Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank you for your support, please continue to support your local newspaper

You’ve heard of the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, I like to think that it takes a village to put out a newspaper. For the past five-and-a-half years, I have truly felt like a “caretaker” of this newspaper. I have taken the approach that the Kuna Melba News “belongs” to its citizens, and I have been here to simply organize the information we receive. Every week, the Kuna Melba News receives more submitted items than anywhere else I’ve ever worked and just about any other newspaper I’ve read. Every week, we are chock full of stories, letters, photos that our readers have sent in. I consider it a great honor that people still want to be in the newspaper in this day and age of Facebook and Twitter. This being my final Editor’s Notebook as editor of the Kuna Melba News, I would like to use it to thank the people who make this newspaper possible. First, I thank our advertisers. They shell out their hard-earned cash every month to have an ad in this newspaper. It’s that money that keeps this newspaper running and publishing every week. I know that many, many of our advertisers truly believe that advertising in the Kuna Melba News helps their business, that it gets their message in front of the people who really matter the most. But I fully accept and appreciate the fact that some of our advertisers are also “supporting” the Kuna Melba News, recognizing that it’s important to have a strong and independent newspaper in their city. As citizens, you should in turn support them. Next, I’d like to thank the people who were already subscribers when we bought the Kuna Melba News on Sept. 29, 2006. You, too, felt it was important to have a strong and independent newspaper and you supported it by renewing your subscription each year. You made it possible for us to even buy the Kuna Melba News in the first place. Next, I thank the people who jumped on board just as soon as we bought the paper. Right after Nicola and I bought the paper, we sent out free sample issues of the paper to every address in the 83634 ZIP code along with a little subscription form asking people to subscribe. My goodness, it was like Christmas morning every day we went to the post office. Every week for 10 weeks, we received 10 to 20 new subscriptions. Your enthusiasm, your encouragement, your faith in us — and your checks — helped us to grow and improve the paper right off the bat. I want to thank the parents who renewed their subscription even though your son or daughter graduated from high school or their sports season was over. I know you probably started your subscription because your son or daughter was in the paper regularly either through school events or sports. But continuing your subscription afterwards showed that you found other things in the paper that were interesting, either our school board coverage or our feature stories, community calendar or news of neighbors. Whatever the reason, thank you for renewing. I want to thank the mom who stopped me at a baseball game a couple of years ago to thank me for coming out to cover a game one night. She said she recognized that she was at the game with her family but that for me, I was working and was away from my family. She thanked me for sacrificing time away from my family to cover something important to them. That was just such a nice observation and a really touching expression of gratitude. It helped bolster my spirits for many, many evening games that followed over the years. I would also like to thank public officials who subscribe to the paper. I know that there are times when I write something you don’t like or you feel that I shouldn’t be writing about a certain subject at all. One of you even called me “extreme.” But some of you keep on renewing your subscription. Thank you. I suppose the reasons for renewing are varied, but I like to think that you recognize that I try to be fair and that if I express an opinion you don’t like, I will willingly and eagerly accept your response for publication the next week. I also want to thank the coaches and parents who have sent in game results and photos over the years. Thank you for meeting me halfway. You recognized that I was at your team’s or child’s event on a Saturday morning but that I couldn’t make it to the Tuesday game because I was at a city council or a school board meeting. But you sent me the results and a photo so that we could share it with the whole community even though I couldn’t be there. In particular, thank you for sending results even when we lost. If one of our athletes scored 22 points or hit a three-run home run or ran a 96-yard touchdown, it didn’t matter whether we won or lost. It was still important to have that individual’s accomplishment in the paper. Thank you, too, to the people who have written columns in the paper on a volunteer basis: Steven Ricks, Zeke Corder, Sharon Fisher, Nancy Simper. Your contributions added so much to the paper. I know readers have enjoyed the roughly 300 Editor’s Notebooks I’ve written since October 2006, but where would we be without these other columnists? In the end, I believe a community’s newspaper is all about community. It’s the single most important element in bringing a community together — not just to agree on everything — but also to disagree, to share ideas, to learn from one another, to air grievances. I know my brand of journalism wasn’t always as flashy or sensationalistic as some of you would have liked, and I know some of you wanted me to be more of an advocate for or against certain issues. But for better or worse, I hope the Kuna Melba News has accomplished what we set out to do five-and-a-half years ago: to accurately reflect the community. My hope is that the community will continue to support the Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moving on from the Kuna Melba News

Next week will be my final week as editor of the Kuna Melba News. I will be leaving the paper at the end of the month, after five-and-a-half years as editor. I wanted to get ahead of the rumor mill on this one. When Nicola and I sold the Kuna Melba News to RIM Publications on Dec. 1, 2011, I agreed to stay on as editor for six months to help with the transition. Those six months are up, and it’s time for me to move on. I am not being forced out or fired or quitting in disgust or disgrace. I actually heard from a couple of people that they thought that Nicola had been fired or forced out when she left the paper in February. They didn’t stop to think, though, that people who are fired or forced out don’t usually have another job lined up ready and waiting for them. No, Nicola simply found another career opportunity and was ready to move on. As for me, I will be taking the summer off, spending some time with my two favorite boys, Luke and Robert, and writing a book about my experience of buying and running a weekly newspaper. My book will be mostly personal memoir and partially commentary on the state of newspapers following what I consider a historically transformational 10-year period for our much-maligned industry. The sale of the newspaper has provided me with an incredible opportunity to pursue what I’ve always wanted to pursue, which is to write books. I will keep you posted on my progress, but you can also follow me at, where I’ll be writing regular updates about the process and my book. As for the paper, Laura Colvin, who was hired as a reporter in January, will become the editor. As you may have noticed, Laura “gets” community journalism. She writes about the Melba supplemental levy one minute and turns around and covers the Melba softball team the next. She knows just as well how to write a City Council story as she does a feature about a 70-year wedding anniversary. She’s a great feature writer, and in case you didn’t notice, she’s a heck of a lot better photographer than I’ll ever be. I leave the paper in good hands. I know the sale of the newspaper is still a bit of a mystery to some people, so I’ll do my best to dispel some of the myths and rumors. The Kuna Melba News, from day one, has been in great financial shape and continues to be in excellent financial shape. Nicola and I did not sell the paper because we “had to.” RIM made us an offer we simply found too difficult to decline. But we also felt that we had taken the paper as far as we could take it. I couldn’t cover any more meetings. I couldn’t go to any more sporting events than I was already going to. I couldn’t write any additional feature stories or investigative stories than I was already writing. Even if I could, we couldn’t add any more pages to the paper without hurting the business financially. After three years of nearly tripling our circulation, we hit a ceiling that we just couldn’t break through. It became clear that someone else would need to take the paper to the next level, just as we had done when we bought the paper in 2006. Already, RIM has improved the paper, adding pages and adding staff, providing computer equipment and software to improve efficiencies, opening a satellite office in Melba. I’m extremely proud of what Nicola and I accomplished. In terms of quality, the Kuna Melba News has far exceeded even what I imagined when we first started. I never imagined winning seven state awards and six national awards in one year alone. It’s been a good run, and I’m looking forward to watching the Kuna Melba News move to the next level.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Is the city of Kuna interested in the Old 4th Street Gym?

Is the city of Kuna interested in buying the Old 4th Street Gym? I’m only taking a stab in the dark here, but it sounds like the city might be trying to put something together to make a bid on the property. As reported previously in the Kuna Melba News, the Kuna school district is looking to offload the historic 4th Street Gym in an effort to generate revenue for an expansion of the district administrative office to include more offices and a professional-technical program. Here’s why I think the city might be considering throwing in a bid. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, council member Rich Cardoza asked whether they were going to go into an executive session. Mayor Greg Nelson said no but he was planning on getting council members together for a work session sometime next week, perhaps Wednesday, May 23. Cardoza said that time is of the essence on this matter. Nelson responded that he understood there was a deadline of May 24 to make a decision. It just so happens that May 24 is the deadline for the school district to accept bids on the gym property. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the city were considering putting in a bid. I’ve had many residents suggest to me that the city should just “take over” the gym — which is a lot different from plunking down a few hundred thousand dollars for it. I have a few concerns, naturally. First, where would the city come up with the money for the purchase? Would the city try to pass a bond? Would the city try to squeeze it out of existing fund balances? Would the city try to create a recreation district to fund the purchase and operate the gym? Next, what would the city use the building for? Would they move city hall in there? Is it enough space to house city hall? The building is listed as 18,396 square feet, with about 10,000 square feet used up by the gym, leaving about 8,369 square feet. But is all of that usable space? How much would it cost to make all of the space usable? Further, how much would it cost to do renovations, bring it up to code, abate asbestos and lead paint, pave over the parking lot? Don’t forget curb, gutter and sidewalk. I’d like to see something done with the gym, and I’d like to see the gym itself preserved. I’m not really sure that someone from the private sector would come forward and keep the gym intact. More likely a private developer would just tear down the whole thing, so a public entity like the city might be the only solution. Before that happens, though, the city has a lot of questions to answer. Hopefully, the public will get a chance to weigh in on the matter soon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Remembering, honoring Kuna's Dustin Curtis

