in the first year to offset past cuts and replace lost one-time revenue. I’m not sure this is avoidable in the first year.
Luna, however, is proposing to continue these cost savings on teacher salaries in order to buy laptops for every student and maintain them. More on that later, but that part of the proposal should really smack conservative lawmakers in the face.
But back to what I see as inevitable teacher cuts in the 2011-12 school year. What impact will that have in Kuna?
Class sizes in Kuna elementary schools are anywhere from 19.75 as the average of four first-grade classes at Indian Creek, all the way up to 33 students per 5th-grade class at Teed. In general, the class sizes at all Kuna elementary schools range from about 22 students per classroom to 29. At the middle school, the class size is about 30. At the high school, about 22. At Initial Point, Kuna’s alternative high school, the ratio is 17.56.
But this counts the regular classroom teachers and doesn’t include such positions as nurses, counselors, special education teachers and psychologists, whose numbers are also factored in when the state calculates the student-teacher ratio.
In all, Kuna has 196 classroom teachers for 4,909 students, for a ratio of about 25 students per teacher. In addition, Kuna has another 30 employees who are nurses, counselors, special education teachers or psychologists, bringing Kuna’s student-teacher ratio closer to the 21.7 number that’s been reported by the state, the highest ratio in Idaho.

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Joe Luppens is a 'gem for this community'


Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy calls Joe Luppens a "gem for this community."
I couldn't agree more. I've had the pleasure of knowing Joe for the past couple of years and worked with him on the Kuna Census Complete Count Committee.
If you happen to show up at any local event or meeting that is intended to benefit Kuna, chances are you’re going to bump into Joe Luppens.
For his volunteer efforts, Luppens has received a Leadership in Motion award from the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho.
“It just seems like every time you turn around, Joe’s been there,” said Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy, who last year asked Luppens to head up the Kuna Census Complete Count Committee. “And he always does it with a smile and a cheerful heart.”
Luppens received the Leadership by Example, Individual, award from COMPASS last month.
Luppens received the award specifically for his involvement as chairman of the local Census Committee,
“Joe Luppens worked diligently on efforts to improve the accuracy of the 2010 census,” according to COMPASS’s press release about Luppens. “Joe dedicated his time organizing and encouraging participation of individuals and businesses in the Kuna area to promote the census, even spending his own money on creating T-shirts for the outreach. Kuna had an 82 percent census return rate, well above the Ada County’s average, the national average, and Kuna’s 2000 rate. The additional participation is estimated to bring in almost $400,000 per year to the community from federal government appropriations.”
But Luppens’ work on the Census committee just scratches the surface.
Congratulations, Joe. You deserve it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here's a great spring break idea in Kuna: theater camp

Starlight Mountain Theatre will host a Spring Break Camp at the Kuna Performing Arts Center Monday, March 28th through Friday, April 1st. During the course of the week students will learn a complete show from start to finish; the lines, music, and choreography. The culmination of the week-long camp is a performance by camp attendees on Saturday April 2nd and the following Monday, April 4th. In turn with putting the show up, Starlight directors find time to educate the youth in Theatre thru games, activities, and team building projects. Grades 1-5 are scheduled from 9:00 am until noon and grades 6-12 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Students attending the camp are required to bring sack lunches with them each day. To register your child call 208-462-5523. Multiple sibling discounts are available. and there are scholarship opportunities that can be applied for. Over the years, Starlight's Spring Break Camp has averaged between 75 and 100 attendees. They are looking forward to meeting the youth that take part in this year's camp.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Work on the Ten Mile interchange is chugging along

