Wolf plan delayed
Idaho's petition to kill 40 to 50 wolves in the Lolo Zone, in the upper Clearwater River Basin, has hit another snag.
Brian Kelly, Idaho director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told The Associated Press that the agency will need to conduct a National Environmental Policy Act review of the petition before making a decision.
Kelly told the Express that the agency is not conducting an environmental impact statement, but is instead performing an environmental assessment. Both the assessment and the review of the state's petition should be completed by early next year, Kelly said. Idaho officials submitted the petition in August to kill up to 50 wolves in the Lolo Zone with the goal of boosting elk populations. Though the 10(j) provision of the Endangered Species Act allows states to remove wolves if they are threatening ungulate herds, the state must prove the action is warranted. The plan for removal must also be approved by federal officials.
The proposal calls for maintaining a population of 20 to 30 wolves in the Lolo Zone.
Celebrate first flakes of winter
A benefit for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation will take place when the snow flies. When the first 3 inches of snow is recorded by 3 p.m., a big flashing blue light will be placed at the Roosevelt Grille in Ketchum. The benefit will begin there at 4 p.m. that day.
The event will offer free beer, champagne and a raffle to celebrate the first big snowfall for Sun Valley's 75th ski season. Raffle tickets will cost $5 and five tickets for $20.
Kiwanis collects coats for kids
The Kiwanis Club of Hailey and the Wood River Valley has started its annual collection of coats and other winter clothes for local elementary school students. New and used garments are welcome.
The following drop-off points are available: Atkinsons' Markets, Splash & Dash in Bellevue, Radio Shack in Hailey, Eye Centers in Ketchum and Hailey, Zions Banks, Mountain West Banks, North & Co. in Hailey and Wrap City in Ketchum.
For more information, call Jim Spinelli at 481-1112.
Learn about knee injuries
Dr. Tony Buoncristiani, an orthopedic surgeon, will discuss broken bones and ligament tears, and their diagnosis, treatment and prevention on Thursday, Nov. 11, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at St. Luke's Baldy Conference Rooms, in the hospital south of Ketchum.
This and other Brown Bag lectures are free and no pre-registration is required.
For more information, call 727-8733.
Land Trust to collect seeds
The Wood River Land Trust and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are inviting the public to help collect sagebrush seed. The seed collected will be used in fire restoration efforts in areas near the Wood River Valley.
People should meet at the Wood River Land Trust office, 119 E. Bullion St. in Hailey, today, Nov. 10, at 12:30 p.m. to carpool to the Blue Grouse and Cowcatcher Ridge preserves. Refreshments will be provided. The collection effort will take until 3 p.m.
For more information, call Keri York at 788-3947.
Time to change batteries
With the end of Daylight Saving Time, the International Association of Fire Chief's and all local fire agencies are asking people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.
Changing the batteries can help ensure the safety devices work as intended.
Forest committee to accept proposals
The South Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee will be accepting proposals for review and possible funding at its January meeting. Currently the committee has about $120,000.00 available for projects for fiscal year 2011.
Resource Advisory Committee funds are made available by Blaine, Camas, Cassia and Twin Falls counties through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2008. Funds will benefit projects that work toward forest health, fish, wildlife, soils and watersheds; maintain roads, trails and infrastructure; or control noxious weeds on the Sawtooth National Forest or adjacent lands.
Project proposal forms can be found on the Sawtooth National Forest website at: http://fs.usda.gov/sawtooth. Contact Julie Thomas at 737-3262 with questions. Project proposals for this cycle will be accepted until Dec. 30.
Business showcase set for Nov. 10
A free event that allows local businesses to display their products or services to the public will be held Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 5-7 p.m. in Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge, in Sun Valley.
The 18th annual Business Showcase-Partners in Prosperity is sponsored by Zions Bank, Sun Valley Co. and other local businesses. In past years, businesses were charged $100 to register for booths, but it's free for businesses to attend this year.
Deadline for registration is Nov. 5. Space is limited to 50 booths.
For more information, or to register, contact Jeffra Syms or Mary Sfingi at Zions Bank by calling 726-3007 or by e-mail at Jeffra.Syms@zionsbank.com or Mary.Sfingi@zionsbank.com.
Arts Alliance to hold workshops
The Wood River Arts Alliance will hold two marketing and technology workshops on Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Sun Valley Inn Limelight Room from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 1:30-4:45 p.m. The morning session is on best practices for e-mail marketing and the afternoon session is on content management systems and how to reduce costs by updating an online presence.
The speaker will be Ron Evans of Groupofminds.com Arts Marketing Consultants in Sunnyvale, Calif. The cost is $15 for one session and $35 for all day with lunch. Space is limited.
For online pre-registration, visit http://www.wrartsalliance.org/Site/Workshop.html.
BCRD to hold winter exhibition
The 5x7 Passion Project is an opportunity for Nordic enthusiasts to express their creativity and support for Galena and the Trails. Participants are asked to create a drawing, photograph, poem, painting, essay collage or sculpture on a 5x7, 35-square-inch surface to reflect their passion for Galena and the Trails.
Creations will be on display in the Limelight Room at the 15th annual Galena and The Trails Winter Benefit on Saturday, Jan. 29, and sold that evening.
For details and to receive an entry form, call Kris Stoffer at 578-5455 or visit www.bcrd.org.
Jobless rate up for 3rd straight month
Total employment in Idaho slipped further in October, pushing the forecast seasonally adjusted unemployment rate up another notch to 9.1 percent.
It was the third straight monthly increase in the rate, which peaked in February at a near-record 9.5 percent.
Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged, holding at 9.6 percent for the third month in a row.
While there were relatively few layoffs during October, employers hired fewer new workers than during any other October since complete record keeping began in 1998.
The loss of jobs was partially offset by increased employment in education as the fall term got under way.
An increase in Idaho's unemployment rate and a decline in employment have been typical from September to October since the economy began slowing in 2007, but the loss of employment this October at 600 was the smallest since the recession began in December 2007.
Students making pies for holiday baskets
Students and families of the Community School, Pioneer Montessori School, The Mountain School and The Sage School are joining forces to fill Thanksgiving baskets this year. The Thanksgiving baskets are coordinated by the Hunger Coalition and the Silver Creek Alternative School, but needed a sweet finale: pies. Hearing of this need, Chris McAvoy of The Sage School began calling schools to see if they could help fill this gap with some valleywide pie baking.
"When Naomi Spence first asked if we could come up with 400 pies, I laughed at her, and then I began thinking of the number of families in all of these schools, and figured it was probably around 400. Suddenly, it didn't seem so unrealistic," McAvoy said.
The task was quickly divided among the schools proportional to their student population. The Community School committed to 200 pies, Pioneer Montessori committed to 100 pies and the Mountain School and The Sage School have each committed to 50 pies.
Pies will be delivered to the Hunger Coalition for distribution on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Atkinsons' has donated some freezer space to store the pies while the pie making occurs.