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Huckleberries Online

Archive for March 2005


Issue: Cuss & Effect: Can people speak anymore without the f-word?/Catherine Seipp (From the Left Coast), National Review.

Christine Hoppe/Not So Fast: And for those that regularly cuss, what do you do when something really bad happens? You have no where to escalate to. If you use the f-word to describe a cup of coffee—and I have heard people do that—what do you say when you spill that hot coffee on your pants? Save the cuss words for when you really need them. Not that you care what I think. Jerks.

Question: Are we cussing more and enjoying it less?

I Object …

Prosecutor Bill Douglas has filed a motion to intervene in the SR lawsuit against Kootenai County commissioners to get the e-mails between him and his former county hireling, Marina Kalani. Quoth from intervention motion:

The proposed Intervenor is the author and recipient of the e-mails in question. Mr. Douglas therefore has the uniquely relevant interest in the subject matter of this action. Similar to the Commissioners, Mr. Douglas contends that the undisclosed e-mails are either not public records or contain information that is exempt from disclosure. The e-mails relate to medical and personnel issues and contain information that is personal to Mr. Douglas. The disclosure of the e-mails would also invade Mr. Douglas’ privacy.

DFO: I will withhold any smart-aleck remarks here because our paper is part of this suit. But you don’t have to do so.

Ronfather sighting?

I did quite a double take this afternoon when I drove into the Courthouse parking lot and saw good ‘ol Ron Rankin’s black Lincoln in his regular parking space! My first thought was, wow, something big must really be up if Ron’s back. As it turns out Alice was coming to see how the flowers are starting to bloom in the Veteran’s memorial area, right outside my window. But as you might expect she said Ron would have plenty to say about everything from e-mails to railroads if he were still around….

dan of the county

DFO: Alice tending the garden … a true sign that spring has sprung. BTW, DOTC, who are the flowers doing?

In case you were wondering …

…Huckleberries Online has a breakdown on the salaries that are paid for various jobs at The Coeur d’Alene Resort here.

Best of the Northwest (3/31/05)

State Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, has become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington state. See Item No. 3.

Ex-Whitworth prof Stephen Meyer and his Center for Science and Culture are at the center of a controversy re: the teaching of evolution. Nah, the Seattle think tank isn’t insisting on the teaching of intelligent design, too. Rather, it’s advocating that schools teach the flaws in Charles Darwin’s theories, too, here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times is on the money in his view of the late, great Republican revolution here.

2. Boiseans don’t know they’re living with a TV legend in their midst, sez Statesman columnist Tim Woodward, here.

3. Quietly, Washington Sen. Lisa Brown, a former WSU economics prof, has become one of the most powerful politicians in the Evergreen state — and the cover page feature in the latest issue of The Inlander here.

4. Mariners Digest: The Mariners face a long road back from a 99-loss 2004 season if they’re going to compete in the AL West, according to the Seattle Times, here. And it sounds like pitchers Aaron Sele and Jeff Nelson have caught on with the M’s for another stint here.

5. Three Iraqi men who risk their lives by interpreting for Idaho National Guard troops in the Kirkuk area are featured in a Statesman article here.

6. IMHO-NW: Chi Dooh Li/PI (Schiavo case hits close to home), Richard Stallings/Idaho Statesman (Terri Schiavo politicking), Idaho Statesman (Amending highway bill), and Daily Evergreen (Pullman, Wal-Mart good fit), Joni Balter/Seattle Times (An unusual freshman congressman).

*Swan’s Landing Restaurant is rising from the ashes in Sandpoint here.

*Thomas Hamilton has cut a deal with the Idaho Department of Lands to fix the Spokane River bank he gouged for a boat slip here.

*Gonzaga announces new dean of law school here.

Question No. 2

Bob Potter and C.J. Buck (left and right in embrace) shared a hug at the 2003 groundbreaking of the new Buck Knives plant in Post Falls. Rick Carr (left), who replaced Potter briefly, looked on.

Issue: Jobs Plus marks a strong year: Kootenai County jobs grew by 3,100 last year, state says/Becky Kramer, SR.

DFO: I was at the old Holiday Inn (Coeur d’Alene Inn) when Jobs Plus was launched by Duane Hagadone, Tom Richards and Dennis Wheeler. And I was at Jacklin Seed Co. when Bob Potter was introduced as the first Jobs Plus prez. And I wrote the editorial praising JP in today’s paper here (which proves I can say nice things about The Duane. Bottom line? Jobs Plus is fulfilling its mission.

Question: Are you satisfied with the quality of jobs that Jobs Plus has brought to Kootenai County?

Peanut Gallery (Celebrate Terri’s Life)

Speaking from a little left of center, the battle for Terri’s life wasn’t a case of Right vs. Left; it was a case of trying to treat a human being with respect and dignity. This may fall on deaf ears, but it sure would be nice if we could celebrate Terri’s life today, pray for her family and leave the politics out of it.

Former Mike

DFO: On the way to work, I consider that doing just this, Mike: Celebrating Terri’s life. And I’ll try to do that as the day goes on. But the barbarity of her judicial execution and the compliance of the American public shouldn’t be forgotten. Or the lesson won’t be learned. We can’t let this happen again. It’s one thing to unplug a person who can’t live without extraordinary measures and will die quickly. It’s another thing to unplug a person who is healthy, somewhat responsive and can breathe and drink on her own. And then must suffer for 13 days without food and water. But there’ll be other things to discuss today, as always.

Question of the Day

Issue: Terri Schiavo dies of thirst: Estranged husband barred family from her bedside in final moments/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: This court-sanctioned killing is the Roe v. Wade of the euthanasia movement. Every severely disabled person with a cold-hearted next of kin now is at risk to be systematically killed through starvation and dehydration. It won’t take place at once. But 10 years from now, “mercy killings” will be as rampant as abortion now.

Question: Will Terri Schindler’s killing help the right-to-die movement force its agenda on America?

Wild Card — Tuesday, March 30, 2005

I forgot to mention that the Wild Card yesterday broke the single-day record for an item with 55 comments. So, ladies and gentlmen, start your engines.

SR Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Terri’s ‘death’ reported too early by CBS News: Website prepared obituary viewable via search engines/WorldNetDaily — Alas, this poor tortured soul can’t last much longer. Go in peace, Terri.

*Alleged fragger tries to escape Army: Sgt. Hasan Akbar attacks MP on morning of pre-trial hearing/Associated Press — In case you were wondering what happened to the guy accused of killing that Boise officer before the real fighting began.

*Boy Scout leader pleads guilty: Admits to receiving images over Internet of children engaging in sex acts/Associated Press: Another perv gets his comeuppance.

*Falwell now ‘stable’: Doctors upgrade condition of pastor battling viral pneumonia/Associated Press — Some of Rev. Jerry’s detractors might not agree with that diagnosis in the best of health times.

*Stocks rally on oil-price drop: Nasdaq surges 32, Dow Jones advances 135/Bloomberg — The stock market is worse than a teeter-totter. Any guesses as to how long it’ll take to lose those 135 points?

Will design Web sites for food

Tony Rosenburg/I Am Always Right was among those who received a pink slip when CEDU Educational Services closed shop in Boundary County last week here. Now, he’s started up a Web site design service, called Brag Design here. Check it out.

Are you whistlin’ Dixie, or does your speech …

…out you as a Yankee through and through? Huckleberries has a little “Easter Egg” (an offbeat item that adds fun to a blog) to tell you which side of the Mason-Dixon you fall on, speechwise, here.

Sweet P’s — to Cis The Retired for sending this nugget along and sharing the distinction with me of being barely a Yank.

For those keeping score at home …

…the text of our lawsuit seeking e-mails between Prosecutor Bill Douglas and former county worker Marina Kalani can be found here.

Random Shallow Thought

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat and if you really need a good icebreaker to loosen up a group of criminally insane men in a state hospital just ask for some ideas on that one!”

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

DFO: Bob’s on the road and won’t be back bloggin’ until Friday. I needed one of his “random thoughts” to keep me going until he gets back.

Quick Fix 6 (5/30/05)

In the too little, too late dept., the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to consider Terri Schiavo’s (shown above before she suffered her brain-damaging malady) case again. Meanwhile, Terri, a disabled woman whom the media has portrayed incorrectly as being in a persistent vegetative state, continues to fight for life after 13 days without food or water. Think of the enormity of that. Thirteen days. If you did this to an animal, you’d be thrown in jail for cruelty. F’shame. For the latest on the judicial execution of Terri Schiavo, click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Gary Varvel (Terri Schiavo), Bill Schorr (Michael Jackson), and Mike Luckovich (Tom DeLay).

2. Humor Fix: “To mark Good Friday last week, several Catholic devotees in the Philippines allowed themselves to be crucified. By the way, if you take Friday off from work to be crucified, do you count it as a sick day or a vacation day?” — Dennis Miller.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: 500 new agents patrol Mexican border here, Hunters with clubs begin massive seal kill here, Pope getting nutrition through tube here, US Army court martials captain for mercy killing here, and Indonesia quake death toll hits 1,000 here.

5. Democracy Fix: “Pakistan’s ambassador said yesterday the U.S. push for democracy is forcing countries around the world to re-examine their governmental and human rights practices and that Pakistan too will be strongly affected,” according to Sharon Behn/Washington Times, here.

6. Opinion Fix: Michelle Malkin/ (ACLU vs. America), Bert Brandenburg/Slate (Schiavo case could cost judiciary), Ben Stein/American Spectator (American death sentence), DeRoy Murdock/National Review (Outrageous Michael Schiavo), and Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Infant euthanasia).

Inside Huckleberries

3:03 p.m. Some of my Left Wing brethren on this blog made hay about the GOP “Talking Points” memo re: the Terri Schiavo tragedy. Well, it might not be quite what it seems, according to Howard Kurtz/Washington Post, here.

3 p.m. For those of you interested in immigration commentary from a conservative perspective, you can find the new “Immigration Blog” here.

12:02 a.m. Why are we getting long posts again today? What is it about brevity that some of you folks don’t understand?

10:36 a.m. Chico State (Calif.) University, my alma mater, made The Drudge Report today for suspending the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity for (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) producing a pornography film here. This, after one of the Phi Kappa Tau frat rats died in an initiation stunt earlier this year. I’m so proud — not.

8:29 a.m. It was nice to see the Swing Shift engaged in a spirited conversation last night without violating any rules of the blog. For those who haven’t checked out the evening fare online here, it gets a little wild. But it’s also interesting. Some talk of weed from a wasted youth. One blogopotamus. One “Schiavo who?” which I thought was in poor taste. But, overall, good behavior was observed by all. Kudos.


Issue: College faculties a most liberal lot, study finds/Howard Kurtz, Washington Post.

DFO: It’s almost as important for parents and their high school seniors to consider the political environment of a college or university, as it is the financial burden. My family wouldn’t consider certain colleges because the faculty and student body were too rabid liberally (See: Reed College in Portland).

Question: What can be done to bring some balance to the academic world’s propensity to lean Left?

Best of the Local Blogs (3/29/05)

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps discusses the inevitable comparisons between Red Lake and Columbine here.

*As Terri Schiavo clings to life after 12 days without food or water, CDADave asks a compelling question, “Terri, are you there?” here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour examines the phenomenon of those “birthday clusters” that seem to hit most families — you know, stretches in the 365-day calendar when several family members have birthdays here.

*Spovegas tries his hand at renaming the Spokane Arena here.

*Kimberley Osberg/Fresh Air has lost her first 5 easy pounds as she diets on 1,200 calories per day here.

The Loyal Opposition

Today, Jerry Brady announced his candidacy to become the Democratic nominee for Governor of Idaho, joining Butch Otter on the GOP side. Brady, the 2002 Democratic nominee, is making his second run. Jerry is the owner and president of the Idaho Falls Post Company, which publishes the Post-Register newspaper and owns a television station in SE Idaho.

The other most likely candidate on the Democratic side is State Senator and Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett of Ketchum. Clint has been in the legislature for about 14 years, first in the House and then the Senate. He’s also a native Idahoan, as is Brady, and Clint has a great story to tell about overcoming the odds and entrepreneurial success in Idaho.

It looks like this will be the first time in 12 years that there will be a seriously competitive Democratic primary for Governor with two well-known and qualified candidates. Brady probably has an early advantage from a name ID perspective having run last time, but Stennett knows his way around the statehouse, knows state issues as well or better than anyone, and should be a formidable campaigner.

There’s life in that Idaho Democratic party yet…(for the local party, click here.

Best of the Northwest (3/29/05)

Twice a year, Microsoft’s Bill Gates (pictured above) retreats to the woods to ponder the future of his company and the tech industry, according to Robert R. Guth/Wall Street Journal. Often, remarkable things come from these retreats, including his 1995 paper, “The Internet Tidal Wave,” which led Microsoft to develop its Internet browser and crush Netscape. You can find the rest of the story here.

1. David Horsey/PI looks at the “enabler-in-chief” here.

2. A Whatcom County woman has been charged with sending a series of increasingly threatening letters to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire here.

3. Lake City High grad Aaron Welch taught U.S. troops how to prepare for Iraq and wants to teach LCHS football players how to prepare for opposing team’s defenses, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

4. UI prez Tim White has his ax out as he tries to pare jobs and balance a 2005-06 budget that begins with a $4.75 million deficit here.

5. Why aren’t garages and parking spaces getting bigger to accommodate the trucks and SUVs that are, wonders The Idaho Statesman here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bill Virgin/PI (Come home, Boeing execs), Joel Connelly/PI (Honor without death OK), Idaho Statesman (Water bills do too much, too soon), Kahlen Burgwin/Daily Evergreen (Director Peter Jackson), and Adam Gangl/Daily Evergreen (Bogus diversity credit).

*The weekly roundup of Kootenai County scofflaws is provided by here.

*Ex-Micron exec Russ Fulcher has been named to replace disgraced Jack Noble in the Idaho Senate here.

*Hewlett-Packard Co. has named Mark Hurd, the head of NCR Corp., as its new CEO here.

*Mariners Moment: Jamie Moyer can’t throw bricks this year, if the M’s are to succeed here.

Inside Huckleberries (3/29/05)

11:45 a.m. Spent 45 minutes yakking with press sec. Dan Whiting of Larry Craig’s D.C. office, but couldn’t get him to reveal inside info re: Sandy Patano’s potential run for Congress. All Dan’d say was: “She’ll win if she runs.” ‘Twould be nice to have a North Idahoan representing us in Washington.

10:39 a.m. “Some posters have become overbearing and tedious. And you’ve expressed frustration keeping up with the barrage of comments. Assuming you want to keep both blurkers and posters interested, a word limit on comments would be welcomed by this blurker. (I personally wouldn’t mind if a few were “bounced” but I appreciate your appreciation for free speech.) My real interest in the comments section is seeing how you interact with posters” — A Berry Picker provides good advice.

Question of the Day (3/29/05)

Issue: Most of us don’t get enough sleep: Adults average 6.9 hours a night when 7 to 9 needed, study finds/Associated Press.

DFO: I’m not getting as much sleep now that the blog has entered my life because it needs to be fed. But I enjoy doing that. So, I’m rarin’ to go when I wake up a little earlier than I used to do. I probably average around 7 hours through the week and sleep in on Saturdays.

Question: How many hours of sleep do you get?

Quick Fix 6 (3/29/05)

APhoto Fix: The Rev. Jesse Jackson, left, speaks to the media while Mary and Bob Schindler, Terri Schiavo’s parents Tuesday morning March 29, 2005 outside the Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla. Terri has been without food and water for 11 days. Jackson called that immoral and he’s right here.

If you think colleges are dominated by Liberal professors, you’re right. But it’s worse than you think. “By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans,” writes Howard Kurtz/Washington Post. For complete story, click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Border Patrol), Wayne Stayskal (Fox News), and Henry Payne (Middle East regional).

2. Humor Fix: “Here’s the story of the week – a woman goes into Wendy’s and she orders the chili and she finds a human finger in the chili. (groans) I mean, how many of you were stunned – how many of you didn’t know they put meat in Wendy’s chili? (laughter) This is interesting. She spotted the finger when it pointed to the salt” — David Letterman.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Pope having trouble swallowing here, Oil-for-Food report critical of Annan here, 59 US ex-diplomat oppose Bolton for UN here, Anthrax dumped near Saddam palace here, and Moderate Muslims celebrate public rebuke of bin Laden here.

5. Religion on TV News Fix: An extensive report reveals that religious stories on TV news has slipped this year after Mel Gibson’s “Passion” and Pope John Paul II’s 25th anniversary dominated the news in 2004 here.

6. Opinion Fix: Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (D’s Social Security ideas), Joanne Kaufman/Wall Street Journal (’s prolific reviewer), Andrew C. McCarthy/National Review (Terri Schiavo), Bruce Bartlett/National Center for Policy Analysis (Tax rates), and Phyllis Schlafly/Phyllis Schlafly Report (Radical campus profs).

