Saturday, January 28, 2012

Operation Juicy Burger has begun

Looking at the stats for BizMojo Idaho this past week, I'm kind of curious that the leading pageview is an item I put up Dec. 9, Carl's Jr. plans to open in Idaho Falls by Dec. 31.

Mmm ... look at that juicy burger!
Surely this is old news, yet 97 people looked at that post in the past seven days. Mystifying? Perhaps, if you don't drill down. But looking at the search information, we found that "Carl's Jr." and "juicy burger" were the leading keywords driving traffic to the blog from Google.

It's a Google world. I'm watching AdSense every day, and I'm happy to report that we're inching closer to the $100 threshold that will prompt the Google Gods to send a check directly to the BizMojo Idaho bank account.

I'd be the last person to encourage anyone to engage in an orgy of indiscriminate ad-clicking to get us there faster. But if you should you decide to do it of your own free will, there might be a juicy burger in it for you. Think about it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Odds and ends from the Idaho Falls development front

It's pretty quiet on the building front, but there are signs that things could be on the uptick, said Brad Cramer of the Idaho Falls Planning Department.

The city planning and zoning commission and City Council  have approved a plat for a 16-lot subdivision called Bristol Heights, located south of Sunnyside Road, on land belonging to Lee Gagner. "We haven't seen a plat that size for years," Cramer said.
Likewise, the City Council on Thursday night approved 22 townhomes at John Adams and St. Clair. "I'm not sure yet if it means a lot," Cramer said. "There must be a decent market for those townhome type properties."

On the commercial front, Cramer echoed what Pentad Properties' Brent Wilson said last week, that everything seems to be on hold as developers wait to see what sort of action might be coming from Costco, which has been eyeballing ground in the Idaho Falls-Ammon area.

March opening planned for indoor trampoline park

Trampoline enthusiasts will soon have a new place to jump yearround in the Idaho Falls area. Eyeballing a March opening, iJump Idaho aims to be southeast Idaho's first indoor trampoline park. The address is 2670 E. 14 North, off Hitt Road, near Majestic Auto Body.
The business is currently taking applications, and looking for people college-age or older who are trustworthy, honest and fun. Here is a link to the online application form:
In addition to wall-to-wall trampolines, the complex will also include a dodge ball court, open jump area, a three-trampoline foam pit and a separate area for younger-aged children.
We will have a more detailed report as the date draws nearer. Here is iJump Idaho's Facebook listing:

INL engineer named to '40 Under 40' list

Jorge Navarro, 31, of the Idaho National Laboratory, has been named one of the "40 Under 40" by Hispanic Engineer Information and Technology magazine.

Navarro was born in Mexico. After high school he worked as a computer data capture analyst then enrolled in the University of Guanajuato mining engineering school. After switching his major to chemical engineering, he transferred to the University of Utah, where he received his bachelor's degree. He is now pursuing a Ph.D in the nuclear engineering graduate program.

He came to the INL in 2008 as a space nuclear research summer fellow. He has since worked on upgrading methods and codes for the Advanced Test Reactor, developing non-destructive gamma spectroscopy techniques to support the fuel management process.

In 2009, he became a United States citizen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A good joke could pay off when asking for a raise

When it comes to asking for a raise, it could pay to have a sense of humor.

As unlikely as it sounds, a recent study from the University of Idaho suggests that when asking for a raise the best approach is to shoot the moon -- but do it with a wink. Psychology professor Todd Thorsteinson found that people requesting implausibly high raises ended up with 9 to 10 percent more on average than those who didn't.

Thorsteinson took 206 college students and asked them to determine the starting salary of a hypothetical administrative assistant who was well qualified and had previously earned $29,000.

Candidates who facetiously asked for $100,000 were given $35,523 on average. Those who simply asked for what they thought was reasonable got an average of $32,463, the Harvard Business Review reports.

Thorsteinson suggested that “mentioning an extreme figure in jest can set a high ‘anchor’ for the final offer while minimizing negative reactions from the employer.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dickey's Barbecue Pit opening Friday in Idaho Falls

Dickey's Barbecue Pit on 17th Street will be opening Friday at 11 a.m., and in observance of the occasion will be giving the first 100 customers free pulled pork big barbecue sandwiches.

"We are happy to be in Idaho Falls and the community is extremely excited for us to open," said local franchise owner Deanne Wilkins, who operates the restaurant with her husband, Bob. The new location is 2,000 square feet and located at 2090 East 17th Street, just west of the Grand Teton Mall and next door to Fiesta Ole.

