Saturday, March 7, 2015

How Much is an Arm Worth in Idaho?

Posted By on Sat, Mar 7, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • ProPublica
Idaho gets criticized for not valuing a lot of things: high-quality education, equal rights, access to affordable health care, livable wages, decent infrastructure... But what about our bodies? According to a wide-ranging research project by nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, Idaho lags behind the national average there, too.

Combing through laws from across the country, ProPublica put together a handy database comparing what kind of compensation workers are entitled to based on a range of permanent on-the-job injuries.

For instance, if you lose an arm while working in Idaho, you can expect to be compensated $113,685—about $56,000 less than the national average. In neighboring Oregon, that number jumps to $234,080—about $64,000 more than the national average. Lose an arm in Montana and you're looking at $120,360 in compensation; in Washington, expect to get $118,266; in Utah, $98,549. Be careful in Wyoming: You're only entitled to $90,581 if you lose that arm in the workplace.

Worker's comp benefits in Idaho rank below the national average for every body part except the index finger, which is worth $26,527—$2,053 more than the average. Does that mean we rank among the top finger-wagging states in the country? We'll refer readers to the Idaho Legislature for the answer to that question. 

In the meantime, be sure to read this penetrating package on "The Demolition of Workers' Comp" published by ProPublica on March 4.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Need Something To Do Tuesday?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Perhaps you're looking for a summer job. Maybe you want some extra work to earn money to buy the stash of Atari games recently uncovered in the New Mexico desert. When you need a job, you need to know who's hiring, and connections don't hurt. 

The Boise Hawks are looking to hire seasonal employees for 38 upcoming home games this season. To see what positions are available and apply, visit the job fair that takes place from 3-7 p.m. today. You'll finally be able to fulfill your lifelong dream of slinging hot dogs in a dashing uniform.

3 p.m. FREE. Hawks Memorial Stadium, 5600 N. Glenwood St., Gardent City, 208-322-5000,
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Need Something To Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 11:19 AM


They say two things are certain in life: death and taxes. And guess what—it's tax season again. Monday, April 15, is the day returns are due, and the Boise Public Library is there to help you get through the next two weeks without panic and undue strain.

That's because tonight from 5-8 p.m., the Main Library is hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance as part of the Internal Revenue Service's VITA program.

For people who make $53,000 or less per year, the library and Boise State University Accountancy students certified as IRS volunteers will provide assistance filing personal income taxes electronically, and educate the public about income tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.

For more info, call 208-384-4076.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Need Something to do Wednesday?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 8:05 AM

A recent trend for community action groups has been to stage "poverty simulators," a sort of role-playing game that public officials can take part in to better understand the plight of poverty and use that knowledge to craft better policy.

Participants often report that one of the biggest challenges they face is transportation, that without a car and with limited money for bus fare it becomes difficult to do things like look for a job that might help elevate economic status.

That's the truth. Even with the plethora of businesses now accepting applications online, job searchers can easily find themselves schlepping all over tarnation just to drop off a few resumes.

So today if you find yourself in an unemployed way—that pesky recession is still kicking pretty hard— rather than hopping to and fro all effing day, swing by Boise State and check out a career fair. Businesses and organizations will be on campus advertising full-time, part-time and internship positions. Some will have on-campus interviews in the days following the fair. For more info call the Career Center at 208-426-1747.

The fair runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and is free.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Need a Few Good Volunteers? Tell Us About It.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM

We want you to tell us what you want, or rather, who you want.

Do you need help clearing weeds, filing paperwork, teaching children’s art projects or manning an info booth? Tell us about it. Boise Weekly is in the process of creating a volunteer guide, so if your organization needs or accepts help from individual or group volunteers, let us know.

Send us the details of what you’re looking for in a volunteer, including age range, experience, job and time requirements, and anything else you deem pertinent, as well as contact information for would-be volunteers. Send your info to BW Features Editor Deanna Darr at no later than Friday, April 15.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Take Your Wii to Work Day

Posted By on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM


People often ask me if my career in air medical emergency transport is "high stress." My answer? It really depends on the day. And that's why, on most days, I try to build in stress-reducing activities that range from taking naps to 10 minutes of yoga stretches. If I'm really lucky, I get to watch Oprah or read a current bestseller between flights.

Since my on-the-job experience is pretty foreign to most professionals, I was intrigued to read a Wall Street Journal blog the other day that described a new at-work holiday instituted by LEGO Systems. Leave it to a toy company to remind us that adults need playtime, too, right?

That left me wondering what it's like to work for Nintendo or Absolut. However LEGO doesn't limit its "Stress Free Day" to simply playing with its own products, but rather encourages that the day be spent doing any number of activities from getting a massage to taking Pilates classes—all on the clock. The only limitation is that this day only happens once a year. Me? I'd still rather spend a few minutes (or hours) of every day on the job being stress-free

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Friday, September 17, 2010

A Bit of Nepotism

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 12:23 PM


In journalism, there are a few sticky places we like to avoid, namely anything we have a personal connection to. But the dilemma arises when it's that personal knowledge that offers us the most tantalizing tidbit in the news business: a scoop. Add family to the mix and the whole situation is enough to put a reporter in a white, padded room.

