Opinion » Mail

Mail December 3-December 9, 2008

Change Afoot at the Office

As always, we appreciate your opinion in regards to the performance of our establishment (BW, Food, "The Office Bar & Grill," Nov. 26, 2008). Without criticism, it is unlikely that a company will find the innovation and drive to succeed. Thank you so much for pointing out some of the things that we need to work on. Change is always a must.

In fact, I would like all of your readers (and writers) to know that change is exactly what we are working on. Whenever an establishment goes through several different phases of ownership or management, there are always a certain amount of growing pains which we must endure. Our first and foremost area of change was in the customer service department that was severely lacking with previous management. Now we are attempting to modify the menu in order to provide our patrons with a more cost-effective way to dine while they enjoy a nice evening out, or an after-work draft. Our entire focus is drifting away from the idea of the restaurant atmosphere, to gear toward more of a fun-loving bar area that offers a few entrees to munch on.

I do not expect your columnists to inquire as to what changes are taking place in an establishment when they come in to do their work, but I would like to invite them to return to The Office soon to see what we have done. Hopefully, their preconceptions of what we should be will not cause them to become judgmental toward what we are becoming.

—Jade Jesser, owner

Just Say No

The whole concept of the planned community has been a failure (BW, News, "Town on Paper," Nov. 26, 2008). Having bought into the idea in Hidden Springs I have firsthand experience. The idea that you can create a town by simply owning a large piece of property and planning it doesn't work because the essence of a town is things like jobs, schools, entertainment opportunities and a healthy cultural community. Dry Creek Ranch is predicted to generate 65,000 vehicle trips per day as people travel to all of those places and activities. There are negative effects or unanswered questions regarding water, sewage, air quality, wildlife habitat, open space, infrastructure and who will pay for mitigating all of these issues. The current economic climate, number of existing homes for sale and already started but unfinished projects seem far from conducive to another project of any size let alone one of this magnitude; it's no wonder the current owners have it up for sale. I hope our recently elected commissioners will pay close attention to what the voters are telling them on this ill-conceived boondoggle.

—Todd Davis, online

Anyone who thinks this is smart development is greedy or loco. The days of flipping development land is over. Boise is special and we need to keep it that way. There will not be the necessary funds to expand State Street, Eagle Road, Hill Road and Highway 55 to accommodate all these new people to get to their jobs and activities. Build out by Micron where there are the existing roads to accommodate more people. Ada County would be much better off keeping this land in agricultural production, since it is one of the few economic sectors we are able to compete in right now.

—tbird, online

The Epilogue

Thank you for printing the article by Jeremiah Robert Wierenga called "Ready for a Close-Up" about Idaho and the film industry (BW, Feature, Nov. 26, 2008). Wierenga states in the article that a significant portion of the local filmmaking community networks through film festivals or online but he doesn't mention several very active organizations in the state: the Idaho Media Professionals, KNIFVES (Kootenei & North Idaho Film & Video Entertainment Society), Reel Women of the West and the Idaho Screenwriters Group. Each of these groups have regular meetings where members of the film and media community network.

Started in January 2008, Idaho Media Professionals (idahomediapro.org) now has over 90 members. Idaho Media Professionals meets every third Wednesday of the month (except December) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at SunRay Cafe. Past speakers include independent filmmakers, a copyright and trademark attorney, film distribution and marketing experts, and film critics. Upcoming luncheons will feature TV news anchors, photographers and more. Members of the Idaho Media Professionals worked hard to get House Bill 592 (the Film and Media Incentive Bill) passed in the legislative session this year and urge Idahoans to contact their representatives to encourage the Joint Finance Advisory Committee to fund House Bill 592 so Idaho can be competitive with other states in attracting film and media production and growing our industry.

Idaho Media Professionals also hosted the Idaho premiere of Frozen River at Flicks and monthly mixers through most of 2008. Idaho Media Professionals is a statewide organization committed to growing the film, television and news media industries throughout Idaho, developing a professional workforce through education and job opportunities and advocating for legislative measures that will grow the industry in Idaho. Idaho Media Professionals produces a variety of events annually to foster a networked community of professionals involved in the film, television and interactive industries in Idaho. Designed to be fun yet dynamic, the screenings, mixers and other events generate serious discussions on issues of interest and value to industry professionals.

KNIFVES is a network of creative and technical professionals working or aspiring to work in film and media production industry. They hold regular meetings and provide networking opportunities to facilitate discussion, interaction and the exchange of information for its members. Support industries and affiliated organizations, amateurs in North Idaho and the surrounding areas are invited to join. They encourage the growth and prosperity of the media industry in Idaho by advocating for legislation that may enhance Idaho's production industry as well as promoting workshops and lectures on a wide variety of topics pertaining to media production. To find out more about KNIFVES contact WJ Lazerus at WJ@LazerusCommunications.tv.

Reel Women of the West (reelwomenofthewest@gmail.com) meets at Flicks the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Reel Women of the West has participated in the i-48 filmmaking competition for several years and has also made a number of films. They also sponsored their first scriptwriting contest this year. The Idaho Screenwriters Group (sherry.ae@hotmail.com) meets at Flicks the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. to network with other writers.

Thank you for spreading the word about these worthwhile organizations.

—Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Meridian