Work continues on the new Interstate 84 interchange with on- and off-ramps at Ten Mile Road.
Westbound I-84 will be reduced to one lane from 10 p.m., today, Jan. 23, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 24, while sign poles are installed on the interstate. Restrictions will continue at night the week of Jan. 23.
All lanes on Ten Mile Road are closed between Franklin and Overland roads. The Meridian Police and Ada County Sheriff’s offices are enforcing the area. Violators will be ticketed for reckless driving.
Meanwhile, the Ada County Highway District will begin to widen Ten Mile Road between the Ridenbaugh Canal and Overland Road this month. Updates and traffic impacts from the ACHD project will be posted at www.achdidaho.org under Projects and Studies.
The speed limit is 55 mph on I-84.
Idaho Sand & Gravel is the contractor on this $33.8 million project, which is expected to be complete in summer 2011.
The landscaping, under a separate $580,000 contract to Franz Witte Landscape Contracting, is set to begin this spring when the ground thaws.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Head on down to Melba today for the annual Melba Community Auction

This year, in an attempt to be a little more earth-friendly, the Melba Community Auction is selling soda cans instead of fountain drinks during the auction, which happens Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Melba High School.
This will reduce the paper cups/plastic lids and straw waste. It may just be a little good deed, but can possibly do a lot to help.
In conjunction, the Melba Community Auction is sponsoring a poster contest for the 4th- and 5th-grade Melba Elementary School students to help promote their 'Can' Awareness. They will create poster boards talking about aluminum can recycling and how the auction is making a difference.
Winners will be recognized the day of the auction and all of the posters made will be displayed the day of the auction. $20/$15/$10 gift cards will be awarded to top three poster winners. On the day of the auction, the Melba FFA, led by Josh Sanders, will be selling the soda 'Cans' and collecting the 'Cans' for Recycling.
In addition to the Poster Contest, Melba Elementary always helps out by putting together "theme" baskets to be auctioned off. If you haven't heard what your child's class theme is please contact auction organizers.
Also, be on the look-out for Middle School students selling tickets for the raffle, they are competing to win an iPod, Nintendo DS and a digital camera, plus other prizes. The Melba Little League also has been selling tickets at various locations and home basketball games, and the high school is gearing up to help the day of the auction.
The outside auction starts at 10 a.m. today on the school grounds, and the inside auction starts at 11 a.m. in the school commons.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Check out a couple of new features at the Kuna Melba News web site

We've added yet more new features to the Kuna Melba News website, www.kunamelba.com. The direct link to the site is at left. We've added two new features: a community bulletin board and a new calendar.
The community bulletin board is intended to be just what it says: a place to post your event or notice or wedding announcement or business event. It is meant to be a community gathering place where you can communicate with the rest of the community and learn what's going on in the community.
The calendar is a compilation of local events, sports games, city council meetings, etc. all in one place in an easy-to-access interactive calendar that lets you click on a date and see what's happening on that date.
Check it out and let me know what you think of the new features. Also, keep an eye out for some major changes to the website soon.
Finally, if you like what the Kuna Melba News is doing, please refer us to a friend. Let them know about the website and the benefits of receiving the newspaper through a subscription.
As always, keep reading.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Falcon Ridge to hold fundraiser dinner to benefit the building fund

Falcon Ridge Charter School will host a dinner and silent auction fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Kuna High School Commons, 637 E. Deer Flat Road.
“Date Night at the Commons” will be a fundraiser to benefit the school’s building fund.
Falcon Ridge, opened in 2005 at the southeast corner of South Ten Mile and West Kuna roads, has been housed in temporary “portable” classrooms since opening. Falcon Ridge, Kuna’s only charter school serving students in kindergarten through 8th grade, is hoping to build a permanent standalone school at the site in the future.
The fundraiser will cost $25 per person and includes dinner catered by Kuna’s El Gallo Giro Mexican restaurant. You can purchase tickets at Falcon Ridge Charter School, 278 S. Ten Mile Road.
The evening will also include a silent auction of donated items.
To donate items, contact the school at 922-9228. Donations will be tax-deductible.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Falcon Ridge Charter School runs afoul of the city of Kuna

