Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for July 2005

Sunday Wild Card — 7/31/05

It’s the end of the month, and we’re headed toward the dog days of summer. But that’s not so bad. After Labor Day, the tourists leave — the ones who haven’t purchased homes up here at least — and the waterfront becomes ours again. I’m healing fairly well and look forward to a Sunday without being drugged up. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a Wild Card, Monday’s Huckleberries, the Photo of the Weekend, and a question about thong bathing suits …

Sunday Question of the Day — 7/31/05

Issue: Bottom falls out of thong market: Sales of strip-club underwear plunge in shift from overtly sexual clothing/London Times.

DFO: I don’t see how anyone could wear those uncomfortable things.

Question: Is there any other fashion out there right now that you’d like to see go, too?

Employees: Assets? Or Liabilities?

re: Amyrebba has a question, too.

I have worked for companies that treated me and paid me like I was an asset to the company. They asked for and respected my ideas and opinions. I have remained friends with many of them, and I consider them a part of making me the woman I am in business today.

However, on the other hand I have worked for companies that viewed their employees as disposable liabilities. They didn’t pay worth a darn and had the attitude “if you don’t like it there’s the door.” Why is this? I understand there are some people who aren’t good employees and are unreliable, but why treat everyone that way? Why not hire and treat people as though they were an asset to the company?

Amy Crooks/That’s Life. Life Goes On

Saturday Question of the Day — 7/30/05

Issue: U.S. Senate passes several remarkable bills today: the appropriations bill, the Energy Bill, the Gun Liability Bill, and the Highway Bill.

Idle Idahoan: “Any one of those last three would probably be a significant accomplishment for one session of Congress.”

Question: The U.S. Senate has produced a number of remarkable Americans, including Daniel Webster. John Calhoun. William Borah. Of those serving in today’s Senate, who do you think will go down in history as a great statesman?

TGIF Wild Card — 7/29/05

I’m moving the morning Wild Card up to become the evening one. Definitely been an interesting day, beginning with and interesting time in the dentist’s chair from 9 to 10:45. I might post about it later. Thanks for hanging in there with me today. Now, time for some more pain pills …

Best of the Local Blogs — 7/29/05

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is ready to have fun tonight as she meets former classmates in her Class of ‘65s 40th reunion here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise tells how you can be involved in designing Idaho’s 2007 quarter here.

*Dogwalk Musings has its crosshairs on the “invisible” Rathdrum mayor and a committee that squandered $30,000 for a farmer’s market, rather than partnering with the city to possibly make the money go further and develop jobs here and here.

CDADave has his Wayback Machine in full gear with trips to the Gardner Welding Supply Co. here, the Porthole Cafe here, and the old Hart Building (Fourth & Sherman) here.

3. Bill McCrory/Whitecaps follows up on recent comments re: dealing with sex offenders by underscoring the important fact that we can’t rely on law enforcement alone here.

Extra! Senate Votes to Protect Gunmakers

The Senate voted today to shield firearms manufacturers, dealers and importers from lawsuits brought by victims of gun crimes, a measure opponents said had been ordered up by the gun lobby. The 65-31 vote passed a bill that supporters said protects the industry from financial disaster and bankruptcy caused by damage lawsuits/Associated Press.

DFO: I’m not a hard-core, pro-gunner, but I do believe that people that pull triggers kill people, not the gun alone.

Overheard …

… at Boulder Beach, the Silverwood water park, wave pool Wednesday: “Hey, the water’s really warm. Everybody must be peeing in it.”

Hat Tip: Phil Corless

Northwest Headlines — 7/29/05

West urges justices to toss recall petition: Lawyers argue his private life not a public offense/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review — Seems like only yesterday that Boy Mayor Jim West was saying, with a sincere face, that he’d do what the people want. Basically, West’s all about protecting West’s hide.

*Squirrel cuts power to South Hill homes/Spokesman-Review — Wonder when PETA will protest Avista’s careless construction of power lines that threaten the Inland Northwest squirrel population.

*Resort investigating gondola safety: Manager denies claims made by former employee/James Hagengruber, SR; AND: Senate calls for national sex offender registry: Craig hopes measure can prevent ‘tragedy like the Groene case’/Betsy Russell, SR — About time times 2.

*Boy-C State and Fresno State will have to keep their eyes on San Jose State: Idaho brings up the rear in the new WAC/Idaho Statesman — Before we assign trophies for the 2005 season, let’s play the games first.

*No safe haven for sex offenders: Rep. Clark to introduce restrictive laws to rein in perve/Coeur d’Alene Press editorial — Bingo.

I Survived

I’m back from Dr. Brent Unruh’s office and a one hour and 45 minute oral surgery. It was as painfree as possible and now I have an ice pack over the affected area. I’m very impressed with the professionalism of Brent and his staff. I’m about to shoot up some pain pills and take it easy by watching “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Before then, I’ll check to see if there’s something that’s bloggable despite a tablet and a half of valium. Thanks for your well wishes today …

Franks And Beans And Jail, Oh My

A Tuggle the clerk did see in the light
A man who had sinned, and taken flight
Searched they all did, hard through the wood
But he had hidden neatly, and pretty good
Hungry, still, the Tuggle he was
So he crept into town famished, probably buzzed
And when he arrived, camoed and not very clean
The law caught him, in his hands franks and beans

Sam Taylor

Question of the Day — 7/29/05

Issue: Dems need to get their act together: Party’s present choices, actions enough to make a grown-up Democrat consider converting/Susanna Rodell, Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette.

Susanna Rodell: “I love this party. It is my party. Its ideals are my ideals. I am not about to abandon it. However, I can’t help feeling that at the moment it has abandoned me. Looking desperately for leadership in a scary world, the Democrats offer me a choice between wackos and cowards.”

Question: What do the Democrats have to do to become a majority party again?

Thursday Wild Card — 7/28/05

With a morning of oral surgery facing me tomorrow, I’m taking Friday off to baby myself. Dunno what to expect because it’s relatively isolated stuff. But I haven’t been through this one before. So, tip a glass in my memory tonight, and I’ll swallow a Valium while I’m trying to forget tomorrow A.M. Meanwhile, I have another Wild Card to deal you this week here … BTW, I’m not fond of going to the dentist, but I’m not to jumpy about it either. Do any of you get the jimjams before going to the dentist?

Photo of the Day — 7/28/05

Suz Shafner takes a look at low flying pelicans as their shadows are cast on the beach while she sunbathes in Flagler Beach, Fla., Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines (courtesy of Judge Green Libertarian):

1. Sunbather Suz Shafner shows surprise as she realizes what she thought were pelicans proved to be unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with look-down video cameras and long lenses from NAS Jacksonville — Bill McCrory.

2. After a short reconnaisance flight, the birds decide their dinner is not quite done despite its roasted appearance and crispy skin — A Token Democrat.

3. Nice set of pelicans — Dang.

HM: (How could I not?): Those are some mighty handsome birds flying overhead,” said Suzy, “I sure hope that mighty hunk of a man and naturalist Green Libertarian was here to share this experience with me…and rub suntan oil on my back — Side Note.”

Extra! Extra!

“I just wanted to let you know that the Senate just unanimously approved “Dru’s Law”, creating a national sex offender registry” — Sid Smith, assistant press secretary to U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, a CDA native and a former football teammate of my son, Seth, at CHS (Class of ‘96). You can find an earlier release today from U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo’s office here.

Peanut Gallery — Vandals Rock

re: When the Vandals were beating BSU every year.

13 years in a row… Yeah, the pendulum swings, doesn’t it. Someone once said that even the best sports teams are just one or two factors away from being mediocre. For the Vandals, it was hiring He Who Must Not Be Named (AKA Tom Cable). The Broncos remember that kind of thing with Skip Hall.

Nick Holt has the Vandals on the right track. From what I’ve heard, the mood among the football players is a complete 180 from Cable’s days. People are excited about Holt’s program. His staff brings a spirit and expertise that is on par with the best of them, ala Coach Hawkins at BSU. The new weight room, locker room and SprinTurf practice fields have brought facilities up to WAC level. Now it’s time to play the games… Exciting days ahead in VandalVille.

Family Phil

DFO: Mebbe not this year, though — WAC poll has Boy-C State and Fresno fighting it out for the football title here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/28/05

See: Item No. 2

Four workers at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, were disciplined recently for violating Shasta Groene’s privacy, after they viewed her medical records even though they weren’t part of her medical team. The four were among 1,000 KMC employees with security passwords that allow them access to medical records that are now electronic/Cynthia Taggart, Spokesman-Review, here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times looks at the big union split here.

2. Evel Knievel, 66, the motorcycle daredevil from Butte, Mont. (shown above in his rocket before the September 1974 failed attempt to soar 3/4 of a mile over the Snake Canyon), is battling incurable lung disease and a host of other ailments — so much so that his wife refuses to ride with him — here.

3. The Omak Stampede and Suicide race, an event that has killed 19 horses in 20 years, had no trouble lining up sponsors after Wal-Mart and Crown Pacific pulled out here.

4. Another graveyard employee nails another most-wanted North Idaho perv as John Collins Tuggle is brought to justice in Wallace, Idaho, here. Meanwhile, everyone wonders why Tuggle and killer/kidnapping suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III were so stupid that they’d reappear near the scene of their crimes here.

5. At least half the ski lift gondola cabins at Silver Mountain resort are overdue for new parts, safety inspections or both, according to the former head gondola mechanic at the North Idaho resort, here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Ronny Turiaf’s surgery), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (Ressam terror case), G. George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (Of porta-potties and wildfires), Robert Herold/Pacific Northwest Inlander (Roe vs. Roberts), Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (I want to be rich, so I can laugh at you).

*2 of 13 Japanese tractors stolen from Sacramento, Calif., turn up in northeast Washington here.

*A Georgia woman out for a pleasant hike spent a miserable night lost in Glacier Park here.

*Threatening man brandishing a club shot dead by Crater Lake rangers here.

*Las Vegas man moves closer to goal of trademarking Montana’s unofficial motto: “Last Best Place” here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

How Do You Survive A 21st Birthday?

Friday is my 21st birthday. My friends here in Moscow have planned a large celebration in my honor that involves me most likely drinking too much for my own good. I’m still trying to figure out what to eat Friday night before I go out to try and remain sober for awhile. Any suggestions are LARGELY appreciated — Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense.

DFO: Remember, Sammy, you’re in control until you’re not. Don’t let cuh-razy friends whom you probably won’t be running with a year from now push you too far re: imbibing. Others provided suggestions here. Any other suggestions?

Local Question of the Day — 7/28/05

Issue: Gondola safety in doubt: Silver Mountain disputes claims by former lead gondola mechanic/James Hagengruber, SR

Jim Hagengruber: “Pipkin said that when he quit, at least 60 of 109 gondola cabins were overdue for their mandatory five-year safety inspection – in at least one case, the inspection was five years overdue, according to Pipkin’s accounting of the hand-written logs. And 60 cabins were overdue for scheduled parts replacement, including the grip arm, which secures the gondolas to a 2-inch-thick steel cable.”

DFO: Gulp!

Question: Do you feel lucky? Are you more or less likely to use the gondola after reading this story?

Huckleberries 5 — Or Why Tuggle Got Caught

1. He was the first contestant to be voted off “Survivor: Shoshone County.”
2. Stupid is as stupid does.
3. Euell Gibbons he’s not.
4. 3-for-1 hot dog special at Wallace’s Conoco was too much to pass up.
5. What’s the use modeling a camouflage, macho man outfit if no one’s around to see it?

DFO: BTW, I.B. Lurking said she didn’t like that smiley-face photo of Tuggle that I ran yesterday. She should like this one better, courtesy of the Shoshone County sheriff.

SR Letter of the Day — 7/28/05

I read Darrell Sullens’ comment (“Secularists finally noticed,” July 21) with interest. He states that it has taken two-thirds of his life to break free of the bondage (of religion) to think freely.

Religion defined is how one views the world (one’s world view) and the purpose of it, one’s philosophy. The three terms: religion, world view and philosophy are synonymous. Whether defined or not, everyone has a philosophy, world view or religious foundation.

For Mr. Sullens to claim he is a “free thinker” not bound by a “reward promised by a mythological being in an unknown afterlife” isn’t free thinking at all but an expression of his world view or religious philosophy.

People generally associate “religion” with Christianity. That is incorrect. There are many religions, including Humanism – one of the basic beliefs of which is “no deity will save us, we must save ourselves” (Humanist Manifesto, 1973).

Humanists do not believe in a Higher Authority (God), nor do they believe in an afterlife. The term “secular” is an oxymoron. No one on the face of this earth is secular.

Lynn M. Stuter
Nine Mile Falls

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/27/05

A scene in Dhaka Bangladesh earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. (tie, after further review) Too hot to fly in BanglaDesh, these ducks are shown getting “frequent rider miles” — CDADave. And: Said one quacker to another: “Would you please get “down” off my back”? — John Austin.

3. After her first test run using snakes failed, Sunni decided she try out ducks for her new “Mudusa” fashion line — Bre.

HM: Gary Cuff and The Heimlich Maneuver.

Pedestrian Rage

This morning a CdA Resort van headed south on Second Street with a green light to go through the Sherman intersection but had to stop for a jaywalking woman. The van driver, a salt & pepper-haired older man with a beard, hollered at the woman to pay attention to the traffic lights before crossing the street. The woman shouted at him to “Go back to California!” I guess the driver didn’t graduate from Duane’s “The Tourist is Always Right” class or get the memo about not shouting at people who could be guests at the Resort while driving a company rig.

A Berry Picker

Inside Huckleberries — 7/27/05

*Fellow blogger Russ Lipton/News Is A Conversation tipped me off to Michael Yon, a sensational e-ziner who may be providing the best, evenhanded reporting from Iraq, here.

*Can anyone explain to me how violent sex offenders John Collins Tuggle and Joseph Edward Duncan III could chance being caught by showing themselves in a Wallace quick stop (for hotdogs) and a Coeur d’Alene restaurant. Are they that stupid? Or is something else at work here?

*KMC PRmeister Lisa Johnson denied to me by phone and in a letter to the editor that the hospital had anything to do with turning the sprinklers on reporters covering Shasta Groene’s rescue back when. But Huckleberries hears that The Powers That Be at the hospital was bragging about the incident. Also, we caught Lisa in another fib today. More on that later.

*In the buyer-beware category, Huckleberries hears there’s a scam taking place online. Seems some crook is mimicking Pay Pal by sending official looking e-bills that charge for items in the $60 to $90 range. If you want to contest the charge, you’re to click on a button that takes you to another Pay Pal-looking page that asks all kinds of personal info including your Social Security number, bank card and pen number, etc. Don’t fill in the blanks. Call Pay Pal.

*Blog Number: 4015 for Monday and 86260 through Monday. The dog days of summer blogging and that vacation earlier this month have had an effect. But it still looks like a fourth 100,000 pageview month in a row. We’ll see.

Peanut Gallery — Midtown

I am reading with great interest of the foresight and support that midtown received in the past. My question is, “Does the current City Administration get very involved in midtown issues?” From the outside looking in, I always “hear” that it is the red-headed step child to Sherman and Lakeside in the current City Council’s eyes. Thoughts, comments??


DFO: Midtown is the last, best hope for The Powers That Be to provide housing for middle-incomers within shouting distance of the downtown. Done right, Midtown could become a quaint neighborhood of small shops, NIC instructors and college students. I hear, however, that there’s strong opposition to changing the area much because residents/biz owners are afraid that higher valuations will drive them out. However, I believe, progress has its cross-hairs on Midtown. And there’s nothing that’ll stop it. The key is guiding it.

GOPrez Online Straw Poll

With nearly 7,000 votes counted, U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., edged ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuilani for the 2008 GOPrez fave in an online poll here. Meanwhile, blogger sees Allen and Hillary as the frontrunners for the ‘08 nominations in his analysis of the top 5 candidates on each side here.

Question of the Day — 7/27/05

Issue: Papers pull ‘Doonesbury’ over potty put-down: Others editing comic strip featuring Rove’s nickname ‘Turd Blossom’/Associated Press. (You can find the controversial strip here and a subsequent one here.)

DFO: Dubya calls Rove “Turd Blossom”? Funny. I don’t think I’d have pulled Garry Trudeau’s comic strip for repeating that. It simply gives the guy more publicity, and everyone will go on line to see it anyway. On the other hand, I’ve never followed Doonesbury. My interest in comics waned when the Far Side called it a day.

Question: When, if ever, should an Editor pull a cartoonist’s work from the paper?

Blog Hog Slaughter

I’ve just killed several blog hogs — previously called blogopotamuses, for their length — involved in the debate about Karl Rove, including one new poster, Rove Rules, who tried to get around the hog limit by posting a series of items defending Rove. I don’t like killing comments. But some of you give me know choice when you try to take up valuable real estate in the “recent comments” section. Soon, I no longer will be explaining myself — just putting blog-hot comments outta their misery.

Good News: A Bouncing Baby Girl

Remember a couple of years ago I shared with you the wedding story of Tara and Kyle Miller? Tara (pictured) was able to ‘walk’ down the aisle on her wedding day after being paralyzed by a stray bullet that came through the wall of her apartment while she was sleeping. Well, the happy news concerning this young lady continues. She and Kyle became the proud parents of daughter Karsyn Kyle Miller on July 9. She weighed in a 6 lbs 9 oz and is 19 1/2” long. Parents and daughter are all doing fine. (Tara is still confined to a wheel chair).

A Berry Picker

DFO: Tara’s story has been told across America — a woman who has shot and paralyzed while sleeping, forgave her shooter, walked down her wedding aisle while paralyzed, and now delivered a baby. Fantastic story of perseverance.

