Friday, September 28, 2012

Gold's Gym plan to remodel TSR still on hold

The plans at the city of Ammon building department office for Gold's Gym in the old TSR building.
We stopped by the city of Ammon building department office this morning to see what sort of action might be happening (not much) and to ask if there were any new developments with Gold's Gym.

Bob Roberts, who operates the Gold's Gym in Twin Falls as well as here, filed plans with Ammon in March 2011 to remodel the TSR building at 2363 Eagle Drive. Since then, there has been little action.

Our efforts to reach Roberts today were unsuccessful, but here are the specs on the project, according to the plans:

Gym and locker area: 30,760 square feet, main floor; 2,995 square feet, mezzanaine
Business area: 4,000 square feet
Day care: 1,500 square feet
Storage: 22,560 square feet
Occupancy: 773

Rural broadband summit set for Oct. 16 in Idaho Falls

The Idaho Rural Partnership and the state of Idaho will host the first LinkIdaho Broadband Summit on Oct. 16 in Idaho Falls. The event will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at the Idaho National Laboratory's Idaho Falls campus, 995 University Boulevard. The keynote speaker will be Syringa CEO Greg Lowe.

Organizers say the summit is a chance to learn what Idaho is doing to assess and advance the availability and use of high-speed Internet in rural areas

The event will include representatives from sectors such as education, health care, economic development, public safety and libraries.

LinkIdaho is funded by the state Department of Commerce's state broadband initiative grant program. The summit will be at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at the Idaho National Laboratory's Idaho Falls campus.

To register, visit Direct questions about registration to Mike Field, LinkIDAHO State Broadband Coordinator, (208) 332‐8699 or e-mail

Lunch is $10, payable by mail or at the event.

Read more here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gallatin Public Affairs names Kotek office managing partner

John Kotek
John Kotek, a partner with Gallatin Public Affairs and an expert on energy policy and facility siting, has accepted the office managing partner position in the firm’s Idaho office in Boise.

He takes over from Marc C. Johnson, who managed the Idaho office for 18 years and was Gallatin’s president for five years. Johnson will remain a partner in the firm and continue to consult with clients, engage in business development and serve on the board of directors.

Kotek has been a Gallatin partner since 2009 and has an extensive background in energy policy. He serves on Gov. C.L. “Butch” otter’s Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission and is Communications Task Force chairman for the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance.

Kotek recently completed a two-year stint as staff director of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. The commission’s report earned widespread praise, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has introduced legislation to implement its recommendations.

Kotek also has worked on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow, has served in the U.S. Department of Energy – including as deputy director of the DOE’s Idaho Operations Office – and worked for the Argonne National Laboratory.

Fisher's Document Systems adds two employees

Russell Slack
Allan Jemmett
Fisher’s Document Systems has added two employees to its Idaho Falls office.

Russell Slack works as an account manager. He has a background in finance. Slack participates in several civic organizations, including sitting on the boards of the Ammon City Council, the Eastern Idaho Technical College Foundation, Stevens-Henager College and the Chamber of Commerce.

Allan Jemmett works as the lead field service engineer. He has 27 years of experience in the industry in southeastern Idaho.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I.F. Power open house set for Saturday

Hot dogs ... bucket truck rides ... it's time once again for Idaho Falls Power's annual open house, Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

Come joint the fun and learn about what your local power company is up to. In addition to the aforementioned fun, this year’s open
house will include hydroelectric plant tours and safety demonstrations, free refreshments, door prizes, entertainment and kids’ activities.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our neighbors to come and learn first-hand about Idaho Falls
Power and all of the great services they provide,” said Mayor Jared Fuhriman.

As in the past, everything will take place at 140 South Capital Avenue. For more information, call 208-612-8430.

Some more thoughts on store closings

We're still trying to get the skinny on whether Staples' announcement Tuesday that it was closing stores will have any effect locally. Based on the fact that Best Buy, Kmart and Sears are still here, I'd say no. But times are changing.

