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Huckleberries Online

Archive for January 2005

‘My Favorite Dog’: Dueling Rhymers


I am very fond
of small yappy poodles,
especially sauteed
and served over noodles

The Bard of Sherman Avenue


LOL! LOL! My biggest dilemma is figuring out who I adore most: The Bard or Eagle Eye — Dawn Q. Otee.


And then:

The poets of the Huckleberries clan
Have made a hit with our first fan.
But a warning to readers of this blog
If you’re Bards neighbor, watch your dog!

Eagle Eye

Parting Shot (1/31/05)

With reservations, I’m going to vote for both Coeur d’Alene bonds tomorrow — reservations about the library bond, that is. I’m not crazy about the location. It was forced on us by downtowners looking for another drawing card. I’m also not crazy about library supporters breaking their promise (made after key people in this town conspired to shoot down the community center advisory vote a few years back) not to seek public money for their building. However, I still believe this is an exceptional deal: $3 million will get you a $6.3 million building. Dunno when we’ll get another chance to address this dire need. The public safety bond, on the other hand, is a no-brainer. Gotta have it.

“America the Beautiful” never sounds as lovely …

as when it’s sung by the late Ray Charles here.

Hat Tip to Milt Nelson of Rathdrum for sending this in.

Extra! Extra!

Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas cleared two deputies Monday in connection with the Dec. 28 shooting that killed a suspect and left a Coeur d’Alene police officer seriously injured, according to reporter Tom Clouse/SR.

“It was justifiable homicide,” Douglas said of the actions by deputies Justin Bangs and Kevin Smart. “The officers acted properly and lawfully prior to the shooting.”

As to Michael Madonna’s shooting of Kralicek, Douglas said: “He didn’t have a chance,” Douglas said of Kralicek. “He walked right into hostile fire.”

Clouse’s report on today’s press conference is available online for print subscribers.

Playing rough against Senate R’s

Rather than just flapping their gums for TV against the attempt by Repub Senate leaders to allow more closed committee meetings, Senate D’s should play rough, according to editorialist Marty Trillhaase of the Idaho Falls Post Register. They should:

1. Do more than hold press conferences and vote in protest.
2. Use tape records and take copious notes in closed sessions; then, divulge the contents to the public (feel free to engage in political spin).
3. Make individual Repulicans defend themselves in front of a platoon of television cameras and microphones — something no politician relishes.

All of which are great ideas from Marty. Now, we’ll see if Idaho D’s have the cajones to pull something like this off, and mebbe win a few more votes.

Least favorite dog?

Gotta kick out of a comment posting by Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being re: my wolves item in today’s “SR Headlines”. Quoth Bob: “Wolves are cool, Pomeranians however, are Satan’s Lapdogs.” Pomeranians? Admittingly, they make a nice crunch when a car wheel rolls over them. But my least favorite dogs are Rottweilers (and, yeah, it has everything to do with being bitten by one a coupla summers ago). Do you have a least favorite dog?

Question of the Day, Part 2

Any guesses about the percentage of turnout Tuesday for Coeur d’Alene’s bond votes on public safety and the proposed new library?

Question of the Day (1/31/05)

Question: How do you analyze the enormous Iraqi election turnout in the face of terrorist bombers and death threats — 60% to 72% and above (despite Sunni areas such as dangerous Fallujah boycotting altogether)?

My read? I’ve maintained all along that the world media weren’t providing an accurate picture of what was going on in Saddam Hussein’s former country. That much good was being done, and the people were yearning for freedom. If nothing else, the vote shows that the insurgents (read: former Baathists and outside agitators) don’t represent the country as a whole. The Iraq The Model blog provides a personal view of the joyous mood in Baghdad during the voting here and you can find the Washington Times story here.

Best of Huckleberries Online

APhoto: Members of the Red Hot Mamas march in the Inaugural Parade Thursday, Jan. 20. See Item No. 2 under “Big Kids, Too” below

After seven years of underwriting the Haul Ass to Harrison Car Show And Shine, Harrison chamber members are wondering: Should the popular September show be renamed? Seems someone complained the name was over the top. Mechanic Big Al Henning took the pro-HA position with the St. Maries Gazette-Record: “I didn’t feel that there was a connotation other than ‘donkey.’ After all, the word ass is in the Bible.” Eileen Duhamel took the con: “They can call it anything they want, but I don’t think the chamber should give them money when it offends some people.” Bev Reinhardt, meanwhile, has printed T-shirts with “Haul Ass” for adults, without for youngsters. The kids can’t wear them to school. P’haps local educators didn’t want the car show to make a jackass out of them, too.

Kids Say Darndest Things
At Sandpoint’s Washington Elementary, teacher Sally Loveless was watching her fourth-graders file out for a break when she noticed that one was downtrodden. What’s wrong, she asked the youngster. “I left my dollar for the salami at home,” he responded sadly. Sally: For – what? Boy: “For the salami.” Sally: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Boy: “The big salami that killed all the people.” Seems the school was raising money for tsunami victims. The little one’s heart was in the right place – although his vocabulary wasn’t.

Big Kids, Too
After seeing photos I posted of myself (recent and mid-1970s) to kick off Best of Huckleberries Online last week, My Firstborn in Colorado e-mailed: “I don’t know which worries me more: that the long-hair resembles the guy I see in the mirror, or that 30 years from now, I might resemble the guy in the color photo” … Another quotable: “What a thrill to look up and see the president looking you straight in the eye and smiling back at you! The entire reviewing stand came alive and started dancing along with us lil’ ol’ mamas. Quite a day for the common folk” – Mikki Stevens (photo), Red Hot Mamas founder, re. the RHMers second inaugural parade … “Ever since Huckleberries and associated bloggers have listed me, my stats are getting bigger than my bust size and folks – that is a healthy number!!” – The Angry Commentator re. increase in blog hits.

Poet’s Corner
The pearly gates glowed bright/And bonny,/As Gabriel announced,/ “Heeeere’s Johnny” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“His New Gig”). (You can find a link to The Bard’s archives to the right or here.)

Deputy Dawg C. Osborn of Bonner County was busy last Monday evening, checking animal sightings – a loose horse on Selle Road and a loosey goosey elsewhere. Don’t laugh. It beats refereeing domestic disputes among other calls … Psst. Wanna play 18 holes of miniature golf online while the boss isn’t watching? Click hereJan & Dean mighta been singing about “Surf City” back when, but North Idaho College isn’t far behind – you know, “two girls for evvv’ry boy.” NIC is 63 percent femme, prompting Senate Demo Mike Burkett of Boise to say at a budget panel hearing: “I now think I understand why so many boys from this community are going up to the place with the beach and the gender imbalance” … On the other hand, 27 percent of the Idaho Legislature is female – or in Jan & Dean parlance: four boys for evvv’ry girl.

Parting Shot
In a meticulous report, Jim Fromm, the early ‘80s mayor of Coeur d’Alene, challenges other historians who say the Lewis & Clark expedition had an Indian guide named “Toby.” (You can find a link to Jim’s Web site here). Also, Jim sez the name Coeur d’Alene doesn’t mean what most think it does: Heart of an Awl. But he said he’d save that story for another day. Meanwhile, we can only guess what Coeur d’Alene means. The white guys are going to get the silver mine, and we’re going to get the shaft?

P.P.S. (Saturday, 1/29/05)

My blood level is elevated a bit this morning after reading the front-page story about porn star Ron Jeremy being invited to speak at Eastern Washington here — and then seeing James Dobson, the kindly Focus on the Family leader, pictured as a monstrous demagogue in a political cartoon on the editorial page here (click on “Nick” and choose the 1/27/05 cartoon in the pulldown). When a country calls evil good and good evil, then it is in a destructive moral stupor.

Ah’m your Huckleberry (1/28/05)

As you see, Ken Gors of Kootenai enjoys hunting turkey. He shoots ‘em and smokes ‘em — that is, all but the one wife, Cis, cooked for dinner one day. Wild? Store-bought? What’s the dif? she thought. After all, she’s a whiz with elk and deer. Well, wild turkey ain’t deer. Sis: “I felt like a dog fighting a piece of old meat. It made jerky seem like tender vittles.” Ken admitted it was “a little tough.” About that time, a friend who’d been helping Ken paint his ‘60 Studebaker rig dropped by. On his way out the door, Ken muttered something about inviting the man to stay for dinner, which set Cis in motion. No way she was going to allow the man to taste that turkey. It went into the trash. And leftover meatloaf greeted Ken when he returned alone. Holding her breath, Cis told Ken what she did. He laughed and dug into the meatloaf. “And that, Dave,” sez Cis, “is why I love this man.” Guess the preacher meant tough turkey when he asked: for better or worse?

Huckleberries Online shouldn’t do this but …

…how about 18 holes of online miniature golf before you punch out for the week here?

A horse racing scandal has found its way …

…to the Coeur d’Alene Bingo Casino, according to Indian Country, the nation’s leading Indian news source, here.

‘Whisker Opinions’

Some say “classy”
and others “scary”:
the new goatee
of Huckleberry.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

DFO: Laugh if you must. My brother Ed and his family did in Manteca, Calif. Quoth: “Hey bro, I checked out your blog. Looks like you are having a great time. I read quite a few of them. Some of them I didn’t have a clue what you were talking about. Others were great. Then, I came across the picture of you with the goatee. I showed Taylor and Jude, and they both laughed. Keep having fun.” O, the slings and arrows I bear without grumbling. Grumble. Grumble. (Phil Corless/The Old Goat Trail photo)

Best of the Northwest (1/28/05)

Don’t look now, but Marshall Chesrown (shown last spring at the Clubhouse at Black Rock), our newest multimillionaire extraordinaire, is planning a $125 million estate development at Sunup Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene, just below his Black Rock development. Thirty-three homes over 250 acres and the cost of each will be between $3 million and $5 million. My head spins. Marc Stewart/Spokane Business Journal tells you all about it here.

1. Political cartoonist Eric Devericks/Seattle Times nails the recent scandal involving columnist payoffs perfectly here.

2. Iraq “is a far cry from our homes in Idaho,” Spc. Christopher Chesak writes from Iraq. “But as soldiering goes, we live like kings.” The Idaho Statesman provides the rest of his commentary here and a terrific bunch of links to stories about Idaho’s 116th Calvary Brigade here.

3. And another one bites the dust: A profitable lumber mill in Eureka, Mont., (think Kalispell and go north to the Canadian border) is closing its doors after 25 years because it can’t get lumber here.

4. A native of Libby, Mont., will be holding his breath during the Oscar presentations because his film, “Sister Rose’s Passion,” is one of the nominees in the Best Documentary Short Film category here.

5. Sherry Boggs writes about the new crafting revolution (Stitch ‘n’ Bitch) reaching Spokane for The Inlander here.

6. IMHO-NW: Collin Levey/Seattle Times (Liberal pique over paid pundits), Seattle Times (Runaway college athletic train), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./P-I (Wristband craze), John Levesque/P-I (Seattle Mariners defense) and Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Hollow U-Montana resolutions).

*Watch your pocketbooks, O My Readers, Qwest still wants to deregulate here.

*Congressman Butch Otter will start his campaign for governor with $160,000 in his warchest here.

*Washington initiative pusher Tim Eyman is back with a new one that should get solons’ attention here.

S-R Headlines (1/28/05)

Lori Cain/APhoto: A van passes by an Adopt-A-Highway sign reading “American Nazi Party” on Sunnyview Road in Salem, Ore., Wednesday. (See fourth item below.)

*Spokane health officer outlines agenda: Sex ed, gay rights, bike lanes among initiatives/Kevin Graman, SR — Spokane Councilman Bob Apple was right … “About a third of these proposals are inappropriate to the health board.” Your public tax dollars at work.

*Study of aquifer too late, citizens say: Residents worry water already overused, think scientists should be looking at quality, too/Karen Dorn Steele, SR — The residents sound a bit hysterical here, but … only a bit. Why can’t they study both quality and quantity?

*Judge declares meetings private: Reporters to appeal for open legislative committee sessions/Erica Curless, SR — Fourth District Court Judge’s Kathryn Sticklen clueless if she doesn’t think the business of the Legislature is conducted in committee meetings. She needs a lesson in civics (and demotion to traffic court).

*‘Nazi Party’ adopts highway near Salem in rural Oregon: Signs along road upset neighbors, but officials from county say free-speech rules allow them/Niki Sullivan, AP — Finally, these clowns are giving a little something back to their communities.

*Motorcyclists lobby for anti-profiling law: Opponents agree profiling occurs, but say funding not available for training/Travis Hay, SR — They wouldn’t get stopped if they wore “Motorcyclists for Jesus” jackets.


Item: Report: Females used sex in interrogations: Gitmo insider says woman contractors wore miniskirts, thongs, touched suspects/Associated Press.

DFO: I’ll leave you with one to chew on until tomorrow morning. If you follow the link above you’ll find descriptions like this: “The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner’s reliance on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee that she was menstruating, touch him, then make sure to turn off the water in his cell so he couldn’t wash.” Let Huckleberries Online readers know what you think of such, ahem, torture.

Best of the local Blogs (1/27/05)

*Big John Rook, a radio hall of famer who settled in CDA, pays tribute to Johnny Carson and Ray Peterson (“Tell Laura I Love Her,” “Fever” and “Corinna, Corianna”) here.

*Bill McCrory (Whitecaps), Kristin Hoppe (Not So Fast) and Phil Corless (The Old Goat Trail) provide their views of last night’s blogfest here, here and here.

*In Slight Detour, Marianne Love focuses today on Canadian transplant Ed Elliott, who started the Northern Navigation Co., which handled the mail on Lake Pend Oreille and moved houses acrossed it, here.

*The Old Goat Trail tells of the depending departure of Proud Mary from the CDA post office to the one at Cataldo here.

Q & A

Question: I’m just curious. Do you ever read and consider opposing points of view? Your writing seems to have glimpses of intelligence behind it, but the intelligence is interspersed with what I would call “talk radio” moments (“hung over Washington Demos who’ve been celebrating the theft of their governor’s seat”, for example). I find that the writers that I most admire and listen to tend to have an understanding of (and at least a modicum of appreciation for) the opposing viewpoints of which they write. For a conservative this would include, for example, being able to understand such radicalisms as how a person could simultaneously support the troops and think the Iraq war was a bad idea. So I’m trying to figure out from whence you are coming.

