Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Old Merc Crafters Mall Opens November 1st!

New Life in the Old Merc!

  Windows in the Old Merc have been uncovered and washed, and light is revealing the bustle of crafters, artists and antique dealers as they set up in newly constructed booths.
Shauna Fry prepares for her booth of leatherwork -
horse tack, belts, dog collars and more.

The worn floor has a new shine to it, proudly displaying its years of hard wear right down to the irreplaceable cigarette burns. An aged bathroom floor is pulled up to present a 1934 issue of the Denver Post, which will find its yellowed news-copy framed and on the wall. The aged counter wood has a new role as a fence around the cashier. Old Crouch Mercantile Exchange is a ninety-year-old crone with a new attitude.

  When the public walks through the doors on opening day, November 1, it will be a return to old times. The antique cash register and scales, photos, memorabilia, and the wood stove in the sitting area will welcome them home and bid them to take a load off.

  Connie Taylor-Hunt is an artist who creates log furniture, wood arts, dolls, pencil art and more. She has been in charge of the metamorphosis of the sad building into a wonderful, functional store again. Her intention, along with owners Greg Simione and Gerold Dennett, has been to promote hand-crafted arts and antiques and thinks this is the perfect historic building in which to do it.

  “We’re trying to bring more people into the area to give new life to downtown Crouch,” she says, “The more they see here, the longer they’ll want to stay to visit other shops. It will help all of us.”

Connie Taylor-Hunt with her own booth of handmade
furniture, dolls and signs.
  The Merc has also attracted several talented artists from Boise and the Treasure Valley; Trudy Glenn comes from Lowman. Greg Simione has been inspired by artists in town, who have been looking for a permanent venue to display their work and teach. Simione says, “A bunch of local artists work out of their homes. Connie and I want to open more opportunities to help showcase local artists and others. We are targeting Garden Valley but are open to artists from all over Boise County and beyond. We’d like a fresh look with rotation of goods...this building fits with all of our artists here.”

  Two art rooms will be available for teaching classes. Windows are being installed. Every room and area has a history. Look for the booth space that has the holes in the floor, where rope was pulled up from the basement and measured off. The special space also has a trap door below which flour was stored.

  Where the old deli was will be The Coffee Lodge, open later in November. The vendor will offer warm drinks and a variety of food. She says, “I first sold my Hot Mama Salsa out of this deli—it’s of significant value to me to team up with Greg and Gerold here.”
Larry Logan is the man to have around when something
needs to be done.

  Gasoline will continue to be sold. Larry Logan says, “Still free of ethanol!”

  Logan has done much of the labor on the transformation of the building. Taylor-Hunt says Logan is really handy to have around. He will be cashiering and helping with sales of the merchandise, with Taylor-Hunt helping. Larry Logan predicts that next summer this will be the focal point of the town: “Visitors can buy souvenirs, shop in the businesses, visit the Historical Museum—it brings more of a focus to the Trading Post and this end of town, too.”

  The Old Crouch Mercantile Exchange will be open seven days a week, from 10 to 5, during the winter, with extended hours in summer. Taylor-Hunt says the November 1 opening is to say, “It’s coming! The Grand Opening will be on November 24, but this gives the town a chance to check it out and artists to see what we have and maybe decide to be a part of it. Please remember to sign the guestbook”

  Booths are still available for different fees. There is no commission charged, just monthly rent, and vendors don’t have to be on site. Contact Connie Taylor-Hunt at 462-2632, 462-3817, or 781-1180.






Pick up Baking Supplies at the Market!

