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Huckleberries Online

Archive for August 2005

Wild Card/Wednesday — 8/31/05

The thread’s open, lasses and laddies (ED. Note: What’s a Portuguese doing trying to sound like a Scot? Knock it off) here …

P.S. (Reintroducing An Old Friend)

Today you get to go to the Dollar Tree Store! Oh Boy! You have three dollars you can spend! Don’t worry about the tax! You can buy three items from this list!

Toilet paper
Reading glasses
A squirt gun
Garbage bags
Canned stew
Bubble bath
A terra cotta pencil holder
Toothpaste
Smoked oysters
A garlic press

Your choice (from Stebbijo)…


DFO: You’ll notice to new blogs on the North Idaho Blogroll today: Your Choice here and Banana Pies here. Both are by Joanne Stebbins/Stibitz, who used to blog her as the Angry Commentator. But told me today that took too much energy. Stebbijo posted the above question that I’m using for “PS” on her blog recently. She’s one of the most creative bloggers in North Idaho. Pleaz join Huckleberries in welcoming her back.

For Those of You Keeping Score …

… the last home of Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler sold for about $160,000 this morning with 30 people attending the auction and mebbe 11 bidders. Call it neighborhood revitalization.

10 Ways to Support Troops (For Those Who …

… Don’t Support Their Mission) offers swell ways to do just that (if you can get past the elbows thrown at the peace activists). I’m not posting this gratuitously to raise the hackles of the peace activists who blurk and comment on this blog. This makes sense no matter which side of the war/peace equation you’re on here.

A Mother’s Love

Flowing like a river hushed
Where circling eagles reach.
Six children know that we are blessed:
Our mother’s love is deep.

For the rest of John Austin’s terrific tribute to his mother at age 80, click here.

Peanut Gallery — Handicap Parking

Good morning, Dave.

One of my all time largest pet peeves is the mis-use of handicapped parking spaces. This past week, I was dining at the Denny’s in Post Falls. As I was leaving, I noticed a man pull into a reserved space which was clearly marked “VAN.” He placed his placard on his rear view mirror and got out of his car. He was not disabled/handicapped in any way. He quickly walked into the restaurant and sat down. I was going to say something to him but decided not to make a scene.

I have a some questions and wonder if you would be able to address this problem through your media.

What does it take to have a doctor issue a request for a permit/placard? Is there an expiration period on the permit/placard? Is the user of the permit/placard required to demonstrate to law enforcement personnel that he/she is handicapped?

I have been tempted to take digital pictures of the perpetrators while they can observe me and address the issue. I did that once at the Home Depot and told the driver, “You should be ashamed. This space is for people who actually need it. Not people who are too lazy to walk a little further.” He wasn’t too happy, but, that’s too bad. Some members of our society certainly don’t condone exercise.

Bill Beseler

Timbrrrrr Terrrrrorrrrr

I’m a wuss when it comes to carnival rides. The Merry Go Round is about my top speed. I still can’t believe I road the Jurassic Park roller coast at Universal Studios a coupla years ago, the one with the big drop at the end. You’ll never see me on Timber Terror. Ever. And Family Phil/Tall Trees reminds me why in this photo, which he calls “The Last Ride (of the Summer).”

Question: Are you a wuss like me when it comes to carnival rides? Or are you brave, like my young friend Bre, who sez screaming enhances the scarier rides like Tilt-O-World?

SR Circulation Numbers

Several of you have asked about our circulation numbers yesterday. Here they are:

Weekdays: 95,000
Saturdays: 108,500
Sundays: 126,000
Online: 1,000


We’ve dropped circulation somewhat in the last year largely due to a business decision. Managing Editor Steve Smith (pictured) explains: “Our declines arep rimarily due to the complete elimination of telemarketing and an almost complete elimination of discount programs. Also, we no longer “sell” one-month subscriptions with billing (we’ve gone to pre-pay). Under that old system, the one-month subscription counted as circulation even if the buyer never actually paid. As a result, we’ve cut churn considerably, meaning our circulation is considered ‘hard’ now.”

Unlike the Coeur d’Alene Press, we’re audited by Audit Bureau of Circulation twice a year. Again, Smith: “The audits are rigorous. It’s worth noting that the Press is not audited, one of the few dailies declining to participate, so that means they can claim any circulation they want and can sell the paper for any price or even give it away and call that circulation. Under ABC rules, there are strict limits on those practices and we comply with all rules.”

Question of the Day — 8/31/05

Issue: Bush, ‘global warming’ to blame for hurricane? RFK Jr. joins others suggesting climate change responsible for intensity of Gulf Coast disaster/Joe Kovacs, WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I got a letter this morning from an enviro who threw Hurricane Katrina in my face to content I was full of baloney for using the term “globaloney warming” some time ago. In other words, the enviro, who moved from Coeur d’Alene to New Mexico is seizing on this enviro disaster to make a dubious political point. Then, you’d have to wonder about the judgment of anyone who’d move from here to New Mexico.

Question: Am I all wet? Is global warming real? And does it have anything to do with Katrina?

Feedback: I see RFK’s article as his cheap way of using a huge natural disaster to try to make a few political points. There will be plenty of time later for the 20-20 hindsight that some confuse for clairovoyance and wisdom. Right now it’s inappropriate to discuss anything other than how we can all help — The Heimlich Maneuver (Heimlich also provides a link to bloggers raising money for hurricane victims here)

Hump Day Quick Fix 6 — 8/31/05

1. APhoto Fix: Prices at a Citgo Gas Station in Smithtown, N.Y., start at $3.29 for regular unleaded this morning. Crude oil prices dropped Wednesday after the U.S. government’s decision to make petroleum available from its strategic reserve.

2. Cartoon Fix: Bob Nowak (Abortion study), Chuck Asay (Indian mascots), and Gary Varvel (College costs).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things I Have Learned in My 12 Years at the Late Show” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Governor: Everyone must leave New Orleans here, 695 dead in Iraq bridge stampede here, Study: No link between cell phones, cancer here, Chicao mayor apologizes for corruption here, and Report shows how terrorists exploited immigration laws here.

6. Opinion Fix: Andrew McCarthy/National Review (Public abandoning Iraq war?), Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (Crawford theater of the absurd), John Stossel/Townhall (Half-baked science), Walter Williams/Townhall (Gasoline prices), and Cal Thomas/Tribune Media Services (Political preachers deliver misleading message).

P.S.

Issue: Looters turn New Orleans into ‘downtown Baghdad’: Defender: ‘It’s an opportunity to get back at society’ for those who’ve been oppressed/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I’m reminded of stories about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake in which the suffering and homeless helped one another — and looting wasn’t much of a problem if at all. Something is broken in our society for people to react like this in a disaster of this magnitude.

Question: Is the looting that’s going on in New Orleans the act of desperate people? Or is it another sign that our culture is badly fractured?

Best of the Local Blogs — 8/30/05

5GenNative sends Huckleberries Online a photo of his/her “grand-dog” taken earlier this summer on the St. Joe near Avery. Dog’s name? Huckleberries. How cool is that?

*CDADave has taken his Wayback Machine to … Spokane (?!) in the 1940s to check out elevation drops here, and he visits Tubbs Hill (with a nifty color postcard) here. In fact, Dave has so much good stuff at the top of his blog now, including two whiffs of “Thin Air,” that you should spend some time visiting his site.

*ErinG/Idaho Native can’t understand how someone as pregnant as she and as young as she gets summoned so much for jury duty here. And her creative hubby, Granati/Orange Frog 76, has already posted my post about Junior on his blog here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour sings the praises of the man who introduced her to journalism, Bob “Duke” Hamilton, here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind has shrunk an inch and, at 5-feet-2, she sez she can’t spare that much here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings has a funny sign of the times and her very own definition of AAA to offer here.

*Amy Crooks/That’s Life, Life Goes On encountered one of the perks of being a Wal-Mart clerk when a couple from Monterey approached her express counter with too many groceries here.

Yes, Yes, I Do, I Do

Granati/Orange Frog 76 floored me with this beautiful reminder from Junior’s wedding two years ago. Here, he takes his bride, Stephanie, in a Portland ceremony, and she has been a wonderful addition to the family.

Refinancing

I can’t take out a third mortgage
on my heart or consolidate my soul.
The interest rates are too high.
But I can budget my dreams
and clip a few more coupons.
Watch for sales.

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/30/05

Shannon Sullivan greets a supporter outside Spokane City Hall as the official recall campaign to oust Mayor Jim West kicked off/Brian Plonka, Spokesman Review photo.

Organizers to recall Spokane Mayor Jim West say they’d collected about half the signatures they needed by noon Monday. And they collected another 600 during a four-hour stretch Monday afternoon here. Related: Contributors for and against the recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West can contribute as much money as they want here.

1. Cartoonist David Horsey/PI and “the rising economic tide” here.

2. The Missoulian doesn’t like that proposal from Nature mag the envisions rescuing wild animals from war-torn, disease-ravaged Africa and (drum roll, puh-Leez) relocating them in eastern Montana and other Great Plans states here.

3. Asian-American students and community leaders are disgusted with the Human Rights Commission report re: a well-publicized incident involving two WSU basketball players accused of harassing a student who worked at the college’s Multicultural Center here.

4. A blond bombshell from Tacoma is making it big as an actress and as the face of Germany’s St. Pauli’s Girl beer, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune, (free subscription required) here.

5. With gas prices going out of sight, a group of thieves risked 6-foot razor-wire-topped fences to make off with 130 gallons from a Spokane business here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bill Virgin/PI (Billboards still big business), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Thumbs up for school dress codes), Seattle Times (Starbucks’ off-the-cup opinions), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Miss America Pageant’s move), and Art Thiel/PI (His best stories weren’t written).

*The Tacoma News-Tribune (free subscription required) provides a PAC-10 conference preview, picking WSU to finish fifth, here.

*Killings of 2 Bellingham sex offenders may have been work of vigilante here.

*Teen mauled by grizzly in Glacier National Park improving here.

*A Washington prison guard faces charges for allegedly urinating on an Olympia jail computer here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Gotcha

Scene: Perkins restaurant on Division/Spokane
Time: Thursday evening
Narrator: Jon Livingston/Spokane

After ordering $42 worth of food and wolfing it down, two twentysomething femmes attempted to skip out without paying. The scam began when one left the table, and the other was presented with the check. Oh, said the remaining diner, my friend just stepped out to grab a cigarette. I’m going to join her. The waitress didn’t buy the act. So she followed the second scofflaw outside and wrote down the license number of the scammers’ car as they drove off. Book ‘em, Dan-o.

Question of the Day — 8/30/05

Issue: World’s Oldest Person Dies in Netherlands: 115-year-old woman dies peacefully in her sleep/Associated Press

DFO: We have some longevity in my family, with many aunts and uncles reaching their early 80s and my godfather checking out at 89. Mom’s now 80 and doing fine. But many of the relatives had quite a fight with various illnesses, including Alzheimers, diabetes and cancer in their later years. Dunno if living to 115 is a worthy goal.

Question: When is it time to go?

Cis Provides Final Word on Blog Trolls

Why in heavens name do we let ONE negative remark bug us, even if it is just a short time? I have gotten so I consider the source or lack of, and let it go.

Cis Gors

Quick Fix 6 — 8/30/05

1. APhoto Fix: Poland’s former president and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa flashes the Victory sign with some 200 young Poles born on Aug. 31, 1980, the day when the Solidarity freedom movement was born out of worker protests in the shipyards on the Baltic coast, including Gdansk. Walesa attended a special birthday party for the young people at the Gdansk shipyard, Poland, earlier today.

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Intelligent design), Henry Payne (State fair biggest pig), and Brian Fairrington (1864 war dead).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Ways to Make the U.S. Open More Exciting” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Katrina may have killed 80 in Mississippi county here, SAT math scores hit record high here, Poverty rate rises to 12.7% here, Air Force standards limit public prayer here, and Tucson paper drops Coulter column here.

6. Opinion Fix: Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (Discovering John Roberts), Pat Buchanan/Creators (Conservatism: A House divided), Irwin Stelzer/Weekly Standard (Wobbly housing market), Phyllis Schlafly/Phyllis Schlafly Report (GOP & illegal immigration), and David Limbaugh/Washington Times (“Super Patriots”).

P.S.

Issue: Coffee top antioxidant source: Study shows health perk to morning fix/Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press

JBelle: “How about cofffee being the uno primo antioxidant? As I remarked to my husband at lunch, “In the 23 years you have watched me grow roses, how many of my roses have succumbed to cancer? Exactly!”

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how addicted to coffee are you (I’m around 5, as in 5 cups weekdays)?

Photo of the Day — 8/29/05

A dancer surfs the crowd during the performance of Green Day at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards Sunday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Dismayed that their recall petition was stymied by bureaucratic red-tape, an angry mob of Spokane residents stormed City Hall and forcibly removed Mayor Jim West from the premises — The Heimlich Maneuver.

2. Dan English ran out of luck today as the local Republican Party carried him away to be bronzed and placed on display in the capital rotunda — Whatever.

3. A sneaky paparazzi was able to infiltrate his way into a Scientology ceremony and snap this photo of Scientologists welcoming Katie Holmes as their new queen — Bre.

Peanut Gallery — Bike Giveaway

a deputy has asked me to find needy children, ages 3-12, who need a new bike. It’s the same deputy who put me in a choke hold at the fair. The deputies will assemble and deliver the bikes. I’ve only found one church who is going to help. No one responded to my calls or emails so I figure they can’t believe the request. The lady at North Country Chapel even thought it might be a hoax but Pastor Bob told her not to assume anything and consider it a blessing. Anyway, they will be able to provide 100 bikes. If you or your church know of any needy kids that can use a bike, I would appreciate their names, age, and addresses.

D.J. Nall
westsideresort@yahoo.com


DFO: If any of you know a child who needs a bike, get ahold of D.J. at the e-mail above. This isn’t a hoax.

CDA High Win Over Flathead …

… from a Montana perspective here.

DFO: Do any of you commenters/blurkers follow high school football? Which team? How many games to you plan to watch this year?

CDADave: An Anti-Cig Evangelist?

In a way, I feel one of my ‘purposes’ here on this planet is to get people to ‘think’ about smoking. God knows I’m never going to condemn anyone for it, but when I hear someone ask for a cigarette, I just tell ‘em, “hey, it’s bad for you to smoke; you should think about quitting sometime”. Maybe, just maybe, a ‘seed’ will take hold within them someday, driving them to quit. Smoking is addictive; it ends up controlling you. That’s no way to be. I heard a young guy ask for a cigarette today. So I confronted him…gently, but with a purpose.

CDADave/”Thin Air”

For my money, CDADave’s “Thin Air” mini-opinions are a must-read. You can read the rest of his latest here.

In the “Don’t Hold Your Breath” Dept …

Legislators getting the message: After hearings, panel members will focus on property taxes/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Someone needs to explain to excitable North Idaho legislators advocating for tax change that any change has to go through uberconservative Dolores Crow’s House Rev & Tax Committee, which killed all property tax relief bills last session. Something has to be done about Crow stonewalling change before something can be done about property tax relief.

Bumpersnicker …

Break the Habit: Pay cash — spotted by Jon Livingston on a Chevy truck on Francis/Spokane today.

Question of the Day — 8/29/05

Issue: Textbook ‘bundling’ costs students a bundle: Used books get rare on campuses as updates force purchase of new/Shawn Vestal, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: I felt fortunate last week when Amy Dearest found some used books and was able to hold her textbook cost to $250 this semester. Last year, we were in the $700-$800 range.

Question: Is there anything a college student can do about the outrageous price of books and the bundling scam — other than grin and bear it?

Hen-Pecked Redux

First, you should know that I was attacked by a mother hen when I was 3 or 4 years old – and have given wide berth to her kind ever since. The “galina shocka” (phonetic Portuguese spelling) was upset because I’d been stomping on her chicks. I was on my stomach, crying, with the mother hen on my back pecking away, when Mom rushed to the rescue. Now, onward. On opening night of the North Idaho Fair, I was eyeballing caged banty roosters in the chicken/rabbit barn when my mother-in-law pinched me. I didn’t say anything until she did it again. Why did you pinch me? I asked. I didn’t, she responded. At that point, I experienced deja vu and knew instantly what’d happened. A black pair of drum sticks with a beek had nailed me through its cage. Nah, I didn’t fall down on the ground and cry this time. Rather, I was tempted to buy that bird from its owner and have it for dinner — Best of Huckleberries Online.

Hat Tip: Phil Corless for photo illustration

Local Question of the Day — 8/28/05

I’m rerunning this photo taken by colleague Jesse Tinsley at Conkling Park Marina that I posted late Friday because I want to pose a question. So much is sooooo expensive here in North Idaho, including land and gas prices. (Actually, you could say that for many places.) So, I’d like to ask: What are fun things you can do here that are free?

SR Letter of Day — Save the Caribou

While reading the article entitled “Groups want snowmobiles barred from caribou habitat” (Aug. 17), I was dismayed to read Priest Lake Trails and Snowmobile Club treasurer Ingo Schiller’s quote, “Caribou how often do you see those? Once in a lifetime?”

Does this mean that because of they’re very rarity, they don’t matter? That’s exactly the point of trying to protect them: it’s already only a once-in-a-lifetime if you’re lucky opportunity. Do we want to reduce it to “never in you wildest dreams” opportunity?

I know the vast majority of snowmobilers are reasonable and responsible people, and they deserve access to the wilderness. At the same time, caribou deserve the right to exist. No snowmobiler is going to die if denied access to certain sections of wilderness, especially since there will still be many miles of trail easily available in the same area.

We need to keep in mind that this isn’t just about three caribou; it’s about preserving a web of life essential to the long-term viability of the human race. As one of the most endangered species on the continent, caribou need and deserve our protection.

