For nine years, a makeshift encampment in the wooded area behind Target in Coeur d'Alene has been the place a number of the area's homeless have called home. But in less than a week, the camp will no longer exist. Jeff Conroy, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul of North Idaho, told The Press Thursday that Spokane developer Harlan Douglass plans to sell the land and wants all the homeless residents trespassed from the property by Wednesday. Outreach workers at Heritage Health, collaborating with St. Vincent de Paul, are now scrambling to get people to leave the forested area by the deadline, he said. Efforts to relocate the homeless people are already underway. Conroy said outreach workers told him half the camp's 50 to 60 residents have left/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Where do you suppose these transients are going to go?
In The Spokesman-Review, columnist Shawn Vestal writes: “The gay marriage debate has always been marked by a tension between the constant insistence that marriage is sacred and the undeniable reality that for many people it is anything but. The Knapps are ordained ministers and doubtlessly hold sincere religious beliefs. But the Hitching Post has seemed to serve mostly that second kind of marriage – the quickie union, the light-hearted ceremony, the time-is-of-the-essence nuptials. It has more in common with a Vegas drive-through chapel than First Pres.” More here.
Question: With the Idaho ACLU deciding not to enter this fray, have we seen the beginning of the end of another community controversy?
A.J. Balukoff, Democratic candidate for governor, will visit HucksOnline HQ at 1:30 p.m. today, for a 5Q interview. I'm compiling questions to ask him in a brief interview that aren't a rehash of all the words and video focused on the gubernatorial campaign to date. I have three questions so far. Can you suggest another? You can post it here or start your own thread with this Wild Card …
The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho says it will not challenge a northern Idaho wedding chapel's refusal to conduct gay marriages because the chapel falls under a religious exemption. Interim Executive Director Leo Morales said in a news conference Thursday that the Hitching Post became a religious corporation in Idaho nearly a month ago. Morales says the ACLU believes that under that exemption, the chapel does not have to comply with the city of Coeur d'Alene's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation because the chapel only provides religious services/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Does this mean this hubbub is finished but for some lingering shouting?
Top Comment of the Day: Fort Boise (RE: Huckleberries interviews A.J. Balukoff) — “The only thing wrong with being a liberal is that narrow-minded political hacks have done such a great job of demonizing the label. Take your pick of which of 150 achievements of liberalism that your're not in favor of, from the 40-hour work week to modern civilization. It's been such a smashing success, in fact, that self-serving plutocrats have been able to convince people to vote against their own self-interest, baiting the hook with lower taxes and let the devil take the hindmost who doesn't recognize how we built all that we have and enjoy.”
Most Commented Stories: A word of advice (34 comments), and: Burials become impractical (23 comments), and: I didn't get the memo (23 comments), and: Huckleberries interviews A.J. Balukoff (20 comments), and: New room at the cemetery (17 comments).
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Japanese film director Takashi Yamazaki, right, and actors, from left, Eri Fukatsu, Shota Sometani and Ai Hashimoto, pose for photo with the parasitic character Migi, left, in their latest film “Parasyte” in Tokyo today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Tuesday Winner — SLFisher, with 4 likes: “Romantic honeymoon in Sierra Leone! New lower prices!” You can see Wednesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Holli Woodings' campaign for Secretary of State has come up with a survey inviting people to rank “The Denney Bottom 10” missteps of her opponent and his time in the Idaho Legislature. Not a bad idea to highlight the lowlights, but I found the forced ranking difficult. There are so many bad acts to choose from! One of them, at least was easy to sort out: “[becoming] Idaho’s first ousted House Speaker in three decades” was more of a positive step—by Denney's peers—than a misstep by him. Let's select out the top class of disqualifiers instead/Fort Boise. Check out Fort Boise's attempt at a Denney Bottom 10 here.
Question: Is there anything missing on Fort Boise's list?
