Friday, September 30, 2011

Kuna corn maze is now open for the season

Linder Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze is once again the official corn maze of the Boise State Broncos. This year’s maze honors the start of a new adventure as Boise State joins with the Mountain West. With every purchase of the corn maze admission, a portion is donated back to the Boise State general scholarship fund. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kuna Homecoming Parade is Friday

This week is Homecoming Week at Kuna High School, with a host of events:
• Parade: 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30, starting at Kuna Middle School and will go through downtown Kuna and end at Kuna High School.
• Tailgate: start after the parade. Everyone is invited to come and get pumped up for the homecoming game. Bring friends, fun, and food!
• Homecoming Court: will be announced around 6:30 p.m.
• Homecoming Game: 7 p.m. Come support our Kuna Kavemen as they play the Emmett Huskies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some ground rules for upcoming Kuna city elections

Since we are in the throes of a contested city election, I thought I’d go over some of the ground rules we have here at the Kuna Melba News.
The first one is our deadline for editorial items. These include letters to the editor, guest editorials, meeting announcements, etc. The deadline is noon on Mondays. That has been the deadline for the past five years, and we publish our deadlines every week on this page, to the left. The reason for this deadline is in order for us to get the paper out on time each week.
Every Monday starting at noon, I “lay out” the newspaper. That means I put all my stories on the pages, put all the headlines on, all the photos, all the letters, columns, etc. By the time I leave the office Monday night, every square inch of the paper is pretty much filled, with the exception of stories that I might be covering on Tuesday, such as City Council or school board. In those cases, I leave an empty space in the pages, which I plan on filling later Tuesday. But receiving anything unexpected after deadline means that I have to go back and take something out or completely rearrange sometimes several pages. So, that’s why we have a noon Monday deadline, and I try hard not to make exceptions.
The next rule we keep is not making an endorsement. As I’ve explained before, I try to remain as objective as possible because I am not just the editorial page editor, but I’m also the reporter covering city issues. Our readers need to know that when I report a story, it is completely objective and not biased based on whom I like or don’t like.
That doesn’t mean you, the reader, have to be objective, though. You can have an opinion on whom you like or don’t like. And you can voice that opinion in the Kuna Melba News. So, please, feel free to write a letter to the editor in favor of one candidate or the other. And please also tell us why.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kuna boys soccer team tough enough to wear pink

The Kuna boys varsity soccer team’s Senior Night will be a home game at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, against Nampa. The team decided to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. In honor of the event, the boys will be wearing pink jerseys that night, and gate proceeds will go toward breast cancer research. The public is invited to attend, enjoy a good soccer game and help a worthy cause. “Every day, you hear about breast cancer,” said Kuna co-captain Riley Albers, who helped come up with the idea for the Pink Senior Night. “It’s a really big deal, and we want to bring awareness to it in any way we can.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Head out to the Kuna FFA Auction tonight

The Kuna FFA Scholarship Auction is this tonight. The events start at 6 p.m. with a delicious pulled pork dinner. The silent auction will begin at 6:30, and the live auction at 7. The purpose of this event is to raise money that will be awarded in the coming year. Funds will be given to graduating seniors who apply for chapter scholarships at the end of the year, as well as members attending the Washington Leadership Conference next summer, which is held in the nation’s capital. This conference gives members a chance to develop leadership skills that they can apply to their FFA chapter. Money is also used for creed speaking awards and travel costs for State Leadership conference in Twin Falls and State CDE’s in Moscow.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Should Kuna Boys & Girls Club pursue one of the Kuna school buildings?

