City of Boise

Daniel X. O'Eneil / Flickr

The Boise Bench needs more green spaces and more places for people to gather and connect. Those are two findings in a new study of the area, conducted by Utah State University. Researchers from the university will present their findings Friday at Boise City Hall.

Working with the city, a team from Utah State has been studying the Bench and mapping a future plan for growth.

For the past few months, students from the university have been talking to stakeholders in the area. They’re working on a 30-year plan to make the Bench more of a community.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It may be the beginning of the end for the homeless tent city near downtown Boise.

Thursday morning residents of the alley known as Cooper Court were awoken by Boise Police officers handing out warnings. The notices listed several laws people were breaking by sleeping in the alley and notified them that they could be fined or jailed.

The tents are located by the Connector in downtown, in an alley off Americana Boulevard and River Street. It's behind the Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter.

homeless, sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise received some good legal news this week: U.S. District Court Judge Ronald E. Bush dismissed a lawsuit against the city Tuesday. The suit, Bell v. the City of Boise, was filed in 2009. The lawsuit alleges the city's camping ordinances criminalize homeless people, and challenged the laws' constitutionality under the Eighth Amendment.

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. 

Pierce Place / Flickr Creative Commons

Mississippi's flag, and the Confederate symbols embedded within it, has come down outside Boise's City Hall.

Boise Mayor David Bieter pushed to have the symbol removed from City Hall's 50-state display following the South Carolina church massacre and ensuing debate over the Confederate flag being flown at the capitol there.

A Boise official says there are currently no plans to return Mississippi's flag to the display.

The City of Boise is taking applications for a new ombudsperson to help oversee the Boise Police Department. But unlike in the past, the person hired for the position will be part-time rather than full-time.

The city says the job entails investigating complaints of misconduct against police, as well cases that involve officers using deadly force.

City spokesperson Mike Journee says a lack of work led to the change.  

Uber app

Ridesharing company Uber has suspended operations in Boise.

The company in a three-page letter to city leaders on Thursday says it became clear at a city council work session on Tuesday that the city plans to impose unworkable and onerous regulations. Uber spokesperson Michael Amodeo says the company does vehicle inspections and background checks on drivers.

“We think additional background checks would just place an additional hurdle or barrier to entry for our drivers that would make it more difficult for them to earn a living with the Uber platform," says Amodeo.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

After a fight that lasted a year-and-a-half, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the City of Boise have come to an agreement regarding parking meters in the city’s downtown.

With a 3-to-2 vote, ACHD commissioners reversed a previous decision and will now allow Boise to install high-tech sensors in the streets. The sensors will connect wirelessly to “smart” parking meters, which accept credit cards.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr Creative Commons

The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) is looking to resolve a year-and-a-half long dispute with the City of Boise. On Wednesday, the five member commission will vote on a revamped plan to allow the city to install high-tech parking meters on its sidewalks.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In the middle of working farms between the towns of Notus and Parma, the city of Boise owns a 49 acre field. In March the city plans to start construction there on a unique project to reduce phosphorus in the Boise and Snake Rivers. It's generally referred to as the Dixie Drain Project.

The site for the upcoming project is close enough to the Boise River that you can see the trees along its banks a little to the north.  In the other direction there’s a bluff that disappears into the horizon. But the key feature is the water that runs through the site and empties into the river.

The federal government has awarded the Boise Airport $700,000 to help secure direct flights to the eastern U.S.

The airport applied for the Department of Transportation grant over the summer.  A similar application last year was not successful.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise City Council this week changed its ordinance which makes it illegal to sleep in public places. The council voted not to enforce its “camping” ordinance when homeless shelters are full. That comes after police this summer cracked down on people sleeping on the sidewalk near some of the city’s shelters and homeless advocates and others criticized the move.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise’s ethics commission says it does not have jurisdiction to conduct an investigation into an alleged cover-up in the city’s fire department.

The four member citizen panel met Thursday afternoon and unanimously agreed that the city statute that governs the ethics commission doesn’t give it such authority.