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Huckleberries Online

Archive for May 2005

Wild Card — Tuesday PM

It’s nice to interact with you folks again after a long weekend off. Gotta play to see tonight, but I look forward to reading your comments before I hit the sack tonight. You know the Wild Card drill by now …

Best of the Local Bloggers — 5/31/05

Another ‘toon from Jim Tibbs/Grants Pass, Ore.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour can’t get her mind off “toe cleavage” since being introduced to the topic in an SR feature here.

*His Bobness/Unbearable Bobness of Being offers great photos and commentary of his Memorial Day weekend outing on Twin Lakes here.

*On Memorial Day, new HBO blogger Mike Kennedy/The Idaho Kennedys remembered valiant family members on both sides who wore America’s uniform here.

*Last week, Bayview Herb/Bay Views posted a tongue-in-cheek note re: changing the capitol of Idaho from Boise to Athol, and got an angry response here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind blames 30 years of raising kids for her brain being turned to mush here.

*To CDADave, work is a four-letter word here.

Editorializing …

Gotta take a break to do my day job — writing editorials for the SR, for those of you who’ve forgotten. My subject? The Duane kicking off his summer push on two projects — Blackwell Island and the downtown memorial garden. I don’t have problems with Blackwell Island, as long as the river and aquifer aren’t hurt by the channel dredging. The paper supported the downtown project until The Duane pushed to close a coupla extra streets. Any suggestions on what I should say in the editorial?

See Erica Run

When she’s not covering the Kootenai County Courthouse, like the proverbial blanket, colleague Erica Curless/SR runs (seen here competing in the Coeur d’Alene Marathon over the Memorial Day weekend, her first marathon ever).

Question No. 2

Issue: Fourteen states gave Viagra to offenders: Medicaid policy interpreted differently throughout country/Associated Press.

DFO: Whew, neither Washington nor Idaho is on the list.

Question: If you were Emperor of the Universe, would you allow Medicaid to pay for Viagra for convicted sex offenders?


Macy’s Parade Wants Red Hots

Hi, Dave;

You’ll never guess what has happened now! Yup, Macy’s Parade has invited us! One just never knows what the good Lord has in mind for a buncha North Idaho gals. Wow! And awaaaaay we go! This must mean we are Broadway Babes now, huh? Thank you for your continued support for the “mamas”.

Mikki Stevens

DFO: You can read the entire press release about the Macy’s invitation here.

Question of the Day — 5/31/05

Issue: Prediction: Washington gubernatorial election to be set aside/Stefan Sharkansky, Sound Politics.

DFO: Sharkansky is one of those bloggers who make a difference. He is responsible for bringing much of the shenanigans of the King County Elections Department to light since the count, recount and re-recount took place. If he sez the election will be overturned, you have to pay attention. Or at least read his thoughts.

Question: We’re getting to crunch time. Do you think the judge will order a revote in the Washington gubernatorial election?

Quick Fix 6 — 5/31/05

President Bush answers a question during a news conference at the White House today. Bush is keeping his second-term pledge to hold at least one major news conference each month. He was squeezing one in on Tuesday, the last day of May.

W. Mark Felt, who retired from the FBI after rising to its second most senior position, has identified himself as the “Deep Throat” source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon’s resignation, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday/MSNBC here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Amnesty International’s claim), Gary Varvel (Embryonic stem cell research), and Mike Lester (“Star Wars” fans).

2. Humor Fix: PERRspectives (via provides a “separated at birth” featuring George Bush and Darth Vader here.

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

4. World Mag Top of the News Fix: Bush calls human rights report absurd here, Consumer confidence unexpectedly rebounds here, Court overturns Arthur Andersen conviction here, Saddam to face trial within 2 months here, and Mom killed in fight over cleaning room here.

5. Poll Fix: Most Americans support President Bush’s plan to allow younger workers to invest part of their Social Security payroll taxes through personal accounts, according to a Zogby poll, here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ralph Nader & Kevin Zeese/Boston Globe (Impeach Bush, Cheney), Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (The McCain myth), Dennis Byrne/Chicago Tribune (Amnesty’s irresponsible claims), G. Tracy Mehan III/Cadmus Group (Good enviro news), and Chuck Colson/Breakpoint (Cloning for dollars).

Best of Huckleberries Online — May 23-27, 2005

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, right, and pitching coach coach Dave Duncan turn their attention to baseball after helping pick the new pope earlier this spring. Well, they are cardinals, after all. See Item No. 1/APhoto.

First, you should know that Shelly Monahan/KHQ and her family are devoted fans of the late Pope John Paul II and of baseball. Now, let’s proceed to her North Idaho College commencement address May 20. Toward the end, she mentioned how upset she’d been with the pope’s death on her birthday, April 2. She was in her kitchen peeling potatoes and mourning after hearing the bad news when her 9-year-old daughter approached with words of comfort. And a question. How would the Catholics pick the next pope? Responded Shelly: The cardinals will pick the next pope. At that remark, her daughter put her hands on her hips defiantly and challenged: “Why does a baseball team get to pick the new pope?” (Bonus question: Do the Padres pick the next one?)

Sensitive Men
Blogger Amy Crooks/That’s Life/ had her hands full with a fussy teething baby last Monday when she turned to Huckleberries Online for advice (pick up her thread at 7:41 p.m. And the male commenters stopped arguing politics long enough to aid the distressed mother. One urged her to give the baby a warm bath. Another advised her to give her 5-month-old a capped, baby oil bottle to chew on. Still another: “Stick your finger in some whiskey then stick it in the baby’s mouth” – advice which touched off online debate. Finally, Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It offered: “Warm up some baby oil and give that baby a leisurely massage. Back, legs, arms, head. She’ll loooooove it and be asleep within ten minutes.” Phil’s trick worked. Amy posted this later: “I will report that the warm bubble was not only calming but we had fun.” Huckleberries – meeting your needs one flustered young mother at a time.

Quotable Quote
“I look at it today, I think that parents can play one of the most critical roles in the development of their own children, and be there for them, their cheerleaders, and be parents. And I believe that is my first and highest priority. So while I’ve contemplated it and I think it would be exciting, this is still more important to me,” — Sandy Patano of Idaho U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s office telling Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise why she prefers to be with her teen rather that run for Congress.

Poet’s Corner
“For hours on end/I searched my cranium/to find a rhyme/for his geranium” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Ode to Mr. Hagadone’s Favorite Flower”) … “Up to my TV I sidled/I wanted a program that’s vital;/Could be anything,/Long as I don’t hear ’em sing/On that idiotic “AMERICAN IDOL” – The Warped World of CDADave … “Gambling with your heart is the highest risk and highest stake game of all, and nobody knows the odds” – Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

As he walked into his favorite java place, CDA’s Dave Holmes was struck by similarity of “Chai tea, listed on the chalk board menu, and Tai Chi, the martial arts exercise regimen. So, wondered Dave, would a special drink for an Oriental master be called Tai Chi Chai Tea? … Seventy-eight-point-5 percent of the respondents answered “yes” to that online Olympian poll Saturday: “Should Spokane Mayor Jim West resign after allegations of decades-old child molestation” … Bumpersnicker (on a green Dodge on Spokane’s Monroe Street Wednesday): “My kids drive me crazy and I drive them everywhere else” … Indeed, there is a DC softball team consisting mostly of ex-Idahoans (Lucky Spuds) playing in the 90-team US Senate Softball League, where they’re 2-1 this year after beating Sen. Pete Domenici’s (R-NM) office 9-0, and fulfilling the preseason expectation of making new enemies.

Parting Shot
Congrats to Hecla’s Lucky Friday Mine and Coeur Silver Valley for coming in two-three on the Environmental Protection Agency’s top Idaho polluters list for 2003, the latest year surveyed. Inappropriately named U.S. Ecology (formerly Envirosafe) was Numero Uno.

Wild Card — Saturday

When you’re done with the day in the sun, or you’re sitting around the campfire with your lap top, you can put your thoughts down here. You’re Saturday Wild Card, my friends …

Saturday Question No. 1

Issue: Idea for CdA gardens reseeded: Chamber asks Hagadone to resubmit plan for closing Sherman/Erica Curless & Becky Kramer, SR.

DFO: I’ve been telling you for months that The Duane wasn’t going to let this one go away. He’s like an old dog with a bone. He wants that downtown garden, no matter what it does to traffic and the other downtown merchants, and he’s had his lieutenants and allies softening up the chamber and council members for months, so he can get his way. BTW, I wonder if he dictated the letter that will be presented to him on Tuesday.

Question: What do you think of this charade?

CDADave’s Top 10 Hoaxes

After perusing that Easter Egg sent by Cis earlier today re: hoaxes, CDADave scribbled out 10 of his own:

1. Duane Hagadone cares about CDA.
2. Burlington Northern is an environmentally sensitive company.
3. Coeur d’Alene is going to use common sense when it comes to limiting tall buildings.
4. McEuen Field is in absolutely no danger of being built upon.
5. CDA Cops write tickets because they are concerned about public welfare, not because they have to meet a “quota”.
6. President Bush is qualified to hold his office.
7. There is a good reason we are fighting in Iraq.
8. All taxpayer-generated money is spent wisely by Kootenai County.
9. Jim West is a fine, upstanding, honest politician.
10. The Seattle Mariners are a baseball team.


Photo: Actress Eva Gabor, center, in the role of Lisa Douglas, and costar Eddie Albert, left background in doorway, as Oliver Wendell Douglas, are surrounded by animals on the set of their television series “Green Acres” in this December, 1966, file photo. Albert died yesterday at the age of 99.

DFO: “Green Acres,” “Petticoat Junction” and other cornball TV shows were family fare in my household. Sometimes, I yearn for the simpler times and “Andy of Mayberry” type offerings of TV when I see the garbage being offered in the family hour now.

Question: What is the corniest TV show you ever watched regularly?


I saw Duane, and some other real estate folks, standing at the proposed site of his condo tower on Potlatch Hill Rd., at the east end of the Resort Golf Course, selling potential buyers for that new development Tuesday night. Breaking ground seems imminent.

Berry Picker

Easter Egg: True or False

While you’re counting down the minutes to a three-day weekend, you can try this quiz from David Emery to see how well you pick out hoaxes here.

Hat Tip: Cis Gors, who scored 31 of 35 right

Spokane demonstration today …

…calls for West to resign here.

Rumorama Update

No sooner than I hear the buzz has started in Post Falls about a possible Hagadone Gardens … than word comes that the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce is sending a letter to The Duane asking him to reconsider and locate his garden in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The letter should arrive at Hagadone Central on Tuesday. Remember when I told you earlier this spring that Duane had tapped rahrah man Pat McGaughey and a coupla community bigwigs (one of whom I could name but won’t) to work under the radar to drum up support for a downtown garden? The Duane never takes his eye off the ball. The Black Bay park would be a terrific place for a garden. But Black Bay ain’t Coeur d’Alene. And Duane always tries to keep his eggs in this basket. Stay tuned.


Memorial Day reminder

If you need something to do on Monday, at 12:00 they are dedicating the veteran’s memorial on the courthouse plaza to Ron Rankin and honoring a soldier from Post Falls killed in Iraq, should be a moving ceremony.


DFO: The final mural of the Rankin Vets Memorial will be unveiled Monday, the AP photo above from Fallujah. The Ronfather told me personally how much he was touched by it.

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 5/27/05

Mallory Gross tries to see around Makari as she snacks on treats Thursday, May 26, 2005, at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Mommy, is that a Girl-rilla or a Boy-rilla? — John Austin.

2. Makari mimics the Bush Adminstration’s position on funding the “No Child Left Behind” law — Ryan Hill.

3. New non-violent training reaps rewards as African gorilla Makrai “red cards” her mate for crapping during showtime — Dave Tolle.

TGIF Question of the Day — 5/27/05

Issue: District gives in on prayer, ACLU sues anyway: Legal group goes to court after school board nixes blessing at graduation/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I can’t express my level of contempt for the American Civil Liberties Union. In the name of separation of church and state, it is dedicated to undermining the majority religion in this country. I wished the ACLU would try a stunt like this in a Muslim country.

Question: Do you believe the ACLU is right in pursuing its crusade to eliminate all religion from the public square or a bad one?

Quick Fix 6 — 5/27/05

Anyone seen that Paris Hilton commercial for a Carl’s Jr. burger — the one with her writhing all over a car? What’s with that? The more interesting question—at least to Tanku Varadarajan/Wall Street Journal — is whether Carl’s Jr. could use a bare-bodied man to enliven the sales of its $6 jaw-stretchers. For the rest of his commentary, click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. present their ‘toon views of “Star Wars III” mania here.

2. Humor Fix: “As you know, last night Carrie Underwood beat out Bo Bice to become the new “American Idol”. She won a recording contract and the keys to a private jet. Bo came in second, he got the keys to Paula Abdul’s house” — Jay Leno.

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

4. World Mag Top of the News Fix: Bush: Base closings painful but crucial here, Soldiers killed in Iraqi helicopter crash here, 5 cases of Quran mishandling found here, FDA looking into blindness, Viagra link here, and Stocks sag ahead of Memorial Day weekend here.

5. Sex-Ed Fix: Parents who stopped a new sex-education curriculum in Montgomery County, Maryland are at the nexus of a national trend in parental activism in school matters here.

6. Opinion Fix: David B. Rivkin Jr. & Lee A. Casey/National Review (Amnesty Unbelievable), Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Frist, McCain won ‘nuclear’ showdown), Martha Kleder/ (Women in combat vote), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Case for judicial term limits), and Michelle Malkin/ (Educational smut for kids).


Issue: 2 ex-Japanese soldiers may be on Mindanao: Officials to determine if pair have hidden since World War II/Japan Today.

DFO: Seems they never decided who was the ultimate survivor.

Question: If you had hidden from the rest of the world for 60 years, what would you want to do first upon returning to civilization?

Easter Egg

Easter Egg = A fun surprise element on the blog.

Cis Gors/Kootenai has sent along this Easter Egg to while away the final minutes until you punch the time clock tonight. It isn’t as easy as it looks. And be careful in the home stretch here.

Give Me Old Vinyl Any Day

Up to my TV I sidled
I wanted a program that’s vital.
Could be anything,
Long as I don’t hear ‘em sing
On that idiotic “AMERICAN IDOL.”


Another Scary CDA Press Headline …

NIC votes to take $1 million in foregone taxes/Tom Greene, SR.

DFO: I’d hate to be the next local government pushing a levy/bond.

Gotta go speak to Leadership CDA …

…for the next coupla hours. Seeya back here at noon — DFO

Photo of the Day — 5/26/05

Ryan Devany, a member of staff at Butterfly World, near Edinburgh, Scotland, gets a close look at two new baby green Yemen Chameleons. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “BUD…” “…WEIS…” — Out of Stater Tater.

2. Seeking more attention at at Butterfly World these 2 chameleons attempt to make a spectacle of themselves — Dave Tolle.

3. O.K. already! I’ll switch to GEICO! — Herb Huseland.

SR Morning Headlines — 5/26/05

*More groups urge West to step down/Mike Prager & John Stucke, SR — Bet Spokane Mayor West doesn’t enjoy picking up his morning paper on his doorstep each day.

*Man claims West molested him at least four times as a boy: He also says then-sheriff’s deputy gave him booze, pot, court deposition shows/Bill Morlin, SR — Drip. Drip. Drip.

*Ballot total best available at time, vote official says: Democrats attack data used by GOP in Washington election trial/Jim Camden, SR — I thought close counted only in horseshoes and hand grenades.

