Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kuna planning to spend less next year

The city of Kuna is considering a budget that cuts about $137,000 from last year’s budgeted amount.
Before City Council members is a proposed 2011-12 budget that spends $2.607 million in the general fund, a roughly 5 percent cut from the 2010-11 budgeted amount of $2.744 million. Even with those cuts, the budget proposal shows expenditures outpacing revenues by yet another $35,000.
City Council members held a budget workshop Monday to go over general fund expenditures, solid waste fund expenditures, latecomers fund and the well mitigation fund. City treasurer John Marsh is presenting council with a number of assumptions that are subject to council discretion to change.
Here are hightlights:
• A proposed 5 percent increase in the police budget with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, to $1.315 million, accounting for over 91 percent of the city’s property tax revenue.
• Keeping property tax revenue flat at $1.45 million and forgoing an allowed 3 percent hike in property tax revenue.
• Maintaining a series of cuts due primarily to a precipitous drop in planning & zoning and building department revenues. The city has put two planning employees on half-time, laid off one building inspector and put another building inspector on part-time.
• Creating an employee merit pool of $15,293.80 in order to give good city employees bonuses to keep morale up and keep good workers.

Kuna planning to spend less next year

The city of Kuna is considering a budget that cuts about $137,000 from last year’s budgeted amount.
Before City Council members is a proposed 2011-12 budget that spends $2.607 million in the general fund, a roughly 5 percent cut from the 2010-11 budgeted amount of $2.744 million. Even with those cuts, the budget proposal shows expenditures outpacing revenues by yet another $35,000.
City Council members held a budget workshop Monday to go over general fund expenditures, solid waste fund expenditures, latecomers fund and the well mitigation fund. City treasurer John Marsh is presenting council with a number of assumptions that are subject to council discretion to change.
Here are hightlights:
• A proposed 5 percent increase in the police budget with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, to $1.315 million, accounting for over 91 percent of the city’s property tax revenue.
• Keeping property tax revenue flat at $1.45 million and forgoing an allowed 3 percent hike in property tax revenue.
• Maintaining a series of cuts due primarily to a precipitous drop in planning & zoning and building department revenues. The city has put two planning employees on half-time, laid off one building inspector and put another building inspector on part-time.
• Creating an employee merit pool of $15,293.80 in order to give good city employees bonuses to keep morale up and keep good workers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

City of Kuna is working on new business licensing system

The city of Kuna is finally coming out with an update of its business license, proposing a fee increase from $2.50 to $22 and making the license renewable annually. A draft proposal of changes to the city code were presented at last week’s City Council meeting.
Currently, a Kuna city business license exists in perpetuity, making it nearly impossible to maintain an accurate list of how many and what businesses exist in Kuna. In addition, according to city staff, the $2.50 business license fee does not cover the administrative costs required to issue the licenses.
The $22 fee covers administrative costs, according to deputy city clerk Chris Engels, including: $8.40 for 20 minutes of staff and equipment time, $10 for 20 minutes of P & Z staff and equipment time, $1.08 for postage, $2 for license material, such as card stock, ink, etc.
Engels noted that some other cities have annual business license fees, ranging from $25 in Eagle to as much as $360 for some types of businesses in Boise. The city of Meridian does not require a business license.
Engels said the business license would work similar to the city alcohol licenses. The city would keep track of what businesses have licenses and mail out notices to those businesses on a yearly basis, letting them know they need to renew their license.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kuna urban renewal plans are progressing

