Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Firefighters send aid to regional fires

In support of battling ongoing wildfires in the West, the BLM's Twin Falls District, Sawtooth National Forest and local city fire departments have sent firefighters and equipment to New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Alaska to assist.

Sun Valley firefighters have been dispatched to Wyoming for structure protection on the Guernsey State Park fire.

The Twin Falls District BLM has sent three engines to fires in Utah and a person to provide public information assistance on a team in Utah.

Two firefighters have been sent to the Little Bear fire in New Mexico, the third largest fire in the nation at this time, having burned more than 36,000 acres. One other local firefighter was sent to Alaska to help with Helitack and another to Colorado to help with Single Engine Air Tanker operations.

Seven people from the Sawtooth National Forest are currently supporting fires in Nevada, Utah and Colorado. They also have two engines in Colorado and two in Utah. The Sawtooth Hot Shot Crew was just released from the Lost Lake fire in Utah and will soon gear up to help with more fires across the nation.

Fire danger is rated moderate on most of the Twin Falls District BLM and the Sawtooth National Forest.

Exploding targets increase wildfires

The Boise District BLM has investigated 19 human-caused fires so far this season, four of which may have been exploding rifle-shooting targets.

While this has not been a suspected cause of any fires on the Twin Falls District BLM so far this summer, it is still a big concern and something the agency said it hopes to avoid.

"Many people don't realize that exploding targets can easily start wildfires, which can threaten lives, property and our natural resources," said Idaho BLM State Director Steve Ellis.

People use exploding targets for rifle shooting practice. The targets explode when hit by a high-powered rifle bullet, scattering incendiary materials for several feet. Once these materials hit dry grass, wildfires can easily ignite and quickly move through dry vegetation.

While the targets are legal in many locations, it is illegal to use exploding targets, incendiary or tracer ammunition and fireworks on public lands from May 10 to Oct. 10 every year, per the Idaho Fire Prevention Order. Violations of the order may bring up to one year in jail and/or up to a $100,000 fine, and violators who start wildfires can also be liable for the costs of damage and suppression.

Horizon Air to discuss Idaho flights

The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce has invited Horizon Air President Glenn Johnson to speak in Boise next week.

This comes on the heels of the Air Service Summit and the Boise Airport's commitment to match a federal grant that aims to encourage airlines to open more directs routes in and out of the Boise Airport.

Johnson will give his assessment of the future of the airline industry and talk about his company's increased commitment to the Boise market, which could bring a significant boost to businesses in the area near the airport.

Johnson will speak at noon Thursday, June 28, at the Grove Hotel in Boise.

Local chef chosen for national grant

Kathryn Guylay, regional director of Nurture for Sun Valley, has received a $250 grant from the American Culinary Federation through its Chefs Move to Schools program.

The program is part of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative. It was established in 2010 with the goal of solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. Twelve of the grants were recently awarded to participating chefs around the country.

Guylay partnered with the Community School in Sun Valley.

ACF expects to present a total of 60 grants for 2012. Two more grant periods are planned with application deadlines scheduled for Aug. 30 and Dec. 30. Interested chefs can learn more about the grants and download an application by visiting or

Work begins on new Stanley library

A ground-breaking celebration for a new facility at the Stanley Community Library will take place today, June 20, at 5 p.m.

According to a news release from the library, the new building will provide more space for users and books, with much better visibility and energy-efficiency, and will include a multipurpose room that will be accessible after hours to community groups.

Plus, the library is part of a larger redevelopment project that's bringing new housing, retail and commercial space to downtown Stanley. A central plaza area will offer outdoor seating and space for community events.

Move-in is scheduled for late December for the library, and summer 2013 for the rest of the project.

The library provides the only pre-school literacy services in the area, and programs supplement the Stanley School's curriculum. A variety of adult programs such as book discussions, lectures and slide shows are offered, along with technical assistance, test proctoring, and print/fax/copy services. Nine public access computers and wireless Internet are available to all users.

Nonprofits receive Deer Creek grants

The Deer Creek Fund recently awarded $101,400 in grants to 23 nonprofit organizations in the Wood River Valley.

