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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Feb. 8, 2017

Boise Ranked in Allstate’s Top 10 Safest Driving Cities During Wet Weather

Allstate’s America’s Best Drivers Report reveals motorists in certain cities are safer drivers when making their way through winter weather road hazards. Allstate’s report finds that when factoring precipitation with auto property damage claim frequency.

Boise came in at #9 on Allstate's list with the average number of years between collision being 12.8 years and the accident likelihood compared to the national average being --22.1%. 

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Feb. 8, 2017

Boise Ranked #3 On U-Haul’s List Of Popular U.S. Growth Cities

The U-Haul company has released new data that identifies the most popular cities that Americans migrated to in 2016. This data is based on the net gain of one-way U-Haul truck rental transactions over departures that occurred during the year. While the migration trends do not provide details on population or economic growth, many use it to gauge which cities are most attractive to residents.

Boise, Idaho ranked third on U-Haul’s list of popular U.S. growth cities. This city, Idaho’s capital, has a population of over 200,000. It has a booming tech industry and is considered to be a hub for start-up companies. Additionally, residents enjoy a relatively low cost of living and can take part in Boise’s rich culture. They can also take advantage of several different ski resorts that the area has to offer.

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Feb. 8, 2017

Boise Ranked #12 In The U.S. News And World Report’s Best Places to Live

Boise is a recreationalist's paradise. If you value the outdoors and time spent among rivers, mountains, canyons, deserts and lakes – and all the activities encapsulated therein – it's worth a serious look.

Downtown Boise is booming. New construction is all over the area. The Zions Bank building, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in the state and sits at its center. Locally sourced food and drink dominate the summer patio scene. Boise's residents may spend their days enjoying nature, but they fill their evenings dining on locally sourced cuisine, enjoying an opera performance and sipping delicious cocktails.

Idaho's capital sits squarely on the boundary of urban and rural, civilized and wild, refined and raw. Yes, there are wilder places. Yes, there are more urbane places. But Boise is a good place to live if you enjoy easy access to both.

U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there. Boise ranks as #12 with an overall score of 7.1 out of 10.

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Feb. 7, 2017

Sneak Peek At the Next Big Boise River Wave

Engineers are testing a quarter-scale model of the next big wave planned for the Boise whitewater park. The adjustable wave will be installed downstream from the new Esther Simplot Park. Scott Shipley, President S20 Design and Ralph Budwig, Director, Center for Ecohydraulics Stream Laboratory talk about the design of the second phase.
 

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Jan. 31, 2017

Mountain Home Business to be Featured on CNBC Show Blue Collar Millionaires

A Mountain Home business owner will be featured Wednesday, Feb. 1, on a CNBC show, “Blue Collar Millionaires.”

Chuck Ceccarelli founded In The Ditch Towing Products, a manufacturer, and three sales-and-service companies: Idaho Wrecker Sales, IWS Motor Coaches and Fish Fighter Products. 

Ceccarelli started in Bruneau in the mid-1990s and now employs more than 70 full-time workers. He plans to break ground this year on a 50,000-square-foot building to house 20 or more additional employees.

Ceccarelli is the sole owner of IWS Motor Coaches and majority owner of the other companies. He expects combined sales to top $24 million this year.

“Blue Collar Millionaires” is narrated by country-music singer Tim McGraw. This episode will air at 8 p.m. Mountain time.

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Jan. 30, 2017

Albertsons Companies Celebrates Adding 26,000 Jobs & 174 Stores

by Albertsons Companies

On the two-year anniversary of the merger that created the second-largest supermarket company in the U.S., Albertsons Companies announced that since the merger with Safeway, it has grown its workforce by 10 percent, creating 26,000 jobs; built or acquired 174 locations; increased healthy food and financial donations; and elevated its commitment to sustainability.

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Jan. 25, 2017

Indeed Ranks Micron As A Top Company To Work For In 2016

What are the top companies to work for in America?

It’s an important question, and here at Indeed we have data that can help answer it. In fact, we host over 10 million employee reviews, making Indeed the largest online resource of its kind in the world. We wanted to know which companies have the highest number of satisfied employees, so we crunched the data on the Fortune 500 to identify the 50 with the best reviews—the top 50 companies to work for in America.

After all, with the baby boomers retiring and millennials replacing them as the largest demographic in the workplace, we are witnessing an unprecedented generational and cultural shift. As a result, the question of how to motivate and inspire the changing workforce is central to the future of talent attraction and retention. Cutting-edge firms are already experimenting with a mix of culture and creative perks to keep the brightest and the best engaged and happy at work.

Micron, a Boise Idaho based company, came in ahead of Starbucks, Boeing, and Cummings. It took the rank of 46th best company to work for in the United States. 

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Jan. 24, 2017

Balsam Brands Expands Presence in Downtown Boise

by Balsam Brands

Balsam Brands, best-known for their flagship brand, Balsam Hill, the leading-brand of artificial Christmas trees, has announced that they will be opening an office in the historic Union Block building located in downtown Boise later this summer.  Prior to moving in, the company plans to update and restore the space with special details that will honor the history and unique characteristic of the building.

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Jan. 24, 2017

Gayle Manufacturing Finishes Caldwell Plant, Expects to be Operational by Summer

Now that construction of a 166,200-square-foot production facility is complete, Gayle Manufacturing Company President Gary Glenn said it will begin moving steel-fabrication equipment inside its new Caldwell plant.

“We will be operational to some extent within the next few months,” Glenn said of the company’s plans to be fully operational by this summer.

Out of the Caldwell facility, which is on the corner of Weitz Road and Simplot Boulevard, the company will manufacture steel beams, which Glenn described as the “skeleton that supports buildings.”

Previously, the company produced steel out of facilities it operates in Woodland, California, and a facility on Kings Road in Nampa. Eventually, it plans to produce the majority of the steel it fabricates out of the Caldwell facility.

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Jan. 13, 2017

Trailhead Launches Evening Intro Web Development Course

by Trailhead Boise

Trailhead, Boise’s startup hub, announces a Front End Web Development education series that teaches beginners how to program.  The Front-End Foundations Series will help students learn tools and technologies that enable them to build interactive web pages and applications. Students may sign up for individual courses, or the entire 3 part, 8 week series.  Classes begin January 24, and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Trailhead - 500 S 8th Street in downtown Boise.

Trailhead is partnering with Boise State University’s Venture College and Tyro, a Boise-based software programming education company. Those that complete the three part series can earn a Front-End Foundations Badge from Boise State University Venture College. “We understand the importance of coding education, especially in the startup community and we are delighted to partner with Trailhead and one of our own Badgeholders - Zach Richardson - to help deliver it,” said Kevin Learned, Director of Boise State University Venture College.

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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, Realtor.com 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

by ESPN

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?

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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. 

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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...

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.
 

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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 REALTOR.com®, 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 REALTOR.com 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.

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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.

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