Plans for Kuna’s new urban renewal agency are chugging along.
Kuna Planning director Steve Hasson presented an update to the Kuna Chamber of Commerce last week, urging business owners to get involved and support the effort.
“This is an opportunity for the city of Kuna and the chamber to work together. We should be each other’s best friend,” Hasson told Thursday’s gathering of about 40 attendees of the chamber’s monthly luncheon, held at Kuna City Hall. “An investment in downtown will benefit each and all of your businesses.”
Kuna City Council members last month voted to form the Kuna Urban Renewal Agency, which functions as a separate taxing entity and is intended to improve deteriorating parts of a city. Council members agreed that the city’s downtown qualified as deteriorating and agreed that an urban renewal agency was a good way to improve downtown.
In an advertisement for qualifications for an urban renewal consultant, the city received two proposals — one from Jerome Mapp and one from Phil Kushlan. Both have extensive experience in urban renewal planning.
City Council members are expected to choose one of the applicants to help guide the city through what can be a complicated process of establishing a board of commissioners, setting urban renewal district boundaries and determining projects and financing.
Hasson’s presentation to the Kuna Chamber of Commerce included a reference to five commission members. The mayor, with the advice and consent of City Council, can appoint anywhere from three to nine members to the board. Hasson said that having five members was not set in stone. He said three members was probably too small and nine was probably too large, so the target likely was going to be either five or seven members. Five was the number he settled on for the presentation, but the number was subject to change.
Hasson also released a draft map of the general area where the district might be located. It includes a large chunk of land on both sides of Indian Creek from School Avenue to as far east as Sailer Place. The map extends south up to but not including the Wild Meadows subdivision and as far north as West Art Court to include Ralph Mellin’s proposed commercial/office property. (To see the proposed map, go to

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wild West Fiddle Fest and Contest will return to Kuna

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Monique Ruwe, for putting on the Wild West Fiddle Fest and Contest in Kuna again this year.
The Wild West Fiddle Fest and Contest in Kuna is returning this year.
The contest will be held on Saturday, July 23, at the Col. Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Kuna.
Vendors are welcome to be a part of this popular, annual, all-day event.
The city of Kuna charges a $15 vendor fee and you can download the special events form at A vendor fee is not necessary if the booth is just informational and not selling anything.
For more information, visit or call festival organizer Monique Ruwe at 284-2851.
Let's support Monique any way we can by offering donations and support. And most of all, attend the event on July 23.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vote for Kuna's Michelle Tripp

Michelle Tripp, an 8th grade teacher at Falcon Ridge Charter School in Kuna, is one of four Idaho finalists hoping to be named national Teacher of the Year by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.
Now it is up to the general public to pick the next Teacher of Year for each state. The national Teacher of the Year will be selected from the state winners.
Online voting is now open at
State winners will be determined by the most votes received, so encourage your friends, family and colleagues to vote! Please respect the voting process and your fellow teachers. Individuals are only allowed to vote for each teacher once and any evidence of voter fraud will subject the nominee to disqualification.
Here is the text of Tripp’s nomination: “Michelle brings many unique qualities to our school. She is a published writer and she brings her unique knowledge of high-level creative and expository writing to our school. She has helped students at all levels of writing to build on their skills and use language more effectively. She brings writing instruction to a new level based on her teaching skill and real-world experiences. Walk into Michelle’s room and you’ll see active engaged teens learning valuable school and life skills. You’ll see students with something to look forward to and confidence as they move on to the next grade. You’ll see a teacher who loves what she does and leaks enthusiasm for it. In short you’ll see a teacher who deserves to be the ABCTE Teacher of the Year.”
The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence recruits, prepares, certifies and supports dedicated professionals to improve student achievement through quality teaching.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kuna Melba News brings back Newspaper Fun for the summer

