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Huckleberries Online

Prayers For Patrick

A number of commenters on Patrick Jacobs' Facebook page are calling for thoughts and prayers for the long-time Huckleberries commenter, Miks bartender, and restaurant reviewer. Huckleberries has learned that Patrick collapsed this morning and was taken by ambulance to Kootenai Health — and is very ill. A family member confirmed the situation for me moments ago, asking that readers here keep Patrick in prayers this afternoon and tonight.

Gay Massachusetts Couple Complains

Spokesman Keith Erickson of the city of Coeur d'Alene sent Huckleberries this news release moments ago: “On October 23, 2014, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department received a call from a married individual in Massachusetts complaining that she wanted to have a “ceremony” at the Hitching Post in Coeur d’Alene but was refused.  The complaint was investigated and referred to the city prosecuting attorney’s office on October 24, 2014, for review. After reviewing the allegations and investigation the prosecutor has declined to pursue criminal charges because the Hitching Post is a religious corporation that is exempt from the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.”

Thoughts?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.24.14

Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White speaks at the Kootenai County Democratic Club luncheon at the Iron Horse today. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

  • 3:55 p.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report Oct. 23-24 here.
  • 3:45 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Office property crimes report here.
  • 3:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 23-24 here.
  • 3:16 p.m. Driver of black Toyota pickup w/camper shell possibly DUI @ NW Blvd/Seltice Way, CdA.
  • 3:10 p.m. A silver ladder is lying on the freeway @ I-90/MP 5.7 (Seltice Way/Post Falls).
  • 3:01 p.m. Someone has been injured in a fall @ 16000 block of Ford Road/Worley.
  • 2:33 p.m. Male in beanie in alley behind Zips/7th & Sherman is suspect in theft last night.
  • 1:37 p.m. 40YO male gashed arm in a fall during a seizure @ 400 block of W. Pleasant Lane/Post Falls.
  • 1:19 p.m. Someone suffering a seizure @ St. Dominic's School, 20274 W. Riverview/Post Falls.
  • 1:03 p.m. Hit-and-run accident reported @ 504 N4th St/Midtown CdA.
  • 12:20 p.m. 2-vehicle crash reported @ H95/MP 374 (Isabel Road, near Tensed), unknown injuries.
  • 12:19 p.m. Someone has found bag of animal bones @ Lancaster/English Point, Hayden Lake.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Idaho GOP Gives Ybarra $5K

The Idaho Republican Party has kicked $5,000 into Sherri Ybarra’s run for state superintendent. The Wednesday donation follows similar $5,000 donations to Gov. Butch Otter’s re-election bid and state Rep. Lawerence Denney’s run for secretary of state. In all three races, Republicans have lagged behind Democrats in fundraising. Ybarra, a Mountain Home school administrator, listed slightly more than $22,000 in her latest finance report, filed Oct. 10, while Idaho Falls consultant Jana Jones raised more than $63,000/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

HucksOnline Blogos — 10.24.14

Bruce Wakeman, center, of Spokane Valley, states his views about same sex marriage during a small rally in front of City Hall in Coeur d'Alene on Friday. A small rally of about 10 people was in support of The Hitching Post refusing to marry same sex couples. They took steps to be recognized as a religious organization, which in turn would give them exemption by the City of Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Oct. 23): 9648 page-views/6454 unique views

TGIF Wild Card — 10.24.14

Looks like the police are bouncing transients from the long-time camp in the wooded area behind Target. A few minutes ago, an officer trespassed a homeless person from the area, which has been sold — and likely will become commercial someday soon. St. Vinny's and others who deal with the homeless are scrambling to take care of these out-of-sight, out-of-mind people. Our local charities do a terrific job trying to address the needs out there. Now for today's Wild Card …

Otter Fires Back At Balukoff

Otter's ad hitting back at Balukoff re: private prison scandal.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has launched a new TV ad striking back at Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff, and defending Otter’s handling of a prison scandal. It’s the first time that Otter’s campaign has directly mentioned Balukoff in one of its ads, though two outside groups have been running ads attacking Balukoff and trying to tie him to President Barack Obama/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Effective?

