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Downtown Spokane Displays Pink Edit

The iconic smoke stacks of Steam Plant Square will glow pink in the month of October for breast cancer awareness. Developer Ron Wells and representatives of Avista, the majority owners of the building, turned on the new LED lighting system and switched the color to pink after Spokane Mayor David Condon read a proclamation in support. Wells told of how his mother died of breast cancer when he was 17. You can see more of SR photog buddy Jesse Tinsley's photos of the pink smoke stacks in downtown Spokane here.


UI Student Has Bacterial Meningitis

University of Idaho administrators are taking preventative actions today after one student was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis Wednesday. UI Dean of Students Bruce Pitman said university officials were provided preliminary information about the student's condition Tuesday and the diagnosis was confirmed Wednesday morning. Pitman said the student, who is not being identified, was doing well given the situation. Bacterial meningitis is an infection around the brain and spinal cord that typically results from a meningococcal disease that is caused by bacteria, according to the Public Health - Idaho North Central District website. Moscow Family Medicine will be on campus today to provide antibiotics to students in the same living group with the student or who came in contact with the man, Pitman said/Elizabeth Rudd, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Would this concern you have you had a child at University of Idaho?

Joe The Plumber To Make House Call

Remember Joe the Plumber. In an interview with Joe Wurzelbacher, Lewiston Tribune reporter Joel Mills provides this flashback: Wurzelbacher was swept into the national spotlight in October of that year when Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois, was campaigning on his suburban Ohio street. Wurzelbacher - who is speaking Saturday in Lewiston - asked the future president about tax policy, and the campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain latched onto Obama's response about spreading wealth as evidence of a socialist agenda.” So why are we talking about Joe. He's taking part in a rally in Lewiston Saturday for businessman Mike Kingsley's run for the Idaho House of Representatives against Idaho House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston. John, of course, is a semi-regular commenter on HucksOnline. More here.

Question: Would you turn out for an event to see Joe the Plumber?

iPAD Project Fizzles In Paul, Idaho Edit

Paul Elementary School was considered a model of one-to-one classroom technology in 2012, when it received a grant for student iPads. Now, the K-5 school in rural Minidoka County is a symbol of something else: the scramble to try to keep technology in student hands. This week, The Times-News in Twin Falls published an interesting update on the Paul iPad project. The school no longer has a contract with iSchool, the Park City, Utah, company that helped set up the iPad program. Paul missed out on the first round of technology pilot grants in 2013. Now, the Minidoka County School District is using supplemental levy money to help pay off the devices, now scattered among four schools/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here. (IdahoED NEWS photo: Third-graders at Paul Elementary use iPads)

Question: I've often wondered what kind of a mess we'd be in had Tom Luna, Butch Otter & company had their way with implementation of the Luna Laws. Maybe I'm reaching here. Thoughts?

Help Wanted: Idaho GOP Hiring

For a guy who says he wants to avoid making headlines, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates managed to do just that last week. Swinging through Twin Falls, Yates told the Times-News' Nathan Brown he had picked a new finance chairman. Larry Craig. Yes, that Larry Craig. The same Larry Craig who incinerated a 28-year career — first as a representative from the 1st Congressional District and then as U.S. senator — when he got caught in a gay sex sting operation in a Minneapolis airport men's room in 2007. The same Larry Craig who tried to wiggle off the hook — first by flashing his Senate identification to the undercover airport cop he allegedly solicited and next by claiming he had a “wide stance”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo, of former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig)

Question: Um, can you think of a better person for the Idaho GOP finance job that Larry Craig?

Ex-Pilot Cuts Weight, Cost Of Hydros

Murdo Cameron, owner of Cameron Aircraft, has teamed up with North Idaho College to build hydroplanes from composite materials, making hulls that are much lighter and stronger. He talked about the process at the facility in Hayden last Thursday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Murdo Cameron has something to tell the sport of hydroplane racing: Lighten up already. The retired airline pilot, an innovator in the field of advanced composite materials, says he can transform how thunderboats are built, greatly reducing their weight and cost while making them stronger. And he’s well on his way to proving it at an aerospace school near the Coeur d’Alene Airport. “I think it’s a revolutionary breakthrough in building unlimited hydroplanes,” Cameron said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Did you miss not having the hydroplane races on Lake Coeur d'Alene this year?

