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Posts tagged: idaho

Idahoans Are Bad Tippers

Idahoans are the worst tippers in the Inland Northwest, averaging 11.44% in tips, according to Simple Insights. We Idahoans barely made it out of the Bottom 10 list, which is led by stingy Utah at 10.6%. In the Inland Northwest, Montana and Wyoming lead the nation in tipping at 16.8% and 16.15%, respectively. Oregonians and Washingtonians are good tippers, too, at 14.69% and 14.08%, respectively. Idahoans shouldn't feel too badly. Californians (11.47%) and New Yorkers (in the Bottom 5 at 11.3%) are lousy tippers, too. You can see the average for each state's tipping here. H/T: Brad Iverson-Long

Question: I generally tip between 17% and 20% (as a result of listening to my daughter's tales of customer response during her three years as a waitress for Tomato Street & Chili's). What do you tip?

Opinion on wolves: Idaho damages public image

On a crisp December morning at the edge of the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, a steady stream of cars flowed to a pullout that was filled with hopeful visitors braving frigid temperatures in the predawn light to catch a glimpse of a pair of wolves that had been feeding on a road-killed bison. We were among the fortunate ones who got a parking spot that morning and were rewarded with a view of the wolves trotting along the creek bank in the early morning light, making for a magical, wild sight.

We returned to our car and soon heard a short news report on the wolf and coyote derby to be held in Salmon. A few days later, while reading The New York Times, an editorial titled “wolf haters” negatively portrayed Idaho as it described the upcoming wolf derby, as well as Idaho Fish and Game's recent hiring of a professional wolf killer in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The wolf derby not only infuriates the conservation community, but also many hunters interested in promoting ethical, fair and respectful hunting. Idaho Statesman


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Shot across the bow?

A berrypicker sends along this photo with the following thoughts:
The first salvo in the May Republican primary in Kootenai County has been fired with this new I-90 billboard at the westbound Pleasant View exit by Flying J. Senator John Goedde and Representatives Luke Malek, Ed Morse and Frank Henderson voted in the 2013 legislative session to enact the State Insurance Exchange. Looks like they're going to be the first targets of the group in the May elections.

6,000 Idahoans in insurance ‘no-man’s’ land

Six thousand people in 2,500 Idaho households were told they qualify for Medicaid when they went through Idaho’s health insurance exchange to attempt to buy insurance and access possible federal subsidies. But Idaho Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong said those eligibility determinations, which were done by the federal government, are suspect, and all are being reviewed. H&W has mailed all those people paper applications for Idaho Medicaid.

“We developed a small team of eligibility workers who will expedite these applications and determine eligibility within one to two days,” Armstrong told lawmakers. But in the meantime, those applicants are in “no man’s land,” not able to either get coverage under Medicaid, or purchase new insurance plans with federal subsidies. Betsy Russell, EOB


Idahoan’s fish-eating habits surveyed

Photo illustration: Daniel Jolibois, a fisheries technician, releases a cutthroat trout on Friday in Plummer, Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is working to restore cutthroat populations on its reservation.

BOISE – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality plans to conduct a fish-consumption survey.

Agency spokesman Don Essig said the study will look at the general population and those who hold Idaho fishing licenses, according to the Idaho Statesman.

The agency hopes to find out the eating habits of Idaho residents when it comes to trout, bass and other fish.

Officials say fish-consumption rates are important to water quality regulators who use the information to calculate pollution standards intended to protect human health. More here.

How often do you eat fish?

Idaho Women On Outside Looking In

On the list of the Fortune 1000 you’ll find some of the greatest names in the world of business, but you’ll also find that only 46 of those companies on have a woman in the office of CEO. The reality in corporate America is pretty simple: The captains of industry are overwhelmingly male. Women are also dramatically underrepresented in the board rooms of the nation’s biggest businesses and, while there are 20 female members of the United States Senate, an all-time record and a far cry from the from the days when women typically made it to the Senate only when their senator-husbands died, those numbers are still disproportionally small compared to women in the electorate. By almost every measure, the rise of women in business, politics and the law has stalled. Idaho, for example, has no women on is highest court and hasn’t since 2007. And even though women have overtaken men in measures of educational advancement – more women than men graduate college – the big stall is in effect at every socioeconomic level/Marc Johnson, Idaho Business Review. More here.

Question: Who do you think is the most powerful woman in Idaho?