Kuna City Council members at their next council meeting will discuss the possibility of revoking the development agreement associated with Falcon Ridge Charter School.
But the Falcon Ridge school board chairman says it’s more of a technical issue and will have no impact whatsoever on existing school operations.
“All it’s really going to do is put us in a stasis,” school board chairman Bob Purbeck told me last week. “It just means we can’t build (a new school building) until we renew our permit and go through the whole development process again. It doesn’t do anything to us now. We will continue to operate as we are.”
Falcon Ridge opened in 2005 on 8 acres at the southeast corner of South Ten Mile and West Kuna roads with temporary “portable” classrooms. Falcon Ridge is Kuna’s only charter school and serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
It has always been Falcon Ridge’s goal to build a permanent standalone school at the site in the future. But higher-than-expected development costs at the time put the school in a financial bind, requiring the school to take out a loan to help defray such costs as the parking lot, laying sewer and water lines and curb, gutter and sidewalk. But the school has since paid off that loan and now only owes about $200,000 on the original purchase of the land, Purbeck said.
So the school is probably in the best financial position it’s ever been in, Purbeck said. Helping matters was a surprise grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation of $100,000 in December. Purbeck said the school may put that toward a building fund or use it to pay down the land purchase loan.
The city will hold a public hearing on the matter during the regular City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some advice heading into tonight's Black & White Taxi hearing

Let me offer Black & White Taxi owner Ernie Terrell, along with his supporters, some advice when it comes to tonight’s business license revocation hearing before City Council.
The issue at hand is whether the business’ practices over the past year violated terms of the business’ home occupation license. At issue is NOT whether you provide a good service or a needed service or whether people like your service or whether you’ve saved lives or any of that. So please do not dwell on that during the hearing. Certainly bring it up and make your case, but then move on. I suspect if you get up there, one after one and talk about what a great service Black & White Taxi offers the community, you will only serve to wear on the patience of the City Council members, who will be asked to decide whether a repeated and prolonged ignoring of the terms of your home occupation license merits revocation.
I suspect the city will present evidence that Black & White routinely parked multiple taxi cabs in the residential neighborhood over the course of several months and repeatedly ignored city requests to resolve the issue. And upon that — not whether you provide a good service, save lives or all the rest — City Council members will make their decision.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kuna school board works on new elementary school attendance zones

The Kuna school district will meet with the public to unveil plans for new elementary school attendance zones.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Kuna Middle School, 1360 Boise St.
District administrators have come up with a very tentative draft proposal of what the new attendance zones will look like next school year when the district opens its newest elementary school, Silver Trail Elementary, near the corner of Ten Mile and Columbia roads.
Details are still being worked out, but a draft map shows Silver Trail’s zone encompassing the north part of Kuna, including such subdivisions as Denali Heights, Danskin Ridge and Applewood. Silver Trail’s zone also dips down south of Hubbard Road to include Arbor Ridge, then east of Kay Avenue to include the Greyhawk subdivision.
The new draft Silver Trail zone takes over houses from the current Crimson Point zone and the Hubbard-Teed zone.
In turn, the Crimson Point zone would move south to just before West Kuna Road on the west side of Ten Mile Road, not including the Sego Prairie and Discovery Creek subdivisions. Crimson Point would keep such subdivisions as Crimson Point, Palomar Heights, Mineral Springs and Walnut Creek.
Kuna school board members went over the zone boundaries during a special work session last week. The district plans to present at least a couple of options to the public on Feb. 1 with the hopes of approving the zones at the Feb. 8 school board meeting, though the timeline is flexible.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