In the meantime, here's an interesting link from last week to put things in perspective. I found this paragraph in particular to be enlightening:

Many experts believe that the number of retail establishments per capita in the United States was excessive even before the economy recessed. According to the 2007 Economic Census, there were 1,122,703 retail establishments in the United States and a total of 14.2 billion square feet of retail space. That means that there is approximately 46.6 square feet of retail space per capita in the U.S., compared to two square feet per capita in India, 1.5 square feet per capita in Mexico, 23 square feet per capita in the United Kingdom, 13 square feet per capita in Canada, and 6.5 square feet per capita in Australia.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don't hold your breath waiting for Costco

Here I go, raining on the Costco parade. I found this list of store openings that goes well into 2013, with no mention of Idaho Falls. The source is a blog called Addicted to Costco. Here is the link:

You might notice a lot of commenters from all over the country saying the same thing people are saying here: "We want Costco!" Take a number, I guess.

New Locations: (Updated 2012.09.11)

TAOYUAN, TAIWAN August 30, 2012
ULSAN, KOREA August 31, 2012
WHEATON, MD October 18, 2012
WEST FARGO, ND October 23, 2012
BAXTER, MN October 24, 2012
SPANISH FORK, UT October 25, 2012
FARRAGUT, TN November 9, 2012
CONCORDVILLE, PA November 10, 2012
EAST PEORIA, IL November 14, 2012
SUN PRAIRIE, WI November 15, 2012
ROCHESTER, MN November 16, 2012
OSHAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA November 28, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. November 29, 2012

Tentative opening dates:

UKIAH, CA Late 2012/Early 2013
NEW ORLEANS, LA Summer 2013
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA Mid to Late 2013
YORKTOWN, NY Fall 2013
CEDAR PARK, TX Late 2013/Early 2014

That was easy -- Staples announces it plans to close stores

Associated Press

Staples is speeding up the closure of about 15 of its U.S. stores and plans to close 45 stores and some delivery businesses in Europe.

The office products company also says it will invest more in its online and mobile efforts and will expand the product assortment that it offers to its business customers.

Staples Inc. said Tuesday that these moves and other actions are part of a strategic plan to better serve customers' needs and accelerate growth.

Staples is trying to adapt to the evolving needs of its customers. Last month the company reported that its second-quarter net income fell as sales of computers, software, and basic office supplies softened. Computer sales have been pressured by the introduction to many offices of the computer tablet and other mobile devices. Traffic is also down at Staples' stores and Europe continues to be a weak spot.

The chain expects the U.S. store closings will result in a charge of about $35 million in the fourth quarter. For fiscal 2012, it anticipates about 30 U.S. store closings. Staples also expects 30 stores will be scaled down and stores being relocated.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lawmakers should keep hands off 3D printing, BYU-I professor says

3D printing uses liquids, power or sheet material to create an object from a CAD drawing.
This is an interesting article from TechCrunch written by Rick Kelly, an adjunct political science professor at BYU-Idaho, about 3-D printers and the issues they may be likely to present, especially when it comes to the Internet.

With 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, the machine takes data from a CAD drawing and creates and object by laying down layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are joined together or fused automatically to create almost any shape or geometric feature.

Kelly's concern is with the possibility of laws to restrict the manufacturing of firearms and drug using 3D printers, and the Internet freedom implications of such laws.

For those who appreciate the internet because of its democratizing effects and freedom, I believe the choice is clear. We should decide now that we will oppose any law that attempts to undermine freedom on the internet, no matter the consequences. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Idaho Falls residential building numbers show increase

A four-plex on John Adams Parkway, part of a 24-unit development started in the spring.
Going by numbers from the city of Idaho Falls Building Department, the market for new homes in Idaho Falls seems to be on the rebound.

Through the end of August, the city issued 91 permits for single family dwellings. This is the highest number since 2008, but still far below the 234 permits that were issued in the first eight months of 2007.

Based on a cost-per-square-foot calculation, the city issued permits for residential projects amounting to $6.93 million in residential value. Counting commercial projects, Idaho Falls issued permits for more than $73 million.

This is a number that can be swayed by one or two big projects, which has been the case this year. A permit for the $9.5 million Ethel Boyes Elementary project was issued Aug. 28. Add that to the Dora Erickson Elementary project and the new INL research center permits that were issued earlier this year and the numbers add up fast.

Walk MS 2012 set for Saturday morning at Snake River Landing

Walk MS 2012 is set to take place Saturday at Snake River Landing. Walkers will be raising money to support programs, research and services sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Registration and check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at 901 Pier View Drive. The walk starts at 10 a.m. One- and three-mile routes will be laid out. At 11 a.m., there will be a finish line celebration and food.

