Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Time to reflect on those who have served and protected this country — and in too many cases been scared, physically and/or emotionally, as well as those who paid the ultimate price. Memorial Day Weekend ushers in the unofficial beginning of summer. But it doesn't look like summer weather ahead. When we return Tuesday, we'll start discussing how we're going to fill our time until the first mayor or council member throws his/her hat in the ring. Then, we'll pounce. Now for your Memorial Day weekend Wild Card. Stay safe …
The Kootenai County Sheriff said Friday that he is compelled to drop the department's Boy Scouts of America charter because the organization is promoting a lifestyle that is against state law. “It would be inappropriate for the sheriff's office to sponsor an organization that is promoting a lifestyle that is in violation of state law,” Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said. Sodomy is against the law in Idaho, he added. “I have talked with Chris Peterson about this and sent him a copy of the law,” Wolfinger said. Peterson, who works in the Hayden office of the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts, could not be reached for comment on Friday/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Folks maneuver their way through the construction site for the McEuen Park renovation on Monday. The project is sure to cause congestion for upcoming events in Coeur d'Alene including Car d'Lane, Ironman Coeur d'Alene, Downtown Street Fair/Taste of the Coeur d'Alene/Art on the Green, Coeur d'Alene Triathlon and the Diamond Cup hydro races. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
This is shaping up to be one of the busiest summers in the Lake City, with the planned return of hydroplane racing over Labor Day weekend capping a full schedule of events that draw crowds from around the Inland Northwest. It also will be one of the most challenging seasons for traffic flow and parking due to major construction on the south edge of downtown. McEuen Park is being rebuilt at a cost of $20 million, and the work has closed four blocks of Front Avenue and wiped a large public parking lot off the map. It also will close the busy Third Street boat launch for the summer. And just this week downtown merchants learned the city will close several more blocks to traffic and parking for a three-week stormwater project set to begin Monday night. The work had been scheduled for July but was moved up/Scott Maben, SR. More here,
Question: Do you have a game plan to find downtown parking and attend events, like Car d'Lane and the Fourth of July Parade and fireworks, this summer?
I moments away from a three-day Memorial weekend break. You're probably ready for one, too — after the wild week we had with the local elections on Tuesday and then fallout from them for the remainder of the week. It'll be challenging to keep you entertained in the coming weeks sans fodder from campaigns and elections to fill the insatiable maw of the Huckleberries Online beast. I'll worry about that next week, however. For now, I'll re-post the Wild Card …
Kiersten Kerr, coach of the two-time champion Coeur d'Alene High Skeet & Trap Team, explains the photo and poster by Bruce Twitchell above: “We did just win state and our kids are very excited about it. The competition was in Boise on May 17th and 18th. There were 9 teams and 68 kids competing on teams from around the state. Our kids won first place overall, as well as first place in skeet, trap and sporting clays. We are very proud of them and look forward to next year. This our second state title (we won last year as well). The team was formed at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.” Kiersten coaches the team with Bill White. (Click on photo to enlarge)
Question: Have you ever shot skeet?
A Facebook Friend posts: “
Contemporary French artist Fabien Merelle poses for photos in front of his creation in five meters high sculpture “Pentateuque” in Central, business district of Hong Kong, Tuesday. The artwork brings to real life the fantastical and seemingly impossible act of an average man balancing a gigantic elephant. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Thursday Winner — Sibulsky/7 likes: “Soft kitty,/Warm kitty,/Little ball of fur./Happy kitty,/Sleepy kitty,/Purr, purr, purr.” You can see Thursday photo and all 10 cutlines here.
It’s National Bike Month, which got me thinking about a neighbor kid from my childhood. We grew up in the woods outside Sandpoint, and there weren’t many other kids around, so we had to make our own fun. Most of that revolved around bikes, and my brother and I were pretty tame on two wheels — the most daring feats involving what seemed like precipitous jumps, but which were probably no higher than a foot off the ground. Well, this neighbor of mine, his idea of a good time was to ride his beat-up old Huffy to the top of a high hill on our dirt road, teeter at the top and pedal as furiously as he could to the bottom. At the magic point, just before the hill started to level off and his speed was at its greatest, this kid would let go of the handlebars and push himself off the seat — hanging in midair for a frozen moment as the bike continued racing, suddenly riderless, into the ditch/Zach Hagadone, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)
Question: What is the most daring thing that you've done on a bike?
