Mayor Tammy de Weerd presented the 2014 Neighborhood Star Awards to a number of
deserving individuals and businesses within the community during a public
ceremony and reception at the Meridian City Hall.
award recognizes Meridian residents for their staunch commitment to preserving,
maintaining and improving the quality of life and safety in their
neighborhoods, as well as the broader Meridian community.
repeatedly been recognized by Money
Magazine in their annual ‘Best Places to Live’ list because of people like
this year’s esteemed recipients,” said Mayor Tammy de Weerd. “These unsung
heroes have shown selfless dedication to their neighbors, neighborhoods and
community, and are deserving of our appreciation and recognition.”
recipients are nominated by a neighbor or neighborhood association, and this
year’s recipients were:
& Roxanne Corsi are a husband and wife team who efficiently handle a
variety of issues such as keeping neighbors calm, satisfied, and free of
complaints. From making renters feel included in neighborhood activities to
supervising the lawn maintenance crew, this warm and communicative couple is
dedicated to their small but cooperative HOA and will respond to the needs of their
neighbors at any hour of day or night.
is the President of Meridian-based, Genesis Service Dogs. Genesis Service Dogs
breeds, raises and trains service dogs for people that need them to assist with
disabilities. Through her role as President she is the leader of all the
raisers and trainers that help produce the dogs that will go on to be someone’s
hero and lifesaver.
Sanders was on her way to work in February when she witnessed a little boy who
was on his bicycle hit by a car on Linder and Monument Ave. Being a nurse; she
jumped into action and assisted the boy until paramedics arrived. The very next
day, she made phone calls to ask about getting a crosswalk put in - one month
later, her neighborhood had a crosswalk.
Hoffman exemplifies the ideal neighbor. He constantly offers to help his neighbors
with anything that needs doing, in or around the house and then some. He knows
everyone in the neighborhood and uses his diverse skills to assist with issues
from leaky sprinkler systems to malfunctioning doorbells, to gardening.
& Carol Standley are heroes of a different kind. We all know the hazards of
puncture vine, also known as the dreaded Goathead. Edee and Carol worked daily
for more than a week, personally pulled piles of these thorny noxious green
weeds in order to save countless bicycle tires, tennis shoes, and dog paws,
from damage and pain.
Ford first arrived in the Treasure Valley, their staff reached out to The Idaho
Foodbank and offered their help in building awareness of hunger in our
communities. Their Kendall Cares program also supports causes like the annual
CATCH 5k at Kleiner Park, the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County, the American
Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and the Boise State
Norma Gale personally
bought and cares for over a dozen pots of flowers around the La Playa senior
community clubhouse and is always ready with a casserole for those who are ill.
actively volunteers for her local church, serves as a Cub Scout leader, Sunday school
teacher, and immediate substitute anytime there is a need. She is currently serving as a compassionate
service organizer/leader assisting those who are going through difficult times
by providing and organizing dinners and babysitting, organizing activities for
brightening the mood of those individuals, and being a key cog for helping
those hospitalized and needing assistance from other members.
took matters into his own hands. When a neighbor used a leaf blower to blow his
leafs into the street, instead of causing a problem, Randy took a broom and
garbage bags and cleaned all the leaves out of the street and properly disposed
of them. Additionally, Randy keeps an eye on his neighbor’s property when they
travel, bringing in their mail and boxes.
Stan and Suzi
Young served a full-time church mission and have helped organizations in Idaho
including the Blind Services Foundation, Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding
Center, Idaho Youth Ranch, Wyakin Warrior Foundation, Foundation for Blind
Children, and the March of Dimes, among others.
By Mayor Tammy
October 8th was International Walk to School Day.
This is an important day each year as we’re reminded of the importance of
physical activity in our lives – and especially in the lives of our children.
There were many Walk to School Day events and I was honored to participate in
the event hosted by Ponderosa Elementary. What a great group of elementary-aged
students we have at Ponderosa! I have no doubt that they are representative of
the high-quality students we have at each and every one of our elementary
schools in Meridian.
Growing up in the home of a high
school football coach, the importance of physical activity and exercise was
instilled in me from a very early age. That’s why I not only participated in
Walk to School Day, but am also participating in, and promoting, a month-long
walking challenge sponsored by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation and Let’s
Move Boise! This month-long challenge, issued by Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, is
designed to promote good health for area schoolchildren by encouraging them to
walk and run to school.
Meridian has seven elementary schools
that have accepted the challenge and will be competing for $500 prizes in two
categories: most miles accumulated and highest participation rate. The winning
schools will earn prize money to purchase additional P.E. and fitness
equipment. Currently, one in three Idaho children is overweight or obese. Our
children are our legacy, which is why this month-long challenge and activity is
so important. It is our job as parents and adults to encourage and help kids
make sound and healthy choices. In addition, we will also gain tremendously
from the amount of walking we will be doing with our children!
To encourage participation by our
school children, I have committed to visiting each school that is participating
in the challenge and walk with students at least once during their designated
walking time. I am excited to visit these schools and see the excitement in
eyes of tomorrow’s leaders as we walk together. Through our walking, the kids
and I will enhance school pride, learn more about teamwork and increase
awareness of the opportunity for children and adults to improve their health.