Maryanne C. Gaddy
Spokane

Best of Huckleberries Online — Continued

Yes, Oh Yes, Yes
On Thursday evening, a Berry Picker was sitting on an Independence Point bench when he noticed two seaplanes roar off, one after the other. That’s uncommon at CdA’s City Beach. Then, the local man noticed a guy rolling out a huge canvas on the beach. It read: “REBEKAH, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” As soon as the canvas was in place, the seaplane carrying two young lovers swooped down low over the beach. Seems the Father of the Future Groom did the honors below. With all the hugging and kissing going on after the couple deplaned, the eyewitness figured out the young woman’s answer. If things hadn’t turned out well for the young man, said the witness philosophically, he had the whole lake below to drowned himself in. Of such things are silver linings made.

Hen-Pecked
First, you should know that I was attacked by a mother hen when I was 3 or 4 years old – and have given wide berth to her kind ever since. The “galina shocka” (phonetic Portuguese spelling) was upset because I’d been stomping on her chicks. I was on my stomach, crying, with the mother hen on my back pecking away, when Mom rushed to the rescue. Now, onward. On opening night of the North Idaho Fair, I was eyeballing caged banty roosters in the chicken/rabbit barn when my mother-in-law pinched me. I didn’t say anything until she did it again. Why did you pinch me? I asked. I didn’t, she responded. At that point, I experienced deja vu and knew instantly what’d happened. A black pair of drum sticks with a beek had nailed me through its cage. Nah, I didn’t fall down on the ground and cry this time. Rather, I was tempted to buy that bird from its owner and have it for dinner.

Seeing Through A Glass Darkly
After Doug Clark penned a column with daffy predictions about the region’s future, I asked my Huckleberries Online commenters to forecast the stories we’ll be reading soon, too. The responses: “On February 18th at 9:17am, four vehicles pull up to the four way stop on Progress and Eighth and none of the drivers are on cellphones” – Bob Salsbury/Spokane Valley. “Coeur d’Alene biz-nessman Duane Hagadone has just been awarded the rights to launch the space shuttle from the rooftop of his CDA Resort. NASA officials supported Hagadone, saying, “Well, his hotel is just about as tall as one of our launching towers” – The Rants ‘n Raves of CDADave. (BTW, CDADave wants to know who was driving that monster CdA fire dept. pickup that was tail-gating him near Zip’s on Sherman about 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19) … “Growth, really, really will pay for itself” – Stopthecrazygrowth.

Huckleberries
Poet’s Corner: “Loveth thy neighbor,/so Jesus has said,/excluding the ones/that you prefer dead” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Reverend Robertson”) … Bumpersnicker (on a Ford Escort on Francis, spotted by Jon Livingston/Spokane): “I used to be Snow White, but I’ve drifted some” … Sightem: CdA Councilman Woody McEvers about to get hit with the gas in Doc Unruh’s dentist chair. When asked by Huckleberries about using gas for a simple cleaning, Woody grinned sheepishly and said: “I’m a wuss” … And the answer is “hobbyist.” The question? What is Idaho Deputy AG William von Tagen’s nickname for annoying citizens who concern themselves about such things as Open Meeting laws … The strangest sight I saw during a recent visit to uberliberal Portland? A Bush-Cheney bumpersticker on an older model sedan with Oregon plates which was making tracks out of town on Highway 84.

Parting Shot
Huckleberries hears that the new rumble strips installed to improve driving safety on the four-lane portion of Highway 95, north of Coeur d’Alene, may be creating a greater hazard by taking up roadway surface and forcing vehicles closer together. Stay tuned.

Wild Card/Saturday — 8/27/05

I updated the offerings to provide questions of the day, a policy on anonymous commenters, my editorial on school no-tolearance policies, and the photo of the day. I’ll be posting the Best of Huckleberries Online this evening. Check it out. And enjoy yourselves this last bona-fide good weekend of the summer …

DFO Editorial re: Zero Tolerance

In this post-Columbine era, educators must be alert to legitimate threats and behavior that could escalate into violence. And they have to intervene promptly when circumstances call for it. But they should also be on their guard against heavy-handedness that can sour students about school. The new rule that broadens the definition of weapons can be abused easily. Autopilot formulas are no substitute for professional discretion and common sense.

For the rest of my SR editorial today, click here.

Local Question of the Day — 8/27/05

Issue: Kootenai landowners to see tax relief: Measure softens impact of high property valuations/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: I’d guess my property has almost doubled in value over the last 2 years and my property taxes have gone up $140 total. Then, I don’t know the last time my property has been re-evaluated.

Question: What kind of jump have you seen in your property value and taxes?

What’re You Going to do w/Last Good Weekend?

Last weekend, Laura White of Sandpoint was showing off her slalom water skiing skills on Lake Pend Oreille. As she finished a turn, writes photographer Billie Jean Plaster/Sandpoint Online, the spray was backlit by the afternoon sun, creating a dazzling sparkle of water behind her. Billie Jean’s photo provides the perfect forum to ask Ryan Hill’s question in the comments section: What are you going to do with the last sure-fire good weekend of the summer?

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

Scott Reed had time today for a quick lunch-time swim on Sanders Beach, right in front of Jerry Frank’s house. He made it back to the office just in time for a conference phone call with Judge James Judd and all the other attorneys involved in the Sanders Beach case. He joked that in his 49 years of practice, it was the first time he participated in a judicial proceeding in a wet bathing suit. But he did have some dignity, he put on a T-shirt to cover up his bare chest.

Hat Tip: Erica Curless/Spokesman-Review

Photo of the Day — 8/26/05

Hindus form a human pyramid as a boy dressed as the Hindu god Krishna reaches out to break a “dahi handi,” an earthen pot filled with yogurt, as they celebrate the birth of Krishna in India Friday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The guy on the bottom lost his grip and there was a big krashna — Bob.

2. With a monkey head in one hand and a forty foot spear in the other, Balaja waits for the combined gas passing of his human cannon to propel him across the stadium and onto his large wicker throne — Whatever.

3. A man named Depak was chased up a power pole by a angry mob of Hindus. It is reported this riot began when Depak was spotted eating roast monkey. A woman claiming the monkey was her reincarnated uncle incited the crowd to riot — TS.

HM: Family Phil & Bre

How Liberal, Conservative Are You?

I was running through all those neat Easter Eggs Cis has sent me over the last 18 months, and I found one that determines where an individual falls politically on the scale between Jesse Jackson and Ronald Reagan. You may have seen this one elsewhere. As the week winds down, howeever, you might want to find out if you mellowed by taking “The Political Quiz Show” here.

Dave’s Blog, Dave’s Rules?

Behind the scenes today, I’ve asked two occasional commenters to quit posting here — and was accused of being a religionist censor by one and a dictator who has stamped out interesting debate by the other. The second claims I’ve turned the blog into a boring Coeur d’Alene Press-type online journal by riding rough shod over flame-throwers. I certainly have clamped down on the rough stuff since Any Mouse & Co. stomped off June 7. Frankly, I got tired of spending weekends and Mondays trying to persuade commenters with bruised feelings from leaving. Question: Have I clamped down too hard?

Difference Twixt Men & Women?

… Counselor Al Turtle has passed along a wonderful video link on his blog, from Australia, that shows, indeed, that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. (Go to Al’s blog and click on first link. The link I provided didn’t work.)

Rescuer Amber Deahn Tells Missoulian …

… She will use part of reward to start foundation to find missing children here.

Press: Bad Timing for Pay Raises

Just as North Idaho College unwisely announced that it is taking a big dip out of a reserve tax account in the midst of wailing from overburdened taxpayers, Kootenai County officials are padding their bank accounts at precisely the time many of their constituents are struggling to fill their gas tanks to get to work. For that matter, record-setting raises for the county’s top brass probably aren’t going over very well for the hundreds of county employees who learned recently that they’re getting raises one-tenth the size of their bosses’.

For the rest of the CdA Press editorial, click here.

Question of the Day — 8/26/05

Issue: Gas station workers face angry customers: “They just yell and scream”/BreitBart.com

DFO: I can’t see yelling at a poor gas station worker bee — until the prices hit $3 or so.

Question: I’ve asked similar questions before: How high does the price of gas have to go before it affects your lifestyle? Or makes you go berserk? And what are the prices like out there today?

Quick Fix 6 — 8/26/05

1. APhoto Fix: Julian Elizondo, 12, of Seabrook, Texas, sits between his mother Joyce and Dr. David Yngve as he talks about injuries he sustained from a shark bite during a press conference at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, today. Julian was bitten on his left foot while walking in knee-deep water near Crystal Beach, Texas, on Aug. 19.

2. Cartoon Fix: Gary Varvel (Pat Robertson), Jeff Stahler (Iraq attack), and Steve Kelly (Intelligent design).

3. Humor Fix: “Willy Wonka” is now out. It’s about a creepy guy that wears makeup and entices kids with candy. There is a happy ending though – he’s acquitted — David Letterman.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Health official: More abortions than births in Russia here, American Legion declares war on protesters, media next? here, US drags feet on WMD meds here, Brothers re-arrested in Natalee Holloway disappearance here, and US predicts Zarqawi African flight here.

6. Opinion Fix: Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (New silent majority), Mary Katherine Ham/Townhall (Mascot mayhem), Mike Rosen/Rocky Mountain News (Tide turning against Sheehan), Myrna Blyth/National Review (Demise of mag celebs), and Rich Lowry/National Review (“Chicken hawk” verbiage).

P.S.

Issue: Getting a big meal for your dining out dollar.

Whippersnapper: I went to the Silver Star restaurant in Kellogg last week and ordered a burger and fries. Although the 1/3 lb. burger was big enough, it was buried under approximately three lbs. of giant french fries, the biggest pile of fries I’d seen in a single serving. I ate half of it.

Question: What other local restaurant serves an outsized portion of food or side dish like that?

Peanut Gallery — Why Buck Stopped Here

I heard CJ Buck of Buck Knives speak at noon today. He says that his company considered three places to relocate: Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. When they got to looking at Washington, he said that as far as they could tell, Washington was just exactly like California. Actually, he allowed, Washington is probably five years behind California in their desire and ability to destroy business. He said their workers’ comp went from $1.4 million in California to $160,000 in Idaho.

JBelle

Peanut Gallery — Shannon’s Son’s Lesson

In my opinion, the best line in Richard Roesler’s August 25, 2005, article headlined “Recall organizer confident she can get signatures needed to put issue on ballot” was, “Her (Shannon Sullivan’s) 9-year-old son sat behind her, fidgeting in his tie and periodically videotaping his mother’s day in court.” What he saw (his mother’s commitment to being a good and courageous citizen) and what he heard (her successfully persuading the Washington State Supreme Court) taught him more valuable lessons about citizenship than he will ever get from a classroom.

Bill McCrory/Whitecaps

Peanut Gallery — Commissioners’ Raises

While the necessity of the recent raises for elected officials in Kootenai County is open to debate, the timing seems poor. The recommendations of the pay study regarding employee raises have only been partially implemented. Rather than finishing the job, commissioners gave more recently hired Sheriff’s employees small or long overdue increases (like 4 dollars for a long-term employee who was essentially at base pay prior to the increase-one of the few sizable raises and the one frequently referenced by the media) while long-term employees got little or nothing. Only a few employees with more than 4 years experience received increases and those were small. This leaves the most valuable staff members, in terms of training and experience, waiting for the increases recommended by the pay study. Clearly, the commissioners felt that the elected officials were a more immediate concern than their staff, in spite of staff attrition being the reason they wanted the study do! ne. The commissioners will argue that the rest of the pay issues (like future cost of living increases) are still being examined and theoretically will be implemented at some (mythical) later date. Congratulations to elected officials and their successful alienation of so many valuable employees.

Matthew A. Rakes
Rathdrum, ID


Feedback: AMEN! — Frum Helen Back


NIC Responds to HBO “Local Control” Questions

On Aug. 8, Huckleberries Online published a Local Question of the Day re: a proposal planned by southern Idaho solon Anne Rydalch that would create a statewide community college system here. The question received 34 responses as HBO commenters debated whether a potential savings in property taxes was worth the loss of local control. Some also wondered how much of the NIC budget is paid in local property taxes. In the following link, NIC Trustee Christie Wood (pictured) (with assistance from PRmeister Kent Probst) answers those questions and argues well that the community college should remain in local hands here.

Another Doug Fredericks’ Photo

I try to dole out Doug Fredericks’ beautiful photographs a few at at time, like Jelly Bellies, eye candy to be savored slowly. Doug calls this one: “Fort Sherman Church.” With the leaves on the ground, it looks like this one was taken in the fall. Enjoy.

At The Fair …

First, you should know that I was attacked by a mother hen when I was 3 or 4 years old — and have given wide berth to her kind ever since. The “gallina shocka” (phonetic Portuguese spelling) was probably upset because I’d been stepping on her chicks. Mom found me crying on my stomach with the hen on my back, pecking away. Now, onward. Last night, I was eyeballing one of the caged banty roosters in a North Idaho Fair barn when my mother-in-law pinched me. I didn’t say anything until she did it again. Why did you pinch me? I asked. I didn’t, she responded. At that point, I experienced a deja vu moment and knew instantly what’d happened. A pair of drum sticks with a beek had nailed me through its cage. Nah, I didn’t fall down on the ground and cry this time. However, I was tempted to buy that bird from its owner and have it for dinner.

Feedback: The worst job I have held was “hired hand” as a chicken ranch. The hens do not like people rading their nests to collect eggs and we are talking 600 laying hens. This was my summer between 7th and 8th grade. Worse than gathering eggs twice a day was cleaing out the dung. I still eat eggs and chicken but want nothing to do with their upkeep — Seamus.

Local Question of the Day — 8/25/05

Issue: Auditor warns West recall issue may not make Nov. 8 ballot: Dalton doesn’t want to jeopardize September primaries/Jonathan Brunt, SR

DFO: I’d suggest Auditor Vicky Dalton hire additional people to ensure a quick review of the recall petitions or face her own political troubles at the next election.

Question: What do you think of Auditor Dalton’s reaction that a November recall effort may not be possible?

Feedback: I think Ms. Dalton is feeling the weight of her office. Every election official in Washington state has got to be talking to themselves these days, after the November King County debacle. I think she wonders if she can pull it off and is attempting to set the expectations bar low — JBelle.

SR Letter — On Merging Traffic

I noticed Paul Turner’s article in the Sunday paper about “Ms. X,” portrayed as a ditzy blonde with a “better than thou” attitude who shows “no remorse” when it comes to lane merging (“There’s no cure for Ms. X,” Aug. 21).

Here is the issue as I see it:

A: Drivers who immediately start to move into the “merge-to” lane as soon as they see any indication of a merge; sometimes leaving as much as a half mile or more of unused traffic lane wide open.

B: Drivers who continue using the unused or open lane and go to the actual merge point to make their lane change, like Ms. X.

In other, more populated cities, the actual merge happens at the point of merge and not a half mile before and seems to happen in a very orderly manner. That is, one car allows the other to merge in equal succession, truly “sharing” the roadway. This method seems more mature, more efficient, and less time consuming for all.

Shouldn’t someone like Ms. X who is helping traffic move faster by making use of unused lane and truly sharing the road be considered helpful instead of selfish and anti-social?

Len Volpe
Spokane

Wild Card/Wednesday — 8/24/05

I’m off to change and then off to the North Idaho Fair tonight where you might see me hanging around the booth for elephant ears. Again, be sure to say hi if you run into me. It’s nice to be back. But, I must admit, I left part of my heart in Portland yesterday …

P.S.

Issue: High court OKs West recall: Decision, expected to be weeks, or months, away, comes in early/Rich Roesler, Spokesman Review

DFO: Gotta hand it to single mom Shannon Sullivan for persisting in this fight that has scared away most of the Spokane power brokers.

Question: Do you think Sullivan can collect the necessary 12,600 citizen signatures in time to place a recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West on the November ballot?

Inside Huckleberries — E&P Mention

*In the “Very Kewl” category, Blogmeister Ken just informed me that Huckleberries Online has been mentioned by Steve Outing in his Editor & Publisher column (fourth item: “The Opinionated Blog” here. That’s so kewl. And humbling. Thanx to all of you for helping me make this blog an overnight (plus 18 months) success.

*I couldn’t get the sound on my computer to work at the office, but Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast sez this is soooooo funny here.

*Would you guys like to see me run that “arm-and-a-leg gas logo and survey the local blogosphere to see where the best local gas prices are?

*If you see me at the fair tonight, say hi and tell my 80-year-old mother, who’ll be with me, what a great guy I am (whether you mean it or not). She loves to hear that stuff.

*I had my best workday week in months last week, with every day hitting above 4000 and one almost hitting 5000, for 27259 total for the week. I’ll know the blog is back from the summertime blahs when we go back to hitting 5000 a coupla times a week and over 30,000 for the week.

Free Tickets to Fair Tonight …

I have 7 gate passes to get into the fair free tonight for anyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. But you have to be able to get down to the office before 5 p.m. If you’re interested and can get down here in 16 minutes, pleaz respond in the comments section, and I’ll hold them for you …

Optional Question of the Day

What event do you go to see at your local fair?

Marianne Love/Slight Detour Provides …

…A writing contest judge’s perspective on the fair here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/24/05

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, left, and Laura Bush applaud as President Bush finishes his address to a crowd of military personnel and families in Nampa, Idaho, earlier today. The president received more than 12 standing ovations. Bush spent two nights at a ski and golf resort in Donnelly, Idaho, before flying by helicopter to Nampa for the speech on war/APhoto. For the rest of the story, click here.

