Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend quick takes

A few quick takes:

Check out the Downtown Boise Neighborhood Association's website. It's a work in progress, but it's looking good. I also learned at yesterday's DBNA meeting that we'll soon be seeing some more electric boxes bedecked with cool local art. (That photo atop the right-hand side of this blog is one of the current boxes, at Capitol and Main.)

Timberline High students have been hitting the streets this past week, gleaning stories about architecturally and historically significant buildings. Check out this blog post about one team's trip to the Owyhee Plaza Hotel, featured on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "Preservation Nation" blog. I'll also be writing about the Boise Architecture Project - led by teacher Doug StanWiens (on his way to Boise High School) - in the summer issue of Treasure magazine.

Speaking of preservation, Preservation Idaho has a free bike tour of Art Deco architecture in Boise this Saturday. Info here.

In sad downtown news, Sweetwater's Tropic Zone has closed. Can it be that with the abundance of great restaurants on and within a block of 8th Street, 10th Street is just too far for diners to wander? Or is it simply a sign that we're not yet quite out of the economic woods here in the City of Trees?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Early bird gets the eggs (Market 5/15)

As much as I remember and/or have time, I am going to post a pic from my weekly haul from the Capital City Public Market here this spring, summer, and fall. Today's gets included little banty eggs (the bigger, terra cotta-colored ones are coming soon, they tell me), an awesome blackberry lime granola bar made in Meridian, spinach, tomatoes, and handmade asparagus ravioli.

Just a head's up, so you can mark your calendars now: I will be at the market to sign hot-off-the-press, 8th edition copies of Idaho Off the Beaten Path on Saturday, June 19. That's the day before Father's Day, and the book makes a great gift for all your guys who like exploring our fab state. I'll donate a buck from each book sold to the market's Fresh Fund, which - starting in June - will help food stamp users buy locally produced food at the market.

Friday, May 14, 2010

TOD workshop on May 20

If the phrase "transit oriented development" makes you happy, you'll want to know about a workshop set for 10:30 to noon next Thursday, May 20, at the U.S. Bank Building. Chris Zahas, a Portland-based planner, will talk about successful TOD principles and how they might apply here in Boise. Think "mixed use, walkable, location-efficient development in scale with the adjacent community and with sufficient density to support convenient transit." The State Street corridor is one such area being eyed for possible TOD in our town. Surely there are others, too.

The workshop is free and it is sponsored by Valley Regional Transit, the Ada County Highway District, the City of Boise and Kittelson and Associates Inc. For more info or to RSVP, contact Jackie Okun at 338-2683 or jokun at kittelson dot com.

Friday, May 7, 2010

See you at the Green Expo

Just a reminder: This weekend is the 3rd Annual Idaho Green Expo down at the Boise Centre. I am going to try and make it down there for the Green Jobs panel and the worm composting workshop. You'll find a full listing of events, exhibitors, etc. here.

Admission is free, and the first 500 moms attending on Sunday (Mother's Day) get a free stainless steel water bottle, too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Plans and more plans

The Treasure Valley may have an inadequate transportation network, but - as Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas pointed out in a recent op-ed for the Idaho Statesman - it's not for a lack of planning.

The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho plans three open houses next week to seek public comment on the updated long-range transportation plan it must adopt this summer. The open houses are:

Boise - Monday, May 10, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Boise Senior Activities Center, Room E, 690 Robbins Road

Meridian - Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Joint School District #2, District Service Center, 1303 E. Central Drive

Nampa - Thursday, May 13, 2010, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Karcher Mall lobby, 1509 Caldwell Boulevard

As Nancolas noted, all the plans in the world won't get us anywhere without funding. That means electing state legislators who will give local residents the right - currently denied - to fund local transportation options. Consider that when casting your primary votes this May and especially when you vote in November. Meanwhile, attend an open house and offer your input on the updated plan. You can learn more at the COMPASS website.