Nels Mitchell Closing the Gap!

I have some encouraging news.

10290623_1491263304418421_6490514740988298512_nPublic Policy Polling conducted a poll of 1,369 likely Idaho voters on August 24th and 25th. The poll showed that Senator Jim Risch is losing ground in his bid to retain his US Senate seat! Only 39% said that they would vote to re-elect Risch if the election were held today; 47% said that it was time for someone new.

The poll also showed that Risch’s support had eroded from earlier in the year. The current poll showed Risch’s support is down 8 percentage points since PPP polled on the race in February. Many voters are ready to vote for someone new, but unless they know more about Risch’s opponent, Nels Mitchell, they may simply vote for the familiar name on the ballot.

Who is Nels Mitchell? In the words of former Idaho governor Cecil Andrus: “Nels Mitchell is an outstanding Idahoan. He is well educated; a successful attorney; and he is a man who is willing to work! Nels is going to represent you, me and the people of Idaho. And it’s time — it’s time to make a change. Risch has not contributed, and we need to remove him.”

Governor Andrus was the kind of leader who could work well with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans to move our state and nation forward. Nels Mitchell will be that kind of leader.

This poll also showed a very high percentage of voters — more than 20 percent — have not yet made a decision. If we are to reach the thousands of undecided Idaho voters, we need people like you — people who believe change is possible — to contribute generously to Nels Mitchell’s campaign. Television is expensive. But without it, we have little chance of competing with Risch’s special interest war chest.

In some Idaho counties, voters will begin casting absentee ballots in just a few weeks. Every day matters and every dollar makes a difference.

If we can pick up the pace, we can make history in Idaho. Please join us today! (click here to contribute)


Betty Richardson
Campaign Manager
Nels Mitchell for Idaho

P.S. To learn more about Nels Mitchell, please visit our campaign website, like our facebook page, and follow Nels on twitter. Thank you!




Heidi Knittel for Senate Dist. 12 Endorsed by Idaho Education Association (IEA)

Heidi-Knittel-for-Senate-1Nampa, Idaho — Heidi Knittel, Idaho State Senate Candidate, District 12, has been endorsed by the Idaho Education Association (IEA) and Nampa Education Association (NEA). “It is an honor to be recognized by this esteemed, 120-year strong organization.” Knittel said, referring to the Education Association.

Knittel supports IEA’s vision to deliver on their promise of a great public school for every Idaho student. “Public education is the gateway to opportunity. It is vital to prepare our students to succeed in a competitive and diverse world,” Knittel said, concurring with an IEA Core Values.

Knittel understands that, in order to meet their vision, education professionals must be championed at the Legislative level. As State Senator, Knittel plans to do just that. “I will continue to advocate for educator’s rights, including restored education funding, increased teacher base salary and more opportunities for professional development.”

Heidi Knittel is 42 years old, lives and works in Nampa and has a master’s degree in psychology. She is running for Idaho State Senate District 12. Her decision to run was born out of her experience as a program director at a small, Nampa business, where she speaks on behalf of Idaho’s most vulnerable citizens.

As a mental healthcare professional for more than a decade, Heidi has been a passionate advocate in the citizen legislative process to help her clients have better futures. She has navigated Idaho’s sometimes slow-moving bureaucracies to help Idaho’s vulnerable citizens. She has participated in public meetings impacting clients, sponsored by agencies such as Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare.

Heidi is a member of the Mental Health Providers Association of Idaho (MHPAI) and the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH). She serves on the committee of Idaho KIDS COUNT.

For more information, see:

Idaho Freedom Foundation Director Wayne Hoffman: Electing A.J. Balukoff over Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter makes sense from a conservative’s perspective

As Idaho Freedom Foundation Director Wayne Hoffman sees it, electing Balukoff over Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter makes sense from a conservative’s perspective. It may be one way to put the Republican Party on track.