Former legislator Bert Marley, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, responds to a question from the audience during an education forum at the old Harding School Wednesday night. Marley is running on the ticket with gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff, with arms folded to the left. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Oct. 22): 7901 page-views/4915 unique views
At the Wallace Street Journal, chief ranter David Bond, a second-generation Republican, tells why he's voting straight-ticket Democrat this year in Idaho elections, beginning:
“Being a second-generation Republican – Dad served the 6th District of Washington State as an “R” in the House for many terms, and was deemed a “troglodyte” by that state's (also Republican) governor for his obstinance over raising taxes and his opposition to motorcycle helmet laws (“If the fools want to kill themselves, why is that our business?”) — this is a tough thing to say: We are pulling a straight Democrat lever come next month's county and state elections. Apologies to Butch and Lori Otter, who we respect and admire: If we thought our vote would matter we would throw it Butch's way. But the reality is that loonies are running the asylum, and it's time to kick the (expletive deleted) out. Never in Idaho politics has extremism so suffused Idaho's governance.” Full rant here.
Question: Can you be an Idaho Republican and vote straight-ticket Democrat?
Despite missing the postseason the last two years, the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team is has been picked to finish second by Big Sky Conference coaches and third by the media, the conference announced Thursday. Big Sky newcomer Idaho is picked seventh by the coaches and eighth by the media. Defending champion Weber State is picked to repeat at the top. The coaches selected Eastern Washington second, followed by Northern Arizona and Sacramento State/Jim Allen, SR. More here.
Question: 7th? I thought UI would dominate in a lesser division. What's happening here?
It’s that time, the period shortly before the election when things happen quickly. Campaign contributions or independent expenditures of $1,000 or more now have to be disclosed within 48 hours. There are three independent expenditure notices thus far: The “American Comeback Committee Idaho PAC,” which is affiliated with the Republican Governors Association, has reported spending $33,645 on Monday for literature/printing in support of Butch Otter and against A.J. Balukoff, all paid to Paces Direct LLC in Atlanta, Ga.; the RGA already has run two TV ads in Idaho attacking Balukoff/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Other Eye on Boise stories today:
In an op-ed piece at Coeur d'Alene Press Online, state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, writes:
As a former local school board member and Chairman of the Idaho Senate Education Committee, I have worked to improve education for all of Idaho's kids. And, I have always measured that improvement against results. Recent results tell us that Idaho students are not only doing better, but on a national comparison are doing quite well. Idaho's eighth graders tied for eighth in math and tied for 15th in reading. The number of high school students taking college courses doubled in just one year. Idaho's “go on” rate has improved as well as the number of Idahoans attaining a post-high school degree or certificate. So I was surprised and disappointed that in light of all this good news, A.J. Balukoff chose to run such a negative campaign about Idaho and specifically our schools. More here.
Question: Balukoff told Huckleberries this PM that his goal in running for governor was to bring public awareness to the state of education in Idaho. Do you think he's done that? Or was Otter addressing problem before Balukoff entered race?
Democrat AJ Balukoff is shown during gubernatorial debate earlier this fall at the Coeur d'Alene Library. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Sherri Ybarra's campaign troubles are getting national attention. At RawStory, Travis Gettys writes: “The Republican candidate for the top education job in Idaho has been caught lying about her education, endorsements, and marital history – but she’s still leading in the polls. Sherri Ybarra has claimed throughout her campaign that she expected to earn a doctorate in education in August, but she instead received an education specialist degree from the University of Idaho, reported The Spokesman-Review.” More here.
Question: So is Democrat Jana Jones doing a good job telling Idahoans why she's the better candidate? Or are Ybarra miscues obscuring her campaign, too?
Red Cedar (RE: No room at the cemetery): Perhaps, but it seems to be a difficult selling job on the part of the funereal industry to convince people they should “inurn” their loved one's “cremains” in a paid spot somewhere, when it's much cheaper, equally convenient, and sometimes more romantic to scatter their ashes in some beloved spot, or just keep grandpa in a jar on the mantle. I think the phasing out of burial is partly due to our generation's general lack of a sense of place. People move around so much that they don't feel any tie to any particular part of the country, and a “family plot” is completely impractical when the family is scattered to the four winds.
Question: Burial or cremation?
Did you know you could win movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering the Spokesman-Review Weekly News quiz? Test your knowledge of current events and put yourself in the running for Friday's drawings. You can take the News Quiz here.