‘Outdoor Idaho’ Examines the Fate of Idaho’s Wild Horses

Outdoor Idaho kicks off its 35th season with a look at Idaho’s Wild Horses (October 19 at 8 PM and October 22 at 7 PM). Mustangs are a symbol of our Western tradition, yet they are often reviled, as they compete for resources with livestock and wildlife in an ever-changing environment impacted by range fire and drought.

OI Wild Horses WordPress 10-19 and 22-17

In 2017 about 73,000 horses roamed free on designated grazing areas around the West. That’s about three times the number originally set forth by Congress. The agencies charged with their care under the Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 are caught in the middle of a political and public-affairs crisis as the current administration moves to cut the budget for wild horses and burros.

If this happens, the fate of nearly 50,000 excess animals gathered from the range is uncertain. They are cared for and fed by the government in holding corrals or off-range pasture at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $50 million per year. With populations out of control, solutions are dwindling for the Bureau of Land Management.

“The track that we’re on is simply unsustainable,” says BLM public affairs specialist Heather Tiel-Nelson. “The cost alone of managing wild and free-roaming horses off the range is staggering.”

Producer Sauni Symonds takes a look at what is happening with wild horse herds in our state and how some new ideas may offer solutions to a seemingly hopeless situation. “It’s a very complicated and emotional issue for many, and at the heart of it is an icon of the American West, whose survival seems to depend on compromise and cooperation.”

IdahoPTV Viewers Benefit From Partnership With Meridian’s Village Cinema

Idaho Public Television has once again teamed up with Village Cinema and The Village at Meridian to present a free public screening of a PBS Masterpiece premiere. This season it was the opening episode of Poldark, Season 3.

Poldark fans pose with their favorite Masterpiece hero before the screening
Poldark fans pose with their favorite Masterpiece hero before the screening

It came as no surprise to IdahoPTV staff that when they announced a September 18 screening from the new season of Poldark (which airs on IdahoPTV beginning October 1), they filled two entire theaters at Village Cinema and generated a waiting list, all within three days.

According to Teena Wright, membership director with Idaho Public Television, “These Masterpiece series are hugely fan-based. Many of our viewers have read all the books the series are based on and know every chapter and scene in advance. By hosting a screening in a local movie theater, IdahoPTV is able to bring together our viewers and the community for a fun public event. And thanks to our partnership with Village Cinema and The Village at Meridian, we’re able to present the screenings for free.”

IdahoPTV first teamed up with Village Cinema and The Village at Meridian for a screening from the Masterpiece series Downton Abbey in 2014. The numerous screenings since then have also included creative partnerships with Backstage Bistro, a wine bar and restaurant located upstairs within Village Cinema.

Will Bomar, events manager with Village Cinema, adds, “Backstage Bistro is excited to have worked once again with IdahoPTV, this year adding a special cocktail hour before the event, featuring the fun ‘Poldark and Handsome’ drink.”

Customized menus at Backstage Bistro during the Poldark screening
Customized menus at Backstage Bistro during the Poldark screening

PBS President Paula Kerger Talks Education, Fall Programs With Boise Audience

Paula Kerger, president and CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), visited Boise on September 14 to help Idaho Public Television thank its funding partners and introduce the fall lineup of PBS programs. She also announced the launch of the PBS Kids 24/7 channel, which is planned to begin broadcasting around-the-clock educational programming over the IdahoPTV airwaves in early 2018.

PBS President Paula Kerger announces the PBS Kids 24/7 channel
PBS President Paula Kerger Announces the PBS Kids 24/7 Channel

Speaking at a luncheon for sponsors of IdahoPTV programming, Kerger gave a preview of upcoming PBS programs including The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 18-hour documentary from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that airs on IdahoPTV this fall. Citing the film’s diversity of perspectives, including Americans who fought in the war and those who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians, Kerger said, “The Vietnam War epitomizes the content we present to the American public — content that gives oxygen and airtime to complex issues, content that encourages civil discourse at a time when it is so desperately needed. … I believe this is the most important film of the year, if not the decade.”

Funding Partners Raise a Toast to IdahoPTV
Funding Partners Raise a Toast to IdahoPTV

Kerger then turned her comments to education. “At the very core of public broadcasting’s work is a relentless pursuit of knowledge and an unwavering commitment to education … and that begins with our nation’s youngest learners.” She introduced the PBS Kids 24/7 channel, which aims to offer free nationwide access to PBS educational programming.

