Wednesday, October 29, 2014


County computer system crashes
    Despite a 14-hour-long failure of Blaine County’s computer system Monday, the 119 early voters who cast ballots in the old courthouse basement that day were unaffected.
    County Information Technology Manager Clay Landon said the problem was first reported by dispatch and jail employees at about 2 a.m. He said the source of the problem was finally traced to a switch that connects all the components of the county’s computer system.
    “It brought our system to a crawl,” he said. “All the departments were impacted.”
    Landon said the source of the malfunction was not fixed until 4 p.m. He said the switch was reset, but it is old and will soon be replaced to reduce the chance of the same thing happening again.
    County Clerk JoLynn Drage said the Elections Department computers are connected to the state network through a central computer in Boise, where voting registration data is kept. She said that allowed people to vote all day Monday.
Local organizations recognized for achievements
    The Wood River Bike Coalition and The Hunger Coalition were recently recognized for creating innovative sustainability initiatives.
    The annual Shift Summit from Oct. 8-12 in Jackson, Wyo., convened people from North American “gateways to environments of major significance” who are working to preserve the natural capital of their communities. According to the Shift Summit website, the event recognizes the fact that economic and cultural vitality are directly connected to a region’s environmental quality.
    The Wood River Bike Coalition and The Hunger Coalition were among 50 organizations, out of more than 600 evaluated, that were invited to participate in the Shift Summit, according to a press release from the two organizations.
    The Hunger Coalition was invited do to its work with The Hope Garden, its gleaning program, food rescue and other food programs. It participated on a “Local Foods, Strong Environments” panel.
    The Wood River Bike Coalition was invited because of its work on potential management of a proposed Boulder-White Clouds National Monument that would protect the ecological value of the mountain ranges while preserving mountain biking access.
    “The breadth of the five-day summit was very impressive,” said Bike Coalition Executive Director Brett Stevenson. “It was an honor to be recognized and have the opportunity to discuss the relationship between conservation and recreation with diverse leaders.”

Flows adjusted for chinook salmon
    For the past 22 years, Idaho Power has managed flows below Hells Canyon Dam to provide stable conditions for spawning fall chinook salmon.
    In 1991, Idaho Power counted a total of 55 chinook salmon nests, or redds, in the survey area. Last year, the number of redds surveyed topped 5,900.
    The salmon have been making their way back from the Pacific Ocean over the past several weeks and are starting to arrive in Hells Canyon. Now, the minimum flow level set below Hells Canyon is maintained until the fish emerge as “fry” in late spring or early summer. This helps ensure the redds remain underwater from spawning through fry emergence.
    Boaters on the lower Snake River are advised these changes could affect flows at Lime Point, and boaters are encouraged to be aware of changing river conditions.
    More information is available on Idaho Power’s website at

CSI offers presentation on Nixon
    The College of Southern Idaho Blaine County Center is offering a free lecture regarding impeachment proceedings in 1974 against former U.S. President Richard Nixon. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, and will be held at the Wood River Community YMCA at 101 Saddle Road in Ketchum.
    The lecture, “Inside the Impeachment of President Nixon,” will be delivered by Paul Ahern, an attorney and college professor who served as a staff person on the House Judiciary Committee that conducted the inquiry that led to impeachment proceedings.
    Nixon, the nation’s 37th president, resigned from office on Aug. 9, 1974 while impeachment proceedings were underway in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
    “Paul will tell stories from inside the Judiciary Committee proceedings, including several profiles of courage where ordinary congressman did what they believed right, even though it threatened their political careers,” states a CSI press release.

Ketchum appoints interim planning director
    The city of Ketchum has appointed Linda Haavik as interim planning and Building Department director to fill the spot vacated by Joyce Allgaier this month. Allgaier left after three years with the city to accept a job in Breckenridge, Colo., with a consulting firm.
    Haavik’s first day was Monday, Oct. 27. She owns a private consulting business to help private landowners with land-use and development applications. Haavik was Ketchum’s Planning Department director between 1978 and 1992 and Blaine County’s building and Planning Department director from 1992 to 2007. She’s also worked as a consultant for Ketchum, having developed zoning code amendments and assisted the planning office in annexing and codifying land use for the River Run area.
    Haavik is a 39-year resident of Blaine County and lives in Hailey.
    The city began a search for a new planning director this week, according to Lisa Enourato, city communications coordinator.

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