Local Question of the Day — Midtown

Issue: Midtown weighs strengthened identity: With vitality returning, merchants, residents talk and imagine direction area should take/Becky Kramer, SR (Kathy Plonka photo).

DFO: Midtown already is changing, particularly the “Upper Midtown Area,” where Coffeeville has taken over an old used-car dealership. If CDA does this area right, it could become a great off-Sherman place for mid-range condos and niche shops. I’d love to own real estate there.

Question: Look into your crystal ball. What’s Midtown going to look like in 10 years?

SR Letter of the Day — 7/27/05

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has weighed in on President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, applauding Judge John Roberts in all areas, yet lamenting the fact that he’s not a woman.

I’ll bet, back in 1981 when O’Connor herself was nominated by President Reagan, there were similar comments. Probably they sounded like this: “She’s good in every way, except she’s not a man!”

Too bad, after all these years, we still can’t get beyond petty, sexist remarks.

Ruth Danner

Tuesday Wild Card — 7/26/05

That’s all for today, kids. I’ll judge the cutline contest, and then I’m off to an early dinner and some church obligations. See you back here tomorrow morning around 9 …

Best of the Local Blogs — 7/26/05

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps wonders who’s pulling the strings in the current push to transform county government into a streamlined one with part-time commissioners running the show here.

*Family Phil knew how to act when he heard his young daughter screaming from a Coldwater Creek bathroom — nonchalant. Click here.

*CDADave wonders where have all the war songs gone … long time pa-a-ssing … here.

*Mike Kennedy/Idaho Kennedys talks about Idahoan Carole King’s new album that’s running up the charts here and predicting his wife’s cousin will be on the LPGA tour someday here.

*Bre/To Blog Or Not To Blog is already saying goodbye to friends who died too young here.

Big Midtown Meeting Tonight

The Lake City Development Corp. is hosting a public brain-storming session at 5:30 tonight in the Coeur d’Alene School District’s Midtown meeting room (5th & Linden) to discuss — Midtown. That’s the area between 3rd & 4th streets, between Foster and Harrison avenues. Mark Hinshaw, Director of Urban Design with Seattle-based LMN Architects, will lead the workshop. News Release: “The workshop’s agenda will simply be to share examples of place making efforts in various parts of the country, and to seek input from the Midtown stakeholders as to what Midtown could become, should become, or should not become.” In other words, the Powers That Be want your ideas about upgrading Midtown.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

Remember that cat fight at JDs bar during Bayview Daze? Well, there was another battle royal in Bayview early July 19 — this time between two men and a 1968 Harley Davidson (may it rest in peace). Seems Nathan Upchurch, 32, was fishing at the public docks around 2:30 a.m. when a rival approached, accused him of damaging his rig and challenged him to a fight. Upchurch told the other man to come back the next day and went in search of authorities. So, the suspect took his frustrations out on Upchurch’s motorcycle, pushing it over, kicking it and using a knife to cut the rubber drive belt off. Then, he ignited the damaged fuel tank and dragged the burning motorcycle through town three times — and 1 1/2 miles overall — before exiting on Perimeter Road. Damage estimate: $10,000. Wonder what they do for fun in Bayview?

Panhandle Man Fired for Blogging, Gun Advocacy?

Without warning and despite great performance reviews, Joe Huffman a research scientist in computer security was fired by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of Richland, Wash. Huffman suspects that his advocacy and personal blogging in support of gun rights was his undoing. Orbusmax reports on the situation here and suggests ways to help Huffman fight back here.

DFO: I believe Joe Hoffman/View from North Central Idaho is from Moscow. You can read his blog here.

“It’s Still Rocket Science”

Hat Tip: Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers

County Clerk Comes Clean

re: “Gotcha” item and speeding ticket this A.M.

Wow, can’t get away with anything with all those berry pickers around! First one in about 15 years. Yes unfortunately that was me (“but officer, I was just trying to get my wife to work a little early for a meeting”). And of course when he pointed out the part on the ticket where I need to go pay the Clerk of the District Court…”ah, yea, ahh… actually that’s me, so yes I do know where to go to pay it”. I suppose I should be glad I instituted a program a few years back so people (me) can pay the ticket via credit card! You know, so I can get those infrequent flyer miles.

Dan of the County

DFO: I’ve received only one speeding ticket in my life, at age 18 on the night I drove my convertible Camero home from the dealer. I didn’t want anyone to pass me that night, including the cop I didn’t know was behind me. When was the last time you received a speeding ticket?

A Wage War in North Idaho?

Yep, Editor/Janitor Frum Helen Back offers ample proof with her latest entry in Hauser Thoughts: “The billboard in front of the Post Falls’ Mc Donald’s reads they are hiring at $6.75/hr. Not far away, Taco Bell posts they are paying $7/hr. Both sure beat the Idaho minimum wage of $5.15/hr.”

DFO: I’m moving this one up from yesterday evening because there’s a lot of interest in it.

Question of the Day — 7/26/05

Issue: Workshop explores turning huckleberries into cash crop/Betsy Russell, SR.

DFO: It was 1977, and I was new to the Inland Northwest when the late C. Patrick King took me huckleberrying and fly fishing for the first time — behind the Hungry Horse Dam, just south of Glacier National Park. What a perfect day. We picked out fill of the berries and Pat (then publisher of The Daily Inter Lake of Kalispell, Mont.) gave me some of his trout to take home. It’s one of my fondest memories of life up here.

Question: When’s the last time you’ve been huckleberrying and have you had any great adventures doing so?

Feedback: I’m writing to say that I can tolerate the high price of real estate in Kootenai county, the traffic on 95, the heinous crimes that people from outside the area commit here, I can even tolerate Hagabum (as he was known in my childhood home), but by God, I draw the line at huckleberry farms. What? you take an exit off I-90, somewhere around 41, drive into the foothills to a U-pick place for huckleberries??

Quick Fix 6 — 7/26/05

1. APhoto Fix: Discovery and seven astronauts blasted into orbit Tuesday on America’s first manned space shot since the 2003 Columbia disaster, ending a painful, 2 1/2-year shutdown devoted to making the shuttle less risky and NASA more safety-conscious, according to the Washington Post, here.

2. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Karl Rove), Monte Wolverton (Al Qaeda public relations), and Chip Bok (70 virgins in paradise?).

3. Humor Fix: Tongue firmly cheeked, The Swift Report wonders how Judge John Roberts will survive grilling about his, ahem, famous celeb sister Julia here. (Remember, this is a spoof.)

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Cost to remove illegals: $41B here, Osama plotted to sell Americans poisoned cocaine here, 59% want Roberts OK’d here, Top skyscraper proposed for Chicago here, and 50,000 Iraqi insurgents dead, caught here.

6. Opinion Fix: Tod Lindberg/Washington Times (Tancredo’s threat), Michael Medved/USA Today (Hollywood’s disconnect), John Leo/U.S. News & World Report (Iraqi body count), Linda Chavez/Washington Times (AFL-CIO’s unhappy 50th birthday), and Rich Lowry/National Review (ACLU is suicidal).

Monday Wild Card — 7/25/05

I simply can’t think of a good P.S. question tonight, so we’ll go straight to the Wild Card. Then, with Jane Fonda stirring things up in the blog below and CDADave provided us grist from his Wayback Machine, mebbe we don’t need a parting item. Here’s your Monday Night Wild Card …

CDADave Takes Us Traveling

CDADave fired up his Wayback Machine again for a coupla entries including this one which shows the old mill that once sat on the current site of The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, whether you called it Potlatch or Rutledge, here. Also, Dave has old shots of Wolf Lodge Bay here and Coeur d’Alene Lake Cruises here.

DFO: BTW, for you newcomers, that painted engine in the North Idaho Museum parking lot was transported across town after the mill closed as a reminder of the town’s lumber history.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/25/05

Chelsea Clinton laughs after father Bill tells her about the offer made by the African official for her hand in marriage and before she discovers that Bill has accepted the offer. Wink. See first item.

*40 goats, 20 cows to buy Chelsea? African official makes offer to Bill Clinton/Sky News — I’m going to bite my tongue and resist temptation to comment here.

*Hispanic, Islamic groups want Tancredo to quit: Congressman’s idea to bomb Islamic holy sites deemed unacceptable/Associated Press — Yeah, Tancredo’s comments were over-the-top, but so were the comments from the various mullahs out there justifying suicide bombers.

*Rick Santorum: Not running for prez: ‘I can’t speak for other politicians but I can speak for me’/Associated Press — Who?

*Some vets condemn ‘Wedding Crashers’ site: Party-goers masquerading as Purple Heart winners doesn’t go over well/My Way — Can someone please remind me again why Vietnam War POW/U.S. Sen. John McCain appeared in this boobfest?

*Scientist who linked smoking to cancer dies: British epidemeologist Doll sounded the alarm in 1950/CBC News — Old age cut ‘im down — not lung cancer.

You Can Vote in A Repub Straw Poll …

… For 2008 GOP prez candidates provided by blogger Patrick Ruffini here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/25/05

Former Gonzaga star Ronny Turiaf looks away from reporters as he talks about the medical condition that will prevent him from playing for the LA Lakers. See first asterisked item below.

Inside a former Starbucks warehouse, Seattle’s bomb squad headquarters, the police chief and 15 captains and sergeants — accompanied by a robot that can extract explosives from packages and pin down a suspect — huddled the other day on a topic suddenly urgent to police across the nation: suicide bombers/Sarah Kershaw, NY Times, here.

1. David Horsey/PI follows Dems attempts to corner Karl Rove here.

2. For a cool $25 million, you can buy the smaller of billionaire Paul Allen’s San Juan Islands property here.

3. An ailing Spokane teen who gained fame last year when she met President George Bush has succumbed to cystic fibrosis here.

4. The worst child molesters in the state of Idaho are unsupervised, according to Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review, here. Also: An ex-Washington perv who could be the nation’s most prolific child molesters was crafting a lengthy memoir about his sexual exploits with boys when he was arrested here.

5. A group of neighbors put their money where their mouths in showing its support for a young North Idaho soldier on leave from Iraq, according to D.F. Oliveria’s Monday Huckleberries here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi (Polio, sex offender scares alike), Missoulian (Surrendering liberty for safety), Walla Walla Union Bulletin (Ignoring VA funding problems outrageous), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Idaho House Speaker’s radical insurance idea), and Tri-City Herald (What’s the beef with Rep. Hastings?, free subscription required).

*Gonzaga U officials say there was nothing in former star Ronny Turiaf’s past to indicate that he had a serious heart condition that would prevent him from playing pro basketball this year here.

*Climber David Mahre, 77, the father of two Olympians, has died in Tacoma after undergoing emergency heart surgery here.

*A cattle truck flipped on Interstate 90 near Coeur d’Alene Sunday, stopping traffic for miles in both directions here.

*BNSF Railway is seeking $18 million from the firms who constructed the faulty refueling depot on the North Idaho line that was forced to close for a time earlier this year due to serious leaks here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Definitely Not Hussein’s Iraq

Iraq is a long ways from equality, let alone stability, but here you have Sgt. Bushra Jabar pounding the beat in the Kharkh district of Baghdad, pistol in hand — the only woman in her Army unit. The AP tells you all about this courageous woman here.

Feedback: Interesting topic, how will women’s roles play out in Iraq? On NPR this morning, there was an interesting story about the struggle involving the definition of women’s rights within the new constitution of Iraq — Idawa.

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/25/05

Cutline: Japan’s Reiko Nakamura breaks through the water on her way to finishing first in her heat in the women’s 100m backstroke at the World Aquatics Championships today in Montreal.

Top Cutlines:

1. At Moron.Org we are committed to ensuring that human cloning labs like the one pictured here will be shut down so that President Bush will be denied his dream of creating an entire army of evil Karl Rove clones — There

2. Sally begins her new job testing Super Duper Strength “Sarn Wrap” — Whatever.

3. A future Ironman is delivered via C-Section this morning — John Austin.

HM: Bre

Quick Fix 6 — 7/25/05

1. Photo Fix: Peter Clarke, the head of Britain’s Metropolitan Police Service’s Anti-Terrorist Branch, speaks during a news conference in London earlier today as images of men linked to the attempted London bombings on July 21 can be seen behind him. Police released the names of two of the four men they suspect took part in the failed July 21 bombings against London’s transport system here.

2. Political ‘Toon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (“Grand Theft Auto”), Kevin Tuma (Open borders), and Gary Varvel (Judge John Roberts).

3. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman/ provides a roundup of Judge John Roberts jokes here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Hillary to support Bush court pick here, Largest union to bolt AFL-CIO here, Fonda to oppose Iraq war on bus tour here, Wonka, ‘Wedding Crashes’ top box office here, and Reruns test if reality TV has second life here.

6. Opinion Fix: Hendrik Hertzberg/The New Yorker (Roe vs. Rove), Debra Saunders/SF Chronicle (Blame Bush, Blair, not bombers), Eric Pfeiffer/National Review (Hillary & “Grand Theft Auto”), John Fund/Wall Street Journal (Term limits for Supreme Court), and Washington Times (Thank you, Lance Armstrong).

Question of the Day — 7/25/05

Issue: ‘Cooter’: Don’t go to ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ movie ‘unless it’s cleaned up’: Former actor sez film version profanity-laced, mocks family values/

DFO: The worst remake I’ve seen was Eddie Murphy’s “Haunted House,” based on the Disneyland theme ride. I thought it was going to be a thriller like “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Almost put me to sleep.

Question: What remake of an earlier movie, TV series, etc., disappointed you most?

Feedback: I think a more difficult question would be, which TV show made into a movie was actually worth the money to watch? Two or three of the Star Trek movies were good, but beyond that — Dang.

Greatest American Athlete Ever?

A good argument could be made that bicyclist Lance Armstrong is the greatest American athlete ever as he won his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race, after the 21st and final stage of the race between Corbeil-Essonnes, south of Paris, and the French capital Sunday here. Who do you think is the greatest American athlete ever?

Feedback: Lance Armstrong has to be considered top dog in my lifetime. However, from all I’ve read and heard of Jim Thorpe, he might just be the best ever.

Best of Huckleberries Online — 7/22/05

Cutline: My sister-in-law discovered an unwelcomed surprise that ruined her outing to North Idaho College Beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene. See Item No. 2 (on continued part).

Johnny came marching home this month to a night out on the town and his neighbors’ deep appreciation. Huckleberries won’t embarrass Johnny by identifying him here – other than to say he’s a CDA fella who returned briefly from Iraq to in February to attend the birth of his son. This time, Johnny had 10 days off. So, his folks came up from Boise. And a few neighbors stopped by, including two military retirees who obtained 100 signatures on a card thanking Johnny for his service to country. Oh yeah, they also took a collection to give Mr. and Mrs. Johnny a night out. Another neighbor baby-sat the two kids. Said onlooker Ryan Hill: It was a very heartwarming and sincere gesture and it really brought home to me what it truly means to “support our troops.” Bingo.

More Below

Sunday Wild Card — 7/24/05

Best of Huckleberries Online, 2 questions and a coupla Peanut Gallery notes are posted below. Plus, there’s still the Photo of the Weekend caption contest below. Enjoy …

More of Same re: Sex Molesters

Worst molesters unsupervised: After prison, Idaho’s violent sex offenders return to society with minimal oversight/Betsy Russell, SR.

DFO: Bob Salsbury has provided some terrific insights re: registered sex offenders this weekend here. We can write laws that make us feel better but won’t make us much safer. No question, however, that we should keep better track of the Level 3’s and even the borderline Level 2’s who may be just as bad but plea bargained their way out of the worst designation. Idaho should adopt Washington’s laws re: the three levels and maybe more — and be all over the Level 3’s. And we need a way to keep the potentially worse ones locked up forever. Earlier this weekend, I had some thoughts re: the worst of the worst here.

Sunday Question of the Day — 7/24/05

Issue: Frank Church would’ve wanted Idahoans to work out differences: His approach to solving central Idaho wilderness controversy still stands as a model/Fred Hutchison, Idaho Statesman.

DFO: Local people solving local problems? What a concept. Mike Simpson (White Clouds) and Mike Crapo (Owyhee canyonlands) are walking in Church’s footsteps by seeking consensus that benefits the most people.

Question: Is there any politician out there today that you’d call a statesman?

Peanut Gallery — No Predator Epidemic

I too have worked with sex offenders on a professional basis. Some have remorse. Some cease and desist the deviant behavior and never reoffend. Some don’t. Sex offenders are not a homogenous group, they differ across dozens of variables. These are immutable facts. The true predator (which in Washington state is a legal definition not clinical)is very rare and can be civilly committed per statutory requirements.

Sex offending remains a low rate high severity crime. The streets are not crawling with sex offenders. The odds of a stranger molesting or raping your child are infinitesimal. Worry more about teachers, coaches, relatives, priests and so on.

It is not an epidemic, no matter how much you want to stretch the definitional capabilities of that word.

Society does have a challenge. We can’t afford it all. Do we continue to imprison drug offenders under draconian federal and state sentences and clog up the system with addicts (see: Medical Model of Addiction), do we continue to pour resources into foreign adventurism (see: Iraq) or do we step back and decide this problem needs a higher allocation of resources for research, treatment, prison space?

Here is the ultimately sad and highly predictable outcome of all of this, I’m sure every Idaho legislator will scramble to create a “Dylan’s Law” or some other kind of fierce statute against sexual predators. Everyone will slap each other on the back about how tough we got. Then it will happen again and again.

Bob Salsbury

Saturday Wild Card — 7/23/05

I’ve posted 4 new items below to kick off your Saturday, including a mini-editorial about sex offenders. I hope they inspire a comment. If not, here’s your Wild Card to come up with your own topics. I’ll be checking in after I garage sale later this morning …

Question No. 1 — 7/23/05

Issue: Blue Law’s gone — let’s drink to that: Liquor sales among scores of regulations that will take effect/David Ammons, Associated Press.

