COVID-19 Fund Set Up By Regional Organizations
The Idaho Community Foundation, United Way of Treasure Valley and Idaho Nonprofit Center have partnered to create the COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho, a charitable fund that will provide grants to trusted organizations that will provide philanthropic support and services to low-income, vulnerable people and families. To give, visit: idahocf.org/covid-19.
The COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho will provide immediate and long-term grants on a rolling basis to organizations that work with people disproportionately affected by the virus, including those who are enduring economic hardship as a result of lost work and economically vulnerable people affected by closures of services on which they rely.
Airport Announces Air Service Reductions For March
A significant reduction in flights to and from Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) in Sun Valley—including cancellations of nonstop flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago—is planned for the remainder of March, Fly Sun Valley Alliance and airport officials said.
The decision was made in conjunction with airlines and community air service partners due to COVID-19 concerns which prompted a deep drop in travel demand and early closure of the Sun Valley ski resort. Most seasonal nonstop flights at SUN were originally scheduled to operate through March 29.
The daily United Airlines flights to San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), and the Saturday Chicago (ORD) flights, will be canceled for the period of March 21-29. Denver (DEN) flights will continue to operate through March 29 as originally scheduled in order to help accommodate passengers displaced from the canceled flights. United will notify passengers booked on the canceled flights and assist in re-accommodating them.
Delta Air Lines will operate three daily flights to Salt Lake City (SLC) through March 29 and will maintain the planned two-daily flight schedule for the spring season, March 30–June 7, 2020. Alaska Airlines daily service to Seattle (SEA) is currently scheduled to end March 29 and restart on May 21.
The situation remains fluid and airlines may make additional changes as warranted, airport officials warned.
South Central Public Health District
Changes WIC Appointments
In response to the recently confirmed community spread of novel coronavirus in South Central Idaho, the South Central Public Health District (SCPHD) will be completing all Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) appointments by phone. The SCPHD office in Bellevue already discontinued WIC clinics starting March 18; all other SCPHD offices discontinued in-person clinics starting March 24.
There will be no interruption to WIC services and benefits, the district said. WIC staff will immediately be contacting clients who had appointments scheduled in the next couple weeks, and clients are encouraged to call their local WIC office if they have questions.
South Central Public Health District is running two hotlines for information about COVID-19, one in English at (208) 737-1138 and one in Spanish at (208) 737-5965. These hotlines are currently running from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Mountain Rides Updates
Its COVID-19 Impacted Schedule
In accord with the impending Self-Isolation Order for Blaine County, Mountain Rides, as “Essential Infrastructure,” will continue operating its bus service, with a few important adjustments.
Starting Monday, March 23:
The Blue Route, connecting Warm Springs and Elkhorn Springs via Ketchum and Sun Valley, will operate on its Spring Season Schedule, which can be found on pages 6 and 7 of the print version of Mountain Rides’ Winter/Spring Bus Schedule and on Mountain Rides’ website (mountainrides.org).
The Valley Route, connecting cities up and down the Valley, will operate hourly from
5:44 a.m. to 10 p.m. Northbound and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Southbound.
The Hailey Route will operate as normal and as scheduled.
To avoid crowding and allow passengers to comply with “Social Distancing Requirements” as specified per the Self-Isolation Order for Blaine County, Mountain Rides is capping the number of passengers on each bus according to half the seating capacity of the bus. For example, if a bus has seats for 32, then only up to 16 passengers will be allowed on that bus at any one time. We trust your understanding and cooperation as our drivers enforce these temporary caps.
To help ensure that boarding of the bus happens as quickly as possible and to give
passengers a chance to space themselves evenly among all seats on the bus—social distancing—Mountain Rides, on all routes and at all times, will run fare-free.
Museum Cancels All Events Through Mid-April
Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA) and Company of Fools (CoF) have opted to cancel all organized public gatherings (concerts, openings, classes) through Saturday, April 18. The Museum and Company of Fools will remain closed to the public and will continue to reevaluate and make any necessary adjustments as events develop.
