Spotlighting the people, places and potential of the Boise Valley.

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The grit, soul and spirit of creating the next _______.

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Jan. 12, 2017

Southwest Airlines To Begin Nonstop Service to San Diego

by Admin

On June 4, 2017 Southwest Airlines will begin flying nonstop service between Boise and San Diego. The new service will operate once daily, Monday through Friday, utilizing a Boeing 737.

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Jan. 11, 2017

Idaho Population Growth Strongest Since 2008

by Idaho Department of Labor

Idaho’s population grew by 1.8 percent between mid-2015 and mid-2016, the third strongest increase of all states and 1.1 percentage point ahead of the national growth rate. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state’s population was 1,683,140 as of July 1, 2016, an estimated increase of more than 30,300. This was the strongest increase since 2008 when the population grew 1.9 percent with an increase of 29,200.

Idaho’s population growth can be attributed to a high birth rate and domestic migration, which accounted for 90 percent of the state’s population growth. Idaho ranked fifth in the country for in-migration as nearly 19,000 people moved from other states and countries between mid-2015 and mid-2016. The state’s birth rate was 13.7 births per thousand women, the seventh highest in the country.

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Jan. 11, 2017

Meridian #1 City For New Home Sales

Sometimes homebuyers just want a new home. Lower maintenance costs, up-to-date designs, and a definite lack of murder are on many a must-have list.

To determine which U.S. cities have appealingly high inventories of new homes, analyzed the housing markets of the country’s 400 largest towns. The results were a little surprising.

The ten cities with the highest percentage of for-sale homes built since 2013 are concentrated in the middle of the country, with Meridian, Idaho, leading the charge. A bedroom community for Boise’s growing tech scene, Meridian’s seen a surge of home construction in recent years. More than a third of the city’s housing market is newer construction with a median price just $25,000 above older homes for sale in the area

Jan. 11, 2017

Exploring Idaho’s Secret Wine Region

Idaho Wine Country Is A *Real* Thing

Katie Quinn made a trip to Boise and had the opportunity to explore the Treasure Valley Wine Region. 

Sure enough, I hopped in a car with my fellow food-lover friends (and awesome creators) Molly Yeh and Matt & Beau of Probably This to explore what Idaho offers as far as wine goes.

We had such a fun day! The weather was beautiful, the scenery was outstanding, and the wine was SO good! We got to see how it's made and taste it at all different stages of the production process. 

Jan. 6, 2017

A Beautiful Boise Winter

Photo by Lisa Holland

A beautiful day in Boise, Idaho.

Jan. 4, 2017

A New Year, New Downtown Boise Projects

If 2016 was the "year of the cranes" in Boise, with construction projects running full-tilt across the downtown core, 2017 could well be the "year of the ribbons," with a steady stream of grand openings.

Jan. 3, 2017

Vogue Ranks Idaho in Top Places to Travel in 2017

Idaho is having a moment. The capital, Boise, may not have an Ace Hotel yet, but it’s quietly setting itself up to be one of America’s most desirable second-tier cities with hip lodging like the Modern Hotel + Bar, indie coffee shops, creative hubs, distilleries, and a serious craft beer scene. And then of course, there’s the incredible access to the outdoors, including more than 190 miles of trails to hike, run, and bike in the Boise Foothills.

Dec. 28, 2016

Meridian Feed Mill First in Southern Idaho to Be Certified As Organic

by Admin

The Feed Mill here has been certified as organic, becoming the first feed mill in Southern Idaho to meet the stringent requirements.

“We started getting new customers for our organic chicken feed almost before the ink was dry on our certificate,” said Jos Zamzow, chief operating officer of Dynamite Marketing, which owns the mill.

“Most people today want feed that is both local and organic,” he explained. “Before you could either buy local animal feed or you could buy organic feed. The ‘green’ customer wants both. Now it’s possible at the Meridian Feed Mill.”

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Dec. 28, 2016

Why Heartland RV Chose Nampa

"Why Heartland RV Chose Nampa."

