Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kuna Performing Arts Center has a great lineup for the season

The one I'm most looking forward to is the Christmas concert from Meridian Symphony Orchestra.
The Kuna Performing Arts Center Events Council has put together a lineup of events for the coming year.

• Saturday, Aug. 27: Summer Showcase. Local singer/songwriter MacKayla Hunter and Marcus Eaton will be among the performers at this year’s Summer Showcase at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Kuna Performing Arts Center. This year’s showcase will be a benefit show for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as a senior project being organized by Julia Durrant. Amy Davis of the JDRF is mentoring Durrant, and the KPAC Events Council is assisting with promotion. The show will be a semi-formal event. Patrons are invited to make it a special evening and dress up for the concert.

• Thursday, Sept. 22: Ada County Commissioner Vern Bisterfeldt will be a guest lecturer at 7 p.m. This will be a free event. In addition to sharing experiences from his more than 50 years of public service, Bisterfeldt is looking forward to discussing common sense principles on how a vibrant community is built and thrives. Bisterfeldt is a great story teller and lessons learned from his life experiences will surely prove valuable to listeners. He’s known for his non-nonsense attitude and common sense approach to government and life.

• Wednesday, Oct. 19: Bar J Wranglers, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. This will be a reserved seating event with tickets only available for purchase online at Tickets range in price from $15 - $25 and will be available online beginning this Friday, July 15.

• Friday, Dec. 2: The Meridian Symphony Orchestra will perform its popular Christmas Show. Tickets will be $10 and sold through MSO and local Bank of the Cascades branches.

• Saturday, March 10: John Adams will bring his Tribute to John Denver to Kuna. John Adams has committed himself to keeping Denver’s music alive and will continue John’s musical legacy as long as he is able to sing and perform it. John Adams, living in Silverthorne, Colo., brings you the opportunity to listen to many of John Denver’s songs live, like Sunshine On My Shoulders, Calypso, Take Me Home, Country Roads, Annie’s Song, and of course his signature song, Rocky Mountain High. Join John Adams and his band for a magical musical journey through the songs and stories of Rocky Mountain Legend: John Denver.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Will Kuna lose the Birds of Prey Festival?

Organizers of the annual Snake River Birds of Prey Festival are considering moving the festival out of Kuna and to Celebration Park, south of Melba.
The festival has been held for the past three years at Reed Elementary School in Kuna.
Kuna is considered the Gateway to the Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, just south of Kuna and home to the largest concentration of nesting raptors in North America.
Celebration Park would offer a perhaps more authentic setting for the festival, along the Snake River in the Snake River Canyon just on the western edge of the National Conservation Area.
Some organizers have suggested that if the festival is intended to be celebrate the Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, it should be out in the canyon, not in Boise and not in a school in Kuna.
Organizers point out that Celebration Park has room for parking, room to put booths and a space that could be used for lectures.
The Birds of Prey Festival is sponsored by the Western Heritage Historic Byway, based in Kuna, and includes several other organizations, including the federal Bureau of Land Management (which manages the conservation area), Idaho Fish & Game, Idaho Falconers Association, The Audubon Society, the Kuna Chamber of Commerce along with several local and regional businesses.
The festival includes tours, lectures, displays, children’s activities and live raptor demonstrations.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Get your donations in for the Kuna Days fireworks show

The Kuna Days fireworks show still needs about $3,000 in donations to put on its incredible display. The Kuna Days Committee put in $7,000, and the cost of the show is typically $10,000.
All of the fireworks crews that were busy on the 4th of July come together for the Kuna Days show and lend their experience to this show, according to Lloyd Stubbs, who puts on the Kuna Days fireworks show.
Many have said that the Kuna Days fireworks show is pretty close to being the top show in the valley.
To donate, mail checks or money orders to:
Kuna Days Fireworks
P.O. Box 392
Kuna, ID 83634
Donations will also be accepted at Stubbs Realty Office, 240 Linder Ave., in Kuna. Sponsorships are also available.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Get ready to catch some air at this year's Kuna Days

