Thursday, January 30, 2014

What the State of the Union Means for Idaho

If you watched President Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, you probably understand how difficult it can be to sort through the rhetoric and understand how these plans will translate into change in your everyday life. Washington DC isn't always putting the biggest focus on Idaho, but Congressional representatives have responded to the SOTU address, helping to put things into perspective for our state.

Key Takeaways:

  • President Obama's declaration that he would take unilateral action if partisan gridlock prevented progress in the coming year worried many.
  • Obama's commitment to raising the minimum wage could mean a lot for Idaho's workers. Idaho has the highest percentage of the population earning minimum wage in the nation, so a boost to that rate could jump start the state economy.
  • Republican Congressional leaders, on the other hand, worry that mandated pay raises could hurt small business in Idaho.
  • The lack of focus on health care reform was also a sore point for Idaho residents, for whom the high price of health insurance is a major hurdle.
Overall, it's hard to tell what the President's agenda will have in store for Idaho residents. A focus on increasing quality of life for minimum wage workers brings new hope for the coming year, but caution from our representatives keeps optimism at bay. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

5 Stunning Natural Sights of Idaho

From sea to shining sea, America is home to a diverse array of beautiful sights. Not to be ignored in this plethora of natural wonders is the great state of Idaho. If visiting the Gem State isn't already on your bucket list, check out these breathtaking photos and think again.

1. Lake Coeur D'Alene

If you didn't know better, you might think this beautiful lake belonged in Switzerland rather than in Idaho. Year round, Lake Coeur D'Alene is a popular spot for outdoor fun, as well as a quaint spot for shopping and dining.

2. Idaho Falls

The Idaho Falls Beltway brings visitors up close and personal with this gorgeous landmark. The paved trail along the Snake River provides access to nature for even those with no hiking experience.

3. Minnetonka Cave

The U.S. Forest Service offers treks through this 0.5 mile limestone cave all summer, and the stalagmites and stalactites are awe-inspiring.

This tributary of the Snake River is a fun spot for fishing, whitewater rafting, and more. 

5. Hells Canyon

Visitors make their way to this landmark on foot, by mountain bike, on horseback, or via jet boat. No matter how you get there, this one can't be missed.