Tribe Works To Protect Idaho Water

Representatives of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe met with Kootenai County commissioners on Wednesday to discuss water rights. Helo Hancock, legislative director for the Tribe, explained to commissioners how the federal government files claims on behalf of the Tribe, and why. Tribes are unique in any prior-appropriation water rights state because older water rights take priority over newer rights. It is called “first in time, first in rights.” Tribes obviously would have the oldest claims to the water. Tribes and cities are also allowed to claim future water rights if they can prove there is an “express purpose” for doing so, unlike individual water rights which must be put to a “beneficial use” or are lost/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Hancock said: “Eventually, it's going to happen; Washington is going to start claiming our water.” Do you see any problem with Idaho sharing its water rights with neighboring Washington?

Officials Discuss Food Truck Industry

City officials heard a common cry from several food truck owners who attended a public workshop held Wednesday at City Hall: “Why mess with something when it works so well?” The workshop was hosted by the city as elected officials and staff members grapple with whether to create an ordinance regulating the growing food truck industry. “The city needs to list its concerns and justifications for any rules or regulations,” Councilman Dan Gookin told The Press following the meeting. “I believe these concerns were well-stated today, specifically with regards to traffic, access for emergency vehicles, fire safety inspections, wastewater disposal, and just to know who is where doing what”/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo by Shawn Gust: Jean Paul Bruns, a regular customer of The Big Yellow Mobile Kitchen, picks up his order Wednesday at The Big Yellow Mobile Kitchen, 4th/Spokane in Coeur d'Alene)

Question: Do you have a favorite food truck in town?

The Guard Dog

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.1.14

Gov. Butch Otter & friends will be invading Coeur d'Alene in two days for a debate at the library community center room. I'm sure Jimmy Mac & Co. have everything under control as we move toward another gubernatorial election. The voters should begin awakening from their slumber to start paying attention. Or mebbe they'll simply vote straight ticket rather than think for themselves. Who knows? A number of favored candidates on the state, legislative and courthouse ballots are scary. But the shire will endure. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.1.14

China's Xie Wenjun, finishes first as Kuwait's Almandeel Abdulaziz falls during men's 110m hurdles final at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

Top Commented Stories — 10.1.14

The stories that attracted the most comments today were: “GOP guvs attack 'politician' Balukoff” (9 comments), and: “HucksOnline Blogos Roundup” (9 comments).

Top Comment Today — FishinJay

FishinJay (RE: Who's to blame for NFL's Bad Boys?): Why limit it to the NFL or colleges? The fans are just as much to blame. They continue to watch, and that provides the incentive for colleges and the NFL to keep those players on the field. Imagine the same situation in another business. Let's say the manager of the local Safeway makes the news for brutally beating his wife and kids. Then Safeway issues a public statement condemning his actions but they refuse to fire him. In fact, they have several managers all accused of the same behavior and they don't fire any of them. Do you keep shopping at Safeway?

Cutline Contest — 10.1.14

Time 2 Vote …

Facts: A pair of tandem surfers catch a wave at the Surf City Dog Surf competition Sunday in Huntington Beach, Calif. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register: Ana Venegas)

Tuesday Winner — Charlie, with 7 likes: “Pull my finger, you'll get a bang out of it.” You can see Tuesday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.1.14