Indian Creek Elementary School or Ross Elementary School would be a good location for the Kuna Boys & Girls Club, Kuna school board chairman Jim Ford said last week at the Kuna Chamber of Commerce meeting.
The Kuna school district is putting forth several revenue-generating and cost-cutting ideas in light of projected budget cuts. The district is floating the idea of selling or renting out several school facilities, including Indian Creek and Ross, the Old Fourth Street Gym and Initial Point High School.
Meanwhile, a local steering committee has been working to build a permanent Boys & Girls Club in Kuna, as part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County. For the past three summers, hundreds of Kuna children have attended a temporary summer program located in Reed Elementary.
The local committee has secured donated land north of Boise Street and west of Linder Road, but the proposal has run into roadblocks in the approval process.
The Kuna Steering Committee has not been approached by the School District about the possibility of a lease or purchase of any of its buildings, according to committee member Janis Dotson.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kuna Lube ’N’ Go Classic Car Show will be Oct. 1

The 2nd Annual Kuna Lube ’N Go Classic Car Show will be on Saturday, Oct 1, starting at 3 p.m. in the Kuna Lube ’N Go parking lot, 564 E. Avalon St. Come on down and enjoy an afternoon of classic cars and trucks. For information and registration of your classic vehicle, call Travis at 922-9600.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kuna Grange bake sale is at the Kuna Farmers Market tomorrow

The Kuna Grange will have a Baked Food Sale at Kuna Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 1. The market is open from 9 a.m. to noon at the Col. Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kuna state championship football team to have reunion

The 1991 Kuna High state championship football team will have a 20-year reunion at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Kuna High School football field. Meet at the football field for an event recognition, then stick around to watch the current Kuna High school football team play at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Shawn Samson, 830-1959.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kuna school district begins public outreach program

The Kuna school district has begun its public outreach campaign to alert the community of what it sees as an impending financial crisis.
Kuna school board chairman Jim Ford spoke before the Kuna Chamber of Commerce on Thursday about the district’s financial outlook.
“We’re not talking about all the little stuff. We’re talking a million dollars here, a million dollars there,” Ford said. “We already did all the little stuff.”
Ford painted a broad picture of the current school district situation. He highlighted the positives that the district has achieved: 91.4 percent of Kuna students reading at or above grade level, 93 competitive courses offered.
But he was there to talk about less savory topics: six of the 10 teachers who left the Kuna school district this year went to the Boise school district to earn $6,000 more per year, class sizes have gone up this year to as many as 44 students per class at the high school, including one class in which his own granddaughter sits on the floor. In addition, the state is proposing to cut the per-pupil funding formula next year the equivalent of another 20 teachers.
And the projections over the next five years show continued decreases in funding, Ford said.
The school district already has cut administrators, teachers and other employees across the board and cut pay by furloughing employees across the board. The district is spending a $600,000 federal grant to change out more efficient lights that will save money, and has cut back on fertilizer on lawns, cut office and school supplies, shut down individual classroom refrigerators and is considering where to cut back on lawn watering.
The district also has eliminated half-day kindergarten, imposed a student parking fee at the high school as well as activity participation fees at the middle and high schools.
Ford said that it has gotten to the point now that the district must make big changes, wholesale changes, in order to make ends meet, keep teachers, pay them more, buy new textbooks and replace old and deteriorating equipment. Some of the options that the district is seeking feedback on include:
• going to a year-round school system. Ford said this would allow the district to pay teachers more for working 12 months a year and cut back on the number of teachers who would be able to teach more students.
• selling, renting or leasing out Indian Creek Elementary, Ross Elementary, the Old Fourth Street Gym or Initial Point High School. Ford said that one of the buildings, possibly Indian Creek Elementary, would make a wonderful Boys & Girls Club, for example. One of the buildings could be sold to Falcon Ridge Charter School for use as their permanent building, he said.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First-place plaque arrives in the mail

Our first-place NNA award arrived in the mail this week. We received this award for our story on whether the kindergarten schedule in Kuna is working. This is a national award from the National Newspaper Association. We have now earned four national first-place awards and four statewide first-place awards.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Leffler withdraws from Kuna mayor's race

