Past Forums

2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995

 

2013

 
 
The Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction
Friday, September 26, 2014, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Sherri Ybarra I Jana Jones
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

Idaho's next superintendent of public instruction will inherit a school system in transition. Schools are adopting the new Common Core standards-- and a lengthy online test that goes with it. The state is wrestling with ways to increase teacher pay and assess teacher performance. With a per-pupil spending that ranks second lowest in the nation, Idaho school funding remains a difficult political issue.

How will Idaho's next superintendent approach these issues, and navigate the politics of education in Idaho? Hear from Democratic nominee Jana Jones and Republican nominee Sherri Ybarra on Friday, September 26th, at the Grove Hotel.

Chair: Kevin Richert
Moderator: Dr. Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: Delta Dental
 
 
Trial bike lane by City Hall
 
Do Bike Lanes Matter?
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Grove Hotel
Lisa Brady I Kâren Sander I Jim Weatherby

Like other cities around the globe, Boiseans are getting on their bikes. The Greenbelt and the Foothills trails are shining jewels, used by families, recreationists and commuters every day. A complete bike system includes sharing roads with cars as well. With a maze of government agencies and transportation plans, creating a safe bike lane system has become a top story this summer. The Ada County Highway District unveiled a bike lane pilot project May 1, gathered public input, and ended the pilot and removed the bike lanes a little more than a month later.

In the aftermath of the Downtown Boise bike-lane controversy, ACHD invited 42 individuals to participate in a bike lanes stakeholder group and come up with a new bike lane plan.

Why all the fuss? Why do bike lanes matter? What's next for bike lanes in Boise? Who is involved with the stakeholder group and what will they propose? Will ACHD and the City of Boise be able to work together to find a solution?

Panelists Lisa Brady (Safe Routes to School, Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance) and Kâren Sander (Downtown Boise Association executive director) are two members of the ACHD stakeholder group. Dr. Jim Weatherby is former executive director of the Idaho Association of Cities and former director of the Public Policy Center at Boise State University. The trio will share their thoughts on bike lanes today and tomorrow, and answer audience questions.

Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
 
 
 
 
Major Factors Influencing Future Capital Market Returns
Thursday, June 26th, 2014, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Jordan Ballroom, Boise State University Student Union Building
Bob Maynard I PERSI Chief Investment Officer, panel of investment managers

The economy seems to be growing slowly and smoothly out of the Great Recession-  or is it? What about the instability in the Ukraine, Syria, and Mideast? What does a slowing Chinese economy mean? Will housing prices continue to improve, or will higher mortgage rates choke it off? What does the boom in unconventional oil and gas mean for the US? And will sanctions on Russia affect US energy prices? Is health care reform a curse or a blessing to the US economy? What happens if we don't invest in infrastructure? In education and job training? Has Maynard invested all my PERSI dollars in emerging markets and high tech entrepreneurs?

Come hear Bob Maynard and PERSI's team of investment managers discuss the global and national state of the economy, and take questions from the audience.

Bob Maynard has been the Chief Investment Officer for the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI) since 1992. Under his direction, over $14 billion dollars are invested for the retirement of state and local government employees. Maynard is a former City Club of Boise board member. He will be joined by a panel of top investment mangers, and dozens more managers will be attending this lunch.

Special thanks to our GOLD level Forum Sponsor, Bank of the Cascades  

NOTE location: This forum will take place at Boise State University, parking is FREE for registered attendees, at the Lincoln garage. Find an interactive map, HERE.

Moderator: Dick Gardner
Underwriters: Bank of the Cascades
United Heritage Insurance
Boise State University
 
 
ISF
 
The Politics of the Performing Arts: A Model for Collaboration and Innovation with Idaho Shakespeare Festival's Charles Fee
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Boise Centre
Charles Fee, Producing Artistic Director Idaho Shakespeare Festival

Performing arts, politics, collaboration and innovation-  words that sound contradictory. Yet one performing arts company in Boise, Idaho has combined these into a vibrant and lively theater that flourishes in uncertain times. How do three independent theater companies in Idaho, Ohio and Nevada make this work? What economic and cultural impact does live theater have on Boise as a community? Where does politics enter the scene? What physical environment must live outdoor theater have to thrive? What is the future for Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise?

