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Wild Card/Thursday — 12.18.14

I got more than one chuckle from the Post Falls Police Department activities report this morning here (click on link). Dunno who wrote it up. But I appreciate a police(wo)man with a sense of humor. I'll probably post the “cat burglar” (2nd item) entry later this morning. How about a H/T to all the officers of goodwill who maintain their humor and devotion to the local communities despite all the nasty stuff they see daily? Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 12.18.14

A British Army officer, left, dressed in World War One uniform, stands next to the captain of the British Army team Sgt Keith Emmerson prior to a soccer match between their teams in Aldershot, England, Wednesday. British and German forces' official teams faced each other on a football field, marking the Christmas Day truce 100 years ago when rival WWI troops stopped fighting, left the trenches and are said to have played football instead. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Nacho Night

And more from Post Falls Police Dept activities report: Following a long night of nacho building and customer service, a tired Taco Bell employee was saddened to learn he had locked himself out of his vehicle. An officer promptly responded to the scene and saved the day with a Slim Jim. (A Slim Jim is a tool used to unlock a vehicle. Not to be confused with a stick of processed meat.)

Question: OK, let's play Favorite Current Menu Item At Fast-Food Mexican place. Moi? Grilled stuff burrito at Taco Bell. Et tu?

Top Comments — 12.18.14

Top Comment — Cindy (RE: A bowl full of condoms): I used to tell my kids they were balloons. That backfired when they wanted me to make balloon animals with them, as I could only manage a snake. So “the talk” with the eldest went something like this. “You mean those WEREN'T balloons?” Still rebuilding trust.

Most Commented Stories — SR: Cutting taxes at education expense (31 comments), and: Report: Hooray for Cuba action (10 comments), and: three tied with 9 comments apiece.


Cutline Contest — 12.18.14

Time 2 Vote …

Private investigator Paula Summers of Lakewood, Wash., shows one of her designer handbags this week. Summers developed the bag that allows concealed carrying of a pistol. You write the cutline. (AP/Tacoma News Tribune photo: Peter Haley)

Wednesday Winner — Psalm 37, with 7 likes: “Hmmm…I wonder if adding a red cape to my ensemble would be considered too gaudy?” You can see Wednesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 12.18.14

  • 5:32 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing @ 1100 block of E3rd Ave/Post Falls.
  • 5:24 p.m. Car passenger window shattered by object thrown from passing pickup @ I-90/Sherman Ave, CdA.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Dec. 17-18 here.
  • 4:55 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Dept property crimes report Dec. 17-18 here.
  • 4:47 p.m. 23YO female complaining of head injury after crash @ H95, south of Dalton Ave/CdA.
  • 4:43 p.m. 2 boys may be breaking into house in 2100 block of Windermere Ave/CdA.
  • 4:33 p.m. Unconscious person reported  Tesoro gas station, 2501 Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 4:30 p.m. Driver of weaving green pickup possible DUI @ e/b Prairie Ave/Ramsey Road.
  • 4:23 p.m. Vehicle smoking or on fire @ w/b I-90/MP 26 (summit of 4th of July Pass).
  • 4:19 p.m. Red sedan w/o tail lights is @ w/b I-90/MP 28 (4th of July Pass).
  • 3:59 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing @ 1800 block of Meyer Road/Rathdrum.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Post Falls Picks Public Works Director

Russ Connole has been named as the new Public Services Director for the City of Post Falls. He will oversee the department’s two divisions, the Public Works Division and the Community Development Division. The Public Works Division consists of Streets, Water, Water Reclamation, Surface Water, Fleet Services and Facility Maintenance. Community Development Division consists of Building, Engineering and Planning. He will begin work Jan. 20. Connole is now the community development director for West Richland,
Wash., and has over 21 years of experience in local government. He will replace Terry Werner, who retired in October after 29 years with the city of Post Falls/Kit Hoffer, city of Post Falls. More here.

PM Headlines — 12.18.14

Chuck VanGuilder with Specialty Tree Service trims limbs Thursday morning on Government Way. A number of trees in the median of Government Way near Forest Cemetery were pruned on Thursday, helping to enhance branch structure, promote healthy growth and improve their overall appearance. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Keith Erickson)

A Bowl Full Of … Condoms

“There is a giant bowl of condoms in the bathroom at this doctor's office. Some really colorful ones” — Facebook Friend at a doctor's office today.

DFO: I don't know what to ask.

HucksOnline Blogos — 12.18.14

Eric Nail, a Priest Lake summer person from Seattle, surprised girlfriend Clarisa Peralta by dropping to a knee and popping the question on the bridge overlooking the Spokane Falls Saturday. Eric and Clarisa were involved in one of those “meet-the-parents” deals when he surprised her with the proposal. She said, yes. Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns sends along the photo.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Dec. 18): 8962 page-views/5801 unique views

Scam Alert, Part 2

From Coeur d'Alene Police Dept Facebook: In reference to yesterday’s SCAM ALERT the Coeur d’Alene Water Department has provided us with some additional information to share with the public. The Water Department is currently doing meter change-outs so they are interacting with City customers more than usual however it is important to note that they never ask for personal information (the exception is that Utility Billing will get some when an account is first set up) and they are always happy to provide proof that they are, in fact, City employees. Here are procedures implemented for City employees when a customer wants verification that we are who we say we are.

