Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Street Soup Market opens in downtown Idaho Falls

Anyone looking for a healthy alternative to fast food at lunch time now has another place to go in downtown Idaho Falls, A Street Soup Market, at 445 A Street.

This is right next door to Black Rock Fine Wine & Craft Beer and across the street from the Colonial Theater. Chef and owner Bryan Lloyd says he has simple goals: to provide simple and fresh soups, sandwiches, salads and artisanal bread baked daily, and fast and friendly service.

“We make everything in house. The sauces and dressing are all made from scratch with the finest ingredients,” he said. “Our meats are seasoned, roasted, and sliced in house.  We make all the soups from carefully picked and sourced ingredients.  We hope you enjoy the food and can taste the time and love put into every bite.”

For a look at the menu, go here: http://www.astreetsoupmarket.com/. To keep up with them on Facebook, here.

The restaurant does take out, and can be reached by phone at (208) 419-3483.

Footnote: A lot of you have been asking when Kneaders is opening in Idaho Falls. I called their corporate headquarters in Utah the other day and the woman I spoke to said they had no set date. I will keep you posted, but that's the news for now.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lip sync contest to benefit local charity

Tobin Cleaning & Restoration is inviting the community to participate in Lip Sync Battle 2016 next Wednesday at 7 p.m at Civitan Plaza, at the corner of Park Avenue and B Street.

The event is to raise funds for the Idaho Falls Area Humanitarian Center, an organization that supports nearly 100 service organizations.

“Our organization saw the tremendous work of the Idaho Falls Area Humanitarian Center and were impressed by all they do to serve the community,” said Rhett Judy, owner of Tobin Cleaning & Restoration. We wanted to help assist them in their mission by creating a new fund-raising event that will bring the community together for a fun, family-friendly evening that will help others in need, while bringing a few good laughs.”

Teams will check in from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Opening remarks begin at 7:30 p.m. by emcees Brad & Tara from Z103 Morning Show. Performances can be up to 1 1/2 minutes. Props, costumes, and FUN are encouraged. There will be cash prizes for the top three performers.

Download the form at www.tobinrestoration.com and register by Monday by dropping your form off at Tobin Cleaning & Restoration, 3466 E. 20th North, or by e-mailing it to krista@tobinrestoration.com.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bateman-Hall/Hogan selected as construction manager for Event Center

An architect's rendering of what the Idaho Falls Event Center might look like.
The Idaho Falls Auditorium District has selected Bateman-Hall/Hogan as the construction manager/general contractor for the Idaho Falls Event Center. With about $6 million in the bank, Board Chairwoman Cindy Ozaki said they plan breaking ground on the project in 2017.

The cost of the project has been estimated at $35 million. The district, funded through a hotel bed tax approved by voters in 2011, is collecting about $1.6 million a year.

Bateman-Hall/Hogan submitted a request for qualifications July 1 with three other firms. All four teams were invited for interviews. Bateman-Hall/Hogan’s experience, relationships, and personal commitments impressed the selection committee, Ozaki said.

Bateman-Hall/Hogan has been the contractor on several of the large construction projects in the Idaho Falls area in the last 10 years, including Melaleuca's corporate headquarters, the four new elementary schools in Idaho Falls School District 91, and the Smith Group's Honda and Chevrolet dealerships on Sunnyside Road.

From here, the process has two contract phases. The design phase allows the contractor to work as a team member with the architects and the project owner to identify risks, provide cost projections and refine the project schedule. Once the design phase is complete, the contractor and project owner negotiate the gross maximum price of the construction contract. If all parties are in agreement, construction starts.

The drive for an events center dates back to 1995, when community leaders first started talking about building a “comprehensive multi-purpose complex in southeastern Idaho.”