Charles Fee is the Producing Artistic Director of three independently operated professional theater companies: Idaho Shakespeare Festival (since 1991), Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland (since 2002), and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival in Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada (since 2010). Under his leadership, Idaho Shakespeare Festival has received many awards, including the 1995 Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and the 2000 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2009, he was awarded the Martha Joseph Award for his leadership of the Great Lakes Theater. Charles received his BA from University of the Pacific and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of California, San Diego.

The City Club welcomes Charles as he shares what is ahead for the Festival, now in it's 38th season, and answers questions from the audience.

Please Note Location: This forum will be held at the Boise Centre.

Chair: Vicki Kreimeyer
Moderator: Cheryl Haas
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell
 
 
 
 
The GOP Candidates for Attorney General
Monday, May 12, 2014, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Grove Hotel
Lawrence Wasden I Chris Troupis
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

Idaho's attorney general juggles a broad caseload. The work includes hot-button issues such as Idaho's new 'ag-gag' law and the state's ban on same-sex marriage, and the job of protecting Idaho consumers and providing legal counsel to state agencies and legislators. The attorney general also sits on Idaho's land board, voting on state endowment policy. For public schools and a host of other beneficiaries, millions of dollars are at stake.

Incumbent Lawrence Wasden of Nampa is no stranger to the Idaho electorate; he has held they attorney general's job since 2002.

Chris Troupis of Eagle, his May Republican primary opponent, has been involved in several high-profile cases in the past, arguing against the removal of Boise's Ten Commandments monument and for the closed Republican primary election.

Join us on May 12 to hear both candidates discuss the law, the issues and their vision for the future. The candidates will answer audience questions.

(The Republican nominee and the Democratic candidate Bruce Bistline will be invited to a subsequent forum this fall.)

Chair: Kevin Richert
Moderator: Dr. Jim Weatherby
 
 
 
 
The GOP Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction
Monday, May 5, 2014, 11:45 - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
John Eynon I Andrew Grover I Randy Jensen I Sherri Ybarra
Forum speaker: Republican candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

Idaho's new schools superintendent will face a long list of challenges:

  • The governor's education task force spelled out a series of 20 reform recommendations, but the 2014 Legislature implemented only parts of some. Much of the hard work will fall to the next superintendent.
  • The state is working on a new formula to boost pay for starting and veteran teachers. This is the task force's costliest recommendation, with a price tag exceeding $250 million.
  • The state is piloting programs to see how individual computing devices can affect learning. How should the state expand use of classroom computers statewide, and at what price?
  • Idaho has joined more than 40 other states in adopting Common Core standards. The standards and a lengthy online exam will roll out on the next superintendent's watch.

On May 5th, City Club of Boise will host the four Republicans who want to succeed Tom Luna: John Eynon of Grangeville, Andrew Grover of Melba, Randy Jensen of American Falls, and Sherri Ybarra of Mountain Home.This is your chance to ask the candidates about their vision for Idaho schools- and how they believe their education backgrounds prepares them for the task ahead.

(City Club of Boise will invite the Republican nominee and Democratic candidate Jana Jones to appear in a separate forum this fall.)

Chair: Kevin Richert
Moderator: Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell
 
 
health-care-reform-web-art
 
Heroes of Uncertainty: Mental Health Professionals
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The Grove Hotel
Charles Novak, Jeralyn Jones, Amy Thompson

A recent Gallup Poll found that 48% of Americans blame the mental health system "a great deal" for mass shootings in the United States. Idaho has cut state mental health care spending by 11.4 percent from fiscal year 2009 to 2011. In fiscal 2011 Idaho had the lowest state mental health expenditures of all 50 states. Idaho has consistently ranked near the bottom in terms of quality of mental health service and near the top in terms of percentage of individuals in need of mental health services.

