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Archive for October 2005

Wild Card/Vacation Day 10 of 12

Three more days to go, folks. I’m so laid back I’m almost horizontal. Fantastic fun. I’ll tell you about some of it when I return to the office Thursday. I definitely appreciate your comments about that award our online presence won. Ken Sands and our online team do a tremendous job with our cyber product and promoting individual SR bloggers. I salute them. Now, your third to the last online Wild Card …

Wild Card/Vacation Day 7 of 12 — 10/28/05

Sorry I’m so late in posting this TGIF Wild Card. I’m in full vacation mode and forgot about it. ‘Tis nice to lose track of days. Very nice. But I’ll be excited to return to the office Thursday for the final days of the City Council campaign.

Wild Card/ Vacation Day 5 of 12 — 10/26/05

I’m actually beginning to relax, folks. Been enjoying Junior and Junior’s Missus immensely. And they’ve been enjoying the waterfront, sneaking into Hagadone’s Dockside for a gooey when my back was turned, which is against family rules. But he’s a man now and capable of making his own decisions, even to frequent such places. Now, the hard vacationing begins. Before, I flip over today’s Wild Card, I noticed Mike K was the first to land a direct mailing in my mailbox, touting his endorsements by the firefighters and police officers. I’ll be discussing Mike and the others the Monday before Election Day on Dick Haugen’s KVNI morning show. Now, your latest Wild Card …

Wild Card/Monday — Vacation Day 3 of 12 — 10/24/05

OK, friends and neighbors, today officially begins my vacation. Much to do hosting Junior and my sweet Daughter-in-Law for the week. But I’ll be checking in while I resist temptation to do more than that. So, here’s your daily Wild Card. I know it’s not much. But it’ll allow the regulars to keep in touch …

Best of Huckleberries Online (Cont.) 10/17-21/05

A pipe bomb exploded at the Coeur d’Alene home of the Rev. Bill Wassmuth just before midnight on September 27, 1986. No one was hurt but the blast shook the neighborhood and sent pieces of shrapnel and a garbage can into the air/SR photo.

Memory Lane
During the taping of the show, Morlin and I playfully jabbed each other about which side was more dangerous to report on. Bill’s subjects were thugs with guns, bombs and evil intentions. And he covered them superbly. But there were times when things got touchy on my side, too. I missed the second biggest civic crime that supremacists committed in our midst, the 1986 bombing of Coeur d’Alene. I was vacationing in Kalispell when my sister informed me that “they’re blowing up your town.” But I didn’t miss the bombing of Wassmuth’s parish house shortly afterward. I still remember the look on Bill’s face when I arrived early in the morning to report on the bomb that had been planted in a trashcan by his back steps: shock, fear, dog-tiredness. The blast had ripped up the back of his home, knocked out windows and sent shrapnel into the ceiling of the kitchen and through a garage roof across the street. But for the grace of God …

Scary Times At Noxon High
Then, there was the time I traveled with Bill, Tony, Marshall Mend and African-American Walt Washington to Noxon, Mont., to cover the task force’s attempt to introduce human-rights concepts to western Sanders County, an area being overrun by racists activity at the time. I knew we were no longer in Idaho, Toto, when Montana cops in bullet-proof vests met us at the state line and escorted us to the high school gym. About 400 residents packed the gym, including some 40 racists in various Nazi regalia at the back. When the speeches began, Tony, smiling weakly, mentioned to Mend that the white shirt he was wearing made him a prime target for anyone looking for one. I was glad I was in the audience and could pretend I was still a northwest Montana resident if things got ugly. We survived. The cops escorted us back to the Idaho border afterward. Only later did we truly realize the danger we’d been in.

The Big Apple
Easily, the dumbest thing Butler’s disciples did was to bomb Coeur d’Alene and Wassmuth’s home. That rallied a community that had been debating whether it was best to confront the Aryan Nations menace or ignore it. The task force was struggling to make inroads into the business community and most local politicians had their finger in the wind. Responding to a question at the time, Broadbent told a secret business gathering what would happen if the task force wasn’t around. Instead of 60 Aryans, he said, you’d be dealing with 600. The bombings shattered the apathy, led to an outpouring of community support for Wassmuth, and attracted the attention of the Raoul Wallenberg Committee, which bestowed its first – and maybe only – civic award on Coeur d’Alene, for its battle for human rights. At the City Hall, only feet from where Abraham Lincoln had rested in state, with the world’s media looking on, I heard Coeur d’Alene held up as a model for a racially divided New York by civil rights giant Bayard Rustin and future mayor David Dinkins. And then listened, with Bill and Larry, as Coeur d’Alene mayor Ray Stone gave the speech of his life as he told of seeing the evil of racism as a young man helping liberate a Nazi concentration camp.

I didn’t intend to dedicate this column to my 21 years of covering the task force. But there are so many memories … Of the shock that occurred at a task force press conference during the Ruby Ridge siege when we learned Sam Weaver had been killed, too … Of Butler droning on about race traitors during an interview while he was running for Hayden mayor and of one of his followers calling me “rabbi” … Of visiting the deserted compound with Tony after Butler had been sued into bankruptcy and seeing the burnt logs that’d been used for crosses … Of retracing the desperate escape route of Virginia and Jason Keenan along Rimrock Road as they tried to escape Butler’s bullies in hot pursuit … Of Bill and Larry, now gone.

Parting Shot
I covered the ribbon-tiers, the lemons-to-lemonade makers, the turn-the-other-cheekers, the tortoises who plodded along, consistent in message and purpose, never realizing that I was watching Inland Northwest history unfolding.

Peanut Gallery — CDA Dirty Tricks?

This is the time when the dirty trick artists go to work in the Coeur d’ Alene elections. Most of the forums are over and it is tough to respond to these awful rumors and gossip that start to hit the headlines.

The dirty tricksters know that attention is on the campaign in the last two weeks so they are going to spread the crap around. It has worked every time in the city elections that I remember.

Watch for the dirt to fly in the next several days. I don’t know of anything specific but there is going to be something. You can count on it.

Steve Badraun

DFO: Steve’s right. This is the time in city campaigns when dirty tricks fly. In the three-way race, watch for a last-minute flyer targetting Mike Kennedy and for the CDA Press to get involved if The Boss wants one of the other candidates to win.

Wild Card/Friday — V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

Sorry about not posting another Best of the Local Blogs. (It won’t become a habit.) I’ve been slammed with Huckleberries and writing an editorial this afternoon. Now, I’m finished until Nov. 3. I’ll post Wild Cards and the next Huckleberries print column (tonight). But the deeper I get into the vacation, the less I’ll check the site. You might get a note or two from me along the way. Thanks for the good time today and all the encouragement you guys provide. Now, your first Wild Card of my V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N …

Hat Tip: Family Phil, for illustration …

Top Cutlines/Friday — 10/21/05

Sumo wrestlers, dressed in their traditional Mawashia, cross New York’s Seventh Ave. en route to a “weigh-in,” Thursday in preparation for the “World S.U.M.O. Challenge - Battle of the Giants” at New York’s Madison Square Garden Saturday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines;

1. Responding to an advertisement for interns in the Nishinomiya Review, applicants from Spokane’s sister city line up at Spokane City Hall awaiting their personal interview with the mayor — Bill McCrory.

2. Japanese athletes pay tribute to The Beatles with “Flabby Road” — Bre, and: Getting through airport security keeps getting tougher and tougher — Keepongrowing.

3. Donald Trumps new show “The Sumo” has contestants racing around New York City to see who can eat the most hot dogs. The two guys in the middle have a lot of bulking up to do before tonights weigh-in — Bre.

HM: Toadmaster (with Dave Tolle and Whatever close behind and everyone else close behind them)

For all of today’s incredible cutlines, click here.

Wyoming Wind Sock

Digital Fog is having fun today

Citizen of the Year — 4 New Nominees

re: Nos. 8 thru 11 are new today:

1. Mike Kralicek — Mike Kennedy nominee
2. Denny’s workers who helped save Shasta Groene — Marianne & Stebbijo
3. Graham Crutchfield — Stopthecrazygrowth & Jane Q. Citizen
4. Dusty Rhodes — Jane Q. Citizen
5. Ron Edinger — Eagle Eye
6. Duane Hagadone — Lesley Presley & COEURgenX
7. Susie Snedaker, Sundi Seibert, and Aaron and Sandra Snider (combatting registered sex offenders in neighborhoods) — Bill McCrory
8. Rocky Watson — JimmyMac & Jane Q
9. Rocky & Ben Wolfinger — JimmyMac
10. Clay Larkin — Jeff
11. Gary Schneidmiller — Jane Q.

Wild Card/Friday — 10/21/05

Gotta write a quick edit for the Editorial Page maw for Monday. Should take me about 90 minutes. So, enjoy yourself with this Wild Card. And then I’ll try to pass the last 2 1/2 hours B.V. (before vacation) trying to find fun things to post …

Photo: A thirsty tufted titmouse takes advantage of a dripping garden hose for an afternoon drink in Tallahassee, Fla.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 10/21/05

Rene Ducroux stands next to his recently purchased ex-police horse “Spatsir” in Meridian, Idaho. Ducroux purchased Spatsir at an auction where the Boise Police Department sold off all the mounted patrol equipment, from the horses to the halters. The BPD disbanded its mounted police force last month due to budget concerns/APhoto by Matt Cilley.

Breaking News: A Medford man has confirmed that he has a winning Powerball ticket worth $340 million, ABC News reported today, here.

2. Flathead Valley CC instructor Karen Longhart is one of the real whiz kids behind the sensational hit CBS drama “Numb3rs,” according to Candace Chase/Daily Inter Lake of Kalispell, Mont., here.

3. Computer records show Mayor Jim West’s taxpayer-owned laptop contained links to images of men engaged in sex acts with other men, according to Bill Morlin, Spokesman-Review, here.

4. Three University of Idaho football players (including ex-Lake City High standout Luke Smith-Anderson) have pleaded not guilty to various crimes allegedly committed Saturday night against members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, according to Sam Taylor/UI Argonaut, here.

5. A 6-year-old boy apparently shot and wounded his father by accident on a hunting trip near Kamloops, BC, and the father may be charged with carelessness here.

6. IMHO-NW: Milt Priggee/Puget Sound Business Journal (Hot housing market), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Eyman finds a good cause), (Brandi Swindell Campaign/Idaho Statesman (Columnist Popkey should apologize), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Coach Price right to leave futile M’s), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (NBA emperor Stern).

*UI students are living up to their mascot name, Vandals, as Moscow, Idaho, has become their toilet and garbage dump here.

*Weyerhaeuser to close 2 mills, cut 342 jobs here.

*Defense attorneys want to know why controversial ex-LAPDetective Mark Fuhrman was allowed to visit Joseph Edward Duncan’s III’s crime scenes here.

*Don’t look now, but the contentious word “wilderness” has disappeared from some Montana maps here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Regarding Fuhrman CSI

The good news is that DNA evidence was found at the Duncan crime scene. The bad news is the blood was O.J. Simpson’s!!!! — an office wag.

PF Endorsement (Despite Headline) — Bodman

All have strengths that would serve a progressive council well. After two terms, Bodman is aware of the issues affecting Post Falls, including the need to replace the softball diamonds at the defunct Quad Park and keep expanding the park system. McAvoy has connections throughout the community and Idaho through her involvement with myriad volunteer boards and committees. Doellefeld is not afraid to ask questions of council members whom he believes “hide from the public” and walk too much in lock step. The choice is difficult. But the council has served well together and doesn’t need to be shaken up. Voters should re-elect Joe Bodman.

For the rest of DFO editorial, click here.

For Rasha Madkour story re: Post Falls race, click here.

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 10/21/05

*Charges flying in Millwood mayor’s race: Mork’s response to letter restrained/Tom Lutey, Spokesman-Review — These guys must be watching too much late-night C-SPAN.

*Arraignments set in Sandpoint murder case: 2 to face court hearing in Christopher West murder/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee — ‘Tis the piper’s turn to be paid.

*Burger better be beautiful: Contestants from Red Robin branches take part in regional competition in Spokane Valley/Ayisha S. Yahya, Spokesman-Review — Does the winner get to make hamburgers for a day at Hudson’s?

*Is Hayden Canyon a big dead end? Glen Lanker is tall, but he doesn’t look like Frankenstein/Coeur d’Alene Press editorial — If he builds it, they will come (until their money runs out from being under-employed and then they’ll have to leave again).

*Boil order will continue for Greenacres: Testing will last into the weekend/Peter Barnes, Spokesman-Review — It’s gonna be a long weekend in the Greenacres area.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Halloween

What’s your attitude about Halloween?

1. It’s my favorite holiday of the year
2. It well may have dark, pagan roots, but who cares? That’s not what it’s about today
3. It’s just a harmless kid’s holiday
4. I don’t like the way it’s been stolen from children by adults
5. Anti-Halloween crusaders are like the grinch that stole Christmas
6. I don’t give it a second thought
7. I can’t stand all those pesky kids ringing my doorbell
8. It’s the holiest day of the year for satanists – why would I want to celebrate evil?
9. The Bible says, ‘Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness’ – no trick or treat for me
10. Other

DFO: Bah, humbug

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.S. (The Hair of the Horse) — 10/20/05

Some folks say that the length or thickness of horse hair is an indicator of a bad winter. The hair on Mickey, a recent transplant from Montana, points to a mild winter, said owner Darren Barfield, manager of The Ranch at Mica Meadows in Mica Flats. (But I’m told that the other horses on the ranch had thick hair. So, beware.)/SR Photo by Kathy Plonka.

Question: OK, HBOers, some of you have quirky ways of predicting the weather. Want to share what you look for when you’re trying to figure out what kind of winter we’re going to have. And, if you’re so bold, please make your predictions now.

City Editor Explains How We Can Cover Duncan

Re: that question yesterday from Dave Laird/News is a Conversation: “How will you ever find a reporter who can unemotionally report the truth about Duncan’s trial?”

That’s both an easy question and a difficult question, City Editor Carla Savalli said in today’s news meeting. In short, much like a police officer, soldier, doctor or lawyer, reporters have a duty to not let their emotions interfere with their professional judgment (if you think we’ve got it tough, put yourself in the shoes of Duncan’s defense attorney).

That said, though, we’re not pretending to be immune to the horrors that are likely to unfold in the courtroom, and Savalli has been talking with Taryn Brodwater, the lead reporter on this story, about ways to mentally prepare for what’s coming.

“We would be robots if we didn’t get freaked out by some of this stuff,” she said.

Ken Paulman/Daily Briefing

Citizen of the Year Candidates — From Today

1. Mike Kralicek — Mike Kennedy nominee
2. Denny’s workers who helped save Shasta Groene — Marianne & Stebbijo
3. Graham Crutchfield — Stopthecrazygrowth & Jane Q. Citizen
4. Dusty Rhodes — Jane Q. Citizen
5. Ron Edinger — Eagle Eye
6. Duane Hagadone — Lesley Presley & COEURgenX
7. Susie Snedaker, Sundi Seibert, and Aaron and Sandra Snider (combatting registered sex offenders in neighborhoods) — Bill McCrory

DFO: An impressive list for one day, folks; take a bow. I may have to pursue this in the form of some sorta contest.