For instance, Hoffman says, if a Gov. Balukoff were to push for Medicaid expansion, it would be dead on arrival in a Republican-dominated Legislature. If Otter were to propose Medicaid expansion, lawmakers would look more closely at the potential cost savings for counties. A Balukoff administration that proposes repeal of sales-tax exemptions likely would go nowhere in the Legislature. If Otter proposed the same thing, legislators could view it as a sound way to raise needed revenue. …

“Butch is vulnerable,” Hoffman said. “He won against a no-name and under-funded candidate with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote. You have to think that’s problematic.”

Tamara Code Speaks Out About Conditions at Bannock County Fairgrounds in Downey

codeforcommissioner-headshot-635388972890300000The lack of maintenance for many years has caused the ground to become unsafe for spectators and activity participants.

The candidate for Bannock County Commision, District 1;  says:

I recently made a trip to Downey to  tour the Bannock County South Fairgrounds.  I was shocked by what I found. The state of disrepair of the facility due to the continued lack of presence or concern by the existing commissioners and poor oversight of the tax dollars earmarked for our fairgrounds.  I believe the buck stops at the top and excuses that blame subordinate staff don’t hold water.


The lack of maintenance for many years has caused the ground to become unsafe for spectators and activity participants.  The arena is full of very hard soil as well as rocks. As I walked across the arena, the ground was so hard I did not even leave footprints. It was clear the arena was not safe for any animal or human participant to ride or race without the potential for a devastating injury or loss.

Some of the issues initially seem cosmetic but as my tour, hosted by Mayor Dennis Phillips and Joel continued, the seriousness of the problems was obvious.  The fencing is not adequate to keep the rough stock away from spectators.  There has been a half-hearted attempt to rectify this situation with new fencing erected along the street but it has not been repaired in the more critical area between the holding pens and the spectator area. Pens have gates hanging from them instead of being attached.  There was some evidence of one stall having been used recently without authorization.  It was left unclean and no rental payment was made to the county for the use.  With no way to police the area or support maintenance staff, secure gates should be in place to keep people from using county facilities without payment.  This unauthorized use just adds to the cost of maintenance and drives down the value of facilities for tourism dollars.

As I traversed the grounds, I noticed a large piece of the roof was missing and lying upside down next the hole it had left.  For such an easy repair, I was surprised a potentially dangerous object like this was left with the strong winds we have in the area.  Along with the broken roof, the buildings have peeling metal around the base and the sides.  The rooftops of all the buildings show damage as well.

The new covered arena is very nice but the covering already has rips and tears.  If these go without repair, they will expand until the entire cover needs to be replaced.  Inside this arena the dirt is so fine that a large cloud of dust rises in the air just from walking. Can you imagine how dusty it is with horses and other animals running through it? This arena was a very good idea, which probably cost a lot of money, but  due to the lack of simple maintenance, it very well could become unusable in a few short years. Poor planning and budgeting leads to even more waste.

The restrooms were locked but both of the gentlemen with me kept mentioning how bad they were.  If men notice how bad the bathrooms are, they must be bad, indeed.

The grandstands were lacking many things.  When the bleachers break, as many sections have, instead of replacing the broken boards, a 2 x 8 is just nailed on top of the broken board. The bleachers bend and flex when you walk on them. In one area, a piece of rebar is sticking out right in front of the lowest seating area. This is definitely unsafe if a child or adult were to trip and fall toward the fencing.  I am appalled at the neglect of protections for human and animal safety that has gone unchecked and unresolved by the Commissioners.

The available handicapped access is below standards and ADA requirements with the single access ramp at the end of one grandstand, ending with nowhere for a wheelchair to be placed. Having gone through an ADA training session in the past, this becomes clear to me as another half-hearted attempt to resolve an issue with a temporary patch instead of a real solution.

There is debris and garbage all over the grounds and in the bleachers. Now I understand that the wind blows in Idaho, but using workers in the Sheriff’s Commissioner’s Inmate Labor Detail Program (SCILD) once a month would eliminate this portion of the maintenance cost while utilizing the valuable county asset of the SCILD program. Weeds are overtaking many areas and it is clear that the grounds are not watered with any consistency.  A brand new patch of grass which was paid for by a grant from the Ifft Foundation is also suffering from the same story of neglect, and it would be a great loss to the County’s future access to beautification funds if it were allowed to die because it has no water or care.

