I don't know why, but I decided to re-read Ian Fleming's James Bond series in the order that he wrote the books — “Casino Royale,” “Live & Let Die,” “Moonraker,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” and now “From Russia with Love.” Bond is evolving into the ruthless Daniel Craig killer as I move my way through the books. He's survived so far because he has been lucky. No tricky gadgets have cropped up yet. I suspect “From Russia with Love” will advance the character quite a bit. He needs to cut back on smokes though (about 70 per day). Have you ever re-read a series? With that thought, I'll post today's Wild Card …
I have about 20 tickets left for free entry to the North Idaho Fair tomorrow, Thursday. I'll give them out on a first come, first serve basis, 2-4 to a customer. But you'll have to come to the SR's Coeur d'Alene bureau to pick them up before 5 p.m. today. You'll need to send me an email to arrange pickup because the front door of the office is locked. Or call 765-7125 when you get here.
Moscow, home of the University of Idaho, has been selected as one of the Top 10 college towns for 2014 for the USA by Livability. By way of explanation, Livability writes of Moscow: “Visible from just about any part of Moscow, Idaho, are high mountains, lush forests and crystal clear streams that endlessly tempt residents of this college town to engage in outdoor adventures. These amazing natural amenities can be especially distracting to students at the University of Idaho who must hit the books before they hit the backcountry. The city serves as a gateway to camping, fishing, mountain biking, snowmobiling and skiing.” More here.
Question: Do you consider the town where you attended college to be a decent one?
Teddy Roosevelt’s only daughter, Alice, was one of the great characters of the nation’s capitol for most of the 20th Century. She knew everyone, married the Speaker of the House, Nicholas Longworth, and had a long and passionate affair with Sen. William Borah of Idaho, who was likely the father of her only child. The outspoken Alice widely and freely shared her deliciously candid opinions about politics and people with anyone and everyone. The embroidered pillow in her living room said: “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me.” Alice famously said of President Warren Harding, who she knew well and was perhaps our worst president, that he “was not a bad man. He was just a slob,” which reminds me of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. To paraphrase Alice Roosevelt Longworth: “Rick Perry may not be a bad man, but he really isn’t a very smart one”/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here. (Booking Photo, of Rick Perry)
Question: Any thoughts re: the arrest of former Texas governor Rick Perry?
“Earlier this week,” writes Kevin Richert/IdahoED NEWS, “I reported on the results from Idaho’s April 'SAT Day.' The takeaways: Overall, scores increased slightly on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, but Idaho has a long way to go to meet the SAT “college-ready” benchmark. Let’s drill down a little deeper into the College Board numbers (full report here):
Most average school — Lake City High:
Lake City’s 289 juniors averaged 464 on the reading SAT, 461 on math and 438 on writing. Those averages — and the total score of 1,363 — are identical to the statewide average, posted by 16,579 juniors across Idaho.
University of Idaho grad student Trea LaCroix takes water samples from Fernan Creek on Aug. 5. The samples are part of a study to figure out what can be done to prevent blue-green algae outbreaks. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
A bird takes flight as Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jeff Beliveau delivers to the Detroit Tigers during the 11th inning of a baseball game Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tuesday Winner — Eman, with 7 likes: “After years of training by her father, Cami launches a 'one cheek sneak' to ward off a stray varmint.” You can see Tuesday Photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.
From Post Falls Police Department Facebook: “Complainant reports receiving collection notices from a company that works for Verizon. They advised the account was opened 2 yrs ago and they haven't received payments. Turns out someone used the complainant's identity to open an account. A fraud report was taken.”
President Obama delivered an angry condemnation Wednesday of the Islamic militant group believed to be behind the beheading of an American journalist, labeling the group a cancer and calling on Muslims around the world to reject its brand of “hateful terrorism.” “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents,” Obama said. “No just god would stand for what they did.” The president said he had spoken with the family of the journalist, James Foley, and expressed his support. “Jim was taken in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world,” Obama said. “We are all heartbroken at their loss”/Los Angeles Times. More here.
Question: How should the US react?
Former Congressman George V. Hansen used up all his nine political lives and, given the chance, he would have burned through one or two more. He was capable of charming and embarrassing the same people — which he did for the better part of two decades. By the time he died Thursday at age 83, he'd been off the public stage longer than he'd been on it — and anyone younger than 50 couldn't tell you what all the fanfare was about. What it was about, of course, was one of the most gifted — and flawed — politicians ever to climb out of the back roads of eastern Idaho. As a pitchman, he had no equal. Anyone who watched Hansen work his magic during a campaign would have to concede that Idaho's best politicians — former Gov. Cecil Andrus or the current occupant of that office, C.L. (Butch) Otter — could no more than match him and then only on their best days/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Did anyone out there meet George Hansen?
