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Huckleberries Online

Archive for September 2005


Issue: Most Americans see ‘judicial activism’ crisis: Legal experts shocked by results of survey by American Bar Association publication/WorldNetDaily.

DFO: Count me among those who believe the judiciary, particularly the federal judiciary and 9 U.S. Court of Appeals, is out of control. When a single federal judge can overturn the clear will of the electorate, something’s wrong.

DFO: Do you believe judicial activism is out of control? Or that WND and I should quit watching “Conspiracy Theory”?

St. Peter Wave

He squats in the rain
at the Albertson’s,
holding his cardboard sign
Help Me God Bless You.
A toothless grin framed
by a rough pepper beard.
I drive away and wonder
how much faith it must take
to ask God to bless us
with our groceries, our cars,
our warm jackets.
St. Peter will wave him in.
All the ones with their signs.

His Bobness

Top Cutlines/TGIF — 9/30/05

With warnings to looters still on his business, Bob Rue folds a wet oriental rug outside his shop in New Orleans Thursday. Rue said he had already received about 30 flood-damaged rugs from customers wanting him to salvage them. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Bob Rue displays the actual rug that was pulled out from under the people of New Orleans by FEMA — Family Phil.

2. “We needs it. Must have the precious Rug. They stole it from us. Sneaky little looters, wicked, tricksy, false. No, not master … Master’s my friend. You don’t have any friends. Nobody likes you. Not listening. I’m not listening. You’re a liar. And a thief. Murderer. Go away… . I hate you… . Leave now and never come back” — Bre.

3. “Let’s cut a rug, baby!” — Stebbijo.

HM: Whatever and almost everyone else. Great job.

Stinky of the House of Aver

You’ve heard about him. You’ve read about him. Now, here he is. Steve Aver, right, with friends Mike Johnson, left, and Jerry Goforth, center, has been asked to leave the Bonner County courthouse because of his body odor. He’s an avid amateur lawyer who files lawsuits and helps others with the cases in the Bonner County judicial system, which he says is corrupt. He says the real reason he was asked to leave is that the powers that be don’t like his tactics. For complete story, click here.

CBS Eye Lies

If this works, it’ll drive His Bobness and GreenL up the wall. And I’m not publishing this just for that sake. I believe the major network news programs, particularly C-BS about as much as some of my brethren on the Left side of the aisle believe Fox News. Enjoy.

Hat Tip: Ihillary and Ink Pen at Free Republic

Despite Its Faults, UI’s Still Got It

There’s something about Homecoming week celebrations that make me get a little sappy with Vandal pride. So we’re not always good at football, a financial crisis is always perched over campus like a predatory bird and there are always people who don’t agree with each other beating each other up rhetorically — so what? Sometimes celebration trumps the downsides of things, and we need to enjoy the great things we have.

For the Tara Roberts’ full column, click here.

Also: The Idaho Statesman pokes fun at the UI Vandal football team ranking in new poll here and so does Bud Withers/Seattle Times here.

In the “There Goes The Neighborhood” Dept …

Post Falls housing is red hot: With permit numbers at record pace, 3,600 more residences planned there/Rocky Wilson, Spokane Journal of Business — Who besides Clay, Jim and the developers are celebrating the influx?

Sacred Cow Burgers: UN-accountable

Jay D. Dyson presents his latest Sacred Cow Burger: “UN-accountable.”

Extra! Extra!

Harpo Productions just called to say the Oprah Winfrey show with Steve Groene will air Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned.

Photo of the Day — 9/30/05

With warnings to looters still on his business, Bob Rue folds a wet oriental rug outside his shop in New Orleans Thursday. Rue said he had already received about 30 flood-damaged rugs from customers wanting him to salvage them. You write the cutline.

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 9/30/05

Nursing students and community members watch from the second floor balcony as Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne gives a speech to open the new North Idaho College Health and Sciences building Thursday/SR photo by Jesse Tinsley.

1. NIC celebrates sciences building: Lawmakers’ bond program enables construction on all of state’s campuses/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review — Definitely reason to celebrate even if state Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, voted against it, and a Kootenai County rep. was bad-mouthing it during a recent tour. Nursing students for generations to come will thank the foresight of other area lawmakers for making it possible.

2. Ex-Met exec denies misleading auditors: Central figure in ‘rabbit’ deal that led to firm’s failure pleads not guilty/John Stucke, Spokesman-Review — The denials always come first. Then, the plea bargain. Meanwhile, the little people are left holding the empty bag.

3. Post Falls Landing gets under way: Project by river includes condos, marina, hotel, town square/Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review — Finally.

4. City planners have high expectations: Design recommendation would allow buildings to reach 160 feet downtown/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press — In case you were wondering how high can they go downtown.

5. Fred Meyer backs off Post Falls: Retailer puts 16-acre site on west side near Pleasant View up for sale/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press — This is like one of those old B movie Westerns. Seems Post Falls ain’t big enough for both Wal-Mart and Fred Meyer.

TGIF Quick Fix 6 — 9/30/05

1. APhoto Fix: Singer Stevie Nicks meets Belle, a 2-month-old dog rescued from the Gulf hurricane region, and offered for adoption by Long Island’s North Shore Animal League, after her performance on the NBC-TV “Today” show this week. Nicks appeared in support of the Hurricane Katrina Project, a joint effort with with NBC, Warner Bros. Music and Habitat For Humanity.

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Terrorists kill Iraq teachers), Henry Payne (Big Easy levees), and Chip Bok (Hurricane poll).

3. Humor Fix: Tom Delay says he has a new priority in life. Outlawing prison rape — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: DeLay court appearance set for late October here, Bush poll numbers improve after Rita here, Dutch marriage: 1 man, 2 women here, Schwarzenegger vetoes same-sex marriage bill here, and Court upholds law protected pro-life doctors here.

6. Opinion Fix: Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (D’s to go positive — in 2006 here, Ellen Goodman/Boston Globe (Lynndie England album), Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post (Bad choice for anti-war voice), Mona Charen/Townhall (It’s the spending, stupid), and Tony Snow/Townhall (Jury still out on Bush term).

Wild Card/Thursday — 9/29/05

We had fun again today, didn’t we? I appreciate what you fellow bloggers bring to this blog. Ditto for you commenters. And you blurkers drive up the numbers. Couldn’t do this without any of you. If you have something to say to other’s this evening, you can do so by using this Wild Card. See you bright and early in the morning. Well, at least early …

Inside Huckleberries/Best O’ Blogs — 9/29/05

Phil Corless illustration

*Top news for regular HBO readers today, of course, is the imminent return of CDADave with his new blog, Thin Air, which will feature a mix of his random thoughts and his terrific Wayback Machine. Dave’ll start again Monday. Meanwhile, he explains the need for a hiatus in “I Went, I Saw, I Returned” here. (BTW, you’ll notice that I already have a link set up for his new blog under North Idaho Blogroll).

*Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through concluded his fifth and final online column for the San Diego Reader in style here. And talks about his experience in writing the columns here.

*If you ever wanted a shot at winning the daily cutline contest, now’s the time. Punster extraordinaire John Austin has volunteered to do grant work or accounting for a southern Economic Development Corporation struggling to draw down the billions in federal aid appropriated for hurricane relief. Afterward, he may go to Florida for R’nR.

*Dan of the County (a.k.a. Kootenai County Clerk Dan English) invites HBO readers to join him at noon tomorrow at the Iron Horse when he introduces his new organization Idaho Democrats for Life to the K-County Demos. Dunno if I can pull away to be there. But Dan’s presentation to the Demo lunch club should be very interesting.

*Don’t forget to check out the video by Sandpoint’s Donna Deshon that helped land her on “Good Morning America” where she won a trivia contest to be dubbed “Desperate Housewives” Biggest Fan here.

*For those keeping score at home, HBO pageviews for September were sitting on 116,922 yesterday afternoon, which means the blog could break the monthly record set in May of 122,780. Nice way to begin the school year.

A Review: “The Pot Plan” by Brent Andrews

Review: The Pot Plan (From High Times, November 2005, page 34)

Self-described skate punk and anarchist Thomas Brent Andrews is hell-bent on changing the way law enforcement agencies do business by martyring himself for the cause. The Pot Plan: Louie B. Stumblin and the War on Drugs (Chronic Discontent) is a true account of Andrews’ life as a small-town journalist and his bouts with alcoholism and drugs.

The book is filled with stories of death-defying episodes, such as Andrews accidentally lighting himself on fire, scaling downtown Nashville’s buildings, fighting country thugs and generally defending his punk-rock title. But his biggest scare came when police representatives harassed him for a column he’d written in a Tennessee newspaper about the War on Drugs.

After many years of abusive and destructive drinking, Andrews came up with the “Pot Plan” - putting down the booze in favor of marijuana. While the 552-page tome is filled with fascinating stories of debauchery that are sometimes humorous or shocking (and at other times just plain boring), the book can be confusing as well. Andrews’ religious convictions read strongly throughout (he doesn’t curse), though he’s not afraid to tell some horrifying tales of abuse and neglect towards his wife and child. None of the aforementioned criticisms, however, should deter readers from checking out this book. In addition to defeating the War on Drugs, Andrews wants to come clean with the world in The Pot Plan, and he does so with absolute honesty, incredible descriptions and colorful language. Anyone who’s been in a similar situation will pick this book up and sympathize and remember what it was like to live in those dark ages.

Will Jordan/High Times

DFO: Brent Andrews is a former Coeur d’Alene Press reporter and an occasional commenter on HBO. You can find out more about his riveting book, “The Pot Plan,” and his battle with drug and alcohol demons via his Web site, Chronic Discontent, which has a link under “Friends of Huckleberries” to the right.

What Do You Think of UOregon’s Unies?

For some reason, this photo captures how I view the Oregon football team uniform. It’s one of Digital Fog’s spoofs. And he’s posted a bunch of them today here.

Issue: “I have an idea for a contest,” wrote William Hiatt. “Let’s get readers to vote for the college football team that has the ugliest uniforms. I vote for the University of Oregon Ducks” — from The Slice today.

Editor Steve Smith, an Oregon alum: The uniforms were designed by Nike - which does extensive market research - specifically to appeal to 18- to 24-year-old males as a recruiting tool. Adults hate ‘em, but the kids love ‘em. There’s always more than meets the eye.

DFO: Hey, that’s not my demographic; those Duck uniforms are butt-ugly. (Read the opinion of Sports Illustrated here.)

Question: Can anyone think of a sports team, from PeeWee League to the major, that has uglier unies than the University of Oregon football team?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/29/05

Seattle catcher Dan Wilson is shown trying to apply a tag to Minnesota’s Shannon Stewart last year. Now, Wilson’s about to catch his last inning as a Mariner. See Item No. 4.

1. So, what do you do when a semi-naked woman and her PETA gang take to your downtown streets to protest a circus coming to town? If you’re Spokesman-Review columnist Doug Clark, you grab a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and offer them some. Read all about it here.

2. In a victory for indecency, The Oregon Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional today a state law against conducting live sex shows and a local ordinance regulating conduct of nude dancers here.

3. Reps from the Southern California town of Beaumont traveled to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, yesterday to thank the courageous Denny’s waitress who helped rescue 8-year-old Shasta Groene from the clutches of a registered sex offender and possibly to solve an old murder in their town here.

4. Dan Wilson, a long-time favorite of Seattle Mariners fans, will catch one inning at the start of Friday night’s home game against Oakland and then retire here.

5. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, is finally earning $1 million per year from Microsoft here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert L. Jamieson Jr./Seattle PI (War foes find their voice, but …), Missoulian (Montana open-container law), The Daily Inter Lake (Another disgrace for W.R. Grace), Brandon Hanson/EWU Easterner (What’s wrong with Spokane?), and Martin Garcia/WSU Daily Evergreen (Hard questions for WSP).

Olympian Poll: 63% say Tom DeLay should resign his congressional seat after being indicted for breaking campaign finance laws.

*Billionaires are overrunning the resort town of Whitefish and other parts of Montana here.

*About 250 Idaho National Guard members in more than 100 vehicles rolled out of Boise for a month-long mission to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast here.

*Western Washington natural gas rates reach record level here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Attention: Fellow Bloggers

Don’t forget to take this short quiz and determine what kind of blogger you are here.

Hat Tip: Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast

Photo of the Day — 9/29/05

Chewbacca throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to a game between Boston and Toronto at Fenway Park in Boston last night. You write the cutline.

SR Letter of the Day — Are Parks Essential

Why is it whenever the city is faced with budget problems, it always seems to come down to only two options: cut fire and police protection or increase taxes? I know that fire and police account for the two largest city expenditures, but I and many others consider these essential services.

If I remember correctly, the third largest slice of the city expenditure pie is the Parks and Recreation Department. Is this a sacred cow? Sure we have a wonderful (and expensive) parks system that is the envy of many other municipalities, but let’s face it, there is no way to rationalize it as an essential service.

I’m starting to believe that the powers that be simply want to scare us into approving tax hikes so they won’t have to make any tough decisions, or properly prioritize our needs. A city government’s responsibility to its citizenry begins with providing safety and security. Providing parks is simply gravy.

Maybe we should hire a few less people to drive golf carts up and down Rockwood and Grand boulevards turning on sprinklers all day long.

David W. Hayes

DFO: Are parks essential? Absolutely. One of the greatest achievements by the city of Coeur d’Alene and Parks Director Doug Eastwood was the dramatic expansion of Lake City’s park system over the last 15 years. It’s a quality of life thing that Mr. Hayes doesn’t seem to understand.

Quick Fix 6 — 9/29/05

1. APhoto Fix: Roll call vote total for John Roberts confirmation as the 17th chief justice of the United States Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005, is shown in this image from television. The Senate voted 78-22 to confirm Roberts as the successor to the late William H. Rehnquist, who died earlier this month. For story, click here

2. Cartoon Fix: Henry Payne (Bush administration spending), Jeff Stahler (Don Adams, RIP), and Larry Wright (Michael Brown’s shortcomings).

3. Humor Fix: provides Late Night jokes about Tom DeLay here, and Jay D. Dyson provides another Sacred Cow Burger, “Race Card Poker” (Beware: Not for the PCrowd), here.

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

5. Top of the New Fix: Bush faces dilemma for 2nd Supreme nominee here, Wind-fueled fire threatens SoCal homes here, Michigan same-sex benefits OK’d despite marriage amendment here, Hillary and Condi combine forces to fight AIDS here, and General: Troop withdrawal hinges on Iraq vote here.

6. Opinion Fix: Debra Saunders/S.F. Chronicle (Justice DeLayed Is …), James Pinkerton/Newsday (Immigration: Sleeper issue for 2008), Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (Still thinking about Katrina), Stephen Warshawsky/American Thinker (Reclaiming higher ed from Left), and Suzanne Fields/Townhall (Making Muslims love us).

Wild Card/Wednesday — 9/28/05

Huckleberries has provided many threads to follow so far today. But there’s always room for more. If you want to start a topic, you can do so with this (now-evening) Wild Card …

Wanted: Purple Heart Recipients

The Purple Heart Honor Roll in the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza is set to be updated soon. The honor roll currently includes the names of 131 Kootenai County soldiers who were wounded in action from WWI through Iraq.

Anyone who knows of a local Purple Heart recipient is asked to contact Kerri Rankin Thoreson by October 1. A copy of their award certificate which includes name, branch of service and where they served can be mailed to the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza, PO Box 9000, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814, ATTN: Purple Heart. If you would like to confirm whether someone is already listed, the Purple Heart Honor Roll hangs in the Hall of Heroes at the Kootenai County Administration Building or email Thoreson at

Kerri Thoreson

Amber Still Getting Well-Deserved Hugs

Beaumont Police Officer Mitch White,left and Charla Sparks, far right traveled from Beaumont Calif., to thank Amber Deahn, center, for helping to rescue 8-year-old Shasta Groene and to capture Joseph Edward Duncan III, who has been linked to the murder of Anthony Martinez (pictured right). White was the lead investigator for the Martinez murder case and Sparks was Anthony’s 3rd grade teacher. Also shown is Amber’s 16-month-old daughter Maria Deahn/Spokesman-Review photo by Kathy Plonka.

CDA Press — Fastest Growing Snoozepaper?

Item: “The Coeur d’Alene Press and Post Falls Press offices will close at 4 p.m. today so staff can attend a special celebration. The Press is being recongized as American’s fastest growing newspaper”/Brand X front page today.

DFO: How can that be when Brand X isn’t subject to the rigorous independent circulation audit that The Spokesman-Review and other newspapers are? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Naked October

We’ve bathed in an Indian summer of short sleeves and sandals. Nights of cool but not cold. Not cold yet. These are the gradual transitions of weather that mock our crashing through happenstance and plans. We can only look to calendars, to grass still green, to roses still red, and wonder.

I would be of the seasons if I could. I would be the slowly burning Sugar Maple. To suffer naked and be clothed again. I would be that.

His Bobness/Unbearable Bobness of Being

Much Ado About Nothing?

CDA Press Editorial: North Idaho left out of winners’ circle/5 Idaho towns, Spokane make US best for raising kids but none from north. Wazzup?

DFO: If I were king, it’d be against the law to put any part of North Idaho on a nation’s best list. We’ve had too much positive press. And it has attracted out-of-staters in droves.

Question: Do you care that North Idaho towns were left off the list? Or are you happy that more attention wasn’t drawn to our fine neck of the country?

Quirky Question — Compartmentalizing

On the way to work today, I was listening to some radio sports yakker named Colin/The Herd, a Jim Rhome wannabe. He contended that women better men in all but two significant areas: strength and the ability to compartmentalize. While women squeeze everything into one big ballroom of the mind, The Herdmeister said, men can put things into different compartments. That’s why a man can work successfully with someone he despises and get ahead, while most women can’t get past their dislike for a particular fellow worker, he said. Successful women, he continued, think like men — and compartmentalize.

Question: Is Colin all wet? Or is he onto something here?

SR Letter of the Day — Avista Execs Pay

I know why Avista needs another 23 percent increase from all of us in natural gas rates. It is so three of its top executives can stay on the list of 40 highest paid executives of Spokane publicly traded companies.

The June 2 Journal of Business shows that for 2004, G. Ely made $906,675 total compensation. This was a 13 percent increase over 2003. M. Malquist made $389,514, a 14 percent increase and S. Morris made $379,500. Additionally, D. Meyer made $345,764 and R. Peterson made $261,998. More than $2 million was spent for one year’s compensation for just five Avista executives!

Last year Washington’s natural gas rate went up 16 percent. In the Sept. 13 Spokesman-Review, the spokeswoman for the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission said, “I want to make sure people understand that the commission is very thorough in reviewing the company’s numbers” (“Heating bills likely going up”).

We need a WUTC that can make a rational comparison of the cost of living in our area vs. “company numbers” when considering Avista’s rate increase requests.

We are controlled by its monopoly. Why are we taking the hits when the executives just keep making more and more in their six-digit luxury salaries?

G.R. Cadagan

Quick Fix 6 — 9/28/05

1. APhoto Fix: Anna Escobedo Cabral, left, Treasurer of the U.S., joins John Snow, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury, at the unveiling of the new $10 note on Ellis Island, in New York harbor, earlier today. The most noticeable difference in the newly designed bill is the addition of subtle background colors of orange, yellow and red. Additionally, the words “We The People” is printed in red.