Can’t Keep A Good Man Down …

Former candidate for Washington State Govenor Dino Rossi talks in Spokane earlier today about the elections, his new book and other topics of interest/SR Photo by Christopher Anderson.

A Desperate Pie?

I have never seen the TV show, “Desperate Housewives”. I’m kinda thinking, in Coeur d’Alene, there’s probably no such thing. I can relate something I actually SAW today, though. Up above Locust Avenue on North 4th, is a little “Pot Pie” place. (no, not THAAT kind of pot! Sheesh!) And guess what they feature on their readerboard: “Desperate House Pies!” Maybe I’ll try one. Hope they don’t give me desperate indigestion. One advantage to flirting with a desperate house pie: You have no guilt, except if you’re trying to watch your weight!

CDADave/Thin Air

HBO Alert: 2 Missing Girls in Hayden?

Missing girls from Gooding spotted in North Idaho: Nationwide search focuses on Hayden/ — Has this one already been solved? The news was reported yesterday in Boise.

Sample Ballots …

For those of you keeping score at home, Dan of the County has provided Huckleberries Online with sample ballots for the Kootenai County sales tax measure and council elections for Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Hayden and Rathdrum here.

Monster Hat Tip: Dan English

A Well-Deserved Hug …

Kootenai County Sheriff deputy Dale Moyer hugs Laura Bonneville of the North Idaho Coalition Against Domestic Violence after she presented him with a special citation for outstanding work on domestic violence cases. The two were at a luncheon to recognize work in the field of domestic violence Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005 at the Coeur d’Alene Inn/Photo by Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review.

Are the Romans Building It?

Rome we are told was
not built in a day,
much like the new bridge
on Government Way.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Local Question — Top Citizen?

Every year, the chambers of commerce for Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls present a variety of honors to members and local residents, including citizen of the year. This year, The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board is looking to name the citizen of the year for the region. (My personal favorite: Shannon Sullivan, the single mom who is in the process of bringing down the most powerful political figure in Spokane.) Rather than focus on the other side of the border, who would you say has been the most significant figure in Kootenai County or North Idaho this year?

Dan, Mary or Mike?

Issue: Council hopefuls a diverse CdA trio: Yake, Souza, Kennedy offer voters real choices in Nov. 8 election/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

DFO: OK, folks, I’m on vacation from Monday thru Nov. 2, hosting family. If you want to discuss the council races, speak now or wait until a coupla days before the election. Here, you can discuss the most contested race in the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections. Below, I’ve republished the story about the McEvers-Foxx race, which didn’t receive much attention yesterday.

Question: Dan Yake, Mary Souza or Mike Kennedy for City Council Seat No. 2?

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 10/20/05

*5,000 in Valley urged to boil drinking water/Ayisha Yahya, Spokesman-Review — Here’s hoping it’s just a passing annoyance.

*Watching everything disappear: With no health coverage, the Arlt family tries to look ahead/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review — Next time you’re tempted to feel sorry for yourself, consider this poor couple.

*Malenskys pick up jackpot: Owners of feed store win 2005 Ford truck/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record — Not the Powerball lotto, but nothing to sneeze at either.

*Hearing tonight on proposal for golf complex: Development includes luxury homes overlooking Moscow Bay/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — If you want to know how the other half will live, go to the planning commission meeting tonight and check it out.

*Lakes Commission mulls stance on Rock Creek mine/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner Daily Bee — Gang Green may be right on this one.

Quick Fix 6 — 10/20/05

1. APhoto Fix: Photographers stand behind four waxworks heads of The Beatles, of which three were originally used on the Sgt Pepper album cover, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday. The three original heads that were used, from left, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr are estimated to fetch $141,292 when they come up for auction.

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (The Iraqi vote), Steve Benson (The Bush court), Daryl Cagle (Halloween 2005).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs You’re Not Going to Be Named the World’s No. 1 Intellectual” 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: Saddam rejects ‘so-called court’ here, Sheehan trashes “war hawk” Hillary here, Students show almost no gains in reading here, Mother accused of tossing kids into SF Bay here, and Mainline Protestants put faith in advertising here.

6. Opinion Fix: Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (How Bush can save Bush), Myrna Blyth/National Review (Girly Gobbledygook), Fred Barnes/Weekly Standard (The conservative revolt), Andrew Cline/National Review (Castro would hate White Sox win), and Ann Coulter/Townhall (Who was the 2nd choice?).

Top Cutlines/Wednesday 10/19/05

Andria Sannutti reacts to her boyfriend, Eric Large, proposing marriage from inside the Ocean Realm exhibit at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J., Sunday. Andria, who was quite surprised, said “YES.” You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Andria reacts with surprise after catching sight of the rare species Proposium Matromonious — A Token Democrat.

2. Not 10 minutes later Andria and Eric decided to have a whale of a wedding at Sea World whether their parents liked it orca not — Dave Tolle.

3. Andria said “no.” Her Momma always told her there were plenty of other fish in the sea — Bre. And: Eric had a sinking feeling that Andrea would say no. But he was happy as a clam when she said yes — Family Phil.

HM: Brent Andrews

For a look at all the entries, click here.

We’re Nothing But A Set of Wheels, Card

This lady has her priorities in order — Digital Fog.

A Good Time Was Had By All?

This swell photograph today by Liz Kashimoto/SR brings back memories of following my son up and down the Panhandle while he played baseball and football for Coeur d’Alene High. My wife used to cuddle up in a sleeping bag with an umbrella on days like this. I wouldn’t have missed those games for the world. However, I was happy when his sister decided to take up drama as her avocation rather than an outdoor sport. Here, spectators huddle together with their umbrellas at the East Valley High girls’ soccer game against University High on the East Valley High soccer field in Spokane Valley, Washington.

I’m Back

I had a great time taping an interview about the 25 years of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations with Tony Stewart, Bill Morlin and Erna Rinehart. Sorta weird to be on the receiving end of the questions. Usually, I don’t like to be a talking head (a media expert who appears on radio or TV). But the cause was most worthy: to reflect on the incredible struggle against neo-Nazism that I’ve chronicled as a reporter and an editorial writer over the last 21 years in the community. I didn’t realize at the time that I had a front-row seat during a significant period in the history of North Idaho and the Inland Northwest. Big-time hat tip to Tony, Norm Gissel, Doug Cresswell, the late Larry Broadbent and Bill Wassmuth, and others who put their lives on the line by entering the ring to fight the good fight.

UI to Reopen College of Arts, Architecture

In a dramatic decision that brought down the house, the Idaho State Board of Education Monday resurrected the University of Idaho College of Art and Architecture. Hundreds of UI students stood and cheered as the board voted 5-2 to reverse a 2002 decision that dissolved the college and combined it with the UI’s largest college: Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

Reporter Joel Mills/Lewiston Tribune
(LMT article goes on to say that the college will return next year.)

Hat Tip: Family Phil

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/19/05

Breaking: Suspected serial killer Joseph Edward Duncan III (shown above with Shasta Groene shortly before a few hours before his capture) used his young captives to produce graphic child porn videos, authorities acknowledged for the first time today/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review, here.

2. Supreme Court nominee Hariet Miers is on the mind of cartoonist David Horsey/PI here.

3. Two days after a nightclub brawl that hospitalized Seattle Seahawks free safety Ken Hamlin with a blood clot on his brain, police have this to work with: a victim who has no memory of the attack, a violent felon found slain four hours after the fight and the brother of the dead man, himself a convicted felon, trying to connect the incidents, according to the Seattle Times, here.

4. A dead coyote in a mailbox, a bowel-relieving burglar and a naked man soliciting roadside sex in Spokane County have reinforced the belief that weird things happen during a full moon, according to Thomas Clouse/Spokesman-Revie, here.

5. Students in Washington and Idaho both did better than the national average in math and reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Project results released today, here and here. respectively.

6. IMHO-NW: Bruce Ramsey/Seattle Times (Rossi: Learning from losing), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Shelter work not for everyone), Chuck Winder/Idaho Statesman (Highway fatalities: An epidemic), Art Thiel/PI (Seahawk Hamlin shoulda walked away), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Coroner can restore public confidence).

Coeur d’Alene Press Poll: Respondents almost equally worried about increases in property tax (34%), gas prices (33%) and heating fuel (26%).

*Three Idaho businesses will be on Inc. Magazine’s 24th annual Inc. 500 when the list of the nation’s fastest-growing privately owned companies is released today here.

*A retired couple from Polson, Mont., is turning old Burlington Northern Santa Fe cabooses into rentals here.

*Green buildings are catching on in Idaho here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Meet The Press

I’ll be MIA for about 90 minutes this afternoon (1:30 to 3 p.m.) because I’ll be involved in taping an on-air interview with Tony Stewart at North Idaho College. Tony will be interviewing Bill Morlin and me about our 25 years of covering the Aryans and human rights movement in North Idaho. It’s the last in a ten-part series covering the history of the local human rights movement. I’ll let you know later when it’s going to air.

Local Question of the Day — 10/19/05

Issue: What Would Ron Rankin Do?

DFO: Today is the 29th anniversary of my father’s death in a vehicle accident in central California. As I was thinking about that, my mind jumped to Kerri Thoreson and her family, which recently observed the first anniversary of The Ronfather’s death. And that got me wondering what he would be doing today if he’d continued to live and been restored to good health.

Question: What cause would Ron Rankin be tackling today if he was still alive?

SR Endorses Half-Cent Sales Tax

Apparently, Kootenai County property owners have embraced the local-option tax, which shifts the cost of jail expansion off the unpopular property tax and onto the sales tax, paid to some extent by out-of-county visitors and tourists. The cost of the expansion causes sticker shock — $30 million in construction and $20 million in “soft costs” for design, financing and contingency funds. But no one can argue that the expansion isn’t needed. Nor that the property tax relief isn’t wanted. Despite concerns raised by Concerned Businesses of North Idaho, the option tax has worked well for Kootenai County. Voters should support it again.

For the rest of my editorial endorsing the local-option sales tax, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 10/19/05

1. APhoto Fix: Saddam Hussein, right, and Awad Hamad al-Bandar, former chief of the Revolutionary Court, listen to the Presiding Judge as their trial begins in a heavily fortified courthouse in Baghdad’s Green Zone, Iraq, earlier today. Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of murder and torture as his long-awaited trial began Wednesday here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak (Democrats “plan”), Wayne Stayskal (Relaunching Miers), and Bill Day (Avian flu epidemic).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs That Sylvester Stallone Is Too Old To Play Rockie” 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: Wilma most intensive Atlanta storm ever here, Miers confirmation hearings to begin Nov. 7 here, Poll: Oral sex no big deal to Gen Y here, 1 in 4 returning Iraq vets ailing here, and Bush vows to oust every single illegal alien here.

6. Opinion Fix: Amir Taheri/Times of London (Arab Street needs to watch trial), Michelle Malkin/Townhall (Staging Saddam trial), John Stossel/RealClearPolitics (Myths about gun control), Jacob Weisberg/Slate (Why D’s should take no comfort in Plame case), and Walter Williams/Townhall (A nation of sheeple).

Top Cutlines — 10/18/05

This one was too good to pass up. So, I moved it from Quick Fix 6 to become Photo of the Day. Here, Pennsylvania officers drag a tranquilized deer from a Weis supermarket in Reading, Pa., Monday. The 130-pound deer crashed through the front window of the store and ran amok for more than an hour before it was tranquilized by state game officials and removed. No one was hurt. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Rudolf arrested for shop lifting. He had been down on his luck since school’s ban Christmas as an holiday — Cis.

2. Dale the deer did not realize the immensity of his problem until he woke up twenty miles away and realized this was the fourth time this month he had been tranquilized — whatever. And: Bambi had been just minding his own business in the store, checking out a Playdeer magazine, eyeballing some Lawrence Elk cd’s, then he saw the venison slim jims — Bob.

3. I think the deer was just hoping to make a quick buck on the Powerball drawing — Jane Q. Citizen. And: “Bad Deer, Bad Deer, whatcha gunna do when they come for you!” — Bre.

HM: Everyone else. Terrific cutlines.

For the rest of the cutline entries, click here.

P.S. — 10/18/05

re: from the SR Daily Briefing blog re: the behind-the-scenes decision on which of two Washington stories to run in the Idaho edition:

Part of today’s discussion was determining which of two stories our Idaho readers would be least interested in: New Gonzaga-themed license plates, or a look at the opposition to a measure to repeal the state’s recent gas tax increase. One of the stories would run across all editions, the other would only run in Spokane and Valley editions, swapping with a story about rehired CEDU workers, which would run in the Idaho edition.

The license plate story was initially slated to run all night, but in the end we decided that the gas tax has a larger impact in Idaho. While lots of GU alums across the state line might be interested in hearing about their alma mater getting a nod from the department of licensing, they still can’t buy the plates.

Question: Did we make the right call?

A Mirror for the First Lady

Here’s the guy you read about in Huckleberries Best of the Northwest today: Barney Longacre of Frenchtown, Mont., applies liquid asphalt in his shop Monday, Oct.17, 2005, to a mirror frame he is making for first lady Laura Bush. Longacre and his wife, Judy, make one-of-a-kind, rustic wooden frames for mirrors at their wholesale frame shop, Framenco LLC. Last week, first lady Laura Bush ordered one of the couple’s handmade frames from a retailer in Washington, D.C.

Why Is This News?

Question: Why in God’s name was a church’s shunning of a member front page news? —HBO Commenter Sue Haynes to Spokesman-Review editors re. this story here.

Answer: We placed Virginia de Leon’s excellent story about church shunning on the front page because we thought readers would be interested in learning more about the customs of a religion that is practiced in some of our communities. By writing about one couple’s experience, we put a face on the real-life experiences and struggles that people of various faiths and beliefs confront every day.

It is important to consider the context here. The news isn’t so much that one couple was shunned, but that specific development is a way for us to inform readers about how a community at large can be affected by such things. I would also note that the story was timed to appear before an upcoming conference discussion on shunning — Managing Editor Gary Graham.

Hat Tip: Sue Haynes, for going to the top to get an answer to her question

Idaho’s Dumbest Criminals

I have a paperback on my office desk, featuring “The World’s Dumbest Criminals.” It was an office Christmas gift. I haven’t looked at it in awhile. But I have a nominee for any followup books — the clowns who were trying to pass off fake $1 million bills in Twin Falls here.

Hat Tip: Orbusmax

Impressions: Post Falls City Council

Jackie McAvoy: Heavily involved in community organizations. She serves on more boards and committees than I have fingers and toes. She punctuated several questions by saying: I serve on a committee for that. She emphasized that she’s the only one of the three contestants who knows the congressional delegation, governor, and other legislators on a first-name basis — and that would pay dividends should she be elected because connections are important. She’s right. She claimed the current council relies too much on a coupla councilmen (Grant and Jacobson?) to make and second motions. When asked why she lost to Todd Tondee two years ago, she said that she was extremely busy with other duties and was out-of-town during the campaign attending to volunteer duties.