Shirley Leffler has withdrawn from the race for Kuna mayor, just a few days after filing her declaration of candidacy.
Leffler, the owner of Cowgirls, filed her paperwork on Friday, Sept. 9, just under the deadline, and announced that she had withdrawn on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
At the time, she and incumbent Mayor Scott Dowdy were battling for first place in a Kuna Melba News poll.
By Thursday morning, Dowdy and Leffler had received 181 votes each.
“I am very proud of the people's turn out to show they wanted change,” Leffler wrote in an email to the Kuna Melba News on Wednesday.
Leffler did not give a reason for withdrawing but it apparently had to do with the location of her primary residence. Candidates for city office are required to have lived within city limits for at least 30 days prior to declaring for candidacy.
On her declaration of candidacy, Leffler listed her address as 2371 N. Alcorn Place, in the Chapparosa subdivision within city limits. But a white pages listing gives 5125 Roy Drive, off McDermott Road in Nampa, as her home address, and in other business filings, Leffler has listed 5125 Roy Drive as her residence.
When asked by the Kuna Melba News on Tuesday if 2371 N. Alcorn Place were her primary residence, Leffler answered yes and she said that she had lived there for the past two years.
Deputy city clerk Chris Engels said that the city was investigating whether one of the candidates had a primary residence within the city limits. She declined to say which candidate.
Leffler’s decision to withdraw leaves three candidates for mayor.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kuna city staff tried to delete meeting minutes

Kuna City Council members voted unanimously last week not to strike certain testimony from the minutes of the Aug. 16 council meeting.
The vote came as a result of Kuna city planning director Steve Hasson urging council members to strike certain testimony from the minutes of the Aug. 16 City Council meeting, at which council members held a public hearing about changes to the city’s land use table.
The land use table defines what types of businesses are allowed in various land use zones, everything from barbershops and pet grooming stores to newspapers and storage facilities.
Hasson argued that the testimony presented by Ann Richards and Kim Schultsmeier veered into the territory of discussing a land use application that may come before City Council at some point in the future. His argument was that if neighbors or opponents to the proposal go back and look at the minutes from the Aug. 16 meeting, they might have grounds to believe that City Council had already discussed the matter and heard testimony without properly hearing from opponents.
Hasson, along with city attorney Richard Roats, argued in favor of a “clean record” with regards to Richards and Schultsmeier’s proposal.
This all started earlier this year when Richards and Schultsmeier approached the city about a proposal to build a commercial facility on Hubbard Road east of Linder Road. They want to put an RV storage facility on about 6 acres of property along with the possibility of a restaurant, physical therapy clinic and pottery studio on other couple of acres on the property.
When they met with city and Ada County Highway District officials in June, they were encouraged.
“Then we started running into the Steve (Hasson) roadblock,” Schultsmeier told me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two more chances locally to weigh in on transmission line

In case you missed last night's public meeting in Kuna regarding a massive transmission line running through the area, you still have two more chances this week — in Melba on Wednesday, and in Murphy on Thursday.
The Bureau of Land Management continues to seek public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project in Wyoming and Idaho.
This project, proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power, would result in the construction of nearly 1,100 miles of high voltage transmission lines across southern Wyoming and southern Idaho. One possible alternative route crosses portions of northern Nevada.
An early version of the proposed route for the 500,000-volt transmission line ran through approximately 6 miles of Kuna, including through the Osprey Ridge planned community, through the Kuna sewer farm, along the top of Kuna Butte and just north of Melba.
The city of Kuna along with some private landowners got involved in the process and convinced Idaho Power and the BLM to shift the route about 8 miles south of Kuna on public lands. The preferred alternative also now goes well south of Melba to the Hemingway substation.
The initial route through Kuna is still listed as a “feasible alternative.”
Public information meetings will be held in Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. All meetings will be held from 4-7 p.m.
The two remaining local meetings are:
• Sept. 14, Melba Valley Senior Center, 115 Base Line Rd.
• Sept. 15, Murphy, Owyhee County Museum, 17085 Basey St.
To submit comments and to review the draft EIS and related documents, including detailed maps, visit:
Copies of the DEIS will be delivered to public libraries in project-area communities, including the Kuna Library, 457 N. Locust St.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Twins with Violins hopes to help Kuna orchestra students

