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Boise Weekly

Boise Weekly - Idaho's only alternative weekly newspaper. Boise's best source for news, arts and entertainment, classifieds and upcoming events.

Published: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:01 -0700

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:00:00 -0700

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History and Activism at the Idaho Statehouse on MLK Day

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:55:24 -0700

(image) In his speech, "I'm Still Dreaming," Francisco Salinas used the structure of King's original speech to say America is still in arrears for the promise of equality it made to all citizens in its founding documents. There wan't anything wrong with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, per se, but Boise State University Director of Diversity and Inclusion Francisco Salinas remixed it anyway for his remarks Monday at the Idaho Human Rights Day Celebration. In his speech, "I'm Still Dreaming," Salinas used the structure of King's original speech to add that America is still in arrears for the promise of equality it made to all citizens in its founding documents. "America still continues to default on this promise," he said. Salinas' Jan. 15 speech renewed the call for protection of the marginalized the righteous pursuit of social justice, invoking that adage from the 2016 presidential election, "When they go low, we go high." Striking a balance between vigorous activism and peaceful resistance has long been a theme for MLK Day addresses, but Salinas observed while the need remains the same, the language of struggle has changed since the Civil Rights era. Minutes before his speech, Tanisha Ayers, a Boise State University student speaking before a crowd of hundreds at the Capitol steps, said the pursuit of justice "must disrupt the status quo," and change is unlikely to take place "just because we ask for it." She challenged the popular image of King's nonviolence, arguing his refusal to come to blows was no barrier to him taking action. "This man was not the kumbaya pacifist he has been made out to be," she said. For others, however, MLK Day is as much about breaking cycles of oppression as it is an encounter with history. Lisa Sanchez, who became the first Hispanic woman ever to serve on the Boise City Council Jan. 9, said one of her first actions as an engaged citizen was with a Boise State MLK Day organizing committee, where she was asked by one of its most influential founders, Eric Love, to be the committee liaison to the Boise State chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (MEChA). That was in 1989. Sanchez's activism extends to the present day. At her swearing-in ceremony, she brought members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe from Duck Valley as a reminder of the first residents of the Boise area. She said she hopes to bring "the lens of compassion to everything that we do," and increase the amount and effectiveness of citizens' political engagement through education. Standing under the rotunda in the Capitol building just…

Jan. 16, 2018: What to Know

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:13:37 -0700

(image) A gruesome discovery in Perris, California, College of Idaho recovers from a two hour lockdown and the NAACP Image Awards have been bestowed. A husband and wife from Perris, California are behind bars on suspicion of torture and child endangerment after police rescued 13 boys and girls from the couple's house. Some of the children were shackled to their beds. The Los Angeles Times reports that law enforcement didn't immediately realize that seven of the 13 siblings were actually over the age of 18 because they were so emaciated. The victims' ages range from 2 to 29 years old. The College of Idaho was on lockdown for about two hours Monday afternoon after a woman said she had been threatened with a gun by two individuals in a campus parking lot. Students and staff were warned to shelter in place. Investigators said the two suspected individuals ran away from campus and the lockdown was lifted at 2:30 p.m. C of I Interim President Bob Hoover said the college has been rehearsing its emergency procedures for the past decade and said he is "pleased" with "how well the emergency procedures were followed, and calm was restored on campus." Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) was named entertainer of the year at the NAACP Image Awards last night. Other winners were Daniel Kaluuya (best actor in a motion picture for Get Out), Octavia Spencer (best actress in a motion picture for Gifted), Anthony Anderson (best actor in a comedy series for Black-ish), Tracee Ellis Ross (best actress in a comedy series for Black-ish), Omari Hardwick (best actor in a drama series for Power) and Taraji P. Henson (best actress in a drama series for Empire). Best motion picture went Girls Trip,  best comedy series went to Black-ish and best drama series went to Power. …

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Idaho Human Rights Day Celebration Today at Capitol