For the 11th year, there will be a dirt bike jump demonstration put on at the city greenbelt as part of Kuna Days.
The Kuna Reunion Dirt Jam will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the dirt bike jump track next to the Kuna skate park on Second Street, near the Kuna Senior Center.
Matt Moore, one of the track’s founders and organizer of the event, said this year’s track is “really mellowed out” with not as high jumps and is more accessible to more riders.
Moore is currently working with Kuna Days organizers over the possibility of going under Kuna Days’ insurance.
The dirt jump track was formed in 1998 after the then-owner of the Kuna Melba News, Earl Maggard, wrote a news article about a group of teenagers, including Matt Moore, who were dirt bike jumping on a makeshift track they had built on a piece of school district-owned land behind Indian Creek Elementary School off Fourth Street on the south side of Indian Creek near the train tracks.
Maggard had suggested to them, according to Moore, “Why don’t you build some jumps on the greenbelt?”
In the photo are Neal Moore, left, and son, Matt Moore, right, along with Matt’s son, Dawson, hanging out at the dirt jump park Neal and Matt helped create in 1998.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kuna residents need to do a better job of making their voices heard

A reader was in my office the other day when City Council member Rich Cardoza happened to stop by. After a few minutes of jawboning, the reader kind of let Cardoza have it over the $22 business license fee being proposed by the city. It was clear that the reader was a bit upset over the prospect of having to pay $22 a year just because he happened to own a business and lived in the city of Kuna.
The merits of the proposal aside for just a minute, here’s what really troubles me: What would have happened if Cardoza hadn’t happened to be strolling by at that moment or hadn’t decided to stop in my office? How would Cardoza have known that this person didn’t like the business license fee idea?
In recent weeks, I have written editorials about the business license fee, the Kuna Chamber taking over Kuna Days, the city’s new taxi ordinance, pressurized irrigation for a national chain, and the city’s police budget, among many other controversial stories. How many letters to the editor have I received about these topics? None. How many people have shown up at City Council meetings to voice their opinions? Slim to none.
Cardoza, too, complained to me that he doesn’t receive nearly enough feedback on these difficult issues. He complains about our “coffeeshop culture” where everyone wants to complain at the coffeeshop — usually with ridiculously false information — rather than actually do something about it.
If you don’t like something — or if you support something — for Pete’s sake, let the City Council know about it. Write a letter to the editor, write a letter to council. Vote in our online poll, at least. Do something. But formulating an opinion, usually based on some false rumor or gossip, at the coffeeshop or at the end of the bar does absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kuna grad Luke Lords back in town, will perform in concert this week

Luke Lords, a 2000 graduate of Kuna High School, will be performing in concert on Thursday, July 28, at Welch Music, 12516 W. Fairview Ave., Meridian. Concert starts at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets will be sold at the door for $6. Additional donations will be accepted.
The concert will consist of classic Broadway repertoire as well as new works written by current Broadway and Off-Broadway composers. Del Parkinson, head of the piano department at Boise State University, will be accompanying. This concert is being produced from New York City by Alina Gutierrez.
Lords, the son of Chris and Susan Lords, graduated from Kuna in 2000 and received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho in choral conducting in 2006. He is currently working on a master’s degree in musical theatre performance at New York University in New York City. Proceeds of the concert will help Lords continue his studies at NYU.
Lords has appeared in the Off-Broadway show “Elevator Music,” which premiered at the York Theatre Company last April. Lords will also be seen in NYU’s production of “Sweet Smell of Success,” which will open this September.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Deb Bradburn named Kuna director of coaches

Kuna school board members this month unanimously named Deb Bradburn as the new director of coaches for the Kuna school district.
This will be a half-time position. Bradburn will also work half-time as a physical education teacher at the high school. This will be Bradburn’s fifth year with the Kuna school district.
The director of coaches position is a new position created when the district decided to eliminate the position of activities director. The director of coaches will work with all coaches from kindergarten through 12th grade. Bradburn will set the mission and vision for the district’s coaching staff and will be in charge of oversight of hiring coaches.
Based on the success she's had with the varsity volleyball team, it seems she is an excellent choice for this position.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kuna Days still looking for volunteers: Go to meeting on Monday

The final planning meeting for this year’s Kuna Days will be taking place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 25, at Idaho Pizza Company, 331 Avenue E, at the west end of Main Street, Kuna. Volunteers are still needed to help make this year’s Kuna Days a great success. If you are willing and able to help out in any way, you are invited and encouraged to attend this meeting.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Two barbecues set again for this year's Kuna Days

