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Archive for March 2006

WorldNetDaily Poll — 4/1/06

Question: How do you think the current immigration crisis will be dealt with?

1. There will be full-scale civil war
2. There will be widespread violence for a long time
3. Passage of a guest-worker program will quell the unrest
4. Ultimately, the U.S. will erect a wall along the border – there’s no other way
5. We’ll have radically stepped-up border enforcement and mass deportations
6. We’ll have radically stepped-up border enforcement and a guest-worker program for the millions of illegals already here
7. Stiff fines will be imposed on employers who hire illegals, making the biggest dent in the problem
8. Nothing will be done between the 2006 midterm and 2008 presidential election
9. Very little will be done – just ineffectual window dressing and self-congratulations by the politicians
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 8-9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.S. — 3/31/06

Issue: High School Glory Days

DFO: I was compiling the Best of the INorthwest today when I saw an online poll question from the Whitefish Pilot on Flathead Lake, near Kalispell, Mont. It asked: “Would you like to repeat your high school years.” I didn’t hesitate to join the 56.3% who said no way. I had some good times and success in high school. But I also did some incredibly stupid things, especially after I left home on my own at age 16. Dunno how I survived.

Question: Would you like to repeat your high school years?

Bobfest 2006 — 90 Minutes And Counting

Familial responsibilities are going to keep me home tonight. Grandma needs some TLC after a recent tough move. But I wish Bearable Bob and others who attend the best. It’ll be interesting to see what friendships are formed from the get-together. I’ve been to a coupla blog get-togethers in the last month or so — a social one with Bayview Herb holding court in Bayview and another one last night with Mari, CJ, Bill, Stebbijo, et al, to help organize the Inland Northwest Bloggers Association. The INWBA looks very promising. Now, I have to get out of here. Before I go, I expect detailed reports from the Bobfest. I’ll be there in spirit.

Extra! UI settles University Place litigation

The University of Idaho and other parties others associated with an ill-fated, multimillion-dollar attempt to expand into Boise have settled almost all of the legal claims surrounding the project. The key point is that trust funds used to finance the University Place project – in a series of transactions described as improper and possibly illegal – will be repaid. In the economic and legal fallout after the deal collapsed in 2002, the university found itself cutting budgets, programs and jobs.

For the rest of the story by Shawn Vestal/Spokesman-Review, click here. For Idaho Statesman version, click here.

Afternoon Q: Better Off Today Than 4 Years Ago?

Issue: Most say they’re better off than 4 years ago: New poll finds Americans of all types sense progress/WorldNetDaily

DFO: My home is four years closer to being paid less. My last child is two years closer to being out of college. I’m still happily married. And I’ve been blogging two years without going insane (although I now have a harder time getting a consensus opinion re: this from the other voices in my head). My answer is yes.

Question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/31/06

Rain water fills depressions in sandstone along the rims after record rainfall in the Billings Mont area Thursday morning. Wednesday and Thursday were the rainiest consecutive March days in the history of record-keeping at Billings Logan International Airport, according to the National Weather Service office in Billings here. (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Larry Mayer)

Eye On Boise: House Speaker Bruce Newcomb holding Highway 95 reconstruction bill hostage here.

1. J.J. Redick, whose 3-point shooting led Duke to a No. 1 ranking for most of the season, beat out Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison as the national player of the year by the Associated Press on today here.

2. A Moscow man has been convicted of 11 felony counts of having consensual sex with women without telling them he was infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS here.

3. A strongly divided Washington Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death penalty for a man who fatally stabbed his wife and her two daughters, despite his defense that Green River Killer Gary Ridgway was sentenced to life imprisonment here.

4. The newly formed Helenans Support for Troops and Military Withdrawal wants the Helena (Mont.) City Commission to pass a resolution supporting the troops and asking for withdrawal from Iraq here.