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 08:29:00 -0700

(image) "It's an opportunity to honor a legacy that challenges us to create a better world. Those triple evils of racism, poverty and war require our attention more than ever. If you shrink from that responsibility, it's on you." Gem State lawmakers will pause at noon today to honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but the legacy of the Idaho Legislature isn't as noble as the slain civil rights leader who would have been 88 years old today. The official national holiday was signed into law in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, but it wasn't until 1990 that then-Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus signed legislation making Idaho the 47th state to recognize an official King state holiday. The designation came, however, after a string of Idaho lawmakers argued against giving another paid holiday to state employees and questioned the importance of Dr. King. Ultimately, in an effort to pacify legislators opposed to the King honor, it was decided that the third Monday of January would be known as "Idaho Human Rights Day." All county, state, federal and most city offices will be closed today, while the legislature remains in session. Post offices, most banks and most schools are also closed today. At Boise State University, the annual MLK Living Legacy Celebration got underway early this morning with a poster-making party in preparation of a Day of Greatness march to the Idaho Capitol Building. Inside the Capitol, the Idaho Human Rights Day celebration will get underway at noon with a keynote address from Francisco Salinas, Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Boise State. "It's really a day on, not a day off," Salinas said in 2017. "It's an opportunity to honor a legacy that challenges us to create a better world. Those triple evils of racism, poverty and war require our attention more than ever. If you shrink from that responsibility, it's on you." The celebration at the Idaho Statehouse today will also feature performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo and Common Ground.…

Canadian Research Adds to Worry Over an Environmental Threat the Pentagon Has Downplayed for Decades

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) A study released late last year gives environmental experts a way to quantify how much RDX, a chemical used in military explosives, is spreading into surrounding communities. New research by Canadian scientists into the spread of a chemical commonly used in military explosives has confirmed some of the worst fears of U.S. environmental regulators tracking the threat posed by the Pentagon’s handling of its munitions in this country.The Canadian research analyzed soil and water samples at nine sites where military explosives were detonated between 1990 and 2014, and came up with data about where and in what concentrations the explosive compound known as RDX, a possible human carcinogen, had turned up. Calling RDX “an internationally known problem,” which “has led to an international warning on possible soil, surface water, and groundwater contamination on military training sites,” the research described with actual measurements how RDX floats on the wind and seeps through soils into water supplies.The researchers took water samples from groundwater at the explosives sites and found that in 26 out of 36 samples, the RDX that had made its way into aquifers exceeded levels considered safe. As a result, the researchers suggest that the data can be used to model RDX contamination at any site where munitions are routinely detonated, and for the first time, give environmental experts a way to quantify how much of it is spreading into surrounding communities.RDX was considered a major military breakthrough when it was first developed for large-scale use on the eve of World War II, and to this day it remains a staple of the U.S. military’s war-making abilities, used in bombs, missiles and other weapons. And for decades, the Pentagon has known about RDX’s potential health and environmental threat. But the Pentagon has long maintained that the risk is not great, and it has both financed research and flexed its political muscle to have its view prevail. Most recently, the Pentagon has waged an intense fight to not have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency upgrade its classification of RDX’s health threat, a move that could expose the Department of Defense to billions of added dollars in cleanup costs.At a minimum, the Canadian research — published Nov. 17 in the Journal of Environmental Quality — will add to the store of knowledge about RDX contamination. The research found that while the highest concentrations of RDX remained in a ring around the sites where munitions had exploded, pieces of explosive, perhaps as large as a centimeter, were carried on the wind and later settled in the soil. Surface and groundwater…

After a Sweet Deal With Dad, Eric Trump Assembles a Valuable Penthouse

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) The president’s son is combining three apartments overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park — one of them bought at a steep discount from his father — to create 2,400 square feet worth considerably more than he paid. President Donald Trump’s son Eric is preparing to capitalize on a windfall he received from his father during the presidential campaign: He’s combining three luxury Manhattan high-rise apartments, one of which he purchased at a throwaway price from his father, into one potentially lucrative penthouse.In the spring of 2016, Eric Trump got a great deal from his father. He bought two previously unsold condominium apartments at Trump Parc East for just $350,000 each, about half of the price they had recently been listed for. Such bargain basement sales are usually treated as gifts by the IRS. But they might not have been taxed that way, tax experts said, because of advantages available only to real estate developers.Last month, Eric transferred ownership of one of the condos — unit 14G — and two other adjacent apartments he owns into a new entity called 100 CPS Penthouse LLC.He had already applied for permits to combine these three units into a 2,400-square-foot apartment on the top floor of a building that overlooks Manhattan’s Central Park. The estimated cost to combine the apartments: $410,000.All told, Eric paid just under $3 million for the three apartments. With the estimated renovation costs included, he will have spent more than $3.3 million to create the penthouse.How much Eric could get on the market if he sold such a large penthouse is not clear, but for comparison’s sake, an apartment of 1,700 square feet on a lower floor of the same building sold for $7.5 million in 2013. At that price per foot, the penthouse would sell for over $10 million. Higher floors tend to command steeper prices.In 2008, a 4,400-square-foot unit in the building went on the market for $38 million but never sold.Representatives for the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.David Herzig, a tax professor at Valparaiso University Law School, said the fact that Eric needed unit 14G in order to assemble the enlarged penthouse could make the fair market value of the gifted apartment even higher than previously thought.The $350,000 deal he got from Trump “might not only have been a fire sale,” he said, “but if this is a key component that you would need to combine them together to make a penthouse, to get the requisite number of rooms, that actually means that this property should have been sold at a premium, not a discount.”It’s not clear why Trump…

