Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for July 2006

Monday wild card

With apologies to those of you with Tony Orlando songs still stuck in your head - here’s the afternoon wild card…

Separated at birth?

Mike Kennedy: Why does that painting give me an irrepressible urge to sing “Knock Three Times on the Ceiling”?

I didn’t know that the singer went on to be a newspaper opinion columnist - fascinating. Anyone know what happened to “Dawn”?

KenP: I’m glad the boss has a sense of humor…

A call for blog fodder

At DFO’s request, I’m taking another run at blog-sitting while he’s on vacation. And so, I’m making a plea to all of you to help me out with material. Apart from not being as smart, talented, or handsome as Dave (above), I have two other key disadvantages:

• I live and work in Spokane, and don’t get over to North Idaho much. So I don’t have much of a handle (pun intended) on the local political scene. I try to keep up with the blog, but I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know what I’m talking about when it comes to Gozzer Ranch yacht wars or Marty Fortier.

• I’m doing this in addition to other work, so I’m not able to spend much time crusing around looking for things to post.

And so - your help this week is crucial to keeping the blog flowing. Don’t be shy about suggesting items to post, and please don’t worry about insulting my intelligence or whatever by explaining at length why a particular post is noteworthy. This is your community, after all. Drop me a line at

Portrait of DFO courtesty of Brodh2o.

CDA Press: NIC Should Listen To Biz Leaders

The customer’s always right. That’s been true since commerce was a bustling babe, it’s true now, and it will be true as long as people have to pay for goods and services. Bulletin to North Idaho College trustees and administrators: The customers are right once again. A diverse group of business leaders in the region has given college trustees a letter stating “no confidence” in NIC President Michael Burke, asking the college’s governing board to reconsider its recently approved contract rollover for Dr. Burke, which ostensibly gives him job security for the next three years. What that means, they say, is not necessarily that they want Burke fired. They simply want their needs as employers met.

For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial, click here. For the statement from the biz leaders and their identities, click here.

Question: Should North Idaho College respond to the biz leaders by supplying more vo-tech courses? Or ignore them?

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/30/06

I hope you’re all enjoying the cooler weather this weekend. Nice day for a ride. Or to take a swim. Me? I’m helping my wife’s sister and her husband from Big Sur, Calif., move into their Post Falls home this afternoon. When they pull in around noon tomorrow, they’ll make Nos. 16 & 17 members of my extended family who’ll be in North Idaho. I’m excited. But enough of me. You can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Ingram/DaveT: Too Much Vacay For DFO

Gary Ingram: Geeze DFO, how much vacation do you get each year? I’ve been in the wrong business. it appears.

DaveT: DFO, you’re starting to remind of Johnny Carson, 3 weeks on, 4 weeks off. Enjoy yourself and the relatives.

DFO: I’ll take these statements as compliments that I’ll be missed? Actually, I’ll be taking only my third week off for the year next week. The fourth comes at the end of August. And the fifth at the end of December. After 22 years in one place, I figure I’ve earned 5 weeks. Blogmeister KenP did a nice job filling in last time by posting 3 or 4 items per day, so you guys can stay in touch. He’s looking forward to getting your threads and items again next week to post. Mebbe I should take my vacation all at once?

CDA Canuck: Thumbs Down On “Pippin”

CDA Canuck: We went to CdA Summer Theater version of Pippin on Wednesday night and left at intermission. The way it is being staged does not fit for CdA. We agreed completely with the critique written earlier in the SR by Jim Kershner.

DFO: My daughter, who knows the star, Steve Booth, enjoyed the play. My wife wanted to walk out. And I was in the middle. It was quirky. Sometimes coarse (occasional language, orgy scene). And it had no memorable music. Coming on the heels of “Chorus Line,” which was coarser, I’d say the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre had one adult-themed play too many this summer. I want to see “Chorus Line” again. But I’ll pass on “Pippin” (although Ellen Travolta was dyne-oh!-mite in the one scene as Pippin’s grandma).

MikeK: My Father’s Face

In a Leo Kottke song some time back he talks about looking in the mirror and seeing his father’s face.

This past week I sat in a hospital in Florida with my soon-to-be 70 year-old father. He had undergone emergency quadruple bypass surgery and the doctors were concerned that he had also suffered a minor stroke at some point in the process.

As he fitfully struggled to get some real sleep I had hours to look into his face, and turn to the left into the mirror and see his face again, about 33 years earlier.

It was among the scarier and more sobering experiences of my life to see my father laying there in such a state of vulnerability.

Dad’s home and doing better now, but he has quite a road to go for recovery.

And in looking in that mirror, I have quite a road to go to myself - in more ways than one.


DFO: This is one of the finest posts made by a blogger on the North Idaho Blogroll. Simply terrific.

TGIF Wild Card — 7/28/06

I’m off for another one-week vacation, HBOers; you’ll be in good hands with Blogmeister KenP, who’ll post items and threads for you (if you send them to I’ll be checking in to see how things are going. Otherwise, I’ll be entertaining relatives in CDA, Post Falls, and Farragut State Park. You can use this Wild Card to start threads tonight …

Top Cutlines — 7/28/06

Mikey the poker playing Chimp gets a kiss from former Playboy Playmate, poker player Jill Ann Spaulding, during a news conference Thursday at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The chimp is sponsored by to play in this year’s World Series of Poker. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Top Cutlines:

In A League Of Her Own: Hugh Hefner’s not looking so hot these days, but the playmates still find him oddly attractive — Taryn Brodwater.

(tie) 1. AnyMouse rages: “You see?! This is what tolerance leads to! Now the chimp lobby wants special rights. It’s lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous! And strangely irresistible,” And: At a recent p0ker tournament in a Spokane Valley tavern, JBelle loses a hand and has to settle up with Bob — both Family Phil.

2. Next Mikey wanted to play for that black spaghetti strap dress! — Dave Tolle.

3. The newly svelte Anna Nicole Smith tries to woo ol’ Mikey the Chimp after hearing he was rich — CDADave.

HM: Everyone else! Great stuff!

For a complete list of today’s cutlines, click here.

Sam The Intern: Covering Death

Today I wrote a story on a well-known man in the community who died. I thought this was a good time to throw out some pointers for those who may have never done coverage of such happenings. These events are difficult for everyone, including the journalist. If you’re human, it can be difficult to ask someone to share their personal stories with you about someone who they’ve lost. It’s difficult to sit there and watch as a person breaks down while they try to tell you the story, without perhaps crying yourself, the whole time knowing you’re basically an intruder who is being paid to get information from them. But covering deaths or similar tragedies (perhaps a severe injury, etc.) is important in order to pay tribute to people. Sure, you’re doing a job, but you’ve already got one of the best jobs in the world; you write for a living, and you must share the story of this person with the public.

For the rest of Sam Taylor’s comment, click here. BTW, Sam was writing about the passing of Pat Flammia.

Chief Hayes: Why Post Falls Wants Ironman $$$

re: Memo sent by Post Falls Police Chief Cliff Hayes to Mayor Clay Larkin and City Council members today, defending his position that CDA Ironman should pay for Post Falls support

“As you are all aware, a local newspaper printed an editorial that criticized our City for requiring Ironman USA to reimburse our City for services provided during the bike race through Post Falls. I wanted to give you some information on what some of the other Cities that host Ironman events require. Please do not think that I am picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. I would like to give you information about Ironman events in other areas and cities.”

For the rest of Cliff’s memo to the mayor and council, click here.

DFO: Cliff makes a good argument.

Frum Helen Back: Upscale Fogies Full Of Flatulence

So, Idaho native, you wish you could afford to buy into an upscale neighborhood with a homeowners association? Be careful what you wish for. D.J. Nall’s son, Dave, has discovered that Hunter’s Glen, his upscale neighborhood near the Ross Point Bible Camp in Post Falls, isn’t as nice as he thought. I mean, the homes and yards are nice. But the neighbors who’ve made an equity killing elsewhere and have too much time on their hands leave something to be desired. First, the snooty retirees behind him complained to the association about the treeless tree house he’d received permission to build about 7 feet above the ground. Dave’d almost completed the structure including roofing and siding to match the house when he was ordered to drop it to ground level. Then, there was the, ah, flatulent noises. Seems the boys, 8 and 5, like kids from the dawn of time, learned how to make that sound by cupping hand under armpit — you know the one — that mimicks flatulence and were teaching their 3-year-old sister how to do it, too. Unfortunately, D.J. reports in Hauser Thoughts, that irritated the fuddy-duddies out back. And the seventysomething association prez asked Dave in writing to tell the boys to knock that off, too. Now, their noise-making is limited to the house and the car. Summarizes D.J.: “No wonder youngfolks thik old people are just apain in the butt.” Bingo

DFO: This’ll probably be the Monday print Huckleberry. I’m posting it today because I won’t be here to post it Monday.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/28/06

5:18 p.m., Thom George becomes the fourth of five volunteers needed to be guest writers for my Huckleberries print column next week while I’m on vacation. Anyone else?

4:04 p.m., Got another example of Gozzer Ranch insensitivity to local tradition. A Gozzer Ranch suburban was spotted double parked on Sherman Avenue at the old Rogers stand, to let a van full of children out to buy goodies. Femme driver must think she’s still in S.F.

3:12 p.m., Mike Kennedy has volunteered to take a third day as guest commenter next week.

2:30 p.m., Eve Knudtsen, prez of Knudtsen Chevrolet, dropped off a copy of a letter in which 16 business leaders expressed no confidence in NIC prez Michael Burke’s ability to follow through on vocational-technical course expansion. I’ll post a copy of the letter soon. Hard-hitting stuff. A legit complaint. I enjoyed gabbing with Eve about our favorite community.

1:28 p.m., John Austin has volunteered to take a shot at guest writing Huckleberries for one day. I need three more writers.

1:24 p.m., Note from former SR mail carrier Ray Jobes: “Stop the one-day Huckleberries. Many berries on one day taste much betterthan one berry a day.

1:20 p.m., I have many suggestions for guest commenters next week to take my place in Hucklberries print. But only one willing writer so far: Kelly Richards/Concerned Businesses of North Idaho. I could think of a gang of you who would be good at doing this, including: Mari, Bob, CDADave, Marianne, etc. Anyone with a blog to the right could do the job. Any takers.

1:05 p.m., Someone didn’t tell the Blog Gods that we’re approaching the dog days of summer. Strong numbers all week, including 5728 Wednesday and a top mark this summer of 6028 yesterday. However, my 100,000 PV streak for consecutive months is in jeopardy in August when I plan to take two weeks off, first and last ones.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Israel At War

Question: What do you think about the way Israel is conducting the war in Lebanon?

1. Its bombing of innocent civilians is no different than the Nazis’ blitzkrieg
2. I agree Israel has a right to defend itself, but it’s overreacted with disproportionate violence
3. Israel should agree to a ceasefire so assistance can reach civilians trapped in the war zone
4. Given Israel’s weaponry and reputation, I would have expected Hezbollah to have been defeated by now
5. Israel’s doing a great job – the operation is working just like it should
6. I’d like to see Israel be more aggressive, but I’m sure there are political realities that must be considered
7. I admire the way Israel is trying to keep civilian casualties to a minimum
8. If Israel wastes this opportunity to smash Hezbollah, the jihadi extremists will be emboldened for years
9. Why is Israel pussyfooting around? Pull out the stops and utterly destroy Hezbollah once and for all
10. Other

DFO: No. 8

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

BrodH20: When The Job Hits Home

Some of the most difficult stories to report, as a mother, are those about a child who has been harmed in some way or has died in an accident. That was my job yesterday. When I’m working on an article, I’m busy enough trying to gather the facts and writing that it doesn’t immediately sink in. It’s later, when I’m driving home or when my own kids come running to me as I pull into the driveway that it hits me. Those are the nights when sleep is tough to come by. I just sit there looking at my beautiful children, remembering how lucky I am to have them.

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20

APhoto of the Day — 7/28/06

Mikey the poker playing Chimp gets a kiss from former Playboy Playmate, poker player Jill Ann Spaulding, during a news conference Thursday at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The chimp is sponsored by to play in this year’s World Series of Poker. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Dee: Coeur d’Alene Should Redirect Priorities

Dee: Although the investigation is still on going, I’m sure the rest of you suspect, as I do, that drugs are involved. What bothers me most is that the paper reported that this was a “known drug house.” That phrase should not exist. How do we as a community or any portion there of, ignore a “known” problem? Do we ignore a leaky roof? Do we ignore a bloody nose? No, we deal them. It’s no secret that the agencies that deal with societies ugly problems are under funded, understaffed, under trained, and under respected. However, we are able to find a way to get our own Kroc center - which is a great need for this community. Tons of time and money have been, and will continue to be, invested into this project. We need to find the same ambition to take the preemptive measures to save the Kaylla Pahls of our community. We should never, ever read the words “known drug house” again!

DFO: Unfortunately, Dee, Coeur d’Alene, like most local governments, is stretched thin covering basic infrastructure needs — cops, fire, streets, sewer, etc. And the community is tapped in fund-raising that benefits kids (Kroc Center, new library, parks, etc.). Mebbe the horror of Kylla’s death is that … we can’t look to government to solve everything. Mebbe it’s a matter of each of us trying to reach out to a family with vulnerable children. Then, aren’t each of us pretty busy just trying to stay afloat ourselves?

Gozzer Capt: My Boss Thinks You’re An Idiot, DFO

You should not have taken one sides view of what happened at the CDA resort without getting the other. I am a Captain there … and we try our best to be polite and professional. The Marina gets jammed beyond belief. … and on hot, very busy days, things get tense. Nobody ever said to Howard Martinson or anyone else, that the water tank with maybe a teaspoon full of gas would be “just pumped out into the lake” … there is no provision on the boat to pump a tank out like that anyway … and if there were … we certainly wouldn’t do something that ignorant. Your article was complete fabrication and your sarcasm is childish. You need a Huckleberry pie slapped up side your head …

Gary (Matt) Mitchell

P.S. And about our boss … he thinks you are an idiot … (Show some testosterone and print this.)

DFO: Funny, Captain Gozzer here sez there’s absolutely no truth to the Huckleberry from earlier in this week. Yet, he inadvertently admits that a teaspoon full of gas made its way into the fresh-water system. And he knows what his crew sez at all times. Methinks, the rich kids from San Francisco don’t enjoy being held accountable for their arrogance in the back woods of North Idaho. And that Bossman Gozzer lets them get away with acting like jerks.

Parting Shot — 7/27/06

Reebok, an 11-month-old whippet, finds security between Scott Boyd, his handler/trainer’s legs today at the River City Cluster of Dog Show in San Antonio. Boyd and the dog’s owner drove to San Antonio from Tulsa, Okla., with 27 dogs. Boyd said that Reebok often nudges between his legs for security. The dog show runs through Sunday. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Gloria Ferniz)

CDADave: I Know Why They Call ‘Em Gut Bombs

I got hungry for a cheeseburger the other night. Sometimes there’s nothing as satisfying as a big hot n’ sloppy greasy cheeseburger. So I went up to Jack In The Box and ordered their “ultimate cheeseburger” from the drive-thru and salivated all the way home waiting to bite into the thing. So I did get home and I did bite the burger, verily…it tasted like “something”; but it was just kinda dry, the cheese was dry, the catsup (ketchup?) seemed to be dryly baked into the meat, and if there was grease in there, it, too, solidified. That was three days ago, and I’m sure that burger is still banging away inside my digestive tract somewhere. Had the Gov’t Way bridge not been out, I woulda gone to “Carl’s Jr.”…they make a pretty mean flame-broiled burger. Perhaps “Jack In The Box” should cut back on its advertising budget and focus their finances on cheeseburger-making instead.

CDADave/Thin Air

Question: Next to Hudson’s Hamburgers on Sherman, where’s the best burger place in town?

DanG: Whazzup With Idaho Demo Blog?

Dang: From the 43rd State Blues (Idaho Demo) web site: “wingnut Rethugs,” “fundie freaks,” and “Club for Growth scumbags.” Can someone show me a right-wing blog that calls names like this? I’m sure there is one. Has to be. The left isn’t alone in calling names, right?

DFO: I’ve been disappointed with “43rd State Blues.” I was looking for good dissenting comment from the state’s minority party. And I’ve been confronted with posters throwing tantrums. Some guy out of southeast Idaho compiles the blog, I believe. It has potential. But it has a long ways to go to be of general interest to more than diehard Idaho D’s.

Question: Did BabyTalk Go To Far?

This photo made available by Babytalk magazine shows the cover of the August issue of Babytalk, a free publication distributed by subscription in doctor’s offices or at baby gear and maternity stores. The magazine’s editors were surprised when, in a poll of 4,000 readers, and its readership comprised almost exclusively mothers of babies, fully a quarter of the responses were negative, calling the cover photo inappropriate. (AP Photo, BabyTalk magazine)

Question: Appropriate? Or inappropriate?

Quotable Quote — 7/26/06

“Oliveria should be writing comics” — developer Bill Radobenko, after reading today’s print Huckleberries about the box of horseshoes that he gave Commish Gus Johnson after the Black Rock North PUD hearing last Thursday.

Biz Leaders Target NIC Prez Burke

Issue: Bull’s-eye on Burke: Letter signed by some business owners claim ‘no confidence’ in NIC president for failing to address needs/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “Over the last three to four years, the business community throughout the service area of NIC … have made countless efforts to partner with the leadership of NIC in providing the community with the local educational services that both the community and the students need to be successful in technical and professional careers,” the letter states. “These efforts appear to have been made in vain.” Among those who said they intend to sign the letter are Ron Nilson, owner of Ground Force Manufacturing in Post Falls; Eve Knudtsen, owner of Knudtsen Chevrolet in Post Falls; and Bob Potter, formerly of Jobs Plus.

Question: What’s happening here?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/27/06

QBs for seven of the nine WAC teams have star potential, according to the Idaho Statesman, including UI’s Steve Wichman here. Idaho football coach Dennis Erickson, shown above during spring drills, discusses Wichman and the upcoming season in an audio report provided at the same link above. (AP Photo/Joe Barrentine)

Daily Kos: GOP worried about its House seat “in freakin’ Idaho? here.

1. FBI: A convicted sex offender living in a Spokane police officer’s home was part of an international network of “online predators” who traded thousands of pictures of children being raped, sodomized and sexually abused here.

2. Study: Men who grew up near the Hanford nuclear reservation in south-central Washington during the 1940s and 1950s have a slightly higher risk of developing thyroid disease here.

3. The Boise Airport has been ranked as the worst small airport in the country by JD Power & Associates. The independent consumer ranking company, well-known for its car ratings, gave Boise the lowest possible marks in all five categories measured for its 2006 survey here.

4. A Basin man was sentenced in Jefferson County district court to two years in jail Wednesday for the macabre killing and beheading of a dog with a chainsaw — and then throwing the head into the campsite of the dog’s owners here.

5. Gov. Ted Kulongoski said Wednesday that Oregon and Washington state will form a prescription-drug-buying cooperative to leverage their combined buying power to get medicine for the uninsured here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert Herold/Inlander (Unlikely penpals), Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Nothing beats summer), Missoulian (Getting a charge out of hurricane disaster), The Olympian (Eyman’s claim not credible), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Serving youth part of M’s plan).

Online Poll: 57% of 2262 respondents to a poll support the Washington Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a state ban on gay marriage.

*Fairchild Air Base has named a tanker in honor of its home town here.

*Tear gas canister started fire in fatal Coeur d’Alene standoff here.

*People of interest sought in slayings of hiking mother and daughter here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon parental notification measure qualifies for ballot here.

Black Rock — Si, Chateau — No … No Horseshoes

Colleague Erica Curless has just returned from the county commissioner’s announcement today re: two ritzy developments proposed on Lake Coeur d’Alene. County commissioners OK’d the Black Rock North subdivision on a 2-0 vote, with Commish Rick Currie declaring a conflict of interest (didn’t explain) and not voting. Commissioners voted 3-0 against the Chateau de Loire’ PUD proposal. Also, Commish Gus Johnson made a statement about receiving a box of horseshoes from developer Bill Radobenko after last Thursday’s Black Rock hearing … and got mad when audience members laughed at his statement: “I can’t be bought off by a box of horseshoes.” BTW, Johnson didn’t bring the box to the meeting as he had mentioned he might do.

And Another Spokane Cop Bites The Dust

Issue: Spokane sheriff fires jail supervisor: Sergeant lied about two affairs with workers, Knezovich says/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich fired one of his jail supervisors Wednesday for allegedly lying about two separate affairs with female subordinates and issuing a false document to get one of his lovers a new job that would have paid her up to $75,000 a year. Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Delzer, a 26-year veteran employee, was fired following an internal investigation.

DFO: You have to give the Spokane police and sheriff’s department kudos for finally dealing with their dirty laundry. But I agree with Bill McCrory’s post yesterday. Not to be blowing our own horn, but I wonder if the shakedowns in the Spokane departments would be happening without the SR’s spotlight on their unseemly conduct.

Question: Are you encouraged by recent actions to root out bad eggs taken by the Spokane police and sheriff’s departments?

Question: How Can We Save Other Kyllas?

Sgt. Christie Wood, left, of the Coeur d’Alene Police and Glenn Lauper of the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department at scene of C Street fire. (Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review)

Issue: Girl dies from burns in CdA house fire: 13-month-old was alone when blaze started/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review; and: Baby girl dies in fire: Mother sat outside unknowingly as flames engulfed 13-month-old Kaylla/Marc Stewart and Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press

Rescuer Stacey Alexander (from CDA Press): “I’ll never get that out of my mind. I wish I could. I can still taste the smoke on her lips.”

Teresa Alexander (from Spokesman-Review): “She was adorable. She had fair skin, big brown eyes. She loved SpongeBob.”

Question: How can we, as a community, prevent this happening to another child? Or is this just the way it is and we’re helpless to act?

Dorene: Time To Look At Orphanage Option

Doreen (re: death of 13-month-old Kylla Pahl in house fire): It seems that if a parent is a drug or alcohol abuser and has demostrated neglect of their child(ren) their parental rights should be terminated more often than we see happen. Sure, we’d all love to see families stay together but common sense must prevail and the well being of the children must be put before the familial bonds. I am beginning to believe that rather than the flawed foster system, we reconsider the orphanage option. True it is not the ideal circumstance but the oversight can be better and it is possible to feel loved and secure in that setting. The Children’s Village, though not a true orphanage is a good example of the love and care kids can receive outside of the foster system. I dunno, just a thought. We too often read of cases where foster parents are money motivated rather than feeling genuinely “called” to help. Not an easy fix in any case. But second and third and fourth chances ought to be scrutinized VERY hard.

DFO: The system definitely seems broken. You’d think we could come up with something better. At least, we need to make adoption easier and study the possibility of reinventing orphanages.

Todd Tondee: Setting Martinez Rumor Straight

County Commissioner-elect Todd Tondee (re: rumor that he’s backing Tami Martinez to fill his spot on Post Falls City Council: Just to set the story straight the mayor has the sole responsibility to appoint any council seat that is vacated and the whole council approves or denies his recommendation. Now that you mention it I think Tami would do an excellent job. I hope she applies.

DFO: Thanks for responding and clearing the air, Todd. Indeed, Tami would be a good council consideration, as would a number of other people. You’ll be wise to stay as far away from the selection process as possible.

Q — Did Washington Vote Right On Gay Marriage?