5. Idaho First Lady Patricia Kempthorne is having second thoughts about staying in Idaho, if her husband is confirmed as the next Secretary of Interior, here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Lawmakers should choose most-open policy), Charlie Hanson/Oregonian (Northwest salmon crisis), Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (Review: “V for Vendetta”), Jim Moore/Seattle PI (Erickson’s new definition of success), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Spokane welcomes Arena Football).

Online Poll: 87.8% of 254 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say they believe in prayer.

*An eastern Montana school bus accident sends several students to the hospital here.

*A UIdaho student is listed in stable condition after falling from the third floor of a frat house here.

*Wal*Mart wants to build a supercenter in tiny Polson, Mont., here.

*The threat of a lawsuit has ended the use of dogs for random drug searches in the middle and high schools of Nine Mile Falls, northwest of Spokane, here.

Orbusmax Special: “Sketch Pad” club Owner pleads guilty to violating Boise anti-nudity law here.

Overnight Mail — Democrat Security Plan

Bob: Y’know, the wankosphere has been sneering at the Demo Security Plan but it has the feel of a congregation of chickenhawks whistling past the graveyard of Iraq…the Thuglican plan has failed miserably…the neoclowns have destabilized the Middle East, given the terrorists a rich breeding and training ground in Iraq. … Global terrorism has markedly increased in attacks since Chimpy put the crooked and rusted crown on his head, sorry, Hindu, but until you put on combat boots and strap an AR-15 on and slog through the alleys of Fallujah wasting terrorists, it’s all just hot air, dude. Hot frickin’ air.

DFO: Translation: The Democrat Security Plan couldn’t be any worse than what we’re trying now.

Overnight Mail — Best Local News Station?

Idawa: Here’s a question as I have not watched Cd’A/Spokane new in a while: Is KHQ still the most ridiculous new cast on television?

DFO: I’m a lousy one to ask because I’m not much of a television news watcher, local or otherwise. (So, you guys can drop those theories that I vege in front of the Fox cable news station.) I lean toward KXLY for high school football news on fall Friday evenings, however.

Question: Which local station provides the best local newscast?

Question of the Day — Arena2 Football?

Issue: Winning formula: Shock triumph in thrilling debut before 9,386 at the Arena/Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

Jim Meehan: “If every game is like this, the Spokane Shock might be on to something.”

DFO: Hmmm.

Question: Are you curious enough about Arena2 Football to spend a few bucks to watch the Spokane Shock?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Terry Schiavo Anniversary

Issue: The whole Terri Schiavo story: 15-year saga of brain-injured woman no clear-cut, right-to-die case/WorldNetDaily

Question: A year later, what is your opinion of Terri Schiavo’s death?

1. It was the right thing to do, respecting her wishes
2. She was in a persistent vegetative state, and is in a better place now
3. The government did the right thing by letting this take its fatal course
4. Justice was finally done
5. It doesn’t make a difference, as Terri didn’t know what was going on
6. She was a victim of scandalous judicial corruption
7. It was the public execution of an innocent person
8. I’m still outraged. The government could have and should have saved her
9. We all pulled Terri’s feeding tube
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 7-8

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/30/06

If you have a good thread to start, you can do so with this Wild Card …

P.S. — Does Prayer Before Surgery Work?

Issue: Study: Praying won’t affect heart patients: Critics say question of God’s reaction simply can’t be explored by science/Associated Press

Additional Info: In the largest scientific test of its kind, heart surgery patients showed no benefit when strangers prayed for their recovery. And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications. The researchers could only guess why.

DFO: I’m not good at the spiritual discipline of prayer. However, I believe in it. And I’ve seen it work in people’s lives, over and over, sometimes in inexplicable ways re: a patient’s recovery. However, that’s anecdotal. I don’t know the parameters re: this study. But I’ll tell you one thing: If I was going under the knife, I’d be firing up the church prayer chain.

Question: Would you want people praying if you were facing a life-threatening surgery?