*Families share fond memories: Victims of triple homicide are recalled as ‘good people’/Susan Drumheller, SR, and: At mother and son’s funeral, pastor urges focus on life/Erica Curless & James Hagengruber, SR — A pause to reflect on the lives lost and to think of the ones missing. Now, it’s time to nail the scum that did this.

*Keough leads panel on property tax relief: She’s one of four North Idaho lawmakers on interim committee/Betsy Russell, SR — With Shawn at the head, The Powers That Be are going to have a rough time sweeping property tax relief under the carpet.

Wild Card — Wednesday Night

You know the drill …

Quote of the Day — Sandy Patano

“I look at it today, I think that parents can play one of the most critical roles in the development of their own children, and be there for them, their cheerleaders, and be parents. And I believe that is my first and highest priority. So while I’ve contemplated it and I think it would be exciting, this is still more important to me,” — Sandy Patano of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s office explaining to Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise why she prefers to be with her high school daughter rather that running for Idaho’s 1st congressional district seat.

Inside Huckleberries — 5/24/05

*I’ll be MIA from 10:15 to noon tomorrow because I’m part of a Leadership Coeur d’Alene media panel, discussing: “What do you do, how do you choose what you cover, what makes news?” How do you describe blogging? Other panelists are Traci Zeravica, KHQ TV executive, KVNI’s Dick Haugen.

*More bad news for Mayor Jim West (to be in tomorrow’s paper): The Spokane Area Economic Development Council came out against Mayor West on Wednesday, and Ryan Oelrich is filing a complaint against West with the city Human Rights Commission. Also: Rob Galliher’s deposition is released today, detailing virtually verbatim the allegations he told the newspaper about the abuse of David Hahn and Jim West. Drip. Drip. Drip.

*This afternoon, the SR’s CDA newsroom received some brownies from a CHS student with a note containing a smiley face. We were wary until one of the reporters mentioned that they’d been purchased at a local supermarket by one of the job shadows. At least they looked like store-bought brownies.

*Blog numbers continue to nudge upward — 4722 for Monday, 91,000-plus pageviews for the month. HBO should be over 100,000 by tomorrow afternoon or early Thursday. Incredible. That’s a pace for more than 1 million for a year. Also, comments went over 300 again yesterday. Mebbe this thing’s addictive on both ends.

*The Orb at Orbusmax, which is giving great play to my daily “Best of the Northwest” feature (check out blue highlight today here), hangs out in the Puget Sound area, but he lived in Spokane until 1995. He’s turned me onto a conservative cartoonist from Lars Larson’s KXL site to balance Lefty David Horsey/PI in my Northwest roundups.

Peanut Gallery — Mouse disses ‘Star Wars III’

This is simply proof that lousy acting and no story line are no bar to selling, provided the buyers are driven by their pre-teen children. Like fast food, the only thing you get with the latest successful scam from Hollywood is proof that garbage sells, plus a lousy aftertaste.

Lucas failed to tell a story, failed to work with whatever passes as acting ‘talent’ today and failed to break any new ground in cinematography. He did sell a whole bunch of suckers tickets though and probably will be responsible for Hollyweird surviving another year. What a shame. Where is todays John Ford? Where are the movies like “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” or “Harvey”? Have we simply abandoned the movie as an art form? Certainly if this Star Wars is an example, Lucas has.

Save your money, take your kids to the park and watch grass grow, it will make more sense, provide more color and be more exciting than watching the Failure of the Sith.

Any Mouse

MSMBC summarizes triple murder …

… probe, missing children this way: “No suspects, no strong leads, no idea of a motive” here.

Best of the Northwest — 5/25/05

Richie Sexson is congratulating by Brett Boone after hitting a home run. He didn’t hit an HR in a Clark County court, however. See Item No. 3.

After running over a squirrel in a “Seinfeld” episode, character George Costanza asked: “Don’t we have a deal with the squirrels?” They’re suppose to move. Funny line. But Northwest Energy isn’t laughing after squirrels caused 204 outages between Kalispell and Darby, Mont. — one fifth of the outages in that area. You can read all about it here.

David Postman/Seattle Times blogs the Washington guv’s election trial (last update 12:10 p.m.) here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times pens his view of the filibuster compromise here. And you can find Lefty David Horsey’s latest predictable jab at religious conservatives here.

2. Jesse Steven Groene was released from the Kootenai County Jail at noon to attend a private viewing for his murdered mother and brother before burial and a memorial service later this afternoon, reports the Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

3. Seattle Mariner slugger Richie Sexon will pay a $538 fine for second-degree negligent driving in Clark County, Wash., after prosecutors reduced his charge from drunken driving here.

4. Police in Butte, Mont., are investigating thefts of irreplaceable items from historic brothels, according to the Missoulian, here.

5. More than a century after his death, Gen. William Selby Harney is still stirring controversy as Northwesterners debate whether he was a monster or a hero. A group of neighbors in Clark County, Wash., is voting whether to keep Harney’s name on their neighborhood here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tom Koenninger/Columbian (Learning lessons from St. Helens), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Not just another Memorial Day), Nicole Brodeur/Seattle Times (Schools may gain by cutting fat), Bill Virgin/PI (United Airlines’ Chapter 11), and D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Idaho tax system needs tweaking).

*A Boise rec soccer coach has been indicted on charges that he sexually abused teens and possessed child pornography, according to the Idaho Statesman, here.

*Vanity plate bears chemical term for drug here.

*Rape suspect from Vermont caught in Spokane when bike crashes into deputy’s vehicle here.

Click on Orbusmax for the rest of the Northwest here.

Question No. 2: Carrie or Bo?

Issue: Finally, Carrie and Bo face off on ‘Idol’: Country girl vs. country rocker,
with the whole country voting
/Craig Berman, MSNBC.

DFO: I don’t watch the show, but I know some of you do. So, here’s a way you can get your 2 cents worth in before tonight’s finale.

Question: Who’s going to win tonight — Carrie Underwood or Bo Bice?

SR Morning Headlines — 5/25/05

*Council to call on West to quit: Some want to change City Charter, force mayor out/Mike Prager, SR — The mayor’d better stage another prayer breakfast. Things are getting ugly for him in the real world.

*West scandal is too devastating for city/Robert C. Brewster Jr., Special to The Spokesman-Review — I do believe in Gypsy curses. I do believe in Gypsy curses. I do believe …

*150 pray for 3 murder victims, missing children: Crowd gathers to remember three dead, plead for missing siblings/James Hagengruber, SR — Now, here’s where the prayers are well placed.

*State starts monitoring CdA ozone: DEQ says decade of population growth prompted installation of station/Spokesman-Review: Great, first newcomers clog our roads and beaches, then they cause the housing prices to jump by buying high, now they’re polluting our ozone layer. On the other hand, we do have a fine selection of fast-food restaurants and box stores to serve their needs.

*Dad gets life sentence for giving meth to kids: Girl says he forced them to use so they wouldn’t expose him/Associated Press — Look up “absolute creep” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a mug shot of this “father.”

Wild Card — Tuesday Evening

I’ll try to lure you over from the afternoon Wild Card with this one. As they might say at Tomato Street, enjoy …

Best of the Local Blogs — 5/24/05

*SidVicious/Idle Idahoan tells you about a team in the U.S. Senate Softball League that’s consisted primarily of Idaho expatriates who make occasional enemies as the season wears on here.

*CDADave believes you can tell quite a bit about a person by how much s/he charges to cut your overgrown lawn here.

*Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being gives two thumbs down to the Festival at Sandpoint lineup this summer here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour remembers fondly the day each year when teacher Betty Robinson would take Bonner County children to her farm here.

*Amy Crooks/That’s Life, Life Goes On sez gas prices aren’t the only thing that’s giving small-business owners a pain in the neck here.


At the west-bound side of Garden and Third, someone has turned the “One Way” sign upside-down, so the arrow indicates that North is the direction for Third. Too bad there aren’t more touristas in town.Ryan Hill.

DFO: They’ll be here soon enough, Ryan; enjoy the last days of tourista-free CdA until Labor Day.

Jim Camden/SR provides the morning …

…account of the legal Matchee in Wenatchee here. And you can find David Postman/Seattle Times latest blogging about the Washington election showdown here. Last update: 3:10 p.m.

Question No. 2

Issue: Citizen panel may look at officials’ pay: Kootenai County commissioners consider creating committee to recommend salaries for top elected officials/Erica Curless, SR.

Commissioner Gus Johnson: “A study recommends giving elected officials a ‘huge increase,’ although he declined to give specific figures.” DFO: Yeah, right.

Question: Are the commissioners passing the buck here — to gain more bucks?

Explaining The Duane

Offline, The Heimlich Maneuver of Oklahoma City, Okla., said he enjoys the blog but sometimes gets lost re: things peculiar to North Idaho. For example, he asks, who is “The Duane”? In 25 words or less (and I’ll hold you to that limit), how would you explain Duane Hagadone to a stranger?

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 5/24/05

Instructor Megan Garcia, left, works with student Kristie Lee Crystal as they stretch into yoga positions during their plus-size yoga class at Union Theological Seminary in New York Monday. You right the cutline.

Top Comments:

1. With Republicans and Democrats at an impasse over President Bush’s judicial nominees, a biaprtisan group decided that the deadlock would be broken using a seldom-used and obscure Senatorial tie-breaker method: a winner-take-all female sumo wrestling match — The Heimlich Manuever.

2. Six months later, these now thin hardbodied women didn’t look twice at Heimlich, Dang, John, and the Edge, as they went up to Bob’s apartment to see his “etchings” — Bob Salsbury.

3. Super size this: Two women limber up for lunch at McDonald’s The Edge.

The Times They Have Achanged

“Wow … we’re all getting older” — former Idaho senator Gordon Crow, who sent along this photo with the notation: “Happy Birthday to Robert Allen Zimmerman.” For you youngsters who don’t know whom we’re talking about, click on Today’s Birthdays from My Way and go to the last entry here.

Quick Fix 6 (5/24/05)

APhoto Fix: Moroccan Abdelhak Chergui, 32, right, is led away by a policeman in Granada, Spain, Tuesday May 24, 2005, after his arrest along with two other Moroccans in Madrid for their alleged involvement in the Madrid train bombings on March 11, 2004 that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,500. The three are suspected of financing and providing weapons to people accused of carrying out the attacks.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Radical Islam, Unplugged), Mike Luckovich (Newsweek fallout?), and Monte Wolverton (Real WMDs).

2. Humor Fix: Hillary Clinton deals with the devil on Daniel Kurtzman’s site here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: GOP urges quick judicial nominations here, House voting on stem cell research bill here, Leno takes witness stand at Jackson trial here, Car bomb kills 3 GIs here, and E-mails show maneuvering to save Terri here.

5. Tax Fix: Humorist P.J. O’Rourke/The Weekly Standard has hit on a way to increase revenue going into federal coffers without affecting Joe & Jane Average — soak Planet Hollyweird celebrities — here.

6. Opinion Fix: Christopher Hitchens/Slate (Muslim intolerance), Joan Vennochi/Boston Globe (Kerry releasing records?), Nicholas Kristof/NYTimes (Death by 1,000 blogs), Andrew C. McCarthy/National Review (No judicial victory), and Rich Lowry/National Review (Howard the Horrible).

Wild Card — Monday Evening (5/23/05)

You know the drill. Just keep it civil …


Issue: Deal averts filibuster showdown: Confrontation over judicial nominees had seemed nearly certain/MSNBC.

DFO: Just goes to show there are some grownups in the U.S. Senate still.

Question: Who were the winners? Who were the losers?

Inside Huckleberries (5/23/05)

*I hope you don’t think I’m tooting my own horn too much here, but I got this notice this p.m.: “It is my pleasure to inform you that you have won a prize in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists column writing competition. You’ve won a first, second or third — the exact prize will be announced at the awards banquet during the NSNC’s 2005 conference, June 25, in Grapevine, Texas” — Peter Rowe/Union Tribune.

*Put your hands together for Amy Crooks of Post Falls (aka amyreba), who has officially dipped her toe into the blogging stream and now can be found on my blog roll under “That’s Life. Life Goes On” here. Welcome, Amy.

*In conjuction with adding Amy to the blogroll, I deleted Henry Johnston’s My 2 Cents and Phil Corless’ The Old Goat Trail. Several other blogs are on the chopping block for lack of posting. I don’t like dead weight on my blogroll.

*Two stunning blog numbers since I was picked up by Orbusmax Wednesday: 5550 pageviews on Wednesday and 5424 on Friday. Week total: 27479.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps, our superb analyst, has a good reason for not weighing in on the Wolf Lodge Bay murders/child abductions: “The investigators are wisely not putting out much information, and I’m not going to speculate about what the investigators are doing and what importance they are attaching to whatever they’re getting. I’ll leave that to the radio talk show hosts.”

*Lastly, I’m bothered by the personal attacks that have occurred in the last two days. It’s one thing to attack another person’s political ideas in the comments section of this blog. But I don’t appreciate the personal shots some of you guys — and it is guys — are taking at each. Keep the blows above the belt, or I’ll begin deleting comments and then posters. As Rodney King said: Why can’t you all just get along?

PM Wild Card — 5/23/05

Gotta do my day job now. So, I’ll keep experimenting with the afternoon Wild Card. It seemed to work Friday. So, I’ll try it again, for you folks who peek at Huckleberries during the day …

Huckleberries hears …

… that “The Today Show” foot the bill to provide a Groene son/brother and a Groene girlfriend room and board at The Coeur d’Alene Resort so the show could do a live shot in a hotel room last midweek. Guests of the national show were Vance Groene, oldest brother of the five Groene children, and Corina Tosh, galpal of Jesse Groene, who’s in the Kootenai County Jail as we speak. Seems all the friends and family in this tragedy are caught up in their 15 minutes of fame and are eschewing the local media for Geraldo and friends. Huckleberries never liked circuses much, particularly media ones.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

Larry Bassett, center, Mary Adams, right, and Lee Freyer, left, declare their Culinary Arts major with their headwear during North Idaho College graduation ceremonies Friday morning

First, you should know that “Sunshine Shelly” Monahan/KHQ and her family are diehard sports fans. Now, let’s proceed to her North Idaho College commencement address Friday. Toward the end of the address, she mentioned how upset she’d been with Pope John Paul II’s approaching death. He died on April 2, Shelly’s birthday. She was in her kitchen mourning after learning of the pope’s death when her 9-year-old approached, wondering how the Catholics would pick the next pope. Responded Shelly, the cardinals will pick him. At that, her daughter put her hands on her hips and challenged: “Why does a baseball team get to pick the new pope?”

DFO: I published this late Friday when some of you may not have seen it. It’s fun enough to run again.

Question of the Day — 5/23/05

Issue: Sen. Allen predicts showdown will end in ‘nuclear option’: Little hope senators can reach compromise over judicial nominees/Washington Times.

DFO: It’s time to go for it. The Republicans should stand up to the Demos attempt to rework the Constitution to require a supermajority of 60 to confirm judges. Repubs should stand up now or they’ll run into worse when Supreme Court nominations are on the table.

Question: Are you alarmed by the R’s so-called “nuclear” option to win confirmation of judicial nominees?

Quick Fix 6 (5/23/05)

APhoto Fix: Real estate mogul and TV star Donald Trump speaks at a press conference in New York, Monday May 23, 2005. Trump announced the establishment of Trump University, a business education company that will feature scholars from Northwestern, Columbia and Dartmouth universities in providing programs for business professionals.

