I handed out about 50 tickets to the North Idaho Fair earlier this week. It was a pleasure to meet many of you blurkers who came to pick them up. I often wonder what blurkers think re: what goes on at Huckleberries Online. I have a good idea what the 80 to 100 regular commenters think because they tell me/us. I hope those who picked up the tickets enjoyed themselves at the fair Thursday, despite the rain. Next year, I'll try to hit the SR promotions office for double the tickets. Now for today's Wild Card …
… That contract negotiations between the Coeur d'Alene School District and Coeur d'Alene Education Association are back on — at Woodland Middle School, from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Facebook Friend Jeanne Helstrom reports: “Happy News!! Joshua and his parents are heading home from Seattle today, after 2 months in the burn center and rehab hospital.Thank you ALL so much for your faithful prayers and support. I'm sure we'll have some pictures and updates later! God is good!!” Joshua Emerson is the 8-year-old boy badly burned, along with 4YO Brooklynne White, in a backyard gas-can explosion earlier this summer. Brooklynne has already recovered enough to return to her Coeur d'Alene home. A benefit for the two children and their families is planned today at The Grail, 4720 W. Seltice Way/Huetter, beginning at noon.
Gov. Butch Otter says Idaho is on a continuing “journey to education excellence.” His Democratic opponent, A.J. Balukoff, called Idaho’s bottom-ranked per-pupil spending “downright shameful.” That’s the split that was underscored Thursday. In a guest opinion sent to Idaho newspapers, and posted on his state website, Otter hailed the work of his education reform task force. “The product of their work was a slate of 20 visionary recommendations that now serve as our path forward on improving education,” said Otter. “It is the first time in Idaho history that we have a school improvement plan supported by teachers, administrators, patrons, the business community, and leaders of both political parties”/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
Question: Do you think Idaho is on a continuing “journey to education excellence”?
At just before 10 p.m. Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of an attempted rape that occurred in the parking lot of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. The 26-year-old female victim said she had just finished working at a vendor booth at the fair and was walking alone to her vehicle at just after 8 p.m., when two males attacked her from behind, taking her to the ground. As she was being pinned down by the males, they made statements and actions that led her to believe they were trying to rape her. The victim said she fought back, screaming and kicking at the males, which caught the attention of five people in the lot that came to her aid. As the five were running to her, the two suspects fled on foot/Sgt. Stu Miller, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. More here.
Question: Should the fair install lights in the parking lot — and possible emergency call boxes?
For those who need a lift, there's hope. The free North Idaho Day of Hope will be Saturday, Sept. 6, starting at 10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, 4056 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene. The event will run until 2:30 p.m. Attendees can receive food, shoes, a haircut, health and dental services, job services, lunch, family portraits. There will be kids activities and live music. The National Breast Cancer Foundation will provide free mammograms to women, and health and dental screenings will be available. “The Day of Hope is an opportunity to connect the community,” said Deb Ayers, co-coordinator for the event. Items will be available while supplies last. No identification is required. The event will be held rain or shine/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: This may be the most worthy of a whole bunch of worthy causes, an attempt to give hope to the hopeless via all kinds of free services. Do you know anyone who needs these services and some hope?
I don't want to overwhelm you with photos of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter at the North Idaho Fair from the opening day Wednesday. But I liked this one. First, there's a couple of kids (Mary & Arthur) in the photo. Secondly, the baby's father is Ryan Woodings, husband of state Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise, who is running for Secretary of State. You Republicans can take this as a sign that it's OK to split your ticket. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
I've often wondered why weather forecasters don't follow-up on an errant report by saying: Hey, I goofed. Take last night, for example — puh-LEEZ. Mrs. O checked the weather online several times before we left for the North Idaho Fair. Zero percent chance of rain. Zero. Not 1%. Or 2%. Or 5%. Zero. I looked at those ha-huge clouds to the west last night, as we were leaving home, and said: Yeah, right. But I'm not a weatherman. So we headed to the fair. We were in the photo/arts barn when the first rain drops began falling on others' heads. Of course, that was simply a warning shot over the bow to the drenching rain that came 45 minutes or so later. Zero percent?
Question: How accurate do you consider weather reports, percentagewise?
Portuguese forcados of the group of Alcochete catch a bull during a Portuguese-style bullfight in Campo Pequeno bullring, in Lisbon, Thursday. During the performance a forcado calls the bull into charge, being the final purpose to subdue the bull. Unlike bullfights in other countries, the bull in Portugal is not killed in the bullring. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco)
Thursday Winner (tie, with 8 likes each) — Sisyphus: “What's even funnier, Alonzo, is that Republicans will probably nominate Perry for president now,” and: JohnA: Golfing rather than leading in the Middle East situation, the President is with the wrong Mourning people. You can see Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
So, the John Birch Society is manning a booth at the North Idaho Fair this year, to warn people about the, ahem, dangers of Common Core and other conspiracy theories. The Constitution Party is also present, as are the Reagan Republicans and the Kootenai County Republican Party. (But then I repeat myself.) 'Tis nice to know that there are still Constitutionalists and Birchers who are willing to stand for their party and beliefs, rather pretend that they're Republicans.
