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Huckleberries Online

Archive for December 2004

Only 3 more days …

Only 3 more days until Hot Potatoes returns to a blog site near you. ETA: 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 3. I hope you folks are enjoying the holidays.

Final Word — Until Jan. 3

Well, folks, I’m off for the rest of my vacation, which will end on Jan. 3. I’m not going to do any blogging. I need a complete break. And so do you. Have the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years. I deeply appreciate the attention you folks pay to Hot Potatoes. It’s a humbling experience to be the gatekeeper for this blog. And I’ve made some good friends in doing so. See ya next year.

A salute to our medical guardian angels

Hi Dave,

I want everyone to remember that tonight and tomorrow, like every tonight and tomorrow, there will be nurses and multitudes of healthcare professionals on duty. All of them are the Angels who minister to the sick and dying 24/7/365, holidays or not. So as most of America enjoys some well deserved time to reflect on this wonderful holiday these fine folks work their many miracles as diligent and caring as ever. They all deserve our respect and thanks.

Dave Tolle
Post Falls

Baby overboard

In The CDA Blog, Phil Corless reports:

Last Sunday night (Dec. 19) at The Resort, a man with his months-old grandson in his arms was disembarking from one of the Holiday Lights boats when he slipped on the icy ramp and fell backwards into the frigid water, hitting his head on the boat. Some onlookers immediately helped him out, but both he and the baby were soaked. The cruise staff was not prepared to deal with the situation, but luckily there was a Deaconess nurse in the crowd who grabbed the baby and stripped off its wet clothes and diaper. She then had the baby’s grandmother place the child next to her bare skin to prevent hypothermia and certain death. Not a single person, neither cruise patrons nor Resort employees, called 911. That nurse deserves a medal.

DFO: Phil has really taken The CDA Blog up and notch. It is now becoming a must-read for me. If you don’t laugh out loud at least once in the first five items or so currently on line, you’re constipated.

Remember your brothers in chains

Michelle Malkin knocked another one out of the park earlier this week with her column reminding us of those who are suffering for their faith:

Yes, it’s maddening when politically correct bureaucrats ban nativity scenes and Christmas carols in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance.” We are under attack by Secularist Grinches Gone Wild. But the war on Christmas in America is a mere skirmish.

Around the world, a bloody, repressive war on Christians rages on.

You can read the whole column here.

Hark, what are the angels singing?

With a slight twist of words, here’s a Christmas carol that might sound familiar:

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconcil’d!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”

Those were the original words to “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” written in the 19th century by Charles Wesley. Pastor Mark Roberts of the Irvine (Calif.) Presbyterian Church provides the background to favorite carols and a spiffy “Advent Calendar” here.

Another rant of sorts

One of my jobs as Hot Potatoes gatekeeper is to catch urban legends. Two readers have sent in a column purportedly by Paul Harvey that denounces the constant attacks on the Christian faith in America. Actually, the writer of the column probably is Nick Gholson of the Wichita newspaper. Nonetheless, it’s a powerful column, beginning:

I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but I’m not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don’t agree with Darwin, but I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

You can read all of it here.

DFO: Pass it around but remember to give credit to Gholson, if possible.

Final Word (12/23/04)

It was a bit weird being at the office today, for the first of two days before I finish the rest of my Christmas vacation. But it gave me a chance to catch up on e-mails and bloggin’ — as well as write an editorial for tomorrow re: the BNSF spill near Hauser. I opposed the idea of having a refueling station over the Rathdrum aquifer. But couldn’t persuade the Big Boss otherwise. So, “I told you so” will have to do for the present. Anyway, I’ll be at the office to do Huckleberries tomorrow and then leave early for the rest of the year. I appreciate all of you who follow this blog and provide your own opinions via the “comments” feature. See ya tomorrow.

Peanut Gallery (Marianne checks in)


Just in case your geographic location on your vacation keeps you from having access to the area newspapers, I’d like to cite a Daily Bee classic today. It’s on page 11 in the sports section. The headline for the 10-12-inch story reads “Cougars looking for first win over Washington Huskies in seven tries.”

First line: Think the Apple Cup is a joke?” The story goes on to tell about what’s at stake with Saturday’s Apple Cup, including the Washington Huskies hope for a victory as “a parting gift for their coach Keith Gilbertson who has resigned.” My son, the Newport Miner reporter and sports editor, asked, “Is it just me, or is there something wrong here?”

Good space filler but we wonder how month-old stories get accidentally stuck among the columns of our local blat. Do the folks at Hagaville know that Washington now has a new football coach? Maybe we should tell them.

Hope your vacation is going well.

By the way, you must not have noticed the carefully place item in my poorly updated blog stating that another Hagadone is starting a new newspaper, and he ain’t related to Duane. The Sandpoint Reader will hit the streets between Coeur d’Alene and Bonners Ferry next week.

Editors/publishers are Chris DeCleur and Zach Hagadone, both Albertson College graduates. Zach’s grandfather owned Sandpoint Furniture for years. Interestingly, enough Zach sold ads for the Daily Bee for a while and decided he needed to go a different direction.

Marianne Love

DFO: Great report from the north country of Bonner County. Pleaz tell Zach and Chris to get me a copy of their paper. And, O My Readers, don’t forget to check out Marianne Love’s blog, Slight Detour, here.

Gregoire wins by 130 votes

The re-recount is over with Demo Christine Gregoire now in the lead by 130 votes here. At this point, Repub Dino Rossi should claim victory by taking 2 out of 3 counts. Or challenged Christine to the best 3 out of 5. Would you believe 4 out of 7?

Brand X poll

Commenters Poll Pot and Suzy Q (terrific pseudonyms) drew my attention to that on-line poll being conducted today by the Coeur d’Alene Press. Topic? Who’s your favorite columnist? Kerri Thoreson has almost half the vote of 167 with cynic Marti Fortier a distant second and Old Bob Paulos trailing everyone (with 4 votes) including “other.” For a good laugh and a chance to vote, click here.

Peanut Gallery (Different kinda rant)

Instead of compiling a list of things that offend me (a la DFO here), I drew up a different kind of list, in random order. I don’t care about red and blue states, I am searching for a state of grace.

I am shamed by lies.
I am shamed by greed.
I am shamed by theft.
I am shamed by anger.
I am shamed by hate.
I am shamed by violence.
I am shamed by killing.
I am shamed by war.
I am shamed by apathy.
I am shamed by stupidity.
I am shamed by ignorance.
I am shamed by racism.
I am shamed by starvation.
I am shamed by disease
I am shamed by pollution.
I am shamed by people who know more about Desperate Housewives than the Sudan.
I am shamed by people who don’t listen.
I am shamed by inconsiderate people.
I am shamed by people who think only of themselves.
I am shamed by instant gratification.
I am shamed by curse words.
I am shamed by sloth.
I am shamed by laziness.
I am shamed by homeless people.
I am shamed by soldiers who are lose their limbs and then have trouble getting their benefits.
I am shamed by the rich getting richer.
I am shamed by the poor getting poorer.
I am shamed by addiction.
I am shamed by rudeness.
I am shamed by anybody that hurts a child.
I am shamed by people who throw cigarettes out their cars.
I am shamed by people who use Allah’s name to murder 3,000 people on 9/11.
I am shamed by people who use Christianity as a political club.
I am shamed by people who promise to be more loving once the Christmas trees and lights go up, but go back to their selfish ways once the lights and ornaments are in the attic.

Lennon Fan

DFO: I couldn’t resist pulling this one out front. Good job, Lennon Fan.

“Merry Christmas from The Bard”

The tree’s adorned, the stockings hung,
and Yuletide carols softly sung.
Like Tiny Tim, when all is done,
we pray, “God bless us, every one.”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Peanut Gallery (Your side won)

I’m posting another group of responses re: “Red State” rant that I found when I returned to work today.


About your Red State Sunday sermon: There, there David, don’t take on so. Your side won! You control the legislative, executive and judicial for at least two years—maybe four—maybe more. You have the time and power to correct all those things that you say offend you.

Jerry Falwell can write the mandatory school prayer; Pat Robertson can revise the science texts to conform to Genesis and all those pesky Hollywood types, indeed anyone whose moral code doesn’t agree with yours, can be shipped to Guantanamo.

The only hope for us Blues is the rapture. May the good Lord in his wisdom use the celestial vacuum to transport you to His side (the right one of course) before you succeed in destroying the country.

Frank Dalton

Peanut Gallery (Bob strikes again)

Yes, and today in Iraq children are more malnourished than before…here is the simple truth, we botched Iraq and botched it badly…you’d think we’d have learned from Viet Nam what happens when Strangelovian think tankers are allowed to put their demented theories (see: domino theory, see: neoconservatism) into play…the civil war in Iraq will happen, it’s the Jurassic Park Effect in action…and our soldiers are the goat tied to a stake to lure T Rex.

The Unbearable Bobness of Being

DFO: Yeah, some Iraqi children are malnourished … as some were under So-Damn Insane. On the other hand, they and their parents aren’t being killed by the 10s of 1000s per year as they were under Uncle So-Damn, with no end in sight. Unbearable Bob should ask Kurd children whether they prefer life now or sniffing mustard gas under So-Damn. And, while he’s at it, he might want to check in with Arthur Chrenkoff, who presents the rest of the story that the mainstream media won’t in his “Good News from Iraq” here.

