Feb. 29, 2016

Idaho Wine Industry Welcomes 3 New Vineyards to the Boise Valley

The Boise Valley will be receiving three new wineries this coming year in a hope to satisfy Idaho’s growing wine demand. The three vineyard owners all come from varying backgrounds including a Micron Technology Executive, a crop-farming family, and a respected grape-growing family.  All three vineyards are expected to cultivate a cumulative 154 acres. This will increase Idaho’s current wine capacity from 1200 acres to 1354 acres or more.  “We’re super excited,” Greg Koenig said, owner of the J Victor Vineyard. “There’s a lot going on in the industry now. This weekend, everybody was out and about touring, and all the tasting rooms around here were full. And I have orders that I can’t fill”

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Feb. 29, 2016

Boise State Dance Marathon Crushes Goal

Boise State University's Dance Marathon fundraiser for St. Luke's Children's Hospital crushed its goal Friday night. Boise State is one of 300 universities and colleges across the country that hosts the dance marathon, which benefits the Children's Miracle Network. Last year, students raised $66,000 and this year, the hope was to raise $80,000. Students revealed on the blue turf Saturday morning that not only did they reach their goal, they crushed it.

They raised more than $114,000. That is a 73 percent increase from 2015. This is the fourth year for the event. It took place at the Boise State Recreation Center from 3 p.m. Friday afternoon to 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Activities included dancing, games, and family stories.

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Feb. 12, 2016

Boise had Largest Venture Capital Growth in 2015 According to NVCA

We can track the evolution of emerging tech hubs with a wide range of indicators. IPOs, acquisitions, unicorn valuations and funding rounds are just a few. And when you start to look at change over time instead of just totals, several cities outside of Silicon Valley start to look really impressive. With a staggering 3,269 percent jump in investment money, Boise had the biggest surge in VC funding in 2015. However, unlike Miami’s healthcare sector rise, the success of Boise hinged on fewer deals of higher dollar amounts. In particular, network solutions company CradlePoint hit it big with a $48 million Series B funding in April. CradlePoint focused on using the funds to acquire, which it did later by buying software-defined networking company Pertino.

Then in December, fraud detection organization Kount hit it big with an $80 million announcement (this investment was from private equity, rather than VC funds). Kount protects users from online and mobile payment fraud, and its emergence asserts the company’s place in a cyber security field traditionally crowded with Boston and DC-Virginia pillars.

CVC Capital Partners Managing Partner John Clark assessed Boise’s evolution, explaining that the investment aligns with company strategy of “partnering with uniquely positioned technology companies in large, growing markets.” With these investments and the continued presence of Boise anchor Micron Technology, it’s worth keeping your eyes trained on Idaho’s most populous city.

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Feb. 12, 2016

Boise Named One of Top 5 Places for Millennials

Boise came in as one of the best cities for Millennial entrepreneurs in another first-time ranking. IT training startup ITProTV talked to 8,000 business owners across the country to determine which cities have the most entrepreneur-friendly climates. As part of that survey, they looked at answers from founders under age 34 to get a better idea of those places likely to welcome young business startups.

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Feb. 17, 2016

Liv Boise, Carl

LIV Boise City, Carl

The greenbelt is a treasured amenity of the Boise Valley.  Take a few minutes to hear to story of Carl, a man who works hard to keep the park beautiful for our citizens to enjoy.

Feb. 17, 2016

University of Idaho Graduate Simulates 8-month Mars Mission for NASA

A graduate from the University of Idaho is doing some pretty outstanding things for NASA. Milam is a HI-SEAS Mars researcher and was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 under 30 in Science." She graduated with her masters in mechanical engineering from University of Idaho’s College of Engineering in December 2014. At one point during her time at University of Idaho, Milam learned of an opportunity that would help her chase her lifelong dream. "I've always wanted to be an astronaut. As far back as I remember," said Milam. Milam was one of 400 people that applied to be part of a NASA research project that simulated what life on a Mars space station would be like. It began in the fall of 2014. Milam and five others spent eight months living in a dome on the Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii. Milam served as the chief engineer during the mission and wrote a blog about her experience. Milam said the purpose of the research mission was essentially a social one. "We know how to get from Earth to Mars. What we don't know is what kind of people to send," said Milam. The simulation was intended to see how people would work together, living in a dome for eight months. 

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Feb. 12, 2016

A10 Capital in Boise Lands $75 Million Investment

A10 Capital, one of the nation’s leading middle-market commercial real estate lenders, announced it closed a $75 million investment. The investment is the latest growth push for A10 Capital, which is based in Boise and Dallas, Texas, and has regional offices in eight states. A10 Capital specializes in commercial loans ranging from $1 million to more than $20 million per property and has funded more than 30 million square feet of commercial property, the company said. A10 calls itself “the most active lender in the middle-market commercial mortgage space.”