 

The panel, led by Dr. Charles Novak, will discuss how the lack of services impact the consumer, social services, law enforcement and the taxpayer, and what can be done to improve services in our state. Josh Lampert started having psychotic episodes during his sophomore year of college. Triggered by recreational drug use; hallucinations and severe depression overwhelmed him. Now 32, Josh and his father, Chuck, remembered what that struggle was like for both of them, listen to their story here

 

Charles Novak, MD has 28 years of experience as a psychiatrist, works in the Saint Alphonsus System and serves as the medical director of Sage Healthcare, Intermountain Hospital, and Allumbaugh House.  Dr. Novak is a practicing clinician with some of the most difficult patients in Idaho’s mental health system and very familiar with Idaho’s state mental health system, particularly issues related to hospitalization.  He is known as an advocate for system change.

Jeralyn Jones, MD  is Idaho Director for University of Washington, Advanced Clinician Psychiatry Track and Clinical Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, U of W School of Medicine.  Dr. Jones is a practicing clinician at a community health center in Boise and also very familiar with Idaho’s efforts to grow its own mental health workforce.

Amy Thompson, LMSW  has been a Social Worker for 22 years in both Idaho & Utah.  She is currently Manager of Clinic Operations and Programs at Warm Springs Counseling Center (WSCC) after 5 years serving as its Social Services Manager.  WSCC operates under The Children’s Home Society of Idaho, which opened in 1908 as an orphanage. Amy understands issues faced by clients trying to navigate a broken mental health system as well as the business struggles of a non-profit with a long history in Idaho.

Chair: Julie Robinson
Moderator: Kevin Richert
 
 
Boise_Capital-v3
 
Idaho Political Pundits’ Predictions for 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The Boise Centre
John Miller, Associated Press
Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman
Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review

Will education reform move forward? Will funding for Idaho schools or roads be increased? Is a tax cut on the horizon? Will the state choose to expand Medicaid to more Idahoans, as permitted under the Affordable Care Act? Will the state health insurance exchange remain, or see changes? And how might election-year politics sway these decisions and other legislative behavior and outcomes?


Three of Idaho’s most seasoned journalists will offer their best guesses on what’s ahead for the 2014 Legislature, and then answer questions from the audience. City Club's annual “Pundits Forum” is reliably one of our most popular, best-attended forums of the year, so register early.


Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief for The Spokesman-Review and writes the “Eye on Boise” political blog. Dan Popkey, the Idaho Statesman’s political reporter and columnist, has covered the Idaho Legislature since 1987. John Miller has been writing about Idaho and the Legislature for The Associated Press since he arrived in Boise in 2004.


Note: This forum is at the Boise Centre.

Chair: Randi McDermott, Sue Reents
Moderator: Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: ACLU of Idaho
Northwest Nazarene University
Regence Blue Shield
 
 
 
 
The Fires of 2013: What we learned about
changes in climate and fire behavior
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman Environment Reporter
Dick Bahr, National Park Service Fire Science and Ecology Program Leader

Twenty-five years ago, Rocky Barker and Dick Bahr experienced the huge fires in Yellowstone National Park firsthand, when Rocky was a reporter for the Idaho Falls Post-Register and Dick was in charge of aviation operations in Yellowstone.  Today the fierce wildfires that burn tens of thousands of acres a day have become routine.

 

Rocky and Dick will talk about how more than half of the forests of southern and central Idaho have burned since 1988, and what they saw this year that gives us a window into what we can expect in the future as the fire seasons get longer, the summers hotter, and the winters warmer. They will also take questions from the audience.

 

Barker has written about wildfires for the Statesman since 1996. He is the author of several books including, “Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America,” a finalist for the Western Writers of America's Spur Award in nonfiction. The story inspired a television movie, “Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone” on the A&E network. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Northland College.

 

As fire science and ecology program leader for the National Park Service at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Dick works on policy development, fuels management, fire ecology, smoke coordination, and fire behavior training. He began his career in Glacier National Park monitoring water quality, and moved into fire management in 1982, working in the Everglades, the Midwest, and Yellowstone. Dick has a degree in microbiology from Montana State University.

 

This is a joint presentation of City Club of Boise and Idaho Environmental Forum. IEF members who would like to attend can do so at the City Club member price.