The 13th annual Olde Tyme BBQ, put on by the Kuna Fire Department, will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Kuna fire station, 150 W. Boise St. All you can eat dinner till it’s gone. Pulled pork dinner with baked potatoes, cole slaw and homemade beans with scones and ice cream for dessert. Hot dogs for the kids.
A live auction will take place starting at 6 p.m., and there will be a raffle going on throughout the evening (you must be present to win).
Seniors are invited to come early, starting at 4 p.m.
Cost is $10 for adults, and $5 for seniors and for children 10 and under. Advanced discount tickets will be sold at El Gallo Giro in Kuna ($8 for adults; $4 for seniors and children 10 and under).
na Days Family Luau will start at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5, at the Col. Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park. This year’s menu will include kalua pulled pork, rice, fruit salad, macaroni salad.
Cost will be $5 for everyone 12 years old and up, and $3 for seniors and for children under 12. Children under 2 eat for free.
You will also have a chance to enter to win a barbecue grill with all the goodies. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5.
Make sure to stick around after the barbecue to watch the Kuna Days fireworks show.

Friday, July 22, 2011

See two national fiddle champions perform this Saturday in Kuna

ddle Fest and Contest in Kuna will be held this Saturday, July 23, at the bandshell at the Col. Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Kuna.
Two national champions will be performing at this year’s Contest: Small Fry Champion Toren Sarsen, above, and Grand National Champion Katrina Nicolayeff. Admission is free.
Competition starts at 8:30 a.m. and organizers are expecting to be finished by 4 p.m.
If anyone has a flatbed trailer that could be used as a stage, contact festival organizer Monique Ruwe at 284-2851.
For more information, visit

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kuna Melba News wins three more national awards

The Kuna Melba News has won three awards from the 2010 National Newspaper Association’s annual Better Newspapers Contest:
• First place: Best Education/Literacy Story, Non-daily Division, circulation less than 6,000, “Is kindergarten schedule working?” (March 17, 2010).
Judge’s comments: “Clear explanation of complex data. Good use of subheadings. Clear sidebar shows good research and synthesis. Important to community.”
• Honorable mention: Best Local News Coverage, Non-daily Division, circulation less than 3,000.
Judge’s comment: “Surprising amount of well-written content.”
• Honorable mention: Freedom of Information, Daily & Non-daily Division, “Kuna public salaries” (Dec. 8, 15, 22, 2010)
Judge’s comments: “By providing an exhaustive list of public salaries, this paper has exactly the right reaction to finding out about the corruption in Bell, Calif. Coverage competes and wins among bigger papers. Informative analysis.”
What I'm most proud of is the Freedom of Information award because it was open to all newspapers in all size categories, meaning we were competing against much larger papers. Even though we are in the smallest circulation category, we still came in fourth place in the entire country out of all entries.
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.
The Kuna Melba News has been recognized for excellence statewide and nationally with 10 awards from the Idaho Press Club and 12 awards from the National Newspaper Association.
There were 2,042 entries in the NNA Better Newspaper Contest and 397 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of 2,439 entries. A total of 631 awards were won by 143 member newspapers in 40 states. California had the most combined BNC/BNAC wins with 90, followed by New Mexico with 72 and Wyoming with 52.
Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers and the largest newspaper association in the country. The nation’s community papers inform, educate and entertain nearly 150 million readers every week.

Congratulations to new Kuna school board member Royleen Anderson

Kuna school board member Royleen Anderson took the oath of office during a school board meeting Tuesday, July 12. Anderson was elected to the board in May, retaking the seat previously held by Dave Case, who was elected to the position in 2007, after Anderson decided not to run for re-election. Also at Tuesday’s school board meeting, school board members unanimously re-elected Jim Ford as the board chairman and Carl Ericson as the board vice chairman. In addition to Anderson, Ford and Ericson, board members include Ginny Greger and Kevin Gifford.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Ford presented Case with a plaque thanking him for his service.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Kuna school district wants to be more open to the public