Legal Bill For Marriage Fight — $80K

Idaho’s legal bill for challenging a federal judge’s decision overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage has now topped $80,000, and that was before Gov. Butch Otter’s latest appeal to the 9th Circuit. In response to a public records request, Otter’s office has released an Oct. 7 agreement with Washington, D.C. attorney Gene Schaerr to pay a flat fee of $10,000 for two specific legal briefs: One appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay, to keep its decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Idaho from taking effect; and another appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court for the same thing/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Was it worth it?

Randy: They’re Not Hobos

Randy Myers (RE: Homeless evicted from camp behind Target): Hobos ride the rails and work a bit then keep on moving. These people are NOT hobos. There are mentally ill and addicted folks there which is why they are avoiding Conroy and St. V's. This problem is much more complex than even the professional social service helping folks want to believe. .A hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond—especially one who is penniless. The term originated in the Western—probably Northwestern—United States around 1890.[1] Unlike “tramps”—who work only when they are forced to, and “bums”—who do not work at all, “hobos” are itinerant workers.[1][2] (Wikipedia )

Question: Along the Centennial Trail, north of Coeur d'Alene's UI branch, is a sign that explains the difference among bums, hobos and tramps. Today, we use the terms “homeless” and “transients.” I'm not exactly sure what the individuals who prefer the camps to places like St. Vinny's are called now. Anyone?

Cedar: They’ll Put Up A Parking Lot

Red Cedar (RE: Homeless evicted from wooded camp behind Target): “To be quite honest, I don't care about the homeless there. They can find some other woods to camp in. If they wanted to stay in shelters or avail themselves of various government/charity programs, they'd be doing so. What disturbs me is that another patch of forest in Cd'A is probably about to have every living thing bulldozed off of it to build yet another box store and parking lot. It's hard to believe but Coeur d'Alene was once a lovely open ponderosa pine forest full of glacier lilies, balsamroot, and wild onions in the spring. Now, all that's left of that are are a few “vacant” lots and a few of the much older developments (like the trailer park north of Costco) where developers at the time actually attempted to leave some of the native forest.”

Question: I'm surprised that the wooded area behind Target has existed so long. I suspect that it won't be long before we'll see another box store or car dealer squatting on that property. Am I the only one who remembers when much of the area along Highway 95, north of Appleway was treed?

Protesters Back Hitching Post Stand

SR photog Kathy Plonka reports 7 protesters, with signs, are at Coeur d'Alene City Hall this lunch hour, to support the stand taken by Hitching Post owners Donald & Lynn Knapp againt performing gay marriages and to oppose Lake City's anti-discrimination ordinance. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Thoughts?

Gasoline @ $2.96/Gallon

Mrs. O called this morning to report that she was buying gasoline at $2.96/gallon at the Exxon station @ Appleway/Government Way. I was waiting to buy at under $3 per gallon, just to say that I did. I know that the price has been down for most of the week. On Tuesday, I drove to the station at 15th & Best Avenue to fuel up. But kept driving when I saw that the price was $3.15/gallon for regular.

Question: How much did you pay when you last bought gasoline? Where?

6000 Unread Emails & Counting

On Twitter, Adam Cotterell of Boise State Public Radio tweets: “reached a milestone. 6,000 unread emails. here's how 'that looks interesting but not important, I'll read it later.' adds up over 7 years.” I use that feature on my emal that allows me to see the first graph or two. I suspect that I actually open 1 in 4 or 5 emails (even after I've added many to my spam file). How about you?

Question: What percentage of the emails that land in your inbox do you actually open? And/or: How often do you completely clean out your inbox?

High School Shooter Wounds 3

This image made from a video provided by KOMO shows emergency personnel responding after reports of a shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash., (Seattle suburb) this morning. (AP Photo/KOMONews.com)

From NBC News: “A student with a “blank stare” opened fire in the cafeteria of a high school north of Seattle on Friday, wounding at least three people before killing himself, police and witnesses said. Officials said the gunman was dead and provided no other details on casualties. A hospital official said three patients were in “very critical condition” after the 10:30 a.m. PDT shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Another patient is being treated at another hospital with “less serious” injuries. Students described how an ordinary lunch period erupted in violence with no warning as a freshman silently began shooting in the cafeteria.” More here.

