Incomplete list of economic related events in The Gem State of Idaho, 2016.
A new Corporation for Enterprise Development study says 45.5% of Idaho families are trapped in poverty and there’s no hope of getting out, as the 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard calls the economic situation the “new normal”!
Gem State Right to Work (you over) ‘lawmakers’ are apparently realizing how bad the financial situation is for families and are creating a new law that will exempt ‘cottage food’ businesses (literally mom-n-pop food sellers working out of their home) from the same health codes that traditional retail establishments must obey.
In Idaho County, according to local news reports two Texas billionaires bought-up 38-thousand acres of land and then shut it all down to local residents who traditionally use it for recreation and hunting! Residents are outraged as previous land owners allowed public access for recreation and hunting.
According to a new report called The Financial Condition of Idaho Agriculture: 2015, Idaho farmers saw an overall 9% drop in cash receipts (even with a 2% drop in operating costs) from 2014 to 2015, due to crashing food prices: “The low prices in 2014 bled over into last year. The shortages, the supply and demand factors bleed into the following year.”-Garth Taylor, University of Idaho agricultural economist
It’s been revealed that pesticides have contaminated farms in eastern Idaho. At least 809 hectares (2-thousand acres) are affected and must be cleaned up, at taxpayer expense of course (an estimated $250-thousand USD has been quoted as an initial payment!). The contamination was discovered when farmers reported mutations in their crops and animals. Investigators traced it to the massive use of Methyl Bromide back in 2006. The contamination affects potatoes, hay, alfalfa, wheat and barley. In 2006 paranoia erupted over the discovery of a nematode that destroys potato crops, state and federal agriculture ‘experts’ told farmers to use methyl bromide to kill the microbe. It was farmers who first reported the crop and livestock mutations, concluding that it must be the result of using the toxic chemical. The decade old drought is causing taxpayers to fork out more funding for aquifer recharge projects. Governor Otter is proposing a one time $10-million USD payment plus $2-million yearly for the Egin Lakes-Egin Bench canal near Rexburg. Supporters of the plan complain it’s not enough money!
A new study is blaming low Gem State high school graduation rates on internet classes! The state Board of Education reported that ‘virtual schools’ can barely graduate 20% of their online students! I can attest to this claim as I know a young woman who tried the virtual school program for almost a year, before giving up and going back to old fashioned brick-n-mortar school in Pocatello. I remember her school counselor at Pokey High warning her she’d be back because the majority of students fail to complete the online courses. The online school seems easier because supposedly you’re on your own schedule, but it turns out to be harder than traditional school.
In Pocatello about two years after opening, previously worn clothing seller Runway Fashion Exchange “going out of business” and liquidating everything. Essentially a for-profit thrift store, Runway Fashion Exchange has been shutting down stores across the U.S. since 2013. Also it was made official, the Pocatello Kmart being shutdown.
It’s finally being revealed by local news sources that state taxpayers were funding the maintaining of the JR. Simplot mansion to the tune of nearly $1-million USD during the time the property was in possession of the state! Back in 2004 the mansion (estimated to be worth $2-million) was given to The Gem State, however, it was supposedly given back to the Simplot family in 2013 because the utility bills alone were costing taxpayers $150-thousand per year! This info was originally reported by the United Kingdom’s DailyMail back in 2013. The Simplot family can no longer pay the upkeep on the mansion and are tearing it down.
Grocer Supervalu issued a WARN for three Boise stores (North Ancestor, South Denver Way and Parkcenter locations), at least 80 jobs lost by March. It might be connected to Supervalu’s plan to take its Save-A-Lot discount grocery ops ‘public’. Back in October Supervalu laid off 115 people at their East Baybrook Court, Boise location, in connection with the merger of Albertsons and Safeway. Also in Boise, after at least 25 years the Twin Dragon restaurant is shutting down by March. The owners are trying to sell it to help fund their retirement plans. A Meridian woman is now in federal prison after co-leading a fraudulent investment scheme (known as Alternative Energy Holdings) once claiming to build a nuclear power plant near Mountain Home Air Force Base. Her partner in crime, a man, is on the run and being pursued by federal agents.
