These young Girl Scouts brush-up on their phone-banking skills.
Makayla Williams and Brenda Bennett handed out cookies and talked with lawmakers at the Capitol on President’s Day.
A Girl Scout rally wouldn’t be complete without the Girl Scout pledge. “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.”
Katryna Kelly, 13, and Hailey Murray, 12, are in the same troop. Both girls sold hundreds of boxes of cookies last year.
These Scouts learn how to count change for their future customers.
Cosette is 8-years-old and recently became a Girl Scout. Here’s why she joined, “You get to learn new friends, and you get to sell some cookies, and maybe eat some.”
A song-circle formed before the rally kicked off.
These are Naomi Winkler’s badges. She’s in 6th grade and has been a Girl Scout for four years.
Famous for its potatoes, trout fishing, and blue AstroTurf, Idaho might not have much in common with Hawaii. But here’s one thing: Idaho and Hawaii are the only two states in the country to tax Girl Scout Cookies. Now, some local Scouts are beefing up their sales pitches and learning to lobby.
Mother and daugher Magdalene and Lauren Teears both voted yes on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “Up until even this morning, I wasn’t sure how I was going to vote on those propositions, ” Magdalene Teears said. “I went from ‘no’ on everything to ‘no, yes, no’ to ‘yes, yes, no,’ to finally ‘yes’ on everything. So that’s how I ended up voting today.”
Steven Burke, a father from Eagle, voted no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. He said he didn’t believe the changes were necessary. “I just feel — some of the things that have worked for a while are a good way to stay with the path,” he said.
Beverlee Brannan, a retiree, voted no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “I think the people for it are going to make money off of it,” she said. “I think the children and the teachers are out of the issue. That’s my problem.”
Jennifer Thornfeldt, who went to the polls with her daughter, Stella, was one of many Idahoans to reject the package of education laws known as Students Come First.
Joe Brian, a van driver for Riverside Hotel, said he would vote no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “My mom’s a teacher, so she got me interested in it,” he said. “I think money would be better spent on having efficient computer labs than on everyone having a laptop.”
William Steel, Jr., a self-described retired banker-turned-hippie, voted yes on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “I’m a machinist union fellow from way back,” he said, “but I think the union is an inhibitor, any more, to some of the progress we need to make.”
Jason Trainor, who works for the Ada County Sheriff’s Department, voted no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. He says he sees the laws as “handcuffing teachers” in ways that he believes aren’t fair for teachers or children.
Debra Mulnick, a retired nurse, and Bill Bourland, a vascular surgeon, both voted no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “I think there’s this trend toward corporatizing education, and I’m thoroughly opposed to that,” Bourland said. “I think that’s a really destructive trend.”
Brad Larrondo, who works in Boise State University’s athletic department, voted no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “I did feel like some control was being taken away from the classroom and the teachers,” he said. “I voted no in order to try to have teachers have a better opportunity to teach kids, and not have it be online.”
Asa Battista, an acupuncturist, voted no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3. “If you have a plan to revamp everything, it should be known before you get elected into office, so people know what they’re getting into,” Battista said.
The most potent statewide issue on this Election Day is the tug-of-war over Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Today, as we have talked to voters at polling places in the Boise area, we’ve asked how they decided to vote, and why.
The propositions correspond to three education laws that the Legislature approved in 2011. The laws have been contentious ever since. At the most basic level, the laws do three things: limit collective bargaining for teachers, create a merit pay system, and increase the use of technology in schools. ‘Yes’ votes on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 keep the year-old education laws in place. ‘No’ votes repeal the laws.
You can read more about the propositions and the corresponding laws here. For an Idaho voter guide, with links to voter information click here.
In the comments section below, tell us how you voted, and why, on the three referenda.
Betty Murphy staffed the Democratic office in downtown Hailey last week.
Helen Stone and Ben Schepps of Hailey watched Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan face off.
