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Huckleberries Online

Archive for November 2005

Wild Card/Wednesday — 11/30/05

I haven’t given you an update on the blog numbers in awhile because — (drum roll, puh-leez) our counter has been messed up since Nov. 18. But I have them now. And wow! The November numbers are going to shatter the September record of 125,565. With a day and a half of counting to go, HBO for November has already topped 157,000 for the month, including 12 days of 6000 pageviews or more and five over 7000. The 5400 average would the blog in line for 2 million PVs per year. Thanks for checking in here and making HBO successful. Now, your Wild Card …

Top Cutlines — 11/30/05

Poker pro Phil Laak plays a game of poker about 30 feet below sea level in the first ever underwater poker tournament, hosted by, at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Poker Classic in St. Kitts Tuesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “For the last time, Karl, we’re not playing ‘Go Fish’” — Out of Stater Tater; and: Phil knew that he had his opponent in a bind when he suddenly felt the water get warmer — Dang.

2. Mother crab, finding her son with chips he has taken from the players: “Share those with your sister. Don’t be shellfish” — John Austin.

3. “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, Know when to swim away and know when to dive. You never count your clams when you’re sittin’ at the table. Or the card shark that you’re playin’ with will eat you alive” — Family Phil.

HM: Thom George and A Token Democrat

For the rest of today’s clever cutlines, click here.

Extra! West Gaining in Polls, Media Swoop In

Dave Meany, lower photo, a reporter from KXLY-TV in Spokane, Wash., (and Tobby Hatley, top photo, a reporter from KHQ TV) picks up the index of the contents of Mayor James E. West’s computer hard drive from Shirley Pippenger at the City Clerks office in Spokane Wash. earlier today. Mayor West faces a recall election on Dec. 6 over allegations that he offered a City Hall internship to a man he met at internet site, Sinisterra, APhoto.

Poll shows slight gain for West: With more than half of ballots returned, ouster still appears likely/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

I’ve Been Too Dang Serious Today …

…How about a laugh courtesy of Digital Fog here.

What? Favoritism in Idaho? C’mon

The selection of a politically active Boise company to oversee the biggest highway construction program in state history has been put on hold after questions were raised over how it won the contract. The Idaho Transportation Board voted 4-1 last month to give the contract to Washington Group International of Boise and CH2M Hill of Denver, though its evaluation committee had unanimously picked the competing bidder, New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff and HDR Engineering. Officials at Parsons Brinckerhoff charged, in a letter to the department, that board members improperly favored a local, politically connected company – something federal regulations forbid. Federal highway officials are questioning whether proper procedures were followed as well.

For the rest of the story by Betsy Russell/Spokesman-Review, click here.

The Fuhrman Obsession Continues

I for one do not care if West is recalled or not. He is done politically and he has been shown to be a liar. I just am tired of seeing the mayor’s ickiness paraded all over the newspaper, TV and radio. I cannot watch the local news with my kids because I am constantly having to change the channel over the icky topics being obsessed over by the likes of Mark Fuhrman.

Coyote/NW Republican

DFO: Coyote is on a big-time roll today, with his key target being Mark Fuhrman and Fuhrman’s rapidly deteriorating show (his words, not mine). For the rest of his blog comment, click here.

APhoto of the Day — 11/30/05

Poker pro Phil Laak plays a game of poker about 30 feet below sea level in the first ever underwater poker tournament, hosted by, at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Poker Classic in St. Kitts Tuesday. You write the cutline.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Christmas Spirit

Issue: Lowe’s listens: ‘Christmas trees’: Retailer dumps ‘holiday’ reference following WND story, complaints/WorldNetDaily

Is America losing its Christmas spirit?

1. No, the spirit is alive and stronger than ever
2. No, Christmas spirit is about tolerance and pluralism for all forms of worship
3. No, America is growing up and embracing its diverse populace evenhandedly
4. No, Christmas is a white, Christian invention, and Santa is a capitalist pig
5. No, Christmas is really a repackaged pagan holiday which has little to do with true Christianity
6. The Christmas spirit is still there, but it is clearly moving from the public to private realm
7. Yes, with the ACLU, the NEA and the multi-culturalists, who needs a Grinch?
8. Yes, when teachers can’t wear Christmas jewelry, things are really bad
9. Yes, it’s the natural result of overcommercializing Christmas for years
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 6 thru 9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.P.S. — 11/29/05

Issue: We’ve been reminiscing fondly in the comments section about brutal winters that drove immigrating individuals away from our portion of snow country. Obviously, they’re still coming, and the new breed of immigrant appears to be hardier.

Question: What kind of winter would we need to actually drive people away from here? (BTW, statements such as “I remember the winter of …” are encouraged.)

Historical Coeur d’Alene Photo

I accidentally found this 1957 photo in The Spokesman-Review archives. Do any of you know what this photo shows and what prominent building was located nearby?

Top Cutlines — 11/29/05

Jon Bon Jovi kisses a fan as he makes his way through the crowd to the stage, Monday, Nov. 28, 2005, during a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The next ex Mrs. Bon Jovi — A Token Democrat.

2. “i went to the bon jovi concert and i didn’t even get a freaking t-shirt!” — Granati

3. Awakened by the crowd, a stoned fan was happy to hear Kiss was at the Bon Jovi concert — John Austin.

HM: Bre & Side Note

For the rest of the cutline entries today, click here.

I Protest …

Mike Petersen ( center in jeans ) converses with Rein Attemann outside the WSU RiverPointe campus as other protestors hold caribou cutouts in the background Tuesday 11/29/05. They were expressing concern over the demise of caribou recovery efforts in British Columbia and the US. Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review

Stan Berenstain, R.I.P.

Books full of chuckles
that scattered all cares;
Saint Peter is laughing
with the Berenstain Bears.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Inquiring Minds Want to Know …

Question, from Berry Picker: What is with the eagle Hummer sitting in front of the Idaho Dept. of Commerce and Labor office? Is it the State of Idaho Hummer?

DFO: Anyone know?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Dept …

A German woman and her driver are shown in captivity of Islamo thugs who contend that they are spies here. The woman and two other captured peaceniks were in Iraq to document human-rights violations and inadvertently succeeded beyond their imaginations by being captured and drawing attention to their cause. Now, it’ll be interesting to see if these goofballs get out of their predicament alive.

Photo of the Day — 11/29/05

Jon Bon Jovi kisses a fan as he makes his way through the crowd to the stage, Monday, Nov. 28, 2005, during a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. You write the cutline.

Huckleberries Local AM Headlines — 11/29/05

*Swogger leaving WSU: Relegated to backup duty, QB looks toward I-AA schools to finish career/Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review — Who can blame him?

*Valley man dies in hunting incident: 30-year-old Casey Lawson shot near Plummer/Hilary Kraus, Spokesman-Review — There are too many idiots in the woods this time of year.

*Red Hot Mamas take Manhattan by storm: North Idaho troupe took time to help needy in New York/Lynn Berk, Coeur d’Alene Press — Mikki Stevens and her goodwill ambassadors continue to do what they do best.

*Lakes Middle School proposal draws crowd: Many neighbors concerned about traffic, property taxes/Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review — The School District definitely has to cut that $50M price tag for its overall building program or begin preparing for a defeat next spring.

*CdA development plan gets second run: 30-acre, 35 home project plan looks much like previous proposal/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — A developer never goes away for good, once he smells the greenbacks waiting to be harvested on a barren piece of ground.

Quick Fix 6 — 11/29/05

1. APhoto Fix: Authors Stan and Jan Berenstain, creators of the Berenstain Bears childrens books, are shown in this Aug. 30, 2002 file photo, at their home in Solebury, Pa. Stan Berenstain, 82, who with his wife wrote more than 200 children’s books about a family of bears, died in Pennsylvania on Saturday.,

2. Cartoon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (“End of America” shows), M.E. Cohen (War is not healthy), and Sandy Huffaker (Dubya & Mongolia).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs You Had A Bad Thanksgiving” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Vatican publishes views on gay priests here, No more “holiday” trees at US capitol here, More Iraqi battalions lead against rebels here, Canadians vote to throw out government here, and Rolling Stones to provide halftime entertainment at Super Bowl here.

6. Opinion Fix: Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (GOP confident about ‘06), Lori Byrd/Townhall (Setting Iraq record straight), John J. Miller/National Review (The Lion King is coming), Paul Campos/Rocky Mountain News (Materialism’s leap of faith), and Dennis Prager/Townhall (Blood on their hands).


Issue: In the “Huckleberries” site I visit, one of the topix people are talking about are baaad movies. The blog-meister of that site said he & the wife had seen the new version of “Bewitched” and how awful it was compared to the original TV series. You want bad movies? Try any of the mid-60’s movies that ELVIS starred in. In my collection I have “Clambake” (ugh!), “Harum Scarum” (huh?), “Blue Hawaii” (dreck!) and “Fun In Acapulco” (almost believable, but ultimately as cheesy as all the others). In one movie, he’s in a tiny little coupe with a woman, and all of a sudden, he sings, “No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car”; in ‘Blue Hawaii’, he sings about “Queenie Wahini’s Papaya”. Ack. This from the man who gave us “Hound Dog”, “Too Much”, “Jailhouse Rock” and other classics — CDADave/Thin Air.

DFO: My Sweetie and Amy Dearest informed me that I was all wet about Nicole Kidman/Will Ferrell’s “Bewitched.” That is was cute. Which goes to show what I know about chick flicks. If it isn’t fantasy/sci-fi/good animation/action, I’m not a good reviewer. CDADave might be right about bad movies involving Elvis the Pelvis. (I can’t believe I actually paid money to see “Hound Dog Man.”)

Question: What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

Best of the Local Blogs — 11/28/05

CDADave provides a lot of Thin Air, plus this shot of the steamer Flyer plying the waters of Lake CDA around 1910. For his latest blog entry, click here.

(BTW, can anyone tell me the street address of the old Shorthorn Barbecue and who might have owned it around 1980? Just curious.)

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, the news editor of the UI Argonaut, not only has posted for the first time in weeks, but it’s a worth post, describing his first time hunting here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings sez we have no reason to complain in this banana belt of the Inland Northwest, especially when considering other much colder places nearby, here.

Amy Crooks/That’s Life. Life Goes On looks back at the day she met her hubby after recently celebrating her 12th anniversary here.

*After seeing the shameless Black Friday consumerism, Family Phil has declarded this week to be Get Rid of Stuff Week here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour speaks for a lot of us when she sez she can’t remember hearing so much about Black Fridays and Black Mondays here.

*You won’t believe this free-style climb up the side of a Lovers Leap, Calif., provided by Digital Fog, here. BTW, Digital Fog’s on quite a roll with his spoofing here.

Stebbijo/Your Choice provides visual for a job I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole here, Bill McCrory/Whitecaps wonders how we can tell if we’re winning the war on terror here, and His Bobness has come out of the closet as a conservative Republican, sorta, here.

Top Cutlines — 11/28/05

For 25 years, when Ron Mancabelli, 64, closes his All American Barber Shop in Saltsburg, Pa., for the first day of deer season (which was Sunday) an antlered deer head like “Bucky,” a 12-point buck, goes in his chair to let customers know he’s gone hunting. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Bucky’s latest attempt at camouflage — A Token Democrat.

2. Sign on Ron’s door: Deer Customers: Save Some Doe, One Buck Off All Haircuts — John Austin.

2. For the last 25 years “Bucky” has dreaded his turn in the chair, twenty hits and five misses. What would this year bring? — Whatever.

HM: Lesley Presley

Duncan Case to Drive Washington Bills

Among the proposals already being discussed in the aftermath of alleged crimes by Joseph Edward Duncan II here:

*Satellite monitoring – for life – of child sex predators who’ve served their prison time.

*Tougher sentences for failing to register with police.

*And renewing a law prohibiting offenders from living near schools and other areas with children.

Current US Gas Prices …

…The Idaho gas prices provided by the following link seem a little high (since Exxon and other stations in town are running around 2.04.9 for regular), but you still can find an interesting comparison here.

Hat Tip: Dan of the County

Dreamin’ of a White Christmas

I’ve been saving this one by Doug Fredericks/Hayden for this time of the year, although it’s so viewtiful that it was difficult not to publish it sooner. Doug calls the scenic, “Snowed in.” He shot it in 2003. With my 2 cords of wood chopped and the studs on the car, I don’t expect to be snowed in. Then, no one expected that big November ice storm back when.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/28/05

Thousands of people are illuminated by the light of a fireworks show Friday night, Nov. 25, 2005 in front of the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Dozens of floats and two high school marching bands took part in a parade before the Hagadone Corporation Holiday Light Show kicked off with fireworks. For a multimedia presentation of downtown Coeur d’Alene’s Christmas kickoff by Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review, click here.

1. Embattled Spokane Mayor Jim West wonders who’s the real Jim West — the one portrayed by political opponents or the person he knows himself to be, in a lengthy report by David Postman/Seattle Times, here.

2. Freelancer Milt Priggee portrays GM and its nervous work force here.

3. “Blues Brothers” fanatic Wayne Barlow/Pocatello was lost and looking for a club soda when he stopped at a Henderson, Nev., convenience store and spotted “the car” — one of 18 Bluesmobiles featured in the cult movie here.

4. How cold can it be in eastern Montana? Well, if you’re single, 28, and living in a Hi-Line town of 126, where the social scene is nonexistent, it’s double cold because the prospects of finding a Significant Other aren’t good, according to the Great Falls Tribune, here.

5. Imagine the shock a Bonner County, Idaho, woman felt when she saw a femme registered sex offender working for a local library, checking out books, and then was virtually ignored by the library when she protested here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Monday’s Huckleberries), Jim Kershner/Spokesman-Review (An open letter to Canada geese), Missoulian (What budget cuts?), Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review (Hunting’s not just about killing), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Giants kicker joins Seattle Hall of Infamy).

Despite another horrible UIdaho football season, 65% of the respondents to a Lewiston Tribune online poll want the Vandals to stay the course in Division I-A and not return to I-AA competition.

*2 escapees from a Yakima jail Friday remain at large here.

*Seattle may see snow tonight here.

*Allies split over Washington home-sales tax plan here.

*Boise State accepts invitation to MPC Bowl in
Boise here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Local Question of the Day — 11/28/05

Issue: Out with the old: Some city motels could be replaced by new high-rises/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Additional Info: “But the rundown old motels on the east side of the city by the lake are sitting on ground that’s becoming more valuable each year, leading many to believe they’ll be facing the bulldozer sooner rather than later. By some estimates, as many as half are on the market at prices far above what their current earning potential is, and one already has a sale pending with a $1.5 million price tag” — Rick Thomas.

Question: Are you ready for high-rises to dominate the eastern end of Sherman Avenue?

In Case You Missed CDA’s Holiday Parade …

…You can see SR colleague Jesse Tinsley’s multi-media presentation of the festivities here. Enjoy.

WorldNetDaily Poll — 11/28/05

Issue: Professor’s e-mail bashing patriotic student: Read the note that ignited national controversy/WorldNetDaily.

Question: What do you think of students recording their professors’ remarks?

1. Ridiculous, students should focus on learning, not snagging professors for politics
2. Taping professors would wrongly put a chilling effect on campus free speech
3. Regardless of recording professors, there’s nothing wrong with students hearing a viewpoint that opposes their own
4. Just ignore the political drivel from professors, whether it be from the left or right
5. I’m not crazy about the idea, but if it stops political indoctrination, it should be tried
6. This idea has been around for years. It’s called taking notes!
7. It’s perfectly fine, many professors like having themselves recorded
8. If the professors aren’t doing anything wrong, they have nothing for which to be afraid
9. Fantastic idea, public exposure will put an end to indoctrination from all sides of political spectrum
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 5-9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 11/27/05

Looks like a nice day outside this Sunday morning. Enjoy them while you can. Snow and cold are out there somewhere. Meanwhile, if you’ve been away for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can get up to speed by looking at the Friday posting. If you want to start a thread today, you can find your Wild Card here …

Best of HBO (Continued) — 11/21-25/2005

You probably know that a pushing and shoving match ensued when victorious WSU began dancing on the U-Dub logo after the Apple Cup. But did you know who tackled Coug footballer Brandon Asuega-Stark as he carried the Coug banner around Husky Stadium? Thanks to Jim Moore, a WSU fan and the Seattle PI’s Go 2 Guy, Huckleberries does. UW senior marketing major Jacob Esparza defended the Huskies’ honor by blind-siding Asuega-Stark. “He went down pretty easy for being a football player,” Esparza told the Go 2 Guy. “He got up and looked pretty much dumbfounded to me.” Esparza hadn’t had that much to drink either: “a little bit of beer and a few mixed drinks” at a tailgate party. P’haps the Huskies woulda won if he’d suited up?