Last week, I had the honor of serving on the selection committee for the second annual Dustin Curtis Memorial Scholarship. Last year was the inaugural year for the scholarship named in honor of Dustin Curtis, a standout Kuna varsity baseball catcher who was killed in a car accident near Idaho City in June 2007 just before his senior year. I was humbled to have been asked to serve on the committee last year, and I was very pleased to do it again this year. For me, the scholarship is a great way to honor the memory of Dustin, described by a friend as “an all-around good guy.” The family of Dustin Curtis and Kuna American Legion Baseball created the scholarship, which is meant to recognize young men who love the game of baseball and play with dignity and respect for their fellow teammates and competitors on and off the field, as Dustin exemplified. On a personal note, Dustin’s accident had an impact on me. At the time, I had been the owner and editor of the Kuna Melba News for just a few months. I had come to Kuna from Rochester, N.Y., where I had been the police editor for the large metro daily in that city. Rochester had about 50 homicides per year, and we would routinely have to cover fatal car accidents or acts of violence. Each time, I was the editor who would assign a reporter to go out there and find friends and family to talk about the deceased. The victim was always a stranger, and as the editor, I never came in direct contact with the friends and family affected by the tragedy. This time, though, I had covered the varsity baseball season. I watched Dustin play, watched how he interacted with the other players, shot photos of him playing. I had spoken with his coach, Brian Graves, about him. I remember talking to Brian at the end of the season about what a star Dustin was already as a junior, how much of a leader he was, his likely prospects for playing baseball in college and how promising his future was. Just a couple of weeks later, though, I would be talking to Brian again, under more somber circumstances. He related a story to me about how Dustin had stayed an hour after practice one day to take extra batting practice. He agreed to give a younger player a ride home — as long as he took extra batting practice, too. In Dustin’s last game, he went 2-for-5, drove in two, scored one run and threw out two would-be base stealers. Yet, he wanted to figure out why he didn’t get a hit his other three at-bats, Brian told me. Among the tangibles, those are the kinds of qualities and character traits I’ve been looking for when selecting the scholarship recipients. This year’s recipient will be announced before tonight’s varsity baseball game, around 4:30 p.m., at the Kuna High School baseball field. Last week’s selection committee meeting was emotional. It was also a difficult choice, as we had excellent, excellent candidates. But I am very happy with this year’s recipient. He turned in an excellent application, wrote a great essay and I think exemplifies best those intangible qualities that Dustin had. The winner will be in next week’s issue. He will receive $500 toward his post-secondary education. Last year, the committee selected two recipients, Heath Curtis, who is Dustin’s brother, and Cameron Packham. Kuna American Legion Baseball also has been talking about launching an annual baseball tournament in Dustin’s name. While that has proven to be more challenging, the good news is that Kuna has been selected to be the site of the 2012 American Legion Single A All-Star Game on July 14. The name of the event is officially being called the 2012 American Legion Dustin Curtis Memorial Single A All-Star Game. Usually this game is rotated around to different cities, but it would be fantastic if this became an annual event in Kuna. It would be great if the community came out to support this game and helped raise money for the annual Dustin Curtis Memorial Scholarship. Put it on your calendars, 5 p.m., Saturday, July 14, Kuna High School baseball field. It’s a great way to remember a great kid.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kuna Library District to consider rebonding

The Kuna library district will consider rebonding its 1998 construction bond in an effort to save taxpayers money. The rebonding, however, is not expected to be used to expand the current building. Kuna Library Executive Director Anne Hankins said that a rebonding — depending on what the interest rate comes in at — would reduce the district’s annual bond payment, which is currently about $99,000. The remaining time on the bond would still be the same, with a maturity date of 2018. The Kuna Library board of trustees will meet at 5 p.m., Monday, April 30, at the library, 457 N. Locust St. At that meeting, they are expected to make a decision on whether to rebond or not, according to Hankins. In 1998, voters approved, with 78 percent of the vote, a $1.225 million construction bond to build the 12,500-square-foot Kuna Library building. The library district has an annual budget of about $730,000, with $99,000 of that going to pay off the bond. Currently, about 70 percent of the payment goes to principal, while 30 percent goes to interest, Hankins said. Interest rates for the bond have varied year to year but hover right around 5 percent. The library has grown dramatically since 1998, with 75,00 titles, around 35,000 checkouts per month and 35 regular programs. However, despite rumors to the contrary, the library does not have any plans to go out for another bond to expand the library building while the current bond is still outstanding, according to Hankins. There is a desire to expand the building, and the building was constructed so that it could be added onto on three corners, Hankins said. But there is no desire among the board members, Hankins said, to add another bond for expansion until the current bond is paid off in 2018.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Order from Kuna Domino's tomorrow to help Kuna High seniors

Eat pizza and help the Kuna High senior class. Kuna Domino’s, 1027 E. Avalon St., and the Kuna High Class of 2012 have been teaming up for a series of “Dough Nights” to help raise money for the seniors’ year-end trip to Lagoon and the all-night graduation party.
Domino’s will donate 5 percent of all sales on Wednesday, April 25.
Tell your friends, neighbors, family to buy pizza from Kuna Domino’s on this day and help raise money for the seniors.
For more information or if you would like to donate to the cause, email

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kuna school district receives $150,000 grant

een awarded $148,306 in a grant that is intended to help build 21st Century classrooms, according to the state Department of Education.
The $150,000 received in this grant will help Kuna train a core group of instructional leaders to use the state’s instructional management system called SchoolNet, according to Kuna school district administrator of information technology Devan DeLashmutt. It will also provide one-time funding for a database/programming position that will help the school district automate the processes used to update data into the SchoolNet system so that teachers will have immediate access to student data housed within the system.
As reported in the Kuna Melba News in March, the Melba school district is receiving $75,000 as part of this grant. In all, 15 school districts and public charter schools in Idaho were awarded nearly $2 million.
With this grant funding, these 15 districts and public charter schools will serve as pilots for the state’s instructional management system, which gives classroom teachers instant access to current, accurate data, dynamic digital content, and tools to develop lesson plans, share best practices, and assess and analyze student progress throughout the school year. These technology grants are funded through a donation from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, which provided $21 million in 2011 to help create the 21st century classroom in every Idaho school.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

City of Kuna looking for volunteers for Design Review Committee

Citizens of Kuna – Are you community minded? Do you want a say in the character design and your community? Here is your opportunity to volunteer for the Kuna Design Review Committee.
The city of Kuna is looking for five volunteers, preferably with a background in architecture, engineering, landscaping and business; however, welcome all members of the community to apply. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Wendy Howell or Maranda Obray in the Planning Department at 922-5274. Please submit your resume no later than June 1, 2012 by 5pm; mail to P.O. Box 13 Kuna, ID 83634 or drop off at City Hall 763 W. Avalon St.
You might recall that just before Steve Hasson left his post as planning director, he had recommended to City Council that they give the Planning & Zoning Commission design review authority and appoint the design review committee members to the Planning & Zoning Commission. I wonder if any of the current Planning & Zoning Commission members will apply for their old jobs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kuna students earn honors for Arbor Day photography

Congratulations to two Kuna students who earned honorable mentions in the second annual Look to the Forest Arbor Day Photo Contest sponsored by the Idaho Forest Products Commission.
This is the second year in a row of winning for Trisha Brinkley, a seventh-grader at Kuna Middle School.
Austin Drake, a sophomore at Kuna High, earned an honorable mention in Grades 9-12.
Nearly 150 photographs were submitted for consideration in the contest, which asked students to portray what they see when they “look to the forest.”
“We were stunned by the quality of the photographs and the thoughtfulness of the students’ statements about their photos,” said IFPC Director Betty Munis. “The photographs are simply wonderful. They reflect the many ways Idaho’s forests are sustainable and renewable.”
One grand prize winner, three division winners and 17 honorable mentions were selected by a panel of judges. Rebecca Blanscet, a senior at Parma High School, won first place in the 9-12 grade division and was also named the overall grand prize winner for her photo, Where Angels Play.
Winners will be honored at the annual state Arbor Day celebration at 10 a.m., April 27, at the state Capitol.
All photo entries can be viewed online The winning photos and other forest photos have also been turned into e-cards that can be sent from the Idaho Forest Products Commission website.
Honorable Mentions:
7th-8th Grades: Trisha Brinkley, Kuna Middle School. Teacher: Katie Law
9th-12th Grades: Austin Drake, Kuna High School. Teacher: Travis Edwards
For more information visit

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kuna Grange gets back in its building this week

April 2012 has been declared Grange Month, and the Kuna Grange is inviting community members to learn more about our purpose, our programs and activities and help us recognize the Kuna Police and Fire Departments, a Kuna schoolteacher, a Community Citizen and Granger of the Year for their contribution to our community this past year.
Our open house and award ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on April 20, at Kuna Grange, 189 S. Linder Road. All members of the community are invited. Refreshments will be served.
“For 146 years, the Grange has worked to advance the interest of rural Americans by providing a legislative voice for their political concerns and by showing them how to strengthen their neighborhoods through community service,” Kuna Grange President Don Johnson said. “During Grange Month, we want our community to know that the Grange is a living organization that has a lot to offer it.”
The Grange not only provides fun-filled and educational programs and activities for its members, it also provides them with a forum to voice their political concerns and teaches them how to strengthen their community through legislative action. The Grange is a nonpartisan organization.
In addition, the Grange gives its members the opportunity to serve their neighborhoods through community service projects that make a difference in the lives of everyone.
“Our communities are constantly changing and each of us contributes to that change in some way,” Johnson said. “Each and every person should ask themselves, ‘What changes would I like to see in my community?’ Everyone should want to make a difference in their community, and at the Grange, you can discover how to make that difference.”
To find out more about our open house and award ceremony, please contact Don or Mary Johnson at 888-3070 or e-mail at
Then, on Saturday, the public is invited to come to Kuna Grange at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21, for Game Night. This will be the first game night in the Kuna Grange hall, 189 S. Linder Road, since the building was damaged on Thanksgiving evening.
Games will be pinochle and chicken foot. Refreshments will be served. Bring your friends and come for an evening of fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Annual Kuna Clean-Up Project is happening this Saturday