2. Cartoon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Intelligent Design), Chuck Asay (Transportation bill), and Henry Payne (America in Iraq).

3. Humor Fix: You know who she is, Cindy Sheehan? She was the mother who was demonstrating down there in Texas. She was arrested at the White House yesterday for sitting down doing nothing and refusing to move. If that’s case why didn’t they arrest the white house energy advisers? — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Paper claims DeLay post on the line today here, Sheehan meets, criticizes McCain here, Rita causes record damage for oil rigs here, Iraq’s first female suicide bomber strikes here, and Poll: 10% of Brit Muslim students would protect terrorists here.

6. Opinion Fix: Fred Barnes/Weekly Standard (GOP should worry about 2008), Fouad Ajami/Wall Street Journal (Sunnis fear Shiite emancipation), Cal Thomas/Townhall (A prophecy fulfilled), George Will/Townhall (Sen. Feinstein & John Roberts), and John Derbyshire/National Review (Bob Dylan).

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9/27/05

Boy, what a day on the ol’ blog. Studs and naked ladies abound. You’d think Hugh Hefner had suddenly taken over the thing. BTW, I thoroughly approve — John Austin.

Your evening Wild Card is now open …

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/27/05

Family Phil nailed a North Idaho sunset.

*Digital Fog continues his exploration re: how Babs Streisand contributes to global warming with her five-house compound in Malibu here. In case you missed it, DFog posted a terrific parody about Ms. Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do Streisand here.

*His Bobness has run into a rough patch, like all of us bloggers do, and deals with it by letting it all hang out. You guys don’t know how hard blogging can be until you do it here.

*Mari Meeham/Dogwalk Musings believes the Bush administration has run amok here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind recalls a hurricane in Rhode Island named Carol here.

*Mike Kennedy/Idaho Kennedys has opened a campaign Web site here. (To be fair to candidate Mary Souza, who drops by this blog site regularly, I’ll post her link when I get it, too.)

Also: Stebbijo wonders if she looks like Linda Evans of “Dynasty” fame here (there’s more than a passing resemblance); Herb Huseland/Bay Views tells about prostate treatment here, and Bre/To Blog or Not to Blog sez she didn’t get that job she wanted here.

In the Believe It Or Not Dept …

… Some goofball on the first Harris college football poll ranked winless — winless — UIdaho in the Top 25, and colleague John Blanchette breaks down the meaning of this unexpected development here.

KCSO Warrant Roundup

You can find your weekly roundup of scofflaws who’ve skipped out rather than face the legal music at the Kootenai County Courthouse here. These guys don’t seem to take good photos either.

New Photo of the Day — 9/27/05

Since some of you weren’t thrilled about my first offering for photo of the day, I’ll try again, providing gratuitous lingeries and easy cutline material. Model Alisha is admired by a passing unidentified carpet fitter, during the launch of the new Per Una lingerie collection for chain store Marks & Spencer, in London, earlier today. You write the cutline.

Photo of the Day — 9/27/05

A casket is stuck in a tree surrounded by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita Monday in Grand Chenier, La. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

In A League of His Own: I’m glad you found a new picture, or you’d have needed Robotussin to stop this coffin — John Austin.

1. Hurricane Rita affects even the dearly tree-parted — Dang.

2. The grave digger filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act after he was fired for being dyslexic — Whippersnapper.

3. Marty said we should bury him with his surfboard, cuz he’d find a way to use it — Dave Tolle.

Bad Form, DFO: Bre, Heimlich, Bob and KennyG.

Local Question of the Day — 9/27/05

Issue: Ex-Met executives accused of fraud in ‘our little Enron’: Charges allege illegal ‘rabbit’ deals pumped up profits/John Stucke, Spokesman-Review.

Quote: “It’s our own little Enron,” said Jim Clanton, who lost money with Metropolitan and sits now on a bankruptcy creditors’ committee. “We’re looking forward to the day the people who perpetrated this crime are brought to justice.”

Question: Did you lose money by investing with Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Inc.?

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 9/27/05

*‘Teenage Dirtbag’ tells CdA tale: Writer’s years in Lake City inspired independent film/Associated Press — Does filmmaker Regina Crosby (pictured above) have Duane Hagadone’s permission to put some other version of Coeur d’Alene than his on the Big Screen? Inquiring minds want to know.

*Spokane man suspected of pouring semen in women’s hair skips out on hearing/John Craig, Spokesman-Review — Another nut on the loose.

*Mall owners owe former councilman $38,090: Steve Eugster owed for 1,200 hours work as attorney on River Park Square/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review — A Superior Court judge decided that $150 per hour was a “reasonable” legal charge for Eugster. Wonder how much attorneys would be paid in court settlements if the public was allowed to decide their hourly rate rather than a glorified attorney wearing a black robe?

*Destructive snail detected in Idaho: Brown garden snail, invasive species from France, chews holes in plants/Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review — What else can you expect from our friends the French?

*1450 recall signatures accepted/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review — The clock’s nearing midnight for Spokane Mayor Jim West.

Running Late

It’s Tuesday, which means I met with my padre this a.m., which means I’m running late. You can expect Quick Fix 6 and the other features to begin rolling out in about 30 minutes.

Wild Card/Monday — 9/26/05

That leg-stretcher to City Beach was the nicest thing I did today. Huckleberries — to the men out there. If you want to treat your wife to a wonderful outing, take her for a walk along the shoreline at dusk and then mebbe for a dinner downtown or a cup of Joe at Jim Pierce’s Java on Fourth. Afterward, you can start a thread here about the wonderful time you had enjoying our fine fall weather with your True Love …

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/26/05

Very cool illustration by Granati, who happens to do the Dew just like I do.

*Tongue firmly cheeked, Digital Fog has come up with “Barbara Streisand’s 10 Step Program to Combat Global Warming” here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice can’t figure out what she wants to be after posting her “Ode to a Housewife Gone”: A Houswife, a Career Wife, or The Big Fat (Significant Other) who benefits from her tireless routine here. Also, she has some revelations about the fine art of stir fry in “Wok My Way” here.

*Unfortunately, I see something of myself in this wonderful post by His Bobness here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps mulls an age-old question re: journalists: Should we participate or report here?

*Jim Fromm/Third Millennium continues to follow the Corps of Discovery expedition with the diary report today that Capt. Meriwether Lewis and several men have been “taken sick” here.

Signs of the Times

I saw my first Mike Kennedy yard sign yesterday as my wife and I were walking on the Dike Road shortly before sunset — on Denny and Cathy Davis place. It was blue and gold, like my old Gridley High Bulldog colors. If those colors do for Mike what they did for the Bulldogs, he’s in for a long Election Night. We won 3 or 4 varsity football games during my four years at good old Gridley. I’m glad I played baseball rather than football. At least we won a few baseball games. Around the corner, Mary Souza had a coupla Fort Grounds yard signs up — one at Chip Althen’s (Ironwood Athletic Club), I believe. Then, Dan Yake, the third wannabe running for Councilman Ben Wolfinger’s post, has staked out the coveted corner at the three-way stop on Lincoln Street. Meanwhile, former councilman Chris Copstead was telling everyone who’d listen last week at City Hall that, contrary to rumors, he won’t be running for the spot this year. Stay tuned.

Christmas … in September!

Remember when Christmas was reserved for December? And then the merchandizers pushed it back to the day after Thanksgiving. In recent years, it has started about Hallowee. Now comes word from John Rook that Clear Channel’s KEFM in Omaha, Neb., started programming an all-Christmas format Friday (Sept. 23). As the song sez, laments John: “Christmas comes just once each year” — September, October, November, December and the first two weeks of January. Sad but true.

He’s Back

Jack Frost wrote a note last night
across our lawn in sparkling white,
said he would be living here
until some time in spring next year.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Park Police Arrest Anti-War Protester Sheehan

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, the California woman who has used her son’s death in Iraq to spur the anti-war movement, is arrested by United States Park police outside the White House earlier today here./APhoto.

DFO: Looks like Cindy’s keeping herself busy. The Bush administration realizes that it’s playing into the anti-war movement’s hands by arresting Cindy, doesn’t it? Nothing helps a cause like a martyr — or at least someone sitting in jail as a symbol.

Paulos Has It Right — for A Change

The three incumbent mayors — Sandi Bloem of Coeur d’Alene, Clay Larkin of Post Falls, and Ron McIntire of Hayden, I believe, are the strongest three ever to hold those offices at the same time. And Larkin put a little frosting on the local government cake when he told me recently that the three work together more cooperatively than any others in his tenure.

… The coming city elections may be the most important in the last 15 to 20 years, and it would make good sense to keep the current trio of mayors — Bloem, Larkin and McIntire — in place.

Bob Paulos in Sunday column

DFO: Wonder if old Bob realizes that The Duane isn’t happy with Sandi?

Question of the Day — 9/26/05

Issue: U.S. crime rate holds at 30-year low: Violent assault, robbery down 57% since 1993/Associated Press.

Reality Check: “My sense is that complacency is not justified. This rate means we’re down to about twice the level of crime when I was growing up in the 1950s,” said Mark A.R. Kleiman, an expert on crime control policy who teaches at UCLA.

Question: Are you comforted by statistics that show violent crimes is leveling off? And/or: Have you been the victim of a violent crime?

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 9/26/05

*Train derailment dumps potash into Moyie River/Associated Press — It’s Bush’s fault.

*Idaho Guard sends help for hurricanes: About 400 members to report for security, cleanup/Associated Press — Has this been cleared with FEMA? The federales have a nasty habit of dissing Idahoans.

*Comp time ‘can of worms’: Some lawmakers worry new law allowing Idaho’s highest-paid workers to take comp time could cost big time/Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review — Idaho managers get comp time? What’s that? In the private sector, managers don’t. I shoulda been a public, ahem, servant.

*EPA official to avoid some Idaho issues: Bogert, former Kempthorne adviser who often challenged federal programs, heads NW region/Christopher Smith, Associated Press — I remember interviewing this guy when he ran unsuccessfully for Idaho attorney general. Sharp cookie. It’ll be interesting to see if he can steer clear of the ethical lapses that haunted the last Idahoan to hold his post.

*WSU making headway against party school rep/D.F. Oliveria, Spokesman-Review — WSU officials should keep their fingers crossed that no frat rat’ll do a header of a second floor balcony. It’s hard to undo the damage caused by a few careless drunks when you’re trying to make over your party school image.

Best of Huckleberries Online — 9/19-23/05

If you follow Major League Baseball, you know that Chicago Cubs all-star Derrek Lee is having a Triple Crown season. At the end of play Friday, Derrek’d hit 44 homers, driven in 104 runs and was batting .341. But did you know he has a strong connection to the Coeur d’Alene area, too? His mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law live in Hayden: Jim and Linda Deffenbaugh. Jim’s the executive director of the Panhandle Area Council, who, according to Huckleberries sources, has put up pretty good numbers this year, too. Jim is credited with 44 saves, although he’s not a typical baseball closer. That’s the number of Empire Airlines jobs that might have been lost locally if Jim hadn’t helped the airlines work out a snag involving a maintenance building. Another 18 jobs were added to the Coeur d’Alene Air Terminal as a result of that deal. Jim has a fun photo of his 90-year-old father wearing Derrek’s Cubs jersey and playing ball with 2-year-old Jada Lee in Derrek and Christina’s Chicago apartment. All’s well unless someone mentions fan interference in that 2004 playoff game.

Photo of the Weekend — 9/24/05

A pair of geese and a Jungle Fowl chicken,
left, make themselves at home in a men’s restroom at the Houston Zoo Friday. The feathered friends were moved into the windowless concrete structure for safekeeping from the probable high winds from Hurricane Rita. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Duane Hagadone has finally found a resort bathroom attendant who doesn’t mind working for chicken feed — Family Phil.

2. “This is the executive washroom. What’s the chicken doing in here?” — Whippersnapper. And: On the stall wall: 4 a Gud Time Call 1-800-QuackQuack, Ask 4 Daffy … and … Here I sit broken tailed tried to honk but only failed — Bobness.

3. The uncleanliness at MLB ballparks across the nation turned from gross to fowl — Bronx Boy.

HM: Whatever.


In the past, WSU has been listed by the Princeton Review in the Top 10 of party schools in the nation. When you think of WSU, what party scene comes to mind:

1. 2003 Senior “Golf” event attended by 7000 that sent 5 to the hospital.
2. 2002 second-floor balcony collapse that sent 6 to the hospital.
3. The frat rat that was found bound by duct tape in a burning house.
4. The 6 WSU coeds who posed nude for the current issue of Playboy’s “Girls of the PAC-10” edition.
5. The 1998 Dead Week riot.

Believe it or not, WSU students may be drinking less today than there predecessors here.

Water Fund-raiser at Super 1’s

There is a great opportunity for us North Idahoans to help the hurricane disaster victims. Today from 2-7 at all four area Super 1 stores there is a promo to collect bottled water or monetary donations to purchase bottled water. All water and funds will be transported to Boise for distribution by the Red Cross. This effort is being spearheaded by Abby Brennan and Julie Ballenger, who were very much impacted after seeing a little infant with a pulse of 120, struggling to exist from lack of water after Katrina. This is a pure volunteer effort and one worth pitching into. When you brush your teeth or turn on your sprinklers today, take a moment to reflect. Please consider helping in any way you can - Thank You!

Doug Fredericks

Prep Roundup

*Defenses missing in Borah’s victory over Coeur d’Alene/Phil Hayes, Spokesman-Review — Did Coach Shawn Amos get the number of that truck that ran over the Viks in the second half?

*Hawks run all over Timberlake: Lakeland amasses more than 400 rushing yards, picks up win in shootout/Steve Christilaw, Spokesman-Review — Lake City High won’t be as easy next week.

*Post Falls can’t slow Bengals/Spokesman-Review roundup — Next up for Post Falls: Coeur d’Alene trying to rebound from Borah blowout. It’ll be a long season for the Trojans.

The Idaho Statesman Asked Readers …

… To submit ideas for Idaho’s quarter, and you can’t believe some of the stuff they came up with. Tater Tots, anyone? Click here.

Question: What would you like to see/not see on the Idaho quarter?


1. 1987 Subaru Brat with bald tires
2. Kellogg’s Jackass
3. The angel Moroni
4. Huckleberries!
5. A designer SUV with Cali plates stuck in a snowy ditch
6. Randy Weaver’s cabin with an FBI chopper overhead
7. A chainsaw next to a miner’s hat next to an unemployment check


Drip, Drip, Drip

The Spokane Human Rights Commission has ruled that Mayor Jim West behaved inappropriately and violated community mores when he appointed a young gay man to the human rights body and then pressured him for sex. But the commission, whose chairman is a long-time West supporter, didn’t find that 24-year-old Ryan Oelrich was discriminated against and declined to call for West’s resignation, as Oelrich had requested in a complaint filed with the commission in May.

Karen Dorn Steele/Spokesman-Review here

TGIF Wild Card — 9/23/05

So ends another week of posting. I’m beat tonight, friends and neighbors. Need some weekend R ‘n R, big time. Nice page-view numbers again this week, including 5159 on Wednesday. Should hit 100,000 for the month tonight or tomorrow — and HBO has a good shot at topping the May record of 122,780. But enuf of this. If you have a thread to start this weekend, you can do so with this Wild Card …

On NIC Beach …

Above: Actress Mitch Belyea, left, gets her makeup done by makeup artist Cris Winger on North Idaho College beach Friday afternoon, while, below, a film crew was preparing to shoot a beach scene for an independent film tentatively titled “Amber and Thayer”. The film was written and is being directed by former Coeur d’Alene resident Regina Crosby/SR photos by Jesse Tinsley.

TGIF Top Cutlines — 9/23/05

Earlier today, farmers and cheesemakers handle cheeses made during the summer on the mountain pastures of. The 30 tons of cheese will be shared among the farmers families, according to the number of cows owned. The distribution of the cheese is a traditional event called “Chaesteilet.” You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. A recent study of Wisconsin cheese handlers delivered the startling news that most do not wash their hands after using the toilet. Cheese handler Monte Rakowski disagreed with the hygiene study. “I always wash my hands,” he said. “I even wash before I cut the cheese. I even wash after I cut the cheese” — Side Note.

2. This year’s cheese production was way better than last year, when no cows gave any milk. It was, as they say, a complete and udder failure — John Austin.

3. (tie) OK, which moron forgot the macaroni? — Ryan Hill. And: Packer fans await their turn to purchase ticket using Green Bay’s official currency — TS.

HM: Dang and The Heimlich Maneuver

In the Unclear on the Concept Dept …

…Why are those weight reduction pills stocked in the middle of the Halloween candy at Post Falls Wal-Mart?

“The Clinton Legacy”

Seems old buddy Jay D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers couldn’t resist that story that a Chinese contraceptive firm has developed lines of condoms for former president Bill Clinton and his infamous intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/23/05

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates, right, listens to Ray Ozzie, chief technical officer, discuss the company’s goals for innovation at their annual company meeting at Safeco Field in Seattle today. More than 17,000 Microsoft employees attended the annual meeting celebrating Microsoft’s 30th anniversary. Thirty years ago Microsft started with two employees, Gates and Paul Allen.

1. Scott Stevens, a Pocatello weatherman who gained attention for an unusual theory that Hurricane Katrina was caused by the Japanese mafia using a Russian electromagnetic generator, has quit the television station here.

2. The Idaho National Laboratory has created a new shotgun that law enforcement can use to break down doors here.

3. Final score for Playboy’s “Girls of the PAC-10” issue: University of Washington 7, Washington State 6 here.

4. Boise’s Rob Lesser, the dean of Idaho whitewater, will be one of six kayakers to be inducted into the Whitewater Hall of Fame next month in Maryland here.

5. Donna Deshon, of Sandpoint, Idaho, earned the title of “Desperate Housewives” Biggest Fan on ABC’s “Good Morning America” by winning a trivia challenge here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi hunter, RIP), Frank Sennett/Spokesman-Review (A match made in hell), G. George Ostrom/Hungry Horse News (Free marital advice), Tri-City Herald (Court should stop flag litigation, free registration required), and Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Willingham: a good guy, good coach).

*Spokane Mayor Jim West is fighting to keep his computer contents private here, and a former city councilman wants the courts to halt the recall effort here.

*An Otis Orchards, Wash., man was cited after aiming a shotgun at three pitbulls and an animal control officer here.

*Don’t look now, Wal-Mart haters, but Walla Walla High cheerleaders were leaping for joy when the retail giant opened a superstore this week here. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart opened supersized stores in Richland and College Place here (free subscription required).

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/23/05

Skateboarders flooded the new skate park at Travers Park Saturday for a dedication celebration that included music and plenty of trick moves in the bowls of the now-dubbed Concrete Lake. More than 200 people attended, many to watch the dozens of skateboarders young and old trying out the new park, built by the City of Sandpoint with $125,000 raised by the community/Sandpoint Online photo by owner Chris Bessler.

*Advice from Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind: If you have to assist your parent in finding an Assisted Living Facility, you have to have a plan here.

*Marianne Love/News Is A Conversation wonders if we’re better off today with the 24/7 news channel coverage of such events as Hurricane Katrina than we were 100 years ago when we received minimal info here.

*Don’t forget to read John Rook’s comments about the badly injured radio commentator Laurie Roth here.