Out of Favor
First, you should know that there are two registered voters in Coeur d’Alene’s Precinct 61, a freak of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course annexation. Then, you should know that Duane Hagadone’s Coeur d’Alene Press endorsed incumbent Mayor Sandi Bloem prior to her easy win in November’s city elections. Onward. Not only did the two voters not take Brand X’s advice on the mayor’s race, voting unanimously for underdog Joe Kunka, but they also, surprisingly, both ignored the paper’s recommendation and picked newcomer Steven Fox over incumbent Woody McEvers, the popular Rustler’s Roost owner who easily won re-election. So, what’s the big deal? According to the records of the Election Department, the two registered voters are Hagadone Hospitality partner Jerry Jaegar and his wife, Ellen. Seems Mayor Bloem fell out of favor with HHospitality by not supporting its push for a downtown garden last year. But what about the votes against Woody? Mebbe he burned Jerry’s soufflé years ago when he was learning to cook at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

In the busy Post Falls Wal-Mart parking lot, earlier this month, a Berry Picker spotted a father racing around in an unstable grocery cart, with one young child in the cart seat and two others hanging from the sides. Wondered the BP: “How stupid can you get?” … And the answer to that question is – plenty. Consider the two rabid shoppers who were pushing their way into Fred Meyer at the opening bell on Black Friday, only to wind up talking to CPD Blue. Seems one cursed the other for cutting. And was socked. Do not pass the store door. Do not collect your cheap laptop … Ex-state senator Kent Bailey from Hayden was lucky he didn’t get poked at the recent GOP central committee meeting when he announced his intention to regain his seat by challenging incumbent Mike Jorgenson (pictured left) in the Republican District 3 primaries next spring. Jorgenson was sitting next to Bailey at the time, smile frozen in place.

Poet’s Corner: “It’s a mighty long way/from Post Falls to Iraq,/but they did us all proud/and we welcome them back” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Welcome Back, Idaho Guard”) … And the answer is – “praying and evangelizing loudly.” The question? Why did unrepentant Bonner County Deputy Dawgs escort an Oldtown, Idaho, man home last Tuesday afternoon … Bumpersnicker (on an older pickup in Spokane): “The government’s motto: If it ain’t broke, fix it until it is” … Inscription on the back window of a black Ford Probe zooming east on I-90: “Boyfriend applications being accepted.” The gender of the driver was concealed by tinted windows … Quotable Quote: “Technically, we’re on a holiday, and we’re not going to send out any press releases until Monday” – Bonner County sheriff’s dispatcher on Black Friday when asked about a house fire. Your tax dollars in action.

Parting Shot
Then, there were the long faces of Fox 28 anchor Greg McKinney and his femme sidekick Dana Haynes Wednesday night as they watched their monitor as an unhappy worshipper punched a pastor in the face repeatedly. Actually, the hothead got one surprise punch off, but Fox 28 showed it over and over, prompting McKinney to say with faux sincerity: “I hope we don’t see that scene again.” They did. One more time. If it bleeds, it leads.

Wild Card/Black Friday — 11/25/05

Apparently, there’s quite a mess developing now as tens of thousands of parade goers are packing into downtown Coeur d’Alene — while others are trying to get to the North Idaho College basketball using the Garden Avenue intersection. A CPD Blue on the police scanner just used the term “chaos” to describe the traffic situation. Sorta sounds like the mess in Puyallup, Wash., earlier today as shoppers climb over each other to reach the 32 laptop computers that are on sale at a Wal-Mart in Puyallup, Wash. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Russ Carmack). Here’s hoping all of you are safe out there tonight as this Huckleberry Hound prepares to break for home. See you back here Monday …

Be Careful Out There …

A fellow shopper reaches down to help a fallen Josephine Hoffman, 73, (bottom photo) as the crowd behind her pushes through and rushes past security guards today at Brandsmart at the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Fla. Retailers have been gearing up for this big shopping day for weeks, and shoppers are out looking for bargains. Hoffman (who was helped by her daughter in the top photo) was treated at a local hospital and released.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/25/05

When 19-year-old Ron Ramey fell in love with 14-year-old Marcella, doubters said it would never last – they were just too far apart in age. Now, they’re 90 and 85, respectively, in good health, still in love, and preparing to celebrate their 70th anniversary Saturday here.

1. Multi-talented columnist Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review admits he’ll be singing he blues if Spokane Mayor Jim West is recalled next month because he’ll lose a storehouse full of material. Before then, however, Clark, who has his own band, “The Trailer Park Girls,” has written and sung another parody about the mayor (to the tune of “A Few of My Favorite Things”) here. You can find Clark’s column about the song here and his previous parody (Elvis’ “I Did It My Way”) here.

2. David Horsey/PI pens his version of the shock that awaits when US troops pull out of Iraq here.

3. Most critically injured Tacoma Mall shooting victim improving here.

4. As the number of sex offenders enrolled at Spokane Community College has increased, so have questions by faculty and staff about how they should handle these students in the classroom here.

5. 10-year-old cancer survivor Abby Grant celebrates good news by seeing favorite Gonzaga basketballers up close at Maui Invitational here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Child labor laws exist for reason), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (A tougher brand of Zag), Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News (Encounters with grizzlies), Tacoma News Tribune (Return “Geography Club” to school library, free subscription required), and Art Thiel/PI (Seahawks raise bar).

Poll: 52% of respondents to a St. Maries Gazette-Record online poll oppose raising the state sales tax a penny to 6% — even if it means lower property taxes.

*Hunters are harvesting a crop of big bull moose in the Idaho panhandle this year here.

*A grand jury has indicted a Portland man for stealing — Legos. Click here.

*Zags’ Josh Heytvelt out indefinitely with broken ankle here.

*Travelers wary of making the trip across Snoqualmie Pass this Thanksgiving may have been anxious over nothing here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Thinking About Black Sunday on Black Friday

Not to be a spoilsport, but how many of the amazing bargains you’ve rushed out to reel in on Black Fridays past ended up housing spiders in your garage? How much of what you bring home are you buying for the sake of buying? Judging by our ever-rising credit card balances and our insatiable appetite for self-storage units, I’d say it’s an alarmingly high percentage.

For the rest of the reflections by Frank Sennett/Hard 7 on the Tacoma Mall shootings and consumerism, click here.

Say Hi to Her Sandiness, Tell Her HBO Sent You

Members of a committee working to bring a $29 million community center to Coeur d’Alene will staff Salvation Army kettles this holiday season. The Ad Hoc Community Center Committee, led by Mayor Sandi Bloem, will assist with the annual holiday fund-raiser by manning the kettles at the Coeur d’Alene Fred Meyer store on Saturdays and Sundays between Nov. 26 and Dec. 18. The bell-ringing will underscore the community’s desire to work with The Salvation Army and show the support behind Coeur d’Alene’s desire for a Salvation Army community center, said committee member and former City Council President Nancy Sue Wallace. For more information call the Mayor’s Office at 769-2204.

Local Question of the Day — 11/25/05

Issue: Prairie land is falling fast to developers: Local planners hope to fashion policy that preserves green spaces, town identities/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

DFO: For the record, before the prairie is covered with subdivisions, I’d rather have two weeks of field burning than 52 weeks of domestic pollution above the aquifer.

Question: Which do you prefer (for the sake of argument because the prairie is going the way of the dodo bird)? Field burning. Or subdivisions?

Huckleberries AM Local Headlines — 11/25/05

*180 condos eyed in Hayden: Two projects have a combined value of $50 million; work might begin on one in spring/Rocky Wilson, Spokane Journal of Business — I can almost hear Stopthecrazygrowth’s growl from his Hayden home.

*Wilson family sues over 2003 carbon-monoxide deaths: Pool heater manufacturer targeted/Mike McLean, Hagadone News Network — The Wilson widows have a legitimate beef here.

*‘Wolf People’ stalking North Idaho: Movie production set to begin shooting in area in February 2006/Lynn Berk, Coeur d’Alene Press — Wolf People? In the North Idaho hills? Must be left over survivalists from the ‘80s.

*550-acre dude ranch in North Idaho sold: Law-enforcement trainer from Boise plans to move school; May opening eyed/Linn Parish, Spokane Journal of Business — Welcome, pilgrim.

*EPA now enforcing fire ban on reservations: tribal land under jurisdiction of Clean Air Act/Christopher Smith, Associated Press — Now, mebbe the Rathdrum Prairie farmers won’t get blamed for smoke coming from the rez on bad smoke days.

DFO Gives Thanks

As you can see by my answer to the WorldNetDaily poll today, I’m thankful for a lot of traditional things: family, friends, health, faith. Also, I’m thankful for the company I work for, and the work I do. And this blog. And blog community. Truth be know, I was running up against one of a number of barriers I’ve encountered occasionally in my 35-year newspaper career. I hit the first wall on the day before I was married in June 1975 when I switch from being a sports editor to a reporter at a small newspaper. I knew I couldn’t work the hours I did in sports without damaging my marriage.

I hit another wall in March 1993 when I tired of covering county/city government in Kootenai County for a decade and jumped at the chance to write editorials. In February 2004, I was looking for something else to do besides writing editorials. I’d been considering blogging since our annual December editors’ retreat. But was reluctant to dive in. I didn’t know what I was doing. Or how I was going to do it. I committed myself to blogging with this posting here. The date beneath it indicates it was posted on Feb. 19. But it actually was posted Feb. 16. I moved it up in the blog a coupla times to inform readers what was happening.

Now, the reason for this post. I want to thank all of you for making the blog what it is today, with your suggestions, your encouragement, your comments, your tips, your blogs, your photography, your numbers. In the blogosphere, everyone plays a role. I’m at the key board. But I go no where without readers. I particularly appreciate Cis Gors/Kootenai, who more than once encouraged me to keep going last fall when we imposed a firewall that prevented me at first from providing links to SR stories. The numbers tumbled, and I thought of quitting almost every day. In a year, the numbers have multiplied by 10 times. Incredible.

Other North Idaho bloggers contribute mightily by providing HBO with an eclectic blogroll from Kootenai to Moscow. The menagerie that comments daily here is another major drawing card. Blurkers don’t say much, but they provide encouragement by tuning in. The only tracks they leave are important — a growing pageview count. I can name a lot of you guys who have made a difference in helping me grow and change this things, from a conservative rant to a respectful but unpredictable new media voice in North Idaho, including my blogmeisters, Ken S, Ken P and Ryan. But I’ll leave someone out, so I won’t.

We’ve had an incredible ride so far. And I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. Thanks for tuning in. And, as I said in my original post above, fasten your seatbelts …


Gonzaga Wows College BB Fans

Suddenly, you get the sense that if the hoops-watching nation might have thought Morrison was a mere media creation of the West Coast Conference, now it probably believes he’s capable of anything. As Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after Morrison’s tournament-record 43 points against Michigan State, “We’ve seen Adam make all those shots — just not in the same game.”

For the rest of the assessment by Bud Withers/Seattle Times of Gonzaga’s week in Maui, click here.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Being Thankful

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

1. I don’t have anything to be thankful for
2. I don’t have anyone to thank – what I have and what I am are due to my own efforts
3. The freedom America gives each of us to follow our dreams and succeed
4. America has gone another year without a major terror attack
5. Health
6. Prosperity
7. Family and friends
8. Religious liberty and the freedom to express my beliefs without fear of persecution
9. My personal relationship with God
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 3 thru 9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Wednesday 11/23/05

OK, folks, this is our last evening together until Friday. If you haven’t found a thread of interest for a comment, yet, feel free to start one with this Wild Card. BTW, I still need a few more Huckleberries to fill the Monday print column. Anyone seen an interesting sight, bumpersnicker, slice of life, etc., that would be worth including in the weekly roundup? Submit it here. Thanx to Jane Q. and others who have alreadly submitted Huckleberries …

Best of the Local Blogs — 11/23/05

Granati provides a very cool orchid photo to get us going this evening.

*After 6 years of marriage and three children including a new one under foot, ErinG/Idaho Native is going to prepare her first Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow here. (Yo, Granati, I want to hear your report Friday how you helped your sweetie as much as possible.)

*CDADave/Thin Air doesn’t like the high-rises that are going up near the waterfront, and he’s contemplating his own mortality after learning that two former classmates have died here.

*Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast provides a link to explain why we should lift a glass tomorrow in memory of the late Ruth M. Siems, who made life preparing a Thanksgiving meal easier for women like ErinG, here.

*Bre/To Blog or Not to Blog shares a horror story about working in Moscow’s Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving a few years ago here.

*Bearable Bob reacts to a critical rebuttal to a comment he posted on another blog here. Funny stuff.

Also: Family Phil opines on Jude Doty who moved to Idaho to get away from Washington’s child labor laws here; Digital Fog parodies the Cruise/Shields tiff here; and Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings and Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind both sent the same nifty Thanksgiving Day greeting here.

Top Cutlines — 11/23/05

I’m not trying to be gratuitous here. I don’t think Mariah Carey’s sexy in this awful dress. Rather, I wonder, what was she thinking when she decided to wear it to accept the award for favorite soul/rhythm & blues female artist at the 33rd annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles Tuesday? You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Mariah Carey keeps us abreast of the obvious effects of gravity — John Austin.

2. Sadly, Mariah Carey’s cousin, Drew, has similar chest proportions — Side Note. And: Finally they killed the mic, Mariah kept talking anyway as it was clear she had something to get off her chest — His Bobness.

3. Unless the best adjective to describe one’s breasts is “perky”, one should not expose this much flesh — Jane Q. Citizen.

HM: Lesley Presley

For the rest of today’s cutline entries, click here.

Ah, Don’t Look Down …

Jim Olson, maintenance worker at The Spokesman-Review changes light bulbs around the Review Tower. There are over 700 light bulbs total on the tower that all must be changed manually. The red and green lights will be turned on the day after Thanksgiving for the Holiday Season. (Kathryn Stevens/The Spokesman-Review)

Plonkas’ Faces of the Season 2

Tiffiny Ryan smiles as her husband Dan Ryan talks about being home after finishing his National Guard duty in Baghdad. He is a division chief with the Post Falls Fire Department, and a member of Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Brigade Combat Team. His family is happy to have him home in Post Falls in time for Thanksgiving (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review).

Plonkas’ Faces of the Season …

Northtown Mall Santa holds Hope and Hercules, Tuesday, during a visiting session for animals. Santa poses with any animal except for cats due to his allergies (Brian Plonka/The Spokesman-Review).

Giving Thanks For Readers

My thanks to you who pause sometimes
to look upon these little rhymes,
for words just lie there cold and dead
until they are by others read,
and so it is that you’re my pard:
without you here, there’d be no Bard.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/23/05

Shannon Rhodes, far right, is consoled by her daughter, Stacy Black, and her husband, Ken, after a jury decided that Hanford was not responsible for her cancer in her trial held at the Federal Court House in Spokane earlier today (Jed Conklin/The Spokesman-Review) here.

1. Three Coeur d’Alene hunters were put in a compromising position on Sunday after U.S. Customs agents refused to let them back into the United States with wild ducks and geese they had bagged on a two-day hunt near Creston, B.C., according to Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review, here.

2. Cartoonist David Horsey/Seattle PI makes it obvious that he can’t tell a real terrorist from someone with whom he disagrees here.

3. A Washington state woman who met a 14-year-old boy through an online role-playing game is accused of having a sex with him after traveling across the country to meet him here.

4. It’ll be a long time before you see two top calibre college basketball players, such as Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison and Michigan State’s Maurice Ager, trading basket for basket into triple overtime. Fortunately, the Spokesman-Review has a superb column writer in John Blanchette to describe the game within a game yesterday here. (You can find the column about the game by Bud Withers/Seattle Times here.)

5. The murder trial of registered sex offender Joseph E. Duncan III was pushed back nearly three months today after defense lawyers asked for more time to prepare here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Columnists come and go), Montana Standard (Griz: No longer endangered), Kate Riley/Seattle Times (Cleaved by I-90), G. George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (How old is a bear?), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Neighbors fight over beers), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Cut Shaun Alexander loose).

*An armed man trying to stop the Tacoma Mall shootings was among the most seriously wounded here.

*Seasoned Citizens are particularly vulnerable to Washington state’s growing gambling industry here.

*A hit-and-run suspect in Marysville, Wash., was caught in a dog house … by a police dog here.

*Since the return of wolves, the Yellowstone Park elk herd has declined by more than 50% here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Photo of the Day — 11/23/05

I’m not trying to be gratuitous here. I don’t think Mariah Carey’s sexy in this awful dress. Rather, I wonder, what was she thinking when she decided to wear it to accept the award for favorite soul/rhythm & blues female artist at the 33rd annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles Tuesday? You write the cutline.