DFO Answer: You should take note of the great gay marriage debate yesterday. I’m against. An overwhelming number of the 30-plus posters were for. I don’t mind dissenting views at all. In fact, I keep prodding Demo kingpin Mike Kennedy to write regularly for me. I do, however, insist that “commenters” keep it civil. I’ve had a coupla borderline cases this week. But I’ve only hit delete once. (BTW, why do Liberals always mock a Conservative’s intelligence. We don’t do that to you. We just question your common sense.)

Huckleberries (1/27/05)

4:11 p.m. We’ve launched another one, folks. Check out Herb Huseland’s Bay Views blog here. You can also find his link at the right.

2:08 p.m. Big John Rook, a radio pioneer, has been added to my North Idaho blogroll. For insights about radio history, the industry, and an online book about his life among such stars as Kenny Rogers, Burt Lancast, Bob Hope (pictured), etc. (and an insight into his media battle with Duane Hagadone and others), check it out by clicking onto the link at the right or here.

2:06 p.m. News Flash: A Berry Picker reports that the CDA tribe’s doughnation to schools and colleges in the Idaho Panhandle this year will top the $987,000 record in 1999-2000. The 20 or so cash awards will be announced Tuesday. Stay tuned.

1:47 p.m. In her blog today, The Angry Commentator wants to know what happened at last night’s blogfest as we were plotting to take over the world (You need to know something about that great cartoon, “Pinky and The Brain” to appreciate that one.) I’ll address that at the end of the day. Stay tuned.

12:42 p.m. Yo, Cis The Retired, Phil Corless (The Old Goat Trail) snapped a side shot of me and my goatee last night at the blogfest — and I didn’t know it until I saw it posted on his blog site here. He has a better one of Beyonce Knowles who’s been spotted in Moscow recently. (I’ll print my mug as soon as I get permission from Phil to do so.)

12:24 p.m. Looks like Bonner County gendarme C. Osborn had a busy evening Monday — 19:39: “Deputy checked area (Selle Road) for a horse in the roadway.” 19:49: “Deputy checked that area (200 Hidden Lakes) for a goose in the roadway.” Hey, it beats a domestic call any day. (BTW, provides the Bonner County logs for Jan. 17-23 here.)

12:01 p.m. With fear and trembling, I’m beginning my second Best of Huckleberries interactive print column for Monday. I’m going to hold off posting it until Sunday night, so you guys won’t go cuh-razy on me.

*8:49 a.m. Final “comments” number from yesterday: 50. A record. And they’re still battling it out in the trenches re. Wednesday’s question of the day re. state Sen. Mike Jorgenson’s (pictured) gay-marriage ban here. Also scored a record Tuesday number of 1,710 and probably will go over 2,000 for the first time ever when the final numbers are in for Wednesday.

8:44 a.m. I’m going to put Quick Fix 6 on the back burner for awhile. Simply don’t have time in the morning to put it together and then do the other roundups. Besides, I think the niche for this blog is local/regional. Watch for new links of all the North Idaho publications.

Question of the Day (Thursday 1/27)

OK, I’m curious as all get out. Are the two Coeur d’Alene city bonds on Tuesday’s ballot ($3 million for a library and $7 million for public safety) going to pass? Both of them? One of them? I’m not asking are you going to vote for the bonds. I’m asking are they going to pass? What are you hearing from family, friends and neighbors?

Best of the Northwest (1/27/05)

It’s almost February, and that means one thing to Mariner fans — spring training is just around the corner. With the addition of infield sluggers Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre to the lineup, we’ll have something to look forward to this year after that 99-loss season in 2004. Now, comes news that the M’s are considering Mike Cameron for centerfield again and have just signed a speedying Cuban for shortstop. Usually, Huckleberries Online shies from sports. But one thing that unites us Northwesterners is the Mariners, right? You can find the latest on the boys here.

APhoto: Mike Cameron, as a Mariner in 2003, making a sliding catch on a ball hit by Boston Red Sox’ Nomar Garciaparra (who has since moved on, too).

1. Political cartoonist Eric Devericks/Seattle Times looks at the ballooning federal deficit here.

2. “Idahoans should keep track of their spare change — federal land agencies can charge fees wherever there is a toilet, a trash can, a nature sign, picnic tables or parking and security service, thanks to an experimental recreation fee program that became permanent late last year,” warns The Idaho Statesman here.

3. Washington Repubs claim they have found 737 illegal votes and continue to scour the counties for more as they pursue their court case to overturn the governor’s election here.

4. A Missoula teacher who disappeared on Halloween wearing a Martha Stewart mask has surfaced in Thailand. Yup, she was abducted in a UFO. The Weekly World News, via the Missoulian, tells you all about it here.

5. Barry Lane McAdoo, who is suspected in the beating death of his son, Brandon, took rat poison before he walked into the snow to get away from cops. Now, he’s had parts of his legs amputated due to frostbite here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman (Visiting Hemingway’s Key West home), Laura Stavoe Harm/Idaho Statesman (Gay marriage ban), Coeur d’Alene Press (Spokane’s aquifer resolution), Jim Moore/P-I (Neuheisel’s courtroom battle kicks off), and Timothy Burgess/Seattle Times (Faith-driven voters).

*The Idaho Statesman provides photos of how Idaho’s 116th Brigade Combat Team celebrated Christmas and the Liberty Bowl in Iraq here.

*A plan that would ban firearms in Washington’s Legislative Building is coming under heavy fire here.

*Post Falls is No. 2 and Sandpoint is No. 3 in the latest Idaho 4A prep basketball poll here.

Peanut Gallery (BNSF spill … same-o)

re. Ex-grass grower exec Dennis Carlson weighs in about the dangers of a BNSF refueling depot over the aquifer. (I’ve jumped this to the “comment section” to get it all in.)

I grew up on the prairie just northeast of Post Falls, graduated from PFHS, taught science and math in both Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene, raised Kentucky bluegrass seed for 13 years on the prairie while I was teaching (8 years in double shifts between my stints at PF and CDA), served as Exec. Director of the Intermountain Grass Growwers Assn. from 1976 - 1990 through some of the contentious, early field burning years (and have some great stories about Duane H’s influence in structuring field burning decisions). I left CDA in 1990 to pursue school administration and am now the superintendent of the Lynden School District in far northwestern Washington. I spent three years as principal/superintendent in Skykomish, WA where the Great Northern RR (now BNSF) had a refueling depot (until the mid-1970s) to refuel their locomotives and to switch to electric locomotives for hauling over Steven’s Pass and through the 7 mile tunnel.

Continued in “comments” area …

Free for All

The first blogger has arrived for the blogfest … Bayview Herb … so I need to close things up for the day. That doesn’t mean you have to stop. If you have something to say, on any subject, fire away under the “comments” below. I’ll check them out tonight and move them into tomorrow’s discussion in the morning.

Condi wins confirmation here

Wouldn’t you like to see a cat fight between Condi and insufferable Barbara Boxer? Boxer wouldn’t know what hit her.

Whitecaps gives CDA water an “A” …

…and the EPA an incomplete on complying with regs to protect the city’s water supply from bioterrorism here.

Sandpoint High targeting obnoxious rooters

The banner article in the latest Sandpoint High Cedar Post attracted Huckleberries’ attention: “SHS rewards clean, profanity-free cheering.” The article goes on to talk about negative cheering in the SHS rooting section during basketball games, “including derogatory comments and racial slurs.”

Quoth: “During the North Central and West Valley boys varsity basketball games, negative cheering reached its peak. Racial comments were shouted by at least one unidentified fan.”

And: “Athletics director Cheryl Klein believes that the college and professional sports are partially to blame for fans attitudes.”

DFO: I wonder if loud-mouthed fans realize what incredible bores they are? Sandpoint High deserves credit for suspending one student whose actions were over the top and for taking strides to encourage positive cheering.

Question of the Day

You guys are off to a running start today, arguing about gay marriage under the P.S. item that closed blogging last night here. So, let’s make it official and ask:

Q — Do you approve or disapprove of the attempt by state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, (pictured) to push through legislation that would ban gay marriage here?

DFO: I tried to post an editorial I wrote last August defending traditional marriage. But “Merlin,” our much-despised archives system, apparently won’t let me go back that far. Sorry.

Quick Fix 6 (1/26/05)

In the worst single event of the war, 31 American Marines were killed today in a helicopter accident in bad weather in Iraq’s western desert. Elsewhere, terrorists killed 5 Americans as the casualties mount leading to Sunday’s historic vote. In the end, the bad guys will lose, but they’re trying to inflict as many casualties as possible before they do here.

Dan Pelle/SR Photo: Eddie Harper dressed as Sponge Bob Squarepants, his favorite cartoon character, for the 2004 Bloomsday race. Sponge Now, the nation’s most famous sponge is caught up in a controversy about — sexuality? C’mon. See No. 4.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Al Qaeda reader), Timothy Kelly (Media liberal bias), and Guy Gilchrist (Inspiration).

2. Humor Fix: “Did you see that blizzard? What did they get, two feet of snow? New York hasn’t been this white since the Republican convention was in town” — 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: 9 killed as suburban LA trains derail here, Another columnist paid to promote Bush proposal here, FBI says jihadists living in Oregon here, Controversy not about ‘gay’ SpongeBob here, and Maryland second in AP scores here.

5. Un-PC Fix: The Polly Awards are back. Polly? That’s the name the Collegiate Network gave the awards for the outrageous PC campus conduct. Money comes with the award, too. If you’ve seen Leftists on campus doing something goofy, you might way to check this out here.

6. Opinion Fix: Christopher Hitchens/Slate (Good news about Iraq), Alice Miles/Times of London (Journos shouldn’t sneer at democracy), Ben Shapiro/Townhall (Hillary’s morphing into Bill), Michelle Malkin/Creators Syndicate (Heartless homeland security snafu), and Terence Jeffrey/Townhall (Save Terry Schiavo).

Parting Shot (1/25/05)

I’m reluctant to pull out of here today. I’ve been having fun. And today’s “comments” are a hoot. But dinner calls. (Or is that just my stomach growling?) Remember about the blogfest tomorrow night in the second floor conference room of the S-R’s CDA bureau — 5:30 to 7 p.m. Blogmeister Ken’ll be there. And so will I. I’m looking forward to meeting you guys who blog as well as any wannabes. (Side note to Cis The Retired — they’ll get to see my goatee before you will — unless you travel down from Kootenai.)

Peanut Gallery (Who cares about Griz?)

(The battle between Hayden Hermit and Eagle Eye has spilled out onto the section front from the “comments” section of Best of the Northwest today. Hayden Hermit’d better hope my sister-in-law Lisa, a Montana grad, doesn’t see this. Make sure you read Eagle Eye’s poetic response below.)

Okay, nobody outside of Missoula cares about I-AA football. HA HA HA, I have to laugh at you… 20,000 fans at Grizzly Stadium. My my, that IS big-time, isn’t it? Montana is the most successful I-AA football team in the country and they’re losing millions. If Idaho is to win again at the I-A level (lest we forget the ‘96 through ‘99 seasons?) they can’t be recruiting sub-par Idaho talent. Even Boise State knows that, and they get state subsidies too.

Sorry Eagle, the high schools in Idaho just aren’t producing enough I-A level talent. But thank goodness for such powerhouses as Montana and Eastern Washington so our local boys can get a scholarship.

Speaking of Eastern Washington, look at the year they had… And what was their regular season attendance average? Less than 10,000? Yeah, I-AA football is really bringing in the fans.

If you look at the Vandal roster you’ll see that Nick Holt and Staff have done a fine job of building a team of mostly HIGH SCHOOL recruits. But they go after the BEST, regardless of what state they grew up in.

Like I said, the Big Sky is a losing proposition and ANCIENT HISTORY. The Vandals found immediate success in I-A until a bonehead coach named Tom Cable came along and coached them into the ground.

Get over the Big Sky. It’s done. Idaho is back with its original, and best rivals, Nevada, Boise State and Utah State. Where it belongs.

We’re in, are you?

Hayden Hermit

DFO: To which Eagle Eye responded:

Hayden Hermit, he’s a big Vandie fan
And he loves Coach Holts football plan
He doesnt want any Idaho boys,
Just taxpayer money and some fan noise
He says Idaho can compete,you’ll see!
All I can say is 65-7, Boise!

DFO: If I didn’t know Eagle Eye wasn’t The Bard of Sherman Avenue … (Hermit & Eagle, take a bow for your outstanding exchange today; the rest of you can read the entire set under Best of the Northwest.)

Vorfeed & Marwien of PFU are back …

with more great quotes from around Post Falls High, including:

“… Snowtime — or as we call it in the red states- Christmastime” - Mr. Berg

For their quotes, click here; for a link to RateMyTeachers for Post Falls High, click here.

What’s a blog? Cis explains …

I have figured out a way to explain what a blog is to my friends. It is like the guys who get together for coffee in the morning,at a local coffee shop. Around a table or at the counter, and every one has an opinion about something. And the current events is usually the subject. Now take that table and expanded it as far as your mind can think. Because everyone comes to the table off and on thru the day, and gives their two cents worth. Some good, some bad… but always making you think.

Cis The Retired

DFO: Dyne-oh!-mite, Cis; I can use a young lady like you in my organization. Ever consider blogging?

Huckleberries (1/25/05)

Photo/Idaho Public Television: Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis arguing in February 2004 for a law that would ban kids under 14 from getting a piercing anywhere but on the ear lobe. Now, he wants to allow legislative committees to close their proceedings any time they wish. Huckleberries considers Davis Public Info Enemy No. 1.

11:15 p.m. Set a Huckleberries Online record today by attracting 43 comments (which is Dubya’s number in the great line of presidents and also my son Seth’s as a Coeur d’Alene High (Class of ‘97) footballer.

3:21 p.m. Yeow, Hayden Hermit and Eagle Eye are throwing haymakers at each other re. UIdaho recruitment in the Best of the Northwest comments today here.

2:42 p.m. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has reintroduced the Balanced Budget Amendment, and his office is sharp enough to let us know about it on Cyberspace here. Meanwhile, Huckleberries’ Hound has failed to persuade the staff of Crapo and Otter to provide links along with their news releases, so their stuff isn’t bloggable.