“Here’s some advice to television viewers who want to know what next fall’s season will be like: Be afraid, be very afraid. Be afraid of poisonous spiders crawling over your face while you sleep; of aliens invading human bodies or landing in a spaceship in the Atlantic Ocean; of a ghostly woman in white who kills; of sickos who kidnap women and keep them in cages” according to David Bauder, AP, here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (“Nuclear” option), Gary Varvel (Newsweek), and Henry Payne (Terrorists react).

2. Humor Fix: You can see Darth W. Bush through a Demos’ eyes here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Busy Baghdad restaurant hit by car bomb here, Girl, 8, found buried alive in trash here, Newsweek put US flag in trash on foreign cover here, Supreme Court taking up abortion notification case here, and “Sith” sets 4-day market record here.

5. Howard Dean Fix: Howard Dean’s first 100 days as head of the Democrats is Patrick Hynes’/The American Spectator focus here.

6. Opinion Fix: Robert Novak/RealClearPolitics (Senate’s sham debate), Michael Knox Beran/National Review (Cheerleading alone doesn’t win wars), Debra Saunders/ (The Empire meets middle age), Star Parker/ (Pushing a formula for getting poor), and Marvin Olasky/World (Riotin’ words).

Wild Card — Sunday (5/22/05)

A best of Sundays to all of you … You know the drill here.

Saturday Question No. 2 (5/21/05)

Issue: ‘Star Wars’ Breaks Single-Day Sales Mark: Biggest Open in History/My Way.

DFO: I saw the first “Star Wars” movie in — what? — the late ‘70s while visiting Doug and Sherry Clark in Coeur d’Alene. I was blown away. I couldn’t believe anyone could make a movie like that. Because of that, I believe the best movie of them all was the first one, although I’ve enjoyed the rest, too, even the one with annoying JarJar Binks. BTW, I never liked the Ewoks. My favorite Lucas bit “actor” creation? The operator of that fix-it shop who owned Anakin and his mother as slaves.

DFO: Which is your favorite “Star Wars” movie? And/Or bit character?

Friday Night Wild Card — 5/20/05

Ah, Friday night has arrived, and it’s time to big the heavy blogging adieu for a coupla days. You guys have been great. I was bustin’ a gut over your cutlines this week, particularly the Sperm on Parade and Saddam in Briefs today. Looks like the TGIF afternoon Wild Card was a success, so you can expect to see that in the future. Meanwhile, here’s your first Wild Card of the weekend …

P.S. — 5/20/05

Issue: PepsiCo flipped off due to middle finger: Rush Limbaugh sounds off on controversy as many urge boycotts, firing of president/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: Dunno about you, but I’ve had it up to hear with people, particularly Americans, making us out to be the world’s bad guy, when we’re all that stands between some countries and chaos. If Pepsi’s CFO used a graduation speech to negatively compare the US to a finger, she should be canned.

Question: Am I making too much of this?

Huckleberries hears …

… that Mayor Jim West got hugs, handshakes and words of encouragement at the annual mayor’s prayer breakfast in Spokane this morning.

Demo Women v. Republican Women?

Warning! Warning! If you’re a Democrat with an average to below average funny bone, do not — repeat, do not — open this link. It shows the difference between leading Democratic women and leading Republican women. Or, as those old commecials use to say — before and after shots. Click here.

Hat Tip: Milt Nelson


Huckleberries hears that … Geraldo Rivera is set up camp at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds and plans to do a live broadcast about the triple murder/missing kids tonight or tomorrow.

Update: Commentary from Geraldo Rivera’s site on here:

“Is there a possible break in the case of two missing children in Idaho? Witnesses describe seeing a pair matching 9-year-old Dylan Groene (search) and his 8-year-old sister Shasta in northern Idaho with a man on the way to Montana. As the community tries to cope with a triple murder police believe preceded the children’s abduction, teachers at the schools the children attended are trying to manage the shock and grief felt among classmates. We’re live on the scene with late-breaking news from Captain Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.”

Further Update (from FOXNews): Tip Dismissed in Case of Missing Idaho Kids

Peanut Gallery — Councilwoman Goodlander

Most folks have heard me say this before, but my father Orrin Lee along with Scott Reed, Art Manley, Mae McEuen (who served as secretary) formed a group, who, years ago stopped a group of local businessmen who had it in mind to put a shopping center where McEuen field is located. Those folks worked long and hard to be sure that the land remains public. That heritage is our treasure and along with Tubbs Hill will always remain public. Dave, Maybe its time you published a History of how the Field and the Hill were acquired for the people of CDA, so that some of the newcomers will get past the paranoia.

Deanna Goodlander
Coeur d’Alene City Council

DFO: I agree with Deanna — no one will ever touch Tubbs Hill. And McEuen Field will always remain public. The only issue re: these two landmarks involves the future configuration of McEuen Field. Will it continue to be used for public recreation. Or evolve into something else?

Washington Poll: Rossi Won Election

Poll of 800 registered voters in Washington on the contested gubernatorial race conducted by Strategic Vision, LLC. The poll was conducted May 15-17, 2005 with a margin of error of +/- 3%.

The poll asked respondents who they believe actually won the gubernatorial election, 57% said Republican Dino Rossi; 37% said Democrat Christine Gregoire; and 6% were undecided with a margin of error of ±3%. When asked if they favored a revote, 58% said no; 35% said yes; 7% were undecided. When asked if there were a revote whom would they vote for, 54% said Rossi; 38% said Gregoire; and 8% were undecided.

When respondents were asked if they believed that courts will allow a revote, 33% said yes; 60% said no; and 7% were undecided.

Christine Gregoire was viewed favorably by 32%; 58% viewed her unfavorably; and 10% were undecided. Republican Dino Rossi was viewed favorably by 56%; 40% viewed him unfavorably; and 4% were undecided.


Question, from Brent Andrews: “(Sheriff’s Capt. Ben)Wolfinger’s out front because he’s good at it. Now, what I want to know is why this photo wasn’t offered for “You Write the Cutline” today. Who’s that doing the splits over Jesse Tinsley? Would they not let him get any closer?”

DFO: OK, gang, look at that Jesse’s photo of Ben at the press conference closely. Do you think I’m going to let you have a shot at that. I’d be deleting every other comment.

SR Morning Headlines (5/20/05)

*Victims in CdA homicide were bludgeoned: Few answers in triple slaying; dad pleads for return of kids/Susan Drumheller & Erica Curless, SR — Unfortunately, real CSI work isn’t finished within an hour with commercial breaks.

*It’s ‘awkward’ with mayor back at City Hall: West silent on sex allegations; Rodgers says situation is ‘bizarre’/Mike Prager, SR — And you think you have a weird office environment?

*Judge says she didn’t know felon’s history: Cops still seeking convict granted leave for marriage/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR — Mebbe the judge should be tossed in the slammer to serve this guy’s term until they catch him — you know, as a reminder to check out things before she furloughs prisoners to get married.

*Sandpoint eases tall buildings zone rules: Decision lets Panhandle Bank construct four-story headquarters/Becky Kramer, SR — By a split vote, common sense prevails in tiny Sandpoint.

*Concrete in short supply: Booming housing market blamed for shortage/Alison Boggs, SR — On the brighter side, mebbe this’ll give me an out from helping my brother pour concrete for a patio later this month.

Paranoia Tracks Deep

Paranoia has hit the skies
‘Mongst consumers of french fries
You ask “why” and I’ll answer,
” ‘cause they can cause cancer,
In addition to fattening your thighs.”

The Warped World of CDADave
re: Gov. Kempthorne fighting cancer warnings on french fries here.


Issue: Soup kitchen loses home to ballgames: Cherished One Ministries had been using McEuen Field; it’s having trouble finding new location with affordable rent/Cynthia Taggart, SR.

DFO: The ballplayers win this time around, but, I believe, they’re next on the eviction list. I can’t see the city/downtowners, moving rapidly now, failing to make a move on McEuen. In the dark recesses of the master plan approved by the council last spring for McEuen Field are alternatives that eliminate more than just the American Legion hardball field.

Question: When will the public be forced to resume its battle to protect McEuen Field from The Powers That Be?

Photo of the Day w/Cutline Winners (5/19/05)

Contestants in the Miss Universe beauty pageant wear scuba masks as the get ready to snorkel near Phi Phi Ley island off the coast of Phuket, Thailand today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. If men had to clean the bathroom they would be a little more thoughtful! — Upclose.

2. In a scene from The Brady Bunch Lost Episodes: Jan is knocked out by a wayward coconut; yet finds herself a finalist in the Miss Teen Hawaii competition only to later awaken and discover it had all been a dream — Side Note.

3. Blonde: I guess it’s not real important that I don’t know how to swim, since we’ll be diving — John Galt.

Honorable Mention: What’s the rule, don’t regurgitate your food 30 minutes before swimming? — The Edge.

Charges Dropped Against PF Jr. Miss

Misdemeanor charges have been dropped against Post Falls Jr. Miss Jessica Kuhn, 17, at the request of Post Falls Prosecutor Joel Ryan. As you recall, Jessica was crowned Jr Miss amidst controversy after being cited at a PFHS Jr Prom for minor in possession of alcohol here (dunno if this link works outside the newsroom). In the motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charge, the prosecutor gave the reason for his request: The “defendant has obtained a substance abuse evaluation from a court certified evaluator and submitted it to the state.” Dunno what that means. But it sounds like Jessica has learned her lesson. And that’s part of growing up.

Inside Huckleberries (5/19/05)

*Big John Rook passes along an interesting visual of a rock formation that becomes a mother and a child praying when you tilt your head sideways here., the urban legend buster, doesn’t know what to make of it but guesses that it’s a painting.

*Blogger Iowahawk has a funny parody on the Newsweek fable about US military stirring up a hornet’s nest by flushing the Quran down Gitmo toilets here.
Hat Tip: The Heimlich Maneuver.

*Staff writer Eric Kelderman/ dropped a line this afternoon asking if that WSU graduation prank at Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire’s expense was legit — or an online spoof. I sent proof that it was for real. He plans to include mention of it in a light-hearted feature.

*Dave Tolle may become more famous than he imagined with that free-wheel riffing (30 cutlines or so) yesterday re: the photo of those Columbians dressed in sperm suits. Blogger Modulator outta Chicago, with 392 links and 268 sources picked it up, commenting: “There’s some additional good humor in the comment thread.”

*Earth — to Capt. Ben Wolfinger. Beware of Fox microphones. Seems they were on this morning while you were adjusting your cap for the press conference re: the triple murder at Wolf Lodge Bay. And we all got to hear you say: “How do I look.” Reports Khris Bershers of the Heritage Foundation on the other side of the country: “He didn’t say anything that he shouldn’t have said, but you know … next time around …”

Question of the Day (5/19/05)

Issue: Mayor welcome at prayer event: Organizers of annual leadership breakfast see gathering as especially important now/Virginia de Leon, SR.

DFO: The gesture is nice. And Leadership Northwest is correct in not damning beleaguered Mayor Jim West for his behavior in office. But West has shown no remorse for his conduct. The mayor’s presence would be too much of a distraction.

DFO: Should the executive board of Leadership Northwest keep its invitation open to Mayor Jim West?

Quick Fix 6 (5/19/05)

APhoto Fix: Appearing before the House Government Reform Committee today, are (from left) National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern, NBA Vice President Richard Buchanan, National Basketball Players Association Executive Director William Hunter, Houston Rockets Vice President Keith Jones and Washington Wizards player Juan Dixon. See Top of the News Fix.

“With more than 58,000 respondents in the unscientific survey, 60 percent of AOL users said Newsweek deserves more criticism than CBS, which used phony documents to put President Bush’s National Guard service in a negative light,” according to WorldNetDaily, here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Newsweek), Wayne Stayskal (Army recruiting difficulties), and Sandy Huffaker (Media watchdogs).

2. Humor Fix: Yesterday, we had some fun with a mock Dubya poster with the “Star Wars” theme; now, let’s flash back to the sequel in this ongoing series, with Bill and Monica featured in the lead roles, here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Evangelicals protest Bush commencement speech here, Congress may limit combat roles for women here, Sports steroid law planned next week here, Iraq calls on neighbors to stop insurgency here, and The Donald tries to trump Ground Zero plans here.

5. Misery Index Fix: Yeah, I know you’re tired of taxes of all sorts, but compared to France, China and Belgium, we’re doing very well in this country. Don’t believe me, check out the latest misery index presented by here.

6. Opinion Fix: David Brooks/NY Times (Bashing Newsweek), Hugh Hewitt/Daily Standard (Old Media acting like royalty), Penny Nance/Kids First Coalition (Predators and pornography), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Why Islam is disrespected), and Catherine Seipp/Cathy’s World (Huffington’s Toast).


Issue: Web sites that put you in touch with former high school classmates.

DFO: I signed up for a coupla years ago to see what my old Gridley (northern California) High mates were doing. And had mixed results. After a coupla exchanges of e-mails, most contacts withered on the vine. Then, some didn’t want to answer questions about themselves. In one case, shortly after 9/11, a former classmate who serves at the Pentagon, cut off contact when I reminded him that I was a newspaperman. All in all, it was a weird experience. I dropped out after a year.

Question: Have you ever hooked up with a service like and did you have better luck than I did?


Huckleberries hears that … The Duane may be working out a deal to build Councilman Woody McEvers a new building at the current site of Woody’s popular Rustler’s Roost location. Woody had been facing eviction from Hagadone’s property at the corner of U.S. Highway 95 and Hayden Avenue. Stay tuned.

Revenge of the Administration?

NIC Sentinel staffer Matt Brazee seems to see a parallel between “Star Wars III” and NIC administrators Michael Burke and Jerry Gee. The kicker line above reads: “Always two there are, a master … and an apprentice.” Clever ‘toon.

Best of the Northwest (5/18/05)

This one’s for Inland Northwesterners who defended loopy Colorado prof Ward Churchill’s (above) right to speak at Eastern Washington U this spring. The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians has issued a strong statement denouncing Churchill’s claims of membership as fraudulent here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times looks at the Newsweek controversy here.

2. In the “Love Will Find A Way (While Others Hold Their Nose)” department, Mary K. Letourneau and Vili Fualaau have applied for a marriage license here.

3. By examining election records, the Republicans have concluded that there were 875 more absentee ballots counted in King County than there were absentee voters identified in the election, according to the PI, here.

4. A victim of a road rage incident in the Tri-Cities feels lucky that he’s still alive, even though he could lose part of his hearing and bullet fragments remain in his head, here.

5. An experiment in the Walla Walla area to preserve water is leading the way in the Pacific Northwest and make it easier for farmers and others to to make it through dry summers here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (Press eroding trust), Dan Popkey/Statesman (More Boise mismanagement?), Kerri Thoreson/Coeur d’Alene Press (Remembering St. Helens), Seattle PI (Only outlaws sell pizzas), and
The Olympian (Healthy tan is an oxymoron).

*Washington allows John 3:16 vanity plate here.

*Hewlett-Packard earnings rise 7% despite severance pay here.

*Glacier Park crews brake through last big obstacle in opening Going-to-the-Sun Highway here.

*The Big Sky Conference voted unanimously to welcome Northern Colorado to the Big Sky Conference here.

Remember to check out Orbusmax for more Northwest News here.

Photo of the Day (5/18/05)

A group of people dressed as sperm cross a main avenue during a campaign promoting use of condoms in Bogota, Colombia, today. You write the cutline. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

Top Cutlines:

1. “Don’t know ‘bout you guys but I like my eggs Ova easy” — Dave Tolle.

