Meet the Staff Mondays – Michelle Koehler

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about the folks who work at Idaho Public Television. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe you’ve only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce you to IdahoPTV’s Buyer, Michelle Koehler.

Our Carol Beres sat down with Michelle to find out what roles she fills here at the station. “I have many duties that go beyond Buyer. I purchase everything for the agency. I also deal with the Friends of Idaho Public Television accounts having to do with receivables and payables. I’m the go-to person for transactions and questions,” Michelle says. She does some other accounting department functions too. When you see Michelle in the office, suffice it to say she’s moving at lightning speed.

Michelle grew up all over the country. “I was born in Las Vegas. But then my family mainly lived in Ohio,” she says. “I went to elementary school and part of junior high in Ohio. Then part of junior high and high school in the Detroit area. Then we moved to Cincinnati and I finished out high school and graduated in Ohio.” Her family moved again to Indianapolis. “Then I moved to Boise when I got married to my husband. We moved out here with my husband’s family so we could save money for my husband to go to school [for music] in Boston.” A couple more moves led to a summer in Los Angeles, which she really enjoyed. But, they decided to move back to the Gem State for Michelle to go to Boise State (she and all three of her daughters have attended Boise State), and they’ve been here ever since…well, except for that time they moved to the Detroit area for Michelle to work with the Detroit Red Wings for a couple of years. “That was actually a very exciting job. But [my husband] didn’t like Michigan at all. He worked for the ski industry there, but there wasn’t much of one, and he didn’t like it. We literally skied on a dump that was covered in snow,” Michelle laughs.

Once back in Boise, they decided to settle down and buy a home. “I was temping in different places. I came in here and there was a whole different atmosphere and I felt it immediately. And I said ‘I could work there,’ because for me, working is all about the people you work with and being happy in your environment.” And Michelle has been a part of the IdahoPTV family for more than 25 years now.

If you ask Michelle, her favorite hobby is anything to do with the Korean music group BTS. “That is my biggest hobby…going to their concerts, going to anything they put out.” She loves to go skiing every weekend in the winter and water-skiing in the summer. “I don’t get to [water-ski] very often, because I don’t own a boat.” You can also find her biking around town in the summer. Michelle loves to trip the light fantastic to boot. “I love to dance. I grew up being a dancer. I was a competitive dancer when I was really young…I was a dancer in high school on dance teams. And now I go to every event in town with a band and I dance.” Roller-skating and in-line skating are also high up on her hobby list. Michelle also likes watching Lifetime movies and Korean dramas, and also likes traveling — road-trip style.  

When it comes to snacks, Michelle likes a wide variety. Chips, salsa and guacamole, cheese dip, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (or just a chocolate bar dipped in peanut butter), French fries and junk food in general. Her favorite parts of Idaho include Boise, Sun Valley and McCall. As for her favorite PBS Kids shows, she remembers watching The Electric Company and Zoom growing up. 

Top 10 Holiday Specials Now Streaming on IdahoPTV Passport

1. The Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Family Christmas Show

Join Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and their families for this joyful holiday special filmed in 1967. Songs include “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night” and many more. With special guest Sammy Davis, Jr.


2. Rick Steves’ European Christmas

Buon Natale! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Joyeaux Noël! Merry Christmas!

Join Rick Steves for a colorful, musical celebration of Christmas across Europe. From England to Wales, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, you’ll see the bright Christmas markets, hear local choirs, share holiday traditions with families…and even play in the snow!


3. Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Join Lucy Worsley on a 12-day extravaganza as she recreates how Christmas was celebrated during the age of Henry VIII – eating, drinking, singing, dancing and partying like people did 500 years ago. On each of the traditional twelve days of Christmas, Lucy reveals a different aspect of the festivities uncovering fresh insights into the Tudor mind and casting a captivating new light on Christmas itself. 


4. Monstrum: The Wicked Feline Murder Floof, a Yule Cat Story

Christmas isn’t just a time for presents, cookies, and holiday cheer, but the hunting period of Iceland’s murderous monster feline, the Yule Cat. This giant, fluffy cat towers over buildings, roaming the snowy countryside for human victims who have yet to receive new clothes before Christmas.


