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Wild Card/Tuesday — 8.26.14

I forgot to mention that I finally harpooned my white whale Sunday evening (aka, the Tree Stump That Haunted My Summer). After getting all kinds of advice re: dealing with the stump (from grinding it, to poisoning it, to simply burying it again), I decided to keep digging for the deep roots that held it in place. I knew I was getting somewhere late Sunday afternoon when I kicked it — and it shivered. From that point until I finally ripped it out of the crater that I'd dug around it was a matter of minutes. I want to keep it as a trophy. But Mrs. O sez it's got to go. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 8.26.14

Earlier today, I posted a Coeur d'Alene Press story about a U.S. flag that someone posted at the top of a ponderosa at 4th of July pass. Photographer Duane Rasmussen drove to the site, located north of I-90, west of the summit. I can see why the U.S. Forest Service doesn't want to risk the safety of anyone RE: taking it down. I'll post a second photo by Duane in the comments thread to give you a better idea re: positioning of the flag.

Top Posts Today: Garage, BearCat

The two posts that received the most comments today were: McEuen garage attracts problems (27 comments), and: BearCat arrives at KCSO (26 comments).

Top Comment (Tie) — OTV & Jaime

Jaime Lynn Morgan (RE: McEuen Park garage attracts problems): I am curious why we need to have a new ordinance put into place. Graffiti, public urination, etc. are actionable items by law enforcement in all other public areas of the city. Why is it different for the parking garage? Is it not a public area?


OrangeTV (RE: BearCat arrives at Kootenai County Sheriff's Office): “Totally sickening. First they ruin people's lives over non-violent crimes and send them away indefinitely to overcrowded facilities, then they put the dirty money they glean in the process toward further militarization of the police force. Does anyone actually believe the KCSD really needs an 8 ton tank? Couldn't this money have been used toward a desperately needed mental health facility instead?”

Nelson Explains Jail Lease Opposition

I have recently filed in opposition to the Judicial Confirmation proceedings for a lease for a new jail facility. The citizens of Kootenai County have spoken loud and clear with a “No” vote on jail bonds in 2005, 2008 and 2009. I’m filing in opposition to this private-public business arrangement to represent the citizens whose voices are being circumvented by this process. The lease concept and expanded facilities require a tremendous amount of new resources and funding without the corresponding income. The plan includes an additional 300 beds with a future pad for another 192 for an overall total capacity of 817 beds. Housing more inmates will cost county taxpayers for additional food, medical expenses, added transport deputy’s to take them to court and back, more staff to keep track of their hearing schedules, attorney meetings and family visitations. There are new insurance requirements and a new jail campus and buildings to maintain along with the current facilities/Commissioner Jai Nelson. More here.

Question: I view the county as being between a rock and a hard place. Voters won't approve a new or expanded jail. And more jail space has been needed for years now. Judicial confirmation appears to be the only option to meeting this legitimate county need. Thoughts?

Cutline Contest — 8.26.14

Time 2 Vote …

Ball persons attempt to swat away a bee from Kimiko Date-Krumm, of Japan, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament against Venus Williams, of the United States, Monday, in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Monday's Winner — Nic, with 4 likes: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you earthquake damage, you make a skate park. You can see Monday Photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.26.14

  • 5:28 p.m. Driver of dark Chevy pickup had short-barreled rifle pointed out window @ w/b I-90/Sherman Avenue.
  • 5:23 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 9000 block of Neufeld Road/Hayden.
  • 5:22 p.m. Disabled vehicle reported @ roundabout on Kathleen Avenue/CdA.
  • 5:21 p.m. Extra patrol requested for McEuen Field tonight.
  • 4:45 p.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report for Aug. 25-26 here.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Aug. 25-26 here.
  • 4:22 p.m. County resident Ruth asks KCSD to handle transients who are living in her neighborhood.
  • 3:38 p.m. Transient tells CPD officer that he has permission to use shopping cart from nearby grocery store.
  • 3:29 p.m. Male is loitering on sidewalk in front of Iron Horse restaurant/downtown Coeur d'Alene.
  • 3:16 p.m. 2 hitchhikers along w/b I-90/MP 1 (Beck Road/Post Falls) are holding up signs.
  • 3:11 p.m. Coeur d'Alene office worker reports smelly transient from nearby field used building restroom.
  • 3:09 p.m. Unconscious motorcyclist is lying on back in ditch, w/blood coming from mouth, after crash w/car on Brunner.
  • 2:50 p.m. Teen female on E. Spruce/CdA threatening to hurt mother and herself.
  • 2:37 p.m. Someone injured in a fall @ 2000 block of N7th/CdA.
  • 2:29 p.m. Passerby w/knife dispatched injured deer along road, unknown location, now waiting for officer.
  • 2:27 p.m. Driver of small, black vehicle speeding, passing unsafely on e/b H54/Athol area.
  • 2:02 p.m. Male in 1995 Blazer w/Washington plates was trying to take parts from under vehicle in Post Falls neighborhood. He left when confronted by owner of parked car.
  • 1:30 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Office property crimes report Aug. 22-26 here.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 8.26.14