DFO: Is it really a handicap if liquor sales are banned on Sunday? I drink wine. And can’t remember the last time I bought a bottle of liquor, this side of college. I still think it’s weird that the state has the corner on the liquor market in some Northwest states. BTW, as of today, it’s legal to slander a woman in Washington. We’ve come a long way, baby.

Question: With all the hullabaloo when the Legislature is in session, can you remember one good law that was passed in either Washington or Idaho?

Friday Night Wild Card

I’m going to jump on the bike and head home folks. It’s been a fun week. But I’m looking forward to a quiet night at home tonight and, mebbe, a morning of garage saling with my wife tomorrow. I’ll check in during the weekend …

Best of the Local Blogs — 7/22/05

*While vacationing on a local lake, Bearable Bob (above) recalls his days as a machine gunner on special assignment with the Finnish Special Forces, and provides photos of his fun in the sun, here.

*Family Phil provides terrific photos of the UI arboretum at the top of his Tall Trees blog here.

*Bre/To Blog or Not to Blog explains why Joseph Edward Duncan III has made the boogeyman real here.

*Coeur d’Alene High principal Steve Casey will have company when he runs for superintendent of schools, according to Our Woman In Boise, here.

Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind tells you why she moved to Roslyn, Wash. (back drop for the old “Northern Exposure” TV series) here.

Drugs or Alcohol is like choosing between dynamite or C4…either will send you straight to hell, just a difference of weight by volume and traditionalism — Bearable Bob/Random Shallow Thoughts.

TGIF Wild Card — 7/22/05

OK, that first Photo of the Day didn’t seem to work very well (although I received a coupla dyne-oh!-mite cutlines that’ll be judged later). So, how about this one as I turn my attention to an afternoon editorial? Why’s Hillary so jazzed? Also, could you folks listing those great moon songs tell other commenters why you like them — or one of them — best? What memories do they bring to mind? If all else fails to get you to comment this afternoon, here’s your Wild Card …

The Dog Walker Muses

Ah, the morning papers are such a great way to start the day. Mr. Duncan, the stand off in Hayden and now Mr. Tuggle - I hope the folks around here who snicker because we lock the doors of the house when we’re working in the back 40 and lock the doors of our car no matter where will realize that maybe it’s actually prudent - not just because we can’t shake having lived in the big city. Heck we won’t even leave the dog unattended if we’re running errands. He’s either with us or in the house. Don’t test it. He’s bigger than you —Dogwalk Musings.

DFO: I’ve had some e-mail correspondence with this relative newcomer (5 years) who’s traveled the world and now found a spot to launch the family boat. She definitely looks at the area with different eyes. And I find that refreshing. I introduced her blog yesterday. And I wasn’t disappointed with her followup thoughts today.

Seattle Times: Northwestern Lacrosse Players …

… looked terrific in their flip-flops at the White House here.

Grand Theft Auto Is Edit Subject …

… In two NW newspapers today: Seattle Post-Intelligencer Hillary’s on to something and Tacoma News-Tribune (Sex scenes go too far).

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/22/05

Cutline: Another beautiful scenic of the Inland Northwest’s Palouse area by photographer Doug Fredericks of Hayden, Idaho.

Top Story: Evergreen State College prof Michael Pfeifer has made history by finding that the US lynched far more people than thought — and that most of them were white (because whites vastly outnumbered blacks and swiped a lot of horses). “Pfeifer’s contribution will stay in the Congressional Record as a part of the Senate’s apology for its failure to enact an anti-lynching law first proposed more than 100 years ago,” according to Laurie Au/Tacoma News-Tribune (free subscription), here.

1. David Horsey/PI looks at the real desperate housewives here.

2. Gonzaga basketball star Ronny Turiaf’s pro career could be over before it begins as doctors spot problems that will force him to have open-heart surgery here. And SR columnist John Blanchette looks at the silver lining in Turiaf’s dark cloud here.

3. A 7-year-old Tri-Cities, Washington, girl only needed minutes to find an ancient mammoth bone that’d laid hidden from predators, weather and archaeologists for mebbe thousands of years (free subscription required) here.

4. Surprise! Surprise! The Minnesota judge who’s under fire for setting bail low for Groene murder/kidnapping suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III is known as an extremely tough judge here.

5. I her address to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals conference in Spokane, retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said she was worried about the deep rift between Congress and the judicial branch here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Nominee John Roberts), The (Kalispell, Mont.) Daily Inter Lake (Claim-jumping Montana’s slogan), Idaho Statesman (Idaho needs predator alerts), Robert Herold/Inlander (Mayor Jim West mini-series), and Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (New U-Dub refreshing).

*Tip leads to 4 teens suspected in I-5 road rage shootings that wounded to women here.

*Spokane police are attempting to interview a man accused of raping a 14-year-old after they found him (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) in bed with another girl here.

*A 19-year-old from Edmonds, Wash., pleaded guilty to burning a cross at the home of an Arab-American family here.

*Idaho congressmen part ways as Patriot Act passes here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

When The Moon Hits Your Eye …

How about a little fun in honor of that dyne-oh!-mite moon (shown hear over the ancient temple of Posseidon southeast of Athens) that was hanging up above this week? What’s your favorite song about the moon? And why?

TGIF Photo of the Day — 7/22/05

I hesitated to use this because it’s not funny. But it is a riveting photo. And USA’s Chelsea Davis was OK after hitting her head and requiring stitches in the women’s springboard diving competition at the World Aquatics Championships today. You write the cutline (unless you guys think this is a little too much. Then, I’ll get another photo. Let me know).

Top Cutlines:

1. After a triple dog dare from her team mates, Chelsea proved them all wrong, showing that she could indeed hold up her entire body using only her forehead — Bre.

2. “Oh, that Chelsea”, said her coach. “She sure keeps us in stitches” — John Austin.

3. The Thought Police: People have been killed hitting their head on a diving board. Therefore, in sympathy with them, and to discourage copy-cats, publishing such photos or depictions of such must be banned by federal law — Green Libertarian.

HM: Political Geek.

Question of the Day — 7/22/05

Issue: Police begin searching bags on NYC subways: Random searches seen as a way to stop mass transit terrorism/Tom Hays, Associated Press.

DFO: Soon, the ACLU will file suit about the randomness of the searches, and the cops will begin searching the purses of little old ladies in wheelchairs. This is how we’ll get to 1984.

Question: Are the random searches by NY police a sign of things to come?

News Is A Conversation — Ronny Turiaf

re: Turiaf needs heart surgery

I’m sure shock waves are piercing the Inland Northwest this morning as readers learn about Ronny Turiaf’s (above at NBA pre-draft camp in June) medical emergency. And, I’m betting the story and column will receive huge readership as was noted recently when he was picked up by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Why am I not surprised that he suffers from an enlarged heart? I’m sad, though, that it’s the kind that has led to a serious medical problem.

Everything about this young man’s demeanor suggests a big heart, in more of a figurative sense. Ronny has also melted the hearts of thousands of fans, many like me who’ve never had the honor of seeing him in person–who’ve just watched him take the Inland Northwest by storm with his talent, that big smile, his charisma, his obvious warmth and his love for this area and its people.

If it turns out that he’s unable to fulfill his dream as an NBA basketball player, then I have a suggestion.

Elect him mayor of Spokane. He could be the greatest ambassador the town ever had.

Marianne Love
News Is A Conversation

DFO: Don’t forget to check in on the daily critiques of the SR done by Marianne, Russ Lipton, Doug Hughes and a coupla others for News Is A Conversation, which is linked under SR blogs at the right.

Thursday Wild Card — 7/21/05

Check out the new bloggers that have been added to the blogroll and the story coming tomorrow morning on the latest freed sex offender suspected of hurting one of our children in “Inside Huckleberries” below. Then, post your little hearts away this evening and tonight by using this Wild Card …

Inside Huckleberries — 7/21/05

*Green Libertarian brought up that accusation by The Raw Story and the Rude Pundit that conservative flamethrower Ann Coulter had plagiarized Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and three other sources in writing a recent column. Dennis Joyce of the Arizona Daily Star sez she didn’t and circulated his thoughts to other editorial page editors across the US here. You can find The Raw Story’s erroneous post here.

*In Friday’s SR: “Follow on the tragic stabbing and attack of the 12-year-old girl in Idaho. The victim hadn’t seen her father for 10 years because he was in prison for raping her aunt when she was just a toddler. When he finally came to visit after his release, he told her mom he was taking her on a trip to the mall, police say, but wound up taking her into the woods and stabbing her multiple times. Unclear if she was raped or not.”

*You’ll find three new sites added to the North Idaho blogroll today: Bre’s To Blog or Not to Blog, Al Turtle’s Relationship Wisdom (A counselor from Athol who also snaps terrific photos) and Dogwalk Musings by a local woman who thinks about things during walks with her dog and prefers to remain anonymous.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, the UI journalism major who’s interning at the Lewiston Tribune this summer dropped by for a 45-minute visit. He’ll go places in the news biz, if he can stay away from public relations. I almost made him wash his mouth out when he mentioned PR in my office.

*Commenter Frum Helen Back (D.J. Nall) has resigned her City Council post over some flap I can’t quite figure out. But she talks about it somewhat in the latest edition of the Hauser Thoughts here. (Here’s hoping Helen didn’t throw in the towel simply because some crank on the council was angry at her. She’s a good public official.)

*Doug Hughes/Spovegas has added Huckleberries Online to his blogroll. Again, for you neo-bloggers, one of the best compliments you can give another blogger is to add his blog to your rolls.

*Pageview No. for Tuesday: 5507.

New Sex Registry Web Site …

… Covering Idaho and 21 other states can be found here.

Bearly A Bird at the Feeder

Robin Butler sent this photo to the Kootenai Valley Press/Bonners Ferry, Idaho, reportedly taken near Kamloops, British Columbia recently, proving beyond doubt that if you set out food for our fine feathered friends, you’d better do it so there’s no chance other critters will be tempted! (BTW, I copied this for the Huckleberries Best of the Northwest below, so readers west of the Cascades could see it.

Update: Duffer has sent additional photos of the “Long Lake Bear” above. Seems it’s been circulating around the Internet for some time now. Not a hoax. But not a recent photo either. Still, it’s a fun photo.

Can Any of You Tell Me Why …

… State Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, appeared at the CDA tribe’s grand opening today, sitting in a wheelchair pushed by CHS principal Steve Casey. Yeah, I know the two are buds. But why was Jorgenson in the wheelchair. And why did he mention during brief comments to the gathering that he was “full of drugs”? Back problems? Bucked from a horse? (He did say wild horses couldn’t keep him away.) What’s the medical problem with Jorgenson?

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/21/05

I’m not going to ruin this for you by saying too much about the APhoto. The women are taking part in a festival that took place this week at the beach of Shirahama on the Boso Peninsula. You write the cutline. BTW, I read Jane Q. Citizen’s note yesterday that she’s intimidated by the terrific cutline writers who participate in the daily blog. Don’t be. As Jane Q found out yesterday with her first-place tie, everyone has a good cutline or two in him or her.

Top Cutlines:

1. Duane Hagadone provides more hours for staff members when he hires them to begin Phase one of the Blackwell Island dredging — Whatever.

2. After much deliberation law-makers finally decided on the appropriate place to house Kootenai County’s sex offenders. At the bottom of Pend Orielle Lake — Bre.

3. (tie) The members of Save Karl Rove couldn’t find a virgin to sacrifice at the altar, so in a fit of pique they decided to immolate themselves in vast pool of deisel — A Token Democrat. And: Senate Democrats enter into their conclave to debate the lynching of John Roberts — political.

HM: Coeur d’Alene hosts the new Iron Mummy Nighttime Triathlon — Family Phil.

How Will Court Change with Roberts?

Blogger Damnum Absque Injuria provides a handy dandy table of close court decisions that could swing the other way if Judge John Roberts is confirmed here.

Question of the Day — 7/21/05

Issue: County pay raises, restructuring advised: Citizens panel proposes changes aimed at improving efficiency/Erica Curless, SR.

DFO: I’ve always thought the county government system of the Inland Northwest (Washington, Idaho and Montana) was weird. It placed too much power in the hands of three individuals, who may or may not have the expertise to run a multi-million-dollar operation. I’d prefer to see the county expand to five part-time commissioners as policy makers and a full-time administrator to handle day-to-day operations.

Question: Would you like to see county government restructured?

Huckleberries Headlines — 7/21/05

*Blasts hit 3 London subway stations, bus: Only 1 minor injury reported, but city shaken/My Way — Contemptible cowards.

*Democratic filibuster of Roberts unlikely: Lieberman: President’s pick appears to be ‘mainstream conservative’/Associated Press — So “Dumbo Dubya” has produced a Supreme Court wannabe who satisfies conservatives, social and mainstream, and doesn’t rile Senate liberals (excuse the redundancy). Yeah, the prez is dumb — dumb as a fox.

*London bomb suspect lived at Seattle mosque: Had scouted possible terrorist training camp in Oregon/Seattle Times — They’re among us, and we aren’t paying enough attention to them.

*Home prices boom on: Median cost for Bay Area houses passes $600,000 mark/San Francisco Chronicle — And you thought things were bad here?

*Do Not Call list under attack, activists say:
Battle brewing as telemarketers ask FCC to nullify tough state laws
/MSNBC — “No call” lists are the best thing to happen to the consumer since the advent of the cell phone.

SR Letter of the Day — Mark of Cain?

Steve Groene: “People like this should not be out in public” (“Federal act could curb sex offenders,” July 10). Who would disagree? With some 650,000 sex offenders nationwide, identity and notification to the police on the honor system is not working and the system is dangerous to the public. These people are invisible among their vulnerable prey. As the law of the land stands now, the public is not safe.

I suggest a nose piercing; make it nonremovable. People of all ages will be aware of the danger and take necessary precautions to keep us safe. While we are at it we could also pierce the offending appendage. The sex offender will have a reminder of his obligation to society.

Lois Watts

Wednesday Wild Card — 7/20/05

The Wednesday afternoon Wild Card has now become the Wednesday evening Wild Card. I’ve enjoyed the activity and interaction of the past two days. Mebbe I’ll have a little more time tomorrow for blogmeister’s notes …

Inside Huckleberries — 7/20/05

*I’ve been a bit surprised at the lukewarm response to HBO items with Coeur d’Alene Press links that I’ve posted re: Officer Mike Kralicek and his family getting the screwgie from the State Insurance Fund. Whazzup?!

*Gotta teeth cleaning appointment tomorrow morning, so I’ll be in a little late. About 9.

*If you know anything about prostate cancer, don’t forget to check the item about Bayview Herb in the “Best of the Local Blogs” below.

*BTW, you might be surprised when I publish two stories with the same links on a given day — one free-standing and one in “Huckleberries Best of the Northwest.” I do that for important stories because the roundup is picked up by Orbusmax. I also want to give you a chance to comment on them.

*I heard through the grapevine today that my old Kalispell (Mont.) Daily Inter Lake photographer Brad Hagadone has reinvented himself under Papa’s scrutiny to become a productive member of HagaWorld — and that he’s no longer a Surfer Dude/Playboy type sucking at the corporate udder. He’s doing a decent job overseeing the Blackwell Island push and the presses for Hagadone’s Hawaii publications. And, for those keeping score at home, he bought one of Sheriff Rocky Watson’s cannons, for celebrations only.

*After a slow Monday, HBO has a very good pageview count coming for Tuesday. It was over 4 p.m. at 4 p.m. Tuesday. So, it should break out around 5,500 for the day. Very nice summer number. Stay tuned. And thanks.

SR Blog Edit Stinks?

Days after Mr. Lipton praised the S-R and offered some discussion on future developments, the S-R editorial board decides to take make a generalized broadside attack on bloggers.

The editorial hems and haws a little bit, qualifying it’s criticism a bit by saying that some blogs are good and some can be town squares, but then in the final passages it really gets to the heart of the issue: bloggers aren’t real journlists.

This rift, between the official “journalist” and the “blogger”, shows a maddening misunderstanding of our entire project here. Have we done nothing to prove this wrong? Have we done nothing to show the way?

This editorial is bad. Of course blogging isn’t traditional journalism, it isn’t double fact-checked, you need to keep an open mind, sometimes factual stories meet with the fantastical and, like mythology or religion, might point to a deeper truth even though the facts remain unproved. But to attack bloggers in general because the S-R doesn’t agree with or like some people’s thoughts on Duncan seems misguided at best, and an angry stab at worst.

Doug Hughes/Spovegas
News Is A Conversation

DFO: Actually, I don’t believe the author of the editorial was naive at all about blogging since he’s blogged for the last 18 months and been a professional journalist for 35 years. Yeah, I wrote it. And I’ll stand by the edit that bloggers can be good but few of them have the expertise, discipline and sense of balanced reporting of your average journalist. Bloggers play an important role in the new media. But they/we remain niche players at this point.

Peanut Gallery — Flip-Flops

Flipflops are the dominant footwear in the tropical world, not because anyone told them they were hot, but because that’s all anyone can afford. I’ve seen welders in Asia joining plate steel on ships wearing flipflops. I’m sure that deep within the ethic behind the footwear boom is identification with the world’s underclass, which is just plain silly. I wonder how today’s teens will look back when they are middleaged people, wondering why they wore flipflops in the snow, and how they were duped into thinking that everyone looks good in them. There are lots of feet that aren’t ready for prime time. Finally, who would pay more than $3 for a pair of flipflops?