Jan. 12, 2018: What to Know

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 11:09:00 -0700

(image) Donald Trump takes a beating over his "shithole countries" remarks, Facebook changes its algorithm and Bogus Basin reopens on a limited basis. President Donald Trump again topped the headlines Thursday morning in the wake of his incendiary remarks about immigrants from Latin American and African nations. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump reportedly told a bipartisan committee which was meeting Thursday at the White House. He made the reported comments while expressing frustration with congressional attempts to protect immigrants from nations like Haiti and El Salvador as part of an immigration deal. The President's comments drew quick condemnation, with Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love—the only Haitian-American in Congress—calling on Trump to apologize. In a statement, she wrote, "The president'[s] comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation's values." Facebook is again changing its algorithm, prioritizing posts that garner lots of likes, shares and comments in an attempt to "spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people." The move will likely mean more personal posts from friends and relatives will appear on Facebook news feeds, but could result in a decrease in the prevalence of posts by pages like news sites and other kinds of public content. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post that the change is part of a company effort to "make sure our services aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being." Operations at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area resumed today, albeit on a limited scale. Bogus announced Jan. 7 it would be closed Monday-Thursday, Jan. 8-11, while it waited out dry, warm conditions for additional snowfall. There was some snowfall Thursday, allowing the hill to open the Deer Point, Pine Creek and Coach chairlifts, as well as the Discovery, Easy Rider and Explorer conveyor lifts. The Pepsi Gold Rush tubing hill and Nordic Center will also be open, though the new Glade Runner Mountain Coaster opening has been delayed due to snow and ice on the track. The hill currently has 23 inches of snow at its base, with 4 inches of new snowfall.…

The Second Treefort 2018 Artist Announcement Is a Whopper

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:00:00 -0700

(image) Treefort has gone big, dropping the names of 98 music acts as part of its second artist announcement. Cassiopeia! Juice! Aan! Yonatan Gat! Treefort Music Fest has announced the names of an additional 98 music acts that will perform at the festival this year, which is slated for Wednesday-Sunday, March 21-25. That's in addition to the scores of acts announced back in December. In what has become a Treefort tradition, a launch party is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 9, at the Basque Block, which will feature performances by La Misa Negra, Kulululu, Leafraker and Madisun Proof. Tickets are $15 ($10 for Treefort pass holders) and are available on Eventbrite. Here's the list of acts, fresh from the Treefort presses: Princess Nokia Rapsody Jamila Woods Typhoon Partner Christopher Willits Eliot Lipp Low Cut Connie The Regrettes The Russ Liquid Test Big Dipper Milk & Bone Rituals of Mine Sonny Smith Springtime Carnivore Yonatan Gat Starcrawler Jherek Bischoff Clarke and the Himselfs Andy Frasco Olivia Jean Thick Business Selector Dub Narcotic Haley Heynderickx High Up Aan Frigs Needles//Pins H-Hour Everyone Is Dirty Prom Queen Genders Cavegreen Mike Coykendall Hobosexual Cerberus Rex Cones Haunted Summer Host BlackWater HolyLight Stelth Ulvang Prism Bitch Crystal Ghost East Forest Marshall Poole Battlehooch Benoit Pioulard LED Whispertown Western Daughter Kuinka Toy Zoo Andrew Sheppard Dick Stusso Tocaio Sunbathe And And And Nelly Kate Leafraker Brooke Would Kelli Schaefer Rubedo Ealdor Bealu Dear Rabbit Endorphins Lost Smokey Brights Random Canyon Growlers Whippoorwill Childspeak Another Man Out The Window Edison Jordan Thornquest With Child Caitlin James Midwife Hummingbird of Death Sammy Brue Easter Island George Washingmachine The Brankas Gentle Spirit Tambalka Old Death Whisper Madisun Proof The Love Bunch People With Bodies Cassiopeia Alleys Laika The Dog Gold Casio Idyltime Pure Ivy Hallowed Oak Juice! déCollage queen boychild Buff Mervyn Yardsss…

