Friday, July 28, 2017

EIRMC names new chief medical officer

Dr. R. Lee Biggs
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has added Dr. R. Lee Biggs as chief medical officer on its administrative team. Biggs comes to EIRMC after a 26-year career as a captain and physician in the U.S. Navy.

As chief medical officer, Biggs leads clinical initiatives that support consistent clinical performance and excellence across the hospital.

Biggs attained his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University, a master’s in public health from George Washington University and his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. His medical specialty is as an obstetrician-gynecologist and he has maintained professional certifications with the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the American Association for Physician Leadership/American College of Physician Executives.
 
In his clinical and leadership roles, Biggs has severed as a chief clinical officer, medical staff president, director and department head.  He has championed and led innovation in physician development, process improvement, quality and patient safety.  In 2010, he received the Department of Defense Patient Safety Award for advances in obstetrical and team-centered care.  In addition, he has served on the Navy’s advisory boards for primary care and unplanned pregnancy.

Throughout his Navy career, Biggs has had postings at seas in addition to tours of duty in Naples (Italy), Virginia, South Caroline, Afghanistan, Guam, Pennsylvania, and Washington. D.C.

He is a native of Asheville, N.C. and is married to Marie Holland Biggs. They have one son and one daughter. Having lived all over the world, the lure of the west has brought Dr. Biggs to EIRMC and Idaho. He is an avid cyclist, cross-country skier and outdoor enthusiast.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Float Fix: Sensory deprivation in Idaho Falls

Years ago — and I mean many years ago, like 1980, when I was working an office job in Center City Philadelphia — I read an article about sensory deprivation tanks and their supposed benefits. These included the promise of getting nine hours’ worth of sleep in less than an hour, and not just light sleeping but Delta Sleep. “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream,” to quote the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

Basically, what a sensory deprivation tank involves is water at near body temperature with so much salt in it that you float nearly on top as you do on the Dead Sea in the Middle East or on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. A genuine sensory deprivation tank is fully enclosed, so that when the door shuts you are in complete darkness.

David Hay, owner of Float Fix in Idaho Falls
For a claustrophobic, this would be a nightmare, so some of you might be ruling it out even as you read this, but it always sounded intriguing to me. So one day, I randomly googled “sensory deprivation idaho falls” and discovered that we indeed have Float Fix in the Three Rivers Health Center, 1421 First Street. It is part of David Hay’s massage business, in what used to be Essence of You and, long before that, the Hatch Mansion.

Eager to satisfy my curiosity after all these years, I set up an appointment. What Hay has set up is not total enclosed isolation, but a 9-foot-by-9-foot pool in a dark room, filled with 300 gallons of water and spiked with 900 pounds of magnesium salt. The lights are low, the decor soothing. It's very nice.

“We’re just flooded with sensory stuff these days,” said Hay, whose first experience with sensory deprivation was five years ago in Utah. For the first-timer, the real challenge is turning off the voice in your head. “If you can’t hear it anywhere else, you will in there,” he said.

The process goes like this: you go in, strip down, take a shower, put in earplugs, climb in and … float. If there is one thing I wish I’d had it would have been a floatation noodle to go under my ankles, so I could stop thinking about whether my legs were sinking and pulling me down. (I know this is silly in shallow water, but that’s the way I am.)

For a while, I had thoughts drifting from one place to another, but I think I did go to sleep eventually. In time, I was awakened by the sound of my own snoring, which was a clear tipoff I'd gotten some shuteye. When they knocked on the door after an hour I said, “Has it been an hour already?” — another good sign.

Hay said he’s only had one customer who couldn’t shut off his interior monologue, an 18-year-old who got out after ten minutes, took a shower and got dressed again. Likewise, there has only been one person they had trouble “bringing back,” an Iraq war veteran who, once he finally went out, really found the relaxation he’d been seeking.

A lot of customers are people passing through, but word is growing locally. “We get a lot of date nights. One of them will do the float while the other does a massage, and then they’ll switch,” Hay said.

If you want more information, call (208) 403-6392, or visit the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Floatfix/.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

REDI seeks STAR director to address science, tech, research growth

REDI CEO Jan Rogers
In recognition of the growth in eastern Idaho’s science, technology and research sector – STAR –Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI) announced today they are looking to hire a Science Technology and Research (STAR) director.

This person will report to REDI’s CEO Jan Rogers and serve as the primary spokesperson for topics and actions tied to STAR industry representatives. “This important new position for Eastern Idaho will be solely dedicated to overseeing the unprecedented interest in our science, technology and research sector, currently on track to reach nearly $4.5 billion in capital investment,” she said.

“Thanks to the support of the Idaho National Laboratory, Fluor Idaho and numerous industry partners, we will have a highly skilled person in place to manage and expand our region’s core sectors.”

Eastern Idaho offers a wide range of higher education opportunities: a Department of Energy national laboratory, three major science and research labs, and advanced manufacturing.  Hiring a STAR director is vital to moving this industry cluster forward and keeping a focus on opportunities in the region.

