November 26, 2014      39.0°F (3.9°C) | Fair
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Holiday Safety in Meridian

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 By Mayor Tammy

 

Meridian might be one of the safest cities in Idaho and the country, but we are certainly not immune to crime and as a community and individuals we need to be vigilant. While the holidays are always a very special time, unfortunately some view this season as an opportune time to prey on others. That’s why we discussed several safeguards our citizens can employ at a recently held Town Hall meeting.

 

Bolstering your safety starts at home. From ensuring all doors in homes and vehicles are locked, to making sure garage doors are closed at night, we often overlook what some see as ports of entries to our homes or quick opportunities for theft. An electronic garage door opener left in a car parked in your driveway can present a free ticket to your garage belongings and/or access to an unlocked man-door in your garage providing entry into your home.

 

Lighting is an essential component to home safety as well. Thieves generally stay away from well-lit areas. We know many citizens like to turn off porch lights to save on electrical costs, but we encourage you to keep the lights on -- especially during the holidays. 

 

And don’t forget about dangerous situations you might create inside your home. Did you know that most house fires begin in the kitchen? That’s why it is important to never leave food unaccompanied while a stove is turned on and make sure you turn off your oven after you’re done preparing your favorite holiday meal or dessert.

 

It is important to protect ourselves and our children in the home, as well as, online this season. First and foremost - be aware of what information you are sharing via social media and other sites. Letting your online friends know about a holiday vacation or outing also lets burglars know when you will be gone.  Another best practice is to only use the GPS function on your phone when necessary. Many phones are now equipped with GPS, which can let your associates and criminals know, within 6 feet, of your whereabouts.  As predators utilize fake accounts to gain access to you and your children, a good rule to follow is to not have more than 200 friends in any given application and parents should monitor their children’s accounts at least once a week.

 

Scammers love the holidays as well, with many asking for money to be sent electronically. Please remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary when using Craigslist, Facebook vendor groups and pages, and lottery scams as these are popular for enticing people to pledge money for false products. If you suspect you are being scammed, please ask for a return phone number and name if possible then alert the Meridian Police at 888-6678, 311, or 911. Another best practice in this regard is to deal locally whenever possible.

 

You can watch the full video from the Town Hall meeting on our website, www.meridiancity.org to learn more about these tips and much more.  If you need any additional information on how to keep you and your family safe, you can also contact the Meridian Police Department.

 

I hope your holiday season is a blessed one. If we all look out for one another and take some commons sense steps, including the safety steps listed above, we can make this a more joyous time for all.

Veterans Day is About More than Just Parades and Celebrations

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By Mayor Tammy

 

It was my privilege to participate in the Veterans Day Parade this weekend as we honored so many who have battled for America throughout time in various conflicts around the world. What I loved seeing the most, however, was the sparkle in veterans’ eyes as children waved American flags – their way of thanking and recognizing these true heroes.

 

To me, Veteran’s Day is about more than just parades and celebrations. It’s also a time to reflect and honor those who gave of themselves and paid the ultimate price so that we all can live the lives we do. What makes this year’s Veteran’s Day especially poignant was the loss last week of two members of our Idaho National Guard. This tragic event of last week’s helicopter crash touches the lives of many and will leave an indelible mark on this community.

 

On Tuesday, November 11 at 11am, we will celebrate Veterans Day in our community. We will gather to honor Meridian’s fallen at the Rock of Honor Memorial located in Kleiner Park. This memorial is a precious part of our community and the annual wreath laying ceremony has come to be one of my favorite events on this most solemn day. This monument is not only to honor our fallen friends; it also serves as a reminder to honor and thank those still living who have been, and are currently, willing to put their lives on the line every single day, allowing us to go about our daily business without fret or worry.

 

As I thought about the importance of this special day, I came across this poem by Roger Robicheau entitled, The American Hero, which sums up my feelings for our veterans.

 

The American Hero always comes through
To capture our hearts with a spirit so true
 

 

Some proudly are soldiers who march in harm’s way
Insuring our freedom, courageous they stay
 

 

While others come forth as civilians so brave
Determined in purpose, so steadfast to save

 

We should always keep clear a place in our heart
For each has a value beyond precious art

 

Their duty to country will not be surpassed
Please honor their courage, for some it’s their last

 

We live in a world which can be hard to bear
Thank God for these people, how greatly they care

 

Do ponder new heroes and what they will face
And pray for their safety no matter their place

 

Our heritage brings out the best, we all know
Our great book of heroes is destined to grow

 

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, may we be ever grateful to our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. I invite everyone to attend this unique display of honor and love for our fallen friends.

 

City Cuts Ribbon for New Amenities at 8th Street Park

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By Shelly Houston

 

On November 3, neighbors gathered with Mayor Tammy de Weerd and several Meridian Parks and Recreation commissioners and staff members for a ribbon cutting to celebrate a trio of new amenities recently added to 8th Street Park – a two-acre neighborhood park located at 2235 W. 8th Street, just adjacent to the Meridian Water Department building.

 

The new amenities include a picnic shelter which will be reservable during the warm weather months, a heated restroom building open for year-round use, and new playground equipment and soft-fall material purchased with funds from the Community Recycling Fund and containing more than 925 lbs of recycled plastic. New sidewalks connecting these amenities were also added as part of the park upgrade project.

