New bike race set for June
Registration is open for a new bike race this summer during the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. The Shimano Sun Valley Super Enduro will include a $5,000 purse and be limited to 250 racers, so interested participants should register as soon as possible.
According to a news release from the Bike Festival, the race will feature four different downhill stages and one bike park stage for riders to test their skill and ability to “keep the throttle wide open.” The stages will be spread over two days, June 29-30. In the release, Bike Festival Director Greg Randolph stated that the trails for the enduro will be “fast and flowy” and more about speed than technical skill. Racers will descend more than 11,000 vertical feet during the four downhill stages.
This year will be the third annual for the Bike Festival, which is presented by Ketchum-based Scott Sports. People interested in entering the enduro should register at http://ridesunvalleysuperenduro.athlete360.com. Registration costs $100.
St. Luke’s to host sports injury talk
As part of St. Luke’s Center for Community Health’s Brown Bag Health Talks series, St. Luke’s Hailey Clinic is hosting a talk that will focus on the 10 most frequent orthopedic sports medicine injuries and how to avoid them.
The lecture will be Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the clinic’s Carbonate Rooms. Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Glen Shapiro will speak on how to best prevent orthopedic injuries and on what people should do if they or a family member sustain such an injury.
All Brown Bag Health Talks are free. For more information or a complete list of upcoming talks, visit the classes and events page of St. Luke’s website at www.stlukesonline.org.
Verdi opera is next for Met HD: Live
Director Michael Mayer has set his bold new production of “Rigoletto,” Giuseppe Verdi’s 19th-century opera, in Las Vegas in 1960: an ideal setting for this conflict of depravity and innocence.
“Rigoletto” is an opera in three acts based on the play “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo.
Approximate running time is three and a half hours.
Sun Valley Opera and Metropolitan Theatres are the local sponsors. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office in Hailey in advance or on the day of the opera. General admission tickets are $22, seniors $20 and students $18.
Ice-fishing contest this weekend
The third annual West Magic Resort Ice Fishing Tournament will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, and Sunday, Feb. 17, in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Fishers of all skill levels are invited. Spectators are encouraged to come and watch the competition for the heaviest trout and the longest perch. The tournament concludes with a fish fry.
There is a $5 entry fee per species, per day, per person. For details, contact Don Hartman at 208-487-2571.
Music to rock mid-valley venue
Two sell-out bands are returning to Hailey next week to perform at the Sun Valley Brewery.
First up, with two nights, is the L.A. blues band The 44s, which will play Monday, Feb. 18, and Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 8:30 p.m. Book both nights for $15, or one for $10.
The Shook Twins, a Portland, Ore.,-based folk-singing duo, helmed by real identical twins Laurie and Katelyn Shook, will play Thursday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. According to a press release from the brewery, the women often perform to sell-out crowds and at major music festivals across the Northwest.
Coffee Grinder and Gallery to show landscapes
“Landscapes,” a collection of plein-air landscapes by Idaho Artist Rachel Teannalach will be exhibited at the Coffee Grinder and Gallery through March 31.
These oil paintings feature landscapes from the Wood River and Pasimeroi valleys. Teannalach is represented by Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts in Marin County, Calif., and her original work is being featured by Pottery Barn.
A reception for the artist will be held at 321 Fourth St. E. as part of Gallery Walk tonight, Feb. 15, from 5-8 p.m.
For more on the artist, visit www.teannalach.com.
More benefits end for Idaho workers
Idaho’s plummeting unemployment rate has eliminated another tier of federal extended benefits for idled workers in the state.
The two-tenths of a percentage point decline in the December jobless rate to 6.6 percent brought the state’s three-month average unemployment rate below the 7 percent trigger for the third tier of extended benefits, which totaled nine weeks.
According to a press release from the Idaho Department of Labor, several hundred unemployment claimants receiving benefits under that final tier will finish up their nine weeks. This tier is no longer available to claimants who are exhausting their other extended benefits this week or later.
Laid-off workers who have exhausted their 10 to 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits can still qualify for the first two tiers of federal extended benefits, each totaling up to 14 additional weeks.
Since the program began, about 100,000 Idaho workers have shared $900 million in federally financed extended benefits. About $1.3 billion has been paid in regular state benefits since the beginning of 2008, a month after the recession began.
Feds consider changes to river lottery
Boaters hoping to increase their chance of launching on the Salmon, Snake, Selway or Middle Fork of the Salmon rivers may soon be able to gain “points” to increase their odds. The opportunity to launch on a selected date is managed through the Four Rivers Lottery.
The lottery system is not currently weighted, but it could be soon, depending on public response to the proposal.
“We know people want a way to increase their chances of launching on their preferred date,” said Trish Callaghan, Salmon-Challis National Forest recreation program manager. ”This weighted lottery could begin as early as the 2015 application season and may be similar to what many states now do for their hunting season tag allocations for specialized hunts.”
Information about the way the points system would work is on the Salmon-Challis National Forest website, www.fs.usda.gov/detail/scnf/passespermits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_029568.
River managers will review comments sent to HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com by March 15.
Congressmen reintroduce grazing act
The Grazing Improvement Act, whose co-sponsors include Rep. Mike Simpson and Rep. Raúl Labrador, both R-Idaho, has been reintroduced in Congress.
“This bill will add more stability and production security to ranchers in Idaho because it streamlines the permitting process to access public lands,” Labrador said.
The bill would:
( Extend BLM and Forest Service livestock grazing permits from 10 years to 20 years.
( Codify appropriation rider language to require expired grazing permits to be extended under existing terms and conditions until the renewal process is complete.
( Encourage the respective secretaries to use categorical exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act process to expedite permit processing.
( Allow trailing permits to be categorically excluded from NEPA.
During the 112th Congress in June 2012, the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 232-188.