The plan at that time was to build a facility that could host trade shows, rodeos, concerts and sporting events. It was to be on 10.2 acres north of Idaho Falls, on land that H-K Contractors was willing to donate. Driven by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, boosters determined the best way to move forward was to form an auditorium district, legally enabled to collect a “bed tax” of up to 5 percent from people staying at local hotels. A vote was scheduled for early 1999 and erupted into public war of words, with the opposition led by AmeriTel, a Boise-based hotel chain arguing the tax would hurt its business and drive customers elsewhere. The measure failed, 6,386 to 5,766, and the event center backers went back to the drawing board.

In May 2011, organizers opted to hold the vote in a much more narrowly defined area — mainly Idaho Falls — and it passed with 63 percent of voters in favor.
Ozaki said the Idaho Falls Events Center will be home to a minor league hockey team. The center could also host indoor football, soccer, rodeo, truck pulls, concerts and other events with upward of 6,500 seats. It may also include a 10,000-square-foot banquet space.

“There is nothing in Idaho Falls that can handle this kind of crowd,” Ozaki told the Idaho Business Review in June. “That’s why this is so important.”

The center is to be built on 23 acres at Snake River Landing, the 450-acre mixed-use development near Interstate 15 that includes offices, retail, residential and a hotel. Snake River Landing developer Ball Ventures donated the land to the auditorium district, and it was annexed into Idaho Falls city limits in September 2015.

If the auditorium district were to ask voters to approve the issuance of bonds, those bonds would be paid off over time with money collected from the bed tax, not property taxes, Board Member Bob Everhart told BizMojo Idaho in 2015. Communicating that message would be essential to getting a yes vote. Likewise, if the event center were to fail financially, Idaho Falls taxpayers would not be on the hook. The city would have no liability. “The law says an auditorium district cannot fall back on any governmental entity if it fails,” he said.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lost Rivers Hospital celebrates relationship with University of Utah

Lost Rivers Medical Center in Arco has served Butte and southern Custer County for nearly 60 years.
Lost Rivers Medical Center will be having a celebration at noon today of its new partnership with University of Utah Health Care.

The agreement sets the stage for LRMC — a facility in Arco that has been on shaky ground more than once in its 58-year history — to provide improved patient access for high-risk medical specialties like advanced cancer care, clinical trials, complex cardiovascular care, neurosciences, and transplant services. It also may include expanded use of tele-health services, as well as satellite clinics staffed by University of Utah specialists.

The agreement also offers the opportunity to benefit from the work the University of Utah is doing around staff development and business efficiency.

“We recognize that no one wants to leave his or her community when they get sick,” said Gordon Crabtree, interim CEO of University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. “The goal of this partnership is to enhance Lost Rivers Medical Center’s ability to serve the residents in the region with high quality care and better access to specialty care not currently available.”

LRMC CEO Bradley Huerta said he hoped the new partnership will greatly enhance both the accessibility and quality of healthcare. The affiliation does not change ownership, local control and governance, or restrict patient choice in providers.

Lost Rivers Medical Center was originally established in 1958 as an association.  It was operated by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who operated the facility until 1975.

Currently, it operates as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), the designation of which was established by law under the Medicare program.  To be designated as a CAH, a hospital must be located in a rural area, provide 24-hour emergency services, have an average length-of- stay for its patients of  96 hours or less, be located more than 35 miles (or more than 15 miles in areas with mountainous terrain) from the nearest hospital or be designated by its
State as a “necessary provider.” Hospitals may have no more than 25 beds.

Today’s celebration will be in the parking lot beside the Bengal Pharmacy. There will be a free barbecue lunch and tours of the hospital will be available.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Of Facebook and foodies and cast iron skillets ...

Finex cast iron cookware on display at Rush's Kitchen Supply in Idaho Falls.
If you’re the type of person who says, “$200 for a cast iron skillet? You’ve got to be kidding!” rest assured that you’re in good company.

Alex Constantino of Rush’s Kitchen Supply said he had the same thought when he was recently approached by a sales representative from Finex Cast Iron Cookware Co., a Portland, Ore., company that makes artisanal cast iron cookware. While he agreed to take on a few pieces to see how they do -- they are on display at the front of the 345 Lindsay Boulevard store -- he’s says he’s still wrapping his head around the idea that someone might spend four times as much money on a Finex skillet as they would on a Lodge skillet at C-A-L Ranch.

