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Huckleberries Online

Archive for February 2005

Best of the Local Blogs

*Again, Bearable Bob makes it tough as heck to pick his best. So, try “How to Defuse a Torpedo Lodged in a Bed of Kelp While the Fifth Cavalry is Galloping over Mt Vesuvius and the Beggar’s Chief is Nowhere to be Found” here. And “How to Taunt a Goth Girl Reading Poetry at a Poetry Reading” here. And keep browsing.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views has had it up to here with viruses and it has nothing to do with the crud that’s going around. Click here.

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It explains why he was impressed with Best Actor Jamie Foxx’s comments here.

*Dennis Robin Nicholls, 48, of Troy, Mont., the ex-River Journal publisher who pleaded guilty to child pornography, is The Angry Commentator’s target here.

*CDADave wonders: “…did my Dad think ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ was as much a piece of garbage as I think 99.9995% of all Rap songs are?” here.

*That story of an inmate suicide at the Kootenai County Jail might not have caught your eye, but it caught Bill McCrory’s at Whitecaps here.

The Deep Dark: A Review

‘Tis hard to say which is better: “The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America’s Richest Silver Mine” by Gregg Olson, or David Bond’s (pictured) review of the recount of the 1972 Silver Valley mine disaster that claimed 91 men. DeePee writes in part:

“I read the rave reviews of The Deep Dark from Publisher’s Weekly and the like and wonder if they read the same book I did. They talk of the bravado and macho of mining men like this was something different out here in the Old West. Oh, one supposes there is some truth to the notion that western hard-rock miners are a breed apart. Indeed, hard-rock mining is part balls, but it is also part intellect, part luck, part skill, part determination, part creativity – and it is surely no part dumb labor, at least not in the sense that the practice of law or banking or accounting are dumb labor. There’s nothing rote about hard-rock mining.”

For the rest of DeePee’s superb review here.

Best of the Northwest (2/28/05)

This just in from Steve Bergum/SR: The regular-season champion Gonzaga Bulldogs, for the second time in five years, swept all of the major West Coast Conference men’s basketball awards that were handed out this morning. The Zags’ Ronny Turiaf (pictured above dunking against Portland Thursday), a 6-foot-10 senior forward, was named the WCC’s Player of the Year; J.P. Batista, a 6-9 first-year junior transfer, was honored as Newcomer of the Year; Erroll Knight, a 6-7 junior, was selected as the Defender of the Year, and Mark Few was named Coach of the Year for a league-record fifth consecutive time.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles about all those who voted illegally in the Washington gubernatorial race here.

2. In Seattle, a coupla cops are assigned to ticket those motorists who cut in line at construction zones — you know, the creeps who wait until the last minute to jump the line just as two lanes diverge into one causing a delay for everyone else. They should do that in Spokane, too. Click here.

3. Don’t look now, but the Albertson College Board of Trustees is considering adding football again to the Caldwell school’s fall sports to generate interest and keep some Idaho prep football stars in the state here.

4. NASCAR hasn’t given up its dream for a track in the Pacific Northwest yet here.

5. The Easterner provides a sample of the scores of e-mail received by EWU after porn star Ron Jeremy was allowed to speak on campus and Colorado prof Ward Churchill wasn’t here.

6. IMHO-NW: Joel Connelly/PI (Ungrateful Eastern Washington), Estar Holmes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Talk of racism stirs pot), M.B. Owens/PI (Fear of public speaking), Art Thiel/PI (Rick Neuheisel trial), and U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho’s amazing pioneer women).

*Actor/director Mel Gibson seals Montana ranch sale with a hand shake here.

*Idaho elk slaughter gives hunting a bad name here.

*Washington’s Ecology Dept. will delay a phosphorus cleanup plan for three months to allow further talks here.

Extra! Extra!

North Idaho College students are organizing a protest against the BNSF Railway refueling depot in front on the Kootenai County Courthouse Wednesday morning. You can read all about it here.

Fellow crud survivors

My battle with the crud — 8 days and counting — has brought out fellow warriors:

*Dave Tolle: I think we might put a lot of the blame for this outbreak at Wal Marts door step. Bout 2 weeks ago I went to the Post Falls Wal Mart and working one of the cash registers was a young lady obviously sick. She sneezed and coughed on every customer, handled all of their purchases, then wished them all “a very nice day”. Nice day indeed!!!

*Bob Salsbury: “Years of poor lifestyle choices has made my body inhospitable to viruses and bacteria. I’m lucky I’ve dodged most all the seasonal cruds for years.”

*Dawn Q. Otee: “List me among the casualties, Day 5 and counting. This is a nasty bug.”

*SteveD: Get Well. Been fighting this CRUD for about 8 days. 2nd trip to ER yesterday for more Steroids (can we can breath and bubble). If it will make you feel any better the FLU shot did not help (I got one). I think if you eat more Hot Foods it will help! So lay on the Salsa!

*Cis The Retired: Got to blame it on most service type companies. They put a guilt trip on you if you call in. We use to have a sign on the front door of the place I retired from. “If you have the flu or colds please visit another day, we want to keep our residents as healthy as possible during the flu season”. (we wonder what about the other Yet if we called in we got the third degree.

DFO: Do you have a tale of woe re: this winter’s war against crud?

Quick Fix 6 (2/28/05)

OK, you had the Oscars last night, and below (No. 4) you will find the Razzies (“awards” given for the worst film performances of the year, including one to Dubya for his, ahem, performance in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Well, you’ll find the 4th annual Tarnished Halo Awards for those who know what’s best for us from the Center for Consumer Freedom here.

APhoto Fix: Pilot Steve Fossett, left, and Sir Richard Branson, laugh in front of the GlobalFlyer at the Salina Municipal Airport in Salina, Kan. today. Fossett was the first person to circle the globe solo in a hot-air balloon. Now, wants to do it without stopping in an airplane - another aviation first. See No. 4.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Health care costs), Gary Varvel (Betraying of a president), and Larry Wright (Lost hockey season).

2. Humor Fix: “Have you been following this steroid scandal? This is the first time in baseball history that the players have more additives than the hot dogs” — Jay Leno.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Iraq suicide bomber kills at least 110 here, Bush, Kerry rocked at the Oscars here, Razzies dis Hollywood’s worst here, Jackson molestation trial starts today here, and Millionaire readies for nonstop solo flight here.

5. Zany Prof Fix: Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado prof who was disinvited to speak at Eastern Washington University, among other places, has plenty of support from fellow Lefty profs despite his debatable claim to be an Indian and serious questions about his research here.

6. Opinion Fix: Robert Reich/NYTimes (Don’t blame Wal-Mart), David Francis/Christian Science Monitor (Budget: What would Jesus cut?), John Hillen/National Review (Our brave combat leaders), Byron York/National Review (NYTimes jettisons explosives “scoop”), and Brent Bozell/Media Research Center (Wonderful “Winn-Dixie” movie).

See ya Monday

Well, troops, I’m shutting things down until Monday to recuperate and to take care of some family business. Hate to do it to you when things are really starting to hop re: the depot. But I should be clear-headed and bushy-tailed by the time I return. Take care of yourselves, too.


Inside Huckleberries (2/23/05)

6 p.m. Well, I discovered one thing from being sick at home today — that old Rebis Philbin “Millionaire” show is still on the air, during the day, with another host. Didn’t seem as dramatic as when Regis was doing it.

4:53 p.m. Despite a stuffed head, I came up with the five best-named blogs out there locally: 1. The Unbearable Bobness of Being, 2. Coffee House at the End-of-Days, 3. The Old Goat Trail, 4. Making Flippy Floppy, and 5. Whitecaps.

4:30 p.m. Back for another round after half watching/half dozing Thelma and Roxy do their thing in video “Chicago.” Sure wish my wife hadn’t sold “Jurassic Park” at a garage sale last summer. I wouldn’t mind watching that T-Rex terrorize his island. Then, after 20 years in this town, I’ve become accustomed to a T-Rex doing pretty much what he wants.

1:24 p.m. The couch beckons again.

12:29 p.m. I see a bright light and hear a voice calling me. Is it my time? Nah, just my Sweetie bringing more cough syrup and sinus pills. I’m coherent and would rather be doing this than lying on the couch watching a video I’ve seen five times before.

9:06 a.m. I stayed home today fighting the crud, so the daily report is going to be abbreviated. I’ll get out a coupla questions. Then, it’s off to bed. It’ll be an intermittent thing.

It’s My 2 Cents

I should be grateful that I didn’t catch the crud until now. Some folks have been battling this thing all winter. I tried hard not to catch it. At work or anywhere else where there was contact with people, I tried to keep my hands away from my face and washed them as soon as I could after shaking hands. At work, I kept to myself in my office. It worked to a point. But there’s too many walking sick around us. I guess there’s no way to escape the bug when it’s out there except complete isolation. Mebbe we should all wear surgeon’s gloves during the flu season, so we don’t infect one another. That, or stay home when you’re sick. Anyone else have any good ideas to prevent the spread of this stuff?

Peanut Gallery (A Washington revote)

What makes you so sure Rossi would win a revote? If it’s a revote with the two of them on the ballot, Gregoire would pick up the vast majority of the 60,000+ votes that were cast for the libertarian candidate who ran on a pro-gay marriage platform. Plus, I’d guess that a lot of the Ron Simms voters in King County who stayed home because they were still miffed over the nasty primary would show up for Gregoire.

Regardless, why should she concede one inch? She’s the Governor, as certified by the State.

Ryan Hill

DFO: Don’t Libertarians usually take votes away from Republicans? Don’t they advocate for little to no government, as well as liberal social agendas? I don’t know who’d be favored in a recount. Both sides would motivate the troops by reminding them how close the previous vote was.

In the Believe it or Not category …

…Socialists and others in the insignificant country of Belgium are enjoying themselves by peeing on a George Bush urinal sticker here.

Going Out In Style

You guys provided some great comments on how you’d like to go out a la Hunter Thompson. But the one below from Dawn Q Otee caught my eye. You can find the rest of a good batch of comments on the subject here:

I want to live to be old enough to speak my mind and be considered an eccentric yet wise old woman. Surrounded by my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all of us sharing a laugh. I want them to tell funny stories at my funeral and know that they were loved every single day of their lives. It would be great to have more of a parade than a funeral procession and if my grandoise headstone were imbedded with rhinestones and glitter, it would be so “me”.

Dawn Q Otee

Question No. 2

Item: GOP Says Felons Voted in Wash. Governor’s Race: 884 of 1,108 illegal felon voters cast ballots in Democratic-leaning King County/

DFO: No question the votes that the Repubs uncovered could prove to be a margin of difference in the governor’s race. If the felons vote in King County alone followed the historic patterns of the county, Rossi would win.

Question: Has Rossi strengthened his case by finding the illegal votes? Or is he grasping at straws in a long-shot effort to overturn the election?

Digging a deeper hole …

When you’ve dug yourself into a hole, according to an old adage, the wise thing is to quit digging. Yet, Sen. Jack Nobel, R-Kuna, couldn’t quit digging when he faced a Senate Ethics Committee re: a possible conflict of interest involving his liquor store. And columnist Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman didn’t mind handing him another shovel here.


Eagle Eye has a dandy remedy for the crud that’s going around … and a question.

My wife swears by this remedy to get rid of the crud. On the onset of feeling bad take a hot shower and then for the last part of the shower
turn it completely cold and stay under it as long as possible. I have tried it and it has worked. Any other unique ways to treat the dreaded crud?

Eagle Eye

Inside Huckleberries

5:44 p.m. Still fighting the crud a bit, so I’m heading home. Every time I think I’m OK, I cough. And that deep rumble in my chest sez otherwise. I’d like to catch the guy who finally nailed me with this stuff. And I’m trying hard not to be the guy who nails someone else.

4:37 p.m. You can write this one down on your calendar: conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe will be featured in the 2005 Popcorn Forum, “Hot Talk: Passionate Debate for a New Age.” The forum takes place in a month. You can find the schedule here.

4:35 p.m. Kristin Hoppe reports that the links are working. Keep your fingers crossed. Some office politics going on here.

4:17 p.m. Still haven’t heard if the SR links are working today. Could somebody try them and get back to me? Thanks.

2:52 p.m. Mebbe there was a reason Brand X stole The CDA blog domain name from Phil Corless/The Old Goat Trail. Writes Brand Xer Joe Butler: “The Press is in the early stages of creating some sort of official or un-official blog and/or blog community, and would love to include a good list of local bloggers we enjoy. If you’ve got one, or know about one you like, let us know. Drop me an email or visit for more info.” Wonder where the Press came up with that idea? Thanks for the heads up, Phil.

