What Are You THANKFUL For?

 

Courtesy of the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce

Courtesy of the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. I found myself reflecting on the past months. I have met so many people. The relationships began as “business” and have grown into valued friendships. I am so thankful for Roger Brooks and the fire he lit under me that inspired the creation of the Caldwell Perspective. Caldwell is a unique, beautiful community in which  I have deep roots, but it has taken moving around downtown to LOVE. We are an “us” and I know many of you pridefully share in my mission, my goal and passion. Ironically, even my grumpy ol’ men friends (you know who you are). What are you Thankful for this year?

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Transforming a 101 Year Old Library into a Veterans’ Resource Center

By W. John Muirhead, Vice-Chairman of Veterans’ Council and Vice-Commander Post 35 American Legion

Demolition of the old Carnegie Library to make room for the New

Mike Dittenber, Director of the Caldwell Housing Authority (CHA), and a number of his friends and colleagues are donating their personal time to assist in the demolition of the interior walls in preparation of the building to construct offices, meeting rooms, a dining hall and kitchen.

CHA technicians carefully removed the building’s mechanical components such as: heating ducts, suspended ceiling grid, and non-structural wall sections.

On September 25th, a work crew that included volunteer veterans, Caldwell Veterans’ Council members demolished most of the remaining non-structural walls and removed four tons of debris from the building.

The City of Caldwell purchased the old Carnegie Library building, which is located at 1101 Cleveland Blvd., from the Caldwell School District and agreed to designate it as the Caldwell Veterans’ Memorial Hall. Under a 100 year lease agreement with the City of Caldwell and the Caldwell chapters of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, this building will be utilized by all veteran organizations and the partnership of organizations prepared to provide a wide variety of programs and services. The plan is to provide local assistance with education, employment and career development, counseling and health care issues, family programs, homelessness, addictions, abuse and humanitarian needs for a part of our society that are under-served and limited at times because of handicaps, economic issues or ability to get through often confusing and complicated processes. Not only are the veterans of the west-end of the Treasure Valley in need of an entity to provide unique specialized services, but also widows and family members of military personnel deployed, retired or deceased are in need of a facility where they will be understood and their needs, issues and benefits can be addressed and provided.

Where are the Canyon County Veterans?

The 2012 census identified 123,600 veterans living in Idaho, of that 14,470 live in Canyon County, 12% of the veteran population. Of this group of veterans 2,590 or 17.9% have disabilities, 1,534 are disabled female veterans. It is estimated that there are 57,880 family members also impacted by the lack of adequate programs and services. The long-term projected outcome of the Caldwell Veterans’ Memorial Hall is programs and services that directly contribute to improved conditions and quality of life for our veterans. The efficient and effective execution of programs and services will give veterans the skills, knowledge, positive behavior and confidence to be an active participations member of the community.

Planned Capital Improvements

The below listed items represent the capital improvements planned for the transformation of the Caldwell Carnegie Library building into the Caldwell Veterans’ Memorial Hall.

  • Install four ADA Compliant Restrooms
  • Asbestos Removal
  • Build a Memorial Park: Relocate two monuments to the CVMH
  • Build Partition Walls
  • Install Carpeting
  • Electrical Renovation
  • Establish ADA Parking
  • Foundation Repair
  • HVAC Replacement of 4 AC units and heaters
  • Refurbish the front entrance steps
  • Install an ADA compliant Elevator to serve both floors
  • Install a fire alarm system
  • Install Gas Lines to serve the new heating and cooking equipment
  • Install a full functioning kitchen
  • Paint interior walls and trim Training Room
  • Furnishings, tables, chairs, lamps and couches
  • Refurbish Upper Level Floors
  • Remove Main Entry Pillars and roof
  • Roof repair; replace damaged sheet metal caps and wooden nailer boards
  • Strip and refinish woodwork, stir handrails, baseboards and doors
  • Upgrade Plumbing; install new sewer lines under the basement floor
  • Window Refurbishment
  • Lobby Furnishings; chairs, couches, lamps and tables
  • Meeting Room Furnishings
  • Office furnishings: VFW, AL, DAV, NSO and Day Officer Offices.

Veterans’ Services

The Caldwell Veterans’ Memorial Hall, when complete, will offer a wide range of services for Treasure Valley veterans and their families. The Hall will be occupied from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, Monday through Friday. A Veterans Service Officer will be available throughout the week with National Service Officer on site one day per week to finalize or initiate support for veterans or beneficiaries requiring assistance.