Monday Wild Card (3/28/05)

I have to make tracks for home, so I’ll forego the “P.S.” feature (unless I can find one later tonight). Meanwhile, enjoy the Wild Card (Side note to Geo and Any Mouse. Proceed with caution. I’ll be checking in later to make sure you aren’t cluster blogging or evangelizing ad nauseum.)

Best of the Local Blogs (3/28/05)

*CDADave sheds limerick rhyme for bonafide poetry here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind is afraid that real estate agents are going to start selling off Kootenai as waterfront property, what with the flooding and all, here.

*Henry Johnstone/My 2 Cents tells you about a beloved aunt with true grit here.

*In his March 26 entry, Jeffrey/One Voice defends his belief that parents in this area have an obligation to instill a love for the outdoors in their children here.

Question No. 2

Issue: Gentle honesty: Be discreet when friend is unaware of embarrassing situation/Greg Morago, Hartford Courant.

DFO: In the 8th grade, I was the third rosary bead back in a living rosary at my Catholic school. All I had to do was say the first part of the “Hail Mary,” which I’d said a thousand times before and a thousand times afterward, and the congregation would repeat the rest of the prayer. I suffered a brain cramp. I couldn’t remember what came after “Hail Mary, full of grace …” No one else missed the entire rest of the way including the first graders. I hid out the rest of the day. And, to this day, will not recite something from memory in a public setting.

Question: What is your most embarrassing, public moment (that you can disclose)?

The Meaning of Ether

My dentist likes a fun day
Serves treats to kids on Monday.
But the gas he used
Had him confused.
And he made an ether sundae.

John Austin

Best of the Northwest (3/28/05)

At certain times of the year, water crashes down the third channel fo the Spokane River at Post Falls/Mike Kincaid photo.

The battle for the Spokane River has reached the pages of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, courtesy of the Associated Press. Quoth: “The list of complex problems facing the Spokane River is nearly as long as its 90-mile length. The local chapter of the Sierra Club is tracking 24 separate controversies involving the river.” You can read all about it here.

1. David Horsey/PI looks at “George W’s Travelin’ Show” here.

2. Milt Priggee, former SR political cartoonists, has turned his attention to animation here and, for old time’s sake, offers a tradition cartoon here.

3. Gonzaga U’s version of the American Cancer Society Colleges Against Cancer will be shedding locks for children on campus Wednesday here.

4. WSU’s football team has the building blocks for another outstanding defensive line a la “The Firm,” according to The Daily Evergreen, here.

5. My padre, Steve Massey, offered an Easter message here.

6. IMHO-NW: Sen. Kate Kelly/District 18 (Jack Noble episode), John Boonstra/Washington Association of Churches (Draw line on gambling), Mark Stock/Gonzaga Online (Ella’s Country Club), Coeur d’Alene Press (Easter message), and Marty Fortier/Coeur d’Alene Press (Easter Bunny fights for life).

*Don Barbieri plans to build a 5-story, 28-unit structure next to Spokane’s historic flour mill here.

*Mariners Moment: Ichiro’s a big hit in spring training, too, here.

*The Palouse Discovery Science Center is open for business here.


Question: Dave, is God trying to tell us something? A tsunami rocked Indonesia the day after Christmas last, and today, the day after Easter, another massive quake has occurred in the same region. Let’s pray the results will not be the same this time — A Berry Picker.

DFO Answer: I try not to read things into natural disasters. They occur all the time. However, if God was going to pour out his displeasure on this country for the Schiavo situation, wouldn’t the tsunami and massive earthquake hit us, particularly in Florida, rather than Indonesia? And where’s the lightning bolt with with Michael Schiavo’s name on it?

Easter Memory

Though Easter Day had come and gone
a certain fragrance lingered on;
it was that one egg she forgot
was hid behind a flower pot.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Quick Fix 6 (3/28/05)

APhoto Fix: Terri Schiavo before suffering catastrophic brain damage.

Good old Michael Schiavo. First, he does everything humanly possible to ensure that his estranged wife, Terri, dies a starvation/dehydration death. Now, he wants her cremated against her Catholic parents’ wishes. Why? If Terri Schiavo truly wanted to die rather than continue suffering in this way, I believe, Michael Schiavo is showing an incredible cruelty her by denying her a Catholic burial. Then, that’s me. You can find this breaking story here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Poll taking), Gary Varvel (Teen murderers), and Mike Lester (Terri Schiavo).

2. Humor Fix: “Vice President Dick Cheney got a big pay raise. Last he was only making $53 a barrel, this week he’s making $57 a barrel” — Jay Leno.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Schiavo’s parents dealing with reality here, Schiavo friend: She often had bruises, talked divorce here, Gang will target Minuteman vigil on border here, Honeybees disappearing here, and Michael Jackson claims to be victim of conspiracy here.

5. Junk Science Fix: “A comprehensive new study by top air quality and climate experts discredits recent claims that global warming will lead to more bad air days in California and other states,” according to the Pacific Research Institute here.

6. Opinion Fix: John Leo/US News & World Report (Red v. blue bioethics), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Socialized medicine — not), Ronald Brownstein/LATimes (“Culture of Life” issues split GOP), Susan Konig/National Review (Terri’s Passion), and Deroy Murdock/National Review (Canadian drugs no cure-all).

Easter Sunday Wild Card

Your Huckleberry Hound wishes all the commenters, bloggers and blurkers associated with this blog a very happy Easter Sunday. If you need a Wild Card, here it is. Otherwise, I’ll see you at the same place and time Monday morning.

Easter Weekend Wild Card

For those who have a moment to check in with your Huckleberries Online “community” — have we become a community? — here’s your weekend Wild Card.

Weekend Question No. 2

Does your family still conduct Easter Egg hunts? Go to Sonrise services? Or do you have some other tradition that you’d like to share with the Huckleberries Online crew?

Side Note’s Best …

Best Philanthropist: Duane Hagadone
Best Hotel: The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Best Democratic Gov.: Cecil Andrus
Why was he elected: Ron Rankin
Democrat of the future: Mike Kennedy
Republican of the past: AnyMouse
Best Blogger: (oops not credible)
Best Hookers: Wallace
Worst Hookers: Rexburg

Side Note

DFO: Best Hookers … Wallace? Ah, Side Note, do you know the AIDS epidemic scared the hookers out of Wallace 15 years ago. And your first nominee is as amusing as your front-page story and editorial today. Are you bucking for corporate?


Issue: The Inlander produced its “The Best of the Inland Northwest” issue this week here. And our bloggin’ friend Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast produced her version of TBOTINW here.

DFO: We need to expand our thinking on The Best of the Inland Northwest. So, let me take a stab at it. Best Intersection to Avoid in Kootenai County: 41 & Seltice Way.

Question: What’s your nomination for an offbeat Best of the Inland NW?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*‘Something has to be done quick,’ says Terri Schiavo’s father: “She’s down to her last hours”/CBC News — Soon, The Passion of Terri Schiavo will be finished. F’shame.

*Iraq’s insurgents ‘seek exit strategy’: Ready to lay down arms for safety guarantees/Financial Times — Can’t remember the last time I heard some true believer on the other side compare Iraq to Vietnam.

*Wal-Mart Director Resigns, Others Fired: Unauthorized use of gift cards, personal reimbursements cited/Yahoo! News — The WalMart bashers should appreciate this one.

*West Virginia students set more than 50 fires to celebrate victory over Texas Tech: “They got pretty rowdy”/MetroNews Talkline — Now, that’s what I call March madness.

*Barbara Bush Says Hillary Clinton Will Lose In 2008: Ex-First Lady Addressed Students/ — Condi anyone?

Post Falls Uncensored is back …

…with a bang, including new quotes here, a story by Mairwen about a Life Sports class that handled firearms here, and a critique of the latest issue of the school newspaper here.

From Australia, CHS grad Lauren Ladoceour …

…asks: “Are you nigel” and explains other Aussie terms here.

Prosecutor Douglas responds …

re: My SR editorial from Thursday calling for release of e-mails here.

This responds to the Spokesman Review editorial opinion published on March 24 concerning an Idaho Public Records request made to the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners for my E Mail correspondence between the former Juvenile Drug Court (JET Court) coordinator and myself. There was also a request for all E Mail correspondence between two magistrate judges and my JET Court coordinator.

After a careful legal review of the Spokesman’s request, the commissioners correctly followed the law and released only those E Mails allowed under Idaho law. An erroneous release could subject the county to legal liability.

The Spokesman opinion contains several mischaracterizations about E Mails. First, Kootenai County Policy No. 425 allows the exchange of personal E Mails if allowed by the department head. Second, each E Mail not produced contained a reason for non-production because they contained personnel information, confidential drug treatment information, family names, and, yes, private information. Idaho Code Section 9-337(12) states, “public record’ is any writing “relating to the conduct of the public’s business.” Release of information which is not the public’s business is unlawful and improper. Such is the law.

In the meantime, my thirty-one year marriage and leadership is an open book for all to see here.

Bill Douglas
Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney

If the boss isn’t lookin, you can …

…run out the string on another week of breaking big rocks into little ones by swatting some flies here. (If you let them buzz around for awhile, they get bigger and make a bigger splat when you swat them.)

Sweet P’s: Frum Helen Back sent the link.

Question No. 3 … The TGIF Wild Card!

Yo, it’s Friday … let’s open the Huckleberries Online forum early for those of you going out of town for Easter this weekend. You can talk about anything you want — just like the after-hours Wild Card. Have fun.

Question of the Day

Issue: Public can use Sanders Beach pending trial: Judge tells city to work with homeowners to draft, enforce rules to minimize conflicts/Erica Curless, SR.

DFO: Judge James Judd reasoned as well as Solomon here: Allow the public to use the beach and direct the city to patrol and regulate the beach for the summer. That’s the way it should be. This gives East Lakeshore Homeowners and the public an opportunity to test drive a solution that’d work for both sides, if stubborn individuals will allow it to do so.

Question: What did you think of Judge James Judd’s ruling to open the beach for the summer?

TGIF Quick Fix 6 (3/25/05)

APhoto Fix: Pope John Paul II sits in a confession booth for the traditional Good Friday Easter confession in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican today.

The Passion of Terri Schiavo continued this morning, as another federal judge rejected an appeal for life. Sorta reminds me of that innocent fella 2000 years ago who was rushed from one group of judges to the next, from the religious leaders to the Roman officials, to give cover for a predetermined sentence. In one instance, the cry was: “Crucify Him.” In this instance, “Starve her to death.” For the latest news on Terri, click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Senseless killings), Wayne Stayskal (Chocolate lovers), and Timothy Kelly (Illegal immigration).

2. Political Humor Fix: In the Michael Jackson trial, one of Jackson’s lawyers slumped over in his chair and had to be taken to the hospital yesterday on a stretcher, did you see that? It happened right after Michael told him he was really broke and couldn’t pay him Jay Leno.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Jeb Bush won’t defy court order here, GOP chair calls Jeffords ‘turncoat’ here, Refinery-blast cause sought here, Black Democrats embrace faith issues here, T-Rex soft tissue found here.

5. Terri Schiavo Fix: David Limbaugh/Creators Syndicate (Turning point in culture war), Debra Saunders/Creators Syndicate (Why Terri must die), and Jeffrey Bell & Frank Cannon/Capitol City Partners (The Politics of the Schiavo case).

6. Opinion Fix: Washington Times (Good signs in Iraq), Joan Vennochi/Boston Globe (Carving up Kerry vote), Jonathan Chait/LA Times (Cheneymania), Richard Lowry/National Review (Can Dems do religion), and Myrna Blyth/National Review (Female pundits).

Wild Card (3/24/05)

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines; here’s your evening’s Wild Card.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Kyrgyzstan government collapses after protest:
Opposition demonstrators took over presidential compound
/Associated Press — Where?

*Death toll in Texas blast hits 15: More than 100 people injured at BP oil refinery/Associated Press — This week’s been off the charts in the blood-and-guts category.

*Pope to get ‘own’ mountain peak: A region in central Italy has announced it will name a mountain peak after Pope John Paul II, who has enjoyed hiking in the area in the past/BBC News — A very nice gesture to honor a pope who has played a significant role in our world.

*Police: ‘Michael Moore Bandit’ Hits Monroe Bank: Man Wanted For Two Robberies In Westland/ClickOnDetroit — He’s known as the “Michael Moore Bandit” because he looks like You Know Who. But he also could be known as the Big Fat White Bandit Who Didn’t Win An Oscar.

*Bush, Fox, Martin hold summit; some divisive issues are skirted/Copley News Service — Yo, Dubya, just use the words of defeated Roberta Duran: No mas.

Best of the Local Blog (3/24/05)

*Cathy Kooy/Kick Shoe Kooy provides her impressions of the cuh-razy posting going on Tuesday night on Huckleberries Online and tells how all her family is now blogging here.

*The Angry Commentator is struggling with blogstipation, but you’d never know that as she offers “Things to do when you come down with blogging ad nauseum” (ignore the bouncing car) here.

*Kimberley Osberg/Fresh Air, a Seattleite by way of the Palouse, is talking 1200 calories and seeking encouragement as she launches out on a diet here.

*The World According to CDADave warns readers that his recent stuff is unmitigated (garbage) and then proves it isn’t here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is on a mission to find out all she can about coots — and we’re not talkin’ about old ones — here.

*Phil Corless/The Old Goat Trail provides a link to a Playboy interview with Joe Vandal, and I’ll let you decide whether to follow the other links on the site here.

Cis sends along a little heart warmer …

…as we begin to consider Easter here. (Caution: This isn’t for grouches.)

Peanut Gallery (Airport screeners)

I have been in and out of airports in the United States for the past couple of months and I have discovered a very interesting fact about the security screening.

The people at the head of the line before you get your bags screened, the people who are in charge of checking to see if the picture and identification match the boarding pass, the people who are the only line of defense as to who gets on that plane are hired outside security people, not government employed TSA agents. They are rent a cops like the old days that, I am told are minimum wagers, with very little training.

What is up with that? Everyone assumes that the government is handling that process but the most important people at the head of the line have not changed from the way it used to be before 9/11.

Steve Badraun

Best of the Northwest (3/24/05)

Tom Grant, ex-TV reporter and mayoral wannabe (pictured in 1996 photo at work at KXLY), and KXLY-TV didn’t defame a Spokane businessman 7 years ago by omitting certain facts from their story, according to the state Supreme Court. The court exonerated Grant and the Spokane TV station today here.

1. David Horsey/PI knocks one out of the park with his doodling about Boeing’s troubles here.

2. Vandal Friday is back. UI is hosting its largest event of the year tomorrow as 1800 high school students are expected to invade to check out the campus here.

3. The Idaho Statesman provides whitewater forecasts for 12 rivers here.

4. The Inlander has published its annual “Best Of” edition here.

5. Mariners Moment: After a 15-15 tie and a 4-3 win, Seattle Times sports reporters rated Mariner pitchers good, bad and ugly here.

6. IMHO-NW: Jonalynn McFadden/Daily Evergreen (Conserve water), Robert Herold/Inlander (Schiavo saves DeLay), Jason Crawforth/Statesman (Corporate incentives necessary), John Levesque/PI (M’s pitcher Bobby Madritsch), and Gail Wells/Oregonian (Sen. Gordon Smith’s gutsy stand).

*Looks like the Hauser Times is alive, well and back on line, discussing P&Z issues with an angry reader, here. And Editor Frum Helen Back has a new photo of Hauser Lake on the city’s home page here.

* provides Bonner County police logs here.

*WSU baseballers had a successful preseason, but they’ll have to step things up to compete in the tough PAC-10 here.

*Wounded Nampa officer recalls the flash of his assailant’s gun here.

SR Morning Headlines (3/24/05)

*Sheriff promotes political supporters: Sterk names Brady to jail post, Wiyrick as undersheriff/Jonathan Brunt and Thomas Clouse, SR — Remember that Stephen King miniseries, “Kingdom Hospital”? And the anteater type thing? You do me a solid; I’ll do you a solid. Seems to work at Ess Cee Ess Oh.

*Investors buy landmark brewery building: Schade building goes for $1.7 million/Alison Boggs, SR — It ain’t The Davenport. But it’s cool what these guys are doing any way.

*RPS ruling pits city vs. its ex-bond attorney: Taxpayers may be left holding bag if city can’t prove firm guilty of malpractice/Jim Camden, SR — Did someone say the RPS word? Wash his mouth out with soap.

