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Huckleberries Online

Weekend Wild Card — 8.30.14

We bid goodbye to summer this Labor Day Weekend, with three last days of R 'n R. I'm planning to do just that, with a couple of Fantasy Football League drafts thrown in the middle. Yeah, I know it's silly. But it's also addictive. I'll see you back here at 8 a.m. Tuesday. I suspect the politicians will kick their campaigns into high gear soon. So we'll have much to talk about as we move ahead this fall. Now for your Labor Day Weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 8.29.14

Cows share a pond with Canada Geese as temperatures climb to the upper 80s outside of Parkesburg, Pa., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daily Local News, Vinny Tennis)

Styling From The Bench?

Dan Gookin would of been jealous of the judge's (John Stegner) bow tie — Jennifer Locke tweet.

Question: Aren't bow ties illegal outside of the South? Have you ever worn one?

Top Comment — J-Mac

J-Mac (RE: J-Mac: Teachers have good bennies): I've been accused of over paying my baby sitter as well, but my daughter and son are the world to me and I want those that are entrusted with such an enormous responsibility to feel a sense of pride and prestige when educating them. Just like I want a doctor to when caring for loved one. I'm a capitalistic conservative that looks for the greatest return on investment so I think this issue gets inappropriately politicized and look forward to the day that it is not.

Question: How much should a baby-sitter be paid today?

Christie: No Big Military Toys For CPD

Sgt. Christie Wood (RE: Local cops now have 2 big vehicles): Coeur d'Alene PD has not initiated a similar purchase but thanks to the mutual aide agreements in place Chief Haug will likely authorize our use of it if we ever had a major incident such as active shooters within a large public building. It is designed as ballistic protection in order to get officers closer to the threat in as safe a manner as possible. The agency heads have no intention of using this kind of equipment in day to day operations.


TGIF Wild Card — 8.29.14

My three-day Labor Day Weekend is already booked. A symphony concert. A family birthday party. And two Fantasy Football League drafts. Last year, I was a novice re: Fantasy Football. This year, I'm hooked. At stake? Bragging rights, especially in the league formed among my siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews this year, Portuguese Men of War. A niece already has objected to the “Men” part of the title. To which, son-in-law/commissioner Okie Doke, who thought it up, responds, “Aren't we all just beautiful jellyfish?” Now for today's Wild Card …

Judge Rejects Jail Lease Contract

Protester Brent Regan smiles at a passing courthouse security guard, while hold a sign protesting a possible county contract to lease private jail space. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

A 2nd District judge rejected a proposed agreement between Rocky Mountain Corrections and Kootenai County for additional jail space. In a 21-minute hearing, Judge John Stegner said that the contract could encumber Kootenai County to leasing a 625-bed jail that would be built by Rocky Mountain Corrections for more than one year. State statutes now prevent the county from a lease obligation of beyond a year. The judge ruled that the contract language would allow Rocky Mountain Corrections to sue the county, if it decided to break the lease in subsequent years. Commissioner Dan Green told Huckleberries afterward that he would oppose any lease that had the potential to obligate the county for a lease beyond a year. The bond counsel, funded by Rocky Mountain Corrections, asked the judge for advice re: how to re-write the language of the non-appropriation clause in the contract to be acceptable to him. The judge replied that it wasn't his role to give advice. Commissioner Jai Nelson had filed suit to block the proposed jail contract. Judge Stegner awarded legal fees to Commissioner Nelson and her attorney, John Magnuson. About 40-50 people attended the hearing, and 5-6 protesters demonstrated outside the courthouse against the proposed lease.

Cutline Contest — 8.29.14

Time 2 Votes …

Men play paintball in Kabul, Afghanistan. The arrival of recreational paintball to Afghanistan may seem peculiar to outsiders. However, it shows both the rise of a nascent upper and middle class looking for a diversion with the time to spare, as well as the way American culture has seeped into the country since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Thursday Winner — SLFisher, with 6 likes: “Filming commences for the latest Quentin Tarantino movie.” You can see Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.29.14

  • 4:53 p.m. Bearded male on Carlton Street/Spirit Lake is trying to sell music CDs.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Aug. 28-29 here.
  • 3:43 p.m. Turn signal is not functioning @ n/b H41/Mullan, Post Falls, light, causing traffic to back up.
  • 3:32 p.m. A undisclosed type of traffic hazard reported @ H95/Kathleen Avenue, CdA.
  • 3:13 p.m. Male in silver truck reportedly followed girl along road, in area of Black Bay, then asked: “Are you Misty?”
  • 3:09 p.m. CPD officer stopping for male who has open beer container on 2nd Street/downtown CdA.
  • 3:07 p.m. EMTs are handling unconscious customer at Silverwood Theme Park/Athol.
  • 2:54 p.m. A disabled vehicle is reported @ Pleasantview/Prairie Avenue, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 2:53 p.m. Dogs are running loose @ 4973 Highland Drive/Post Falls.
  • 2:21 p.m. Timberlake Fire EMTs en route to Bennett Avenue/Athol home, where male reports returning home to find wife unconscious on floor, possibly not breathing.
  • 2:07 p.m. 6YO boy has been left alone in brown sedan parked in Rathdrum Super 1 lot.
  • 1:59 p.m. A box is lying on e/b I-90/MP 12.5 (b/n H95 & 4th Street/CdA).
  • 1:48 p.m. 84YO female is suffering undisclosed medical emergency @ 2700 block of Westminster/CdA.
  • 1:30 p.m. Fire alarm keeps activating in hom @ 900 block of Willow Lake Loop/CdA.
  • 1:29 p.m. Small grass fire reported behind tennis courts @ Black Bay area, 1200 E3rd Ave/Post Falls.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