Bailey Andrews, aquatic lifeguard supervisor for Sliverwood Theme Park filmed the Spin Cycle at the amusement park near Athol earlier today. The Spin Cycle is Silverwood's newest addition. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Bear hunters in high country of North Idaho search among blackened tree stumps and dense woods for game during bear season earlier this month, from left: Chris Quagliana, Orville Grabeal and Rich Piazza. Photographer Duane Rasmussen reports that hunters shoot 400 yards or more to bring down a bear.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, May 23): 10,788 page-views/5,371 unique views
… That negotiations between the Coeur d'Alene School District and the Coeur d'Alene Education Association have been suspended until new trustees are sworn into office July 1. An insider tells Huckleberries: “Due to new board members joining the CdA School Board of Trustees and the many end of school year activities that impact schedules, both negotiations teams have decided to postpone negotiations. The Tuesday, May 28th negotiations session has been cancelled.”
State Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, addresses the North Idaho Pachyderm Club at Jonesy's restaurant on Sherman Avenue this morning, discussing the state-run exchange, which has upset some local Republicans who oppose Obamacare entirely. Malek also discussed his bill to protect emergency room doctors, which passed the Idaho House but narrowly failed in the Idaho Senate during the 2013 session. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Question: Do the archconservatives in the local GOP still have Malek targeted for defeat in the 2014 primary — for siding with the guv on a state-run exchange? Anyone?
T. W. Clark Construction of Spokane Valley, Washington was awarded the Canfield Middle School Remodel and Additions general construction project for $5,818,600 which is a base bid of $4,964,000 plus alternate bids 1 and 2 for $854,600. The Coeur d’Alene School District Board of Trustees awarded the project to T.W. Clark during a special board meeting held at 12 noon today. The original project budget for Canfield was $8.2M. “We are ecstatic that we’ve had a great competitive environment with four contractors vying for the Canfield project,” stated Chief Operating Officer Wendell Wardell/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District. More here.
Question: Great deal, hunh?
Shoshone County taxpayers reached a notable conclusion in the May 21 election: More government won't mean more economic opportunity and prosperity. I suspect that advocates of urban renewal will try again. I'm more hopeful that advocates of urban renewal in other parts of the state, including those in Nampa, will take note: If your project is so wonderful, you ought to have no trouble presenting it to voters. Voters in Shoshone County rejected the creation of a new urban renewal agency by a 3-1 margin. The electorate simply didn't buy the sales pitch about the urban renewal agency and its related promise of “jobs, jobs, jobs”/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
On its Facebook wall at 1:15 p.m., the Police Falls Police Department warns motorists: “
Idaho's sold more than $500,000 worth of its new $10 state parks passports in the first six months of the program, and state parks officials have high hopes the low-priced passes tied to Idahoans' vehicle registrations will take off big and help fund the park system. “The process is a little more complicated, but I think Idahoans have been so receptive,” said Jennifer Okerlund, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman. “I think sales are on track”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: How often do you visit Idaho state parks?
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo is defending his former campaign manager who lost $250,000 in campaign funds in a risky investment, while also calling the incident “discouraging” and “deeply distressing.” Crapo’s then-campaign manager, Jake Ball, loaned $250,000 in campaign funds in 2008 to a longtime friend’s now-defunct investment company, Blueberry Guru LLC, which invested it into real estate ventures in Nevada and California that promised a quick profit. Instead, the money disappeared. Crapo said he wasn’t informed about the bad loan until late 2010; he worked with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office to try to pursue the matter, but to no avail; now, he’s filed amended campaign finance reports for 2008 and 2009 to reflect the loss/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Should Crapo have thrown this guy under the bus?
Do you recall that speeding ticket that Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation received while in Kootenai County recently? Seems he got into a war of words with the Lewiston Tribune over it:
And he's not happy with the Tribune, which said the lobbyist and political insider was seeking to game the system.”I have recently discovered that there are not enough hours in the day to correct the misinformation from the Lewiston Tribune,” Hoffman wrote Monday. “No kidding, I would have to hire additional staff just to supervise the nonsense and misinformation, both from the Tribune's reporters and its editorial page.”Well, it's true the Tribune's recent editorial about Hoffman's speeding incident glossed over the fact that he's a lead-footed recidivist. So in the interest of transparency, here's what the Idaho Supreme Court data repository shows:
Oops. We missed that. Pardon us. - M.T. Today's Cheers & Jeers column
Question: Izzit just me, or do you also think Hoffman should quit digging now the hole he's dug re: this issue is reaching sinkhole proportions?