A.J. Balukoff's Bid to be Idaho's Next Governor, the Sequel

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:00:00 -0700

(image) The lifelong Democrat is spending the first official days of his 2018 campaign in Pocatello and Idaho Falls (Wednesday, Jan. 10), Twin Falls and Ketchum (Thursday, Jan. 11) and Coeur d'Alene (Friday, Jan. 12). A.J. Balukoff says it makes all the sense in the world to launch a second run for governor of Idaho. "It usually takes more than once to be successful in whatever you do," he told Boise Weekly hours before officially kicking off his 2018 gubernatorial campaign. "My 2014 campaign was largely about introducing myself to the people of Idaho. I wasn't well-known outside of Boise." Balukoff, 71, is a 21-year member of the Boise School Board and 12-year member of the St. Luke's West Region Board of Directors. He says his resume couldn't be more in sync with the most critical issues of the 2018 campaign. "It's all about the constitutional mandate for an equal education opportunity for every child and the moral responsibility to accessibility [of] health care for all Idahoans," said Balukoff. The lifelong Democrat is spending the first official days of his 2018 campaign in Pocatello and Idaho Falls (Wednesday, Jan. 10), Twin Falls and Ketchum (Thursday, Jan. 11) and Coeur d'Alene (Friday, Jan. 12). As for just who will represent the Republican party in the general election in November—businessman Tommy Ahlquist, Congressman Raul Labrador and Lieutenant Governor Brad Little are in a tight contest, which will be settled in the May GOP primary—Balukoff says he's too busy focusing on his own campaign to guess. However, given the amount of money Ahlquist, Labrador and Little have already spent, Balukoff says he fully expects the general election to be pricey. "That's my analysis. It's going to take as much as we spent four years ago," said Balukoff, who spent nearly $3 million of his own funds in his 2014 unsuccessful race against Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. "We haven't had a democratic governor in Idaho since 1995," said Balukoff. "And the Republicans have had full control of both houses of the legislature since 1961. Idahoans have to be ready for a change."…

What Lies Beneath

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:02:00 -0700

(image) "We know the effects of this bill will reverberate for years to come. It will end up causing lasting damage to many people's ability to get an education, buy a home or save for retirement." United States Public Law No. 115-97 is like a Christmas present you're afraid to open. It's from your Uncle Sam, and stuffed under the Christmas tree wrapped in 500 pages of actual law and 600 pages of a so-called "conference report" explaining the first 500 pages. Law No. 115-97 is better known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and despite CNN reporting "pretty much nobody in Congress had read the measure," it was passed along party lines by both the U.S. House and Senate and signed into law three days before Christmas. "This thing was rushed through in a matter of days," said Christine Tiddens, community outreach director at Idaho Voices for Children. "We're still trying to dig into it." The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy is as well, and analysts from both groups say they're really worried about what's wrapped up in the 1,000-plus pages of the bill. "For one, it's important to note who truly benefits the greatest from these promised tax cuts," said Director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy Lauren Necochea. GOP congressional sponsors of the $1.5 trillion bill promised taxes would be cut across the board for businesses and individuals, but an analysis by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy revealed that isn't the case. "Have you seen this?" asked Necochea, pointing to the analysis, which shows wealthy Idahoans will enjoy the greatest tax relief, getting a 29 percent share of the new federal tax cuts, while 20 percent of the poorest Idahoans will see only 1 percent. ITEP further concluded 60 percent of Idaho taxpayers will receive only 14 percent of the total benefits, while the wealthiest 5 percent will reap 49 percent. "We know the effects of this bill will reverberate for years to come," said Tiddens. "It will end up causing lasting damage to many people's ability to get an education, buy a home or save for retirement." In their rush to approve the sweeping tax measure, the GOP-controlled House and Senate headed out of town before addressing something equally important: funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, aka CHIP, which is critical in the Gem State: Nearly 50 percent of newborns, children with disabilities and toddlers in Idaho receive coverage through CHIP, as do 100 percent of Idaho foster children. "With CHIP, we're talking about everything from treating a child [with] the flu to a child…