Top Cutlines/Thursday — 3/30/06

Jose Mendoza-Perez, left, and Keegan Miller, students at the Vistula Head Start in Angola, Indiana, work together to blow a giant bubble Wednesday, during a science bubble experiment. You write the cutline. (APhoto/Andy Barrand, Angola Herald-Republican)

Top Cutlines:

1. A perfect example of immigrants trying to take good bubble blowing jobs from our young people — Idawa.

2. The principal of Vistula Head Start later had to answer an angry phone call from a Mr. Dang from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho who demanded to know how much the wasted soap would add to his tax burden and why they didn’t recycle the bubbles and have the kids wash some dishes and let the little tykes learn how to be less reliant on public school employees for every little thing — Bob.

3. “We need more hot air. Bring in the politicians!” — A Token D.

HM: Nerd

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

Newspapers: Gone With The Twentysomethings?

“Young newspaper readers are no different than older people who enjoy newspapers (aside from being better-looking). We are looking for an in-depth analysis of issues that blogs, TV and radio are incapable of providing. We are also the minority of the two youth groups. Young people who are not inclined to read newspapers - the majority - have unfortunately already chosen sides. Their teammates include lightweight print media that no medium predicated upon the word news could or should compete against.”

For the rest of the comment by Taylor Summerville/Hartford Courant, click here. (Hat Tip to Blogmeister Ryan Pitts)

Question (to you twentysomethings that inhabit this blog): Is there anyway that newspapers can woo you into reading them?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 6/30/06

Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce director, Marko Lucich, poses Tuesday on the chamber run viewing platform overlooking the Berkeley Pit, one of America’s largest bodies of toxic water, in Butte, Mont. the Chamber of Commerce in this mining city is charging admission to see the Berkeley Pit, which remains Butte’s number one tourist attraction/Walter Hinick, AP photo.

Eye On Boise: Idaho Senate shoots down tougher math, science standards here.

1. Albertsons Chief Executive Officer Larry Johnston’s earnings in 2005 were $16.4 million, nearly double what he got in 2004. But experts said his compensation is in line with that of other Fortune 500 executives here.

2. The first set of quintuplets born in Western Washington arrived safely at 9:17 a.m today at Swedish Medical Center here.

3. Best friends since fifth grade, Tasha Riddle and Raquel Mitola are both pregnant — with twins. They also share the same due date, June 7. And their four unborn babies share the same parents here.

4. A U.S. Senate committee approved legislation Wednesday to tighten federal regulations for Indian casinos, a development that could make it tougher for the Cowlitz Tribe to build a $510 million project near La Center, Wash., here.

5. Seattle Seahawk coach Mike Holmgren wonders if he’ll coach again after the 2006 season here.

6. IMHO-NW: Robert L. Jamieson Jr./Seattle PI (Ease up on parents of massacre victims), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Abortion numbers game), Ted S. McGregor Jr./Inlander (Parties crashing), Jim Moore/Seattle PI (Embattled WSU coach will stand ground), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (King Felix: Next big thing).

Online Poll: 51.6% of 1697 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say that war never justifies the suspension of civil liberties.

*Montana inmates pick up job skills, responsibilities at full-fledged dairy here.

*California woman indicted in arson fire that destroyed UW horticulture center here.

*The on-again, off-again filming of “Home of the Brave” in Spokane, starring Samuel L. Jackson, is on again here.

Orbusmax Special: Chilling draws attention here.

APhoto of the Day — 3/30/06

Jose Mendoza-Perez, left, and Keegan Miller, students at the Vistula Head Start in Angola, Indiana, work together to blow a giant bubble Wednesday, during a science bubble experiment. You write the cutline. (APhoto/Andy Barrand, Angola Herald-Republican)

DFO Column: Abortion Stats Not All That They Seem

Abortion statistics are as tricky as those in sports. On the surface, for example, a baseball player might hit for a decent average – around .265, with some home runs sprinkled in – and would seem to be a solid player for any ball club. But a closer look at statistics might reveal something else – that he’s a miserable hitter in the late innings when the game’s on the line, he can’t hit a curve ball, and strikes out too much. In other words, he’s not all of what he seems.