I’m ba-a-a-ack … for a coupla days

The phenomenon continues … negative letters to the editor re: “Red State” rant outnumber positives 7-3, including one today in which Tim Garb of Coeur d’Alene admits: “Yes, 11-2 will be more deadly in the long run than 9-11.” (But the overall count of e-mails, phone calls and letters leans 3-to-1 pro.) BTW, Tim Garb’s being a little coy here since the item he’s referring to in “Red State” rant zeroes in on that poll in which respondents said 11-2 was worse than 9-11. Anyone who’d say the prez election was worse than the terror attacks of 9-11 needs to compassion therapy — or explain his perspective to a survivor of that terrible day.

One more day of chillin’

I’m starting to get used to the sleepin’ in. So is Sis, who made the mistake last semester of enrolling in an 8 o’clock Economics class. Next semester, her earliest class is 11 a.m. She’s starting to understand her biorhythms. She’s a night owl, like me. Only thing on tap today is to get my Christmas shopping done for Mama. Shopping scares me to death, but I’m determined to persevere.

I’ll be back at the office for two days beginning tomorrow to check the e-mails and pound out a coupla editorials. I’ve been flirtin’ with the idea of starting another “Red State” rant, with you, O My Readers, filling in the blanks. That’d be fun. Do you think we could come up with 18 more inches of new stuff?

Finally, I’ve officially hit 100 contacts as a result of the “Red State” rant — 74-26 in favor. But I know there’s another 15 to 20 at work. That’s an incredible response. I’ll let the bosses know, of course. One of them has been pressing me to do more full-length columns. But I’ve resisted to this point. Those things take time. And once at work I don’t have a lot of that. Still, I enjoy the interaction.


Peanut Gallery (Why I’m A Red-Stater)

In the late 1970’s when my dad was still in high school he attended the Idaho Republican Convention in Moscow. The keynote speaker at that time was “then Governor” Ronald Reagan.

My dad, who was raised in a Democrat leaning household (that was back when Democrats had some shred of moral value left in them), went because he wanted to see what the GOP was all about.

He heard Governor Reagan speak, was so moved by Reagan’s vision that he signed up to help with the party and has been a Republican ever since.
Little did he know that when he married my mom he would marry a Democrat - thus leaving me in an “inter-party” relationship. Luckily, his beliefs made more sense to me and that is why I’m a Republican now and will be a Republican in 2005.

Henry Johnston

DFO: I appreciate the Christmas card that Henry sent, with the Christmas letter, and the note that he’d made a contribution in my name to the “Human Fund.” Since I, too, am a Seinfeld fan, I realize how much that cost this poor struggling UI student. Still, it cracked me up. A Festivus for the Rest of Us, Henry.

‘Twice Adopted’ excerpt

A definition of divorce as found on Page 37 of Michael Reagan’s new book (provided by Don Otis of Sandpoint):

“Divorce is where two adults take everything that matters to a child — the child’s home, family, security and sense of being loved and protected — and they smash it all up, leave it in ruins on the floor, then walk out and leave the child to clean up the mess.”

“Twice Adopted” isn’t literature, but it is an insight into what happens to children of divorce and a child who is abused by someone he trusts. And how someone can overcome the shock of the two betrayals.


Peanut Gallery (Response to Unbearable Bob)

re: comment by The Unbearable Bobness of Being earlier today.

Hey Bob,

Today in Iraq no little girls got raped and no babies got gassed to death. Hussein’s reign of terror is over. Apparently people like you prefer the former and can only find fault with your own countrymen/women. Canada thinks like you and isn’t that far away. Due north and keep on walking (stop before you reach Alaska).

Dave T.

Peanut Gallery (Bob checks in)

re: Liberals responding by snail mail to “Red State” rant:

I might wonder if the dearth of written letters by red staters speaks more to their lack of basic writing skills than anything else…a rocket hit a messhall in Mosul today…22 confirmed dead…possible Stryker battalion from Ft. Lewis…hey let’s gloat some more!


DFO: If this is Bob from “The Unbearable Bobness of Being,” he loses points for the usual cheap shot that arrogant Liberals use against Conservatives — that they’re more intelligent. Seems they enrolled in a philosophy class or two and believe they’re intellectually superior because they’ve descended from monkeys. It’s not a matter or intelligence, Boborino; it’s a difference of opinion. You believe the big, bad terrorists will go away if we close our eyes, click our heels and say: wrong war, wrong place, wrong time. I believe you kill as many over there as possible, so you won’t be fighting them over here. Sure, there will be setbacks. As retired General Tommy Franks has said, the enemy gets a vote, too. But we will prevail — unless you and your kind snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

DFO: If this is Bob from “The

Peanut Gallery (Am I/Are we blue?)

re: phenomenon in which 5 out of 7 letters to the editor opposed my “Red State” rant, while 71 or 90 personal e-mails/phone calls supported.

Could it be that the general color of the paper is blue?

Dave Tolle

DFO: Funny thing? They’re switching the colors for the next prez election, and the Red States will become blue. That’s going to be weird.

Peanut Gallery (Still trapped …)

Let’s do the math for Sad in Cd’A. Wal-Mart wages + bad health care benefits + clueless managers - no dental insurance - no Christmas bonus = Bad corporation.

Obviously that message was written by one of Duane’s henchmen. Otherwise he/she sould be giving us their name with PRIDE.

People stay here because they don’t have any place else to go. It’s not because they love Mr. Hagadone and his business practices. PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! I am bitter. Why? Because I can’t afford to give my kids a decent Christmas on the wages I earn. Now that’s sad.

Trapped In Hell


I had a friend post this for me because I don’t want to get fired, they (JD and MP) check our computers.

DFO: I agree with this poster. Obviously, “Sad in CdA” isn’t one of the poor wordsmiths who produce The Duane’s dead-tree journal. I’d guess SICDA’s one of The Duane’s pampered execs who receive $200,000-plus per year to say yes-sir-no-sir and do his dirty work. The poor journalists at Brand X are overworked. Underpaid. But a good bunch, working against the odds, all in all.

Cheers & Jeers

CHEERS to Albany County (NY) Justice Joseph Teresi who ruled that New York state’s defintion of marriage - exclusively between a man and a woman - is, in fact, constitutional. 13 same-sex couples sued claiming the state violated their rights to free speech, equal protection, and due process. Imagine that - common sense in a “blue” state!

JEERS to the Plano (TX) school district for banning the “Christmas colors” of red and green at what they call “winter break parties.” Are they dreaming of a white Christmas? Maybe a blue Christmas? What they ought to ban is the wearing of shorts or midriff-baring tops duirng the winter months.

CHEERS to McDonald’s for fighting back against Toby Cosgrove, the new head of the Cleveland Clinic. Food fascist Cosgrove wanted the fast-food restaurant removed from the lobby of the clinic. Pizza Hut reportedly went softly into the night - but not the golden arches! By the way, they serve 12,000 doctors, nurses, janitors, secretaries, patients, and visitors at that location every week. Wonder what Toby has for lunch?

CHEERS to the Baby born in Bethlehem just over 2,000 years ago, and JEERS to all the fussbudgets who do whatever they can to stop those of us who celebrate His birth. Party-poopers!

Larry Snyder

Peanut Gallery (Duane made Cda)

I have recently reviewed pictures of what Coeur d’Alene looked like before Mr. Hagadone built his corporate office and golf course, and I must say that it has been an improvement. A dramatic improvement. And yet when building places there were those that opposed. If it werent for Duane Coeur d’Alene would still be a one horse town only known for the white supremest and a defunk mill on the lake. I will admit that I am employee of one of Hagadones companies, and I have not worked for a better organization. If I was trying to impress my boss I would leave my name an email address, but I stay annonomous to speak for the majority. Shame on you Mr. Oliveria. One week you speak of how you go way back with Duane and have a great relationship, and yet you provide a medium to bash him. Thats ok, it’s your right. Be bitter that you are a past employee of one of the best corporations in Idaho.

Sad in CdA

DFO: You don’t speak for the majority, pal, or The Duane would have no trouble grabbing Sherman and Front for his memorial gardens. His polls showed he couldn’t win this thing. That’s why he pulled out — that, and he couldn’t browbeat the council this time. As far as the best corporation goes … I’m glad you like your job. Just remember to genuflect at the appropriate time — and to always say, yes.

Peanut Gallery (Go, Saints!)

Don’t forget the Carroll College Fighting Saints, Montana’s “other” national championship caliber team who won their third straight NAIA football Championship game 15-13 over St Francis of Illinios on Saturday with a last second field goal.

Former Lake City Timberwolf player Kyle Baker now has three national championship rings (or more championships than the U of Idaho team has wins in those same three years!!)

Doug Burr

DFO: Now, there’s a proud Papa of a Carroll College student. Doug has a right to be proud. And so does Kyle Baker.


Folks, I’m going to check out until next Thursday, when I’m due back at work for two days — unless something big happens. Then, I might take to the Web-ways again. With The Duane backing off his attempt to take the downtown streets, we can all breathe easier and enjoy the holidays. If you want to send a message to me at home or post a letter on any subject, use the “comments” feature of this post.