*Development gets its first restaurant with addition of San Francisco Sourdough sandwich store: 2 more businesses moving into Riverstone/Nils Rosdahl, SR — For a minute there, I thought the guy in the picture (follow the link) was fixing cracked cement at the BNSF refueling depot. (Ed Note: Your comment’s nothing but a gratuitous swipe at the railroad. DFO: And your point is …)

*Driver gets community service: Teen also on probation for leaving critically injured girl/John Craig, SR — Sahhhhh-lap. That’s the sound a judge slapping a cold-hearted teen’s wrist. Judicial tongue-lashing, community service take the place of justice in this case.


Question (received by e-mail this a.m.: “What do you have to do to create a name like Cis or The Edge so that I can participate without being identified.”

DFO Answer: Simply create the pseudonym (and make it good because I don’t like boring pseudonyms) and comment away. I prefer to know who you are for two reasons: It checks your tendency to flame-throw and I enjoy knowing who’s exchanging ideas. But that isn’t necessary. BTW, Cis is a real name for Cis Gors of Kootenai. Comment on. (Note to self — You should ask Berry Pickers to name their favorite pseudonym on the blog.)

Hand over those e-mails

Dunno if you read my editorial this a.m. asking county officials to listen to their bosses, us, and provide the interoffice emails between Prosecutor Bill Douglas and his Marina Kalani, his former drug court administrator. Quoth:

Earlier this week, Kootenai County released 461 of 1,060 e-mails between the two. Many of the messages were heavily redacted, including some that hint at a relationship. Officials withheld the rest, claiming that they “appear not to relate to the conduct or administration of the public’s business.” County officials, however, have a conflict of interest here. Because this potential scandal could tarnish them, they’re in a poor position to decide what is or isn’t “the public’s business.” By withholding e-mails, the officials have raised suspicion about their content and have shown they’ve forgotten that they ultimately work for Kootenai County taxpayers.

DFO: Sorta weird quoting myself. But, I believe, county commissioners have a mess on their hands. And the truth will eventually come out on this. They’ll reduce political damage to themselves by handing over the e-mails, sooner than later.

Best Post of the Swing Shift

To prevent school violence, it is necessary to fix the root of the problem- that is, when kids who are deemed by their peers to be “different” are bullied. As someone who walks the halls of a high school almost every day, I’ve seen my share of it. When we read accounts of these shootings, the shooter is almost always described as “a loner, wearing black, listening to metal music, playing video games, etc.” It isn’t that these things are the cause of the kid’s violent behavior; rather, they are outlets for peaceful rebellion and escape. It’s just that when the bullying gets to be too much, the peaceful rebellion turns deadly.

I went into this in more detail in an article I wrote last fall on my website here.


DFO: Superb discussion on the PS question tonight, folks, here. Vorfeed, terrific job zeroing in on the key point.


Issue: How You Can Help Prevent Another School Shooting: Experts list the signs to look for before notifying authorities/

DFO: You can’t prevent another shooting on a national level. But you should be able to take steps to do so on a local level.

Question: Is there any way to stop these horrific school massacres from recurring? Or: Have you or a loved one ever been victimized by a school shooting?

Inside Huckleberries

Ron Rankin? A Democrat? Ahaha. See 4:31 entry.

5 p.m. A coupla of you good bloggers have written in concerned that I might delete them from the blogroll. Not to worry. My greatest concern is about bloggers who began but aren’t following through, not you guys with a track record. Phil, CDADave, et al … at ease. You’re worth your weight in salt.

4:31 p.m. Did that letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press editor from Shirley Thagard of Hayden really say that the late anti-property tax activist Ron Rankin was a (drum roll, please) — Democrat?! At times, he was an Independent. But he finished his life as a former Republican commissioner. And the Press editor holds us bloggers in contempt for errors.

1:30 p.m. Nice blog number to start the week on Monday: 3238. And it’ll be somewhere close to that when the final Tuesday numbers are in. Thanks.

9:42 a.m. Comment volume has increased so much with the new feature that I no longer can respond to everyone. So, I’ll continue to monitor them for blogroaches and blogopatmuses, and postscript as the mood moves me. Sorry. The success of this blog has its drawbacks. But not many.

9:40 a.m. BTW, the general consensus from yesterday’s question re: Idaho nativeness was, in descending order: 1. Native Americans most native to Idaho, 2. Those born here, 3. Those who have lived her more than 20 years.

8:15 a.m. I don’t know what’s getting into you commenters, but you’re beginning to post way too long. And I’m going to begin deleting those posts. Violators last night: George Thomas, Any Mouse and Sam. Blogopotamuses eat up the valuable space under the new “comments” feature. Say your piece and stop.

Huckleberries hears that …

…a sheriff’s marine boat got up close and personal with the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce float, while they were parked in Building 15 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. About 3 weeks ago, Howard Martinson, float committee chairman, moved the float into the building, giving the two marine boats parked there for the winter a wide berth. However, someone still ran one of the boats into the float while moving it, causing an untold amount of damage — and leaving Martinson to figure how he’ll file a claim for damage: “I’ll ask chamber chairman of the board Ben Wolfinger to file the claim against Captain Ben Wolfinger of the sheriff’s department. Since chairman/Capt. Ben is also on the City Council, we are also looking into the city’s potential for liability here.” Got that. Ben sues Ben sues Ben.

Out, out, damn Californian

Issue: Local man on campaign to keep out Californians/Mike Weland, Kootenai Valley News —In Boundary County, Jerry Higgs, a former Hayden resident, is posting signs urging the huddled masses from California to go some place else. One sez: “If my dog was from California, I’d shoot it.”

DFO: Some feel the same way, but this guy’s way over the top.

Question: Since you’re probably from California, too, what do you think of guys like Higgs vainly trying to put a fence around North Idaho?

Open-Sanders to converge on courthouse


You are likely aware that along with the case to resolve the matter of ownership of Sanders Beach, the City of Coeur d’Alene also filed a motion for preliminary injunction restraining the homeowners along East Lakeshore Drive between 12th and 15th Streets (Homeowners) from interfering with public use of the sand between the seawalls and the lake for the interim while ownership is being determined. The hearing for that motion begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in courtroom #1 (that’s the big courtroom on the 3rd floor of the old courthouse). This is a legal proceeding that’s open to the public (i.e. without public input). We encourage all who support an open-sand status to attend.

As a statement of support, we recommend that “open-sanders” arrive at the courthouse with a beach towel draped over a shoulder. To avoid offending any of the participants in the hearing, just remove the towel upon entering the courtroom and hold it on your lap out of view. Counsel for public access to Sanders Beach both like the idea, but agree that towels shouldn’t be worn into the courtroom.

Don’t let public access to Sanders Beach go the way of footprints in the sand …

Dave Moseley
SBPA director

NIC Media Forum recap

Journalists say government data harder to get: Influence of advertisers and newspaper owners of concern to audience members/James Hagengruber, SR.

DFO: Anyone else out there want to comment on the Media part of the NIC Popcorn Forum yesterday? (Besides saying that SR Editor Steve Smith (pictured) is a whole lot better looking than his photo would seem to indicate? Got that one from, ahem, “Annie Leibowitz” but I don’t think we’re talking about the Rolling Stone photog here.)

Question of the Day

Issue: Commenter Dan Gookin brought up and interesting question yesterday. Noting that we’re now fixated on Terri Shiavo’s situation, the Minnesota school massacre and, locally, the prosecutor’s flap, he wondered what would be the next major story to claim our attention. His pick? The pope’s death.

DFO: Dan’s made a good guess for an international story. Locally, I’d say it’ll be Duane Hagadone trying to shake down the City Council for a sweetheart deal for Blackwell Island annexation a la the golf course annexation last year.

Question: What’s going to be the next big story after the current ones die down?

Wild Card

“Wild Card” provides a forum for commenters who want to bring up their own subjects and toss in their 2 cents. You know the drill.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time (3/22/05)

*‘Terri’s fading quickly’: Parents beg federal appeals court to order feeding tube reinserted/Associated Press — We wouldn’t treat the worst al Qaeda killer this way. God have mercy on our calloused hearts.

*Document: Bin Laden evaded U.S. forces: Terror suspect says he helped al-Qaida leader escape Tora Bora in 2001/Associated Press — Now, here’s a guy who needs his feeding tube removed. Oh wait, that’d be torture. We can’t do that.

*Fed raises interest rates 1/4 point: 7th straight time central bank has boosted borrowing costs/MSNBC — The market fell another 95 points today, even though the increase was expected. I never can figure this stuff out.

*Red Lake in shock after shooting by teen ‘Angel of Death’/Yahoo! News — We abandon our moral values as a country, and we produce young psychopaths. A = B. Simple as that. More info on this monstrous creep here.

*Army raises enlistment age for reservists to 39/Reuters News Service — Wasn’t Jack Benny perennially 39? We all qualify now, I guess.

Best of the Local Blogs (3/22/05)

*For some reason, I’m totally in the mood for Bearable Bob Salsbury’s totally tasteless — and funny as all get out — quiz for those who want to know what kind of serial killer they’d be here. Yeah, yeah, I know Scripture tells us to think on those things that are true, noble, right, etc. (Phil. 4:8). But I can’t help myself.

*Oh no-o-o-o-o … JoAnne Stebbins/The Angry Commentator, one of my personal faves, has fallen for that urban legend about Coeur d’Alene cops and rockin’ vehicles — you know, if the van’s a rockin’ don’t go knockin’ (“Seinfeld”). Tain’t true. But her graphic is worth the price of admission here.

*D.P. Bond tells of miners going back to work in his latest Wallace Street Journal rant here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind speaks about her connections to mah people, the Portuguese, (we love wannabes) here.

*Cathy Kooy/Kick Shoe Kooy, in Ephrata, Wash., is considering forming a Bloggers Anonymous group because she’s forming an addiction to Huckleberries Online here. Cool.

Question No. 3

*Issue: Court e-mails shed little light: exchanges related to drug court heavily redacted/Erica Curless, SR. And: Officials’ e-mails investigated/Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: “… in a March 3 exchange in which (Marina) Kalani (pictured above) writes, ‘Thank you. You are so good to me. Just wait until I get you alone!’ … “(Prosecutor Bill) Douglas responds ‘promises, promises.’” Both dismiss such e-mail exchanges as harmless bantering and deny having an affair. The exchange above was redacted in the copies provided by Kootenai County to the local media. Rather than redacting 461 e-mails between the two and withholding 599 others, the county should provide as much info as possible so the public can better judge what’s happening here.

Question: What do you think of the county withholding so much information about this situation from the public?

Question No. 2

Issue: ABC News deceptive in Terri Schiavo poll? 63% support removal of her feeding tube, but survey said she has ‘no consciousness’/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: Why am I not surprised? (BTW, Sam Taylor, there’s a reason I use conservative sources like WorldNetDaily. On issues like these, the national media have proven to be extremely unreliable occasionally.)

Question: Since we’re involved in a titanic life-and-death struggle for a helpless woman who’s being starved to death with court approval, shouldn’t we get all the facts on the table? Sounds like the ABC poll was nothing but a push poll to reach a desired result. F’shame.

Media Seminar This AM

Who: Editors Steve Smith (SR, pictured) and Mike Patrick (CDA Press), with a supporting cast of Mindy Cameron, ex-Seattle Times opinion editor; Capt. Ben Wolfinger, KCSD spokesman; Kent Propst, NIC spokesman; and Kenton Bird, interim director, UI School of Journalism.

What: NIC Popcorn Forum discussion: “What’s News? The Ethics and Timing of Reporting.”

When: 11:30 a.m. today.

Where: NIC’s Boswell Hall Schuler Auditorium.

Why: The panel will address coverage of controversial news stories, including the recent shooting that left CPD Blue Micael Kralicek critically injured and the shooter dead.

DFO: Bill McCrory/Whitecaps has a complete rundown on the interesting topics that’ll be covered by the Popcorn Forum this week here.

Quick Fix 6 (3/22/05)

Another high-and-mighty judge orders Terri Schiavo starved to death like a dog here. May God have mercy on Terri. But not the individuals who are putting her to death in this cruel and inhumane way.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Gary Varvel (Terri Schiavo), Paul Nowak (Oil refining), and Wayne Stayskal (Public cell phone use).

2. Humor Fix: “Isn’t it amazing? Robert Blake was found not guilty. And his lawyer was very clever. The defense was based on the premise, “What kind of idiot kills his wife after buying her dinner?” — Jay Leno.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Teen rampage leaves 10 dead here, Killer was neo-Nazi “angel of death” here, Sex is turning off movie audiences here, Illegal alien population surging here, and Judge: Florida girl’s killing ‘beyond words’ here.

5. Media Bias Fix: Much ado has been made of that ABC Poll that seems to indicate that most Americans believe Terri Schiavo should be put to death for the crime of being severely disabled. However, the way the question was framed by the biased pollsters had much to do with the response here.

6. Opinion Fix: Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (“Culture of Life”), U.S. Sen. George Allen/Washington Times (Call Senate Demos’ bluff), John Podhoretz/New York Post (One-term Hillary?), Mark Steyn/Daily Telegraph (Death of liberal West), and Cal Thomas/Tribune Media Services (Schiavo case matters).


Issue: Nation’s gas prices hit record highs: Average cost for all 3 grades increases to $2.13 per gallon/Associated Press.

DFO: If gas prices go much higher, I may need to break out the bike and ride to work. It’d be good for the pocketbook and the waistline.

Question: How high will gas prices have to go before it affects your normal driving patterns?

Inside Huckleberries (3/21/05)

5:43 p.m. We have a 2-year-old posting anonymous raunchy stuff on the blog. Easy to eliminate. But you might catch run across some of this genius’s stuff before I delete it. Be warned.

5:15 p.m. “Beautiful Blonde pole dancer: Hope you don’t mind a bit of risque’, which I rarely send along! If you should find it too offensive,
please advise and I will remove your name
promptly from my email address list!” writes Cis Gors, who provides this end-of-day link and laugh here.

5:13 p.m. Something must be in the water. I’ve had to use my kill button a half dozen times today, mostly with the raunchy blogroach. But one of the regulars stepped over the line, too, re: a genitalia reference. (You know who you are.) It’s easy to delete. So no problemo.

2:19 p.m.Jim Risch came to Wallace yesterday to meet with the local Repubs. He appears to be a congenial enough fellow, but absolutely clueless as to mining or Superfund. Half-way through his speech, I realised we were listening to Kempthorne-Lite” — Silver Valley mole.

2:02 p.m. “Gotta be quick before the wife catches me sneaking into this internet cafe in Dublin … great parade in Killarney on Thursday including a bagpipe band from the Dublin JFK unit of American Legion playing Marine Corps Hymn … very friendly here toward Americans (except for the lady I had a slight collision with forgetting to drive on the wrong side…ah oh, think I’ve been discovered … signing off for now” — vacationing Dan of the County from Ireland.

Noon: Gotta blogroach causing trouble today, posting under raunchy pseudonyms. It’s easy to just kill his stuff. But he actually has something to say when he isn’t being juvenile. We’ll see. The new comments feature can continue as long as people behave themselves. I suspect eventually I’ll have to require registration to post.

11:30 p.m. Great blog numbers for last week: 20,082 for 7 days; for weekdays, the numbers went 3226 Monday, 3178 Tuesday, 2841 Wednesday, 3046 Thursday and 4171 Friday.

Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast posts a link …

…showing pictorially why Dubya beat Flipflop last November (Caution to D’s — salt-in-wound stuff) here.

Introducing Pat

“The Writer”

Grief is my inspiration
Without pain I can not write
Without fear the words would not come
Without sorrow the thoughts could not form
Without longing for love my pen would be still
My thoughts shared on paper
My heart penned in ink
my feelings related in words
My fears come in verse
I am the writer
Pain; you are my muse

Patrick S. Kelly

DFO: I’ve known Pat Kelly since he moved here from Boise at age 14. Good kid. Health issues have sidetracked him at a young age. But his health hasn’t affected his writing. Above, you’ll find a poem by him. He’s been published internationally. He’s also published a book of poems, “Songs from the Darkling Choir” here. And you can read all about Pat and his wonderful wife, Melissa, here.


The major distinction one may see
between mankind and the chimpanzee
is found in springtime, when chimps relax
but man sits down to do income tax.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

SR Morning Headlines (3/21/05)

*The road stops here: Gonzaga’s NCAA dream comes to sudden end in Tucson/Rebecca Nappi & Jamie Neely, SR — If only some Zag would have helped Adam Morrison in the second half …

*Different breed for Bulldogs: GU women handled BYU’s size, now they must contend with quick Bears/SR Staff Reports — The basketball season continues. Go Zags.

*Backers say closure of Fairchild unlikely: Lobbyists making pitch to expand base’s mission/Jim Camden, SR — What’s the opposite of a NIMBY? We definitely want the air base in our back yard.

*Nickname ideas rolling in: Spokane Valley is where the sidewalk ends, more/Tom Lutey, SR — How about: A community that don’t need no steekin’ incorporation?