 

The new restroom building in 8th Street Park is identical to a new restroom building recently installed in Centennial Park, located on W. Idaho Avenue beside the Meridian Community Center. Both restroom facilities were made possible through Community Development Block Grant funding which helps pay for upgrades that make older neighborhoods more usable for citizens.

 

Meridian Parks and Recreation Commission President Matt Stoll spoke at the event and cited other recent improvements to Meridian’s parks and pathways system, including a new section of Five Mile Creek Pathway near Bridgetower Subdivision which was recently completed. He also explained that the City of Meridian is about to begin the process of updating its Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and that public input will be an important element of the planning process.

 

Steve Siddoway, Meridian Parks and Recreation Director, also thanked project manager Jay Gibbons for his work on the project and Mayor Tammy extolled the virtues of Meridian’s six neighborhood parks which she likened to “hidden gems” throughout our community.  

 

 

Trunk or Treat, Dance to the Beat

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By Ken Corder

The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) has brewed up another magical event that just might put a spell on you and spice up the Halloween spirit for the whole family. We are proud to bring back “Trunk or Treat and Dance to the Beat” for its second year. 

   

On October 29, Meridian businesses, service organizations, churches and more will transform the back of their cars or trucks into spooky and festive trick or treat locations for Meridian families to visit and enjoy! This is a creative way for our MYAC teens to give back to the community by offering trunk spots free of charge. To help bolster business or to enhance outreach, the trunks will be handing out candy to passing kids while anything promotional will land in parents’ hands. Due to the event’s popularity last year where 50 trunks dished candy and treats to more than 2500 attendees, our MYAC team has increased this year’s trunk number to 80. With the vaunted ‘Golden cauldron’ award looming for the best decorated vehicle, we anticipate a plethora of creativity!

   

This event isn’t just about the candy. There will also be a costume parade and dance party in the City Hall Plaza. Meridian Police Officer David Gomez will be our guest DJ for the night and he promises to get the entire family on their feet. Festivities are from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The price of admission is a canned food item for the Meridian food bank to kick start their annual holiday food collection campaign.

   

See you at City Hall for a truly “spooktacular” event!

 

 

 

2014 Election Information - Make Your Voice Count

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By Mayor Tammy

On November 4, we get to enjoy one of the greatest freedoms allowed in our country, namely, exercising our right to vote. We will go to the polls and make many decisions about who to elect to various public offices. Most of us know we will choose who should represent us in Washington D.C., that there is a race for Governor and other constitutional officers, and that our State Representatives and Senators are on the ballot. But perhaps what people don’t realize is there are many other opportunities to vote further down the ballot for other equally important candidates. I want to take just a moment to share information on the other races you can impact on Election Day.

 

Most people know that we will be voting for County positions, such as Commissioners, Treasurer and Assessor. While it’s not something we typically think about, we can also elect County Coroners. Not much is known about this job, which makes this vote a difficult one.  According to the Ada County website, the primary role of the Coroner is to determine and certify the cause and manner of death for those cases which fall under the jurisdiction of the Coroner. The Ada County Coroner works with our Police Department and is an important part of the process in determining whether a crime has been committed.

 

Also on the ballot is district #4 of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD). This district represents Meridian residents who live south of Interstate 84. An important fact to know is that the City of Meridian does not handle road issues. ACHD is the road authority and its Commissioners are responsible for our local roads, bridges, streets, alleys and sidewalks in our community. If you care about the roads you travel and where you or your family walk, this is where you can cast your vote for the person who will make decisions about where to invest to meet our varied transportation needs.

 

This election will also have Judges on the ballot – both to select a new Judge in the Fourth Judicial District Court and to retain the current Magistrates in the Fourth Judicial District Court. Magistrates are responsible for traffic and misdemeanor criminal cases and civil issues. District Judges can hear any case, but generally hear felony and civil cases involving more than $10,000. They also hear appeals from decisions made by the magistrate judges. 

 

Finally, the County ballot will also have an election for the College of Western Idaho trustees.

 

There is also another election that Meridian residents in a specific service district can vote on - the candidate for Nampa Meridian Irrigation District (NMID) Director. NMID is responsible for delivering irrigation water to many of the residential and commercial lands in Meridian which use pressurized irrigation. All qualified voters in this district can vote in this election. To see if you are in the NMID boundaries, visit www.nmid.org or call 466-7861. To vote in this election, you must do so at one of three locations; in Meridian, the polling location is the Meridian Middle School and ballots are available upon request.

 

You can visit the City of Meridian website, www.meridiancity.org, where we have posted a link to the Ada County Elections page, as well as the Nampa Meridian Irrigation District page. From there you can see who is on the ballots in the above mentioned races in order to be an educated and informed voter. You can also find your voting location.

   

Thank you in advance for taking this opportunity to express your opinion next Tuesday, November 4 and vote for the candidates whom you believe are best suited to lead our country, state, county and various districts.

 

2014 Neighborhood Stars

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 By Ken Corder

Recently, Meridian 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. 

 

This annual 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.

 

“Meridian has 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.”

 

Award recipients are nominated by a neighbor or neighborhood association, and this year’s recipients were:

 

Jay & 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.

 

Danielle Stem 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.

 

Claudia 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.

 

Dennis 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.

 

Edee White & 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.

 

When Kendall 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 Broncos.

 

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.

 

Rachael Perry 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. 

 

Randy Hill 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. 

 

 

Walk for Health Challenge

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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 walking path. 

 


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