The annual Kuna Clean-Up Project will take place Saturday, April 21, throughout the city of Kuna.
There will be free curbside trash removal provided by J&M Sanitation for businesses and residents (placed at curbside by 8 a.m. on April 21) within the boundaries of Hubbard Road, King Road, and Ten Mile Road and Meridian Road.
No tree limbs, brush or large wood items will be taken on Clean-Up Day this year. These items can be placed on the curb for weekly regular pick-up throughout the year. Please make sure they are bundled and no longer than 4 feet.
Televisions and computer monitors will be accepted.
Dead washers, dryers, and refrigerators (refrigerators with compressors will cost $10), as well as hazardous wastes may be dropped off in the parking lot behind Kuna City Park on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tires may also be dropped off behind the park for a charge.
In conjunction with Kuna’s Annual Clean-Up Project the drop-off site for hazardous and non-hazardous waste will provide an environmentally sound method for Kuna area residents to dispose of the such items as used oil filters, used motor oil, car and household batteries, cleaners (acid & lye), solvents, latex paint, oil base paint, anti-freeze, turpentine, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, residential refrigerators and air conditioners with compressor (2 per household: $10 each unit – No Dealers or Commercial Units).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kuna school board approves shorter Wednesdays next year

Wednesdays will be one hour shorter next year for students in the Kuna school district.
Kuna school board members last week unanimously approved next year’s school calendar that includes reducing the school day by one hour nearly every Wednesday.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will be released at 1:30 p.m., while students in grades 7 through 12 will start school at 9 a.m.
The purpose of the shorter class times is to provide teachers with more professional development and collaboration time.
Assistant superintendent Wendy Johnson said that an experiment to shorten the school day by one hour each Friday at Kuna High School proved successful this school year and has become in demand among teachers in other schools.
In a recent survey of 277 school district employees, 86.6 percent said they were in favor of increased collaboration time among teachers, one of the highest areas of agreement, Johnson said.
In addition, the district is anticipating changes due to Common Core State Standards as well as new technology from the Students Come First education reforms, and this time would help teachers handle those changes.
“The intention of this time is to give school teams time to collaborate together to plan units, lessons, instructional strategies, common assessments and review student work,” according to a survey being put out by the district seeking feedback on the calendars.
You can see more details about next year's calendar in this week's issue of the Kuna Melba News.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Next workshop on the Kuna downtown corridor is this Thursday

The next Kuna Downtown Corridor Study public workshop will be at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, April 19, at the Kuna High School Commons. A formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m.
About 60 people attended the first public workshop on Feb. 2. In addition, the Ada County Highway District hosted several advisory committee meetings and a workshop with the seniors at the Kuna Senior Center. This led to the development of 46 corridor concepts and 35 streetscape concepts for the study area. The project team narrowed down the concepts and identified a set of recommended concepts that should be carried forward for further investigation.
To assist with the project development, ACHD asked residents to participate in an online survey to identify support or lack thereof for the recommended corridor and streetscape concepts for further investigation. The project team is incorporating the results of this survey in their evaluation of these concepts and present the findings at the April 19 workshop.
If you have any questions or additional comments, contact Jeff Lowe, ACHD Project Manager, at or by phone 387-6235.
The evaluation details are presented in the “Evaluation of Initial Streetscape and Corridor Concepts” technical memorandum, which is available for review and reference at

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kuna Educator of the Year celebration is today

Les Schwab, Capital Educators Credit Union, the Kuna School District and Kuna Educational Association will be naming Kuna School District educators who deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the children of the Kuna community.
A winner from each school will be honored at the Educator of the Year Celebration event on April 16 at 3:30 in the KHS Commons.
Special thanks to the following sponsors for their generous contributions in order to make this celebration possible: Kuna Les Schwab, Reed Elementary PTA, Capital Educators, Hubbard-Teed PTO, Kuna Educational Association, Silver Trail PTA.
I have been told to expect a "funny skit" from Superintendent Jay Hummel and assistant superintendent Wendy Johnson. Bring your video cameras.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kuna event takes a trip back to the days of Christ

This sounds like a very cool event coming to Kuna this month.
First Century Ministries is a modern, nation-wide traveling ministry with full drama staging and a real craftsman shop. They present exciting and dramatic wood sculpting, a pottery wheel clay pot creation, or even a red-hot blacksmith demonstration.
But what makes it all so special is their entire stage and costumes are right out of the days of Christ and the teaching message is all about the endless and unconditional Love of Jesus. It is a highly enjoyable show for any age and for any denomination. Your attention is locked onto Wade’s highly skilled artistic hands while Jennifer narrates the story.
In their “Crown of Thorns” presentation, a cedar log is carved into a magnificent head of Christ right before your eyes. As the thorns are slowly pounded in, Wade sings in his rich baritone voice a heart-wrenching song of how they represent each of our sins. It will leave its mark on your heart never to be forgotten. Many times it has moved crowds to repentance.
Wade and Jennifer are bringing this raw biblical truth drama to Desert Streams Fellowship of Kuna. The presentation will be at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 22nd, at the Senior Citizen & Neighborhood Center, 299 Avenue B. (one block south of Main Street). The public is invited. A love offering will be taken.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kuna's 'Titanic' house is awesome

Last year, Vickey Gearring and her husband, Dan, moved from Boise to Kuna, where they bought a house that was built in 1912 — the same year the Titanic sank. And Gearring has converted the entire second floor into a museum of sorts, featuring reproductions of the three passenger rooms of the Titanic.
We start in the third-class passenger quarters, a sparse room with metal lockers and stacked cots. The second-class room is more nicely decorated but still spare compared with Molly Brown’s first-class suite, with its plush bed, period tea set and sitting area. The room is filled with striking details. On one chair lays a book, “My Lady’s Garter,” written by Jacques Futrelle, a Titanic passenger who didn’t survive the sinking. Framed pictures of boarding passes, passenger lists and tickets adorn the walls. On the bed is a facebook-like list of all the first-class passengers. There by the window is an accurate reproduction of a Titanic life jacket, which was used in James Cameron’s 1997 movie, “Titanic.” Even the bathroom has reproductions of the soap used on the ship. And there on the pedestal sink is the necklace worn by Rose, the fictionalized character in the movie.
“This is nothing, I have a whole shop filled with stuff, too,” Gearring said.

Friday, April 13, 2012

$100,000 in prize money put up for Exergy Tour bike race

Competitors in the 2012 Exergy Tour international ladies pro cycling race, taking place in Idaho May 24 – 28, will be racing for $100,000 in prize money, what is believed to be the largest payout for a five-day race in the history of ladies pro cycling, and an amount that is comparable to payouts for the men.
“One of the primary reasons we founded the Exergy Tour is to help gain notoriety and exposure for the advancement of women’s professional cycling and to encourage media, corporate sponsors, governing bodies, spectators and fans to recognize the value of women’s competitive athletics,” said James Carkulis, CEO of Exergy Development Group, title sponsor of the race. “Offering a significant payout for this race elevates the excitement to a level equal in stature to men’s pro cycling.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kuna city workers find a diamond in the roughage

Two Kuna city workers found a “substantial” diamond engagement/wedding ring set while cleaning out a sewer pipe last week.
The set was found on April 3 during routine cleaning of a sewer line in the Gold Creek subdivision, which fittingly has such street names as Forty Niner Avenue, Fools Gold Street and Nugget Street.
There is no way to tell how long the ring was in the sewer line, according to deputy city clerk Chris Engels. The set is in good shape with no substantial damage, Engels said.
City officials don’t want to disclose too much information about the ring and are asking anyone who thinks it might be their ring to call the city, 922-5546, and describe the ring in order to claim it. There is no inscription, Engels said.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

As the weather warms, our thoughts turn to — budgets

Every year, as the trees begin to bud, the days grow longer and the water enters the canals, my thoughts turn to one thing: budgets.
We are now entering one of my favorite seasons, budget season. This is the time of year when municipalities and taxing districts get to work on setting their budgets for the next year, which generally starts in the fall.
In my estimation, believe it or not, the city of Kuna really does the best job of examining its budget, disclosing it to the public and shaping its spending for the coming year. As City Council members will tell you, nearly all of the credit lies at the doorstep of city treasurer John Marsh. When he was hired in 2008, he inherited one heck of a messy tangled budget that didn’t make a lot of sense and had budgeted expenditures outpacing budgeted revenues by about $325,000. Budget workshops consisted of a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
Since then, though, the budget is presented very clearly with detailed descriptions of what certain expenditures are, the historic fluctuations of specific expenses and revenues, line item tallying of expenses and revenues, detailed explanations of why certain revenues and expenses fluctuate and proposed recommendations for the levels at which to set expenditures and revenues.
If I have one criticism it would be that the City Council members do not take adequate advantage of the budgeting process to discuss their priorities, their vision for the future of Kuna.
I have always held that the City Council wields the most power at budget time. Yes, council members pass ordinances and resolutions, set fees and hear complaints. But the most overarching impact that they have is when they set the annual budget. For the entire year, the budget determines the taxes you pay, the fees you pay, how efficiently or inefficiently the city operates and what services the city can — and cannot — offer.
Unfortunately, the budget process has been a matter of looking at what the city spent last year on a line item, assessing whether that line item will be more or less next year, then setting that line item higher or lower.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The real reason newspapers are dying