Typical Activities

  • Daily Veterans’ Day Officer on Duty
  • Weekly Veterans’ Coffee
  • Weekly Veterans Service Officer onsite
  • Monthly Spouses’ Luncheon
  • Monthly Volunteer’s Rally to participate in community projects
  • Monthly Tai Chi lessons
  • Monthly featured Speaker

Monthly Training Session in the CVMH training room Partnerships

  • DAV National Service Officer
  • Disability Claims
  • Education on Benefits
  • Death and Burial Benefits
  • VA Home Loans
  • Insurance
  • Department of Labor
  • Jobs in Training
  • Resumes
  • Job Search
  • Boise Rescue Mission
  • Indigent Services and Humanitarian Aid
  • Vet Center
  • Counseling
  • Vets4Success
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • DAV Transportation Shuttle

Programs

  • Mentorship of Young Marines and Youth Activities
  • VETS Court-Mentorship and Counseling
  • Disabled Veterans Memorial Garden

Services

  • Children and Family Services
  • Clothing Assistance
  • Crisis Assistance
  • Dental Care
  • Education Services
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Family Assistance
  • Day Officer/Veteran Service Officer

How long does the VA take to process a claim?

As of September 23, 2014, the VA Regional Office in Boise reports the following figures. The average time to process disability claims is:

Boise/Nation

Original claims (7 issues or less)

121 days/159 days

Original claims (8 issues or more)

122 days/147 days

Reopened and claims for increase:

109 days/153 days

As of September, the Boise VA Regional Office has 1,806 disability claims pending an average of 114 days. Of those, 580 (32%) have been pending more than 125 days, and only 30 (1.66%) have been pending more than one year. In August and September, the VA Regional Office conducted 946 personal interviews with an average wait time of less than two minutes. The worse time to visit the VA regional office? The first three days of the month and any Monday. As of September, it took approximately 36 days from receipt of an application for vocational rehabilitation to the date the VA notified the veteran of the decision on eligibility. There are approximately 138,320 veterans currently residing in Idaho, and 20,262 of them are in receipt of disability benefits. The VA also issues monthly benefits to 350 widows, orphans, and dependent parents of Idaho’s veterans. In 2013, VA issued monthly benefits amounting to $20.9 million to Idaho’s veterans. This amount equals over $250 million per year to support Idaho’s disabled veterans, their dependents, and survivors.

Putting the Fun in Fund Raising

Coupling a barbeque with a demolition event was a good way to not only raise some funds but also introduce the project to the community. The Caldwell Fire Department stopped by for lunch and the Caldwell American Legion Post did the setup, cooking and cleanup.

Nothing wasted

All salvageable materials that were removed from the building were donated to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. A comprehensive estimate of the building contents donated totaling over $31,000.

* Watch your mailbox for the December Edition of The Caldwell Perspective for more on this story and Happy Veterans Day to all our Soldiers *

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Caldwell City Prepares for Winter Wonderland

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City of Caldwell employees work diligently to bring us Winter Wonderland.  Hours of hard work go into the event. Weeks are spent planning before a single light is put into place. The goal each year is to surpass the prior year and become the Winter Wonderland to remember.

This year on Friday, November 21st, join us downtown at the Depot Open House from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and for the lighting of the tree at 7:00 pm. There will be Santa’s workshop, rides on the Caldwell Kiddie Train, live animal displays, characters in costume, food vendors, and live entertainment. So, kick-off your shopping in downtown Caldwell!

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Music Theatre of Idaho to Perform “The Sound of Music”

  • Hours go into creating the scenes of each and every production.

Music Theatre of Idaho has been producing quality musical theatre productions in our area for years. This December they plan to preform their finale of “The Sound of Music” at the Nampa Civic Center before their move to the Jewett Auditorium for their 2015 season. Visit www.mtionline.org to see the 2015 show line up and purchase your season passes. If you have a talent and wish to audition please check the website immediately for audition information. Music Theatre of Idaho is a great addition to our community, let’s welcome them with sold out shows.

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Payette Brewing Company’s Boise Food Truck Rally

  • Many people came out to support Community Council of Idaho.

Thank you to Payette Brewing Company’s Boise food truck rally! We gathered in Caldwell to show support for the Community Council of Idaho, an organization providing employment and training, head start, affordable housing and community family health clinics to our citizens.  Watch your mailboxes the first of December for the print edition of the Caldwell Perspective for more about this amazing organization. For more information about the Community Council of Idaho visit their website at www.communitycouncilofidaho.org

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Final Home Game of the Season

  • Bank of the Cascades Tailgating Party.

Early morning tailgating freshened the air as the Yotes prepared for their final home game of the season. We are proud we are not the first to announce the 45-21 loss to Eastern Oregon, over our hometown Yotes. Good luck to our boys against Carroll College as they travel to Helena, Montana in the coming week. If you plan on joining the team, take your winter coats it is supposed to be cold up there. As for us here, we plan on enjoying the warmth of Stewarts Bar and Grill for some tailgating.

 

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