Created in 1996 through the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Family Foundation of Colorado, the Deer Creek Fund has supported a broad spectrum of community services in and around Blaine County. In 2012, grants made by the Deer Creek Fund include the following:

Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Animal Shelter of Wood River Valley, Blaine County 4-H Horse Program, Blaine County Hunger Coalition, Blaine County Recreation District, Caritas Chorale Limited, Community Library Association, Company of Fools, Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley, Hailey Ice Park, Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, Idaho Rivers United, Little Black Dress Club of the Wood River Valley, Rotarun Ski Club, Sage School, St. Luke's Wood River Foundation, Stanley Community Library, Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, Sun Valley Opera Company, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, The Crisis Hot Line, The Nature Conservancy, and the Wood River Community YMCA.

Idaho's May jobless rate ticks up

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point in May, breaking a string of nine straight monthly declines as hiring slowed in much of the service sector while optimism about employment prospects pushed more job seekers into the labor market.

But even though the unemployment rate rose to 7.8 percent, the number of Idaho workers with jobs jumped over 721,000 for the first time since mid-2008, and total unemployment remained under 61,000 for the second month in a row.

In Blaine County, the May jobless rate was 7.7 percent, up from 6.8 percent in April.

The increase in Idaho's rate mirrored the tenth-of-a-point increase in the national rate to 8.2 percent. Idaho's rate has been below the national rate for nearly 11 years.

Ketchum resident earns ski industry award

Ketchum resident Graham Anderson was recently recognized for his contributions to the ski industry in Colorado.

Anderson was awarded the Colorado Ski Country USA Chairman's Award earlier this month, based on a lifetime of dedication to the industry, according to a press release issued by the association.

Colorado Ski Country USA acknowledged outstanding industry professionals at its third annual Double Diamond awards reception June 6 in Denver.

The awards honor snow maintenance professionals, athletes, instructors, patrollers and industry legends.

Anderson was both a ski racer and referee, but also made contributions by creating ski area insurance policies. According to the association, his liability and property insurance expertise twice rescued the industry from liability insurance crises, and inspired the creation of the first ski insurance program for ski areas at Snoqualmie Pass in 1964.

"Anderson is lauded by those who know him as not only a friend, but a mentor and teacher who has lived and breathed for the ski industry his entire life," the release states.

Redfish Center open for season

The Redfish Center at Redfish Lake and the Stanley Museum are now open for the season and providing services to visitors.

The Redfish Center, south of Stanley, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 16.

"Our programs at the center have expanded this year due to the great success we had last year," said Program Coordinator Jessica Haas. "We have an awesome bunch of naturalists this year who will be offering an exciting lineup of programs."

The center offers an art gallery featuring local artists, exhibits, displays and video programs as well as evening campfire programs, guided nature walks, Redfish Lake boat tours, discovery stations and Junior Ranger programs.

The Stanley Museum, located between Stanley and Lower Stanley, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Displays, exhibits and historical buildings at this site offer information about local area history. Special programs are also conducted for kids.

Both Redfish Center and the museum, as well as the Sawtooth Forum and Lecture Series, are sponsored and operated by the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association and its partners.

For specific information on these programs, please visit the association's website at

Whistler man aims for Kilimanjaro record

WHISTLER, B.C. (MTN)—Martin Kafer, a former ski patroller at Whistler, wants to become the oldest person in the world to climb Kilimanjaro. He will be 85 when he makes his attempt in September as part of the 2012 Ascent for Alzheimer's team.

A native of Switzerland, Kafer moved to British Columbia in 1954 and, in 1965 or 1966, started skiing at Whistler. He and his wife, Esther, a renowned mountaineer in her own right, joined the ski patrol at Whistler in 1971.

"My big motivation is my sister," Martin Kafer explained. "She is very much affected by dementia. You look at this Alzheimer's monster and wonder if it's going to swallow you as well."

The current record for the oldest person to climb Kilimanjaro is held by part-time Sun Valley resident Richard Byerley, who climbed the mountain at age 84.

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