Please indulge me this week while I talk about one of my favorite topics: newspapers. A local business owner recently asked me that question that I get asked so often: “So, what do you think the future of newspapers is?”
I answered him pretty honestly. I told him my biggest concern is that people just aren’t reading news any more.
To that, he replied that he didn’t think that was the problem. He thought the problem was the Internet. People are getting all their news on the Internet instead of newspapers.
Boy, I hear that one a lot.
But let me clear up a few misconceptions.
First of all, “the Internet” isn’t some sort of company somewhere that hires reporters and editors to dig up “news” and just throws it on a website. Could you imagine? “Oh, hi, yes, this is Scott McIntosh, and I’m calling from The Internet to ask you a few questions about the political affiliation of the members of the rebellion in Syria.”
Second, “the news” doesn’t just magically appear. News stories on the Internet actually come from someone who spent time reporting that news, interviewing people, writing down their answers, translating those answers into a coherent news article that then was spell-checked and edited for accuracy and clarity by something called an editor.
Most of the time, the entity that’s supplying that news article you’re reading on the Internet comes from a newspaper. Go ahead and check it out. Pick out a story, any story and look where it came from. Keep in mind that stories from The Associated Press most often originated in a newspaper and were “picked up” by The Associated Press. Further, the majority of the funding for The Associated Press comes from newspapers so any original reporting done by the AP really should be credited to newspapers.
Keep in mind, as well, that many of these online “news” sites, such as Huffington Post really are just “scraping” the news off other sources and rewriting articles based on the reporting already done by newspapers. Keep an eye out for that, too. Look to see when an article states something, then adds, “according to an article in the Washington Post” or “the New York Times.”
OK, so what about my original argument that my biggest concern is that people just don’t read the news anymore, even — or especially — online. My local business owner friend said he gets all of his news from
So I decided to take a look at newspapers’ competition over at Yahoo. The great thing about the Internet is that it fairly represents the free market, particularly when it comes to news. The top news stories are the top news stories. They’re the stories that people are clicking on. They’re not decided by some boring, elitist guy in a newsroom deciding what he thinks is important. Nope, the Internet reflects what the people want! Power to the people!
OK, so here’s what the people want. I am NOT making this up. These are real, actual headlines on Yahoo on Thursday, March 29:
• Grisly details in teacher’s killing.
• Teen attacks on soccer field (Video!)
• J. Lo rocks a bold neon dress
• $1 million bill for baby’s birth
• 911 caller held in teen’s death
• Aiken admits plastic surgery
• Excited dog greets soldier
• Antiaging items for under $20
• ‘Titanic’ star hotter with age
• Brinkley’s ex fires back
• Barkley’s audacious outfit
• Boy falls asleep on skis
• ‘Idol’ sorry for loopy antics
• ‘Anchorman’ sequel
• Blind man ‘drives’ car
• Kid won’t take off lucky shirt
Did I mention that I am not making this up? Meanwhile, just for comparison’s sake, the Idaho Statesman the next day had stories about the GOP presidential primary, an anti-austerity strike in Spain, an update on the uprising in Syria, Apple supplier vowing to improve workers’ rights in China, the U.S. Supreme Court’s deliberations of the federal health care law, the rise in autism rates, studies showing the link between a pesticide and the decline of bee populations. That’s just the scratching of the surface.
Yes, all of those stories and more are available on the Internet for free.
The fact that those stories — reported by and funded by newspaper companies — are free is only part of the problem.
In my mind, the real problem is that even when they’re put out there for free, the American public, when given a choice, will still click on the story about Clay Aiken admitting to plastic surgery. That, to me, is the real downfall of newspapers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A couple of interesting tidbits from last month's Kuna City Council meeting

• the number of non-residential connections accounts for 2.5 percent of total connections but accounts for 10 percent of demand, Law noted.
• the number of people per household in Kuna in 1997 was 2.86. The number of people per household in Kuna today is 3.18, Law said.
• it costs $15,000 in city fees to build a house, according to Nelson, who said that was on the high end. Nelson reported that contractors are telling him the cost in Kuna is too high. To that, Law replied, “I’ve never been in a place where developers said the fees are too low.”
• the city looked at the EDU table in La Pine, Ore., where former Kuna planning director Steve Hasson went to become city manager. It was Hasson, recall, who sent letters to Kuna Mayor Greg Nelson saying the Creekside owed $36,600 for 10 additional EDU’s in Kuna. La Pine’s EDU assessment right now for a restaurant? One.
• when discussing making sure that sewer rates were adequate to fund maintenance and operations as well as future growth, council member Doug Hoiland pointed out, “we wouldn’t be in this LID mess if we had prepared for growth.”

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kuna Library spring book sale is coming up this month

I almost always make a great find when I go to the preview night of the Kuna Library book sales.
Mark your calandars for the upcoming Kuna Library spring book sale.  If you have books you would like to donate or would like to help with the book sale, contact the library, 922-1025. There will be a short meeting for Friends of the Kuna Library members at 7 p.m., on April 11, during the book sale. 
Friends Of The Kuna Library Spring 2012 Book Sale features a great selection and low, low prices. Open to everyone. For the price of a gallon of fuel, you can buy an armload of books.
Hours will be:
• Thursday, April 12, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Friday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friends of the Kuna Library members are invited to a special Preview Night on Wednesday, April 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Great history column in this week's Kuna Melba News

As usual, the history column in the Kuna Melba News offers an interesting look back at what was happening in Kuna and Melba 50 years ago. This week's installment, though, I thought was particularly interesting.
One might notice the name Joe Aman attached to an article about the Kuna High School newspaper winning an award. Joe is the current owner of Owyhee Publishing, which does our printing of the Kuna Melba News.
Another interesting story was about the Rosses, who turned 91 in 1962. I'm not positive, but I believe Ross Elementary School is named after this couple. If you can confirm or refute that, let me know.
Finally, there was an article about Oscar (Bud) Pearson heading off to Pakistan for a canal construction job.
Lots of good stuff in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunshine Preschool in Kuna is holding a Safety Expo today

Sunshine Preschool & Private Kindergarten invites the community to attend its free Safety Expo today, Saturday, March 31, anytime from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 320 Linder Ave. in Kuna.
All preschool-aged children will receive a free bike helmet custom-fitted from St. Luke’s “Kohl’s Cares” program.
There will also be safety demonstrations from local firefighters and police officers.
Please park across the street at the city park.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kuna City Council members continue to work on several new ordinances

Kuna City Council members have approved or are in the middle of approving a number of new ordinances.
• Weapons discharge ban: This ordinance prohibits the discharge of weapons within city limits under certain conditions. City Council members approved a second reading of the ordinance on March 20. The third and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for April 3, at which point it would be approved and become law.
• Solicitors and peddlers license: This ordinance sets a fee and requirements to do business in the city of Kuna as a door-to-door salesperson. City Council members approved a second reading of the ordinance on March 20. The third and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for April 3, at which point it would be approved and become law.
• Alcoholic Beverage Catering Permits: This ordinance provides for the approval or denial of an alcoholic beverage catering permit by the city clerk, rather than the City Council, after review from the sheriff’s office. City Council members on March 20 unanimously approved the third reading of the ordinance, meaning the ordinance is approved and became law.
• Irrigation Annex — Arctic Circle: Although the March 20 agenda lists this ordinance as a first reading, City Council members unanimously agreed to dispense with the full reading and three consecutive readings to approve this ordinance that annexes the Arctic Circle property from the New York Irrigation District into the Kuna Municipal Irrigation District.
• Irrigation Annex — Crimson Point Elementary: Similar to the Arctic Circle annex, City Council members approved this annexation into the Kuna Municipal Irrigation District.
• Irrigation DeAnnex — Reed Elementary: Although listed on the March 20 agenda as a first reading of this ordinance, City Council members unanimously voted to dispense with a full reading and three consecutive readings of this ordinance that de-annexes Reed Elementary School out of the Kuna Municipal Irrigation District. Reed Elementary School is not connected to the city’s irrigation system.
• Motor vehicles prohibited: Although listed on the March 20 agenda as a first reading, City Council members unanimously voted to dispense with full reading and three consecutive readings of this ordinance that prohibits motor vehicles in areas in which signs are posted prohibiting motor vehicles. This ordinance, approved and now law, is in response to incidents in which people have driven their vehicles into Sadie Creek municipal irrigation pond to go “mudding.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kuna building permits are up

Building permit revenue in the city of Kuna is up 163 percent from last year, according to city treasurer John Marsh.
Last week, Marsh provided City Council members with an update on budget numbers for the period of October 2011 (the beginning of the current fiscal year) through February 2012.
The number of single-family residential building permits in that period has more than doubled from 15 last year to 32 this year. Total building permits have gone from 56 last year to 105 this year.
The amount of revenue generated by building permits since October is $50,372.27, according to city records. The budgeted amount is $70,000 through the end of September. Since the busy months for house building have not even begun, it appears likely that the city will have much more revenue than the anticipated $70,000 in the current budget year.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kuna begins work on EDU table

