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Archive for December 2006

Vacation Wild Care No. 11 — 12/31/06

I’ve become a fan of Raymond Pert’s “Three Beautiful Things” about a given day here. Raymond’s approach forces him to pay attention to and chronicle good/beautiful things that happen in his life. A I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to chronicle daily the beautiful things that happen to me in 2007. As a warm-up, I wrote down the 3BTs for the last two days, including the news that good friends are returning from Texas after a 4-year absence; a wonderful Italian dinner this evening prepared by Amy Dearest who has just returned from four months of study in Rome; and fulfillment of my 2006 resolution today of walking 750 miles. You can use this Wild Card to list 3 Beautiful Things or to announce resolutions or to launch a thread …

Vacation Wild Card No. 9 — 12/29/06

Unofficially, this is the last day of my vacation, HBOers. Of course, most of us have the New Year’s weekend off, too. So, I’ll continue to post Wild Cards this weekend as I prepare to return Tuesday, refreshed and ready for my new duties that’ll concentrate more on Huckleberries print/online. I’ll also have a higher profile on the editorial page because the boss wants me to write a coupla full-length op-ed columns per month, along with a lighter editorial-writing load. Can’t wait. Until then, here’s another vacation Wild Card …

Vacation Wild Card No. 8 — 12/28/06

We spent a leisurely afternoon in downtown Coeur d’Alene Wednesday, eating at Toro Viejo for lunch and then spending a coupla hours visiting the extended family at Java on Fourth. Some members of the group wanted to see the waterfront but were quickly driven to cover by the wind blowing off the lake. The femmes in the large group visited a shop or two on Sherman. And then we retreated to my house for supper and another prolonged visit. All in all, I’m in full vacation mode and enjoying it thoroughly. I hope you’re enjoying the holidays, too. It won’t be long before we’re lighting things up again here. Meanwhile, you can express your thoughts or start a thread with this Wild Card …

Vacation Wild Card No. 6 — 12/26/06

I hate to leave you on your own this week as I enjoy the rest of my vacation. But I’m thoroughly enjoying my nuclear and extended family. 17 of us live in North Idaho, stretched from Coeur d’Alene (9) to Post Falls (2) to Spirit Lake (3) to Bonners Ferry (3). That means family gatherings happen at the drop of a hat. And that relatives from Portland and California visit regularly because there’s so many of us bundled up in one spot. ‘Tis nice to live only a few miles apart. And to have such close relationships on both sides of the family after all these years. What a blessing. Now, here’s your Vacation Tuesday Wild Card …

Arpie: Christmas Haikus

Wrapping paper tears
Did you read the instructions?
Plastic plethora

Around the table
Nancy’s gravy covers all
Eyes meet with blessings

We didn’t run out
Grandpa sent the batteries
Three-dozen AA

Friend home safely
Doctors and tests tomorrow
There’s more ahead

JohnA’s Night Before Christmas, HBO Style

Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the blog,
Not a blurker was commenting,
Not even you, Bob.
Our keyboards were near,
And our monitors glowed,
In case our St. DFO
Might have just showed.

With Bob in his kerchief
And I in my hat,
We awaited most eager
Our leader to chat,
Then, out of my monitor
Arose such a clatter,
I rushed to my desk
To see what was the matter.

When, what to my wondering eyes
Did I see,
But Dave Tolle had commented.
Yes, that was he!
I checked with amazement
At his current chat site,
To see for my own
If he had just taken flight.

Banned there for comment
Because of my name,
I returned to my HBO
It is more sane.
Soon I was checking
The blog for more fare,
A Claude comment here,
Or an Any mouse there.

Now, Mama and Side Note,
And our own dearest Cis,
On, Thom, Dang and Green L
They could not be missed.
From the base of the comments
To the archives I checked,
To ensure just the best
That the blog could reflect.

So, worry not blurkers,
HBO is secure,
Our own fearless leader
Has checked in for sure.
I know we will hear
As he leaves our fair site,
Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!

Vacation Wild Card No. 3 — 12/23/06

Amy Dearest and I put a good dent in the Christmas shopping for my wife Friday. We’re not through. But it looks like we won’t be doing any last-minute shopping. I finally broke down and bought a new set of studded tires for the Honda, too. I have to make too many trips to the Spokane airport in the next week or so not to have studs on at least one of the three cars. I’m not entirely into vacation mode. But I’m getting there. You can use this Wild Card to discuss Christmas shopping, studded snow tires, the firing of Post Falls Community Development Director Gary Young, the Christmas Samaritan who handed out $50 bills on a Spokane bus, or SReaders choosing Buddy (from “Elf”) over George Bailey, the Grinch and others as their favorite Christmas character. Or anything else for that matter.

Vacation Wild Card No. 2 — 12/22/06

I forgot to mention to you earlier this week that I received a call from Rich Gordon, an associate prof at Northwestern University who’s studying the SR’s “blogging initiative” among other current newspaper innovations. We discussed what we’re doing here for 15 minutes or so. (I’ve published the e-mail he sent in the “comments” section.) I told him about the evolution of Huckleberries Online and commented that the North Idaho blogosphere, with its three dozen or so local bloggers may be one of the most advanced in the Northwest. His report will be sent to a national newspaper organization. ‘Tis nice to be noticed. Today, Amy Dearest and I are on our own to find Mama O her Christmas presents. Scary. While we fight the crowds, you can use this Wild Card to start threads or talk about Gonzaga’s tough loss to Duke, the close encounter between the Coeur d’Alene Press, and LCDC, and/or the serial rapist who admitted his guilt and is so, so sorry.

Wild Card — 12/20/06

The dinner bell is ringing, HBOers. Ditto for the vacation bell. I’m looking forward to the time off with me and mine — if part of mine can get out of Denver over the weekend. I’ll sneak in here and post a bit during the holidays — probably a coupla items to keep you going Thursday and Friday, and then dropping off to the Wild Card until I get back. Mebbe some thoughts re: where I’d like to go from here, beginning with my new assignment Jan. 2. I’m really interested in bringing more toys on line, like video and podcasts. I also want to network with other NW blogospheres — and figure out a way to promote local bloggers even more. I’ll post items re: these things for your comments, which I value. Meanwhile, I’m leaving you with this Wild Card as I head out the door …

Marianne Love — Remembering Brandy

In a poignant post, Marianne Love/Slight Detour remembers 24-year-old Brandy Post, who died in that Bonner County fire, along with 35-year-old Jason Mitchell and their young son here. Below, you’ll find thoughts that Brandy shared as part of a turn-of-the-century project.

Birthdate: July 13, 1982

Interests/School Activities: I am interested in medication, and I enjoy playing volleyball, basketball and golf.

What you’ll remember most about Sandpoint at the turn of the centry: What I will remember about Sandpoint High School—I haven’t been going to Sandpoint very long, but I think I’ll remember how hard it was for me to make friends.

What you’ll remember most about the nation and the world: I will remember all of the school shootings and how people thought 2000 was going to be the end of time.

Music you’ll remember: I will always love my father’s music the most. He would play Christian music, in the churches. I will also remember the Guns n’ Roses; my sisters and brothers would rock out to this song when we were kids.

Fads you’ll remember: I will remember bell bottoms, sweat shirts with hoods, shiny clothes, white anything and platforms.

Favorite school memory: Doing a pole dance, for the Elk Mountain Academy boys.

Technology that makes your life easy: The telephone and the computer

Your all-time favorite book: I don’t have a favorite book, but I enjoy reading poems and reading about certain medications.

Plans for after high school: I plan to be a pharmacist.

Biggest fear for the future: I fear that I will lose my mother to her drug addiction. I also fear that I will drop out of high school.

Lifetime goal/hope for the future: To go to college and become a pharmacist.


Bob: Anti-DFO/HBO/SR/BOBsessors Fascinating

Bob: Speaking of tinfoilers … I went to visit trainwreck blogging over on the CDA mess and the WE HATE POOPYHEAD DFO blog. So Claude, who sees your Bobster everywhere he looks, is accusing some poster named “LOL” of me and I decide, because I care so much about my vast numbers of fans, to leave a comment this morning straightening the two posters left over there (CDW and Tolle). Lo and behold it doesn’t get posted. Interesting censoring they’ve got going over there. But the rare non Claude and non Tolle poster that drops in BEGS them to change the subject from Bobsession or DFObsession to something else that might possibly be interesting but the two just can’t. It’s a fascinating (in a bug under a microscope way) view into deranged cyber-obsession. Carry on, dudes! Ha. (And thanks for the links and traffic Claude. ;)

DFO: Bob, I have a question for you. Let’s say Tolle and Clod of the Walls came crawling back to HBO on their bellies, like those snakes crawling through the dude’s nose below, begging to be restored to fellowship in the North Idaho blogosphere. If you could only pick one to allow back in, in a gesture of goodwill befitting the season, which one would it be?

Question: Which uberconservative who has stomped out of here this year do you miss most?

Top Cutlines — 12/20/06

Manoharan, known as Snake Manu, 30, practises with two brown tree snakes by running it through his nasals and mouth in Chennai, India, earlier today. Manoharan is awaiting a sponsor for a chance to make a performance for the Guinness Book jury. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ M.Lakshman)

Top Cutlines

1. Manoharon got a little confused when asked if he prefered gummi bears or worms — Marmitetoasty.

2. One snake sez to the other, “Grab a kleenex, you have something on your nose” — Cabbage Boy.

3. “Oh my, Guinness” exclaimed Snake Manu, who obviously dreads the chance to compete for the record. Now he nose he won’t breathe easy until it’s over — John Austin.

Coffee Spitter: Yet another remedy, for DFO’s pesky sinus flare-ups — Lesley Presley.

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

A Holiday Toast

Our Christmas tree is strung with lights;
the old year’s nearly done;
I raise a glass to you, my friend:
“God bless us, every one!”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

MADD Severs Ties w/Miss(behaving) Teen USA

Katie Blair, Miss Teen USA 2006, right, poses with Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006, left, at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 16. Blair, an 18-year-old from Montana was crowned Miss Teen USA 2006 the day before. Allegations of not so innocent extracurricular activities — underage drinking and carousing with Conner — led the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving to sever ties with 18-year-old Katie Blair here.

Question: What’s your reaction to the recent flaps re: underage drinking and carousing involving Miss Teen USA and Miss USA?

Columnist: Lucky to Have “Radio Free Moscow”

Full column here

Almost any resident of Moscow can recite a list of the special amenities and opportunities of our city — and keep going for some time. However, an informal exploration revealed that many community members know nothing about a unique gem that we have here: Radio Free Moscow. Media consolidation is among the many overwhelming 21st century societal developments that can make any democracy-loving U.S. citizen weep. Most radio and television stations are owned outright by large corporations and government entities. What we are exposed to in the media has been filtered and spun to fit profoundly biased guidelines. A community radio station can keep opportunities open for the broadcasting of local news and less-censored world news and the expression of a wide range of points of view. In Moscow, we are fortunate to have an independent radio station: KRFP, Radio Free Moscow, 92.5 FM. — Lois Blackburn/Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

DFO: In view of the recent firing by KXLY, I found Lois Blackburn’s column about Moscow’s independent FM radio station interesting. ‘Twould be nice if Coeur d’Alene had a radio station that would provide the local news and community scuttlebutt and features that the Moscow station does. And that former news director Dick Haugen tried to do all by himself.

Winning Combo — Rum Cake, Her Sandiness

Christie Wood: The Mayor just dropped off two homemade rum cakes for the Police Department. Don’t worry…I will not be driving anywhere. I got first crack at the cake that came to the Detective Division (you always have to try to get some food before the boys do or there is nothing left!)The cake is superb and a very nice gesture by the Mayor to remember us at Christmas. You have read many articles lately about the Mayor and her excellent State of the City Address. The community is very fond of her and you can see why we love her too.

DFO: Some of you might know the answer to this question. Name one thing that Her Sandiness and I have in common?

Wambooli Lunch: Passing E-mail Acquaintances

Full post here

Over the years I’ve met lots of people through e-mail, folks whom I’ve never met in real life. Meeting people you’ve never seen or heard is a common side effect of e-mail, especially when you frequent chat rooms, blogs, or forums, or otherwise get involved on-line. It’s strange to get to know someone that way, but still a welcome form of human contact. I have many, many e-mail friends I’ve never met, people from all over the globe too. They’re just people with whom I enjoy writing back and forth. It’s fun. But then, every once in a while, I get that final message — DanG/Wambooli Lunch.

DFO: Another heavyweight has officially entered the North Idaho blogosphere — regular HBOer DanG. His poignant post above about online buddies who die indicates that DanG has a lot to offer on his computer-oriented, nonpolitical blog, Wambooli Lunch. Check it out here.

APhoto of the Day — 12/20/06

Manoharan, known as Snake Manu, 30, practises with two brown tree snakes by running it through his nasals and mouth in Chennai, India, earlier today. Manoharan is awaiting a sponsor for a chance to make a performance for the Guinness Book jury. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ M.Lakshman)

Item: Ironman Reroutes Course Away from Post Falls

Issue: Ford Ironman set to pedal north: Bike course in Hayden zips past final hurdle/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “The new course will be hillier, but then you can let go on the downhill and won’t have to slow down any,” Coeur d’Alene’s Bill Travis said Tuesday. “I think it will be a lot better.” Travis called the Post Falls route “boring.” Riders said they won’t miss the tight, technical turns of Riverview Drive, where multiple accidents have occurred, the wooden ramp over the railroad tracks and the thin Centennial Trail.

Question: Will Post Falls regret that it lost the Ironman route (possibly as a result of its complaints about police overtime reimbursement)?

Breaking! ISP Trooper Shot Near Twin Falls

An Idaho State Trooper was shot early this morning after stopping an alleged armed robbery subject on State Highway 74 just south of Twin Falls. Trooper Chris Glenn was wounded in the neck when he stopped the subject’s vehicle at about 7:10 this morning. The subject fled the scene, but was later apprehended in Elko County, Nevada when the vehicle crashed off US 93 near Jackpot. Officers are still investigating the incident and Glenn’s condition is being assessed. A press conference will be held at the Idaho State Police Region 4 office at 218 West Yakima, Jerome at 11:30 a.m. this morning.

MamaJD: Rocky Deserves Person of Year Mention

MamaJD: Not recommending for person of the year, but, I think Rocky Watson deserves some brownie points. He, at one time, was perceived as anti-FBI due to some statements he may have made at a County Bar Association luncheon. Some agents were cool to Rocky because of this. Rocky then got first hand experience dealing with the FBI and working together in solving the crime. Although Duncan showed up on his own accord for arrest, the inter-agency relationship that was established worked well for Kootenai County’s justice system. Rocky, it seems, has mended fences due to the Groene case. Rocky, in fact, was the keynote speaker for the Inland Northwest chapter of the Retired FBI Agent’s Society Christmas Party last Sunday. Way to go, Rocky, for working past issues for a common goal and sharing with the Feds. Too bad the Prosecutors office didn’t follow suit.

DFO: Your case for Rocky as person of the year would have been stronger last year, when Duncan happened. But I do give him kudos for handling his department’s illicit Internet problem better than the prosecutor’s office.

LastdemoinIdaho: Snowbird Flies Home for Winter

LastdemoinIdaho: Look no longer to the south deserts for my infrequent comments. Arrived back home in safer/saner north Idaho last week. First intent was to stay just for holidays, but we have decided to stay home and freeze with the rest of you’ll! Haggy’s monster digs have recently taken a back seat to other local issues. The entire Cochella Valley (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio, etc.)is exploding with growth. Starter houses go for $300,000+. Traffic on arterials here is actually worse than down there, mainly, in my judgement, due to our outdated 1920 era 2 lane roads. But still a bit safer driving here…was very nerve-racking dealing with 60-70 mph driving on streets…not I-10! Crime down there is rising rapidly. Our small, gated/walled complex with security people has been repeatedly violated by thieves coming in over the wall. Local news reports a murder or two almost daily. Sad situation. We will relearn how to deal with the snow and cold. But I am already gritting my teeth listening to big 4X4s driven by soccer moms grinding the dry streets with their damnable studs!! Arrgh!!

DFO: I’m still stud-tireless in Coeur d’Alene this winter. I put new tires on one of the cars and have been able to get along fine. The test will come when I have to go into Spokane and a snowy day. But that can wait. Welcome back, LDII.

Parting Shot — A Falcon Eat Pigeon World — 12/19/06

Hey DFO, was at a meeting at the Cd’A Chamber last Friday and this falcon slammed this pigeon into the window and killed it. It sat out in the parking for at least an hour or so as it munched the thing down to size where it could carry the rest away! Debbie Berger, communications assistant from the chamber shot these pix. Thought you might be interested” — Bent.

Update: Gay BSU Student Faces Misdemeanor

A Boise State University student has been charged with a misdemeanor after he reportedly told detectives he fabricated a story that he was attacked on the Greenbelt because of his sexual orientation. (Full Idaho Statesman story here)

DFO: Reasonable ending to an unfortunate incident.

UI Vandals Pick … WSU’s Robb Akey

Complete Jim Meehan story here, Jim’s Idaho Vandals blog here

After a 10-day search, the University of Idaho has found its next head football coach – eight miles away. Washington State defensive coordinator Robb Akey (pictured above) has accepted an offer to become Idaho’s coach, multiple sources said Tuesday afternoon. Akey, 40, has been an assistant coach at WSU since 1998. He was promoted to defensive coordinator prior to the 2003 season. Akey’s duties also include coaching the defensive line. Akey assisted at Northern Arizona from 1995-98 and Weber State, his alma mater, from 1988-94. The Vandals reportedly narrowed their list to two Tuesday – Akey and Portland State coach Tim Walsh – before deciding on Akey — Jim Meehan/Spokesman-Review.

Question: Do you approve of the choice?

Extra! Hagadone Workers to Get Dental Coverage

Gotta applaud the news this afternoon from a Berry Picker that Hagadone is extending dental coverage to newsroom employees, at least. I’ll leave it at that, w/o any snide remarks. Good job, Duane.

Q: Who Would Be North Idaho’s Person of the Year?