Twins with Violins, a local private music education service, is offering an after-school orchestra program for Kuna students in the event that 6th-grade orchestra is cut by the Kuna school district.
Kuna assistant superintendent Wendy Johnson said that a decision has not been made yet, but cutting the program is a possibility.
As a temporary solution for the Kuna area and to continue with students’ desires to participate in music, Twins with Violins is opening its doors free of charge to interested beginner students.
Sessions will be 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, every other week. For more information, call 703-6299.
This program will be offered free of charge until organizers can secure a larger venue to hold a bigger class. Once that happens, and depending on the cost of renting the place, there may be a fee of $5-10 per child each month in order to cover the charge.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kuna United Methodist Church is putting on 9/11 service tonight at the Kuna city park

Ten years ago, our general sense of safety and our feeling of insulation from violence crumbled as buildings, planes, and families were torn apart. The Sunday following the attack, churches across this country were filled to the brim and overflowing with people searching for answers, comfort, and peace. Life has gone on, though the pain has continued, too, through nearly a decade of war, ongoing injuries and loss of life.
Events like 9/11 are too important not to be commemorated. We want to mark the anniversary of this somber event by worshiping, praying, and remembering together with friends and neighbors. All are invited to this special service of remembrance and hope, conducted by Rev. Karen Puckett of “Living Hope” – Kuna United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 11 in the Kuna City Park (the bandshell).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We're expanding The Melba Herald

In addition to our regular subscribers in Melba, this month’s Melba Herald is being mailed to all of our subscribers who live in the 83686 ZIP code in Nampa. Inside this month’s issue:
• Melba football team loses to Payette, 28-14.
• Old Feed & Fuel warehouse downtown comes down.
• Wilson Butte 4-H kids win at the Owyhee County Fair.
• What Madge Cook Wylie did this summer.
• Marty Nelson’s Melba Seniors column.
• Part 1 of a two-part series on the history of Glendale.
• Rosters and schedules for all Melba fall sports teams.
If you don’t live in Melba or in the 83686 ZIP code, you can still read The Melba Herald for free and in color, by clicking on “The Melba Herald” at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kuna man writes book about Haiti saga

The arrest of 10 Americans as they tried to transport children from earthquake-devastated Haiti to a new orphanage facility in the Dominican Republic created an international firestorm in 2010. The saga captured international attention and was the top news story in the world.
“Aftershock: A Journey of Faith to Haiti,” by M.A. Coulter of Kuna, captures details of the group’s journey to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, subsequent arrests, legal entanglements and a continuing passion for helping abandoned or neglected children.
Published by WestBow Press, the book considers the Americans’ 10-week ordeal from a Christian perspective. But it also includes an overview of Haiti’s tumultuous political history, frequent natural disasters and international relief efforts in the wake of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. The book also candidly analyzes the Haitian government’s history of neglecting its youngest generation.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday is the deadline to file for Kuna city offices

This Friday is the deadline for Kuna city residents to file a declaration of candidacy for Kuna city mayor or Kuna City Council.
Voters in the city of Kuna will have an opportunity to vote for two City Council members and the mayor in this year’s general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Mayor Scott Dowdy’s term expires this year, as do the terms of City Council members Lisa Bachman and Jeff Lang. The terms for Rich Cardoza and Doug Hoiland expire in 2013.
As of Tuesday, two candidates had filed to run for mayor: Dowdy and former Kuna mayor Greg Nelson.
Two candidates had filed to run for City Council: Lang and former City Council member Dave Szplett.
The declaration of candidacy period ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. A candidate has to declare that he/she is a qualified elector and meets the following qualifications:
• Resident of Kuna
• Registered voter
• At least 18 years old
The candidate has to file a Declaration of Candidacy form accompanied by one of the following:
• A petition of candidacy signed by at least five registered qualified electors; or
• Pay a non-refundable filing fee of $40
The Declaration of Candidacy form must be turned in to the Kuna City Clerk’s Office located at Kuna City Hall, 763 W. Avalon St.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bachman suggests Kuna have a full-time mayor