“A leader that brings together eastern Idaho’s existing talent and assets uniquely available in our region is critical to INL’s future success,” INL Director Mark Peters said. “Whether it is building our first-of-kind small modular reactor, expanding our work in cyber security, or strengthening our supplier and subcontract environment, the timing is right to find a STAR Director to advocate and champion our region both regionally and nationally.

Steve Laflin, president and CEO of International Isotopes, said he appreciates REDI’s new focus for this regional cluster. “The region has a rapidly growing set of opportunities not only at INL but with surrounding businesses in the area,” he said. “Full-time focus on our science and research industry sector will help us better capitalize on the synergy of nuclear technology with medical isotope production and generic radiopharmaceutical drug manufacturing.”

Anyone interested in applying for the position is invited to visit www.easternidaho.org to review the STAR director job qualifications.  Click on the About Us tab, then Career Opportunities.  Applications will be accepted until Aug. 6.

Monday, July 17, 2017

High end portraiture studio opens in Idaho Falls

Looking like he belongs in The
New Yorker, here's Damond Watkins
posing for Studio M. Not 
everyone
can pull off this classic look.
Mark Richardson and Mark Hargis are betting that in the age of selfie proliferation there are still some people willing to pay for a quality portrait photograph. The two have opened Studio M, a new large format studio in Idaho Falls at 255 B Street, Suite 207.

“Our speciality is large format portraits that capture a person's personality or show them in a unique and interesting way,” Richardson said. “We believe that in the day of cell phone cameras and selfies, people are starting to see the value in true professional and traditional large format portrait prints that can become a focal point in the home and a treasured heirloom.”

Sessions are by appointment only. The sitting fee is $500, with a complimentary 11-by-14 print and a selection of images from the session optimized for social media. High resolution digital files are available for purchase online after the session.

“We create portraits, rather than images, that accurately portray our clientele -- whether individual or family. We feel that quality portraiture deserves to printed on a large scale and incorporated into the most intimate spaces of our lives," Richardson said.

For those seeking an even more rare and unique photographic experience, Studio M offers large format sheet film as a medium. There will always be a classic look to a portrait made on large format film, and film still remains the medium of choice among experienced portrait photographers. Pricing starts at $1,000 for a portrait session, whether family or individual. Digital files and fine art museum-quality prints are an additional cost.

For more information, visit the Web page at https://www.studiom.photos/. For a look at the studio does, they’re also on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/studio_m_photo/.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

C-A-L Ranch Stores plans grand opening for new store July 21

C-A-L Ranch Stores, a company with roots in the Idaho Falls area that go back more for more than 60 years, will be holding a grand opening next week for its new store, just north of Wal-mart on Hitt Road. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place July 21 at 11 a.m.

The new store, is C-A-L Ranch’s flagship store, offers 70,000 square feet of retail space, more than double the size of its longtime store on Anderson Street. In addition to the new retail facility, C-A-L Ranch is constructing a 30,000-square foot office space on Curlew Drive that will serve as corporate headquarters for the entire 25-store company. The store was built by Tom Stuart Construction and the office, to be completed later this year, is being built by Guardian Homes.

After the ribbon cutting, there will be drawings, door prizes, games, and savings throughout the store. Hot dogs for 25 cents will be available on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with proceeds benefiting Bonneville County 4-H.

The ranch and home retail company was founded in 1959 by Clinton Murphy and his sons Allen and L. Wayne Murphy. After crossing Montana in search of a suitable place for a store, the family decided to turn south and try their luck in Texas. On their way there, they stopped in Idaho Falls and recognized it would be a good place to root their business.

After a year, the company outgrew its 1,800-square foot building on the corner of Curtis and West 18th Street and relocated to a building in front of the stockyards on Yellowstone Highway. Twelve years later, it moved to Anderson Street, its home until now.

The new store features hundreds of products ranging from ranch and farm supplies to home d├ęcor and western apparel. Currently, C-A-L Ranch has 25 stores across Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona.

For nearly 60 years,the company has remained locally owned and operated. Longtime Idaho Falls resident and C-A-L Ranch employee Jerry Ward and his family currently own the company and continue to build its reputation as one of the region’s leading ranch, home and farm stores, with excellent selection and world-class customer service.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

EIRMC relocates, renames Women's Imaging center

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s Imaging Center has a new name and a new home. Formerly at 1070 John Adams Parkway, Eastern Idaho Women’s Imaging is now at 2860 Channing Way, Suite 121 (the Medical Office Building west of the hospital’s emergency room.)

Eastern Idaho Women’s Imaging offers 3D and 2D mammography, breast and abdominal ultrasounds, stereotactic breast biopsies and bone density testing. The new facility is easily accessible without entering the main hospital and offers spacious, updated rooms, increased privacy, and a spa-like feel for patients.

In addition to state-of-the-art services, it offers an all-female staff with advanced certifications, and Saturday and weekday evening appointments are available.

There will be an open house Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. The staff will be on hand to give tours and answer questions, and light refreshments will be served.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Culver's, Eagle Rock Indian Motorcycle, now open

Brian Tomasko, seated on his new Chief Vintage, with Eagle Rock Indian dealership owner Todd Williams.
Two projects in or near the Taylor Crossing on the River project have opened in the past week: the eagerly anticipated Culver’s, at 946 Pancheri Drive, and Eagle Rock Indian Motorcycle, at 845 Milligan Road.

