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Wild Card/Monday — 9.23.14

Here it is late September … and nothing seems to be happening at the local level, politics wise. The odds-on favorite Republican candidates are keeping their heads down, to avoid saying anything that might cause sleepy voters in our burg to pay attention to some of their over-the-top views, like taking over federal lands and opposing the need for a mental health center. Even future state senator Mary seems to be quieter than usual. But they'll all by spouting at full volume come January. So we can look forward to that. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.23.14

From Facebook, Christina Oss LaBang poses with her paintings that now grace the utility boxes across from McDonalds restaurant at the entrance to Riverstone. Yes, the one on the right is an original painting by Christina, of her brother, whom we affectionately know as Stickman, walking Tubbs Hill.

Most Commented Stories — 9.23.14

The posts that attracted the most comments today were: Joker: Do great car dealers exist (15 comments), and: State motto? (13 comments).

Today’s Top Comment — Eaglekeeper

Deer and wildlife are just one of the things that make Idaho great. If you want a garden, put up a fence…The old saying “Good fences make good neighbors” works for wildlife too — EagleKeeper44 (RE: Deer to be checked for poisoning).

Cutline Contest — 9.23.14

Time 2 Vote …

Facts: Tanya Lopez of Fruitland, Idaho, tries to get the attention of Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Monday. You write the cutline. (AP photo: Kathy Willens)

Monday Winner — Flatlander, with 6 likes: “New spy satellite photos show North Korea missile technology is further behind then first thought.” You can see Monday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.23.14

  • 4:50 p.m. Undisclosed type of theft reported @ 5700 block of W H53/Rathdrum.
  • 4:30 p.m. From KCSO: Sheriff’s newest piece of safety equipment, a 2014 Lenco BearCat is ready for use.  Sheriff will be hold an informational session for the media at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the KCSO's north annex lot, 106 Dalton Ave. (first entrance to the south off Dalton Avenue, east of Government Way).
  • 4:15 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Department property crimes report Sept 19-23 here.
  • 3:56 p.m. Found property fuond @ 800 block of N. Kimberly Lane/Post Falls.
  • 3:29 p.m. Female refusing to leave Coeur d'Alene apartment after being evicted.
  • 3:19 p.m. Driver of red Toyota Corolla possibly DUI n/b on Ramsey, near LCHS, caller willing to sign complaint.
  • 2:44 p.m. ISP officer en route to check male hitchhiking along H95/Coeur d'Alene Casino, Worley.
  • 1:58 p.m. Undisclosed parking problem reported on W. Spiers Ave/CdA.
  • 1:51 p.m. Quick stop worker reports female in red Prelude staggered out of store, obviously drunk.
  • 12:39 p.m. Officer calls for small tow truck to remove vehicle that crashed off road @ Kidd Island/Valhalla.
  • 12:27 p.m. Male who accompanied female to DJ Coins, 3659 Govt Way/CdA,. may be wanted.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 9.23.14

Ammi Midstokke, right, is comforted by climbing partner Jason Luthy below Chimney Rock east of Priest Lake as she was being rescued from and all night ordeal after being pinned by a shifting 1.5-ton boulder as they hiked off the mountain. More here. (Photo: Jason Luthy)

Update: Seat Chewer Bill — $2,137

A North Idaho woman arrested on several felony charges chewed through the seat of a sheriff's patrol vehicle while en route to the Bonner County Jail. According to court records, Staci Anne Spence was arrested Thursday morning at her home after she pepper sprayed a couple as they slept in their van. When deputies arrived at Spence's home, she was immediately combative. Court records show she kicked at the two deputies, striking one of them in the groin. Deputies finally got Spence under control and in handcuffs and put her on her stomach in the back of of the deputy's 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. According to court records, “while en route to the Bonner County Jail, Spence, using her mouth and teeth, tore through the back seat cover and into the seat foam, removing large chunks of seat foam and spitting them onto the floor to the car.” Sheriff's deputies estimate the damage at $2,137/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Topic Tuesday: Guv Talks Public Land


In his weekly Topic Tuesday message, Gov. Butch Otter discusses the difference between state and federal management of public lands, coming down on the side of state management. Of course.


Chemist Warns Of Rare Eye Cancer

Bryan Shaw is a chemist, not a software developer. He’s a parent, not a doctor. But he’s receiving national attention for his effort to create a free smartphone app to warn shutterbug parents of a glow in young children’s eyes – a white reflection from a camera’s flash – that could signal a rare cancer. The iPhone app, called CRADLE, is still under review by Apple. But Shaw, a Mead High School graduate, sees its potential as huge: saving children’s vision in the U.S. and their lives in poor countries, where retinoblastoma is more likely to be identified only after the cancer has spread to their brains. Shaw thinks big, and his project has been the subject of stories by National Public Radio and Popular Science/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here. (SR photo: From left, Elizabeth, Samuel, Bryan and Noah Shaw are shown in a family photo from Easter)

Question: Has your family had to deal with rare disease?

Coming Soon To Mailbox Near You

Here's a campaign flyer from that landed in my mailbox recently.

Question: Is this mailer effective?

Fort Boise: Rags To Risches

Ruthie Johnson, state committeewoman for Kootenai County GOP, wrote a letter to Idaho Statesman re: U.S. Sen. Jim Risch that caught the eye of Fort Boise. Here's a key part of the letter:

Risch worked his way through college and then went to law school. He and his wife, Vicki, started out as two broke college graduates with the American dream. They have worked rigorously, not only on their own ranch, but in serving others throughout their life. It's easy to spend other people's money for good-sounding projects. It takes more courage to look at how the money is being spent and to hold the line and not pass on all the debt to our children and grandchildren. More here.