For the rest of my column re: “The Numbers Game,” click here.

Thursday Quick Fix 6 — 3/30/06

1. APhoto Fix: American reporter Jill Carroll was set free Thursday, nearly three months after she was kidnapped in a bloody ambush that killed her translator. She said she had been treated well. Above, she appears on a video aired in Kuwait Feb. 9, asking people to do whatever her Iraqi kidnappers want to get her released here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Darryl Cagle (Another enticing war), Chip Bok (Christian peacemaker teams), and M.E. Cohen (Guest worker program).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs Your Kitty Is Nuts” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Borders, Waldenbooks won’t carry mag with Mohammed cartoon here, Global warming? Tahoe records most snow in 35 years here, Georgia congresswoman McKinney punches cop here, Tennessee prisons ban peanut butter jars here, and Texas principal flies Mexican flag at high school here.

6. Opinion Fix: Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (Patriots, Then & Now), George Will/Washington Post (Guard borders, face facts), Theodore Dalrymple/London Times (Striking idiocy of French youth), Myrna Blyth/National Review (Mothers are best “life coaches”), and Robert Novak/Townhall (Karl Rove supreme).

Overnight Mail — A Really Inflammatory Post

Chris Rodkey (re: P.S. question, “How would Al Gore have reacted if he’d been president during 9/11?”): Not to engage in a fight that obviously has no winners (this is a really imflammatory post, Dave, I’m not sure what you expect to gain from this) …

DFO: Chris; sometimes, you can hook ‘em with worms or even salmon eggs; sometimes, you have to use a treble hook and snag them in the side; sometimes, you simply drop a stick of dynamite into the waterway. BTW, there’s nothing like snagging salmon with a treble hook at the (West Glacier) entrance to Glacier National Park. Alas, I hear treble-hooking dying salmon and whitefish has been outlawed …

Overnight Mail — A Slogan For Hayden

Truthseeker: Hayden: Land of the free (Free-wheeling sprawl, free congestion, free miles of vinyl fencing, free crowded schools, free of a small town feel, free of long-term residents, free of unobstructed views, free for the taking … )

DFO: Congratulations, Truthseeker, this is the best entry to the Name That Hayden Slogan Contest. The good news is that you beat out those references to Richard Butler, neo-Nazis, and Athol South. The bad news is that … there’s no prizes. Alas.

Pretty As A Picture — 3/29/06

Adelie penguins waddle down a huge iceberg to feed in the sea off the Antartic Peninsula. (AP Photo/Linda Johnson)

CDADave’s Wayback Machine — Templin’s Resort

There isn’t much to feature tonight on the Best of the Local Blogs, so I’m opting for one of CDADave’s Wayback Machine photos. Here, you’ll see Templin’s restaurant, which used to block the view of Lake Coeur d’Alene (between the present clock tower and Independence Point) as you entered downtown southbound off Northwest Boulevard. Once Duane Hagadone seized control of Bob Templin’s hospitality empire in 1983, he renamed Templin’s after the late Fred Murphy, and then he tore it down.

The Big Unit: A Deadbeat Dad?

AP photo

“The heartbroken love child of Yankee superstar Randy Johnson yesterday broke her silence for the first time to describe how the peevish pitcher coldly responded to letters she sent him as a little girl pleading to meet him. ‘I would get cards back from him with just his signature - ‘Randy,’ ” said Heather Renee Roszell, 16, who bears a striking resemblance to her ‘Big Unit’ father.”

For the rest of the New York Post story and a fun headline, click here.

Bearable Bob: … that Randy Johnson story absolutely spiked my blood pressure…what a complete waste of oxygen the Pig Unit is. Unreal. I used to like the guy, now he’s shown himself to be the equivalent of the deadbeat dads on the most wanted page on support enforcement’s web page.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/29/06

Stephanie King, left, Rhiannon Edwards, center, and Alex Hancock, embrace Tuesday in Seattle, during a Service of Hope for six victims killed Saturday in a house-party shooting spree. Meanwhile, a young man said he invited Kyle Huff to his after-hours party because he was “sketchy” and gave off “bad vibes” — and he thought it would be entertaining to have someone like that at his house here/Elaine Thompson, Ap photo.

