Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two new businesses apply for space in Ammon shopping center

While we may be in the summer doldrums, here are a few retail developments worth reporting, picked up during a recent visit to the Ammon City office. Select Comfort has applied for a building permit to locate a new store in the 1,500 square feet on Hitt Road formerly occupied by Diamond Gallery (in the building that also houses Rumbi Grill and Red Wing Shoes.) The company's signature product is the Sleep Number bed, an adjustable air mattress that features a "sleep number" setting that adjusts the firmness of the mattress. Going up to 100, the higher the number the firmer the mattress. Each side of full size and larger beds has its own chamber to allow for separate adjustment. There are different models of Sleep Number beds with various features, and Select Comfort has introduced a memory foam version of the Sleep Number mattress as well. Also in that building, Complete Nutrition is applying for a permit to remodel 1,477 square feet. A nutritional supplement franchiser, the company started in 2004. Stores employ personal trainers, strength coaches and other fitness professionals to help customers develop personalized programs. There is one other store in Idaho, in Twin Falls, and there are several in Montana and Utah.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Western Recycling begins curbside service in Idaho Falls

The containers being used for curbside recycling.
Western Recycling began making its first curbside pickups in Idaho Falls this morning, a program the Boise-based company announced earlier this summer.
For $5 a month ($10 for businesses), Western will supply you with your own plastic trash basket in which you can put all the recyclable paper, plastic, tin and aluminum cans you want. There is no sorting on a customer's part. Everything is baled up and taken to a sorter.
General Manager Rick Gillihan said they have signed up about 1,200 households since they announced they would be launching the program. They hope to eventually have 5,000 or more homes participating.
Although Western has participated with other contractors and municipalities in Idaho, this is their first attempt at trying it themselves. The company employs six people in Idaho Falls, and all the labor at the moment is being handled by them. "As people sign up, that will change. I anticipate we'll have to hire two drivers," he said.

Billing is conducted quarterly. The cost includes a 65- or 95-gallon container (customer's choice). Pickup will be every two weeks on the same days as regular trash pickup. Containers must be placed at least four feet away from other trash containers.
“I think (curbside recycling) is something that the people in Idaho Falls have been wanting to do,” said Craig Stephenson, Western Recycling's manager.
Idaho Falls residents can still drop off their recycling at sites located throughout the city. Western Recycling’s management hopes that if curbside recycling catches on these sites will be phased out, ultimately saving the city money.
With the Western Recycling program, no sorting is necessary. Here's what can be placed in a container: 
  • Mixed paper products: newspapers, magazines, phone books, catalogs, cardboard boxes, cereal Boxes, frozen food boxes, paper towel cores, office paper, note pads, index cards, coated paper, brochures, envelopes, manila folders and junk mail.
  • All plastic beverage, food, and household cleaner containers #1-7 (must be rinsed of contents and caps replaced).
  • Tin and aluminum cans (must be rinsed of contents).
Materials that can't be recycled include glass, plastic bags, medical waste, food waste, packaging materials (peanuts, bubble wrap, styrofoam, etc.)
Neighborhoods outside of city limits will be included in the program case by case, depending on participation levels and distance from city limits.
You can sign up by visiting Western Recycling's Web site, http://www.westernrecycling.net/index.php/curbside-recycling, or by calling 1-888-977-4733.

INL shares in triumph of Mars Rover Curiosity's landing

Curiosity's shadow on the surface of Mars, the first image sent back to Earth.
The Sunday night landing of Curiosity, the Mars rover, was a huge credit to American scientists and engineers. In case you didn't know, the power and heat source for the car-sized rover was engineered at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Here is a virtual tour of the lab's Space Battery Facility:

Think of it: The pictures and videos you are seeing from the surface of Mars are coming to your TVs, computers, smart phones and tablets courtesy of a plutonium-powered generator that was put together in your back yard.

If you can't get enough of this stuff, here is the link to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where you can stay up-to-date: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-230.

Friday, August 3, 2012

American Idol bus arrives in Idaho Falls. Auditions begin Saturday at 9 a.m. at Snake River Landing

Sandon Wixom shared this picture on Facebook around 2:30 Friday afternoon from his office in the Rogers Building in downtown Idaho Falls.
The American Idol bus has arrived in Idaho Falls, with auditions to start Saturday at 9 a.m. at Snake River Landing, on the grass near Stockman's Restaurant.

Unlike the auditions in larger cities, there will be no pre-registration, but you will need two forms of ID that show proof of age and a photograph.

It has been a very busy week-and-a-half for Kerry McCullough of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, who has been the AI production team's contact on this end. McCullough said they first contacted her around July 24 and that a lot of her time has been taken up with conference calls, discussing logistics.

This is the first stop on a 10-city tour, and the bus is something they have never attempted before. "We're the beta site, pretty much," she said. As of Friday morning, they had lined up five Porta-Potties and six off-duty police officers to handle security. "It's hard to gauge how many we're going to need," she said. "There is so much else going on this weekend."

There will be food vendors on site: Gandolfo's, MD Dinky Donuts, Winers, Maui Waui, That One Place and Oasis Vending.

More information is being posted on the American Idol Web site,www.americanidol.com. We'll be swinging by to see what's up, and expect to see plenty of excitement.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Idaho Falls 'Plan Van' to make rounds next week

The Idaho Falls Planning Commission is updating the city’s comprehensive plan. Commissioners and Planning Department staff will bring the "Plan Van" to three area events in the next few weeks to ask for citizens’ views, opinions, and ideas on a variety of topics, including future land uses, redeveloping vacant spaces, and creating walkable neighborhoods. Citizens will also be asked to provide suggestions on what policies the city should focus on for the next five years.

The locations, times and dates for the "Plan Van" are as follows:

• Community Night Out, Aug. 7, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Downtown near Alive After 5, Aug. 8, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
• Idaho Falls Public Library, Aug. 13, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

"The most important part of developing the comprehensive plan is hearing from the folks who live here," said Mayor Jared Fuhriman. "This is their community and should have the opportunity to help define what they want their community to be. Planning affects so many aspects of the city -- neighborhood design, location of land uses, the number of trees and landscaping found on streets and in commercial developments, roadways, walkways, and more. This is an exciting and fun opportunity for citizens to get involved and make a difference where they live."

For those who cannot attend the events, a questionnaire will be available on the city’s website www.idahofalls.gov from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17. For more information, call 612-8276.