*Jim Fromm/3rd Millennium continues to follow the exploits of Lewis & Clark by posting diary entries for the Corps of Discovery here (Sept. 22) and here (Sept. 24).

*Stebbijo/Your Choice wonders if readers like the new look of her blog here.

APhoto of the Day — 9/23/05

Earlier today, farmers and cheesemakers handle cheeses made during the summer on the mountain pastures of. The 30 tons of cheese will be shared among the farmers families, according to the number of cows owned. The distribution of the cheese is a traditional event called “Chaesteilet.” You write the cutline.

He’s B-a-a-a-ck …

Eugster asks court to halt recall of Mayor West: Suit claims signatures on petitions were gathered too soon/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review — Eugster is living proof that law students shouldn’t be given a license to practice simply because they were able to pass the bar exam.

Mr. Peterman’s Comeback

John O’Hurley wins TV dance rematch/Associated Press — Since this was the Photo of the Day yesterday, Huckleberries decided to post the final results.

Washington Poll: 38% Approve of Dubya, Gregoire

A poll of 800 likely Washington voters conducted by Strategic Vision, LLC on Sept. 19-21 found:

*38% of respondents approved of Gov. Christine Gregoire’s job performance; 54% disapproved; and 8% were undecided.

*President Bush’s job approval was at 38%; 50% disapproving; and 12% undecided. When asked to rate the President’s handling of the economy, 37% approved; 51% disapproved; and 12% were undecided. On the issue of Iraq, the poll found 39% approved of the President’s handling; with 52% disapproving; and 9% undecided. On the issue the President’s handling of the response to Hurricane Katrina, the poll found 34% approving, 55% disapproving, and 11% undecided.

*In a hypothetical 2008 match-up between Gregoire and 2004 opponent, Dino Rossi, the poll found that 54% said they would vote for Rossi; 37% said they would vote for Gregoire; and 9% were undecided.

*When asked if they approved of President Bush’s selection of John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 50% approved; 35% disapproved; and 15% were undecided.

*When asked if they were confident that Washington had overcome the problems that plagued the last election; 20% said yes; 70% said no; and 10% were undecided.

*When asked if they favored raising taxes to pay for the costs of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, 38% said yes; 44% said no; and 18% were undecided.

*United State Senator Patty Murray received a 55% job approval; with 30% disapproving; and 15% undecided. United States Senator Maria Cantwell received a 48% job approval; with 37% disapproving; and 15% undecided.

Extra! Extra! Clear Dumps Injured Laurie Roth

Just got word from Big John Rook that Clear Channel, which monopolizes Spokane radio stations, has dumped the syndicated “Laurie Roth Show.” Roth, of course, is the conservative Spokane area firebrand who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident with a deer three or four weeks ago. I interviewed her about a year ago. Although she talked tough on the airwaves, she was a real sweetheart. A wonderful woman. Big John tells Huckleberries that Clear Channel’s unilateral move to kick Roth while she was down really hurt the local woman. For John’s complete comment on this sad chapter of Laurie’s life, click here. Also, you can visit Laurie’s Web site here.

Donna Deshon Wins “Desperate Fan”

Below: Donna Deshon of Sandpoint, Idaho, Denny Connors and Christine Smith went head-to-head in “GMA’s Desperate Housewives” trivia challenge on “Good Morning America” Thursday. Teri Hatcher asked the final question which led to Deshon’s victory and the grand prize: a visit to Wisteria Lane. Left to right, Donna Deshon, Teri Hatcher, Denny Connors and Christine Smith. Below: Donna is pictured with Diane Sawyer./Ida Mae Astute, ABC photo.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 9/22/05

*Federal screeners skip work in Houston: Exasperated mayor informs fleeing residents of long delays at airports/WorldNetDaily — When the going gets rough, the chicken-hearted head for the hills. No Medal of Honor winners here. Photo: Scene at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport today.

*Rita’s rain begins falling in New Orleans: Forecasts of between 3-5 inches raises flood fears/Associated Press — Don’t think there’s much singing in the rain going along the Gulf Coast. What did those poor people do to deserve this one-two punch?

*Survivors: It was guns that saved us: Hurricane ‘a breeze compared with the crime and terror that followed’/Reuters — Indeed, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

*John Wayne Bobbitt in domestic dispute: Man whose wife cut off manhood arrested for battery on current wife/Associated Press — Not much left there to cut off.

*Hillary announces she will vote no on Roberts: “A matter of tremendous consequence”/The Drudge Report — Even though I trust Hillary about as far as I can throw Slick, I like her better than Teddy, Feinstein, Durbin and the rest of the Bar Scene from Star Wars.

Posting Problems?

Some of you have had problems with posting in recent days, possibly as a result of the blogmeister adding to the list of verboten words in our online playbooks — to stop a spammer. New banned include: casino, poker, insurance, blackjack, keno, craps, roulette, slots, baccarat, stud, hydrocodone, tramadol, zovirapax and gambling. We’re rethinking casino, gambling and insurance. I’d like to think there’s a special place in hell for spammers.

Extra! Film Wants Local Bikinimaniacs

The Lake City Playhouse just circulated a press release for volunteer extras for a film being produced in town here.

Who: Teens and young adults are encouraged to attend.
What Wear: Beach attire and bring beach equipment such as towles, sunblock, etc.
When: 2 p.m. tomorrow
Where: North Idaho College Beach

Contact: 667-1504

Question of the PM: What local dignitary would you nominate to play the role of Coeur d’Alene’s infamous “Thong Man” in the movie?

KEA Release: BNSF Depot Soiling Aquifer Again

Coeur d’Alene-BNSF announced to a group touring their Hauser Idaho Fueling Facility on 9/15 that they have recently discovered an inch of “product” floating on top of the Rathdrum Aquifer. According to BNSF officials, the contaminated area is 15 feet in diameter and was discovered at the end of July. Stehly also said that they promptly reported it to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

Barry Rosenberg, executive director of KEA was among those who toured the facility.

“I am surprised that neither BNSF, DEQ, or the Kootenai County Commissioners announced these findings to the public,” said Rosenberg.

“One has to wonder if this contamination is going to increase in size. Two weeks ago it was blisters forming on the concrete sealant and now this. These disturbing discoveries and threats to our drinking water will only stop when the Fueling Depot is moved off the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer,” concluded Rosenberg.

BNSF staff at the tour was not able to give a timetable of how long it would take to remove the contaminated product.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/22/05

On Wednesday, Shannon Sullivan and attorney Brant Stevens carry some of the 17,121 signatures that they believe will help qualify a recall election against Spokane Mayor Jim West for a late-November ballot here/Brian Plonka, Spokesman-Review.

Related: City investigator asks for West’s “highly offensive” computer files here.

1. A permitting snafu involving the Washington Parks & Rec commission, has closed down Spokane’s new $1.8M gondola, which provides a spectacular ride of the Spokane Falls, here.

2. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles re: Washingtonians who plan to vote to repeal the state’s increased gas tax here.

3. Two people were arrested after police chasing a runaway black bear stumbled into a backyard pot-growing operation in Clarkston, Wash., here.

4. Moses Lake, Wash., is one of three possible landing sites being considered for a new moon mission planned by 2018. Whether the craft actually bumps down in the Inland Northwest depends on the atmospheric conditions on the day of re-entry, according to Shawn Vestal/Spokesman-Review here.

5. Walter Breuning of Great Falls, Mont., celebrated his 109th birthday with his usual morning walk, an interview with national talk show personality Paul Harvey and a basket of cigars here.

IMHO-NW: Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman (Idaho coin design finalists), John Levesque/PI (NASCAR in Kitsap County?), Richard Stallings/Idaho Demo chairman (US Rep. Otter’s vote against disaster aid), Ed Symkus/The Inlander (Tim Burton’s “The Corpse Bride”), and Art Thiel/PI (Arenas can be havens in crisis).

The Olympian provided a photo gallery for the chemistry demonstration that injured 10 St. Martin’s University students here.

*A trained rescue dog saved the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery Association a lot of time by finding 170 graves in the old cemetery near Caldwell, Idaho, here.

*A native of Middleton, Idaho, will be one of the contestants on the seasonal premiere of “The Apprentice” tonight here.

*Study shows WSU students drink less alcohol than the average student does nationwide here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Extra! 13-5 OK for Roberts So Far

*Judiciary panel approves Roberts: Wins support of 3 Democrats – Leahy, Kohl, Feingold/Fox News

John Kerry: “It may turn out that he will be an outstanding chief justice but I can’t say with confidence that I know on a sufficient number of constitutional issues how he will rule or what his position is. I still find that something essential is missing … a genuine exchange of information and exchange of ideas.”

DFO: So, Liberal Senate Democrats, like Kerry and Kennedy, are suppose to know how a justice is going to vote on constitutional issues, before they vote to confirm? Mebbe they should read about the constitutional separation of powers before they start flapping their gums. Sheesh.

Local Question of the Day — 9/22/05

Issue: Property sells like hot cakes: 44 percent of Dover Bay’s pricy public offering gone in a day/R.J. Cohn, Hagadone News Network

More Info: Property buyers at Dover Bay’s first public offering event Saturday brought offers from as far away as New York and Florida as they reviewed plans and awaited their turn to secure their property of choice. The event was held at “The Barn,” the original 1900s homesteader’s barn that Dover Bay has renovated into a community meeting place.

Question: Developer Ralph Sletagar’s richer. A lot of folks got nice homes in a great subdivision. But are we better off for it overall as a region? Or is this sales pushing the locals further away from their own little dreams of utopia?

Peanut Gallery — What Are They?


I figure if anyone can answer my question you can!

We drive between Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls every day to and from work. For about the past month there have been some very large - and I mean really huge - pipes or tubes parked in the Hutter road exit on the east bound side at the weigh station. Some nights there are 3 or 4 of them there. These have to be at least 60 feet long and 10 to 12 feet high and they are all gray in color. You could seriously park at least 8 compact and 10 MINI Coopers in them!

Inquiring minds want to know - WHAT ARE THEY!

Thanks for the great columns! We love Monday morning papers because of them!

Gayle White
Post Falls

DFO: Anyone?

Donna Deshon Wins

Donna Deshon from Sandpoint just won the Good Morning America “Desperate Fan” contest. That means she’ll be appearing in a “Desperate Housewives” episode — Marianne Love/Slight Detour.

Today’s Lucky Number: 17,121

This edition of Huckleberries is being brought to you by the No. 17,121. Or the number of signatures turned in by organizers of the recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West. Or, the Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet, but Huckleberries hears her warming up on the sidelines.

Photo: Supporters of Shannon Sullivan and the recall effort against Mayor Jim West applaud after some 17,00 signatures were delivered to the Spokane County Elections Office/Brian Plonka/The Spokesman-Review.

Wild Card/Wednesday

Drizzle, drazzle, drizzle, drome, time for this one to go home. I’ve enjoyed another day of blogging, folks, but my stomach’s growling. So, you have to take it from here. I can’t wait to see Stebbijo’s post tomorrow re: the fact that Tyra Banks examination on her TV show today that settled for all times claims by some that all of her isn’t natural. Dunno if I can post it. But I’ll be checking what our creative Your Choice blogger comes up with. Stay tuned …

Dealer’s Choice — 9/15/05

Above: Cool Granati illustration of a dragonfly in his back yard here.

*Extra! Extra! Marianne Love just e-mailed to report: Some drama in the skies over Los Angeles. A Jet Blue plane with 145 passengers has problems with its landing gear. MSNBC and Fox News are covering it live as it flies toward an airport to land. For more, click here.

*Jay D. Dyson has captured that new line of Clinton and Lewinsky condoms being pushed by a Chinese prophylatic firm with a new Sacred Cow Burgers spoof here (Extreme Caution: Bill Clinton admirers).

*Cis Gors has provided a terrific link to the Hurricane of 1938 (which happened 2 years before she was born) that rocked Rhode Island and was immortalized by the Providence Journal Post here. Cis also passed along an opinion piece that stated that Katrina helped make a case for the Second Amendment here.

*Brent Andrews, former Coeur d’Alene Press reporter and author of The Pot Plan, e-mailed to say that his book (which is a pretty decent read) is being reviewed in the November issue of High Times.

*The Heimlich Maneuver sends along a story in The Roll Call about Democrat John Kerry’s tirade against the Bush Administration re: Katrina relief, along with the question: Is John Kerry the most politically tone-deaf candidate ever? Click here.

Stebbijo”s Choice — Talkin’ Turkey

It won’t be long and I know what I will have for Thanksgiving. Doesn’t matter if there is six feet of snow or not. I don’t care if it is a couple months of way — I can hardly wait! It is always good to think ahead! What kind of turkey will you have November 26th, 2005?

1. Baked Turkey
2. Deep Fat Fried Turkey
3. Barbequed/Smoked Turkey
4. Catered Turkey
________ (fill in the blank)

Stebbijo/Your choice

Digital Fog Strikes Again

Digital Fog, a newcomer to the HBlOgisphere but an old-hand at online commentary and parody, has latched onto that Spokane ad promo story involving Rich Hadley’s chamber, producing the spoof above and a story here.

Another Political Quiz …

Remember that swell political quiz that Toadman sent yesterday — the one where all of us social conservatives ended up as social moderates? Well, Green Libertarian provides a much shorter one for us today. It’s much shorter. But I still ended up as a centrist trending a bit to the Left/Libertarian sector. Strange. For the quiz, click here.

All-Star Derrek Lee’s Connection to CDA

Since Huckleberries Online is in the habit of satisfying inquiring minds … here’s the answers to yesterday’s question about all-star Chicago first-baseman Derrek Lee’s connection to Coeur d’Alene. John Austin: Derrek Lee is married to the daughter of 9(Panhandle Area Council exec) Jim Deffenbaugh’s second wife, Linda. Jim’s first wife, Sharon, was killed in a car wreck several years ago on I-90, just days after finishing her medical degree. Linda’s daughter (Christina) and Derrek met in Sacramento, and have been married for several years. They have a child born during Derrek’s championship year (2003) at Florida.” As far as the second question from yesterday goes, John explains Derrek’s remarkable feat on his last three birthdays: “Two years ago, Derrek hit his 28th home run of that year on his 28th birthday. Last year he hit his 29th on this 29th birthday. This year, he went a whole lot better and hit his 40th on his 30th birthday (Sept. 6th) a point which was highlighted on ESPN Sportcenter that night.” Above: you see the photo again of Derrek hitting a HR against S.F. earlier this month. Below: Jim’s 90-year-old father wears Derrek’s jersey while playing ball at Derek’s Chicago apartment with the player’s 2-year-old daughter, Jada.

Hat Tip: John Austin

Huckleberries Photo of the Day — 9/21/05

Dean Hutton, left, and Jonathan Edgar sit in a bus stop shelter as the ocean waves crash around them Tuesday as Hurricane Rita passes near the island. You write the cutline.

Feedback: Dean: Hey, dude, I see two fish are playing catch with my billfold.
Jon: I know. They’re playing “Carp to Carp Walleting” while they wait for the “school” bus — John Austin (I’m putting this out front now because John’s judging the contest today and isn’t eligible to win … unless, of course, he picks this one, which is worthy. But he wouldn’t do that. Would he?

Local Question of the Day — 9/21/05

Issue: New TV ads to focus on pride in Spokane: Chamber to employ five promo spots to viewers in Spokane, I-5 corridor/Tom Sowa, Spokesman-Review

Rich Hadley (Spokane chamber manager): “We’re also aware that news about Spokane goes outside of our immediate area, and so we are very glad to present Western Washington with views of the Spokane that we all know and love.”

Question: If you were advising Hadley & Co. re: promo shots, what areas of Spokane would you hightlight (beside the Lake Coeur d’Alene north shore)?

Update: Laurie Roth

Just twenty-five days ago, I wondered if my wife would live or die. Obviously, she lived. I just wanted to show you all exactly how beautiful your answered prayers look. We have a long way to go, but we are on the right track. Someday, Laurie is going to kill me for sending this picture to all of you. However, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.

As you can see, my bride looks great! (Rich included a photo of Laurie.) The feeding tube was removed and she immediately felt better. She was able to walk up and down the hall with no assistance and I was able to walk arm in arm with her. She practiced getting into and out of a car for the first time since the accident. We both can’t wait until she gets in the car which will bring her home. There is a meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon which will create a tentative date for her discharge from St. Lukes.

Husband Rich

Are You Moderate, Liberal, Conservative?

Toadman provided a wonderful link in the “comments” section that will help you determine where you stand on the social-economic rector scale. You have to answer about three dozen simple questions. Toad’s a Liberal through and through, socially and economically. No surprise there. I ended up exactly where I did when I took a similar test earlier this year. Believe it or not, I’m a social moderate and an economic conservative. The person whom I come closest to matching? Pope John Paul II. I can live with that. Take the test yourself, and let me know how you come out here.

I’m going to make this my PS post this evening. (Photo: Pope John Paul II loved kissing babies, just like DFO, who came close to matching him on this test. ;-)

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/20/05

HBO is proud to introduce another new North Idaho blogger, Digital Fog of Athol, who cutlines this parody, “Wal Mart employees really enjoying lunch.” For the rest of the parody or to comment on Fog’s blog, click here. Also, the Fogmeister also tests your ability to tell a real penny from a fake one here. And he has a dyne-oh!-mite Garden Forum for those who enjoy discussing national/international things here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour discovers the local yokels aren’t happy about the changes occurring in and around Sandpoint here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice offers multiple choice on a subject that involves a golf club and a T-shirt advertises male enhancement here.

*In an unusual development, His Bobness blogs about ideohogues — his word, not Huckleberries — at the workplace today here.

*After a trip to the dentist, Granati/Orange Frog 76 has become an anti-dentite who’s pondering the possibility of gum surgery. To do or not to do. He also has a link to dentist jokes. And he has some dyne-oh!-mite photos of dragon flies, which will be appearing here as soon as I can get an OK from him to blog them. Click here.

*ErinG, Granati’s significant other, had a close encounter with “a nasty, huge spider” in the garden and she’s still shivering here.

Don’t forget to check out the “” link to the right because you’ll find all the latest posts of the SR’s best and brightest. As we speak, Dan Webster/Movies & More has a drop-dead photo and commentary about Jodie Foster posted here.

Hat Tip — to Steve & Judy Meyer

Judy Meyer, second from left, gets a congratulatory hug from instructor Tony Stewart, left, after a press conference to announce Steve (at right) and Judy Meyer’s $1 million endowment gift to North Idaho College earlier today outside the new Health Sciences building at the college. Their gift will endow a fund to purchase new technology at the college/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review photo.

And The (Lottery) Winner Is …

…44-year-old hobby gardener David Marcyes of Spokane here.

Coeur d’Alene Connection?

Let’s see how sharp you folks are. Can anyone (outside of John Austin) tell me what the connection is between Chicago Cubs all-star Derrek Lee (shown above after hitting a home run agains San Francisco earlier this month) and Coeur d’Alene? In for extra credit, can you tell me what incredible feat he has accomplished on each of his last three birthdays?

DFO: Yes, Jim is Derrek’s stepfather-in-law; now, what feat has Derrek accomplished on birthdays No. 28, 29 and 30?

Oregon: Nazis Not Fit to Clean Roads?

