Transit, Dems and Craig Appeal

In a delicate dance with the Legislature and the Governor, a Boise Valley transit coalition is pulling in more members from across the state and calling itself Moving Idaho Forward. It’s going to be buses and trains vs. asphalt and the voting is going to get interesting. Also Democrats take credit for ideas in State of State. And Boise Weekly’s Legislative column is back, penned by PaleoMedia editor Nathaniel Hoffman.

Public Transportation Coalition Widens. Calls itself Moving Idaho Forward and trying to counter anti-bus perception from Otter’s speech. Cynthia Sewell in the Statesman.

Unda’ the Rotuna Back. Is Luna’s teacher pay plan really doomed or are they just saying that? And why is it tied to teacher contracts? Jim Carlson of the Educator Compensation Institute: “It’s a significant departure, and it seems an odd marriage that the quid pro quo would be tenure at a time when we as a nation are facing teacher shortages.” Hoffman in the BW. Otter carves out room for Luna plan in budget, but insists it pass muster with the public and teachers. Dean Ferguson in the LMT.

CWI May Not Open This Year. New community college in Nampa is still putting together enough cash to open. Decision to delay classes not made in open meeting, but vote is slated for Thursday. Bill Roberts in the Statesman.

Poor Not Eligible for Grocery Tax Credit. Under current law, poor families don’t qualify for the tax credit. Sen. Joyce Broadsword, others, didn’t realize it last year: “We need to make sure that we address it this year.” Russell in the Spokesman.

Thayn Scaled Back. “Family Values” committee offers no legislation after all. Rep. Brandon Durst: “Clearly, when you’ve got a task force that produces no recommendations, it’s of little value at the end of the day.” Druzin in the Statesman. Or maybe one bill declaring Idaho a “character building state”. Ferguson in the LMT.

Jaquet, Stennett Shoot Back. Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet: “The kinds of issues we are talking about are resonating. The Republican majority is sticking their heads in the sand.” And GOP leader Mike Moyle: “It’s pretty sad when you don’t get your way to start calling people names. If they would introduce good ideas, they would be considered. Liberal ideas won’t fly. The local option tax is a prime example.” AP in the State Journal. And Greg Stahl in the Mtn. Express.

Sun Valley Dems. With new ID Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark’s rise, the party leadership is now “centered in the resort community of Sun Valley.” BW.

Is $3 Billion Budget Fiscally Conservative? Phil Davidson in the Post-Register.

Funding For Water Study, Projects Could Be Short. Gov. wants $20 million for aquifer study, but where’s the money. Jared S. Hopkins in the Times-News.

Nuke Magnate Talked to Lawmakers. Don Gillespie of Alternate Energy Holdings presented to an interim energy committee. No further information available. Hopkins in the Times-News.

Sen. Larry Craig Files Another Brief. Craig tells Minnesotta Appeal Court that the foot-tapping and touching that Craig engaged in with the undercover officer, under the bathroom stall divider, failed to “arouse alarm, anger or resentment,” the elements required for a disorderly conduct charge. Craig has not returned calls from the Statesman since Sept. 19 Erika Bolstad in the Statesman. Minn. Airport Flak: “Facts are resilient, and Sen. Craig’s continued, transparent efforts to escape them don’t change the truth of his behavior in an airport restroom or the fact that he admitted guilt last August.” Russell in the Spokesman Review.

Idaho bringing 48 prisoners home from Texas. AP in the Times-News.

Boise, Salt Lake 5th Lustiest Cities. Based on condom sales. And Forbes Mag. Joe Estrella in the Statesman.

ID Water Users Attorney on Eagle City Council. Norm Semanko appointed to fill vacated council seat. Katy Moeller in the Statesman.

Avy Rescue on Baldy. Jon Duval in the Mtn. Express.

In the Blogs: Russell points out that Luna’s iSTARS acronym is already taken. Idaho Statewide Trial-Court Automated Records System (Big “i” ISTARS). It’s also kind of a motorcycle safety program.

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