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TEACHERS UNION DISAPPOINTED AT IMPASSE

TENSIONS RISE IN EGYPT

Meridian School District grapples with new law on contracts Military may intervene LOCAL NEWS, A4

NATION/WORLD, A6

IdahoStatesman TUESDAY, JULY2, 2013

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FRIDAY, JUNE 28

SATURDAY, JUNE 29

SUNDAY, JUNE 30

MONDAY, JULY 1

TUESDAY, JULY 2

101° 103° 104° 110° 108°

HOT HOT HOT

RECORD 102°, 2010

RECORD 105°, 2008

RECORD

Record heat cooks the Treasure Valley — and more is expected today

ROCKY BARKER More fire deaths, more questions A7 TRIPLE DIGITS DISRUPT HOLIDAY PLANS Boiseans cope A8 WHY THIS HEAT WAVE’S SO SCARY and what’s behind it A8 CRATER LAKE PARK OFFICIAL vows to truck in water A8

FORECAST

RECORD

RECORD 105°, 1924

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3

108° / 75°

SEE A10

THURSDAY, JULY 4

FRIDAY, JULY 5

103° 100°

94°

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RECORD 106°, 2001

FORECAST

RECORD 106°, 1937

FORECAST

RECORD 106°, 1896

DARIN OSWALD / doswald@idahostatesman.com

Dakota Berjkoff, 7, from California and visiting family in Boise, cools off in the fountain at Ann Morrison Park on Monday. The heat climbed to 110 degrees and is expected to reach about as high again Tuesday. WATCH A VIDEO AT IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

ALL-TIME BOISE HIGH: 111 ON JULY 19, 1960 LAST HEAT WAVE: SIX DAYS OF 100 DEGREES OR HIGHER — JULY 7-12, 2012. TWO OF THOSE DAYS HIT 108.

EARLY STREAK: MOST MULTIDAY WAVES OF 100 DEGREES OR HOTTER ARE IN MID- TO LATE-JULY. THIS ONE STARTED IN JUNE.

WARM AT NIGHT: THE RECORD HIGH OVERNIGHT LOW IS 79 — FROM JULY 21, 1903, AND JULY 30, 1994. TUESDAY MORNING WAS FORECAST TO GET NO COOLER THAN 76.

HEAT ADVISORY: UNDER NEW CRITERIA, THE WEATHER SERVICE ISSUED ITS FIRST-EVER

BOISE ALERT FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF 103 OR MORE AND A LOW OF 65 OR WARMER. SOME ADVICE THE SERVICE OFFERS: EXERCISE CAUTION DURING OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES.

Elite in training and experienced

Idaho Power hits new peak The heat wave, rising economy and suspended demand-reduction programs increase electricity use. BY ROCKY BARKER rbarker@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho Statesman

The Hotshot firefighters killed in Arizona were outdoorsmen, fathers and heroes to local school athletes. BY FERNANDA SANTOS NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The men were mostly born and bred in this city on the mountains, surrounded by thick forest of pinon pine and chaparral brush, parched by years of drought. They were young men mostly, 14 of them in their 20s. “Just kids,” said Joe Peters, the assistant principal at Prescott High School. Years ago, Peters taught math to some of them and coached others on the school’s football and wrestling teams. “But they were highly trained, the elite of the elite,” he said. “How could we lose that many all at once?”

P. CLOUDY

CHRIS CARLSON / The Associated Press

A mourner is comforted during a memorial service Monday in Prescott, Ariz., honoring the 19 firefighters killed battling a wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz., on Sunday. Nineteen of the 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots perished on Sunday, fighting a fierce wilderness fire outside the old gold mining village of Yarnell, 35 miles southwest of here. It was the greatest loss of firefighters in a single disaster since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the most killed in a wildfire in 80

years. The fire grew to cover more than 8,000 acres on Monday. Arizona’s governor called it “as dark a day as I can remember” and ordered flags flown at half-staff. In a heartbreaking sight, a long line of white vans carried the See HOTSHOTS, A7

