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Huckleberries Online

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.29.14

I've been having trouble getting police scanner transmissions since moving downstairs to first floor, new-and-improved office space. I suspect it may have something to do with location — that the transmissions from some agencies aren't as easy to receive in the new location. I know that Scanner Traffic is popular. But it's getting harder to provide a good report. Just letting you know. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.29.14

A Kansas City Royals fan watches batting practice before Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the San Francisco Giants tonight in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Question: Who do you want to win it all?

My 2 Cents: This Online Community

I've thought a lot about what we do here at Huckleberries Online this week, since blog favorite Patrick Jacobs was fatally stricken. Patrick has been part of HucksOnline for as long as I can remember. I first noticed his superb music and restaurant reviews in his old blog, Making Flippy Floppy. At first, I thought he was a Spokane blogger. More than a bit offbeat. Later, I was happy to learn that Patrick lived here — and began running his reviews of local restaurants whenever available. Still later, I recommended his work to the Spokane office — and Patrick began his restaurant reviews for my newspaper. None of this would have happened if this blog, with all its warts and headaches, hadn't happened. I feel as blessed as you do by the personalities and pseudonyms that we've come to know and appreciate. Patrick wasn't the first HucksOnline regular that we've lost. Dave Holmes, another gentle spirit who wrote compellingly about the Coeur d'Alene of his youth and his father's suicide in the Atmospheric Ruminations blog, died a few years ago in Coos Bay, Ore., where he'd exiled himself. I still remember him stopping by the office on his way to Oregon, just to say, Hi. Stickman often refers to this place and its people as a family. I'm not certain about that. But I do know that those who comment get to know one another well. I've wanted Huckleberries to be a place where individuals of a wide range of backgrounds, philosophical beliefs, age, etc., could discuss the issues of the day amiably. During the flame wars of days gone by, I despaired of reaching that goal. But the collective mourning here for one of our own this week has shown that it's possible to set aside all our differences and simply celebrate that we got to know one so gifted. Many of you have added something to my life that I never would have experienced otherwise. Isn't that one of the best things you can say about someone else? Without social media, the blogfests, the interaction here, I wouldn't have known Patrick. Or many of you. That's why I show up in the morning to try to steer this place where everyone knows your pseudonym/DFO.

Cutline Contest — 10.29.14

Time 2 Vote …

Facts: The legs of camel and sheep for the “Living Nativity” scene, and Rockettes, of the “Radio City Christmas Special,” are juxtaposed as they pose for photos outside New York's Radio City Music Hall, Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Tuesday Winner — Eman, with 10 likes: NEWS FLASH: Websters decides on photo to go next to, “Tea Bagged” in this years dictionary. You can see the Tuesday Photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.

Balukoff Once Donated To Otter

Here’s an interesting tidbit: After reading in the Twin Falls Times-News today that A.J. Balukoff, Democratic candidate for governor of Idaho, donated to Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns both in 2007 and in 2012, I searched FEC records for Balukoff’s donations in federal races. Both those donations showed up, $2,300 in 2007 and $2,500 in 2012. So did several others – donations both to Republicans and Democrats over the years. In federal campaigns, Balukoff has donated to Democrats Shirley Ringo, Nels Mitchell and Walt Minnick; and to Republicans Larry Craig (2001), Mike Simpson (1998), Mark Stubbs (1998). And, perhaps most interesting of all was this donation: In 2004, Balukoff donated $250 to a GOP candidate for Congress – Butch Otter/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Does the fact that Democrat A.J. Balukoff has donated money to Republicans Larry Craig, Mike Simpson and even Butch Otter make him more/less appealing to you as a voter?

