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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, 23 Jan 2018 00:00:01 -0700

Last Build Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0700

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Idaho Women's March 2018 Focused on Inclusion, Continued Activism

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:19:57 -0700

(image) "I want to make saving the world part of all your lives." Approximately 3,000 people lined steps of the Idaho State Capitol on Jan. 21, gathered there for the Idaho Women's March. Organizer Colette Raptosh, who co-founded the event in 2017, spoke on activism and the legacy of the event in its second year. "I want to make saving the world part of all your lives," Raptosh told the crowd. Other speakers reflected on solidarity, discussing a range of social justice issues such as acknowledging indigenous cultures, LGBT rights, immigration reform and protecting women's reproductive rights. Newly-elected Boise City Councilwoman Lisa Sanchez spoke about the importance of authentic and inclusive social activism. She said much remains to be done and questioned the staying power of "visual movements" like pink pussy hats and #MeToo pins, saying it is ultimately an individual's actions, rather than his or her clothing, that determines activism. "We can do better," Sanchez said. In a later interview with Boise Weekly, Sanchez clarified some of the comments she made during her speech at the Women's March, including those about the Native American-themed musical act by Lisa Stravers that opened the rally. Sanchez said her remarks were not a criticism of Stravers, but were intended as a "show of compassion to people who needed me to advocate for them." "I was in the crowd at the beginning of the rally and surrounded by women from the Fort Hall Reservation, and as soon as the music began, the women were taken aback," Sanchez said. "They turned to me, and it was a source of pain for a lot of them: to come to Boise on a day that was supposed to be about unity, and to see somebody from the outside community appropriating...they asked me...'Please say something during your talk.'" Tai Simpson, who offered an invocation at the first Women's March in January 2017, returned to the Capitol steps with a large read sign that read, "#MMIW [Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women] Justice For Our Indigenous Sisters." Simpson echoed Sanchez's sentiment, saying she was at the march to remind people that Boise was settled on Native American land. She and the organizers of the Women's March, she said, are "dedicated to making this as inclusive an event as possible." Mistie Tolman, legislative director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, said progress is happening, with more women running for elected office—in Idaho and elsewhere—than ever before. They're fighting, she said, against elected officials who…

Jan. 22, 2018: What to Know

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 08:44:00 -0700

(image) Furloughs begin at U.S. government agencies, snow blankets the SW Idaho mountains, Amazon swings the doors open to its cashier-less grocery store and it's time to celebrate the best and worst film performances of 2017. Nearly 9,000 federal employees working in Idaho are wondering what their fate is as the U.S. government enters its third day and first full work day of a shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are expected to be furloughed across the U.S. today due to a Congressional stalemate over a spending plan to keep government agencies and departments running. During the last federal government shutdown in 2013, Idaho saw furloughs in the Forest Service, Social Security Administration and IRS. Government officials insist that U.S. mail will continue to be delivered and Social Security checks will be distributed on time. The New York Times reports a procedural vote on a temporary spending bill is scheduled for noon today. Much-needed precipitation has returned to the region with Treasure Valley commuters greeted by a wintery mix this morning. Sun Valley reported snow showers through much  of the morning and a steady snowfall made driving treacherous on Idaho Highway 55. The National Weather Service posted a Winter Weather Advisory for portions of Southwest Idaho and more precipitation is expected to return by next weekend. Amazon opened its checkout-free grocery store this morning in Seattle. The store, dubbed Amazon Go, requires shoppers to scan their smartphones when they enter the store, and then dozens of cameras of sensors track what items leave the shelves and make their way to shopping baskets, charging the customers when they finally leave the store. PRI reports that the store features a lot of ready-to-eat items and traditional grocery items near the back of the store. When it comes to beer and wine sales, a store employee checks proper identification. Boise State football fans will see some familiar names on the rosters for Super Bowl LII in two weeks, star running back Jay Ajayi will be suiting up for the Philadelphia Eagles and Marsing-native Shea McClellin will be on the New England Patriots' roster even though he's also on the injured reserve list. The Screen Actors Guild Awards were handed out Sunday night, with the prize for outstanding performance by a cast going to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Frances McDormand also took home the best actress award and Sam Rockwell won the best supporting actor award for the same film. Gary Oldman won the best actor prize for Darkest Hour and Allison Janney won the best supporting actress trophy for I, Tonya. This year's…