1:17 p.m. I just tried some SR links again with the understanding that they should work. Let me know if they don’t.

9:54 a.m. We’ve become accustomed to high-tech words, like log on, download and RAM. But those words mean other things to country folks. Milt Nelson of Rathdrum forwards a funny series of ‘toons to illustrate what I mean here.

8:45 a.m. I’m back at my post, feeling quite a bit better. Quick Fix 6 will be ready in about a half hour.

10 Most Unreported Stories of 2004

From the Right, World Net Daily provides a list of the 10 stories it believes the Main Stream Media all but ignored in 2004, topped by America’s vulnerability to a terrorist nuclear attack here.

Question No. 2

Issue: The state should separate in two, some GOP senators say: Eastern Washington suffers from rules made in Olympia, a supporter maintains/Rachel La Corte, AP.

DFO: State Sen. Bob Morton, R-Orient, doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning majority support for his measure. But you have to admire his spunk.

Question: If you were king of the universe, would you take pity on the long-suffering residents of eastern Washington, North Idaho and, mebbe, northwestern Montana, and form a 51st state of Columbia?

SR Headlines (2/22/05)

*BNSF fuel depot leak draws federal attention: Aquifer spans two states, and interstate commerce and Railroad Act rules may apply, Sen. Murray notes/Jim Camden & James Hagengruber: BNSF may have its hands full because it no longer has just Idaho to push around here.

*Generosity overwhelms hockey player, his family: ‘We were touched by an angel,’ says father of Kootenai Colts player with leukemia/Cynthia Taggart, SR — Now, if this kid can beat leukemia, we’ll truly have a happy ending to this story.

*Favorite son: GU’s Turiaf shows off his adopted town/Steve Bergum, SR — Gonzaga’ll be losing another great one when the season ends. Casey Calvary. Dan Dickau. Blake Stepp. Ronny Turiaf.

*Hard to believe child molesters can marry victims: Just one gift appropriate for this couple/Doug Clark, SR — Only Clark would be concerned about the perfect gift for Mary Kay LeTorneau and her boy-toy, Vili.

*Inmate’s retrial could be expensive: Jury must determine sentence for former death row prisoner/Susan Drumheller, SR — And they call this justice. Might as well release the guy and wait for him to reoffend. It’ll be less expensive for everyone, except, of course, his next victim.

Best of the Northwest (2/22/05)

Repub Bob Morton of Orient is tired of playing second fiddle in Washington state to the Puget Sound area. So, he’s pushing a resolution that would split Washington into two states, with the 20 counties east of the Cascades forming the 51st state. This one isn’t going anywhere. But it’s fun to think about. North Idaho has the same feeling about the Kingdom of Ada. And northern California would take its water and secede from southern California in a heart beat, if it could. You can read about Morton’s resolution here.

1. Congressman Tom Delay is the target of David Horsey/PI’s pen here.

2. The NCAA postseason basketball tournament is shaping up, and Gonzaga is another lock to go to the dance, with or without winning the WCC tourney, according to The Idaho Statesman, here.

3. The drag queens celebrate 10 years on the Palouse (beware: some racy content) here.

4. The Montana House of Reps killed a bill that would have protected gays here.

5. The IDEQ will ask BNSF to temporarily close the refueling depot today, according to Brian Walker/Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Water rights deal), Bill Virgin/PI (Boeing scandals), Dave McCumber/PI (Hunter Thompson), Gerard Jones/Oregonian (Cheesy comic-book industry), and Art Thiel/PI (State of the Seahawks).

*The Idaho Statesman provides the latest stories re: the Idaho Legislature here.

*A total of 40 eagles have been slaughtered for their talons and feathers in North Vancouver, BC, here.

*The Seattle Seahawks have signed QB Matt Hasselback to a long-term contract here.

Peanut Gallery (Trashing IDEQ)

Good Morning Dave,

Isn’t the Idaho legislature something? While we sit here and beg the railroad to stop its refueling activity at the Hauser site, the legislature wants to take even more power away from the DEQ by removing their mandate to inspect certain construction sites for environmental compliance! First, they gut the department (and its ability to perform site reviews) by cutting staff positions. Then they complain about the time it takes the department to perform the inspections!

Like with the grassfield burning issue, the legislature is setting everyone up for long-term bitterness and endless litigation. Why will they not learn from their previous failures? Good grief!!!

Doug Burr

DFO: Doug is referring to that 49-17 vote in the Idaho House Monday here, stripping the IDEQ of powers to review plans for modifications of water and wastewater systems. Had the bill been in effect a few years back, IDEQ wouldn’t have had any authority to review plans for the BNSF refueling depot.

Columnist rips Gonzaga’s anti-Christian bias

In an open letter to President Spitzer, columnist Mike S. Adams/ rips Gonzaga University for intolerance toward Christian clubs and warns Catholic parents to avoid sending their children to the school. Quoth:

“I understand that the only two Christian clubs recently formed at the law school have been refused official recognition. In addition, members of the unofficial Christian club at your ‘Catholic’ law school have reported that promotional signs have been regularly defaced, and that members have been falsely accused of honor code violations.”

You can read the entire column here.


Item: New York Times executive sez the state of the print media isn’t that good: “This is not a time when editors swear off alcohol.”

DFO: The immediacy of online publications, including blogs, constant cable news updates and journalism scandals have caused circulation declines that have worried us in the dead-tree media.

Question: What do you think newspapers have to do to survive all the new competition?

Best of the Local Blogs

*Our Eye In Boise tells you about the 7 North Idaho legislators who were forced to return to Spokane because Idaho’s capital city was too foggy here.

*CDADave notices a lot of things around the Coeur d’Alene waterfront are slip-slidin’ away here.

*My head’s too clogged to figure out what is the best of the latest writings of Bearable Bob, so start here and enjoy the adventure.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps rips on that silly law proposed by the Idaho sheriff’s association that would make it harder for a deputy or jailer to challenge the boss in an election here.

Peanut Gallery (Your editorial stunk)


Your editorial today stunk like wet dog fur. Let me ask you … in the shower do you wash your feet first, then work your way up to your shampoo? Why does no one except the EPA do that? I always start from the top and work down. Why does Dick Harwood’s appreciation of the laws of gravity (“Gravity: It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law.”) so offend? Even if you buy into the zero-gravity theory, what makes you think EPA will keep its word? Has it ever? Please provide one example. Damn, Ollie, when has the hiring of a bureaucrat ever solved an environmental problem? If I didn’t have a book to finish I’d drive over there and skin you alive.


DFO: If Deepee’s right, it wouldn’t be my first editorial stinker. Charlie Kramer from Benewah County thought it was right on. I’ll provide a link, but I’m not sure they’re working now here.

Q & A

Questions from CDADave: Are you The Bard of Sherman Avenue? And: Is this poem worthy of The Bard?

He owns the town
His name is Duane
All his proposals
Cause residents pain.

Answer: I am not The Bard of Sherman Avenue. The only hint I’ve ever given re: The Bard is that s/he lives or works on Sherman Avenue. I live on McFarland Avenue and work on Northwest Boulevard. As far as the poem goes … the words are good but it’s hard to dance to.

Question of the Day

Item: Whatever has happened to Washington’s Birthday? California lawyer gamely tries to show ‘Presidents Day’ is the wrong designation/SF Chronicle.

DFO: When I was growing up, we celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 and George Washington’s on Feb. 22. Now, the two great presidents have been lost in the observance of a nondescript Presidents Day, which means little. If I ruled the universe, we’d bring back the Lincoln/Washington days to focus school children on the importance of these two presidents, as well as other great ones, like the Roosevelts.

Question: Are you happy with the current all-inclusive Presidents Day? Bonus Question: Who’s your favorite president?

Peanut Gallery (Dan, izzat you?)

Here’s the proof of my post, Truman (Hairy Springer Truman to be exact). And yes, he has a sign above his dish that says, “The Bone Stops Here.”

dan of the county

DFO: County Clerk Dan English took that test last week that shows what kinda dog fits your personality. Surprisingly, he was an English Springer Spaniel, and he has an English Springer Spaniel (pictured above), to boot. If you haven’t figured out your mutt roots, click here (scroll down right side and click on “What Dog Are You?”).

Quick Fix 6 (2/21/05)

The number of Americans who want our troops brought home from Iraq has reached the highest level since October 2003: 59 percent. On the other hand 88 percent believe So-Damn Insane would have built WMDs if we hadn’t intervened and 76 percent believe Iraq is better off today than it was before the war. Also, 64 percent believe history will give US credit for freeing Iraq. For complete results of the latest Harris poll, click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Starving North Korea), Chuck Asay (Pro hockey), and Steve Benson (Michael Jackson).

2. Humor Fix: “As I’m sure you know, Jose Canseco has written a best selling book about steroid use in baseball. It’s called, “juiced”. That shows how old I am, remember the old days when getting juiced meant you were killed by a Heisman Trophy winner” — Jay Leno here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Gay press hot to “out” Bush figures here, Gonzo journalist Thompson kills himself here, Marines, Iraqi forces take fight to terrorists here, “Frontline” show swears profanity is necessary here, and Secret tapes show Bush’s concern over past here.

5. Blog Fix: Michelle Malkin blogs the last column that gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson wrote as well as tributes to him here.

6. Opinion Fix: Michael McGough/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Are bloggers journalists?), Victor Davis Hanson/National Review Online (Signs of Mideast freedom), Steve Beard/National Review (“Winn Dixie” breaks rules), Deroy Murdock/Project 21 (What have D’s done for blacks lately?), and Paul Greenberg/Washington Times (Diluted Presidents’ Day).


A funny thing happened to Sandpoint High J-instructor Erin Daniels in her sixth period class last Monday. Her water broke. In an e-announcing the birth of Emma Marie, she blames the poor timing on Principal Jim Soper. Quoth: “He was in my room 5th, and just being a real pain.” Editor Chris Ginzton of the Cedar Post rushed to Erin’s rescue, despite turning the wrong way down a street as he drove his adviser to the hospital. Erin’s favorite line from Chris during the hospital rush? “Can I help? Should I be helping you breathe or anything??” Later, a visibly shaken Chris said, “I don’t know how dads DO that!” Or moms! Erin and Emma are doing fine. Ah’m not so sure about Chris.

Baby makes 7
At 7:59 p.m. Wednesday, the Mighty Quinn entered the world as offspring No. 5 for North Idaho Demo Mike Kennedy and wife, Kathleen. If she’d waited four hours and two minutes, she would have shared a birthday with the paterfamilias. Which proves, sez Mike, “she is a girl with her own plan and direction.” That, or she has a good taste for music. Background music in the birthing room at the time of delivery? Ella Fitzgerald singing Johnny Mercer’s classic “Dream.” Simply irresistible.

Drop and give us 20
Jesse Tinsley, a fortysomething SR photog from the CDA office, wasn’t tempted by the National Guard’s snail-mail offer of a $10,000 bonus if he signed up. Nor was he worried about a year-long vacation in beautiful downtown Kirkuk. Sez Jesse: “I’m not sure I’d survive basic” …
Huckleberries Online ( provides a link that’ll help you answer that eternal question: If you were a dog, what kind would you be? (scroll down right side and click on: “What Dog Are You?”) … In response to a request to be on his show to discuss the fatal Michael Madonna shooting, Kootenai County spokesman Ben Wolfinger left a curt message, sez Ex-LAPDective Mark Fuhrman. Who responded on the air Friday by saying Wolfinger was too “thin-skinned” to handle his PR job. Guess Mark and Ben won’t be exchanging Christmas cards.

Poet’s Corner
When your tale/for facts they’re combing,/have a train wreck/in Wyoming” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A Tip for PR Flacks”) re: BNSF PR flack Gus Melonas’ excuse for cutting off the SR during a brief telephone interview: “I’ve got to run. I’ve got a derailment in Wyoming” … Bill McCrory/Whitecaps couldn’t find anything when he googled “Wyoming train derailment,” which caused him to think: “Not all train derailments make the news, though. Then again, if it isn’t big enough to make the news, why did Gus have to get to it?” Hmm? … An office wag came up with a new twist on an old saying for the latest depot spill: “Fuel me once, shame on you; fuel me twice, shame on me” … And another office jokester had an idea for a new drink at Curley’s Hauser Junction: The Oilermaker (a shot of water from beneath the refueling depot in a glass of beer).