“Today, PBS Kids reaches more children ages 2 to 5, more kids in low-income homes, and more moms with young children than any other children’s TV network,” Kerger said. “For every child we reach, we know there are so many more who could benefit if they had access to our proven educational content. Over the past decade, we’ve focused on making our educational programming available to as many families as possible, across a range of platforms. I am incredibly grateful to Idaho Public Television and the many people in this room who are helping to bring this game-changing service to Idaho in early 2018. PBS Kids 24/7 will benefit all families, especially the nearly 70 percent of children across Idaho who are not enrolled in preschool.”

That figure comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which ranks Idaho last in the nation for the number of toddlers enrolled in preschool — with 69 percent not enrolled, compared with the national average of 53 percent.

PBS Fans Show Their Support
PBS Fans Show Their Support

Throughout her presentation, Kerger reinforced the importance of public media in educating people of all ages, as well as the vital role played by those who support it.

“For millions of Americans — especially those in rural areas and remote communities — public television is a vital connection to the world. It may be their only opportunity to see a Broadway show, visit the farthest corners of the earth, or access in-depth news and public affairs programs,” Kerger said. “While federal funding is critical to keeping many of our smaller and rural stations on air, we could not deliver on our very important mission without the support of individuals, philanthropists, corporations and foundations. The strength of public media can be found in our name — we are the ‘public’ broadcasting service. Our roots are firmly planted in the community, and to this day we continue to derive our strength and our inspiration from the community.”


Over-the-Air Signal Changes for Cottonwood, Grangeville, Kamiah Areas

Over the next several months, Idaho Public Television will be replacing numerous translators throughout the state. Viewers who receive our over-the-air broadcast signal in the affected areas will need to “rescan” their televisions following the transition to a new translator.


KUID-TV viewers in the Cottonwood, Grangeville, Kamiah and Kooskia areas will be the first affected by this change. Those receiving the signal through an over-the-air antenna in these areas will need to rescan between October 15 and 31 to update their signal. (The change will not affect those receiving their signal via satellite or cable TV.)

The FCC has provided instructions on rescanning here.

If the rescan does not display the new channel, it may be necessary to follow these additional steps:

  • Turn off the television set or converter box
  • Unplug the power to the TV or box
  • Disconnect the antenna from the TV or box
  • Wait 10 minutes
  • Plug the power back into the TV or box
  • Rescan the channels with the antenna still unattached
  • When the scan is complete, reattach the antenna and rescan channels again.

Why Are the Translators Being Replaced?

According to Rich Van Genderen, IdahoPTV’s director of technology, translator K46HX-D serves the Cottonwood /Grangeville area and repeats or translates the KUID-TV signal from Moscow. It is also the source channel for Kamiah and Kooskia translators as well.

Last year, as part of a nationwide FCC auction, telecommunications company T-Mobile purchased spectrum in the 600 MHz block from coast to coast to bolster their cellular network. K46HX-D is sitting right in the middle of their purchased spectrum and must shut down by October 31. IdahoPTV was successful in applying for and receiving a temporary new channel assignment to remain whole in the region.

Viewers in the affected areas who perform a rescan will find a complete duplicate set of IdahoPTV channels between October 15 and 31. After the latter date, K46HX-D will be shut down permanently and only the new set of channels will be available.  There will be no interruption in service for over-the-air viewers who perform a rescan between October 15 and 31.

“A nod should be given to T-Mobile in that they graciously offered to pay for any equipment and services necessary to relocate our service to a new channel,” says Van Genderen. “So although this is an inconvenience, at least it isn’t a unfunded mandate for us to meet.”

Remembering Governor Cecil Andrus

Cecil Andrus, Idaho’s longest serving governor and a former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, died Thursday, a day before his 86th birthday. He is being remembered in Idaho and across the country as a shrewd leader who fought throughout his career to protect the majestic public lands he held dear.

Next Friday, September 1, at 8 PM, the Idaho Reports Special: Remembering Governor Cecil Andrus takes a retrospective look at Andrus’ impact on the leaders and landscapes of the American West. The Idaho Reports team will explore Andrus’ legacy, what about his personality made Andrus one of Idaho’s most notable modern politicians, and whether there are political lessons to learn from his successes as Idaho’s longest serving governor and the first Interior Secretary appointed from the Gem State. The special draws upon archival footage of Andrus, interviews with Andrus’ friends and political contemporaries, and a pundits discussion.

