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Archive for October 2004


Remember to tune into Dick Haugen’s morning show Monday to hear Demo Mike Kennedy and me discuss the Kootenai County elections (8:20 a.m. on KVNI-AM, 1080).

Local Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Candidate’s ad expenses absent from report:
Marge Chadderdon says CdA Press billed her account for advertising
/Erica Curless (S-R): Monkey business between the R’s and Brand X? Stay tuned.

*Centennial Trail to get a route change: BNSF signs off on deal allowing trail to cross over little-used railroad tracks/Becky Kramer (S-R): Score another one for Coeur d’Alene’s growing dedication to parks and recreation. Sweet Potatoes to all involved in making this happen.

*Felons say vote ban is ‘poll tax’: Five who served time but still owe fines sue to overturn state law/Virginia de Leon (S-R): Ya wanna vote? Don’t do the crime.

*More Spokane health workers lose jobs: HIV/AIDS, children’s and nutrition programs cut/Carla K. Johnson (S-R): Anyone who’s watched friends go out the door via layoffs knows the situation at the health district isn’t good.

*Ad watch: A ‘Closer’ look at McMorris, Barbieri/Megan Cooley (S-R): This time, Don B’s stretching the truth.

Hagadone Gardens (Eagle Eye)


A couple of things to think about when planning the garden. First, I believe that the parking requirements will be vastly underestimated. The additional rooms will fill up the Resort parking garage and more. There will need to be more parking around the new tower.

Second,the garden will bring hundreds of day visitors. Where will they park? Third, I know that is was presented that the resort guests will be fly in and not drive in but I dont buy that theory. I think the mix of the Resort guests will shift to driving guests who are going to see the garden.The convention business I believe is saturated and the new rooms nights will come more from individuals. Thus increasing the parking burden. Finally, what does this plan do to the McEuen plan? If we are giving up pavement for greenspace on Sherman does that plan need to be revisited? Maybe the baseball field can be saved and upgraded. This would eliminate the need to come up with all of the money to build the field on Ramsey.

The parking issue is critical. The only downside to the garden would be if they underestimate the parking needs.The garden visitors for the most part will be older. They are not going to walk a mile just to get there.

Eagle Eye

DFO: I agree 100% with Eagle Eye that the parking for the proposed Hagadone tower/gardens is vastly underestimated.

Hagadone Gardens (Temporarily Wondering)

Hi Dave –

I’m sitting here looking at the cover of a bi-weekly newspaper I read. Pictured is an obviously wealthy couple wearing full-length fur coats, both sporting a rich-man’s version of a cowboy hat, window shopping in Aspen. There are a few other people in the photo as well, none are what I would call regular folk. Soon to be downtown Coeur d’Alene?

I don’t have an opinion on Hagadone’s latest proposal. I don’t feel I have enough information and I’m not sure my opinion would matter to anyone anyway. Regardless, I do see where it all leads. I think it likely that Sherman Avenue’s (Lakeside to 7th) days as a street that we drive down are limited. It will eventually be closed to vehicles and open to bicycles and pedestrians only. It will continue to become less attractive for locals to patronize the businesses there. With a continued increase in the amount of tourists and part-time, second- or third-house residents who spend money at the trendy places, maybe businesses continue to prosper. But certainly the character of the place will change. For better or for worse, the young (or young at heart or mind) won’t be “cruising Sherman” on those summer nights. Those of us who currently enjoy spending time downtown will no longer fit in very well there. Most of us will be out of our league, or at least out of our budget. Maybe we’ll just lose interest.

Hagadone’s proposal will not cause this transformation. It appears to me it has already started, but it is occurring at a fairly slow pace. With an expanded resort at the head of the table, it will speed up the process. If it is not this one, there will be another. The downtown is on its way to becoming an amenity of the resort and maybe that’s OK – I don’t feel it is for me to say. I don’t think the so-called “locals” will like the “new downtown” 10 years from now. Should that matter if the businesses there continue to prosper? Do we identify this place by the character of the downtown? What role does it play? Can we really prevent it if we want to?

Tough questions to which the answers will be far more obvious in hindsight.

Temporarily Wondering

DFO: Temporarily Wondering has shown us the future.

Parting Shot

Ruth Pratt of the Coeur d’Alene Library Association dropped off a Literary Classics Calendar this p.m. — you know, the one featuring local celebs including Patty Duke, Dennis Franz and Ellen Travolta. And somewhere near the back, CdA Press Editor Mike Patrick, PF Mayor Clay Larkin, CdA Mayor Sandi Bloem and Yours Truly are the pinups for November. Fun stuff! Our theme? “A Tale of Two Cities.” We’re fully clothed, which should come as a relief to our Loved Ones — and people with weak stomachs.

(BTW, it’s appropriate that Her Sandiness and I are featured in November because we share a birthday on the 20th.)

(BTW II, the Jason Hunt/CdA Press photo above isn’t the one published in the calendar. Thank God. I don’t know what we were thinking.)

The funniest month may be February, which shows the death scene from “Romeo and Juliet” — with undertakers Dexter Yates and Bruce English, Pastor Dick Haugen, serving as a backdrop for dead lovers Ellen Jaeger and J.J. Hunter. The calendars sell for $15 apiece. Great Christmas gifts for a worthy cause — raising money for the new library. We have 10 or so at the office if you want to buy one — cash, check or money order.

Hagadone Gardens (The Edge II)

Here’s a reality check. Before everybody goes gaga over the number of jobs and the millions of dollars Big D will spend on beautiful flowers. Check out Rick Thomas’ column in yesterday’s Coeur d’Alene Distress. Mr. Thomas laments that he had to drop his health insurance because he can’t afford the $600 in annual premiums on his skimpy salary that Big D provides. That is shameful.

The Edge

Hagadone Gardens (The Edge)

I’ve been thinking long and hard about Big D’s Sherman proposal, and I have concluded his idea is radical, dynamic, and interesting. It could be a great thing. Like it or not Coeur d’Alene is changing. It’s no longer the sleepy little town that many people fondly remember. Most of the common folk, well, they live in Rathdrum now. Coeur d’Alene is going to be VERY upscale. Those dumpy shops downtown will be long gone. Eventually midtown will be a cool place to hang out. I know my property values keep going up and up. Big D is responsible for that. It’s hard to argue against a botanical garden. I am not thrilled with a 12-story building, but who is. But it fits in with the Resort and what Big D is trying to do with his properties. I wish Big D would include Sanders Beach, or at least a big check for a new first-class library in the deal. But that’s as likely as the Red Sox winning the champi, whoops, bad example. It’s improbable.

The Edge

Milt’s video lands on Cagle & Co.

Milt Priggee’s video and commentary about the death of political cartooning has made Daryl Cagle’s impressive ‘toon Web site. If you didn’t follow my link to his poignant video about this phenomenon, you can do so now by going to the Cagle site, reading Milt’s comments, and clicking on the “Milt’s Coffins” video here.

Thursday Quick Fix 6 (10/28/04)

Let’s start the day by handing out a double serving of Sweet Potatoes — to NIConservative students. They challenged instructor Sharla Chittick for handing out extra credit to students who viewed Michael Moore-Is-Less’ (pictured) schlockumentary “Farenheit 9/11.” Quoth student Lorie Heinrichs (in the S-R): “there are other options, but none of the other options are politically biased and this one is politically biased.” Sounds like Chittick is a good teacher overall who tries to keep her liberal leanings in check. Not much of a foul here. But it’s nice to see that today’s college students aren’t rolling over when they’re hit with tripe from left leaning academia.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. take a look at undecided voters here. And, for inspiration, you can see one of Guy Gilchrist’s angels here.

2. Humor Fix: If you haven’t had an opportunity to vote in the Florida elections, click 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: Russia tied to Iraq’s missing arms here, Marriage amendments all expected to pass here, IRS: Churches can’t pray for Bush victory here, Boston pitcher Schilling urges Bush vote here, and Zogby: It’s close here.

5. Reality Check Fix: You want links between So-Damn Insane and terror? Well, Deroy Murdock, media fellow at the Hoover Institute of Stanford U., has provided all the links your little heart can desire here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ann Coulter/ (40 excuses and a mule), Dick Morris/New York Post (Kerry camp’s final fumble), Philip Meyer/USA Today (Poll numbers), Myrna Blyth/National Review (Teresa), Catherine Seipp/National Review (Wonderful world of WB).

Hagadone Gardens (Elder)

Hi, Dave:

I think your thoughts are right on! Anytime a city can create a destination feature at no cost to the tax payer, with additional benefits, such as jobs, tax revenues, etc., it needs to receive a lot of positive consideration.

Jim Elder


Seems the Repub CC spanked Joisse Knowles Tuesday night for serving as treasurer for Constitutionalist Rose Johnson, a long, long, shot, in that three-way race in House District 5. A motion to censure Joisse and ask for her resignation as a precinct committeewoman was passed easily. But I hear Joisse’s hanging in there. Joisse’s an old Rankinite whose husband Lee once ran as a third-party candidate in a legislative race to knock off a moderate candidate (if memory serves me correctly). Dunno if the Elephants would be picking on her if The Ronfather was still around. But I consider this a tempest in a teapot. You can file it under “Republicans behaving badly.”

Extra! Extra!

The Salvation Army in Idaho announced today that it will seek funding from the estate of Joan Kroc (pictured) for the construction and operation of a $20 million Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Coeur d’Alene.

In making its decision, the Army accepted the recommendation of the Idaho Kroc Initiative Task Force, which was chaired by Mrs. Patricia Kempthorne, and which heard presentations from nine communities throughout Idaho. Based upon that information, the Task Force recommended that construction and operation of a Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene would best serve the goals established by Kroc’s estate.

The Salvation Army in Idaho will now begin the process of working with city and community leaders in Coeur d’Alene in order to prepare a formal application by a March 1, 2005 deadline, at which time it will compete with similar applications from twelve other western states for the placement of between five to seven Kroc Centers.

Joan Kroc’s charge to The Salvation Army was clear and unequivocal: that a Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center should consist of facilities and programs of superb quality that provide children, youth, families and individuals with educational, recreational, arts and other activities that build character, confidence and competence; and that the Center should be a beacon of hope and an agent of change in an underserved community.

Nine communities in Idaho including Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and Meridian submitted feasibility applications to the Task Force. By recommending the application from Coeur d’Alene The Salvation Army will now lay out plans to build a $20 million facility. Under the terms of Mrs. Kroc’s estate, approval of such an application would bring with it an additional $20 million for the creation of an operational endowment.

Peanut Gallery (In The Know)

Longshot Tyler Smith hit the campaign trail on Tuesday night and may have gained a few votes for his NIC trustee candidacy. He attended the GOP Central Committee meeting and made a brief statement in which he acknowledged the position was non-partisan. He declined to identify his political leanings but did say he wouldn’t be voting for Kerry. The 80 or so people in attendance laughed, then applauded.

In the Know

Hagadone Gardens (Anonymous)

Dave —

When both you and Scott Reed say the plan may have merit, I have to listen. That was a really good blog item.