New Math at WSU: One (a math major) plus one (a PR major) plus two hours equals a dinner for two plus a dozen roses. Cameron Graves and Rory Spence locked lips for more than two hours to emerge as winners of the first KUGR kiss-a-thon Feb. 11. Pucker up and read the rest of the story here … “So, I write poems to distill and crystallize the emotional liquidity. Writing is my mistress now. She’s greedy and needy but I love her” – Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being re: his inner muse … Overheard (in Fred Meyer’s meat section on Valentine’s Day by Bearable Bob): Divorced Dad (fondling a big package of hamburger): I think we’ll have hamburgers tonight. Daughter: “Don’t you have any chicken at your house?” DD: “I’m not supposed to make you anything special.” Sad.

Parting Shot
Remember those three North Idaho College goofballs who drove erratically (first Huckleberry) near the state line in a car with exempt plates – you know the ones throwing things out the window? Well, they were driving a guinea pig vehicle that’d been worked on by students. And their punishment for misbehaving in said vehicle was suspension from operating another NIC car. That’s not all. Starting now, the college is going to slap big NIC stickers on the sides of their vehicle, so motorists, such as Pam I Am, won’t have to call the Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles to see who owns the exempt vehicle.

Question No. 3

Item: Depot foes rallying: Attorneys look to laws for help in shutting down leaking operation/James Hagengruber, SR.

DFO: That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Question: Defend one of three positions: a. Everyone’s getting a little hysterical here — the railroad caught the latest leak and deserves one more chance; b. Shut ‘em down temporary and call in an independent party to thoroughly review the refueling depot structure; c. Sue ‘em back to wherever they came from and shut ‘em down permanently.


Item: Limbaugh rushing to visit U.S. troops
Conservative talk-show host offers alternative to ‘liberals, leftists’

DFO: Rush has a lot of fans among the troops. Couldn’t hurt.

Question: What do you think of Rush Limbaugh going to Afghanistan to give the troops a positive message from the American people?

Peanut Gallery (Shoot first, then questions)

Re: We still are reading about the soldier who shot an injured man in Iraq

On 3 or 4 June 1944 we had broken out of Anzio and headed for Rome. The day before our Battalion C. O. had been shot thru the head trying to tell me how to run my platoon. “Get up and get going”. I had already lost two scouts killed and was not about to lose more. Because the third platoon was coming around while we laid down a base of fire. The C. O. wanted to be first in Rome. That night we had eliminated the opposition and formed a circle of defense. There was a terrific fire fight that night. Next morning we started out of the Alban Hills and there were dead Germans everywhere. As we proceeded, all of a sudden I heard someone fire a whole clip from their M-1, - It was Sgt Tony Realmuto coming along behind me, and had seen a wounded German rise up to try to kill me. He was going to get himself an officer. — We wore our insignia in plain sight, (not like today when you can’t tell who is what) But thanks to Tony, I am still alive and kicking. -
We did get to Rome that evening, still on foot, and was shelled by our First Armored division, who did not think that foot soldiers could do better than them with all of their vehicles. — The date was June 4, 1944. We were the first army in the history of the world to capture Rome from the south. Not even Hannibal did that. — Did anyone ever get to know that? - For guess what happened on 6 June 1944. We never got the publicity we deserved.

My wife and I still keep in touch with Tony’s daughters on Long Island N. Y. And several others of those who are still alive who were there.

Should our guy have shot that Iraqi — You bet.ter believe it.

Bill McFadden
Coeur d’Alene

DFO: Thank you for your service, Bill.

Best of the Northwest (2/18/05)

Didja hear the one about the, ahem, gentleman’s club that got around Boise’s ban on public nudity by posing its dancers as art models. Yep, Erotic City made international headlines by quietly challenging the city law — and so far its getting away with the scheme. tells ya all about it here.

Wallace H.S. sophmore Krista Williams (42) puts a shot over the reach of Hagerman forward Sara Jackson (13) during the first round of play in the Girls 1A State Championships at Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho on Wed. Photo/Matt Cilley. Check Item No. 3.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doesn’t have much respect for U.S. intelligence here.

2. Sung Koo Kim, the Oregon underwear thief, probably won’t be featured in too many alum mags at his alma mater, WSU. He graduated from Moo U with a degree in genetics and cellular biology in 2001. The Daily Evergreen tells you about it here.

3. The Wallace High girls basketball team is the subject of an Idaho Statesman story here and pictorial review here.

4. Sandpoint Online offers great new scenics of Sandpoint in Pictures here.

5. Joseph Abbrescia, a top Western artist known for his paintings of Glacier National Park, died in Kalispell, Mont., Thursday here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (UI prez’s tough budget cuts), Frank McGovern/Argonaut (Keep faith at home), Dan Popkey/Statesman (A conflict of interest), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Killer no longer wants eternal punishment), and Robert Herold/Inlander (Social Security).

*Several new property tax breaks introduced to Idaho Rev & Tax committee here.

*Racist Keith Gilbert denied release here. And the PI runs a story about what a neighborhood nuisance Gilbert had become here.

*Washington Wal-Marts may be required to pay for employee insurance here.

*Eastern Washington machete attack victim leaves hospital here. And the PI opines the risk social workers run here.

Peanut Gallery (Busy, busy, busy)

One of my hats as County Clerk is that of County Recorder. In that capacity, I’m the last one in a fairly long foodchain of public officials and agencies that must sign off on every new plat in the county. In the case of the Recorder, it’s to make sure all required information is on the plat for it to become part of the public record. Sometimes I might sign one or two a week or go a few weeks without signing any. I’m not sure what the significance or reason is, but in the last few weeks they have been coming in at a relentless pace, like nothing I’ve seen in my 10 years as Recorder. These are everything from a family breaking up the ‘ol homestead into a few parcels for the kids, to large subdivisions, and commercial sites, etc. Besides being interesting, scary, or whatever, it’s just one more indicator of our rapid growth and all the more reason to make sure our water supply is clean and safe as it gets used more and more.

dan of the county

A Tip for PR Flacks

When your tale
for facts they’re combing,
have a train wreck
in Wyoming.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

DFO: Above, scene of train collision west of Rathdrum in February 2001 (Jesse Tinsley/photo)

Q & A

Question: How do I get a gig as an opinion writer?

Answer: You begin with a degree in journalism. Then, you spend a decade working your way from reporter to editor at podunk newspapers, moving your family every few years. You may get fired a time or two along the way if you’re too opinionated and the paper is timid (See: The Daily Inter Lake, Kalispell, Hagadone Newspapers.) Then, you do some more bouncing, get stuck editting for a few years, and finally land on a paper that pays reporters a livable wage. Next, you can work for a decade as a government/investigative reporter, hoping after 23 years in the biz you can catch the editor’s eye for something better. Then, you blaze away for a dozen years, spouting about everything until you wonder if you have an original idea in your head. All this, or you simply begin a blog.


Item: Harvard president faces faculty revolt: Ex-Clinton official suggested women may not be as good as men at math/London Times.

DFO: Dunno about women … but I was lousy in science and math. Got one of my two D’s in high school in geometry. And I need a calculator to balance my check book. (Side Note: But I do balance it to the penny.)

Question: Did the Harvard prez err by speaking the truth in a close-minded PC university environment? Or did he dis women by using faulty facts and deserve the backlash?

Quote of the Day (2/17/05)

“I’ve got to run. I’ve got a derailment in Wyoming” — BNSF Railway flack Gus Melonas, explaining why he’s too busy to answer any more questions from SReporter James Hagengruber. Melonas is one of those PR types whose whole purpose seems to be keeping information away from the public. Then, I’m not surprised the railroad suits are playing hard to get now. They got what they wanted back then.

Jesse Tinsley/SR Photo: David Nall, left, John Clapper, center and Wes Michael, right, are water board members in Hauser. They are angry that their community wells (behind them) could be in line for contamination from the Burlington Northern refueling depot.

Sacred Cow Burger

You don’t have to guess where Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers stands on the issue of Social Security here.

Question of the Day

Issue: Seattle mayor urges U.S. cities to adopt Kyoto: Spearheading ‘green’ team to implement climate measures nationwide/Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

DFO: I’m with Dubya on this one. I don’t trust the science. And I see compliance as costing the U.S. millions of jobs.

Question: Junk science? Or legit threat? Where do you stand on the Kyoto Protocol? And what would you tell Mayor Greg Nickels to do with his call for cities to join Seattle in observing the agreement?

And Then There Were 7

Put your hands together for Mike and Kathleen Kennedy, who became proud parents of bouncing baby Quinn last night at 7:59. Also, you can wish Mike a happy birthday today. That’s right. If the Mighty Quinn had held out another four hours and 1 minute, she’d have been born on Papa’s birthday, “proving that she is a girl with her own plan and direction.” (That last bit’s from Mike.) Key stats: 7 lbs, 3 oz. and 21 inches long. Quinn joins Will, Nora, Maggie, and Max in the Kennedy clan. “And for those of you who like to know such things,” e-mails Mike, “she was born while Ella Fitzgerald sang the Johnny Mercer classic ‘Dream’ in the background. Does it get any better than that?” Don’t think so.

Extra! Extra!

Hi, Dave;

The Hauser Lake Water Association, our water department for Hauser area, is sending a letter of support for the commissioner’s decision to shut down the BNSF facility.

D.J. Nall
Hauser councilwoman

DFO: And the drum beat grows louder.

Why Ask Why

It’s interesting that an internal review cleared the sheriff’s deputies in the fatal shooting of Michael Madonna Dec. 28. The report, however, doesn’t address the appropriateness of Bangs’s action when he twice walked away from a suspect known for slipping handcuffs. Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger is quoted in the SR saying: “It’s not in the summary so I guess it wasn’t an issue for them.” It should have been. In a superb analysis of the ISP report, Bill McCrory/Whitecaps raises questions that no one seems to want to address here.

Back to the Future

I’ll end the first day of my second year by reposting the first item to run in this blog last Feb. 16. It was titled: “Fasten Your Seatbelts.”

For those who have developed a taste for Huckleberries, Hot Potatoes and other basic food groups in North Idaho, I’m taking it to the next level today … by moving on up to blogging. If you don’t know what that means, sound it out: blog, bah-log, Web log. In other words, a blog is a combination Web diary/column/train-of-consciousness thing.

Here’s what I hope to accomplish with my blog:

1. Let folks in North Idaho know what’s going on behind the scenes in political races and North Idaho governments.
2. Comment on the stories of the day.
3. Bring important Web stories to your attention.
4. Use the blog to test drive new words for my Hot Potatoes columns on Sundays and Wednesdays — words such as ap-hollow-gize and institution-all-lies, which speak for themselves.

I view life through an offbeat conservative filter but that doesn’t mean I’m conservative through and through. I may lean to the right on social issues but I voted for more Democrats than Republicans in Idaho’s last legislative elections. In other words, I don’t put much stock in either party’s politics.

One of my favorite sayings comes from the old Chicago Times: “It’s a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.” So, fasten your seatbelts. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I’m going to have writing it.


Parting Shot

Bill McCrory/Whitecaps has read and completed his long-awaited analysis of the 320-page ISP report re: the fatal police shooting of Michael Madonna in Hayden Dec. 28. I’ve skimmed it for now. And will read it thoroughly tonight. Knowing Bill, it’ll answer many questions you have. You can find the complete analysis here.

Best of the Local Blogs

Jim Tibbs of Grants Pass, Ore., provides another of his clever ‘toons above.

*Dunno whether to provide links to Bearable Bob’s list of “The Things I Wouldn’t Do For Love Even If These Were Society’s Mores for Love Acquisition” here or to his poem, “dividing up photos after divorce” here. So, you decide.

*In Slight Detour today, Marianne Love meets a handsome cop whose taking names and writing them up here.

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It shows how to keep your wife contented here.

*What’s this? Herb Huseland/Bay Views is coming out of semi retirement to serve as chief cook and bottle washer for the soon-to-reopen Vista Bay Marina here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry 2

A funny thing happened to Sandpoint High J-instructor Erin Daniel in her sixth period class Monday. Her water broke. In an e-mail announcing the birth of little Emma Marie, she blames the poor timing on Principal Jim Soper. Quoth: “He was in my room 5th, and just being a real pain.” Editor Chris Ginzton of the award-winning Cedar Post was the hero of the day, even though he turned the wrong way down a street as he was driving his adviser to the hospital. Erin’s favorite line from Chris during the rush to the hospital? “Can I help? Should I be helping you breathe or anything??” On the way out of the hospital, Chris was visibly shaken, saying, “I don’t know how dads DO that!” Or moms! Erin and Emma are doing fine. And so is Chris.


