A good start

Ticked off, sad, depressed and disappointed by all the bad news? Tired of hearing about foreclosures, bailouts, layoffs and favorite restaurants closing? Me too! That’s why I am starting this blog — to paraphrase a line from the 1976 movie “Network,” “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!”

Here’s my story: My name is Jeanne Huff and I got laid off from my job of five-plus years as assistant features editor, reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman on October 9, 2008. I thought I’d bounce right into something else new and exciting, but the economy and all of its bad news bounced back. Hard.

A couple of weeks ago, I had coffee with my friend, Jim Meadows. Jim is the owner of Home Enhancement Company. He does home staging and orchestrates charitable makeovers, bringing other local businesses together to help make dreams come true for some who can’t afford to do that on their own.

Jim listened to me grouse for a bit, then said: Everywhere I look, there’s bad news and everybody I talk to is sick of it. Why don’t you write about the good news? It’s out there. I hear about it all the time, but the mainstream media just doesn’t talk much about it.

I said: Yeah, I like that. Good news.

Since then, Jim and I have talked to a lot of people: community leaders, economic development and city hall types, media moguls, local business owners and “just plain folks” and friends. EVERYONE thinks it’s a good idea.

Sure, there’s bad news out there. Plenty.

And it gets plenty of exposure.

I want to get out the good news.

So come to this blog for an uplifting look at our world, both big-picture and Boise-style. And if you’ve got something to add, please feel free! I’m starting a Good News Army.

I’m looking for news in the following categories (or just make one up).

Know of a new restaurant or shop? Is one extending its hours or changing its menu?

Send your good news items to:
Did you see or hear of a good deed lately? Was someone noticeably nice? Let’s celebrate our local heroes, spread the word and the good vibes.

If you’re a local business owner, what are some tips for success? How have you tailored your services? What innovations have you made?

What’s happening? Cool places to go, things to do?

Know of any good bargains, sales, cheap, tasty snacks, budget-minded recipes?

How about local hidden treasures? Let’s get the word out.


36 responses to “A good start

  1. Jeanne,
    thank you. I can’t wait to read what you write next.
    You’re the greatest.
    My dear friend of so many years. dare I say the number?

    My neighbor, Tammy, is planning an event here
    May Day, to raise some money to benefit women who are struggling.
    She has asked me to be a part of it by giving a concert.
    It’s so exciting to see so many of us regain our enthusiasm for making the world around us a better place for everyone.

    This change thing is really good. FIRST the good news!
    I want to help, too.
    Love you,

  2. surel mitchell

    Hey Jeanne it’s good to hear that you haven’t let the sad guys down–you’ve left them up. I have a few Ideas but will talk with you about them; This such a terrific idea.

  3. Great idea, this good news thing. Have you considered starting a Ning? Basically, it would allow group participation with Boise good news. It’s like designed a Facebook around a single topic.

    Check it out at: http://www.ning.com/

  4. “Follow your heart and the money will come.” Well, at least the story ideas will come…I hope you’ll also find remuneration at the end of this lovely rainbow you’re creating, Jeanne! As someone who has focused on the positive in her freelance work for 11 years, I KNOW there’s plenty of good news out there–I’m thrilled you’re mining it to share on the blogosphere!

  5. you are a great writer…i can’t wait to read all the updates…already more interesting than the Statesman!!!

  6. Summer’s coming on and school’s going to be out soon, but shouldn’t these children remain in class a bit longer?

    That’s the feeling I receive when a handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.


  7. Hey Jeanne…

    I am so glad that I have somebody to talk to. I really feel like I want to say everything just so…. you know because the way you say it, is the way you MEAN IT…And I mean it…Anyway I am very excited – because of you – or me – somebody.
    Remember, President Obama said, “This is the beginning of the End.
    Whoo – hoo!
    871 0657

  8. Awesome idea! Here are a few good new items I can come up with quickly:

    The smiling faces and big hearts of many of the Special Olympics athletes rubbed off on just about everyone who came in contact with them or even watched them.

    $259 season passes at Tamarack (if you buy by March 8).

    LuLu’s Pizza & Sushi on bogus Basin Road is still going stron even though Ridley’s closed. Where else can you get pizza & sushi & listen to the young, talented singer/songwriter Travis McDaniel (Wednesdays) in one place?

    Barack Obama making torture illegal again.

  9. That’s so awesome! Great news! And I love lilies!

  10. Well, the triplets’ mother survived breast cancer and all her subsequent surgeries. She is going to nursing school! The “babies” are walking and jabbering. Every time I’m at their house it’s a good news day! And the mom and dad have a strong, vibrant, joyous marriage.
    Good news abounds as we look around. Indian Spring weather today.
    Lilies of the field and all that.

  11. Jeanne, This afternoon I sat by the ocean, went on a bike ride to look at some straw bale structures. Started the book Zen and the Art of Making a Living. Now I’m reading your happy good news blog. Thanks for rounding out a perfect afternoon. Can’t wait to share some happy poetry!!

  12. Love, love, love this! I look forward to tagging along and hearing the good news!

  13. Julie Fanselow

    Great idea, Jeanne. Count me among the many who miss your columns in the Statesman and hope you will write a book about all your fave Treasure Valley finds!