Issue: Court upholds gay marriage ban: Massachusetts remains only state to allow gay marriage after 5-4 vote/Rich Roesler, Spokesman-Review

Justice Barbara Madsen (writing in the ruling): Washington’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act “…is constitutional because the legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to survival of the human race, and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by the children’s biological parents.”

DFO: I believe in human rights. I don’t believe in discrimination against gays. However, I also believe in this ruling. Marriage, from time immemorial and across all major cultures and religions, has been limited to the union of a man and a woman. Justice Barbara Madsen nails the key argument for supporting this view.

Question: Do you believe the Washington court made the right decision?

This question and resultant thread was originally posted at 10:06 a.m. Wednesday.

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/26/06

If you have a thread to start or an item to post, you can use this Wild Card to do so …

McCrory: Give Credit Where Credit’s Due

Bill McCrory: You’re not giving enough credit to your editor, Steve Smith, for his backing the reporters who put together the articulate, informative, timely articles (and public records requests) that informed the public. Once the newspaper ripped away the veil of secrecy that had concealed the incompetence, unprofessionalism, and deception by some SPD and SCSO command officers, the public spoke. That’s why Spokane County now has Ozzie Knezovich and not Cal Walker and Spokane City PD will have Anne Kirkpatrick and not Bruce Roberts. An informed public represents a threat to entrenched and inept law enforcement chief executives everywhere. Can we persuade Mr. Cowles and Mr. Smith to enlarge the Coeur d’Alene Bureau? Please? All we’ve got is the Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: And Huckleberries, Bill … and Huckleberries … I’m here for you.

The Rest Of The Story re: Toddler’s Death

A 13-month-old girl died Wednesday after suffering burns to 80 to 90 percent of her body in an early morning fire in Coeur d’Alene. Kylla Pahl was on a couch in the known drug house – alone except for a Rottweiler – when an unattended candle lit a dried floral arrangement on fire, according to Coeur d’Alene Police. Her mom and a man were in a car behind the home when the fire broke out around 6:30 a.m., police said. The girl, who neighbors described as a beautiful child, was born with methamphetamine in her system and raised in a troubled home, according to court records. Neighbor Teresa Alexander said she was in her basement apartment next door when she smelled smoke. She looked outside and saw smoke pouring from under the eaves of the small white house where Kylla lived and called 911. Alexander said Kylla’s mom, 26-year-old Megan Longoria, said the baby was inside.

For the rest of Taryn Brodwater’s story about Kylla’s death, click here.

Top Cutlines — 7/26/06

Reba (with leash) and goatfriend Vivian at the Ontario County Fair in Canandaigua. N.Y., on Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Daily Messenger, Vasiliy Baziuk)

Top Cutlines

1. I know I promised you pearls Viv, but all I have is an ‘unchained Melody’ (note the goat behind) — Marmitetoasty.

2. “Ya know, Viv, I think this new lip piercing is really cool. This morning ALL the boys were staring at me” — A Token D.

3. “I’m not kiddin’, Viv, I need your help to ace this chain. It’s the leash you can do for me” — John Austin.

HM: Christine

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

Update2: Coeur d’Alene Toddler Dies

… The 2-year-old girl burned over 80 percent of her body in a C Street fire today has died, according to Taryn Brodwater, here.

Update: 13-month-old girl has been identified as Kylla Pahl. And the cause of the fire has been determined as an unattended candle that ignited a dry, floral arrangement here.

Her Sandiness Said — What?

In a press release from Stimson Lumber Company HQ in Portland re: the sale of the Atlas and DeArmond Mill sites to Black Rock, the PRmeister quoted Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem saying the following:

“This arrangement gives us the opportunity to fulfill the goal of the education corridor, to look at quality development on the river, and to guarantee timber jobs in our area.”

DFO: Stimson has told Sandi that it will find jobs for the DeArmond crew at its operations in Plummer, Hauser, and Priest River. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting to see if it’s going to hold true to its promise. Nothing in Stimson’s track record at IFI/DeArmond would suggest that this company holds to its word.

Howard: Gozzer Shows Bad Form On Roads, Too

Last week, I witnessed another of Gozzer Ranch’s inability to wait their turn in line. I was south bound on 4th Street in the turn lane to go east on I90, the turn signal had turned green but cars were backed up to the next light, and moving slowly, too slowly for the white suburban Gozzer4 who drove past the line and made a double left hand turn lane off of 4th, too bad there isn’t such a lane. Gozzer4 cut off a car, and let me be frank, they are lucky it wasn’t me, because I wouldn’t have given them any slack and would have made them wait. I have seen their vehichles speed on I90 as well in the past, so decided to call the headquarters on Sherman Avenue. And you could tell they didn’t much care, so I will really keep my eye on them and start reporting them to ISP.

Anita Howard

Inside Huckleberries — 7/26/06

2:16 p.m., I’ve decided to hold off on telling you about the dyne-oh!-mite Huck until it’s published in the print edition Thursday

12:04 p.m., “Post Falls city officials are refusing to release the names of the 40-plus applicants who have applied for the city administrator position being vacated by Jim Hammond, who is vying for a seat being vacated by Dick Compton, who is retiring from the legislature. They will have a short list of about 15 that they are going to offer to the public in late August” — Sam The Intern.

11:37 a.m., I have a dyne-oh!-mite Huckleberry for tomorrow’s print version. Should I tell you about it today and ruin the surprise? Or make you wait until tomorrow?

11:28 a.m., Editor Steve Smith lamented during our weekly Editorial Board conference call that he has to quit commenting on HBO because he sometimes makes controversial statement. I assured him that he adds much to the comment dialogue and is most welcome here. Now, if only he’d agree with my posts …

More Bad News For Spokane’s Long Arm Of Law

Zehm’s prints not on bottle: Video expert to review case/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review; and: Man arrested on child porn charges: Offender was living at Spokane officer’s home/Bill Morlin & Benjamin Shors, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Sometimes, I wonder why the Spokane cops have all these problems but law enforcement in Kootenai County doesn’t. I wonder: 1. Do we have better officers out here? 2. Are problems in the Spokane department to be expected because it’s a much bigger one? 3. We’re better at hiding things? 4. We’ve been lucky so far? 5. Other?

Rosie: Our Taxes Pay For Riverfront Development

Rosie: Your tax money pays for river development through Lake City Dev. Corp. Taxes are shifted to us because Urban Renewal areas don’t pay taxes to the public agencies (except 66 percent to schools) What say you Mr. Burns? How much do the taxpayers pay for Mr. Chesrown projects?

DFO: That’s not exactly how it works. But we, indeed, underwrite the public money used for some infrastructure in various downtown, riverfront development. Off the top of my head, I believe, it works like this. The property tax rates for the downtown were frozen for general tax purposes when the city created the urban renewal district. Routine increases in those taxes and increases caused by new development were siphoned to the URD to use as seed money to upgrade the central business corp. That should be a sizable chunk of money per year now. Given that the downtown area paid about a tenth of the city’s taxes before the URD, the rest of us definitely are underwriting the effort. But an argument can be made that we’ll all benefit if/when the URD finally sunsets.

Hump Day Cartoon — 7/26/06

Michael Ramirez

SR Edit: Idaho Coin Doesn’t Reflect State

Few Idahoans know that the peregrine falcon is the state raptor. Or that the peregrine is one of the few success stories of the Endangered Species Act. Yet, it will be forever linked to Idaho now as a symbol as a result of Kempthorne’s unilateral decision to honor the raptor by picking a coin featuring a large peregrine head overlooking a smaller outline of the state, with the state capital of Boise designated by a star. It could have been worse.

For the rest of my editorial, “Idahoans didn’t have enough input on coin design,” click here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/25/06

You can always start your own thread with the daily Wild Card …

Poll: 50% Now Say Iraq Had WMDs

Issue: 50% of U.S. says Iraq had WMDs: Harris poll finds ‘surprising’ result, up from 36% last year/Washington Times

More Info: The survey did not speculate on what caused the shift in opinion, which supports President Bush’s original rationale for going to war. Respondents were questioned in early July after the release of a Defense Department intelligence report that revealed coalition forces recovered 500 aging chemical weapons containing mustard or sarin gas nerve agents in Iraq.

DFO: Whether or not Iraq had WMDs isn’t the issue here. It’s strange that public opinion has swayed this much. Too bad the poll didn’t investigate the reason for the change.

Question: Why do you think a change has taken place?

Inside Huckleberries — 7/25/06

4:23 p.m., I tried to persuade another HBO bloke that neither JBelle or UBob is channeling Marmitetoasty, the newby from Jolly Old England. She’s for real, a single mother of four boys-to-men who lives in a 102yo cottage in the County Hampshire. I’ve talked to her on the phone. So be nice to her.

3:56 p.m., I ordered several changes to the blogrolls, adding Pecky Cox’s As The Lake Turns, BrodH20, David Newberger’s CDA Times, Amyrebba’s That’s Life. Life Goes On, and changing Your Turn to Stebbijo Unzipped. Also, I asked for a link to Frank Stennett’s Hard 7 (Under SR blogs) and Idawa’s Word Forge (Friends of Huckleberries). Blogmeister KenP is working on it.

11:30 a.m., DanG dropped by with a copy of Idaho’s disappointing special quarter and a conspiracy theory that’s intriguing. If you look closely at the peregrine’s feathers, you see something that looks similar to signatures in various places, including Dirk Kempthorne’s. Is it possible that Dirk not only gave us the bird but his signature and those of friends in the mix to be commemorated in perpetuity? Interesting.

11:20 a.m., Great note from Pecky Cox of Priest Lake, author of the blog, As The Lake Turns: “THANK YOU for your wonderful article on BOAT BOORS! I found it and have published it in my website: PLEASE share with AS THE LAKE CHURNS any other stuff you ever
write on Priest Lake.” You can bet I’m going to add Pecky’s blog to the North Idaho roll ASAP.

9:30 a.m., On the Police Scanner: A man calling from a pay phone sez there’s 3 bombs planted at Hagadone HQ.

8:47 a.m., I’ll be dedicating my work today and tomorrow to Robideaux Motors, where my daughter’s car is now parked waiting for, what a surgery patient would call, “a procedure.” Two days pay should take care of the ransom. Fortunately, service manager Jerry Kelly is one of the best in town. So, I know the little Ford Taurus is in good hands.

Quotable Quote

Is it just me, or are the mill sites in North Idaho somehow merely the larval stage of a new Chesrown development? — DanG (who’s on a roll this p.m.)

CDADave Offers Own Design For Idaho Quarter

CDADave: Esto Perpetua” translates roughly to “Full Of It Forever.” Complete Thin Air comment here.

Lenhart: New Kids On Block Add Nothing To CDA

After reading your extremely articulate feature today regarding the “new kids on the block” paying no attention to the well-being of our pristine Lake Coeur d’ Alene, I must admit that I sincerely question why the dock attendants at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort did not reprimand and/or report the inexcusable, arrogant actions of the boat’s captain who put gas in the wrong hole! Unfortunate as it was for the boat, the environment takes precedence over any piece of wood to myself and many others. I believe the Resort has some responsibilities to our Lake, also and I would like to hear what actions they have taken, if any.

I am continually amazed at the quality of people that are arriving in our fair city in alarming numbers. They appear obnoxious, uncaring, rude and frequently show little abilities to make good decisions—ie your article today. For those of us who have lived here many years, it is appalling to see how much damage has been done to our environment in such a short period of time. Money buys many wonderful things, but can never replace an environment that has been destroyed by thoughtless, self-centered people. If I had one wish to to be granted, I would like to snap my fingers and have all the people who answer to the above descriptions just go back from where they came. They add NOTHING to our community.

John Lenhart

DFO: The attendants were wise to remain mum because they’re expendable. Gozzer Ranch business isn’t. I agree that a portion of the nouveau riche that are coming to town to invest or develop are diminishing our quality of life with their arrogance.

KTVB: Risch Announces Property Tax Relief Plan

Idaho Governor Jim Risch released details this morning of a $260 million property tax relief plan that he wants lawmakers to vote on August 25. That’s the date he has set for a special session of the Idaho Legislature. The plan calls for using $50 million of the state’s $203 million surplus for property tax relief. He then wants to increase the sales tax by one cent to make up the remaining $210 million. The entire $260 million would eliminate the maintenance and operation of schools from the property tax roles. In addition, Risch wants to put $100 million of the surplus into a new rainy day account for education needs, should Idaho tax collections fail to meet expectations. Risch believes has enough votes to win passage of the plan.

For the rest of the KTVB breaking story, click here.

Question: Do you support Gov. Jim Risch’s property tax relief plan?

OrangeTV: ‘Tis True About Birds & Hagadonia

OrangeTV: It’s true though about Hagadone and the bird thing - Not a lot of people think about the fact that there aren’t any birds making thier homes in the eaves and nooks and crannies of Hagadone-owned facilities, where you’d think they would normally love making homes. Well, when I worked graveyard at the resort for a while, I witnessed many times in the middle of the night the “bird men” spraying some kind of bird poison all over the place, especially under and around the corporate office and then gathering and hauling away the poor critters after they drop dead. They do this in the wee hours very quietly to keep the “tree huggers” from getting involved. I’m sure any goose trying to breech the golf course gets the same treatment. God forbid a high-paying resort guest should have to look at bird poop.

DFO: As a long-time Hagadonologist, it didn’t take too much of a guess to nail that one. The Duane simply won’t have one of God’s creatures crapping on the bent grass of his golf course.

Question: Should County Stage Fall Jail Vote?

Issue: Fall jail expansion vote not likely: Time running out to put issue on Kootenai ballot/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Some good news, bad news here. If the lame-duck commission doesn’t stage a local-option sales tax vote on the jail this fall, the cost of the project will increase. The work needs to be done. On the other hand, we won’t be paying the half-cent sales tax until the work is absolutely necessary.

Question: Should the county put another jail vote on the November ballot?

McCrory: What Happens When Geese Move In?

Bill McCrory: I’ve seen an increasing number of Canadian geese in the blighted area of Riverstone. It will be interesting to see how the city handles the goose “fallout” once its much-touted water feature opens. Think Shelley Lake.

DFO: Bill, do you see Canadian geese soiling the lake shore of the viewtiful Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course? Or do you see vagrants panhandling on Sherman Avenue? The rich and powerful of this town have an uncanny ability to rid themselves of nuisances. If the geese decide to migrate from the public area at NIC beach to Lake Riverstone, they should consider Dirty Harry’s famous line first: Do you feel lucky? Hunh, duck?

OrangeTV: Fun Thrift Store Find Of The Day

… It’s a tee-shirt! Front:

… And Back:

DFO: Believe it or not, I have this T-shirt at home, in size large, which means it was too small for me ever to wear. Of course, it’s a parody re: The Duane and his empire. As I mentioned in a comment to Patrick/OrangeTV last night, Huckleberries should have some sort of contest and give the T-shirt away to the winner. Or not. Dunno. It certainly is a conversation piece in Lake City.

Huckleberries: S.S. Bad Manners A Pain @ Pump

Huckleberries has found another species of Big Boat Drivers Behaving Badly. A corporate one. Nah, this one doesn’t disturb the peace with excessive engine or stereo noise. But he can be rude, too. Seems boaters Howard and Teresa Martinson were waiting for gas at the Coeur d’Alene Resort dock around 5 p.m. Sunday when the shadow of Gozzer Ranch fell over them. Gozzer Ranch is one of those swanky subdivision/golf course projects proposed for Lake Coeur d’Alene. The developer also has some swell boats, including the “gorgeous new bazillion-dollar Discovery Lane/Gozzer Ranch Stan-Craft cocktail cruiser” that Howard said cut in line. With a coupla crew members polishing the Big Boat, the captain ignored the queue of other vessels and zipped to the dock. Howard bit his tongue until he learned later that Captain Gozzer’d pumped gas into the fresh-water system of the boat – you know, the water used for cooking, drinking and bathing. When Howard asked U.S.S. Gozzer sailors how they planned to fix the faux pas, a crew Gilligan replied: “We’ll just go out into the lake and pump it out.” Howard thought: “Talk about making a bad situation worse. He might want to check with the sheriff, Coast Guard, DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) and Panhandle Health District first.” Two questions remained on the tip of Howard’s tongue: “How do you plan to get rid of the smell and odor of gas in the water system?” And: “What’s your boss going to say when he reads about this in Huckleberries?” Stay tuned.

Parting Shot — 7/24/06

A Peregrine falcon peers at the crowd, in front of Idaho Gov. Jim Risch, at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise earlier today at the unveiling of the new Idaho state quarter design that features the image of a Peregrine falcon. The design was chosen by former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, before he became U.S. Secretary of the Interior, from 10 finalist designs. (Troy Maben, Associated Press)

Quote of the Day — Thom George

Whenever I ask anyone what they think of when they think of Idaho, the first word out of their mouth is “Falcons!” — Thom George.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/24/06

CDADave shares his fun parodies (above) and some thoughts about Coeur d’Alene’s “Thong Man” here.

*Patrick/Making Flippy Floppy eulogizes Byron Card, an old friend and renown Coeur d’Alene hair stylist who took his life in a Spokane park recently here.

*When it’s 103 degrees outside, Family Phil knows where to go to pray for cooler temperatures here.

*Nicholas Casey/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts learns a valuable lesson re: swimming against a strong current and trusting others here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour admits she was KO’d by the heat as she attempted to complete her recent move here.

*Toad has a number of new postings and photos on his blog to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Synaptic Disunion here, and unveils a new blog, Cantus de Animus, here.

Dogwalk Musings: Escape Heat @ Eddy’s

“Yesterday was the cool day. Only 100. Today is to be 102, tomorrow 104. This is northern Idaho for heavens sake. We moved here with a Saint Bernard partially because of a moderate climate. Oh well, all that aside. My bud Colleen and I wanted to meet for lunch and decided to go early - but where? Some place where we could eat outside but all the restaurants in town that have outdoor dining are on the hot sidewalks. So we decided to head down the east side of the lake and find a new place called Eddy’s somewhere on Arrow Point.”

For the rest of the post by Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings, click here.

Question: Where would you go for a bite to eat and to escape the heat in the Inland Northwest?

Emphasis Patrols: Be Careful Out There

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department, in conjunction with the Idaho State Police, will be conducting an aggressive driver emphasis starting July 24 - August 11 along US Highway 95 from Ironwood Dr. to Prairie Ave and 3rd St. and Locust Ave. Participating Law Enforcement officers will be looking for the following aggressive driving violations:

• Speeders
• Following too close
• Failure to use turn signals
• Failure to obey traffic control devices

Coeur d’Alene Police and Idaho State Police are conducting this emphasis to help reduce injury crashes within Coeur d’Alene, ID. This highly traveled corridor of US Hwy 95 between Ironwood Dr. and Prairie Ave. is the highest crash location with-in the city of Coeur d’Alene

CoeurGenX: Don’t Forget About Yard Sign Clutter

CoeurGenX (re: ”sick of looking at it” — Inside Huckleberries): HOW ABOUT ALL THOSE YARD-SALE SIGNS THAT STAY UP FOR WEEKS. Why can’t we start fining these people if their signs are still up by the following Tuesday? Then the city can pocket all the loose change they collected for their worthless stuff! it shouldn’t be hard to find them, their address is stuck right on the power-pole. I’m sick of looking at those too!

DFO: Dunno what law is being broken re: yard sale signs (other than they’re not suppose to be posted on utility poles). But few infractions would be easier to prove. After all, the address is written on them. All the city/county would have to do is … announce a crackdown, check utility poles on the day of the sales to find violators and then check again on Monday to see which signs are still up. Game, set, match — here’s your citation, darlin’.

APhoto of the Day — 7/24/06

Willy, a 1-year-old cat is photographed with a display of several pairs of garden gloves that he took from unknown yards in his neighborhood in Pelham, N.Y. Willy has brought home nine pairs of gloves and five singles over several weeks laying them on his owners’ front or back porches. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Top Cutline: Gates releases his new Cat Box Cam for the discriminating cat owner — Dave Tolle.

SR Editorial: Ex-Mayor West Was “Driven”

Former Spokane Mayor Jim West’s premature death at 55 brings a poignant end to a political career best described as driven. That’s not a bad thing if you believe in the American political system as West did. For nearly 30 years, he lived out that belief. At the end, sadly, his political dedication was overshadowed by scandal. The saga of his using the Internet to troll for young men as sex partners was steady news for much of 2005, further darkened by disturbing allegations that he had molested young boys during his days as a Scout leader and sheriff’s deputy. His Internet messages offering gifts and City Hall positions were uncharacteristically indiscreet, especially his use of a city computer in the process, but his insistence on fighting for survival to the end was consistent with his style as a political battler. He lost that contest when voters rejected him in last fall’s recall election. And early Saturday, he lost a more serious contest with cancer.

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

Question: How should ex-Spokane mayor Jim West be remembered?

Dan of the County Covers Rathdrum Fire

Dan of the County: I took (the top one) of the Rathdrum Fire and the other one I took right from our front porch of the fire copter getting buckets of water from lower Twin right next to us and taking it a short distance away…

Dan of the County: How Do You Find Right Computer?

Dan of the County: I’m probably just talking to my self this time of night but am seriously looking a new desktop computer. Don’t want the bottom of the heap and certainly can’t afford or need the best. I pretty much just have it down to the two standards, Dell and Gateway. I’ve both, have been quite pleased with price, quality, ease of set up for a novice, and great service when something goes wrong down the road. They really make it feasible to do it yourself with phone help. So any ideas on which brand to get these days and any new “must have” features.

Question: Anyone?

Huckleberries: Thong Man’s Back — And Front

Realtor Tom Torgerson was laughing so hard when he called me Thursday afternoon that I couldn’t understand what he was saying at first. Something about a “banana hammock.” Then I realized that Tom was on a boat a short distance off the North Shore, looking at an aging man – in a bright-orange G-string. Do you think it’s Thong Man? Tom asked. If it is, he continued, he’s grayer now. For newcomers, Thong Man created a ruckus in the mid-1990s when he flopped down on City Beach wearing nothing but the bare minimum to keep him from being carted off to jail for indecent exposure. Many thought he was indecent anyway. But not the City Council. On a vote in which nipples, areolas and all things pubic were discussed with straight faces, the council sided with Thong Man’s freedom to let it almost all hang out. County Assessor Dan English, who voted with the majority as a member of that council, recalled the flap for Huckleberries Online: “I felt that out of all the things we needed to spend our limited police and court resources on, putting CDAPD on ‘fanny’ patrol wasn’t the best use of resources. … Butt (sic) hey, maybe we woulda looked at a ‘G-string’ a little different than a thong.” After winning the reprieve, Thong Man became a minor celebrity, occasionally posing for waterfront photos with University of Idaho students. I didn’t know he was still around – about 100 yards east of the volleyball courts on NIC Beach when Tom spotted him. If Superman can return, I guess, Thong Man can, too.

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/23/06

It looks like another day of fighting the heat, HBOers. I avoided some of it last night by paying a pirate’s ransom to see “Superman Returns” at the Riverstone Cinemas. Good flick. Overpriced theater. But the parking lot was packed. I may head to the lake today. Meanwhile, if you’re around, you can use this Wild Card to swap thoughts with others …

Wild Card/Saturday — 7/22/06

There’s plenty below to discuss, HBOers. But you’re always welcome to start your own thread …

Question: Do Blogs Further Fragment Us?