The utility that serves more than 500,000 customers across southern Idaho and eastern Oregon reached a new megawatts mark Monday afternoon, and that number was expected to be exceeded in the evening. “I can’t tell you what the final number will be,” said Bill Shawver, a spokesman for the company Monday afternoon. Idaho Power Co. reached its previous record peak of 3,245 megawatts on July 13, 2012. Monday’s high usage came a week earlier in the year than last year’s peak, in part because Idaho Power suspended two programs designed to reduce power use during highdemand periods. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission See ELECTRICITY, A8

Southeast Oregon already suffering under drought Range fires have started early southeast corner of the state, Water Resources Department. He said it’s the driest time he this year, and some farmers bordering Idaho and Nevada. Ranchers report selling cattle recalls in 31 years. He worked for have had their water cut off. because pastures are brown and the Vale Irrigation District THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ONTARIO — So far this year, Gov. John Kitzhaber has issued drought declarations for four Oregon counties, three of them on Tuesday. One of them is for Malheur, which at 9,928 square miles is the second largest county in the state and slightly larger than Vermont. Its high desert makes up the

feed prices high. Rivers are low. Irrigation reservoirs started the season at one-third of their capacity, and some irrigation districts have already run out of water, The Oregonian reported. “We didn’t get any rain last fall, and really none to speak of this spring, and we didn’t get enough snowpack to fill our reservoirs,” said Ron Jacobs, a watermaster with the Oregon

before taking a state job. Rancher Bob Skinner is gearing up to truck water to his cattle, which is “something we don’t do much.” “We are all selling cattle,” said Skinner. “Hay is high, and grain is ridiculously high, and you can’t find pasture, so what do you do?” Malheur County has 186,000 See DROUGHT, A8

Mike Skinner checks a shrinking pond that cattle would normally be drinking from Saturday on his family’s 10,000-acre ranch in Jordan Valley, Ore. Cows can drink about 30 gallons of water a day. THOMAS BOYD

The Oregonian

INSIDE TODAY “There’s a fee for literally everything you do.” DEVONTE YATES, who spends $40 to $50 a month on fees associated with his bank payroll card IDAHO STATESMAN: A McClatchy Newspaper, 1200 N. Curtis Road, Boise, ID • P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707 • (208)377-6200•© 2013 Idaho Statesman, Vol. 148, No. 342, 3 sections, 24 pages

A6


BRONCOS BACK AT PRACTICE • PETERSEN TAKES UW PICTURES TO HELL AND BACK

Nelson Mandela dealt with regrets for cause, country NATION/WORLD, A9

SNOW DAY Sledders hit Simplot Hill

to play in the cold Bogus Basin opens today

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IDAHO MOMENT

Sugar plums, fairy tales and young ballerinas

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LIFE, L1

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DECEMBER 8, 2013

*

Gardner’s Downtown vision The 8th and Main developer has a new big idea. Can a plan for transit and convention centers resolve conflicts that have vexed Boise for years? 8TH ST.

BY SVEN BERG sberg@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho Statesman

Idaho Statesman graphic

Otter: Poll to explore highway tax support The governor tells contractors not to expect new revenue out of the 2014 Legislature. BY DAN POPKEY dpopkey@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho Statesman

CAPITOL BLVD.

N

9TH ST.