The Kuna Melba News is bringing back a popular feature, Newspaper Fun, for the summer. Last year, we debuted this feature to great reviews.
Newspaper Fun is a children’s activity page that features puzzles, cartoons, games and a cast of off-beat, humorous animal characters.
But don’t be fooled by all the fun. Underlying these entertaining elements is a strong educational framework designed to encourage reading. The page explores a variety of themes, many of them aligned with the lessons kids are learning in school, and buried in its puzzles and challenges are lessons that sharpen essential language arts skills.
“With every page I create, my first priority is to make sure you look at it and say, ‘Hey, this looks like fun,’ and then pull out a pencil and go to work,” said Ann Mills, who writes and illustrates Newspaper Fun each week in her studio in Connecticut.
“My sense is that people love to learn new things, but can get turned off when they think something is designed to be educational,” Mills said. “When you put interesting facts and ideas into a framework that’s fun and entertaining, it draws people in. It makes it more of a pleasure to discover the new material.”
With both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, Mills has a diverse background involving education. She worked in several elementary schools, helping to teach and motivate students to read before turning to children’s publishing. For 10 years she created a children’s activity page in southern Connecticut, which focused on the challenges of a highly mobile, military-centered community, and which earned two international journalism awards. That page – with many graphic refinements and the addition of a cast of new characters – formed the basis for Newspaper Fun.
“I believe that newspapers play a crucial role in helping people stay connected with what’s going on in their communities,” Mills said. “By attracting children to their local newspapers through features like Newspaper Fun, we’re nurturing a new generation of newspaper readers.”
Mills sees the influence of the Internet as inevitable, and embraces it through her web site: Each week, she publishes puzzle answers on the site, using the medium’s graphic potential to animate characters and add some fun to the mix.
“The idea is to create a flow between traditional and new media,” Mills said, “with the common denominator being a focus on good reading habits.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Head out to Indian Creek this Sunday

Bring dad out for Indian Creek Winery’s annual Happy Pappy’s Day celebration from noon to 5 p.m., on Sunday, June 19. Cost of $10 per person includes a stemless glass with artwork, live music by the Hokum Hi-Flyers, wine tastings and samples straight from the barrel. Mama Mui’s Thai plate lunches will be available for purchase, local vendors, massages by Body Epiphanies, and try a shot at the Ball-in-the-Barrel golf contest (get the ball in the barrel, win a case of wine). Enjoy a relaxing day in the gardens of Indian Creek Winery, 1000 N. McDermott Road, one mile north of West Kuna Road.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Elvis is in the building in Kuna this weekend

Folks, if you even remotely like Elvis, you are going to want to get yourself to Creekside in Kuna tonight or tomorrow night. I can say firsthand that even if you're not that into Elvis, you're going to enjoy this show coming up.
Kuna's very own David Dooney, originally from Ireland, has put together a group that will perform an Elvis tribute concert for two nights at the Creekside, 751 W. 4th St. in Kuna. Tickets for the “Tribute to the King” performance are $5. Performances will be a cover of the ’68 Comeback Special. Band members include Jake Hays, Dan Burkhart and Rich Kilfoyle.
I had the great pleasure of shooting photos and video of the group's rehearsal Monday night, and I was impressed. It's kind of like the lead guitarist, Rich Kilfoyle said, it's just good music. Listen for yourself.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kuna Town Hall meeting on drugs and alcohol is tonight

Parents concerned about drugs and underage drinking are encouraged to attend a Town Hall Meeting at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, June 16, at Kuna High School.
The meeting will cover such topics as alcohol, spice, bath salts and other drugs, with an expert panel to answer questions. Dinner will be provided. The meeting is sponsored by the Kuna Alcohol/Drug Free Youth coalition.
Featured speakers are Officer Jermaine Galloway of the Boise Police Department; Chief Kody Aldrich of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office/Kuna substation; Travis Walthall of Custom Rx Pharmacy; Kuna High School student Desi Gant; Patti Schmidt of Initial Point High School; and local youth speaker John Humphreys.
For more information, contact Jessica at 559-6711, email or visit
A new survey in the Kuna school district shows that nearly a third of Kuna juniors used alcohol in the past 30 days.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Should Kuna Chamber of Commerce take on Kuna Days?