Remembering Governor Cecil Andrus: A look back at his legacy in the West

Earlier in the week, on Monday, August 28, IdahoPTV’s Plus Channel encores three original productions featuring Cecil Andrus.

Outdoor Idaho: Beyond the White Clouds (August 28 at 7/6 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel) takes an hourlong look at the three new wilderness areas in the center of Idaho — the White Clouds, the Hemingway-Boulders, and the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness — to tell the fascinating 50-year story of how the threat of an open-pit molybdenum mine eventually led to a unanimous vote for Wilderness in Congress.

Host and executive producer Bruce Reichert says, “In 2016 we conducted what we think was Andrus’ last full-length interview, for our Outdoor Idaho show Beyond the White Clouds. We had to stop several times, as passersby stopped to yell, ‘Hi, Cece!’ and he would compliment them on their fine dog. At times like that, it was easy to forget that he had been Interior Secretary of the United States, a four-term governor of the state of Idaho, and a man who helped preserve the landscape of the White Clouds and the Sawtooths.”

Following Beyond the White Clouds, Marcia Franklin interviews Andrus over a span of 17 years in two back-to-back Dialogue episodes from 1994 and 2011 (August 28 at 8/7 and 8:30/7:30 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel). The 2011 conversation is continued at IdahoPTV On Demand in a Dialogue Extra.

Producer and host Marcia Franklin says, “To cover Governor Andrus — which I started doing in 1989 — was to receive free lessons in politics, in an era when that meant working across the aisle to get things done. But it also meant hard bargains, including taking care of business within the party, something Andrus wasn’t afraid to do. You could always count on an answer from the governor, even if that was a very direct, ‘Now you don’t think I’m really going to answer that question, do you, Marcia?’ … Despite that apparent bark, I found Governor Andrus to be a gracious, warm man who was passionate about our state, his family, and the people he served.”

Also available on IdahoPTV On Demand are 1996 and 1998 Dialogue interviews with Andrus conducted by producer and co-host Joan Cartan-Hansen.

Cartan-Hansen, whose mother was an early supporter and long-time friend of the governor, met Andrus when she was a young girl. “He has loomed large in my life as a man of honor with a sense of humor,” says Cartan-Hansen. “He knew every line of the budget and had a special way of making people feel at ease. Yet, he was a shrewd politician, one you did not cross without consequences. He is a man I admire and care about. He will always be, for me, The Governor.”

Education Specialist Cindy Lunte Awarded for Service to Idaho Libraries

Idaho Public Television is pleased to announce that Cindy Lunte, IdahoPTV’s education specialist, has been chosen by the Idaho Library Association to receive their 2017 Special Services to Libraries award.

IdahoPTV Education Specialist Cindy Lunte
Education Specialist Cindy Lunte

According to librarian Jennifer Hills, chair of the ILA Scholarship and Awards Committee, the award is given to “someone who has offered exceptional support to Idaho libraries … Cindy has provided a much-loved outreach service to rural Idaho libraries, while promoting children’s literacy with an enthusiasm that strengthens all she does.”

In nominating Lunte for the award, Tamra Hawley-House, youth services consultant with the Idaho Commission for Libraries, wrote: “As the new education specialist for Idaho Public Television, Cindy has taken her commitment to and love of libraries on a grand Idaho road trip. She has been reaching out to rural public libraries throughout the state, offering programs including storytimes, science experiments, visits from PBS characters and more. She brings much needed attention to the role of libraries and literacy to each community as she visits, sharing books and other PBS resources.”

Hawley-House notes that in the past year Lunte has provided outreach services and materials to sixteen rural Idaho libraries, including Payette, Glenns Ferry, Kamiah, Kooskia, Grangeville and Notus, which highlights Lunte’s understanding of the importance of partnerships in the role of educating young children. “Cindy recognizes the importance of learning and has found a way to align the missions of her organization with that of public libraries, resulting in increased visibility and interest in the value of education and libraries in the state of Idaho,” Hawley-House says.

