Saturday, June 29, 2013

Allegiant Air gets national write up by AP

Looking at the headlines today, we noticed this Associated Press story about Allegiant Air. Older planes, seats that don't recline ... Who cares as long as the fares are cheap?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Business Review seeking nominations for Money Makers program

The Idaho Business Review is taking nominations through Aug. 1 for its Money Makers program, designed to recognize 20 financial professionals whose work has set the pace for their company and the state.

Eastern Idahoans routinely don't show up on lists like this not because this is a region devoid of talent but because the word never seems to reach a wide number of people here. Perhaps this post will make up for the deficit. Whatever the case, it can't hurt, right?

Honorees will be selected based on industry, community involvement, achievement and innovative ideas. Their work should offer a peerless example of professionalism to their peers.

Honorees will be recognized in four categories:
  • Banking: Mortgage lenders, bank executives, credit officers, loan officers.
  • Corporate: Chief financial officers, comptrollers.
  • Investment: Stockbrokers, financial advisers, financial planners, investment executives.
  • Professional: Public accountants, auditors, financial educators, financial analysts.
Nominations for the 2013 program are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 1 and can be submitted online by clicking here: Money Makers nomination form.

To learn more about event reservations, advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact IBR Publisher Sean Evans at (208) 639-3512 or email him at

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Horrocks Engineers opening office in Idaho Falls at Snake River Landing

Horrocks Engineers will be opening a new office in Idaho Falls at 901 Pier View Drive Suite 205 in Snake River Landing. The company will occupy approximately 1,400 square feet on the second level of the building.

Founded by Gilbert Horrocks in 1968, Horrocks is one of Utah's leading civil engineering firms. The company designs and builds roadways, water systems, treatment plants, utilities. Headquartered in Pleasant Grove, it has 12 locations, in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. The Idaho Falls office is the second in Idaho,, following Nampa.

The new office is being managed by Clint  Boyle, who has 18 years experience in all stages of land development working with developers, architects, government agencies and other regulatory entities. Boyles’s specialized knowledge of planning and development spans both public and private sectors. In the 1990s he was employed by the city of Idaho Idaho Falls Planning and Building Department.

“After growing up in the Idaho Falls area, I am excited to now have the opportunity to open a branch office for Horrocks Engineers here,” he said. "With the depth and breadth of Horrocks’ services supporting this office and my familiarity with the area, we will provide exceptional services.”

For more information about Horrocks Engineers, contact Boyle at (208) 522-1223.

Town & Country Gardens plans remodel for 50th anniversary

Town & Country Gardens owner John Crook
Town & Country Gardens' 50th anniversary will be next year, and for the occasion owner John Crook hopes to have a remodel done that will expand the business both in size and purpose.

Crook's father, Howard, started the nursery in 1964 on three acres of ground south of Idaho Falls. Today, Town and Country covers seven acres, with 11,000 square feet of green house space, 8,000 in shade house and 8,000 in storage.

Having survived the last five years, when the market for landscaping collapsed alongside new home construction, Crook said they are on an even keel. The plan for expansion is one that has been in the works for a long time. The front buildings will be torn down to make room for more parking and the front of the business will be where the shade houses now are. There will be more pooling in the greenhouses, and better climate control for the really hot times of the year.

Crook had thought the remodel would be farther advanced, but the architects and engineers have have presented him with surprises from time to time. At one point they were telling him that it would be more expensive to remodel than it would be to tear everything down and rebuild, but they have since learned they don't have to meet any different codes in the county to put the buildings to new uses.

As if Crook doesn't have enough on his mind, he is also opening a fudge and popcorn shop, Aunt Annie's Kitchen, in the Teton Spectrum near the Edwards Cinema. He said he got the idea from someone he met last year during a meeting in Chicago.

Two-thirds of the building's 1,200 square feet will be devoted to kitchen space, the other third to retail. There will be close to 50 flavors of popcorn, 30 flavors of taffy,12 flavors of fudge and 10 different brands of root beer.

"I think it's going to do well," Crook said.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bakery opening on First Street; Happy Chinese, Idaho Youth Ranch plan moves

Here are a few more tidbits gleaned today from my visit to the Idaho Falls Building Department office and keeping my eyes and ears open as I go about my business

F.J ."Tiger" and Neccia Hahn, are remodeling a house at 335 First Street into Buttercup Bakery and Bistro. They hired Alderson Karst and Mitro of Idaho Falls for the redesign, and when finished the project will be 977 square feet. Neccia Hahn recently spent time in Northern California to learn the ins and outs of making artisinal bread.

The Facebook page is

Happy Chinese Restaurant has filed plans to relocate to 504 Shoup Avenue, where the Grand Victoria Wedding and Reception Center used to be. The floor plan features seating for 135.

