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“closed indefinitely”: Idaho’s Continued Economic Destruction, 2017

Incomplete list of economic related events in the U.S. Gem State of Idaho, 2017.

January: In the overwhelmingly christian (Mormon) dominated south eastern part of The Gem State, some christians actually campaigned against Pastor Jacqualine ‘Big Momma’ Thomas’ planned homeless shelter in Pocatello! After a local Muslim doctor started the financial ball rolling in favor of the homeless shelter (waking up true local Christians who had money to donate), a group of christians went to the city council to point out that the Sublette Street property was not zoned for “transitional housing”.  The Mormon dominated city promptly revoked the temporary operating permit.  Pastor Big Momma commented to local news media that she’s taking this as a sign that god has a better location in mind.

February: Burley based King’s Variety continues its slow death spiral, announcing it will continue shutting down stores.  King’s is down to just 19 stores across six states: “The retail climate has radically changed in the past decade….Brick and mortar stores need feet and faces to survive as we have salaries, rents and other costs to cover. Unfortunately for us that is not the current landscape.”

For some reason the state Department of Labor sat on a WARN from Pocatello based call center operator Mountain West Research, until February 2017.   The notice is dated October 2016 and reveals that 194 people lost their jobs (the state Dept. of Labor listing doesn’t say when the layoffs actually took place)!  Just in case I missed something I checked local news media reports and found nothing about this huge, and apparently sudden layoff.  It’s not the first time the company suddenly killed jobs, Mountain West Research did the same thing in Idaho Falls, back in 2012,  but that mass layoff got the attention of the local news media (I wonder why the Pokey layoffs were missed?).  The Pocatello Mountain West Research location on 675 Yellowstone Avenue is currently listed as available for rent by Premier Properties, however, its website is still up-and-running and lists an address of 1110 Yellowstone Avenue. 

March: Vanity went bankrupt dead, shutting down all 137 stores across 27 U.S. states, including stores in Chubbuck, Idaho Falls, Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Twin Falls.

Ammo maker Federal Cartridge (Federal Premium Ammunition) suddenly furloughed 1-hundred employees at its Lewiston factory, blaming hunters and Donald Trump: “…we experienced a challenging retail environment due in part to a weak hunting season and the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”

As I warned back in 2016, Islamic extremist U.S. ally Saudi Arabia’s funding cuts to Idaho State University (ISU, in Pocatello) could result in layoffs. Local news media reporting that ISU is dealing with a $12-million USD shortfall and the loss of 35% of its Middle Eastern students!  ISU admin warned of layoffs if state taxpayers aren’t forced to make up the funding difference!  (Related: SAUDI ARABIA TAKES OVER TEXAS OIL SUPPLY & SOUTHEAST U.S. FUEL SALES!)

Also in Pocatello, after six years Element Outfitters shutting down soon, the owners are focusing on their other retail operations saying “We’re just consolidating and becoming a lot more efficient”.  They told local news media that while their brick-n-mortar-store sales have flat-lined their internet sales are “growing strongly.”

After 17 years Affinity, one of the largest mental health services provider in the Boise area, was shutdown following a raid by the IRS. Hundreds of employees now unemployed and at least 8-hundred patients with nowhere to go.  Local news media reported that the federal Internal Revenue Service has yet to explain the raid.

Burley based King’s Variety shutdown its 14 years old, and recently remodeled, store in Orofino.  Local news media now say all remaining 21 stores will shutdown.   Dollar Express issued a shutdown WARN for its Emmett store, due to the sudden takeover by Dollar General.     In Idaho Falls, after 20 years Park Avenue Antique Mall shutdown, the owners were forced to retire after an ice-jam caused water damage to the building, and they don’t have enough money to fix it and maintain their retail business.   However, since they own the building they hope to find a sucker, I mean people who’ll want to rent it.  In the same area, The Collective Cache shutdown, the building is being renovated for a retail business that’s moving from The Grand Teton Mall to the former Collective Cache location.

Idaho’s U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (along with David Perdue of Georgia) reintroduced a bill that would make labor strikes at U.S. ports illegal, for the benefit of foreign companies: “By qualifying the ‘slowdown’ tactic as an unfair labor practice, this bill will ensure businesses can continue to import and export their goods…..:”

April:  In Nampa,  after 44 years the Yesteryear Shoppe shutdown due to eviction after the lease was canceled.  The owner of the shop blamed his crashing revenues on radically changing trends.