Issue: The Great Blogosphere Brawl/Wendy McElroy,

More Info: An exchange on Protein Wisdom between Goldstein and Frisch turned so nasty that it landed in the mainstream media. On July 12, Brit Hume of FOX News reported, “Deborah Frisch escalated a foreign policy argument with blogger Jeff Goldstein last week, writing that if ‘someone shot you and your ‘tyke’ it wouldn’t slow me down one iota.’ She also wrote that she hopes ‘no one Jon-Benets’ the child — a reference to the brutal murder of a young Colorado girl ten years ago — and made disturbing sexual remarks about the boy.”

DFO: At least we can say, we’ve never gotten this out of hand.

Question: Obviously, we’ve seen that blogs can bring people together for a worthy cause, like the Behan formula drive here. Do you foresee a day when flames and flame warriors will be considered passe?

Hat Tip: CC

Easymark: Wild Animals Fight Over Mill Carcasses

Easymark: The way developers are devouring up old mill property reminds me of wild animals fighting over a carcass. I am surprised by the lack of comments and the lack of empathy for these hard working folks of our town. I was especially angered by the comments of the Mayor. Why should she be overjoyed by this news? I bet De Armond employees are not so excited about it. When Tom Richards sold to Stimson he said he found a buyer that would treat the employees like family. I guess money is thicker than water.

DFO: Easymark’s comments about the transformation of the historic mill sites on the water are among the best comments of the week. They influenced my thinking re: the editorial I wrote Sunday about the sale. Rather than an exuberant piece looking forward to an education corridor after Chesrown takes over, the editorial focuses on the need for the community to ensure that the middle class and low-income families aren’t forced out of town by all the ritzy places and developments clamoring to be built. Thanks for your comments and long-time friendship, Easymark.

Spencer: I Was Right About BCommish, So There

Spen-sah: Remember when DFO gave me such a hard time when I advocated removing these two clowns from office? He thought that my two picks for commissioners seats were not in the best interests of Bonner county. I took the heat from quite a few friends, but many have since decided that I was probably right to push for different commissioners. These two are now costing Bonner County any credibility at Boise, and are being mocked in legal circles as the “yahoos up North.” They are beginning to make Gus Johnson look like a brain surgeon by comparison.

Thom George: Spencer, I agree that the BC Commissioners don’t look good with this stunt, but the fact that they are bad, doesn’t equate to “your picks” being good.

DFO: Thom’s right. Despite how bad BC commissioners look to some (but not to others) for their valuation stunt, Repub nominee Bud Mueller is worse. Mebbe the worst commissioner in my 22 years in North Idaho. You have no room at all to brag here, Larry. I’d still pick the two sitting commissioners over the ones who won and that you endorsed.

My2Cents — Vanessa Behan Formula Raiser

We broke new ground at Huckleberries Online this week, HBOers. Thanks to you and Any Mouse, this blog raised $500 for sure and probably a lot more (after JBelle, Marmitetoasty & Co. checked in directly with the center this p.m.) for this worthy cause. I was hesitant when Any Mouse suggested that I involve the blog in the effort. Alas, one worthy cause can easily lead to another. I don’t want to get involved in too many of them. But this one seemed different. How can you deny a basic to babies? Anyway, I admit I was thrilled as I saw you guys step up to the plate and have your formula and dollars counted, especially CDAMom, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and whom matched the first $250 worth of formula donation with a check — and Thom George, who graciously made a side trip on his way to the airport to drop of the formula and money. I need to think about this one over the weekend. I feel good.

TGIF Wild Card — 7/21/06

I’m going to reread the thread started by Chris Rodkey today re: the name calling on the blog. I’m taking steps to eliminate the personal attacks. But I don’t know if I should go beyond that. I understand how Chris feels re: generic attacks that hit home. As a conservative Christian (with human right leanings), I flinch when someone goes off on “right-wing wacko hypocrite religionists.” However, I’m reluctant to shut the spigot off on that because I might harm the incredible dynamic we have here. As I said, I need to give it more thought. Meanwhile, you can use this Wild Card to start the weekend discussion. (BTW, I moved up the Flippy Floppy review and The Bard’s clever comment about the refueling depot because, I believe, they’re great pieces that need more attention.)

HBO’s Best Of The Local Blogs — 7/21/06

CDADave spoofs a BrodH20 photoed posted on HBO yesterday (above) and provides another dose of Thin Air here.

*Family Phil has added a “mom’s” blogroll to his Web site, including the new BrodH20 by Mommy Dearest of Post Falls, here and here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals finally posted again, to show how he ranks Idaho for the coming Western Athletic Conference season (seventh) here and to tell fans that Vandal kicker Mike Barrow is out for the season with an ACL tear here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps elaborates on his earlier post below here re: Spokane Councilman Al French’s complaint about the police chief pick here.

*Stebbijo reacts to news about management problems at a Boise psychiatric facility here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour must be feeling comfortable in her new home because she’s nailed up the family “wolf crossing” sign again here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA has some cool photos from Italy, including femme cops in high heels toting Prada bags, here.

Update: Haynes Appointed As New Judge

The No. 2 attorney in the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office was appointed as a district judge Friday by Gov. James Risch. Lansing Haynes, Kootenai County’s chief deputy prosecutor, could assume the position immediately after being sworn in, Risch said. A date for that has not been set. Haynes was the governor’s pick of three finalists, including Magistrate Scott Wayman and Coeur d’Alene Attorney Ken Howard. The three were recommended to the governor by the Idaho Judicial Council, which interviewed nine applicants. “The Judicial Counsel makes it very easy for me if they give two that aren’t too qualified,” Risch said, adding that all three finalists ere “outstanding people” with “outstanding qualifications.”
Haynes shares his passion for public safety, Risch said. “I’m honored by this appointment and humbled by the responsibility,” Haynes said.
With Haynes’ appointment, there will six judges serving in the First Judicial District, which includes the five northern counties of Idaho — Taryn Brodwater.

Lucinda Kay: Thanks, HBOers

” Your “delivery man”, Thom George, dropped off the baby formula and check here at Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. WOW! You and your bloggers are amazing!

“I didn’t get to meet Thom. I was back in the Nursery holding a baby. We had so many crying babies; there weren’t enough arms to go around. The lead houseparent had to ask for help from our administrative side. This week I dined with some of our biggest financial supporters, showed up on TV and interviewed for the Spokesman Review, offered the invocation at a great networking meeting of Executive Women International. … all fabulous… But the best was yet to come.

“Today … I was blessed to soothe “baby Jody”. He acted so fussy and uncomfortable at first. But soon, in the quiet of the sleeping room, Jody slept in my arms as I rocked him. Ten other children soon dreamt away as well. All their parents are somewhere else; trying to cope with job interviews, health issues, poverty, homelessness, exhaustion, violence. But here at the Nursery, it’s now peaceful. Their bottles filled with the formula you’ve provided, resting from their stressful lives.

“Thank you for helping to prevent child abuse and neglect. We are grateful.”

Lucinda Kay/Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

Andrews: In Ode To Thong Man

There once was a man in a thong
Showing his buns to the throng.
The people were blinded, but not many minded;
They hoped to stay blinded for long.

Along came a thirsty boy, and
Thinking it was a machine.
Slipped a quarter in -
and couldn’t get it out again!

And Thong Man he parted, and oh how he started!
Said he “this is a sad day.”
“For a Coke machine I’m not, I was only hot”;
“Now the quarter’s in there to stay!”

Brent Andrews

McCrory: Wise To Pick Ambitious Spokane Chief

From today’s Spokesman-Review: “But questions still remain. Councilman Al French took issue with the mayor’s selection, saying Kirkpatrick appears to be more interested in building her career than in making Spokane her home. ‘It’s just a matter of time until there’s a better job,’ he said, adding he preferred Linda Pierce of the Seattle Police Department, another finalist, because she indicated she wanted to make Spokane her home.”

Effective law enforcement chief executives are in great demand. Often after about three years of demonstrated leadership successes, the exceptional ones start receiving offers from headhunters representing cities desperate for ethical, innovative, skilled leadership. The best chiefs are sought because they’ve been successful, not because they’ve failed. They leave because they’re competent and because other cities offer them more opportunities for professional advancement.

French seems to be seeking a chief who will “retire in place.” That’s what Spokane had, not what Spokane needs.

Bill McCrory/Whitecaps

Sorry, No HBO Best of Inland Northwest Today

Sorry, folks, I’m too slammed trying to juggle edit writing, formula gathering, and blogging today to compile HBO’s Best of the INorthwest …

Question: Thong Man Isn’t Only One Showing Crack

Issue: Cracks found in depot floor sealant: State officials say there’s no evidence of fuel leaks/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Cracks have been found in the sealant that protects the concrete floors at BNSF Railway’s depot atop the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, but railroad and state officials said there is no reason for concern and there is no evidence of fuel leaks. Yet a local environmental group questions why the cracks, characterized by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality as “hairline” fissures, weren’t disclosed in public reports made monthly to the Kootenai County Commission.

DFO: I guess I comforted that they’re on top of the matter — right?

Question: As the torturer asked before he fried another of the victim’s teeth in “Marathon Man”: “Is it safe?”

Online Plagiarism: What Is? What Isn’t?

I had a debate with Green Libertarian last night re: lengthy online posting of another’s written work. I hate to admit it. But he was right. Here’s Editor Steve Smith’s verdict:

“Plagiarism, quite simply, is representing someone else’s work as your own. Quoting another individual and properly attributing the passage is not plagiarism. In our newsroom the simple rule is “if you use it, attribute it.” Fair use of attributed material under copyright law is another matter entirely. The law is complex, but I’d suggest that it would be difficult if not impossible to violate copyright law in a simple blog entry. It’s a non-issue. Further, because the blog is an extension of the newspaper, the copyright issue is clouded by free expression, free speech and fair comment standards. And it’s important to remember that copyright protects the specific manner in which information is presented. Information itself cannot be protected by copyright. The facts of a news event cannot be protected though the specific language used by the writer can be protected. In short, using material from another source but properly attributing it will almost never pose a plagiarism or copyright problem.”

Blogmeister Ken Sands: “It’s not a plagiarism issue as much as it is a copyright issue, and that same “fair use” citation seems to crop up all the time. It’s not correct (if it were true, copyright would be unenforceable to the point of being moot). Even academics have to pay for the use of copyright material. One of the main reasons we’re sticklers about the copyright issue is because we write cease and desist letters to anyone we find in violation of our copyright. So it only makes sense that we prohibit abuse of copyright on our site. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what this person thinks the law says. We set the rules, and we expect people to abide by the rules. If they don’t like it they can go elsewhere. They have no “right” to post anything on our site except by our invitation and with our blsessing. We can delete anything we want. This in no way is censorship. Censorship would be a government trying to prevent the owner of a publication from publishing something.”

Steve Smith re: photos/cartoons: “Photos and cartoons are somewhat different. In that case you’re publishing the entire work. And because the blog is us, it constitutes publication as opposed to sending it to a friend via e-mail. So I would avoid cartoons and photos without permission. Of ocurse, people can post their own cartoons or photos. Exception is AP photos for us because we buy online rights. And any other wirte service photos we purchase.”

Bottom Line: If you’re going to cut-and-paste someone else’s copy, provide attribution. On the other hand, medium to long cut-and-pastes aren’t allowed on the blog anyway.

Dickerson/Slate: Bush Aces NAACP Speech

Issue: Message: I Respect: The president aces his NAACP speech/John Dickerson, Slate.

“White men generally behave in one of two ways when they are anxious to connect with African Americans: They’re excessively solicitous or self-consciously chummy. The first produces an unending smile. The second produces expressions like: How is it hanging, my African brother? When Bush shook Bond’s hand with the sweeping theatricality of friends meeting to play a pickup game of basketball, I thought we were in for an uncomfortable morning, but Bush put away the awkwardness. Instead he was relaxed, and immediately addressed the tension in the room. Speaking about NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon’s introduction, Bush said: “I thought he was going to say, ‘It’s about time you showed up.’” (For the rest of article, click here.)

Question: What can Republicans do to attract more African-American voters?

Another Cute Animal-Ice Pix, Not Pix Of Day, Though

Pinky and Perky two four week old miniature piglets cool off at Pennywell Farm and Wildlife centre near Buckfastleigh, south western England Wednesday in this photo provided by the centre. The piglets were keeping cool with a huge lolly packed with carrots and other vegetables. ‘The recent heatwave has been exhausting for everyone and animals are no exception,’ said Catherine Tozer, assistant manager of the farm. ‘All the animals have been struggling with the heat so we have just tried to do everything we can to make them more comfortable. ‘After the initial shock and a bit of investigation, the ice lollies went down a real treat,’ she said.(AP Photo/Pennywell Farm and Wildlife Centre, Catherine Tozer)

CDADave: Assessors Don’t Know Word “Down”

CDADave: Assessors adjusting DOWNWARD? DFO, you should use that line in your stand-up act! When did you go into comedy?

DFO: I was suffering a brain cramp. Of course, you’re right, Dave.

KaleJ: Thong Man Still Ruining Trips to Beach

KaleJ: Yeah he is back. My wife and kids were at the beach earler this week with another couple and their kids. At one point the other dad started herding all the kids back to up the beach and to the other side of the blankets. When my wife inquired to the reason, thong man was pointed out.

CDADave: Yeah, that’s thong-man, only older and grayer. He graced City Beach with his presence a few times last year. Sometimes he’ll lay on his right side, sometimes he’ll lay on his left side. It’s his way of turning the other cheek. I think the CDA Bicycle Cops shoulda written him a ticket for bad taste.

DFO: A lot of us laugh about this local exhibitionist. But we shouldn’t. Consider the young families that have to put up with a guy flaunting his nether regions on the next blanket. Thong Man is worse than second hand smoke because you can’t ignore him.

Huckleberries: Love Held Davis Donuts Together

Yeah, there’s a story behind the current message on the Davis Donuts readerboard at 4th and Appleway: “Diane held Davis together while I was out. Thank you Diane.” Diane Monroe, who was embarrassed when she saw the love note Sunday, held Davis together, indeed. Since January. That’s when husband Dennis fell off a dough mixer in the back room while checking wiring, and busted his hip. The Monroes, who moved from Las Vegas to Spokane a year ago and recently to the Coeur d’Alene area, bought the doughnut shop and famous readerboard in November after checking it out online last summer. The first thing they googled about the shop caused Diane to catch her breath – a readerboard message posted by then-owner Bill Todd asking for prayers for the safe return of Shasta and Dylan Groene. Half that prayer was answered at Denny’s restaurant, a short distance from Davis Donuts. On Nov. 1, the Monroes took over posting messages – items culled from the Bible, customers and online. Dennis’ tumble changed things, however. He was the pastry chef, not Diane. The biggest challenge was finding someone to bake doughnuts. Initially, the regular doughnut maker worked seven days a week to handle the task. Then, Dennis’s brother-in-law, Bill Moore, flew out from the Midwest to help out. All because Dennis climbed the giant mixer rather than lug the ladder around one more time. Obviously, Dennis is grateful that Diane meant what she said when she agreed on that “for better or worse” clause.


Wild Card/Thursday — 7/20/06

Any Mouse, Dan of the County, and others got a good thing going this afternoon re: getting behind the SOS from the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Lucinda Kay sent out this SOS: “The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery is in dire need of baby formula. There are just a few cans left on the shelf. It’ll be a long week ahead if we don’t get the shelves filled. Can you please put a call out to your contacts and friends and make a request on our behalf? We need Enfamil with iron and/or lipil. We are now caring for up to sixteen children at a time. All of these children are at risk of abuse or neglect. Thankfully, their parents are brave enough to recognize they need us. Thanks for any assistance you can offer.” You can find her phone numbers and e-mail address below. Several already have responded to the SOS, including DOTC, who challenged all elected officials to meet his gift of $50 worth of formula, and CDA Mom, who will match the total giving (within reason). The SR’s CDA office will serve as a collection point. Bring it on. Now, for your Wild Card …

P.S.: Thong Man’s Back … As G-String Man!

Tom Torgerson/Buetler & Associates was laughing so hard just now when he called that I barely could understand what he was saying at first. Seems he was on the water on the north shore (about 100 yards east of the volleyball courts on NIC beach) when he noticed a guy walking toward him for a dip, dressed only in a bright-orange G-string. Tom described it as a “Banana Hammock.” And said the guy was pretty gray. Could it be Thong Man returning from the ‘90s? Thong Man created quite a flap re: his near nudity before the City Council decided, on a 4-2 vote, I believe, that he wasn’t violating the law by showing off his thonged behind on City Beach. Just good taste. The new incarnation covers even less. Mebbe HBO should transform into a G-String Man finder, so you’ll know which areas of the shoreline you should avoid.

Question: Do you believe it’s appropriate for individuals to wear G-strings on local beaches?

Inside Huckleberries — 7/20/06

4:05 p.m., From CDAMom: “Hurray — DFO is requiring the huckleberries bloggers to engage in non-derogatory behavior! Unfortunately, I think the internet is the cause of some of the problems. Most people would not engage in this type of bad behavior in person, but for some reason it is ok when it is here. Thanks DFO.” DFO: You’re most welcome.

3:34 p.m., SR colleague Chris Rodkey has narrowed the list of prospective names for his new kitten down to eight: Jersey, Loaf, Barnacle, Beetle, Snowflake, Oatmeal, Pickles, and Pocket. In doing so, he eschewed my clever suggestion of Copy, which plays off the yell that once sounded in newsroom when a reporter was done with his copy. But you still can help Chris decide on the best of the eight by voting here.

2:05 p.m., Bayview Herb awards HBO his first Herb Huseland Excellence In Blog Control Award in place of the runnerup Herb Caen Award I didn’t win this year. I humbly accepted on behalf of myself, Blogmeisters KenP and KenS, and all the SR online wizards.

1:55 p.m., Sam The Intern tried to get some of those Superhero stamps at the Coeur d’Alene post office today, only to be told that they wouldn’t be available in North Idaho until Monday. Alas.

12:47 p.m., I noticed that several of you have mentioned using the SR CDA office as a dropoff point for formula to help the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery through its current crisis. I shoulda said something to Any Mouse when he first proposed the idea yesterday. I don’t mind. But I have to clear it with Editor Steve Smith. Stay tuned …

10:55 a.m., Just got the OK from higher-ups that I can use cartoonists Michael Ramirez (above) and Scott Stantis here at Huckleberries Online. HBO is seeking permission from other cartoonists that we purchase for the print edition. I’d love to have Signe Wilkinson work, too. BTW, always ask permission before you use someone’s work in toto on your blog or for a comment post here.

10:48 a.m., Wanna know why participants are so happy at Wallace’s Crazy Days (today and Friday)? Consider the news release from the Wallace merchants: “Get free tokes from merchants to play the games located on the sidewalks & win Wallace Script good for spending at participating Wallace Merchants.” One toke over the line …

9:15 a.m., Editor Steve Smith dropped by the office today to chat about the new, improved Huckleberries weekdaily column. He’s happy with it. I’m happy with it. Some of the good stuff (Amber Deahn getting stiffed by Denny’s today; golfer Rich Beem tipping a caddy $500 last week) will soon appear all editions.

Dan Of The County’s Baby Formula Challenge

Kootenai County Clerk Dan English just dropped by with $50 worth of formula and a challenge to other county officials to match that amount to fill the need at the Vanessa Behan center. Also, a woman described by the front counter troops as tall, blond, twentysomething, and pretty dropped off a 38-ounce can. Extremely cool. Keep it coming. And someone run over to the commissioners office to tell my good friends Gus, Katie and Rick that they’ve been challenged.

Update: Actually, make that ANY elected official. … I wouldn’t want “mike of the city” or any other elected official, including at the state or federal level, to feel excluded … especially for such a good cause — Dan of the County.

And You Think You Have Indigestion?

A Thursday X-ray of a yellow rat snake confirms that the snake has eaten a golf ball, which will be surgically removed by veterinarian Dr. John Peterlin at Midway Animal Hospital in Homosassa, Fla. The snake was rescued by Nature World Wildlife Rescue volunteer Brian Lampe in Floral City, Fla. (AP Photo /Citrus County Chronicle, Cathy Kapulka)

North Idaho Multi-Tasking 101

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20

Heimlich: What Do HBOers Think re: Sonics’ Sale

The Heimlich Maneuver: What are people saying up your wat about a couple of my fellow Oklahomans purchasing the Seatlle Super Sonics? Just curious. Seems like folks there talked about the Mariners and the Seahawks but I don’t remember there being much talk about the Sonics. The lead guy for the investment group is a great guy and a straight shooter. He may very well keep the team in Seattle - if they can get the arena issue settled.

DFO: I care only for the ex-Zags who are in the NBA. I once was an NBA fan. But I lost interest because it seems so predictable. You can almost pick the 3 or 4 teams that are going to play for the championships. Most regular season games are pretty boring. I watched the Sonics only once last year when ex-Zag Richie Frahm was pouring in 3s for the Houston Rockets. I don’t like to see the region lose a professional team. But I’ve never paid attention to the Sonics.

Question: Anyone out there care about the sale — and possible move — of the Sonics to Oklahoma interests?

Speaking Of Heroic Amber Deahn …

… I Googled a whole list of quotes by her:

“I’m not banking on anything, … But with the reward money, I could start the foundation. It’s always been something that touched my heart, and with the money I could afford to make it a reality.”

“There’s no reason I should sit around and wait for something like this to happen to my children, … I want to help other families bring their children home.”

“I really just don’t have the words for it. It’s so sweet and I’m so thankful.”

“I was given an opportunity to catch the devil red-handed, … I couldn’t be prouder of what I have done.”

“I made sure to make a large shake instead of a child’s shake, … We wanted to make sure to take just long enough to where if it turned out to be nothing we could say, ‘Hey our shake machine’s running a little slow.’”

“I would really hope that if my children, God forbid, ever went missing, somebody would do the same,”

“You know, hey, our shake machine’s running a little slow. It’s an old machine.”

APhoto of the Day — 7/20/06

Pygmy hippopotamuses (Hexaprotodon liberiensis) ‘Thug’, right, and ‘Nicky’ line up to have their teeth cleaned with a new giant toothbrush at the London Zoo earlier today. The hippos’ teeth are regularly cleaned by zoo keepers as part of their care routine and until now a broom for each hippo has done the job perfectly. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Extra! Kirkpatrick To Become 1st Spokane Cop Chief

Federal Way Police Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick soon will be Spokane’s next police chief, marking the first time in the city’s history that a woman will lead the department. Mayor Dennis Hession will make the announcement this morning at a City Hall news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Kirkpatrick, 46, is expected to be there. A lawyer who also holds degrees in business administration and counseling, Kirkpatrick was not in her Federal Way office this morning, an administrative assistant at the Federal Way Police Department said. The two remaining out-of-town candidates were in their offices, and the only internal candidate, Deputy Spokane Police Chief Bruce Roberts, reportedly has been informed that Hession will be choosing someone else here/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: She certainly doesn’t have big shoes to fill.

Spencer: BC Shirked Duty In Rolling Back Taxes

Spencer: I just talked to Bonner County assessor Judie Conlan and it appears that the state tax commission is going to not back her up, and will likely wait and do a forced across the board increase. The illegal ordinance that the commissioners passed sets the new construction at 2006 levels, and all existing properties at the 2005 levels. This violates State law that requires all property to be taxed equally. The Commissioners only wanted to get out of the worst job that they have ever had so they can go back to trying to create a “legacy” in their few remaining months in office.