Blaine County Democrats register voters and distribute signs and literature from their small office in Hailey.
Suzan Stommel is a co-founder of Blaine County Republican Women.
Vonnie Olsen has called the small Blaine County town of Carey home for nearly 50 years.
There aren’t many places in deep red Idaho where you’re likely to hear the kind of proud introduction Gini Ballou offered up not long after we met.
“I’m Gini Ballou,” she said. “My mother stopped to vote for John F. Kennedy on her way to the hospital to have me. And the greatest gift I ever got for my birthday was the ’08 election, when I was given President Obama on my birthday.”
Dr. Jennifer Petrie, 40, knew she wanted to be a rural, family physician since she was in high school in Lewiston, Idaho. Her office at the Emmett Medical Center is cluttered with photos of her kids, their drawings, and stacks of patient charts.
Emmett, Idaho resident Rebecca Smither (left) talks with Dr. Jennifer Petrie (right). Petrie is a graduate of the WWAMI program and now practices in Emmett.
Dr. Petrie checks the progress of Rebecca Smither’s pregnancy.
Dr. Ted Epperly is the Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho.
Dr. Jennifer Petrie sees patients at the Emmett Medical Center four days a week.
Five-month-old Olivia Vandermate gets examined by Dr. Petrie during a recent check up. Petrie was Olivia’s delivery doctor and has taken care of her since.
Dr. Jennifer Petrie has known since she was a high school student in Lewiston, Idaho, that she wanted to be a rural family physician.
Petrie works at the Emmett Medical Center, less than an hour’s drive north of Boise. She sees patients four days a week in her small, sparse examining room here and also works the emergency room shift a couple times a month at the neighboring hospital.
Dr. Petrie is a generalist. She didn’t want to choose a high-paying specialty. For her, seeing all kinds of people was the most appealing thing about being a doctor. Continue Reading →
Steve Spletstoser, who oversees quality control for Idaho Forest Group’s Laclede mill, straightens the lettering on a sign welcoming Japanese buyer Koji Fujiwara.
The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course boasts “the world’s only floating green.”
Idaho Forest Group’s Mike Henley tells buyer Koji Fujiwara and consultant Paul Owen how the company sorts timber for the Japanese market.
Freshly cut lumber awaits the dry kilns at an Idaho Forest Group mill.
Before the recession hit, the sawmill in the North Idaho town of Laclede was known for its reliability. It had never seen a shutdown, not in Steve Spletstoser’s nearly 30 years of working there. Then came 2008.
“It was really eye-opening to see,” Spletstoser says. “Your livelihood is hanging in the balance.” Day after day, the mill cut lumber, and day after day it piled up. Very little left the lot. Continue Reading →
Chelsea Schulz started her college path to become a teacher, now she’s preparing for her job as a mechanic tech with Western States Equipment.
Part of the class works on a project together.
CAT Academy student Bobby Bailey gets instructions from Miller.
CAT Academy student Bobby Bailey works on a class project.
Toby Miller has worked at Western States for 18 years. He was raised on a ranch near Boise.
A group of CAT Academy students work on a welding project.
Eleven students will complete the summer session of Western States’ training program. Thirty one people have completed it in the last year.
Toby Miller and Quintin Edwards watch students wrap up a classroom demo.
Quintin Edwards was laid off from his construction job in 2009. He plans to work in Western States’ shop near Coeur d’Alene
Even with thousands of Idahoans out of work, one Boise-based company can’t find enough employees. Western States Equipment needs mechanic techs, jobs that by definition fall into the middle-skills category.
About half of all Idaho jobs fall into this group: jobs like mechanics, welders, police officers, or air traffic controllers. These are jobs where you need more than a high school diploma, but less than a college degree.
According to the National Skills Coalition, not quite half of Idaho’s workers are trained for these jobs. While many Idaho schools are ramping up efforts to train workers, the pipeline isn’t full yet, so one Idaho business has taken training into its own hands. Continue Reading →
Justin and Chris Black, outside the rustic home that serves as Chris Black’s cow camp
Black describes the lay of the land on his family’s ranch in the Owyhees.
