Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rexburg Motorsports hosting annual food drive

Rexburg Motorsports is looking to give back to local families in need with its annual Stuff the Side-by-Side Food Drive. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 outside Broulim's in Rexburg. To help support the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (EICAP) Rexburg Outreach Office, Rexburg Motorsports is looking for donations of new or unopened food and household items to stuff a Honda Pioneer Side-by-Side with a half-ton of food.

The Rexburg Outreach Office is seeking donations for the following unexpired items: canned meats, canned tomatoes, cereals, dry goods, laundry and dishwasher detergent, cleaning supplies, and various hygiene items.

The Honda Pioneer is equipped to hold up to 1,000 pounds of donations in the seats, bed, and storage compartments. Rexburg Motorsports is hoping the vehicle's capacity will be exceeded before the event concludes.

To donate, simply stop by the Broulim’s in Rexburg and place your donations in the side-by-side parked outside the store. All items received will be housed in the food bank in Rexburg and be distributed to families in need in the Madison County area.

“We're always looking for ways to help out the community,” said Mike Vickers, owner of Rexburg Motorsports. "The food drive is a fun way for us to accomplish that and to encourage others to get involved."

For further information regarding the food drive or Rexburg Motorsports in general, contact Matt Dyer at 208-356-4000 or via email at mdyer@gearhead.com.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Costco site plan proposes three entrances, keeping roundabout

Here's the layout of the Costco development at Lincoln Road and 25 East (Hitt Road).
We had a question from a reader some time back about the effect Costco, scheduled to open sometime next year, will have on local traffic, and whether the roundabout at Lincoln Road and 25 East (Hitt Road) will remain.

Going by the Transportation Impact Study prepared for the city of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County by Kittelson & Associates, it looks like the roundabout, expanded in 2018, will remain. Kittelson is recommending three access points -- one on Lincoln and two on Hitt.

The full report can be found here -- TRANSPORTATION IMPACT STUDY | Idaho Falls Costco  -- but if you'd rather not scroll through 71 pages here are the passages we found most informative.

Proposed Development Plan
▪ Kittelson maintains a database of traffic data and travel characteristics for Costco Wholesale. This information was used to estimate the trip generation for Costco Wholesale during the weekday PM and Saturday midday peak hours.
o The  proposed  Costco warehouse  and  fuel  station  and  outparcel  are estimated  to generate 7,045 daily net new trips, 707 weekday PM peak hour net new trips, and 988 Saturday midday peak hour net new trips.
▪ The distribution pattern for site-generated trips was estimated based on Costco Wholesale’s prediction of potential members in the area, a review of the proposed access locations and adjacent  roadway  system,  existing  traffic  patterns, and  insights  from  the  City  and  County staff.
▪ The proposed development plan includes two access points on 25th East and one access point on Lincoln Road. For initial analysis purposes, these three access points were assumed to be unsignalized, full-movement accesses.

Off-Site Intersections
▪ No improvements are recommended at the off-site intersections as part of the Costco warehouse and fuel station development. ... The  results  of  the  study  indicate  that  the  proposed Idaho  Falls  Costco can  be  constructed  while maintaining  acceptable   traffic   operations   and   safety   at   the   study   intersections,   assuming the recommended mitigation measures are in place.

Site Access Intersections
▪ Site Access A/Lincoln Road -- Construct a full-movement, unsignalized access at Site Access A on Lincoln Road that includes one ingress lane, two egress lanes (southbound left-turn and right-turn lanes),and a westbound right-turn lane.
▪ Site Access B/25th East -- Construct a full-movement, unsignalized access at Site Access B on 25th East that includes one ingress lane, two egress lanes (eastbound left-turn and right-turn lanes), and a southbound right-turn lane at the opening of Costco, plan for a future multilane roundabout at this driveway by reserving the space needed for a multilane roundabout design, and participate in a cost-sharing of the roundabout. The multilane roundabout would be installed at a future date when deemed necessary by traffic volumes, traffic operations at this driveway, and development of the property to the east.
▪ Site Access C/25th East -- Construct a full-movement, unsignalized access at Site Access C on 25th East that includes one ingress lane and one egress lane (shared westbound left-turn and right-turn lane).
▪ Maintain adequate sight distance at Site Access A, B, and C by limiting the shrubbery and landscaping.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