DFO: Indeed, the other shoe may fall hard on Bonner County as a result of this action. However, radical action is needed sometimes to send a message to The Powers That Be. See: Boston, Mass., circa 1773.

Truth Seeker: Black Rock, Chateau In Violation Already

Truth Seeker: Black Rock and The Chateau are in violation of the Comprehensive Plan of Kootenai County. The Comprehensive Plan must be changed for these developments to be legally approved. This issue has already gone to court and has been decided….the zoning must follow the comprehensive plan. The County and the Commissioners are in violation of the law if thay pass them. They have been violating the law for a number of years. If anyone is interested I can go into more detail and state case law. Mr. Stone is not entitled to put in Black Rock II. He was never entitled to put in Black Rock I. I see legal action coming from the citizens if these developments are approved as they violate the law.

DFO: Bingo. The Kootenai County commissioners are under no obligation to grant a change to the comprehensive plan. If I were any of them, I’d punt these down the road and wait for a rewrite of the comprehensive plan. Of course, the two lame ducks would be off the board then, and we’d get to see whether Todd Tondee and Rich Piazza are up to the task of controlling growth.

WorldNetDaily Poll: What Should Israel Do?

Question: If you were leading Israel, what would you do?

1. Admit that the Zionist state is illegal and a mistake, and throw myself into the sea
2. Move Israel to Europe – the Ahmadinejad solution
3. Trade more land for more peace
4. Start negotiating with all parties involved
5. Exercise restraint by responding only with proportionate violence
6. Declare an immediate ceasefire and withdraw to Israel’s border
7. Deal a crippling blow to the terrorists and create a buffer zone to protect Israel
8. Do exactly what Prime Minister Olmert is doing now
9. Take this opportunity to totally destroy Hezbollah
10. Other

DFO: No. 9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

PS: Gates Donates $287M To AIDS Research

Dr. Juliana McElrath, associate head of the infectious diseases program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is shown in a lab at the center today in Seattle. More than 20 years after scientists began searching for an HIV vaccine, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this week announced a major effort to bring together researchers from around the world with a collaborate in a search for an AIDS vaccine here (AP Photo).

Survey Sez: Bloggers Are Young Internet Users

WBloggers are a predominantly young group of Internet users who are novice storytellers, enjoy describing their own experiences and have a growing audience in the online world. A glimpse of this group was put together by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The survey found that almost one in 10 Internet users are bloggers and the audience for this group of online diarists is growing. Almost four in 10 of the approximately 147 million adult Internet users in this country say they read blogs. The people they are reading on the online blogs are a young, ethnically diverse group. They are mostly newcomers to writing - often writing about their own experiences. More than half of bloggers are under age 30. They were most likely to list their life and events as the most popular topic, followed by politics and entertainment/Associated Press.

DFO: Well, I’m still young at heart.

Question: Does this describe you, blogger?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/19/06

“It’s summer and it’s awful hot/Happy, we are surely not/Our fur is holding in the heat/The one thing cool, our kitty feet” —Mistrie Rose/The Calico Girls.

*Bayview Herb apparently isn’t the only one in his small community on Lake Pend Oreille who’s unhappy about newcomers trying to take over things here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings asks an old Pete Seegar/Peter, Paul & Mary question re. war: When will we ever learn … here.

*Amy Crooks/That’s Life, Life Goes On has re-emerged with a revitalized blog on genealogy here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 has a sure-fire way to make everything seem more affordable here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour comes out well ahead every time she calls repairman Tony Bitton to fix his lawnmower here.

Meanwhile, Family Phil’s having trouble getting shut eye here, Cis marvels that her kids are getting old even though she isn’t here, CDADave plays old music to relieve a funk here, Granati’s helping out again at the Union Gospel Mission here, and UBob leaves on vacation here.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/19/06

5:22 p.m., Erin Daniels has responded to a question from Cameraman re: her replacement at Sandpoint High’s Cedar Post: “I’m told Ms. Corinne Flowers, another CP graduate of 1990, and also a former editor of the UI’s Argonaut. She was a student of grandpa’s, too. The tradition goes on …”

2:43 p.m., It’s official. Erin Daniels, the former Sandpoint High Cedar Post adviser, is on the SR staff. Editor Steve Smith introduced her today: “Erin will coordinate our new high school journalism initiative which aims to produce a monthly newspaper for area high school students beginning later this year. It is the old Our Gen on steroids.”

1:59 p.m., “Wow, two references to my dad, Tom Moore, in the last couple days. It’s nice to see an honest and fair elected official get some credit, in a time when virtually all we hear are negative comments. Even though I haven’t lived in the area since I joined the Air Force in 1983 (and since retired), I still have other family there and check your blog a couple times a day to keep up with what’s going on back home” — Don Moore/Calhan, Colorado

1:38 p.m., Quotable Quote re: Julyamsh crowd (via Jesse Tinsley): “About two years ago, on a Saturday night, we had about 970, 980 dancers, in regalia, out there (at Julyamsh). The last time there were that many Indians here, in regalia, was Steptoe’s war. There were about a thousand warriors there, you know” — Cliff SiJohn. BTW, check out Jesse Tinsley’s cool Julyamsh slide show on Video Journal here.

11:07 a.m., In an Editorial Board conversation about the proposed Chateau de Loire subdivision on Beauty Bay, Editor Steve Smith wondered aloud if a moratorium was possible … on awful-sounding French names for Lake Coeur d’Alene developments.

10:08 a.m., “Thanks for the nice note in your blog. Ric loves his job with Lookout Mountain. I’m thrilled with my new position at PHD. It’s a real dream come true for me. I had hoped our work would convince county commissioners of the importance of communicating with the public they serve. Sadly, only Katie was a true believer, and she is on her way out. Commissioners today approved an immediate termination of contract with Taggart & Clarke, Effective Communication. Katie, though, is determined to keep the new County Connections cable TV show going. I wish her all the luck in the world. T&C is going into hibernation. How long that will last is anyone’s guess” — Cynthia Taggart.

Question: Do You Still Use E-mail Much?

Issue: E-mail losing clout: Many can’t wait, send by instant message/Associated Press

More Info: “In this world of instant gratification, e-mail has become the new snail mail,” says 25-year-old Rachel Quizon from Norwalk, Calif. She became addicted to instant messaging in college, where many students are logged on 24/7.

Question: Do you use e-mail much any more?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/19/06

In this photo provided by Karl Beznoska, Beznoska’s 12-foot Burmese python is shown on an operating table Tuesday in Ketchum, Idaho. It took surgery to save the python after it swallowed an entire queen-size electric blanket _ with the electrical cord and control box. “The prognosis is great,” veterinarian Karsten Fostvedt said after Tuesday’s two-hour operation on the python.

Sagebrush: Cussin’ Bush refreshing change of pace here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI looks at the Oklahoma City tycoons who are making waves in the Emerald City here.

2. The Oklahoma City group that purchased the Seattle Supersonics once lured the New Orleans Hornets to play in Oklahoma temporarily here. Meanwhile, Art Thiel/Seattle PI gives his view of the sale here.

3. Robbie Knievel, the son of legendary stuntman Evel Knievel, has agreed to perform a motorcycle jump here during Evel Knievel Days later this month in Butte, Mont. Evel’s battle with pulmonary fibrosis is making it harder and harder for him to breathe, and this may well be his last Evel Knievel Days celebration here.

4. Last week’s sewage spill sent at least 53,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Spokane River over a three-day period, city officials estimated. But the actual amount could be much higher because eyewitnesses last week reported seeing what appeared to be sewage debris in the river as early as May here.

5. Congressman Butch Otter’s name appears on the rosters of 28 caucuses to lead Idaho’s four-man Republican delegation in that category. But all four are members of the all-important potato caucus here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Should women merely watch war press forward?), Idaho Statesman (Risch picks may be short-timers, too), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Living wage could kill jobs instead), Missoula (Clumsy senators straddle immigration fence), and Kalispell Daily Interlake (Shuttle program back on track).

Online Poll: 73% of 884 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say the Napoleon Dynamite Festival shouldn’t be held next year.

*A Washington soldier returns from Iraq after family apparently killed in fire here.

*Bonner County property rollback stalled here.

*Teen mom faces abandonment charge here.

*Riley Creek to cut Moyie Springs workforce in half due to poor lumber prices here.

Orbusmax Special: Ex-Spokane mayor Jim West fights for life in Seattle hospital here.

KEA Issues Call To Arms re: Black Rock North

Jai Nelson, representing the Coalition for Positive Rural Impact at Rockford Bay & Loff’s Bay, the group that opposes the Black Rock Development, is one of the many who are concerned with the seemingly uncontrolled loss of rural land taking place in Kootenai County. “Its been said, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. And where is Kootenai County going? I strongly believe we are at a fork in the road. Before we move ahead with continued thoughtless urban sprawl and more exclusive, affluent gated communities we need to evaluate the potential consequences. We are at the crossroads, its time to revisit the compass heading,” Nelson said.

For the rest of the news release, click here.

Question: I’m writing an editorial re: the outbreak of high-end rural developments. Realistically, you can’t slam the door on them, if they meet zoning requirements. So, what do you do? Slap tons of conditions on them to reduce their impact? Welcome them with open arms? What?

SR Edit: BC Tax Revolt Shot Across Idaho Bow

By historical standards, the recent action taken by Bonner County commissioners to order property assessments returned to last year’s levels doesn’t rank as high as the Boston Tea Party. No one tossed tea into Lake Pend Oreille. No one’s going to war to change the value of the family’s lake homestead. Yet. But the bold – some might say reckless – decision by commissioners Karl Dye, Marcia Phillips and Joe Young to turn back the clock could be the tipping point for the property tax rebellion brewing in high-growth parts of Idaho. The Boston Tea Party spread to other harbors as copycats protested taxation without representation, too. Bonner County may have set the stage for widespread protest by ordering Assessor Judie Conlan to roll back assessments by Monday. At best, the action will serve notice to the state that Bonner County residents are fed up with higher taxes prompted by escalating valuations and want tax relief immediately. At worst, the cheers from appreciative constituents ringing in the ears of county commissioners could change to jeers if the state tax commission imposes across-the-board assessment hikes to better reflect Bonner County market values. One thing is certain: The commissioners added an exclamation point to the property tax rebellion brewing in popular Idaho areas while the state sits on a $199.9 million surplus.

For the rest of my editorial this morning on the Bonner County tax rebellion, click here.

APhoto of the Day — 7/19/06

Gohgo the polar bear fights 100-plus degree heat by licking ice cubes encased with apples in western Japan. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Muneyoshi Someya)

Sam: I’m Looking Forward To Meeting Taggart

Sam The Intern: I love the journalistically minded people here re: Taggart questions. It’s great! I smile every time I see some watchdog bloggers on here haha. I’ve never actually met Taggart but my mom did at work once (at NIC). I guess they got into a discussion about me being a journalist and Taggart gave my mother a biz card, which I had in my wallet for a couple months before I had to clean out all the dang business cards I had that I never used. But there’s a good chance I’ll be calling her at Panhandle Health, because I’ve used Susan for two stories now this summer. She was VERY helpful.

DFO: I worked with Tags for — what? — 20 years? She knows the community. And is tuned in well on health issues. She should do a dyne-oh!-mite job at the health district. It’s a hand-in-glove fit. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the PR biz she was developing with former CDA Press editor Ric Clarke. I see a conflict between her new duties and the county ones. After all, the district depends on county appropriations for some of its funding. My guess? Tags will drop the PR affiliation and concentrate on her new job. I wish her the best.

GreenL: What Happened w/Blackwell Island?

Green Libertarian: So what happened at the meeting?

DFO: Neither The Duane or Barlow showed up to argue the case and John Stone offered to pay the annexation fee and provide a boat slip so the project could go forward. Looks like The Duane is sulking about the city’s move to demand more from the usual annexation agreement than it usually does — for the good of the public. The Duane begrudges every square inch of sand or bike path when it comes to the public. But he doesn’t mind asking to close several downtown city blocks to plant his geraniums. On the other hand, he might be having trouble getting permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the toxic guck at the bottom of the channel. And his fight with the city is but a coverup.

P.S. — When I Get Old And Losing My Hair …

Retired North Idaho College nursing instructor Babette Hess kisses her husband, Art, during a tree planting ceremony in her honor outside the NIC Meyer Health and Sciences Building. Art donated to the college in her honor and at his request, a heartthrob dogwood tree was planted to tribute her 19 years at NIC. (NIC Photo)

DFO: Obviously, Babette’s answer to Paul McCartney’s question from the ‘60s is: Yes, oh yes, yes. Cool photo. The kids have nothing on this loving couple.

Dickerson/Slate: Bush Should Cuss More

Damn, I wish the president would swear more. When his private conversation with Tony Blair was picked up yesterday on an open microphone, I was heartened, not shocked. “See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over,” Bush said. Lebanon is in flames. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is enriching. Isn’t this a time for swearing? Shouldn’t we hope that when he’s in private, Bush is throwing around the barnyard epithets? I don’t think anyone would have been comforted if his aside to Tony Blair had been about weight lifting or the soufflé they had for lunch. Tony, did you see what Jacques was wearing?

For the rest of the column by John Dickerson/Slate, click here.

Question: Were you bothered that President Bush used a barnyard epithet to describe the situation in the Middle East?

A Tale of Two Fishermen, er, Fisherpersons

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski with 63-pound king salmon

Judge John Mitchell and campaign fish

For some reason the photo of the giant king salmon caught by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, brought fond memories to mind of the Mitchell-Ramaro race. No matter what happens here, HBOers, we’ll always have Mitchell-Amaro.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/18/06

4:34 p.m., It’s official. From PRmeister Susan Cuff of the Panhandle Health District: As many of you may already have heard, I’m leaving my position as public information officer at Panhandle Health District. I’ve been hired as the associate director at the University of Montana Alumni Association. My last day is (Friday). My replacement will be Cynthia Taggart, whom many of you know from her work on the Spokesman Review. I know you’ll treat her as fairly as you’ve always treated me. Cynthia will start (Monday).”

4:15 p.m., Yeah, that was Hagadone Hospitality’s Best Western University Inn that was damaged by fire Monday evening here. (Hat Tip to Family Phil for remind me to post this.)

2:28 p.m., The Bellingham Herald picked up that story by SReporter Jim Hagengruber, “Coeur d’Alene sheds beer-and-pickup truck image,” here.

2:21 p.m., Big John Rook reports that Spokane’s KGA will take on a headache in an attempt to boost ratings by adding shock jocks Opie and Anthony, who were fired for broadcasting a couple having sex in a New York church. Stay tuned.

1:17 p.m., HBO registered a nice presummerish Page-View number Monday: 5404.

11:49 a.m., Rumorama: “It appears it didn’t take Panhandle Health long to fill Susan Cuff’s position. The word is Cynthia Taggart has been hired for the PIO job” — PHDears.

10:43 a.m., State Rep. Frank Henderson called to thank HBOers for their kind comments re: his engagement to Betty Nelson. He’s preparing to attend his 66th reunion with the Class of ‘40, which originally numbered 248, at Rochester, Wis.

10:30 a.m., Sam The Intern was sorta celebrating today that he only had to pay $85 of a $122 speeding ticket slapped on him Saturday by a Washington trooper for zooming 77 mph in a 60 mph on I-90, somewhere near the valley mall. Then, he spent the day covering a fire to pay for the ticket.

Souza: Blackwell Annexation Would Be Good

Mary Souza: I’m reluctant to comment on a “Rumorama”, but your take on this, DFO, seems quite slanted. Don’t know what will happen tonight, but the P&Z approved the plan a year ago—no complaint from the Bike Committee then—the path widths were not an issue. It seems that now, at the very last minute, some Bike Comm. members convinced Council that this was a problem. By the way, 10 ft. paths are not the most common in the city, they are typically smaller. Annexing Blackwell Island does several good things: development has to comply with city regulations, which are more stringent, as opposed to those of the county. It also provides public access all around the island, which is not the case now. Also, there’s a pad of property that the city owns over there, where a future walking bridge from NIC beach could connect in. Any water quality issues are completely separate from tonight’s hearing and are handled by the State.

DFO: Mary, long time no hear … A City Hall insider told me this afternoon that Dick Haugen was dead on this morning when he posted that the annexation is DOA. Hagadone hasn’t budged on the width of the bike trail and, for all his money, he’s quibbling about the annexation fee. ‘Twill be interesting to see if Barlow shows to flip off his favorite people. I hear he won’t. Might not be any fireworks at all here.

Hard 7: Spokane Cops Can’t Be Trusted In Probe

The astonishing fact that (as this story notes) the report also fails to mention the mask placed over Zehm’s face—the one with the small air hole, the one not attached to any oxygen—raises further serious questions about the thoroughness and credibility of the police investigation. This does not represent an adequate investigation of the incident. It is a gift-wrapped, get-out-of-jail-free card to send to the prosecutor. This document underscores why the SPD cannot be trusted to investigate itself.

For the rest of Frank Sennett’s post on the Zehm investigation report, plus a .pdf copy of the report, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/18/06

In this photo provided by the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Murkowski hugs a 63-pound king salmon she caught July 7, 2006, along the Kenai River in Alaska, during the annual Kenai River Classic, The event, primarily attended by senators, corporate executives and lobbyists, raised about $800,000 for river conservation. (AP Photo/Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski)

Postman: Eyman makes false claim here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI maps out Hezbollah’s ultimate goal here.

2. A group from Oklahoma City has agreed to buy the Seattle SuperSonics and the Seattle Storm here.

3. The Spokane Police Department has released the final report by Detective Terry Ferguson in which she says the investigation does not support criminal charges against any of the seven officers who were involved in the March 18 confrontation with Otto Zehm here.

4. A 55-year-old man is facing federal charges for allegedly posing as a “Special Response Agent” with the allegedly fictitious “United States Special Response Department Anti-Terrorism Unit” here.

5. Former Mayor Jim West was in stable condition Tuesday at a Seattle hospital after developing complications from recent cancer surgery here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (West Valley’s pricey ways), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./Seattle PI (Nature lovers find a place to grieve), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Huckleberries: Putin on the President), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Max’s miraculous return), and Missoulian (Lumber fight settled — or is it?).

Online Poll: A bare plurality of 29% of 145 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say the sale of the Sonics to an Oklahoma City group is a sad day for Seattle. Most respondents, however, weren’t very interested.

*Ex-Boise cop Richard D. Beal was sentenced to one year in jail Tuesday for having sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl while on duty here.

*Micron No. 1 for patents here.

*Polls show Montana favored to win Big Sky football championship here.

*UI football team loses a top defensive player here.

Orbusmax Special: Everett school superintendent served with papers for stopping graduation performance of “Ave Maria” here.

Rumorama: Blackwell Island Deal DOA?

Dick Haugen: “This is DOA. Goes down in defeat 4-2. Hear Hagadone won’t even send Barlow to tonight’s meeting. Path width and boat slip are deal-killers.”

DFO: Stay tuned.

Stana: Quit Picking On Commish Gus

Stana: I think you need to stop picking on Gus. I may not have voted for him , but I ask you to please all grow up. He lost the election, but this does not make him a punching bag for your adolesent behavior. Can we please be gracious and thank him for his service?

DFO: In most instances, I would agree, Stana. Gus lost. End of story. However, his action (in collusion with Katie and Rick) in banning this blog from the courthouse; his poor attitude since (he doesn’t even talk to the Coeur d’Alene Press reporter either, fuhcryinoutlouod); and his unprofessional insistence on wearing shorts when he represents the county beg for further comment. He’s still a commissioner for the next 5 1/2 months. He should act like one.

Whirled News In Photos (7/18/06) …

… Leaving Lebanon

A Lebanese Swedish woman holds her baby girl as she bids farewell to her parents, while being evacuated from Lebanon, along with others, on a bus organized by the Swedish embassy, from a road intersection, leading out of the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut, Lebanon, earlier today. (AP Photo)

… Shrinking New York Times

A section of The New York Times’ front page is shown today. The New York Times plans to cut 250 jobs and shrink the size of its pages in 2008, making them one-and-a-half inches narrower, the newspaper reported in Tuesday’s edition. The photograph shows two men mourning the wounding of children in Tyre, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

… Business as usual in South Korea

A South Korean pedestrian walks by copies of a magazine featuring North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il on a street in Seoul earlier today. South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok Tuesday said that a U.N. Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea for recent missile tests will not affect South Korea’s economic projects with the communist nation.

SR Letter: Spokane Cops Deserve Our Support

The headline of Friday’s story, “Police admit inaccurate account of fatal beating,” was so large. Why is that – does The Spokesman have a personal vendetta against Acting Police Chief Jim Nicks, or is it just that the National Inquirer tactics are a way to lure customers to get the paper?

Headlines of this large print on the front of paper are reserved for national stories such as a war. Yes – it is an important story and a real tragedy that Mr. Zehm died, but it appears you are in a personal struggle to prove the chief wrong and then gloat about it in a tabloidish manner. Both Sunday’s editorial (“Credibility zapped”) and Doug Clark’s article (“Acting chief failed to act responsibly”) prove that.

To understand and appreciate the world in which our police officers work in the nighttime, I suggest you spend some time in their shoes before you are so quick to judge. Sensationalizing this story is a tragedy!

I believe the officers and chief deserve support. They are working hard every day to help make this a safe community. Yes, grave mistakes were made, but until you walk a mile in their shoes, it may be difficult to be a fair judge.

Philip Eager

WorldNetDaily Poll: Bomb Syria?

Issue: Ex-CIA chief: Bomb Syria! Woolsey says Damascus, Iran think U.S. ‘nation of cowards’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of ex-CIA chief James Woolsey’s call for U.S. to attack Syria?

1. Give diplomacy a chance, stay out of this conflict as long as possible
2. American public is too war-weary to engage another front
3. This is Israel’s fight, it can handle it without U.S. military action
4. We shouldn’t get involved directly, but still provide help to Israel
5. It’s too early to think about U.S. military strikes, but keep the option open
6. Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism, and thus is a legitimate target
7. Yes, hit Syrian targets now
8. Bomb both Syria AND Iran
9. When is the U.S. going to get serious about the war on terror? The bombing should begin in 5 minutes!
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 3-4

For the WorldNetDaily Poll, click here.

Parting Shot — 7/17/06

Kyla Foster of Bell City, La, wraps up her goat during the girl’s goat tying event durimg the recent 2006 Wrangler Junior High Finals at Red Rock Park in Gallup, N.M. (AP Photo/ Gallup Independent, John A. Bowersmith)

Question: Should Wiccan Patriot Get Pentacle?

Issue: Soldier’s widow fights to place symbol on husband’s grave/Philadelphia Inquirer

More Info: “There are 38 religious symbols approved for placement on government-issued grave markers and memorials for military veterans, but the pentacle isn’t one of them. The five-pointed star within a circle that represents the Wiccan religion, a neo-pagan, earth-based belief system, is not on the list. As a result, the space reserved for Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart’s memorial plaque at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nev., remains empty. Stewart, 34, was killed in September 2005 when his Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. He was a follower of the Wiccan tradition, and his wife is fighting to have the fact engraved in stone.”

Sara Anderson/F-Words: It kind of throws lazy notions of who is and isn’t American or a patriot for a loop. (Hat Tip to Sara for suggesting the question.)