DFO: Thanks.

Hagadone Gardens (Johnston)


I must snap you back to reality! The Big-D’s plans might sound good on paper but in all reality they might not be all they’re cracked up to be. Seek examples from other projects, such as the downtown St. Maries revitalization project (thought to be a good idea but has caused many, many problems); Harbor Properties with the Schweitzer upgrade (more traffic, not as many jobs as promised) and even a slew of Haga-Corps own, including the Sanders Beach debacle.

Mull this over. Up until you actually met with him you had another opinion (which, from what I gather, is so often found with CDA city government.)

Your Buddy,

Henry (Johnston)

DFO: Believe me, no one looks at The Duane’s projects closer than I. And, frankly, I have a hard time seeing a down side to this one. (And i think I have a pretty good track record of seeing down sides to Hagadone projects.) I do see some things that need to be firmed up (traffic flow, perpetual status of gardens, impact on small shops nearby, and additional parking). But none of those things is a deal breaker. I’ll keep checking the small print. Stay tuned.

Hagadone Gardens (Badraun)


The Duane certainly does present impressively, doesn’t he? It’s like the persuasiveness of Lyndon Johnson. George Wallace after a meeting with Johnson was to exclaim ” I had to get out of there fast or he would have had me marching for civil rights in the south!” Something like that.

The devil is in the details when you are negotiating with Duane Hagadone. He is very good at slipping one by you before you know it. City officials need to lay out the entire map on the table, just like a battle, and play out all the scenarios that will occur with this development in the years to come. They have to picture just the ordinary run of the mill resident of Coeur d’ Alene and walk he or she through the changes to find the glitches in the plan. Duane has a certain allegiance to the city but what happens when the entire project is purchased by Marriott out of New York? Will the decisions made now and the verbal agreements made now mean anything to a foreign owner in the years to come? Placing this project under a Planned Unit Development is the safest way to go about this huge plan to prevent errors and misjudgments

Sure, Urban Renewal money is possible. John Stone benefitted from this money.

The big issue is in public access and the control of this public access that Duane will direct. The corporation has not been entirely kind to activities of the general public that do not fit into their mold of activities that are acceptable. What is perfectly legal on city property probably may not be perfectly legal with the lessor, Hagadone Corporation. This decision is for a long time and for keeps. It has to be planned and carefully thought through. Hey, great project. Let’s move forward carefully. I like flowers too!

Baloney on that excuse for Sanders Beach. Duane just did not want to give that land away……no way, no how. Nice little excuse however.

Steve Badraun

Hump Day Quick Fix 6 (10/27/04)

Bush wins! Bush wins! Bush wins! Finally, we have the poll that matters most (thanks to In The Know) — The Weekly Reader Presidential Poll. As the parents go, so go the children. And children in grades 1 through 12 went for Dubya in TWR poll, except for the sophomores. (There’s a reason we use the term sophomoric to describe immature folks.) Anyway, you can read the full poll results here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay looks at Repubs who acquire a taste for pork here, and Paul Nowak looks at the many faces of J. Flipflop Kerry here.

2. Humor Fix: Jay D. Dyson of SoCal provides another of his tantalizing 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: Democrats file 9 suits in Florida here, Terrorists hope to defeat Bush through Iraq violence here, Study: Media favored Kerry in early October here, Libertarian pioneer endorses Bush here, and British forces start deployment in Iraq here.

5. Reality Check: All the Lib Lefties are huffing and puffing about that New York Times story claiming that 400 tons of “high explosives” were missing from al Qaqaa arms dump. Not only is the story old but it may not be true either. William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, sets the record straight here.

6. Opinion Fix: Christopher Hitchens (Slightly for Bush), Andrew Sullivan (Kerry endorsement), Melana Zyla Vickers All eyes on women’s vote, William P. Kuzewicz (Battleground jobs jump), and Michelle Malkin (Illegal alien vote).

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Bush breaks with GOP on civil unions: Says states should ‘enable people to be able to have rights like others’/United Press International: Say it ain’t so, Geo.

*Researcher Alleges Potential Plagiarism in 11 Passages of Kerry’s Writings/New York Sun: Mebbe Flipflop and original author just think alike?

*ABC early poll: Bush ahead 51% to 47%: Nearly 1 in 10 represented in early voting/NewsMax: I hope none of the networks call the election before the polls open on Election Day.

*Former poster girl for abortion endorses Bush: Jane Roe now a pro-life Christian/NewsMax: A little sheep that has returned to the fold.

*Ohio Gov. Taft: Four Counties Have More Registrants than Eligible Voters/NewsMax: Can you say, voter fraud, baybee?

Peanut Gallery (Post Falls chamber)

Word is that the Post Falls Chamber is having a challenge filling the exec vacancy. An uncompetitive salary offering, an organization in flux, a board that tends to micromanage are all likely explanations. Former school superintendent and former board chair Dick Harris is said to be coming out of the wings again to serve as interim exec for the same $3,000 a month salary he took at the beginning of the year as a fill-in.

In the Know

Tuesday Quick Fix 6 (10/26/04)

It’s Tuesday, which means I saw my padre, Steve Massey (pictured 10 years ago while covering biz for the S-R), this morning. So, I’m late in starting the blog. Much on the agenda today. The Duane met with the downtown merchants today to sell him on his idea for giving him two blocks of Sherman Avenue for a botanical garden. I, of course, will be keeping an eye on this one. Stay tuned.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Chuck Asay start the day with their ‘toons here and here.

2. Humor Fix: With Election Day now only a week away, I thought it’d be good to link to the greatest hits of the JibJab brothers — “This Land” and “Good to be in D.C. — 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: “60 minutes planned missing explosives story for election eve here, Bush to request another $70B in war funding here, Gallup: Bush 51, Kerry 46 here, Karzai wins Afghan election here, and UN, US confident in Iraqi elections here.

5. Reality Check Fix: In the closing days of the election, J. Flipflop Kerry has tried to transform himself into a principled Catholic who believes in his heart that abortion is wrong — which is strange since he has a 100% voting record on abortion, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review on line looks at the two main prez wannabes on issues important to pro-lifers here.

6. Opinion Fix: Andrew J. McCarthy (New York Times bias), Robert Moran (Poll watching 101), Pat Boone (Why middle America loves Dubya), Michael Barone (Demo Hawaii in play), and Washington Times (Kerry’s phantom meeting).

Readers Choice

*Mike Kennedy of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho state director of Spudheads for Kerry, sends along a link that suggests his side is making some inroads here and a conservative argument from The American Conservative for voting for Kerry here.

*If you’ve fallen for the Demo claptrap that Flipflop is smarter than Dubya, you may want to think again, especially after following this link provided by Share The Truth here.

*Don Morgan sends a link that shows Dubya’s 8 points ahead in Florida here.

*Finally, I have four more Sacred Cow Burgers from Jay D. Dyson for your dining pleasure here, here, here and here.

Googling North Idaho

* provides the wanted boys and girls from the Kootenai County sheriff’s warrant roundup here.

*Bonner County Repubs are up-in-arms about the $$$ pulled in by legislative wannabe Steve Elgar from out of state here.

*Frankly, I don’t know anything about the Eat-It Club and columnist Jane Rees of The Japan Times On Line, but, apparently, she and others visited Coeur d’Alene for a golf tournament recently. And she talks a lot about our town here.

*Matt Gipson, who averaged 16.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for North Idaho College last season, made his debut as a Hawaii Rainbow Warrior here.

*Oregon investors are dropping $32 million into two big Post Falls projects here.

*The North America Vexilological Association judged the flag for the city of Pocatello as the ugliest one of 150 in the country here. (OK, this isn’t North Idaho. But it’s still interesting.)

*The Green Bay Press-Gazette mentions a local girl who’s done well in North Idaho: Cynthia Blohowiak. You know her as Jim Hammond’s wife, Cyndie. And you can read all about her here.

Peanut Gallery (Duane to build in Spokane? Ahaha)

OH, GIVE ME A BREAK….Haggie isn’t going to build in Spokane… what and be competition to his CDA..Resort… I think not…The games people play.

Cis The Retired

DFO: The Duane should fire the underling who came up with the Spokane bit. That’s one of the lamest of the many threats he’s come up with over the years. Here’s how he operates: First, he gets the downtowners and chamber types whipped up about one of his sizzlin’ brainstorms (hydroplanes, library/botanical garden, greyhound track, etc.); then, he shakes up the presiding mayor and council by setting a deadline or a week or less; in the process, he issues a threat: If you don’t do this, I’m going to (fill in the blank). Same-o, same-o.

Peanut Gallery (Slow down, you’re movin’ too fast)

Duane Hagadone’s new plan is most exciting and filled with possibilities. First, it is too dangerous to take any action on the public properties until all the issues are hammered out. Duane is not going to go to Spokane. That is an idle threat. He hates Spokane even more than he hates losing money. Even if he went to Spokane, he would be back with this plan, guaranteed. If he is willing to cool his heels for a while and remains positive working through the process, maybe, just maybe, everyone will get the benefit from this new vision.

This is the time when the people of Coeur d’ Alene will know whether they have competent and determined Planning Commissioners. They have lots of work to do on public access and public spaces, parking problems, traffic movement, designs, economic issues with the Sherman Avenue merchants, and others too numerous to mention. Will the city residents lease the Sherman Avenue abandoned section to him for a decent amount of money? Will Duane pay for all improvements to the bypass including the purchase of land to make those wide turns onto lakeside and onto 3rd street? What about securing public spaces forever in the agreement and being certain that the present public spaces are not compromised for any reason?

The hotel has been an enormous contributor to the vitality of the downtown area of our city. We should be ready to listen to this proposal but many many decision have to made for people of Coeur d’ Alene. My guess is that he will get mad and take his ball home if too many questions are asked. Now is the time to ask them.

Steve Badraun (pictured)

Peanut Gallery (One on one with The Duane)

I’m interested to see more of the details of the Hagadone’s proposal for Sherman Avenue before getting too worked up about the project.

However, I am once again disgusted by our mayor’s and city council’s disdain and disregard for the purpose and integrity of the public hearing/public meeting process. Though Haga-Press editor Mike Patrick didn’t mention it in the article he penned, Erica Curless from the Spokesman-Review said, “Hagadone spent the day meeting individually with each of the City Council members, the mayor and other community leaders. None of the city officials wanted to comment on Hagadone’s proposal until he made the formal announcement.”

While the elected officials’ meetings with him may not have violated the state’s open meeting law, they diminish the value of any public comment when and if this is discussed at the city council meeting. Why should the public even bother preparing their five-minute statements when we now know the mayor and city council are willing to listen to a proponent in private for a much greater length of time? We have no way of knowing what pressures may have been brought to bear on them in order to get their cooperation. While the letter of the public meeting law may (I emphasize “may”) not have been violated, its spirit most certainly was.

