Saturday, October 27, 2007

Other Stuff About Boise

Other than the disappointment of not seeing the capitol, Boise was cute and pleasant, very chilly and cloudy my first day but sunny enough today for a walk along the Boise River greenbelt amid the golden foliage. Unfortunately, my camera's battery was exhausted by then.

A few fun observations. Along West Idaho Street, one of the main cafe and dining districts downtown, it was refreshing to see that the Starbucks seemed constantly empty and two locally owned coffee shops, the Flying M and Java Downtown, were both packed at all times.

It was nice that the Boisans (Boiseganders?) are such pet-loving people (see above left) who are so excited by their libraries (see right). I especially enjoyed the graphic and wording on the pet sign. It notes that you should pick up and leash your dog (I think they mean pick up poop and leash the dog, not pick up dog and leash the poop, huh?) "unless otherwise posted," but I didn't see any place where it said, "Dog poop welcome! Drop and leave!" Also, if you look carefully at this sign you can see that this dog is clearly leashing its owner and not the other way around.

You wonder what's in Boise for me. Well, I was up there working on three stories, at least one of which I'll definitely get published and the other two are in a bit of flux at the moment. No, none have to do with a certain toe-tapping senator. I'm not really at liberty to say what's what, but one of the more timely and newsworthy things that's in Boise is the National Interagency Fire Center, which is essentially the spinal cord of the massive firefighting efforts going on at the moment in Southern California. This is where the nation's supplies of hoses, weather gauges, radio equipment and other fire gear is dispatched from, where the folks are who coordinate getting, say, firefighters from Las Vegas to go to San Diego. It's the home of the Smoke Jumpers, essentially a federally funded daredevil program in which firefighters are trained to parachute into the middle of hard-to-access wildfires. To your right are several pieces of equipment and clothing returned from the California front for cleaning and repair.

I sat in on a live video conference briefing between personnel there and folks from Washington D.C., including the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, formerly an Idaho governor, as Friday's strategy for battling the devastating conflagrations was devised and revised.

Anyhow, that's that except one last little thing. This has to be the messiest desk I've seen, and I'm a journalist...


LinFromNJ said...

HA! you haven't seen my desk