*Officer kills pit bull that had scared neighbors/SR staff reports — Some dog owners are simply clueless or worse.

Saving Terri Schiavo

Issue: Bush signs bill to save Terri: House votes overwhelmingly to make Schiavo case federal/WorldNetDaily. And: Vatican Calls for Keeping Schiavo Alive

DFO: Terri’s fate now rests with a Clinton appointee, which means she has a 50-50 chance of living. I was extremely disappointed that 53 of the 58 votes for death came from D’s. If she lives, the R’s deserve credit.

Question: Some D’s on this blog say that the R’s are using poor Terri Schiavo’s situation to score political points. Mebbe that’s true. But doesn’t this situation also show pro-lifers, like me, that the R’s are the lesser of 2 evils when important life issues are on the line?

Best of Huckleberries Online (March 14-18, 2005)

Update: Councilman Woody McEvers (above) contacted Huckleberries Friday evening to say he, indeed, has loss his lease here. See item below.

Huckleberries has found two Spokane County expatriates writing blogs in cyberspace: Richard Glasgow/This Is Rich, in Texas, and Scott Sala/Slant Point, in New York City. Both are conservative. Rich moved from Millwood as a West Valley High junior and misses North Idaho (Tony’s, the boat races, Templin’s, the floating restaurant, YJ’s and picking huckleberries.) Scott, a U-High/WSUer and “lifelong Republican,” moved to New York City 12 years ago to enjoy “some of the more liberal things in life between high school and (his) late twenties.” And got slapped alongside the head by 9/11. Now, family and friends are important again and he’s trying to establish a conservative beachhead in the Big Apple. Betcha Scott knows how an Idaho Democrat feels.

Cyberspace Mutts
For St. Paddy’s Day, Huckleberries Online ( readers dissected their nationalities. Kootenai County Demo Mike Kennedy registered the highest Irish blood content – 88 percent followed by Marianne Love/Slight Detour of Sandpoint at 75 percent. Most of the rest were Heinz 57 varieties, including Ryan Hill, who listed his ancestry as “English, Irish, and Russian. Does Canadian count?” Only if you’re escaping the country … UI student Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense claimed a lot of Irish on his mother’s side, adding: “I started celebrating early last night, because that’s how we Irish do things!” Ditto for UI students … Then, Tom Taggart of the Lakeland School District can track both lines of his family back to the Revolutionary War – a general and respectable people on his mother’s side, horse thieves and other riffraff on his father’s. “At Taggart family reunions,” quipped Tom, “the horse thief side really shows through.”

No Respect
During a Google search, I discovered that my December “Red State” rant was published by The Washington Times, which apparently believes the SR has relocated to Spokane, Oregon … Huckleberries hears that Coeur d’Alene Councilman Woody McEvers has lost his lease with the Hagadone Co. for his popular Rustler’s Roost building in Hayden. P’haps the Woodman wasn’t enthusiastic enough when Mr. H called last fall with his downtown memorial garden scheme? … Also, Huckleberries hears that Alice Rankin enjoyed herself at that property tax demonstration at the Kootenai County Courthouse Thursday, particularly when she saw a sign proving the vox populi hasn’t forgotten her late husband, Ron, Idaho’s most famous anti-tax activist: “Where’s Ron Rankin. We need him now.” Read: Help us, Obi Ron Kenobi, you’re only hope.

Poet’s Corner
“From rags to riches,/back to rags,/they stole it from/the Lady Zags” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Selection Committee”) … “Coeur d’Alene is a great place to be/That’s what they said on TV/But don’t you dare doubt it,/This place will get crowded/Like LA eventually” – CDADave (“Take Your ‘View’ and Shove It”) … “A rolling stone gathers no moss but if it hits, say, a piece of plywood some skateboarder kid made a ramp out of and flies off, I’m thinking it could knock a buzzard off a meatwagon” – Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

“If Michael Jackson upsets the court,” wonders Kootenai County Undersheriff Gary Cuff, “does he go to an adult or a juvenile detention facility?” … Question: “Have you considered the one promise the Burlington is keeping – employment?” asks attorney Scott Reed, tongue firmly cheeked. “Eighty guys working fulltime to clean up the mess” … Seems Bonner County Deputy Dawgs have a catch-and-release approach to law enforcement. They cited and released Richard G. Myers, 52, of Sandpoint on a shoplifting charge at 3:48 one recent afternoon and then nabbed him again 84 minutes later, for driving without a privileges. Dunno what became of our wayward small fish.

Parting Shot
The two expatriate bloggers above discovered Huckleberries Online via a link to the police report I posted re: the semen-topped Brownies at Coeur d’Alene High. In fact, that link doubled my previous highest traffic to 6,534 pageviews March 11. Sorta keeps things in perspective.

Sunday Question (3/20/05)

Issue: It was 2 years ago: Bush defends war order on anniversary of Iraq invasion/Yahoo! News

DFO: I agree with the president: The war has made America safer and is inspiring change across the Middle East.

Question: Are we safer today than we were 2 years ago when we invaded Iraq?

Peanut Gallery — Paradise Lost

I went driving down Front Avenue today, and just about half an entire city block has been enclosed by metal fences…with all the houses in that area, within. Soon, they’ll all be ripped down. A hi-rise of sorts is going to be built there.

You can’t stop progress…but over time…area residents are being moved farther and farther away from the lake, aren’t they? Unless you have big money, with which to be able to afford a condo, that is. Like it or not, we’re losing the charm that’s made Coeur d’Alene what it is over the years.

They’re moving us out; they’re threatening to kick us off the beaches, they’re raising the taxes, they’re corrupting the local environment, and sadly, it’s just going to get worse. National issues are essential and vital, but we’ve got problems right here, too. Any comments?


DFO: Thanks for the downtown report, CDADave; unfortunately, you have a pretty good prediction here. Indeed, the locals are being moved away from the waterfront, and there’s coming a day when those who own their homes won’t be able to pay taxes on them. Never hesitate to bring up these topics under the Wild Card. Well done.

Peanut Gallery (A Silver Lining)

Well, Dave, we’re all smarting from that Gonzaga loss, but I must announce that I just watched a Sandpoint boy, Jake Rosholt, win the NCAA college wrestling championship for 197-pounders.

He wrestles for Oklahoma State.

So, pass that news along for all who need a pick-me-up on this wintry day.

Marianne Love

Texas Tech 71, Gonzaga 69

Sigh, for the game story, click here; for the box score, click here; for game photos, click here.

DFO: Thanks for helping us make it through the winter, Zags. Good luck in the NBA, Ronny. Go, Lady Zags.

Question No. 2

Issue: Holocaust comments prompt apology: Washington GOP leader says remarks during stem cell debate ‘insensitive’/Rebecca Cook, AP.

DFO: Why is it that politicians have to drag Hitler and Nazism into 21st century discussions about a host of issues? The Democrats do it. The Republicans do it. It shows a basic lack of understanding of the horror of the Jewish holocaust. And an inability to think of your feet.

Question: When politicians apologize for verbal missteps, do you believe they’re sincere. Or are they trying to deflect the heat leveled at them?

Extra! Extra!

Straight from Councilman Woody McEvers’ (pictured above) fingers to your eyes:

You’s guys, it’s been a wild ride…the lease with HB has been 13 years,long before I became your guy at the city. the HB property and lease is now with a Calif. guy.. wants us out in 6 mo.Oh Yea! we have been working on a spot at Super One, Lease land, we build our own building … Finally a home no one kick us out of. maybe I’ll find some time to get a real job…if you folks need the info Iam always out there trying to make it better.


DFO: For breakfast, Woody, it’s hard to beat your place; thanks for the terrific service over the years on Sherman Avenue and now up in Hayden. I hope everything goes well for you re: the attempt to construct your own building. BTW, What’s “HB,” Woody? Hagadone …


You know some days, you just want to stop and step off the earth for a few moments. … or hour. … Today is one of those days. First, we have the Terri Schiavo (pictured) thing and then I just got this in my email from a news site I get … Police: Sex Offender Confesses To Killing Missing Florida Girl. The home where John Evander Couey, 46, a registered sex offender, stayed in Florida, has been cordoned off by police.

My God, is what my heart is saying. Did the grandparents know there was a sex offender across the street from them? Putting ones child to bed, what do we have to have..bars on our windows to keep the world out? This is definitely a day of shame…

DFO: Bingo.

Inside Huckleberries (3/18/05)

5:47 p.m. Barry Rosenberg of the KEA told me today in the office that he’s considering my request to start a blog. I’ve been dying to get one of you local greenies blogging. The blogosphere is where it’s at, folks. And I desperately need a green voice on my blogroll.

5:13 p.m. Blog numbers through midweek: 3226 Monday, 3178 Tuesday and 2841 Wednesday. The number on Thursday should be around 3000, too. Thanks for your support.

3:30 p.m. I discovered the identity of one of Huckleberries anonymous bloggers via a mutual friend, which is going to make postings from Arpie more enjoyable in the future. You’re secret’s safe with me. Right, Bard?

1:30 p.m. Another expatriate who once lived in Spokane has added a link to Huckleberries on his blog. Texan Rich Glasgow does the honors this time via his blog, Is It Rich, here. (Note to bloggers: the best way to show your appreciation for another blog is to add a link to it on your blogrolls.)

11:12 p.m. Cis sez I may have been too hasty: I don’t know Dave, I thought the 3 did a great job and it was late at night. One could jump in any time they wanted to. I did twice. Once about the subject and once not. They didn’t seem to be bothered by it and I wasn’t offended by them not remarking on it. They had a lot better subject going. And I enjoyed reading. Penalty: 5 yards against Blogmeister?

8:30 p.m. Caution: Any Mouse, Side Note and Mike Kennedy tangled for quite awhile last night re: abortion. It was entertaining in that two Catholics were scrapping and that it was a three-way. But it dominated the blog for quite awhile. Dunno if others were chased off. Boys, you gotta remember that old hippie lament: Don’t bogart the blog, my friends; pass it over to others again. Status: Minor violation. BTW, fueled by the three-way debate and the nationality Q, Huckleberries got a record 151 comments Thursday.

8:29 p.m. We had a dyne-oh!-discussion about our nationalities on St. Patrick’s Day yesterday. If you missed it, you can read all about it here.

The Angry Commentator blogs …

…about her close encounter with Bo Gritz, of Vietnam War and Ruby Ridge fame, here.

Terri’s feeding tube removed …

Issue: Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed: Amid action by state, federal lawmakers, judge ensures husband’s request enacted/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: You wouldn’t kill a dog this way. F’shame. This country just took a step deeper into the moral cesspool — even if Congress bails Terri out one last time. F’shame.

Question of the Day (3/18/05)

Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero and Curt Schilling participate in hearing to examine the use of steroids in baseball Thursday

Issue: Players, execs testify at hearing: Sosa, Thomas, Palmeiro say they’ve never used steroids/Barry Bloom, MLB.

DFO: I’ve quit watching pro basketball, and I’m slowly disengaging from pro football. Too many hotdogs in the first instance. Got tired of wasting Sunday afternoons in front of the TV set in the second. But I can’t abandon baseball. I love listening to the M’s while gardening in the back yard. The sport should clean up its act. But these hearings won’t chase me away from Dave Niehaus, Fairly and the M’s.

Question: Has the steroid scandal affected your affection for Major League Baseball?

A Scene from Cis’ Great White North

I went out and got the paper at 5:30 and the drive way was wet and bare. Only the grass had a skip of snow. When I left for my walk at 6:30 we had an inch all over. On the way back from my walk, my foot prints had disappeared. And I had a little bit of energy left. So made the snow man… We have about 5 inches right now.

Cis Gors

Scott Peterson: A Limerick

Scott Peterson is enduring rejection
He’s facing his future with dejection
He’s got nothing to lose
But he’ll have to choose
Between “gas chamber” and “lethal injection”



Issue: The talk in Los Angeles is the talk of getting out: In fact, a third of the residents surveyed said they want to move away, up more than 20 percent from 2003/Daily

DFO: Forget about illegal aliens from Mexico and South America. Close Idaho’s borders from the invasion of the Southern Californians (excluding recent California transplants who read this blog, of course).

Question: How long will it take for our quality of life to be destroyed by overpopulation?

Gonzaga 74, Winthrop 64

You can find the game story here and the linescore from ESPN here.


Next time you see CDA Councilman Woody McEvers ask him if he still has a business lease with Hagadone Corp for his Rustler’s Roost in Hayden.

Random Shallow Thoughts

“A rolling stone gathers no moss but if it hits, say, a piece of plywood some skateboarder kid made a ramp out of and flies off, I’m thinking it could knock a buzzard off a meatwagon.”

Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts

DFO: Yo, Bob, I hope you’re keeping all of these for the little booklet you should produce.

Question No. 2

Since this is St. Paddy’s Day (and the first question hasn’t gotten much traction), let’s see what kinda nationalities are tuning in to Huckleberries Online. Anyone 100% anything? 50%? If you’re not half or more of anything, what nationality do you declare when people ask you? As for me, all four grandparents came from three islands in the middle of the nine-island Azores archipelago, 800 miles into the Atlantic, off the Portuguese coast: Pico, Faial, Sao Jorge. I wasn’t proud of that when I was a kid, with relatives who couldn’t speak English, but I sure am now. Your turn.

For you Irish and Catholic …

…blogger Frank Villon/Now You Know offers some useful phrases in Gaelic here and a look at St. Patrick as the first Christian poet (caution: strong Judeo-Christian content) here.

Question of the Day (3/17/05)

Issue: Citizen’s arrest attempt of Schiavo, judge: Green Beret Bo Gritz intervened in Ruby Ridge to escort family to safety/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: Bo Gritz, a controversial, decorated Vietnam War vet, did a great service to this region when he persuaded Randy Weaver to leave his cabin 12 1/2 years ago, ending the fatal standoff with the feds. He’s off the right side of the charts and has done weird things, including attempting suicide. Occasionally, however, he’s right, as in this case. You can find his statement about Schiavo here.

Question: Is Gritz grandstanding? Or has he found another noble cause and should stick his 2 cents in? And should there be a limit to how many times a person should seek his 15 minutes of fame?

St. Paddy’s Quick Fix 6

Remember Bo Gritz (shown in 1992 file photo talking to reporters during Ruby Ridge standoff), the former Green Beret who helped talk Randy Weaver down from the mountain back when? Well, he’s ba-a-a-ack. This time, he’s trying to make a citizens arrest of Terry Schiavo’s husband and the judge who might order her feeding tubes pulled. You know what they say about a broken clock? This guy might be a crackpot, but he’s right occasionally. For the whole story, click here. (Meanwhile, Congress is getting involved in the case here, and money is evaporating from Terri’s bank account here.)

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Illegal aliens), Timothy Kelly (The French), and Robert Airail (Signs of spring).

2. Humor Fix: There’s a congressional committee now investigating steroid use in Major League Baseball and so far they have subpoenaed a bunch of folks to testify about the use of steroids — Jason Giambi, subpoenaed; Sammy Sosa, subpoenaed; Curt Schilling, subpoenaed; Janet Reno, subpoenaed — David Letterman.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Congress chides baseball over steroids here, Caviezel recommends tamer ‘Passion’ here, Atkins diet company falling on lean times here, Sharks keep beach empty again here, and Oil hits new high of $57+ here.

5. ANWR Fix: The National Center for Policy Analysis sez the Senate vote to approve drilling in the Arctic National Wilderness Region is a big step toward energy independence here.

6. In My Humble Opinion Fix: Fred Kaplan/Slate (Paul Wolfowitz), Dick Morris/NY Post (Schwarzenegger revolution), Andrew McCarthy/National Review (Terri Schiavo), Catherine Seipp/Cathy’s World (Maureen Dowd ad nauseum), and Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (Condi Rice).


Issue: Sanders homeowners counter-file: Lawyer motions for public beach line at normal summer level/Mike McLean, CDA Press.

DFO: I like attorney Scott Reed’s idea to resolve the ungoing battle with the homeowners. Give them the beach above 2128 and then draw the lake down to 2121, so beachcombers can use the 50 to 60 feet below their beach.

Question: Do you have a creative way to resolve the ongoing hassle between the hypertense East Lakeshore Drive homeowners and beach users?

Best of the Local Blogs (3/16/05)

*UI soph Henry Johnston/My 2 Cents explains why he feels called to become a mortician someday here.

*Channeling Diedre and tongue firmly cheeked, Cathy Kooy/Kick Shoe Kooy provides her 10 top tips for parenting children here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour sings the praises of Schwan’s delivery here.

*Rupert Boneham of “Survivor” fame is coming to Spokane for a car show, and Phil Corless/Old Goat Trail admits he’d like to get a picture with him here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps provides a handful of useful online links to reference material for bloggers, including the First Amendment Handbook, here.

