Past Forums

2017 2013 – 2016 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995


Forum: Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Initiative
Thursday, December 7,2017 11:45am-1:15pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Forum speaker: Jill Gill, Ph.D., Boise State Professor, Director of the Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Initiative
Last February, City Club lost a beloved and active former member of the board, Marilyn Shuler. Marilyn gave a posthumous gift to the School of Public Service at Boise State University to create a Human Rights Initiative.


Dean Corey Cook forged the idea of creating a campus-based mechanism to help foster human rights education, unity, and effective advocacy skills among student and community members --something Marilyn did every day.


Boise State Professor Jill Gill is the director of the newly created Shuler Initiative. She will provide the City Club audience with an overview of the initiative, which includes an academic certificate program in Human Rights Education and Advocacy.


Speaker Biography:


Jill Gill is a Professor in the History Department and Director of the new Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Initiative at Boise State University. Hired in 2000 as a U.S. historian with specialties in religious history, race, social movements, and politics, Dr. Gill’s current research project is on the history of black/white dynamics in Idaho. She has published previously on church involvement in human rights and peace movements. As a self-described “activist historian,” she stresses the practical importance of history for understanding and solving today’s problems. She also aims to make education a transformative and empowering process, one that helps students grapple with enduring issues, better understand the wider world, and hone skills that channel their gifts into niches that need them. She sees the Shuler Initiative as a perfect new means for helping students integrate human rights and smart advocacy skills into their vocations and avocations.


Marcia Franklin - a founding board member of City Club and longtime friend of Marilyn’s - will serve as moderator. The program will provide both the opportunity for Dr. Gill to showcase how Marilyn’s vision will help guide Idaho’s future, as well as an in-depth conversation between two well-known Idaho women leaders on Shuler's impact on Boise and Idaho.


Join us Thursday, December 7 at 11:45 at the Grove Hotel for this memorial salute to one of City Club’s visionary leaders.


Audio Recording
City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, AARP of Idaho and our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene University, Red Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by Micron, Perkins Coie, and Echelon Group. We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho. Our media partners include Idaho Public Television, Peppershock Media, 670 KBOI, and Boise State Public Radio.


Chair: Julia Robinson, DPA
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Forum: Living Large in Small Spaces
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 11:45 am- 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Jesse Collinsworth, Hal Simmons, Dana Zuckerman
Tiny Houses seem to be all the rage these days. They even have their own TV shows. But, are all tiny homes the same? How are they constructed? Are they legal residences? Who lives in them? And why are they so popular now?


These questions and more will be answered by our tiny house/small footprint home experts. Jesse Collinsworth builds tiny homes at his company, Tiny Idahomes, in Caldwell; Dana Zuckerman just completed a subdivision development of four small homes in northwest Boise; and as the Planning Director for the City of Boise, Hal Simmons determines, through zoning and building codes, where and how these small homes can become part of the housing options in our community.


Speaker biographies


Jesse Collinsworth, CEO/owner of Tiny Idahomes, started to manufacture tiny houses/RV in January of 2014. Since then he has grown the business into a 22,000 square foot facility located in Caldwell Idaho were they started a line of truck campers in November of 2016 called Rugged Mountain RV. The facility currently has 4 product lines and employs 24 employees. Jesse was born in Great Falls Montana on March 2,9 1980 and graduated from Centennial High School in Boise Idaho in 1998, and from the Southwestern Idaho Electrical JATC in 2005 as a journeyman electrician for the State of Idaho. He worked in the electrical trade in and around Boise, Idaho until late 2013.

Jesse will be discussing his business (Tiny Idahomes) and the Tiny house RV product that he builds at his facility. The process it takes to build a Tiny house RV and the codes they must follow in order to build a legal RV product. He will also discuss the demographics of the people that purchase his product and the things the products are used for.


Hal Simmons has been Boise City Planning Director since 2004. Prior to that appointment he served as Boise’s Chief Comprehensive Planner beginning in 1993. He directed the rewrite and has been involved in a variety of Master Plan efforts including Lusk Street, Central Addition, Fort Boise and River Street. Hal has also written or co-written several New Urbanism and Smart Growth-oriented zoning ordinances for the City including the Pedestrian Commercial, Townlot Residential, Accessory Dwelling Unit, Substandard Lot ordinance, Duplex Ordinance and Specific Plan codes.


Dana Zuckerman enjoys studying urban design and participating on a number of boards including CCDC, Boise's urban renewal agency, TrICA, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts. She earned a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and gained much of her practical education walking the streets of the great cities in which she has lived including: Boston, Chicago, New York, Montreal, Tel Aviv and now Boise. Dana is well versed in housing trends and is working on reducing the number of hours of HGTV she consumes.

Last month Dana completed and sold out her first housing development, Dwell Silver Street, a four house subdivision of small modular homes near Collister.


Join us to learn more about tiny homes and see if these little homes are built for YOU!


Advance question submittal for this forum is now closed. Hear the audio recording of this forum HERE


City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, AARP of Idaho and our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Chair: Jane Suggs
Moderator: Jane Suggs
Forum: Looking to the Future with the Idaho National Laboratory
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:45 am- 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Dr. Mark Peters
Join City Club of Boise as we Look to the future with the Idaho National Laboratory on October 11th 2017.


Idaho National Laboratory Director Dr. Mark Peters will address the City Club of Boise about the INL’s nuclear research, clean energy work and emerging mission to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.


The lab, a staple of Eastern Idaho’s economy and identity, expects to see an expanded presence in Boise, with a cyber-security partnership with Boise State University, growing nuclear power research grants here and more.


What’s more, as 30 percent of INL’s workforce nears retirement age, the lab is investing in STEM education in Idaho schools and working to align university curriculum to meet industry needs — all in hopes of developing an Idaho talent pipeline that will help more Idahoans build a career in nuclear energy and cybersecurity research.


Dr. Mark Peters became director of Idaho National Laboratory on Oct. 1, 2015. He manages more than 4,000 scientists, engineers and support staff in multiple nuclear and non-nuclear experimental facilities, with an annual budget of over $900 million. Peters also serves as a senior adviser to the Department of Energy on nuclear energy technologies, research and development programs, and nuclear waste policy. As a recognized expert in nuclear fuel cycle technologies and nuclear waste management, he is called upon frequently to provide expert testimony to Congress and to advise in formulation of policies for nuclear fuel cycles, nonproliferation and nuclear waste disposal.


Listen here: Forum Recording


Members, be sure to log in to your account HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.



INL history:


City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, AARP of Idaho and our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Chair: Greg Hahn
Moderator: Bill Manny
Forum: Suicide Prevention in Idaho
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Jennie Rylee, John Reusser
Join City Club of Boise on September 12th for a forum highlighting suicide prevention in Idaho with guest speakers John Reusser, Director of Idaho Suicide Prevention hotline, and volunteer Jennie Rylee.


In 2015, 362 Idahoans died by suicide. Thousands more- maybe even someone you know- are looking for ways to end their pain. Resources for people looking for help have been limited. It was only in 2012 that the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline began, and was finally able to expand to 7 day a week, 24 hour a day availability in 2014. The hotline received about 1,300 calls each quarter in 2016.


Jennie Rylee is a long-time volunteer at the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline. An Idaho native, Jennie has both a family and a personal connection to suicide. She has chosen to overcome a difficult history by applying her experience to helping others who find themselves feeling suicidal, or who are in another form of emotional crisis. Jennie is typical of hotline volunteers in that she is not a counselor; rather she is a well-trained volunteer who devotes time to supporting hotline callers.


Idaho Native and founding Director John Reusser, LCSW, began his career in crisis intervention as a volunteer at the Crisis Clinic of King County in Seattle, becoming a trainer, paid phone worker and phone room supervisor there before returning to Idaho to work on the Region IV IDHW Mobile Crisis Unit and in the St. Alphonsus emergency department.  He is a member of the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, a board member of the Livewilder Foundation,  and  Certified ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Trainer.


Resources: Idaho Suicide Prevention website: Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline:1-208-398-4357 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare:


Advance question submittal for this forum is now closed. Hear the audio recording of this forum HERE


Members, be sure to log in to your account HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.


City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, AARP of Idaho and our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Exclusive Forum Sponsor:
Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Nicole Pantera
Forum: Pundits Panel-A Special Summer Edition
Thursday, August 3, 2017, 11:45 am -1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Kimberlee Kruesi, Justin Vaughn, and John Watts
Unusual times call for unusual actions. Such as a City Club summer political pundits forum!


Let’s face it. It’s been an uncommonly hectic few months on Capitol Hill, and it doesn’t look like things are likely to quiet down any time soon. And the 2018 Idaho elections are starting to get crowded, and a little bit chippy.


So join us on Aug. 3 to catch up — and learn what to watch for in the months ahead. We’ve assembled a great team of pundits to share their intel and answer your questions: Kimberlee Kruesi, political reporter with the Associated Press’ Boise bureau; Justin Vaughn, co-director of the Center for Idaho History and Politics at Boise State University; and John Watts, a lobbyist with Veritas Advisors in Boise.