Kuna City Council members held their first workshop last week in an effort to fix the city’s tangled system of assessing commercial sewer connections.
The city is trying to fix a problem in its method of assessing sewer connections that has led to wildly varying charges to businesses to hook into the city’s sewer system as well as the monthly sewer bill each business pays.
The issue arose out of a dispute last year between the city of Kuna and now-Mayor Greg Nelson, the owner of Creekside, which houses the Creekside Lounge and Peregrine Steaks & Spirits, 751 W. Fourth St.
According to the city’s “equivalent dwelling unit” table, or EDU table, the Creekside should have been assessed 12 EDU’s based on the number of seats in the bar and restaurant, rather than the two EDU’s the building was relying on.
After analyzing the building’s water usage, City Council members determined the Creekside should have been assessed four EDU’s — which is more than what the Creekside was paying for but far less than the 12 called for in the EDU table.
Similarly, an analysis of other businesses showed that their assessments were “all over the board.”
The first problem the city has to tackle is to fix the table so that the table more accurately reflects what a real assessment would be based on usage. The trouble is that when a business opens up, it’s impossible to know what the water and sewer usage will be. So there has to be some sort of standardized method of calculating an assessment — whether that be square footage, type of use, number of seats, maximum capacity or a combination of all.
To that end, city engineer Gordon Law researched several ways that sewer connections are determined in other places around the country.
He collected data from such places as “Small Flows Quarterly” (yes, there is such a publication and no, I don’t subscribe to it) and the Idaho Technical Guidance Manual.
Applying those calculations to an example in Kuna’s EDU table, Law demonstrated that a restaurant, such as the Creekside, would be assessed just about the same as what the city’s existing EDU table calls for. In other words, an assessment of 12 EDU’s for the Creekside would have been about right based on some other standard tables.
Law also looked at other entities, such as Burbank, Calif.; Coconino, Ariz.; the Arizona Administrative Code; Vancouver, Wash.; and Savannah, Ga.
An examination of those other assessments showed wildly varying ways of assessing. Some, such as Coconino and Burbank showed a similar result as Kuna’s. Others show much lower assessments.
An interesting side note: Law also looked at the EDU table in La Pine, Ore., where former Kuna planning director Steve Hasson went to become city manager. It was Hasson, recall, who sent letters to Nelson saying the Creekside owed $36,600 for 10 additional EDU’s in Kuna. La Pine’s EDU assessment right now for a restaurant? One.
In the end, City Council members directed Law to tweak the existing table to come up with more reliable and realistic numbers based on Kuna’s history of usage. Law will also have to balance that out with making sure the city’s sewer fund is adequately funded to account for maintenance and operations as well as future growth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Second free community Sunday supper will be this Sunday in Kuna

Turnout was high for the first free Kuna Community Sunday Supper at Living Hope-Kuna United Methodist Church last month. The church will be holding another Sunday Supper from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, at the church, 260 W. 4th St.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Congratulations to Kuna Middle School honors band members

Kuna Middle School has 11 students who have been selected for the Southwest Idaho Middle School Honor Band.
This is the first year for the Southwest Idaho Middle School Honor Band and Kuna is excited to provide an excellent musical opportunity for students. We know they will have an outstanding time learning new music, performing with other great middle school instrumentalists, getting to know band members from other local schools, and working with our fabulous clinician, Prof. Joseph Tornello of Boise State University.
The ensemble will have four rehearsals and give a concert on April 14 at 3 p.m. in the Caldwell High School Auditorium.
Tickets for the concert will be available for purchase at the door. Adults are $5 and students are $3. Pre-K children are free. Please invite and encourage your family and friends to attend the concert.
KMS student musicians who were selected are:
Calvin Blitman (8th) - Tuba
Ben Negomir - (8th) - Trombone
Josh Rasmussen - (8th) - Baritone
Grant Christensen (8th) - Trumpet
Daniel Brauneisen - (8th) - Clarinet
Taylor Phillips (8th) - Clarinet
Sage Cox (8th) - Flute
Reilly Christensen (8th) - Flute
Carl Healy (8th) - Percussion
Kira Lawrence - (7th) - Contra Alto Clarinet
Beca McCoy - (7th) - Oboe

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meet Kuna's new head football coach Lee Leslie Monday night

The Kuna school board last week unanimously hired Lee Leslie to be Kuna’s new head football coach. Leslie was the head coach of the late Boise Burn of the Arena Football League 2 and was most recently head coach of the Bishop Kelly football team, where he went 20-2, won a state championship in 2010 and was named Coach of the Year both seasons.
The school is hosting a meet-the-coach session at 7 p.m., Monday, March 19, at the Kuna Performing Arts Center at the high school.
This is your chance to meet Leslie and hear what his philosophy will be in Kuna.
Leslie comes to Kuna with 27 years of experience coaching football, with 17 championships and 11 coach of the year titles, including SIC 4A football coach of the year both seasons he was at BK. Leslie had a 20-2 overall record at BK, including a perfect 12-0 record in 2010.
Leslie resigned from the Bishop Kelly position in January 2011. One month later, Bishop Kelly announced the hiring of Tim Brennan, who had been BK’s head football coach for 15 seasons, from 1992 through 2006.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Couple of options for St. Patrick's Day in Kuna and Melba

Kuna American Legion Post 142 is serving corned beef and cabbage and potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, from 1:30 to 4 p.m., at the Kuna Community Hall. Beverage and dessert are included for a $5 donation. Pay at the door. Proceeds will fund the American Legion programs that assist veterans and their families.
Come on down and meet, or get re-acquainted with your local American Legion, Legion Rider and Auxiliary members! What have they done lately? Among other things, they have been helping out at the veterans home two to four times a month, playing pinochle and bingo with the vets, serving them breakfast and lunch; donating food and clothing to the Pacific Northwest Children’s Home; riding escort and standing flaglines at military homecomings and funerals and providing clothing and furniture to veterans and their families in need.
They stand for Americanism and support our troops. Please stand with them and support your Kuna Post!
Any questions please call Jae Payne at 866-4780.
Meanwhile, down in Melba, The 40th annual St. Patrick’s Dinner takes place from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, March 17, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Melba.
Dinner includes corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and dessert. Bingo will follow dinner. Cost is $10 adult, $8 for seniors 65-and-over and $8 for kids 5-12.
The great thing about this is that you don't have to choose. Go to both.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New consignment shop opens in Kuna

Here's their Business Spotlight that ran in this week's issue of the Kuna Melba News:
Business Name: Crossroads Consignment
Business owners: Letonia Hughes and CJ Pierce
Type of Business: Retail, clothing, furniture, home goods, sporting gear and more.
Business Address: 172 W. Main St., Kuna
Business phone number: 283-9011
Business hours: Tuesday-Saturday
Startup date: March 3, 2012
Reason for starting: We wanted to have a place that the community can use and enjoy in Kuna.
Why your business is special: We offer a wide selection of goods, and we offer unique items. We will have fill-a-bag-for-a-dollar sales for the community and many more things going on. At Crossroads Consignment, you will always receive friendly and helpful service.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mesa has grown a lot faster than I thought

The city of Mesa, Ariz., is a lot bigger than I thought. Thanks to Dwain Cluff, our local State Farm insurance agent in Kuna, who pointed out to me that I was way off on Mesa’s population in last week’s Editor’s Notebook. I said Mesa was 250,000 people. It’s more like 462,000. Yikes. Dwain also pointed out that Mesa has had big-box amenities for a long time, dating back to at least 1986. He ought to know. He’s from there.
In my column last week, I wrote that Mesa had only recently started getting big-box amenities. I guess I should have qualified that by saying that parts of Mesa had recently started getting big-box amenities. My mother-in-law lives on the outer edges of Mesa and has only seen in the past few years an extension of the freeway out to her part of the city along with big-box stores like Home Depot and Walmart.
But I think the point is still the same. Even in 1986, Mesa was around 200,000 people. Kuna — at population 16,000 — still has a long ways to go, in my estimation, before we start getting our own Walmarts and Targets. But next time I write about Mesa, I’ll be giving Dwain a call first.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Want to buy Kuna's Old 4th Street Gym?

The Kuna school district is taking bids on the Old 4th Street Gym.
Kuna school board members Tuesday night unanimously agreed to seek bids on the 17,000-square-foot building that dates back to 1947.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the school district will sell the building.
Depending on what offers come in, board members can decide then whether to sell.
The school district is looking for money to expand the district office building at 711 E. Porter Ave. in order to house district technology employees and to start a professional-technical program.
Preliminary plans show an 11,000-square-foot expansion of the district administration building to house more offices, storage and classroom space.
But board member Ginny Greger said Tuesday night she wants to make sure that whatever price the district receives for the Old 4th Street Gym and the 1.69 acres of land is enough to build a building — and a program — that the district wants.
The school district had the property appraised.
The Kuna Melba News filed a public records request for the appraisal, but it was denied under Idaho Code 9-340D, exempting appraisal of real property prior to its sale or lease.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

'Green Dot' is coming to Kuna and Melba schools

The Kuna and Melba school districts will be the first in the state of Idaho to implement an anti-bullying program called the “Green Dot” initiative.
In essence, Green Dot trains students to intervene in bullying, harassment and potential fighting situations.
“Kids want to do things to help,” Kuna High health teacher Tim Stanley said last week during a presentation to the Kuna school board. “But they just don’t have the modeling or the training on what to do or how to do it right.”
Green Dot is a power-based personal violence prevention program that promotes the active bystander intervention as one of its approaches to preventing certain abuses that often occur within a school’s community, such as bullying, harassment and teen dating abuse.
A grant from the Center for Healthy Teen Relationships will include:
1. The training of two teachers per year, and substitute teachers for those teachers if training takes them out of the building. The training will be provided by Green Dot certified instructors.
2. The training for groups of students and facilitators. One training will take place this spring, and two are scheduled for next fall.
3. Materials for curriculum, training and visual aides and marketing tools to launch the program.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ron Paul campaign gets a little love from Kuna