Of course, Rush's has its share of “gotta have” customers, who will spend top dollar on Le Creuset or All-Clad cookware. And cast iron is the latest foodie obsession. What brought me into the store for a look was a story in the New York Times that I saved on my iPhone, Fashioning Cast-Iron Pans for Today’s Cooks.

I suppose this is how commerce works in the 21st century: Knowing from my posts and clicks that I am interested in food and cooking, Facebook routinely puts New York Times food stories in front of me. I save the links. I suppose I am still old-fashioned in that I went to a brick-and-mortar store like Rush’s. I could have looked on Amazon.com or eBay. But I like to keep business local when I can. For his part, Alex seemed amazed that it was a New York Times story that got me in the door.

Did I buy a Finex skillet? No, not on the spot. But they are gorgeous. Each pan is handcrafted and takes about 12 hours to make. They come pre-seasoned, with care instructions. I mentioned it to my wife, because my birthday is less than three weeks away. Overall, the 10-inch skillet with lid appealed the most. The 12-inch skillet was so heavy that a person could develop a truly monstrous tennis forehand from using it.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Destination Idaho" to have special screening in Idaho Falls June 13

The film is being shown all around the state this month.
There will be a special Idaho Falls screening Wednesday, July 13, of “Destination Idaho,” a 65-minute “hybrid” documentary by award-winning filmmaker Karen Day.

The screening at 7 p.m. at University Place is open to the public and free. Seating is first-come first-served.

The film was produced by Airstream Adventures Northwest, Idaho Historical Society, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and many tourism partners statewide. According to the press release, it is intended to be “a visual journey that will inform and inspire audiences to value and visit the great Gem State by presenting the best things people don’t know about Idaho.”

It includes personal interviews and historical footnotes, offering a family-friendly picture of the Gem State beyond stereotypes and lovely landscapes. North to south, east to west this film shows why Idaho and Idahoans are unique. The original soundtrack is even by Idaho musicians.

Production was financed by enrollment of State, Federal and private stakeholders, including Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho’s National Parks, Boise CVB, Sun Valley Resort and Shore Lodge to name a few among 50 participating statewide entities.

Follow the event on Facebook here: Destination Idaho.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

C-A-L Ranch to break ground on new flagship store on Hitt Road

C-A-L Ranch Store, a company whose history has been part of the Idaho Falls community for more than 50 years, has plans to break ground Monday at 10 a.m. on a new flagship store on Hitt Road just north of Wal-Mart.

The company was founded in 1959 by Clinton Murphy and his sons Allen and L. Wayne Murphy. After searching across Montana for a place to start their farm and ranch retail business, they decided to turn south and try their luck in Texas. On their way, however, they stopped in Idaho Falls and decided it would be an ideal base of operations.

After one year, the company outgrew its 1,800-square-foot building on the corner of Curtis Avenue and West 18th Street, relocating to a building in front the stockyards on Yellowstone Highway. In that same time, the company spread to 26 stores across Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. In 1972 it moved to its current location on Anderson Street, where it has sold hundreds of products ranging from ranch and farm supplies to home d├ęcor and western apparel.

Although the Murphy family eventually sold the company to longtime Idaho Falls resident and C-A-L Ranch employee Jerry Ward, they have continued to take part in C-A- L Ranch. Allen Murphy’s son, Shane Murphy, facilitated the new location’s sale through his real estate business, Venture One Properties.

The new store, to be built by Tom Stuart Construction, will serve as C-A- L Ranch’s flagship store, more than doubling the current location’s size. It will feature 70,000 square feet of retail space. In addition to the new retail facility, C-A- L Ranch plans to construct a 30,000-square-foot corporate headquarters building on Curlew Drive behind the new store. The office is to be built by Guardian Homes.