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.