  • 4:45 p.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report for Sept 30-Oct 1 here.
  • 4:27 p.m. Post Falls female reports male who slashed her tires has returned to her residence.
  • 4:07 p.m. Male in florescent yellow jacket @ DMV office is wanted on a warrant.
  • 4:01 p.m. St. Maries gas station reports gas drive-off on H3 involving silver vehicle w/MT plates.
  • 3:59 p.m. Older male is in bushes along Mullan Trail Road, about 1/4 mile from Sunnyside, east of CdA.
  • 3:44 p.m. 88YO female repeatedly hitting emergency button @ Garden Plaza Court/Post Falls.
  • 3:38 p.m. Someone injured in a fall @ Fish Lake/Twin Lake roads.
  • 3:33 p.m. Female @ 11700 block of Hauser Lake Road experiencing heart problems, pain in jaw.
  • 3:20 p.m. ISP officer wants Wichita, Kan., police contacted re: 2 people he has detained in traffic stop.
  • 2:27 p.m. Unoccupied, disabled vehicle, belonging to heating firm, is blocking H95/Wyoming, Hayden.
  • 1:50 p.m. A blue passenger vehicle is disabled @ H41/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 1:06 p.m. Undisclosed alcohol abuse reported @ Post Falls WalMart East, Mullan.
  • 12:27 p.m. 17YO pregnant female involved in 2-vehicle crash that's blocking Atlas/Hayden.
  • 12:06 p.m. KCSDeputy is en route to location on dirt road 2 miles east of Huetter, to check credit card problem.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Journal Honors 30 Under 40

It can be humbling to be in the company of this year's winning class of the North Idaho Business Journal's 30 Under 40. Almost all 27 winners this year attended Tuesday night's award ceremony at The Cellar downtown. The winners were chosen by judges Steve Griffitts of Jobs Plus, Daniel Klocko of Kootenai Health and Eve Knudtsen of Knudtsen Chevrolet. How's this for getting a lot done early in your career? Crystal Kubista is both the current elementary principal at Ramsey Magnet School of Science and co-owner of Franklin's Hoagies on Fourth Street. “I know that the community is full of all kinds of wonderful people, so to be selected for this award is a huge honor,” Kubista said after the ceremony. Don't look for big egos among these big-time doers/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Press photo by Shawn Gust: Ryan Arnold, a winner of this year’s North Idaho Business Journal 30 Under 40 contest, and his wife Jamie react during an awards presentation)

Question: Who do you think is the most influential under-40 person in the Coeur d'Alene area?

A Perfect Fall Day

Here's one of several photos that Marianne snapped of fall color around her Bonner County Lovestead.

Almost all calendars here in the house have been turned to the new month.  A heavy blanket of cloud blocks the sun. Four layers kept me warm during this morning's walk. Pumpkins are turning.  Leaves are falling. I guess this all adds up to a perfect day for this year's edition of Oct. 1 to roll around. The earth here in the Selle area has received a good scrub down during yesterday's afternoon thunder storms, and the next several days promise what we all live for in October: fall days loaded with brilliance, crisp nights and the last beautiful hurrah before that dead season arrives. We can't waste too much time these daily gifts, as they suddenly seem dramatically shorter/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: Describe your perfect fall day.

Court: Bujak Violated Legal Ethics

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak - the current Libertarian candidate for governor - violated four of the Idaho State Bar's ethics rules between 2004 and 2011, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported today. The high court ordered a one-year suspension of Bujak's law license for the violations, but since he already had a 19-month interim suspension when the complaint was filed three years ago, the terms of that penalty already are satisfied and Bujak can continue to practice law. Bujak told the newspaper the ruling was the “last chapter” in a long-running legal case in which he was charged with grand theft by unauthorized control; he gave up his law license pending the resolution of that case, and got it back after his acquittal/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Does this story raise red flags for you re: Bujak's candidacy for Idaho governor?

Pick 6: Viks, Trojans Will Win

Spokane, North Idaho News

Video (above): Greg Lee & Sam Adams offer weekend prep predictions.

SR sports scribe Greg Lee and KHQ/SWX sports director Sam Adams predict that Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls will win their high school football games this weekend. Of the Coeur d'Alene-Hermiston game, the said:

  • Lee: This could be a better matchup than some suspect. Hermison (4-0) has quality wins over 3A Kamiakin and a 52-26 win over Lewiston last week. I see the Vikings bouncing back big after their loss by inches to Highland. CdA 35, Hermiston 20.
  • Adams: In my time at SWX I’ve never seen a CdA offense stifled the way it was against Highland. The Viks couldn’t get a rhythm going in their passing game. Their running game was at times abandoned altogether. This will be a statement game as the Viks take on a physical Hermiston team. Drew Berger is the heart and soul of the Viks and he will find a way to get everybody back into championship form. CdA 28, Hermiston 17.

Complete Pick 6 coverage here.

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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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