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, a subsidiary of Thor Industries, one of the world leaders in recreational vehicle manufacturing, chose Nampa, Idaho as the location for its new manufacturing facility. This video explains

Dec. 26, 2016

Boise State Commencement Ceremony Nearly 2,000 Winter Graduates

by Boise State University

Boise State University’s winter Commencement Dec. 17 honored nearly 2,000 mid-year graduates and paid tribute to Rod Lewis, one of Idaho’s longest-serving Idaho State Board of Education leaders.

About 1,000 students participated in the university’s 99th Commencement ceremony. In total, 1,937 students were eligible to receive 2,144 degrees and certificates. Of those, 322 were eligible for honors: 209 cum laude, 97 magna cum laude and 16 summa cum laude.

Boise State expects to confer around 4,000 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and other degrees this academic year.

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Dec. 20, 2016

X Games Launches Boise Park Qualifier in 2017


As part of the Road to X Games content series, X Games will host the world’s top athletes in a Park Qualifier event on June 10, 2017 as they compete to secure their invitation to X Games Minneapolis. Streamed live from Rhodes Skatepark in Boise, Idaho, the Park Qualifier will feature three disciplines – Men’s Skateboard Park, Women’s Skateboard Park and BMX Park. In addition to the live stream, fans can catch the Boise Park Qualifier coverage on ABC as part of the World of X Games content on June 17, as well as coverage across X Games digital and social platforms.
In each of the disciplines, the top three medalists from X Games Austin 2016 will pre-qualify for the Minneapolis event. The top six athletes in each discipline at the Boise Park Qualifier will also receive their invites to Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public. 

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Dec. 20, 2016

CBRE: Let Labor Lead Your Market Expansion

Here’s a question for the corporate decision-makers among you: What markets are you targeting in your geographic growth plan?

The secondary markets that will emerge as winners in the race for talent will be those that best replicate the live-work-play environment of the bigger cities—at a lower cost of living. This is true even in tertiary markets, such as Boise, Tucson or Ann Arbor, where corporations can “partner with local universities … to recognize the opportunities there for smaller-scale operations,” says Seeley. “They are not going to open a 2,000-person tech operation. But for incubators or niche operations, like R&D or cyber security, these are great locations.”

As Kristen Sexton, managing director of CBRE’s Labor Analytics practice, says: “The world is, indeed, flat. Just as capital knows no borders and flows around the world fluently, so too does talent.”

Frank Sinatra may have believed that if you made it in New York you could make it anywhere. Wonder what he thought of Boise?

Dec. 19, 2016

Boise State Takes Key Step Toward New Fine Arts Building

by Kathleen Tuck, Boise State University

The Idaho State Board of Education has approved up to $32 million in bonds to augment the state dollars and private donations paying for the construction of Boise State University’s planned Center for Fine Arts.

The facility will house the university’s acclaimed Department of Art as well as public gallery space and a high-tech, high-touch World Museum. The museum will bring arts and treasures from around the globe to Boise through cutting-edge virtual reality and immersive technology.

“Today’s decision and the generosity of arts and education supporters will ensure that Boise State can provide a new centerpiece for Boise’s thriving arts community — and not just for our students and faculty, but for Boiseans and Idahoans of all ages,” President Bob Kustra said. “We’ll welcome all to the building’s public spaces and to the “World Museum,” where visitors can be a part of something new — an interactive space powered by technology developed right here on campus. Imagine touring the Louvre in Paris, France; the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain — all in one day.”

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Dec. 19, 2016

Boise MSA Among Top 25 Best Performing Metros

Which factors are determining the divergence in economic performance of metropolitan areas around the nation? Why are some areas thriving while others fall back? The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities index provides an objective benchmark for examining the underlying factors and identifying unique characteristics of economic growth in metropolitan areas. 

Boise City, ID, ranks 23rd, entering the Top 25 for the first time since 2007. One-year wage growth ranks 15th and short-term job growth ranks 14th. These two indicators are growing 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent faster than the national average, respectively.

Boise City is home to Micron Technology, an employer of 5,000 people and a leader in semiconductor manufacturing that has helped create Boise City’s tech sector. Micron has gifted $25 million to Boise State University for a materials research center. The metro attracts companies such as Paylocity, which has set up an office in Boise, bringing with it 500 jobs. American Semiconductor is based in Boise and plans to move its manufacturing operations to the local tech hub. Cradlepoint, a hardware company based in Boise, garnered $48 million in funding from Sorenson Capital and employs about 300 people.

