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Focus

Treasure Valley real estate trends are climbing (access required)

Real estate trends are painting an optimistic picture in the Treasure Valley. Recent changes to a federal refinance program helped boost Treasure Valley mortgage refinances more than 300 percent year-over-year in July, according to Pioneer Title Co.’s PTC Index. Overall, ...

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Wood construction materials are traditional and green (access required)

Science fiction often imagines futuristic dwellings of plastic and steel, but many of today’s advanced, environmentally friendly homes are being built with something more familiar: wood. The idea of wood as a renewable resource is not new to many in ...

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Environmental consultants can uncover property problems before purchase (access required)

When purchasing land for investment or development, buyers and lenders evaluate its potential for profit. But there’s another important potential to evaluate: the potential for liability. Landowners may run into several obstacles that put them at risk. Old fuel storage ...

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Patent law changes are on the horizon (access required)

Big changes to U.S. patent law take effect in September and March. While the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 is intended to simplify patent law, some of its provisions may put smaller entities at a disadvantage. Idaho patent holders ...

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Centenarian building upkeep is an art and a science (access required)

There are nine historic preservation districts in the City of Boise, but even outside those districts, there are many turn-of-the-century buildings that need a little extra care to stay in good condition. The Masonic Temple at 10th and Bannock is ...

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Great workplaces rely on management, camaraderie and passion for the job (access required)

Idaho topped a list of business-friendly states this year in a Thumbtack.com survey, and now two Idaho companies have earned kudos from Outside Magazine for being friendly to employees. Drake Cooper, an advertising firm in Boise, and Smith Optics, the ...

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Bonding agents recommend fidelity bonds (access required)

Fidelity (or dishonesty) bonding is one type of commercial bonding that can benefit almost any type of business, according to Jim Miller of Premier Insurance in Boise. He also said it’s one of the most undersold types of bonding. “Unfortunately, ...

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Bonding is a complex task for contractors (access required)

Government construction projects can mean serious cash. In 2011, contractors completed some big projects in Idaho, including the $15 million Hugh Nichols Public Safety Building in Nampa and the nearly $30 million Boise State University Micron Business and Economics Building. ...

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Banking industry decries credit union legislation (access required)

A proposed amendment to a 1998 bill regulating credit unions has the credit union and banking industries at odds. Credit unions that have continued making business loans through the recession are backing S. 2231, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act ...

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