Inside Huckleberries (3/16/05)

4:10 p.m. Dave Tolle has a legit beef. Some of you commenters are writing too long. In doing so, you’re filling up the space allotted the new comments feature and crowding others out. As in letters to the editor, the shorter the better. I’ll be hunting blogapatumases as well as blog trolls and moonbats to get things under control again ASAP. Be careful out there.

1:38 p.m. Looks like Huckleberries Online has attracted a coupla blog trolls. Yo, Richard Popeson or whoever you are, I like limericks. But I don’t like limericks that call people names or use bathroom humor. You’re welcome to comment as much as you like. But this type of nonsense will ultimately force me to require registration. I’ve zapped 5 of your limericks. You have a touch for the rhyme. But keep it between the lines.

1:29 p.m. I’m ba-a-a-ack. And I see you Munchkins have been busy. 30 comments already under the Question of the Day already. Nothing sez you like the new “comments” feature more than that. Give me about 30 minutes to put together Best of the Northwest.

9:29 a.m. JoAnne Stebbins and Phil Corless have turned in their home work assignment re: best blogs on the other side of the border. More. More. More.

9:26 a.m. The blog numbers continue to be staggering. Huckleberries Online opened the week with 3226 pageviews on Monday. (Weekend totals: 2490 & 1967, when I’m not actively blogging.) Shazam. Thanks.

7:43 a.m. Don’t forget your assignment, boys and girls: I’d like to know which are the 3-5 best blogs from Eastern Washington. Don’t put Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being on the list because he’s an honorary North Idahoan. I’m going to start a Washington blog roll. So far, JoAnne Stebbins is the only one to turn in her homework.

Question No. 2

Issue: Turiaf trusts pups: Senior sees no need to advise young teammates/Steve Bergum, SR.

DFO: I don’t want to look ahead, but Wake Forest could stand between Gonzaga and a return date with Washington in an Elite Eight game to decide who reaches the Final Four.

Question: Who’s going to go further in the NCAA basketball tournament: Gonzaga or Washington?

Gotta Run

I have to go to the Death Star, er, our Spokane office, for an editorial board meeting, so I’ll leave you with a little something to amuse yourselves (both D’s, R’s and, dang, even Libertarians). Ever wanted to give Dubya a makeover? Click here.

SR Morning Headlines (3/16/05)

*Senate OKs bill on field burning: Measure defines ‘economically viable alternative’ to practice/Josh Wright, SR — I have mixed emotions on field burning because the farmers offer so much to our quality of life 50 of 52 weeks of the year. But I can’t see how someone in the path of the smoke, north of Rathdrum, can vote for this bill. Yo, Sen. Joyce Broadsword (pictured), what were you thinking?

*Chase a chance to outrun sorrows: Fans making up for lost time on game trail/Jamie Neely & Becky Nappi, SR — Neely and Nappi found a reason to play hooky from work, and the boss bankrolled them. America, whatta country.

*Defaced sign unites Spokane church: Vandalism discovered amid other incidents/Virginia de Leon, SR — Why isn’t this being investigated as a hate crime? Imagine if the target was a religious building of some faith other than Christian. Oh well, it brings more attention to the event.

*Legislators kill property-tax bills: Instead, a committee will take closer look at reform/Betsy Russell, SR — Why does House Speaker Bruce Newcomb allow Dolores Crow to chair the House Rev & Tax Committee? She’s a single-woman wrecking crew for things that are important to North Idaho.

*Spokane bridge should be open by Halloween: Monroe span under repair/Amy Cannata, SR — I’ll believe it when I see it.

Is the Swing Shift enjoying itself with the new feature?

I have a bunch of stuff to do, so I don’t think I can answer your comments tonight. But I hope you’re enjoying the new comments feature. I notice there are almost 30 postings after 6 tonight. That’s a good sign. Any confusion on how to use it?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time (3/15/05)

*Gay marriage ruling galvanizes both sides: Decision by a California court allowing gay unions reflects a judiciary moving in one direction and legislatures in another/Alexandra Marks, Christian Science Monitor — State after state votes overwhelmingly against gay marriage, and a philosopher king tries to force his will on the vox populi anyway. Impeach him.

*Informers betrayed Chechen leader for $10m, Russia says/Andrew Osborne, The Independent — With friends like those, it’s hard to win a revolution.

*Lawmakers move to spare Schiavo: Reach deal in Florida Legislature to vote on bill as deadline looms/WorldNetDaily — What did Terri ever do to tick her old man off enough that he wants her dead so badly?

*Nichols faces 4 murder charges: Surrounded by 19 officers in cinder-block jail room/Associated Press — Give him a fair trial, and then hang ‘im.

*Harvard Faculty Approves Summers No-Confidence Motion: Said women may lack aptitude to excel in science and engineering/ — I’m surprised the secret vote was so close, 218-185. The PC Police obviously don’t have a supermajority at Harvard.

Best of the Local Blogs

Jim Tibbs of Grants Pass, Ore., is beginning to get some side work cartooning as a result of his ‘toons appearing in North Idaho blogs. He’s Marianne Love’s little brother.

*Cis/From A Simple Mind explains why gals should always have a partner when taking on a home improvement job here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour sees the “developer dirt” beginning to cover what was her old stomping grounds here.

*”Don’t cry over spilled milk unless a very litigious neighbor trips on your mess and seems to be having soft tissue injuries as a result” — Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts. And “Before the Kiss A Question” (great stuff but beware of one F-bomb) here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps warns Kootenai County homebuyers to ask about Radon exposure before plunking down earnest money here.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense discusses losing a loved one here.

Despite the best effort of Sen. Shawn Keough …

…the Senate passed a bill, 19-15, that should give Rathdrum Prairie field burners breathing room, but not anyone north of them here.

Stop the Presses!

I’ve mentioned to a coupla you about installing a new feature that will allow you to see the latest comments. Well, check out the “comments” feature below my “About DFO” box to the right. If you click on “Read recent posts,” you’ll find the latest comment working down. And you can comment on those comments by clicking on the title of the item and then scrolling down to the appropriate box at the bottom. It’s a little risky. But we’re forging ahead. Let me know what you think.

Best of the Northwest (3/15/05)

Beginning today, I’m will try to run at least one link to the Seattle Mariners. Hey, the pennant runs of a few years back reveal that most of us can agree on our love for the M’s. So, let’s begin with Blaine Newnham’s column on the underappreciated Randy Winn (pictured above) here, Joel Pineiro’s shoulder problems here, and the M’s believe you never can have too many options at shortstop here.

1. David Horsey/PI doodles the whine of the automaker here.

2. “Imagine Sandpoint” results are in and — surprise! — the community believes the area’s natural beauty is central to the city’s character and appeal as a place to live. That and 31 other questions are part of the survey you can find (have to click on secondary link) here.

3. Phil Cooper, dept of F&G, told Kootenai Valley News subscribers about the mountain bluebird, Idaho’s state bird, which is back after a mild winter here.

4. Last time Montana coach Larry Krystowiak faced the Washington Huskies, he was involved in a brawl and a win. In fact, Krysto is 2-0 against the No. 1 seed that his Griz will face Thursday in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament at Boise here.

5. Nampans are raising money for a proper memorial to a city policeman killed more than 70 years ago — the only one to die in the line of duty here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Levesque/PI (Zags one up on Washington),
Art Thiel/PI (Good news for Huskies), Idaho Statesman (Closing ethics loopholes), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Irish eyes not smiling), and Paul Buchanan/Oregonian (Workplace romance reality).

*You can find printable March Madness ballots for both the men and the women here.

*The tally of mishandled King County votes grows here.

*Editor Frum Helen Back is back online after accidentally deleting the Hauser Times here.


Our legislators and their flunkies
are more laughs than barrels of monkeys;
but speaking frankly, heart to heart,
I fear they may not be as smart.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

DFO: The Bard was inspired by today’s Question of the Day. In photo above, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Washington, whom I believe is pretty sharp, stands on the U.S. Capital Building steps with her father, Wayne.

Quick Fix 6 (3/15/05)

Tell me where you’ve heard something like this before: “A former North Carolina dentist accused of using syringes to squirt semen into the mouths of female patients was charged Monday with multiple misdemeanor counts of assault on a female,” according to of Central Florida here. Book ‘em, Dan-o.

APhoto Fix: Bernard Ebbers, 63, exits a federal courthouse with his wife Kristie in New York today. Bernard Ebbers, who built WorldCom from a humble Mississippi long-distance firm into a telecommunications titan, was convicted Tuesday of engineering the colossal accounting fraud that sank the company. See Top of the News Fix.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Michael Jackson jury), Chuck Asay (Terri Schiavo), and Gary Varvel (Book reading).

2. Humor Fix: Dubya & Co. let there hair down at the annual Gridiron Dinner, hosted by Washington’s media elite Saturday. Example: “We have to fix it or Rumsfeld may never retire.” Click here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: US charges 18 after arms smuggling sting here, Dallas gunman kills 3 from sunroof here, WorldCom’s Ebbers convicted of all charges here, California ruling sets up gay marriage fight here, and Anthrax detected at mailroom here.

5. Yearning to be Free Fix: In the last four months, six Muslim women living in the Berlin area have been brutally murdered by family members. Their crime? They yearned to be free to live a Western lifestyle here.

6. Opinion Fix: Paul Campos/Rocky Mountain News (Ward Churchill buyout), David Brooks/NY Times (Social Security reform DOA), David Limbaugh/Creators Syndicate (Prayers for Terri), Chuck Colson/Break Point (Understanding Evangelical voters), and Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (Condoleezza Rice).

Best of the Local Blogs

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, which is a good thing because a world where the laws of gravity aren’t followed is a world i’m scared to live inBob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

*No one tops The Angry Commentator’s graphics. Don’t open the current one at the top of her blog before dinner. I’m posting it because she and I share the same pet peeve here.

*If you don’t know what “Sunshine Week” is, don’t worry. Neither did I. And I should. Bill McCrory/Whitecaps tells you why it may be one of the most important weeks of the year here.

*Sounds like Bayview Herb/Bay Views suffered a computer meltdown a la Frum Helen Back here.

*CDADave fights cabin fever here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides a delightful reminiscence about an old neighbor named Dusty here.

Michael Jackson: A Thought

The morning question is: If Michael Jackson upsets the Court? Does he go to an Adult or a Juvenile Detention Center?

Gary Cuff

DFO: How about the nursery?

Q & A

Duffer: If we’re on you’re blog and go to one of your links, when we come back does that count as a second visit? Just curious…(BTW, I probably account for at least 1% of your daily hits. Just wait until the weather warms up some more though. ;~)

DFO: Nope. Each time you open Huckleberries counts as one pageview. Clicking around the different items doesn’t. However, if you check in morning, noon and night. You’d be counted as three pageviews. It’s hard to tell exactly how many folks are reading because some obviously hit the site several times a day while others might go a week without checking in. I do know, however, that the number of readers is growing. (BTW, you can always check in after a day of golfing.)

Question of the Day (3/14/05)

Issue: Washington Post editor: U.S. ‘should not lead world’: Also claims little evidence to show Bush promoting democracy/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: We can’t be all things to all the people of the world. But we should be involved, on a case by case basis, in tipping countries away from tyranny toward democracy. That’s good foreign policy. However, Job No. 1 is to see that things are well on the home front, too.

Question: What role should the US play in foreign affairs, proactive or reactive?

Peanut Gallery (Front Teeth for All campaign)

While we were gearing up to raise funds for Tom Greene’s front teeth, he was getting them fixed.

Hi Dave,

I appreciate the kind words of support from everybody. But, I got me some teef last week and I’m doing all right. So, please don’t send money or anything like that. The folks at The Press have been great as well and I’ve been amazed at how many offers I’ve had from people wanting to chip in. It’s all taken care of now, but thanks.

Tom Greene
Coeur d’Alene Press reporter

DFO: Ah, Tom, next time you see 6 guys beating up on one, call the cops.

SR Morning Headlines (3/14/05)

*Drug court investigation broadened: Kootenai County commissioners request program’s internal correspondence/Erica Curless, SR — There’s blood in the water, and the shark’s are circling. Prosecutor Bill Douglas (pictured above releasing the findings in the December police shooting of a Hayden man) denies any personal impropriety and laughs at the talk of his possible resignation. Keep your eyes on this one.

*Few furious with committee for not selecting Gonzaga’s women’s team/John Blanchette, SR — You can always count on the NCAA selection committee to have its head where the sun don’t shine when it comes to Inland Northwest teams. Ask Eastern Washington. Now, Gonzaga’s gals.

*Search for Inner Zag starts with the right outfit/Jamie Neely and Rebecca Nappi, SR — Two of my favorite co-workers at the office. But I didn’t know there was a such thing as an “inner Zag” and I’ve never heard shopping uttered in the same breath as March Madness and Zag b-ball.

*Home sweet home: Valley soldier always reported for dad duty/Tom Lutey, SR — Another hero comes back in one piece.

*Local clinic, dentists try to ease area’s pain: Vouchers to provide low-cost dental treatment/Cynthia Taggart, SR — Tags does what she does best — shines a spotlight on those who are making a difference in the area by helping the less fortunate get by.

Quick Fix 6 (3/14/05)

If you think the national media were tougher on George Bush than John Kerry during the recent prez election, you aren’t being paranoid. And now Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has the numbers to prove it. 36% of the stories about Dubya were negative as compared to 12% of the ones about Kerry. Reuters presents the story here.

APhoto Fix: Thousands of Lebanese opposition protesters gather during a demonstration in Martyrs Square, central Beirut, Lebanon, Monday. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people answered an opposition call for a massive protest to demand a full Syrian troop withdrawal, resignations of security chiefs and an international investigation into the death of former Premier Rafik Hariri.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Henry Payne (10 Commandments), Gary Varvel (Dan Rather’s farewell), and Jeff Parker (Minimum wages).

2. Humor Fix: Hillary Clinton said today that she wants legislation to allow all ex-felons to vote. See, this way all the Clinton’s former business partners can vote for her in 2008Jay Leno.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Hundreds of thousands rally in Beirut here, Washington Post editor: US should not lead the world here, Report: US aviation has security holes here, Army revised rules for women here, and UN reaches out to win back middle America here.

5. Ten Commandment Fix: While our philosopher kings on the Supreme Court decide the fate of public displays of the 10C’s, Janey B. Cheaney/World mag argues that it’s better to write the commandments on your heart than a wall here. And Texas AG Greg Abbott tells Marvin Olasky/World mag how to defend 10C displays here.

6. In My Humble Opinion Fix: Robert Novak/Chicago Sun-Times (A conservative at the UN), Gale Norton/Dept of Interior (Common sense on drilling in ANWR), Cathy Young/Boston Globe (Tyranny of the minority), John Leo/Universal Press Syndicate (What wage gap?), and Jeffrey Goldberg/The New Yorker (The fighting Democrats).

Another thought

I’ve been noodling something re: buzz words. I don’t mean to pick on Any Mouse or Side Note. But, hey, they’re anonymous, Side Note more than Any Mouse. Both have used buzz words in the last coupla days: “government schools” for Any Mouse and “fundamentalist” for Side Note. Mike Kennedy, I believe, called Any Mouse on the tactic. Buzz words are one part derogatory and two parts condescending. Political partisans love them.

By using “government” as an adjective for schools, for example, Any Mouse transforms what many consider to be a valuable institution into something akin to USSR education.

Side Note will argue correctly that fundamentalism is a conservative religious movement with roots dating back 80 or 90 years. At one time, I believe, it described folks who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and embraced 5 or 6 principles along that line. Today, fundamentalism has lost its meaning, other than to be a pejorative describing uneducated rubes who believe in creation over evolution, like I do. But it’s still brandished by those who would have you believe that a radical Muslim is little different than a fundamentalist Christian.

Bottom line? I stop reading when someone uses a term like fundamentalist to write off a large section of Christianity. And I almost stop reading (although I’m more sympathetic) when someone uses “government” to describe a public school. Pro-choicers call the other side anti-life. Pro-lifers call the other side pro-aborts. It takes away from the argument, I believe. And isn’t the point of debating … to be heard?


Ah’m Your Huckleberry

As I mentioned in the postscript section to one of Mike Kennedy’s recent comments, Anna (Patty Duke) Pearce, Mike’s Aunt, attended the “Seussical” play at Lake City High tonight. Why am I telling you this? Well, after the play was over, LCHS drama adviser Sandi Seaton and the cast drew raffle tickets for a series of 10 prizes. Midway through, someone named Patano (Sandi? Mike? Etc?) won two prizes in a row, which surprised the crowd. Then, from 6 or 7 rows back, a familiar voice could be heard, saying: “One Patano, two Patano …” Yep, it was our favorite actress, which delighted those who’d stuck around. Quite a lady.

