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New Ada Budget, Commish Ullman to Run for Governor

And Boise native Robin Long released from Brig

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Ada Down 59 Workers

Ada County's proposed budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 is now online, and the first public hearing was held after press time. You can see details at citydesk.boiseweekly.com.

The budget shows an 11 percent, or $22 million, cut from this year, which comes from:

• A 50-percent reduction in training and travel, except when required.

• A total of 55 staff reductions from the beginning of FY 2009. The FY 2009-10 budget calls for the addition of three employees in the Ada County Sheriff's Office and an additional Prosecuting Attorney's Office employee.

• The consolidation of Ada County's Public Information Department, which reduces the county's budget by approximately $150,000.

That list, of course, comes from Ada County spokeswoman Laura Wylde, who is still sending out press releases for the county. Her former boss, Rich Wright, was reassigned as the head of county Administrative Services a few weeks ago and his department will take over public information duties in next year's budget.

Ullman Run Spurred by Conservative Blogger

Sharon Ullman, who told the

Idaho

Statesman

last week that she plans to run for governor against Butch Otter in 2010, was inspired to run by conservative blogger Adam Graham. Ullman told citydesk that Graham suggested her as a viable opponent to Otter back in May (Headline: The Woman Who Could Topper Otter).

Ullman, an Ada County Commissioner, said that on a daily or weekly basis, she runs up against laws that can only be changed at the state level, like the way that property value assessments are reported.

"There's a certain level of frustration in that regard," Ullman said.

She'd like to be in better position to do something about it. Ullman, a Republican in recent years, has supported Otter in many areas, but diverged from the governor in his crusade for new road funding.

"I don't understand why ... when we have almost one in 10 Idahoans unemployed ... it doesn't make sense to me to push for tax increases," she said.

Deserter Robin Long Released from Brig

Robin Long, a Boise man who fled the U.S. Army for Canada in protest of the war in Iraq, has been released from a military prison in California.

Long was held for 12 months of a 15-month sentence, finishing his sentence at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. Long was sentenced last August, after Canadian officials deported him back to the United States. Long has a young family in Canada and started a small business converting lawns into gardens there.

Long plans to study massage therapy in the San Francisco Bay Area and will apply for permission to return to Canada. Long's attorney, James Branum, told citydesk that Long's wife has multiple sclerosis and is able to get treatment in Canada, but she would not have coverage here.

On March 26, some of Long's writing was read aloud in the Canadian Parliament, during a debate on U.S. war resistors in Canada.

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 4,332 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,464 in combat and 868 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,431. In the last week, six U.S. soldiers died.

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 103 soldiers have died.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 92,489 and 100,971.

Source: iraqbodycount.net

COST OF IRAQ WAR: $666,665,835,063

Source: costofwar.com

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