Level 3 sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan III didn’t say a word at his priliminary hearing Tuesday, so the judge entered “not guilty” pleas to the six major charges he faces in the murder/kidnapping of the Groene family near Coeur d’Alene. Meanwhile, Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas announced plans to seek the death penalty in this capital case here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times shows what happens when Grandma watches too much of Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” here.

2. Ted Benson, a Sandpoint, Idaho, man who lost his son in the Iraq war, was invited to meet privately with President Bush in Idaho here.

3. Yakama Nation: Huckleberry commercial harvesters don’t respect nature here.

4. An American Indian teen-ager who was attacked at a Spokane River beach by two skinheads was surprised and hurt that none of the dozen onlookers tried to help him here.

5. With a new law in place prohibiting Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from living near schools and day cares, Issaquah tells 2 sex offenders to move or face hefty fines here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Gov. Kempthorne & Bush’s visit), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Air flight horror stories), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Weekly Huckleberries column), and Missoulian (A redundant Yellowstone snowmobile study) and The Columbian (Pat Robertson: Loose cannon).

*Study: Oregon is the only state in the union not getting fatter here.

*Don’t look now, sez the Seattle PI, but some restaurants may be padding your bill with a 20-percent tip here.

*584 crosses on Montana capitol lawn commemorate victims of DUI accidents here.

*Most of the new Washington gas tax projects have been placed on hold until state officials see what happens with an initiative to overturn the 9-cent hike this fall here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery — Hwy 95 Safety Improvements?

re: Crews upgrade safety on U.S. 95: Rumble strips an attempt to keep drivers more alert/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review

I do not believe this work has created safety. To me, the manner in which they placed the stips makes 95 much more dangerous. They have placed the holes right on the white line! This causes each lane of traffic to drive closer together, meaning one is now facing possible collision at all times. While driving this road, it is almost impossible to not hit the holes when it looks as if someone from the opposite direction is coming close to your side of the road.

I recently drove my truck and horse trailer on this stretch of the road and after a time realized that my horse trailer tires were riding on the rumble strips. I tried to correct this, but with heavy traffic, I was forced to drive to the right some. When I arrived home and tried to get my once gentle and wonderful horse out of the trailer, I did not realize that she had become godzilla due to her stress of the strips. I ended up with a broken collar bone. Another statistic that won’t be logged in as a hazard from 95 rumble strips.

I wish something could be done about where they placed the holes. I also shudder to think about what happens to these holes when they fill up with snow and ice. Time will tell.

Sandra Turtle

What? No Fast-Tracking …

Hagadone withdraws dredging proposal: Timing was problem, but plans weren’t dropped/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Doesn’t the state of Idaho know whom they’re dealing with?

Local Question of the Day — 8/24/05

Issue: Kootenai officials approve pay raises of 19% to 25%: Several citizens were upset with commissioners’ vote/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Who said the commissioners couldn’t make tough decisions? They seem to be able to stand firm when it comes to their own pay.

Question: Will the big pay raises handed out to courthouse elected officials come back to haunt the commissioners in the 2006 elections?

Quick Fix 6 — 8/24/05

1. APhoto Fix: U.S. Postal cycling team leader and five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, exits a mobile home where he took a doping test after the 10th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Limoges and Saint-Flour, central France, in this July 14, 2004 photo. Now, the director of the tour is accusing Armstrong of using a performance enhancement drug to win his seventh race in a row here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak (Moveon.org), Wayne Stayskal (Gas prices), and Jim Huber (Cindy Sheehan).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Strategies of Saddam Hussein’s Attorneys” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Bush: Pullout would hurt Iraq’s democracy here, Oil above $66 here, New home sales hit record high in July here, Poll: Church goers tend to support the war here, and Sheehan pledges to return to Crawford here.

6. Opinion Fix: Pat Buchanan/Creators (War, D’s, Hillary), Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Oh, Cherie!), John Stossel/Creators (Big government discourages charity), Colleen Carroll Campbell/National Review (World Youth Day), and Michelle Malkin/Townhall (Racial profiling for dollar$).

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — Tuesday

I believe this is a group of dancers or thespians. Hard to tell as compressed as they are. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The Kootenai County Commissioners swarm a prospective land developer (seen on bottom) in hopes of luring him to build yet another faceless tract housing develpoment on the Rathdrum Prairie — Stopthecrazygrowth.

2. Sam Taylor enjoys his first day back with the very friendly staff of the UI Argonaut — Family Phil.

3. A group of avant-garde actors, desperate in their search for something new, display their collective imitation of a Big Mac — CDADave.

HM: TS and Whippersnapper


Local Question of the Day — 8/23/05

Issue: Duncan will enter plea today: Court appearance on three murder charges will be first time in public since arrest/Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press

DFO: I won’t be surprised if Duncan enters a guilty plea today. And I won’t be surprised if he pleads innocent to drag his last surviving victim and her relatives through the horror of a lengthy trial. That, and cost Kootenai County a bundle of money to prosecute him.

Question: Any guesses re: which way a monster like this might plead?

Wild Card/Monday — DFO’s Gone Until Wednesday

Sorry, folks, I’m going to be slammed with personal business until Wednesday a.m. when I return to my office and blog. I’ll be checking the blog for the next two days to post new Wild Cards. But I probably won’t be posting. I need a mini-break. See you back then. You can use this as a Monday Wild Card if you want to start your own threads or communicate with one of the rest of the Huckleberries Online menagerie …

Best of Huckleberries Online — Cont.

Paradise Lost
Coeur d’Alene residents have become so accustomed to out-of-staters gushing about the beauty of the town and lake that some of my blog’s readers were stunned when I posted a column in which columnist Mark Morford/S.F. Chronicle described it as another ruined place. Quoth Mark: Coeur d’Alene has a distinct central portion of town, well off the toxic highway. It is calm and tree lined and emptily pretty, and it is packed with, well, restaurants and art galleries. And real estate offices. For yuppies. Because, of course, there are no local shops left. No mom-and-pops, few unique small businesses of any kind. No charm. No real community per se. Just well-manicured food and mediocre art no true local can actually afford and business parks where the heart used to be.” Harsh, but … You can find a link to Mark’s entire screed in Huckleberries Online today: www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/nhb.

Be Careful Out There
How do you explain to your car insurance company that the dint in your Geo was caused by a foosball table that’d been part of your yard sale in Post Falls until that big storm hit the other day? The wind blasted hubby’s foosball table against colleague Taryn Brodwater’s front bumper. At least, that’s her story and she’s sticking to it … Tongue firmly cheeked, volunteers at the Festival at Sandpoint have a fond nickname for Trish Gannon, the festival’s PRmeister and publisher of The River Journal: Miss Information … If you’d read the daily version of Huckleberries online, you’d already know that Todd Hudson of renown Hudson’s Hamburgers in downtown CDA aced hole No. 5 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course recently, which proves, sez Hayden Councilman Chris Beck, that Todd’s “golf skills are almost as good as his burger skills.”

Poet’s Corner
“We stand outside our camp,/the stars are so bright./I pick out constellations I’ve known only from books./The Milky Way splashes the length of the night./Heaven can be many places – in the tent,/a cup of fresh coffee on a tree stump,/at the end of a spincast trout lure,/but right now, it is where it is meant to be” – Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being (“All The Heavens” … “Oh, you bring a knife/and I’ll bring a fork/and we’ll all fill up/on government pork” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Song for a D.C. Picnic”) … “Dating in your forties is a lot like buying a high mileage used car – We may seem ok during the test drive but serious problems usually come up after some time on the road,” Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

Huckleberries
Seems I was onto something a coupla weeks ago when I reported that someone’d pasted an oval around the midsections of those black stickmen on the yellow courthouse crosswalk signs. Made ‘em look like hula-hoop crossings. In the City Hall briefing sheet, Street Super Jon Ingalls said his crew found several other signs vandalized in a similar manner during the “hula-hoop insurgency” … A co-worker was excited last week when she saw a CDA moto-cop nail a motorist for speeding on Seltice Way during the CARE emphasis patrol. A sadist? No, she noticed the speeder’s license plates – from California. Feelings run deep here … Bumpersnicker (on a red Ford on Mission in Spokane by Jon Livingston): “If I wanted to listen to the crap coming out of your stereo, I’d be sitting in your car” … Quotable Quote: “They were just in awe of the place. They thought they were coming to a big potato field” – Ron Gardner/Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, re: the reaction of the 350 touristas meeting at the CdA resort to the city of Coeur d’Alene. Obviously, they have a higher tolerance for tinsel than Bay Area commentator Morford.

Parting Shot
Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind blogged a list of “Things We Shouldn’t Do, But We Used To,” including these don’ts: Swing out over the water on a rope; steal watermelons or ears of corn; give chocolate or pork chop bones to dogs, let your buddy ride on the bike with you, or let your kids sell lemonade. The complete list of 17 “used to’s” are linked on my blog site today. Meanwhile, Cis, I wonder how we survived?

Wild Card/Sunday — 8/21/05

I’m going to be busy as a one-armed paper-hanger until Wednesday with some personal business. (If that’s un-PC, too bad, so sad.) As a result, I’ll be off Monday and Tuesday. But I’ll try to run a few things out for you to amuse yourself on those days, including some photos of the day that I’ve held back. You can find plenty below to keep yourself amused including this week’s Huckleberries column. Behave yourselves …

Doug Clark Predicts Weirdness to Continue

In his latest column, Doug Clark predicts the weirdness that has hit the area this year will continue — and stories will include (for the rest of Doug’s column, click here):

•Spokane’s colorful downtown art bears are replaced with more familiar sidewalk symbols: shirtless felons on ratty bicycles.

•Due to a publishing mix-up, the latest edition of the black Hagadone telephone directory doesn’t contain phone numbers. It is actually a list of all the little people Coeur d’Alene business mogul Duane Hagadone stepped on during his climb to the top.

•The federal judge who was accused of sexually gratifying himself at Spokane’s Riverfront Park last month is caught handing himself a subpoena.

Question: Do you have any predictions to make re: what weird stories will close out the year?

Curtain Call (An Ode to Progress)

Years ago the people crowed
Their streets were a mighty mess.
Ramsey Road bore a heavy load
With a high school coming next.

Too they said, they drove with dread
Decay called Government Way.
A drive ahead could wake the dead
In graveyards of that day.

Lakeside, Sherman filled with vermin
Because those roads were broke.
But, now they glisten ‘cause people listened
To what their leaders spoke.

Ten years later, roads are greater
But, still the people cry.
Road construction takes destruction
Before new streets can rise.

So, patience bear and soon you’ll wear
A pride upon your face.
Until next summer, a NEW bummer,
Descends upon this place.

John Austin


DFO: I’m rerunning this again from earlier in the week because … it’s dyne-oh!-mite. Some of you rhymers flat amaze me. Take a bow, John.

Wild Card/Saturday 8/20/05

It’s the weekend, and time to get in a few more rays before we lose summer. If you have time and want to post for the blurkers, bloggers and fellow commenters, here’s your Saturday Wild Card …

CDA Fire Dept. Tail-Gater?

I was driving down Sherman, by Zip’s Drive-in, and this HUGE red pickup was tailgating me; all I could see was a grill and headlights. As he turned and went up another street, I saw that it was a young guy driving a COEUR D’ALENE FIRE DEPARTMENT VEHICLE. Shouldn’t the city of Coeur d’Alene give its employees DRIVING LESSONS or something?

CDADave


DFO: When did this occur?


About That Big House in Palm Desert …

I just got a hard copy of that Desert Sun front-pater from April 5 re. Duane B’s 30,000sf house in Palm Desert, titled “Just how big is a big house in the Coachella Valley? In the battle to keep up with the Joneses, mogul Hagadone ups the ante to 30,000 square feet.” I provided a link to the story last spring. But it didn’t have all the details. Here are some of them:

*Neighbors include: “Ocean’s 12” producer Jerry Weintraub, “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart, Pete Sampras and Starbucks CEO Orin Smith.

*The home will be built into the mountain it’s on.

*The cost of the project is $30 million, and it will be finished by fall of 2007.

*The home is a collection of separate buildings, connected to each other through pathways and with servants’ quarters on a lower floor.

*Hagadone purchased two lots totalling 7.66 acres (lots at Bighorn usually cost between $2 million and $5 million).

*The house will have about 20,000sf of living space and another 10,000sf of garage and storage space.

There’s more, but you get the picture.

Coming To A Gas Station Near You?

$2.42.9 — Exxon (Appleway & Government Way)
$2.47.9 — 7-11 (4th & Best)
$2.49.9 — Zip Trip (15th & Best)
$2.51.9 — Safeway (Government Way)
$2.55.9 — Chevron (Government Way & Kathleen)

DFO: These were the prices for regular at 8 Friday night. What are the prices at the pumps near you. Let’s keep each other informed.

P.S.

Issue: Californians take big risks on real estate: Buyers increasingly sinking over 1/2 their incomes into mortgage payments/Associated Press

DFO: And, if the housing bubble pops …

Question: Fuhgeddabout, California; how are families holding it together here with the mortgages they’re paying on low incomes? Can someone who’s not independently wealthy and just purchased a home tell me how you make ends meet?

Middle-Age Dating & Used Cars

Dating in your forties is a lot like buying a high mileage used car - we may seem ok during the test drive but serious problems usually come up after some time on the road.

Bearable Bob/Random Shallow Thoughts

Peanut Gallery — On Continuing The War

The problem as I see it is that whether we agree or disagree with the decision to go to war is a mute point.

We are neck deep in Iraq. Our elected president made the decision that we needed to become a nation builder.Our elected officials made a decision in the majority to support that decision.

Our credibility as a nation is on the line and we MUST be successful in our mission there. For those who disagree with this war it may time to take a step back and see if their efforts are productive to what we must do. We left Vietnam without accomplishing the mission which was to stablize democracy in the region.

We cant do that again. We must channel our efforts into a plan to make democracy work in Iraq. Unfortunately I think we vastly underestimated the cost that it is going to take to do that. History will judge the wisdom or lack of wisdom that this administration has. Right now we are too deep in the weeds to try and make those judgement calls.

Eagle Eye


DFO: No one has penned my jumbled thoughts about the war better than Eagle Eye here.

The Worst Part of Coeur d’Alene?

I had to drive into the Northern part of CDA today, because, that’s where my pharmacist is located. Had to pick up meds, y’know. And immediately I got the same feeling I used to get when I was trapped in that area for hours, driving cab…”I hate this part of town”; I thought that then, and I think that now. Most of our fares, for whatever reason, were between Kootenai Medical Center/Albertsons/the Money Tree/Super 1 foods, etc. When you’ve driven in that area in a concentrated fashion for hours, you’re ready to tear your hair out! AAAAAUUUGH!!!

CDADave/Thin Air

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/19/05

Cutline: Photo Editor Mike Salsbury/The Columbian caught this scene of midst coming off Twin Lakes (North Idaho) at sunset after a storm.

“A former Kalispell boy who made headlines when he helped start a fire that destroyed the Lakeside Marina is back in trouble. Michael Kullberg was 6 years old when he and a teenager started the million-dollar fire that destroyed the marina and about 30 boats. Now 17, Kullberg is suspected of raping a 14-year-old girl”/Cheryl Sabol, Kalispell, Mont., Daily Inter Lake, here.

1. Milt Priggee/Puget Sound Business Journal doodles his impression of the sound’s bloated transportation system here.

2. *The Tamarack Hotel in Donnelly, Idaho, is ready to cash in on the curiosity created by President Bush spending three days of R-‘n-R there (as long as he doesn’t bring an entourage of protesters along) here.

Related: Bush bringing an entourage to Idaho next week here.

3. And yet another petition drive to stop a Wal-Mart store from being built, this time in Arlington, Wash., here.

4. A Puget Sound man is planning to follow the city limits all around Seattle in a 100-mile journey of discovery here.

5. In an attempt to be more business friendly and rake in a few more bucks, the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe has booted the automatic telephone answering machines in favor of (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) — humans here.

6. IMHO-NW: The Daily Inter Lake (Flathead Lake, Montana, swimmer), Idaho Statesman (Idaho Gov. Kempthorne’s slush fund), Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (School reform needs tweaking), Dominick DellaSala/Oregonian (Northwest timber wars), and Art Thiel/PI (Palmeiro vs. Major League Baseball).

*Briefs filed to support recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West here.

*Three Montana fishermen were hit by lightning here.

*Ticket-spitting parking pay stations in downtown Spokane have gone the way of the dodo here.

*After 11 months of being kept in the dark about his toddler son’s whereabouts, a Columbia Falls, Mont., man has been reunited with him here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Thatsa Some Tree 2 …

Family Phil tells you about his fine photo of this historic tree here.

Where Is It?

Sometime in the ‘70s, I’m told, someone threw a pair of shoes into a tree in North Idaho — and the rest is history. Doug Fredericks of Hayden snapped this wonderful photo of that tree. Where is this tree? And what do you know about it?

Hat Tip: D.J. Nall (“Shoe Tree” at Priest Lake here)

SR Letter of Day — Paying Freedom’s Bill

Last week I went to Crawford, Texas, to show support for the war on terror. While I was there, I met Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier from Fort Hood who was killed in Iraq over a year ago (“President passes protesting mother,” Aug. 13). Mrs. Sheehan is demanding a meeting with the president to express her feelings about her son’s death one more time.

I spoke to Cindy in front of the camera and then privately. She told me she supports the Army, what her son did, and what I do as well. It didn’t take me long to see clearly her true feelings.

Mrs. Sheehan is the worst kind of American. Someone who enjoys all the benefits of living here and knows the cost of freedom. Yet when Lady Liberty comes to her door to demand payment for said freedom, she throws up her hands and says not my child. Well the question is, if not your child, than whose?

As a soldier in our all-volunteer Army, I accept what that ultimate bill may say. I realize that I may not be there when Lady Liberty comes knocking on my wife’s door in the form of a U.S. Army chaplain.

