Friday, June 26, 2009

News briefs

County seeks volunteers for land board

County officials are accepting applications from people interested in sitting on the Blaine County Land, Water and Wildlife Levy Advisory Board. The deadline to submit an application for a position on the volunteer board is July 17, 2009.

The creation of the advisory board is a requirement of the Land, Water and Wildlife Levy, which county voters approved in November 2008. The levy will temporarily boost property tax levy rates to generate $3.5 million for the preservation of private open space lands in spots throughout the county.

The Blaine County Commission will make its selection from the pool of applicants by Aug. 15. Those selected to sit on the board will make recommendations on land conservation proposals and the proper investment of the levy funds.

Any full-time county resident is eligible to apply. Interested applicants are being asked to serve two- to three-year terms. To learn more about the application process, go the county's Web site at

Gas prices continue to rise

As the temperatures rise, so does the price of gasoline. Idaho's $2.70 current average price for gas is up 35 cents from Memorial Day. But it is well below the $4.08 price Gem State residents were paying a year ago, according to AAA Idaho, a regional office of the travel organization.

Prices in the Wood River Valley tend to run above the state average.

The U.S. average price of $2.68 is up 26 cents from Memorial Day, and $1.42 lower than the $4.10 average price from a year ago, AAA said.

The national average price went down this week, for the first time in 54 straight days, suggesting that oil prices may be peaking, AAA said.

AAA: Idaho travel forecast good

About three-quarters of a million fewer Americans, representing a 1.9 percent decline from a year ago, will travel this Fourth of July weekend, AAA Idaho announced this week. But things could be better in Idaho.

The travel organization said it expects 37.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday period, down 1.9 percent from the 37.8 million who traveled a year ago. This year's decline is considerably less dramatic than the 10.5 percent drop in travelers last year compared to the 42.3 million who vacationed in 2007. Four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline, along with acknowledgement of a major economic decline, were major factors in the travel decline a year ago, AAA said.

Among nine regions in the nationwide analysis, the Mountain region that includes Idaho is the only one predicted to see more travel this year compared to a year ago. The Mountain region is expected to see a 1.2 percent increase.

AAA Idaho projects that 146,000 Idahoans will be passengers or drivers in motor vehicles traveling 50 miles or more this holiday period.

"Weaker travel intentions suggest Americans are taking their cues from sagging incomes and higher unemployment," said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson. "A modest recovery in the number of air travelers also indicates declining airfares and pent-up demand are in play this year."

AAA's projections are based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based research and consulting firm uses travel intention surveys, current economic conditions, unique econometric models and other tools to construct its travel forecasts.

Dog agility day to benefit Positive Partners

Dogs of all breeds are welcome to participate in a dog agility fun day sponsored by 4-Paw DRIVE Agility mobile dog agility services on Saturday, June 27, at Hop Porter Park in Hailey. Match sign up begins at 10 a.m. for $10 per run. Match walkthroughs begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by free demonstrations.

In addition the day will include introductory lessons and fun runs from, 12-3 p.m. for $10 per dog or team. All proceeds benefit Positive Partners Assistance Dogs. Prizes include 18-hole round of golf with cart for two people at Sun Valley, Dog Goodies bag, obedience, agility or reactive dog management lessons, dog food, toys and treats. For details, call 788-2239 or e-mail

Knapweed pullers needed at Northwood

The Wood River Land Trust and the City of Ketchum are sponsoring at knapweed pull at Northwood Park in Ketchum on Saturday, June 27, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Participants should meet at the north end of the Park and Ride lot off Saddle Rd. in Ketchum. Drinks and gloves will be provided.

Eliminating knapweed is part of the Trout Friendly Lawn program, which certifies valley parks as sustainable, pesticide free park and landscape management. The program is also a commitment to the health of the Big Wood River. For directions and details, call 788-3947.

Iconoclast to feature Theodore Waddell

Renowned valley artist and illustrator Theodore Waddell will read from his children's book "Tucker Gets Tuckered" at Iconoclast Books on Saturday, June 27, at 1 p.m. and will bring a dog.

The reading will end a month-long series, Paws at Iconoclast, which raised awareness and support as well as gave back to the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.

Waddell will also have works of art for auction at Iconoclast, which have been donated to the shelter's yearly benefit, "Dog Days of Summer." The benefit will take place on Friday, July 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Trail Creek Pavilion in Sun Valley.

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