2. Though he originally denied it, the folks at the crime lab had plenty of DNA to prove that the Jolly Green Giant was indeed downtown that day — Dang.

3. Though cast and crew were reluctant to discuss it at the time, “The Fay Ray Incident” became part of Hollywood lore and added a strange mystique to the filming of “King Kong”
— Side Note.

Question of the Day (5/18/05)

Issue: Mount St. Helens still shrouded in secrets: Volcano erupted 25 years ago today/Tom Paulson, Seattle PI.

DFO: I was attending a church potluck outside of Kalispell, Mont., where I was working as the managing editor of Duane Hagadone’s Daily Inter Lake (or “Daily Mistake” as the locals so lovingly called us). Yeah, Duane and I go back further than St. Helens. The distance didn’t protect us as as smothered the Flathead Valley, too.

Question: What were you doing when the mountain blew?

SR Morning Headlines (5/18/05)

*Delays slow spread of Amber Alert: Not enough info to issue statewide Washington alert/Spokesman-Review: Somebody dropped the ball here.

*Man may hold clue to homicides: Two kids missing as police seek ‘person of interest’ in triple slaying/Susan Drumheller, SR — If the two children are still alive, they’ll never be the same after this. What kind of monster would do such a thing?

*City may get West’s legal bills: City Council would have to approve payment/Mike Prager, SR — I’m glad none of my tax dollars are going to be wasted here.

*Don’t kill future with quaintness: Sandpoint should ease height restrictions/D.F. Oliveria, SR — Sandpoint’s anti-growthers are going too far when they’re fighting over one additional story that’ll provide dozens of new jobs and keep a solid banking business in town.

*Man seeks $1 million from Spokane after charges he raped twins dropped: He claims police urged sisters to falsely accuse him of assault/Jonathan Brunt, SR — Wouldn’t a simple ap-hollow-gy be OK? It worked for Newsweek.

Coeur d’Alene levy passing …

… according to Charles Rowe/KREM-2, with 56 percent of vote. Dunno how much of the vote has been counted.


You can find the latest on the triple homicide, including the identity of the victims, here.

Best of the Local Blogs (5/17/05)

*CDADave, the gentle spirit who brings so much to this blog as well as his own, remembers his troubled father who died by his own hand four years ago today here.

*Bayview Herb/Bay Views provides brother-in-law Alan Fournier’s version of “You Might Be A Redneck If …” here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour pens a superb essay of more than 300 words about former classmates, like Carley Pfeiffer, as she looks forward to her 40-year class reunion here.

*Omygoodness, Vorfeed wrung an unexpected LOL outtame with a post re: “How to Be Famous in America” here. Dunno how long it’s been on her Post Falls Uncensored blog.

*’Tis been awhile since HBO visited Bob Salsbury’s “Things You Don’t Want to Finger Sweep Out of Your Toddler’s Mouth” here.

Today’s HBO No.: 9,535, or …

… the number of new readers claimed by the Coeur d’Alene Press, based on alleged readership growth of 4,195 for 2003-04 and 5,340 for 2004-05, to make it “ONE OF THE NATION’S FASTEST GROWING PAPERS“!!! (I should pause to catch my breath.) If you don’t believe me, check out the full-page house ad in Brand X today. The Press, of course, doesn’t spell out what it means by readership, leaving residents with the impression that it’s talking about new subscribers. Nor does it mention that it’s an unaudited newspaper, which means no one knows but the Press Room foreman and the muckety-mucks what the real circulation figure is. But who’s quibbling?

HBO 4-Star Recommendation

I’ve been checking out a terrific blog site that provides links a la Matt Drudge to the top stories around the Northwest. is a little light on Idaho stories and a little right, for Dems. But “The Orb” at Orbusmax does a good job staying on top of the big stories and perusing out regional blogs. You can check the site out here.

Top Roll Call House Race? Foley vs. Nethercutt

As it did last week with the Senate, the Roll Call has published the top 10 House races during its 50 years of existence in chronological order. But the prestigious insiders publication said that the top race was a no-brainer: in 1994, Democrat House Speaker Tom Foley against Republican George Nethercutt. Quoth: “Nethercutt earned giant-killer status for life by becoming the first person to defeat a sitting Speaker since 1962.” (Actually, he was the first person to defeat a sitting Speaker since 1860, but who’s quibbling about a century?) Unfortunately, Roll Call online is subscription only so I can’t provide a link. Other top races? 1970 — Charlie Rangel v. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell in New York; 1982 — Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Margaret Heckler in Massachusetts; and 1992 — Newt Gingrich vs. Herman Clark in Georgia.

Hat Tip: Gordon Crow

Best of the Northwest (5/17/05)

Memorial Day 2004 at Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens. Many of the flags flying on the poles are from the families and widows of veterans who provide them for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. They once draped the caskets of veterans.

Boise State footballer Cam Hall could face three counts of vehicular manslaughter and up to 30 years in prison as a result of a road-rage accident that killed a family of three here. Meanwhile, friends and loved ones remembered the young family in a Boise memorial service yesterday here.

1. Milt Priggee toons about Washington transportation problems here.

2. The Seattle Times provides a team-by-team look at PAC-10 football this fall here.

3. Washington pre-schoolers booted from kindergarten more than double the rate of K-12 and above the national average, according to the Seattle Times, here.

4. Your computer at work is almost certainly an open book to your boss, with every keystroke you type and Web page you view easily recorded and quietly checked, with or without your permission or knowledge, computer security experts told Nan Connolly/Statesman, here.

5. The Coeur d’Alene Little League learned an expensive lesson when the city ordered them to take down $3,000 worth of banners from the Canfield Little League complex, reports Bill Buley/Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

6. IMHO NW: Bill Virgin/PI (Information isn’t free), John Levesque/PI (Ichiro’s artistry), Idaho Statesman (Conservationist Nelle Tobias), Ken Schram/KOMONews (John 3:16 license plate), and Doug Clark, SR (Let’s re-create Mount St. Helens eruption).

*Killing, inflicting pain on animals now a class 3 felony in Washington here.

*14 tons of illegal fireworks seized in Tacoma here.

* provides the Kootenai County sheriff’s warrant roundup here.

Photo of the Day (5/17/05)

Darth Vader makes his debut in the 1977 movie “Star Wars.” You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines::

1. The Burlington Northern representative arrives for the hearing — Tom Taggart.

2. It was precisely at this moment in the 1977 movie that Diana Ross realized she should not be dating Michael Jackson; and it had everything to do with the puddle of urine beneath his seat — Side Note.

3. Confused, even Darth Vader wonders how he got here, especially since the first three episodes of the series had yet to be filmed — John Austin

Honorable Mention: Supreme Blogmeister DFO & Co. on a mission critical patrol for blog trolls, who repeatedly attempt to take control of “Huckleberries Online” cyberspace — John Galt.

Question of the Day: Triple Murder

Above, this morning, Kootenai County sheriff’s investigators walk around a small house in a rural area east of Coeur d’Alene where three bodies were found Monday night. Jesse Tinsley, SR photo.

Issue: Amber Alert issued for missing kids: Woman murdered at Wolf Lodge Bay believed to be their mother/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: I can’t recall when there’s been a triple murder in Kootenai County. On top of that two kids are missing: Shasta Groene, right and Dylan Groene, left. Obviously, no area is immune from such horrible news any more. But I wonder if the world is catching up to us in this once quiet backwater?

Question: What’s your reaction to the news that there’s been a triple murder in our back yard and kids are missing?

Quick Fix 6 (5/17/05)

Believe it or not, and if you’re a Liberal you probably believe it, but Director George Lucas (shown above with actor Ewan McGregor) sees a parallel between his “Star Wars” saga and America, particularly in this time of war. This country like Vader’s Empire, he sez, is turning from good to evil, and the Vietnam War is proof. Oh well, I’ll enjoy the sixth movie in the saga anyway despite the Looney Tune explanation here. And Dan Froomkin/Washington Post columnizes that “Revenge of the Sith” could be the biggest anti-Bush blockbuster since Michael Moore’s schlockamentary “Fahrenheit 911” here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Brian Fairrington (Michael Jackson), Chip Bok (Food Nazis), and Gary Varvel (New technology).

2. Humor Fix: Do you think you’re a Dead Red Republican? Or do you think you’re a True Blue Democrat. Daniel Kurtzman/ provides a test for each side to prove it here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Newsweek won’t let Isikoff quit re: Koran desecration story here, Reservists guilty of Abu Ghraib abuses here, Kids under 6 expelled most frequently here, Hollywood’s ‘Narnia’ unveils trailer here, and Mexican Fox apologizes for black comment here.

5. Conservative Fix: Pat Buchanan, the former Republican presidential adviser who ran off track into isolationism, tells the Washington Times that the conservative movement is a thing of the past here.

6. Opinion Fix: Jack Shafer/Slate (Newsweek goes down the toilet), E.J. Dionne/NY Times (Middle ground on abortion debate?), Kay Hymowitz/Wall Street Journal (Marriage key to improving poor’s lot), Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Demos offer no Social Security solutions), and John Leo/US News & World Report (Sex for Dummies).


Issue: Feds to ogle your bare skin: ACLU calls high-tech X-ray ‘virtual strip search’/USA Today.

DFO: For once, I agree with the ACLU. Airport surveillance equipment that gives minimum-wage screeners a nekkid view goes way too far.

Question: Would you want to subject yourself to a strip-bare X-ray search of your person, if it meant greater airline security?

Extra! Memorial to Be Named after Ronfather

On Memorial Day, the Kootenai County Veterans Memorial Plaza is being named in my father’s honor. There is a grand noontime ceremony planned that will also honor SPC Robert Benson, a Post Falls native who died in Iraq in 2003. While I’ve taken care of many of the details the one thing I delegated was the weather. Dear old Dad is in charge of using his Heavenly vantage point to see to it that we all stay dry.

Kerri Rankin Thoreson

DFO: On honor that’s totally deserving. Let’s see if I can blindly conjure a photo from home. Bingo. I did it.

Welcome Back, Duaniums

Working as a team last year, Coeur d’Alene Resort manager Bill Reagan dug the holes while massage therapist Rebecca Kilmer unpotted red geraniums at the base of the clock tower in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

Don’t look now, but the cardboard boxes in front of The Coeur d’Alene Resort signal the visitor season is almost here. Yep, the “duaniums” have arrived for another redfest on the north shore. Hate to admit it, but The Duane has good taste in flowers.

ISP Officer Linda Huff Awarded Posthumuously

In the 8th annual ceremony for Idaho officers killed in the line of duty, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne presented the first-ever Idaho Medal of Honor to the children of fallen ISP Trooper Linda Huff (pictured), who was killed in 1998. Huff was attacked by Scott Yager as she walked from the Coeur d’Alene regional office on the night of June 17, 1998. Yager shot Huff 11 times with a semiautomatic handgun, but Huff was able to fire back, wounding Yager twice before she died. You can find The Idaho Statesman’s complete report on the ceremony here.

DFO: It’s been almost 7 years since Officer Huff fell in the line of duty; yet, rarely do I drive past the ISP HQ on Prairie without thinking of the ultimate sacrifice made by this brave woman.

Peanut Gallery (Newsweek’s Ap-hollow-gy)

re: Newsweek’s apology for printing questionable story that led to several deaths here.

Freedom of the press is something I hold very dear. But to be perfectly blunt, you guys in the media are doing a wonderful job of putting that right in jeopardy. Polls show that Americans’ trust of the media is at an all-time low. The level of distrust continues to grow because of the cavalier attitudes of Dan Rather, Eason Jordan and Newsweek, all of whom made salacious charges without checking and re-checking their facts. What angers me the most, however, is Newsweek’s qualified retraction - it’s somewhat similar to CBS News’s actions with the Texas Air National Guard story.

For people who make a career out of asking tough questions and putting people on the spot, many within the mainstream media act positively Nixonian when they are being called on to the carpet. If I made salacious, unsubtantiated charges like you I’d be sued and if I screwed up as badly in my trained profession as you have in yours, I’d be fired with just cause.

I also couldn’t close my letter with commenting on one of your remarks, mr Whittaker. Specifically, I find your remark “I suppose you could say we should have foreseen the consequences of the report, but we didn’t” is absolutely mind-boggling. If you didn’t think this would cause the U.S. problems in the Arab World then the management of Newsweek is either hopelessly naïve or staggeringly incompetent. Your irresponsibility has put our soldiers at greater risk and could potentially undermine our efforts in the War on Terror. Newsweek’s response - well we’re sorry, sort of. You can rest assured that I have purchased my very last Newsweek.

The Heimlich Maneuver
Oklahoma City

Photo of the Day (5/16/05)

Canadian director David Cronenberg, left, kisses American actor Viggo Mortensen, at the 58th international Cannes film festival, southern France, today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Knowing that actor Viggo can’t resist anything Star Wars, director David delivers his best Yoda pickup line: “Always two there are, a master and an apprentice” — Side Note.

2. In the season finale of CSI, Viggo Mortensen guest stars as a new member of the CSI Team whose unconventional methods for collecting DNA samples draw more than a few raised eyebrows — The Heimlich Maneuver.

3. (tie) Well, there goes Viggo’s Sexiest Man of the Year award — Cis Gors. And: LOTR: Return of the Queen — Bob Salsbury.

Question of the Day (5/16/05)

Issue: Walking the talk: ‘Survivor lap’ uplifting, luminarias poignant for participants in cancer society’s Relay for Life/Sara Leaming, SR.

DFO: My son, Seth, was born with retinal blastoma, an nasty eye cancer that blinds and can kill if left untreated. At 3 months, he underwent surgery to save his life, then two years of chemotherapy. Those were some of the most trying times of my life. Today, however, he’s 25 and in the middle of a medical/research doctorate program at University of Colorado. God is good. But I’d never want to go through that again. From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who participates in events like the American Cancer Society’s Walk for Life.

Question: How has cancer affected your life?

Above, James and Cricket Pierce, center, join the other fundraisers for the annual Relay for Life at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls Saturday/Jesse Tinsley, SR photo.

Quick Fix 6 (5/16/05)

APhoto Fix: A young boy dressed as the Star Wars character ‘Yoda’ sits on the shoulders of a man as he watches events in Leicester Square in London and joins in with the premier launch of the film Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith today. Meanwhile, Cannes premiere of “Star Wars” is raising question of US imperialism here.

Newsweek magazine said on Sunday it erred in a May 9 report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to the victims of deadly Muslim protests sparked by the article. Editor Mark Whitaker said the magazine inaccurately reported that U.S. military investigators had confirmed that personnel at the detention facility in Cuba had flushed the Muslim holy book down the toilet. The report sparked angry and violent protests across the Muslim world from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured. Click here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Paul Nowak (Slain Denver officer), Kevin Tuma (Gas prices), and Jim Huber (“Star Wars” fanatics).

2. Humor Fix: “The anti-gay mayor of Spokane, Washington, has taken a leave of absence from his job after allegations that he offered city jobs to men he met in a gay chat room. …One of the guys he offered a job to — the former governor of New Jersey” — 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: Cheney a serious dark horse to 2008? here, Kuwait OKs women’s political rights here, More bodies found in Iraq here, Teacher of the Year fired over 4-letter word quiz here, and X-ray machine to strip travelers bare here.

5. Media Fix: A new survey shows a tremendous values gap between journalists and the general public. For example, journalists voted for Kerry over Bush by a margin of 68% to 25% here.

