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.”

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.

Bruce Reichert’s Top 10 Outdoor Idaho Episodes Now Streaming on IdahoPTV Passport

To me, coming up with a Top Ten list from our more than 300 programs is virtually impossible, especially in a state that possesses such a convergence of wonders. I could have chosen others, but I selected these ten precisely because they were not easy. They involved many miles and lots of interviewing, research, writing, and editing.  
My colleagues and I really did swing for the fences with these particular shows. And even when we may have only hit a double, to me they represent a lot of effort and lots of love. I do hope you enjoy them. — Bruce

Photo credit: Tim Tower

1. 50 Years of Wilderness

With the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, Americans began a grand experiment in land management—to set aside certain areas “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

For the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Outdoor Idaho visits each of Idaho’s designated wilderness areas—the Selway Bitterroot, Craters of the Moon, Sawtooths, Hells Canyon, Gospel Hump, Frank Church River of No Return and Owyhee Canyonlands—to explore what we’ve learned since the passage of this landmark legislation.


2. 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.


3. Salmon Reckoning

Idaho’s salmon are facing extinction. Idaho’s twelve-term congressman, Mike Simpson, says we need to breach the four lower Snake River dams in the state of Washington. His proposal – not yet a bill – has got a lot of people talking. Salmon advocates call it far-sighted and the only way to keep Idaho’s ocean-going fish from going extinct.  Simpson’s proposal would also compensate all those impacted by the loss of the dams, to the tune of $33.5 billion. 

Opponents of dam removal say the structures allow Lewiston to function as an inland “seaport,” making it possible to barge Palouse wheat to Portland and elsewhere. The four dams — Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and Ice Harbor — also account for about 1,000 megawatts of hydropower. Why, they ask, should we take down the dams when the real culprits are things like unfavorable ocean conditions, warming rivers, predators and over-harvest.

Outdoor Idaho interviews people on all sides of one of the most controversial and consequential issues facing the Northwest.


Photo credit: Peter Morrill

4. Sawtooths On My Mind

Who can forget that first view of the Sawtooth Mountain range, one of the West’s most iconic settings? For many people, the Sawtooth wilderness is their favorite, so accessible, with mountain lakes within walking distance and jagged peaks shaped like the blade of a crosscut saw.

During the summer months, it is not unusual to find hikers from all over the world enjoying the hundreds of miles of trails that connect so many of the 400 lakes scattered throughout the distinctive granite peaks.

“Sawtooths on My Mind” examines 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.


5. State of Change

It seems like only yesterday Idaho was the forgotten state, the one routinely confused with Iowa. But no longer. Today the state with more cattle than people is now on everyone’s radar screen.

The changes in Idaho have been astounding, affecting just about everything, from cities and towns to public lands and wildlife. But throughout Idaho’s seven degrees of latitude, there’s a real sense of unease. Ask people who have lived here for 30 years. To them it feels like a no-turning-back kind of change.

The Outdoor Idaho crew examines some of those changes – as well as some reasons for optimism – in the nation’s 43rd state…a State of Change.


Photo credit: Link Jackson

6. Land of the Lost River Range

They are Idaho’s tallest mountains, but many would be hard pressed to find them on a map. Geologists call it Basin and Range. We’ll meet some of the hardy individuals who work and play among these 12,000-foot peaks. This is a part of the state that in many ways still resembles the Old West.

The Outdoor Idaho crew explores the unique formations of the province geologists call Basin and Range, and meets the hardy individuals who live, work and play alongside these 12,000-foot peaks. “They’re so majestic,” says Mackay rancher and native Kevin Donahue. “They draw you home.”


Photo credit: Peter Morrill

7. 35th Anniversary Special

You can cover a lot of territory in 35 years and still just barely scratch the surface. We know because we’ve been doing that—exploring the beauty, the drama, the science of nature for 35 years. This special revisits some of the scenic wonders we’ve uncovered along the way. We also take viewers behind the scenes and remember the folks who have shared their stories with us over the years.