Joe Bodman: Joe was much more relaxed and knowledgeable about Post Falls issues than when I interviewed him for his first run 2 terms ago. Then, he should be. He remembered that we endorsed Joe Doellefeld, whom he beat in his first race, and even quoted from the editorial I wrote, which he said he had framed. (Who sez the candidates don’t pay attention to endorsements.) Both opponents in the three-way race have accused Joe of being MIA in the community and not saying much at council meetings. But he had a reasonable explanation: Why talk for the sake of talking? He said he comes prepared for the meetings and doesn’t ask many questions because he reads his council packet thoroughly. He had the best grasp of the issues among the three candidates. With kids 8 to 17, he has a crucial understanding of the importance of parks and recreation in the community, especially the need to replace closed Quad Park. They aren’t frills.

CDA Press: Growth Should Pay For Itself

Kootenai County and other areas of our great state are flush with the newfound riches that escalating property values and a strong overall economy have fostered. We’re spending those riches and committing future fortunes smug in the certainty that the good times will just keep rollin’. History tells us they won’t. Maybe we won’t crash and burn, but some serious market corrections are an absolute certainty.

For the rest of this Coeur d’Alene Press editorial from the weekend (and it’s a thought-provoking one), click here.

DFO: Can the rapid growth we’re experiencing in Kootenai County and other spots in North Idaho really pay for itself?

Photo of the Day — 10/18/05

This one was too good to pass up. So, I moved it from Quick Fix 6 to become Photo of the Day. Here, Pennsylvania officers drag a tranquilized deer from a Weis supermarket in Reading, Pa., Monday. The 130-pound deer crashed through the front window of the store and ran amok for more than an hour before it was tranquilized by state game officials and removed. No one was hurt. You write the cutline.

WorldNetDaily Poll — 10/18/05

What would you tell President Bush regarding his choice of Harriet Miers?

1. Push forward, Miers is the best person for the job
2. Keep her, and get her to publicly say she’d overturn Roe v. Wade
3. Hold the Senate hearings and let the chips fall where they may
4. You’re in a no-win spot, so just use your best judgment
5. Convince Miers to drop out of consideration for whatever reason
6. Withdraw Miers’ nomination as soon as possible
7. Replace Miers with someone like Janice Rogers Brown or Michael Luttig
8. Other

DFO: No. 6

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Update: 2 Found Shot to Death

Arlene Mitzimberg had to walk around the yellow tape to retrieve her mother’s laundry from the laundromat at the Tamarack Trailer Park after the bodies of two men were found by the daughter of one of the men in the airstream trailer in the background in an apparent murder suicide on Monday morning in Coeur d’Alene. Arlene cares for her mother who lives at the trailer park. Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review

Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings and CDADave/Thin Air share their thoughts about the easy access we have to guns here and here, respectively.

Wild Card/Monday — A Better Photo of the Day?

Here, you have actor Peter Mayhew, right, who played Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movies. Now a resident of Branberry, Texas, Mayhew, 60, was among 400 people from 77 countries to become an American today in ceremonies at Arlington, Va. ‘Tis a nice photo. And A Token Democrat is right. It woulda made a better Photo of the Day candidate than the one used. Alas, hindsight is always 20-20. Now, here’s your evening Wild Card …


I ask myself
will I join a church
to amplify my prayers,
to blanket this pain,
quiet in fellowship.

Or will I kneel alone
in a corner at home,
pride naked and drown
their softly rising words
of worship, shrieking.

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

Best of the Local Blogs — 10/17/05

A few days ago we went for an early evening walk through Coeur d’Alene’s City Park and Beach. I was really surprised to find the place completely empty at 5:30 p.m., but I guess that’s what happens on fall days when the tourists are gone. This is why I live here — Family Phil.

*Put your hands together for another HBO arrival Erin and Granati’s Jr., who was born Saturday morning at 1:38. Vitals: Wt: 6 lbs., 7 oz.; size, 21 inches. For more click here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps has a modest proposal for an expanded jail. Why don’t Spokane and Kootenai counties combine to build a regional facility near the border to take care of the needs on both sides here?

*Not only is CDADave trying his hand and free verse, and doing well here, but he’s dolled up his blogsite quite a bit here. And Bre/To Blog or Not to Blog has gone pink here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice wants to know if you think life is a picnic or for the birds here.

*Bloom County hit a little close to home for Cis/From a Simple Mind on Sunday here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour speaks of keeping the fat off after retirement and sports here.

Another Murder-Suicide?

CPD Blue are investigating another possible murder-suicide at the Tamarack Mobile Home park, next to Rockin’ Robin restaurant (southeast of the old Sunset Bowling Alley), possibly involving an elderly man and his sixtysomething son. Stay tuned.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 10/17/05

A firefighter picks up debries after a small single-engine plane crashed near Paine Field airport in Everett, Wash., Saturday morning, Oct. 15, 2005, killing all three people on board, according to the Federal Aviation Administration/Dustin Snipes, Seattle Times. See Item No. 3.

1. Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist David Horsey/PI not only doodles about new lap dancing regs for Seattle here, but he writes about his connection with the Coeur d’Alene Indian reservation here.

2. The FBI is investigating the theft of a ceremonial tomahawk believed to be the weapon used to kill Dr. Marcus Whitman, the 19th century missionary and one of the leaders of Northwest settlement, according to the AP, here.

3. The deaths of two teenagers and a volunteer pilot near Everett, Wash., Saturday were the first in a nationwide program to provide students with their first flights in small aircraft here. More here.

4. Boisean writes about canine pals in lates “Chicken Soup” book here.

5. Deputies who faked chase in downtown Spokane put on administrative leave here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Monday’s Huckleberries), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (GOP enters Boise city politics), Jim Kershner, Spokesman-Review (Warming to ugly fashion), Amelia Veneziano/WSU Evergreen (No need to suffer in silence), and Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review (Feeling Like 300 Million Bucks).

*Washington releases 871 pages detailing decades of sexual abuse allegations involving Morning Star Boys’ Ranch staff and residents here.

*WSU regents honor the only alum to win the Nobel Prize here.

*Spokane Riverfront Park users will no longer have to worry about pigeon poop from above here.

*State and federal health officials are trying to get to the bottom of nine reported cases of suspected brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in Idaho this year here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Best of the Magazine Covers

This photo supplied by the Magazine Publishers Association and American Society of Magazine Editors show The New Yorker’s March 29, 1976 cover with a drawing of New York’s West Side and then a perspective of the rest of the country, which was deemed as the fourth best cover from the last 40 years, as decided by judges in a contest by the American Society of Magazine Editors. (Third is an Esquire photo of Muhammad Ali from 1968 and second is that nude pregnant shot of Demi Moore on the front of Vanity Fair. I haven’t seen first on the AP wire yet.)

Photo of the Day — 10/17/05

Leggings, silver shoes and a witch hat sit under a Wicked Witch sign painted on a house in the middle of a suburban street while another house sits off its’ foundation in the background in the St. Bernard Parish of New Orleans, La. You write the cutline.

Quick Fix 6 — 10/17/05

1. APhoto Fix: An Iraqi man reads a paper carrying a picture of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on its front page in Baghdad earlier today. Saddam Hussein’s trial will start Wednesday.

2. Cartoon Fix: Larry Wright (Golden parachutes), Jeff Stahler (Addictive blogosphere), and Bill Schorr (Harriet Miers).

3. Humor Fix: Political Humor offers two quizzes, one featuring stupid quotes by Liberals here and one featuring stupid quotes by conservatives 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: 16,137 murders, 94,635 rapes in 2004 here, Ex-SNL member commits suicide here, White House to relaunch Miers’ nomination here, Constitution headed for win in Iraq here, and Hillary follows red carpet to Hollywood here.

6. Opinion Fix: Rush Limbaugh/Wall Street Journal (A “crackdown” over Miers), Ruth Ann Dailey/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Don’t use war dead for political gain), George Packer/New Yorker (Can Democrats seize the moment?), Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Schwartzenegger has a dad reaction), and Jeff Jacoby/Townhall (Norway’s Nobel agenda).

Best of Huckleberries Online — 10/10-14/05

I have a weird sense of humor. Think Far Side. But North Idaho College types took weirdest to a new level in their weekly newsletter last Monday when they printed “Fun facts about this year’s college freshmen.” The first fun fact? “They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.” I learned about the Challenger explosion while leaving the Third Street parking lot in Coeur d’Alene after a chamber of commerce Upbeat Breakfast meeting on Jan. 28, 1986. It wasn’t that much fun. In fact, I was stunned when I heard all seven astronauts had been killed, including Christa McAuliffe, who was to have been the first school teacher in space. Second fun fact? “Their lifetime has always included AIDS.” ‘Nuff said. But this isn’t the worst of it. After I printed these “fun facts” on my online version of Huckleberries (, youngish blogger Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast stirred us oldsters further, with devilish delight, by asking: “Has anyone alive seen a live Walter Cronkite broadcast? Wasn’t he from World War II or something?” And that’s the way it is.

Wild Card — 10/15/05

There’s much to talk about this weekend, with all the breaking news late Friday. If you feel the urge, here’s your weekend Wild Card …

Local Question No. 2 — 10/15/05

Question: Have you heard enough about the issues or the candidates for the various city councils in North Idaho already to decide whom to vote for? What else would you like to hear about?

Re: Other NI Bloggers & Commenters

Slowly, Huckleberries Online has become a cyber community of all stripes of local characters and beyond as far as The Heimlich Maneuver down in Oklahoma City. I’m very loyal to the other bloggers who appear on my blog roll to the right and have disciplined themselves to blog fairly regularly. After reading of the struggles Bearable Bob and CDADave have had with blogging, you know it isn’t easy. I salute all who have kept on keeping on. Commenters are special, too. You keep this place hopping with your cutlines, wit, somber observations, and coffee-shop talk. And you’re read by some of the most powerful people in the community, county and region.


Who are your three favorite North Idaho bloggers?
Who are your three favorite commenters?

Bonus Question:

What would you like to see on the blog that isn’t here now?


P.P.S. — Coeur d’Alene Shooting

A Coeur d’Alene Police officers investigates the scene of a shooting at 14th and Bancroft Friday afternoon in Coeur d’Alene here. A person was sent to the hospital with a gunshot would to the chest. Police are still looking for the person of interest Bryan Lee Doss, 29, tonight, in the Tubbs Hill area. TV news is reporting that the victim has died. He was believed to be Doss’s stepfather/SR photo by Jesse Tinsley.

TGIF Wild Card — 10/14/05

I saw this on Jim Camden’s “Spin Control” blog and couldn’t resist. Notice the little Boy Scout behind Spokane Mayor Jim West. On his blog, Camden remarks that the kids got increasingly fidgety as West droned on here. Hope this gives you a chuckle as we part for the weekend. It has been a wild one, with all the candidate interviews. But I made it through and filled my editorial quota, to boot. Endorsement editorials for mayor (Sunday) and Coeur d’Alene council (Monday) are coming to a newspaper near you soon. Wonder if the Press is going to endorse (with that online poll showing that 85% of its subscribers don’t think papers should). Stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s your Wild Card …

Top Cutlines/Friday — 10/14/05

Competitors in their underwear smile and cheer as they finish the ninth annual Underpants Run Thursday in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. About 100 racers ran in the mile-long event, which crossed paths with the start and finish areas of the considerably more serious Ironman competition, which will be held Saturday. The Underpants Run, originally begun to poke fun at Speedo-wearing Ironman competitors, is now a fundraiser for a local charity. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Kootenai County Taxpayers leaving the courthouse after paying taxes — Keepongrowing.

2. Naked PETA protests and now the Underpants run…Two things you shouldn’t be able to do unless you’re “hot” — Whippersnapper.

3. An answer to the age old question: boxers or briefs? — A Token Democrat.

HM: Upclose

For all the cutline contest entries, click here.

How I Avoid Bird Flu

To save myself from
being stricken
I never ever
kiss a chicken.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Illustration: Phil Corless

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 10/14/05

In this July 2004 Spokesman-Review photo, Ryan Oelrich tries to pull another swimmer into the pool on Saturday evening at the Quest Youth Group pool party. Oelrich started the group with a $50,000 grant to counsel gay and bisexual male youth. Earlier this year, he claimed Spokane Mayor Jim West approached him several times to have sex with him and now he has released more transcripts on his online chats with West here.

Related: West used his city computer to check out a young man on during a government-paid trip to Fresno, Calif., according to public records released Thursday, here.

1. Cartoonist David Horsey/PI looks at the problems Southwest Airlines is having at Boeing Field here.

2. Three Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies involved in a horseplay incident that resulted in damage to two police cars have been suspended, spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said in a news release today here.

3. Man who located Joseph Edward Duncan III’s campsite speaks out here.

4. Caldwell woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison and will not be eligible for parole for fours year for her part in a January scalping incident, according to The Idaho Statesman, here.

5. Danielle Fisher, a WSU freshman majoring in science and engineering, is the youngest person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents, according to The Daily Evergreen, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (Spokane cops horseplay dangerous), Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review (Forget sports, let’s talk outdoors), G.George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (Charlie’s angels), Jim Moore/PI (Cougs can beat UCLA), Bud Withers/Seattle Times (WSU’s Doba fishing for right formula).

*Men’s Journal recognizes Sandpoint, Idaho, as second coolest mountain town here.

*Boise State Offensive Captain Daryn Colledge is 5-0 on coin flips this year here.

*2 NW Montana cubs of a grizzly put down by wildlife managers are headed for an Indiana zoo here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery — Boys & Girls Club

Until a few months ago, I was a member of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club. This is a “must have” organization for any municipality’s children. The club provides a very positive place for kids to spend their after school hours versus home alone or on the streets with other latch key kids. A Club is light years beyond, just a place to hang out and shoot some baskets or play pool. One little known fact about the Club which traditionally is open week days from 3-8 PM is that for an entire school year, the dues run from around 10-30 dollars for a child. How’s that for “value?”

If you can view this video of the 2004 WA Youth of the Year for the Club, do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes doing so. You will come away as big a fan of the Boys & Girls Club as I am. I encourage all to learn more about the Club and get behind it’s creation in any way you can here.

Doug Fredericks

Local Question of the Day — 10/14/05

Issue: Oh deer, traffic getting hazardous: More than 500K animal-related accidents in 2003/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: I’ve never hit a deer while driving for 28 years in the Inland Northwest (knock on wood). But I almost nailed a stray dog on Locust Avenue last night en route home.

Question: Have you ever hit a deer on the road?

