I didn’t expect to be here.
I just got promoted to managing editor earlier this year, and was in the process of making the difficult transition from Writing About Stuff to Editing What Other People Write About Stuff.
(I didn’t always succeed. See p. 1.)
But then editor Kim Burgess left to take a new position, and I stepped in as interim editor to fill in until a new editor can be hired.
This isn’t unusual in Idaho businesses right now. Between people catching COVID-19, being quarantined due to COVID-19 or having to deal with the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, a lot of us are finding ourselves doing different things right now from what we’re used to.
And, you know, we’re managing, just like everyone else. The interesting thing about the whole COVID-19 situation is how it’s forced us all to be more versatile and flexible, and think outside the box. Can’t have events? What are some other ways that people can get together? Can’t go into the office? What do staffers need to be able to work at home?
(At Idaho Business Review, we’re ahead of the curve. We’ve had a virtual office, with most staffers working out of their homes, for several years now.)
Our versatile and very busy staff writer Catie Clark, our intrepid freelance writer Alx Stevens (formerly with the Idaho Press) and I will be holding down the fort.
So those of you who like puns in your headlines, science fiction references in the articles and nerdy analysis are in luck, because there’s nobody to stop us now. (Not that Kim did much of that anyway; she was a tolerant editor, which are not usually words that go together.)
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
(See, there’s one now.)
That said, what will you be seeing in the paper this week?
- Each week we feature a Focus section that lets us go into depth on a particular topic. This week’s topic is health care, something that’s certainly been top of mind for all of us this year. So for those of you who missed our Breakfast Series earlier in the month, featuring business leaders from a number of major Idaho health care providers, you can read a summary of the panel, as well as a commentary from Drew Hobby, a senior vice president from Blue Cross of Idaho. (Want to watch the whole panel? It’s available at https://idahobusinessreview.com/breakfast-series/.)
- We also have a piece in the Focus section by Catie, part article and part commentary, about her observations of the impact of COVID-19 as she drives cross-country.
- Each week we also feature a one-on-one interview with one of the movers and shakers in Idaho. This week’s is with developer Scott Schoenherr and how he’s changing the face of the 11th & Idaho intersection.
- Catie — who has done a great job covering the flood of health care news we’ve had this year — also wrote about how Idaho is staying in Stage 4, again, and the impact the pandemic has had on various Idaho job sectors. And because she covers development as well, she also wrote about the Building Owners and Managers Association session on the Ada County Highway District, as well as a piece about what Kootenai County is doing to improve its roads — just a reminder that we are the Idaho Business Review and we cover the whole state.
- A very detailed commentary from Coni Rathbone and Jason Powell, attorneys at Dunn Carney LLP, on how to use “finders” to help small businesses raise capital. It’s an example of the kind of actionable information we like to provide. (And we’re always looking for commentaries. If you’ve got a business issue you want to submit a commentary about, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Our cover article, with the beautiful photos of the broadband tower installation in Bliss, is about how a number of Idaho regions, ranging from Payette to Pocatello and everywhere in-between, are taking advantage of new technologies and new funding — like the broadband grants from the state of Idaho, paid for by the federal government out of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — to provide high-speed internet to areas that don’t currently have it. One of the silver linings in the whole COVID-19 situation is how much extra funding it’s brought to Idaho. And it gave us another great opportunity to get outside of the Treasure Valley.
- And this. I hope to be writing a “letter from the editor” each week, highlighting the stories in the paper, what’s going on with us and how it relates to the larger Idaho situation.
When your business has news, we hope you’ll tell us about it, whether it’s a new company, a new office or new staff members. And if there’s issues you want us to look into, let us know.