Greg and Gerold conspire with Crouch Witch at
Trunk or Treat.
Happy Halloween! Expecting more litle visitors on Halloween? All of our Halloween products are on Clearance -  Candy and Make-up Kits and Witches Hats!
Baking Season is fast approaching and we’re prepared here at the Market. Let’s start with C&H Sugar, 4lb bags – only $2.99. We think you’ll agree this is a great buy and you’ll find many more good values throughout the store.
We’re stocking up on Baking Chips, Baking cups, cake decoration kits, cake mixes, Holi
day sprinkles, Almond Paste, Marzipan, Mincemeat, Flour and all of the essentials for your Holiday Baking Needs. Check with us weekly for in store specials.
Turkeys begin arriving this week as do many Holiday Products and you’ll see them begin to be displayed around the store. Currently a nice selection of oversized socks (double pack for $3.99) and warm throws and Fleece blankets are displayed in the Seasonal section (by the videos). You’ll find all of the new sweatshirts there as well. These include crew neck and hooded styles with either Crouch or Garden Valley logos. In addition, long sleeve T-Shirts and pajama pants for casual wear around the house can also be found in this section.
***Don’t forget that Thursday, November 1st, the Old Crouch Merc building re-opens as a Craft Mall. Gasoline will continue to be sold (Sinclair Brand– non ethanol) out of the store. Approximately half of the booth spaces have been rented, so we’re excited to watch this adventure grow. This retail opportunity for local artists and crafters will compliment Crouch’s existing unique and charming retail stores.
Celebrate! ~Holiday in the Mountains~
Our Old Merc Grand opening celebration is scheduled for the Weekend after Thanksgiving to coincide with all of the other wonderful events happening in Crouch that weekend. As a heads up, there will be a Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting, Holiday Bazaar, and the opportunity to visit with Santa at the Market. That weekend will be the kick off for the Chamber’s Holiday in the Mountains theme for our community. We want our residents and visitors to experience the Holidays the old fashioned way with family, community and with a little something for everyone. Look for more information over the next couple of weeks.
As you can tell we’re excited and looking forward to the next few months and we’re also looking forward to your next visit. Enjoy the week and remember the Garden Valley Senior Center is hosting their annual Holiday Bazaar this weekend!
Greg and Gerold
Garden Valley Market

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Landing Piles Burning Starts October 30

Be prepared for smoke. If you have questions, you can call the Fire Dept at 462-3175 or the Ranger Station, at 462-3241.
Permission has been given to begin burning Emmett District landing piles, pending smoke approval. The landing piles are located within the Scriver and Six-Mile Drainages. Slash has been created from timber sales, Stolle and Frontier. 
Anticipate 2 to 3 days of burning, beginning Tuesday, October 30.
Burn Boss-Tony Demasters
Burners will be miscellaneous personnel from Garden Valley, for a total of around eight.
We have received enough moisture that creep will not be a problem.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Market getting ready for cold weather

Looking outside the store up on the Mountains, we see snow! We’re not quite prepared with snow melt or snow shovels (they don’t arrive for a couple more weeks) and perhaps that is a bit early, but we do have a variety of hats and gloves and scarves in stock now! All priced at $4.99 or less.
We hear there is a little cold bug going around and this week we received a good sized shipment of cough and cold medicines, vitamins, vaporizers, humidifiers, cough drops and sore throat remedies. Hopefully there will be something you can use if you happen to have a little cold.
Greg in 2009--warn't he cute?
Trunk or Treat is this Saturday, October 27th at 6pm in Downtown Crouch. New this year are prizes for both decorated car trunks “and” costumes, so plan on bringing the family and join in the fun. Don’t forget the Country Affair will also be running this week-end at the Rodeo Grounds. You can pick up your last minute candy, decorating ideas, makeup, wigs, witches hats and pumpkins at the Market! Our Bakery table is overflowing with Halloween cookies and brownie bites decorated with little ghosts just waiting to find a home.
For all of the sporting events this weekend, whether live or on TV, our Deli is stocked with Hormel meat, cheese and cracker trays. In addition, our Take N Bake Pizzas are always a hit.
Finally, the conversion of the Old Crouch Merc into a Craft Mall for local and Treasure Valley artists and crafters is almost complete. We are still working towards a November 1st opening, with a grand opening scheduled for later in the month.
Have a great week and we look forward to your next visit!
Greg and Gerold
Garden ValleyMarket

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ye Haw Times at Uncle Billy Bob's!

They told me, “One night me and papa was sittin’ on the toilet drinkin’ Ripple—we couldn’t figure out how the seat keeps goin’ up and down, but we was entertained on it all night long!”

“Wal, it’s one o’those self-closin’ toilet seats Diane got jes fer fun,” I says. “Haw!”

Oh dear. Spend an hour looking at Uncle Billy Bob’s Redneck Trailers with owner, Diane Caughlin, an yew jes’ cain’t help tawkin like dis!

