Category Archives: Lead

Lead story of the day

Will this be another Mother Earth News type blog?

Once upon a time, this website was purely political; an Idaho news aggregator with a leftist-sarcastic tilt. People would ask me what PaleoMedia meant, and I’d say it was a description of my politics and that someday I’d write about it.

Future Farmers of Backyards
Future Farmers of Backyards

Well, I have a secret. The main reason I live in Idaho, the one thing I dream of every night, my goal for the rest of my career and into my pending retirement, is to strive for a simpler, more paleolithic existence. More caveman.

I say that sitting in my wooden house blanketed in fiberglass insulation typing on my PowerBook G4 and fully aware that I have pathetic facial hair and, while not perfect, a decent posture.

But I yearn to cut myself off from cheap plastics, processed foods, things that society tells us we need (insurance, investments, gasoline). And I yearn for DK Donuts and Hagen Daz and an iphone.

This is paleomedia: absolute relativity, the obliteration of contradiction. Online Luddite. Stem and seed eater who has a burger and fries for dessert. Total paleomedia is what you will find here.

At this point in my life I am failed big game hunter and lame fisherman. I am growing some lettuces and onions in my backyard, but the plot is rife with weeds and I let my chickens chew up the Asian greens. My pile of sheep and elk hides is starting to decay. It is time to get serious in my cave.

Join me in this journey, dear readers. I will need help. So I will turn to books and local experts to make me into the caveman I yearn be. Soon it will be my birthday. In the next year I plan to accomplish the following, and you, especially you boor bastards who don’t live in Idaho, can accomplish the following too and even make snide comments along the way, here, at

Here is my cave list for the next four seasons:

  • Put up enough ginger pickled radishes, eggplant and bean “chopped liver” and stewed tomatoes to last through next winter.
  • Tan the hides I’ve collected in the last year and make something useful from them (baby blankets and sheepskin vest to wear to the Legislature?)
  • Shoot an elk or a deer with my heretofore ornamental bow.
  • Keep my young flock of chickens alive long enough to make the ultimate caveman omlette (stay tuned for this one).
  • Teach the 4-year-old to catch, clean and fry a fish, consistently, and maybe from the Boise River.
  • Write regularly about these activities for the less fortunate.

Anything I missed? Probably. But it’s time to crack another beer and brainstorm ways to make my own beer by this time next year.

Wave of journalism next think

In the last week, thoughts of the future of journalism have gone to code red. It was one of those watershed weeks; more economic trouble at my newspaper and Boise’s daily paper and, well, at all of the papers. A meeting with a guy who suggested there are rich people out there who are finally realizing something must be done to preserve a modicum of watchdogging. Then waking up to an NPR series on the future of journalism, pointing to a few new models from not-for-profit to government supported to technology driven revenue models of the future.

Here’s a few links to get you started thinking about this too. In one of these stories, the point is made that there is no time to wait. So I started in on my personal j-schooling white papering yesterday.

National Public Radio, looked at a a few models of new, new, new journalism [listen], including the innovative world news site GlobalPost.

GlobalPost relies on paid ads, premium content and online opportunities for paid subscribers and syndication to fund a large network of foreign correspondents. Writers are paid a retainer and earn a stake in the company. (Did you know that 20 million Chinese migrant workers have lost their jobs?)

Walter Isaacson at TIME, who claims to have invented banner ads and such, recommends a system of micropayments to pay for online journalism. Like dropping a coin into a slot:

One of history’s ironies is that hypertext — an embedded Web link that refers you to another page or site — had been invented by Ted Nelson in the early 1960s with the goal of enabling micropayments for content. He wanted to make sure that the people who created good stuff got rewarded for it. In his vision, all links on a page would facilitate the accrual of small, automatic payments for whatever content was accessed. Instead, the Web got caught up in the ethos that information wants to be free.

I want information to be free too. And I want to be paid to tell stories. And I don’t want pity or charity. And, frankly, I don’t want to need to worry about the business side of journalism. But it’s time to worry. Or at least to get serious.

If you are reading this, you probably expect to get your news for free online, as I do. So who should pay for its production people?

Trailer park rights battle launched

Phylis King wants to protect mobile home residents from losing the land under their homes. Boise Democrat teamed up with Emmett Republican Carlos Bilbao to write laws protecting mobile home park residents. King: “It seems like a really good cause. We need to preserve work force housing. In this economy, this is like basic work force housing. Let’s protect, preserve and encourage it.” Double wide makers cry foul. Kreller in the Idaho Statesman

Texas considers review of private prisons

Texas lawmakers are considering a review of private prisons, following the pullout of Idaho DOC. Family of two Idaho inmates who killed themselves at the private GEO Group Bill Clayton Detention Center testified at the Texas Legislature. Texas lawmaker on the “little state of Idaho”: “Should we be following their lead?” Well, no Texas prisoners are held at Bill Clayton… Jackson in the Times-News.

New Paleo/BW project

This site has admittedly been pretty sporadic for a few months. We’ve been dealing with a new baby, a new job and trying to get in shape for elk season. So thanks to all the folks that keep checking back.

You may be interested in a new blog that is part of my day job. I call is citydesk (lower case please) and it is a mix of Boise, Boise Valley and state news that comes across our radar down at the Boise Weekly offices. You can take a peak todaycheck it out here, but set your bookmarks for…

I am going to keep going because I still think it’s a good idea. But I encourage you to check back maybe once a week rather than every day. Maybe consider it like your Sunday paper, without the paper… We’ll have lots more stuff on here during the legislative session of course and maybe some new features.