Chair: Andy Brunelle, Rich Garber
Moderator: Dick Gardner
 
 
public_education graphic
 
Idaho's Education Debate: The Next Chapter
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
Grove Hotel
Richard Westerberg, State Board of Education; Chairman, Taskforce for Improving Education
Linda Clark, Superintendent, Meridian School District; Task Force Member
Mike Lanza, Idaho Parents and Teachers Together; Task Force Member

After Idaho voters rejected Propositions 1, 2, and 3, 31 Idahoans were given the job of trying to figure out where to go next on education policy. Their vision includes an overhaul of the teacher salary scale; a statewide push for technology in the classroom; a fundamental shift that would promote students based on mastery of material, not seat time; and implementing the controversial Common Core academic standards. The cost is also considerable: an estimated $350 million.How did the education task force arrive at a consensus on such a far-ranging plan? And what are the prospects for passage in the 2014 Legislature?

 

Hear the inside story from chairman Richard Westerberg and two other task force members: Meridian School District Superintendent Linda Clark and Mike Lanza of Idaho Parents and Teachers Together.

Chair: Kevin Richert
 
 
Boise_Capital-v3
 
Two Bond Measures for Boise Voters
Monday, October 28, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter
Toni Hardesty, State Director
The Nature Conservancy of Idaho
Brice Sloan, Co-chair
Yes! Yes! For Boise campaign

At his State of the City Address in June, Mayor Dave Bieter surprised his audience by proposing a bond measure that might pay for several city initiatives. After a series of hearings, the Boise City Council voted to put two measures on the Nov. 5, 2013, ballot. One, focusing on public safety, authorizes the city to borrow up to $17 million for upgrades to four fire stations. The second would commit $10 million for open space and $5.5 million for improvements in parks in the Central and  West Bench neighborhoods. Each bond requires a two-thirds super-majority of votes to pass. For homeowners in Boise with an average-priced home, about $184,000, the city estimates the two new bonds would cost about $12 each year.

Mayor Dave Bieter was born in Boise, and for as long as he can remember, he says he wanted to serve as mayor of his hometown. That goal was realized in 2003, when he won election to City Hall on the first ballot. He was re-elected in 2007 and in 2011, making him one of only a handful of mayors in Boise’s history to win the office three or more times. Bieter is a graduate of Bishop Kelly High School, the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and the University of Idaho College of Law. He has served as a municipal attorney in Idaho and five sessions in the Idaho House of Representatives.

Toni Hardesty is the state director of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho, a non-profit conservation organization. From 2004 to 2012, Hardesty was the Director of Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality, serving under three governors. Toni has also worked in the private sector as environmental consultant. She is an Idaho native and a graduate of Boise State University. She and her family are outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy backpacking, hiking, skiing, fishing and exploring the special places in Idaho.

Brice Sloan founded Sloan Security Group (SSG) in 1991 and Sloan Security Technologies (SST) in 2010 with his father and three brothers.  SSG is considered one the top five physical security providers in the United States.  In 2000, Brice had the opportunity to serve in the US Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer.   His interests include running, reading, coffee, architecture, traveling, and parenting his two young children.

Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: Delta Dental
 
 
 
 
Exploring Hunger and Food Insecurity in Idaho
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
Celia Gould - Idaho State Department of Ag
Priscilla Salant - University of Idaho
Karen Vauk - Idaho Food Bank

Hunger is a significant social and economic issue in Idaho. Even with agricultural production per capita higher than any other western state, one in six adults and one in four children struggle with hunger and adequate, sustainable access to  healthy food . Often an invisible plight, each community presents its own issues and challenges. Our experts will provide insights to better inform our understanding of these challenges as well as provide perspectives on strategies for improving food security in our state. They also will answer questions from the City Club audience. The three panelists are:    

  • Celia Gould: Since 2007, Celia has served as Director over the agency responsible for regulating the state’s agricultural industry.
  • Karen Vauk: Karen has led the Idaho Foodbank since 2009. The Foodbank is an independent, nonprofit organization and the largest distributor of free food assistance and hunger relief in Idaho.
  • Priscilla Salant: Her office at the University of Idaho oversees university partnerships with communities, non-profit organizations, and public agencies, including those in the area of food systems and food security. 