DFO: How do you spell flipflops anyway? With a hyphen? Without? One word? Two? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Kerry’s “No O’Connor” Letter

Earlier today, commenter Eagle Eye mentioned getting an e-mail yesterday in which John Kerry ripped into Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts. Kerry said that Roberts is no Sandra Day O’Connor, meaning he lacked her stature and balance, apparently. Eagle Eye used that comment as proof that Kerry and other D’s were willing to fight any nominee Bush picked and will look foolish doing so, in this case. Having said all this, you can find Kerry’s e-mailed letter here.

Hat Tip: The Heimlich Maneuver

For Those Keeping Score at Home …

… The White House tried repeatedly to reach Justice Sandra O’Connor yesterday while she was flyfishing up the St. Joe River with SR Outdoor Editor Rich Landers — to tell her about Bush’s Supreme Court nominee. But they were out of cell phone reach. So, the justice enjoyed her day wading in the river here (and, BTW, wasn’t that front-page headline terrific: “O’Connor picks wade over row”). She didn’t learn about Dubya’s pick of John G. Roberts until the ride back in Rich’s rig when Rich fielded a cell phone call re: the matter and handed the phone to her. BTW, O’Conner gives thumbs up to the Roberts’ pick here.

Feedback: I love that story - just perfect. Good for her that she put her fishing time ahead of work time - she’s earned the right. And the St. Joe is as good a place to lay low as there is — Mike Kennedy.

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/20/05

A duck and its ducklings cross a city street in Appleton, Wis. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. (tie) A team of water polo players head to the White House to meet President Bush, thrilled that the ban on flip flops has been lifted — Jane Q. Citizen. And: Leaving her quackerbox of a home, a duck leads her offspring to a local AFLAC audition, armed with nothing more than a wing and a prayer — John Austin.

3. John Kerry, John Edwards, Evan Bayh, Joe Biden and Bill Richardson jockey for position behind Democratic front runner Hillary Rodham Clinton — There’s A Fungus Among Us.


Huckleberries Hears …

… that Silly Hall is creating a position of deputy administrator for an in-house candidate that pays $29 per hour, which would raise questions, if true, why current City Administrator Wendy Hague needs an assistant. Stay tuned.

Peanut Gallery — Caution: Rhetoric Ahead

Anyone looking for parallels on John Roberts need only look to 1990. David Skiiner of the Weekly Standard unearthed some great comments that liberal groups used to describe David Souter, George H.W. Bush’s SCOTUS nominee:

“Almost Neanderthal” is how Molly Yard, then-president of the National Organization for Women, described Souter, whose “constitutional views are based on the ‘original intent’ of the Framers 200 years ago, when blacks were slaves and women were property of their husbands.” …

“David Souter would be the fifth vote” for outlawing abortion, said Eleanor Smeal of the Fund for the Feminist Majority. “We find him a devastating threat.” …

“What record Souter has compiled on constitutional questions is both sparse and disturbing,” said Arthur Kropp, then-president of People for the American Way, whose current president Ralph Neas, then of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, questioned Souter’s “commitment to constitutional guarantees of individual rights and liberties… . ” The NAACP was “troubled” … Could the Democrats have been any more off base? Souter, to the dismay of many conservatives has ended up being one of the more liberal justices. Just wait, you will see similar comments coming from left-leaning groups in the next several days.

The Heimlich Maneuver

Extra! Extra!

Hayden standoff ends peacefully: Tear gas ends 10-hour standoff/Steven R. Neuman, SR. And: Vest saves deputy in Hayden standoff: Man in domestic dispute shoots as officers approach/James Hagengruber, SR.

DFO: We came thisclose to seeing another brave officer seriously wounded in the line of duty. What is it with nuts/bullies who take it out on law enforcement after they mess up their love life? If these idiots want to commit suicide by police, or disrupt their neighbors’ lives with an all-night standoff, they should at least have the cuts to eliminate the middle man and waste themselves. Now, we’ll have to house and feed this nut for who knows how long.

Goodlander Announces Today

Shoulda posted this one yesterday p.m. but I got caught up in the wonderful flip-flop flap discussion (which was ruined later by a turn for the worst into the Iraq thread quagmire). City Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander will be announcing her candidacy for re-election at 12:30 this afternoon on the Centennial Trail near the Tubbs Hill trailhead.

Tuesday Wild Card — 7/19/05

The time has come the walrus said to speak of many things — of shoes and ships and sealing wax … and whether thongs are strings. (I couldn’t help myself.) I’ve been biking to and from work this week — just to see how I like it. It definitely has given me more energy. So, I need to change into my biking outfit while the staff rushing around the newsroom tracking that shooting situation in Hayden. I’ll check in later tonight. Thanx for the fun time today, folks …

Inside Huckleberries — 7/19/05

*You guys floor me sometimes. I was trying to figure out what’d lure you in from blurking this p.m. and had almost given up when I posted that photo of Dubya and the Northwestern flip-flop team. A wonderful discussion ensued. And still ensues. And will be remembered fondly in about 45 minutes when I slip on my thongs, er, flip-flops. Thanks for brightening my afternoon.

*Huckleberries Online has been added to two blogrolls — Patty Duke’s locally and Jeremy Gilby’s down in Kansas City, Mo. The best way to compliment another blogger is to add him/her to your blogroll. I’m thrilled that I can live here in Beautiful Coeur d’Alene and get traffic via blogs from Seattle to New York City, from Texas to the many ones who post HBO up here. A Hat Tip to all of you who have links to HBO.

*I’ll probably be posting a link to Al Turtle’s blog soon. He’s a marriage counselor who writes a blog and provided that terrific photo of the two moose earlier today.

*I’m looking forward to Steve Badraun’s plans to begin writing a garden blog. It’ll be all that much more fun if he includes political commentary, too.

*Very low pageview number to open the week — only 2451 at the 4 p.m. Monday split. With such a beautiful day outside, however, I can’t blame folks for enjoying it. I would.

Hayden Hostage Situation

Question (from Berry Picker): I am hearing of a Hayden hostage situation? Policeman shot? Apparently, this is right across the street from me. If you have time, I would be grateful for any info.

DFO: Apparently, sheriff’s deputies had accompanied an estranged wife back to her place to pick up a few things. And the estranged husband opened fire. One bullet grazed a deputies protective vest. No one has been hurt. But the man is now sequestered in his home. This is happening along Strahorn, south of the Hayden Lake Country Club and Honeysuckle (?)


re: Dubya picking frontrunner Edith Clements for Supreme Court vacancy tonight

Well, you’d think so … but it DOES seem a little fishy that every reporter in town got the same leak. Reminds me of when Bush the First nominated Souter….there was media buzz that the nominee would be Ken Starr, and it turned out the white house had “encouraged” the false rumor to give Souter some peace. Anyway…long-shot on Larry Thompson or Michael Luttig!

Khris Bershers
Heritage Foundation

DFO: Khris was responding to an e-mail question I posed her re: Clements’ prospects tonight.

Howard Dean’s Visit to Repub Idaho …

… reminded me of this parody by Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers. Dean pledge to pour money into the D’s state leadership and produce competitive wannabes up and down the ticket. It’ll be interesting to see if he makes the elephants sit up on their haunches and take notice. Or if he’s stampeded by them.


“If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot ‘em?”

Hat Tip: Taryn Brodwater (who spotted this one in Post Falls).

A Moment of Silence — Puh-LEEZ …

… to the stilling of an independent media voice in the Boundary County area here.


Dunno how this one made the paper this morning, but we’ve had calls about it. Check out the Sweet Dreamer in the lower left. Hope he has a good sense of humor when he gets back with his buddies.

Blogging for Supreme Court Vacancy

The Center for American Progress is launching a new blog about the Supreme Court nomination battle. The blog is a unique platform for former clerks and other experts to share their insights and opinions about the Court and the upcoming nomination of a new Justice here.

“The bloggers here mostly clerked for the Supreme Court in recent years,” writes Robert Gordon, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “We’re now mostly young professors, litigators, and even the odd political hack who remembers clerking as the best job he ever had. Bloggers won’t dish about their year at the Court, or curse like the guys in the clerks movie. They will, however, offer thoughts about the very important decisions before the President and the Senate.”

Peanut Gallery: Welcoming Johnny Home

The other night I went to a small party for a soldier who is back in Coeur d’Alene for a 10-day leave. He’s been in Iraq since January, and other than a quick trip home for the birth of his son in February, this was the first time he’s been home. His parents came up from Boise and few neighbors dropped in to say hello. Two of his neighbors, both retired military, brought a card that had been signed by all the other neighbors (maybe about 100), thanking him for his service. They’d also taken up a collection so the soldier and his wife could have a nice evening out while one of the other neighbors volunteered to babysit the two kids. It was a very heartwarming and sincere gesture and it really brought home to me what it truly means to “support our troops”.

Ryan Hill

Letter of the Day — Blogging Impact

In the summer of 1972 a story broke that burglars were caught in the Watergate Building with papers linking them to the Committee to Re-elect the President. I looked for follow-up stories. Nothing more was heard until Tricky Dick was safely re-elected and only then because of the dogged efforts of two cub reporters.

This year a story appeared (once) concerning the Downing Street Memos and died. The story was revived by bloggers, who recognized that the memos exposed the duplicitous actions by Blair and Bush to get us into war. They kept up the drumbeat until the mainstream (corporate) media had to respond. They tried to diminish the significance of the memos, either to protect Bush or to cover their failure to investigate the scandal.

If we had had bloggers when the Watergate story broke, we might have been spared the second Nixon administration and thousands of our servicemen’s lives could have been spared. The corporate power structure in our country can only be balanced by a vigilant and informed citizenry.

How long will the powerful allow a free flow of information to continue on the Internet? Be fearful! Ominous signs are appearing on the horizon.

Neil S. Hutchens

Kraliceks vs. Idaho Bureaucracy

The Kraliceks said they are fed up with fighting a bureaucracy that won’t even pay for one of the most inexpensive medicines on the market. They say the agency doesn’t seem to care and is sapping their finances and hampering Mike’s recovery. The Kraliceks said the insurance fund has questioned many items, including much-needed speech therapy, bed rails, and portable wheelchair ramps. It also rejected paying the full price of handicapped modifications to their bathroom — about $36,000 — Marc Stewart/CDA Press here.

DFO: I know what it’s like to hassle an insurance company for tiny items. Seems I go to battle with my company, which receives beaucoup bucks from the paper and me for premiums, at least once a year. Now, multiply that about 100 times and you have the Kralicek situation. Such is the treatment of a brave officer severely injured in the line of duty. Where’s the elected official or community activist to go to bat for him? Sen. John Goedde? Anyone? F’shame.

Monday Wild Card — 7/18/05

Here’s your Wild Card for tonight. I’ll check in later …

Inside Huckleberries — 7/18/05

*Huckleberries — to Phil Corless. We give. Can you tell us where that waterfall photo reprinted in HBO below came from. Inquiring minds would like to know. (And Hat Tip to Corinne Hunter/Moscow for identifying those flowers in the foreground as rose campion — even though Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast believes they’re the scourge of her garden/lawn.

*For you fellow bloggers, the Jack blog is surveying bloggers to compile a profile of some sort about us addicts here.

*Again, many thanks for those of you who took time to fill out the surveys re: info habits last week. I’ll be compiling them tonight for an editor’s powwow tomorrow afternoon.

*CrimsonW has come in from the cold, from the other side of the Cascades. And I’m impressed with his credentials and addiction to WSU sports.

*Mighta lost Lesley Presley to friendly fire over the weekend. If so, that’d be a shame because he brought much to the blog.

*I’ll be introducing you to another quality photographer from the area tomorrow.

*Very nice pageview numbers Thursday and Friday last week: 4934 and 5287, respectively. The numbers are beginning to push toward 30,000 per week again, with 28646 last week. Thanks for checking in.

Dubya’s Supreme Court Pick?

Can anyone identify this woman and tell Huckleberries readers why the thought of her being picked by Dubya for Justice O’Connor’s spot would send Bearable Bob up the wall (if he wasn’t vacationing)? If you can’t guess, I’ll provide a clue by adding a link to a recent comment written by this woman here.

Hat Tip IHillary

Crime-fighters of Sandpoint

They took him down,
the bust was made:
unlawful sale
of lemonade

The Bard of Sherman Avenue


Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/18/05

Rescuer Amber Deahn of Denny’s restaurant hugs Steve Groene after Dylan Groene’s memorial service on Saturday./Jed Conklin, SR.

John Adams and Lynn Nelson of the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office have the thankless job of representing convicted child molester Joseph Edward Duncan III, who’s accused of the Groene murders/kidnappings, here.

Related: Bloggers are playing a role in uncovering info in Groene murders here, 800 attend Dylan Groene’s memorial service here, and Bikers rally around 8-year-old survivor Shasta Groene here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times looks at media buzzards swirling around ailing Justice William Rehnquist here.

2. In Sandpoint, Idaho, the police are busting kids trying to make a few bucks with their sidewalk lemonade stands. No permit. No sales. D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review tells you all about it in his Monday Huckleberries here.

3. A Washington high school has seized and shredded a literary magazine, Imprints, which had attracted parental ire because it once contained a 13-line poem about a teenager’s first sexual experience and had a profane word in the title here.

4. Lab results have concluded that a north Spokane woman who initially tested positive for West Nile virus does not have the mosquito-borne illness, the Spokane Regional Health District announced this morning, here.

5. Descendants of a fur trader who burned an Indian village and kidnapped the son of a chief more than 200 years ago in British Columbia have apologized for their forefather’s actions here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (WSU prez muzzles free speech), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Mixed feelings about mail voting), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Howard Dean’s visit to Idaho), Joel Connelly/PI (Joe Wilson vindicated, but bruised), and Art Thiel/PI (Portland has new sheriff in town).

Coeur d’Alene Press poll: “Should there be harsher punishment for child molesters than other criminals?” Of 812 respondents, 92.6% said yes here.

*Ex-Seahawk Koren Robinson gets day in jail for DUI guilty plea here.

*State of Idaho insurance fund gives run-around to cop severely wounded in the line of duty, according to Marc Stewart/CDA Press, here.

*Seattle picks former Sonic Bob Weiss as next coach here.

*Grizzly bear population has stabilize enough to consider dropping the bear from the Endangered Species list here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery — Sex Offenders

The people of Coeur d’ Alene are faced with two disturbing issues which can destroy residential neighborhoods: Meth labs inside homes and sexual offenders housed in residences near other homes.

A new program for these sexual offenders has also begun in Coeur d’ Alene. A group of these offenders is placed in a residential “halfway house” under limited supervision and, in fact, supervision by questionable people who, themselves, sometimes have a history of sexual abuse.

While in Coeur d’ Alene last week, I made it a point to observe one of these halfway houses. Together with a planning commissioner, we walked past the residence at 9:30pm in a downtown residential neighborhood. In the dark open garage, as we passed, came quiet whispers of two male voices. After we passed, the shadow of one of these men moved out of the garage crossed to the other side of the street to the corner and walked slowly down another street and into the dark night. That male was a young teen boy who had been in that garage.

The people of Coeur d’ Alene, because of the national and international publicity, have a unique opportunity to address this problem of sexual abusers in their neighborhoods. There are some simple steps that can be taken immediately. First, re-define the definition of a “boarding house” in the city laws. Second, re-define the word “family” in the city laws that will prevent groups of these men gathering under the word “family” Third, demand from the authorities that these “halfway houses” be supervised by people who do not have a history themselves with sexual crimes, or better yet, prevent groups of sexual offenders from gathering together at all.

There is a group already established in Coeur d’ Alene who have been working hard on this issue. Please give them support and urge your city leaders to put an end to this destructive practice that injures your residential neighborhoods.

Steve Badraun

Peanut Gallery — McEuen Field Plot?

re: library location

Interesting that one of the points (in locating the library downtown) is that half the city’s population is within a mile of the site. Yet a great chunk of the lake is also within a mile of the site, a spot where no one will live ever. Moving the library up north of I90 would have meant that nearly 100 percent of the city’s population would be within 1 mile of the site.

The reason I originally asked this question is that there are many who are grousing that the Library’s location is part of a future plot again McEuen field.


DFO: I’m growing increasingly uneasy that the city will kick children’s recreation off McEuen Field and turn it over to events for out-of-towners.

Photo of the Day — 7/15/05

Robert Coleman is attacked by a swan this morning after falling in the River Thames near Chertsey, England, while “Swan Upping” (counting swans). You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. A scientific study on the effect of human screeching on wildlife went tragically wrong last Thursday when a swan, subjected to 8 non-stop hours of Howard Dean’s “I Have a Scream” speech, went beserk and badly mauled his handler. Services for the Otis the Swan will be held tomorrow at Whispering Pines Animal Cemetary — The Heimlich Maneuver.

2. “Who ugly now, Robby? Huh?! Who’s ugly now!?!?! Tell me! C’mon, tell me! WHO IS UGLY NOW?!?!?” — Family Phil.

3. “You know, old chap, I’m terribly cranky this morning because the kiddies forgot to bring me my bread crumbs. So take your silly white hat and get the heck out of my river!” — A Token Democrat.

Huckleberries World Headlines — 7/18/05

*New Potter book breaks sales records: 250,000 per hour for first 24 hours/My Way — I can’t take it any more. Which major character dies in the sixth book. (And: Mike Kennedy, when are you going to finish reading the book to your kids so you can loan it to me?)

*GOP allies say Bush is close to court pick: choice may be announced this week/Washington Post — Gentlemen (and I use that term loosely when applied to Ted Kennedy), start your filibuster.

*Secretary of State Rice keeps up a record travel pace: 152,235 miles and 35 countries/US News & World Report: You go, girl.

*Sandra Bullock Weds ‘Monster Garage’ Star Jesse James: Surprised guests included Jamie Lee Curtis, William Shatner and James Hetfield/M-TV: Any guesses how long this Planet Hollyweird match made in heaven is going to last? Choices: 1. 6 months, 2. A year, 3. Less than 2 years, and 4. Who cares?

