Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good Eats In My Blue Idaho

Wow, only one post this month.... I must be following in the footsteps of TheMountainGoatReport who has also been noticeably absent from the usual consistent format and vigilance. Sometimes one's life takes new direction and mine certainly has. Aside from a return to teaching part-time at the college level, I've also taken on full-time work as a sous-chef, or as my boss says, everyday we get to "play restaurant." He jokes, but since February the place has grown past four times what it was when they first opened. I am especially lucky, because cooking really good "wow" food is very dear to my heart and my boss treats me as an equal, creatively speaking. So now I'm doing two of my favorite activities in the world: teaching anthropology, and cooking in a really good local restaurant. So, RSR, please put Papa Byrd's Bistro on your list of great places to dine in Bonners Ferry, ID.

And yes, we are good. That's why the restaurant has grown so quickly. Indeed, the Moroccan spiced ribs with couscous and tzatzikis sauce that my boss made last night deserved a very special photo, but alas, I didn't have my camera with me. Of course, I probably wouldn't be able to take many photos because we're always so busy.... I've been able to contribute many desserts including a drop-dead Tres Leches Cake, made with Thai coconut milk. And on the chocolate side, I've contribute both a chocolate mousse cake (not too many calories....) and a decadent chocolate cake served on raspberry coulis with a dollop of whipped cream. Hungry yet?

Well, it may not be politics for this blog, but it's still my blue Idaho, and I just feel great about making the crown jewel of northern Idaho just that much more tempting.

Friday, May 9, 2008

US Ecology Making Millions Accepting Toxic Waste

Is that glow I see in the southern sky actually southern Idaho? The online Hanford News out of the Tri-Cities area of Washington, recently reported that toxic waste is bringing in big bucks to southern Idaho. It seems that US Ecology's public hazardous waste dump facility knows that toxic waste is a lucrative business venture.

Boise based American Ecology is the parent company of US Ecology. As the article reports, last year American Ecology brought in $165.5 million with a $45.5 million gross profit. As for the contribution to Idaho:

"According to a 2006 economic impact analysis by economist Don Reading, American Ecology's annual economic contribution in Idaho is $51 million in taxes, payroll and direct and indirect spending. The company paid $1.4 million in state taxes in 2005."

Unfortunately we don't yet know how much they're going to be making off the Kuwaiti sand. But as Mountain Goat reports, following the money certainly provides much information about why Idaho is filling up with an abundance of toxic waste.

Given the effects that Hanford had on my neck of the woods, American Ecology doesn't seem like the best business venture for the state of Idaho. I'd hate to think that Idahoans may, in the future, suffer the same economic fate of the buffalo.... As much as I love north Idaho, British Columbia is beginning to look more and more desirable.