Hailey in $100,000 recycle challenge
Hailey has been invited to represent Idaho in the SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge, a nationwide contest that aims to encourage waste reduction and increase household recycling. Fifty communities, one in each state, will compete against each other with the goal of generating the highest recycling participation rate in their community.
The winning community will receive a $100,000 grant from SC Johnson for a community sustainability project. The six-month challenge kicks-off this week and the winner will be announced in January 2013.
Hailey residents wanting to participate can sign up for a free Recyclebank account at www.recyclebank.com/greenchoices and report their recycling activity. For more information, call Maggie, on behalf of SC Johnson, at (312) 297-7442, or Hailey City Hall at 788-4221.
Tdap vaccine offered at reduced fee
South Central Public Health District clinics are currently offering adult Tdap vaccines at a reduced fee of $14 from the typical $44.
"Getting a Tdap vaccine or booster is the best way to protect the little ones you love. Adolescents and adults need to be revaccinated, even if they were vaccinated as children," said Lisa Klamm, the district's immunization coordinator.
"Just this year, the Centers for Disease Control started recommending a Tdap vaccine for people age 65 years and older. Many people in that age category are grandparents and getting vaccinated can help stop the spread of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, which is easily transmitted and can sometimes be fatal for infants."
A limited supply of vaccine is available, so anyone interested is encouraged to make an appointment by calling the public health clinic in your area. In the Wood River Valley, call 788-4335.
Choose not to drink and drive
Fourth of July holiday celebrations mean barbecues, camping, boating and maybe some alcohol, so the Idaho Transportation Department is reminding motorists to make the right choice and not drink and drive.
Law enforcement agencies across Idaho have partnered with ITD in a high-visibility education and enforcement campaign targeting impaired drivers that is under way through July 13.
A few simple precautions before celebrating can prevent a drunk-driving tragedy.
- Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
- If you're impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
- Use available Sober Rides programs. Promptly report drunk drivers you see on roadways to law enforcement.
- If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take his or her keys and help make other transportation arrangements.
St. Luke's Clinic introduces after care
Family Practice Associates in Hailey is now offering appointments on Monday evenings from 5-8 p.m. to better coordinate care and improve access for patients. This new option for Wood River Valley residents will allow them to have access to more convenient appointment times.
As patient demand has grown, St. Luke's clinics have expanded their hours to include Saturdays and make every attempt to accommodate same-day or next-day appointments at all three family medicine locations: Family Practice Associates at 21 E. Maple in Hailey at 788-3200; Family Medicine at 1455 Aviation Drive, Suite 100 in Hailey at 788-3434; and Family Medicine at 100 Hospital Drive, Suite 105, in Ketchum at 622-8811.
Comments sought on CenturyLink plan
The Forest Service is conducting an analysis in response to a proposal from CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) Communications to bury a new fiber-optic cable up the Warm Springs side of Bald Mountain to the North Baldy communications site at the top of the ski area.
The cable would be approximately 12,500 feet long and housed in a 1.25-inch conduit buried approximately 36 inches deep. Up to seven hand holes (polymer/concrete vaults) would be buried flush with the ground surface to allow servicing of the cable. Construction could start in August and continue into October 2012.
According to Joe Miczulski, recreation and lands forester for the Ketchum Ranger District, CenturyLink's proposal would amend their existing special-use permit.
"CenturyLink expects cellular telephone call capacity and Internet data service will improve within the central Wood River Valley after this project is completed," he said.
Additional information regarding this proposal can be obtained at the Ketchum Ranger Station at 206 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum, ID., by calling 622-5371, or via the Internet at www.fs.usda.gov/projects/sawtooth/landmanagement/projects.
Comments on the proposal need to be received by Aug. 3. Send comments to: Ketchum Ranger District, PO Box 2356, Ketchum, ID 83340, Attn: Joe Miczulski. Comments can also be e-mailed to: email@example.com.
Scams follow in wildfires' wake
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden warned in a news release this week that as wildfires heat up across the western United States, scams are likely to follow.
"We usually see communities pulling together during times of tragedy. Unfortunately, we also see scammers taking advantage of the people left in vulnerable positions."
Wasden said that typical schemes involve home repair and construction fraud, deceptive door-to-door sales, fake government inspectors and solicitations for fraudulent charities.
The attorney general's office urges checking with local officials to see if no-cost or low-cost home inspections are available, avoiding making an immediate decision, check credentials of all workers and officials and make sure to get a second opinion on any written estimate.
The office also warns not to donate money over the phone. Instead, request written information be mailed to your home. More information is available at www.ag.idaho.gov.
Advocates say sockeye numbers misleading
Though upper Columbia River salmon are returning in record numbers this year, Idaho's sockeye returns are expected to be about average.
Fish advocacy group Idaho Rivers United said in a news release that last year 1,118 hatchery and 150 natural sockeye returned to the Sawtooth Valley. In 2010, 1,345 hatchery and 180 natural sockeye returned.
Idaho sockeye must pass through four dams on the Columbia River before turning up the Snake River and passing through four more dams. Idaho's sockeye were listed as endangered in 1991.
"Fish and Game biologists have worked wonders in preventing extinction of Idaho's sockeye," said Idaho Rivers United Policy Director Greg Stahl. "The 150 to 180 natural origin fish that returned each of the past couple years aren't anywhere close enough to recover the species. The primary obstacle to recovery remains the same."
Stahl said that removal of four dams on the lower Snake River was "required" for sockeye recovery in Idaho.
Know before you go this weekend
The Sawtooth National Forest urges campers and recreationists this weekend to familiarize themselves with forest rules and regulations before heading out.
Fireworks, for example, are prohibited on all national forests year-round, and fires must be carefully monitored.
A Forest Service news release states that even if vegetation is green, recreationists are urged to use caution with fire and smoking at all times and in all places. Fires should be dead out before campers leave campsites, the release states.
Motorized vehicles are required to stay on designated motorized routes, and the U.S. Forest Service prohibits the off-road motor sport of mud bogging or racing on all Forest Service lands.
Recreationists are urged to keep campsites clean to discourage bears who might search for convenient human food, and campers must be prepared to pack out all trash.
For a list of rules and to ensure that a desired campsite is open, call 737-3200.
BLM seeks comment on power line
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a report that provides additional information on the sage-grouse analysis for the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project.
The report provides new information regarding mitigation for habitat loss, which was not complete when the draft environmental impact statement was released. Comments are requested by Aug. 3. The report can be viewed online at www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west and can also be received on CD by calling (800) 380-5828.
The Gateway West Transmission Line Project is jointly proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power and would result in the construction of nearly 1,100 miles of high-voltage transmission lines across southern Wyoming and southern Idaho.
BLM solicits proposals for horse sanctuaries
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking to improve its Wild Horse and Burro Program by soliciting proposals for wild horse sanctuaries on private land.
The sanctuaries would be publicly accessible with a potential for ecotourism, but would help the BLM feed and care for excess wild horses that have been removed from Western public rangelands.
An applicant must submit an application at www.grants.gov and register on that site. Completing the registration process may take up to two weeks.