So stay in touch.

Press-Tribune layoffs not in newsroom

The Idaho Press-Tribune announced 16 layoffs Wednesday, but publisher Rick Weaver said editorial staff has not been cut.

“Business is just bad,” Weaver said. “If the economy was better we wouldn’t be doing it.”

The Canyon County paper posted a story Wednesday afternoon announcing the layoffs.

“Even though the economy is currently bad, there are many positive things at the Press-Tribune, including home delivery and single copy sales reaching new records. Combined with our growing online audience, the total Press-Tribune readership is higher than at any point in history.”

Layoffs will affect the entire building, but Weaver said editorial staff will not be let go.
Last month the paper announced a joint printing deal with the Idaho Statesman in which the smaller, Nampa-based paper will begin printing the Statesman. But that deal will not produce revenue for the Press-Tribune until next year, Weaver said.

The Statesman announced 16 layoffs last month at the same time as the joint printing contract was made public and also said an additional 20 layoffs would come when the Press-Tribune takes over printing.

The Press-Tribune which is owned by Pioneer Newspapers, gave employees two weeks notice and some type of severance package that may include a health coverage option through November.

Secret Service Said So

The city and the Governor’s Office are in the midst of a parking spat, with city parking officials irked that Otter’s security Suburban regularly parks on the sidewalk outside of the Borah Building.ISP Suburban that drives Gov. Otter around in its usual spot: the sidewalk. We covered the spat this week in the Boise Weekly. After publication the Idaho State Police called to explain: The U.S. Secret Service–the guys that guard the president–recommended that particular spot. They can’t get into the reasons, of course. It’s a security thing. Read more about it at

Results of races to watch

Initial analysis of last night’s primary shows very some mixed results. Hot races in the unsettled territory between West Boise and Oregon, or at least from Boise to Caldwell, ended up all over the map. Moyle drew out his rural base in north Boise Valley but Boise businessman Chuck Winder also landed the Senate seat there. In Meridian proper, McKague held on, but west of there, in Wilder country, former bureaucrat Takasugi managed to defeat the red-baiting rhetoric of Otter appointee Bowers. A run-down of key races across the state follows, based on our earlier primary thoughts.

  1. Hart votes no, voters say yes. Rep. Phil Hart: “I vote no a lot, but I think my district appreciates that. Sometimes legislation isn’t ready. You can have a good idea, but the bill isn’t ready.” Hart beats Rawls with 70 percent in N. Kootenai. Greene in the CDA Press. Also, Jorgenson garners some 61 percent.
  2. Takasugi, recovering from cancer, pulled out 500 more votes than Otter-appointee Curtis Bowers in Caldwell. Pat Tagasuki, former ag director, gets 57 percent in conservative Canyon County district… voice of relative moderation. To face Democrat Mike Warwick, who has at least 613 friends, in November.
  3. Beebe-Bauer hand it to Thayn. Near split vote in District 11 was close all night. Incumbent Steve Thayn, who has perfectly honed the family values message, ended up on top this morning with 38 percent. In neighboring District 9, wise-use veteran Judy Boyle unseated Otter-appointee Diana Thomas in a fairly close contest.
  4. Closer in to Boise, Chuck Winder pulled off a 10 point spread on incumbent Stan Bastian in a crowded 4-way. We interviewed Winder late Tuesday night for Boise State Radio and he criticized Bastian’s leadership in the Legislature and said that he did not regret entering the Senate race rather than taking on Moyle, with whom is at odds on transit issues facing the Boise Valley. Carpenter-Pundit Kulczyk, who said he was not really running, managed 247 votes.
  5. The only Legislative Democrat primary in the state, for Moyle’s seat in District 14, fizzled out early on. Moyle will face Michelle Waddell (991 friends) in November. Moyle easily warded off a write in effort and said he enjoyed the battle. Glida Bothwell opted to mount a write-in challenge for Raul Labrador’s seat and will appear on the ballot in November.
  6. Former Rep. Julie Ellsworth will get a shot at Brandon Durst in District 18 in November. Ellsworth, who was beaten by King when 18 went all Dem in the last elections, wants to take back the district for the Micron employees. First time candidate Gail Hartnett, who had some serious assistance on her race, did not overcome the Ellsworth name recognition.
  7. Snodgrass out in Meridian. Rep. Mark Snodgrass took on Sen. Shirley McKague, putting his political career, or at least his legislative career, at risk. He could not pull off the votes. McKague, who went to the Senate on another Otter appointment, won 53 percent to 47 percent in a bell-weather district.
  8. In The Home, Tim Corder pulled off a decisive victory against blogger Clayton Cramer, who was backed by Idaho’s captains of industry. Cramer “surprised” and Californicated.
  9. Tom Loertscher pulls big win in far-East Idaho.Loertscher gets 44 percent in far-spread East Idaho district. Lots of driving for votes. Davidson in the Post-Register. And Erik Simpson beat Ann Rydalch in 32, 59-41.
  10. Bonus races: District 21 turned into a very interesting contest with a triumvirate of challengers nearly unseating the entire District 21 delegation. Rep. John Vander Woude lost to Rich Jarvis by some 60 votes. Rep. Bayer and Sen. Fulcher squeaked by in their races, nearly losing to Jarvis’s buddies.