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Feb. 11, 2016

Video on Payette Brewing

Payette Brewing - A Boise Valley Company

Big Ideas Grow Here, and so does good brew. A local favorite, Payette Brewing describes...Our mission is to continually brew awesome beers while building a culture that connects, educates, makes a difference and champions the craft brew industry to our consumers, community and partners.

Feb. 10, 2016

First Annual TRI Report Shows Promising Returns

The Idaho Department of Commerce will see a 422 percent return on the tax reimbursement incentive investments it made in 2015, according to a report presented to an Idaho Senate subcommittee Feb. 2.

The Legislature gave the Idaho Department of Commerce the power to use TRIs to encourage business expansion and relocation within the state. The program went into effect July 1, 2014 and the first fiscal year with the program in place ended June 30, 2015.

A TRI is a tax credit the Department of Commerce can offer a business if it brings a certain number of new, high-paying jobs to an area. The credit can be worth up to 30 percent of a company’s income, payroll and sales taxes for up to 15 years.

Within its first year, the TRI program attracted eight new companies to the state and encouraged eight existing Idaho companies to expand.

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Feb. 10, 2016

Boise - “It’s My Place”

Boise - "It's My Place"

Forget six degrees of separation. In the Boise Valley, it’s rarely more than two. Challenge or opportunity, knowing who to call and connect with to get the job done is a mutual friend away. Strip away the boundaries and formalities and collaborate forward.  In a new video feature about the Boise Valley, Ivan and Kyra walk you through a day in the life.

Feb. 10, 2016

New Boise Pizza Chain Primed to Reach Top 100

Boise has inherited a 29-restaurant chain from rural Washington that expects to break into a list of the Top 100 pizza companies in the country in the next year or two.

The annual revenue is $16 million. According to the trade Group Pizza Today, the  No. 100 pizza company has $19 million in annual revenue.

West is moving to Boise from Auburn, Wash. Co-owners Aaron Olson, the operations manager, and Rodney Nelson, the franchise relations manager, have relocated to Boise from Chelan and Spokane.

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Feb. 18, 2016

Israeli Pastry Chef Gets James Beard Nod — for Bakery in Idaho

The James Beard Foundation announced its list of semifinalists today and among the names, one jumped out at us. Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas of Janjou Pâtisserie in Boise, Idaho, was nominated for Outstanding Baker.

So what’s a nice Jewish girl from Tel Aviv doing making croissants in Boise?

As she tells it, Mizrachi-Gabbitas was a manager of a Boise-based semiconductor equipment company, and there met her future husband, Chuck Gabbitas. While working for the company from Israel, her mother became ill. According to Edible Idaho, the loss of Mizrachi-Gabbitas’ mother in 2002 prompted her to learn how to cook while living alone. Shortly thereafter, she began training to become a pastry chef, interning at a French patisserie in Tel Aviv and finally relocating to Boise to be with Chuck.

In 2013, the couple opened Janjou, which is named for Moshit’s mother, Jan, whose nickname was Janjou.

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Feb. 18, 2016

7 Idaho Tech Startups to Keep an Eye On

Idaho Business Insider recently choose seven startups to watch out for in the next couple years. The products they sell and the markets they service are all very different, but the common ground that they all share is Idaho borne ingenuity. The list includes: Gen Z Technology, Inergy Holdings, SaasFocus, PsiFlow Technologies, Willoop, LandProData, and Advanced Ceramic Fibers. 

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Feb. 25, 2016

Downtown Boise Experiencing Unprecedented Construction Boom

Downtown Boise has never seen a boom like this one. Old-timers talk about the Grove Plaza-centric boom of the late 1980s and ’90s, when the Wells Fargo building, Grove Hotel, Boise Centre and other Downtown cornerstones came out of the ground. In some ways, that growth spurt was more important than what’s going on now. It set the template for what Boise’s urban core would look like.

But in terms of square footage, this era is unprecedented. Depending on where you draw Downtown’s boundaries, anywhere between seven and 15 major projects are under construction or in the planning phase. “I’ve been here for 23 years. Downtown sort of goes through clusters of activity, but nothing like what we’ve got now,” city of Boise planning director Hal Simmons said.

Simmons expects Downtown development to stay hot. He pointed to major projects in the works, including the expansion of St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center’s downtown campus and developer Clay Carley’s proposed apartment building on the southwest corner of 5th and Idaho streets. Simmons also expects to see more projects in the Central Addition area between Capitol Boulevard, Myrtle Street, Broadway and Front Street.