Kuna school board members held a workshop last week to discuss the district’s finances and their potential impact on education.
First of all, let me give a big kudos to the Kuna school district for making a wise decision to save its $1 million in additional funds from the state, announced last week. I have been reading stories about other area school districts immediately deciding to get rid of furlough days and put money back into the 2011-12 budget. Kuna, meanwhile, has rightly moved that money to 2012-13.
Still, according to figures presented by district business manager Bryan Fletcher, even with the extra $1 million in 2012-13, the district anticipates coming up short $900,000, or the equivalent of another 20 teachers, on top of the 10 teachers cut this year. So more kudos to the Kuna school district and superintendent Jay Hummel for starting a process very early in an attempt to engage the public and come up with solutions at a time when it appears school districts all around Idaho can expect ever-decreasing money from the state.
One of the common threads from last week’s workshop was a desire to get the community more involved. Board members divided into groups and to a group, each one said that getting the public involved was vital. So I will offer here ways that the district can do a better job of engaging the public and, as board member Carl Ericson put it, “make this a community organization.”
Get the board packets online.
Explain the budget.
Use what's already available.
Go TO the public.

You can read the details of these suggestions in this week's Editor's Notebook.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Household hazardous waste collection in Kuna is happening Wednesday

A household hazardous waste collection will take place from noon to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, in the parking lot behind the Kuna city park.
This collection, sponsored by J&M Sanitation, the city of Kuna and Ada County, is for Kuna and Ada County residents only.
Materials that will be accepted include automotive products, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluid, latex or oil-based paints, wood stains, paint thinner, pest controls, garden chemicals, automotive batteries, household batteries, household cleaners, pool and spa chemicals, TV’s and computer monitors.
Not accepted: explosives, ammunition, radioactive materials, asbestos, biological waste, tires, appliances or garbage.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Derrick Boles to speak at Kuna Chamber lunch this Thursday, July 21

Former professional basketball player and Idaho Stampede Coach Derrick Boles will be the featured speaker at the July meeting of the Kuna Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber meets from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at Kuna City Hall, 763 W. Avalon St. Lunch is $10 for members, $15 for nonmenbers. Please RSVP by Monday, July 18, to Mary Anne at or call 922-9254.
Boles is founder and president of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST, and is considered one of the best motivational speakers in the Treasure Valley. Coach Boles is a magnet to those looking to change their lives for the better, whether on a personal or professional level.
As a coach, he knows how to build a successful team and incorporate team-building skills within a business, organization, sports team and other facets of life. He uses his own life experiences and educational background to move you toward a more positive attitude and energy level. Boles has degrees in Human Services and Psychology and Human Resources.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kuna mayor to recommend a five-member urban renewal agency board

Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy said he expects to propose a five-member urban renewal agency board, on the low end of the range of the three to nine members allowed by state law.
Dowdy said last week that he has a good pool of potential candidates who have expressed interest in the board, including Kuna Chamber of Commerce President Chase Craig, chamber member Sharon Fisher, along with some members of the city’s Design Review Committee.
City planning director Steve Hasson said that the city is considering melding the Design Review Committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission and giving back some of the Design Review duties to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
This is for a couple of reasons: The waning economy and lack of development has not kept the Design Review Committee very busy and the addition of an urban renewal board may make it difficult to find more community members committed to filling so many volunteer positions in Kuna.
Dowdy said he expects to present a list of candidates for the urban renewal agency board at the next council meeting on July 19.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Free school supplies giveaway happening in Kuna on Aug. 13

New Beginnings Christian Church will again give away free school supplies starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 13, at the gazebo at the Col. Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park in Kuna.
Bring your family to get free supplies for this upcoming school year, while supplies last.
Please donate supplies at the following locations:
Kuna City Hall, Kuna Lumber, Blooms & Balloons, El Gallo Giro, Freedom Fitness, Paul’s Market, Chevron, Les Schwab and Zamzows.
Kuna City Council members at their last council meeting unanimously agreed to waive the fees at the city park.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kuna MISSfits youth softball team wins state tournament, holds fundraiser Saturday

The Kuna MISSfits youth softball team will have a car wash, bake sale and raffle this Saturday, July 16, in the Paul’s parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to raise funds to help get them to Ellensberg, Wash., for the Pacific Northwest Regional Babe Ruth Tournament. The MISSfits won the State Babe Ruth Tournament last weekend, securing a trip to the regional tournament.
MISSfits thank sponsors Colton Construction, Idaho Independent Bank, Indian Creek Winery, Anderson Global Technologies, Blue and Sherlyn Jenkins, Words of Wisdom Vinyl, KHS Softball, Morgan and Sharon Williams, and Dealers Auto Auction of Idaho. For information about sponsoring, contact Ryan Field, 871-2243, Shawn Patterson, 724-9428, or Debi Kleffner, 571-3898.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