The state Department of Labor is admitting in a round-about way that the decades old Right to Work (you over) labor laws are a failure as 50% of Idahoans who graduate Idaho colleges/universities leave the state after four years due to low wages and salaries! It took decades of Right to Work you over-ism for state administrators to realize that highly educated workers are not going to work for peanuts? Of course the pro-Right to Work ‘lawmakers’ refused to blame their Right to Work policies and instead blamed “market conditions”, failing to realize that their Right to Work policies are directly influencing Idaho “market conditons”. Maybe the ‘lawmakers’ need to go back to school and take some economics classes?
The number of Gem State school districts asking for taxpayer burdening supplemental levies has gone up, again. At latest count 94 of the 115 district need extra money to function in the 2015-16 school year, even though state tax funding is back to ‘pre-recession’ levels! One reason for the demand for strapping taxpayers is increasing numbers of domestic economic migrants flooding into Idaho, the majority being low income. Domestic migrants, along with high birth rates, accounted for 75% of Idaho’s population growth in 2015. According to the Shifting Sands: Idaho’s Changing Student Demographics and What it Means for Education study domestic migration is going to continue, and the overwhelming majority of the U.S. migrants into Idaho will be tax burdening (maybe not so tax burdening as Idaho has piss-poor social programs) low income families: “The state is expected to see net growth in lower income households and net declines in households with incomes above $50,000. Much of the state is projected to see an increase in the share of households with an income of less than $25,000.“ (I’ve lived here for 20 years and my income has always been “less than $25,000″, I even went into deep debt getting a degree from Idaho State University in 2006 and my income actually crashed!)
FEBRUARY: It’s been revealed that state Department of Parks and Recreation has been running on $70-thousand USD in private donations after running out of normal fees and taxpayer funding! The majority of the donations came from corporations Airstream and Cabela’s. State ‘lawmakers’ allowed Parks & Rec to beggar for donations last year, in order to offset massive state funding cuts.
The Gem State’s version of ObamaCare is being directly blamed for the deaths of 1-thousand Idahoans since 2013! That accusation came from Kenneth Krell, director of Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls. He targeted the claim at state Right to Work (you over) ‘lawmakers’ whom he was testifying in front of: “And I kept asking myself, how could this be? How, in a state like Idaho where we care about each other, could I be seeing deaths and really damaging illness on a nearly daily basis as a result of failure to expand Medicaid that cost tangible lives? It’s difficult to understand.”
MARCH: In Garden City, after 40 years The Gem State’s largest horse racing op Les Bois Park suddenly shutdown. It’s the latest victim of a recent decision by A-hole ‘christian’ regulators declaring instant horse racing machines to be “unconstitutional”! Boise State University conducted an economic study which concluded that Les Bois Park alone generated $50-million USD for Ada County, and provided 536 jobs, all lost now! The Idaho Horse Council says there will be a domino effect across Idaho’s equine economy: “It’s the feed, the hotels, the traveling, eating… it’s just a trickledown effect. Horses are going to be shipped out of state and that’s income Idaho doesn’t get. That’s devastating for our horse economy.”-Myron Amsden
The biggest electricity supplier in The Gem State is asking for a 2.2% increase (more than $2 per month for ‘average’ users) in utility bills. Idaho Power says current rates are not allowing them to cover their “fixed costs” of operations. What’s not being reported is that more and more Idaho Power customers are using less electricity, and Idaho Power administrators expect that to continue, that’s the true reason for the rate jack up! Idaho senator Dan Schmidt gave back his state taxpayer funded health plan to protest republicans continued refusal to close the healthcare gap: “I don’t think it’s fair that I get the taxpayers of Idaho to buy me health insurance, and we’re not willing to look at that problem for our other citizens who don’t have that benefit…. …And shame on us for not solving it!” -Dan Schmidt
In Boise, after only four months the brand new Boise Co-op grocery store located at The Village at Meridian laid off 29 employees, due to lack of sales! Boise Co-op opened the store in November 2015, expecting big sales because Maureen Valko, Boise Co-op marketing manager, assumed there was a demand for their products saying “There’s a demand for a good, natural food store on this side of town….” It should be noted that in 2015 Boise Co-op was hit with numerous health code violations by city inspectors, in connection to a June 2015 salmonella outbreak at an older store. So much for ‘natural foods’. Also in Boise, it was revealed that Idaho Heritage Inn was sold-off last month, the former owner blames a 20% crash in bookings on Airbnb.com. However, it should be noted that the bed-n-breakfast owner accepted a healthy offer from Saint Luke’s Medical Center for the land.