*Quitting smoking helps heal chronic gum disease: Smokers 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop gum disease/Reuters — Cigareets are a blight on the whole human race/A man is a monkey with one in his face/Come listen my good friend come listen my brother/Fire on one end a fool on the other.

Dylan’s Memorial Service

Amber Deahn hugs Steve Groene after Dylan Groene’s memorial service on Saturday. Deahn was one of several Denny’s employees who recognized Shaste Groene in Denny’s the night she was found/SR Photo by Jed Conklin.

DFO: I’m rerunning this one from Saturday because it’s such a terrific photo. I wish brave Amber Deahn and the Groene survivors nothing but the best.

Outrage: Kraliceks Facing Roadblocks (Repeat)

Issue: Heroes on a Mission: Kraliceks rebuffed by state in battle for insurance funds/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Question: How can this community help Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and the Idaho bureaucracy see the light when it comes to doing what’s right, here?

DFO: I’m rerunning this one today because this is a total outrage. The state of Idaho should be ashamed of itself.

Best of Huckleberries Online — Continued

As a junior Henry Johnston took on Sandpoint High by demanding the school recite the flag salute each morning as required by state law but he couldn’t take on City Hall when he tried to sell hotdogs at “Lost in the ‘50s.” See below.

Speaking of Sandpoint justice, Tony Rosen wasn’t surprised when he read about the great Lemonade Stand Bust in Huckleberries Online. Last summer, he was pulled over on his way to work by another SPD Blue. Seems Tony was riding on the wrong side of the road. The cop told Tony the stop was for his safety, although there were no cars on the road except the officer’s Expedition. Mebbe Sandpoint police have quotas for harassing bikers and lemonade stands … And there’s more. Henry Johnston, now a U-of-I student, recalls building a hotdog stand in Sandpoint High’s wood shop, with plans to make a few bucks at the town’s “Lost in the 50s” celebration. Only City Hall wanted $10 for a permit to sell the sell dogs. Sound familiar? Also Henry needed a proper tax identification number and business organization documents if he coined a catch phrase like “Henry’s Hot Dogs” to promote his poor-man’s steaks. Now, older and wiser, Henry summed up his feelings about his hometown Lemonade/Hot Dog Gestapo in an e-mail: “Shame on Sandpoint.” Bingo.

Wanted: Help, Good Lovin’
A 47-year-old hunka burnin’ love with green eyes and a horseshoe mustache is alookin’ for a helpmate when he gets out of the Washington prison at Monroe in October. My niece Kelly from central California is still laughing about the Nickel’s Worth personal in which White Cowboy listed his attributes: weightlifting, romancin’, fishin’, ridin’, etc. And, oh yeah, “locked up first time in life.” Quipped Kelly, with a roll of her eyes: “That’s a real deal sealer.” But I wouldn’t bet against Cowboy. Most men are reclamation projects anyway – and this one comes with a ranch, horses and cows. Stay tuned.

Femme Transplants Easy To Spot
Stopthecrazygrowth, a regular Huckleberries Online commenter, tells how he distinguishes femme transplants from homegrown North Idaho wimmen: 1. Blond hair (at least for this month). 2. Drives a forty thousand dollar Chevy Yukon which has never been in four wheel drive. 3. Wears an Old Navy baseball cap with her ponytail sticking out the back. 4. Double parks in front of Starbucks for her mid-morning saunter in for a double latte. 5. Has a Golden Retriever with a red bandana around its neck (and insists on taking the mutt to public events). 6. Her idea of a good burger is one cooked on Reynolds wrap on hubby’s $2500 gas grill. And: 7. And her favorite Wine? “I’m bored here.” Remind you of anyone?

On a walk along Kootenai Cutoff Road Friday morning, Kootenai’s Cis Gors spotted a truck swaying in traffic. As it passed her, she noticed it was a Verizon truck and, sure enough, the driver was talking on his cell phone. Be careful out there … Overheard (on police scanner Friday p.m.): CPD Blue: “Question of the Day: Are thongs allowed on Coeur d’Alene’s City Beach.” As necks all over CDA craned to hear the answer on the scanner, the dispatcher replied: “Affirmative.” You can exhale now … Bumpersnicker: On the tailgate of an old primered black pickup, driven by a shirtless, blond, tanned teen boy in CDA late yesterday afternoon: “No shoes, no shirt, no problem” … “When I read obituaries of an elderly long married couple who’ve died within days of each other then I know love is real and monogamous love transcends any words I can possibly type here” – Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts … On an orange VW belonging to The Scissor Goddess, a license-plate holder declared to one and all in CDA’s Fourth Street parking lot Wednesday: “I’m a beautician, not a magician” … “I was in a “sleeper cell” once. Only then, it was referred to as fourth-period Social Studies class” – Rant ‘n Rave with CdADave blog.

Parting Shot
You may know that Martha Stewart is planning to produce a show this fall along the lines of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.” But did you know that she doesn’t plan to be as harsh as Trump? People’ll still be sent packing, but Martha has decided to use nicer ways to say: “You’re fired!” If someone’s from Idaho, for example, she said she could say: “You’re back in Boise for apple-picking time.” Apple picking? Southern Idaho? Seems Martha knows how to prepare potatoes 20 ways to Sunday but she musta forgotten where they come from during those long months locked up in minimum security.

Photo of the Day — Sunday 7/17/05

Dunno if the Photo of the Day works on a weekend. But I’ll try another one, to see. Above, a scene from the opening of the world aquatics competition Saturday in Montreal. You write the cutline.

Saturday Wild Card — 7/16/05

Looks like a day to stay inside and blog a little. Or comment on Huckleberries Online. I’ll be publishing Monday’s Huckleberries column this evening, after I can hook it up with links. I was too busy Friday to do so. Here’s your Wild Card for today …

Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles …

…a terrific ‘toon about Harry Potter’s real “magic” here.

Peanut Gallery — Thong on City Beach

Shortly after we moved to Coeur d’Alene, we visited City Beach for the first time for a little late September fun in the sand. We shared the beach that day with a man who carefully laid out his towel, then removed his shoes, pants and shirt to reveal a pink thong. Then he just lay there on his towel, admiring the view. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen.

Family Phil

DFO: Sounds like you had a close encounter with the infamous Thong Man. If memory serves me correctly, he fought for his right to wear a thong, all the way to the City Council, and won on a split vote. I maintain that men who wear thongs on the beach are exhibitionists at best — and I’d hate to think what they are at worst.

Quote of the Day — 7/16/05

“A hundred years from now, it won’t matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child” — from SR article on Hank Stelzer by correspondent Kim Cheeley.

Hat Tip: Green Libertarian

A DVD Review: “Fahrenheit 9/11”

Finally saw Fahrenheit 911 last night. I wish
I had seen it earlier, but I tried to avoid it when it came out and when my Liberal friends were urging me to take a look. My reasoning was that I don’t like propoganda films, right or left. Anyway, I was let down. The film is highly disjointed and cobbled together. Moore never made his case. He skips from topic to topic. He holds the nail but he never raises the hammer and pounds it in. I believe the reason is that he’s just grasping at straws throughout the film, saying things he knows the lefties will jump at, but not going far enough to convince anyone who hasn’t made up their mind. Sad, really. Glad I didn’t pay money to see it.


Feedback: I totally agree with you on your review. Moore’s masterpiece remains Bowling for Columbine…he nailed the sociology of fear. The Islamofascists may be a death cult but we are a fear cult — Bearable Bob.

Question of the Day — Saturday 7/16/05

Issue: Dean foresees life in Idaho party: Democratic chairman targets ‘06 gubernatorial race/Betsy Russell, SR.

DFO: The push in Idaho will benefit the legislative candidates more than anyone else by providing excitement at the top of the ticket. I can’t see Democrats making inroads any time soon in statewide races.

Question: Do you see the Democratic Party recovering any time soon in Idaho?

Feedback: The Democrats have a problem, they don’t belong to an organized party, to paraphrase Will Rogers. The party doesn’t have the discipline exhibited by the Republicans, as Dang points out. Get out of line with the party mantra, and you’re pretty much finished in the Repub. party, as they value loyalty above all else. Look what happened to McCain in 2000, altho he had enough political capital to survive. The Dems ARE far more diverse, and attempting to kow-tow to their various special interests often makes them look like they have no compass — Green Libertarian.

Wild Card — 7/15/05

We’re headed into the weekend. Woo-hoo. Here’s your Wild Card if you have anything to say before you begin enjoying the night life and sunshine …

Cool Photo for Week’s End

Several pigeons make a street light their home in Bakersfield, Calif. (AP photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie).

“Wayback Machine” Targets “Miracle Mile”

CDADave returns to the way we were — or at least the way East Sherman Avenue was — when he was growing up here.

Centennial Trail Dedication

“I’m training for a sixty mile walk” said Melody Kearns while dignataries dedicate a new section of the Centennial Trail Friday afternoon. The new section parallels the Spokane River between North Idaho College and the Riverstone development/Tom Davenport, Spokesman-Review.

Peanut Gallery — True Idaho Women

“How to tell a true Idaho woman” list (since I’ve known a few):

1)Loves her man, her folks and her dog, usually in that order.
2)Only uses a credit card to clear the ice off the windshield of her four-by, on her way to work.
3) Would rather wear Levis, but is just as comfortable (and lovely) in an evening dress.
4)Volunteers at her kids’ school (has to, because school funding is so miserable).
5) Remembers to thank her God for getting to live here.
6) And, finally, remembers to laugh at the north Idaho transplant women, on her way camping with her man, her folks and her dog.

John Austin

Stopthecrazygrowth re: Femme Transplants

How to tell a recent female transplant to North Idaho…

Blonde hair (at least for this month)
Drives a forty thousand dollar Chevy Yukon which has never been in four wheel drive
Wears an Old Navy baseball cap with her ponytail sticking out the back
Double parks in front of Starbucks for her mid-morning saunter in for a double latte
Has a girl named Madison and a boy named Dylan
Has a Golden Retriever with a red bandanna around their neck (and insists on taking the mutt to public events)
Her idea of a good burger is one cooked on reynolds wrap on hubby’s $2500.00 gas grill
Favorite Wine, “I’m bored here.”


STCG: OK … who wants to try next? Maybe a male description to start with:

Peanut Gallery — Goodbye, Downtown

Alas, I’m ready to write off downtown CdA as a place for locals to hang out. What used to feel like a small town now is a place to show off your new Porsche or mega-chopper while you sip $4 lattes and watch traditional retail businesses dry up and go away. Pretty soon it will all be in the shade of condo towers. Now that the Independence Point lot has NO free hour of parking, I can’t even take my lunch down there in the off season. Thank you Diamond Parking.


“On Sleeper Cells … ”

Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers illustrates the hidden danger an open society faces.

Peanut Gallery — In Harm’s Way

It’s certainly become the catch phrase of choice for any remotely untoward event. It’s not only in stories, it’s the name of stories (and video games and TV specials) concerning everything from Star Trek to heroin use. The first time I remember seeing it used was in that John Wayne movie title. I think Otto Preminger directed “In Harms Way” around 1965.

What’s really sad is how a certain phrase will bubble up and for whatever reason everyone gloms onto it— proving we are getting the 7 second sound bite marketized version of the news.

I’ll keep thinking about other earlier uses. It would be interesting to know who dug it up in the past several years and in what context. I’m always curious how something spreads like this.

I’m about Harms Waylayed to death…

John Rook

Be Careful Out There

Cis provides a traffic report from Kootenai (rural Bonner County):

As I walked down Kootenai Cutoff Road this morning, I saw a large truck sway in the traffic … when it got up to me, I saw it was a Verizon truck, with a driver — on the phone.

DFO: Excellent report, back to you, Chet. BTW, I’m writing my Huckleberries print column today. If you see anything weird out there, have a good bumpersnicker, etc., send it in.

Huckleberries World Headlines — 7/15/05

David Baker, second from right, 11, of Shallowater, Texas, waits with other winners of an essay contest entitled “Why I Love Reading Harry Potter,” for a glimpse of the first author-signed American edition of the book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” during an event at Scholastic’s New York headquarters this morning. The book goes on sale after midnight tonight.

*Alleged mastermind of London bombings captured: U.S.-trained chemist taken into custody outside Cairo after worldwide manhunt/ABC News — He was caught running like the rat he is, after persuading other dimbulbs to blow themselves up for the cause of religious hate. Give ‘im a fair trial, then hang ‘im tomorrow.

*Senate nixes attempt to add border agents: Votes against amendments to intelligence bill signed into law last year/Washington Times — Will Rogers was right: The only thing that keeps politicians, such as our US senators, in office is the short memories of their constituents.

*Source: Reporters told Rove agent’s name: Bush aide reportedly testifies he learned Plame’s ID from media/Associated Press — Curiouser and curiouser.

*Rehnquist pledges to remain on top court: Announcement changes dynamics of summer confirmation showdown/Associated Press — Good grief! The guy’s battling thyroid cancer, can hardly walk, and still he hangs on. We should have mandatory retirement for judges less they become senile and forget how to resign.

*Poll: Muslims’ support for bin Laden falls: Global study also finds sharp decline in support of suicide bombings/Christian Science Monitor — Gee, that should make Osama feel so badly that he’ll quit being a nasty guy, right?

Wild Card — 7/14/05

You afternoon Wild Card has officially become your evening Wild Card, too. Enjoy. I’ll see you back here tomorrow …

CDA to Erect 9/11 Memorial

Coeur d’Alene Fire Chief Ken Gabriel, left, holds a section of iron beam from the rubble of the World Trade Center and talks supporters and media Thursday about the proposed 9-11 Memorial Park to be built at the new Cherry Hill Community Park in Coeur d’Alene. The plan calls for a granite monument and adjacent playground area to honor the 9-11 victims and to pay tribute to emergency services personnel in Kootenai county. Construction of the playground portion could begin in the spring of 2006, said Coeur d’Alene Parks Director Doug Eastwood, right, and funds for the memorial structure still need to be raised. At right is landscape architect Fred Ogram. The piece of steel beam from the WTC will be incorporated into the granite memorial, said Gabriel, who added that the park will be the only one of its kind because it will incorporate a monument and a playground together. Jesse Tinsley/SR photo

Best of the Local Blogs — 7/14/05

Inside the Penny Candy Store, downtown Coeur d’Alene. Not only do they have a dazzling selection of candy, but they also have a bewildering display of old signs, advertisements, and props /Family Phil, Tall Trees (“So Like Candy”), here.

*Blogmeister Ken provides the forecast for tomorrow’s front page in “Daily Briefing”: A story of a retiree who helps others to provide relief from all the doom/gloom of the past few days; then back to 60 more inches of Joseph Edward Duncan III, which’ll gobble the A section; and the Washington court’s decision to expedite the West recall here.

*CDADave does a nice chain-of-consciousness post about a day wandering around Coeur d’Alene that perked up his spirits here and jumped in his Wayback Machine for a look at Lake City after dark here.

*Bearable Bob’s looking forward to a computer-free vacation with his three kids on the Washington coast here.

*Twentysomething Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense finally figures out why old people — those of us 40 and older — wake up so early here.

*And Marianne Love/Slight Detour is dreaming of chickadees as she deals with noisy crows here.

When I read obituaries of an elderly long married couple who’ve died within days of each other then I know love is real and monogamous love transcends any words I can possibly type here — Bearable Bob/Random Shallow Thoughts.

Must Read: Whitecaps Targets Sex Offenders

Duncan’s case should educate all of us that sexual predators are individuals with very individual behaviors, including “normal” behaviors. They do not consistently fit meaningful profiles. Each case of predation must be assessed individually, not lumped together in one-size-fits-all. Trying to shortcut criminal investigations with behavioral profiling is effectively putting on blinders. Behavioral profiling may help investigators structure suspect interviews after an arrest, but it is less successful in helping initially identify suspects — Bill McCrory/Whitecaps re: dealing with sex offenders here.

DFO: Rather than fuming or wringing his hands, Bill has written a terrific piece on what should be done about sex offenders.


Berry Picker: A man in my neighborhood who worked security for Hagadone was laid off recently and he says Hagadone is cutting way back on security, maintenance and other areas for a total of about 100 lay-offs. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but this guy worked there, so there’s probably something to it.

DFO: Not getting much traction on this one. A source at the Job Service sez she hasn’t seen any unusual activity involving laid off Hagadone workers.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/14/05

Marianne Dahle, 26, of Caldwell, Idaho, accused of scalping a 15-year-old girl in January, changed her plea to guilty of aggravated battery this week here/APhoto.

The Washington state Supreme Court meets en banc – as a group – today to consider a request for a quick review of the recall petition for Mayor Jim West. The nine-member court is in summer recess, and such meetings are in closed session/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review, here.

Related: As a state senator, West was quick to call for firing when ex-guv Mike Lowry was involved in sex scandal here.

1. The Seattle cartoonists aren’t producing of late, so let’s turn to Chuck Asay/Colorado Springs Gazette for a look at all the advice Dubya’s getting re: his Supreme Court nominee here.

2. *Art Fletcher, a civil rights giant and former Pasco councilman, has died at age 80 here (free subscription required).

3. Duce, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, has been kicked off the Ada County (Boise) Sheriff’s Dept. force after attacking a Meridian boy June 29 here.

4. Convicted sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan III, formerly from Tacoma, set quiet Wednesday as prosecutors read the charges against him in the Groene murder/kidnapping case here. Meanwhile, expressions of support for 8-year-old survivor Shasta Groene are pouring in from all over the nation here

5. The Montana Highway Patrol is expected to drop its controversial guideline of requiring officers to make one traffic stop per hour here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Spokane council should investigate West), Idaho Statesman (Meridian deserves place on “best” list), Robert Herold/Inlander (Defending Morning Star Boys Ranch), Bill Witherup/PI (Dreaming of nuclear nightmare), and G. George Ostrom/Bigfork (Mont.) Eagle (An unlikely grizzly story).