Privately for the past few years, I’ve held the belief that the Kuna Chamber of Commerce should organize and run Kuna Days. In other towns I’ve lived in and covered, chambers of commerce usually — though not always — are the sponsors of these types of events, usually the community’s signature event that draws visitors from all over the region to that city.
The Eagle Chamber of Commerce, for example, puts on the Eagle Fun Days event that was held this weekend. So I was curious, how does the Kuna Chamber stack up to the Eagle Chamber? I went to their website and found many similarities. The Eagle Chamber of Commerce lists these as member benefits:
• CONNECTIONS: The Eagle Chamber provides access and connects you to the people, information, ideas, and resources you need to grow your business and make a positive impact on the future of our community and region.
Kuna Chamber? Check.
• BUSINESS REFERRALS The Chamber makes referrals every day through its network of dependable, community minded businesses. Referrals are only made for Chamber-member businesses.
Kuna Chamber? Check.
• LISTING IN OUR ONLINE DIRECTORY: The Chamber website’s business directory is a convenient means for the community to get in contact with your business and business website.
Kuna Chamber? Check.

So what's the difference between the Kuna chamber and the Eagle chamber? Find out in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kuna school board meeting is tonight: Budget approval on tap

The Kuna school board will meet tonight, June 14, starting with a budget workshop at 6:30 p.m. at the district office 711 E. Porter Road.
The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. with a budget hearing. Superintendent Jay Hummel is scheduled to give an update on budget reduction implications.
Board members are expected to approve next year's budget at tonight's meeting, as well.
Given that the city of Kuna spends weeks and several meetings on its budget each year, it seems awfully quick and superficial to discuss the school district budget and approve it all in one night. And the school district budget is double the city's budget at $24 million. Do the school board members really have a strong handle on the budget?
Also on the agenda tonight is approval of the alignment of the trustee boundaries, given new population numbers, a canvassing of the supplemental levy election results and a host of new board policies, stemming largely from the new statewide education reform legislation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Want to help out with Kuna Days? Come to meeting tonight

The Kuna Days Committee is looking for some help with this year's event, not only in the form of volunteers but in donations.
If you'd like to volunteer, there will be a Kuna Days meeting at 6:30 p.m. today, Monday, June 13, at Idaho Pizza Company, 331 Avenue E. Anyone who would like to be part of Kuna Days is welcome to participate.
In addition, the economy has been moving slowly and a lot of people have been facing some difficult times. Kuna Days is an event that takes place in our community through donations. As time approaches, organizers find difficulty in keeping the event going without donations and volunteers from the community.
There are a lot of events that take place and are mostly free to the community. If each home in the Kuna City limits donated just $5.00 — Yes, $5.00 — it would add up to help make Kuna Days an amazing event with little effort. If we all do our part it makes our community a great place to live, plus gives our children an event to look forward to.
If you are interested in helping in any way, contact a member from the Kuna Days Committee: Pat Jones, 208-703-3419, or Michelle Carpenter, 208-573-4443.
If you would like to donate to this event, please make check payable to Kuna Days and mail to Kuna Days, PO Box 453, Kuna, ID 83634.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kuna Melba News helps publish new book by Madge Cook Wylie

We at the Kuna Melba News are happy to help publish a new book by Madge Cook Wylie, “Of This ‘n’ That: 50 Years of Articles, Musings and History.” The book is a compilation of Wylie’s columns from five decades of The Kuna Herald and, later, the Kuna Melba News.
Wylie is Melba’s unofficial historian and the recipient of the Esto Perpetua Award, given annually for outstanding accomplishments in preserving Idaho’s heritage. She began her writing career at the tender age of 15, when she took second place in a local radio show writing contest.
Copies of “Of This ‘n’ That” will be available for purchase on Monday, July 4, at the Wylie home at 520 Carrie Rex Avenue in Melba. Stop by anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for your signed copy. Price is $12. You can pay by check, cash or credit card.
To pre-order your copy, or to have a copy mailed to you (add $3 S/H per copy), please call 922-3008.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Come to Kuna's Sego Prairie Pond today for Free Fishing Day

