Posts tagged: idaho
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?
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?
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.
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.
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 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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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’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.
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?
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?
Occasionally, we hear from the business community about the wonders of the business climate in Idaho. Usually, though, those praising the Gem State’s business-friendliness don’t point out that one of the reasons is this: Employees are paid less – and in some cases a lot less – than most employees elsewhere. The median hourly wage for an Idaho worker is $14.58 an hour. That’s almost two bucks an hour less than the national median – and five bucks below Washington’s. Closer to home, there’s a gap of $2.47 an hour between the median hourly wages paid in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: Which side will raise Idaho's minimum wage sooner — the Idaho Legislature or U.S. Congress?
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Republicans aiming to run for governor, the Legislature or even coroner may first have to win approval from GOP leaders. That's according to a proposal slated for consideration Friday and Saturday at the Republican Party Central Committee's meeting in Donnelly.
Idaho's secretary of state would put only candidate names on the GOP primary ballot with their party leaders' blessing. The proposal comes from Region 4 Republican Chairman Rod Beck. More here.
Idaho’s wine industry is finally coming of age — and overcoming a haunting slight by none other than The Muppets. June marks the fourth annual Idaho Wine Month. This year, it is making progress thanks to wineries, restaurants, retailers and wholesalers. That support comes all the way from the Capitol, as Gov. Butch Otter is even making appearances at stores to sign bottles of Idaho wine. “We’ve come a long way,” said Moya Shatz Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission. “In 2002, there were 11 wineries.” Today, the number of producers from Sandpoint to Twin Falls is 50/Andy Perdue & Eric Degerman, Yakima Herald. More here. (AP file photo: Ron Bitner, a grape and wine producer enjoys a glass of Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon at his vineyard near Marsing)
Question: What is your favorite brand/type of wine?
It’s clear that Mark Brown is a smart guy, maybe even borderline brilliant. But what’s astounding is the way he apparently pulled off a major, years-long financial fraud, taking in big corporations, courts and attorneys across the nation, all from behind bars in an Idaho prison cell. Brown had no access to the Internet and appears to have had no accomplices or outside help. Instead, investigators believe he used a cherished electric typewriter that he was allowed to keep in his small, spare cell, and legal ads found in national newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, to make fraudulent claims in big class-action lawsuits and bankruptcies. The story is detailed in my two-part series in The Spokesman-Review’s Sunday and Monday editions; you can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Can anyone explain why someone this smart wastes his time on con games rather than being a banker or stock broker?