New tricks quickly learned
by a grizzled old dog:
12 months of success
with a true first-class blog.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

DFO: I look forward to the day when my friend, The Bard, can come in from the cold and let all of you know who he is. He deserves accolades for making our little piece of the world better.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

So what do you think would be the last thing SR photog Jesse Tinsley, 43, and working on a middle-age spread, would find in his mailbox? An advertisement for a dating service? Nah. Notice that a distant relative has died, leaving him with a small fortune? Unh-uh. By mail, the National Guard promised to give Jesse a $10,000 bonus for college if he’d sign up. Are they that desperate for recruits, wondered Jesse, who wasn’t that concerned that Guardsmen are being shipped to dangerous Iraqi right and left. Sez he: “I’m not sure I’d survive basic.”

SR Morning Headlines (2/16/05)

*Ferris High teacher resigns: District says Sayeed X had sexual relationship with girl/Rob McDonald, SR — Oh great, this guy continues to draw salary for 7 months and promises to not seek another job in the district. So, Spokane schools simply pass their problem onto another district. Isn’t this how the Catholic Church got into trouble.

*Ex-Idaho neo-Nazi arrested: Charged with possessing machine guns/Bill Morlin, SR — Keith Gilbert used to walk in and out of our old office on Fourth Street as though he owned the place. Now, he’s not even going to own his bunk in his cell.

*Cindy Wu’s best speller in the Valley: Fourteen-year-old Horizon eighth-grader wins close spelldown with Bowdish student/Sara Leaming, SR — See if you can handle: “improvisation,” “lexicographer,” “femininity,” “diversification” and “insatiable.”

*Ex-GU student admits forging licenses: Child porn, other forgery charges dismissed/John Craig, SR — And the defense attorney called this goofball “a good kid.” Don’t defense attorneys say the darndest things?

*DEQ wants money for Lake CdA plan: New post needed to help get lake off of Superfund cleanup list, lawmakers told/Betsy Z. Russell, SR — Yeah, Sen. Keough, it is a priority to get Lake Coeur d’Alene delisted. And Rep. Harwood? All that talk about attacking the point source isn’t going to get the lake de-listed. Do you ever listen, pal?

Question of the Day

Issue: Rail depot has new leak: BNSF shuts part of facility, says no sign of harm to environment/James Hagengruber, SR.

DFO: County commissioners have requested that the facility be shut down until further notice. But I doubt that the railroad will listen. We lost our chance to control these guys when former commissioners (Dick Compton and Dick Panabaker) signed off on this depot. Now, we’re stuck wringing our hands as the leaks mount up.

Question: What options do we have to prevent the railroad from soiling our drinking water?

Inside Huckleberries

5:41 p.m. My day’s almost done, so I’ll let you in on a little secret. Tomorrow, I’ll celebrate the first anniversary of this blog. A year ago, I began No Holds Barred/Hot Potatoes/Huckleberries Online with fear and tremblin’. Sometimes, the only thing that kept me going was my commitment to last a year. This isn’t as easy as it looks. But I’m pleasantly surprised at what the blog has become, and what it has done to me. More about this tomorrow.

4:14 p.m. You can find a conservative’s take on movies at a relatively new blog site, named Veritas, here.

4:04 p.m. Jim Miller on Politics blog (a conservative from eastern Washington who appears on Stefan Sharkansky’s superb Sound Politics) has added Huckleberries Online to his Northwest blogroll here. Cool. Also, he provides an interesting view of why the American media have ignored CNN exec Eason Jordan’s fall from grace here.

11:24 a.m. On her blog today, Michelle Malkin discusses a move by The Tulsa World to strong-arm Oklahoma blogger Michael Bates from using any of its material or linking to the paper’s site here. Which proves the World doesn’t know much about the “fair use” policy — and has very thin skin. If you’re a blogger, you might want to read the rules of copyright engagement from the Nerf-Coated World blog here. (Thanks — to Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast for passing that along.)

10:46 a.m. Huckleberries hears that … Athol folks are up in arms about CDA Press columnist Marty Fortier’s cracks about their town here.

Peanut Gallery (CVHS censorship policy)

re: Central Valley High policy that requires tenth-graders to read Bernard Malamud’s book with sexual language and situations.

Methinks the CV HS board needs that red light/green light system from Athol to shut them up. Of course students shouldn’t be FORCED to read a specific text without suitable alternatives if needed… and of course, students shouldn’t be FORCED to avoid something based upon anyone else’s morality. Red lights means shut up, thought police/gestapo.


DFO: Required? The CVHS school board is out to lunch on this one. Nothing wrong with putting “The Natural” on a tenth-grade reading list, but the high school has stepped out of bounds by requiring readership. It should provide alternative books for students from families who believe this novel is inappropriate for underclassmen.

Question No. 2: Great North Idaho Experiences

Issue: Yesterday, Huckleberries Online focused on overrated North Idaho experiences. Which launced an impromptu discussion on North Idaho experiences that live up to their billing (read comments) here.

DFO: My fave? A bike ride to Sanders Beach near evening of a warm summer day, followed by a dip, and a bike ride back home.

Question: What North Idaho experiences live up to their billing?

In Trouble Again

The last time I covered Keith Gilbert was about 20 years ago when I was called out of the bath tub one night to report on his arrest in Post Falls on welfare charges. He spent five years in Alcatraz prison for plotting to blow up Martin Luther King Jr. and sparked Idaho’s malicious harassment laws by taunting a mixed-race family. At age 65, he’s been arrested again, in Seattle, this time on gun and explosive charges. Some guys never learn. Click here.

SR Morning Headlines

*‘The Natural’ to stay in CV high schools: School board says it can be available to 10th-graders/Sara Leaming, SR — I don’t see a foul here, as long as students aren’t forced to read the book. If students can opt for another book on the list, no harm, no foul. If students are required to read the book, then it shouldn’t be on the list. I read “The Natural” as a freshman in high school. Some parts are steamy. But author Bernard Malamud is a good read.

*Medic earns Silver Star: He ran through enemy fire to save wounded Iraqi soldiers/Kevin Graman, SR — Next time someone using “hero” to refer to a sports figure or movie star, show ‘im this story. Spc. Gerrit Kobes of Kettle Falls is a hero by anyone’s definition.

*New group has politics in common: Common Interest wants discussion without divisiveness/Betsy Russell, SR — What? A group that is interested in the public good above partisan politics! This is unAmerican!

*Holiday in four-part harmony: CV’s all-girl barbershop quartet spends Valentine’s Day serenading/Sara Leaming, SR — This story’s for those who are tired of reading about the bad things kids do.

*Jealousy suspected in killing: Court documents say victim went into bedroom with suspect’s girlfriend; bail set at $250,000/Tom Lutey, SR — Booze, guns and a low IQ don’t mix.

Most Overrated North Idaho Experiences

Here’s your nominees for most overrated North Idaho experiences (in no particular order):

State Line Showgirls
Kootenai County Solid Waste Transfer Station
North Idaho Fair
Torch Lounge
Christmas Lighting cruise
Coeur d’Alene Resort
The Grail funtime bar
The Tremors ride at Silverwood
Emerald Creek Garnet Digging Area
The Floatin’ Green
Stella Chairlift at Schweitzer
Iron Horse Restaurant
Downtown CDA shopping

DFO: Now, can you name North Idaho experiences that live up to their billing?

Inside Huckleberries (2/14/05)

6 p.m. Why am I still here? (Wife: Bingo!)

5:56 p.m. Good blog numbers again last week, despite the Server meltdown Thursday, which dropped numbers for a strong day to 1325. All the other weekdays were 1802 or better. 7-day total: 10,891. Thanks.

4:40 p.m. I held my nose a bit the other day when I praised Old Bob Paulos for winning state recognition for his Christmas for All program. (Have I told you about the time the underpaid CDA Press workers mocked the program by staging an in-house Christmas for Us program?) Anyway, The Angry Commentator reported the following during a close encounter with Old Bob at a local nursing home: He never reads Brand X columnist Marty Fortier and believes David Bond and I were fired from the CDA Press here. The Press, according to Old Bob “only keeps the good ones.” Wonder if Old Bob knows I never worked for the Press.

2:08 p.m. Speaking of The Duane, commenter John Austin provided a link that allows the general public to covet Hagadone’s manse on Stanley Hill here.

1:52 p.m. Eagle Eye’s Valentine to Mayor Bloem triggered a thought. While I was walking the Centennial Trail along the lake, east of town, I passed The Beachouse, which The Duane, scooped up when the county didn’t follow through on the $5,000 earnest money it’d put down for the restaurant, dock and parking area across the way — to use as a county boat launch. To this day, I believe, The Duane told the commish to back off because he wanted the property. Now, I lament that he’s going to build another condo monstrosity along the trail and congest the parkway with his hifalutin renters.

Reintroducing Bob …

Bob Salsbury/The Unbearable Bobness of Being has provided six overrated North Idaho experiences, including Tremors roller-coaster at Silverwood, here. And I’ve added him to my North Idaho blogroll over there (look right and down). After all, his family has owned land out here for generations and has a cabin on — Twin Lakes? That makes him one of us, albeit from the Left side of the street. Besides, his poetry, haikus and observations are dang challenging.

DFO: Unsettling thought. What happens if someone nominates Hudson’s Hamburgers. To blog it or not to blog it — that is the question.

Dickau Watch

Mon Feb 14 2005 - In a 97-94 loss to Orlando Sunday, ex-Zag Dan Dickau of New Orleans had a career-high 28 points and added seven threes, four boards, six assists and two steals on the night. Eventually, Baron Davis is going to return to put a damper on Dickau’s value, but his owners have to be enjoying the ride.

Question of the Day (2/14/05)

Issue: Joel Connelly/PI has produced a column in which he gives tongue-in-cheek gifts to public figures and institutions here.

Example: “To Bill O’Reilly, the high-rated, self-absorbed Fox News Channel host: a new piece of theme music in the form of Carly Simon’s most famous lyric. ‘You’re so vain. I bet you think this song is about you.’”

Question: What Valentine’s Day gift would you like to give to a public figure or institution?

Bob’s 10 Most Overrated Spokane Experiences:

I was rooting around in The Unbearable Bobness of Being, Bob Salsbury’s blog, and found numerous gems — not the least of which was a Nov. 29 post: “Ten Most Overrated Spokane Experiences,” including:

The Spokane River: It’s sort of the sewer line for the mine wastes of the Coeur D’Alene/Silver Valley district. You can eat the fish if you want, of course, you won’t ever need a Zinc supplement for the next 3000 years.

Coeur d’Alene makes the Top 10, but there’s no jabs at the Floating Green, Silverwood or the Outlet Mall/old greyhound track. Still, you should enjoy Bob’s rant here.

SR Morning Headlines (2/14/05)

*Slaying stuns Palouse town: Sheriff says girlfriend forced to watch; suspect arrested/Amy Cannata, SR — No community’s immune from the evil that lurks in some men’s hearts.

*Valentine’s Day just another day apart for military couples: For Ferrez family, separation is common/Jonathan Brunt, SR — On special days, like this one, the sacrifices of our fighting men and women stand out even more. God bless ‘em all.

*Exit 289: Taking matters into his own hands: Keeping trail clean a lonely battle/Tom Lutey, SR — The “bums” can’t win as long as local superhero Bill Moody’s on watch.

*Nothing babyish about surviving crash: Kids should be in booster seats long past infancy/Amy Cannata, SR — A booster seat for children 8 years old? It might make sense on paper. But what 8-year-old is going to stand for being treated like a baby?

*Timber payments to expire: No guarantee program that helps rural communities will be renewed/James Hagengruber, SR — This is the thanks that Red State country NW gets from Dubya for its support? Pbbbfffttt.

*CdA school officials, volunteers doing their best: Growth at root of school shifting/D.F. Oliveria/SR edit — This is just the opposite of NIMBYism. These parents want their elementary children to go to nearby schools — not those across town. Can’t blame ‘em. But I can blame growth.

Best of Huckleberries Online (Feb. 7-11, 2005)

SR Photo: Susie and Colin Cross in 1995.