Head on out to Sego Prairie Pond today, June 11, for Free Fishing Day. If you see a newspaper editor wearing a Cub Scout leader uniform, that would be me.
Personnel from Fish and Game’s McCall and Nampa Hatcheries released about 500 catchable-sized rainbow trout at Sego Prairie Pond at Nicholson Park in Kuna on Monday, just in time for today's Free Fishing Day event. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, to celebrate the day by fishing anywhere in Idaho without a license.
In Kuna, Sego Prairie Pond in Nicholson Park, is at the end of Sego Prairie Street, off Ten Mile Road.
Though fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules, such as limits or tackle restrictions, remain in effect.
“Free fishing day provides a great opportunity for novices to give fishing a try and perhaps develop it into a life-long pursuit,” Fish and Game regional fish manager Jeff Dillon said.
For more information regarding Free Fishing Day, contact the Fish and Game McCall office at 634-8137 or the Nampa office at 465-8465.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Beware of mailbox thefts in Kuna

Kuna has been hit by a couple of mailbox thefts recently and some have reported suspicious vehicles in their neighborhood following the rounds made by their postal carrier.
Ada County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Miller wants to warn Kuna residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and report it to police.
There was a report of a mailbox theft in Kuna on Monday, then another one on Wednesday, Miller said.

Kuna coach Dale Rippy named coach of the year

Congratulations to Kuna varsity baseball head coach Dale Rippy, who was named 4A SIC Coach of the Year.
Rippy led Kuna to a first-place regular season finish and second place in the district tournament and second place in this year’s state tournament.
Congratulations also to Kuna outfielder Chase Hernandez, who was named co-player of the year.
Named to the All-Conference first team from Kuna were catcher Cameron Packham and pitchers Heath Curtis and Alex Bunn.
Named to the second team were shortstop Kyle Hoch, first basemen Seth Raver and outfielders Braden Andrus and Mike Kaminski.
Earning honorable mentions were Dylan Kerbs and Cole Florenzen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some advice for the Kuna Urban Renewal Agency

Followers of this column know that I have been a proponent of an urban renewal agency in Kuna. I have made the argument that this is the best way for Kuna to revitalize its downtown, a key to Kuna’s prosperity moving forward.
There are some people, whom I consider to be very intelligent and whose opinions I highly respect, who disagree with me. They present compelling arguments and well-reasoned counterpoints for avoiding an urban renewal agency like the plague.
I respect their positions and understand their arguments. While I appreciate the opposition, I think we have come to a point of agreeing to disagree. For me, I strongly feel that without urban renewal, we will get nothing for our downtown, and that’s just not an acceptable path. Let me also add that urban renewal agencies are completely by the book, codified in Idaho Code.
Now, with all that said, I think many people are justified in being concerned about the current city leadership getting us into a boondoggle. As evidenced by last year’s slapdash, ill-conceived, and at times arrogant, push for a $5 million bond for a new city hall and swimming pool, local residents have cause to be suspicious of the city’s judgment.
So let me offer some measured advice on what I think are a few key points in establishing the Kuna Urban Renewal Agency.
• Appoint at least seven members to the agency board. I think nine would be fine, as well, but three would be way too few, and even five would not offer enough checks and balances to a body that is appointed and is not required to stand before voters at regular intervals.
• Make sure that the members of this board are diverse and not specifically from one segment of the population. Let’s have a couple of City Council members, business owners, ordinary residents, developers, landlords, etc.
We are to be heartened in this respect, though. I thought Mayor Dowdy’s appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission of Corinna Stiles, an often-harsh critic of the mayor, showed great magnanimity and open-mindedness. Let’s keep that spirit going with the urban renewal agency.

I have three more points about residential development, eminent domain and involving the public. You can read them in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Melba Herald is now online

