The holidays are supposed to be the hap-happiest season of all, but this year the news has, at best, been a bummer parade and at worst, a catalogue of horrors. Between terrorist attacks, Donald Trump and our own local drama with refugees, right-wing xenophobes and the Cooper Court homeless encampment, we're less than halfway through the winter joy gauntlet and already feeling emotionally fatigued.
In this week's edition of Boise Weekly, we have a few holiday-inspired stories that might help lift the gloom. BW News Editor George Prentice checks in with the rail fans at the Old Boise N-Scale Railroad Club, which hosts a sprawling collection of model trains and scenery that it throws open for weekend tours throughout December. Staff writer Jessica Murri profiles the cooking classes being offered at the Boise Co-op's new Meridian location, including a few gift-giving themed courses offered this month.
Though not explicitly holiday flavored, Prentice got to peek under the wrapping paper at Jack's Urban Meeting Place, which is gearing up for a series of open houses.
It's not all cheery, though. We also report on the controversy surrounding the United States' Bush-era torture practices with news that Human Rights Watch has called for prosecutions of a number of former high-profile officials. Among those named is Bruce Jessen, the Idaho native who became one of the alleged architects of the so-called "enhanced interrogation" program.
Meanwhile, Murri takes a look at a West Boise community garden that has become a vital gathering place for refugees, but which some fear may be sold if a more permanent arrangement can't found. Finally, on Page 21, Prentice reviews one of the chilliest, least-Christmas-y movies of the year: Macbeth.
On the good news front, BW is happy to announce Nicole LeFavour has joined us as a semi-regular columnist. A longtime educator and activist, former BW reporter, and former member of both the Idaho House of Representatives and Idaho State Senate, LeFavour's column will appear every other week. Find this week's piece here.