Culinary quote of the week
"The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."
--Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch where Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally seasoned a 78-year-old fellow quail hunter with a shotgun blast to the face over the weekend.
quote of the Week
"That's one way to provide information to the public."
-- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, explaining why news of Cheney's hunting accident was broken by a private citizen in a local Texas paper, rather than by the White House. Public confirmation of the incident was delayed 20 hours by the new dissemination methodology.
Overdue Bill of the Week
$9.73, which Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brady paid for Governor Kempthorne last week. The nine-spot wasn't Kempthorne's hair replacement tab this time (see: BW, News, "The Gov. Feels a Draft ... An Overdraft," May 18, 2005), it was a property tax bill for 14 acres he owns near Tamarack Resort. The property is exempt from normal property taxes, which would run about $1,200, because of a loophole called the "developer's discount"--which Brady opposes. "How can he be aware of the property tax concerns of ordinary Idahoans, when he's not even aware of his own taxes?" asked Brady. Kempthorne's office did not return calls from BW before press time.
Report Takes a Sharp Look at Immigrant in northwest
Last Tuesday, leaders from local immigrant communities gathered at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise to introduce "In Our Own Words: Immigrants' Experiences in the Northwest," a recent study released by the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations. Idaho and the Northwest have significant and growing immigrant populations, and the study's content only continues to grow in relevance as communities become more and more culturally diversified.
The nearly 40-page report chronicles the immigration system and its impact on immigrant populations' ability to work, live in and become part of Northwest communities. Don't look for any silver linings in the findings--the report's authors draw grim conclusions about the immigrant experience post-9/11. With sections like "Employment Discrimination and Exploitation" (Chapter 4) or "Civil Rights Violations and Exclusion from Communities" (Chapter 5), it's not surprising that the report finds civil rights violations, unequal access and disenfranchisement to be the reward at the end of the long road to citizenship.
Using specific anecdotal evidence to support (and put a face to) broader themes, the report cites instance after instance of discrimination in health care, education and other public services, exploitation in employment; harassments by public and private institutions and other system failures. And that's after individuals have made the arduous and often dangerous from there to here. There is hopeful news, however: while the bulk of the report focuses on the many negatives, the final section is devoted to encapsulating the issues facing immigrants and their new communities, detailing potential ways to make progress in uniting and protecting all members of Northwest communities.
To read the report in its entirety, visit www.nwfco.org.
Avimor Is a Big Fat Go
Not long after the Ada County Commissioners said "Yes" to Suncor Inc, the developers of Avimor, the 680-home community north of Eagle, the developers started thinking about a certain list. The list isn't terribly long, but its presence is significant. According to Bob Taunton, the primary spokesman for Suncor, the list consists of about 30 to 40 names of people who have already expressed interest in buying one of the newfangled homes slated for building in Avimor.
Taunton doesn't put a lot of weight on this so-called "prospect list." Things happen, and people's interest in a certain home or planned community change, he said. But, make no mistake: it's selling time for Avimor. Last week county commissioners Rick Yzaguirre, Fred Tilman and Judy Peavey-Derr politely quizzed Taunton and approximately 10 staff and consultants about just how the development might impact life in Ada County, but the commissioners ultimately breezed to unanimous approval. And although Taunton is rarely one to gloat over such victories, it's evident that his focus has shifted to getting bodies into the fancy homes his company intends to build in what is now a bucolic farm area along Highway 55. Market-wise, Avimor looks to be a direct competitor to Hidden Springs, the other highly-designed slice of new-Americana now nestled in the foothills outside Boise. Although no prices have yet been named, Taunton said the homes his company will build and sell will be similar in design and price.
"We're going to reflect generally what the market is. We certainly won't be at Eagle prices," Taunton said. "We want to be more in the middle to upper-middle of the market." For discussion purposes, he said, a "bare-bones" house in Avimor of moderate size might go for about $200,000.
Week of the Week
Condom. As in, starting on Valentine's Day, it's National Condom Week (a national "week" starting on Tuesday? Apparently for prophylactic holidays, as for pregnancy scares, "late" is better than "never"). Planned Parenthood of Idaho is going to be wandering around town all week, raining raincoats on the candy-fueled, new-jewelry-toting, hump-happy masses. For all the facts on condoms and how they'll mercifully keep your pee from burning and your genes from getting prematurely passed on, visit http://plannedparenthood.org/idaho. If you're too embarrassed to buy a pocketful of protection, go grab a handful from the fancy new Planned Parenthood Health Center at 3668 N Harbor Lane, or call 376-9300.
Feed the Petition
You probably don't think of city zoos as hotbeds of activism--baring, of course, the occasional monkey protesting ... something by throwing ... something else. But nonetheless, Zoo Boise is joining 209 accredited members of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association to collect signatures on a petition to encourage Congress to allocate $2 million per year to wildlife conservation and research programs meant to curb poaching, fight disease and increase threatened populations worldwide. To learn more or sign your name, visit Zoo Boise (in Julia Davis Park) or click over to the
Petitions are available at the front gates of the zoo or on the zoo Web site, www.cityofboise.org/park/zoo.
war in Iraq
U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, February 14, 2,267 U.S. service members (including 12 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 1,774 in combat and 493 from non-combat related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 16,742. In the last week, 5 U.S. soldiers died.
Since President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, 2,122 soldiers have died.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense
IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 28,403 and 32.013.
COST OF IRAQ WAR: $240,888,501,995
--Nicholas Collias, Sara Beitia, Jill Kuraitis and Shea Andersen