Peanut Gallery (Hagadone Gardens)

Maybe the blog helped kill this idea. Maybe he wanted to avoid the humiliation of a public vote. Maybe he realized he couldn’t strong-arm the Mayor and Council. Who knows?

I liked the idea of botanical gardens. I think they could have added a lot to our city. I just felt Big D needed to compromise on a few points, which obviously he wasn’t willing to do, despite his public comments that he would be willing to compromise.

Big D didn’t want to give up Sanders Beach. He didn’t want to donate millions for a library or a civic center. He didn’t want to bend one inch, so he took his flower pots and went home.

The Edge

DFO: The blog helped kill the idea? Goodness, that’s an interesting thought.

Peanut Gallery (Why Duane pulled gardens)

An Ingram trueism: People generally tell you what they want you to know. Mr. Hagadone withdrew the garden proposal because a popular advisory vote would be too contentious; it would endanger the two bond elections by having too many nay-sayers at the polls; it was no longer any fun.

The last one I’ll bet was the deal braker. I felt this at both the workshop hearing and the resort presentation a few days later and was thinking, he is not injoying this at all. Now we know why he is successful. He makes good decisions eventually!

Gary Ingram

DFO: Hmm. Mebbe. Anyone else?

By the hair of her chinny-chin

Amy Dearest arrived safely at Spokane International from Portland about 15 minutes late last night. And for that we’re extremely thankful. Many others were taken to Boise and Seattle and bussed to Spokane — so sez the current news flash on the S-R Web site:

Fog enveloped the Spokane area again this morning, causing flight delays at Spokane International Airport. As of about 10:30 this morning, five flights had been canceled.

“We had four flights that didn’t get in last night. So if they can’t get in, they can’t take off,” said airport spokesman Todd Woodard.

Complicating matters is foggy weather in both Seattle and Portland as well.

Peanut Gallery (Open Letter to The Duane)


I know you can hear me out there…….This is Steve, the guy who supported your efforts on the golf course when a lot of people were against you on it. Remember, when I spent that evening trying to convince you to give up that part of Sanders Beach? We were close, I think.

Don’t give up on this project, Duane.
It is a great vision. You just have to work with us to get this thing accomplished. Give a little Duane. We will also give a little and those gardens can become a reality and we will all be proud of them.

Steve Badraun

DFO: I have mixed emotions about Hagadone’s move. The gardens would have been spectacular. And I love gardens. But I also believe they would have killed the rest of the downtown by creating a traffic nightmare. I can’t figure out why he unilaterally pulled them. He was treated with respect by the public during the big Monday hearing. No name calling, etc. My guess? Internal polling by both Hagadone and the Library Foundation showed the garden wouldn’t have prevailed at the polls. Also, I’m sure he realized the council was going to stand firm Tuesday in sending the matter to the people. Anyone out there have any other guesses why Hagadone made this move?

Slowing into vacation mode

Gotta run the car back to the shop for another problem. When I get back, I plan to post Carol Stacey’s superb Oct. 29 column re: Hagadone Gardens.

Hot Potatoes Log

3:30 p.m. Went for a 2-mile wife with my wife, who noted that we’re 5 days from the shortest day of the year. She’s looking forward to the 21st because afterward each day gets a little longer. I’m just enjoying the mild winter.

3:02 p.m. Spotted that “comment” from Trapped In Hell. Dunno if it’s legit or not. But it sounds true. I know how things are over at the other paper. You be the judge.

2:30 p.m. Crawled up on my two-story roof, with a 45-degree pitch, to unclog the fireplace snowcap. Dunno who the genius was that invented snowcaps with nickel-size holes in them, but he can climb on my roof the next time we have a wet snow. The dang thing always clogs up.

12:12 p.m. Bill McCrory sends along sage advice: “Big mistake going into the office when you’re on vacation. Maybe a disguise…”

12:11 p.m. The number of e-mails, letters and phone calls from the “Red State” rant has just reached 91. Dunno if I can get another 9 for triple digits. I think I can. I think I can. I think …

10:35 a.m. Gotta pick up the car from Robideaux’s. Then, down to the paper to tie up ends that were left loose last night when I fought deadlines to the end. Didn’t even put a recording on the telephone to let callers know that I would be on vacation for a bit.

8:45 a.m. Noticed Butch Otter’s running for Idaho guv. No surprise. At this point, I wouldn’t hesitate to vote for him over Lt. Gov. Jim Risch. We’ll see how things pan out.

8:30 a.m. Stayed up into the wee hours readng Michael Reagan’s new book, “Twice Adopted,” and got up late. It’s va-a-a-cation, folks. Hot dog. Since the weather’s so nice, relatively speaking, I’ll probably get hit with some Honey-dos. So, there is a down side. On another upside, Amy Dearest flies home from University of Portland tonight. Can’t beat family for the holidays.

Lefty Moyer goes out with guns blazing

Bill Moyer, 70, of C-BS/P-BS, is retiring next week but not before he levels his guns at both the right-wing media and the mainstream media:

“I’m going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee,” says Moyers. “We have an ideological press that’s interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that’s interested in the bottom line. Therefore, we don’t have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people.”

You can find the rest of the story here.

Peanut Gallery (Trapped at the Press?)

re: my Christmas vacation.

They give you days off? What a concept!!!!!!!!

We’re expected to work all the time for free at the Press. We’re told to take vacations but show up to write a quick story or two. And sick days, well you get sick on YOUR OWN TIME.

Heaven forbid you actually have a life. That’s not their problem.

Trapped In Hell

DFO: Dear TIH; Hang in there and start circulating resumes as soons as spring breaks. Meanwhile, keep a straight face when the witch hunt begins to see who wrote this. As an ex-Hagadroid, I can promise you this: There is life after Hagadonia, and there are newspapers that focus on turning out a good product, pay well, and provide decent vacation and sick plans. I work for one.

Watching Duane change his story

In her Nickel’s Worth column this week, Carol Stacey notes that the Hagadone Hospitality story keeps changing. First, she sez, The Duane wanted to close 2 blocks of Sherman Avenue to build a second tower of the hotel on the north side — and, of course, his memorial garden to his parents. He didn’t want his guests braving the traffic. Now that he’s building the tower on the south side, he still is coveting the historic entryway to the downtown for a garden. Writes Carol:

“One theory circulating about town is that this whole show is leading to a sort of compromise — one that would give McEuen Field to the Resort. Seems far fetched, but we’ll see.”

DFO: Actually, I find it interesting that The Duane hired Hatchmueller to plot out his garden — the same landscape architect firm that conjured a compromise makeover of McEuen Field that the City Council adopted over the protests of many. Monty Miller and the Friends of McEuen had a better concept, but they were steamrolled by the Del Hatch and the Gang of 9. Bottom line? Hagadone never takes his eye off the ball. He wants that boat launch closed. And he wants to make McEuen Field look like part of his kingdom. Mebbe that’s why Hatchmueller, ahem, suggested that a block of Front Avenue be closed as part of Hagadone’s land grab. Hagadone Gardens would lap right up against the entrance to the Third Street parking lot and launch. And you know it’d be only a matter of time before The Duane was after the mayor and City Council to get rid of the noisy traffic from the parking lot — and, of course, give him more of the public’s property.

Reader’s Choice

You, O My Readers, have sent along some blog-worthy links:

*Charlie Powell, PR guy at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, writes that he’s not making up the following: “Videogame maker Veggie Games has released `Steer Madness,’ in which players control a “mad cow” to complete various tasks such as liberating animals from labs, hijacking chicken transport trucks, and promoting vegetarianism. The game’s description says that it is “based on direct action activism, (but) completely non-violent and suitable for all ages.” And sends along this link about the newest thing from the animal righties cuh-razies here.

*Jonathan Cohen from Brookline, Mass., writes: Here’s a terrific piece from the Boston Globe by a centrist writer I respect. Billy Joel couldn’t have said it better. Click here.

*Doug Burr writes: Hi Dave,
See the article below for those folks who think we have a bad case of political division in this country here. In the meantime, don’t drink any soup after all the fuss over Sunday’s column!

Peanut Gallery (Let’s hear it for the girl)

re: Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem’s performance in office.

Wow, I just really seems like Sandi Bloem is doing a great job as mayor of our city. The spirit is lifted. People seems empowered to work and be proud of their departments. My congratulations to her and the entire staff for their efforts. Gradually, the curtains down there are being lifted to show some light of day and because of her efforts, that daylight is getting into those dusty corners that Steve Judy left so long ago.

Steve Badraun

DFO: This is high praise, indeed, since it came from the candidate that Sandi beat in the 2001 municipal election.

Final Word

I’m going to be taking some days off over the holidays, beginning tomorrow. But I’ll also do a little blogging from home. Just not as intense. Check in occasionally to see if there’s something new. Also, please use the “comments” feature on individual blog items rather than my work e-mail to send me messages. I can read those from home. Meanwhile, I’m going to look through the suggestions you sent re: upgrading the blog. And I’m going to be giving the site a thorough review. You can expect some tweaking after the first of the year. Big time thanks for your faithfulness in following my prattling.

Washington’s Governor Election

Because each vote must count, my friend,
we count them carefully no end.
We count them once; we count them twice;
and after that we count them thrice.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Don’t trust Brand X’s poll

I’ve been following the Coeur d’Alene Press poll all day to see if the pollsters were playing fair. At first, it looked like they were. But something funny has happened in the last hour or so. Let me explain.

