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Posts published in “Day: May 17, 2014”

The end of the Bovill Run

idaho RANDY

When I attended the University of Idaho back in the 70s, one of the semi-illicit student activities was something called the Bovill Run.

It was a typically stupid college-kid drinking challenge. The idea was that a carload of kids would cruise east to Troy, consume drinks at a local drinking establishment, head further east and stop at Deary and Helmer, and northeast to Bovill, rinsing and repeating at each location, then on northerly to Princeton and Potlatch, and any other alcohol purveyors in eastern Latah County, on the way back to Moscow. Left unclear was whether continued drinking at Moscow establishments constituted part of the challenge but, supposedly, the number of drinking places visited numbered around twenty.

I've been told that the Bovill Run was abandoned some years back. That certainly would have been a good thing.

There may be a dark echo to that in the closure of many of the small-town businesses – bars among them – in many of these small resource-industry communities. Not, of course, that the “run” was any sort of significant economic driver, but in the fact that the economy in these communities has fallen to the point that the escapade isn't even doable now.

The thought was prompted by a story last week in the Lewiston Tribune about the Idaho Foodbank's mobile pantry, which includes Bovill among its stops. It operates out of a central office at Lewiston.
Most people in larger communities wouldn't spend much thought on the arrival of a pickup truck hauling a trailer containing food. In Bovill, it's a big deal. The last of the long-vaunted bars in the small timber community closed six months ago, and that had been the last place in Bovill where residents could buy basic foods and supplies.

The pastor at the local Presbyterian Church was quoted as saying, “I don't think you can over-estimate the importance of the mobile pantry coming to this community.”

Once a hot timber town with a fine hotel and even an opera house, Bovill became so lively a century ago that its namesake Hugh Bovill reportedly quit it with his family for quieter environs. The decades since have not been kind. Bovill is a lot like many small towns in Idaho, and beyond. Its population estimated at 305 at the century's turn was down to 265 in 2010.

The trend line is not good. Nor has it been good for many of the other small rural communities in the area. (more…)

On the front pages


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)

How the candidates spend their cash (Boise Statesman)
Table Rock burger closes, new burger opens (Boise Statesman)
Ammon, IF at odds on Hitt Road (IF Post Register)
GOP governor debate hits national (IF Post Register, TF Times News)
Lewiston council member on discrimination (Lewiston Tribune)
Gay marriage backers rally (Lewiston Tribune, moscow News)
Washington candidate filing wraps (Moscow News)
CSI graduation day hits (TF Times News)

Eugene school budget improves (Eugene Register Guard)
Gay marriage ruling planned Monday (Eugene Register Guard)
Evaluating threats to Klamath tribe leaders (KF Herald & News)
Rover company might add jobs in SW OR (KF Herald & News)
Ashland may lose plaza kiosk (KF Herald & News)
Planning on high election turnout (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Callahan's lodge may sell (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
GOP in Umatilla scrambles to fill slots (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Oil traain firms claim need for secret routes (Portland Oregonian)
Wehby stalking story threatens candidacy (Portland Oregonian)
Courts allow ban on overnight statehouse protest (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oso mapping funds requested (Everett Herald)
Boeing and charges of unfair negotiating (Everett Herald)
Gregoire and cigarette tax measure (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Contest for Cowlitz prosecutor (Longview News)
Congress may ok small-port dredge funds (Longview News)
Army cuts copter squadron at JB Lewis (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Olympia 'mistake by the lake' may be redeveloped (Olympian)
Constantine proposed new ride-share regs (Seattle Times)
Idaho gay marriage rally (Spokane Spokesman)
Application of weed control tax debated (Spokane Spokesman)
Libertarians seek ballot status (Tacoma News Tribune)
Vancouver considers rules on oil terminal (Vancouver Columbian)
Controlled burns in Naches district (Yakima Herald Republic)