Friday, July 25, 2008

News Briefs

Simpson re-visits Iraq

Congressman Mike Simpson traveled to Iraq last weekend to see the progress that the U.S. military and its Iraqi partners are making in the country.

"The surge is clearly working," Simpson said in a prepared statement. "It is impossible to deny that our military troops and our Iraqi partners have made great strides in fighting the insurgents and improvising the security situation on the ground. The situation has visibly improved from the last time that I visited the country in 2004. Violence is down, and the political situation is getting better."

Simpson also met with troops, including some from Idaho.

"Our troops are doing an outstanding job in Iraq, and it is critical that we at home continue to support them and provide them with the tools and equipment they need to get the job done," he said. "We are grateful for their service and want them to know that Americans at home support them in their mission."

Ducks start swim to Ketchum

The Ketchum Sun Valley Rotary will team with the Sawtooth Board of Realtors to present the Great Wagon Days Duck Race on Sunday, Aug. 31.

Ducks are available to adopt from either of those organizations for a chance at prizes including $5,000 in Chamber Choice gift certificates. Proceeds will benefit the Blaine County Search and Rescue, scholarships and projects of the Rotary Club and the Holiday Baskets.

For more information, contact Janine Baer at 720-1254 or Ben Varner at 721-7481.

Attend SNRA Interpretive programs

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area will offer programs Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27, in the Wood River Valley and at the Redfish Lake Visitor Center.

In the Wood River Valley: at the Wood River Amphitheater at the SNRA headquarters there will be "Nature Exploration" at 2 p.m. Friday, July 25 and at 9 p.m. "Salmon: An Extraordinary Journey."

On Sunday, July 27, "Fire Ecology at the Castle Rock Fire" will be at 10 a.m. and a Junior Ranger program, "Fire" at 11 a.m. at the Adams Gulch Trail Head.

At the Redfish Lake Visitor Center: Friday, July 25, campfire at 8 p.m. followed by "Historically Based Songs of the Salmon River Region" by P. Gary Eller.

From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26, Junior Ranger programs and nature walks will be held and with a campfire at 8:30 p.m. "Tips & Tricks for Watching Wildlife."

Junior Ranger programs and nature walks continue 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Redfish Lake.

For details, call (208) 774-3376.

Help Sustain Blaine

Sustain Blaine, a public-private partnership, is working to promote an improved economic and societal future for Blaine County through initiation, implementation, and management of strategies, programs and policies that preserve and advance the region's quality of life and economic well-being.

Sustain Blaine has hired TIP Strategies, an Austin-based economic development consulting firm, to guide the group in developing a countywide economic development strategy. As part of the process, TIP and Sustain Blaine will host two public forums to capture ideas from residents regarding diversifying the economy, expanding the area's tax base, and developing and retaining talent.

The first public meeting will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 31 at the Community Campus in Hailey. The second meeting will take place noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1 at Ketchum City Hall. Pizza will be provided at the noon meeting.

Stanley takes a walk

The city of Stanley was awarded a grant by the Idaho Humanities Council to develop a self-guiding tour of its historic sites and structures. The history of trapping, mining, grazing and outdoor recreation will be reflected in the tour.

"It's important to understand our roots as we try to maintain a rural lifestyle in a natural landscape in an increasingly tourism-based economy," Mayor Hannah Stauts said.

Stanley's Historic Preservation Commission and the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association will develop the tour. It should be available in June 2009.

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