HBO Blogosphere — 8.29.14

Marianne Love/Slight Detour was proud of her recent paint job on Lovestead fences, until she found evidence of “busy equine teeth.” Posts Marianne: “I noticed the new chew on the west barnyard fence and then looked to the east to find a few more blemishes to my new paint job.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Aug. 28): 7483 page-views/4857 unique views

Dotting I’s & Crossing T’s

Tamra Dale prepares a protest sign to wave to passersby from the sidewalk of the Kootenai County Courthouse and later Northwest Boulevard with a handful of other demonstrators, including former Coeur d'Alene School Board trustee Brent Regan. Dale, Regan and others were protesting a judicial confirmation hearing being conducted to decide if a propose county lease for private jail space is an ordinary and necessary expense that can be pursued without voter approval. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Protest Against County Jail Lease

Three of five protesters held signs in front of the Kootenai County Courthouse this afternoon during a judicial confirmation hearing for a proposed jail lease agreement with a private organization, supported 2-1 by the county commissioners. A passerby looks at the signs. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Labor Day Traditions, Anyone?

Does your family have a Labor Day Weekend tradition that you might share with us?

Shoutout Friday

My new friend Sally wanted to give a shoutout to a co-worker during North Idaho Fair week last week. But I forgot to post this new feature for a second week. I'll try to remember in the future. Today is Shoutout Friday. It's goal is to allow you to give a shoutout to someone you know who deserves praise for any of a number of things.

DFO: I want to give a shoutout to Duane Rasmussen, who spices up the front page of Huckleberries Online with many local photographs. Saaa-lute.

Question: Is there someone that you want to give a shoutout to?

Vandals Kick Off Against Florida

“Are you ready for some football, Vandals?” asks the University of Idaho Facebook page. “The Idaho Vandals football season kicks off this Saturday in “The Swamp” versus Florida. And we're back for the home opener Saturday, Sept. 13. For tickets and more visit here.”(University of Idaho Facebook photo)

DFO: I've been to “The Swamp” (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium) on the University of Florida campus in August. I don't envy the UI Vandals Saturday. High humidity + up to 100,000 people in a stadium built into the ground isn't my idea of a good time. But I'm looking forward to the rest of the UI season, now that the footballers are in the Sun Belt Conference and the rest of the sports team, esp. basketball, returns to the Big Sky.

Question: What are your thoughts re: UI's coming sports year?

Help Wanted: Reviewing ISAT 2.0

If you have three hours to spare — and you’re interested in what Idaho’s new Common Core-aligned test looks like — the State Department of Education wants to hear from you. The state wants teachers, college faculty, parents and the public to take part in an online panel that will help set benchmarks for ISAT 2.0, the new assessments crafted by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Panelists will have the chance to review the test questions and weigh in on the achievement benchmarks the state will use in assessing student performance/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.


Huckleberries Hears

… That the judicial confirmation hearing for a proposed jail lease with a private company attracted 5-6 protesters. While some detractors listened to the proceedings in the courtroom, others stood outside holding signs, in front of the old courthouse on Government Way and later along Northwest Boulevard. Commissioners (sans Jai Nelson, who has filed suit to stop the action) are asking for permission from a judge to pursue the lease to provide more space for the county jail. Protesters want the county to ask the voters (who, I'm sure, would reject the idea).

I-90/Beck Road Work To Cause Delay

Idaho Department of Transportation tweet: To complete guardrail installation at the Beck Road Interchange bridge, one lane will close in each direction of the east- and westbound lanes of Interstate 90 at milepost 1 (one mile east of the state line) beginning Tuesday (Sept. 2), the Idaho Transportation Department announced. Work is expected to be complete Sept. 12. Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction, of Salt Lake City, is the general contractor on this $23.8 million project. ITD advises drivers to use caution driving in the construction zone.

Question: How often do you drive this section of I-90?

80 MPH Limit Bringing More Tickets

Idaho State Police say troopers have handed out more speeding tickets on interstates where speed limits have increased to 80 mph compared to the same time period last year. The agency tells the Idaho Statesman ( in a story on Thursday that some drivers appear to think the new 80 mph speed limit means they can drive 90 mph. But agency spokeswoman Teresa Baker says troopers aren't giving a break on speeding tickets to anyone going over 80 mph. Speed limits on rural sections of Interstates 84, 86 and 15 increased from 75 to 80 mph in late July/AP via Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise. More here. (AP File Photo: Blake Rindlisbacher of the Idaho Transportation Department, shows one of the new 80 mph speed limit signs)

Question: I don't go more than 2-3 miles over any posted limit. And usually simply set my cruise control on the speed limit. In a trip from here to Portland, I lose 15 minutes or so, as a result. But I simply smile and wave when I see the state patrol vehicles lurking along the roadway. How about you? Do you travel over the posted speed limit on highways?

Analysis: Cabin Sale Was Good Deal

At yesterday’s auction of state-owned Priest Lake cabin sites at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, many in the crowd were wondering if the state really was getting a better deal for the state’s schoolchildren – the beneficiaries of the Priest Lake state endowment lands – by divesting itself of the cabin sites. The 59 cabin-site renters are currently being charged rent at 4 percent of appraised value for the ground under their cabins, which came to a total this year of $1,070,857. Last night, the state endowment’s take from the auction was $26,903,812. That’s more than 25 years’ worth of rent that it collected in a single night, at today’s rental rates. In the past year, the rent collected on the properties was actually significantly less, somewhere around $700,000/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (SR Photo by Jesse Tinsley: Tom Wielgos celebrates after entering the one winning bid for the Priest Lake cabin site where he has a home)

Question: Do you agree that the state of Idaho did the right thing by auctioning off cabin sites Thursday?

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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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