Thoughts?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.24.14

  • 11:51 a.m. Student at Coeur d'Alene High is having an allergic reaction.
  • 11:47 a.m. Family of volatile Spirit Lake female won't come get her from mental health facility.
  • 11:38 a.m. High school-aged male in VW Pissat got out of vehicle @ Govt Way & Kathleen, walked to newer white pickup & punched driver in face. Assailant now s/b on Govt Way near Appleway. Police have assailant's name/address.
  • 11:31 a.m. Vicious dog reported @ Signal Point/Manor Heights, Post Falls.
  • 11:06 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Casino official reports wanted man on premises in Worley area.
  • 11:01 a.m. ISP checking on 4 people involved in crash b/n gold car/silver mini-van @ e/b I-90/Pleasantview.
  • 10:17 a.m. KCSDeputy checking on welfare of individual @ 9500 block of Juno/Hayden.
  • 10:15 a.m. Undisclosed threat reported @ Corbin Hill Road/Derting, Athol.
  • 10:11 a.m. Female unconscious after driving into another car @ Heritage Place, 1090 W. Park Place/CdA.
  • 10:07 a.m. Officer trespasses transient who had entered wooded area north of Target store. A former camp for up to 50 transients, the property has been sold & is no longer available for the homeless.
  • 9:25 a.m. Life Flight taken off standby for flight to Harrison (9:15 item).
  • 9:15 a.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ H97/Stott Road, Harrison Slough.
  • 9:11 a.m. Someone is trespassing on property @ Hawk/Asbury, Carlin Bay area.
  • 8:49 a.m. Vicious dog biting people @ undisclosed Post Falls location.

Poll: $100K For Arfee Shooting

  • Thursday Poll: In a divided vote, a plurality of Hucks Nation said that Craig Jones should get $100,000 (plus attorney's fees) for the Coeur d'Alene police shooting of his black labrador, Arfee. 61 of 181 respondents (33.7%) took that position. However, 57 of 181 respondents (31.49%) said the dog owner should get nothing, while 44 of 181 (24.31%) said Jones should get the $350,000 he's seeking in a lawsuit. Also, 13 (7.18%) said he should get more than $350,000, and 6 (3.31%) said he should get up to $200,000.
  • Today's Poll: Should President Obama declare the Boulder/White Clouds area to be a National Monument?

A Word of Advice

During a stop in the GOP Bus Tour at Rathdrum Friday, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden chats with Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Question: What is the AG saying to Jim?

Task Force: Hitching Post Exempt

In a letter to Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer and the City Council, the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations said that it considers the ministers at the Hitching Post exempt from city's anti-discrimination ordinance. Hitching Post owners have said they will not perform gay marriages. The task force received this advice from constitutional experts:

“When they are performing a religious activity like marrying people, ministers have the right to choose which marriages they will solemnize. That’s why we don’t think the public accommodation law applies to ministers making choices about performing marriages. So, if the only service offered is a religious wedding ceremony performed by a minister, then the law would not apply. But that reasonable exception doesn’t change the general rule that businesses that open their doors to the public to provide services, including services related to weddings, cannot turn people away just because of who they are.”

The task force concludes in the letter: “Based upon these facts and findings, we believe the City of Coeur d’Alene Anti-Discrimination Ordinance due to the religious exemption is not at issue and is not impacted regarding performing weddings by ordained ministers at the Hitching Post Chapel in Coeur d’Alene.” Full letter here.

Thoughts?

AM Headlines — 10.24.14

A raindrop strikes a puddle on East Fifth Avenue on Thursday. We can say goodbye to the early warm, sunny days of autumn. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Indeed, Otter Met With CCA Officials

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who said in two recent debates against challenger A.J. Balukoff that he “recused” himself from settlement talks with the Corrections Corporation of America over understaffing and falsified staffing records at an Idaho state prison because he’d received campaign contributions from the firm - $20,000 since 2003 – participated in meetings with CCA about the issue as recently as 2013, the Idaho Statesman reports today. Reporter Rocky Barker and Cynthia Sewell report that Otter’s former chief of staff, Jason Kreizenbeck, now a lobbyist for CCA, brought the company’s CEO, Damon Hininger, and other CCA executives to Otter’s office on May 28, 2013 to discuss the company’s state contract and the staffing issue/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: So who is making more mistakes this campaign & telling more fibs this campaign — Gov. Otter or Sherri Ybarra?

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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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