Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Busy day for Cd’A police chief finalists

Lee White, left, and Gary Jensen, in the back with red tie, discuss their interest in the police chief job with citizens.

The two top contenders to be Coeur d’Alene’s next Chief of Police spent Tuesday meeting with the City Council, visiting with police department personnel and participating in a community meet and greet as city leaders near the end of a months-long search for a new police chief. The candidates, Gary R. Jensen, chief of police in Logan, Utah, and Lee R. White, assistant police chief in Mesa, Arizona, interviewed individually with the 14-member selection committee, fielded questions from the City Council during a 90-minute public meeting, visited the Coeur d’Alene Police Department to meet with personal, and met with community members during an hour-long meet and greet late Tuesday afternoon. “I think it’s been a great process and we have two highly qualified professionals who want to make Coeur d’Alene their home and lead a progressive police department,” said Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer. A decision on the new chief is expected in mid-August. An appointment is expected in September.

Police chief meet and greet is today

The public will have an opportunity today (Tuesday) to meet the two finalists for Coeur d’Alene police chief. The community forum will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave.
Gary R. Jensen, chief of police in Logan, Utah, and Lee R. White, assistant police chief in Mesa, Arizona, will be in town for on-site interviews with the selection committee and to meet the City Council and personnel at the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
Coeur d’Alene Human Resources Director Melissa Tosi said the city hopes to have the chief’s position filled in September.
During his 21-year police career, White has worked in or supervised nearly every area of police work, making his way through the ranks of the Mesa Police Department from patrol officer to assistant chief.
Jensen began his career in law enforcement in 1987 as a deputy sheriff in Utah. As chief of police in Logan, he is responsible for budgets totaling over $10 million and oversees a department of 116 people.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cd’A seeking police officer applicants

If a job in law enforcement appeals to you, here is your opportunity. The city of Coeur d’Alene is updating its police officer eligibility list and is seeking applicants to participate in the testing process.

A three-part exam consisting of a written exam, physical agility and oral interviews will be administered September 8-12. The deadline to apply is August 15.

Current entry level Coeur d’Alene police officers start at $21.61 per hour. Lateral applicants (POST certified) start at $22.69 per hour.

To download a city of Coeur d’Alene job announcement and application, visit the city’s website at cdaid.org then go to the Human Resources section under the Government tab on the homepage. Applications can also be picked up at Coeur d’Alene City Hall, 710 E. Mullan.

The City Council in June voted to pursue a $375,000 federal grant to hire new officers. If the grant request is approved, the city plans to hire three new officers. Acting Police Chief Ron Clark said the city should learn this fall if the grant request is approved.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Coeur d’Alene discovers Pickleball

It’s said to be the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and it’s finally catching on in Coeur d’Alene.

Pickleball—a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong—made its Lake City debut recently with the opening of McEuen Park and courts will soon be striped for the game at Northshire Park in western Coeur d’Alene.

“It’s growing by leaps and bounds and Coeur d’Alene is way behind the curve in catching up with the popularity of it,” said Ken Heydon, an avid Pickleball player who deems himself an ambassador for the sport.

Played on a tennis court with striping that reduces the play area, Pickleball players use solid wooden paddles to bat a wiffle ball over a tennis net. “Visualize yourself standing on ping pong table and playing—that’s about as accurate as you get.”

During a broadcast on NBC news earlier this year, Pickleball was deemed America’s fastest growing sport. And it’s much more than a competition, Heydon said, it’s a social event for people of all ages.

“I’ve played 10-year-old kid the other day and two courts down a 93-year- old gentleman,” he said. “A majority of the average novice players are 60-75 years old.”

Pickleball is easier to learn than tennis but equally as challenging to excel at the game.
Interim Coeur d’Alene Parks Director said with the growing popularity of Pickleball, plans are to continue to stripe tennis courts to allow for the both games as funding allows.

Riverstone to get Citylink Center

Citylink will soon have a permanent presence in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development.  Citylink began services with three buses in November 2005. The bus service has been operating out of a gravel lot in Riverstone since that time.

Over the past couple of years, the free bus service has paid rent to Riverstone for use of the lot, but the transit service has been overdue for a permanent home. At the beginning of this month, Kootenai County and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe completed their purchase of two lots in Riverstone for a Citylink transit center, according to a press release issued by the Tribe. The lots are located on West John Loop and bounded by Riverstone Drive and Seltice Way.

“The Tribe has been a great partner for providing transit services for our citizens,” said Kootenai County Commissioner Jai Nelson. “The County is proud to have played a role in making this purchase happen and we look forward to having site improvements in the near future.”

Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Chief Allan added, “This has been in the works for quite some time. We’re excited to be able to provide some infrastructure and amenities for our drivers and passengers and enhance the transit services that are provided each month to the tens of thousands of citizens across north Idaho.”

The County had about $570,000 in Federal Transit Authority (FTA) grant funding that was used toward the purchase of Lot 1. The Tribe had $1,147,057 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funding, which covered the rest of the cost of Lot 1 and the purchase of Lot 2. Approximately $18,600 of tribal funds were left over after the purchase and will be used for the design and engineering of the project and improvements.

The two parties will jointly own Lot 1 and the Tribe will own Lot 2. As part of the agreement, the County will own, operate and maintain the improvements of the project, which will likely include paved parking, a bus loading area, landscaping, irrigation, signage, lighting and passenger seating in Phase I.

Citylink is a free transportation service that is funded through a federal grant with significant financial support from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and operated and managed in partnership with Kootenai County and local cities in north Idaho.

Schedules and timetables can be downloaded from www.idahocitylink.com.