Question of the Day — Thanksgiving

Issue: “Marshmallow”, a 37 pound turkey from Trites Farms in Henning, Minn., has a reason to be thankful after receiving this Thanksgiving’s traditional presidential pardon, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex, in Washington, Tuesday.

Question: I know it’s corny. But it’s a family tradition of ours to count blessings around the Thanksgiving Day table. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Hot For Teacher?

What’s your opinion on the reported rash of women having sex with students?

1. No reason for this taboo any longer, people can have sex with whomever they want
2. These are consensual relationships, time to decriminalize them by lowering the age of consent
3. The kids are willing or eager participants, so it’s really not like they’re being abused
4. I’m outraged by the double standard, as women get lighter sentences than male teachers
5. It’s just a perception, with more awareness and media attention
6. It’s a manifestation of the women’s liberation movement
7. It’s a manifestation of the sexualization of our culture
8. Just a tip of the iceberg, we’re only seeing a small percentage of what’s really taking place
9. Immorality of all kinds is rampant, this is just one symptom
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 4 & 9

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily report, click here.

P.S. — 11/22/05

Issue: Chris Matthews: Terrorists ‘not evil’: MSNBC host says enemies of U.S. ‘just have a different perspective’/Canadian Press

DFO: I’ve tried to hold my political preferences somewhat in check to make all of you field comfortable in this corner of the blogosphere. But Matthews’ comments in the article above are absurd. The terrorists we’re fighting deserve the most contemptible of names. They kill indiscriminately — men, women and children, Muslim and non-Muslim, to terrorize the innocent — using brainwashed followers as human bombs. These aren’t freedom fighters. They’re mass murderers. And Matthews, on this point, is absolutely clueless.

Question: Am I wrong?

Gonzaga 109, Michigan State 106, 3OT

Hey, beat this — a photo of the Michigan State’s Drew Neitzel,, left, and Gonzaga’s Derek Raivio in the first half of a semi-final game of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii. And the game still has more than 12 minutes to play! Huckleberries: Breaking new ground in the blogosphere. Oh, and the game was good, too, here … (AP Photo/Michael Conroy).

DFO: Gotta go home, folks; so, you’ll have to watch the rest of the game yourselves or tune in to sports center.

Whatever Happened to … Bob Hough?

In case you were wondering what became of long-time KVNI announcer Bob Hough … here he is earlier today helping his son and daughter-in-law set up the outside Christmas decorations for their bed and breakfast business at the old Roosevelt School in the downtown Coeur d’Alene area.

Firefighters Rescue Crash Victims

Firefighters prepare to remove a victim of a crash on I-90 on the eastern edge of Coeur d’Alene this morning. Several people were taken to the hospital after a semi truck dumped its load in the oncoming lane while descending into Coeur d’Alene. The material, decking boards, caused the crash, injuring several people/Photos by Jesse Tinsley.

Turkey Wins Traditional Pardon

Some may view this posting as a gratuitous attempt to lure nicotine-deprived Bearable Bob into a flame war on a lazy Tuesday afternoon. After all, you have all the elements: President Bush, a big turkey, and a big turkey handler. However, I plead the Fifth. Marshmellow, the national Thanksgiving turkey, was pardoned in the Old Executive Office Building earlier today and will become the co-marshal for the Disneyland Thanksgiving Parade. The presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey dates back over 50 years to Harry Truman.

Words to Live By

After receiving my property tax notice in the mail today with a 27% increase I would say that the capital facilities levy for next spring is DOA.

Eagle Eye

Can You Name Something Worse?

Life can suck at times. It can be cruel and unusual punishment and when you thought it was bad, yep — it can get worse! So before it gets worse, think about how good you have it now — Stebbijo.

What could be worse than…

1. You have no hot water.
2. A car with no heater in snow and below freezing temps.
3. A job that sucks.
4. You get the flu shot, then you get the flu.
5. You have a toothache and no dental insurance.
6. You lose your purse and you have tons of gold cards in it.
7. You are pulled over because your vehicle matches an Amber Alert.
8. You have no cable TV.
9. A pizza with no cheese is delivered to your door.
10. Pants that won’t zip when you lay down.

Stebbijo/Your choice

Photo of the Day — 11/22/05

Some of you might think this is insensitive. But it’s also a heckuva photo by Tim Hunds/AP, Sioux City Journal. A dead whitetail buck lies on the side of Interstate 29 Monday, near a warning sign in North Sioux City, SD, which says: “Be alert, watch for deer on road.” You write the cutline.

Question of the Day — Where Were You?

This is a Nov. 22, 1963 file photo from the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum showing President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arriving at Love Field in Dallas.

Issue: 42nd anniversary of JFK’s assassination

DFO: I was a freshman at Gridley Union (Calif.) High School. I’d just finished lunch and was headed for chemistry class when someone mentioned that the president had been shot. By the time I arrived at class, it was confirmed that JFK had died. School was let out. And I wandered over to a friend’s house, stunned by the news.

Question: What were you doing when you heard the news?

Huckleberries Local AM Headlines — 11/22/05

*Complaints about doctor date to ‘94: Board of Medicine alleges Fouche falsified patient records/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review — Dr. Fouche & Mr. Hyde?

*CdA mayor to ring Salvation Army bells/Spokesman-Review staff reports — Another reason why we’re going to land that Kroc center grant. Her Sandiness continues to lead the way.

*Motive in South Hill slayings is proving elusive: Police chief doubts drug use cause of beating, shooting deaths/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review — Lezzee … this punk’s 17. Does that mean he’ll be out and about in 4 years? Or will he get life without possibility of parole as he deserves? Inquiring minds want to know.

*Lakeland grad follows his dream of stars: After years of finding his way, Heuett at home with ‘animatics’/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press — Who was it that said success is 1% imagination and 99% perspiration? This kid persevered and deserves his current success.

* Man found in CV girls locker room: 37-year-old confronted by gym teacher, charged with sexually motivated burglary/Tom Lutey, Spokesman-Review — Book ‘em, Dan-o.

Quick Fix 6 — 11/22/05

1. APhoto Fix: Santas take a coffee break at Wookey Hole in western England Tuesday Nov. 22, 2005. Santas from all over the country gathered to undergo a training day, organized by the public relations and marketing company Ministry of Fun, before they go out to work over the busy Christmas period.

2. Cartoon Fix: Bill Schorr (Manipulated media), Rob Robers (Medicare drug benefit form), and Henry Payne (GI Joe & the whiny senators).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things Going Through George W. Bush’s Mind at This Time” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: CNN covers Cheney with mysterious X here, Report: Bush planned to bomb al-Jazeera here, Man sues ABC for gay ‘Wife Swap’ here, War foes ‘cheap talk’ may bring new vote here, and in some places, no rush to deck the halls here.

6. Opinion Fix: Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (McCain calls for more troops), Alyssa A. Lappin/FrontPageMag (For a feminist foreign policy), Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (Murtha unites Republicans), Heather MacDonald/ (Baghdad’s real torturers), and Mark Steyn/Daily Telegraph (Word on Arab Street).

Wild Card/Monday — 11/21/05

Turkey Week has shortened the week by a day, but I’m not complaining. Two four-day weeks in a row is a good way to recharge batteries. I’ll be keeping an eye on the comment section tonight after the turbulent weekend with flamers. If you notice someone start to flame, don’t hesitate to give him/her a piece of your mind. You have my permission to dump on a cad. Here’s your Wild Card …

Zags 88, Maryland 76

Maryland’s Will Bowers, left, drives the baseline on Gonzaga’s J.P. Batista in the first half of an opening round game of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, Monday. Adam Morrison led the charge at the Maui Invitational today with 25 points here.

Top Cutlines — 11/21/05

It’s a Dubya kind of Monday. Here, U.S. President George W. Bush shakes hands with ‘Albert Hubo,’ a 54-inch-tall, two-legged robot topped with a head modeled after Albert Einstein as leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum toured South Korea’s hi-tech exhibition in Busan, South Korea. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Mr. Einstein, I just wanted to tell ya I admire your work with the apple and such. Real good innventioning, just like I try to do every day in the great US of A! — A Token Democrat.

2. Boy does this bring back the memories! Last time I shook an android’s hand was during the 2000 Presidential debates! — Dang.

3. Pleased to meet ya Dr. Hawkings, well I reckon life’s a whole lot better for ya out of that wheelchair and into this here robot body! — Bob.

HM: Family Phil

For all of today’s cutline entries, click here.

Easter Egg — Turkey Shoot

Cis Gors/Kootenai has a fun little game to test your hand-eye coordination and to get you ready for Turkey Day (wait for it to load and then click on the turkey) here.

Gabriel Brown/Beggar in the Suit

“Have you seen the guy with the sign?” Many commuters over the last month have asked that question about EWU art student Gabriel Brown. Dressed in a second hand suit and holding a funny sign, Brown has been panhandling every weekday morning on a downtown corner. I received a press release from Brown that said:

“I am doing this for many reasons. It is a way to give people “pure” entertainment: no advertisements, no charges, no responsibilities. And it is live, not seen on T.V. live, but really live. This also brings people enjoyment; they look forward to seeing me every morning. It is comedy, but it always begs a question. I poke at a range of social and political issues that are important to me.”

For the rest of the Colin Mulvany/Video Journal piece about “The Beggar in the Suit,” plus the audio story, click here.

Favorite ‘Seinfeld’ Character

The cast of NBC’s ‘Seinfeld,’ poses in this undated promotional photo provided by NBC Universal. Pictured from left are: Michael Richards as Kramer, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes and Jerry Seinfeld as himself. Seasons 5 & 6 will be released on DVD tomorrow.

Question: Who is your favorite “Seinfeld” character?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/21/05

As he puts on a flack vest, a police officer shouts evacuation instuctions to Tacoma Mall customers and red-shirted store employees Sunday in Tacoma. A gunman opened fire inside the busy shopping mall, wounding at least six people and taking three others hostage in a music store before he surrendered here and here/APhoto.

1. The polls are spelling trouble for Spokane Mayor Jim West as 60% of the respondents support the recall effort against him here. Meanwhile, Spokane residents remain ambivalent about West and the crusading Spokesman-Review, which broke the story, here.

2. Kenji Jojima, who will become the first Japanese catcher in Major League Baseball, has agreed to a three-year $16.5M contract with the Seattle Mariners here.

3. Mike Pannek/Spokane, a former Marine platoon commander and Geiger Corrections Center warden, succeeded with one of the toughest assignments in Iraq, bringing order to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, here.

4. Gov. Chris Gregoire is urging Washingtonians to skip the trip over the Cascades and pass the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, according to Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review, here.

5. Nike corporate jet traveling from Portland area with three senior execs makes emergency landing here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Secret Squirrel Society), Jim Moore/Seattle PI (UW-WSU postgame scuffle), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Kaiser Aluminum nears nightmare’s end), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Seahawks lucky to be 5-0), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Gonzaga gaining notice).

*W.R. Grace execs want trial for ruining the health of Libby residents moved outside Montana here.

*American Nazi party fails to clean Salem, Ore., road, loses rights here.

*A man whose parents were buried in the wrong cemetery plot, then dug up and reburied in another plot without his knowledge, is seeking damages from the Dillon, Mont., here.

*University Place School District/Tacoma bans novel about gay teens here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

West Recall Election About Character

The election is about character and the kind of behavior Spokane residents deserve from their mayor, and it’s about whether they would have elected him in the first place if they had known everything they were getting in the bargain.

For the rest of the editorial by Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review, click here.

Question of the Day — 11/21/05

Issue: One father’s labor of love: Former Yakima house-mover who believes children should work hopes for a fresh start in Idaho/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

DFO: This story is about a father who was hounded out of Washington by regulators concerned that his under-aged children were involved in dangerous work assignments. I can see both sides of this one. At 14, I was mowing, raking and hauling hay with grown men in my uncle’s alfalfa fields. Try moving bales on a moving truck 20 feet off the ground. Yet, I lived. And I acquired a strong work ethic from the experience. However, I wouldn’t have allowed my son to do the same thing in his teen years.

Question: What was the most dangerous job you did as a teen-ager?

WorldNetDaily Poll — 11/21/05

Issue: Bush tries great escape from reporters: But president gets trapped by locked doors in Chinese room/BBC News

Question: What’s your take on President Bush’s ‘great escape’ attempt in China?

1. Just an innocent mistake, anyone could have made it
2. It was a silly goof, but Bush made a good recovery joking about it
3. It wasn’t that great
4. It serves him right for trying to evade reporters’ questions
5. It’s an ironic allegory for Bush being politically trapped by his own missteps
6. It demonstrates how ‘out of it’ Bush really is
7. I can’t deny it anymore, Bush is a true doofus
8. It was a set-up to make Bush look bad
9. Hey, give the guy credit, at least he didn’t vomit like his father did
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 1 & 2

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Happy Birthday Sunday — 11/20/05

My mother reminded me Saturday that I was born at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Nov. 20, 1949 — all 9 pounds 6 ounces of me. Both brothers were bigger at birth. My father and my future godfather slept in the car in the St. Joseph’s Hospital parking lot/Stockton, Calif., while waiting for me. Dad had enough time to get a first peek at me and then return to the dairy to milk cows. Had he gotten back to the hospital in time, I would have been named Franklin Simas Oliveria Jr. But Mom tagged me with David Franklin instead. If you have any good tales about your birth, feel free to share them. Otherwise, use this Wild Card as you wish. You’ll find some questions and the Monday Huckleberries below …

Question of the Day — 10/20/05

Issue: Brothers sentenced in UI murder: Men get eight to 20 years for shooting football player/John Craig, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Dunno what’s more reprehensible — this senseless, cold-blooded killing of promising UI athlete Eric McMillan (pictured), or the senseless, clueless sentence handed down by the judge or the arrogant request from defense attorneys for even less fixed time. Eight years fixed for premeditated murder of a young man? The Wells brothers should have received the gallows or life without possibility of parole. Our justice system is broken.

Question: What do you think of Judge John Bradbury’s slap on the wrist for Eric McMillan’s murderers?

Poll: 60% Say Recall West

Issue: Majority in poll still favor recall: Only 1 in 3 plans to stand by Spokane mayor/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: The Fat Lady is singing.

Question: What advice would you give Mayor Jim West at this point?

Best of HBO (Continued) — 11/17/05

First, you should know that there are only two registered voters in the Coeur d’Alene portion of Precinct 61, due to a freak of annexation: Duane Hagadone’s partner Jerry Jaeger and his wife, Ellen. Oward. In canvassing Precinct 61 after the elections, Huckleberries noticed that Precinct 61 voted unanimously (2-0) for Joe Kunka (pictured) for mayor and Mary Souza, Deanna Goodlander and Steven Foxx for City Council. Only Goodlander won. Seems the voters of Precinct 61 didn’t pay attention to the endorsements in the Hagadone-owned Coeur d’Alene Press (mayor – superb incumbent Sandi Bloem, and council – Souza, Goodlander and Woody McEvers). Will this mean a trip to Duane’s woodshed? Or is this how the HHagadone jumbos really feel about Her Sandiness and other incumbents after the council foiled their try to shut two blocks of Sherman Avenue for a memorial garden last December? Inquiring minds want to know.

Grandest of Old Flags
WWII Navy veteran Jim Shepherd/Coeur d’Alene loves the stars and stripes. He’s carried her in almost every Fourth of July parade since he returned from war 60 years ago. He helped set the Veterans Park bell with a forklift years ago. And his father set the concrete Veterans Park memorial in place before him. Recently, Jim was collecting donated U.S. flags for the American Legion when he stumbled across a boxed flag with a Sherman Avenue address he knew. It was the address of a high school friend who died during WWII on a Pacific island, perhaps Iwo Jima. The 9-foot flag was the special one that’d been draped on his friend’s coffin. Now, it will fly over Jim’s home, located in my neighborhood, every Memorial Day. It couldn’t be in better hands.

Poet’s Corner
Hark the herald angels sing,/“Buy some more of everything!/Cash or check or COD,/Christmas lifts the GDP./Harried, all ye shoppers rise,/charge your bank cards to the skies,/with economists proclaim:/“Spending is the Yuletide aim!”/Hark the herald angels sing,/“Buy some more of everything!” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (spoofing Charles Wesley’s original hymn, “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing.”) And: “Engaged on his cell phone/while driving his Beamer,/unhappily thus did/he fracture his femur” The Bard (“I-90 Business Call”).