So, just one of the charms of this trailer I’m viewing is the half-circle of toilet seating around a tree in front of a fire-pit, and another charm is the view of downtown Crouch from my throne—great for July 4th.

Caughlin says that after a slow year of long-term rentals, she got the “hair-brained idea” to turn one trailer into a vacation rental. “I thought if I made it funny, maybe somebody would appreciate it.”

That was Uncle Billy Bob’s 1, which is always redneck Christmas, with garlands, beer cans, and Rudy, the Party Antelope. “People started adding things,” she says, “an old sombrero,’s really fun. Guys around town bring things by.”
#1 has two bedrooms and Redneck Billy Bob says, “Yep, it’s got a bathroom too; it’s indoors now and that’s mighty nice in winter.” How about a dishwasher? “Wal, yes sirree Bob,”he answers, “you can name your own, whoever is in the dawghouse or who’s a Type A personality is always my pick.”

From the fire pit in front of this quaint trailer is a splendid view of the Middle Fork River and surrounding mountains. Reviews for number one stress how clean the accommodations are. “Even if it is ugly on the outside, it is comfortable and great inside,” says one visitor. 

When Caughlin got back the car lot above the Longhorn, she told her friends she needed new redneck decorations for Billy Bob’s #2. “The plumbers brought in my fabulous toilet seating. The bowling alley seats came from Joseph, Oregon, via Teri Belle, who stays here on week-ends with her friends.”

Caughlin traded two nights at Uncle Billy Bob’s for Sean McInally’s Cadillac couch, now in the living room. She grins, “Just buckle in the kids and you have a free babysitter!”

The decor is too classy for Uncle Billy Bob, methinks, and the kitchen here, as in #1, is also set up for great culinary pleasures. Trailer #2 sleeps eight, with two bedrooms, a pull-out sofa, and yes sirree, two of those indoor potties.

Even though the rental fees are a great deal, Caughlin offers a $20 a day discount for those on active military duty, saying, “I think they deserve something. I know when Joe was in the army, we had zero money to go away and do something like this.”

They had a kick-off party when she opened this trailer. “I put Thunderbird and PBR beer on ice in the back. Everyone loves it. I tell people, if you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably ought not rent, cuz like Paw Paw always says, ‘You can only polish a turd so much’,” says Caughlin. “I think it’s a great place to get rid of relatives on holiday. The price is right and not too close. Think Uncle Billy Bob’s!”

For rental information, go to www.unclebillybobs.comor call 208-462-5262.



Halloween in Downtown Crouch!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Writers Retreat Focuses on Publishing

   “The more a writer understands about the book business, the more a writer will succeed,” was the theme in Jennifer Basye Sander’s presentation to writers on Saturday, September 19, in Garden Valley.

  Sander is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published. She is a former Random House senior editor, longtime book publisher, and publishing consultant.

  Originally involved in politics, Sander said, “It never occurred to me that I was competitive—I don’t like losing,” which is what happened in her political life. Having ended up working successfully for major publishers and writing her own books, she admitted gleefully, “I come from a burning desire to succeed and make money!”

  Her power-packed advice was offered to writers attending Write by the River, an annual retreat hosted by writer/publisher, Elaine Ambrose, at her cabin on the South Fork of the Payette River.

  With all the talk about having business savvy, cozying up to agents, schmoozing with publishers, networking with other writers on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and at book events, the question arose, “Could Hemingway have gotten published today?”

  Sander answered her own query: “Hemingway was a cocky, arrogant, self-assured guy; he believed in himself, which is what a writer needs to do. He immersed himself into writers and writing. Yes, he could get a book published—he would not be sitting, drinking alone in Paris!”

Stacy Dymalski added laughs to the retreat.
The publishing business has changed over the years, to the point that it is intimidating to anyone steeped in the traditional theory that success in writing is obtained only with left-brained muscle. The guest speakers at this retreat emphasized business-business-business and agreed that writing the book is the easy part.

Stand-up comic and self-published author of Confessions of a Band Geek Mom, Stacy Dymalski, told the room of aspiring publishees, “80% to 90% of books published don’t make money. It needs to be considered a business—and that’s it. If you choose to self-publish, you become the ‘project manager’. You will wear a lot of hats.”