Mark your calendars. Because every season — even summer — is political season.


Auido is not available for this past event.


Members, be sure to log in to your account HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.


City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.
Forum: A Perspective on The World's 'Huddled Masses', with Former Idaho Supreme Court Justice, Jim Jones
Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Former Idaho Chief Justice, Jim Jones


Join City Club and Former Idaho Chief Justice, Jim Jones, as he shares his perspective on ways to treat the world’s ‘huddled masses’.


Jim Jones became acquainted with the plight of war victims --refugees and orphans -- during his tour of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army in 1968-69.


His presentation draws on that experience in addressing why he believes the United States should keep its doors open to refugees and immigrants. Jones gives his perspective on why our country has a responsibility to provide refuge to war victims, including indigenous forces and interpreters who endangered their lives by helping U.S. troops.


He argues that it is in the national interest to maintain a policy of welcoming more legal immigrants to our country, as well as treating with compassion those who are productive residents even after having entered unlawfully.


Speaker Biography: Jim Jones is an Idaho native, who grew up on his family’s farm in Eden. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1964 and received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago in 1967. Jim served as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army, including a 13-month tour in Vietnam. He served as legislative assistant to former U.S. Senator Len B. Jordan for three years, commencing in 1970. He started a law practice in Jerome in 1973 and maintained it until he was elected as Idaho Attorney General in 1982. Jim served two elected terms as Attorney General. Following the completion of his second term, he established a private law practice in Boise, which he maintained until being elected to the Idaho Supreme Court in 2004. He was re-elected in 2010. Jim served as Chief Justice from August 2015 until his retirement from the Supreme Court in January 2017. Jim is currently an “of counsel” member of Parsons Behle & Latimer in Boise. He is married to Boise author Kelly Jones. They have three children and eight grandchildren.


Members, be sure to log in to your account HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.




City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Forum Sponsor:

Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Nikki Pantera
Forum: Capital Markets Discussion with PERSI, Led By CIO Bob Maynard
Thursday, June 15, 2017 11:45am - 1:15pm
Jordan Ballroom, Boise State University Student Union Building
Bob Maynard I PERSI Chief Investment Officer & panel of investment managers
Come hear Chief Investment Officer Bob Maynard and PERSI's team of investment managers discuss the global and national state of the economy, and take questions from the audience. Send forum questions ahead of time to City Club: Also, Bob will take questions from the audience during the forum.


Capture- Bob Maynard-PERSI June 15 2017Bob 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.


LOCATION: This forum will take place at Boise State University in the Jordan Ballroom, Find an interactive map for parking here, HERE.


Registration is available online upon account loginHERE ! If you have not been receiving City Club of Boise communications, you may want to contact the City Club office to update your email address on file.


Members, be sure to log in to your account HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.





City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contribtions made by MicronPerkins CoieEchelon Group.  We are please to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Exclusive Forum Sponsor:
Forum: The Business of Cannabis
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Shellie Nash, Huntington, Ore., Chamber of Commerce / Capt. Bill Gardiner, Idaho State Police / Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation
The Business of Cannabis


The face of cannabis – medical miracle or gateway drug?  Will it create crime or promote prosperity? Or something in between? In this City Club of Boise forum, you will hear three very different points of view on the business of cannabis.


After the legalization of cannabis in Oregon, the small town of Huntington and a population of fewer than 500 residents went through a decision making process. Shellie Nash will talk about how the sale of cannabis has brought a change to her community. She will walk us through Huntington’s decision making process and the benefits and concerns that her town is facing.


Captain Bill Gardiner of the Idaho State Police will provide a law enforcement perspective. He will talk about the impacts on the ISP and other law enforcement agencies — as a state surrounded by various forms of cannabis legalization, from recreational to medicinal.


Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation will talk about the need for Idaho citizens to have a public conversation on the issues surrounding cannabis. What are the benefits and what are the drawbacks? How can there be civil discourse when we refuse to even talk about these important issues?


Join the City Club as our panel discusses the business of cannabis and what it might mean to Idaho. Panelists include:
  • Shellie Nash, Huntington, Ore., Chamber of Commerce
  • Bill Gardiner, Idaho State Police
  • Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation


Members, be sure to log in to your account  HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.


City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Missed this forum, listen to it here!
Chair: Terri Ottens
Moderator: Kevin Richert
Forum: Bogus Basin at 75
Wednesday, February 22nd 2017, 11:45am -1:15pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Brad Wilson

Bogus Basin at 75

The Treasure Valleys favorite winter activity destination has a long and interesting history over the past 75 years, and a bright future ahead. Join us to learn more about Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area during our lunch forum with Brad Wilson.


In 1938, an energetic group of civic leaders led the charge to create a ski area in the mountains above Boise. With rousing support from citizens, the business community, the Forest Service, and city and state officials, the dream for Boise's very own ski area came to fruition when Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area opened in December 1942. From its inception, Bogus Basin was established as a non-profit community resource. It has grown to meet our community's changing needs and has gained national acclaim for its accessibility to all, regardless of income, age or physical abilities.


The organization's leadership has recently completed a comprehensive master plan that looks to the future. The focus is on enhancing the sustainability of the year-round mountain recreation area. Summer operations will grow and improvements will continue for the winter months, as well as providing opportunities for spring and fall recreation.


As the recreation area celebrates its 75th Anniversary, they remember the countless pioneers, families, and volunteers who made it happen, whose grit and spirit of community brought Bogus Basin to life. Now it's up to a new generation to ensure Bogus Basin lives on as the valley's favorite destination for recreation and all four seasons.


At this forum, Brad Wilson will provide insight into the last 75 years for Bogus Basin's history and dive into the upcoming future ahead for the favored winter activity destination.


About the Speaker: Brad Wilson became the seventh General Manager in Bogus Basin’s 74 year history in November, 2015.  He brought to our community a passion for skiing, mountain biking and the outdoors, and over thirty years’ experience in marketing, sales and master planning within the industry.  Brad relocated to Boise from Diamond Peak Ski Resort at Lake Tahoe where he served as general manager for four years.  Additionally, he has worked as the president and COO of Catalina Island Resort Services, Director of Marketing at Alpine Meadows, and held lead marketing roles at resorts on both the east and west coasts.With input from the community and guidance from industry experts SE Group, Brad is leading Bogus Basin through a strategic evolution, including the development of a detailed multi-season master plan --  a vision for the future that will assure the mountain’s long-term sustainability.


City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contribtions made by MicronPerkins CoieHawley Troxell, and Echelon Group.  We are please to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


To see and hear the recordings of previous forums in the Civility Series, visit


Members, be sure to log in to your account HERE when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. 208-364-4614 and staff can assist you.

Chair: Matt Cryer
Moderator: Greg Hahn
Forum: The Public's Health: is Idaho heading in the right direction?
Thursday, January 26th, 2017 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Christine Hahn

Public health has a long and interesting history of fighting infectious diseases, from yellow fever and malaria to cholera and typhoid fever. While these problems still exist, and public health agencies in Idaho continue to deal daily with whooping cough, tuberculosis, and influenza outbreaks, the scope of public health has expanded greatly to include cancer, heart disease, workplace health, and the impact of environmental problems.


New introductions of infectious diseases into the United States, such as the recent introductions of Ebola, Chikungunya, and Zika, grab headlines and must be prepared for and responded to; however, most Idahoans face more immediate and direct threats from non-infectious diseases, which in addition to heart disease and cancer, include drug addiction, accidental injuries, and suicide. What is the public health response to these conditions?  In Idaho, Dr. Christine Hahn has served as State Epidemiologist since 1998 and also serves as the Medical Director in the Division of Public Health, in the Department of Health and Welfare.


At this forum, Dr. Hahn will provide perspectives on public health challenges facing Idaho, including outbreaks of disease, rising obesity, suicide, and drug overdose rates; preparations and responses in Idaho, including the 2001 anthrax attacks followed by many calls for response to “white powder” incidents; the introduction of West Nile Virus in Idaho in 2003; the 2009 influenza pandemic; and preparations for other infectious and noninfectious threats. She will also discuss the current activities and challenges that public health agencies in Idaho face, and future directions in light of changing federal funding and national priorities.