Andrew Whittaker

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:01:00 -0700

(image) "One of the genuinely brilliant things about my job is that I've got this enormous amount of real estate to get around, and Idaho is a big part of that." When Andrew Whittaker was six years old and growing up in South London, he wanted to be a stuntman. In his teens, he thought about becoming an astronaut or a graphic designer. By the time he was at the University of Cambridge, he had set his sights on serving Queen Elizabeth. "I'm the first in my family to join the foreign service," Whittaker said. The British government assigned him to posts in Madrid, Jerusalem and Basra. He rose to Deputy Head of the Foreign Office Crisis Management Department and Deputy Director of the U.K. national cyber security team, and today, Whittaker's official title is Her Majesty's Consul General. From his base in San Francisco, Whittaker represents the U.K. in several western U.S. states, including Idaho. During a recent visit to the Gem State, he talked about Brexit—the U.K.'s in-process secession from the European Union—and his country's vested interests in Idaho. Can we assume there's no turning back from Brexit? I don't think it's ever been a question of trying to find a way not to do it. By far, it is now my government's No. 1 priority. Brexit also affords the opportunity for the U.K. to become a real global champion of free trade. Can you appreciate that a fair number of Americans are looking at Brexit selfishly and asking, "What does this mean for us?" The special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S. is extremely deep, and that's not going to change. Think of our excellent security and intelligence cooperation and our shared values. That will continue as it has done for many decades past, and I'm very confident we'll continue that for many decades to come. And our trading partnership? The U.S. is, by far, our largest trade partner as a single nation. Something like a million people go to work every day in the United States, working for a company headquartered in the U.K. We watch the U.K. political scene and Prime Minister Theresa May with great interest. Can I assume you're watching our political scene? We absolutely don't play a role in your internal politics. Our political scene is tough to ignore. We want to work with whoever is in charge. For example, here in Idaho, it's extremely important for us to recognize you're about to have a race for your next governor. That race is already gaining steam. Whoever you choose, it's important for…

Hell On Ice: I, Tonya

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:01:00 -0700

(image) Now playing at The Flicks Think of I, Tonya, a funny docu-dramedy of the most notorious figure skater in the history of the sport, as a stepchild of the 1990 Martin Scorsese epic Goodfellas. Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) borrows liberally from Scorsese's style, as characters look directly into the camera and unleash their own version of the truth, while a pulsating classic rock soundtrack frames the manic pace. "America... well, they want someone to love, but they also want someone to hate," says Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie in a sure-bet Oscar-nominated performance). "And those haters? They always said, 'Tonya, tell the truth.' Well, there's no such thing as the truth. I mean, the truth is bullshit." Tonya Harding's rags-to-riches-to-rags life story is so crazy, it seems like bullshit, indeed. She grew up dirt-poor, chopping wood, skinning rabbits and winning figure skating competitions in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She gained global infamy after being implicated in an attack on her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan weeks before the 1994 Olympic winter games, and then facing-off during the games in Lillehammer, Norway, against a still-convalescing Kerrigan in what was dubbed SkateGate—an event watched by a U.S. television audience of 126 million. Harding was formally charged with conspiracy in the weeks following the Olympics. With tongue firmly in-cheek, I, Tonya begins with a caveat: "This movie is based on irony-free, wildly contradictory and totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly." Gillooly (a star-making performance from Sebastian Stan) became equally infamous when he was convicted and sent to prison for masterminding the kneecap attack on Kerrigan. "Did you know that if you bash someone in the kneecap now, they say you 'Gillooly' them?" he says to the camera. "So, that's kinda cool." Harding and Gillooly were awful, but the queen of mean in I, Tonya is Harding's mother LaVona, played to the hellish hilt by Allison Janney (another certain Oscar nominee). Throughout the film, when Harding says one thing to the camera and Gillooly chimes in with his two cents, LaVona is close behind, wearing a terrible rabbit fur coat, hooked up to an oxygen tank and sucking on a cigarette while an ear-nipping parakeet perches on her shoulder. Janney steals nearly every scene in I, Tonya, even when she's off screen for a few short minutes. "Well, my story line is disappearing right now," she complains. "What the fuck?" The story of…