Phil Kiver
Cheney

Local Question of the Day — 8/19/05

Issue: Burglary sets back fund-raiser: Girl’s donation jug for food bank taken from store/Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Wonder what kind of meth-strung-out creep did this? Occasionally, a story comes down the pike that remind me how small some people are. This one qualifies. Here’s a girl who was raising money for the food back, only to have her dreams stomped on by a creep.

Question: Can you remember a petty crime that still makes you shake your head and wonder about manking?

Wild Card …

I’ve moved up the afternoon Wild Card to become the evening one. Busy day. I’ll check in on your threads later this evening. Thanks for the usual good time …

Twin Lakes At Sunset 2

Mike Salsbury, photo editor of The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash. shot these superb photos of the Twin Lakes at sunset after that big storm while vacationing in North Idaho last week.

P.S. — 8/18/05

Issue: Sheehan to leave Texas: Anti-war activist going to L.A. to be with mother who just had stroke/NBC News.

DFO: Cindy Sheehan is one of the true tragic figures of the Iraq war. She has lost everything that a person could hold dear: her son, her husband (through pending divorce), mebbe her family (through alienation), and now her mother’s in bad shape. She’s been used (by the anti-war crowd) and abused (by the anti-anti-war crowd). I feel sorry for her.

Question: What’s going to be the fallout from Cindy Sheehan’s vigil? (Please stick to the issue and be civil rather than seeing this as a green flag to launch into pro-administration or anti-war rhetoric.)

Best of the Local Blogs — 8/18/05

Katie Kuhns/Rathdrum snapped this photo of the giant cedars up the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene near Murray, Idaho.

*The Bard of Sherman Avenue has added all his recent poems to his blog roll for your reading pleasure here.

*You’re in for a treat. CDADave has posted more “Thin Air” here.

*Sounds as though Mike Kennedy/The Idaho Kennedys, a candidate for the CDA City Council, agrees with Bill McCrory/Whitecaps that something should be done to protect neighborhoods from sex offenders here.

*Michael Martin Murphy’s appearance today in Sandpoint has Marianne Love/Slight Detour thinking of Willie Nelson, Marty Robbins and her dad here.

*As his summer job wears down at the Lewiston Trib, Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense discusses how to take care of a new tattoo here.

*A vanity plate and a familiar face at the wheel bring back memories of the Simi Valley, Calif., for Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings here.

Peanut Gallery: In Praise of Gonzaga Prep

The demographics of Prep closely resemble those of the neighborhood and the neighborhood high school, John Rogers. A solid majority of the kids attending Gonzaga Prep qualify for federally subsidized lunches! About…10 years ago…Gonzaga Prep became the only Jesuit High School in the country to offer Fair Share Tuition. That is to say, irrespective of the average cost per pupil, the tuition to Prep is what your fair share of that average cost is. This means that any child that wants to attend Prep can. Some families send their kids to Prep and pay more than the average cost per pupil—their fair share of that amount is more. You pay what’s fair for you. This tuition practice is also in place at all Diocesan elementary and middle schools in the Diocese of Spokane. Gonzaga Prep no longer resembles Joel E. Ferris, that bastion of educational civilization deep in Spokane’s South Hill, but has genuine racial, ethnical, cultural and economic diversity. Not only that, Prep has lots of kids from Coeur d’Alene!

JBelle

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/18/05

ABC News’ Barbara Walters interviews actress Margot Kidder at her home in Montana several years ago after Kidder was found dazed and confused in Glendale, Calif. See Item No. 2.

Eight people, including four from Plummer, Idaho, are named in an 88-count federal racketeering indictment returned Wednesday as part of a four-year investigation into the sales of contraband cigarettes. The tax loss to the state of Washington associated with the case is more than $56 million, according to Bill Morlin/Spokesman-Review, here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times provides a formula re: how to get the media’s attention here.

2. Actress Margo Kidder (Lois Lane/”Superman”) became a U.S. citizen during a naturalization citizen in Butte, Mont., so she can protest the war in Iraq without fear of deportation here.

3. For the first time, Washington voters will be required to show their ID before voting in the September primary here.

4. Eighty-five years ago, sixtysomething widow Ellen McNamara crashed through a skylight to her death — and has haunted Spokane’s Davenport Hotel ever since, according to columnist Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review, here.

5. No Surprise Here: The 17-year-old thug who allegedly beat a Good Samaritan trying to help a badly injured girl in Spokane this week has an extensive and violent criminal history here.

6. IMHO-NW: David Bond/Silver Valley Mining Journal (Of drunks, babies & Hecla Mining), Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (Cindy Sheehan’s protest), Missoulian (Legal system encourages irresponsibility), and Kalispell (Mont.) Daily Inter Lake (No tolerance for gang activity), and Dave Boling/Tacoma News-Tribune (Losing Royals inspire M’s crowd).

*Wanna help write Spokane’s $121M budget for next year? The city Web site has a calculator that lets amateurs try here.

*Something that looks like an alligator is loose in a Puyallup pond here. Free subscription required.

*A South Everett couple are trying to make sense of their 5-year-old’s brief abduction by a stranger here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Quote of the Day — 8/18/05

They were just in awe of the place. They thought they were coming to a big potato field.

Ron Gardner, Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, re: Coeur d’Alene to a nationwide gathering of 350 state tourism officials at the Cda Resort.

Peanut Gallery — Indian Mascots

re: Nicolee Bradbury’s SRant of the Day here

I am an enrolled member of a nationally recognized tribe. I remember growing up seeing bumper stickers on vehicles here on my reservation that read “Indian and proud of it!” AND the mascot of the local NATIVE elementary school was the “savages.” Now you get people like this that are just LOOKING for reasons to be offended. They were not offended back then… hmmm… perhaps things have become sooo good in their lives that they are getting snippier and snippier.

I am Coyote… I am Indian and proud of it. I do NOT get offended by sports mascots that bear the remembrance of our people.

I think that Nicolee should just lighten up a little bit and start cheering for the Indians. Nicolee should also educate herself on just what sovereignty means. Sovereignty does not mean you get to tell another country how to behave. If so you Nicolee are opening yourself up to being told how to act by another sovereign nation. Is that what you want?

No… If you want sovereignty Nicolee you take the good with the bad. You cannot pick and chose.

As for me I will take tribal sovereignty with all of it’s downfalls and risk being characatured. That is much better than being dictated to by some other government.

Coyote/NW Republican


What’s Cheapest Out There?

Huckleberries Online needs input from the gas price front. I bought regular last night for $2.42.9 per gallon at Del Kerr’s Exxon on Appleway & 4th. Any place beat that today?

Feedback: The Advocate sez it was $2.38 at Costco yesterday. Tony Rosen sez $2.60 in Sandpoint.

There Goes The Neighborhood …

Bigger bar, marina planned at Arrow Point: Developer hopes to demolish building and construct more upscale establishment/Erica Curless, SR.

DFO: “Upscale” is another way of saying that we don’t want the blue-collars in jalopies stopping by here.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/18/05

1. APhoto Fix: Senate Judiciary Committee staffers wheel boxes of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’ documents into a committee office on Capitol Hill this morning in Washington. Confirmation hearings on Roberts’ nomination are scheduled to begin Sept. 6

2. Cartoon Fix: Henry Payne (Inflation), Robert Airial (Wal-Mart), and Rob Rogers (Iraqi women).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs Your Kid Is Spending Too Much Time on the Internet” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Sheehan: Bush is biggest terrorist in the world here, Survey Sez: Is media fair? Balanced? Doesn’t matter here, Minority report critical of NASA here, Decorated Marine denied in-state Texas tuition here, and Warship built with steel from Twin Towers here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ronald Griffin/Wall Street Journal (Sheehan doesn’t speak for me), Emmett Tyrrell/The American Spectator (Gaza withdrawal), William F. Buckley/National Review (An oil nightmare scenario), John J. Miller/National Review (American Gothic turns 75), and Mary Katherin Ham/Townhall (“Dukes of Hazzard”: Roaringly right).

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/17/05

Francine Krauss demonstrates belly casting for pregnant women on model Elizabeth Strelow in New York. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “Sister Elizabeth, unless you can provide documentary proof of a divine conception, you will have to leave the convent” — Hermie Schwartz.

2. A Dove model wannabee is measured to see if she meets the minimum weight requirment — Jane Q. Citizen. And: A Polish Navy Commander follows orders to engage in a large naval operation — John Austin.

3. Hmmm….Have you seen the movie “Alien”? — TS.

HM: Save the Idaho Aardvarks

Inside Huckleberries — 8/17/05

*Cis has come up with another of her Easter Eggs surprises. This one’s called: “Alzheimer’s Eye Test.” See if you can do better than I did here. Cis also sends along a wonderful link to Huckleberry desserts here.

*Huckleberries is being featured by Chris Bessler and Billie Plaster on the Sandpoint Town Crier of the Sandpoint Online Web page. I’ll have a link to the Town Crier posted in a day or so. It provides a weekly update on what’s going on in and around Sandpoint. You can also sign up for the Crier at the Sandpoint Online link to the lower right.

*I’ll be introducing some new bloggers to you shortly. Joanne Fuchs of Cocalalla (Family Friend Source and Poem Source) and Granati of Post Falls (Orange Frog 76). I need to post their links first, however. On the other hand, it might be time to cut Post Falls Uncensored and Try This Pose. PFU has been inactive since blogmeiser Vorfeed graduated from PFHS.

*Jim Miller On Politics posted that cool place-the-states game that Cis e-mailed to Huckleberries last week. If you haven’t played it, you can go to Jim’s site (a solid conservative one here) or click here.

*Blog Nos. are staying around 4000 pageviews weekdays and picking up a little on the weekends. I’ll be curious to see what happens when school starts again. Should get a bump. And I should get some traffic from Sandpoint Online’s welcomed mention this week.

We Sang in the Sunshine … We Laughed Every Day …

Arpie won’t say which Lake Pend Oreille beach his son was swinging off of when he snapped this photo this summer.

CDA: Paradise Lost — Already?

A SF Chronicle columnist’s view of Coeur d’Alene and Highway 95 businesses.

About 20 traffic lights have been added in as many years, scattered down a 10-mile stretch of highway, and every one demarcates a turnoff into a huge, low-lying horribly designed strip mall, tacky and cheaply built and utterly heartless. Clearly zero planning went into any of these megashops, except to space them so obnoxiously that you have to get back in your car to drive the eighth of a mile to get to the Target to the Best Buy to the Wal-Mart to the Super Foods and back to your freakin’ sanity.

Mark Morford
S.F. Chronicle


DFO: Mark Morford is the reigning online column champ for the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. He continues to write off Coeur d’Alene as another victim of “full-blown pestilence of big-box shopping hell” in his latest column here.

CDADave Scores Again w/”Thin Air”

You’ve seen the rankings of “the lowest positions on the planet”, in which politicians, lawyers and used car salesmen are right there, scraping the scum off the bottom. But…the lowest of the low? LANDLORDS. They don’t fix things, they raise the rent, and slap eviction notices on you when money is short. They may have no clue as to what’s wrong in your apartment, but even without ledgers, balance sheets or payment books, they can quote TO THE CENT what you owe them! This guy…is DONE with apartments. And Renting. And LANDLORDS.

CDADave


DFO: CDADave has produced a new feature consisting of random mini-opinions that he calls “Thin Air.” Terrific stuff. Addictive stuff. Hat Tip, my online friend. You can find the latest version by going to his Web site under the North Idaho blog roll or clicking here.

Patty Duke Officially Launches Her …

…Web site, which focuses on mental illness, according to nephew Mike Kennedy. E-mails Mike: “There’s been a good amount of traffic since launching it “softly” earlier in the summer, and this morning there’s been a good level of interest after rolling it out on the PR newswire. Brad Dugdale is part of our team helping with the production of content (CDs, book, etc targeted toward individuals and families struggling with Bipolar Disorder and Mental Illness) and overall promotion, which has been great. Steve Sibulsky has also been involved, so it’s a pretty cool local project with national reach because of Anna.” Click here.

On the Subject of Rhyming

To rhyme takes no real ability
All you need is prosaic stability
With a vision myopic
To rhyme with a topic
That you can express with gentility.

CDADave

Local Question of the Day — Duane Hagadone

Issue: Hagadones step up for North Idaho students: Horatio Alger associate contributes $500K for college-bound teens/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: Duane Hagadone has said often that people would criticize him if he stood on the corner handing out $10 bills because they’d expect $20 bills. I tip my cap to him here because he’s helping a lot of kids get a decent start in college. Yet, I winced a little when I saw this item played as the banner story across the front page of the Coeur d’Alene Press. The Press is flaunting the gift too much. Besides, didn’t I report on this online months ago?

DFO: What’s your thoughts on Duane Hagadone’s financial gift to top North Idaho students?

Quick Fix 6 — Brosnan Loses Double-O’s (8/17/05)

1. Actor Pierce Brosnan laughs, as he poses in front of poster for his film “Tomorrow Never Dies,” on Jan. 8, 1998, in Mexico City. A single, surprising phone call and it was over. That’s how Brosnan says he learned that his services as James Bond would no longer be required. “One phone call, that’s all it took!” here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak (Prices up), Wayne Stayskal (Mental disorders), and Daryl Cagle & Co. (Cindy Sheehan showdown).

3. Humor Fix: “How many have seen this movie “March of The Penguins”? It’s doing huge business. You know why they’re marching? They can’t afford the gas” — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: State dept. sez it warned about bin Laden in 1996 here, 3 car bombings kill 43, wound 89 in Baghdad here, More homes in U.S. are single adult here, and Victims families to confront BTK serial killer here, Variants of spreading Windows worm emerge here.

6. Opinion Fix: Lawrence Kudlow/RealClearPolitics (Silence of the Bush boom), Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Where did Amnesty go?), Al Knight/Denver Post (Elementaries shouldn’t be pushing homosexuality), Michelle Malkin/Townhall (Helping Franken find a swindler), and Ben Shapiro/Townhall (The ‘chickenhawk’ argument).

‘Back To School’

The yellow buses came today
and carried summertime away.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue


Hat Tip: Jane Q. Citizen (who dug through The Bard’s archive at the right to find this. Superb.)

Inside Huckleberries …

I’ve been mulling over a comment made last night by Sandpoint Sue: “On this blog, you are a little more thoughtful, and I hope you’re not offended, a little more sweet, than you sometimes appear in print.” Dunno about the “sweet” part. But there’s no question that this blog has changed me. You can’t have this intense dialogue with readers of all stripes for 18 months without learning to appreciate their thoughts and lowering your flame-thrower. Journalists, by nature, are a detached breed. We’re sorta like scientists studying the latest disaster or scandal and then moving on to the next, unmoved. You can’t do that with a blog, unless you’re skull is 2 inches thick. Mine isn’t. Mebbe that’s why more journalists don’t blog. I still hold strong opinions. But I’m tired of the polarization in this country. And the anger. I guess I’ve become more Huckleberries than Hot Potatoes. Thanks for the observation, Sue …

Photos of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/16/05

A crowd rushes through an open gate, some falling down, including Crystal Blair, all hoping to get a cheap iBook at the Richmond International Raceway complex in Richmond, Va., this morning. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. It’s amazing what happens when you utter those three simple words, “I’m with Amway…” — Dang.

2. APWire, Richmond VA: Richmond Economic Development Corp and Tourisim Dept attempted a new “US” version of Pampalona’s famed “Running of the Bulls,” Thousands run throug city streets in a race to central city park in order to recieve a free I-pod — Coyote.

3. Mike Kennedy’s kids learn that there’s only one fruit roll-up left — Ryan Hill.

HM: (Combined) Visitors to Neverland Ranch flee in a panic when Michael Jackson appears without make-up and wig — Family Phil. And: Visitors to Neverland Ranch flee in a panic when Michael Jackson appears with make-up and wig — ErinG.

Teacher’s Pet Award: “You think this is bad? You should have been here when we were giving away the free Huckleberries Online T-shirt…that was mayhem” — Bearable Bob.


Peanut Gallery — Field Burning

I watched from my house in Rathdrum as the smoke rose from the field burning today. I walked outside and smelled it. I love it. It reminds me of my childhood in the Midwest (Camelot), when I used to rake and burn leaves, and nobody seemed to mind. It was the tradition of fall.

According to today’s Spokesman article on fieldburning, Patti Gora wanted precise locations of the burns “so people have a chance to run for their lives.” There has been smoke in the air for a week. Why haven’t they already run?

SAFE can’t stop forest fires. If you live in North Idaho, you live with smoke part of the time. I would rather see the smoke of fields burning a few days out of each year, than to see those fields turned into housing developments. Then we would have the issues of crime, sewage, water use, traffic, etc, all year long.

Pilgrim

‘The Bard’

We turn and we toil
Don’t deny it Dave
Over poetry prose
We sit and slave

And Bre comes in
With clever musings, too
Attempting a rhyme that
Fits in the queue

I, too, add in
My two cents of rhythm
When I can, I hope
We have a poetry sit in

And it’s all thanks,
You can’t deny,
To you know who
That bard, there

on Sherman Avenue

Sam Taylor


Peanut Gallery (HBO Poetry)

Gotta tell you I really enjoy seeing other people posting their poems on your blog… particularly the light verse.

Goes to show that poetry actually — can — be accessible and fun. Luckily for me, I had an uncommonly good high school teacher about three hundred years ago who taught us that verse could be quite entertaining… and so it was.

Unfortunately, academia has for too long exercised nearly unbridled control over written verse. The “sophisticates” decided that if poetry wasn’t dark, pretentious and obscure — and preferably free or blank verse — it wasn’t really poetry.