And the answer from Dan Gookin/CDA (pictured) is: “About $5,000.” The Huckleberries Online question? What’s the difference between and university and a college (re: Whitworth College’s announced intention to upgrade to a university) … “Deputy responded to remove a deceased beaver and the log it was carrying at the time of death from the roadway” – Bonner County sheriff’s log. Road kill? And fire wood? In some parts of North Idaho, that’s hard to beat … Did K-County Commish Gus Johnson and CDA mogul Duane Hagadone get into a phone shouting match over the recently defeated local-option sales tax? Secondary sources say so … “Stop supporter terrorists – spend your gas dollars here” – sightem by John Livingston/Spokane, on readerboard of the Maxwell House restaurant/bar in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood … Question: “Do you know why Cougars can’t give change for a dollar?” Answer: “They always lose the fourth quarter!” commenter Eagle Eye.

Parting Shot
The Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office has a nifty new coloring book to prepare kids for court appearances. Mebbe Prosecutor Bill Douglas should hand them out for adults, too. After all, the book contains good tips. Prior to court appearances, it recommends that kids get a good night’s sleep, dress comfortably and eat a good breakfast. And it provides a good list of rules, such as No. 1: Tell the truth. And how many adults would know what to do if nature calls when they’re on the stand? By the book: “You tell the judge you need to go.” Adult version: Use a euphemism for tinkle.

Question No. 2 — 11/19/05

A Hallmark Christmas ornament of Muhammad Ali is one of the thousands of Christmas ornaments in the estate sale of the late John Zimmerman in Wichita, Kan., Friday and on through the weekend. Zimmerman was a private collector of more than 9,000 international Christmas decorations and toy autos and aircraft. Question: Which of your Hallmark Christmas ornaments is your favorite? Or do you have a non-Hallmark ornament that’s your favorites?

Raivio for 2 As Zags Squeeze Past Vandals

guard Derek Raivio drives into the interior in a 69-60 victory against visiting Idaho at the McCarthey Center Friday. Dunno is Gonzaga, ranked No. 9 in the nation was especially tight or Idaho was vastly improved, but this game was closer than it should have been. That’s a cause for concern for Gonzaga fans as the Zags head into that big tournament in Hawaii, and a cause for hope for the Vandal fans here/SR photo by Brian Plonka.

Question of the Day — 11/18/05

Issue: City union endorses West: Full coverage: Some cry foul over vote/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Does anyone pay that much attention to a city union endorsement?

Question: Is there anyway that West can survive a recall vote?

Wild Card/TGIF — 11/18/05

Four friends look for shells during low tide on the Oceanside, Calif., beach on Wednesday/APhoto.

As I mentioned Thursday, I’m be off today to celebrate my birthday — two days from now. So, I’m re-posting this Wild Card so you folks can chatter while I’m AWOL. Remember to wish Mayor Sandi Bloem a HB if you see her. We were born on the same date, a few years apart. Enjoy yourselves. Here’s your Wild Card. I’ll post others and Huckleberries this weekend …

Best of the Local Blogs — 11/17/05

“On a Sunday (Oct. 23) drive, I stopped at Kramer Marina on Ellisport Bay in Hope. The fall colors were glowing in the sunshine, and the houseboat was framed nicely by the leaves” — Photographer Rick Miller/Sandpoint In Pictures/Sandpoint Online.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour visits the “Extreme Makeover” site again here.

*Family Phil documents with video the moment his son became a dog hater here.

*Bre/To Blog Or Not To Blog (Ed. Note: Bre, have you ever considered changing this To Bre Or Not To Bre? Catchy) reports on Stupid Dad Tricks in the Costco parking lot here.

*Granati/Orange Frog 76 experiences one of those great moments in a father’s life when he can be a knight in shiny armor to his daughter here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind didn’t appreciate that election snub that the SR gave her small town of Kootenai — the “Rodney Dangerfield” of North Idaho — here.

Top Cutlines — 11/17/05

Tasha Henderson, right, and her daughter, Coretha, left, pose for a photo outside their home in Edmond, Okla., today, with the sign Coretha was forced to hold for an hour at a busy intersection. The 14-year-old freshman already has been forced by her parents to give up basketball and track because of slipping grades, and said she hopes to improve in school so she can play next year. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. If Nobel only knew. There’d be a prize for parenting too!! — Dave Tolle.

2. Tasha Henderson is named 2005 Mother of the Year for the rare act of being a responsible parent. Fast Forward: Her daugher Coretha, grows up to be an incredible, productive member of society and recalls this life lesson when thanking her mother during her Nobel-Pulitzer-Presidential Inauguration speech — Jane Q. Citizen.

3. The new rage in education, Un-vocational training. Find out more at the Un-VoTech school at a street corner near you — Kale.

HM: Lesley Presley

For all the cutline entries from today, click here.

HBO Lucky Number: 320 - 91 …

… Or the vote count by which the U.S. House rebuked the goofy 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for “tossing out a lawsuit by Palmdale parents furious that their children were surveyed at school about sex.” Or, the number of U.S. representatives who believe/don’t believe third- and fifth-graders should be protected from mental therapists asking them about sex. Or check it out for yourself here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 11/17/05

This’ll be our last day together until Monday because I’m taking tomorrow off in anticipation of birthday No. 56 on Sunday. Trivia question: Which current Coeur d’Alene mayor shares the same birthday. Cis Gors checked in today with a very nice e-card to celebrate my happy occasion (and day off) this weekend here. So, if you’re going to get your licks in while this site is supervised, you should do so now. (BTW, we had some porn spamming this A.M. that was quickly handled by my blogmeisters. Thanks for the heads up, LP). Now, your Wild Card …

I-90 Business Call

Engaged on his cell phone
while driving his Beamer,
unhappily thus did
he fracture his femur.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

People Snubs His Bobness for McConaughey

HBO can’t believe this. We had it on good authority that People magazine had selected His Bobness/Unbearable Bobness of Being as the sexiest man alive here. Seems there must have been a recount because Matthew McConaughey will appear in that role on the cover of People’s ‘sexiest’ issue, available on newsstands, Friday, Nov. 18, 2005. McConaughey is the 20th ‘sexiest man’ for People, who first bequeathed the honor to Mel Gibson in 1985. The magazine credited McConaughey’s “heaping helping of Texas’s finest Southern charm” for the choice. The actor, whose career began with “Dazed and Confused” and “A Time to Kill,” starred this year in the summer action flick “Sahara” and alongside Al Pacino in “Two for the Money.”/AP Photo/People Magazine. HBO demands a recount. “Sahara” wasn’t even that good.

Question of the Day — 11/17/05

Issue: Apple Cup: WSU’s lost season: No matter how many yards the Cougars gain, they come up short in the only statistic that counts/Seattle PI

DFO: It still matters who wins, right?

Question: Do you have any good WSU/UW jokes for the Apple Cup (OK, OK, both teams are a joke)? Or, can you provide a good argument why your team is going to win the Apple Cup?

Peanut Gallery — Clinton Is All of This

re: BBB’s brilliant response to today’s WorldNetDaily poll

I would say almost all of the above… Let me know if I am too analytical.

1. I agree with Esquire Magazine – he should be president of the world. BBB: He should be because people like him, not because I agree with him.

2. He would make a great secretary general of the United Nations. BBB: He would make a great general of the UN, but I don’t support UN involvement nor President Clinton’s political agenda.

3. He’s been a very dignified ex-president. BBB: Yes, he has. Teaming up with Bush Sr on disaster relief was a good idea.

4. I admire him for his work on behalf of disaster victims. BBB: Yes, I do admire him for simply that.

5. He’s taken too many potshots at Bush – I wish he’d be more discreet like other ex-presidents during war time. BBB: Yep that too… Is only agenda is to further and strengthen his popularity and by taking potshots at Bush it will do exactly that according to approval ratings.

6. This talk of ‘president of the world’ makes me afraid he has some sinister part to play in the End Times. BBB: I agree he “could” play an important part in End Times Prophecy, though I am not completely convinced we are that close.

7. Whatever he says, it’s only meant to get him and Hillary back into the White House. BBB: Yep

8. He was a disaster then and he’s a disaster now. BBB: YEP, though the world doesn’t think so

9. Is it possible to impeach him again and this time convict him? BBB: NOPE

Thanks, please don’t smack me…

Steve Remington/Black Bear Blog

Huckleberries Local AM Headlines — 11/17/05

*Two cars left warming up end up pursued by police: Two teenage suspects arrested; driver asks police about driving skill/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review — There’s a lesson here.

*Spectators crowd ‘Extreme’ set despite cold: ABC makeover show building new home for Sandpoint family/Mary Berryhill, Coeur d’Alene Press — The feel-good story of the fall continues in Sandpoint. Cool.

*Doctor gets 4 years for video voyeurism: Victims describe system he used to videotape people in bathroom/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review — Sorry, Fouche defenders, I ain’t buying that the good doctor doesn’t deserve time in the slammer. If he’d done these things to my wife …

*Spokane man, 21, arrested in assault on LC student: Attack occurred across street from school during lunch hour/Rob McDonald, Spokesman-Review — Another walking time bomb in good old Spokaloo.

*CdA law will regulate cold medicine sales: Officials hope to spark trend in combating meth production/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — Between terrorists and meth heads, our freedoms are being taken away. Well, mebbe I’m being a little dramatic.

Quick Fix 6

1. APhoto Fix: In honor of National Adoption Month, HBO is publishing this shot. Here, California First Lady Maria Shriver talks with officials while walking through a room filled with baby girls under two-years-old waiting to be adopted during a visit to the Shanghai Children’s Home in Shanghai earlier today.

2. Cartoon Fix: Bill Schorr (I am woman), Jeff Stahler (Medicare plan), and Gary Varvel (Sex on TV).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Questions Paris Hilton Asked Herself Before Buying a Monkey” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Border Patrol: Mission with troops successful here, Demos say Alito not sure thing here, Hollywood: Pols band to push anti-smoking PSAs here, Reality show: Persuade Brits they’re in space here, and Woodward: CIA admission may help Libby here.

6. Opinion Fix: Vice President Richard Cheney (“We’re not going to let them … rewrite history), Debra Saunders/S.F. Chronicle (Thin green line is bad science), Brandon Crocker/American Spectator (Big lie Democrats), U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum/Townhall (Conservatism’s future: compassion), and Steven Chapman/Washington Times (Pointless handgun ban).

Wild Card/Wednesday — 11/16/05

I did my monthly juggling of my blogroll to update, switch around, add and subtract. Under the North Idaho blogroll, I’ve added Kale Lowman/un-Muted Mumblings re: Catholicism and deleted several inactive blogs: Banana Pies, Idle Idahoan, Poem Friendly and Random Shallow Thoughts. I’ve also combined our photographers into a separate section, adding Video Journal and the other Philip Corlis (BTW, the Doug Fredericks link now takes you to Philip Corlis, but that should be fixed shortly.) I’ve also added three new “Friends of Huckleberries,” including JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA Notes, Steve Remington’s Black Bear Blog, and O.F. Bender’s Punch, a visual ‘toon site for conservatives. Now, onto your Wild Card …

Top Cutlines — 11/16/05

Current “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood poses for photgraphers after she debuted her first single “Jesus Take the Wheel” during the 39th Annual Country Music Association Awards Tuesday in New York. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. U.S. confirms first human bird flu case — Thom George.

2. Carrie’s lips sang “Jesus take the wheel” but her batwings said “Satan floor this sucker!” — His Bobness.

3. Tower to Carrie: You have been cleared for take-off — Upclose.

HM: Happy X. Dopey

For the rest of today’s cutline entries, click here.

‘Tis the Grandest of Grand Old Flags

In fall 2003, WWII veteran Jim Shepherd, left, explained the significance of a bullet-ridden 13-star American Flag to then Winton Elementary third-graders Mariah Symons, right, Robin Glessner, second from right, and Taylor Kowalski (all cq) at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in downtown Coeur d’Alene/Jesse Tinsley photo.

Jim Shepherd, a WWII Navy veteran who is known for his devotion to the US flag. He’s carried the flag in almost every Fourth of July parade since he returned from war 60 years ago. He helped set the Veterans Park bell with a forklift many years ago and his father set the concrete Veterans Park memorial in place before him. Recently, Jim was collecting donated U.S. flags for the American Legion when he ran across a boxed flag with a Sherman Ave. address that he recognized. It was the address of a young friend from high school who was killed on a small Pacific island, perhaps Iwo Jima, during WWII. The flag turned out to be the one that was draped on his friend’s coffin after his death. “I fly it every Memorial Day,” said Shepherd of the nine-foot flag.

Hat Tip (for info): Jesse Tinsley/SR

Off to Prison He Goes …

Dr. William Fouche wasn’t allowed to pass go, he wasn’t allowed to collect $200 earlier today, as a 1st District Judge sentenced him to 4 years in prison, one year fixed (which means he’ll have to serve at least that), for filming unclad femme friends and clients in his Post Falls home on the Spokane River. At a sentencing hearing, Fouche admitted he’d messed up. But he never apologized to his victims. He was whisked off to prison immediately afterward.

DFO: I knew this guy’s late wife Colleen. As principal and founder of the Lighthouse Academy at the Coeur d’Alene Nazarene Church, she was responsible for establishing solid study habits in my son. Her death was a shock. Then, mebbe it was better that she never saw what became of her husband.

Feature Blog: Extreme Makeover Blog

Sandpoint Online is featuring the “Extreme Makeover Blog” which is covering host Ty Pennington and crew as the build that new home in Bonner County for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition here. That, and Chris Bessler’s Web site is promoting Bonner County bloggers Marianne Love, Cis Gors, Joanna Fuchs (Family Friendly Source) … and even mentions Huckleberries Online here. Check it out.

Above: Family Phil visited the construction sight with camera (and pen here). And I’m republishing the blog entry by Marianne Love/Slight Detour of her visit to the Extreme Makeover site here.

Question of the Day — 11/16/05

Issue: Justice supports division of 9th circuit court: House GOP pushing legislation to split San Francisco based-court/Associated Press

Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella: “The sheer size of the 9th Circuit has led to serious administrative difficulties that have adversely affected its ability to render justice efficiently.”

DFO: That, and I’m tired of our appeals going to uberliberal judges in San Francisco.

Question: Do you support breaking up the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals?

WorldNetDaily Poll — 11/16/05

Who’s lying about the Iraq war?

1. Bush lied, and doctored intelligence reports to lead us into war
2. Bush lied and withheld accurate intelligence
3. Bush lied and people died
4. If Bush didn’t actually lie, he was engaged in gross self-deception
5. Bush was going with the best available information at the time, as was everyone else
6. It’s the Democrats who are now lying, revising history
7. No one is lying
8. Everyone is lying
9. Other

DFO: No. 5

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 11/16/05

1. APhoto Fix: Shooting suspect Ken Bartley Jr., 14, center, is led out of the Campbell County courtroom in LaFollette, Tenn., after his arraignment today in the shooting death of Campbell County Comprehensive High School Assistant Principal Ken Bruce and wounding of Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce.

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Prez lied about war), Chip Bok (Helpful oil companies), and J.D. Crowe (Pat Robertson).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Least Imaginative Inventions” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Clinton: Iraq invasion ‘big mistake’ here, Scotty’s ashes grounded by dud missile here, CIA: Castro has Parkinson’s here, Massachusetts bill softens bestiality law here, and Sheehan going back to Bush ranch here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ed Koch/RealClearPolitics (Bush should surrender on torture), Anne Applebaum/Washington Post (Puzzle of the suicide bomber), John Stossel/RealClearPolitics (Is Wal-Mart a problem?), Kristen Lombardi/Village Voice (How Hillary seduces her haters), and Andrew C. McCarthy/National Review (Compromising war effort).

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11/15/05

A herd of elk move through the woods between the Johnston Ridge Observatory and the Coldwater Creek Visitor Center in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument shortly before sunset Monday/Nicholas George, APhoto/The Chronicle.

How about a swell photo of elk in the shadow of Mount St. Helens to kick off tonight’s Wild Card? BTW, I’m going to be off Friday (for birthday purposes), so we only have 2 more days this week to enjoy one another’s company. If you have something to say to me or the HBO commenters and blurkers, you should do so now …

Behind “Extreme Makeover” Scenes w/Marianne

Bonner County Sheriff Elaine Savage, right, watches as a luxury motorcoach and equipment trucks pull into the rural driveway of a famly who will receive an Extreme Makeover Home Edition renovation just off Baldy Mt. Road outside of Sandpoint Saturday. Her deputies and private security were there to chase off nosy neighbors/SR Photo by Kathy Plonka.

“It was definitely a carnival atmosphere. One lady (whom I don’t know) came over to where I was standing and gave me a big, familiar hug. Then, she pulled out pictures of her chickens, her guinea pig, her dogs and her cats. She was circulating among the onlookers, showing these pictures and informing everyone that she had applied for a Makeover house and that she took in animals nobody else wanted. I guess that was her M.O. Then, she told anyone that would listen that she had no bedrooms in her house and that the couch had to suffice for sleeping. It was really kind of sad.”

