Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Job Gap: Idaho Women, Latinos, Native Americans, People of Color Hit Hardest

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Saying that a history of fiscal policies "have perpetuated low pay in jobs and industries where women and people of color are most likely to work," a new study out today points out the growing gap between the have's and have-not's. The study by the Alliance for a Just Society, entitled "Equity in the Balance," says it "details the percentage of women and people of color who don't make a living wage in Idaho."

Among the reports findings:

- Native Americans, Latinos and all workers of color were less likely to earn a living wage in Idaho.
- The widest gap between workers of color and all workers is for households with two working adults and two children.
- Only 43 percent of female workers earn a living wage for a single adult
- Only 11 percent of female workers earn enough to support two adults and two children with only one adult working.

Among those interviewed in the report is Mayra De Alba of Heyburn, who lives at home with her parents and two brothers. She and her parents work in Idaho's potato fields. She says he is supposed to earn $9 an hour, but sometimes doesn't get paid unless one of her father's friends, who speaks English, threatens to report the employer.

"My friends have referred me to jobs—usually as a dishwasher or busser at a restaurant, where I could at least get my foot in the door — and I have even had interviews, but it never works out. I speak Spanish and not much English, so the language barrier is part of it. But, it’s even harder without a driver’s license. Even though I know that I can get a ride and I tell employers that, they end up hiring someone else. A few times, I’ve even shown up for work at a new job and had them tell me they found someone else. It’s very discouraging."

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Washington State: 'Idaho Dominates Fresh Potato Industry'

Posted By on Sat, Oct 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

This year's harvest proves an Idaho industry is no small potatoes.

A surplus of Idaho spuds have had an effect on neighboring Washington State, the No. 2 grower of potatoes in the country. The Bellingham Herald reports prices have been depressed, though farmers are still digging up their crops.

Dale Lathim, executive director for the Potato Growers of Washington and the United Fresh Potato Growers of Washington and Oregon, told the Herald the Evergreen State's fresh potatoes are down because of Idaho's success this year.

"They dominate the fresh industry," he said.

A significant increase in potato acreage, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, mostly came from Idaho.

From the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service:

Potato growers in Idaho have planted an estimated 345,000 acres in 2012, an 8 percent increase from the 320,000 acres planted in 2011, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is the highest level since 2007. Harvested acres, at 344,000, are also up 8 percent from a year ago.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Otter spends first half million of session

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Last week, Gov. C. L. Butch Otter signed the first bill of the Legislative session, a back payment for state pest control measures, mostly pesticide spraying to kill a rare invasive potato bug.

Otter signed Senate Bill 1016, which passed both houses unanimously, on Feb. 10, authorizing $569,700 in "deficiency warrants," emergency funds that were already spent in the last fiscal year and still need to be paid for.

The money paid for Potato Cyst Nematode (pictured above) surveys and treatment in Eastern Idaho ($412,200) as well as gypsy moth, exotic pest and Karnal Bunt (a wheat fungus) surveys.

The bill also pays back $58,300 to the state Military Division for hazardous waste cleanup in the 2008 fiscal year.

Can you just hear the chants of "Pesticides over people?" yet?


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