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citydesk (4/28/09)

Boise newsprint and gay Republicans

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Boise Inc. shelving newsprint maker

Boise Inc., the company, not the city, announced recently that it was shutting down half of its newsprint making capacity at a plant in Deridder, La. Company spokeswoman, Virginia Aulin, said that shrinking page size and declining circulation of newspapers, primarily in the Southern states and some in Mexico and South and Central America, led Boise Inc. to idle its D-2 newsprint making machine, which can press out 186,000 tons of newspaper a year.

"As newspapers decrease in page size, both in the number of pages and page size itself, that affects our business," she said.

Newsprint is a small part of the company's business; Boise Inc. also makes white office paper and is growing its packing materials division as the paper economy continues to shrink.

The shutdown means that 10 salaried employees and 95 hourly workers will be laid off.

"The drastic decline in newsprint demand is an external factor that none of us can control. Indefinitely idling the machine minimizes our costs while preserving our future options," said Alexander Toeldte, president and chief executive officer, in a news release.

Aulin, who works at the company's Boise headquarters and reads Boise Weekly, said she can't imagine the day when she won't have a print newspaper to read in the morning.

Statesman's Popkey in Gay Republican flick

No, no, not THAT kind of gay Republican flick. This one is a documentary from Kirby Dick that opened last week at the Tribeca Film Fest in New York.

It's called Outrage and it features interviews with Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey, who spent months—perhaps years—investigating allegations that former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was gay, prior to Craig's arrest in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport men's room in 2007.

The LA Times writes that Dick takes aim squarely at hypocritical votes by closeted gay Republicans.

"Dick's world view is best expressed in the film by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), one of the few gay congressmen who has voluntarily come out of the closet, who says: 'There is a right to privacy; there's no right to hypocrisy,'" the L.A. Times writes.

But Dick also takes aim at the media for not picking up on the hypocrisy angle. And his aim is long and, well, wide. According to the blog towleroad.com:

"It's a well-packaged effort covering the Reagan years and the birth of the religious right to the present, wrapping up the stories of Idaho Senator Larry Craig, Virginia Rep. Ed Schrock, former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey, Mark Foley, former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign manager Ed Mehlman, former GOP National Field Director Dan Gurley, former Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe, former Louisiana congressman Jim McCrery, and current congressman David Dreier, into a tightly wound expose of closeted D.C."

The film opens in four more cities May 8. No word on when it's coming to Boise.

Craig has never said he is gay and unsuccessfully fought the charges against him from the bathroom incident for more than a year.

—Nathaniel Hoffman

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 4,281 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,435 in combat and 846 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,215. In the last week, four U.S. soldiers died.

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 52 soldiers have died.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 91,586 and 99,991.

Source: iraqbodycount.net

COST OF IRAQ WAR: $850,915,888,373

Source: costofwar.com

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