For the complete item about Marianne Love’s/Slight Detour visit to the Extreme Makeover site in Sandpoint, click here.

Finding The Frame — Chris Anderson/SR

On Colin Mulvany’s Video Journal today, long-time colleague Christopher Anderson talks about sports photography and explains how he took a series of fantastic photos of Eastern Washington defenders hitting the Montana State QB so hard that his helmet flipped off here.

The Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office …

… Now has a coloring book to prepare young witnesses for trial: “Kids Go To Court.” A lot of good information here. But some of it is a hoot albeit commonsensical, like the page that informs a youngster how to ask to go to the bathroom while testifying. Then, there’s the unfortunate use of “Dylan” for the name of one of the cartoon characters under the “victims of crime” section. Overall, the book’s a good idea. To view it, click here.

Feature Site: Right Democrat

Right Democrat is the voice of Democrats who believe in social conservatism and economic populism. This site is dedicated to revitalizing the moderate-conservative wing of our party. For too long, both parties have ignored the concerns of working and middle class Americans. The Moveonner left thinks that late term abortion, gay marriage and gun control are the core values of the Democratic Party. They are wrong and such thinking will only lead to many more years of Republican rule. The Democratic Party must embrace mainstream values. We need to appeal to people of faith. It is imperative that Democrats win back the values and national security voters.

Right Democrat, introducing his blog here

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/15/05

This AP/Yellowstone National Park photo shows a grizzly bear moving through the brush, June 7, 2005, in the park in Wyoming. Grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will be removed from the endangered species list after 30 years of federal protection, the Department of Interior announced earlier today here.

Related: Puget Sound orcas officially listed as endangered here.

1. Former Alabama football coach Mike Price has reached a second settlement with Time Inc. in his defamation lawsuit over a Sports Illustrated article about a night of drinking at a topless bar in Florida, according to the Seattle Times, here.

2. You’ve heard of coin tosses settling City Council seats in the case of ties. But what happens when there’s a three-way tie for two City Council seats, as happened in the small southern Idaho town of Dietrich last week? Well, you just get out another quarter and play “odd man out” here.

3. William Powell, 64, a longtime habitue of Missoula’s acting scene, was walking home from the cast party after the closing weekend of “Paint Your Wagon,” when he was struck and killed by a drunken driver here.

4. Two students from Lakeside High/Plummer, Idaho, have been arrested by Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe authorities allegedly for plotting a school murder spree here.

5. North Idaho and Spokane residents with breathing problems who suffered from Idaho field-burning smoke over the past six years are eligible for cash compensation, under a settlement that won preliminary approval in court Monday, according to Betsy Russell/Spokesman-Review, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Retirement doesn’t slow cyclist), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./Seattle PI (Compassion fatigue or something uglier?), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Even best EPA rates may be painful), Missoulian (Endless ANWR debate drains political energy), and Jim Moore/Seattle PI (WSU’s Derting dogged in senior year).

*James Doohan, the British Columbia born actor who played “Star Trek’s” Scotty and died in Richmond, Wash., in July, will become part of the firmament when his ashes are shot into outer space early next year here.

*A Montana robbery suspect is struck and killed by a police car responding to the crime here.

*2 Fort Lewis soldiers died on Veterans Day when their convoy was involved in a collision, making them the 64th and 65th Fort Lewis soldiers to be killed in Iraq, here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

HHospitality Really Wanted Mayor Kunka?*

First, you should know that there are only two registered voters in the city portion of Precinct 61: Jerry J. and Ellen L. Jaeger of 1600 E. Resort Beach Lane. You see, Precinct 61 was all in the county until that little 2004 annexation of the Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course and a coupla other Hagadone Hospitality lakeshore properties brought the Jaegers’ home and the monster hacienda along side it (next to the Jewett House) into the city. (For the uninitiated, Jaeger is partners with Duane Hagadone in HHospitality.) Now, onward. In canvassing Precinct 61 for the recent City Council elections, Huckleberries Online noticed that Precinct 61 voted unanimously (2-0) for the following: mayor — Joe Kunka (pictured); city council — Mary Souza, Deanna Goodlander and Steven Foxx. Obviously, the registered voters of Precinct 61 didn’t pay attention to the endorsements in the Hagadone-owned Coeur d’Alene Press (mayor — incumbent Sandi Bloem; and city council — Souza, Goodlander and Woody McEvers). Will this mean a trip to the woodshed? Or is this how the HH powers really feel about the candidates in the election? Inquiring minds want to know.

*HBO is rerunning this from last night because you may have missed it and, well, I happen to like it. Queue up: It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

Quotable Political Quote

Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of policital education.

Henry Brooks Adams, 1838-1918

Hat Tip: Colleague Becky Kramer

Q & A — for KCSO

Question: I haven’t seen anything printed recently in regard how many of the inmates at the KC jail are actually State inmates? Over the weekend, I read where the State shipped 302 inmates to Minnesota to cut down on overcrowding. Is our local overcrowding caused in part by the pipeline clog of State inmates? I would have posted this on HBO, but didn’t see an appropriate subject. Should have ask last week! — Duffer.

Answer: 17 today, 7 sentenced, 10 parole violators — Undersheriff Gary Cuff:

Photo of the Day — 11/15/05

A woman looks at an artwork called ‘Big Chook’, made of fibreglass and high gloss epoxy marine paint, on Tamarama Beach in Sydney on Monday. Australian artist Jeremy Parnell says people frying themselves on the beach for a suntan inspired his piece. You write the cutline.

Question of the Day — 11/15/05

Issue: Postal rates to increase on Jan. 8: 37-cent stamp to jup to 39 cents/Associated Press

DFO: Online banking looks better and better all the time.

Question: Has the increase in postage stamp expense changed the way you use the mail?

Quick Fix 6 — 11/15/05

1. APhoto Fix: Black-and-white video images provided by the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department show a woman talking on a cell phone in Northern Virginia banks who police say robbed four banks in the area. FBI agents arrested Candice R. Martinez, 19, suspected of robbing four banks, earlier today at a home in Centreville, Va.

2. Cartoon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Gore & global warming), Timothy Kelly (Mad cow vs. Avian flu), and Chuck Asay (Kansas embraces ID).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs Your Neighbor Has A Pet Lion” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Dean disavows slurs as campaign tactic here, Liberals rap Alito’s anti-Roe stance here, Berkeley High offers condom club here, Senate GOP plan calls for Iraq exit strategy here, and HIV-positive Canadian faces murder charges here.

6. Opinion Fix: Mark Steyn/Daily Telegraph (Bicultural Europe is doomed), Andrew McCarthy/National Review (Torture is bad, so is McCain amendment), Stephen Prothero/Wall Street Journal (Do-It-Yourself religion), U.S. Sen. Bill Frist/Washington Times (How tax relief works in real world), and Andrew Leigh/National Review (Pajama-clad revolutionaries).

Best of the Local Blogs — 11/14/05

Illustration: Architect Jim Tibbs/Grants Pass, Ore.

*Family Phil provides some extremely cool Google Earth photos of our little neck of the woods here.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views applauds Coeur d’Alene’s openmindedness in electing a homeless man to the City Council here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour believes the real estate bubble will soon go the way of the dot-com dodo here.

*For the uninitiated — and the local leadfoots who ignore winter ice on the road — CDADave/Thin Air provides some good tips on winter driving here.

*Jed Conklin/SR provides another short essay and great fall photos for today’s Finding The Frame feature for the SR’s Video Journal here.

Also: Bill McCrory/Whitecaps links to the 2004 national hate crimes report here, Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings talks about that Veterans Day dust-up at HBO here, and Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind argues that your 40s are the best decade of life here.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Leave Up Yard Signs

A supporter stops by to return a campaign sign and congratulate the new mayor at Allan Gainer’s bookstore, the Tree of Knowledge, in Cheney Monday morning. If you know of someone who hasn’t taken down his or her campaign sign, you can blow the whistle on the candidate here by posting name and location of violating sign./SR photo by Holly Pickett.

From Taters to Jam

Left to right, Teacher’s aid Mary Sherrodd, para-educator Jeanie Eastman, school cook Melodie Lunden and principal Anita Galland pack up potato wedges that could not be cooked for lunch because there was no power at Progress Elementary in Spokane Valley, Wash., and much of north Spokane. Instead the students were treated to jam sandwiches here.

Never Allow Someone to Tie You Up?

Weird promo for a KXLY segment tonight featuring the Groene family murders here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 11/14/05

In this photo released by Garda - The Irish National Police, a surveillance image shows Frederick Russell in Dublin, Ireland. Russell, 27, was arrested Sunday by the Irish National Police at a store where he worked in Dublin, U.S. Marshal Michael Kline said. He was working under the alias of David Carroll, Kline said. Earlier today, Russell was denied bail by Irish authorities who consider him a flight risk here.

1. A new University of Idaho study shows that nearly two-thirds of all loggers in Idaho, Montana and Washington state are 40 years old or older, raising warning signs in traditional timber communities that rely on the industry, according to the Olympian, here.

2. At 11, Mike Kelsey, a youngster with Downs Syndrome, was devastated when he was called a “retart.” But the pain was a distant memory Saturday when Mike, now 23, was crowned king of the first North Idaho prom held for individuals with special needs, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

3. A Republican student group has Gonzaga up in arms again as it plans to sponsor a second controversial conservative speaker in the span of weeks — this time former-radical-turned-conservative David Horowitz here.

4. A Sandpoint, Idaho, man, who’d taken custody of his sister’s children when she died of a heart attack and was living in a basement with a roof over it, was stunned to receive a knock on the door and discover he’d been selected for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” here.

5. The Idaho town of Preston, made famous by the 2004 independent film “Napoleon Dynamite,” has lately been looking a little less like the movie’s nerdy protagonist, as two former town officials have gotten into serious legal trouble, according to John Miller/AP, here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Monday’s Huckleberries: Honey, I’m home), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Beware of Idaho’s death penalty), Rebecca Nappi/SR (Becoming aware of the smoke smell), Lisa Waananen/WSU Evergreen (New tech changing language), Jim Moore/PI (UW win bad sign for Cougs).

*North Idaho woman, son drown spreading husband/father’s ashes in Pacific Ocean off Oregon coast here.

*A historic vote to recall Spokane Mayor Jim West will begin when mail-in ballots are sent out later this week here.

*Chris Carr, a rookie from Boise State who returns kicks and punts for Oakland, can handle the NFL but he doesn’t like losing here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

It’s My 2 Cents

The election of Mike Kennedy last Tuesday may be one of the most significant events in the political history of Coeur d’Alene in the last decade or so. Why? The waterfront is now protected. In the past, I always worried that The Duane and his minions could shake down the council for something they really wanted by putting pressure on one or two wafflers. They never had to worry about Councilwoman Dixie Reid, who has been solidly pro-Hagadone on almost everything he’s proposed. The last great disappointment involving Hagadone was the 4-2 vote in spring 2004 to allow him to annex his golf course and sundry properties into the city without granting guaranteed access to the eastern end of Sanders Beach (or Potlatch Beach, for the oldtimers). The council had Hagadone over a barrel but acted as though the positions were reversed.

Enter Mike Kennedy. With Mike on board, the council now has three very reliable votes to protect the public places of the waterfront from Hagadone’s never-ending grab. The memorial garden on Sherman Avenue is officially dead. It’d never get past Ron Edinger, Al Hassell, Mike Kennedy and Mayor Sandi Bloem. Besides, Deanna Goodlander and Woody McEvers have said they’d ask for a public vote if it comes up again. Hagadone won’t risk that.

More importantly, Ron/Al/Mike axis, plus Deanna, will protect McEuen Field for a renewed attempt by Hagadone to convert part of the area into a garden. Remember. He suggested that move in that secret meeting in February 2002 when the city was compiling a master plan for McEuen Field. Now, that attempt is dead, too. And the future council will pursue its push to keep the main part of Sanders Beach open to the public.

Hagadone probably will still get what he wants on his private holdings on the waterfront. And much of that will be beneficial to the community. But, with Mike on board and Her Sandiness able to win re-election easily despite Hagadone’s displeasure, our public areas are now safe for four years.


Blog Numbers — 8277 & 45414

I can’t keep this one to myself. Last week, the blog pageview hits went off the charts — thanks, of course, to the election. (MikeK, Susie, Mary, etc., you guys didn’t realize that you were running to pump up the blog, did you?) Huckleberries set a single-day record on Election Day with 8,277 hits. Equally incredible, the hits held through the week with 6727 being the lowest weekday number. Total for the week? 45,414. That beats the old PV record by about 10,000. Mebbe it was an anomaly? Mebbe it’s a sign of bigger things ahead? Stay tuned.

WorldNetDaily Poll — ‘In God We Trust’

Issue: New atheist challenge to ‘In God We Trust’: Man seeking to change Pledge of Allegiance ready to challenge motto on money this week/WND

Should ‘In God We Trust’ be allowed to stay on U.S. currency?

1. No, God does not exist
2. No, it violates the First Amendment establishment clause
3. No, even though I believe in God, others shouldn’t be forced to see the motto
4. No, even though God exists, it’s abundantly clear the U.S. does not trust in Him these days
5. Yes, it does not violate the First Amendment establishment clause
6. Yes, from the nation’s earliest times, God was mentioned in our founding documents
7. Yes, majority rules in the U.S., and the majority wants to keep it
8. Yes, I think atheist Michael Newdow is a crazy Froot Loop from the leftward land of silliness
9. I’m really stuck on this issue, how ‘bout we flip a coin?
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 5, 6 & 8, although a good case could be made for 4.

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily report, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 11/14/05

1. APhoto Fix: A skull from the Korean War rests on an examination table at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) at Hickem Airforce Base in Honolulu, Hawaii. JPAC is in the process of identifying a serviceman who was found Oct. 16 on Mount Mendel in Kings Canyon National Park in central California.

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Veterans: God bless ‘em), Brian Fairrington (Saving New Orleans), and Jerry Holbert (Erectile dysfunction commercials).

3. Humor Fix: Jay Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers celebrations Operation Iraqi Justice by proposing a new postage stamp here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Alito rejected abortion as a right here, Drones to fly over American cities? here, Dean accuses Bush of lying to start war here, 1,100 lawyers quit Saddam defense team here, and Katrina donations outpace 9/11 here.

6. Opinion Fix: John Heilmann/New York Magazine (Will Dems blow ‘06 opportunity?), Star Parker/Townhall (California’s assault on the family), Mike Allen/Time (Cheney’s long, hard autumn), James S. Robbins/National Review (Zarqawi’s big mistake), and John Leo/US News & World Report (We’re all victims).

Wild Card/Saturday

Sorry, I forgot to post this late last night. But better late than never, right? Then, I added the print version of Best of Huckleberries for a little added treat, although some of you have seen portions of it this past week. Thanks for a great election week last week. Now, your Wild Card …

Best of Huckleberries (Cont.) 11/7-11/05

First, you should know that two young white girls from Bakersfield, Calif., Lamb and Lynx, sing racist songs about white pride – a white version of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, according to columnist D. Parvaz/Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Onward. Seems L&L’s mother is considering relocating to the Northwest because she doesn’t think Bakersfield is white enough. Which is about the point in the Nov. 8 column when Parvaz began chanting: “Please make it Idaho, please make it Idaho.” Old stereotypes die hard. To Parvaz’s credit, she stopped herself, realizing that it’s unfair to wish L&L “on the good people of Idaho” and that she’d read in a Christian Science Monitor story that the number of racist skinheads had doubled nationwide. The story was datelined Marysville, Wash. Parvaz’s response: “Marysville? Crap. Is Washington a white supremacist magnet? This is more than just a PR problem.” Huckleberries response to all of this? Please make it Washington. Please make it Washington.

Quotable Quote
“As a young airman (approximately 1976) in the Air Force, I was deeply affected when a chief master sergeant (translation: God) took the time to write my parents a letter after I won an award which praised them and thanked them for instilling such strong values in me. My parents, in their mid-eighties still have that letter displayed in their home. Over the years, I followed his lead more than once and firmly do believe that many of the greatest characteristics in our veterans were created by their families and the values displayed in the home” – Hayden’s Doug Fredericks last week in observance of Veterans Day. Bingo.

Razzberries, Or …
… “Whatcha gonna do when Hayden dumps 144,000 gallons of poo into your drinking water upstream?” Dept.: 1. Sell your home to a rich, unsuspecting Californian and move to another part of town, 2. Figure out whom to sue, 3. Look up the word A-Q-U-I-F-E-R in the dictionary,” 4. Take the Alfred E. Neuman approach: What? Me Worry? Or 5. Beware of the, ahem, floaties coming out of the tap.

