August 21, 2009
The final hurdle
Board member Bruce Sweeney loses battle with cancer
Bruce Sweeney, a member of the Idaho Transportation Board since 1998 and a highly revered former Idaho legislator, passed away Tuesday at his home in Lewiston at the age of 77. The past few years became an endurance challenge for an athlete who once was recognized as a world-class hurdler and a contender for the U.S. Olympic track team.
Former lawmakers respond to loss
Longtime public servant and volunteer coach Bruce Sweeney died in Lewiston Tuesday. He was 77. Sweeney was one of a long line of Democratic legislators who have represented Nez Perce County in Boise. He served two terms in the House, plus eight terms in the Senate, including several sessions as minority leader.
Sweeney never forgot his passengers
Editorial: The Lewiston Tribune
As a high school and college track star, Bruce Sweeney learned to rely on himself. "The reason I liked it is the only one you had to depend on is you. You're either there or you're not there," he recently told the Tribune's Kerri Sandaine. Of course, if a track star falters, so does his team's overall performance.
The funeral for Bruce Sweeney will be Monday, Aug. 24, beginning at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church, 920 8th Ave. in Lewiston. Seating is limited and those planning to attend should arrive early. Information about memorial contributions will be announced later. The transportation board Thursday selected member Neil Miller, District-5, Blackfoot, to succeed Mr. Sweeney as board vice-chairman.
Construction pays dividends for Idaho economy
Even before the national economic downturn that began in late 2008 and the arrival this spring of federal stimulus funds, highway projects were having a substantial impact on Idaho’s economy. Nearly one-third of the major public construction projects either started or completed in 2008 were ITD projects, according to the Idaho Business Review. The publication presented awards to the top three projects, based on cost, for projects in three categories: government, office/retail and private.
District 6 cleanups discover roadside 'weed'
You’d have to forgive Lori Krause if she believes a section of Idaho highway is going to pot. But her observation isn’t related to the condition of U.S. 26 or noxious vegetation growing along its shoulders. Instead, her conclusion could be linked to what highway cleanup crews have discovered along the highway shoulders … bags of marijuana, or pot or weed.
ISP presents award for crash response
Idaho State Police Region 4 Commander Cpt. Kedrick Wills and Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, this week presented awards on behalf of John Moffat, Regional Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
ITD reporting site ranked well nationally
ITD’s portion of the state accountability Web site devoted to tracking federal stimulus funds fared well in a recent independent study. The July report, “Show Us the Stimulus: An Evaluation of State Government Recovery Act Web Sites,” gave ITD’s stimulus project Web site a score of 53, ranking it in a tie for ninth with Arkansas and Connecticut. The report, prepared by Good Jobs First, can be found at http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/news/article.cfm?id=396
ITD wildlife database wins USDOT honor
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently selected an Idaho project as among the nation’s best examples of improving the interrelationship of vehicles and wildlife. ITD’s creation of the Idaho Transportation/Wildlife Database was named a recipient of the 2009 Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEI) and the Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives (EEI), awarded in nationwide judging.
Other award winners
ITD moving toward SharePoint
The Office of Communication (OC,) with the assistance of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), launched a project to migrate information from the department’s Intranet into Microsoft Office SharePoint Services (MOSS). The expectation is that MOSS eventually will replace the current Intranet structure.
Training planned on new evaluation forms
It has been 18 years since the existing performance evaluation form has been revised. Over those years, Human Resource Services has received feedback, both positive and negative regarding the form; making the form easier to use was a consistent request.
Annual Administrative Workshop planned Sept. 10
Administrative staff will gain new knowledge and understanding about their profession, explore ITD processes and interact with counterparts from throughout the state when they assemble for the 2009 Administrative Workshop in Meridian. This year’s workshop, “Making Cents of It All,” will take place at a new venue, according to organizer Connie Lane-Porter. The all-day event will be Thursday, Sept. 10, at The Courtyard by Marriott, 1789 South Eagle Road, Meridian. Take the Interstate 84 exit and drive south past Overland Road.
Officers launch campaign against impaired driving
Make the right choice and don't drive impaired because Idaho law enforcement agencies will be out in force Aug. 24 through Sept. 7 searching for and arresting impaired drivers. The campaign is part of a nationwide Labor Day mobilization targeting drunk driving. The timing for the law enforcement effort is significant because of the Labor Day holiday period.
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ITD and the Idaho State Police will combine under the umbrella of Road Angels to promote women’s health next month in Boise. Employees and family members from both agencies will participate in the annual St. Luke’s Women’s Fitness Celebration, Sept. 24-26. The Saturday (Sept. 26) road event begins at the Grove in downtown Boise and will offer routes of 5 kilometers and 3.1 miles. Participants can complete the distance at their own pace, whether running, walking or strolling.
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Governor, dignitaries turn dirt to start two new projects
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter joined local residents, business and government leaders today to formally launch two highway construction projects that will create jobs, improve safety and reduce congestion in eastern Idaho. More than 300 people, including legislators, city and county officials, business leaders and citizens participated in groundbreaking ceremonies at Rigby High School and in Chubbuck.
Course will remind employees of respectful workplace policy
ITD is committed to maintaining a healthy, respectful, professional workplace that enables employees the freedom to do their jobs in a safe and respectful work environment. That commitment is part of the department’s culture and policy. According to department policy, all employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran or marital status.
Cavanaugh Bay Airport facilities updated
Camping services at Idaho’s state-owned Cavanaugh Bay Airport reached new levels this summer with completion of new facilities that cater to pilots and passengers. An outdated World War II-era Quonset hut was removed and replaced with new men’s and women’s restrooms and showers that are handicap accessible.
ITD commissions survey to determine satisfaction level
Part of ITD’s strategic planning effort, introduced last year, is to help determine the satisfaction level of the department’s stakeholders, the citizens of Idaho. To establish that benchmark, the strategic planning group focusing on enhancing customer service recently commissioned a statewide random survey by the University of Idaho.
ITD maintenance foreman captures nature's fireworks
Southwest Idaho residents enjoyed an unrivaled natural light show on Aug. 5 – the second of a four-day midsummer storm that brought countless lightning strikes, blustery winds and uncharacteristic rainfall. ITD’s Cecil Dallman, Idaho City maintenance foreman, captured the spectacle in the sky from a distance, showing the intensity of the storm over Boise. He photographed the strikes from Federal Way and Idaho 21.
Revised handbook outlines requirements
ITD’s Business and Support Management section recently published a revision to the department’s extensive Public Records Handbook. The 38-page publication outlines the Idaho Public Records Law, requirements for responding to requests and access to the department’s records.