At around 11:30 a.m., the poll on Hagadone’s proposal to convert the western end of Sherman Avenue into a garden showed 57.5% opposed, 42.5% in favor. With 442 votes cast, that would mean 254 respondents were against and 188 in favor.

When I checked again a few minutes ago, the poll was almost the opposite, with 55.3% in favor and 44.7% opposed. With 580 votes cast, the actual numbers would break out to about 321 in favor, 259 opposed. In other words, if the poll is to be believed, 133 of the last 138 votes cast were in favor of the project. Impossible.

I’d say someone from HQ got wind of the results going against The Duane and made a call to the Press to fix the numbers. Someone needs to pass this blog item along to the City Council.


Peanut Gallery

Where is Mr. Spock when you need him?

Does anybody else see the missing logic with Big D and his mouthpiece The Hagapress?

The Press’ editorial today here says that people should take a good look at Big D’s proposal today and decide for themselves. How nice.

However, Big D is very opposed to an advisory vote from the public? Hmmmm. Interesting. I guess it’s ok for people to take a looksie. But it’s not ok to cast an actual vote blocking the plan.

Big D claims that a vocal minority is against him. Well, Mr. Hagadone, if that’s true. Prove me wrong. Let the people vote on it. But he won’t let that happen because he knows the MAJORITY of people are against it.

I laughed at his comments in the Press yesterday. He said that he’s willing to compromise. But he won’t compromise on quality of his project. That’s double talk folks.

If Big D really was willing to compromise, he would have offered up funding for the library or a new civic center, and tossed in Sanders Beach.

But Big D’s mind isn’t wired that way. He thinks those other things have nothing to do with his proposal. All he needs is a super-size serving of logic and compassion.

The Edge

DFO: I blogged all of this because I think The Edge is right on.

Hagadone Gardens poll

Duffer has drawn my attention to an on-line poll being conducted by the Coeur d’Alene Press re: Hagadone Gardens. The poll asks “Do you want Duane Hagadone’s proposed garden downtown.” Currently, the no’s barely edge the yes’s, 51-49 percent, after 369 votes. The Press promoted the poll at the bottom of Page 1 today. You can vote by going to this link here. Vote early and vote often.

Hump Day Quick Fix 6 (12/15/04)

I want you to pay attention, O My Readers, to the QF6 Opinion Fix feature. You won’t find a better lineup of conservative thinkers in your daily newspaper than you’ll find in the Opinion Fix feature. Today, for example, you have white-hot conservative femme columnists Kathleen Parker (pictured) and Michelle Malkin, as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, William Safire of the New York Times and a fine Wall Street Journal writer. You get that every day in the QF6 feature. I thought I’d point it out in case you were overlooking it.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Christmas wish list), Wayne Stayskal (ACLU), and Timothy Kelly (Hillary).

2. Humor Fix: “You know I was Christmas shopping over the weekend and I noticed something. Have you noticed most Americans are now as big as Santa? Santa is now an average sized guy. Remember when we were kids, Santa was huge? Now he’s smaller than half the people waiting in line” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Kerik affair at Ground Zero apartment here, Boy Scouts raise funds outside ACLU HQ here, Christmas is deadliest day of the year here, Demos offended by Bush photo here, and New mass grave in Iraq could contain 500 bodies here.

5. Supreme Court Fix: Liberals are right to be more concerned with Clarence Thomas than Antonin Scalia, since his jurisprudence represents the greatest threat to their ideology, according to the Claremont Institute, here.

6. Opinion Fix: Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (American spirit takes root in Iraq), Michelle Malkin/Creators Syndicate (Air marshal mess), John Guardiano/Wall Street Journal (Spc. Wilson and media bias), Newt Gingrich/Philadelphia Inquirer (U.S. health care needs a spark), and William Safire/N.Y. Times (California’s stem cell gold rush).

Duane razzle-dazzled ‘em

I’m rerunning this from Tuesday morning because I liked it so much — DFO

After watching Duane Hagadone and his entourage of sycophants razzle-dazzle the City Council last night re: closing Sherman Avenue for Duane’s flower garden, I couldn’t help but think of Billy Flynn (Richard Gere, with Renee Zellwiger, bottom right), the attorney in “Chicago, and his song, “Razzle Dazzle” — you know:

Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle ‘em
Give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give ‘em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather ‘em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?

Razzle dazzle ‘em
And they’ll never catch wise!

You can find the whole song here. Am I right?

“Last Weekend”

Such good fortune
to remember –
sunny days in
dark December.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Pine Tree Crosses

I’ve never paid attention to the Pine Tree Crosses phenomenon passed along by Cis the Retired at this site here.

Peanut Gallery (Red State cons)

I was sort of hoping that you would tire of keeping a scorecard on the opinions. As you aren’t, I guess you better place my vote in the “con” category.

After reading the replies of both sides, the “pro” writers were with you in lockstep while I believe several of the “con” writers including Mike Kennedy, Jim Fisher, Norman Braatz, Dr. Bob Lutz and the Gonzaga professor,
who’s name I don’t recall, made excellent arguments to some of your “rant.”

Remember, the “cons” aren’t all liberal lefties!!


DFO: I’m keeping tally for a simple reason: I want conservatives to know they’re in the majority in the Inland Northwest. Too often, we gauge public opinion by the comments of letter writers to the newspaper. And Liberals tend to dominate that forum. The count has been running 3-to-1 in favor of my Red State column, with 84 e-mails, phone calls and letters received to date.

Cheers & Jeers

Ed. Note: Larry Snyder is a clever Common Tater from Washington with some “Cheers & Jeers” to hand out below.

*CHEERS — to Dave Stoltzfus, the owner of the Upper Crust Bakery stand in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He refused to remove pictures of President Bush and the first lady. He was asked to do so by City Councilman Nelson Polite (who didn’t live up to his name). Polite demanded that the photos be taken down in order to let the city “heal” after the election.

*CHEERS — to Seahawk wide receiver Darrell Jackson. After he was told of his father’s death early Sunday morning, Darrell went out and had his best game this year — 10 catches for 135 yards and one touchdown. “This one’s for you, Dad!”

*JEERS — to the reporters who demanded President Bush’s chief speechwriter defend the President’s references to religion in his speeches. We should demand that they defend their rampant, rabid, and repugnant Christophobia.

*JEERS — to the Philadelphia police department for arresting and handcuffing a 10-year old girl who brought to school…a pair of scissors. The contraband was in her backpack. Imagine what would have happened if she would have had a Bible (gasp) in that backpack!

Love the blog, Dave!

Larry Snyder
Odessa, WA

DFO: Terrific! Larry. I have only one thing more to say: More! More!

A Coug’s view of Christmas … break

Dan Thompson of The Daily Evergreen knocked one out of the park with his play on “The Night Before Christmas.” Example:

Twas the night before finals and all across Pullman
Not a student was sleeping, though I may be assumin’
My essay I cut and reworked all the more
In hopes that the thesis would make sense by ‘graph four.
My roommates were drinking all night at the Coug
While visions of co-drinkers blurred in their view.

You can read the entire “‘Twas the Night Before Finals” here.

Making the big time

My Red State spiel Sunday hit the big-time this morning as Michelle Malkin posted a link in her superb blog here. Michelle runs one of the best blogs you’ll find in Red Country here.

Tuesday Quick Fix 6 (12/14/04)

Sorry, I’m running late again — and I can’t blame my padre. I’ve spent the whole last hour kibitzing and laughing about the Coeur d’Alene Press front page today. It has John Lennon’s word, “Imagine,” above a ha-huge conceptual rendering of Duane Hagadone’s garden — with the story of last night’s Meet the Council below here. Talk about chutzpah. The guy wants to take three city blocks for a garden and a quiet zone — and he sez he’s doing it as a gift to the city. Puh-LEEZ. Although the gardens will be nice, it is no gift. It is The Duane taking public property to scratch an itch to build a top-notch attraction that’ll further enhance his property. Actually, I don’t mind if he gets it. But he isn’t offering enough for it yet. Stay tuned.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Set-up questions for Rumsfeld), Mike Lester (Ditto), Mike Keefe (Our food supply).

2. Humor Fix: “Scientists now say if you want you Christmas tree to last longer and look better, put vodka in the base. Isn’t that a waste? Giving your tree vodka to make it look better? I say drink the vodka yourself and then everything will look better” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: ACLU planning lawsuit to “intelligent design” here, Palestinian Abbas calls for end to armed uprising here, Poll: Generic GOP candidate would beat Hillary here, Researchers sniff out indicator for Alzheimers here, and Twin sisters deliver sets of twin boys here.

5. Protecting Kids Fix: Rebecca Hagelin/Heritage Foundation asks the $64,000 question re: the Internet: “Our your kids Web wise?” here.

6. Opinion Fix: Sen. John Kyl (International Criminal Court), James Glassman/TechCentralStation (Global warming extremists), David Brooks/New York Times (Wonks’ Loya Jirga), Star Parker/ (End Social Security), and Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (A little relief for a Blue State).

Final Word

Gotta run, folks. May post tonight after the Hagadone Gardens meeting. Stay tuned.