Issue: Time magazine created a flap by naming Internet users as its person of the year. Now, Pat Buchanan’s claiming that Iran cuh-razy Iranian leader Ahmadinejad should have made the cover.

Question: If Time mag produced a North Idaho edition, who would be its local Person of the Year?

Rudolph, the 6-Year-Old Consumer — Sam

Rudolph the six-year-old consumer
Had a lot of toys and clothes
But during this Christmas season
He wanted one of those new Elmos

All of the other children
Wanted globs of candy and games
Of course poor little Rudolph
Wanted much of the same

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
His parents came to say
Rudolph with your hopes so high
Santa ain’t real
and ain’t comin’ tonight

Then how the children loved him
As they shouted out with glee
Rudolph the six-year-old consumer
Your new elmo’s under the tree!


Kellogg Bloggin: Nicknames Uncommon Today

Full post here

In 1972, when I strolled into a party or a bar filled with friends, someone would mark my arrival by calling out my father’s name: “Hey,Pert!” If George White was present, he called me “Cotton”. Some called me “Irish”. I’d sit down with Stu (aka Sturt, Mulligan, or Ned), Byrdman (aka Blowtop), Lew (aka Bartalome), Louie (aka Dunbar), Chick (aka Pierce or Dodger), Jake, Bones, Snotz, Bach, Squirrely, Buck, Buff, Goose, Hog, Dogfoot, Abby (aka Brooks), Eddie, Kenny, Lars, Stinky, Magilla, Sparky and we might tell stories about Sweats, Fancy Art, Jeremiah Bean, Carmen, Dersky, Catfish, Trout, Poz, Sman, Ollie, Reuben, Chat (the Cat) and others — Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’.

DFO: Raymond Pert goes on to say that nicknames are uncommon among young people today: “The only student in my classes I knew had a nickname was Tiffany, who former friends called Stiffy. I think of nicknames for my students all the time, but keep them to myself.”

Question: What was your nickname as a kid? Do you have a nickname now?

RSPA: Spend The Dough, Spend The Dough …

Oh the traffic outside is frightful,
but the sales are so delightful,
and since we’ve got three days to go,
spend the dough, spend the dough, spend the dough

The prices are quickly dropping,
and my credit card is popping
my checking account is low,
spend the dough, spend the dough, spend the dough

If the food budget is too tight,
how we’ll hate eating ramen and corn,
but if this card balance is right,
we’ll burn bills to keep us warm

My good sense is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we’re still gift buying,
But, as long as you share the woe,
spend the dough, spend the dough, spend the dough


APhoto of the Day — 12/19/06

Drake Perkins, right, dislikes his visit with Santa Claus Monday at Northland Mall in Sterling, Ill. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daily Gazette, Paul Colletti)

Item: Ex-Super Harris Picked for Post Falls Council

Huckleberrie hears … that this wasn’t such a shoo-in pick as expected — that long-time planner Mel Palmer was the favorite in the field of 15 or 16. My sources question whether Dick Harris, the superb former superintendent of schools, has the gumption to run for election in his own right next fall.

Doug Clark: Kevin Coe Field Trip Requires Shower

Full column here

I need a shower. A really hot shower. With lots and lots of soap. And maybe an amnesia drug. Anything to wipe away the fecal memories of my day with Kevin Coe. Oh, it sounded like such a great idea. I got up Monday morning, brewed a pot of coffee, picked up the newspaper … “Coe faces day of reckoning,” blared the headline across the top of Page One. Hmm. That sounds like an intriguing field trip, I said to myself. I’ll go see if state prosecutors can win one for Team Human. The goal is to persuade Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor to grant a civil trial that could keep Spokane’s infamous South Hill rapist locked away for the rest of his days. If not, Coe walks. He’s done his time, more than 25 years — Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review.

Raymond Pert: Of Course, There’s A Santa

Raymond Pert: When a boy, I kept being told by kids older than I that there was no Santa. I’d wake up on Christmas morning and under the tree I’d find a baseball mitt or a farm set or a new space heater and this continued year after year … in high school, it’d be a study desk or a new pair of slacks and then I got older and older and my parents helped me with a down payment on the house I live in now and after last Christmas I have new books to read and dvd’s to watch. … There’s definitely a Santa Claus. Still, in my middle age, people still ask me, “Was Santa good to you?” and I say, “Yes, he certainly was.” I never say, “Oh, there’s no Santa.” I always try to tell the truth.

DFO: Well done.

Parting Shot — 12/18/06

Gov. Jim Risch and Laura Hubbard, state director of the Nature Conservancy, (bottom) admire the cascading waterfalls (top) at the newly named Thousand Springs State Park Complex today from the loft of the historic Minnie Miller Dairy Barn near Hagerman, Idaho. More than 300 acres of the Thousand Springs Preserve near Hagerman, including Ritter Island and two miles of Snake River riverfront. The land, a gift from The Nature Conservancy, comes with a donation of a $1 million endowment that will pay for its upkeep here/Darin Oswald, Idaho Statesman/AP Photos.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 12/18/06

Dunno who this guy is, other than he isn’t Thom George. He was at the Kootenai County Courthouse today, protesting that Idaho Republicans still haven’t ponied up the $3,500 to pay for veep Dick Cheney’s electioneering in Kootenai County prior to November’s election. Kerri Thoreson/ snapped the photo.

Extra! A blogger who purports to be CodaDave has made it to his new home in the Pacific NW and already is chuckling about newscasters who warn that temperatures could drop below 30. The big storm knocked out his phone service. So, he wrote to Huckleberries from the library. He sez hello to his fans here and promises to start posting regularly when he gets online in a week or two.

*”Amateur” is a noble word when it’s uttered by Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’, who continues in praise of amateur journalism as performed by all bloggers in the North Idaho blogosphere here.

*Not only does TuBob have a new blog that’s devoted to his current weight loss program (“My Beautiful and Special Weight Loss Blog”) here, but he treats us to a nice post about watching his man-cub come of age on the slope here.

*Do you remember that Barf-o-rama in “Stand By Me” (Stephen King’s short story, “The Body”)? Well, Katrina/Notes on a Napkin sez her son, Caleb, performed his own Barf-o-rama last week that involved 5 pajama changes here.

*Sam/Vandal Sense empathizes with a kindergartener who made a fuss while getting his hair clipped because he’d been nicked before here.

*Stebbijo knows when a winter has been unusually cold because she remembers it — like the time she was a first-grader in an ugly snow suit with berms 10 feet high here.

*Nathan Empsall/Wayward Episcopalian, who’s helping the clean-up effort in Lousiana, is ashamed of the district that re-elected corrupt U.S. Rep. William Jefferson to another term here.

Put your hands together for Friends of Huckleberries faves Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished and Pickaxe Pete/The Bodie Specter who finished second and seven, respectively, in their national contest brackets for best blogs.

Meanwhile, Toad tells a fellow One Star Stater what he misses most about Texas here, Southwark Lad is bent about hidden fees here, Bayview Herb has little sympathy for adventurers who get caught on mountains here, Dr. Jim sez a sports concussion is serious business here, and Marianne has posted cool photos of her horses and Lovestead here.

Joseph Barbara, 95, Cartoon Creator, RIP

Joseph Barbera poses with famed Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters, from left, Scooby Doo, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, after he received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles Saturday, Sept. 21, 1996. Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flinstones, died Monday, a Warner Bros. spokesman said. He was 95. Hanna died in 2001. (AP File Photo)

DFO: My favorite Hanna-Barbera character? Huckleberry Hound, of course.

Item: Officer Resigns Over Pot-Use Claim …

SPD Blue say he bought laced cookies/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Gotta give Spokane police props for handling, reporting the matter promptly, right?

Item: FBI: Violent Crime Still on Rise in 2006

Full post here

Murders and robberies continued to rise across the country during the first six months of 2006, on pace for an increase in violent crime for a second straight year, preliminary FBI data released Monday show. The numbers reflect what police across the country have been saying for months: that the lull in crime between 2001 and 2004 appears to be over. Last year, violent crime rose 2.2 percent nationally - the first increase since 2001/Associated Press.

Question: Have you ever been the victim of a violent crime?

Daily News: WSU Prez Search Omitted Public

For complete editorial, click here

The search for Washington State University’s new president couldn’t have been more secretive if the CIA had conducted it. Elson S. Floyd was named successor to retiring WSU President V. Lane Rawlins on Wednesday, ending a hiring process that omitted any form of interaction from anyone outside the search committee and the Board of Regents. That’s not exactly what we’d expect from a public institution that trumpets its “face to face” qualities. WSU has effectively removed any second-guessing in regard to Floyd’s hiring, if only because the public wasn’t made aware of who the second and third — or any other — choices were. In effect, Floyd’s appointment seemed more like a coronation — Doug Bauer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

DFO: The editorial goes on to point out that WSU Regents and a previous search committee did things similarly when V. Lane Rawlins was hired. Obviously, those in positions of power at WSU have a contempt for the public process.

Changing of the Guard @ the Pentagon

President Bush, left, watches as Defense Secretary Robert Gates is sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney, not shown, during a ceremony at the Pentagon this morning here. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Item: Searchers Find Body on Mount Hood …

… two other still missing … may have fallen here.

DFO: I don’t understand the motivation that prompts people to climb mountains, particularly in the dead of winter in the Pacific Northwest. But I do understand that the three lost mountaineers have put people at risk trying to find and rescue them. I feel for their families. But I’m struggling to sympathize with them, if any of them are still alive, for their foolish decision to climb Mount Hood in December. Izzit me?

Ah’m Your Huckleberry: A Debt of Gratitude

Most of you know about the $80,000 custom bike that was given to Steve Groene Friday in memory of the sons he lost at the hands of killer Joseph Duncan. But a quiet act took place at the faux press conference that was also meaningful. Bob Hollingsworth, the neighbor who discovered the murders at the Wolf Lodge home, was there. He quietly paid Shasta $15 - the money he had gone that day in May 2005 to pay to Slade for mowing his yard.

Hat Tip: Taryn Brodwater

Doug Clark: Expose Cop Wants his Job Back

For rest of column, click here

Cuppa Joe was once a Spokane County sheriff’s detective. Then came that career-ending day last June when he exposed himself to a barista babe at the On Alert espresso stand in Airway Heights. I have no knowledge as to whether Cuppa Joe was on alert or at ease at the time – so please don’t ask. The wise move for this guy would be to quietly relocate to another country under an assumed name. Peter Pervertsky, say. But Cuppa Joe has instead thrust himself back into the news. He’s fighting to get his job back while arguing that the server led him on — Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review.

Question: Should officer Cuppa Joe get his job back?

Jim Fisher: Papers Biting Off Nose to Spite Face

For rest of column, click here

Here’s one way in which I’m glad small newspapers like this one are not aping our bigger siblings in metropolitan areas: We’re not throwing bodies overboard in order to satisfy profit demands of investor owners. I just finished reading two more stories in a succession that has become familiar. Across the nation, large papers are finding themselves unable to meet income targets, and owners are responding by forcing them to shed employees. All too often, that results in papers that are less desirable to readers, who stop buying them, thereby forcing earnings even lower and … You get the idea. And it isn’t just newspaper employees who are noticing. In Los Angeles and St. Louis, community leaders have publicly protested the decline of what were once vital civic organs, Rob Gurwitt reports for Governing magazine — Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune.

DFO: Metro newspapers will die, unless they evolve to meet the changing habits of readers. I appreciate that I work for a newspaper that has seen the future and is rapidly transforming into a 24/7 information center to survive. We’re already considered one of the nation’s leaders in online journalism. Next year, we’ll kick things into high gear. My switch to focusing even more on this blog — and training others in the organization re: how to publish a community blog — is part of that switch. We will survive. But we’ll look different in the near future.

Bob: Stick A Fork in Zags, Call Them Done

Bob: OK, here’s my prediction. Now, I’m sure if I’m wrong all the gloating Zaganatics will drag it out and wave it at me because nobody ever drags out my predictions when they are chillingingly and stunningly correct (see: Nov 06 elections, see The End of Neoconservatism) but that’s cool cuz I only roll one way. And that way is Nostradamus. When the obituary is written for the death of the dream of the Zags as perennial NCAA tournament challengers, the pundits and wags will point to this game, this stomping by the other Bulldogs as the point when the wreckage of the Zags season commenced. You will know the 06/07 Zags by their trail of tears and chokes. These losers are done. Stick a meat thermometer in and call Granny to the table. Turkey’s on!

Raymond Pert: Maybe. We’ll see. It could go the other way. Gonzaga has played (and is playing) a very demanding pre-season schedule…this preseason seasoning might help them in NCAA tournament (if they win their conference/conference tournament). This morning on ESPN radio, Steve Lavin called the Zags’ schedule the toughest in the land. I’ll tell you all, I look at the Zags’ schedule next to Oregon Ducks and for every Bethune-Cookman and Idaho State the Ducks have played, Gonzaga has played North Carolina, Washington, and will play Duke this week. I’ll be very interested to see if this road schedule has the toughening effect on Gonzaga that I imagine Mark Few is hoping it will have so that come tourney time, after playing at Georgia, at MSG, at WSU, at Virginia, this team will be more fully tested. I’m eager to see how it works out. If you hit the nail on the head, Bob, I will be very very impressed. If you missed the nail’s head, nothing ventured, nothing gained … right?

Funkydale: CDA Residents Decide Where KVNI Goes

Funkydale: QueenB still has to broadcast in the public interest and yes, serve the public with a required amount of public affairs programming per week— the morning show doing most of that. Travis Malone is a standup guy, he loves radio and loves the people of CDA. He’s been put in a precarious position and is not a replacement to Dick Haugen, so don’t think he had anything to do with Dick’s termination, because that’s not his style. As you may remember when Hough retired, Dick had to win over the audience of KVNI listeners, and did it with class. Dick didn’t replace Hough, and Travis won’t replace Dick. Each of them have/had their own talent and repore with us. Whether KXLY brass know it or not, the people of CDA can decide where KVNI goes. I agree with Bill, local news is a money pit that doesn’t make financial sense for a station like KVNI. Commercial radio is a business and makes money off public airwaves. Radio companies, large and small have gutted all local news staffs and the public has let them get away with it. Listen to KVNI, call up management, and give them a piece of your mind. Better yet, write a letter and send a copy to the FCC. If you don’t like the oldies format and farmed-out voicetracks, say so. If you think Dick Haugen had a bum deal, say that too. It’s not KXLY Marketing’s job to care about history and what’s important to the people in CDA, Mr. Nelson probably never listened to KVNI for 10 hours in the past year. Marketing doesn’t care and management doesn’t care, as evidenced by the Doo-Wappin’ oldies format they contracted from New Generation Broadcasting in Las Vegas here. Sound familiar? You can find out how they do it here. KVNI deserves better, and the people of CDA deserve better.

DFO: I still haven’t tuned in since KXLY gave Dick the boot. (Nothing personal, Travis.) I pity the poor fool(s) KXLY brings in to do the morning show.

Family Phil: A Hike on Tubbs Hill Today

Took a hike on Tubbs Hill today. The trail on the west side is now blocked by this tree — Family Phil.

Wild Card — 12/16/06

A friend asked last night when I planned to retire. The simple answer would be 8 years from now, when I’m 65. But it really depends on how I feel and how much fun I’m having in the news biz. Currently, I’m having a blast with the mix of editorializing/columnizing/blogging. I expect that to become even more fun in January when I’m finally allowed to shed two editorials per week and concentrate more on my online and print Huckleberries. As it is now, I can hardly wait to get to work in the morning to fire up the blog. I wonder how many people enjoy their work as much as I do? If I’m still having this much fun at 65, I might have to push back that retirement date. Now, for your Wild Card …

DOTC Points Out Error of KXLY/KVNI’s Ways

“KVNI has always been the voice of North Idaho. Not Dick Haugen, not Bob Hough” — Roger Nelson, KXLY marketing manager.

Dan of the County: I guess he’s not from here, is he? … Yes, Roger Bob and Dick in fact were the voice of North Idaho. … It’s the people, not the building, the logos, or just another “spot” on the dial.

Cis: Here Comes The Next Big Catch Phrase

Full post here

I think the next catch phase is going to be: I AM OFF THE CLOCK. … There is a movie coming out, with George Clooney, I think it is called the Good German. And I was watch TV this morning and they had a clip from it. Not sure what it was about to be honest. I think it was the Clooney characters driver, who made the remark. And then Clooney, turns his head, and catches (what we are told is his old girlfriend) a woman’s face. He calls her by name. There is pain in both of their eyes, and she too, says the phase … I AM OFF THE CLOCK TOO … I like that. I wonder … if I tell the King that, when he asks me to get him something. Something that I think he should get up off the chair to get himself. Hmm … Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind.

DFO: The current phrase du jour is “Threw him/her under the bus” or “Kick him/her to the curb.” KXLY threw Dick Haugen under the bus. Ditto for Tom Luna and the 20 pink slips sent out to the Department of Education. Spokane County voters kicked Commissioner Phil Harris to the curb.

Question: So, has the next catch phrase begun to emerge?

BrodH20: A Tip to Help You Survive Xmas Holiday

A friend of mine passed along this holiday tip: Leave some Get Well cards on your mantel. If unexpected guests arrive, they’ll think you were too sick to clean the house — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

Question: Do you have a tip to share that might help others survive the holidays in good shape?

TGIF Wild Card — 12/15/06

I’ll be scarce today, HBOers. I have a day of va-cay to share with my true love. I’ve patched some things together to get you going today. I appreciate the work you did last night entertaining yourselves with great posts like Sam’s Best of the Local Blogs. You might want to check out the latest JibJab video, posted by MikeK at 10:02 p.m. under Thursday’s Wild Card. I might check in here sometime today. Then, I might not. I’m way behind on Christmas shopping. Here’s your Wild Card …

Item: 20 education employees get pink slips …

… Incoming Superintendent Luna says he wants to bring his own people into education department

DFO: Mebbe this explains retiring Superintendent Marilyn Howard’s reasons for handing out those $900-plus bonus checks to the regulars, as though they were candy canes.