Idaho’s tallest and second-tallest buildings were just MAIN ST. an introduction to the Gardner Co.’s plan for Downtown Boise. Wells Gardner bought the 267-foot U.S. Bank building in August. Across the street, it’s putting the finishing Fargo touches on the 327-foot 8th and Main building, which U.S. opens early next year. Bank Chief Operating Officer Tommy Ahlquist calls the company’s next project, the $70 million City Center Plaza, its “crown jewel.” MORE ABOUT CLEARWATER Here’s what the company envisions: a nine-stoANALYTICS, ry, 206,000-square-foot retail and office building THE GARDNER on the west side of U.S. Bank Plaza. A skybridge GROVE CO.’S NEW will connect that structure to a four- or five-story PARTNER A8 building on the U.S. Bank tower’s south side. The south building, with a footprint of about 25,000 square Boise Grove Hotel/ feet, will have two floors of parking and two or three Centre CenturyLink floors of meeting and convention space. Lying beneath Arena it all will be a transit station of almost an acre underground. The expected completion date is early 2016. Ahlquist said companies are lining up to lease retail FRONT ST. and office space in the new buildings, even though Gardner has yet to apply for the permits to build them. Boise tech pioneer Clearwater Analytics already has TRANSIT CENTER RENDERING signed an agreement to help pay for the west building, CITY CENTER PLAZA included more than 300,000 to be called the Clearwater Building. As its anchor tensquare feet of retail, office, parkant, Clearwater will occupy the top four floors — some ing and, possibly, meeting space. 90,000 square feet. Gardner has letters of intent from nine companies A TRANSIT CENTER interested in renting five first-floor restaurant spaces, would take up almost an acre of space 20 feet underground. Ahlquist said. Alone, those two buildings are an ambitious project. TRANSIT CENTER RAMPS But the rest of Ahlquist’s plan is the real challenge, and Buses would enter from Capitol it could transform Downtown Boise. Boulevard and exit on Main See GARDNER, A8

Street. Pedestrians would enter from Main Street through the planned west building.

RAMPS to the U.S. Bank

building’s underground parking.

SEE A17

Gov. Butch Otter says he must have a show of public support for increasing revenue for roads and bridges before he’ll support such a plan. “I doubt very, very much if in (2014) there will be an action — an action to the point of a legislative conclusion — meaning passage of those bills,” Otter told the Idaho Associated General Contractors on Friday. Otter said he’s determined not to repeat his experience with “Students Come First,” the school reforms enacted in 2011 but soundly rejected by voters in November 2012. See POLL, A14

OTTER HOLDS OFF ON MEDICAID EXPANSION A14

Anatomy of the government shutdown The World War II memorial closure serves as a case study for the collapse of governing in Washington.

People would take escalators from Main Street to the underground transit center.

BY DAVID LIGHTMAN STATESMAN WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON — The World War II veterans from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast had been planning their trip to Washington’s World War II memorial since the spring. On Oct. 1, at 7 a.m., the 91 veterans boarded a US Airways charter at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, bound for the nation’s capital. They flew into a media firestorm. Their buses pulled up to a memorial surrounded by metal barricades, closed as part of the partial federal government shutdown. A handful of congressmen and senators awaited them, many accusing

Gardner’s planned office building is left of the existing U.S. Bank tower in this rendering. The proposed meeting/ convention building is right of the tower. Main Street can be seen at the far left.

See SHUTDOWN, A12

TURMOIL TIMELINE

And a look at how budgeting is supposed to work. A12

Renderings provided by the Gardner Co.

INSIDE TODAY “I don’t want any doubt in anyone’s mind, if there was, that I am for Butch Otter,” CHRIS CHRISTIE, governor of New Jersey in Coeur d’Alene. A2 IDAHO STATESMAN: A McClatchy Newspaper, 1200 N. Curtis Road, Boise, ID • P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707 • (208)377-6200•© 2013 Idaho Statesman, Vol. 149, No. 136, 7 sections, 66 pages