City of Kuna seeks to revoke the development agreement for Falcon Ridge

Kuna City Council members will discuss the possibility of revoking the development agreement associated with Falcon Ridge Charter School.
In 2005, the city rezoned the 8-acre school site from the C-1 to C-2 to allow the school to be built. This action was required because C-1 does not allow the placement of a school at the site, on the southeast corner of South Ten Mile Road and West Avalon Street.
As part of the rezone action - the charter school entered into a development agreement with the City that laid out the terms and conditions of the school’s development based upon certain performances and the associated timelines.
The city contends that the school has defaulted on its original development agreement.
"A plain reading of this document suggests the school representatives have not followed through with what they agreed to do by a date certain and thus, run the risk the City Council will determine to modify or terminate this agreement after complying with City code," according to a city staff report on the matter. "An action to terminate the agreement would revert the school site back to the former C-1 zone, which is a zone insufficient for school development. If the land were to be designated C-1, the school site would be viewed by as non-conforming by City staff and thus, would lose its capacity to be further developed unless and until it became conforming through City land use processes."
A public hearing will take place during the council's regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Kuna City Hall located at 763 W. Avalon St. The public is invited to attend and testify.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Luke's big game as goalie

Luke played goalie today, leading the Jackals to a 15-7 win. Here's video of his first big save early in the first period. Luke had several big saves in the game, and the Jackals played great offense and defense. video

The rest of us might get stuck with higher assessments because of Kuna irrigation delinquencies

This is what happens when you allow people to simply ignore the rules.
A whopping 20 percent of Kuna customers — about 900 customers in all — failed to pay their pressurized irrigation bills last year, owing the city about $72,000.
With a new assessment coming up for this year’s irrigation season, the city is looking at the probability of shutting off individuals’ irrigation water.
And if residents continue to ignore their bill, the city may even consider its final option: taking the property from the owner.
“Failure to pay the (pressurized irrigation) assessment is identical to a property tax default,” said Kuna city engineer Gordon Law. “I’d hate to get to that point, but that is the hammer the law puts in the whole deal. … It’s an awful big sledgehammer.”
Last year’s pressurized irrigation bill was $80.50 for the year for a typical homeowner. Law said it’s an awfully small amount of money to take someone’s property over, but perhaps a necessary evil, if it comes to that.
Unfortunately, the city has done relatively nothing to the people who didn't pay their bills. So now the city is looking at a $100,000 delinquency, and depending on how the Kuna City Council handles it at next week's meeting, that could mean higher assessments for the rest of us suckers who actually paid our bill.

Friday, January 14, 2011

BSU All-America wide receiver to speak at the next Kuna Chamber of Commerce meeting


Kipp Bedard, vice president of investor relations at Micron Technology, will be the guest speaker at the Kuna Chamber of Commerce January business meeting.
For those of you who think this will be just another boring speaker, you might be surprised to know that Bedard was also a Boise State football player.
Not only that, Bedard was an All-America wideout on the BSU football team in 1980 and 1981 and held the Broncos' single-season mark for receiving yards (1,101), a record that stood for more than 20 years. He helped BSU capture the National I-AA Championship in 1980 with 11 catches in the national championship game for 212 yards.
Bedard, a Capital High grad, attended the University of Notre Dame and the College of Southern Idaho, and received his degree in business administration from Boise State University.
I know that the economy is on everyone's mind and seeing that Bedard is a vp at one of the largest Treasure Valley employers and that it is a Chamber of Commerce meeting, business will be the topic of discussion. But I wonder if the topic of football might just filter into the conversation.
The meeting will be 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, at Kuna City Hall, 763 W. Avalon St. Lunch, $10 for members, $15 for guests, will be catered by Peregrine Restaurant.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Congratulations to Donene Rognlie, Hubbard-Teed principal in Kuna


