Is there a week that goes by that Coeur d'Alene/Kootenai County aren't making news beyond our borders? Arfee. Burrito arrest. Hitching Post. What's next? You'll know moments after I do. Now for today's Wild Card …
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, takes her seat a State Carriage for the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace as part of the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London Tuesday. Singapore's President began the first full day of engagements in the first state visit by a Singaporean president to Britain. (AP Photo/Leon Neal, Pool)
Top Comment — Joker (RE: Arfee owner sues city for $350,000): Arfee's lawyers are going to make the city sit up, beg, go fetch and ultimately rollover.
Top Commented Stories: SR: Idaho needs a new leader (36 comments), and: Ybarra dismisses controversies (28 comments), and: Update: Emails bombard City Hall (17 comments), and: Arfee owner sues city for $350,000 (14 comments).
City of Coeur d'Alene issued this response via Facebook to the thousands of emails received today re: Hitching Post controversy:
The city of Coeur d’Alene has been contacted by a huge volume of people inquiring about our anti-discrimination ordinance, passed in 2013 by the City Council. These contacts have been a reaction to a lawsuit filed by the owners of a local marriage chapel, the Hitching Post, which claims the city has taken inappropriate action against their business for their decision to not perform same-sex marriages. In fact, the city has received no complaints about the Hitching Post and we have never threatened them. If we did get a complaint we would investigate it like any other complaint to determine if there is a legitimate violation of a city code. If we investigate it and determine that they fall within our exemption for religious corporations, we would not pursue it further because they would be exempt. At this point the city is reviewing the complaint and hopes to more fully respond to the allegations as quickly as possible. (SR file photo)
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff flashes a hand gesture during a rally for her re-election campaign in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Monday Winner — Psalm 37, with 13 likes: “Evel Knievel's family tree,” and Runnerup — EddieTorreal w/11 likes: “Due to severe funding cutbacks, the Indian air force has had to revamp their strategic air command.” You can see Monday Photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.
“This is for my granddaughter Cali,” said Sue Trindle as she worked on Halloween decorations in the front yard of her home in Coeur d'Alene Tuesday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
I really like this playful shot of Idaho First Lady, Lori Otter, taken during the Idaho Republican Bus Tour of North Idaho Friday, by Duane Rasmussen. If Lori Otter was running for re-election as First Lady of Idaho, she'd have my vote.
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Oct. 20): 7518 page-views/4580 unique views
The Idaho Board of Health & Welfare met today, and unanimously approved updates to the state’s marriage license certificates, including giving both applicants for a license the option to identify themselves as “bride,” “groom” or “partner.” The form also collects information on the gender of each applicant. “Costs to implement the change are minimal,” the board said in a news release today/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced today that he's filing a petition with the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for an en banc re-hearing of Idaho's same-sex marriage case. “I will continue defending Idahoans’ self-determination and the will of Idaho voters who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our society,” Otter said in a statement; click below for his full statement. He said his office will file the petition later today. An en banc review at the 9th Circuit, because the circuit is so large, would mean that a larger 11-judge panel would re-hear the case, after a three-judge panel made the decision earlier. In smaller circuits, an en banc review is a rehearing by the full court/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
A Bellingham attorney representing the owner of a dog shot and killed by a Coeur d’Alene police officer earlier this year will seek $350,000 in a lawsuit against the city. Adam Karp, who is representing Craig Jones, notified the city of the suit today. Karp named the city, the police department and Officer David Kelley, who shot the-old Labrador, Arfee, in a van parked outside a downtown coffee shop July 9. A city review board found that the shooting violated department policy for use of deadly force. The suit alleges that the shooting amounted to reckless or negligent property destruction, failure to train or supervise, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress. It also cites constitutional claims, such as unlawful seizure of property/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Photo of Arfee from owner Craig Jones)
Marci Glass, minister of the Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise, offers a different perspective on the Hitching Post controversy. In her Glass Overflowing blog, she writes:
Donald and Lynn Knapp are licensed ministers in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Which is great and all. They also own a wedding business in City of Coeur D’Alene that illustrates how sacred marriage is by removing it from the church and putting it in a for-profit business called “The Hitching Post”. They claim to have married “roughly 35,000 couples” which indicates how discerning they are in making sure the couples they marry are really ready to enter into this life long covenant. More here.
On her Slight Detour blog, Marianne Love posts: :Mother Nature handed us a beauty (Sunday). My sisters, their pups, Willie and I took advantage and took our cameras to the aspen grove up Rapid Lightning Creek Road. At long last, the color has come, and it IS indescribably beautiful.” More photos here.
IdahoED NEWS offers opposing opinions re: which top gubernatorial candidate offers best hope for Idaho education:
Question: Which major guv candidate would do a better job handling Idaho education?
Fox News has picked up the Hitching Post controversy, in a story entitled: “City threatens to arrest ministers who refuse to perform same-sex weddings.” The story includes this information: “Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to a $1,000 fine, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene. “Right now they are at risk of being prosecuted,” their ADF attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, told me. “The threat of enforcement is more than just credible.” This link includes a video interview about this issue, with Todd Starnes, author of “Godless America.”
While we're braced for a possible battle royal re: the Hitching Post's refusal to officiate for gay marriages, there's a firestorm going on in Texas over a demand made by Houston Mayor Annise Parker to five pastors. The Washington Post explains: “Evangelical leaders are angry after city officials in Houston subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose an equal rights ordinance that provides protections to the LGBT community. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who drew headlines for becoming the first openly lesbian mayor of a major American city, led support for the ordinance. The measure bans anti-gay discrimination among businesses that serve the public, private employers, in housing and in city employment and city contracting.” More here.
DFO: This story is being mentioned in religious conservative circles, along with the Hitching Post controversy. Thoughts?
A fundamentalist Christian organization in Mississippi has spearheaded a protest of Coeur d’Alene’s anti-discrimination ordinance, resulting in thousands of emails and phone calls today to the mayor and to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s office. The American Family Association put an “action alert” on its website claiming that the city “is threatening two ordained Christian ministers with arrest if they refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.” Mayor Steve Widmyer said he had received more than 2,500 identical emails since early this morning, and that his office has been inundated with phone calls as well. Otter’s office said it had received about 5,000 emails and 300 phone calls opposing the city’s ordinance, which was amended last year to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Seahawk fan Cindy Hval visited Seattle recently to investigate that mysterious sucking sound coming from CenturyLink stadium. In the process, she visited the Experience Music Project museum, where they have an extensive Seahawk exhibit, including an outline of QB Russell Wilson's hand. As you can see, Cindy's paw's not quite as big.
Question: Are your hands small, average size?
The Idaho Democratic Party is criticizing Gov. Butch Otter and other Republican leaders for sending out letters asking lobbyists for campaign donations to seven legislative races, the AP reports, including one in which the GOP candidate’s criminal record for domestic violence was revealed early in the campaign. “If we hope to sustain our majority in the House, or even increase it, we must take action now to help these seven candidates with their legislative races,” Otter wrote in the letter. The seven include first-time Republican candidate Greg Chaney of Caldwell (pictured), who was charged with domestic battery in 2009 after being accused of shoving his then-wife. Police also reported he threatened to kill himself in front of his family/Betsy Russell, SR. More here. (Photo: Greg Chaney for Idaho House 10B Web site)
Question: Is this a legitimate complaint from Idaho Democrats?