Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Trailing of the Sheep awarded grant

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival has received $1,000 in grant funds from the Donald W. and Gretchen K. Fraser Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation.

According to a press release from festival organizers, the funds will be used to help create a film and educational materials featuring stories and special moments from the Women Writing and Living the West Symposium, held in October 2011. The symposium included a gathering of women ranchers and writers.

"The day was powerful and emotional, and this film will capture and preserve the heartfelt stories to share with others and save for future generations," said festival founder Diane Peavey.

Peavey said the film will debut at the 2012 festival and will include the opportunity to gather more stories.

For more information or to donate to the project, contact Mary Austin Crofts at 720-0585 or

Mountain Rides sets special meeting

The board of directors of Mountain Rides Transportation Authority will hold a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 29, to develop a strategic business plan for 2012.

The meeting is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Room at the Wood River Community YMCA on Saddle Road in Ketchum.

Agenda items include a review of missions and goals, long-term direction, financial sustainability, contingency service planning, communications and marketing, capital projects for 2012 and technology priorities.

The public is welcome to attend.

Recession erodes median wage

The percentage of Idaho's jobs that are only part-time jumped significantly during the recession as many employers cut back hours to maintain profitability during the downturn, a new federal report indicates. The recession also eroded Idaho's median wage for full-time work compared to other states.

The report, "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2010" by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, found an average of about 445,000 Idaho workers had full-time jobs. Average employment in 2010 was just over 687,000, leaving about 242,000 workers on average in part-time jobs during the year, 35 percent of total employment.

Only Montana, Oregon, Maine and Vermont had higher percentages of part-time jobs. Montana's was highest at just over 39 percent.

By comparison, there was an average of about 515,000 Idaho workers with full-time jobs in 2007. Total employment in 2007 averaged 731,000, leaving an average of about 216,000 workers, or just under 30 percent, in part-time jobs.

Idaho's median wage for full-time work was $666 a week in 2010, 40th among the states and 89.2 percent of the national median wage. The 4.6 percent increase from 2007 was less than all but seven other states, and in 2007, the median wage in Idaho was nearly 92 percent of the median national wage for full-time jobs.

Idaho wage gap widens between men and women

The gap between how much men and women earn in Idaho widened in 2010.

A report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2010," showed that the salary disparity between men and women increased by 2.2 percent during the previous year. The survey showed the full-time wages of Idaho women were 77.6 percent of what men earned.

Idaho was ranked 36 among states for the ratio of salaries between the sexes.

Idaho population growth slows

Idaho's population grew by just 0.9 percent between mid-2010 and mid-2011, the first year population has grown less than 1 percent since 1990.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Idaho's population at 1,584,985 on July 1, up almost 14,000 from July 1, 2010. That growth rate ranked Idaho 16th nationally, Idaho's lowest ranking since 2000.

Idaho's growth was primarily natural. Births at nearly 23,000 were more than double deaths during the 12-month period. Net migration to Idaho from other states was negligible—just 62 over the year—while fewer than 2,100 people settled in the state from other countries.

The District of Columbia led the nation at 2.2 percent growth followed by Texas at 1.7 percent. Utah was third. Rhode Island and Michigan were the only states to lose population.

Nationally, the population was up another 2.2 million to 311.6 million.

Information on the Census Bureau data for Idaho is at

Employment training for women

The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is offering another session of Skills for Success. The Skills for Success program provides victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with job and life-skills training that supports their efforts to find and keep successful employment. The program is open to women looking to improve their current employment and/or those having difficulty obtaining employment.

A meeting will be held for women interested in finding out more about Skills for Success on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. at the Community Campus, Room 211 in Hailey.

For more information, contact Program Manager Susan Fierman at 788-4191 or  HYPERLINK ""

F&G Commission to meet in Boise

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet Jan. 25 and 26 at Fish and Game headquarters in Boise.

The commission's annual meeting will begin with a public comment period starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Routine agenda items include setting seasons for upland game, furbearers and turkey, a legislative budget preview and a big game briefing.

A complete agenda will be available on the Fish and Game website,

Olympic Committee sets date

The U.S. Olympic Committee will visit the Wood River Valley at the end of January to determine if the area will receive designation as a Nordic training site for both the Olympic and Paralympic games.

According to a press release from economic-development organization Sustain Blaine, the committee will arrive on Monday, Jan. 30, and remain through Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The trip coincides with the weeklong Sun Valley Nordic Festival. The event began last year as a way to showcase the area's Nordic skiing facilities and to provide events to set off the traditional Boulder Mountain Tour, a 32 km cross-country ski race.

Harry Griffith, executive director of Sustain Blaine, which helped organize the visit, said the committee's visit will be timely.

"It puts a little strain on the coaching staff [at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation], but we agreed it would be a great time to have them here," Griffith told Sustain Blaine board members last week.

The committee will miss the Boulder Mountain Tour, which takes place on Feb. 4.

Local coffee roaster wins ad campaign

Lizzy's Fresh Coffee, a local coffeehouse and bean roaster, won the Google and American Express My Business Story contest last month, earning an online ad campaign worth $5,000.

Owner Liz Roquet submitted a video telling the story of how she started the company, why Lizzy's coffee is such high quality and how the company connects to the community.

The My Business Story contest offered small businesses the opportunity to win one of 36 online ad campaigns worth $5,000 and have their videos appear on the YouTube homepage on Nov. 25, 2011, the day before Small Business Saturday.

Celebrate New Year's at Rotarun

Rotarun ski area will offer family fun for New Year's Eve, including food, skiing and sledding (snow is in the forecast), and early-evening fireworks.

Skiing (snow permitting) and food will be available starting at 6 p.m. Kids are encouraged to bring sleds and marshmallows. A hot-chili meal and bonfire will be available to warm skiers and sledders. Fireworks will light up the sky at 9:15 p.m., for revelers with an early bedtime.

The all-you-can-eat chili meal includes cornbread and salad for suggested donations of $6 a person, and $20 for a family. Lift tickets are $10 for kids (6-18) and $15 for adults. Kids 5 and under ski free. (Children must always be under an adult's supervision.)

Rotarun is on Rodeo Drive, about three miles west of Hailey off Croy Creek Road. Season passes are $50 for juniors, $75 for adults and $150 for a family.

For more information, visit or call 788-6204.

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