Hammond Finalist For Lake City Job

Jim Hammond, the former state senator and Post Falls mayor is one of two finalists for the city administrator's job in Coeur d'Alene. The city of Coeur d'Alene issued this statement moments ago:

“The search for a new Coeur d’Alene City Administrator has been narrowed to two candidates. Jim Hammond of Coeur d’Alene, Executive Director of the Panhandle Area Council, and Mark Mitton, City Administrator in Burley, Idaho, will sit down with the City Council on Thursday. Hammond served 16 years on the Post Falls City Council, including 6 years as mayor from 1990-96. He was Post Falls City Administrator from 1996 to 2006. He served as a state Senator from 2006 to 2012. Mitton has been City Administrator in Burley since 1998. Prior to that, he was a County Administrator in Tuolumne County, California, from 1991-98. He served as Assistant County Administrator in Jackson County, Oregon from 1986-91. The council is scheduled to have a round table discussion with the candidates Thursday at 3:45 in the community room of the library. The public is welcome.


2nd Resolution Targets Anti-Bias Law

In a second resolution passed Tuesday night, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee voted to support “the Hitching Post in their fight for religious freedom.” In the resolution, the local Central Committee declared its “support for the Hitching Post and for the rights of pastors and all business owners to conduct their closely held businesses in clear conscience according to their religious beliefs, including, but not limited to bakeries, photographers, caterers and flower shops; and that non-discrimination ordinances and statues shall not forcibly coerce support for marriages and/or celebrations which are repugnant to the religious beliefs of business owners or any individual.”


Quotable Quote

Just had to call my husband because I couldn't remember my social security number. What do single folks do? — Cindy.

Question: Do you know your Social Security number by heart?

HucksOnline Blogos — 10.29.14

It's that time of year again when the Coeur d'Alene Resort and Downtown Business Association begins to install the lighting that will light up our holiday season for the next 3 months. Don Sausser, our Eye on Sherman Avenue, snapped this photo last evening as the resort tested the lights by the clock tower. Is there any downtown that does Christmas better than Coeur d'Alene?

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Oct. 28): 9525 page-views/5673 unique views

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Day For Cats

Someone near and dear to me and you is demanding that I acknowledge that today is National Cat Day. Sorta like yesterday was National Chocolate Day. I asked my source if we're suppose to eat cat like we eat chocolate. She didn't think that was funny. Now, I'll admit that I have 4 grand-cats, equally split b/n Amy Dearest/Okie Doke in Portland and Junior/Miss Stephanie in Florida. The former are house cats & have the run the place. The latter are barn cats who'd like to get in the house where the two dogs live. I'm, of course, prefer dogs (although my Beagle is independent like a cat, when she's not gobbling my cellphones). I don't understand cat people. They seem to cherish their aloof pets. I prefer an animal that wags its tail when she meets you at the door.

Question: Why do people love cats?

Bujak Pleads In Child Support Case

In the Idaho Press-Tribune, Kelcie Moseley reports: “Libertarian candidate for governor John Bujak says he pleaded guilty to contempt last week in Canyon County for not paying child support for one month in 2013. The Idaho Press-Tribune received an anonymous letter alleging Bujak was called to appear before Judge Howard Smyser after campaign finance disclosure forms revealed he loaned his own campaign $10,000 but was more than a year behind on child support to his ex-wife, Pepper Rae. Campaign finance reports filed Oct. 10 do show a $10,000 loan to Bujak's gubernatorial campaign.“I was not a year behind,” Bujak said Tuesday. The contempt was for August 2013, but support is current now. The case does show activity last week in the Idaho Repository, but the actual files are sealed by the court.” More here.

Biggie? No biggie?

I Love ‘Em, I Love ‘Em Not

I say these are from Satan. Zach Hval says they're heavenly. Discuss — Cindy, via Facebook.

DFO: Zach is correct. I love Dots, except for the green ones. They're disgusting. (See: parable of wheat and tares)

Question: What do you think of Dots?

Obit: Get Out!’s Patrick Jacobs, 42

On Patrick Jacobs Facebook page, his cousin, Tracy Green, wrote a wonderful obituary that included this info: “Rainbow was Patrick's favorite color and Christmas his favorite holiday. He tended bar at Mik's, his most favorite night time haunt, and was known by friends and family there as 'GingerBear' due to his shockingly red hair and wonderful, teddy bear hugs. Patrick often championed those without a voice, his discerning spirit loved deeply and his roomy soul made everyone feel welcome. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.” Absolutely. Dead. On. You can read the entire obituary here.