*In a wimpy response to a national advocacy group, WSU prez V. Lane Rawlins stood by the PC gang of 40 that disrupted an “intentionally offensive” student play this spring here.

*Ex-Gonzaga star Ronny Turiaf signed a two-year $1M contract with the L.A. Lakers here.

*WSU told to fix racial harassment policies here.

*Whitefish, Mont., is considering a six-month moratorium on new growth here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Lemonade Stand Bust Redux

Tongue firmly cheeked, Bearable Bob offers his version of the BCSO Police Report re: the lemonade stand bust:

Arrived upon an illegal kool-aid/lemonade distribution structure. Suspect stated “I’m trying to make some money to buy my mom a present.” Explained to suspect he was in violation of city ordinance 4.5(c). Suspect stated “you’re a poopyhead!” at which point I ordered him to the ground at gunpoint. Suspect attempted to retrieve a semi automatic high velocity watergun (Super-Soaker) from beneath his illegal Kool-aid/Lemonade distribution structure at which point I tasered him. Taser over-fire hit his small domestic canine named “Sparky” Suspect booked at 1645.

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/14/05

Jessica Simpson (as Daisy) and co-stars Darrell and his other brother, Darrell, in a scene from “Dukes of Hazzard.” You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Jessica: “How long do I have to stand here pushing my girls together with this stupid smile on my face before those boys quit watching Sports Center and turn around and notice me!” — Bre.

2. Johnny Knoxville: “$50 bucks says Rove did it.”
Sean William Scott: “You’re on.”
Jessica Simpson: “Who’s Karl Rove?”
Johnny Knoxville: “Jessica, he’s only George Bush’s most imporant aide.”
Jessica Simpson: “Who’s George Bush?” — The Heimlich Maneuver.

3. Two dud’s and a dippity-do star in: “Dud’s of Hazzard, A Sleazy Insult” — Lesley Presley.

HM: Bearable Bob.

Question of the Day — 7/14/05

Issue: Bigfoot spotted in Yukon: 9 people in Canada claim to see giant creature in backyard/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I’m lightening up the Question of the Day today after a string of serious questions. I put Bigfoot in the category of the Lockness Monster and the boogeyman and the white-haired serpent that gobbles up the shoreline of Lake Coeur d’Alene. (Ed Note: That last one is real. Haven’t you been paying attention?)

Question: Can it be possible that Bigfoot exists?

Feedback: 9 people in the Yukon spotted it, 7 made immediate marriage proposals, the other 2 wanted a couple of dates first — Bearable Bob.

Peanut Gallery — Lemonade Stand Bust

Being from Sandpoint this does not surprise me. I wanted to sell hot dogs from a hotdog stand I built in woodshop to pull behind my bicycle at Lost in the 50’s. I went to city hall to find out what the requirements were and not only was there the $10.00 permit, but the health department had to inspect my operation and sign off on it, and I needed to provide them with a proper Tax Identification Number and business orginization documents if I was using any catch phrase like “Henry’s Hot Dogs” or whatever because it “wasn’t a legal business”. Pfht…. Shame on Sandpoint… and I’d like to know who the jerk was who sicked the cops on the poor kid - I have an idea of some likely suspects but won’t share them.


Feedback: Last summer, here in Sandpoint, I got pulled over on my bicycle for “riding on the wrong side of the street”. The cop says it was for MY safety … It was 5:30 in the morning on my way to work. The only two vehicles on the street were my bicycle and the cop’s Expedition — Tony Rosen.

What We Have Hyar … Is Failure to Communicate

It turns out the snafu was big
There was “no call” before the “dig”
Computers off-line
Caused us to whine
Communication, snapped like a twig.


DFO: The CDA office of the SR was back online about 10 last night after an Avista contractor cut through an overhead fiber optic line. You can find the story here.

Better Luck Tomorrow?

Folks, I have no idea if I’ll be able to get online from work Thursday a.m. If you don’t see anything by 9 a.m., you’ll know that we’re still down in the Coeur d’Alene office. I appreciate your patience. I took advantage of the afternoon off to catch up on paperwork. So, it wasn’t a total loss. But it wasn’t the same as playing around on the blog. Stay tuned.

Knocked Off Line

I apologize for not blogging this afternoon. Our office computers were knocked off line when someone spliced through a fiber optics line. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I’ll be back same time, same place tomorrow. Sorry.

I’m B-a-a-a-ck

I’ve just returned from my trip downtown to garner comments about info habits — at Java on Fourth. I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with Jim Pearce’s patrons. And appreciate the fact that he allowed John Webster and me to use his fine business as a setting for our survey. Now, I’ll put together the Best of the Northwest and be off blogging again …

Razzberries — to Sandpoint Busybody

In the “Believe It Or Not” Dept., some Sandpointer sicced the cops on a neighborhood lemonade stand at 1st and Pine yesterday around 1 p.m. Seems the child proprietor was on private property and had permission to sell the lemonade. But the child was informed that s/he needed a $10 permit to operate the stand — all the profit to that point in the day. Phhhbbbttt.

Question of the Day — 7/13/05

Issue: Family’s top concern is shielding Shasta: Young survivor devastated by seeing perv Duncan on TV/James Hagengruber, SR.

Grandmother Darlene Torres: “She’s running through the sprinklers and watching cartoons. She’s just playing and being a kid. That’s what we want from her. It’s a miracle we have her.”

Question: According to Hillary Clinton, it takes a community to raise a child. How can the community help the Groene family protect Shasta?

Peanut Gallery — Hagadone’s Fireworks

It was noted last week that Mr. Haggahagga didn’t contribute to the July 4th fireworks … well, he had to save his money for the fireworks that were shot off near the golf course tonight. I got home about 9:30, and I could see the fireworks from my front porch. Better to spend money for fireworks for a relatively few people, I guess, than to contribute to a July 4th fireworks celebration that is enjoyed by far more people! Such is big business, I guess.


DFO: When I’m made King of the Universe, Hagadone’s annoying odd hours fireworks displays for rich cuss-tomers will be no more. However, we have to give the devil his due. The Duane pays for the after-Thanksgiving fireworks display downtown that kicks off the Christmas season. That’s a decent gesture.

Peanut Gallery — Now, He Understands

At last we learn. Duncan had a lethal weapon at his disposal, a great aid in tying up people who might otherwise resist. Odd that he didn’t use it to kill his victims. Perhaps he didn’t want to arouse attention, with loud explosions in the night. Clever.

Now, I hope the sheriff of Kootenai County, quite unlike the sheriff and police in Spokane (city and county) will not permit functionaries of the press to interview Duncan in the jail, or anyplace at any time prior to the completion of his trial. It has been so distressing to see reporters giving jailed criminals face time on our TV screens, and opportunities to tell their stories directly to the public. Damned foolish, and in my opinion a grave disservice to the cause of justice.

L.C. Johnson

DFO: The citizen part of me doesn’t want to see Duncan get any face time. It humanizes the scumbag. I’d rather see the focus remain on Shasta and her dead family. But the journalist side of me wonders what makes this slime tick and whether there’s lessons in criminal activity that can be learned from him.

Wild Card — Tuesday

You’ve already starting posting on the afternoon Wild Card, so I moved it up the pack and offer it to you again. I’ll check it later tonight. Now, I’m off to a family dinner at Mom’s. Catch you back here in the morning …

Best of the Local Blogs

The Coeur d’Alene Family Kennedy with its paterfamilia. (If this Father’s Day photo doesn’t bring a smile to your heart, you need to chill out.)

*The SR published a letter to the editor today from Bearable Bob here.

*Blogmeister Ken provides a rundown on tomorrow’s top stories, including the one about the state rejecting Duane Hagadone’s plans for Blackwell Island, and a behind-the-scenes look at story play for suspected murderer Joseph Duncan in Daily Briefing here.

*Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast provides a coupla sites where you can see how your blog rates in the blogosphere here. She’s No. 8752 on The Truth Laid Bear.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense explains geocaching here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour remembers a story she did for Sandpoint Magazine on North Idaho golf pros a few years ago that included Jamie Packer, the Hidden Lakes golf pro who was killed recently in an accident in the Kalispell, Mont., area here. (Note to Marianne — I’ve had trouble for the past few days getting directly to your blog entries.)

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views tells how Bayview is rallying to the financial aid of Terry Shepherd, the new owner of Don’s, er, Terry’s Cafe, here.

Bumpersnicker …

… spotted by John Livingston/Spokane on a blue sports car on Frances driven by a young man who could face serious jail time if he doesn’t change his ways: “No means yes.”

News Flash!

Issue: Fargo businessman helped Idaho suspect Duncan make bail: Wrote personal check for $15,000/Associated Press — And Joseph Edward Duncan III repaid him by skipping town and allegedly going on a murderous crime spree. Naive friend on one end. Creep on the other.

Phil Shoots, Scores Again

Note from Phil Corless’ Tall Trees blog that goes along with this entry: “Wild North Idaho raspberries… Delicious over ice cream. Not as good as huckleberries, but a close second.”

News Flash! Idaho Sez No to The Duane

Kootenai Environmental Alliance news release:

The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) issued a ruling yesterday denying the application from the Hagadone Corporation’s Marina Yacht Club, LLC to expand and renovate the existing marina on Blackwell Island (on Lake CdA at the outlet to the Spokane River). The IDL said there was not sufficient information in the application to determine the impacts on fish, wildlife and water quality.

“We certainly agree with IDL’s decision. It’s impossible to make an informed decision until we really understand the impacts of this proposal on water quality, fisheries, and human health,” said Rick Eichstaedt, attorney representing the Sierra Club and Idaho River United. “The risk of re-suspension of heavy metals and PCBs is too great without a thorough understanding of the impacts.”

DFO: The Dept. of Lands worker bees were skittish today when reporters began snooping around, probably fearing that Hagadone attack dog John Barlow would arrive at any minute to break their knuckles.

Hot Potatoes, Or …

… The attributes The Heimlich Maneuver would like to see in the 72 vestal virgins waiting for blood-thirsty jihadist suicide bombers on the other side of eternity:

1. Stunning beauty of Phyllis Diller.
2. Sultry curves of Roseanne Barr.
3. Smoldering sex appeal of Rosie O’ Donnell.
4. Personality of Zsa Zsa Gabor.
5. And (this one’s mine) the mustache of Saddam Hussein.

Green Libertarian provides a link to a blog that fantacizes about Mohammed Atta’s (American Airlines Flight 11 hijacker) current living conditions here.

Huckleberries’ World Headines

Heath Calhoun, a soldier who lost his legs when a rocket propelled grenade landed in the rear of the truck he was riding in, prepares to get on his bike during a stop Monday, July 11, 2005, in Annapolis, Md., as part of Soldier Ride 2005. A group of wounded soldiers are nearing the end of a 4,200 mile ride across the country to raise money for fellow soldiers wounded in Iraq.

*Car phone users ‘four times more likely to crash’: Hands free devices are no safer/London Daily Mail — My padre missed the turn off to his house last night while talking to me on his cell phone. Yeah, there oughta be a law banning cell phone use while driving. I usually give such drivers wide berth.

*Muslim scholar: Killing civilians OK: Head of Islamic center in London responds to attack/WorldNetDaily — And we condemned the late Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler for inspiring hate. This guy is worse because his support of terror inspires murder.

*Troop reduction in Iraq set for ‘06: Coalition forces reportedly being cut to 66,000 by middle of next year/Associated Press — If Iraq can’t defend itself by then, mebbe it’s time to turn the country back to Natural Born Killers like Zarqawi.

*House bill restricts Patriot Act powers: But would make permanent all 16 provisions from original legislation/Washington Times — I’m paranoid because the Patriot Act doesn’t make me paranoid.

*GOP blasts Hillary Clinton for her President Bush comments: ‘Part of today’s angry and adrift Democrat Party’/NewsMax — I know you are but what am I. I know you are but what am I. Sheesh.

Extra! Extra!

All four suspected bombers died during the London terror attacks, according to police sources/Sky News.

DFO: May their 70 vestal virgins in the hell to which they’ll be assigned all be big, strong men named Bubba.

Peanut Gallery — Readerboards

Issue: I’ve often said business owners with reader boards should have to get a license before they put stuff up. I don’t mind the ones with half baked attempts at philosophy or life lessons, those kind of crack me up, but ones that make political statements are just offensive. They are kind of like real world blogs maybe. Anybody with a keyboard can start ranting. I also believe Spokane and apparently, North Idaho has a disproportionate share of idiots with reader boards. I was once going to dig itally photograph the worst offenders and mock them on a website devoted to stupid readerboards — Bearable Bob.

DFO: I enjoy a readerboard with a clever message. But too many of them are like vanity plates: boring.

Question: Do readerboards with personal or political messages (a la Davis Donuts) bug you?


Issue: Hillary likens Bush to Mad Magazine character: ‘I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington’/WorldNetDaily (Sorry for using WND, Sammy, but it offers that drop head that’s great for this question format.)

DFO: So, you’re saying that Alfred E. Neuman spells his last name without Dubya? Seems to fly in the face of Hillary’s name-calling. (BTW, don’t forget to check out that new spoof video re: Hillary singing about 2008 here.)

Question: Is Hillary swinging below the belt with her Bush/Neuman comparison?

Deer Shot Beyond Hope

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It snapped this beauty east of Sandpoint. You can read all about it here. (BTW, I traded out an earlier photo for this terrific one. BTW II, the headline is my play on words. The deer’s fine. Phil shot it with his camera. Sorry if my headline hijinks alarmed some of you.)

Denny’s Online Applauds Courage …

… of Coeur d’Alene restaurant heroes Amber Deahn (photo above) and Linda Olson here and Josef/Josef’s Public Journal provides a pdf version of that Friday newspaper advertisement here. BTW, you can find my thoughts about the rewards offered to Shasta’s valiant citizen rescuers here.

Hat Tip: Josef

Davis Donuts Sign of our Times

Duncan, welcome to Idaho, a death penalty state, may you get your wish and die — weekend message on Davis Donuts readerboard.

Hat Tip: Jane Q. Citizen

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/11/05

Bret Boone has been traded. See Item No. 4.

The Spokesman-Review sent a reporter-photographer team to Fargo, ND, to find investigate Joseph Edward Duncan III, the man allegedly involved in the murders of four people, including 8-year-old Dylan Groene here. Reporter James Hagengruber and photographer Jesse Tinsley discovered that none of Duncan’s neighbors saw anything out of the ordinary here, that $15,000 bail set for Duncan haunts a Minnesota town here, and that 25 trouble-free years ended with an assault at a playground a year ago here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times and David Horsey/PI provide their views on the London bombings here and here.

2. Prosecutors today agreed to drop a kidnapping-related charge against the man accused of plotting to abduct David Letterman’s young son, in exchange for guilty pleas on three other charges, according to Bob Anez/AP, here.

3. During Bayview Daze on North Idaho’s Lake Pend Oreille, women shouldn’t be showing off tattoos on their bare chests unless they’re prepared to duck, according to D.F. Oliveria’s Huckleberries print column, here.

4. Seattle has traded former star 2nd baseman Bret Boone to the Minnesota Twins here.

5. Officials aren’t saying what’s causing the baby boomlet at Fort Lewis’ Madigan Army Medical Center, but other are simply smiling and crediting “Operation Baby Stork” to happy reunions involving returning soldiers, according to the Tacoma News Tribune (free subscription required) here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (National sex offender registry needed), D.F. Oliveria/SR (Shasta’s citizen rescuers deserve rewards), Joel Connelly/PI (Bipartisan pact yields stellar judges), Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Slain coach shared love of tennis), and Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (90-year-old needs a superhero).

*Idaho’s bishop finally getting a handle on scandals, according to Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman here.

*3 climbers killed in North Cascades National Park here.

*Seniors strive for fitness via UW project here.

*Former Montana deputy pleads guilty to raping boys here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Hillary in 2008?

Hillary, in black-lace nylons no less, is already singing about 2008, according to this funny spoof from that has a jibjab feel to it, here.

Hat Tip: The Heimlich Maneuver and (for illustration) IHillary blog

Question of the Day — 7/11/05

Issue: Bill Clinton analyzes 2004 defeat: Sez Kerry lost his way on security, Dems need to reach out to rural America/The Aspen Times.

DFO: By golly, I believe Bill nailed it.

Question: Why did John Kerry lose to Dubya in aught-4?

Q & A

Question (from Toadman): How is killing Duncan going to bring back Dylan? Why are we playing God?

DFO: We’re getting ahead of ourselves here because Joseph Edward Duncan III hasn’t been convicted of anything. If he is convicted of the horrific crimes that claimed three members of the Groene family, he, indeed, deserves to die, although Dick Haugen’s probably right that he can string along his execution for years via appeals. Or claim insanity, etc. A life sentence without possibility of parole would be a good alternative because, in ways, that’s more horrible. As far as playing God goes, the God of the OT OK’d taking a life for a life. And Jesus never said anything to the contrary when it comes to punishing murderers.

Huckleberries Quick Fix 6 — 7/11/05

1. APhoto Fix: Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist departs his home in Arlington, Va., Monday morning, July 11, 2005. Rehnquist, 80 years old and fighting cancer, is keeping quiet about whether he will join Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in leaving the Supreme Court. (For story, see Top of the News Fix below.)

2. Political ‘Toon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (All terrorists go to hell), Chuck Asay (Problem with African aid), and M.E. Cohen (Winston’s message).