Crane Predicts ‘Add The Words’ Hearing

State Rep. Brent Crane, the House assistant majority leader, Wednesday became at least the third state leader to predict hearings early next year on legislation to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s anti-discrimination laws. “It will be taken up and given a hearing in the 2015 session,” Crane, R-Nampa, told the Nampa Chamber of Commerce yesterday. He did not say which committee in the Senate or House would hold hearings. In his re-election campaign this fall, Gov. Butch Otter also predicted hearings on the so-called “add the words” legislation and said he would sign it if passed by the Legislature. House Speaker Scott Bedke also has expressed support for formal hearings/Bill Dentzer, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you expect Add the Words legislation to pass in the 2015 Legislature?

Read more here:

Idaho Falls Opens CdA’s Health Center

The state has opened its first community center designed to help people facing a behavioral-health crisis and keep those who don’t need to be hospitalized or incarcerated from being sent to emergency rooms or jails. Behavioral Health Crisis Center of East Idaho, at 1650 N. Holmes Ave. in Idaho Falls, will listen and talk to adults with mental illnesses and substance-abuse problems, help them set goals and connect them with additional community services, said Brenda Price, the center's coordinator. The center will provide assessments, stabilization services and plans, case-management assistance and referrals to other agencies/Kendra Evenson, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Anyone want to join mean in sending a big razzberry to county legislators Sims, Barbieri, Nonini, Mendive, et al, for the clueless opposition that cost Coeur d'Alene first dibs on this mental health center?

On The Waterfront — 12.18.14

I spotted tree specialists removing this tall pine at the edge of the leftfield foul line @ Memorial Field, during my walk along the waterfront at noon today. They had to be 50 to 60 feet above the ground. I don't envy them their job. Jake at snapped this photo for his Facebook page, commenting: “Always sad to see a nice big tree come down.” Also, the work continues along the Spokane River side of the Dike Road. Most of the small trees and all of the brush have been removed from the northern half of the stretch, leading toward the sewer treatment plant. It has opened up the river vista almost completely. But I suspect some won't like all the tree removal.

NWPOA, Farm Bureau To Host Townhall

North West Property Owners Associaton and Kootenai Shoshone Farm Bureau  are hosting a townhall with Kootenai County legislators and county elected officials. According to Jennifer Locke's Facebook page, Commissioner Dan Green and the two incoming commissioners, Marc Eberlein and David Stewart, have agreed to come. The meeting is scheduled for the Reach America building, 602 W. Lee Court, off West Appleway, across from Lowe's, in Coeur d'Alene.

Ed Board OKs Teacher Career Ladder

Idaho’s state Board of Education today voted unanimously to endorse proposed legislation to set up a “career ladder” for Idaho teachers, phasing in big pay increases if teachers meet performance standards. Funding for base salaries for beginning teachers would rise from $31,750 to $40,000 over five years, and for top-level teachers, from $47,000 to $58,000 for those at the top level. There also would be pay increases for attaining higher levels of education, at three levels: Bachelor’s degree plus 24 credits; master’s degree; and doctorate/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Long overdue?

Washington Best In Rails To Trails

Last month, we wrote about Spokane maintaining its bronze-level bicycle-friendly status, as judged by the League of American Bicyclists. At the same time, Washington state was named the most bicycle-friendly state in the country - for the seventh year in a row. A lot goes into that designation, but it comes down to support from lawmakers, sound statewide bike policies and good efforts to encourage Washingtonians to ride a bike. The good folks at Washington Bikes put together a list highlighting another area where Washington leads the cycling pack: trails/Nick Deshaies, Getting There blog. More here.

Question: Wouldn't you say that Idaho should rate fairly high in bike friendliness and use of rails of trails, too?

PFPD Report: ‘Cat Burglar’ Strikes

From Post Falls Police Dept activities report via Facebook: 911 call where a female stated she needed help and then hung up. Officers responded as Dispatch re-established communication. Female told them that she and her roommate were frightened by what they thought was a burglar trying to break into their apartment. Females conducted their own investigation and determined that a “cat” burglar had, indeed, tried to break in but was unsuccessful. This is most likely due to the absence of opposing thumbs. PFPD activities report here.

Question: Is your cat sneaky, too?

Another Winner

Here's the other of the two winners in the city of Coeur d'Alene's recent photo contest — Bryan Varney's photo of Allium Spring Chorus, which is located at the 3rd Street entrance to the McEuen Park lot. Huckleberries posted the other winner Wednesday. You can view it here.

Poll: Hooray For Cuba Action

  • Wednesday Poll: Cuban-Americans in South Florida might not like it, but a supermajority of Hucks Nation approves of the move by President Obama to stabilize relations with Cuba. 165 of 219 respondents (75.34%) support the president's action. Only 47 of 291 respondents (21.46%) oppose the move. 7 (3.2%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you think Gov. Butch Otter will fulfill campaign promises to better fund public education?

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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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