Back in Print! Four-term Senator Frank Church was one of the leading figures in the sweep of Idaho, and one of the most important U.S. senators of the last century. From developing wilderness areas to opposition to the Vietnam War to investigating the CIA, Church led on a host of difficult issues. This, the one serious biography of Church, originally published in 1994, has been brought back into print by Ridenbaugh Press.
Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church. LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 800 pages. Softcover. $24.95.
See the FIGHTING THE ODDS page.


 

Jul 31 2014

The new press secretary

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

“WHAT? Dan Popkey is going to work for Raul Labrador?”

That was the typical reaction when Popkey, the face of the Idaho Statesman, announced that he was leaving to accept the position as Labrador’s press secretary. Popkey, the most talented political writer in the state, will now be in charge of defending Labrador’s tea party positions and organizing photo-ops with the likes of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

The move seems strange, given the fact that Labrador seemingly has gone through more press secretaries than toilet paper in his four years in office. But I can understand Popkey’s thinking. At 55, he was stuck in a high-stress job that was going nowhere.

I’ve seen him tied up in knots, and that’s hell on a person’s blood pressure over time. I’ve seen him at meaningless governor’s photo-op ceremonies, just so he could ask Otter one question without going through the spin doctors. He’s working in an environment that it common to so many newspapers, where layoffs and unpaid furloughs are a way of life. Just about everybody who works for a newspaper these days – any newspaper – is being asked to do more with fewer resources, and Popkey was no exception.

With Labrador, Popkey can work at a more manageable pace and have a better sense of job security. There’s always a chance that Labrador will run for the Senate, or governor’s office, but my guess is he won’t go for those unless he’s sure he can win. In the meantime, Labrador has a safe seat and the national media loves him. He could stay in Congress for as long as Popkey wants to work.

“It’s bittersweet to leave journalism, my first love, but I’m thrilled with the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned to help advance our state’s priorities in Washington,” Popkey said in a statement.

Actually, it won’t work that way at all. Popkey’s job – in fact, his only job – is to serve a congressman who has a strong will, even stronger convictions and an ego the size of Texas. This is no criticism of Labrador. From the beginning, he has known where he is going and how to get there. Continue Reading »

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Jul 31 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Rapid decline among aspen trees (IF Post Register)
IF council, mayor at odds over budget (IF Post Register)
Port of Lewiston not expecting coal shipments (Lewiston Tribune)
Corrections dials down complaints with CCA (Lewiston Tribune)
Canyon Co animal shelter policies questioned (Nampa Press Tribune)
Canyon jail labor detail work halted (Nampa Press Tribune)
Dick’s sporting goods coming to Twin Falls (TF Times News)
Considering wolf control on conservation lands (TF Times News)

Whole Foods finally comes to Eugene (Eugene Register Guard)
Visions develop for EWEB riverside site (Eugene Register Guard)
Debating how much money legal pot could make (KF Herald & News)
New wildfires erupt (Medford Tribune)
Improving picture at PERS balance sheet (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Smart speed limit signs on urban freeway (Portland Oregonian)
Criminal defense lawyers for former Cover Oregon (Portland Oregonian)

Ferry breakdown still unexplained (Bremerton Sun)
Manchester project may still be blocked (Bremerton Sun)
Corporate ownership of Kitsap Sun changes (Bremerton Sun)
Courthouse planning group changes (Everett Herald)
Hot summer has helps area crops (Kennewick Herald)
DOE plan hoped to help groundwater contamination (Kennewick Herald)
Backers of PUD recall have to pay legal costs (Longview News)
Boeing will build Dreamline in South Carolina (Longview News)
Seattle VA wait times were manipulated (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Pam Roach in hot primary contest (Seattle Times)
Tacoma pot store to open this week (Tacoma News Tribune)

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Jul 30 2014

On the dark side

frazier DAVID
FRAZIER

 
Boise
Guardian

Just yesterday a group of political has-beens and news junkies were chatting over coffee bemoaning the state of local journalism.

“Popkey still has some pretty good sources. He is pretty much the go-to-guy at the Statesman if you want something printed,” said one of the old-time news guys. He added, “He has a list of stories to write, so he is never out of material.”