Likewise, we will be displaying just how easy and simple it is to add physical
activity and exercise into our already busy schedules.
I invite you to join me, and our
elementary students, in walking more during the month of October. To learn more
about the month-long challenge, visit www.letsmoveboise.com. It is my hope that through this
challenge we not only take a few moments to identify ways to improve our
physical activity each day, but that we actually do it! I’ll see you out on the
By Mayor Tammy
We are just a couple of weeks into the school year and I’m already
amazed at the interest our youth have shown in getting involved in their
community. At our first meeting of the Meridian Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council
(MYAC), we had nearly 200 youth in attendance. This is an impressive group. We
saw their energy and passion displayed as many of them participated this past
Wednesday in the 5th annual Treasure Valley Youth Safety Summit.
The overall goal of the summit was to educate student leaders on
the dangers teens face. More than 200 students from the West Ada School
District's high schools, charter schools, and home schools joined
us for interactive safety messaging and workshops surrounding a ‘personal
empowerment’ theme. This year’s theme was developed by the youth as they aimed
to show how it is possible to stand up and make good choices in any setting in
which they find themselves.
Utilizing the many applicable resources Wahooz offers, attendees
experienced the dangers of distracted driving by texting while navigating the
go-kart track, participated in mini-golf while donning intoxicated vision
goggles to display the effects drugs and alcohol play in judgment, and played
in unfair-teamed laser tag to mimic bullying. Experts
from Buckle Up for Bobby, the Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition (MADC) and law
enforcement were at each location to share personal insights as to how their
lives have been changed by singular decisions they or their children made as
teens to create dialogue and give tips on how to. New this year, the youth
incorporated a workshop designed to give them basic tips on personal safety, as
well as a demonstration by our Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea, who is
an accomplished martial artist.
What is truly remarkable is the summit has gone from a humble
beginning of 60 attendees to a full-fledged event that is now being planned,
developed and executed by the teens themselves. We have partnered with their
school’s administration, guidance counselors, and the West Ada School District
to ensure continuity in messaging, have engaged our police to be active
participants in the interactive lessons, and found funding solutions to ensure
the summit will a mainstay for years to come.
Special thanks must go to Kathy Chambers’ State Farm Insurance
office for realizing the need for the summit and making a tremendous financial
I also offer my heartfelt gratitude to the
volunteers, parents, sponsors, educators, and presenters for your dedication to
The teens in our community continue to inspire me in everything
they do. They are creating legacies, changing lives and bettering our
community. I encourage you to learn more about what they are doing, support
their efforts, and you, too, will be amazed.
We did it! We
cracked the top 50 in two listings rating the best places to live in the U.S.
Magazine is no stranger to Idaho, and certainly, to Meridian. The magazine
named Meridian to its 2014 list of Top 50 Best Places to Live. This is the
fourth time the City of Meridian has received this recognition with a ranking
of 49 and is the only city in Idaho to make the list.
publication alternates ranking cities or towns each year, citing their
favorability and “livability” scores. For this year, the criteria included
cities with a population between 50,000 and 300,000. The magazine started with
a pool of 781 cities, and through research and analytics, shaved the list down
to the top 50. Other criteria included: median household income, job growth,
housing prices, test scores, crime rates and overall quality of life.
“One of the
things I love most about Meridian is the people. We are truly blessed with some
of the most giving, selfless private and corporate citizens a community could
ever hope for,” said Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd. “We have a community that
gives back and it’s great to see this recognized in such a prestigious
In the story,
Meridian was heralded for its “giving” community and strong corporate
citizenship model, citing the $25 million dollar gift to develop Kleiner Park,
as well as the anonymous gift in 2012 of a food bank. Other attributes
contributing to Meridian’s ranking included the varied options for dining,
shopping, proximity to a plethora of outdoor recreation venues and the strong
economic climate. Two local business entities called out in the article include
The Village at Meridian and Scentsy. The complete list available at 2014
Money Magazine Best Places To Live.
further delight, another online business publication rated Meridian as the 22nd
most desirable place in which to live. For the full article and listing, go to 24/7
Wall Street Most Desirable Places To Live.
And to top
off the round of accolades, we’re also in an enviable position of being named
the third safest city in Idaho. According to the online real estate blog
movoto.com that looks at towns across the state, they started with a list of
places in Idaho with populations of 5,000 or more. Crime data was then gathered
for each place from the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report assessing murders, violent
crimes, property crimes and total crimes. To read more about the assessment and
listing, go to Safest
We should be
proud of all of these accomplishments and the recognition that our fine city
deserves. What a blessing it is to live in Meridian!
had great news at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. It was great news,
particularly for me, because we were able to see the official paperwork that will
keep the Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition (MADC) funded for another four
years. The Idaho Office of Drug Policy selected MADC as one of 11
organizations to receive a Strategic Prevention Grant to fund our community’s
substance abuse prevention strategies.