Chair: Sally Long, Randi McDermott
Moderator: Dick Gardner
 
 
ray-rasker-portrait-dsc_6685-1-copy
 
The Economic Role of Public Lands in Today's Economy
Thursday, September 5, 2013, 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Owyhee Hotel
Dr. Ray Rasker

Idaho governors have long talked around this topic.  Gov. Andrus often said that Idahoans get a second paycheck in the form of the amenities they receive from her public lands.  Gov. Otter wondered whether the economic benefits from the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course might be more than from any wilderness area.

Here’s our chance to seek answers to these questions about the value of our wild lands tothe state’s economy.  To what degree does wilderness lead to increased tourism impacts? 

Or do wild lands actually lure newcomers to our state?  Is it the gateway communities next to wilderness that benefit or, as is too often the case, the state’s metro areas?

 

Ray Rasker is the Executive Director of Headwaters Economics, an independent think tank operating out of Bozeman, Mont., that seeks to improve community development and land management decisions in the West.

Dr. Rasker has written extensively on rural development and the role of environmental quality in economic prosperity. He holds an affiliate faculty position at Montana State University. His organization has created a number of decision tools for local leaders and has published on many of the hot topics debated in the West.   He sees a positive relationship between protected public lands and economic prosperity, but there are several important nuances to understand. 

Come and engage in a discussion of the value of public lands in the quality of Western life and in the health of our economies.  Note the new location for this forum at the Owyhee Hotel ballroom.

This is a joint presentation of City Club of Boise and Idaho Environmental Forum. Idaho Environmental Forum members who would like to attend can do so at City Club Member Price.

Chair: Matt Cryer
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Underwriters: Perkins Coie LLP
 
 
Gun
 
Idaho's Gun Economy – A Fad or the Future?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
Lt. Governor Brad Little, David Lehman

A recent study conducted by the Idaho Firearms and Accessories Manufacturer’s Association emphasizes that Idaho is a firearms-friendly state with few or no restrictive gun laws. With Idaho’s history of embracing hunting and fishing, the state has a unique environment to attract firearms and accessories manufacturers. 

Governor Otter’s office has capitalized on this environment to direct state resources and staff to recruiting gun- and ammunition-related manufacturers to Idaho.  And the private sector appears to be in agreement, with new companies moving to Idaho and existing Idaho companies looking to expand, adding jobs and dollars to the state economy. 

Lt. Gov. Brad Little and David Lehman, principal of GSA Direct, will join us to discuss what is happening in this arena of economic development and whether this is a short-lived surge caused by today’s political environment or a permanent and viable part of Idaho’s future. They also will take questions from the City Club audience.

Chair: Teri Ottens
Moderator: Marty Peterson
 
 
 
 
Conservation as an Act of Citizenship: Idaho’s Wildlife Belongs to You
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
MK Plaza Auditorium, 720 East Park Blvd., Boise
Forum speaker: Shane Mahoney, Idaho Wildlife Summit

“I’d much sooner have a world filled with people who are so vitally concerned with wildlife that they fight all the time about it, than a world in which nobody gives a damn.” - Shane Mahoney, Idaho Wildlife Summit, Aug. 25, 2012

Idaho has diversity and abundance of wildlife found in few other places in this country.  To see mountain lions, elk and goshawks within city limits – and to fish for steelhead four steps off the Greenbelt – is extraordinary by national and even global standards.  But that does not mean we can take it for granted.

Nine out of 10 Idahoans say wildlife issues are important to them.  We can – and will – fight over wolves, over sage grouse, over salmon recovery — in short, we will always fight over how we conserve and manage our wildlife which, as Shane says, is a good thing because it shows how much Idahoans care.

Shane Mahoney grew up in Newfoundland, Canada.  In 1992, the Northern cod fishery abruptly collapsed to less than 1 percent of its previous levels.  The federal government issued a moratorium, ending 500 years of cod fishing and marking the largest industrial closure in Canada’s history.  Perhaps more significant was the impact on the families and communities that had been linked to Northern cod for centuries.

Shane is an accomplished research biologist, outdoors writer and speaker, and has become an international leader in conservation and sustainability.  An avid hunter and angler, Shane delivered the keynote address at last summer’s Idaho Wildlife Summit.  His message is one of humans as part of the landscape and also of citizens as part of a democracy.  Having a thorough understanding of the history of conservation in North America, and by observing conservation crises across the globe, Shane powerfully conveys that to be concerned about wildlife is more than a hobby or special interest – it is a responsibility of being a citizen.