Idaho K-12 Cuts Among US Steepest

During the recession, Idaho’s public school budget cuts were among the deepest in the nation. And while Idaho’s 2013-14 public school budget included a $28.6 million increase, the added money merely kept pace with inflation and enrollment growth. These are two findings from a national study, released this month by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit think tank. The center’s reports put Idaho’s K-12 cuts into national perspective; Idaho is among at least 34 states that are spending less per pupil than they did in 2008-09. And the report comes just as Idaho education stakeholders are making a concerted push to reverse K-12 budget cuts — with initial support from Gov. Butch Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.


Idaho Lost More Than Megaload Case

Friday U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill put a hold on General Electric's second evaporator, which was supposed to leave the Port of Lewiston today bound for the tar sands of Alberta. Then he stripped Idaho of its control over that and future megaload shipments along U.S. Highway 12 - and handed it over to the U.S. Forest Service and the Nez Perce Indian Tribe. Take a minute. Let it sink in. The state of Idaho no longer controls its only highway linking Lewiston to Lolo, Mont. You don't see that every day/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Idaho Wins CoiNuts Lawsuit

The Idaho attorney general’s office has won a $742,826 judgment against a closed North Idaho coin shop that customers say swindled them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by failing to deliver gold and silver they paid for in advance. The default judgment entered Friday in 1st District Court may not lead to anyone getting their money back, however. CoiNuts Inc. was dissolved as an Idaho corporation after its owners shut down the Coeur d’Alene shop in summer 2012 and consumer fraud complaints started piling up. The attorney general’s office is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against former CoiNuts owner and president Kevin E. Mitchell, of Hayden Lake, and his stepdaughter, Sarah M. Mitchell, who helped run the store. They are accused of multiple violations of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act. A trial in that case is set for April 2014/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: So far, no one is getting his/her money back. Thoughts?

Idaho Congressman Wary Of Strike

Idaho lawmakers in Washington, D.C., were deeply skeptical of President Obama's plan for a strike against Syria's chemical weapons infrastructure. In responses this week, Republican U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador all expressed wariness such a strike would enhance U.S. power or bring a swifter end to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. Risch committed to opposing a strike. Obama says Assad's government was responsible for numerous gas attacks, including one Aug. 21 said to have killed 1,429 people/Associated Press via Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Would Idaho congressman have as much trouble with the president's request, if George W. Bush was in office rather than Barack Obama?

Idaho must rely on feds’ site

The Idaho Legislature will not get its wish for a health insurance exchange website built by and for Idahoans. Not in the first year, anyway.

The Legislature’s decision simply came too late.

Federal law requires creation of a marketplace for health insurance coverage by Oct. 1 for every state. If states don’t do it, the law says, the federal government will.

But it takes time to develop a website with the security features required to accept and verify the confidential information people must enter when signing up for federally subsidized health coverage. Social Security numbers, for instance. Adjusted gross income from the most recent tax return. Names and ages of family members. Account numbers to be used in paying for the insurance. John Webster, SR

On July 26, shortly after getting its board appointed and hiring a few staff members, Idaho’s brand-new exchange awarded a contract for the development of its website. The winning contractor? Public Consulting Group, based in Boston.

What's wrong with this picture?

Idaho’s poorest fare worst in health care reform

Obamacare is coming, even to Idaho. While other states including Washington have worked for years to implement it, and now are unveiling comprehensive health coverage options for the uninsured, Idaho’s Republican-controlled state government tried for years to fight it. The long fight left a legacy: Tens of thousands of the poorest of Idaho’s poor will still be without affordable care under the Affordable Care Act.

On Oct. 1 the 222,533 Idahoans who have no health insurance will be able to go to a website and seek more comprehensive, affordable coverage than was available in the past. Federal law requires it, and federal taxes will pay for it.

But adults with incomes between 26 percent and 100 percent of the poverty level will be out of luck; no assistance will be available. Read more. John Webster, SR


NYT Finds Middle Of Idaho Nowhere

Here's proof that the New York Times reports on something other than Idaho's Hard Right politics when it comes calling — a travel piece by Rachel Levin:

The “Entering Stanley, Idaho” sign seemed more like a friendly warning than a welcome. “Population 63,” it read, as if to say: Congratulations, you’ve made it to the middle of nowhere. Stanley is the entry point to the Sawtooth Valley, a time warp of a place with four saloons, five mountain ranges and not much else. My husband, Josh, our two children and I had driven three hours from Boise along an empty, winding two-lane scenic byway for a week of summer adventure. Still, as we strolled down deserted, dusty Wall Street looking for a lunch spot, it was hard not to wonder: Where is everyone? More here.

Question: If you described yourself “in the middle of nowhere” within the borders of Idaho, where would you be?