Eye On Boise (breaking): JFAC reaches park upgrade deal that satisfies Gov. Dirk Kempthorne here.

1. The state will appeal a King County judge’s ruling that restores voting rights to convicted felons who have served their time but owe court-imposed fines here.

2. Investigators are expected to announce soon that arson likely was the cause of the $11 million fire that destroyed the nearly completed Kennedy Apartment complex on the Gonzaga University campus earlier this month here.

3. The Whitefish home of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was destroyed by fire Sunday morning, three days after he’d close the sale on it, here.

4. Wildlife wandered the Wyoming landscape long before humans began building homes and yards. But now that humans are here, many still enjoy seeing wildlife in their landscapes and “wildscape” to keep the birds, deer and other animals coming back again and again here.

5. The Catholic Diocese of Spokane is running so low on cash that it has stopped paying its lawyers, even as major developments in its bankruptcy case unfold here.

6. IMHO-NW: Susan Paynter/Seattle Times (The teen that left before shooting), Cheryl Ann-Millsap/Spokesman-Review (Saluting Art Buchwald), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Arrival of Arena Football), Jim Moore/Seattle PI (Mariner Musings), and Jerry Hitchcock/Coeur d’Alene Press (Memorial Field: A “Natural” landmark).

Online Poll: 60% of 262 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll said Cecil Andrus was the best governor of the last four to serve Idaho, including current Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.

*20 Kenyans with machetes rob, beat missionary family from Post Falls, Idaho, here.

*Seattle Mariners make roster changes here.

*A couple wanted on drug charges after their rescue from the mountains of southwest Oregon were arrested Tuesday in Washington state here.

*Brutal killer of Spokane man released after only 4 years here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon secretary of state PRster gets carried away on liberal blog here.

APhoto of the Day — 3/29/06

This photograph, released by sculptor Daniel Edwards on Tuesday shows his sculpture of singer Britney Spears giving birth. The life-sized ‘Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston’ can be seen at the artists studio in in Moosup, Conn. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daniel Edwards)

DFO: This is Yahoo! News “Most Viewed” and “Most E-mailed” photo today. It’s edgy. It’s also beautiful art, too. I don’t mean to offend. Let me know if I have.

Question of the Day — Templin Barricades Trail

Issue: Trail and tribulations: Although Templin owns property, some think that barricading of Centennial Trail in Post Falls is unfortunate, premature/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Good grief! Mr. Hospitality is starting to act like Hagadone.

Question: What do you think of Bob Templin barricading an important part of the two-state Centennial Trail?

Quick Fix 6 — 3/29/06

1. APhoto Fix: The base of the “Vision of Peace” statue at City Hall now holds a display called “Vision of Peeps” in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday. The marshmallow Peeps Easter candy along with a small stuffed bunny are part of the display put down as a symbol of protest by a handful of employees after last week’s decision to kick the Easter Bunny out of a City Council office here. (AP photo)

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Smoking bans), Rob Rogers (Immigration), and Jeff Stahler (Casper Weinberger, RIP).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Ten Top Ways Barry Bonds Can Improve His Image” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Spanish media organized nationwide protests here, Scalia chastises Boston newspaper here, Afghan convert finds sanctuary in Italy here, South Carolina OKs death for repeat child rapists here, and World treated to total eclipse of sun here.

6. Opinion Fix: Ralph Kenney Bennett/Wall Street Journal (Iraq’s Medal of Valor winner), Michelle Malkin/RealClearPolitics (Racism gets a whitewash), Amir Taheri/Wall Street Journal (Dictators trying to wait Bush Out), Dick Morris/The Hill (How GOP can survive immigration debate), and Chuck Colson/BreakPoint (Creating men).

