Boise Democrats in two districts begin public forums Thursday

The six Democrats representing the Boise Bench (District 17) and Southeast and South Boise (District 18) have announced their schedule for meetings with constituents during the 2013 legislative session.

The forums allow residents to ask questions and raise concerns with their lawmakers. All seven forums begin at 7 p.m.

The first forum is in District 18 is Thursday at Maple Grove Elementary School, with a preview of session.

The second District 18 forum is Feb. 14 at East Junior High School. (Bring your valentine?)

Day 2 funning at the Idaho Legislature

The House and Senate met briefly Tuesday, taking care of administrative business. Afterward, a number of lawmakers headed to a luncheon hosted by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

House Republican Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude of rural Ada County spoke on the floor about small matters, including parking permits and meal tickets. He also alerted colleagues that keeping the House pages satisfied might be a good idea.

The pages, following a House custom, had posted wish list on the door of their quarters off the floor, with food and other items.

Former Speaker Denney says he's 'relieved' to be free of responsibility of leading Idaho House

As the House prepared for the pomp and ceremony of the opening of the 2013 Legislature Monday, I spent some time on the floor observing and speaking with Former House Speaker Lawerence Denney -- the first Idaho speaker defeated in anyone's memory.

Denney, R-Midvale, spent five minutes in conversation with new Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. They were laughing, reminiscing and discussing Denney's new role as chairman of the House Resources & Conservation Committee.

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A chastened Tom Luna? Idaho schools chief says he'll wait till 2014 for major reform

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's immediate reaction to voters rebuke of "Students Come First" was to call it a "bump in the road."

That was in November, a few days after all three "Luna Laws" were widely rejected at the ballot box. Since then, Luna's largely flown under the radar.

But he emerged Monday, joining the rest of the statewide elected officials seated behind Gov. Butch Otter for his "State of the State" address.

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Otter: Use local-option tax to help replace Idaho's $141 million personal property tax

Gov. Butch Otter on Monday said he supports a broad local-option tax, saying such levies could help offset repeal of the $141 million personal property tax that supports, cities, counties, schools and other local governments.

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Idaho's Crapo says he'd been drinking for a year, expresses contrition, plans to run again

Sen. Mike Crapo said Friday that he began drinking alcohol for the first time in his life in the past year as a way to deal with on-the-job stress. Crapo said he was drinking once or twice a week, always alone in his apartment in Washington, D.C.

When he drove early on the morning of Dec. 23 after having “two to three” vodka tonics, Crapo said it was the first time he’d driven after drinking.

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Tea Party Boise to meet, rally at Idaho Capitol against health insurance exchange

Tea Party Boise will meet at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 at the Boise Hotel and Conference Center on Vista Avenue, then rally at the Capitol at 1 p.m. and meet with lawmakers.

The group opposes GOP Gov. Butch Otter's recommendation that the 2013 Legislature approve a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

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Classless defined: Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Grant's attack on Mike Crapo

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant apparently sees margin in piling on after GOP U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's shocking DUI arrest early Sunday in Virginia.

I'm off this week, but am unable to let Christmas Eve pass without noting Grant's tin-eared, mean-spirited attempt to seek partisan gain. Crapo, whom I've covered since 1987, has been a class act on Idaho's behalf since his election to the U.S. House in 1992 and his subsequent rise to the Senate in 1998.

A better chance to toss tomatoes at Popkey: 2013 City Club pundits forum moves to larger venue

I'll be making my annual appearance at the City Club of Boise Jan. 9, the third day of the 2013 Legislative session, which Gov. Butch Otter recently joked would last just 60 days. (That unlikely scenario would be the shortest session since 1970, which ran 55 days).

I'll be joined in opining on the Legislature and taking questions by John Miller of the Associated Press and Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review and the "Eye on Boise" blog.

1356027059 A better chance to toss tomatoes at Popkey: 2013 City Club pundits forum moves to larger venue Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pete Cenarrusa, Idaho's senior statesman, faces another cancer battle

Pete Cenarrusa, the longest serving state official in Idaho history, celebrated his 95th birthday Sunday.

The next day, he had a CT scan at St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute, under the care of Dr. Norman Zuckerman, Cenarrusa's oncologist.

"It (the treatment) showed real good progress," Cenarrusa told me Thursday morning. "It had metastasized into the liver, but the liver is clear now. So, it's looking good."

Cenarrusa completed three months of chemotherapy before the scan to treat his small-cell carcinoma of the lung.

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