For the past three months, the Kuna Melba News has been quietly publishing The Melba Herald, a new monthly newspaper devoted entirely to Melba. In April and May, The Melba Herald was just a four-page section with no advertisers. I am happy to report that the June issue is full of local Melba-specific advertisers in a chock-full 8-page section.
The June issue is a good one, if I do say so myself, namely because it's the annual graduation section, containing coverage of Melba's graduation ceremony, stories about Melba's top students and a full page devoted to the photos and names of every graduate.
It also contains several stories submitted by Melba students, the Melba senior column and an editorial by Madge Wylie on "What ever happened to Memorial Day?"
I'm excited about the future of this publication. In the future, our plan is to add more independent coverage of City Council and School Board.
But this start wouldn't be possible without the advertisers. Because this is a free publication to Melba residents, advertiser dollars support this publication. So, in turn, dear reader, you are asked to support the businesses advertising in The Melba Herald:
• Melba Valley Market (great deals listed of 25 to 50 percent off).
• Maggie Motors
• J&M Sanitation.
• Initial Pointe Real Estate.
• Cook's Two Hole Bar & Grill: Their ad says it all: Food - Pool - Darts - Cold Beer. What more could you want?
• Melba Laundry
• Knead Relief Pain & Injury Massage Therapy.
• Boise Foundry & Machine (They did the bronze plaque that's on the Edward Jones building in Kuna)
• Pioneer Electric.

The other big news about the June issue is that it's now available online, for free, at Check it out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome to the neighborhood, Country Cuts

Here's a great thing about living in a small town: having your barber shop right next to where you work.
Country Cuts Barber Shop, my barber for the past five years, is now open in its new location at 328 Avenue D, downtown Kuna, right next to the Kuna Melba News office. I couldn't be happier. Their phone number is 922-4117.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kuna business owner donates money to local schools

Kuna Counseling Center owner Jim Grigg, right, presents a check for $250 to Falcon Ridge Charter School administrator Mark Green.
“We at Kuna Counseling Center saw that the school levy failed and realized that kids would be affected,” according to Jim Grigg. “We wanted to do something to help, so we decided to donate to the school district. We also have kids at Falcon Ridge Charter School and know there are great teachers trying to work inside of their budgets. Also as business owners, we wanted to give back to the community. We live and work in Kuna and our kids go to school here, so we want the best for Kuna schools.”
Kuna Counseling Center is also donating to the Kuna school district. That donation is still pending.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Congratulations to Kuna bus driver of the year, Cori Norton

Cori Norton, right, has been selected as the “Paul Unser Driver of the Year” in the Kuna school district.
This award is named in memory of Paul Unser, who was an outstanding driver who displayed fine qualities toward which all drivers should strive. Above, Norton receives a certificate from trainer/driver Cyndi Snyder. Drivers selected for this award are chosen by their peers because they reflect certain qualities, such as a safe driving record, being punctual, having a clean bus, good parent/student communication, being helpful and considerate of others and being a pleasure to work with.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Melba's superintendent Andy Grover named to state technology task force

Melba schools superintendent Andy Grover has been named to the 38-member Students Come First Technology Task Force that will help implement the classroom technology mandates that are part of Idaho’s education reform laws.
Grover is a former principal, technology director, special education director and social studies teacher.
Melba High School has gone from three students taking online courses three years ago to 109 online classes this year.
Grover also serves on the Idaho Human Rights Education Committee and traveled to Jordan as a delegate to the Idaho Human Rights Council in 2009.
He holds an educational specialist degree from the University of Idaho.
This task force will develop plans for the one-to-one ratio of mobile computing devices in high schools.
Once the state Board of Education determines the number of online courses to graduate, the task force also will develop implementation plans for the requirement, in addition to the necessary professional development for teachers and other topics determined by the task force chairman.
Under the law, the task force had to be made up of at least 28 members, 17 of which the State Superintendent Tom Luna appointed and 11 of which were appointed by educational stakeholder groups, the Idaho Legislature and the Office of the Governor. Luna expanded the task force to 38 members to include parents, school board trustees, and more classroom teachers.
Now, 12 educators will be serving on the task force, including four current classroom teachers. Teachers include: Idaho’s 2011 Teacher of the Year Stefani Cook, a business teacher at Rigby High School, and 2009 Milken Educator of the Year Aaron McKinnon, a science teacher at South Junior High in Boise.
The task force also includes the House and Senate Education Committee Chairmen, Democratic Rep. Wendy Jaquet, Superintendent Linda Clark of Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian), and Bonneville School District Trustee Wendy Horman, among others. The full list of task force appointees is attached.
The first task force meeting will be held June 13-14, 2011 in the Auditorium room at the Idaho Statehouse. It will be open to the public. The task force will meet throughout the year.
For more information on the Students Come First Technology Task Force and the members, visit
The following is a list of the members of the Students Come First Technology Task Force.
• Melba Superintendent Andy Grover
• Sugar-Salem Superintendent Alan Dunn
• Meridian Superintendent Linda Clark
• Challis Superintendent Colby Gull
• Genesee Technology Director Christopher Campbell
• Meridian Technology Director Keven Denton
• New Plymouth Secondary Principal Bicker Therien
• West Side Secondary Principal Spencer Barzee
• Moscow schools Business Manager Jenn Johnson
• Idaho Virtual Academy Head of Virtual School Desiree Laughlin
• Sandpoint Charter School Head of Secondary Charter School Alan Millar
• Post Falls Secondary Teacher Salvatore Lorenzen
• Rigby High School teacher Stefani Cook
• Eileen Lento, of Intel
• Gary Smith, Board member of ESTech
• Jayson Ronk, of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry
• Michael Fornander, of Data Projections Inc.
• Parent Maria Nate, Rexburg
• Parent Mary Vollmer, Aberdeen
• Cassia School Board Trustee Debbie Critchfield
• Bonneville School Board Trustee Wendy Horman
• Parma School Board Trustee Melinda Smyser
• Gooding Elementary teacher Marne Curtis
• South Junior High teacher Aaron McKinnon
• Cliff Green, of Insight Schools
• State Rep. Wendy Jaquet
• Heidi Rogers, Executive Director, Northwest Council for Computer Education
• Sherri Wood, President, Idaho Education Association
• Brad Patzer, member of Northwest Professional Educators
• George Boland, Superintendent, Idaho Falls School District
• Brian Duncan, Trustee, Minidoka County School District
• Brent Lloyd, President and CEO, Futura Corporation
• Mike Caldwell, Director of Academics, Idaho Digital Learning Academy
• State Rep. Bob Nonini, Chair, House Education Committee, R-Coeur d’Alene
• State Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle
• State Sen. John Goedde, Chair, Senate Education Committee, R-Coeur d’Alene
• State Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise
• Christine Donnell, Former educator and district superintendent

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kuna man will be at Vicki's Uptown Coffee tomorrow signing his book

Author Russell K. Hayes, of Kuna, will be signing his book, “Miracle Rugs,” during a book-signing event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, at Vicki’s Uptown Coffee, 762 E. Wythe Creek Ct., #103, in Kuna.
Here is a synopsis of the novel: “Abdul Salman’s dream of becoming a professional soccer player and marrying his sweetheart quickly evolves into a nightmare after his fate takes a heartbreaking turn.
“When his best friend and teammate, Ali, dies accidentally and his uncle, Achmed, inadvertently helps a terrorist, neither of their lives will ever be the same.” Ali’s father, Sayad, blames Abdul for his son’s death vowing to kill him and everyone he loves. As time passes Abdul plays soccer every day to improve his skills and is accepted into the Iraqi Military Academy on a soccer scholarship. He is celebrated as a national hero after kicking the winning goal at the national championship against Syria. But the celebration quickly becomes a disappointment as Abdul’s teammates lift him into the air and drop him, breaking his knee. His leg and his dreams are crushed forever.
“As political tensions begin to boil over in Iraq, Sayad is elected as Sadaam Hussein’s assistant and uses his position of power to take revenge against Abdul and his family. Abdul and his loved ones are faced with moments of absolute terror as they try to escape the stronghold of their government and the wrath of Sayad, the father of Ali, the childhood friend of Abdul. With tense themes of hope and justice, along with lessons in war history, Russell Hayes takes readers on an unforgettable adventure through tragedy and triumph.”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Check all of what Kuna businesses have to offer this Saturday