About the Speaker:

Dr. Hahn is a Board Certified physician in Infectious Diseases. She attended medical school at Michigan State University, completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic’s Graduate School of Medicine, then completed a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center. After a 2-year training as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she became the Idaho state epidemiologist and now serves as the state’s Tuberculosis Controller and Medical Director of the Division of Public Health


Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Greg Hahn
2017 Pundits Forum
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Boise Centre
Melissa Davlin I Betsy Russell I William Spence I Jim Weatherby
It wouldn’t be a new legislative session without a bunch of big questions. Why should 2017 be any different? What will legislators do with a surplus of more than $100 million? Will they cut taxes — and, if so, whose taxes will get cut? Will teachers get $58 million in pay raises this year, or will politics get in the way? Will legislators address the plight of the 78,000 Idahoans in the Medicaid gap? Will legislators tighten up campaign finance laws? How will Donald Trump’s presidential agenda influence the debate at the Statehouse — on school choice, health care and public lands? And with the 2018 primaries only 17 months away, will posturing overshadow policy? To answer these questions, and many more, the City Club has assembled an all-star panel for its annual legislative pundits forum:
  • Melissa Davlin, co-host, “Idaho Reports.”
  • Betsy Russell, Spokane Spokesman-Review.
  • William Spence, Lewiston Tribune.
  • Jim Weatherby, Boise State University professor emeritus.
You won’t want to miss the City Club’s biggest forum of the year, so sign up today. One last question: Will the snark jar make a return appearance for the 2017 pundits forum? You’ll have to show up to find out!
Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Kevin Richert
Underwriters: Group One Sotheby's I Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
ACLU of Idaho
University of Washington School of Medicine/ Idaho WWAMI

2013 – 2016

Stimpson Award Forum: with Honorees, Congressman Mike Simpson and ICL Director Rick Johnson
Friday, December 9, 2016, 11:45-1:15 pm
Boise Centre East, downtown Boise
Congressman Mike Simpson I Idaho Conservation League Director Rick Johnson
Watch the video that attendees viewed, which provides an overview of the steps that led to the creation of the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness.  This is an excerpt from the Outdoor Idaho's hour long program, "Beyond the White Clouds". A conservative Republican congressman and a prominent environmentalist who put aside their differences to become partners in passing a sweeping Idaho wilderness bill are the 2016 recipients of City Club of Boise's Dottie and Ed Stimpson Award for Civic Engagement. Congressman Mike Simpson and ICL Director Rick Johnson will receive their award led an effort that involved many, collaborating over the course of 15 years to draft multiple wilderness proposals, build local consensus and then win national support. The bill creating three new wilderness areas totaling 275,665 acres passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in August 2015. In selecting Simpson and Johnson, Boise City Club cited the risks the two men took with their reputations and careers in taking on a controversial and often unpopular project; standing up to opposition sometimes from even their own supporters; demonstrating courage in the face of those risks to do what they believed was right for Idaho; and creating a model for how Idahoans and Americans can find resolution on divisive environmental and political issues. This forum, moderated by Bill Manny, will be held in the 4th floor ballroom in the new Boise Centre East. Parking is in nearby downtown garages. See HERE for location details and a map. The program will begin at 11:50 am, with a segment of Idaho Public Television's brand new show about the Boulder White Cloud while guests enjoy a plated, served meal. When you register, please indicate your menu selection. If you have specific dietary needs, please contact City Club at 208-371-2221 or by email. Congressman Mike Simpson and ICL Director Rick Johnson in the Boulder White Clouds, with Castle Peak in the background. Congressman Mike Simpson and ICL Director Rick Johnson in the Boulder White Clouds, with Castle Peak in the background. The formal presentation and program will begin at 12:15 pm. We will adjourn at 1:15 pm. About our 2016 award winners Congressman Mike Simpson was elected this week to his 10th term representing eastern Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District. Simpson was born in Burley, raised in Blackfoot and followed his father into dentistry. He was elected to the Blackfoot City Council in 1980 and to the Idaho Legislature in 1984, rising to become Idaho House speaker before his election to Congress in 1998. Idaho Conservation League Director Rick Johnson worked first as an ICL volunteer and has been director of the group for more than 20 years, growing the nonprofit to a $1.9 million budget and a staff of 20. He grew up in upstate New York, and has worked as a forklift driver in a lumberyard and has run his own construction company. He says his work frequently takes him into the wilderness of Washington, D.C., as well as the wilderness of Idaho. He began working on protections for the Boulder and White Cloud mountains in 1983.
Chair: Bill Manny
Moderator: Bill Manny
Civility Series Forum: Downtown Boise's Renaissance
Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 11;45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Ryan Armbruster I Governor Dirk Kempthorne I Skip Oppenheimer I Dr. Konya Cipul Weber

Downtown Boise wasn’t always what it is today. In fact, it almost wasn’t a traditional Downtown at all. In the 1970s, one faction wanted Downtown to become a regional mall; another faction wanted the mall in the suburbs. Boise’s redevelopment agency prepared for a mall by tearing blocks of historic buildings. A 1974 Harper’s Magazine summed it up this way: “Tearing Down Boise.”

But this City Club forum explores the role of civil discourse and collaboration in guiding wise business decisions, and that’s what prevailed in Boise. Then-Mayor Dirk Kempthorne appointed two leaders from opposing mall camps, and the redevelopment agency commissioned a study. Its recommendations became a road map to recovery. The first: Create a public gathering place. The popular and enduring Grove Plaza was the result. Then followed the convention center, the redesign of 8th Street as a pedestrian corridor, a business improvement district and new and better sidewalks. The mall, when it was built, was 4 1/2 miles from Downtown.

And the renaissance of Downtown Boise continued. It wasn’t always a success – the 21-year blight at Main and 8th streets being the most notable failure. But in 2014, the tallest building in Idaho rose at that corner, and the new Idaho headquarters of Zions Bank is now a Downtown success story. In fact, in 2016, Downtown Boise has more than $500 million worth of construction under way, with $100 million planned or approved and $600 million more in the works.

This City Club Civility Project forum will highlight community cooperation, public and private leadership, thoughtful planning and an attractive regulatory climate. We’ll explore the approach that turned a Downtown deserted in the 1970s into a frequent star on U.S. Top 10 lists, including’s Top Downtowns. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About the Speakers

Ryan Armbruster

Mr. Armbruster joined the law firm of Elam & Burke in 1979. After graduating from University of Denver Law School, he worked for three years in the office of the Boise City Attorney and acted as Deputy City Attorney.

Mr. Armbruster’s major practice areas involve municipal law, redevelopment work on behalf of urban renewal agencies, and municipal financing. He is responsible for providing legal services to Capital City Development Corporation, Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency, Jerome Urban Renewal Agency, Garden City Urban Renewal Agency, Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency, and Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency, among others. He has been instrumental in the implementation of Idaho’s Urban Renewal Law and Economic Development Act. As legal counsel to the various urban renewal agencies, Mr. Armbruster guides each agency through plan implementation, plan amendments, statutory compliance, financing, property acquisition, and property development.

Governor Dirk Kempthorne

Governor Kempthorne was born in San Diego, California, but has called Idaho his home state for most of his life. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Governor Kempthorne was elected as Mayor of Boise in 1985, to the United States Senate in 1992 and was elected Governor of Idaho in 1998. He and re-elected as Governor in 2002. In 2006, Governor Kempthorne was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as the 49th Secretary of the Interior, charged with resurrecting the Department’s tradition of responsible stewardship of public lands. Governor Kempthorne has also served as Chairman of the National Governors Association and the Western Governors Association, and was President of the Council of State Governments.

He was appointed president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) in November 2010. As president and CEO of ACLI, Governor Kempthorne is the chief representative and spokesman for the life insurance industry before Congress, the administration and in all state capitals. In October 2014, Governor Kempthorne was elected chairman of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) for a two-year term. GFIA represents 41 insurance trade associations from around the world on a broad range of issues affecting the international insurance industry.

Arthur “Skip” Oppenheimer

Skip Oppenheimer is currently Chairman/CEO of Oppenheimer Companies, Inc., President of Oppenheimer Development Corporation and Chairman of several affiliated corporations. Mr. Oppenheimer graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA in 1972; the University of Idaho with a BA in history in 1968; and received a Degree Elementaire and a Certificat De Langue Francaise – Niveau Elementaire in 1967 from the Sorbonne, University of Paris, France.

Skip serves on the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco, Salt Lake City Branch. Skip was the initial Chair of the Board for St. Luke’s Health System in 2006 and served again as Board Chair from 2014-2016. He is the founding Chair of Idaho Business for Education. He also serves as a Board and Executive Committee member of University of Washington Medicine and Chairs the Strategy Committee. He is a member of the Boy Scouts of America National Board, Executive Committee and National VP/HR. He was Co-Chair of the Community College “Yes” campaign which led to the formation of College of Western Idaho. He has chaired numerous other organizations including the Governor’s Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup, the Idaho Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Co-Chaired the Governor’s Coordinating Council for Families and Children. Skip served as the Chair of the Boise Metro Area Chamber of Commerce in 1993-1994. The Chamber Leadership Conference was started during his tenure. Skip has received numerous awards including: Ralph J. Comstock Jr., Light of Philanthropy Award by St. Lukes Foundation, the Boy Scouts Silver Antelope and Silver Buffalo Awards, Idaho Hospital Association Trustee of the Year, Idaho Voices for Children’s Champion Award, Rotary Ethics in Business Honoree and March of Dimes Real Estate Award for Community Service.