In the runup to the Super Tuesday presidential caucus in Idaho, Republican candidate Ron Paul received a couple of interesting endorsements from Kuna.
The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign issued a press release this week touting the support of Kuna resident Chad Romney, who happens to be a relative of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Chad Romney, a project manager for a local construction company, is currently phone banking on behalf of the 12-term Congressman from Texas, according to the Paul campaign. Mitt Romney and Chad Romney’s father are second cousins, according to the Paul press release.
“I support Ron Paul because he upholds the Constitution and knows the proper role of government,” Chad Romney said in a press release. “His domestic policies are the only ones out of those of the other candidates that will cut the size of the federal government and allow governing issues that are not spelled out in the Constitution to go back to state and local government. Ron Paul’s foreign policies will protect our nation by bring our troops home and not meddle in the affairs of other nations.”
In a separate announcement on Monday, a group called Idahoans for Liberty announced that former U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, of Kuna, gave his endorsement to Paul.
“Ron Paul’s is the most important voice in the 2012 Presidential race,” according to Sali in a press release. “He is the only one talking seriously about sound money and making the kinds of cuts needed to immediately balance the federal budget. As Congressman Paul Ryan has warned, we only have about 2 or 3 years left to right our federal financial ship. After that it will simply be too late to regain control. Ron Paul deserves credit for sounding the alarm many years ago.”
Sali, a Republican, represented Idaho’s 1st congressional district from 2007 to 2009. He was first elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 1990.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Idaho Fish & Game fishing trailer will be in Kuna three times this summer

Thank you, Idaho Fish & Game.
Stocked with equipment and information, Fish and Game’s fishing trailer will soon be making more than 40 appearances at local ponds across the region, promoting fishing as part of a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
The trailer will be at Sego Prairie Pond in Nicholson Park, at the end of Sego Prairie Street off Ten Mile Road, in Kuna on:
• Sunday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To learn more about the trailer, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465. More information regarding the fishing trailer will soon be available on Fish and Game’s website at
With its exterior wrapped completely with vibrant fish illustrations, the trailer is hard to miss. “The big fish and vivid colors make the trailer a kid magnet,” Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said. “That’s what we wanted, a focal point to help get a kid excited about fishing.”
But the important stuff is inside the trailer. “The idea is to bring fishing equipment and fishing expertise to what we call our ‘bicycle fisheries’ – local, neighborhood ponds,” Oneale noted. “All kids and their parents have to do is show up; we’ll get them geared up and on the water.”
“We hope our efforts will get kids excited about fishing and help build a new generation of anglers,” Oneale added.
A fishing license is not needed by any participant that registers at the trailer for the duration of the event, regardless of age or residency. “Everyone is welcome at these events, but we want to make a point of inviting kids and their parents who have an interest in fishing but lack the equipment and perhaps the knowledge to get started,” Oneale said. “The only cost is a bit of time, and the idea is to help people gain enough fishing experience and confidence to strike out on their own and enjoy fishing as a fun, family activity.”

Saturday, March 10, 2012

City of Kuna sets workshop for its "EDU table"

Kuna City Council members Tuesday night set a date for a workshop on the city’s sewer assessment chart, also known as the “equivalent dwelling unit table,” or “EDU table.”
Council members will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, just before the next council meeting.
The issue arose out of a dispute last year between the city of Kuna and now-Mayor Greg Nelson, the owner of Creekside, which houses the Creekside Lounge and Peregrine Steaks & Spirits, 751 W. Fourth St.
City records showed that at the time Creekside was built in 2005, no sewer assessment fee was paid. Rather, the building relied on sewer service based on two existing houses that were torn down to make way for the tavern and restaurant.
City officials last year determined that Creekside should have been assessed as many as 10 additional sewer and water connections based on the EDU table, which appears to have been used by the city since at least 2005. If assessed 10 additional connections, the bill would have been $36,600. In addition, the building is being assessed only two sewer connections on a monthly basis, amounting to $49.30 per month.
A consequent investigation by the city of Kuna found that commercial sewer assessments are “all over the board,” with some businesses paying for three, four, even five connections per month.
And because the businesses’ assessments are based on the EDU table, the assessments are not based on actual usage. The city’s investigation revealed that water usage had very little to do with a business’ monthly sewer bill, resulting in wide discrepancies among businesses.
City records show, for example, that one businesses using only 12,000 to 35,000 gallons of water per month is paying for five EDU’s, or $123.25, each month, while another businesses using as much as 75,000 to 134,000 gallons of water per month is paying for three EDU’s, or $73.95, each month.
Over five years, that’s a $3,000 difference in payments.
Further, it appears that the city shouldn’t be relying on the EDU table for ongoing assessments.
Kuna City Code, Title 7, chapter 6, section 3c, states, “All such connections shall be reevaluated following one full year of discharge and the connection fees and monthly user fees adjusted if appropriate.”
The city, however, has not been doing that re-evaluation, another topic of concern for City Council members.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kuna school board will meet on Tuesday, scheduled to discuss Indian Creek, Old 4th Street Gym, professional-technical program

The Kuna school board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, in the district office, 711 E. Porter Ave.
Agenda items include:
• a discussion of capital improvements at Indian Creek Elementary School
• potential sale of the Old 4th Street Gym
• update on possible professional-technical program
• a second reading of a new policy to send delinquent lunch money payments to a collections agency
• a $250,000 expenditure on the Kuna Middle School parking lot
The Kuna Melba News has posted the school board agenda on its website at

Thursday, March 8, 2012

For all you John Denver fans in Kuna: Tribute band playing at Kuna Performing Arts Center this Saturday

On Saturday, March 10, John Adams will bring his Tribute to John Denver to the Kuna Performing Arts Center in Kuna. John Adams, of Silverthorne, Colo., will perform many of John Denver’s songs live, like Sunshine On My Shoulders, Calypso, Take Me Home, Country Roads and Annie’s Song.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $12 general seating. Call the box office at 208-955-0200.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What do you think of a Bi-Mart in Kuna?

Kuna Mayor Greg Nelson told the Kuna Chamber of Commerce recently that he had reached out to Bi-Mart about the possibility of opening a store in Kuna.
At first, my eyebrows went up. Then they went down. I think they’re back up again.
Folks who have been to Emmett might know what Bi-Mart is. Bi-Mart is a discount department store that sells just about everything imaginable. Last week’s Bi-Mart newspaper advertising insert shows jeans, vacuum cleaners, LED TVs, hiking boots, shotguns and ammo, office and home furniture, kitchen appliances, hardware, cameras, camping equipment and groceries. They even have a pharmacy.
“Each Bi-Mart is stocked with over 40,000 items that are specially chosen for your Northwest lifestyle and pocketbook,” according to Bi-Mart’s website. “We take a ‘deep discount’ approach to merchandising brand name goods, striving to offer a wide selection of top quality merchandise at low everyday prices.”
Started in 1955 in Yakima, Wash., Bi-Mart now has 72 stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Bi-Mart is a membership store, and members pay a $5 lifetime family fee. In 2004, Bi-Mart was purchased by its employees and offers an employee stock ownership plan.
I would be in favor of a Bi-Mart in Kuna. Not only would it keep Kuna residents shopping in Kuna, it would also offer employment opportunities.
First of all, I think we have to face reality. Kuna will get a Wal-Mart — someday. I think it’s going to be more like 20 years down the road, though, before we get a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot, a Target. We just don’t have enough residents or rooftops for a big-box to build a store. Plus, why wouldn’t a big-box store simply build a store a little farther up the road and attract not only Kuna residents but also Meridian and Nampa residents?
I think we need only look at Mesa, Ariz., to see that this 250,000-population suburb of Phoenix only recently started getting such commercial amenities like big-box stores.
I think Kuna will get all of those things, but we’re going to end up needing to look a lot more like modern-day Mesa before we get a second look from some of these national chains.
So what to do in the meantime? Do we just wait for the next 20 years and continue to spend our dollars in Meridian, Boise and Nampa to buy a pair of blue jeans or a camera?
I don’t think so. I think it’s wise to reach out to retailers in the meantime.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kuna Boys & Girls Club proposal to go before City Council

A proposal to build a Kuna Boys & Girls Club is expected to go before the Kuna City Council tonight.
Kuna City Council will hold a public hearing during its next meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, March 6, at City Hall, 763 W. Avalon St. The public hearing will be to discuss a request from the Ada County Boys & Girls Clubs, for a rezone, a lot-line adjustment, a development agreement and a future land use map change for a site located at the east end of West Mendi Place.
Kuna Planning & Zoning Commission members on Thursday, Jan. 26, unanimously recommended approving a comprehensive plan map amendment, a rezone and a development agreement for the club, which is being proposed for a 3-acre parcel of donated land near the intersection of Mendi and Goiri streets, near Butler Park.
The proposal has met neighborhood opposition from some residents living on Goiri and Mendi streets, who have argued that the traffic impacts from the club would be too great a burden on their 1970s subdivision.
The club’s proposed site is located at the dead end of Mendi Street, and the club’s access would be Mendi, Trini and Goiri streets onto School Street and Boise Street.
The Ada County Highway District estimates the club could add as many as 373 vehicle trips per day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Free worship concert at Kuna High this Friday

A free worship concert will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. this Friday, March 9, at the Kuna Performing Arts Center at Kuna High School, 637 E. Deer Flat Road. This concert is being presented by the Kuna High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Kuna Life Church worship band.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

State receives requests from 174 schools for mobile computing devices, including Melba and Kuna