Bring the family out for a day of FREE fun this Saturday, June 4, at the Kuna Chamber of Commerce Business Fair.
“Kuna: Celebrate Whatís Great - A Business Buzz About” will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at three locations: Paul’s Market Plaza (corner of Avalon and Kay streets), Marketplace Centre (corner of Main Street and Avenue C in downtown Kuna) and Deer Flat Crossing (corner of Deer Flat and Linder roads).
We’ll have a FREE bounce house, barrel train rides and the chance to win 40+ prizes, including one of three grand prizes: an Xbox Kinect, $300 to Roaring Springs Waterpark and two day passes to Roaring Springs.
Start your day at any location and pick up your “passport” from the Chamber information booth. To be entered to win one of the grand prize items, you must visit 75% of businesses at each location and have your passport stamped at each (instructions will be on the passport).
When you are finished, turn in your completed passport at one of the Chamber information booths. You’ll get 1 raffle ticket for every 5 businesses stamped. The following week, the Chamber will draw for the three grand prizes plus 40+ additional prizes.
The event is fun for families and a great opportunity to learn more about the businesses in your community. A variety of businesses will be represented, including dentists, insurance agents, restaurants and daycare.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A snapshot look at crime in Kuna

Crime in Kuna inched up in 2010, largely because of an increase in society crimes.
Overall, the crime rate in Kuna rose to 34.2 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2010, an increase from 29.2 crimes in 2009.
The biggest area of increase came from society crimes, which include such crimes as drug offenses, gambling, pornography, or weapons law violations.
Society crimes in 2010 grew to 94, up from 69 the previous year but back to the same level as 2008. Personal and property crimes remained flat for 2010.
In 2010, Kuna residents reported 232 property crimes, which included 67 vandalisms, 34 vehicle burglaries and 25 home burglaries. That’s up slightly from 223 in 2009.
Kuna police have had a clearance rate (cases solved) of 30 percent for property crimes in 2008, 2009 and again in 2010. That’s above the national clearance rate for property crimes (18 to 20 percent) and above the 2009 clearance rate in Idaho (22 percent).
Here’s a snapshot of police activity in Kuna in 2010:
Crime rate (per 1,000 residents):
• 30.6 crimes per 1,000 in 2008
• 29.9 crimes per 1,000 in 2009
• 34.2 crimes per 1,000 in 2010

Citizen calls for service: 2,933
Top calls: Welfare check 133
Burglary alarm 105
Suspicious vehicle check 102
Citizen assist 95
Juvenile problem 94

Average response time to high-priority emergency calls:
2:27 in 2008
3:14 in 2009
2:34 in 2010

Proactive policing contacts: 7,998
Traffic stops: 3,027
Security checks: 2,813
Traffic crashes: 64
FY2010 Kuna police budget $1,239,986
Cost per resident $82
Population (U.S. Census 2010) 15,210

Property crime cases:
• 228 in 2008
• 223 in 2009
• 232 in 2010

Society crimes, which include drugs, gambling, prostitution and weapons violations:
• 94 in 2008
• 69 in 2009
• 94 in 2010

Personal crimes, such as assault, kidnapping and sex offenses:
• 132 in 2008
• 184 in 2009
• 185 in 2010

The total number of crimes in Kuna
• 454 in 2008
• 475 in 2009
• 506 in 2010

Clearance rates — Person crimes
78 percent in 2008
66.1 percent in 2009
73 percent in 2010

Clearance rates — Property crimes
33.3 percent in 2008
29.1 percent in 2009
33 percent in 2010

Clearance rates — Society crimes
90.3 percent in 2008
98.6 percent in 2009
97 percent in 2010

Overall clearance rate
58.1 percent in 2008
53.5 percent in 2009
60 percent in 2010

Vehicle burglaries
• 43 in 2008
• 19 in 2009
• 34 in 2010

Residential burglaries
• 29 in 2008
• 19 in 2009.
• 25 in 2010

Commercial burglaries
• 11 in 2008
• 4 in 2009
• 7 in 2010

Construction burglaries
• 3 in 2008
• 1 in 2009
• 0 in 2010

• 43 in 2008
• 76 in 2009
• 64 in 2010