Susie Cross, whose doctor/hubby Colin died of cancer in 1999, collided with the federal bureaucracy this month. Seems the Post Falls widow got notice that daughter Zoe would lose her Social Security benefits in March when she turned 18. Only Zoe will be celebrating her 17th birthday next month. So, Susie visited the local SS office, with Zoe’s passport and a copy of her birth certificate. No good. SS rejected the passport, which contains Zoe’s birthday, and demanded an original birth certificate, which Susie doesn’t have. This, despite acknowledging that Susie’s son, Henry, turned 18 in November when he lost his benefits. In the eyes of the federales, Henry and Zoe were born five months apart. If that makes sense, you’re a bureaucrat.

A Look That Kills?
In the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” category, SReporter Taryn Brodwater was interviewing Athol Elementary small fry about that lunchroom blab-o-meter – you know the color alarm that warns children when they’re being too noisy. In the process, Taryn heard this exchange between two tykes: Girl: “Whenever one of the ’duties’ looks at it, it stops.” Boy: “It’s like they have contact lenses …” Girl: “… With remote controls in them.” Boy: “Yeah.” (Huckleberries: And deadly lasers that can fry your brains if you keep talking. Seriously. Remember Jimmy? He isn’t sick. He had his brains fried.)

This ‘N That
“Because I still believe in him, the Go 2 Guy refuses to find irony in the fact that Ryan Leaf (pictured) is enrolled this semester in a sports management class at Washington State called ‘Media Relations’” — pro-WSU columnist Jim Moore/PI here … If you want to know what happens when a C section goes wrong, ask the guy at the Coeur d’Alene Press last week who was responsible for leaving 7,000 C sections out of the Wednesday paper. Taps anyone? … Compelling reason for the Repubs’ staging a closed caucus to discuss the budget last week, according to our Eye on Boise? Newer Repub solons would feel more comfortable asking “a dumb question” if the public wasn’t watching. Your Idaho gummint at work.

Poet’s Corner
“Beyond our dark midnight,/bright Light may there be:/ ‘Suffer the little children/to come unto Me’” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Lost Child”). My friend, The Bard, wrote that last Wednesday in honor of a daughter, Amanda, that my wife and I lost at child birth 21 years ago. You can also read “A Kiss for Amanda,” which I wrote that horrible week.

“Is it the 34th?” –- customer at Post Falls Super One asking the clerk for the date, within hearing of Post Falls Uncensored … It’s my 2 Cents: Forget porn star Ron Jeremy. If EWU officials wanted to do impressionable students a favor, they’d invite Will and Foxy Lorenz to speak on campus. The Lorenzes, who joined other couples on the South Hill in celebrating 60-plus years of marriage, have forgotten more about real love than Jeremy will ever know … No, Milt Nelson/Hidden Valley, the King County Election Department didn’t send an envoy to help with that Iraqi recount, hoping to find more Christine Gregoire votes. Seems they have found, ahem, enough votes already … (For depressed D’s, Huckleberries Online has a link to a clock that shows how much time Dubya has left in the office, which as of Sunday night was 1,435 days, 21 hours, 39 minutes and 30 seconds.)

Parting Shot
Bob Salsbury of Spokane Valley/The Unbearable Bobness of Being blog has revamped the Idaho Driver’s Test into two simple questions, including this written portion: “Upon approaching a road killed elk in your lane, do you: a. Yield to oncoming traffic and pass carefully, b. Stop and throw that sucker in the back of the truck! Kids are eating meat this week! c. Dig around for your cellphone to call IDOT to alert them of the hazard.” If you don’t know the answer, you’re not an Idahoan.

Question 2: The Blogosphere

Issue: In the Blogosphere, Lightning Strikes Thrice: CNN news exec is latest victim of blogosphere’s Wild West justice/Howard Kurtz, Washington Post.

DFO: At times, the blogosphere can be scary because it’s brutally frank — and turnaround time is next to zero, faster even than radio or television. Still, I believe, the blogs are here to stay and are a good thing, representing the next wave.

Question: Is the blogosphere a little too ruly and unfair? Are trained journalists better able to play the role as gatekeeper?

Question of the Day (2/12/05)

Issue: District 81 forces out gay dance: Officials say decision based on ages of guests; sponsors cry foul/Kevin Graman, SR.

DFO Comment: District 81 officials would be run out of Spokane if they allowed a hetero dance with age limits from 14 to 22. This isn’t about gays and straights. It’s about keeping adults and young minors separated in a public school setting.

Question: Agree or disagree?

Topic Call: Helmet laws, tobacco

In yesterdays blog y’all read my rants about helmet laws and my usual diatribe against tobacco. What if these issues were put to a national vote with a simple pro-viso. To wit: “Those who would vote for the continuation of risky activities would be collectively assigned public debts associated with unfortunate consequences of that behavior”. If you were personally faced with the “ayes” pro-rated increased dollar burden for these activities with known health hazards would you vote to retain them, why or why not?

Dave Tolle

DFO: Dave T has thrown down the gauntlet. Any takers?

Dickau Watch

Ex-Zag Dan Dickau’s line in 111-108 win by New Orleans over Golden State last night: 32 minutes played, 7-for-12 shooting, including 2 3-pointers, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 16 points.

Inside Huckleberries

5:20 p.m. I’m outtahere to join my sweetheart of almost 30 years for a church Valentine’s banquet (as mentioned below). Thanks for helping me get through a rough week. I’ll see you on the flip side … and will add postscripts to your comments this weekend. There’s only two shopping days until Valentine’s Day. And remember Dan English and family as they observe their tough personal anniversary tomorrow.

3:33 p.m. Only 2 1/2 hours to the annual church Valentine’s banquet. For those keep score at home, I met my wife at a church Valentine’s banquet more than 30 years ago. I was the speaker. She was giggling. Love at first sight happened a coupla years later (although I did note how cute she was). You know what my definition of happiness is this time of the year — knowing what you’re going to buy your wife for Valentine’s Day and knowing she’s going to like it.

12:32 p.m. Nice little word war going on under Quick Fix 6 between Livefree & Out-of-Stater Tater re: congressmen allowing average Americans to have a retirement option similar to theirs. (We’ve been stuck on Social Security for awhile; any other great topics out there that’ll stir passion?)

11:50 a.m. Ex-Sandpoint mayor David Sawyer tells Huckleberries what’s happened to him since he left North Idaho: “I had worked for 2 cities in Oregon as a city manager and (last) summer my wife Manuela and I had a little baby on June 1 in Sandpoint: Sophia-Kaimu. Last month we left for germany to try our hand at switching roles—me as baby cargiver, Manuela as provider (she is an acupuncturist); me as cultural outsider, my wife as guide.

11:14 a.m. Officer Hoyne of Enumclaw, Wash., who wrote that superb piece yesterday about the fatal Hayden police shootout, told me he and his two police brothers found Huckleberries Online while surfing for conservative political commentary. One’s in Colorado, the other in Illinois. It blows me away when I hear of folks around the US who are reading this blog. It’s humbling. And scary.

9:59 a.m. As Howard Dean would say: Aaaarrrrgggghhhh. My Better Half called to say she’d reserved tickets already for Lake City High’s drama production of “Seussical” — and instructor Sandy Seaton gave me a SENIOR DISCOUNT because I’m now 55. A SENIOR DISCOUNT fuhcryinoutloud. I’m too young to be this dang old.

9:31 a.m. As you can see, I’ve brought back “Quick Fix 6” — at least for now. I’ve been lost without it. I want to know what the media have been, ahem, overlooking in their drive to present all the news that’s fit to print (according to them).

Ending a furor you never heard about …

…in the national media, CNN chief news exec Eason Jordan quit after spreading a bogus tale that U.S. troops had killed journalists in Iraq here. (Score another one for the blogosphere.)

Question of the Day

Issue: On a 7-5 vote yesterday, the Idaho House Transportation Committee rejected a proposed bill that would have required motorcyclists to wear helmets (with North Idaho reps Bob Nonini and Phil Hart siding with the majority) here.

Question: Do you agree with the committee’s decision?

Topic Call 2 (Indigent Funds)

I just came back from a few days at the Association of Counties legislative meeting in Boise. One of the hot topics concerns county indigent funds. The counties pay the first $10,000 of every qualified medical claim and the state catastrophic fund (CAT fund) pays the amount over that. Counties are getting buried with claims and yet are subject to the 3% cap on each year’s budget. We’ve been after the state for several years to reduce the county portion to $5,000 but the legislature is actually talking about raising the amount the county (read property tax payers of each county) pays to $15,000.

Dan of the County

New Topic Call (R’s dis pro-life Demo Reid)

Eagle Eye has proposed a good, new topic:

The Democrats have a new leader who is pro-life in (Senate Minority Leader) Harry Reid. In my mind a wonderful step in the right direction. What do the Repubs do? Start a smear campaign against him. Instead of working with this guy and working towards the goal of protecting life which is a goal of his, they take it upon themselves to go back to the politics of division. Bush has talked the talk but he refuses to walk the walk.

Eagle Eye

DFO: Reid’s pro-life credentials aren’t that polished. He has refused to state he wants Roe v. Wade overturned here. For the sake of argument, however, he’s probably the closest thing the D’s have to a pro-lifer in a leadership position.

Best of the Northwest (2/11/05)

I’m not a fan of Bob Paulos’ columns. And I won’t go into why. But the ex-CDA Press publisher has a soft side for his God and his community. And I appreciate that. One of his greatest deeds in life was his role in birthing the Press’ Christmas for All program. Now, he’s been recognized by the governor’s office for doing so. Huckleberries joins the guv’s office and the Press in saluting this worthy competitor. You can find Mike Patrick’s Press story and editorial about Old Bob winning the Brightest Stars grand prize here and here.

Actress Patty Duke, left, and singer Carole King exchanged kisses after Duke introduced King at a voter registration rally at the Long Ear record store in Coeur d’Alene last August. King was campaigning for John Kerry. Now, she’s raising money for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, according to Joel Connelly/PI below (Jesse Tinsley, SR photo)

1. David Horsey/PI targets Dubya’s ever-increasing prescription drug cost here.

2. In a featured story, The Inlander follows a scientist who’s trying to pin down the inner workings of the region’s sole source aquifer here.

3. A fisherman reels in a record pygmy whitefish — all 3.2 ounces of it — west of Kalispell, Mont., here.

4. You can meet Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire’s Girl Friday here.

5. In Twin Falls, residents don’t want the new bridge over the Snake River proposed under Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s $1.6B road construction plan. They want a way to ease traffic in town here.

6. IMHO-NW: The Idaho Statesman (Bike bill deserves green light), Tim Woodward/Statesman (Waters that bind us), Marty Fortier/Coeur d’Alene Press (Muzzling Athol kids), Art Thiel/PI (5 years after Griffey trade), and Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Closed committee meetings).

*Carole King fans should enjoy the lead item in this column by Joel Connelly/PI here.

*Washington state’s oldest woman dies at 111 here.

*Robert Vasquez, a Canyon County commissioner adamantly opposed to unlawful immigration, may run for Congress here.

*Ex-UW coach Rick Neuheisel testifies that AD Barbara Hedges knew about his visit to the SF 49ers here. And Les Carpenter/Seattle Times sez Neuheisel is a fluent liar here.

Quick Fix 6 (2/11/05)

While Demo congressmen foam and fuss about partial privitization of Social Security, they’re compiling a nest egg in a plan that’s very similar to the prez’s proposal. Writes Dan Lips/Americans for Prosperity: “In total, the three million federal employees have amassed about $100 billion in their Thrift Savings accounts. It’s a safe bet that hundreds of Democratic congressmen and their staffers are taking advantage of the federal government’s generous individual retirement account program.” Sounds like hypocrisy. Click here.

APhoto Fix: Arthur Miller, the Pulitzer prize-winning playwright whose most famous fictional creation, Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” came to symbolize the American Dream gone awry, has died, his assistant said Friday. Click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. look at Howard Dean’s rise toward the DNC chair here. And here’s Wayne Stayskal (Social Security in 2042) and Chuck Asay (Beheading Zarqawi).

2. Humor Fix: If you haven’t seen’s “Second Term,” you’ve been missing something here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Carter praises Iraqi vote here, Ailing Demos put their faith in Dean here, Al-Qaida blast US notion of freedom here, Wisconsin school to let Colorado prof Churchill speak here, and Charles gives Camilla royal heirloom ring here.

5. Blog Fix: With help from a local blogger, Michelle Malkin found another Nutty Professor with weird ideas about 9/11 at the University of Pennsylvania here.