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GARDNER CONTINUED FROM A1

AHLQUIST’S CRAZY DREAM

Ahlquist and his family were on a cruise halfway around the world when the idea hit him to put a transit center underneath City Center Plaza. He called from the ship off the Greek coast to share his epiphany with a few Gardner people. They thought he was crazy. Valley Regional Transit, Ada and Canyon counties’ public transportation authority, had approached Gardner months before about working together on a transit hub at the southwest corner of 8th and Jefferson streets. The transportation authority would use $12 million from a federal earmark and Boise’s urban renewal agency to pay for the transit station, and Gardner would put a commercial development on top of it. Ahlquist said he’d take a look. It didn’t work out. Too many powerful people — neighbors in the Hoff Building to the south, lawmakers at the Capitol building to the northeast — were against it. And there was no interest from the types of businesses that might want to rent retail or office space, Ahlquist said. By the time Gardner had finished its research, Ahlquist said, most of his crew wanted no part of a public-private transit partnership. Now he was telling them he wanted to put one underneath the company’s Boise nerve center: the corner of 8th and Main streets. “Internally, we’ve said, ‘Is it worth it for us to really go after this and do it right?’ ” Ahlquist said. “And the answer to that is, ‘For the good of the city and the Treasure Valley, and for our projects longterm, yes.’ ” As if the transit center weren’t hard enough, Ahlquist has fixed his eye on what may be a thornier problem: the Greater Boise Auditorium District’s desire for more convention space. The district has been banging its head against this problem since the 1990s. It wants an additional 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, 15,000 square feet of meeting space and 15,000 square feet of ballroom space to augment the facility it owns and operates at the Boise Centre next to the Grove. It has more than $13 million to spend, not including yearly surplus income of more than $2 million from the room tax it collects. Its leaders want to use that money to build a new convention center or expand the Boise Centre. Ahlquist proposes setting aside space in one or both of Gardner’s planned buildings to meet the Auditorium District’s demand for more convention space.

THE BIG PICTURE

The transit center and convention space expansion have something in common: They’re politicized projects that public opinion and technical roadblocks have derailed repeatedly. Ahlquist and the Gardner Co. know the pitfalls. They’re still interested, though Ahlquist stressed that the company’s plans for both are preliminary and might never take form. It would be easier for Gardner to build nothing more than a retailoffice-parking development at U.S. Bank Plaza. That project would be profitable and add to Gardner’s and Ahlquist’s considerable prestige. But profitable buildings are just one piece of what Ahlquist says he wants. The big dream is a more prosperous and enjoyable Boise. New convention space and better transit options would lay the

Renderings provided by the Gardner Co.

The Gardner Co.’s proposed City Center Plaza, as seen looking south from Main Street. People would enter an underground transit center through an entrance at the far right of this artist’s rendering. groundwork for that dream, he said. “Public transportation will evolve over the next 20 years. It just will,” Ahlquist said. “And as it evolves, we cannot think of a better location to have that transportation hub than right in the middle of everything, both for the health of the city and for our project and for everything else we’re doing.”

CONVENTION CONUNDRUM

Pat Rice, the Greater Boise Auditorium District’s executive director, has seen plenty of ideas come and go without any dirt being moved. There’s been talk of adding a few floors to Boise Centre, the district’s existing convention center on Front Street. A district-owned lot between 11th, 13th, Front and Myrtle streets was once the chosen site for a brand-new convention center. In 2006, hotel magnate John Q. Hammons said he wanted to build a hotel and convention center in Downtown Boise. None of those proposals worked out. Each one was too small, too expensive, in the wrong place or the wrong shape. So the district’s top boss is skeptical about fresh new ideas that seem, on their surface, a perfect way to expand the district’s convention space. Gardner’s proposal to build new convention space on the U.S. Bank Plaza is no different. Location is one of its advantages. U.S. Bank Plaza lies on the other side of The Grove from Boise Centre. If Gardner could provide new meeting space on its property, moving between events and The Grove Hotel next door would be easy, fast and convenient. Being in the middle of Downtown is attractive, too, Rice said. Then there’s Gardner’s reputation. So far, the company has given Boise no reason to question its competence. Gardner is a strong, capable firm that moves fast, and has yet to take a false step here. You don’t turn the Boise Hole — the excavated foundation at 8th and Main for what was to have been the Boise Tower, which became a citywide joke — into