Here’s a chance to put differences aside for an evening and together be inspired by Shane.  During Q&A, he will be joined by Virgil Moore, Director of Idaho Fish & Game.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE!

 5:00pm - 6:00pm  Refreshments 

6:00pm - 7:15pm   Forum

7:15pm - 8:00pm   Social Hour

<http://www.idahoenvironmentalforum.org/2013/130718/130718_form.php>

Moderator: Dick Gardner
 
 
grovernorquest_216x314
 
Why Conservatives Should Support Immigration Reform
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
Boise Centre
Grover Norquist

Immigration reform is one of the leading issues currently being debated in Congress. City Club joins in that debate on a June 25 forum featuring Grover Norquist.  Norquist is one of the nation’s best-known conservative activists. In his City Club presentation he will discuss why conservatives should support immigration reform.

Immigration reform is an important economic issue in Idaho. Businesses such as the state’s growing dairy industry depend upon the availability of immigrant workers.  High tech firms such as Micron Technology are also dependent upon immigrants to fill engineering and other highly skilled positions.

Norquist is best known as the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that opposes all tax increases and initiated a taxpayer protection pledge that has been signed by nearly every Republican member of Congress. He also serves on the boards of a number of organizations including the National Rifle Association, the American Conservative Union, and the Hispanic Leadership Fund. He also serves on the six-member committee that selects Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.  In a CBS 60 Minutes episode, Steve Kroft stated that "Norquist has been responsible, more than anyone else, for rewriting the dogma of the Republican Party."

Norquist also feels strongly about the need to approve immigration reform legislation such as that being proposed by the U.S. Senate’s Gang of Eight. And he has not been afraid to square off against other conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation on that issue. Norquist says, “ I believe people are an asset, not a liability. America is the most immigrant-friendly nation in the world and we are also the richest; that is not a coincidence. Immigrants have been coming to our shores since the Pilgrims landed and they bring with them determination, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit that built this great nation.”

Chair: Rich Garber
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: Idaho Dairymen's Association
 
 
membersocial
 
2013 City Club Member Social
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Beside Bardenay - 612 Grove Street, Boise
Forum organizer: Sarah McClendon
Come mix and mingle with fellow City Club Members, meet new and existing City Club Board Members, and enjoy a special performance by the Fool Squad:

"The Great Seal Smackdown: Moscow vs. Boise as Idaho's State Capital"

What really happened when the Great Seal of the Territory of Idaho was taken from Moscow to Boise? The Fool Squad will shed some light on the topic (albeit dim light) in a command performance from a presentation they did for the Idaho State Historical Society as part of Idaho's sesquicentennial celebration.

We hope to see you there!

 
 
8thMain
 
Cranes over Boise: Filling "The Hole" at 8th and Main
Monday, June 17, 2013, 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
Tommy Ahlquist, Chief Operating Officer, Gardner Co.

When the crane at the corner of 8th and Main placed the final beam on Boise’s newest tower in late April, it was adorned with a small fir tree. Christian Gardner, CEO of the Gardner Co., developer of the building, said it symbolized bringing life to the building. Life is exactly what the site — known not always affectionately as the “The Hole”— has lacked for decades.

In 1864, the corner was a famous stop on the Oregon Trail and became home to the Overland Hotel. Four decades later, the Eastman Building replaced the hotel and stood as a Downtown beacon until the 1970s, when the Boise Redevelopment Agency bought the building and evicted everyone in it. Billy Fong, the last living resident of Downtown’s Chinatown, cursed the ground before leaving town.  The Eastman Building sat vacant for 15 years before burning in a suspicious blaze. In 2001, work began on what would have been the 25-story Boise Tower; legal and financial problems stalled the project, leaving the “Boise Hole.” You couldn’t blame Boiseans for wondering if there wasn’t something to the curse of Billy Fong.

The Gardner Co. is proving doubters wrong. It’s less than seven months away from opening the tallest building in Idaho — an 18-story office/retail building that is more than 85 percent leased. J. Thomas “Tommy” Ahlquist of Meridian, chief operating officer of Gardner Co., will discuss how this symbol of life is a testament to our state’s and Boise’s economic recovery and take questions from the City Club audience.