Well…so much for that! Dan Popkey has fled the sinking news ship fleet and like most of his fellow sailors, he will begin slurping at the public trough (of U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador) where the rations are much richer than the private sector. Popkey, 55, has spent most of his adult life at the Statesman, nearly 30 years.

We wish him well and offer a heartfelt “thanks” for exposing so many inside stories about Idaho politicos while covering Idaho politics. It saddens us to think he is now one of them. Not a real surprise since most of the AP staffers and former Statesman capitol writers have ended up sucking the government teat.

Since the first of the year we have seen the Associated Press lose Todd Dvorak to the Idaho Attorney General PR machine, fellow AP staffer John Miller left the country to do PR work in Switzerland, and now Popkey has joined the darling of TV’s Meet The PRess, Rep. Raul Labrador.

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Jul 30 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Court says Peterson’s out, party will meet (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Boise business BookLamp bought by Apple (Boise Statesman)
Reduced number of sex crimes reported in Idaho (IF Post Register)
Lewiston port gets fiber optic line (Lewiton Tribune)
Nampa building ramps up, almost doubling 2013 (Nampa Press Tribune)
Big growth at Greenleaf Friends Academy (Nampa Press Tribune)
Blackfoot mayor mulls covering expenses (Pocatello Journal)
Court backs Blaine in records denial to CNN (TF Times News)
State land managers seeking policy input (TF Times News)

Eye testing now required in Oregon schools (Eugene Register Guard)
Salmon hit by drought conditions (KF Herald & News)
Muslin charity pleads guilty on tax charges (Ashland Tidings)
Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings launch new web site (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Two Medford council veterans depart (Medford Tribune)
Hermiston charter may revise office terms (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Delegation seeks funds for Columbian cleanup (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Review of east Portland’s political weakness (Portland Oregonian)

Kitsap prosecutor race draws varying support (Bremerton Sun)
Some logging planned in central Kitsap park (Bremerton Sun)
Park and ride planned for Mukilteo (Everett Herald)
Cowlitz, Wahkiakum end pot business bans (Longview News)
New park developing in western Olympia (Olympian)
First pot business approved for Olympia (Olympian)
Olypnia Natl Park chalet moved away from river (Port Angeles News)
Windfall in Sequim sewage fund (Port Angeles News)
Amgen, Puget’s largest biotech firm, to close (Seattle Times)
Top Seattle health leader quits (Seattle Times)
Tacoma citizen group okays Amtrak plan (Tacoma News Tribune)
Pierce Council writes ‘In God We Trust’ on wall (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark Co voters will vote on bridge in November (Vancouver Columbian)
Legislator home burglary points up phone law need (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 29 2014

Idaho Falls tea leaves

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

In politics there are rarely coincidences. Additionally, sometimes an event occurs which one can read much more into than just the surface appearance. It becomes a telltale indicator of something more significant than one at first glance would think.

One of these “more than meet the eyes” events happened in Idaho Falls on the evening of the 4th of July and went largely unnoticed by what Texas Senator and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz calls the “chattering class”—the political pundits and commentators.

Multi-millionaire and Melaleuca founder Frank Vandersloot sponsors a well attended 4th of July fireworks show. Its his way of showing his patriotism as well as his appreciation for “the shining city on the hill” as Ronald Reagan so eloquently once put it when describing the still greatest country on the earth.

Vandersloot is justly proud of this event and he often has a special guest. His guest this year not surprisingly was an Idaho gubernatorial candidate. What was surprising was that the guest was neither Tea Party endorsed State Senator Russ Fulcher nor was it incumbent Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. It was none other than the Democratic nominee, Boise businessman A.J. Bulakoff.

The “chattering class” as well as the general voting public ought to sit up and take notice for this could portend more than Vandersloot just covering himself in case Bulakoff pulls off the upset. It could signal that the traditional Republican Latter Day Saint vote is starting a seismic shift away from the incumbent governor.

There is no question that most LDS voters mark their ballots for the Republican candidates, and in the past some Democratic strategists have made the mistake of assuming that Mormon voters would go for a Mormon Democrat in good standing over a non-Mormon Republican.