MacKayla Hunter performs Saturday

Local singer/songwriter MacKayla Hunter will open for Steve Holy on July 16 in front of thousands of fans during the Snake River Stampede, “Stampede for the Cure” event, where she will introduce her radio single “Forever Is Just A Day.”
In addition, MacKayla is spearheading the “No Bully Tour,” a nationwide PSA mall tour for anti bullying which features Radio Disney’s Pop music artists as its first installment. MacKayla’s idea was to participate in the tour as a supporter of the campaign during the country music edition.
On Aug. 12 through 18, the No Bully Tour Country edition will visit major malls, Boys & Girls clubs and YMCAs beginning from South Carolina and ending in Austin, Texas.
Detailed tour dates, radio supporters and the chosen touring artists can be found on For additional information, contact publicity at or (305) 894-6073.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kuna City Council needs better dialogue

Last week’s confusion over a development agreement for an unnamed national chain to move to Kuna, I think, raises a number of troubling questions about how the Kuna City Council conducts business.
But let me say upfront that I think the discussion is an important one and that both sides have valid points that should be considered. In no way is this indicative of “good ’ol boy politics” or anti-business sentiment. Before council is a legitimate, important issue that needs debate.
Unfortunately, though, the City Council, kind of like Congress, appears to be dysfunctional and unable to have a healthy debate.
The good news, in my book, is that the problems are imminently fixable, but council members need to change their attitudes and their practices. I will attempt here to offer some solutions.
First, as a little bit of background, before council members is a development agreement that would allow development of a 1.3-acre parcel of land on the northeast corner of Orchard and Avalon streets. The developer intends to sell the land to a national chain. The sticking point is about 900 feet of distance between the lot and the nearest pressurized irrigation line at Kay Avenue. Council member Rich Cardoza wants the developer to pay the approximately $54,000 to extend the pressurized irrigation line to the site. He argues that other national chains, such as Les Schwab and Walgreens, paid to have pressurized irrigation, water and sewer lines extended to their sites. In addition, Cardoza has a legitimate concern that if the city pays to extend the pressurized irrigation line in this instance, it opens a Pandora’s box of every other developer down the line wanting the city to pay for extension of sewer and water and pressurized irrigation lines.
The other side of the argument, which includes Mayor Scott Dowdy, council members Doug Hoiland and Jeff Lang and city planning director Steve Hasson, holds that the city needs to be business-friendly, the $54,000 cost might chase away the national chain and that this piece of land presents a unique situation in that other commercial developments that have come before, including the Fiesta Guadalajara building, Arctic Circle, Paul’s gas station and the Kuna Lube N Go, were not required to put in pressurized irrigation, leaving a gap of service along that stretch of Avalon.
So, as Dowdy argues, the city made a mistake before by not requiring those developments to at least put in dry lines, but the city shouldn’t make this developer pay for the city’s earlier mistake.
For the moment, let’s delay deciding who’s right and who’s wrong. What I’d like to address here is the dysfunctional process by which City Council is making decisions. My hope is that I can make some suggestions that the mayor and council members will accept and perhaps improve the discussion and the end result.

You can read all of my suggestions in this week's Editor's Notebook.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kuna school board budget workshop tonight

The Kuna school board will meet at 5 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, July 12, for a budget workshop before the regular board meeting at 7 p.m.
Kuna schools superintendent Jay Hummel wants to get this process started as early as possible for the 2012-13 budget, as more drastic cuts are in the offing.
School board members have already approved next year's budget with some cuts, including the elimination of 10 teachers. Hummel has said that with more reductions in education spending in the coming years, the community is going to have to have a very serious discussion about what we want our schools to be. The Kuna school district, like other districts around the state, will be faced with new mandates associated with the state's new "Students Come First" legislation, which established a host of changes in the education system, including diverting money for teacher salaries toward the purchase of technology, such as mobile computing devices for teachers and students. In addition, there will be some requirements for online classes, which promises to divert even more money out of district coffers and into the budgets of online providers.
With those mandates on the horizon, the Kuna school district has put forth some pretty scary budget numbers for 2012 and beyond.
I applaud the Kuna school district for launching this effort tonight. This is a great first step.
I have always questioned the apparent lack of involvement of the Kuna school board in the budgeting processed and I have criticized the administration for not providing more details. So it is my sincere hope that tonight's budget workshop gives the Kuna school board — and the public — a better handle on how the district spends its money. I can't stress enough how important that is in trying to formulate budgets in tough economic times.
Now, if we can only get the school district to post its school board packets online......