2004, MADC has been an important part of our community’s efforts to fight drug
use and abuse. With award-winning and innovative programs, this coalition
of community volunteers works hard to educate parents, kids, coaches and
educators about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, and give them much needed
tools to make good choices.
what makes MADC unique and strong, or sets this apart from other anti-drug
endeavors in our area?
my perspective, it points to the relationships such as the strong partnership
between our Police Department and our School District. Programs like these
take a lot of effort, hard work and strong leadership. I would be remiss in not
recognizing three people who are instrumental in making this program succeed. Special
thanks go to Dr. Linda Clark of the West Ada School District, and from the
Meridian Police Department, Chief Jeff Lavey and Lt. John Overton. It’s through
their collaboration and dedication that we can bring positive change to our
area in this arena.
grant will help continue the good work of several programs, such as our
Prescription Drug Drop-Off Program, which supports education, monitoring,
proper disposal and enforcement to reduce prescription drug abuse. It will also
provide funding for additional training for police department personnel to
market and promote better choices and a drug-free lifestyle.
invited on September 30 to attend the MADC 9th Annual Recovery Day
Breakfast. The celebration is to recognize all the collective efforts that our
community invests toward recovery from substance use disorders. Let's celebrate
those in recovery and those who help. From health care professionals, to
employers and insurers, to our faith based counseling, to community and family
members - all offer acceptance and encouragement and play a vital role in this
mission. Join us for a free continental breakfast from 8 – 9:30 am at the
Meridian Police Department at 1401 E. Watertower St. Information will soon be
posted on the City’s website on how to RSVP at www.meridiancity.org.
get involved in MADC or to learn more, visit www.meridianmadc.org.
We encourage everyone to get involved and help make a difference in a very real
and meaningful way.
you noticed anything new on some roads in Meridian lately? Like different
lane markings are new to Ada County roadways and will have bicyclists and cars
sharing the road in a new way, and hopefully, with more awareness.
lane markings, also called “sharrows,” are pavement markings within existing
travel lanes. The markings combine directional arrows with a bike symbol and
are painted in the travel lane, requiring vehicles to drive over them. These
markings serve two purposes: 1) they help drivers and cyclists be more aware of
the other and reinforce the shared road condition, and 2) they guide cyclists toward
County Highway District crews are putting down the new bike markings on certain
roads in Boise, Meridian and Eagle to promote awareness and increase safety for
bicyclists and motorists.
let’s remember to stay alert and to share the roads so that everyone can be
safe while traveling throughout our city.
can access a full list of shared lane markings, and how-to-use information, by
using this link www.achdidaho.org.
By Mayor Tammy
For many of us, last week marked the start of a new
school year, heralded with the familiar sights of yellow school buses, flashing
crosswalk signals and kids toting backpacks - my granddaughter sported her
beloved 'Frozen' backpack as she entered first grade. This also marks the time
when I meet with Meridian high school principals to take a pulse on the
trends that students in our community are facing. It’s important for all of us
to be aware of the pressures our teens face as a caring community and to ensure
a healthy Meridian.
Common topics in these meetings cover the dangers and
abuse of prescription drugs, personal safety, distracted driving and
relationship violence. One item of particular concern is the growing trend of
bullying and cyber-bullying. This issue is increasingly alarming considering
the sheer volume of kids turning to the internet and social media. It is
important that we stand together to do whatever needed to stop all forms of
The media has covered stories showcasing the
catastrophic results of bullying. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram
were never intended for this use; however, easy access facilitates bullying
behavior as participants hide behind the mask of a computer or mobile
device. It’s incumbent upon us to teach children that any type of bullying will
not be tolerated.
Most consider the worst byproduct of bullying as
suicide. It happens too often - one is too many; our children must learn proper
coping mechanisms to handle everyday stresses. For anyone who has experienced
the heartbreak of losing a friend or loved one to suicide, it’s critical to be
aware of available resources to help during this time of crisis. Next week is
Suicide Prevention Week, an awareness campaign highlighted by World Suicide
Prevention Day on September 10th. I urge you to be educated and know
the warning signs when you see them. In doing so, and knowing what to do, you
just may save a life.
Though I often extoll the many wonderful things about
the quality of life in Meridian (and Idaho), we are not immune to the tragedy
of suicide. Our state experienced a higher than normal rate of suicide -- 39%
higher than the national average in 2011. It is the second leading cause of
death for Idahoans age 15-34, and for males age 10-14. Between 2009 and 2013,
85 Idaho children (age 18 and under) committed suicide; 15 of them were under
14 years of age.
The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) has been a
leading voice on this topic. Recently, MYAC members asked our state legislators
to provide continued funding to the Idaho suicide prevention hotline.
Additionally, they created a public service announcement that was shared with
police departments and schools across the state. You can view the video by clicking
this link MYAC
Suicide Prevention Hotline PSA. I applaud them for their efforts on this
Bullying and suicide are very real and ugly issues
that nobody – especially our youth – should ever have to endure. By working
together, we can make a difference to stop this alarming trend. These are our
future leaders and our legacy, and we owe it to them to feel valued, safe and