Otter himself disproved this gambit four years ago in dispatching Mormon gubernatorial nominee Keith Allred, as did then Boise Mayor Dirk Kempthorne when he won a race for a U.S. Senate seat by defeating Second District Congressman Richard Stallings.

A. J. Bulakoff though just may be an exception to this general rule that LDS voters vote party first and their religion second. While he is smart enough not to wear his religion on his sleeve, nor ever even to make a pitch to voters based on a common held set of beliefs, it is well known among the LDS community that he is a Saint in good standing, has the so-called “temple pass,” is a graduate of the “Y” (Brigham Young University in Provo), has a large and loving family, and is happily maried to Susie Skaggs, one of the heirs to the Skaggs Drugstore chain.

Additionally, A.J. is a largely self-made multi-millionaire who, like Vandersloot, has enjoyed considerable success in the business world.
Vandersloot is nobody’s fool and has adroitly played the political game for years. He recognizes that public policy is all about politics, whether local, state, or national. Thus, he takes an interest in races from local judgeships to presidential elections. Continue Reading »

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Jul 29 2014

As an example

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

Don’t look at me to handicap the Miss America Pageant in September. I do a lousy enough job picking winners of sporting events and political elections and I can’t remember the last time I saw a Miss America Pageant.

I will make an exception this year and make a point to watch the competition on television on Sept. 14. And I will go out on a limb and say that Miss Idaho, Sierra Anne Sandison of Twin Falls, has a decent shot at winning. No, she does not hail from the South, or Midwest, which produce long lines of past winners. A Miss Idaho has never won. But Sierra has something that few others have – a compelling story. And all she had to do was walk on stage during the swimsuit competition of the Miss Idaho Pageant with an insulin pump attached to her side.

BOOM! The social media exploded with a photo of this gorgeous 20-year-old woman confidently walking with her beautiful smile and perfect body. Her insulin pump suddenly became a fashion statement and she has encouraged others to “Show Your Pump.” Sierra has become an inspiration to 26 million people living in the United States who have diabetes and the nearly 80 million people who have pre-diabetes. She is proof that diabetes can be managed, the harmful effects can be reversed and diabetes does not stop people from living their dreams. The late Ron Santo, a Hall of Fame baseball player, had the disease and Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler has it.

I, too, am living proof that diabetes is manageable – although I’m no match to Sierra in terms of beauty, grace and charm. Better management has allowed me to overcome blindness and open-heart surgery and keep a mild case of kidney disease in check. I’m 64 years old and never felt better. 
I enjoy hearing stories about people overcoming obstacles such as diabetes, so I was bowled over by Sierra’s story about winning the Miss Idaho Pageant and I’m sure many other people were, too. Continue Reading »

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Jul 29 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Idaho 16 extension opens August 15 (Boise Statesman)
Idaho Power, others moving into solar power (Boise Statesman)
Clarkston chief may be Asotin interim sheriff (Lewiston Tribune)
Ringo calls for raising the minimum wage (Lewiston Tribune)
Boise Co-op opens Nampa location (Nampa Press Tribune)
NNU library to open in October (Nampa Press Tribune)
Departments in Canyon County seek expansions (Nampa Press Tribune)
Research accelerators okayed for ISU (Pocatello Journal)

New fires after Beatty’s contained (KF Herald & News)
Eugene council okays rule on sick leave (Eugene Register Guard)
Mt Ashland regroups after ‘disastrous’ winter (Medford Tribune)
Ashland home prices rising (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton library struggles with budget (Pendleton E Oregonian)
$100 million gift sent to OHSU cancer center (Portland Oregonian)
Medicaid expansion hasn’t expanded doctors (Portland Oregonian)
PERS finances reported on stabler ground (Salem Statesman Journal)

Shellfish at Port Gamble found clean (Bremerton Sun)
Bethel Junction, Port Orchard, shopping center sold (Bremerton Sun)
Legislator considers bill to let police ping (Everett Herald)
Being employment falls by 20k since 90s (Everett Herald)
Boardman coal power plant use in decline (Kennewick Herald)
Protesters target animal rules in Forks (Port Angeles News)
Unified business group may fall apart (Port Angeles News)
Is there board-staff conflict at Seattle schools? (Seattle Times)
Will Spokane’s new downtown hotel draw? (Spokane Spokesman)
Riverfront bond issue at Spokane hits ballot (Spokane Spokesman)
Why is ‘In God We Trust’ on Pierce agenda? (Tacoma News Tribune)
Little Vancouver backing for new bridge plan (Vancouver Columbian)
Pot smoking tent illegal but shutdown unlikely (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 28 2014