6. Opinion Fix: U.S. Sen. Bill Frist/USA Today (Time for Up or Down Vote), John Fund/Wall Street Journal (Use Base-Closing Model Elsewhere), Laura Vanderkam/USA Today (The Frugal Graduate), Paul Marshall/Center for Religious Freedom (Newsweek’s Deadly Mistake), and Phyllis Schlafly/The Phyllis Schlafly Report (Bush Buries Shame of Yalta).

Wild Card — 5/15/05

I’m considering a rule that would address things like blog roaches and endless debates about unsolveable topics, like abortion. In rough form, it would allow a blurker/commenter who’s tired of 2 or 3 others hijacking the comments feature by calling a — what? — timeout and suggest a subject change. At that point, those involved in the debate have one last comment and have to move on or — what? — be penalized the next day by an enforced hiatus from the blog for a day. I haven’t thought it through completely, but I’m headed in this area. Meanwhile, here’s your Sunday Wild Card …

West Story Sickens Editor

In case you were wondering, SR Editor Steve Smith describes how he feels about the Jim West story in a Sunday column:

How can you not have some compassion for a man whose life clearly has been tortured? In his unguarded phone conversation with me last Sunday, West described his life as a living hell. How can anyone doubt that? How much energy must it have taken to perpetuate his secret life for so long? The pain he is enduring now is indescribable. And though we, like many of you, have no sympathy for his actions and are repulsed by the allegations against him, we can’t help but acknowledge his suffering.

You can find the rest of the column here.

BNSFers Are Like Bad Boyfriends

Charm wins the depot a second try: If BNSF breaks its word again, it’s over/Rebecca Nappi, SR.

The situation reminded me of those boyfriends or girlfriends, the charming ones, who promise you everything. Then they just aren’t there for you in any real way. So you dump them. And suddenly they come crawling back, filled with promisesRebecca Nappi.

DFO: My esteemed colleague was on her game today.

Saturday Question No. 2

Issue: Realtor in bikini stands by sexy billboard: Sees huge increase in online traffic despite criticism from colleagues/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I’ll strangle anyone who tells glory hound Realtor Marshall Mend about this.

Question: Critics say Realtor Wendy Heath took the “blond bimbo way out.” But she definitely has separated herself from the competition with this billboard here (Click “Got Real Estate” button). Do you think she’s gone too far?

From ctr:
I think she’s taking a big risk. Realtors have to drive around in cars with individual clients showing empty houses. Her ad isn’t going to be drawing in a lot of couples looking at houses. It will draw in men, many of them wanting to see her naked in person…I think she’s pretty stupid to put herself at risk of being subject to psychopaths who may want to spend a day with her.

Wild Card — 5/13/05

Let’s stay away from religion and abortion, boys and girls, and have a good discussion on something else tonight and this weekend. Here’s your Wild Card …

Photo of the Day — 5/13/05 w/Cutline Winners

Officials with the at the Griffiss Institute for Information Assurance gather around a computer screen while awaiting the Pentagon’s list of base closure recommendations to be released, in Rome, N.Y., this morning. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “Wait! There’s Waldo!”
“No, that’s not Waldo.”
“They all look like Waldo.”
“I found the topless lady!”
“Does Waldo always wear glasses?”
“Stop looking in my spot.”
“Is that Waldo there?” — Dang

2. Members of Congress, diligently investigating internet porn sites, gather together to view the latest Paris Hilton sex tape — John Austin.

3. The Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee review the long lost elementary school records of John Bolton for potential damaging information to use against the beleagured U.N. Ambassador nominee — The Heimlich Maneuver.

Honorable Mention: Anymouse and his team of imaginary friends prepare for yet another late night abortion debate — Every Rat.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry II

Remember Becky Becker Herrmann, the septuagenarian who went for an impromptu motorcycle ride around downtown CDA with a Spokane firefighter April 30? Well, we have another Biker Granny in CDA — Jean Reed, 80-year-old mother of Knudtsen’s parts mgr, Mike Reed. Seems Mike, who’s been riding bikes since he was 13, began a tradition three years ago on Mother’s Day when he dropped by his mother’s home on his motorcycle and invited her to go for a ride. She grabbed a coat, jumped aboard and the next thing you know, mother and son were at Curley’s tipping back a beer. It’s been a tradition of theirs since, although, Mike sez, his mother dresses better now. And: “Every biker should take his mother for a ride.”

Idaho Vanity Plate

Remember that John316 vanity plate that’s causing a ruckus in Vermont here? Well, Tom Taggart of the Lakeland School District (and significant other of colleague Cynthia T) spotted this one en route to lunch today: “GLRY2GOD.” E-mails Tom: “Obviously not an issue in Idaho.”

DFO: Hey, Any Mouse, Mike K, Ryan, et al: Instead of you guys arguing about religion, abortion and politics all the time, why don’t keep your eye out for Huckleberries material. Hat Tip to Tom T here.

Peanut Gallery — Brodie’s Comment

RE: Katie Brodie quote in Coeur d’Alene Press: “We’re all in need of answers and anxious to hear what’s different now” ‘here.

Hmm … seems like Da’ Lady Comm., K.B., suffers from a short-term memory disorder, i.e., isn’t this the same type (a full disclosure) of question many Kootenai County citizens, et al. were recently asking the Kootenai County Comm’s. — concerning two former county employee payoffs? Yet the Comm.’s all clammed-up. Yup, I think so, therefore I amJohn Galt.

DFO: Betcha elected officials hate it when their constituents keep score.

Question No. 2 — Superstitions

Issue: It’s Friday the 13th.

DFO: I’m not superstitious in any way. In fact, I routinely asked to be No. 13 when I was playing baseball/softball and basketball. Of course, I broke my left ankle twice and tore my ACL in my left knee twice in those sports. But I don’t credit that to the number on my back.

Question: Are you superstitious?

WSU Prank Legit

WSU’s accounting students had fun at Guv-for-Now Christine Gregoire’s expense during graduation ceremonies for the business, education and nursing schools May 7. Seems some future accountants were in a row with letters on their caps that spelled out “A-C-C-O-U-N-T-I-N-G.” However, when Gregoire began her commencement speech, a little tape transformed one of the “C’s” into a small “a,” caps were swapped, and – presto – the grads quietly protested their discontent with Washington’s gubernatorial election results by spelling: “COUNT AGaIN.” Double major Matt Nelson of the Puget Sound spearheaded the prank after classmate Renee Hibbard hatched the idea. Said Matt: “We wanted to do something because we didn’t want to hear her speak.” No one got hurt or reprimanded. Read: It was classier than shouting down a speaker or throwing a pie in her face.

BTW, Matt offered proof (for doubters) that the prank pulled on Gov-for-Now Gregoire really happened. In the first photo, you see some of the letters on the top of the graduation caps worn by accounting graduates spell: “A-C-C-O-U-N-T-I-N-G”:

In the second photo, with Gregoire delivering her commencement speech, you see a small “a” added and a “C” subtracted and the letters scrambled to reveal what 11 WSUers think about Gregoire’s controversial election victory over Repub Dino Rossi: “C-O-U-N-T A-G-A-I-N.”

And in the final photo, you see the letters scrambled as the accounting grads make their way to the stage to receive their diplomas, proving that the episode wasn’t an online prank, as some believe, but really happened:

And you can find clearer photos of the prank here.

Hat Tip: Matt Nelson for providing the story, the photos, and the laughs.

SR Morning Headlines (5/12/05)

*Fairchild to lose 198 workers: No major military bases in Washington state will be closed/Spokesman-Review — We dodged a bullet.

*Teen dies after bicycle crash: Spokane Valley girl, 15, collided head-on with SUV Wednesday/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR — Every time I consider stepping up my bicycling, I read a story like this. Izzit me, or has bicycling become more dangerous?

*County leaders want meeting with BNSF: Commissioners want more information about repairs made at depot/James Hagengruber, SR — It doesn’t hurt to keep the heat on.

*Judge stands by ruling on Sanders: Recommends beach remain open to public pending appeal of his decision/Erica Curless, SR — Three cheers for Judge James Judd.

*All in all, things aren’t as bad as they appear: It’s no surprise parents have become more involved in their children’s sports/John Blanchette, SR — I’ve only seen one sign of parental abuse in recent years, mebbe two, then my children are no longer involved in local sports. I hope John’s right about his diagnosis.

Wild Card — Thursday (5/12/05)

Sorry to be running so late today, but that close encounter with BNSF has had me running behind all afternoon. You know what to do with the Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs (5/12/05)

Lust is lighting a fuse, love is keeping the dynamite dry — Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being.

*SidVicious/Idle Idahoan, the North Idahoan slaving behind the scene on Capitol Hill, has a first-hand account of the scare caused by that Cessna flying over D.C. yesterday here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps remains shaken by the brutal murder of Carissa Benway and associated police indifference here.

*In rhyme, CDADave talks about this place, Coeur d’Alene, which constantly calls him home, here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind took her smile on the road in Bonner County today and was rewarded for her bright outlook here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour polishes her credentials that prove she was Sandpoint when Sandpoint wasn’t cool here.

Afternoon Question (5/12/05) — Humorless Liberals?

In a Vanity Fair article (no online access available), Michael Wolff, a liberal former columnist for New York Magazine, wonders why conservative media hold the edge over liberal media when it comes to humor. Quoth:

Why aren’t liberals funny?…The complicated condition for liberals…is that so much of the liberal media has defaulted to a kind of consensus [New York] Times-ness…We are all…self-serious, earnest, striving, humorless, correct people, seeking to become ever more earnest, faultless, evenhanded. We’re Hillary (or we’re her base, and she’s courting us by becoming as worthy and flat as we are)…
Conservative opinionists…are, on the other hand, often facile, funny, irreverent, eccentric, jaunty, pithy, as well as aggressive and wrongheaded…

Question: Do you know any Liberals with a good sense of humor — besides Bob Salsbury?

Editorial Board vs. BNSF IV (Final Exchange)

DFO: If another major spill occurs in the future, will you voluntarily shut the facility down or will we have to wait again for a judge to force you to shut down?

BNSF (paraphrased somewhat): We’re going to review everything we did. We’ve been in the midst of the repair and haven’t had time to debrief. We’re going to look at everything and determine how we could have done things better.

DFO (thinking to myself): In other words, no.

Editorial Board vs. BNSF II

BNSFer asst. veep Steve Millsap re. the leaks: I’m embarrassed. I truly am. I’m disappointed. I’m very, very sorry this has happened. At the same time, the system worked. It was through our inspections and through our detection that we caught the problem. We have automatic protection now 24/7. The system worked before and now we have a much-improved system. The system worked and we are the ones who reported the problem. That says something about who we are. The system will continue to work even better.

Best of the Northwest (5/12/05)

Gov-for-now Christine Gregoire isn’t doing well in the polls. See Item No. 2.

Regina Mourning deserved the Mother of the Year honors from the St. Maries Rotary Club. Regina? She’s a 23-year-old who took on the responsibility of mothering three little girls when she married 6 years ago. “While many of her peers debated college paths, she attended parent teacher meetings at the elementary school and deliberated over the how-tos of child raising, housekeeping and answering the big questions often posed by the very little,” writes Ralph Bartholdt of the St. Maries Gazette. Want you heart warmed? Click here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times looks at the threatened filibuster of judicial candidates by US Senate Democrats here.

2. A Survey USA poll shows that Washington’s Christine Gregoire is the third most unpopular governor in the country with a 34% approval rating here.

3. The Inlander looks at “The Story Behind the Story” re: our decision to use a computer forensic expert in pursuing our story about Spokane Mayor Jim West’s alleged sex abuse here.

4. As people snap up land in Bonner and Kootenai counties, others are looking at the outlying areas, driving up prices in the St. Maries and Benewah County areas, too, according to the St. Maries Gazette, here.

5. Freshman Ekatarina Burduli, a five-language psychology major from Tel Aviv, made quite a splash on the tennis courts and became only the third WSU player to be selected to the U.S. singles championship here.

6. Opinion Fix: Inlander (Why West should go), Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman (Idaho inventor extraordinaire Harold Hannebaum), Michael Listman/Kootenai Valley Press (Boundary County school crisis), Larry Stone/Seattle Times (Losses mount for M’s), and The Easterner (West’s sexuality should be ignored).

*You can find the second part of KTVB’s investigative report on a polygamy cult’s move into Boundary County here. (Hat Tip to Mike K for sending the link.)

*An Eastern Washington student who planted a pipe bomb outside a hall in November may face 16 years in prison as a result here.

*Washington climber first American to scale 14 highest mountains here.

*A Washington topless dancer argues to let her murder conviction stand here.

West, Spokane, S-R make front page …

… of the LA Times with this headline here.

Hat Tip: Howard Martinson, who observes: “Yikes! Is this the same Spokane I was born & raised in, and which put on a World’s Fair in 1974? The Riverpark Square fiasco, really really really bad streets, and now the Mayor West situation. Is it possible the City has somehow angered the Gods to deserve all this?”

DFO: Gods? No. Gypsies? Yes.

Inside Huckleberries (5/12/05)

2:09 p.m. I’m currently online for an editorial board meeting with BNSFers Gus Melonas, Mark Stahley and another guy. Opinion Editor Doug Floyd is grilling them pretty well. Now, here comes Becky Nappi, shifting gears. Stay tuned.

1:43 p.m. SR Editor Steve Smith is hosting a live online discussion for West inquiries next Tuesday 17, May- between 3 and 5 P.M. on the “Ask the Editor” website. Hat Tip to Dave Tolle for the reminder.

1:29 p.m. WSU grad Matt Nelson e-mails to say that the clever prank by the accounting school is legit — you know, the one in which grads switched the “A-C-C-O-U-N-T-I-N-G” letters on their hats to read “C-O-U-N-T A-G-A-I-N” when commencement speaker Gov. Christine Gregoire approached the podium. Writes Matt: “I saw your “blog” about the WSU Commencement prank last weekend, and I just wanted to let you know that it is in fact, completely real. I actually was one of the students that took part in this prank. (There were 10 others).” You can see the before and after photos here.

11:12 a.m. The BNSFers, including spinmeister Gus Melonas (aka “Hunk” in some HBO circles) will visit the downtown office today, and I’ll listen in by phone from the CDA office. Should I provide a live blog or not? Devil: Yes, certainly, it’d be fun. Angel: You should treat all guests with utmost respect. Bottom line? Check back at 1:35 or so.

10:01 a.m. Last night, Any Mouse, Mike K and Ryan engaged in a spirited HBO discussion about isolationist Pat Buchanan’s controversial column questioning if WWII was worth it. Not one to let sleeping dogs lie, HBO found a terrific link that questions Buchanan’s conservative credentials and sides with Mike K and Ryan here.

SR Morning Headlines (5/12/05)

*City attorney asks for investigations: Move comes day after FBI begins investigation/Mike Prager, SR — Gov. Gregoire’s words of sympathy were nice.

*Boys ranch director denies report: Finds no evidence that West, another deputy took boys on outings/Benjamin Shors, SR — Interesting. (You can read the 100s of comments we’ve received on this issue here.)

*Tribe gets place on lake: Coeur d’Alenes plan to use Camp Larson to improve education of tribal children/Shawn Vestal, SR — I see poetic justice here. The white man used booze to take the Coeur d’Alenes land away. Now, the Coeur d’Alenes are using gambling proceeds to buy it back.

*Guest column: Scouting has strong safeguards in place/Jeff Philipps/Inland Northwest Council, SR — Let’s face it: The biggest beef some folks have against the Boy Scouts is they’re not P.C. And they love to see the Scouts smeared.