Georgia based payment processor TSYS (Total SYstem Services) laying off 64 people as it shuts down its operations in Boise, in an effort to “focus to our business model.”  Also in Boise, Marvell Semiconductor laying off 23 people in June.

Sears Holdings announced that the Coeur d’Alene Kmart will shutdown in October.

 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that almost 40% of Idahoans have ‘pre-existing’ medical conditions that would prevent them from getting health insurance.  The Washington based franchise owner of Positive Changes Hypnosis Centers, ET Research, went bankrupt and shutdown its Boise office without warning.  The parent company in Iowa said ET Research was in so much debt they owed money to 1-thousand-2-hundred creditors!   A Rexburg woman had her insurance license revoked by state officials after she filed false medical claims. 

An estimated 100 million pounds of spoiled onions have been disposed of in Idaho and Oregon following a winter of unprecedented snowfall.

Eastern Idaho potato growers are at least a week behind normal, and even further behind compared to their early starts the past two seasons. 

May:  In Boise, after 45 years of six to ten hour days, six days per week, the surviving co-owner of Bow Wow Auto Parts shutting it down so she can retire.  After seven years non-profit glass recycler Usful Glassworks shutdown due to lack of funding/donations.   The Idaho Wine Commission is accusing the city of Boise of intentionally restricting the issuing of booze permits for public events.  It started last year when the city switched to issuing only one catering permit per event.  The result is that many area wineries are refusing to take part in Boise events: “As a consequence of this, we no longer…. participate in events in Boise.”-Earl Sullivan, Telaya Wine Company

Despite mormon dominated Pocatello City Council, and the Bonneville Neighborhood Association, denying her request to open a homeless shelter Pastor Jacqualine ‘Big Momma’ Thomas is still at it!  Thomas claims the new undisclosed property she’s considering is zoned residential/commercial, so there shouldn’t be a problem from ‘christian’ dominated organizations who don’t think homelessness is a problem in the Pocatello area.  Also, she just won Ms Idaho Senior Citizen! 

After decades the Chubbuck Pizza Hut joined a sibling Pocatello Pizza Hut in being suddenly shutdown

After decades the Chubbuck Pizza Hut joined a sibling Pocatello Pizza Hut in being suddenly shutdown

After years of negative customer reviews one of two Pocatello Pizza Huts quietly shutdown, as did the Pizza Hut in Chubbuck.  Both shuttered Pizza Huts were repainted olive green and are now for sale.  The owners decided to ‘consolidate’ their three Pizza Hut locations into one location in Pocatello, code for saying they weren’t making enough profits to justify all three locations.

Because of more than a decade of drought Idaho ‘lawmakers’ came up with a law changing how state controlled aquifers are recharged, now they’re claiming success as recharging efforts resulted in more than expected water capture.  However, the new law involves taxpayers paying independent canal operators to divert their water into state aquifers.  Under complicated water access ‘rights’ laws the state of Idaho is limited to how much water it can collect for its aquifers, but, by paying canal operators the state can get around the access limit.

Idaho is incorrectly known as the potato state even though potatoes are not its biggest ag product (the myth is perpetuated by the potato industry and the state government), beef is usually the biggest money making ag product in Idaho. Then  there’s fishing.  Anglers from around the U.S. come to Idaho to fish but this year the Spring chinook season was shutdown early due to low numbers of the salmon: “….we are still very concerned regarding our ability to collect brood stock for future hatchery releases. In addition, returns of natural chinook salmon in the Salmon River are far below expected and are likely to fall below the level needed for incidental hook and release mortality within those fisheries.”-Brett Bowersox, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Insurance company BridgeSpan announced it will exit The Gem State’s ObamaCare system in 2018, due to lack of profits and “uncertainty and instability for the exchanges”.

God was completely powerless to stop ‘his’ LDS-mormon ‘elected’ U.S. congressman Raúl Rafael Labrador (now running for gov’na of Idaho) from stating “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to healthcare.”  I personally know somebody (the mother of my children) who died because she was refused access to healthcare, and she had insurance!