In this week’s Briefings

tolo bridge
 

Spanning Interstate 5 north of Central Point, the 58-year old Tolo Road Bridge (milepost 36) will undergo repairs, which requires a six-week closure to traffic beginning Monday, July 28. Local traffic will use Willow Springs Road as a detour. The Tolo Road Bridge is being repaired to extend its life and prevent it from being load-limited. The Tolo Road Bridge rehabilitation is part of the same project that is repaving I-5 from Rock Point (exit 43) to Evans Creek (MP 49). Knife River of Central Point is the prime contractor. . (photo/Department of Transportation)

 
Check out this week’s list of wildfires around Oregon – a list nearly as long as the list of wildfires all across the country. The saving grace is that none of them were of the enormous size (none anywhere close to as large as Washington’s Carlton Complex) but they add up to a lot.
Fire was an even bigger story in Washington, where the Carlton Complex turned into the biggest single fire in the state’s history.
And fire season still is early.

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Jul 28 2014

The drones of TVW

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Washington

TVW is one of Washington’s marvels – the closest equivalent to CSPAN the Northwest has.
CSPAN is so rigorously neutral that it could be taken for a government operation, although it – like TVW – is actually a nonprofit that simply watches government very closely, televising legislative hearings, official events, interview programs and so on.
That it isn’t actually a part of government comes up every so often, such as when it sought to stream action on the floor of Congress (there was a dustup over that). And now TVW has a dustup of a structurally related sort.
Earlier this year the Washington Legislature tried to get a handle on regulating the use of drones in Washington air space, specifically restricting their use by government agencies. Governor Jay Inslee vetoed the measure, apparently less out of broad philosophical disagreement but because he wanted an independent group, a task force, to take a run at it. In the meantime he issued an order to state agencies: No drones for now.
TVW has latched on to the subject and wanted to do a program about drone policy. That wasn’t a problem, but this was: It wanted to launch a drone and send it around the statehouse, maybe to give a sense of what they’re like and what they’re capable of. An Olympian article said that after reporter Christina Salerno, a state Department of Enterprise Services official responded, “While we can appreciate your desire to fly a quadcopter—a drone—around the Capitol Building and the campus, we are denying your request. The reasons include our concern that the use of this device for filming the campus may violate the privacy of tenants and visitors as well as posing an unnecessary public safety risk for those who may be below its flight path. Additionally, we believe this activity could unreasonably disrupt normal conduct of state business.”
For now, that can be attributed simply to wariness, and uncertainty about the implications of seemingly small current actions. But as policies get hammered out in the months and years to come, we may be seeing a lot more drones and a lot more requests that may be harder to comfortably deny. And from organizations not nearly as normally plugged in as TVW.

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Jul 28 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Boise airport plans eatery replacement (Boise Statesman)
Tribes pushing for return of salmon (Boise Statesman)
Board of Education newcomers cite goals (Nampa Press Tribune)
CSI plans expansion in Jerome (TF Times News)
Reviewing work of Office of Performance Evaluations (TF Times News)

Looking at new UO chemistry, physics cluster (Eugene Register Guard)
Safeway, Albertsons merger okayed by shareholders (Ashland Tidings)
Home prices rising at Ashland (Ashland Tidings)
More hot weather coming at Medford (Medford Tribune)
Fast jets deployed in fire fighting (Portland Oregonian)
Salem council to review Howard Hall again (Salem Statesman Journal)

Kitsap may see labor shortage (Bremerton Sun)
Shonomish Co union gets benefits settlement from county (Everett Herald)
Washington rare in No Child waiver rejection (Kennewick Herald)
Another Columbia bridge plan released (Longview News)
Increase in homeless on Olympic peninsula (Port Angeles News)
Debating possible med school at WSU (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell dies (Seattle Times)
Spokane Transit okays longer trolley line (Spokane Spokesman)
Firefighting in WA so far has cost $50m (Spokane Spokesman, Vancouver Columbian)
Vancouver restaurant plans to be pot-friendly (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 27 2014

Vic Atiyeh, and another governor

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Oregon

During the late 70s and early 80s I was covering politics in Idaho, not Oregon, so the governor I was watching at close range was not Vic Atiyeh but rather John Evans.