Time Warner Gift to North Idaho — No Fox Programs

Local Fox affiliate KAYU-TV took its channel off of Time Warner Cable’s lineup at midnight Thursday, leaving Time Warner customers in North Idaho, Pullman and Moscow without the station’s popular Fox programming. The station and the cable provider have butted heads since mid-June over whether the cable company should have to pay KAYU for permission to include Fox programming in Time Warner’s lineup. As of noon Friday, Northwest Broadcasting, KAYU’s owner, and Time Warner Cable were still in negotiations.

Nic Casey: My wife and I had several complaints about Adelphia. I was hoping that the Time-Warner takeover would be an improvement. Surprisingly, Time-Warner took Adelphia’s impossibly bad service and made it worse. The television prices are outrageous, and the channel line-up is mediocre. But the true horrors lie in the customer service. In the first month after we had cable internet installed, there were five major interruptions of service. Extended periods of time with no internet access is torture to a blogger, but detrimental to a student at an on-line college.

Full post by Nic Casey here

APhoto of the Day — 12/15/06

Mark Graham, stands behind the holiday message on the fence around his Pembroke Pines, Fla. home Thursday. He said the “No War” sign was a Christmas wish rather than a political statement. Graham reported that his neighbors have responded very positively. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

JBelle: I Love Sorensen School

Lewis and Clark High School here in The ‘Kan is the crown jewel of the public school system here. It’s an urban school and is ancient and has been outdated many times in its tenure in the neighborhood. Yet it remains the pride of generations on the lower South Hill. The last remodel/renovation about the time of the new millenium was and is spectacular; the fact is, downtown Spokane would not have the vitality it does if it weren’t for LC. You don’t have to be in the suburbs to attend/teach/or administrate at a first rate school. Liquidating any of the schools you noted because they are close to downtown is not only unseemly, it’s downright ignorant. As for teaching at one of these schools and the death sentence it brings, I seem to recall that Borah has nationally recognized teachers. (help me out here Thom George—wasn’t one of the elementary teachers recognized as Idaho Teacher of the Year or the equivalent?) Apparently, the faculty there hasn’t gotten word of the sentencing yet. You want Happy Valley and an associated school district out on the prairie, you’re gonna get it. It’s part of the Stepford School Series. But if you want a thriving, alive, vibrant community where all kinds of real families live, work, and go to school in all four corners of town, Sorenson, nee Harding, needs to be and must be saved — JBelle.

Huckleberries Weather Report — from Last Night

*12:20 a.m. Friday, “We’re getting gusts up to 90 miles per hour here. It’s actually kind of scary. If you stare at our sliding glass door you can see it bend in as the wind hits it. I just hope it stays right there” — Sam/Bellingham, Wash.

*10:41 p.m., “Gads, I have never heard the wind blow so hard. The local cable weather station says it just hit 58 mph. Rain hitting the windows now. I’m going to batten down the hatches and hunker down. Don’t want to be by a window right now” — CC/near Palouse, Wash.

*11:10 p.m., “Getting kinda scary out there. I expect my power to go out any minute. Sounds like my roof is about to come off. Ack!” — Family Phil.

*11:18 p.m., “I can really hear the wind howling outside… tomorrow will be a sad site. Inflatable and plastic Santas will be everywhere… and I’m pretty sure it’s bad luck to run over a plastic Jesus” — Inspector Gadget/Post Falls.

9 p.m., “The wind blew so hard that it blew us out of the stadium or was that the San Francisco 49ers who blew us out?” — Seattle QB Matt Hasselback.

*5:57 p.m., “It’s warmed up and the snow has now turned into a light, but steady, rain. The wind gusts have almost completely quit. I’ve been watching the Spokane TV stations weather-wo/men and all have forecast extensive high winds, with possible power-outages and chances for wind related damage to trees and structures, after midnight” — Lesley Presley/northern Kootenai County.

5:36 p.m., “It’s like a tropical storm in spurts….The rain comes down in bursts; in a tropical storm, it never lets up. The wind/rain is coming in squall lines. The water in our street is up over the curbs; the driveways are like feeder streams. We’ve had several power outages…longest was about five minutes. I’m supposed to be at a church council meeting at 7:00 p.m. I don’t think I’ll be making it” — Marianne Love’s brother in Tacoma.

Question: Do you have anything to add to the weather report?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Which Medium Do You Use?

Issue: Americans to spend 5 months consuming media in 2007: Census Bureau says adults, teens will pay $936.75 per person for information/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Question: Which medium do you find yourself consuming most?

1. Newspapers
2. Magazines
3. Books
4. Television
5. Radio
6. Internet
7. Recorded music
8. Movies at the theater
9. Videogames
10. Other

DFO: No. 5, hands down

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 12/14/06

This’ll be our last day together until Monday, HBOers. I’m humbled that more and more of you are tuning in here. HBO has crashed through the 6000 page-view barrier six of the nine weekdays this month. That only happened seven times in all of November and three times in October. It’s a harbinger of even better things when I’m freed up next month to really work the print and online versions of Huckleberries. I have some ideas re: how to tweak things here. We’ll talk about that later. Meanwhile, you can use this Wild Card to post your thoughts tonight …

Parting Shot — 12/14/06

Winchester Elementary School principal Jeanne Grazioli laughs as she hangs duct-taped to a wall during a school assembly in Roseburg, Ore., Wednesday. Every student who sold at least one tub of cookie dough for a booster club fundraiser was given a piece of tape to help stick Grazioli to the wall. The students raised over $6,000. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Michelle Alaimo)

Nampa: A Secure Cesspoll? — Boise Guardian

Full post here

Less than a week after the Boise-Nampa area was declared the “most secure” place to live in America comes a different view. A reader—and NPR (public radio)—tell us of a new book which includes mention of Boise’s neighbor to the west. Nampa was featured in Dave Gilmartin’s list of “The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America,” a newly published book that includes, “over 80 of the dirtiest, smelliest, most miserable cesspools and armpits of this great land of ours.” Of Nampa, Gilmartin writes, “It’s hard to say who’s got it worse, the cows or the huddled masses of high school drop outs Nampa cranks out annually, whose prospects start with the meat plant and end with the sugar factory across town” — Boise Guardian.

Question: Which is the worst place to live in the Inland Northwest?

Extra! White-Out Conditions in Bonner, Boundary

Idaho State Police is responding to multiple crashes north of Coeur d’Alene in Bonner and Boundary Counties. It is snowing heavily, white out conditions and the roads are extremely slick. Due to the weather and wind advisory tonight we advise you to drive extremely cautiously. For further information contact Captain Wayne Longo at 208-772-6055.

DFO: Cis, Trish, Marianne, Arpie … any anecdotal comments to go with this advisory?

Extra! Idaho Super-Elect Luna Inflated Resume

Full story here

Tom Luna, the incoming head of the state’s public school system, misrepresented his position with the U.S. Department of Education on his resume during his successful campaign this fall. In a biography on his Web site and a resume provided to Idaho Public Television for its campaign debate series, Luna wrote that he was “Appointed Senior Adviser to Secretary of Education Rod Paige by President George W. Bush.” However, Luna was not appointed by President Bush, said Bill Hansen, the former Deputy Secretary of Education and Luna’s immediate supervisor at the department — Jesse Harlan Alderman, Associated Press.

DFO: Hey, don’t look at us. When we endorsed Democrat Jana Jones, we said Luna wasn’t qualified for the job b/c he wasn’t credentialed to teach or administer at an Idaho school. Now, it appears he fudges the truth, too.

Sorensen School: Thumbs Up? Thumbs Down?

Catherine James, 5, Julia Jaworski, 7, and Elisa James, 7, wear t-shirts with a message about keeping Sorensen Elementary open Wednesday in front of their school. The shirts are part of the campaign used by the Parent Teacher Assocation at the school. The Coeur d’Alene school board has proposed to close the school to save money, but parents are fighting it here/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Question: Should Sorensen remain open?

JBelle: How About A Best of Hucks ‘06?

JBelle: What? You’re going to go back and ask Van Gogh to buff up ‘Starry, Starry Night’ adding the new condos down by the river and taking out the steeple that crumbled in the last big windstorm? I don’t think so! Huckleberry Chaos is now a classic and not appropriate for bowderlizing. Fact, I nominate it for Best of Huckleberries 2006. And at this time, I’ll hear nominations from the floor.

DFO: Indeed, JBelle’s right; mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I like her idea re: Best of Huckleberries ‘06. The Tinfoilers have to be near the top of the list. Rami-Amaro. Trust Gus. And the Hate Huckleberries crowd appears to be making a late push for Top 10 inclusion. So, let’s go for it.

Question: Do you have a nomination for Best of Huckleberries Online 2006? (Mebbe I’ll put together a ballot for next week)

Dogwalk Musings: Prurient? Porn? It Doesn’t Matter

Full post re: Dogwalk Musings reaction after viewing Baughman File here

The rest of what we saw was so disgusting I want to banish it from my mind. All this in the offices of those who have been charged with protecting us from predators. Tax payer dollars pay for the salaries and equipment. This is a time when in the real world one gets sent to sensitivity training for telling an off colored joke or fired out right for any action even approaching this. But then I guess one would have to have some experience in the real world. I will never be able to greet a local public servant without wondering if they are involved. Without wondering what else is tucked away in a sick psyche. Without wondering how many other offices tolerate this type of behavior that has yet to be discovered. They aren’t all involved, of course, but they are all tainted. No, stained — Mari/Dogwalk Musings.

Update: Hag Fights Ex-Editor Unemployment Claim

Re: Ex-Bonners Ferry Herald editor Robert James provides an update re: his November firing.

Just an update on the Bonners Ferry Herald debacle. Hagadone, through its courageous Sandpoint publisher, is fighting my unemployment claim. The company believes that its offer to me, i.e. stay on through December as an entry level reporter with no editorial control over the paper and no managerial-level authority, qualifies as an equal position to that of managing editor. Oh, and I would have had to TRAIN the new editor as well, isn’t that convenient? Gotta love the continuning nickel-and-dime pettiness of the Hagadrone crowd. The company tried to ruin my Thanksgiving by firing me the Friday before the holiday. Because losing my job didn’t ruin that holiday, Hagadroid is trying again, this time by contesting my unemployment claim just in time for Christmas. At least I know now that Scrooge is alive and well in Coeur d’Alene. Happy Holidays everyone.

Robert James

P.S. I am the new editor of the Boundary County Digest, a monthly magazine, as well as, an online news source. Hagadone is fighting me over about 3 weeks total of unemployment. Nice folks.

DFO: Looks like Hagadonia and KXLY have something in common re: rewarding loyalty. (Queue up sound of publisher shoe connecting with rear of underpaid newsroom supplicant)

Lewiston Trib: Don’t Lose Them Spirit Points

Full editorial here

Jesus frowns on killing people, even heretics, who are just sitting around drinking eggnog. But if the heretics are attacking you, merry Christmas. You may fire at will. Just be careful where you aim. You can lose “spirit points” for indiscriminate killing. Of course, you can always win them back if you pray hard enough. You should pray hard anyway. You don’t want to be “left behind” come the Rapture. You could end up in some bizarre Christian video game like “Eternal Forces.” Tiny electronic Christians will chase after you, trying to rack up their score by converting you. The only respite you’ll get is when they occasionally turn their attention to killing murderous hordes of unbelievers. Does all this strike you as a tad ridiculous? — Tom Henderson/Lewiston Morning Tribune.

DFO: As an Evangelical, I don’t know what makes me more nervous here — a cynical but talented Lewiston Trib editorialist discussing an apparent new conservative Christian e-game. Or the fact that the game is loony and worthy to be criticized. I’d never heard of “Eternal Forces” until this week. I’ll need to read up on it before I comment on it.

Question: Do you know enough to have an impression on “Eternal Forces”?

SR Edit: CdA Bloeming Under Current Administration

Issue: Our View: City in Bloem: CdA mayor continues to move community forward/D.F. Oliveria, Spokesman-Review

More Info: If Bloem did nothing else in the remainder of her second term, she’d go down in Coeur d’Alene history as one of its best mayors, maybe the best. Others have accomplished much. But Bloem has been preparing her community for change for decades, first as a downtown business leader and now as the first female mayor and only the second mayor to win two four-year terms. Fortunately, she remains enthused about her job and sees no end to the challenges.

Question: Who do you believe was the best Coeur d’Alene mayor of the last 25 years?

Stebbijo: Prosecutor Porn Didn’t Make Me Laugh

Full post here

So, when I decided to validate the SR’s article with my local blogger friiend Dogwalk Musings and get to the bottom of the pornography that was being passed around via government computers on our tax dollar and speciifcally view a questionalble photo of a toddler in the mix of adult pornography with his genitals in a cereal bowl - I figured I had the stomach for it. It just didn’t make me laugh. Extremely degrading material in regards to women, children, and humanity. Granted, coming to terms with pornography on a community level is a very delicate subject, especially if the judicial system is laughing about it — Stebbijo (“In the Eye of the Beholder”).

DFO: As I mentioned yesterday, Stebbijo and Mari/Dogwalk Musings viewed the Baughman File at The Spokesman-Review office. All of it. Above, you’ll find Stebbijo’s impression. Mari will post something today or tomorrow about her impressions. That’s why they call what we do here “citizen journalism.”

007: State Employee Bonuses Deserved

James Bond: I am less than impressed with the hoo-ha over these so-called “bonuses.” Most state workers are not paid at market rates. Yes, they have good job security, and in many cases they might not have to work the long hours that private sector employees do. However, these “bonuses” are not much in the grand scheme of things, and for workers who are deemed by their responsible bosses to have performed meritoriously, this amount of money is significant and can make a person very happy. There are no million dollar golden parachutes in the public sector — just bonuses limited to no more than $2,000 per year, and only when the agency budget has the money left over through personnel savings. I think the media and Governor Risch have unfairly blown this out of proportion. Attorney General Wasden and the SEIU labor representative hit the nail on the head about it being a deserved reward for a year of hard work for good employees.

DFO: I doubt that many in the private sector get anywhere near triple digits when it comes to bonuses (if they get a bonus at all). Many of them bust their tales at work, too. I’ll guarantee you that there’d be hell to pay if the hard-working employees at North Idaho courthouses took home a bonus of almost $1,000 b/c there was money left over in the budget. This is an example of the state not knowing how the other half lives, the half paying the taxes for those bonuses. Sorry, 007, I ain’t buying.

Parting Shot — 12/13/06

Dr. Harry Amend, center, superintendent of the Coeur d’Alene School District, elaborates on a report showing declining enrollment at Sorensen Elementary and a possible $400,000 savings if the district closes the school in downtown Coeur d’Alene while speaking to the Coeur d’Alene School District’s long range planning committee this evening. The committee was getting ready to vote on this proposal tonight/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review

Leaning Straight Up: Transformed by a Song

Full post here

My daughter had her Winter Concert tonight at her school, where she plays violin in the Symphony. I went expecting to enjoy myself with another night of the usual Christmas songs. Last year’s concert had some excellent music. I was in for a surprise. The choir opened the show, spread out in the audience, which was an amazing way to really feel a part of the music. And their second song was simply angelic. After opening with Hanukkah Dance, they (still in the audience) began the most amazing performance of Be Thou My Vision I have ever heard. Sung acapella, it was a slice of heaven.

The arrangement, attributed to Chad Reisser, began simply and softly, then gradually moved into more and more complex harmonies. The voices of the students were dead on, and had a purity and clarity that was amazing. I have heard professional choirs perform that song and not come close to tonight’s rendition. It’s just a song you say? Well what struck me as I sat mesmerized, was that so many schools try to take their Christmas programs and secularize/sanitize them in order to preemptively not offend, yet here tonight that correctness was not present.

Leaning Straight Up

DFO: I’ve highlighted this post from Western Washington friend Leaning Straight Up for two reasons: “Be Thou My Vision” is my all-time favorite hymn. I want it sung at my funeral. The words and Gaelic lilt are moving. Secondly, LSU puts his finger on a sense of loss that I also feel. I don’t want to get into a “War on Christmas” thing here. But I miss the old traditional songs at this time of year, sung by school children: “Silent Night,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “We Three Kings,” etc. The secular stuff that has replaced it by and large stinks. ‘Tis a shame that we can’t overcome difference to enjoy these tunes that were once part of our shared culture.

Top Cutlines — 12/13/06

Dennis Coyier of Cottage Grove, Wis., addresses a crowd in Madison, Wis., today at a rally in support of a local Air America radio station that Clear Channel will change to a sports format in January. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Top Cutlines

1. The Mad Hatter joins fellow celebrity conspiracy theorists James Brolin and Charlie Sheen in calling for American troops to return from Iraq to help combat Global Warming. “This war is like throwing money down a rabbit hole” He said. “We must find a way to stop the glaciers from shrinking”. His speech was interrupted briefly when a heckler dressed as a piece of cake yelled “Eat Me!” — Pete.

2. In this file photo, KXLY executives attempt to force Dick Haugen to leave on his own, requiring him to wear a ridiculous hat and blazer while reading the news — John Austin.

3. (tie) War protesters from the 1960s have traded in their jean, tie-dye and love beads for an unholy ensemble of polyester blazers and an ugly assortment of hats — Whippersnapper; and: “This just in from President Bush: ‘Stay the course! We’ll only lose if we quit! Mission accomplished!’” — A Token D.

Eye On Boise — Risch Office Explains Bonus, Sorta

Full post here

Gov. Jim Risch’s office says the $2,000 year-end bonus he gave to one of his employees was actually just an attempt to make up for an earlier record-keeping mixup that meant the employee didn’t get state-paid health insurance for several months. “They goofed up,” said John Sandy, Risch’s chief of staff. “He was paying insurance for he and his family out of his own pocket, somebody that really excels in here and whatnot. … I said, ‘We’ve gotta make this at least partially right with this person, it’s not right.’ There was more out-of-pocket expense than this, but at least it helped make up a little bit of it” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Idaho Officials Open Nampa Interchange

Traffic using the new Karcher Interchange overpass moves through the intersection Tuesday evening in Nampa. Officials have opened the Karcher Interchange, a 16-month, $30 million project that’s part of a plan to improve the Interstate 84 corridor through the more populated areas of southwest Idaho. (AP Photo/The Idaho Press-Tribune, Greg Kreller)

It Might Be Lights Off @ Midnight for KAYU-28

Issue: Fox appears ready to trot: Station will go dark for cable subscribers if it is unable to reach a deal with Time Warner/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Negotiations between the Spokane affiliate of Fox and Time Warner appear to have reached an impasse, and at midnight Thursday the channel could go dark on the cable system.