Possibly those days are ending. Rhythm and rhyme are buried deeply in the human psyche. It’s good to see the bloggers of HBO demonstrating this fact. Congrats to all of them as well.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/16/05

APhoto Cutline: U.S. Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Vice President Dick Cheney during a celebration for Craig’s 60th birthday Monday in Boise here.

Was he exposing himself or wasn’t he? During a visit to Spokane, a federal judge was accused by two joggers of peculiar behavior. He sez he was checking a suspicious looking mole on his leg. They say that he was looking at a cell phone with his back turned while moving his arm in a way that suggested masturbation here. And Spokesman-Review humor columnist Doug Clark, of course, has a field day with the situation here.

1. David Horsey/PI doodles about Israel’s change in plans for the Gaza Strip here, and the Lars Larson Gallery looks at the danger posed by cowsharks here.

2. President Bush will pause from his Texas vacation Wednesday to speak in Nampa, Idaho, here.

3. “A King County judge has ruled that an advertising blitz last fall against Democratic attorney general candidate Deborah Senn was illegal because the ads attacked her directly but didn’t disclose who was paying for them,” according to the PI, here.

4. Methodist Camp official claims 96 girls weren’t at risk during Flathead Lake stay because possible rabid bats were flying overhead and not staying in their cabin belfry here.

5. Three stolen wiener dogs from Moyie Springs, Idaho, were at the center of a host of crimes that have landed an itinerant couple in prison, according to Mike Weland/Kootenai Valley Press, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Walla Walla Union Bulletin (Community spirit thrives in Pomeroy), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Guiding women at midlife), Missoulian (Too many fund-raisers?), Larry Stone/Seattle Times (Felix giving hope to sad-sack M’s), and John Levesque/PI (Mariner fan base cracking).

Coeur d’Alene Police survey of 136 sex crimes against juveniles from 2000-2005: 97.8% committed by family, friends, neighbors here.

*Pomeroy wildfire 65% contained here.

*Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is defending his use of a campaign slush fund, er, credit card here.

*North Idaho tourism finally has fully recovered from the terrorism attacks here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Huckleberries Online @ 18 Months

We’ve reached another milestone today, kids. Huckleberries Online has turned 1 1/2. That’s not much in human years. But in the blogosphere it’s ha-huge. Few blogs survive a year. I’m celebrating with a second cup of coffee this morning. Also, I tip my hat to all the faithful bloggers on my North Idaho blogroll. You’re a major part of this blog. And becoming even more so as you branch out and try things. Now, we gotta keep on truckin’.

Question of the Day — 8/16/05

Issue: Editor questions AP about Iraq coverage: ‘There’s a perception that we’re not telling the whole story’/New York Times.

DFO: My friends Green Libertarian and Bearable Bob are going to disagree with me, but I believe this war is as poorly covered as any in the modern age. Reuters, The Associated Press and the American media seem to be focused only on the casualties and scandals (Abu Ghraib), which are very important but not the whole story. You have to turn to blogs like Arthur Chrenkoff to have any idea of what’s happening behind the cursory Big Media “coverage.”

Question: Do you believe the American media is providing evenhanded coverage of the war?

Bumpersnicker

“I do whatever my Rice Krispies tells me” — spotted by Jon Livingston on a Green Dodge Caravan Sharp in Spokane this morning.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/16/05

1. APhoto Fix: In this artists rendering released by the University of Wisconsin, the Milky Way has a definitive bar feature — some 27,000 light years in length — that distinguishes it from pedestrian spiral galaxies. (Our sun is pointed out in yellow.)

2. Cartoon Fix: Bill Schorr (Catholic Church sex scandal), Sandy Huffaker (A PC Western), and Mike Lester (Space shuttle).

3. Humor Fix: Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers presents “An Un-American Gothic” (caution: extreme conservative content) here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: 153 Frenchmen die in Venezuela air crash here, Nun upstages star Hanks in Da Vinci Code protest here, Roberts has more than 70 votes locked up here, Cindy Sheehan: Day 9 at Camp Casey here, Bush yet to issue first veto here.

6. Opinion Fix: Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Can D’s deliver in ‘06?), Rebecca Hagelin/Townhall (Are kids reading rot?), Christopher Hitchens/Slate (Sheehan’s sinister piffle), Cal Thomas/Tribune Media Services (Meet with her again, Mr. President), and David Limbaugh/Townhall (Dubya, polls, perseverance).

P.S.

I’m going to end the afternoon with a thought that often goes through my head as I’m posting “The Best of the Local Blogs.” I appreciate you guys. I appreciate the other North Idaho/Inland Northwest bloggers who provide great insights from all over the region about local/national/international news. I appreciate the commenters who debate the local issues (and occasionally change my mind) passionately and civilly. And I appreciate you blurkers who check in quietly and tell your friends about this site. The numbers have remained good thru the Dog Days of Summer — 27490 for last week. Huckleberries Online will hit the 18-month mark tomorrow. It’s been a wild ride. I couldn’t have made it without you. Each of you take a bow. I’ll see you back here in the morning …

Best of the Local Blogs — 8/15/05

CDADave has launched into a new feature on his “Rant ‘N Rave” blog that I’m jazzed about — mini-opinions about a host of topics. Very, very good stuff. You can find his first two examples here and here. Above, you’ll see a photo from a 1910 photograph of “The Flyer,” a erstwhile steamer on Lake CDA, and you’ll find how far back CDADave can go here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings: “I have visited so many towns that survive on tourism that have it right I wonder why we don’t. Parking is a big thing. Here it is scarce at best and expensive at worst. Most tourist towns have free or nominal fee parking to attract the tourists to stop and, more importantly attract the locals who they desperately need in the off season. A long off season at that.” For the rest of Mari’s thoughts about local parking, click here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind has finally come out into the open, sending Huckleberries a photo for publication (to the right), with the e-mail note: “I guess not bad for an old broad of 65.” Indeed. Cis has been the most faithful commenter/blogger/counselor Huckleberries Online has had. She encouraged me to continue blogging at the end of last summer when our online firewall drove away half my traffic. She’s deeply appreciated here. And for her latest thoughts — about why she no longer feels wanted in downtown Sandpoint — click here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour opines that a bypass is going to unveil downtown Sandpoint’s “butt ugly” side here.

*At mid-twentysomething, Bre/To Blog or Not to Blog is feeling old because she’s having a harder time enjoying water sports here. (Now, I don’t want any of you AARPers to give her any guff about her definition of old.)

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, our young friend from CDA who has spent the summer interning at my old newspaper, The Lewiston Tribune, is so ready to get back to UI that he got a tattoo here.

Question of the Day — 8/15/05

Man defends firing shots near Bush protesters: ‘I just want ‘em to pack their damn tents and go back to where they came from’/WorldNetDaily. And: Cindy’s husband seeking divorce: Patrick Sheehan files paperwork to split from anti-Bush protester/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I feel sorry for this woman. Her world has fallen apart since the death of her son. The neighbor, however, is way out of line with his crazy gunfire anti-protest protest. If I were Dubya, I’d meet privately with Cindy Sheehan. I don’t know which side the protest is benefitting or hurting at this point.

Question: Without regurgitating the pros and cons of the Iraq war, what would you do to deal with the protest if you were George W. Bush?

Road Construction Blues, 2nd Verse

Years ago the people crowed
Their streets were a mighty mess.
Ramsey Road bore a heavy load
With a high school coming next.

Too they said, they drove with dread
Decay called Government Way.
A drive ahead could wake the dead
In graveyards of that day.

Lakeside, Sherman filled with vermin
Because those roads were broke.
But, now they glisten ‘cause people listened
To what their leaders spoke.

Ten years later, roads are greater
But, still the people cry.
Road construction takes destruction
Before new streets can rise.

So, patience bear and soon you’ll wear
A pride upon your face.
Until next summer, a NEW bummer,
Descends upon this place.

John Austin

Look, Up In the Sky …

I wonder if my mother-in-law saw this from her home in Coeur d’Alene Place this morning? Bill McCrory/Whitecaps snapped these two photos. E-mails Bill: “At 06:45 this morning saw this balloon moving from south to north over the west side of Coeur d’Alene and descending. First photo was taken from Dalton Avenue facing west over Coeur d’Alene Place. Second photo was taken with balloon on the ground about 200 m northwest of the intersection of Hanley and Madellaine. This appeared to be an intentional landing since the balloon company had two pickups at that intersection waiting to pick up the balloon and its occupants.”


Bumpersnicker …

…on a red Ford on Mission in Spokane this morning: “If I wanted to listen to the crap coming out of your stereo, I’d be sitting in your car.”

Hat Tip: John Livingston/Spokane

‘She’s getting back to being a little girl’

Shasta appears at fund-raiser: Event organizer says she received goody bag, jumped in balloon tent/Jerry Manter, Coeur d’Alene Press. And: Hundreds step up to help Idaho girls: Greyhound Park event raises money for assaulted kids//Ayisha S. Yahya, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: God bless Shasta, the Tuggle girl — and all the individuals involved in this fund-raiser.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/15/05

1. APhoto Fix: Dick Clark will co-host the 34th edition of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” live from New York’s Times Square on Dec. 31. Clark, 75, has been recovering at his Malibu home from a Dec. 6 stroke here. (Clark is shown above preparing to ring in the millenium five-plus years ago.)

2. Cartoon Fix: Robert Airial (The Nukes of Hazzard), Paul Nowak (Hillary Clinton), and Wayne Stayskal (Gas prices).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs You Have A Bad Travel Agent” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Israel begins withdrawal from Gaza strip here, Iraqis delay constitutional session here, Nationwide gas prices set another record here, Iran’s new defense minister tied to U.S. Marine bomging here, and Pope says crucifixes in public buildings important here.

6. Opinion Fix: Shimon Peres/Times of London (Why Gaza matters), Debra Saunders/SF Chronicle (Cops held to impossible standards), David Francis/Christian Science Monitor (Greenspan’s legacy), Nat Hentoff/Washington Times (Selective diversity in higher education), and John Leo/US News & World Report (Goodbye, Peter Jennings).

Best of Huckleberries Online — 8/8-12/2005

See Poet’s Corner in continued section

During the recent “Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes,” resourceful women in the City Park restroom performed their version of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Spare A Square” episode – you know, the one that opens with Elaine and Jerry’s girlfriend side-by-side in restroom stalls. Elaine asks for a few squares of toilet paper because her cubicle is out. But Jerry’s galpal won’t spare a square. Onward. Seems local women where down to their last few tissues on the busy weekend when some sisters took drastic action, doling out squares as though they were winning lottery tickets to appreciative femmes. Parks Director Doug Eastwood told Huckleberries later that the city had plenty of tissue stored nearby. But that was small comfort for the uncomfortable femmes.

Wild Card — Sunday 8/14/05

I’ll be busy much of the early part of Sunday, so I won’t be posting much else than the Monday Huckleberries and re-posting Photo of the Weekend. Here’s your Sunday Wild Card …

Wild Card — Saturday 8/13/05

You can name your own threads here …

My View on Local Human Rights Flap …

Human Rights Institute should learn from Johnson mistake: Institute needs local executive/DFO, Spokesman-Review.

Quoth: Rather than spend another two years in a worldwide search for a director, the institute might be better served by looking for an executive from the Northwest – someone with extensive human-rights involvement and an understanding of the nuances of small communities. The institute’s parent organization, the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, has been successful for 25 years in North Idaho because it respected the way small towns operate, was patient in educating others about human rights and developed a consistent message.

Local Question of the Day — 8/13/05

Writer and historian: Louise Shadduck, driven by her love of Idaho, wants to record as much of the past as possible/Spokesman-Review.

Article: For her 90th birthday celebration this October, Shadduck is planning to lead a family expedition to the Imnaha River near Enterprise and Joseph, Ore. Her great-grandfather led a wagon train, consisting of just five wagons, from the Midwest to this area across the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s, and many of the younger family members have never made the pilgrimage.

Question: What do you hope to be doing at 90?


Where Are Best Prices in Inland NW?

I’m rerunning this as the Ghost of Gas Prices future … and to have you post where HBO readers can find the best gas prices in the region. My guess? Exxon at 4th & Gummint Way and Costco …

P.S.

Issue: Stay-at-home mothers and fathers.

Family Phil: I really should be used to it by now, but somehow I can’t shake the feeling of disappointment I feel toward a culture that dismisses parents who choose to stay at home with their children. By doing what is undeniably the best thing for our kids, we open ourselves up to criticism and belittlement. Where is the admiration for stay-at-home moms and dads in our media? Where is the praise from our friends and family? I don’t see it. And thank God I don’t need it.

Question: If you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad, do you feel this way? Unappreciated and undervalued by society at large? Or am I just loopy?

Photo of the Day — 8/12/05

Susan Proto, of the Sandpoint In Pictures gallery of Sandpoint Online, calls this one “Calf Giving A Lick.” You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “Hey you guyths, ctheck out ma neew thongue piercthing!” — Bre.

2. (as combined entry) How can you eat me? — Hayden Hippy. To which Bearable Bob replied: Medium rare. Salt and Pepper. Side of baked potatoes and a fresh green salad.

3. If I want tongue from a cow, it better be on a sandwich — Whippersnapper. And: Hey, can you help me? I think I have something on my chin but I can’t quite reach it with my tongue — ErinG.

HM: H.C. and almost everyone else. You guys are making this contest harder and harder to judge. Hat Tip.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

US-Zeitungen im Web: Wie Dinosaurier das Rennen lernen/Von Marc Pitzke, Spiegel Online.

DFO: Blogger extraordinaire Stefan “The Shark” Sharkansky/Sound Politics of Seattle sent this link to me with a note that the SR is mentioned in good terms midway through this German article (Headline: “U.S newspapers on the web: How dinosaurs are learning to run”) re: online technology. E-mails Stefan: “Ken Sands is quoted in the middle of the article and then near the end are a couple of paragraphs on the topic of ‘Jim West, B├╝rgermeister von Spokane im Bundesstaat Washington, ist wohl das erste Polit-Opfer der Print-Online-Symbiose…’ And: ‘Jim West, mayor of Spokane in Washington state, may well be the first political victim of print-online symbiosis…’”

Big-Time Hat Tip — to The Shark


TGIF Wild Card

Gotta do some weekend editorializing, folks, so you can start your own threads with this Wild Card here …

Rumorama …

Huckleberries hears that … Demo County Clerk Dan English will announce to the local Demo Club in 4 to 6 weeks that he plans to form a nonprofit Idaho Democrats for Life organization. Stay tuned …

Why Do Sane Chicks Like Convicts?

This whole prisoner/former prison nurse wife shootout escape thing is interesting. One of the news teasers on MSNBC was about why women dig convicts. It’s often as simple as a woman working in a prison seeing all this buffed bad boy meat LOCKED UP. In other words, horny snarly guys who are completely dependent and completely incapable of leaving the woman. The Captive Boyfriend. I’ve always been amazed by the prevalence of this - of all people who should know what a poor life mate candidate your basic incarcerated felon is, you’d think a correctional professional would be near the top of the list. But it’s often that magical thinking of “he’ll change for me, blah blah blah”

Bearable Bob


DFO: I’m posting this from a stream of consciousness post by Bob Salsbury here because I was wondering the same thing about that Tennessee shootout that left a guard dead here. Why do otherwise sane women fall from cons and then do stupid things for them?

Hat’s Off — to Solid Waste Crew

While you were sleeping a coupla weeks ago, Sid Fredrickson’s crew at the CDA Wastewater Treatment Plant were engaged in a daring rescue. Seems 7 ducklings had fallen into the collection trough of a secondary clarifier (whatever that is) and were in danger of being swept into underground piping and drown. As you can imagine, Mother Goose was distraught. Enter the valiant City Worker Bees who herded the 7 ducklings — Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, Doc and Happy — together, caught them, and placed them in a bucket. The scene ends at river side with the crew releases the rescued ducklings into their mother’s care. Aw.

Question of the Day — 8/12/05

Issue: Woman says ‘McDonald’s diet’ took off weight: Mother ate at restaurant chain for 90 days – claims she lost 37 pounds/Associated Press

DFO: Why do I get the feeling that this is a copy-cat diet designed to pick up a lucrative Golden Arches endorsement. If I was going to diet at one place, it’d be an all-you-can-eat Chinese place. I could lose 37 pounds in three months, too, if peanut butter had no calories.

Question: If you were king/queen of the universe and could pick one food to have no calories, what would it be?

Wild Card — Thursday PM

The afternoon Wild Card moves into evening for you folks who haven’t said your piece yet … thanx for an entertaining day on the “comments” side …

Rumorama …

Huckleberries hears from an impeccable source that some Idaho pol in high places has written a letter to the IRS asking for legal advice re: Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s campaign fund-raising “slush fund.” Seems the pol wants a determination about the legality of The Dirk Tater using campaign money to pay for his Big Macs and Starbucks lattes because (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) — a lot of other elected officials would like to get in on the action with their campaign funds. Stay tuned …

Best of the Local Blogs — 8/11/05

Chris Bessler, owner of Sandpoint Online, snapped this little beauty, “Bejeweled Lupine Plant, this spring — one of the many excellent photographs offered by his Sandpoint In Pictures feature. Our Cis Gors even has a photo in the lineup.

If we could meet aliens and tell them three things they needed to know to make it on this crazy planet called earth, I’d certainly think that one of the three should be a suggestion to never buy a used car from a guy who wears white ankle socks with leather loafers — Bearable Bob/Random Shallow Thoughts.

*Dogwalk Musings provides 40-years-worth-of-experience insight into the trouble local nonprofit organizations, such as the local human rights center, have in keeping paid execs here Terrific post.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps, the much-respected local blogger/analyst, brings back to mind a murder-suicide involving the Tacoma police chief two years ago that’s still having repercussions here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind sees People With Road Rage Driving All Around — shudder — here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides a photo of brother/hang glider Jim Tibbs, who draws those neat cartoons that are published by her and HBO — and her mother, Virginia Tibbs, who turns 84 tomorrow, here.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense received some great news on the Mom front but the galpal situation continues to deteriorate as he prepares for his senior year at UI here.