5. All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.


6. CLOWN by Quentin Blake

If you’ve ever read a Roald Dahl story, most likely you’re familiar with the art of Quentin Blake.

Quentin Blake’s Clown is a half-hour animated special that brings to life the adventures of a little toy clown who has been thrown away. On Christmas Eve, Clown goes on an exciting journey to find a new home for himself and his friends.


7. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Conceived by John Mauceri, this new work is a re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.” Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 book, Alan Cumming recounts the origin story of how a prince got put into a nutcracker. Unlike the ballet, we also learn what happens when the young girl grows up, having saved the prince, and what they are doing today.


8. Santa School

Follow six would-be Santa Clauses as they take an intensive workshop to learn to dress, walk, and talk like Santa. But who are they and what inspires them to take this path?


9. Happy Holidays with Bing & Frank

Celebrate the holidays with this timeless favorite featuring the magical combination of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in an early color television special from 1957.The two legends swap Christmas carols, songs, and stories, pay a musical visit to Victorian England and a duet on Christmas classics. Directed by Sinatra, with music conducted by Nelson Riddle.


10. Christmas Celebrations Around the Globe

Celebrating the world through their festivals is a great way to experience a country and its people. In this episode, host Joseph Resendo begins in Venice, California at the annual holiday boat parade. Then Joseph returns to San Antonio’s world-famous riverwalk and the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland for their Christmas celebration. Joseph shows that Christmas is about more than twinkling lights and cups of cheer.


IdahoPTV Passport is a member benefit that provides IdahoPTV donors extended on-demand access to a rich library of quality public television programs on your television with a number of streaming video devices as well as on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.

To learn more or sign up for Passport, visit idahoptv.org/passport.

Meet the Staff Mondays – Debbie Siddoway

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks who work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Financial Support Technician, Debbie Siddoway.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with Debbie, who says, “I pay invoices, I do all the travel reimbursements for production and anybody that travels, and P-card charges (when employees are on the road and they have expenses, they put them on a P-card). I also count all the membership money (donations from donors – thank you!).”

Debbie grew up in the Pacific Northwest. “I grew up in Washington State, in the Marysville area,” she says. “We moved around Washington…Vancouver, Washington for a while. Then Marysville, which is north of Seattle, about 45 minutes or so. I graduated from high school there. Then I moved to Salt Lake and went to community college there.” She graduated as a medical transcriptionist, but she followed a different path after school. She got married, moved to California, where she was a stay-at-home mom while raising five kids. Then her husband got a job in Idaho and Debbie began looking for work. “I started at IdahoPTV in August of 2000,” she says. ”My kids were still in school, so I just worked part time for about 10 years. And then an opening came up, and they asked me if I wanted to work full time, so I did that for about four years.” She’s back to part time these days so she has more time with her family, especially her 13 grandkids. “So they keep me pretty busy,” Debbie says. One of her granddaughters likes to come over and do crafts. “We sew headbands, lots of hair things,” she says. “I’m a hoarder. Yarn, sewing, painting, all that kind of stuff.” She’s a fan of cooking, but not baking so much. “Cooking is fun because you don’t have to follow the recipe exactly,” she says. Reading is another one of her hobbies when she has the time.

Debbie appreciates the people at IdahoPTV, as well as her job. “I think it’s pretty cool to work for IdahoPTV,” she says. “I like what we stand for…lifelong learning…my kids grew up watching it. If I was busy, they could just turn on PBS and watch Mister Rogers or Sesame Street. I think Barney was on when my kids were little.” In addition to children’s programming, Debbie knows that PBS provides teachers with tools and professional development, and that helps the community as a whole.

Her favorite PBS Kids character is a well-known one to fans of Sesame Street. “One that I really like is Grover,” she says.” He’s just so cute and lovable and energetic. He embraces new challenges and he’s hard working, and he has a desire to please people…I think that’s also one of the things that gets him down sometimes, I can relate. I mean, he’s blue, right? He gets blue sometimes because he can’t accomplish all the things that he wants to accomplish.” Debbie’s also a fan of the cooking shows and nature programs. “I like the NOVA’s because they’re really interesting,” she says. “I love Outdoor Idaho. Probably because I get out, but I don’t get out to those places that they go to. They’re really adventurous, cool places. You would really have to go with somebody who knows what they’re doing so you don’t get lost…it shows the diversity of our state, and I can live vicariously through Bruce and all those people.”

Speaking of different parts of the Gem State, Debbie has a few favorites. “In the summertime we pull our RV up to Cascade as often as we can and get away,” she says. “We like to kayak and hike and bike and explore. I also like the Coeur d’Alene area. It’s really pretty over there. My youngest son graduated from the U of I and we would go up there often and just go exploring. Idaho is really pretty and pretty diverse with all kinds of terrain. It’s a place I think everyone should visit.”

Snacks for Debbie are chips and salsa, fresh guacamole, and Hot Cheetos. “Those spicy hot, crunchy Cheetos,” she says. Hummus and veggies are other foods that she reaches for when the urge to snack strikes. “I like dessert too, but I eat more dinner. I do like ice cream, too,” she says.

Top 10 American History Programs Now Streaming on IdahoPTV Passport

1. The Vote – American Experience

One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic story of the hard-fought campaign, waged by American women, for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history.


2. Reconstruction: American After the Civil War

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change. The twelve years that composed the post-war Reconstruction era (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy.


3. Betrayed: Surviving An American Concentration Camp

Discover the story of a group of Japanese Americans and their incarceration by the U.S. government during World War II. Through the compelling voices of survivors of Minidoka, a concentration camp in the Idaho desert, Betrayed tells a universal story about unjust incarceration and the loss of civil rights.


4. The Pilgrims – American Experience

Explore the converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620. The challenges they faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later: the tensions of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration.


5. The Day the ’60s Died

The Day the ’60s Died chronicles May 1970, the month in which four students were shot dead at Kent State. The mayhem that followed has been called the most divisive moment in American history since the Civil War. From college campuses, to the jungles of Cambodia, to the Nixon White House, the film takes us back into that turbulent spring 45 years ago.


6. The Klondike Gold Rush

The Klondike Gold Rush tells the legendary story of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush. Over 100,000 people voyage to the far North intent on reaching the Canadian boom-town Dawson City and striking it rich. Historians and Authors bring insight and perspective to the event that changed the lives of thousands. Present-day characters reveal that the frontier spirit is still alive in the Klondike.


7. Surviving the Dust Bowl – American Experience

In 1931 the rains stopped and the “black blizzards” began. Powerful dust storms carrying millions of tons of stinging, blinding black dirt swept across the Southern Plains — the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, western Kansas, and the eastern portions of Colorado and New Mexico. Topsoil that had taken a thousand years per inch to build suddenly blew away in only minutes. One journalist traveling through the devastated region dubbed it the “Dust Bowl.”

Surviving the Dust Bowl is the remarkable story of the determined people who clung to their homes and way of life, enduring drought, dust, disease — even death — for nearly a decade.


8. Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

The remarkable story of the entire Corps of Discovery – not just of the two Captains, but the young army men, French-Canadian boatmen, Clark’s African-American slave, and the Shoshone woman named Sacagawea, who brought along her infant son. As important to the story as these many characters, however, was the land itself, and the promises it held.


9. Goin’ Back to T-Town – American Experience

Goin’ Back to T-Town tells the story of Greenwood, an extraordinary Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that prospered during the 1920s and 30s despite rampant and hostile segregation. Torn apart in 1921 by one of the worst racially-motivated massacres in the nation’s history, the neighborhood rose from the ashes, and by 1936 boasted the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the U.S.


10. The War of 1812

This documentary shows how the glories of war become enshrined in history. How failures are quickly forgotten and how inconvenient truths are ignored forever. With stunning reenactments, evocative animation and the incisive commentary of key experts, The War of 1812 presents the strange and awkward conflict that shaped the destiny of a continent.


IdahoPTV Passport is a member benefit that provides IdahoPTV donors extended on-demand access to a rich library of quality public television programs on your television with a number of streaming video devices as well as on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.

To learn more or sign up for Passport, visit idahoptv.org/passport.

Meet the Staff Mondays – Stephanie Dickey

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks who work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Web Developer, Stephanie Dickey.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with Stephanie to find out a little bit about her. Stephanie keeps our website running smoothly, along with “my great coworker Robin,” she says. She started here 25 years ago as a part-time writer for the Channels magazine. She then worked as a graphic designer for the magazine; then in 2000, Stephanie became a web designer. She’s worked on the website ever since. “For about the last eight months, I’ve been rebuilding our Science Trek website with my marvelous coworker Krystal,” she says. “The current version of the website is very old and breaks a lot. Krystal and I are rebuilding it from the ground up.”

Stephanie was born in Portland, Oregon and moved to Boise when she was 5. “I went to the U of I my freshman year and part of my sophomore year. Then I came back to Boise and went to BSU for a couple of years. And then I moved to Eugene, Oregon, and finally finished with a degree in journalism,” she says. “Right after I graduated, I moved to New York City and lived there for a little more than a year.” It was quite the change in environment. “The switch from Eugene to NYC was a little shocking, but I was glad I did it. For the next five years, I lived in Austin, Texas, and learned that the only weather that affects me negatively is humidity and never-ending cloudless blue skies.” One more move: this time to Laramie, Wyoming for a year. Finally, Stephanie came back to the Gem State 27 years ago.

When asked why she works here at IdahoPTV, besides the people she works with, Stephanie notes that her job directly impacts helping kids across the state. “I like knowing we’re helping kids and families all over the state who wouldn’t have access to TV without us. Working on Classroom Idaho during COVID was really rewarding. It was inspiring to realize how many kids were positively affected by the program.”

In her free time, Stephanie likes to get her hands dirty. “During the summer I garden a lot. I have my own garden and I also help my mom with her giant garden, which is close to a ¼ acre.” She has some furry friends to take care of. “I have two standard poodles and they keep me busy too.” During the winter, you can catch Stephanie on the ski slopes with some of her coworkers. She likes to cook and read, too.

When the urge to reach for a snack arises, she has a weakness for Funyons and Bugles, but she snacks mostly on the healthy side. “Mainly I snack on homemade popcorn, nuts and fruit.” When it comes to her favorite part of Idaho, she’s partial to a certain northern Idaho area. “My favorite part of the state is the Palouse. I backpack every summer and see other beautiful parts of the state, but I always go back to the Palouse.” And her favorite PBS Kids character is one that she still cherishes. “Ever since I was a kid, Grover has been my very favorite. When I was about seven years old, I got a Grover hand puppet,” she says. “I still have it and I chuckle every time I walk past him.”

Join Us for Special Programming During DecemberFest 2022

Enjoy a weekend filled with musical performances, outdoor adventure, Idaho history and in-studio fun during DecemberFest 2022 (Dec. 1-4) on Idaho Public Television. Please consider supporting Idaho Public Television with your donation of any amount by calling (800) 980-4788 or donating online at idahoptv.org. Here are just a few of the captivating shows you’ll enjoy during this festive weekend:

In the Shadow of the Bitterroots on ‘Outdoor Idaho’

Outdoor Idaho explores In the Shadow of the Bitterroots (Thursday, Dec. 1, at 8 PM and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7 PM) to shine a light on Idaho’s uniquely rugged mountain range. Running along the Idaho-Montana border, the Bitterroot Mountains are hard to get to, and because of their pristine beauty, even harder to leave. This show will make you want to explore the unexplored. We’ll educate you on the range’s history, indigenous culture, and geology. And we’ll entertain you with mountain climbing, adventure motorcycling and rafting.

Sam Cooke: Legend

The Grammy Award-winning film Sam Cooke: Legend (Friday, Dec. 2, at 8:30 PM) documents the rise of soul music icon Sam Cooke, from his beginnings as a gospel singer to his crossover to the pop and R&B charts. This biography takes on a scope of greater dimensions than music alone. Sam’s good friend Muhammad Ali plays an integral role, with Malcolm X and The Beatles, to share the world stage with Sam in Miami at the time of the first Ali-Sonny Liston fight.

Roy Orbison Forever

Music documentary Roy Orbison Forever (Friday, Dec. 2, at 10 PM) celebrates the five-time Grammy-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Famer. The program charts Orbison’s career and relationships with other musicians through interviews and archive performances, some never before seen in America. From the sell-out international tour with The Beatles through his collaboration with George Harrison and The Traveling Wilburys, Orbison’s legacy endures.

John Williams Conducts the Berlin Philharmonic

In October 2021, Hollywood legend John Williams made his conducting debut with the internationally renowned Berliner Philharmoniker. Filmed live at the Berlin Philharmonie, John Williams: The Berlin Concert (Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 PM) captures this magical performance of his music. After opening with the “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” Williams and the Berlin players perform a wide-ranging selection of music from some of his best-known film scores. From the futuristic sounds of Close Encounters of the Third Kind to the instantly evocative “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter movies, to musical excerpts from Jurassic Park, Superman, and the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series, there’s something for everyone.

‘Nature’ Explores the World of Bears

Join us for in-studio fun and special thank-you gifts as the Nature documentary Bears (Saturday, Dec. 3, at 5:30 PM) follow the adventures of bear species across the globe, from grizzlies to pandas to sloth bears. Watch as they draw on their brains, brawn and unique adaptations to survive, and find out what it really takes to be a bear in today’s ever-changing world.

Reba McEntire’s Songs of Faith

Two-time Grammy-winning country music superstar Reba McEntire shines in concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium and Clementine Hall in Nashville, singing selections from her debut gospel album in Reba McEntire: My Chains Are Gone (Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 PM). McEntire lends her unmistakable voice to classic hymns and newly written songs of hope, and is joined on stage by the Issacs, Trisha Yearwood and Kelly Clarkson. The evening is hosted by gospel music legend Bill Gaither and captures the journey of faith behind country music’s biggest female hit-maker.

Celtic Woman Holiday Edition

Irish performance group Celtic Woman shares a message of love, hope and holiday joy with their fans around the world in the form of musical postcards from their latest album, Celtic Woman: Postcards From Ireland (Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8:30 PM). Breaking from the usual format of their TV specials, the all-female ensemble brings an innovative, fresh, and vibrant approach to their performances, taking viewers on a musical journey through some of the most stunning land and seascapes across Ireland.

Idaho Author Anthony Doerr

In Author Anthony Doerr: Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference (Sunday, Dec. 4, at 5 PM), Dialogue host Marcia Franklin talks with the Idaho writer whose latest novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Doerr talks about the themes of the book, and what it was like to be on the set of the Netflix adaptation of All the Light We Cannot See, the 2014 novel for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

‘Idaho Experience’ Remembers the Sunshine Mine Disaster

Every year, on May 2, the Silver Valley remembers. People gather at a stark memorial along Interstate 90, just down the road from the Sunshine Mine where a fire 3,400 feet below ground in Kellogg turned deadly on May 2, 1972. Names are read, prayers are prayed and, one by one, 91 headlamps go dark. Fifty years after the fire, Remembering the Sunshine Mine Disaster on Idaho Experience (Sunday, Dec. 4, at 6 PM) looks at how the fire led to sweeping changes in mine safety, and how tourism and recreation are helping revive the economy even as the Sunshine Mine prepares to mine silver again.

An Intimate Performance by James Taylor

James Taylor: One Man Band (Sunday, Dec. 4, at 8:30 PM) is a concert performance of Taylor’s most popular and important songs, interspersed with personal anecdotes, touching and witty reflections, and never-before-seen home movies and photographs from the singer-songwriter’s personal archives. Recorded at the magnificently restored Colonial Theatre in the heart of the Berkshires, the concert features such classic favorites as “Carolina in My Mind,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Shower the People” and “Fire and Rain.”

Top 10 Water Features and Creatures Programs Now Streaming on IdahoPTV Passport

1. Birthplace of the Giants

An epic scientific expedition to the breeding grounds of the humpback whale. Traveling to the Kimberley region in Western Australia, whale researchers Curt and Micheline Jenner capture never-before-seen whale behavior using the latest aerial camera drones and night vision cameras, providing insight into the secret life of these enigmatic giants.


2. Changing Seas

Now in its 14th Season, Changing Seas is a public television series produced by South Florida PBS in Miami, Florida. Since 2009, the series has taken viewers on an exciting adventure to the heart of our liquid planet.

Changing Seas goes to sea with explorers and scientists as they uncover new information that could lead to scientific breakthroughs. This documentary series lets viewers experience first-hand, how oceanographers and other experts study earth’s last frontier, and it sheds light on how human activities are threatening ocean resources.


3. NATURE – Oceans | Animals with Cameras

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan leads a team using state-of-the-art cameras, offering a fresh look at the lives of some of the animals in our oceans such as sharks, elephant seals, turtles and gannets.


4. Rivers of Life

Experience the extraordinary animals, epic landscapes, and remarkable people who live alongside iconic rivers. Visit the Amazon, the Nile, the Mississippi and more in this landmark series.


5. The Green Planet: Water Worlds

Sir David Attenborough explores bizarre and beautiful water plants, which use nature’s super-glue, counting, and killer spikes to get a leaf up. Some escape from animals by rolling away, while others create bubbles in a magical river in Brazil.


6. Idaho Headwaters

We are a state rich in rivers. And the waters that feed those rivers—Idaho’s headwaters—are truly some of the West’s sacred places.

In this hour-long program, Outdoor Idaho pays tribute to the hundreds of miles of small streams that transport water from the upper reaches of the watershed to the main part of a river. Headwaters help determine the character of major rivers, like the Snake, the Salmon, the Selway, the Boise, the Owyhee, the St. Joe; and in turn those rivers help define Idaho and the West.

Located in some of the state’s most beautiful, hard-to-reach places, Idaho Headwaters reminds us what it is that’s worth protecting in this world of ours.


7. Planet California: Rivers of Gold

It is a land of extremes – tallest, deepest, highest, hottest. And home to the richest biodiversity in the Americas, from gray whales traveling the California Current to mountain lions in the Sierra Nevada and redwoods harvesting water from the air. In a rapidly changing and thirsty world, drought, dams and fire pose dire threats to an ecosystem connected by rivers on land, air and sea.


8. Life on the Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the richest and most complex natural ecosystems on earth. It’s home to a stunning array of animals, from microscopic plankton to 100-ton whales. This three-part series presents a unique and fresh angle on Australia’s greatest natural icon, seen through the eyes of those who live, work, and play in this natural wonderland.


9. The Colorado

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Mark Rylance, The Colorado is an epic film about North America’s wildest river. From the earliest settlements in the region to the impact of climate change today, the documentary is a sweeping exploration of the river’s history. Along the way, The Colorado tells the stories of European and Anglo- American explorations in the 18th and 19th centuries.


10. Big Pacific

Plunge into the Pacific with researchers and cinematographers and see the ocean’s rare and dazzling creatures in a way never before seen on television. The show examines an ocean that covers a third of the Earth’s surface.


IdahoPTV Passport is a member benefit that provides IdahoPTV donors extended on-demand access to a rich library of quality public television programs on your television with a number of streaming video devices as well as on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.

To learn more or sign up for Passport, visit idahoptv.org/passport.

Meet the Staff Mondays – Dan Ward

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks who work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Digital Broadcast Technician, Dan Ward.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with Dan, whose job is in master control, where all of the “broadcast magic” happens. “In operations, I work in master control two days a week. I keep everything running smoothly on air. And two days a week I do production engineering, which involves building promos for all the up-coming show,” he says. “And I also help do the live productions whenever they need me. I do everything from audio to cameras. So, I have a full production background.”

Dan is originally from a neighboring state, but he’s been here for a long time. “I grew up in Salt Lake, but I’ve been in Idaho for coming up on 29 years,” Dan says. “I went to the University of Utah, then Weber State to finish up…I got a four-year degree in Broadcast Communications.”

Dan’s been a supporter of public media since university days. He worked for the University of Utah’s instructional Media Services, which is an on-campus facility. “We did industrial production for the university, for the departments of education and nursing and stuff like that,” he says. “I’ve always liked that environment. I did a lot of stuff with the PBS station down in Salt Lake. When I had a chance to get a job with the PBS (station) up here, I took it.”

When asked about his hobbies, he pointed to all the toy trains around him and laughs, “I don’t know, all this train stuff around me. I don’t know if I have any hobbies or not…whenever I get time or money, I go chasing steam trains. Like the steam train rides that go to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, or Durango (Colorado)…I’ve been over to Sumpter (Oregon) for their steam train rides.” And when it comes to Dan’s favorite snack, he says, “maybe carrot cake.” As for his favorite part of the Gem State, Dan likes to go into the mountains.

Top 10 Binge-Worthy Passport Exclusives Now Streaming on IdahoPTV Passport

1. Jamaica Inn

Based on the novel by the English writer Daphne Du Maurier, Jamaica Inn is a gripping mystery that tells the story of Mary Yellan, a woman who is forced to move into the ominous Jamaica Inn with her aunt and uncle. Mary must uncover the secrets of a local group of smugglers while also managing her growing attraction to the mysterious Jem Merlyn.


2. La Otra Mirada

Set in 1920s Seville, where Teresa, a woman with a mysterious past, flees to a young girls’ academy with a secret goal related to the academy itself. This Spanish language series portrays the journey of brave women finding their own voice.


3. Pie in the Sky

Henry Crabbe, a reluctant detective with a passion for food gets set to retire and open his own restaurant, Pie in the Sky. However, his supervisor, Chief Constable Fisher, keeps drawing Crabbe back into investigations.


4. Land Girls

Follow the lives, loves, highs, and lows of members of the Women’s Land Army working at the Hoxley Estate during World War II. As men fought on the battlefields, women from all walks of life worked the farms that fed the nation, doing their part to keep the home front running.


5. Hope Street

The sudden arrival of DC Leila Hussain in Port Devine results in residents pondering the reason behind her arrival. Inspector Finn O’Hare knows why Leila has transferred to Port Devine, but is keeping it to himself.


6. Cobra

Follow the British Prime Minister and his Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (COBRA) committee, comprised of leading contingency planners and senior politicians, as they navigate the difficulties in overcoming a major national crisis.


7. Royal Flying Doctor Service

Based on remarkable real-life stories, this gripping drama series follows the modern-day heroes of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. They navigate private lives as turbulent and profound as the heart-stopping emergencies they attend to across some of the most beautiful and inhospitable places in the Australian outback.


8. Before We Die

Determined to solve her lover’s murder, Detective Hannah Laing persuades one of his confidential contacts to help her. But when Hannah discovers the informant’s identity, she realizes there is far more at stake than bringing the killers to justice.


9. Apple Tree Yard

What could have brought a law-abiding woman — an eminent geneticist — into court to be accused of complicity in a violent crime? And about to be exposed in a highly damaging and compromising lie? Adapted from the best-selling novel, this is a tense, provocative mini-series about a respected female scientist (Emily Watson) and the single impulsive act that leads to her standing trial for murder.


10. Broadchurch

When a young boy is murdered, this small town of Broadchurch in Dorset suddenly becomes the focus of a major event in the full glare of the media spotlight. DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) lead the investigation, as one by one the community of Broadchurch are drawn into the police inquiry, starting with the immediate family, and then radiating outward.


IdahoPTV Passport is a member benefit that provides IdahoPTV donors extended on-demand access to a rich library of quality public television programs on your television with a number of streaming video devices as well as on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.

To learn more or sign up for Passport, visit idahoptv.org/passport.

Meet the Staff Mondays – Carol Beres

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks who work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Office Specialist, Carol Beres.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with…herself…to bring you this week’s Meet the Staff interview. If you call IdahoPTV, chances are Carol will answer your call. And she does plenty more besides answering the phones. “I help the production department with ingesting (moving to permanent storage) videos and programs,” she says. “I run errands for the station. For a few months, I helped out the accounting department when they needed another person. When the development team needs help with sending out a mailing, I pitch in there. And I get to interview my colleagues and be creative writing up these articles.” 

Carol grew up in the Pacific Northwest. “I’m an Oregonian originally,” she says. “But my family traveled through Idaho when they came by wagon on the Oregon Trail.” That was five generations ago. She says, “The family story is that my great-great-grandfather came to Oregon with 50 cents in his pocket (which, granted, was probably a decent amount of money in the 1860s), and eventually did well enough to move his mother and sister out from Illinois.” Carol grew up in Beaverton, now famous for Nike. She says, “I grew up during the 1970s and 1980s, when the music on the radio was rockin’ and the hair was big.” The first album she bought was “Tattoo You” by the Rolling Stones (“I wonder what my parents thought of that!”). Her first car was a Ford Mustang (“Not a good one, a 1983 model. But I was lucky to have my own car.”).

Carol attended college at the University of Oregon. “I chose journalism for my degree. I love writing and I really love reading, so it seemed like a good fit.” Her senior year of college, she met the man of her dreams and got the courage to ask him out. “We were in the same class and we had everyone’s phone numbers so we could schedule the editing equipment, so I called him up,” she chuckles. The rest, as they say, is history. “We just celebrated our 26th anniversary in August,” she says. “And our two kids are finishing up high school and hopefully going on to college!” They’ve moved around for her husband’s work, from Washington to Wisconsin, but they plan to stay here in the Gem State.

Back when she graduated, it was tough to find a writing job. “I graduated from college in 1990,” she says. “I think the economy took a dive then. I remember seeing on TV hundreds of people lining up for job interviews at a hotel. I started working wherever I could.” Over the years, Carol has worked in retail, at a catalog company, in insurance, in education, and in health care. Her degree came in handy recently. She says, “A few years ago I worked in broadcasting a little bit. I produced a morning newscast and loved the fast pace and informing the viewers, but not the hours. Getting up at 1:15 a.m. to get to work by 2:00 a.m. is rough. So, I moved on to health care and then special education. But both of those jobs were very physical and didn’t feel quite right for me.” She’s found the best place at IdahoPTV. “I love the educational aspect of working at IdahoPTV,” she says. “And not only for kids. We adults can learn so much from NOVA, Nature, Finding Your Roots, etc. Also, I appreciate our mission of informing Idahoans about what’s happening at the Statehouse without any filter. We just point the camera and let it roll.”

In her downtime, Carol likes to curl up with a good book, go for a walk in her Meridian neighborhood, or go downtown and explore Boise. “I love looking at the old houses in the North End,” she says. “Although I do appreciate my garage.” Her favorite place in the state is tough to narrow down. “This is a beautiful state,” she says. “We’re spoiled here. I like the desert. I like the mountains. We go to McCall for family reunions, and I love Payette Lake. I hope our son goes to the University of Idaho so I can see more of the Palouse.” If there’s a good baseball game on,

especially the Milwaukee Brewers, you might find her on the couch with her pugs, Murphy and Porter, by her side. When it comes to snacks, it’s hard to beat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Or chocolate in general. Pumpkin is also a go-to during the fall. She says, “Pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie are all good in my book.” Carol’s favorite PBS Kids character is Cookie Monster. “He’s pure joy. Plus, I can get behind eating some delicious cookies,” she laughs.