1:20 p.m. 4 o’clock blog number from Monday: 1,016, which means the final number should be around 1,400, about double the total I was getting for Mondays in November. Also, it means the blog has attractive more than 1,000 for each of the last 12 days I’ve blogged, including 1,994 Thursday. Thanks.

12:14 p.m. I just posted editor’s notes to the morning comments, if you want to check them out. BTW, do you folks know you can read the comments of others by clicking on the “comments” feature below each item? There’s some good stuff in there. Also, you can comment yourself by filling in at least the first line of the little boxes at the bottom of the “comments” section.

11:03 a.m. I’m done with the morning blogging and waiting for the daily Editorial Board conference call to discuss edit topics for tomorrow and beyond. I plan to write edits denouncing the attempt by Repub Idaho Senate leaders to allow committees to close meetings at their whim. And promoting Coeur d’Alene’s public safety bond next Tuesday.

Angry Commentator lists her faves

The Angry Commentator is one of the more entertaining bloggers on the North Idaho roll. And she’s an avid online reader. Yesterday, she listed her favorite online papers (and this has nothing to do with the S-R/Huckleberries high ranking … wink) and provided some good links here.

Q & A

Question: (from Scott Burrington/Liberty Lake): My friends and I used to listen to Richard Clear (pictured) on KGA, but no more. He no longer is on, and we haven’t heard any statement regarding the status of his show. Was it cancelled? He seemed to level a lot of criticism at the Riverfront Park garage deal – is it possible he took a hammering for that?

Answer: KGA broomed Clear in early December, about 8 months into a second gig with the station, as co-host (with Kimi Stevens) of “The Clear Edge.” It had nothing to do with River Park Square and everything to do with lousy ratings. “We’re just moving the station in a new direction,” said KGA news director Dan Mitchinson told Jim Kershner of the S-R. “The focus is strictly on news. We call it ‘real news, real fast’ without a lot of chit-chat. We will have two strong personalities, but the focus will not be on them, but on the news product.” Clear is now out of radio, according to Kershner.

Quick Fix 6 (1/25/05)

You want pictures of the storms in the Northeast? Huckleberries has Associated Press pictures of storms in the Northeast (40 of them, courtesy of World magazine) here.

APhoto: Airport crews remove snow from LaGuardia Airport in New York Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005. Nearly 500 flights were canceled Sunday morning at the New York metropolitan area’s Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, in addition to about 700 that were grounded Saturday.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. (Tributes to Johnny Carson) and Paul Nowak (Disgruntled D’s).

2. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman at Political Humor offers readers today a quiz on Dubya’s first term here.

3. History Fix: On this day in 1981, reports My Way, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States here.

4. Top of the News Fix: No Oscar nominations for 9/11 here, Bush backs pro-life bills here, UN commemorates end of Holocaust here, US infant death rate climbs for first time in 40 years here, US Army troop level in Iraq to stay at 120,000 here, and latest AP stories here.

5. PC Fix: Harvard’s president was widely condemned — and felt obliged to apologize — for daring to suggest that men and women might actually be different. Such is the state of higher education today,” according to, which provides this commentary re. the controversy: Suzanne Field here, Amity Schlaes here, and Dennis Prager here.

6. Opinion Fix: Joshua Muravchik/Wall Street Journal (All the president’s critics), Froma Harrop/Providence Journal (God & evolution), Henry Kissinger/George Shultz/Washington Post (No to Iraq timetable), Phyllis Schlafly/The Phyllis Schlafly Report (Supremacist judges), and Wes Pruden/Washington Times (Day of reckoning for terrorists, elitists).

Best of Huckleberries Online (Jan. 17-21)

Photos: Huckleberries’ Hound taking notes just before the good guys leveled the Aryan Nations HQ in summer 2001 (above) and 30 years ago as a long-hair (below). The photos prove: I get out of the office sometimes. And that I have a hippy strain buried deeply within — very deeply.

In the beginning was Kootenai Grapevine. And Kootenai Grapevine begat Huckleberries. And, now, Huckleberries is begetting Huckleberries Online. After 20 years of three-dot columns, this Huckleberry Hound is changing things slightly today. This print column will feature the previous week’s Best of Huckleberries Online, which was called Hot Potatoes until Thursday. Got that? Huckleberries Online offers a sprinkling of conservative commentary (Quick Fix 6) with a bushelful of the best stories from around the region and, of course, the slices of life, quotable quotes, one-liners and gags that have been featured for decades in this print column. If you don’t like something – or do – there’s a “comments” feature that allows you to immediately respond. Also, the print version will be duplicated as Best of Huckleberries Online each Monday with all the appropriate links. Check it out today. Bookmark it.

Fishy Exchange
Online exchange between Cis Gors of Kootenai and blogger Kristin Hoppe of Not So Fast re. the weather: Cis: “Didn’t we use to call the January thaw a Chinook?” Kristin, not missing a beat: “You can’t use the term ‘Chinook’ anymore. Offends the salmon” … And the answer is: Charles Leroy Dean, 50, John Dallas Lockhart, 36, and Randy Mark Yager, 48. The question: Who are some of the other “sweethearts” with ex-WSU fugitive Frederick David Russell, 26, on the U.S. Marshals “15 Most Wanted” list? (You can view photos of them all in “Best of Huckleberries Online” this morning) … Not to be outdone by comedian Jeff Foxworthy (or Tim Woodward of The Idaho Statesman), JoAnne Stebbins of The Angry Commentator offers insight into how a person can tell they’re from Idaho: “When you go to the store for sour cream and there isn’t any” And: “You check out the real natives by asking them who their birth doctor was.”

Stick Thingies Kill
In Post Falls Uncensored, Post Falls Junior Boy No. 1 (discussing the movie, “Troy”): “You know that stick thing with, like, a sharp thing on the end, like, ah, um …” Boy No. 2: “Oh, a spear?” Boy No. 1: “Yeah, yeah, that’s it. Yeah, and they were all stabbing. They fought all old school and stuff, you know?” And Brad Pitt was totally awesome, Dude … Word Association: Huckleberries sez “snow,” and you say: snow angels, snowboarding and powder. But “snow” to Brazilian reporter Bruno Gineis/EWU Easterner means three things: “limited vision, slippery roads and ascending electricity bills.” He’s too young to be an old poop.

Poet’s Corner
“It’s safest/To Be stationary/When we get/Ice in January” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Driving Advice”).

“Quick! Bring the Red Hot Mamas home before Dr. Rice appoints them to be our ambassadors to the world. Fact is, the Mamas would do a far better job of representing our country overseas than many of the stuffed shirts and empty suits we send now” – Bill McCrory (Whitecaps) re. a laudatory Kansas City e-zine story on our fave Mamas in D.C. for the inauguration … “Has Obama been laudin’?” – John Austin, after watching U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) praising Condi Rice at her confirmation hearings … Enough already about the second job, sez Katie Brodie, Kootenai neo-county commish and property manager for IFI. She sez she spends about 10 hours per week managing a medical facility in Liberty Lake. Case closed?

Parting Shot
Break Down The System, the new Lake City High underground e-zine, hates everything: UN, Pledge of Allegiance, the Bible, finals week, Fight for the Fish, vegans, etc. You name it, and the young editors dis it. Sorta reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Grinch, with phone book in hand, shouting his hatred to the Whos below – you know, hate, hate, hate, double-hate, loathe. And the Grinch turned out well in the end.

P.S. I hope you enjoyed the first Huckleberries Online. Please tell your friends about the column and the Web site. You can send a message to me through the e-mail function at the top of the page or via the “comments” portion under each item. You can also use those features to provide info for future Huckleberries.

Best of the Local Blogs

*CDADave provides Everyman’s perspective of the passing of the late, great Johnny Carson here.

*Henry Johnston of My 2 Cents got hot under the collar when a breakdown in communications cost him $1.75 at a Moscow car wash here.

*Marianne Love of Slight Detour provides an excerpt from a forthcoming book here.

*Phil Corless of The Old Goat Trail spotlights a JuCo transfer who’s married to the sister of Beyonce (yeah, that Beyonce) here.

*Bill McCrory of Whitecaps discusses the role of coroner in death investigations here.

Q & A

Question (from Doug Burr): Do your editors “get it” yet? Are they understanding that you speak for more than yourself in these columns? Hope so; the promise of a free press is often more evident than the freedom is expressed within some newspapers. I’m largely happy with the Spokesman, but their surprise at your tapping a nerve with your conservative columns is worrisome.

Answer: Not to worry. Although Editor Steve Smith and I don’t agree philosophically, Steve is one of my big supporters in writing from my conservative perspective. My blog doesn’t exist without him. If anything, Steve and Opinion Page Editor Doug Floyd would like me to do more columns from a conservative perspective. But I’ve been pressed for time by this all-consuming blog.

DFO: BTW, a former Enumclaw resident recently saw that “Red-State” rant of mine here and responds in the “comments” section below.

Best of the Northwest (1/24/05)

Online Gonzaga Bulletin has posted letters in memory of Brian Brett and Peter Tripp, the two GU students who were killed recently in an Idaho avalance. You can find “A Tribue to Brian and Pete” here. (Requires free online registration.) Also, you can find a great link for online newspapers of Washington’s colleges and university’s here.

Photos: Brian Brett (left, in upper photo, with brother in Africa) and Pete Tripp (below).

1. Political cartoonist David Horsey/P-I believes the “devil’s in the details” here.

2. The key question in Repub Dino Rossi’s court challenge in the Washington guv’s race isn’t how many dead people or felons voted but, rather, who has jurisdiction in the cast — the courts or the Legislature — here.

3. Most Idahoans know Gov. Dirk Kempthorne wants to wide Highway 95 as part of a $1.6B proposal to link the north and south sections of the state. But The Idaho Statesman is also interested in the plan’s proposal to add a lane to I-84 between Caldwell and Meridian here.

4. Crusty Ray Fink’s a long-time community activist from Hauser who wasn’t about to allow a punk who was pointing a gun at him to enter his house in the dead of night here.

5. Move over, Hayden; activists from Pullman, Wash., are fighting the possibility of a new Wal-Mart superstore coming to town, too, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Thumbs Up for Nez Perce water deal), Coeur d’Alene Press (Let vets smoke), Kate Riley/Seattle Times (Farmers deserve ahearin’), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Idaho conservatives plotting rebellion), and Susan Paynter/P-I (Crazy “Star Wars” guy needed).

* provides a roundup of Kootenai County’s scofflaws here.

*Fightin’ Creek swore in another, ahem, mayor Saturday at festivities near the two-hole outhouse that doubles as a chamber of commerce office here.

*A top-two primary system is gaining traction in the West, according to Julia Silverman/AP (a former S-R CDA bureau reporter), here.

Ah’m your Huckleberry

Teacher Sally Loveless was watching her fourth-graders at Sandpoint’s Washington Elementary file out the door for recess, when she noticed one was downtrodden. What’s up? she asked the tyke. “I left my dollar for the salami at home,” the youngster replied. Sally: For what? Fourth-grader: “The salami.” Sally: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Fourth-grader: “The big salami that killed all the people.” Seems the school was raising money for victims of the tsunami and the little one’s heart was in the right place — even though his vocabulary wasn’t.

Q & A

Question (from my sister, Lil in Manteca, Calif.) What’s a blog?

Answer: A blog is an online column of sorts, which can be written in the form of political commentary with links galore, or focus on an area of expertise, as a journal, or a mix, like Huckleberries Online. My blog (think — World Wide WeB & LOG, as in the captain’s log on Star Trek) mixes political, regional news, local slices of life and gags. I refresh it several times through the day. So check back at least once late in the afternoon or early evening to see what you missed.

Craig’s office welcomes bloggers

We here in Senator Craig’s office feel that bloggers can be an important and effective means of communicating with Idahoans. We plan to deal with bloggers as we do with TV, radio, and newspaper reporters: on an individual basis. Our relationship with Dave Oliveria, as with other reporters around the region, is based on trust and understanding. We know that we may not always agree with Dave, and we know that he’ll give us a jab or two when he sees fit. But we know that Dave is interested in the truth and will tell a complete story to his readers.

As bloggers, you can expect to be treated just as we treat other reporters in “traditional” media. If you call or e-mail us with questions or looking for opinions, we will do our best to answer you in a timely and accurate manner. When reporters call us to engage in rumor-mongering or speculation, we decline to talk to them, no matter who they work for. If they have an axe to grind, and pick and choose what they want to tell their readers and tell just one side of the tale, we don’t have a lot of patience for that. I don’t think we’re too unique in that sentiment, though.

We look forward to working with you folks, and hope the feeling is mutual. Thanks for your time.

Sidney C. Smith
Deputy Press Secretary
Idaho Senator Larry E. Craig
(202) 224-2752

DFO: Now, if I could only get the rest of the Idaho delegation to cooperate like Larry’s does in providing links and answering bloggers phone calls …

S-R blogging: A conspiracy?

In her TGIF morning Slight Detour, Marianne Love writes:

My son thinks Mr. Huckleberry of Blogdom has a secret motive behind his promotion of the Spokesman-Review blogging seminar for North Idahoans. He worries that too many blogs may signal the end to the morning “Handle.” That would be bad for the Love house because paper-reading time and its accompanying commentary provides the highlight of our day.

DFO: No conspiracy here. I’m just having fun and trying to pass it on to others who might be interested in this addictive advocation. For those of you who are interested in blogging, you’re welcome to attend the seminar, led by Online Editor Ken Sands, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the second floor conference room of the S-R’s CDA bureau.

S-R Headlines (1/21/05)

*STA executive Kim Zentz stepping down: CEO to replace Patrick Tam as head of SIRTI/Tom Sowa, S-R: The transit authority’s loss is definitely the research and technology institute’s gain. Quality gal.

*Community comes to aid of officer: Kralicek remains in critical condition after shooting/Jesse Tinsley, S-R: If you’re looking for a worthy cause to support, this is it.

*Zags fall before the Dons: Comeback comes too little, too late for GU in loss to USF/Steve Bergum, S-R: What did St. Mary’s and San Francisco know that Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State didn’t? You’re breaking our hearts, boys.