The Trump Administration Is Scuttling a Rule That Would Save People From Dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) It took 16 years and more than 1,000 deaths for the Consumer Products Safety Commission to crack down on deadly portable generators. Trump’s appointees could undo that in a matter of months. After Hurricane Irma hit Orlando, Florida last September, the local police got a desperate 911 call from a 12-year-old boy reporting that his mother and siblings were unconscious. Fumes overcame the first deputy who rushed to the scene. After the police arrived at the property, they found Jan Lebron Diaz, age 13, Jan’s older sister Kiara, 16, and their mother Desiree, 34, lying dead, poisoned from carbon monoxide emitted by their portable generator. Four others in the house went to the hospital. If 12-year-old Louis hadn’t made that call, they might have died, too.Portable generators release more carbon monoxide — which is particularly dangerous because it is odorless and invisible — than most cars. As a result, the devices can kill efficiently and quickly, though accidentally. The Diaz family usually placed the generator properly, outside the house, a neighbor told local reporters. But for some reason, they had brought it into their garage. From there, the generator’s murderous byproduct spread silently through the house.During hurricanes, floods, and nor’easters, portable generators save lives — except when they take them. Irma, Harvey, and Maria all left thousands without power and reliant on their portable generators. The government has not yet done its official count, but 11 people using these generators died just from Irma, according to preliminary government estimates. Many more died from Harvey and Maria, experts say, especially in Puerto Rico, which has been without a functioning power grid for months.These deaths rarely merit more than short stories on local news sites. Civil servants then accumulate the statistics into dry reports that end up buried somewhere on .gov websites. The latest of these shows that portable generators have killed on average 70 people a year since 2005. That’s a small fraction of the toll from car accidents. Still, generators rank as one of the deadliest consumer products on the market. A further 2,800 people a year suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the equipment.Portable generator deaths are preventable, and for the past 16-plus years, the United States government has tried to do just that. The job has fallen to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which, with its $126 million budget and 520 employees, oversees almost every product Americans use in their home, office, or out in the yard, save for food, drugs, and cars. The CPSC, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is tiny, especially compared to many of the corporations it…

Women's March on Idaho Anniversary Rally Slated for Sunday, Jan. 21

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:40:22 -0700

(image) The event, slated to begin at 10 a.m., will include performances and speeches from representatives from the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Planned Parenthood and several others advocating for healthcare reform, racial and gender equity, immigration reform and reproductive rights. One day following the Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump, nearly 6,000 people overflowed the steps of the Idaho Statehouse as part of the Women's March on Idaho. Days before the 2017 event, organizers Nora Harren and Colette Raptosh, a pair of local high school students, admitted they were nervous and unsure whether anyone would come to the march, especially considering the forecast called for snow and sub-freezing temperatures that day. But their fears proved to be groundless: The march was one of the largest Statehouse demonstrations in recent memory. Organizers don't expect as many people at the Women's March on Idaho Anniversary Rally that will take place this Sunday, Jan. 21, again at the Idaho Statehouse, but they still hope for a robust showing. The event, slated to begin at 10 a.m., will include performances and speeches from representatives from the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Planned Parenthood and several others advocating for healthcare reform, racial and gender equity, immigration reform and reproductive rights. Similar one-year anniversary women's rallies have been planned for communities across Idaho. Meanwhile, organizers have published a new coffee table book capturing images from the inaugural Boise march in 2017, with all proceeds going to the Women's and Children's Alliance. …

Jan. 19, 2018: What to Know

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:41:00 -0700

(image) A shutdown showdown, Amazon Prime bumps up its monthly rate, a Boise juvenile is charged as an adult and Burger King takes aim at McDonald's. Federal employees across the nation are keeping a close eye on D.C. today as a stopgap bill to temporarily fund the government that passed the U.S. House and will now be debated in the U.S. Senate. The New York Times reports that a showdown is looming because Senate Democrats are intent on securing protections for young immigrants to be a part of the funding package. If the Senate can't come to an agreement, the government faces a shutdown by the end of the day. Critics wonder how that's possible when Republicans control both houses of Congress as well as the White House. Federal scientists confirmed Thursday that the past four years have been the warmest on record across the globe. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration placed 2017 as the third-warmest since records have been kept. NASA said the planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees during the past century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other emissions into the atmosphere. A 17-year-old Boise male has been charged as an adult in connection with a sexual assault on a female teenager. BPD said the incident occurred on Jan. 13 on the 3000 block of W. Pasadena Drive. When offices arrived on the scene, the suspect allegedly struck one of the officers. The juvenile, whose name has not been released, is being held at the Ada County Jail on a $500,000 bond. The suspect is charged with felony counts of sexual penetration-forcible by use of a foreign object, battery with intent to commit a serious felony, battery on a law enforcement officer and two additional counts of battery. The Wall Street Journal reports what a lot of television viewers already know: that people are cancelling their streaming services once they finish binge-watching their favorite shows. In fact, some cancellation rates for streaming services are over 50 percent, according to the WSJ. Meanwhile, Recode is reporting that Amazon is expected to announce today that is Prime membership monthly fees will soon increase from $10.99 to $12.99 in the U.S., an jump of about 18 percent. The increase comes less than two years after Amazon unveiled a Prime membership of $99. Amazon officials say for those customers who choose to pay their annual fee in a lump sum, the price will remain at $99. For those that pay monthly, the annual cost will bump…