Poet’s Corner
“This month, turkeys/are selected:/some get stuffed and/some elected” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“November Ritual”).

So, why didn’t that Lapwai, Idaho, fifth-grader who attended a recent University of Idaho seminar want to eventually attend the Moscow college? Quoth he: “One reason I don’t want to go to Idaho is that I want to play football, and I want to win.” Ouch … Jana Jones, a Demo candidate for Idaho Superintendent of Schools, launched her campaign poorly when she labeled the subject line in her press release: “Candadicy Announcement”cq … Izzit me – or is there something not quite right about Hooters sponsoring a recent KREM-2 segment – about breast cancer survival? … Why was the former North Idaho AIDS Coalition director excited when he crossed part of the Pacific for a similar job in Maui? Quoth Keith Wolter in The Maui News: “It’s getting really cold in Spokane.” Cold? Spokane? You wouldn’t believe this guy once was a pastor of a church in Brrr-illingscq, Mont. … Yeah, that 21 percent voter turnout in Kootenai County was lousy. But not as awful as the one turned in at the University of Idaho, where only 29 students – 29! – of some 13,000 voted in the Moscow city elections (according to the UI Argonaut). Yeah, yeah, many are from elsewhere. But many are also registered in Latah County. Mebbe civics should be a required course.

Parting Shot
As a cop, you know you’re in for an interesting night on the Palouse when a woman from the west side calls to say that her husband was getting directions from a hitchhiking ghost on how to get from Pullman to Colfax. This, according to the Colfax Daily Bulletin. Colfax officers Bryce Nebecq and Robert Wridecq were on the lookout for a Chevy Tahoe when the woman called back and said the ghost disappeared near a local Chevron. Remember this was in early November. Mebbe the gas prices on the readerboard scared what was left of the life out of Caspar.

Wild Card/Veterans Day — 11/11/05

It’s almost closing time, so I’m moving up the Wild Card to handle evening threads. Again, I’ll probably be posting simply Wild Cards during the weekend because I’ve discovered I need the break. Things have quieted down quite a bit since Election Day. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to discuss. Here’s your Wild Card …

Top Cutlines — 11/11/05

Lisa Thormchlen of Belgrade, Mont., snapped this shot of a Dodge Omni (or possibly Dodge Colt/Plymouth Champ, who knows?) with 2X6 supports hauling out a big-game kill between Billings and Roundup last week. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “Uh, put down the beer, Vern. We wouldn’t want to do anything to attract attention” — Dang.

2. With winter in the air, Otus and Cooter determined it was due time to attach their Montana traction device — Side Note; and: See Marlene, I told you I could stop the moon roof from leaking — stopthecrazygrowth.

3. Every year when it was time to move from the summer range back to the ranch, Bob the elks dream was a Ford truck and a horse trailer — Whatever.

HM: Bob & Lesley Presley

Nice Photo for A TGIF Afternoon

Three bucks pause in a field in Centre County, Pa., near Lock Haven, Thursday/Lock Haven Express/APhoto by Bill Crowell.

Autumn Wind

The dry leaves scurry
down our street
with clicking sounds like
puppy feet.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Side Note Gives Rocky Hell

It is still amazing to this observer that the Sheriff was contributing money and efforts to smear Mr. Kennedy. One would think he might have been putting his efforts into the jail expansion — Side Note.

Background: Sheriff Rocky Watson chipped in a double sawbuck at a GOP Central Committee meeting, at Shellman’s request, to help pay for one of the four attack ads against Kennedy. Others included: Sharon Culbreath ($50), Dick Wandrocke ($20), Rep. Marge Chadderdon ($100), Bob Hollingsworth ($50) and Rep. Phil Hart ($15). Shellman paid for two attack ads himself and the GOP CC for the fourth one.

DFO: I know the sheriff’s office monitors this blog. Can someone ask Rocky Raccoon to answer this for me: What were you thinking?

CDA Press Gives Shellman, GOP Hell

We believe (Mike) Kennedy would have won no matter what, because he appeals strongly to diverse interests. But he was no doubt aided by the bone-headed, last-minute efforts of Lee Shellman and the Republican Central Committee, who launched an 11th-hour smear campaign questioning Kennedy’s residency.

For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial about Tuesday’s elections, click here.

DFO: Bingo

World Tunes in to Mari’s Dogwalk Musings …

This last week has been quite a trip for this neophyte blogger. The shock is that Carla Johnson choose to use me in her AP story on senior bloggers. The awe has been the response. CNN, Fox News Radio, Yahoo Headline News and so many papers other than USA Today. The ultimate was this morning when hub conceded I’m now world famous - the Billings Gazette picked it up. Now all the relatives will see it! (For the rest of Mari’s terrific comment today on HBO and blogging, click here.)

Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings

Razzberries …

…Or whatcha gonna do when Hayden dumps 144,000 gallons of poo into your drinking water upstream?

1. Sell your home to a rich, unsuspecting Californian and move to another part of town.

2. Figure out whom to sue.

3. Look up A-Q-U-I-F-E-R in the dictionary.

4. Take the Alfred E. Neumann approach: What? Me Worry?

5. Beware of the floaties coming out of the tap.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Living Wills

What are your thoughts on living wills?

1. They’re essential to guaranteeing our wishes be followed if we become incapacitated
2. If you don’t want to be hooked up to a machine or drain your family’s savings, they’re a good idea
3. Despite a few bad examples, living wills are an effective end-of-life tool that have served millions well
4. They’re useful, but they must be specific and detailed to avoid being abused
5. They’re fine as long as you can change your mind at any time
6. They’re not perfect but they’re better than having no directive
7. They don’t mean anything as long as courts can overturn them
8. They’re too easy to use to end someone’s life
9. They’re extremely dangerous – you’re just signing your own death warrant
10. Other

DFO: No. 6

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 11/11/05

1. Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan, center, poses with the five mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games after they were unveiled in Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium earlier today. In an elaborate, nationally televised gala at the arena to mark the 1,000-day countdown until the Games, senior Chinese leaders introduced the mascots known as the “five friendlies” - cartoon renditions of a panda, fish, Tibetan antelope, swallow and the Olympic flame.

2. Cartoon Fix: Daryl Cagle (France is burning), Bill Schorr (CIA secret prisons), and Mike Keefe (Fall 2005).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Good Things About Being An 18-year-old Mayor” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Teen holds 2-vote lead in Michigan mayor’s race here, Woman robs 4 banks while on cell phone here, ‘Halloween’ producer dies after Jordan bombings here, Wal-Mart Christmas boycott ends with apology here, and NFL reaches agreement to return to LA here.

6. Opinion Fix: John McCain/U.S. Senate (Winning the war in Iraq), Oliver North/Townhall (Hollywood: Rotten to the Corps), Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post (Running out of gas), Frederica Mathewes-Greene/National Review (Thumbs up to new “Pride and Prejudice”), and Tom Purcell/Washington Times (The veteran’s soul).

Q & A

Dang: I’m wondering if some of your (endorsement)picks have, in the past, tainted a relationship with a future pol whom you predicted to lose or said un-glowing things about in your recommendations? Or is it true that a pol will suck up to the press no matter what you think of him! :)

DFO: In a relatively small community like ours, the pols aren’t as sophisticated. During his endorsement interview, Post Falls Councilman Joe Bodman brought up a somewhat unflattering description I’d written about him — eight years ago! Buell Hollister wouldn’t speak to me for years after the SR endorsed incumbent opponent Hilde Kellogg in a legislative race. I try to be candid in my endorsement editorials. But I find myself pulling my punches a little more as I age in this job. It isn’t fun running into someone in the grocery store whom you didn’t endorse. On the other hand, that’s why they pay me the big bucks (I wished).

Extra! Hayden Sewage Spill

More than 140,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled Wednesday night from a pipe at Hayden and experts say it’s already made its way to the aquifer. The mess could reach the nearest well, an estimated 500 feet away, in just over three months. Story tomorrow by Jim Hagengruber.

An Idaho Hero …

U.S. Marine Sgt. Luke Miller is seen earlier this week in Boise. Miller was presented the Non-Commissioned Officer Association Military Vanguard Award earlier today in Washington, D.C. He was honored for jumping from his tank to help fellow Marines injured in another tank when it was disabled by a massive bomb during a mission to seize a bridge. You can read all about it here/Idaho Statesman photo by Chris Butler.

Also: A happy 230th birthday message today to the U.S. Marines from Commandant M.W. Hagee here.

Top Cutlines — 11/10/05

Victoria’s Secret models, including Tyra Banks, center, Heidi Klum, center right, and Gisele Bundchen, fifth from right, dance at the end of the designers fashion show in New York, Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Gives new meaning to “silicon valley,” And: i don’t think victoria has a secret anymore — Granati.

2. Hark Victoria’s Angels sing, Heidi, and Tyra in a G-string, And: Putting the X in Xmas — Side Note.

3. The photo Jeopardy answer is: What has 22 legs, 22 boobs, 352 teeth, and an IQ of 36? — Dang.

HM: Bob & Lesley Presley

For all the terrific cutlines today, click here.

Whatever Happened To — Brandi?

Competence and a maturing political machine turned out moderate and liberal voters in Boise on Tuesday. City Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan swamped religious activist Brandi Swindell, as voters chose centrism and experience for the grinding work of transportation planning, managing growth, shielding neighborhoods and saving open space. Swindell tried to make the Ten Commandments our signature symbol, but Boiseans are more interested in their broader quality of life than a single stone monument — Dan Popkey/Statesman here.

Green Libertarian: “Oh yeah, didn’t see it mentioned here, but since we talked about her picture and ill-fated campaign here awhile ago, thought I’d mention, the fundi-Babe from Boise went down 70-30.”

DFO: If all fundies were this soft on the eyes, GreenL, their wouldn’t be a lot of atheists out there.

Another Easter Egg From Cis

I’m barely a Yank at 43% here.

Another Perv with North Idaho Roots Loose

A warrant has been issued for a violent sexual predator whose whereabouts are unknown. Howard Edward Martin’s last known address was in Post Falls. The 30-year-old was convicted in Washington of raping his sister at knifepoint and also of attacking his female counselor during sex offender therapy, according to a press release. Martin was also convicted in Washington of failing to register as a sex offender. He was classified as a violent sexual predator by authorities in Idaho and Washington and is considered at a high risk to reoffend, according to a press release here.

Oopsy — Derision But No Feud

Re: Huckleberries AM Headline comment that feud between commissioners and Sheriff Rocky Raccoon played a role in the defeat of the $50M sales tax measure on Tuesday’s ballot.

Rocky & the commissioners aren’t No. 1 fans of each other, but they were on the same page on the push for the sales tax, according to Commish Katie Brodie, who spit out her coffee when she was told about the HBO comment by blurker Gus Johnson. Mea culpa. (That’s Any Mouse lingo for “through my fault.”)

Illustration: Green Libertarian

To Build Or Not To Build

Neighbor Christina opposes CDA school district plans for Persons Field/SR photo by Jesse Tinsley.

Issue: CdA neighbors’ views heard: Persons Field school project on hold/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Question: Do you support the Coeur d’Alene School District’s attempt to use Person Field for the new Lakes Middle School?

Feature Blog: Finding The Frame

You ever wonder how Spokesman-Review photographers come up with ideas for feature photographs? Colleague Colin Mulvaney/Video Journal started a new feature today here in which he provides a documentary photograph plus audio of the photographer describing how the scene caught his/her eye. Kathryn Stevens/SR launched “Finding the Frame” by explaining the cool shot above here (click on the arrow at the bottom of the linked photo for audio). Enjoy.

Razzberries …

Or how ya gonna get the other 79% of Kootenai County’s registered voters to the polls?

1. Who needs ‘em? My vote counts more if they stay home.
2. Quit showing “Seinfeld” reruns, so they have to find something else to do after work
3. Direct mail a voter’s guide to every registered voter
4. Jail every 10th one of them to scare them to the polls
5. Vote by mail
6. Other?

Feedback: Screw ‘em if they can’t take a vote — Dang.

Photo of the Day — 11/10/05

Victoria’s Secret models, including Tyra Banks, center, Heidi Klum, center right, and Gisele Bundchen, fifth from right, dance at the end of the designers fashion show in New York, Wednesday. You write the cutline.

HBO Question of the Day

Issue: Mike Kennedy is the first HBO regular to move on to bigger and better things — winning a solid plurality to claim Ben Wolfinger’s Coeur d’Alene City Council seat.

DFO: Yo go, Mike.

Question: Which current member of the HBO menagerie is most likely to win an elected position?

Peanut Gallery — MikeK’s HBO Acceptance Speech

Illustration: Family Phil

Howdy, DFO and bloggers - I can be lifted from my self-imposed HBO hiatus now. I decided about a month ago (maybe three weeks, but it felt like a month) that if I spent too much time trying to respond to each post I wouldn’t have enough time to do the door-knocking and phone calling directly to voters that I felt were important. Plus I was a little surprised at how contentious my name became here during the last few weeks - who knew?

I fully intend to stay engaged on the blog. I do have to learn a little more about the factual legalities of being involved in communications on matters that will come before the council that aren’t supposed to be pre-judged before public hearings. It was a bit of an issue during the campaign, so I’m now more aware of the pitfalls.

I’m immensely supportive of the open meetings law, and I wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that by spouting off on something here or elsewhere before I’ve heard all sides of it in public testimony.

Regardless, a hundred thousand thanks to the bloggers I’ve met here on HBO who were involved with the campaign in some fashion. I told Dave O the other night that there are at least two key people that I would never have met in another fashion that met me virtually through this blog and became great supporters and friends - that’s very cool.

For those who were in opposition, well, that’s democracy and I hope that if I do my job right you’ll come around to respecting that or even becoming supportive. If not, I’ll just pump DFO for your IP address and have the city send out “denial of service” blocking attacks on your internet provider*.

(*that’s a joke, Lesley Presley, don’t alert the militias…)

Councilman-elect Mike Kennedy

November Ritual (in Honor of Our New Pols)

This month, turkeys
are selected:
some get stuffed and
some elected.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Wild Card/Wednesday — 11/9/05

Cassidy Stulc, left, and Hannah Wolf sing a musical version of the “Star Spangled Banner” during their Veterans Day assembly today at Hayden Meadows Elementary. With a handful of veterans in attendance, the students sang the songs of each branch of the military and gave thank you notes to the veterans. Veterans Day is Friday/SR photo by Jesse Tinsley.

Now, your Wild Card for the evening …

But A Spark

We hiked to the windy ridge
wishing for flames of sage to mark
our way, to trail our footsteps as if
to say
in all the dry failings of man, in all
the regret mounded into pyres,
we are but a spark from redemption.

The north wind was cold and blew
dust into our eyes.

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

Top Cutlines — 11/9/05

Ryan Miles, 10, reacts while crawling through the Colossal Colon at the recent Ketchikan Health Fair in Ketchikan, Alaska. The colon, displayed in Alaska for the first time, shows various forms of cancer and maladies. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Breaking news: The next stop for the Colossal Colon exhibit is Athol, Idaho. Related item: Embarrassed residents of that small town have petitioned city officials to rename the town “Anuth”. Reaction has been mixed — John Austin.

2. 3. Ryan froze in a sort of stunned surprise bordering on terror when he saw two floral designers (Jeffrey and Timothy) “going up the pipe” giggling and squealing in gerbil costumes — His Bobness.

3. Ryan had hoped to meet his political hero, but his parents heard wrong and instead he spent the day with “Colon Bowel” — Family Phil. And: Ryan Miles traverses the bowels of a new adventure ride, “Gutsy Tremors”. Hairpin turns twists, pressure chambers, and a free-fall into ‘The Privy Lagoon’ whirlpool — Lesley Presley.

HM: Whatever

Digital Fog Rides Again

If you have video capability, you can see why Digital Fog is on top of his game today here and here. If not, enjoy the newspaper headline posted by DFog above.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 11/9/05

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire speaks at a rally for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels Tuesday night in Seattle. A tax-revolt initiative peeling back a record $5.5 billion gas-tax hike in Washington state was defeated Election Night.

1. Don’t look now, Seattle Mariners fan, but all-time M’s winningest pitcher Jamie Moyer has filed for free agency here.

2. Cartoonist David Horsey/PI agrees that France has no immigration problem — sorta — here.

3. Tacoma cancels New Year’s Eve First Night celebration for lack of money here (free subscription required).

4. Washington loses one of its four last Medal of Honor winners from WWII and a veteran profiled in Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” here.