*Spokane man returns from Aceh: Partners International delivers supplies to area ravaged by tsunami/Virginia de Leon, S-R: Now, every time I see the beautiful beaches on “CSI:Miami,” I’m no longer envious. What would the death toll been like if the tsunami had hit there? Or Seattle? Or San Francisco?

*Siblings arrested on credit fraud charges: Indictment says pair used stolen numbers to make more than $120,000 in puchases/Bill Morlin, S-R: Another good reason to closely guard your credit card numbers.

Huckleberries (1/20/05)

5:11 p.m. Extra! Extra! Lake City High now has an underground e-zine. And everything sucks, according to the young Bush-bashing editors. The U.N. sucks. So does the Pledge of Allegiance. Ditto, finals week, Fight for the Fish, Wal-Mart and even vegans and the Bible. Sorta reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Grinch on the mountaintop going through the phone book and yelling how much he hates the Whos down below. Still, I give the teens an A for initiative, some half decent writing and more than a few laughs. Check it out here.

1:50 p.m. Steve Badraun and Mike Kennedy had a terrific online debate about the library bond in the “comments” section of the “Hot Potatoes Log” entry Tuesday. Both comments are blogopatumuses (long buggers). But they’re worth reading. You can find them at the end of 13 comments here.

1:29 p.m. Notice any differences in the blog?

12:11 p.m. For those keeping score at home, I just dropped two blogs from my blogroll — and added two: The World According to CDA Dave and Lauren Ladoceour’s A Winter of Eternal Sunshine and A Spotless Mind. If you’re going to be a part of Huckleberries Online — oops! (I mean Hot Potatoes) — you have to produce regularly and interestingly.

12:09 p.m. Blogmeister Ken Sands and I just finished gabbing about changes to this blog — and to Monday’s Huckleberries. They’re going to begin today. See if you notice.

9:06 a.m. Concerned Biz moderator Freeman Duncan introduced himself as a “retired grandfather” whom many people believe is dead, adding: “And I hope Dave Oliveria keeps believing that.” Hey, I’m just your average guy (with access to a major metro Opinion Page, a gossip column and now a blog) who’s tryin’ to earn a buck. (But it’s good to know Freeman’s not, you know, outtahere.

9:04 a.m. Running late because I attended that property tax discussion offered by Concerned Biz of North Idaho. You read that right. If those guys keep presenting practical, interesting discussions of community interest, I’ll have to drop the Concealed Biz pejorative of days gone by. They were out there in the open today, baybee. The panel was loaded with heavy hitters: financial Whiz Kid Brad Dugdale (pictured), County Treasurer Tom Malzahn, Assessor Mike McDowell and Steve Griffiths of Jobs Plus. I may have learned something.


Phil Corless of The Old Goat Trail (nee The CDA Blog) posted the latest, revealing shots of Miss Idaho (Caution: Bikini model shown) here.

The Red Hot Mamas are a hit …

…with the Kansas City Info-Zine here.

The Angry Commentator posts a column …

…by columnist Tim Woodward of The Idaho Statesman responding to Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Know You’re A True Idahoan” here and adds a few “truisms” of her own, including: “You check out the real natives by asking them who their birth doctor was.”

For JoAnne’s blog, click here.

In I Am Always Right, blogger Tony Rosen …

…celebrates today’s opening of a Home Depot in the Sandpoint area with a “yippeeee!!!!!!!” here.

In Sandpoint, Slight Detour gives a pandering …

…city attorney a piece of her mind over how he handled the old family farm here.

Quick Fix 6 (1/20/05)

‘Tis a glorious day in Red State Idaho and Eastern Washington: Dubya’s officially beginning term No. 2. (All that hissing and booing in the background are hung over Washington Demos who’ve been celebrating the theft of their governor’s seat for the last week.) Polls show Americans are optimistic about a second term. But the most important poll out there will take place at the end of the month when Iraqis go to their polls and embrace a new style of leadership. The Iraqi election, I believe, is the death knell for the terrorists. That’s why the bad guys are fighting so hard against it.

APhoto Fix: President Bush takes the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist with first lady Laura Bush, and his daughters Barbara and Jenna at his side at the US Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2005. In background are Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, left, and Sen. Trent Lott

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Atheist Michael Newdow), Kevin Tuma (Illegal aliens), and Timothy Kelly (Inaugaration pledge).

2. Humor Fix: “Tomorrow of course is President Bush’s big inauguration. Bush said being reelected doesn’t have the same pressures as the first term and he says he wants to enjoy himself in the oval office this time. Well not as much as Clinton enjoyed himself, but he wants to…” Jay Leno.

3. History Fix: On this day in 1945, “President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to his fourth consecutive term of office. He will die three months later. In 1947, the twenty-second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will limit future presidents to only two terms of office” (My Way) here.

4. Top of the News Fix: Bush takes oath of office for second term here, Rehnquist swears in president despite illness here, U.S. survey: Defend our borders here, Florida judge rejects same-sex marriage here, and Polling firms blame youth, leaks for errors here.

5. Inaugaral Speech Fix: So, you, O My Readers, think you have this inaugaration thing down pat? Well, think again. The Center for Individual Freedom has a tough little inaugaral quiz for you here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ann Coulter/FrontPageMag (Dems can cry if they want), Paul A. Gigot/Wall Street Journal (A Republican moment), Lanny J. Davis/L.A. Times (A Demo likes Bush), Marvin Olasky/World (No basketball player left behind), and Diana West/Washington Times (Tolerating porn).

Hot Potatoes (1/19/04)

5:27 p.m. I finished writing an editorial endorsing the library. No great shakes that, except that I was one of the people who had to be won over re. location and the broken promise not to use public funds to build the new facility. Bottom line? The city has the property and the coalition to make it happen now. If the bond doesn’t pass, it’ll be quite some time before the city addresses this important need.

2:47 p.m. For those keeping score at home, new Commish Katie Brodie’s property management for IFI involves about 10 hours per week, managing the company’s medical office in Liberty Lake. When IFI sold its Lost Creek property a coupla years ago, she told me this p.m., she no longer was involved with land development or subdivisions.

2:01 p.m. And the answer is — Joseph B. Kunka, 45, a marketing rep for Watson Agency. Question: Who’s the first Coeur d’Alene resident to file for the office of mayor in 2005?

1:08 p.m. I spotted a familiar face among our growing Spokesman-Review local blogroll: Lauren Ladoceour, a Coeur d’Alene High grad I mentored a few years ago, who’s now enjoying four months of sunshine in Australia. She’s blogging about it in a delightfully named “A Winter of Eternal Sunshine and A Spotless Mind” here.

11:06 a.m. I’m blogging in the middle of a conference-call Editorial Board meeting because I can — and to show you the marvels of Cyberspace.

10:15 a.m. Sid Smith, CHS Class of ‘96 and current Man Friday for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s office, wants to know if any bloggers would like to receive office press releases or columns directly? Writes Sid: “We are always looking for ways to be more effective in communicating Larry’s message to Idahoans.” You can contact him at

8:35 a.m. Looks like there was quite a discussion yesterday (under “Hot Potatoes Log”) re. new Commish Katie Brodie and the library bond. Check it out.

8:32 a.m. I need to open the day by wishing a Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife, who was born … ah … let’s leave it at Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

Indeed, he been laudin’

As you probably know, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to confirm Condi Rice as secretary of state 16-2, with only Sore Loser John Kerry and uber-Lefty Barbara Boxer of California voting “no” here. Now, Hot Potatoes reader John Austin offers:

I was watching the Condoleezza Rice confirmation hearings this morning when she was actually praised by newly elected Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill). When he was finished, I had to ask myself, has “Obama been laudin’” Ms. Rice?

Sorry, I think like that sometimes.

DFO: Fuhgeddabout ap-hollow-gizing and go to the head of the class, John. Terrific observation.

If the boss isn’t watching …

…you can play a fun game involving penguin abuse here.

Sandpoint is struggling to protect …

…it’s quality of life, and Marianne Love of Slight Detour reports on it here.

Post Falls Uncensored is back with …

…entertaining quotes from around campus, including:

Boy #1: “You know that stick thing with like a sharp thing on the end…like a…um…?”

Boy #2: “Oh a spear?”

Boy #1: “Yeah yeah - that’s it. Yeah, and they were all stabbing. They fought all old school and stuff, you know?” (Two juniors discussing the movie “Troy”)

For the rest of the quotes, click here. And you can find Vorfeed’s latest analysis of the Post Falls High student newspaper here.

Best of the Northwest (1/19/05)

It’s gonna be a free-for-all among Repubs in the race to replace Congressman Butch Otter in Idaho’s 1st congressional district, writes columnist Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman here. Ex-legislator Sheila Sorenson is ready to throw her hat in the ring, along with State Controller Keith Johnson, who was elected in 2002 and is the only statewide officeholder in the mix; evangelical firebrand Dennis Mansfield, who finished second to Otter in the 2000 GOP primary; and Norm Semanko, a former aide to Sen. Larry Craig and executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association. Our own Sandy Patano (pictured) of Larry Craig’s office could be in the mix, too. Stay tuned.

1. Chuck Asay depicts Demos preparing for war over Dubya’s judicial nominees here.

2. Among Washington R’s findings re. the guv’s race? Thirty-seven ex-cons voted, as did nine dead people, and 20 who also voted in another state. It ain’t over till it’s over. Click here.

3. With the deadline for signing approaching, some of Boise’s most talented high school football players haven’t received a scholarship offer from Division I schools here.

4. It’s pouring in western Washington and those who live along swollen rivers have taken notice here.

5. If you loved muscle cars and the “General Lee” of “Dukes of Hazzard” fame, you’ll love what a Hailey mechanic has done with his 1969 Dodge Charger here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Drackett/Mountain Express (Save Hemingway house), Coeur d’Alene Press (Vote Yes on library bond), Stefan Sharkansky/Special to the Times (Rotten Washington guv election), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Tsunami aid), and Robert L. Jamieson Jr./P-I (Memogate scapegoat Mary Mapes).

*Ex-UW coach Rick Neuheisel has been named QB coach by the Baltimore Ravens here.

*Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is pushing to fix the capitol building again here.

*Idaho F&G may change deer hunting rules here.

*Freak accident injures Boundary County deputy here.

Hot Potatoes Log (1/18/05)

5:41 p.m. The dead-tree media can’t beat the blogosphere when it comes to timely updates. Ferexample, you learned Saturday here that ex-WSU student Frederick Russell, the fugitive wanted in the Independence Day 2001 crash that killed 3 WSU students, is now on the U.S. Marshals “15 Most Wanted” list. Well, you can find Russell’s being added to the list here, his wanted poster here and the other 14 most wanted here.

5:40 p.m. Cis The Retired sends along a nifty little guide to finding Bible verses in “God’s Yellow Pages” here.

4-5 p.m. Chatted with Sandy Patano of Larry Craig’s office for an hour about the proposed new CdA library. I’ve had objections about location and the use of bonds to pay for it. Frankly, folks, for $1.29 per month (for an “average” house of $150,000), it’s time to set aside past annoyances to to approve this one.

2:59 p.m. Janell LePire of the Fightin’ Creek Trading Post sends along a personal invite to attend, ahem, mayor-elect Steve Young’s inaugaral from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the tavern. She didn’t say if drinks’ll be on the house.

12:53 p.m. Just firmed up a date with Blogmeister Ken Sands for a how-to meeting for North Idaho bloggers/wanna-bes — 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at the S-R’s Coeur d’Alene bureau. More on this later.

12:07 p.m. The Angry Commentator suggests another blogworthy term: Blooger. Explains JoAnne: “A blooger is a blog thief, someone who registers a known blog’s domain name for the sole purpose of controlling internet media. Guess who the blooger is! In other words he is a snot!” Whoever could she be talking about? (After the Coeur d’Alene Press registered Phil Corless’s domain names for The CDA Blog, resilient Phil switched his title to The Old Goat Trail.)

8:29 a.m. I received a phone message from Katie Brodie re. the Huckleberries Parting Shot yesterday, calling into question her secondary job as a property manager for IFI. She doesn’t believe it’s a problem because IFI sold its last property about 30 months ago. So, she’s no longer involved in subdivisions etc.

8:15 a.m. Lowest page-view number last week? 1,245. Shazam. I’ve never experienced 5 weekdays in a row over 1,000, let alone 1,245. The weekday average was 1,358. Total: 7,966 for the 7-day week and 1,138 daily. Thanks.

Peanut Gallery (Hagadone Corp putdowns)

Wow, this is the first blog I’ve read. I am from North Idaho, Sandpoint to be exact, went to college and grad school at the University of Idaho. I love the state of Idaho like no other place. Now, I surf into this blog and you seem to have created it for the one express purpose of putting down Hagadone Corp. Maybe we could all take a deep breath and not be so concerned with villifying whomever it is we don’t like. North Idaho already has a reputation for being a tad narrow minded. Please don’t encourage that.


DFO: Bless me, Father, for I have sin — but not that much.

Matt Manweller rides again

Prior to the 2004 election, political science prof Matt Manweller wrote an essay for the Daily Record of Ellensberg, Wash. It began:

No sarcasm in this column. No attempts at witty repartee. The topic is too serious and the stakes are too high. This November we will vote in the only election during our lifetime that will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads, more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one path lies retreat, abdication, and a reign of ambivalence. Down the other lies a nation that is aware of it’s past and accepts the daunting obligation its future demands. If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo through the next 50 years of history.

Now, conservative Matt has his own Web site with a collection of his essays, articles and columns, including: “The Puritans are coming!” “Mad Cow and Mad Democrats” and “The Sky Isn’t Falling.” Check it out here.

UI columnist blasts abstinence-only

In a recent column about sex education, Frank McGovern of the UI Argonaut fumed:

The Christian Right is at it again. No, not the church bake sale – you missed that. This is totally going to blow your mind, but once more the obnoxiously powerful evangelical lobby is attacking truth and rationality to push its selfish agenda. A recently released report commissioned by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., found that more than 170 million tax dollars were wasted this year alone on “abstinence-only” sex education programs.