Question: Can anyone think of anything good that has happened since Time Warner swallowed up Adelphia — other than occasional loss of service?

Pounder: Chill, Locals, We All Came From Somewhere

Pounder: Stopping briefly to pick up one’s wife as she comes out of a store during the winter, how dare he! Contrary to the writer’s conclusions, I think this reflects more poorly on Lesley than the Gozzer3 driver; turning an innocent act into a confrontation. How long does it take you to load 4 or 5 bags to your car, 30 seconds… a minute? I moved here for the slower pace of life, and frequently get behind slow drivers, or an elderly person crossing the street; and when it starts to irk me I remember where I am and why I came here and take a deep breath and appreciate the fact that I was forced to slow down for a moment. Idahoans also need to get off this “Anyone who came here after I did isn’t welcome!” attitude. At some point in history all of our ancestors were new-comers to the area. Would you have wanted your father, grandfather, or great-grandfather to have been called a “damn Californian” just because they were new to the area? Those who do leave California or other states to come here probably do so because they are tired of the frenzied rat race, and want a less-populated beautiful place to live, the same as you do. Reflect on the values of the season … Joy, Peace, Love, forgiveness, and if you took a moment to get to know them, you might actually find that you like some of the new residents and have more in common with them than you think. Prejudice in any form is just ignorant.

DFO: Pounder, many of the locals have been turned off by your random acts of road arrogance. Your habits behind the wheel of a boat or suburban send a load a clear message: “I’m in a hurry and I’m more important than you.” You’re reinforcing the negative view that many have of recent North Idaho immigrants. If you’re not going to change your ways, I’d suggest that you change your vanity plates, so no one knows who’s copping an out-of-state ‘tude.

APhoto of the Day — 12/13/06

Dennis Coyier of Cottage Grove, Wis., addresses a crowd in Madison, Wis., today at a rally in support of a local Air America radio station that Clear Channel will change to a sports format in January. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Mayor Bloem: CDA Deserves “A” For 2006 Success

Issue: Bloem upbeat on CdA’s successes: Mayor cites Kroc center, Sanders Beach in annual address/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem doesn’t think the city could have had a better year: snagging the $60 million Kroc Community Center, a new library under construction and resolution to the use of Sanders Beach. Bloem, a former elementary school teacher, gave the city an A-plus report card for 2006 in her annual state of the city address Tuesday morning at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Question: What grade would you give the city of Coeur d’Alene for 2006? Why?

Lewiston Trib Poll: Worst Traditional Xmas Treat

What is the worst traditional Christmas treat? — Lewiston Morning Tribune

*Egg nog
*Fruit cake
*Mince meat pie
*Popcorn balls

Tinsley Photo: Monster House @ Plaza Shoppes?

Colleague Jesse Tinsley sends this photo along with the note: “This is one of the more creative gingerbread houses currently on display at the Plaza Shoppes in Coeur d’Alene. It’s a replica of the title character from the movie “Monster House” with the addition of a real estate sign.”

CC: The Cast of “Cheers,” Huckleberries Style

Besides, this place is kind of the electronic equivalent of Cheers, with Bob as our Norm, and who wants to go the bar that doesn’t have a Norm — Idawa.

• Sam Malone-DFO
• Shelley Long: Diane Chambers — JBelle & Jane Q. Citizen.
• Rhea Perlman: Carla Tortelli LeBec-Sara
• Nicholas Colasanto: Ernie `Coach’ Pantusso-Herb
• George Wendt: Norm Peterson-Green Lib
• John Ratzenberger: Cliff Clavin-Transplanted Texan
• Kelsey Grammer: Dr. Frasier Crane-Dave Tolle
• Woody Harrelson: Woody Boyd-toadman
• Kirstie Alley: Rebecca Howe-MamaJD
• Bebe Neuwirth: Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane-CDAMom
• Tom Skerritt: Evan Drake-Bob
• Roger Rees: Robin Colcord-Thom George

Wondering: Toady as sweet Woody is perfect. But Dave Tolle as Frasier…awful. Frasier is one of my favorite characters. Elitist, yes. Obnoxious, absolutely not.

DFO: Indeed, we need a new Frasier. Bob’s undercast. Otherwise, CC, nice lineup. Thanx.

Extra! John L. Smith Pulls Name from UI Search

John L. Smith is no longer in the running for the football coaching job at the University of Idaho. “It’s just not the right time,” Smith said Monday night in a telephone interview from his home in Michigan. “I hope people understand in the worst way I’d like to go back, but I just don’t think it can happen right now.” Smith was believed to be a leading candidate to replace Dennis Erickson, who left Idaho after one season for Arizona State. Smith had discussions with Idaho officials for two days before making his decision — Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals (Complete story here).

DFO: If you want to know up to the minute what’s going on with the UI coach search, Dennis Erickson at Arizona State, or other names on UI’s list, you have to read Jim Meehan’s Idaho Vandals blog here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 12/12/06

I’ve been off stride all day as a result of the e-mail postings, the visit from good friend Dick Haugen, and the annual legislative briefing from Betsy Russell (Boise) and Rich Roesler (Olympia). Tomorrow, we’re scheduled for our annual Christmas lunch in the office and the publisher drops by for his annual holiday coffee. I’ll be pushed to get all my work done before taking Friday off. But that’s my problem. You can tell me yours or start a thread with the daily Wild Card …

Cabbage Boy: Illicit E-mail Descriptions “Crap”

Cabbage Boy: DFO, I get enough spam to sate my ills if I wanted. Why the gory details on the blog about the email? And don’t feed me the “public needs to know” crap. I think most can see the filth without the explicit description. And most don’t need convincing that the filth is just that, filth. Using it on a county computer is just plain sick AND wrong. But thanks for sharing your wonderful afternoon.

DFO: Cabbage Boy and I had a brief, but passionate exchange re: this e-mail. He makes a good point. The illicit e-mails swapped around between Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rick Baughman, erstwhile victims advocate Laura Bonneville and a handful of sheriff’s staffers are crap. I prefer the Portuguese/French word, merda. I posted descriptions of some of them below in response to that Brand X banner story today that attempted to whitewash the proscutor’s e-mails. I didn’t like looking at this merda. So, here’s the deal …

Question: Do you want me to post any more descriptions? Or are you as sick of it as I am?

RSPA: Anti-DFO/HBO/SR Blogs Struggling

RSPA: Could we all please stop what we’re doing. Right now! All of you. Wondering put down your tea, please. Thanks. OK, let’s all bow our heads and say a little word for the sadly premature demise of the anti-HBO wingnut blogs on the Coeur D’Alene Mess. Only five comments today, all by Claude using fake names and Dave Tolle. The other blog is dead now, and the newest one hasn’t been posted on since the 7th. Three up. Three down. Like Randy Johnson throwing fastballs to 5 year old t-ballers.

Lord. We hardly knew these fine foamers. Please watch over them and let the angels teach them grammar and anger management. Thank you. Praise Jesus!

DFO: They’ll be back. HBO gives ‘em the reason to get up in the morning.

Top Cutlines — 12/12/06

Basset hound Jethro’s ears flap in the air as he leaps through deep snow after a heavy snowfall hit London, Ont., in Canada, that closed schools, and shut down much of the city, on Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/CP, Dave Chidley)

Top Cutlines

1. In downtown Coeur d’Alene, Jethro gets hit by the Bill Douglas snowjob coming out of the Press office — Family Phil.

2. Just checkin’ heaven out — Doubtfire.

3. The hunter considered it “just another trophy” but guests at his Christmas party were shocked to see a Basset hound mounted on his wall, ears aflap, looking not quite as vicious as an average deer, but close — Brent Andrews.

HM: Southwark Lad

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

Question: Hillary Or Obama?

Issue: The Politics of Race: How will African-American voters respond to a Barack-Hillary showdown?/Newsweek

More Info: There are a lot of Democrats who have reservations about Hillary Clinton, not because they are necessarily hostile to her, but they’re not sure she can be elected and they don’t want to nominate someone who will go on to lose. Obama clearly has brought some excitement to the party, because, face it, it’s been a while since Democrats had one of their own who was really exciting.

Questions: Who would win a match-up between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton? Can either of them become president?

Statesman: Montana State Coach Wants UI Job

Complete story here

The last time Rob Spear hired a football coach, the Idaho athletic director struck quickly by landing Dennis Erickson. Ten months later, with Erickson off to Arizona State, Spear is hoping to replicate that speed — with better long-term results. Spear said Monday that he wants to narrow the list of interested candidates, which he characterized as “large,” to a short list of finalists by the end of the day. “We would like to have the position filled as early as we can,” Spear said during a teleconference, just hours after Erickson was introduced at Arizona State. Montana State coach Mike Kramer is likely to be on that list. Spear has asked for and been granted permission to speak with Kramer, but the 1997 Idaho alum had not heard formally from Spear as of Tuesday afternoon. “Eager wouldn’t be a good enough word,” Kramer told the Idaho Statesman. “The longer this gets drawn out, the more impact it has on my own recruiting at Montana State. We’ve been on guys for months. We can’t be twisting — Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman.

Question: Who would you like to see land the job? Mike Kramer? John L. Smith? Other?

Prosecutor Porn, Part 3 — What Brand X Didn’t See …

… Or “just a slice in the day of the life of a county prosecutor.”

In a 15-second video in the Baughman E-Files, entitled “Shark Attack, Part 2,” someone in a gray-and-white shark suit is shown having sex from behind with an overweight naked woman who is laying on her stomach atop some life preservers on what appears to be a small fishing trawler. Basically, the shark simulates sex while the woman moans.

More later

No Best of the INorthwest Today

I apologize that I don’t have time to compile Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest today. Been busy. Prompted by the Coeur d’Alene Press whitewash of the prosecutor’s e-mail story this morning, I finally decided to check out the Baughman File. I’ll shower soon. However, I did have a pleasant interlude before lunch when Dick Haugen dropped by to say hello and to report that he’s doing OK — after his unceremonious firing by KXLY/KVNI. Dick sez he’s probably outta radio, but he wouldn’t mind pursuing something locally in the PR field where he can use his many talents accumulated over 16 years in this community. Pleaz contact him, if you have any leads. Seems KXLY made a show of force this morning to cover the State of the City speech by Her Sandiness. Few at the breakfast were fooled by the coverage, which in lieu of recent circumstances, was way too little too late.

APhoto of the Day — 12/12/06

Basset hound Jethro’s ears flap in the air as he leaps through deep snow after a heavy snowfall hit London, Ont., in Canada, that closed schools, and shut down much of the city, on Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/CP, Dave Chidley)

Rumorama: Gus Would Be Worker Be, Not Boss

The Kootenai County Commission broke ground Monday for a $12 million garbage transfer station intended to serve the fastest-growing area of the county. The garbage drop-off, expected to open next fall, might also become the new workplace for commission Chairman Gus Johnson. Voters booted Johnson from office in May, leaving him unemployed starting in January. “I may apply for a job with solid waste,” Johnson said after he and the other commissioners used gold-painted shovels to turn over chunks of the frozen field off Pleasant View Road and Prairie Avenue. “Just as a worker, not a manager.” Solid Waste Director Roger Saterfiel said Johnson, a former Kaiser Aluminum worker and Post Falls mayor, is welcome to apply but he’s not guaranteed a job. Saterfiel added that he’s already promoted Sam Cook to manage the new transfer station when it opens and that he has the budget to hire 21 employees. Cook is assistant manager of the Ramsey Road transfer station — Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: We’re indebted to you HBOers for this little nugget of info re: Gus, to lead an otherwise mundane story about the ground-breaking for a new transfer station. We received a tip yesterday morning from a regular here that Gus might be landing a cush job as boss of the new transfer station. That wasn’t so. But I hear that Roger Saterfiel’s eyes got pretty big when colleague Erica Curless asked him about the possibility. Gus was reluctant to talk about it. But it seems fairly innocent. He’s applying for a job. It’ll be interesting to see how many others apply and who’s the most qualified to get those 21 positions.

Personal Photo — A Niece in Afghanistan

My wife and I just got this photo of our niece sharing her rations with local people in Afghanistan. I remember the time that she rolled down our steep stairs, when she was a baby, and survived without a nick. Now, she’s serving our country on the other side of the world. Yeah, I’m proud. And scared.

Update: Sea-Tac Embraces Xmas Trees Again

Idawa: Well, I guess the war on Christmas is over. Sea-Tac airport decided to put the X-mas trees back up after getting Jewish leader and the group that originally made the claim promise not to sue. Whew…for a second there a thought the terrorists had won.

DFO: I’m sure Seattle HBOer Idawa’s tongue was firmly cheeked when he wrote this last night. But ‘tis nice that Sea-Tac came to its senses. Now, it should figure out how to erect a menorah. We’re not talking rocket science here.

AM Hucks: Voice of NW Now Heard on HBO

The erstwhile “Voice of North Idaho” is still trying to shake off the cobwebs after he was dumped from the KVNI lineup by parent company KXLY last Tuesday. Fan fave Dick Haugen has posted two comments at Huckleberries Online (HBO) since KXLY fired him sans explanation – the first to say that he was a budget-cut casualty. On Sunday, he added that he received no severance pay despite a decade and a half at the Coeur d’Alene station. Dick told my online readers that he “would like to take some time off but the bank still wants their money each month. Darn. I feel real bad for my former co-workers who are on the receiving end of the public’s outrage on what’s happened. Would love to comment on events but holding tongue for now.” Dick plans to attend this morning’s Chamber of Commerce Upbeat Breakfast at 7 o’clock at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, where Her Sandiness, Mayor Sandi Bloem, will be giving her annual State of the City address – “to say hi to some folks.” In his online note Sunday, Dick grumbled: “Guess this means I’ll have to pay my own way for breakfast. No media free-bees anymore” … BTW, the hubbub about Dick’s firing prompted KVNI oldie-but-goodie Joe Lyons (“The Lyons Den”) to comment at HBO that he, too, had gotten the boot back when. Joe: “I learned the hard way that no matter what the audience thinks management doesn’t want people with that kind of power around. They are afraid they will have to pay us more.” (Read: Mamas, don’t let your boys grow up to be radio announcers.)

Wild Card/Monday — 12/11/06

One day down and three to go for me, HBOers. I didn’t get much accomplished on the print side. But it has been fun over here. I’ve been remiss in telling you about Page-Views. They hits have kept coming since a holiday downturn around Thanksgiving — a coupla 6000-plus days last week, 5600 to 8450 the week before. Much to build on come January when I’m freed from much but not all of my Editorial Page duties. Can’t wait. Until then, you can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 12/11/06

A funny thing happened to Coeur d’Alene resident William Hennings as he waited to take a bus home from the Coeur d’Alene Casino just before midnight Dec. 5. He plugged money into a nearby Powerball slot machine and won more than $746,000. “My family’s going to have a real nice Christmas,” Hennings said in a news release from the Casino. Hennings’ $746,948.68 jackpot is the second largest ever awarded in the Casino’s nearly 14-year history. In 2004, an anonymous Spokane man won slightly more than $1 million. A Montana native, Hennings is currently unemployed but worked previously at the smelter operation in Kellogg. Hennings said he’s already bought a new truck and a new house. He estimates he only spent $25 or $30 playing the game for about 20 minutes before he struck it rich. “I couldn’t sleep for the first 36 hours, but I’m sleeping real good now,” Hennings said — Meghann Cuniff/Spokesman-Review.

Question: Have you ever won a decent amount of money gambling?

BrodH20: Miss Louisiana Is In Our Basement!

Full post here

The Otis and I have had the honor of entertaining some genuinely cool people at our home bar. But we recently had our first quasi-celebrity guest, a Louisiana pageant queen. We got a call on a Saturday evening from a handful of Otis G regulars who wanted to stop by for a nightcap and some karaoke. I was in my PJs, already curled up in bed with the kids and watching the Bridget Jones sequel. I heard the crew come in the front door and, moments later, The Otis came upstairs. “T, you gotta come downstairs!” he said. “Miss Louisiana is in our basement” — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

DFO: The most impressive individual I ever met — because he didn’t seem too impressed with himself — was Cesar Chavez, in Stockton, Calif., circa 1976-77, when I was a courthouse bureau chief for a collection of outlying newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Question: Who is a “genuinely cool” person that you’ve met?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 12/11/06

Family Phil, take a bow; this photo is simply viewtiful. Phil snapped this last Friday during a home-school cruise to watch the eagles on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy presents his personal “Best Albums of 2006” here.

*Trish Gannon/River Journal is relieved that the e-mail policy where she works is pretty lax — then, there’s a reason for that — here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps claims the Coeur d’Alene City Council violated the state’s open-meeting law when it tackled authorized a permit for a Lake City High fireworks display here.

*TUBOB tries to clear up the rumor that’s been burning up the Internet that he’s the father of Mary Cheney’s unborn baby here.

*Mike Kennedy/Idaho Kennedys brings the war home to us today by passing along an e-mail of a friend who tells of the death in Iraq of Major Joseph Trane McCloud here.

*The mention of “fragrant tree” in the ancient writings of Baruch transport Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ back to his childhood and also to the time he lived in “The Lilac City” here.

*Cis/From A Simple Mind admits that she’s been fitted for three pairs of falsies here.

*”Is it any wonder our local Prosecutor has given a pass to his deputy and other staffers for circulating what amounts to “kiddie porn” around the office because it was a “joke”. Excuse after excuse has been lifted to the wind - one can’t keep tabs on all the e-mails. Impossible task. Sorry. That is just flat out not true. And it is NOT a joke!” — Mari/Dogwalk Musings here.