June:  At the beginning of 2017 it was revealed that ‘fake news’ Idaho republicans made a secret deal with Amazon to impose an internet sales tax on any Idahoan who buys online!   The Idaho Tax Commission reports that so far there’s been no significant increase in tax revenues as a result!  (more proof internet retail sales are not to blame for low brick-n-mortar sales, it’s the whole economy that’s crashing)

July:  

No more "well loved by customers" pawn shop on Yellowstone Avenue, Pocatello, Idaho.

It was discovered that 50 years old, ‘well loved by customers’ (according to Facebook postings) Shamrock Rare Coins (aka Amy’s Shamrock Coins) pawn shop in Pocatello secretly shutdown, even the official website is offline.   Mitt Romney co-founded wunderkind Staples announced it will shutdown its Pocatello store in August, falsely blaming “customers” for shopping online. (Karen Edwards, instructor at University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality Retailing and Sport Management, stated to local news media that internet sales make up only 10%-15% of all U.S. retail sales!  And by the way, Staples sells online!)

A freedom of information request by Times-News-magicvalley.com revealed that U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) is considering Jerome as the site of a new taxpayer funded immigrant prison!   It’s the result of ICE losing access to a 3-hundred bed prison in Utah.  ICE is hoping to use the existing Jerome County Detention Center, and expand it by 60 beds.  The Times-News estimated it would cost U.S. taxpayers $1.4-million USD per year to operate an immigrant prison in Idaho.  Another newspaper, Spokesman-Review, reported that hundreds of Idahoans are protesting the plans for an immigrant prison in their backyard.

U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that Gem State winter wheat and hay harvests are nearly a month early, due to climate change.

A major screw-up resulted in the closing Coeur d’Alene Kmart getting a big shipment of ‘blank’ American Apparel-Supreme branded t-shirts.  Shoppers were able to re-sell the t-shirts on ebay, until Kmart realized what was going on and removed the labels from the remaining inventory.   In Lewiston, the Sears Hometown is for sale because the franchise owners say they can’t afford to renew the license to operate it.

Another year, another insurance increase, this time the greedy health insurance companies want a 38% jump (and that’s the average, some will be higher) in premiums paid by all you happy taxpayers!  More proof The Gem State’s version of ObamaCare is a failure; in Idaho Falls the Community Family Clinic (for people with no ObamaCare insurance) is dealing with an increase in patient volume, and as such is expanding their operations for uninsured people: “The new building will be three times the size of the one we’re in now and will provide more access for patients to come in and be seen.”-Arnold Cantu, administrator

August:

 This the Chubbuck, Idaho, Walmart. Consumer Reports ranked Walmart 67th out of 68!

Chubbuck, Idaho, Walmart blames skyrocketing crime for halting 24 hours operations!

The Walmart in Chubbuck has joined other Walmarts around the U.S. in ceasing its 24 hours of being open to the public.  This comes after months of using contracted security guards to try and stop skyrocketing shoplifting.  Walmart claims the use of security guards was able to stop the theft of about $20-thousand USD worth of merchandise in just one week.  Even recent transplant to Chubbuck, Nancy Hurley, says crime has skyrocketed in the tiny (about 14-thousand people according to recent Census Bureau data, down from 18-thousand in late 1990s) east Idaho city: “When we first moved here about 12 years ago, there seemed to be very little crime, but now it’s really picked up with the drugs and the shoplifting and stuff, so it is concerning.”-interviewed by KPVI

Bye bye, Pocatello Meineke!

Blind Bat News reader ‘Catherine’ discovered the less than three years old Meineke auto repair shop, near the Westwood Mall in Pocatello, secretly shutdown.  Just ten months ago a local news paper declared the Meineke repair shop “ranked among the best performing franchises in the nation” with the “seventh best net sales-volume in the nation.”   ‘Catherine’ reported there was a note taped to the door apologizing for the sudden shutdown, but no reason for it was given.

In the sparsely populated town of Oldtown, after 23 years Ben Franklin Variety (formerly a Sprouse-Reitz prior to the 1990s) shutdown.  The now former store manager told local news media their busiest day was the last day of business.  Clothier Filson issued a shutdown WARN for its store in Post Falls, 45 jobs gone by the end of October.

