I'll venture out for the first time today to see what deals are available at the local nurseries. I planted potatoes and have onions, garlic and asparagus waiting in the wings to be planted. I've been trying to decide what to tear out of the back yard to simplify a bit. Also, I'm looking forward to attending my first home-school high school graduation today. So the weekend will be full. Then, we'll see what happens with the school and hospital board races. Now for your weekend Wild Card …
First-timer Jacky Daughenbaugh rappels down the EverBank building with her sister Lori Liberatore (background) during the Over The Edge event to benefit the Boy Scouts of America today in downtown Jacksonville, Fla. The sisters rappelled together in honor of their father, John Daughenbaugh, who died last year. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Will Dickey)
Question: Would you do something like this to benefit a worthy cause?
Here's a little sample of an extensive story by colleague Scott Maben re: the Coeur d'Alene School Board races that'll be in Sunday's SR:
This week's closely watched school board election comes at a tumultuous time for the district and its 10,000 students. Teachers are incensed over a district proposal to slash their health care benefits to close a wide budget gap, and Superintendent Hazel Bauman is leaving after almost three decades with the district to oversee a Western Washington school district. The transition to Common Core has hit a bumpy stretch, with some school board members expressing reservations about the new academic standards a few months before they're scheduled to take effect. And some parents are still smarting over board votes last year to drop the International Baccalaureate and Primary Years Program at a pair of schools — decisions criticized for the motives as well as the delivery …
Watch for article in Sunday's SR …
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson speaks to reporters today in front of the federal building in Boise, following the initial arraignment hearing of Fazlidden Kurbanov. Kurbanov, an Uzbek national living in Idaho, was indicted on Thursday on terrorism-related charges. Speaking with help of an interpreter and his court-appointed defense attorney, Kurbanov, pleaded not guilty to three federal felony charges. (AP Photo/John Miller)
Time to Vote
Seven weeks old ring-tailed lemur twins take a ride on the back of their mother 'Lobatse' in the Zoo in Erfurt, Germany earlier today. You write the cutline (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Thursday Winner — Phaedrus: “Looking for Siegfried & Roy in all the wrong places.” You can see the Thursday Cutline Contest and all 13 entries here.
In his Cheers & Jeers column today, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives Jeers … to U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, who's still explaining a bad investment by his treasurer that cost his campaign $250,000:
“It took Crapo two years to learn about the transaction and another three to alert the Federal Election Commission. That Ball had control of the campaign checkbook was an anomaly. As a safeguard against abuse, a treasurer - even a team of treasurers - usually sign off on campaign transactions. Crapo explained: “This circumstance occurred during a period of transition between treasurers.” That's an artful political phrase worthy of Bill Clinton. But here's the curious thing: Boise CPA William Corbett remained Crapo's campaign treasurer of record when, on Oct. 14, 2008, he filed and affirmed as “true, correct and complete” an FEC campaign report covering the preceding three months. Nowhere did the report mention the $250,000 loan. Full Cheers & Jeers column here
Question: Has the DUI received by Sen. Crapo earlier this year and now the strange loss of $250,000 from his campaign warchest affected your view of him?
I received this mailer at home Thursday — the only piece of campaign literature that I've gotten in the Coeur d'Alene School Board/Kootenai Hospital Board elections this spring. However, I suppose, Coeur d'Alene School District mailboxes will be loaded with literature this weekend. Reagan Republican candidates are known for last-weekend campaign material strikes before Tuesday elections. If you get some material, email it to me at email@example.com. It'll be interesting to see how often the Reagan Republican candidates call their challengers “libruals” and “progressives” in the literature.
Question: Whose campaign literature have you gotten so far this spring?
After working a series of jobs that dried up, David Munson, 37, of Coeur d'Alene, returned to school to get his GED. Then, he enrolled in welding classes at North Idaho College. Today, he was one of about 400-500 NIC students to get their associate of arts degrees at ceremonies at the Coeur d'Alene campus. Munson told the NIC Press Room that he already has two job interviews lined up. The NIC Press room provides this story about Munson that was written a year ago. Click here.
Top Post: There’s no quicker way to lose a teenager’s interest than to bring up the subject of history. But say the words, “Graphic violence,” and suddenly they’re paying attention again. History is already filled with violence (seriously, take all the wars out of a history book and you’re left with a thin pamphlet). Now all you have to do is make it graphic, and you have a brilliant way of teaching history to kids. That’s the aim of a new book by Wayne Vansant, The Graphic History of Gettysburg. It’s an exciting, fast-paced telling of the landmark Civil War battle, told in comic book form. And, yes, it’s got guns and explosions and blood spraying everywhere. Just enough to keep kids tuned in like it’s an episode of The Walking Dead/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here. (Gettysburg cover: Zenith)
Other HBO blogosphere posts:
Huckleberries Online numbers (for Thursday, May 16): 9930 page-views/5171 unique views
Question: Would you have been more interested in history in school had it been presented in a graphically violent way?
