Economy

BOISE, ID – The number of Idaho families receiving food stamps increased sharply between 2009 and 2010.  That’s according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey released last week.   Even more Idaho families are receiving food stamps this year, but the growth rate is slowing down.

Eagle, ID - This election year, political watcher Jim Weatherby has had his eyes turned on Eagle, Idaho.

Jim Weatherby “Oh Eagle is a hotspot. It has been over the past couple of election cycles. It appears to be still a quite a divided community. The Eagle mayor’s race will be one of the ones to really watch.”

The race to lead one of Idaho’s fastest growing communities has definitely become one to watch. Next Tuesday’s election in Eagle comes down to a familiar issue:

Medical Marijuana in Idaho?

Nov 2, 2011

BOISE, ID – A group called Compassionate Idaho wants to legalize medical marijuana.  Its members are gathering signatures to get the issue on the November 2012 ballot.

Compassionate Idaho needs more than 47,000 signatures from registered voters to get the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot.  Isaias Valdez is a member of the group.  He says prescription pain killers like vicodin and oxycontin sometimes don’t work for those with debilitating conditions.

Time for a Change in Meridian?

Nov 1, 2011

BOISE, ID – Next Tuesday is Election Day.  Communities across Idaho will hold everything from mayoral races to city council elections. In Meridian - one of the fastest growing cities in Idaho - five candidates want that city's top job.  This particular race for mayor is about growth and how to manage it.

Boise, ID - Idaho lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that next fiscal year could be one without budget cuts. That optimism goes all the way to the governor's office.

Idaho governor Butch Otter says he doesn’t expect any holdbacks this fiscal year.

Butch Otter “We are in a good fiscal picture right now. We ended up this last fiscal year with a surplus and I would anticipate that so long as we don’t let government grow at the same rate the economy grows, we’ll continue to enjoy modest surpluses.”

BOISE, ID – This week we''re breaking down a plan to build a new transmission line through Southern Idaho. It''s called the Gateway West Project. Wednesday we heard from Idaho Power about what this project is about. Not everyone favors the 11-hundred mile long line. Today we hear from some of the people who want to see the power lines put elsewhere.

BOISE, ID –Idaho ranks in the top five for growth in the U.S. in the last decade. That’s according to Census data.  That growth brings an increasing demand for power not just here but around the country.  Transmission lines are needed to handle additional electricity. So some power companies want to build new lines through the Gem state including Idaho Power and Wyoming- based Rocky Mountain Power.

Boise, ID - We’ve been following a lawsuit between big sugar and big corn. Friday a federal judge ruled that case can move forward. Idaho’s Amalgamated Sugar and several other sugar producers say corn refiners are using false advertising in a campaign for high fructose corn syrup. But  it’s not all good news for the sugar side.

Boise, ID - Albertson’s Boise offices have been shrinking since Supervalu bought the Idaho based grocery chain in 2006. Now it looks like another round of layoffs are looming.

There are about 450 employees in the IT department at Albertson’s Boise headquarters. Friday they heard an announcement from their parent company in Minnesota.

Mike Siemienas  “We will be outsourcing some areas within the IT department.”

Mike Siemienas is a Supervalu spokesman. He says they wanted to be open with their employees about what’s happening.

Boise, ID - The Occupy movement in Boise now has nearly 2000 Facebook friends. They continue to hold small protests around the capitol city. Adam Cotterell sits down with an organizer. But first Steve Walker made it clear he’s not the leader or spokesman.

Boise, ID –Saturday is the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It’s the holiest day of the Jewish year and the culmination of the High Holy Days. Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz  of Boise’s Chabad Jewish center says community is an important part of the day.

Mendel Lifshitz  “And especially in a place like Idaho where there isn’t that much in the way of Jewish life it’s an even more important time for Jewish people to get together and celebrate our heritage.”

BOISE, ID. – Writer and economist Raj Patel believes there’s a battle over who gets to eat and who doesn’t.  He writes about this in one of his books, Stuffed and Starved. Patel will share his ideas on how to feed the world at a lecture tomorrow in Boise.  His work has been shaped by something that happened early in his life.

 

Boise, ID - As many as 300 people protested in front of Idaho’s capital Wednesday. Some called the gathering "Occupy Boise," others "Occupy Together." It''s part of a national movement that started last month in New York called "Occupy Wall Street."  The protestors in Boise want a lot of different things.

Boise, ID - Tuesday the Boise city council considers a proposal to tighten restrictions on where people can smoke.

The Neurolux is already thick with smoke in the middle of an afternoon. Barb pours drinks for some regulars. She says a smoking ban in Boise bars is inevitable. She says most of the bands that play this downtown hipster hotspot already request they go smoke free for shows. Barb describes herself as a chain smoker but over the roar of the bear cooler she says she would support the ban if the city council would make one compromise.

Boise, ID - Idaho has a new commerce director. Jeff Sayer accepted the governor’s appointment Thursday. Sayer is an accountant and business consultant. He’s been president of an Idaho Falls hospital and has worked in the tech industry. Sayer says he has a lot to learn about the Department of Commerce before he can make specific plans.

Hole No More

Sep 20, 2011

The days are numbered for Boise’s infamous hole in the ground. Monday representatives from Utah based Zions Bank stood in front of the hole to lay out a plan that will change Boise’s skyline and maybe the city’s economic prospects. 

On a platform in front of downtown Boise’s hole in the ground, developers, bankers, and Boise’s mayor announce a new home for Zions Bank in Idaho. Just before the speeches, about two dozen suited and high heeled bank workers show up to listen. Most walk en-mass from the Zion’s branch a block away. Debbie Harris is among them.

The days are numbered for Boise’s infamous hole in the ground. Monday representatives from Utah based Zions Bank and Utah/Idaho real estate developer the Gardner Company, stood in front of the hole on 8th and Main to lay out their plan. Developer Kem Gardner heaped praises on Zion’s CEO.

Congress has until August 2nd to come up with a solution on whether to raise the debt ceiling.  Some of the talk around the debate has focused on changes to Social Security and Medicare.  Our series Debt Line continues today with opinions from Idaho seniors.

This morning we continue our series “Debt Line”… stories focused on what it would means for Idahoans if the U.S. hits the debt ceiling.  Congress and the President face an August 2nd deadline to come up with a solution.  And if they can’t, the federal government will start to run short of cash to pay bills.  Professor Charlotte Twight is watching this closely. She teaches Economics at Boise State University.

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