6. IMHO Fix: Oliver North/ (Lies, damn lies and network news), John Harwood/Wall Street Journal (D’s wary as Dean takes helm), Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (Iraq voters deserve Nobel Peace Prize), John Podhoretz/NY Post (A radical lawyer goes to jail), and Rich Lowry/National Review (America has a secretary of state again).

Final Word (2/10/05)

There’s gotta be a word in the blogosphere describing a day when your server acts up and you’re totally at its mercy. Carpet blogged? Blogus Interruptus? Dunno. But I’m glad I can put this day in the books, too. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with another blog term from Samizdata:

Flame war, noun: “A hostile exchange of view via the Internet characterised by highly intemperate language.”

Sentence: Huckleberries Online enjoys lively debate, but we get our extinguishers out when flame wars begin.

Best of the Local Blogs

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It describes different sets of values that families have in an interesting story about two boys playing at his house here.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views takes issue with the SR story about that meeting re: the proposed shooting range here.

*State Reps. Bob Nonini and Phil Hart helped shoot down a bill in committee that would have required motorcyle helmets, according to our Eye On Boise, here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps looks into law enforcement clearances here.

James Taranto’s Best of the Web …

…has picked up on the EWU hubbub featuring radical prof Ward Churchill and porn star Ron Jeremy here.

Hat tip to Russ Lipton/Coffee House at the End of Days for bringing that to my attention.

Best of the Northwest (2/10/05)

The Spokane Area Economic Development Council is holding its 31st annual meeting today with one thing in mind, sez columnist Bill Virgin/PI: attract global attention. Writes Virgin: “But why does Spokane (and, for that matter, the rest of Eastern Washington) care whether anyone notices it or knows anything about it? Because, from an economic development point of view, the region wants to be in the minds of those who make decisions about where the next plant or research lab will be built.” For whole column, click here.

Photo: Actor Jim Caviezel portrays Christ in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” In a letter to the Gonzaga Bulletin Online, two philosophy profs say a good way to begin Lent is to view Gibson’s masterpiece.

1. A somewhat dated cartoon from David Horsey/PI re: Iraqi voting here.

2. Alleged teen scalper turns herself in to deputies at the Ada County Jail here.

3. Another 20 Idaho National Guardsmen leave Boy-C for training to eventually join the 116th Brigade Combat Team in northern Iraq here.

4. A regional manhunt is underway for a 27-year-old Nampa man suspected in the shooting of a police officer. Sez Nampa Police Chief Curtis Homer: ‘It’s hard to express in words how bad we want to get this guy’. Click here.

5. “Ron Abramovich of the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Snow Survey group, which measures snowpack throughout Idaho said this winter is the fourth driest on record since the snow telemetry sites - where snowpack is measured - were brought on line in 1961,” according to the St. Maries Gazette here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Crapo’s setback), Blaine Newnham/Seattle Times (Noisy fans), Seattle Times (Keep hands off Bonneville), Kefi Lewis/Daily Evergreen (Valentine’s Day advice), and David Calhoun & Douglas Kries/Gonzaga Bulletin (A good way to start Lent).

*The Statesman provides a good roundup of legislative news here.

*Ex-UW football coach Rick Neuheisel begins testimony here.

*The Washinton Supreme Court has struck down the state’s strictest smoking ban here.

Question of the Day (2/10/05)

Item: Wristband campaign supports military families: Man starts effort to raise $1 million for kin of deployed personnel/WorldNetDaily.

Question: I can’t think of a more nobler cause. But isn’t this wristband rage getting outtahand?

Technical Difficulties

Huckleberries Online has been experiencing technical difficulties this morning — along with the rest of the SR’s Internet service. Our server has been down. But we’re back in the game now, so the usual features will be headed your way sooon. Meanwhile, if the boss isn’t looking, you can play a free round of blast billiards on me, Cis The Retired and here.

Inside Huckleberries

5:40 p.m. Sorry I wasn’t good company today. But I should be back to my usual self tomorrow. And we’ll have to catch up.

4:21 p.m. Bill McCrory/Whitecaps has provided a link that allows you to judge for yourself whether Geoffrey Alpert has the gravitas to provide the SR with expert insight into police shootouts here. Also, Bill provided a link to North Idaho College instructor Tad Leach’s resume here.

2:55 p.m. Dave Tolle/Post Falls e-mailed that the link to “A Kiss for Amanda” wasn’t working. I huddled with my blogmeister, and we — he — fixed it. Try it now.

2:12 p.m. And the North Idaho blogroll continues to grow. Put your hands together for Randall Brink/First Person, who opens by describing the gabfest last night about the proposed Farragut Park shooting range here. And a hat tip to Herb Huseland/Bay Views for wooing Randall to the blogosphere.

12:01 p.m. Any Mouse called to urge Huckleberries Online to install a feature that would allow viewers to see the latest posts (rather than click among the “comments” items). Indeed, if it can be done, it’d be valuable because you’d be able to see recent comments posted on items that might be days old. Stay tuned.

10:55 a.m. Economist Mark Wylie has a terrific defense of Social Security in the “comments” field of SR Morning Headlines from yesterday (next to last item). I’d reproduce it on the front of the blog, but it’s too long. However, you might want to treat yourself to the superb pro-con argument by reading the comments under that item.

9:04 a.m. Gotta kick out of this note from Bob Salsbury/The Unbearable Bobness of Being: “DFO your huckleberry purple blog font is very consistent with the whole purple indelible voting ink fashion craze going on.”

8:25 a.m. This is one of my least favorite days of the year. Twenty-one years ago, we lost our daughter Amanda at child birth. I may tell you about it later today. I may blog something I wrote after her death. Or I may not.

Lost Child

Beyond our dark midnight,
bright Light may there be:
“Suffer the little children
to come unto Me.”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Best of the Northwest (2/9/05)

The Coeur d’Alene Press couldn’t resist NIC instructor Tad Leach’s (photo) siren call when he criticized us about our Sunday editorial. In the edit, we called for an independent review of the fatal December shootout in Hayden, referring to an expert who questioned aspects of police conduct that night. In the Coeur d’Alene Press article, Leach denounced the expert as being a person without “real-world experience.” But Leach didn’t mention that he once instructed an officer involved in the shooting. Conflict of interest? Of course. Unfortunately, Brand X didn’t provide an online link to the story. Otherwise, you could form your own opinion about it.

Clarification: The Coeur d’Alene Press article didn’t mention that Leach had trained one of the officers involved in the shooting. But Leach did state that fact in conversations with both SR Editor Steve Smith and myself.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times takes on Dubya’s proposed budget cuts here.

2. Defiant radical prof Ward Churchill, who was disinvited to speak by EWU, received a ha-huge ovation from 1,200 students at the University of Colorado campus when he said last night: “I’m not backing off an inch” here.

3. Gotta photo of Marianne Dahle, the Caldwell woman wanted in the scalping of a 16-year-old teen, here.

4. Cpl. Steven Henry is returning to his third tour of duty in the dangerous Sunni Triangle, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

5. “Lola Emter found her Spokane sports-bag business tangled in a suspected “pump and dump” stock-manipulation scheme. Her company was the first nationwide to have its shares suspended from trading under a new SEC push to curb abuse of unregistered stock,” according to Alwyn Scott/Seattle Times here.

6. IMHO-NW: Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Religion in the workplace), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (Rep. McDermott defends defenseless), The Daily Evergreen (Victory and vindication in Iraq), Jake Bolinger/EWU Easterner (Ward Churchill’s sedition), and EWU Easterner (Prez Jordan’s bad call).

*Montana couple goes on offense after trapping death of their dog here.

*Court decision protects those who download music here.

*Understandably, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo is disheartened by the return of the prostate cancer he thought he’d already beaten here.

*A new online poll by the Coeur d’Alene Press shows that 77% of the locals have faith in the prez’s Social Security reforms here.

Question of the Day (2/9/05)

Item: GOP targets Hillary online: ‘Stop Her Now’ website in works to help defeat senator’s re-election/New York Post

Question: Who scares partisans on the other side more (and why?): Hillary? Or Dubya?

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

In “SR Morning Headlines,” Taryn Brodwater told you about that blab-o-meter at Athol Elementary — you know, when things are too loud during lunch, the meter flashes a warning and then turns red if the kids don’t pipe down. While she was interviewing a coupla kids, this exchange took place: Girl: “Whenever one of the ‘duties’ looks at it, it stops.” Boy: “It’s like they have contact lenses …” Girl: “… With remote controls in them.” Boy: “Yeah.”


Item: Poll: Iraqi elections give Bush boost: President’s approval rating jumps 6 points since ballots cast/CNN.

Question: How long will Dubya hang on to those 6 points?

Best of the Local Blogs

*Freshman sponsor Joyce Broadsword was a no-show today as a Senate committee killed a bill that would have required bicyclists to stop and stay at stoplights, according to Our Woman In Boise Betsy Russell (pictured). Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger of Kootenai County had to take the hits from opponents of the measure. Click here.

*Tony Rosen/I Am Always Right links to a site (for his liberal readers) that shows down to the second how much longer Dubya will be in office. The countdown is now at 1,441 days, 3 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds here.

*Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast provides links to a story that’s white-hot in the blogosphere, but has failed to make it into the mainstream press — an accusation by CNN’s Eason Jordan who claims, without providing evidence, that he knows of 12 journalists who were killed in Iraq by coalition forces here.

*Phil Corless/The Old Goat Trail provides a link to an interview with UI AD Rob Spear, in which Spear sez that a new basketball gym and basketball will be higher priorities than a new Kibbie Dome here.

The Loyal Opposition

Another little dance that politicians do - and this administration has taken it to new heights - is the “Big Budget Lie”. To submit a budget to Congress for final approval without Iraq, Social Security, and tax cuts is the functional equivalent of sitting at your kitchen table, preparing your family spending plan, and purposely ignoring your mortgage, food, and health care premiums. Not smart - but it makes you feel much better, like you’re actually making progress! Click here.

Photo of the Day

Do you have a clever cutline for this APhoto?

Peanut Gallery (Idaho Driver’s Test)

Samples from:

Idaho Driver’s Test (Written)

1. Upon approaching a road killed elk in your lane do you:

a. Yield to oncoming traffic and pass carefully
b. Stop and throw that sucker in the back of the truck! Kids are eating meat this week!
c. Dig around for your cellphone to call Idaho DOT to alert them of the hazard.
(answer: b)

Idaho’s Driver’s Test (Driving)

Examiner: “ok take a left up theres by them old cedar mills just before old Frank’s trailer home, heck! he still ain’t got them durn studebakers moved out back, heck! and ayup you best watch for old Frank’s goats out awandering.

Bob Salsbury/The Unbearable Bobness of Being

DFO: Bob’s playing off that Angry Commentator rant last night about Idaho driver’s tests. Psst, Bob. Sounds like the Examiner is driving applicants past my sister’s place near Spirit Lake. Is he?


*Humor: “Top 10 Surprises in George W. Bush’s State of the Union Speech” from Letterman are presented by Political Humor here.

*Political Cartoons: Wayne Stayskal here, Timothy Kelly here, and (for Liberals) Steve Benson here.

*Opinions: David Brooks/NY Times (Let’s share the wealth), Roger Simon/U.S. News & World Report (How bad off are the D’s?), Army Reservist Joseph Morrison Kelly (Protecting Iraq’s vote), Kathleen Antrim/SF Chronicle (Ink-stained symbol of freedom) and Noemie Emery/The Weekly Standard (Dems Week from Hell).

EWU Atwitter About Porn Star

Iconoclastic columnist Doug Clark has a way of putting a controversy into perspective. Here, he provides his take on the controversy surrounding a speaking appearance by porn star Ron Jeremy (photo):

Jeremy isn’t nicknamed “The Hedgehog” without very good reason. I know. I interviewed him in a Spokane nightclub after a 2001 comedy show. The flabby Jeremy sat in a back room, ramming pizza down his pie hole and looking about as sexually appetizing as Jabba the Hut. Or Pizza the Hut, as Jeremy has observed himself.

You can reading the rest of the column here.


Issue: Catholic report: Pope nearly died: Witness says if pontiff had been hospitalized 10 minutes later, ‘he would have been gone’/WorldNetDaily.

Question: How would you rate Pope John Paul II: Good, Mediocre, Bad?

Inside Huckleberries (2/7/05)

APhoto: Above, the famous Clydesdales face off in another beer commercial for Anheiser-Busch. Below, tell Huckleberries readers which were best and least favorite Super Bowl commercials.