Idaho Youth Ranch is planning to relocate its thrift store from 478 Shoup Avenue to the vacant Honk's 99 location on Woodruff Avenue next to WinCo Foods. More floor space, more parking. The opening date of the new store has been set for Aug. 3.

We'll be reporting more on this as the summer progresses.

Galusha Higgins & Galusha moving to Snake River Landing

Can you guess what this foundation at Snake River Landing is going to be? No, it's not McKenzie River Pizza, Bandon River Apartments or Scientech. This will be the new home of Galusha Higgins & Galusha, the accounting firm that will be moving from downtown into a building that has 6,265 square feet on the main floor and 1,429 in the basement, according to plans at the Idaho Falls Building Department office. The address is 1220 Whitewater Drive. The contractor is Morgan Construction.

Movie Review: World War Z

Brad Pitt and family flee the zombie apocalypse in "World War Z"
Reviewed by NATHAN COOK
Doubters thought this apocalyptic effort could only end in disaster, but the latest zombie thriller manages to be surprisingly good and constantly engaging.

It starts out like any regular day in Philadelphia. Brad Pitt plays a family man who has left behind his old life as a United Nations specialist to spend more time with his wife and kids. After breakfast, he drives the family around town only to enter into a traffic jam.

This is no ordinary traffic jam, however since the civilians trying to drive through have no idea of what’s going on. The terrifying answer: ZOMBIES!

It seems that everybody is running through the streets to escape the hordes of the undead. Some aren’t lucky. They are killed and instantaneously transformed into zombies themselves. Others, like Pitt and his family, manage to get out alive … for now.

After taking refuge in the nearby apartments for a night, they rush up to the rooftop evading yet another wave of ghouls. Successfully boarding a helicopter, they are guided to an aircraft carrier in the ocean. The family is given a place to stay while Pitt agrees to travel across the globe to fight zombies, find answers, and perhaps come up with some sort of solution that will allow humanity to fight back against the epidemic.

This film is different from other zombie flicks in that it treats the situation less like an arena of carnage and more like global crisis, giving it a more realistic air. Director Marc Forster handles the thrilling set pieces and suspenseful moments well, which gives life to the proceedings. Kudos to the animalistic movements of the zombies, which give a new meaning to the term “horde”.

When the undead aren’t wreaking havoc, Pitt and company are locked in a briskly paced race against time to stop the infection from spreading. Unlike most apocalyptic films, the film has a visual flavor all around, from the cool, busy center of Philadelphia turned into a heart of doom to the bleak, desolate South Korean outpost trapped in the rain, to the warm, walled-up city of Jerusalem still abundant with life. The score is minimal, though the main opening theme is ambient yet attention-grabbing. It is like a warning of the perils to come.

The film’s major asset, Pitt himself. He gives a solid performance as a hero who relies mostly on his wits and experience. Behind the scenes, ever since a film adaptation of Max Brooks’ 2006 novel was first conceived, it was Pitt who had interest and faith in the material. He sought to get it backed by a major studio and launched into production. There were many struggles between Pitt and Forster, production problems, script rewrites (the third act was entirely altered), and release delays for conversion into 3D, which resulted in it being the most expensive zombie movie ever made. It seems as if Pitt has endured the brutalities of war just to see this film come alive onto the big screen.

WWZ is not without its flaws though. The opening sequence is marred by an excessive amount of chaos with the dreaded action-film combination of shaky-cam and quick-cut ending, to the point that some of it is nearly incomprehensible. Plot holes progressively unravel as the film winds towards its wide-open ending.

It’s hard to make a PG-13 zombie film, as graphic displays of blood and gore are the bread and butter of the genre. The filmmakers attempted to tone all of this down, but the lack of grisly carnage causes the result to feel watered down

I cannot compare the film to the novel since I have not read it. I have heard from those who have that this film is loosely adapted, which is a drawback for them. Gamers might recognize that a few scenes are similar to levels in the video game “Left 4 Dead.” Nothing like having your story-boarding done in advance, I guess.

All in all, though, “World War Z” is a well-done, effective piece of work that turned out to be much better than expected. It delivers the goods for a summer blockbuster and offers a pleasant, mindful diversion from the other apocalyptic flicks coming out this year.

Nathan Cook is a recent graduate of Skyline High School who will be attending Boise State University in the fall.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chamber sponsoring Obamacare workshop this week

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Business Resource Committee will host an Affordable Care Act workshop Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Stevens-Henager College, 901 Pier View Drive in Idaho Falls.

Topics include an "Introduction to the Affordable Care Act" by Dave Noak; "Health Insurance Exchange Option" by Tom Donovan; and "Employer Compliance" by Tim Anderson.

The goal of the workshop is to give business owners an idea of how they might be affected by the law and how to avoid possible pitfalls and penalties, the chamber news release said.