Dr. Konya Cipul Weber

Dr. Weber is a Professor of Marketing/MIS, and Chair for the Department of Business & Economics in the School of Business at Northwest Nazarene University. Her degrees include a PhD in Business Administration from Touro University International with a specialization in Management Information Systems, an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University with a specialization in Marketing, a BA in Business Administration and a BA in Psychology from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Prior to teaching, Dr. Weber held corporate marketing management positions at architectural and engineering firms in the Philadelphia area and worked with various companies such as IBM, Merck, AT&T, DuPont, Delta Airlines and other Fortune 500 companies. Her responsibilities involved department management, technical selling, advertising, technical writing, proposal writing, and public relations events. Upon moving to Idaho, she changed her focus to software-training and consulted with various businesses such as HP, Washington Group International, Department of Education, College of Idaho, and State Farm.

Chair: Karen Sander
Moderator: Dr. BIll Russell
The Influence of Exile: human consequences of Homelessness
Thursday, November 10, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Sara Rankin

Belonging is a fundamental human need. Equally strong is the drive to exclude. This exclusive impulse, which Professor Rankin calls “the influence of exile,” reaches beyond individuals when powerful groups use laws and policies to restrict marginalized group. Jim Crow, Anti-Okie, and Sundown Town laws are among many notorious examples. The impulse has found a new incarnation in laws that criminalize and eject visibly poor people, including the homeless, from public spaces.

Professor Rankin is a national expert with an intimate familiarity with Boise. She attended Highlands Elementary School, North Junior High School and Boise High School and fondly remembers skiing at Bogus Basin, tubing the Boise River and eating pizza at the beloved Brass Lamp (Highlands Hollow today).

A professor at Seattle University School of Law, Rankin also is founder of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project that among its work conducts research on visibly poor people. Rankin argues against the use of the criminal justice system as a response to visible poverty, which she says hurts not just the poor and the homeless, but society as a whole.

At this forum, supported by the ACLU of Idaho, Professor Rankin will provide perspectives to consider as Boise and the Treasure Valley work to address homelessness, and she will respond to questions from attendees.

 To be guaranteed lunch, please register by noon, Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

About the Speaker:

Professor Sara Rankin teaches lawyering skills, including applied legal analysis, legal research and writing, general principles of trial and appellate procedure and advocacy, and homeless rights advocacy at Seattle University School of Law.

Professor Rankin is also the founder and Director of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP).  Through HRAP, Professor Rankin oversees various projects to advance the civil, constitutional, and human rights of visibly poor people.  HRAP also builds partnerships across a broad range of disciplines with community members, advocates, academic institutions, and other stakeholders.

Each year, HRAP releases a series of new reports that continue the group's groundbreaking research into laws that unfairly target the visibly poor. HRAP’s reports examine the impacts of increasingly popular laws and policies that criminalize homelessness, such as prohibitions on sitting, standing and sleeping in public; living in vehicles; sweeps of tent encampments; pet ownership standards; and barriers to access at emergency shelters. HRAP’s research not only identifies problematic laws and policies, but also offers effective, legally sound alternatives.  HRAP’s award-winning work has been praised by legal aid organizations, services providers, non-profits, city officials, and street activist organizations for its impact.

Chair: Dr. Julie Robinson
Moderator: Bill Manny
Underwriters: ACLU of Idaho
Civility Series: Unfiltered Politics
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 11;45 am - 1:15 pm
Grove Hotel
Bruce Newcomb I Ilana Rubel I Steve Shaw

On this much we can agree: 2016 has been a presidential election year like none other.

Newsy and noisy. And often more focus on persona than policy.

So, is this election a fluke?

Or a foreshadowing of things to come?

Join City Club of Boise as our panel puts this political season into context — and discusses the role of civility in elections.

Panelists include: Bruce Newcomb, director of government relations at Boise State University, and the former speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Ilana Rubel, an attorney and member of the Idaho House of Representatives Steve Shaw, a political science professor at Northwest Nazarene University.

Bring your questions about this election — and elections to follow. We know you have them.

Chair: Kevin Richert
Moderator: Kevin Richert
Idaho Falls City Club: Idaho Supreme Court Candidates
Friday, September 23, 2016
Idaho Falls City Club
Robyn Brody I Curt McKenzie
September 23, the Idaho Falls City Club invited the remaining candidates for Idaho Supreme Court, Robyn Brody and Curt McKenzie, to debate. City Club of Boise is pleased to share that audio with Boise area listeners.
Civility Series Forum: Civility and the Courts
Monday, October 3, 2016 11;45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Justice Burdick I Norma Jaeger I Judge Mike Reardon I Judge Tim Hansen

Download the Q & A from the panel HERE. This document is a PDF. (cityclubcivilityandcourts-oct-3-memberquestions)

The U.S. legal system provides a series of rules, including codes of ethical conduct that require civility from judges, lawyers, and anyone who comes before a court. Courts and lawyers function as civil facilitators, seeking to resolve difficult problems in our society. Our legal system requires significant time and expense for society and for the individual. Ideally, the individual does not end up in the courts again.

How are courts ensuring people, including those who are most vulnerable, have adequate access to this system? Can we ensure the system provides solutions, especially for problems people cannot seem to solve on their own? Can the system solve long-lasting societal issues – such as recidivism?

One tool courts have created in recent years is the problem-solving court. In 1998, Idaho’s first such court, a drug court, began in Kootenai County. Today, many counties across Idaho have adopted this model to address drug and mental health related problems. How did these courts come to be? Do they work and how do they work?

At this forum, we will hear from a  panel that includes those closest to the development and operation of these problem-solving courts, with Justice Roger Burdick, Norma Jaeger, Judge Timothy Hansen, and Judge Michael Reardon, answering these questions and more.

Panelists include:

Justice Roger S. Burdick has served as a justice of the Idaho Supreme Court since 2003.  Prior to his service on the Supreme Court, Justice Burdick served as a district judge and a magistrate judge. Justice Burdick will speak about steps the courts have taken to improve access to the courts and to improve outcomes and solutions for individuals seeking justice.

Norma D. Jaeger, M.S. has spent more than 30 years developing and managing public mental health treatment programs as well as alcohol and drug use prevention and treatment programs throughout the Northwest. She serves as the Idaho Supreme Court’s statewide drug court and mental health court coordinator. Ms. Jaeger will speak about the history and background of problem-solving courts.

Judge Timothy Hansen is a district judge for the Fourth Judicial District in Ada County. Judge Hansen helped establish and is currently the presiding judge for the Ada County Veterans Court. Judge Hansen will speak about his experience as a presiding judge hearing mental health court matters, as well as for Ada County Felony Drug Court.

Judge Michael Reardon serves a district judge in the Fourth Judicial District and presided over the Ada County Mental Health Court from 2010 through 2014.  He will assume the responsibility of presiding over the Ada County Veteran's Court later this month. Judge Reardon will speak about his experience as a magistrate in traditional family and criminal law courts and with mental health and veteran’s courts.

The Civility Project is supported in part by grants from the Idaho Humanities Council, and Idaho Power.

City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene University, Peppershock Media, Red Sky Public Relations, and Spink Butler, LLP. Recordings are made possible thanks to our partners at Idaho Public Television and Boise State Public Radio. To see and hear the recordings of previous forums in the Civility Series, visit Members, be sure to log in to your account when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. If you have difficulty, call 208-371-2221 and staff can assist you.

Visit our YouTube channel to see an overview of City Club of Boise and our forums.

Moderator: Nicole Pantera
Underwriters: available
Civility Series Forum: from local government to national politics
Monday, August 8, 2016, 11:45 am - 1;15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Senator James Risch

From his first elected position as a county prosecutor through three decades in the Idaho Legislature, stints as lieutenant governor and governor, and now the U.S. Senate, Sen. Jim Risch has witnessed more than 45 years of governance. He has won (and lost) some of the most storied political campaigns in Idaho's recent history. He has tackled many of the most controversial issues facing Idaho — from roadless areas and sales taxes during his short time as governor, to national security and environmental policy in the U.S. Senate. Over those years, and during those debates and discussions, Risch has worked with people from a wide array of backgrounds and beliefs — and, in turn, Risch has been characterized in myriad ways. He'll share his perspective what civility means in politics at all levels, what has changed and what may be to come. We hope you will join us for this first of two forums exploring civility in the political arena. The second is being planned for October, and will include a panel of guests.

The City Club of Boise was founded on a simple motto: “Nothing happens until people start talking.”

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Monday’s City Club forum featuring Sen. Jim Risch. A number of people have said the City Club should never have invited Risch to discuss civility in politics.

We respectfully disagree.

We at City Club put a great deal of thought into this forum, as we do with all of our events. We have also wrestled with what civility means, and what a year of civility-related events should look like.

We came to believe that civility does not mean unanimity. Or the absence of conflict. Or coalescing around convenient compromise.

Civility comes down to a safe climate, one that allows people to discuss tough issues and confront their differences in core beliefs.

Our forums committee believed, and believes, that it was important to hear Risch’s perspective — because he works in the midst of the public policy arena, on Idahoans’ behalf. Risch has spent 45 years in the public arena. Risch has a reputation for being uncompromising, although he has crafted compromise. He has won and lost elections, based in no small part on his public image and his persona.