From the K-County Clerk …

Here’s an election update for all those keeping score. Our elections office is preparing the 1st mail-out of absentee ballots today (Kootenai County optional sales tax, Cities of Cd’A, Hayden, Post Falls, Rathdrum, and Northern Lakes Fire District) so some people will likely get them over the weekend. We will probably have “ballots in the box” come Monday or Tuesday. While it’s easy to mail them back, some people prefer to walk them in, and often do so the day after they get them. People can also start voting absentee in person at the county Elections Office on Monday. It looks like we have 700-800 requests so far…

dan of the county

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 10/14/05

*Won’t you take me to funky town? Men’s Journal recognizes Sandpoint as No. 2 of coolest mountain towns/R.J. Cohn, Hagadone News Network — My condolences to the middle- and lower-income residents of Sandpoint who are trying to hang on despite rapidly increasing property values.

*1 subdivision, 1,800 homes: ‘New urbanism’ hits Hayden in a big way/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review — Time to buy a four-wheel-drive rig and move to the Silver Valley.

*‘Commander’ not McMorris’ reality: She’s being mentioned among Repubicans as White House potential/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review — ‘Tis too soon. But she’s young and she has a safe seat. Someday, she’ll be making a big splash in Washington, D.C.

*Police department defends dog shooting: Owner: Pooch was being vocal, not vicious/Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press — I don’t blame the CPD Blue.

*Boys & Girls Club may come to Post Falls: City officials, national organization discussing site/Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review — It’s not a Kroc Center. But it definitely is good news.

Quick Fix 6 — 10/14/05

1. APhoto Fix: On the day (today) it was announced that actor Daniel Craig is to take over the movie role of James Bond, the waxwork model of Pierce Brosnan, as the previous Bond, is removed from display by studio workers at Madame Tussauds wax museum in London here.

2. Cartoon Fix: George Bush (Hurricane costs), Rob Rogers (Brownie and Harriet Miers), and Robert Ariail (Borking up wrong tree).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs You Have Too Many Kids” 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: President’s ‘terrible rating’ better than last 7 here, Conservatives call to withdraw Miers here, Poll: Americans are getting ruder here, 50,000 families won’t return to Big Easy here, and Consumer prices surge here.

6. Opinion Fix: Victor Davis Hanson/National Review (Unjustified negativity re: Iraq), Myrna Blyth/National Review (Feeling disappointed? Who isn’t?), Gerard Baker/Times of London (Trouble with George & Harriet), Oliver North/Townhall (Freeh at last), and Thomas Hibbs/National Review (Wallace & Grommit).

Wild Card/Thursday — 10/13/05

I’m going to leave you tonight with this wonderful photo by Kathy Plonka of the husband-and-wife team who light up the pages of The Spokesman-Review with its terrific photography. Here, Allyson Jensen, a junior at Post Falls High School chose Tinkerbell as her favorite Disney character for “happiest place on earth” day on Thursday which was part of Homecoming week celebrations. Remember, friends and neighbors, you can fly if you think happy thoughts. Now, on to your Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs — 10/13/05

Marlin Smith, a Palouse dweller and a good buddy of Family Phil, snapped this one of “Harry’s Barn” from his viewtiful neck of the woods.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views discusses his indelicate treatment for prostate cancer and sez he’s on the mend (which all of us are grateful for) here.

*CDADave/Thin Air nails my feelings about leaving McEuen Field alone in his post today here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour doesn’t have to go to Alaska with her brother and nephew to hunt down a Kodiak here.

*Seems Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind has the same hard time figuring out all the garbage on her phone bill as I do here.

*Digital Fog has a pretty good video/song about the inaffordability of gasoline here.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Breathe Again

“I wanted to burn these piles before they got too wet,” said George Berg, of Post Falls about burning his garden waste on Thursday/Spokesman-Review photo by Kathy Plonka.


Idaho Guard soldiers may return earlier than expected/Associated Press — Good bless ‘em, everyone.

The Sky’s The Limit …

The new control tower at Spokane International Airport rises up out of the West Plains Thursday morning as construction workers make another pour of concrete. The tower will be the tallest in the state when finished at 230 feet above ground when finished in 2006. The $23 million dollar job includes advanced radar control — and Washington’s highest porta-potty/Christopher Anderson, Spokesman-Review.


First, you should know that the Salvation Army is having trouble coming up with bell-ringers for the Christmas holidays because — drum roll, please — our unemployment rate is so low it can’t find takers. Onward. Mayor Sandi Bloem is stepping into the breach by asking her Community Center Ad Hoc committee members to volunteer for two- or three-hour shifts on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 26 thru Dec. 24, to make up the difference. Her goal is to make up some 60 hours to help out the Salvation Army, which is on the brink of naming Coeur d’Alene as one of the winners of a $29 million block grant to build a Community Center. The ring-a-ding sites eyed by Sandi are at Shopko and Hayden’s Albertson’s. Girl Friday Victoria Bruno can answer any questions at 769-2204.

Seinfeld’s Elaine: ‘War: What Is It Good For?’

In this photo of a poster provided by Unicef this week, the cartoon Smurfs and their village are seen being bombed by airplanes. The recent advertising campaign by Unicef, both in print and on television, is intended to teach schoolchildren about the horrors of war. The title in French at left bottom reads ‘Don’t let war destroy the world of children’.

DFO: Sometimes, war is necessary to save future generations of children. But it is always awful.

APhoto of the Day — 10/13/05

Not an award-winning shot, but … Jim Bob Duggar, 40, and wife, Michelle, 39, produce their 16th child, Johannah Faith, Tuesday and want more here. Each child’s name begins with a J. You write the cutline.

Local Question of the Day — 10/13/05

Issue: CdA mayor has campaign cash, but hasn’t spent any: Challenger Joseph Kunka also reports no expenditures/Erica Curless & Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review

DFO: In 1997, former Boy Mayor Steve Judy raised a record $14,502 in his successful race to unseat incumbent Al Hassell. In recent days, we’ve discussed council wannabe/HBO commenter Mike Kennedy’s fat warchest of $13,445 to date. Now, we learn that some folks haven’t raised a dime for their council races. And Mayor Sandi Bloem hasn’t spent a dime.

Question: What’s the appropriate amount of money to raise in a run for a City Council race?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Miers Nomination

Issue: Some high court candidates withdrew: White House/Steve Holland and Thomas Ferraro, My Way

Should Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court be withdrawn?

1. No, the president knows her, trusts her and says she’s the best person for the job
2. No, this is a chance to get an evangelical Christian on the court
3. No, it would undermine Bush’s credibility as leader for the rest of his term
4. No, she’s going to surprise everyone with her brilliance at the hearings
5. Yes, it was a poor choice – better to cut and run now
6. Yes, it’s the only way Bush can save his legacy with conservatives
7. Yes, Bush promised nominees in the mold of Thomas and Scalia – and Miers is not
8. Yes, Miers has become too controversial – keeping her will distract from Bush’s agenda
9. Yes, Bush has to be protected from the Texas Lottery scandal
10. Other

DFO: No. 7.

For the rest of the news report, click here.

Wanted: Thoughts on CDA Planning

I’m considering starting a blog about planning & growth issues. As a newly-minted CDA Planning Commissioner, my focus would primarily be the city, but I don’t think you can do the issue justice without talking about the county and maybe even the region.

DFO has graciously allowed me to try some topics out on HBO just to get a feel for what the response would be like.

Currently the city is working on a number of planning related issues. They are, in no particular order:

1. Revising the Comprehensive Plan: This is the “visionary” document for all land use decisions in CDA and is supposed to be the basis for our planning and zoning ordinances. The Comp Plan, mandated by state law, is updated every 10 years. So we’re essentially operating under a document last revised in 1995.

2. Subdivision Ordinances: We’re looking at revising and updating our subdivison ordinances (defined as anything over two lots). I believe the current set was originally developed in the ‘70s.

3. Downtown Height Restrictions & Design guidelines: This has been fast-tracked by the city due to the recent development of taller buildings in the downtown core (think McEuen Towers).

I realize some of this stuff makes people’s eyes glaze over, but I believe that it’s important that average citizens have as much input as possible into crafting the vision for what we want our community to look like. Rather than wait for the official public hearings on topics like these, let’s get the ball rolling now.

What do you bloggers & blurkers think?

Ryan Hill

Wild Card/Wednesday

I’ve been on a dead run all week, friends and neighbors, trying to squeeze in candidate interviews and blogging around my day job. The day job is losing at this point. That’s why I haven’t answered all my e-mails from you and others. Pleaz be patient. Meanwhile, after receiving some responses from commenters, I wonder if you still find the Wild Card important? Should I dispense with it? Or just reserve it for the end of the day? Remember, you’re the one helping me retool this blog. Pleaz advice further. Meanwhile, here’s another Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs — 10/12/05

CDADave sez of this photo: This is a depiction of the old B.L. Lewis Lumber Mill, located in CDA in the 1920’s or thereabouts. It appears from this picture that the mill was located on Blackwell Island. The Spokane River and the College area are in the background. Judging from the smokestacks, I’d say this was “pre-EPA”, for sure! And if any of you are more familiar with this obscure old mill than I am, feedback would definitely be appreciated. For Dave’s Thin Air today, click here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice (who has one of the most attractive blogs that I’ve seen) offers some dyne-oh!-mite rules for living on her blog today, including No. 4: “Invest at least one dollar a week on the Powerball, even Lady Luck costs money.” Click here.

*Bill McCrory, the analyst par excellence of this blogosphere, puts two and two together re: a coupla police situations in Spokane that were mentioned in the SR today here.

*Now that mother has cut a deal with Litehouse Dressing to sell her acreage, Marianne Love/Slight Detour is the only original family member with property inside the Sandpoint city limits here.

*ErinG/Idaho Native tells you what happened in the year she was born (1981) here and provides a cool link so you can find out what happened in the year you were born here.

*During a walk today, Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind noticed all the darkened windows in passing cars and wondered why we isolate ourselves so much here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings returned home from Missoula to find a notice taped to her mailbox indicating that changes are in the works for her little part of paradise here.

And you can find a great shot of one of my favorite bloggers, Family Phil (the one in the middle between Garfield and Odie ;-) here.

Put The Baby To Work

Illustration: This clever idea comes from the mastermind behind Digital Fog.

Question: When Do You Want Wild Card Posted

I’ve been slammed most of the day with candidates’ forums. And realized only now that I haven’t posted a Wild Card earlier today. Do you guys want the Wild Card in the morning? In the early afternoon, after the Best of the Northwest is posted? Or do you want to wait until the end of the day? I notice that it doesn’t get much interest if posted early. Your call.

Impressions — CDA City Council Candidates

Steven Foxx (opposing Woody McEvers for CDA council seat): Steven is a pleasant surprise, a talented 28-year-old who has shown a propensity for involvement as a former Lake City High student veep, human rights work, and the mayor’s youth council. I mentioned the extra X in his last name reminded me of Jimmy Foxx and learned the pre-WWII slugger is a great uncle. Steven is proof that our children can afford to come back to Coeur d’Alene, if they want. He’s a social worker who’s making his way by buying lower-level houses, restoring them and renting them. This is a quality candidate that could bring a youthful outlook to city government. If he doesn’t upset Woody in the election (and I don’t think he will), Sandi Bloem needs to find a place for him on an important committee. BTW, Woody, at 57, has longer hair than Steven. But it looks good on both of them.
Deanna Goodlander (incumbent opposing Suzie Snedaker for CDA council seat, no photo): I gotta admit that I associated Deanna too closely with Steve Judy’s administration when she was first elected to appreciate her. But she has proven her value to the city over the last 8 years and has her focus on the right issues: Kroc Center, education corridor, and library. She’s passionate about keeping the town affordable to young and lower-income families and preserving McEuen Field for the kids. Both candidates in this race are top notch.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 10/12/05

Of this night time shot at City Beach in Sandpoint, Idaho, photographer Benjamin Anderson sez: “The clouds had cleared, and the air was cool. I got this effect by taking a long exposure, and ‘painting with light,’ a technique utilizing flashlights. It makes for an eerie image.” Sandpoint Online features Benjamin’s photography here.

1. Wonderful David Horsey/PI cartoon re: the dilemma that the Harriet Miers nomination poses for Dubya, the R’s and the D’s here.

2. Idaho and Washington have some of the lowest smoking rates in the country, ranking 3rd and 9th, respectively, according to Rich Roesler/Spokesman-Review, here.

3. It wasn’t the big one, but a Missoula teacher and her husband ended their paycheck-to-paycheck existence when they won $1 million from the Montana Lottery in the $1 Power Play here.

4. UI student leaders are proving they’re just as bad as some grownup elected officials by pushing to remove Idaho’s Open Meeting Law from their Senate bylaws, so they can have a closed meeting for any reason, according to Sam Taylor/UI Argonaut, here.

5. The Oregon Court of Appeals sez the good old boys at the local Eagles Club have to admit good old girls, too, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi, Spokesman-Review (Docs, lawyers should stop mud fight), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (A one-person peace march), Missoulian (Leave Death With Dignity alone), Martin Boston/WSU Daily Evergreen (Who needs Columbus?), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (WSU QB Q’s won’t go away).

*Bicyclist finds dog hanging from bridge near Coeur d’Alene here.

*Mayor Jim West update: mayor’s computer data to remain secret here, and: West raising profile in preparation for recall election fight here.

*2 Northwest men named national/international chili champs here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Question for Concerned Businesses

I’ve been a long-time critic of Concerned Businesses of North Idaho, due in good part to the fact that it was organized by Duane Hagadone back when, based on an Oregon model. I’ve always viewed that model with suspicion because it struck me as a way for businesses to control local governments via their campaign contributions and influence. Also, I didn’t like that CBNI is very private about its membership list. Exec Kelly Richards (photo) has done a very good job in making the organization more public by arranging informational meetings and involving members more in the public debate. But the fact remains that few members of the public know who CBNI members are. This morning, I received a phone question from a prominent local woman:

Why doesn’t Concerned Businesses identify their members and contributors?

Kelly, this one’s for you.


Oprah’s Reward, Publicity Nabs Another Perv

From Oprah Winfrey’s Web site comes news that a second violent sex offender has been nabbed by Oprah Winfrey’s publicity and $100,000 cash reward offered on the show that featured Steve Groene and his family tragedy here. You can read about the second perv, Niles Scott, being caught in Belize here.

Candidate Interview Schedule

10 a.m., Colleen Allison re: Kootenai County half-cent sales tax

11. a.m., Steven Foxx, Coeur d’Alene council

noon, Deanna Goodlander, Coeur d’Alene council

Local Question of the Day

Issue: $240 million Powerball jackpot paying off for Post Falls store: Some Washington residents jump at chance to hit it big/Ayisha S. Yahya, Spokesman-Review

DFO: I’ve never purchased a lottery ticket in my life. It’s a principle thing. If I dropped my resolve, however, this might be the time to do it. And then see if Duane Hagadone’s galacial place on Stanley Hill is for sale.

Question: Do you play the lottery? And are you spending a few more bucks now that the prize is so high?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Women Only?