CHC Foundation announces Fall 2019 grants

An aerial view of Community Hospital on South Boulevard. Originally called Sacred Heart and later called Parkview, the money from its sale and demolition in the 1980s formed the basis of the CHC Foundation, which awards grants in eastern Idaho twice each year.
The CHC Foundation Board of Directors has announced its Fall 2019 grant awards: $341,652 to 20 recipients.


The foundation is based in Idaho Falls and serves Bonneville County and nine surrounding counties. It dates back to 1985, when it was created with money from the liquidation of Parkview Hospital in Idaho Falls. Originally Sacred Heart Hospital, then Community Hospital, Parkview, on South Boulevard across from Tautphaus Park, was part of Idaho Falls Consolidated Hospitals. It was torn down after Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center opened.

CHC awards grants twice a year to 501c(3) non-profit organizations in the 10-county area formerly served by the hospital.


The largest grant this cycle was a $140,000 award to the Museum of Idaho, which is in the process of a major expansion. Other grant award recipients include:
  • The Giving Cupboard, Rigby, $24,000
  • Idaho Falls Humanitarian Center, $1,622
  • City of Mackay, $12,500
  • Museum of Idaho, Idaho Falls, $140,000
  • Ronald McDonald Charities, Idaho Falls, $6,000
  • Blackfoot Community Players, $10,000
  • Idaho Falls Arts Council, $7,200
  • Challis Arts Council, $4,000
  • Parker-Elgin School, $9,500
  • Lemhi Historical Society, Salmon, $2,441
  • ABC-After school Literacy Program, Driggs, $1,638
  • Museum of Henry’s Fork, $3,900
  • Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, $20,000
  • Shelley Senior Center, $15,000
  • Teton Regional Land Trust, $7,000
  • Girl Scouts of Silver Sage-Swan Valley, $11,594
  • Promise Ridge Shelter, Idaho Falls, $7,325
  • Snake River Youth Performing Arts, $7,932
  • Idaho Arts Lab, St Anthony, $10,000
  • Veterans Mobility Corps, Idaho Falls/Ucon, $60,000
The CHC Foundation’s next granting session opens Jan. 1, with grant applications accepted through Feb. 26. For information, visit chcfoundation.net.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

INL named winner of four 2019 R&D 100 awards

Idaho National Laboratory has received four R&D 100 awards for 2019. Since they were started by R&D Magazine in 1963, R&D 100 Awards have identified and celebrated the top technology products from the public and private sectors. The U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories typically have dozens of finalists every year.

Winners will be honored Dec. 4-5 at a banquet in San Mateo, Calif., also the site for the fifth annual R&D 100 Conference, an event where leaders from the R&D community can attend multi-disciplinary general sessions and exchange new ideas in innovation and technology transfer.

In the Analytical/Test category, INL took honors with its Electronic Neutron Generator Calibration System and its High-Temperature Irradiation-Resistant Thermocouples (HTIR-TC).

In the IT/Electrical electrical category, it received a joint award with the University of Utah School of Computing for Wireless radio Frequency signal Identification and protocol Reverse Engineering—WiFIRE.

In the Software/Services, INL was recognized for Consequence-driven Cyber-informed Engineering.

INL’s finalists included Lithium-ion battery defect detector, Waste-to-Energy Ionic Gasification Technology (a joint award with Cogent Energy Systems, Inc.), Wireless sensor system for online monitoring of valve position, and HELICS, a project also involving Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Smart Foodservice Warehouse plans grand opening Saturday

The Smartfoodservice Warehouse Store at Lindsay Boulevard and U.S. Highway 20
The Smart Foodservice Warehouse Store at 1240 Lindsay Boulevard will be having its grand opening Saturday, opening its doors at 6 a.m. There will be free food, giveaways and prize drawings. A Business Preview Day is planned for Friday. Local business owners are invited to walk the aisles and meet with vendors. For more information, call (208) 419-0796.

