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Weekend Wild Card — 7.12-13.14

Looks like clear skies this weekend — and hot temperatures. I might have to take my first dip of the year in Lake Coeur d'Alene. Or go for a long bike ride, now that I have my wheels back and in tip top shape. I hope you enjoy your weekend. I'll see you back here Monday. Now for your Weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.11.14

Members of the Air Force Academy Class of 2018 formed a giant push-up chain in an attempt today, to break the Guinness World Record for the largest chain push-up. Unofficially, 918 Basic Cadets completed three push-ups in the attempt at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Guinness will examine photos and video to decide in coming months if the Basics broke the previous record of 138 people set in 2012. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Mark Reis)

City Dealing For More Water Access

The city of Coeur d’Alene has reached a tentative land purchase agreement with a railroad that will open up a two-mile stretch or property along the Spokane River to public access and economic development opportunities. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) has partnered with the city to sell about 20 acres of lineal right-of-way that runs roughly from the eastern side of Riverstone west to Huetter Road. Under the railroad’s ownership, the riverfront property along the corridor was essentially landlocked. Jobs Plus President Steve Griffitts hailed the potential for economic development. “It’s extremely attractive for companies that want to relocate or expand to our area,” he said. Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer agreed. “Without right-of-way, no developer would look at those parcels because a big chunk of that property was tied up by the railroad,” he said/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Sounds great to me. How about you?

5 Dogs Shot By Cops In Idaho In ‘14

Scott Evans/KTVB reports that the controversial shooting of a 2YO black labrador by a Coeur d'Alene police officer Wednesday is one of five such incidents in Idaho this year:

It was a similar situation earlier this year in Filer when an officer shot dog. In early July the dog's owner filed a lawsuit against city, the police department and the officer who pulled the trigger. There were also people calling for the officer to resign or be fired. A group even started a petition to recall the Mayor. Then on July 4th in Nampa, another dog shot and eventually put down. That was the second shooting there in four months. The first came on February 27. In all but one of the shootings the dog’s owner and witnesses cry foul, saying the shootings were not justified. But so far, of the dog shootings this year, all of the completed investigations found that the officer’s actions were justified.


Cutline Contest — 7.11.14

Time 2 Vote …

Andrew Talansky of the U.S. crashes as the pack with stage winner Italy's Matteo Trentin, foreground left, sprints towards the finish line during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 234.5 kilometers (145.7 miles) with start in Epernay and finish in Nancy, France, earlier today. Believe it or not, Talansky survived the stage in relatively good shape. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Thursday Winner — DFO, w/5 likes: “Democratic Rep. Holli Woodings and her daughter prepare for their fall secretary of state campaign against former House Speaker Lawerence Denney & his Tea Party supporters this fall by acclimating themselves to mud that will be thrown at them.” You can see Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.11.14

  • 5:05 p.m. Rolling domestic dispute reported in vehicle @ H41/Poleline, Post Falls.
  • 4:55 p.m. Silver Ford Expedition & black van have crashed @ H95/Appleway, CdA.
  • 4:51 p.m. Male who tried to snatch purse at Post Falls Library now walking across Seltice Way toward St. Vinnys.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 10-11 here.
  • 4:29 p.m. 10-by-15-foot fFire reported in the trees off Kathy Loop/Atlas Road, near F&G office.
  • 4:24 p.m. Someone abandoned a brown Hummer @ n/b H95/MP 437 (Boekel Road/Hayden).
  • 4:12 p.m. Elderly male handed title of old Buick LeSabre to caretaker of e/b I-90 Huetter rest stop after he was unable to re-start the vehicle and began walking unevenly out onto freeway.
  • 4:07 p.m. Driver of Escalade @ H53/MP 6 (North Idaho Road/Rathdrum) possibly DUI.
  • 3:58 p.m. Someone is suffering a seizure @ 800 block of S. Madison Street/Spirit Lake.
  • 3:45 p.m. Male in blue shorts stole a vehicle moments ago @ 10300 block of Reed Road/Hayden.
  • 3:28 p.m. Driver of blue Subaru @ Athol gas station may be DUI.
  • 3:19 p.m. Uncooperative shoplifter screaming in Hayden WalMart loss prevention office.
  • 3:05 p.m. Panhandler trespassed Thursday from Post Falls WalMart East has returned.
  • 3:01 p.m. CPD officers looking for long-boarder who left 3rd Street docks toward Zips, unknown reason.
  • 2:54 p.m. Unhelmeted motorcyclist speeding on Wallace/4th Street, CdA.
  • 2:53 p.m. Semi w/oversized trailer passed vehicles on shoulder @ n/b H95/MP 442 (Chilco).
  • 2:26 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 400 block of W. Orchard/Hayden.
  • 2:10 p.m. KFD fire boat preparing to pump out sunken boat @ Beauty Bay docks (1:16 item).
  • 2:07 p.m. Driver of turquoise Honda Civic speeding, tailgating on H95 in front of Ziggy's/Hayden.
  • 2:03 p.m. Someone suffering allergic reaction @ Silverwood water park first-aid station.
  • 1:51 p.m. Driver of disabled vehicle in I-90/MP 27.5 turnout on 4th of July has spotty cellphone use.
  • 1:45 p.m. Caller reports animal abuse on Emma Avenue/CdA.
  • 1:27 p.m. Juvenile detention center reports wanted person on premises.
  • 1:16 p.m. Owner reports boat tied to Beauty Bay/Lake Coeur d'Alene dock, across from Mineral Ridge is sinking for unknown reason.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 7.11.14