Nazi issue spurs changes to road adoptions: One year of cleanup will be required before signs go up/Crystal Bolner, Statesman Journal

DFO: Do the goosesteppers ever do anything but make pests of themselves?

Hat Tip: Orbusmax

Question of the Day — 9/20/05

Issue: Hall set to return for home opener: Boise State defender permitted to play despite felony charge in fatal crash/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman

DFO: I’ve had it up to here with star athletes getting second and third chances. This guy was part of a high-speed chase that resulted in a crash that killed a Boise area couple and there young child. He’s lucky he’s not facing vehicular manslaughter charges. He should have been suspended until a judge or jury determined his guilt in the felony leaving the scene of an accident charge.

Question: Am I being too harsh? Should Cam Hall get a second chance to play football from Boise State this season? Do star athletes get too many chances?

Bumpersnicker …

… (sighted near the Wiggett Mall Saturday):

“I believe in dragons, good men and other fantasy animals.”

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 9/20/05

*Finance analyst ranks Cd’A No. 2 on bargain home list: Writer warns against building so quickly that market floods/Coeur d’Alene Press — Pave Paradise, put up a parking lot.

*Tribe sets planned 1,385-acre field burn/Spokesman-Review — Just when you thought it was safe to breathe the air again.

*Kunka gives taxes, meth high priority: Mayoral candidate wants to help get people involved in government/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — Who?

*Chemical de-icer melting its way into aquifer/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review — Is this one of those “Your Choice” things? You know — Would you rather have cars that aren’t rusting as a result of winter salt on the roads or pure water without de-icer residue? Your choice.

*Northern Lakes fire chief resigns/Mike McLean, Coeur d’Alene Press — “He resigned, we accepted it and we’ll move on,” Northern Lakes commissioenr Dean McMillen said. “It was a mutual thing. That’s all I’m at liberty to say.” In other words, the chief lost some sorta power play.

Huckleberries Quick Fix 6 — 9/20/05

1. APhoto Fix: Simon Wiesenthal displays two pictures, May 31, 1973, which he says refer to Nazi criminal Walter Rauff, during a news conference at the Hebrew Union College in New York City. Wiesenthal, who is called the “conscience of the Holocaust,” died earlier today here

2. Cartoon Fix: Rob Rogers (FEMA’s guide to avoiding disaster), Jeff Holbert (School snacks), and Steve Kelly (Hurricane Katrina insurance).

3. Humor Fix: How many think Arnold should run for another term? How many think it’s time for California to be governed by a new action hero like Sylvester Stallone or Chuck Norris? — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Troop deaths hit 1,903 in Iraq here, Wal Mart accused of denying lunch breaks here, Pope bans gays from ordination as priests here, Ex-FEMA boss Brown “radioactive” here, and Rather blasts new journalism order here.

6. Opinion Fix: Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (GOP abandons small government), Susette Kelo/Washington Times (Eminent domain close up), Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Katrina plan ignores 500,000 displaced kids), Steve Farrell/NewsMax (War on God continues), and Shawn Macomber/National Review (A heavy-metal Bush man).

P.S. — 9/19/05

Item: One of my best friends is about to buy the wedding dress of her dreams. It will be her second wedding – something she thought she’d never do again, which is why it means even more. No one understands more than I do since neither one of us knew what the hell we were doing the first time around. But now at almost 32 years old, she got it right – the man and the dress — Courtney Dunham/All We Never Knew.

DFO: Sometimes, life gives you a do-over in the all important “looking for love” department. In her SR blog, Courtney discusses getting the wedding dress and the man right on the second time around here.

Question: Outside of the right mate, what’s the most important thing to get right in a second wedding?

Top Monday Cutlines — 9/19/05

Former news anchors Tom Brokaw, left, and Dan Rather leave the stage after a tribute to news anchors during the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutline:

1. Anchors Away: Dan wins the much-coveted “I’ve-Kept-My-Bald-Spot- Hidden-Better-Than-You” award — Marianne Love.

2. Psst Dan, is it true that Keith Olberman and Al Franken were your real sources on that Texas Air national Guard Story? — The Heimlich Maneuver; and: “So, Brit Hume, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity walk into this bar….ouch!” “I love that one Dan! tell me the one again about Rush Limbaugh and the pharmacist…” — His Bobness.

3. Old anchors never die, they just change the channel — A Token Democrat.

HM: Green Libertarian

Any Pat Boone Fans Out There?


How embarrassing, I organized a campaign to get my friend Pat Boone into the Rock n’Roll Hall of Fame five weeks ago by putting up the website here. Thus far, in more than 1,700 “backers,” only two from Idaho have logged in. I’m actually the first person to sign in and one other from the state has also. I have repeated made you aware of this campaign but not a word. What’s wrong, are you too young to remember the contributions Pat Boone made at the very start of Rock n’ Roll? Come on … You sign in … Or get some of your blog readers to do so … Each person who visits the website gets to hear a Pat Boone million seller … He’s had 21 such hits and is represented more than 60 times on the best selling charts over the years. Isn’t it time to appreciate a good role model?

John Rook

About Operation Back-Up …

As many of you know, the sheriff’s departments of Bonner and Shoshone counties were rebuffed in their attempt to deliver goods, cash and backup to the hurricane-slammed areas of Louisiana here. Blogger Bill McCrory/Whitecaps wished our story had added one key fact as he analyzed the rebuff by St. Charles Parish here.

Question: I’m planning to write an editorial about the situation. If you were me, what would you say about the trouble North Idaho deputies encountered as they tried to help Louisiana?

Peanut Gallery — Should Newspapers Endorse?

Of course they should. But they should also provide a detailed content analysis of every article they’ve written about each candidate including a listing of adjectives and adverbs used to modify any statements directly pertaining to or about the candidate and to any action by the candidate thereof. You see, it’s one thing to write an editorial that only crackpots actually read and another thing to nuance and massage and leverage your chosen candidate through allegedly objective news stories. Yes, that’s my belief allrighty.

His Bobness

DFO: HBO commenters had a terrific debate re: the Coeur d’Alene Press online question: Should newspapers endorse candidates. For the complete thread Sunday, click here.

Peanut Gallery — Monster Speedboats

I couldn’t agree more with your editorial on the unmuffled off-shore racing boats. Good job! I spent a week in August out on Lake CDA on my boat. I didn’t see a lot of speeding, but the noise was awful. A boat repairman told me that many boats he works on have a switch that allows the exhaust to by-pass the muffler. Somehow some teeth has to be put into the existing speed and sound ordinances. Thanks for shining light on the issue.

Paul Anderson
Avista Coeur d’Alene manager

Today’s Lucky Number: 5080

Today’s edition of Huckleberries Online is being brought to you by the No. 5,080. Or, the average number of pageviews per day that this blog averaged last week, 35,558 in toto, a record (and including 7694 last Monday, a single-day record). Or, thanks for tuning in, commenting or blurking, and continuing to make HBO a success. I’d love to rest on those laurels this week. But the blogosphere doesn’t allow it. A blog is an insatiable mistress (think Audrey II in “Little Shop of Horrors”).

Huckleberries Photo of the Day — 9/19/05

Former news anchors Tom Brokaw, left, and Dan Rather leave the stage after a tribute to news anchors during the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday. You write the cutline.

WorldNetDaily Poll — 9/19/05

How has Bush handled the illegal-alien issue?

1. Bush is doing the best thing possible for America. Nothing
2. I approve of his allowing the flow of illegal aliens to continue unabated
3. The situation is difficult, and Bush is doing the best that can be expected
4. I agree with Bush’s plan for some kind of guest-worker program
5. Bush is doing no better or worse than previous presidents including Reagan and Clinton
6. So far, Bush has fallen down on the job, but I’m confident he’ll wake up and take proper action
7. I don’t understand why he just doesn’t do his constitutional duty and have troops secure the borders
8. His policy, or lack thereof, is a disgrace and disaster
9. Impeach Bush now before America is done for
10. Other

DFO: My picks? Nos. 5 & 7

Border watchers attacked during training session: In San Diego, deployment shut down over concern for safety for volunteers/WorldNetDaily (for the rest of the news report, click here).

Best of Huckleberries Online — 9/12-16/05

The latest saying on the Starbucks’ “The Way I See It” series is causing a stir in the Coeur d’Alene coffee shops. Controversial saying by gay S.F. writer Armistead Maupin on Cup No. 43? “My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don’t make that mistake yourself. Life’s too damn short.” Concerned Women for America has its cross-hairs on the Maupin cup. Ditto cuss-tomers cq at the local Starbucks. The giant java company sez it’s trying to “promote open, respectful conversation among a wide variety of individuals.” And, indeed, the cups include sayings from a range of thinkers, including conservative National Review Editor Jonah Goldberg. Mebbe that’s why Starbucks includes this mealy-mouthed disclaimer on the cups: “This is the author’s opinion – not necessarily that of Starbucks.” Nice try.

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/18/05

You know the drill. Below, you’ll find the WND Poll for Sunday. (BTW, I wrote and was granted permission to publish the poll each day in toto.) Also, you have my Monday print column below. And the Photo of the Weekend could use some more answers. If that’s not enough, here’s your Wild Card …

WorldNetDaily Poll — Iraq War

Do you think it was right for the U.S. to take military action in Iraq?

1. Yes, the world is safer with Saddam out of power
2. Yes, Iraqis are now free of tyranny and free to choose their own leaders
3. Yes, even though violence is rampant now, the peace eventually will be won
4. Yes
5. No, I was supportive at first, but it’s turned into a quagmire
6. No, it’s an unconstitutional use of the military
7. No, each death of an American adds to the tragedy of Bush’s war
8. No, we’re hated by the world for Bush’s immoral imperialism
9. No.

For complete news report, click here.

Support for Iraq war at all-time low: Poll shows just 44% of Americans think invasion right thing to do/Reuters

DFO: My answer? Nos. 1-4.

Wild Card/Saturday — 9/17/05

There should be enough posted this morning to keep you busy for awhile. As always, thanks for your participation in this blog. Now, here’s your first Wild Card of the weekend …

Question No. 2/Saturday — 9/17/05

Issue: State could buy scene of slayings: Family may sell Wolf Lodge property to allow conservation as wetlands/Taryn Brodwater & Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review.

State Lands Director Winston Wiggins: “It’s not a good place for a house, regardless of what happened there, which is of course an awful thing.”

Question: Could you ever live in a home like this one, knowing what happened there?

Photo of the Weekend — 9/17-18/05

Sumo wrestlers Iwakiyama, left, leaps in the air after he sent opponent Kotomitsuki out of the ring in a sumo tournament in Tokyo. You write the cutline.

Question of the Day — 9/17/05

Issue: Red tape frustrates law officers: Idaho relief efforts for Gulf Coast not welcomed/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review.

Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds: “It was a paperwork bureaucracy nightmare,” Reynalds said. “These were fully certified law enforcement officers, fully armed and ready to go to work. We weren’t seeking reimbursement. We were just there. … You know damn well they could use all the help they can get.”

Question: Do you suppose it’s time to rethink charitable efforts for the Gulf Coast?

P.S. (Stebbijo’s Choice) — 9/16/05

I like this photo of my husband and me. It was taken almost ten years ago. We thought it would be fun to dress the part of the Old West. It was! Funny thing is - these here parts of Idaho still feel like and seem like the Old West. It is like Gunsmoke never died; we all just dress differently these days. Anyway, you really can’t tell much from the photo, other than I am bullet proof and my husband has the ‘look’! So how do you feel about progress? Has your neck of the woods made any gains?

*Nope — these here parts still have pot holes and we all still wear our cowboy hats with our illegal sawed-off shotguns!

* Yep — we is a makin’ lots of progress - them city folks have moved in and are fixin’ our water and have built us a highrise!

Stebbijo/Your choice

Top Photo Cutlines — 9/16/05

Tupperware couture made its catwalk debut in New York City this week. Models showcased designs for plastic-soled shoes and 60s style headbands, which were produced out of Tupperware. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. An unidentified bystander was wrestled to the ground and arrested after he charged the catwalk, upended the model, and tried to burp her shoes — Bobness.

2. And look, they’re microwave and dishwasher safe with enough toe room to store your leftovers! — ErinG.

3. Actress/model/Playboy centerfold Pamela Anderson realized her dream of becoming a prima ballerina but just couldn’t give up her trademark platform shoes — Jane Q. Citizen.

HM: TS, Bre and Whatever

Cis’ Easter Egg — Which Book of Bible Are You?

Cis Gors/Kootenai is always coming up with interesting quizzes and sites for Huckleberries Online commenters and blurkers. She has done it again with a TGIF “Easter Egg.” In this one, you can find out which book of the Bible most closely resembles you. (For agnostics and atheists who are inclined to make a wise crack about religion here, resist temptation or save it for another time. Most of HBOers should find this fun.) For those keeping score at home, Psalms captures Cis best, while Romans is what I’m all about. Enjoy here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/16/05

FBI agents, Timothy Fuhrman, left, and Brent Robbins, far right, speak during a reward and award presentation for, from left, Amber Deahn, Linda Olson, Nick Chapman, and Christopher Donlan, whose actions helped rescue 8-year-old Shasta Groene and capture sex predator Joseph Edward Duncan III , Thursday, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho/Jason Hunt, AP & Coeur d’Alene Press photo. See “Related” item below.

1. Charges filed against sicko Edward Joseph Duncan III could include production of child pornography, according to Idaho US Attorney Tom Moss. Some media have reported that Duncan allegedly filmed himself sexually abusing the Dylan and Shasta Groene. For story by Dave Turner/Coeur d’Alene Press, click here.

Related: Shasta Groene’s 4 rescuers each receive $25,000 here. And: Bloggers want to create a memorial for Groene children here.

2. Puget Sound free-lancer Milt Priggee doodles re: gas prices here.

3. Imagine the egg that the U.S. Department of Education is wiping of its face today after a link on its Web site identified the Islamic School of Seattle as the “Islamic School of Sex.” When contacted, officials from the Islamic school had a good laugh and said: No wonder admission has been slow. Click here.

4. The good news is that a giant kegger hosted by four off-campus Gonzaga U student houses in Spokane raised $5,000 for Hurricane Katrina victims. That bad news? It was out of control, and neighbors complained bitterly to the university here.

5. UIdaho students are struggling to raise money for a diversity memorial to a Vandal football player who was murdered a year ago here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (Katrina exposes anti-tax dangers), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (A word from the penguins), Columbian (Thanks, Mariners), U.S. Rep. Butch Otter/Idaho (Handle Katrina aid with care), Art Thiel/PI (Bleak autumn for Seattle sports).

*3 Puget Sound anglers may have landed a Washington record when they landed an 8-foot-1, 134-pound striped marlin off the coast here.

*With freight cars sprawled down the hillside, crews are working nonstop to clean up 2,300 tons of corn from a derailment on the edge of Glacier Park here.

*A 14-month-old girl was found alive Thursday beside her dead Spokane Valley mother in a partly filled bathtub of cold water here.

*A Clark Fork, Idaho, woman probably won’t face charges for killing a registered sex offender who was trying to assault her here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Fuhrman Going, Going …

Don’t know if you heard but Mark Furhman announced this morning that he won’t be doing his KGA radio show after next week. Contract up and he wanted more time to do other things. Sounds like it’s an amicable parting of the ways — A Berry Picker.

John Rook’s analysis of this news:

Furhman had ratings success at KXLY, largely because of that stations overall programming and the awareness that comes from being a part of the overall KXLY-TV family. KGA’s management thought someone “local” could compete with Rush Limbaugh’s national show on KQNT. Not understanding that Furhman’s KXLY ratings success came from more than just him, they lured him away to KGA.

They discovered early on that Furhman could not deliver the ratings they had hoped for but had to honor the contract they gave him to make the move from KXLY. While local, Furhman’s show lacked programing expertise and centered on a limited menu of issues.

Even with 50,000 watts of power, the ratings for KGA leaves them in third place among Spokane’s talk stations. It’s been that way for some time now with the stations owner, Citadel, unable to compete with the KXLY group and Clear Channel’s Spokane package for advertising dollars.

AND…that’s the name of the game.

CDADave Explains Why He Bagged It

Too much blogging. I can’t do anything halfway. Too much “airing out my brain”. I found myself being too critical of everyone and everything. That’s not me. Sometimes three or four posts a night, and each post being quite lengthy. It seems that’s the way I do everything; relationships, jobs, tasks, hobbies, music-making, etc. I dive in head-first, I overdo it, and then I crash and burn and quit. It’s a pattern with me, and I can see I’ve done that with blogging.


For complete comment, click here.

WorldNetDaily Poll

Who should pay most for the rebuilding of New Orleans?

1. City of New Orleans
2. State of Louisiana
3. Federal government
4. A combination of city, state, federal governments
5. A little bit from everyone except any government
6. The U.N.
7. Insurance companies
8. Private charities
9. Private developers
10. The city should not be rebuilt

For’s news roundup, click here.

Huckleberries AM headlines — 9/16/05

*Four who helped save Shasta share reward: Heroes get $25,000 each for role in capture of suspect in Groene homicides/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review — I’m still blown away by the heroism of these four people. They not only helped save little Shasta. They probably saved other children, too. Saaalute.

*Candidates offered support to West: As scandal broke, council hopefuls sent heartening e-mails/Mike Prager & Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review — Lemme see if I got this right. One former council wannabe quit her subscription to our paper because she thought the Jim West sex scandal reportage was National Enquirer journalism. But she bought the paper every day and read every story? I guess she showed us.

*Process for Kroc Center unfolds: Membership fees, ongoing fund-raisers to support facility/Christi Wilhelm, Coeur d’Alene Press — Sandi Bloem’s administration is on a roll.

*Father of slain children would support memorial/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press — Whether or not the bloggers of the world do this, the community of Coeur d’Alene should — for all the children who have been hurt by two-legged monsters.

*Woman won’t face charges in killing: Officials say she was defending herself against sex offender/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review — The authorities should pin a heroes button on her for ridding the world of a violent sex perv.

Feedback: Christopher Michael Schmidt was not classified as a “Violent Sexual Predator” in Idaho. He was in the “all other” category. His case demonstrates the need for interstate consistency in assessment and classification. Note that Schmidt was RSO’d for a 1989 conviction for assault to commit rape and oral sodomy out of Sonoma County, CA. — Bill McCrory.

Top Photo Cutlines of Thursday 9/15/05

Greenpeace protesters wearing penguin costumes demand that the national government deter farmers from destroying Argentina’s native forest known as “Pizarro reserve” in front of the government house in Buenos Aires, Thursday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Fresh from receiving their marching orders from Howard Dean, the left-leaning splinter group, Planned Penguinhood, prepares to protest against John Roberts — The Heimlich Maneuver.

2. One female penguin was quoted as saying “We walked 70 miles to meet our mates and all we get are these ugly guys! What a waste of energy!” — ErinG; and: the first inter-species social didn’t get off to a good start because everyone just stood around, waiting for the other to ask if they could “have this dance” — Granati.

3. During his Argentina vacation, CDADave, right, is made an honorary member of the Buenos Aires police force. He soon leaves Argentina. “I didn’t give up blogging in order to stand guard over morons in penguin suits,” was the first line of Dave’s new blog — Side Note.

HM: H.C. and Whatever


Issue: Hurricane names.

