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Huckleberries Online

Loyal Hucks reader threatened with outing

Spudbob reports:

I gave my cat an ultimatum that if he kept bringing rodents into the house I would “rat him out” on Huckleberries and reveal his screen name, I said that there would be no more Joking around for him unless he changed his ways.


Any guesses as to what moniker this furry fellow posts under?

‘Constitutionalists’ protest at Spokane Valley Police Precinct

Michael Poulin, left, and Jeffrey Brandt, right, hold signs along Sprague Avenue during a protest Saturday by self-labeled constitutionalists in the parking lot of the Spokane Valley Police Precinct. Jesse Tinsley, SR photo 

A protest spurred by a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy’s statement that angered self-described constitutionalists drew more than 300 people to the Spokane Valley Police Precinct parking lot Saturday afternoon.

Many of those in attendance carried rifles, handguns or both. A series of speakers criticized Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and called on him to give back the mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) that the department received for no cost as military surplus.

A video of a deputy responding to a question about the MRAP went viral after it was posted on the Info Wars website, which is run by radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The video shows a citizen asking why the MRAP is needed. The deputy’s response: “We’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, a lot of ammunition.” Full story. Nina Culver, SR

Do you understand what a “constitutionalist” is and what they believe?

H1 Unlimited sues Diamond Cup

Hydroplanes race on the straightaway during last year's Diamond Cup on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

COEUR d'ALENE - Diamond Cup LLC and its chief representatives Doug Miller and Keith Kroetch have been sued by hydroplane race-sanctioning body H1 Unlimited.

According to the lawsuit, Miller and Kroetch signed personal guarantees in March agreeing to pay H1 Unlimited a total of $65,850 in monthly installments, but then failed to make all of the payments.

The guarantees required Diamond Cup to cough up $7,000 per month through this month, and then finish with a payment of $2,850 on Jan. 1.

But by July, H1 Unlimited had already sent a letter to Diamond Cup saying Miller and Kroetch failed to make payments for May, June and July.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in 1st District Court by Coeur d'Alene attorney Michael Hague on behalf of H1. Read more. David Cole, CdA Press



Stocking question

Arpie would like Hucksters to address this important holiday query: “This is a big one in my family- Do things put in stockings need to be wrapped?”

What say you? Stocking stuffers: Wrapped or unwrapped.

RIP Joe Cocker

LONDON — British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70.

His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died early Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades.

Cocker was known for a memorable Woodstock performance and cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

The ballad “You Are So Beautiful,” with Cocker’s voice cracking on the final emotional note, was a Top Ten hit in 1975. He reached the top of the charts in the 1980s with the duet “Up Where We Belong,” with Jennifer Warnes, that appeared in the movie “An Officer and a Gentlemen.”  Read more.

Favorite Joe Cocker song?

Monday Wild Card 12-22-14

Good grief! DFO goes on vacation and leaves me this note: For 2nd time, you might be in blog seat when hux passes record. I'll be about 16,000 page-views shy of 2.6M The record is 2,605,000. If you get huckleberries to record, I may have to say something nice about my grandcats.

Nothing like a little pressure. Let's see, to get the turnstiles spinning around this joint we need a Sarah Palin sighting, or a transgender restroom issue, or a CdA park remodel. Maybe a recall. Anyone know if anything like that is likely to happen in the next 2 weeks?

If not, just check in here early and often. Tell your friends. Tell your friend's friends. I really want Dave to post a picture of him cuddling his grandcats, don't you?

SR Letter: Hats Off

John Tuft of Spokane writes: When I go to a restaurant for dinner or any other meal, looking around I find that there are more and more men wearing hats. I guess that most of them wish they were women, so they wear their hats.

A gentleman usually will remove his hat before his meal is served, and will keep it off until he leaves the facilities. I was taught this as a young boy and never forgot that a gentleman removes his hat before he sits down to have a meal at a restaurant, or even at home.

I guess that most of them have never been taught to remove their hat before a meal is served in a public place. Please be a gentleman and remove your hat before ordering a meal at a restaurant.

My husband wears a ball cap frequently, but I can't remember a time when he didn't remove it at  a restaurant. Do you think most men understand hat etiquette?

