I'm more than a little surprised that no candidate or his ground troops came to my door looking for my vote this weekend. The only mailing that I received was from Zone 1 candidate Tom Hearn. I was expecting a last-minute mailing from someone. All I received on Saturday was my weekly Sports Illustrated a day late. I see Mary Souza is bellyaching about an 11th-hour mailing by Balance North Idaho. So some of you received literature over the weekend. One day to go before we head to the polls to see whether the Reagan Republicans expand their political sphere of archconservatism. Or whether Balance North Idaho protected the shire. Here's today's Wild Card …
Tejay Van Garderen gets kissed on the podium after winning the Tour of California cycling race in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
TGIF Winner — Photoguy: “These cutlines are getting lemur and lemur by the minute.” You can see TGIF photo + all 9 cutline entries here.
At OpenCdA.com, Mary Souza is upset by a recent mailing by the Balance North Idaho group: “The Balance North Idaho group has sent out a letter filled with twisted, manipulative information that amounts to nothing but campaign trickery. And they’ve done it at the very end of the school board campaign, when there’s no time left to respond by mass media before the election Tuesday. Who is this new Balance North Idaho? Their web site shows the small Board of Directors includes Sara Meyer and Eden Irgens, who were so active against a Public Vote on McEuen and against the Recall. Also on their Board is Mic Armon, the former NIC Trustee who was against a public bond vote on the $10 million dollar Mill site land purchase.” You can read the rest of Mary's complaint here.
“Where have you gone ?” Hum these lines to the tune of the Simon and Garfunkel song that became the theme music to that '60s classic movie, “The Graduate”: “Where have you gone Junketing Jim?/Idaho turns its needy eyes to you?What's that you say, Junketing Jim?/Hard workers have up and gone away./So those that stay might as well play?/Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey hey.” That, my friends, is essentially what Idaho's junior senator, Jim Risch, told Idaho Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey in a story that appeared May 6. Because nothing gets done in the nation's capital and everything is stalemated, a senator may as well sit back, not work hard, enjoy international travel and coast along/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Do you think U.S. Sen. Jim Risch is working hard for Idaho interests?
Overheard across the back fence: “Yard sales are hell.” I hear you, neighbor. I know plenty of people who have been cleaning out their closets and garages for months now, bemoaning the fact that, “I've got to get rid of some of this junk.”Even the realization that a person can make money on old castoffs - say, 25 cents for a pair of jeans that cost you $80 brand new - is small consolation. We approach getting ready for the annual yard sale with the same enthusiasm we have for getting a colonoscopy. And, when you think about it, there are some similarities between yard sales and colonoscopies. In both cases you're getting rid of a bunch of crap/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Would you compare a yard sale to a colonoscopy?
A funny thing happened to Silver Valley residents on their way to a decision on whether or not they want an Urban Renewal Agency (URA) in their county. They've heard from their neighbors to the west, including two elected officials angry over Coeur d'Alene's agency and its investment in McEuen Field. The newest change to urban renewal law requires approval from local residents before their elected officials can form a URA. Previously, in over four dozen cities and at least one county, those officials needed only proof of deterioration within their boundaries to authorize the URA and appoint its members. As a result of the law change, Shoshone County Commissioners have scheduled a vote on the issue for this Tuesday. What they could never have imagined was the interference of residents outside the Valley, but that is exactly what has happened/John Austin, Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed article. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo: Rep. Kathy Sims)
Question: Should state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin be trying to export their anti-urban renewal philosophy to the economically depressed Silver Valley?
Brent Regan’s yard signs identify him as a Republican. His challenger, Christa Hazel, has “common sense conservative” on hers. Political persuasion is on full display in the race to sit on the Coeur d’Alene School Board, even though the ballots make no reference to party. It’s one in a series of election showdowns here forming a politically charged battleground for offices long seen as strictly nonpartisan. Ever a conservative stronghold, Kootenai County looks to be swinging even further to the right with a wave of party faithful targeting city councils, school boards, the Kootenai Hospital District board and even lowly highway districts. Firing the salvos is the Reagan Republicans, a group that formed in 2009 with a clear focus in mind: Make elected Democrats and moderates as rare as the giant Palouse earthworm/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Brent Regan’s election sign adorns the front yard of a home in Hayden)
Question: So which side did better in promoting its candidates during the School Board/hospital board campaigns — Reagan Republicans or Balance North Idaho?
Not to frighten any of you, but I predict the entire region will soon be clobbered by a tsunami-sized crime wave. And all because of what’s been going on at Airway Heights Correctional Center, the horndog hoosegow of Eastern Washington. Mark my words. Criminals will be getting themselves purposely arrested so they can get in on some of that Airway action, and who can blame them? For the second time this spring, one of the prison’s female staff members has been accused of having carnal relations with an inmate. So much for prison as a deterrent/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Huckleberries can't figure out why prison staffers would get entangled with prisonsers. Can you?
On Tuesday, we’ll learn whether Kootenai County archconservatives who call themselves “Republicans” for politics’ sake will keep total control of the Coeur d’Alene School Board. And establish beachheads on the Post Falls School Board and Kootenai Hospital Board. The end game for the ideological radicals is the overthrow of the Coeur d’Alene City Council this fall. How did the uber-cons annex the GOP Central Committee and Kootenai County politics? Reporter Sierra Crane-Murdoch connects the dots in the new issue of High Country News in her article, “How right-wing emigrants conquered North Idaho.” That’s right – Far Right – operatives have migrated from California (Tina Jacobson, John Cross, Dan Gookin and Bob Pedersen), from Washington state (Ron Lahr and former congressman George Nethercutt aide Jeff Ward) and from elsewhere to grab power in the Coeur d’Alene area. All six mentioned above are included in Crane-Murdoch’s extensive article, which traces the archconservative invasion back to the late Ron Rankin, the father of Idaho’s anti-property tax movement who moved his family from Southern California to Coeur d’Alene in the mid-’60s/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
Question: Why have relative newcomers made such an impact on Kootenai County politics?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)
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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?