Treefort Releases First Looks at 2018 Hackfort, Storyfort, Comedyfort Lineups

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:28:00 -0700

(image) The new announcement includes details about who will be participating in Comedyfort, Hackfort and Storyfort. Treefort Music Fest (March 21-25) is really the Treefort More-Than-Music Fest. Over the years, a slew of ancillary forts have been added, creating a rich experience. On the heels of announcing the  almost 100 participating music acts, organizers dropped details about who will be Comedyfort, Hackfort and Storyfort, as well. At Comedyfort this year, The Daily Show British correspondent Gina Yashere and Solomon Georgio of Comedy Central Stand Up Presents are headlining. Local comedian Emma Arnold and Daniel Van Kirk of the Dumb People Town podcast will be on hand to deliver the yuks, as will a host of other acts, including the following: Gina Yashere Todd Masterson Alex Falcone Sophie Hughes Yusuf Roach Olivia Cathcart Anchor Soong Becky Braunstein JT Kelley Bianca Cristovao Arish Singh Jen Adams Lady Bizness KC Hunt Emmanuel Vera Beth Norton Christopher Sundberg Hailee Lenhart-Wees Then there's the highly regarded Hackfort, which continues to bring some of the biggest names in technology to the City of Trees. The keynote speaker this year is Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, who will discuss his career as a composer, including working on the soundtrack for video game Noct. Plus, DJ and producer Christopher Willits and former OSSIC engineer Sally Kellaway will talk about the future of sound, and DJ Michna will conduct a sound engineering workshop. In its first year, Storyfort served mimosas, muffins, pastries and poetry to Treeforters weary after a weekend of hard partying, and established itself as one of the best nooks in the entire festival to unwind. This year, the fort will feature New York Foundation for the Arts fellow and award-winning poet Rachel McKibbens, slam poet William Evans, novelists Jonathan Evison and Lidia Yuknavitch, author of the acclaimed The Book of Joan.…

Ballet Idaho Offers Presale Tickets for Swan Lake, Anastos' Last Production

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:46:00 -0700

Ballet Idaho fans can now purchase tickets to Swan Lake online before they go on sale publicly Wednesday, Jan. 24. Peter Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is one of the most well-known and enduring ballets of all time, so it's no surprise that Ballet Idaho chooses to perform it often—usually to a packed house. With that past success in mind, Ballet Idaho is offering presale tickets to the upcoming April 20 and 21 productions this year, letting some loyal fans beat the rush. "It's a wonderful, wonderful story that's perfectly suited to ballet," said Ballet Idaho Artistic Director Peter Anastos. "...It's like the 'Mona Lisa' coming to Boise. It really is an international world masterpiece, and I think for those reasons people really should come and see it. You should have it under your belt." Not only is Swan Lake a can't-miss classic, it will also be the last Ballet Idaho production choreographed by Anastos before his retirement. He has chosen to make the ending of the story a happy one; instead of taking their own lives at the close of the show, lovers Odette and Prince Siegfried will sail away together on a small golden boat to paradise. Anastos hopes his own story with Ballet Idaho will have a similarly positive denouement. "It's great to go out on a high like Swan Lake," said Anastos. "...[But] I didn't want this to be a punctuation mark. I want the life of the company to continue." Though a bit behind its target timeline, Anastos said Ballet Idaho has narrowed candidates for his replacement down to two. The pair are doing their final interviews this month, and if things go as planned, Anastos should have a new artistic director to introduce by the end of the season. Tickets for Swan Lake go on sale to the public Wednesday, Jan. 24, but patrons can snag them now through the Ballet Idaho website using the promo code "ODETTE." Prices range from $38-$58.…

Jan. 18, 2018: What to Know

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 08:19:00 -0700

(image) Trump corrects his Chief of Staff and doubles down on his border wall, a fatal accident in Parma, another big night for Boise State basketball and America's favorite Valentine's Day candies. President Donald Trump is once again at odds with a member of his inner circle. The New York Times reports that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told members of Congress on Wednesday that Trump's campaign promise to build a physical wall across the entire stretch of the U.S./Mexico border was not "fully informed." But Trump turned to Twitter this morning to contradict Kelly, writing, "The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it." Idaho State Police report that a pedestrian was struck and killed overnight while walking across U.S. 95 near 9th Street in Parma. 72-year-old Lawrence Handel of Hermiston, Oregon, was struck and killed by a northbound vehicle driven by a 22-year-old from Caldwell. The crash shut down northbound lanes of the highway for nearly two hours. The incident is still under investigation. Boise Police aren't sharing many details, but officers took a suspect into custody Wednesday night after reports of a shots fired on the 9000 block of West Cory Street. UPDATE 12 P.M.: On Thursday afternoon, Boise Police said that when officers were performing a safety check on a Cory Street residence Wednesday evening, they located a rifle believed to have been fired earlier that evening. Evidence gathered at the scene indicated that a male suspect had fired several shots from the rifle at a neighboring residence as three occupants were outside. 61-year-old Jason Evans of Boise was taken into custody and charged with three felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. BPD said the investigation indicates that the suspect knew the victims but no one was injured. The Boise State men's and women's basketball teams had a very good night Wednesday, each defeating Utah State. The men's squad beat Utah State 71-67 at Taco Bell Arena, adding to the Broncos perfect record at home of 11 wins in a row this season. The men take on Nevada in Reno this Saturday, Jan. 20. Meanwhile, the Lady Broncos were in Logan, Utah, where they beat Utah State 64-42. Food & Wine magazine is out with its list of America's favorite Valentine's Day candies, by state. While conversation hearts are the big seller nationwide, slightly outpacing heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, Valentine's Day-themed M&Ms are the favorite Valentine's Day candy in Idaho. Oregon reportedly loves chocolate roses, Washington prefers heart-shaped boxes of candy, Montana…