And just how addicted to Mexican money is Idaho? Recently Mexico’s Minister of Trade Armando Orellana died. Idaho’s government and agriculture industry are officially mourning Orellana as he’s credited for making Idaho a major ag partner for Mexico, generating $191-million USD in sales for Idaho’s minority (mainly corporate owned now) farmers-ranchers, just in 2015: “Idaho agriculture lost a great friend. He touched many lives over the years and the tragic loss of Armando will be felt throughout Idaho.”-Celia Gould, Idaho Department of Agriculture (Idaho even has its own website promoting itself in Mexico)
The Idaho Department of Labor admits that many Idahoans born between 1980 and 2000 are fleeing the Right to Work (you over) Gem State, and the biggest reason is the same reason I’ve heard since arriving in 1997, not enough good paying jobs: “People want to stay here, but there aren’t many options or much industry available in Idaho. We’ve been avoiding this issue for a long time, because our employers don’t like to hear it: We don’t pay well!”-Ken Edmunds, Idaho Department of Labor
Back in 2003 I interviewed several Idaho State University Alumni who graduated in 1973. They all stated they were making more money back in the 1970s. One social sciences graduate stated he continued working at his loading dock job because he was making more money than what he would get with his sociology degree, but once Idaho became a Right to Work state (in the 1980s) everything went to hell. As a dock worker in Pocatello (on Garrett Way) he was making $15.00 per hour in the 1970s, and that’s not adjusting for inflation! He wasn’t married and his rent, utilities and food was so cheap by today’s costs that he felt like he was living in luxury. By 2003 most of the distribution/warehouse jobs left the city, and at his age he was lucky to find a job that paid him $7.00 per hour. He said the only reason why he wasn’t homeless was because he paid-off his cheap mobile home in the late 1970s and was still living in it. Many of the older Pocatellans I interviewed wondered how young adults were surviving financially. For decades local and state level politicians promised to bring god paying jobs to the state. In Pocatello and Chubbuck there is a covert push to make the area a warehousing/distribution hub again, but the average starting wage for such jobs is between $10 and $15 per hour. When adjusted for inflation that’s way less than what the same jobs paid in the 1970s!
APRIL: How many people know the origin of the charity United Way? It was born in the Coeur d’Alene area of northern Idaho in 1957, with the name United Crusade. But since then the economy has gotten so bad that United Way announced it was expanding charity services in its own birthplace.
In Boise, after 31 years backpacking store The Benchmark shutting down so the owner can return “…to the Idaho mountains.” Emil Hutton said it’s time to quit due to the rise of what he calls “point-n-click” shopping.
In Boise, christian healthcare scammer Saint Luke’s Regional Medical Center has been found in violation of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In 2015 an employee reported to the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) that Saint Luke’s was not ‘coding’ certain time off as FMLA. The DoL reviewed two years worth of “hundreds” of employee records and concluded that Saint Luke’s “…failed to ensure that all employees on FMLA-covered leave received all the protections…” Interestingly the DoL determination, and resulting Saint Luke’s resolution actually took place in November 2015, but only now is being made public! In February I reported how Saint Luke’s was caught stealing local property taxes!