Bill McCrory
Coeur d’Alene

Best of the Northwest

I hear THE DUANE doesn’t want to pump much (any?) of his money into downtown street repair to make his proposed expansion happen. Seems he figures that the money he’ll add to the city tax base by building another hotel tower and the botanical garden are enough of a public investment — to which, I say, hogwash. At the very least, the city should make THE DUANE pay for trying to annex valuable parts of the Coeur d’alene waterfront … a coupla mil for a library, all street improvements, Sanders Beach access in perpetuity … just for starters. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of confidence that the current Bloem administration (Mayor Sandi Bloem pictured) is capable of playing hardball with the man who invented the game locally. Where is former mayor Jim Fromm and the Gang of Four when you need them.?

1. Political cartoonists Eric Devericks/Times and free-lancer Milt Priggee launch this week’s Best of the Northwest here and here.

2. An East Texas terrier mix pup survived an ordeal in Montana’s backcountry after jumping out of her master’s pickup to chase elk, including a run-in with a coyote, here.

3. By 59 percent to 34 percent, a Lee Newspapers poll shows Montanans support a constitutional initiative to ban gay marriage here.

4. Seattle Times (Kerry endorsement), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./Seattle Times (Puyallup’s PC Halloween), Jamie Kelly (Readers guide to journalism bias), The Daily Inter Lake (Protect hunting, fishing heritage), and Bob Paulos/Coeur d’Alene Press (I hate Spokane, Spokesman-Review, Chapter 79),

5. With its big win over Fresno State, Boy-C State moved up to No. 13 in the Bowl Championship series standings here.

6. The Seattle Times takes an in-depth look at the Murray-Nethercutt U.S. Senate race which features two former outsiders who have become very much insiders during their stays in Washington. Click here (and then click on related links for news features on candidates).

Peanut Gallery (A vote for The Duane?)

I live in CDA Lake Tower and will be directly affected by Mr. Hagadone’s proposed project. Would like to hear more details but it sounds like another great asset to the City. Or am I supposed to automatically criticize it because its big D and I occasionally read this blog?

Don Sausser

DFO: We all want more details … but none of us want to review them with a gun to our heads.

Monday Quick Fix 6

As you know, I was off Friday to take care of personal business. So, I didn’t blog any response to Duane Hagadone’s big plans for the waterfront. I still need to catch up on reading his snoozepaper and ours about all the facts. My first reaction? I’m not rejecting his plans out of hand. But I am rejecting his need to get this done yesterday. He’s asking for a major concession from the city. And city fathers and mothers should take their time studying the ramifications of his request. After all, he’s basically asking to change a traffic pattern that we’ve had for decades — and hand over invaluable waterfront property. This needs to be studied. Big time. And I don’t think that can be done by on The Duane’s time schedule. I’ve had a number of responses from readers that I’ll be blogging today. Stay tuned.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal provide their whacky views here and here.

2. Humor Fix: “Teresa Heinz Kerry said that Laura Bush has never had a real job. Teresa is a translator. She’s been a translator for two years. Hey, let me tell you, Laura Bush has been a translator for the last 35 years!” — 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: Latest Zogby tracking shows big shift for Bush here, Leftist British rag pulls column urging Bush assassination here, Rosie attracts few for Kerry here, First Lady is Bush’s ‘October Surprise’ here, and Edwards: No riots if we win here.

5. Reality Check Fix: For the third time in five years Health and Human Services has failed to provide an adequate supply of flu vaccine. This should raise serious questions about the nationall government’s ability to control health care here.

6. Opinion Fix: Dick Morris (Bubba to the rescue), John J. Miller (Senate races), Peter Robinson (James Cardinal Hickey), Gary Andres (Political models favor Bush win), and Noemie Emery Bush’s stubbornness.

Autumn Leaves

In plenty does the
Good Lord make them,
because He does not
have to rake them.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

DFO: The photo above was taken by colleague Brian Plonka from the air of multiple species of trees in transition along the North Fork of the St. Joe River in North Idaho.

Rumorama II

Now, we’re hearing The Duane’s plans are even bigger than first thought. He wants the city to abandon Sherman Avenue, where it intersects with Northwest Boulevard, and direct traffic down Lakeside Avenue … so he can build a seven-story hotel at the old intersection. He’s meeting privately with downtown biz leaders this evening to ensure they’re marching to the same beat — his. I’m sure he already has Her Sandiness and the necessary votes from the obliging City Council lined up. Stay tuned.

Travels with Herb

Herb Huseland is touring the country as part of r-‘n-r from the rat race. At this point, he’s in eastern Montana and the Dakotas.

As I stood at the top of last stand hill, I felt the most profound experience historically I ever have.

Celebrated at this site, of course, is the Custer massacre. Somehow, at the time General Terry arrived on scene, they recognized the historical implications of the event. Each place a soldier fell, is marked with a tombstone, even though they were buried at the top of the hill where I stood.

It is, however, unfortunate that the reason the Lakota were being chased was that we had once again failed to live up to the treaty reserving all of Wyoming Territory for the tribes. The Black Hills gold rush finished that.

Perhaps it would, under the circumstances, have been more appropriate to emphasize the heroic battle from the Indian perspective. After all, they were the winners.

I stopped at Mt. Rushmore and have good/bad news. The good news is that Clinton is not there. The bad news is that Reagan is not.


Peanut Gallery (Lesser of 2 evils)

Anybody else amazed that our country can’t seem to field better candidates than we’re faced with? Bush can’t seem to manage his super hero swagger, think and chew gum simultaneously. Kerry’s mother’s dying wish was that he find integrity…and he’s failed her even in the grave! Can we puh-leeeze have some thinkers with scruples next time around.

Dave Tolle

Best of the Northwest

In the House District 2 race, there’s an interesting flap going on over Demo George Currier’s choice of a campaign secretary: Benewah County Clerk Kay Sather. Repub Dick Harwood (pictured) claims it’s a conflict of interest to have the vote tabulator aligned with his opponent’s campaign. And, for once, I agree with Harwood. Currier and Sather deserve 39 lashes with a wet noodle for their alliance in a critical campaign. But I’d still vote for Currier, if I lived in St. Maries. You can find the whole story in the Gazette-Record here.

1. Cartoonist Eric Devericks/Seattle Times looks at that flock of lawyers that’re beginning to circle polling places here.

2. A National Guard unit stepped in to complete a fuel transfer order in Iraq last week after a South Carolina made headlines by refusing to do so. Said one Montanan: “When you’re given an order, you do your job.” Click here.

3. Just in time for the coming of winter, Jeanne Huff/Idaho Statesman has a little refresher course on those hobo spiders that might soon be invading the house here.

4. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt tangled for the last time in Seattle last night, and The Seattle Times has the story and a video link for those interested here.

5. The first issue of the 2004-05 North Idaho Sentinel is hot off the presses, and you can get a sneak preview on line here.

6. IMHO-NW: Art Thiel/P-I (Rick Neuheisel), Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Hargrove’s credentials), Jim Moore/P-I (Mike Price), Brandon Macz/NIC Sentinel (NIC parking problems), and The Olympian (Charter schools deserve support).

7. You wanna see pretty photos of Idaho? The Idaho Statesman has launched its annual photo contest, and the photo gallery provided by the following link is a must-see here.

8. Almost every softball bat manufacturer turns to the WSU sports science lab to test their product, according to The Daily Evergreen, here.

Parting Shot

As Election Day approaches, the days are going by faster — if that’s possible. Juggling my normal S-R work schedule with regular blogging and now the National Review blogging has made things interesting. But fun. Who woulda thunk you could teach an old dog a new trick — blogging — and he’d catch on so well that he’d go national in 9 months? Oh well, my 15 minutes of fame ends Election Day when the clock strikes and I turn back into a pumpkin. Or at least my old Tercel does. Before then, however, I and Mike Kennedy‘ll be on Dick Haugen’s morning show (8:20 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1) to talk about the race. Kennedy is running the Kerry for Prez crusade in Idaho. Dick and I will put him out of his misery Monday after next. Stay tuned.

Concealed Biz has new exec

Kelly Richards (pictured), the former KMC outreach coordinator is the new exec for Concerned Businesses of North Idaho. According to a news release, Richards will place a high priority on building positive working relationships with local elected officials, other community organizations, area biz and the media. (And Hot Potatoes? Heheheh.)

“I believe in working with people, not against them, to get the job done”, says Richards. “CBNI can be of the greatest value to the community as an approachable organization, listening to the concerns of area business leaders and working collectively with local government toward realistic solutions”.

DFO: I almost choked when I read the quote in the news release by President John Young that said Concerned Biz has “defined itself as an advocate for all taxpayers, an asset to our local elected officials, and a strong supporter of common sense representation in local government.” If memory serves me correctly, Concealed Biz was directly responsible for the election of ex-CDA Boy Mayor Steve Judy. Common sense? I think not. How about secretive? Dunno what a nice, sharp gal, like Kelly, is doing with this gang. She lives in Hayden with hubby, John, so she can’t be CDA’s next mayor.

Peanut Gallery (10 C’s)

You know I just don’t get it…. guess I am dense… because how can they get rid of the 10 Commandments without getting rid of all the other things. I mean every Government building in Washington D.C. would have to have new walls, and doors and facing. There is faces, scripture and etc. on every building there… They would have to stop having prayer at the opening of congress…. the 10 Commandments is just a small part that plays in our government buildings.

Cis The Retired

DFO: Shh. Don’t give the Anti-Christian Liberties Union any ideas.

Best of the Northwest

For those of you keeping score on the Washington side … pollster Strategic Vision (10/16-18, plus/minus 3%) shows Flipflop still leading Dubya 51-45, with 4% undecided, in the prez race. In other top races, Patty Murray leads Old George Nethercutt, 49-41, and Christine Gregoire leads Dino Rossi, 48-42. You can find other pertinent info on the tight prez race in swing states on the National Review’s Battlegrounder here.

1. David Horsey/P-I pokes fun at the media here.

2. Big Fat White Man Michael Moore fired up a Left-Wing crowd of 10,000 in Seattle yesterday by chanting “two more weeks” — and it’ll all be over. Let’s hope guys like him crawl back under their rocks after Dubya is re-elected. Click here.

3. Extra! Extra! The Seattle Mariners have selected former Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove to rebuild the club here.

4. Don’t look now, the NCAA will announce penalties today in connection with its investigation of recruiting and gambling violations by the Washington athletic department, according to Bob Condotta/Seattle Times, here.

5. Sarah Latona of Mountain View, Idaho, a civilian, was injured while driving in a convoy from Baghdad to Kuwait here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (How to flunk NRA survey), The Daily Inter Lake (Project 7 consequences), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (O-H-I-O), Joel Connelly (Washington’s U.S. Senate race), and Art Thiel (Jerry Rice: the newest Seahawk).

7. The first sign of winter: Glacier National Park crews have closed Going to the Sun Road for the winter. Alas. Click here.

8. Two Puget Sound parishes have broken with the Episcopal Church, saying it has strayed too far from biblical teachings, here.


Remember to check out my scribblings on the National Review Battlegrounder feature re: Dubya’s chance in Washington (keep scrolling until you see “WASHINGTON” here.