Meanwhile, Katrina tells of her love-hate relationship with computers here, JBelle connects with the Blessed Virgin here, Marianne has a crackerjack idea how to make $$$ with a camera here, Pecky provides the latest X-country ski conditions at Priest Lake here, Dr. Jim has posted a poll that asks if doctors should advertise plastic surgery here, Frum Helen Back sez the public crappers on Hauser Lake will be replaced here, and the UI slogan, “He’s back, are you?” makes JeanC want to puke here.

ThomG: KXLY Wasn’t Thinking Right in Haugen Firing

Illustration: Thom George

HBO regular Thom George provides solid proof that the KXLY Brain Trust was suffering from a rare form of a cranial-anal inversion at the time it fired KVNI’s Dick Haugen. Such a malady often degenerates into lower and lower ad sales and ratings. Stay tuned.

World’s Oldest Person Checks Out @ 114

John Louis “Jack” Bolden, 74, talks with his grandmother, Elizabeth Bolden , 114, in Memphis, Tenn., in this April 27, 2005, file photo. Bolden, recognized as the world’s oldest person in August 2006 by the Guinness Book of World Records, died early today. She was 116. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Dave Darnell)

Question: How long would you like to live?

Jr. Haugen: People Want to Know Why Dad Canned

Michael Haugen: My goodness, some of you people amaze me! First off, in regards to MamaJD’s comment about taking the “high road,” my dad has left two comments TOTAL on here, TWO! The other headlines were started by the management of this blog on his behalf … you know, friends speaking out on the idiocy of his firing. In case you’ve missed his last comment, he is personally remaining mum, and only replied to answer people asking questions. And to you Mr. Steven, I find it interesting to find that no one else is questioning his integrity besides you if his story isn’t panning out anymore … isnt panning out according to who, you? Once again, you are speaking about things you have no understanding about. People actually DO want to know why their provider of the daily buzz around CDA was axed. Why do you think so many continue to commentate on it?

DFO: I sure hope I haven’t added to the emotional pain with which Dick and his family are dealing now. I’m keeping this alive for the reason mentioned above by his son. After 15-16 years in the CDA news biz, Dick has been discarded like so much rubbish by KXLY. That might be the way GM Steve Herling and others do things in the radio/TV biz. But it doesn’t play well here. People deserve an explanation. Also, I want to know how the cads at KXLY can dump a loyal, hard-working individual like Dick w/o providing a wad of severance pay. During our dastardly layoffs of a few years ago, people were walking outta here with a chunk of change. All of this sounds to me like KXLY is trying to get by on the cheap when it comes to CDA/Kootenai County and that loyalty means nothing to the brain trust in Spokane.

Statesman Names LCHS’ Hout Top 5A Player

Complete story here

Byron Hout doesn’t run with the football. He doesn’t throw it or catch it, either. And Hout, 17, is not a senior heading to some high-profile college program. Yet. So why did the Lake City offensive and defensive lineman garner this year’s 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year award? “He is definitely the best football player in the state,” said Lake City coach Van Troxel, who guided the Timberwolves to a 12-0 record and 5A state championship. “Byron is the most dominant player that I have ever coached. … No one player has a bigger impact on the game the (way) Byron does.” And Hout still has another year of high school left — Tom Fox/Idaho Statesman.

Related: Idaho Statesman reveals its top prep football picks for all of the divisions here.

Sea-Tac Removes Christmas Trees After Complaint

All 15 Christmas trees inside the terminal at Sea-Tac have been removed in response to a complaint by a rabbi. A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees. Sea-Tac public affairs manager Terri-Ann Betancourt said the trees that adorn the Sea-Tac upper and lower levels may not properly represent all cultures. She said that since this is their busiest time of year and they don’t have time to add a fair representation of all cultures, her department decided to take down all of the decorations, review their policies, and decide if they need to make a change for next year — Kim Holcomb/King5.

DFO: The tyranny of the minority.

Question: Do you think Sea-Tac made the right move by removing the Christmas trees?

Poll: Should Liquor Laws Be Tweaked for New Year’s?

Question: Some Idaho towns ban the sale of liquor on Sundays. New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday this year, do you think alcohol laws should be tweaked for New Year’s? — Idaho Statesman

*No opinion

DFO: I still can’t figure out why states like Idaho and Montana are involved in liquor sales at all. Where’s the free enterprise in this, particularly in a state like Idaho that prides itself in free enterprise.

Mike: Glad SR’s Spending $$$ to Find Truth

Mike: I am so thankful the Spokesman Review is spending the money to get to the bottom of the email controversy. The average citizen could never afford the legal fee’s. Only because of the SR the public’s interest and civil rights are being looked after. I sure don’t see the ACLU or any other group looking out for the publics interest do you?

DFO: We’re currently debating whether to sue for all of Rick Baughman’s e-mails. But we’re not rushing into it because we’d probably end up where we are now with the other fight … waiting until the Idaho Supreme Court rules on the e-mails between Bill Douglas and Marina Kalani this spring. So why throw more money at it? BTW, if I was a betting man, I’d guess that county officials aren’t providing those e-mails to us because they’re more afraid of a lawsuit from Baughman than the cost of fighting us. It’s all about dollars and sense — rather than exposing questionable behavior of a problem employee.

Separated @ Birth: Bob Nonini & Ben Stein?

Illustration: DanG

Idaho state Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, left, and actor/conservative commentator Ben Stein (“Ferris Bueller” teacher).

Question (from James Bond to Bob Nonini): Bob Nonini is a great guy — a Silver Valley boy, like me. I would like to know whether he supports extending the sales tax to gas, which is that the ITD board recently proposed. :-)

Orginally posted at 12:45:33 a.m. Saturday

Dick Haugen: See Ya @ Sandi’s State of City Address

Dick Haugen: Doing o.k. Trying to shake the cobwebs. Talking to alot of folks by way of e-mail and phone. Would like to take some time off but the bank still wants their money each month. Darn. I feel REAL bad for my former co-workers who are on the receiving end of the public’s outrage on what’s happened. Would love to comment on events but holding tongue for now. Going to the Cda State of the City by Mayor Bloem address on Tuesday to say hi to some folks. Guess this means I’ll have to pay my own way for breakfast. No media free-bees anymore. You’ll have the first shot when I do. No severance pay for 16 years, so I have to watch it. An earlier Blog entry nailed it. Right to work state. No cause to torch necessary and the reason doesn’t matter.

DFO: Those slimeballs bounced you without severance?! After 16 years?! How tacky can you get? You’ve given early risers another reason to attend the annual State of the City address by Her Sandiness

Originally posted at 12:41:50 a.m. Sunday

A Proper Farewell to Dennis: Ready, Aim …

Illustration: Family Phil

So Long, Dennis, We Hardly Knew Ye — Again

Issue: Arizona State hiring Erickson as coach/East Valley Tribune; and: Erickson takes Arizona State job/Spokesman-Review

More Info: Dennis Erickson is on the verge of becoming the 22nd head football coach at Arizona State University. An ASU official indicated on Saturday that negotiations between Erickson and the school are continuing. A source close to the football program told the Tribune that a deal will be reached, and that some of Erickson’s assistant coaches have already been determine.

Family Phil: James (Bond), if you want to take this opportunity to rip on Dennis, have at it. He is now persona non grata in my book. I hope he chokes on all that desert sand.

DFO: Seems like only yesterday that Erickson was lying that there was no truth to the rumors that he’d been hired. Whazzat? It was yesterday?

Question: Did you really think he was going to stay this time?

Illustration: Family Phil

Question: Beware of the Office Christmas Party

Full post here

“… And for those of you attending the company Christmas party for the first time, there are a few things you need to know.

1. Spoken words don’t always mean what you think they mean. For instance, after a few martinis, the translation for “I love you” is “I’m really drunk.”

2. What happens at the Christmas party definitely does not stay at the Christmas party. If you want to be topic No. 1 at the water cooler on Monday, then by all means dirty dance with the V.P. of finance or play “guess what color my bra and panties are” with the outside sales team.

3. Unless you are absolutely 100 percent certain that the gift you received from the owner is a gag gift, don’t laugh when you open it at the table” — Marty Fortier, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Question: What advice would you give a young employee attending his/her first office Christmas party?

HBOers Predict How Baughman Hubbub Will Play Out

3 HBOers offered scenarios re: how the e-mail controversy involving K-County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rick Baughman will play out:

First Scenario (by Stebbijo): “I predict that a book will be written called the Pornologues. Douglas and Baughman will face an interrogation from Dr.Ruth and eventully become leading spokesmen on the social raminfications of pornography as part of their rehabilitation sentence. The money that is raised will go back into the county so the people can recover their losses.”

Second Scenario (by MamaJD):

“I would rather watch Dr. Phil get a hold of Baughman than Dr. Ruth.

“Dr. Phil: My staff tells me that you regularly email your co-workers videos that have included a man dressed as a shark having sexual relations with an obese woman and another of a naked man getting mounted by an aroused donkey. And that there are many other pictures you send around if a similar nature.

“Baughman: Yes, this is true, BUT this is harmless and meant to be fun.

“Dr. Phil: Yet, you continue to deny that this is a problem. How’s that working for you?”

Third Scenario (by Bob):

I’d rather watch Dr. Hawkeye Pierce get hold of him.

“Hawkeye: OK, Beej, he’s out, you ready?
BJ: I’ve got the ball bearings.
Hawkeye: We shouldn’t be doing this.
BJ: Well, he can’t be trusted his real ones.
Hawkeye: Well, that’s true.
BJ: He’ll be noisy though.
Hawkeye: The secretaries will hear him clanking a mile away.
BJ: Scalpel!”

Question: Your scenario?

Huckleberries Helping Its “Friends” Blogroll

Bubblehead: Hey DFO (and other denizens of HBO): If you get a chance, I, an Idaho blogger, am also a finalist for one of the Weblog Awards (in the “2501-3500” category). I’m currently in 2nd place, behind some guy from Massachusetts. If you get a chance, I’d appreciate a vote for “The Stupid Shall Be Punished”. My bleg post is here, and the direct link to the voting is here.

DFO: Glad to help, Bubblehead. Also, HBOers, remember our good friend Pickaxe Pete/The Bodie Specter in the 5001-6750 category here.

Parting Shot — Idaho Holocaust Survivor — 12/8/06

Boisean Rose Beal talks about her harrowing experience escaping with her family from Nazi Germany days before the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, during an international human rights celebration earlier today in downtown Boise. Beal is the only Holocaust survivor living in Idaho, and speaks at many events/Idaho Press Tribune.

Inside Huckleberries — 12/8/06

*Cis wonders if OrangeTV would be up to the task of doing a restaurant review of Opaque on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip were cusstomers dine in total darkness here.

*Mayor Clay Larkin called HBO a few minutes ago to say he’s bummed about Dick Haugen’s ouster from KVNI by the KXLY Brain Trust — and that he doesn’t plan to continue his weekly radio show at the local station until KXLY fixes the problem.

*Cis offered some kind remarks re: how far this blog has come in the last three years (as of mid-February) and this thought from Barbara J. Winters: “When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and you are about to step off in the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly”

*The Bodie Specter, the blog written by our good friend Pickaxe Pete, has been chosen as a finalist in the 2006 Weblog Awards. The catagory it’s listed under is the Best of the Top 5001 - 6750 Blogs for the Truth Laid Bear ecosystem. (where it’s currently rated at # 6679). Pete writes to HBO: “I would appreciate it if you went to their website and voted for The Bodie Specter.” You can check out Pete’s blog and get to the voting site by clicking here.

*Huckleberries hears … that one of the KHQers dropped an F-bomb on the air last night during the 5 o’clock broadcast — and opened the 6 p.m. broadcast by ap-hollow-gizing for it. Anyone hear it?

*A Berry Picker writes: Met some people that do not like you … well, NOW they don’t like me either for standing by you. Oh well … you and your Huckleberries are worth it. I have learned one thing living in this country.. everybody is so touchy … I read and re read you… I love what I see and read. So what? Sorry. No names … and not worth it. Keep up the good work friend … it pisses the enemy.

Top Cutlines — 12/8/06

Christie’s specialist Laurence Fisher show off two light bulbs, made by Thomas Alva Edison, on display at Christie’s in London earlier today. The bulb is part of a collection of 23 light bulbs used as courtroom evidence on July 8, 1890, in a case between Edison Electric Light Company and United States Electric Light Company. You write the cutline/AP File Photo.

Top Cutlines

1. A curator at the Smithsonian Institution holds up the lights that appeared over John Kerry’s head before he decided to utter his infamous “I actually voted for the $84 billion dollars…before I voted against it” and “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq” quotes. The items are part of a new exhibit called “Dim Bulbs in American Politics” — Tom Forbes.

2. After winning the lawsuit, Edison said “Watt nonsense that was”, and then promptly made enough money to fill a mint — John Austin.

3. Somehow, the Edison eye glasses never caught on — A Token D.

HM: Jesse Tinsley

North Idaho Clout: Clark, Nonini Land Chairmanships

District 5 State Representative Bob Nonini, right, talks with Joe Peak, owner of the Enaville Resort-Snakepit in Enaville on Monday, Nov. 13, during the Legislative tour overview of the Silver Valley and Benewah County/Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review file photo.

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, is the new chairman of the House Education Committee, while Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, will head the Judiciary Committee. “They offered it to me and I very proudly, very gratefully accepted,” Nonini said. “Education is always the top one or two of what the citizens want to see – those are our constituents.” Nonini, a big supporter of new GOP state schools Superintendent Tom Luna, said he’s also excited to work with Luna. “I’m also excited as a second-term legislator to get a chairmanship,” he noted. Nonini’s appointment means that the education committees in both houses will now be chaired by lawmakers from Coeur d’Alene. Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, said area school officials now will have more input into state legislation that affects them, since both he and Nonini turn to their local superintendents and other school officials for advice — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise (full post here).

Question: What do you think of these two appointments and North Idaho’s growing political clout?

At KXLY, The Buck Stops w/This Guy:

Steve Herling
KXLY, Inc.
500 W. Boone
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 324-4000

In case you have some happy thoughts to share with KVNI/KXLY management for canning News Director Dick Haugen during the Christmas holidays.

AP: Sanders Beach Owners Won’t Stop Plunge

Two lakefront property homeowners in the northern Idaho city of Coeur d’Alene say they have no plans to call police if people start showing up on their land on New Year’s Day to participate in an annual Polar Bear Plunge. Dick Barclay and Jerry Frank say they won’t stop the event, and Coeur d’Alene police say they have no plans to prevent it from happening either. In September, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the long-time public bathing area and sandy waterfront of Lake Coeur d’Alene called Sanders Beach is closed to the public between 12th and 15th streets. The state’s high court unanimously settled a long-running dispute involving private property owners and public beachgoers, the city of Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County. About 500 people usually gather at the beach for the Polar Bear Plunge/Associated Press.

DFO: Cool. Very cool. ‘Tis nice, I mean, that the former combatants will allow this tradition to continue on their beaches.

Question: Are you nutty enough to participate in this event?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/8/06

Bryan Kim (right) addresses Judge Richard White during his first appearance in court with John Rodgers Spokane County Public Defender at his side Thursday in Spokane, Washington. He is being held in the deaths of his parents, Richard and Terri Kim here/Dan Pelle, The Spokesman-Review.

Palousitics: WSU Campus Republicans wish you a Merry Christmas here.

1. A private rift between Sen. Larry Craig and Rep. Mike Simpson over a stalled Idaho wilderness bill is widening into a public quarrel, straining a long-held posture of unity among the state’s all-Republican congressional delegation. Craig and Simpson wrote side-by-side opinion pieces in Thursday’s Idaho Statesman newspaper outlining their disagreements over Simpson’s bill to designate the Boulder-White Cloud mountains and surrounding forest as protected wilderness here.

2. The University of Washington Law School dean is facing an ethics complaint over his use of school time and computers for e-mail relating to his work as a State Farm Insurance board member here.

3. State Superintendent Marilyn Howard’s distribution of merit bonuses to her employees this year may have raised a few eyebrows. But it’s not an unusual practice and it is something the Idaho Legislature has even recommended, Idaho Controller Keith Johnson said here. Meanwhile, Gov. Risch has ordered state agency heads not to give out any more bonuses to their staffs here.

4. AARP Magazine has named American Indian advocate Elouise Cobell of Browning one of 10 people who make the world a better place. Cobell, 61, is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the federal government over billions of dollars in lost royalty money here.

5. A 17-year-old Belgrade (Mont.) High School student died this week from an infection she contracted after having her wisdom teeth pulled, a family member said. Courtney Clark, a senior, died early Tuesday here.

6. IMHO-NW: Spokesman-Review (Congress isn’t getting work done), David Horsey/Seattle PI (Exit strategy), G. George Ostrom/Bigfork (Mont.) Eagle (Madams and Mercedes), Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (Euphemisation for the fatally deluded), Leaning Straight Up (James Brolin denounces 9/11), and Brandon Macz/UI Argonaut (Grand Theft Playstation).

Stapilus: Otter has potential to charm media’s socks off here.

*Told to go home, dog walks from wilderness back to St. Mary, Mont., here.

*Boise State Broncos make cover of USA Today here.

*Eye On Boise: New Idaho House Speaker flexes muscle, Demos walk out here.

*Moscow, Idaho, pastor may withdraw please in California sex-scandal case here.

Orbusmax Special: Sad twist in family tragedy: Vandal cut lock on gate blocking road where family was stranded here.

APhoto of the Day — 12/8/06

Christie’s specialist Laurence Fisher show off two light bulbs, made by Thomas Alva Edison, on display at Christie’s in London earlier today. The bulb is part of a collection of 23 light bulbs used as courtroom evidence on July 8, 1890, in a case between Edison Electric Light Company and United States Electric Light Company. You write the cutline/AP File Photo.

Jean Kirkpatrick, Reagan UN Ambassador, RIP

Former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick is seen in this Nov. 4, 1990, file photo. Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, a onetime Democrat who switched to the Republican Party and became a heroine of conservatives, has died. She was 80 here. (AP Photo/File)

Question: What do you think of the Reagan years?