Despite boasting of a recovering economy the self proclaimed ‘christian’ leaders of Idaho have decided they must ration the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, incorrectly called Food Stamps). Starting in July instead of getting all their food assistance on a single day, it will be spread over a ten days period, affecting 82-thousand of Idaho’s 1.5-million residents. It was revealed that this rationing of food assistance was actually ordered by state ‘elected christian lawmakers’ back in 2014! The British empire created christian Salvation Army protested the SNAP rationing by pointing out that poor Idahoans have been screwed so much by state ‘christian lawmakers’ that up to 90% of people coming into Salvation Army food banks are there to supplement the meager scraps given to them by Idaho’s SNAP! (as a single healthy unemployed adult male I can confirm that there are plenty of poor people in Idaho who don’t qualify for state controlled social programs)
State Department of Labor sold its Right to Work Internet Unemployment System (ius) to the states of Iowa and Vermont! The Gem State’s version of ObamaCare, Your Health Idaho, strikes again! A Twin Falls woman is in desperate need of brain surgery but doesn’t have enough money to pay for insurance herself, yet also does not qualify for ObamaCare under Your Health Idaho! But wait, that’s not all! It turns out that when she first went to doctors they ignorantly told her she was crazy and didn’t have a physical problem! Finally, after several MRIs she was diagnosed with Chiari malformation: “If it goes untreated, then I will slowly become paralyzed, and from there I will end up on machines. That is something that is a reality for me if I don’t get it taken care of.”-Brittany Long
MAY: Despite years of boasting how great their farm economy was, even boasting of the Ag industry’s relationship with Mexico, the Department of Agriculture admitted that in 2015 Idaho’s farm exports crashed by 22%! Idaho dairy exports crashed and burned by 43%! It’s blamed on the ‘strong’ USD, which makes U.S. products more expensive overseas: “It was a nice ride, but it’s over.”-Laura Johnson, Idaho Department of Agriculture
The Idaho Technology Council reports that from 2014 to 2015 business investments into The Gem State tripled ($3.47 billion to $16.29 billion)! However, when you break it down by region all the big increases in investments went to the Boise area (aka southern sector of the state), north and east sectors saw little change in investments. And 60% went to the service sector (retail).
Idaho’s Economic Destruction month of JUNE: “RISEN FROM THE ASHES”? WE STRUCK OIL!
Idaho’s Economic Destruction month of JULY: 86 YEARS OLD ZAMZOWS GOING DOWN?
AUGUST: Economically depressed Idaho is one of 11 states supplying the most military personnel for the never ending, and undeclared, war on terror. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)!
The U.S. Census Bureau warning that sparsely populated Idaho could soon be dominated by immigrants, with the result that the majority of Gem State families will become poor.
In Pocatello, a divorce settlement forced the shutdown of 112 years old Town and Country Gardens, killing ten jobs: “We plan to sell it down to the bones.”-John Crook, owner, following the divorce court’s orders
Idaho National Laboratory (INL) lost its attempt to become the site for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy, or FORGE: “Although our Idaho site was not selected, INL still has the opportunity to participate in the FORGE effort through our role as a member of the University of Utah-led team and in other funded proposals.”-Rob Podgorney, INL geothermal
A Fourth District Judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging the 2014 law that heaps huge taxpayer funded incentives on companies moving to The Gem State. Tens of millions in tax breaks (supposedly in the form of “reimbursements”) have already gone to companies like California based Amy’s Kitchen and Ireland’s Glanbia Foods. Agricultural news source Capital Press also revealed that an undisclosed food producer was recently given a $15-million tax credit for creating a piddly 80 jobs in Boise. The state Depatment of Commerce claims that tax ‘reimbursments’ helped create 4,737 new jobs. But if companies aren’t paying their fair share of taxes how are the state and local governments going to make up for it? By hitting Idaho residents with jacked up taxes and fees, of course.