Issue: Dobson reveals ‘privy’ Miers info: Senate Democrats threatened subpoena suspecting Rove leaked her view of Roe/WorldNetDaily

Sound off on Bush’s decision to consider only a woman for O’Connor’s seat

1. Bush did the right thing by selecting a woman to replace O’Connor
2. Women make up half the population, so there should be even more women on the high court
3. If he’s going to pick a woman, he should have chosen a proven conservative like Janice Rogers Brown
4. What’s the big deal? Bush is the president, it’s his choice, and he says she reflects his beliefs
5. It’s demeaning to women to have a ‘woman’s seat’ on the Supreme Court
6. It makes his comment that he picked the best person for the job suspect, since he was only considering women
7. It’s bizarre he chose the one person he might not be able to get confirmed
8. Yet another terrible decision, nothing surprises me anymore about this president
9. I don’t believe women should be on the Supreme Court
10. Other

DFO: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Bearable Bob’s Back …

… with a reintroduction to old readers and new ones alike here and some words for the Rat Fink (1960s lingo for small-minded squealers) who ratted him out re: his edgy online blog here.

Best Threads of the Day — 10/11/05

Two very good threads today on HBO:

A discussion of low teacher wages in Idaho here.


A free-wheeling discussion re: the beaucoup bucks MikeK has raised to help him in his race for the Coeur d’Alene City Council here.

Best of the Local Blogs — 10/11/05

Almost all the local bloggers seem to have taken the day off today, so I’ll leave you with a clever piece from CDADave’s “Thin Air”:

Out walking on the Tubbs Hill trail today, I spotted a large boat anchored off the “point” on the southwest corner of the hill. Some young kid had taken out Daddy’s boat, and he and his girlfriend were getting cozy. All of a sudden, the quiet air over the lake was pierced by the unmistakable strains of Rap music, coming from the boat. I figured, “well, time to go back”, so I headed back up the trail, and the boat came around the point and started heading towards the CDA Resort, playing “rap” music all the while. I’ve pretty much accepted I can’t get away from the stuff when I’m on Sherman Avenue, but on the Tubbs Hill Trail? Gimme a break!


This is probably uncalled for: I’m no radio executive or broadcast mogul, but I’m kinda thinking a station that aired nothing but rap music could have the call letters, “KRAP”. Yeah, I think that would work! And if the station got high ratings, the management would be “hip-hopping” all the way to the bank!

(Plus, bonafide photo of a blog monster here.)

DFO: CDADave, I’m glad you came back, and I’m hearing rumors that Bearable Bob is already getting itchy. Stay tuned.

Rate: Best of the INorthwest …

As I work my way thru the features on this blog, the next to come up is Best of the INorthwest. It’s the one that takes me the longest to put together. What do you think of it? Would you make any changes to it? Pleaz let me know, and thanks for all the comments to date on the morning features.

DFO: Hey, commenters and blurkers, don’t forget to let me know about this one.

Impressions: Yake, Kunka, Snedaker

Dan Yake (three-way race with Mary Souza and Mike Kennedy for CDA council): Qualified, like the other two. Came across better than he did when running for the state Legislature last year. If property taxes are your issue, he’s your guy. A bit abrupt. Has a military feel to him, which is understandable since that’s his background. A true conservative. He considers studies like Walker-Macy and other downtown ones to be a waste of money. Contributed to Kroc Center fund-raiser but worries about maintenance and operation costs. He and rest of his family played roles in CDA Summer Theatre production of “Miracle on 34th Street.” Came across well, but I’ve heard personality could be an issue here. Nothing said during interview confirmed that, however.

Joe Kunka (candidate for CDA mayor): Kunka’s your Average Hard-Working Joe, who got tired of sitting in front of a TV set fuming about higher assessments and taxes. He has a lot of the right questions: “How can our kids afford to buy a home?” But he had few solutions. Joe also didn’t have a solid grasp on what you can and can’t do re: development. He stands little to no chance of beating Mayor Sandi Bloem Nov. 8. Before running for such an important office as mayor, he needs to get up to speed on local government by at least serving on a city committee. But he definitely has the passion to serve his community.

Suzy Snedaker (opposing Deanna Goodlander for CDA city council): Suzy is the epitome of community activist who has a superb knowledge of planning and neighborhoods from her activism and 10 years on the planning commission. She’s dead right on key waterfront issues: Protect McEuen Field from public/private partnerships that would transform the playground into something else; fight for Sanders Beach; no on closing Sherman Avenue for a memorial garden. She spearheaded the effort in the Bryan School area to stop registered sex offenders from living together in unauthorized boarding houses. Definitely qualified.

Congressman Rocky Watson?

Offline, I was asked about a recent Coeur d’Alene Press letter to the editor by John S. Reed/Coeur d’Alene Press, which raises questions about a musical chair arrangement. Reed surmises that Butch Otter will resign his congressional seat to concentrate on his gubernatorial run next year. Then, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne will appoint Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson (who, Reed sez, has gale-wind backing from Duane Hagadone). That’ll open the sheriff’s spot for Capt. Ben Wolfinger to be appointed to. Concludes Reed:

“Then, should Mike Crapo become a candidate for the Supreme Court, that will leave his seat open and I can only guess that Gov. Kempthorne will be appointed to fill Crapo’s seat, and “Boss Hog” will have all his musical chairs filled to his satisfaction, and all will be well in the county and state of Idaho.”

DFO: Interesting scenario, involving a lame-duck governor, but that’d mean Rocky would have to throw his hat in the ring fairly soon to be a legit candidate to retain the job. I just don’t see any of this happening …

Interview Schedule Today

10:30 a.m., Dan Yake, Coeur d’Alene City Council
11:30 a.m., Joe Kunka, Coeur d’Alene mayor
1:30 p.m., Suzy Snedaker, Coeur d’Alene coucil
4 p.m., Joe Doellefeld, Post Falls council

Still trying to get ahold of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander for interview. Deanna, you really should return Erica Curless’ phone calls.

Local Question of the Day — 10/11/05

Issue: Idaho teachers among nation’s lowest paid: Low salary structure makes state ‘training ground’/Ann Wallace Allen, Associated Press

DFO: Unfortunately, you can’t eat the scenery in Idaho or we’d all be wealthy.

Question: Is this something teachers’ll just have to live with, given the anti-tax mood of the state and some uberconservative lawmakers? Or can we do something about this bad situation?

Average salary for experienced teachers
for the 2003-2004 school year:

•Idaho: $40,111
•California: $56,444
•Nevada: $43,211
•Connecticut: $56,516
•South Dakota: $33,236
•National average: $46,597

E-Mail: About Those Wallace High Students …

Monday Huckleberry: Later, with the justices in session hearing arguments about a Sanders Beach case, proud attorney John Magnuson took note of students in the audience from his old high school, Wallace. A wag tells Huckleberries, “Let’s hope he didn’t act like those Wallace students, making noise, fidgeting, pulling hair and groping each other.” Sounds like young lawyers in training.

Mr. Oliveria,

As the teacher who took the Wallace government classes to the Idaho Supreme Court sessions last week, I was shocked and dismayed to read the comments about their behavior in your column. I, along with two other teachers, sat with my students through two hearings. I admit I did see a few students who fidgeted, but at no time did I witness hair pulling, making noises, or groping. In fact, two court officials complimented the students on their behavior as we left the courtroom that day.

When I read your comments to my classes today, they were angry, insulted, embarrassed, and quite taken aback by the accusations made by some “wag” who remains nameless. More than one student offered to write a letter of apology to the person who was offended by their behavior, but since we don’t know who he/she is, that is not possible. Please pass along my apologies to your source and let them know that it was not our intention to be disrespectful or cause a disturbance.

The students were pleased to be recognized by an alumni of Wallace High School, and I appreciated both the Chief Justice and Mr. Magnuson for recognizing their presence. I realize that in your column you make attempts at humor, but in this case you insulted an entire group of students for no apparent reason other than to “slam” Wallace. Using your column as a “teachable moment” in government class, I was able to do a lesson on 1st amendment rights and the how we cannot always rely on the press to be accurate.

I am not sure you will be able to give me the name/ address of the offended party, but if you are able to I would like to discuss with them the inappropriate behaviors they witnessed and pass along apologies from my students. If the party had mentioned to any of the 3 adults present that the students were acting inappropriately, it would have been addressed immediately. I am very sorry if our presence took away from the seriousness of the hearing, but I remain proud to be a teacher of this group of students.

Cedris Shepperd

DFO: Ah, one set of misbehaving kids were sitting right next to my source, a veteran courthouse observer.

P.S. — 10/10/05

Maddison Harder, 3, climbs on Joel Holland’s prize-winning-record, 1,229-pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin at the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, Calif., earlier today. Holland, a retired firefighter from Puyallup, Wash., tied the record with 1,229 with his own pumpkin from last year. The pumpkin is 3 feet, 9 inches high. He wins $6,145 for his efforts, at $5 per pound here.

Question: OK, Cis, and you other gardeners out there, here’s the time to tell us how your garden grew this year. Any giant vegetables? Or other success stories out there?

Today’s Best Thread — Dr. Laura

I just read the thread among Family Phil, GreenL, Ryan Hill, Dan of the County, I.B. Lurking, et al, re: the Laura Schlessinger lead on my Best of Huckleberries Online post today. If you haven’t read it, take time to do so. It’s a quality thread of interaction about the pros and cons of Dr. Laura as well as other radio gabbers here.

Me? I can take Dr. Laura in small doses. Overall, I believe, she dispenses good advice and is a plus on the right side of the radio dial.

Question About Photo of the Day

I know that Photo of the Day is extremely popular with blurkers. But sometimes I wonder if I’ve scared people away by posting the top three cutlines, plus an honorable mention. Almost all the cutline entries are worthy of a chuckle. Would it be better if I didn’t pick a winner? And everyone mixed it up? Or should I continue as is? In the past, we had 15 to 25 entries regularly. Today, it’s down to 7. Who knows? Mebbe I don’t always choose the best photos. I deeply appreciate those who try their hand at this tough discipline. You provide much entertainment for others who comment and blurk here.

Yikes! I Thought I Are One

Shield Law Sponsor Lugar: Bloggers ‘Probably Not’ Considered Journos/Mark Fitzgerald, Editor & Publisher

Nut Graf: Bloggers would “probably not” be considered journalists under the proposed federal shield law, the bill’s co-sponsor, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.), told the Inter American Press Association Monday afternoon.

Impressions From City Elections Interviews

In order of interview today:

Sandi Bloem: Class act. Impeccably dressed in pinks and grays, with monster gold rings on each hand. (Hey, she’s a jeweler, whaddaya expect?) She still has a little of that former-teacher thing going. But she has some monster accomplishments this time around that she didn’t have four years ago — Sanders Beach, partnership developments all along the waterfront that will benefit the community, downtown redevelopment. And, after she stood her ground against Duane Hagadone re: the downtown memorial garden, no one can claim she’s his puppet this time around.

Woody McEvers: Still a surfer dude, with that blond, shoulder-length hair. Woody was dressed out relaxed, blue jeans, sneakers and two layers of shirts, topped off with a wind breaker. Extremely frank. Told me that he’s no longer associated with Hagadone in anyway since someone else bought the Hayden property where his Rustlers Roost biz sits. Also, he could see no reason of closing any part of Sherman Avenue for private use. However, he wouldn’t commit to a position on a downtown botanical garden, stating that he would be willing to vote on the issue if it came up again rather than sending it to a public vote.

Mike Kennedy (relaxed look, long-sleeve, light-blue shirt, open at the collar, with dress pants): Superb candidate for open seat who brings a strong background in communications and ties to Boise (which can be important for CDA in getting things done). Knows the issues. Didn’t shrink from any question. Dunno if opponents will make an issue of Demo ties. Or the fact that he’s waiting for his house to be built in CDA Place while renting a room from a friend so he can qualify to run in election. Greatest strength: Brilliant tactician who was instrumental in library and public safety bond passages. As father of 5 little kids, he’d bring a different perspective on a council dominated by middle-aged members.

Mary Souza (well-coiffed, tan jacket and pants, setting off white turtle-neck): Never met her before. Very favorably impressed. Passionate and animated. She’s a community activist who’s cut her teeth with school involvement and on the planning and zoning committee while running a successful north town business. Knows planning and growth issues backward and forward. Hesitated only when I tried to pin her down on a downtown memorial garden (which Hagadone sez isn’t going to happen) and McEuen Field. That could come from her background as a planner trying not to show her hand until all the details were in front of her. She and Mike are well-qualified for this spot.

Tomorrow: 10:30 — Dan Yake, 11:30 — Joe Kunka, and 1:30 — Suzie Snedaker.

A Review: Doug Clark Roast

I told you guys that ya shoulda been there. I laughed for 3 hours straight as my old buddy Doug Clark was roasted and then returned fire in the elegant Pennington Ballroom of The Davenport Hotel Sunday afternoon.

First impression of The Davenport? Sorry, Coeur d’Alene Resort. I’ve seen The Davenport, and as nice as you are, you ain’t no Davenport.

Second impression: Doug deserves 2 thumbs up for taking a pistol whipping for 2-plus hours from Randy Shaw, Debra Wilde, Councilman Bob Apple, former Mayor Shari Barnard, 4 pro comedians, et al. For my money, the pro comedians were the weak point of the roast. And Tom McArthur from The Davenport and the guy from PBS (unfortunately, I left my notes home) were the surprise hits. Also good were Barnard, Wilde and even Apple, the bar owner who rationed toilet paper from his Hillyard bar because customers were stealing it. Overall, the money raised from the event, which played to a full house, was split evenly between the local and national Red Cross.

3rd Impression: Doug gave better than he received; for example, he applauded Wilde’s taxidermist for making her look so good “at 60,” Barnard, for setting a record for creating committees and never having a sex scandal, and recalled fondly how he outted Shaw for sneaking smokes while he was telling everyone on air that he’d given up smoking. As far as the pro comics go, Clark said: “We have comics in Spokane.” Shaw and McArthur roasted Clark best.

Final impression: If you can gauge Mayor Jim West’s chances of surviving the recall election based on the applause lines from the mere mention of his name, he’s through.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 10/10/05

UTEP Head Coach Mike Price has been under the glare of public scrutiny for the past year as he suffers through the debacle of his job at Alabama and then starting his career over at lowly University of Texas at El Paso. He is shadowed by a TV cameraman the night of the season opening game at Arizona State. Now, he has settled his defamation suit with Sports Illustrated. See Item No. 2.

1. Cartoonist David Horsey/PI provides a steamy view of how Eve may have lost the first Adam in the Garden of Eden here.

2. Time Inc. has settled a $20 million defamation suit filed by former WSU football coach Mike Price over a Sports Illustrated article about a night of drinking at a topless bar in Florida, according to the AP, here.

3. American Indian students at Washington State U are passing out T-shirts that say things like “Killumbus lied! Stop celebrating genocide!” as they dis the observance of Columbus Day today here. Meanwhile, federal workers are celebrating because today is a holiday for them here.

4. Your college student may complain about the dorm food at Gonzaga U, but the poor that get the leftovers under the university’s Campus Kitchens projects consider it to be nothing but heaven here.