Congratulations to Donene Rognlie, the new Hubbard-Teed principal in Kuna.
Rognlie, currently the principal at Hubbard Elementary, will assume the additional duties as the principal of Teed Elementary beginning next school year.
The decision to have Rognlie head up both schools was approved Tuesday night by the Kuna school board.
Rognlie, who has been the principal at Hubbard since 2009, will take over the duties at Teed from outgoing principal Ken LilienKamp, who was tapped last month to become the principal at Kuna’s newest elementary school, Silver Trail Elementary, when it opens next school year.
Rognlie is an excellent choice, in my book. She's a 13-year Club Member of Kuna schools and taught in Kuna schools for 12 years before being promoted to Hubbard principal last year. She's been a member of the Idaho Air National Guard for nearly 20 years, and when I sat down to talk with her last year, I found her to be very thoughtful and enthusiastic about education.
No doubt, it will be a tough job, but if anyone can do it, I feel confident in Donene Rognlie.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A few words on the Black & White Taxi controversy in Kuna


A few short words on the Black & White Taxi controversy. First of all, in many ways, this story is reminiscent of the whole Cowgirls debacle a while back in which the city effectively shut down Cowgirls by allowing their city liquor license to expire. At the time, I wrote a front-page story about it with the headline, “Last call for Cowgirls?”
When I wrote the story, somehow the perception was created that I was in some way in favor of shutting down Cowgirls, as if writing a story about it had something to do with the actions. I received angry phone calls from people telling me how many people Cowgirls employed and how morals should not be injected into government, as if I were some sort of radio talk show host.
I’ve seen the same sort of reaction to my Black & White Taxi story, as if my story was the cause of the city actions or that my story was some sort of show of support for the city’s actions.
To the contrary, would residents prefer that I NOT write about this subject so that the city can revoke a business license in secret? If anything, I would think that supporters of Black & White Taxi would be thanking me for shedding light on the story so that they may attempt to defend themselves to the public, rather than have a decision be made without the public knowing it.
As I wrote in last week’s Editor’s Notebook, the ultimate goal of this newspaper is to simply inform the public. We report, you decide, to steal a line from Fox News.
Further, we have now provided a forum for people to express their views, primarily on our Facebook page and through the submitted opinions posted with this story at www.kunamelba.com. Through this open dialogue, several angles and opinions have been expressed so that, taken as a whole, the reader now more fully understands the entire situation, something that just wouldn’t be otherwise possible by listening to this one person or that one person.
You can read more of this opinion, including my advice to Black & White owner Ernie Terrell, in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reminder: Kuna school board meeting is tonight

Just a reminder that the Kuna school board is scheduled to meet tonight.
School board members will meet in a work session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, to discuss school attendance zones.
The school district will be rezoning its elementary school attendance zones next school year because of the opening of the new elementary school, Silver Trail Elementary.
The district had presented a number of options to the public for consideration in reconfiguring the elementary school structure, including the possibility of theme-based schools of choice.
Following a sparsely attended Study Circle session in November, members of the public overwhelmingly favored simply dividing the current four school zones into five new school zones evenly based on geography.
School board members are scheduled to meet for an hour starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday before the regular board meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend the meeting, at the district office, 711 E. Porter Road.
Also on the agenda for the evening are:
• an educational report from the superintendent
• an economic report
• a website report
• bond projects update and change order
• superintendent contract renewal
• a discussion of trustee zones
• possible action on elementary school attendance zones
• a request for permission to go to bid for a school bus.
Find out what happens in next week's Kuna Melba News.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kuna Melba News now has a community bulletin board at www.kunamelba.com

Last week, I quietly launched a "community bulletin board" at our website, www.kunamelba.com.
The community is invited to post whatever you like — within good taste, of course — on the bulletin board. You can post upcoming events, bands coming to perform, announcements of births or family reunions — whatever.
You can post an opinion about something that's happening in the community, you can send in a news tip, you can promote your business, you can promote your upcoming Scentsy party.
It's really easy to post something, it's fast, and best of all it is FREE!
So enjoy, and let's keep making Kuna a closer-knit community.
Check it out at www.kunamelba.com and post something just to try it out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do you have what it takes to make the poster for this year's Birds of Prey Festival?