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kuna City Council to discuss budget tonight

The next city of Kuna budget workshop is at 5:30 p.m. today, Monday, July 11, at City Hall.
Kuna City Council members are tentatively scheduled to approve a budget that will be presented for a public hearing in August. I'll have more details in this week's issue of the Kuna Melba News.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kuna set to get a couple of overlay projects this month

Work to resurface two road sections in Kuna is expected to get under way the week of July 11 and is scheduled for completion in mid-August. The following road sections will receive a new layer of asphalt through $500,000 in federal funding:
• Deer Flat Road from Linder Road to Ten Mile Road
• Avalon Street from Ten Mile Road to Bridge Street
Before new asphalt can be laid, utility manholes along both road sections must be lowered. To create a more uniform and even surface, Avalon Street will undergo a special process that involves removing the top layer of asphalt and mixing it with underlying gravel. The road will then be leveled, compacted and repaved. Once the new asphalt is laid, the roads will receive new lane markings. Crews anticipate starting the Deer Flat section first.
The contractor is permitted to work weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and may also work weekends from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; however, crews will not be permitted to work during Kuna Days, August 5 and 6. At times, work on the two road sections will occur simultaneously.
Possible construction impacts include general construction noise, large trucks and equipment, jack hammering, reduced speeds, flaggers directing traffic, short delays and lane restrictions. There may also be periods of time where motorists will drive on a temporary gravel surface.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Looking for something to do in Kuna this weekend?

The Lavender Merchant Lavender Festival will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, at 2871 Stroebel Road, Kuna.
Come and visit the lavender field in full bloom, pick a bouquet of lavender (scissors and baskets provided) and experience the perfume and beauty of this captivating herb. Make and take a lavender bottle. Handmade lavender products will be featured. While you are here, visit other vendors selling their own special products. Lunch and desserts provided by Sophie’s Choice. There are 1,000 plants, including culinary lavender, for u-pick. Pottery by Dancing With Fire, handmade wallets by G, handmade scarves, garden furniture. Shirley Williams, watercolor artist, will be painting on site. Punky Doodle, Hats To You, snow cones and lemonade.
There will be a Cooking With Lavender presentation on Saturday at 1:00 by Maria Sestero of Sophie’s Choice.
No charge for admission. UPick is $5.00 a bunch

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kuna residents need to start speaking up in public

A reader was in my office the other day when City Council member Rich Cardoza happened to stop by. After a few minutes of jawboning, the reader kind of let Cardoza have it over the proposed $22 business license fee being proposed by the city. It was clear that the reader was a bit upset over the prospect of having to pay $22 a year just because he happened to own a business and lived in the city of Kuna.
The merits of the proposal aside for just a minute, here's what really troubles me: What would have happened if Cardoza hadn't happened to be strolling by at that moment or hadn't decided to stop in my office. How would Cardoza have known that this person didn't like the business license fee idea?
In recent weeks, I have written editorials about the business license fee, the Kuna Chamber taking over Kuna Days, the city's new taxi ordinance, pressurized irrigation for a national chain among many other controversial stories. How many letters to the editor have I received about these topics? None. How many people have shown up at City Council meetings to voice their opinions? Slim to none.
Cardoza, too, complained to me that he doesn't receive nearly enough feedback on these difficult issues. He complains about our "coffeeshop culture" where everyone wants to complain at the coffeeshop — usually with ridiculously false information — rather than actually do something about it.
If you don't like something — or if you support something — for Pete's sake, let the City Council know about it. Write a letter to the editor, write a letter to council. Do something. But formulating an opinion, usually based on some false rumor or gossip, at the coffeeshop or at the end of the bar does absolutely nothing.
In one of our surveys that we disseminate to our readers, one of our subscribers said we'd get a lot more letters to the editor if they could be anonymous.
Maybe, but the quality of the information in those letters I can almost guarantee would be near zero. You see, when people have to actually put their name to something, they're a lot more careful about getting their facts straight. When you're anonymous, you can throw around all sorts of accusations and innuendo without having to back up your claim. Without your name, you don't have to worry about looking like a fool. So that's one of the main reasons we set the bar high on requiring names.
The subscriber complains, though, that people are afraid of putting their name on a letter because the mayor and the city are going to come after them. Please. Give me a break. First of all, this isn't the mafia. Secondly, it's that very attitude that allows the city to make decisions that people don't like. Knowing that no one in this town will speak out publicly against any one action gives the city all the power in the world to do whatever it wants.
Third, many, many times I have written things against the city. Heck, I not only put my name on it, I put my photo with it, too. So far, I still have my knee caps, my tires haven't been slashed, I haven't been "run out of business," my family hasn't been kidnapped. I'm living, breathing proof that we can have healthy dissent in this town.
Until the residents of this city grow up and start behaving like adults, all we're going to get in the future is the same thing we've always gotten in the past.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Fourth of July — now clean up after yourself

