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Idaho Politics

WORC Says “No Time To Waste” On Radioactive Waste Disposal Reform

wyoming oil and gas

The Western Organization of Resources Councils (WORC) has released a report about radioactive waste from oil and gas drilling in the West.

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New West Daily Roundup for Nov. 19, 2015


Here’s your New West news: Yellowstone proposes killing 1,000 bison this winter, the Denver International Airport Westin hotel holds ribbon-cutting ceremony, the future of Wyoming’s cigarette tax, and how the Ada County Courthouse became the Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center.

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New West Daily Roundup for Nov. 9, 2015

cheyenne wyoming capitol by Ken Lund flickr

Today in New West news: GOBankingRates ranks Wyoming second best for entrepreneurs, Paylocity is moving to Boise, and Frontier Airlines defends its holiday baggage fees.

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New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 29, 2015

downtown Boise

Today in the New West: Idaho’s lieutenant governor on searching for a new Director of Commerce, Aurora’s Gaylord Rockies Hotel gets an influx of development money, and a Ramaco coal mine planned for Sheridan, Wyoming is stuck in court.

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New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 20, 2015

Colorado River

In New West News: Colorado unemployment drops to four percent, a Cold Water Climate Shield is being mapped across five states, the USDA wants to save Montana bees, and rent for apartments is up in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

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On Poaching and Personal Responsibility: The Rex Rammell Incident

In logic akin to being caught in the act of shoplifting a television and then arguing that the shoplifter should be allowed to keep the TV until found guilty by a jury, Rammell has maintained that IDF&G had no right to confiscate the elk, since he has not yet been proven guilty (though he admits to having the elk in his possession and to not being properly licensed). To date, Rammell has taken no personal responsibility for the incident, and he entered a not guilty plea to the charges at the end of December. He places the blame instead on the employee at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Idaho Falls who sold him the tag. Rammell claims the employee told him he was purchasing an elk tag that would allow him to hunt in any zone in the state that he wished. It is worth noting that no such elk tag exists – when hunters purchase elk tags in the state of Idaho, they must specify the zone they plan to hunt in, and are limited to that zone. This is not a recent change in the regulations, and the employee who sold Rammell the tag has been a licensing agent at the store for 10 years.

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Idaho Legislation Highlights Disagreements Over Hunters On ATVs

Legislation to be introduced to Idaho lawmakers later this winter highlights key issues in the sometimes prickly relationship between two types of Rocky Mountain hunters: those who prefer traditional methods and those who bag their game with the aid of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The proposed changes in Idaho law, being prepared by state Sen. Tim Corder (R-Mountain Home), will address the role of Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) in determining which trails should be open or closed to hunters using ATVs. In recent years, such decisions have been increasingly driven by federal initiatives of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In 2001, Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission approved the Motorized Vehicle Rule, which aims to help protect wildlife resources by limiting the use of vehicles as aids to hunting. The intention was both to decrease the efficiency of hunters who use ATVs and to address increasing complaints from other hunters about the negative effects of such vehicles, particularly in remote places.

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What’s At Stake in Friday’s Hearing On The Lolo Pass Megaloads?

The Idaho Transportation Department is set to host a hearing Friday morning about the controversial giant truckloads of refinery equipment that may be hauled over Lolo Pass on the Montana border. Here’s a quick summary of what’s at stake in the hearing. The hearing is principally to consider whether to hold a formal trial, with witnesses, about whether one company, ConocoPhillips, should be allowed to transport four oversized loads of equipment on U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston to their oil refinery in Billings. The petitioners, three Idaho residents, want the trial to be scheduled. Conoco has entered a response to the residents’ petition asking that no trial be held and the shipments be allowed to proceed. The hearing could go either way, just as the Idaho Supreme Court case could have gone either way, and ended up a 3-2 decision.

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Christo’s Plan for Arkansas River Wrapped in Controversy

In a repurposed garage in Denver’s trendy Lower Downtown neighborhood, the artist Christo stepped up onto the makeshift stage. Across the street in the museum of contemporary art hung sketches from his latest proposed project, Over the River, an ambitious – and highly controversial – work that, if approved, would suspend industrial-strength fabric over Colorado’s Arkansas River. The plan is loved by some and despised by others, but among this crowd of art enthusiasts, Christo, with his mane of untamed silver hair and a rumpled khaki vest and jeans, received a standing ovation before his first slide wheeled around on the carousel projector.

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State Legislature: Why Idaho Won’t Go As District 19 Goes

Idaho, one of the nation’s most proudly red states, has few places where it’s easy to be a Democratic politician. Of 105 seats in the State Legislature, Republicans hold 80. Statewide, the most prominent exception to Republican strength is District 19, which encompasses downtown Boise and neighborhoods along its northern and eastern sides. The executive directors of both the state’s major parties told New West that the district is Idaho’s most powerful Democratic bastion. One of the district’s two House seats opened up after Democrat Anne Pasley-Stuart decided to step. Cherie Buckner-Webb is a big favorite to get the job, although her opponent's no slouch. Jim Morland, a physician who founded and runs a pain center, is a former medical director of the national grocery chain Albertson’s Corporation, for whom he administered an annual budget of about $300 million. Even so, Buckner-Webb, a fifth-generation Idahoan, brings a wealth of administrative skills developed in large local companies and as a small business owner, along with numerous endorsements from groups and businesses, as well as a list of achievements in community activism as long as your arm. Although it hasn't emerged as a focus of the race in a district where words like "diversity" and "tolerance" are the norm, Buckner-Webb would be the first African-American elected to state office in Idaho.

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