Entries for the 2011 Snake River Birds of Prey Festival Poster Art Contest must be received by 4:30pm, Monday Jan 31.
Rules
* Open to individuals 18 years or older.
* One entry per person
* Original artwork
* Artwork must be completed on art board; no size limit
* Artwork must use color; no black and white images
* Design of artwork must incorporate space to place Festival info which does not interfere with the main image of the artwork.
* Artwork may be landscape or portrait.
* Subject of artwork must be related to birds of prey found in SW Idaho and their environment. Check the BLM Birds of Prey website for species and other information – www.birdsofprey.blm.gov
* Entries must be submitted with a completed entry form.
* No late entries will be accepted.
Entry Form
* For an entry form contact Barb Forderhase, BLM - Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area – bforderhase@blm.gov.
Read the full story in this week’s Kuna Melba News.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Come help make noodles for the Melba Community Auction next weekend


Here's something fun to do next Saturday.
The Melba Grange, along with help from the Melba Community Auction and Wilson Sage Hens, will be making homemade noodles on Saturday, Jan. 15, starting at 9 a.m.
If you would like to be a part of this process we are always looking for more help. Last year, we made over 135 pounds of noodles that are sold at the Community Auction, which is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 22. For more information, contact Megan Volkers, 2011 MCA Chairwoman, 870-7127. Visit us on Facebook.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kuna school board to discuss elementary school zones on Tuesday

Kuna school board members will meet in a work session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, to discuss school attendance zones.
The school district will be rezoning its elementary school attendance zones next school year because of the opening of the new elementary school, Silver Trail Elementary.
The district had presented a number of options to the public for consideration in reconfiguring the elementary school structure, including the possibility of theme-based schools of choice.
Following a sparsely attended Study Circle session in November, members of the public overwhelmingly favored simply dividing the current four school zones into five new school zones evenly based on geography.
School board members are scheduled to meet for an hour starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday before the regular board meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend the meeting, at the district office, 711 E. Porter Road.
Also on the agenda for the evening are:
• an educational report from the superintendent
• an economic report
• a website report
• bond projects update and change order
• superintendent contract renewal
• a discussion of trustee zones
• possible action on elementary school attendance zones
• a request for permission to go to bid for a school bus.
Find out what happens in next week's Kuna Melba News.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Remember to stay safe on the ice this time of year in and around Kuna


Yes, that's my two boys skating on Indian Creek in Kuna on Sunday. Nicola and I were both with the boys, and we made sure that the temperatures had been below freezing for more than three consecutive days and that the area the boys were skating on was thick enough to hold their weight. I encourage parents to talk to their children about ice safety.
As you may recall, a Kuna teen fell through the ice at Sego Prairie Pond last year and could have been killed if not for the heroic actions of a couple of neighbors.
At the time of the accident, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office issued some reminders about the dangers of playing on ice-covered water:
Ice Safety
• Always consider ice covered waterways unsafe.
• The thinnest ice is most often in the center of the water body.
• Never go out on the ice alone. Have your partner walk a good distance away from you. If you fall through, your partner can call 9-1-1.
• Never drive on the ice. This includes motor vehicles, ATVs and snowmobiles.
• Slush on a water body is dangerous. Slush indicates the ice is no longer freezing from the bottom.
What should I do if I fall through the ice?
• Stay calm. Have your partner call 9-1-1.
• Try to swim onto the ice using your hands and/or ice claws and kicking your feet. If the ice breaks, keep trying. Remember, the thinnest ice is in the center of the water body.
Read the full story in this week’s Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kuna Melba News will continue to report, let you decide