5. The clerk of a Missoulia adult book store foiled a robbers attempt by disarming him and then bashing him over the head with his own gun here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Speak up, Wal-Mart shoppers), Dennis Mansfield/Idaho Statesman (Idahoans provide relief aid), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Boise election results), Seth Lake/WSU Evergreen (Relationships: Reject jerks), and Columbian (Powerball winners? Really?).

Washington initiatives and Seattle/King County results here.

*Editor Mike McInally will end his 26-year stay in the Missoulian newsroom to become publisher of the Corvallis, Ore., newspaper here.

*Spokane votes to raise property taxes to relief City Hall financial crisis and avoid further cuts in police, fire and library services here.

*A man was at the Spokane airport after trying to pass security with a gun, knife, meth, marijuana and two water pipes here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Huckleberries Election Nuggets

*Wedding bells will be ringin’ for Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel and his gal, City Administrator Wendy Hague, Dec. 10. At the Bloem/McEver Election Night celebration last night, Gabriel described himself as the blind pig who found the lovely acorn. (For those keeping score at home, Ken answers to Assistant City Administrator Jon Ingalls to avoid a conflict of interest.)

*Woody McEvers explained to HBO last night why he has such a magnificent head of hair at age 57: “I was a laid back surfer dude without a worry in the world until I was 32.” In other words, he’s only had to stress for 25 years while the rest of us Boomers have been doing it a lot longer.

*Yes, Virginia, Your Huckleberry Hound was called a mo-fo last night by a relative of one of the CDA municipal election contestants who meant it.

*Yes, Virginia, candidate Mary Souza did call KVNI talkmeister Dick Haugen to ask for equal time Monday, in case I said something during our 45-minute program that she wanted to respond to. (Chalk it up to more bad advice from her unofficial handlers.)

*Huckleberries hears that the GOP Central Committee has stepped back from the brink and isn’t going to challenge Mike Kennedy’s election on the grounds of residency. Kennedy was last seen walking 300 feet north at 1 o’clock this morning from the Caddy Shack, which is within the city limits, to his old home, which isn’t — with the mayor’s permission to spend the night with his wife and family. Just before he did, he crossed his fingers and hoped aloud that the Repub CC was dumb enough to file an appeal.

*In the Odd Couple arrangement which has MikeK renting a room from Ryan Hill to fulfill residency requirements until his new house is finished in Coeur d’Alene Place, MikeK plays slovenly Oscar to Ryan’s neatnik Felix.

Winners & Losers

An unidentified supporter of Mike Kennedy reflects on the enormity of his candidate’s big win last night and wonders how a handful of Huckleberries bloggers/blurkers could have posted such nasty things about Mike during the campaign. (Yeah, HBO knows who the unidentified supporter is.)

Huckleberries Online is analyzing last night’s results. Preliminary analysis has provided these winners and losers:


1. Mike Kennedy — A working-class D and all-around good guy won with bipartisan support and a superbly organized campaign despite efforts to slime him.

2. County Clerk Dan English — Final election results by 9:40? Take a bow, Dan’l.

3. Sandi Bloem — Second Coeur d’Alene mayor to win re-election to a four-year term and has a good council in place to help her to continue her good work for the city.


1. County Republican Central Committee — Proved it cares more for partisanship than quality government by signing on to below-the-belt attacks against Kennedy. Local Repubs are lucky that they have such a voter edge that they can still win partisan elections despite poor leadership.

2. County Commissioners — If you guys are going to float a $50 million election, sell it.

3. Mary Souza — A class businesswoman who listened to bad advice and got sucked into a negative campaign that hurt her in the end.


Huckleberries AM Headlines

*Kootenai County voters reject sales tax for jail expansion/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — A lousy campaign highlighted by continual bashing from the Coeur d’Alene Press and Concerned Businesses of North Idaho — and the measure still attracted 62%. Wonder what would have happened if the Fiddlers Three at the courthouse had persuaded Mike Kennedy & Co. to handle their publicity?

*Zags’ Morrison voted preseason All-American: Junior forward becomes first GU basketball player to receive honor/Steve Bergum, Spokesman-Review — Will he pull a Turiaf and stay for his senior year, too? Or will the lure of filthy lucre prompt Adam to skip his senior year next year? Inquiring minds want to know.

*McLaughlin, Verner, French win Spokane council seats/Spokesman-Review staff — No Steve Corker. No Cherie Rodgers. And soon no Jim West. The three-ring circus at Spokane City Hall is about to fold its tent.

*Sandpoint City Council seats switched: Lockwood and Newton winners; Hayes joins Rathdrum council/Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review — Helen Newton, the long-time Sandpoint city clerk, will not be a shrinking violet now that she has a microphone.

*Voters clear out the smoke: Indoor smoking gets overwhelming statewide support, while two medical malpractice initiatives are failing/Richard Roesler, Spokesman-Review — A bit over the top, but second-hand smoke is annoying.

Q & A — Endorsements

Question: I’m curious: If reporters go through all the trouble of trying to maintain a lack of bias throughout a campaign, then why does the press bother to endorse any candidate? — Dang.

DFO: You’re talking about two distinct functions of the newspaper. The reporters, indeed, do everything they can to remain neutral and provide balanced story. The Editorial Board, which is peopled with editors (in our case, Publisher Stacey Cowles, Editor Steve Smith, Opinion Page Editor Doug Floyd, and Associate Editors Rebecca Nappi, Gary Crooks and Yours Truly) who don’t report at all. Our endorsements are carefully marked as opinions on the Opinion Page. There’s a pretty high wall of separation at the SR between Opinion and News. The twain simply doesn’t meet. In most cases, reporters have no idea whom we are endorsing until they read the endorsement editorial.

Q & A

Question: DFO, will you do an endorsement vs victory rundown for us? I know the Spokesman endorsed Kennedy and Bodman and the Press endorsed Souza and McAvoy. The SR favored the jail issue and the Press opposed. Curious to see which paper came out ahead in the endorsements/wins — Jane Q. Citizen.

DFO: We don’t pick candidates for bragging purposes. But here’s the comparison. You nailed the endorsement differences above. We backed Bloem, Kennedy, Goodlander and McEvers in CDA, Bodman in Post Falls, and supported the sales tax (which did receive 61% of the vote despite bashing by the Press and Concerned Businesses). The Press picked Bloem, Souza, Goodlander and McEvers in CDA, McAvoy in Post Falls, and opposed the sales tax.

Mike K: First HBO Blogger Elected to CDA Council*

Mike Kennedy, holding his son Max, 2, pumps his fist after returns show him well ahead of Mary Souza and Dan Yake in the race for an open seat on the Coeur d’Alene City Council Tuesday night. Kennedy’s friends and supporters had gathered at Crickets in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Since all of you seem to be celebrating (or have gone to bed because Dan of the County’s election department did such a terrific job getting the results out), I’m going to call it a day and congratulate Mike and Deanna in person/ Spokesman-Review photo by Jesse Tinsley.

*Al, Woody, Deanna, Ben and Sandi follow the blog, too.

Deanna Wins 3rd Term

Deanna Goodlander, left, an incumbent Coeur d’Alene City Council member, applauds returns showing her barely leading Susie Snedaker in her reelection race Tuesday evening. Goodlander eventually beat Snedaker 55% or 45%/SR photo by Jesse Tinsley.

Northern Lakes Fire District Elections

Edward L. Campbell 233 8.95 %
Larry R. Clark 959 36.83 %
Richard L. Halligan 498 19.12 %
Alan A. Washburn 914 35.10 %

Dennis L. Amende 1,516 60.71 %
F. Dean McMillen 981 39.29 %

Lori A. Churchill 1,009 40.38 %
Terry J. Thompson 1,490 59.62

Rathdrum City Council

Top 2 win

Kenneth Hayes 255 27.78 %
Fred Meckel 183 19.93 %
Carmon O’Donnell 127 13.83 %
Jesse Ojala 199 21.68 %
Dan Tesulov 154 16.78

Post Falls City Council Seat No. 4

Joe Bodman 559 42.19 %
Joe Doellefeld 262 19.77 %
Jackie McAvoy 504 38.04

Complete CDA Election Results


Sandi Bloem 4,211 76.16 %
Joseph B. Kunka 1,318 23.84 %


Mike Kennedy 2,726 48.89 %
Mary W. Souza 1,343 24.09 %
Dan Yake 1,507 27.03 %


Steven L. Foxx 1,924 37.47 %
Woody McEvers 3,211 62.53 %

Deanna Goodlander 2,897 54.71 %
Susan (Susie) P. Snedaker 2,398 45.29 %

Councilman-elect Kennedy

With 74% of precincts reporting:

Mike Kennedy 2077 48%
Dan Yake 1208 28%
Mary Souza 1082 25%

Hat Tip for illustration: Family Phil

Grieving Carolyn Schrock Forgives Driver

In this undated photo made available by the Schrock family, Carolyn Schrock meets with Clifford Helm at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Schrock met with Helm, the driver of a car involved in a head-on collision in which her five children were killed Nov. 1, to reconcile and pray for his family and share their losses. Man at center is unidentified/AP Photo courtesy of the Schrock family.

Top Cutlines/Election Day

An unidentified supporter of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is punched on the nose by an anti-Arroyo supporter at the University of the Philippines earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Still suffering from a sinus infection, Dave Oliveria receives a nasal irrigation from Lesley Presley — Family Phil.

2. Breaking News: “Presidential Supporter Punched” — phlegm at Eleven — John Austin.

3. On the next Springer — Hayden Hippy. And: HBO commenters spar over Kennedy’s residency — A Token Democrat.

HM: Kale

The Big One

Lottery co-winner Frances Chaney, left, makes remarks while family members and friends look on during a news conference after their ticket was verified at the Oregon Lottery Commission earlier today in Salem, Ore. “I’m still in disbelief that we won the big one,” said the 68-year-old Chaney, who went in on the $340 million Powerball ticket along with her 72-year-old husband Bob, their daughter and her daughter’s husband/APhoto by Rick Bowmer.

Bre Makes HBO’s Day With Her Vote

I’m going to vote today. This will be my first time voting in a non-presidential election. I usually don’t vote because I know nothing about the issues so I’d have no idea who I was voting for. But this time is different. This time I visit Huckleberries online and many people there including some of the candidates running, often talk about the elections and the issues with the elections and I’ve gotten a feel for some of the candidates and then I went and researched the other cadidates and I actually feel like my vote should count now because I’m informed this time around.

Bre/To Blog Or Not To Blog

Will Avista Follow Suit?

Spotted today in uptown CDA, gas for $2.24 a gallon; the news says we’re back to “pre-Katrina” levels. I wonder, then, if Avista will back off its proposed rate increases correspondingly, seeing as how things aren’t as expensive as they were, say, a month ago. I suppose if utility rates get too high, and if gas prices continue to go down, one could just fill up a gas can, take it home, and find a way to heat the house with THAT fuel. And if the house catches fire, well, while it’s burning, you’ll be warm…for a while!

CDADave/Thin Air

Extra! Height Restriction Discussion Canceled

Seems someone mentioned to the Coeur d’Alene Planning & Zoning Commission that Election Night might not be the best time to discuss building height restrictions. So, HBO hears, the items re: the height restrictions have been pulled from the agenda. The meeting, however (despite earlier reports here to the contrary), will go on with the other items

I’m No. 8, I’m No. 8

Doesn’t look good for the turnout today, folks, when I voted at 8 a.m., an hour after the polls open — and was only the 8th voter at a fairly big precinct. Pleaz let HBO know how the turnout is at your polls.

Peanut Gallery — Another $50 Million?

I see by today’s d’Pressing that the school district may seek a $50 million levy for a new school. Hmmm. Let’s see. $50 million for a new, improved jail, $50 million for a new school. To paraphrase a quote attributed to the late US Senator Everett Dirksen, “$50 million here, $50 million there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” There must be some magic in the $50 million figure, because it seems to be the figure of choice lately.

DFO: Actually, Bill, I view that banner headline today as the Press’s final editorial against the county’s proposed half-cent sales tax. What a school district may or may not do next March is a questionable lead story unless The Boss is committed to defeating a proposal with a comparable price tag albeit a different revenue source. At least, you have to give Brand X credit for playing fair with the council wannabes.

WorldNetDaily Poll — 11/8/05

Illustration: Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers

Issue: French Cabinet OKs curfews to stop rioting: Violence rages for 12th night, measures in effect at midnight/Associated Press

What’s the best solution for France’s rioting?

1. Negotiate with the Muslims
2. Create a commission to study the problem
3. Turn the situation over to the U.N. or EU
4. Declare sharia law
5. The French military and law enforcement should crush it
6. Massive deportations
7. France needs to give up its terminal multiculturalism and re-embrace nationalism
8. Create an independent state of Paristine
9. France should do what it does best. Surrender
10. Other

DFO: No. 9

For the World Net Daily news report, click here.

P.S. — 11/7/05

OK, friends and neighbors, as you know tomorrow is Election Day. What do you expect from this blog? Total neutrality? Behind-the-scenes action, if I find out about things going on that won’t be reported until it’s too late (See: City Clerk takes Shellman/GOP CC to woodshed)? What? I have something to do between 7 and 8:30 tomorrow night. But I should be back here around 9 for the election results and mebbe some real time interaction with commenters/blurkers.

Best of the Local Blogs — 11/7/05

Illustration: Architect Jim Tibbs of Grants Pass, Ore.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views reacts to the amazing faith on display from Carolyn Schrock, the Mennonite mother who lost all her children in that recent horrific two-vehicle accident, here.

*Fresh off a lengthy mention in USA Today, Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings isn’t thrilled about the news that her favorite news anchor, Aaron Brown, is being merged into another show here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour does her best hunting with a camera, but there was that one time … here.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, our young friend from the UI Argonaut, sez he’s never worked so hard at school and is looking forward to the Thanksgiving break already here.

*Bearable Bob introduces us to his “family” here, here and here.

*CDADave/Thin Air, the only person in the U.S. who hasn’t seen “E.T.,” is amazed that “Chicken Little” is this country’s current top movie here.

Stebbijo Gives Anon Political Bloggers Hell

Political anonymous posting! That is it — it burns my bucket! Really not so much on my blog - because here I am rather noncontroversial and most of my comments/posts are lighthearted. Makes life so much happier. But on some blogs the debate can rage. Here in CDA , Idaho where I live, the local elections are Tuesday and everyone is busy throwing in their last ditch efforts to campaign against or for their candidate of choice. However, some of the biggest mouths are the anonymous ones. How can a person consider them seriously during an election when they wear a mask? I don’t get it. Yesterday at Huckleberries — it was going on with anonymous posters. There is a big stink over a residency requirement concerning a potential candidate running for a council seat. It is getting down to where does he make love with his wife, now. Some of them want proof. You know the ‘ole saying, “Home is where the heart is.” On Huckleberries, you can be anonymous, but you have to tell DFO (his blog) who you are, but nobody else knows. I finally drew one poster out who told us the names of her powerful brother and uncle. Like that makes a difference — who in the double H is she/he? I was related to the last cousin of the first uncle to the sister of my step-uncle’s brother and his last name was Roosevelt and I am anonymous. Get it? How do you feel about anonymous posters?

They are lame. Political anonymous posters probably sleep with a mask too, so their significant other does not know who they are, either.


Anonymity is for scaredy cats who still need their Mom’s apron string.

Stebbijo/Your Choice


CDADave flipped that cool Christopher Anderson/SR photo of a Browne’s Addition mansion reflection (from Friday afternoon) on its head and came up with this. Very nice.

A Montana Father Wonders …

…if Groene family murder suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III was involved in his son’s murder, too. Bill Turcotte of Havre has met with the FBI and will discuss the matter with Geraldo this week here.

Kennedy: A Distant 3rd? No Way

Kennedy fans will predict he wins, natch. No news there. My super seekrit source tells me that a poll conducted last week had Mikey running a distant third with a dead heat between Mary and DanDang responding to comment by Jane Q. Citizen.

DFO: If your super seekrit source is the late, not-so-great Any Mouse, who’s been advising the Souza campaign, I’d hold the prediction at arm’s length. I still remember his call on the day of Clinton’s re-election, predicting that Bob Dole was going to win. I find it hard to believe that Mike will finish a distant third in a town that “leans” Republican but isn’t solidly Republican. Add to that strong bipartisan support, two opponents who should divide what’s left of the hard-line Repub vote and lots of bucks to get his message out, and you have a formidable candidate who isn’t going to finish a distant third.

November Ritual

This month, turkeys
are selected:
some get stuffed and
some elected.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

APhoto of the Day — 11/7/05

Comedian Dane Cook kisses actress Charlize Theron on her backside to commend Theron for kissing actress Shirley MacLaine’s backside during the Premiere Women in Hollywood event, as “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno watches. You write the cutline.