Innocent But Still Guilty

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Inmates are sometimes offered freedom in exchange for pleading guilty to a crime they probably didn’t commit. It’s a bad deal. This story was published with The New York Times. After Fred Steese spent two decades in a Nevada prison for murder, evidence indicating that he was innocent was found buried in the prosecution’s files. It was proof that Steese, as he’d always claimed, had been hundreds of miles away on the likely day of the murder and couldn’t have been the killer.In Maryland two years earlier, the conviction of James Thompson, who had also served 20 years for murder and rape and whose case involved police and prosecutorial misconduct, was thrown into overwhelming doubt when his DNA didn’t match the semen found in the victim.In neither case did prosecutors jump to set the prisoner free. Instead they vowed to retry the men unless they agreed to a plea bargain called an Alford plea, in which the defendant enters a guilty plea while also asserting his innocence for the record. The deal allows the inmate to leave prison right away. But he remains convicted of the crime, forever a felon.Another strategy prosecutors employ is to offer to convert an inmate’s sentence to time served but with his conviction intact. Freedom in both instances is dangled as a carrot to entice the defendant to give up on exoneration.These situations play out with numbing consistency around the country. The deals defy justice. So it was a righting of the scales when last November Steese, whom I wrote about for ProPublica, was pardoned by Nevada after I highlighted his case in Vanity Fair.Desperate appeals from inmates and their families arrive in my voicemail and email almost every day. I can’t say whether those who contact me are innocent, but I do know that without the public spotlight a reporter can provide, or the attention of defense lawyers, their claims probably won’t get a second glance. Advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Innocence Project are flooded with far more requests than they can reasonably take on. Wrongful convictions are so widespread that writing about cases one by one feels like using a butter knife to break up an iceberg.No one appears to have tracked how often prosecutors use Alford pleas in cases where exculpatory evidence has surfaced that provides inmates with powerful ammunition to contest their guilt.Still, it seems everywhere I go I hear about another Alford plea. Recently, it was Leroy Harris, who had spent almost 30 years in…

Women in Public Policy Gather for "Policy Pub" at Pengilly's

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:53:00 -0700

(image) The McClure Center has made it its mission to conduct policy-shaping research and communicate it to the public, and a bi-monthly speaker series dubbed Policy Pub is its latest endeavor. Pengilly's Saloon is a downtown Boise fixture for its live jazz, $2 wells and, now, its political issue panels. Though that hasn't been a key element of the bar's mystique in the past, on Monday, Jan. 22, the University of Idaho James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research is adding the title "Inaugural Boise Policy Pub Venue" to the Pengilly's resume. The McClure Center has made it its mission to conduct policy-shaping research and communicate it to the public, and its latest endeavor is a bi-monthly speaker series dubbed "Policy Pub." Its debut, "Women in Policy," will feature a bi-partisan panel of female legislative policymakers who will answer prearranged questions, then discuss with pub-goers about why they chose their jobs, and how they do them. "The whole purpose is to engage Idahoans in policy dialogue, and to tee up really interesting topics that would be of interest to the public," said McClure Center Director Katherine Himes. "Then, they can engage intimately with people who are in policy. It might be government, industry or it could be nonprofits, but really allowing them to have that opportunity to engage and meet the people behind these decisions.” The Women in Policy Pub will be moderated by Himes, and include Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise), Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesse) and Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) as featured speakers. Himes aid she hopes including Republicans and Democrats in the event will promote compromise on key issues.  "I feel especially in the current discourse coming from Washington, D.C., it’s just so critical to set that tone of, ‘We’re all in this together, we all care about our community, we care about our state, we’re interested in having active and engaged citizens,'" Himes said. Similar events have already taken place in Moscow, and according to Himes, the series is something the McClure Center might "take on the road" to other places in Idaho that have shown interest, like the Wood River Valley and Idaho Falls. "It’s really open to anyone, and I think that’s the beauty of this kind of event," Himes said. "It’s supposed to be interesting, light, fun, engaging and informative.”…

Largesse of the Celeb Narrators: Big Names Read for New Denis Johnson Audiobook

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:29:00 -0700

(image) It may or may not be a coincidence that Michael Shannon is on the list; one of the prolific character actor's first roles was in Jesus' Son, the 1999 film adaptation of Johnson's 1992 short story collection of the same name. Denis Johnson's posthumous short story collection, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, has barely been on the shelves for a full day, and big-name celebrities have already attached themselves to the audiobook version like barnacles, with each of the five short stories claimed by a famous reader. The cast list is as follows: Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec) reads "The Largesse of the Sea Maiden" Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) reads "The Starlight on Idaho" Dermot Mulroney (American Horror Story) reads "Strangler Bob" Will Patton (Falling Skies) reads "Triumph Over the Grave" Liev Schreiber (Spotlight) reads "Doppelgänger, Poltergeist" It may or may not be a coincidence that Michael Shannon is on the list; one of the prolific character actor's first roles was in Jesus' Son, the 1999 film adaptation of Johnson's 1992 short story collection of the same name. Check out the Soundcloud page for samples of each story being read. The audiobook costs approximately $19 through most online services. …