In this 2008 AP file photo, Idaho players (from left) Barrett Brown, Sebastien Taulbee, head coach George Pfeifer, Jordan Brooks and Phillip Thomas watch the final minute from the bench against New Mexico State during the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament quarterfinal in Las Cruces, N.M. Pfeifer has just been named head girls' basketball coach at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane. Greg Lee's story here. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Too Bad, So Sad

A brassy thief left behind this note in a plastic bag stapled to a tree on Tubbs Hill as he was preparing to ride off on a stolen bike. Walkabout spotted the note and sent this photo to Huckleberries Online.

Boise Cops Unveil Military Equipment

Amid concerns about police militarization arising from events in Ferguson, Mo., the Boise Police Department rolled out some of its SWAT and repurposed military gear to media gathered at City Hall West (off of Emerald Street) to discuss the need for armored vehicles and tactical equipment. Standing before the Boise Police Department's mine resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson said that the heavily armored truck—a piece of repurposed military equipment procured for free through the Department of Defense's 1033 program—is a purely defensive piece of equipment that would not be used on demonstrations like they have been in Ferguson/Harrison Berry, Boise Weekly. More here. (Boise Weekly photo by Harrison Berry: Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson with department's mine resistant ambush protected vehicle)

Question: Where have I heard this one before?

HBO Blogosphere — 8.26.14

R. Lindsey snapped this photo of two bears mixing it up north of Nordman a couple of weeks ago. Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns posted it on her Priest Lake Facebook page. Pecky invited her readers to write a caption for the photo.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Aug. 25): 6530 page-views/3957 unique views

Otter Defends Ed Record In Speech

Gov. Butch Otter defended the state’s direction on K-12 — and its funding commitment — in a speech to some 600 Treasure Valley business leaders Tuesday. “I still think we have to look at the results,” Otter said at a Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday. “It’s not how much money you spend, it’s how you spend the money.” Ten weeks before the Nov. 4 election, Otter did not directly address his re-election campaign — or his Democratic challenger, Boise School Board member A.J. Balukoff. But Otter’s comments on education funding did touch on a point of contention in the governor’s race. In a fundraising email last week, Balukoff took the state to task for its per-pupil spending, which perennially sits near the bottom of national rankings. The rankings, he said, are “downright shameful”/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.

Question: Do you see something wrong with this statement: “It's not how much money you spend, it's how you spend the money”?

CdA Hotel Faces Suit Over Door Lock

An Oregon woman is suing Best Western at 506 W. Appleway/Coeur d'Alene for an injury she suffered while trying to get out of her room after her door lock got stuck in August 2012. Dianna Niermann filed suit through her attorney, Monica Flood Brennan, as a result of the incident. After she discovered she was locked in the room, the lawsuit said, Niermann called hotel management, which sent a janitor. The suit said: “The maintenance person attempted to help her open the door and advised her to use her hand to push hard on the door handle.” Niermann claims she suffered an injury to her hand and wrist, as a result. She was locked in her room for over three hours. The suit claims Best Western was negligent and is asking for damages in excess of $10,000, as well as cost of her attorney and the lawsuit.

Question: How would you rule if you happened to be on the jury in this case?