Afternoon Traffic Report — from The Undersheriff

Today on the way home I saw two things that were odd: First, the bumper sticker on the back window of a small white car, “don’t panic”, which is just the look that was on the face of the young man behind the wheel, with the sheriff’s car that had stopped him parked behind.

And: A silver Porsche convertible with California plates on Government Way, both he and she both on cell phones, were they taking to; a. Each Other? b. Realtors? Or 3. Attorneys?

Back to you, DFO

Gary Cuff

The Latinos Are Coming …

The growth of Idaho’s Hispanic population slowed from mid-2003 to mid-2004 compared to other states, but it still increased at double the rate of the state’s population overall, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday. The new estimates put the Hispanic population in Idaho at 123,900 on July 1, 2004, an increase of 4.7 percent from a year earlier. Idaho’s total population increased 1.9 percent in the same period, the fourth fastest growth rate among the states. The state’s growth rate for Hispanics ranked 38th nationally/Idaho Labor & Commerce news release.

Kootenai: 3,448 Hispanics, 122,350 population, 2.8% of population, 36.4% change since 2000.

Bonner: 647 of 39,872, 1.6% of pop, 7.1% change since Y2K.

Boundary: 327 of 10,396, 3.1%, and minus 2.4%.

Benewah: 197 of 8,961, 2.2% and 38.7%.

Shoshone: 289 of 12,827, 2.3% and 8.6%

For Sale: Used Caddie Limo

What’s the story behind this Marshall Mend Realty ad in this week’s Nickel’s Worth? “Limousine Service, start up. Includes One Cadillac limousine $12,500.”

Inquiring Minds Want To Know …

If you’ve been following the local human rights flap over the ouster of director Rhys Johnson, you know that KJ Hackworthy (pictured) has become the acting director. Quoth, from today’s Press: “KJ Torgerson was a program manager for the institute and has been appointed by the board as acting director until at least the end of the year, she said, although she expects to go on maternity leave in the next month.” KJ’s time schedule just got moved up. Why? KJ’s in labor with her second child with hubby Tom Torgerson, even as I write this. The baby’s about 11 days early and will be delivered C-section. Stay tuned …

Quick Fix 6 — 8/11/05

1. APhoto Fix: Texas has become the fourth state to have a non-white majority population, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday, a trend driven by a surging number of Hispanics moving to the state here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Henry Payne (UN Ambassador John Bolton), Larry Wright (Hillary Clinton) and Steve Kelly (Flirtatious office behavior).

3. Yesterday Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride had to cut the lawn of a city building as part of her community service. However, she was using a riding mower and was in Arizona by the evening — Conan O’Brien.

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

5. World Mag Top of the News Fix: Cabbie helps capture fugitive couples here, Bush: Leaving Iraq would be a bad signal here, Ex-WorldCom chief gets 5 years here, Research: Web site’s appearance matters here, and Oklahoma salutes “American Idol” winnter here.

6. Opinion Fix: David Brooks/NYTimes (All cultures are not equal), Dorothy Rabinowitz/Wall Street Journal (America’s security war), Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (Why Bush’s base holds), Martin Frost/FOXNews.com (Religious right wrong on public opinion), and Makubin Thomas Owens/National Review (On condemning the war).


CARE Patrol Nails Another One …

The CPD Blue CARE team just pulled over another car in front of the Shred Shed. Must be like shooting fish in a barrel. Be CARE-ful out there …

Hat’s Off — to America’s Jr. Miss Board

Grassroots support revives Junior Miss: National program had been ready to disband with lack of sponsors/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: I’ve judged a Junior Miss program, and my daughter participated in the Coeur d’Alene competition two years ago. It’s a wonderful program for high school junior girls. This is very good news to start the day.

It’s Thursday — Be CARE-ful Out There

Removal of the stitches didn’t take as long as anticipated. I’m back and I’m bloggin’. BTW, the CARE patrol is swarming all over NW Blvd. I passed one perched on the southbound lane on the Highway 95 overpass waiting for someone motoring above 35 mph into town. And I just noticed another I-Do-Not-CARE officer handing a ticket to a driver in a grey SUV in front of the Shred Shed opposite my office. But you gotta give the city credit. It has posted an itsy-bitsy sign warning you about the CARE patrol, just south of the overpass, or about the time the patrol officer hits you with his lights.

P.S.

Issue: City’s victims fighting back with firepower: At least 3 fatal shootings of armed suspects since March/Richmond Times-Dispatch

DFO: We always hear how guns cause crime. I wonder how many times that guns have prevented crime?

Question: How pro-gun are you?

Best of the Local Blogs — 8/10/05

Sandpoint photographer Anita Aurit calls this Saturday shot of her cat, Buster, “Cool Cat on A Hot Day.” Anita is one of the fine photographers who contribute their work to the “Sandpoint In Pictures” feature of Chris Bessler’s Sandpoint Online.

*Family Phil feels he’s been bamboozled by the fear-mongering media re: the degree of threat that molesting monsters like Joseph Edward Duncan III pose to society here. And he’s running photo after photo of lake shots in his Tall Trees blog, so he can think cool this August here.

*CDADave has a word of caution re: all those scamming spammers who announce by e-mail that you’ve won one European lottery or another here. And he has his Wayback Machine focused on a CDA residential district here.

*Josef/Josef’s Public Blog sends along an Evergreen Freedom Foundation calculator that shows how much money the state of Washington is spending at this moment here.

*Dunno how Bre/To Blog Or Not To Blog is still standing after dealing with a bachelor party thrown by her hubby and friends here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour discusses the maiden 2005 voyage of the 1966, 16-foot Starcraft outboard that she bought for $1,800 here.

How About That Kid?

Okay the gas talk is getting me depressed. How bout THAT KID?! Felix Hernandez that is. I think he the face of the Mariners for the next 5 to 8 years. I am really excited about this young team. The future is bright — Coyote.

DFO: Coyote is absolutely right. Felix Hernandez, 19, had the Minnesota Twins eating out of his hand last night as he pitched shutout ball for 8 innings in a 1-0 victory in his home debut. The Mariners have a new exciting face to rally behind. They’re one more front-line pitcher away from contending next year. Stay tuned.

Bumpersnicker …

… spotted by John Livingston/Spokane on a black sports car traveling on Division Street the other day: Eat right, exercise, die anyway.

Question of the Day — 8/10/05

Issue: Medford athlete dies at practice: Cheerleader, 14, was thrown in air, landed chest down/Boston Globe

DFO: I wince whenever I see high school cheerleaders being tossed 12 to 15 feet in the air with the destination of being caught by 2 or 3 other girls or boys below. The margin of error is slim. Sometimes, I wonder if high school athletic authorities should require certain safety measures for cheerleaders, as they do for football players and other intensive sports.

Question: Do you believe high school cheerleading performances are safe?

Extra! Duncan Admits Killing Seattle Girls

New suspect in slaying of girls: Man allegedly admits Seattle killings to FBI/Paul Shukovsky, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

DFO: Sounds like our resident monster is unburdening his soul — or boasting. Makes me wonder if he’ll confess rather than face trial on the Groene murder/kidnappings.

Be Careful Out There — NW Blvd Emphasis Patrol

I’m watching News-4 right now, and they say the cops will be running a special “emphasis patrol” (translation: “revenue drive”) Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 10th, on NORTHWEST BOULEVARD, so if you’re driving on that hectic thoroughfare, watch your P’s and Q’s (and the rest of the alphabet, too!).

CDADave


Wild Card — Tuesday (8/9/05)

The afternoon Wild Card spills into evening. Just a reminder … the Seattle Cream Puffs will be hosting the Minnesota Twins at Safeco in about an hour with the rookie sensation Felix Hernandez on the mound for the CPs. You can start a new thread here …

Inside Huckleberries — 8/9/05

*For those keeping score at home, former SR CdA bureau chief Marnie Lombard has taken a job with Gonzaga, writing and editting the Spirit newsletter for the university faculty and staff.

*Parks Director Doug Eastwood sez the smelly honeybuckets at NIC beach operate — or don’t — under the auspices of the college not the city. (Remember my sister-in-law’s recent bad experience of opening the honeybucket door at NIC beach and seeing my 5-year-old nephew standing in human feces on the portable floor?) He’s been trying to get the college to go in with the city in contracting public toilet services on the waterfront.

*Jim Hagengruber/SR showed his dedication to the news biz yesterday when he worked all day covering the Pomeroy fire and then drove about 30 miles into Lewiston around midnight to buy a $27 sleeping bag so he could bed down in a Grant County Fairgrounds horse stall.

*Another reminder: Glen Kasses/SR has a terrific blog re: the WSU Cougars’ football team here.

*Pageviews: Summer blog numbers topped 25,000 last week for the first time in awhile, with four of the five weekdays posting over 4000. For the year, Huckleberries Online has had 646,025 PV as we continue to push toward 1 million for the year by mid-November.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

It’s not often that a vandal is caught in the act. But CdA Parks Director Doug Eastwood nailed a 10-year-old goof in the process of clogging a men’s restroom toilet at City Park recently. As Doug entered the privy, the young vandal was stretching hand towels from the dispenser about 40 feet to stuff them into a toilet. When Doug asked the kid why he was doing what he was, the kid responded: “What would anyone do it for.” At that point, Doug identified himself and told the busted vandal to take a hike. And you wonder why public toilets run out of toilet tissue and hand towels?

Be Careful Out There …

This young moose was photographed recently on the Centennial Trail near Sullivan Road. There was a short standoff between the bike rider and the moose, then the moose wandered into the woods. SR Photo by Daron Fredericks.

Ode to Lake CdA Fish No. 1B

Catching them fish is so great
All you need is the right bait
But if you should dread
Eating fish full of lead
You can always use ‘em for a paperweight!

CDADave

Big Shasta Groene Fund-raiser …

…coming Saturday at Post Falls Greyhound & Events Center here.

Lake CDA Fisherman

An eccentric old fellow named Fred
often catches small perch on a thread.
He likes them for grilling
and finds them quite filling
because each one is chock full of lead.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue


Beedback: One of the Bard’s best yet — Ryan Hill.

Easter Egg: “The Chump”

A girl in a bikini who follows your direction? It’s not what you think. But it’s still one of those fun, silly things that you find on the Internet here. (Click on the gal with your mouse and while holding down the clicker, move her around.)

Hat Tip: Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts


Feedback: Makes for a good anger outlet, grab her head and smash her into a bubble repeatedly. Err, uh, not that I’ve … done … that — Sam Taylor.


Post Falls Wants 6.5-Cent Sales Tax Back? Hmm

Post Falls schools look at tax: Board endorses one-cent sales tax to fund education, help relieve property owners/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Feedback: I don’t think it’s a bad idea as long as the state sends the 1% sales tax collected back to the school districts. I fear the money would end up being allocated somewhere else otherwise, sorta like the Feds and Social Security funds — Frum Helen Back.

Ah, Guvnah, That Ain’t Copasetic …

Governor still raising cash: He’s not running for office, but Kempthorne’s still accepting, spending campaign contributions/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review.

Quote: “We’re using it to cover the expenses because there’s not an expense account,” Gov. Dirk Kempthorne explaining why he’s using campaign doughnations to pay for lunches out, flowers, candy, travel and gifts.

Feedback: To use campaign money for other expenses before paying off the prior elections bills is irresponsible and should be in violation of the law — Paul Ferguson.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/9/05

1. APhoto Fix: Discovery and its crew of seven glided safely back to Earth on Tuesday, ending a riveting, at times agonizing, 14-day test of space shuttle safety that was shadowed by the ghosts of Columbia, according to the AP, here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak (4 messages you can’t take seriously), Timothy Kelly (Frist’s stem cell position), and Chip Bok (Global war on terror).

3. Humor Fix: Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Seeing “Dukes of Hazzard” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Troop reductions likely next year in Iraq here, Feds likely to raise rates a quarter point here, Microsoft receives $7M in spam settlement here, Dean: “We need a message” here, and Grammy winner shot in attempted carjacking here.

6. Opinion Fix: Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (Jeb for president?), Rebecca Hagelin/Townhall (Fighting for children isn’t easy), Scott Johnson/The Daily Standard (ACLU’s 30-year war), Dante Chinni/Christian Science Monitor (Journalism’s fear, loathing of blogs), and Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Can GOP moderates stand up to right?).

PS — 8/8/05

Issue: Crude oil hits $63.99: Spike comes after warnings of terror attacks in Saudi Arabia/Reuters

DFO: I actually heard someone describe $2.22.9 per gallon of regular as cheap gas. This goes against the old adage: What goes up must come down.

Question: Has the price of gasoline changed your vacation plans this summer or affected your driving habits in any way?

Sightem …

Forgot to mention re: two notable dignitaries who attended Mike Kennedy’s City Council announcement: City Councilmen Ron Edinger and Deanna Goodlander. Significance? The appearance of two long-serving council members who have lived in the community a minimum of 50 years means Mike has broad, bipartisan support. Both will be tremendous allies as Mike seeks the council seat.

Regional H&W Wants Kids to Say: Hello, Dalai

From: A Power That Be at the regional H&W office to about 120 agencies and state officials re: chance to see religious leader:

“I require a quick response to investigate this idea further. The Dalai Lama will be in Sun Valley September 12 to do a presentation to Idaho Youth. See here for more details.

“We (Idaho Department of Health and Welfare) may be able to arrange for bus transportation from Lewiston to Sun Valley and back or from CDA to Sun Valley and back IF YOU THINK THERE IS INTEREST. The cost will likely be $50 from Lewiston, paid by students who attend. The bus leaves Lewiston at midnight early Monday … returns to Lewiston by 3 am then Tuesday morning early as an example…it’s more like 12 hours from here perhaps.

“School doesn’t start here until Sept 6 or 7. To market this opportunity through schools is not a good idea because it will be too late to plan. SO IF YOU THINK we’ll have a bunch of youth who wish to go, we could reserve bus capacity. They’d miss one or two days of school and of course, would need adults to attend as well. Let me know your thoughts so I can make contact to try to arrange bus transportation through the GCCFC (Governor’s Coordinating Council for Families and Children). Thanks everyone!”

Question (from Berry Picker): as to why everything seems so out of whack with the schools, taxes, burocracy etc. Why in the world does the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare need to round up students to miss a couple of days of school to hear a presentation from the dalai lama in Sun Valley??????????

The Spiders Are Coming, the spiders are …

…coming. About an hour ago, a hobo spider gave Family Phil and his crew quite a start, according to his latest entry in A Family Runs Through It. The post hit a cord with me because one of the aggressive, creepy things scared Amy Dearest big time last night when she saw it crawling across a couch pillow toward her face. The spider paid with its life when I grabbed a flip-flop from my office. Two years ago, I got nailed on the hand by one of these guys while working in the garden. I immediately called the poison center in Denver, Colo., and was told that we don’t have brown recluses up here, despite claims to the contrary. I also had one of ‘em run across my arm while I was on the computer in my home office. They certainly make you jump. Anyone willing to share an up close and personal experience with a hobo spider?

Followup to Question of the Day — 8/8/05

Issue: Peter Jennings dies at 67: ABC News anchor succumbs to lung cancer/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I must admit that I rarely watch evening news programs. But I liked Jennings’ presentation more than the other members of the anchor Big Three. (BTW, I’m moving this one up the line because it wasn’t posted until late last night.)

Question: Which of the major three anchors of days gone by did you like the most: Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings or Dan Rather?

Bonus Question: Almost everyone who pays attention to the nightly news can name the Big 3 but can anyone name their replacements?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/8/05

AP Cutline: Artist’s impression of British al Qaida suspect Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, appearing at the Magistrates Court next to Belmarsh High Security Prison, east London, Monday Aug 8, 2005, accused of trying to set up a terrorist training camp in the United States. See Item No. 2.

Joseph Duncan III is a computer expert who bragged online, days before authorities believe he killed three people in Idaho, about a tell-all journal that would not be accessed for decades, authorities say. Now, according to The Associated Press, experts are working diligently to crack the encrypted codes that might allow them to access the journal that could provide details to his wanderings around the country and possible involvement in other crimes here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times spins the “The Wheel of Jihad Justification du Jour” wheel here.

2. Haroon Rashid Aswat, accused of trying to set up a training camp in Bly, Ore., for jihad fighters, was arrested in Britain yesterday on a U.S. warrant, according to police reports and The Seattle Times here.

3. St. Martin’s College, a 110-year-old private Catholic school in Lacey, Wash., is changing its name to distinguish itself from community colleges that are opting to drop the “community” from their names here.

4. In North Idaho, the creme de la creme of tattoo artists tackle real challenges: a horse’s eyes. And the eyeliner the tattoers apply isn’t for cosmetic purposes either, according to Christi Wilhelm, Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

5. A controversial church group, headed by William Freeman, which has targetted students for proselytizing at the University of Washington and Arizona State, has set up shop in a group of houses across from Spokane’s Whitworth College here.

6. IMHO-NW: The Columbian (Editorial from Aug. 7, 1945, re: dropping of A-bomb), Andrew Hinkelman/The (Kalispell, Mont.) Daily Inter Lake (NCAA’s goofy Indian mascot policy), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Monday’s Huckleberries column), Susan Paynter/PI (The coach-kid connection), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (WSU QB Josh Swogger),

*A 32,000-acre fire has burned nearly three dozen buildings near Pomeroy, Wash., west of Lewiston, Idaho, here.

*Kim Clark, Harvard University’s Dean of Business, has answered his church leader’s call to become president of Rexburg’s BYU-Idaho here.