8. Into the Pioneers

Positioned between glamorous Sun Valley and desolate Craters of the Moon, the Pioneer Mountains are, for many, just a blank spot on the map. The Outdoor Idaho crew set out to change that, exploring the valleys and the tallest peaks of Idaho’s second-highest mountain range. This is not official wilderness, but it’s every bit as wild as the nearby Boulders and White Clouds, with a rich history and diverse landscape sure to inspire and intrigue.


Photo credit: Chadd Cripe

9. Beyond the White Clouds

It’s some of the most dazzlingly diverse country in the West, deserving of the gold standard of protection. In this hour-long special, the Outdoor Idaho crew visits 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 fifty-year story of how the threat of an open-pit molybdenum mine eventually led to a unanimous vote for wilderness in Congress. This program also examines some of the major battles yet to be decided.


10. The Frank

It’s the largest forested wilderness in the lower 48, larger even than some states. Outside of Alaska, only Death Valley Wilderness is larger. So how did the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness become law?

It’s been 35 years since Congress established the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Outdoor Idaho takes the pulse of this remote, magical vastness that many now call, simply, The Frank.


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 – Brad Butzbach

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 Field Engineering Supervisor, Brad Butzbach.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with Brad, who tells her, “We have 47 transmitter sites throughout the state and I try to keep all of those communities up and running.” Suffice it to say that he’s on-the-go around the state a lot.

Like many of us, Brad grew up outside of the Gem State. “I grew up in the middle of California, in Visalia, cow country. I grew up on a farm,” he remembers. “It’s very similar to here. Hot and dry in the summers, but not as cold in the winter. It’s foggy there. The Central San Joaquin Valley gets socked in with fog for three months straight in the winter,” he remembers. “I hated growing up on a farm. It was just me and my dad, and I was an indentured servant, I felt like. So while all the other kids were playing on the weekends, I was plowing the north forty. We had horses and cows, walnut trees and grapes. It was just my dad and (me), and for the two of us, it was a lot of work.”

Brad started out as a TV repairman back in the day. “I was just getting going,” he says, “and one day my dad met me for lunch and he said, ‘Son, it’s time for you to take over the farm.’ I said, ‘Dad, I went to college so I don’t have to be a farmer. Sell the farm and have a nice life.’ So that’s what he did.” Brad moved on to a TV station and worked his way up in the engineering department. “I eventually became the Director of Technology at a Fox affiliate in Knoxville (Tenn.).” Brad’s daughter was finishing up nursing school in California and she wanted to move to Idaho. He and his wife ended up beating her to Idaho by a few years, but she’s here now as well.

He has always believed in the mission of public television. “I got a little disillusioned working at a (commercial station). I didn’t feel like my talents were being used to help the community. So, a position opened up (here), which I thought was a worthy cause. So, I took a huge cut in salary and came to Idaho.”

Brad has a few hobbies that keep him busy in his downtime. “I’m an avid motorcyclist,” he says. “I also build and fly large scale, remote-controlled airplanes. And just recently, I bought an ultralight (aircraft)!” Even though he didn’t enjoy growing up on a farm, now he has a five-acre ranch where he can build a runway for his plane. He says, “It’s where I’m the most comfortable.” He’s also handy in the kitchen. He says, “I’m a little bit chef-y. I like to cook a lot. I do a lot of ethnic stuff. I do Northern African carissa cuisine; basically, from all around the world. I used to call my wife, ask her to name a country, and then when she came home, I’d have that country’s dish for dinner.”

When it comes to his favorite part of Idaho, it’s a personal question. “I especially like to visit viewers who are on a lower income, and have families, and get them Sesame Street and some of the other PBS shows. I was the first generation of Sesame Street, and I thought that it was my job to learn how to read and write before I got to kindergarten. And thanks to Sesame Street and other PBS shows, I did exactly that,” he says. Speaking of Sesame Street, his favorite PBS Kids character is Ernie. Brad says, “He’s the happy, curious guy. Bert’s the grouchy one.”