RE: Anonymous Commenters

I’ve been kicking something around since I had the problem last week with the anonymous commenter who identified himself as “Mad Milton” — mandatory identification. I don’t mean requiring individuals to identify themselves on the blog site to comment. Some of you flat can’t, given your positions in the community. I don’t mind that. But I want to know who your are.

Initially, I was going to go with that rule. But dropped it because everything was going fine. Then, Milton popped out of the pack with his attitude. And Side Note is showing the same tendency. S/he made a crack at me this morning re: my religious standing that puts her/him on thin ice. I’m not doing this to become a pincushion for guys with a beef.

I need your advice on this one. Should I require anonymous commenters to let me know who they are (which tends to cut down on nasty comments)? Or should I keep doing what I’m doing now? And booting off the occasional crank? I know who most of the anonymous commenters are. And I keep that knowledge in my head — not on paper. It’s a sacred trust to protect their identities. Let me know what you think?


Issue: Failed doctor-assisted suicide probed: Oregon pharmacy board wants to know why man with lung cancer didn’t die/KOIN-TV, Portland.

DFO: Oregon has put the country on a slippery slope by embracing suicide.

Question: Should Idaho and Washington follow suit?

Inside Huckleberries (3/11/05)

5:52 p.m. Don’t have time for National Headlines tonight. (Did I ever mention that I actually write in the SR for a living and this is my avocation?) Gotta get ready for “Seussical” at Lake City High tonight. (Dunno why my wife enjoys telling me that I get a senior discount from drama adviser Sandy Seaton.) I’ll post questions before I go, though.

4 p.m. Huckleberries blog numbers have been running great this week. I missed by only 16 on Tuesday with scoring four straight weekdays of 2000 or more, including 2568 on Wednesday. Thanks for your support.

2:33 p.m. From the CDA chamber: “Requests for visitor packets and hits on our web site spiked after Coeur d’Alene was named as the number one up and coming place to live on the View television show. The day prior to our exposure we sent out 21 visitor packets. The day of the show saw 345 requests some into our office. Similarly web site hits went from an average of 19,000 to over 77,000. Once again, Coeur d’Alene has been discovered!” (DFO: Shhh!)

2:04 p.m. From New York City, Scott Sala/Slant Point e-mails: “I saw a link to your blog from Michelle Malkin regarding the semen brownies…I grew up in Spokane (now Spokane Valley), went to U-High, Wazzu, etc. Now living in NYC for 12 years running…Nice to oddly come across a great blog from my home town. Keep up the great work. I’ll try to peek in occassionally.”

1:30 p.m. The Huckleberries Online links to the police report re: Browniegate have been picked up on Michelle Malkin’s national blog (scroll down a little) here.

12:32 p.m. I honestly pity any drama lover who doesn’t have a ticket to the last two nights of “Seussical” at Lake City High. (And this isn’t a shameless promotion because I’d bet it’s close to being sold out.) No one does high school drama like director Blair Bybee/Sandra Seaton. Kelly Richards of Concerned Business saw e-mails: “‘Seussical’ was fantastic last night!”

8:28 a.m. I’m not surprised that the other paper in town has a gushing story about Coeur d’Alene’s cameo appearance on ABC’s “The View” Thursday morning here. Brand X loves that kind of stuff that brings people to town to crowd locals off the beaches and waterways. But I am surprised that other locals loved it. I thought the 1:20 minute piece was amateurish and didn’t show Lake City off that well.

‘Ancient Mariner & the Fuel Depot

Words from many years ago
should give us pause to think:
“Water, water everywhere,
nor any drop to drink.”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Best of the Northwest (3/11/05)

Some like the idea of putting a state university in Spokane, but CEO Gary Livingston of Community Colleges of Spokane doesn’t. He believes Spokane should work with EWU at Cheney and WSU at Pullman to find niches it can fill, according to Paula Silinger/The Easterner, here.

Photo: American Indian activist Gary Fox leads three hundred people in a march to the beat of his drum during a rally for Ward Churchill and free speech at Eastern Washington University Thursday afternoon. Churchill has been reinvited by EWU’s Native American Student Association to speak on campus on April 5. Holly Pickett/SR.

1. David Horsey/PI makes a good point about some “compassionate conservatives” here.

2. For about $2,000 per year, Boise State Broncos fans will be able to drink beer, wine and liquor while they watch college football at Bronco Stadium as soon as 2008, according to The Idaho Statesman, here.

3. WSU footballer Kevin J. McCall Jr. was to appear in court today to answer charges in a third-degree rape case here.

4. The UI Argonaut offers mostly tongue-in-cheek advice to students on how to get the most out of spring break here.

5. Fallen Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher lost $37.7 million as a result of an officer affair with another executive here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (“Gunner Palace” documentary), Susan Paynter/PI (, Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Boeing’s puzzling firing), David Yaden/Northwest Enviromental Watch (Revisiting energy saboteur Poulin), and The Olympian (Leave smoking bans to voters).

*Mother Nature claims another Idaho ski resort here.

*Boise State’s stunning upset of top-seeded Nevada in the WAC tournament is reported here.

*Chuck Winder, a former Boise mayor wannabe, is about to name names in the smear campaign against him here.

Police Report — from semen-coated brownie caper

You’ve read about it in The Spokesman-Review here. You’ve rhymed about it in Huckleberries Online here. Now, be the first on your Web server to read the complete Coeur d’Alene Police Department report on the semen-coated brownie caper at Coeur d’Alene High School here.

Quick Fix 6 (3/11/05)

According to news: “A Fulton County judge, a sheriff’s deputy and a court reporter were fatally wounded and another deputy shot Friday at the courthouse before the suspect fled from the scene and carjacked a motorist.” For the rest of the story, click here.

APhoto: Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes was gunned down in his Atlanta courtroom this morning, along with a female court reporter and a sheriff’s deputy. The killer is still at large.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Dan Rather), Wayne Stayskal (CNN liquor ads), and Mike Luckovich (Michael Jackson).

2. Humor Fix: “There’s already speculation that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee for the Democrats in 2008. Well, you have to admire the dedication of the Democratic party. They just lost an election, and they’re already hard at work planning to lose the next one” — Bill Maher.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Gates heads list of world’s wealthiest here and here, Schools to get SpongeBob tolerance video here, Friends fear Jackson will commit suicide here, Evangelicals lobby Congress on responsibility here, and Americans don’t know words to Star Spangled Banner here.

5. Pro-Life Demo Fix: Abortion supporters aren’t happy with Demo leaders who are backing two pro-lifers for U.S. Senate runs, Pennsylvania state Treasurer Bob Casey and Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin. In fact, they’re fuming. Click here.

6. Opinion Fix: Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Arab spring: Bush was right), Mona Charen/Creators Syndicate (ACLU jihad against God), Mike S. Adams/ (Out-of-step Gonzaga), Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (John Bolton’s nomination), and Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Mel Gibson, feminist).


Issue: 30-year mortgage rates hit seven-month high Freddie Mac: Increase reflects four straight weeks of rising rates.

DFO: I’m glad I’m not buying my first home today in Coeur d’Alene. And my house is almost paid for.

Question: When he was pitching his memorial garden idea to the SR Editorial Board, Duane Hagadone said the housing boom can’t go on forever here. That a downturn has to be coming. When?

Best of the Local Blogs

In my zen garden of life, I’m always trying to figure out how to rake around what the cat leaves in the sandBob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour has a wonderful column about the kids she’s taught who are now making their mark in North Idaho (ML, the link to your son’s writing doesn’t work) here.

*Jeffrey/One Voice praises the value of a stay-at-home mother here.

*The title sez all you need to know about Bob Salsbury’s latest posting: “Things to Blog About When your Comments are Running Low and You Want some Feedback” here.

*Cis/From A Simple Mind talks about her one encounter with the late Harry Truman of Mount St. Helens and Social Security 101 here.

*Patrick/Making Flippy Floppy provides a thumbs up review of the Noodle Express here.

Huckleberries hears that …

The Duane holds Mayor Sandi Bloem to blame for his failure to win approval for a memorial garden downtown and will do what he can to thwart her re-election bid this fall. Also, that the memorial garden idea hasn’t gone away. The Duane will be working under the radar, via allies in the community, to soften resistance to closing 2 or 3 downtown streets for the garden. And then begin pursuing the matter after the muncipal elections in November, particularly if he can defeat Her Sandiness and get new councilmen who will favor his project. Stay tuned.


(to the tune of Oscar Meyer’s jingle)

My brownies have a special taste,
I really love to say;
They contain a special ingredient,
It’s someone’s DNA

JoAnne Stebbins/The Angry Commentator

DFO: You can find almost all you wanted to know about Browniegate but were afraid to ask here.

Best of the Northwest (3/10/05)

“My addiction to Internet pornography lasted about six years. Besides viewing it online, I took it a step further and saved images to my computer’s hard drive; thousands of them. During that time I must have lost all reason and sensibility” — former publisher Dennis Nicholls discussing his addiction in the lates issue of The River Journal here (and click on headline: “Addiction, Friends and Freedom”).

APhoto: A copy of Sandpoint Magazine, autographed by Viggo Mortenson of “Lord of the Rings” fame is selling for big bucks, according to Sandpoint Online (No. 5 below). Psst. The price may be up to $330 now.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times targets the ACLU’s incessant whining about the 10C’s here.

2. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire declared a statewide drought emergency today here.

3. Dave Turner/Coeur d’Alene press documents an interesting situation brewing at the courthouse involving former sheriff’s Capt. Sam Grubbs, who was appointed to be the next juvie baby-sitter without the district court’s OK, here.

4. Manetta Schrite, an Idaho orginal according to Tim Woodward/Statesman, died last week after rolling her car and trying to refuse to go to the hospital here.

5. Sandpoint Online reports on the Panida Theatre fundraiser that includes a signed copy of Sandpoint Magazine by movie star Viggo Mortenson here.

6. IMHO-NW: Kefi Lewis/Daily Evergreen (Dating your professor), Bill Virgin/PI (Businesses get by on dumb luck), Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette (Biking Coeur d’Alenes trail), Sandy Compton/The River Journal (Turmoil at the Panida Theatre, click on “The Scenic Route”), and Idaho Mountain Express (Fights ruining amateur hockey).

*Femme fatale of ex-CEO Harry Stonecipher’s downfall now under microscope at Boeing here.

*The election was close, but you shouldn’t expect a recount before Isaac Wells assumes office as the next WSU student body prez here.

*Idaho Education board to consider BSU training facility, alcohol sales here.

*David Morriss, BSU student body prez, was removed by the Student Senate shortly before his term was to expire here.

Semen-frosted Brownies land CHS …

on The Drudge Report here (check left column) and The Associated Press here. Principal Steve Casey must be so proud. (You can find Taryn Brodwater’s original story here.)

Quick Fix 6 (3/10/05)

A judge has issued a bench warrant for Michael Jackson’s arrest because he did not show up for trial this morning here.

APhoto Fix: FBI Special Agent James Finch talks at a news conference this morning at the West Allis, Wis., police department. A man Chicago police identified as Bart Ross of Chicago shot and killed himself after being pulled over by West Allis police Wednesday. Evidence in his vehicle links him to the slaying of the husband and mother of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow in Chicago last week. See No. 4 below.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Ward Churchill), Larry Wright (Gas prices), and Gary Varvel (Social Security).

2. Humor Fix: The authorities are insisting that Martha wear an electronic ankle bracelet to track her whereabouts. Why? She’s getting a TV show, she’s on a TV show, she’s on the news 24 hours a day, track her whereabouts? We can’t get rid of her!Jay Leno.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Report: Suicide linked to Chicago slayings here, Bill Clinton checks into NYC hospital here, Gunmen kill 2 Iraqi police chiefs here, Forida agency, legislators move to save Schiavo here, and Rather bids ‘good night’ with message of gratitude here.

5. Have It All? Fix: In Britain, 61% of the 29ish women polled about their lives said they’d love to eschew the “domestic goddess” role forced on them by feminists and embrace an Ozzie and Harriett lifestyle instead here.

6. Opinion Fix: Thomas Friedman/NY Times (Beirut tea party), Bret Stephens/The Australian (Media quagmire), Pia de Solenni/Family Research Center (Improving women’s lives), Marvin Olasky/World magazine (Baseball under siege), and Ann Coulter/ (Come back, liberals).

Headlines @ Closin’ Time

*Pentagon: Saddam capture not fabricated by military: Saudi newspaper interviews ‘former Marine’ who says troops didn’t catch Hussein in hole/WorldNetDaily — Hey, call it a photo op.

*CBS station scraps poll on airing Rather tribute: 63% of viewers voted against show before affiliate yanks online survey/WorldNetDaily — Don’t go away mad, Dan, just …

*Canada Smelter Blamed for Lake Roosevelt’s Pollution: Teck Cominco thumbs nose at EPA/Earthlink News — And the self-righteous Canucks get on our case for being uncivilized. Sweet P’s to John Rook for bringing this one to my attention.

*Hackers gain access to 32,000 personal files: Database owned by Lexis Nexis breached, addresses, other info spied/Associated Press — It’s getting harder and harder to sleep at night knowing these worms are trying to break the codes to our personal info. Damn ‘em.

*Hillary decries media sex, violence: Says parents, government need to scrutinize better what kids watch, play/Associated Press — Dang right-wing religious fanatic.

A growing list of newspapers are saying …

…Dubya may have been right about Iraq here.

Dunno how I missed this one …

Marc Stewart of Spokane Journal of Business wrote about all those ha-huge second homes going up around Kootenai County here.

Question of the Day

Issue: Teenager facing charges for prank: 17-year-old allegedly masturbated on brownies, sent them to fellow CdA student/Taryn Brodwater, SR.

DFO: Dumbest thing I ever did was forcing twin freshman boys to steal the German Club’s Christmas tree. And then giving it to a friend’s grandma. And then writing an editorial about the low-down kids who stole the Christmas tree for the high school newspaper.

Question: What’s the dumbest thing you ever did as a kid?

How Cis became a blogger

The following was written by Cis Gors to Marianne Love/Slight Detour re: her path into the blogosphere:

Being I add things to Dave Oliveria’s blog from time to time, he suggested a couple months ago, that I start my own. I replied to him, that I was too lazy and didn’t have enough to write about. And left it at that. I check in on different blogs and your quite often, because you are local and I like your books. Well, Sat. night I was reading your blog and saw up on the top corner… make your own blog. Now, I usually have to have my daughter sit down and help me thru directions, when it comes to computers. But it was late and I was feeling daring. So I figured, I could just look and see what it entails. See if I had the intelligence to start one, even though I still don’t know if I can find words to fill it on a regular basis. But what the heck I can look. Well, there were the magic words… easy as 1…2…3 and free. Well, I can just look. Next thing I am filling out the slots. Name, what name, well, long and short of it… From a Simple Mind and the person name is Word Tosser. (because that is what I told Dave I was, not a blog writer). So this is all your fault, Marianne. Got to blame it on someone, I can always plead temporary insanity.

Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind

Best of the Northwest (3/9/05)

One major lesson to be learned from the firing of Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher (pictured), 68, is this: The e-mails you send from work are not private. That, and — if you’re going to have an affair with a co-worker, don’t send torrid e-mails over the company system. Bill McCrory/Whitecaps sends a link to a Seattle PI story discussing the rules of engagement with the company e-mail system here. And the paper IDs his 48-year-old lover here.

1. Doesn’t look as though Eric Devericks/Seattle Times was a Dan Rather fan here.

2. WSU prez V. Lane Rawlins discusses demands from student reps in the wake of campus disturbances re: discrimination against minorities here.

3. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng is moving to revoke the voter registration of 99 felons believed to have cast votes illegally in the Washington gubernatorial election here.

4. The Idaho Farm Bureau is fighting a lonely battle as it tries to stop the historic Nez Perce water agreement, according to columnist Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman, here.

5. Tell me where you’ve heard this one before — the city of Meridian, Idaho, is looking for a sense of identity as it eyes revitalizing downtown here.

6. IMHO-NW: Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (L’Affaire Boeing), Blaine Newnham/Seattle Times (New M Adrian Beltre), Richard Stallings & Larry LaRocco/Idaho Statesman (Idaho Democrats), Art Thiel/PI (Rick Neuheisel settlement), and Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (7th-grader wiser than elders).

*Shoppers will witness the end of an era Sunday when regional brand stores become Macys here.

*Candidates are lining up to replace defrocked ex-Idaho state senator Jack Noble of Kuna here.

*The final W.R. Grace Co. exec to be indicted last month was arraigned in Missoula federal court here.

Quick Fix 6 (3/9/05)

From CBS News: CBS News will mark the end of Dan Rather’s 24 years as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with a one-hour primetime CBS News special. The program, “Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers,” will be broadcast at 8 tonight ET/PT.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Novak (Allied checkpoints), Wayne Stayskal (Baseball steroids), and Kevin Tuma (Academy Award values).

2. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman/Political Humor provides Dan Ratherisms from the last three general election nights here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Ex-PM: Hezbollah rally in Beirut massive hoax here, Global caution urged for US travelers here, UN urges ban on cloning here, Oregon weighs tax on mileage here, and Senate gains victory on abortion vote here.

5. Dan Rather Fix: Jim Geraghty/National Review contends that Dan Rather’s tenure parallels “CBS News” long decent into irrelevancy here.

6. Opinion Fix: Michelle Malkin/Creators Syndicate (Ransom of red reporter), Ryan Zempel/ (Loving gays as Jesus would), Claudia Rosett/Wall Street Journal (Will Vietnam be next Iraq?), James J. Na/Discovery Institute (A true Iraqi martyr), and Myrna Blythe/National Review (Martha’s extreme makeover).

Best of the Local Blogs

*Huckleberries Hound enjoyed Bearable Bob’s “An Imaginery Conversation with ‘My Woman’” today, but we’re going with: “How to taunt a neoconservative gloating over recent developments in the Middle East and now claiming democracy is a wildfire and we were right all along” here.

*To spank or not to spank … that’s the subject of CDADave’s latest rant here.

*With Dan Rather heading toward pasture, Marianne Love/Slight Detour shares thoughts of Dallas, Walter Cronkite and later years here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps has unsettling news about guns and terrorists on watchlists here.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense discusses the prospect of a UI campus pub on his new blog here.

Quotable Quote

“People should not bring their dogs on the school fields. Tommy stepped in dog poop and got it all over the gym and Mrs. Burt made him clean it up. It was yucky. Playgrounds should be for kids, not for dogs” — Phil Corless’s son.

DFO: Phil’s son just nailed one of my Pet Peeves: Dogs in public places without owners with pooper scoopers. Book ‘em, Dan-O.

The Seattle Times looks at the BNSF depot …

… in a story today by reporter Warren Cromwell here.

Question No. 3

*Issue: Depot to stay closed until April: Railway, state agree on delay to allow time for analysis, repairs/Mike McLean, Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: The railroad has gotten the message that it has little room for error. Still, I can’t see how you can have a major refueling depot without leaks. On the other hand, it’s nice to see busy BNSFlack Gus Melonas available for comment after that, ahem, harrowing train derailment that took so much of his attention back when.

Question: Is the railroad cleaning up its act? And can we expect BNSF to operate its depot better in the months ahead? Or are we going to go through these periodic closures to fix things as a matter of procedure?

Question of the Day

Issue: Accused U.S. Marine sent Iraqis ‘a message’: Prosecutors in officer’s murder case likely will underscore his ‘bravado’/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: Sorry, I can’t see one of our military personnel being held accountable for two counts of premeditated murder when we’re at war with the terrorists he shot. This has a chilling effect on our personnel.

Question: Is the U.S. military overreacting to a situation in the field of combat? (Yeah, I know, we don’t have all the facts.)

Inside Huckleberries (3/8/05)

3:46 p.m. Another North Idaho blogger is coming on board: Jeffrey Sheets/One Voice (henceforth, simply to be referred to as Jeffrey). I’ll provide a link to the site later today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can enjoy his ode to Marshall Chesrown buying up the waterfront here.

12:35 p.m. Ex-CDA Presser Brent Andrews writes about his soon-to-be-released book: “You are quoted in the book. Zaz, Thomas Clouse and Angie Gaddy appear as my rivals for breaking news. In the book, I threaten to spank them all if the S-R won’t hire me! Of couse Taryn Brodwater’s there, too, as my friend. I have nice things to say about almost everyone.” Stay tuned.

9:30 a.m. Running late today folks because I began the morning by meeting with my padre, as I probably will do most Tuesdays. Don’t have time to do Quick Fix 6 today. So, I’ll begin with “SR Headlines” in 10 minutes. Stay tuned.

SR Morning Headlines

Photo: WCC tournament MVP Adam Morrison reacts to a second half lead against Saint Mary’s. Morrison scored a season high 30 points to lead the Zags to a 80-67 win over the St. Mary’s Gaels. Brian Plonka/The Spokesman-Review

*WCC: It’s a slam dunk! Morrison’s career-high 30 leads Zags to yet another WCC championship/Steve Bergum, SR — And this was suppose to be the year that the rest of the WCC caught up to Gonzaga. Well, it did catch up some. But it has a way to go before reeling in our Zags. Congrats Mark Few & Co.

*Commissioners want out of beach lawsuit: County prosecutor plans to stay in case anyway/Erica Curless, SR — You go, Bill. Unlike the county commissioners, you realize that Sanders Beach and Coeur d’Alene are part of the county.

*GU finally lands WCC tourney: New rotation system brings tourney north, and into McCarthy in 2006/John Blanchette, SR — It’s enjoyable whipping the St. Marys, Santa Claras and San Franciscos in their places each March. But it’ll be more fun whipping them at season’s end at our place.

*Rancher first to shoot wolf under new federal rules: Guidelines allow killing predators that pose a threat to livestock/John Miller, SR — Finally, a wolf law that makes sense. And it only took us — what? — 10 years to figure out that wolves will eat livestock if we disarm the ranchers.

*Bill calls for checks of voter records: GOP adds amendments to election-reform measures/Rachel La Corte, AP — The horse is out of the barn as far as Dino Rossi is concerned. But it probably makes Olympia solons feel better about themselves by passing these elections bills.

Inside Huckleberries

5:45 p.m. Izzit just me, or does it seem hokey to you, too, that New York real estate exec Barbara Corcoran will praise Coeur d’Alene on Barbara Walters’ “The View” talkfest Thursday — and she’s never been here?

5:28 p.m. Huckleberries hears … that City Councilman/sheriff’s spokesman Ben Wolfinger won’t seek re-election to the council. And that Woody McEvers may hang ‘em up, too. Stay tuned.

2:40 p.m. Bill McCrory/Whitecaps passes along a New York Times links which tries to answer the new age question: Are bloggers reporters, too? here.

2:15 p.m. From Marianne Love/Slight Detour: “Maybe you can pass on the information about the EBay auction for Viggo-autographed copy of the Sandpoint Magazine article. It’s being offered as a fundraiser for the Panida Theater, as you’ll read here. Done.

12:52 p.m. Very good blog numbers for the first week of March: 10,763 pageviews overall, weekday average of 1,881, and high of 2,557 on Friday. Thanks for checking in and please tell a friend or relative about Huckleberries Online.

12:51 p.m. Looks like we had a dandy discussion about prime-time profanity over the weekend — 24 coments — here.

11:26 a.m. Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, an Argonaut editor and former St. Maries Gazette-Record summer intern, is trying his hand at blogging. The link below will take you to a news story he wrote for the Argonaut about an accident that claimed a coed’s life. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he’ll provide a slice of campus life was his blog here.

11:23 a.m. Mike Kennedy has a legitimate complaint that Any Mouse is starting to throw too many verbal elbows for this blog. Let’s cool the name-calling. “Conservatives” and “Liberals” are OK. But “socialists,” “idiots” and “nutballs” aren’t (not that Any Mouse used all of them). I’m beginning to wonder if flame-throwing is the blog equivalent of profanity?

Extra! Extra!

Our Eye in Boise reports that embattled state Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna, has just resigned here.

Bearable Bob always makes it tough …

…to pick out his best. But I gotta kick out of him going over this waterfall in a kayak here. Dang!

CDADave discusses his pet peeves …

… including comics bandits, $2 coffee and pledge-drive interruptions on public TV here.

A Sign of the Times?

A motorist drives away after buying gas today in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. The retail price of gasoline rose 7 cents last week to average $2 per gallon nationwide, the Energy Department reported Monday. Pump prices are highest on the West Coast/APhoto.

DFO: Jeffrey Sheets/One for All has some strong feelings about rising gas prices here.

Peanut Gallery (Floatin’ down the river)


I wanted to comment on the S-R editorial from Friday (I think it was yours; ed. note: bingo) re: water rights settlement here, but ran out of time. Better late than never:

On Thursday afternoon, I spent an hour at Blue Water Technologies in CDA in preparation for our next Forum “How Waste Water Treatment & Water Quality In Kootenai County Impact Your Business”. (The forum will take on the same feel as the last one, with Freeman Duncan moderating.) Anyway, I was fascinated with what I learned. When I read the comment from Friday - Belatedly, North Idahoans have developed a deeper appreciation for their water - it drove home the point, again, how big of an issue this really is. If I learned nothing else all day, I came away with this (and I am rephrasing a bit here, I imagine): Did you know antibiotics/steroids/cold medicines/etc. leave the human body at 90% potency and there is no filtering process through waste water treatment? So all of this is being discharged into the river? I have no idea what amount, but that stuck with me!

Kelly Richards

DFO: Remind me to swim upstream from the sewage plant. Yeah, yeah, I know we’re suppose to call them wastewater treatment plants. Sorry, Sid.

Question of the Day (3/7/05)

Issue: U.N. ‘explodes’ American kids: Broadcasters not showing graphic ad depicting soccer children blown apart/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: Ad campaign against land mines is over the top. I don’t need to see what a land mine does to know what a land mine does. And why give terrorists any more ideas.

Question: Should broadcasters show the ad featuring girls blasted by a landmine?

Spokane Valley nicknames

Valley nicknames (from SR story about the search for a nickname by the new city of Spokane Valley here:

1. Almost to Post Falls
2. More Than Garage Sales
3. 3 Potholes for every Minivan
4. The Cubic Zirconium City
5. PawnTown
6. 6 freeway exits/5 entrances
7. The Big Cantaloupe
8. The Paris just east of the Channelled Scablands.
9. The Kind of Windy City but Not as Bad as Ellensburg
10. The City with Arthritic Shoulders

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

SR Morning Headlines

*Spokane Valley: a city in search of a nickname/Tom Lutey, SR — What, Mallville’s taken?

*A green winter for golf courses: With no snow, golfers flocking to play a round/Melodie Little, SR — Never played. Never will play. The closest I come to golf is the online version. And I’m not particularly good at that.

*Drought looking likely: Record-low snowpack sets stage for trouble/James Hagengruber, SR — And if we had a lot of snow, we’d be wringing our hands about flooding. Is the weather ever perfect? It is what it is. The fire crews will have work this summer.

*PC manual for beginners may be slowly catching on: Hairdresser’s career shift yields guide for the computer novice/Taryn Brodwater, SR — This sounds like my speed — something simpler than Computers for Dummies.

*Prison overflow strains limits at some county jails: Shoshone County welcomes business while Kootenai considers another jail expansion to keep pace/Susan Drumheller, SR — This story answers the question to whatever happened to the guy who ran for governor and later was involved in a shootout with Bonner County deputies.

The Best of Huckleberries Online (Feb. 28 - March 4)

Photo: The late Ron Rankin is shown with his wife, Alice, and daughter, Kerri, in the hall of heroes of the county courthouse veterans memorial prior to Memorial Day ceremonies 2004.

Seems young sweethearts go a-roamin’
Almost all students at North Idaho College cheat on their significant others. The gals more than the guys. This, according to Heather Dorrell/NIC Sentinel reporter. In a recent column, Heather admitted she got caught unawares for a brief period by a “manipulative out-of-towner.” But folks talk in small towns. Soon, she discovered her new beau had a cheating heart. Still, she gave him credit for being “an excellent liar and very talented when it came to keeping his stories straight and making legitimate-sounding excuses.” Bottom line? The kids can have the dating game. Huckleberries’ Hound has been a one-woman man for 30 years (as of June 21). And for some inexplicable reason she’s still Patsy Cline crazy for me.

Cheating Heart II
“C.J.,” a Coeur d’Alene man who got lonely when his wife left town, is poorer after a fling with a Spokane dating service. Seems he opened his door to a femme fatale a few days after calling the service – for companionship, not sex – and chatted her up until she asked to use the phone. At that point, he opted for a potty break and found the woman gone when he returned, with $200 in cash and a diamond-studded bracelet. Now, all he has to remember her by are a set of keys she left behind, on a key chain that sez “Bow to the Queen.” That, and a police report, which the real queen of the castle should find interesting.

Four boys with boards on the sidewalk walking along Northwest Boulevard toward the Coeur d’Alene Skate Park – that is, three of them had skateboards in hand. The fourth was pushing a baby in a stroller. Musta got marching orders from Mrs. Teen-age Dream. That, or he was practicing for one of those PSA commercials about the consequences of fooling around.

Poet’s Corner
“Tears and laughter/flow warm and free,/welcome back home/Battery P” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Return” of Papa Battery) … Spokane’s John Livingston spotted this sign in a yard of a 48 Percenter along North Ritchey: “When women vote, Democrats win.” Didn’t Laura Bush vote? … Kerri Rankin Thoreson has the money to finish the job her late father, Ron, started when she sets in place the final war mural at the Kootenai County Courthouse vets memorial before Memorial Day – a group of Marines at Fallujah kneeling in prayer over a fallen buddy (see photo online). It was a Ronfather favorite (Ronfather link shows Ron as a young fightin’ Marine.)

“… A free hot dog dinner will be served in our lunchroom couresty of a state nutrition grant” – Fernan Elementary newsletter. For a few bucks more, they coulda had nutritional macaroni and cheese as a side dish … Gotta kick out of those photos (in online edition) by Phil Corless/The Old Goat Trail of the big cracks in the concrete supports beneath Hagadone Corp HQ … Shallow Thoughts: “There are no easy ways to break up with someone but an e-mail is only better than a sharpie scrawled note wrapped around a rock and thrown through a bedroom window” – Bob Salsbury on his new blog … Among the things Phil Corless is tired as saying as a father: “Cover your mouth when you cough.” Sound familiar? … Huckleberries Online provides a tabulator today that tells how long you’ve lived, to the minute. Me? 29,078,835 minutes – and counting.

Parting Shot
Every winter, Joy O’Donnell would say, Sandpointers should gather at Long Bridge to throw rocks at one another. A Great Rock Fight might knock the winter orneriness out of them. O’Donnell’s laid up. But her friend Marianne Love/Slight Detour sez a rock fight is needed now more than ever. Residents can’t get along. Eight people just resigned from the Panida Theater board, for example. Only one problem with Marianne’s plan. Which sinner would throw the first stone?


Issue: Court backs atheist mother in scout case: Mom says recruiting at school discriminates against her son/Associated Press.

DFO: I’m sick to death of atheists, the ACLU and others attacking the Boy Scouts.

Question: Do you think the Scouts days are numbered? Or will they weather the constant attacks on them by some minority groups?

Inside Huckleberries (3/4/05)

6:07 p.m. Time to bring an interesting week of blogging to a close. Still a little under the weather from the crud. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel. See ya folks back here next week. And a big thanks to Bob, Marianne, CDADave, Kristin, Phil & Co. for another terrific week breaking ground with me in the blogosphere.

5:23 p.m. The pacifistic Canadians seem to have gotten religion since the brutal murder of four junior Mounties at a pot-growing operation. You can find leading Canadian blogger Colby Cosh’s thoughts on the matter here.
(Sweet P’s to colleague James Hagengruber for passing this along.)

4:13 p.m. Jeffrey Sheets doesn’t have a name for his new blog, but he wants folks to know he isn’t thrilled with all the big plans for the CDA waterfront. Jeffrey explains why the big plans by developers are going to have a disastrous effect on the little guy here.

1 p.m. Cis The Retired passes along an excellent newsletter from the Salisbury University (Md) campus police that offers a wide range of tips how wives and coed daughters can avoid rape here.

11:30 a.m. “Check out the poll on about Noble here. 80% of the early responders think he got off easy. He’s gonna have a WEE bit o’trouble at election time, if he even bothers to run again. But stranger things have happened” — Mike Kennedy. (67% of 220 want him expelled now.)

9 a.m. Brent Andrews, a former reporter for Brand X, e-mails to say he’s about to self-publish a book, “The Pot Plan” that’ll be out later this month. Quoth: “It’s good, very good. It’s non-fiction, journalism at its finest (if you ask me), and I hope you’ll read it and mention it in your column.” Why not?

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation …

…has published a fairly harrowing report on the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election (pdf capability required) here.

Peanut Gallery (Jack Noble)

When is Attorney General Wasden going to open a public corruption investigation of Senator Noble’s conduct?

Under Idaho Code 18-1352. BRIBERY IN OFFICIAL AND POLITICAL MATTERS. A person is guilty of bribery, a felony, if he offers, confers or agrees to confer upon another, or solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another:

(2) Any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, vote, recommendation or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or
(3) Any benefit as consideration for a violation of a known legal duty as public servant or party official.

It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office, or lacked jurisdiction, or for any other reason.

The “another” in this case is Noble’s wife.

(Isn’t it ironic that the perpetrator’s name is ‘Noble’?)

Bill McCrory

Rumorama: Huckleberries hears …

…that Duane Hagadone has sold the Lady Lola and his helicopter. Stay tuned.