Before merging Ahlquist Development with Gardner Co., Ahlquist successfully joint-ventured on several large Idaho projects with Gardner. Those projects include Portico, a 24-acre project in Meridian; Eagle Island Crossing, a 22.5-acre development in Eagle; and St. Luke's Nampa Medical Plaza, a 34-acre medical/retail site in Nampa.

In 2012, Ahlquist was appointed to an eight-year term on the Idaho State University Foundation Board of Directors and serves on ISU President Arthur Vailas’ Southwestern Idaho Advisory Council on Health Science Education and Economic Excellence.  He received his bachelor’s degree in 1992 and medical degree in 1996 from the University of Utah. He completed a residency in emergency medicine in 1999 at the University of Arizona. Ahlquist married his high school sweetheart 24 years ago; they have four children. Ahlquist says his family motto is: “Work hard, play hard and give back.”

Chair: Sally Long
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: DB Fitzpatrick
Northwest Nazarene University
 
 
Eastman Bldg IHS photo for web
 
Exploring Boise's Early History with Four Idaho Historians
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 11:45 am-1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Susan Stacy, Boise historian, Carol MacGregor, Boise historian, Keith Petersen, Idaho State Historian, Ernie Hoidal, Boise historian

As Boise celebrates its 150th anniversary, City Club is sponsoring a forum featuring  four Idaho historians who will delve into the city's early history, pioneers, prominent people, early development and legal issues that all laid the groundwork for what Boise is today.

The four panelists are:   

  • Susan Stacy, author of Legacy of Light: A History of the Idaho Power Company, Tom and Julia Davis: Some Good Place, and When the River Rises: Flood Control on the Boise River. Stacy will talk about Boise's original landscape and early water and energy development.
  • Carol MacGregor, who has a Ph.D. in history, chronicles the early history of Boise in her book, Boise, Idaho, 1882-1919: Prosperity in Isolation. She will talk about early pioneers and settlers of Boise, prominent people and families.   
  • Keith Petersen writes and lectures frequently on Idaho history. An author of more than five books, Petersen will talk about how Boise became the capital of Idaho and how Boise's early development contrasted to the rest of Idaho.
  • Ernie Hoidal, vice president of the Idaho Legal History Society, has done extensive research on members of Boise’s legal community.  Hoidal will talk about early legal issues and noteworthy lawyers and judges.

After the initial presentation, the panel will take questions from the audience. 

Chair: Randi McDermott
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: DBFitzpatrick
The Idaho Statesman
 
 
scales-of-justice
 
Addressing Deficiencies in Idaho’s Public Defender System
Friday, March 29, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Sara Thomas, Director, State Appellate Public Defender’s Office, Dawn Porter, Director/Producer, “Gideon’s Army”

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are supposed to protect the basic freedoms for all Americans. This right is heightened when someone is accused of a crime. March 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires state courts to provide free  public defenders in criminal cases to assist defendants who can’t afford an attorney.

Several years ago, Idaho’s Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) evaluated trial-level public defender services and concluded that state and district courts sometimes fail to provide the level of representation required by the U.S. Constitution. Advocates argue that without a more robust system of public defense, innocent people are wrongly convicted, incarcerated and even sentenced to death. We’ll hear more about those concerns, the challenges facing Idaho’s public defender system and potential solutions in this City Club forum on the rights of defendants in our judicial system.

The speakers are:

  • Sara Thomas, director of the Idaho Appellate Public Defender’s office and a member of the CJC. She's a graduate of Boise State University and the University of Idaho College of Law.
  • Dawn Porter, director/producer of the movie "Gideon's Army," which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to air on HBO this summer. It details the heart-wrenching stories of people caught in an often-crumbling public defense system. Before becoming a filmmaker, Porter, an attorney, was director of news standards and practices at ABC News. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Georgetown University Law Center.
Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: TBA
 
 
Mike Ferguson photo
 
Idaho's Economy: How is the Recovery Going?
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Mike Ferguson, Director, Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy

The state of Idaho has been slowly recovering from the economic recession since June 2009, but how exactly is the state doing compared to the rest of the nation? State revenues are climbing again, unemployment has dropped to about 6.5 percent statewide, the housing market is bouncing back, and the Boise metro area was recently ranked in the top 5 of all major metro areas for its economic recovery by the Brookings Institution.