If you are interested in taking part, joining a team or creating a team, here is a link where you can find more information:

Census: Idaho 2011 median household income fell for third straight year

Here's a news release that came out Thursday from the Idaho Department of Labor. Normally I'd post the link, but this is short enough to run in its entirety.

The slow recovery from the Great Recession continued to have an impact on Idaho households in 2011, dropping median household income for the third straight year.

New U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday put median household income in Idaho at $43,341, down 0.3 percent from 2010. Since the recession took a firm grip on Idaho’s economy in 2008, median household income has dropped 8.9 percent.

Only eight other states have posted three straight year of declining median household income, the income level at which half the households bring in more and the other half less. But only Nevada and Georgia recorded larger three-year declines.

Florida has seen median household income decline for four straight years. The other states with three-year declines were Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Jersey and New Mexico.

The share of Idahoans living in poverty last year rose to 16.5 percent from 15.7 percent in 2010, and the households receiving food stamps rose from 72,000, or 12.5 percent of all households, to over 78,000, or 13.5 percent, in 2011. While Hispanic households receiving food stamps fell from 31.9 percent to 30.7 percent, the number of white households receiving food stamps rose from 10.2 percent to 11.9 percent in 2011.

At the same time 83.5 percent of the population had some kind of health coverage, up from 82.3 percent in 2010 primarily due to additional people qualifying for government health care. Those with private insurance dropped from 67.4 percent in 2010 to 66.9 percent in 2011 while those enrolled in public health care programs rose from 26.9 percent in 2010 to 28.5 percent in 2011.

Additional demographic, social and economic statistics on Idaho and the other states based on 2011 estimates are at on the American Community Survey site of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New sports bar, The One16, plans Monday opening

Queenie Linderman, left, owner of the One16, a sports bar near Exit 116, talks with Debra McBride of Alpine Insurance, taking care of details Thursday before the bar's opening Friday. 
The opening of Idaho Falls' newest sports bar, the One16 Sports Bar and Grill, originally set for Friday, is been pushed back to Monday.

Located at 3078 Outlet Boulevard, near the Sleep Inn off I-15 Exit 116, the bar has four wide-screen TVs, two pool tables, two dart boards and a golf machine. There is a full menu, wine and beer at pre-mixed drinks.

Here is the link to the One16's Facebook page:

This is the third bar for owner Queenie Linderman, who ran the Classic on Anderson Avenue years ago, then the Company Club. After five years in California, Linderman, a Kamiah native, moved back to Idaho Falls with her daughter three years ago.

She is already familiar with the One16's layout (occupancy: 148), having worked there last year when it was Charlotte's Web.

The last few days have been something of a scramble, but Linderman said she's ready. UFC fights start on Oct. 13.

What's the secret to running an successful bar? "Attitude," she said. "It's all about the people you have behind that bar."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Author to speak about Idaho's role in Cold War

Phil Taubman

Former New York Times reporter and award-winning author Philip Taubman will discuss Idaho's role in reducing the Cold War threat at an evening program on Monday, Sept. 24 at the Shilo Inn Yellowstone Room in Idaho Falls.

Taubman, author of the book "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb," will discuss his book and then join in a panel discussion about Idaho and Idaho National Laboratory's role in ending the Cold War. The program is sponsored by the Idaho Section of the American Nuclear Society and Idaho National Laboratory.

The program starts with a social half-hour at 6 p.m. when attendees will be able to purchase Taubman's book and have him autograph it. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a menu of chicken cordon bleu with honey glaze and Swiss cheese served with a Mornay cheese sauce served over rice, tossed green salad, steamed vegetables and chef's choice dessert.

Following Taubman's presentation, he will participate in a panel discussion about the Cold War. Mike Tyacke will moderate the panel. Other scheduled participants are Igor Bolshinsky, Ken Allen and Dan Wachs from INL as well as Stan Moses from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Cost for the dinner and program is $20 per person or $10 for full-time students. Reserve your place by close of business on Thursday to or by calling Shannon Eddins (526-0100).

Here is a link to a panel discussion Taubman hosted earlier this year featuring three former Defense Secretaries, George Schultz, William Perry and Sam Nunn:

Partnership seeks voices for LINE Commission hearing Friday

Lane Allgood, Partnership for Science and Technology executive director
If Idaho Falls has a reputation as the most pro-nuclear community in the United States, few have worked harder or longer at presenting it in that light than Lane Allgood, executive director of the Partnership for Science and Technology.