5. UI prez Tim White is released from the hospital after recovering from a third heart attack here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Monday’s Huckleberries print edition), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Spokane’s lower set of values), Idaho Statesman (Idaho should change sex offender laws), The Daily Inter Lake (Boosting Cabinet grizzlies), and Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (What’s wrong with freak dancin’?).

*Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Highway closes for the season here.

*Oregon State is working on its image after two deaths and a serious injury among students here.

*Former Nampa Mayor Winston Goering, known for his down-to-earth, approachable style, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at age 77 here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Photo of the Day — 10/10/05

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue’s U.S. edition, Anna Wintour, reacts after she was hit with a pie by anti-fur demonstrators as she attended a Paris fashion show this weekend. PETA sez the pie _ a vegetarian tofu tart _ was retaliation for the magazine’s decision to run fur ads while refusing to use PETA’s anti-fur messages. You write the cutline.

SR Letter of the Day — Sanders Beach

Seems like John Magnuson and Jack Simpson can’t accept judicial review with humility (“High court looks again at fences case,” Oct. 5). Keep the Sanders Beach ball in the courts until they get the answer they want. The Spokesman-Review’s story said that Magnuson “argued that the city can’t take a person’s land for public use without first paying the property owner.” Double standards again. Simpson didn’t have any problem with taking property for his private use without first being certain it was legal. Simpson doesn’t get it. He is satisfying Magnuson’s quest for more billable time. I’ll wager that the property value Simpson allegedly lost won’t compare favorably to the legal fees Magnuson is collecting. Why don’t they lay down their weak weapons of arrogance and pompousness and admit they are losing the battle?

William Beseler

WorldNetDaily Poll — 10/10/05

Issue: Robertson: Disasters point to 2nd Coming: Evangelist observes quakes, hurricanes ‘starting to hit with amazing regularity’/Joe Kovacs, WorldNetDaily.

Do you think we’ve entered the Last Days as described in the Bible?

1. No, the Bible is a myth, and so are the so-called End Times
2. No, there are too many prophecies still needing to be fulfilled before the End Times
3. No, believers, including the apostle Paul, have been wrongly predicting the imminent End for generations
4. No, but I think we’re very close
5. I’m not sure either way on this, but recent events have reignited my interest in the subject
6. Yes, the number and types of natural disasters suggest the ‘birth pangs’ have begun
7. Yes, I think the End Times have begun, but I don’t think the return of Jesus is imminent
8. Yes, just look at the daily headlines: wars, famines, pestilences, disasters and mankind’s disobedience of God
9. Yes, and the return of Jesus Christ is imminent
10. Other

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

DFO: In my weekend polling, I noticed some of you are confused about the WorldNetDaily Poll. I use it as a conversation starter because it provides a broad range of answers for each question (as you can see below), and the questions range broadly. This feature didn’t score highly in weekend results. So I’ll be watching it carefully as I decide in the next coupla weeks what to do with various features.

About Commenting …

One of the problems I’m noticing with the comments section is ongoing discussions and my inability to “feed the beast.” If I make a comment, I may not check back for several hours or several days. By that time, who knows what’s been posted in my absence. Which leaves me feeling vulnerable, wondering if I should leave the commenting to those who visit more often. My guess is other blurkers share my sentiment.

I.B. Lurking

DFO: I enjoy comments from viewers and have been wondering why they’ve dropped off. Is I.B. right here? Do you not comment because it gets lost if your look away for half a day or so? Do you know that you can find your comment plus any that comes after at any time under the individual item where you posted your comment? Then, you don’t have to read through the most recent posts to find it. And you can post additional comments under your initial one to answer something that might have come up while you were away. Bottom line? If you enjoy Huckleberries, pleaz post comments. They’re not only interesting. They provide encouragement.

Blogging Can Be Hell, Part II — Morning Features

I appreciate the comments posted below under “Blogging Can Be Hell.” I don’t think I’m in danger of burnout, by a long shot, but I am frustrated from trying to balance the duties of my day job with blogging. I enjoy blogging and feel renewed each Monday when I begin the week.

Jane Q. Citizen may have touched on something when she suggested breaking the blog down into 3 periods during the day. The morning stuff, from 8 to 10 a.m., an hour or so at noon, and the evening stuff — unless there’s breaking news. Also, I probably should cut down on the number of posts. And mebbe I should take that last step and go even more local/regional. I’ve flirted with that step before, but I haven’t wanted to chase off commenters/blurkers who read Huckleberries from elsewhere in the country, like our good friend The Heimlich Maneuver from Oklahoma City. However, being all things to all people can make Dave a dull by. (I know that doesn’t line up.

I’d like to begin a conversation with you over the course of the next two weeks. After that, I’m taking a week off to host my son and his wife who are flying in from Denver for some time off. If you don’t mind, I’d like you folks to rate the different standing features on the blog, from one (*) to five stars (*****), with five being the highest. Further, I’d like your thoughts about the individual items. So, let’s start with the morning roundup. Pleaz rate the following on a one- to five-star basis:

1. Quick Fix 6
2. WorldNetDaily Poll
3. SR Letter of the Day
4. Local Question of the Day
5. Photo of the Day
6. Huckleberries AM Headlines (sometimes)

Attention, Blurkers (viewers who visit but don’t comment), this is the time to put your 2 cents in. Come up with a good pseudonym and answer away.

Best of Huckleberries Online — 10/3-7/2005

CDA’s Phil Corless was flipping through the radio channels while driving his daughter to the store the other day when he paused to hear Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s spiel. Dr. Laura (pictured) was discussing an impatient man who accidentally killed his stepdaughter because he drove around crossing barriers into the path of an oncoming train. Then, Phil was shocked when Dr. Laura exclaimed: “This bastard! That’s what he is, I’m sorry, but he’s a bastard!” In his blog, A Family Runs Through It, Phil said he agreed with Schlessinger’s assessment, but he quickly changed the channel to prevent his daughter from hearing more. At bedtime that night, he learned that wasn’t the end of it. While saying his goodnight to the little girl, she grabbed a Little Pony and proclaimed its name to be Starcatcher. And the other one? Phil asked. The girl looked down, frowned, thought awhile, and said: “That one I’ll call Little Bastard.” Sighed Phil: “Thanks, Dr. Laura.”

Doug Clark Roast

You Doug Clark fans should swing by the Grand Pennington Ballroom of The Davenport from 3 to 5 this afternoon (Sunday) to enjoy filet of Clark and introduce yourselves. (I’ll be there, too.) My old Red Bluff (Calif.) Daily News buddy will be the main course in a two-hour roast (doors open at 2). Clark tells you all about it here. And he’s already run some jokes by me which indicate that he has some good return fire for the roasters. All the proceeds go to Red Cross disaster relief (with a $5 donation suggested).

DFO: BTW, if you haven’t heard Clark’s incredible song dedication to Spokane Mayor Jim West, “Bi-Way,” you can do so here.

Not Quite Photo of the Weekend — 10/8-10/05

I saw this APhoto on the wire just before I left work tonight — of Esquire mag named Jessica Biel 2005 “Sexiest Woman Alive.” Sure, she’s beautiful. But what makes her sexier than a thousand other starlets or singers? Frankly, I don’t know which she is. But back to the topic. How do you measure sexy? Does a star have to wear a slinky outfit on the red carpet or perform in so many bedroom scenes on the big screen with today’s leading men. Esquire’s being a bit presumptuous. Then, that’s what sells magazines, right?

About As Far As I Can Throw Him

Coeur d’Alene gardens plan a gone deal: Hagadone opposed ballot on memorial to parents/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

I missed this one today while I was busy writing my Monday column. (You’ll find some good new stuff in there that I didn’t run through last week.) All my Deep Throat sources are saying that Hagadone means it. The memorial garden idea is kaput — for the two blocks of Sherman Avenue. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be resurrected elsewhere. For you newcomers, I’ll say this slowly without moving my lips. Duane wants this somewhere by the waterfront and he’ll never give up on the garden until he draws his last breath.

So, that means he’s looking elsewhere. If memory serves me correctly, he coveted McEuen Field for his park a decade or so ago. Now, with the library about to be built in the same area as first planned back when — when Duane pledged $2 million for a third floor — wouldn’t it make sense if he came back with a generous donation of millions to let him have another run at McEuen Field, now that the city intends to move the legion parks and the future of the playground is up in the air. And don’t put it past the City Council to be keenly interested if such a proposal surfaced again. Mebbe this time Duane’ll be willing to kick in $5M or $10M. After all, the Sherman Avenue project was going to cost him in the $20M range. Keep your eyes on the walnut shells, friends and neighbors.

Meanwhile, I’ll still ask each municipal candidate about the garden (on Sherman or McEuen), even though The Duane reiterated his project is dead so it won’t be a campaign issue.


Wild Card/Friday — 10/7/05

Here’s viewtiful proof from Casey Christie/The Bakersfield Californian that birds of a feather don’t always flock together. As we enter the weekend, I’ll re-offer the afternoon Wild Card to get things going. Remember: Some of you Seasoned Citizen bloggers may be hearing from AP writer Carla K. Johnson in Chicago. She’s starting some kind of health column/blog and wanted to know sixtysomethings who blogged. So, I outed you. Have a good weekend …

Top Cutlines/Friday — 10/10/05

LifeGem shows off one of its creations: a diamond made from the ashes of cremated remains. LifeGem uses super-hot ovens to transform ashes to graphite and then presses the stone into blue and yellow diamonds that retail for anywhere from $2,700 to $20,000. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Ashes to ashes,/Dust to dust,/I am finally the object/Of my dear wife’s lust — Family Phil

2. (tie) As Mrs. Johnson admired her new ring, she mused, “Ralph never looked better” — Whatever. And: Mom always said he was a diamond in the rough — The Widow.

3. Not content with getting a pound of flesh from her henpecked husband in life, the merry widow can now extract some serious bling from his ashes — Jane Q. Citizen.

HM: Granati

Shake It, Shake It, Baby

University High softball coach Jon Schuh shakes his Daisy Dukes in the Junior Class Bench production of “Titans of Hazzard” earlier today during Homecoming. Each class decorates a bench and does a themed production with the seniors winning for their loose interpretation of Wizard of Oz/SR photo by Christopher Anderson.

Looking to Buy in all the Wrong Places

Since I really try to stay outta the northern part of town, I really don’t keep up much with what goes on out there. It had been 3 or 4 months since I’d been in the Silver Lake Mall, and I noticed there were quite a few businesses out there that I’d never seen before. All these young fresh-faced clerks selling stuff that nobody really needs. Come to think of it, that’s how I feel about CDA’s downtown, too.

CDADave/Thin Air

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/7/05

It’s Friday when thoughts turn to the weekend and the wonderful country we North Idahoans live in. Here, Hayden photographer Doug Fredericks features a viewtiful scenic he calls “Palouse Homestead.”

1. Top-notch freelance cartoonist Milt Priggee shows there are some homeless more important than other ones here.

2. Oprah Winfrey’s broadcast of photos of violent sex offenders on the run and offer of reward money during her show spotlighting the Groene Family Murders this week has helped nab one of them, William C. Davis, here.

3. You know that Julia Sweeney earned fame as the genderless, fashion-disaster geek named Pat on Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s. But did you know that she now writes for “Desperate Housewives”? Further, did you know that her love of movies began at Spokane’s Fox Theater, where she was an usher in the 1970s. The Inlander tells you all about it here.

4. Spokane enviros trying use an obscure 1872 law to stake a mining claim on one of the most prime piecest of real estate on the Coeur d’Alene waterfront was thwarted by another little-known Idaho law here.

5. Don’t want a black widow spider shimmying out of your cluster of grapes purchased in a Northwest grocery store? Then, you’d better soak them in water first, sez John Dodge/Olympian, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Smelly man raises stink), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Oprah quest: Good TV, bad policy), Sam Taylor/UI Argonaut (Oh, Canada!), Missoulian (Flushing money down Glacier latrine), and G. George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (How to punish a car).

*Special recall election for Spokane Mayor Jim West is scheduled for Dec. 6 here.

*Glacier female bear attack on 2 Californians ruled “defensive” here.

*2 charged in plot to kill stepfather of Seattle Sonics guard Ray Allen here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Extra! UI Prez White Suffers 3rd Heart Attack

University of Idaho President Dr. Timothy White is at a Spokane hospital after suffering a heart attack early Friday morning here.

Hat Tip: Mike Kennedy

Should This Be A Deal Breaker?

Issue: School proposed near explosives facility: Lakeland, county officials say students would be safe/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

The CDA Press doesn’t think so:

Help keep Lakeland an educational gem/CDA Press Editorial Board.

The SR hasn’t taken a stand on the bond issue.

Question: Should the proposed school location near an explosives storage area be a factor in considering how to vote?

Not Quite Ready for Oprah Approach — 10/7/05

Unfortunately, Winfrey failed to distinguish between violent sex offenders like Duncan and what we dismissively call low-level sex offenders, like a 21-year-old who’s guilty of having consensual sex with a 17-year-old. Or a one-time offender who fondled someone while drunk. Or flashers. Or Peeping Toms. They all make our skin crawl. But experts say low-level offenders are far less likely to reoffend than violent Level 3 ex-convicts. Winfrey’s right that the most serious offenders should have little or no wiggle room to get back on the streets. But she painted with a brush too broad in lumping these criminals together.

For the rest of my editorial today re: Oprah Winfrey’s show with Steve Groene, click here.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Terrorism

Are you worried about acts of terrorism where you live?

1. No, I don’t live in a big city – nothing bad will happen where I live
2. No, the Bush administration is vigorously defending our nation from terrorists
3. No, the terrorists and their resources are tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan
4. No
5. It could happen but I can’t spend my life worrying about it
6. Yes, there’s credible evidence of major attacks planned for Ramadan
7. Yes, I live in one of the cities reportedly targeted by al-Qaida with nuclear weapons
8. Yes, we’ve already had one suicide bombing in Oklahoma and credible threats against the New York City subways
9. Yes
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 1, 3 & 5.

For the news report, click here.

Top Cutlines/Thursday — 10/6/05

Piggies swim in a pool during a piggy sports contest held in the Yaohai Park in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. There once was a pig who could swim
He was loved by all at the gym
His sows knew he wasn’t fakin
later he’d be makin bacon
cuz breast stroking gave him vigor and vim — His Bobness.

2. Still waiting for FEMA in rural Mississippi — Westsider.

3. US Senators and Representative rush to get their “pork” in under the wire — Upclose.

HM: Bre and Granati

For all the cutlines, click here.


Issue: White House denies ‘God told me’ claims: Palestinians leaders say Bush revealed divine instructions for Mideast/WorldNetDaily.


Ex-FBI chief: Clinton was big problem: ‘His closets were full of skeletons just waiting to burst out’/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: I’m giving bashers from each side a chance tonight. You can bash Dubya or The Big He. WorldNetDaily provides interesting stories about both.

Question: Any comments?