DFO: If all else fails, attack someone you don’t like, eh, Frank? The Christian right has always been an easy target for someone trying to score points with the ladies on campus. If young Frank had checked a little deeper, however, he would have found that there were flawed assumptions in the study itself and that Liberal Waxman has been on a crusade for years to undermine abstinence-only education. You can read all about it here. Closer to home, the Panhandle Health District has cited Peers Encouraging Abstinent Teens as a big reason for the reduction in teen pregnancies in North Idaho. Methinks I’d rather have teens talk to a PEAK mentor about sex than Waxman or his UI disciple.

The Loyal Opposition

“I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mike Kennedy: These are the last lines of a speech Dr, King delivered on April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day he was assassinated in Memphis. Most people focus on his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is certainly a monument to oratory. But I think this speech, in which King so clearly foreshadows his own death, is as compelling and haunting a speech as one can deliver. You can read the entire transcript here.

‘Driving Advice’

It’s safest
to be stationary
when we get
ice in January.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Local Headlines (1/18/05)

S-R Photo/Kathy Plonka: Matt Street of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office wonders where he’ll be tying up next year after the county received notice from the Hagadone Corp. that it’ll need to find another place to store marine division boats. Float home owners are the latest to get the boot by the Hagadone Corp.

*Evicted float homes are a tough sell: Floating cabins at Blackwell Island have a long history, but their days are numbered/Becky Kramer, S-R: And the North Shore becomes even more unwelcoming for the blue-collar crowd.

*Letting cuffed man escape was first mistake, expert says: Criminologist says deputies were wrong to fire through wall/Tom Clouse, S-R: Should we have reported this? Or should we have waited until Sheriff Rocky Watson massaged it a bit? Of course, I’m being facetious here.

*Decades on, King inspires: Civil rights leader’s words ring out on 20th annual holiday in his honor/Hilary Kraus, S-R: If people are still celebrating your life 37 years after your death, you lived well.

*Memorial for Maixner is Wednesday at Schweitzer: Authorities believe Sandpoint man was only victm, scale back search at avalanche site/S-R, wire: Again, too young.

*Rain, ice bring hail of wrecks: More than 320 crashes logged as region’s roads freeze over/Tom Clouse, S-R: Why, oh why, can’t motorists figure out that icy roads mean they should slow down? We’re more than halfway through winter, and we’re still playing bumper cars. Be careful out there, fuhcryinoutloud.

Blogger Phil Corless (late of The CDA Blog) …

…is back with The Old Goat Trail here.

Peanut Gallery (Megayacht v. Mega-megayacht)

re. item about Paul Allen’s megayacht being twice as long as You-Know-Who’s from Coeur d’Alene.

So, Ollie, where are the pictures of Allen’s yacht. Curious and slightly envious minds want to see them. I had the pleasure of visiting several grand yachts as a dock-boy in Nanaimo, BC in my teens. John Wayne’s Wild Goose was 136 feet, a converted mine-sweeper. You could have eaten breakfast on the floor of the Goose’s engine room, which housed a pair of big Detroit Diesels.
Conrad Hilton’s was probably twice as long, too long to fit into a berth in our harbour, so they had to moor at anchor outside. A very gracious vessel.

Wayne’s skipper came into the wharfinger’s office and asked where he could procure some fresh salmon. I knew several of the local fishermen, so I hunted around and sent the best I knew his way — Smitty, who fished every morning and was drunk by noon.

Later in the evening, I was picking up trash along the docks and doing a final mooring log. Wayne stepped off the Goose and asked if I was the kid who set him up with that salmon.
Yessir, I said, half expecting some grief.
Well then, he said, you better come aboard and have a cool one.

The fellow who played the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz, the president of Del Monte, and Smitty the fisherman were all there, in the Goose’s galley, pulling back cold Coors and telling raunchy jokes. John Wayne was just as he appeared in his movies — bigger than life, magnanimous, and just a bit self-deprecating. Surprisingly, he did not hold the floor. His skipper and the cowardly lion did. He just grinned and spoke when it was his turn.
Ronald Reagan wrote a superb tribute to John Wayne, maybe in 1980.

Conrad Hilton’s boat was larger and more elegant than the Duke’s, but for good company I’ll take a minesweeper any old day.

D.P. Bond
Wallace Street Journal

DFO: Can’t produce photos for you because I’m bloggin’ from home. Mebbe Tuesday?

Peanut Gallery (Detective work in Cyberspace)

re. Vorfeed of Post Falls Uncensored was surprised that I found a posting that mentioned the S-R and me in her personal online journal.

Woah, how did you find my LiveJournal? To my knowledge, I haven’t posted the link to it anywhere on my website. Well, that’s okay. I’ll just have to watch what stupid and immature things I say now that I know non-friends are looking (laughs).

DFO: In a word, Holly? Technorati.

Peanut Gallery (Blogrouch?)

How about “Blogrouch”, thinking of our beloved host of course…

Bayview Herb

DFO: Blogrouch? Blogrouch? Herb, you’re a genius. Go directly to the head of the class.

Q & A

Question: Do you mind when readers point out typos on your blog?

Answer: Not in the least. I write this blog with no editor but me … and I’m flying when I do — to keep up with my other duties, too. You, O My Reader, are doing a tremendous favor by notifying me when you see something misspelled, misstated or simply mislinked or simply missed. I can correct it in a second. Use the “e-mail me” in the upper left corner of my blog-site, so it’ll come to my work e-mail, and I’ll probably see it within minutes. If it’s on a weekend, please use the “comments” feature on individual items.

Final Word (1/14/05)

I go back and forth re. the national/int’l content of Hot Potatoes. Since the first of the year, I’ve cut it down continually, to almost nothing. Time management is the problem. I have a rough time keeping up with the output now. However, I regret not presenting stories, commentary and political cartoons that you don’t get in the Mainstream Media. I’ll noodle on this one some more this weekend.

Blog Word of the Day

Today’s word from the blogosphere (or blogistan) is (drum roll, puh-leez) — blogroach.

Blogroach, according to Samizdata, is a reader who infests the comment section of a weblog, disagreeing with everything posted in the most obnoxious manner possible.

Sentence: So far — knock on wood — Hot Potatoes has avoided attracting a blogroach.

Next: blogopotamus.

You think you know a thing or two about …

…inaugaral speeches? Take this quiz here.

Peanut Gallery (Remembering MLKJr)

The celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. this week is a personal journey for me. In the autumn of 1966, I was able to sit in those pews at the Ebinezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and hear him speak to his parishoners. I was in Georgia riding buses doing voter registration drives in the rural counties of the state. We were a little group of white faced kids in a sea of black on that bright Sunday morning. Dr. King rarely spoke at his church, so this day it was filled to capacity with100 microphones in front of him as his rose to speak. The power of his words flooded the sanctuary as he cried out for the killling of little children when the bombs exploded in another Southern church. As I left the services that morning, He shook my hand and thanked me for attending. The scenes of Ebinezer this week always brings me back to that fall day in 1966. I can still feel his soft hands touching mine as we stood together at that tiny moment in my life 38 years ago.

Steve Badraun

Bill McCrory of Whitecaps opines …

…on the use of anonymous sources here.

Marianne Love’s rhapsody of …

…mother’s fudge simply is a good read here.

And Marianne’s brother, Jim Tibbs, provides another of his clever ‘toons here.

Best of the Northwest (1/14/05)

Remember that part in Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s State of the State speech when he talked about tax incentives to woo and/or keep Fortune 500 companies? (In our Editorial Board meeting yesterday, The Dirk Tater wouldn’t say whom he’d talked to re. the incentives but he did drop Micron Technology CEO Steve Appleton’s name a few sentences later.) Now, The Idaho Statesman reports that Micron is looking at a major expansion — and tax incentives will play a big role in where they do the expansion. One plus one equals two. Click here.

S-R Photo/Jesse Tinsley: Morris Dees smiles at Jason Keenan, who was attacked by Aryan Nations security guards in 1998, and who spoke at the press conference following the verdict awarding him and his mother more than six million dollars in compensatory and punitive damages Sept. 7, 2000. (See Item No. 3)

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times illustrates why the Demos may have renewed interest in Howard Dean here.

2. Washington R’s now want to know how many felons voting along with dead people to give Demo Christine Gregoire her 129-vote margin of victory in the guv re-recount here. (Meanwhile, the Seattle Times reports on Gregoire’s first day on the job here and that powerful interest groups financed the re-recount here.)

3. Morris Dees, the civil rights leader who brought the Aryan Nations to its knees, brought his message of human rights to a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in racially troubled Everett, Wash., here.

4. “We can choose to be a part of the problem or the solution” Yolanda King, oldest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. Wednesday at WSU, as quoted by The Daily Evergreen staff, here.

5. For the 17th straight year, more people moved into Idaho than moved out, underscoring the notion that this is a great place to live here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Gov’s tax incentive plan), Lance Dickie/Seattle Times (East/West Washington rivalry = nonsense), UI Argonaut (Kempthorne budget’s impact on UI), Joel Connelly/P-I (Gregoire gets to work), and Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Hairy Missoulians).


*Utah flash flood sweeps Idaho author Gerald Grimmett, 62, to his death here.

*UI student tests positive for TB here.

*Boeing to shut down 717 jet line here.

*Gates Foundation to buy 12 acres for HQ near Seattle Center here.

Hot Potatoes Log (1/13/05)

6:21 p.m. Cis The Retired’s note from earlier today: “Goatee and Hawaiian shirt? THIS I GOT TO SEE…Surely some one in the office there has a digital camera so we can see this?” (I’ll see if I can talk one of them into snapping a pix. Meanwhile, don’t call me Shirley.)

5:38 p.m. Psst. Just between us, you can bank on Her Sandiness seeking a second term. But she probably won’t announce until September. She loves the job. (And she’s good at it.)

2:09 p.m. Gotta check out for a coupla hours. Her Sandiness arrives in 21 minutes … my boss, Opinion Editor Doug Floyd, shortly before then … And Idaho’s Dirk Tater at 3:30 p.m. Today’s also the day for my performance review. Keep your fingers crossed. (Follow-up: They’re going to keep me for another year.)

2:08 p.m. There seems to be an unholy interest in my current goateed status. Check the “comments” feature on this item.

1:46 p.m. In Idaho media circles, the following note from UI journalism prof Kenton Bird re. relations between CPD Blue and the S-R is making the rounds: “Did you read Steve Smith’s column in Sunday’s Spokesman-Review here about the Kootenai County sheriff’s office and CDA PD’s reprisals against the S-R for publishing the names of the two sheriff’s deputies involved in the fatal shooting? Do you think the IPC board would be willing to pass a resolution condemning the withholding of information (and refusing to talk to reporters from a particular news organization) as a way of punshing a news organization for a policy decision?” (Follow-up: I think this tempest has settled down.)

12:39 p.m. Question (now asked by two Potato Bugs today): Is there any connection between the suspension of sheriff’s Capt. Sam Grubbs and the fatal shootout in Hayden that left CPD Blue officer Michael Kralicek (pictured) critically wounded Dec. 28. Short answer: No. Sheriff Rocky Watson wasn’t playing games when old the CDA Press that Grubbs’ suspension was a noncriminal personnel matter.

10:41 a.m. Responding to the Tuesday item that I’ve grown a goatee, a Potato Bug writes: “I’m picturing you today in an Hawaiian shirt and goatee…. :) ” Bingo.

10:18 a.m. Bill McCrory of Whitecaps writes: “I’ve sent an email to DEQ asking why this report isn’t available on its website. That would make more sense than requiring people to go to the DEQ office on Ironwood to “review” the lengthy report. I’ll let you know if and when I get a response.” Stay tuned.

8:32 a.m. Busy day today. Mayor Sandi Bloem’s coming in at 2:30 to pitch us on the Kroc Center. (She doesn’t have to pitch hard because who could be against something like this — other than local athletic club owners, and, I hear, they’re even for this one.) Then, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s coming in at 3:30 to discuss his State of the State address. And I wore a Hawaiian shirt today to turn thoughts toward spring.

Ah’m your Huckleberry …

So, there I was interviewing Idaho’s Dirk Tater, surrounded by his Merry Men and my gang of Editorial Writers, and I had to ask: Aren’t you going to be glad when you’re no longer guv’nah … and you can grow facial hair … and enjoy yourself. And what does he say, with a wink: Yeah, I could grow a pony tail, and jump on my motorcycle … (at that point, one of his advisers cleared his throat, and cocked his head toward me as if to say … guvnah, remember he’s a reporter … and nothing’s off the record) … and we returned to discussing his $1.6 billion plan to fix the U.S. 95 “goat trail” with GARVEE funds. I just wanted you to know that Old Blue Eyes enjoys letting his hair down at times.

Coeur d’Alene Press poll shows …

…that respondents overwhelmingly believe the public owns Sanders Beach here.

The Ronfather’s last etching

The photo above, of Marines in Iraq kneeling in prayer over a fallen comrade/warrior last April 2 was one of ex-Commish Ron Rankin’s favorites. I know. We discussed it on more than one occasion. This afternoon, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, Alice Rankin and others are going to meet at Ron’s Veterans Memorial at the courthouse to kickoff fund-raising efforts to raise the $2,400 for a final stone mural that’ll show this scene from last April 2. Donations will go to the Kootenai County Veterans Memorial c/o the Commissioners.

Let’s show our appreciation for The Ronfather’s service to this community by funding one more.

Sound Off!

“Sound Off” offers you, O My Reader, a chance to spout off on anything you pleaz. Just hit the “comments” button below and fill in, at least, the first line of the three re. name, rank and serial number. Then, spout. It’s that easy. I’m launching Sound Off with this movie review from Steve Badraun:

Went to see “The Fockers” the other night expecting a rip roaring open mouthed uncontrollable series of laughs. Forget it… the video. Its kind of a senior citizen movie and if it wasn’t for the great work of Dustin Hoffman, it would have been plain dismal. Barbra slept through the entire script…Too bad but more money and named brand actors don’t make a great movie……bad writing, miscues by the actors, punch lines did not have any zing…Like I say, wait for the video

Steve Badraun

DFO: Good bad review, Steve. But I’m going to pass on “The Fockers” altogether. I couldn’t get past the name of the film … or the fact that Barbra Streisand is in it. Yeah, yeah, I shouldn’t judge her movies by her politics. But … she’s over the top.