Talking about the writing business burns extra calories.
Elaine Ambrose, center, checks the catered lunch
with Lynne McKibbbin, R, of Wild Bill's Bistro in Crouch.

Amid giggles and chortles, she pulverized any Pollyanna convictions that one simply ‘self-publishes’. She warned, “It becomes an animal out of control—your job is to kill it. After you’ve gotten an editor, a copy editor, a book designer, a jacket designer, get more editing, and send it to the publisher, you begin the marketing plan.”
This is called Social Media: “It’s a ground swell—it doesn’t happen overnight,” Dymalski assures the writers. Getting active on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, web sites, writers groups, publisher sites, and purchasing ISBN numbers are just the beginning of getting your book ready. “After you get the galleys, the book is probably not right. Be patient. Blog about it. Share your frustrations.” Yikes.

  She continues, “Once you see your book on a page, it feels entirely different. You need readers, a sale distribution plan...”
Doug Copsey
Marilyn and John Cottingham, left,
chat with Doug Copsey, center, and
Lloyd Mahaffey.

Doug Copsey is well-known in the Treasure Valley as the co-founder of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival; he also helped form the Idaho Writers Guild. The story of his professional life is proof of what a writer can accomplish with perseverance and passion.  


  Those at the retreat benefitted from his knowledge of publishing houses in the Northwest and resources for writing jobs. He emphasized that the writers need to do their homework: "At first, it's writing, writing, writing; then it's marketing, marketing, marketing!
AK Turner and Gretchen Anderson co-authored Daily Erotica,
with Ambrose and Liza Long. Anderson is marketing her
 book, The Backyard Chicken Fight.
 "Why are we writing?" he asked. "Love or money? You'd better love writing or you'll never make money. The more you practice, the better you get. There are a lot of ways to make money writing, to help you do your own writing. You may not be working on your novel now; that's up to you, how you budget your time. It becomes routine."

    Copsey added, smiling, " But I can't see Hemingway on Facebook or schmoozing at cocktail parties!"

  His showpiece was a gorgeous coffee table book, With our Good Will—30 Years of Shakespeare in Idaho, first published in 2006, by Caxton Press. Copsey held it in his hands and with the mention of the Festival, he got teary-eyed and said, “It’s my baby.” The book is beautifully designed and is packed with photos of memorabilia and everyone associated with the history of this fine festival. The “rags to riches” tale is one that will be appreciated by anyone interested in Boise history, culture and theatre—or who simply enjoys a good success story.

AK Turner signing Drinking with Dead Drunks,
co-authored with Elaine Ambrose.

  Garden Valley is the perfect location for a gathering of writers, and Elaine Ambrose does it well. She owns Mill Park Publishing, based in Eagle, Idaho, which features local authors and donates proceeds from books to various charities. She has written or co/authored eight books, including the popular Menopause Sucks. Her latest book, co-authored with AK Turner, is Drinking with Dead Drunks. Ambrose is also an exceptionally witty and engaging speaker and stands on her own amidst the big names. Check out her website for books or author information:


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reward for Info on Poached Moose

Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding the poaching of a young bull moose along the Gold Fork River north of Cascade. The young bull was poached sometime during the first week of October.
Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) is offering a reward for information in the case and callers can remain anonymous. Contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999 twenty four hours a day.
Responding to the initial report, Fish and Game conservation officer Chris Rowley found the poached bull moose just off the Gold Fork Road, along the North Fork of the Gold Fork River. The poachers took only one hind quarter, the backstraps and the antlers. The remaining meat was left to waste.
While moose are found in suitable habitat across Idaho, only a small population exists in the Gold Fork area, making every individual moose valuable to the population as a whole. Declining populations have forced Fish and Game to close moose seasons in this and other areas.
Evidence was collected at the scene, but Rowley hopes to learn more about the case from an eyewitness or others who have knowledge of the poaching incident. “I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this poached moose,” Rowley stated.
In addition to the CAP hotline, persons may also contact their local Fish and Game office with information regarding this case.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Arrow kill abandoned by Poacher

  That Saturday night of September 23rd at the Kaysers was a happy gathering of family and friends. Shelly Kayser was sharing time with her sister upstairs, when the alarm sounded.  

