Helen Yost of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) talked with nationally broadcast Flashpoints radio program host Dennis Bernstein during a recorded interview, aired between 21:52 and 33:07 of the Monday evening, April 1, 2013, Flashpoints show. Helen discussed megaload and tar sands operations and their impacts on the places and people of Canada and Idaho, expressing gratitude for KRFP Radio Free Moscow and promoting WIRT’s radio program, the Climate Justice Forum, website and facebook pages, and upcoming events.
The Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC), its organizational partners (including Wild Idaho Rising Tide), and concerned Moscow area citizens invite regional public involvement at an informational meeting followed by site visits on Saturday, March 16. Everyone is welcome to consider and discuss Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) plans to reroute U.S. Highway 95 between Thorn Creek Road and Moscow, at the Alternative Highway 95 Forum and Field Trip starting at the 1912 Center Great Room, 412 East Third Street in Moscow.
From noon to 2 pm in the Great Room, community members will talk about ITD’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and technical reports on three alternatives for proposed highway realignment. While presenting arguments supporting the central C-3 alternative and opposing the ITD-preferred eastern E-2 alternative, the knowledge-sharing session will encourage participant questions and insights. Between 2 and 5 pm, event organizers and participants will carpool to locations along and near the proposed C-3 and E-2 routes. Several area residents will host pertinent site visits and talks off Eid, Paradise Ridge, and Zeitler roads and Highway 95. Travelers should dress warmly and bring beverages and snacks if desired. Continue reading
Lahde Forbes, Moscow
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 2/21/13
At the Idaho Transportation Department Hearing on January 23, I talked with Tim Long, district right of way supervisor, and Carmen Reese, senior right of way agent. We looked at which eight businesses would be displaced on alternative C-3. They informed me in fact no businesses will be displaced, and the widening of current U.S. Highway 95 would have no effect beyond a potential noise increase.
I was surprised ITD had the displacement of eight businesses as one of its main four reasons for not choosing C-3 as its preferred alternative since this information is inaccurate. Long wanted me to stress in my comment letter that “there will be no definitive displacement of businesses (on C-3) and that this is misleading to the public.” I expect to see this information corrected in the subsequent IDT hearing information boards and in the DEIS/FEIS. Continue reading
Joann Muneta, Moscow
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 2/20/13
It is not true all of those objecting to the proposed E-2 alignment for U.S. Highway 95 to go over the western shoulder of Paradise Ridge are residents of that area. People from throughout the city and county are writing letters and signing petitions to the Idaho Transportation Department asking that the central alignment (C-3) be chosen. I myself live near East City Park, yet I want to preserve and protect the Paradise Ridge area that is one of our area’s significant and treasured natural landmarks.
A highway is forever. Once paved, we cannot reclaim the Palouse Prairie or any other part of this area. Therefore it is important all the facts be carefully considered. Why choose E-2? It is only .09 mile shorter. The ITD safety data are not thorough enough to conclude any one alternative is safer than another. Continue reading
John Crock, Moscow
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 2/19/13
After speaking with an Idaho Transportation Department representative at the recent Highway 95 re-alignment forum, he admitted the safety numbers for the E-2 alternative are underestimates of the big picture, which in the E-2 option, old 95 still exists. People, including residents on that stretch, would still drive old 95. Accidents would occur and people would die on that old stretch. Of course, the traffic would be greatly less, so maybe accidents would only occur at one-tenth the current rate, but when you add in those numbers to the projected accident rate on E-2, E-2 is the most dangerous alternative.
C-3 obliterates the old 95 roadway, so there are no additional accidents and is thus safer in the big picture. In addition, ITD models E-2 as being safer than C-3 because there are no businesses on it since it hasn’t been built. As soon as there is high traffic flow on E-2, savvy business or property owners will develop the adjacent land, and it will soon be as congested as old 95 is today, meaning the lower accident projections will be short-lived. Continue reading
A KRFP Radio Free Moscow interview with former Paradise Ridge resident and current Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) member Lahde Forbes reveals that Highway 95 realignment along a central route analyzed by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) would only encroach upon eight businesses, not displace them as described in ITD’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS). Also contrary to DEIS estimates, an ITD-preferred eastern re-routing alternative would displace an entire mobile home park, house, and two supporting domestic wells, while the PRDC-favored central alignment would only dislodge one home. The feature Friday edition newscast also airs testimony offered by Mary Ullrich at the ITD public hearing on the DEIS on January 23. Listen to between 20:36 and 0:50 of the news story Resident Says Talk with ITD District Right-of-Way Manager Shows Business and Residence Displacement Figures in ITD Draft U.S. 95 EIS are Wrong on the February 15, 2013, KRFP Evening Report, U.S. Highway 95 Displacements Wrong.