5:44 p.m. Dunno if you guys were hung over today. Or I was (even though the stiffest stuff I drank yesterday was some kind of Sprite with berry flavoring). Slow day on the “comments” front. Mebbe the topics weren’t that good, although Super Bowl ads and mud-wrestling soldiers aren’t bad. Oh well, we’ll try again tomorrow. Could have been a Monday thing.

4:32 p.m. NIC instructor Tad Leach called to say he’s planning a rebuttal to our Sunday editorial: “Shooting justified; policies unclear” Sunday. In the editorial, we called for an independent investigation of sheriff’s department policies involved in the fatal Hayden shooting Dec. 28 here. Are you satisified with the findings of Prosecutor Bill Douglas’ report and want to move on?

12:05 p.m. “It’s not often you get a chance to talk with a legendary programmer from top 40s heyday, but John is all of that and more” — words used by Rollye James, a national talk show host, to describe Big John Rook of Coeur d’Alene, who appeared on her show over the weekend (1 to 4 a.m. delayed on KGA).

11:59 a.m. In the Bay Area, $1 million’ll buy you a rancher in a new Navato subdivision. In Kootenai County? Tom Torgerson of Century 21 told the S.F. Chronicle what 1M’ll buy in the Coeur d’Alene area here.

11:20 a.m. For those keeping score at home, my favorite Super Bowl commercial was the Ameriquest Mortgage ad about a cell phone user’s message being misunderstood to be a stickup demand here. Least favorite:’s ad of a wardrobe malfunction while a buxom woman is testifying before a censorship committee. All the ads are rated here. What were your best and least favorites?

10:30 a.m. The blog hit two more days of 2000 pageviews last week — 2,613 on Wednesday and 2,051 on Thursday. For the week, 12,700 — or 1814 daily. Nice start for February. BTW, I’ll be celebrating the first anniversary of the blog Feb. 16.

Extra! Extra!

KTVB News is reporting that wounded CPD Blue Mike Kralicek is being flown to Colorado for rehab here.

Hat tip to Dan of the County for passing along the link.

Peanut Gallery (Social Security)

I’m almost 54 and my wife is almost 52. From everything I’m reading about the “new and improved” plan for social security it will be like when you wait in a long, long line for something and then just when the guy in front of you gets his ticket, a sign goes up, “sold out!” I’m flattered that the President refers to anyone not 55 or older in the work force as “young” workers. However, I don’t quite feel like a young worker when I’ve already been at it full-time 35 or so years. We know enough to not count on social security as our only retirement plan but we did at least expect to get what we have been promised all this time. It sounds like we can expect to get our benefits cut by about 40% and at the same time will not have near enough time to build up our new “hooray for wallstreet” (sure worked great for all those Enron investors) private accounts. I’m not afraid of work and would rather increase the retirement age a few more years and be able to count on what I’ve got than this kind of a risky proposition. I’m looking forward to a great deal more details about this plan but what we already know certainly seems very bad for middle age workers.

Dan of the County

Quotable Quote

(I want the) U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether” — Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado prof who has been disinvited to speak by Eastern Washington U. Seems someone had to dig to the bottom of some barrel to find this, ahem, patriot to speak in the first place.

Question of the Day (2/7/05)

Issue: At Sentinel High in Missoula, Mont., students are performing “American Roulette,” a play about a school shooting that probes the feelings of a teenage killer, his classmates and victims.

Question: Does a cutting-edge play like this help students understand the feelings of other students and recognize danger signs — or is it inappropriate for high schoolers?

SR Morning Headlines (2/7/05)

*Priest who exposed church cover-up to speak at GU: He told bishops of clergy sex abuse 20 years ago, Virginia de Leon, SR — As Scripture sez, and I paraphrase, that which is covered up in darkness will be shouted from the rooftops. You’d think the Catholic hierarcy’d have known its Scriptures.

*Narrowing in on Sandpoint: In booming resort town, developer finds his niche in affordable-housing market/Cynthia Taggart, SR — Finally, someone’s taking care of the have-nots in our resort areas.

*Bach can still pack ‘em in, but crowd exits quickly: Music lovers fill church on Super Bowl Sunday/Rob McDonald, SR — Multi millions watched Paul McCartney at halftime, but we’ll have to wait a few centuries to see if he has the lasting appeal that Bach does.

*Bitterroot restoration lagging, critics say/Associated Press: Are environmentalists ever happy? Ever?

*Convicted killer Claude Dallas released from prison: Lawyer says ex-client plans to shun spotlight/John Miller, AP — Quoth: “He doesn’t want to talk to the media or make a big deal out of his release,” said prison warden Kevin Kempf. “He just wants to go live his life.” Bill Pogue and Conley Elms would have liked the opportunity, too.

Question for the Weekend

Item: Convicted killer Claude Dallas goes free Sunday: 24 years after deaths of two F&G officers, the West that Dallas knew has changed, but he remains a polarizing character

Question: Did Dallas pay enough for his cold-blooded crimes?

P.S. You can find an update Idaho Statesman story about Dallas’ life and times — and speculation about his future — here.


After leading the dastardly charge to close committee meetings for whatever reasons, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis said:

“Many of my friends in the press believe that they should be able to attend and report on the front page of your local newspaper even the most delicate and sensitive matters of public safety – even if by doing so you tip to the terrorist your public weakness.”

DFO: Earth to Davis — I doubt that you still have friends in the media. (I can’t rerun that terrific photo of Davis, holding up the book with the pierced smile, because I’m blogging from home.

You can read all about the thumbed nose Senate Repubs (including four North Idaho ones) directed at the public here. Also, you can read the overwhelming reader reaction against the Senate move here and the views of North Idaho legislators re: closed meetings here. (You should take special note that Sen. Dick Compton and Reps. Phil Hart and Dick Harwood didn’t answer the SR questions.)


Remember when The Beatles were cutting edge? Above, Paul McCartney winds up to throw a football at a press conference of sorts for his appearance as the halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl Sunday. Sir Paul was picked to perform because he’s safe. No “wardrobe malfunctions” here. No Lucy in the sky with diamonds either. So, I’ll leave you with this question. Besides the game, what will we be discussing around the water cooler Monday? TV ads with horses flatulating? A streaker? What? Let’s see how good you predicters really are.

Peanut Gallery (CDA — Si, Spokane — No)

What an interesting contrast…

Spokane is laying off firefighters and police officers…Coeur d’Alene passes Public Safety bonds.

Spokane city employees are on TV apologizing for a lack of snow plowing during the last storm…Coeur d’Alene has already had the street sweepers out to keep the dust down!

I’ve lived in Spokane before…I’ll stay in Coeur d’Alene

Steve Sibulsky

DFO: Steve, you’re starting to sound like Bob Paulos. But you write a lot better.

Reader’s Choice

Questioner: Mike Kennedy.

Topic: What happens if these magical elections in Iraq blow up in our face? I love Democracy, and I’m glad Iraqis are voting. But is this what we wanted? Read the story link below (which shows Shiite cleric’s slate trouncing Washington favorite Allawi’s) and contemplate a duly elected anti-US neighbor of Iran’s here.

‘Closed Meetings’

They have thrown us out
and they’ve locked the door;
we can’t watch them make
sausage anymore.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Above: Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, who led the dastardly charge to close committee meetings for any reason. BTW, you can find the e-mail addresses of North Idaho senators who voted for the closed meetings below:

The Loyal Opposition: Ada County Courthouse

Bethine Church couldn’t be more right about the need for the Idaho Legislature to protect, restore and make use of the old Ada County Courthouse. Though up north we frequently feel ignored by the self-anointed gods of Ada County and Southern Idaho, this is a case where the history of Idaho is at stake and it’s important for us to weigh in on an Ada County matter. Most people won’t care about this, but we should - every person from all around Idaho should.

I remember my first trip to Boise when I came upon the Statehouse plaza and the courthouse next door and I felt real pride at how impressive our capital city is.

And what’s more - it will probably be more fiscally prudent to remodel instead of razing the existing courthouse and building new in the long run. New isn’t always better, as we know.

But unfortunately our legislators are too wrapped up in gay marriages, closed meetings, and reelection posturing to truly work on this problem.

Mike Kennedy

Best of the Northwest (2/4/05)

Timothy Borders, 29, a conservative Republican living in Seattle’s University District, was in the right place at the right time. As lead plaintiff in the Republican lawsuit to overturn the Washington gubernatorial election result, his name will go down in history. Mebbe not to the extend as Roe of Roe v. Wade or Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, writes David Postman/Seattle Times. But Borders’ll gain more than 15 minutes of fame from this one here.

Photo/Matt Cilley: Bethine Church, shown her looking at a photo of her late husband, former U.S. Sen. Frank Church, argues for the preservation of the Ada County Courthouse in IMHO-NW below today.

1. You can find a brilliant cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winning David Horsey/PI re: the split state of our union here.

2. Meanwhile, the following links will provide the latest on the Gregoire/Rossi struggle (from the PI): Key ruling on revote today here, State Patrol guarding Gregoire/Rossi here, and Gregoire at ease in guv’s job here.

3. In the “Lost in the ‘60s” categories, a mob of Seattle Central Community College students are conspiring to keep military recruiters off campus after chasing them away a month ago here.

4. Dubya visited Montana yesterday to push his reform plan to allow younger workers to privatize part of their Social Security here. But U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, was skeptical here.

5. The Idaho Statesman Sports Department has several suggestions for games to play while watching the Super Bowl with friends and family this weekend here (pdf required).

6. Bethine Church/Idaho Statesman (Keep Ada County Courthouse), Waylon Safranski/WSU Daily Evergreen (Coach Dick Bennett’s “finger”), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Rick Neuheisel’s lie), Joel Connelly/PI (U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell), and Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (Some bosses stiff returning troops).

*Mike Corrigan/Inlander previews Spokane International Film Festival here.

*Opera Idaho director leaving to take position in San Jose, Calif., here.

*E-mail from compliance director seen as key in Rick Neuheisel’s trial here.

*Glacier National Park is under siege from all directions here.

Peanut Gallery (Stuck in Spokane)

As you may recall, columnist Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman described his flight ordeal that landed him in Spokane — stuck. Quoth: “…I’m still in Spokane and may be here till spring.” The comment brought back memories to Milt Nelson/Rathdrum, who writes:

I had an identical experience just a year ago when an AmericaWest flight to Spokane was diverted to SEATTLE when we were actually in the landing pattern! I thought in today’s ‘Hi-Tech’ atmosphere that ALL planes could land at ANY major airport regardless of the weather, but our flight had to actually accelerate a few seconds from touchdown and the whole planeload had to spend the night in the Seattle Airport when we were finally shunted-off to another flight (@ 1030 hrs.) the next morning! We were supposed to be in Spokane in early-to-mid evening the previous night, but the INability to make a simple landing was aborted and led to more than a Half-Days delay. I told myself that I’d ‘Take The Train’ next time

Question: Anyone else have a close encounter with the Spokane airport?

Sid Responds to ‘Polling’ Question

Trustee Sid Fredrickson responds to the Huckleberry Online comment about polling the board about a elementary school transfer proposal here.

Close, but no cigar. I did not poll the board, I know better than that. What I asked was, “If the board were to furnish district staff with our opinion on the charge to the attendence zone committee, is that tantamount to polling the board?” From Vern the response was yes. End of discussion. It then became an agenda item.

Sid Fredrickson

Parting Shot (2/3/05)

‘Tis been a bad day for open government in the Gem State. Making matters worse, four of our five North Idaho senators went along with Majority Leader Bart Davis’ scheme to close more committee meetings. You’ll see their names in the 1:59 p.m. posting, including John Goedde (pictured). North Idahoans should remind the four of their vote against public openness when they see them at forums. Some of ‘em talk a good game about openness. But their vote today shows they have no respect doing the public’s business in public. You don’t have to remember that when they begin their primary campaigns a year from now. I will.

Quotable Quote

“Oscar was a doorstop; Oscar was in the basement. I went through a period of false humility. I thought if I had Oscar out people would think I was full of myself. Now Oscar is in a beautiful étagère near my front door”Patty Duke responding to a question from AARP mag re. where she keeps her Oscar for portraying Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker.”

DFO: Our Patty is featured with Joanne Woodward, Shirley Jones, Rita Moreno and other Oscar winners in the March/April edition. You can read all about it here.

