I moments away from a three-day Memorial weekend break. You're probably ready for one, too — after the wild week we had with the local elections on Tuesday and then fallout from them for the remainder of the week. It'll be challenging to keep you entertained in the coming weeks sans fodder from campaigns and elections to fill the insatiable maw of the Huckleberries Online beast. I'll worry about that next week, however. For now, I'll re-post the Wild Card …
Kiersten Kerr, coach of the two-time champion Coeur d'Alene High Skeet & Trap Team, explains the photo and poster by Bruce Twitchell above: “We did just win state and our kids are very excited about it. The competition was in Boise on May 17th and 18th. There were 9 teams and 68 kids competing on teams from around the state. Our kids won first place overall, as well as first place in skeet, trap and sporting clays. We are very proud of them and look forward to next year. This our second state title (we won last year as well). The team was formed at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.” Kiersten coaches the team with Bill White. (Click on photo to enlarge)
Question: Have you ever shot skeet?
A Facebook Friend posts: “
Contemporary French artist Fabien Merelle poses for photos in front of his creation in five meters high sculpture “Pentateuque” in Central, business district of Hong Kong, Tuesday. The artwork brings to real life the fantastical and seemingly impossible act of an average man balancing a gigantic elephant. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Thursday Winner — Sibulsky/7 likes: “Soft kitty,/Warm kitty,/Little ball of fur./Happy kitty,/Sleepy kitty,/Purr, purr, purr.” You can see Thursday photo and all 10 cutlines here.
It’s National Bike Month, which got me thinking about a neighbor kid from my childhood. We grew up in the woods outside Sandpoint, and there weren’t many other kids around, so we had to make our own fun. Most of that revolved around bikes, and my brother and I were pretty tame on two wheels — the most daring feats involving what seemed like precipitous jumps, but which were probably no higher than a foot off the ground. Well, this neighbor of mine, his idea of a good time was to ride his beat-up old Huffy to the top of a high hill on our dirt road, teeter at the top and pedal as furiously as he could to the bottom. At the magic point, just before the hill started to level off and his speed was at its greatest, this kid would let go of the handlebars and push himself off the seat — hanging in midair for a frozen moment as the bike continued racing, suddenly riderless, into the ditch/Zach Hagadone, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)
Question: What is the most daring thing that you've done on a bike?
Bailey Andrews, aquatic lifeguard supervisor for Sliverwood Theme Park filmed the Spin Cycle at the amusement park near Athol earlier today. The Spin Cycle is Silverwood's newest addition. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Bear hunters in high country of North Idaho search among blackened tree stumps and dense woods for game during bear season earlier this month, from left: Chris Quagliana, Orville Grabeal and Rich Piazza. Photographer Duane Rasmussen reports that hunters shoot 400 yards or more to bring down a bear.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, May 23): 10,788 page-views/5,371 unique views
… That negotiations between the Coeur d'Alene School District and the Coeur d'Alene Education Association have been suspended until new trustees are sworn into office July 1. An insider tells Huckleberries: “Due to new board members joining the CdA School Board of Trustees and the many end of school year activities that impact schedules, both negotiations teams have decided to postpone negotiations. The Tuesday, May 28th negotiations session has been cancelled.”
State Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, addresses the North Idaho Pachyderm Club at Jonesy's restaurant on Sherman Avenue this morning, discussing the state-run exchange, which has upset some local Republicans who oppose Obamacare entirely. Malek also discussed his bill to protect emergency room doctors, which passed the Idaho House but narrowly failed in the Idaho Senate during the 2013 session. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Question: Do the archconservatives in the local GOP still have Malek targeted for defeat in the 2014 primary — for siding with the guv on a state-run exchange? Anyone?
T. W. Clark Construction of Spokane Valley, Washington was awarded the Canfield Middle School Remodel and Additions general construction project for $5,818,600 which is a base bid of $4,964,000 plus alternate bids 1 and 2 for $854,600. The Coeur d’Alene School District Board of Trustees awarded the project to T.W. Clark during a special board meeting held at 12 noon today. The original project budget for Canfield was $8.2M. “We are ecstatic that we’ve had a great competitive environment with four contractors vying for the Canfield project,” stated Chief Operating Officer Wendell Wardell/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District. More here.
Question: Great deal, hunh?