But there are key areas where Idaho -- and its people -- are slipping financially compared to other states, according to Mike Ferguson, Idaho's former chief economist and the director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy. Ferguson will talk to City Club about the state of Idaho's economy and take questions from the audience.

Taking a long view, Ferguson says there are some areas of concern, including wage growth, per capita personal income and per-student spending on education. State budget cuts, tax swaps and tax breaks have caused Idaho to lose important revenues streams for public education, higher education and health care, Ferguson says.

Ferguson served as chief economist in the state Division of Financial Management for 25 years, working in both Democratic and Republican administrations. Prior to that time, he worked as an economist at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and as an econometrician at a large regional bank. Ferguson has a bachelor's degree in economics from Boise State University, and he completed graduate work at the University of Oregon in urban/regional economics, resource economics and public finance. 

Chair: Mikel Ward and Matt Cryer
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
 
 
Idaho-Liquor-illustration-3
 
"Should Idaho Privatize Liquor Sales?"
Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Jeff Anderson, director, Idaho State Liquor Division , Gloria Totoricagüena, lobbyist, Arkoosh Eiguren

The notion of privatizing Idaho liquor sales may emerge as a serious legislative proposal in the 2013 Idaho Legislature. In our next City Club forum, Gloria Totoricagüena, a lobbyist with Arkoosh Eiguren, will speak about the benefits of liquor privatization, while Jeff Anderson, director of the Idaho State Liquor Division, will talk about the advantages of state control. The speakers will then take questions from the audience.

Totoricagüena and Anderson will reflect on the state of Washington's experience of converting to private liquor sales in the last year. But both will also discuss a larger issue: What is the core role of government? Why should Idaho government be involved in selling alcohol?

In Washington, liquor sales increased by 14.3 percent in the first three months of sales after privatization and tax revenues have gone up. While liquor is more readily available to consumers, liquor prices are increasing.

Idaho's system of state liquor control has been in place for 80 years. According to Anderson, state control results in lower per capita consumption (15% less than in an open state), and liquor revenues are shared with local government -- to the tune of $63 million last year, he said. In a free market system, Anderson says, easier access to alcohol raises questions about drunken driving and public safety. 

Anderson has served as director of the Idaho State Liquor Division since April 2010 and director of the Idaho Lottery for six years. He has a bachelor's degree from CaliforniaStateUniversity, Chico, with a double major in communications.

Totoricagüena has had a career in academia, consulting and lobbying. She has a Ph.D. in comparative politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a master's degree in education from Boise State University.

Chair: Tom Killingsworth
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell
 
 
Boise_Capital
 
What's in Store for the 2013 Idaho Legislature?
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Boise Centre on the Grove
Betsy Russell, Dan Popkey, John Miller

What will lawmakers do now that voters have rejected education reforms passed by the Idaho Legislature? How might the Legislature change, now that Republican House members have rejected their three-term speaker? Will legislators reject or accept recommendations to create a state health insurance exchange and expand medical care for low-income Idahoans? Will lawmakers provide — and pay for — tax cuts for businesses? And how will the Legislature be different with a new speaker and the largest freshman class in legislative history?

Three of Idaho’s most seasoned journalists will offer their best guess on what’s ahead for the 2013 Legislature, and then take questions from the audience. City Club's annual “pundits forum” is reliably one of our most popular, best-attended forums of the year, so register early!

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief for The Spokesman-Review and writes the “Eye on Boise” blog. She is president of the Idaho Press Club and Idahoans for Openness in Government. She is married with two children and an avid skier and windsurfer. Dan Popkey, the Idaho Statesman’s political reporter and columnist, has covered the Legislature since 1987. His children, Challis and Nick, are students at the University of Oregon and Pitzer College, respectively. John Miller has been covering Idaho and the Legislature for The Associated Press since he arrived in Boise in 2004; his two daughters are 18 months and 4½ years old.

*Please note change in location 

Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: Regence Blue Shield