JohnA: Today we said goodbye to our good friend, George, who passed away earlier in the week. As I posted a few weeks ago his health has been in decline for the past year, as he battled the effects of the Agent Orange he suffered from Vietnam, and now both Deena and I are without our friend. In the end, George paid the last full measure of devotion to his country, some 40 years after his service. Rest in peace, buddy.
Question: Do you know someone who is suffering from the effects of Agent Orange after being exposed during the Vietnam War?
Question: Care to fill in the possible back story?
On his Facebook wall, Bruce Twitchell posts: “After exercising this morning at the KROC, while waiting for a cabana, I overheard one guy tell another that he was feeling stupid for leaving socks at home, and he was wearing a suit to work with no socks. I laughed to myself, a little schadenfreude. Although things were not so funny when I finished my shower and realized I forgot a towel. DOH! Paper towel, paper towel, paper towel, etc.”
Question: Have you experienced something similar?
A baby of palm cockatoos, also known as the Goliath Cockatoo, is presented at the Zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, earlier today. It is the first of its kind that was born in Czech Republic and the first baby palm cockatoo in Europe since 2010. It was born on Oct. 1 and remains nameless until the gender is known. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Question: What is the oddest pet that you've owned?
Two Priest Lake cabin owners have been outbid for the right to keep their leases on the state land under their lake cabins, meaning they’ll lose them, and the successful bidders will have to pay them for the appraised value of the improvements. Denver resident Peter Mounsey was the successful bidder for a cabin site that had been held by Jan Nunemaker in the Powerline subdivision; he bid $2,000, while she bid only the minimum $1,000 to keep the lease. Mounsey will have to pay Nunemaker the $38,500 appraised value of her cabin. He also had to pay the first year’s rent for the ground, $22,880, to the state in advance/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Too bad, so sad?
My son in Florida told me yesterday that the temperatures at his ranchette hovered around 79 degrees. However, it gets a little chilly when a breeze kicks up. Yeah, he had read about the arctic blast that will officially chill us to the bone Friday night and Saturday morning — and was rubbing it in. Then, I visited him in August when the temperatures in Florida were 90 degrees with 95 percent humidity. You can always put on another sweatshirt. But you can only take off so much clothes before being hauled off by the gendarmes. With that happy thought, I'll post today's Wild Card …
A 47-year-old Vancouver man was killed in a collision on I-205 Northbound Wednesday afternoon. The man's wife, who follows scanner traffic with her Twitter account, happened to be live tweeting about the crash as she learned that her own husband was the one who died. According to police, Craig Johnson died when his Honda crossed the grassy media near Padden Parkway and entered the southbound lanes of I-205 and collided with a Toyota pickup. The driver of the pickup, a 50-year-old woman from Tacoma, was transported to SW Peace Health with serious injuries/KGW. More here (including live tweets of wife).
As Christmas nears, two local school districts find themselves being drawn unwillingly into the battle against religion in the public square — but both districts maintain that allowing students to participate in traditional Christmas concerts does not violate anyone’s rights. Choirs from Glacier, Flathead and Whitefish high schools will perform as planned today and Friday during the “Peace on Earth Community Christmas Celebration” despite receiving requests from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Montana to cancel. The event in question is billed as a celebration of “the birth of our savior Jesus Christ,” featuring hundreds of nativity displays. The school choirs are listed among more than 10 musical performances at the two-day event at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kalispell/Hilary Matheson, Kalispell (Mont.) Daily Inter Lake. More here.
Question: Do you see anything wrong with Christmas choirs singing in a church Christmas concert?