HBO — To Chris Rodkey RE: Political Corruption

Chris: It’s probably not the best idea to start declaring “corruption” a hallmark of either political party. I think both Democrats and Republicans have a pretty rich history in illegalities and misdeeds. Democrats are trying to call the majority the “Culture of Corruption,” but that might not be a great idea. Trying to claim the moral high ground often comes back to bite you in the butt.

DFO: One of HBO’s Gen Yers nails it here. Only a true wingnut/moonbat would believe that his/her side is any purer than the others. The Dems were rotten with congressional corruption before the 1994 upheaval. The R’s are nearing the point of no return now. The best thing that happened to this country was the fiscal responsibility forced on Demo Clinton and congressional Elephants when American governance was fairly split.

HBO — To Jane Q. Citizen — 3/29/06

Jane Q: DFO, I worry that Saturday’s April Fools change to Daylight Savings Time just might send you over the edge. It’s Wednesday and I’m posting on the “Thursday” Wild Card which is from yesterday which was Tuesday. Have we all fallen down the rabbit’s hole? LOL!

DFO: Not only that, but I gave the date three times yesterday as 6/28/06. Mebbe I’m stunned by all the daylight pouring through my office windows. I can’t even use the excuse that I’m blogging at the speed of light. Simple brain cramps all. (What worries me more is that only a couple of you saw those mistakes.)

CDADave Parody: Debra LaFave

Plus: Dave’s commentary here

P.S. — Stebbijo’s Simple Things — 3/28/06

Wake up and smell the simple things!
Some of us don’t have rose gardens! Simple things are those special perks in life that you take for granted and forget that sometimes the simple life is the good life.

1. Having no money is less taxing when you reconcile your bank account.
2. American Idol is FREE and it is an awesome concert.
3. You can buy flavored coffee these days without grinding it!
4. If you want a wind chime, all you have a do is hang out your old pots and pans!
5. Women have instant curl with curling irons instead of rags.
6. Golf is now a full time sport.
7. You can buy a new microwave for under 50 bucks and we have ‘cup of soups’!
8. You can buy tooth filling in the store now and women don’t need a prescription for monostat!
9. No piles of paper newspapers - we have the internet.
10. There a camping spot in the woods that is waiting for you and only you know where it is - with your own rushing creek.

Question (from Stebbijo here): Any simple things in your life to add? Your choice…

Top Cutlines — 3/28/06

A girl watches at a Persian cat during a two day international cat exhibition in Bulgarian capital Sofia over the weekend. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)

Top Cutlines

1. You’re dethspicable! — James Bond.

2. Garfield finally comes to the realization that he shouldn’t have sold his soul to the devil for that extra pan of lasagna — Digger.

3. A young girl congratulates Bob on his 150th day without a cigarette — John Austin.

HM: A Token D

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

My2Cents — Wanda Quinn Steps Down

The self-proclaimed “Three Amigas” — Wanda Quinn, Nancy Sue Wallace and Sue Thilo — have made quite an impact on the Coeur d’Alene scene. Nancy Sue helped Lake City embrace public art during her tenure as a CdA council woman. Sue Thilo served on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees before being selected to replace Jim Hammond on the Idaho Board of Education. And Wanda has served this community as the long-time chairwoman of the Coeur d’Alene School Board.

She’s been a guiding hand for the amazing construction phase the school district has experienced in the past 12 years, including the opening or significant upgrades of both high schools, the alternative high school and a handful of elementaries. During that same time, the board has hired high-caliber superintendents and stayed away from the controversies that bedeviled previous boards, including the Impressions textbook flap that divided the community. It’s a shame that Wanda will leave office with the bitter taste of the recent $40M levy defeat in her mouth. But others will complete the task of finishing the building projects. She’s earned a breather. And the community’s heart-felt thanks — as have the other amigas.