Jan. 17, 2018: What to Know

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:16:00 -0700

(image) Big Olympic news from North and South Korea, a clean bill of health for President Trump, more pushback toward Woody Allen and why tea triggers the brain's cognitive skills. In a stunning turn of events, North Korean athletes will march alongside South Koreans at next month's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. NPR reports that the athletes will march under a unification flag. The two nations are also expected to form a unified women's ice hockey team. North and South Korean delegates have been meeting this past week at a so-called "peace house" in the border village of Panmunjom, not far from the demilitarized zone, to discuss relations. White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday that aside from President Donald Trump being a few pounds overweight, the president was in "excellent" health. Jackson added that the 70-year-old Trump also asked for a cognitive test to try and quell questions about his mental abilities. The New York Times reports that the physician said the president received a perfect score on the test, which screened for neurological impairment. Washington State University football player Tyler Hilinski, the same man who led WSU to a victory over Boise State last September, was found dead in his Pullman, Washington apartment Tuesday.  KTVB reports that the Pullman police are investigating but there are no signs of a crime. ABC News reports that a growing number of actors have begun distancing themselves from Woody Allen. Timothee Chalamet, star of Call Me By Your Name and co-star in Allen's next film, A Rainy Day in New York, now says he'll donate his salary from the Woody Allen film to charities fighting sexual harassment. The announcement comes in the wake of heightened unease over the allegations of sexual misconduct that have shadowed Allen for decades. A new study out of China indicates that people who drink tea are more creative. Food & Wine magazine reports that the study, dubbed "Food Quality and Preference," analyzed a test group of students in their twenties. Ultimately, researchers concluded that drinking tea before engaging in a task that demands creativity boosts cognitive ability. They also concluded that tea includes two ingredients that benefit the brain: caffeine and theanine.…

Grains of Sand

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:02:00 -0700

(image) "It's a bit like grains of sand on a scale. We just keep adding those grains. Then a few more grains the next year. A few more. A few more. The scales will begin to tip and, at least, balance out." Anyone who thinks faith and politics don't intersect—or collide—hasn't spent much time around the Idaho Statehouse. In her 2014 essay, "The Power and the Glory," Boise State University history professor Dr. Jill Gill wrote that religion "has operated as both a cultural divider and a uniter, helping to determine which of its citizens should be treated as part of an in-group or an out-group by including or excluding, according to religious determinations." So, it was fitting the Interfaith Equality Coalition gathered on the steps on the Idaho Statehouse on Jan. 7 in what it called "Draw the Circle Wide," mere hours before the Idaho Legislature gaveled in its 2018 session. "We're a coalition of faith communities to just offer our prayers for compassion, justice and equality," said Rev. Sara LaWall, minister at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. "Our platform is built on, let's say, four pillars: religious respect, economic justice, climate care and human rights." LaWall said that although some people think religion and politics should steer far clear of one another, they will inevitably mix. "When we talk about a common good or a shared humanity, there's a deep intersection in the political environment. We have to be agents for change," said LaWall. "We're intent on inviting as many people as possible into a circle which we draw wider and wider. All are welcome. If we're not giving public voice to that and if we're not being a voice for world clarity, then we're not living fully to the call of our faith traditions." When those traditions clash at the Idaho Statehouse, however, it's not pretty. The most recent conflict, which is expected to rear its head again during the 2018 legislative session, was over religious-based exemptions from civil or criminal liability. Proponents insist it's a matter of a constitutional right for people to heed their religious beliefs and not look to modern medicine for help, no matter how dire the health scare, if they choose. Opponents say the protection from civil or criminal liability has resulted in the deaths of at least 182 Idaho children because of faith-healing exemptions. The debate hit a crescendo in March 2017, when lawmakers proposed a "compromise bill" to existing Idaho law, but the measure found little support from either side of the issue. "We can respect religious freedom and a parent's right to prayer while also demanding that children receive life-saving…

Call Me By Your Name: Cinema's Most Stunning Monologue in One of the Award Season's Best Films