“Effective immediately” the state Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds resigned.  It could be the result of a former Labor Department employee suing the department because his personal cell phone was illegally searched! It turns out the former employee was a whistle-blower trying to save taxpayer dollars by revealing the Department of Labor was violating state purchasing laws and wasting government resources (for which he was fired, firing an employee for revealing the truth is a violation of federal law).  However, Right to Work (you over) ‘christian’ gov’na Butch Otter swears his Labor Department director did not resign over the federal lawsuit.

Canyon County reporting a record number of people being detained on ‘involuntary mental health holds’.  They set a record in July of 123 people on mental health holds, at a cost to taxpayers of $153-thousand USD.  Canyon County is now demanding state leaders spend more money building a new crisis center in their county.  So far the state is spending several millions of tax dollars on four crisis centers throughout The Gem State.

 In Nampa, state investigators accusing Southwest Idaho Treatment Center of abusing seven adult residents.  Six employees involved, two directly abusing the patients, the other four knew about it but did nothing to stop it or report it.  They are now unemployed.   The state Department of Insurance made it official and publicly released the now annual proposed ObamaCare-ACA insurance rate increases for 2018.  All ‘plans’ will go up, but the ‘Silver Plan’ will be jacked by a whopping average of 50% (one insurance provider, PacificSource Health, is skyrocketing their Silver rates by 81%)!  Employers are pissed: “There’s one thing if it was increases and the coverage was better.  The problem is……the coverage is getting less, so now I’m paying a lot for a little, and that’s a hard one to swallow.”-Shawn Lund, CFO Steel West

10 former Idaho State University athletes threatened to retract $80-thousand USD in donations if the university president and the athletic director don’t resign, because “…we believe the state of ISU athletics is at an all-time low. When comparing ISU to its Big Sky peers, it’s easy to see that ISU is at the bottom of the league in facilities. Coaches’ pay, fundraising efforts and competitive records for revenue sports are also among the worst in the Big Sky Conference.”   Then suddenly, without warning, ISU president Arthur Vailas resigned!  Officially he said he was “retiring”.  ISU also reported that ‘preliminary’ overall enrollment is down for the Fall Semester, again, despite Freshman enrollment being up by about 2-hundred.

In Twin Falls County somebody is shooting livestock.  In the past month two Llamas were killed, as well as a cattle rancher’s prize bull and heifer. A railroad track runs along the properties where the killings took place (somebody shooting from a train?).  In Bonneville County somebody shot and killed eight cows, leaving their bodies to rot, the local Sheriff believes they’ll find more dead cows.

In Idaho Falls, after 20 years Sarah’s Candy Cottage announced on Facebook that they must shutdown due to being “bought out”.

September: The Gem State’s wheat crop is down 5% over the past five years, but the quality is higher than ever.  State officials are also boasting of a multi-million USD deal with Republic of China (Taiwan) for Idaho wheat.  This might be good news for Idaho farmers but it means less of the grain available for the domestic U.S. market, which could drive prices for U.S. consumers up.

In Mormon dominated Jefferson School District 251 parents demanded George Orwell’s 1984 be banned for its sexual content. After an even bigger outcry from those who objected to such a violation of the U.S. 1st Amendment, school administrators stated “…it is simply not true that 1984 has been banned at Rigby High School.”  State law requires that high schools help students develop a four years plan to prep for college, but an investigation by East Idaho News says it ain’t happening. Counselors admitted they don’t have the staffing or financial resources to comply with state law.

IdahoEdNews reporting that the number of new teacher hires who do not have a teaching degree is at record highs, due to the fact there is a massive teacher shortage in The Gem State.

Some of Idaho’s ObamaCare Your Health Idaho board members are questioning the state’s decision to hire ‘christian’ Saint Luke’s Health System to ‘help’ people pick an ObamaCare insurance plan.  Not only is the state using taxpayer dollars to pay Saint Luke’s but Saint Luke’s could directly benefit as one of the ObamaCare-ACA insurance providers is directly connected to Saint Luke’s (SelectHealth).  Tennessee based RCCH HealthCare Partners suddenly laid off 62 people at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, as a result of the ‘christian’ Lewiston hospital being taken over by RCCH in May.  State government to get $438-thousand USD as a result of the EpiPen Medicaid rebate scandal.  I wonder what they’ll do with the money?