*Boise State growth is uprooting neighbors from homes here.

Orbusmas provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

Do you remember that “Seinfeld” episode re: “Spare A Square”? It opens with Elaine caught in a stall in Monk’s restroom, without toilet tissue — and the gal in the next stall won’t give her any of hers. Well, at Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes Saturday, a friend discovered almost too late that the women’s public restroom at City Park had no toilet tissue save a small supply in one stall being doled out by a cluster of women. What’s that all about? On the biggest weekend of the year, there’s no toilet paper in the main waterfront restroom? Sad but true.

Best of Huckleberries Online — Continued

Lost & Found
When they moved to Farragut Village (next to the park) from Spokane nine years ago, Anne Gasper and her hubby celebrated with an open house. Among the invitees was Anne’s mother. The next day, Mom called in a panic to say she’d lost her keepsake pansy sterling silver bracelet. That touched off a fruitless search. Now, fast forward to the Anne’s recent yard sale where her mother’s items were sold as a result of her move to a local Alzheimer’s unit. A woman bought an outfit and then returned the following day – with the vintage bracelet. It’d been in the pocket for nine years. Anne: “I immediately teared up and gave her a big hug.” Alas, Anne can’t share the discovery with her mother whose Alzheimers is advanced. But she wanted Huckleberries readers to know “that there are still honest people in the world.” May there kind increase.

Bird Road Rapist – Not
You may have read about DNA evidence recently exonerating Luis Diaz after 26 years in prison for rapes in the Coral Gables, Fla., area for rapes he didn’t commit. But did you know there’s a local angle to the story? During research that refocused interest in the case in the 1990s, private investigator Virginia Snyder asked for help from an old friend, a free-lance writer in Billings, Mont. Together, they uncovered evidence that undermined the case against Diaz, who was dubbed the Bird Road Rapist. Snyder’s helper? Feisty Paul Friend (pictured above in first section), who later moved to the Silver Valley, where he published the Idaho Observer weekly until he began losing his eyesight. Happily, Paul’s vision was 20-20 in the Diaz case.

Rumorama
Huckleberries hears that … blogger Family Phil,
a stay-at-home CDA pop, is still resisting temptation to grab the money and permit his young family to appear on ABC’s “Wife Swap.” (Phil doesn’t want to expose his youngsters exposed to 15 minutes of reality TV shame) … Mayor Sandi Bloem’s head in the Coeur d’Alene Library fund-raising calendar was superimposed to provide a better expression than the original one shot with Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin in front of the Kootenai County Courthouse for the month of November. Mebbe the left hand, too … CDA high’s Class of ’70 has learned something in the 35 years since they cruised Sherman Avenue. While waiting at 11th and Sherman for CHS’s 100-year anniversary parade to start recently, the dozen 1970 alums phoned ahead and were greeted with appreciative cheers when their float stopped to pick up Pita Pit orders to go seven blocks away. Who was going to stop them? The principal?

Poet’s Corner
“He’s an ocean of muscle/from pate down to cuticle,/a testosterone tribute/to skills pharmaceutical” The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Home Run Slugger”) … Razzberries (or “Bumpersnickers You Could See on An Idaho Drive”): 1. “You’re In Idaho – Slow Down or Leave Fast,” 2. “If You Like Tailgating So Much, Go Back to California,” 3. “Keep Coeur d’Alene pristine: Go back where you came from,” and 4. “This Is Not Coeur d’Alene, California – Lose the Attitude” … “No matter how organized and how well you pack for a camping trip you will forget an item fundamentally important for either personal hygiene or cooking” – Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being.

Huckleberries
On 94.5 FM Tuesday morning, a caller told the DJ he’s spending the day moving from Coeur d’Alene to Post Falls. The DJ responded: “What? Did you lose a bet?” Ouch! … Overheard (at the Silverwood water park): “Hey, the water’s really warm. Everybody must be peeing in it” … Scanner Traffic: A guest at the Budget Saver motel asked Friday how he could deliver a package to the Kootenai County Courthouse, so he could blow it up … Mike Kennedy’s race for City Council will go easier in Republican-leaning Coeur d’Alene, if he circulates future press releases on paper that hasn’t been recycled from the Idaho John Kerry for President campaign. The lettering at the bottom might remind partisans that he was the state chairman for the Massachusetts junior senator.

Parting Shot
For those keeping score at home, 324 of a possible 21,173 constituents voted in the Post Falls Highway District elections Tuesday – or 1.5 percent. Huckleberries formula: Highway district election plus August elections equals monster voter apathy.

Photo of the Weekend w/Top Cutlines — 8/6-7/05

Five baby barn swallows peer out from their nest in the rafters of a horse barn in Chesterland, Ohio. You write the cutline …

Top Cutlines:

1. Said the barn cat: “Five little swallows, one big gulp” — John Austin.

2. (tie) In lieu of a debate, the slate of candidates for the Coeur d’Alene city council demonstrate how well they can sing Duane’s tune — Jane Q. Citizen. And: Revlon introduces its new line of photo-realistic toenail paints — Family Phil.

3. These baby swallows plan to leave the area as soon as they are able to fly; they fear that rising property taxes will cause them to lose their nest! — CDADave.

Summer Theatre’s ‘Beast’ = Dyne-oh!-Mite

Take this one to the bank: If you have a child or two and a coupla extra bucks, you’ll give them the treat of their summer by taking them to the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The local troupe saved the best for last. After a so-so season, with only “Guys & Dolls” as a true winner, the troupe electrified the near-capacity crowd tonight, opening night. ‘Twas nice to see so much of the audience made up of kids. We 3 Oliverias debated all the way home whether this was the best Summer Theatre production that we’ve seen. Tickets will be hard to come by once word gets out about this one.

Saturday Wild Card — 8/6/05

I didn’t see CDADave strumming his guitar at City Park Friday night as my wife and I paid a quick visit to the artists selling their wares to kick off Art on the Green weekend. And I’ll be busy helping my brother pour concrete today and attending the premiere of “Beauty and the Beast” at the CDA Summer Theatre (where I don’t believe Dave will be either, given his disdain for theater). But I’ll be checking in this weekend. Enjoy it out in the sunshine. If you have a urge to comment on the blog, here’s your Wild Card …

Daily Perv Report:

*Charges against stabbed girl’s father grow: Registered sex offender accused of attacking his daughter/Taryn Brodwater, SR — I read the police report about this sick crime. The paper gave a sanitized version. This little girl has been through hell, too.

*Duncan waives preliminary hearing: Police still investigating his links to crimes in other states/Cynthia Taggart, SR — If this goes to trial, I wonder where it’ll be held? Certainly, the defense would have a rough time finding 12 Kootenai County jurors who’d been living in a cave for the last 3 months.

*Police say man impersonated officer at North Town Mall: Femme workers finger perv who asked for lewd acts/Thomas Clouse, SR — Wonder where these pervs get their ideas? Pornography? You know how cops report whether or not people were wearing their seatbelts after serious accidents. I’d like to know after a perv arrest if he was caught with pornography. I believe there’s a relationship.

Friday Night Wild Card — 8/5/05

It’s been a fun week (despite the fact that my stitches from the recent oral surgery are pulling). Time to consider Aren’t on the Green and helping my brother with some cement work at his place tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the weekend. I’ll be checking in. And I have a nice Photo of the Weekend entry for you to enjoy. BTW, I’ve had several people tell me how much they enjoy the cutlines posted by you guys. So your effort isn’t in vain — even if you win, place or draw only occasionally. Thanx for making that contest fun …

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/5/05

About 40 mothers gathered at the park as one of the seven venues in Alameda County, Calif., to attempt to break Australia’s world record (1664) for the most mothers breastfeeding simultaneously. You write the cutline — carefully.

Top Cutlines (one of the toughest contests we’ve ever had. Many great entries:

1. “Got milk?” — Upclose.

2. (tie) A visual oxymoron: An event that is enjoyed by all and yet sucks at the same time — Dang. And: The California Dairy Association preps the photo shoot for the “World’s 40 tiniest milk moustaches” — Ryan Hill.

3. (tie) Mothers wait outside the Kootenai County Jail for visiting hour, curiously all waiting to visit the same inmate — Whatever. And: Somewhere Ross Perot is mumbling, “I tried to warn ‘em about a ‘Giant Sucking Sound’….” — HC.

HM: Family Phil (and probably a whole lot more. Take a bow one and all).

Now, Imagine Sherman Closed by a Garden …

… Just engaged in some risky business … trying to cross Lakeside on foot with all of the Sherman Avenue traffic diverted to Lakeside, but without the traffic lights … oh well—summertime and in good old CDA — Dan of the County.

Peanut Gallery — How’s The Huckleberrying?

What have you heard about this years huckleberry season? My family has picked several different places in Boundary County and it seems this may be a good year. Just curious about the word on the street — Sojourning Spud.

Another 2 Cents …

Last evening while my wife and I were walking our dog, we encountered a little girl, about 6 or 7, in front of some Ninth Street apartments by the Project CDA playfield. She seemed out of place. So, we asked her if something was wrong. She said her older sister had left her there, and she was scared. Why? “I heard someone around her kidnapped a little boy and a little girl.” She was so afraid in the advancing darkness that she didn’t want to risk walking about a block to her home. So we escorted her back home. What kind of world are we leaving for the kids?

Peanut Gallery — Triple Fatality

This morning … on my way to taking my grandson to day camp, went by the church on Divison … saw two hearse … for an instant I couldn’t understand why… then it hit me.. the mother, father and 2 year old. made me sick to my stomach… even tho I know the mother of the young man who drove the truck — Cis The Retired.

DFO: Cis is talking about that accident near Bonners Ferry on U.S. 95 on Friday, July 29, allegedly caused by a drunken driver, that killed a young couple and their 2-year-old daughter. I’ve been thinking about DUIvers for awhile now. Why do we freak out about violent sex pervs who occasionally do awful things but are little threat to the average person? And we generally ignore drunks on the road who have the potential to devastate families at any moment? We crack down on cigarettes. Why do we ignore drunken drivers?


Question of the Day — 8/5/05

Issue: 70% of Americans expect major terror attack within five years: 2 in 5 believe attacks will come within 2 years/NewsMax

DFO: I don’t think it is as easy to attack us on our soil as most do.

Question: Do you believe another major terror attack is coming on our soil soon?

A Motive for A Diseased Mind?

Tuggle faced higher child support bill: Ex-wife was asking court to increase payments/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Read this article carefully if you’re planning to contribute to this unfortunate girl. It appears some fund-raising trusts are more trust-worthy than others.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/5/05

1. APhoto Fix: People pray in front of the cenotaph dedicated to the victims of atomic bombing at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan earlier today. Hiroshima marks the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing Saturday.

2. Cartoon Fix: Mike Lester (Bible or Koran), Ed Stein (Discovery), and Rob Rogers (Bolton appointment).

3. Humor Fix: Katherine Harris of Florida recount fame has created a mini-tempest in a teapot by complaining that newspapers distorted her makeup to make her look bad during the 2000 postelection struggle. A blogger named Wonkette compares Harris of then to Harris of now here.

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

5. World Magazine Top of the News Fix: U.S. launches operation in western Iraq here, Astronauts prepare to undock, return home here, Vessel tows away stranded mini-sub here, NCAA bans Indian mascots for postseason here, and Iacocco teams with Snoop Dog in new ads here.

6. Opinion Fix: Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (London bombs go off in American heads), U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein/Washington Times (Terror war strategies), Victor Davis Hanson/National Review (Was Hiroshima right?), Brent Bozell/Media Research (Obscene reality at MTV), and Charles Colson/BreakPoint (Evolution vs. Intelligent Design).

P.S.

Issue: Giant ‘Blue Bird’ On roof upsets Wisconsin neighborhood: Neighbors complain Sesame Street replica ruins historic nature of community/Local6.com

DFO: Over the years, I’ve been lucky to live next to decent neighbors, so I have no complaints about oddballs. The worst problem we ever had was a guy who allowed his big dogs to bark for all hours in the block behind us.

Question: Have you ever had a bad neighbor?

Photo of the Day — 8/4/05

Officials at Guinness World Records recently notified Bruegger’s Enterprises, Inc. that its 868 pound, six foot diameter and 20-inch thick bagel has earned its place in the record book as the world’s largest bagel. Shown are fairgoers viewing the giant bagel at the annual Great New York State Fair in August 2004.

Top Cutlines:

1. city officials attempt to bait police local union 486 to the table for contract negotiations — Political Geek.

2. Hansel and Gretle prepare for the longest trip they’ve ever taken — A Token Democrat.

3. Chuck Willard answers questions from reporters and tries in vain to discribe the excruciating pain he felt the night before while passing this oddly shaped kidney stone — Whatever.

HM: Dang

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/4/05

North Idaho photographer Doug Fredericks calls this magnificent shot from the Inland Northwest’s Palouse: “Brown Splendor.”

“When one of his closest friends died after being hit in a crosswalk, Joe Green took the podium at several Shoreline City Council meetings and demanded improved pedestrian safety. Nearly three years later in a nearby crosswalk it was Green who was rushed to Harborview Medical Center after being struck by a motorist. The 14-year-old remains in a coma,” according to Jennifer Sullivan/Seattle Times, here.

1. You can find the view of Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald on John Bolton’s recess appointment to the UN here.

2. Not only is Joseph Edward Duncan III a suspect in a 1997 slaying of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez (pictured) in southern California, but the 42-year-old registered sex offender who’s now housed in the Kootenai County Jail may be well on his way to being identifying as a serial killer who preyed on children here. Also, reporter Bill Morlin/SR provides a time line from probation records of Duncan’s moves here.

Related: The Inlander explains what Duncan will face when his court proceedings begin in earnest Tuesday here.

3. A retired neurosurgeon from Jackson Hole, Wyo., who has been studying the brains of grizzlies sez the bear has the greatest sense of smell in the world here. Meanwhile, another retired neurosurgeon, who formerly lived in Washougal, Wash., will finish a 2,284-mile walk for peace Friday at Fort Vancouver here.

4. Anything But Spuds: Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman offers Gov. Dirk Kempthorne ideas re: how to design the Idaho state quarter, which is set for preview in 2007, here.

5. More about Knight-Ridder’s purchase of the Idaho Statesman, Olympian and Bellingham newspapers here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Increase steroid penalties), Seattle Times (Welcome news from Muslims), Ted Van Dyk/PI (60 years after Hiroshima), Joni Balter/Seattle Times (Trumping the greater good), and Jim Moore/PI (Pineiro’s awful pitching).

*A 100-foot flag pole that will raise the largest U.S. flag in the Inland Northwest will arrive in tiny Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Monday here.

*In Bend, Ore., a football coach has been reprimanded for licking wounds of student athletes here.

*A Fort Lewis, Wash., Stryker soldier recounts surviving a suicide bomber for the Tacoma News Tribune (free subscription) here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Another Reason Mike Kennedy Should Quit …

…using recycled Kerry for President stationery in his run for the Coeur d’Alene City Council here.

Feedback: With those numbers I just hope John Kerry isn’t using recycled Kennedy stationery…

Question of the Day — 8/4/05

Issue: Simpson “Dukes” it out: Pop culture phenom makes movie debut Friday/Cincinnati Post

DFO: Yesterday, Cis Gors mentioned to me that her husband, Ken, doesn’t like to watch any movies unless the actors and actresses are now dead. In other words, he likes the old stuff. And I can’t blame him. Who’s out there besides Sean Connery, Robert DeNiro and a handful of others that can hold a candle to Bogart and Bacall, Clark Gable, Brando, Dietrich, etc. Simpson?

Question: Do any female actresses of today have the stature of the greats of yesteryear?

Feedback: Meryl Streep always brings class to her work. Of the more recent stars, I enjoy Laura Linney, Hillary Swank, Kate Winslet, and Cate Blanchett. They all have talent, style, and class — Family Phil.

A Sadness That’ll Never Go Away …

‘My parents’ heart is broken’: Three die when their car crashes into a tree and catches fire, forever changing the lives of four Spokane families/Steve R. Neuman, Spokesman-Review

DFO: If you’ve ever lost a Loved One in a traffic accident, as I have (my father, in October 1976), you know the pain and regret never completely go away. This is a tragedy of the first order for these four families. They’ll be feeling it 30 years from now, as I still do.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/4/05

1. APhoto Fix: This image made from an undated video broadcast earlier today on pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera, shows al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahri speaking at an undisclosed location. In the video, al-Zawahri threatened more destruction in London here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak ($61 per barrel), Wayne Stayskal (Denver’s pit bull ban), and Kevin Tuma (Energy bill).

3. Humor Fix: President Bush is vacationing in Crawford, Texas. He will be vacationing for five weeks. That’s a long time. I don’t think he has an exit strategy for his vacation either” —David Letterman.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: 4 more U.S. service members die in Iraq here, NASA decides against another space walk here, Palmeiro faces congressional perjury probe here, Stewart in home confinement through August here, and NYTimes checks into Roberts’ adoption records here.

6. Opinion Fix: Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (GOP pork barrel), William Saletan/Slate (Bill Frist: Closet pro-choicer), David Brooks/NYTimes (Trading cricket for jihad), Frank J. Gaffney Jr./National Review (This is a war, not a struggle), and Wesley J. Smith/Discovery Institute (PETA’s twisted thinking).

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

You may have heard the news already that DNA evidence cleared Luis Diaz, 67, center, of two rapes for which he was dubbed the “Bird Road Rapist” and resulted in him spending the last 26 years in prison here. But do you know the local angle to this story? While working as a free-lance writer in Billings, Mont., years ago, ex-Silver Valley weekly publisher Paul Friend agreed to help a private investigator review the cases that sent Diaz away. Their work was instrumental in getting the case reviewed and Diaz ultimately released. In a phone call from his home in Mullen, Idaho, Paul was excited about the Diaz’s long-overdue release.