Allgood's history of nuclear cheerleading goes back more than 25 years. In 1985, he organized a parade in support of bringing the Special Isotope Separation project to what was then the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.

Even then, the handwriting was on the wall. Between 1951 and 1995, there were 52 reactors built on the desert west of Idaho Falls. Today there is one, the Advanced Test Reactor.

SIS didn't get built anywhere, the Cold War ended, and in the last 25 years much of the site's focus has shifted  to waste cleanup and environmental remediation. In the '90s, the work at INL was about 70 percent cleanup and 30 percent research and engineering. Today, Allgood estimates it's the other way around, but the employment numbers have grown.

Will the lab ever land a big new nuclear project?

Only if people in the community stand up and voice support for the idea, Allgood said Tuesday morning at an "Up n Atom" breakfast. "We cannot take this laboratory for granted. Were going to have to fight as hard as we fought in 1949," he said.

Idaho's Leadership in Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission will be meeting all day Friday at the Idaho Falls Hilton Garden Inn. It will be taking comments from the public at 2:45 p.m. The Partnership will present its recommendations, but Allgood is eager to encourage anyone who supports new nuclear research and development at the INL to speak or submit written comments.

Shrinking federal outlays have intensified the competition for nuclear funding, said Jackie Flowers, director of Idaho Falls Power and the Partnership's board president. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley recently said she plans to be "as aggressive about going after DOE funding as if it were trying to land the Olympics." Haley's state is home to the Savannah River Project, and stands a very good chance of receiving $450 million from DOE later this month for a Small Modular Reactor test project.

Nevertheless, there is an infrastructure and culture in Idaho that dates back to 1949, when the Atomic Energy Commission selected the Snake River Plain as the site for its National Reactor Testing Station, Flowers said. "It doesn't make sense to rebuild infrastructure that we already have," she said. "We have expertise, infrastructure and workforce training. When it comes to SMR manufacturing, what better place than here in Idaho?"

Allgood said LINE Commission meetings earlier this year in Boise have been dominated the Snake River Alliance, an Idaho anti-nuclear group dating back to the early '90s. In preparation for the Idaho Falls meeting Friday, the Alliance held a teach-in Sept. 12 in Pocatello.

"Some key people in the area will be there, monitoring, taking notes, reporting back to us," said Liz Woodruff, the Alliance's executive director. "I don't think there will be a lot of surprises."

Woodruff said her group's main concern is the 1995 Spent Fuel Agreement reached between the state, the DOE and the U.S. Navy, which closed the Idaho to future shipments of commercial nuclear fuel for storage or reprocessing.

"We are concerned the line LINE Commission exists to change the 1995 agreement," she said. Idaho voters upheld the agreement in 1996 on two separate ballot initiatives.

"The people of this state have made it clear enough that no means no, and to ask again is coercion," said Woodruff.

As for the possibility of any new nuclear research at the INL, "The PST is always eager for something." The Alliance is favors any new R&D money going toward battery storage for energy produced by wind and solar power.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I.F. Ad Federation plans first fall get-together

The Idaho Falls Advertising Federation is kicking off its 2012-13 season with an informal get-together at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Rutabaga's.

Anyone who wants to join or renew their club membership at the door gets in free. The same goes for anyone who wants to join online at

IFAF now takes credit cards to make it super-easy to join. Win fun door prizes, including a special gift basket of Betty's Not-For-Sheeple hand-crafted body products.

Pick up an official calendar of the IFAF year events and special dates. Meet your IFAF Board and get to know other members. Eat amazing hors d'oeuvres from Rutabaga's! A no-host bar will also be open.

Cost is $5 at the door for those not sure if they're ready to join.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another moment of truth arrives (sigh ...)

Oooh ... shiny! The new iPhone 5

Now that the iPhone 5 is out, Verizon is giving away the iPhone 4 and letting customers with new contracts have the iPhone 4s for $100.

Since my Verizon contract expired May 28, I am in a position to take advantage of this deal. It looks really good -- I've been hating my Samsung Android phone ever since I learned it went out of production a month after I got it last year. Why call a phone the "Continuum" if you're going to pull the plug so fast?

There's only one thing holding me back on this deal. I HATE paying as much as I do for mobile phone service. 