St. Louis is my hometown. Before this month, my explanations of this place were that it's very flat in Missouri and I wouldn't quite call it “back East.” But now, St. Louis is tear gas and police armed in riot gear, according to the national media. Since the death by a police officer of Michael Brown Aug. 9 in the North County suburb of Ferguson, groups of people have gathered to protest police handling of the case and race relations in general.I can't bear to look, but I can't bear to look away either. And in looking, I am also criticizing — this is not what St. Louis is like at all. My grandmother said the tensions now exploding have been building for generations and date back to the Civil War era. St. Louis is still one of the most segregated cities in the country/Chelsea Embree, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Anyone been to Ferguson?
It was always the same for Bonnie Dubinin, that exquisite feeling she got when the lake first came into view. She’d see that long stretch of blue surrounded by green trees and think of the days to come. There would be swimming and fishing and berry picking, and quiet nights telling ghost stories while the campfire burned low. Her grandfather leased the property from the state of Idaho in 1928. It’s one of 354 Priest Lake “cottage sites” that generate revenue for public schools and other state endowment beneficiaries. But the way lease rates are rising, Dubinin and her extended family aren’t sure how much longer they’ll be able to keep the cabin. The prospect of losing it was a distant possibility at first, but now it’s something they measure in terms of weeks. Barring a miracle, it will happen before the end of this year/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo by Steve Hanks: Rosemary Hendrickson, 90, has been spending her summer vacations at Priest Lake for the past 86 years)
Question: Are you bothered that ordinary people are being priced out of long-time lake cabin sites?
Idaho's wildlife license plates raise money for non-game wildlife conservation.
First the state bird, then an elk, and a trout. These iconic Idaho species are featured on the state's wildlife specialty license plates that can be seen on the front and rear bumpers of thousands of vehicles in Idaho in license plate program that raises money for wildlife conservation. Funding from sales of these plates is earmarked for managing wildlife that are not hunted, fished or trapped—more than 10,000 species or 98 percent of Idaho’s species diversity/Rich Landers, Outdoors. More here.
Question: Do you have a specialty license plate? Which one?
Item: Ruling ties up Hitching Post: Same-sex marriage decision could prompt owners to sell business/Keith Cousins, Press
More Info: Don and Lynn Knapp have owned the Hitching Post for more than 25 years and call it a very special place. However, an upcoming decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco regarding the constitutionality of Idaho's ban of same-sex marriage has the couple at a crossroad. “We are thinking about selling but haven't really made a firm decision one way or another,” Don told The Press Tuesday. “I truly believe that God's position is that marriage is between a man and a woman and that to do ceremonies for people of the same sex would be violating God's law. As a minister, I could never do that.”
Question: Have you been to a wedding at the Hitching Post?
It's here. The North Idaho Fair and Rodeo opens today, marking the high point of the summer, if not the year, for climatologist Cliff Harris. And you know that when Cliff is happy, everybody's happy, because it's darn near a guarantee of decent weather. Happiness is what fairs are all about. Whether it's the delicious food, fascinating displays, gut-wrenching rides or top-drawer entertainment, the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo brings together regional residents from all walks of life, puts them all on exactly the same level and sends 'em back home with smiles on their faces if maybe unsettled stomachs. While he by no means has done it all alone, Dane Dugan, the fair's general manager, has taken a pretty good fair and made it even better in short order. Dugan started work in October 2012, so this rendition of the fair will be only his second. But it promises to be as special as Kootenai County's 150th birthday - which happens to be on tap for celebrating today at the fair/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Which day do you plan to go to the fair?
Huckleberry, our 13-inch Beagle, turns 1 today. She's stubborn & does her own thing despite our efforts to domesticate her. She was house broke early and comes most of the time when you call her. Everything else is up for negotiation despite our best efforts to domesticate her. I'm happy that she doesn't pee in the house, especially with the new carpet and furniture. All good. Now for today's Wild Card …
In his Outdoors blog, Rich Landers posts about this photo: “Vickie Garner Sienknecht said she's not much for poetry — shunning my request for submissions of Huckleberry Haiku — but this photo from last weekend, she says, clearly indicates how much she loves her huckleberries.” More here. (Photo: Vickie Garnder Sienknecht)