The City Club has sought as many points of view as possible on the topic of civility, because it is so important to the public process. We don’t expect any of our speakers to speak on City Club’s behalf — and we don’t expect any of our speakers to provide a lecture on how to behave. Rather, we wanted to explore the importance of civil discourse in many settings: the political arena, our schools, our courts, our churches and our social media feeds.

We wanted to start a community conversation. We certainly accomplished that.

To those who attended Monday’s forum, we thank you and hope you found it worthwhile. To those who didn’t, we remind you that you can catch a rebroadcast on Boise State Public Radio at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

We did not grant Risch the first word on civility, nor the last. We have held six events on this topic so far this year. We have more events in the works, including an October panel discussion on the presidential race. If you would like to check out the Civility Project in full, you can listen to past forums at

As we now say at City Club, “Things happen when people start talking.” We hope this conversation continues.

Chair: Greg Hahn
Moderator: Greg Hahn
Forum: Civility and Faith, a forum in the civility project series
Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Beth Brisbane Harbison I Susie Pouliot I Phillip Thompson I Jon Young

Are our churches, synagogues and mosques havens of civility and calm in a tumultuous world? How do members of faith communities deal with internal conflict? How do they hold fast to their core beliefs while engaging, in a civil manner, with people who hold differing beliefs?

As part of our ongoing Civility Project, the City Club will explore how our faith communities deal with controversial or contentious issues. We will engage with a panel of lay leaders of different faiths to talk about how civil discourse works, or doesn’t work, within and among places of worship. And as always, your questions are welcome.

Beth Brisbane Harbison is co-director of education and teen adviser at Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel. Prior to becoming a religious educator, Beth taught and consulted in public and private schools in New York, California, North Carolina, and Idaho.

Susie Pouliot is the CEO of the Idaho Medical Association. She is an active member of the Cathedral of the Rockies/ First United Methodist Church, serving as a member of the church council, chairperson of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee, co-chair of Connecting Cathedral Women, leadership team for the Women’s Winter Gathering and a hospitality team member for the 11:30 service.

Phillip Thompson is a sixth-generation Idahoan and past president of the Islamic Center of Boise. He is currently the director and board president of the Idaho Black History Museum that is housed in what was the first African American church in Idaho, St. Paul Baptist Church, founded by his great great grandfather. Before his current position with the museum he had a career in IT and owns a small IT company. He is also a local coach with Vista-PAL boxing

Jon Young is an engineer at Micron and a U.S. Army veteran. Jon is an active member of the Rosecreek Ward, Boise Idaho West Stake. His church callings include assistant scout leader, Sunday school teacher, gospel doctrine teacher, stake missionary and in various ward young men's and elder's quorum presidencies.

Chair: Jane Suggs
Moderator: Kevin Richert
Forum: The Zoo-- its changing role in the modern world
Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Steve Burns, Zoo Director, Zoo Boise

Steve Burns has been the Executive Director of the Friends of Zoo Boise since 1997 and the Zoo Director since 2001. His background in conservation biology, sustainable development, and business administration provide him with the skills to lead the Zoo as it celebrates it's 100th Year Celebration in 2016. Steve led the efforts to reinvent the mission of Zoo Boise—implementing the first model in the country where visiting a zoo actually helps conservation efforts for animals in Idaho and around the world through a conservation fee included in admission prices.

Steve will introduce you to the role of the zoo in the modern world – always a greatSteve Burns Photo place to come with the family and have a good time, and a great place to come and learn about animals—but, today, Zoo Boise serves a dual role as it works to help protect animals in the wild. You’ll learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts, the projects that are in the works, and if you get there early—you’ll meet some of the Zoo Boise inhabitants who will visit before the program begins!

Chair: Sally Long
Moderator: Jane Suggs
Underwriters: Perkins Coie, LLP
McClendon Engineering, Inc.
Forum: Powering the next century, with Idaho Power's Darrel Anderson
Thursday, June 16, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Darrel Anderson, CEO

IPC_Preferred.cropIdaho Power is celebrating its 100th year anniversary, and while CEO Anderson reflects on the company's past, he is busy planning for the future. All power companies face challenges including restrictions on fossil fuels, impacts of climate change, and the need to integrate power from a wide range of independent producers.

At this lunch forum on Thursday, June 16, Anderson will discuss how Idaho Power plans to continue to meet the energy needs of the public in an ever-changing regulatory environment. He will also talk about energy efficiency and sustainability.

Register: HERE

Darrel Anderson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of IDACORP and Idaho Power. Anderson began working for Idaho Power in 1996 (and IDACORP since its inception in 1998). Since then, his positions with the company have included controller, vice president of finance, treasurer, chief financial officer, senior vice president and executive vice president of Administration.

A graduate of Oregon State University, Anderson has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance, and has completed the Harvard Graduate School of Business Advance Management Program. He serves on the boards of St. Alphonsus Health System and the Women's and Children's Alliance.

Chair: Nikki Wallace
Moderator: Nicole Pantera
Underwriters: Perkins Coie LLP
FORUM: Hikers, bikers, horse riders, runners, oh my- can there be civility on the trail?
Monday, May 16, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Dave Gordon I Drew Stoll I Steve Stuebner
Ridge to Rivers Trail Etiquette Brochure

Say HowdyRear Brake Rodney

Nearly every Idahoan who enjoys the out-of-doors has a story to tell about an encounter on our public lands that was less than civil. When we meet on the trail, it is easy for conflicts to arise between users. What is appopriate in various situatinos? Can trails be designed or managed to minimize conflicts? What are the most common violations of the "rules of the trail"?  Can civility and endorphins mix? This forum is a collaboration between the Idaho Environmental Forum, City Club and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP), and is part of City Club's ongoing Civility Project series.

Drew Stoll, of Great Outdoors Consultants, has worked as a trail and parks professional for 23 years. He helped design trails and parks across the West, and even in Central America. He joins us via the SORP national conference (meeting in Boise this week).

Two local experts will provide context from the Treasure Valley. Dave Gordon has been the manager of the Ridge to Rivers trail system since 2004. He has heard and seen it all with regard to trails issues. Steve Stuebner may be the ultimate trail users, having written local guidebooks for hiking and trail running, mountain biking and even paddling Idaho's rivers. He was the founding prodient of the Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association in 1992, and is the past president of the Idaho Trails Council.

Bring your trail stories and etiquette questions for the experts, and find out how Idaho fares in terms of civility on the trail.

IEF members may register at the City Club member rate by contacting City Club.

Moderator: Dick Gardner
Forum: Candidates for Idaho Supreme Court
Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Four individuals seeking to replace retiring Chief Justice Jones
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise
The Idaho Supreme Court is the highest court in the state and the final work on the laws of Idaho - our "court of last resort." Five justices sit on the Court, which issued over 100 opinions in 2015 and more than 40 so far in 2016, on a wide variety of issues including appeals of criminal maters, employment law disputes, planning and zoning appeals, family law disputes involving child custody, worker's compensations claims and contract disputes. In addition, the Court is responsible for superivsing and administering the state court system, including the trial courts and the Court of Appeals. On May 17, voters will decide among the four candidates vying to fill the seat of retiring Chief Justice Jones; the winner will serve a six year term on the bench. The candidates are:
  • Robyn Brody, Rupert attorney
  • Sergio Gutierrez, Court of Appeals Judge
  • Curt McKenzie, Senator (R-Nampa)
  • Clive Strong, Deputy Attorney General
In this forum, you will hear from each candiate looking to fill the seat and have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.
Chair: Nicole Pantera
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Civility Series Forum: When Social Media turns Antisocial
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Lisa Jenkins I Lisa McGrath I Liza Long
In our ongoing look at civility in various aspects of our lives, on April 27th we turn our attention to the wild world of social media. How has the proliferation of social channels and platforms changed the way we engage with each other? What have we learned...and what does the future hold? The forum will feature a panel of individuals with extensive (and different) experience in this arena.  
  • Lisa Jenkins is the Managing Editor and Social Team Member of the Social Media Examiner. She will discuss how marketers and businesses try to create civility in discussions on their channels
  • Lisa McGrath, a New Media Attorney, helps us understand the repercussions and recourses when people get uncivil online
  • Liza Long, Author/ Mental Health Advocate, will share insights and experiences when your words go viral and spark national dialogue- both civil and uncivil.
  To register, go HERE. Members, in order to receive the discounted member rate (at the end of the registration process), you must be logged in to your personal account. Your current membership status will be shown when you log in.  If you have any questions, please call Julia at 208-794-6687.  You may register online and indicate you are mailing a check, as well.
Chair: Jess Flynn
Moderator: Kevin Richert
FORUM: Treefort Music Festival
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Lori Shandro Outen I Ryan Peck I Ron Lester
Happy Treefort! In only its fifth year, Treefort Music Fest has taken the City of Boise, and in fact the entire Northwest, by storm. Featuring over 400 local, national and international musical artists, plus other "forts" -- like Yogafort, Alefort, Hackfort, Kidfort, Storyfort, and Filmfort-- Treefort Music Fest has become, as Boise Weekly put it, "Boise's preeminent artistic, cultural and musical happening." Our City Club audience will hear from, and ask questions of:
  • Treefort founder Lori Shandro Outen
  • musician, educator and Boise Rock School co-founder Ryan Peck
  • past Potentate of the El Korah Shrine, Ron Lester. 
They will discuss how Treefort has changed Boise's music and cultural scene, and quickly become part of Boise's "brand".
Chair: Jane Suggs
Moderator: Greg Hahn
Civility Project Forum: Our Schools- an Incubator for Civility?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 6:30 pm - 8 pm
South Junior High School, 3101 Cassia St, Boise
Janet Cherry I Isabel Cortens I Tamara Fredrickson I Stephanie Myers
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

For our children, schools can provide a daily exposure to a civil structure- or an uncivil one.