3. Humor Fix: In an article in “USA Today”, Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine says that terrorists will try to take advantage of our coast guard’s aging fleet once they find out its weaknesses. How will they find out about our weaknesses? By an article in “USA Today”! — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Colorado wildfire threatens 150 buildings here, Body of US commando found in Afghanistan here, Study: Networks give Bush little positive coverage here, US workers say they waste 2 hours per day here, and Rehnquist decision is talk of DC here.

6. Opinion Fix: Rudy Guiliani/USA Today (What’s next in war on terror), Tim Hames/Times of London (Terrorism cannot win), John Fund/Wall Street Journal (Property rights are civil rights), Mona Charen/Washington Times (Enemy stupidity), and Chuck Colson/Break Point (Europe’s demographic crisis).

Peanut Gallery — Helping Shasta Groene

I’ve followed the csae of Dylan and Shasta from the very beginning of this terrible nightmare. I am so deeply saddened at the tragic finding of Dylan. I have two children a boy and a girl 9 and 8 years old. I’ve been so deeply moved by this and would like to do something to help the family. I just don’t know what I could do. Is there any type of fund set up or even an address where the children’s father could receive cards of support and sympathy? I would like to become involved in changing the laws so that this type of disgusting crime against our children will have no place in our society. I am disgusted with our judicial system. This creature should never been on the streets! Until the American people demand change, change will not come and our children are vulnerable. Please send me in a direction here so that I can channel my frustration over this crime in the appropriate manner. I hope I can do something to help.

Lisa Welch

DFO: Excellent question, Lisa. The best thing anyone can do at the moment is to contribute to the trust funds set up in Shasta’s name at the U.S. Bank’s Coeur d’Alene branches or at Inland Northwest Bank in Post Falls or Coeur d’Alene — that, and if you’re religious, pray for this little girl’s recovery from this nightmare.

Best of Huckleberries Online — continued

Forget the fireworks. The bazaar. The parade. The bikini contest advertised at the Captain’s Wheel. The biggest event at Bayview Daze was a wild cat fight that began in JDs Tavern and ended on the patio. The fighters were middle-aged femmes who gave no quarter. The cause? One of the combatants showed off her tattoo to the other’s boyfriend by lifting her blouse to reveal the design – and a bare chest. Tattoo Woman was smacked with a cue stick for her troubles. And the fight was on. One brawler was pounding the other’s head into the concrete patio when an ex-Marine broke things up, getting bloodied in the process. All of which turned on one of the boyfriends who made out with his fighter while the crowd chanted for a rematch. The gendarmes arrived as the aging boy toys were about to wager $10 on the outcome of a second bout. And you thought sparklers at City Beach on CDA’s Fourth of July were a little wild. Pshaw.

Long Lost – What?
Speaking of Wolfinger, all that national exposure in the Groene case caught the attention of a Seasoned Citizen from Colorado, who called Ben Thursday to say she may be a long lost cousin. And she was. Ben’s grandfather, Benton DeVilla Wolfinger of Polson, Mont., was her great uncle. Ben told Huckleberries he’ll let family genealogists figure out the relationship when the Groene case winds down … By the way, a Bayview Daze reveler sneered upon hearing about the bikini contest at the Captain’s Wheel, stating: “Did they have to import talent?” Harsh … Elsewhere, at Bayview Daze, a middle-aged woman spilling out of a skimpy outfit was so drunk she almost did a header into Lake Pend Oreille. When informed later that her mother’d been arrested for DUI, her teen daughter exclaimed, “good!” and refused to bail her outta the drunk tank. Blood isn’t thicker than water when it reaches .20 alcohol content. And bail money.

Watch Those Hands
Some of you may recall the Huckleberry about disappointed 22-year-old Lauren Ladoceour, who said that night life in CDA boiled down to dancing with fiftysomething men – hey, I resemble that – at the Iron Horse restaurant. Well, there’s more to the story. In a recent posting on her Try This Pose blog, Lauren elaborated: “50-year-old men are actually very good dancers. But I couldn’t help but notice their wedding rings and wandering hands.” And hearts … I wanted to offer a penny for the thoughts behind that disembodied voice pronouncing in the vast crowd after the CDA fireworks show: “Hagadone’s a cheapskate.” The Voice was right if it was talking about newsroom pay at Duane Hagadone’s newspaper. But Hagadone has been loosening the purse strings a bit recently, to sponsor Horatio Alger scholarships and help underwrite the Kroc community center push. Who sez Huckleberries doesn’t give the devil his due?

Sure, I enjoy seeing Huckleberries Online come up fourth or fifth when you Google the word huckleberries … There’s not much chance of changing bad habits on the Fourth of July in North Idaho when 80.14% answer “no” to this St. Maries Gazette Register question: “Do you obey state and local ordinances when setting of fireworks for the 4th of July?” (You might be an Idaho redneck if … you’ve lost at least one finger to a homemade fireworks explosion) … Poet’s Corner: “Our life sometimes/is dark and scary;/to compensate/God made the cherry” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Ode to the Bing”) … Kootenai County has issued a building permit for a $11,340 pole barn to Adam West of Spirit Lake. But Huckleberries refuses to offer a gag about a cheap bat cave.

Parting Shot
Earth – to the two goofballs driving a classic, light-blue Ford pickup at 6:45 p.m. Thursday east on Front near CDA’s Fourth Street parking lot: You might think it’s funny to toss your drink at the two Little Old Ladies crossing the street. But a Berry Picker named Dave didn’t. He took down your license number (which begins with K3225—) and called CPD Blue. Here’s hoping a gendarme showed up on your door step to show you the error of your ways.

FBI IDs Dylan’s Remains

Sadly, the FBI has confirmed what we all have feared — that the remains found at a camp site near St. Regis belong to Dylan Groene, 9, here (SR version) and here (AP version). Please keep the remaining Groene family members in your thoughts and prayers, particularly little Shasta, 8, the only survivor of the monstrous ordeal.

Sunday Question No. 3 — Visiting Sandpoint

Family Phil: We only had about fifteen minutes in Sandpoint, so we popped into the Coldwater Creek store and had some ice cream. For future reference, does anyone have recommendations for what else to see and do in Sandpoint?

DFO: I always try to visit Foster’s Crossing when I’m in Sandpoint because I’m hooked on the used bookstore there.

Question: Any suggestions re: things to do in Sandpoint on a limited budget?

Sunday Question — Rap Music (7/10/05)

Issue: MTV to re-telecast Live 8, commercial-free: Responds to complaints that ads overshadowed July 2 event/

CDADave: I’m watching the recent “Live 8” performances on MTV today. Rap music is popular today. The rap artists on this program are the ones who have the most profanities bleeped out of the soundtrack. It could be that “rap” music, it’s blatant and confrontational attitude are feeding the heads of the younger folks in today’s society. It could be that “rap” music is something that’s terribly wrong in our country.

Question: What do you think of rap music?

Question No. 2 — Saturday

Issue: Intel analyst: Attack on America imminent: Former Israeli agent says U.S. government not preparing citizens for inevitable terror/World Net Daily.

DFO: I know some of you don’t like the links I use to World Net Daily. But the ezine provides nice headlines, plus drop heads, to spell out issues. Just call me lazy. Here, the ezine raises an interesting question. I’ve wondered why we haven’t been hit again since 9/11 a la Spain and now England.

Question: Do you have any guesses why the US hasn’t been attacked again by terrorists?

Editorial re: Joseph Duncan

From: Lewis County (Chehalis, Wash.) Chronicle:

Bad enough that a judge and court in Minnesota didn’t make more of an effort to determine the background of convicted high-risk sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, before allowing him to go free on bail.

It seems inexcusable the judge wasn’t aware that Duncan, charged at the time with molesting a 6-year-old boy, had been convicted in 1980 of sexually assaulting at gunpoint a 14-year-old boy. Following his release by the judge this spring, Duncan has been accused of kidnapping two Idaho children; is believed to have killed three other people, including the children’s mother and brother; and very possibly also killed one of the two children.

But at least as bad in this case is that Duncan was set free after completing his jail sentence for his 1980 conviction. Pierce County Superior Court documents discuss a long history of alleged sexual deviancy that began in Duncan’s childhood.

Even though court records show that Duncan talked about raping multiple children from the time he was 12, and a psychological review in 2000 when he was released found that he was a ‘‘Level 3’’ high risk offender, there was no pattern to indicate that civil proceedings should be requested in order to authorize involuntary commitment, the review concluded.
‘‘The only evidence we had was his initial conviction. You have to be able to prove they are going to reoffend in a sexually violent, predatory way,” Victoria Roberts, chairwoman of the state Corrections Department’s End of Sentence Review Committee, said.

But it seems the burden ought to be strong evidence they will not reoffend in such a way.

Given Duncan’s history and that officials at Western State Hospital said in 1982 after he was given 22 months of sex offender treatment he showed “an unwillingness to modify his sexually deviant behaviors” and concluded he was “a danger to the well-being of others,” he might well not have met that threshold for release.

Hat Tip: Josef/Josef’s Public Journal


Issue: Report: Rehnquist about to step down: Washington awaiting announcement of 2nd Supreme Court justice in week/World Net Daily.

DFO: I like the idea of Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo becoming a Supreme Court justice. He’s conservative; yet, a consensus builder and a dynamite human being.

Question: Is there anyway Bush can avoid a bare-knuckles Supreme Court showdown this side of nominating Ted Kennedy?

Phil Corless’ Palouse

Phil Corless was inspired by Doug Fredericks today to provide his own fine photo of the Palouse. Thanks, fellas.

Peanut Gallery — Ed Smart Rebuffed, Too?

“Smart flew into Spokane…he drove to Coeur d’Alene’s Kootenai Medical Center unannounced to see if he could meet the Groene family and leave a stuffed pink rabbit. He was turned away even though a staffer did recognize him, Smart said.”

What? Oh, I know, the sprinklers were broken.

Lesley Presley

Q & A

Green Libertarian: It seems like both the hard right and hard left decry “activist” judges. So what exactly defines an “activist” judge?

Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast: Activist judge: one who’s ruling I disagree with.

Badabump, onward.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/8/05

Ed and Lois Smart are pictured with their daughter, Elizabeth, after she was rescued in Utah from a kidnapper. This week, Ed visited Coeur d’Alene to bring a gift to Shasta Groene and a message to the community. See bold-faced item below/APhoto.

Three members of a Wolf Lodge Bay (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, area) family were killed with a hammer, according to sources of the Coeur d’Alene Press. But Sheriff Rocky Watson wouldn’t confirm the report. Click here.

Related: Elizabeth Smart’s father visits Inland Northwest with a gift for Shasta Groene here, Duncan’s blog mentions Minnesota girl here, Sheriff Watson tells The Spokesman-Review that the attack against the Groenes and Mark McKenzie was random but planned here, and No Montana charges to be filed in case here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times paints the terrorists in the London bombings as the cockroaches they are here.

2. Supporters of a Washington smoking ban turned in 100,000 signatures more than needed to place the measure on the November ballot here.

3. A “speak-no-Wal-Mart” policy in Yelm, Wash., Town Council meetings is getting a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Associated Press, here.

4. Pasco has surpassed Richland in population for the first time since the federal government brought the Manhattan Project to the Mid-Columbia in 1943, according to new state estimates, according to the Tri-City Herald, here.

5. Conservative Laird Maxwell admits he’s the “John Doe” behind the last-minute smear campaign against Boise mayoral wannabe Chuck Winder here.

6. IMHO-NW: Seattle Times (In support of free speech, KVI), Coeur d’Alene Press (How to help Shasta Groene), Seattle PI (We’re all Londoners), John Freemuth/Andrus Center for Public Policy (Public doesn’t support dam breaching), and Susan Paynter/PI (Hendrix deserves Seattle tribute).

*Mount Rainier climbers rescued after fall here.

*Two Texas cops still recall 2002 case in which a young newscaster from northwest Montana was murdered in her Abilene apartment here.

*Montana Highway Patrol is expected to stop at least one car per hour now here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery — Who Ya Gonna Call

When Berry Pickers call (to report a situation like that involving the two jerks in “Ah’m Your Huckleberry” below) into the CPD do you call via 911?

A friend of mine had to call the PD yesterday to report an irratic(SP?) driver and she had to call 911, I often reach for my phone to report dangerous drivers but then stop because I don’t feel that it’s an emergency and don’t know what other number to call.

Down in good ole Moscow it was much easier the number was posted on the cars 883-COPS!


Feedback: Dave, for non-emergency calls try the Police Station on Schreiber, which is 769-2320, or the Tip Line, 769-2296. I believe they’ll be both courteous and responsive — John Austin.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry — 7/8/05

This ones for the two punks in the light blue Ford pickup with primed spots (circa late ‘60s/early ‘70s) at 4th & the city parking lot at 6:45 p.m. Thursday: You were spotted when you tossed your drink at the two Little Ol’ Ladies crossing Fourth. A Berry Picker and his daughter took down your license plate (first 4 digits: K3225—) and reported you to CPD Blue via cell phone. Lucky you missed your target. But here’s hoping Coeur d’Alene’s finest pay you a visit and discuss the error of your ways with you. That, or an embarrassed relative who sees this will take time to straighten you out.

And You Think You’ve Had A Rough Week?

This photo reminds me of the time, mebbe 45 years ago, when my father saved himself and a calf in the flooded Feather River of northern California by clinging to a tree until rescuers pulled them out. Tropical Storm Cindy swept the woman here and her car into Greene Creek earlier today. She was rescued. I wouldn’t run the photo otherwise.

Huckleberries Quick Fix 6 — 7/8/05

1. APhoto Fix: Photo: Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, 80, departs his home in Arlington, Va., this morning. From The Drudge Report: Media on standby after growing reports Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist is handing in his resignation… DEVELOPING…

2. Political ‘Toon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. (London bombings and Tom Cruise) and Chuck Asay (Supreme Court nomination fight).

3. Humor Fix: “As you know, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner is stepping down. She didn’t want to resign — she just wants to make sure she’s home so nobody can seize her house” — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Jobless rate drops to lowest in 4 years here, Arabs fear backlash over London bombings here, Hurricane lashes Cuba with 150 mph winds here, Iraq to world: Keep diplomats in Baghdad here, and Schwab denies buyout rumor here.

6. Opinion Fix: Victor Davis Hanson/National Review (Anatomy of A London Bombing), Froma Harrop/Seattle Times (Civilization vs. oil), Pat Buchanan/Creators (On jailing journalists), Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (Close Guantanamo?), and Peter Brown/Orlando Sentinel (Why has US been spared?).


Issue: BTK killer blames ‘demon’ for murders:’I have a lot of remorse. I’m very sorry for them’/Associate Press.

DFO: Since we can’t kill the devil, I hope this creep doesn’t mind if we fry/hang/needle him. I get tired of creeps like this not accepting responsibility for their horrific crimes. Wonder what scumbag Joseph Edward Duncan III is going to say to explain himself re: his role in the Groene murder/kidnapping case? Or should I say, alleged scumbag, just to be safe?

Question: Can anyone argue against the death penalty for the BTK killer and whoever — wink — is responsible for the Groene murders?

Inside Huckleberries — 7/7/05

*Blogmeister Ryan has updated my blogroll again to include new sites, photography from Doug Fredericks and Phil Corless (Tall Trees), under North Idaho Bloggers and the new “Friends of Huckleberries,” which is comprised of bloggers who provide links to Huckleberries on their sites or comment here with regularity. Most of the dead wood has been hacked away. Now, I have to work on “about this blog.”

*Jane Q. Citizen has solved the mystery about that old cartoon character who said: “Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome, time for this one to come home!” Those were the magical words used by Mr. Wizard of the Great Forest to save Tooter Turtle from a myriad of difficulties he faced when he botched jobs after assuming different identities, from being a lumberjack to a taxi driver, from pre-historic times to the moon.

*Sheriff’s Capt/spokesman Ben Wolfinger told Huckleberries that he received a call from a Colorado Seasoned Citizen today, named McCorkle, who thought he was a long, lost relative — and she was right. Ben’s grandfather, Benton DeVilla Wolfinger of Polson, Mont., was the woman’s great uncle. She spotted Ben while he was doing his terrific job as spokesman during the Groene murder/kidnappings. Ben sez he has to noodle things a bit before he figures out his relationship to her.

*You gave Huckleberries a nice pageview welcome back from vacation with that 5249 count Tuesday.

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/7/05

Danica Meredith enjoys the warm summer as she relaxes in a park in Montreal earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Mary Kate Olson finally achieves her goal weight — Jane Q. Citizen.

2. “Somebody’s been sitting in my chair - and there she is!” - Duane Hagadone — Stopthecrazygrowth.

3. Wasting away again in Margaritaville — Retro Dude.

HM: Gary Cuff.

Because You Asked …

… here’s updated photos of commenter Mike Kennedy/The Idaho Kennedys, taken 1. last year when singer Carole King was in town trying to drum up votes for John Whatshisname who was running against George W. for the presidency, 2. with an unknown relative who was trying to sell her home online, and 3. 11 years ago.

Feedback: You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, DFO… That shot is the embodiment of the old joke about a person having more chins than a Chinese phone book — Mike Kennedy.

DFO: Stop me before I post again.

Real Women Have Real Curves

So many of today's women attempt to live up to false images of beauty they see portrayed in Hollywood and splashed across magazine covers. Dove would like to change those perceptions by launching its Campaign for Real Beauty: “For too long beauty has been defined by narrow stifling sterotypes. You've told us it's time to change all that. We agree. Because we believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages.” While unmistakably a marketing ploy, the premise is interesting: Instead of feeding off women's insecurities with themselves, here's a company giving women permission to celebrate what they have been given and to focus on beauty from within. Dove wants to know women's perspectives on what they believe real beauty is. What would you tell Dove?

