Boise Weekly

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BW Video Preview: Brick Oven Bistro Owner Talks About the Last Suppers

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

There were plenty of hugs and tears during the last supper just before the Brick Oven Bistro closed its doors for good on Nov. 25. But co-owner Stephanie Telesco is busier than ever.

After running the iconic Boise restaurant with her husband, Jeff Nee, Telesco is preparing for a public sale of all of the plates, flatware, fixtures and art, slated for this coming Saturday, Dec. 8. She has also been watching a number of local restaurateurs tour her location as a possible spot for relocation.

"Let’s put it this way. If you had a list of local restaurants, most of them on that list are probably interested in this space," said Telesco.

In Wednesday's edition of Boise Weekly, we talk to Telesco about what she would like to see go into that space, her plans for a new cookbook, and the approximately 4,800 people who have worked for her over the years.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BW Video Preview: All American

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 9:30 AM

More than two dozen of Boise's newer residents have an extra reason to celebrate this Independence Day—they're also 25 of the nation's newest citizens.

Many are out of Africa: Congo, Berhundi, Somalia, Sudan, Central African Republic. Others are from Afghanistan, Iraq or Burma. But all of them call America home following their June 23 naturalization ceremony.

But their road to citizenship was long and hard, beginning with resettlement into the Treasure Valley by the U.S. State Department. Most came from war-torn regions. After learning a new language and culture, they were also asked to learn about their new country. In fact, each of the 25 passed the U.S. naturalization exam—a list of questions concerning American government, history and geography.

When Boise Weekly asked some natural-born citizens if they could pass the test, many of them struggled.

In this week's BW, we examine what it takes to become an American on the most American of holidays.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beer and Wine Set to Return to The Crux

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Boise's Main Street coffee shop, The Crux, could be pouring beer and wine again as early as next week. Crux owner Bob Cooper's license to serve alcohol was suspended in April for allowing all ages in a drinking establishment, but the proprietor told Citydesk that his license was returned to him earlier this month.

"I’m saying that we both gave a little. We gave up two months of the sales, and we’re adding some sandwiches," said Cooper. "We’re going to make the best of it."

After Cooper was informed his coffee shop/music venue could no longer serve beer, he began expansion of his Main Street location to accommodate a kitchen, a stipulation Idaho State Police Lt. Robert Clements told him would put him back in the right.

Late today, Cooper was putting the finishing touches on an expansion, which will double the size of his business.

The Crux decided to offer sandwiches, and was told it would need to install an oven. However, when an ISP inspector visited his establishment June 5, Cooper said he was told he wouldn't need an oven after all.

"He told me, 'Yes, Mr. Cooper, it should be no problem.'"

Cooper also said his business lost two full-time employees due to lack of work while operating without alcohol. He said one of those employees will return when The Crux officially pours beer once more, which could come as early as Tuesday, June 19.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beer-less Crux Means Dwindling Profits

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Despite serving a lot of beer, wine and coffee during the Treefort Music Festival in March, the Crux's owner Bob Cooper said alcohol was only 30 percent of his business that month.

In this week's issue, Boise Weekly looks at the Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau's decision to temporarily suspend Cooper's license to serve beer and wine at the all-ages venue. Cooper said that as a result, business has taken a hit.

"The profit line: it took about 30 percent of our net profit," said Cooper.

He also said that two of his full-time employees are now down to 15 hours per week.

"Obviously, it cut down on the music we're having. The music paid for itself; we would pay the artists with the profit on the beer that night. Now when we have an artist here and we're just serving coffee, there's no profit in it. So we've had less music as a result.

"I'm baffled on why the law seems to be black and white on the permitting, but they create a gray area with the subjectivity of how they're interpreting that," he said.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Preview: Beer and Coffee Don't Mix at The Crux

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

According to the Idaho State Police, beer and coffee don't mix at The Crux.

