Monday, June 8, 2015

Printcraft Press plans new facility in Idaho Falls

Printcraft Press is planning to move to a new, larger building in Idaho Falls, west of Interstate 15 and north of Pancheri Drive, in the area known as Happyville.

The platting and annexation of six acres is on the June 16 agenda of the Idaho Falls Planning and Zoning Commission. If the commission votes to recommend annexation and the City Council approves it at a subsequent meeting, Printcraft owner Travis Waters hopes to build a 35,000-square-foot facility. Digging should start in September or October.

Although there are a few seams of lava rock, Waters said his evacuator has assured him it’s fractured lava and shouldn’t be too hard to extract. The lava rock in the area, and the expense of blasting it for development, has been one reason Happyville has remained unincorporated for as long as it has, although the city put sewer lines in around 1980 to alleviate the problems associated with septic fields.

The new Printcraft building will be about 10,000 square feet larger than where the company has been the past 10 years, in the Sunnyside Business Park. The company’s time there was marked by a dispute with Doyle Beck, the business park’s owner, over wastewater treatment, and Waters said he complained to Bonneville County officials that the water pressure from the hydrants was not adequate for fire protection — something that was proven by fire in March at the Waxie Sanitary Supply warehouse. (Waxie has since opened up a new warehouse at 1359 Commerce Way, off St. Leon Road.)

Regardless of that, Waters said he needed more space. “Our business is bursting at the seams,” he said. Printcraft does more than 80 percent of its business in Utah, much of it with medical and pharmaceutical customers. Waters said he has stayed in Idaho Falls because the costs of land and labor are lower.

“We’ve found a pretty nice little niche that we can service from Idaho Falls,” he said.

Honas honored with Silver Circle award by National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Karole Honas
The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored eastern Idaho’s Karole Honas at its June 6 banquet, inducting her into the 2015 Silver Circle.

Along with the EMMY Awards, the chapter provides the region's professionals with seminars, programs, and networking, also serving communities by offering scholarships.

As a co-anchor on Idaho Falls’ Local News 8 for decades, Honas has become a fixture in homes throughout the region. She is one of eight people to share the Silver Circle honor this year.

Here are the words she wrote for the Academy’s web page:

When I was elected Governor of Girls State my senior year of high school, a reporter asked me what I intended to major in when I got to college. I told her I had no idea, and she decided that didn't sound very mature, so she suggested I say “communications.” The rest is history.

I graduated from the University of Idaho in 1977. I married my college boyfriend, Ken, on July 2 and began working for a new station in eastern Idaho two weeks later. I spent seven years at KPVI Ch 6 in Pocatello. When I started, we were on 16 mm film. The film processor was located in an old barn south of town, so every day at 3 pm we raced to the barn to drop the film off, raced back to the office to write our story and cut the audio on cassettes, back to the barn to pick up the film and back to the office to edit. I still take pride in the fact I could change a film magazine in a black bag while driving the news car.

God blessed us with three boys in the 1980's and I spent that decade learning to be a mother. In 1990 I got a call from my now long-time anchor partner Jay Hildebrandt. He said they were desperate for a fill-in female anchor. His co-anchor went into labor early and had a baby. Would I fill in for a couple months? I did, and never left. Jay and I have shared the anchor set for 25 years at KIFI Local News 8.

Because we are a small market station, our employees are usually graduates just out of school. In the beginning, they were my age, my peers. Then I got a little older and became more of a trainer. Then I got older and became a coach. One day a new rookie came in with her parents to start her first job, and I realized the “parent” was younger than me!

That's when I became a “mom” in the newsroom.

My “kids” have graduated to big markets all over the United States: Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle. They are such fine journalists, and I take great pride in the fact I may have started them off on the right foot.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen celebrates of 'free lunch'

The Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen will celebrate 30 years of with a June 30 open house. 
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
— Matthew 13:31-32

If you took all the meals the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen has served in the past 30 years and put them all together, you would have enough food for the entire population of Columbus, Ohio, the 15th largest city in the United States.

Originally known as St. Mark’s Christian Sandwich Kitchen, the idea for the a soup kitchen came into being when two members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Joanne Galbraith and Lois Greenwood, of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church were driving home from a hunger conference in Boise, discussing what they could do to alleviate hunger in the community. They started in the church basement with a coffee pot and hotplate and a $500 loan from Idaho’s Episcopal Bishop, The Rev. David B. Birney. Church members and friends pitched in to help, and before long the word was out that a person could get a free lunch on South Boulevard.

In the first 18 months, 1,805 meals were served, on weekends. Today, in the Community Outreach Center, next door to where St. Mark’s was, the Soup Kitchen is open every day, serving an average of 4,700 per month.

In all, between June 1985 and May 2015, the official count of total meals served was 826,526.
“One thing we have never done is ask people questions about why they were there,” said Graeme Galbraith, another early volunteer. “There were people who were there out of necessity, and there were some people who made a social occasion of it,”  he said. “It has been a total volunteer effort since the beginning.”

Support from the community has been broad, and sometimes surprising. Galbraith said there was a couple that ate at the Soup Kitchen frequently for a few months (he could not remember their name) then made a generous donation once they were back on their feet.

The average cost of a meal served at the Soup Kitchen is $1. There are trained teams of volunteers for every day of the year, and about 800 people help at the Soup Kitchen each year.

It takes between $60,000 to $65,000 a year to keep the Soup Kitchen in operation.  About 20 percent of the lunches it serves comes from donations of food from individuals, food drives, companies and organizations in the community. About 5 percent is Federal Emergency Management Agency commodities distributed by the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership. The rest, approximately $45,000, is purchased with the cash contributions from individuals, churches, businesses and service organizations.

The Soup Kitchen facility is provided by the Community Outreach Center at no cost, but it takes money to buy cleaning, equipment, maintenance services, phones and insurance.

“Some of our local businesses have gone above and beyond to help out,” said Kaaren Parsons, who coordinates the ministry for St. Luke’s Episcopal Chuch (St. Mark’s and St. John’s merged to form St. Luke’s in 2001). Parsons wished to extend special recognition to Doug’s Meats, Rush’s Kitchen Supply, Brady’s, Smith’s, Mathew’s Plumbing, Sunrise Cleaning and Mike Beckstead.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Local personality laid low by meningitis, needs help

The screenshot from GoFundMe.com.
I want to call your attention to something I saw on Facebook last night about Dusty Johns, aka Dusty Bee, a well known person in the community who has been laid low quite unexpectedly and could use your help.

Dusty has raised thousands of dollars to fight cancer, and even rode a ferris wheel for 12 straight hours to raise money for the domestic violence intervention shelter. He is an outgoing and ebullient character -- or at least he was.

In mid-May, he started leaking spinal fluid from his sinuses and was admitted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. From there they transported him to University of Utah, where went into the ICU, then had a five-hour operation. Despite the doctors' best efforts, he developed spinal meningitis and is still in the hospital, with no clear answer as to when he will be able to return.

Dusty has two little boys that depend on him. He is the marketing director for Tobin Cleaning and Restoration, and for Comfort Care Dental. I am assuming he has health insurance, but as anyone who has had experience with a serious illness or injury knows, that only does so much. Meeting the deductible and out-of-pocket caps can be a huge financial strain, and then there are all the things that insurance doesn’t even cover.

I’m posting the GoFundMe link here -- Dusty Bee's Medical Fund -- in hopes that you might be able to help. As I’m looking at the page right now the total is $1,315. He's going to need a lot more.