The underground transit center would include space for a waiting area, ticketing, loading and unloading, as well as a Boise police substation. Idaho’s tallest building without some ability. But chops alone won’t solve the GBAD riddle. “John Q. Hammons was the No. 1 convention hotelier in the country and we couldn’t make it happen with him,” Rice said. “John Q. got sick. The economy tanked, and then he died.” The concept for this part of Gardner’s project is fuzzy at best. Would the Auditorium District pay Gardner to build convention space, then operate the new space together with Boise Centre as a single complex? Or would the district use the new space to host conventions while Boise Centre shuts down for an expansion? There are no answers to those questions yet. “The goal is more meeting space, but it has to be done right. You just can’t plop a ballroom down on the street and say it works,” Rice said. “The pieces, so far, have been out there for several developers and, so far, we haven’t been able to make a puzzle out of it.”

HOPE FOR THE HUB

Compared to Gardner’s convention space proposal, the transit center is at an advanced stage. Gardner was the only company that responded to a request for qualifications from Valley Regional Transit. Gardner has hired engineers to predict how the hub would affect traffic and whether it’s safe to dig 20 feet under the plaza’s west side. They’ve developed the details: bus entrance and exit routes, artist renderings and designs for a 40,000square-foot space for loading and unloading eight buses, ticketing and waiting areas and a police station that the city of Boise proposed incorporating into earlier versions of the transit center. Ahlquist said his company can build the hub within the budget prescribed by the federal earmark, which has sat unspent since 2007. Gardner is paying for design and study of the site out of its own pocket. If the transit center project doesn’t work, Gardner won’t recover that $500,000, Ahlquist said. Gardner’s proposal has promise, Valley Regional Transit Executive Director Kelli Fairless said. Earlier ideas came during the Great Recession when developers’ appetite for new projects waned. The location was wrong for others. Gardner has timing, location, money and technical wherewithal on its side, Fairless said. “The development environment is a little more favorable for a project like this,” she said. “Gardner, as a potential private partner for the project, they just really have a SVEN BERG / sberg@idahostatesman.com great vision for how this could be a Workers operate a drill Thursday, testing to see whether soil underneath positive part of the project.” U.S. Bank Plaza is suitable for a 40,000-square-foot transit center. The company has explained its

CLEARWATER ANALYTICS PARTNERS WITH GARDNER Clearwater Analytics has an agreement with the Gardner Co. to help pay for a nine-story, 206,000-square-foot building just west of the U.S. Bank tower on Main Street. The high-tech company plans to take up four floors in the Clearwater Building, part of Gardner’s next Downtown Boise project. Chief Operating Officer Mike Boren said Clearwater has been growing and expects that to continue. The company, which does Web-based accounting, reporting and analytics for clients around the world, needs more room and can get it in Gardner’s proposed $70 million City Center Plaza. Founded in 2004, Clearwater has become a leader in its industry. With offices in Boise, New York City and Edinburgh, Scotland, the company provides its clients reports on nearly $1 trillion in investment assets, according to a Clearwater news release. Right now, Clearwater’s Boise headquarters are split between the Banner Bank and the 9th and Idaho buildings, taking up about 45,000 square feet, Boren said. Moving into the Clearwater Building would unite the workforce in one space that’s big enough — almost 90,000 square feet — for the company to grow into. On top of naming rights, being part-owner means Clearwater will be able to design the space to meet the needs of a high-tech workforce — lots of Internet connections, secure server rooms and redundant power, Boren said. “You’d see a lot of that if you were, say, in the Bay Area and went to visit Google or Facebook or somebody like that, but you don’t see that here so much,” Boren said. The location is important, too. A custom-designed space in the middle of Downtown will help Clearwater attract top software developers, who are in demand. Clearwater’s pledge highlights the promise Gardner’s new development holds, said Tommy Ahlquist, Gardner’s chief operating officer. He said the building will be designed especially for high-tech tenants in addition to Clearwater. The Clearwater Building will have one floor of retail area that has five first-floor restaurant spaces. Nine companies want them and have signed letters of intent explaining why they should be the ones to occupy them, Ahlquist said. City Center Plaza will have a second building, just south of the U.S. Bank tower. Gardner’s plans for the south building call for two floors of covered parking and two or three floors of meeting space. Sven Berg: 377-6275