In the wake of 75 megaloads of equipment shipments initiating an international industrial corridor to Alberta tar sands mining operations, the oil corporation accommodating Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) plans to re-locate and expand 6.5 miles of two-lane U.S. Highway 95 just south of Moscow over a cherished, natural, local landmark, Paradise Ridge. Higher and more exposed to winter weather and thus dangerous driving conditions, ITD’s preferred four-lane route would risk critical patches of the remaining 0.1 percent of the native Palouse Prairie ecosystem that thrived throughout the region before agricultural monocultures of wheat and beans. Other potential alternative routes would skirt the ridge, enhance highway traveler safety, and impose much less environmental and cultural damage.
Please join members of the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) in reaching out to the Moscow area community to encourage petition signatures and comments on ITD’s proposal before the Monday, March 25, deadline for public input. Volunteers are gathering in the dining area near the door of the Moscow Food Co-Op (121 East Fifth Street in Moscow) at 4 pm on weeknights and at 10 am on weekends, between February 15 and March 24, to circulate and distribute the Highway 95 DEIS B&W Brochure 3, along with the petition and member sign-up sheets, to downtown passersby: Join us!
See the PRDC brochure text, detailing the discrepancies in ITD’s draft environmental impact statement for the highway realignment project, sign the petition to the Idaho governor and ITD, and get more comment suggestions at the PRDC website and the Highway 95 Re-Route section of the WIRT blogsite, where more belated posts will emerge soon. Email PRDC@Paradise-Ridge-Defense.org with your insights, suggestions, and questions, but most importantly, send your comments for the record to Comments@ITD.Idaho.gov and/or Office of Communications, Idaho Transportation Department, P.O. Box 7129, Boise, ID 83707-1129 before March 25.
On the Monday, February 18, Climate Justice Forum radio program, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Mary Ullrich, board secretary of the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition and longstanding resident of Paradise Ridge. Mary will discuss the history of Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) plans to expand and reroute U.S. Highway 95 south of Moscow and current citizen concerns for traveler safety, residence and business displacement, and degradation of native Palouse Prairie remnants and wildlife on weather-exposed Paradise Ridge. Please share your issue insights and resistance stories during the show broadcast on KRFP Radio Free Moscow between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST live at 92.5 FM and online, by calling the station studio at 208-892-9200. For more information about this ITD scheme, see the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition website and the Highway 95 Re-Route section of the WIRT blogsite. Thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ, the show also covers regional and continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news. Visit the station website soon to learn how you can adopt our inspiring fellow DJs.
During excerpts from the Monday, February 11, Climate Justice Forum radio show hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide, program guest Kevin Lewis talks about the legal specifications of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and about the evolution and effects of tar sands megaload use on government reconstruction and responsibility for the Highway 12 easement through the designated wild and scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river valley. Listen to the KRFP Radio Free Moscow news story Idaho Rivers United Conservation Director Kevin Lewis Discusses Recent Victory in U.S. Highway 12 Megaload Lawsuit between 8:02 and 3:35 of the February 12, 2013, Evening Report, Idaho Rivers United on U.S. Highway 12. For further information about this case, see the February 7 Idaho Rivers United press release Federal Judge: Forest Service Has Authority to Regulate Megaloads with links to Judge Winmill’s ruling and judgement.
The Moscow city council and supervisor deliberate city concerns about a proposal by the Idaho Transportation Department to re-route Highway 95 south of Moscow and about city submission of a notebook of comments from the council and commissions. Listen to the KRFP Radio Free Moscow news story Moscow Sustainable Environment Commission to Weigh-In on U.S. Highway 95 Re-Route Plans between 14:32 and 9:19 of the February 12, 2013, Evening Report, Idaho Rivers United on U.S. Highway 12.