 

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Feb. 25, 2016

Boise’s Morrison Endowment Foundation Surpasses $1 million in Grants to Local Art Groups

The Morrison Center Endowment Foundation hit a milestone earlier this year with its grants that supports local arts groups seeking access to the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. Foundation president Justin Wilkerson created the program in 2011. He’s the grandson of Velma Morrison, who spearheaded the effort to build the performing arts center on Boise State campus in the early 1980s.

Since then, the Foundation has given more than $1.3 million to subsidize the production costs for local groups. The Endowment Foundation makes 5 percent of its $14.1 million in assets available in grant money toward this program and other needs.

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Feb. 29, 2016

Pentagon Postpones Retirement of A-10s, Helping Idaho Air National Guard

The Pentagon has decided extend the service of the iconic A-10 Thunderbolt until 2022. This comes as a big relief for the Idaho Air National Guard crew stationed at Boise’s Gowen Field. It “really helps with unit morale, when it takes away some of the uncertainty we’ve been facing,” said Maj. Chris Borders of the Idaho Air National Guard. “It also makes our planning and logistics much easier.  There are currently 22 A-10s stationed at Gowen field and their respective pilots, maintenance workers, and other staff members that support the aircraft. 

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Feb. 23, 2016

Black History in Idaho Expressed Through Basketball & Art

The words you are about to read somewhat fell into my lap and I'm glad it did, because I think that we can all learn something from the situation playing out in Boise, Idaho this month. Specifically centered on the Idaho Stampede, the NBA's d-league team, and an artist by the name of Patrick Hunter.

For some context, I lived and worked in Boise for three years as a news reporter with one of the affiliates. It was customary for me to immerse myself in the community and that's when I met Patrick. I can't even begin to tell you how many Stampede games I went to while I lived there. Nonetheless, what they have been doing for some time now is helping the Boise community, largely Caucasian learn from others who bring diversity to the area. It was in Boise when I realized just how diverse families could be. It was in Boise, that I learned that there are people in the world that no matter your skin color families could be black or white, African or American.

This year during a special February game, The Idaho Stampede and Patrick Hunter will be paying tribute to influential African-American or Blacks whichever you prefer. The tribute will include the faces of people like, President Barack Obama, Civil Rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr & Coretta Scott King, author & poet Maya Angelou, scientist George Washington Carver, author Frederick Douglass, and NBA great Earl Lloyd to name a few and their faces will be painted by Hunter on the teams jersey's.

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Feb. 23, 2016

Boise Ranked in Top Ten for Best Capital City

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 state capitals to identify which among them combines the best of everything an ideal city has to offer: affordability, a strong economy, high education standards and overall excellent quality of life. The data included a set of 35 key metrics ranging from cost of living to K–12 school-system quality to number of attractions. Boise came in at number 6 overall just behind Raleigh North Carolina and Madison Wisconsin.

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Feb. 18, 2016

Adaptive Skiing at Bogus

Learning to ski rarely goes according to plan."The parents come to me in tears," said Fernando Veloz.  But at Bogus Basin, those are tears of joy. "They say how happy they are just to see their child out enjoying the wintertime," said Veloz, a co-director of Recreation Unlimited's adaptive skiing program at Bogus Basin.

For more than 35 years, the program lets individuals with hearing or visual impairments, developmental disabilities or limited to no usage of limbs learn to ski. "It gives these students a whole new level of confidence with what they can do and how they can do it," said John Mulligan, the other co-director of the program. "Our motto is 'if I can do this, I can do anything.'" Mulligan said the group has 60 students and 50 instructors.

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Feb. 22, 2016

Charm of Boise’s Hyde Park Delights its Visitors

It’s easy to get lost in time while walking the quiet, tree-lined streets of Boise’s North End neighborhoods. The mix of charming bungalows and family homes seems rooted in an earlier era. This is no accident. Much of the North End is a delegated historic district and in many neighborhoods, the fronts of homes and buildings are regulated by historic preservation guidelines that specify that buildings must retain the look of past decades.I suspect I am not the only one who feels a sentimental tug from childhood when wandering these streets. Even the alleys that bisect the blocks bring memories of whizzing bicycles and childhood games of kick- the-can.

There is one particular swath that my friend Candy Miller and I chose to focus on as we explored Boise’s North End — the Hyde Park area. Our adventure began on 13th Street in the heart of the neighborhood’s retail and culinary center. We ducked into shops and gathering places, enjoying the interior as much as the exterior of this delightful corner of Boise. It is an unusual thing to find a village within a town. Yet Hyde Park feels much like a village. There are no parking meters here. Instead, wide sidewalks invite strolling, and old-fashioned street lamps stand ready to light the way.

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