Attendance is free to Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce members and $5 for guests. For information, contact Frosty Wilson at the Small Business Development Center, 523-1087. Seating is limited and those planning to attend should RSVP to

Work continues at Gold's Gym Ammon site

Crews at work at the future home of Gold's Gym, where Teton Spectrum Raceway used to be.  Poking our nose in Monday, the granite counter at the entry has been built. Efforts to find out a projected opening date have been unsuccessful so far. Late last year it was estimated the 40,000-square-foot project would take six or seven months.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pro-nuke "Pandora's Promise" sparks national debate

Since it premiered last winter at the Sundance Film Festival, my friends at the Idaho National Laboratory have been sharing every post they can find about "Pandora's Promise," a documentary that casts nuclear power in a favorable light.

This should come as no surprise. With the exception of Arco, I don't think you'll find a more pro-nuclear community on the face of the earth than Idaho Falls. Our city owes a lot to the Atomic Energy Commission and its decision in 1949 to locate its National Reactor Testing Station on the desert to the west. The work that has gone on there since then has been controversial at times but nevertheless extraordinary.

Anyway, any movie that premieres at Sundance usually starts being seen by the rest of the world five or six months afterward, which means that's also when you start seeing movie reviews and online discussions. This weekend I noticed a piece on about "Pandora's Promise," which I found interesting. I'll post the link -- -- and invite those of you interested in such things to read it and the comments.

Likewise, the film has begun to get some ink (or whatever the Web equivalent is) on the New York Times Web site. Today we see an article by Richard Rhodes, who has written an exhaustive four-part history of the nuclear age (if you're looking for a power read, try the first book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb.") Rhodes has come to the conclusion that nuclear power is essential to our effort to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. He also has a clear take on why nuclear power has such vehement opposition.

"Nuclear testing, nuclear crisis and nuclear power were all born together in the long wake of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. I’m not surprised that the clean and peaceful technology, which today provides about 13.5 percent of world electricity without air pollution or greenhouse gases, was tarred with the same brush as the Bomb. I am surprised, however, that idealistic, intelligent people who want to clean up the air and limit global warming are opposed to nuclear power. They might as well be out there promoting fossil fuels. In effect, they are." 

Idaho Falls chamber names Michelle Holt new CEO

Michelle Holt
Michelle Holt has been named the new chief executive officer of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Holt has worked as executive director of Lost Rivers Economic Development since 2005, and has more than 20 years in non-profit organizations, with experience in board development, grant writing, fund-raising and economic development. She has served as chairwoman of the Lost Rivers Medical Center Board of Trustees in Arco; as past president of Eastern Idaho Economic Development Partners and the Idaho Economic Development Association; and in various roles in local education.

Acting CEO Kerry McCullough will resume her previous role as programs and events coordinator until the chamber's July 4 activities are over, at which time she will begin full-time as the city of Idaho Falls' public information officer. McCullough will continue to serve as a volunteer on the chamber's Taste of Idaho and annual golf tournament planning committees and board of directors.

Holt will begin work on hiring a new programs and events coordinator and working with the staff on the upcoming Independence Day Parade and Liberty Festival on the Falls.

Relay for Life organizers want people to paint the town purple

Starting today, Idaho Falls residents may notice the color purple appearing in windows, on bridges and in banners, all in support of the American Cancer Society's annual Relay for Life event. Through June 30, people are being encouraged to decorate their homes, businesses and vehicles with purple, all part of a warm-up to the actual event, which is scheduled for July 12 at Bonneville High School's Thunder Stadium.

Relay for Life events happen all over the world to raise money for cancer research, promote awareness of the work being done and recognize the struggles past and present of patients and the people caring for them.

Leading up to the event, teams raise money with car washes, garage sales, fashion show, and special events like "Dancing With the Idaho Falls Stars."

"We recognize that many small local businesses and individuals do not have the means within their budgets to support the annual Relay For Life fundraising event," said Liza Leonard, this year's  chairwoman. "Paint the Town Purple was created with the goal of involving more people without overwhelming them with the expectations of substantial donations. This event is to help generate cancer awareness in fun and creative ways, while bringing the community together."

A person can do anything from dressing up in purple to offering a special discount on all purple items or add a vinyl sign to their window.

"We are not all personally affected with cancer, but if we come together we can help raise the spirits of those battling with the disease and restore hope for many," Leonard said.

For questions or to get involved, call (208) 201-4133 or email The local Web link is

Thursday, June 20, 2013

D Street underpass project hits 'rocky' patch

The view Thursday from the top of the big hole at D Street and Yellowstone Avenue
Anyone who has driven on North Yellowstone Avenue since Wednesday has most likely noticed the big pile of rocks in the hole where the D Street Underpass used to be.

Crews blasted into 10 feet of basalt at 2 p.m. Wednesday to clear away space for the new bridge's footings, said Kelly Kofoed of Cannnon Builders, the city of Idaho Falls' contractor on the project.