  Downstairs, the women found that Gary Kayser had turned on the outdoor lights and was watching vehicle headlights at the end of the driveway on Middle Fork Road.

  The lights were angled toward an area closer to the house, in the middle of the hayfield. The driver quickly backed up the ascent to the road, which wasn’t easy.

  The Kaysers gave it little thought the rest of the evening. On Sunday at 5 p.m., when Gary walked out to turn on the irrigation system, he discovered a six-point buck lying in the tall grass—still soft.

  He had been shot with an arrow through both legs, the arrow splitting the femur of the second leg. He couldn’t have moved. There were footprints from the driveway that led to the spot where the deer lay.

  What’s gone on in the minds of the Kayser family since then is disquieting. “I feel watched, I feel violated,” says Shelly Kayser. “People have invaded my space. I’m innocent, a victim, just like the buck.”

  Shelly walks through the grass to the worn path that leads up the embankment to the road. She points to a turn-out where it would be easy to park unseen at the house. She ponders. “Who knows how many times they came and watched and planned?”

  The view to the spot where the buck was killed is clear. “This is a deer habitat—a cultivated hayfield and illegal hunting grounds. Any hunter would know that,” she fumes. “Everyone driving by knows when you have a beautiful buck on your land. You know he’s going to get hunted—and killed sooner or later.”

  Shelly’s anger also comes from the violation of an ethical code. “The way he was dishonestly hunted and abandoned is not acceptable for me. A beautiful animal was illegally wasted; now he’s in the garbage can. The Fish and Game guy called it murder—pointless killing.”

  Ben Cadwallader, Senior Conservation Officer for Idaho Fish and Game, picked up the animal on Monday. He says he collected lots of evidence and has suspects in mind. “It’s an obvious trespass type of case,” he states. “The deer died on private property, shot from the road; they were scared off before collection. It’s not the first time it’s happened in the last two weeks.” A week earlier, an elk bull was found not far from here.

  “Middle Fork homes and houses—elk are dying fifty yards from the road. The residents see these people in the area,” says Cadwallader, “This is not normal behavior. People have got to be seeing it—they must be being seen! When they see it, they should be suspicious, rather than blowing it off. This looks bad for hunters who are ethical. These poachers show no respect for people or animals.”

  According to Cadwallader, there have been illegal kills up and down the Middle Fork. A white-tailed buck was found behind the fitness building. It could be the same people, he says. They drive around, with someone in the back of pick-ups; they stop and start. It is suspicious behavior that can be observed.

  Killing with arrows is quiet. Even though the season for bow-hunting is over, Shelly Kayser is nervous: these hunters have no scruples. “It doesn’t mean they won’t come back. I think the animals are frequently watched, as well as we are.”

  This is the third experience the Kaysers have had with bow-hunting poachers. Shelly says, “One of my horses had an arrow blade in her foot. Two years ago, we found an arrow in an irrigation pipe. I saw the guy out there, probably looking for the arrow. Another reason I feel violated—it could hit my horses so easily.”

   Gary Kayser says, “Bow-hunting is more of a challenge—or should be. Legitimate hunters will say ‘I hunt. This makes me look bad.’ Not only that. They left me a mess to clean up.”

  The point the Kaysers want to make is to get landowners to get enlightened. “We weren’t aware it was hunting season. We’ve just put signs up everywhere today. We’re not against hunting—just not on our land.”

  Later, this message arrives from Shelly Kayser: “Two hours after the sign was posted at the 6-mile marker scene of the crime, it was gone.” Shelly wonders if the suspect was upset. She says she’s not here to fight a war; it’s her constitutional right to not allow hunting on her property.

  Ben Cadwallader wants people to be apprised that these poaching bow-hunters are doing this right under their noses. “If you see something that looks suspicious, get on the phone.”

  If he gets two or three calls, he can put something together. Phone him at 208-989-9323 or contact “Citizens Against Poaching” at 1-800-632-5999.