I have been reminded again of the importance of objectivity in my job. Someone came up to me the other day out in front of Paul’s and said that the best headline he’s read was the headline last week about more small houses likely coming to Kuna.
This reader was cheering the possibility of small houses as a good thing. But on other occasions, I’ve listened to well-reasoned readers decrying smaller houses on the basis of less tax revenue for increased services, such as police and schools.
To me, this is the best compliment we can receive. An active and vigorous dialogue about what’s best for this community, ultimately, is the goal of this newspaper.
Too often, still, even after four years of ownership of the Kuna Melba News, some people think our ultimate goal should be to rail against everything or fight someone’s battle against the big, bad city of Kuna.
No, our ultimate goal is to simply inform our readers. Simple enough. And I love the fact that our readers often have no idea where I stand on an issue.
Even with the city hall bond measure, about which I was perhaps most obviously skeptical, I was criticized for giving the city, at times, too much of a voice, allowing city planning director Steve Hasson or city treasurer John Marsh too many quotes or too much space in my news articles.
But while I was writing editorials questioning the city’s wisdom regarding the $5 million bond measure and stories demonstrating that lack of wisdom, I felt it important to allow our readers to judge for themselves what the city’s arguments were and whether they carried validity based on the facts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kuna City Council meets tonight

Just a friendly reminder that the Kuna City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m., at City Hall, 763 W. Avalon St. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. The full agenda is posted at www.cityofkuna.com. You can click on the links and look at the documents that the city council members all have at the meeting. You can print out anything you find of interest and follow right along with the council members during the meeting.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Are you interested in helping buy jump ropes for the Kuna Jump Rope Club?


Last week, we brought you a story about two awesome volunteers in the Kuna schools, Toni Corley and Lisa Wright, who have started the Kuna Jump Rope Club. The club has become very popular, growing from six girls last year now up to 28 girls signed up.
Corley and Wright personally purchased the jump ropes because they wanted them all to be the same and the best quality of speed rope. There is no charge for the girls to participate in the jump rope club. Corley and Wright would like to be able to give the girls jump ropes at the end of the session, but in order to do that, they would need financial assistance. Each jump rope costs $5 to $6. If you’re interested in helping, contact the Kuna Melba News, 922-3008, or by email, kunamelbanews@aol.com. We’ll get you in touch with Toni or Lisa.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Regli Dairy in Kuna to auction herd

An auction of 3,500 head of Jersey dairy cattle from the Kent Regli Dairy in Kuna will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 7639 S. McDermott Road, Kuna. Herd includes 1,750 Jersey milk cows, 275 Jersey dry cows, 300 Jersey first calf springers, 300 Jersey shortbred, 1-5 months, 625 Jersey open heifers, 4-13 months, and 275 baby calves to 4 months old.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kuna Melba News has more plans in store for 2011

Happy New Year from the Kuna Melba News. Needless to say, 2010 wasn't a standout year as we all struggle to bounce back from the recession. But we are still here and we have no plans to go out of business. We are looking forward to a strong 2011, and we've got some plans in the works to continue to improve our newspaper and ways to reach more readers in Kuna.
For those of you who don't know us, the Kuna Melba News is a locally owned and operated weekly newspaper based in Kuna. Started in 1982, the newspaper has been owned by Scott and Nicola McIntosh of Kuna since September 2006.
We are a mom-and-pop operation, but we have been recognized for excellence statewide and nationally by the Idaho Press Club and the National Newspaper Association.
We have now won nine NNA awards and seven Idaho Press Club awards, including several first place awards in such categories as community service, serious column, feature story, sports feature, religion reporting and newspaper series.
Keep watching as we make improvements and announce special offers and deals in the coming months.
If you are a subscriber, we want to sincerely thank you for your support. The best compliment you can pay us is by referring us to a friend or neighbor. We're looking for more subscribers, so tell your friends, tell your neighbors about us and encourage them to subscribe.
If you're not a subscriber yet, we'd love to count you among our readers. It costs only $28 for the entire year — every week a newspaper is delivered to your home in the mail. You'll find out not only what's happening in city government and at the school district, you'll also always know when football signups are and when a musical performance is happening at the Performing Arts Center. You'll find you're the most informed citizen on your block.
To subscribe, give us a call, 922-3008, send us an email, kunamelbanews@aol.com, or subscribe online at www.kunamelba.com.
Thanks, and here's to a great 2011.