Question: Should the military respect Sgt. Stewart’s Wiccan religion by including a pentacle with his plaque?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/17/06

Members of C Company, 116th Engineer Battalion of the Idaho Army National Guard are reflected in the Killed in Action monument at the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza on Saturday. (Kerri Thoreson photo)

*Somer Breeze — I swear that’s her name — talks about life as an SR sports intern covering the Spokane Indians here as part of the new blog written by interns, including our Sam The Intern, here.

*Basil Rathbone has wormed his way into Family Phil’s heart in his 10 years in the family and now claims the title of Phil’s best can ever here.

*Bayview Herb didn’t appreciate the Saturday SR story about dissidents in his little community because, he sez, we didn’t present the whole picture here

*All that bad news from the Middle East here isn’t helping Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings with her bad back here.

*Vacation is less than two days off, and UBob is so not ready to head out toward the coasts of Oregon and northern California here.

Meanwhile, Cis relates life to huckleberry picking here, Marianne called on St. Anthony to help her find a pair of beloved red sweat pants here, and Sara puts her food blog out of its misery here.

Top Cutlines — 7/17/06

US President George W.Bush, right, drives an electric cart through pouring ran, as he arrives for the final working session at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jan Bauer)

Top Cutlines

In A League of His Own: John Austin.

1. Bush driving to hell in a hand basket — Cis.

2. The wipers went back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Bush was getting sleepier and sleepier. Sleepier and sleepier. No one noticed his trance-like state until he suddenly jumped up and started flapping his arms like a chicken and talking in a pirate voice as soon as the word “peacekeeper” was mentioned — Side Note.

3. President George W. Bush, pictured above, speeds towards the finish line in a race staged to promote vehicles using alternate fuel sources. Bush’s electric-powered cart finished third behind a balloon powered by Howard Dean’s hot air and an alcohol-propelled submarine piloted by Senator Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts — The Heimlich Maneuver.

HM: Dang & Cameraman

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

RIP: Mickey Spillane, Mike Hammer Creator, 88

Mickey Spillane, author of mystery novel “The Big Kill,” is shown in his studio at Orange Lake, N.Y., Feb. 23, 1952. Spillane, the macho mystery writer who wowed millions of readers with the shoot-‘em-up sex and violence of gumshoe Mike Hammer, died today. He was 88. (AP Photo)

Extra! Hession Schedules 3 P.M. Press Conference

Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession is expected to call this afternoon for an outside, independent investigation of the Spokane Police Department’s handling of events surrounding the homicide death of Otto Zehm. Hession has scheduled a press conference for 3 p.m. at City Hall where sources say he likely will order the investigation.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/17/06

Diana Halvorsen hugs her daughter, Kristine, after a plane leaving the Hillsboro Air Show crashed into a neighbor’s house, destroying it and damaging their house in Hillsboro, Ore., Sunday. The plane crashed in a residential area, damaging four houses and killing the pilot. No one on the ground was injured. (AP Photo)

Stapilus: Sali spent $464, 124 to win Idaho GOP congressional primary here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI provides a glimpse into the future re: the feeding and caring for the retiring Baby Boomer generation here.

2. In what may be an unprecedented step in Idaho tax history, Bonner County commissioners on Friday ordered their assessor to roll back all property valuations to last year’s figures. Assessor Judie Conlan said commissioners gave her office a deadline of July 24 – a week from Monday – to undo this year’s assessments here.

3. David Dawson, a Montana inmate scheduled to be executed next month for the 1986 murders of three members of a Billings family, must place his order for a last meal by Aug. 4 here.

4. Tom Adams of Lakeside, Mont., got the shock of his life June 23 when he got a letter from his neurosurgeon informing him that donor bone he had received during back surgery in November 2004 was part of a recall by the Food and Drug Administration here.

5. Three Oregon men are alive after spending 6 1/2 hours clinging to an ice chest in 65-degree Pacific Ocean water after their boat sank about 45 miles off the coast here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Acting chief acted irresponsibly), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Uncovering lost ID of unnamed soul), Missoulian (Add fire insurance to fireworks), Brady Wiltfong/WSU Daily Evergreen (In support of bilingual ballots), and Susan Paynter/Seattle PI (High school grads press for newspaper freedoms).

Online Poll: 64% of 240 respondents to a Helena Independent-Record poll say educational classes should be mandatory for boaters.

*Ex-Californians find driving is sublime in southern Oregon here.

*HBO’s Condolences: Boise ranked as No. 8 on Money mag’s 10 best places to live list here.

*Idaho attracts bikers who want to ride sans helmet here.

Orbusmax Special: Newborn discarded in plastic bag near retaining pond here.

APhoto of the Day — 7/17/06

US President George W.Bush, right, drives an electric cart through pouring ran, as he arrives for the final working session at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jan Bauer)

Jane Q. Citizen: Has Mini-Sturgis Taken Place

Jane Q. Citizen: So did the Mini-Sturgis already take place at Stateline or do I still have time to get in shape for the paper plate and duct tape bikini contest?

DFO: Mini-Sturgis at Cruisers Biker Bar is scheduled for June 29-30; so, you still have almost two weeks to get in shape. If any of you HBOers enter either the Butt Crack or Under Arm Symphony contests … don’t tell me about it.

Whirled News In Photos — 7/17/06

… Touching Down @ Cape Canaveral

Ground crew and others watch as the Space Shuttle Discovery approaches the runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to complete mission STS-121 earlier today. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

… Turning 88 in South Africa

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is helped to his car in this June 13 file photo. Mandela will celebrate his 88th birthday Tuesday privately with members of his family. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

… Smuggling eggs in Australia

In this undated photo released by the Australian Customs Service, an official shows the six eggs from endangered species that was discovered in a man’s underwear as he was preparing to fly to Bangkok. Wayne Frederick Floyd pleaded guilty in February to exporting regulated native specimens without a permit or exemption was fined 25,000 Australian dollars (US$20,000) today. (AP Photo)

Paulos: Brady, LaRocco Don’t Have A Chance

Here’s a great idea for saving some big money for the state of Idaho. We would automatically install Butch Otter as the next governor and Jim Risch as lieutenant governor. Those two races are going to be the most lopsided in the history of the state. Otter’s democratic opponent, former owner of the Idaho Falls Register, is virtually unknown outside his newspaper’s circulation area, and Risch, with superior credentials for the office he seeks, will easily outdistance Larry LaRocco, a former Democrat congressman from the Gem State.

For the rest of Bob Paulos’ column in today’s Coeur d’Alene Press, click here.

DFO: Bob Paulos’ Sunday column was so bad — even by Old Bob’s former-publisher-turned-colyumnist standards — that I’m rerunning it again today for your comments.

Huckleberries: Eatcher Heart Out, Sun Valley —7/17/06

Rupert Murdoch in Sun Valley last week/AP Photo

Don’t count me among the locals who fear that Kootenai County and North Idaho are in danger of becoming another Sun Valley. Case in point – Cruisers Biker Bar’s 2nd Annual Mini-Sturgis Event July 29-30. While Sun Valley attracted billionaires and multimillionaires like Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch to Herb Allen’s annual media confab last week, the Stateline bar was planning a second blowout that would make Jeff Foxworthy, Larry The Cable Guy and other regulars on “Blue Collar TV” proud. Take the lineup of contests, for example – puh-LEEZ. Among those that can be mentioned in a family newspaper (sorta) – Awesome Tossem Toilet Seat Horseshoes, Bobbin’ For Pigs Feet, Frozen T-Shirt Contest, Armpit Serenade, Best Butt Crack, and Bikini Contest. And if you attend Mini-Sturgis sans bathing suit? No problemo. The promo sent to Huckleberries Online sez: “We will have paper plates and duct tape if you forget your bikini.” Can you imagine Michael Eisner, of Walt Disney Co.; CEO Dick Parsons, of Time-Warner; actor Tom Hanks; and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pausing during a break at the Sun Valley mediafest to join the Hubcap/Biker Tire Hurl? Kootenai County’s getting better all the time. But we’ll always have Stateline and the Mini-Sturgis event to remind us of our roots.

• If you read Huckleberries Online last week, you’d be the first on your block to know that Susan Cuff, the Panhandle Health District spokeswoman and an ex-Coeur d’Alene Press reporter, will move to Missoula at the end of the month to begin a new job as associate director of the University of Montana Alumni Association. And … that her hubby, Undersheriff Gary Cuff, will follow when he retires in about a year.

• A newsroom wag has developed a sure-fire method for guessing the age of any trophy wife who hangs out at the Beacon at 4th & Sherman on summer evenings or adorns an oversized Big Boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene in an undersized bikini – divide her Sugar Daddy’s age in half and add seven years.

Nicholas Casey, a Coeur d’Alene blog newby who writes Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts, posted “A Real Life Conversation” that he overheard recently near an elevator: Older Lady: “So, was it a big gossip thing?” Younger Lady: “No. Linda said that James said that …”

• Near the end of the marathon hearing on the Chateau de Loire subdivision Thursday, a man in the audience said to the Kootenai County commissioners (and I paraphrase): “I used to think I wanted to be in politics.” Without missing a beat, Commish Gus Johnson responded: “So did I.”

• BTW, now that he’s a lame duck, Commish Trust Gus is wearing shorts to work again, as he did to the Chateau de Loire hearing.

CDADave, one of the regulars at Huckleberries Online, figures he needs an altimeter to sunbathe at the 12th Street entrance to Sanders Beach after reading the warning sign that the public is allowed access only “below 2,130 feet.” An altimeter is one of those gadgets for calculating height above sea level, among other measurements. For beachcombers without altimeters, CDADave has a swell idea: “Maybe the Post Falls Dam oughta let water out faster. Then, there’d be more of Sanders Beach for the public to enjoy!” Bingo.

Wild Card/Saturday — 7/15/06

There’s plenty below to get you started this weekend, if you have time when you’re not soaking up sun or working around the yard today. Of course, the Wild Card is available for those of you who want to start your own threads …

Question: Do You Enjoy Un-PC Movies?

Issue: The 10 least politically correct movies ever: From ‘Blazing Saddles’ to ‘Team America,’ these films take no prisoners/Michael Ventre, MSNBC

Top Five: “Blazing Saddles,” “Airport!” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Caddy Shack,” and “Love And Death.”

DFO: Funny, I almost checked out “Blazing Saddles” Thursday night at Hastings. I enjoy Political Incorrectness. Many people would agree. Yet, we submit passively to the PC Police in most cases as they build their brave new world incrementally.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being maxed out, how politically correct are you?

Sara: Duct-Tape Protests Are Passe

Sara Anderson: So, this is off-topic, but isn’t the duct-tape-over-the-mouth-protest-statement getting a little passe? Can’t they go with a time-tested classic, like the flaming effigy? Or maybe come up with something new?

DFO: I was thinking the same thing. Boring. On the other hand, it’s rare for journalists to take to the streets to fight newsroom injustice. I regularly see photos from all over the world protesting any number of things. They wear tape over their mouths. Masks. Few are interesting. The PETA protesters catch people’s attention because they occasionally protest in the semi-nude. We could be in trouble of that kind of protest catches on. Most journalists I know wouldn’t look good nude. Mebbe we should be thankful that the Santa Barbara crew opted for duct tape?

JimmMAC: CDA Resort’s Worth $40M

JimmyMAC: Just found Duane’s tax assessment on the Resort online. Right around $40 MIL.

DFO: Funny thing about The Duane’s property. If memory serves me correctly, he was bragging through his paper when the resort first opened that it cost him $60M (or something close to that). When the office of the late assessor Tom Moore tried to charge him somewhere near that, he bellyached something awful and said it was worth around $32M. Ditto for the resort golf course. He again bragged through his newspaper about how much money he socked into the thing, to remove the old Rutledge mill and plant the bent grass, etc. When Moore tried to assess the property at $12M or so, Hagadone hit the roof. He thought it should be valued at a fourth of that and appealed. At first, the cowering commissioners at the time wanted to side with Hagadone buying his argument, as then commish Bob Haakenson said infamously that the course’s location on the lake shouldn’t affect its value. I still haven’t quit laughing about that. Bottom line? Everything Duane owns is value and brag-worthy — until the assessor comes calling.

Parting Shot — 7/14/06

The newsroom staff of the Santa Barbara News-Press stand with duct tape over their mouths outside the newspaper’s Santa Barbara, Calif., office Friday in protest over a wave of editorial resignations at the paper. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant)

DFO: Dunno anything about the situation in the Santa Barbara newsroom. But it’s apparent that everything’s not lovely in viewtiful Santa Barbara, no matter what late-night TV shows claim. Who knows what’s wrong here. Half the newsrooms I’ve worked in during my 36-year career considered advertising more important than news reporting. That same half paid poorly, too. ‘Twill be interesting to find out what this is all about.

Question: Are you confident that the newspaper you receive at home considers news gathering more important than advertising and circulation?

Brodwater Skewp: Bonner County Rolls Back Values

In what may very well be an unprecedented event in Idaho tax history, Bonner County Commissioners on Friday ordered their assessor to roll back all property valuations to what they were last year. Assessor Judie Conlan said commissioners gave her office a deadline of July 24 – a week from Monday – to undo this year’s assessments. “It’s really putting our office in a tailspin,” Conlan said. “The commissioners have given me a monumental tax. I don’t know if we can accomplish it in the time frame they’ve given us.” Commissioner Karl Dye said Friday’s decision was due to doubts commissioners had in the assessment process. Conlan discounted Dye’s criticism. “We believe our values are good values,” she said. The total assessed value of property in the county increased 69 percent from 2005 to 2006 – compared to a 40 percent increase in Kootenai County. A record 2,700 Bonner County property owners appealed their property valuations this year.

Ted Spangler, a deputy attorney general assigned to the Idaho Tax Commission, said the commissioners’ decision may have been an attempt to address the unusually high number of appeals from angry property owners. “Apparently they have settled on this as a way of attempting to resolve those appeals in one action,” he said. Spangler said state law and the Idaho Constitution require assessments be based on fair market value. If the county’s assessments are found to stray too far from market value, Spangler said the tax commission could order the county to reassess the property values. “It does not happen often that counties are so far out of compliance that the tax commission has to take that sort of action,” he said, “but it has happened before” — Taryn Brodwater/SR

Question: Did the Bonner County commissioners act courageously or foolishly?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/14/06

You can see who’s stuck at the top of the Silverwood ferris wheel here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour saves some old Love letters written to her husband decades ago when they were becoming an item here.

*UBob returns to theme blogging today with a discussion about phobics and a 99% sure-fire cure for snake phobics that involves leaving the scaredy-cat in a room for a snakes here.

*Stebbijo got in touch with her Suzy Homemaker side yesterday and produced a Mona Lisa of culinary delight, HoneyWhite Bread, here.

*Sara Anderson/F-Words tries to come to grips with a dysfunctional kitchen here.

*”The Goo,” couldn’t have picked a worst time to fuss about sleeping, according to Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 — after mother had mixed vodka and redbull while celebrating her birthday/anniversary that night here.

Meanwhile, Mari snaps a shot of Stebbijo while out for a walk with Bacchus to avoid a neighborhood meeting here, Toad/Synaptic Disunion realizes that nothing compares to first-hand experience after experiencing a passing storm here, and Cis wonders where her latest ache came from here.

Top Cutlines — 7/14/06

Britain’s Prince Charles greets former Spice Girl Emma Bunton as he hosts a garden party at Buckingham Palace London to celebrate the Prince’s Trust 30th anniversary today. Standing at right is former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jonathan Buckmaster/Daily Express, Pool)

Top Cutlines

1. Prince Charles is seen kissing his first attractive woman since the divorce of his first wife — John Austin.

2. As Prince Charles returned to his duties, he was heard to sigh, “A little spice is oh so nice” — A Token D.

3. Across the pond: A Bill-n-Monica moment — VFW.


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

Rhinehart: Ban Cell Phone Use In Public Places

Kit Rhinehart: I had to go to the doctor for a blood draw and since I am unable to drive anymore my son took me. Then he took me to breakfast at 5th Ave in Sandpoint. In the next booth was a person with a cell phone. It rang twice and was answered. Each time the person talked louder than she was talking to her companion. They’ve stopped all smoking so why can’t they stop cell phone use in public places so other patrons won’t be bothered. I said something (softly) to the waitress and she told me about a man who had been in earlier and used his cell phone. He left and came back later searching for it. When he couldn’t find it he got belligerent so someone who had a cell phone called his and it was tucked in the pocket in the front of his shirt. The waitress said then he was so embarrassed. He should have been. Now you may do with this whatever you wish, and thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

DFO: I was congratulating myself yesterday that I’m our family is one of the few without cell phones. Sure, they’re handy in an emergency. But I enjoy being unplugged when driving in my car or visiting the dump or enjoying myself on the lake. I get interrupted enough by the phone at home and at the office. I don’t need to be there at all times when people want to get ahold of me. And I, like Kit, resent it when motorists talk on cell phones while driving (endangering those around them) or talk over-loud in public places. I once encountered a guy talking on a cell phone while he was sitting on the pot in the restroom of a public building. Sheesh.

SR Edit: Don’t Cede NIC Control For Scant Tax Relief

Some Kootenai County residents would willingly trade local control of North Idaho College for property tax relief. That’s why the siren song from Boise and southeast Idaho for a state-funded community college system resonates in the region. After all, what’s wrong with a state system with control centered in Boise, if it means $100 or so less on your property tax bill? Why should homeowners in the North Idaho College and College of Southern Idaho districts help fund their colleges when four-year programs, like Boise State, offer two-year degrees underwritten by the state? North Idaho College taxpayers should be wary of the Trojan horse offered by Southern Idaho politicians.

For the rest of my SR edit today re: a statewide community college proposal, click “Some Kootenai County residents would willingly trade local control of North Idaho College for property tax relief here.


Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 7/14/06

Jack Valenti, left, former chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., Tom Brokaw, center, special correspondent for NBC News, and producer Sydney Pollack arrive earlier today at the annual Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SR ME Graham re: Zehm coverage: “This is what we are suppose to be doing” here. Video here.

1. A few words scribbled during spare time in a dull class have won a College of Southern Idaho employee a dubious honor of having written the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels here.

2. Washington and 33 other states plan to file a price-fixing lawsuit seeking “hundreds of millions of dollars” from Infineon Technologies AG, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and five other computer memory-chip makers here.

3. Some of the priciest real estate in central Idaho just got cheaper. Sun Valley Resort’s assessed value on Monday was lowered from $222 million to $139 million by Blaine County commissioners following an appeal by resort officials here.

4. Authorities in Phoenix, Arizona are confirming that they believe a former Post Falls woman killed last fall in Tempe may have been murdered by one of two serial killers terrorizing the Phoenix area here.

5. Capt. Kory Turnbow of the Idaho National Guard was nearly blown to bits in his first week in Iraq. The 29-year-old law student and Pullman resident is not alone in having had a close encounter with an improvised explosive device (IED). Every local soldier who spent 2005 in Iraq with the Idaho National Guard has a bomb story here.

6. IMHO-NW: Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (On the Open Mike! tour), Hobe Jenkins/River Journal (An $8000 fish), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Organ donors and other heroes), Idaho Statesman (IACI schism partly about money), and Carrie Plucker/WSU Daily Evergreen (“Everyman” explores life, death).

Online Poll: A plurality of 47.8% of 2017 respondents to an Olympian poll say that the car tab initiative is the most important of the four initiatives likely to make the Washington ballot.

*A Demo will be appointed Monday to replace John Watts on the Idaho F&G commission here.

*Former Wal*Mart exec offers local merchants survival tips on how to survive new superstore here.

*A Moscow gardener has a plan for people who are tired of “zuking” their friends here.

Orbusmax Special: New Idaho drug czar admits he violated police policy on drinking here.

APhoto of the Day — 7/14/06

Britain’s Prince Charles greets former Spice Girl Emma Bunton as he hosts a garden party at Buckingham Palace London to celebrate the Prince’s Trust 30th anniversary today. Standing at right is former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jonathan Buckmaster/Daily Express, Pool)

Whirled News In Photos …

… Bulls Win Again

In this zoomed picture runners are chased by a fighting bull during a bullrun through the streets of Pamplona, northern Spain earlier today. Several people were treated by medical teams following falls in the last bull run of the San Fermin festival but there were no reports of gorings. (Alvaro Barrientos/AP Photo)

… Valerie Plame Strikes Back

Former CIA officer Valerie Plame, left, and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson arrive for a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington this morning. Plame decided sue Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove because they engaged in a “whispering campaign” to destroy her career. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

… Sunflower fields forever

The pack passes a field of sunflowers during the 12th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Luchon and Carcassonne, southwestern France Friday. Yaroslav Popovych of the Ukraine won the stage, Floyd Landis of the USA retains the overall leader’s yellow jersey. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Any Mouse: Gonzaga Graduating Future Soldiers

Any Mouse: The most recent GU commencements ceremonies included a decent percentage of folks who wore Class A uniforms, butter bars and berets instead of caps and gowns. Impressive young soldiers. They’d take old haight-ashbury types apart like a cat with a dead pigeon if they were so inclined. Instead they are taking up arms as warriors. God bless them, every one.

DFO: My niece, Hannah, graduated from the ROTC program at Portland State a year ago and is now one of the brave young soldiers trying to hold turbulent Afghanistan together until democracy takes hold. I find myself holding my breath when I read about the increasing violence in Afghanistan now. I agree with Any Mouse: God bless them, every one.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Who’s Responsible For Fighting?

Issue: Hezbollah rockets rain on Jewish state: Israeli warplanes target Lebanese sites, ground invasion considered/WND; and: Israel targets Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut suburb: Attacks follow rockets falling on northern city of Haifa/Haaretz

Question: Who is most responsible for the current outbreak of fighting in the Mideast?

1. Israel, for having driven the Palestinians off their land to established an illegal state
2. The U.S., because of its military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
3. Israel, for its use of disproportionate violence
4. Syria
5. Iran, for using terror groups as proxies
6. The U.N.
7. Hezbollah, Hamas and the other terrorist groups
8. I don’t care – the U.S. should end its entanglements in the region before it gets pulled into a larger war
9. Israel, for appeasing its critics and unilaterally evacuating from Gaza and South Lebanon
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 7 & 9

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily report, click here.

Parting Shot — A Real Political Wag — 7/13/06

Ruth Sisk kisses her golden retriever, Brinkley, Wednesday in Anchorage, Alaska. Sisk, an Oceanview dog-lover, started a write-in campaign for governor for the pooch to raise money for the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other dog-friendly nonprofits. She’s already sold $4,000 worth of T-shirts made popular by the campaign. (Associated Press)

Question: Do you know of a dog sharper than a current officeholder?

MIK: Airport Board Dissed Pappy Boyington, Too

MIK: Just wondering…Where are all those brave Idahoans who screamed like a lynch mob and castigated a young woman student from the UW when she questioned whether a place of learning was the proper venue for honoring a war hero (Pappy Boyington). Talk show hosts tore her apart and ate her up. Newspapers pounced on her. She received threats of violence. She was devastated. Where is everyone now when the cause is legitimate? What better way to honor Pappy than by naming an airport for him. Bring it on! Unleash the talk show hosts on the airport board and the mayor. Get some newspaper coverage. Flex your muscles in the media. Demand some answers from the airport board since there appears to be no expense involved.