*Hearing set to review Kalani statement/Erica Curless, SR — So did she make a claim against Prosecutor Bill Douglas or his office? Or didn’t she? Alas, we’ll have to wait a week to find out if there’s more grist for the rumor mill.

Wild Card — Wednesday (5/11/05)

‘Tis time to end another fast-paced day online (although I always check back later in the evening). I appreciate some of the clever comments today. And I’m trying to track down the photographer of that WSU graduation photo (see “Inside Huckleberries”). Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs

Jim Tibbs/Grant Pass, Ore.

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It grew up without male role models, and he doesn’t want that to happen to his children, as he explains in a terrific piece, here.

(Alas, Phil has pulled the plug on “The Old Goat Trail” to concentrate on his family views and Tall Trees blogs. Thanks for the Chuckleberries at the Goat Trail, nee CDA blog, Phil.)

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps let’s his hair down a bit today and pens a swell piece of humor re: the rules he’s formed over the years as a theater “techie” here.

*In his Wayback Machine today, CDADave tells us about the record pressing plant that once was located in Lake City here.

*Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness has been on such a roll that it’s hard to pick among his offerings. So, I’ve opted for a melancholy poem (but you should check out the rest of his stuff, too) here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour describes how revelations about the Spokane mayor and an acquaintance nabbed for child porn have made her cynical here.

Biker Granny — Redux

Remember the Little Ol’ Lady who threw a leg over a motorcycle in front of the Iron Horse in downtown CDA for an impromptu ride — you know, the Granny caught on film by Bob Salsbury and galpal, Kris? Well, that was Becky Becker Herrmann, 79, former owner of the Ponderosa Golf Course (1974-76) and Becky’s Health and Nutrition (early ‘80s). She dropped by the office this p.m. to introduce herself. Seems she was en route to a salsa dance at Post Falls when she spotted the chopper. As she gave it a good once over, its owner, a unidentified Spokane firefighter, looked up from his chow and asked her if she wanted a ride. Becky, a long-time dancer who’s in great shape for her age, said she hiked her short skirt dangerously high and climbed aboard for a quick trip up Sherman and down Lakeside, ending with a hard U turn in front of the Iron Horse. Of her Lancelot, she said: “He was a gorgeous hunk of a kid with a bit of a gut. I had plenty to hang onto.” May Becky’s kind increase.

Question: What shape do you think you’ll be in at 79 years old?

Inside Huckleberries (5/11/05)

4:41 p.m. This just in from “Bamer” who attended the WSU graduation ceremony: “Folks, These pictures are real here (and click link). I was there. It is a very funny prank!”

2:45 p.m. “I have two tickets on the ‘BNSF Railway Special’ What would you do if you could ride the train? Use it to protest? How? Should I give them to some KEA members? Open for ideas” — Ride the Choo Choo (posted in comments section under this item).

1:26 p.m. I and the rest of the Editorial Board are meeting with BNSF PR “hunk” (Frum Helen Back’s word, not mine) Gus Melonas & Co. at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow downtown. Anyone have a message to pass along? ;-)

11:31 a.m. Blog numbers survived the April vacation, bouncing back to a mean average of 4339 pageviews per day last week and showing even stronger at the start of this week. Thanks.

9:59 a.m. I appreciate when you guys send in questions to post on the blog because I tend to be too political and miss the obvious sometimes. Cis Gors’ has suggested two excellent questions in the past week for the HBO cover. Never hesitate to post a question or link or suggest an idea in the comments feature. I try to read every comment.

Best of the Northwest (5/11/05)

Seattle PI sports columnist Jim Moore wonders if WSU “Coug It” in naming its football stadium after Clarence D. Martin (pictured), Washington’s governor from 1932 to 1940. In his column today, Moore reveals the shocking truth that Martin was (drum roll, PUH-leez) a Dawg! Yep. He graduated from U-Dub in 1906. Mebbe its time that WSU started looking for a corporate sponsor to take away this disgrace. Meanwhile, you can read Moore’s column here.

1. David Horsey/PI weighs in on the Washington gas tax hike here.

2. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is calling for slimmer, taller buildings downtown in a PI story that Bill McCrory/Whitecaps e-mailed in, with the note: “Sounds like Coeur d’Alene” here.

3. The Boise man accused of killing a young family of three was convicted of a DUI three years ago for using his pickup to ram another vehicle, according to Patrick Orr/Statesman, here.

4. Lewis G. Zirkle, who founded what would become the world’s largest computer keyboard manufacturing company, has died at his Rathdrum, Idaho, home. He was 90. Click here.

5. The University of Idaho Foundation will not sue former U of I President Robert Hoover and former financial vice president Jerry Wallace, two of the people at the heart of the UI’s failed attempt to build the University Place satellite campus in Boise, according to the AP, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Statesman (Even more $$$ for Idaho roads?), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Seattle Black Panthers reunion), Susan Paynter/PI (Cashing in on mauled cat), Idaho Statesman (Working around wolves), and Tacoma News-Tribune (New road tax necessary).

*The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Dept. has released its latest roundup of wanted warrant scofflaws (and they’re all between the ages of 18 and 21) here.

*Boise State’s academic vision may lead to new buildings and apartments here.

*Up to a dozen girls at a middle school are suspected of trading sex with adult men in exchange for methamphetamine, according to the AP, here.

Boy Scout Spin

In reaction to the allegations against Spokane Mayor Jim West, the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts has circulated a letter with seven talk points, including: “We have no record of accusations of abuse made to the council regarding Mayor West. These allegations regarding the abuse of Scouts in the 1970s are new information.” You can read the entire letter here (pdf format required).

Hat Tip: Mike Kennedy

Wednesday Question — Ladies Choice

Issue: A close friend with a hidden dark side.

Cis Gors: Consider your best friend. (Do not use the person’s name.) Someone you have trusted completely for years. What would happen if this friend turns out to have a secret dark side? Demon’s that he/she has fought privately. And they tell you about it. Would you still be friends? Would you hate the sin and love the sinner? Or would you hate the sinner, too?

DFO: I would like to think I would. How about you Huckleberries Online readers?

Quick Fix 6 (5/11/05)

In the Sauce for the Gander category, a Times Square billboard will soon reveal a dirty little secret of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: The animal rightists have killed more than 10,000 dogs, cats and other animals at its Virginia headquarters here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Chuck Asay (Censorship), Monte Wolverton (Over A Barrel), and Chip Bok (Blair’s victory).

2. Humor Fix: “On Monday, President Bush attended Russia’s celebration commemorating the 60th anniversary of the allied forces victory over Nazi Germany. Bush and his host Vladimir Putin reportedly got along quite well during the event, except when at the end of the parade of Russian military troops and vehicles, George said “Is that all you got?” and busted out laughing” — 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: Runaway Bride action figure doll for sale here, Dem Reid shows no remorse for calling Bush “loser” here, Nixon’s son-in-law to challenge Hillary here, Letter report cards dumped in Florida here, and Dems turn to values-oriented pastor for answers here.

5. Network TV Bias: A Media Reality Check survey shows network TV news shows have used labels for conservatives six times more than for liberals since Dubya’s re-election six months ago here.

6. Opinion Fix: James A. Baker III & Edwin Meese III/NY Times (Bolton is the man), Myrna Blyth/Ladies Home Journal (Making mother smile), Roger Kimball/The New Criterion (Retaking the universities), Michelle Malkin/ (In praise of police), and John Stossel/ (Health hype).


Charlie Watts, left to right, Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones pose after announcing tour.

Issue: Rolling Stones announce world tour: At 61, Jagger’s ready to rock and roll for a year/

DFO: I haven’t listened to a thing the Stones have sung since — what? — the mid-70s. But they still must give a good concert if they can book a year-long world tour.

Question: Don’t old rockers fade away? When should the Stones give in to age?

Poet’s Corner

For Delbert

We bucked hay bales those hot July days,
125 pounders!
Smelling the hay and dust and tractor fumes,
seeing the old man outworking
my teenage body,
his efficiency of motion earned
from 60 years in fields.

I’m 17 and bone tired by 11:30
we eat a dinner for lunch,
pot roast, new potatoes, freshly
baked bread, milk and pie, then
go out to his barn where he hands
me a lukewarm bottle of Rainier beer,
it’s how we drank it in Canada.

He’d go take a nap,
I’d sit in the cool green shade of
the haybarn easing my muscles
until it all began again.
On those summer days I believed
I was a man.

Bob Salsbury/The Unbearable Bobness of Being

Photo of the Day (5/10/05) w/today’s winners

George Reis, a forcados, hangs on to a bulls tail during the Portuguese bloodless bullfights held at the Laton Rodeo grounds in Laton, Calif., Monday. You write the cutline. (BTW, this is the life I avoided by turning to journalism.)

Top Cutlines:

1. Relatives of Hillary Rodham Clinton unearthed this photograph which captured a much younger Hillary and her reluctant escort in route to her high school prom — The Heimlich Manuever.

2. Poor George was again victimized by the older children who told him that “Pull the Tail Off the Angry Bull” was a much more enjoyable game than “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” — Chuckles the Demented Clown.

3. (tie) It was in that precise moment that George realized the barnyard origins of his grandad’s old “pull my finger” joke — Bob Salsbury. And: “CDA Press Columnist Bob Paulos, seen here dragging the last remaning grass farmer from the Rathdrum Prairie…” — lovethatbob.

For those keeping score at home …

… the Tomatometer of the Rotten Tomatoes Web site gives George Lucas’ “Revenge of the Sith” a whopping 92% here. (Read: Bad reviews are hard to find.)

A polygamist sect moving into North Idaho …

… is the subject of a KTVB multi-day investigative piece here. (Free subscription signup required, but worth it.)

Hat Tip: Mike Kennedy/The Loyal Opposition

Q&A re: Ernie Stensgar ouster

Ernie Stensgar, then chairman of the tribe, talked at a press conference in 2003 before the the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s annual disbursement of tribal profits to local schools.

Question, from Jane Q. Citizen: An interesting difference in two stories reported this morning in the Press and SR. The Press says Ernie Stensgar failed to be re-elected to the chairmanship of the tribe on a 4-3 vote. Has quotes about him being surprised that his peers didn’t want him to continue. The SR story says that Stensgar “stepped down” and mentions nothing about a vote of the tribal council. Wonder which one is pr/spin from the tribe.

DFO: The Press got this one right here, while we were victims of new tribal chairman Chief Allan’s spin. Ernie was blind-sided by the vote. Dunno the politics of Indian Country, but I’m not impressed with the way Ernie was ousted. With all the tribe’s accomplishments during his nearly 20-year reign, Ernie deserved better than this.

Question of the Day (5/10/05)

Issue: BNSF cleared to reopen fuel depot: County official vows to revoke permit, move facility off aquifer/James Hagengruber, SR.

DFO: As long as that depot operates near Hauser, it will be fouling the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Aquifer — no matter how safe railroad execs claim the facility is.

Question: Do you trust the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to protect the public interest in forcing BNSF to keep train diesel out of our water source?

Best of Northwest/QF6 (5/10/05)

APhoto Fix: After years of debate and delay, Germany today finally dedicated its national Holocaust memorial, an undulating field of concrete slabs on a site resonant with both the terror of German history and the vibrancy of today’s reunited Berlin. The memorial was designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenmann.

A Boise man was charged with vehicular manslaughter in a road-rage accident that killed a young family — father, mother and baby. Mark Lazinga, 45, faces 30 years in prison after accidentally killing the family while chasing a vehicle driven by a Boise State football player here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: David Horsey/PI (Good news for graduates?), Wayne Stayskal (US traffic jams), and Gary Varvel (Tony Blair).

2. Humor Fix: “And the number one movie this week is “Kingdom of Heaven”. It’s a film about the 12th century crusades; a time when the tensions between Christians and Muslims led to bloody violence in the Middle East. Well, thank God those days are gone forever, huh? People were so primitive back then” — Jay Leno.

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

4. Northwest News Fix: Soaking wet, but still in a drought here, Forbes lists Micron CEO Appleton among the worst execs here, Seattle police Taser pregnant woman here, Illegal alien with Oregon driver’s license charged with 41 counts, including murder here, and Court: Washington can’t favor minorities in awarding road contracts here.

5. Top of the News Fix: Feds pay $5.8 billion to jail criminal aliens here, US forces raid terrorist stronghold here, Feds probe huge computer attack here, Lennon killer to speak on shock TV here, and Son finds exposed coffins at Chicago cemetery here.

6. Opinion Fix: Victor Erofeyev/NY Times (How Russia lost WWII), Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Both sides to blame in Senate filibuster game), Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (Soaking the Green in Oregon), Steve Malloy/Washington Times (Fat hysteria), and Irwin Stelzer/Weekly Standard (Blair’s last hurrah).

More West allegations

Some of you want names re: the Spokane City Hall scandal? Well, Bill Morlin/SR provides them in a story he’ll report in the morning. From Bill’s story:

Ryan M. Oelrich, a 24-year-old openly gay man, said he was appointed by West to the city Human Rights Commission in April 2004, but didn’t know at the time that West was the same man he’d met earlier in using the screen aliases “Cobra82nd” and “RightBi-Guy.”

Sometime after the appointment, Oelrich said he realized the mayor was the same person he’d been talking to online beginning in 2003. While on the commission, Oelrich said he rebuffed a series of sexually explicit online advances from West.

For the rest of the story, click here. (And you can find Mike Prager’s/SR story on West taking a leave of absence here.


Issue: “Young children could have nightmares after seeing Anakin’s murderous rage, and Star Wars obsessives will be able to spot some minor inconsistencies in Lucas’ plot” — reviewer Grant Rollings/The Sun re: “Star Wars” final film, “Revenge of the Sith.”

DFO: Well, Anakin is no longer a pod-racing child, and George Lucas had to do something to explain the lovable character he becomes in the original three movies of the series. I’d hate to have to explain the dark nature of the finale to little ones.

Question: Did George Lucas do a disservice to parents of young children by kicking up the sci-violence (even Yoda comes in for some electro-shock treatment) in the final episode of his epic series?

Extra! Extra!

Spokane Mayor Jim West has just announced that he’s taking a two-week leave of absence to prepare a defense against the charges of sexual abuse leveled at him in a series of articles by The Spokesman-Review. He’s turning the daily operation of City Hall over to Deputy Mayor Jack Lynch in his absence. He concluded a brief statement to City Council members by asking the public and them to reserve judgment until the newspaper quits “persecuting” him.

Hat Tip — to Cis Gors for the heads up to turn on the TV to watch the announcement.

A message to Christine?

Seems the accounting college at WSU sent Gov. Christine Gregoire, the commencement speaker for graduation exercises Saturday, a little message in what may be one of the greatest grad pranks ever (if it’s legitimate). Click here and keep scrolling.

Hat Tip: to Michelle Malkin’s blog (a must read for Righties) via blogger Freepers.

P.S. Stefan Sharkansky/Sound Politics just responded to my note re: the authenticity of the WSU prank: “I can’t prove this one way or another, but these look real to me and I have no reason to believe these are fake. Zoom in on the letters in the larger photos. Note how the focus is different in each photo and also note how the tassels seem to drape over the white letters. I imagine it would be very difficult to fake this.”

Extra! Extra! BNSF depot gets green light

An Idaho judge (Charles Hosack) ruled today that BNSF Railway can reopen its refueling depot near Hauser.

The depot was ordered closed in February following disclosures of leaks in the liners below the refueling platform. The leaks threatened the aquifer that supplies drinking water to 500,000 people across the Inland Northwest.