When I look at what I was paying for a land line and cable 25 years ago, it amounted to around $59 a month. It was all the phone and TV I needed. We were young. We had a VCR. We could go to Great American Video, rent all the "Godfather" movies and hunker down for the weekend (although we had to go get Chinese food by the end of the first tape -- just warning you in case you try this yourselves.)

Sounds idyllic, eh? Going by the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator (, what I paid for phone and cable would amount to $119.65 in 2012 dollars. Considering the cable package I have now costs around $90 -- and that includes Internet -- I'd say I'm ahead. Add in streaming Netflix and it's still a wash (although the "Godfather" movies are not available, my "Mad Men" marathon was worth the time, except instead of Chinese food I had an urge to smoke Lucky Strikes and guzzle Canadian Club.) 

Smart phones for the family? I cringe when I see the bill, yet feel helpless to do anything. I guess the big question is whether you want to look at your mobile phone as a communication tool or as a life-enhancing device. I could save money by going back to a flip phone like the ones everyone uses on "Breaking Bad" (another Netflix marathon). I was tempted to go that route when I got the Samsung, but caved (and hated myself for it.)

Nevertheless, there is this pull … with the iPhone I can load my iTunes, and I need to replace my iPod anyway ... I can use it at the gym ... I can keep track of my calories ...

You tell me where this is headed. Any wonder why this country is in the shape it's in?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Boiseans petition for Trader Joe's; store coming to SLC

It's been months since we last touched on the subject of Trader Joe's, one of those things that gets Idahoans salivating both here and in apparently in Boise, as evidenced by this piece in the Idaho Business Review by Anne Wallace Allen:

If you were an early reader of this blog, you will remember that last year Brad Cramer of the city of Idaho Falls Planning Department told me he'd received a phone call from someone interested in possibly acquiring land for a specialty grocery store. The mere hint that it might be Trader Joe's set off a buzz.

We spoke to Trader Joe's at the time and they told us they planned 18 months in advance. There were no plans for a store in Idaho Falls in that window. Or Boise, even with a Facebook petition pleading for one.
Check out this link I found. If you really care, bookmark it: And note that Salt Lake City is on the list.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Room With a View

We realize not all BizMojo Idaho readers have had the opportunity to check into the new Marriott Residence Inn, which only opened this weekend. So, to satisfy your curiosity, here is a picture of downtown Idaho Falls from the fifth floor, taken Saturday by Photographer Melissa Bristol.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

INL project named finalist for Idaho Innovation Award

The INL's Wireless Spectrum Communications team (l to r): Jose A. Loera, Daryl L. Wasden, David K. Couch, Hussein Moradi, Carl A. Kutsche, Idaho National Laboratory; and Behrouz Farhang, University of Utah.
The Wireless Spectrum Communications project at the Idaho National Laboratory has been named a finalist in the seventh annual Idaho Innovation Awards.

To put it simply, INL researchers are working an algorithm that makes more efficient use of the radio frequencies that serve all the world's cellphones, tablets and routers. With more than 6 billion cellphones in the world, there's only so much room on the spectrum, which is why we lose our signals or wait for what seems an eternity for our downloads.

In the Idaho Innovation Award competition,WSComm was named a finalist in the Early-Stage Innovation of the Year category. Earlier this summer, it was named a winner of the R&D 100 Award. (Link:

Award winners and finalists will be recognized Oct. 2 at a presentation during the Idaho Technology Council’s third annual Hall of Fame Celebration, at the Boise Centre on the Grove. Registration is available online at through Sept. 25.

Friday, September 7, 2012

'Up 'n' Atom'' breakfast scheduled for Sept. 18

The Partnership for Science and Technology has scheduled an "Up 'n' Atom" breakfast membership meeting for Sept. 18 at 7:30 a.m. at the Hotel on the Falls (formerly the Red Lion on River Parkway).

This meeting is intended to provide information to members in preparation for the upcoming Leadership in Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission meeting, which is Sept. 21 in Idaho Falls.

Executive Director Lane Allgood and Board President Jackie Flowers will talk about the recommendations they made to the LINE Commission at its Aug. 24 meeting. A discussion period will follow the presentation.

The LINE Commission meeting is scheduled for September 21 in Idaho Falls and will include an opportunity for public comment. This will be the last time to provide comments before the commission begins drafting its final report to the Governor. And we want to ensure a strong PST turnout at the commission meeting and during the public comment period.