DFO: MIK is dead on. A sophomore student senator got ripped up one side and down the other by bloggers and talk-show hosts for opposing a proposal to honor Boyington on the campus of his alma mater, University of Washington. And here’s the airport board of Boyington’s old home town dissing Marine veterans and refusing to even consider a proposal to change the name of the airport. If anything, these guys are worse than the soph senator because they should know better. F’shame.

Man In Standoff Hanged Himself

A man found dead Wednesday morning following a nine-hour standoff with Coeur d’Alene Police hanged himself, according to preliminary autopsy results released today. Kootenai County Coroner Robert West said 24-year-old Nicolas C. Castanon barricaded himself in the bathroom and used a dog leash to hang himself from the top rail of the shower enclosure. West said there was no evidence of carbon monoxide in Castanon’s blood and no soot in his lungs – an indication that he died sometime before a fire broke out at the Satre Avenue duplex. What time Castanon died has yet to be determined.

For the rest of the story by Taryn Brodwater/SR, click here.

Top Cutlines — 7/13/06

David Profeta, in red, gives direction to Miss Ecuador, Karry Lopez, while preparing for a 2006 Miss Universe pageant photograph in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., this morning. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson)

Top Cutlines

In A League of His Own: John Austin explains to Karry, “Atoll you, universe bikini I’ve ever seen” — Family Phil.

1. “Listen Karry, if Sara from that F-Words blog shows up and tries to talk you out of this because ‘it objectifies the female form in a vomit soaked confetti world of beer gutted men’ you just wave and we’ll get security” — Bob.

2. “Karry, you are in America now. Where everyone speaks English. If you get stuck just Press 2 for Spanish” — VFW.

3. Coincidentally, this is the last photo ever taken of Miss Afghanistan, Miss Iran, Miss Yemen, Miss Saudi Arabia, Miss Lebanon, Miss Syria, Miss Jordan — Whippersnapper.

HM: Side Note

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

Review: Panda Express Orange Chicken 10, Service 5

Okay, I’ll admit that I haven’t actually stepped foot inside the new Coeur d’Alene Panda Express. However, I have visited the Spokane Valley Panda Express a few times, and I will assume they are pretty much the same inside. Anyway, this is not about the ambience of the place or even the service, for I couldn’t care less. This is about an addiction, pure and simple. This addiction has had me crawling through the Panda Express drive-thru on at least a bi-weekly basis lately and it’s getting worse. The addiction is Orange Chicken.

For the rest of the review by Patrick/OrangeTV, click here.

Demo Congressional Campaign Ad …

… uses soldiers’ coffins in plane cargo bay as well as hurricanes, Abramoff, and gas prices to solicit support for candidates here.

Question: Soldiers’ coffins? Is this going too far for political purposes.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/13/06

Sam Miller, 5, center, gives it his all as he and other kids growl loudly during a song at a community Bible camp in Montesano, Wash., Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Daily World, Kevin Hong)

Eye On Olympia: Dems gearing up for campaign with strange items on field office wish lists here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI anticipates Dubya’s meeting with Russia’s Putin in St. Petersburg here.

2. Breaking! Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker authorized today the release of the convenience store video that captured much of the confrontation between police officers and Otto Zehm, a mentally ill man who later died from factors related to his struggle with officers here.

3. A Montana chiropractor who called paying taxes “stupid” and bragged about not paying his federal income taxes has been sentenced to prison here.

4. Eighteen billionaires with a net worth of $140B and a coupla hundred multimillionaires have jetted into Sun Valley for a media and technology summit as guests of investment banker Herb Allen here.

5. The Montana Shooting Sports Association has come up with a sure-fire way to decide if candidates for the state’s U.S. Senate, Representative positions were straight shooters. They’ve been invited to take part in a shooting contest here.

6. IMHO-NW: Missoulian (Congress shouldn’t coddle bad colleague), Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Lies, damn lies, redneck stats), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (9/11 theories muddled by gibberish), G. George Ostrom/Hungry Horse News (A blast or an ambulance?), and Jerry Hitchcock/Coeur d’Alene Press (Love, hate behind the plate).

Online Poll: 72.8% of 1114 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say Gulf waters should be open to more oil and gas exploration.

*Idaho AG investigating Kuna mayor here.

*Coeur d’Alene Airport Board disses Marines who want name change to honor Pappy Boyington here.

*Missoula County jailer suspended for releasing confidential report about use of force against female prisoner here.

Orbusmax Special: Dog kills Oregon town’s famous rooster, Big Red, here.

2nd Mini-Sturgis Coming To Stateline

Here are a list of the contests that’ll take place June 29-30 at Cruisers Biker Bar’s 2nd Annual Mini-Sturgis at Stateline:

Awesome Tossem Toilet Seat Horseshoes
Bobbin For Pigs Feet
Hubcap / Biker Tire Hurl
Keg Toss
Keg Role
Keg Carry
Frozen T-Shirt Contest
Armpit Serenade
Best Butt Crack
Tricky Dick & Titty Tricycle Race
Bikini Contest (we will have paper plates and duct tape if you forget your bikini)

APhoto of the Day — 7/13/06

David Profeta, in red, gives direction to Miss Ecuador, Karry Lopez, while preparing for a 2006 Miss Universe pageant photograph in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., this morning. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson)

Question: Should Airport Carry Boyington’s Name?

Issue: Airport renaming still in flux: Troops who hope to commemorate Boyington left uncertain after meeting/Sam Taylor, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Sam told me that the airport board hardly gave the Marines the time of day when they proposed renaming the airport in honor of Boyington, the WWII war hero from Coeur d’Alene. Board members should have at least discussed the issue and rejected it, if that was there bent. To say little and do nothing dissed the Marines in attendance. Bad form.

Question: Do you support renaming the Coeur d’Alene Airport in honor of Pappy Boyington?

Bill McCrory: Questions About Standoff Suspect

Issue: CdA standoff ends in fire, death: Armed man was person of interest in CdA stabbing/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Bill McCrory: I’m more interested in learning how he came to be in Coeur d’Alene. Why was he here? When did he arrive? Who owned the duplex he was living in? Did he live alone? If so, how did he pay the rent and to whom? Who were the man and woman escorted out by the police? Were they living with him in the same unit or were they in the other half of the duplex? What was their connection with him? Were they aware he was wanted by California for parole violation? Where did he get the AK? Whom did he associate with while he was here? Was he employed here? If so, by whom? Were California authorities aware of his connection, if there was one, to Coeur d’Alene before this incident? If so, had they passed information along to CdAPD, KCSD, ISP and IDOC?

DFO: Mebbe we sleep better at night not knowing who’s living around us and how they got here.

Jane Q: Age Brings Comfort In One’s Own Skin

Jane Q. Citizen: Considering that according to the math formula DFO posted here about the age requirements of a trophy wife (half the Sugar Daddy’s age, plus 7 years), I’d have to marry a man who was nearing 90 to be considered such. So I’m closing in on that old fogey age bracket along with millions of my fellow baby boomers. To all of you young whippersnappers let me tell you a secret. We still think we’re 30 but with the smarts that come from having lived nearly twice that long. It’s liberating to become comfortable in your own skin, even when that skin has a few more wrinkles on it. I wouldn’t want to be in my twenties again for nothing.

DFO: I’m getting comfortable in my own skin, too. I relish the knowledge I have at 56. But I wished I had the left knee that I had at 26, before the two blown ACLs from playing sports.

Question: Are you comfortable in your own skin?

A Typical Back Yard Scene — In Alaska

In this photo provided by John Gomes, a young moose leaps through a sprinkler in the back yard of Gomes’ residence in Anchorage, Alaska, Sunday. The moose spent about 10 minutes playing in the water, Gomes said. (AP Photo/John Gomes via Anchorage Daily News)

Idawa: Why I Loathe Cantankerous Old Fogies

Idawa: On a lighter note, the photo makes me remember how much I loathe cantankerous old fogies. It’s just going to get worse now that all you baby boomers are starting to retire … Is it just because I’m rarely around the elderly and only see images like this, old men complain about taxes, society, the fact they took “Murder She Wrote” off the air, how things were so much better when Reagan was in charge, etc..that I feel this way. Or is it just my generation, have we been programmed to hate the elderly or is it instinctual because we know that will have the weight of the retired baby boomer on our backs and that they’ll suck social security dry and I won’t be able to retire until I’m 99 …?

Dang: Don’t learn everything about the elderly from The Simpson’s, idawa. These are people who are going to lose their homes because of the non-stop spending spree local government has taken. Yeah, they’re pissed. After I release what I’m discovering about the Lake City Development Corp, they’re going to be even more angry. Stay tuned.

Question: Does Idawa have a legitimate beef? Do the Boomers and older Seasoned Citizens complain too much about everything?

HBO’s Best of the Local Bloggers

Photographer Gail Boughton wrote for Sandpoint Online: “Here’s another picture of an owl at my daughter’s house in Priest River, but this one is one of the babies.” Taken June 13.

*Toad/Synaptic Disunion takes us through the evolution of his blog over the last four years, with photos and all, here.

*UBob is ready to grab his sons, his camping gear, and head for Oregon’s beaches and California’s northern coast here.

*After reading about the antics of Kootenai County commissioners at a Board of Equalization hearing, Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings understands why so many are turned off by politics here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind is wondering if anyone else in her little town of Kootenai cares what’s happening around him/her here and here.

*Granati/Orange Frog tells of a weekend outing on Priest River: “The water on the Priest River was nice. The first submersion was a bit nippy, but a split second after, it was great. It was a bit chop too, so it was good for tubing. soon, the water was glass and out came the boards here.”

Meanwhile, CDADave has the late Syd Barrett/Pink Floyd on his mind here, Nicholas overhears a “Real Life Conversation” here, and Marianne shares a photo of her new home and some family ones, too, here.

Alice Rankin: Why Wasn’t SR @ Anti-Tax Rally

Gene Ealy shouts at a guest speaker during a discussion about property taxes Tuesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

Alice Rankin: There were 350 present for the Republican anti-Tax Rally and they didn’t even get a mention in the SR. Yet, the CDA Press, had both stories today on the front page, even though I disagree with giving the Dems top billing. But Tom Greene managed to cover both events, for the same issue. Why didn’t the SR assign a reporter to the Repubs rally? Bias?

DFO/sheepishly: I don’t know. A rally of 350 was certainly worthy of coverage. I’ll see if I can get an answer from the higher-ups.

CDADave: If Art Truly Resembled Life …

… the tunes we buy might have different titles.

Question: What song title, real or parodied, would best reflect your life?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/12/06

Drew Sutherland is reflected in his trombone while he plays with the Pocatello Brass at a recent Farmers’ Market in Pocatello, Idaho. (AP Photo/The Idaho State Journal, Doug Lindley)

Stapilus: Risch has boxed himself into a corner on property taxes here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI gives his view re: “a nation at war” here.

2. A body believed to be that of the suspect in a June 15 stabbing was found inside a burned-out home early this morning following an eight-hour standoff in northeast Coeur d’Alene here.

3. Raw sewage may have spewed into the Spokane River for days or weeks near the Downriver Golf Course after a blocked pipe caused a gushing overflow that went unnoticed by city crews here.

4. A group of lawmakers, civil liberty organizations and church groups has asked Montana’s highest court to stop executions in Montana until a court can determine if death by lethal injection tortures dying convicts here.

5. The Madison, Idaho, County Commission has delayed a decision on whether to opt out of a plan to distribute Plan B contraception, also called the morning-after pill, after a public hearing Monday here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Journalists, cops similar), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Fake Marine’s sentence correct), Joel Connelly/Seattle PI (Victoria, B.C., flushing away image), David Postman/Seattle PI (Cantwell, McGavick fund raising), and Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Risch earns kudos for tax work).

Online Poll: 73.9% of 1041 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say they use a Windows XP operating system on their computer.

*Man pleads innocent in burning death of Spokane amputee here.

*Identity of dead child found by Pend Oreille River confirmed as missing boy here.

*Additional charges have been filed against two former Montana State University athletes arrested June 29 in the death of a Bozeman man here.

Orbusmax Special: Thugs rob Pierce County park visitors, threaten to behead them here.

CDA Press: We (Heart) Chateau de Loire, Others

“Contrary to some critics’ conclusions, Chateau de Loire is not literally translated, “Nightmare on the Lake.” In fact, we think the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners should look favorably on the proposed French-themed development on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene if the project meets all regulations and is properly bonded.”

For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press edit, click here.

Question: Do you agree that the Chateau de Loire and other mega-developments in rural Kootenai County are good for us?

Novak Reveals Source In Plame Controversy

Issue: My Role in the Valerie Plame Leak Story/Robert Novak, Human Events

Columnist Robert Novak: Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has informed my attorneys that, after two and one-half years, his investigation of the CIA leak case concerning matters directly relating to me has been concluded. That frees me to reveal my role in the federal inquiry that, at the request of Fitzgerald, I have kept secret.

DFO: I’m publishing this column because the Plame leak has been the source of discussion here.

Question: Are you satisfied with the explanation?

Whirled News In Photos …

… A Mayor Collapses @ Ken Lay Funeral

Former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier is loaded into an ambulance outside the First United Methodist Church where he was attending a second memorial service for Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay Wednesday in Houston. Lay, 64, died July 5 while vacationing in Aspen, Colo. with his wife, Linda. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

… Barbaro’s Far From Out Of The Woods

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro cools down after a morning workout in Fair Hill, Md., in this May 18 photo. Barbaro’s condition is “potentially serious,” and the Kentucky Derby winner’s veterinarian said today that the colt is “facing tough odds and his condition is guarded.” (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

… An MTV Star Has Seen Better Days

This photo, supplied by the Cromwell, Conn., Police Dept., shows Paula Ann Meronek, a cast member on MTV’s ‘The Real World,’ following her arrest Sunday after Cromwell, Conn., police said she bit her boyfriend during a domestic dispute. Meronek, who was arraigned Monday, was charged with third-degree assault, which carries a potential penalty of a year in prison. She is due back in court Aug. 11. (AP Photo/Cromwell Police Dept.)

“Pirates”: A Review From Jolly Old England

We went to see this film on Sunday, we went to the new fangled cinema with the 6 screen jobbie…… do ya know over here it cost $14 each to get in at the pictures, then if ya want popcorn its $8 for a small box, $8 for a cartoon of fizzy drink, $8 for a pink wobbly hotdog and $10 for a 4-5 inch little tub of icecream with nuts and sauce….. suffice to say I sneaked in 5 tins of fizzy drink, 5 packets of crisps and 5 packets of sweets……. I aint no mug ya know :) xx But the film was Brill, even if it did make me jump out of me skin loads of times … this picture house had ‘air conditioning’ and I was well freezin….. gonna go to the ‘fleapit’ picture house in future lol xx


DFO: I have no idea whether Marmitetoasty, from the British Isles, liked the movie or not because I don’t know what “Brill” means in Jolly Old England. But her description of the ticket and concession prices makes me put the high Riverstone theater prices in perspective.

007: D’s Should Quit Whining, Hating America

My unsolicited advice to Dems is as follows:

1. Quit being girly men.
2. Quit raising our taxes.
3. Quit whining.
4. Quit screwing the working man out of jobs that the greenies don’t like.
5. Quit taking our guns.
6. Quit hating America.
7. Quit hating God and Jesus.
8. Quit helping terrorists.
9. Quit obessing over W.
10. Stand for something.

James Bond

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/11/06

You can start your own thread with this daily Wild Card …

P.S. — Will D’s Come Unwrapped Over War? — 7/11/06

Issue: Democratic Primaries Highlight Divisions On Iraq: Lieberman, Cantwell In Trouble w/Party’s Left Wing/

More Info: Former President Clinton, at a political fundraiser in Indianapolis on Wednesday, bemoaned his party’s breaks. Clinton said the Iraq war was a mistake that diverted attention from al-Qaida and Afghanistan, but he added, “It bothers me to see our Democrats too divided on what we do now.”

Question: Every hard-core Demo knows what Will Rogers once said about his party: “I don’t belong to an organized party; I’m a Democrat.” However, that lack of organization and the pull of the anti-war ideologues could spell trouble for a party trying to wrest power from the Repubs. What must the D’s do to get their act together to make a serious run at regaining the House of Reps. this fall?

Top Cutlines — 7/11/06

The team mascots of the Philadelphia Philies, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Florida Marlins and San Francisco Giants gather on top of a dugout before the baseball All Star Game home run derby in Pittsburgh Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Top Cutlines

1. Members of the Idaho legislature prepare for the upcoming special session — Mike Kennedy.

2. San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds, far right, begins to show the effects of going off steroids — John Austin.

3. In a scene from last May, Judge John Mitchell, in his Florida cap, greets victorious County Commission candidates, while Gus Johnson walks dejectedly away — Family Phil.

HM: A Token D

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

Pirates: Family Phil, Son Give 2 Thumbs Up

“I took my son to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest movie today. We loved it. Absolutely loved every minute of it. I had read a few reviews that said the movie was disappointing and confusing. Well, I’m not sure what film they were watching, because even my 8-year-old son was able to follow along with the many characters and plot points. It probably helped that we watched the first Pirates last night on DVD, so names and faces were still fresh in our minds. The action was non-stop, the creatures were original and terrifying (awesome nightmare material for the preschool crowd), and the acting was perfect. Exactly what you want in a summer popcorn movie. No wonder the movie has broken all records for box-office performance in its first weekend of release.”

You can read the rest of Phil’s review, plus his post of a Top Ten List of Pirate Songs, here.

Question: Are We Better Off With Progress?

Issue: Rathdrum boom a bust for some: Some yearn for ‘cute little town’/Sam Taylor, Spokesman-Review

DFO (cueing up Joni Mitchell music): Sometimes, I wonder if we’re well along the way to killing the golden goose. I enjoy the progress we’re making in cleaning up downtown Coeur d’Alene, for example. But I’m concerned that an unsavory element has moved in to enjoy the nicer setting after hours. One by one the communities in the county’s hinterlands are moving from quaint, and mebbe a little rundown (but affordable), to targets for high-end development. Ten years from now, we’ll know if we destroyed the atmosphere we tried to save.

Question: Is Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County better off today than it was 15 years ago?

Peanut Gallery: What’s A Poor Rich Guy To Do?

Dennis: I read your rant last weekend about guys with big boats with blonde wives with big you know whats and I was struck by how petty you must be. You implied that you must have a larger male organ than these guys because they have big boats. Good for you Dave. That must be an exciting bunch of toothless drunken locals you hang out with that have nothing better to do than watch people park boats. If you were a better writer perhaps you wouldn’t have to work for the Spokesman Review. You could make some real money and you wouldn’t have to resent people that are affluent. What are rich people supposed to do Dave? Sit around thinking that they’re better than other people? It seems to me that you and your local buddies have proved that it doesn’t take money to do that.

DFO: Easy, Little Fella; I don’t have problems with rich guys compensating for inadequacies by owning big boats. Or even piloting them on local waterways. But I do have trouble with rich fools with loud boats and ha-huge wakes that ruin the outdoor enjoyment of others. They remind me of a Let-‘Em-Eat-Cake version of the punks in suped up cars who crank their stereos so high that you can hear the bass thumping four blocks away. If you’re going to show off your wealth — and by the way Coeur d’Loonians aren’t even impressed with multimillionaires who are building a 30,000sf mansion in Palm Desert and once owned a 205-foot megayacht — be quiet about it and don’t let your trophy wife lounge around in a bikini on deck unless she has the shape for it.

Homeowner: Appeal Process Unfair, Makes No Sense

Commissioner Gus Johnson raced through a description of the appeal process, appearing to read off a script. When (Ed) DePriest offered commissioners his research on the matter, Johnson interrupted him, speaking over DePriest’s explanation of the material to ask him whether he had a professional appraisal done. “I just sensed an adversarial feeling in there,” he said afterward, standing next to his mother outside the commissioners’ offices. “I had people say, ‘You’re wasting your time,’ but I went in trying to tell myself that, no, if I go in with the … market figures … that we’ll get a fair hearing. I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.” The DePriests were dejected and angry after their hearing. They believed the process was unfair and made no sense.

For the rest of Sam Taylor’s story on a Ed DePriest’s Bored of Equalization hearing, click here.

WorldNetDaily Poll: What About Federal Reserve?

Report: Consumer groups blast Fed: Advocates say study on credit-card practices turns blind eye to debt problems/CNN/Money

Question: What’s your view of the Federal Reserve System?

1. Valuable institution for protecting the stability of the economy
2. Important institution that gets knocked around by conspiracy theorists
3. It was a smart move to create a politician-free zone for monetary policy
4. We need it, since it has people smarter than me to decide monetary policy
5. It’s a mixed bag, sometimes they cause problems, sometimes they prevent them
6. It’s dangerous to have an unaccountable group of bankers in charge
7. It’s an insider’s racket
8. It’s an unconstitutional group of robber barons
9. It should be abolished as soon as possible
10. Other

DFO: No. 5

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Whirled News (7/11/06) …

… An Aborted Rescue In Florida

An Ibis, shot with an 2-foot arrow, sits on a power line in Holly Hill, Fla., and looks down on Bird Rescuers waiting below hoping to capture the injured bird Monday. After hours waiting and several attempts the bird eluded capture. (AP Photo/Daytona Beach News-Journal, Jim Tiller)

… Famous Beatles Street Under Fire

A general view of Penny Lane in Liverpool, England, Tuesday . Local Liverpool Councillor Barbara Mace has called for street names in Liverpool whose namesakes are linked to slavery to be renamed. Penny Lane is thought to have been named after 18th Century slave ship owner James Penny. The Lane became famous following The Beatles song describing life along Penny Lane. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

… Pink Floyd Co-Founder Dies

File photo dated March 3 1967 of Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett (2nd right) with other members of the band, from left, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright. Syd Barrett, the troubled genius who co-founded Pink Floyd but spent his last years in reclusive anonymity, has died, a spokeswoman for the band said today. He was 60.

Peanut Gallery: Financial Cleansing on Rube Locals

Uncle Jack: Have you thought that he (Duane Hagadone) could be hoping that all those poor, backwoods hicks will find out that they can’t afford to live here any longer and make way for all the beautiful people that will let him do anything he wants? Sort of a financial cleansing of the local population, if you will. I always wondered how he planned to push us out, but when they talk about the “benefit” of high home prices, I see a hint to us that he is telling us that now is a good time to get out.

DFO: Uncle Jack’s responding to that Sunday idiotorial in the CDA Press that chided that chided that full-scale property tax relief wasn’t needed — just a further tweaking of the homeowners exemption and circuit breaker. Must be nice to be so out of touch that you think everyone has money galore to afford rapidly escalating property taxes. Then, I remember in the 1980s or early 1990s when Duane & Co. bellyached mightily when the county assessor valued the HHospitality resort and later golf course higher than he did, for tax purposes. (And the commissioners, of course, fell in line with Hagadone.)

Huckleberries Print: Something Smells @ Hearing

re: This is the second of my now weekdaily column that appears in the Idaho edition.

The lame ducks in the Kootenai County commissioners’ office quacked everyone up prior to a Board of Equalization hearing Monday. Tongue firmly cheeked, Commish Katie Brodie launched the guffaws as Chairman Gus Johnson walked into the room. Asked she: “Did you fall in that aftershave?” But Johnson had his wits about him, responding: “And your perfume don’t (sic) linger for half an hour after you get out of the elevator?” Unfortunately, things went downhill after the bell rang for the equalization hearing. Johnson was rude to the appellants, and Commish Rick Currie interrupted proceedings to challenge S-R photographer Kathy Plonka’s right to snap shots – at a public hearing. Currie, who should reread the state’s Open Meeting Law pronto, climbed off his high horse when the appellants said they didn’t mind Kathy shooting photos. Kathy told Huckleberries afterward: “I’ve been thrown out of better places than that.”