The stones will be hauled away to a Landon Excavating pit. The tree immediately south of the stone tower is also slated to be removed next week. The city wanted to save the tree, but the excavation around the tower, which is actually a pump station dating back to around 1910, damaged too much of its root system, Kofoed said.

Building a bridge is a lot different than building a house or office building. "It's kind of like building a house around your wife while she's making dinner," Kofoed said. Cannon has also been the contractor on the John Adams Parkway bridge over the Idaho Canal, due to be finished in  July. "We had to go deep for the footings at the same time we had traffic going over it every day," he said. In the D Street project's case, train traffic had to be re-routed with a "shoefly," a four-month undertaking by itself. The new underpass is scheduled to open sometime in 2014.

The D Street excavation has yielded all sorts of interesting things: masonry foundations from buildings that made up the Oregon Short Line Railroad depot, which was torn down in 1964, and old tools that had been discarded by railroad workers decades ago.

Kofoed said he and his crew were the first people since the '60s to set foot inside the pump station. There was a hardwood floor that had rotted and a lot of sludgy water in the foundation, which goes down 30 feet. "I'm sure the old pumping equipment is in there," he said.

C&S Auto Repair looking to expand staff

Inside the garage at C&S Auto Repair
C&S Auto Repair (where I have been taking my cars since 2009) is looking for a three or four mechanics motivated to put in long hours and learn new skills.

"I've got the work; I need the manpower, people who know their stuff," said Shana Poulsen, who owns the business with Chris Neal, who heads the current team of five mechanics. "What they need to understand that this is flat rate. The harder they work, the more money they are going to make."

Neal and Poulsen moved in September 2012 to their current location, 2435 E. Iona Road. With 9,834 square feet, the new shop has more than twice the space they had on Ammon Road, and positioned within sight of the roundabout at Hitt and Iona Roads.

They're about to get OE-specific scanners for Chrysler, Ford and GM vehicles. Neal's specialty all along has been GM electronics, and they rebuild instrument clusters for $150. "It's been kind of a hot area for us," Poulsen said

For more information, call (208) 524-2770 or visit their Web site at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chamber After Hours at Bill's Bike Shop's new location

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours this week will be held Thursday at the new Bill's Bike Shop, 930 Pier View Drive, from 5 to 7 p.m.

It will be catered by Stockman's Restaurant. There will be ample opportunities to network, and drawings for prizes. Members and non-members are invited to attend.

For more information, call 523-1010.

Virtual tour Friday aimed at helping public understand Alzheimer's, dementia

Anyone who hasn't had first-hand experience with Alzheimer's disease or dementia might not realize its brutal impact on patients and caregivers alike. On Friday, however, anyone interested in gaining a greater understanding is invited to take part in a sensitivity training session offered by the cloudnine Agency in Idaho Falls and the Esplin & Packer Eldercare Law Firm in Blackfoot.

The session will feature the internationally known Virtual Dementia Tour®, a scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of sensory tools and instruction.

Reservations for the tour are suggested, as space is limited. The tour takes approximately 25 minutes. Contact Jodi Davis, Esplin & Packer Law at 785-5600 or Julia Barr with The cloudnine Agency at 552-0399, to reserve your spot, or email: or

The session and tours will take place at Liberty Square Luxury Senior Apartments, 2475 South Ammon Road, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Virtual Dementia Tour® is an immersion simulation of dementia created to teach people about the physical and mental challenges facing those living with it. For caregivers, it helps them provide better care by offering hope and providing tips and tools necessary to create an environment that supports the needs of those with the disease.

More than 500,000 people from elder care communities, corporations, caregivers, first responders, healthcare providers, municipal employees and nonprofit organizations in 14 countries have experienced the tour. Of those, 94 percent said they felt it was crucial and necessary to undergo the training in order to provide good care to those with dementia.

To learn more about the Alzheimer's Association, visit this link:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Natural Grocers schedules Nov. 12 opening for Idaho Falls store

The old Andrew Well Drilling building on 17th Street is gone, and the ground is being prepared for a 15,000-square-foot Natural Grocers store.
Dirt is finally being moved on the site where Andrew Well Drilling used to be, to make room for Natural Grocers, a 58-year-old chain based in Colorado. The 15,000-square-foot store is slated to open Nov. 12, said Nancy Flynn, spokeswoman for the company.

In addition to the store, the developer, Leadership Circle, LLC, of Montrose, Colo., is seeking eventually to build a restaurant and a retail store on the 4.42 acres, but the only definite plans at the moment are for the grocery. The 4,816 square-foot-restaurant pad and 11,250-square-foot retail pad are listed with Randy Waters of Sperry Van Ness High Desert.
Natural Grocers has 68 stores in 12 states, with six more scheduled to open this year. In 2011 it opened stores in Boise and Missoula, and most recently it opened a store in Helena, in December.

