Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jobless Rates in Idaho, Boise Hold Steady

Posted By on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Idaho's jobless rate remained flat in March as another 1,400 people left the Gem State's labor force, the largest one-month exodus since the height of the recession. Since 2012, more than 2,600 people have dropped out of the labor force, leaving just 772,000 Idahoans either employed or looking for work.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March held at 6.2 percent.

The Idaho Department of Labor says employers hired 13,000 workers in March, well below pre-recession hiring levels and approximately 500 fewer than March 2012. Overall, 724,500 were employed in March.

Modest job growth was reported in the manufacturing sector, but it has been the service sector that has produced three of every four new job since the recovery began.

Only three of Idaho's 44 counties posted double-digit unemployment rates in March: Benewah, Clearwater and Shoshone. Clearwater County had the state's highest unemployment rate, at 12.5 percent. Camas County had the lowest rate, at 3.7 percent.

The city of Boise reported a 5.7 percent unemployment rate in March, the same as in February and a full percentage point lower than March 2012.

The Treasure Valley reported a 5.9 percent jobless rate in March, down from 6.1 percent in February and 7.3 percent in March 2012.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

Boy Scout Membership To Vote On Lifting Ban of Gay Scouts

Posted By on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The Boy Scouts of America suggested on its website Friday that if its membership agreed, it was prepared to remove a ban on openly gay youth, but maintain its ban on adult leaders who are gay. BSA said said it’s nearing a conclusion to “the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history” regarding its policies on homosexual membership.

At a national conference next month, the organization will consider a proposal that "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."

When BSA denied a San Francisco-area boy his Eagle Scout honor based on his sexuality, some former members returned their own Eagle Scout badges in protest. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Ryan Andresen completed all requirements to become an Eagle Scout, but his scoutmaster refused to sign the official paperwork because Andresen was gay, his parents said.

“We are seeing a rapid and historic shift toward equality for all,” stated a news release from Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs. “The Boy Scouts are now beginning to catch up with this reality."

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

HP Shareholder: 'Boards Are Like Hotel California. Directors Check In But They Never Check Out'

Posted By on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

When Hewlett-Packard announced to its shareholders and employees—including hundreds of staff at its Boise campus—that its chairman and two directors were resigning, the company painted a picture of corporate harmony in the decision.

"Today's announcement is a testament to our chairman's and departing board members' statesmanship and sterling professional standards," the company said in a statement earlier this month.

But this morning's New York Times reveals a different scenario behind HP's closed doors. In fact, the Times' headline dubs outgoing chairman Raymond Lane as "obstinate."

The ouster of Lane followed a 50 percent plunge in HP stock value and the expensive hiring and firing of a new chief executive. But the Times reports that "it took the combined effort of the company's new chief executive, Meg Whitman, other board members and Dodge & Cox, a mutual fund company that is HP's largest shareholder, to get Lane to give up the chairman's title."

But even when Lane was forced out as chairman, he still refused to leave the HP board.

Boards "are like the Hotel California," HP shareholder William Patterson told the Times. "Directors check in but they never check out. It's so hard to mount and win a campaign, and even then, they stay.Shareholders need to mobilize for a second round. Our work is far from complete."

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Journal: Heritage Foundation Lobbied Pocatello Council to Reject LGBT Protections

Posted By on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

The city of Pocatello won't be joining other Idaho municipalities—like Boise, Moscow and Sandpoint—in extending better protections against discrimination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens.

The Idaho State Journal reports that Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad broke a 3-3 tie of the Pocatello City Council on Thursday, April 18, ultimately rejecting an ordinance that would have criminalized discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pocatello Council Member Craig Cooper said he voted against the measure because it was too punitive—the proposed ordinance would have made discrimination a misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

"I think there are people who are unaware of what's going on and it's just not a thing to criminalize, in my mind," Cooper told the Associated Press.

But this morning's Journal reports that an attorney for the conservative advocate organization, The Heritage Foundation, said she was able to "secure time in a City Council work session" prior to the vote, when she told Pocatello lawmakers that the ordinance would "violate the religious freedoms of some residents."

The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973, has championed the Defense of Marriage Act to prevent gay marriage in the United States, and this past week attacked the bipartisan immigration reform bill currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.

According to the Journal, a modified anti-discrimination ordinance will be considered at a work session of the Pocatello City Council on May 9.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Tribune: Radioactive Material Discovered in Craigmont

Posted By on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Idaho and federal officials aren't certain yet what they want to do with radioactive material discovered in the North Central Idaho community of Craigmont Friday.

Authorities don't want to disclose the exact location, but confirmed that the radioactive material had been apparently purchased at an auction at least 20 years ago and stored in a shop until then.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the owner of the shop contacted authorities about "how best to dispose of the material." The material is reportedly contained in "a couple of boxes," according to Robert Feeley, with the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.

"They weren't marked," Feeley told the Tribune. "But the way they were constructed led people to think they were potentially radiological."

The U.S. Department of Energy will reportedly decide Monday, April 22 on how to dispose of the boxes.

Lewiston Fire Chief Garry DeJong told the Tribune that the radioactive material didn't pose any immediate threat to life or safety.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Environmentalists: Kootenai River One of the Nation's Most Endangered

Posted By on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Environmentalist say open-pit coal mining continues to threaten the Kootenai River.
  • Environmentalist say open-pit coal mining continues to threaten the Kootenai River.

Idaho's Kootenai River, which also runs through Montana and British Columbia, has made an environmental group's list of the 10 most endangered rivers in the United States.

American Rivers, in its annual report on endangered rivers, said outdated water management continues to plague U.S. waterways.

In particular, environmentalists point to open-pit coal mining as the Kootenai River's greatest threat.

"The quality of the water and the species that depend on it are threatened by five open-pit coal mines along a tributary in British Columbia," according to a statement from American Rivers, which is calling on the U.S. State Department to work with Canada "to halt the mining until impact studies can be done."

The Kootenai provides habitat for grizzly bear and woodland caribou, in addition to "several rare and threatened species of fish," according to American Rivers.

Topping this year's list of most endangered U.S. rivers was the Colorado River, followed by Georgia's Flint River and the San Saba River in Texas.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

© 2018 Boise Weekly

Website powered by Foundation