World magazine blog

Feedback: My friend called me up when she saw this ad and said “Look! women in their underwear with our bodies!” So I went to my gossip mag to look and there they were, BUT, they still looked touched-up and air brushed. Not a dimple or wrinkle on them anywhere! I think personality defines beauty, the hottest girl can turn ugly by her attitude and vise versa — Bre.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/7/05

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Captain Ben Wolfinger (above) announced Wednesday that convicted molester Joseph Edward Duncan III is the only suspect in the slaying/kidnappings of Shasta Groene’s family here. and that Shasta has been released from the hospital.

Plus: Steve Groene wants sex predators off the street here, Jailed Groene sibling sez family’s death “turned on the light” here, and North Idaho reacts to Joseph Duncan’s arrest here.

1. Seems political cartoonist David Horsey/PI naively believes only Repubs wrap themselves in the flag at party fund-raisers here.

2. Despite his bisexuality, Spokane Mayor Jim West adamantly opposed the formation of a gay business district in his town, according to new e-mails released by City Hall, here. Plus, The Spokesman-Review ran a fact check and found several recent public statements made by West aren’t true here.

3. Jimi Lott, a longtime photojournalist for the Seattle Times and a Pulitzer Prize finalist as a Spokesman-Review staffer in the early ‘80s, was found dead by his own hand in a Wenatchee motel room here.

4. Foes of Washington’s new 9.5-cent gas tax turned in 232,000 signatures yesterday and are planning to turn in 50,000 more in the next two days to ensure a spot on the November ballot here.

5. Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is undergoing a far tougher boot camp than he experienced as a young military man has he recovers from a major stroke at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (We can handle the truth), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Prosecutor should release e-mails), Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (The plusses of libertarianism), Bill Virgin/PI (Legends are tough acts to follow), and John Levesque/PI (Losing Nate McMillan).

*Alas, University of Idaho scientists say, the wild huckleberry is almost tamed here.

*A woman who lost three fingers in a high school fund-raiser can sue the Chewelah (Wash.) School District, as a result of a court reversal, here.

*Wildfires in Oregon are speeding the demise of the controversial spotted owl here.

*A Columbia Falls (Mont.) man was fined for dumping 400 gallons of apples near Glacier Park here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Question No. 2 re: Joseph Duncan

Issue: Washington board found Duncan not a threat: State could have held him after prison term ended/Richard Roesler, SR.

DFO: This, after he’d raped a 14-year-old at gunpoint and claimed to have raped 13 other boys. Who’s going to protect us from the judges and end-of-sentence review committees?

Question: Steve Groene made a public plea yesterday for legislatures, Congress and even the president to get tougher with sex offenders. Realistically, how can we?

Feedback: Simple: One strike and you’re… dead. Time we truly asked ourselves what civil liberties really are, value them and make sure that those whom imperil them are kept from posing a threat to them. I’ll let the debate start there — Josef.

Question of the Day — 7/7/05

Issue: Four London blasts kill 40, injure 350: al Qaida of Europe claims responsibility for slaughter/Jane Wardell, Associated Press (Above: The wrecked double decker bus near Tavistock Square after an explosion in central London today/APhoto).

DFO: Another horrible reminder of the hate and viciousness that inspires the enemies of freedom. The only thing they understand is to kill or be killed. Coddling them doesn’t work.

Question: What is the best strategy for stopping religious terrorists who are willing to die to kill indiscriminately?

Feedback: THM is right - find and kill the fanatics - period. We also have to keep doing the job of “draining the swamp” to quote President Bush, by trying to remove the reasons they get recruits. There are many strategies to do so, better articulated by others than by me, but we can’t ignore the very real gap between vast wealth and abject poverty in the world as it exists. And finally we have to stop coddling repressive regimes like those in Saudi Arabia whose people hate them and link us to them - can anyone say “real national energy policy that ISN’T oil-focused?” — Mike Kennedy.

Wild Card — Wednesday 7/6/05

As a cartoon character once signed off, drizzle drazzle drizzle drone time for this one to go home. Here’s your Wild Card to play with tonight, if you didn’t get enough of the blog during the day …

Ode to the Bing

Our life sometimes
is dark and scary;
to compensate
God made the cherry.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Bob Writes Again

I’m a fearless writer. It’s probably my saving grace. I’m not much of a stylist and I’m certainly not trained in the literary arts. My English classes in college ended at English Composition 201. I will never use the word “sifted” like this - “She sifted erratic notions of blah blah blah…” I will however use it like this - “She sifted the flour and found two hideous cockroaches staring at her with something like disgust” — Bob Salsbury (from complete comment on why and how Bob writes, click here).

DFO: Yeah, this is a creative way to provide a new photo of Bob so he won’t keep griping about the one I have in the archive.

Bayview Daze Redux

That cat fight between two women at JD’s tavern during Bayview Daze wasn’t the only main event in town Saturday. A Berry Picker watched as a fiftysomething femme sot in a stomach-turning skimpy outfit almost did a header into Lake Pend Oreille. She pulled herself together enough to stumble to her car, turn the key and be arrested by one of the many gendarmes assigned to the annual drunkfest. At the weiner stand nearby, the drunk’s 17-year-old daughter had only one word to say when informed of her mother’s incarceration: “Good!” And she didn’t intend to waste money bailing Mommie Dearest out of jail that night. Seems .20 blood isn’t thicker than lake water at Bayview Daze.

Feedback: People need to know and respect their limitations. Some people aren’t cut out to wear speedos or thongs. Nothing is more disgusting than watching a bad body scantily attired in a bathing suit. It also presents a public health risk - imagine the amount of momentum and killing power a broken nylon bathing suit can generate after hours of being stretched by a big body — The Heimlich Maneuver.

And Another Tidyman’s Bites The Dust …

… as the Missoula store tells employees bad news this morning here.

Walla Wallan inspired to complete CDA Iron Man

With 32 miles on his bike and 26.2 miles of a marathon still to go, Mike Kearbey of Walla Walla found inspiration to complete the USA Ironman Coeur d’Alene triathlon by looking at a photo of his 8-week-old son, Mason, taped to his bike. Until then, he told the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, “I was a hurting unit.” You can read Kearbey’s inspiring story here.

Dancing with Fiftysomething Men

Remember that posting by Lauren Ladoceour/Try This Pose re: her search for downtown CDA night life that ended at the Iron Horse dancing with 50-year-old men here? Well, Mary Lancome responded by posting the comment: “So, what is so bad about dancing with 50 something men?” Now working for a Bay Area yoga mag, Lauren saw the Huckleberry and the responses, and has posted a response to Mary’s question: “50-year-old men are actually very good dancers. But I couldn’t help but notice their wedding rings and wandering hands.”

Feedback: There are some mighty fine over 50 beefcakes out there…. some put the under 50 to shame.. Tom Selleck comes to mind. And the guy who was in Mask with Cher, and Lonesome Dove, and quite a few out there… and that is just the stars… now try going to a mall and see the men walking around with their wives and kids. Mighty fine…. mighty fine — Cis Gors.

World Mag’s Comment on Groene Case

Shasta Groene, an 8-year-old Idaho girl recently recovered from the clutches of kidnapper Joseph Edward Duncan III, has told authorities that Duncan repeatedly molested both her and her 9-year-old brother Dylan who is now believed dead. Duncan is also the likely killer of Shasta’s mother, another older brother, and her mother’s boyfriend. Duncan had previously spent more than a decade in prison for molesting a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint and was recently charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy in Minnesota but released on $15,000 bail. The Department of Justice estimates that convicted child molesters re-offend an average of 16 times while on probation – and yet the legal system continues to release them.

DFO: This was just posted at the World magazine Web site here.

Feedback: I find it interesting that our government has kept better track of Martha Stewart than they did of Duncan and so many other dangerous predators. Their crimes don’t even compare and this monster got let out on just $15,000 bail. That is pretty sad to say the least — ErinG.

Becky Defends Groene’s Cold Shoulder

From my esteemed colleague Rebecca Nappi this AM:

We have become so accustomed to 24-hour cable news, talk shows and reality shows, that it seems impossible that people could refuse to trade their saddest stories for 15 minutes of fame. It seems impossible that there could be a different way to respond to exploitative media demands. But there is.

In this different way, Steve Groene would not talk to the media. He would not believe the media smoothies who assure him that telling his story will help him heal. It won’t. He would not believe the myth that telling his story will help save other little girls and boys. It won’t.

For the rest of the column, “Family can avoid media exploitation,” click here.

Feedback: The media is gonna write what it’s gonna write, regardless if you say anything or not to them. I’m all for “knowing what’s happening”, but sometimes I think the media is way too intrusive…”how do you feel?”, “what’s your reaction?”, “what’s going thru your mind right now?”…and then as soon as another big story breaks, they’re off and running to cover that one — CDADave.

Wild Card — Tuesday, 7/5/05

It’s great to be back in the saddle as the blogmeister of Huckleberries Online. If you haven’t found a reason to comment so far today, here’s your opportunity to do so via the evening Wild Card …

In Memoriam

The parade went on as exciting as ever
Some were missing, to return - never
Among them one who saluted them all
Sempter Fi was Ron Rankin’s call.

He was there each year always with pride
Never forgetting those who served at his side
An American for sure, a Marine at heart
He served with them, until he too would part.

His memory will continue for the years ahead
He continues to live…to me he’s not dead
The courthouse memorial was his final call
Ron’s spirit lives there where it says it all.

John Rook

Inside Huckleberries — 7/5/05

*Huckleberries hears … that one of the leading opponents of the expanded rifle range at Farragut State Park set off some of the noisiest fireworks at her Bayview home over the Fourth of July holiday.

*Don’t exactly have my mojo working today as I struggle to shake off the vacation afterglow. But you folks have been faithful in providing great comments for the featured material. Thanks. It’ll take a day or two before I begin to feel the rhythm of the blogosphere. Mebbe that was the force that Obi Won was talking about.

*I fine-tuned the blogroll today and will continue to do so. Gone: One Voice and Idaho Politics. Added: Bob Salsbury’s Random Shallow Thoughts and Try This Pose (Lauren Ladoceour’s new blog). Moved: Eye on Boise (to the SR blogs section). Added to Other Bloggers: Josef’s Public Blog. I’ll be adding Doug Fredericks’ terrific photography blog for sure in the next day or so.

*Would you think I was conceited if I mentioned that Huckleberries earned a second place in the national Herb Caen Memorial Column Writing contest? I’m pretty proud of it. Smiley Anders from Baton Rouge grabbed the gold rings. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists posted all its winners last week here.

*Pageview numbers were off by more than half during my vacation, of course, but I was still able to post a third consecutive month of more than 100,000, finishing with 114,315 in June. I was delighted to hit 6098 on Thursday, June 23, two days before vacation.

*Dang, it’s good to be back among my blog people.

Dissed By KMC

As a former performer in a news circus or two, I know that reporters, photographers, cameramen and newscasters don’t enjoy waiting around for news when a big event happens. And that was the case Saturday outside KMC where 8-year-old Shasta Groene was taken. Can’t blame KMC for taking pains to protect the family’s privacy. But it went overboard when it ordered the media off the hospital grounds and then turned the sprinklers on them when they milled around on the public sidewalk. The hospital could have handled the situation better by assigning someone to act as a liaison between the family and the media. That would have protected the family while giving the media — and the public they serve — information about the little victim in this awful tragedy.

Perv Duncan Held Without Bail

The alleged abductor of 8-year-old Shasta Groene is being held without bail on two kidnapping charges. Kootenai County Prosecutor’s office charged Joseph Edward Duncan II with two counts of first degree kidnapping, one for Shasta, and the other for her 9-year-old brother, Dylan Groene, according to SRtaff reports, here.

Shasta Groene’s Final Hours of Captivity

Security cameras at the Cameron Conoco/Kellogg show Shasta Groene and her alleged abductor there hours before she was rescued, and an officer said Tuesday it looks as if the 8-year-old girl was trying to get someone to recognize her. (Notice how Shasta walked around with her arms folded across her chest.) For story, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/5/05

Photo: Shasta Groene and her father, Steve, at Kootenai Medical Center.

Investigators found human remains likely belonging to missing Dylan Groene in Western Montana on Monday, according to Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review, here. Meanwhile, police officers are expected to elaborate on their discovery at a press conference is scheduled at 3 p.m. today

1. David Horsey/PI shows how you can show your support our fighting men and women with a poignant Fourth of July cartoon here.

2. A fireworks display at Liberty Lake, east of Spokane, turned tragic Monday when a man died of a heart attack, two would-be rescuers suffered a broken ankle and burns, respectively, and an 8-inch mortar shell injured two when it exploded prematurely on the fireworks barge here.

3. Although he had a town, trail, pass and national forest named after him, Lawrence “Lolo” Rence didn’t have a marker to designate his final resting place, after a grizzly mauled him, for 165 years. Now, he does here.

4. A 9-year-old Kentucky boy was recovering after falling into a hot spring pool Sunday morning, suffering second-degree burns over 40 percent of his body, according to the Missoulian, here.

5. Washington U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, at No. 38 (just behind Al Franken), is listed among the “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America”, according to the Seattle Times here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Helping Shasta Groene overcome trauma), Coeur d’Alene Press (Heroic wife of wounded officer), Spokesman-Review (Mayor West has to face certain questions), Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette Record (Two-cell phone conumdrum), John Levesque/PI (Dumping Bret Boone),

*A WSU study shows that DNA tests are woefully underused in the US here.

*Eighteen years after lead singer Terry Robinson died in a plane crash, the Mission Mountain Wood Band of northwest Montana is back together here.

*Any TV is bad TV for children under 3 years old, according to a University of Washington study, here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery — Fireworks litter

I’ve been listening to illegal fireworks for 4 days now and until 1:30 a.m. This morning my yard is littered with the remains of bottle rockets. The law doesn’t apply to some people, I suppose.


DFO: What’s with all the fireworks litter? My wife and I saw all kinds of fireworks debris on the sidewalks and streets during a walk around 5 p.m. yesterday. Ditto, for my drive to work today. Are fireworks users waiting for another big storm so their debris will blow into a neighbor’s yard. What pigs.

Peanut Gallery — Illegal Fireworks

I enjoyed the (Coeur d’Alene) fireworks. While the finale was somewhat brief, the last few shells were very impressive and unusual. The downtown parks, though, were a war zone of illegal fireworks and the cops didn’t have enough manpower to stop it. I never felt in danger, but I wish people would obey the law for public safety reasons.


DFO: Yeah, what was with all the firecrackers, sparklers and worse at City Beach last night? It’s been awhile since so many fireworks were shot off at City Beach and City Park. I arrived late, so I didn’t see what the gendarmes had done. But I was surprised that some goofballs were shooting off fireworks with impugnity.

Fourth of July Wild Card — 7/4/05

This’ll be the last Wild Card until I return to work Tuesday morning. I hope you enjoy the Fourth, as I plan to do. First, the parade, then the family barbecue, and finally the fireworks show and the challenge to beat the traffic home. Enjoy yourself. And I’ll see you at the same place and time Tuesday morning …

Question No. 2 — 7/3/05

Issue: Missing Girl Found With Registered Sex-Offender/Sam Verhovak, L.A. Times. (The Coeur d’Alene Press provides a photo of perv Joseph Edward Duncan III here.)

DFO: I can’t get over how this creep, Joseph Edward Duncan III, was walking around free only a short time after another sex offense. And I wonder if it’s time that citizens begin lobbying Legislatures and Congress to develop a one-strike-and-your-out policy for Level 3 offenders who commit heinous acts, like Duncan as a teen?

Question: Now, that Shasta’s safe and Duncan’s in custody, does any of the new information about this case raise questions for you?

Peanut Gallery — Dylan Groene

Gary (Undersheriff Cuff), thanks for taking the time on this rollercoaster of a day to check in here. I wasn’t critisizing Ben (Capt. Wolfinger) — just reading into his candor that there must be pretty solid evidence that Dylan won’t be found alive for him to voice that out loud so early in the day. I cannot even begin to imagine the emotions of law enforcement at this time.

Jane Q. Citizen

DFO: I share Jane’s sentiments. The sheriff’s office must have solid info re: Dylan’s status for Ben to have made that public statement. We still have a dip in the roller coaster ride here, I fear. I hope I’m wrong.

Wild Card — Saturday 7/2/05

Well, my vacation is winding down, and I’ve enjoyed visiting with my sister and her husband from southern California. My two local siblings, my mother and my family have spent a lot of time together this past week, including a hike around Tubbs Hill and time tonight in the woods above Spirit Lake enjoying one another’s company. I’ll be turning my attention to the blog after my sister leaves Sunday. The vacation certainly has recharged my batteries. Here’s your Saturday Wild Card …

Saturday Question — 7/2/05

Issue: Tax increase pumps up gas prices: Washington gas tax heads higher/Amy Canata, SR.

DFO: 3 more cents at the pump to help King County run its ferries and build highways? Pshaw. Spokane County and Eastern Washington are getting the old scroogie on this eventual 9-cent state gas tax hike. No thanks. I’ll be buying my gasoline exclusively in North Idaho.

Question: Do you shop for the best gas price in town or do you go to the pump nearest you?

Idaho Question — 7/1/05

Issue: Legislators to seek your views on property taxes: Rising real estate values prompt calls for relief/Gregory Hahn, Idaho Statesman.

DFO: The Legislature is playing with fire if it doesn’t do something about property taxes in rapidly growing areas. It won’t be hard to collect signatures for a citizens initiative that’ll force the state to act.

Question: Do you think something needs to be done about property taxes in Idaho? And: Will something be done?

Get blog updates by email

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.

Find DFO on Facebook

DFO on Twitter

Betsy Russell on Twitter

HBO newsmakers Twitter list

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Huckleberries Online.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here