DFO: I hope I’m not being indelicate here, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the threat of Hurricane Ophelia, but I’ve often wondered what people would name a hurricane if they were free to immortalize a significant other who has created a major storm in their lives. I’d probably name my hurricane Gayle, after the gal who dumped me before I found my True Love of 30 years. Or Linda, my high school sweetheart who dumped me after graduation for an airman.

Question: If you were to name a hurricane after a stormy significant other that was in your life at one time, what would you name it?

Bush’s Potty Break Note …

Dunno if the mainstream media have picked up on the ruckus created when Reuters published a photo of a note being written by President Bush at a UN meeting, which said: “I think I may need a bathroom break” here. But Reuters is now admitting that the note was enhanced via Photoshop here. And Editor & Publisher published a story about it here. (Huckleberries’d run a photo of the note but the SR doesn’t subscribe to Reuters.) Provides Prices …

…throughout the US here and five sites in Kootenai County via the site here. Looks like we’re settling back to the $2.68.9 to $2.75.9 range locally.

Hat Tip: Stebbijo

If I Could Go Back to High School …

I often wonder if I could sneak into a highschool or something and pretend to be a student for a day or go to some sort of high schooler function (a prom, a party, some sort of event) and have people think I really belonged there. In my opinion I still look the same, I just feel older. I feel like I missed out on a lot back then because I was so shy. Now I’d stand up for myself more, I’d be more outgoing, I wouldn’t care what the popular kids thought, I’d study harder, I would have put more effort into my tryouts for school sports, I would have joined in the drama team and been in plays.

Bre/To Blog Or Not To Blog


Gimlet-eyed Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind spotted that announcement by BankCDA about the appointment of a new senior veep/loan officer on Page B3 today, below Doug Clark’s column:

Richard A. Nixon

E-mails Cis: “I hope he has a sense of humor.” A banker? A sense of humor? Bwahaha. It didn’t escape the notice of Huckleberries Online that Richard uses his middle initial: A. Which puts a little distance between himself and Milhouse. But I’d probably go by my initials to put even more distance between myself and the Watergater. Then, I suppose, I already do go by my initials. Nah, I’m not trying to cover anything up.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/15/05

Above: Another of Doug Fredericks’/Hayden terrific photographs of North Idaho’s Palouse country. Doug calls this one: “Broken Down.” You can find Doug’s Web site here.

1. Supreme Court chief justice nominee John Roberts is making U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy look bad, according to David Horsey/PI, here.

2. A Battle Ground, Wash., bookkeeper wonders if state education officials are capable of computing answers for the controversial Washington Assessment of Student Learning tests after spotting an error in a sample question and answer that they handed out here.

3. The 5 WSU coeds who posed for Playboy’s “Women of the PAC-10” issue drew a crowd at an autography signing in Pullman Thursday here.

4. An underemployed border collie who’d like a city job chasing geese from a Boise park has been turned down by City Hall here.

5. Killer writes about killing two pedophiles here.

*IMHO-NW: Floyd J. McKay/Seattle Times (North Dakota town’s land giveaway), G.George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (Another grizzly tale), Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News (Penguin power), Susan Paynter/PI (Girl motivated by dad’s evil past), and Jim Moore/PI (Classless Grambling coach).

*Don’t look now, but Mother Nature dropped up to 24 inches of snow in the Glacier Park high country over the weekend (with terrific photo by Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News) here.

*Washington Lottery officials are looking for the person who bought a $1.8M ticket from a North Spokane supermarket here.

*For every US troop killed in Iraq, seven are wounded, many severely; The Idaho Statesman looks at three of the wounded who face a long recovery here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Horse Race/Post Falls

Question: Who’s the best candidate for the Post Falls City Council seat now held by Joe Bodman? Why?

1. Joe Bodman
2. Jackie McAvoy
3. Joe Doellefeld
4. Who cares?

Who will win?

Huckleberries Photo of the Day — 9/15/05

Greenpeace protesters wearing penguin costumes demand that the national government deter farmers from destroying Argentina’s native forest known as “Pizarro reserve” in front of the government house in Buenos Aires, Thursday. You write the cutline.

Local Question of the Day — 9/15/05

Issue: Letters part of Duncan evidence: Investigators report they found wallet from slain man/Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press (link is finicky); and: Evidence paints a chilling picture/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: This is heart-breaking stuff.

Question: What would you say to suspected killer/registered sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan III, if you could make one statement to him?

Huckleberries AM Headlines — 9/15/05

*Justices told schools were once unsafe: Court weighs constitutionality of Idaho school-funding system/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review — Deputy AG Carlson such a nice tap dance before the state Supremes that he could probably perform the role of Billy Flynn in “Chicago.”

*One of country’s top guards commits to GU: Bouldin liked ‘fit’ during his visit last weekend/Steve Bergum, Spokesman-Review — More years of watching our Zags win? Excellent.

*Property tax initiative unconstitutional: Idaho attorney general says it ‘cannot be implemented as written’/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review — Lawrence Wasden is the closest thing this state has had to an apolitical AG in quite awhile. If he sez it’s unconstitutional, take it to the bank.

*Coach accused of inappropriate touching of student: State investigating actions of Davenport PE teacher/Rob McDonald, Spokesman-Review — Some people tried to look the other way here.

*Souza: Experience will help in Cd’A/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press; and: Doellefeld seeks PF council return/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press — And they’re off and racing toward Nov. 8.


Rather than a “PS” question to close the day’s blogging, I’m leaving you with some Kootenai County Courthouse scuttlebutt. If you saw the story about Linda Payne quitting the public defender’s office (by Marc Stewart/Coeur d’Alene Press here), you may have noticed the statement about Commissioner Katie Brodie toward the end: “Commissioner Katie Brodie, who still keeps the Vaseline in her desk, wished Payne well.” Payne, of course, got into hot water with the commissioners over a pay raise that didn’t happen by giving them a jar of Vaseline, a tube of lipstick and a greeting card. If Katie got the Vaseline, wonders the courthouse wags, who got the lipstick: Commish Gus Johnson or Commish Rick Currie. Inquiring minds want to know.

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/14/05

Since we’re dog owners, the only place to cool off after a hot August day is down at Dog Beach! Since we’re dorky dog owners, we took our camera. Jorge (George) may be classified as a golden retriever, but we believe he’s part dolphin. The hardest part is getting him out of the water. Here’s Jorge smiling for the camera as he floats like the local kids on a huge, water-laden log — Paulie and Carrie Cohen/Sandpoint Online.

*CDADave has a photo of an old Patty Duke “Don’t Just Stand There” single and some commentary about it today on his blog here.

*Bearable Bob gets a critique of his work that he considers perfect here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind knows why her man is acting kinda weird this time of year here.

*Granati/Orange Frog 76 reflects on the things he has done since his oldest daughter, who will turn 4 tomorrow, was born here.

*While her husband was climbing a mountain, Marianne Love/Slight Detour was interviewing the final two patients of retiring dentist Dick Neuter here.

Teaser for tomorrow’s paper: Mary Souza is announcing her bid for the Coeur d’Alene City Council 5 p.m. Wednesday at Ramsey Park. Souza is the third person to declare for Ben Wolfinger’s open seat.

A Controversial Cup of Joe

Huckleberries hears that … the latest saying on the Starbucks “The Way I See It” series, Cup No. 43 by gay S.F. writer Armistead Maupin, is causing a stir at the CDA Starbucks. Quoth Maupin: “My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don’t make that mistake yourself. Life’s too damn short.”

Cup No. 43 has caused local customers to balk — and has been a source of controversy in conservative circles, where it was condemned by Concerned Women for America here. Starbucks has tried to get around the sayings by controversial figures (including conservative National Review Editor Jonah Goldberg) by printing a disclaimer on the cups: “This is the author’s opinion — not necessarily that of Starbucks.”

The statement’s a bit disingenuous when it comes to Cup No. 43 because Starbucks has been an active promoter of “gay pride” parades. The top coffee chain sez it began the “The Way I See It” program “as an extension of the coffeehouse culture — a way to promote open, respectful conversation among a wide variety of individuals.” Other notable quotables have been Quincy Jones, New Age author Deepak Chopra, film critic Michael Medved, Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan and coaching legend John Wooden.

Mebbe Starbucks appreciates the controversy. But most biz groups would be hesitant to alienate Liberals by publishing quotes from Conservatives, Conservatives by publishing the words of New Agers, and some Straights by publishing a comment of a Out There Gay. Mebbe that’s the reason for the meely-mouthed disclaimer.

Stebbijo’s Choice: Monster-in-Laws

This last weekend my hubby and I rented the movie Monster-in-Law starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Well it is difficult for me to imagine myself as the Monster-in-Law, so I just don’t grasp the behavior of some of them. … They are like still competing for the man, when they know that it is over and they need to get a life!” Question: “Do you have a Monster-in-Law?”

Yes — She rides a broom 24/7

No — I have one that is not in my life enough; she minds her own business

Stebbijo/Your choice

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/14/05

Bicyclists make their way up East Scenic Drive in The Dalles, Ore., earlier this week, during the Cycle Oregon race. Thousands of participants stayed overnight at Rooster Rock State Park visited Troutdale and nearby communities on their bicycle tour to the coast/APhoto.

1. Freelancer Milt Priggee isn’t buying Dubya’s promise of a thorough Katrina response investigation here.

2. Three of the six WSU women featured in Playboy’s “Girls of the PAC-10” will be in Pullman today signing autographs from 3 to 5 p.m., according to Emily Luty/The Daily Evergreen, here.

3. Natural gas prices are expected to rise across the Northwest but no where near as high as the 71% increase that should hit the Midwest, according to Gordy Holt/PI, here.

4. Two brothers from Omak, Wash., including one who was jolted by a Taser stun gun before Deputy Dawgs realized they were at the wrong address, are suing Okanogan County here.

5. One of the largest developers in Spokane has been slapped with a $1.5M penalty for violating the American Disabilities Act and he’s not griping, according to Alison Boggs, Spokesman-Review, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Idahoan (Dalai Lama in Idaho), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (3 trombone underdogs), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Baby Boomers are wienies), Missoulian (Rebuild Big Easy? Not so fast), and Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette Record (In defense of chewing tabacco).

*Gonzaga U students and faculty stage a speakout after a noose is found around the neck of a Native American statue on campus here.

*A 25-year-old woman held at gunpoint inside her home Tuesday wound up in jail after detectives found she’d lied about her name to hide from an arrest warrant, according to the Olympian, here.

*The state of Washington is driving giant bolts to hold rock slabs in place on Snoqualmie Pass after falling rocks crushed 3 women to death here.

*A high school golfer is recovering after being struck in the back of his head by lightning during a tournament in Anaconda, Mont., here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Extra! Pledge Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal judge has declared it unconstitutional to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools/David Kravets, Associated Press …

DFO: A single glorified lawyer interprets the Constitution through the filter of his own prejudice, and we have to abide by his decision? Bozo the U.S. Judge should be impeached for trying to force plaintiff Michael Newdow’s atheism on the country.

Question of the Day — 9/14/05

Issues: Roberts: Congress can trump court decision: Nominee responds to questions about eminent-domain ruling/Associated Press, and: Roberts dodges abortion issue: Declines to say if he would reverse Roe v. Wade/The Scotsman

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts: “The Constitution is the court’s taskmaster and it’s Congress’ taskmaster as well.”

Question: Is Roberts still a shoe-in to be approved?

How Much Will Linda Get?

Defender upset over pay snafu to resign from county position: Payne sent Vaseline, lipstick to express her dissatisfaction/Marc Stewart, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: A little birdie told me that Linda Payne’s resignation could be a first step toward her suing the county. And that she has a good chance of winning because commissioners told her boss, Public Defender John Adams, to punish her without giving her due process, as required by the county employee manual. Stay tuned.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9/13/05

Don’t look now, but PETA is planning another outrage — this time comparing what it considers animal cruelty to black civil rights abuses. It’ll be airing this billboard in the Seattle area tomorrow and Thursday, with plans for other West Coast stops afterward. I’m still amused that this clowns got caught euthanizing dogs at their East Coast HQ earlier this summer. Anyway, you can comment on this thread or any other. The Wild Card is on the table …

DFO: Sorry, folks, I got slammed this afternoon trying to learn the computer mechanics for selecting editorial cartoons for the next few days while the bosses are at a national editorial writers convention in Portland. That’s why the blog was so lean this PM. We’ll do better tomorrow.

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/13/05

Phil’s cutline from Tall Trees blog: This statue of an old-time photographer at Higgens Point is forever taking pictures of Lake Coeur d’Alene. (I didn’t know this statue was out there.)

*Stebbijo/Your Views had a close encounter with a fascinating world-traveling woman at a laundromat and offered a yes-or-no choice today whether the FBI hangs out at laundromats here.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views is as tired as most people about the Hurricane Katrina blame game here.

*Going through old photographs makes Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind wonder about the girl she once was and the matron she’s becoming here.

*ErinG/Native Idahoan was involved in a little female bonding as she, her 3-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old sister all got their ears pierced here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that a seventh Republican is considering a run for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Butch Otter here.

Teaser for Page One tomorrow: “In a stunning development, a special legislative committee on property tax relief in Idaho agreed unanimously on several methods for providing tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars in relief to Idaho taxpayers.”

How to Scare Californians from Moving Here

Tell them:

*Chevy Yukons are banned
*Double Parking at Starbucks is banned
*Your kids have to play Parks & Rec soccer, no Sting Elite Soccer allowed
*You can’t play all day on your out of state equity, you have to work for N Idaho wages
*We salt the roads and your precious cars will rust
*We bus in illegal immigrants by the thousands
*Your wife can’t own a hobby business that loses money all year long
*Forty year old men can’t wear their baseball hats backwards
*Every single solitary 40-year-old women can’t have blonde hair in a ponytail
*Jet skis are for kids only
*The only beer here is Pabst Blue Ribbon. We never heard of Corona.
*All of our houses look unique. There are no housing developments.
*Finally, if you get bored here, you have to wait ten years to go back where your playmates are.


Eugster’s 25 Minutes of Fame?

Former Spokane Renegade Councilman Steve Eugster is challenging the Mayor Jim West recall campaign? I understand that already, that 17,000 signatures have been collected, and the petition drive hasn’t even been underway that long. Is this Eugster’s way of stretching his 15-minutes of fame into 25? Eugster says the drive is being bolstered by “homophobia”. Funny, I thot the recall drive was inspired by a politician using elected office for personal purposes, which just happened to be “gay” in nature.

CDADave/Thin Air.

Sweet Photo of the Day — 9/13/05

After a hard morning of play at The Cottage Day Care in Post Falls, Faith Brodwater, 1, crashes and burnzzzz. You can suggest a cutline here, too.

Feedback: Breaktime at the Nike shoe factory — Idawa.

Overheard (re: Pam Anderson) …

“Let’s face it,” sez one coffee sipper to another as they sat outside CDA’s Starbucks watching the girls go by, “Pam Anderson isn’t exactly an Academy Award winning actress.”

Huckleberries Photo of the Day — 9/13/05

Negotiators for the six-party talks over North Korea’s nuclear crisis join hands. You write the cutline.

Alex Bedini: Coolest Cat Ever, RIP

Alex Bedini was a master of the fluid, straight-ahead style of jazz that blossomed from the fingers of jazz guitar innovators like Django Reinhardt, Johnny Smith and Joe Pass. But Bedini didn’t just play jazz. He was jazz. Everything about him – from his gravel-voice to his cool Van Dyke beard to his hipster sense of humor – exuded an aura of the jazzman. A natural performer, Bedini was a fixture to area nightclubs and festivals for nearly 30 years. It’s painful to think of our music scene without him.

Doug Clark
(For rest of Doug’s column, click here)

Huckleberries Quick Fix 6 — 9/13/05

1. APhoto Fix: Senate Judiciary Committe Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., right, displays a chart outlining Supreme Court rulings on the Roe v Wade abortion decision, during Judge John G. Roberts’ confirmation to become the chief justice of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Robert Airial (John Roberts), Steve Benson (Ex-FEMA director Brown), Chip Bok (FEMA).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs Your Kid Is Working With Al Qaeda” 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: Bush to address nation Thursday from La. here, Gas prices fuel inflation at wholesale level here, New FEMA head sez focus is finding homes here, Iraqi prez sez 50,000 US troops could withdraw soon here, and Worker error blamed for LA blackout here.

6. Opinion Fix: Sen. Jon Kyl/Arizona Republic (Senators play fairly, Roberts shines), Rebecca Hagelin/Townhall (Tools to fight cultural rot), Brendan Miniter/Wall Street Journal (LBJ’s other quagmire), George Will/Townhall (Post-Katrina liberalism), and Mark Steyn/Daily Telegraph (Bush keeps head while storm passes).

P.S. — 9/12/05

Issue: Immigrating Californians?

Toadman: Well, by posting this (on my Web site here), I’ve dissuaded another person from even THINKING about moving to the Inland Northwest. Perhaps pictures of these lovely arachnids should be
plastered on signs in California, with a sign that reads: “Come to Idaho/Washington, we’re waiting for you.” Do you think that would keep out dem damned Californans?

DFO: Sorry, Toad, the black widow and brown recluse of California are more formidable characters than our wolf/hobo spiders. Californians don’t scare easily. After all, they live with earthquakes and the latest fashion.

Question: What would you do to scare outsiders from moving to the Inland Northwest?

Photo Cutline Winners — 9/12/05

”The Tribute of Light” memorial shines into the sky over the night skyline of New York City as seen from Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sunday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutline:

1. Twenty-seven hundred ninety-two souls escape the bounds of earth to touch the face of God — John Austin.

2. Never forget — Bearable Bob.

HM: Dang and A Token Democrat

Ah, Bush Isn’t Popular

I hate to give Bearable Bob and GreenL fodder, but a Zogby poll shows that Dubya would lose to every modern president from Jimmy Carter onward, including Bill Clinton, 46-44%, and his own dad, 41-34%. But there’s a silver lining in all the bad news about Dubya’s unpopularity. He’d still beat John Kerry, by 1%. The Repubs owe the Dems a debt of gratitude for nominating the one guy who couldn’t beat their guy. Who knows? Mebbe Howard “Yeeeeeaaarrrgggghhh” Dean woulda done better. For the Zogby poll results, click here.

Stebbijo’s Choice — Posing Nude

The other night I was watching a documentary on Nancy Sinatra. Much to my surprise, she decided to execute a cheap publicity stunt by posing nude for Playboy at age 55 in order to revive her career. That is so cool and folks thought I was crazy for wanting a job as a Victoria Secret’s model at the age of 50! (after I am turned down, I will sue for discrimination!) Question: Would you pose nude if you were over age 50 for a price that might buy you a couple of homes and send your three grandchildren to Harvard? This inlcludes men as well — there is a magazine out there for you, too!




Stebbijo/Your Choice

Peanut Gallery — SHS Student Defends Officials

You may think that the Berryhill and Soper are running just when things are getting bad, but if you take the time to read the story, you will find out that they both have personal reasons for leaving. And I also want to point out that before they came here, the school district was a mess. What the two of them have accomplished is amazing, and should be acknowledged. — Cean Siegel

DFO: HBO received 3 more posts, presumably from Sandpoint High students, who also gave the resigning superintendent and the principal high marks. For story, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/12/05

The Dalai Lama greets guests Monday at the home of investment advisor Kiril Sokoloff, in Ketchum, Idaho, for a breakfast meeting with 350 CEOs and money managers here. Later in the day, the Dalai Lama was scheduled to address a large gathering of children from the Sun Valley area.

