Let's use this Election Day Roundup post to stay up to speed re: today's School/Hospital board elections:
Rescuers dug through the debris of destroyed homes, schools and businesses Tuesday in a desperate search for survivors of the murderous tornado that blasted through this Tornado Alley town, killing at least 24 people and injuring scores more. There was a strand of good news Tuesday: Authorities dramatically reduced the confirmed death toll after earlier reporting that at least 51 people had died Monday. Amy Elliot, spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office, said she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos after the storm cut a path more than a mile wide through this Oklahoma City suburb of 41,000 people. She said nine of the dead were children, and that the death toll could climb/USA Today. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you know individuals in the Oklahoma City area, affected by the tornado?
State Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, poked his nose into the Post Falls School Board races at the last moment by authoring a letter in favor of two challengers to the incumbents. Predictably, Nonini favors the archconservative candidates in the race and doesn't even mention the incumbents who have given Post Falls years of public service. One paragraph, however, stands out as over-the-top, even for Nonini: “I have had many opportunities to meet with their opponents over the eyars and one thing has become apparent. Their only concern is the teacher's union and keeping the union members happy without any regard for the residents funding Post Falls public education.” Seriously, that's the only concern that Dave Paul and Julie Hunt have had? Not the kids? Ever? This from an individual who, as a former House Education Committee chairman was rebuked at the polls when Idaho voters rejected Propositions 1-3, which he supported wholeheartedly. And which would have devastated Idaho education? Bad form, Bob. Bad form. Full Nonini letter here.
I spotted two Tom Hearn supporters holding signs at 4th & Harrison, on the way to work this morning. I'll probably vote after work. I live in Zone 5, so I'll be voting in the race between Tom Hearn and Bjorn Handeen. You can look up were you vote today by using this Elections Department locator. There's no excuse for you Huckleberries readers not to vote today. After all, there is also a countywide hospital board election. Now for your Wild Card …
A funny thing happened to Coeur d'Alene High School Vice Principal Troy Schueller this morning. Seems graduating seniors at the high school targeted his pickup for their annual Student Prank. Huckleberries is told that the lugnuts for the pickup tires will be returned to Schueller throughout the day, so he'll be able to drive home this afternoon.
Question: Were you or your kids involved in a Senior Prank at high school?
On its Facebook page, the Coeur d'Alene Police Department announces: “
Item: Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive delay: Coeur d'Alene City Council in no hurry over ITD road offer/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The decision to take over East Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive will have to wait another day. Following a two-hour workshop on the road offer the Idaho Transportation Department pitched to the city of Coeur d'Alene, an answer might not come for two more weeks yet. Until June 4, likely. That's when the issue that was pitched last year will go before the City Council.
Question: Do you want the city of Coeur d'Alene to own Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive?
Polls for today's Kootenai County taxing district election will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are school board races in the Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Lakeland districts. There is also a countywide Kootenai Hospital District trustee election, a Plummer-Worley school supplemental levy and a seat on the Alpine Meadows Water and Sewer District Board north of Hayden up for grabs. Information, including where voters should vote and sample ballots, is available at http://www.kcgov.us/elections/ or by calling county elections at 446-1030. A sample ballot and all of the polling sites also ran in the Legals section on Page C6 in Thursday's Press. On school board races, voters must live in the particular zone of the race to vote on it. A photo ID is required to vote. If a photo ID can't be shown, the voter will be given the option to sign a personal identity affidavit/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: When do you plan to vote today?
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, mass e-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 …
A child calls to his father after being pulled from the rubble of the Tower Plaza Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., today. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. Oklahoma City Police confirm that 7 of the 37 confirmed dead in the disaster were children at the Tower Plaza Elementary School. Story here. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
On behalf of the many Democrats I know, I thank you for your recent decision to exclude from participation on your blog those few participants who use hateful, inflammatory language. Such trash-talk serves no purpose other than to degrade the civil standards of our community and perhaps give license to other disturbed folks to do the same. We are grateful for your taking a principled stand and saying no to these hate-filled people. Your action is especially appropriate and, I am sure, applauded by many others beyond us Democrats, as this is the community which originated the Human Rights Task Force/Chairwoman Paula Neils of the Kootenai County Democrats, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.
