Friday, March 25, 2016

Looking Back | March 25, 2016

Note: Looking Back appears in the Post Register every Thursday.

100 years ago
The New Sweden Irrigation District was offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the capture of two men suspected of breaking into the bunkhouse March 24-25, 1916, and killing Wilbur Breckenridge, the district foreman. Idaho Gov. Moses Alexander said the state would pay $250 for each man as well.

According to the Idaho Register, two masked men entered the bunkhouse of the district ranch, 2 1/2 miles west of Idaho Falls, bound and gagged the four men they found there and ransacked the room. One victim, Dan Evans, first thought it was a neighborhood joke and didn't raise his hands, prompting one of the robbers to hit him over the head with his gun and the other one to shoot him, the bullet cutting a deep gash in his scalp and knocking him unconscious.

A few minutes after the suspects left the bunkhouse the men inside heard a gunshot. When they worked themselves out of their ropes and went outside, they found Breckenridge, who had been shot in the face at close range.

Police said they had good descriptions of the men and believed they were familiar with the area. They said they thought Breckenridge might have been killed because he recognized them.

"The murder of Breckenridge is a crime so revolting, an act so unnecessary, so cold-blooded and so cruel that the whole community is deeply stirred," the newspaper said.

75 years ago
Idaho Falls Mayor E.W. Fanning announced this week in 1941 that he intended to run for mayor as the People's Party candidate in the April 22 municipal election. Fanning had become mayor when Chase Clark resigned to become Governor of Idaho.
Fanning said he intended to keep the city active in partnership with the federal government, encourage the development of new industries and continue with electrical power projects.

50 years ago
The Vietnam War made its presence known this week with a report of the combat death of Staff Sgt. Lester George Michaels, 36, of Blackfoot.

A Korean War veteran who had been wounded there, Michaels had been in Vietnam only a month when his wife, Wanda, received word of his death, which occurred March 22, 1966.

A member of the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marine Division, he was the first serviceman from Blackfoot killed in Vietnam and the fourth from the Upper Snake River Valley.

25 years ago
Department of Energy officials said they planned to have a study done by June 1991 of the feasibility of moving nuclear weapons production to the Idaho National Engineering  Laboratory.

Augustine Pitrolo, DOE-Idaho Operations office manager, said his staff would study the feasibility of moving the work done at Rocky Flats, Colo., the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantax Plant in Texas.

Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus said he welcomed the study but stopped short of saying he favored turning the INEL into a "bomb factory."

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Local officials report on 'Community to Capital' trip to D.C.

Rebecca Casper
Eastern Idaho has been sending its leaders to Washington, D.C., since the late 1940s, when Mayor Tom Sutton and attorney Bill Holden flew out of Fanning Field to lobby the Atomic Energy Commission on behalf of Idaho Falls.

Just as the eastern Idaho desert became where Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 was built, Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper and Ammon Mayor Dana Kirkham say the region is poised to become the place where small modular reactors are demonstrated to the world.

The two were part of a “Community to Capital” group that traveled to Washington in mid-March to meet with members of Congress and officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Navy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Although the Idaho National Laboratory’s continued mission was at the top of their agenda, they were keen to gauge what sort of support there was in the capital for a proposal by the UAMPS and an Oregon company called NuScale to build small modular reactors on the desert.

Dana Kirkham
The reaction was positive from everyone they met. “It reinforced that we are at the top of the list,” Kirkham.

DOE announced in February that it had granted a site use permit to the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, of which Idaho Falls Power is a member, allowing UAMPS access to the INL site to analyze environmental, safety, and siting conditions for its Carbon Free Power Project.

If UAMPS identifies a suitable area for the project within the DOE site boundary, and if the department determines it would not conflict with INL mission work, the design, construction and operation would be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, following extensive safety and environmental reviews. Officials from NuScale, a subsidiary of Fluor said they have targeted 2025 as the date for having a project online.

If all goes as planned, “We should be prepared to host an onslaught of international visitors,” Casper said.

Casper and Kirkham were accompanied on the trip by Richard Holman, president of the Partnership for Science and Technology; Mike Hart of Communication Designs, the partnership’s past-president; Jerry Stenquist, an attorney with Moffatt Thomas; and Jan Rogers, CEO of REDI for Eastern Idaho.

Rogers, who came to eastern Idaho from the Magic Valley in 2015, said the trip was an eye opener. While she has always recognized the INL’s economic significance to the area, what she heard from the people she met convinced her of the lab’s importance on a national level.