1. Spokane city voters could decide whether to oust Mayor Jim West Nov. 29, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, if the supporters of a recall petition collect all the signatures they believe they need, according to Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review, here.

2. David Horsey/PI doesn’t believe the state of Washington has learned any lessons from Louisiana re: infrastructure here.

3. The city of Wenatchee, Wash., may have to pay $700,000 in penalties in a 1994-95 child-sex ring case now that the state Supreme Court has ruled here.

4. Powerful $250,000 speed boats, capable of going 150mph and swamping other boats, are causing an uproar on viewtiful Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, here.

5. In an out-of-the-way North Idaho vacation spot, a Seattle woman was surprised to find an honest gas station owner who refused to gouge his customers, according to D.F. Oliveria’s Monday Huckleberries column, here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Coeur d’Alene actress Patty Duke), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (My gas guzzler), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Put unity ahead of partisanship), Idaho Statesman (Otter snubs Louisiana relief), and Missoulian (New Orleans was flooded with pork).

*Orbusmax Weird: M’s fan spreads mother’s ashes in Safeco outfield before he gets the boot here.

*An Oregon bicyclist is charged with manslaughter after he ran a stop sign and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian here.

*Only 16% of the Puget Sound shoreline is open to the public, but there’s plans to dramatically increase that amount here.

*Two Willie Nelsons appeared in Missoula, Mont., Friday — one with a heart of gold and a collection of music, the other pure wooden. A Montanan with a life-sized wooden sculpture of Nelson reunited with the musician after 21 years here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

CDAndid Camera Redux

Seems there was a reason the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department responded en masse to the area around 3rd and Locust Friday morning (bottom photo from Friday here). Seems the firefighters were loading up food and supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims. Explains Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel: “They were working with a local Title Company loading trucks full of supplies for the area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. They were also working with both Kootenai and Northern Lakes Fire Districts in this venture.” Oops.

Huckleberries Hears That …

…Some cuss-tomers were acting like idiots at a Coeur d’Alene gas station during the height of the gas scare last week. I won’t name the station. But its prices are among the best in town. Seems cuss-tomers were so uptight to fill their tanks that one clown penned another to a pump. And there were fistfights, one so bad that it sent a man to the hospital. You think we’re much different than the mob panicked by Hurricane Katrina? Think again.

Local Question of the Day — 9/12/05

The hint of a nip in the air late at night can mean only one thing. Yes, a fair number of people around here are about to freak out. It’s the idea that spiders will be trying to get in the house before cold weather sets in. To help readers cope with arachnid anxiety, The Slice interviewed a Spokane spider — Paul Turner (for entire interview, click here.)

Question: Have you had a close encounter in your home with a wolf spider this fall?

Quick Fix 6 — 9/12/05

1. APhoto Fix: Search and rescue personnel return to dry land after searching homes for survivors in the mid city section of New Orleans on Sunday. Currently, Louisiana’s death toll stands at only 157 here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Mike Luckovich (Barbara Bush & the Astrodome), Larry Wright (Supreme Court picks), and Brian Fairrington (Coffee).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things You Don’t Want to Hear from Your New Teacher” 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: Bush denies racial component to response here, Senate to start Roberts’ hearings today here, Ophelia downgraded to tropical storm here, Sheehan: Storm victims ‘collateral damage’ of Iraq here, and Thousands remember 9/11 attacks here.

6. Opinion Fix: Theodore B. Olson/Wall Street Journal (Roberts deserves dignified process), Marvin Olasky/World Magazine (Americans are responding), Robert Novak/Chicago Sun-Times (Replacing O’Connor could get ugly), William Rees-Moog/London Times (Wind at Hillary’s Back), and Salman Rushdie/London Times (Fellow Muslims: It’s not the 8th century).

Best of Huckleberries — Continued

On Sanders PUBLIC Beach
Dunno which was more pathetic after that court ruling returning Sanders Beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene to the public: 1. The thick white line some East Lakeshore Drive Fat Cat chalked about 15 feet from the shore delineating which part of the beach was still his; 2. The obnoxious fence Jack Simpson erected in defiance of the town’s shoreline ordinance that still blocks the public beach; or 3. The two sets of beachcombers who were allowing their dogs to run free on Sanders Beach in defiance of signs at the two entrances that say dogs must be leashed. No one wants to behave himself.

Married Minds Think Alike
Mari Meehan/Dogtrack Musings explains how you can tell you’re on the same track with your significant other after 35 years and 361 days of marriage. On Thursday, the Meehans were returning from Spokane when they passed one of those mini-Hummers. Sez Mari: “Has the standard equipment.” Then, in unison, the Meehans exclaimed: “A woman on a cell phone!” Bingo … In the “Unclear on the Concept Department,” one of the signs held by Spokane Mayor Jim West supporters protesting signature gathering on Division Avenue for the recall effort said: “Giglie (sic) Was A Lousy Movie.” With signs like that who needs supporters? … If you’re a “Seinfeld” fan, you’ll know why Huckleberries chuckleberried when Cis Gors/Kootenai introduced a new version to a famous old line by Elaine: “Are you gas worthy?” You see, Elaine was dealing with matters of the heart and a shortage of … ah, never mind.

Huckleberries hears … that local syndicated talkmistress Laurie Roth is continuing to make progress from here horrific motorcycle collision with a deer. Sez a good source: “She’s now able to move from her bed to a wheelchair, Physical, occupational and speech therapists are working daily with Laurie. Laurie’s improved condition has allowed her to be moved out of the ICU ward to the neurology floor at Sacred Heart Hospital.”

Did Someone Say: Snow?
Joanne Stibitz has one of the best new North Idaho blogs: “Your Choice.” Each day, she poses a tough either-or or multiple-choice question. For example, if you were down to your last coupla bucks, which would you choose: a Wendy’s burger or two tacos? On Thursday, she posted one of the toughest choices yet, asking (and Huckleberries paraphrases): You’ve been warned five days in advance by the media about a Category 5 Winter, a calamity that produces snow 3 stories high. You have no family or much money. What are you going to do? Choices: 1. Stay – Stay, it never snows that much in Idaho; 2. Walk – You have five days to get out with your backpack and save your family; 3. Call Dr. Phil – You can’t handle the stress; 4. Wait until you see 2 stories of snow. 5. Wait for the government. Anyone? (You can answer by going to Joanne’s site:

Poet’s Corner: “It’s as big as their house/and they’ve noticed, alas,/it goes roughly as far/on a gallon of gas – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“New RV”) … Dunno if the suds, barbecue and free music worked their magic at the recent 13th Annual Outdoor Music Festival at Schweitzer or those guys and gals warned by Bonner County Deputy Dawg Flynn simply enjoy flashing strangers … Bumpersnicker (sighted at Coeur d’Alene Inn Wednesday): “People are more likely to oppose fur than leather because its easier to harass a rich woman than a motorcycle gang” … Sign of the Times: Only 49.3% of students responding to a WSU Daily Evergreen poll last week feel “very safe” while walking around campus at night … Blogger CDADave gave a series of examples last week on how to tell you’re getting older, including: “When I see a bikini-clad sweet young thing at the beach, rather than being lecherous, I feel like an uncle or a big brother.”

Parting Shot
Upon spying bazillionaire Duane Hagadone’s trademark geraniums at the site of his proposed $100M-plus condo project, the aforementioned CDADave commented on his blog ( “This must be how Mr. H marks his territory.” Beats Mother Nature’s alternatives.

Wild Card/Sunday 9/11/05

It’s 9/11 again — plus four years. The old Reagan question comes to mind. Are we better off today than we were 4 years ago? It’s hard to answer in the affirmative with Hurricane Katrina fresh in our minds. Yet, we haven’t been hit again by a major terrorist attack in this country. Just a thought to kick off a thread. You’re free to discuss anything you want. I’ll be at church and then a friend’s birthday party. I’ll check back later in the day …

Whippersnapper’s Peeves

You can have my owl stare…

*As you pretend not to notice that you are walking away from the steaming pile of fresh doggie doo your beloved dog just deposited in the middle of the Tubbs Hill trail…

*as you launch your new cigarette boat with deafening double over-transom exhausts with no mufflers (hoping someone of the opposite sex will see you’ve spent $50K on a ride to Arrow Point)…

*while you use profanity, in front of my kids, to describe innocuous daily annoyances…

*while you give a loud blow-by-blow account of the obvious parts of each scene to your movie-going friends and those around you in a darkened theater where I just paid $8 for the privilege of being near you (yes, even if you whisper, we can hear you quite clearly)…

*if you are unable to hang up the cell phone long enough to greet the clerk at Fred Meyer during a transaction because you need to blather on about ABSOLUTELY nothing, but feel important doing so…

*as I overhear you telling the school principal that your child was fighting and bullying because he’s “gifted” and not being “challenged” by school work…


WorldNetDaily — 9/11/05

Q — What is your assessment of the Bush administration’s response to 9-11, four years on?

1. A resounding success, with terror networks badly damaged, Saddam removed from power, no attacks on U.S. soil
2. As well as could be expected in the face of a long, difficult battle
3. Good progress, but we’re more vulnerable than we should be
4. A mixed report card, with a good result in Afghanistan, an unfinished job in Iraq and bin Laden still loose
5. We were doing well but lost our way, focusing on Iraq instead of bin Laden
6. A miserable failure, with our resources drawn into a quagmire in Iraq, creating more terrorists
7. A failure from the start because we went to war instead of treating terrorists as criminals
8. I don’t know what to think
9. Other

For WND news report, click here.

Peanut Gallery — Patty Duke

My mom used to work at Rosaurs on Appleway Anna was a regular customer there and my mom said she was so nice, I always hoped when I was in there one day I’d run into her, but never did. I used to watch Patty Duke re-runs on Nick at Night when I was younger, but now Nick at Night runs stuff like the Cosby show and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air stuff from when I was a kid.


DFO: One of the joys of being my age (almost 56) is that I remember watching “The Patty Duke Show” in real time. The family would gather around the boob tube for her show and numerous other sitcoms and variety show including, of course, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” where I was blown away by girls screaming and passing out while The Beatles sang in real time. My g-g-generation has wonderful memories to share. BTW, Bre’s right about Anna Pearce being a wonderful woman. I’ve run into her several times through her 15 years here. Always gracious. Always tiny.

Entertainers Should Dig Deep First

I am probably going to sound like a Communist here, but I have something on my mind, and it’s been triggered yet again by the New Orleans disaster. Every time there’s a tragedy, all of these rich stars, actors, musicians, comedians, etc., come on TV and plead for all of us to contribute to the cause. HOLD IT a second! These stars, actors, musicians and comedians have more money in their own personal bank accounts than WE will ever have; maybe THEY should contribute and leave us alone? I know that some stars contribute to things, but the fact remains they have gobs of cash and can contribute tons! Certainly, “celebrity status” effectively brings attention to things, but those with more disposable income have more to dispose of, pure and simple. Unless the “balloon payments” on their mansions are coming due!

CDADave/Thin Air

Local Question/Saturday — 9/10/05

Issue: Depot blisters renew concern: BNSF says recently discovered flaws are ‘cosmetic’/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

Question: Here we go again? Or false alarm? Are you still concerned about the refueling depot?

TGIF Cutline Contest Winners — 9/9/05

Family Phil Corless snapped this one at the North Idaho Fair. I published it last night to kick off “Best of the Local Blogs.” But it’s so good that it deserves “Photo of the Day” play. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines (as judged by Family Phil):

1. … and Charlotte blushed — Side Note

2. Most people suspected that the couple put the video on the Internet themselves as a publicity stunt, but they swear it was stolen from a safe behind the feeding trough in their pen — Scott

3. (tie) Green Libertarian and Bob congratulating each other on another fine day of oinking at Republicans — Bob. And: Love scene from the upcoming ABC-TV movie “Pigs In a Blanket” starring Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell — The Heimlich Maneuver

HM: John Austin & ErinG

DFO: You can find all the cutline entries under the 10:25 Photo of the Day post today.


Issue: I’m moving an earlier post re: CDADave’s “Drop Dead” look up to fill the TGIF PS slot. Basically, it’s about Pet Peeves.

CDADave re: annoyances that can earn his “Drop Dead” look: “If I am sitting somewhere minding my own business and you come up to me and hand me a religious tract and try to save my soul.” And: If I’m in a restaurant somewhere, trying to piece my shattered nerves together over a cup of coffee, and you can’t keep your obnoxious kid from screaming and shouting. (You can read the rest of Dave’s list here.)

Question: What would you add to Dave’s list?

Heimlich v. Bearable Bob

The Heimlich Maneuver and Bearable Bob Salsbury had a pretty good set-to earlier today re: FEMA Director Michael Brown being sacked from his post of leading New Orleans rescue/relief efforts — Heimlich, from the conservative corner, Bob, from the liberal one. Both are sharp blogosphere personalities. Both broke amiably when asked by the HBO ringmaster to do so. Here’s my question: If the two of them were involving in a no-holds barred thumb wrestling contest, who would win?

Stebbijo’s Choice: Holy Crotch!

These are my husband’s jeans. I am not Martha Stewart! What should I do?

1. Use super glue.
2. Use duct tape.
3. Sew a nice big patch over the hole.
4. Do nothing. They are good for more wear.

Your choice …

Stebbijo/Your Choice

CDAndid Camera — Pet Peeve

This photo was taken about 11 a.m. this morning on 3rd St. just north of Locust Ave. in Coeur d’Alene. There were no flames or smoke, probably a medical call. Yet there were three firetrucks, a fire dept. SUV and an ambulance responding. Why do ladder trucks and fire trucks need to respond to all of these non-fire calls? When call statistics are compiled annually it makes it look like the fire department responds to far more actual fires than it does. And with the price of gas, it’s fiscally irresponsible to continue this practice.

CDAndid Camera

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/9/05

1. Steve Groene (pictured above with daughter Shasta) will be sharing the tragic story of the murders and kidnappings of his ex-wife and children, near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show sometime in October. But he has insisted that the lone survivor, daughter Shasta, not appear here.

Related: Attorney for Groene family murder suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III wants to suppress statements the convicted sex offender allegedly made in jailhouse interviews here.

2. David Horsey/PI contends that one major force sprung into action almost immediately in the wake of Hurricane Katrina here.

3. BYU is the fittest university in the country, while Portland State University is one of the fattest, according to the latest Men’s Magazine, here.

4. Washington vigilante suspected in double murder involving Level 3 sex offenders has been “crying out for help all his life,” according to his brother, here.

Related: Issaquah wins a round in its attempt to bar convicted sex offenders from certain areas of town here.

5. A public official turning down a $10,000 raise because he didn’t believe he’d earned it yet? Yep. Put your hands together for hands together for Spokane Valley Fire Chief Mike Thompson here.

6. IMHO-NW: Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Why are Boeing unionists striking), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (West recall stumbling block), Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (Disliking George Bush), Joel Connelly/PI (Seattle needs disaster planning), and Cara Lasley/Daily Evergreen (On Intelligent Design).

*$1,133 hospital bill for toenail work spawns class action lawsuit here (free subscription required).

*Sid Otton of Tumwater High could become Washington’s all-time winningest high school coach tonight here.

*Students from New Orleans arrive at the University of Idaho to begin classes, according to Kimberly Hirai/UI Argonaut here.

*A horse in Sanders County near Hot Springs (northwest Montana) has been euthanized after being diagnosed with West Nile virus here. West Nile has been found in a Prosser, Wash., pond, too, here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Laurie Roth Update

re: Talk show host Laurie Roth’s near-fatal motorcycle accident with deer

Three weeks after suffering critical injuries when her motorcycle collided with a deer, talk show host Laurie Roth continues her recovery. Now able to move from her bed to a wheelchair, Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists are working daily with Laurie. Laurie’s improved condition has allowed her to be moved out of the ICU ward to the Neurology floor at Sacred Heart Hospital.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Sandy Berger

What do you think of the no-jail sentence and $50,000 fine given Sandy Berger here?

1. It was too harsh – prosecutors only asked for a $10,000 fine
2. He said he was sorry and had made a mistake – he shouldn’t go to prison for a mistake
3. The whole prosecution was just Washington politics
4. It was just right
5. It was a little lenient
6. It was just a slap on the wrist
7. Clearly, there’s a double standard – any ordinary citizen stealing classified government documents would be in jail
8. Another member of Washington’s power elite has made a farce of our judicial system
9. He should have had the book thrown at him
10. Other

For WorldNetDaily’s news report, click here.

Local Question of the Day — 9/9/05

Issue: ‘Oprah’ gets Groenes – minus Shasta: Steve ‘adamant’ that his daughter not go before cameras/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Groene family spokeswoman Wendy Price: “Oprah’s very committed to this type of story.”

Question: What do you think about Steve Groene telling his family’s tragic story on the “Oprah” show?

Quick Fix 6 — 9/9/05

1. APhoto Fix: Afghan people gather around a water pump outside a Kabul mosque plastered with campaign posters for the upcoming parliamentary elections Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. Afghanistan will hold the country’s first-ever parliamentary election on Sept. 18.

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Tolerant Air Force), Mike Luckovich (Blame game), and Steve Benson (Below See Level).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things You Don’t Want to Hear from Your New Teacher” 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: NFL crowd boos critical rapper West here, Florida homeowners group: Evacuees not welcome here, CDC: No disease outbreaks yet here, Poll: Most say abandon New Orleans here, and Study: Breakfast helps girls stay thin here.

6. Opinion Poll: Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Katrina shows we’re unprepared for terrorists), Mary Katherine Ham/Townhall (Dangerous times for our wallets), Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post (Where to point fingers), Mark Topscott/Townhall (Photographing dead people), and Byron York/National Review (’s SHAMElessness),

Wild Card/Thursday — 9/8/05

The SR Internet service just hiccoughed, so I’d better move up the Wild Card before it does it again. No PS tonight because we have plenty to consider with Stebbijo’s Choice and Bearable Bob’s choice a few items below. If you want to start a thread this evening, you can use this Wild Card. Warning: No blogopotamuses or cut-and-paste jobs. I’ll be watching …

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/8/05

I really should save this as Photo of the Day for tomorrow. But you know what they say about a pig in the pen. Family Phil delivers another fine photo (above) and his second column for the San Diego Reader here.

*CDADave provides new “Thin Air” thoughts here. (Meanwhile, I’m going to leave drop-dead owl observations alone until I can blog them separately tomorrow. Good stuff, if you want to peek early.)

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is keeping tabs on Operation Backup as Bonner County Deputy Dawgs travel the state collecting grub and cash for Hurricane Katrina evacuees here.

*Cis Gors, the sage of Kootenai, has some words of wisdom for those involved in the blame game here.

*Sam Taylor, news editor of the UI Argonaut, found time to post and update us on his love life and a Palouse field burn here.

*As he approaches 30, Granati/Orange Frog 76 reminisces about his favorite summertime game and toy of his youth here.

Don’t forget to check out the Blogging @ site under “SR Blogs” to the right.