Kuna City Council President Lisa Bachman told me this week that she won't be running for re-election and that she won't be running for mayor, either.
She has long been talked about as a candidate for mayor, but Lisa said she can't make it work with her career.
She said that what the city really needs is a full-time mayor. Currently, the position is part-time with a pay of $30,000 per year.
“The city is missing out on some viable candidates who still need a career,” she said.
Currently, Dowdy is a lawyer with a private practice in Kuna.
Bachman said that the mayor’s job isn’t really part time, that the time commitment requires being mayor full time.
“The bottom line is that the city needs a full-time mayor that can commit all their time to the position,” she said. “If that were the case, then I’d be running.”
I asked her why she didn’t propose raising the mayor’s salary to a full-time salary during the budget hearings, which just wrapped up. She said she knew that Dowdy wouldn’t want the position to be full time because he wouldn’t want to give up his other job and that the council would go along with him and shoot down the proposal.
“I’m really concerned about the city moving forward,” she said. “I have passion, and I really want to do it.”
Bachman said she’d still like to be involved, particularly with the urban renewal agency, which she has asked to be a member of.
This turn of events is unfortunate. Lisa is one of the good ones. She’s a smart, independent thinker who has the city’s best interest at heart.
More importantly, she decides for herself what she thinks is in the city’s best interest. She doesn’t merely rely on someone else to tell her what is best for the city then follow lockstep with that opinion.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back when Kuna was like Footloose

Did you see this week's history column? I had a couple of thoughts: One was that it was very fitting that this came out right around the time they're doing a remake of the movie Footloose, where the town bans dancing. Then I read a little further and realized that the arguments they were making back then are the same arguments that go on today, namely that the people who frequent the Kuna Days street dance aren't from Kuna — they're from "out of town" and do nothing but cause Kuna problems. Here's the item that appeared in this week's Kuna Melba News. It's from The Kuna Herald, Sept. 1, 1961:

The Kuna village council took steps Monday night to clean up what it termed “public nuisances” within the village.
At a special meeting G.W. Grebe, village attorney, called attention to the fact that public dances being held in the IOOF hall on Friday nights are being held in violation of an ordinance enacted in 1926 which provides that a license be required and $500 bond posted before public dances for profit can be held within the village and that the license be revoked if the dances are not properly conducted. The lodge rents the hall to an out-of-town band.
A number of village residents met with the council to protest the dances and the Rev. Harry Evans, pastor of the Kuna Church of the Nazarene, presented a petition signed by 44 residents asking that the dances be closed because they “foster drinking among teenagers and have become a breeding place for crime.”
Representatives of four other churches in the community supported his contention and added that the dances are bringing into the community bad element from the larger towns and that Kuna, once known as a clean town, is getting a bad name because of the situation.
Police Chief Ben Newell testified that he has given drinking citations to forty or more underage young people since the first of the year and that only three or four of them were local young people. He said that not many local young people attended the dances.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kuna Cub Scouts recruitment night is tonight

Cub Scout Pack 106, Kuna’s only community pack, is holding a recruiting night at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, in the Kuna Middle School cafeteria.
Cub Scouting is for boys in the first through fifth grades, or 7 to 10 years of age. Cub Scouts are divided into age groups: Tigers for first-graders, Wolves for second-graders, Bears for third-graders and Webelos for fourth- and fifth-graders.
Since its beginning, the Cub Scout program has been a fun and educational experience concerned with values. Besides providing a positive place where boys can enjoy safe, wholesome activities, Cub Scouting focuses on building character, improving physical fitness, teaching practical skills, and developing a spirit of community service. Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the boys doing things. Activities are used to achieve the aims of Scouting — citizenship training, character development and personal fitness. Many of the activities happen right in the den and pack. The most important are the weekly den meetings and the monthly pack meetings.
Apart from the fun and excitement of Cub Scout activities, the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy’s sense of belonging.