Technology companies make up a large portion of job and wage growth, but there is a diverse local economy that includes food manufacturing and health care. Hearthside Food Solutions is opening a facility that will employ 168 people. Distillery equipment manufacturer Corson Distilling hired its first employee in 2015 and has since grown to 55 people. Albertsons is headquartered in Boise, employing almost 2,300 people and set to go public this year. Health care in Boise should see gains in the coming years with the St. Luke’s expansion getting underway. The overall Boise City health-care system employs 9,400 people. Boise should continue to see growth in wages and jobs in the next year. 

Dec. 14, 2016

Inside Look: Idaho Candy Company

Inside a Candy Factory!

Katie Quinn made a trip to Boise and got an inside tour of the Idaho Candy Company:

All those viewings of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory have inspired my imagination to run wild about what it's like inside a candy factory. I finally got to see for myself, at the Idaho Candy Company!

It was just about as magical as I anticipated. (And, of course, tempting left and right for anyone with a sweet-tooth!) Idaho Spuds are the chocolate candies they're best known for, but they make all kind of delicious treats. 

Watch the video to explore the candy factory with me

Dec. 14, 2016

Basque’ing in Boise - How to Make a Spicy Lamb Grinder

How to Make a Spicy Lamb Grinder Sandwich

Katie Quinn recently made a trip to Boise, and here is her review on visiting Bar Gernika:

This Spicy Lamb Grinder Sandwich is THE sandwich to get if you're visiting Boise, Idaho. So I took my camera with me to find out why.

Bar Gernika is a popular Basque restaurant in Boise. Did you know that the largest concentration of Basque Americans is in the Boise, Idaho, area, where approximately 15,000 Basque Americans live?! No wonder this spicy lamb grinder is so amazing!

Here's how it's made:
Sautée sliced green bell peppers, sliced onions, sliced mushrooms. Then add pickled jalapeño. Slices of roasted leg of lamb are added with slices of pepper jack cheese on top. Cover to help melt the cheese. Slice a baguette horizontally and add all of the other ingredients in the baguette. 

The croquettas and dipping sauce are a little more involved, but if you're so inspired, you should attempt to make those, too! (If you find a good recipe, please post it in the comments, I'd love to give them a try!)

Thanks, as always, for watching. Happy eating and #keepitquirky!

Dec. 14, 2016

A Dazzling Gem From Idaho Arrives On Capitol Hill

You know Christmas is right around the corner when images of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree being hoisted from a very long tractor trailer show up on your social media apps and on TV. An ongoing American tradition since 1964, this year, the great tree called fondly by its fans “An Idaho Mountain Gem,” comes from the Payette National Forest near McCall, Idaho.

Entering the grounds of the Capitol Building to be given by the Forest Service to the Architect of the Capitol and with a full security escort no less, the 80-foot Engelmann spruce rode on a big-rig truck adorned in festive red and labeled “From tree to shining tree.” Keith Lannom, the Payette Forest’s supervisor, reminded the press gathered for the arrival ceremony that “thousands of LED lights and over 6,000 ornaments made by children in Idaho who used 20 pounds of glitter, will hang on the tree…” among other intriguing facts about the tree. Harvested on November 2, the Idaho gem has made quite a journey. It has stopped in 30 cities to much excitement...

Dec. 7, 2016

Milne MicroDried will Expand Operations in Nampa

by City of Nampa

Milne MicroDried, a Grandview, Wash., based family-owned business is expanding its Nampa production facility.  Milne MicroDried first opened operations in Nampa in 2011 and today is an industry leader in dried fruits and vegetables.  

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Dec. 1, 2016

Grow Here: Why Paylocity Chose the Boise Metro

by Marissa Lovell

Before his plane touched down in Boise, Paylocity’s Senior Vice President of Operations Mark Kinsey was captivated by the view of the city nestled below beaming foothills. Pleasant surprises rolled in with friendly interactions, effortless transportation through the city and a distinct vibrancy in the downtown core.