Following is a detailed list of all canceled programs through April 17:
CONCERT: We Banjo 3, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17–18
ARTIST TALK with Tucker Nichols, Thursday, March 19
GALLERY WALK OPENING CELEBRATION: Free Play, Friday, March 20
CRAFT SERIES WORKSHOP: BOOK ART SERIES—Bookbinding with (Re)purpose, Saturday, March 28
COMPANY OF FOOLS SPECIAL EVENT: Fools’ Day, Wednesday, April 1
FILM: Love Gilda, Thursday, April 2
EVENING EXHIBITION TOUR: Free Play, Thursday, April 2
FAMILY PROGRAM: Afternoon Art (for families and kids ages 5-12), Friday, April 3
MUSEUM-BASED ART THERAPY WORKSHOP: Stepping Out of the Frame, Tuesday, April 7, 14
ADULT CLASS: Doodle and Drink, Wednesday, April 8
FAMILY PROGRAM: Look, Play, Create!, Thursday, April 9
PANEL DISCUSSION: Play Grounds, Thursday, April 9
FAMILY PROGRAM: Afternoon Art (for families and kids ages 5-12), Friday, April 10,
SPRING OPEN STUDIO: Figure Drawing, Wednesday, April 15
COMPANY OF FOOLS: Theatre Appreciation Class, Thursday, April 16
TEEN WORKSHOP: Get Decked – Acrylic Painting with Bob Dix (for kids in grades 6-12) Saturday, April 18
FAMILY DAY: The World is a Playground! (for families; kids ages 3-12 years old), Saturday, April 18
For those who have purchased tickets to events between now and April 18, please contact the Sun Valley Museum of Art to make a donation or request a refund online at svmoa.org, or over the phone at (208) 726-9491.
Tour De Force Hopes For 4/20 Sales Launch
Well, that got your attention.
The Sun Valley Tour de Force said it’s still gearing up for a July event despite the current coronavirus situation. Tickets would go on sale April 20 should nothing change before that.
“For now, we are still planning on launching ticket sales on 4/20 and will keep you posted if this date is pushed out. We will also announce a revised cancellation policy for Huckleberry Drive & Car Show registration, and VIP Pit Passes and Cars & Comedy tickets,” the organization said.
If drivers who have signed up and paid for 2020 high-speed runs need to discuss any changes to reservations, contact email@example.com. Organizers said there is currently an option to roll your runs over to 2021.
$10 Million Of Walking,
Biking Projects To Be Recommended
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) will hold its Project Recommendation Committee meeting at the Idaho Transportation Department Headquarters Auditorium, 3311 W. State Street, Boise, via webinar, to recommend just over $10 million in projects around the state for federal TAP grant funds over the next three years.
The open meeting was held on Friday, March 20, at 11–11:30 MDT. Webinar attendance is preferred and instructions are at itd.idaho.gov/alt-programs.
“The Transportation Alternatives Program is a federally funded highly competitive program that benefits people who walk or bike throughout the state of Idaho,” says Ryan McDaniel, ITD TAP program manager. “This year’s call for applications was no exception; ITD processed 95 excellent applications seeking well over $40 million in total project costs. We know that more applications for funding will be received than funds available, so this year we sought to provide excellent customer support by providing a mid-application review to help make the applications the best they can be for other potential funding sources, if not TAP.”
Safe Routes To School education program and infrastructure projects primarily benefit non-motorized users. The number of projects ultimately funded by this application cycle will depend on federal reauthorization of funding. More projects could receive funding if Congress increases funding levels; alternatively, if a reduction in funding occurs, some of the projects recommended could remain unfunded.
Political Organization Suspends Ballot Petition Efforts
Reclaim Idaho, the organization responsible for getting Medicaid Expansion on the 2018 ballot, announced today it would suspend signature-gathering operations for its new Invest in Idaho initiative given the international concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
“The very nature of the ballot initiative process requires one-on-one contact with thousands of voters, which is contrary to the advice and guidance being given by scientists and health officials all over the country. We have no desire to put our volunteers or Idaho citizens at risk of contracting COVID-19,” spokesperson Luke Mayville said.
With about two months to go before the April 30 signature-gathering deadline, Reclaim Idaho claims it had gathered more than 30,000 signatures (out of 55,057 needed) in 20 legislative districts. Internal calculations indicated they had already qualified or very nearly qualified eight legislative districts, ranging from eastern Idaho to the North Idaho panhandle.
“We saw momentum build toward qualifying this initiative from the very start. Idahoans recognize the legislature is neglecting its constitutional duty to fund our public schools,” said Mayville. “Every signature was a vote to invest in the next generation of Idaho children.”
NAMI-WRV Moves Support Groups Online
The National Alliance on Mental Illness-Wood River Valley (NAMI-WRV) is offering its support groups, virtually. NAMI’s support groups follow a structured model to ensure everyone in the group has an opportunity to be heard. The groups meet on a biweekly, weekly or monthly basis and are always offered free of charge.
Support groups are designed for a variety of needs, such as recovery, family, teen, and mental illness. For more information, contact us at (208) 481-0686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Airport Announces More Flight Changes
Given the current environment, SkyWest Airlines has decided to end the SUN winter diversion busing program on March 31rather than April 15. This change will only affect Delta SLC flights since all other SUN flights will have ended prior to March 31.
Delta will plan to fly into Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) from Salt Lake City (SLC) and if the conditions do not allow for landing at SUN, the plane will divert back to SLC rather than to Twin Falls (TWF). Passengers will be weather warned accordingly so they understand there will be no diverting to TWF and, therefore, no busing transportation available.
If the inbound flight is not able to land at SUN, the outbound flight from SUN will be cancelled and passengers will be rebooked on the next available flight.