Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chamber annual membership meeting set for Jan. 19

Tom Van Hemelryck
The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its annual membership meeting for Jan. 19 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Willard Arts Center, 450 A Street.

The meeting is aimed at giving members and non-members a look at how the chamber aided local business in 2015, and to review new objectives for 2016. Volunteer recognition is part of the program. 

There will be a special presentation on the economic outlook for 2016 from Tom Van Hemelryck, Idaho president of Washington Federal. A native of Montana, Van Hemelryck joined Washington Federal in 2013 and oversees 27 branch locations. He serves on a number of business and non-profit boards. He was the 2015 recipient of the Idaho Business Review “Money Makers” award.

Admission is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Registration must be made by Jan. 15 and can be done online here: Membership Meeting Registration.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Idaho Falls Power GM elected to chair UAMPS

Jackie Flowers
Jackie Flowers, general manager of Idaho Falls Power, was elected chairwoman of the board of directors of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems at the recent 2015 UAMPS member meeting in Salt Lake City. Flowers is the first woman to be elected to the UAMPS Board of Directors.

At Idaho Falls Power, Flowers manages 68 employees and a $70 million budget. In addition to providing electric service, the utility owns and maintains four hydropower plants, maintains nearly 450 miles of transmission and distribution lines, and manages the city’s dark fiberoptic network.

Flowers came to Idaho Falls from Sheridan, Wyo. She is a registered professional engineer with a background in civil engineering and more than 20 years of experience. She has served on the UAMPS board for a number of years, recently as chairwoman of two key committees – the Horse Butte Wind Project Committee and the Carbon Free Power Project Committee.

Mike Lehto
The Horse Butte project, located 16 miles east of Idaho Falls, consists of 32 wind turbines generating 57.6 megawatts of electricity. The Carbon Free Power Project committee is investigating the viability of developing a small modular nuclear reactor project, possibly on the Department of Energy’s Idaho site west of Idaho Falls.

Also at the UAMPS meeting, Mike Lehto, president of the Idaho Falls City Council, was honored as Champion of Public Power. The award is given to someone from one of UAMPS’ 45 communities who has provided exceptional service to municipal public power.

Lehto was unable to attend the meeting, and Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper accepted the award on his behalf. He has served as the council's liaison to the Idaho Falls Power for 15 years. During the West Coast energy crisis of 2002, Lehto was led the city’s effort to establish and maintain a strong risk management policy and healthy rate stabilization fund.

He was nominated to the American Public Power Association’s Policy Maker Council in 2005. He was awarded the Spencer Vanderlinden Public Official Award in 2011.

Lehto did not run for re-election this fall and will be stepping down from the City Council in January.

UAMPS is a joint action agency providing wholesale electricity and electric energy services to 45 public power utility members in eight Western states. Established in 1980, it helps its members with planning, financing, development, acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of various projects for the generation, supply, transmission and management of electric energy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

KC Frames now on Woodruff Avenue

The coming of Tai-Pan Trading to the Hall Park Plaza on 17th Street meant it was time for Pam Peterson to find another location for her business, KC Frames, but everything has worked out for the best, she said.

Peterson finished moving Dec. 1 to a new location, 551 S. Woodruff Ave., next door to Papa John’s Pizza. “It’s a smaller location, but it suits our needs better,” she said. It was something of an inconvenience to be given a month to move at the beginning of the holiday season, but with help from Randy Waters of Sperry Van Ness High Desert Commercial they were able to find space and move quickly.

In all, KC Frames spent only about a year in Hall Park, which is quite a contrast to the 38 years the business was on Garfield Avenue between Holmes and Northgate Mile, where Peterson’s parents, Gene and Connie Clements set up shop in the late ‘70s. The business has a loyal clientele, which has lessened the inconvenience caused by moving.

“We’re pretty lucky to have people follow us form one location to the next,” Peterson said. “We think there will be good traffic where we are now.”

Friday, December 11, 2015

Renew Cryotherapy opens on 25th Street

Jared Weimer supervises a three-minute cryotherapy session for Lance Kunsaitis, a weightlifter who came in Wednesday for his fifth session.
Call me Elsa, because I now know what it's like to be frozen. I mean, really frozen.

Renew Cryotherapy has opened at 2090 E. 25th Street, and if you want to know what it's like to be hit with liquid nitrogen-based gas at -110 Celsius for three minutes, this is where you want to go.

Cryotherapy involves lowering the body's skin temperature to 32 degrees Fahrenheit to produce a "fight or flight" reaction, said Renew owner Jared Weimer, who opened his business in November. Basically, the extreme cold sends a person's blood to the body's core, producing an endorphin "dump" that does all sorts of wonders for aches and pains and arthritis.

Though it has been around since it was developed in the 1970s in Japan, cryotherapy didn't catch on in the United States until around five years ago, Weimer said. He learned about it in Utah last summer when his wife, Cheri, tried it for chronic nerve pain in her legs and liked the effects.

A cryotherapy chamber costs around $60,000. The USA-made unit Weimer bought has three settings, -110, -120 and -130 Celsius.

"You feel invigorated," said Lance Kunsaitis, a weightlifter who was in Wednesday afternoon for his fifth session. Kunsaitis said the therapy helps with his recovery time after a workout, also with a torn ACL he's recovering from.

To get ready, one strips down to one's underpants, puts on a pair of warm socks and booties and a robe (which comes off once in the chamber). Gloves are optional. The chamber is constructed so that a person's head is sticking out (adjustments for height are made with different-sized pads).

"The first time people are nervous because they don't know what to expect," Weimer said.

True to the spirit of Mae West, who would try anything once (and twice if she liked it), I volunteered to become a human Popsicle and succeeded at enduring for three minutes. It was not as terrifying as skydiving or as physically punishing as going in the ring with Victor the Wrestling Bear (which I did for a story in my college paper in 1978.) It wasn't even as cold as being dumped from a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay in February, but wet cold is different from the controlled cold of cryotherapy, Weimer said.

Yes, there is rush afterwards and I felt a lot of energy on the elliptical at Apple Atheltic Club, where I went after my session.

Prices start at $25 for a single session. For more information, visit renewcryo.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rizo's Pizza planned for development in Ammon

Rizo’s Pizza will be the newest addition to the cluster of restaurants in Ammon that is home to Cafe Rio, Five Guys and Texas Roadhouse.

Owner and developer Jaime Rhoda said he hopes to start work after Christmas and have the restaurant open by early June. The plan filed with the city of Ammon building department calls for a 1,250-square foot dining area and a 553-square foot kitchen.

Rizo’s will feature fire-baked pizza and specialty salads. “It’s thin-crust pizza made on demand, coming in two sizes. It’s made very fast, only three or four minutes,” he said.

He described the design concept for the restaurant as fast casual and patterned after Chipotle.

“Overall it’s a really neat concept,” he said. “The price points are really good, and with two different sizes, the kids get what they want and the parents get what they want, too.”