If you’ve got a family and you’re thinking about moving to Idaho to get a job with one of those taxpayer subsidized companies, think again. The Gem State is one of the worst when it comes to affordable child daycare, and the state government does nothing about it. Economic Policy Institute says the average Idaho family spends $6-hundred per month per child on daycare. Child Care Aware says from 2013 to 2014 childcare costs in Idaho skyrocketed by 19.9%! Even a daycare operator says it’s not worth it to raise a family in Idaho: “Ultimately, when you do the math, and mom is only making X amount, how much of that money is going toward lunches out, and extra clothing, and taxes, and gas to get to and from? You have to look at all of that and see if it’s cost-effective.”-Megan MacCleary, Megan’s Munchkins Preschool, whose income from her daycare operation is so low she qualies for Medicaid (even though daycare rates have gone up Idaho still ranks third lowest for daycare operator/worker pay)
Non-profit Project Access Northwest testified before The Gem State legislature, blasting them for their version of ObamaCare saying 40% of the patients they see have no insurance! State Representative Fred Wood, from Burley, stated that Idaho’s version of ObamaCare is a “system where if you’re poor you have to rely on charity care, versus what everybody else gets.”
Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) canceled $5-million USD in funding for their students attending cash strapped Idaho State University (ISU).
Idaho State University (ISU) laying off 34 people at its Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering Complex (RISE), officially due to contract expiration. Unnamed employees told local news sources that the RISE was being shutdown due to lack of money, but ISU admin denied the rumor. More proof that throwing a lot of money at a problem doesn’t fix anything! After eight years, the state Department of Education’s $135-million USD campaign to increase math scores failed, big time! 8th graders considered at or above grade level dropped from 38% to 34% last year! 4th graders dropped from 41% to 38%! The Education Commission of the States says Idaho’s taxpayer funding of education fails because “…the current formula did not contemplate a variety of different learning modalities, the increasing mobility of students and the states move toward mastery-based education.” The 2016 Idaho Ready for Change survey says 73% of Idahoans prefer charter, or private schools, over traditional taxpayer funded schools. Seven years later CenturyLink and Education Networks of America (ENA) now suing the state Department of Education over the scandalous Idaho Education Network project. State Supreme Court rulings invalidated the IEN contracts, and the whole IEN broadband project was scrapped. CenturyLink and ENA claim they lost $18.5-million USD as a result! Idaho public schools are also struggling financially after a court ruling (last year) revealed that the fees Idaho schools have been charging for decades violate the state constitution. School District 151 revealed the illegal fees they were charging would’ve amounted to $140-thousand for the current school year. School District 411 spent taxpayer funding on an attorney to find ways to continue to charge ‘fees’ without violating the state constitution. Parents from school districts 2 and 25 (my district) are now suing for a refund of the illegal fees.
SEPTEMBER: Trading Company Stores suddenly shutdown their Post Falls and Bonners Ferry locations, 68 jobs lost due to the owner selling out to Washington based Yoke’s. In Twin Falls, after more than 42 years Addison Restaurant West shutting down in October. The owner sold it so he could take care of his 98 years old mom.
State education administrators and ‘lawmakers’ debating new ways to divy out dwindling taxpayer funding for schools, some plans would see as much as $131-million USD cut from school funding! School district administrators also told ‘lawmakers’ that ObamaCare mandated employee health insurance is sucking up more and more taxpayer funding. Blue Cross of Idaho provides the insurance for Idaho teachers and jacked up their rates by 16.5% in 2015. One plan for handling ObamaCare insurance for Idaho teachers could actually cost taxpayers an additional $17-million! Budget policy analyst Paul Headlee warned “This is a This is a particularly complex and potentially expensive endeavor, endeavor.”