Bob Wilkins is a business partner of the Dickey's in St. George, Utah. He and DeAnne are currently looking for a site for another location in Pocatello.

Customers are encouraged to check out the Facebook page at On Feb. 6, one lucky Facebook fan will win a $100 Dickey's gift card.

Texas-based Dickey's Barbecue Pit opened in 1941 and began franchising in 1994. It currently has 206 locations in 36 states nationwide.

INL offers virtual tours through mobile app

In concert with National Nuclear Science Week, the Idaho National Laboratory has launched a mobile app that allows smart phone and tablet users to see what goes on at the lab without investing all the time and expense it would take for an on-site tour.

The idea is to give university and industry representatives, government leaders, and members of the public a new, visually compelling means of finding out what kind of nuclear energy research goes on at the INL.

"Time is a precious resource for all of us," said Harold McFarlane, interim associate laboratory director for Nuclear Science and Technology. "By making this comprehensive app available, we're able to save time and money for our own staff and more importantly, that of prospective research partners and industry representatives who need to know in real time if we've got the assets and abilities they're looking for to develop, test and prove their theses and technologies."

Taking the virtual tour is as simple as loading the free mobile app onto your smartphone or tablet from one of several locations. Currently, the app can be viewed from using a browser like Apple Safari or Google Chrome. The Google Chrome frame plug-in makes the app viewable on Internet Explorer as well.

A native Android app for tablets is available on the Android Market, while efforts continue on development of native Android smartphone and Apple iOS apps. A condensed version of the app is available in flipbook form at

The company that was instrumental in the development of this was ComDesigns of Idaho Falls. For company president Mike Hart's account of the work they did (and the work that goes on), go to

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Allegiant Air to start Idaho Falls-Oakland flights in April

Allegiant Travel Co., which currently runs non-stop flights between Idaho Falls and Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, has announced it will start service this spring between Idaho Falls and Oakland, Calif.

Company President Andrew Levy said Tuesday the flights will begin April 27. For the first few weeks, fares will start at $40.

“We're just thrilled to add another popular destination market with low-cost flights and inexpensive vacation package offerings to the residents of the Idaho Falls area,” Levy said.

Allegiant already offers service from Idaho Falls to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Nevada. It also offers deals on hotel rooms and rental cars.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Western Benefit Solutions opens office in Snake River Landing

Matt Hansen
Western Benefit Solutions is now in its permanent Idaho Falls office, at 950 Pier View Drive, Suite C, next to Liberty Mutual in Snake River Landing.

The Boise-based company is Idaho’s largest employee benefit consulting and brokerage firm, advising clients on how to manage health insurance costs.  The head of the Idaho Falls office is Matt Hansen, who before he joined WBS owned and managed Insight Financial, a company he helped found in 2003.

WBS is the state's largest broker in the public sector and the only brokerage firm with Idaho based, in-house legal and HR resources. Among the advantages it advertises are in-house health care reform experts, in-house underwriters, strong leverage in the marketplace and HIPAA compliance. For over five years, it has been ranked as one of the top 10 largest and most productive employee benefit brokerage firms in the United States by the trade publication Business Insurance.

The company's Web address is The phone number for the Idaho Falls office is (208) 542-1233

EIRMC officer receives appointment as ACHE regent

Sandee Moore
Sandee Moore, chief operations officer at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, has been appointed to the American College of Healthcare Executives' Council of Regents, its legislative body.

ACHE is an international professional society of more than 35,000 healthcare executives. As a member of the council, Moore represents Idaho healthcare organizations and their interests with the national ACHE organization. She was elected by her professional peers in the state.

Moore will take office March 17, during ACHE’s 55th Congress on Healthcare Leadership, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Moore has been at EIRMC since 2010. In addition to her duties as COO, she directly leads several departments, including medical imaging, pharmacy, laboratory, therapy services, plant operations, nutrition services and environmental services and EIRMC’s Behavioral Health Center. Before coming to Idaho Falls, she was associate administrator at Sunrise Medical Center, a 700-bed hospital in Las Vegas, Nev.

Born and raised in Caldwell, she earned her B.A. in 2003 from Idaho State University, where she still serves on the alumni board.  She later earned her M.A. from the University of Colorado, and was named the university’s Outstanding MBA Student and winner of the Health Programs Director’s Award.

She is also a board member of the Idaho Falls Domestic Violence Intervention Center.