While the state’s Department of Labor boasts record low unemployment numbers, and despite some rural counties reporting record low population numbers, the U.S. Census Bureau is reporting record numbers of homeless people in the sparsely populated Gem State and it’s only going up!  Also, a state run homeless Point-In-Time counting program claims a 10% drop in homeless people since 2016, but the Vice President of Housing and Support Programs, Brady Ellis, admits “We believe there’s a considerable number of more homeless individuals…..a lot of variables there in terms of identifying them and being able to include them in the numbers we use.”  It should also be noted that the Point-In-Time homeless survey counts only those people who are willing to answer the survey questions.   East Idaho News recently conducted an experiment to see how beggars were being treated in eastern Idaho.

After years of claiming the economy was growing, and denying there was a growing homeless problem, and of treating homeless people like criminals to be rounded up and put in ‘concentration camps’, and despite officially record low unemployment numbers, the city of Boise, students at Boise State University, and Ada County, are relenting and spending millions of taxpayer and donor dollars building first ever dedicated homeless services called Our Path Home and New Path Community Housing!  And in a No-Shit-Sherlock! moment a homeless advocate admitted that past homeless policies, which basically criminalized people for being homeless, failed to stop homelessness“Though we were well-intentioned, we as a community were retraumatizing the same population we were trying to help. It’s a very traumatic process to be, let’s say, discharged from a hospital to an emergency shelter, to putting your name on maybe 13 waiting lists around the county, to having to retell your story 13 times, to not being sure when your name next comes up on the list.”-Wyatt Schroeder, CATCH of Ada County

Despite ‘elected’ leaders constantly claiming growth in the state, the population in the Clark County is officially crashing and burning.  The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Clark County among the 15 most sparsely populated counties in the United States at only one person for every two square miles!  The population has been declining since 2000 (which, as I’ve written before, is when the economy went south for Idaho, and has yet to recover), and is expected to continue declining (there’s only 860 people currently in the county).  Declining local populations are another reason why state leaders are accepting additional federal bribes, I mean funding to take in immigrants and refugees at record numbers.

Crashing local population numbers might be one reason Idaho leaders are boasting record low unemployment numbers!

The Gem State’s worsening problem with its foster care Guardians ad Litem (GaL) program resulted in the legislature increasing taxpayer funding by 75% (most GaLs are private volunteer organizations), and it made national news with U.S. News & World Report. 

A lawsuit by Shoshone-Bannock Tribes revealed that chemical company FMC stopped paying for the storage of hazardous waste on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation (known as Eastern Michaud Flats Superfund site).  FMC paid the fees until suddenly tearing down its chemical factory and abandoning the site in 2002, yet continued to store hazardous waste there.  A federal court ruled FMC owes the tribe $19.5-million USD.

More shenanigans for Idaho’s prison system after a man arrested for driving intoxicated was put into a cell with a convicted mass-murderer.  Yep, the mass-murderer killed the drunk guy!

The new owner of the only funeral home in Valley County discovered that the former county coroner was ‘disappearing’ the bodies of locals who recently died.  Eventually an investigation by Idaho State Police was launched.  However the new owner of the funeral home said this “We were getting calls from families wanting to know where their loved ones were. I didn’t have any clue where the bodies were…..    He was keeping the bodies at his home in the coroner’s truck….”   Apparently the former coroner, Nathan Hess, was selling the bodies in Boise because he’s been charged with “using public position for personal gain”.

For the third time in a row another sudden resignation of a public official, this time over sexual harassment and even “violence”.  It was revealed that in August that the Controller’s Office Chief of Staff Dan Goicoechea suddenly resigned after an investigation was launched into claims by a state employee of “sexual advancements”and “threats of violence” by Goicoechea. The employee said she was not the only one threatened and that such acts had been ongoing with other employees before she was hired.  What’s also interesting is that state government officials waited a month before revealing the resignation.

