Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great American Smokeout: 17.9% of Idahoans Smoke

Today is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. The idea is for smokers to prove to themselves that they can quit for 24 hours, and to encourage them to make a plan to quit forever. The American Cancer Society's most recent survey shows 70% want to kick the habit. 187,000 Idahoans smoke, according to the CDC, which also blames those cigarettes for 1,500 deaths per year. Cold turkey used to be a popular option for those wanting to quit, but it's not the best method anymore, with an ACS expert explaining that there is more nicotine and additives in cigarettes these days that make addiction stronger.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Idaho 7th "Most Conservative"

The latest political tracking by Gallup pegs Idaho as 7th most conservative. Those surveyed were asked to self-identify along the political spectrum for this project.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kids Count: Idaho 21st Best for Kids

Poverty is up in for kids in Idaho, but still below the national rate. Kids Count tracks trends and statistics researchers know affect kids' lives.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cancer is the New #1 Killer in Idaho

Cancer is now the #1 killer in Idaho, taking that spot from heart disease. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare notes that cancer screening rates in Idaho lag the rest of the country, and early detection leads to better outcomes. (image credit: Wikipedia commons - CT scan of lung cancer that has spread) Idaho statistics can be viewed by clicking here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's "Don't Fry Day" Friday - Skin Cancer Risk Awareness

Idaho has the highest melanoma death rate in the nation. Today is an educational awareness day that melanoma and other skin cancer risks increase with ultraviolet radiation overexposure from the sun, or indoor tanning devices. Idaho men are more likely than Idaho women to be diagnosed with melanoma. The risk of developing any type of skin cancer during a lifetime is one in five. EPA fact sheet on skin cancer in Idaho available by clicking here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Drinking Water Week - ID has almost 2,000 Water Systems

There are 1,991 public drinking water systems in Idaho - serving about 1.2 million people. Those systems have to abide by safety standards and regulations. It's also common for Idahoans to get their drinking water from a private well, which should meet safety standards, but it's up to the well-owner to do testing, and if needed, treatment. (info via the Idaho DEQ)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Air Quality Awareness Week in Idaho

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared this week Air Quality Awareness Week. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality provides daily updates on air quality around the state. The picture above was taken Sunday in Boise, when the air quality rating was "good," with ozone the most noticable pollutant. Look up air quality information by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Idaho Reaches 75% in Census Participation

The U.S. Census announced today that Idaho's participation rate has reached 75 percent. Door-to-door work begins Saturday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's Idaho's Beef? It's National Prime Rib Day

According to Idaho Agricultural Statistics, there are more than two million head of cattle and calves in Idaho. The value of all that cattle is more than two billion dollars. Idaho beef production accounts for about two percent of nationwide production. University of Idaho Extension offers additional insights. Click here to read on.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Idaho's State Seal - the Only One Designed by a Woman

Idaho's state seal [image via Wikipedia]. The Gem State is the only state with a seal based on a design by a woman. Emma Edwards Green's version of the seal became official in 1891. The current version, seen above, is based on her design and made its debut in 1957. You can read about Emma and see her original version by clicking here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Frog Month - Idaho is Home to Several Kinds

April is "Frog Month," and Idaho is home to at least six types of frogs...and toads. Above is a Columbia spotted frog [U.S. BLM image]. We also have tree frogs in Idaho, mostly in North Idaho. Frog and toad details available here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's "Coin Week" - Idaho's Quarter Voted "Least Liked"

[U.S. Mint image] It's national "Coin Week," and above is Idaho's quarter in the U.S. Mint series featuring states. Many coin collecting message boards and related polls designated the quarter as the "least liked" design. Read about one of the polls by clicking here. Our quarter features the peregrine falcon. I don't think anyone has anything against the bird, it's just that the bird is so big and the state picture is so small. Locally, I heard a lot of discussion about why the state's incredible scenery was neglected in the design. The Idaho quarter was released in June of 2007. 581,4000,000 coins were minted.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kindergarten Day - 22,000 Public Students in ID

Today is Kindergarten Day, which is celebrated in honor of Freidrich Froebel, the "inventor" of kindergarten in Germany in 1837. About 22,000 children are enrolled in public school kindergarten in Idaho. Kindergarten is not compulsory in Idaho.

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Volunteer Week - Idahoans are Generous with their Time

This is National Volunteer Week, and according to, Idahoans volunteer almost 54 hours per person, per year. That ranks the state third nationwide in terms of most time served. Almost 375,000 of us volunteer each year. The Idaho Food Bank sent out a special call for volunteers this week to prepare for the Letter Carriers Food Drive in May. Looking for other volunteer opportunities? This federal government link has an interactive program to hook people up with programs.