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Posts published in June 2014

This week’s Briefings

obama bergdahl

Standing in the White House Rose Garden the afternoon of May 31, President Barack Obama spoke about the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — an American soldier who spent nearly five years in captivity during the war in Afghanistan. Standing with Sgt. Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani, from Hailey, the President said that "while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten.". (image capture/White House)

 
After the crush of the primary election and its immediate aftermath, things quieted down a bit and ease off with the passage of Memorial Day and the (de facto) arrival of summer.

But there was news. The release of long-term POW Bowe Bergdahl made regional news at the end of the week. In Oregon and Idaho, the parties pulled themselves together (as much as they could) as work begins for the general election. And the last stages of prep begins for the summer recreation season.

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Bergdahls talk at Boise (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
EPA emission rules impacting Idaho (Boise Statesman)
Pullman high school graduation (Moscow News)
Idaho federal lands group hires attorney (Moscow News)
Senate Education panel changing (TF Times News)

Parking plans back to Corvallis council (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Plans for independent grocery at Creswell (Eugene Register Guard)
Charter school okayed at Eagle Point (Medford Tribune)
National view of OR senate race (Medford Tribune)
Online health information in OR program (Portland Oregonian)
Law enforcement cuts in rural Oregon (Portland Oregonian)
Tracking collars on two more wolves (Salem Statesman Journal)
More plans for tsunami emergencies (Salem Statesman Journal)

Discussions planned on homeless (Everett Herald)
Mukilteo ferry move get federal grant help (Everett Herald)
Liquor prices up, sales down (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Debate over exchange, freed POW (Kennewick Herald)
Significant erosion near Zintel Canyon Dam (Kennewick Herald)
Two dead Ranier climbers ID'd, climb in review (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Olympian)
Transgender health bills considered (Olympian)
Voters Tuesday consider smart meter plan (Port Angeles News)
Lawsuit filed against timber harvest (Port Angeles News)
Impact of $15 minimum wage (Seattle Times)
Briefs I-90 closures this week (Spokane Spokesman)

Merging development groups

mendiola MARK
MENDIOLA

 
Reports

When he addressed a large crowd of eastern Idaho business and government leaders May 30 at Idaho Central Credit Union’s state headquarters in Chubbuck, Idaho Commerce Director Jeff Sayer acknowledged there has been some resistance to merging the economic development agencies of Bannock, Bingham and Bonneville counties into one entity.

Accompanied by Idaho Labor Department Director Ken Edmunds, Sayer spoke at a Regional Economic Development Initiative gathering sponsored by ICCU, Pocatello Medical Center and Idaho National Laboratory. Those attending included INL Director John Grossenbacher, five mayors from the region and congressional representatives.

Similar meetings were held at Idaho Falls in February and Blackfoot in March to address possibly creating a single economic development organization for the region.

Some Pocatellans have expressed concerns that the drive to merge Bannock Development Corporation with Grow Idaho Falls Inc. and Bingham Economic Development Corporation will be to the advantage of Idaho Falls and Blackfoot at Pocatello’s expense.

Sayer said he has heard some refer to creating an eastern Idaho economic development organization “a hostile takeover” and express misgivings that the matter is being forced on them. Others have wanted it created as soon as June.

“There’s a lot of mistrust under the surface,” the commerce director said, mentioning he has heard frustrations that are 10 years old. “If this fails, it will not be resurrected in our professional lifetimes.”

He urged those in attendance to proceed slowly, clarify their message and listen to each other. Combined, eastern Idaho’s work force is the second largest in the state. The Interstate 15 corridor has “a powerful collection of assets,” he said, noting it took Magic Valley 10 years to hit its stride and perfect its business model.

“If eastern Idaho comes together, the ‘great state of Ada’ would wonder what in the heck happened,” Sayer remarked.

Sayer said Idaho is “a long ways behind” competing with other states, some of which are merging as regional forces in the Southeast and the Midwest. He agreed with Mike Mullis of J.M. Mullis, Inc., a project location specialist, who said Idaho has an identity problem. Mullis assisted in bringing a new Clif Bars bakery to Twin Falls.

Sayer emphasized that Idaho boasts robust aerospace, manufacturing and energy industries in addition to its agricultural strengths.

Edmunds said a central focal point or voice is needed to represent regional economic development, but local organizations also need to be retained in some format. He also suggested an independent group be brought in to evaluate the eastern Idaho economic development issue. (more…)

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Bergdahl returns from Afghanistan (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal, Sandpoint Bee)
Campus firearms can be an expense (IF Post Register)
About GED graduates (Lewiston Tribune)
Canyon County fair raising funds (Nampa Press Tribune)

Idaho soldier swapped from Afghanistan (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, KF Herald & News)
Klamath pot dispensary growing (KF Herald & News)
Felons seeking, not finding, jobs (Medford Tribune)
No-tax counties losing law enforcement (Portland Oregonian)
Kitzhaber mostly stays at Portland (Portland Oregonian)
Republicans organizing for campaign (Salem Statesman Journal)
Dealing with crowded schools (Salem Statesman Journal)

Community role in Oso cleanup (Everett Herald)
Longview debate over speed cameras (Longview News)
Idaho soldier swapped from Afghanistan (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Olympian)
Reviewing new titanium business (Port Angeles News)
Six climbers fall to death at Ranier (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Longview News)
Many women getting pistal permits (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Law enforcement in a Twitter world (Vancouver Columbian)