Cindy Lunte Curious George

Rural librarians across the state voiced their enthusiastic agreement with Lunte’s nomination. Glenys Rasmussen, director of the Patricia Romanko Public Library in Parma, says that when Lunte offered to do a program at her library, she expected her to arrive with a few books for a story time. “But she came with loads of educational, innovative and fun items for the kids so they could explore, learn, imagine, design and generally be educated in a fun, relaxed, friendly and safe environment,” Rasmussen says. “Cindy didn’t stop with just one visit — because we had so many children who wanted to participate, she came three times and each time brought different engaging tools for the children. They learned about the earth and nature, wildlife and domesticated animals and about the stars, moon and sun. Everything was geared expertly to the age level (preschool through 4th grade) of the children. Cindy also brought along PBS Kids Playtime Pads and the kids still ask for them and use them in the library.”

Lunte will be presented with the 2017 Special Services to Libraries award on October 5 during the Idaho Library Association Annual Conference Awards Ceremony and Banquet at the Boise Riverside Hotel. For more information about the ceremony or the conference, visit the ILA website at idaholibraries.org, or contact Jennifer Hills.

New Dialogues From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference

What do a goshawk, a first lady, Muslims and “dark money” have in common? They’re all topics of this year’s Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference on Idaho Public Television’s Dialogue.

Dialogue Team

Host Marcia Franklin and the Dialogue team are back with the 11th year of interviews from the renowned event. Tune in every Friday in September at 7:30 PM to listen to the engaging conversations. The programs repeat Sundays at 5/4 PM MT/PT.

“For more than a decade, I’ve been fortunate to be able to take Dialogue to the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference,” says series host and producer Marcia Franklin. “And every year, it’s extremely difficult to narrow down my choices for interviews.

“This year was no exception, because there were so many great writers at the event. But I think we have a stellar lineup of conversations with thoughtful authors who will share insights about both their writing and our times.”

Here’s the lineup of conversations from the 2017 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference:

Louisa Thomas.png
Louisa Thomas

September 1: Journalist Louisa Thomas explains why we should know more about another Louisa — Louisa Catherine Adams, the wife of President John Quincy Adams. Thomas is the author of Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams. Using Adams’ own letters and memoirs — including some letters Thomas discovered for the first time — the book draws an intimate portrait of a self-deprecating first lady who also had great fortitude, traveling by herself in Europe during dangerous times despite being ill much of her life.

Ayad Akhtar.png
Ayad Akhtar

September 8: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar talks about his trajectory from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Broadway, and the often controversial themes of his works. Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for his play Disgraced, which depicts a casual dinner party that goes awry after banter between friends becomes heated. The play not only takes on hot-button issues surrounding 9/11 and Islam, but also reveals what Akhtar calls the “secret tribal identities” of us all.

Jane Mayer.png
Jane Mayer

September 15: New Yorker investigative journalist Jane Mayer delves into the links between the Koch brothers and “dark money,” which she uncovers in her latest book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Mayer worked for more than three years on the book, an expansion of an article she wrote on Charles and David Koch for The New Yorker in 2010. The two brothers, the scions of Koch Industries, have spent decades funding conservative candidates and causes.

Helen Macdonald.png
Helen Macdonald photo: Mike Birkhead Assoc.

September 22: Falconer and author Helen Macdonald shares how a goshawk helped her soar above grief and loss, and discusses her new PBS Nature documentary. Her memoir, H Is for Hawk, recounts the year Macdonald spent training a goshawk in the wake of her father’s death, and describes how the beauty and isolation of training the irascible bird helped her begin her life anew. The book was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book of the Year award. The Nature documentary H Is for Hawk: A New Chapter, which airs November 1 at 7 PM, follows Macdonald as she trains a new goshawk.

Andrew Solomon.png
Andrew Solomon

September 29: Author and professor Andrew Solomon relates how he went from being a bullied child suffering from depression to an award-winning journalist traveling the world. Solomon’s 2001 book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of families raising exceptional children who not only learn to deal with their challenges, but also find profound meaning in doing so.

After they air, interviews will be available for streaming at IdahoPTV On Demand. Previous years’ interviews can be streamed at the Dialogue Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference page.

“I always learn so much when I research these programs, and I hope that viewers in turn will glean new understandings of our world and themselves,” Franklin says. “My thanks to the organizers of the conference for inviting us, and to the writers for finding time in their schedules to talk with me.”