Endorsements — Us & Them

The Spokesman-Review & Coeur d’Alene Press disagreed on the three key endorsements in the races for Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls city councils and the county’s half-cent sales tax measures: SR — for Mike Kennedy, Joe Bodman and “yes” on the local option tax here. Press — for Mary Souza, Jackie McAvoy and no on the sales tax here.

You can find the SR’s guide to Tuesday’s election here.

Question: Who’s going to win the local elections?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Al Franken — 11/7/05

Issue: ‘Franken Lies’ author on MSNBC tonight: Alan Skorski brings his revelations to Tucker Carlson show/WND

What’s your opinion of comic, author and left-wing activist Al Franken?

1. A great comic who is correct in his liberal philosophy
2. He’s not funny, but he’s on the money when it comes to criticizing conservatives
3. Another typical loon from the leftward land of silliness
4. I once thought he was funny on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ but his politics are a major turn-off
5. Despite entertaining troops on USO tours, he puts them in danger with his criticism of them back home
6. A mean-spirited, deceitful wretch of a man
7. Liar, liar … Pants on fire!
8. He’s not good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people hate him!
9. Other

DFO: Yeah, I know this one is a bit biased, but I wanted to get your blood pumping on an overcast Monday. Me? I don’t listen to Franken or talk radio much.

For the WND news report, click here.

Monday AM Radio Show Reminder

Dick Haugen and I will be discussing the local City Council elections and the half-cent sales tax ballot measure on KVNI-AM (1080), beginning at 8:10 Monday morning. Should be fun. I’ve spent the last half hour preparing my comments for tomorrow. Now, if my voice’ll only hold …

Wild Card/Saturday — 11/5/05

I’m just posting Wild Cards this weekends, HBOers. You can use ‘em to chat. Or ignore ‘em. Meanwhile, I’ll try to recover from a sinus infection I brought back from California or Portland. Nasty thing. Looks like I’ll be spending the weekend indoors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun …

Extra! Ghost Dodges Colfax Cops

re: HBO is told by a reliable source that this story appeared in Editor Jerry Jones’ Colfax Daily Bulletin today:

Colfax Police were advised at about 6:20 p.m. Thursday of a report from an unidentified caller on the west side of the state who said her husband was driving northbound between Colfax and Pullman with a ghost in the car. The ghost reportedly was pointing out to her husband the way to Colfax, the woman caller said.

Colfax Officers Bryce Nebe and Robert Wride were placed on the lookout for the vehicle, said to be a Chevrolet Tahoe. At one point, the Colfax officers made an unsuccessful attempt to secure the number of “Ghostbusters” from the dispatch center in case a backup would be needed, according to Assistant Chief Dave Szambelan.

The case file was closed when the Colfax duo received a subsequent report that the woman had received an update from her husband who said the ghost had climbed out of the Tahoe at the Corner Chevron.

Subsequent sightings of the ghost in Colfax were not reported, Szambelan said.

Best of the Local Blogs — 11/4/05

CDADave/Thin Air is looking for help in identifying the Coeur d’Alene area location of the Big Chief Campground shown on this 1957 postcard here. Anyone?

*David Bond/Wallace Street Journal, a former SR colleague and now a globe-trotter with bases in Wallace and Florida, shipped along his latest column from a trip to China here.

*His Bobness is getting back on top of his game with his poem, “But I Only Am,” here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings has some thoughts on the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections even though she’s not a Coeur d’Alene resident here. (BTW, my sources say that Mari will be quoted in a weekend USA Today? AP? piece by Carla Johnson about sixtysomethings bloggin’. Stay tuned.

*Digital Fog has another coffee spitter here.

*After 65 years, Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind is comfortable in her own skin, and she tells you about it here.

Getting High, Getting Busted

Coeur d’Alene High resource officer Scott TenEyck had a surprise waiting for him when he opened the door of his office Thursday here.

The Buck Stops (Dead) Here

Did you hear the one about the Arkansas man who killed a five-point whitetail deer with his bare hands? It happened earlier this week here.

Hat Tip: Jim Meehan

Dang Does Clarence

A little birdie informed Huckleberries Online that regular commenter Dang will be playing the role of “Clarence” (the angel) in the Lake City Playhouse production of “It’s A Wonderful Life” later this year. Which of the following do you believe will be most difficult for Dang to perform?

1. Getting thrown out of the bar by Nick?
2. Jumping in the water to save George Bailey?
3. Getting his wings?
4. Taking orders from the director?
5. Perform for 2 1/2 hours in a night shirt?

Also: Who would you cast in the other main roles, particularly those of George, George’s Uncle and Mr. Potter?

Quotable Quote

“One reason I don’t want to go to Idaho is that I want to play football, and I want to win” — fifth-grader from Lapawai at a recent University of Idaho forum.

Hat Tip: Becky Kramer

About That Post Falls Council Race …

…For my money, there isn’t much difference among the three candidates for incumbent Joe Bodman’s City Council seat. None of them impressed much with their endorsement interviews. So, that’s why I was interested in a Post Falls insider’s comments this morning about the difference. Basically, he said, all three would keep the status quo. The differences? Bodman (pictured) would keep the status quo, and the council meetings would continue to last between 15 and 45 minutes. Jackie McAvoy would keep the status quo, and the meetings would last 90 minutes. Joe Doellefeld would throw bombs but keep the status quo, and the meetings would last 2 1/2 hours. Sounds like there’s not much at stake here.

SR’s Online Guide to Local Elections

The Spokesman-Review has provided an online guide to City Council elections Tuesday. Simply click the following link and then click on the races or subjects that interest you here.

DFO: I’ll rerun this item Monday and Tuesday.

APhoto of the Day — 11/4/05

David Valentine, 12, of Miami Township, Ohio, plays on a trampoline with his goat, Blessing, Valentine’s parents say the goat helps David deal with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Local Question of the Day — 11/4/05

Issue: Media coverage of North Idaho elections.

Question: Which of the following choices reflects your view of how the local media has covered this fall’s City Council elections:

1. I can make a decision from the info they have provided.
2. They haven’t provided enough info.
3. One or both papers have been biased.
4. I rely on their endorsements.
5. Other.

As Stebbijo would say, your choice (and any comments along will be appreciated along with your selection).

Quick Fix 6 — 11/4/05

1. APhoto Fix: Defending New York City Marathon champion Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, is interviewed after a press conference in New York, today. Each of the record 37,500-plus runners in Sunday’s New York City Marathon has a simple goal: finish the grueling race through the Big Apple’s five boroughs.

2. Cartoon Fix: Gary Varvel (Demos & Rove), Ed Stein (Dubya & Far Right), and Jeff Stahler (Abercrombie & Fitch).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Ways CBS News Can Attract Younger Viewers” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Teens call for boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch here, Alito hearing to begin Jan. 9 here, Las Vegas mayor: Sever thumbs of graffiti artists here, Muhammad Ali has months to live? here, and Limbaugh tries to stop leaks in drug case here.

6. Opinion Fix: Michael Kinsley/Slate (How conservative is “too conservative”?), Frank Devine/The Australian (Naysayers fail to hijack Iraq triumph), Brent Bozell/Media Research Center (Hollywood still leery of religion), Frederica Mathewes-Green/National Review (“Chicken Little” is scary), and Nick Schulz/Forbes (Don’t fear Google).

Wild Card/Thursday — 11/3/05

‘Twas nice to be back blogging again today, folks. I still have jet lag from the wonderful trip to celebrate my niece’s wedding to a prominent son of a dairy rancher in California’s Central Valley. If I can get my hands on the pro photographer’s shot of my five siblings and myself, I’ll post it. Think mafioso, Portuguese style. But I digress. Here’s your evening Wild Card (plus a close up photo of the Coug Nation flag flying above the Space Needle in Seattle by Ted S. Warren/AP) …

Top Cutlines/Thursday — 11/3/05

Student leaders from Notre Dame de Sion High School in Kansas City, Mo., shelter themselves from the wind in a box during the kickoff for the annual Food for Thought can food drive. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “Ok guys, we have to start thinking of how we’re going to help the homeless this year.”

“well I think we should start by giving them some J-Lo perfume.”

“ya, and I can give away some of my old Gucci bags, that will make them sooo much more stylish!”

“That lady over there definatly needs some crest whitening strips, her teeth are like yellow” — Bre.

2. Notre Dame de Sion High School is known as one of the strictest of Catholic schools anywhere. Because their skirts did not meet the knee-length requirement, these girls earned a “night in the box” — Side Note.

3. (Somewhere in deep space orbit between Athol and Uranus)

Zoltan The Terrible: “We will commence the vaporisation of earth.” Karok the Rampager: “Why now?” Zoltan The Terrible: “The Overlord commands this, he has waited 12 days for the return of the cutline contest and all he got was 4 girls in a box.” Karok the Rampager: “Of course, and Doug Clark wasn’t that funny either” — His Bobness.

HM: A Token Democrat

For all the contest entries, click here.

Coug Nation Takes Over Space Needle?

The Washington State University flag flies high atop the Space Needle in Seattle today on the first day of a fundraising competition between fans of WSU and the University of Washington that will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to rebuild homes in the hurricane-ravaged areas of the southern United States. Ingrid Rachinski/Daily Evergreen tells you all about it here/APhoto by Ted S. Warren.

Peanut Gallery — I Don’t Like Mike

The Kennedy campaign has two things going against it. The money issue is obscene and should backfire as being too top heavy on contributions. The other issue is his willingness to manipulate the law on residency requirements for filing. He does not live in Coeur d’ Alene and the seldom visited or used apartment is an abuse. I prefer Dan Yake as you get what you see, an honest, straightforward candidate who is talking about what is really important and that is the cost to the taxpayers for city government.

Gary Ingram

Wanna Get Away?

I’ve just returned from California, where the temperatures were in the 70s most of the live long day. So, I can’t blame Keith Wolter, the former North Idaho AIDS Coalition director, for looking forward to a change of scenery to Maui. Quoth Wolter: “I’m really excited about this. It’s getting really cold in Spokane.” Still, it seems like Mark Hyde, the interim director for the Hawaiian island group, took a shot at North Idaho when he said in an article in the Maui News: “Northern Idaho is a less-accepting community than you find here,” Hyde said. “He did very well in a tough location.” You can read all about Wolter’s new role here.

Peanut Gallery — Free Transit?

I say, ‘WHAT’S THE ANGLE’ (re: new bus service underwritten by Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe)? I hate to wax cynical, but there IS ALWAYS an angle. Nothing is for free. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. So what’s the angle? More business for the Casino? Better perception of the casino and those who run it? Any chance of tax breaks for hauling around senior citizens and other disadvantaged riders? If I was still cab-driving, I’d wonder how much a free bus service service would cut into my ability to make a living.


DFO: CDADave apparently has had a devil of a time posting this comment re: the rural transit system from Tensed to Hayden offered free by the federal government and Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe. You can read his comments here. Meanwhile, I’ve asked my blogmeisters to check out the spam problem of which Dave writes. I would have addressed this problem sooner if I had been in the office before today. Sorry.

Above photo: Patricia Schneider of Coeur d’Alene was so excited about taking the new Citylink bus service that she attended the largely ceremonial ribbon cutting this morning/SR photo by Jesse Tinsley.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/3/05

The five Schrock children who were killed in a traffic accident Tuesday are shown in a family photo. They are, from left, Jerryl, 5; Carmen, 12; Carinna, 8; Jana, 10; and Craig, 2. See Item No. 1 (Photo courtesy of the Schrock family).

1. A pregnant mother of 5 young children killed in a horrible vehicle accident near Spokane is bolstered by her Mennonite faith while others try to find answers to the tragedy here. Meanwhile, the conditions of the drivers, including the woman’s husband, continues to improve here.

2. Political cartoonist David Horsey/PI looks at the lengths to which we’ll go to reform ourselves here.

3. An letter allegedly written by Edward Joseph Duncan Jr. sez the Groene family murder suspect had seen the light and was bringing 8-year-old Shasta Groene home when he was apprehended at a Denny’s restaurant in Coeur d’Alene, according to Dave Turner/Coeur d’Alene Press here.

4. It’s a long shot, but federal authorities could close the duck hunting season in response to the Avian bird flu threat here.

5. The Washington Supreme Court ruled today that a woman who raised a child from birth to age 6 while in a relationship with the girl’s biological mother can seek rights as a “de facto parent,” essentially creating a new class of parent in the state, according to the AP, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Bing Crosby doesn’t haunt hotel), Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (Wise to prepare for bird flu), Missoulian (Lower gas prices), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Odd couple keeps property tax reform alive), and Jim Moore/PI (Dogging it for Cougs, Dawgs).

*A Seattle fund-raiser for hurricane relief could mean that the Space Needle will be decked out in Washington State colors in time for the annual Apple Cup game against rival Washington this year here.

*A marketer believes little Santa, Idaho, could cash in by slightly changing its name here.

*A civilian Fort Lewis employee was charged Wednesday with extorting a funeral home owner for five years by agreeing to ship him the bodies of active-duty casualties only for a pricey, under-the-table fee here.

*2 Boise State doctoral students helped authorities in investigating a 3-year-old murder case find a body in the desert here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.


Sharing the same bumper on a white Toyota pickup with Kootenai County plates headed into downtown Spokane this morning, in black letters with a yellow background: “Kill Duncan” and “Death cures sex offenders the first time.”

Also on the bumper, spotted by an SR colleague: “Go to heaven and ski like hell.”

BTW, anyone know where a person can get one of the “Kill Duncan” bumpersnickers?

Local Question of the Day — 11/3/05

Issue: Attorneys agree: No video copy: Prosecutor will allow Duncan’s lawyers to privately view the offensive material/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Attorneys came to an agreement Wednesday that will prevent copies from being made of pornographic videos that Joseph Edward Duncan allegedly made as he held Dylan and Shasta Groene at a remote Montana campsite.

Question: I doubt that anyone would disagree with this compromise. Why do you believe the public defender’s office agreed to it?

SR Morning Headlines — 11/3/05

*Kiss-off doesn’t hinder Payne: With Vaseline behind her, public defender rehired by county/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press — This is better than a soap opera.

*Afghan ambush kills area soldier: Injured sergeant was able to warn squad mates of danger/Kevin Graman, Spokesman-Review — Another local hero falls.

*Kennedy wins fund-raising race in CdA: Council candidate reports collecting $20,781 as office-seekers file financial statements/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — I’ve received three direct mailings from Mike Kennedy’s campaign. Impressive campaign. Then, he has the money and moxie to pull it off. How’s the news of his war chest playing? (Remember: I’ve been gone, so I don’t have a good feel for this aspect as the campaign winds down.)

*Birthday girl takes flight of fancy for 98th: Hagadone provides helicopter for woman who loves to travel/Christi Wilhelm, Coeur d’Alene Press — Let’s give the devil his due. Nice story. Nice gesture by Duane Hagadone to give 98-year-old Betty Owens a birthday gift like this.

*Kellogg voters pass levy to heat schools by wood waste, biomass/Associated Press — Good for Kellogg.

Quick Fix 6 — 11/3/05

1. Frederick Mike Humeston, 60 of Boise looks on from the front seat of his car, as he departs the courtroom building area in Atlantic City, N.J, earlier today. Merck & Co. won a major victory in the battle over its Vioxx painkiller Thursday when a New Jersey state jury found that the drugmaker properly warned consumers about the risks of the medication here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Henry Payne (Judge Alito), Monte Wolverton (Libby indictment), and Gary Varvel (Avian flu “plan”).

3. Humor Fix: of David Letterman’s “Top Ten Dumb Guy Tricks for Avoiding the Bird Flu” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Key al-Qaida figure reportedly captured here, Ex-Cheney aide pleads guilty here, Greenspan: Hurricanes haven’t derailed economy here, Gang of 14 Demos reach “comfort level” with Alito here, and Limbaugh blasts “bigots” at Milwaukee “Urinal” Sentinel here.

6. Opinion Fix: Dick Meyer/CBS News (Secret Senate circus as metaphor), Larry Elder/Townhall (Leakgate: What about Wilson’s credibility?), Andrew C. McCarthy/National Review (Islam, democracy & assimilation), Stanley Crouch/NY Daily News (Where’s today’s Rosa Parks?), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (News from Iraq not fit to print), and Ann Coulter/Townhall (Demos hide from base).

Wild Card/Vacation Day 12 of 12

Looks like you folks had quite a time debating the pros and cons of the new tribe subsidized transit system that’ll serve the underemployed, poor and aged. I’m totally with John Austin on this one. And wrote an editorial to that effect before I left. However, the transit thread will be old news by the time I return to the office Thursday morning. One more day, ladies and germs (old joke), and we’ll begin having fun with the fading days of the municipal elections. Meanwhile, here’s your final Vacation Wild Card …

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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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