Letter: What’s Agenda Of Task Force?

I would like to thank the City Council and the other citizens of Coeur d’Alene for passing the city of Coeur d’Alene’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance. Now we have the KCTFHR defining religious freedom AND discrimination for the city of Coeur d’Alene and its citizens. Whooooa! Just who and what the h—l is the KCTFHR? When were they elected? By whom? Who do they represent? What is their agenda? What is their real agenda? We all know what religious freedom is. It is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution of the United States also guarantees that discrimination shall not take place!/Frank D. Gunseor, of Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: Anyone care to respond to Mr. Gunseor?

NIC Enrollment Drop Leveling Off

While North Idaho College’s total headcount is down 4.6 percent this fall, the decline is not as sharp as in recent years signaling that enrollment at NIC is leveling off. The total headcount for students in fall 2014 is 5,779 students, which is down 4.46 percent from last fall’s 6,049. (From 2012 to 2013 the total headcount dropped 7.9 percent.) The decrease this fall was not unexpected. “The NIC Board of Trustees had the foresight to plan for a decrease in enrollment and these numbers actually come in under the projected decrease that the institution budgeted for this fiscal year,” said NIC President Joe Dunlap. “We’ve been on an enrollment rollercoaster for the last few years relative to economic trends. It’s starting to balance out”/Tom Greene, NIC News Room. More here.

Question: Were you ever enrolled at NIC?

Ybarra, District Mum About Leave

Sherri Ybarra has taken some leave of absence from the Mountain Home School District to run for state schools superintendent. It’s unclear how much time Ybarra has taken off, whether the leave is paid or unpaid and whether the campaigning has affected her work as the district’s federal programs director. The campaign isn’t answering specific questions, and neither is the school district. The fact that Ybarra is taking time off to wage a statewide campaign may not be surprising. But throughout the campaign, Ybarra has touted her current, on-the-ground administrative experience as an edge over Democratic rival Jana Jones, a former deputy state superintendent now working as an education consultant. After her win in the May 20 Republican primary, Ybarra said she would remain on the job in Mountain Home, and campaign after hours/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.

Question: Another day, another Ybarra flap? Or is this one insignificant?

Local GOP Opposes Gay Marriage

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee overwhelmingly approved a resolution last night (see above for draft) calling upon Gov. Otter !to stand against the federal court intrusions to our Constitution and reverse any and all mandates for county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples; or, in the alternative, that Governor Otter shall issue an executive order instructing the state's clerks not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples; at the least until the final appeal is decided.”


Taryn Dreamed A Dream

On her Facebook page, Taryn Thompson writes of an odd dream she dreamed last night: “My vegan lasagna must have psychoactive effects. The highlight of last night's dream was going to the neighbor's house and watching as they tried to cook a whole swordfish in their pressure cooker. They couldn't shut the lid, of course. I sat there and watched as the swordfish cooked, its sword shriveling like a water-drenched wicked witch. The neighbor's husband was belching loudly and telling me he was losing his job at the mill and the wife was crying, all the while trying to shut the lid on the pressure cooker.”

Question: Can you recall the last odd dream that you dreamed? Want to talk about it?

A Haunting We Will Go

Get Adobe Flash player

SR photog Kathy Plonka produced this video of some of Spokane's haunted places. Enjoy.

Question: Have you ever been in a place that was truly haunted? Do you want to tell us about it?

Poll: Not Voting Straight Ticket

  • Tuesday's Poll: 163 of 316 respondents (51.58%) said they don't plan to vote straight-ticket in the November election. 99 of 316 respondents (31.33%) said they planned to vote straight-ticket Democrat. 36 of 316 respondents (11.39%) said they plan to vote straight-ticket Republican. 14 (4.43%) said they aren't planning to vote. 4 (1.27%) were undecided re: voting.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support the decision by Kootenai County commissioners to fire airport manager Greg Delavan?

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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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