Huckleberries Online survived the monster storm Wednesday afternoon by … staying on line while the police squawkers provided snippets of the ongoing damage. At one point, a dispatcher told a responder to a utility problem that he'd have to wait because there were 25 priority calls in front of his. Local police, firefighters & utility crews began to get the matter in hand within about an hour of the storm's beginning. They all deserve a monster hat tip for facing the storm and helping us through it. Now for today's Wild Card …
After years of talking, planning, wrangling, dreaming and dissension, the transformation of the Coeur d'Alene waterfront from a mundane parking lot into a classy people's playground is now a pinch-me-it's-true reality. McEuen Park, officially opened two months ago, is the most dramatic change ever to hit the city of Coeur d'Alene. McEuen Park is huge. Like a fabulous, multifaceted emerald setting, the 20-acre project wraps around the town jewel, Tubbs Hill, from the west side of the waterfront to Sanders Beach on the east. Together, Tubbs Hill and McEuen Park add up to 140 acres of public space. That's one-sixth the size of New York City's Central Park with its millions of people. The park will continue to be a work in progress as trees grow tall, shrubs fatten, grass grows greener and the additional pieces of public art that have been commissioned are installed/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.
Question: Did you realize the McEuen Park/Tubbs Hill green space is 1/6th the size of New York's Central Park?
The Puyallup Tribe of American Indians in western Washington, following the lead of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho, today cancelled two shows by rocker Ted Nugent who is finding himself at the center of a growing controversy over his record of racist and violent rhetoric. “The Ted Nugent shows, scheduled for August 2nd and 3rd at the Emerald Queen Casino, have been cancelled,” the tribe announced on the casino’s Facebook page without further elaboration. The cancellation, Hatewatch learned, came just a short time before Seattle TV station KOMO was expected to air a segment on the Puyallup tribe booking Nugent for the shows. Puyallup Tribal Council Vice President Lawrence W. LaPointe told local media that the tribe booked Nugent without realizing that he espouses “racist attitudes and views.” “The first amendment gives people the right free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here,” he said. “We’ve been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations”/Bill Morlin, SPLC HateWatch. More here. (AP file photo)
Also: SR story here.
Question: It appears that a trend is beginning. Thoughts?
Kevin Daughdrill (in front of sign) and Eric Allen (behind sign) of the Idaho Transportation Department affix new speed limit signs along the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 east of Mountain Home today. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman: Joe Jaszewski)
Beer Theft at Stateline Walmart: The male pictured above is suspected of stealing a 30-pack of Bud Light from WalMart, located on Pointe Parkway in Post Falls, around 11:55 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9. A witness observed the male drive away in an orange and black truck, heading towards the Washington state line. If you have any information or tips, please contact Det. McDonald, reference case 14PF13077, at 208-773-3517. (A picture of suspect's truck with Dixie flag in bed can be seen in comments section)
Coeur d’Alene’s 2014-15 budget will have a zero percent property tax increase under a preliminary spending plan that has received support from the City Council. During a budget workshop Thursday, the council endorsed a budget of $74,561,945 as outlined by finance director Troy Tymesen. The budget will be formally adopted following a public hearing at the regular City Council meeting September 2. As proposed, the budget includes the streamlining and restructuring of some city departments. The deputy city administrator’s position, which in the past was budgeted at $148,292 including wages and benefits, was vacated last December and will not be filled. Those duties will be assumed by other city department heads and their staffs/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
Yesterday, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho. Today, however, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to the Gem State. A relatively small number of the unaccompanied immigrant children who have been flooding into the United States have been sent to Oregon, Washington state and Idaho over the past six months. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 50 immigrant children were released to sponsors in Oregon, 211 in Washington state, and 8 in Idaho between January 1 and July 7. Sponsors can include relatives, family friends, or foster parents/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you think Butch's head is about to explode?
In her Slight Detour blog/Marianne Love headlines today's post: 'Twas a dark and stormy few minutes” re: the Wednesday afternoon thunderstorm. Text & more photos here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, July 23): 8653 page-views/5337 unique views
Question: If you had a personalized T-shirt that expressed a philosophy, what would it say?
Two new candidates for Idaho Republican Party chairman have emerged in the past two days: Cassia County Republican Chairman Douglas Pickett, and former Dick Cheney aide and three-year Idaho Falls resident Steve Yates. This comes as the party is headed to court in a lawsuit filed by its last elected chairman, Barry Peterson, who maintains he’s still in charge despite the failure of the June state party convention to elect anyone as state party chair; while other party leaders have scheduled a state Central Committee meeting for Aug. 2 to choose new leaders, Peterson’s called a competing meeting for Aug. 9/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Does this guy sound better to you than Hang-On-For-Dear-Life Peterson?