concept to the city, the transit authority and Ada County Highway District, which maintains Boise streets. So far, no fatal flaws have emerged. And there have been no protests from neighbors, which is what undermined other proposals. “Location is what makes this possible,” Ahlquist said. “If you took this same concept and moved it out of the core, it would really be a bus station. It would feel like a bus station. It would look like a bus station. It would be very, very hard to get retail tenants or office tenants to go be part of that project.” There are plenty of obstacles. Since federal taxpayer money would pay for the transit center, Valley Regional Transit has to jump through the hoops that federal projects require. That means someone has to analyze potential environmental impacts. Someone else has to appraise the property to make sure the transit authority’s not paying too much for it. One way or the other, the transit authority would buy the hub, but it’s still unclear how Gardner would collect money for it. One option is for Valley Regional Transit to buy the transit center from the company when the project’s

finished, Fairless said. Another is to draw money from a federal account to pay Gardner installments as its contractors reach progress milestones. Gardner hopes to break ground on the entire project, including retail-office-parking space and, possibly, the transit hub and convention space sometime in the summer. Fairless hopes Valley Regional Transit can get through the hub’s obstacles by then. One measure of the seriousness of Ahlquist’s plan: Fairless said the transit authority has given up on all its other proposals. Sven Berg: 377-6275

SEE MORE IMAGES AND ! READ OUR PREVIOUS STORIES ABOUT AHLQUIST AND HIS PROJECTS IdahoStatesman.com

SVEN BERG Sven has covered Boise city government and development for the Statesman since July 2012.


CANADA’S WOMEN IN COMBAT YEARS AHEAD OF U.S.

IdahoStatesman MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2013

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Fork’s owners go Italian with Boise eatery Alavita

ALL WEEKEND IN SPORTS

FRIDAY IN SCENE

FRENCH

PARTLY CLOUDY

42° / 21°

SEE A9

MUSIC’S BIG NIGHT

COMING IN THE STATESMAN THIS WEEK

14 local teams in girls basketball state tournaments

NATION / WORLD, A6

For stars, one Grammy just isn’t enough CATCHING UP, A3

SPANISH

YOUR WEEK AHEAD ENTERTAINMENT Today: Boise band Built

Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise

Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise

Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum

Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg

Tuesday: Revelers con-

GERMAN

Rep. Sue Chew, D-Boise

to Spill launches three nights of Boise rock: Monday at Neurolux, Tuesday at The Crux, Wednesday at Neurolux.

verge on Downtown Boise for Fat Tuesday fun. Thursday: Made a restaurant reservation yet? It’s Valentine’s Day, people. MORE EVENTS, L4

Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle

CANTONESE

ARABIC

Well-spoken Lawmakers’ formidable language skills belie Idaho’s rural reputation

BY JOHN MILLER

S

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

peaking a second language lets Rep. Sue Chew talk with her mom, Gloria, in their mother tongue, Cantonese. But it also stirs memories of the sting of a gradeschool teacher’s ruler — for not speaking English. Rep. Ken Andrus acknowledges that he doesn’t get much chance to practice his second language, Cook Island Maori, or Rarotongan, on his Lava Hot Springs ranch. He learned

it while on a Mormon mission to the South Pacific island nation in the mid-1950s. And for Rep. Kelley Packer, learning American Sign Language brought her closer to her aunt and uncle, both of whom are hearing impaired. Idaho is a landlocked state, with 84 percent of its population hailing from European stock and just a tenth of residents with Hispanic or Latino roots, but at least 21 legislators, or 20 percent of 105 senators and repre-

sentatives, speak a language other than English, contradicting the image some might have of an isolated hinterland whose residents pay little mind to what happens beyond their borders. A big reason: Idaho’s population is 27 percent Mormon, and at least 16 legislators, all men, learned second languages — German, French, Spanish and Portuguese, in addition to Andrus’ Maori — in preparation for a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission. Nearly all of them say having a second language in their linguistic arsenal helps them in their work as lawmakers. Rep. Linden Bateman is among six lawmakers who learned German for LDS missions. He still corresponds See LANGUAGES, A9