"We really cater to specialty diets, gluten-free, non GMO (genetically modified organisms)," Flynn said. Because of their small footprint (a Whole Foods store, by contrast, is typically twice the size) and their emphasis on personal communication and education rather than advertising, they are able to keep their costs down. "We feel like we're the label-readers in the market," Flynn said.

When it opens, the store will employ around 25 people. All the produce they sell is USDA-certified organic, and Flynn said they buy local produce "every chance we get.

Here is a link to its Web site:, and there is a link on the site for anyone who has organic crops to sell.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel

It's a bird ... it's a plane ... no, it's Superman, updated for the new millenium!
We seem to have hit a lull with the construction news that gets BizMojo Idaho readers excited, so let's go to the movies.

"Man of Steel" doesn't bring a whole lot  new to the Superman story, but that would be pretty tough to do. Although it had its shortcomings (more on this later), I found it to be an excellent movie for Fathers Day and especially good for adoptive parents and children.

The story, first laid out in 1937 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, is all here. With their home planet, Krypton, due to explode any day (the result of reckless energy extraction, hint, hint), baby Kal-El's parents, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara (Ayelet Zurer), put him in a space capsule and shoot him to Earth. He is found in cornfield near Smallville, Kan., by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raise him as their own. Because of the Sun's radiation, young Clark Kent has extraordinary abilities that he must keep under wraps. Too bad every school bus he rides on seems to plunge off a bridge, leaving it up to him to save the day.

This part of the tale is done in flashback, with Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha. Clark is played by the suitably handsome Henry Cavill, an English actor best known for his work on Showtime's "The Tudors." He has a nice way of underplaying the role, suggesting Tom Welling and the TV show "Smallville" more than Christopher Reeve.

Any Superman movie had better have a good Lois Lane, and in "Man of Steel" the honors go to Amy Adams ("Enchanted," "The Master") who plays the Daily Planet reportrix with the requisite pluck and grit. Unlike the Superman we grew up with, Lois traces the Man of Steel back to his roots and puts the pieces together. No pair of horn-rimmed glasses is going to fool her. This is a Superman for the 21st century.

Clark/Kal-El spends a lot of time adjusting to Earth, working odd jobs (fishing trawler, dishwasher, etc.) and keeping a low profile. His senses are heightened and the X-ray vision is a bit of a freakout for him in elementary school.

During all this time, a gang of imprisoned Kryptonians led by General Zod (Michael Shannon) has been freed by Krypton's destruction. They set out to find a new planet to colonize, and after 35 years of hunting they find Earth, whose defenses are far to feeble to thwart them.

This is a job for Superman!

The last third of "Man of Steel" is taken up with explosions and destruction, flying tanker trucks, missiles, jets, etc., all of a piece with what we saw in "The Avengers," "Iron Man 3," the "Transformers" movies, and you-tell-me-what-else. Smallville gets trashed first, then it's on to Metropolis, where the level of destruction is truly gargantuan.

I suppose this is the sort of action audiences expect, and I know someone is going to say to me, "I just go to the movies to be entertained." Fair enough. I'm not expecting "The Seventh Seal" when I go to a movie like this. If tickets sales are good there won't be any reason to stop making movies like this, no matter how boring and redundant these scenes of cataclysm may be getting to be.

Spoiler alert: Kal-El/Clark/Superman defeats Zod and his minions. Most are sent back to their intergalactic Gitmo, but the general meets a more earthly end.

The movie wraps up with Clark taking a job as a stringer for the Daily Planet. Considering the Kryptonian state of the newspaper industry I think he might want to rethink his career choice, but what do I know? Also, what's the deal with the Daily Planet building being all shiny looking when Metropolis had been destroyed only a short time before? Is FEMA that good in the DC Comics universe? Or did they get "super" help?

For all my caveats, I can say without shame that I enjoyed "Man of Steel." As summer flicks go it was as good as "Iron Man 3." Expect a sequel in two or three years. I'm guessing the baddie will be Lex Luthor. Any ideas who should play him?

MAN OF STEEL -- Directed by Zach Snyder. Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane. Rated PG-13. Grade: B

Idaho Falls Power posts Twitter, Facebook notices on tree-trimming, paving work

Let's hand it to our friends at Idaho Falls Power -- they are actually posting information on Facebook and Twitter that might be useful to people. I don't know if you're going to be in the neighborhoods mentioned, but knowledge is power, right? So here's the scoop:

Tree-trimming crews are out across Idaho Falls today - in the 600 block of Neptune, the 400 block of Bellin and three blocks on Starlight. Idaho Falls Power line crews are out, too, on Hartert, Holmes, Northgate Mile and Elmore.

Work also began on the parking lot at Idaho Falls Power headquarters on Capital Avenue. Crews will be resurfacing half of the lot this year and the other half in 2014.