The State Police will stop enforcing a booze law that allows them to crash establishments that serve alcohol during ‘live sex acts’. It’s the result of a lawsuit that proved that the law being used to harass bars with adult performers is too vague, and possibly unconstitutional. And the State Police are being sued for the 2013 killing of a Montana man. The man was questioned by police for 40 minutes before they shot him while he was sitting in the passenger’s seat of his car. Police claim the license plates didn’t match the man’s car and that there was a gun in the glove box. The family of the victim says police dash-cam video shows their son never threatened police with any gun. Boise State Public Radio revelaed that the federal government refuses to reveal how many illegal immigrants in Idaho get deported. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement admitted that actual deportations have declined since 2012, due to a focus on immigrants convicted in court of crimes other than immigration violations. Here in Idaho deportations in 2015 dropped by about 4-hundred compared to 2011. And in Camas County, actor Bruce Willis‘ plans for a private airport crashed and burned after complaints from residents, and the city of Ketchum claimed it violated local laws. Apparently the land was zoned specifically for agricultural use.
Lewiston Kmart, Boise Town Square Mall Sears Store & Auto Center, Boise Kmart Auto Center, the Nampa Kmart Store & Auto Center, the Coeur d’Alene Kmart and Sears Store & Auto Center, the Twin Falls Sears Store & Auto Center and Kmart, the Ammon Kmart, the Idaho Falls Sears Store & Auto Center, the abandoned but still owned by Sears Holdings Chubbuck (the “opportunities” listing incorrectly says Pocatello) Sears Store (esentially all remaining Sears & Kmarts in Idaho) made the new Sears Holdings Real Estate for sale or lease list!
OCTOBER: Instant potatoes maker Basic American Ingredients issued a WARN for their Blackfoot ops, 91 additional jobs gone. The Blackfoot potato factory was sold to Basic American Ingredients back in February 2013, and 103 people lost their jobs just three months later. After 40 years in Idaho Falls, Madsen’s Crafts and Framing shutting down in November. One of the retiring co-owners said decades ago he quit his job with Sears in Utah to run the local Idaho craft store, and he has no regrets. In Lewiston, Discount Vacuum shutdown after 35 years, due to the owner’s health problems.
Karcher Care Group issued a WARN for their Nampa nursing home ops, 172 jobs gone! “Concerning and certainly somewhat problematic.” That’s how state Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron describes health insurance provider’s plans to greatly jack up ‘out of network’ charges. According to the Idaho Statesman “Blue Cross of Idaho plans will have a $50,000 out-of-network deductible for individuals, and patients will have an out-of-pocket responsibility for up to $75,000 of all out-of-network claims — up from $4,000 and $10,000 this year.
BridgeSpan and SelectHealth members will have less-extreme deductibles, but they will be responsible for up to $200,000 of their bills if they go out of network.
The amounts are doubled for families.”
The number of Gem State high school graduates who immediately go on to college dropped below the halfway mark, in 2014 and 2015. This is despite the Board of Education spending taxpayer money on several years of “Go-On” propaganda. Superintendent of Public Schools Sherri Ybarra lost her attempt to block the investigation into the falsifying of teacher performance records. Last month law makers created a $50-thousand USD fine for any district official caught falsifying such data. This is the result of an investigation by IdEdNews which revealed that school districts were deliberately lying about their teacher’s performance in order to justify pay raises! Cassia County Joint School District decided not to fight a ACLU lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against non-Mormon students. Details of the settlement were not disclosed but the taxpayer funded Mormon dominated school district claims it will make changes to its official policies of favoring Mormon students. What happened was a non-Mormon student wanted to run for student body president but was denied on the grounds of not having the required classes completed. But it turns out the only candidate, a Mormon, also did not meet the requirements to campaign for president yet was allowed to run! The Mormon dominated district was counting Mormon seminary as credit towards the class requirement.
NOVEMBER: The Idaho Department of Labor quietly launched a Spanish version of its website during the week of the U.S. presidential elections: https://labor.idaho.gov/ClaimantPortal/Login?ReturnUrl=%2fClaimantPortal%2f
A former Boise, Idaho, cop and his wife are charged with stealing thousands of dollars from The Treasure Valley Lodge #11 Fraternal Order of Police charity, while the former cop was the president of the fraternity. The current fraternity president says it took local police investigators fives years to uncover the crime by cop!