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:01:00 -0700

(image) Now playing at The Flicks To write about Call Me By Your Name, which is finally opening in Boise on Friday, Jan. 19, I went back to the notebook I took to the premiere of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017 last September. Among the notes I had scribbled in the dark theater—including quotes from the screenplay, references to the scenery and sets and my overall first impressions of the film—I discovered a specific note to myself: "I'm crying right now," I had written in my notebook. "This may be the most poignant scene ever seen between a father and son." I had jotted those words down during the final moments of Call Me By Your Name, following a scene between 17-year-old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and his father (Michael Stuhlbarg). Elio is crumbling from heartbreak. During the summer, he had fallen in love with 24-year-old graduate student Oliver (Armie Hammer), a houseguest of his father's. Oliver had departed, leaving Elio feeling abandoned, angry, regretful and, ultimately, confused by the intensity of his feelings for another man. What Elio's father does next, I had never seen on film before. He unconditionally accepts his son's heartbreak, devoid of any assumptions, and encourages Elio to never again fear all of the joy and pain love can bring. In the months since the September premiere of Call Me By Your Name, I have spoken to a few critics and some filmgoers lucky enough to see the movie prior to its opening. Each one has pointed to that same scene, agreeing it is what sets this film above the crowd of award contenders. The speech is full of the words and sentiment so many of us have ached to hear from a parent. For his adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, screenwriter James Ivory pared down the father's speech from the Andre Aciman novel of the same name, but it retains its power: "In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent. In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don't snuff it out, don't be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we'd want to be forgotten is no better. We…

Weaving With a Phantom Thread

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:01:00 -0700

(image) Now playing at The Flicks Phantom Thread is notable film for a number of reasons: It was directed by six-time Oscar nominee Paul Thomas Anderson, whose achievements include Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master and Inherent Vice. It is also rumored to feature the final big-screen performance of actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who told W magazine he was "overwhelmed" with sadness while filming and desperate to "draw a line" and avoid being "sucked back into another project." Given its lush production and tightly wound psychological drama, Phantom Thread may also become one of the most argued about films of the season, which is why Boise Weekly News Editor and resident movie reviewer George Prentice invited colleague Harrison Berry to an advanced screening of Phantom Thread, followed by a discussion about the merits and flaws of the film. George Prentice: I'm not sure where we'll agree or disagree on this movie, but can we agree that Daniel Day-Lewis is the finest actor of his generation? Harrison Berry: He's playing 3-D chess with everyone else on-screen. He's able to capture, up close or at a distance, the feel of a role that I don't see other actors doing. GP: Day-Lewis plays the fictional character of renowned dressmaker Reynold Woodcock in the London couture world of the 1950s. My initial reaction was to how beautiful and lush this film was, but then I just couldn't shake how cruel this story was, particularly the cruelty of how this man creates beauty. HB: It's extremely harsh, but I don't think his cruelty is intentional. His character's aversion to any kind of strife or discord just made him impossible to deal with. GP: The story builds around Woodcock's seduction of a working class waitress from the hinterlands, played marvelously by Vicky Krieps. He finds her, her envelops her, seduces her, takes her to his London home and, at least the way I see it, corrupts her purity. HB: But she's much more than a damsel. Has her own needs and objectives. I think she becomes an integral part of his life for better and, sometimes, for worse. GP: I would give this film, probably an eight out ten stars and I think that's pretty generous. HB: I would give it nine. GP: Really? You really did like this more than I did. HB: I love this movie. Yes, this is a period drama in a country where…

Rep. Jarom Wagoner

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:01:00 -0700

(image) "You hear about all the bad things, but there are a lot of good people out there and we can be those people. We absolutely need good people to be in office. Those are the ones setting the rules that we live by." Editor's Note: Boise Weekly sat down with Rep. Jarom Wagoner (R-Caldwell) on Jan. 5, four days before his predecessor Brandon Hixon died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Jarom Wagoner knew he was ready for the Idaho Legislature in 2012, when he ran for Idaho House Seat 10A in the GOP primary and lost to challenger Brandon Hixon by 85 votes. Hixon went on to serve in the Idaho House for two and a half terms, until his abrupt resignation in October 2017 in the wake of an investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's Office. Hixon was arrested twice in December 2017 on DUI charges, and on Jan. 9, he was discovered in his Caldwell home, dead of suicide. Hixon was not the primary subject of the interview with Wagoner, but in the course of the conversation the now-late lawmaker did come up. Wagoner, 41, also talked about his hopes and expectations for the new legislative session and being what he called "the freshest of the freshmen" at the Idaho Statehouse. What did you learn from losing such a close primary election in 2012? The question always is: "Is it better to lose by just a few votes, or is it better to get beat by thousands of votes?" It was tough being so close, but it also gave me encouragement. I became a GOP precinct chairman and that gave me the opportunity to prove myself over the past five years. When you were asked to take this job, were you also asked to commit to running for this seat again in an election? When I talked to my wife, we didn't look at this as a three-month deal. We fully expected to fulfill this term and then run in the May primary and November general election. How would you describe your politics? I wouldn't put myself to the far right-wing. I think I'm a level-headed conservative. You've got to listen to both sides. You can't not listen to someone just because they have a "D" next to their name. That gets us nowhere. Can I assume that your name won't be attached to any proposed pieces of legislation this session? My main goal isn't to push a lot of legislation this year. It's all about listening and learning. How well did you know Brandon Hixon? Not too well. Obviously we ran against each other in 2012, so we ran into…