The body of former Idaho Gov. John V. Evans is now lying in state in the rotunda of the state Capitol. Here, friends, well-wishers, acquaintance and fans line up to pay respects to Evans’ family, including his wife, Lola. Story here. (Eye on Boise photo: Betsy Russell)

Babe Ruth Debuted 100 Years Ago

On this date in 1914, Babe Ruth made his major league debut as a 19-year-old pitcher with the Boston Red Sox. He held the Cleveland Naps to three runs (two earned) in seven innings to earn the win at Fenway Park. Here's the box score. Among those in the Naps' lineup were Shoeless Joe Jackson and Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie. Ruth made two more starts and one relief appearance with the Red Sox the rest of the 1914 season, finishing with a 3.91 ERA in 23 innings. He joined the staff full-time the next year and pitched to a 2.44 ERA in 217 2/3 innings. The year after that he led the league with a 1.75 ERA in 323 2/3 innings/CBS More here.

Question: Which pro-1950s Major League Baseball player is your favorite?

Free Slurpees At 7-Eleven Until 7 PM

You get a slurpee! You get a slurpee! You get a slurpee! Fans of the eponymous slushy 7-Eleven treat are in luck — the convenience store chain is giving away free Slurpees on Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. to celebrate its 87th birthday. The sugar-high event known as “Free Slurpee Day” started in 2002, though the icy drinks have been sold in stores since 1965. This year, there are more freebies than ever — the ordinary one-day giveaway has extended to an eight-day free-for-all for customers who download the 7-Eleven app/New York Daily News. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: I can't remember if I've ever consumed a Slurpee. I'll pass on the free one today. How about you?

Hvals Invade McEuen Park

Here's proof via Cindy's Facebook page that the new McEuen Park playground isn't just for the little kids. These are two of Cindy's 4 urchins. I'm not sure which ones they are. Mebbe Milo and Thor. I've heard her use her names for favorite children in the house. I think this was taken today. Cindy & Co. dined at the Bardenay en route to Wallace for the annual bluesfest.

Question: Cindy gave her boys the choice — and they picked Bardenay over Capone's for lunch (en route to Wallace bluesfest). Would you have made the same lunch choice?

Parking Boot Returns To Spokane

The dreaded parking boot is back. Spokane city officials brought out the boot Thursday to show what’s waiting for parking ticket scofflaws when they get caught parking downtown again. The wheel lock “boot” device is being reintroduced to the city arsenal after an absence of more than 25 years. Vehicle owners with four or more unpaid violations will be subject to having their rides immobilized with the heavy steel locking device. The city has purchased 10 of them. “Don’t drive with the boot on,” said city spokeswoman Julie Happy, because the boot will damage the vehicle. Owners will have to pay their fines, and accumulated penalties and interest, before the city will remove the boot/Mike Prager, SR. More here. (SR photo by Colin Mulvany: Spokane Parking Enforcement Officer Josh Weigelt demonstrates installation of an immobilization boot on a car)

Question: When and where did you last get a parking ticket? Did you promptly pay it?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.11.14

You see more umbrellas in Beijing on a sunny day than you do on a rainy day, posts Thom George/Eye on Shanghai. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, July 11): 7756 page-views/4688 unique views

Can You Quit Facebook For 99 Days?

Love it or hate it, Facebook has become part of our everyday lives: More than 802 million people log on daily and spend 17 minutes onsite. But if a three-month hiatus from your all your friends, photos, and posts meant you'd be happier, could you do it? One Dutch nonprofit has challenged Facebook users to do just that: Log off of Facebook for 99 days and participate in “happiness surveys” to determine whether their mood improves. The 99 Days of Freedom initiative stemmed from Facebook's controversial experiment in which it tinkered with users' news feeds to determine whether it could change their emotional state/InformationWeek. More here.

Question: Well, would you be able to quit Facebook for 3 months?