For companies in the midst of a major growth surge, the next phase of progress often includes expansion into new markets. In March of 2015, Paylocity, a Chicago-based payroll and employee management software solutions company, was faced with making this very decision. With 100 cities across the nation on their radar, company leadership began to search for the perfect location to extend their roots. The ideal setting required access to a certain mix of talent, room for growth and a place that had a natural balance of energy and culture that aligned with the company. 

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Nov. 30, 2016

Boise Police Department’s Refugee Liaison “A Model For Other Communities”

According to The Washington Post, Idaho takes in more than 68 refugees for every 100,000 residents, making it one of the most welcoming states for displaced people in the country. The Boise Police Department responded to the City of Trees' growing population of new Americans by creating a refugee liaison position in 2006.

Since 2012, that job has been held by Officer Dustin Robinson, who coordinates with service providers, educates refugees on their rights and responsibilities in America, and trains officers to deal with situations where refugees are involved.

Nov. 28, 2016

What’s Cooking Across America at McDonald’s? French Fries (from Idaho Potatoes)

What's Cooking Across America at McDonald's? - French Fries

McDonald’s Executive Chef Dan Coudreaut and McDonald’s Director of Culinary Innovation Chef Jessica Foust take us to the potato fields outside of Boise, ID to see one of the locations where our World Famous fries are born. Using premium potatoes such as the Russet Burbank, our fries are crisp, golden brown, and an all-around fan favorite.

Nov. 21, 2016

Eating Boise

There’s more to Boise than blue turf and trees – and it starts right on a plate! My first nibbles of this delicious city were at my foray through Treefort Fest last spring. Foodfort (Treefort’s tasty twin) allowed me the freedom of nibbling my way through the city by snuggling up with friendly locals and inventive chefs in one delicious food corral. My bites there were just tasty teases – leading me to make my way back for Downtown Boise’s 6th annual Dine Out Boise event (which began last weekend and runs through Nov. 6). With 28 local restaurants masterfully cooking up 2-course prix fixe lunches, 2- and 3-course dinners, special prix fixe small plate menus and fine dining options, I returned to dig into the bounty of what whet my appetite back in March. 

Nov. 21, 2016

TSheets Secures Fastest Growing Company In North America On Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500™

by TSheets

TSheets, the top rated and requested employee time tracking and scheduling app, has seen explosive national and global expansion over the past four years, earning a spot on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America. TSheets has grown 681.6 percent since 2012, serving more than 20,000 businesses across 100+ countries — and the company shows no signs of slowing down.

CEO Matt Rissell attributes 681+ percent annual revenue growth to a disruptive product that solves true small business problems and by placing a major focus on customer experience.

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Nov. 21, 2016

Ada County Awarded Silver Rating for Being Bike Friendly

The League of American Bicyclists has spoke-n. The Washington, D.C.-based league, founded in the 1880s—by cyclists who were then known as "wheelmen"—issues annual designations of bicycle friendly communities. This week, it granted its "silver" rating to Ada County, one of only four counties in the U.S. that attained the status.

Among the criteria for garnering "silver" status are:
A minimum of 3.5 percent of people in the community are commuting by bicycle
A minimum of two annual offerings for adult bicycle skills classes
A minimum of 45 percent of arterial streets with bike lanes
A minimum of 30 percent of the total road network includes a bicycle network

Ada County currently has 306 miles of bike lanes, more than 400 bicycle wayfinding signs and dozens of miles of designated bike routes on arterial and neighborhood streets.

Nov. 18, 2016

East Boise’s Roosevelt Market Is An Enduring Fixture Of A Bygone Era

by Erin McClure

Stepping through the Roosevelt Market's front door in Boise is like going back in time. Back to an age when free-standing markets and their regular casts of characters created cultural hubs for neighborhoods. Customers walked to buy groceries, greeted familiar faces, and charged purchases to their family's account. None of this has changed for the East End's beloved market -- not even the charge accounts.

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Nov. 17, 2016

New Hops Mill and Pilot Brewery Breaks Ground in Southwest Idaho

by Admin

To serve Idaho’s growing craft brew industry and foster stronger partnerships, community and business leaders broke ground on Mill 95 in Wilder, Idaho this afternoon. The facility will feature two cold storage buildings, the region’s first hops pelletizing mill, and a pilot brewery aimed at bringing brewers and hop farmers together.