Bearable Bob’s Choice

OK, we know Barbara Bush thinks poor people should be happy living in a football stadium after losing their homes and loved ones. Well, they are poor anyway. Football stadiums are cool! OK, here is my poll. Please choose one of the following as to where poor people might think Barbara Bush would be happy living:

1. In a really deep flaming hot level of hell.
2. In a fancy restaurant where the French waiters ignore her repeated requests for a dessert menu.
3. In a morgue in New Orleans.
4. In the Happy Magical Sparkly Land Where the FEMA Fairies All Make Up Excuses and Blame Others.
5. Ritzville, Washington
6. Unbearable Bobness’s Basement. (See #1)
7. Rick Santorum’s conscience.
8. Rush Limbaugh’s medicine cabinet.
9. Michael Brown’s resume.
10. In a really deep flaming hot level of hell.

Bearable Bob

DFO: Forgive me, Dubya; I can’t resist creativity or polls here

CDADave’s Mystery Bar

Here is a place known as the “Boulevard Club”; my first guess is that it was located somewhere on Northwest Boulevard…makes sense to me! Doesn’t mean that I’m right, though. Actually, the interior of this place reminds me a little of the CDA Eagles Club’s interior, but I’m probably way off there, too. I’ll acknowledge any input I get right here, in a different color of type.


In Defense of Flipflops …

So, I figure it’s about time for someone to defend flip-flops and the generation who loves them. We wear them to be comfortable, but not disrespectful. At least not intentionally, though I’ve admittedly snickered and made fun of my mother and grandmother for calling them “thongs.” It’s really just constructive criticism. Flip-flops are convenient, cheap and available in virtually every color and style — all qualities valued by any good member of the first generation to be raised on the Internet. Flip-flops are the new black; they can go with anything.

For the rest of the op-ed piece by Lisa Waananen/Daily Evergreen, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/8/05

WSU Head Coach Bill Doba whips off his head set in anger as he tries to inspire his Cougs on to victory. Find out why he was somewhat happier yesterday during practice by reading the roundup section below.

Top Story: A Gig Harbor, Wash., man who lost three limbs in a DUI accident is wondering today how low people can go after someone stole his specialized bike. The theft occurred while Bob Mortimer was in Spokane for a motivational speech about the dangers of drinking and driving. And a ride with his family along the new Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes in nearby North Idaho, according to Christopher Rodkey/Spokesman-Review, here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times finds a silver lining in the Hurricane Katrina disaster? Click here.

2. Washington lawmakers are pushing to suspend their state’s 31-cent gas tax in order to save drivers millions, according to Richard Roesler/Spokesman-Review here.

3. After years of legal wrangling and more than $3 million set aside to run it, Washington’s first facility aimed at reintroducing sexually violent predators to society stands vacant, according to Claudia Rowe/PI, here.

4. An ornery associate prof who couldn’t get along with colleagues is believed to be the first tenured prof to be fired in Whitworth College’s 115-year history here.

5. Editor Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News (Columbia Falls, Mont.) describes what it’s like to get up close and personal with a (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) — skunk here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert L. Jamieson Jr./PI (“Refugee”: A bad word), Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman (No easy fixes for high-tech life), G. George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (About those whiskers), Jon Ross/UI Argonaut (Murder plea co-opts truth at UI), and John Levesque/PI (Exposing MLB steroids witch hunt).

*WSU football practice started with players serenading Head Coach Bill Doba on his 65th birthday Wednesday here.

*Washington sues to keep tankers at Fairchild AFB here.

*Boise State footballer Cam Hall will face felony charges for fleeing scene of triple fatality here.

*Spokane Mayor Jim West owes $85,000 from his fight to stay in office here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery — The Spoofer Strikes Back

Holy crap. Talk about vitriol. Especially that one by “Bob.” What a (insert flame word here). (Heck), I get the distinct impression that guy could find “racist overtones” in a bowl of tomato soup. Yeesh.

And what the (heck) is a “prison shirt”? The source image I used was a button shirt a guy was wearing in a public buffet line. I’ll even post that image if they don’t believe me.

And on the topic of racism, where the (heck) were those (insert flame word here) when Leftists were calling Condi Rice “Aunt Jemima,” and Colin Powell “Uncle Tom” and “House Slave,” hmmmm? There was nothing but crickets chirping on the Left’s side during that disgusting time.

As for any charge that I’d fall apart if saddled with Nagin’s job, their criticism rings hollow for two reasons: first, after being diagnosed with malignant pancreatic cancer, everything else is small potatoes. So yes, I can say with 100% confidence that I would have handled that MCF far better than Mayor Nagin. Second, considering that these (flame word) have no criticism for Governor Kathleen Blanco (who not only fell to pieces but did so on national TV), their jibe is nothing but petty partisan whining.

Jay Des Dyson

DFO: I printed Jay’s response to the criticism his parody (inset above) attracted yesterday because he deserved a chance to respond. His passionate verbiage made me nervous given my attempt to calm things down here this week. That’s why I massaged the message a bit. You can also find a link to the original thread here.

Morning Headlines — 9/8/05

*Loaded trucks headed South: North Idaho officers bringing goods to Katrina victims/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review: One word: Saaalute.

*Northwest Coeur d’Alene is fast growing: Residential and high-density buildings are going/Nils Rosdahl, Spokesman-Review — Gee, just what we need — more housing to attract more residents to demand more services to clog more streets, to jam our waterfront, etc. Mebbe we should jail developers.

*North Idaho officials pass multimillion budgets: Post Falls, CdA, Kootenai County raise budgets in separate meetings/Spokesman-Review — The reason few people speak at budget meetings staged by local government is that they’re seldom heard. The angry property taxpayers on the courthouse steps of Kootenai and Bonner counties are a better indication of what residents feel about budget increase.

*NIC Popcorn Forum begins tonight: Event focuses on efforts to make communities safe from sex offenders/Coeur d’Alene Press — Another worthy Popcorn Forum staged by NIC instructor extraordinaire Tony Stewart.

*Whitworth prof not protected by tenure, jurors conclude: Jury apparently agreed that Tony Mega received ‘more than enough fairness’/John Craig, Spokesman-Review — Sometimes, I wonder if tenured college professors have any idea of what it’s like to work in the real world where you can lose your job any time the company decides to down-size?

Local Question of the Day — 9/8/05

Issue: Victim angry over rapist’s plea bargain: Tuggle’s former sister-in-law, assaulted at 13, wanted death penalty/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review. Related: Tuggle admits to rape, kidnapping of daughter/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: So, when does perv Tuggle get out of prison to reoffend again, with time off for good behavior and all. The Shoshone County Prosecutor’s Office blew it by not pursuing attempted murder charges against this creep. And the death penalty. After all, the prosecutor’s office had Tuggle dead to rights because it had a live victim to put on the stand.

Question: Is plea-bargaining the way to go when you have a chance to put a violent sex offender away for good. Or mebbe execute him? Poll

What’s the REAL reason why oil and gas prices are so high?

1. Americans use too much fuel, don’t conserve enough
2. Hurricane Katrina impacted supplies, so prices have skyrocketed
3. There’s no specific cause, the U.S. is finally catching up to European prices
4. Big Oil doesn’t want new refineries, giving companies more profit with less product
5. Environmentalists have blocked new refineries and oil drilling at every opportunity
6. Both Big Oil and environmentalists are to blame for discouraging new refineries
7. The oil-puppet president is allowing his drilling pals to line their pockets
8. It is pure, unadulterated greed by the price-colluding oil industry
9. It’s all part of a global conspiracy to rape U.S. consumers and harm American sovereignty
10. Other

For the WND news report, click here.

Peanut Gallery — A Rip in Society’s Fabric

I’ve held off on commenting about the Katrina response stuff until there was a little more information.

While the partisan in me would like to just blast Bush and company, particularly Brown, it’s clear to me that there was a complete breakdown at all levels. IMO, Nagin is/was completely unable to adequately to handle the situation and Blanco seems equally clueless, while Bush and the feds were inexcusably slow—especially when compared to their response in Florida (which just happened to occur during an election year).

It’s good to see that now that everyone is fully engaged a lot of progress is being made. I’ve been to NO several times and it’s heartwrenching to see what has happened to one of America’s most original cities. Plus, the destruction in Mississippi is staggering.

What most troubles me, though, is while this country put almost all partisan politics aside after 9/11, the bitterness and finger-pointing surfaced almost immediately during this crisis. Why? Was it because 9/11 was human caused versus a natural disaster (after all American like a clearly defined enemy)? Because it mostly affected white collar workers versus mostly poor and black citizens (World Trade Center vs. blighted urban areas)?

I believe that Katrina has ripped open more than a few levees in Louisiana. We may be staring directly into a huge tear in our very social fabric. A tear only ham-handedly patched previously by years of dehumanizing and ineffective social programs, civil rights drum-beating and our innate ability to ignore that which does not directly affect us.

Ryan Hill

DFO: Best comment I’ve seen here on this subject.

Wild Card/Wednesday — 9/7/05

I’ve been wondering about the evening roundup that includes “Inside Huckleberries,” “Best of the Local Blogs,” “PS” and the final “Wild Card.” Do you read these entries? Or do you spend the earlier part of the day online? And not the evening? Dunno how to gauge interest in these features, other than to ask. Anyone? Meanwhile, you can start your own thread this evening beginning now …

Headlines Near Closing Time — 9/7/05

*‘Napoleon’ dynamite for back-to-school: ‘It will have a nice little run and, in all likelihood, will have a short life’/Washington Post — Mebbe Planet Hollyweird wouldn’t be experiencing such a slump this summer if it made more fare like “Napoleon Dynamite.” Gosh!

*Displaced to get $2,000 debit cards: Federal aid to provide ‘immediate cash assistance to those who are in shelters’/Associated Press — Now, there’s a freebie I’m glad I’m not qualified to claim.

*FEMA: Don’t photograph corpses: Media policy to be sure victims ‘treated with dignity and the utmost respect’/Reuters — This may be one of the few times I agree with the gummint. How’d you like to be a survivor who sees a photograph of his/her decaying relative in a puddle of New Orleans water?

*Mayor, governor at odds over evac: ‘The governor, and that would be me, would have to enforce it’/Fox News — Tweedledee and Tweedledumber.

*U.S. forces rescue American hostage: Raid farmhouse, free man held for 10 months in southern Iraq/Associated Press — Out of the lion’s den …

Back to School

The yellow buses came today
and carried summertime away.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Huckleberries Hears …

… That property owners attorney John Magnuson was so hosed at my SR edit this a.m. about Sanders Beach that he sputtered while declaring his side would appeal Judge James Judd’s decision here. Frankly, I believe, the got-rocks folks who Magnuson’s represents have a chance to see this overturned in their favor at the increasingly politicized Idaho Supreme Court level. The Haves are beaten on the merits. But justices who have to campaign in North Idaho are susceptible to pressure, especially from the Big Shot who has beach property next to Sanders Beach and could be affected by this ruling.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/7/05

Seattle Mariner Morse was suspended today for 10 days for violating the steroids policy, the ninth major league player penalized under baseball’s tougher drug rules/APhoto here.

Top Story: A Battle Ground, Wash., man who paid $10,000 for a Krispy Kreme doughnut to help his granddaughter raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief enjoyed the treat here.

1. David Horsey/PI looks at “two pleas for help” and, of course, the Republicans come out on the short end of his stick here. And you can find a wonderful remembrance of the late Bob Denver by free-lancer Milt Priggee here.

2. A suspect held in the slayings to two Bellingham sex offenders wants to speed things up and plead guilty here.

3. Spokane Bishop William Skylstad appeals federal judge’s decision that churches and parochial schools can be sold to raise money to pay claims from sex-abuse victims here.

4. The state of Minnesota will have to wait to extradite multi-murder suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III and child molestation charges until Idaho is finished with him here.

5. A 23-year-old Kennewick man died Tuesday after driving his brand-new motorcycle through the fence of his Kennewick apartment complex here (free subscription required).

6. IMHO-NW: Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (A flood of public response), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Tragedy moves TV reporters), Bob Williams/Evergreen Freedom Foundation (Blame amid tragedy), Olympian (Which critters worth saving?), and Joel Connelly/PI (Denial can lead to disaster here).

55.5% of the WSU students answering a Daily Evergreen poll say they feel “very safe” walking around campus at night here.

*A flock of 14 Canada geese will live to fly again thanks to Boise city workers who rescued the fowl from the foul sludge of a sewer plant here.

*Spokane City Council sez no to referendum on domestic partners benefits here.

*The number of gray wolves may have maxed out in the northern Rockies recovery area here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

Peanut Gallery: Globaloney Warming

re: A neener-neener from a True Green Believer who blames Katrina on global warming.

Hi Dave!

I was a ten year resident of Coeur d’Alene, who recently moved to Albuquerque NM. One of the reasons that I left was because of the narrow minded, backward attitudes and ideas, of the people of the Inland Northwest, such as yourself.

I’ll never forget reading an editorial written by you, that made the comment that global warming was, “globaloney”. After you made that particularly inane comment, I never heard you speak of that again, however, from time to time, my wife and I like to bring it up, just for laughs.

Here’s a brief article that brought your wonderful statement back to life.

Erik Shekter
Albuquerque, NM

Maynard or Gilligan?

Stealing Stebbijo’s line, Huckleberries Online wants to know who died yesterday:

Maynard G. Krebs



And what does your answer say about you?

(BTW, you can find a wonderful Milt Priggee cartoon about the late Bob Denver here.)

On Sanders Beach …

The new generation of East Lakeshore Drive homeowners has only itself to blame for the adverse court decision. If the group had continued the long-standing practice of allowing the public to use the beach, it wouldn’t be facing the prospect of additional anguish and of squandering more money on legal fees to appeal Judd’s decision. Coeur d’Alene residents, for their part, would have been happy to continue the myth that the beach was private property.

DFO: For the rest of my SR edit today, click here

WND Poll: God’s Judgment?

Do you think Hurricane Katrina is God’s punishment for something?

1. Yes, He was judging U.S. support for forced evacuations in Israel
2. Yes, He was judging homosexuals
3. Yes, He wants New Orleans and America to repent of a wide variety of sinful behavior
4. Yes, Allah found America guilty
5. I’m not sure, but it’s certainly possible the hurricane was divine action
6. No, that’s silly superstition
7. No, what kind of God would kill innocent people?
8. No, God makes it rain on both the just and the unjust
9. No, Katrina is merely a natural disaster
10. Other

Hat Tip: WorldNet Daily Web site here

Update: Laurie Roth

As many of you know, local syndicated talkmistress Laurie Roth was involved in a serious motorcycle accident with a deer. For awhile, she was listed in critical condition. She has steadily improved, and John Rook provides this update:

The stitches in Laurie’s face have been removed and she looks much better.

She’s has progressed to sitting on the side of her bed and spending time in the wheel chair instead of flat on her back. She cannot talk yet with her jaws wired speed the healing process of her face and mouth, but she writes her thoughts out to nurses, family members and a few friends who are allowed to stop by. We expect her to be standing in the next day or so and perhaps walking soon after that.

Laurie has been moved out of ICU and now has been moved to the NEUROLOGY floor of Sacred Heart.

After ten days of guest hosts for her radio program, her producer Rick Still, will take over the microphone within a day or so…Monday at the latest. Laurie’s husband Rich will be
making a guest appearance on the show in the days ahead with a regular update on Laurie’s condition…

John Rook

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9/6/05

You can start your own threads for the day here …


On his blog today, CDADave “20 Indications” re: how he knows he’s getting old here, including:

1. I now get excited when I find a laxative that works.

2. When I see a bikini-clad sweet young thing at the beach, rather than being lecherous, I feel like an uncle or a big brother.

3. I no longer even try to go out on the dance floor, because the last time I did, my knee popped and my leg just about went out from under me.

4. All of a sudden, I am starting to play a lot of slow songs on my guitar.

5. It takes me as much time to walk one mile as it used to take me to run six miles.

Question: How do you know you’re getting older?

Photo of the Day — 9/6/05

A new baby giraffe, born on Sept. 3, 2005, and standing 6 ft (2 meters approx.) tall , stands in the sun for the first time with its mother Aiofe at Blair Drummond Safari park near Stirling, Scotland earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. First Kiss — Upclose.

2. “Just stand there quietly and look cute, my son. Don’t act silly or make any goofy expressions and pretty soon Dave will switch photos for today’s cutline contest” — Side Note.

3. The Blue Tongue Giraffes are the most compassionate of the species, willing to share food with other giraffes, never discriminating against others based on the length of their necks or patterns of their spots and unlike the Red Tongue Giraffes do not invade the habitat of innocent animals of the Serengheti without provaction — Bearable Bob.

HM: A Token Democrat

12,700 West Signatures And Counting

Tim Ricks stops to sign the petition to recall Spokane Mayor, Jim West, Tuesday Sept. 6, 2005 at the official petition headquarters on north Division and Carlisle Streets. Erika Raborn, 21, right, has been working at the headquarters for the past few days with her grandmother, Meg McCoy, not pictured. So far 12, 700 signitures have been gathered to recall Mayor West, according to petition organizer Shannon Sullivan/Kathryn Stevens, SR photo.

Peanut Gallery — Hail School Bells

Anyone besides me glad that school has begun? It is so nice to have the quiet streets back and the not-so-crowded stores, etc.


On Flame Wars, Elbow Throwing …

Commenters and blurkers often wonder why I allow overly passionate commenters to post at Huckleberries Online rather than give them their walking papers for good. Frankly, I enjoy much of what they post and tolerate their politics when passions are high. Most of you know that I’m a social conservative with respect for human rights and a touch of green on local planning issues. However, as a member of the SR editorial board, I’ve learned to respect the opinions of others. That’s why it doesn’t bug me when Green Libertarian or Bearable Bob are dissing Bush for Iraq or his response to New Orleans or lack thereof (as long as they don’t become so predictable that my eyes glaze over).

However, I don’t have much use for a passionate argument that turns to name-calling. At that point, I figure, the name caller has lost and is trying to pick a fight because s/he lacks substance. We had a pretty nice fight re: the New Orleans blame game going Sunday until I stepped in late. On Saturday, everyone was arguing facts. On Sunday, name-calling had replaced facts. I had to use the Blog Bomb to settle things down. And they were Monday.

Why do I put up with the passionate posters? Most of them add spice to the blog. Without them, we might become too parochial. I pride myself that I’ve only kicked only a handful of people off the blog. And some have been welcomed back after they assured me they could play by my rules. My goal is to keep as many former flame throwers posting as long as possible, and possibly steer them toward a better way of arguing. If one gets an occasional timeout, so be it. I don’t hold that against him. If we all learn something from this online experiment in optimism, that’ll be good too.


Peanut Gallery — Have We Always Been Divided?

This (New Orleans disaster) has been another polarizing topic that reflect the general breakdown of America. It’s amazing how different America has become, largely with completely different “values” in the coastal Metro areas vs the inland rural areas. If this issue (or 9/11) can’t unite America, I wonder what can? For a fairly young person, I have not context. Has America always been this divided or is this really a new phenomena?


Question of the Day — 9/6/05

Item: A hand-painted sign outside a New Orleans business warns away looters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005. Ethicists and social psychologists said in interviews that rules of human behavior _ including respect for others’ property and for social order itself _ dissolve quickly in desperate circumstances like the storm’s aftermath/APhoto.

Question: What would you do to protect your property if you found yourself in a disaster situation?

