April 3, 2009
Department heads in best position to make salary decisions
As Governor, I have been drawing on my experience at the state and federal levels but most importantly in the private sector to bring greater efficiency and accountability to our state government – to run it more like a business. That means providing our customers – Idaho citizens – with services and programs within their financial means and consistent with our Constitution, laws and the proper role of government.
Former board member Jack Combo passes away this morning
ITD joins family members of Jack Combo in mourning his passing early this morning (Friday, April 3). The long-time transportation board member, public servant, civic leader and friend lost a hard-fought battle with cancer at home in Idaho Falls. Mr. Combo retired from the transportation board early in 2008 and received a festive farewell during a March 2008 ceremony at Headquarters. An advocate of ITD employees and their continuing education, he served on the board 18 years (six terms), from 1990 to 2008.
ITD extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Combo's family. Information about formal services will be provided when it becomes available. Please see the 2008 Transporter for more about Jack's many contributions to the department and state of Idaho.
Retirement gives McClure chance to reflect on 'satisfying' tenure
Monte McClure was in a familiar environment last week, returning to the Idaho Transportation Department’s Headquarters to complete employee exit papers. But the access badge hanging from his shirt pocket was different than he was accustomed to… It was a visitor’s badge checked out from the security desk.
McClure formally ended more than 13 years as a member of the Idaho Transportation Board last month.
Jerry Whitehead named new board member
Idaho native Jerry Whitehead joined the Idaho Transportation Board in March as the representative for District 3. He replaces Monte McClure who finished his second full term on the board earlier this year. Whitehead established a trailer manufacturing business in Boise four decades ago and continues to serve as President and owner of Western Trailers. He has been a member of the Idaho Motor Carrier Advisory Committee.
Headquarters ceremony launches organ donor month
Veronica Calton-Hughes joined ITD Director Pam Lowe, Alex McDonald from the Intermountain Donor Services organization in Salt Lake City and two other speakers for a brief organ donor awareness ceremony. Following formal presentations and a bagpipes rendition of “Irish Eyes are Smiling,” participants raised an organ donor flag on the ITD flagpole. It will remain on display throughout April, organ donor month.
New ITD guidebook will help organizations plan requests
Interest in designating new Idaho Scenic Byways or expanding existing byways led to creation and publication this week of a comprehensive program guide that will organizations plan their efforts. The Idaho Byways 2009 Program Guide complements the award-winning Idaho Scenic Byways brochure and Web site that opens the state’s highway vistas for the world to experience.
Array of breakout sessions, presentations on schedule
Highway officials representing a range of professional disciplines will have access o the latest in research and highway design practices when they attend the bi-annual ITD Project Development Conference at the Boise Centre on the Grove in Boise. Practical Solutions for Transportation Systems includes four plenary sessions and a formal banquet address the first day and more than 30 breakout discussions, organized in four tracks, on the second day.
Engineers in Training
Participants to discuss projects at April 6 conference
Nearly a dozen Engineers in Training from throughout the state will discuss their professional experiences of the past year when they assemble for the annual EIT conference Monday in Boise. The program begins with a message by ITD Chief Engineer Tom Cole and will include formal welcomes by Bryant Young and Mike McKee. EIT coordinator Matt Farrar, who also is the state bridge engineer, will follow with a presentation and then turn the program over to EIT participants who will discuss their projects.
Commuters share the road, not the vehicle
A survey of commuting practices conducted last summer reveals that more than three-fourths of ITD’s district employees made the trip to and from work by themselves. The survey began in June and concluded in September; the final results were discussed this week at a meeting of ITD’s Green House Gas Reduction Team. The 2008 survey indicated employees in districts 1 and 3 were the least likely to share the commute; 80.5 percent of the District 1 workers drove alone, and 80 percent of those in District 3 had no passengers
Pay attention to product labels
Many of the products we purchase have flashy, colorful labels. While they can be visually attractive, they have a lot more to offer than looks. Food labels contain a variety of dietary information and many people read these to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. But how many of us take the time to read the label of household cleaning products? Healthy lifestyles encompass more than just dietary intake. Take the time to reduce risks to your health by being aware of what you use and store in your home
Warm-ups are good idea for early gardening
Gardening is a relaxing activity for most. But it is also a vigorous and demanding activity. Gardening is good exercise. And with any good exercise a good warm up should precede it to prevent repetitive stress injuries and acute trauma. If you are going to do more than pull a couple of weeds you should definitely warm up before gardening. A good cool down is needed as well. Practice these along with some ergonomic basics and you can ensure your gardening does not become a pain in the back.
• More than 1,600 TVs, monitors collected at ITD
JFAC approves ITD's budget, authorizes bond
The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee Wednesday approved ITD’s Fiscal Year 2010 funding request, authorized the sale of additional GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds and approved a supplemental budget that clears the way for using federal stimulus funds. JFAC is responsible for setting the budgets of state agencies and forwarding the requests to the full House and Senate.
Practical Design savings estimated to exceed $70 million by 2012
Savings achieved through implementation of a new highway design standard by the Idaho Transportation Department are nearly five times greater than initially expected, reaching $27.2 million in just the first year of the program, ITD announced. Adoption of the Practical Design management approach initially was expected to produce savings of about $5.6 million in state fiscal year 2008, explains ITD Director Pamela Lowe. That projection was revised to $18.4 million in December.
State to begin direct deposit of employee pay
As a cost-savings initiative, the State Controller’s Office expects to implement a new policy that requires direct deposit of paychecks for all state employees, effective this July. State Controller Donna M. Jones announced the new policy earlier this month after informing the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee of its intent in January.
Funds will address infrastructure needs, but falls short
The Road Information Program
The approval of the federal stimulus package will provide a welcome down payment toward meeting Idaho’s funding shortfall for projects to address the deficiencies on its roads, highways and bridges, but will not be adequate to allow the rapidly growing state to proceed with numerous projects needed to modernize its surface transportation system and allow for long- term economic development.
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Spring weather brings out plows
In Idaho’s warmer climates, where spring weather and the first day of spring are sometimes closely related, farmers are busy plowing their fields to prepare them for seeding. Many ITD maintenance crews are engaged in another rite of spring, brooming highway shoulders and repairing potholes.
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