Idaho is the nation’s third largest hop growing region with more than 5,000 acres planted. According to the Idaho Hops Commission, 75% of that acreage is located just west of Boise. Mill 95’s owners are building the facility in the heart of hop country, on 20 acres at the corner of Highway 95 and Howe Road in Wilder. 

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Nov. 16, 2016

Five Great Hiking Spots to Find Picture-Perfect Sunsets

The Treasure Valley sky slowly turned from blue and yellow to a deep red-orange as the sun dipped below the dark outline of Boise’s skyline. 

Nick O’Bryant, a Boise runner, made his way up the trail on the southwest-facing slope of Military Reserve as nature’s ever-changing evening artwork exploded in rich colors. 

“The sunset up here is pretty amazing,” said O’Bryant, rounding a bend on the trail and turning back to take in the evening colors.

He regularly runs trails in the Boise Foothills because they are only five minutes from town. One of his favorite times is at the end of the day, when he has seen incredible sunsets on several trails across the Foothills.

Nov. 15, 2016

Boise Housing Market Remains Strong, Unaffected by Elections

by Boise Regional Realtors

Elections occur during the seasonal, annual slowdown in the real estate sales cycle and don’t typically have a short-term impact on the housing market. The 2016 elections were no exception, according to Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for®, in his article about how Presidential elections affect the U.S. housing market.

Potential changes in policies and programs related to taxes, lending, employment, student loan debt, and so on, will certainly affect housing over the long-term, but how and what that impact will be remains to be seen. These are issues that and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) will monitor, and that Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) will analyze locally through these monthly market reports.

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Nov. 14, 2016

Boise Siblings Create New Social Media Platform

Cole Smith had never been able to use social media accounts quite the way he wanted. Apps like Facebook and Twitter allowed him to follow topics and people he wanted, but mixed all of his interests into one news feed where it felt too clumsy to navigate. Sites like Redditt allowed him to navigate specific topics, but weren’t as conducive for building friendships.

While studying law at Oxford and then in New York, Smith decided to stop waiting around to find a site that met his needs, and set about creating one instead. He launched his website Fearless Little online and on IOS Nov. 1.

“When I was in the United Kingdom I was curious about how we structure business contracts and society around law,” Smith said. “There is a lot that isn’t there in our current social network. There isn’t as much controlling how content is distributed or what can be done so there is a lot of bullying and whatnot.”

He same he became passionate about tech.

“I am really interested in it because you can look at the world and figure out what is missing and then launch a product to fix it,” he said.

Smith hasn’t figured out how to stop online bullying, but he has built a site he believes will allow people to more easily follow topics of interest and build communities around those topics.

He recruited his sister Ashley Smith, a mental health professional with a degree in psychology from the University of Puget Sound, to help design a site that would encourage people to engage with one another.

“We wanted to set it up in a way that could create meaningful connections and build an external support network that some people struggle to find and maintain,” Ashley Smith said.

The two settled on a site that operates as a kind of mix between Facebook and Redditt. Several communities within the site cover topics of interests as broad as movies or travel or as specific as “Stranger Things.” Users are encouraged to create their own posts within these topics to further conversation on the matters that interest them, but the site also features a profile function similar to several popular social media sites where users can follow each other to engage across multiple topics.

To try to break the information up, Fearless Little gives users several feeds instead of the one feed used by Facebook and Twitter. Fearless Little users have one feed for the people they follow, and separate ones for their interests.

“We hope to make an improvement in how people engage with topics they are passionate about,” Cole Smith said. “On Facebook, you can tag a group of friends that you think might be interested in a topic and there is a good chance they will see it, but  few people, if anyone, beyond that post will see it and you won’t get that outside voice.”

“I’ve had that experience where you realize you are only hearing from the same group of people in some sort of echo chamber,” Ashley Smith said. “We thought it would be interesting to make an experience where you can hear from different people.”

The Smiths say the feature that allows different voices to converge on a topic thread will  be especially valuable to certain communities such as those focused on business strategies.

Nov. 14, 2016

Top 5 Things To Do In Boise

Idahoans take their spuds seriously.