“As a first-time participant, I was impressed with their interaction and engagement,” she said. “It wasn’t platitudinal in any way.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tickets available for TEDxIdaho Falls

Tickets are available now for TEDxIdahoFalls, scheduled for April 2 at the Colonial Theater, at www.TEDxIdahoFalls.com.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). It began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

The speakers for TEDxIdahoFalls were selected from a pool of 47 potential presenters. They include:

  • Obert Skye: The magic of revision
  • Roger Plothow: Journalism as antidote
  • Robert Podgorney: We’re sitting on the sun
  • Ann Washburn: Body Language: The key to your subconscious
  • Marjanna Hulet: The simple formula for successful schools
  • Mashaal Hijazi: The modern maze of cultural identification
  • Garth Smelser: Unplug & reconnect: Propelling our children toward a nature-rich future
  • Alan E. Barber II: Humans: Some assembly required
  • L.J. Krumenacker: Unearthing Idaho dinosaurs: You only see what you’re looking for
  • Cameron C. Taylor: You can innovate like Philo T. Farnsworth
  • Jacob DeLaRosa: Take two smiles and call me in the morning
  • Valerie Hall: We Are All Midwives

The program begins at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Twelve speakers will share ideas in 3 blocks with social periods in between.

Black Rock owner expands taps, starts remodeling downstairs

The new taps at Black Rock, 439 A Street
Little more than a year after he bought Vino Rosso and turned it into Black Rock Fine Wine and Craft Beer, Chuck Chute is not resting on his laurels.

Chuck Chute
Last week he expanded his number of taps from 10 to 30, and he is remodeling the 2,500 square feet downstairs into a performing venue for music. A grand opening is being planned for April 23.

“The reality is the craft beer market is growing 30 percent a year,” he said. The tap
system, which was installed March 14 by Hayden Beverage, will allow him to offer a greater variety and grow his sales.

“This changes the way we sell draft beer,” he said. “We’ll be able to offer four IPAs instead of one, and sample flights. We couldn’t do that before because the bandwidth was so narrow.”

Carpenter Corey Petersen built the cold box to house the tap apparatus. Some modifications in the cooler behind the wall were necessary, and a chalkboard is no longer adequate to the task of advertising everything they’re serving. The next new development will be a high-­res screen and projector system that will allow them to change their listings with a laptop. “It should make it pretty visually dynamic,” Chute said.

The bar is also selling refillable growlers for beer and wine. They have been specially designed and engraved.

“There are plenty of places in town people can go to get a draft beer,” Chute said. “We needed to take it up a notch.”

As for downstairs, project manager Tony Deschamps is seeking music memorabilia for the theme, so if you have a photo of yourself with a rock, pop or country music star he’s inviting you to send a file to him at tonydechamp@gmail.com. Likewise if you have a photo of yourself in a garage band, and if you are interested in designing music-­related art he is interested in hearing your ideas.

Also needed:

  • An upright piano, to be painted in vivid, psychedelic colors. “It can be in any shape, but must be tunable,” he said.
  • Concert posters, psychedelic art, old musical instruments, photos, guitar picks.

“We want pieces that mean something to music fans, especially local music fans,” he said. “These can be donated, loaned, or we may also buy them from you. All items on loan will be insured and catalogued. You will be able to reclaim it any time you'd like.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Rita's in Ammon plans grand opening in April

Rita's in Ammon is looking at a grand opening in April.
The Ammon location in Sand Creek Commons is one of four restaurants where Rita's Italian Ice plans to test a new cafe concept that includes custom donuts, coffee creations and specialty drinks.
In addition to Ammon, the Philadelphia-based chain has plans to open in Albuquerque, N.M., Bloomington, Minn., and Scotts Valley, Calif., in the first half of 2016.

Dr. David Chamberlain, a general surgeon in Idaho Falls, has the rights to develop Rita’s in Idaho. He and his wife, Shawna, discovered Rita’s while in Utah and thought it represented a good investment opportunity. Under their agreement, they plan to build 12 stores in 10 years, of which the Sandcreek Commons location will be the first.

A grand opening is planned for April. The store’s Web site can be found here — RitasIceIdaho.com — and its Facebook page here — facebook.com/AmmonRitas1174.

"Expanding our menu was an obvious choice for us," said John Small, vice president of international and concept development at Rita's Franchise Company. "As we looked to expand business hours to new day parts, the cafe concept gave us the perfect opportunity to provide our guests with delicious, quality products that also naturally fit within our existing menu of famous frozen treats."

In addition to Rita's signature Italian ice and frozen custard, the Rita's cafe menu will include unique donut creations such as maple bacon, French toast, chocolate chip and strawberry shortcake, as well as create-your-own options – customizing a freshly made vanilla cake donut with a variety of icings and toppings of choice.  In addition to fresh donuts, Rita's Cafe will offer specialty beverages combining Rita's award-winning frozen custard with coffee, espresso and hot chocolate, and will feature new items that combine fresh donuts into frozen treats such as a Donut Blendini, Donut Sundae and Donut Milkshake.