Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

EITC seeks donations of pasta, sauce for food bank

Who doesn't get tired of turkey, ham and green bean casserole? How about some spaghetti carbonara to bring some variety to the season?

Joining the effort to eliminate hunger in the community, the Student Senate of Eastern Idaho Technical College kicked off “Pedro’s Pasta Push” on Nov. 4.
Pedro, EITC's falcon mascot (and you are excused for not knowing EITC has a mascot; I didn't), and his friends are asking members of the community to help provide a warm meal to those in need by donating boxes of spaghetti noodles and cans of pasta sauce. All items will be donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Bank for distribution throughout the area.

Those who would like to donate may bring their items to the John E. Christofferson building at EITC before Nov. 23rd. If you are a business that would like to assist by becoming a drop-off location, please contact Michelle Ziel at 524-0464 or

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Old church becomes center for weddings, receptions, events

The historic Annis Church House on the Menan-Lorenzo Highway has received a major renovation and a new lease on life as the Sereno Event Center.

Owner Anna Ball chose the property as a restoration opportunity where she could present guests a place that evokes the warm and inviting elegance of old-world Tuscany. She is offering Sereno for weddings, receptions, company parties and recitals. There are both indoor and outdoor options for year-round events.

A grand opening this month will include an open house with full access to the restored building and grounds. All are invited, Nov. 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Nov. 19 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The facility has the capacity to seat 295 people. There has been extensive renovation work done to the building and grounds, including updated lighting, walls, flooring, and furnishings.

“We wanted to preserve the historical feel of the building while improving overall accessibility and efficiency,“ Ball said. “We had an opportunity to adapt the church in a way that retains its original beauty, but makes it useful for the long term.”

The chapel’s new walls and floor are lighted with updated, wrought-iron fixtures and a built-in walkway that creates an intimate setting for the most special of days. The cultural hall received new, stained tongue-and-groove pine walls and draperies for both visual appeal and sound control. The stage was also saved, allowing for productions and concerts.

The old Annis Church Building on the Lorenzo-Menan Highway
has been renovated to become the Sereno Event Center.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Building a bridge to the 20th century

I talk about simplifying my life and cutting back on expenses, telling myself how easy it would be, but when put to the test I am as big a wimp as anyone.

In July, when my Droid phone was on the fritz (which is to say about a month after the warranty expired), I discovered I had the opportunity to exchange it at the store. I had a choice: a new Samsung smart phone with all the latest apps or a $39 flip phone that would allow me to call and text. In addition to costing less, the flip phone would have saved me $30 a month and marked me as an old school iconoclast. I chose the Samsung, loathing myself as I signed the contract yet feeling helpless to do anything about it.

If I can't do something as simple as trade down on a cell phone, do I have the guts to get my house in order? And if I don't, what does that say about my generation and the future of this country?

I think back to the lifestyle my parents had when I was growing up in the 1960s. We lived in the suburbs, in a three-bedroom house with one bathroom. We had one car. We had one TV, a black-and-white GE set that was in my bedroom the day John Kennedy was killed (I was home sick from school).

My dad, a teacher, carpooled to work three days a week. On the days he drove, my mom stayed home. My mom packed his lunch, as well as my sister's and my own. If my folks had a charge card, it was probably for John Wanamaker or Strawbridge & Clothier, and I would guess the credit limit was with $100. I have no doubt it was paid off in full anytime there might have been a balance at the end of the month.

Although we got the paper, we didn't get Time, Life, Look or Newsweek. I read those at the neighbor's house down the street or at my grandparents'.

We hold those times times up as idyllic, but I wonder how many of us would choose to live that way today? I have considered the notion of dialing my lifestyle and expectations back to 1968 and keeping a diary. It might be an interesting blog, but I'd have to type my posts on my old manual Olympia typewriter and mail them to the 21st century.

Given my smart phone experience, I doubt I have the nerve.

Dave Menser, a teacher who carpooled and brown-bagged his lunch every workday for more than 30 years.

Brothers join I.F. Wells Fargo Private Client office

David and Dale Green have joined the Idaho Falls office of Wells Fargo Private Client Services. The brothers come from Key Investment Services, and have a combined experience of 30-plus years as financial advisers.

They have brought with them their registered sales associate, Lorraine Day, and their financial adviser partner, Melissa Browning.

They can be reached at (208) 533-6112.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What is to become of the small ski hills?

What is to become of "mom-and-pop" ski hills like Kelly Canyon? Everybody is scratching their heads over the owners' decision this year to close the hill on Sunday. I haven't talked to them, but I thought about this while reading a story today in the New York Times on Snow King in Jackson, Wyo. (A link is posted below.)

Once again, we seem to be in the position of losing something we love but don't have enough desire to save. I think about where so many people of my generation, including my wife, learned to ski -- Pine Basin -- and the KIFI Ski School, which sent buses there. Started by men who'd learned to ski in World War II, the ski school gave thousands of kids the opportunity to learn a lifetime sport at very little cost.


Nine or 10 years ago, I'd been to Kelly Canyon with my son, Bill, on a Sunday afternoon after church. I'd noticed on the map that the vertical relief at Kelly was 975 feet. No great shakes compared to Jackson Hole, Sun Valley or even Grand Targhee, right?

Everything is relative. I grew up in Delaware, the second flattest state in the nation (Florida is first), and remember going to the Poconos to ski. Of all the resorts in eastern Pennsylvania, there was one revered above all others: Camelback.

Out of curiosity, the day after our Kelly trip I called Camelback  to ask how tall their mountain is. The answer was 800 feet. Yes, the hill that students from Brandywine High School would ride four-and-a-half hours on a bus to ski is smaller than one a half-hour from my home in Idaho Falls.

The economics of ski resorts today are more about real estate than they are about recreation, which for all its glamor is essentially an expensive add-on. I was interested to see the Times article put Grand Targhee in the same class as Jackson Hole, because I think it occupies a no-man's land between hills like Kelly and the bigger resorts.

It's easy to say we need to put our money where our mouth is if we want to save one of the things that has made living in the West such a great thing. But the day could be coming, and soon.

Jackson, Wyo., with Snow King in the background (Photo
David Swift for The New York Times)