You Didn’t Really Think He’d Stay, Did You?

Item: Arizona State contacts Erickson: Newspaper reports Idaho coach in final trio of candidates/Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

DFO: How many times have we gone down this tease road before with Dennis Erickson. First, he denies he’s been contacted. Then, he sez he doesn’t know what’s happening, and it’s business as usual at the current place. Finally — surprise! — he’s off to the newest adventure, only to leave there in a coupla years. Well, at least he got UI 4 wins this year.

Question: If Erickson high-tails-it to Arizona State or somewhere else next year, what will be his latest legacy at UIdaho?

Editor Smith: SR Newsroom Prepares for

Following is a memo Editor Steve Smith sent to the SR staff Thursday evening announcing some pretty major changes in newsroom leadership and, to a lesser extent structure.

By now most everybody has at least some knowledge of the upcoming shifts, adjustments and staff changes. The changes were announced this morning at our annual manager retreat and they are summarized in this e-mail. I’ll schedule a staff meeting for next week so that we’ll have an opportunity to discuss things in more detail. The changes were driven by a couple of significant demands. The change begins with an understanding we need to realign our existing staff to meet new challenges in journalism and newspaper technology. We will not be growing the staff next year to any meaningful extent. If we are going to make changes, we must make them with the staff we have in place. The first imperative is to grow the number of people devoted to online and electronic media. The second imperative is to realign and grow our Voices operation (restoring some of what we lost in years past). The third imperative is to leverage our staff across media systems and new editorial products in such a way that I can successfully argue for maintaining newsroom staff at current levels. The changes announced this morning should help us accomplish those goals — Steven A. Smith/News Is A Conversation. (Full text announcing changes here).

DFO: The changes will have a significant positive effect re: Huckleberries Online. In January, I will begin devoting 80% of my time to Huckleberries Online and Huckleberries Print. I’ll remain a member of the Editorial Board. But I will be responsible for only an editorial or a personal column per week. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can take this blog in the coming year. I’ve been pushing for this change for almost a year. It should be fun.

Laird/ NIAC: Haugen’s Firing Poor Form for KVNI/KXLY

When I read Dave Oliveria’s blog this evening regarding the callous manner in which KXLY/KVNI fired longtime news director Dick Haugen I was caught totally off-balance, and terribly angry.

In Spokane we often take great pride in our sense of “community”, and while we occasionally ascend to incredibly-moving heights at caring for one another, there are also times when we descend into unimaginably stygian depths of moral depravity.

In this holiday season, we traditionally show our love by giving to one another, of ourselves, our lives, each according to our abilities. For some, undeniably this Christmas will be a time of sorrow, due to personal losses. My heart goes out to those who suffer so, for Christmas can be heartrending as well as joyful. Having a strong sense of community helps those who are on anguished pathways at Christmas.

The supposed community at KXLY/KVNI determined, for whatever reason, that two days after Dick buried his father, to fire him. Of all the callous, mean-spirited and just plain ugly things I’ve ever heard about this Christmas Season, this takes the cake!

Sometimes we tend to ignore the gaffes and pratfalls of our local news media outlets. This miscarriage of common decency, however, will not pass unnoticed on my watch. It is just plain mean. Good people in MY community do not treat anyone in such a brutal manner.

Not to mention KXLY censors their so-called blog to prevent public outrage at their actions. Shame, shame.

David Laird/News Is A Conversation

Pearl Harbor Day Wild Card/Thursday — 12/7/06

I’ve finished a long day of meetings, HBOers. As I mentioned in the comments section, this blog was held up again and again at the editors retreat today as a model of how to do “citizen journalism.” For those keeping score at home, the idea for Huckleberries Online (originally No Holds Barred, then Hot Potatoes) emerged from the yearly meeting three years ago. I was pretty jazzed about all the discussion today about our evolving online presence. It’s all-systems go for 2007. As far as this blog goes, we’ll be able to do even more things of significance here because I’ll be free after the first of the year to put more time and thought into it. We’ll discuss this more later. Meanwhile, I have to head home. So, I’ll leave you with the Wild Card and all the new posts below …

Question: When Will Douglas Deal w/Baughman?

Issue: Baughman claims privacy for e-mails/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Kootenai County’s chief deputy prosecutor is claiming a “privacy interest” in the vast majority of e-mails he exchanged with female colleagues on his county computer, including some sexually explicit e-mails that were widely circulated among county employees. A log the county released Wednesday revealed that 65 percent of e-mails Rick Baughman sent and received in October had nothing to do with work, even as his office was preparing for the triple-murder trial of Joseph Edward Duncan.

MamaJD: The daily Baughman Files reminder: Another day and another dollar for Rick Baughman. Has he been demoted or is he still technically the Chief Deputy Prosecutor? What type of pay is he getting while he is on “paid leave”? Is his paid leave a portion of his salary that he would usually make if he showed up to work? Historically, there was a time when the Chief Deputy made more than the elected Prosecutor. Is this still the case?

DFO: 65% of the e-mails weren’t work related? Shazam.

Question: Now that this has played out for a bit, do you have any new thoughts about the ongoing controversy?

MamaJD: Dec. 7 Has An Aryan Connection, Too

MamaJD: Today, in addition to Pearl Harbor Day, is important for this area. December 7, 1984, marks the date that Robert “Bob” Matthews died in a fiery standoff with federal agents on Whidbey Island. For those who have forgotten, Bob Matthews lead a violent offshoot of followers from the Aryan Nations called The Order. The Order declared open war on the United States Government, engaged in several armed robberies, and was also involved in assassinations to further their cause. The millions of dollars stolen was not recovered, believed to have been spread around to other hate groups. Until the Oklahoma City bombing, The Order was considered the largest scale domestic terrorism operation for the federal government. There are many in law enforcement in this area that dealt with this investigation. The investigation into The Order marked the beginning of the long end of the Aryan Nations in this area. If you know someone who worked in law enforcement during this time and had contact with this case, today is a good day to remember to thank them.

DFO: Well said, MamaJD; law enforcement did a terrific job protecting the public during the heyday of the local/regional white supremacist movement.

Question: Which HBOer Would Be A Good Politician?

Hmmm: If Dang lives in Rick Currie’s district, he would have a good shot at a seat on the county commission in a year or so. :)

Bent: DanG, seriously, you should give it some thought. I honestly have have met very people who have the passion that you seem to have for local politics. In fact, very few of the elected local politicians have the passion that you do. You know, municipal elections are up next year. By winning a council seat, you could ask the council to appoint you to LCDC board and make the changes that you would like to see happen. Also, you would be able to participate in the Executive Sessions that are required of public entities for land acquistion, legal and personnel issues. It would be a heck of an education.

DanG: Bent: Thanks! Complex issues, indeed. Probably made a lot less complex if they’d stop hiding in Executive Session… Honestly, I don’t know if my butt could take local office. I see the City Council on TV sitting there for hours. Damn! I admire those people for A) being able to “hold it”, B) Concentrate, C) Not fidget, and best of all D) stay awake and focused. Impressive! Hmmm: I’m not in Currie’s district. :( I’m in Rich Piazza’s district, and I remind him of it often. :)

Question: Who has the best potential among the current HBO crowd to be an office holder?

Cis: Hey, Anyone Remember Pearl Harbor?

Cis: I just got finish reading all the post. And of course read DFO’s post for this wild card. No one, mention what day this is. guess for those under 40 don’t care or it isn’t a big deal for them. Only for us over 50. IT IS THE 65TH YEAR SINCE PEARL HARBOR WAS BOMBED. … Guess most think of it as just yesterdays news…

Jesse Tinsley: My mother was a toddler living in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed. She lived on the windward side and my grandmother went out and pulled her inside and hid while the bombing went on at the base on the leeward side. My Uncle Joe was a civilian employee at Pearl and worked there for three days straight cleaning up the mess after the bombing.

DFO: Sorry, Cis; I thought about posting something yesterday to alert HBOers to this important anniversary. But forgot. Which brings up a good question. Will the anniversary of Pearl Harbor be remembered 10 years from now. Or is it an observance that will pass when all of the “Greatest Generation” does?

AM Hucks: Clueless KXLY Cans Fan Fave Haugen

In this March 1999 file photo, Dick Haugen with KVNI asks nine-year-old Heather Hendry if she snuck into her brothers’ rooms to collect loose change for Hayden Lake Elementary’s donation of $515 in loose change to the 1999 Child Abuse Prevention Campaign Thursday morning/Spokesman-Review photo.

The Huckleberries Online gang didn’t react well to yesterday’s news that KXLY/KVNI had fired long-time news director Dick Haugen. “Isn’t this the same KXLY that ruined Spokane’s 99.9 and its Classy Rock format?” wondered commenter John Austin. Not only did the KXLY brain trust give Dick the ax during the holidays but also while he was grieving a personal loss. After I posted the news online Wednesday morning, Dick, the erstwhile “Voice of North Idaho” for the 15 years, commented briefly on my blog: “Can’t say much now, except to say I was fired. A smoke screen for budget cuts. Need a job, any takers? BTW, I was torched two days after I buried my father. Merry Xmas to me from KXLY.” The postings soon attracted other comments. “I was always impressed with (Dick’s) knowledge of the issues, the players and the politics that made the community tick. Big loss for KVNI” – Keith Erickson, ex-CDA Press reporter. “Judging from the trends in radio, I would hazard a guess that they will turn KVNI into an automated satellite operation with nothing but an engineer on duty” – Herb Huseland/Bayviews blog. “Dick is “a standup guy! An authentic guy who can describe the 100th parade like it was his first” – Dr. Jim Winter. “I hope Dick moves on to something bigger and better. And – hey! – let’s all immediately hate his replacement just to make Dick feel good” – Dan Gookin. Dick is one of the media’s good guys. KVNI broadcasts of local sports won’t be the same without his color commentary. KXLY. Flat. Screwed. Up.

Originally posted at 4:57:24 p.m. Wednesday

Hump Day Wild Card — 12/6/06

We won’t get back together again until Friday, HBOers. I’ll be in Spokane tomorrow for the annual newsroom editors retreat. Then, that might be a good thing because Blogmeister Ryan & Co. plan to take the site down for repairs from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. BTW, some of you have mentioned that you noticed that our Web site and this blog site has experienced technical difficulties for the past two days — around 7 p.m. You’re right. It has something to do with our server. I’ll post a Wild Card for tomorrow. Until then, you can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Question: Least Favorite Christmas Song

In the “Best of the Local Blogs” today, you’ll find CodaDave’s list of his least-favorite secular (politically correct) ones. In no particular order, it includes

*Winter Wonderland
*Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
*Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
*Feliz Navidad
*Jingle Bells

Question: What would you add to the list?

Inside Huckleberries — 12/6/06

*Dick Haugen’s non-company e-mail address:

*HBO — to Dick Haugen: Dick, your fans our here would like you to post a non-KXLY e-mail so they can get ahold of you. One wants to give you an “electronic high-five.”

*If you heard all that scanner traffic about the local gendarmes stopping a train on the Rathdrum Prairie, don’t worry. Seems someone reported to the authorities that a train car was trailing a moving train across the prairie. The cops stopped the train and helped reunite it with its maverick car.

*Commenter Mike writes: Here is a letter I wrote way back in March 2006. Here is a letter from Jerry Weaver who happens to be a retired Sheriffs Officer and Court bailiff. And of course your wonderful editorial this weekend. What is it going to take Dave to get rid of these un-ethical individuals that are destroying our community?

*Ken Paulman, former HBO blogmeister and now the SR features editors sends this SOS: “We just got word today that daily syndication of the comic strip “Fox Trot” ceases at the end of the month (the strip will still run on Sundays). The artist, Bill Amend, is scaling back production after drawing the strip for nearly 20 years. That means we need to come up with a replacement. Anyone got any suggestions?”

*For those keeping score at home, Kootenai County has dug its heels in again re: our request for more e-mails from the prosecutor’s office and is challenging us to sue for them. Seems they’re more interested in protecting the back sides of public employees who’ve abused e-mail privileges than they are at getting to the truth.

Quotable Quote

“Big loss for North Idaho. The station was already automated 21 hours a day. With Dick Haugen gone, there will be no more reason to have local radio in Coeur d’Alene. Adios! Some genius in top management needs to have someone stop by his table tonight at the swanky restaurant where he takes his mistress and vomit in his soup” — DanG re: Dick Haugen’s firing.

WSU Campus R’s Call for Prof’s Termination

Full post by Palousitics here

Washington State University College Republicans are calling for a WSU professor to be fired for his alleged use of a racial slur against a club member during the group’s Nov. 2 demonstration on illegal immigration. WSU senior Dan Ryder officially demanded during a Tuesday press conference that the university take action against John Streamas, an assistant professor in the department of comparative ethnic studies. “A person who teaches about cultural values and diversity is not qualified to teach when that person attacks students for their beliefs,” Ryder said on behalf of both the WSU chapter of College Republicans and the Washington College Republican Federation. Ryder said he hoped Streamas would be reprimanded and be required to go through sensitivity training, at a minimum. Streamas could not be reached for comment — Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Question: Do you think a prof of WSU comparative ethnics studies should be fired for using a so-called racial slur, “white s***bag” against a Campus Republican?

Getting There: I-90 To Be Monitored

Issue: Cameras to capture good, bad and ugly on Kootenai County’s section of I-90/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Planners with the Idaho Transportation Department, highway districts and cities are considering installing cameras and weather sensors along I-90 from the Washington state line into Coeur d’Alene, as well as adding message boards on the freeway and nearby arterials. The 18 cameras would monitor traffic and could be used to help emergency crews and identify congestion and poor road conditions. Eight message boards would warn drivers about traffic jams, construction, Amber alerts and severe weather.

Question: Is there a down side to this?

Haugen, KXLY/KVNI Part Ways

Huckleberries has learned … that long-time news director/morning man Dick Haugen and KXLY/KVNI have parted ways. Happened at 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon — and no one’s saying nothing about nothing including those who may know something. Stay tuned.

DFO: I don’t know the inside skinny here. But I do know that Dick was a fixture in this community and will be missed. He was a fun color guy on the sports broadcasts. And he had an extensive knowledge of Coeur d’Alene. Can’t see how the morning show will be the same without him. (Dick, if you’re out there, check in and tell us what you can.)

Statesman: Should Airports Take Revealing X-rays?

Question: Should airports use a screening system that takes potentially revealing X-ray photos of travelers in an effort to find bombs and other weapons? — Idaho Statesman

* Yes
* No
* No opinion

BrodH20: Are the Urchins Spoiled?

Full post here

The Otis and I sometimes feel like we’re spoiling The Urchins. I feel that way when I buy them Lucky Charms. When I was a little girl growing up, my mom strictly purchased no-sugar cereal. It was always Cheerios for us. Or Kix. Or some other fairly bland and mostly sugarless brand. I let my kids pick out their cereal. Sometimes that means they are eating blue cereal. Or red and green Captain Christmas Crunch. Stuff that doesn’t look appetizing through my adult eyes, but the kind of cereal I always wanted my mom to buy for me when I was a kid. I feel like we may be spoiling the kids when we let them stay up late with us. I remember having a 7 p.m. bedtime when I was little. How I hated trying to go to sleep when it wasn’t even completely dark outside. I still haven’t decided if I let my kids stay up later because of some subconcious protest of my own childhood bedtime, or if it’s just because I miss the kids while I’m at work and I just want them close to me when we’re all home — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

DFO: I certainly wasn’t spoiled as a kid. There were too many of us for my parents to spoil any one of them, although my grandfather preferred my sister Charlotte (who now works at the local cancer center) over me — and made that evident. As a parent, I spoiled my kids somewhat. Parents should, to a degree. But I also made them work for things they wanted. They both have a strong work ethic now.

DFO: Were you spoiled/Do you spoil your kids?

Hunh? WSU 77, Gonzaga 67? What’s Up w/That?

Washington State coach Tony Bennett celebrates his team’s 8th win after upsetting Gonzaga 77-67 Tuesday in Pullman/Dan Pelle, Spokesman-Review

Issue: WSU, going away: Cougars upset No. 18 gonzaga/Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Washington State defeated No. 18 Gonzaga 77-67 scoring 14 of the game’s final 15 points in the process. The win set off a delirious celebration, with the biggest Friel Court crowd since Feb. 11, 1995, storming the floor as the favored road team slunk off the floor and up the tunnel.

DFO: Ah, did WSU fail to read Gonzaga’s press clippings?

Question: Anyone have an explanation for this final outcome?

CDA Mom: Why Publicize X-Press Blog?

CDA Mom: It suprises me that a blog on x-press can continue to exist based solely on bashing another blog. What is likewise suprising is that Huckleberries is giving the “other blog” any attention at all. My Mom always told me that when my brother would act out (cuz I am an angel), he did so to get attention, whether good or bad. Through life, I have found that shinning light on juvenile behavior does nothing but give attention to bad behavior. DFO, to an extent this thread is no better than the x-press blog. Prior to this thread, I had heard about the other blog, but had no interest in it because I thought it was just sour grapes. But today I actually went there to see what all the noise was about. Ironically, you are probably giving their blog attention. I pray they will find more interesting important things to blog about.

Bent: Just got back from the Press site and Tolle has posted a link to his new Blog … called Not Huckleberries. I tried to post a link but apparently doesn’t pass the spam filters … go check it out its funny.

OrangeTV: Another one for the blogroll, DFO … How cool … you must be doing something right if you’ve inspired not one,but two anti-HBO sites. Funny stuff …

DFO: If they’re cussing you, they’re discussing you — and drawing the attention of their crowd to Huckleberries. It’s free publicity. Once the newcomers see what we’re doing, some will stay and add to what we’re doing here. The new sites are proof that Huckleberries has an impact. Why bother otherwise? They’ll be mentioned here as other North Idaho blogs are, particularly if they really go tinfoil. But they’ll find it’s hard to sustain a blog on hatred of all things DFO/HBO/SR, especially the mature ones.