Culver’s is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. If you go to their web page, https://www.culvers.com/restaurants/idaho-falls-id-pancheri-dr, you will see that today’s flavor is Brownie Thunder and tomorrow’s is German Chocolate Fudge.
Today's flavor at Culver's:
Brownie Thunder

This is the fourth Culver’s in Idaho. The first was opened in Twin Falls in 2014, by Eugene Smith, a fourth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer who left agriculture and moved west to open a franchise. As an alumnus of Ricks College, where he studied dairy farming, Smith had some experience with eastern Idaho.

The chain dates back to 1984, when George Culver, his wife, Ruth, son Craig, and daughter-in-law Lea, opened the first Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Franchising began in 1987, and after a shaky start the chain expanded into Milwaukee and Madison. By the end of 2011, there were 445 Culver’s restaurants in 19 states.

Eagle Rock Indian opened on Friday and sold its first bike the same day, a Vintage Chief to Brian Tomasko. I have reposted the photo from their Facebook page, and it is gorgeous.

Indian is a company that dates back to 1901, when it was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the 20th century it was a longtime competitor with Harley-Davidson in the U.S. motorcycle market. Chiefs, Scouts, and Junior Scouts were all used in World War II, but none could unseat the Harley-Davidson WLA as the motorcycle mainly used by the U.S. Army. The company went bankrupt in 1953.

In the years that followed, however, Indian’s legend was valuable enough for companies to want to revive the name. The latest iteration was formed in 2006, in Kings Mountain, N.C., where it manufactured Indian Chief motorcycles in limited numbers, with a focus on exclusivity rather than performance. In 2011, Polaris Industries, parent company of Victory Motorcycles, announced its intention to acquire Indian. The company’s production facilities were moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and in March 2013, Indian unveiled its new 111 cubic inches (1.82 L) "Thunder Stroke" engine and began to sell the newly designed motorcycles based on it.

For more information, visit http://eaglerockindianmotorcycle.com. The Idaho Falls showroom is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. They’d probably appreciate it if you ate your ice cream outside.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pachanga's in transition, hopes to open on A Street by month's end

The new signage at Pachanga's, with the Willard Arts Center reflected in the window.
If you were downtown Saturday night it was your last chance to eat at Pachanga's at its longtime location at the corner of Park Avenue and B Street. The restaurant is packing up and moving to 439 A Street, formerly the site of Black Rock Fine Wines and Craft Beer and, before that, Vino Rosso.
On Saturday, much work
inside remained to be done.

Pachanga's owner Antonio Meza of Pachangas applied to the Idaho Falls Building Department on March 8 for a building permit to remodel the property. Now that the push is on, the hope is for the new restaurant will be open in a week, two at the most.

Pachanga's started on Capital Avenue across from the Bonneville County Courthouse, but after its business outgrew that location it moved to the Earl Building. Meza said things were set in motion early this year when his landlord, Thomas Development, told him they had a new tenant interested in their space.

He then learned that Jerry and Jeannie Frazzell were looking for a buyer for their property, which had been remodeled as Black Rock Fine Wines and Craft Beer in 2015. Black Rock's lease was up at the end of March, which put owner Chuck Chute in a scramble pattern, but by the end of March he had moved his operation to 343 Park Avenue, next door to the Samoa Club.

There is a Thonton Oliver Keller sign in the window at Park and B.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

State board appoints five College of Eastern Idaho trustees

This report is reprinted from Idaho Education News (IdEdNews.org)

The Idaho State Board of Education Wednesday unanimously granted the College of Eastern Idaho permission to begin offering associate of arts degrees to current and future enrollees. The board also unanimously appointed five trustees to govern the school until at least November 2018, when the seats will be on the ballot in Bonneville County.

Here’s a list of the trustees:
Stephanie Mickelsen, Zone 1.
Calvin Ozaki, Zone 2.
Park Price, Zone 3.
Craig Miller, Zone 4.
Carrie Scheid, Zone 5.

(Click here to view the county’s community college zones, as well as candidate resumes.) The State Board selected the trustees from 54 applicants.

“We met and reviewed the candidates carefully,” said board member Richard Westerberg. “There were many, many (who were) qualified.”

Associate degree offerings and a board of trustees mark two key steps in EITC’s expedited transformation into a community college. In May, 71 percent of Bonneville County voters approved a ballot measure to turn EITC into a community college. The only remaining step is for trustees to hold their first official public meeting, said EITC president Rick Aman.

“We are currently looking at holding that meeting as early as this coming Monday,” Aman said.

EITC already offers an associate of applied science degree, a career-technical certification aimed at helping students immediately enter the work force. An associate of arts degree is designed as a starting point for students hoping to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The school plans to add its third — and final — community college offering this January: an associate of science degree. Students hoping to earn that degree can enroll in the associate of arts program during the fall semester that begins on Aug. 21, and transfer credits toward the other degree later.