Peanut Gallery (Sunday article)


It is not often in today’s politically correct media that I read an article by a news paper columnist that I can agree with 100%. Your article on today’s opinion page – We Red Staters can get offended, too – is very good. It should be reprinted in every paper in the world. You are so very right on that I am surprised that it was printed in the Spokesman Review. I usually enjoy reading your articles but this one deserves, in my opinion, a commendation for excellence.

Thanks for having the gumption to write it like it should be said. A lot of us are getting very tired of having to continually stomach the easily offended ones in our society who seem to have a problem with everything that stands for good and wholesome in America and can’t seem to get a real life.

What you wrote was not boring and I thank you for saying what the vast majority of loyal salt of the earth American’s really do believe. Please continue to take the high road. Merry Christmas and a very happy new year.

Bill Williams

DFO: Bill also is responding to my column about Red Staters from Sunday here.

Peanut Gallery (Mayor Larkin’s consent)

Hi Dave:

I see now where the mayor of Post Falls, Clay Larkin has joined the band to laud Hagadone’s new plans for Coeur d’ Alene’s downtown. Well I suggest that if Hagadone’s plans go down the toilet in the Lake City maybe Post Falls would pick up the project. Maybe they could close Seltice Avenue from Idaho Road to Spokane Avenue to make way for a new tower and gardens. Mayor Larkin obviously see the same way Hagadone does by promoting jobs with a substandard wages by having Buck Knives set up shop there! Let’s get real. Who’s really benefitting?

Dave Hopkins
Coeur d’Alene

Best of the Northwest

Over the weekend, it was all about Duane Hagadone (shown right as a young man at the Coeur d’Alene Press) and his plans for gobbling up Sherman Avenue for a memorial garden in front of his Coeur d’Alene Resort (above). Erica Curless/S-R penned a long Sunday feature about The Duane for our newspaper here. And the Coeur d’Alene Press announced today that the meeting about the garden this evening will be televised here. Meanwhile, the garden idea of Hagadonus Rex picked up the endorsement of Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin here. On the other hand, I’d wager that the garden scheme would be lucky to pick up 25% of a public vote.

1. David Horsey/P-I doodles about armorless Humvees in Iraq here.

2. In my Huckleberries column today, I opened by focusing on the hard times ex-S-R editor Chris Peck and other former S-R mates are having at the Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal here.

3. Sam Houston State football coach Ron Randleman announced his retirement a day after his Bearkats lost to Missoula in the semi-final round of the Division I-AA and eight days after guiding them to a 35-34 come-from-behind victory over Eastern Washington, according to the Missoulian, here.

4. Repub Dino Rossi has gained 24 votes on Demo Christine Gregoire so far in the re-recount here.

5. Higher-ed supporters have a wish list of $115 million worth of capital projects for the Spokane area, including $40.6 million for two major community college structures, according to Linn Parish/Spokane Journal of Business, here.

6. IMHO-NW: The Daily Inter Lake (Managing bears responsibly), Neal Peirce/Seattle Times (Oregon’s property rights vote), James Vesely/Seattle Times (Washington hunting bans), Idaho Statesman (Sage grouse debate), and Robert L. Jamieson Jr./P-I (Locke legacy).

7. Christmas at the Lake, a downtown Coeur d’Alene store that sells Christmas products year round, is the subject of a Marc Stewart/Spokane Journal of Business article here.

8. As the flu season takes hold, sick church goers are skipping Sunday services as a favor to fellow believers because they don’t want to pass on their germs, according to Christine Frey/P-I, here.

9. Tyrone Willingham, late of Notre Dame, will be announced as the new U-Dub football coach at a news conference this morning here.

10. The Whidbey Island Electronic Attack Squadron 132 Scorpions returned home from Iraq yesterday in time for the holidays here.

Quick Fix 6 (12/13/04)

Well, H-Rex & Co. will present their plans to take over 3 downtown street blocks today at the Kootenai County Courthouse meeting room. The public won’t have a chance to speak in this opening round as Svengali casts his spell. Allegedly, the public will get a chance to speak next month. We’ll see.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Jihadists), Chuck Asay (United Nations), and Henry Payne (Humvees).

2. Humor Fix: “Mike Tyson was arrested this week in Scottsdale, Arizona, after punching out some guy’s car. For no reason, Tyson jumped on the hood and just started punching the car. The guy said having Mike Tyson punching his car wasn’t so bad. But when he bit off the side mirror….not good” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Projection: 15,500-plus murders for USA in ‘04 here, Report leans toward women in combat here, S.F. mayor tops Heinz-Kerry for ‘gay’ award here, Marine sacrifices finger to save wedding ring here, and Hillary goes conservative on illegal immigration here.

5. Blogging Fix: You should know by now that bloggers are the ones responsible for Memogate: Dan Rather’s attempt to smear Dubya with fake memos. But do you know the role bloggers played in bringing down U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle? John Fund/Wall Street Journal tells ya all about it here.

6. Opinion Fix: William Safire/N.Y. Times (Judicial repression), James F. Robbins/National Review (Afghanistan moves ahead), Chuck Colson/BreakPoint (Author Tom Wolfe), John Leo/U.S. News & World Report (Christmas censors) and Bruce Mandelblit/NewsMax (Keeping your kids safe on-line).

Final Word

No time for “Headlines @ Closin’ Time” tonight because the Wife of My Youth awaits at home with a T-bone steak, cooked medium well. Waft the smell of a cooking steak my way, and I’ll follow you anywhere.

Meanwhile, I’ll give you folks a tip re: my new “comments” feature. Forget the URL line, unless you have your own Web site. If you want people to be able to respond directly back to you, fill in your e-mail address on the second line. By doing so, your name will appear at the bottom of your post, and people can contact you by clicking on your name.

If you don’t want people to contact you, just fill in the top line. You can use a pseudonym, if you’d like.

Have a good weekend.


Sacred Cow Burgers — ACLU style

Jay D. Dyson barbecues the Anti-Christian Liberties Union on his Sacred Cow Burger grill. He calls this one: “ACLU Alert System.” You can find more tasty burgers at Jay D’s site here.

Peanut Gallery (Beware of sizzle)

People who think Big D is done manuevering are seriously mistaken. He’s still got a few tricks up his sleave. You don’t become a billionaire without having a backup plan that really is the master plan.

I think his new tower could easily go where the plaza shops are, or right where Hagadone headquarters is sitting today.

Whatever the case, put your money on him asking city council to close part of Front Street. This limits access to the boat launch. (He really hates that the common folk bring their crappy boats near this Resort).

If he builds a tower where his headquarters are, suddenly public access to the boardwalk is diminished or taken away completely as a concession.

The council and Mayor will want to make nice with him after spurning his garden plan.

I hate to sound paranoid, but Big D is being very guarded about his plans, which leads me to believe something stinks in Hagadonia.

The Edge

DFO: Bingo!

TGIF Quick Fix 6 (12/10/04)

Gotta roll today, folks. Got the annual CDA Christmas bureau party at noon, an editorial and Huckleberries to write before I quit breaking big rocks into little rocks. Onward.

APhoto Fix: Brent Bozell/Media Research Center (Opinion Fix) agrees with many, including columnist Christopher Hitchen that director Oliver Stone has lost it. Mega-flop “Alexander the Great,” starring Colin Farrell (above), is proof that the director is a few cans short of a six-pack.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Steroids).

2. Humor Fix: “I read in the paper today, that a lot of Americans when they travel to avoid trouble claim to be Canadian. In fact they also do it when they’re looking for prescription drugs” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthday here, and Postive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: School censors Christmas from student performance here, Commercial flight to Vietnam first since 1975 here, African woman receives Nobel prize here, Bush picks Bodman for energy secretary here, and RockPaperScissors evolving into legit sport? here.

5. Stand Up & Be Counted Fix: The Christian Science Monitor sez the House GOP isn’t walking lock-step with President Bush on questionable policies such as open-door immigration here.

6. Opinion Fix: Charles Krauthammer/Houston Chronicle (Afghanistan miracle), Joel Mowbray/Washington Times (Intel reform), Rush Limbaugh/Rush Limbaugh Show (Rumsfeld set up by reporter), Brent Bozell/Media Research Center (Oliver Stone’s Waterloo), and Mona Charen/Creators Syndicate (Good riddance, Civil Rights chief).

Final Word

I see the Grinch is working overtime this yuletide:

*Christmas music was banned, then unbanned, on a school bus here.

*In Kirkland, Wash., a principal banned the production of “A Christmas Carole” as being too religious here.

*As mentioned below, you got the Wichita Eagle apologizing for not calling a Christmas tree a “Community Tree” here.

Have we lost our ever-loving minds?


Hot Potatoes Log

5 p.m. Thirteen people have used the new “comments” section of the blog since it went on line 24 hours ago. I’m pleased with the volume, big time. No abusers so far — other than a spammer that was advertising on-line gambling.

3:30 p.m. Talked at length to Don Morgan and Mike Kennedy re: ways to improve the blog. Also, have received a dozen or so critiques of the blog by readers. Much appreciated.

12:15 p.m. Just finished a personal column for the paper Saturday or Sunday in which I tell whiny Liberals what offends us conservatives. I was surprised at some of the things that I came up with.

10:30 a.m. After hearing that I’ve birthed another blog, Marianne Love writes in to dub me “The Blogfather.” It has a nice ring.