He is a doctor and he plays one on TV but…

What do real-world doctors have to say about the advice dispensed on “The Dr. Oz Show”? Less than one-third of it can be backed up by even modest medical evidence.

If that sounds alarming, consider this: Nearly 4 in 10 of the assertions made on the show appear to be made on the basis of no evidence at all.

The researchers who fact-checked Dr. Mehmet Oz and his on-air guests were able to find legitimate studies related to 11 percent of the recommendations made on the show. Full story here.

How much attention do you pay to TV docs like Dr. Oz or those featured on The Doctors?

Court orders Idaho to pay more than $400K in attorney fees, costs

The state of Idaho must pay more than $400,000 in attorney fees and costs to the lawyers who represented the four lesbian couples who successfully sued to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a federal court has ruled. “There is no dispute that Plaintiffs are the prevailing parties and are therefore entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and litigation expenses,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale, in an order issued late Friday. More here. Betsy Russell, EOB


Domination in the desert

Marshawn Lynch rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a memorable 79-yarder. 

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Seattle’s defense was stifling as usual and its offense had a record-breaking eruption against a defense that’s supposed to be one of the NFL’s best.

The Seahawks sure looked a lot like the Super Bowl champs of last season in their 35-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.

“I think it feels better than last year,” Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said.

Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Seahawks amassed a franchise-record 596 yards to close in on another NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the conference.

Now, that was some fun football! I got hysterically excited when Marshawn Lynch followed me on Twitter. Then my teenage son informed me that his Twitter handle is actually Money Lynch. Sigh.

So, how likely do you think it is for the Hawks to make it to the Super Bowl again this year?

Idaho Secretary of State Ysursa to retire after 40-year career

BOISE - After 40 years in state government, Ben Ysursa has some strong opinions about how things ought to work in Idaho – and how, on occasion, they have.

For example, when both of the state’s political parties came together, working side by side, they successfully passed a ballot measure to create the College of Western Idaho, now the state’s fastest-growing community college.

“It was just gratifying to see it,” Ysursa said. “We need to get a cause like that again, that we can all agree on and go forward with. … It was a good joint effort to see how things can work when politics is out of it, so to speak.” More. Betsy Russell, SR


Family looks for “angels” from Saturday’s crash

COEUR d'ALENE - When Ronda Lyons heard that her dad rolled his Subaru Outback into Lake Coeur d'Alene on Saturday afternoon, she rushed from her Seattle home to Coeur d'Alene.

“It's awful timing,” she said Sunday afternoon. “It's always around Christmas that something goes sideways.”

Her dad, Dan Lyons, 66, of Coeur d'Alene, was unconscious when he was rescued from the submerged vehicle. Two witnesses saw the crash and jumped into the water to pull him out. He was transported to Kootenai Health by medical and fire responders and his condition was listed as critical.

But who are these two heroes who saved his life?

“We feel like there was a Christmas angel looking out for us,” Ronda said. “Two of them, apparently.” Full story. Devin Heilman, CdA Press

Feel free to share this story via social media so the family can thank those selfless heroes. Have you ever been a recipient of of roadside help from strangers?

Turnipseed: A Republican by any other name

On the Weekend Wild Card Turnipseed writes:

Years ago many southerners were called “Yellow Dog Democrats” because they would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for a republican - I guess the opposite prevails today. Anyway, here in Kootenai County “we” elect republicans despite their qualifications and the quality of their opponents. What name should we use for these republicans? Be nice.



Yes, Kootenai County, there is a Millie Hayes

Pardon me while I interrupt the next round of letters to the editor firing back at Millie “don't ever call me Mildred” Hayes.

Not since Arfee, the dog that was shot and killed last summer in Coeur d'Alene by police, has the opinion pages of The Press and lit up with the same subject.

Millie, a single 79-year-old Post Falls resident, set off a series of explosions with her Nov. 16 letter stating that she likes “practically nothing” about Post Falls.

The wind, snow, right to work and a lack of department stores and medical specialists close by are among just a few of the reasons why she misses her beloved California.