Peanut Gallery (Voting for Rankin)

re: “Dan told me that the vote-counting machines wouldn’t recognize the write-in vote because (the late Ron Rankin) isn’t an official write-in candidate”.

Did I read this correctly??? You mean to tell me that a person has to be an “official” write-in candidate to be a write in candidate. It was my understanding that I could vote for anyone as a write-in and be counted. Is not that my right as a citizen of the United States of America? I smell a story, Dave. I was thinking of writing in (HagaCorp knuckle-breaker) John Barlow as my choice for office. I am a little disappointed, a very little disappointed that my vote will be thown aside with that great chad pile in Florida.

Steve Badraun

DFO: Actually, the requirement enables ballot counters to get the job done more quickly (which we in the media appreciate). However, if the word I hear on the street is correct, an official write-in may emerge yet in one of the legislative races.

In the National Review …

You can check out my first two postings on the new National Review mag “battleground” blog site here. (Kathryn Lopez of the National Review just posted my last item; you’ll have to scroll down for my first one. Look for the tag line: WASHINGTON.)

Best of the Northwest

I’ve gone national — at least National Review. My first effort at analyzing the Washington prez race has been blogged by the National Review this morning. Bloggers throughout the nation are providing Bill Buckley’s (pictured) mag with up-to-the-minute insight into the prez race in battleground states. Click here and tell me what you think.

1. As Election Day looms nearer, Eric Devericks/Seattle Times captures the mood of the electorate here. And you can find another ‘toon by Noah Kroese of the UI Argonaut staff here (Caution: mild liberal material).

2. Washington’s slots initiative would bring a big expansion in gambling, according to Lynda Mapes/Seattle Times, here.

3. In Washington state, first-time voters are literally waiting in long lines to register this year to vote in the national election. According to the P-I, a record 314,171 have signed up so far here.

4. IMHO-NW: Jessica Fry/United Vision of Idaho (BSU should broom Taco Bell), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Mary Cheney), Art Thiel (UW coach Keith Gilbertson), Missoulian (Yard signs), and The Daily Inter Lake (Game wardens should get tough).

5. The last of six people accused of federal weapons violations with a paramilitary group called Project 7 are expected to plead guilty, according to Chery Sabol/The Daily Inter Lake, here.

6. UI Marine Kevin Sirucek of Shelby, Mont., tells the Argonaut of his experience of fighting terrorism on the Afghanistan border here.

Parting Shot

I’ve been contacted by National Review, William F. Buckley’s mag, to provide bloggable material for the eastern Washington races, particularly how Dubya’s doing. I’ll let you know where to look once I see them publishing my bloggerel. I’ll begin tomorrow morning after I prepare the Quick Fix 6. Stay tuned.

Peanut Gallery (11 pieces of legislation)

re: documentation that John Kerry has produced only 11 pieces of legislation during his time in the U.S. Senate.


Why is it that a Congressperson or Legislator must be judged on the volume of legislation they author? Wouldn’t you agree that in many cases, both Federal and State, we are over-governed?

Duffer (somewhere between B. Clinton and Colin Powell)

DFO: Make sure you folks talk the liberal-to-conservative test with the link I provided just above.

Peanut Gallery (Out of their league)

Rooting for the Vandals is like believing Charlie Brown is finally going to kick the football from Lucy’s hold. Every time the Vandals play a decent team, they end up flat on their back with a headache, and Lucy is laughing her butt off. Idaho made a HUGE mistake by going leaving the ranks of Division I-AA and jumping up to Division I. They don’t have the stadium. They don’t have the athletes. They don’t have a prayer.

At least the Cougars are above average every year. Go Cougs. The Vandals have been putrid for a while now.

The Edge

Peanut Gallery (Duke Nukem)

re: Hot Potatoes’d like to know when he’s (House Speaker Bruce Newcomb) going to appoint North Idahoans to chairmanships, when he’s going to replace anti-everything Dolores Crow as chairwoman of the House Rev & Tax Committee, and when he’s going to ensure that all House biz is conducted in open meetings

When Term Limits becomes law. Translation - NEVER. Duke Nukem is above the law and he knows it.

Don Morgan

DFO: Any chance we can send in troops to free the capitol from southern Idaho interests?

11 laws after all those years in the U.S. Senate?

For those keeping score at home, and was, U.S. Sen. John Kerry hasn’t authored 56 laws during his time in Congress, as he said during the second debate, nor 5 as Dubya said. So how many did he write? A lousy 11. You can read all about it in this World mag blog item here.

Panhandle Ponies slaughter Missoula Sentinel

You can find the Missoulian’s assessment of Coeur d’Alene High’s big win over Missoula Sentinel Saturday here.

Monday Quick Fix 6 (10/18/04)

We’re at E-Day Minus 15. The polls are all over the place. I tend to watch Zogby as the real indicator. But, this year, I’m a bit suspicious because John Zogby came out early, predicting a Kerry win. Dunno if he’s biased. But other Arab Americans overwhelmingly prefer Kerry. Wonder why? Do they think he’d be a softer touch in the Middle East. He would be. In fact, I believe, he’d go back to the turn-the-other-cheek policies of Clinton that set up 9/11. Yeah, I do believe there is a connection to us being a panty waste in the 1990s and the attack. And with that happy thought, let’s turn to today’s QF6:

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay has a pretty good idea why we’re having a flu vaccine shortage in this country here.

2. Humor Fix: “Some people are now saying the questions at the end of the debate actually helped John Kerry because they made him look more human - well, that and taking the bolt out of his neck” — Jay Leno.

3. My Way Fix: This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, Today’s Birthdays here, and Word of the Day here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Bush surges to 8 point lead here (or is it only 2 points here?), Heinz Kerry paid lower tax rate than most taxpayers here, Mag: Ashcroft won’t stay for second Bush term here, Marriage issue motivate conservatives here, and Mary Cheney’s sister demands Kerry apology here.

5. Election ‘04 Fix: Neither major political party can lay a claim on being more Christian than the other. But, for the past 4 decades, the Democrats have been held captive by the cultural left as their social policies have veered further and further away from Judeo-Christian positions. Father Johannes L. Jacobse of talks of the importance of the ‘04 prez election in social terms here.

Opinion Fix: Donald Rumsfeld (Victory over terrorism), William Safire (Mary Cheney), Mark Steyn (Kerry unfit to lead), Andrew C. McCarthy (Times smears Patriot Act), and Diana West (Shuddering at a Kerry victory).

Parting Shot

I asked Kootenai County Clerk Dan English about Doug Burr’s idea of voting for the late Ron Rankin as a quixotic protest vote. Remember? Doug said he couldn’t bring himself to vote absentee for Repub Katie Brodie, whom he sees as another Hagadone mouthpiece, so he wrote in Ron’s name. Dan told me that the vote-counting machines wouldn’t recognize the write-in vote because Ron isn’t an official write-in candidate. But the ballot wouldn’t be disqualified either. So, vote your conscience. Meanwhile, I’m outtahere en route to a viewing for Ron. Tomorrow, Amy Dearest’s flyin’ in for much-needed R-‘n-R after half a semester at University of Portland. I might blog this weekend. But probably not. So, I’ll see you on the flip side Monday.

Bush Haters Strike Again

Imagine if you will the uproar if the Republicans had superimposed John Kerry/Edwards head in the poster above. The Lefties would be scuh-reaming bloody murder and saying the Right was insensitive to handicapped people. A Demo state rep. from Tennessee allowed his staff to circulate this. And the Traditional Family Values Coalition called him on it here.

Edwards more outrageous than Kerry

James Taranto’s Best of the Web offers this insight into John Edwards’ ridiculous comment that people like Christopher Reeve will walk if Kerry/Edwards do their job right:

Columnist Charles Krauthammer is outraged by John Edwards’s comment earlier this week that “if we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again”:

In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable… .

Politicians have long promised a chicken in every pot. It is part of the game. It is one thing to promise ethanol subsidies here, dairy price controls there. But to exploit the desperate hopes of desperate people with the promise of Christ-like cures is beyond the pale.

There is no apologizing for Edwards’s remark. It is too revealing. There is absolutely nothing the man will not say to get elected.

Krauthammer speaks with considerable authority here. He is trained as a physician, and he is also paralyzed, the result of an accident he suffered while a medical student.

DFO: Krauthammer’s entire column is here.

Best of the Northwest (10/15/04)

Just talked to Alice Rankin, Ron’s widow. She’s doing as well as can be expected after losing the love of her life. She told me that Ron’s heart was fine from the double bypass surgery. But he’d sprung a leak somewhere and bled to death internally. Otherwise, he had a few good years left in him. As far as funeral arrangements go … the church service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the LDS church, 2:30 graveside at Forest Cemetery (with color guard and 21-gun salute from Spokane and “Amazing Grace” being played on the bagpipes) … viewing is at English Funeral Home on Fourth from 4 to 7 p.m. today.

1. For the Best of the Northwest ‘toon today, I have a twofer from The Argonaut staff: cartoonist Noah Kroese’s take on empty campaign promises here and Opinion Editor Sean Olson’s view of the same subject here.

2. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times has a priceless political ‘toon today, too, here.

3. “As part of an ‘October Plan’ to talk to individuals who may be considered a threat to the upcoming elections, the FBI is interviewing local members of the Muslim community,” according to The Daily Evergreen, here.

4. Three hundred gather at Anne Frank Memorial in Boise to show support for Muslims, according to The Idaho Statesman, here.

5. A federal judge has struck down the Clinton-era ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, calling it a “prejudged, political” move, according to the AP, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Kay McFadden/Seattle Times (TV lessons from debates), Joel Connelly/P-I (Energy alternatives), Bill Virgin (Too many statewide elected officials), Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Mean-spirited Missoula), and Danny Westneat (Insecure on ferries).

7. They’re at it again. At The Daily Evergreen, pro-Bush Christopher Del Beccaro and pro-Kerry Zack Hale argue for their candidates about guns and law & order here and here.

8. On a 7-2 vote, the Washington Supreme Court uphead the Evergreen State’s draconian — my word, not theirs — seatbelt law here. And the P-I sez that’s sensible here.

Today’s Question: Who won debates … neither

I’m so depressed with this campaign I don’t know where to start.

The debates confirmed my strong belief that the process of selecting the party candidates is broken. The fact that our choice for president is between these two men is a disgrace. There are many people on both sides that would make much better presidents than these two. The fact neither one reflects my personal views is one thing, but the lack of quality is so striking as to be shameful.

We as a country should be able to do much better than this. SInce I live in a state where my vote for president doesn’t matter, I’m not faced with deciding between awful and more awful. Many people I talk to seem to be trying to convince themselves that their candidate really isn’t as bad as they think he is. The truth is they both really are that bad.

Tom Taggart

Running Late

I’m just beginning to post, so the Quick Fix 6 should be ready in an hour. Until then, pleaz take time to answer the question just below. I’m curious what you think about the debates. While you wait, you can contemplate these bumpersnickers I saw a few minutes ago on a maroon van on Lincoln Way:

“WWJD,” “Have a nice day” and “I’m Jesus’ P.R. rep.” Yeah, the driver was going the speed limit. And behaving how a JPRep should.