Hot Potatoes Log (1/12/05)

5:41 p.m. The tallying is over (hey, this ain’t Washington) on the “Question of the Day.” The result? By 4-2, with one neutral but interested in the job, Hot Potatoes’ commenters believe Katie Brodie has a conflict of interest in holding down her new job as a county commissioner as well as her job as IFI property manager. Writes Bob Salsbury, of the Spokane Valley: “Which master does she serve? the people of Kootenai Co or her timber baron bosses? I could see huge conflicts of interest around land use decisions.” I agree.

5:01 p.m. OK, OK, since I’ve had fun at Christie Wood’s expense by running those less-than-flattering photos, I’ll give her a chance to chuckle at my expense. See that swarthy casanova to the right? That’s Your Comment Tater, circa 1974, giving his future bride that come-hither look. Look at all of that beautiful black hair. I still have the hair. But it matches my salt-and-pepper goatee now. Yeah, I’ve grown a goatee since you last saw me before Christmas vacation. Now, we’re even, Christie.

4:05 p.m. A former local newsmaker writes: “That has to be the worst picture of Christie Woods I’ve ever seen!!! If you have any really bad pictures of me, can I buy them back?”

3:50 p.m. Yeah, I know that photo I ran yesterday of CPD Blue PRster Christie Wood didn’t do her justice here. Nor did the other one I published last week here. We tend to catch her off guard. Or when it’s windy. Note to self — contact Christie for a better photo (and not the one of her in the leopard outfit that she wore when she crashed your Halloween party back in the ‘80s. She was stylin’ that night).

12:10 p.m. Opening act for the Fabulous Shadows at the Valentine’s dance fund-raiser for NIC’s new health science building? The Bendover Sisters of the Silver Valley. This, according to an NIC news release here. Bendover Sisters? The mind races.

11:34 a.m. This edition of Hot Potatoes was brought to you by the Nos. 1,291, 1,526, 1,305 and 1,245 — or the number of daily pageviews for my last four weekdays of blogging. Dang! I’m on fire! And, remember. Friends tell friends about Hot Potatoes.

11:31 a.m. The battle between The CDA Blog and Hagadonus Rex, Newspaper Division, continues here.

11:11 a.m. Clever observation from Bill McCrory of the Whitecaps blog: “Thank goodness for careful headline proofreading and editing. From this morning’s CdA Press: ‘Hayden, Wal-Mart butt heads.’ Had one space been removed from this headline …”

8:22 a.m. If you want to entertain yourself, go back thru yesterday’s postings and read the “comments” underneath. (Just click on the “comments” button.) Not only do my fine commenters digest the news of the day, but late at night I have a chance to comment on the comments. BTW, you’re welcome to enjoy the fun. The more the merrier.

Peanut Gallery (What’s wrong with Wal-Mart?)

Personally, I don’t understand the whole “anti-WalMart” thing. What are they really protesting against? Okay, increased traffic I can see … but, aren’t they essentially saying they don’t want another 200 jobs in their area? It’s not like North Idaho is the “Mecca of high paying jobs” …

Tony Rosen

DFO: Hot Potatoes welcomes a new commenter, from Sandpoint. Good question, Tony.


**** Stefan Sharkansky of the blog, which has uncovered numerous irregularities in the Washington gubernatorial recounts, is the subject of a column by Robert Jamieson Jr./Seattle P-I here. (I gave this **** because it’s a must-read for all bloggers and right-wing conspiracy theorists re. the Washington election.)

** David Horsey, the Pulitzer Price winning cartoonist from the Seattle P-I, had fun with Demo Christine Gregoire’s swearing in here.

*** A clever piece by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the previously unwritten rules of baseball here.

* The Nez Perce water agreement threatens property rights, according to Frank Priestly/Idaho Farm Bureau Federation here. (High DBI factor = Dull but Important).

** Art Thiel/P-I (and one of the best sports columnists around) writes about the problems with the Seahawks front office here. (Would have received a higher rating but the Seahawks bore me.)

* The Seattle Times welcomes Demo Christine Gregoire to office here. (One star for covering the bases.)

Local headlines (1/12/05)

S-R Photo/Jesse Tinsley: In this November 2002 photo, Robin Crawford of Leisure Park pickets against a Wal-Mart store proposed for Hayden. See following item.

*Hayden, Wal-Mart butt heads/Lynn Berk, CDA Press: I don’t hold the animosity toward Wal-Mart that many do. But I wonder. Isn’t this the company that sez it won’t go into a community where it’s not wanted?

*Gregoire gets the nod: Lawmakers ratify her 129-vote win in governor’s race; GOP to fight on/Rich Roesler, S-R: Wasn’t it Yogi Berra who said: “It ain’t over until it’s over”? It ain’t over.

*Stallings may head state Demo party: He says he’s the lead contender to take over for Carolyn Boyce in March/AP: Sir, you are a glutton for punishment.

*Kempthorne plan goes against conservative grain: $1.6 billion road construction could be his legacy/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman: And whatta legacy it’d be. You go, guv’nah.

*Wind will howl through, followed by bitter cold: Storm watch posted for central PanhandleWinter Storm watch posted for some parts of Panhandle/Mike Prager, S-R: You’ve been warned.

Peanut Gallery (Real CDA Blog strikes back)

Yesterday, Hot Potatoes reported that the Coeur d’Alene Press registered two CDA blog names after a spat between Editor Mike Patrick and Phil Corless of The CDA Blog. Phil brings us up to date here:

RE registering domain names, like… I’m not going to spend one cent on this little game that Mike Patrick and the Press decided to play.

Yes, and were registered AFTER Patrick emailed me about the dumb little photo that I borrowed. It was a retaliatory move on his and Hagadone Corp.’s part. On top of that, he (or someone with that company) ANONYMOUSLY commented on my blog to go look at those newly minted URLs. Like, “Look what we did… We got you! HA HA HA!” What they didn’t know is that I’ve been thinking up a new name for my blog since October when I discovered there already is a CDA Blog ( and I didn’t want to step on their toes any further. It’s bad form to take someone else’s blog name. Hear that, Hagadone? Bad. Form.

My blog name change is coming. The CDA Blog… I couldn’t care less. But the way in which the Press and Hagadone went about this will stick with me. They had the chance to work with me on their blog project, but they chose instead to make an enemy.

Phil Corless
The CDA Blog

DFO: You go, Phil; btw, you should send a Christmas card to Mike and the Press. You can’t buy publicity for your blog this good.

Hot Potatoes Log (1/11/05)

5:44 p.m. What would you say if all the rhymes from The Bard of Sherman Avenue were available on line? It could happen.

5:31 p.m. Looks like Christie Wood of the CPD Blue is responding to Coeur d’Alene Press calls for additional news but not ours. Which is consistent with her threat to cut off the S-R for printing the names of deputies involved in the fatal Hayden shooting in December. And very inconsistent with her role as a public servant. I like Christie (pictured). She helped me clear up a vandalism problem last year. But she’s way out of line here — or her superiors are way out of line in ordering her to play god with the info flow. Your tax dollars at work.

2:33 p.m. A Potato Bug spotted this Sign of the Times recently between Pines & Argonne: “Due to recent cutbacks the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.”

11:51 a.m. A coupla days ago, Doug Burr wrote in to complain about pizza service and quality in CDA. Now, Judy Pederson responds: If he wants a decent pizza, he needs to travel to Sandpoint to The Second Avenue Pizza. His order won’t be screwed up, his server will be older than 14 and will actually know how to serve and he will never forget his first Juke Box Special pizza. (And I don’t even work there.)

10:50 a.m. Blogmeister Ken Sands sez he’s up for a “bluddle.” I just made that up (“blog huddle”). Translation: he’s willing to come out to Coeur d’Alene to show fledgling bloggers and blog wannabes how to improve their blogs and start ones. Let me know if you’re interested in attending, and I’ll set a date at the Coeur d’Alene office.

10:10 a.m. You don’t suppose Brand X’s move to register Phil’s domain names is payback for his use of a Press photo last week, do you? Something stinketh here.

8:45 a.m. What’s this? Phil Corless of The CDA Blog made a bold discovery early this morning — the Coeur d’Alene Press has registered the domain names “cdablog” and “” And Phil’s hosed. Click here.

Peanut Gallery (How cold is it — really)

When cold weather is expected, I scan all of the convenient sources for information. This morning, the S/R weather forecast has Wednesday night & Thursday night low temperatures at zero both nights. The weather channel pops up as the same, as of a few minutes ago. Where does Mike Prager get his forecasts that nobody else has? Can’t the paper, (all sections) get this together as one forecast? He has minus 10 to minus 14 degrees on those dates.

Just wondering,
Bayview Herb

DFO: Dunno, but I hope Mike’s info is wrong.

Best of the Northwest

Don’t look now, but King County has discovered yet another discrepancy that pushes the number of unaccounted for votes back up to 1,800. Since Demo Christine Gregoire’s won the re-recount by 129 votes over Repub Dino Rossi, the latest news casts a longer shadow still on the validity of her victory here.

APhoto: Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, left, shook hands with troops from the Army National Guards 116th Combat Brigade as they board an airplane at Alexandria International Airport, in Alexandria, La. on Nov. 26. The soldiers are being deployed to Iraq for a year. See Items No. 2 & 3.

1. Political cartoonist David Horsey/P-I chronicles the fall of Krispy Kreme doughnuts here.

2. The Idaho Statesman provides Idahoans with everything they’d want to know about Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s State of the State address, via story here, complete text here, a map of his proposed road projects here, and a photo gallery here.

3. Also, in The Idaho Statesman, Spc. Christopher Chesak of the 116th Brigade Combat Team tells of preparing to fly from Kuwait to Iraq on the same day is daughter was born here.

4. provides this week’s list of Kootenai County scofflaws (complete with unflattering photos) here.

5. Don’t go whining about the coming cold snap until you’ve spent a day in the shoes of a electric-challenged resident from Kaktovik, Alaska, here.

6. A memorial service is scheduled for WSU economics prof Jeff Krautkraemer, a former Shadle Park High grad, at Todd Hall Auditorium, according to The Daily Evergreen, here.

7. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Kempthorne not done yet), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Rosemary Kennedy), Kate Riley/Seattle Times (Washington higher-ed), John Levesque/P-I (Randy Moss’s moon), and Susan Paynter/P-I (Pro-abortion Gregoire).

You know you’re from California if …

… “You make over $300,000 and still can’t afford a house.” Thanks to Milt Nelson of Rathdrum for forwarding an e-mail that reminds me why I left the Golden State 27 years ago and never looked back. For the rest of the catalogue of how you can know you’re from California, click here.

Northwest Headlines (1/11/05)

Photo/Jesse Tinsley: Kootenai County Commissioner Gus Johnson of the Kootenai County commission tried on an outfit for a Post Falls Rotary fashion show in March 2003. Yesterday, he was named commission chairman. See Item No. 3.

*Temperature may hit 14 below: Light snowfall, gusty winds expected in advance of arctic front moving down from Canada/Mike Prager, S-R: OK, let’s start the braggin’. The coldest weather I’ve experienced was 29 below in Kalispell, Mont., back in the days when I was the lead Hagadroid for The Daily Inter Lake.

*Hey, Mr. H, a promise is a promise: Hagadone owes Spokane a hotel – or a garden/Doug Clark, S-R: I beg your pardon. He never promised Spokane a rose garden.

*Commission gets new look: Johnson new chairman, Brodie officially sworn in to office/Erica Curless, S-R: Hot Potatoes hears … that Gus Johnson was doing a little struttin’ after being named chairman. Earth to Gus — you shouldn’t strut when there’s a bull’s-eye painted on your back. It comes with the territory.

*Officer shot is conscious in hospital: Kralicek responds to family members, remains in serious condition, department says/Thomas Clouse, S-R: Very, very good news. We may disagree re. the release of the deputies’ names involved in the fatal shooting. But we don’t disagree that the three officers involved are very brave men involved in a tough job to protect society from its baser elements.

*Spokane Valley voter among the ‘deceased’/Jim Camden, S-R: You’ve heard of “Dead Man Walking.” Now, we have “dead man” voting. What’ll they think of next?


Local Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*CdA novice pair gets taste of big time: Budvarson, Anders in 11th place after short-program routine/Hilary Kraus, S-R: I remember Chris Anders (shown with Kalie Budvarson in Holly Pickett/S-R photo last April 7) from his outstanding dancing in Coeur d’Alene High’s production of “Carousel.” Great kid.

*Thousands start trip down bridal path: Spokane shows designed to target time when planning begins/Mike Prager, S-R: Beware, gentlemen, it’s hunting season, and you’re the big game.

*Spokane Valley neighbors lament killing of stray dog/Tom Lutey, S-R: Here’s one that won’t be made into a Disney animal special. Sad ending for a resourceful dog that beat the odds, but …

*People shouldn’t pay for fake news: We need to know if Bush program has stopped/Opinion, S-R: Wonder if C-BS news gave its advertisers a refund for the segment containing Dan Rather’s hit piece on Dubya’s National Guard service?

*Workers or not, the limit’s still 50: Tight on-ramps on I-90 mean lower speeds/Amy Cannata, S-R: I hear 50 … will anyone give 55 … going once, twice …

Down for the Count — the Dan Rather story

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal explains what C-BS’s findings re. the fabricated Bush Guard story last fall were all about in his Best of the Web blog today here.

Meanwhile, you can find links to C-BS’s full report here.

And, thanks to Dave Bond/Wallace Street Journal, you can read the Whizbang blog that takes C-BS to task for its recklessness here.

Question of the Day

Does anyone really believe Duane Hagadone is honestly considering building a memorial garden to his folks — in Post Falls? (Use “comments” feature below to respond.)

Of Banana Belts and missing coats …

… blogger Marianne Love speaks of many things as she treks to Boise here.

Jim Tibbs ‘Toon

Marianne Love’s little brother, Jim Tibbs, provides Hot Potatoes readers with another example of his quirky humor.

Peanut Gallery (Hagadone Gardens — PF style)

If we are going to continuously talk about THE GARDENS, then lets get the facts straight. As I recall the so called gift of 20 mil included value of property he owned but was not going to develop further, the cost of reconstruction of streets we alredy have, etc. How does anything except cost of the shrubs constitute a gift to the citizens of CDA? And does any thinking person believe that The Shruber is going to plant a garden near Templins and send his tourists there? Sounds like a switch and bait to me.