Fort Boise responds: “It's kind of a sweet letter, but the implication that Jim Risch is a hard-working rancher who goes to Washington to sacrifice himself for the good of the country is either remarkably credulous, remarkably ignorant, or just a run of the mill tout. There are some ranchers in the state, you know, and I dare say they would not recognize the good Senator out on the range. Whatever hard work he may have done is not in evidence in his current U.S. Senate job by any account, least of all his own.” Full response here.


Read more here:

Jones, Ybarra Urge Caution On Plan

Jana Jones, left, and Sherri Ybarra both urge a cautious approach to a teacher licensing proposal that has drawn fire from the state’s teachers union. Jones, a Democrat, and Ybarra, a Republican, both labeled the issue “complex” and called for a slow, deliberate process to consider the proposal and public reaction. In August, the State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the new system of certification and licensure. The proposed rule, available to review online, essentially creates two tiers of teacher certification – as well as other subgroups including professional, master and contingent designations. A teacher’s ability to obtain and renew certification would hinge on several factors, including teacher evaluations performed locally; student growth; and the teacher’s ability to meet performance standards. Since May, the Idaho Education Association has opposed tying teacher licenses to local evaluations. Ybarra and Jones took slightly different stances on the proposal/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.

Question: We haven't talked much about the teacher licensing proposal. Thoughts?

Priest Lake Sunset

Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images captures this sunset over Priest Lake Sunday evening.

Of Driverless Cars

Imperfect creatures are we all
since the time of Adam's fall,
and so this truth we shan't conceal:
Google's better at the wheel.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Huckleberries Hears …

… That there was grumbling going on during the lunch hour when only two of Idaho's 9 legislators showed up for the annual chamber legislative/education luncheon in the Coeur d'Alene Room of North Idaho College's SUB. And both of the legislators who appeared will give up their seats in January: state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, and state Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden. Sponsored by the chambers of Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls, the lunch gives legislators an opportunity to discuss education issues with local business and education leaders. U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, was represented by members of his staff.

Update: Reps. Luke Malek and Kathy Sims and Republican nominee Mary Souza were also at the legislative event. Mallek & Sims arrived after it started.

Question: Isn't this something our legislators should attend?

Wasden Cautions Re: Land Takeover

The quest for state control of Idaho’s otherwise federally controlled lands has received additional momentum, this time coming from one of the state’s top elected officials. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has begun speaking publicly about the issue across the state, and while supportive of the idea, has also cautioned that the task will be difficult. “There are two significant legal hurdles to overcome,” Wasden explained when contacted by “One is the fact that Idaho’s founders, in drafting the state’s constitution, forever disclaimed all rights and title to those federal lands. The second point is the fact that Idaho lawmakers told the federal government in 1947, in the form of a joint resolution, to continue to keep control of those lands”/Austin Hill, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: I wonder what Attorney General Lawrence Wasden really thinks of Idaho attempting to gain control of federal lands, deep down?

Idaho Wouldn’t Secede Either

The people of Scotland last week took only 15 hours to answer the same question over which Americans spent four years killing each other. Scotland will remain in the United Kingdom, a decision made by 55 percent of the nation’s voting public. And, after significant bombast and federalist rhetoric, Idaho would do the exact same thing, given the opportunity. More than 4 million Scots voted Thursday in the simple “yes or no” referendum. The question was simple enough: Should Scotland secede from the United Kingdom after 307 years? Pretty heavy stuff. Imagine if such a question was posed to Idahoans. The pro-secession crowd would be full of bluster and “we’re getting screwed by Washington” rhetoric. They’d yell and scream and appear to be winning the popularity contest. But, when the day came, Idaho would remain a member of the United States. And that’s because Idaho, like Scotland, probably wouldn’t do well on it’s own/Jon Alexander, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Opinion Editor Alexander is dead on. For all the bluster in Idaho about seceding from union, I doubt that many Idahoans would actually vote for such a silly move. What do you think?

Injured Man Sues Over Costco Stop

A man who claims he was pushing his shopping cart out of a Portland Costco Wholesale warehouse when he was detained because he wouldn’t stop and show his receipt is suing the store for $670,000. Timothy Walls emerged from the Jan. 28, 2013, encounter with a leg broken in multiple places, according to his lawsuit, filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court. According to one of Walls’ attorneys, Walls didn’t believe the store had a right to detain him based upon their practice of checking receipts at the door. The policy states: “To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse”/Oregonian. More here. (AP file photo)

  • H/T: Joker.

Question: Why would anyone mind whether his/her sales slip is checked on way out of Costco?

‘Unconditional Surrender’

Workers prepare to lift a piece of “Unconditional Surrender,” an 8-meter (25-foot) cast-bronze sculpture in color of a sailor and a nurse in lip-locked embrace, outside the Caen Memorial in Normandy, France, today. The sculpture by Seward Johnson is based on a U.S. Navy photographer’s black-and-white snapshot taken on Aug. 15, 1945, according to the Sculpture Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit that owns the work. It also resembles a famous photograph taken by Life magazine Alfred Eisenstaedt on that day. The sculpture is to spend a year outside the Caen Memorial, a museum focusing on World War II. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

Question: Do people really kiss like this?

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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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