Today’s ruling came after an agreement was reached outside of court between the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and BNSF. The agreement requires additional levels of testing and monitoring.

For more on this matter, click here. For previous stories about the depot, click here.

DFO: SReporter James Hagengruber told HBO that BNSFers weren’t happy to see a CBS film crew at the courthouse this a.m.

Photo of the Day (5/9/05)

Spain’s Alberto Lopez de Munain lies on the asphalt after crashing against a guardrail during the Tour of Italy race Monday and was hospitalized with multiple fractures. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. When the guardrail hits your thigh like a big pizza pie that’s amore — Bob Salsbury.

2. A lone Kootenai County taxpayer watches the parade of wealthy disgruntled ex-employees ride by — Mike Kennedy.

3. Life’s a ditch — Gary Cuff.

2. When the guardrail hits your thigh like a big pizza pie that’s amore…

SR Morning Headlines (5/9/05)

*Mayor says sex act happened at home; Living ‘this double life has been hell’/Bill Morlin, SR — Last week, Mayor Jim West isn’t gay; now, he is. I agree with Mike Kennedy. This is all about damage control.

*Spokane look like loser after allegations: Troubled Mayor West once had much to offer city/Doug Clark, SR — Clark pulled his punches here. I think he liked Jim West and realized how much good he’d done for Spokane already despite his obsessive behavior.

*Sandpoint voters get say on bank: New height ordinance would allow for 4-story financial center/Susan Drumheller, SR — As a downtown Sandpoint boost, this sounds good; then, I live in Coeur d’Alene where 18 stories soon will become the norm. Anyone from Bonner County have thoughts about a 5-story “high-rise”?

*Phone, road a less likely combo here: Drivers on other side of state use their cell phones more/Amy Cannata, SR — I’m with the eastsiders: Make talking on cell phone while driving illegal.

*Court victory on burning doesn’t solve public problem: Grass growers need new answers/D.F. Oliveria, SR — I remain conflicted about grass-growing — thanks largely to the fact that the farmers don’t burn their fields until the wind is blowing north toward Sandpoint. If I lived in Sandpoint, Bayview/Athol, Clark Fork, etc., and had a respiratory problem, I’d be incensed by the recent court decisions.

Best of Huckleberries Online (May 2-6)

Bob Salsbury’s galpal, Kris, snapped this photo of a 79-year-old granny hitching a ride on a chopper in downtown CDA April 30. See “It Happened In Coeur d’Alene” below.

Didja hear the one about the wife whose National Guard husband was stationed in Kirkuk? Seems the Social Security Administration transposed Sgt. Nicholas Metzger’s birthdate and had trouble ID’ing him. Which snagged his tax return. And caused wife Carla to sputter when the gummint (for whom her hubby works) insisted he appear in person to confirm his identity. SSA wouldn’t budge, even when Sgt. Metzger called from Iraq. After U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s office called, however, the bureaucRATs sent the brave sergeant a form to fill out. Meanwhile, his wife is still waiting for this snafu to untangle. Stay tuned.

Separated At Birth?
I published a photo of BNSF spinmeister Gus Melonas online Wednesday and asked commenters to tell me who he resembled. The early responses were predictable: Kermit The Frog, Satan and “My Uncle Eddie – Eddie the Strangler.” Then, the femme commenters checked in. One said Gus was “easy on the eyes (If he’s not married, he can be the next bachelor).” Another: “Oh how I wish I was mayor of the City of Hauser so I could dine with this hunk in the executive car on the train ride to nowhere.” A third complained: “C’mon now, can’t the SR find just one unflattering photo rather than the one released by the BN PR department? (Heck), even I look great with a makeover!!” You can see our unflattering makeover here.

It Happened In CDA
The Little Old Lady from Pasadena has nothing on the 79-year-old ex-salsa/ballroom dancer who climbed aboard a hog in front of the Iron Horse Saturday, April 30. After admiring the chopper and mentioning her daughter owned one, the almost eightysomething asked for and got a ride. HBO has a photo to prove it (courtesy of eyewitnesses Bob Salsbury/The Unbearable Bobness of Being and galpal Kris) … Overheated Coeur d’Alene High boys lined up at the school office, with rose in hand, after a student announcer tongue twisted while promoting International Baccalaureate, a program for the college bound. What came out was “international bachelorette” … Among her “Top Ten Underestimated Talents of a Teen,” columnist Kimmie Hario lists for the CHS student newspaper: Being able to label someone by something as trivial as how they tie their shoes.” Of such trivia was “Seinfeld” made.

Poet’s Corner
“One hundred years/but still unlearned:/trust a railroad/and you’ll get burned” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“History Lesson”) … “Depression isn’t happiness turned upside down, it’s happiness sucked into a vacuum cleaner and then the bag explodes spraying dirt and lint balls all over your just cleaned carpet and filling the air with dust making you sneeze and go back to bed – Bob Salsbury/Random Shallow Thoughts.

And the answer is: “Don’t get caught.” Question? What’s the bottom line of student Natalie Sievert’s editorial about the upcoming Coeur d’Alene High senior kegger. Hmm … Vanity Plate (on a brown Cadillac DeVille): “NOMO925” … In the “Unclear on the Concept” Dept., Huckleberries Online spotted a flyer from Burton Academy of Beauty Culture & Hair Design (at Post Falls) for a “back facial” for $25 and up. Isn’t that an oxymoron? … Trivial Question: Which two Repubs, with surnames beginning in W, have combined to hold the Kootenai County coroner’s office since 1946? Answer: Robert West (current) and William Wood. County Clerk Dan English has a complete list of Kootenai County officials dating back to 1932 here.

Parting Shot
Junior Miss contestants are the crème de l’crème – bright, talented, poised. And do you know how the cream of the crop answered a question posed by mock judges re: the biggest problem between parents and children today? Each junior girl practicing for the May 12-13 Coeur d’Alene Jr. Miss said: Communication. And some complained their parents don’t ask where they’re going or who they’re with. Read: Your teen daughter has buddies. She needs parents.

Wild Card — Sunday (5/8/05)

I just took a sneak peek at Sunday’s stories re: Mayor Jim West. Yuck. The guy’s got big-time problems. But you can make your views known about them in Question No. 2. Here’s your Wild Card for other topics …

Sunday Question No. 1

Issue: Zogby poll: Americans fed up on illegal aliens: Majority against Bush plan for workers, 81% think local police should help feds/

DFO: Dubya’s all wet with his proposal to give millions of illegal aliens guest worker status with the purpose of becoming citizens eventually.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 how to you rate the illegal alien problem in the USA? And/or do you support President Bush’s policy on illegal aliens?

TGIF Wild Card — Friday (5/6/05)

We made it through another week together and my tongue’s almost dragging on the ground already … less than a week back from vacation. Oh well, Spokane Mayor Jim West should give us something to discuss until he does the right thing and resigns. Until then, here’s another Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs (5/6/05)

*Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being explains why he blogs, ending by asking tough questions (like, “Name which of the Spanish Inquisition Torture methods you find funniest”) here.

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It provides a link to a history of Mother’s Day here.

*CDADave takes us on a coupla trips on his Coeur d’Alene Wayback Machine — to the old Potlatch Mill (current site of the resort golf course) here and to the DeArmond Mill here. (He also has a view or two about Spokane mayor’s scandal here.)

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind pens a swell piece about life’s rewards, including a few words on a Mother’s Day card from an adult child, here.

*SidVicious/Idle Idahoan, a North Idaho expatriate working in the nation’s capitol, explains why D.C. cops have a well-deserved bad rep-PU-tation here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

First, you should know that Sgt. Nicholas Metzger is a National Guardsman stationed in Kirkuk. Now, onward. Seems Sgt. Metzger’s wife, Carla, was given power of attorney while he was gone, but that didn’t help her when the Social Security Administration transposed hubby’s birthdate. The problem came to light when the snafu snagged the Metzgers’ tax return. The SSA resisted correcting its error — even when the brave sergeant called the bureaucRATs from Iraq about it. They wanted him to appear in person. Finally, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s office got involved — and things began to move. The SSA sent off paperwork to begin the process. As of now, however, the tax return is still hung up in paperwork. Sez Carla: “The most ironic thing is my husband works for the government. Hello, people …”

Fortier shoots, scores …

Columnist Marty Fortier of sNIDe Remarks was cookin’ today when he wrote about the $69,000-plus settlement ex-drug court queen Marina Kalani won from Kootenai County on the way out of the door — you know, the gal who swapped hundreds of e-mails with Prosecutor Bill Douglas. Quoth Marty:

“Now I’m just a simple caveman, and I don’t know nothin’ about no inappropriate relationships, but I do know math. And according to my calculations, Miss Kalani earned about $78 per e-mail. (For those of you scoring at home, that’s $70,000 divided by 889 e-mails.)”

You can read the entire column here.

Best of the Northwest (5/6/05)

Nicole Waggoner holds a sign during a athiests rally on the steps of the Statehours, Thursday in Boise. See Item Below IMHO-NW.

Forbes magazine’s May 9 edition ranks the Boise metro area No. 1 on its annual Best Places for Business and Careers list, report Joe Estrella and Nan Connolly/Statesman here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times on the never-ending Washington gubernatorial situation here.

2. The Inlander provides its summer movie preview here.

3. Scott Ritter, a former Marine and chief weapons inspector in Iraq, was interviewed during a Spokane visit by Cara Gardner/Inlander here.

4. Coldwater Creek Inc. is working to boost its operating margin by buying more of its women’s apparel from overseas garment makers directly, according to Richard Ripley/Spokane Journal of Business, here.

5. Are rattlesnakes growing legs in the Tri-Cities area to stay out of tumbleweed burn piles? The Tri-City Herald chronicles one biped snake that didn’t make it here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Forbes’ kudos), Tacoma News-Tribune (Mayor West’s hypocrisy), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (New gas tax), Kay McFadden/Seattle Times (“Elvis”), and Joel Connelly/PI (Spokane’s Dark Past).

*The Idaho Statesman provides a story and a photo gallery about the nonconfrontation between Christians and atheists in Boise here.

*Washington ranks No. 13 and Idaho No. 32 in total taxes per capita, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, here (story) and here (table).

*Sea-Tac ranks No. 3 among the nation’s airports for claims involving theft and loss here.

Troll nominees

When Lake City Playhouse Director Jack Green put out an SOS for a troll for “The Hobbit,” commenter Trollfinder responded:

1. Bob Paulos (perfect attitude!)
2. Katie Brodie (she lives under any bridge built by a developer!)
3. The entire Hayden City Council (except the one lone voice in the wilderness, Nancy Taylor)
4. Steve (I run a football factory) Casey
5. The Post Falls Mafia

Honorable Mentions: Dan of the County, David Bond, Bob Salsbury and Larry Holstein.

DFO: Seriously, if you want to play the role, contact Jack at

Question of the Day

Issue: Spokane paper risked scoop by tipping off mayor to probe: Mag discusses the use of a “computer forensic expert” in the sting to report allegations of West’s sexual misconduct/Graham Webster, SR.

DFO: The investigative report by Bill Morlin and Karen Dorn Steele into possible misuse of office by Spokane Mayor Jim West was one for the ages — tremendous work. But not everyone agrees. In a blistering comment, blogger Wizbang accuses us of outing West as a bisexual because he opposed the gay agenda here.

Question: What do you think of our use of a computer forensic expert in the investigative series about Mayor Jim West?

Hat tip to Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast and SidVicious/Idle Idahoan for providing links used above.

Blogging can be hazardous to …

… your health, even fatal. Ask the widow of a New York account exec who died from starvation at his computer. Because? Childress H. Wanamaker, 54, was so intent on responding to the 48 forums he monitored that he neglected to eat the meals on plastic trays brought to him by his wife here. Be careful out there.

Hat Tip — to UI student Sam Taylor for passing this bit of satire along.

Quick Fix 6 (5/6/05)

Ewan McGregor, left, as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in a scene from Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith”/APhoto. See Top Item.

“Entertaining from start to finish and even enthralling at times, ‘(Revenge of the) Sith’ has some acting worth writing home about, specifically (Ian) McDiarmid’s dominant turn as the mastermind of the evil empire” — Variety review of George Lucas’ final “Star Wars” movie here.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Network news), Robert Airail (Congressional junket hypocrisy), and Steve Benson (Runaway everything).

2. Humor Fix: “George always says that he’s delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He’s usually in bed by now. I’m not kidding. I said to him the other day, George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you’re going to have to stay up later” — First Lady Laura Bush at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (courtesy

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Google money overwhelmingly favors Demos here, Iraq death toll tops 250 in 9 days here, California Border Patrol proposes here, Job growth explodes in April here, and Iraq war batters Blair at ballot box here.

5. 100 Days Fix: Columnist/blogger Hugh Hewitt sez President Bush has begun his second term with a bang and is only getting started here.

6. Opinion Fix: Wesley J. Smith/Discovery Institute (PETA’s non-apology apology), Steve Beard/ (“Kingdom of Heaven”), Mark Goldblatt/Institute of Technology (Can graduate Johnny write?), Mona Charen/Creators Syndicate (Veggie porn at school), and Austin Bay/Washington Times (V-E Day remembered).

Wild Card — 5/5/05

The Mouse will be indisposed tonight and mebbe for a few days yet, so it’s safe to comment without being roared at …

Don’t Tick America Off

Aussie blogger Arthur Chrenkoff offers before/after photos of why it’s not in your best interests or health to tick off America, if you’re a terrorist, here.

“History Lesson”

One hundred years
but still unlearned:
trust a railroad
and you’ll get burned.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Remember when …

… Spokane residents looked down on North Idaho because we had the Aryan Nations, and they didn’t? Bwahahaha. Bwahahaha.

Photo of the Day (5/5/05)

President Bush tried to enlist business support for his Social Security plan at the 2005 Latino Small Business Economic Conference earlier this week. You write the cutline/APhoto (and keep it clean).

Caption Winners:

1. Not realizing his sock puppet had dropped, President Bush started his story about “The Happy Stockbroker and Mr. Grumpy Retiree” — Bob Salsbury.

2. “I just heard that Jim West missed connecting with Jeff Gannon on by this much” — Ryan Hill.

3. “Y’all got any of them tortilla chips that look like little scoops?” — Out of Stater Tater.

Best of the Northwest (5/5/05)

Montana State University unveiled its choice for a new logo, featuring a large block M in blue, set atop a curved, golden arc with a gold flame rising from the M. Underneath the M it says Montana State University with the school’s popular slogan “Mountains and Minds”/APhoto.

Coeur d’Alene School District officials should be concerned that the public isn’t enthusiastic about their two-year, $7.3 million levy, which features a controversial portion for college prep students. In a Coeur d’Alene Press Online poll, the levy is “leading” only 49.5% to 43% (after 556 votes) here.

1. David Horsey/PI reacts to news about fat being where it’s at now here.

2. In Boise, Idaho atheists won a face-off to rally on the Statehouse step, the place where Christians usually gather to observe the National Day of Prayer today, here.

3. Boiseans Joy and Stan Steiner discuss their hot-off-the-presses book, “P Is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet” with The Idaho Statesman here.

4. Nearly 40 years after fighting in the jungles there, Peter Small, 58, Bonners Ferry, recently returned from a month long adventure to Vietnam, where he traveled from Hanoi to Saigon by motorcycle, visiting many of the fields of battle where he fought, reports the Kootenai Valley Press, here.