Best of the Northwest (3/4/05)

The Idaho Statesman provides a gallery of photos from the meeting this morning in which the Senate Ethics Committee voted to censure state Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna (pictured above). In one, Noble greets state Sen. Michael Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, prior to the meeting here.

1. Both David Horsey/PI and Eric Devericks/Seattle Times had Alan Greenspan on the mind today here and here.

2. BNSF Railway has expanded its search for leaks at its closed refueling depot, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

3. In a letter to the Kootenai Valley News Press, Katy Studer of Bonners Ferry describes how she became a member of the Army National Guard and is now stationed in Iraq here.

4. Randy Day, the longtime Boundary County prosecutor who was involved in the Ruby Ridge case, is remembered by his daughter in a tribute posted in Rural Northwest News here.

5. Missoulian Doug Ammons has paid a heavy price for kayaking rivers around the world and trying to do it all at home here.

6. IMHO-NW: Collin Levey/Seattle Times (Emily’s List & soft money), Martin Boston/Daily Evergreen (Racism at WSU), Idaho Statesman (Kempthorne should try incentives bill again), Susan Paynter/PI (News anchor discusses her rape), and Jim Moore/PI (Safeco beer prices).

*Daily Evergreen version of WSU’s big win over Stanford last night (notice Robbie Cowgill, one of the frosh involved in that harassment flap on campus, led the way with 15 points) here.

*Sandpoint Online has more beautiful scenics posted, including one of a moose cow and her calf by Linda and Les Rice, here.

*You can find the Bonner County police log here.

*Dennis Nicholls, former publisher of The River Journal, talks about his addiction to pornography with current publisher Trish Gannon (you’ll need to click on the specific story) here.

Extra! Extra!

Issue: Ethics Committee votes to censure Sen. Noble, strip him of leadership position/Idaho Statesman.

Mike Kennedy: Personally I would have voted to expel him. I watched his testimony on public TV and his testimony, his arguments in committee, and read all the reporting on it. Remember that he ran against Risch for the Senate, barely losing, and in that race there were significant questions about his campaign tactics and veracity. This guy is a lame duck and should have been expelled. Maybe the full Senate will do so.

Question: Should the full Senate bounce this lame duck? Or follow the Ethics Committee recommendation to censure him?

Quick Fix 6 (3/4/05)

The New York Times is reporting: “President Bush today nominated Stephen L. Johnson, a career veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency and its acting administrator, to become the agency’s next full-time chief.” Click here.

APhoto: Martha Stewart passes her horses at her home in Katonah, N.Y., this morning. Stewart must spend the next five months in home confinement here at her $16 million New York estate.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Syria), Wayne Stayskal (Doctor shortage), and Jeff Parker (Youth death penalty).

2. Humor Fix: Again, for my North Idaho Demo friend (both of ‘em, Mike and Ryan), you can find the 25 funniest spoof pictures of Dubya (courtesy of here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Martha Stewart leaves prison here, FEC preparing to regulate Web here, Judge’s error to save Schiavo here, Music, film chiefs shine light on piracy here, and Chemotherapy beneficial to older women here.

5. Atheism In Trouble Fix: Atheism’s “future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat,” Oxford’s Alister McGrath wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today, here.

6. Opinion Fix: Charles Krauthammer/NY Daily News (Mideast revolution), Victor Davis Hanson/National Review (Grumpy Europe), Mona Charen/Creators Syndicate (Fighting for black vote), David Limbaugh/Creators Syndicate (New Age Supreme Court), and Wesley Pruden/Washington Times (D’s right on illegal immigration).


Item: Stewart to be released early Friday: Celebrity homemaker expected to fly straight home/NBC News.

DFO: You can’t keep a good woman down. But I don’t know if she’s a good woman.

Question: Will Martha Stewart return to her old glory?

Marianne Love/Slight Detour wonders why …

… everyone’s so dang cranky up her way here.

Idaho House passes contractor registration …

…according to our Eye in Boise here.

Dinner of champions?

” … a free hot dog dinner will be served in our lunchroom courtesy of a state nutrition grant” — Fernan Elementary newsletter.

Best of the Northwest (3/3/05)

WSU basketballers Alex Kirk and Robbie Cowgill may have acted juvenile but they weren’t guilty of harassment in an incident involving an Asian student. The WSU news service released its report of the incident that has inflamed the Pullman campus here. Also, WSU Today has stories about campus members questioning the First Amendment in light of the harassment incident here, and prez V. Lane Rawlins agreeing to meet with protesters here.

Protesters marched around the Kootenai County Courthouse on Wednesday morning to show their concerns with the recent BNSF refueling depot/aquifer issues/Kathy Plonka photo.

1. David Horsey/PI doesn’t like Dubya’s No Child Left Behind Act here.

2. EWU’s cheerleaders and marching band are taking part in a movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr., according to The Easterner, here.

3. Protesters against a proposed Wal-Mart development crowded a Pullman City Council meeting to lobby for their position here.

4. A group of about 40 North Idaho College students protested against the BNSF refueling depot at the Kootenai County Courthouse here.

5. The Idaho Statesman publishes its annual fishing guide to the state’s waterways here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tim Woodward/Statesman (Locked out of the car), Idaho Statesman (Sen. Jack Noble), Daily Evergreen (Racial taunting), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Spurning the Sonics), and Art Thiel/PI (Neuheisel case).

*Embattled Kuna Repub Sen. Jack Noble will learn where he stands with the Ethics Committee Friday morning here.

*Seattle’s new boppers got the M’s off to a fast start against San Diego in spring training here.

*Jamie Kelly/Missoulian riffs on bumpersnickers and deep psychoanalysis here.

SR Morning Headlines (3/3/05)

*Basketball players cleared of harassment: Insufficient evidence, WSU student conduct board says/Glenn Kassas, SR — The conduct of the human-rights accusers was every bit as abysmal as the alleged conduct of the accused.

*Water rights deal endorsed by House: Legislation would settle Nez Perce Tribe’s claims/Betsy Z. Russell, SR — Nobody likes the agreement, so it must be the best of a bad situation.

*City, RPS end legal fight: Five-year feud ends with out-of-court settlement/Jim Camden, SR — Good riddance.

*Toddler’s mother defends lies: Afraid boy’s father wouldn’t be apprehended, she testifies/Susan Drumheller, SR — Whatta pair.

*NW senators claim win on BPA rates: Worked across party lines to fight Bush proposal to raise electric rates/E. Katherine Underwood, SR — ‘Tis nice to have a friend like Larry Craig in high places.


Issue: CNN tanking as Fox News surges: Double-digit declines reported for Larry King, Wolf Blitzer/WorldNewsDaily.

DFO: Don’t have a strong opinion on this one because I receive CNN but not Fox News in my satellite package and don’t watch CNN much.

Question: Has “fair and balanced” Fox News won the war for the hearts and minds of cable TV news viewers? What do these numbers mean?

In the aftermath of the Madonna shooting review …

Bill McCrory/Whitecaps sez he no longer trusts the Review Board or high-ranking sheriff’s officers here.

Best of the Local Blogs

*”There are no easy ways to break up with someone but an email is only better than a sharpie scrawled note wrapped around a rock and thrown through a bedroom window” — Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It has a list of familiar things he’s tired of hearing himself say to his kids (and you’ll recognize many of them) here.

*Mebbe it’s me, but I really enjoy CDADave’s train-of-consciousness riffs on a variety of subjects, including this take on Michael Jackson, which he filed at 4:57 this morning, here.

*In her wonderful way, Marianne Love/Slight Detour shares memories of a friend who just died in Portland here.

*Dang! While I wasn’t watching, Henry Johnston/My 2 Cents signed up to be a mortician’s assistant, and he’s excited about it here.

*On his Old Goat Trail blog, Phil Corless claims bragging rights for UI sports, which fielded the smartest team, among those who are going to make up the WAC next year here.

Be careful with your athletic child

Traci Watson, general editor of the NIC Sentinel, columnizes in the current edition that she was happy when she learned her brother wasn’t putting his daughter in sports. This, although Traci has played sports since age 6 and traveled to Europe to play soccer. Quoth Traci:

“My experience in sports wasn’t the greatest; in fact I remain bitter about the whole experience. I’m not saying that everyone’s experiences will be like mine, but I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way. I’ve learned that even in sports there is an incredible amount of politics involved.”

Back to me: One of my happiest days was when my daughter decided not to go out for CHS volleyball her sophomore year. She’d played a lot her freshman year. But she preferred drama to volleyball. I was sooooo tired of the high school sports politics after watching my son for three years in baseball and football and my daughter for her frosh year. I love sports. But the politics at the high school and club level deflates enjoyment. Am I wrong?

Question of the Day (3/2/05)

Issue: High court hears Ten Commandments cases: Scalia questions why legislatures can invoke God but Decalogue not allowed/Associated Press.

DFO: The crusade against all things religious in the public square by the ACLU and intolerant allies has gone too far.

Question: Do you believe the public square should be devoid of 10 Commandments and other religious symbols?

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

If your wife is out-of-country, you shouldn’t be calling a Spokane dating service, or letting a strange woman into your home late at night. A CDA man, “C.J.,” did both — and is now $200 and a diamond-studded tennis bracelet poorer. C.J. told CPD Blue that he allowed a woman into his place to use the phone. Then, they chitchatted. And then she swiped his stuff and left while he was using the bathroom. C.J. admitted he’d called the dating service for, ahem, companionship, not sex. And that he doesn’t remember much of his conversation with the woman because he was wiped out on codeine. Now, all he has to remember her by are a set of keys with a “Bow to the Queen” key chain she left behind. That, and a police report, which the real queen of the castle should find interesting.

SR Morning Headlines (3/2/05)

*War hero Baker needs help in Medicare battle: Benefit to help Medal of Honor recipient pay bills/Cynthia Taggart, SR — Heaven help anyone who has to battle the Medicare maze. A war hero, like Vernon Baker (pictured above with President Clinton at his Medal of Honor ceremonies in January 1997), shouldn’t be in this situation.

*Friend’s fall hard lesson for teen: Judge convicts driver who let friend ride on back of car, left scene after she fell off/John Craig, SR — A friend, indeed, doesn’t leave you critically injured on the road while she drives off. One bad decision led to another.

*Paper shredder leads to nightmare: Puppy lost its tongue, then frantically bit owner; consumer group says machines can hurt children, too/Sara Leaming, SR — Don’t try this at home.

*Adviser says Spokane Valley is a ‘city without a heart’: Urban consultant urges focus on business cluster sites/Megan Cooley, SR — Like Post Falls and Hayden, there’s no there there.

*Visitors warned about car prowls: Police to increase presence during State B tournament/Jonathan Brunt, SR — ” Lock your car doors and hide your valuables.” Now, there’s a great slogan for 21st century Spokane.

Quick Fix 6 (3/2/05)

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in two cases regarding whether displaying the Ten Commandments on public property violates the First Amendment. has provided a roundup of articles about these historic cases: AgapePress (Attorneys ready for historic proceedings), (Ten Commandments displays hang in the balance), Cal Thomas: (The Supreme Judge and the Supreme Court), Larry J. Obhof: (Defending the Ten Commandments), and Alliance Defense Fund: (Our history’s future on trial)

APhoto Fix: A moving crew used a bar to lift one end of the Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., Aug. 27, 2003.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Judges), Larry Wright (Childhood obesity), and Guy Gilchrist (Your Angel Speaks, inspiration).

2. Humor Fix: For my Demo friends, you can find Oscar host Chris Rock’s shots at Dubya here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Senate GOP ready to push Arctic drilling here, Poll: Americans back Commandments here, Lord of the Rings director sues over proceeds here, Poll: 1 in 4 Americans would nuke terrorists here, and Madrid train bombers also targetted New York here.

5. Movie Fix: “Million Dollar Baby” won and Oscar and has many of the critics crowing, but Matthew Eppinette/The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity sez the film has serious flaws, including its failure to distinguish between human and animal life here.

Opinion Fix: John Hughes/CS Monitor (Bush’s cry for democracy), Ralph Peters/NY Post (Osama: ‘We’re losing’), Myrna Blyth/Ladies Home Journal (Women of the world), Kathleen Parker/Tribune Media Services (Undoing damage of male-bashing), and Michelle Malkin/Creators Syndicate (Gang land).

Comment of the Day

Marshall Chesrown is a gentleman and a businessman. In the S-R story, Marshall says to make the deal pencil out, he will need to recoup his costs with waterfront property. The S-R article states he has not yet met with education players, that they don’t know how much land will be left for them and at what cost and that NIC officials learned of the deal through a press release. Marshall just might donate some land to the educational corridor, I have no idea, but I didn’t hear him say that in the S-R story (maybe I missed it). I think Marshall has done some amazing things for our community, but there will be some tough negotiating taking place in the future around this. I think it’s only fair to wait awhile to see what develops with the educational corridor before asking the question “If you were a multimillionaire… what would you do…?” Personally, I am really happy the jobs appear to be saved and that, to me, may be the real news story with this deal.

I.B. Lurking

Don’t look now, but Bugs, Daffy …

…and other Looney Tune characters are going to get a “28th century” makeover when they debut next fall as Loonatics here.

Andrew Sullivan flat nails what’s happening …

in the Middle East today (for all but the most close-minded Lefties):

I think even the fiercest critics of president Bush’s handling of the post-liberation phase in Iraq will still be thrilled at what appears to me to be glacial but important shifts in the right direction in the region. The Iraq elections may not be the end of the Middle East Berlin Wall, but they certainly demonstrate its crumbling. The uprising against Syria’s occupation of Lebanon is extremely encouraging; Syria’s attempt to buy off some good will by coughing up Saddam’s half-brother is also a good sign; ditto Mubarak’s attempt to make his own dictatorship look more democratic. Add all of that to the emergence of Abbas and a subtle shift in the Arab media and you are beginning to see the start of a real and fundamental change. Almost all of this was accomplished by the liberation of Iraq. Nothing else would have persuaded the thugs and mafia bosses who run so many Arab nations that the West is serious about democracy. The hard thing for liberals - and I don’t mean that term in a pejorative sense - will be to acknowledge this president’s critical role in moving this region toward democracy. In my view, 9/11 demanded nothing less. We are tackling the problem at the surface - by wiping out the institutional core of al Qaeda - and in the depths - by tackling the autocracy that makes Islamo-fascism more attractive to the younger generation. This is what we owed to the victims of 9/11. And we are keeping that trust.

You can find Sullivan’s blog here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

Sightem: Four boys on the sidewalk along Northwest Boulevard walking toward the Coeur d’Alene Skate Park with boards in hand. At least, three of them had their skateboards in hand. The fourth was pushing a baby in a stroller. Musta got his marching orders from his teen-age significant other. That, or he was practicing for one of those PSA commercials about the consequences of fooling around.

A Sweet Pea to Jeanne Helstrom for e-mailing that in.

Official Question of the Day

Item: High court ends death penalty for youths: 5-4 decision throws out sentences of about 70 juvenile murderers/Associated Press.

DFO: We should be glad that the softies on the Supreme Court didn’t order juvenile thugs to receive a merit badge and be released. Sheesh. I hope this doesn’t encourage more murders.

Question: Do you agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on juvie killers?

SR Morning Headlines (3/1/05)

*Spokane grows by 207 acres, 1,640 people: Council’s annexation vote increases lead over Tacoma for state’s No. 2/Mike Prager, SR — If you can’t outbreed ‘em, out-annex ‘em.

*Bush plan could boost BPA rates 65 percent: Power council predicts BPA switch to market rates could cost NW ratepayers $1.3 billion/William McCall, AP — With friends like George W., Red Country voters in the Pacific Northwest don’t need enemies. How about a big razzberry for this one?

*Students plan rally against refueling depot: BNSF says dozens of experts are trying to identify, correct leak problems/James Hagengruber, SR — Your Huckleberry Hound can’t help but think that BNSF has a hole card, if it ever tires of dealing with us little people. It can go over our heads to Congress or the federal Transportation folks and make us all go away.

*Bulldogs wrap it up in style: Turiaf leads Gonzaga on Senior Night/Steve Bergum, SR — Thanks for helping us get through another winter, boys; and best to you in the pros, Ronny.

*Driver arrested en route to court/Hilary Kraus, SR — Look up “born loser” in the dictionary, and you might find a picture of Jon Ryan Molter, 44, Tacoma.

Inside Huckleberries (3/1/05)

1 p.m. Blog numbers for the month of February will top 45,000, which will beat my biggest month to date, January, by around 7,000 pageviews.

8:40 a.m. Three cheers for — March 1. Hip, hip, etc. This day means two things: We’ve survived February and winter — and I’ve been a member of The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board for 12 years. Began on this day in 1993. Dunno if I can make it another 12 years. But it’s been a fun ride to this point.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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