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ Down the River

A group of Lewis and Clark re-enactors negotiate Saddle Bag rapids on the Clearwater River, earlier today, near Orofino. The Discovery Expedition set out in a hand full of dugout canoe’s from Pink House Hole in Orofino, this morning as the trek to the Pacific Ocean continues 200 years after Lewis and Clark made the journey/AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune by Kyle Mills. Don’t forget to check out the running diary of the Lewis & Clark expedition by former CDA mayor Jim Fromm/Third Millennium here.

Ichiro … in Pinstripes? Say It Ain’t So, Dave

I saw a program on FSN, “before the bigs”, in which Ichiro was profiled; the show included some pretty cool footage of him in the Japanese League days. Seems, tho, that Ichiro felt he’d gone “as far as he could go” in the Japanese League, and got really depressed about it. So, he came to America; good for him! But, how many seasons until he gets sick of playing baseball for a non-winning team? He did say in an interview last year that he wasn’t used to playing on a team that was in last place. Mark my words…someday, Ichiro will be in Yankee pinstripes. You read it here!

CDADave/Thin Air

Extra! Extra! West Recall Effort Validated

Spokane County election workers today validated the remaining signatures necessary to place Mayor Jim West’s recall election on a December ballot here.

Hat Tip: Shannon Sullivan

Huckleberries Best of the INland Northwest — 10/6/05

‘Tis The Season: Robert Young gets a flu shot from Sue Meeker, a grocery store pharmcy manager, in Salem, Ore., earlier today/APhoto.

Breaking News: The Spokane County elections department has validated enough signatures to make Mayor Jim West face a recall election here. For an earlier version, here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times provides a sense of how angry some R’s are over the Hariet Miers’ nomination here.

2. For the first time in the United States, federal investigators in Spokane have obtained indictments against eight people accused of operating Internet-based diploma mills, making millions by selling bogus college degrees and “defrauding consumers worldwide,” according to Bill Morlin/Spokesman-Review, here.

3. A woman is being investigated in the discovery of a dead newborn baby in a bathroom at a rest area between Ritzville and Sprague on Interstate 90 here.

4. Did you know that churches will observe National Porn Sunday this weekend? And a church in Sandpoint, Idaho, will be among those that addresses the taboo topic here.

5. The Torch bikini bar, which has two locations in Boise and one in Coeur d’Alene, is causing concern as it plans to expand into Nampa here.

6. IMHO-NW: Curtis Campbell/EWU Easterner (West, do us favor, resign), Daily Inter Lake (Smoking ban’s time has come), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Good corporate governance pays dividends), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (“Cardiac Kids” of ‘65 return), and Bud Withers/Seattle Times (PAC-10 fond of instant replay).

Poll: 66% of 927 respondents to a Boise Idaho Statesman poll said they didn’t hunt.

*Eastern Washington U trains Iraqi educators here.

*UI prez Tim White won’t let science department teach “Intelligent Design” here.

*2 Washington state scientists, including a volcano expert, are killed when truck loses load of logs here.

*Gonzaga Prep alum leaves school $3.4M here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Starbucks Creativity

Cis Gors passed along a Starbucks video ad that seems fairly standard until you check out the time element on the desk phone and the date on the desk calendar here.

Photo of the Day — 10/6/05

Piggies swim in a pool during a piggy sports contest held in the Yaohai Park in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, Wednesday. You write the cutline.

WorldNetDaily Poll — 10/6/05

Will Harriet Miers be confirmed to as associate justice?

1. Yes, she has strong bipartisan support
2. Yes, too many Republicans would have to defect for her not to win confirmation
3. Yes, the anger from conservatives will blow over in a few weeks
4. Yes, she’ll get more votes than John Roberts
5. Yes
6. It’s too early to tell
7. No, when Democrats realize her role in Bush’s National Guard scandal, they’ll rally to oppose her
8. No, Miers doesn’t have the experience to withstand the scrutiny and grilling she’ll receive – she’ll ask the president to withdraw her name
9. No, Bush wants to avoid controversy – when the opposition heats up, he’ll find reasons to withdraw the nomination
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 1 or 2

For the rest of the news report, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 10/6/05

1. APhoto Fix: The carcass of a six-foot American alligator is shown protruding from the mid-section of a 13-foot Burmese python Monday, in Everglades National Park, Fla., after the snake apparently swallowed the alligator resulting in the deaths of both animals.

2. Cartoon Fix: Bill Schorr (Miers nomination erodes Bush base), Rob Rogers (Bush cronyism), and Jeff Parker (Republicans and big oil).

3. Humor Fix: “David Letterman’s Top Ten Signs That Bush Is Drinking Again” 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: Conservatives confront Bush aides re: Miers here, Oregon woman kicked off flight for offensive shirt here, Gore: American democracy in grave danger here, Black students are most religious here, and Oil dips below $60 per barrel here.

6. Opinion Fix: Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (What was Bush thinking?), Sheryl McCarthy/Newsday (Miers’ climb deserves respect), Catherine Seipp/Wall Street Journal (The sex-offender lobby), Dick Meyer/CBS News (Paranoid Left, paranoid Right), and Larry Elder/Townhall (The Borking of Bill Bennett).

Wild Card/Wednesday — 10/5/05

I’m heading home soon, so I’ll leave you with this Wild Card. Meanwhile, can you drop me a note via e-mail if you have trouble posting. Off and on, several of you have, including Dave Tolle in the last hour or so. Mebbe this problem with the spam filter will be the final straw that drives me to registration. I’m frustrating with the dang thing. So I know you are, too …

Top Cutlines/Wednesday — 10/5/05

California’s Happy Cows prepare for their close-ups during filming of two new television commercials promoting Real California Cheese debuting nationally this fall. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. (tie) “Yeah, baby, work it. Love the camera. Give me a little turn, look back over your shoulder. Oh yeah, baby, that’s delicious, udderly delicious” — A Token Democrat.< />

And: “Excuse me! where is my butt double? I’m not doing this scene without my butt double. Did you separate my oats and hay? I will only drink my water from a bottle, I will not drink from a trough! Where is my non-fat double shot latte?!” The production crew soon realized that working with cows was not going to be easier than working with human celebrities — Bre.

2. Mad, who me? I’m not mad, what makes you say that, as a matter of fact I’ve never been mad about anything. OK, I’m a little upset over this line of questioning but I’m certainly not MAD — Whatever (both of Whatever’s entry are top-3 calibre but I liked this one slightly better).

3. Becoming celebrities was the best thing that ever happened to Mildred and Bertha, so they decided to milk it for all that it’s worth — Family Phil.

HM: Whippersnapper

Outstanding in His Field

Tim Marks, a third-grade teacher at Fernan Elementary in Coeur d’Alene, is congratulated by his students after receiving the Outstanding School Employee of the Month award Tuesday/SR Photo by Jesse Tinsley.

In the “Hate to Show You This” Dept …

… Here’s the scene from Dickinson, N.D., earlier today. Downed power lines lie across a street, but are high enough to allow traffic to pass. Tree branches heavy with snow snapped throughout town to pull down power lines throughout the city.

What Happened to Ric Clarke?

A source in Hagadonia sheds some light on the recent departure of long-time Coeur d’Alene Press reporter/editor/bottle washer Ric Clarke: “I was at the big party at the Press last week. They recognized all employees with ten years or more of employment. Ric was not recognized. I think it must have (upset) him and in the course of the next day or so his grumbling (upset) either (Editor) Mike Patrick or (Publisher Jim) Thompson — think it was the latter. … The word I’m hearing is he (left) on Thurs or Friday last week.
Also: Joe Butler moved to the ad department to write their special sections; so, they’re now down two experienced people in the newsroom. … Lynn Berk has been out on a … leave for a month or so and that’s very much been kept under wraps. Things are getting hairy in the newsroom and Mike Patrick might find his days numbered if things don’t get better. Have you noticed there’s an editorial correction of some kind just about every day?

In The Bowels Of Moria

Are You Supermarket Savvy?

Huckleberries Online offers a simple quiz to determine how supermarket savvy you are here.

Hat Tip: iVillage

Feedback: I’m a savvy shopper in training. Dang candy bars at the check out line did me in — Bre.

DFO: Nyet to Freak Dancing

All generations fondly remember the edgy dances and music of their youth. Jitterbug. Swing. Twist. Disco. New Wave. Sexuality is part and parcel with dance. But freak dancing takes the form to the extreme. For the sake of decorum and order, a public high school wouldn’t allow youngsters to simulate sex on campus during regular school hours. For the same reasons, it shouldn’t allow faux sex at school dances. Not only do dirty dancers create a discipline nightmare for school administrators and chaperones, but they make students with different values uncomfortable. CV took the right step by banning mixers completely.

For the rest of my editorial today, click here.

Photo of the Day — 10/5/05

California’s Happy Cows prepare for their close-ups during filming of two new television commercials promoting Real California Cheese debuting nationally this fall. You write the cutline.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Pagan Symbols

Item: Vet fights for Wiccan symbol on headstone: Says Hollywood wrongly associates pentacle with demonic cults, rituals/WorldNetDaily.

WND Daily Poll Question: Should the VA engrave Wiccan symbols for free on military headstones?

1. Yes, of course – military service entitles everyone to equal treatment
2. Yes, the First Amendment protects freedom of religion
3. Yes, government has no business observing some religious symbols and not others
4. Yes, Wicca is a much older and more peaceful religion than others
5. Yes
6. No, a pagan symbol would be offensive to a great majority of the deceased and their families
7. No, Wicca is a demonic religion
8. No, veteran cemeteries should have no religious symbols
9. No
10. Other

For the complete news report, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 10/5/05

1. APhoto Fix: Marines from 3rd Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and soldiers of the Iraqi Security Forces survey an area while patrol the streets of Haditha, Iraq while in search of insurgents on Tuesday.The U.S. military is waging two major offensives in Anbar, one at the Syrian border, the other around the town of Haditha, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak (Mortgage rates jump), Monte Wolverton (Tom DeLay), and Gary Varvel (Bush Redux: Trust me).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things You Ask Yourself Before Buying the Meat’Normous Sandwich” 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: Prosecutor: Miers in middle of Bush National Guard scandal? here, Conservatives split over Miers’ nomination here, 3rd grand jury refused DeLay indictment here, Conversion redefined nominee’s worldview here, and Iraqi charter gains wide backing here.

6. Opinion Fix: Marvin & Peter Olasky/World (Miers ain’t Ivy League), Froma Harrop/Providence Journal (Miers will be no one’s puppet), John Avlon/New York Sun (Blacks declaring independence), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (People’s voice on gay marriage), and Ned Rice/National Review (Bennett outed!).

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10/4/05

I’m still mulling the “Oprah” show with Steve Groene this afternoon. (You can find a trailer to that show here.) I’m not emotional. But I noticed my eyes were threatening to leak. There was nothing new about the information re: the show. But seeing Oprah Winfrey compellingly bringing all facets of the horrific crime visited on this local family was powerful. She did a sensitive job with the information. And was right to say it’s time we do something about the violent sex predators. I don’t agree with her one-strike-and-you’re-out approach to all sex offenders. Too much gray there. But I agree with her that we keep letting these guys prey on children because most of the crime is happening to someone else’s child or children. They’re all our children. Mebbe this show will start a movement to get many of these guys off the streets for good. I’ll have more on this subject tomorrow. Meanwhile, thanks for your help on the dirty dancing editorial (particularly you, Bre), and here’s your afternoon-turned-evening Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs — 10/4/05

Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides this shot of her Mother Tibbs and the family’s youngest great-grandchild along with many other photos of summer and early fall on her blog today here.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Thru It posted his own best-of roundup for mom and pop blogs. A very cool idea. Click here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps has some questions about that story involving a Spokane sheriff’s deputy being suspended for domestic violence here.

*The Parking Nazi ruined a nice cup of coffee that CDADave/Thin Air enjoyed a minute too much here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings makes her case for “A House Is Not A Home Without A Dog” here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind talks about that four-letter word that sends Snow Birds scurrying for all points south. That’s right. She’s spotted snow near her in Bonner County here.

*ErinG/Idaho Native took a simple test and discovered she was the “apple cider” part of fall here.

Also: Bre has had a run of bad luck here, Stebbijo broadcasts her first podcast (note to self — I need to add her hubby’s blog to my North Idaho blogroll — here, and Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense talks about a great weekend in Canada here.

Oprah Interviews Steve Groene in …

… 60 seconds, 50 seconds, 40 seconds while background on today’s show can be found here. (Click your way thru the photos for the stories.)

In the “Where Are They Now” Dept …

U.S. Nazi Supporter in Ireland? FBI sez ex-Sandpoint outlaw Vincent Bertollini has mail forwarded across the sea/Sean O’Driscoll, Irish Voice.

DFO: Bonner County has a nice, warm jail cell waiting for Richard Butler’s old buddy should he happen to set foot back in this country.

Huckleberries Hears …

…that a group of Wallace High students were in the audience today as the Idaho Supreme Court re-heard arguments re: Jack Simpson’s intrusive fence on Sanders Beach. John Magnuson, who is representing Simpson and East Lakeshore Drive land barons, was pleased to see the students, noting to the high court that too is a Wallace High graduate. Let’s hope he didn’t act like the present-day Wallace students in court, making noise, fidgeting, pulling hair and groping each other …

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/4/05

After a gust of wind, a United States flag falls on Angela Carpenter, president of the Young Democrats on Campus, after she announced that Craig Cooper is running for Congress Monday at the Pond Student Union in Boise. Cooper, a Democrat, is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Simpson for Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District seat next year/AP photo.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles re: Tom DeLay’s effect on the Elephants here.

2. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, which has a strong base along the U.S.-Mexico border, has started operating along Whatcom County’s northern border to watch for people illegally entering the country from Canada, according to the AP here.

3. Fort Clatsop, a popular tourist attraction and replica of the compound where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent the soggy winter of 1805-1806 after reaching the Pacific, was destroyed by fire Monday night here.

4. Nearly 6,200 people, most of them Montana residents, have applied for the 24 licenses still available for Montana’s first bison hunt in 15 years, according to the AP, here.

5. And you can find the 5 finalists for the Washington quarter here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (“Flightplan” irks real flight attendants), Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Feds squander $$$ on no-bid contracts), Idaho Statesman (Idaho should gauge quake risks), Jamie Anson/WSU Daily Evergreen (Wealth of a nation), and Brett Walter/UI Argonaut (They protesteth too much).

Poll: 78% responding to a (Kalispell Daily Inter Lake) poll said that the federal Endangered Species Act should be revised.

*Central Valley High has joined a growing number of Spokane high schools in banning bump-and-grind “freak dancing” at school mixers here.

*Avista has pulled a controversial application to withdraw 2.9M gallons of water from the Rathdrum Aquifer here.

*A Washington state man has been banned for life from hunting in Idaho after pleading guilty to a felony poaching here.