AM Hucks: Recalling Douglas Would Be Difficult

For those keeping score at home, Prosecutor Bill Douglas will serve out his term despite the latest e-mail scandal, if he wants to do so. It’s almost impossible to recall the Republican. Huckleberries Central got the info re: a recall from County Clerk Dan English. A successful recall effort would require backers to collect 14,494 valid signatures. In other words, organizers would have to gather more than 18,000 signatures to place a recall attempt on the ballot. The late anti-tax activist Ron Rankin, a master at circulating petitions and winning ballot access, always figured he needed 25 percent more signatures than the minimum requirement because a chunk of signatures fail to pass muster. The required signatures in a Douglas recall effort would be derived from multiplying the number of registered county voters in the 2004 election (72,471) by 20 percent. Even if the proper number of signatures is collected, organizers would only be halfway home when the recall effort made the ballot. At that point, they would need the votes of 43,230 county residents to dump Douglas – or one vote more than Republican Douglas won running unopposed in the 2004 presidential year. Last month, in an off-year election, only 37,973 county voters cast ballots. Are you beginning to see why Douglas is bulletproof no matter what becomes of the illicit e-mail scandal involving Chief Deputy Rick Baughman? Or how the Idaho Supreme Court rules on his on e-mail controversy involving former subordinate Marina Kalani? That’s why this newspaper wants him to resign instead.

Originally posted @ 4:57 p.m. Tuesday

Wild Card/Tuesday — 12/5/06

Today has to be better than yesterday simply because yesterday was a challenge. As you regulars here know, Huckleberries lost a half day’s worth of posting as a result of a hacker. As a result, I was out of rhythm here all day. Last evening, things continued along the same lines — the site went down again, my dog got sick and pooped/arfed all over our recently cleaned carpeting and then I suffered a rare nose bleed. But I went out for a walk and got things straight in my head, which was good, because I cleaned up more arfing — last night and this morning. Fun. But it’s a new day and that means a new start. Remember that. Here’s your Wild Card …

Junk E-mail Responsible for 90% of Traffic

Item: Junk emails are still clogging up Inboxes, with spam accounting for 89.73 per cent of all email traffic, new figures claim.

Quoth: “It seems hard to believe the amount of people that do respond to spam messages.”

DFO: You mean, people really respond to those bogus pleas from Nigeria?

Question: Where does e-mail spam rate on your list of pet peeves?

Top Cutlines — 12/5/06

A zoo official holds a seven-day old Stump-Tailed macaque at the state zoological park in Gauhati, India, in this file photo. Though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has prohibited importation of most monkeys as pets since 1975, some macaques imported for research are now being sold on the open market. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath/File)

Top Cutlines

1. Albert Einstein showed up today at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union. The 127-year old physicist seemed to show few ill effects from his recent journey to Alpha Centauri — Tom Forbes/Palousitics.

2. Michael Moore displays his winning entry on the new hit TV show “So You Think You Got Belly Button Lint” — Pickaxe Pete/Brodie Specter, and: Hanford down-winder “Mac” said he wasn’t looking for a handout from the government, just a helping hand now and then — Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent.

3. Moments after Inspector Clousseau displays his “little minkey” to Chief Dreyfus (played by the immortal Herbert Lom), the poor man’s head explodes — John Austin.

HM: A Token D

Question: How Has Hacking Affected You?

The Naval War College in Newport, R.I., is shown on Tuesday. Hackers attacked the computer network at the Naval War College in Newport, and the school’s network, including its e-mail and Web site, has been down for more than two weeks as investigators work to find the culprits. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)

DFO: We had our own problem with a hacker this week, when some slime from China figured out how to embed contaminated code into an in-house system. As many of you know, it forced the computer guys to delete about 14 hours worth of postings from about 8 p.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Monday.

Question: Have you ever been affected by a hacker?

New Blog: Collingwood’s Panhandle Preps

Greg Lee/Idaho Preps introduces a new blog to the North Idaho high school blogosphere today: Ryan Collingwood’s Panhandle Preps. In includes a ballot that allows you to pick high school games alongside Greg, Ryan and two other experts here. You can link to Ryan’s blog here. Among the many interesting things on the blog right now is the poll question below:

Question: What was the biggest story of the fall sports season?

* Lake City’s 12-0 Football Season
* Sandpoint’s “FumbleRooskie” Controversy
* Sandpoint Boys Soccer Title
* Coeur d’ Alene Girls Soccer Title
* Frank Lagrimanta’s XC Championship

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/5/06

Kati Kim holds her daughter, seven-month old, Sabine Kim, in the back of a helicopter after they and her other daughter, Penelope, 4, were rescued from a remote area of southern Oregon, Monday. They were airlifted to Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass. James Kim, 35, Kati’s husband is still missing here. (AP Photo/Grants Pass Daily Courier)

Orbusmax Special: Comedy Central orders “Lil Bush: Resident of the United States” here.

1. With little opposition, the Twin Falls City Council lifted a historic ban on Sunday liquor sales on a 5-2 vote, citing both “inconsistency” in the state law and a need to adapt as a changing community here.

2. Two men with artificial legs are responsible for four bank robberies in two weeks, officials believe. “What are the chances of that?” Spokane police Sgt. Joe Peterson marveled after a second amputee was arrested Monday in Spokane Valley here.

3. An annual report released today says Idaho had one of the biggest declines in overall healthiness among all the states. Oregon and Washington suffered similar declines or worse here.

4. The American Civil Liberties Union plans to pump money into its Montana affiliate and four others to strengthen the ACLU’s presence “in places where there is no one else to turn to,” the executive director said Monday here.

5. A 16-year-old Sandpoint girl was trapped up to her neck in ice-cold water for a half-hour Monday morning as rescue workers freed her from her partially submerged car here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Canzano/Oregonian (Erickson talks to Arizona State), David Horsey/Seattle PI (Deadbeat dads), Idaho Statesman (Idaho superintendent’s bad decision), Mark Maher/New West Missoula (My Space, Missoula Style), and Brandon Macz/UI Argonaut (Hardcore holiday advice).

Online Poll: 76% of 1220 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll believe youths should be involved in community decisions.

*Idaho state Web site second best in nation here.

*The man convicted in the New Year’s Day road rage case that killed an Athol hairdresser will spend up to 25 years in prison here.

*Man admits trying to kill wolves with poisoned meatballs here.

*Memorial in Calif. for ‘Flying Elvis’ dead after Montana mishap here.

Palousitics: WSU College Repubs schedule press conference re: faux border fence controversy tonight here.

Take 5 — CDA Press Blog Wingnuts on Parade

How does the Coeur d’Alene Press blog “As The Berry Turns” obsess with Huckleberries? Let us count the ways:

1. “I refuse to read anything written by DF and won’t partake of whatever he does online” — DW.

2. “Huckleberries used to be a neighborhood for NI, now it is dominated by Spokane radicals and local nuts with way too much time on their hands” — Dutch.

3. “It is nice that the Spokesman-Review gives us HBO. It is a marquee emblazened with their philosophy steeped in liberalism, name calling and arrogance. They have no credibility. They could not be trusted to objectively report on a Dick and Jane book” — Dirk.

4. “As normal (so-called conservatives) fade off from HBO with their interesting content, only the boring liberal wingnuts are left. Poor dave is practically the lone representative…and he’s slightly right of center” — Willy Maequet.

5. “Huckleberries Online is “moderated by a loser minor editor” — Dave Tolle.

DFO: Sorry that I’ve pimped this blog two days in a row. But I want to see it continue. Nothing makes my day like someone going off on me. It means I’m in their heads, and they’re blurking here for material. How cool izzat? I’m glad Dave Tolle found a home for his anti-DFO/SR venom. But I hate to see Claude over there. He remains a gentleman albeit disaffected from the HBO crowd. You can’t please everyone.

Question: Can you think of any other nasty things that the Berry Turners missed as they vented on HBO, Yours Truly and the SR?

Question: Rep Wants to Use Quran for Swearing In

Complete editorial here

Little did Minnesotans know last month that in electing the first Muslim to serve in Congress, they were setting up a test of Americans’ confidence in the First Amendment. U.S. Rep.-elect Keith Ellison became the center of controversy last week when bloggers and talk-radio personalities picked up on reports that he would use the Quran rather the Bible when he is sworn into office on Jan. 4. By the time Ellison’s office and that of House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi noted that members of Congress don’t necessarily lay their hands on any book during their swearing in, gale-force animosity was blowing across the land — Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review.

Question: Should Minnesota representative be allowed to put his hand on the Quran during his swearing-in ceremony?

Ex-NIC/UI Student Palin Becomes Alaska Governor

Gov. Sarah Palin holds her daughter, Piper, during the Benediction at the end of the gubernatorial swearing-in ceremonies Monday in Fairbanks, Alaska. Also pictured is Palin’s husband, Todd, and her two other daughters, Bristol, second right, and Willow, right. Palin, the state’s first female governor, is a Sandpoint native and former student at North Idaho College and University of Idaho. (AP Photo)

Thom George: Silence from Local GOP Deafening

Thom George: Nada. Zip. Zilch. The silence from the GOP, both at the local and state level, is deafening. Maybe the are trying the same defense as the KC Prosecutors office, hunker down, remain silent and hope the whole thing blows over. The party of fiscal responsibility isn’t. Sad. Really.

DFO: Thom George has a good point here. The local GOP has a greater financial obligation here than most partisan groups who host a VIP that requires extra police protection, like VP Dick Cheney. The attendees were limited to those approved by the local GOP. This wasn’t an open-for-the-public event. On the other hand, the GOP also has been mum about the e-mail scandal at the Republican prosecutor’s office. It’s incredible that the local GOP would hunker down in a situation like this. We had difficulty finding any GOPerson who’d talk about this yesterday. State Sen. Shawn Keough made a statement via e-mail to a constitutent (HBO’s Mike) but even she backed off when we called her for comment. We tried to reach each of our local legislator. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Ditto for local GOP leadership. That sweeping sound you hear in the background is a broom being applied and a rug lifted. ‘Tisn’t important to do the right thing. ‘Tis important to protect the party. Then, the Demos would probably do the same thing.

AM Hucks: Strip Club’s Spelling Skills Revealing

This ‘n’ That: En route to a veterinarian’s office recently, a local man and his college-bound daughter were treated to belly laughs as they passed Stateline Showgirls. Commenter Rob wasn’t titillated by the strip joint at the west end of Seltice Way. However, he and his Senior Miss did double takes when they saw the readerboard out front advertising an “Amatrue” dance contest. “Amateur” was misspelled the same way on the other side, too. Sez Rob: “We concluded that spelling just isn’t part of that line of work” … Quotable Quote: “Digital Dumpster diving is so much more professional than real Dumpster diving, mostly because you don’t end up with a soggy banana stuck to your pants or have your jacket smell like pee” – Huckleberries Online commenter DanG re: the illicit e-mails involving the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office … In the “You Knew This Was Coming” Dept., Rich Roesler, an ex-Coeur d’Alene bureau reporter who now runs the SR’s bureau in Olympia, wasn’t surprised by the message on the Almond Joy that he bought from a candy machine in a Washington state office building. You’ve read those health warnings on cigarettes and booze (you know, drinking while pregnant may lead to birth defects, etc.). Well, the Almond Joy wrapper read: “Candy is a treat. Please consume in moderation.” Mebbe life should come with a warning … Poet’s Corner: “Just pay us some wages/and give us computers,/and we’ll have more fun than/they have down at Hooters” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Prosecutor’s Office”).

MamaJD: Friend of Bill & Disappointed

Full post here

Over the years, I have come to know Bill Douglas and have supported him in many ways. I have always recognized that he has faults but he is a good man who is well intentioned and compassionate. He has supervised an office of prosecutors and support staff that has protected and served Kootenai County and its victims for many years now. I have voted for Bill at every opportunity and have urged others to do the same on Election Day. I have not wavered in my support even when previous controversies were brewing. I am an FOB – Friend Of Bill. As an FOB, I have not heard what I NEED to hear from my friend, Prosecutor William J. Douglas regarding the recent email fiasco. You, Bill Douglas, can still redeem yourself with me, a loyal FOB, if you do the following:

*Accept responsibility for Rick Baughman.
*Address the current problem.
*Outline and implement ways to prevent recycling the same old controversy.


Raymond Pert: A Picture Perfect Smile?

“The members of this Baptist Church on 10th street in west Eugene have been sprucing up their building. Do you think, as I do, that the unshaded part of this picture is shaped like a smile?” — Raymond Pert.

Question: How Do You Handle Theater Rudeness?

Full column here

Of course, the problem of parents at the movies with noisy kids pretty much ended when home video players and rental movies came into existence. Today, parents of little howlers and talkers can watch relatively current movies at home. They can even stop the movie when the child is talking or crying. However, that is not a practical solution when bringing a child to a movie theater and sitting down among a couple hundred other patrons. When the child the other night started jabbering and fussing, no one considered turning off the movie until the yelps and chatter ceased. Unfortunately, the parents didn’t think of doing anything either. The child — probably about 18 months — jabbered on and on, all through the movie, from beginning to end — Bill Hall/Lewiston Tribune.

Question: What do you do when someone is making noise while you’re trying to watch a movie at a movie theater?

Originally posted at 1:29 p.m.

Top Cutlines — 12/4/06

A waitress displays an alligator head dish at a restaurant in the scenic city of Huangshan, in eastern Anhui province, China, earlier today. Even in anything-edible-goes-in-the-pot China, the Huifu Fine-food Restaurant is drawing attention with special menu offerings that include alligator kebabs and soup, complete with the endangered species’ head and tail. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/EyePress)

Top Cutlines

Photoshop: OrangeTV

1. USC head coach Pete Carroll was served this swamp delicacy instead of the humble pie he was expecting after the Men of Troy lost to UCLA 13-9 on Saturday. The Florida Gators will now face Ohio State in the NCAA National Championship game — Tom Forbes.

2. It was much too late before anyone caught the error in translation at the Chinese Betty Croc-er Cookoff — Side Note.

3. So…this alligator walks into a Chinese restaurant … — Keithincda.

HM: Cis and Wondering

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

As Berry Turns: Fixating on Huckleberries Online

For complete thread at Coeur d’Alene Press blog site, As the Berry Turns, here

Photo/Unbearable Bobness of Being

It might be of slight interest, but at the blog “Dingleberries on Whine”, a woman named “cc” has taken on Ollie’s pet attack poodle, “Thith ith Boob” and his suckup sidekick “thommy” and completely (rhetorically speaking) kicked their asses. So that they didn’t going sobbing off into cyberspace with crusty, tear drenched eyes ( and more importantly, burning up the e-mail line to Ollie’s box at the S/r), DFO actually posted to WARN OFF the effective “cc.” That’s great! The big bad libs have to call in the umpire so the little conservative woman doesn’t turn them into politicalspooge here. Comprendes? This is your opportunity to comment on the activities on HBO or many local blogs that have things of interest that viewers might like to see. It could be international or national. Like the heading says,”Gossip, news and blog review.” But it should be to the point…like my blade — L Zorro/As The Berry Turns.

DFO: And you were wondering where the uber-conservatives went after they couldn’t take the heat here? Seems this guy (who sounds a lot like one of our former regulars) has established a blog to cyberstalk monitor Huckleberries Online. What do they say: Copycatting (imitation) is the sincerest form of flattery. Claude’s over there. Probably Any Mouse, too (if Any Mouse isn’t the author, and I don’t think he is). They don’t think much of Your Huckleberries Hound, which I take as a compliment considering the source. But the Berry Turners seem to think this blog is inhabited by Liberals. Seems reading for comprehension isn’t a long suit of theirs. Prolly should put ‘em on the North Idaho blogroll. (Photo above captures HBO response to cyber-groupie)

Martinson: A World Class Garden @ NIC?

Howard Martinson: How about a world class botanical garden at the NIC site on the river?

DFO: You’ve read my thoughts.

Keough: Appalled by K-County E-mail Scandal

I can only speak for myself not the entire Legislature. I personally am appalled by the recent news and agree with today’s editorial calling for the resignation of the prosecutor. My legislative district does not encompass any of Kootenai County. There are four legislative districts that do: Dist. 2, 3, 4 & 5 with 3 legislators in each for a total of 12 individual legislators who have Kootenai County within their legislative district. Perhaps your question is better directed to them. More importantly, the Legislature has established law that allows for county voters - in this case Kootenai County - to recall their elected officials and to vote for other elected officials. The Kootenai County Prosecutor has not been opposed in two, I believe, cycles. I’d suggest it is time for someone to do so or the voters could also consider a recall. However, I don’t live there nor does my legislative district go into that county. So, I am personally sickened by the latest and suggest that the voters in Kootenai County have the tools in their hands to demand changes one way or another.

Sen. Shawn Keough
Senate District 1

DFO: This is a response sent by Sen. Shawn Keough to HBO commenter Mike.

APhoto of the Day — 12/4/06

A waitress displays an alligator head dish at a restaurant in the scenic city of Huangshan, in eastern Anhui province, China, earlier today. Even in anything-edible-goes-in-the-pot China, the Huifu Fine-food Restaurant is drawing attention with special menu offerings that include alligator kebabs and soup, complete with the endangered species’ head and tail. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/EyePress)

Computer Problems

We’ve been down for an hour or so this morning while our computer guys fixed a hack job from last night. As a result, all the comments and material from that point has been lost. I’ll have to repost this morning’s material. Sorry.

Stebbijo Has A “Nugget of Irony” To Begin Monday

This statement is right on the top of the Kootenai County application form.

DanG Review: 2 Thumbs Up for “Nativity Story”

Saw “The Nativity Story.” Overall, a good piece of filmmaking. Nothing obnoxiously offensive or too far off the traditional path set down in the Gospels. I’m glad Mel Gibson didn’t make it. I don’t think I would have lived through the slaughter of the innocents scenes. I’d have only minor nits to pick. Having been to Israel it’s obvious this wasn’t filmed there. And it humors me that characters in Biblical tales always take the arduous route — rocky hills, sand dunes, hard scrabble — to get from place to place instead of using the well-travelled and marked routes of the time. I’m glad they gave screen time to Zechariah and Elizabeth. The story of when Mary and Elizabeth meet is one of my favorite in the Bible. Playing the three wise men as comic relief bothered me, but they atoned for it well in the gift-giving scene. Ciar├ín Hinds, who played Herod, was awesome. He could not be on the screen enough. Terrific bit with an old shepherd who “has never been given a gift.” Get your hanky out for that one. Good acting from both leads, Mary and Joseph. Better depth and characterization than you’ll find in the typical Hollywood fare. Recommended — DanG.