Best of the Northwest (2/3/05)

Not only does Boise State have 26 straight Western Athletic Conference football wins, but it also has the best recruiting class in the WAC, according to two reviewers, here. Meanwhile, the SR provided a review of how Inland Northwest schools did in recruiting this year: Washington State, University of Idaho and Eastern Washington.

Photo: Arkelon Hall of Edison High in Fresno, Calif., warms up during practice in October 2003 (Darrell Wong/The Fresno Bee).

1. Political cartoonist Eric Devericks/Seattle Times targets Social Security reform here.

2. Columnist Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman explains why he never wants to see the Spokane airport again here.

3. A Washington bill that would make it illegal for drivers to use cell phones has cleared an important hurdle here.

4. The last words of an actress from Seattle may have sealed her fate when confronted by a group of New York teen-agers: “What are you going to do, shoot us?” Click here.

5. New evidence shows that Enron was scamming to drive up the cost of energy, years before the Northwest energy crunch, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Anti-gay marriage vote), Art Thiel/PI (Ex-UW runner Corey Dillon), Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Men stink? So what?), Joan Balter/Seattle Times (Election in limbo), and US Rep. Jay Inslee/D-Washington (A West Coast tsunami?).

*Neuheisel testimony focuses on his meeting with S.F. 49ers here.

*Post Falls begins focusing — again — on a city center, according to the CDA Press, here.

*U-Dub may play horrible football nowadays, but that didn’t prevent AD Todd Turner from announcing a 43% increase in ticket prices here.

*Former US Rep George Nethercutt has donated some of his records to the Foley Center at Gonzaga here.

Question of the Day (2/3/05)


Reform or bust: Bush says Social Security needs overhaul to avoid bankruptcy/AP.


Dubya sez the Social Security system is broken and needs an overhaul. The Demos say it’s rock solid and needs only a tweak. Who’s right?

Mum’s The Word

Seems Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is turning the screws on our North Idaho senators re. his shameless attempt to close more committee meetings. He brought the hammer down on our small flock of five sheep after getting word that the SR was polling our delegates to see where they stand on closed meetings. On the House side, Rep. Jim Clark told Erica Curless he couldn’t talk about the issue because there’s pending litigation. Baa. Baa. (I can’t recall when Jim’s ever been bashful about taking on leadership and talking.) On the Senate side, new Senate sheep Joyce Broadsword (pictured) slapped a “no comment” on Erica. Amazing but true. One minute, these guys do anything for your vote; then, when they go to Boise, they fall in line behind tin gods, like Davis, who are trying to do the public’s work in secret. F’shame.

You can find a copy of Erica’s e-mail, including questions to the legislators, here.

SR Morning Headlines (2/3/05)

SR Photo/Jesse Tinsley: A detention deputy in the Kootenai County Public Safety Building (jail) watches over inmates in several “pods” in the east housing wing of the jail Wednesday.

*County studies second jail expansion: Commission considers putting proposal to extend half-cent sales tax for small addition on November ballot/Erica Curless, SR — Dang! Just how many bad guys do we have in Kootenai County? We keep building it, they keep filling it. If we don’t build it, will they stay away?

*Warm streak may be nearing end: Cold front expected to hit region this weekend, may bring snow to North Idaho ski resorts/Jonathan Brunt, SR — For those keeping score at home, we’ve had 16 straight days of plus-40 temperatures. But that should come to an end this weekend.

*FBI arrests EMT on child porn charges: Couple turn in man who allegedly contacted them on Internet/Bill Morlin, SR — Sick.

*High court petitioned on field-burning: Group says burning is a health risk, wants ruling overturned/Karen Dorne Steele, SR — Although I support the grass farmers (because I prefer them to suburbia on the prairie), but I can see why Bonner County residents are hosed. Basically, the farmers burn when the wind is blowing toward Bonner County.

*Gay marriage ban loses in Senate: Push to seek constitutional amendment falls 3 votes short/Betsy Russell, SR — Let’s see … Sen. Dick Compton opposes gay marriage, but he believes a constitutional amendment banning it is unnecessary. Reminds me of the abortion debate among politicians who are personally against abortion but don’t want to force their views on others. Meanwhile, the unborns continue to die by the hundreds of thousands.

Parting Shot:

Gotta go hear Dubya give his State of the Union speech, which the Repubs will declare splendid and the Demos will declare lacking. The New York Times provides a preview here. If you get time tonight, you can tell Huckleberries Online what you thought of the speech via the “comments” feature.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry 2

Sightem: In Post Falls today, Pam I Am spotted someone driving around with Idaho “House 56” plates today — and expired license tabs. The tabs expired 12/04. PIA wonders if the car was going to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Quote of the Day

“…Winton is a worn-out, old school that has seen better days. But it is our worn-out, old school” — Winton Concerned Parents re. Coeur d’Alene School District plans to move 700 elementary students to different schools next fall here.

DFO: I’m sure glad that my kids’ elementary years are far behind. I wouldn’t be too happy with the district’s draft plan — no matter how justified.

Bumpersnicker (from Jerky Jim) …

…on a grey Pontiac Grand Am with Kootenai plates, parked at Tidyman’s Friday, Jan. 28:

“Somewhere in Texas there’s a village missing an idiot.”

And above? An Oakland Raiders insignia.

DFO: Doesn’t columnist Molly Ivins come from Texas?


On her lively national blog here, Michelle Malkin lists her 10 biggest post-Iraqi election sourpusses:

Ted Kennedy
John Kerry
Mary Ann Marsh
Chris Matthews

The Democratic Underground
Donatella Lorch
Peter Jennings
Maureen Dowd
(okay, she’s always a sourpuss)
The Arab press
The American press

Did I miss anyone? she asks in conclusion.

DFO: Well, did she?

A Successful BSU Grad

Marianne Love stepped into a BSU/UI cross-fire between Eagle Eye and Phil (Corless, not Punxatawney) today to report this:

Furthermore … I, just moments ago, learned the a Boise State University grad has been named the Northwest Athletic Director of the Year (six states) after receiving the Idaho state honor last fall. His name is Dave DeMers (pictured); he teaches as Sandpoint Middle School. If you want to learn more about him, I featured him in my “Love Notes” column last week here. (Click on “Love Notes, Jan. 2005).

New Idaho quarters

OK, I got suckered on this one … until I read the end. Dunno who’s the originator:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hang on to any of the new State of Idaho quarters. If you have them, they may be worth much more than 25 cents. The U.S. Treasury announced today that it is recalling all of the Idaho quarters that are part of its program featuring quarters from each state.”We are recalling all the new Idaho quarters that were recently issued”, Treasury Undersecretary Jack Shackleford said Monday.

This action is being taken after numerous reports that the new quarters will not work in parking meters, toll booths, vending machines, pay phones, or other coin-operated devices.

“The problem lies in the unique design of the Idaho quarter, which was created by a University of Idaho graduate”, Shackleford said.
Apparently, the duct tape holding the two dimes and the nickel together keeps jamming the coin-operated devices.

Hagadone’s next move?

Now that the $3 million library bond has passed, what’s Duane Hagadone’s next move re. his memorial garden?

1. He’ll come back with the same plan to close three downtown streets.
2. He’ll annex McEuen Field and dare the City Council to stop him.
3. He’ll (ahaha) build it in Post Falls.
4. He’ll (ahaha, ahaha) give it a rest.

Inquiring minds want to know.

SR Headlines (2/2/05)

*CdA voters pass library, safety bonds: Measures total $10 million for improvements/Erica Curless, SR — A two-thirds supermajority represents a ha-huge mountain to climb in passing a bond. The city’s children, as well as the downtown, just received a terrific boost because dedicated community leaders persisted in getting their message out re. these important bonds.

*Bets on N.Y. ponies are off: CdA Casino casualty of mob indictment/Bill Morlin, SR — Mebbe that’s why they call it gambling. Sometimes, the House takes a hit, too.

*Sexual harassment cases down in Idaho: State’s Human Rights Commission sees slight decline in all discrimination charges/Betsy Russell, SR — If you’re working in fast foods, however, don’t let your guard down.

*A long way to go for a little snow: Some suggesting season-pass holders go to sister resorts in other states/Gene Johnson, AP — I feel bad for skiers, our resorts and our watershed. As a non-skier, however, I don’t feel too bad that we’ve had a mild winter.

*Suspended students get to work: Program puts teens on community service projects/Taryn Brodwater, SR — Three cheers for the Post Falls School District who punishes bad behavior with productive work rather than a mini-vacation.

Comment of the Day — from Phil

Phil & Eagle Eye had a throw down over BSU/UI Tuesday, and Phil landed this uppercut:

Top 10 Reasons to go to BSU

10. It’s a notch better than LCSC.
9. Anyone with a pulse can get in.
8. Duck hunting is great on the blue turf.
7. You can still live at home with Mom and Dad.
6. Plenty of parental supervision because most students are parents.
5. Easy to find your way around Greek Row; there’s only one house.
4. If you can’t hack a 4 year program, they still give out 2 year associate degrees.
3. One of the top Truck-Driving programs in the Northwest.
2. How hard can the academic standards be when the logo uses a lower-case “b”.
1. You can’t get accepted at the University of Idaho.

Q: What do a BSU student and a U of I student have in common?
A: They both got into BSU.

Q: How do you get a former Montana Grizzly off your front porch?
A: Pay for the pizza.

Q: Why are Montanans like laxatives?
A: They both irritate the crap out of you.

Q: Did you hear about the new offensive/academic all-american lineman for the Broncos?
A: He makes straight A’s! His B’s are a little crooked, but his A’s are nice and straight!

Final Word

Gotta boogy earlier than usual tonight to meet with a Spokane blog guru for coffee. I’ll check back in later tonight to see how the voting is going and mebbe respond to some comments. (I see Phil Corless and Eagle Eye are hooked up again over the UI Vandal recruits.) Anyway, I’ll catch you on the flip side tomorrow morning.

Whatever happened to — Jeff Jones’ son?

Oregon cartoonist Jim Tibbs’ illustrates a Marianne Love/Slight Detour piece today on Bryant Jones, son of the late city attorney Jeff Jones and Magistrate Debra Heise, here.

Dave Bond has found a way around …

…the Gates online monopoly here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

As you may recall, dating expert David Coleman told WSU students that this was the worst pickup line he’d heard: “I might not be the best-looking guy here, but I’m the only one talking to you” here.

Well, Milt Nelson of the Hidden Valley area (pictured enjoying himself) has a Seasoned Citizen version. You walk into a bar and see a likely lady nursing her glass of Blush (or fizzy water) and casually sidle up to the bar stool next to her.

Then, you say:

“Hi, cutie … do I come in here often?”

DFO: BTW, Inquiring minds want to know if … Milt really named the airbags on the vehicle he bought in January 1996 — “Bill” and “Hillary”?

Inside Huckleberries (2/1/05)

1:45 p.m. Mike Kennedy is calling in reports re. voting numbers, and I’m posting them. Keep checking the comments feature under “and the voting begins.” Also, if you have the numbers from your polls, please report them to Huckleberries Online.

11:19 a.m. Bill McCrory reports he was the 30th out of 870 to vote as of 10:30 a.m. at the Woodland Middle School poll. Remember to keep Huckleberries posted about your vote re. time, number of your vote, precinct and anything interesting that happens. Also, remember to vote; no suicide bombers are expected today.

10:06 p.m. Official blog numbers for last week: 11,628 or 1,661 per day. Official Sunday number: 1,549, which is three times the usual. Thanx.

10:02 p.m. If you’re not reading the “comments” section of this blog, you should. You would have seen the brilliant rhyme exchange between The Bard of Sherman Avenue and Eagle Eye yesterday (which I pulled out onto the cover below) — and some great banter re. the codger who addressed each fish he caught as “Hillary” in honor of the junior senator from New York.

Yo, Bill, can we get police shooting report?

Message sent by Bill McCrory/Whitecaps to Prosecutor Bill Douglas:

How can I obtain a complete copy of “Review of Idaho State Police Investigation No. 2004-1007 – Fatal Shooting of Michael A. Madonna” and any other documents or information which were released to the press on January 31, 2005?

If the entire report is available on one or more compact disks either as Adobe .pdf file(s) or as Microsoft Word 2002 .doc file(s), that would be acceptable and even preferable to a bound print version.

Bill McCrory
Coeur d’Alene

DFO: In the interest of full disclosure, the prosecutor’s office should make copies of the police report available online to the public since that report has been given to the media. No reason not to do so.

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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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