Shoshone County taxpayers reached a notable conclusion in the May 21 election: More government won't mean more economic opportunity and prosperity. I suspect that advocates of urban renewal will try again. I'm more hopeful that advocates of urban renewal in other parts of the state, including those in Nampa, will take note: If your project is so wonderful, you ought to have no trouble presenting it to voters. Voters in Shoshone County rejected the creation of a new urban renewal agency by a 3-1 margin. The electorate simply didn't buy the sales pitch about the urban renewal agency and its related promise of “jobs, jobs, jobs”/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
On its Facebook wall at 1:15 p.m., the Police Falls Police Department warns motorists: “
Idaho's sold more than $500,000 worth of its new $10 state parks passports in the first six months of the program, and state parks officials have high hopes the low-priced passes tied to Idahoans' vehicle registrations will take off big and help fund the park system. “The process is a little more complicated, but I think Idahoans have been so receptive,” said Jennifer Okerlund, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman. “I think sales are on track”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: How often do you visit Idaho state parks?
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo is defending his former campaign manager who lost $250,000 in campaign funds in a risky investment, while also calling the incident “discouraging” and “deeply distressing.” Crapo’s then-campaign manager, Jake Ball, loaned $250,000 in campaign funds in 2008 to a longtime friend’s now-defunct investment company, Blueberry Guru LLC, which invested it into real estate ventures in Nevada and California that promised a quick profit. Instead, the money disappeared. Crapo said he wasn’t informed about the bad loan until late 2010; he worked with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office to try to pursue the matter, but to no avail; now, he’s filed amended campaign finance reports for 2008 and 2009 to reflect the loss/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Should Crapo have thrown this guy under the bus?
Do you recall that speeding ticket that Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation received while in Kootenai County recently? Seems he got into a war of words with the Lewiston Tribune over it:
And he's not happy with the Tribune, which said the lobbyist and political insider was seeking to game the system.”I have recently discovered that there are not enough hours in the day to correct the misinformation from the Lewiston Tribune,” Hoffman wrote Monday. “No kidding, I would have to hire additional staff just to supervise the nonsense and misinformation, both from the Tribune's reporters and its editorial page.”Well, it's true the Tribune's recent editorial about Hoffman's speeding incident glossed over the fact that he's a lead-footed recidivist. So in the interest of transparency, here's what the Idaho Supreme Court data repository shows:
Oops. We missed that. Pardon us. - M.T. Today's Cheers & Jeers column
Question: Izzit just me, or do you also think Hoffman should quit digging now the hole he's dug re: this issue is reaching sinkhole proportions?
A member of the 2013 graduating class of the United States Naval Academy peeks over the shoulder of a fellow graduates to listen to President Barack Obama during the commencement ceremony at the Academy in Annapolis, Md., Friday. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Question: Do you think it was appropriate for the president to bring up sexual harassment in the military at a joyous occasion as the U.S. Naval Academy graduation?
Post Falls police are asking drivers to avoid the intersection of Seltice Way and Greensferry, where a vehicle has crashed under a semi (8:14 item). KREM2 story here. (Courtesy photo: Post Falls Police Department)
The Wednesday morning quarterbacks are busy breaking down the local election results in the Coeur d'Alene School Board and Kootenai Hospital Board races. Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans blames old-fashioned, over-the-fence campaigning for his candidates' lopsided losses in the Coeur d'Alene trustee elections. Joker claims the quality of Reagan Republican candidates were less than stellar. I'll add another possibility. A growing number of area Republicans are tired of the radical politics and dirty tricks of the local Republican Party. They want quality candidates serving in nonpartisan positions. Not archconservatives with an agenda. I've been voting in elections 1971. I have never voted for a Democrat for president. I registered and voted as a Republican in the 2012 closed primary forced on Idahoans by the state GOP. Yet I have had a bellyful of local and state politicians who put party and ideology ahead of the citizens — and who fight like juveniles among themselves. Take the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee … please. The Rally Right and Ron Paul factions are in control of it. In 2012, the warring factions gave us the proxygate fiasco which almost led to a lawsuit and criminal action before Tea Party “Sheriff Mack” was allowed to speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner. Almost all factions of the local GOP slime others outside their little circle as “libruls” and “Democrats” — even if they're center-right Republicans, like Christa Hazel. The disrespect shown Christa (a former campaign worker for conservative Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage) during at least one GOP lunch/dinner is clear evidence how off-the-wall party activists have become. Christa's pedigree in local Republican involvement is more extensive than any of the three “Republicans” who ran for the school board. Obviously, Christa, Dave Eubanks and Tom Hearn won their seats with a lot of Republican votes. The Balance North Idaho PAC was successful in promoting good candidates because a number of local Republicans who don't want to align with the Democratic Party were looking for a standard bearer who supported quality candidates over ideologues. BNI attracted Independents and Democrats, too. If the local GOP wants to continue to live in a small tent and act like 12-year-olds pulling dirty tricks on one another and on opposing candidates, BNI will play a larger and larger role in Coeur d'Alene area politics/DFO.