Can our schools serve as an incubator for civil discourse? City Club of Boise begins our 2016 Civility Project by going back to school. Our forum will look at what schools are doing to foster a respectful climate, and what they can do. We'll examine civility in schools on several fronts- including character education, discussing controversial topics in the classroom, and modeling behaviors that cultivate civility among staff and students alike.

Add your voice to the discussion on the evening of March 8, for the launch of our Civility Project forums. Our panel includes:

  • Janet Cherry  West Junior High School principal
  • Isabel Cortens Timberline High School senior/ Boise Public Schools Foundation student director
  • Tamara Fredrickson Boise School District Student Services administrator
  • Stephanie Meyers Special Education teacher/ Boise Education Association president

Please note:

  • This forum will be held in the evening, at South Junior High School's auditorum, at 3101 Cassia St, Boise, from 7 - 8 pm. Doors will open at 6:30 pm.
  • There is no charge for this forum. However, seating is limited, and pre-registration is requested.

You may use our online registration form, if you are not a City Club member, you may select 'mail a check or contact Julia to arrange payment' and you will not be charged. You may also send your name, phone number and email to the City Club office, at 208-371-2221 or  Please include March 8 Civility Forum in the subject of your email.

The Civility Project is made possible by City Club members and grants from Idaho Power Company and the Idaho Humanities Council, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit our YouTube channel to see an overview of City Club of Boise and our forums.

Chair: Russ Heller
Moderator: Bill Russell
Underwriters: Idaho Humanities Council
Idaho Power
Forum: What is Boise's Plan for Homeless Services?
Wednesday, February 10th, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Diana Lachiondo / Peg Richards / Dr. Andrew Baron
Forum handouts: 1. City of Boise. NEWSRELEASE 02.09.16 Housing First 2. FEB.2016 - HomelessnessSurvey.BSU Summary The issue of how to address homelessness in Boise and surrounding areas has been headline news the last few weeks. Other places, such as Utah, have successfully solved the problem of homelessness for the most vulnerable. However, solutions are not easy to come by, and require community collaboration and financial support. This City Club forum will begin with remarks by three different speakers on positive approaches to reduce homelessness, particularly for those who are most vulnerable. Speakers are: Diana Lachiondo,Diane.Lachiandorepresenting Mayor Bieter;Peg Richards Peg Richards, incoming president of the Boise and Ada County Homeless Coalition; and Dr. Andrew Baron, medical director Dr. Andrew Baronof Terry Reilly Health Services, whose medical specialty is homeless individuals.
Chair: Dr. Julie Robinson
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: available
City Club Civility Project After Hours: Civility Over Time: An Overview
Thursday, January 28, 2016, 5:30 pm - 7 pm
Boise State University in BoDo, 301 S Capitol Blvd, the corner of Capitol and Front
Steve Shaw / Stephanie Witt / Alex Jackson
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

How will the breakdown in civil discourse affect this year's presidential elections?

How did we get to where we are now?

And is this unprecedented?

Join City Club of Boise on January 28th as we launch our yearlong Civility Project by looking at the public debate, from an academic perspective. Our panel will examine the importance of public discourse, through their disciplines of political science and philosophy. We'll look at the history of civil discourse, and look ahead to the looming presidential race.

Join us for an informal and informative conversation. And a timely one.

Cost is $20 per person. Beer, wine, soft drinks and light appetizers will be served, and your first drink is on us. This event is limited to 100 guests, reserved your space by noon on Wednesday, January 27th.

Email: or call 208-371-2221 and leave your name, phone number and number of guests you wish to register.

Open to City Club members and non-members. Walk up registration will be on a space available basis. Preregistration is preferred.

Our panel:

Steve Shaw, Northwest Nazarene University, professor of political science

Stephanie Witt, Boise State University, department of public policy and administration

Alex Jackson, Boise State University, professor of philosophy

2016 Pundits Forum
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Boise Centre
Dr. Jim Weatherby I Melissa Davlin I Betsy Russell
Whenever the Idaho Legislature comes to town, there's plenty to talk about. 2016 will be no exception:
  • Do lawmakers take another run at tax cuts?
  • Do they pump more money into teacher pay and school district coffers?
  • Do they add to last year's effort to invest in an ever growing backlog of needed road & bridge improvements, and include public transportation?
  • Will they address the lack of access to primary care for 78,000 uninsured Idahoans?
  • Will they continue to add dollars to Idaho's two 'Defense" funds? The Governor has said he'll request another $1 million for the older fund.
  • How do election-year politics- especially the Republican presidential primary in early March- affect the mix?
  • Are there sleeper issues on the horizon (such as the child support debate from 2015)?
Get your early-session "intel" and insight into the 2016 legislative session- with a few asides and one-liners thrown in for good measure! You won't want to miss the City Club's annual legislative pundits forum, feature the Spokesman Review's Betsy Russell, Idaho PTV's Melissa Davlin, and BSU professor emeritus Dr. Jim Weatherby.


Sponsor this forum, and show your support for City Club, civil discourse, and thoughtful exploration of issues with the nearly 600 who attend, as well as the thousands more that listen to the radio broadcast.

Call Julia at 208-371-2221 to learn more.

Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Kevin Richert
Underwriters: ACLU of Idaho
Regence Blue Shield of Idaho
Forum: A Conversation with Gordon Jones, Dean of Boise State's College of Innovation and Design
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Mr. Gordon Jones
In the face of disruptive forces, what can higher education do to ensure its relevance, and how has Boise State attempted to position itself for the next 5, 10 or 20 years? At this forum, Gordon Jones, founding Dean of the College of Innovation and Design, will share his thoughts and reflections in this time of rapid change. Following his remarks, Gordon will respond to audience questions. The College of Innovation and Design is focused on identifying new pathways of learning that will provide students across Boise State University with the skills that meet emerging workplace needs. Prior to his role at Boise State, Gordon served as the Evans Family Foundation Managing Director of the Harvard Innovatino Lab. Hired as the inaugural Directo in 2011, he launched the i-lab as a new model of student learning. Gordon graduated with a BA from Brown University and earned an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Chair: Matt Cryer
Moderator: Jessica Flynn
Forum: Candidates for Mayor of Boise
Monday, October 26, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Dave Bieter I Judy Peavey-Derr I Seth Holden
Boise residents will have three mayor candidates to choose from when they go to the polls this November. Seth HoldS.Holdenen is a student at Boise State University, double-majoring in French and technical communication. Judy Peavey-Derr Judy Peavey-Derr has served as an Ada County Commissioner, an Ada County Highway District Commissioner, and is presently on the board of the Greater Boise Auditorium District. Mayor Bieter Dave Bieter is the incumbent, having been first elected as mayor in 2003, after serving in the Idaho House of Representatives. On October 26th, City Club of Boise is pleased to give voters a chance to hear from all three at this moderated forum, as the candidates explain where they stand on issues significant to the community. As with all City Club forums, attendees may submit written questions to the moderator.
Chair: Kevin Richert I Nikki Wallace
Moderator: Greg Hahn
Forum: A Conversation with University of Idaho President Chuck Staben
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
the Grove Hotel
President Chuck Staben

Boise City Club_Continuing the Conversation_College Scorecard

On March 1, 2014, the University of Idaho welcomed it's 18th president, Mr. Chuck Staben. Join the City Club for this forum to learn how President Staben hopes to achieve university goals for increasing enrollment and offering more Idaho students the opportunity for a transformative education. President Staben has focused the university's research mission on "ideas that matter"- discovery and innovation that expands our knowledge of the world and changes how we live. He has committed to building a team at the University of Idaho where the best and brightest faculty and staff come together to help the university and our state reach new heights. President Staben also leads UI's fundraising mission, and recently the university successfully concluded the Inspiring Future: Invest in the University of Idaho campaign, which created 153 new student scholarships and 20 new faculty endowments, positioning the university to deliver excellence in teaching and learning for years to come. Since he became president, the university budget has improved while tuition increased by the lowest percentage in 10 years. President Staben seeks to lead Idaho's land-grant institution of higher education with energy and vision, helping our state grow and prosper. He previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of South Dakota, and as associate vice president for research and vice president at the University of Kentucky, where for 19 years he also taught biology, microbiology, genetics and bioinformatics.

