Boise

Mayor David Bieter
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

2015’s city elections in Boise will go down as ones lacking drama. Boise’s longtime Mayor, David Bieter, racked up nearly 70 percent of the vote on his way to a fourth term. City council incumbents Elaine Clegg, Scot Ludwig and Lauren McLean  won by large margins as well.

The city’s $10 million open space preservation levy was also an easy winner, gaining the support of nearly 75 percent of those who voted on the issue. The new levy will add open space in areas around the city, as well as fund restoration projects along the Boise River.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Races for Boise mayor, city council and a conservation initiative headline Tuesday’s ballot in Idaho’s largest city.

Polls across Idaho open at 8 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

This year, the Boise Train Depot turned 90-years-old. The city has been holding tours to highlight the history of the depot. Two tours are set for this Sunday.

Eriks Garsvo is a walking history of the depot. He’s a Boise history and train buff who works with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department. He leads the Boise Depot tours and dresses in a full conductor’s uniform to get into the spirit of the time period.

Perhaps the biggest decision facing Boise voters in Tuesday’s election is not city council or mayoral candidates, but a two-year, $10 million property tax levy for open space protection and water conservation. Unlike a similar levy Boise voters approved in 2001, the latest would not limit purchases to the foothills.

Slideshow: Life Inside Boise's Tent City

Oct 26, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Read more about the homeless camp near downtown Boise here.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio

Boise Defends Its Record On Homeless Issues

Oct 26, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The issue of homelessness in Boise has been in the news a lot lately. The city recently won a court victory in defense of its anti-camping ordinance.  At the same time, a large homeless encampment in an alley called Cooper Court has grown not far from the heart of town.

SamPac / Flickr

City of Boise officials says they're pleased that a judge decided this week to dismiss a lawsuit over a homeless camping ordinance. Bell v. City of Boise has been in the courts since it was filed in 2009.

At issue was a law that said the city could cite people sleeping outside. After the suit was filed, the city changed the law to say citations could only be issued if homeless shelters had empty beds.

North Boise Residents Want Drivers To Slow Down

Sep 23, 2015
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

North Boise’s 13th Street sees a lot of traffic for a relatively narrow road in a predominately residential area. A junior high, a popular park, foothills access and the Hyde Park business district all bring in cars. And people who live on 13th say those cars are driving way too fast.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

About 20 small business owners, many of them refugees, lost their livelihoods and their dreams when the Boise International Market burned down over the weekend. But the market’s owners Lori Porreca and Miguel Gaddi lost their business and their dream as well. The partners in life and business worked for years to make the market a reality only to lose it after less than a year of operation. They were out of town to get married when the fire happened.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Comic book conventions, known has "cons", happen in nearly every city in the country. Some are money-making affairs, others are organized by fans for fans. But in Boise, the public library has gotten in on this pop-culture phenomenon.

The University of Idaho's College of Law plans to begin offering first-year law classes in Boise starting in 2017.

The Moscow-based law school began offering classes for third-year law students in Boise in 2008, and expanded to second-year students in 2012.

Dean Mark Adams told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that he often gets asked if the college will move all operations to Boise, but that's not the case.

Boise GreenBike
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Three months in, riders using Boise's GreenBike program have made almost 5,000 trips on the bikes.

Dave Fotsch is the director of the program. He says almost 2,000 people have used the bikes since the program started in April. GreenBike lets people rent bikes around town, and is meant to improve the environment and users' health.

“Ridership has been good, and we’ve generated about $24,000-$25,000 from membership and ridership," says Fotsch. "But I would like to see higher numbers for both of those categories.”

One of the largest Basque communities in the United States will spend the next five days celebrating the traditional Jaialdi festival in southwestern Idaho.

An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the five-day party —which starts Tuesday in Boise— as a showcase of the culture. The festival originally started in 1987, and has been held every five years starting in 1990 ever since.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

After two years without one, Boise will soon have its next ombudsman in place.

Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that attorney Natalie Camacho Mendoza will assume the role on August 3, pending city council approval.  Council members are expected to approve the selection at their meeting Tuesday.

Camacho Mendoza is originally from Pocatello.  She’s been in Boise for 20 years and has practiced law for 26.  Her experience includes work as a defense attorney and prosecutor. 

Boise Looking For Public Input To Tree Management Plan

Jul 13, 2015
Jeremy Erickson / Flickr Creative Commons

Boise has an estimated 180,000 trees and Boise Parks and Recreation is responsible for about 45,000 of them. The city is updating a 10-year management plan for its trees, led by forester Brian Jorgenson.

Right now, the tree canopy covers 16 percent of the city. Jorgenson — who calls himself the "tree guy" and remembers almost every tree he's planted in his three decades of working for the city — wants to increase that to 25 percent.

"I think trees are just one of those things, along with clean air and clean water, we take for granted," says Jorgenson.

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