Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Deadline nearing for parade registration

The Idaho Falls Fourth of July Parade has been going strong since the mid-'70s. 
Here’s a reminder that if you’re planning to be part of the Idaho Falls Fourth of July parade, you’ve got until June 1 to register.

Organized and executed by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, the parade kicks off at 9 a.m. For as long as anyone can remember, more than 100 floats have participated in the parade.

The Fourth falls this year on a Tuesday. The theme for this year’s parade is “Guardians of Freedom.” It starts on Fourth Street and John Adams Parkway and ends at Tautphaus Park.

Volunteers are still needed to help guide and direct floats the morning of the parade. If you are interested in helping with the parade, please email: programs@idahofallschamber.com, or call (208) 523-1010 ext. 1004.

There is a $50 parade entry fee and an additional $50 if you want to distribute candy or flyers.
To download the entry form, follow this link: https://idahofallschamber.com/4th-of-july-parade-registration-form/

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pachanga's moving to A Street, across from Colonial Theater

It looks like Pachangas' move to 439 A Street is on, according to Randy Waters, managing director of SVN High Desert Commercial, who helped handle the real estate transaction.

Pachanga's owner Antonio Meza of Pachangas applied to the Idaho Falls Building Department on March 8 for a building permit to remodel the property, and a peek inside this week show extensive remodeling is indeed going on.

Originally on Capital Avenue across from the Bonneville County Courthouse, Pachangas has been at the corner of Park Avenue and B Street for several years. A great location, to be sure -- consider that Alive After 5 is right across the street from May to September -- but Meza said things were set in motion early this year when his landlord, Thomas Development, the owner of the Earl Building, told him they had a new tenant interested in their space.

He then learned that Jerry and Jeannie Frazzell were looking for a buyer for their property, which had been remodeled as Black Rock Fine Wines and Craft Beer in 2015. Black Rock's lease was up at the end of March, which put owner Chuck Chute in a scramble pattern, but by the end of March he had moved his operation to343 Park Avenue, next door to the Samoa Club.

As for the Park Avenue property, there is a Thonton Oliver Keller sign in the window. We'll be keeping an eye on what happens there as well as at Pachanga's new digs.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Deseret Book building new store on Pioneer Road

We got a question about the edifice going up just south of the Utah Avenue Wal-Mart, the type of question we’re always happy to oblige.

The building, at 750 Pioneer Road, will be the new home of Deseret Book, and it is going up in a hurry. The permit was applied for March 9 and issued April 11. Plans filed with the city of Idaho show a total square-footage of 105,443 and a valuation (based on that square footage) of $404,365.

Deseret Book has been located for years, at 950 Memorial Drive, near the newly-reopened Idaho Falls LDS Temple. There is also a store in the Ammon Town Center.

The Deseret Book company dates back to 1919, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deseret Management Corp., the holding company for business firms owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to running a chain of stores in the western United States, Deseret Book publishes under four imprints with media ranging from works explaining LDS theology and doctrine, LDS-related fiction, electronic resources, and sound recordings such as Mormon Tabernacle Choir albums.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Downtown Development board names new executive director

Catherine Smith
Catherine Smith has been selected as executive director of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation.

A fourth-generation Idahoan, Smith was previously eastern region director for the Idaho Community Foundation, where she helped families, businesses and community-minded establish charitable funds, and directed grants managed by the foundation. She has worked for Idaho Falls Arts Council and the Idaho Commission on the Arts as a regional public art advisor. She is an active member of the non-profit community, serves on a handful of local non-profit boards, and volunteers regularly for the Idaho Falls Zoo. She was named Distinguished Under 40 in 2013 and is a graduate of the Chamber Leadership Idaho Falls program.

Smith is coming to IFDDC just as two keystone projects downtown are about to get under way: the Oppenheimer Groups’ development of the Kelsch property at Memorial Drive and Broadway, where Savings Center used to be, and the rehabilitation of the Bonneville Hotel. Other downtown projects are in various stages of planning.

Smith is a graduate of the Art Institute of Portland, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. “I’m proud to be a part of this organization and am quite excited to work with the IFDDC board and downtown folks to continue to build for the future of downtown Idaho Falls,” she said.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Downtown Fire Station #1 opens doors

The crowd Monday at the dedication of Idaho Falls' new downtown fire station.
Monday was a big day for the Idaho Falls Fire Department and the city itself, as the new $4.3 million Downtown Fire Station #1 opened its doors at 343 E Street.

“The address, 343, has a significant meaning to us as it signifies the number of firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. We are here today to dedicate this station in their honor,” said Fire Chief Dave Hanneman, in remarks that preceded the department’s Color Guard and Pipes and Drums.

The building is the long-overdue replacement for Station #1, which had been on the Shoup Avenue side of City Hall since 1930, when Herbert Hoover was president. Insufficient room for modern equipment, claustrophobic conditions, and a crack in the floor were identified for decades as problems that could not be fixed, yet it wasn’t until 2014 that the City Council voted to proceed with a new station.

Planning for the new station began in April 2015, and ground was broken on Jan. 8, 2016. The General Contractor for the new 24,000 square foot facility was Morgan Construction, with design provided by CRSA Architecture. The total cost of the building was $4.1 million, which came in under the $4.3 million guaranteed price given by Morgan Construction.