It was our first meal in Boise and we walked two blocks from the Grove Hotel in the heart of downtown to the Boise Fry Company, perhaps the city’s most famous restaurant and a popular tourist attraction. “Would you like burgers on the side?” our server Brad Walker jokingly asked as we browsed the menu board showing fries made from six different types of locally grown potatoes — russet, purple, gold, sweet, laura and yam. They come in five different cuts and are offered with a choice of nine types of house-made sauces and 10 varieties of salt.

We opted for heaping bowls of home-style purple and laura fries topped with garlic salt and accompanied with raspberry ketchup. And we got grass-fed bison burgers on the side, but more as an afterthought. We had come for the potatoes. “Our fries are really the showcase main course,” said Walker, who doubles as the restaurant’s interim CEO. “That’s how we like to play it, since we’re in Idaho.”

As we learned during a recent 72-hour visit to Boise, Idaho’s capital and largest city offers visitors a menu of activities, sightseeing and food much more diverse than its large variety of potatoes. We found a city with a vibrant nightlife, arts community, plenty of trendy, farm-to-table restaurants serving locally made craft beers and wines, and enough outdoor venues to please any hiker, skier or biker. It wasn’t the boring, northern plains dullsville I had been anticipating.

Nov. 9, 2016

Go Behind the Scenes with Bolin Guitars

Bolin Guitars Go behind the scenes, see how world-class guitars are made in Boise, Idaho.

Bolin Guitars father and son, John & Jake Bolin have made world-class guitars for Steve Miller, Billy Gibbons and Keith Richards. They live in Boise, Idaho,

Nov. 8, 2016

Why Mother Earth Chose Boise

Earlier this month, Mother Earth Brewing Co. opened a tasting room in the town of Nampa, Idaho, about 20 miles west of Boise. That's because in August the brewery fired up a 40,000-square-foot production facility in Nampa, capable of brewing over 100,000 barrels per year. By comparison, Mother Earth's main brewery in Vista can make about 40,000 barrels.

So why Idaho? "That is the million-dollar question, literally and figuratively," says Mother Earth vice president Kevin Hopkins. "It has transportation corridors that work all the way across the U.S.," he adds, noting the Idaho brewery is already shipping Mother Earth cans and bottles throughout the Pacific Northwest and mountain regions — five and a half states so far.

That half state, by the way, is Northern California. "From a craft-beer perspective," Hopkins asserts, "Northern California really is it's own thing. It's massive."

For much of this year, Mother Earth was already shipping to these areas — including Idaho — from San Diego, to get a head start establishing the brand. "The reality is we started launching markets in 2016," Hopkins says. "Then we turn-keyed them. We actually launched them from the Vista facility, and then we handed them off."

The real benefit of establishing production in Idaho will be seen in the first quarter of 2017, as Mother Earth begins moving eastward. Hopkins says beer is scheduling distribution to Denver, Chicago, and as far as Boston. "We're shipping beer all over the place," he goes on, "we're just dividing it north to south instead of leapfrogging from coast to coast the way other breweries have done."

Nov. 7, 2016

Alaska Airlines to Add Mainline Service to Seattle

by Boise Airport

Alaska Airlines will begin flying a mainline Boeing 737 between Boise and Seattle. The up-gauged service will replace a smaller regional jet, such as the Embraer 175 or Bombardier Q400, adding approximately 60 seats per day to/from the Seattle market. This daytime flight will complement existing Alaska Airlines service to Seattle, which has up to eight daily trips during peak periods.

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Nov. 7, 2016

Priefert Manufacturing is a Family Business

by Lisa Holland

Boise is a place where family-owned businesses have deep roots. Companies like Simplot and Albertsons have thrived here because of the founders that believed in building a legacy for their business and their families. 

This month, Boise has a new family owned business to welcome to the community. Recently, Priefert Manufacturing announced that they would be expanding to the Boise Valley. Starting with a headgate for cattle and livestock, Marvin Priefert founded the company in 1964 and it has grown to be one of the largest farm, ranch and rodeo equipment manufacturers in the country. They produce a full line of products for the livestock handling industry, and also work in steel fabrication for other industries including oil and gas, trailer manufacturing, construction, and other equipment manufacturers. Today, the company is still owned and operated by the Priefert family. Marvin’s grandsons continue to innovate and serve new markets, working to uphold their grandfather’s legacy.