You might want to consider liking them (Facebook) or following them (Twitter). Who knows, next time there's a power outage in your neighborhood, you might get the news faster than anyone.

Female guitar makers of WWII the focus of talk Wednesday at Museum of Idaho

Female workers at the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Mich., during World War II
I'm probably going to be posting a lot about the exhibit at the Museum of Idaho GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World, which opened last Friday.

This Wednesday at 7, the first guest speaker is John Thomas, author of "Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Woman and the Gibson 'Banner' Guitars of WII."

While history had it that Gibson shut down production at its Kalamazoo, Mich., factory during World War II, Thomas was intrigued by a photo of seventy women sitting in four rows in front of the factory in the mid-1940s. He set out to find at least one of the women in the photograph and ended up finding a dozen. Despite denials that endured into the 1990s, Gibson employed a nearly all female workforce to build thousands of wartime guitars and marked each with a small, golden "banner" pronouncing that "Only a Gibson is Good Enough." The banner appeared on the guitars at the moment those women entered the factory in January 1942 (coincidentally, the big hit on the pop charts then was Glenn Miller's "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.") The banner disappeared at the end of 1945 when the war ended, the soldiers returned, and most of the Kalamazoo Gals ceded their guitar making jobs back to their male predecessors.

Thomas' talk will be in the Maeck Family Foundation Education Center (in the same parking lot of the museum.)

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance from the front desk or at the door. For more information, call 208-522-1400, ext. 3012

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Scientech files building plans with city of Idaho Falls

Scientech's plans for its new office buildings
Scientech has filed building plans with the city of Idaho Falls and is ready to get started on its new office buildings at Snake River Landing.

The company, which provides safety and risk analyses and instrumentation worldwide to the nuclear industry, plans two buildings on 10 acres at the corner of Bluff Street and Whitewater Drive. One building will be 39,500 square feet, the other will be 36,900 square feet, and the two will be joined by a breezeway. The site is near the offices of Potandon Produce and the future site of the Idaho Falls Event Center.

A business unit of Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Co., Scientech has operated for several years out of offices on South Woodruff Avenue. The company employs more than 150 people in Idaho Falls.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ISU's Vicki Allen named 'Pinnacle Professional'

Vicki Lynn Allen
Vicki Lynn Allen, director of clinical site development for the Physician Assistance Program at Idaho State University, has been recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Pinnacle Professional in the field of health care. Allen has more than 30 years of experience in nursing. In 1992 she developed "Adolescence in the Nineties," a six-week program for parents and students sponsored by Pocatello Regional Medical Center. The program ran for eight years.

Her membership in professional and community organizations include the National Association of Neonatal Nurses; Association of Women, Newborn and Neonatal Nursing; American Academy of Pediatrics; American Heart Association; and the National Council State Boards of Nursing.

She also serves as vice chair of the Idaho State Board of Nursing and is a board member of the Pocatello Free Clinic. She has received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Project Safe Place (2000) as well as the "8 Who Make a Difference" Award (2000). She has been nominated as a March of Dimes Nurse Manager of the Year (2006) and was honored in 2007 with a March of Dimes Excellence in Nursing Award as well as a March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award. Allen has also received the Idaho Business Review Nurse Health Care Hero Award (2007) and was awarded the Idaho Hospital Association Award of Excellence in Patient Care (2008).

EIRMC honors three with Frist Humanitarian Awards

Nate Esplin
Nate Esplin, the Rev. Dennis Alexander and Dr. Flint Packer recently were awarded Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center's Frist Humanitarian Awards for 2012.

Esplin is a radiology technician at EIRMC's Cancer Center, Alexander is a volunteer chaplain, and Packer is a primary care physician.

The annual award recognizes physicians, employees and volunteers who have demonstrated "remarkable concern for the welfare and happiness of patients, have performed extraordinary acts of kindness, have been committed to community service and have a positive effect on others," the hospital news release said.
The Rev. Dennis Alexander
Esplin has traveled to Haiti twice to help rebuild an orphanage and organized several events to raise funds for the special cause. At EIRMC, he is renowned for making Cancer Center patients feel special by celebrating their last day of treatment with a disco ball and colored lights, industrial bubble blower and cranked-up music.

Alexander serves more hours at EIRMC than many employees, the release said. He works four shifts each week in the emergency room and also is the volunteer chaplain on Saturday.
Dr. Flint Packer
As a volunteer chaplain, Alexander offers support to people who are nervous, frightened or grieving. Away from EIRMC, Alexander is the director of Saints Alive (Saints Adult Ministry) at Calvary Baptist Church.

Packer has helped his neighbors many times with medical advice -- even after hours and usually without compensation, the release said. He coaches youth sports and is a Boy Scout leader. He also served six years as an EIRMC volunteer board member at EIRMC.