Parting Shot

If you believe, as I do, that John Kerry’s mention of Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, Mary, (left in photo) in the third debate was a cheap shot, you must read James Taranto’s superb analysis of it on the Best of the Web here.

Flipflop’s hometown has it right …

Remember when all the D’s were guffawing about Dubya’s hometown paper endorsing Kerry? Well, turnabout is fair play. Share The Truth sends along a dyne-oh!-mite endorsement of Dubya from Flipflop’s home paper, the Lowell Sun, here.

Best of the Northwest

I’ve been slammed with the Endorsement Summit and trying to catch up. Therefore, I didn’t read the Coeur d’Alene Press yesterday … and missed its story play re: Ron Rankin’s death. 1C? Secondary story? C’mon. If I didn’t know something about Brand X Editor Mike Patrick, I’d say he had poor judgment. Rankin, after all, cast the second largest shadow in this part of the woods for decades. I’d bet/hope, however, that Mike was traveling to the beat of Uncle Duey’s drum in underplaying a front-page story. Brand X never passed up a chance to kick Rankin. It’s corporate types, publishers, editors, etc., didn’t have the guts to take Rankin on straight up. So, they shot at him from the bushes every chance they could. I doubt that RR would care whether or not his death was mentioned in the Haga-Press. He held it in utmost contempt. Having said all that, I give Brand X credit for reprinting columnist Kerri Thoreson’s tribute to her father here.

1. Political cartoonist David Horsey/P-I nails undecided voters here.

2. “The Coeur d’Alene Blog” by Phil Corless is worth checking out today if you want to catch up on what’s going on around Lake City. Of particular interest is Phil’s link to the Inlander story about Josh Ritter, a 27-year-old singer/songwriter from Moscow, Idaho, which you can also find here. Phil’s blog can be found here.

3. Officials at the University of Washington medical school will study whether to expand its programs for training new doctors in Spokane, according to the AP, here.

4. Tired of losing Bush signs, two supporters on a stakeout nabbed a Mercer Island man stealing one of their signs here.

5. According to The Idaho Statesman, 150 Idaho reservists may be headed to Iraq, here.

6. IMHO-NW: The Argonaut (Sales tax), Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette (Dead poets & Elk Hunters), Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette (Toying with grandparents), Collin Levey/Seattle Times (Anti-Kerry film complaints), and Joel Connelly/P-I (Gloria Steinem at 70).

Let’s give Ron Rankin the last word today …

Years ago, the late Ron Rankin told Big John Rook how he’d like to have his epitaph read. You can see why it’s so appropriate:

“A hard dog to keep under the porch”


Ron’s funeral services

Just contacted English Funeral Home/CdA re: Ron Rankin’s funeral services. Here’s the scoop. The services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the LDS church on 4th, with burial to follow in the Forest Cemetery. Viewing will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the English Funeral Home, 1133 4th, Coeur d’Alene.

Peanut Gallery (Still voting for Ron)

During the last few elections, when the rhetoric starts getting really nasty and I get tired of it, I have voted by absentee ballot just to get it over with in my mind (so I can then ignore all the nonsense). I’ve never been an undecided voter so voting early has little cost to me. When I voted today, I could not bring myself to vote for Hagadone’s latest mouthpiece, Katie Brodie, so I wrote in Ron Rankin as a protest/memorial vote. I figured it was a great way to symbolically memorialize his service to us here in north Idaho. He would definately understand tilting at windmills…

Doug Burr

Peanut Gallery (Ron Rankin, RIP)

(This e-mail from John Rook re: his friend Ron Rankin is very, very long and it’s very, very worth reading.)


I have nothing but fond memories of the 20 plus years I counted Ron Rankin as my friend. When the CDA power structure headed by the “haga-droids” (as Ron would call them) attacked him in print, I was delighted to give him a daily stage on KCDA to make the truth known. That “Ron Rankin commentary” would do much to get him elected county commissioner and he never forgot it. When the downtown association, controlled by Duane Hagadone, tried to silence him with a
lawsuit, the KCDA insurance paid for Ron and the stations legal fee’s in silencing them. He
continued with his views on the air and was so appreciative of my unwavering support.

Almost daily when he would arrive at the KCDA Sherman Avenue studio’s to deliver his noon time
address to the citizens, Haga-droid Sandy Bloom would call the police to have Ron’s car either ticketed or towed away for parking longer than the 15 minutes allowed in front of the station and across the street from her hardware store. Rankin actually took delight in waving to her and she tried to pretend she wasn’t looking in his direction.

Telephoning me at home from the courthouse on the night of his election to the county commission, he said “we did it Pal…thanks to you my friend”….he never forgot his friends and never seemed overly bothered by those who attempted to make life miserable for him.

When the “Haga-press” (another Rankin term) attack me and my radio station on the front page,
Rankin simply reminded me…”No big deal, they have another edition to replace that one tomorrow”.

He visited my home on Mica Flats regularly over the years, always sitting on my front porch discussing the world view. Three weeks before he left us, he proudly showed Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez and me the memorial he had spearheaded at the county courthouse. During lunch with Vasquez and me, he offered advise to our friend Robert on how to “frame” the campaign to lessen taxpayer dollars spent on illegal aliens.

Prior to entering the hospital this last time he told me how concerned he was with what lay ahead and from out of nowhere said….”you know I love you don’t you John?” “Yes” I replied…”and I love you too”.

We talked several times during his two weeks in the hospital…if I didn’t call him, he telephoned me. He was delighted when Sheriff Rocky Watrson visited him at least twice. He telephoned me on my 68th birthday last Saturday and actually sang Happy Birthday to me….and finally, with Alice at his bedside, he telephoned for the last time Monday night saying “I feel terrible, just terrible”….
“But I want you to know I love you John”….”I love you too Ron”, I replied….”I’ll talk to you in the morning”…..

I’ll miss him greatly…..he was a wonderful friend. Anyone who has a negative view of Ron Rankin, just never knew the man. I’m so glad I did.

John Rook

Michelle Malkin pinch hits

Since I don’t have the time — or the dependable blog today — I’ll leave you with Michelle Malkin’s blog comments. They’re superb today. She talks of the 30 Chechen terrorists who have entered the U.S. through our vulnerable southern border, national Demo bigotry and another Lefty cartoonist who makes Condi Rice the target of a bigoted political cartoon. You can find it all here.

KVNI-AM invite

Don’t look now, but KVNI talkmeister Dick Haugen is setting up a three-way election analysis interview with Demo Mike Kennedy and myself for Monday morning, Nov. 1. Stay tuned.

Peanut Gallery (Rankin services)

Have you heard anything about funeral arrangements for Ron, S-R site seems
to have some issues this morning. Thought your words, and those of Mike Kennedy, did a good job of describing who Ron was; not an easy task! Although sometimes over the top, Ron forced
folks, myself certainly included, to at least take a look at both sides of an issue; he should be honored for caring and making a difference. He didn’t always achieve his goal, but he sure influenced a lot of decisions!

Mike Anderson
Former Kootenai County commissioner

DFO: Dunno, at this point. But you’ll know as soon as I do. Pleaz check back in.

Technical difficulties

Blog Central is experiencing technical difficulties. I’ll try to blog this morning before going to Spokane for the great prez debate for endorsement purposes. But no promises. It might be much later today before I can blog again — DFO

Headlines @ Closing Time

*Intel report prompts senator to close office:
‘I would not bring my two sons to the Capitol between now and the election’
/AP: What? A Democrat who considers terrorism more than a “nuisance”?

*U.S. steps up attacks before Ramadan: To prevent repeat of violence at start of last year’s observance/AP: It’s about time we got back on the offensive.

*6,000 felons on Colorado election lists: State officials fail to keep inmates, parolees from registering/Denver Post: In the 2004 prez election, Colorado has replaced Florida as the state Most Likely to Goof Things Up.

*Some Catholic bishops intent on ‘throwing wait of church’ behind Bush/NewsMax: If you believe the pro-life position is a foundational doctrine of the church, how can you vote otherwise?

*CDC flu plan aims to protect those at risk/AP: The bad news? Looks like two or three days of missed work this year. The good news? I can blog from home.


After fighting off the after effects of double bypass surgery, Ron Rankin, 75, of Kidd Island Bay died around 6 this morning at Kootenai Medical Center. Kerri Thoresen, Ron’s daughter, called just now to confirm this sad fact. He leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Alice, five children, at least 19 grandchildren, and at least four great-grandchildren (I don’t have up-to-date obituary info.) Also, he leaves behind an assortment of community leaders, media and this reporter who came to admire his drive and commitment to his various causes, although we didn’t necessarily agree with him on everything. The Old Lion will be missed.

Peanut Gallery (Dubya’s “timber company’)

How strange that Kerry’s misspoken reference to Dubya’s non-existent timber company is being blamed by the BAM Networks not on Kerry or his staff, but on an urban legend on the Internet, since corrected. This site was Kerry’s staff’s source, n’est’ce-pas? Is this revenge for Internet’s exposure of Kerry’s bogus war record and Dan Rather’s forged Bush-attack? So if Kerry cites an internet source, it must be true even though it is false and it is the internet’s fault. But if the internet questions Dan Rather’s sources, it must be false even though it is true.

D.P. Bond
Wallace Street Journal

DFO: DP’s referring to this exchange between Kerry & Bush during the last debate:

Kerry: The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he’s counted as a small business. Dick Cheney’s counted as a small business. That’s how they do things. That’s just not right.

Bush: I own a timber company? That’s news to me.

Initially, claimed Bush had part ownership in a timber-growing enterprise but then said it was confused because he is part of a trust that has part ownership of a commercial tree operation. However, the $84 in question came from an oil and gas company. Long story short. Kerry had his wires crossed when he tried to describe Dubya as a small-biz owner. And, of course, the media let him get away with it.

Best of the Northwest

I’ve recently stumbled upon the political art work of Noah Kroese/The Argonaut. And am duly impressed. Dunno about his political leanings. But he can doodle. It’s nice to add another fine ‘toonist to my Northwest stable (David Horse/P-I, Eric Devericks/Times and freelancer Milt Priggee). You can view Noah’s latest from the UI campus here.

1. Speaking of Northwest cartoonists, Milt Priggee provides his view of Iraq here.

2. At North Star Charter School in Eagle, Idaho, building virtuous character in students is more important than money. That’s the reason school leaders gave when they returned $10,000 to the Idaho Lottery Commission here.

3. Gary Locke, 3 ex-Washington state governors urge no vote on “top two” primary initiative here.

4. Dehydration saved the life of a Redmond teen trapped for eight days in the wreckage of her vehicle, according to The Seattle Times, here.