Vestal: VA Director Owes Answers

Why does the Spokane VA hospital have one of the longest waiting lists in the nation? Why does it have one of the country’s longest-of-the-longest waiting lists – new patients who can’t be scheduled within 120 days? Why is it falling short of the national standard for scheduling new patients, and – in an environment where most other VA hospitals are falling short of that standard, as well, why is the Spokane hospital’s record even worse? No good answer to any of those questions is coming from the administration of Director Linda Reynolds at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center. Worse, it is incredibly difficult and time-consuming to get the VA to offer up even the least useful kinds of answers – the vaguest drivel/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Have you or your loved ones ever had a close encounter with the Spokane VA hospital?

All’s ‘Fair’ In Love, Screen

Jerry Sciarrio, left Gary Pierce, center and David Kappus, run through a few lines during rehearsal of the Kroc Center Theater's production of My Fair Lady on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Everyone knows “My Fair Lady.” They’ve seen the musical. Or the movie. They’ve sung “I Could Have Danced All Night” or “The Rain in Spain.” Tapped their toes to “Just You Wait.” That hasn’t kept Jadd Davis from feeling excited about his production, which opened Thursday at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene and kicks off the 2014 Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre season. The decision to program what’s been called the “perfect” musical was easy. “It’s a brilliant piece of theatre, for one,” said the new CST artistic director. “And it’s a show that audiences want to see over and over again.” Ultimately, it was the message of the piece that appealed to him. “I love stories that contain a human journey,” Davis said/Carolyn Lamberson, SR 7 Today. More here.

Question: Which famous play have seen most?

Joint Chiefs Back Bergdahl Swap

The nation’s top military commanders unanimously support the controversial swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, pictured, for five imprisoned Taliban leaders, letters released Thursday show. In the wake of criticism of the May 31 exchange, mainly from Republican lawmakers, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin solicited the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All seven members of the Joint Chiefs, who head the major military services, sent Levin letters in support of the deal. “Each of these military leaders emphasized a simple principle _ America does not leave its troops behind,” Levin said in a statement/James Rosen, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Anyone out there opposed to the prisoner swap that brought Idahoan Bowe Bergdahl back to this country?

Read more here:

Akin Takes Back ‘Rape’ Apology

Todd Akin and the rest of America agree on one thing: his odds of beating Sen. Claire McCaskill in his 2012 Missouri Senate race would have been better if not for the whole “legitimate rape” incident. In his new book Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom, Akin defends the “science” behind his comments and lists all the establishment Republicans who did him wrong. In this new excerpt from Politico, Akin writes that wishes he'd done more to “end this evil (that) easily trumps slavery as the greatest moral evil in history.” More importantly, he regrets apologizing. “By asking the public at large for forgiveness, I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said,” he wrote/Yahoo! News. More here. (AP file photo)


On The Waterfront — 7.11.14

I met David and Sara and their two dogs in back of the Coeur d'Alene Library during my noon walk today. Actually, I couldn't avoid David because he emerged from the shade of the trees to ask to use my cell phone. He and Sara were traveling from Portland to Maine. Actually, Sara had met David outside of Portland, where her vehicle had broken down. She didn't have the $600 to repair it. So the two of them put their thumbs out. They got run out of Post Falls WalMart entrance for loitering. Happily, David was able to contact a friend in Post Falls, who agreed to pick them up. It was a long shot because the two parties has split apart some ways back as they hitched their way toward North Dakota. The second man had a friend who had a vehicle to pick David and Sara up. David had his hair dyed blue, tats and the strangest nose ring I'd ever seen. Sara said she'd been riding trains since she was 16. She's now 20. I don't know how this tale is going to end. But sometimes it's interesting to stop and talk to those we easily dismiss as transients and panhandlers. Some lead lives more interesting than ours/DFO.

Could Libertarian Throw Race To AJ?

Former Canyon County prosecutor John Bujak (pictured in Facebook photo) says he thinks he can win his Libertarian bid for governor of Idaho, and told Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey today, “I represented myself through five criminal trials in the last three years. The establishment didn’t expect me to win, but I did thanks to the voice of the people who served on my juries. The establishment doesn’t expect me to win the governor’s race either. Come November, I guess we will see what the people of Idaho have to say about that.” Bujak, formerly a Republican, was charged with fraud and theft, but was acquitted three times and juries were unable to reach a verdict two other times. Popkey suggested if Bujak runs strong as a third-party candidate, his run could tip a close race to Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff over two-term incumbent GOP Gov. Butch Otter/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think Libertarian Bujak could scrape away enough votes from Gov. Otter to boost Democrat Balukoff to victory?

LeBron Will Go Home Again

In this Feb. 17, 2012, file photo, a Cleveland Cavaliers holds a sign and yells as Miami Heat's LeBron James is introduced before an NBA basketball game against Cavaliers in Cleveland. James told Sports Illustrated today that he is leaving the Miami Heat to go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Question (for those who have moved to Inland Northwest from some place else): Have you ever thought about returning home?

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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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