Both of them died this month.

And the comparisons between the two, as I thought about it, became eerily extensive.

They were mirror images of opposing parties. Atiyeh was a Republican who had to deal with strongly Democratic legislatures; Evans a Democrat who had to deal with strongly Republican legislatures.

Both grew up working in the family business (ranching and banking for Evans, a rug store for Atiyeh) and each expanded them substantially as an adult and after serving as governor.

Both were elected governor twice, in 1978 and 1982. In their re-election campaigns, each defeated a candidate of the opposing party who would go on to be elected governor later (Ted Kulongoski in Oregon, Phil Batt in Idaho). Each had run for office statewide once before serving as governor, but each also had an extensive state legislative resume. Neither ran for office again after leaving the governorship. (Evans ran for the Senate in 1986, but he was still governor.)

They even shared a name: Victor Atiyeh and John Victor Evans.

They were governor of their states during economic hard times, and focused (in different ways) on business recovery. As personalities, though serving as governor, both were often overshadowed in the public by other political figures of their own party (Atiyeh by Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield, Evans by Frank Church and Cecil Andrus), though that related more to charisma than to capability.

They had a lot in common as people, too. They were friendly and accessible – notably so, this being a quality appreciated more in hindsight than at the time. If they were a little short on charisma that may relate to a preference to stick to the job, to work for the state and to maintain a sense of humility under circumstances where that can be challenging.

I can’t say for sure whether Atiyeh and Evans liked each other. But I have a hard time thinking that they didn’t. For good reason.

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Jul 27 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Republican moderate PAC formed (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register)
Stanley searches for life in winter (Boise Statesman)
Considering the black market in liquor licenses (IF Post Register, Lewiston Tribune)
Macy’s closes at Katcher, others continue (Nampa Press Tribune)
Opinions vary on Knievel-type canyon jump (TF Times News)

Rural people fight Springfield industrial area (Eugene Register Guard)
Much more cleanup needed after mill fire (Eugene Register Guard)
Beatty fire quickly contained (KF Herald & News)
A look inside Oregon’s prisons (Portland Oregonian)
Churches clarify stands on same sex marriage (Salem Statesman Journal)

More women joining submarine crews (Bremerton Sun)
County commissioner challenged by three (Longview News)
Oil trains pressing grain shipments (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Can pot smell be enough for a cop search? (Spokane Spokesman)
Finding housing for homeless people (Vancouver Columbian)
Wildfires continue roar despite rain (Vancouver Columbian)
Medicaid dental payments kept very low (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Jul 26 2014

“Why, Daddy, why?”

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

When Dad got tired trying to answer my childish questions of “why” to nearly any new, youthful encounter, his standard response became “You’ll know when you’re older.” Being a trusting kid, I blindly accepted his promise of future knowledge.

Dad’s gone now. And, after my nearly four score years experience, it pains my soul to say it – he was wrong. At least so far as being able to comprehend by knowing the answers to my continued queries of “why.” If his advanced age during my growth years truly gave him understanding of hard-to-understand situations, he was really quite an extraordinary man because my added years haven’t always helped me all that much. On the other hand, maybe some things happening now beyond my ability to grasp are far more complicated and I’m just not up to the task.

Here’s one.

Why would leaders of the National Republican Party – and their elected offspring – formally adopt a position of banishing access to health care for millions of voters and their families? Even want to go to court over it? What sane reason could there be to take away life-changing and even life-saving medical care from adults and kids who now have it – many for the first time in their entire lives? Why would a political party take a position to disenfranchise Americans needing what should be considered one of those “unalienable rights?” “Why, Daddy, why?”

Here’s another. Why will both parties in our national Congress – after endless bloviating about the problem of tens of thousands of children flooding into this country seeking personal refuge and safety – why will those Washington folk go home and not do anything to deal politically or humanely with the situation? Why are they walking away?