Chair: Rich Garber
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Welcoming Refugees to Boise: Impact, Infrastructure, Integration
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Mr. Jan Reeves, Idaho Office for Refugees Director I Ms. Traci Harrod, St Alphonsus' Center for Global Health and Healing Health Advisor Coordinator

Boise is one of nearly 200 cities across 48 states that participates in the US Federal Refugee Resettlement Program. Each year, roughly 1,000 international refugees resettle in Idaho, about 70% in Boise. After severe hardships in their homeland, these refugees seek to create a new life by resettling in Idaho, encountering a range of opportunities and challenges unfamiliar to most of us.

Newly arriving refugees receive an initial health screen and up to eight months of federally funded financial and medical assistance. They are required to participate in English and job readiness classes to promote self-sufficiency, and are expected to find employment as soon as possible; all while recovering from circumstances that led to their displacement. A growing refugee community in Boise and Idaho after 40 years of resettlement has given us new Idahoans with perspectives, talents and diversity that adds international flavor, but also brings impacts and infrastructure pressures that comes with any population growth.

The Idaho Office for Refugees, directed by Mr. Jan Reeves, is a leading agency in this effort, working with federal, state, and city programs to help incoming refugees successfully establish themselves and integrate into the community.

Saint Alphonsus' Center for Global Health and Healing addresses continuing needs of families resettled in Boise. Ms. Traci Harrod, as the Center's Health Advisory Coordinator, coordinates a program that offers transition support, guidance, and medical assistance to refugee families beyond their initial eight months of federal assistance.

Chair: Richard Newman
Moderator: Dr. Jim Weatherby
Forum: Pre-K in Idaho, What does the future hold?
Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 11:45 am-1:15 pm
Grove Hotel
Beth Oppenheimer I Representative Christy Perry

Idaho is one of only six states that does not fund pre-kindergarten, with even conservative states such as Mississippi and Utah launching pre-K programs.

Is 2016 the year Idaho will follow suit? And what political obstacles stand in tPlay dough gamehe way?

Join City Club of Boise on August 26th, for a forum examining the prospects and the politics of  pre-K.

You will hear from Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, and Representative Christy Perry, R-Nampa, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Both have supported previous pre-K bills at the Idaho Statehouse-- and will provide an inside look at the issue heading into the next BethOppenheimerClegislative session.Perry1174

Chair: Julie Robinson
Moderator: Greg Hahn
Forum: Boise's Basque community: A Continuing History
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 11:45 am- 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
John Bieter I John Ysursa
This month, Basques from across the world will come to Boise for Jaialdi. Boise also welcomes La Liga's Athletic Club de Bilbao for a professional friendly soccer match with Liga MX's Club Tijuana. But Boise's ties to the Basque community-- and the Basque community's ties to Boise-- transcend celebration and soccer. How did the Basque community come to Boise? What does the future hold? And what is the significance of Jaialdi? Join City Club for an insider's view of Boise's Basque community. John Bieter and John Ysursa will share their insights about the Basque community's heritage, and the times ahead. John Bieter is a co-founder and professor in the Basque Studies program as well as a professor in the History Department at Boise State University, and co-authored An Enduring Legacy: A History of the Basques in Idaho.  John Ysursa is Director of the Basque Studies Consortium at Boise State, as well as managing editor of one of Boise State's first online academic journals,BOGA: A Basque Studies Consortium Journal. John Ysursa John Bieter, History, studio portrait, tag
Chair: Matt Cryer
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Communities and police- Boise and Beyond
Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Grove Hotel
Boise Police Chief Bill Bones
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather (who served as Oregon State Troopers), William "Bill" Bones was sworn in by Mayor Bieter on February 3, 2015 as Boise's 38th Police Chief after serving 22 years in the Department. Boise regularly experiences a low rate of crime, and the Department regularly utilizes collaborative community partnerships, such as its neighborhood contact officers and the Boise Police Activities League (founded to bring youth together with police officers to break down barriers). Meanwhile, other cities throughout the nation are making national news for challenging police and community interactions. Chief Bones will join City Club to discuss community policing as well as the larger, national issues of police accountability, body cameras and police relations with minority communities.
Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Forum: America's Growth Spurt, our nation of overweight childen
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Gregory Janos, M.D., I Kendra Witt-Doyle
In 1974 only 5% of American children between the ages of 2 and 5 were considered overweight. By 2004, the percentage had nearly tripled, reaching 13.9%. The good news is that while Idaho frequently lags behind other states in areas of childhood health and education, Idaho is doing better than many states in the area of childhood obesity.  In August of 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Idaho was one of 18 states, along with one U.S.Territory, that experienced a decline in obesity rates among 2 to 4 year olds from low-income families between 2008 and 2011.  Idaho's rate fell from 12.3% to 11.5%.  City Club welcomes two Idaho healthcare professionals to this forum as we try to understand what has led to this nation of overweight children and what some strategies that have been used in Idaho to help bring our children's obesity rate down. Dr. Gregory Janos, Executive Medical Director at St Luke's Children's Hospital, will provide an overview of the extent of the problem as well as some of the implications for overweight children as they age. He will also touch on the costs to society. Kendra Witt-Doyle, Director of the Blue Cross Foundation for Health, will discuss some of the many collaborative efforts underway in Idaho that seek to address this issue.
Chair: Julie Robinson
Moderator: Sue Reents
Joint Forum with IEF: Natural Beauty in the Built Environment-- Exploring trends in sustainable design and planning"
Tuesday, March 24th, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
The Owyhee
Forum speaker: Roddy Langmuir
Forum organizer: Idaho Environmental Forum

Roddy Langmuir, senior director with the London architectural practice Cullinan Studio has taught and lectured widely in the UK and abroad. His practice as a designer and project leader includes buildings and master plans that embody sustainable principles and the innovative use of wood, concrete, stone and other natural materials.

Roddy grew up in the Scottish Highlands and studied architecture in Edinburgh. He has designed residences, institutional buildings and community master pans and has served on design juries around the world. He was the project architect at Stonehenge in the '90s. His and Cullinan's work integrate principles of sustainability throughout, including pioneering the use of wood structures in medium and large buildings. He will talk about how renewable and local materials can inspire innovative designs of great beauty that exemplify high efficiency and low environmental impact. 

This IEF Boise program, jointly offered with City Club of Boise,  is being held in addition to Mr. Langmuir's visit to the University of Idaho in Moscow to keynote the UI Inspiring Design Futures event. More information can be found at Thanks to the Idaho Forest Products Commission as a supporter of this forum. 

Visit the Idaho Environmental Forum website to register. Deadline is noon, Friday, March 20, 2015. 

Chair: Andy Brunelle
Moderator: Scot Oliver, Idaho Smarth Growth
Forum: The future of the Idaho Education Network and classroom technology
Thursday, March 19th, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
John Goedde I Wendy Johnson I Wil Overgaard
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

Hailed as a crowning achievement that brings high-speed Internet into classrooms across the state, the Idaho Education Network has disintegrated into a high-profile mess.

A judge has thrown out the $60 million network contract. Districts have been scrambling to keep their schools online. The state is pouring tax money into the project as a stopgap-- while trying to figure out a plan for the long haul.

What does the future hold for broadband in the schools-- and for technology in the classroom?

Come hear from Governor Butch Otter's aide on the issue. And hear two superintendents talk about how technology is changing their schools-- and what's at stake in the broadband debate.

If you are interested in sponsoring this program or purchasing a table, contact the City Club office. 

This forum will feature:

  • John Goedde, office of Governor Otter
  • Wendy Johnson, Kuna School District Superintendent
  • Wil Overgaard, Weiser School District Superintendent
Chair: Kevin Richert
Moderator: Bill Manny
Forum: Can Idaho improve its standard of living?
Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Owyhee
Rod Gramer I Dr. Ted Epperly I Jeff Sayer
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise


On February 24th, this second forum in the series will continue the conversation about the disappearing middle class in Idaho and the nation.

How can our future policy help Idaho ensure a more balanced opportunity for its citizens to be self-sufficient and less dependent on government assistance? The success of an educated and healthy labor force will attract employers with good paying jobs to Idaho. Our three speakers will identify specific state or local policies that will help improve Idaho's economy and help raise the standard of living for our citizens. Join us to hear remarks by and ask questions of the panel.

Rod Gramer, Executive Director of Idaho Businesses for Education (IBE)

Dr. Ted Epperly, CEO of Family Medicine Residency Clinic

Jeff Sayer, Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce

Sponsorships and reserved tables for 10 are available, including a discounted rate when purchasing a table at both forums. Contact Julia at 208-371-2221 for details.

As background in preparation for the February 24th forum, you may wish to review a handouts shared by United Way of the Treasure Valley and economist Mike Ferguson at the February 10th forum. Download United Way handout. and Download Idaho Personal Income handout.