Another ‘elected’ official revealed to be lying, this time about her residency status.  From 2010 to 2016 Priscilla Giddings claimed residency in Ada County, according to property tax records, yet she was elected as the state representative for Idaho County in 2016.  State law says you must reside in the county you want to represent for at least one year before running for state office.  State law also says you can claim property tax exemption only for the home you live in.

October: Something to cry over, onion crop yields in Idaho and Oregon are 30% smaller compared to last year, resulting in less of a supply, causing a doubling of prices for consumers (50 pound bag yellow onions now averaging $10, last year it was $5.50).  The smaller harvest is blamed on the weather.

The biggest electric utility company in The Gem State, Idaho Power, is demanding customers fork-over $220-million USD to pay for a new hydroelectric dam on the border with Oregon!

 Medicare Health Plans ranked Gem State doctors as the most overworked in the United States!  Idaho is ranked in 49th place for number of doctors available to the general public.  The state Department of Insurance claims worker comp insurance rates for employers will drop by 5.8% in 2018.   Idahoans on Medicare part D will pay the highest national average premium for their doctor issued drugs; $65.52.  Safe Haven Health Care issued a WARN, 117 jobs in Pocatello and Chubbuck gone by November!  

In Pocatello, ON Semiconductor got a $335-thousand USD state taxpayer funded grant to create five new jobs.  But most of the grant money will actually go towards retraining existing employees.  Taxpayers continue funding the ongoing FBI data center project in Pocatello.  The project started a year and a half ago, but only now had an official groundbreaking ceremony (last year ignorant local news media said the project would be done by now).  The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it’ll be one of three such ‘core enterprise facilities’ in the U.S., which are meant to save taxpayers money by consolidating existing data centers (less operating costs, including less people) and by using the so called cloud.

 Idaho taxpayer funded France based public transportation contractor Transdev-Valley Regional Transit-ValleyRide issued a WARN, 102 Boise jobs gone in November!  American Falls getting a state taxpayer funded grant of $20-thousand USD to fix-up its water system, however, city taxpayers still have to come up with an additional $20-thousand.  Iona City wants to issue $3.9-billion USD in bonds (debt that has to be paid back by all you happy taxpayers) to improve its water system, which will cause water bills to go up by $19 per month (I live in the city of Chubbuck and they issued so many bonds, most without our knowledge, that our basic [not counting the per thousand gallon water use rate] water/trash bills went from $39 per month in the late 1990s to almost $1-hundred now!  And they recently issued another $3-million in bonds for “property improvement” projects, which we taxpayers have to eventually payoff!).

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey reports that one in four Gem State high school students are bullied, prescription drug abuse is up and that teen suicide contemplation is at a ten years high!  The local economy is so bad that marching band students at Pocatello High School couldn’t afford to pay the mandatory fees and had to turn to a GoFundMe operation so they could attend competitions (a far cry from when my eldest daughter was a proud Pokey marching band member, and we could barely afford the fees then)!  Speaking of bad economies,eleven cash-strapped schools got federal USDA taxpayer funded grant money for much needed new kitchen equipment.  Also, 120 cash-strapped schools on the eastern side of the state took part in a pathetic ‘two-day five-minute’ Idaho Lottery scratcher contest, it was the largest act of desperation, I mean scratcher contest to date!   Dietrich School District quietly settle a boy-on-boy sexual assault and racism lawsuit.  One football player was sexually attacked by three other football players in the high school locker room in 2015.  The details of the settlement are currently sealed in federal court.

 The South Fork Archery Range being for forced to shutdown because the city of Idaho Falls is refusing to renew the lease, local news reports say the city owned electrical utility is planning to use the land for a substation.    In Bannock County the Sheriff is again begging cash-strapped taxpayers to agree to fork-over $16-million USD to expand the prison, due to prison overcrowding in the Mormon dominated county.   While Bannock County struggles with prison overcrowding, Ada County (home of the state capital Boise) was awarded a MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge $1-million USD grant to shape up its ‘criminal justice’ system.  The piddly grant will create eight new jobs to combat the skyrocketing prison population. The Gem State has yet to comply with the federal police-state Homeland Security on issuing federally tracked Real-IDs, however, the state Department of Transportation announced it will begin doing so in 2018, so get ready to fork-over some big bucks so Big Brother can track you!  For the second month in a row another state official resigned without warning, this time Republican Brandon Hixon suddenly resigned after it was revealed he was under criminal investigation by Caldwell Police, supposedly for sex crimes.

