Idaho Matters


Idaho Matters is the place on-air and online where folks with different views can talk with each other, exchange ideas, debate with respect and come away richer from the experience. 

We hope you'll engage with us! The best way to do that is by sending us a radio quality message using our free Boise State Public Radio app, available on Apple and Android devices. Tap the "Talk To Us" feature on the dropdown menu and send us your question, comment or story idea. 

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James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Legislature is ramping up as bills begin getting approved by both chambers. Higher education budgets are on the docket next week at the statehouse, a discussion over vouchers for private schools continues and a Republican lawmaker is pushing for driver privledges for undocumented immigrants. Idaho Matters gets the rundown on these topics and more on this week's Reporter Roundtable. 

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

How do tacos sound for dinner? If you’re looking for a new taco truck or taqueria suggestion to shake up your pandemic routine this weekend, we have some ideas for you.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo


Many renters in Idaho are facing a challenging financial future, after a devastating year. While businesses shed jobs and cut hours as the government struggled to get safety net systems in place, these folks faced tough questions. Questions like “what’s more important to spend my limited money on: my rent, my utility bill or groceries?” 

Opera Idaho


You may know Cecilia Violetta López as a celebrated soprano, as well as being named one of opera’s 25 rising stars by Opera News. Or you’ve seen her perform in Opera Idaho Productions for the last six plus years.


For the past year, we have talked so much about science and biology. And for good reason: as a pandemic has rocked the planet. So, can you imagine what it's like to take a biology class in 2021, in the shadow of this biological crisis? 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The State of Idaho announced a proof of residency requirement for folks who are eligible for the vaccine, more than 500,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, variants first identified in South Africa and the U.K. have now been confirmed in Idaho, and the FDA is preparing to authorize the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We cover all these topics — and answer your questions about the coronavirus. 

Idaho State Historic Preservation Office

Idaho has a dark history of white supremacy, a history that tragically still shows up in our story today.

But just as importantly, the state is also home to a resilient and proud community of Black and African American Idahoans. For some, their history in this majority white state goes back generations.

David A Mitchell / Flickr Creative Commons

This interview originally aired Nov. 30, 2020

America’s bird population is in decline. Some studies show that as much as 30% of the population across species has been lost. So, what is to blame for this shocking loss of birds?

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman


Idaho’s growing Latino population has a rich culture of arts and history. In honor of that culture, the Idaho State Museum is hosting a series of virtual events — all in Spanish. The series — called “Nuestras Voces” (our voices in English) began during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to connect Spanish-speaking Idahoans with their history in our state. 

Housing, Construction, Sold Sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Another week in Idaho politics and news means there's plenty to cover on the Idaho Matters Reporter Roundtable. From legislative fights to explosive growth, housing and development in the Treasure Valley, plus education and COVID-19, there's plenty to cover. 

Limelight Hotel / via Facebook


The journey of Rowan Jones is not unlike a lot of young Americans with an eye to the future. He had big plans for college at the beginning of 2020: the Virginia native was on his way to achieving some of his dreams of attending school in Shanghai. And then, the pandemic hit.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo


After decades of funding efforts to try and help Idaho sockeye salmon survive the trek through four dams in Washington, one Idaho congressman says it’s time to change the game altogether

Travis Brown / Idaho Department of Fish and Game via AP


After Rep. Mike Simpson announced a proposal earlier this month to tear down four dams in Washington in an effort to save native salmon in the Pacific Northwest, responses have varied. Can the Republican congressman gain enough support from the public, and from his colleagues in D.C. to push this through Congress? 

Evan Agostini / AP Photo


As Friday approaches, you may be wondering: "what should we watch at home this weekend?" While COVID-19 continues to make streaming services a safer and more convenient choice for many people, Idaho Matters checked in with our resident film critic and our Morning Edition host George Prentice.

Office of the Governor

Governor Brad Little says nearly one-third of Idaho seniors have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. But even as more vaccine has become available through retail pharmacies, demand is far outpacing supply.

Today, our panel of medical experts share the best ways to get an appointment for the vaccine once eligible, and answer more of your health questions.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo


Over the weekend, the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump on the charge he incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building, capping a weeklong impeachment trial that was fueled by efforts to hold on to the White House after losing the election. Both Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted in favor of aquittal, joining the majority of their Republican colleagues.

via Facebook


Boise’s Interfaith Sanctuary is looking for a new home for people experiencing homelessness. Shelter Executive Director Jodi Peterson Stigers believes they’ve found one: the former Salvation Army Thrift Store and food pantry in the 4300 block of West State Street. Idaho Matters spoke with Peterson Stigers last month; listen back to that interview here.

mental health, in crisis
Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


Child abuse, neglect and growing up in a seriously dysfunctional household are all adverse childhood experiences or ACES for short. And if these experiences are ignored, unresolved or left untreated these experiences can create childhood trauma and toxic stress that can create lifelong mental and physical health issues.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

On this week's Idaho Matters Reporter Roundtable: what vaccine data is available in the state — and what's missing, how lawmakers are trying to pass a guns-in-school bill, the latest on the Central District Health Department's new board members, and a look at the Oath Keepers militia born in the Mountain West. 

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo


Each year for the past six years, Boise State University has conducted a survey asking Idahoans what matters to them, and how they want state resources to be used. This year's new survey dug into the topic that’s dominated our lives for the last 11 months: COVID-19.