Question: Have you noticed an improvement in the dialogue at the Coeur d'Alene Press Online site since Editor Mike Patrick cracked down on troublemakers?
Borah Elementary 4th grader Winter Haler auditioned for the upcoming talent show at the school in Coeur d'Alene recently. The talent show is on June 4. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Another Duane Rasmussen photo shows the extensive work near the Brazilian Steak House on what used to be Front Avenue.
Huckleberries numbers (for May 12-18): 50,661 page-views/27,920 unique views
woman carries her child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., earlier today. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)
A mile-wide tornado slammed into Oklahoma on Monday afternoon, leveling neighborhoods, starting fires and causing, as one storm chaser put it, “total destruction.” Two elementary schools were destroyed, and an untold number of homes and businesses sustained heavy damage near the cities of Moore, Newcastle and Oklahoma City. CNN reported that rescue crews swarmed over Plaza Towers Elementary School, where 75 students and staff had sought refuge in a hallway. Britane Diacon-Boese of Oklahoma City was worried about students she works with. “I have clients who can't be found,” she said. “I'm terrified; I'm completely terrified,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “There's no power, it's all down”/Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times. More here.
Question: Have you ever been involved in a natural disaster?
Do I have to twist your arms to get you to the polls Tuesday to vote in the Kootenai Hospital Board and local school board elections? The Reagan Republicans and Bjorn Handeen's Ron Paul ground troops will be beating the bushes for votes to extend ultraconservatism deep into the heart of Coeur d'Alene. We've already seen the silliness of what one Reagan Republican endorsee, Councilman Steve Adams, can do in an elected position on a criticial board. Adams, as you know opposes any proposal attached to federal dollars, including the hiring of two more desperately needed police officers. Some individuals from the same side of the ideological divide as Adams are running for local school boards. We've seen how far to the right that the Coeur d'Alene School Board lurched since the County Commission and other trustees have made three appointments to pack it with archconservatives. The Reagan Republicans have targeted local elections because they traditionally have a poor turnout, which means a motivated force can win seats for their candidates. Balance North Idaho has done as much as it can to provide loyal opposition to the Reagan Republican power brokers. Now, it's your turn to not only vote against partisan politics in nonpartisan races. But get friends, family and neighbors to do so, too. If you need motivation, consider the 2009 race for the Coeur d'Alene City Council seat still occupied by Councilman Mike Kennedy. Kennedy ultimately won by 3 votes. Those 3 votes meant the difference between a new McEuen Field and a tired, old one. Between the expansion of the Education Corridor and business as usual at landlocked North Idaho College. I want every Berry Picker who is qualified to vote in the school and hospital board elections. And tell Grandma and your siblings to do so, too/DFO.
Question from the Inlander: “
A new poll shows a rise in approval for the Tea Party movement, amid a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups. A CNN/ORC poll released Monday found 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, up 9 points from their 28 percent positive rating in March. The 37 percent approval rating is just one percentage point below the movement’s all-time high in CNN/ORC’s polling. A plurality of respondents, though, still hold an unfavorable view of Tea Party groups. Forty-five percent have a negative view of the movement, but that figure is down 3 points from March/Daniel Strauss, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Has your view of the Tea Party changed in light of the IRS scandal?
Just west of Rose Lake on Highway 3 lies the old township of Lane. It was subdivided into residential lots years ago and platted with streets. The town never took hold, and was sold off. That's how the Scheffelmaier family got hold of a large chunk of it back in the 1950s. Since then, Fred Scheffelmaier has developed a good portion of the property into a thriving custom butchery. In 1991 he applied with Kootenai County for a conditional use permit to operate the meat plant on his rural property. He has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and employs half a dozen people. With an approved permit, he had a reasonable expectation that if the county ever decided to rezone the area, his now-successful business property would be classified commercial. He was wrong/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (In Duane Rasmussen file photo, Commissioner Todd Tondee, left, speaks to crowd at Grange Hall near Medimont re: proposed zoning regs, while Scott Clarke listens)
Question: Are you concerned re: proposed new county zoning regulations?