Sanders Beach Is Ours, Baybee

Public wins access to CdA beach: Judge sets the ordinary high water mark for Sanders Beach at 2,130 feet/Susan Drumheller, Spokesman-Review.

DFO Mini-Edit: East Lakeshore Drive home owners have only themselves to blame for the court decision that cost them any right to Sanders Beach. For years, they maintained that the beach was theirs, which few debated, but they went too far when a new generation of property owners began kicking locals of the beach they’d used for more than a century. Rather than strike a deal with the city that would have continued beach access for the public, the home owners fought tooth and nail for their “rights” to block off Sanders Beach. Now, we discover, that the home owners were the ones squatting on public property. They deserve to get nothing out of this but lawyers’ bills.

Quick Fix 6 — 9/6/05

1. APhoto Fix: Pallbearers from left, James Duff, Kerri Bartlett, Greg Garre, John Englander, David Leitch, John Roberts, Fred Lambert, and Ronald Tenpas, carry the casket of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to the Supreme Court, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005, in Washington. Evan Thomas and Stuart Taylor Jr./Newsweek tell of Rehnquist’s importance to the court here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Paul Nowak (In the middle of the hurricane), Henry Payne (Global warming & Katrina), and Mike Luckovich (Help us).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Ten Top Signs You Have A Bad Job” 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: Bush will investigate what went wrong here, Roberts among Rehnquist pallbearers here, Study: Angioplasty protocol questioned here, Oil prices slip as calm returns to market here, and Survey: Service sector of economy grows here.

6. Opinion Fix: James Taranto/The Australian (Myths of Hurricane Katrina), Deborah Orin/NY Post (Let’s hear about the heroes), National Review (2008 GOP convention should be in New Orleans), Rebecca Hagelin/Townhall (Throwing out the thugs), and John Hinderaker/Power Line (New Low for Mainstream Media).

Wild Card/Labor Day — 9/5/05

You have my Huckleberries print column plus a post about the decline in civility on this blog this weekend. I’m going to enjoy the day and probably not post any more today. As always, you’re welcome to use this space to post a comment. But I won’t tolerate a return to the New Orleans blame-game rhetoric of this weekend. If you want to try my patience, you can start such a thread and find yourself sitting on the sidelines for a coupla days. For the overwhelming number of commenters and blurkers who behave themselves, I’m sorry for being a little hosed today …

Stebbijo: Are You A Real/Fancy Camper?

Real campers don’t have holding tanks.
Real campers are not five miles from the beer.
Real campers don’t have cell phones.
Real campers don’t camp at KOA’s.
Real campers don’t camp next to Honey Buckets.

Fancy campers have umbrellas on their picnic tables.
Fancy campers have satellite dishes.
Fancy campers walk over to a restaurant.
Fancy campers pay for the camping space.
Fancy campers see the pavement.

Which one are you?

For Stebbijo’s new blog, “Your Choice,” click here.

Best of Huckleberries Online 8/29 - 9/2/05

Cutline: Scott Reed (third person from left above) was dressed very casual for a confab with other attorneys involved in the Sanders Beach case. See first item under: “City on the Move” in the Best of Huckleberries Online Continued portion

Erin Granat, a 24-year-old Post Falls mother of almost three, must wonder, “Why me, Lord,” after being nailed with her third jury summons in four years. Each has arrived during a pregnancy, the latest a few weeks ago. Now, Erin usually doesn’t mind. Not only is she a patriot who believes in doing her civic duty, but she’s a stay-at-home mommy who doesn’t sacrifice financially when Head Bailiff Gomer Davis’ sends his greetings. After all, Erin explained on her blog, “Idaho Native,” she has relatives in the area who can watch her girls. Everything was going OK, until Erin’s oldest contracted tonsillitis the night before her jury duty and spent five hours in the hospital. Given her daughter’s condition, the two previous summonses and her history of premature deliveries, Erin tried to get out of jury duty. But Judge Fuddy Duddy said unh-uh. Luckily, one of the two counselors had pity on Erin and dismissed her. Wonders Erin: “How is it that some people go their whole lives and never get called? Or when they do their panel gets cancelled, and others like myself get called every few years?” That’ll teach Erin to become a jury duty target by also doing her duty to vote and to renew her driver’s license.

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/4/05

I posted a number of items after I got home from Bonners Ferry Saturday night. You might want to check them out. Good stuff. You can find questions about Right to Work repeal effort, the recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West, a great letter from an Inland Northwest expatriate now living in New York re: NYers reaction to the Gulf Coast disaster, etc. I’ll post my column later today and probably other items. Meanwhile, you can start your own threads here …

Question No. 3 — Sunday 9/4/05

Issue: Trouble obtaining warrant frustrates officer: Prosecutor slow to move on offender who allegedly failed to report moves/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Capt. Ben Wolfinger (pictured during Groene family murders/kidnappings) “I realize they’re busy, but isn’t this a priority?”

Prosecutor Bill Douglas: “The important thing is he is in custody on fairly high bail”

Question: All’s well that end’s well? Or is the prosecutor’s office being lax in helping keep track of a violent sex predator?

Question of the Day/Sunday — 9/4/05

Issue: Effort to rescind Right to Work continues: Nearly 48K valid signatures need to be gathered to get initiative on Nov. ballot/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

Larry Kenck/Post Falls: Wages and living conditions haven’t changed in the last 10 years. A lot of the public point their finger at Right to Work as the reason.

Ex-Rep. Dean Haagenson/Coeur d’Alene: Contrary to what the unions say, it has been a contributing factor in the growth in North Idaho.

Question: Should Idaho’s Right to Work law be appealed.

Peanut Gallery — A NYer Empathizes

Here in New York, we are all still very stunned about what has happened because of Katrina. We can relate to what our fellow Americans are going though, as we had our own disaster just four short years ago. The call has gone out for help and we are trying our best to answer it, as we know what it feels like to have your entire life radically changed.

While some people are pointing fingers and trying to blame Dubayuh (some of it he deserves), I think the first thing to worry about is to focus all energy on getting aid to those in need. Whinning, complaining and fighting is not going to get people food, clothing or shelter any faster. Four years ago, differences were put aside, and every American joined the cause and some how helped in a great time of need. People came together and did what was right.

Yet again, we’re faced with the same challenges and instead of pointing fingers as to why we can’t provide aid, we need to suck it up and come together. We have all the time once we’ve cleaned things up to have hearings, meet in committee form and publish enough reports to keep Boise Cascade profitable for years to come. We must focus on the task at hand, and that is helping those in need.

Bronx Boy

Gas Prices — From CDA to Bonners Ferry

I just returned from visiting my father-in-law in Bonners Ferry. Cheapest gas: Mobil at Highway 95 & Appleway and Exxon at Government Way and Appleway in Coeur d’Alene: $2.72.9. Most expensive (for regular): $2.99.9 at (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) Samuels Shell, just north of Sandpoint. Most Sandpoint regular and northward runs between $2.85.9 and $2.89.9. Didn’t slow traffic down though. Still congested around Sandpoint and through Coeur d’Alene north to Garwood. Dunno what folks were complaining about re: the rumble strips north of Garwood. I didn’t have any trouble with them. And I didn’t feel that I had less room to maneuver.

Wild Card/TGIF — 9/2/05

The Labor Day weekend is upon us, folks. In most years, that’d be a cause for celebration. But not this one. Who can celebrate in face of the devastation on the Gulf Coast? Even the good news that Sanders Beach belongs to the public is tempered by the awfulness beyond out little burg. Keep the folks down south in your minds and prayers. And take care of yourselves this weekend …

WND Poll: Should New Orleans Be Rebuilt?

1. Yes, its history, music and food are an irreplaceable part of America’s heritage
2. Yes, we’re rebuilding in New York after 9-11
3. Yes – just build the levees higher next time
4. Yes, we’re America – we don’t give up and we don’t abandon our own
5. I don’t know, but it’s too early to give up hope
6. Let’s concentrate on the rescue effort first
7. No, rebuilding can only be done with public funds and American taxpayers can’t afford it
8. No, it would be cheaper to relocate the people than to reclaim and rebuild the city
9. No, the city sits 7 feet below sea level – we could spend billions only to have it flood again in another hurricane
10. Other

Hat Tip: WorldNetDaily

Photo of the Day Contest Winners — 9/2/05

Scene during the tour of the Kootenai County Jail yesterday here. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. “Smile, this is what your taxes pay for!” — Stebbijo.

2. In an effort to stop rampant mischief by some of its older citizens, Kootenani County has implemented a “Scared Straight” program for senior citizens. In the photo above, inmate Eddie Fuchs prepares to jump out and scare these delinquents and hard cases from the Whispering Pines Nursing Home — The Heimlich Maneuver.

3. While Bill was modeling the uniform of the day the judges showed their collective disapproval by turning their backs — Whatever.

HM: Granati and Political Geek

UIdaho Makes Wrong Top 10 List

According to the Princeton Review, these are the “Top 10 Where Students (Almost) Never Study” (Shh, don’t tell Family Phil):

1. University of Mississippi
2. Ohio University — Athens
3. St. Bonaventure University (New York)
4. University of Idaho
5. State University of New York at Albany
6. Emerson College/Boston
7. Florida State University
8. Louisiana State University
9. University of Massachusetts/Amherst
10. Auburn University/Alabama

Hat Tip: Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast

Peanut Gallery — Press Playing Games Again?

Question from Blog Reader: Today, the Spokesman and the Press carried the announcement by Dan Yake for CdA city council. The SR never mentioned party affiliation for Yake or for Mike Kennedy. In the Press twice Dan’s Republican membership appears. Mike is identified as “Democrat Mike Kennedy.” In the SR he’s “Businessman Mike Kennedy.” Since the city council election is non-partisan I think the Spokesman’s story was more appropriate. Identifying partisan affiliation will actually be an advantage for both Yake and Kennedy over whomever else files if they aren’t also connected to either party. What are your thoughts? — Jane. Q. Citizen.

DFO Answer: At best, the Press doesn’t know the City Council race is nonpartisan; at worst, its already signalling that it prefers Yake over Kennedy. The Press has a nasty habit of using its news columns to subtly promote a candidate. It gets worse as the election draws closer. Keep your eye on the coverage for the candidates.

Question: What do you think?

Photo of the Day — 9/2/05 (Where’s Waldo?)

Scene during the tour of the Kootenai County Jail yesterday here. You write the cutline.

Hat Tip: Photographer Kathy Plonka, Reporter Taryn Brodwater

How About Them Vandies? Cougs?

In just year two of his tour as head coach at Idaho, Holt has imbued the Vandals with a good deal more siccum than they’ve shown all decade. They rallied swiftly after their early gaffes and kept plugging even when the Cougars finally ended any relevant debate early in the fourth quarter. Holt didn’t double-clutch when it was clear the offense wasn’t responding to starting quarterback Michael Harrington’s whip and found the spark the Vandals needed in backup Steve WichmanJohn Blanchette/Spokesman-Review.

For the rest of Blanchette’s superb column about last night’s Battle of the Palouse mall, click here. And for Glenn Kasses game story, click here.

Local Morning Headlines — 9/2/05

*Former gravel pit becoming CdA park: Pond, green space to be centerpiece of redeveloped Riverstone complex/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review — Multi-millionaires John Stone (who ordered the work done to the gravel pit above) and Marshall Chesrown are quickly becoming my heroes as these newcomers show others of their pedigree (I’m not naming names here) how to give back to the community in a significant way.

*Area universities taking in students displaced by hurricane/Spokesman-Review: Wonderful.

*Hate crime suspect in jail: Paper snafu allows skinhead to leave state/Jonathan Brunt, Spokesman-Review — Mebbe Spokane County Jail muckety-mucks should read the newspaper. This guy made headlines and a high-profile hate crime.

*Remains unearthed in back yard: Body believed to be that of man missing since Christmas of 2002/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review — Hat Tip to Spokane police detectives for not giving up on this investigation.

*Gas lines paint grim picture: Locals flocking to the pumps, too/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press — Time to get the bikes out again, folks.

Wild Card/Thursday 9/1/05

Remember Tonight: WSU, Idaho launch season of big hopes/Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review. Fox Sports will broadcast the kick off in less than an hour. Meanwhile, you can comment away to your hearts content with this Wild Card …

Best of the Local Blogs — 9/1/05

*Put your hands together for Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It (pictured with son on Centennial Trail), who has been named Blogger of the Month by the San Diego Reader Magazine, here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings offers poignant thoughts about the hurricane disaster/tragedy along the Gulf Coast here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps rightly believes we’re looking at homeland security differently in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina here.

*Granati/Orange Frog 76 had plenty of time to think about his close encounter with a yellowjacket while he was standing on the top rung of a ladder with his darling daughters below here.

*Joanne Fuchs/Family Friendly Source, from Cocalalla, offers 15 helpful tips on how to give your cat a pill here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind recalls when she started her blog six months ago she was ranting about gas that was selling for $2.19.9 per gallon in Sandpoint here.

Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/1/05

Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It wrote this cutline for his North Idaho Fair photo above: “Don’t take my picture!!! I have to fix my mane!” Can you do better? Seems not many of you are interested in the first Photo of the Day today. So, why don’t you write a cutline for this one.

Top Cutlines:

1. dont cha hate it when you get peanut butter stuck on the roof of your mouth — Granati.

2. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a little horse today — Whatever; and: “Go ahead! I dare you! Look in my mouth! I WAS a GIFT you know!” — Toadmaster.

3. “Hey, all you parents listen up. I know it’s back-to-school time…but, hey, lighten up on the glue purchases if ya know what I mean. My name is not Elmer” — Side Note.

HM: John Austin

Bearable Bob Reporting for Duty?

I’m done bitching. I received an email this morning from a federally contracted agency that is soliciting past and present US Government consultants for interest in 90 day contracts for emergency help in the Katrina-ravaged gulf coast. I requested a 90 day leave of absence from my job this morning. I’m waiting to hear on whether my job will let me go. If so, I’m responding to the solicitation with a very quick deployment date. I hope they hire me. I am great under pressure and crisis and have superior organizational and project management skills.

This isn’t bullshit. I’d want others to do this for my community if it was devastated. I’ve consulted in Mobile Alabama before. I’ve sat on the brilliant white beaches of the gulf shore and sipped frozen rum drinks and swam in the bathwater warm sea of the Gulf of Mexico. Time to put up or shut up. Time for prayers to put on boots and hit the streets. Time to make a difference.

Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being

DFO: Bob just posted this on his blog and already Stebbijo and Green Libertarian have said, me, too. Amazing. I absolutely salute the spirit. You can read the comments to this post here.

Local Question of the Day — Riverstone

Item: Joey’s Smokin’ B-B-Q will combine “hip” with a taste of country fair, according to Randy Folk, who will own the restaurant with his wife, Akiko. Slated for a Nov. 1 opening, Joey’s will be located in 1,400 square feet between Regal Cinemas and Starbucks/Nils Rosdahl, SR here.

DFO: Buddy Nils points out in his weekly biz column that there are a lot of rumors swirling about new biz locating in developer John Stone’s Riverstone project. I’ve only been in the project once, to go to the last “Star Wars” movie. But I’ve heard people describe it as being a bit scattered in terms of where the buildings are popping up.

Question: What’s your impression of Riverstone so far?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 9/1/05

APhoto: Ex-Mariner Randy Johnson outdueled rookie phenom Felix Hernandez last night, and Art Thiel/PI, one of the top sportswriters in the country talks about it today in the IMHO-NW roundup.

In the “Wrong As Usual” Dept., the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington has challenged a new Issaquah ordinance that tightly restricts where sex offenders may live, calling it inconsistent with state law and unlikely to improve public safety, according to the Seattle Times here. (Mebbe we should ask the ACLUers filing this suit to take each a Level 3 under their wings.)

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles re: the fat chance that other nations will help us in our time of need here.

2. Twenty-five surveillance cameras, 17 state employees, 12-foot security walls and a $1.6 million annual budget — all for one high-risk Washington sex offender, according to Jonathan Martin/Seattle Times, here.

3. The final home of the late Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler was bought for an investment Wednesday, for $167,700, here.

4. A central Idaho man who wanted to lure law enforcement into the back-country so he could pick them off was undone by his craving for coffee here.

5. Health officials are looking into a report that a North Idaho woman may have a form of mad cow’s disease here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Cruella D’Ville loose in Spokane), Missoulian (Keep oil reserve in reserve), The Olympian (West recall should proceed quickly), Joni Balter/Seattle Times (Cynicism will pass gas-tax rollback), Art Thiel/PI (Vintage Randy Johnson).

*Vehicular manslaughter charges have been dropped against Boise State football player Cam Hall here.

*There’s a party atmosphere in Renton as Boeing machinists vote, prepare to strike here.

*A sharp-eyed cruise ship passenger with a pair of binoculars was all that stood between tragedy and a man clinging to his capsized boat in the middle of Lake Pend Oreille (North Idaho), according to the Bonner County Daily Bee, here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here.

If You Read No Other Column Today …

As for the tragic piggism that is taking place on the streets of New Orleans, it is not unbelievable but it is unforgivable, and I hope the looters are shot. A hurricane cannot rob a great city of its spirit, but a vicious citizenry can. A bad time with Mother Nature can leave you digging out for a long time, but a bad turn in human behavior frays and tears all the ties that truly bind human being—trust, confidence, mutual regard, belief in the essential goodness of one’s fellow citizens. (Rest of this terrific column here).

Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal

New Photo of the Day — 9/1/05

Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It wrote this cutline for his North Idaho Fair photo above: “Don’t take my picture!!! I have to fix my mane!” Can you do better? Seems not many of you are interested in the first Photo of the Day today. So, why don’t you write a cutline for this one.

Calling All Local Bloggers …

Two of you — CDADave and Family Phil — have complained recently about nasty notes posted by blog trolls. My guess is that the troll my comment or blurk here. If you have trouble with a troll and have access to his/her IP address, please send it to me via private e-mail, so I can check if the clown posts here, too. Mebbe we can catch and out when of these guys.

How Low Can People Go?

Be on the alert for an Ewok-like dog: Two Cruellas steal puppy from retiree/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review

Quote: “They knew exactly what they were doing,” says Yvonne Shaunessy, 74, who supplements her meager Social Security income by breeding purebred dogs that sell for $500 each. “They were stealing this puppy for drugs.”

DFO: Book ‘em, Dan-o.

Make Your Own Gasoline, Anyone?

I wrote in an earlier post, that I always put $20 worth of gas in the tank, no matter what the price was. I also wrote that I’d be getting “antsy” if that $20 filled up only half my tank. Well, I bought gas today (2.57.9) and the needle just barely got past the halfway mark. Ack, Ack, AAAACK! I wonder if you can take all of the “meth” home-cooking technology and make your own gasoline. You know, go to Shuck’s, buy a coupla cans of oil, and then brew away until you have high-octane stuff? Could you get busted for that? Could canines be trained to sniff for oil? Enquiring minds want to know!

CDADave/Thin Air

For more of CDADave’s “Thin Air,” click here.

Question of the Day — 9/1/05

Issue: Yankees, NFL each give $1 million for relief: ‘Responsibility of the American public to step up and help those in need’/Associated Press

Yankee Owner George Steinbrenner: “This is one of America’s greatest natural disasters and tragedies and it is the responsibility of the American public to step up and help those in need.”

Question: What can we as individuals do to help?

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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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