Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Business Briefs

Fewer spuds in Idaho

Idaho Potato growers planted 14 percent few acres of the crop this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

An estimated 300,000 acres were planted in the state this spring, which is the lowest potato acreage in the state since 1980. About 350,000 acres of spuds were planted last year.

USDA reported that 1.06 million acres of potatoes were planted nationally this year, which is 8 percent less than planted in 2007.

Geuin receives new certification

Marlow Geuin, the designated broker for Classic Realty in Ketchum, achieved the new Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist certification, offered by the National Association of Realtors.

This designation recognized the vitality of the second-home market, which has led buyers to increasingly demand the expertise of a real estate professional with knowledge of this specific market.

Hospice workers recognized

The Idaho State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (ISHPCO) recognized Sheri Hodge, a volunteer at the Ketchum-based Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, as a member of the 2008 ISHPCO Hospice Dream Team.

As well, Carolyn Nystron, RN, the executive director of the Wood River hospice, was awarded with a 2008 ISHPCO Lifetime Achievement Award.

Swartling joins Idaho Community Foundation board

Tricia Swartling of Ketchum has been elected to the board of directors of the Idaho Community Foundation, a statewide nonprofit that donates to charity in every county of the state. Other new directors are Jean Elsaesser of Priest River and Flip Kleffner of Moscow.

Swartling is the executive director of Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Hailey.

"I've been with an organization that has received grants for 15 years," Swartling said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to expand my own professional horizons, and I also think I can help the board understand the importance of grantee relationships."

Swartling also is a board member of La Alianza, the multicultural center that opened earlier this year in Hailey, and a member of the grants committee of the Wood River Women's Charitable Foundation, which maintains a philanthropic gift fund in ICF.

The Idaho Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization composed of more than 370 individual funds. Total assets are more than $70 million. Since it began making grants in 1991, ICF has made charitable distributions totaling more than $37 million.

Angel capital subject of lunchtime talk

Kevin Learned is the featured speaker for the Jigsaw lunch August 22. Learned is president of the Boise Angel Alliance, which seeks to enhance the availability of angel capital to Idaho entrepreneurs. He will discuss angel capital, including its formal sources in Idaho.

Learned has been the co-founder of Learned-Mahn, a Boise banking and hospital software company; a BSU professor of entrepreneurship, President of Albertson College of Idaho, and CEO of The Network Group, a Boise information technology services firm. He is currently a founding

member of the Boise Angel Fund, which invests in high-growth-potential early-stage companies. Cost for the lunch, with the location to be announced, is $15 for Jigsaw members and $20 for non-members. RSVP by Wednesday, August 20.

Calle 75 Tacos opens stand

Over the last month, Calle 75 Tacos has been selling the L.A. style Street Tacos at the Hailey's Farmers Market every Thursday.

Calle (which means "Street" in Spanish) 75 Tacos has opened an outside vending spot at Mountain Sun Shell in Bellevue.

Mike Weems Jr., manager of Mountain Sun Lanes, said his new business is inspired by Los Angeles taco eateries.

"We have Carlos, we have the tacos, we have the music, but instead of a pool we have misters on during the hottest time of the day," said Weems.

The business will also have catering available.

Conklin & Company ranks in Idaho top 10

The Coldwell Banker franchise system has ranked the Conklin Team number 2 out of all Coldwell Banker affiliate teams in Idaho. The ranking is for the adjusted gross commission income for the second quarter of 2008.

Team Conklin consists of listing specialists Todd Conklin and Stephanie Reed, buyer specialist George Rizzo and Kimberly Sesnon, transaction coordinator and office manager Sandy Myers and listing manager Morgan Timoney.

The Conklin and Company team works in both residential and commercial property in the Wood River Valley.

State urges caution on unemployment claims

At least one private company is trying to charge unemployed workers $12.95 to process claims for unemployment insurance benefits that the workers can file for free through the Idaho Department of Labor.

The department's Web site,, is Idaho's only official source of information about unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployed Idaho workers should go to to apply online for benefits. There is no charge to use this site. Other sites may look official, but they are not, the agency urges in a news release.

"People need to steer clear of Web sites that appear to offer legitimate applications for unemployment insurance benefits when, in fact, they do not," Benefits Bureau Chief Roger Holmes said.

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