EIRMC donated funds to each honoree's charity of choice, including Haitian Roots (Esplin), the Calvary Baptist Church Benevolence Fund (Alexander) and FreeMed (Packer).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Business owner plans to rent studio space, equipment to photographers

Darrin Petersen
Darrin Petersen, owner of D&L Cleaners and Signature Party Rentals, is opening F Stop Studio Rental at 1568 West Broadway.

It will be a place where photographers can come in to shoot in a 26-by-36-foot studio with a cyclo wall. With 4,400 square feet, there will be a changing room, offices, production rooms and storage space. Lights, high-end camera bodies and specialty lenses and computers will be available to rent as well.

"We'll be set up for still photography and video," he said. "I want it to be practical and affordable. "I hope for this to make shooting and teaching while shooting easier than it has ever been in Idaho Falls."

Located in what used to be the Spiders Web tattoo parlor, Petersen is looking toward a grand opening in mid-July.

Petersen is a photography enthusiast, but never wanted to be a professional photographer. With two service businesses already, he recognizes he will be on a learning curve with F Stop. "Your customers tell you when you're getting it right," he said. "I don't want to make it my way, I want to make it their way."

Monday, June 10, 2013

That's a big axe

The guitar exhibit opens Friday at the Museum of Idaho. This gi-normous Flying V is actually playable.

Bill's Bike Shop sets grand opening events through June

The new Bill's Bike Shop, on Pier View Drive in Snake River Landing.
With the days getting about as long as they get here, it's finally bike riding weather (even though it's still not a bad idea to wait until the wind dies down in the evening.)

Bill's Bike Shop, which opened earlier this year at Snake River Landing, has put off its grand opening until this week so that all possible customers can visit and enjoy what they have to offer in the fine weather.

Grand opening events will continue through June. Here is a partial schedule of what they are offering:
  • Family Rides - Monday evenings in June. Enjoy half-price Rentals and the Snake River Landing trails with the entire family.
  • Father's Day Parking Lot Sale - Friday June 14 and Saturday June 15. Massive selection of merchandise from the old Holmes Avenue store.
  • Women's Night with Giant Bikes on Thursday June 13.
  • Demo Days - Time to play with all the gear you've been eyeing: June 21 and 22.
  • Group Road Rides - Wednesday evenings in June, beginner and experienced riders welcome.
  • Daily Facebook Offers and Giveaways starting today - Must "Like" to be eligible.
For more information, visit the Facebook page or the store's main site,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Package trips to Laughlin, Nev., resort to begin July 13

Idaho Falls has joined more than 60 cities offering air service to Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort, in Laughlin, Nev., 90 miles south of Las Vegas on the Colorado River.

Starting July 13, the resort and Sun Country Airlines of Minneapolis, Minn., will be flying from Idaho Falls will be flying Boeing 737-800 series jets seating 159 passengers.

A special introductory price of $250 per person round trip air and hotel package is being
offered. The package includes four nights at the resort, round-trip airfare, all taxes,
fees, luggage handling, plus airport ground transfers.

This will be the first of several packages to be offered to eastern Idaho residents, a press release from Idaho Falls Regional Airport said. For more information, call (800) 227-3849, or visit

Idaho Falls compiles development map for 2013

Here's a map of all the development that's been going on in Idaho Falls this year, prepared by Brian Tomsett of the city's Building Department. Click on it to enlarge. We know some of you development junkies can't get enough of this stuff. Don't say we never did anything for you.

Swagger boutique opens new location on 17th Street

Swagger, a women's boutique, opened Thursday at its new location, 2177 E. 17th Street. Owner Shantell Goodenough, above, said she plans to add clothing for little girls to the store's offerings. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 390-8527.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

California baby wrap company moves inventory to Idaho Falls warehouse

A mom with her baby in a Moby Wrap
Visiting last weekend with Lynn Pletscher at Lyn's in downtown Idaho Falls, we learned that Moby Wrap, Inc., a Chico, Calif., company that makes baby carriers, has moved its inventory to the Elevate Fulfillment warehouse in Idaho Falls.

Lyn's carries Moby Wraps, which is why Pletscher was privy to a company email bearing the news.

"With this move, we anticipate improved efficiency and accuracy, as well as a continuation of our famously quick order turnaround," it said. "As we settle in, there may be brief delays in shipping Moby Wrap and Lassig orders. We apologize for any inconvenience that may occur over the next couple of weeks."

Although our efforts to reach the company's owners have been stuck in phone tag limbo, we learned that the company is using Elevate Fulfillment, which has its warehouse at 795 Lindsay Boulevard. The company handles warehousing and shipping for a number of smaller companies. Its Web site can be found here:

McCullough named to Idaho Falls public information position

Kerry McCullough
Kerry McCullough has been named the city of Idaho Falls' new public information officer, filling the position vacated by Brad Huerta when he left to take a job at Lost Rivers Medical Center.