Bipartisan legislation introduced last year by Idaho 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador and a bipartisan group of senators and representatives aimed at relaxing harsh 1980s-era federal drug sentencing laws is gaining support in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post editorialized strongly in favor of the measure today, and Labrador reported today that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, endorsed the bill today in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. The measure already is backed by a diverse array of groups ranging from Heritage Action to the ACLU to the American Correctional Association and the NAACP. It would give federal judges more discretion on how they sentence drug offenders who otherwise would be subject to mandatory minimum sentences; and allow inmates already serving the harsh sentences to petition for reductions/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: I like this legislation. You?
Lee White, left, and Gary Jensen, in the back with red tie, discuss their interest in the police chief job with citizens. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)
The two top contenders to be Coeur d’Alene’s next Chief of Police spent Tuesday meeting with the City Council, visiting with police department personnel and participating in a community meet and greet as city leaders near the end of a months-long search for a new police chief. The candidates, Gary R. Jensen, chief of police in Logan, Utah, and Lee R. White, assistant police chief in Mesa, Arizona, interviewed individually with the 14-member selection committee, fielded questions from the City Council during a 90-minute public meeting, visited the Coeur d’Alene Police Department to meet with personal, and met with community members during an hour-long meet and greet late Tuesday afternoon. “I think it’s been a great process and we have two highly qualified professionals who want to make Coeur d’Alene their home and lead a progressive police department,” said Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer. A decision on the new chief is expected in mid-August. An appointment is expected in September/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.
Question: Anyone meet these two finalists?
An estimated 1,320 gallons of sewage spilled this week into Lake Coeur d’Alene at the Arrow Point Marina. North Kootenai Water & Sewer District on Wednesday morning discovered the accidental release of septic effluent from its septic effluent lift station on Arrow Point Drive. The release was due to a pump failure in the lift station and the peak flows overcoming the remaining pump, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality said. Residents of the area were notified, and the swimming areas in the vicinity of the release were immediately closed pending water sample results, the DEQ said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Every officer in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department must watch a series of short training videos on dog encounters – one of the city’s responses to a controversial dog shooting by an officer earlier this month. The video series, “Police and Dog Encounters: Tactical Strategies and Effective Tools to Keep Our Communities Safe and Humane,” was produced by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services office, Safe Humane Chicago and the National Canine Research Council/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
DFO: If you want to watch the dog-training video for police that CPD officers are mandated to view, click on the link above. Thoughts?
Detectives are looking for subjects possibly involved with the dog rescued at Falls Park. A witness described the individuals last seen with the dog as being 17-18 year old males dressed in black. One of the males was carrying what appeared to be a BB rifle. The males appeared to be harassing the dog and may have caused injury to the dog and there may be other witnesses to the incident. The dog is currently being treated at an animal hospital for several injuries but is stable at this time. Anyone with information on the juveniles or the dog’s owner is asked to contact Detective Moss at 773-2952
Thursday, July 24, is being celebrated as National Tequila Day, yet another of what seems like an endless stream of fake, completely made-up holidays. Contrived marketing scheme or not, today’s holiday comes with a range of tequila-infused deals and promotions in bars and restaurants around the country—so, yeah, there’s good reason to celebrate. Nationally, the On the Border restaurant chain is selling $2 house margaritas and $2 shots of Lunazul Reposado Tequila all day at participating locations. Other national chains with National Tequila Day specials include Abuelo’s, where hand-crafted margaritas are $5.95 all day, and Chevy’s, where deals like $2 house margaritas and $4 shots of Cuervo Silver or Cinge come with the added bonus of being available not only on Thursday, but every day through Sunday/Money. More here. (Photo: National Tequila Day Facebook page)
Question: I can't remember the last time I've consumed tequila, can you?
During WWII V-Mail (Victory Mail) was the primary way servicemen were able to communicate with their loved ones back home. In this note, Ray Stone writes to his wife “I think about you always Betty. The feeling and the love I have for you has grown into something much deeper than small talk & sayings.” He wrote this from Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.
DFO: The letter former Coeur d'Alene mayor Ray Stone sent home to his wife, Betty, during the Battle of the Bulge is one of the many items featured on Cindy Hval's “War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation” Facebook page. You can become a follower of Cindy's page by clicking here.
Question: Do you have any World War II memorabilia that belonged to your parents?
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali crosses the finish line to win the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 145.5 kilometers (90.4 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Hautacam, Pyrenees region, France, earlier today. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Question: Do you pay attention to the Tour de France, now that American Lance Armstrong has been discredited?