Huckleberries: “We all sail a cruiser/that we dock down at Duane’s/and we spend shipboard hours/counting capital gains” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“The Way We Live In North Idaho, Part 2”) … Two Seasoned Citizens out for a bike ride at Ninth and Locust sent a mixed message to passers-by Monday morning. One wore a T-shirt with the message: “Grandpas are dads without rules.” Yet, both Easy Riders wore helmets. So much for flaunting the rules … After reading on Huckleberries Online that one of her yard signs was sprouting out of season at 7th & Harrison (and hearing about it from Paul Anderson at Rotary), Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander picked it up. And wrote to HBO: “Don’t know where it came from, I try really hard to get all the signs gathered up right after the election.” … Parks Director Doug Eastwood tells Huckleberries that the city of Coeur d’Alene is negotiating for property, on Canfield Mountain and in the Fernan area, that will double the size of natural wildlife area in the Coeur d’Alene vicinity. Stay tuned.

RIP: June Allyson, 88, “Perfect Wife”

Actors June Allyson, left and Jimmy Stewart, who performed together in “The Stratton Story” and “The Glenn Miller Story” pose together in Cap d’Antibes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival in this May 1985 file photo. Allyson, the sunny, cracked-voiced “perfect wife” of James Stewart, Van Johnson and other movie heroes, died Saturday, July 8, 2006, at her home in Ojai, Calif. She was 88. (AP Photo File)

Question: Bring back memories?

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 7/10/06

Stebbijo offers proof that the North Idaho yucca plant is not just an old wive’s tale here.

*Toad/Synaptic Disunion was surprised when his boys quieted down and began enjoying the 40th anniversary version of “Mary Poppins” here.

*Waterford Park Homes is becoming the topic of conversation in Bayview, along with the proposed expansion of the shooting range, according to Bayview Herb here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings continues to reap benefits from that article re: her blogging that appeared in the AARP magazine awhile back here.

*Mike Kennedy/The Idaho Kennedys provides a link to a column by Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman, spotlighting “the most influential figure in Hispanic Idaho” here.

*Belatedly, Granati/Orange Frog celebrates the first anniversary of his blog here.

Meanwhile, Cis has finished her big house painting project, sorta, here, Marianne worries about the 4-foot fences around her new place here, and CDADave’s trying to figure out if an old-time photo shows Beauty Bay or Bennett Bay here.

Top Cutlines — 7/10/06

Shep, a two-year old Border Collie, herds ducks toward a pen during the 51st Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, N.C., Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Top Cutlines:

1. Governor Risch readies the Idaho House of Representatives for a special session — Arpie.

2. Always thinking of his financial future, Shep makes sure he has his ducks in a row and his bills in order — Side Note.

3. While devising an escape plan, the lead duck whispers to his sidekick, “Waddle you prepared to do, Bob, to get the flock outta here?” — John Austin.

HM: Bob & Family Phil

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

The Way We Live In Idaho (Part 2)

We all sail a cruiser
that we dock down at Duane’s
and we spend shipboard hours
counting capital gains.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Who Sez Ze French Are Afraid To Fight?

This image from ESPN TV of France’s Zinedine Zidane head-butting Italy’s Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final Sunday proves French athletes can be as ugly as any American ones. You can see Zidane’s cowardly attack here. (ESPN/AP Photo)

Question: Does Zidane’s attack on the Italian ruin your image of soccer? Or do you care about soccer at all?

Question: Reparations for Slavery’s Descendants?

Issue: AP: Reparations gain momentum: Wire service claims it’s gone from fringe-group to mainstream movement/Associated Press

DFO: We’ve debated this one somewhat in the HBO comments section, with Unbearable Bob supporting reparations and Dave Tolle and other conservatives opposing them. I come down on the side of Dave here. The tens of thousands of Union soldiers who died to rid this country of the awful scourge of slavery was a major reparation. Anything more will divide us further as a people today.

Question: Do you support reparations for African-Americans whose ancestors were caught in slavery?

Sightem: Grandpas Behaving Responsibly

At 9th & Locust this morning, a Huckleberry Picker out for her morning walk spies two seventysomething grandpas peddlin’ side by side on bicycles. One wore a T-shirt with this message: “Grandpas Are Dads Without Rules.” The outlaw uber-dad, however, was wearing a helmet. So much for living without rules.

APhoto of the Day — 7/10/06

Shep, a two-year old Border Collie, herds ducks toward a pen during the 51st Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, N.C., Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CDA Press: Don’t Shift School Costs to Sales Tax

Many of us, particularly in booming areas of North Idaho and resort communities south of us, feel the pain of escalating property taxes. On the plus side, though, our property’s value is likewise skyrocketing. That’s a dilemma millions of Americans with flat or decreasing property values would love to have. In our view, the solution is additional, specific legislation to help those on fixed incomes ensure they will not lose their homes or suffer undue hardships in this robust economic climate. Idaho legislators took steps in that direction last session, increasing the homeowners’ exemption and providing a circuit breaker for senior citizens that could reduce their tax liability by as much as $1,320.

For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press Sunday editorial, click here.

Peanut Gallery: LaRocco’s Double Speak Tango

IDVandal: In the May 1, 2006 edition of the Capitol Hill newspaper “Roll Call”, (“LaRocco Quits D.C. for a Shot at No. 2”) LoRocco criticized Risch for only representing Ada County and not representing the rest of the state. Now, after LoRocco returns to Idaho and sees that Risch really does reach out to the entire state, he criticizes him for traveling around the state too much. Sounds like typical DC double speak and political opportunism to me.

DFO: I was surprised when LaRocco criticized Gov. Risch for moving ever closer to calling a special session to rein in property taxes — and for using his privilege as chief exec to fly around the state. ‘Tis refreshing to see the short-term governor tackling problems left undone by the previous administration — and not simply being a caretaker guv. LaRocco, whom many Idahoans don’t know or can’t remember, has been placed in an ever-increasing tight spot as he runs for lt. gov. by the Risch’s competence and aggressiveness as guv.

Peanut Gallery: Tubbs Hill’s Being Trashed

Claude de Waalz: It was a glorious day on Tubbs Hill (Saturday). I’ve never seen so many people there. There is a growing problem, though. There were beer cans, trash and broken beer bottles everywhere. Tubbs is a park. It’s time for the PD to crack down. The idiots do their damage at night. Time to start busting the few who screw it up for the many. Hey Wendy C., how about some night patrols?

Family Phil: Claude is absolutely correct. Every time we walk out to the point, we have to clean up our little area of the beach so the kids don’t step on glass, bottle caps, food wrappings, or, ugh, condoms! Also, why are there signs at NIC Beach that read NO DOGS if nobody pays any attention to them? Are dogs allowed on that beach or not? Because every time we’re there swimming, there are dogs running all over the place. I don’t mind the dogs, it’s the dog crap I don’t like to step in.

DFO: Hmm. Sounds like a good topic for Tuesday Huckleberries print. BTW, Phil, do the signs say “no dogs” or “dogs only on leashes”? If it’s the former, Her Sandiness, Police Chief Wendy Carpenter & Co. easily could clean up the problem by stationing one of the bike cops on the hill to ticket the dog lovers who can’t read or pick up their dog’s merda. I agree with you. Nothing would spoil an outing around Tubbs Hill than stepping in a pile of dog manure.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Dan Rather @ Harvard?

What do you think of ex-CBS newsman Dan Rather possibly instructing at Harvard?

1. Excellent! An outstanding newsman teaching America’s brightest students
2. Rather’s reporting experience would certainly help journalist wannabes learn the craft
3. Better to have Rather in the classroom than on the air
4. It’s a perfect fit: An anti-American, liberal news pretender at an anti-American, liberal, pretentious college
5. A great idea, I can’t wait to see Rather flip out in front of a real audience
6. You know what they say, ‘Those who can’t do, teach’
7. Rather should turn down the job, he can’t indoctrinate enough people in the classroom
8. I just wonder if Rather would stand by forged term papers submitted by his students
9. Other

DFO: No. 4

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Question: The Man Who Makes Repubs Tremble

With the help of DanG’s photoshopping, here’s a photo of newby CDA Councilman & long-time HBO presence Mike Kennedy & Clan during the recent Fourth of July parade. Mike’s been on the City Council for six months now. And the world hasn’t come to an end. Nor CDA civilization as we know it. Remember the hyperventilating local Repub tingods who fretted that Mike, a Democrat, would ruin local politics if he won a spot on the City Council? That hasn’t happened. So, here’s the question:

How would you grade Councilman K’s first six months in office?

Huckleberries Print Will Change (Last Item)

‘Twas hard to say who was a bigger jerk at Cavanaugh Bay Resort Marina on Priest Lake during the Fourth of July weekend: the Big Boat Driver who cranked up his sound system when others at the dock complained about his engine noise or a Brother In Boorish Behavior who groused in the restaurant/bar about getting slapped with a noise citation. Both triggered a mild form of “lake rage,” a term coined by Berry Picker Findaddy/Spokane to describe “the boorish behavior of modifying one’s power boat so it makes the loudest possible sound come from the motor.” Among the printable things the crowd on the dock yelled at Captain Clueless was: “Shut that thing off” and “That boat is not welcome here.” In the bar, Findaddy relates, the cuss-tomers applauded the ticket given to Captain Equally Clueless, prompting him to huff that they were jealous they don’t have the money to buy a big, loud boat and that he wouldn’t return to a lake where he and his boat weren’t wanted. The locals cheered the announcement, according to Findaddy, and said to the effect: “Spread the word that (Big Boat Drivers) are not welcome here.” Or anywhere else on North Idaho lakes, for that matter.

Lake fakes
For years, locals have enjoyed hanging out on CdA’s Third Street seawall on weekend evenings to watch the drunks dock their boats. ‘Tis fun to see the got-rocks crowd jawing at one another when an inebriate gums things up by jackknifing his trailer. Now, John Austin/Coeur d’Alene offers a new spin on this old pastime. At the Carlin Bay Marina on Monday, he watched with amusement as two ha-huge boats cruised in, “dampening the morning quiet.” Of course, John said, they disgorged the usual assortment of passengers: “short (emphasis on short) older men with their shouldn’t-be-bikini-clad-but-are-bikini-clad, fake-blond babes.” He saw the same thing at Arrow Point Resort on Sunday. Sez John: “It’s become our favorite pastime now, watching obviously deficient men and past-their-prime women looking for attention and getting it with laughter rather than praise.” In other words, Cap’n, we’re not laughing with you.

High-maintenance femmes
On his afternoon show Monday, June 26, KXLY’s Dennis Patchin and sidekick Julie Scott were slapping Spokane on the back for another swell Hoopfest when talk turned to high heels. Patchin was amazed that some femme spectators wore high heels to the event, played in sweltering heat. Also, Patchin theorized that the higher the heel, the higher the maintenance quotient on the femme wearing it. After some repartee with his Woman Friday, he finally said: “There’s a whole newsroom full of high-maintenance women at Channel 4.” Alas, he didn’t name names. KXLYers’ll have to fill in the blanks.

Poet’s corner
“Three bucks buys a gallon/of Conoco premium,/but only a pint of/Godiva ice creamium” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Summer Shopping Note”).

Dunno which of these Bonner County sheriff’s calls from earlier in the week is my favorite: Someone left a deer head on another person’s property. Or: A drunk male “devoid of clothing” is being disorderly at a local campground. Or: Clueless – Huckleberries’ word – youths are “playing on a train trestle while a train is coming.” Or: “Dogs playing in town fountain (two reports).” Smile if you want. But most city folks should envy the relatively crimeless life in Bonner County … Factoid: At the liquor store in viewtiful Bayview, you can buy machetes and knives, as well as booze. And there’s a flier out front if you’re looking for a “vintage trailer” to rent … Curious, two Berry Pickers sipping brewskies near the Black Rock Marina at Rockford Bay asked their waitress about the live rock music nearby. And were told that ex-Ferris High/Idaho/Seattle Seahawk John Yarno was celebrating his final alimony payment … Rumorama: About that rumor that work on CdA’s Government Way bridge has stopped because the contractor and the Idaho Transportation Department are feuding? It’s just that. Workers poured 50 yards of concrete Thursday. The job is expected to be done in mid-August … Among the most interesting entries in the Bayview Daze parade was a motorized bar stool … Among the top sellers at the Athol Gear booth at Bayview Daze were T-shirts, coffee mugs and baseball caps with Athol-centric phrases – you know, “I’m a real Athol without my coffee: and “Back off, Athol.” You can run from your Atholness but not hide. ‘Tis better to embrace it and make a few bucks.

Parting shot
For the second time this year, Huckleberries is about to undergo a change. Earlier, the column moved from the Monday spot it’d held in the Idaho edition since 1985 to Saturday in all editions. For the next two months, The Spokesman-Review is going to experiment by running bits of Huckleberries – about 4 to 6 column inches every weekday, beginning in the Idaho edition Monday. The goal is to make it even more interactive with Huckleberries Online: If it works, great. If it doesn’t, this column will return in its regular format in September. Stay tuned.

Peanut Gallery: They Woulda Lost Anyway

Spen-sah: Gus and Katie would have lost even if they had voted against the raise. Their refusal to follow the laws or even the county codes found them on the wrong side of the voters. They would not listen to the people, and even some developers who told them that growth should pay it’s own way, rather than being a burden on the existing community.

DFO: I think it’s more complicated than that, Larry. First, voters were a throw-da-bums out mood. Secondly, the commissioners hadn’t held the budget in check, and they made the terrible mistake of giving themselves big raises at a time of tax rebellion. Finally, Gus’s temper and Katie’s unwillingness to put distance between herself and developers, including her short-sighted refusal to give up her IFI management job came into play. However, they did right by county taxpayers this year by deciding not to raise taxes at all.

Peanut Gallery — A TGIF Special Session Start?

Jane Q. Citizen: I wonder about the one day special session date, on a Friday no less. So if that special session ran over and they had to meet again the following Monday do we poor schmuck taxpayers pick up the tab for the legislators’ hotels/meals to stay in Boise over the weekend or another round trip airline ticket so they can come home for a couple of days? One day to accomplish anything in the legislature is a fantasy.

DFO: If Gov. Risch starts the special session on a Friday, you can bet he has the votes lined up to make quick work of property tax relief. He could have things wrapped up by the following day — and have a legacy in 7 months that will rival Dirk Kempthorne’s 7-plus years.

Peanut Gallery: DanG Can’t Wait For Kroc Center

DanG: As a Summer Theater maven, you know that NIC’s venue is booked. The Lake City Playhouse is busy with their summer Children’s Theater. Songbird is busy. There is just a lack of good theatrical venues here in CDA for us to present the show. Anyone in theater will tell you that CDA has a dearth of performance space. That’s one reason I’m looking forward to the Kroc Center opening as it will be yet another stage.

DFO: I’ve been meaning to ask this question to someone in the arts community for some time. So, you’re the pigeon, DanG. Why doesn’t a community as viewtiful as ours have an arts “feel.” When I lived in the Flathead Valley, I was aware and proud that it was a western art mecca and had a thriving performing arts community. Although the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and the Lake City Playhouse do well, I’ve never associated Coeur d’Alene automatically with a strong arts image. Is it me? Or are we still finding our way?

P.S. — How About A Chance To Win $1M By Voting

Dan of the County writes: Came across this article on a voting site about how there is an initiative in Arizona that would award one voter chosen at random a million bucks from their state lottery pool … two chances if you voted the primary too … not sure what I think about this kind of an approach to increasing voter turnout …

Question: Would you want Idaho or Washington to follow suit and offer a $1M lottery to increase the voter turnout?

HBO Poll: Which Sales Tax Hike Is Best?

I just finished an editorial for Monday about the three proposals floating around out there to hike the sales tax. I don’t think state and local voters will support all three. So, tell me which you one/ones you would support — and why:

1. An increase of a half cent to a whole cent to provide $200 million in property tax relief by shifting school M&0 costs to the sales tax.

2. A local-option tax of half a cent to expand the jail and provide an equal amount in property tax relief.

3. An increase of a penny under the Proposition One proposal to provide $200M more per year in education funding.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/7/06

5:15 p.m., Finished my first Huckleberries columnet for the Monday Handle edition, 6.8 inches about my brief meeting with popular former school superintendent Dave Rawls. And the note below about that Deanna Goodlander re-election sign posted at 7th & Harrison. It’ll be interesting to see how the new style progresses.

3:35 p.m., Former Coeur d’Alene school super Dave Rawls dropped in to say hello and to say he misses the area since moving to Walla Walla. Sadly, his wife, Sandy, died about three months ago. It was good to see him. He helped turned the school district around during his tenure here.

11:45 a.m., Dan of the County tells HBO that interviews to fill the new 1st District Court judge opening are going on today. CDA attorney Steve McCrea’s in the dock now. Richard Christensen, Jack Doublas, Saviraj Grewal, Lansing Haynes and Ken Howard have preceded him. Next up are Dennis Reuter and Scott Wayman this afternoon.

11:30 a.m., Sam The Intern expresses sticker shock when he sees how much of a tax bite was taken out of his first SR paycheck here, and Dang tells him about the facts of working life here.

9:22 a.m., (from last night) Digger disagrees with proposed changes: “Huckelberries won’t be Huckelberries if you change it! You can’t stray from your … style of journalism in the print column! DIGGER VOTES NO!”

9:19 a.m., Gotta nice note from Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings re: the changes ahead for Huckleberries Print: “These changes are exciting for you and I trust for all of us. If I’ve learned anything over the past year is that evolution happens. You’ve had the wisdom to allow that without forcing it and are now
about to reap the benefits! Congratulations.” Indeed, the changes will affect us all.

8:41 a.m., Reader Mari Wilder, a Seinfeld fan, pointed out the error of my ways via e-mail: “As a hardcore, east coast raised Seinfeld fan, you have incorrectly quoted the male bimbo episode. It would be “mimbo” with an “m” not an “h”. You can look it up if you don’t believe me. Just google the word “mimbo” and the Seinfeld quote comes up.” Mari adds: “Love the blog and it’s characters!”

8:20 a.m., I saw my first post-primary yard sign on my way to work today, at the corner of 7th and Harrison. Who was the offending party this viewtiful TGIF morning? City Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander, which, of course, adds to the mystery. Not only is the fall election four months off, but the next municipal election isn’t until next year. Whazzup?

IHillary: Et Tu, New York Times?

Pete Weaver/IHillary reacts to the recent article by the New York Times disclosing a classified antiterror program above and here.

Why Ask Why? — That 1st District Court Vacancy

As we mouse potatoes sit here in front of our computer screens instead of enjoying the viewtiful day outside, a judicial council is interviewing wannabes for that new district judge spot. Attorney Dennis Reuter is winding down from his half hour interview which began at 1 p.m., and Scott Wayman will give his pitch next. As mentioned in Inside Huckleberries, the council has already interviewed the following today: Richard Christensen, Jack Douglas, Saviraj Grewal, Lansing Haynes, Ken Howard, and Steve McCrea. I know and respect Haynes, Howard and McCrea. The others are probably good people, too. But it ticks me off that a group of legal eagles will winnow down the field and the governor will pick the new judge, sans public scrutiny a la Ramaro-Mitchell. On the other hand, some people would prefer that uber-attorneys picked all the judges sans public vote.

Question: Do you think judges should be elected or appointed? And: Do you have a favorite in this pack?

Dante Martins de Oliveira, 54, RIP

Dante Martins de Oliveira is seen in Mato Grosso, Brazil, in this undated file photo released by SECOM. Oliveira a lawmaker who was instrumental in ending Brazil’s military dictatorship died Thursday of complications from diabetes, his office said. He was 54/ AP Photo/SECOM.

DFO: This man fascinates me for several reasons, beginning with the properly spelled surname (including the “de,” which also was once part of my family name), of course. I know I have distant relatives in Brazil. And this fella looks an awful lot like my younger brother Ed. ‘Tis nice to think that he might be a distant relative. And he spent his life shaking up the man in his part of the world.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen, Er, Sixty

President Bush blows out the candles on his birthday cake after his dinner at at the Chicago Firehouse Thursday in Chicago. Bush turned sixty Thursday/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP Photo.

DFO: Here’s a chance for Unbearable Bob, Green Libertarian, Thom George, and other Dubya admirers to express their well wishes in observance of the Big Galute’s 60th birthday. Come on now. Don’t be shy. Any happy thoughts to pass along to our fearless leader?

Cameraman Review: 2 Thumbs Up For “Pirates”

“So I went to see the greatest movie of the summer last night, Pirates of the caribbean, dead man’s chest which I might add, was completely sold out in 6 screens at the regal in idaho falls last night. It was an interesting movie but the only thing that I have with the movie is that when the first one was written, it was not written along with the second and third movies. Since the first one did so good, they have written the second and third movies together and have left everyone hanging at the end of the second, forcing everyone to wait for 364 days to see the ending. Overall, I was grinning from ear to ear as I watched the movie, lots of action as in the first, and a few interesting twists to the characters and what happens to them. I will be going to see it again that much I know right now. Also, you have to be into the movie to put things together because I didn’t understand everything that was going on at the time…..I won’t say any more, I’ll let everyone go see it on their own - ENJOY!!!!”


Peanut Gallery: Public Part of HHospitality’s Lawn

Susie Snedaker: Hagadone Hospitality does publish a notice at the first of the year for those interested in applying for the use of a space a few times each year in front of the hotel. This space was in concrete at one time but was grassed over in the redesign of the entry. The redesign was approved by the Planning Commission. The use of this space is included in the PUD as is the public access to the boardwalk. I do not remember the city abandoning the property.

DFO: Susie, a former Coeur d’Alene P&Z commissioner, is responding to my comment from last night re: the public space that sits underneath HHospitality’s front lawn — space that Uncle Duey is required to offer to the public a coupla times per year. Frankly, I’d rather give him the space in exchange for permanent access to the eastern end of Sanders Beach.

Press Edit: Improve Fourth of July Parade

“Next year, let’s try to strut our independence at a higher level. Tens of thousands of people gather every year along Sherman Avenue for the much-anticipated Fourth of July parade, and in its own endearing way, it’s a fantastic tradition. Further, it’s free, so complainers would be wise to remember that in life, you usually get what you pay for. But in our opinion, a good parade can be made even better. The parade can be filled with more interesting entries, making the experience more enjoyable for viewers and more rewarding to the businesses and nonprofits that comprise its bulk.”

For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press edit, click here.

DFO: This year’s Fourth of July Parade musta been a snoozer for Brand X to mildly reprimand the handlers. New Regional Editor Scott Maben told me Monday that he and his family left the parade early because: 1. There were too many uninteresting entries, 2. There were ha-huge gaps among the entries, causing the parade to be uber-long, and 3. It’s was too hot. Scott said many other families left early, too. Sounds like this was one parade that was good to miss.