The LINE Commission was created by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and is charged with making recommendations on what the state can do to support and enhance the long-term viability of the Idaho National Laboratory and the broader nuclear industry in the state. The meeting in Idaho Falls will be the last opportunity for the public to comment before the commission writes a report and presents it to Otter.

Reservations to the breakfast are being taken through Sept. 14 and can be made by e-mailing Allgood at

No Idaho Falls Albertsons stores slated for closing

The Albertsons store in the Ammon Town Square.

The three Albertsons stores in the Idaho Falls area are not among 27 of the retail grocery outlets being closed by parent company Supervalu Inc.
Supervalu spokesman Mike Siemienas told the Twin Falls Times News that 19 of the Albertsons to be shuttered are in Southern California. The other eight are in Oregon and Washington, he said.
Supervalu announced Wednesday it will close about 60 “underperforming or non-strategic” stores to save $35 million in the next year and an estimated $80-$90 million over the next three years. Most closures will occur by Dec. 1, although a few stores will remain open until February 2013, according to a company news release.
Several Save-A-Lot stores along with four ACME stores and one previously announced Jewel-Osco location are being closed in addition to the Albertsons outlets.
Besides the stores named for closure Wednesday, eight more Supervalu stores also are slated for closure. However, the company cannot release details about those outlets at this time due to ongoing contractual discussions, Siemienas said.
Supervalu Inc. has annual sales of approximately $35 billion, the news release said. The network includes 4,400 stores.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

BizMojo Idaho marks first birthday

Today marks the first anniversary of my first post on this blog. Without a doubt there has been a learning curve, but overall I can say I'm very pleased with how it's gone and the acceptance BizMojo Idaho has gotten.

Since Blogger offers stats, here are a few numbers:

Total pageviews: 60,546

Best Month
August 2012: 9,018 page views

Most Read Posts
Best Carl's Jr. plans to open in Idaho Falls (12/9/11): 1,135
Second Idaho Falls Carl's Jr. opening (2/16/12): 787
Fourth of July preview story (6/20/12): 485
Story on the late Galen Bush, efforts to help his family (1/17/12): 386
Scoop on Celt Pub (4/25/12): 361

Most of the traffic on this page comes from Google, which I'm sure is why the Carl's Jr. stories have gotten the largest number of pageviews.

Then there is Facebook, on which I share everything I post here. When I started out, I was picking and choosing blog entries to share. In December, I decided I would share everything, because people on Facebook decide what's important by sharing it themselves. I saw a sharp increase in readership after that.

A year ago I had little idea of what I was doing with this other than resurrecting the old weekly column I used to write for the paper and adapting it to a continuous on-line format. I've scored some scoops (always gratifying) and goofed a few times (never a happy occasion). I've got some ideas about what I want to do in the coming year, but for now I've got a few trees to shake.

All the best!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nuclear instrumentation expert to speak Sept. 11 at CAES

Jean-Francois Villard
Jean-Francois Villard of CEA Cadarache's Nuclear Energy Division will be the featured speaker at a dinner Sept. 11, the focus of which will be instrumentation development for the future Jules Horowitz Reactor.

The CEA Cadarache facility is a scientific research centre in the south of France that specializes in nuclear energy research. Since 2010, Villard has been in charge of instrumentation, sensors and dosimetry, leading the development of measurement systems for research reactors

The dinner meeting will be at the CAES Gallery, 995 University Blvd. beginning with a social hours at 6:30 p.m., with beer and wine available for purchase. The dinner and program, catered by 3's Company, will begin at 7 p.m. Cost is $20 per person and $10 for full-time students. 

The meeting is sponsored by the Idaho National Laboratory Instrumentation, Control and Intelligent Systems Distinctive Signature Program in conjunction with the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility, Idaho Section of the American Nuclear Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

To attend the dinner and program, send your reservation to or call 526-7785 by noon on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Bonneville County home sales up in first seven months of 2012

A review of the numbers for the first seven months of this year show the local real estate market holding steady with last year on all fronts but one: the Snake River Multiple Listing Service indicates that from Jan.1 to the end of July this year, the number of units sold rose by 101 to the ominous number of 666.

That number is pretty much in the same range as where home sales have been in the past four years, however. It will still be some time before we see anything like 2007.

2007-- 1,043
2008 -- 764
2009 -- 605
2010 -- 626
2011-- 565
2012 -- 666