Gary Ingram

DFO: Bingo!

Phil Corless doesn’t like WSU dissing …

… the Vandals in UI’s back yard here.

Blue Country cartoonist David Horsey …

… asked Seattle Times readers if they wanted to do the gubernatorial election over — and received an overwhelming response. 2-to-1 in Lib Left Seattle wanted a do-over (but there were indications that the R’s were juicing the returns) here.

Planet Hollyweird continues to snub

“The Passion of the Christ” here.

Hot Potatoes Log — Saturday 1/8/05

5:30 p.m. Just returned from walking with my wife three times around Person Field for exercise. Usually, we go four times around, but the deep snow tuckered us out after three. Should I look to see who won the Seahawks game. Or take it for granted that the ‘Hawks blew it at the end?

2:30 p.m. I had a Doug Burr moment at Taco Bell on Appleway this p.m. Remember? Doug said he’d like to buy a quality pizza from a place in town where didn’t have to depend on a 14-year-old for taking his order and service. At Taco Bell, I ordered lunch for three from a cashier who was more interested in gabbing with a co-worker. Result? He short-changed me a buck — and a double-decker. Yeah, I know he’s probably making minimum wage … and with this approach he’ll probably be pulling in $5:15 for some time.

10:15 a.m. During a pause in the snow removal, I griped about my insurance premiums jumping over $400 per month next year, with a $1,000 deductible (although the company chips in quite a bit, too). And my neighbor trumped me by saying he pays over $600 per month (with company participation, too). Yo, Eagle Eye, mebbe Michael Moore should tackle the HMOs as well as the drug companies.

10 a.m. My world, indeed, is perfect. My neighbor took care of my sidewalk and entryway. And I hand shoveled the driveway.

9:30 a.m. What a gorgeous morning — sun shining brightly on new-fallen snow, and the fireplace popping in the background. All I need to make this winter’s day perfect is … a snowblower (or my neighbor to use his on my sidewalk).

Peanut Gallery (Another good topic)

We need to have a discussion on he fairness of property taxation in Kootenai County. The County randomly choses areas to reassess. In some instances reassessing increased values 20-30%. Taxes for these reassessed properties increase dramatically. Taxes for non reassessed properties actually go down. How fair is that!?? My taxes go up 15% and a homeowner a mile away, taxes go down $20. Why shouldnt everyones taxes go up the same %? With the passing of tax opponent Ron Rankin we have no one to watch these people!

Eagle Eye

DFO: Indeed, we need another Rankin, and we need a bell for the cats in the assessor’s office.

Final Word

I’ve had a blast this week, kicking off the new year. The blog and “comments” traffic has been healthy. If you’re interesting in my commentary on the postings, you might want to check in this weekend. Also, I’ll post a good e-mail or two out front if I get them. Meanwhile, as Cis The Retired sez from up there in Bonner County, stay warm and dry. And, for heaven’s sake, tell the folks on your mailing list about Hot Potatoes Online.


Q & A

Q — “When the siting of the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway refueling depot over the Spokane Valley – Rathdrum Prairie aquifer was first proposed, did anyone consider the depot’s placement would elevate its attractiveness as a terrorist target?” — posed by Whitecaps blogger Bill McCrory to the Idaho State Police (the lead agency in Idaho for Homeland Security issues dealing with criminal activity and terrorism).

A — “The Idaho State Police was not consulted on the placement the refueling depot” — ISP.

DFO: For a deeper look at the hazard posed in our Brave New World by the BNSF refueling depot, check out Bill’s Jan. 3 comments here.


I need to do some work today, O My Readers; so, since it’s Friday, I figured I’d provide an opportunity for your to spout on a subject of your choice. Good. Bad. Or indifferent. If you have something to say on any subject, use the “comment” feature on this link to do so. I’ll catch back up to you in a coupla hours.

Winter Wonderland

Blogger Marianne Love of Slight Detour provides the snow report, in down home style, from Bonner County here.

Local Headlines (1/7/05)

*Riverfront proposal still on hold: Spokane developer denies rumors he’s seeking buyer for his Post Falls Landing property/S-R: Note to Self — call my contacts in Post Falls to see why Harry Green (pictured) is having such a hard time with this piece of property when John Stone and others are developing like cuh-razy elsewhere on the Spokane River.

*Anger vented at spill forum: Residents express concerns about threat to aquifer/S-R: Sweet Potatoes — to Barry Rosenberg and the Kootenai Environmental Alliance for holding BNSF/IDEQ’s feet to the fire.

*Disputed election inspires call for reform: Washington considers changes in wake of close governor’s race/S-R: “Hasn’t the horse already left the barn? When’s the next time Washington is going to experience a statewide race this close.

*Police seeking gunman, target: Bystander across the street hit by bullet aimed at fleeing car/S-R: Another reason to stay on this side of the state line as much as possible.

*Storm brings West Side first big snow of season: More flakes expected over weekend/S-R: It’s always fun when the Blue State Puget Sound can share the harsher aspects of winter with us Red Staters.


Q & A

Q — Aside from the S-R are there any other newspapers that might be locally accessed? — Dave Tolle/Post Falls.

A — Unfortunately, the Lewiston Tribune and the Moscow Daily News are both pay-per-view on-line, as are we. But you can find the St. Maries Gazette Record here, Kootenai Valley Press (Boundary County) here, Sandpoint Online here, Rural Northwest here, the Coeur d’Alene Press here and, of this week, The River Journal here (beware: the “current issue” feature of The River Journal is currently malfunctioning).

Peanut Gallery (The Edge strikes back)

I find it laughable that the Press would scold the Spokesman for unethical conduct when it printed the names of the officers in the shooting. Why did the Press give the sister of the criminal who shot the Coeur d’Alene cop a front page story last weekend? The story basically inferred the cops went overboard and said Madonna was sorry for his actions. Please. Their coverage has been shoddy and confusing.

But this whole ethical argument is wacko. Need I remind everybody about Old Bob stealing your words without permission. Remember the Imagine edition, can we say conflict of interest. Remember the Blunder over the Prairie, whoops they were in bed on that one too. My personal favorite is giving freebie ads to political candidates. If I didn’t know better, I would say that Bill Clinton is running that place.

The Edge

DFO: Hot Dang, Edge; I couldn’t have said it better myself. BTW, I think Dawn Q’Otee has a crush on you. Quoth she from a posting today: “I love The Edge. Makes me laugh out loud.” :)

Hot Potatoes Log

5:23 p.m. Khris Bershers, my favorite Local Conservative Girl Makes Good Back In D.C., checked in from her PR job with the Heritage Foundation think tank to say fellow thinkers were blown away by my blog ethics item today here. Writes Khris: “Loved your posting today on blog “ethics” when it comes to blogger plagiarism. We were having a similar debate in my office today! I forwarded your posting around and one guy responded with “a blogger who follows the rules? Where’s he from?” You’re now known as That Idaho Blogger Guy.” Hot Dang!

4:55 p.m. We’ve just been informed by CPD spokesperson Christie Wood (pictured) that her department is going to make it tougher for us to report the news — more fallout from our disclosure of the names of the police officers involved in the fatal Hayden shootout. So, when you see all those “no comments” popping up in our police stories, you can call Christie or Police Chief Wendy Carpenter for the rest of the story. Yo, Christie, does this new approach apply to your trustee roles at North Idaho College trustee and the Coeur d’Alene School District, too?

1:01 p.m. With all the hoopla caused by Sheriff Rocky Watson’s grandstand play re: the S-R’s release of the officers’ names yesterday, I think it’s a good idea to rerun Bill McCrory’s superb Whitecaps blog item from Dec. 31 that asks a series of tough questions about the Hayden shootout here.

9:32 a.m. Running so far behind today that I don’t think I’ll be able to make it over to Commish Dick Panabaker’s farewell roast at the courthouse, which is going on until 11. Dick’s a good man (even though I thought he goofed big time on that BNSF refueling depot vote). I wish him well.

9:26 a.m. Dick had a dietician from KMC on his show this morning who said you shouldn’t eat meat at a meal that’s bigger than a woman’s hand and thicker than your finger. Wonder what the boys and girls at Wolf Lodge Inn would think of that?

9:21 a.m. So, there I was this morning, gum deep in a regular dental cleaning appointment, and KVNI’s Dick Haugen is talking about a tooth implant he had New Year’s Eve Day. (I was wearing a Walkman.) Dick said he couldn’t talk for days, and his neighbors appreciated that. A blogger never has that problem. Onward.

Peanut Gallery (To release names — yes)

I read the article that upset the sheriff, and I saw no lack of courtesy or disrespect for the deputies. There was no editorial criticism of their conduct. If the sheriff feels some understanding he has with the Spokesman Review has been violated, he should convey his explicit concerns directly to Steve Smith.

I am completely at a loss to see how the Spokesman Review’s reporting violated any public trust as the sheriff complained. Withholding relevant information from its readers without any justification would be a violation of our trust in a free press; timely, accurate reporting is not.

Relying on unofficial sources who may not have access to all of the investigative information could make the reporting incomplete but not inherently inaccurate as the sheriff suggests. If the sheriff believes it was factually inaccurate, then the he should meet with the reporter and Steve Smith and point out the precise inaccuracies. That the sheriff has chosen to make his case in a press release rather than in person with the Spokesman Review’s editor and reporter strongly suggests that his case would be weak.

That other news media chose to withhold information from their readers and audiences was their decision to make, not the sheriff’s. Their decision to voluntarily withhold information does not obligate the Spokesman Review to follow suit.

Having one’s newsworthy on-duty conduct observed and reported by the news media is a fact of life when one chooses law enforcement as an occupation. A law enforcement officer’s identity is not always reported, usually because it’s not relevant to the story. In this instance, the identities of the deputies are indisputably relevant. The sheriff’s complaint seems to be more with the timing of the release.

If the sheriff felt so strongly that release of the deputies names would be inappropriate, if he felt release would imperil the deputies or their families or would jeopardize the investigation, then he or his official spokesperson should have contacted all the media at the incident scene and made the request. Those who were not at the crime scene should have been immediately contacted separately. Had the sheriff been able to make a justifiable case for withholding the information for a reasonable time, I suspect that all the media would have complied.

Bill McCrory

The Loyal Opposition

Among the most important things government historically has done is to deal with and try to improve workplace safety. And there probably isn’t a more dangerous profession than hard-rock mining. The Democratic party has a long and storied history of pushing for reforms and improvements on behalf of working men and women since the industrial revolution.

A good friend of mine and former UPI reporter Jerry McGinn alerted me to a new book being published about the 1972 Sunshine Mine fire that will be of interest to anyone in North Idaho, and specifically the wonderful people of Shoshone County. It’s written by author Gregg Olsen – here’s a link to some information about it.

I’m certainly no expert on this topic, but for people that have spent time in the Silver Valley the memory of this tragedy is never far away and the story of the whole episode is fascinating. I look forward to reading it.

Mike Kennedy

DFO: Mike, an eloquent speaker for local Demos, writes again … and, if I keep my fingers crossed … mebbe he’ll continue to provide “The Loyal Opposition” for all you Red Staters to mull. Now, if I could only make him write more in his blog …

Peanut Gallery (He Loves Us … )

The Spokesman was absolutely correct in reporting the names of the officers. The gathering and reporting of information does not always come nearly bundled in a warm blanket. Once a news organization starts to compromise to “get along” in a community, it is a very slippery slope for all other sensitive news topics. If your sources were confirmed and you believe that the story was accurate, you have failed as a newspaper for not reporting to your readers. Then, you might as well sell the presses and lock the door

Steve Badraun
Ex-CDA planner


Columnist Doug Clark (pictured), the second best man at my wedding 29 1/2 years ago, was inspired by Washington R’s request to do the governor’s election over. “Wouldn’t it be swell,” writes Doug, “if we could all take a Do-Over now and then? Janet Jacson’s Super Bowl boob floppage. Howard Dean’s Scream. The Invasion of Iraq. The Bill Clinton/Monica Cigar Incident.”

This is must-read folks. Click here.

BTW, What would you do-over, if you could?

Best of the Northwest

Rotten Potatoes — to the Coeur d’Alene Press (sorry Dave Tolle) for playing the patsy to local law enforcement, which has withheld the names of the two officers involved in the fatal Hayden shootout in December. Sheriff Rocky Watson wanted the names withheld until an investigation into the shooting was completed. And Brand X meekly complied. We finally published them after a serious internal debate, prompting Rocky to slam us in a news release. And Brand X to publish the release here as part of an updated story about the shooting, quoting Editor Steve Smith (pictured) as saying paper’s first responsibility is to readers “who have a right to know” about the officers who use deadly force. Smith’s right on. Do you agree?

1. David Horsey/P-I subscribes to usual Lefty blather that the neo-conservatives are directing foreign policy here. (Beware moderate Liberal content)

2. Washington R’s continue to beat the drum for a revote, citing hundreds of curious provisional ballots that were incorrectly fed into King County’s voting machines here.

3. It’s no longer The Bon or Bon-Macy’s; it’s simply Macy’s here.

4. Boy-C State’s working on plans to establish a third Idaho community college — at nearby Nampa here — and it won’t be a tradional one here.

5. Idaho grew jobs at twice the national average during the third quarter of 2004 here.

6. The Meridian School District is rethinking its approach to valedictorians as the number of young scholars with 4.0 GPA’s continue to bloat those winning the honor here.

7. Men’s Fitness mag sez Seattle is the fittest city in the USA here.

8. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (BSU community college), Missoulian (Spam control), Joni Balter/Seattle Times (Guv race conspiracy theories), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Shawna Hughes redux), and Bill Virgin/P-I (Krispy Kremes).

Hot Potatoes Log

5:56 p.m. Dave Tolle’s letter criticizing my Hagadone bashing took posting of the day honors by attracting 13 comments.

5:54 p.m. Just remembered I have a dental appointment at 8 a.m. to launch the day tomorrow, so your QF6 will be a little late. Is that the proper way to start a day? With a dental appointment? What’s wrong with me?

3:13 p.m. The posting from Dave Tolle re: Hagadone bashing here has triggered a feeding frenzy — 13 comments to date and counting. You kids are having too much fun.