Thursday/Wild Card — 7/6/06

I achieved a coupla milestones recently that I haven’t mentioned to you. In mid-June, I observed my 36th anniversary as a newspaper pro. On June 30, I passed the 29th anniversary of moving to the Northwest and launching five years of hard labor for Duane Hagadone’s Kalispell Daily Inter Lake. Five years there. Two years at the Lewiston Tribune. And 22 years (as of Sept. 10) here. Time has flown by. Now, I’m about to launch a new version of print Huckleberries. And the boss is talking about setting up the equipment for Webcasts and online interviews from my office desk. It’s hard to believe that an old dinosaur like me can be on the cutting edge of newspaper technology. But it’s still a lot of fun. And that’s a simple formula that’s hard to beat. As I head home for a bite and then off to see the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s production of Peter Pan, I’ll leave you with this Wild Card …

P.S. — Dictionary Offers Cool New Words

You may be more “with it” than you think, if you know the definition to words, like “google,” “mouse potato,” “drama queen,” and “sandwich generation.” Any Seinfeld fan can tell you what a “himbo” is — a male bimbo. Anyway, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary has added almost 100 new words to its pages, according to a NewsMax story here. And a Merriam-Webster sampler here. I enjoyed reading about one I didn’t know — “mouse potato,” or someone who’s the computer version of a couch potato. Check out the list.

Question: What new word do you enjoy using most?

Top Cutlines — 7/6/06

A bear cub munches on a barbecue-chicken-and-jalapeno pizza in a 1964 Buick Skylark near Lake Tahoe, Nev., Sunday. Later, it washed down the pizza with a swig of a Jack Daniel’s mixer, an Absolut vodka and tonic, and a beer taken from a cooler, the vehicle’s owner said/. You write the cutline/AP Photo provided by Jerry Patterson via The Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Top Cutlines:

1. What, no bear claws?? — TS.

2. Ever since the summer of 2004 when Yogi had been proven to not be smarter than the average bear after he wandered out in front of a speeding RV from South Dakota and had to be scraped up off the park road by Ranger Smith, Boo Boo had taken to breaking into convertibles and “getting grizzly” on all the booze he could steal and drink before Ranger Smith would trank dart him and relocate him to the heart of Jellystone Park, thus beginning the viciously sad cycle of unresolved grief and self medicating drunkeness again. It was becoming more than the peaceful creatures of the forest could bear. Next Week’s Episode: Bambi facilitates an intervention — Snagglepuss.

3. Jack spent all night hitting the Absolut vodka, but vowed to go on the wagon after sobering up and getting a good look at his date — A Token D.

HM: John Austin & Family Phil

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

Peanut Gallery: Risch Comes Down On Lobbyists

James Bond: I see Risch signed an executive order requiring lobbyists to report expenses while lobbying governor’s staffers. Wow. Imagine all the bar tabs we’ll be seeing soon. Either that, or the downtown Boise bars will lose a lot of business. Lobbyists routinely drop 100s of dollars several nights a week on drinking at Boise bars during the legislative session, and even other times, but they’ve never been required to report anything when they’ve had executive or judicial branch staffers with them. It’s about time. It should be made permanent. Lots of policy and skullduggery goes on at those late-night drink fests.

DFO: The new guv shoots and scores again.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/6/06

Seattle Mariners’ Eddie Guardado, center, laughs with teammates Rene Rivera, left, of Puerto Rico, and Kenji Johjima, of Japan, during baseball spring training for pitchers and catchers earlier this year. Today, he was traded to Cincinnati for a minor league player here/Elaine Thompson, AP Photo.

Stapilus: New Idaho Gov. Jim Risch might be wise to settle for another race for lieutenant governor here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles re: the mixed constitutional message being sent by congressional elephants here.

2. Adam Morrison, the former Gonzaga Bulldog star who was the No. 3 overall pick in last month’s NBA draft, signed a two-year contract worth more than $6M with the Charlotte Hornets today here.

3. Kaiser Aluminum Corp. becomes a new company today. It has new owners. New stock. A new balance sheet. A new relationship with the Steelworkers union. Most importantly, it has a new outlook after surviving the corporate equivalent of purgatory here.

4. Don Shelton of the Seattle Times was one of 18 former University of Idaho alum who answered the call to support a former classmate who is suffering from Alzheimers Disease here.

5. An Everett, Wash., bank robber whose loot was ruined in a dye pack explosion didn’t waste any time making up for the loss, robbing a second bank within about 15 minutes here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Singing cowboy rides off into sunset), Misoulian (Reviewing Lewis & Clark bicentennial), Idaho Statesman (Idaho’s $199.9M surplus), Mark Henckel/Montana Outdoors (Fishing is so right), and Tim Dahlberg/Associated Press (Mascot’s life isn’t always easy).

Online Poll: 63.9% of 1313 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say North Korea poses a threat to the United States.

*The Idaho Statesman has a terrific piece on McCroskey State Park, near Moscow, here.

*Army levels 3 charges at Fort Lewis officer who refused Iraq deployment here.

*Nampa will allow The Torch bikini bar (which also operates in Coeur d’Alene) to reopen after busting it for illicit sexual activity here.

*Benewah County appears willing to start another fight with the Coeur d’Alene Indians over property taxes here.

Orbusmax Special: Court rules that individual doctors at Oregon Health & Science University can be sued here.

CDADave: Straddling The Line @ Sanders Beach

CDADave provides another clever Photoshop re: the life and times of 21st Century Lake City and another dose of Thin Air here.

Extra! 2 States Rule Against Gay Marriage

N.Y. top court rules against same-sex marriage: Any change would have to come from state Legislature/Associated Press; and: Georgia top court reinstates same-sex marriage ban: Unanimous decision reverses judge’s ruling/Associated Press

Bryan Fischer, Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance: “These rulings ought to encourage the pro-family community in Idaho. It looks like judges are finally getting the picture that the people and their elected representatives ought to have the freedom to establish marriage policy in their own states without judicial interference. And it ought to encourage all Idahoans to go to the polls in November and enshrine protection for natural marriage in our own state constitution. The fact that the New York decision was not unanimous is a reminder that there are still judges out there who want to legislate marriage policy from the bench. That’s why we need to pass the marriage amendment in November – to put the definition of marriage beyond the reach of activist judges.”

Question: Do you agree with the Idaho Family Values position or the two dissenting New York judges?

Doug Floyd: “I Sabotaged You”

re: Fourth of July error in editorial and subhead that gave the country’s age as 130 rather than 230. The editorial was reprinted today with the correct information here. Doug sent the following note to the Editorial Board this morning, with permission to share it.

It appears I sabotaged you before leaving the office last Friday. You have my sincere and chastened apologies for the Fourth of July error that caused major inconvenience and embarrassment for you. A holiday-shortened week with a short staff is no time to have to deal with an unnecessary distraction. Gary Graham’s more-than-generous post in Ask the Editors did not escape my notice. Folks, nobody read that editorial more times than I did. Nobody had more opportunities to catch the mistake than I did. And, of course, nobody hat more chances to avoid making it in the first place than I did. And, as Steve noted in the daily briefing, gaffes like this only take away from whatever merit the editorial had in the first place. There simply was no excuse for my multiple failures in that regard and I want everyone to know that I take it seriously. I could go on, as you know, but I’ll spare you.

Doug Floyd
SR Opinion Page Editor

DFO: Frankly, all journalists are susceptible to a major error under the crush of deadlines. Doug, an excellent editor and superb wordsmith, got nailed here, in a perfect storm that enabled this error to slide through several other eyes. Managing Editor Gary Graham issued an apology in News Is A Conversation here. Some people actually believe we did this on purpose. All this proves is that we’re all human, including a superb journalist like Doug.

Peanut Gallery: 15 Years In CDA, Still A Newcomer

Thom George: Mike’s been in Coeur d’Alene for what 14, 15 years? Newcomer! North Idaho is the only place in the world that if you didn’t get here on Captian Mullan’s original road you are and will forever be a newcomer.

DFO: So true. So true. I’ve been here almost 22 years, which in journalism terms makes me some sort of Methusaleh. I’ve been through five mayors and untold commissioners and legislators. But I’m a relative newcomer when compared to individuals who’s great-grandparents had the common sense to locate here generations ago. I didn’t mean to stay here this long. Journalists usually hop from place to place, as I did before coming here. Guess the combination of working for a good paper in a viewtiful place was too good to move on. So, I’ll embrace my relative newcomerness and continue to point out the skeletons I’ve found in many closets.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Limbaugh Framed?

Issue: Limbaugh: I won’t be ‘framed’ by U.S.: Cancels international travel, slams Customs for ‘unreal’ Viagra treatment/WorldNetDaily

Question: Do you think the government is trying to frame Rush Limbaugh?

1. No, he’s a known drug offender and should expect special scrutiny
2. No, he’s an ordinary citizen and he should be subject to the same laws as everyone else
3. No, there’s not enough information yet to answer that question
4. No
5. It’s possible but it’s not been proven
6. I don’t know if the government is, but some out-of-control bureaucrats and functionaries are
7. Yes, it’s clear from the circumstances that U.S. Customs targeted him at the airport
8. Yes, the Democrat-run Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office has it in for him
9. Yes, there’s definitely a concerted effort by government officials to hurt or destroy Rush Limbaugh
10. Yes

DFO: No. 4

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/5/06

Attention: HBO commenters (especially those who post material from online sources). There’s a right and a wrong way to post material from other sources in the Huckleberries comment section. Unless you have specific written permission from the author, photographer, or cartoonist, you shouldn’t post an exact copy of his/her work. Rather, you should provide a link to it, as you see me do regularly out front. Also, you can post a brief portion of a writer’s material and then provide a link. But you shouldn’t post the entire article, column or editorial. Otherwise, you’re plagiarizing. I’ll be cracking down on items that step across the line. Now, back to your regular programming. Here’s your Hump Day Wild Card …

P.S. — Who Knows Most Local People

Issue: A City Hall Berry Picker called today to pose a question about which he’s been wondering. Who in Coeur d’Alene knows the most people? I responded: Marshall Mend. But he had in mind Councilman Ron Edinger. A good case could be made for popular Recreation Director Steve Anthony. So, I’ll put it to you this evening:

Question: Who knows the most people in Coeur d’Alene? And, for a second question: Which newcomer knows the most people in Coeur d’Alene?

Morford: Are Newspapers Dying? Yes, No, Sorta

“So are newspapers dying? Is this the question? The answer is: of course not. Then again, yes. Just not in the way you think. They are merely shifting, peeling back, juggling approaches and reorganizing ideas, all in order to be reborn. In order to adapt. In order to compete and breathe and thrive and become the new-new thing, which will be the same as the old thing, only with better reception and a universal adapter and a solar-powered battery.”

For the rest of the terrific column by Mark Morford/S.F. Chronicle, click here. (BTW, thanks to Blogmeister KenS, you can read the column Morford wrote about being a Spokane Boy Scout in Scoutmaster Jim West’s days here.

Hat Tip: Green Libertarian

Taryn: Bayview Sez No To Bob — Not That Bob

*When I was in Bayview over the weekend, I saw my first No Bob stickers - actually stickers with the name Bob and a red slash through the name. Been told these are in response to Bob Holland’s efforts to develop Bayview.

*I also stopped in the Bayview liquor store this weekend where they not only sell booze, but also machetes and knives. Out front there was a flier advertising a “vintage” mobile home for rent.

*The motorized bar stool was one of the most interesting entries in the parade and I heard the merchandise at the Athol Gear booth (T-shirts and other items with Athol-centric phrases) were selling fast.

*I went to use the ATM at the Captain’s Wheel and asked for Bayview Herb, but he wasn’t there. Maybe next year.

Fearless Colleague Taryn Brodwater

CDADave: Rich Owners Mark Territory Like Dogs

“Well, July 4th is upon us beleaguered citizzens of Core Duane…er, Coeur d’Alene (already, I’m asking for trouble, aren’t I?). Just when you think that things can’t get any nuttier around here, we get a bunch of rich property owners who are getting all silly and possessive over a few square feet of sand on Sanders’ Beach. Their property won’t even reach the LAKE! Because the property line is ABOVE where the water actually reaches the beach. They’ve put signs out there, saying “KEEP OUT”; one property owner went so far as to sprinkle chalk dust (if not Ajax or Fertilizers or Limestone or some other corrupting chemical) to mark the proverbial “line in the sand” on the beach. Just the thing you want next to the waterfront, rrright? The only thing they haven’t done is to “mark” their territory the way DOGS do. (Aside to the newspapers: if the owners actually DO that, we can all do without a front page photo!)”

For the rest of CDADave’s “Thin Air” comment re: Sanders Beach, click here.

Quotes of the Week — 7/5/06

“I’ve pulled a lot of weeds, but never that type of weed” — ex-congressional hopeful Cecil Kelly to the Coeur d’Alene Press re: the marijuana plant he found growing outside his downtown area home.

And: “I don’t do it (smoke marijuana). I’ve never done it and I don’t intend to do it. But, it’s like me defending the civil rights of homosexual men. I’d defend his rights, but I don’t plan on climbing into bed with him.”

For the entire Coeur d’Alene Press article by Tom Greene (via the Idaho Statesman and Associated Press), click here.

RIP: Enron founder Ken Lay, 64

Former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay waves as he walks to the federal courthouse in week ten of his fraud and conspiracy trial in this April 4, 2006 file photo in Houston. Lay, 64, has died today, according to his lawyer here/Pat Sullivan, AP Photo File.

DFO: Seems to be a moral here (i.e., the pursuit of riches at all costs can be hazardous to your health).

Summer Shopping Note

Three bucks buys a gallon
of Conoco premium,
but only a pint of
Godiva ice creamium.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Question of the Day: Shasta On Parade

Issue: I’ve already received a coupla complaints about the appearance of Steve Groene and his daughter, Shasta, in the Fourth of July Parade. The complainants were appalled that Groene would trot out his daughter in a local parade as though she were a beauty pageant winner rather than the victim of the most infamous crime in Kootenai County history. You can find the KXLY story and video here.

Question: Should Shasta have been on parade yesterday?

Mailbag: CDA’s Urban Renewal Agency & “Blight”

Informed Idahoan: I wish I had the time to collect the data and do the math to equate the amount of property tax dollars which were shifted to nonURD property owners. I just wonder if the old IFI Atlas Mill which was purchased by Chesrown(SP) is a URD property. It is obvious, the Atlas river front property is econonmically blighted. The rest of Kootenai County tax payers who own nonURD property get to help out Mr. Chesrown since he needs that money to develope his blighted property. Jack up my property taxes so that Mr. Chesrown gets richer, now that’s fair! By the way, is the property owned by Hagadone located on Blackwell Island located in the URD? We should help out Hagadone as well, he needs a bigger Yacht and Leerjet.

DFO: An interesting discussion re: Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal district broke out while I was on vacation here. The thread was launched by a Berry Picker who asked: “Who serves on the boards? Who appoints (or anoints) them, who do they answer to? How much authority do they have? These Urban Renewal Districts have been flying under the radar for the past couple of decades. Time to shine a light on them.” Frankly, I don’t know which properties are in the local URD. But it is extensive. And the new taxes generated by properties such as Riverstone are providing beaucoup money to serve as incentives for developers to upgrade other “blighted property.”

Mailbag: Aging Spokane Newscasters

CDADave: Mark Peterson falls on his face every day, trying to be humorous. Mark is basically TV’s idea of KVNI’s “Morning show” … And I tuned in KREM the other day … we all know Charles (Rowe) is “getting up there”, and Nadine’s (Woodward) starting to age as well. They’ve both been there FOREVER. Maybe KREM actually needs all the “anti-wrinkle tricks” it can get.

DFO: Although I’m not a major local TV news watcher, I’d say you could add others to your list. Randy Shaw. Debra Wilde. Sunshine Shelly. How do you know when a local personality has become too long in tooth? I, for one, am happy that age isn’t a critical issue for print journalists. Otherwise, at 56, I’d be wondering when management was going to put me out to pasture.

P.S. — Tough Teen Driving Laws Save Lives

Issue: Laws restricting teen drivers can reduce fatalities for 16-year-olds, study finds/Ken Thomas, Associated Press

DFO: I can tell that a teen’s behind the wheel of a car without seeing the driver, in many instances. They dart. Speed. Quick turns. They always seem to be in a hurry. They’re dangerous. Always have been. Dunno how I survived those years behind the wheel with only one speeding ticket — the only one I’ve received. I wouldn’t mind seeing teen driving laws get tougher.

Question: Anyone have interesting driving tales from their Glory Days?

Idaho Celebrates Birthday No. 116

Idaho Gov. Jim Risch, with his wife Vicki, pass out pieces of Idaho’s 116th birthday cake earlier today in the Governors office at the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho. People who were visiting the Statehouse, along with invited guests, were invited to participate in the event/Matt Cilley, AP Photo.

Brand X Blooper

First, you should know that one of the definitions for “wench” is “a girl or young woman — now a derogatory or jocular term.” And that a “winch” is a machine for for hoisting, lowering or hauling. Now, onward. A colleague pointed out this blooper in that top-of-the-front-page CDA Press cutline about Coeur d’Alene’s XPO Sessions activities on Fourth Street Saturday: “Wakeboarders were pulled more than 150 feet by a tow rope attached to a gas-powered wench.” Good thing no one lit a match.

Neo-Nutsies, Protesters Sing, Dance, Insult

Dyami Allen, below left, holds a U.S. flag as he stands with others on the steps of the Temple of Justice to protest a small gathering of neo-Nazi’s gathered nearby today in Olympia, Wash. Above, a neo-nutsy brandishes a Nazi flag on the Washington state capitol steps. Hundreds of protesters sang, danced and traded insults with 13 neo-Nazis who gathered on the Capitol steps Monday, the third such rally this year in this liberal college town. The state police reported no arrests or incidents during the rally and protest here/Elaine Thompson, Associated Press

DFO: I’m glad it’s Olympia and not Coeur d’Alene.

Whirled News In Photos — 7/3/06

Pirates Premieres

Actor Johnny Depp is shown in a scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which premiers in Europe today here/AP Photo.

Shuttle Trouble

NASA Deputy Space Shuttle Program Manager John Shannon, left, and External Tank Project Manager John Chapman look at a model of the external fuel tank where a piece of foam was discovered with a crack at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., today. The crack may delay the already postponed launch of the space shuttle Discovery on Tuesday here/Paul Kizzle, AP Photo.

Spain Train Wreck

An injured young woman is carried away from the scene after a subway train derailed and overturned inside a tunnel in the eastern Mediterranean port city of Valencia, Spain, today, killing more than 30 passengers and injuring another 30 in one of Spain’s worst rail accidents in years here/Rafa Gil, Associated Press.

Best of the INorthwest — 7/3/06

Dean Dinnison, a 36-year scoutmaster of Troop 325 in Spokane, speaks about his years as a scoutmaster. Johnson will have a full-size bronze statue commissioned by his admirers and sculpted by his daughter, Deborah Copenhaver-Fellows, placed in Riverfront Park next year here.

Palousitics: Most Americans are wild about Wal*Mart here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI offers a thought-provoking ‘toon for smokers who may be endangering others here.

2. Shades of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, Batman — a human-rights coalition celebrated Unity in the Community Sunday in Olympia, Wash., in anticipation of today’s planned neo-Nazi march in the Washington state capitol here. More on proposed march here.

3. Montana broadcasters are hoping to head off campaign season conflicts by creating a state board to protect them from lawsuits over political advertisements here.

4. A disheveled liberal activist with a frenzied laugh and his Citizens for More Important Things organization are all that stands between the Supersonics and a $220 million tax-subsidized overhaul of KeyArena here.

5. A piece of Northwest history crumbled Sunday morning when demolition crews toppled a 500-foot smokestack at Blair Waterway here.

6. IMHO-NW: Cheryl-Anne Milsap/Spokesman-Review (Drama can’t spoil love in this nest), Spokesman-Review (Pander-monium), Coeur d’Alene Press (Together we stand), Jamie-Marie Waelchli/WSU Daily Evergreen (Easy way to beat bad dates), and Columbian (Rampant charity).

Online Poll: 61.4% of 176 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say the U.S. should keep the penny.

*Earthquakes are common in southeastern Idaho here.

*Oregon State U tests junipers’ thirst here.

*Wyoming begins use of ignition locks for DUIers here.

Orbusmax provides the rest of the Northwest here

Carpenter: “Diary of A Mad Flasher”

“I have a disturbing confession to make, and I fear the world may never be the same. It seems that I have, quite innocently, and without malice, morphed into a flasher. I can already see some of you shaking your heads and muttering ‘I knew it all the time! Those close set beady eyes are always a dead giveaway!’ It was an accident, I tell ya. It started as I was groggily stumbling out to get the morning paper a few days ago. I was wearing only my slippers and a tattered robe, and while rubbing the remnants of a poor night’s sleep from my close set beady eyes, I happened to step on the end of my improperly tied belt. That tiny step for mankind turned into a huge one for me, starting a not so slow-motion chain reaction that had the unfortunate grand finale of pulling loose my belt and whipping my robe wide open, exposing my wares for all the world to see. If all the world were birds, bees and the neighbor’s cat, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Fate always seems to have something special in store for me though.”

For the rest of the revealing comment by Ken Carpenter, who writes the “Ken’s Korner” column for the Bonners Ferry Herald, click here.

APhoto of the Day — 7/3/06

Stephen Voltz, left, and Fritz Grobe, both of Buckfield, Maine, create a geyser effect from a combination of diet soda and Mentos mints, during a taping of “Late Show with David Letterman” last week. You write the cutline/Diane Bondareff, AP Photo.

Mailbag — Post Falls Made Right Ironman Call

Former Mike: Sorry, think you’re all wet on this one - Post Falls is recovering appropriate fees from a commercial entity to cover its expenses. With all the worries about higher property taxes, isn’t this what we want our taxing entities to do - be responsible with our tax dollars? All the talk about Ironman leaving over this issue is just that - talk. The organizers make a fortune on the event itself and than add a little extra cushion out of the pockets of Cd’A taxpayers - I’ll take a deal like that! And idawa, don’t think there is any way that the good citizens of Post Falls would vote to pay for Ironman out of their tax dollars.

DFO: Former Mike is responding to the editorial I wrote before going on vacation. It stated, basically, that Post Falls should suck it up and pay the 10 or 15G’s that it costs to provide services to Ironman, as a goodwill gesture, if nothing else. After all, what goes around comes around. This is a ha-huge countywide event that benefits most of the local communities. Besides, someday Post Falls may need a reciprocal favor from Coeur d’Alene.

Question of the Day — 7/3/06

Jeremy Reed in action against the California Angels/AP

Issue: Tough breaks for M’s: Reed fractures thumb; Seattle loses chance to lead division/Seattle PI

DFO: Seattle finished the first half of the 2006 season with a 42-40 record, one game out of first place. Then, the Mariners lost a game they should have won as well as centerfielder Jeremy Reed, who broke his thumb diving for a fly ball.

Question: How will the Mariners due from now until the end of the season? A division title? Or a flop?

Vacation Wild Card No. 8 — 7/1/06

Well, Blogmeister KenP got HBOers through my week off in grand style. But we still have the weekend to go before my return. I could post a bunch of things. But I’m fairly mellow in a vacation mode. Besides, you’re probably at the lake. For those driven indoors by the heat, you can start a thread or post a comment with this Wild Card …

Get blog updates by email

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.

Find DFO on Facebook

DFO on Twitter

Betsy Russell on Twitter

HBO newsmakers Twitter list

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Huckleberries Online.

Take this week's news quiz ›
Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here