BCT: Adam Enright in Good Bitch Goes Down

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Billed as a "triumphant and glittery return" for its creator, Good Bitch Goes Down is a one-of-a-kind performance you can't afford to miss. The sentence writer/singer/actor Adam Enright uses to describe his upcoming show reads more like a warning label than an advertisement: "Part self-help seminar, part autobiographical exorcism [and] full rock concert, Good Bitch Goes Down will show you how one man went from heartbroken to heartbreaker in 60 song-filled minutes." Enright not only penned Good Bitch, he also produced and performed it, starting at the New York public theater Joe's Pub in 2014. This year, the show will be making a comeback with a 10-day stretch of performances at the Boise Contemporary Theater, where Enright, who starred in its 2017 production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is no stranger to the stage. Billed as a "triumphant and glittery return" for its creator, Good Bitch Goes Down is a one-of-a-kind performance you can't afford to miss.

Author Michael Di Martino: Rebel Genius

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Stop by Rediscovered Books on Thursday, Jan. 11, to meet Di Martino, grab a book and embark on his latest fantastical adventure. Author and animation director Michael Di Martino had a loyal following even before his debut prose work, Rebel Genius, hit shelves thanks to another storyline he helped create: the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. During its five-year run on Nickelodeon, Avatar racked up a host of awards for its stellar animation, genius storyboarding and cast of quirky characters, including a Primetime Emmy, multiple Annie Awards, a Genesis Award and a Kids' Choice Award. Now, Di Martino has channeled his storytelling prowess into a children's/young adult fantasy series full of magic and mystery, where "art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed" and the physical manifestations of genius can land their creators in serious trouble. Stop by Rediscovered Books on Thursday, Jan. 11, to meet Di Martino, grab a book and embark on his latest fantastical adventure.

Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Stop by on Friday, Jan. 12 or Saturday, Jan, 13 to soak up some of their know-how, try your hand at tying flies and learn about fishing in the Gem State. For the last 13 years, the Western Idaho Fly Fishing expo has delighted Gem State fisherfolk with its plethora of gear, indoor casting ponds and entertaining speakers. For year 14, the two-day event will be bigger than ever, with guests Phil Rowley and Jeff Putnam in starring roles. Rowley has authored three fishing books, including best seller Fly Patterns for Stillwaters, and was a 2007 Canadian Fly Fishing Championship gold medalist, while Putnam is a fly fishing instructor with a line of how-to DVDs. With more than 50 years of fishing experience between them, the duo will have a lot of wisdom to share with expo attendees. Stop by on Friday, Jan. 12 or Saturday, Jan, 13 to soak up some of their know-how, try your hand at tying flies and learn about fishing in the Gem State.

Boise State University MLK Celebration

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) The 2018 march on Monday, Jan. 15, will kick off at 9 a.m. with a sign-making session, followed by a 10:30 march and rally at the statehouse. Although many Idahoans now take its celebration for granted, Martin Luther King Jr. Day wasn't officially recognized in the Gem State until 1990, when Boise State University students Eric Love and Dave Hall planned a peaceful march to the statehouse in the civil rights icon's honor. Almost 30 years later, Boise State boasts a committee dedicated to the week-long celebration of MLK Day, and past speakers include civil rights activists Angela Davis, Desmond Tutu, Rosa Parks and more. The 2018 march on Monday, Jan. 15, will kick off at 9 a.m. with a sign-making session, followed by a 10:30 march and rally at the statehouse, when student speakers will share their thoughts on civil rights. Stop by campus to join the movement; There's no better time to stand up for what's right. Visit for a full schedule of events. Boise State University, 1910 W. University Drive, 208-426-1000,…

Sapphire Open Mic Night

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Jan. 10, Sapphire Room The Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel in Boise is generally considered one of the swankiest performance venues in the city, and has hosted big Idaho names like Marcus Eaton, Steve Fulton, Ned Evett and more. On Wednesday, Jan. 10, the stage will get a lot less exclusive for Sapphire Open Mic Night, when performers of all sorts are invited to showcase their talents for free. Idaho artists—including musicians, poets and storytellers—can sign up for first-come-first-serve slots to perform for eight minutes (or two songs) starting at 6 p.m., with the 7 p.m. show, hosted by musician and booking agent Ryan Wissinger, to follow. A piano will be available for performers to use, but otherwise the event is BYOI (bring your own instrument), with all family friendly acts welcome. Plus, as a reward for leaving their nerves behind, each performer will score a $10 food and beverage gift card courtesy of the hotel. Reserve a seat to spectate at before the big night.