SPORTS Saturday: The Boise

State women’s basketball team hosts New Mexico at 2 p.m at Taco Bell Arena. MORE EVENTS, S1

LOCAL ‘An Affair to Remember’:

Take your valentine to see a classic movie, 7 p.m. Thursday, Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise. $9-$11. MORE EVENTS, L4

TRAFFIC TROUBLE SPOT Boise road closure : 30th

Street, between Fairview and Main. Road/sewer work through June 5. MORE ROAD INFO, A4

DON’T MISS IT IN THE STATESMAN

Obama to use speech as call to action on jobs, energy, immigration His address Tuesday will mark the centennial of the State of the Union. BY LESLEY CLARK AND ANITA KUMAR MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

WASHINGTON — A confident President Barack Obama is expected to unveil an aggressive agenda in the first big address of his second term, calling for a rewrite of the nation’s immigration laws and broad steps on gun control. Obama starts the term with job approval ratings that have struggled to exceed 50 percent. He faces a not-yet-recovered economy, a mounting deficit, an often hostile Congress and a nation increasingly distrustful that polarized, partisan Washington can get much of anything done. In many ways, the address serves as a marker for what the president hopes will form his legacy. After outlining his second-term agenda

in an inaugural speech last month that infuriated Republicans for its full-throated embrace of liberalism, Obama will deliver details of what he wants to accomplish, priorities that include the usual biggies: energy independence, education and job creation. “A lot of people think the State of the Union is empty rhetoric, but it’s full of specific requests,” said Robert Lehrman, a former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore and a communications professor at American University. “It’s not only the state of the union, but the state of the Obama administration.” Tens of millions are expected to watch the 7 p.m. MST address, which Obama will deliver from the U.S. Capitol; in 2012, 38 million households tuned in. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising star in his party who has garnered buzz See SPEECH, A9

Thursday in Idaho Outdoors: A new era begins Provided by Idaho Power

Worth the cost of upgrading? Idaho Power owns the Jim Bridger coal-fired plants in Wyoming along with PacifiCorp.

Idaho Power faces costly decision on coal plants BY ROCKY BARKER rbarker@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho Statesman

The re-election of President Barack Obama and his commitment to address global warming may play into a decision the utility will make this month about the future of such facilities. Idaho Power is conducting an analysis of whether to invest $500 million or more in pollution-control equipment for three coal plants in Wyoming and two in

Nevada. Idaho Power doesn’t operate the plants, but it is a one-third owner of the Jim Bridger coal plants near Rock Springs, Wyo., and half-owner of two plants near Valmy, Nev. The power company must decide whether to put its money into aging plants in other states, into new plants or into energy conservation — and Idaho conservationists are lobbying for that See COAL PLANTS, A9

at Soldier Mountain, with new management and renewed enthusiasm for the ski area. TuesdayinBusinessInsider: The Affordable Care

Act’s big changes are coming, and health insurers are struggling to get ready. So are legislators and businesses. Get the magazine for free with your weekday or sevenday Statesman subscription. Email circulation@ idahostatesman.com or call 377-6370 to get it Tuesday. Catch up on the news, A2-3

!

For breaking news, visit IdahoStatesman.com

INSIDE TODAY “They are goddesses for three days a year, and the rest of the year they are bank tellers.” MILTON CUNHA on Rio’s Carnival dancers

WORLD, A6

IDAHO STATESMAN: A McClatchy Newspaper, 1200 N. Curtis Road, Boise, ID • P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707 • (208)377-6200•© 2013 Idaho Statesman, Vol. 148, No. 202, 3 sections, 22 pages


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