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Editor's Note

From Mega-Loads to Pool Plans

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You'll have to excuse me if Sandpoint and other news of the north sometimes slips into my writing. They say "write what you know," and I know my hometown and its region pretty well (though one colleague here at Boise Weekly has been known to poke a little fun at me, referring to Sandpoint as the "Marcia Brady of towns: 'Sandpoint, Sandpoint, Sandpoint.'")

My associations aside, this week's news of an oversized shipment of oil refining equipment through the Panhandle is a big deal. BW has covered the movement of so-called mega-loads for years--the massive components used for processing crude pulled from the tar sands in Alberta have been a controversy across the Northwest. Bedeviled by lawsuits and subject to protests along their various routes, the mega-loads have been forced to snake their way over ever-more precarious roadways. In Sandpoint, with its nearly-two-mile long bridge over the Pend Oreille River and twisting Highway 200 on the eastern shore of Idaho's largest lake, that precariousness is given perhaps its most potent visual.

I delve into the issue with a report on Page 8.

Elsewhere in this week's paper, staff writer Harrison Berry brings readers on a visit to the vision center of the Northwest Science Museum--a project with aspirations to serve as a regional showcase for young earth theories, a euphemism for creationism. From mammoth skulls to Ica stones and a scale model of Noah's Ark, the NSM would follow a similar pattern as the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., and Creation Adventures Museum in Arcadia, Fla.

Find Berry's piece on Page 11.

Speaking of visions, the Boise Parks and Recreation Department is getting ready to launch a project to modernize two popular swimming pools: Lowell Pool, on 28th Street, and South Pool, at South Junior High School on Shoshone Street.

While both pools have long been beloved neighborhood destinations, the city thinks it's high time they were brought into the 21st century. Not everyone is that enthusiastic about changing the pools, though, including Councilwoman Lauren McLean, who challenges Parks and Rec to retain the facilities' character while updating their offerings.

"I think it's doable, if we're being creative about it," McLean told staff writer Jessica Murri.

Find our pool piece on Page 24.