Unlucky Accidents

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Author Jesmyn Ward on the success of her new novel Author Jesmyn Ward had a great 2017. After her novel Sing, Unburied, Sing got favorable reviews in The Washington Post, The Atlantic and The New York Times, it landed on an impressive number of end-of-year top-10 lists, including those of The New York Times Book Review and Time magazine. To boot, it also garnered a National Book Award for fiction and a nod from Barack Obama. Ward's visit to Boise on Tuesday, Jan. 16, as part of the Cabin Readings and Conversations series, has also garnered some attention: It's already sold out. While America grappled with issues of race and class in 2017—the Black Lives Matter movement and ambivalence from the White House regarding white supremacy and right-wing terrorism among them—Sing, Unburied, Sing gives a more intimate view. In it, a drug-abusing (and dealing) mother takes her teenage son and infant daughter across Mississippi to collect the father of her children from prison and make their mixed-race family whole again. Though Ward started writing the novel in 2009, many of the issues tackled in it, like opioid abuse, poverty and the plight of mixed-race children in the South, are still prevalent today. "The characters just showed up and wanted me to tell their story. It seems that something about their story has really resonated with people right now. I think that in part, it's a lucky accident and in some ways an unlucky accident," Ward said. The book hit shelves in September 2017 and immediately drew critical acclaim. Ron Charles of The Washington Post called it "powerful," and drew comparisons to Readings and Conversations alumnus George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo and Toni Morrison's Beloved, which also use the voices of ghosts to connect characters to the past. Writing for The New York Times, Tracy Smith said the book was full of "feats of empathy" that "feel genuinely inevitable when offered by a writer of such lyric imagination." Part of the appeal of Sing, Unburied, Sing is the way it draws connections between characters and innovates within a tested formula for southern epics. Reviewers noted Ward's use of ghosts—the "unburied" from the title of the book—bonds living characters to the people (and injustices) of the past, and gives Sing, Unburied, Sing a literary lineage that can be traced back to Morrison and William Faulkner. A deep well of narrators offer a broad-spectrum presentation of events, giving readers comprehensive access to…

"I want to ride that potato"

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700


Review: The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, by Denis Johnson

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Several of Johnson's former students and colleagues—including Alan Heathcock, Christian Winn and a special guest—will be part of a tribute event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at Rediscovered Books. There is a moment in Denis Johnson's story collection, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, when the narrator stares directly into the proverbial camera while describing the death of a fellow author: "It's plain to you that at the time I write this, I'm not dead. But maybe by the time you read it." Johnson, who had ties to Boise State University and literati like Anthony Doerr and Alan Heathcock, died at age 67 in May 2017 from liver cancer. He had earned multiple Pulitzer Prize nods, National Book and Whiting awards, and a Guggenheim fellowship. By 2012, when his novella Train Dreams was a Pulitzer finalist, critics were greeting his new books like old friends. Largesse—out Tuesday, Jan. 16, on Random House—is the first collection of Johnson's stories to be released since Jesus' Son in 1992. Largesse contains hints the author wouldn't live to see the fruits of his labor, but to peg Johnson as a prophet of his own demise is to miss the point. While he populated this collection with artists, admen, madmen and mystics searching for meaning in their encounters with death, Johnson didn't ally himself with any of the ways they find it. He just told their stories. Like antidotes to the internet and politics, each yarn returns the world to a human scale. In the titular story, guests at a party describe the loudest sounds they've ever heard: a wife asking for a divorce, a newborn wailing in its too-young mother's arms, a heartbeat during a coronary. In "Doppelganger, Poltergeist," a poet's genius is less interesting than his obsession with Elvis' stillborn twin. In between are addicts, failed marriages and stalled careers. Along with his literary work, Johnson taught and lectured at Columbia University, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of Texas at Austin and Boise State. He taught a generation of writers sympathy for characters and an eye for narrative. Several of Johnson's former students and colleagues—including Alan Heathcock, Christian Winn and a special guest—will be part of a tribute event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at Rediscovered Books. They will read from his works and tell their own stories about how the author affected their lives.…

MoviePass: Blessing or Curse?