November: In Rexburg, after 46 years Targhee Sports shutting down in January 2018, as well as Duck Creek Pawn, the co-owners of the stores blame a “bad business deal” that’s forcing them to sell the land the stores are on.

Sears Holdings announced the Kmart in Ammon will shutdown in January 2018.

After 28 years in Chubbuck, it was revealed that restaurant Taquiera La Costa suddenly shutdown because the immigrant owner failed to become a legal resident/citizen and had to move back to Mexico.  He swears he’ll be back when his ‘paperwork’ is approved.  In Pocatello, after eight years locally run restaurant Efresh-The Gathering Place suddenly shutdown, the owner blaming the sudden escalation in corporate big-box restaurants: “There were so many restaurants that came into town really quickly and people decided to go there and just being a local little business, we felt that hit.”-Emily Fisher, interviewed by KIFI

Idaho State Journal pic

One month after issuing a mass-layoff WARN, the SafeHaven care center in Pocatello mysteriously burned to the ground.  The residents were evacuated, but the building is a $2-million USD loss.  Fire inspectors say the fire was not arson, but are calling for a review of national fire code.  The fire started in the attic of the building, apparently in an area where no fire sprinkler system was required under current national fire code.    

Enrollment in public schools is slowing down, except where immigrants/refugee populations are on the increase, like in Twin Falls and Boise areas.  Even with immigrant/refugees coming into the state, this school year’s total statewide enrollments were only 581 higher than last year.

Clearwater Research issued a WARN, 101 jobs in Boise gone right after Xmas!

The pastor of Candlelight Christian Fellowship is endorsing the Mormon politician Raul Labrador.  Raúl Rafael Labrador once said “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to healthcare.”  Candlelight Christian Fellowship could face investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for openly endorsing a political candidate, according to Robert Tuttle, professor of law and religion at George Washington University Law School.

 Recently appointed (not elected) state-level senator from Idaho Falls, Tonny Potts, was revealed to have gone chapter 7 bankrupt busted back in March. Potts was appointed to his senator job by Right to Work (you over) gov’na Butch Otter in October.  Current state level representative Ryan Kerby got a slap-on-the-wrist for committing a criminal act while he was superintendent for School District 372 (aka New Plymouth School District).  According to the Professional Standards Commission’s reviewKerby “willfully or deliberately” submitted a falsified teacher qualification report.  Kerby can challenge the slap-on-the-wrist letter of reprimand.     More court proven cases of voter fraud as a man who lost his ‘right’ to vote (due to being on criminal probation) somehow voted in this month’s elections.  Ada County elections employees warning that the three years old taxpayer funded  Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program doesn’t work, for a simple reason: “We learned the hard way that there are many people who share names and birth dates across the country.”-Phil McGrane, Ada County chief deputy clerk

The abandoned JJ North’s in 2013

December:  At the Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck, after about a decade of vacancy the old JJ North’s buffet restaurant was finally torn down.

Finally torn down, 01 DEC 2017

Finally torn down, 01 DEC 2017

Black Bear Diner, Chubbuck, IdahoWithout warning Black Bear Diner-Joby Management shutdown its less than two years old Chubbuck restaurant, telling local news media that if it wasn’t shutdown immediately they wouldn’t be able to issue final pay to the employees, as many as 57 jobs (depending on the local news source) suddenly gone one week before Xmas, a now pissed-off former employee Nathan Barney said “They called us in for a meeting at 8:30 this morning and told us they were closing the restaurant. They gave us unemployment papers and said Merry Christmas.”  Chubbuck Black Bear Diner no moreLocal news media speculated that there are too many restaurants in the area, including several other Joby Management owned restaurants. You can thank local politicians who’ve been enticing national chain restaurants to move into the area for several years now.

Suddenly shutdown the Wednesday before Xmas!

Suddenly shutdown the Wednesday before Xmas!