On her Facebook wall, colleague Becky Nappi writes: “
Did people expect your marriage to last when you started out? How long has it lasted?
Earlier today, the Spokane Police Department announced that it was putting an officer on administrative leave as a result of allegations of misconduct. And the Spokane County Sheriff's Department announced that a deputy had been arrested on assault charges. This sort of stuff seems to go on regularly in Spokane law enforcement. But not so much in police agencies in Kootenai County. Which begs the question:
Question: Are police officers in Kootenai County better behaved than those in Spokane County? Or do police bosses in Kootenai County more skilled at quietly getting rid of bad apples?
On his Brent Regan Trustee Facebook wall, Trustee Regan says the Coeur d'Alene School Board is diverse and doesn't display a partisan balance. In part, he says:
The ONLY way you can claim the current Board is not diverse is if you put on partisan goggles that filter out everything but political affiliations. You must have a partisan perspective in order to claim there is a POTENTIAL for partisan behavior. But where is the evidence? Where is the proof that this Board has made ANY decision that advances one political party over the other? Where is this imagined party bias? You can read the rest of the post here.
Question: Why would/wouldn't you describe the Coeur d'Alene School Board as diverse? Can you point to any party bias in the board's dealing over the last 12 months?
A record number of graduates participated in commencement ceremonies at North Idaho College today. About 400 to 500 students participated in the graduation ceremonies. Some 1,100 were eligible to do so. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
DFO: I'll be attending one graduation this summer — that of Amy Dearest, who will be receiving a master's degree in family counseling from Portland State. How about you?
Question: How many — and what kind — of graduations will you attend this summer?
Ginno Construction Inc. of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was awarded the Sorensen Magnet School Remodel and Additions general construction project for $3,368,700 which is a base bid of $3,260,000 plus alternate bids 2 through 6 for $108,700. The Coeur d’Alene School District Board of Trustees awarded the project to Ginno during a special board meeting held at 12 noon today. The original construction budget for Sorensen was $3.6M. “I believe we are in a terrific fiscal condition,” stated Chief Operating Officer Wendell Wardell/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District. More here.
Former Idaho Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick has been hired by his former colleague Gabrielle Giffords’ to assist her effort to expand background checks on gun purchases. Minnick’s Washington, D.C., firm is Majority Group LLC, which he founded in 2011 after losing his first re-election bid to GOP challenger and now-Rep. Raul Labrador. Minnick and two others from Majority Group registered as lobbyists effective March 31 and filed their disclosure report April 12 as the Senate was preparing to vote on background checks, which were ultimately rejected. The filing is available on the Sunlight Foundation website. Minnick has had his differences with the NRA, getting a “D+” grade when he defeated Republican Bill Sali in 2008. Two years later, the NRA boosted his grade to a “B+,” while Labrador got an “A”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo, of Walt Minnick)
Question: Can't trust those dern Democrats with guns, can you?
It seems I offended a great number of people with last week’s column regarding my speeding ticket that a quick follow-up appears appropriate. First, as an update, I entered a plea of “not guilty” a few days ago. It seemed problematic for me to admit I violated Idaho Code 49-654(2)(E) for excessive speeding when that statute doesn’t exist. So I didn’t. Based on the comments, I know some people will be offended by my decision. Oh well. We all learn in fourth grade Civics that our system of government is comprised of three branches: legislative, judicial and executive. The legislative branch writes the law. The judiciary adjudicates the law and the executive carries out the law. The legislative process involves lawmakers agreeing on public policy and asking the executive branch to consent to those policy proposals by signing their legislation into law/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: I pleaded not guilty — and lost — to the only speeding ticket I ever received, when I was 18 years old. Have you ever fought a traffic violation?
Spokesman Keith Erickson of Lake City Development Corp. provides this report from recent LCDC board meeting:
So … what will the Coeur d’Alene area look like 20 years down the road—and what efforts can be made to ensure it remains a vibrant community? That’s what Visioning 2030 is all about. Officials are seeking financial assistance from the LCDC to help fund a study to plan for the community’s future. Advocates of the plan are seeking $15,000 in funding from the LCDC to shoulder the costs of a consultant to devise a plan. The process will weigh strongly on community participation, support and input, city attorney and project advocate Mike Gridley told the board. “What we want to determine is, ‘what do we need to do today to get long-term goals in place to make the community as healthy as it can be in the future’” Gridley said. He emphasized that this study would not be a “dust-gathering” report away , but a working document to help community leaders shape future growth in a structured and beneficial way. “The plan is to establish goals, assign tasks and make it happen. Ultimately, there will be assigned responsibilities that will be followed up on. This will provide a road map to follow future growth that benefits the whole community,” Gridley told the board.
Question: Is this a project that should get LCDC money?
Question: Does “conservative” mean anything today archconservative Kootenai County today?
Sheila Sutton updates the Powerball prize money sign at the Super C convenience store in Lincoln, Neb., today. Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize. Sutton sold a million dollar powerball ticket on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Question: How much money have you spent on the current Powerball lottery, so far?