Taking The Plunge

NIC President Joe Dunlap is dunked by NIC Vice President for Business and Finance Chris Martin. Dunlap and the NIC vice presidents participated in the NIC Presidential Plunge this year. The contest measured how much food the departments for each vice president could accumulate for the NIC Food Pantry, which is opening its doors for the first time this fall. Over 1,000 food items were gathered to stock the shelves. Martin earned dunking rights since his department gathered the most food. North Idaho College greeted hundreds of students back with the annual Day of Welcome event today. Students had an opportunity to check out clubs and activities on campus while eating barbecue and playing games. (NIC Press Room Photo: Tom Greene)


A Mother’s Lament

I just got one kid out of braces.. Another is getting them on right now :( — KXLY's Robin Nance, via Twitter.

Question: Did you wear braces as a kid?

A Beard This Fall? Definite Maybe

From Facebook, Bashful Dan Young of Sandpoint posts: “I also have to make a decision about growing a beard again this fall-winter … I'm leaning toward 'maybe.'”

Question (for men of HBO): Do you grow a beard in the fall/winter?

WSU Planner Cover Feats UW Building

Students at Washington State University did a double-take when they received their free student planners from The Bookie this week. The cover features a picture of a cougar, the iconic Bryan clock tower and a building that was a little harder to identify. Down at the very bottom of the cover, with beautiful brick and elegant cherry trees is Savery Hall, a building located at the heart of the campus of WSU's sworn rival – the University of Washington. A distraught manager Leslie (no last name provided) at WSU's bookstore The Bookie says they are aware of the problem and are working with the unidentified vendor to come to a solution/Anna Izenman, KXLY. More here. (Photo: KXLY)

Question: Can you imagine the commotion in North Idaho, if a UIdaho booklet included a well-known Boise State place on the cover?

County Ready To Vote On Jail Lease

The Kootenai County Commissioners are currently negotiating with Rocky Mountain Corrections, of Ketchum, Idaho, on an agreement that would have the company build and own a new jail in Kootenai County. Commissioner Dan Green and Todd Tondee voted in favor for judicial confirmation and support the 20 year jail lease with Rocky Mountain Corrections.  Ben Wolfinger is also very much in favor of the jail lease. NOTE: Commissioner Jai Nelson doesn't support this 20 year jail lease or the judicial confirmation. This is what Jai Nelson said about the jail lease and the judicial confirmation:  “I strongly believe that not placing this issue on the ballot is a violation of the will of the people and an attempt to circumvent the constitution,” Nelson said. “This is not the right thing to do for our citizens — bottom line”/Kootenai County Citizens for Property Rights. More here.

  • Hearing: Judicial confirmation hearing is set for Aug 29, 1 PM, at the District Court Building.

Question: Should the county commission use judicial confirmation (having judge rule if project is a necessary expense) rather than a public vote to lease a new jail?

On The Waterfront: Urinetown Sequel

Walking partner Greg Lee and I inspected the underground parking garage at McEuen Park for signs of party/potty use during our noon walk today — and didn't come up with much. We saw some evidence of graffiti painted over in one area and chalk graffiti in another. A Spokane newscaster appeared to be filming the chalk graffiti. Elsewhere, the parking garage appeared to be well-maintained. No poop. No evidence of Urinetown usage. Then, Greg and I began our sweep at 5th Street and headed west. P'haps there was some evidence of graffiti or bathroom usage in the block to the east. Also, it's possible that the city scrubbed the garage in preparation for the front-page story in the Coeur d'Alene Press today. As we all know, from the visit of WSU's Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority May 3, that it doesn't take much for individuals with full bladders to drop trou and relieve themselves, even in City Park. Kappa Kappa Gamma plans to return to Coeur d'Alene sometime this year for a cleanup day. Sorority sisters are going to pick up trash on Tubbs Hill as penance for the indecent exposure by a half dozen of them this spring. It might be nice if they bring along their pails, mops & sponges to clean the parking garage, too/DFO. (Courtesy photo: WSU Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters using back of North Idaho Museum as a peeing wall)

Question: Have you used the underground McEuen parking garage yet … um … to park?

DFO’s Critters: 2-Headed Turtle

A recently-hatched two-headed turtle is held at NEA Turtle Farm in Amagon, Ark. A state biologist says turtle mutations are rare, but are becoming more common. (AP Photo/Sarah Morris)

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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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