The Nasty Business of Flu in Idaho

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:01:00 -0700

(image) Already, more than 23 flu-related deaths have been reported in Idaho this season, the highest number in seven years. Most people do whatever possible to avoid the flu, but Randi Pedersen deals with illness for a living. As the newly hired influenza surveillance coordinator for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Pedersen is constantly checking with emergency rooms, outpatient clinics and laboratories across Idaho to help identify circulating strains of the bug. "Even at parties, people are always asking me about the flu," she said. "And of course, I'm always advocating for a flu vaccine." That alone can be a formidable task. "There has been a lot in the media lately about the effectiveness of the vaccine," said Pedersen. "You may have read that there was a 10 percent vaccine efficacy. Well, that came out of Australia during its flu season. In fact, we don't yet have the vaccine estimates. Those numbers won't be out until February, but I can tell you that the H3N2 influenza has been dominant in Idaho in past seasons, and the vaccine is a very good match for that particular strain." As for Idahoans who push back against vaccinations of any kind, particularly for their children, Pedersen takes a more measured, non-confrontational approach. "We obviously recommend the vaccine, but we also understand that a vaccine may not be the best fit for everybody," she said. "Talk to your doctor, and get an informed decision. If you end up getting sick with the flu, stay home, get lots of rest and if your illness starts to become severe, get to your doctor right away. There are antiviral medications that can certainly help you recover more quickly and prevent you from being hospitalized." Already, more than 23 flu-related deaths have been reported in Idaho this season, the highest number in seven years. "As for how long the season lasts, it typically runs through May," said Pederson. "Things usually peak in January or early February."…

Online Flu Trackers

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Stay informed. According to the Centers for Disease Control, flu season in the U.S. can kick off as early as October and linger through May—meaning that we're right smack in the middle of it. As of Dec. 30, 46 states, including Idaho, had reported "widespread" flu activity, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare had tallied 13 flu-related deaths, including three in the district where Boise is located. Since the virus is airborne (the CDC reports flu can spread from person to person from up to six feet away) it's a good idea to keep track of who's sick. Luckily, there is a host of online resources ready to help. For general information on the flu and its spread, it's hard to beat the CDC website, Not only does it provide information on strains and vaccines, it also offers "FluView," a national flu surveillance network updated weekly, which includes interactive maps and graphs showing hospitalizations, mortality and geographic spread of the virus. A weekly "Situation Update" summarizes FluView, giving you all of the most important facts in one place. compliments the government sites by offering a map of user-reported cases and symptoms, and locally, is an excellent resource for Idaho-specific flu data. Plus, can help you locate a pharmacy giving flu shots close by. Remember, if you want to stay happy and healthy this season, your best bet is to stay informed.…

Cool Dad

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) "I've raised all of my children in an environment of acceptance and love." Dear Minerva, One of my children has recently started wearing articles of clothing not typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth. I consider myself socially aware. I have had trans friends for years, and I've raised all of my children in an environment of acceptance and love. I want my child to know they are free to express themselves more fully. They don't have to sneak around. I feel like this is something they want to do but are hesitant to do. What would you do? Sincerely, Cool Dad Dear Cool Dad, It warms my heart to hear stories of accepting parents. I'm glad to hear your child is supported. I can't stress how important a father's acceptance is. Society often expects fathers to be more stoic sometimes, so it is wonderful that your child has a "cool dad." I suggest you casually bring it up when you are doing other things. Simply saying, "I think you are pretty cool, kid. I've noticed you've been expressing your gender. I want you know that it is ok with me for you to express yourself and be yourself no matter what. I love you," could be enough. Children worry about disappointing their parents and when something as integral to one's identity as gender comes into play, it can cause internal struggles. You can't go wrong letting those you love know that you accept and love them unconditionally. I wish you the best of luck.…

Say It Loud, Say It Proud: STRFKR Returns to Boise

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) STRFKR will perform in Boise at The Knitting Factory on Thursday, Jan. 25 Popular indie rock band STRFKR, formerly of Portland, Oregon, has a secret lair in that most Dr. Seussian of landscapes, Joshua Tree in southern California—a few hours by car from Los Angeles, where the band is based. "It's so trippy [there], even the humans," said STRFKR frontman Josh Hodges. The rental house the band found near the park cost less than renting in its home base of Los Angeles, and members found they could play music as loud as they wanted. The album they wrote there, Being No One, Going Nowhere (Polyvinyl Records, 2016), reached the top 10 on the Billboard and reached the number-one spot on the Top Heatseekers chart. STRFKR will perform in Boise at The Knitting Factory on Thursday, Jan. 25, after releasing a trilogy of albums with tracks pulled from unreleased material. Those albums, which dropped in 2017, drew from the early days of the band, before world tours and its brief stint calling itself "Pyramiddd," when it primarily played live shows in Portland. "A lot of those [songs] were written a long time ago, around the time of the first album," Hodges said. Making an omnibus of that material "would be better than letting those songs go to waste and never be heard." Hodges founded the group in 2007, and a decade, several lineup and name changes, and five studio albums later, the past is on his mind. He's mulling a 10-year anniversary tour and accompanying album. A lot has changed in his life: He moved from Portland to New York, back to Portland, and then to Los Angeles, where he adopted a cat and learned he enjoys live comedy. There has been some loss along the way. Multi-instrumentalist Ryan Biornstad left the band shortly after being arrested for jaywalking at SXSW in 2011. Guitarist Ian Luxton and guitarist Patrick Morris have also departed, making way for multi-instrumentalist Shawn Glassford and percussionist Keil Corcoran. In the meantime, STRFKR has grown in stature, with stellar record sales and lots of exposure. Its music has been used in television ads for Target and Juicy Couture, television shows like The Blacklist, Skins and Weeds, and in several films, including The Fault in Our Stars. Some things have remained the same, like his love of music and the role he sees it playing in his life. "The best thing for me is to just do music most of…