All-Time Worst Voter Turnout?

News Flash (from Dan of the County): Was just able to pull the number of registered voters in the PF Highway District=21,173. So if they had 324 people vote, that works out to about a 1.5% turnout (I know, I know, that sounds so low I even had my finance director check my math). But there you have it, only about one and a half persons per hundred cast a vote in that particular election.

Voter Jane Q. Citizen: My husband, John Q. and I cast ballots so if you hear me complain about anything going on with the highway district I’m allowed! I know it sounds simple but these local elections, highway district, city council, school board, county commission are the ones where your vote affects you on the most personal level. It defies logic to me how 98.5 out of every 100 of my neighbors had something better to do for the 12 hours the polls were open.

DFO: F’shame.

Extra! Extra!

Followup: Duncan linked by fingerprint to California boy’s abduction, death/Idaho Statesman

Feedback: This emphasizes the importance of the extraordinary behavior of the customers and staff at Denny’s. Far more people than I like to think about would have talked themselves out of calling the police for fear of being wrong and being ridiculed. By acting to capture Duncan, the folks who were at Denny’s apparently helped solve another child’s murder — Bill McCrory.

Perv Duncan Could Be Linked …

… to 1997 murder of southern California boy here.

Hat Tip: Dan of the County

Feedback: For some of these monsters, death is an easy way out. Living the next 30 years in a 5x8 brick cell by yourself is probably worse — Whippersnapper.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/3/05

1. Nah, this photo isn’t one of those weird man-animal lovefests outta Enumclaw, Wash. It’s jockey Pat Day kissing Kentucky Derby hopeful Dollar Bill at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in May 2001. The Hall of Fame jockey is retiring here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Mike Luckovich (Frist’s stem cell stand), Brian Fairrington (Pro-choicers vs. Roberts), and Chip Bok (Rafael Palmeiro).

3. Humor Fix: According to President Bush’s most recent physical, he’s the most fit president in history. He’s in the 99 percentile for men 55 to 59 years old. And Dick Cheney is in the 1 percentile. So together they’re 100%. You can’t do better than that! — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Ohio-based battalion loses 14 more Marines here, Weather factors in Air France crash here, Adidas to buy Reebok in $3.8B deal here, Man holding daughter killed in road rage here, and Terrorism takes priority over murder for UK police here.

6. Opinion Fix: Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (Amorphous world of Hillary Clinton), Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (Ambassador Bolton), Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Steve Vincent, RIP), David Klinghoffer/National Review (Conservatives on Darwin vs. ID), and John Stossel/Townhall (PBS, pay your own way).

70 Gs for A Nasty Note?

‘False and defamatory’ memo led to settlement: Job criticism helped Kalani hit job jackpot/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: Hot Dog, I have a whole folder full of nasty notes from readers about my job performance. Mebbe I should look and see if any of them are from county administrators. And cash in. I’m still amazed that the county’s insurance carrier coughed up $70,000 over a threatened suit without a claim being made. Your tax dollars at work (indirectly).

Tuesday Wild Card — 8/2/05

Afternoon turns to evening, and it’s time for this one to go home. You can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

P.S.

Issue: I have you now! Fan pays $200,600 for Skywalker’s lightsabre/Guardian Limited

DFO: I don’t get attached to things. The most I’ve ever paid for an antique was $60 for a “Spokane Chronicle” weight that was used in the old days to prevent stacked papers from blowing around. I also spent $50 for an old Royal typewriter. I still have both antiques.

Question: Is there any antique you’d be willing to spend beaucoup bucks for if you could find it?

Inside Huckleberries — 8/2/05

*I’ve learned two new expressions today — muffin top and whale tail. Muffin top refers to fat rolls that spill over a waist line, produced by too much beer in men or clueless fashionistas who combine hip huggers and blubber with a short top (one of the worst fashion statements among teen girls ever). The whale tail refers to the top of a thong before it disappears into someone’s nether regions.

*There’s some sensational numbers related to blogs: 14 million tracked by Technorati, the number of blogs doubles every 5.5 months, and a new blog is born every second. However, John Hawkins of Right Wing News did a little digging, according to columnist Michelle Malkin, and concluded that there only a few thousand human-operated political blogs that update every day, i.e., less than one-tenth of one percent of the 14 million blogs tracked by Technorati.

*I’ve been thinking about developing a short list of rules after recent scrapes with blog commenters. But there’s something about listing a set of rules that bugs me. So, I’ll boil it down to these simple instructions: Keep it civil and short.

*Huckleberries Online nailed its fourth consecutive month of 100,000 pageviews in July, although not by much. The dog days of summer definitely are affecting traffic. But 104,852 is still a nice number, as is the total for the year to date: 620,348. At this rate, HBO is in line to hit the magic 1 million mark sometime in November. That’ll be amazing. Thanx.

Don’t Look Now, But Floating Green Is …

… Earning props for the Coeur d’Alene area in faraway San Diego Union Tribune country. Huckleberries’ll let you decide if that’s good or bad. Click here.

Mike K Provides A Copy …

… of his Coeur d’Alene City Council announcement to readers on his Idaho Kennedys blog and here.

(Above, Mike makes a point to reporter Tom Greene of the Coeur d’Alene Press after his announcement. Brand X’s Tom is not to be confused with Regional Editor Tom Green of The Spokesman-Review (right), whom I occasionally call “Steve” after contemporary Christian artist Steve Green. Got that?)

Update: Nice turnout at Bluegrass park…100 or more folks on a picture-perfect summer afternoon! — Steve. Family Phil’s photo report here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 8/2/05

Seattle Mariners pitcher Ryan Franklin (pictured above) was suspended 10 days for violating his sport’s steroids policy, the eighth major league player caught under the tougher rules enacted this year prohibiting performance-enhancing substances, according to the Seattle Times here.

1. Milt Priggee/Puget Sound Business Journal takes a look at organized labor’s problems here.

2. “Piegans,” a 24-by-36-inch oil painted by “cowboy artist” Charlie Russell in 1918 at the height of his most productive period, was sold for $5.6 million at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction in Reno, Nev., a record price for a Russell, here.

3. Spokane City Council members voted unanimously Monday to take over a city investigation into allegations of misconduct by Mayor Jim West, according to Mike Prager/Spokesman-Review, here.

4. A wildfire near Lake Wenatchee grows to 1,000 acres and threatens 140 homes here.

5. A Spokane man didn’t have to go to Glacier Park to see a moose; all he had to do is go around the corner and play tennis at his neighborhood park here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (Collect Web cig taxes), Helena (Mont.) Independent Record (PETA’s Fish Empathy Project), Jere L. Bacharach/UW prof emeritus (New vocabulary for Iraq), Bill Virgin/PI (Marketing to oldsters has rewards), and John Levesque/PI Sports (Seahawk defense).

*An initiative to ban indoor smoking qualified for the Washington ballot here.

*Veep Dick Cheney is vacationing in southeastern Montana, beginning with some fishing here.

*Energy savings from new daylight-saving time likely to be negligible in Northwest here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Heard on 94.5 FM This A.M.

A caller told the DJ he’s spending the day moving from Coeur d’Alene to Post Falls. The DJ responded: “What? Did you lose a bet?” Ouch!

Hat Tip: Erica Curless

Feedback: That had to be Gary Allen which is really funny since the mayor of Post Falls and the PF Chamber chairman of the board were both on Haugen’s show this morning — AM/FM.

“It’s Nasty Work …

Hat Tip: Pete Weaver/IHillary

Life’s Bridges

For each chasm in life there can be a bridge; sometimes they are magnificent and arched, sometimes they are barely floating above a lake of deep cold water, and often they are of knotted rope with such a swaying in the wind - part of the journey in life is to find these bridges and take the steps across.

Bob Salsbury
Random Shallow Thoughts

Razzberries (or Bumpersnickers for Native Spuds)

1. “You’re In Idaho — Slow Down or Leave Fast”
2. “If You Like Tailgating So Much, Go Back to California”
3. “Keep Coeur d’Alene pristine: Go back where you came from”
4. “This Is Not Coeur d’Alene, California — Lose the Attitude”
5. “Welcome to Idaho You Can Play Here — Just Don’t Stay Here”

Feedback: “Where are we going…and why am I in this handbasket?” — Political Geek.

Top SR Letter — 8/2/05

First of all, congratulations to law enforcement in Idaho for taking another predator off the streets: John Tuggle. But what was the little girl’s mother thinking? This guy raped your 14-year-old sister, spent nine years in prison, and you let him take your daughter to “the mall?” (“Father left daughter for dead, sheriff says,” July 22). I hope there are more facts that the public has not been made aware of. There must be. Surely no mother would let her child go anywhere with such a person.

As parents it is our responsibility to protect our children, not put them in harm’s way. No one is perfect, but if this mother knowingly and freely let her daughter leave with John Tuggle, then she needs to be charged with child endangerment and perhaps CPS needs to take action.

Robert Wester
Spokane

P.S.

Issue: Rafael Palmeiro suspended for steroids: Orioles star denied use in testimony before congressional panel/USA Today

DFO: I remember listening to the Orioles/O’s game while I gardened a few weeks ago as Palmeiro (shown at congressional hearings above with Curt Schilling and Mark McGwire) collected his 3,000th hit. One of the M’s magpies (Seattle has the worst contingent of baseball announcers this side of Atlanta) went on and on about what a great guy Palmeiro was — and how he’d cemented his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, we know he’s just another cheater.

Question: Has the steroid scandal and various other scandals reduced your enjoyment of professional sports.

Best of the Local Blogs — 8/1/05

Another fine Jim Tibbs’ cartoon …

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense survived his 21st birthday Friday and may have wedding bells on the mind now here.

*Dogwalk Musings’ hubby has a theory why she seems to be leaning to the Left of late (plus many other interesting thoughts) here.

*The producer of ABC’s “Wife Swap” is still trying to lure Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It with her filthy lucre here.

*Sometimes, CDADave can’t find peace and quiet, even when he takes his guitar to City Park looking for some here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind doesn’t mind retirement … it’s the aging she can’t get accustomed to here.

“No matter how organized and how well you pack for a camping trip you will forget an item fundamentally important for either personal hygiene or cooking” — Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being re: “Things I Learned on My Summer Vacation here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… There was a strange sort of affairs on West Riverview Drive/Post Falls last week. Seems a frightened man called Kootenai County 911 to say he’d arrived at a friend’s place to find the front door open and a body wrapped in a blanket in the front yard. The caller said he’d wait in his vehicle with lights on in the driveway because he was too afraid to approach the body. That sent Deputy Dawgs racing through the moonlit night to the scene with lights flashing and sirens blaring. About that time, dispatchers fielded a second call, from a whispering man who said a suspicious car had been idling in his driveway for 30 minutes — and he was afraid he’d be seen if he left his blanket. As Dave Barry would say: “I’m not making this up.”

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

Most of you locals know that Coeur d’Alene High celebrated its 100th anniversary by inviting back its alum through the ages. Well, the parade down Sherman Avenue was running over an hour late Friday when the Class of 1970, about 12 strong, decided to take matters into its own hands, phoning ahead to place orders for food at the new Pita Place at 4th & Sherman. In the old days, that mighta gotten them in trouble with the principal of the day. But the C-of-‘70 received only thumbs up and cheers from fellow alum when they stopped their float to pick up their platters of sandwiches. Now, that’s what I call having it your way as well as a good time.

Question of the Day — 8/1/05

Issue: Condoleezza Rice: Most Powerful Woman in the World: Oprah makes Top 10 but Hillary doesn’t/NewsMax.

DFO: Condi vs. Hillary in 2008?

Question: Who’s the most powerful woman you’ve ever met?

Feedback: My X mother in law could raise the dead. Or at least frighten them enough to move to another county — Dang.

Al Turtle Talks About Society’s Problem

I am getting tired by the continuing blindness of our media, our churches, our political leaders and even our schools and social institutions. I am tired of the surprise that people express when they hear of sexual abuse scandals from the past. I am tired of the surprise that people show when they hear of a local boy/man who stabs his daughter and leaves her for dead. I am tired of the surprise when a man from some states away comes around and kills local people, carting off children to torment one to death and just torment the other. The surprise covers up the continuing blindness in our community to the idea that families produce children, and that families produced all these “villains” and are continuing to produce more. These are our neighbors and your’s that are doing this. It may be you.

For the complete text of new HBO blogger Al Turtle’s riveting examination of society, click here.

Extra! Bush installs Bolton as ambassador

President Bush sidestepped the Senate and installed embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations today, ending a five-month impasse with Democrats who accused Bolton of abusing subordinates and twisting intelligence to fit his conservative ideology/Associated Press, here.

Quick Fix 6 — 8/1/05

1. A camera mounted on Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi’s helmet shows astronaut Steve Robinson stowing tools in the payload bay of Discovery after completing a televised spacewalk Monday here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Younger kids online), Henry Payne (Tiger Woods), and Steve Benson (Next shuttle launch).

3. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman/politicalhumor.com presents David Letterman’s “Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions For Global Warming” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Saudi King Faud, a key US ally, dies here, Sudan turns violent after Garang’s death here, Al Gore debuting TV for Web generation here, “Wedding Crashers” bumps “Wonka” from No. 1 here, and London faces lockdown to thwart 3rd terrorist strike here.

6. Opinion Fix: Michael Barone/US News & World Report (Bush bashing fizzles), Elsa Walsh/The New Yorker (Harry Reid’s ascendancy), Chuck Colson/Breakpoint (Inadequate Ideologies), Suzanne Fields/Townhall (Between Six Pistols & the Koran), and John Leo/US News & World Report (It’s all our fault).

Best of Huckleberries Online — Part 2 — (7/25-29/2005)

Perv John Rollins Tuggle being escorted to a hearing last week. See Second Item

The easiest instruction that moto-cop gave Dan English (pictured) was how to pay his 45-in-a-35 speeding ticket to the clerk of the district court. Which happens to be Dan. Seems Dan was hurrying to get his wife, Cory, to work on time at Kootenai Medical Center when he punched it through a light on Highway 95, just north of Appleway, and noticed the CPD Blue at the same intersection. Cory thought about making a run for it because she was late to an important conference but stayed. This, while a Berry Picker noted the vanity plate on Dan’s grey rig: “GOVOTE.” Afterward, Dan philosophized: “I should be glad I instituted a program a few years back so people can pay the ticket via credit card! You know, so I can get those infrequent flyer miles.” And higher insurance rates?

Stupid Criminals
Razzberries (or “Why runaway perv John Collins Tuggle got caught in Wallace): 1. He was the first contestant to be voted off “Survivor, Shoshone County,” 2. Stupid is as stupid does, 3. Euell Gibbons he’s not, 4. Three-for-1 hot dog special at Wallace’s Conoco was too much to pass up, and 5. What’s the use modeling a camouflage, macho, survivalist outfit if no one’s around to see it? … Poet’s Corner: “They searched with men and dogs/They searched the woods and the bogs/Tuggle crept from the woods/For edible goods/And was arrested after buying HOT DOGS!” — Rant ‘N Rave with CDADave blog (“The Capture of John Collins Tuggle”) … “Sam, the best gift you can give yourself is to live to celebrate a 22nd birthday. Feeling the glow, having fun with or without mass quantities of alcohol is a right of passage, too. Be smart, be safe, have fun” — advice to UI senior-to-be Sam Taylor by Huckleberries Online commenters after he asked on his Vandal Sense blog about good ways to survive his 21st birthday (which occurred Friday).

Another Milestone
In the “Good Gals Find A Way” category, Tara LaCelle-Miller birthed 6-pound-9 Karsyn Kyle Miller July 9. The big deal? Tara’s the gal who was partially paralyzed after being shot accidentally while she slept through a mutual wall of the next apartment. Since then, she’s married Kyle Miller, accomplishing her goal to “walk” down the aisle with the aid of braces and relatives, forgave her assailant, and appeared with him on national TV. Simply amazing …Oopsy: That “Good Greif … Kadee … 9 lbs” readerboard sign at the CDA downtown fire station was spelled entirely correctly, sez Kadee’s Proud Poppa Tom Greif, who’s probably spent his career explaining to reporters why “E” comes before “I” in firefighter surnames … That rumbling you heard at CDA’s Forest Cemetery was leatherneck Ron Rankin rolling over because I referred to the guy who broke up that Bayview Daze fight earlier this month as an “ex-Marine.” I know. I know. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Huckleberries
In Post Falls, D.J. Nall of Hauser, spotted a Mickey D billboard advertising job openings for $6.75 per hour, while Taco Bell down the street was offering $7. Hey, don’t laugh at our version of a job war; that’s big money in Idaho, where the minimum wage if $5.15 … The reason CDA’s Phil Corless didn’t respond as the Little Old Ladies at Coldwater Creek did when he heard his daughter shriek from the public restroom? He knew his wife was with his Little One. And smiled to himself when a Seasoned Citizen reported back that a little girl had seen a spider … Bumpersnicker: “Guns don’t kill people, people with cell phones do” … Sign of the Times: “Marriage isn’t math. Don’t multiply and then divide” sightem by Kelly Richards/Concerned Biz of North Idaho (pictured) on a Priest River biz … In civilized society, you report to the authorities if someone allegedly vandalizes your rig. In Bayview, you chain his $10,000 1968 Harley to the back of your rig, set it on fire, drag it thre times through town — and call yourself even. Where’s Judge Judy when you need her?

Parting Shot:
Didja hear the one about The Coeur d’Alene Resort driver who slammed on his brakes despite the green light at Second and Sherman because a pedestrian was jaywalking? He: Pay more attention the the lights.” She: “Ah, go back to California!” That’s a North Idahoan’s answer to anything that bugs her.

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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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