    One thing I loved about Treasure Hunt was how you spotlighted mostly LOCALLY owned businesses. That’s one big way we can revive our local economy – by buying and eating local as much as we can, so more of our $$$ stay circulating in Idaho. And these local businesses have such good stories to tell.

    Some of my favorite locally owned places include Tango’s (empanadas on Orchard), Casanova Pizzeria on Vista and Kootenai, Lucy’s Coffee, the Record Exchange (love the new and used CDs newly side by side), Shangri-La Tea and Rediscovered Books.

    And of course there are the many FREE pleasures of Boise … the Greenbelt, the Foothills, the public art downtown … all good news.

  14. Stephanie Almeida

    Jeanne…terrific idea. I read about this on Nancy Spittle’s facebook page. It made me think about something good. Positive networking amoung friends. Facebook is free and I have received so many warm, fuzzy moments over the past year as I have reconnected with so many friends and family across the country.
    Thanks for doing this! Can’t wait to see more!

  15. Blog looks great and I look forward to reading your posts.

  16. Anne Wallace Allen

    Jeanne, I love it! Just today a bank teller and I were commiserating over all the bad news in the paper – and looking for good things to focus on. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  17. Sarah Kelley-Chase

    Fabulous and timely idea!

  18. Excellent idea, Jeanne! Can’t wait to read more.

  19. Wow, this is awesome! Now I’ve got to get busy and work on some of these ideas you are all sending my way. Perfect! Hey, I feel like we’re on to something… good!!


  20. Learned of your blog when someone at my office mentioned it. A great way to find a lot of the news you’re looking for would be to get involved in Twitter (http://twitter.com) and follow local people. You can learn a lot of what’s going on in a community that way.

    Twitter Explained in Plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/Twitter

    I’ve written a little on the subject:

    Find Twitter posts people have marked (or hash-tagged) for Boise (#Boise):

    Find Twitter posts where people have mentioned Boise (maybe less valuable for news, but can find Boise people this way):

    (Twitter’s also a great way to make connections with people in your field, and can lead to jobs…)

  21. Richard Wilson

    What a great idea! (Oh, and hi Jeanne) 🙂

    Now, here is a personal challenge to those who gripe incessantly. Next time, before you open your mouth and pull everyone around you down, answer the following questions:

    What is my contribution to this situation?

    What can I do to make it better?

  22. Great idea! I have an idea for a story that could go into the good finds or the good places catagories….it’s Hill’s Gifts (used to be Hill’s Pharmacy) at Beacon and Broadway. Been around for 50 years, owned by the same people for 30. Has gone thru a transition from Pharmacy to expanded gift store. Really great stuff at amazing prices. It would be great to celebrate a home town business that really could use the support!

  23. Jeanne: This is a great idea! We’ll round up some folks to contribute and get the word out.

  24. Great ideas. I expect that there are enough good news out there without the need to make anything up.

    Good luck with the project, I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun…

  25. Great idea for a blog, Jeanne. You were a very good editor and reporter at The Statesman and I was sad to see you go. As a suggestion, I think it would be neat to compile a list of cheap and fun hole-in-the-wall places to eat out. The Wok Inn at Orchard and Emerald gets my vote. The place has a cool scrungy houseplant vibe and the owners are really nice people.

  26. This is a great blog concept! I will be sending in lots of ideas…

  27. Janelle Wilson

    Cheers! What a fantastic idea! I will spread the good word

  28. Love this idea. Good news army. I’m on it! Write some good things soon. Lots happening in and around my world. Reham let me know about you and this. Blessings, Sue

  29. Jeanne-
    Great idea! We at Windermere/Richard B. Smith agree, and we are working on some good news articles. I’ll be sure to let you know what we come up with.
    Keep up the good news!

  30. Here are a couple of links to sites that specialize in good news, and have RSS feeds (not local, more the national or global perspective, but I think you wanted that as well, right?). I start my day looking over their feed in my reader and it’s never a bad way to start the day 🙂

    http://300sixtyfive.blogspot.com/ (this one is a friends blog)

    As I think of or see things I’ll send them your way, I think it’s a great idea 🙂

  31. Jeane,
    Awesome idea. Good news is ABSOLUTELY something I’ll be tuning in to hear. I love it. I’ll send any goodness I run across, your way. Thanks for doing this, the other, the “bad” news is killing me.

  32. Barbara Miller Johncox

    Thank you for starting this blog, Jeanne! We all could use a dose of good news. I’ll try to feed you all the postive things going on in my corner of the world- it’s quite sunny here, really, and I’d love to share the light!

    Cheers, darling woman!


  33. Jeanne, Great job on the blog. I will pass it on.

  34. Good stuff Jeanne…looking forward to it!

  35. wonderful idea, I’m so very proud of you! it takes a lot of courage to stand up against the “norm” of complaining, and fear mongering and pint out the everyday beauty, and wonder of life! kudos to you! although with the myriad of amazing people and things in Boise you are going to have your hands full wading through it all! and I’ll try not to flood you with stuff, I’ve been blessed because of my studio with amazing woman, and outstanding experiences! it’s a wonderful life indeed!

  36. Please send links to news items or just leave contact info in the comments! Thanks! Jeanne

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