Circuit des Yeux

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Thursday, Jan. 25 at The Olympic Chicago-based vocalist Haley Fohr is Circuit des Yeux, a one-woman powerhouse with an operatic voice that dips into hauntingly low registers. It's hard to say whether listening to a Circuit des Yeux song—especially with headphones—is more like stepping into fairyland (the dark, Brothers Grimm kind) or falling down the rabbit hole. Beautiful yet eerie, packed with slightly off-kilter beats and head-tilting lyrics like "stick your head into a paper bag / and see just what you find," Fohr's experimental folk music is as unique as its producer, who once performed from inside an echo chamber dubbed "The Big Black Box" at a German music festival to protest attacks on safe spaces. One listener described Fohr's sound as "the perfect offspring of Kate Bush, Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox," and in a review of her newest album, Reaching for Indigo (Drag City, 2017), Pitchfork called her voice "a singular, transformative instrument." To hear for yourself—and potentially be transformed—snag tickets to her Jan. 25 show. …

The Octopus Project

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Wednesday, Jan. 24, The Olympic The Octopus Project, an indie-experimental pop quartet from Austin, Texas, might be the most funktastic band you've never heard of. In lieu of reading its history, get to the essence of The Octopus Project by watching the music video for "Sharpteeth," a track from Fever Forms (Peek-A-Boo Records, 2013). In the video, the members of the group have clusters of brightly colored feathers instead of faces, and singsong "kids with sharp teeth know a thing or two / about the things they'd rather do," as their silhouettes explode outward in time with the insistent drone of an electronic beat. In short, The Octopus Project is wonderfully weird, and its mix of experimental electronic syncopation and intelligent, oddball lyrics has graced eight full-length albums so far, plus a handful of singles and movie scores, including one for Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, which won a Special Jury Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The band will be in Boise at The Olympic following the release of Memory Mirror (Robot High School, 2017), so If you have a penchant for oddness, that's the place to be. …

Opera Idaho: Winterreise Project

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Friday, Jan. 19: 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 21: 2:30 p.m. The Winterreise Project is the story of a "young musician's journey after discovering the faithlessness of his lover. Filled with pain and numbness, he blindly sets off on a harsh winter night. Throughout his unplanned and harried journey into the unmerciful folds of winter, he wanders between despair, life and hopeful love in a moving labyrinth of soul." It's heavy stuff, but this retelling of Franz Schubert's 24-song cycle Winterreise (aka Winter's Journey) is beautiful and will be brought to life by baritone Jason Detwiler, who took on three roles (Melchoir in Amahl & the Night Visitors, Belcore in L'elisir d'amore and Albert in Werther) in 2017 alone. Whether you need a good cry or dose of aural elegance, get Winterreise-d.…

Comedian Mike Birbiglia: The New One

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Friday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m Comedian/writer/actor/director/filmmaker/storyteller Mike Birbiglia (My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, Thank God for Jokes) has become a household name. Following the announcement of his latest tour, The New One, Paste called Birbiglia "the rare stand-up who elevates telling jokes into a mic to an honest-to-god art form, weaving together seemingly disparate stories into moving, unified wholes." Not only is he hilarious, Birbiglia never stops working: Along with stand-up, he has starred in films and TV shows (some of which he wrote and directed), written a New York Times-bestselling book and released four acclaimed comedy albums. Birbiglia will visit Boise for two performances of The New One, and although the 7 p.m. show is already sold out, there are some seats left for 9:30 p.m. Get yours at

TournEes French Film Festival

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0700

(image) Jan. 18, 19, 25 and 26; Feb. 1 and 2 While watching movies in a language you don't speak, squinting at subtitles can get tedious, but the discomfort is balanced by the way foreign words take familiar things and make them beautifully alien. Such will be the case at the inaugural Boise State University Tournees French Film Festival, which will show six French films over the next few weeks. Hosted by the Boise State World Languages Department and the Idaho Film Collection, and funded by the French-American Cultural Exchange foundation, the festival is free and open to the public. Films will include April and the Extraordinary World (Jan. 18), School of Babel (Jan. 19), As I Open My Eyes (Jan. 25), Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor (Jan. 26), Black Girl (Feb. 1) and May Allah Bless France! (Feb. 2). …