There were 20 fireworks-related calls to Kuna police over the past week, but no citations were issued, acording to police.
Idaho Code Title 39, Chapter 26, otherwise known as the Fireworks Act of 1997, allows only “nonaerial common fireworks,” which means “any fireworks such as ground spinners, fountains, sparklers, smoke devices or snakes designed to remain on or near the ground and not to travel outside a 15-foot diameter circle or emit sparks or other burning material which land outside a 20-foot diameter circle or above a height of 20 feet. Nonaerial common fireworks do not include firecrackers, jumping jacks or similar products.”
For those Kuna residents who chose to set off illegal fireworks Monday night, the least you can do is clean up after yourself.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kuna's building revenue dilemma

The flagging economy has laid bare a serious weakness in the city of Kuna’s budget, particularly when it comes to the Planning & Zoning Department.
Kuna City Council members are discussing ways to cut next year’s budget in the face of drastically reduced revenue from building permits associated with single-family residential houses and commercial buildings.
Already, the city has laid off one of two full-time building inspectors and put the other building inspector on part-time status. Earlier this year, the city put two planning department employees on half-time status.
That leaves planning director Steve Hasson (annual salary of $72,858.24) and planner II Troy Behunin (annual salary of $49,337.18) as the only two full-time employees in the Planning & Zoning Department.
The cost-cutting measures are due to plummeting revenues.
For example, in 2008-09, the Planning & Zoning Department generated about $350,000 in revenue from such items as building permits, mechanical permits, development support services and administrative services.
By 2009-10, though, the department revenue slipped to $248,000, and by the end of this fiscal year, the total is expected to drop to a meager $94,000, not even enough revenue to support the salaries of Hasson and Behunin.
Let’s be clear, though. The Planning & Zoning Department has never been a revenue maker. It’s historically been a cost center, when calculating direct revenues and expenses.
In 2009-10, when the department collected $248,000, the department spent about $421,000 on salaries, benefits, workers compensation, dues and memberships, training, office supplies, travel, etc.
So, strictly speaking, the department is subsidized by other areas of the general fund, such as property taxes, sales taxes, franchise fees, etc.
But with projected revenues of just $95,000 next year, the city can hardly expect to operate the department as is.
City treasurer John Marsh disclosed during a budget workshop last month that the city was exploring the idea of contracting out building inspection services.
City Council president Lisa Bachman, whose husband, Bob Bachman, was the laid-off building inspector, cautioned council members about going down that road of contracting inspection services, strictly from a financial perspective. She said it could cost the city even more revenue with a contractor.
The numbers seem to bear out that argument.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Local newspapers are still Number One in terms of providing news and information

Communities served by community newspapers continue to demonstrate heavy reliance upon their local papers for news and information. Seventy-three percent say they read a local newspaper at least once a week.
Readers also say they read most or all of their community newspapers (78 percent), and of those going online for local news, 55 percent found it on the local newspaper’s website, compared to 17 percent for sites such as Yahoo, MSN or Google, and 26 percent for the website of a local TV station.
We hope you'll consider a subscription to the Kuna Melba News to ensure that Kuna continues to have a local newspaper. If you already subscribe and like the paper, please encourage your friends to start a subscription. They'll be glad they did. Just $28 for an entire year of being informed of what's happening in the community.