The first returned fire from letter writers was shock and outrage. Kootenai County residents defend their home turf like they defend their freedoms. More here. Brian Walker, CdA Press

Are you “shocked and outraged” when residents criticize our area?

Hayden home aglow for the holidays

Jeremy Morris, his wife, Kristy, and their daughter, Savannah Claire, 3, are seen in front of their home in Hayden on Thursday. The couple enlisted the help of volunteers to direct traffic around their festively lit home. Kathy Plonka, SR, photo.

One guy’s dream of decorating his house and serving free hot chocolate has turned into an extravaganza of blazing lights, caroling choirs, a carrot-eating camel and visits by Santa in a Hayden subdivision.

Each evening, Jeremy Morris and his wife, Kristy, have invited the public to join them from 6 to 8 p.m. in their front yard for a dose of holiday cheer. Publicity for the festivities, which run through Monday at 1473 W. Cardinal Ave., took off on Facebook. Within a few days, hundreds of people had liked the page.

“We knew we were onto something big,” Jeremy Morris said.

Do you enjoy looking at holiday light displays? Do you light up your home for the holidays?

2 NYPD cops slain

NEW YORK — The warning came just moments too late: A man who had shot his ex-girlfriend a few hours earlier had traveled to New York City and vowed online to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Minutes before a wanted poster for Ismaaiyl Brinsley arrived in the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center, he ambushed two officers in their patrol car in broad daylight, fatally shooting them before killing himself inside a subway station.

Brinsley, 28, wrote on an Instagram account before Saturday’s shootings: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs,” two city officials with direct knowledge of the case confirmed for The Associated Press. He used the hashtags Shootthepolice RIPErivGardner (sic) RIPMikeBrown — references to the two police-involved deaths of blacks that have sparked racially charged protests across the country. More here.

 Related: Florida authorities say 1 police officer shot and killed

Do you think we'll see more violence against police officers in the coming months?

Boy dies in hotel pool incident

A 7-year-old boy pulled from a Coeur d’Alene hotel swimming pool Friday has died.

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department was notified early this morning that the child died shortly after being removed from life support. The boy’s name has not been released.

“On behalf of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department I’d like to offer my deepest sympathy to the family after this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time,” Police Chief Lee White said in a statement.

Emergency crews were called Friday to the Spring Hill Suites, 2250 Seltice Way, where the boy was swimming with his 12-year-old brother, police said.

The child had been diving in the deep end and swimming to the bottom but at one point did not surface.

The boys’ father, who had been in the nearby hot tub, and another hotel guest performed CPR until emergency crews arrived, police said.

The boy was flown to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane on Friday night. The boy’s family is from Missoula.

Weekend Wild Card — 12.20-21.14

Cindy will be running Huckleberries Online on Monday as I take my customary Christmas holiday vacay. I still have some vacation days to use up before we say goodbye to 2014. Use them or lose them. Huckleberries Online has a good chance to reach 2.6 million page-views for only the second time in its almost 11 years of existence. The blog is running several hundred thousand page-views ahead of last year. Yet some keep predicting the demise of this long-lived blog. Mebbe they're indulging in wishful thinking. Who knows? I'll post this Wild Card and prepare to kick back for awhile …

Christmas Card From The Bard

At this most festive time of year
I'm pleased as punch that you are here,
for writers must have readers so
their words will have some place to go,
and not just drift around their brain
like suds above a clogged up drain.
Therefore to you I'm grateful, very,
and may your Christmas be quite Merry!

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

7YO Critical After Near Drowning

A 7YO boy from Missoula, Mont., is in critical condition after a near drowning in the pool at Spring Hill Suites, 2250 Seltice Way in Coeur d'Alene. The 7YO and his 12YO brother were swimming in the deep end of the hotel pool at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when the accident occurred. Their father was in a nearby hot tub. The 7YO had been diving to the bottom of the pool, where his older brother spotted him and contacted their father. The man pulled his son from the pool and began CPR with a hotel guest that is EMT-trained. They continued life-saving measures until Coeur d'Alene officer Eric Paull and fire EMTs arrived to take over. The child had a heart beat but remained unresponsive. He was transported by helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, where he remains in critical condition/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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