Also in Chubbuck, the local office of temporary employment agency Personnel Plus shutdown without warning just days before Xmas.  Sometime after Xmas a sign was posted saying it was “closed  indefinitely”

"Closed indefinitely"

“Closed indefinitely”

 Insiders told me the temp agency suddenly lost all its Pocatello/Chubbuck area ’employer clients’, and that of all the Personnel Plus offices throughout Idaho the Chubbuck (officially, and incorrectly, referred to as their Pocatello) office was the only one that had consistent trouble finding temp work for its employees.  

The Walmart in Ammon joined the Chubbuck Walmart in halting 24 hours operations, but the manager in Ammon told local news media it was part of a larger corporate plan to halt 24 hours store ops in order to save money.

California based clothier GAP shutting down its 15 years old Old Navy store in Twin Falls, in January 2018,  as part of a plan to shutdown 2-hundred stores.

 The Huckleberry Jam Festival two day music event will not return for 2018, due to lack of attendance (organizers claim they’ll return when they’ve figured out how to actually make money off it).  One local news outlet pointed out that there were other music events going on around the same time, indicating that maybe there are too many music venues for sparsely populated Idaho.

The Gem State’s utility commision caved in and approved Idaho Power’s $220-million USD extortion of customers to pay for a new hydroelectric dam on the border with Oregon!

The state Board of Education now claims that the statewide teacher exodus is costing taxpayers $6.8-million USD!   IdahoEdNews revealed that a taxpayer funded program to trick high school students into going to college is a dismal failure“That’s a lot of money for something where we’ve not seen outcomes improve….”-state level Representative Wendy Horman, Idaho Falls

Your Health Idaho reports a 10% drop in ObamaCare-ACA enrollments for 2018, compared to 2017, despite an extended sign-up timeline and federal taxpayer subsidies.  In eastern Idaho, 15 doctors are taking a chance and building their own clinics in two locations, accusing the current healthcare system of failing the local population.   Healthcare is still so bad in Idaho prisons that one prisoner had to almost kill himself to get treatment for a flesh eating infection. He’s still alive but his leg was amputated. 

MORE DECLINE: NO MORE XMAS LIGHTS FOR CHUBBUCK? THE TRUTH ABOUT GENTRIFICATION

IDAHO’S ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION 2016: “WE PLAN TO SELL IT DOWN TO THE BONES.” “…IT’S CRAPPY…!”

Idaho Republicans about to get the Ass Whoopin’ they deserve!

14 July 2015 (00:02 UTC-07 Tango 01)/23 Tir 1394/27 Ramadan 1436/29 Gui-Wie 4713

“…data showed 38 percent of Idahoans now identify as independent, compared to 32 percent who identify as Republican and 16 percent Democrats.”

According to a survey conducted by Idaho Politics Weekly, Idahoans who consider themselves independent of any political party now outnumber the formerly entrenched Right to Work you over Republicans.

Idaho became a Red State back in the early 1980s, and then became a Right to Work state.  If you do the research you’ll see a direct correlation between crashing wages and benefits and the Republican Right to Work you over employment laws.  Back in the 1980s Idahoans were promised by Republicans that going Right to Work would actually create more, and better paying jobs, the opposite happened.

Corporate & Polictical Evil: Right to Work laws have nearly destroyed Idaho’s economy! 

Corporate Deception: Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital gives campaign money to Romney and Barack Obama

You’d expect the company that Mitt Romney co-founded to fund his presidential campaign, but not to fund President Obama’s re-election bid, but that’s what is happening.

It’s been revealed that between January and September 2011, employees of Bain Capital officially gave Mitt Romney $84,500, and, they gave Barack Obama $27,500!

Not only that but so far this year, Bain Capital employees donated $123,200 to the Democratic National Committee.  Interestingly they’ve not donated any money to the Republican National Committee.  However, they did donate to a pro-Romney super PAC; $1.25 million!

To be sure, employees of Bain Capital, and other affiliated companies, have sent 75% of this years election campaign donations to the Republicans.  But, in the 2008 campaigns two thirds of their money went to Democrats!  Mmmm.

They say follow the money to get your answers, so if it matters who and where a presidential candidate gets their money from then it looks like Mitt Romney will be President.   After all, Bain Capital & Co supported Obama and the Democrats more than Romney in 2008, now it’s the other way ’round.

This is just more evidence that ‘our’ leaders are just two sides of the same coin.

Donation amounts compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.