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Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/20/05

John Kellersman, 33, poses with the 15-foot star and the word "freedom" he carved in a sandstone cliff near Deaver, Wyo., in this recent but undated photo. The oil roughneck started his project Sept. 2, 2001, and spent four years working with a 30-foot ladder, a hammer and a chisel and other tools here. (AP Photo/The Billings Gazette, Ruffin Prevost)

1. David Horsey/PI isn't happy with the president spying on Americans in a time of war here.

2. The University of Washington's sports graduation rate has been deemed a sucess under new NCAA rules -- even in high-profile sports like football and basketball here.

3. The Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), the state’s largest state employee union, is asking agencies to terminate dozens of workers, some just in time for Christmas, because they haven't paid their dues, according to Michael Reitz/FrontPageMag here.

4. Idahoans are returning to their roots again as they embrace a "Christmas tree" rather than a "holiday tree" on the steps of the state Capitol in Boise here.

5. At 4 each morning, the Carmelite monks of Clark, Wyo., rise to greet the day with prayer and, often, with centuries-old Gregorian chants. Now, you don't have to travel to wind-swept Wyoming to hear the chants because the Carmelites are releasing their music on CD here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review (Welcoming new Spokane mayor), Seattle Times (Pass Patriot Act with compromises), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Ex-Enron exec gets "truth" out), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Myopic M's forced to overpay), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Eags/Zags in Arena must continue).

Seattle PI Poll: 70% of 1610 respondents said ANWR shouldn't be open to oil drilling.

*The city of Union, Ore., is trying to recall the mayor and her councilman hubby over a land sale and their rudeness here.

*Demo targets Washington Rep. Dave Reichert among others in '06 here.

*3 Boise State assistants will join Dan Hawkins in Colorado here.

Orbusmax Special: Blogger Palousitics on lack of free speech at WSU: "Enough is enough" here.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.