Economy

Washington Senator Wants Answers On High Gas Prices

Jun 11, 2012
tinatinatinatinatina / Flickr

The latest Lundberg Survey on US gas prices shows the national average right now is $3.62 a gallon.  In Boise, it’s about $.15 higher.  But in Seattle, gas prices are over $4.20.  That’s the highest current price in the U-S. 

As a result of such discrepancies, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate gas prices, and why they’re so high in Washington. 

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Restoring phone service may take longer in Idaho if Public Utility Commissioners decide to change the rules.  The local phone company typically has 24 hours to fix a land line.  If that doesn’t happen on time, the customer gets credited a month’s worth of service.  Now, phone companies want more time and to do away with the credit.

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

There’s something unusual happening in Boise.  While national figures show that the housing recovery is slow, at best, Boise is one of a few U.S. cities that have seen a fast run-up in demand, and prices.  Continue reading...

Idaho Recovers, Sort Of

Jun 6, 2012
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

By one measure, Idaho’s economy has regained the ground it lost in the recession.

The state’s real gross state product (translation: the total value of all goods and services produced in Idaho, corrected for inflation) was greater in 2011 than it was in 2007.  That’s according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

City of Boise

Idaho's capitol city will see several economic developments in the coming months along with a possible property tax hike according to Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.  He unveiled these plans at his annual State of the City address Tuesday. 

Courtesy City of Boise

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter gives his ninth State of the City speech Tuesday morning.  He’ll highlight developments over the past year and reveal new plans for the coming year.  A review of his past speeches, though, show some initiatives are still pending. 

During his State of the City speech two years ago, Bieter announced lease negotiations with Sunergy World.   The $45 million solar electricity project was supposed to create 40 jobs on city-owned property west of the Airport but that site is still empty. 

Why Being Called A ‘Boomtown’ Isn’t Good For Boise

Jun 4, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Boise’s local NBC affiliate, KTVB, reported on a handful of recent rankings that put Idaho’s biggest city among those whose housing markets are making a come-back. The TV station (and one of the recent rankings) use the term “boomtown” to describe what’s going on with Boise real estate.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The silver bullet known as an Airstream trailer has roamed the nation’s highways since the 1930s. It’s as iconic as a Coke bottle.  The start of summer brings with it thoughts of exploring and camping.  For some people, that means hitching up the Airstream and heading out on the highway.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Ted Davis owns Airstream Adventures Northwest in Nampa.  He takes us inside an Airstream International Signature Series by Christopher C. Deam. 

Click here to listen and read more about Davis' dealership and how it signals an upswing in Idaho's economy. 

Dry Conditions For Idaho’s Dryland Farmers

May 30, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Last year, farmers and ranchers in southeast Idaho had a hard time getting crops in the ground because of persistent wet weather.  This year they’re facing the opposite problem, as weeks have passed without substantial rainfall.

University of Idaho agricultural economist Paul Patterson says irrigated areas in the region are faring well because of water left in storage from last year.  But dryland farmers, whose croplands aren’t irrigated, are less fortunate.  Those south of the Snake River in Power, Bannock and Oneida Counties appear to be hardest hit.

Transform Solar

A Nampa-based solar company partly owned by Micron Technology will close its doors and lay-off about 250 people over the next three months.

Transform Solar was a joint venture between Boise-based Micron Technology and Australian energy company “Origin.” The company launched in 2009, making high-tech solar cells.

Ton Banse

Washington retailers are getting ready for the 78-year-old state monopoly on liquor sales to end this Friday. It’s not yet clear what privatization will do to the price of alcohol in Washington. One entity with a big stake in the matter is the state of Idaho.

Some of Idaho’s most profitable state-run liquor stores just happen to be along its northwestern border.

West Coast Gas Prices Higher Than Other Regions

May 28, 2012
tinatinatinatinatina / Flickr

Gas prices nationwide have been dropping but not in the Northwest. In fact, this Memorial Day weekend, the region's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Gas in Washington and Oregon is selling above $4.20 per gallon. It's cheaper in Idaho. But all three states are well above the national average of $3.68 per gallon.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID) want the federal government to be more aggressive in opening the market for U.S. potatoes in Mexico.  They joined seven other senators Thursday in urging federal trade and agriculture agencies to push Mexico on the issue.   

Hewlett-Packard confirmed today it will cut about 27,000 jobs, or 8% of its total workforce, by October 2014.   HP’s Boise operations employ fewer than 3,500 people.  HP execs say every business unit and region will be cut, but it’s unclear yet how many Boise workers may be affected.

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