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When the City Club of Boise last week honored Jim Weatherby with its highest award, the Stimpson Award for Civic Engagement, Weatherby was predictably humble. “Dottie Stimpson had a major impact on this community,” he said. “I’m glad in some way to share in that by receiving this wonderful recognition.”

Stimpson founded the City Club in 1995, with the aim of providing Boise with a venue where its citizens could learn about and discuss important issues of the day in a nonpartisan, civil manner. The club’s motto is, “Things happen when people start talking.”

As a reporter who has spent many years covering Idaho politics, the well-informed words of Weatherby have helped me, along with my readers, understand and make sense of a stunning array of political happenings in Idaho. In many ways, his perspective was so helpful because he’d been there.

Bill Manny, producer and writer at Idaho Public Television and longtime Idaho journalist, said at the awards ceremony last week, “He was friendly, he was informed, he didn’t take sides, and he didn’t seek out the limelight — we sought him out.”

You can read my full column here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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