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Obama Campaign Extensions

Boise Community Radio and Streetcar Open Housing

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Obama's man in Boise

If you ever sent candidate Barack Obama money, spoke to one of his press officers or just showed your e-mail address to one of his campaigners, you've probably been getting those personalized messages from his political machine for more than a year now. Sometimes they are from the man himself. Sometimes from his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, or even from Veep Joe Biden.

Recently, we got one from Lance Whitney, Organizing for America's new Idaho director. Organizing for America is a spin-off of the Obama campaign--now housed at the Democratic National Committee--that is dedicated to furthering the Obama administration's agenda. The group aims to tap into the grassroots network that Obama harnessed during his campaign.

Whitney, who has done some work for

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, worked as Obama's rural field director out of Elko, Nev., during the presidential race. He also ran for mayor of Elko, where he sat on the planning commission and ran the county Democratic Party office.

Now he is touring Idaho listening to people's health-care horror stories. A listening session is planned for Boise on Monday, Oct. 5, though the venue has not been announced.

Boise Community Radio gets Fed Grant

Boise's online radio station, radioboise.org, is another step closer to over-the-air broadcast with a $227,000 U.S. Department of Commerce grant, awarded through the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program.

The grant requires a $75,000 local match, and executive director Jeff Abrams said they also need to raise $150,000 for the first year of operation.

The BCR effort began in 2002. Last year, the station won a permit from the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast on 89.9 FM in the Boise area. Now they need to buy stuff to broadcast, including a transmitter, antenna and studio gear, which Abrams hopes to secure by late spring or early summer of 2010.

"We are the biggest area in the country without community radio. This is just the next step in creating an independent, noncommercial, locally programmed radio station that we can call our own," Abrams wrote in an e-mail.

Radioboise.org has a nearly full lineup of programming, including local DJs and radio personalities, many of whom are ready to move to broadcast.

The station's Web stream serves up "Democracy Now!," dozens of local shows, including alternative and experimental music, and some local talk radio and humor.

Go See Trolley

The City of Boise will host an open house on Mayor Dave Bieter's proposal to bring a streetcar to the downtown area. On First Thursday, Oct. 1, you can speak with city officials about the plan, hear how the idea came about, how it might be funded and where it might roll.

Bieter first proposed the streetcar in 2008. A Streetcar Task Force is studying the idea and is expected to release a report by the end of the year. You can leave comments on the plan at the open house from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the storefront at 821 W. Idaho St.

Visit citydesk.boiseweekly.com to read more about the streetcar proposal.