In order to avoid being fitted for one of those special jackets with all the pretty buckles and straps, it's time to go public with a little bit of news which is a bit atypical for BW to cover.

As of Sept. 16, after 27 years in business, the owners of Boise Army/Navy decided to trade the distinctive scent of surplus for the fresh air of retirement by selling the business to the store's longtime manager. Those now-former owners happen to be my parents, Peter and Nancy Darr.

I've made no secret of my connection to the business, but I've always tried to step aside when it came to writing anything about it—well, most of the time at least. But now, I am going to to be completely self-indulgent and nepotistic when I say how proud I am of my now-retired parents who came to Boise with next to nothing except two young daughters and managed to create a successful business that has spanned more than a quarter century.

We hear so much about failures these days that it's kind of nice to acknowledge a success story born out of hard work.

Boise Army/Navy will go on in much the same form, so rest assured, you will still be able to find all the camouflage, gas masks, woolly winter wear, cast-iron cookware and assorted camping, outdoor gear and sometimes bizarre assortment of randomness your heart could desire. But now, it's time for someone else to guide the vision for future success.

My parents' vision is firmly focused on the shiny new world of retirement, where rumor has it you can do what you want, when you want and then flaunt your adventures to your adult children who are so far away from retirement that it might as well be Mars. But then, after 27 years, they deserve it.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Need Something to Do ... Tomorrow?

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Yes, generally this column is intended to help ya'll find something to do on the day at hand. However, sometimes something worth writing up happens so early in the morning that we gotta switch things up a bit.

Case in point...

Even though things are beginning to turn around, it's still a rough economy out there. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Idaho unemployment rate is still at 9.1 percent, and the Boise area is sitting at 9.9 percent. That's nearly double the 5 percent that makes for a healthy economy and job market.

But there is work to be done. Especially heading into summer when the buzz of social activity helps drive the economic engine. Only question is where to find it.

Well, tomorrow, the answer is Sun Valley, where from 11 a.m.-3p.m. the mountain resort will host a job fair, to fill both summer and year-round positions. Hiring managers will be on-site to find employees for nearly every department: food and beverage, janitorial, the hotel, rec services and the mountain department, and refreshing snacks will be provided for all applicants.

More information can be found at, or by contacting the HR department at 208-622-2061 or

Good luck to ya'll. And just to pass on a piece of job-hunting advice that this reporter had to learn the hard way: it's probably not a good idea to list Elvis as one of your references.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Red Bull to the Rescue

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Alexa, Elaine and a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
  • Alexa, Elaine and a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Ten minutes ago we were staving off the post-lunch need for a nap, sucking on watered down Mt. Dew and lukewarm coffee ...

... enter the roving Red Bull crew to the rescue.

Alexa and Elaine arrived at BWHQ brandishing backpacks full of taurine, glucuronolactone and caffeine (cue Superman-esque rescue soundtrack) and started handing the stuff out.

BW spotted the ladies roaming the slopes at Bogus on closing day a few weeks ago and thought, "Gee, that'd be a cool job. Ride and hand out Red Bull? Sign me up."

Catch Alexa and Elaine Tuesday, April 27, 8-11 p.m., at the Red Bull Barmaster at Mack & Charlie's, where three Boise State students who've never been behind a bar before compete to see which one of them can make the most Red Bull drinks over three hours.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Youth Unemployment Gone Wild

Posted By on Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 11:28 AM

It's no secret that the national unemployment rate, (though tapered off from its peak several months ago and hovering at just under 10 percent) is still the highest it has been since the early 1980s. However, what is more alarming is the fact that, according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, the youth unemployment rate is about 20 percent.

Wait. Does that mean that 80 percent of the Sesame Street set in this country are working? Is that even legal?

Not exactly. In the case of unemployment rates, the term "youth" refers to all workers under age 25. What that indicates is that the unemployment rate for recent college graduates might be twice as high as the unemployment rate for the general populace. This is a huge bummer, especially in light of continuously rising tuition costs. Apart from the bump in the graph on the left, there appears to be a striking similarity between the following data plots:


Since I was encouraged pretty much from the moment of conception to pursue higher education, I guess I'm glad to be older than 25, but it makes me wonder whether the benefits of having a college degree will eventually cease to outweigh the costs.

Incidentally, Tiger Woods would have graduated from Stanford University the same year I did, had he chosen to complete his undergraduate program. However, even without a degree and even with more personal problems than most, he'll make more money teeing off today than a lot of us college grads will in our lifetimes.

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