For the first time in 35 years, the Fire Prevention Bureau and ladder truck are at the same location as the administrative staff.  At full capacity, the new station will also be living quarters for 11 firefighters.  The new station is a fully ADA compliant building with elevators. The administrative staff occupy the first floor, along with a training room that also functions as a City Coordination Center (CCC). The CCC seats 50 people and can be reserved by other city departments and community members.

There are two sets of double bays. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) turnout room, located near the bays, is a state-of-the-art area with a ventilation system allowing fumes and contaminants to vent outside of the building, protecting firefighters and the facility.  
Upstairs is the living quarters for firefighters, captains and battalion chiefs. Firefighters are on shift 48 hours at a time, with up to 11 crew members, so the living quarters function similar to a house.  There are dorm rooms, showers, a dining room, kitchen, day room, training room with computers, and an exercise room. Firefighters are required to exercise for at least one hour per day to stay conditioned.

The brains of the building is an alert system with interconnectivity to dispatch. “During an emergency, the alert system will progressively wake pertinent personnel by turning on lights, followed by sound and voice, thereby reducing their heart rates upon notification,” Hanneman said. When the alert system goes off, EMS crews have less than 1 minute to get out on the call from anywhere in the building. Fire calls are less than 1 minute 20 seconds.

The central response area with monitors and radios is located near the pole leading down to the bays, giving crews up-to-date information before they get in the trucks and go on the call.

Monitors throughout the building also feed live call data to the firefighters, constantly keeping them informed of emergencies. The monitors in the fire prevention offices on the first floor display building plans, allowing staff to coordinate and discuss planning documents.

Monday, April 24, 2017

INL recognizes researchers, inventors at annual banquet

Cliff Davis, 2016 winner of INL
Lifetime Achievement Award
Idaho National Laboratory held its annual Laboratory Director Awards reception Friday night, celebrating achievements of 2016 and honoring researchers for their work. Thirty newly issued patents and two copyright assertions were recognized.

Award recipients were:

  • Community Award: David Snell 

  • Leadership Award: Yongfeng Zhang 

  • Mission Advancement Award: Richard Barney Carlson 

  • Mission Enabling Individual Award: Todd Taylor 

  • Mission Enabling Team Award: TREAT Safety Basis Team: James R. Parry, Anthony W. LaPorta, Charles P. Forshee, Doug Gerstner, Leslie A. Roberts 

  • Early Career Exceptional Achievement Award: Vivek Agarwal 

  • Exceptional Engineering Achievement Award: Shelly X. Li 

  • Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award: Robert V. Fox 

  • Lifetime Achievement in Science and Technology Award: Cliff B. Davis 

  • Outstanding Impact Award: Michael W. Snyder 

  • Research Technician of the Year Award: Cathy Rae 

  • Support Technician of the Year Award: Shaun Clements 

  • Inventor of the Year Award: Michael McKellar 

  • INL Vision Award: Radiological Security Source Disposition Team: Kathryn A. McBride, David L. Parks, John C. Zarling 

  • INL Vision Award: High-Value, High-Precision, High-Profile and High-Risk Machining Work Scope Team: Rex C. Buttars, William C. Fuger, Cory V. Jones, Ricky D. Popejoy, Mark D. Steffler 

  • INL Vision Award: Small Modular Reactor Deployment Team: Shannon M. Bragg-Sitton, George W. Griffith, James C, Kinsey, Corey K. McDaniel, Michael W Patterson 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Snake River Landing announces new project for entertainment, special events

An artist's rendering of what the new special event center at Snake River Landing will look like. 
Snake River Landing announced Thursday it is planning to open a new entertainment and special event facility this summer. This is the "Project X" BizMojo Idaho mentioned in a March 7 post after seeing the building permit application had been filed with the Idaho Falls Building Department.

A 9,000-square-foot building on approximately 4.5 acres near the Snake River, the facility is now under construction. When completed, it will feature a large indoor area for parties and special events and an extensive outdoor event area. Large, roll-up style doors are planned, to turn the indoor space into an extended indoor/outdoor venue. A 1,500-square-foot performance stage can be used for indoor or outdoor events as well.

For major outdoor events (such as the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration on July 4, as the fireworks are going to be at Snake River Landing this year for the first time), there will be an expansive 1.5-acre grass area adjacent to the building. A 1,700-square-foot kitchen area for caterer use during special events is part of the plan. All in all, the multi-purpose facility is designed to be flexible to the needs of a variety of events, including corporate gatherings, live performances, luncheons, non-profit events and community events.

The construction of the new facility is taking place in the newest phase of development within Snake River Landing known as Riverside Village. Located near the popular walking trail that encircles a 3.5-acre lake, it is a mixed-use area laid out to include retail shops, restaurants, and other entertainment establishments.

“As this area has grown over the years, we have received continual inquiries for medium sized event space,” said Eric Isom, chief development officer for Snake River Landing. “We look forward to operating a facility that can allow for year-around Snake River Landing events, as well as being able to offer it for private rental.”

The new facility will be owned and operated by an affiliate of Snake River Landing, which is owned and operated by Ball Ventures. The following local businesses have been involved in the design and construction: NBW Architects, Horrocks Engineers, Wind River Construction, HK Contractors and Seasons West.