One year after relocating to Garden City, JoyfulTea suddenly shutdown due to “A series of events…” Bodybuilding.com suddenly laid off 90 people in Boise. The warning-less layoffs were revealed by unnamed employees who reported it to local news media. Company admin admitted they are conducting “organizational downsizing” as part of their plans to expand their internet ops (never mind that it directly contradicted the new CEO’s statements, earlier in the year, that they would hire more people). In Twin Falls, popular Kona Coffee & Cakes shutdown due to “other circumstances”.
The not-so-‘elected’ leaders of Idaho continue using taxpayer funding to look for new agricultural markets, this year they’re sending University of Idaho’s Dean of Agriculture to China. According to Capital Press, 20% of state legislatures are directly connected to farming/ranching. The state Department of Agriculture is conducting classes for farmers regarding new federal rules for farm labor: “There’s too much information to absorb in two hours, and they’re doing their best to comply with this.”-Luis Urias
Finally after decades of draconian convict policies, and in an attempt to reduce incarceration recidivism, the state Department of Health and Welfare is asking for $11-million tax dollars to provide mental health services for probationers and parolees. Currently The Gem State Department of Corrections has a 35% recidivism rate. The proposed mental health program for probationers and parolees is not connected to ObamaCare. In Nampa, Holly Lane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center (owned by ‘christian’ for-profit Tennessee based Orianna Health Systems-Covenant Dove) continues to violate Medicare and Medicaid rules for patient safety. State inspectors accuse Holly Lane of repeatedly putting patients in “immediate jeopardy”. The Nampa nursing home has until January to get its act together or lose all federal funding. Local news media interviewed former patients who say the mistreatment started years ago due to lack of employees. One patient told a state inspector “If I have to piss and shit on myself, I would rather be dead!”
Once again the ‘christian’ Right to Work (you over) republican leaders are realizing too late that their education policies suck. A new Student Loan Report survey shows as much as 82% of Idahoans who did “Go-On” and graduate from college (both public and private) are now saddled with debt. To address the issues of crashing college enrollment (of Idahoans) and skyrocketing indebtedness Idaho ‘lawmakers’ have approved a $3-thousand USD grant to help individual Idahoans pay for college (too late for me and my adult children)! The federal government is helping by shelling out $1.4-million to expand Idaho’s apprenticeships in healthcare, Info-Tech, manufacturing and energy. A Fort Hall Elementary principal admitted to stealing more than $9-thousand from the Blackfoot School District. She was sentenced to five years probation and 3-hundred hours of community work, and supposedly has already paid back the money. Combative state Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra now swears she will comply with federal Department of Education rules by submitting the Every Student Succeeds Act plan by March 2017. The announcement came after Ybarra failed to met her own self imposed ESSA filing deadline!
DECEMBER: In Twin Falls, local news media revealed that during the Summer local school officials paid more than $94-thousand to one school administrator (who then suddenly retired), and then tried to hide the fact from the public. So far school officials are refusing to explain the secret payout.
