Economy

snake river, canyon
ChadH / Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management is considering what to do about reports of overcrowding on the South Fork of the Snake River.

The Post Register reports the Upper Snake Field Office of the BLM will be holding a series of focus group and gathering input in other ways during a 30-day public comment period.

Proposed solutions include limiting the number of people who float the river, limiting boat access, limiting outfitter use and requiring campsite reservations.

Ken Edmunds, Idaho Department of Labor
State of Idaho

Idaho officials say fewer businesses are vying for a top economic development incentive because of tighter reforms implemented nearly a year ago.

Known as the workforce development training fund, the state program reimburses companies for training employees.

The Idaho Department of Labor approved more than $6 million to help train employees at 11 different businesses and universities in fiscal year 2015, which just ended at the end of June.

Micron Technologies

Boise-based Micron is the rumored focus of a takeover offer from a Chinese company.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the possible interest from Tsinghua Unigroup, a Shangai company with ties to the Chinese government.

Dan Gallagher is a writer with the Journal, and has been following the story. He says Micron’s median share price is $29 a share, but the Chinese company is interested in buying it for $21 a share.

I-5 Design and Manufacture / Flickr Creative Commons

I shop at Albertsons a few times a week. I live near one and there are two close to our radio studio. I’ll pop over in the evening or on weekends to pick up a few things. Granted, my market research is light-years from being scientific, but on those trips I’ve noticed a couple of things that have made me less than optimistic for the future of this hometown company. 

One, it’s never crowded compared to the store where I go for my big, once-a-week shopping trips. And two, like me, everyone there seems to be buying just a few things.  

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise-based Albertsons filed this week to offer stock for public sale. Albertsons became one of the largest food retailers in the country early this year when it closed on its acquisition of Safeway. 

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Power officials say a key part of the company's plan for supplying a growing number of customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon over the next two decades is maintaining 17 hydroelectric projects.

The company last week submitted its updated Integrated Resource Plan to the public utility commissions in both states, predicting an increase from 516,000 customers to 711,000 in 20 years.

RoadsidePictures / Flickr Creative Commons

Supermarket operator Albertsons Companies Inc., the No. 2 U.S. supermarket company whose brands also include Safeway, has filed for an initial public offering of stock, according to a filing Wednesday.

The Boise-based company did not say how many shares it would offer, what they would cost or where those shares would trade. It said it expects to raise $100 million from the offering, though that figure is only an estimate used to calculate a filing fee. Proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt and for general expenses.

Construction Worker
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho workers saw the largest per capita income increase in the country in 2013, according to data recently released by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The 2.4 percent increase was substantially higher than 0.1 percent increase seen nationally.

John Penny / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re in Boise, take a look around. There’s a very good chance some of the people you see are out-of-towners. June and July are Boise’s busiest months for tourism.

The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau keeps track of how many hotel rooms get rented and when. Visitors bureau director Carrie Westergard says both in June and July the city could have as many visitors as residents.

UnShuttered Soul~ Good to be busy! / Flickr

Starting July 1, Idahoans will see new laws that range from how much they pay at the gas station to giving teachers a pay bump.

Next week marks the start of a new fiscal year in Idaho. This means a $95 million transportation plan designed to help repair Idaho's crumbling bridges and roads will go into effect. For Idaho residents, vehicle registration fees are going up $21 and gas will cost 7 cents more because of higher taxes.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Partnerships between public universities and private companies – called technology transfers – have the potential to solve some of the world's most difficult problems. The idea is to have researchers at universities do their work, and then the institution will help them obtain a patent. At that point, the product can be sold to a private company for distribution. Think of the iconic Gatorade story at the University of Florida. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The neighborhood known as the Waterfront District is a game changer for Garden City. It was the first high-end housing built in the historically poor, southeast section of town. It’s the development that kicked off, what many people believe is inevitable gentrification.

USDA/NRCS / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week, the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a 21st century upgrade to a system that’s been stuck in the analog world. The Conservation Client Gateway is a new website that lets farmers and ranchers apply for programs under things like the Farm Bill. Before, a farmer would have to drive to their nearest USDA office – which, in rural Idaho – could be a time and fuel-consuming task.

Bureau of Economic Analysis

Adjusted for inflation, Idaho's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.7 percent between 2013 and 2014, which is the 12th largest increase among states in the country. Altogether the value of the goods and services produced in the state is worth almost $58 billion dollars. Just two years ago, Idaho ranked 45th when it comes to the increase in GDP.

Boston Public Library / Flickr Creative Commons

After being shuttered for nine months for remodeling, the iconic Sun Valley Lodge reopened this week to great fanfare. But while the areas's most famous hotel was closed over the winter,  local businesses saw one of their best winters in a few years.

Hailey’s chamber of commerce, some small businesses in downtown Ketchum and the marketing organization Visit Sun Valley all say it was a great season.

Karina / Flickr Creative Commons

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the increase in median home values across Ada County. The county assessor says the pace of growth is sustainable at a little more than 5.6 percent. After the housing market rebounded after the Great Recession, buying a home has become more competitive.

One of the places that's seen a boost in popularity for home buyers — and increased home values because of the competition — is the Boise Bench.

SamPac / Flickr

State government would help fund resource programs for the homeless if state Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian, had her way, especially as Ada County looks for solutions to homelessness.

The Idaho Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/1AVOiwb ) that Boise Director of Community Partnerships Diana Lachiondo says the city is working with local hospitals and Ada County on a collaboration that would bring a housing first model to the Treasure Valley.

mcc.gov / Millennium Challenge Coporation

An Idaho engineer is on a federal trade mission in Africa right now, promoting U.S. companies and helping to bring electricity to people in Malawi and Tanzania. Hailey-based Power Engineers consults in a variety of engineering fields, including energy generation and delivery. Chris Garvin works out of the company's Meridian office, but he spoke to KBSX from Malawi this week. He says he’s no rookie when it comes to working in Africa.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County homeowners are receiving annual notices in the mail with their new property values. The county assessors office says the median value of a home went up 5.8 percent between 2013 and 2014.

County Assessor Bob McQuade says the new median increase is tempered compared to the growth seen last year, which was a jump of about 14.5 percent. That means half of Ada County home values went more than 5.8 percent and half went up less.  

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

On May 14, Boise State Public Radio hosted a Community Conversation on the issue of affordable housing in the Treasure Valley. The goal was to examine how new riverfront development in Garden City could affect this important part of the region’s housing stock. The event was part of the KBSX series called “Growing Garden City."

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