5. There’s been an unprecedented level of grizzly bear mortality this year in the northern Rockies, according to Jim Mann/The Daily Inter Lake, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Seattle P-I (Vote for Kerry), and Missoulian (Afghan women’s example), Sam Taylor/Argonaut (What’s that smell?), Idaho Statesman (salmon recovery), and Larry Stone/Seattle Times (Red Sox will win).

7. When Gov. Dirk Kempthorne activated Idaho’s National Guard in a “Call to Duty,” Ada County resident Bob Scott took it to heart. The Vietnam era reservist is trying to raise $600,000 to make sure that Idaho Guardsman can come home when they receive leave here.

8. Looking toward expansion, Dan Thompson/Daily Evergreen reports, WSU has agreed to purchase the Adams Mall for $1.5 million, subject to approval by the Board of Regents here.

Another Sacred Cow Burger

Since you’ve been such good boys and girls today, Hot Potatoes is offering you another of Jay D. Dyson’s Sacred Cow Burgers from southern Cal.

Headlines @ Closing Time

*Bush’s campaign office in Spokane burglarized, vandalized/Seattle Times: Seems Demo hate for Dubya has given rise to vandalism. If Lefties didn’t believe in gun control, I’d be worried.

*Poll: Kerry up by 3: Weekend survey has margin of error of 2.9 percentage points/Reuters & Post poll has Bush ahead by 5/ The only poll that counts takes place Nov. 2 — and then possibly the vote on the U.S. Supreme Court.

*Dems oppose plan to air anti-Kerry film/AP: Seems the gander doesn’t like the sauce inflicted on the goose.

*Nude President Bush painting pulled from museum/ Warning: objectionable material. If that doesn’t get you to peek at this one, I don’t know human nature.

*Saudi Arabia announces women can’t vote, run in first nationwide elections/AP: Mebbe the Lefties are right. We made a mistake invading Iraq. We should have invaded Saudi Arabia.

Peanut Gallery (Via con dios, Superman)

Sad that Christopher Reeve didn’t get to walk just one time before he left. But what a life and fight he gave us all before he left.
Good Bye, Superman…

Cis The Retired

DFO: Well said. Christopher Reeve battle nobly.

Monday Quick Fix 6 (10/11/04)

It’s almost time to start our endorsements again. Yes, Virginia, the S-R will endorse in most political races in Kootenai and Spokane counties. And the legislative races throughout North Idaho. Most races will be easy calls. But not all. Stay tuned.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Despite assurances by Dubya that there will be no draft under his watch, the Demos are still fearmongering with that prospect. And Chuck Asay believes the tactic is working on college campuses here.

2. Humor Fix (from

This is what his handlers have advised him to do after the first debate last week: George W. Bush’s challenge now will be to stretch four and a half minutes of meaningless platitudes into an hour and a half. That’s his challenge.”David Letterman

(Friday’s) debate in St. Louis will be before an audience made up entirely of undecided voters. That creates a huge dilemma for Kerry. Does he stand on stage beside Bush or sit in the audience with all the other people who can’t make up their minds?”Jay Leno

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Christopher Reeves dies here, Swift Boat vets plan one final push here, U.S. military sees good news in Iraq here, 6 papers endorse Kerry over the weekend here, and Al Sadr fighters turning in weapons here.

5. Debate Fix: Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard explains why Dubya did better in the second debate here, and Editor Jonathan V. Last scores Friday’s debate, round by round, here.

6. Opinion Fix: William F. Buckley (What was Saddam thinking?), Charles Krauthammer (A case for fearmongering), Robert Novak (Kerry can’t escape L-word), David Rogers (South Dakota holds key), and Ken Foskett (Justice Clarence Thomas).

Parting Shot (10/8/04)

Gotta run to see the next prez debate in a few minutes. Hope Dubya loses the “deer in the headlight” look. But it won’t matter. The anti-war mainstream media would declare Kerry the winner, if he went on stage with his fly down. If you’re smart, you’ll do what I do — turn the TV off immediately after the debate and not listen to the spinmeisters. Trust your own gut in deciding who won. More importantly, pay attention to what they say — not how they say it. For all the applause Kerry got re: his first debate performance, he was talking goobledy-gook. He got away with it only because Dubya let him. I might blog some debate comments this weekend. Dunno. Remember, I now can blog from home, so you might want to check in on Hot Potatoes Saturday or Sunday.


Peanut Gallery (CdA library)

Phil (Corless), I am really quite aware that cars are the mode of transportation. However, no matter how badly we need this library (and in my view, I agree that it is time to upgrade our old facility) we need to be smart about the future. The same could be said for a community center in Coeur d’ Alene. The former mayor was so much in a hurry to add a community center to his resume of accomplishments that the plan was full of half truths and inconsistencies. As a result, the voters got discouraged with the whole thing and turned it down. We still are without a much needed community center that could have been up and running many years ago with proper planning and addressing the issues questioned by the residents. It was politics again and everyone lost.

Steve Badraun

Peanut Gallery (Post Falls museum)

In the Press today here an unnamed Post Falls city official is quoted justifying their rejection of the Post Falls Historical Society’s museum in the new city hall with this line, if we invite one organization in, it would open the gates to other community groups such as the chamber of commerce.

Yep, there’s no room at the inn in Post Falls for the local businesses who contribute mightily to the taxes that make possible the nice new digs for the people on the people’s payroll.
To paraphrase the late great Rodney Dangerfield, the Post Falls Chamber gets no respect.

In the Know

DFO: Anyone from Post Falls City Hall willing to respond?

Peanut Gallery (Mike Gridley’s picture)

Regarding your blurb about the front page of the paper this morning…
I know Mike Gridley.
I’ve worked with Mike Gridley.
Mike Gridley is a friend of mine.
But I sure as hell wish he didn’t look so constipated in his moment of glory in the paper.

Mike Kennedy

DFO: Yeah, Mike looked like he’d just stop in some dog manure.

TGIF Quick Fix 6 (10/8/04)

And here’s why you have to tune into Hot Potatoes each day. The JibJab boys have produced a new on-line video starring Dubya and Flipflop. You remember the first one, of course — where Dubya called Flipflop a “liberal wiener” and Flipflop called Dubya a right-wing nut job to the tune of “This Land.” Well, JibJab’s back with a spoof sung to the tune of “I Wish I Were in Dixie” — only Dixie becomes D.C. Click here and tell your friends that you found it on Hot Potatoes.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay re: veep debate here and Chip Bok re. Kerry’s foreign policy here.

2. Humor Fix: David Letterman: “On Saturday the country of Afghanistan will be holding elections for the first time. They expect vote fraud, disruption and voter intimidation. So it looks like the American democracy is catching on over there.”

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

4. Top of the News Fix: British hostage beheaded in Iraq here, Martha Stewart reports to prison here, Mercy center to rise from Beslan ashes here, Employment rises 96,000 in September here, and Kenyan wins Nobel Peace Prize here.

5. Reality Check Fix: If you listen to the caterwauling from the anti-war mainstream media, you’d think that they were right about WMDs. And they were … to a degree. But they remain dead wrong about So-Damn Insane’s potential threat. Arms inspector Charles Duelfer’s report sez that So-Damn was trying to break UN sanctions, so he could resume his making WMDs here.

6. Opinion Fix: Jim Geraghty (Demo draft hot air), Joel C. Rosenberg (Zogby’s poll), L. Paul Bremer III (What I really said about Iraq), Robert Robb (Kerry isn’t biz friendly), and Chuck Colson (Youth vote).

“Library Funding Proposal”

Just kick in six mil from
your pile of cashola,
and we’ll name the whole place
the Library Lola.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Peanut Gallery (Or mebbe they won’t …)

Well Mike (Kennedy), thanks for your spirited comments. I enjoy the exchange and it leads to a concensus of why needs to be done with our new library. I say “our new library” because I still contribute to the taxes in our Coeur d’ Alene community and as long as that is the case, I would like to think that I would have a right and obligation to insure that those taxes are put to good use.

The library location was a dumb idea and still continues to be a dumb idea that is politically motivated and not placed for all of the residents and most especially the people who need it most, namely those who cannot afford to buy a lot of books, or place their children in private learning programs, or cannot afford modern computer systems or their upgrades.

Those people who need those library services will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trucking down to a library that was placed at the most distance possible from their daily life patterns and that of their children. Get it near them and near the population center of the city and once and for all just forget the politics for the sake of the people who need this new library.

Steve Badraun

Headlines @ Closing Time

*Democrat Sen. Zell Miller (pictured): Bush, unlike Kerry, will ‘never wobble’/NewsMax: Give-‘em-hell Zell Miller easily is my favorite Demo at the national level.

*School Warning: School plans, security information gathered by suspected Iraq insurgent focus concern on schools in six states/ABC News: Evil doesn’t take a day off.

*Poll: Bush leading by 2 points: Survey shows 8% of likely voters still undecided/Reuters: Zogby’s the one you pay attention to. You can take it to the bank that Dubya’s barely ahead and forget the other polls.

*Judge holds reporter in contempt: N.Y. Times journalist most likely will go to jail over CIA leak probe/Reuters: All the news that’s fit to … make up.

*Electoral vote predictor: Bush 264, Kerry 253/Votemaster: Check this one out (below the map). You’ll see that Survey USA has Cheney easily winning the debate, indicating again that the Dems were skewing the insta-polls for Beanie Boy Edwards. You’ll also see that USA believes it was right to go to war 51-48% despite the unrelenting negative stories run by the mainstream media for the past 18 months.


Peanut Gallery (Adelphia)

We nuked Adelphia about a year ago after they raised our rates again and replaced it with nothing. We save 50 bucks a month and we still get all the networks, although FOX is a little fuzzy sometimes. It’s all we need. When I called to cancel they said they could lower our bill 10 percent just to keep me. When I declined and told them there was really nothing worth
watching anyhow. The woman said “Yeah you’re right.”

The Edge

Thursday QF6 (10/7/04)

I finally broomed Adelphia for satellite hookup, after years of diminishing service. I put up with a very basic package that once featured CNN and ESPN and E! so the kids wouldn’t have “M-TV” available. I didn’t want them exposed to that junk. And I didn’t miss the extra channels. One by one, however, Adelphia took away the decent cable channels offered on the 22-channel package and replaced them with shopping channels or C-SPAN2 or other boring fare. I guess the powers that be were trying to force me to buy the next-best package. Well, they finally did. But it wasn’t with them. Now, I have ESPN, CNN and E! back for a few bucks more. Unfortunately, I have to buy the next best package to get Fox News. The dance begins again.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak re: the veep debate here, and Wayne Stayskal re. on-line medical checkups here.

2. Humor Fix: Jay D. Dyson offers a Sacred Cow Burger re. John Kerry’s latest ratings here.

3. My Way Fix: On the day in history in 2001, Barry Bonds of the S.F. Giants hit his 73rd HR, setting a major league record. This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, and Today’s Birthdays here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Saddam worked secretly on WMDs here, Genghis Khan palace site unearthed in Mongolia here, Bush throws down the gauntlet here, U.S. exposes U.N.’s oil-for-food scandal here, and German spy chief says bin Laden is alive here.