Question: What’s your favorite biblical movie?

AM Hucks: Story Behind Illicit E-mails

Many have asked how SReporter Taryn Brodwater got ahold of illicit e-mails swapped among Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rick Baughman, ex-victims advocate Laura Bonneville and Sheriff Rocky’s troops. Huckleberries is prepared to tell you. It started with a public records request. A tipster told Taryn to ask for e-mails exchanged by Judge Barry Watson and a legal secretary. She did. On Tuesday, the county computer geeks handed her a CD containing those e-mails after they’d been scrutinized by Civil Deputy Darrin Murphey. Taryn found nothing inappropriate on them. However, the next morning, Taryn reviewed the CD again, spotting a subfolder titled, “deleted items.” (and a notation that there were 50 deletions). Curious, she opened the folder and – voila! – found the lewd e-mails circulated among Baughman, Bonneville and others. Taryn’s reaction? Omigosh. Christmas had come early. It was obvious that someone had committed a snafu when Murphey sent us a note: “I understand that the compact disk produced by the County in response to your public records request for the e-mail between Kathy Adams and Barry Watson, inadvertently included certain e-mail in a ‘deleted items’ folder. Those records inadvertently provided to the Spokesman contain information that another County employee has claimed a right to privacy and were not intended to be released by the County. Please return to Kootenai County any and all records contained in the ‘deleted items’ folder.” Don’t you love it when a lawyer sez “please”?

Wild Card/Saturday — 12/2/06

Before SReporter Taryn Brodwater left the office Friday evening, I gave her a high 5. Her work unraveling the latest prosecutor e-mail scandal amidst an attempt to stonewall was as good as I’ve seen in years. She and Erica Curless give us an investigative team that has few equals in a community this size. Give ‘em your attagirls when you see them. Meanwhile, here’s your Saturday Wild Card …

Quotable Quote

“Digital dumpster diving is so much more professional than real dumpster diving, mostly because you don’t end up with a soggy banana stuck to your pants or have your jacket smell like pee.”


Happy X. Dopey: County Shouldn’t Go Overboard

Happy X. Dopey: It seems to me that rather than cutting off internet usage, the county should simply monitor it more thoroughly and deal with the violators directly. Instead, they will likely follow the same pattern they always seem to adopt. Ignore those who created the problem, make new and more restrictive rules, and provide some worthless “training”. The sad part is that, like with most things in life, the training will only have any impact on those who were probably not dumb enough to be engaging in the inappropriate behaviors. Gee, it’s hard to see why the county has some issues …

DFO: Sheriff Rocky Watson already has opted for a very restrictive approach, ordering worker bees to eliminate everything from their computers that doesn’t pertain to official county biz, including family photos. I’d be bugged by that. My screen saver features Amy Dearest and other key actors from Lake City High’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during her senior year. I don’t hesitate to send a personal note to my wife or kids or extended family member or friend during the workday. The key is not to abuse the system. Limiting all Internet use to strictly county biz could have a negative effect equal to some fools passing around porn.

DanG: Many Writers Don’t Know Where to Start

DanG: Having served a sentence as an editor … I can assure you that most often the first paragraph of anything written by most people can safely be eliminated. It takes practice to hit the ground running. The screwiest letter I ever got as an editor was 6 pages long. I made the mistake of writing the guy back (I was new). I asked him to pare it down a bit, as he did have something worthy of saying. He replied with a 12 page letter, one that spent most of the time calling me an idiot for rejecting the 6 page letter. Around the office we called those long letters “When the Dinosaurs…” letters; most of them framed their arguments by starting with ancient history.

DFO: The key to writing a good letter is the same as writing an editorial — figure out what you want to say and a point or two you want to highlight. Then, zero in on that basic outline. Stay away from rabbit trails. Indeed, a lead paragraph by an unskilled writer often can be eliminated. The same can be said for the last graf or two — even those written by a skilled writer. Often, when I stumped for an ending to an editorial or column, I check out the preceding graf and see that my thought actually ended there. DanG’s comment reminds me of that old saying: “I didn’t have time to write well; so, I wrote long.”

Cis: What Will Be the Next Big Story?

Cis: Asking for the cd back is kind of like trying to push the toothpaste back in the tube… way too late, and messy. Reading John Austin’s comment made me think. … what is the next big story. West story was a scorcher, then the judge race, then the Boundary county mess, and then the elections… and now this … You know, I don’t think I want to know, what the next mess is.

DFO: We haven’t seen the last of this one involving the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office. MamaJD, I believe, wondered in the comments section if there were more illicit e-mails to come. I believe we’re only scratching the surface, although it might be harder to obtain e-mails now that the county has been burned and while be uber-vigilant to ensure that the wrong stuff doesn’t become public. The situation will persist until the Supreme Court rules on the Douglas-Kalani e-mails next spring. BTW, I have little faith in this judiciary, so I won’t predict the outcome until its rendered.

DFO: Any guesses re: the next big story that will dominate our pages?

TGIF Wild Card — 12/1/06

I heard the Elephants at the Pachyderm Club this morning were unhappy (aren’t they always) that the SR doesn’t allow long letters to the editor, like the Coeur d’Alene Press does. Indeed, we limit letters to the editor to 200 words. Why? We probably run more letters to the editor than any paper our size or bigger in the U.S. And we still can’t keep up with the volumne. Second reason? Long letters are (come closer, now … ready?) generally B-O-R-I-N-G. We recently got poked on Brand X’s letter page by some guy from Post Falls who complained the SR wouldn’t run his. And, therefore, he pledged his troth to Brand X over that nasty, out-of-state newspaper. He didn’t mention that his letter was 75 words too long to meet our standards. My opinion? Everyone should be able to say what they want in 150 words. Now, that that’s off my chest, I’ll play your Wild Card …

Kellogg Bloggin: Job Promotions Can Have Down Side

Full post here

The resignation today of former, and very successful, Gonzaga coach Dan Monson as the head basketball coach at the U of Minnesota made me think of his father, Don Monson, the fired head basketball coach at the University of Oregon, who had been the highly successful coach at the University of Idaho, which made me think of my father, head basketball coach nowhere. All three men were doing wonderful work in jobs that had lower prestige and moved up the ladder of their professions, and failed — Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin.

DFO: Raymond Pert goes on to tell a poignant story re: how his father was promoted to a foreman’s job in the Silver Valley mines and later regretted it.

Question: Have you every accepted a job or taken a promotion that you lived to regret?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 12/1/06

Family Phil writes: “My son may be eight years old, but he still knows how to have fun in a bubble bath!” He also blogs about the retirement of Wiggle Greg Page here.

*Like many of the rest of us, Mari/Dogwalk Musings is confused how the county could get into another e-mail jam and wonders where’s its computer department here.

*Idaho Native is on the other side of the world; yet, she’s thinking of us. In her latest post, Erin tells of the adventure she had of going to the Hong Kong Market in India here.

*Katrina/Notes on a Napkin admits she’s shamelessly promoting the Coeur d’Alene Christian School Craft Fair tomorrow at Church of Christ, 4th & Dalton, and Katrina’s Scrumptious Fudge Brownies, which will be on sale, here.

*Amyrebba/Life Goes On writes: “This was the first time in years that we were able to take the time and have the money to go visit our family in California. Although I would never even think about moving back to that hell hole, it was good to be back there and see our family and dear friends” here.

*After spending 6 pounds for a haircut, The Perambulator realizes he looks like actor Matt Damon here, and he reveals the travel itinerary for JBelle, PDX Pup and himself this Christmas in London here (in case the paparazzi are blurking). JBelle, meanwhile, is dreaming of a rock-‘n-roll warrior here.

Please join me in welcoming two new bloggers to the HBLOGosphere: regular Huckleberries commenter Sam Taylor, who has resurrected his Vandal Sense (now located under “Friends of Huckleberries”) here and Tom von Alton, a not-so-underground southern Idaho Democrat who writes the Fort Boise blog (located under “Idaho Politics) here.

Meanwhile, Marianne decides to become a transparent journalist, too, here, BrodH20 discovers Goo has a taste for snow here, Charlie Brown lights up Cis’s life here, Frum Helen Back tells of a worthy cause here, Idawa is bummed that he wasn’t in the recent Seattle marathon here,

Separated @ Birth: Groucho & Steve-o?

Photoshop: Thom George

How This S-R Got Prosecutor Office’s Illicit E-mails

Many of you have wondered how SReporter Taryn Brodwater got her hands on the illicit county e-mails, including county civil deputy Darrin Murphey and the county computer guys. Here’s what Taryn told me. Seems we were tipped off to ask for e-mails between Judge Barry Watson and a legal secretary. So, we did. The county computer guys handed them over on Tuesday, after they’d been previewed by Murphey, and … Taryn found absolutely nothing inappropriate on them. However, the next morning, Taryn reviewed the CDisc again, spotting a subfolder entitled, “Deleted Items” (with the No. 50, in parenthesis). Curious, she opened it and — voila! — discovered the 50 e-mails circulated among Rick Baughman, Laura Bonneville and others. Obviously, the county never intended to give us those e-mails. Just as obvious, someone tried to make sure that we never saw them. Call it an early Christmas present. Taryn’s reaction. Ohmigosh. And the rest is herstory.

DFO: You can read the letter from Civil Deputy Darrin L. Murphey to Taryn asking for the CDisk back below.

I understand that the compact disk produced by the County in response to your public records request for the e-mail between Kathy Adams and Barry Watson, inadvertently included certain e-mail in a “deleted items” folder. Those records inadvertently provided to the Spokesman contain information that another County employee has claimed a right to privacy and were not intended to be released by the County. Please return to Kooenai County any and all records contained in the “deleted items” folder. Thank you for your cooperation — Darrin L. Murphey, Civil Attorney.

Memo: Watch Those E-mails — Randy Stapilus

Full post, including comments about the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office scandal, here

Just a few months ago the chief of police of Portland, Derrick Foxworth, was demoted (and is now at legal war with the city) and generated a local firestorm over a sexual relationship with a female member of the force. Actually, to put it more finely, the firestorm erupted from a batch of emails between them, mainly his to her, which became the subject of withering public discussion for weeks. One obvious lesson in this: if you’re working in a public agency, watch those emails, especially any centering around personal relationships and most especially any with sexual component - those last are PR lighter fluid — Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press.

Question: What is your office policy on e-mails?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/1/06

Jessica Simpson, 6, tries to catch snowflakes on her tongue during the lighting of the Statehouse Christmas tree Thursday in Boise.(AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)

SR: Spokane Sensitivity: Minor League baseball team, tribe showed mutual respect here.

1. Serial killer Robert Yates Jr., a Spokane factory worker and former military helicopter pilot, wants the high court to toss out his 2002 conviction in Pierce County. A jury there found him guilty of killing Mercer and another woman and sentenced him to death here.

2. The famed Sun Valley resort received low marks on a report card grading ski areas for their impact on the environment, while rustic Bogus Basin near Boise ranked in the top 10 nationally here.

3. A 90-year-old Thurston County (Olympia, Wash.) woman found dead in front of her home Thursday by her hospice care worker is believed to have died of hypothermia after she stepped outside Wednesday night and was accidentally locked out here.

4. Wal-Mart again has been listed as having more workers on Medicaid and Washington’s Basic Health Plan than any other private employer in the state here.

5. Four Clark Fork (Idaho) High School students will be charged with felonies after vandalizing school buses and causing two-hour delays for about 50 students Thursday morning here.

6. IMHO-NW: Palousitics (Educated but not smart), (BSU: “Vanilla Ice” of BCS?), Idaho Statesman (Craig’s 11th-hour wilderness conditions unfair), Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (Men of rainbow-colored cloth), Leaning Straight Up (Demos taking same-o direction), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (A December for Zags to remember)

Online Poll: By 32% to 20%, 1202 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll believe “Seinfeld” (over “The Simpsons”) had the best catchphrases as TV Land prepares to air the 100 best TV catchphrases of all time.

*Ex-UMontana cage MVP charged with assault here.

*Wyoming prison guards treated after pepper spray incident here.

*Ex-North Idaho forest official Jane Kollmeyer to direct Sawtooth National Forest here.

*Major damage has been found in a chairlift tower at the Silver Mountain ski resort here.

Orbusmax Special: CNET editor James Kim, family missing during Pacific NW trip here.

APhoto of the Day — 12/1/06

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the top U.N. envoy for the tsunami recovery effort, stands amidst puppets controlled by children at a rebuilt school in India. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Trib: Potters House Float Designed by — Freddie?

Full column here

Let’s face it. You either like to see people brutally tortured and drenched with blood. Or you’re just not a Christian. It doesn’t matter when the blood gushes out. It could be when you’re watching “The Passion of the Christ” with your Bible study group or a holiday parade with your children. You gotta love that blood. ”You are either for it or against it,” says Chris Wendt, pastor of Potter’s House Church in Coeur d’Alene. ”The greatest Christmas gift ever given was Jesus Christ and the blood he shed for forgiveness of our sins.” Maybe so. But do you really want your float in the town’s annual holiday parade to look like it was designed by Freddy Krueger? — Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune.

DFO: Tom’s a bit over-the-top in thinking that most Evangelicals embraced the Potters House Church float. At best, Evangelicals in my circle were ambivalent. Most thought the Potters House was clueless with re: its in-your-face entry. Still, someone should forward Tom’s editorial to Pastor Wendt. I wrote an editorial about the float that isn’t quite as colorful, for Saturday.

Bald Eagles Return to Lake Coeur d’Alene

A bald eagle rips apart a kokanee salmon carcass on a branch of a snag at Higgens Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene Thursday. The contingent of eagles is feasting on spawned out salmon on the lake’s eastern arm as the birds fly through on their annual migration. The mottled colors of the eagle’s head shows that it is still maturing from juvenile to adult/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

DeePee: Wallace Is True Internet Wilderness

DeePee: You think you’ve got problems. Try living in the Silver Valley. We are served by one stone-cold incompetent monopoly cable outfit for TV and broadband. Three name-changes in 2 years; each time the service gets worse, the speeds get slower (can you believe 11 KBps for broadband?) and the fees get higher. We have no DSL in Shoshone County to compete. Speaking of which, we pay the same exhorbitant “network access” fees to Verizon as you do, but have no voice mail, again no DSL, and it’s long-distance from Wallace to Coeur d’Alene (but not from Kellogg to CdA). Clearly the city officials who’ve granted franchises to these monopolies are asleep, or on the take.

DFO: DeePee, thanks for reminding us in Coeur d’Alene that our Internet problems are nothing compared to others. It reminds me of the old saying: “I complained because I had no shoes; then, I met a man who had no legs.” When you’re tempted to shake your fist at Time Warner, remember our hard-pressed cyber brethren in the Silver Valley.

Whitecaps: Public Corruption — Getting Close to Home

Mike: Everyone should read Whitecaps Dec,1 article today. Has always it is very informative. Thank you Bill your timing could not be better.

In Idaho we have state laws prohibiting bribery and corruption. Why does the FBI make a “federal case” out of something that could be handled locally? The very simple and accurate answer is that local officials (police, sheriffs, prosecutors, judges) are unwilling or unable to properly investigate and prosecute it. They are local officials subject to local social, political, and economic pressures. If the local authorities were properly investigating local-level public corruption and successfully prosecuting it, there would be no need for federal involvement. It’s when the local authorities cannot or will not perform their duties that the federal government will step in — Bill McCrory/Whitecaps (full post “Public Corruption — Getting Close to Home?” here).

DFO: Thanks for pointing Bill’s post out.

AM Hucks: County E-mail Slime Angers Berry Pickers

Those raw e-mails that were circulated between the Kootenai County prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s offices received a poor reception at Huckleberries Online. Several Berry Pickers wanted Prosecutor Bill Douglas to resign pronto. “The prosecutor’s department is too broken to be fixed without a change of leadership,” said Spectator. Douglas and Sheriff Rocky Watson were blamed for not knowing that underlings were receiving and/or forwarding e-mails containing porn, bestiality and at least one naked toddler. “The buck stops somewhere,” weighed in CDA Mom, “and they were the respective bosses.” Almost 100 comments were posted at Huckleberries Central about the blockbuster story by SReporters Taryn Brodwater and Erica Curless. They included:

•”What in the hell were these people thinking? Why in the hell are we paying them? Being fired isn’t enough. Criminal charges should be filed. I’m nauseous.” – Jane Q. Citizen

•”If there is something going on, 98% of the other workers know. And the head person would get a whiff of it, too. Mr. Douglas may have not known the depth of the problem, but he surely should have had some vibes from it.” – Cis

•”I’m not buying the notion that it’s impossible to monitor employees’ e-mails. That’s pish-posh.” – OrangeTV

•”If Bill Douglas doesn’t resign by the end of the day, it will be a sign that he holds the people of Kootenai County in sheer contempt.” – James Bond

•”We had the (child molester/killer Joseph) Duncan plea deal first and then the allegations against (Deputy Prosecutor Rick Baughman) came out. It sure would have looked bad if the allegations against Rick and his e-mails (and pics of naked toddlers) became public right when he (was) handling the testimony of Shasta Groene.” – MamaJD

•”What is with people using their company computers to view and exchange this filth? It’s totally detestable but even more stupid. I’m not a law expert, but could child pornography charges be brought into this?” – JimmyMAC

•”I’m trying to raise my children to obey the laws of our land, to respect other people, and to make good decisions in life. And here we have the very leaders of our county revealing that they do not have to obey the law, that they do not have to respect others, and that it’s okay to make bad decision if they can get away with it.” – Family Phil

•”We will have to clean up the adults who are within the judicial system in order to protect the children.” – Stebbijo

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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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