After three months as an all-ages venue serving beer, wine and Stumptown coffee, The Crux was forced to temporarily surrender its alcohol serving license.

"Our family didn’t want to get into the bar business," said owner Bob Cooper, who runs the shop with his wife and sons. He takes issue with ISP's classification of The Crux as a bar.

He chatted with Lt. Bob Clements, the head of Idaho's small Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau, about qualifying to serve beer and allow minors. Clements said the Crux's licensing through a restaurant endorsement doesn't wash.

"They didn’t qualify as a restaurant so they qualified as a bar tavern," said Clements. "They should have been posting their doors limiting minors."

But Cooper and Clements disagree about what should constitute a restaurant, with both referencing the Idaho State statutes.

"The black and white law says 40 percent food, 60 percent alcohol, you can have all-ages all the time," said Cooper.

Wednesday, May 16, Boise Weekly goes in-depth with Cooper and Clements, to the crux of the issue: is coffee food?

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fish and Game 'Unfriends' Its Own Facebook Page

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

In this morning's BW, we report how the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has shut down its Facebook page, because of some unruly comments.

"We were spending way too much time looking at it. We had some employees who were trying to moderate [Facebook] in the middle of the night, which was crazy," said Mike Keckler, chief of IDFG's Bureau of Communications. "I was doing that for a while, and realized I was literally losing sleep over this."

Keckler told Citydesk the agency tried blocking some individuals from further posts, "but then we decided to pull that back. Over time, things would self-moderate. But then something would occur and the comments would take off again."

Keckler said IDFG had no plans to make its Facebook page live again anytime soon. Instead, he indicated that the agency will try to find a way to introduce two-way dialogue on its website.

Keckler said the comment involved several topics, with more than a few aimed at wolf management.

"There were some pretty caustic arguments, both pro and con, about wolves," he said. "And we had a number of people on both sides of arguments calling on us to moderate the page better. But we just didn't have the time or manpower to properly moderate it."

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BW Preview: Crime, Punishment and Friday the 13th

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Friday, April 13, marks a grim anniversary in the history of crime and punishment in Idaho. It was on that date (also a Friday the 13th) in 1951, when Idaho saw its only double-execution. More importantly, the two men who were to hang by the neck were the youngest criminals ever executed in the Gem State.

In Wednesday's Boise Weekly, we examine the case of Troy Powell and Ernest Walrath, two men involved in a robbery in which a Boise grocer was murdered for $12. Less than a year after the crime, the two young men were hanged.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

BW Preview: The High Cost of Being a Student

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 10:27 AM

When more than 250,000 Idaho students return to class this week and next, most will have the prerequisite supplies of notebooks, pens and paper. But according to social service agencies, an increasing number of children will be empty-handed on the first day of school, as their parents struggle in a failing economy.

In this Wednesday's Back-to-School issue of BW, we examine the high cost of being a student and teacher in Idaho.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Divides Us? A Preview of Wednesday's BW

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM

One final public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow night concerning redistricting in Idaho. Following tomorrow evening's session at 7 p.m. at Meridian City Hall, the Citizen Commission for Reapportionment begins the complex task of dividing Idaho's 35 legislative districts into new territories. Considering that Idaho's population since 2000 has grown by 273,729 people, the commission will need to factor city and county lines while considering neighborhood, tribe and community desires.

In tomorrow's edition of Boise Weekly, we examine the the issue of redistricting through the eyes of Idaho's Latino community, which has grown 73 percent in the last decade.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whatever Happened to Margaret? Preview of Wednesday's BW

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 10:38 AM

It has been about two months since the Hollywood Market in Boise's North End has been closed, and just under a week since the market's iconic owner Margaret Lawrence was laid to rest. While the makeshift memorial to honor Lawrence's passing continues to grow on the store's doorstep, more than a few people have asked the question: "Whatever happened to Margaret?" In Wednesday's BW, we share the story of how the market was closed and how her personal and business affairs were taken over.

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