1:12 p.m. Just received a Google Alert from that Coeur d’Alene firefighters will be raffling items signed by John Travolta and Dennis Franz to raise money for severly injured police officer Mike Kralicek.

12:33 p.m. We heard through the Grapevine that the local sheriff’s office is circulating a press release that criticizes our coverage today of the Hayden police shootout. Rocky Watson & Co. issued the release to all the media outlets but us. Strange but true. Wonder if Rocky truly believes we’re not going to get our hands on a copy. Or is he trying to send a message?

10:05 a.m. Phil Corless’ item from yesterday about worst/best meals of 2007 attracted 7 comments here. Dunno who Common Tater “Lily” is, but I agree with her about the speed of service — or lack thereof — at the Paul Bunyan drive-up.

Name That Stadium

Don’t look now, Boise State haters, but Our Woman In Boise blogs that the Bronco Busters are ready to make more bucks by selling the naming rights to their blue-turf stadium, too, here.

Sweet Potatoes — to council pair

Coeur d’Alene Councilmen Ron Edinger and Ben Wolfinger earn a double dollop of Sweet Potatoes for standing their ground Tuesday night. The pair believe the city should push to determine the high-water mark at Sanders Beach so everyone’ll know what’s public and what isn’t. You can read all about it here.

Peanut Gallery (Take it easy on Press)

Hi Dave

Nice to have you back and happy new year. As I’ve read your blog offerings for a while there appears to be a dominating undercurrent topic which is disturbing. Specifically it’s your routine and often petty smearing of the Coeur d’Alene Press (AKA “brand X”). Now I know you’re going to take offense with this but it’s true. You don’t just criticize. You ridicule, belittle and nit-pick the competition on a daily basis.

I’m NOT saying that the CDA press is the ideal of newsprint and Hagadone certainly has his moments. But the CDA press is another view of our community, a different set of opinions and most importantly another venue of free speech.

The Chandler family in Los Angeles (L.A. Times) and the Cowles here in Spokane (S-R) share a business practice. They like to eliminate their competition. Then they become not only the most profitable paper in town they become the voice of the town. But not the voice of the people.

Personally I would prefer it if you would stick to the issues. Your dislike of the CDA Press is obvious and it taints the objectivity and purpose of the blog. Unless, of course, that is the purpose of the blog?

Dave Tolle

DFO: I appeciate this gentle criticism from a faithful reader like Dave. I’ve been criticizing the Press for 20 years, and Brand Xers have been criticizing me for almost as long. If I didn’t, who would? In this City on the Take, most people are afraid to say “boo” when it comes to all things Hagadone. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Any other thoughts about Dave’s note?

News from the Loyal Opposition

Mike Kennedy’s our man for Idaho Democrat news

Didn’t know if you caught this or not, but the Idaho Democratic state party chair Carolyn Boyce announced that she is stepping down after a long tenure that oversaw some progress for Democrats in 2002 and 2003. It’s been in the works behind the scenes for a little while, and Democrats will be happy to know that some very strong names are considering running for chair to take over and continue re-building. Two that are considering making the rounds are: Keith Roark, former mayor of Hailey, Idaho, former Blaine County prosecutor, and former candidate for Attorney General who ran a very impressive race in 2002, and Richard Stallings, current Pocatello City Councilman, former congressman, former professor at Ricks College and retired head of the Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Authority. Both of these are truly inspired people who would be great candidates.

The Democratic party is alive and well – with candidates of this caliber to take on what is in its best times a tough job.

Mike Kennedy

Tuesday’s Best: Phil’s worst meals

Phil Corless listed his worst and best meals out in 2004 in his CDA Blog I decided to move this item to the head of the class because it was the best posting for Tuesday — and to give others a chance to pick their best and worst. Take time to read the “comments.” They’re terrific — and you might get some ideas about a good meal out):

Worst (in no particular order):

1. Outback - The halibut steak was chewy, and I got sick later that night.
2. Tito Macaroni’s - The service was good, but the chicken parmiagiana was bland. I’ve had better microwave meals.
3. Cricket’s - Everything about their taco salad was stale.
4. Del Taco - Tiny tacos, cheap-tasting cheese, plus they ran out of lettuce that day!
5. Subway (corner of Kathleen and Government Way) - Could the employees be more surly?


1. Schlotzky’s - Best customer service around. And free cookies!
2. Bonsai Bistro - Fresh and flavorful, plus I enjoy eating with the fishies.
3. Applebee’s - The only thing I ever order is the Oriental Chicken Wrap. It’s dependable.
4. Valentino’s - Chicken Caesar Salad for $5.95. Yum.
5. Hot Rod Cafe - They always cook my steak medium well, just like I ask.
6. Noodle Express - Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl. Say no more

Hot Potatoes Log

6 p.m. May have solved Eagle Eye’s problem because I noticed he posted this evening. Seems there must have been a space between the far left corner of the “name” element and his name. The name has to begin against the margin or the software won’t read it. Welcome aboard, Eagle Eye.

5:38 p.m. BTW, I’m constantly moving the “Hot Potatoes Log” up in the column, so you can see my latest scribblings. Make sure you also check below it for new postings.

5:35 p.m. There’s some good comments under Phil Corless’ item about worst/best meals of aught-4 here. (Still time to join the fun.) All you have to do to read the comments beneath an item is to click on “comments.” Also, you can post a comment to an individual item by clicking on “comment” and following the simple instruction. You don’t have to fill in the e-mail address or URL to post … so have fun.

4:45 p.m. Gotta note from Eagle Eye, saying he’s having trouble using the comment feature on the blog. Seems he fills in the “Name” portion and writes his comment, but then receives a popup that sez “message left blank.” Anyone else out there experiencing this problem? The comment section has been light since I returned from vacation. Mebbe this is the reason?

2:41 p.m. Was googling for Lady Lola and found a Golf Digest article that mentions yachts owned by Tiger Woods, billionaire Wayne Huizenga and others. At the end of it, you’ll find a few paragraphs describing the world’s only floating golf course, owned by Local Boy Made Good and Rubs Our Faces In It, here.

12:30 p.m. Can’t figure out what’s happening at the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where Editor Chris Peck (pictured) and a handful of former S-R associates are running things. Chris and Scott Sines, my old ME, say everything’s fine. But they’ve gone through layoffs and morale problems in the newsroom. The Memphis Flyer (Memphis’ equivalent to The Inlander) took another swipe at the Commercial Appeal here.

12:15 p.m. I achieved one of my New Year’s resolution by adding (via Blogmeister Ken Sands) a dozen or so North Idaho blog links to my Hot Potatoes blog. These guys produce good stuff. You go directly to their blogs by clicking on the links on the left side of my page.

Quote of the Day

“This contamination of the aquifer is an ongoing and unfolding event. These initial samplings are snapshots, not the endgame. These contamination plumes expand, decompose and migrate at different rates and at different levels of toxicity. It would be a mistake to consider this a small event” — Ken Lustig, former environmental director of the Panhandle Health Department (as reported in a Kootenai Environmental Alliance newsletter).

Peanut Gallery (Shopping Carts)

RE: Ralph Hallock’s e-mail yesterday that mentioned one of his pet peeves — people who are too lazy to return shopping carts to the outdoor cages for easy retrieval. Well, XPress explains why she often doesn’t do so:

I imagine some people who don’t put their shopping carts away are lazy. I bet many of the stray carts are left by mothers like me. It makes me mad that even after you spend $200 on groceries, many stores won’t help you out with your groceries. And those damn cart corrals aren’t always conveniently located. I’m not going to leave my kids alone in the car while I trek halfway across the parking lot to put a cart away.


‘Initial Tests Say Aquifer Is Safe’

Some states protect
with brains and pluck;
in Idaho we
trust to luck.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Quick Fix Six (1/4/05)

I started the year yesterday by splitting up parts of this feature throughout the day — and never could hit by stride. I need it in one lump to get my feel for what’s happening in the world. So, the QF6 is back, baybee. I need to see the cuh-razy stuff going on out there as I graze the Web sites to get the juices flowing.

APhoto Fix: As Frank Sinatra would say, Gov. Jesse Ventura does things his way. In a civics textbook for children, Ventura offered such thoughts as “Whenever I meet with kids, I always say, question the status quo, whether it be their teacher or whoever.” Why am I telling you this? See today’s History Fix.

1. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (“safe sex”), Henry Payne (Security), and Wayne Stayskal (Judicial tyranny).

2. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman of Political Humor provides the 25 dumbest quotes of 2004 here.

3. History Fix: On this day in history in 1999, Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as Minnesota’s 37th governor.

4. Top of the News Fix: Gunmen slay governor of Baghdad region here, Gallup: Americans average 1.7 guns here, Russian news reports Zarqawi arrest here, U.S. choppers find remote tsunami survivors here, and James Dobson declares war on Senate Democrats here.

5. Lefty College Fix: Now that his daughter has graduated from Wesleyan College, columnist John Leo no longer is obligated not to talk about such weird goings-on at WC as the naked dorm, the transgender dorm, the queer prom and the pornography-for-credit course. Do you know what your child is learning? Click here.

6. Opinion Fix: Brendan Miniter/WSJ (We are the world), David Brooks/NY Times (Day of reckoning), U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (Senate should resolve to be fair), Phyllis Schlafly/Phyllis Schlafly Report (Spending Bush’s political capital), and Cal Thomas/Tribune Media Services (Kathie Lee).

Hot Potatoes Log (1/3/05)

6:29 p.m. Dang. I planned to turn over a new leaf by getting home by 5:30 each day. Good thing my wife and daughter are in Spokane spending what’s left of the Christmas money, or I’d hear about it. Then, mebbe it isn’t a good thing that they’re in Spokane spending what’s left of my Christmas money.

6:15 Big Boss called to say he preferred the use of the term “well-heeled” to “finicky” to describe Concealed Businesses of North Idaho in the last paragraph of my editorial that’ll run Tuesday morning.

3:44 p.m. I found two interesting conditions placed on the BNSF refueling depot by Kootenai County commissioners who approved the project in March 2000: Come up with an alternate source of drinking water should diesel foul the water that flows from the taps of 400,000 residents in Kootenai and Spokane counties; and bring all operations to an immediate halt if pollution were to show up in ground water.

1:30 p.m. I’m up for tomorrow to do an editorial on the challenges facing the new Kootenai County Board of Commissioners.

10:55 a.m. Two Hayden Biblers approached me at church Sunday, unsolicited, to denounce the county for allowing BNSF to build a refueling depot over the Rathdrum aquifer — and to say that they believe the railroad eventually will contaminate our drinking water. My guess? They speak for many.

9 a.m. Lewis-Clark State College called to see if it could house an afternoon class this semester, one day per week, in our large conference room downstairs. The conference room is for in-house users and non-profits, but I’m pushing to see if we can make this work. It’s a worthy cause.

8:42 a.m. Phil Corless, UI fan and good-guy fellow blogger, checked in with the first Hot Potatoes comment of aught-5 by taking a jab at the Boise State Broncos under this morning’s Best of the Northwest feature.

8:15 a.m. I’m back at the desk after a two-week layoff. Dunno if I still remember how to write. Shaddup! But I’m rarin’ to bring you the first Hot Potatoes of the New Year. I’m going to start with the Best of the Northwest (ETA: 9 - 9:15 a.m.) and break up the Quick Fix 6 into individual items throughout the day.

Saaalute — Timberlake Fire Department

Bayview Herb files the following report:

I and friends witnessed a wonderful example of selflessness Christmas day. We have an annual Christmas day pot-luck dinner for those of us that have no family in the area.

One of the guests, from the Silver Valley, was a diabetic that had just the day before, been put on a strict diet, and new medication.

During dinner, she went into diabetic shock. One of the guests recognized it as such, and grabbed some Karo syrup, and immediately started feeding it to her. Unfortunately, she was semi-conscious, and couldn’t swallow.

The Timberlake Fire Dept. was called, and started a response that ended with EMT’s and even a paramedic from Lakes Fire District. With six or seven medics present, unable to find a vein, her breathing very shallow, they couldn’t lay her down to transport her to KMC.

They eventually were able to bring her around, saving her life. These folks, most, or all volunteers, gave up over two hours of their Christmas afternoon.

How about a huge well done.

Herb Huseland

DFO: Consider it done.

He told us so

An S-R story by Zaz Hollander on Feb. 6, 2001, seems prophetic in the wake of the wastewater spill at the BNSF refueling depot last month. It concludes:

“A former railroad employee says the (BNSF refueling) facility will never be safe enough.

“The accidents Don Milliken saw — rail cars ripped open by passing trains - happened before trains got to fueling areas, said Milliken, who worked for BNSF in Spokane’s Hillyard and Yardley rail areas for 30 years before retiring in the early 1980s.

“Those areas aren’t protected by BNSF the way the fueling platform and tank farm are,” he said.

“I think the refueling depot itself is safe enough but a lot of things can happen out there in the yard beyond the depot.”

You’re dead but you can vote in Washington

In the Sound Politics blog here, Michael Nervik found several dead people who may have voted in the razor-thin Washington gubernatorial vote here.

From Red State to Pet Peeves

After your great article about things that offend you (“We Red Staters can get offended, too” here), I have a couple to add:

1. Inconsiderate lazy people who leave shopping carts in parking places rather that take a minute to push them to the cart corrals provided.

2. Those who walk their dogs and leave the droppings (which the dig cannot help) on the trail or walking area rather than carrying a plastic bag from the grocery to easily pick it up for deposit in the garbage.

What happened to common courtesy?

Ralph Hallock

DFO: Anyone else ready to add to the Red State rant?

You might be a liberal if …

D.P. Bond of the Wallace Street Journal sends along a column by Ed Lynch of the Roanoke (Va.) Times in which he explains how you can tell a liberal from ordinary folks. Ferexample, you might be a liberal if …

You think that Rush Limbaugh’s listeners are mindless “dittoheads,” but you have never doubted anything that you heard from Michael Moore.

Click here and enjoy.

Humor Fix

“Drug companies are now warning their employees to be on the lookout for Michael Moore, who’s making a movie about the pharmaceutical industry. Now, do you really have to be on the lookout for Michael Moore? Isn’t he kinda easy to spot?” — Jay Leno

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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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