Question: Do you stop to chat with individuals at the poltiical booths at the North Idaho Fair?
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is looking for someone who's not a Republican to serve on the state Tax Commission. The commission has a vacancy due to the departure of Commissioner David Langhorst to become the new chief of the state Department of Parks & Recreation. By law, no more than two of the four commissioners can be of the same party; current commission Chairman Rich Jackson and Commissioner Ken Roberts both are Republicans, while Commissioner Tom Katsilometes is a former Democratic county commissioner/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Are there enough Democrats in the state to find one qualified enough to fill this spot? (Before Sisyphus' head explodes … I'm just joking. I know there's more than one Democrat in Idaho because I saw several manning the Democrat Party booth at the fair last night)
An online prank promising to purge Spokane has police frustrated. The Spokane Police Department has been fielding questions about a social media frenzy that is creating concern in Spokane and other cities. A graphic began circulating on social media websites in August promising a purge in Spokane similar to the 2013 popular horror movie. Flyers have gone around on social media suggesting riots and breaking into stores. The flyer reads: “August 22, 2014 everyone be downtown let's start a riot and hit up all the stores”/Shawn Chitnis, KREM2. More here.
Question: What would you do if you could break the law for 12 hours without penalty (premise of “The Purge” movie)?
The backhoe disappeared from a construction site on Prairie between Atlas and Huetter. It's not uncommon in the construction industry to set up for a job the night before, meaning leaving tractors and trailers at a job site so come the next morning you can get to work. Well, that's exactly what Matt Aparicio with Aparicio Excavating was doing on Monday night like he'd done many times before. Unfortunately at 6:30 Tuesday morning Aparicio was ready for work only to find his 2005 Caterpillar backhoe was gone. At first he thought it was a miscommunication with his staff or maybe friends were playing a joke on him. “Then it just kinda set in that wow somebody really could have stolen this backhoe,” he said/Caiti Currey, KXLY. More here. (SR file photo for illustrative purposes)
Question: Did anyone see a backhoe rumbling down a street?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune gives jeers to — Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna: For the next four months, he'll have two masters:
Project Lead The Way is a nonprofit that provides STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curricula to high schools. In 2012, it reported $12.3 million in revenues. Fees range from $750 to $3,000 per school - and PLTW is operating in Boise, Nampa, West Ada, Kuna, Caldwell and Fremont school districts. Nobody will tell what PLTW is paying Luna to be its vice president of policy, advocacy and research - or what qualifies someone with an online degree in weights and measures for a job steeped in STEM. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: Would anyone miss Luna if he left his Idaho job now?
As veteriniarian Dr. Jocelyn Woodd right, removes an IV tube, her daughter Jessica, 11, helps calm a three-week old cougar cub at the Mt. Spokane Veterinary Hospital, Thursday, in Mead, Wash. The cub was found in Kettle Falls, Wash. without a mother and will now be heading to ZooAmerica in Hershey, Pennsylvania. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
A mountain lion kitten – with killer blue eyes, but too young and weak to prey on anything larger than a butterfly – is getting a one-way ticket from Eastern Washington to a Pennsylvania zoo. A Kettle Falls homeowner found the 3-week-old male kitten dehydrated and malnourished on the front porch. State Fish and Wildlife officers responded to the homeowner’s call and searched the area for signs of the mother mountain lion, but didn’t find her, said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman. The kitten was brought to wildlife rehabilitators at Mt. Spokane Veterinary Hospital for treatment. The very-young cougar will survive with a lot of attention from certified wildlife rehabilitators, but it won’t be returned to the wild, Luers said/Rich Landers, Outdoors. More here.
Question: What would you do if you encountered a baby animal in the wild?
Item: Mayor explains carry-overs in city budget/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The Press inadvertently referred to fiscal year 2014 city budget carry-overs as “overages” in a story that published Tuesday, which resulted in some confusion among readers. The city of Coeur d'Alene passed a $5,339,222 budget amendment Tuesday night at the city council meeting. According to Mayor Steve Widmyer, the city carried over three multi-million-dollar projects from fiscal year 2013 because they were ultimately completed in FY 2014.
Question: Are we all on the same page now?
Item: Widmyer: Meetings will be public: Residents, media were excluded from 'four corners' walking tour/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Mayor Steve Widmyer said Thursday that the city made a mistake when it decided to exclude the media and the public from a walking tour of the “four corners” master planning area on Monday. “I was not aware that it was not open to the public,” he said, adding that he did not attend the meeting because he has already toured the area. Widmyer believes that somewhere along the way there was a communications breakdown that resulted in the private walking tour.
Question: Do you think many residents have locked on to the significance of the Four Corners project?