The solutions for so many of these issues are clear.  While not everything can be done at once, it is clear that the current state of the fairgrounds is not the result of one season or one year of neglect but many years of not caring for this property for it to sink into this level of disrepair.  I believe in planning and, with a comprehensive plan, this area can once again be a property the County can take pride in.

As I was growing up in Jerome, the annual county fair was the high point of a summer of hard work for all of us enrolled in 4-H. Downey is home to many 4-H groups and should be encouraged to keep up this tradition. The rural nature of the Downey area is a great home for healthy activities for our youth.  Showing responsibility through animal ownership is a fantastic way to instill a work ethic in kids.  This life style will encourage them to put down the video games and smart phones, and enjoy a healthy, active life.

In a community the size of Downey, events at the local fairgrounds can bring in a significant amount of economic stimulus.  If enough paying events were brought into the area, the county should at least be able to clear enough funds to maintain the facilities. It may not turn a profit but it should help to cover maintenance costs.  According to Idaho Statutes, Title 31 Chapter 8 31-822, the Commission is charged with the maintenance of the fairground site and regulation of its use.  To do anything less is clearly not in the best interests of their constituents.

As your Commissioner, I will take an active role in the fairgrounds.  It is simply tragic to see a way of life and time-honored tradition in our community be threatened because no one is paying attention. The South County Fair is a a worthy event that needs to be preserved. Adequate maintenance not only makes sense – it is the right thing to do.  Hold your commission accountable for the things they are required to do by Idaho Statute.

I invite you to view the gallery of images I photographed while at the Fairgrounds in Downey.  I welcome your thoughts and ideas, not only on how to prevent such problems in the future, but also solutions.

Aspen Morrow: Med Free Bipolar Book Signing TODAY at Nampa Hastings

“Please stop by Nampa Hastings and say HI anytime 3-8pm today (Wednesday 6/25/14) if you can,” writes Aspen Morrow, author of Med Free Bipolar: Thrive Naturally with the Med Free Method (MFM Book Series: The Bipolar Disorder Ultimate Survival Guide to Fast Natural Cures 1).  “I hear these signings can be slow at times. Thanks for everyone’s support on this project. I am blessed.”

10436158_10204336315638691_2409312625682325378_nAspen’s young career as an international investigative journalist ended abruptly in a hospitalization to padded cell with a drain in the floor. Told she should apply for disability and not have children due to her mental illness, at age 22, Aspen had given up hope life would ever be normal again. Speaking out now for the first time, she shares how she beat the odds and recovered fully. From food stamps to business woman of the year, Aspen has spent the past ten years putting her investigative skills to use to bring to light the latest and greatest natural remedies in mental health care. Learn how thousands have recovered, step by step, in her first book in the Med Free Method™ Book Series: Med Free Bipolar.

In Med Free Bipolar you will Learn:

Natural alternatives that are as effective as prescriptions

What you need to know before quitting meds and how to get your doctor and family on board

What types of doctors can actually heal you (some who even take insurance/medicaid!)

What tests to ask for to rule out physical causes that look psychiatric

Natural supplements that can effectively END: rage, anger issues, anxiety, insomnia, racing thoughts, night terrors and “surround sound” noise sensitivity

How to shut your brain off when you want

What kind of diet is the best for bipolar

What to feed to your brain when it’s manic, depressed, racing, and having mixed episodes

Natural cures for lost libido and medication weight gain

Easy, lazy lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference in your mental health

The primary goal of Med Free Bipolar is to show that treating bipolar effectively through natural means is not only possible, but highly likely. The Med Free Method™ is designed as a fourth treatment option over being medicated, “unmedicated”, or “self-medicated”, written by a peer who has been through it and backed by scientifically-proven, field-tested methods.

@IdahoStateJ: Pocatello mosque progresses

Despite recent vandalism, the new Pocatello Mosque, formerly El Jacalito Mexican Restaurant, located on South Fifth Avenue is nearing completion of the first phase of the building project.

