How Idaho is Becoming California
I don't know if I'd describe my warnings to you as Chicken Little or Paul Revere. For years, I've warned of Idaho becoming California. Today, I officially declare we are well on our way to becoming the Golden State.
Years ago, Idaho was one of the best-kept secrets in the world. Our area was known for low stress, zero traffic, and affordable homes. Those days are gone for good thanks to unregulated growth, an overtaxed grid, and a water shortage.
Let's look at the recent evidence that backs up my claim that Idaho is now a bedroom community to California. Despite moving to the Gem State, many Californians refuse to get their license plates changed. The cascade of excuses begins with how much they paid for their plates, and they'd like to use them before they expire. These folks are the ones who then brag about how much money they have from selling their shacks in California to buy an Idaho mansion. You can't have it both ways, and if you genuinely want to be here, you'd show it by going to the DMV. FYI new residents have 90 days to get their plates changed.
Remember when the California rolling blackouts were new and disturbing? For the first time in recent years, Idaho Power warned its customers to conserve their energy consumption. The reason for the warning/suggestion? The power company says the record amount of heat and the continued growth have stretched our grid to unprecedented levels. You can read that story here. Could we see rolling blackouts or a loss of power because we've followed the example of California and not managed our growth correctly?
For years, the Golden State has fought water shortages. Now, our water company Suez says it's time to conserve our water. You can read that story here. The water company blames the two usual suspects of record heat and growth. However, shouldn't someone have planned for the record amount of houses that have been built in the last five years? Idaho is a state that has succeeded because of incredible water management. Our world-class irrigation system allows our desert climate to feed the world in potatoes, sugar beets, and dairy. Now the design of aquifers and irrigation are stretched to the limit. By the way, have we had a comment from any of our public officials on these two companies saying we have a power and water shortage? What are they waiting for, an invitation?
There is no comparison between traffic in Idaho and California. The quality of life in the Golden State diminished due to excessive congestion. Does that sound familiar? Remember when we use to laugh at the radio traffic reports? Today traffic is a big issue and not just on Eagle Road. Our roads have not kept up with thousands of new neighborhoods built in the last few years. If serious infrastructure reform doesn't happen soon, we'll be saying 'welcome to the 405.'
If California were so great, we wouldn't have so many Californians moving to Idaho. Let's make sure that we continue to preserve our Gem State Identity and not become another California suburb.