Autumn Colors at the Market

Apples are here!
Fresh, crisp, sweet, tart – Golden Delicious, Red, Rome, Fuji, Jonathan, Honey Crisp, Pinova and more – all priced to move and fresh from Emmett and Caldwell area orchards. Fresh pears and peppers and pumpkins are also in our Produce Department. Check out the Pumpkins – all sizes and shapes only 19 cents a lb!
Pallet Season continues. This week you’ll see Betty Crocker cake mixes and frostings – only $1.99 each
Western Family Toilet Paper – 36 rolls only $9.99 and 18 roll double packs also only $9.99
Western Family Paper Towels 15 count – only $9.99
C&H sugar 4lbs only $3.99
Campbells Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup – 69 cents a can. These are very popular with our shoppers
Western Family cream soups only 79 cents and Campbells cream of Mushroom or Chicken only 99 cents
Western Family Chicken Broth regular or low sodium only 89 cents
Do you like Coke products? 2 liters are on sale for 99 cents and 20 pack cases are only $4.99. That’s the best sale price we’ve had all year.
The good values are throughout the store, so come on in and give us a look!
Just a friendly reminder to save Box Tops and redeem them here at the store for gift cards. 100 box tops are worth a $10 gift card and it goes up in $10 increments up to 1000 box tops for a $100 gift card. These box tops are on many common items you purchase, so don’t forget to check the packaging. You’ll find them on frozen, canned, boxed, plastic wrap and even paper products, so check carefully.
Have a great weekend and here’s a shout out to the Garden Valley Girls Volleyball and Boys Football teams – both having a fantastic season!!!!!!
We look forward to your next visit.
Greg and Gerold
Garden Valley Market

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Syringa Building Dedication Tonight

Carol and Lois in days of yore (before the Syringa Building).
  In honor of nearly a century of Garden Valley Syringa Club’s support of Garden Valley youth and school, Weilmunster Community Park, Fire Department, Crouch Volunteer Ambulance, GV Library, and the community, the Crouch City Council has decided to rename the old library building “The Syringa Building”.

    Syringa Club played a major role in the founding of the Garden Valley Public Library, winning a national prize sponsored by Shell Oil Company, for that Community Improvement Project. Though the library became a District library in 1976, Syringa Club members always continued to give many hours of personal assistance and helped raise funds.

  Since the opening of the new library in 2011, with many members helping with the move, Syringa has co-sponsored two library events: With Idaho Commission on the Arts, a reading and book-signing by Idaho Writer-in-Residence, Bill Johnson (who also worked with children at the school); and with the Friends of the Library, a reading and book-signing by Gretchen Anderson, author of The Backyard Chicken Fight. Syringa members have also been involved with the fledgling Oral Histories Project, funded for the library by a Paul G. Allen grant.

  On Wednesday, October 10, at 6:00 p.m. (just before the City Council meeting), Crouch City officials will hold a dedication ceremony to commemorate the important role Garden Valley Syringa Club played in establishing this building, which they acquired from the local American Legion and added onto over the years with help from the community.

  A commemorative plaque will be placed onto the building, which will be repaired and reincarnated as the new Crouch Museum.




Job Creation Council Moving Ahead

  The Boise County Job Creation/Retention Council (JC/RC) has received the unanimous approval of county commissioners to apply for two grants. The Department of Commerce grant application will require a commitment for three years of matching funds and the match is likely to be $15K per year plus an additional amount ($1-$10) for each resident of the county. 

  Because that Request for Proposal will be issued in the spring of 2013, the JC/RC will be hustling to get a Capital Matrix “matching” grant application submitted by November 2, 2012. This will raise the grant money to at least $50K. John Cottingham, president of the Boise County and Garden Valley JC/RC, will write the applications with guidance from county commissioners.

  These grants will provide all the funding needed to put a no-cost Rural Economic professional in place, to build upon the work already done in that field the past couple of years, by the JC/RC.

  Cottingham would, in essence, become an employee of Boise County, under the Commerce grant. He would report to the Boise County JC/RC board, as he now does, for program creation and leadership purposes.

  The county has already benefitted from the programs and accomplishments of the JC/RC, without any support from the Board of Commissioners. When Cottingham appeared before commissioners on September 24, he explained that all of the salary he would draw (less expenses and cost of any increased tax on the salary) as the ED professional, would be contributed to the non-profit Boise County JC/RC, to provide upfront money to fund its marketing and to support county programs.

  He cited examples: The JC/RC was awarded $6,500 for Face book/Google advertising but not the $3,500 requested for a web page that would direct tourists to Boise County activities, restaurants, etc. They would spend the $3,500 on that, in addition to a blog.

  “Idaho City worked with the rest of the BC JC/RC communities in developing a county-wide marketing plan,” he continued. “About $5K will be spent on upgrading the Idaho City Chamber’s web site and to coordinate with the Boise County Adventures program. Third, the money will provide matching funds for grants to our communities.

  “Fourth, the money will serve as reimbursement grants requiring payment for services before the grants will pay back the money contributed by a community.”

  Within the last two years, JC/RC communities have established objectives. Those already accomplished in Garden Valley include assistance to the City of Crouch, to develop a historical museum; the writing of a grant to fund development of a low-power radio station; and a sewer project, led by 2 Forks, to save jobs at Terrace Lakes and keep it open. An assisted-living builder/operator has been identified, for a facility to serve all of Boise County.

  Horseshoe Bend held four “Clean-Up HSB” events, with two more planned; they improved two buildings in the corridor and one in town; events held included Celebration of Life, a car show, a Kid’s Free Fishing Derby, and a 4th of July in the Park. The City plans to submit grant applications for a history museum and a community center.

  Idaho City JC/RC president, Bonnie Hardey, described the success of the recent Home Tour to benefit Mountain Kids Day Camp, which attracted local and Treasure Valley patrons. She told commissioners, “In order to thrive, we need to support each other in those ways.”

  Hardey described a banner they hung, which informed travelers of their cell service near Highway 21. She said, “The banner became a ‘stop light’. People would turn into the parking lot to check cell service then they would use our other services in town. We also want to help the city. When we write grants for water and sewer, it opens up avenues in the way people think. I’d love to see a Boise Basin Chamber of Commerce.”

     Cottingham stated that the Garden Valley Chamber was generally supportive and his impression from businesses is that “anything we can do that will drag people off of Highways 21, 17 and 55 will be supported by businesses.”

    The JC/RC is working with CuMo mine people, with the intent of making sure if there are jobs created by the mine, those jobs will be available for local residents. Cottingham has already set in motion a community skills inventory program, which will pinpoint local skills that need to be upgraded. BSU, colleges and other institutions will define what classes will be developed to bring up skill sets. It is a long-term project, which has the support of Governor Otter and his department heads. Grants supporting the training will come from the Department of Labor.

  Jerry Miller, Department of Commerce Business Development Specialist, said, “We look at the economics of a county. Boise County is severely handicapped, given land controlled by the federal government. We also look to see if the work plan is realistically consistent and if the communities are all on the same page. I wish more people would do their homework like John has. Lots of forethought has gone into his planning.”

  With a $5.4M judgment, commissioners were concerned with expectations of local financial support after the first three years of Commerce grant support. Bob Fry said, “The county will be locked into our’s unlikely we could come up with money to offset the program.”

  Miller said the Department of Commerce does an annual agreement with the program and financial sponsor. “If at some point you can’t make it work,” he assured, “we could look at one of the city entities to take over—or we can take it away. The application process makes it difficult to get in—but to get out, it’s easy.”

  John Cottingham reminded commissioners, “I’m going to donate all monies to JC/RC. It would make really good sense to put some in a reserve fund.”

  After commissioners batted around concerns of having an employee who works for nothing, Commissioner Terry Day stopped the ball: “I’m trying to visualize a 5-cylinder engine by imagining 4-cylinders representing Idaho City, Boise Basin, Horseshoe Bend and Garden Valley...I think John is the magneto that fires them. We’re missing a golden opportunity if we pass this by. I’m not looking back at old programs that were not entirely successful. I’m looking forward to this one.”

  Commissioner Fry said thoughtfully, “I don’t believe the money we pump into a community would necessarily create what eco-development couldn’t do itself.” Commissioner Anderson admitted to mixed feelings but said, “We’re all willing to entertain this at no cost to the county.”

  The Board authorized Cottingham to put together an application to submit to Capital Matrix, for matching monies that might be used for the Commerce grant.