The society estimates that if each Islamic community member donates around $200  they will have enough funds to finish the mosque.

…  this project quadruples the capacities of the existing place of worship. The Islamic Society has met for 25 years in their current location on Fourth Avenue.

    At that time, the community was small and it worked well for them. However, the last 10 years has seen a dramatic increase in the Islamic community and the need for the new mosque became more urgent, according to Hummel.

    … The new mosque will better serve the students from Middle Eastern countries as well as the approximately 1,400 community members from this region.

… the restoration of the old run down building will also enrich the area.

Read the full story.

Ballet Idaho Announces 2014/15 Performances

10296020_674594039269195_3078738912222795542_oExperience the creativity of the company dancers as they express themselves as choreographers. New choreography challenges dancers to regenerate themselves through new technical and expressive goals. Be a part of the audience in the intimate Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy’s performance studio and be prepared for the unexpected.  NEW DANCE is an experience that puts you so close to the action you can almost touch it. This new work is passed like a torch from the choreographer to dancers to audience and the new ballet of today becomes traditions of tomorrow.     – See more at:

The mission of Ballet Idaho is to enrich lives through a dynamic tradition of classic ballet, reaching out to all generations and social groups to instill a life-long appreciation of the arts.  Collectively, Ballet Idaho is building a strong cultural institution based on professional ballet performance and dance education serving Idaho and the Intermountain West.

A scene from Alice in Wonderland, April 2014

A scene from Alice in Wonderland, April 2014

Ballet Idaho has been performing in Idaho since 1972. Currently it has an artistic staff of 25 dancers, a professional teaching staff of ten, a professional costume designer and a production staff of three.  Up to 40 musicians from the Boise Philharmonic and two pianists provide musical accompaniment for Ballet Idaho’s performances, rehearsals and classes depending on the production or project.  Ballet Idaho offers a full season of 14 performances of four main stage ballets, a professional Academy of Dance, training students in classic ballet and extensive educational outreach programs for students in Boise, the Treasure Valley, and throughout Idaho.  As the only professional ballet company in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming, Ballet Idaho provides important artistic opportunities and experiences that greatly enrich the creative vitality of the Idaho community.  Ballet Idaho served a total audience of 23,871 this past year and its educational outreach programs served over 10,000 students during the 2011/2012 Academic Year with the vast majority being residents in the city of Boise and the Treasure Valley.

Friday, November 14 at 8pm
Saturday, November 15 at 8pm
Friday, November 21 at 8pm
Saturday, November 22 at 8pm</p>
Friday, March 6 at 8pm
Saturday, March 7 at 8pm
Friday, March 13 at 8pm
Saturday, march 14 at 8pm

Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy 501 South 8th Street, Boise

Principal dancer Angela Gibson as Dew Drop in the Nutcracker.

Principal dancer Angela Gibson as Dew Drop in the Nutcracker.

Programs and Services

Ballet Idaho Academy of Dance: offers professional training in ballet and other dance forms with year-round open enrollment. Classes are held in five state-of-the-art studios at Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy in Downtown Boise, and in our West Boise location near the West YMCA. Youth Ensemble School

Performances: led by Ensemble Director, Sarah Morris, academy students tour local schools and community venues with a selection of dances and a lecture demonstration.  The production is designed with interactive elements and its aim is to engage and educate the audience on dance history and performance.

Academy Concerts:  upper and lower level classes present end-of-year performances in June 2014.

Learning Through Dance: A ten-week Artist-in-Residence outreach program for third-grade classrooms in Boise, and the Treasure Valley with unique curriculum developed by Ballet Idaho
By Special Invitation:  Our program provides an opportunity for individuals represented by local organizations from a wide array of socio/economic/ethnic backgrounds to attend a full production of Ballet Idaho’s mainstage performances free of charge.
Summer Intensives, Summer Camps, Summer Classes in Ballet Idaho’s Academy.

- See more at:

Ballet Idaho and Ballet Idaho Academy
501 South 8th Street
Boise, ID 83702

map & directions
– See more at: