Rick Steves Travel Specials Air Each Saturday in August

Each Saturday at 4 PM in August, enjoy these hourlong compilations of travel tips from host Rick Steves.

Explore the major Spanish cities of Seville, Córdoba and Granada in Andalucía: The Best of Southern Spain (Saturday, Aug. 7, at 4 PM). Join Steves as he weaves Andalucía’s rich mix of culture, cuisine, history, and natural wonders into a 60-minute special. The hour includes flamenco, sherry, and horses; dramatic white-washed hill towns; and fun in the Costa del Sol sun — plus a dash of Britain in Gibraltar.

Visit Europe’s iconic alpine peaks in Best of the Alps (Saturday, Aug. 14, at 4 PM). Steves sets out on an alpine adventure with scenic train rides, breathtaking lifts, majestic glaciers, and unforgettable hikes. He conquers the Dolomites in Italy and the Zugspitze in Austria. In Switzerland, he savors the beauty of the Matterhorn, the Jungfrau, and Appenzell. And in France, starting off from Chamonix, he rides the lift up to the Aiguille du Midi and hikes the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc.

Learn to change the world one trip at a time in Travel as a Political Act (Saturday, Aug. 21, at 4 PM). Steves shares his belief on the importance of traveling outside the United States in order to experience other cultures, broaden one’s perspective and gain empathy toward people who may live and think differently. He discusses some of the differences between Europe and the United States, and delves into how his travels — from Europe to the Middle East to Latin America — have helped shape his worldviews on drug policy reform, the role of government, national security and America’s place in the world.

Finally, celebrate parties steeped in history in European Festivals (Saturday, Aug. 28, at 4 PM). Steves travels throughout the Continent celebrating the top 10 European festivals, each one rich with tradition, great food and fun. In Spain, he runs the bulls in Pamplona and dances with locals at the April Fair in Seville. He also dons a mask in Venice for Carnival, which first began in 1162, and cheers on the horses at The Palio di Siena in Italy. Continuing the celebration, Steves hoists a frothy stein at Munich’s Oktoberfest, tosses a caber (a large tapered pole) at a Scottish Highland Games, and joins several European families for their traditional Easter and Christmas observances.

IdahoPTV Loses a Great Friend and Colleague

IdahoPTV’s longtime friend and colleague Ken Segota passed away Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Ken worked at Idaho Public Television for more than 50 years and was the heart and soul of KUID for most of that time, serving as its chief engineer. Our hearts go out to his wife, Joy, and their family.

Ken was always the go-to guy when it came to the engineering needs of our north Idaho stations.  As the Chief Engineer of KUID & KCDT, he maintained our regional production center and a network of two full-power transmitters, and 10 translators, most of which are on very difficult to reach mountaintops. 

He was that rare individual who could do practically everything. While most engineers can solve technical problems, given enough resources, Ken had an uncanny ability to find a creative solution, even when those resources weren’t available.

Over the years, he served on the State of Idaho Inland Northwest Emergency Communications Committee, much of that time as chairman.  Ken was instrumental in helping to develop the Idaho Emergency Alert System Statewide plan.  He also provided countless hours of support to the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security Communications division, as Idaho Public Television’s northern interconnected microwave system serves both television and emergency communication needs.  

Last year Ken was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Northwest Chapter’s 2020 Gold Circle. The Gold Circle recognizes individuals who have served in the industry for a minimum of 50 years, with an emphasis on contributions to the profession and to the community.

Ken will be greatly missed by all of us at IdahoPTV.

Memorial Service
Saturday, July 17th, at 11:00 a.m.
Moscow Church of the Nazarene
1400 E. 7th St., Moscow, ID  83843

If you are considering giving to the family, they ask that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Scout Troops 344 or 333 of Moscow, ID.

If you are a Scout, please wear your uniform in honor of Ken.

Condolences may be left at www.shortsfuneralchapel.com

IdahoPTV Announces 2021-2022 Digital Innovator

Idaho Public Television is excited to announce that Bailee Bigley has been chosen as the 2021-2022 IdahoPTV Digital Innovator. She teaches 3rd grade at Linden Park Elementary in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Idaho Public Television’s Digital Innovator program recognizes Idaho teachers who enhance learning by integrating technology or digital media into their classrooms. Each spring IdahoPTV selects one educator who will serve as Digital Innovator for the following school year.

“I am honored to be receiving this award,” says Bailee. “Not knowing my wonderful colleague Chandra nominated me for this award, it was a wonderful surprise! I believe technology can empower students of all ages. Effective technology integration can help students be successful in so many ways.”

“Bright. Bold. Brilliant. These are just a few words to describe my amazing coworker, Bailee Bigley,” says Chandra Lange, the teacher who nominated Bigley. “Walk into Bailee’s classroom on any given day and you will see a classroom environment that is truly one-of-a-kind. Bailee’s ability to innovate is not just limited to technology because Bailee is a champion for flexible seating, student choice, and authentic learning.

“While Bailee is clearly a leader, changemaker, and innovator, one of the traits that many people don’t see is how Bailee works to build relationships with her students. She is often seen holding a birthday invitation from one of her students (past and present) or she will be at one of her student’s basketball games. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, Bailee searched for all the ways she could to show her students that they were important and cared for. She has made countless videos for students at home, dropped off supplies, and gone out of her way to get the items her students need to learn. Even after leaving her class, Bailee’s students are always down in her classroom to tell her all about their day. She has a bond with her students that is truly remarkable. Bailee Bigley is a true innovator and changemaker in technology and teaching for the State of Idaho. She will serve as a wonderful representative as an Idaho Digital Innovator.”

“We are so excited to welcome Bailee Bigley to the IdahoPTV Digital Innovator family,” says Kari Wardle, IdahoPTV Education Manager. “Bailey was chosen for her ability to reach students where they are and form deep connections with them, while also being innovative. I’m excited to collaborate, and learn from her as we work together during the 2021-2022 school year!”

Bigley will have many opportunities to explore new teaching strategies and share her knowledge with other Idaho teachers. Throughout the year, she will partner with IdahoPTV education staff on professional development trainings for teachers around Idaho.

Bigley will also receive an expenses-paid trip to the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) conference in Seattle (March 2022) as well as a classroom innovation kit from IdahoPTV.

The IdahoPTV Digital Innovator Program is based on the national PBS Digital Innovators Program. Each Idaho honoree will be considered for the national honor of PBS Digital Innovator All-Star. For more information contact Kari Wardle, IdahoPTV Education Manager, at kari.wardle@idahoptv.org or (208) 373-7314.

Bright by Text helps children learn and grow at home

A young boy smiling. Bright by Text

Looking for some help engaging your little one? IdahoPTV has you covered. Simply text the word IDAHOFAMILY to the number 274448. Bright by Text, a free service for children ages 0 to 8, is offered in English and Spanish. Games and activities to help kids learn at home are tailored to your child’s age, zip code and language preference your child and texted directly to you for free, 3-5 times a week. Each short text message provides a link for more information. To learn more visit idahoptv.org/brightbytext.

Bright by Text helps parents and caregivers make the most of their time at home with their children by illustrating fun and easy activities, providing positive parenting tips and resources, and even video content to guide a child’s development. The program is proven to build nurturing caregiver-child relationships, and positively impact a child’s healthy development and school readiness. More than 95% of Bright by Text subscribers indicate they feel more confident and informed about their child’s development as a result of the text messages. Parents and caregivers can feel assured that they are receiving important local announcements and information in Idaho, thanks to Idaho Public Television and its partners.  

Bright by Text offers parents and caregivers expert tips and resources, as well as fun and easy activity ideas, positive parenting tips and resources, and information about children’s physical development. Free activities, games, and resources are sent right to your cell phone. and include information on child development, language and early literacy, health and safety, behavioral tips, and more.

To sign up, text the word IDAHOFAMILY to 274448. You will receive 3-5 short texts a week.

Teachers and Homeschoolers: Check out PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia is a one-stop shop for teachers and parents looking for trusted, quality content for their classroom and homeschool use. LearningMedia is home to free, standards-aligned, curated resources ready for PreK-12 students, including videos, interactives, and lesson plans drawn from PBS’ hallmark series and producers such as NOVA, Ken Burns, and Fred Rogers Productions.

PBS LearningMedia is also filled with award-winning, locally-relevant educational content created by PBS member stations — including Idaho Public Television — working in partnership with educators and subject matter experts. The site integrates with Google Classroom, Clever, and Remind, and has features that allow teachers to save and create folders, and to share resources with individual students or full classes.

At Idaho Public Television, we value local content and local teachers. For this reason, we have taken an active role in creating content for PBS LearningMedia. You will find several local collections, including Science Trek, Idaho Experience, and Moments in Time: From the Journals of Lewis and Clark, and Idaho Science Journal. All of these collections contain locally produced video content and lesson plans aligned to Idaho standards and created by Idaho teachers.

From Sesame Street to Idaho Experience, PBS LearningMedia is the place to go for engaging content for your school and home classroom!

Idaho Public Television Productions Win Two Regional Emmy Awards

In April, we announced that 14 Idaho Public Television productions were nominated for 2020 Northwest Regional Emmy Awards. This weekend we were thrilled to hear that two of those nominees placed first in their respective categories and were awarded Emmy statuettes.

The Outdoor Idaho episode Sawtooths on My Mind was awarded the Emmy for Informational/Instructional: Long-Form Content. IdahoPTV Passport members can view the episode online; here’s a preview.

“Sawtooths on My Mind” explores the attraction of this remarkable mountain range, from the point of view of people who are seeing it for the first time and folks who have worked for decades to preserve the unique flavor of the region. They all speak from the heart about one of Idaho’s truly inspiring landscapes.

The Outdoor Idaho episode Idaho’s 12ers was awarded the Emmy for Sports Program: Post-Produced or Edited. IdahoPTV Passport members can view the episode online; here’s a preview.

“Idaho’s 12ers” explores Idaho’s 12,000-foot mountain peaks and the Idahoans who cherish them, from close up and from afar. Some seek thrills, some seek records, some push themselves to the edge of physical and mental endurance. But for most Idaho climbers, simply standing on the top of Idaho’s tallest mountains is reward enough.

Congratulations to executive producer Bruce Reichert, producers Bill Manny and Lauren Melink, videographer Jay Krajic, and all the others who worked on these productions!

Online Event Explores Ohio Connection to Hemingway’s Years in Idaho

Ernest Hemingway never lived in Ohio, but an Ohio University alumnus lived in Idaho and became involved in the effort to preserve Hemingway’s legacy. Van Gordon Sauter, former president of CBS News and Fox News, will be part of a virtual screening and panel discussion hosted by Ohio’s WOUB Public Media, in partnership with Idaho Public Television.

The online event Ohio Connection to Hemingway in Idaho will take place Tuesday, June 29, at 5 PM Mountain/4 PM Pacific. Register here to join this free discussion.

Sauter will talk about his time as the head of a committee that was trying to find or become the manager/protector of the Hemingway House in Ketchum. Sauter also wrote a book about Sun Valley, where the home is located.

The panel will also feature Lynn Novick, who directed and produced the Hemingway documentary series with Ken Burns, which premiered on Idaho Public Television in April; Jenny Emery Davidson of the Community Library in Ketchum, which currently owns and manages the Hemingway House; and Gary Holcomb, an African American Studies professor at Ohio University, who published a critical collection called Teaching Hemingway and Race.

Those in attendance will see an excerpt from the PBS Hemingway documentary series, as well as an episode of IdahoPTV’s original series Idaho Experience that focuses on the extraordinary home Hemingway lived in during his time in Idaho. The panel will take questions from the virtual audience and discuss the life of Hemingway and the history of this home.

The Hemingway House in Ketchum and its associated 13.9 acres of land alongside the Big Wood River is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the great writer and because it is an exquisite example of midcentury architecture. Hemingway worked on For Whom the Bell Tolls, Islands in the Stream and a memoir, A Moveable Feast, while in Idaho. However, it was a memoir he never finished. Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961, at the Idaho home.

WOUB Community Engagement Manager Cheri Russo says, “We are thrilled to be able to hear from Van, Lynn, Jenny and Gary about their perspective on Hemingway and the way his Idaho home is being preserved for future generations and present-day writers who use the home for inspiration.”

Check Out the Winners of Our PBS KIDS Writers Contest!

For the 27th year, Idaho Public Television hosted the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest. IdahoPTV’s three regional stations — KUID/Moscow, KISU/Pocatello, and KAID/Boise — encouraged children in kindergarten through third grade during the 2020-2021 school year to write and illustrate their own imaginative story.

IdahoPTV received 318 entries from students across Idaho. A team of volunteers judged the entries on creativity, originality, language skills and illustrations. Winners for each grade were chosen for each region of Idaho for a total of 34 winners. Winners will receive books, toys and a $100 contribution to an Ideal – Idaho College Savings Program account.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no in-person awards ceremonies were held this year. On Saturday, May 22, virtual awards ceremonies were held online to celebrate the contest winners and their stories. The winning stories have been scanned and uploaded in full color onto the IdahoPTV website (idahoptv.org/writers).

Read the winning entries online here.

Principal support for this year’s contest was provided by the F.M., Anne G. & Beverly B. Bistline Foundation in the Idaho Community Foundation and IDeal – Idaho College Savings Program.

General Manager Ron Pisaneschi to Retire

Idaho Public Television announced today that General Manager Ron Pisaneschi will retire on June 30, 2021, or as soon thereafter as a replacement can be named.

“After more than 35 years at Idaho Public Television and eight of those as general manager, I have decided to retire and let someone new lead the organization into an exciting future,” Pisaneschi said. “It has been the greatest privilege and joy to be part of the Idaho Public Television family and to lead this extraordinary organization. We have an amazing, talented and dedicated staff that I am honored to have had the chance to work with and lead.”

Pisaneschi has been part of Idaho Public Television since 1985, during which time he served as director of content, director of programming, director of public information, and director of marketing and development before taking on his current duties. He became general manager in August 2013. Pisaneschi is responsible for a staff of 70 full-time and more than 40 part-time employees and a $9+ million budget. Under his leadership, Idaho Public Television has been one of the most-watched and best supported PBS stations per capita in the nation.

Pisaneschi recalled some of the milestones and most successful achievements of his tenure. “I am proud of the successes we have had in recent years, including strong support from our viewers and donors and increasing viewership across multiple platforms. We have enhanced our local production offerings, including the launch of our newest ongoing production, Idaho Experience. We built a new education department that is having real impact on the lives of students, educators and families, especially during this pandemic year. And we have embraced new technologies and platforms to make sure that our content and services are available whenever and wherever viewers want them via services like the free PBS Video app, smart TVs, YouTube TV, live linear streaming on our website (idahoptv.org) and more. I want to thank my family, my colleagues, our viewers and donors, the Friends of Idaho Public Television Board of Directors, the Idaho State Board of Education, and so many others for their support over the years. I know the future is bright for this wonderful organization.”

Two of Pisaneschi’s longtime colleagues reflected on his leadership and legacy. Jeff Tucker, director of content at Idaho Public Television, said, “Ron’s time in the PBS and public media system has really benefitted not just Idaho Public Television but public media nationwide. His work here in Idaho has been strong and his compassion shows. What he’s managed to achieve over his eight years as general manager and over three decades with IdahoPTV is remarkable. His influence and expertise will be greatly missed.”

Bruce Reichert, Idaho Public Television executive producer, added, “I’ve worked with Ron for three decades. He’s been a steady, caring administrator and a stalwart supporter of our locally grown productions. He’s represented the agency well, especially when certain advocacy groups were willing to bend the truth to make a point. And he’s warned PBS officials back east that they need to do a better job listening to the concerns of rural states like Idaho. Ron has moved the needle, and Idaho is the better for it.”

Douglas Balfour, president of the Friends of Idaho Public Television, sent congratulations on behalf of the nonprofit that helps IdahoPTV publicize its services and secure financial support. “The Friends of Idaho Public Television congratulate Ron Pisaneschi on his retirement. Under his management, IdahoPTV has continued to provide amazing national shows and brilliant original productions. No wonder IdahoPTV is recognized as being among the best public television stations in the nation. With his leadership, IdahoPTV has focused on the wonderful people and places we have in the Gem State, with local productions like Idaho Reports, Outdoor Idaho and Idaho Experience. Ron will be missed, but we will carry on in the tradition he established.”

Debbie Critchfield, Idaho State Board of Education member, said, “The commitment and work ethic of Ron Pisaneschi is the reason Idaho Public Television has the state and national status that it does. It’s because of his leadership and absolute belief in quality programming that we have had a public television system that reflected the needs and values of Idaho. We acknowledge his efforts and thank him for his dedication.”

The Idaho State Board of Education, which oversees the operation of Idaho Public Television, will form a committee to conduct a nationwide search for Pisaneschi’s replacement. For more details on the replacement process, contact Mike Keckler, chief communications and legislative affairs officer at the Idaho State Board of Education: mike.keckler@osbe.idaho.gov.

‘Summer of Learning’ Makes Education Fun!

Join us May 31 through Aug. 20 for our “Summer of Learning,” a summer lineup of educational programs on our CREATE Channel, available free over the air and through some cable and satellite providers.

Beginning Monday, May 31, at 9 a.m., Camp TV brings the summer camp experience to kids in their living room. Broadway performer Zachary Noah Piser plays the head counselor who guides campers as they learn through play. Each episode features a hands-on activity kids can do at home. Additional activities and resources are available at pbslearningmedia.org/collection/camp-tv.

Following “Camp TV,” the fun and engaging series Let’s Learn offers two hours of exploration beginning at 10 a.m. This series helps build foundational skills that are critical for kids, using interactive lessons and virtual field trips. Additional support materials for this awesome new series are at pbslearningmedia.org/collection/lets-learn.

After “Let’s Learn,” older kids can watch the documentary series Eyes on the Prize each day at noon. In 14 episodes, “Eyes on the Prize” recounts the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation. It is the story of the people who, compelled by a meeting of conscience and circumstance, worked to eradicate a world where Whites and Blacks could not go to the same school, ride the same bus, or participate equally in society.

Then, beginning at 8 a.m. on July 19 and running through Aug. 20, students preparing to enter grades K-6 can tune in for Classroom Idaho: Boot Camp. This locally produced series features educators from across Idaho teaching students everything they need to know to be ready for the upcoming school year. Additionally, English language learning (ELL) courses will air on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. For more information and an up-to date-schedule of Classroom Idaho programs visit idahoptv.org/classroomidaho.