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Nov. 3, 2016

City of Boise Adds to ‘Ribbon of Jewels’ with Opening of Esther Simplot Park

by City of Boise

The City of Boise today added the newest addition to Boise’s celebrated ‘Ribbon of Jewels’ riverside park system with the opening of Esther Simplot Park.

Covering 55 acres along Whitewater Park Boulevard in downtown’s West End neighborhood, the park’s unique character has already infused the area with new energy and broad re-development interest.

Built in partnership with the J.R. Simplot Foundation and the Simplot family, the park is named after the matriarch of one of Boise and Idaho’s leading families. It joins Julia Davis, Ann Morrison, and Kathryn Albertson parks as a principal attraction in one of the greatest urban greenspace programs in the country.

“It is a rare day when you can celebrate such an important addition to our city’s beloved park system,” said Mayor David Bieter. “Creating this park has been a labor of love for many, many people and the results are absolutely stunning. We simply cannot thank the Simplots enough, especially Scott Simplot, for their role in getting us to this day and making this park such a special place.”

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Nov. 2, 2016

Nampa Inventor Honored For “Shoe That Grows”

The man who invented a shoe that can be extended to fit growing feet for people living in poverty was awarded “Innovator of the Year” last week.

Kenton Lee of Nampa, whose nonprofit Because International provides the shoes to groups that distribute them all over the world, said he was surprised and honored by the award.

“While we try to be pretty unassuming people and just do our work, this is a good chance to toot our horn a bit, because it does spread our word about what we’re doing, because it’s something we want to do,” Lee said.

The Idaho Innovation Awards are presented by the Boise law firm Stoel Rives in partnership with the Idaho Technology Council. It is the 11th year for the program, which gives awards to people in five categories: commercialized innovation, early stage innovation, consumer product, innovative company and innovator.

A team of 35 business professionals from around the state considers nominations and picks three winners, explained Michelle Webberley, manager of the Idaho Innovation Awards and Stoel Rives’ business development coordinator.

“From what I gathered at the committee, they just thought this was a neat and innovative technology,” Webberley said of Lee’s shoe. “When they thought of the innovator of the year, they thought Kenton was innovative to start a nonprofit on his own and come up with an idea like that.”

Lee started researching how to design a shoe that can be extended to fit a child’s growing foot after a trip to an orphanage in Kenya. Providing a sturdy, leather shoe that can be extended for about five sizes helps ensure more children’s feet are covered in the poorest parts of the world.

Nov. 1, 2016

Boise Is Considered To Be Top Homebrew Spot

Craft brewing and homebrewing have long supported one another: a thriving craft beer community nurtures a healthy, growing homebrew culture, and vice-versa. Some cities are legendary for such pro-am symbiosis, while others are gaining well-deserved reputations as up-and-coming homebrew hot spots.

On your next beer vacation, by all means, visit San Diego, Portland, and Asheville. But you’d be missing out if you didn’t check in to these seven red-hot homebrew destinations as well. Homebrewers love them, and you should, too.

Boise is a growing city surrounded by plenty of room. “Some homebrewers may travel 30 to 40 miles to collaborate on a brew session,” says Scott Allen, president of the Snake River Brewers homebrew club. “People are willing to help out other brewers all the time, even on short notice.”

Boiseans see it all in four seasons: from subzero (colder than –18° C) in winter to more than 100° F (38° C) in the summer. Still, homebrewing here is a year-round hobby that draws inspiration from the local craft beer scene and Idaho-grown hops and malts. In the last five years, homebrewing has gained more and more acceptance as consumers have come to recognize that beer brewed at home can be superior to mass-produced commercial beer and can even rival that of many craft breweries.

But in the end, Allen says the main force behind the growing homebrew scene in this city of 215,000 is friendship. “The camaraderie of brewers is great, with people always wanting to get together to share beers, smiles, and laughter in this hobby of ours.”

Oct. 31, 2016

NNU University Builds Idaho’s First Satellite

Idaho’s first satellite is complete and ready for take-off. KBOI 2News spoke with the team from Northwest Nazarene University who designed and built the satellite. The team is comprised of four students and two professors from the university. They have been working on the MakerSat project for the past two-and-a-half years.