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) "We have only had a few [MoviePass tickets] redeemed at The Flicks, but so far they have not presented a problem for us." In an industry seeing decreasing box office revenues as an increasing number of consumers stay home with their streaming options (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others), an app called MoviePass may be the savior of brick-and-mortar cinemas: MoviePass customers can see a movie once every 24 hours (or 365 times a year) for only $9.95 a month. In addition, MoviePass pays theater owners full price. "We have only had a few [MoviePass tickets] redeemed at The Flicks, but so far they have not presented a problem for us," Flicks owner Carole Skinner told BW. However, it doesn't take an economist to conclude a consumer who goes to the movies three or more times per month is costing MoviePass money, or that MoviePass is risking significant net losses in order to build its consumer base. Great risk can come with great reward, though, which is something Mitch Lowe, the head honcho of MoviePass and co-founder of Netflix, knows well. When Netflix launched, its economic model was also questioned—it is now an unstoppable player in the entertainment field. MoviePass seems primed to follow the Netflix path to success. MoviePass had more than 1,500,000 new subscribers in its first four months, creating the kind of vast subscription base it took Netflix more than three years to build. To see which theaters near you accept MoviePass, visit…

Commonly Known as Music Benefit Concert

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Jan. 13, Knitting Factory Music is the universal remedy: it can heal a broken heart, take the edge off a bad mood, transport a person back in time or bring a smile to the face of someone searching for happiness. On Saturday, Dec. 13, a concert at the Knitting Factory in downtown Boise will harness the power of music for a cause with a show, raffle and silent auction to benefit the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline and the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho. A variety of artists will take the stage to help raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention, including heavy metal rock group Final Underground, one-of-a-kind country reggae artist Jensen Buck, electronic rock duo Panda & Rabbit, local rock artist Dubya and electro bass musician EvoluShawn. Visit to snag a seat, then stop by the Knitting Factory on Saturday night to hear top-notch music, bid on local products and show your support for Idahoans in need.

Sneezin' Season

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Here's to your health! In the Boise Weekly newsroom, there is a moratorium on opening a story with the phrase "It's that time of year again." If there was ever a time to trot out that particular cliche though, it would be now: "It's that time of year again, when the sounds of coughing, sneezing and sniffling fill the air, because it's cold and flu season." And we may be facing a particularly harsh one. Experts say the last two flu seasons have been relatively mild, and when there are two not-so-bad seasons in a row, the third is usually pretty rough. Also, Australia has had it bad. According to a report, scientists often look to the Land Down Under to predict the severity of flu season in our hemisphere (since their winter is our summer), and Australia had it tough, with almost all reported cases of flu coming from the H3N2 strain. H3 is "the worst" because "it causes more symptoms," according to There was also an "early uptick" in the number of cases in the United States; instead of starting near Christmas, flu season kicked off around Thanksgiving. Plus, it's almost always all one "family" of flu until February, when another flu kicks in, but this season there was an even split from the get-go. According to the report, "when the flu hits early and equal, it will be a worse season." So, if you usually get a flu shot and haven't, get on it. If you don't usually get a shot, talk to your doctor and see if you should. In the interim, wash your hands frequently, eat well and get plenty of rest. Here's to your health!…

Puzzle Answers January 10, 2018

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) …

"It's Head lice."

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700


Gym Rats

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

Kindness is a worthwhile of a workout. Dear Minerva, Every year about this time, I notice people who go to my gym start making fun of the "New Year's Resolution" crew that starts coming. Sometimes these people are visibly out of shape, sometimes they aren't. I swear I can feel the tension, and then the rolling eyes, smirks, whispered comments and laughs start. I don't know how to make people stop being terrible, but I feel like I need to do something. Do you have any ideas? Sincerely, Patience Plateau Dear Patience, This is a disheartening thing to hear. The gym, which is supposed to be a place of self-improvement, is not immune to schoolyard bullies. It might be hard for some to comprehend that there are many reasons that people want to work out—not just weight loss or to look good in a bathing suit. It is true, you cannot force people to be kind. Maybe the regulars stick their noses in the air because so many people fail on their gym resolutions. Maybe fitness comes easy to them so they don't realize the sheer act of being willing to be seen working out in public among bronzed Adonises is terrifying and, all too often, enough to keep people home. I encourage you to set an example. If someone starts talking trash to you about the newcomers, shut them down. Smile and say, "Hello" to those who are trying to turn over a new leaf. Kindness is just as worthwhile of a workout.…