10 a.m. Hagadone’s alternative plan, as obtained through newsroom sources, has some merit.

8:30 a.m. Wasn’t surprised to read in the CDA Press that Duane Hagadone has pulled his original plan for a tower/botanical garden on Sherman Avenue. That’s been his M.O. for years when he encountered the prospect of a public vote for one of his plans.

Iraq Humvees

The warrior leaders of the free
(who fight from Washington DC)
perhaps will note at some late date
they’re armored like a paper plate.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Phone cards not ribbons

Forget the yellow ribbons and the red, white and blue bumperstickers supporting the troops, sez blogger Hugh Hewitt. The number one request from injured troops is phone cards. You can find the info on how to serve our brave men and women at this World mag site here.

Peanut Gallery (Hagadone Gardens)

It is probably best to have this public vote on the Hagadone project, although we elected these people to make their decisions on these projects and live or die with them.

It all depends on how badly Duane Hagadone wants this project. My guess it that he wants it very badly as a legacy and a hotel out of sight on the golf course just won’t do it for him. This project is his last hurrah folks and he has lots of money to throw at the campaign for approval. My guess is that he will really sugar coat it by re-working the plans and also donate a potful of money to some community cause convincing the mayor and council to pull the vote and vote for the proposal. Duane has a lot of time on his hands these days and he wants to be certain that the community now and forever remembers that Duane Hagadone will always be the top dog.

Steve Badraun

DFO: “My guess it that he wants it very badly as a legacy.” Great minds think alike. The Duane wants this so badly his teeth ache.

Best of the Northwest

Big news in Blog Free CDA … The Duane has pulled his plans for a tower on the north side of Sherman Avenue and now is considering a site on the south side. He won’t say where. It can be in only one place. I won’t steal Erica Curless’ thunder by saying where. The Old Man might have a pleasant surprise for the community. Meanwhile, I believe he’s going to leave the offer of a botanical garden on the table if the city wants it, and if the city will close down two blocks of Sherman. You can read today’s CDA Press here.

1. Political cartoonist David Horsey/P-I doesn’t like proposed Social Security reforms here.

2. Now’s the time for all good people who’ve wanted a CDAommunity Center for years to come to the aid of their mayor. You can find out how to pull together to land a $20 million Kroc grant here.

3. Eight folks who’d protested the removal of a 10 Commandments monument from Julia Davis Park were sentenced yesterday in Boy-C here.

4. There’s good news and bad news for the Idaho employment scene: A Report for the States gave Idaho a B in job growth but an F in the type of jobs being grown. In another category, however, the Gem State received an A for quality of life here.

5. Believe it or not, the Washington Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a mother can’t eavesdrop on her daughter’s phone conversation, even though it helped solve a crime, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Nils Rosdahl/S-R (Handle on Business), Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Smoking in Idaho), Joni Balter/Seattle Times (Ex-guv Dan Evans), Ira B. Shapiro/Nikon Photo Gallery (Some of my best friends are Republicans), Idaho Statesman (Boise coach Dan Hawkins).

7. Idaho singer/songwriter/activist Rosalie Sorrels, 71, has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album here.

8. Stan Kimmitt, 86, a Montana political legend and close friend of former U.S. senator Mike Mansfield, has died here.

9. Target’s ban on Salvation Army bell ringer’s is stirring a revolt here.

10. A brave Kirkland warrior died fighting for his country Sunday here.

Thursday Quick Fix 6 (12/9/04)

OK, troops, I have another assignment for you as I continue to review my Hot Potatoes’ offerings. I want you to specifically analyze the “Quick Fix 6.” Izzit something you read daily? Something you can live without? Pleaz let me know by clicking on the new comment box at the bottom of today’s fixes. Or by writing me directly by using the e-mail feature on upper left side of this home page — DFO

APhoto Fix: U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delivers a speech to American troops at Camp Udairi, north of Kuwait City on Wednesday. An embedded journalist, according to Matt Drudge, coached a soldier to ask questions that put Rumsfeld on the hot spot. See Top of the News Fix.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. pen their views about steroids and baseball here.

2. Humor Fix: “After heavy campaigning by the president, congress finally passed the intelligence bill. You know how President Bush did it? Very clever….he told everyone that the intelligence bill has a treasure map on the back of it” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Embedded reporter coached soldier to put Rumsfeld on hot spot here, Principal cancels “Christmas Carol” as too religious here, Army charged with violating ban on women in combat here, 96% of women are liars, honest here, and Massachusetts firms drop domestic partner benefits here.

5. Christians Vs. Lions Fix: Pope John Paul II is pushing the UN to recognize the persecution of Christian, Christianophobia, as an evil of the same magnitude as persecution of Jews or Muslims here.

6. Opinion Fix: Dick Morris/The Hill (Elites lost to people power), Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (Hillary plots her return), MacKubin Thomas Owens/National Review (GI Jane, by stealth), Ann Coulter/ (New, improved racism), and Marvin Olasky/World (Beyond wishful thinking about Islam).

Final Word

Bob Fick, the long-time AP correspondent at the Boise office, has quit his job over journalistic differences and will become an analyst for the state labor department. Betsy Russell/S-R here and political reporter emeritus Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press here (fourth item: “Losing A Watchdog”) provide their views on Fick’s departure. (You Statehouse news junkies can catch up on what’s happening in state politics by continuing to read these two blogs.)

Extra! Extra!

You can now write your comments directly onto my blog. Just go to the bottom of an individual item and click on “Comments.” That’ll save me time because I won’t have to deal with individuals e-mails. You can still write directly to me by clicking on “send me an e-mail” on the left side of my Hot Potatoes blog page.

Peanut Gallery (The Bard)

The reason I haven’t a clue as to the identity of the bard, is I didn’t know there were more than a dozen or so people in town that were as literate as he.

Over The Edge

DFO: Harsh.

Best of the Northwest

Shazam! The City Council stood up to bazillionaire Duane Hagadone and are moving toward a community vote on his botanical garden scheme here! Even Hagadone Do-or-Dier Dixie Reid. I must be dreaming. Dunno if this is a profile in council courage. Or common sense. If history is any indicator, The Duane will contact Mayor Sandi Bloem and select council members to warn that he’ll pull his project rather than face a public vote. The council, of course, could have gone one bridge farther and rejected the plan outright. Still, it was a good night at City Hall overall.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles re: vote counting here.

2. Give it up for columnist Danny Westneat/Seattle Times, who shares my abhorrence for schools who genuflect to the ACLU and other Christophobic organizationsa and individuals by dumbing down the Christmas celebration here.

3. According to Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman, Chuck Winder is still trying to figure out which group of Repubs gut shot him in his race for Boise mayor a year ago here.

4. Boy-C State prez Bob Kustra was envisioning a football program “the Pac-10 will be jealous of” when the university resigned Coach Dan Hawkins for five more years here.

5. Technically, Sean Astin isn’t a Northwesterner, so his interview with Rebekah Denn/P-I shouldn’t be included in the Best of the Northwest roundup. Since he’s the son of CDA’s Patty Duke and since I love Lord of the Rings, however, it is here.

6. IMHO-NW: Joel Connelly/P-I (Why mainstream churches marginalized), Seth Ellner/The Men’s Network Against Domestic Violence (Brutal murders), Floyd J. McKay/Western Washington (It’s time for Dino), Rebecca Nappi/S-R (History’s hindsight), and Jim Meehan/S-R (Vandals’ move to WAC).

7. A report of Bill McCrory’s complaint about the private one-on-one meetings between Hagadone and City Council members landed in the P-I today here.

8. The Western Forestry and Conservation Association is pushing for more tree thinning in Idaho forests here.

Hump Day Quick Fix 6 (12/8/04)

Quick review of an elementary school Christmas songfest at Coeur d’Alene High Tuesday night: Song selection that included penguins, snowflakes and Frosty the Snowman but left out mention of the Christ Child: frightful; singing and kids: delightful. The director did include “Silent Night,” which doesn’t mention You-Know-Who by name. Bottom line? Score another one for the evil forces of Political Correctness.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (UN oil-for-food scandal), Henry Payne (Steroid use), and Guy Gilchrist (Your Angel Speaks).

2. Humor Fix: Jay D. Dyson provides another of his Sacred Cow Burgers here.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Charges expected for 5 Pacers, 5 fans here, No women in running to replace Rather? here, Senate expected to pass 9/11 bill today here, Ecoterrorists burn 41 homes in Maryland here, and Bush acknowledges toll war taking on military here.

5. Abstinence-Only Fix: finds holes you could drive a truck through in California Demo Henry Waxman’s much-ballyhooed anti-abstinence report here.

6. Opinion Fix: Andrew Sullivan/New Republic (A case for Iraq optimism), Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (Bush hardly a zealot), Zev Chafets/NY Daily News (Racist slap at Clarence Thomas), George Will/Houston Chronicle (Baseball needs more character), and Tom Foley & Newt Gingrich/Washington Times (Protecting the Homeland).

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Michael Moore: Democrats need to embrace Hollywood: Director of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ claims Kerry lost race because he wasn’t best candidate/WorldNetDaily — Looks like the Pied Piper of The Left is trying to woo another gang of lemmings to lead over another cliff.