More than 170 high schools representing about 84 percent of Idaho’s high school students signed up to participate in the first one-third of schools receiving laptops in the state’s one-to-one initiative in 2013.
Under the state’s Students Come First education reform laws, the state is setting aside $9 million a year for technology in grades K-12 and mandating a one-to-one ratio of students and teachers to laptops in every public high school.
Teachers, principals and other certified staff in every high school will receive laptop devices in fall 2012 as well as a year of professional development on how to integrate this technology in the classroom curriculum. The state is funding $4 million a year in professional development.
Based on a recommendation of a statewide technology task force, the state will deploy laptop devices to high schools statewide over the next three years, beginning in fall 2013. In the 2013-2014 school year, one-third of Idaho’s high schools will be equipped with laptop devices and the necessary software, maintenance, security and support to reach a one-to-one ratio in the school. By 2015, the state will complete this one-to-one ratio in every Idaho high school.
The state will cover the costs of these devices as well as the repair, maintenance, software and security.
The Department received 99 letters of interest representing 174 high schools and nearly 68,000 students statewide. This makes up an estimated 84 percent of Idaho’s high school students, which is far more than the one-third of students the state will be able to deploy to beginning in 2013.
The Department will develop a rubric to determine which schools are most ready to benefit and should participate in the first deployment of one-to-one devices for students in 2013. The Department anticipates selecting schools by the end of the current school year.
Both Kuna and Melba school districts submitted letters requesting to be in the first wave of districts to receive the devices in 2013. Both districts submitted letters representing their main high schools as well as Initial Point High School in Kuna and the alternative high school in Melba.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chuck Monger's medals issued

U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, last week issued medals to three veterans, including the late Chuck Monger, of Kuna.
Above, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador presents the medals of the late Chuck Monger to Monger’s stepdaughter Mercy Murphy during a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Meridian City Hall.
Labrador presented the medals during a ceremony on Feb. 22, at Meridian City Hall.
He honored Rudiger Lotz for his service in the Vietnam War, as well as Monger and Wayne Joseph Bennett posthumously for their service in World War II.
Monger’s stepdaughter, Mercy Murphy, said her father early last year had asked her to pursue getting his medals. Unfortunately, he passed away Aug. 14, 2011, and Murphy’s mother, Monger’s wife, passed away Feb. 4, 2012. Since Murphy’s attempts at getting Monger’s medals did not produce results, she asked for help from Kuna VFW Post 7019, who contacted Labrador’s office.
Monger was born in Washington County, Oklahoma, Jan. 1, 1917. He married in Montana and had five children before joining the Seabees in 1942. He was always proud of his service for his country and was very involved in the VFW here in Kuna. Monger was always proud of his American Indian heritage and was a card-carrying member of the Cherokee Nation. He had two more children before marrying the love of his life, Allegra B. Monger, on Sept. 14, 1971. They were married 40 years.
Monger always did everything with a passion. His passion for the seniors earned him an award from the Attorney General for improving Idahoans’ nutrition. He had so many awards for service to his community and on one of them, The Vern Richards Award, had the engraving “Don’t worry, I will take care of it.” He was a lifetime member of Meridian Lodge #47, Scottish Rite, and El Korah Shrine. He was known as “The Can Man” of Kuna because he and Allegra collected tons of cans for years and gave all money to the Shrine Hospitals and scholarships for Kuna High School. He never tired of helping others and continued to do so up until the end of his life.
During the Feb. 22 ceremony, Labrador presented Murphy with the medals they had obtained from the government, and Dave Lyon, Kuna Post 7019 Commander, presented her with a shadow box containing the medals and awards Monger had earned.
Monger was a Carpenter’s Mate in the 146th Naval Construction Battalion. His medals included: World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin and discharge button.
“Our office works year-round to issue medals earned by Idaho’s brave men and women who sacrificed for our great nation in times of war,” Labrador said in a press release. “These are veterans of distinction who have brought honor to their country and to Idaho, and I am humbled by the opportunity to present them and their families with these medals to commemorate their valiant service.”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kuna City Council gets a little closer to a weapons discharge ban

Kuna City Council members appear to be much closer to passing a weapons discharge ordinance in city limits.
At last week’s City Council meeting, council members discussed a new revision to a proposed ordinance that seeks to make it illegal to shoot a gun off in city limits. While city attorney Richard Roats had crafted an ordinance that did that, the main sticking point was the fact that the new ordinance would have made it illegal for such folks as farmers who were shooting vermin on their property or putting down cattle with a rifle.
Council members had discussed at varying times setting limits on the size of a property or distance from a house, but those provisions only served to confuse the matter and create difficulty in enforcement.
So here’s the paragraph that Roats came up with to help resolve the issue:
“It shall be unlawful to discharge a firearm within city limits from a dwelling or vehicle or within any platted and developed subdivision or in a manner likely to cause damage to the property of another.”
Mayor Greg Nelson is “slow-tracking” ordinances, meaning they’ll get their full three readings, rather than one reading and passage. This ordinance is expected to go before the council for its first reading on March 6. It would then get another two readings before becoming law.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kuna does it again with production of Cinderella

Here we go again.
Two years ago, I was blown away by the inaugural performance at the Kuna Performing Arts Center at Kuna High School, when Kuna High put on a performance of Oklahoma. I was incredulous at the professionalism and relative lack of glitches and errors at that performance. I couldn’t believe this was a high school production.
I hate to repeat myself, but the students and staff at Kuna High have done it again, this time with the production of Cinderella, which opened last week with the first three of five performances.
My family and I went to see the Saturday matinee performance.
I daresay that this year’s production was even better. Gileann Tan’s performance as Cinderella was terrific. She is an incredible singer whose opening notes gave me goosebumps on Saturday, just as they did when I first heard her at a dress rehearsal that I sat in on a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to what I expect to be many more references to her name in these pages in the coming years. I would not be surprised at all if she were to go on to have a successful Broadway career.
As a double treat, Tan shares the stage with Kayelee Farris, as the Fairy Godmother. You might remember Farris (I know I do) as the lead in Oklahoma two years ago. I gushed about her then, and I’ll gush about her now. To have both Farris and Tan on stage singing together is a rare treat.
Austin Meredith as the prince was a pleasant surprise. He has a good, expressive face for stage, and his singing was solid. Carson Trautman was perfect as the prince’s steward, and the trio of Rebecca Seideman, Shahayla Ononaiye and Malary Trautman as the stepsisters and stepmother kept the audience rolling with laughter.
Every scene was solid, as even the smaller parts, such as the queen, played by Kayla Mannlein, and the king, played by John Durrant, were performed expertly.
Major kudos to the adults who worked on the production, including producer/director Brandi Cook; orchestra director Stephen Newton; chorus director Corrina Steinbach; choreographer Mandy Fife; mice director Amy Robinson; stage director consultant Rachel Dickerson; acting coach Matt Paxton; graphic design, make-up and set painting, Jessica Tookey; set design and construction, Nancy Link; sound and lighting consultants: Lee Glover, Denny Jaggard, Committed Events (the sound and lighting were run by students for the show. Costumes were designed by three students for their senior project: Caitlyn Decker, Kaitlyn Hansen, Liz Madson, and many in the community helped them sew; pianist Leanne Law; and Barbara Morledge and Roderick Royce volunteered their time to play viola.
Here’s the good news: You can still see the last two performances. I remember writing about Oklahoma two years ago feeling disappointed that my rave review wouldn’t help convince anyone to go see the musical, because at the time, there was only one week of performances, so the production was over by the time the newspaper came out.
This time, though, they wisely added a second week of performances. You can still see Cinderella this Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, at 7 p.m. You can purchase tickets at the high school office or online at
You won’t regret it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kuna school district seeks bids on classroom enhancement technology equipment

The Kuna school district will seek bids for Internet-connected overhead projectors and audio systems for every classroom.
Kuna school board members at their Feb. 14 meeting unanimously approved seeking bids for the equipment, which is part of a state mandate for classroom enhancement technology that’s part of the state’s new Students Come First education reform legislation.
Kuna school board members have been weighing the possibility of paying for overhead projector technology for every classroom in the school district, with the hopes that the state will eventually pay for some or all of the cost over the next five years.
As part of the state’s new Students Come First education reform legislation, one of the mandates is for every school district to establish a standard for “equitable and ubiquitous presence of technology in every instructional area.”
In response, the Kuna school district came up with a plan to install Internet-connected, ceiling-mounted projectors and classroom audio-visual systems in every classroom in the district.
The state will fund the technology over four years. The Kuna school district anticipates receiving $153,000 the first year and a total of $436,000 over the course of four years.
However, purchasing classroom projectors piecemeal over the course of five years creates problems, including diluting purchasing power. Buying everything all at once creates efficiencies, such as ensuring common technology throughout the district, ensuring fairness for all classrooms and training all teachers at once on the same technology.
So the school district has been considering “frontloading” the purchase of the technology — buying all of the units now out of money from the 2007 voter-approved school bond then receiving the technology payments from the state over four years.
There are a couple of problems with that scenario, though. While the district expects to receive $436,000 from the state over four years, school district technology director Devan DeLashmutt estimates that projectors for all classrooms could cost as much as $712,069.
Further, if the district spends $712,069 now, and in November a voter referendum on the Students Come First legislation overturns those laws — including the classroom technology money — the Kuna school district could receive no payments from the state at all to recoup the cost of the projector units.
The move school board members made Feb. 14 — going out to bid — is a baby step that does not yet tie the district’s hands. Board members can approve the bids at next month’s meeting or they can decide to not move forward, depending on how the bids come in. DeLashmutt said he would put wording in the bids to allow the board to back out after a certain amount of time has expired.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kuna school board members agree to spend $1 million on list of projects