Human-being-by-human-being, we have an entirely non-political and extremely human tragedy on our hands. Children from South American countries being used as pawns. Children with absolutely no voice in the matter being pushed and/or dragged into this country with promises of a better life. Or their parents are being threatened with death if they don’t blindly ship their kids off unaccompanied into a trip of thousands of miles filled with all sorts of life-threatening dangers.

And the Congress, from which all resources must come, is going to quit without undertaking a single effort to ease this human tragedy. Why?

And more “whys.”

Why would the governor of Texas call up the Texas National Guard to stand along that border? Why send a guardsman with tank and a rifle to face an eight-year-old child trying to surrender? Why use uniformed – and heavily armed – Texas fathers and mothers to face this flood of young humanity and what are they expected to do? Why uproot members of the Guard – trained in dealing with ecological and natural disasters, equipped to deal with armed foes in other countries but not trained in dealing with the needs of children who don’t understand what’s happening to them and who probably don’t speak English – why send the military and their weapons to deal with kids needing food, shelter and some sense of security? Why? Continue Reading »

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Jul 26 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Idaho health insurance exchange data shift (Boise Statesman)
Idaho would see effects of Ex-Im closure (IF Post Register)
IF airport asking long wait times (IF Post Register)
Court blocks Nez Perce-Clearwater timber sale (Lewiston Tribune)
300 houses burn in WA Carlton complex (Lewiston Tribune)
Divided views on where to put Canyon fair (Nampa Press Tribune)
Immigrant children sent to Idaho (Nampa Press Tribune)
Pocatello council wants end to external paving (Pocatello Journal)
Work on Yellowstone Avenue again underway (Pocatello Journal)
Viewing the White Cloud debate from the air (TF Times News)

Eugene pushes ahead on mandatory sick leave (Eugene Register Guard)
Hotel owner buys Eugene Schaefer building (Eugene Register Guard)
Beatty fire threatens structures (KF Herald & News)
Pups from OR-7 doing well (Ashland Tidings)
Suspect caught in major Medford arson string (Medford Tribune)
Cover Oregon board considers what’s next (Portland Oregonian)
State reviewing oil trains in state (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Review of upcoming ballot measures (Salem Statesman Journal)

Kitsap, King ocnsider foot ferry options (Bremerton Sun)
Lawsuit over collection company tactics (Bremerton Sun)
Bainbridge fire officials back off bond plan (Bremerton Sun)
Commission will review Oso mudslide (Everett Herald)
Negotiations continue with longshoremen (Everett Herald)
Carlton complex fire wipes out 300 houses (Seattle Times, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Longview News)
New monorail plan coming on November ballot (Seattle Times)
Design work done on 3rd Columbia bridge (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 25 2014

Big news

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

Annually, newspapers around the country list the top local and regional news stories of the year, lists often begging the difference between “big news” and “actually important.” Sometimes the two overlap; often, they don’t.

The Idaho Statesman at Boise, on occasion of its 150th anniversary since its first edition, has this year run a series of articles about the top stories in its pages during that century and a half. They’ve been good reading, useful for anyone who wants to understand a little more about the sweep of Idaho history. They only occasionally reflect what was perceived as big news at the time.

Mostly, you can’t blame the paper for that. One article for example was about the opening of the first store Joe Albertson launched, at Boise, in 1939. Back in the day it made the paper in a brief notice on page 21 (about what the opening of a new grocery store might, were it lucky, get today). Who could have known what would blossom, decades later, from that one little store?

It’s an example of why newspapers offer just a first draft of history; time makes many events look different in hindsight.

Or sometimes not, at least to many people. Last week the Statesman was promoting selections, made by its readers (not the editors), of choices for the biggest story in Idaho’s (or, the Statesman’s) history, and released the identity of the final four.

One, dating to 1890, is understandable both as an event and as a matter of significance: The achievement of statehood. Not a terrible choice; if you bundle that in with adoption of the state constitution (though I wouldn’t), it was both a big deal at the time, much debated and much written about, and still significant with the passage of time.

Here are the other three:

The Teton Dam collapse in 1976.