Without warning the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Pocatello shutdown on Xmas. Employees showed up only to find a note taped to the door saying a new restaurant would take its place in the near future, the 28 Ruby Tuesday employees are concerned for their final pay. What’s really intersting is that Ruby Tuesday actually posted job openings on indeed.com, for their Pocatello location, just the week prior! Here’s what some employees told KPVI TV: “It’s pretty upsetting knowing that we just had Christmas and spent a bunch of money on our families.”– Shane Engle
“I think it’s crappy that we found out that way. That somebody couldn’t have called us or let us know in advance so we can find another job. Something! I’m on a plan that I need to work to get my Medicaid insurance. And if I don’t have a job I lose my insurance. I have several health problems that I have to have insurance.”-Deanna Orth
KIFI finally reporting what I’ve known (and written about) for years; the Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck is dead. KIFI reporters who went there expecting to get day after Xmas shopping mayhem were shocked to find the mall almost empty. In Ucon, 65 people unemployed after the Snake River Plains Potato Warehouse burned down the day after Xmas. In Idaho Falls, after less than three years The Collective Cachet shutdown on Xmas Eve, with the owners warning that they must shutdown their other businesses as well. Local news media report that Idaho Falls ‘mom&pop’ shops are shutting down due to lack of parking for customers, and some are moving to the next door city of Ammon for better rents and locations. In Boise, restaurant Pollo Rey shutting down by the end of February 2017. In Meridian, the owner of Frankie’s Java warned they could shutdown after only seven months of business. It’s blamed on lack of sales: “At this rate of losing money, we’re considering pulling out as soon as February or March.”-Lisa Squires
The new owner of the Carmike Cinemas in Chubbuck, AMC Theaters, quietly began posting on the internet for new employees ranging from “Film Crews” to theater managers. AMC Theaters took over Carmike Cinemas in March of 2016. No word on what’s going on with the old employees.
The state Department of Commerce waiving nearly $6-million in taxes to any company that can create jobs in Idaho! It’s being called Project Grand Slam.
Despite Idaho being flooded with immigrants and refugees (according to state and federal data), the state Department of Labor is predicting worker shortages in the areas of pipe-fitting/plumbing (possibly due to the covert oil industry boom), physical therapists, accountants/auditors, software/computer developers, industrial mechanics, registered nurses, semi-truck drivers and cooks. As with past predictions of booming employment opportunities the ‘authorities’ have failed to explain why there is going to be such an expected economic boom (by the way, the plurality of past economic boom predictions for Idaho never materialized). Remember, back in March the Department of Labor admitted that Idahoans were fleeing the state, however, the prediction of job shortages comes at the same time the U.S. Census Bureau reported data that says Idaho is the 3rd fastest growing state, population wise, in the country (blamed on high birth rate of Idahoans and domestic [U.S.] migrants looking for jobs). This indicates that instead of worker shortages there might not be enough jobs for all the people flooding into the state (and it amazes me that people are coming to Idaho when there aren’t enough jobs right now).
In the overwhelmingly christian dominated south eastern part of The Gem State, christians failed to support a new christian founded (and much needed due to increasing homelessness in the area) homeless shelter, prompting a local Muslim to come to the rescue. Pastor Jacqualine ‘Big Momma’ Thomas needed at least $30-thousand USD for the homeless shelter but got only $7-thousand from fellow christians, a local Muslim doctor heard the news and said he felt compelled to make up the difference. He promised $23-thousand for the Big Momma’s House project. (UPDATE: TV station KPVI reported that after the initial report of a Muslim saving Big Momma’s House at least two more large donations were made, however, KPVI was careful not to mention the religious affiliation of the donors. JANUARY 2017 UPDATE: TV station KIFI reporting that Bingham Memorial Hospital made a significant donation and admitted they were motivated by the Muslim doctor’s donation.)
Idaho’s Economic Decline 2015: “WE’RE GOING TO GO DOWN.”
MORE ECONOMIC DECLINE: ONE FINAL LOOK AT THE IDAHO POSTAL PROCESSING CENTER MOST EAST IDAHOANS DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT!
MORE ECONOMIC DECLINE: IDAHO’S FAILED HOKU LEADS TO 1ST CHINESE COMPANY TO DEFAULT ON LOAN PAYMENTS?
Idaho’s Economic Decline 2014: “WE’VE LOST A LOT…SINCE 2007.”
Idaho’s Economic Decline 2013: “IT WAS A BLOW, CUT US OFF AT THE KNEES.”
A HISTORY LESSON IN ECONOMIC DECLINE: POCATELLO’S OLD FRED MEYER & ALBERTSONS ON YELLOWSTONE AVE, DID NOT CLOSE DOWN IN THE 1990S