*Spokane City Council pressures Mayor Jim West to release hard-drive computer info here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Spam Filter Working Again …

OK, thanx to Blogmeister Ryan, the comments section is back up … for now …

Definition: “Freak Dancing”

Merriam Webster says:

Main Entry: freak·ing
Pronunciation: ‘frE-k&n, -ki[ng]
Function: adjective or adverb
Etymology: euphemism for frigging or (f-bomb)
: DAMNED — used as an intensive

Urban dictionary says:

1. freaking: Obscene dancing which simulates sex by the grinding the of the genetailia with suggestive sounds/movements. often done to pop or hip hop or rap music

Hat Tip (for looking this up): SR colleague Rasha Madkour

SR Letter of the Day — “I’m Not A Fat Cat”

Dave Oliveria called me an “East Lakeshore Drive Fat Cat” because I chalked a line on my beach at the 2,130 feet private property mark recently set by Judge Judd in his Sanders Beach ruling (“On Sanders Public Beach,” Sept. 12).

Webster’s defines a “fat cat” as (1) a wealthy political contributor, (2) a privileged person or (3) a big shot. I am none of the above. Hard work, not privilege, got us our dream lake home. Oliveria’s labeling of people, having never met them, is unnecessarily sharp-edged sophomoric editorial journalism.

The chalk line was an act of frustration, auger and comedic release. All Idaho lakeshore property ends at the water’s edge … except for nine homes on Sanders Beach, says a left-leaning activist group supported by Cracker Jack box experts, pro-bono attorneys and a weak-willed City Council that turned a blind eye to common sense and initiated a politically motivated taking of private land.

My chalk line memorializes the absurd outcomes that arise when Captain Queeg-like politicians steam across their own tow line creating a solution worse than the original problem.

“Fat Cat?” Hardly. Disheartened with the deafening silence of my “red state” politicians’ protection of private property rights? You bet I am.

Robert B. Cliff
Coeur d’Alene

DFO: Then, I’ve been disheartened that Sanders Beach owners tried to claim-jump public property. If these guys woulda behaved themselves and allowed continued access to their, ahem, property, we’d still be living with the myth that the East Lakeshore types owned the beach.

Don’t Forget — Groene on Oprah Today

“Kidnapped by a Pedophile: The Shasta Groene Tragedy” is the title of today’s “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Steve Groene, father of the 8-year-old kidnapping victim from Coeur d’Alene, was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and will be sharing the latest information in the case, according to Winfrey’s Web site. Groene said last month that he will also be speaking on the “lack of laws” for sex offenders/Taryn Broadwater, Spokesman-Review, here.

WorldNetDaily Poll

What do you think of the selection of Harriet Miers for associate Supreme Court justice?

1. A brilliant and bold move for diversity
2. A good choice that will unite Democrats and Republicans
3. A good choice that will surprise Republicans
4. I don’t know, but I’ll give President Bush the benefit of the doubt
5. As good you could expect from President Bush
6. It’s too early to tell; there’s not enough of a track record
7. Bush erred in looking for a consensus
8. Anybody Bush picked can’t be any good
9. An underqualified Bush crony
10. A grave disappointment

DFO: No. 9 and mebbe 10.

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.S. — 10/3/05

My mother tells me that I would have been named Franklin Simas Oliveria Jr. had my father gotten to the hospital on time. Hmm. Little Frank. Frankie. Dunno if I would have preferred it to David, although I only answer to Dave, unless a member of my family is speaking. D.F. (David Franklin) was an attempt to distinguish myself when I first got to the SR CDA bureau 21 years ago — and also to honor my father. Believe it or not, 5 of the 10 staffers were named Dave. Mom sez she liked Dave because there weren’t many Daves when she birthed me. Seems every other mother at the time liked Dave, too. Now, it’s not as popular. But an article in today’s review provides hope that my name might become vintage again and therefore acceptable. You can find it here.

Question: How did your parents come up with your name?

Wild Card/Monday — 10/3/05

Beware of the exclamation point in e-mails and blogging, warns SR columnist Jim Kershner here. Tongue firmly cheeked, Jim explains how you can come across wrong in cyberspace if you don’t understand few basics. You can comment on this!!!! Or anything you want as your daily Wild Card has been officially dealt here …

What’s Your Pizza Personality …

So, while I’m working on an editorial for later this week, I want you to determine your “Pizza Personality.” Me? A pizza with everything on it. Click here.

Hat Tip:

Where’s He Think This Is? Montana?

Dunno if Digital Fog is pulling my leg, but this traffic stop from Oregon is funny. And DF has other good new stuff on his blog now to warrant another visit, including one parody about “Deviled Ham” that almost made me spit out my coffee here and a salute to the news that 20% of California HS seniors can’t pass graduation exam here.

Thin Air Officially Debuts

I drove out onto CDA Lake Drive, and parked by the “Lake Steamers” sign, a mile or so east of the Beachhouse Restaurant. Looking back towards CDA from there, I can see where bulldozers are beginning to take big bites out of the hillside where Mr. Hagadone’s “unaffordable to all but a few” condos are being built. Still, we’ve got the Centennial trail along the lake, and it is beautiful out there.

For the rest of CDADave’s Thin Air, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/3/05

WSU linebacker Will Derting grabs his knee late in the game against Oregon State. Derting suffered a sprain and is questionable for the next few games/SR photo by Christopher Anderson. See Item No. 4.

1. David Horsey/PI takes after Louisianans/Mississippians who hate gummint on one level but have their hands out when the hard times roll in. here.

2. Before the abuse-of-power scandal broke in early May over Mayor Jim West’s offers of jobs and appointments to young men he met on a gay Web site, West was stressing the development of “leaders of character” at City Hall. Some of the “character development” overtures had strong moral themes, according to Karen Dorn Steele, here.

3. After Metropolitan Mortgage declared bankruptcy and stripped 10,000 investors of $450 million, Paul Sandifur, ex-CEO and former Spokane jumbo, high-tailed it to the Mexican border where he’s selling real estate here.

4. Looks like WSU is back to Couging it, as it coughed up a lung in the second half to Oregon State and lost two starters on defense, to boot, here. Meanwhile, SR columnist John Blanchette sez WSU’s performance reminds him of the Bad Old Days here.

5. In the much ado about nothing dept., the Coeur d’Alene School Board has to apologize to parent Randy Tetzner for accidentally locking him out of a meeting two years ago here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (CDA election change attracts wannabes), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Cop-owned drug houses would be a hit), Coeur d’Alene Press (Top issue: Growth), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Learning about Idaho), and Daily Inter Lake (Hunting: Our heritage, our Montana).

Poll: 52% of 1,035 responding to an Idaho Statesman poll sez Idaho isn’t doing enough to ensure hunters’ access to public and private lands.

*Constitutionalist Steve Aver would rather fight than bathe here.

*Meridian man charged with trying to sell HIV-infected blood here.

*Gov. Dirk Kempthorne submits 5 designs for the 2007 Idaho quarter to the U.S. Mint here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Oprah’s Advertising Steve Groene Appearance

Steve Groene’s appearance on the “Oprah” Winfrey show tomorrow is currently being advertising on her Web site (“Kidnapped by a Pedophile”) here.

2 More Cents re: NIC’s Potty Mouth

North Idaho College’s reacted predictably to the flap caused by English instructor Keith Hunter’s inability to watch his mouth was predictable: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Prez Michael Burke was the worst of the lot in refusing to comment to the story by Marc Stewart/Coeur d’Alene Press. While Burke & Co. are busy circling the wagons, let me say what needs to be said. If Hunter drops the F-bomb, uses the N-word and makes students uncomfortable by crude jokes about bestiality, he’s unprofessional and should be reprimanded.

In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, when I was in college, teachers like Hunter were everywhere. They tried to be hip with their language and dress. And were a great waste of time and money. However, most were easy A’s, so students didn’t protest too much. I can’t remember anything any of them said other than one clown, who was suppose to be the campus radical, who told his English class that every machine man makes fart sounds. A motorcycle happened to be blasting by.

I can’t imagine listening to someone at a newspaper seminar who’s use foul language and jokes to make a point. I’d walk out on him or her. So would others. Prediction: Hunter will get away with this because college instructors are allowed to get away with about anything. Gotta protect academic freedom, you know. I doubt that Hunter will change his ways. But at least some students have been warned that he’s a teacher to avoid if you want professional instruction.


Photo of the Day — 10/3/05

German Elmar Weisser presents his beard at the World Beard Championships in Berlin over the weekend. You write the cutline.

Local Question of the Day — 10/3/05

Issue: NIC students: Instructor out of line: Former class members say educator made sexual remarks, used foul language/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: Sounds as though this guy is more interested in free associating and gutter language than he is in teaching students. For the amount of money that college students have to pay today for secondary education, they shouldn’t have to put up with someone who’s more interested in entertaining in a weird way.

Question: Does academic freedom at the college level gave a teacher the right to do or say what s/he wants?

Quick Fix 6 — 10/3/05

1. APhoto Fix: White House counsel and Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, left, listens to Senate Majority Leader Bill First, R-Tenn., on Capitol Hill during a courtesy call on the Senate, Monday, Oct. 3, 2005 in Washington. President Bush nominated Miers to the Supreme Court on Monday to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Robert Airial (Fixing leaks), Bill Schorr (Tom DeLay), and Steve Kelly (Relating to N.O. Saints).

3. Humor Fix: A Sacred Cow Burger from Jay D. Dyson 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: Parish prez: FEMA still fumbling here, 20% of California HS seniors flunk exam here, Outcry prompts Bennett to delay UCincinnati talk here, Supreme Court nominee gave to Gore, Bentsen here, and Report links Iraq to Katrina relief delay here.

6. Opinion Fix: Andrew C. McCarthy/National Review (What Bill Bennett said), Jennifer Roback Morse/Townhall (Thank you, Gov. Schwarzenegger), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (A timeless argument about creation), David Frum/National Review (Miers is unforced error), Fred Hiatt/Washington Post (Bush ignores Russia’s fading freedom),

Best of HBO (Continued) — 10/3/05

If you read our online site, you know that SR editors split about covering PETA’s publicity stunt in downtown Spokane, including the appearance of a semi-nekkid femme pretending to be a caged animal. On his Video Journal blog, Colin Mulvaney explained: “Most editors in the morning meeting wanted to take a pass, or at best just write brief and stick it on page B-3 (with a boring ‘gawker’ photo).” Mulvaney, ultimately, decided to do a video (which is available online) exploring “the street pedestrian’s reaction to the nude woman, rather than give PETA’s controlled message much weight.” Meanwhile Huckleberries Online published both photos, including Brian Plonka’s back shot of the semi-nude PETAphile, and asked readers which they preferred. Respondents were split, like SR editors. But a HBO commenter CDADave summed up things best: “In my G-rated life, I hardly ever see female nudity. So while I may have run the more politically correct “gawker” picture, the alternative shot probably would’ve made it into my photo album.”

Bald – And Beautiful?
In arguing against Intelligent Design on HBO last week, Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being started banter by offering these “proofs”: 1. Platypus, 2. Pomeranians, 3. Guys who shave their heads, 4. Armadillos, and 5. Barry Manilow. That, of course, started an argument about shaved heads. Intoned Ryan Hill: “I’ve been shaving my head for about four years. When the top of the ol’ noggin started looking like a poorly maintained chia pet, I grabbed the trusty Schick post haste. (BTW, Chicks dig it.)” Another said he shaved his head two years ago to show solidarity to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and never looked back. Quoth: “Easy to maintain and no hat hair.” A femme offered that shorn men are “sexy.” All of which caused Bob to respond, unfazed, that black men can pull off the shaved head look but white guys with the ubiquitous goatees resemble one of the following: 1. Late stage chemo patient, 2. Escaped mental patient, and 3. Delousing patient. Me? Approaching 56, I’m glad I still have a choice.

Poet’s Corner: “In Lou’siana one may see/a lesson on democracy/that you should quickly take to heart:/Elections don’t make people smart” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Attention, Iraqis”) … In his Sports Illustrated column, Pete McEntegarte/The Ten Spot offers a reasonable explanation why 0-4 University of Idaho received five points in the new Harris Interactive Top 25 college football poll: “The voters said they panicked when they couldn’t find Ralph Nader on the ballot.” That, or the votes came from Miami-Dade, Florida … Rich Gingrich sez he’s the one who pulled the plug on wife Laurie Roth’s syndicated talk show after her horrific motorcycle accident, not the local Clear Channel outlet. So, comments here that Clear Channel was hard-hearted might be exaggerated. Mea culpa … Update: “Mike is improving. He is gaining strength every day. He is able to now move his fingers on his right hand whereas a month ago he was unable to do this. With the therapy he receives he is now able to stand bearing his own weight, with minimal assistance” – Carrie Kralicek re: husband, Mike, the CPD Blue who was critically injured in a Hayden shootout last Dec. 28 … Undersheriff Gary Cuff explained to the HBO audience last week why felons don’t take good photos in those Kootenai County warrant roundup mug shots: “We use the same camera to take the drivers license photographs.” Enough said.

Parting Shot
There’s nothing wrong with Spokane, except for its people, according to Brandon Hanson, the EWU Easterner Editor-in-Chief. Quoth: “They rant and rave, yet when the cards are laid down and the questions ‘You want to go see a movie?’ ‘You want to go camping?’ ‘You want to go catch a baseball game?’ are laid down on the table, their responses are always ‘Naaah, I’m just going to hang around here and watch some TV.’” Ah, what time’s “Survivor” on?

Photo of the Weekend — 10/1/05

Haden Schaller, 3, totes a pumpkin for one of the owners of The Pumpkin Place in Suamico, Wis., Friday. You write the cutline.

Back to the Future w/Wood Heat

Usually, when something sounds too good to be true, it is. But that doesn’t appear to be the case with the new biomass boiler being considered by the Kellogg School District to reduce heating costs and make the district less dependent on Avista Utilities, with its ever increasing rates, for natural gas and electricity. The boiler, which would use wood chips and the plentiful wood from thinning projects in the woods surrounding the Silver Valley, is the linchpin of a $9.5 million bond election Nov. 1 – and comes with a guarantee.

For the rest of my editorial today, click here

DFO: I came within a whisker of switching over to natural gas this year. I love wood heat. But messing with it through the winter gets old … say … about mid-January. Now,we have electric backup heat. With the way natural gas prices are going up, I might just past on the natural gas altogether. And no longer envy all those guys who bought Avista pitch way back when to switch to natural gas because it was so inexpensive.

WorldNetDaily Saturday Poll — America’s Judiciary

How would you characterize the state of the American judiciary?

1. It’s the safeguard of freedom
2. It’s on the frontline of defending the Constitution
3. It’s working the way it’s supposed to work
4. It’s not perfect but, in general, it’s working well
5. Thank God for activist judges
6. Judges are not active enough
7. The judicial branch is the least accountable to the people and the law
8. The ABA survey is correct – judicial activism has reached a crisis stage
9. It’s time to impeach some judges
10. Other

The WND poll is based on a study in the American Bar Association Journal that shows more than half of the US believes judicial activism has reached a crisis stage. For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

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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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