5. WSU will hold a memorial service Friday for Vincent Ray Franceschi, 52, director of the School of Biological Sciences and the Electron Microscopy Center at Washington State University, who died unexpectedly on Saturday at Pullman Regional Hospital. Click here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tom Peacock/The Easterner (Race being used as a crutch), Mike Weland/Kootenai Valley Press (Boundary County school levy), Connie Maus/Statesman (Shifting role of nurses), Bob Taunton/Statesman (Conserving water), and Kelly Walkup/The Easterner (Playing second fiddle to Gonzaga).

* presents the weekly Kootenai County sheriff’s warrant roundup here.

*Boise and Garden City are paying $7000 to fix bullet holes in homes hit during a wild police shootout here.

*Students working for a UOregon designated driver program seen drinking on the job here.

Peanut Gallery (Another side to trust issue)

“Yes, there is another side of the trust issue. The caring honest adult who USED to hug children. My husband loves kids. Use to take nephews and other friends children fishing all the time. Hug them when they fell down or had hurt feelings. NOW, he doesn’t dare. He knows he is a safe honest caring adult. But he is afraid that other adults won’t think so. Even a bus driver is taught they are not to hug a child who has fallen down on the bus, for fear of it being taken wrong. So where is the center line? There isn’t any left” — Cis Gors.

DFO: Cis just nailed something: Not only do we have to be careful to protect our children from sexual predators, but we have to be careful not to show affection to the children of others for fear of how other adults will perceive it. Alas.

SR Other Morning Headlines (5/5/05)

*Thrift stores fear new federal tax proposal: Local group organizes to head off reduction in charitable deductions/John Stucke, SR — If lawmakers spent as much time trying to cut pork as they do trying to squeeze every last dollar out of taxpayers, we would be better off.

*Luxury golf community in the works: French-themed plans include 475 homes, condos overlooking bay/Becky Kramer, SR — Do those gated communities lock the snobby rich guys in or keep the rest of us out?

*Proper guidelines can easily prevent blight in CdA: High-rises a good idea if regulated/D.F. Oliveria, for the SR Editorial Board — It’s one thing to resist a moratorium on high rises because you don’t want to stop revitalization momentum. It’s another thing to be unprepared for the unexpected. CdA is unprepared for the unexpected.

*Police warn of identity theft scam: Perpetrators apparently asking widows for information on deceased/Jonathan Brunt, SR — Be careful out there.

*Threat to veterans’ care seen: U.S. may break promise, Sen. Patty Murray says/Jim Camden & Kevin Graman, SR — If we have money for pork, we should have money to take care of those who risk their lives in service to this country.

Question of the Day (5/5/05)

Issue: Spokane Mayor Jim West tied to sex abuse in ‘70s, using office to lure young men/Bill Morlin & Karen Dorn Steele, SR Special Report. (Photo: Jim West, second from right in the top row, was photographed in the 1970’s with other Boy Scout leaders at Camp Cowles at Diamond Lake near Newport, Wash.)

DFO: Absolutely disgusting.

Question: What’s your reaction to today’s special report in the SR that Jim West has used his positions of public trust to seduce young men and boys? (You can find a link to our SR forum on this issue here.)

Wild Card — Wednesday (5/4/05)

It was such a quiet night on the Wild Card front last night that I double checked my Mouse traps to see if Any Mouse had succumbed to the lure of the bait you others leave out …

Best of the Local Blogs

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour and Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being were both talking about that pepper spray incident at the Sandpoint Wal-Mart, involving two warring families and a baby, here and here.

*Phil Corless/The Old Goat Trail provides a link to a column about venerable Voice of the Vandals Bob Curtis winning his 33rd Idaho Sportscaster of the Year award here.

*CDADave’s looking for a cool $18,000 to buy rock ‘n roll’s equivalent to the Holy Grail here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind passes along some great advice from an old Farmers Almanac here.

*Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast wasn’t thrilled about the movie, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” here.

D’s are party of the … well off?

Interestingly, states whose median income for a family of four fell below the national average of $65,093 tended to vote Republican in the last prez election. Those above that average tended to go Democrat. Don’t believe me? Click here.

Huckleberries hears …

…that newsroom muckety-mucks at the Coeur d’Alene Press have imposed a story quota on the poor schlemiels who report the news — but they haven’t told the schlemiels how many stories they have to write per week. Amazing, but true.

BTW, I know the Press checks this blog a coupla times per day for story ideas, so I’ve been more careful about tipping the paper’s hand. We gotta good one coming tomorrow.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

My but things have changed since I editted the Gridley (Calif.) Union High Bulldog back when Methusaleh was a child. Then, sneaking a double entendre past Mrs. Schlief into the paper was a big deal. Now, the kids are writing about the year-end senior kegger, cautioning classmates not to get caught, or drive drunk, or hook up with some loser that you’ll have to face until graduation. In an opinion piece for Coeur d’Alene High’s Viking Voice, Natalie Sievert tells of drunk prepsters walking through fire or catching fire and begs readers not to let anyone catch on fire at the kegger. She sums up her thoughts about the kegger with this: “The entire party is illegal due to drinking underage. So the bottom line is to not get caught.” Ah, the bottom line, Natalie, should be to obey the law.

Question No. 2

Issue: Coeur d’Alene Police probe second false report of rape in a week/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: This is the kind of nonsense that makes people suspicious of legitimate rape reports. This woman’s a disgrace to her gender.

Question: What’s your feelings about false rape reports?

Separated at Birth?

I have BNSF on the mind this morning as the railroad battles to reopen its refueling depot to resume polluting the aquifer. To the right, you’ll see BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas. Can you think of anyone he resembles? Keep it clean. (I’ll post the best answers out front.)

DFO: Early guesses: Kermit the Frog, Ashton Kutcher, and Roger Clinton. Writes Jane Q. Otee: “Old Gus is pretty easy on the eyes that’s for sure. If he’s not married he can be the next Bachelor.” Frum Helen Back also is smitten by Gus: “Oh how I wish I was mayor of the City of Hauser so I could dine with this hunk in the executive car on the train ride to nowhere. He looks like a young Tom Harmon. I even think an old Tom Harmon looks good.” (Update: Helen meant actor Mark Harmon, not his dad, Tom.)

SR delivers BNSF one-two punch …

In today’s SR, columnist Rebecca Nappi offered a eulogy to the late, great Rathdrum aquifer here. And I ripped the railroaders in an editorial here.

Quick Fix 6 (5/4/05)

As an Arizona State linebacker in 1997, Pat Tillman intercepted a pass as ASU beat Stanford. Later, he gave up pro football to serve and die for his country/APhotos. See item immediately below.

The first Army investigator who looked into the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan last year found within days that he was killed by his fellow Rangers in an act of “gross negligence,” but Army officials decided not to inform Tillman’s family or the public until weeks after a nationally televised memorial service, according to Josh White/Washington Post.

1. Political ‘Toon Fix: Monte Wolverton (Tom Delaying tactics), Gary Varvel (John Bolton’s nomination), and Brian Fairrington (Why D’s keep losing).

2. Humor Fix: You can find a spoof ad poking fun at Dubya’s warm reception for Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah here.

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

4. Top of the News Fix: Bomber kills 50 at Iraqi police center here, Nichols: 3rd man involved in Oklahoma City bombing here, Bin Laden’s No. 3 caught here, ABC rocks “American Idol” here, and Kerry used prez campaign funds to pay off parking tickets here.

5. “Star Wars” Fix: The final “Star Wars” installment isn’t like anything you’ve seen before — violent, disturbing and you find out why Darth Vader was so beat up at the end of his life when Luke removes his helmet here.

6. Opinion Fix: Susan Konig/National Review (Mother of all Mothers Days), Jerry Taylor & Peter VanDoren/Cato Institute (Bipartisan energy errors), Harry Stein/Wall Street Journal (Comedian Jon Stewart), Claudia Rosett/Wall Street Journal (Once again, we’re a colossus), and Kathleen Parker/ (Laura Bush the entertainer).


Issue: Father tells jilted groom to go slowly: Fiance of runaway bride still wants to marry her/Associated Press.

DFO: Hey, she ain’t Julia Roberts; I’d broom her.

Question: What would you do if you were the beau here?

Another miner dies

In his Wallace Street Journal column, David Bond (photo below) pays tribute to Cody Mathewson, 52, who died last week in a mining accident here. Quoth Bond:

“Another miner died in another mining accident in another mine yesterday. Another friend. Got tangled up in the air doors or something, according to another mining company’s press release. Another widow notified. Another former wife just called. Another drinking buddy, and a damned friendly one, gone.”

You can find the rest of this superb column here.

Question No. 2

Issue: Gas prices hit SUV drivers hard: As fill-up price nears $100, Texans buying fewer large trucks/Wall Street Journal.

DFO: $100 for a fill-up? Dang! And what’s with the Hummer? Why don’t Hummer owners simply post a sign to their vehicles, stating, I’m richer than you and I want you to know it?

Question: Do you sympathize with the plight of SUVers? Or is this their come-to-Jesus moment?

Give it up for — the Twinkie …

Twinkie “ginger bread” house

…which is celebrating its 75th birthday this month as one of Hostess’s best. If you plan to observe this important event, Hostess offers recipes, games, etc., here.

DFO: Lightning round question: What was the “Twinkie Defense”?

Bob’s Random Shallow Thoughts

“Depression isn’t happiness turned upside down, it’s happiness sucked into a vacuum cleaner and then the bag explodes spraying dirt and lint balls all over your just cleaned carpet and filling the air with dust making you sneeze and go back to bed.”

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

Personal Question

With a cast of thousands in the Inland Northwest, why don’t enviros have someone who can blog about the various issues going on, from the BNSF refueling depot to forest issues?

SR Morning headlines

*Supreme Court won’t hear field-burning case: Farmers claim victory; clean-air advocates vow to fight on/Nicholas K. Geranios, AP — I have only three words to say to the US Supreme Court: Hack, cough, wheeze.

*The road hardly traveled at all: Doug Clark found himself turning into, gasp, a Bloomie/Spokesman-Review — You didn’t really think Clark was going to follow through with this Bloomsday nonsense did you?

*Both sides claim win in pretrial rulings: Washington governor’s race heads for court showdown/Jim Camden, SR — As Yogi Berra used to say: This one ain’t over until it’s over.

*Idaho urges more tests on BNSF refueling depot: Railroad cites lost revenues; state cites holes in liners protecting aquifer/James Hagengruber, SR — If you can get greenie Barry Rosenberg to wear a tie to a court hearing, anything’s possible — even a safe BNSF refueling depot. Ah, mebbe that’s a bit too far.

*Contentious Times hits the stands: 15-year-old hopes to reach out, make difference in the world/Rob McDonald, SR — The future of journalism is promising as long as youngsters like Nina Neff are waiting in the wings.

Running Late

It’s Tuesday, which means I met with my padre, Steve Massey, this a.m., so I’m running a bit late. QF6 ETA: 10 a.m.


Issue: ‘Ugly’ children get less attention: Attractiveness described in terms of facial symmetry, cleanliness and attire/Laura Roberts, The Scotsman.

DFO: I thought parents loved their kids no matter how homely they are; after all, aren’t the parents somewhat responsible for a child’s physical attractiveness or lack thereof?

Question: Do you think this study is legit?

Inside Huckleberries (5/2/05)

5:33 p.m. Dunno if you guys noticed, but the SR has just added a “comments” feature to the “Ask the Editors” blog. My handlers must have answered in the affirmative when they asked themselves: “Do you feel lucky?” Anyway, check it out, and you know what to do if you see something that interests you here.

2:35 p.m. Final number for April HBO pageviews: 106,332 (which beat the record set in March by almost 18,000), for a daily average of 3544. A year ago, the April total was 15,280 pageviews for a daily average of 509. Thanks for helping make this blog successful.

2:11 p.m. I’ve just learned the IDs to two new HBO commenters (from an outside source, so I won’t name them here). And I continue to be amazed — and honored — by the quality of people who comment here. And there’s always room for more.

11:08 a.m. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Huckleberries Online has made the blogroll of blogs Woe, Canada and Iowa Voice.

11:03 a.m. BTW, I was watching you from my brother-in-law’s home in the Portland area Thursday through Saturday. We made a quick run over there to pick up Amy from UPortland, where she finished her first year as a communications major. And now is looking for summer work to fill the hours till school starts again.

10:59 a.m. ‘Tis good to be back. ‘Twas good to vacate. For everything, there was a season. I was pleasantly surprised to see my blog numbers ran from 1624 (Saturday) to 4516 (Friday) while I was gone. Is there a message there? The blog is more interesting when I’m on vacation? Gulp.

Genius programmer? Or serial killer?

Can you tell a program language inventor from a serial killer? Sometimes, they look about the same. With time winding down on your Monday work day, HBO has a fun little quiz for you here.

Hat Tip: Cis The Retired (who scored 8 out of 10).

Best of the Northwest (5/2/05)

EWU’s Matt Nelson drove past two Washington Huskies in December 2004 in Seattle. Now, Nelson’s leaving EWU for BSU/APhoto. See Item No. 3.

EWU 2004 graduate Jeremy Lokken is making a monster reputation for himself, as his short, animated film, Monster in the Mansion, continues to gather accolades, according to the EWU Easterner, here.

1. David Horsey/PI looks at the John Bolton UN nomination here.

2. Idaho youngsters may leave for awhile, but they, like Dorothy, often realize that there’s no place like home, returning years later to pick up their lives, according to the Statesman, here. And the “brain drain” is reversing in Montana, too, here.

3. EWU’s loss is BSU’s gain as Matt Nelson, the Big Sky freshman basketballer of the year has decided to transfer from Cheney to Boise here.

4. Washington Repubs won an important judicial victory today in their bid to overturn the gubernatorial election result here. Meanwhile, Democrat John Kerry visited Washington to raise money to help Gov. Christine Gregoire hand on to her post here.

5. An African-American pastor from the Tri-Cities is under fire for his uncompromising stand in favor of traditional marriage here.

6. IMHO-NW: Joel Connelly/PI (John Kerry’s back), Jim McClure/Idaho Statesman (University Place lawyer complaints), Missoulian (Public’s right to know), Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Hating Canadians), and Michelle M. Larsen/Oregonian (Shattering the glass ceiling).

*Confused WSU students in need of medical care have been dropped off at an old vacant hospital entrance here.

*Moderates and conservatives in the Flathead Valley (Kalispell, Mont.) GOP are waging a battle royale for control here.

* provides the Bonner Count police logs here.

Do you remember when?

For the boomer set in the HBO, you can enjoy a walk down memory lane here.

Hat Tip — to John Rook, for passing this along.

Photo of the Day — Monday (5/2/05)

Hugh Lewis, age 77 and his bride Elisabeth Johnson-Lewis. 75, head off on their walk down Sprague Ave after being married before the start of Bloomsday 05/Dan Pelle, SR. You write the cutline.

Subtle but brilliant Dave Tolle cutline: “Could this be Hughy Lewis in the news???”

Question of the Day

Issue: First lady never watches ‘Desperate Housewives’: But used sexy show to launch into comedy tirade Saturday night/International Herald Tribune.

DFO: Laura Bush is the classiest First Lady act in the White House in the last half century. She can pull anything off, including a comedy routine in which she jokes that she’s a desperate housewife.

Question: Did Laura Bush step over the line with her comic routine at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday?

The Blogmeister Is In the House

I’m back. I’m refreshed. I’m beginning to blog. Stay tuned …

Wild Card — Sunday (5/1/05)

Here’s your last Wild Card until we’re back to business as usual on Monday …

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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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