Monday, July 4, 2011

If you want to stay in Kuna for the Fourth of July, Anchor Baptist Church event is your best bet

“Hug a Veteran” is a special annual event every July 4th on the Idaho Baptist College campus. It is a family and friend day to honor our veterans and those who are still serving our freedom-blessed nation of the United States of America. Plan to come around 10 a.m. for live entertainment, balloon art for the kids, and enjoy the ‘Extreme Team’ for awe of the whole family. Join us for a free fish fry, barbecue and all the trimmings. Dive into the 40-foot banana split and still have time to go enjoy all the other events throughout this great valley of ours. We are looking forward to seeing you! Ya’ll come on over! Plenty of parking in the back parking lot. They're at the corner of Columbia and Meridian roads.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

'Freedom is Never Free' monument dedication in Kuna is happening Monday

The Dedication of the “Freedom is Never Free” Monument in Kuna will be held Monday, July 4th, at 10:50 am at the Colonel Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park in Kuna adjacent to the two baseball diamonds on 2nd Street.
Order of event will include:
• Welcome by Dave Lyon, Kuna VFW Post Commander
• Presentation of the colors
• Remarks by Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy
• Flyby with flight of A-10 aircraft
• Retreat of the colors
• Close of Ceremony

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Melba Fourth of July celebration is Monday; here's a schedule of events

The Melba 4th of July Committee has been working hard planning the 2011 Independence Day celebration, which happens Monday, July 4. The day is once again packed with fun activities for everyone from dawn till dusk. The theme this year is “Proud to be an American.”
Start off your morning right with the QRU Fun Run as you take a nice jog or walk around Melba. Next you’ll want to join us for an “Old Fashioned” parade, either as a spectator or participant. There is no entry fee to be in the parade, and everyone is invited to participate.
After the parade, you’ll surely want to hit the fairway of games, crafts and food row. At the city park you can enjoy an antique tractor pull. Not far from the park, at the Melba Senior Center, you will find the best fried chicken lunch around, starting at 11:30. The rest of the day is packed with a car show, stage entertainment under the big net, a horseshoe tournament, and a huge hit with the kids is the chicken run. The day will come to an end with the spectacular fireworks display at dusk.
Melba Olde Tyme 4th of July Celebration schedule
Monday, July 4
7 a.m.: Registration For Fun Run
8 a.m.: QRU Fun Run (7:45 a.m. For 6 Milers)
9 a.m.: Parade Line-Up
9 a.m.: Arts & Crafts Fair
9 a.m.: Food Concessions
9:30 a.m.: Judging Of Parade Entries
10:30 a.m.: Fly-Over & Parade
11 a.m. (Approx.): Car Show (Following Parade)
11 a.m.: Fairway Of Children’s Games
11:30 a.m.: Fried Chicken Lunch–Senior Center
12 p.m.: Antique Tractor Pull
1 p.m.: Old Tyme Young’uns, main stage
1 p.m.: Horseshoe Pitching
2 p.m.: Old Tymers Softball At Melba Park
2 p.m.: Hinderliter & Friends, main stage
3 p.m.: Chicken Round-Up
3 p.m.: Karen Flint, main stage
4 p.m.: Mexican Dancers, main stage
Dave & Pam Mangum (Tentative), main stage
5 p.m.: Cloggers, main stage
6 p.m.: Bob Miller Band, main stage
Special Award – Citizen of the Year, main stage
7 p.m.: The Knights, main stage
Dusk (Approx. 10:30 p.m.): Fireworks

Friday, July 1, 2011

Idaho Piecemakers Quilt Show is scheduled

The 12th Annual Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show in Kuna will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7, at Kuna High School. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. There is an entry fee of $5. This year, the net proceeds of the show will be divided among the following organizations: Boise Chordsmen Youth Outreach Program, Kuna Community Food Bank, Meridian Humane Shelter and Northwest Children’s Home in Nampa.
The theme of the show is Stars & Stripes Over Idaho. Some of these quilts have been designated to be given to returning Idaho soldiers. There will be a special exhibit announcing the theme of the 2012 Quilt Show - Quilted Barns.