*Jimmy Carter’s grandson arrested: Charged with burglary, possession of pot after police say he broke into house/WSB-TV, Atlanta: Someone should arrest grandpa for the mollycoddling the world’s dictators.

*Senator offers bill to outlaw spanking: Canadian parents who paddle would be subject to assault charges/WorldNetDaily: Spare the rod, and you could raise a Liberal Party Canuck.

*‘Scientific consensus’ for global warming ridiculed: Compared to near-unanimous elections in old Soviet Union/ And you thought I was the only one who considered it globaloney warming.

*Vatican warns world of ‘Christianophobia’: Rome wants term recognized as evil equal to hatred of Jews, Muslims/London Telegraph: I prefer to call it Christophobia and accuse the Anti-Christian Liberties Union of being the principal practitioner.

Reader’s Choice

*If Notre Dame was looking at Coach Dan Hawkins to get its program turned around, it’ll have to keep looking. The Bronco coach signed a five-year contract today, according to a Statesman link passed along by Doug Burr, here.

*Colleague Erica Curless passes along a Missoulian link about a Montana legislator who’s authoring a bill requiring death certificates for all aborted unborn children here.

*Ex-K-County commish Mike Anderson provides a link for Americans who don’t want to explain their country’s policies during trips to Europe here.

*L.C. Johnson of Moscow sends along this link here, with the note: “Obviously, these soldiers haven’t been reading the U.S. press.”

Peanut Gallery (Pearl Harbor)

re: my Pearl Harbor editorial here

Pearl Harbor wasn’t a surprise, except perhaps for the exact timing. The Navy was aware of its vulnerability in the ‘20s, and Honolulu was already under red alert in 1938.

For a good account of the latter, read “The Home Front” by Ernie Pyle. City library has this book, which also includes a couple of fascinating columns about Spokane! (Ever hear of postal chariots? We had ‘em here in the 1940s.)

DFO: I own a copy of “Home Front” and another Ernie Pyle book of columns. They don’t make ‘em like Pyle any more. Wish they did.

‘For Drivers with Amnesia’

This icy white stuff we call snow
can make it hard to stop and go,
and it may come as news to you
that snow fell on us last year, too.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Best of the Northwest

Both CDA papers deserve a Sweet Potato for offering nice articles about Pearl Harbor survivors. Kevin Graman and Carl Gidlund old the stories of these old warriors for the S-R here and here. And Bill Buley of the CDA Press focuses on a 12/7 survivor from Hayden here. We honor the “Greatest Generation” by recalling their day.

Photo: The Battleship Missouri’s massive turrets are shown pointing toward the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1. Liberal David Horsey/P-I wonders why more Washingtonians didn’t vote for Christine Gregoire here.

2. Sweet Potatoes to K-County Prosecutor Bill Douglas for following thru on William McCrory’s complaint that private meetings between Duane Hagadone and individual council members re: his botanical garden might have violated the Idaho’s open-meeting law. Douglas sez it legally didn’t. But that doesn’t mean the secret meetings didn’t violate the intent of the law. Click here.

3. UIdaho editorials fume about a Institute of Women’s Policy Institute report that shows women don’t fare well in the Gem State here, and student cartoonist Noah Kroese provides his take on the matter here.

4. Is undefeated Boy-C State coach Dan Hawkins being courted by Notre Dame. Inquiring Idaho Statesman readers would like to know here.

5. In Boy-C, the trial begins for 11 protesters who were arrested trying to prevent police from removing a monument of the 10 commandments from Julia Davis Park here.

6. IMHO-NW: Marianne Love/Sandpoint free-lancer (Fiddlin’ Frank Smith, click on link provided at this site), Seattle Times (Washington recount), Joel Connelly/P-I (Locke’s legacy?), John Blanchette/S-R (Have coach will travel), and Doug Clark/S-R (Adopt A Soldier program).

7. posts the latest list of Kootenai County’s wanted scofflaws here.

8. Marcus Potts/Daily Evergreen provides a pregame story of tonight’s game between No. 25 Gonzaga and the hapless WSU Cougars here.

8. Party activists are lining up to watch the re-recount of the Washington gubernatorial ballots here.

Final Word

As you see, I test-drove a new concept today: “Web Log.” Pretty boring name. But it fits the feature — an on-line summary of my work day. I’ll try it for a coupla of days to gauge its potential. Meanwhile, I appreciate the response to my call for a Hot Potatoes’ blog critique. If you haven’t turned in your home work in this area, you have until Dec. 16 when I go on vacation for a coupla weeks. During my vacation, I’ll consider how to upgrade the blog. So far, you folks seem to like the blend of local, national, international items. Respond now, or forever hold your peace.

Web Log

Gonna try something new today … an actual log as I go thru the day. I’ll keep updating it with newest things on top:

4:45 p.m. Biz Tidbits columnist Nils Rosdahl stopped by to say he found a wild turkey dead on his porch when he returned from vacation. A real wild turkey. Not a consumed bottle. The gobbler had an arrow through it. CSIers from F&G surmised the turkey was shot in the field next to Nils’ place. It’d make me goosey to know bow hunters are letting ‘em fly nearby.

4:34 p.m. Just checked out Dave Bond’s (pictured) upgraded Web site here. Hot dang, it’s good. The site’s attractive. Plus you get the latest rants, er, columnizing from DeePee here, Bob Hopper and David Morgan.

3:30 p.m. Done with Tuesday editorial about Dec. 7 right at deadline. I tried to pull the majority anti-war and minority pro-war strains of the editorial board together for a comment. ‘Twasn’t easy.

12:20 p.m. Got a tip from an insider that Mayor Sandi Bloem isn’t gaga about Duane’s botanical garden — and that’s causing a trouble in high places in our little paradise. As I count heads, I see three council members who don’t want the garden/street giveaway. The vote of Her Sandiness might prove to be a critical tie-breaker.

11:20 a.m. Just got done with the morning Editorial Board meeting. I’m on tap to opine on my parents’ 9/11: Pearl Harbor Day. It won’t be easy because so many have written so well about “this date that will live in infamy.” Anyone out there have any thoughts?

11:15 a.m. Nick Walker, a former Sandpoint High Cedar Post editor, checks in from his LDS mission in Grand Rapids, Mich., to say: “I checked out your blog and also saw that there was a post from one of my favorite teachers, Marianne Love. All I can really say is that I miss Sandpoint.”

9:46 a.m. Free-lancer Marianne Love reports in from Sandpoint that she’s getting the itch to blog, and she sends along her first (impressive) efforts to prove it here.

9:26 a.m. Sportswriter Greg Lee sez he ran into ex-CDA police chief Dave Scates at Woody McEvers’ Rustler’s Roost, eating breakfast with former friends and officers, such as Greg Surplus. Dave’s about to retire from a security job in Montana. And he sez he enjoys not being in my print column. Heheheh.

Best of the Web, indeed

If you haven’t read James Taranto’s Best of the Web (which has a link under “blog roll” on the bottom right side of this blog, you’re denying yourself the best daily commentary on the today’s news. Great stuff again today. Click here.

Best of the Northwest

In the second half of his Coeur d’Alene Press column today, weather forecaster Cliff Harris (whom I met 25 years or so ago in Montana’s Flathead Valley when he was hanging out with doomsday predictor R.E. McMaster) tries to explain what went wrong with that Mother of All Bad Storm Calls over the weekend here.

Photo: Duane Hagadone explaining his botanical garden plan to the S-R editorial board earlier this fall.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times provides a timely lesson for Homeland Security Chief-designate Bernie Kerik here.

2. In today’s Huckleberries, you’ll find out why Duane Hagadone is selling the Lady Lola and her shadow six months to a year earlier than he’d originally planned here.

3. It’s hard to find a better light display than on Keller Road in the Spokane Valley here.

4. As we approach Pearl Harbor Day, two World War II veterans living out their lives at the Idaho Veterans Home remember what it was like to be under fire, fighting for their country, here.

5. The Seattle University Redhawks bounced Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 2-1 Sunday to win the NCAA Division II soccer championship here.

6. IMHO-NW: The S-R has some of the best columnists in the nation, and you need look no further than this weekend’s efforts to show you why: Jess & Ralph Walter (EWU footballers), Doug Clark (Local boxing), John Blanchette (Gonzaga’s Earl Knight), Rebecca Nappi (Ex-Zag cheerleader stays focused), and Pastor Steve Massey (Hypocritical U.S.).

7. Secretary of State Sam Reed ordered an unprecedented recount of all 39 Washington counties today as Washington officially began its re-recount of the gubernatorial election, in which Repub Dino Rossi led by 42 votes out of 2.8 million cast after two counts, here.

8. Dan Popkey, political writer extraordinare from The Idaho Statesman, pens a farewell to Laird Noh, R-Kimberly, a pol who protected Idaho’s water and power prices here.

Monday Quick Fix 6 (12/6/04)

So, when is a ha-huge snowstorm not a ha-huge snowstorm? When it’s predicted by the local weather channels, at 100% probability, and doesn’t happen. I waited for the Mother of All Snowstorms to hit Friday night, then Saturday day and then again Saturday night. When it finally came, it was no big deal. About 2 inches or so. It was enough to scare my mother-in-law. Then, she just moved here from sunny northern California and she’s easily scared by snow. Bottom line? The local weathermen blew it. But I doubt they’ll mention that on their broadcasts tonight.