The MakerSat team was selected by NASA to design and build the satellite. Its mission – to learn more about 3D printing in space. Once the satellite is launched, it will orbit Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph for the next ten years. “It will be orbiting every 100 minutes. So every 100 minutes it will complete one path around the Earth,” said team member and NNU student Braden Grim.

The expected launch date was March 2018, until just two months ago when Grim spoke at an aerospace conference. Team leader Dr. Stephen Parke says NASA moved the launch up by a year-and-a-half. “NASA came and talked to us after and said ‘hey we think you out to fly earlier we have an opportunity would you be able to get your satellite ready by November the 4th of 2016?’” Parke said.

That opportunity allows the satellite to ride into space alongside a NOAA satellite. Parke estimates his team easily put in a 1,000 hours of work over the last two months, scrambling to finish the satellite in time.

Oct. 31, 2016

Mother Earth Brew Is Up And Brewing In Nampa

Mother Earth Brew Co. started brewing beer in mid-September in Nampa at a retrofitted seed building that’s expected to produce the largest volume of beer in Idaho in 2017.

A 500-square-foot tasting room with capacity for 33 people opened at the brewery on Oct. 8.

Owner Daniel Love forecasts his 40-barrel Mueller four-vessel brew house will produce 7,000 to 10,000 barrels through the balance of 2016 and he anticipates 25,000 barrels for 2017, “fingers crossed.”

“Currently, the way I’m set up, I can do 60,000 barrels,” Love said, adding that future capacity in the 40,710-square-foot former Sygenta Seed building at the I-84 Industrial Park could reach 100,000 barrels a year.

Payette Brewing Co. is the largest Idaho brewer at 12,000 barrels a year. That total is projected to increase to 15,000 to 20,000 barrels in 2017, the first full year for Payette at its new downtown Boise brewery, owner Mike Francis said.

Mother Earth expanded to Idaho from the San Diego suburb of Vista, where the original Mother Earth will remain to serve the southern California and Arizona market. In Vista, Mother Earth has a 22,000-square-foot brewery and 6,000-square-foot tasting room.

But Daniel and Erin Love have sold their home in San Diego and now live in Eagle.

Beer from Nampa is already distributed in Idaho (100 Jacksons Food Stores, 24 Albertsons, 10 Fred Meyer stores and 250 rotating taps at bars), Oregon, Washington, northern California and Nevada. Expansion to any other states will also be handled from Nampa.

“We’re close on Colorado and Chicago,” Love said. “We’re working on Philadelphia, New York and Texas next year. We have a pretty good following in New York City. I don’t know how the beer gets there.

Oct. 27, 2016

Boise One Of Top City For Coffee Lovers

Ever since Starbucks democratized caffeine in 1971, a coffee culture has emerged in America — and throughout the world, for that matter. According to a Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults today drink coffee, and each averages 2.7 cups of joe per day. Some estimates even place Americans in the lead of global coffee consumption, at 146 billions cups per year, earning us the status as the most caffeinated — and wired — humans on the planet.

So what gave way to coffee culture? Well, science, for one, tells us that caffeine possesses other health benefits besides mental stimulation. In the right dosages, caffeine also contributes to longevity, transforming our carafes and fancy brewing systems into modern-day fountains of youth. Perhaps more important, though, is coffee’s special quality as social lubrication. We no longer drink it alone or just at home. Today, we have stations devoted to coffee at work and tens of thousands of coffee shops that are hubs for the mutual enjoyment of hot caffeinated beverages. Finally, coffee serves as the canvas for latte art, gracing countless Instagram feeds and even inspiring a national competition among the most talented baristas.

In honor of National Coffee Day on Sept. 29, WalletHub’s number crunchers compared the 100 largest cities to determine the best local coffee scenes in America. Our data set of 12 key indicators of a top coffee city ranges from “number of coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés per capita” to “average price of a coffee pack” to “Google search average for the word ‘coffee.’” In addition, we compiled a list of top coffee retailers extending special savings during the holiday. Scroll down for the complete ranking, additional coffee-lover insight and a full description of our methodology.