5. “Dr. Phil” Fix: David Skinner/The Weekly Standard reviews the appearance of Flipflop and The Teresa on the “Dr. Phil Show” here.

6. Opinion Fix: George Will/Washington Post (D’s fear Dubya’s domestic agenda), George Marlin/Washington Times (Catholic vote), DeRoy Murdock (Kerry’s 1971 testimony), Lowell Ponte/FrontPageMag (Rocking the vote), and Ann Coulter (Veep debate).

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Tiger Woods (the one in the tuxedo in photo at right) weds Swede model in Barbados: Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley among guests/AP: Tiger had to do something to gain attention, now that his golf swing’s gone.

*Cheney slip-up sends Net users to anti-Bush site: VP cited in debate but meant to say Kerry/Edwards need all the help they can get.

*Daschle won’t call himself ‘pro-choice’:
Senator avoids directly answering reporter’s questions about label
/Rapid City Journal: Thirty-one years after Roe v. Wade, and nervous pro-abort pols in Flyover Country still have their fingers in the wind.

*‘Hate-crimes’ bill to muzzle Christians? House urges committee to include ‘sexual orientation’ in federal law/WorldNetDaily: Christians should watch this Trojan horse of the Left.

*Afghan VP candidate survives bomb attack: Convoy of Karzai’s running mate targeted on last day of campaign/AP: The bad guys’ days are numbered in Afghanistan. And Iraq.

Peanut Gallery (Badraun’s all wet)

Steve Badraun’s comments are a perfect example of why this project is so overdue - because it is much easier to simply say “no”.

A library is about more than just books - it’s about what a community values. Most people will place a higher civic value on building a library on that wonderful piece of land than selling it to the highest bidder and having another skyscraper apartment that only millionaires can buy into.

A great deal of money has already been raised privately for this project, with more to come, and ALL of Coeur d’Alene’s citizens deserve a new library - including the very high density of people that live within a short walk or bike ride of the proposed library location.

Steve seems like a nice guy, and I met him a few years ago, but as far as I know he doesn’t live here anymore, and he isn’t among those working every day to make Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho a better place to live.

Mike Kennedy

DFO: Mike makes some good points. But I value Steve’s opinion (even though he now lives in Nampa) because he was deeply involved in Coeur d’Alene for years as a planner and businessman.

Peanut Gallery (Draft dodger)

re: A draft dodger from Nelson, B.C. here

And that is why we are so happy you are still in B.C.

Cis The Retired

DFO: You should follow the link above for the complete story about the foul-mouthed draft dodger. I believe, however, that this particular resister might be one that took advantage of the Carter amnesty and is now living in the U.S.

Peanut Gallery (Veep debate)

Yessiree, Dave, one can only hope that it will be Cheney coaching Geo Jr. for the next public tete-a-tete with POSTER BOY Kerry. Dick’s command of the issues and sparring ability was most refreshing-entertaining-informative-enlightening….and so on…

So, the DEMs are going to cut the deficit in half; cut taxes for most of America; provide congressional level health care (which is carte blanche) for kids and seniors; defeat terrorism while mollifying the world; and stop the HIV pandemic??? Sounds realistic to me. I can hardly wait for the movie.

You know given the size of Mrs. Edwards I think there’s a frivolous lawsuit against McDonalds in the offing.

Dave Tolle

DFO: Dave should become a pundit. His analysis is dead on.

Quote of the Night

“Now if they couldn’t stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaida?” — veep Dick Cheney about John Kerry and John Edwards flipflopping on the Iraqi war.

And you can find the complete text of tonight’s debate here.

—30— (Oct. 5, 2004)

Gotta go to check out the veep debate in 17 minutes. Can’t see Edwards carving up Cheney like Flipflop carved up Dubya during the first go-round. But who knows? Edwards is a slick lawyer. On the other hand, he reminds me of a Demo version of Dan Quayle. Anyway, I’m not going to leave you empty handed. In another Blast from the Past, Hot Potatoes offers you that funny JibJab video, “This Land,” starring George “Right Wing Nut Case” Bush and John “Liberal Wiener” Kerry (takes awhile to load) here.

Indeed, it is the best of the Web

Another reason why you should always check James Taranto’s “Best of the Web” (snippet is titled, “Southern Charm?”:

“The Drudge Report offers an interesting exchange involving John Edwards, from yesterday’s ‘Nightline’ on ABC News:

“ABC’s Bob Woodruff: He has avoided the kind of negative attacks that can make national news, although recently, he has stepped up his rhetoric.

John Edwards (clip of a speech): I’d say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you’ve lost your mind.

Woodruff: There’s been criticism that you have been too soft.

Edwards: Do I seem soft to you?

“‘You’ve lost your mind’? Is this really the way to win over swing voters? Well, heck, I don’t want to have lost my mind, so I guess I’d better vote for Kedwards. We guess this is Edwards’s way of riling up the core Angry Left base, but it still seems awfully crude.

“And what about that ‘question’ from Woodruff: “There’s been criticism that you’ve been too soft”? Why is a supposedly objective reporter repeating a “criticism” that is purely partisan?

Peanut Gallery (UI killer suspects)

I understand journalistic style when it comes to reporting tragic events, but Eric McMillan wasn’t just fatally wounded last month, as you suggest in your blog. Flat out he was killed in cold blood, or murdered take your pick, by two scumbags from Seattle who had no business being on the Palouse in the first place. Not to come down too hard on you - it just hits home for me (since I live less than 2 blocks from his apartment complex). That, and I’m used to a bit tougher language from you when it comes to the scum of society…

Henry Johnston
UI student/My 2 Cents blogger

DFO: I can’t blame Henry for being emotional re: the brutal murder of UI footballer McMillan. The shooting of this fine young man was as senseless as it gets. Whoever did the shooting is scum. Or double scum, if there was more than one killer. However, the two Seattle brothers being held for the killing are innocent until proven guilty. If they are found guilty, then I’ll let you know what I think of them. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out.

Peanut Gallery (CDA library location)

I thought I was the only person in town questioning the proposed library location. It seems our new library should be located (in no particular order): 1. close to the geographic and population center of the city; 2. where parking is available; 3. near major east-west and north-south corridors for public access, and; 4. where it can serve the maximum number of patrons. I can’t be the only person in town who has thought of the long-closed Rosauer’s building, however if that site has been considered, I’m not aware of it. Surely there are other equally worthy sites, far more suitable than downtown.

Howard Martinson
709 E. Garden Ave.

DFO: The Rosauer’s site would be perfect for a libary funded by a bond election. If the library is entirely privately funded, the supporters can locate it anywhere, including downtown, as far from the center of town as possible.

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have children

Harvey Martin sends along a video/audio link that underscores why some people shouldn’t be allowed to have children here.

Tuesday Quick Fix 6 (10/5/04)

Are you ready for Round 2 in the not-so-great 2004 election debates? It’s Cheney (pictured) vs. Edwards tonight in the veepstakes. Generally, the debate between the No. 2 men on the ticket doesn’t matter much. After Dubya coughed up a big meatball last week, however, this debate could make a difference. You can read all about the particulars here. and columnist Robert Novak discusses veep debates here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay re: debates here and Wayne Stayskal re: attempt by D.C. gays to stop baseball’s move to town here.

2. Humor Fix: Leno: “Hey, you been following this Mount St. Helens thing? Is that scary or what? If pressure builds up in the volcano too fast, it can cause an earthquake, followed by an explosion with brushfires, smoke and ashes everywhere combined with a massive traffic jam from people trying to flee. So it’d be like a year in L.A. all in one day.”

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Shots fired into Knoxville Bush/Cheney HQ here, Bush readies significant speech here, Muslim group endorses Kerry here, Troops back Bush 4-1 here, and Christians beat Ohio State ‘anti-discrimination’ policy here.

5. Reality Check Fix: In his new book, “America’s Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and its Enemies,” George Friedman, president of Stratfor, argues that midway through the war on terrorism, America has made major gains while al-Qaeda has failed in most of its goals and is on the defensive. Iraq, he argues, is a keystone of American strategy against al-Qaeda here.

6. Opinion Fix: Andrew McCarthy (Shoe Bomber 2.0), David Limbaugh (Dubya, take the gloves off), Cal Thomas (A boy-man goes off to war), Chuck Colson (“Mercy killing” run amok), and Frank J. Gaffney Jr. (Kerry’s nuclear nonsense).


*So you have a new old name… I liked the No Hold Barred name…Hot Potatoes feels flat… where NHB seems fuller.reminds me of the old adage..if it isn’t broke don’t fix it…. ..just my meek opinionCis The Retired.

HP: I always regretted not naming the blog after my Hot Potatoes print column from the start. I like it because it’s Idaho-ish. And it represents a slight change in the column to something a little more local. I always appreciate Cis’ opinion, though.


After reading your column this morning, I pondered all day why the CDA Social Security Office would need an armed security guard. Is it a terrorist target? If so, the proposed library a block away should be re-located nearer to the center of CDA’s population. ;)))) — Duffer

HP: Izzit just me, or is the proposed location of the library in one of the worst places in town?


I ran across something the other day that few people are aware. The Demo’s have made hay out of the banner that was on the Navy ship that was coming back to the States with the banner “Mission Accomplished.” The sailors put that up themselves and it was intended to translate to the citizens that “they, the ship crew” had accomplished their mission and it had nothing to do with Bush or politics! How many LTTE (Letters To The Editor) have repeated the Demo use of the phrase? — Vern (

HP: We have less than a month to go before the silliness is over. Hang in there, folks.

Where were you when the mountain blew?

The AP asked several people where they were when St. Helens blew last time, including Panhandle Health District P.R.meister Susan Cuff here.

Mount St. Helens

It’s been 24 years since Mount St. Helens blew her top,
So sit back and have a beer or a cold pop.
There ain’t no danger,
Unless you’re a forest ranger.

The Edge

Ex-Rep. Jerry Stoicheiff, RIP

Hot Potatoes has learned that ex-Rep. Jerry Stoicheff of Sandpoint died Friday. We have some obit info:

Jerry Stoicheff, 69, died Friday in Santa Barbara, Calif. Services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday at Sandpoint United Methodist Church. She was born Jerry Louise Dickson in Indianapolis in 1934. When she was a child, her family moved to Texas where she attended a “fresh air school” to treat a lung problem. In high school she worked on the yearbook, twirled baton, and played bassoon. Jerry was Halloween Queen her senior year. She studied English at Sul Ross State College on twirling and bassoon scholarships, and there met Jim Stoicheff. After marrying in 1954, she and Jim taught at a series of one- and two-room schools in Washington and Idaho before settling in Sandpoint. There they adopted four children. Jerry taught grades K through 5 at various Sandpoint schools for 25 years. Jim was an Idaho state legislator for most of the period from 1968 until his death in 1999, and Jerry finished his final term in 2000. Survivors include four children, James Jr. of Santa Barbara, California, Cynthia Gossett of Ely, Nevada, Robert of Coeur d’Alene, and Deborah Stoicheff-Welker of Seattle.