Law enforcement officials investigate the scene of a fatal crash this morning Kuna. Authorities say one child has died and five people were injured, including four children, when a dump truck collided with the school bus carrying elementary school students in Kuna, a town about 30 minutes from Boise. Canyon County Sheriff spokeswoman Theresa Baker says as many as 10 children in the sixth grade or younger were on the bus destined for Crimson Point Elementary School. Story here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Darin Oswald)
A woman walks past “La Baigneuse” (The swimmer) of Korean artist Youn Kyoung Cho in front of Hotel Royal, on the promenade des Anglais at Nice, southeastern France on Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Wednesday Winner — Flatlander, with 6 likes: The lengths some people will go to avoid the bell ringers in front of the department store at Christmas are amazing. You can see the Wednesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Leaders of the House and Senate education committees are bracing for a backlash over the state's new public school standards and testing system. And some of the harshest criticism could come from their own members. So far, a count by the Statesman shows, Common Core could survive a challenge. The Statesman found eight members in support, three opposed and three undecided in the House Education committee. Two members could not be reached. The Senate committee is closer: four are in favor and three opposed; one senator couldn't be reached/Bill Roberts, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you think the Tea Drinkers will win this one?
Republican state Sen. Russ Fulcher could be the best friend Democratic gubernatorial hopeful A.J. Balukoff, pictured, has right now. A veteran Boise School Board chairman and businessman, Balukoff Tuesday kicked off his campaign to oust Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. In doing so, Balukoff rebuffed those who urged him to set his sights on the state superintendent of public instruction office now held by Republican Tom Luna, whose political career may no longer be salvageable. For Balukoff, taking on Otter is far more difficult and the Fulcher factor may be what keeps it from being impossible. … If nothing else, Fulcher's challenge ensures that Otter's eighth legislative session will be as unproductive as the seven that preceded it/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you agree with opinionator Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune that Gov. Otter's first seven legislative sessions have been unproductive?
A report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the Idaho Department of Agriculture spotted moldy yogurt during a routine inspection at a Chobani facility in Twin Falls two months before the company issued a voluntary recall. The Times-News (http://bit.ly/IFRbGB ) obtained the report under a Freedom of Information Act request. More than 300 people reportedly got sick after consuming the moldy Greek yogurt. The state denies the FDA's claim. ISDA spokeswoman Pamela Juker says state regulators never took note of mold during the July inspection/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Jack Dempsey/Invision for Chobani/AP Images photo: Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, left, congratulates Chobani founder/CEO Hamdi Ulukaya during the grand opening celebration of the world's largest yogurt manufacturing plant Dec. 17, 2012, in Twin Falls)
Question: Your state tax dollars at work?
The National Weather Service has posted a wind chill watch for brutally cold temperatures aggravated by winds gusting to 20 mph in Spokane on Friday and Friday night. Today’s high temperature of 20 degrees will feel comfortable compared to what is in store when the arctic air flow intensifies on Friday, forecasters said. Forecasters said a low pressure area forming off the Oregon coast will create an air pressure difference that will trigger the winds and allow severely frigid arctic air to flow into the region from the north. The National Weather Service early today issued a wind chill watch for the Inland Northwest from Friday evening through Saturday morning. But that is only for the most intense period of wind and cold/Mike Prager, SR. More here. (Google map shows directions to St. Vinny's warming center: 202 W7th St, Post Falls)
Question: The coldest temperature that I've experienced was 29 below in Kalispell, Mont. (circa 1977-82). How about you?
Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger backs a proposal for a privately built and owned jail that would be leased and operated by the county. Rocky Mountain Corrections, based in Ketchum, Idaho, pitched the proposal to build the jail to suit the county's needs. Moving to a new jail is at least two years out, if it happens at all, Wolfinger said. “I do like the proposal,” Wolfinger said after a meeting Wednesday with the county commissioners. “More importantly, the jail staff likes the proposal. They're the ones who will have to work in (the jail) and make it work.” Wolfinger said a jail with 625 beds would meet the county's needs. He said the beds would cost the county $23.50 each per day to lease. The current jail on Government Way has 327 beds/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: What do you think of this proposal?
First lady Michelle Obama reacts as Ashtyn Gardner, 2, from Mobile, Ala., loses her balance when she was greeting Sunny, one of the presidential dogs, as children of military families participate in a holiday arts and crafts event in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Story here. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Question: Has your dog ever embarrassed you in a public setting?