The Blacks walk through the corral gate on their way to catch and saddle their horses.
Chris Black rides toward a small group of cattle seven miles from his cow camp.
Slowly, Black moves the cattle toward a different grazing area.
Mark Mahon explains how to tell the difference between a Douglas Fir and a Ponderosa Pine.
Mahon is a fourth generation logger. He hopes his own son, now in eighth grade, will follow him into the business.
Freshly cut logs line a newly cut road on the private land Mahon’s company has been hired to manage and thin.
While modern logging relies on large and expensive machines, these remain the basic tools of a logger’s trade.
After the Council School District lost its shop program, locals donated time, goods and services to start it up again.
On a Friday evening, Council’s small downtown bustles, but its main street is marked by vacant shop windows.
In Idaho, the timber and ag industries are heavy hitters. They play big roles in the state’s history and identity. But the recession has dealt them different hands, dividing rural Idaho into winners and losers. StateImpact Idaho takes a look at two industries, two counties, and two economic fates.
Rancher Chris Black and his son, Justin, manage a thousand head of cattle on 135,000 acres in the foothills of southwest Idaho’s Owyhee Mountains. They spend most of their time miles apart – miles from anyone, in fact – working cattle. But this day is a little different. They’re walking to the corral not far from the small solar and propane-fueled house where Chris Black lives on and off from April through November. Continue Reading →
Dick Vinson began logging at 16, when he was a high school junior in Polson, Montana. Now 75, he’s trying to start up a sawmill in Emmett, Idaho.
Much of the area where Boise Cascade used to operate is fenced off and boarded up.
Judging by a faded sign next to its front door, this building once housed administrative offices for Boise Cascade’s local mill and beam plant.
The new Emerald Forest Products mill is just getting started. Here, logs await a machine called a debarker.
Once cut, boards are stacked according to size.
Three generations of mill workers: Ray Flowers, his daughter Debbie Flowers, and his grandson Casey Heideman
Emmett, Idaho, where farmer Vaughn Jensen raises corn, wheat, alfalfa hay, clover seed and cattle
Stories about mill towns tend to go something like this: generations of families work at the local sawmill. Then, the mill shuts down, taking hundreds of jobs with it. Emmett, Idaho is one of those towns. Boise Cascade closed its mill here in 2001. But that’s not where this story ends. Instead, it picks up with a Montana entrepreneur and millions in stimulus funding.
Judy Canada says the Airstream life makes her feel like a kid again.
Duyane Canada has owned Airstream trailers for 30 years.
The iconic silver Airstream has been on the road since the 1930s.
Ted Davis owns Airstream Adventures Northwest.
Inside a new Airstream trailer.
The silver bullet known as an Airstream trailer has roamed the nation’s highways since the 1930s. It’s as iconic as a Coke bottle. The start of summer brings with it thoughts of exploring and camping. For some people, that means hitching up the Airstream and heading out on the highway.
Superindendent Jim Woodworth was born in Rockland, and has spent 22 years at the helm of Rockland School.
The high school band rehearses for its end-of-year concert.
Music teacher William Lower says local people are “fundraisered out” by the constant job of raising money for the school.
The school sign reminded the town that it was election week.
A mile from Rockland School, there’s open ranchland.
Sharee Petersen heads the Rockland School Foundation, and ranches with her dad and brother.
Sharee Petersen herds cows into a waiting trailer.
While voter turnout was low across much of Idaho, more than 40 percent of Rockland voters went to the polls. Eighty percent supported the school levy.
You might not guess it, if you happened to pass through, but tiny Rockland, Idaho, population 318, is a place of distinction. The town has no grocery store. Its gas station is just a couple of unmanned pumps where you pay by credit card. But what this town does have is a school, and local people stand behind it.