McCullough has been program and events coordinator for the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce for the past three years. She has been serving as interim director since Robb Chiles resigned earlier this year.

Mayor Jared Fuhriman said McCullough was chosen from more than 60 applicants. She will work part time until after the Fourth of July.

When Brad left, it created a void," he said. "We want to get our message out. It's all about telling our story."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

United Mailing Direct, Eagle Press merge

Lynn Smith of United Mailing Direct
United Mailing Direct and Eagle Press, neighbors on First Street for more than a decade, merged at the beginning of this month.

The business owners -- Lynn Smith of United Mailing Direct and Scott Moon and Gary Reinhardt of Eagle Press -- had been talking for about six months, Smith said. "With this we have separate businesses under one roof. We eliminated a lot of overhead for both of us."

Eagle Press does personal and business printing, including brochures and business cards, envelopes and letterheads, newsletters and announcements. United Mailing Direct does statement printing and mailing for banks and other business customers. In business since 1997, it was a spinoff of United Micro Data, a company that used to generate microfiche for banks and businesses.

In the age of search engines and digital data, it might seem far-fetched that people not long ago let their fingers do the walking through drawers full of celluloid sheets then put them under projectors to get the information they were seeking. I won't say it was easy or fun, and I am not a Luddite, but I'm proud to say I was pretty good at it. Smith said they did the last such data reproduction last month.

Road work delays traffic on 17th, Pancheri, Yellowstone

Crews are milling the tops of Yellowstone Avenue and 17th Street, so lanes will be closed this week. Expect delays.
I don't know how many of you were driving on 17th, Pancheri or Yellowstone this morning around 8:45, but anyone who was probably wondered what was going on. There were lanes blocked off and cars lined up for blocks and blocks.

Here's the most current information from the city of Idaho Falls Public Works Department:

17th to Pancheri: Crews began milling the top of the roadway Monday at 8 p.m. Today HK Contractors was to install traffic loops and Wednesday morning the plan is to mill up to Holmes Avenue. Milling involves taking the top of the roadway off and flattening it.

D Street Underpass: Cannon Builders will finish the demolition of the old bridge structure this week. One lane of Yellowstone will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

John Adams Bridge: Cannon Builders will be paving approaches off bridge this week and finishing concrete sidewalks.

ADA/Gutter replacement: At various locations throughout the city, curbs and gutters are being made compliant to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If you don't like waiting in traffic, it would probably behoove you to find an alternate route this week.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Idaho Falls gearing up for annual July 4 festivities

Fireworks over the Snake River at the 2012 Melaleuca Freedom Celebration.
Hard to believe, but the Fourth of July is one month away. As usual, Idaho Falls offers a lot on Independence Day. Nothing as extraordinary as a dog fighting a badger, which actually was offered as entertainment in the 1920s (I wrote the Post Register's "Looking Back" column for 12 years, so I know these things), but nevertheless there's good, wholesome fun for people of all ages.

The Military Affairs Committee will start the day with the Firekracker 5K Fun Run, 7 a.m. at Tautphaus Park. Registration forms can be found at Firekracker 5k. Will the race be more fun than ever now that they're spelling its name with a "k"? I kan't wait to find out, but I need to do some serious roadwork in the next month if I hope to finish at all.

Once the run is over, South Boulevard will be cleared for the State of Idaho's largest Fourth of July parade. Beginning in the Idaho Falls High School parking lot, the route goes down Fourth Street, left on South Boulevard and all the way to Tautphaus Park. At 9 a.m., classic cars and Idaho Falls Police Department will start the parade, the theme of which this year is "Pride in Patriotism.” There are more than 100 floats signed up, and more 50,000 people are expected to line the route. This year's theme:  "Stay True to the Red, White and Blue."  Click HERE for Parade Rules & Guidelines.

The Liberty Festival on the Falls bridges the gap between the parade in the morning and the fireworks in the evening. Sponsored by Snake River Landing, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Apple Athletic Club and Melaleuca, the festivities will be located on Memorial Drive between Broadway and E Street in beautiful downtown Idaho Falls. Over 20 food vendors and 50 businesses, which include arts and crafts vendors, will showcase their products and services during the festival. Fair-like games and activities will amuse the whole family. There will be pie and watermelon eating contests for children and adults. Children will enjoy the inflatable jumpers which will entertain them for hours. And finally, it wouldn’t be a festival without live music by local bands:  Desert Harmony, Happyville, The Galaxy Forest and the Affection Collection.

In the evening at 10 of course comes the big show, the fireworks display, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, one of the most spectacular fireworks displays west of the Mississippi. which draws tens to thousands of people to town. Find your favorite spot early. Here's the Web page if you want to read about it: Melaleuca Freedom Celebration.