Photo Fix: Kofi Annan is up to his armpits in trouble re: the Iraq oil-for-food scandal. But he sez he won’t quit (See Top of the News Fix). Meanwhile, Jeff Jacoby discusses this controversial world leader (See Opinion Fix).

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay nails my sentiments on airport security exactly here. And you can find Henry Payne here and Kevin Tuma here.

2. Humor Fix: “San Diego’s Petco Park has announced they are going to start selling organic hot dogs. So now when you go to a baseball game, the hot dogs are clean it’s just the players that are packed with artificial fillers” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Terrorists attack U.S. consulate here, Lawmakers want baseball to fix steroid problem here, Annan: “I won’t quit” here, Report: Tillman’s final words a horror here, and Mom flashes chest at PeeWee hockey game here.

5. Lion’s Den Fix: In its cover story, World mag describes Baroness Caroline Cox this way: “Whether speaking before Parliament or sneaking supplies across militarized borders, Baroness Caroline Cox, WORLD’s Daniel of the Year, has defended the persecuted poor. ‘When God gives you a vacuum, you fill it.’ You can see why World believes she fills the shoes left behind by the Prophet Daniel here.

6. Opinion Fix: Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Kofi Annan), Tom Donnelly/Daily Standard (Importance of Fallujah), William Bennett/RealClearPolitics (Mainstream media), Ann Marlowe/New York Post (Building a civil society), and Steven Malanga/Wall Street Journal (Nothing’s wrong with red-state Kansas).

Blog On

It’s past closing time Friday, but that doesn’t mean I can’t blog on. I found a cool Web site for you folks who like lists and, more than that, like to impress your friends with the latest lists. If you know what “waitron” and “barista” have in common, you’re ready for the 10 top PC words added to the American vocabulary in 2004 here. And you can find a boatload of 2004 lists (involving music, books, games, words, etc.) here.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time (Dec. 3)

*Thompson quits HHS with ominous warning: Can’t ‘understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply’/WorldNetDaily: Shhhh.

*No-recruiting policy aimed at Scouts: Literature sent home with students must warn group’s value may be ‘offensive’/Associated Press: And who’s going to warn us about the creeps sliming the venerable Boy Scouts?

*Navy probes new prisoner photos: Appear to show abuse of detainees last year/Associated Press: For some reason, I believe that filming someone being beheaded and then sending the video to al-Jazeera is far worse than anything we did to the, ahem, innocent detainees.

*Powell calls Annan ‘good’ secretary-general: Says probe targets oil-for-food program, not U.N. chief/Reuters: Betcha Dubya’s not going to miss this guy — Powell, that is, not “See No Evil” Annan.

*Kerry supporters meet for group therapy: Voters shout epithets at Bush during counseling session/Boca Raton News, Florida: I simply can’t believe that Republicans would act this way if Flipflip would have won.

Peanut Gallery (Leans way to Left)

Hello Dave,

Welcome back. Interesting your comment that many of your colleagues “lean to the left”. Lately I been wondering if I subscribe to the best news publication BECUZ sooo much of the paper tilts to the left. Article structure, editorial sources and article placement. Waz-up with this anyway?

Dave Tolle
Post Falls

DFO: Mebbe it’s time conservatives counseled their children to go into the news biz, so we can turn this thing around in another generation or so. It’s a noble profession. But a tough one. I can’t believe I’ve survived in it for 35 years.

How Lefties become Righties


After readings the rantings and musings of the election and such I was reminded of a quote:

“Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.” - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Chris Beck

DFO: As a former campus radical at Chico State University (Calif.), I second Chris’ emotion.

‘Spokane mafia’ takes Memphis by storm?

In the “whatever happened to …” dept., ex-S-R editor Chris Peck (pictured) has run into turbulence as editor of the Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal. First, there’s labor negotiation and layoff problems here. Then, there’s a resentment by his staff about former Spokane staffers who’ve been added to the payroll, including ex-S-R ME Scott Sines, ex-photo editor John Sale, ex-graphics editor John Nelson and ex-food critic Leslie Kelly. In fact, someone has made up a Web site suggesting Peck & Co. go back to Spokane where they’d fit in better here.

Happy birthday, Baby Whatzhizname

L.C. Johnson of Moscow sends along a poem by Donald Arey Sr. that reveals how Christmas has been dumbed down by the PCrowd here — dfo

Smoke gets in your … lungs

Funny little video on the search for a new smokesperson by the tobacco industry here.

Many thanks to colleague Taryn Brodwater for passing this along.

TGIF Quick Fix 6 (12/3/04)

I’m ba-a-a-ack. After a day of noodling with the other newsroom editors about the future, I’m back, refreshed. I wished all of you could see the type of folks who run things in our newsroom. Yeah, they tend to lean Left. But they’re quality people who know how to put a good paper out. I’ve been privileged to work with great people at this paper for 20 years. And I return to you today enthused that The Spokesman-Review still has many good days ahead.

Photo Fix: Brian Williams (right) succeeded Tom Brokaw as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” last night, debuting at No. 1 on the viewer charts (see story below).

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Wayne Stayskal here, Timothy Kelly here, and Paul Nowak here.

2. Humor Fix: “Tom Ridge told friends he wants to go to the private sector, where he can make some more money. Finally — a Republican acting like a Republican. Never mind that crap about spending more time with his family. He’s sick of the colors red and blue, he wants to see some green” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Positive Quote here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Williams debuts at No. 1 as Brokaw’s replacement here, WalMart tries to save Christmas here, Pastor faces suit in adultery case here, Bush seeks full disclosure in UN oil-for-food program here, and Departing troops seek Iraq coalition here.

5. Reality Check Fix: If you like Garrison Keillor as much as I do, you’ll be disappointed to know that he’s an Lefty ideologue deep down. George Shadroui of FrontPageMag provides an overview of Keillor’s latest book, “Homegrown Democrat,” here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ann Coulter/ (Dr. Rice), Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (Self-righteous war to stamp out history), San Francisco Chronicle (Balco scandal), Chris Suellentrop/Slate (Delay unites GOP critics), and Viktor Yushchenko/Wall Street Journal (Legitimate victory in Ukraine).

Christmas Lights, Sherman Avenue

Like tiny stars upon the trees
they twinkle in the frosty breeze,
and throw their little rays of light
like hope into the cold black night.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Kerry campaign won’t surrender: Seeks to join legal battle over Ohio ballot recount/WorldNetDaily: You lose by 136,000 votes in a state, and you think you still have a chance. This reminds me of the scene from “Dumb & Dumber” when the beautiful love interest tells “Dumb” (Jim Carrey) that he has a one in a million chance of winning her heart. Replies Carrey: “You mean I still have a chance.”

2. AIDS on rise among homosexual men: New numbers stoke concerns disease could be poised for resurgence in U.S./Reuters: Some people never learn.

3. More U.S. troops heading to Iraq: Additional 12,000 brings level to highest since beginning of war/Associated Press: Better late than never, right? Right?

4. Brokaw Signs Off From ‘NBC Nightly News’/My Way: Unlike Rather, Brokaw’s going on while he’s still a little ahead.

5. Texas governor grants woman rare stay: Convicted killer gets 120-day reprieve for review of evidence/ A stay beats the alternative.

PClueless in Canada

Hugh Hewitt’s blog provides photos of some of the idiot protesters who greeted Dubya in Ottawa here.

Best of the Northwest

I shoveled the sidewalk for the first time last night, which means winter officially has arrived in the Great Inland Northwest here. Cars were cuh-rashing all over the place, particularly in Spokane, where some folks eschew studded tires. I put my studs on the car last week. And particularly enjoyed hearing them whir on Washington’s pavement en route to the airport to pick up Amy Dearest for Thanksgiving. Eatcher heart out, Washington breath.

APhoto (above): Duane Hagadone charming a City Council member in private? Nah, The WB is promoting the showing of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at 8 p.m. (EST) Friday, Dec. 10. Also, if you like all things Seuss, check out the Inlander reviewer in the IMHO-NW feature below.

1. Somehow, I missed this great Thanksgiving cartoon by David Horsey/P-I here.

2. Boy-C State (11-0) has accepted a long-anticipated bid to face Louisville (10-1) in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 31 here.

3. U-Dub will be out to prove it’s the best college basketball team in the state when the Huskies take on Gonzaga tonight in Spokane here.

4. Mike Weland of the Kootenai Valley Press News recognizes the 12 brave National Guardsmen from Boundary County who are now headed to Iraq here.

5. Don’t look now, but Mount St. Helens is the biggest source of pollution in Washington here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/S-R (Reality Barbie), John Blanchette/S-R (Gonzaga vs. UW), Coeur d’Alene Press (A closed-door meeting that worked), Michael Bowen/Inlander (A Seuss on the loose), and Robert Herold/Inlander (Cathy McMorris’ win).

7. The Bush administration plans to reduce by more than 80 percent the miles of rivers and streams it designates as critical to the recovery of troubled Northwest runs of salmon and steelhead, according to ex-S-R staffer Craig Welch who’s now writing for the Seattle Times, here.

8. The UI foundation will ask for one year’s extension on a $5 million note it owes in connection with University Place, according to Bill Roberts/Idaho Statesman, here.

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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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