A wholesale food distributor and food service supplier headquartered in Portland, Ore., until recently the chain was known as Cash&Carry Smart Foodservice. The company specializes in food products, chef supplies, wholesale restaurant supplies and catering supplies. The company has been operating throughout the Northwest for more than 60 years.

This is the chain's 509th store. The company has stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Montana and Utah. In addition to Idaho Falls, stores have been scheduled to open this year in Meridian, and Kalispell, Mont. Other stores have opened this year in Salt Lake City, Portland, Ore., Carson City, Nev., and Sacramento, Calif.

The value of the 20,265-square-foot Idaho Falls project was estimated at $2.4 million.

INL inducted into Tech Council's Hall of Fame

Idaho National Laboratory was inducted into the Idaho Technology Council’s Hall of Fame in Boise on Oct. 23.

The Hall of Fame, now in its tenth year, recognizes innovative technology leaders and companies that have made a significant contribution to Idaho’s technology community. Bestowed upon only two inductees each year, this honor recognizes INL as a leader within the state of Idaho, promoting the growth and development of the technology ecosystem, creating new and innovative systems, deploying emerging technologies and pioneering disruptive approaches to solving demanding issues.

At the same ceremony, three INL nominees were recognized at the 14th annual Idaho Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives LLP, Trailhead and the Idaho Technology Council (ITC), with support from Deloitte.

The Advanced Electrolyte Model (AEM) was recognized as a finalist in the Commercialized Innovation of the Year. Developed by Dr. Kevin Gering, AEM is a computer simulation program designed to give fast information on the properties of complex electrolyte formulations and how they can influence the performance of batteries. Since version 1.0 was first made available in 2010, AEM has been licensed to universities and industrial users, including chemical and automotive companies and a major lithium-ion cell manufacturer. Commercialization efforts at INL have been led by Ryan Bills.

Dr. Henry Chu, a Directorate Fellow and the chief technology officer of Defense Systems for National & Homeland Security at INL, was honored as a finalist/winner in the Innovator of the Year category. As the chief research scientist in INL’s Defense Systems Directorate, Chu’s main responsibilities are research and development, demonstration and manufacture of armor grade materials as well as specialized protective systems and solutions for critical military and civilian infrastructures, facilities and installations.

A team of INL researchers had their technology, Wireless radio Frequency signal Identification and protocol Reverse Engineering, or WiFIRE, recognized as a finalist in the Early-Stage Innovation of the Year category. Co-developed with the University of Utah School of Computing, WiFIRE is a breakthrough technology that provides real-time wireless communications security by continuously monitoring the wireless spectrum. WiFIRE revolutionizes protection and analysis by including capabilities for real-time identification of multiple signal types used by different frequencies, tracing system communication activities and reporting the presence of authorized and unauthorized wireless users.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Idaho Falls housing market remains strong

With the third quarter of 2019 over and the holidays almost upon us, we thought it might be a good time to take a look at the local residential real estate market. As usual, for the numbers we consulted our two favorite sources: the Snake River Multiple Listing Service and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s HPI calculator.

What the numbers show is that home prices are continuing to chug along on much the same path as they’ve been on for the past five years. Through the end of August, the number of homes sold was up 7.5% while homes on average spent 11 fewer days on the market. New listings held pretty even, but what is most dramatic is the median price, which rose almost 12 percent.

That’s in line with the numbers we crunched in the House Price Calculator. Your mileage may vary, but if you paid $100,000 in the second quarter of 2018 that would have risen to $112,454 (11.24%), based on market-wide sales averages.

Looking back, a home bought in 2014 would have appreciated in value about the same about every year. It’s a hot market with tight inventory, which means you might want to consult a real estate professional if you've got an itch.