Monday Quick Fix 6 (10/4/04)

A draft dodger from Nelson, B.C., left a pleasant message on the answering machine in response to my Friday edit: “Nelson right to dodge monument.” In the edit, I applauded the town’s wise decision not to support a privately funded memorial to American draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. His message? “I was one of those people (draft dodgers), and I’m (expletive deleted) proud of it. I wouldn’t have served in Vietnam if my mother’s life was on the (expletive deleted) line. What a (expletive deleted) awful war it was, and I’m proud. And I would stand by that monument with my fist int he air and would (expletive deleted) to the Spokesman-Review.” Potty-mouth’s mother should be proud.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Wayne Stayskal here and Kevin Tuma here.

2. Humor Fix: Jay D. Dyson serves up another Sacred Cow Burger here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Iraqi forces walking tall in Samarra here, Bush makes significant gains in 2 polls of Catholic voters here, here, SpaceShipOne wins $10M for trip into space here, ‘Psycho’ siren Janet Leigh dies at 77 here, and A landslide for Kerry, if vote was in Canada here.

5. Reality Fix: Author Daniel Flynn talks about his book, “Intellectual Morons,” here.

6. Opinion Fix: W. Thomas Smith Jr. (Cleaning up the Sunni Triangle), Donald Lambro (Senate control), Diana West (The Iconoclast), Cal Thomas (No knockout punch), and Jeff Jacoby (Abusers of eminent domain).

Finally, Idaho 45-41

You can find the box score from Idaho’s win over Eastern Michigan here. And you Boy-C State fans can read all about the Broncos 38-20 victory over Southern Methodist here.

A scoop?

The Coeur d’Alene Press this morning revealed — what? That Hagadone partner Jerry Jaeger is, ahem, mystery novelist J.J. Hunter — you know, the guy who wrote, “The Resort.” Duh. I told you that in my print column, Huckleberries, soon after the novel surfaced a coupla years ago. And that, as some sort of therapy, Jaeger also painted a picture and wrote a song. If I was at work right now, I’d provide the old Huckleberry for you. I know those guys read Huckleberries and this on-line one, too. Mebbe they were trying to be funny. Then, mebbe Brand X is clueless. You be the judge. You can find the Press link with the “skewp” here.

Over & Out

Well, folks, I had a blast today. The new format has a coupla bugs on my end. But I hope you aren’t having trouble with it on your end. Again, the new format allows me to blog from home. Dunno how that’s going to sit with She Who Must Be Obeyed. So, I won’t abuse the privilege. But you might check in Sunday evening to see if there’s anything new. I’m a night owl, so don’t be surprised if you see something posted after midnight. If I don’t get around to blogging this weekend? I’ll see you bright and early with your fixes on Monday morning.


More Rankin

My spies tell me that Ron Rankin’s family hopes the bypass surgery this week will enable him to bounce back from that massive heart attack in January. He hasn’t been the same since. The Ronfather, however, was up to his old tricks last night when he insisted on watching the prez debates. A family member joked that it might not be the best thing for him. Ron, of course, won that argument. How sick has he been? He wasn’t able to travel to Utah last week to attend the wedding of No. 4 granddaughter, Sarah Polk (Kerri Thoresen’s kid). You can read all about that wedding on the Pageant News Bureau site here. (The photog with his back to the camera in the “babe in the woods” pix is Brett Schneider of Quicksilver who flew down to do the photo honors; he’s been shooting Sarah since she was a child actor/model of about age 10.)

World Net Daily Headlines

As I said, I’m in an experimental mode again re: this blog. (It’s strange to call it Hot Potatoes after calling it No Holds Barred since February.) I should have called it HP from the first even though I had a print column of the same name. Anyway, I’ll probably be doing the Headlines feature later in the day to free up time around noon. Here goes:

*Al-Qaida infiltrated U.S. military meals? Feds probe Texas firm hired by Pentagon, fear illegals possibly contaminated food/WorldNetDaily: When are we going to get tough on illegal aliens and protect our borders? After someone kills another skyscraper full of Americans?

*Focus group gives slight edge to Kerry: Senator’s supporters encouraged by debate performance/Reuters: They’re right, but it probably won’t matter unless Dubya sleep-walks through another debate.

*Kerry spokesman: Swift vets should ‘shut up’:
‘All of the claims and all of the TV ads were proven false’
/CNSNews: Seems the Swifties are still under the Demos’ skins.

*Dems mobilize to take back religious turf:
Bush spokesman: ‘They’re going to find the waters extremely chilly’
/AP: It’s pretty hard to take back religious territory when your party believes in partial-birth abortion, removing “under God” from the flag salute and supports same-sex marriage. But, hey, let ‘em try.

*Minorities half of Texas population: Census shows Hispanics largest group with 7.6 million/Austin Business Journal: If this trend continues, Texas is going to have to “forget the Alamo.”

Peanut Gallery (The Edge — Blackwell Island plans)

Trust Big D. Why worry about conceptual drawings and actual plans? You will see it when it’s done. Remember everything he does is first class? See the Resort and his media empire as proof of this. So stop stressing out over little details like breaking the seal on the aquifer and stirring up hazardous goo. The worst case scenario is that he ruins the water supply. Well, that’s no problem because Big D is thinking about starting his own brand of bottled water called “HagadoneH20.” It’s kind of catchy don’t you think, and for $5 bucks a bottle everybody wins because he’s bringing new jobs into the economy and providing a necessary product.

The Edge

DFO: I trust no one, except thou and me — and sometimes I wonder about thou.

Best of the Northwest

In case you missed my BOTNW comment yesterday: “The state Department of Lands and the U.S. Corps of Engineers each deserve a steaming Hot Potato for withholding public info re: HagaWorld’s plans to dredge the Blackwell Island channel. The local bureaucRATs wouldn’t provide a conceptual drawing of The Kingfish’s plans to convert the island into an upscale big-boat sales, service and slip place. They say it’s too preliminary. Earth to Lands/Corps types — conceptual drawings are part of the public process. Have you already been shaken down by Hagadone’s knuckle busters? You guys’d better shape up and play square. You’re doing public biz. And this member of the public is watching.”

1. Eric Devericks/The Seattle Times provides one of the most accurate reviews of the prez debate here.

2. Christina Allton sez her husband, Eric, was the kind of man who would place is coat over the proverbial puddle to keep a woman from getting wet. Now that Capt. Eric Allton of Boise has fallen in Iraq, that’s one of the memories she has of him, according to Anna Webb/Statesman, here.

3. Defying political correctness, a group of Flathead County religious conservatives are handing out placards that read, “in God we trust,” and Commish Bob Watne plans to proudly display his, according to Alan Choate/The Daily Inter Lake, here.

4. In the “shades of Watergate” dept., police are investigating the theft of three computers used by poohbahs in George W’s Washington state office, according to David Postman/Seattle Times, here.

5. “As many as 18,000 women, from as far away as Sacramento, Calif., and Vancouver, B.C., will be at Seattle’s KeyArena beginning tonight to hear the daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham lead one of the state’s largest Christian rallies for women,” according to Tan Vinh/Seattle Times, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Kill parts of Patriot Act), Larry Stone/Seattle Times (Ichiro, Edgar celebration), Seattle Times (Round 1 for Kerry), Joel Connelly/P-I (Kitty Kelly book on Bushes), and The Oregonian (Ready to welcome wolves).

7. A massive chunk of glacier has cracked in the crater of Mount St. Helens, according to Gene Johnson/AP, here.

8. Growth in the Hispanic and Asian-American communities are fueling Oregon’s population growth, according to the AP, here.

Peanut Gallery (Dave Tolle — The Debate)

No question that Geo Jr. was paddled last night. He was so pitiful that I found it necessary to tune away several times. “I could have done better”, says way too many people. The G.O.P. needs to be cautious. Mr. Kerry is an articulate, polished poster boy and the Dems are decidedly unscrupulous.

About Iraq, has anyone considered what Saddam would actually be doing today if he were still in power? It’s a “no brainer” the man would be doing everything possible to assist anybody intent on hurting the west (the USA in )particular. We would have been fighting the man sooner or later regardless of WMD, etc…

Anyway it’s an ugly election and as usual we seem to be presented with a “lesser of two evils” choice. If the Dems would stop America bashing while trying to unseat Geo. Jr. they would be much better off. For me President Bushes greatest asset is that he appoints very smart and dedicated people to help his judgments.

Dave Tolle

DFO: Great closing line. I agree 100 percent.

TGIF Quick Fix 6

I hate to admit it, but (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) Flipflop won the debate last night … by not Flipflopping. He was on message. And Dubya seemed to keep pounding the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time theme too much. And missed golden opportunities to hold Flipflop accountable for vote after vote against weapons and defense spending. Dunno if the debate will change anything in the great scheme of things. But the D’s should be encouraged that their man did well in his first big test mano a mano. (More to come)

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak gives his view on the big debate here, and Wayne Stayskal looks at that new blimp surveillance equipment in D.C. here.

2. Humor Fix: Jay D. Dyson offers a somewhat fresh Sacred Cow Burger here.

3. My Way Fix: On this day in history in 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T. You can find the rest of This Day in History here, This Day in Music here, and Today’s Birthday’s here.

3. Top of the News Fix: Bush rips Iraq flipflops/Washington Times here, Political strategists declare debate a draw/Washington Times here,Marriage protection rejected by house/WND here (and how they voted/WND here), 96 terrorists killed in major Iraq attack/My Way here, and One in 8 UK teen girls has chlamydia here.

5. Debate Fix: From The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes sez Kerry’s performance was enough to stir the faithful but not enough to change the dynamics of the prez race here, Jonathan V. Last takes a round-by-round view of debate here, and David Skinner wonders if Dubya was monarchal or just above nitpicking here.

Opinion Fix: Dick Morris/New York Post (Two winners), Cal Thomas/Washington Times (Mistrusting the media), David Corn/The Nation (Kerry stays in the hunt), Megan Basham/National Review (“Ladder 49”), and Jonah Goldberg/National Review (Iran).


You can find my posts from yesterday under “Posts before October 2004.” I’m going to bring a coupla of them forward today, so you can read what I was ramblin’ about before the hard drive exploded. BTW, a big-time thanx to Ken Sands, Ryan Pitts and Gina Boysun at Blog Central for getting this back and workin’ at warp speed. It’s nice to know that such competent people have your back.

Hot Potatoes Redux

If you’re wondering what happened to No Holds Barred yesterday, I have answers. Sorta. The hard drive at Blog Central crashed. So, the blogmeister had to rebuild the thing. Which provided an opportunity to change a thing or two — like the name. It’s now called Hot Potatoes, like my former print column. And that will reflect a new direction I want to incorporate into this on-line column — more commentary … and even a play on the old Hot Potatoes’ theme. My software’s a little different, so it’ll take awhile to figure things out. Meanwhile, I’m b-a-a-a-ck and rarin’ to go. (Also, don’t tell my wife … I now can blog from home.)


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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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