Kuna school board members have unanimously agreed to spend $1.045 million on a list of school facilities improvements.
The money, approved at the Feb. 14 school board meeting, will come from remaining funds left in a $25.5 million school bond approved by voters in 2007.
Among the projects on the list:
• $300,000 on overhead projectors and audio systems for every classroom.
• $175,000 on refinishing the Kuna High School track.
• $120,000 on new copiers.
• $100,000 on kitchen appliances at Kuna Middle School.
• $100,000 on stucco at Teed Elementary School.
• $60,000 on roof repairs at Ross Elementary School.
• $50,000 on smoke dampeners at Kuna High School.
• $40,000 on the Teed gym air conditioning.
• $35,000 for a projector at the Kuna High School auditorium.
• $35,000 on new gym mats at Kuna High School.
• $30,000 on concrete at Ross Elementary School.
Some items remained to be discussed.
In particular, school district officials pulled out a request of $100,000 for repairs at Indian Creek Elementary School. District business manager Bryan Fletcher said that the district wanted to be as detailed and transparent as possible in bringing numbers before the school board regarding improvements at Indian Creek, Kuna’s oldest school and arguably least efficient.
District officials have said that they are interested in investing a little bit of money in the school in order to keep it open for at least the next few years.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Free Kuna community supper is tonight at Living Hope Kuna United Methodist Church

Be the guest of Living Hope Kuna United Methodist Church tonight, Sunday, Feb. 26, for the Kuna Community Sunday Supper from 4 to 7 p.m. at the church, 260 W. 4th St.
You’re invited to have dinner at the church - FREE!! Bring your family, friends, and neighbors!
For more information, visit or call 922-4745.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Major gymnastics meet will return to Kuna in March

The Meridian Academy of Gymnastics will once again host its annual “Pot of Gold” gymnastics meet in Kuna.
This event will feature up to 300 gymnasts from all around the region and beyond. This year, it will be held at the Kuna High School gymnasium on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10.
The Meridian Academy of Gymnastics Booster Club is also seeking donations in exchange for advertising in our event program. The MAG Booster Club is a 501c(3) charitable organization, and all funds go to furthering our gymnasts and also various service projects throughout our community. Please call Kristen Dallman for more information at 412-7414 or if you wish to donate.
Come out to Kuna High School on March 9 and 10 to see some awesome gymnastics.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kuna school district employees deserve accolades

Let me add my voice to the din of compliments to the Kuna school district employees who acted heroically this month. The Ada County Sheriff’s Office and the Kuna school board recognized school district employees Dawn Stephens and Cal Nebeker for their heroic actions on the morning of Feb. 2 at which a fellow school district employee was attacked by someone wielding a handgun. Stephens and Nebeker were presented with an Ada County Sheriff’s Office Challenge Coin and mug during the Feb. 14 school board meeting. Above, from left, are Kuna Police Chief Kody Aldrich, of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, school board members Ginny Greger and Jim Ford, Stephens, board member Carl Ericson, Nebeker and board members Kevin Gifford and Royleen Anderson.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is the Kuna school district ready to start sharing information with the public? It doesn't look like it

In discussing the Kuna school district's request to be among the first in the state to receive mobile computing devices, a lot of issues came up about parental controls and personal software. I think a lot of these issues could be worked out over the next year-and-a-half.
School district technology director Devan DeLashmutt said that’s it’s going to have to be community dialogue with a lot of input from the community.
Which leads me to my biggest concern: There was still no agenda for the Feb. 14 board meeting posted on the school’s website before the meeting. If you wanted to know what the school board was going to talk about and vote on, you had to go to the Post Office bulletin board or the library foyer to find out what was on the agenda. Is this the sign of a district that’s technologically ready and willing to share information with and receive feedback from taxpayers? They can’t even put the agenda online let alone post all of the associated documents.
I found it interesting that about a dozen parents from Indian Creek Elementary School attended the meeting because they feared the school board was going to vote to close the school. To the contrary, the school board is looking at investing $100,000 or more to keep the school open for another five years.
But, as I’ve always said, secrecy breeds suspicion. Without an agenda or supporting documents, what else are patrons supposed to think? They’re going to think that you’re trying to hide something, whether you are or not.
School board, get it done.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kuna school district right to request mobile computing devices in the first wave

Kuna school board member Carl Ericson said that before last week’s school board meeting he was planning on voting against requesting to be in the first wave of school districts statewide to receive mobile computing devices for students. But after further discussion, he changed his mind and was in favor of the plan.
I’m with Carl on this one. I, too, was thinking that it was only logical to wait and let the other school districts make the mistakes first, that it was wiser to wait until the technology got even better in two years. I didn’t buy the argument that if Kuna didn’t get computers first, students would leave the district for Meridian or Boise just so they could get computers.
But I think some compelling arguments were made during last week’s school board meeting.
“I’ve always believed that this is the right district to be in,” the school district’s technology director, Devan DeLashmutt, said at the meeting. “We are the right size. We have the right kind of staff, and we have the right kind of attitude to pull off an initiative like this.”
He also said Kuna very well may have the best infrastructure in the state to handle this kind of program. DeLashmutt said he plans to have a team of students help implement the program, which is still a year-and-a-half away. By using students to help implement the program, not only will Kuna be getting some free help, but Kuna students will be gaining some valuable hands-on experience that could help them get a job after school. And that’s one of the most appealing aspects for me. By involving students, Kuna will once again create another subset of students with specific interests and skills to help them go on after high school, just as Kuna has done with the STEM program and the health occupations program.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kuna City Council still working on weapons discharge ordinance

Kuna City Council members are still working on a city law that would ban shooting off guns in city limits.
A weapons discharge ordinance came back before City Council members at last week’s council meeting.
The main sticking point is banning the practice of shooting off a gun within city limits without barring the use of weapons on such large properties as farms, where owners may use guns to shoot ground squirrels or put down cattle.
The idea of limiting the ordinance to a geographic-specific area of the city was proposed, an idea supported by Kody Aldrich, the chief of the Kuna substation of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. He said setting geographic boundaries would make it easier on enforcement.
Alternately, council and city staff had been considering exempting agriculture zones or properties larger than 5 or 10 acres or setting specific distances from residences.
Council members directed city staff to come back at a later meeting with new wording in the ordinance.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Get your tickets now for Kuna's production of Cinderella

If you haven't gotten your tickets to Kuna High's production of Cinderella, you should do so soon.
Opening night for the Kuna High School production of Cinderella is quickly approaching. The first of five performances kicks off this Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a musical written for television in 1957, with music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on the fairy tale “Cinderella.” Like the fairy tale, the story concerns a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother and self-centered stepsisters and dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a princess and finds her prince.
Gileann Tan plays the lead role of Cinderella. Tan, a junior, is no stranger to the stage, having performed in several productions of the Music Theater of Idaho, including a lead role as Tuptim in “The King and I.” She has also appeared in Suessical the Musical, Annie and South Pacific.
The Fairy Godmother is being played by Kayelee Farris, whom audiences likely will remember as the memorable lead in the Kuna High production of Oklahoma two years ago.
Tan and Farris are both incredible singers, and the two of them singing onstage at the same time will no doubt impress audiences. We're going to the matinee on Saturday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kuna school district considers bold idea for professional-technical program

What started out as a discussion of what to do with the Old 4th Street Gym turned into a major proposal for a professional-technical program at Kuna High School.
Kuna schools Superintendent Jay Hummel, at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, laid out a bold initiative to build an addition onto the school district administrative office building at 711 E. Porter Ave. to accommodate new office space and classroom and lab space for a professional-technical education program.
The reason this is related to the Old 4th Street Gym is because the money to build the expansion could very well come from the sale of the historic building.
On Tuesday’s agenda, as promised, was an item to request permission to get an appraisal of the building and property, just to see what it might be worth.
School board members Tuesday night voted unanimously to seek an appraisal of the property.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today is filled with lots of things to do in Kuna

Today is actually a pretty busy day in Kuna, with lots of fun stuff to do.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Kuna Senior Center is having an open house, open to the public to come and see all the improvements to the center thanks to a $72,000 community development block grant.
From noon to 1 p.m., you can have “Pizza with the Princess,” a special lunch with the cast of Kuna High's production of Cinderella, in the Kuna High School Commons.
At 1:30 p.m., head over to Paul's Market to check out their annual 2-minute shopping spree, in which a random shopper is selected to go on a 2-minute shopping spree throughout the store, picking up as many Western Family items as they can for free.
To see some more running, head back over to the high school gymnasium for the boys basketball district tournament semifinal matchup of Kuna vs. Middleton, who split their two regular season games this year.
Lots to do in Kuna today. Take advantage of it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Looking for a Sock Hop to go to tonight in Kuna?

The Ross/Indian Creek Community Sock Hop Dance, featuring Mr. D’s band, The Fabulous Chancellors, will be 6 to 8 p.m., tonight, Friday, Feb. 17, at the Old 4th Street Gym. Come one, come all. Get dressed up in your favorite ’50s duds (not required) and dance the night away.
This is the night before an extended weekend, so your children will be able to dance till they drop and sleep in the next morning. Come enjoy the company of your children and their friends and families from school.
Take a family photo in front of a real 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Other activities will include a choir showcase, hula hoop contest, best dressed contest, snacks and of course dancing. Students must be accompanied by an adult guardian. This is a family event, not a date night.