The opening of the Boise Latter Day Saints temple in 1984.

Boise State University’s win in the 2007 Fiesta bowl.

Really? True, they all generated big Statesman headlines at the time. But did any of them fundamentally change Idaho? The Teton Dam did great local damage, but repairs happened quickly, and the reverberations have been subtle. The opening of the Boise LDS temple was personally significant to the local church faithful, but it had little effect on others. And a Boise State football victory? Really? Continue Reading »

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Two bulls fire near Bend, and defensible space.

 

JOURNEY WEST

by Stephen Hartgen
The personal story of the well-known editor, publisher and state legislator's travel west from Maine to Idaho. A well-written account for anyone interested in Idaho, journalism or politics.
JOURNEY WEST: A memoir of journalism and politics, by Stephen Hartgen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, here or at Amazon.com (softcover)

 

 

NEW EDITIONS is the story of the Northwest's 226 general-circulation newspapers and where your newspaper is headed.
New Editions: The Northwest's Newspapers as They Were, Are and Will Be. Steve Bagwell and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 324 pages. Softcover. (e-book ahead). $16.95.
See the NEW EDITIONS page.

How many copies?

 
THE OREGON POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

The Field Guide is the reference for the year on Oregon politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Compiled by a long-time Northwest political writer and a Salem Statesman-Journal political reporter.
OREGON POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Hannah Hoffman; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
THE IDAHO POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase is the reference for the year on Idaho Politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Written by two of Idaho's most veteran politcal observers.
IDAHO POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
without compromise
WITHOUT COMPROMISE is the story of the Idaho State Police, from barely-functioning motor vehicles and hardly-there roads to computer and biotechnology. Kelly Kast has spent years researching the history and interviewing scores of current and former state police, and has emerged with a detailed and engrossing story of Idaho.
WITHOUT COMPROMISE page.

 

Diamondfield
How many copies?
The Old West saw few murder trials more spectacular or misunderstood than of "Diamondfield" Jack Davis. After years of brushes with the noose, Davis was pardoned - though many continued to believe him guilty. Max Black has spent years researching the Diamondfield saga and found startling new evidence never before uncovered - including the weapon and one of the bullets involved in the crime, and important documents - and now sets out the definitive story. Here too is Black's story - how he found key elements, presumed lost forever, of a fabulous Old West story.
See the DIAMONDFIELD page for more.
 

Medimont Reflections Chris Carlson's Medimont Reflections is a followup on his biography of former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus. This one expands the view, bringing in Carlson's take on Idaho politics, the Northwest energy planning council, environmental issues and much more. The Idaho Statesman: "a pull-back-the-curtain account of his 40 years as a player in public life in Idaho." Available here: $15.95 plus shipping.
See the Medimont Reflections page  
 
Idaho 100 NOW IN KINDLE
 
Idaho 100, about the 100 most influential people ever in Idaho, by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson is now available. This is the book about to become the talk of the state - who really made Idaho the way it is? NOW AN E-BOOK AVAILABLE THROUGH KINDLE for just $2.99. Or, only $15.95 plus shipping.
 

Idaho 100 by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson. Order the Kindle at Amazon.com. For the print edition, order here or at Amazon.


 

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    watergates

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Randy Stapilus

    Water rights and water wars: They’re not just a western movie any more. The Water Gates reviews water supplies, uses and rights to use water in all 50 states.242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    intermediary

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Lin Tull Cannell

    At a time when Americans were only exploring what are now western states, William Craig tried to broker peace between native Nez Perces and newcomers from the East. 15 years in the making, this is one of the most dramatic stories of early Northwest history. 242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    Upstream

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    The Snake River Basin Adjudication is one of the largest water adjudications the United States has ever seen, and it may be the most successful. Here's how it happened, from the pages of the SRBA Digest, for 16 years the independent source.

    Paradox Politics

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    After 21 years, a 2nd edition. If you're interested in Idaho politics and never read the original, now's the time. If you've read the original, here's view from now.


    Governing Idaho:
    Politics, People and Power

    by James Weatherby
    and Randy Stapilus
    Caxton Press
    order here

    Outlaw Tales
    of Idaho

    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    It Happened in Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    Camping Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here