Chair: Jean DeLuca
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Forum: The Disappearing Middle Class
Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Owyhee
Nora Carpenter I Mike Ferguson
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

What is happening to the nation's middle class worker? Why is Idaho's middle class disappearing? How does this affect the lives of Idahoans and the future for their children?

How can Idaho improve the financial well-being of its citizens? Attract more employers to the state with tax incentives? Improve the number of children who are educated for good paying jobs? Expand Medicaid to help people stay healthy and reduce the number of disabled?

The City Club of Boise will explore these issues in a two part series of Forums at the Owyhee.  On February 10th, two speakers will begin the conversation. 

Nora Carpenter, President and CEO of the United Way of Treasure Valley will present a personal portrait of the results of the survey which was the inspiration for these forums.

Michael Ferguson, the former Director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy who previously served as Idaho's chief economist for 25 years, will present new economic information about our nation and Idaho's economic health.

Download the handouts shared by United Way of the Treasure Valley and economist Mike Ferguson. Download United Way handout. and Download Idaho Personal Income handout.

Chair: Jean DeLuca
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Forum: The 2015 Legislative Session, what's in store?
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 11:45 a.m - 1:15 p.m.
Boise Centre
Betsy Russell I Melissa Davlin I Kevin Richert
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

The 2015 Legislature will face a long list of simmering policy questions. Will legislators continue to grant more tax cuts-  possibly in both property and income taxes? But can they be so generous and also find the money necessary to implement the governor's education task force recommendations? Will the Idaho Education Network survive? Will this be the session that addresses growing transportation infrastructure needs? What impact will a new Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State have on legislative agendas? Will there be more heated budget debates with the loss of several centrist legislators by retirement or electoral defeat? And, as in almost every legislative session, what surprise issue will arise that could dominate the session?

A new lineup of panelist will provide insights into legislative attitudes and prospects for major pieces of legislation.

Panelists this year include: Melissa Davlin, producer/ Co-host of IPTV's "Idaho Reports" and former legislative reporter for the Twin Falls Times News, Betsy Russell, Boise bureau chief for The Spokesman-Review and "Eye on Boise", and Kevin Richert, Idaho Education News reporter and former editorial page editor of the Idaho Statesman. This panel will be moderated by Dr. Jim Weatherby.

Register today, this forum has sold out in recent years!

Call City Club at 208-371-2221 to learn about purchasing a table or sponsoring this forum.

Moderator: Dr. Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: ACLU of Idaho
Pacific Source Health Plans
Forum- The Effects of GMOs on Idaho Agriculture
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Grove Hotel
Trent Clark, Monsanto I Jenny Easley, GMO free Idaho
Almost everyone has an opinion about GMOs. The biotechnology industry says the genetic modification of food crops and livestock can increase yields, extend shelf life and reduce food waste. Advocates believe GMOs may be the key to feeding a growing global population. Yet, genetically modified organisms remain controversial because of conflicts over labeling and the threats they pose to organic and non-GMO food producers. Several nations have required labeling or banned the import of GMO foods. Voters in several states have defeated GMO-labeling measures. The issues are not black and white. Farmers and ranchers, for instance, are caught between needing every technological edge to make a profit in a highly competitive industry and do their best to sustain their land. Other farmers must face how to protect crops from cross-contamination. Can GMOs and non-GMOs coexist? In November, Monsanto settled for $2.1 million with a group of Oregon wheat farmers who discovered 'rogue' patches of GMO wheat in their fields that caused suspensions of wheat exports to Japan and South Korea. Our speakers will explore these issues and answer audience questions. Trent Clark is Public and Government Affairs Director at Monsanto, a large agribusiness perceived as one of the nation's foremost advocates of GMO development. Jenny Easley is co-founder and president of the non-profit GMO Free Idaho, which works with consumers, farmers and businesses to make informed decisions regarding GMOs and understanding how they affect the environment, economy and health.
Chair: Mike Murray
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Forum: 2014 Dottie and Ed Stimpson Award Honoree, Ben Ysursa, Idaho Secretary of State
Thursday, December 4th, 2014, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Grove Hotel
Forum speaker: Mr. Ben Ysursa

A career devoted to advocating for openness and transparency in government has earned Ben Ysursa the City Club of Boise's fourth Dottie and Ed Stimpson award for civic engagement.

The City Club award honors people whose work exemplifies the City Club founder and her husband's belief that no problem is so great it can't be solved by people with open minds using civil discourse. Previous winners are the Stimpsons; members of the Owhyee Initiative; and the members of the second reapportionment commission in 2012, who rose above partisanship to draft Idaho's legislative boundaries.

Ysursa, 65, is retiring this year after 12 years as Idaho's Republication Secretary of State. His nomination cited three cases when Ysursa stood up-  including to his own party- to do what he thought was right; His fight to keep primary elections open to all voters, regardless of affiliation; protecting the independence for the 2012 redistricting commission; and forcing a campaign group to disclose where it got its money during the 2012 election that ultimately repealed Idaho's Students Come First laws. In his talk, Ysursa will reflect on a career dedicated to transparency and civil discourse and respond to questions from the audience.

Ysursa, Idaho's 26th Secretary of State, was born and raised in Boise and graduated from Gonzaga University in 1971. He earned his law degree at St. Louis University Law School in 1974 and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar the same year. But he did not go into private practice. He went to work for legendary Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa in 1974, serving him for 28 years as deputy and then chief deputy Secretary of State. When Cenarrusa retired in 2002, Ysursa ran for and won the office. Ysursa and his wife, Penny, have three children and two grandchildren. When he leaves office in January, Ysursa says he's going to focus on the two G's- grandkids and golf.

Chair: Sally Long I Mikel Ward
Moderator: Bill Manny
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell
Forum: Jack's Out of the Box Place!
Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 11:45 a.m.- 1:15 p.m.
the Grove Hotel
Kathy O'Neill, Community Engagement Director, JUMP
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

Do you wonder what is going on in Downtown Boise with all the shapes, twists, turns and levels? Join us to learn about the ultimate community gathering place and creative center coming to the heart of downtown Boise in 2015. Inspired by the late J.R. Simplot, JUMP (Jack's Urban Meeting Place) will become a place for exploration, making connections, taking risks, trying new things, building self-esteem and eventually, "jumping". We will learn how the urban park with outdoor amphitheater and an out-of-the-box building with five interactive studios, meetings spaces, Sculpture Garden, plaza, spiral slides, water features, interactive exhibits, art installations and JR's antique tractor collection will create an environment that supports innovation and creativity unlike any other.

Chair: Mikel Ward
Moderator: Cheryl Haas
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
Renaissance Remodeling
The Candidates for Governor- a simulcast City Club of Idaho Falls collaboration
Thursday, October 9th, 2014, 11:45 am - 1:30 pm
The Owyhee
Governor Butch Otter I A.J. Balukoff

The City Club of Boise is pleased to join the City Club of Idaho Falls Governor's Debate on October 9th, and provide a simultaneous broadcast of the debate between incumbent Butch Otter and Boise business leader A.J. Balukoff.

Although we were unable to schedule our traditional, in-person, Governor candidates forum, City Club of Boise members will still have an opportunity to participate in a forum with the Governor candidates. 

We hope you will join us at the newly renovated Owyhee, for this simulcast debate.

Boise participants may submit questions for the candidates by sending an email to  Boise questions will be included with those submitted by Idaho Falls attendees, and must be received by Noon on Wednesday, October 8th.

City Club of Idaho Falls founding member, Dr. David Adler, will moderate live from the Bennion Room at the ISU/UI Idaho Falls Center campus.

As we are joining the debate organized by the Idaho Falls City Club, we will follow their schedule.

  • Check in and registration                  11:30 a.m.
  • Lunch Buffet opens                           11:45 a.m.
  • Welcome and opening discussion       Noon
  • Join simulcast from Idaho Falls         12:20 p.m.
  • Closing remarks                                 1:30 p.m.

The City Club of Boise would like to thank Idaho Public Television for technical assistance.

Chair: Sally Long
Moderator: Dr. David Adler
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
The Candidates for Idaho Secretary of State
Monday, October 6, 2014, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Holli Woodings I Lawrence Denney
Forum organizer: City Club of Boise

The secretary of state is Idaho's elections umpire- charged with the task of making the electoral process fair, accessible and inclusive. The secretary of state also holds one of five seats on the State Land Board, which decides the fate of more than 2.4 million acres of endowment land. In this Forum, you will hear from the two candidates who look to replace retiring Secretary of State Ben Ysursa: State Representatives Lawrence Denney, R-Midvale, and Holli Woodings, D-Boise. In addition, you may ask the candidates your written questions, using the cards provided on your table.

Chair: Kevin Richert
Moderator: Dr. Jim Weatherby
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.


 5:00pm - 6:00pm  Refreshments 

6:00pm - 7:15pm   Forum

7:15pm - 8:00pm   Social Hour


Moderator: Dick Gardner
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
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!

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
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
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
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
"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
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