Idaho Seeks Takeover Of Fed Lands

Federal lands belong to every U.S.  citizen, but the Idaho Legislature is attempting, and perhaps wasting a lot of time and money, to take charge of lands managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies. On Friday, Aug. 9, the Idaho Legislature’s Federal Lands Interim Committee will hold its first hearing to consider a process for the controversial proposal to acquire title to all federally administered public lands in Idaho. The Interim Committee was established through House Concurrent Resolution 22, enacted by the Idaho Legislature in April demanding that the federal government “imminently transfer title” to more than 33 million acres of public lands in Idaho/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Question: Will these grandsons of the Sagebrush Rebels ever learn?

Idaho #1 In Breastfeeding Moms

Health officials say breast-feeding rates continue to inch up: Now more than 3 in 4 mothers try to breast-feed their newborns. Breast-feeding rates remain highest in Idaho and lowest in Mississippi. Experts attribute that to regional differences in culture and workplace policies that support breast-feeding. Wednesday's report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 77 percent of moms tried breast-feeding in 2010. A decade earlier it was 71 percent. The percent still breast-feeding a year later rose to 27 percent from 16 percent in 2000. The report comes from a national telephone survey of more than 8,000 parents and caretakers of small children/Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Why is Idaho first re: number of breastfeeding moms, when it's last or close to last in so many other areas?

Idaho #10 In Imprisoning Citizens

Last year, 1.57 million Americans served prison sentences in state or federal penitentiaries, a slight decrease from nearly 1.6 million in 2011, according to figures released Thursday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Despite the decline, the United States still incarcerates people at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. According to the BJS report “Prisoners in 2012,” for every 100,000 Americans, an estimated 480 people were serving at least a one-year sentence in a state prison during the year. In some states, the rate of incarceration was much higher. Louisiana, the state with the highest rate, sentenced 893 people to a state prison for every 100,000 residents. Based on the BJS release, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states that send the most people to prison/Yahoo! Finance. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Idaho is No. 10?

Idaho sees 1st human case of West Nile Virus

Right on the heels of news this morning that two horses, one near Parma and one near Meridian, have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the state now has its first human case of West Nile for the season.

A Payette County man in his 40s has been hospitalized with a confirmed diagnosis of West Nile encephalitis. “About one in 150 people infected with WNV develop severe illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), as in this first positive case, or meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord),” said Jennifer Tripp, program manager for Southwest District Health. Betsy Russell, EOB

How many mosquito bites have you endured so far this summer?

Idaho Ban On Gay Marriage Stands

Idaho’s constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and civil unions of any kind stood after Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The court’s striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act on constitutional grounds applies only to federal benefits in the 12 states and District of Columbia that recognize same-sex unions. A companion decision applies only in California, where a lower court ruling overturning the voter-passed ban on gay marriage was let stand. Idaho’s constitutional amendment passed the Legislature in just three weeks in February 2006. The measure moved after a coalition of opponents collapsed having blocked for three years the two-thirds Senate vote necessary to put an amendment on the ballot. Voters approved the amendment with 63.4 percent of the vote in November 2006/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.


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208 Idaho Numbers Coming To End

In less than a decade, Idaho will likely join the ranks of states with more than one area code. That’s right, Idaho’s 208 area code is quickly becoming an endangered species. This isn’t a new story. Back in 2007, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission said the state would run out of 208 phone numbers within five years. That’s when number conservation and consolidation kicked in. The amount of phone numbers available expanded when the state changed the way it assigns them. According to the North American Numbering Plan, Idaho has approximately 820,000 208 telephone numbers available. Today, there are about 3.4 million 208 numbers assigned to Idaho/Emily Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here.

Question: Would you be willing to give up your 208 Idaho area code without a fight?

Trib: Idaho’s Wage Slaves Need Raise

If ever a group ought to band together and demand a boost in the minimum wage, it is the wage slaves of Idaho. No state has a larger share of its workers earning the minimum wage than Idaho, where the rate of people pulling down $7.25 an hour is 7.7 percent. No state has come close to Idaho's 63.2 percent growth in the number of jobs paying the minimum wage. And even though Idaho has a relatively small population, it has more minimum-wage jobs - 31,000 - than 18 other states, including Washington (29,000), Nevada (23,000), Oregon (11,000), Wyoming (9,000) and Montana (4,000). So, meeting in Coeur d'Alene last weekend, activists kicked off an initiative campaign to replicate what Washington voters did about a decade ago - use the state law to boost the minimum wage. Washington now has the highest minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. If the Idaho plan were passed, the minimum wage would float to $9.80 an hour in four years, beginning with $8.10 an hour in 2015/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Does anyone out there dare say that $7.25 per hour is an appropriate minimum wage?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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