Question RE: Seattle Massacre, Rave Scene

Idawa: I’ve been reading a lot about the Seattle massacre, given that it occurred less than a mile from my house….and one thing I found surprising on the list of victims was how old the men were (over 20) and how young the women were (15 or younger). I don’t know anything about the rave scene, but is it like this normally, lots of older men associating with underage women???

DFO: Do any of you Gen-Yers have an answer for Idawa re: the Rave scene?

Eye On Boise — Butch (Hearts) Lori

Congressman Butch Otter has announced his engagement to Lori Easley, a vice principal in the Meridian School District. A photo of the engaged couple is posted on Otter’s campaign website, showing the two smiling tensely. No wedding date has been set.

For the rest of the story by Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise, click here.

DFO: Mebbe Jim Risch should appoint Lori to be lieutenant governor rather than First Lady Patricia Kempthorne during the few months he place-holds the top exec spot, while waiting for Butch to take on Demo Jerry Brady in the finals — just to keep it in the family.

New APhoto of the Day — 3/28/06

A girl watches at a Persian cat during a two day international cat exhibition in Bulgarian capital Sofia over the weekend. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)

DFO: With apologies to John Austin, the lone entrant, there wasn’t much interest in the last APhoto of the Day; so, how about this one?

Question of the Day — Expectant Fathers

In his column today, sleep-deprived father-to-be Marc Stewart/Coeur d’Alene Press, is worrying already about his first born:

*Falling down and skinning a knee.
*A decent child care provider.
*”Its” teen-age years (He and his wife elected not to know the child’s gender).
*Whether he’ll be a good Dad

Quoth Marc: “Yet, every time I feel ‘It’ move inside her tummy, I get a goofy grin and forget all of my worries.

Question: What would you tell Marc to calm him down while he awaits the new arrival in 2 months?

HBO — to James Bond RE: Card Resignation

James Bond: I see Andy Card resigned this morning. FINALLY! President Bush, IMHO, really hurt himself by not encouraing staff turnover. Jobs in the White House are high stress, and I believe that turnover is necessary. Andy Card was one of, if not the, longest serving Chief of Staff. He seemed like a real nice guy, and I’m sure he was a good administrator, but you need fresh ideas and fresh motivation.

DFO: If only Dirk coulda held out for chief of staff … (totally a gratuitous comment to get anti-Dirkster JB’s goat)

HBO — to Digger & Sara RE: Campus Booze Ban

Digger: The University of Idaho lifted a similar ban a while back, and as far as I can see, it hasn’t had an adverse effect on the campus. As far as mixed messages are concerned, I don’t think it sends one.

Sara: Making alcohol available on campus no more encourages underage drinking than selling beer at Applebee’s does - the presence of underage people doesn’t mean we’re encouraging them to drink. And I don’t know how anyone can make it through a fundraiser without a drink or two. I think it’s a good idea, especially since the place where most underage folk do their drinking is outside of bars with their buddies that bring home a bunch of beer. If their buddies are out at the bar, they won’t be bringing home booze for their underage cohorts. Or at least not as much.

DFO: It’s a shame that booze is needed to oil the skids for raising money on a college campus. But it’s also a reality. A little mind-altering here, and a fatter contribution there. A good argument was made in the “comments” section that almost all college campuses are wet anyway. Another good argument was made that it sends a mixed message to colleges, like WSU, which has had student booze problems. Me? A glass of wine at a public event is usually my limit. So, it wouldn’t have a big impact.

Quick Fix 6 — 3/28/06

1. APhoto Fix: Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger checks his notes as he appears before the Iran-Contra Committee on July 31, 1987. Weinberger, who served in the Cabinets of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and was central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, died today. He was 88. Click here. (AP File Photo/Barry Thumma, File)

2. Cartoon Fix: Bill Schorr (Polygamy), Jeff Stahler (Cloning), and Ed Stein (Obsessing about college sports).

3. Humor Fix: The number of smokers in the country is at its lowest level in 53 years. That’s because most smokers are now dead! — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Nofziger dies at 81 here, Gallup: Health care tops terror as top U.S. issue here, Animal rightists: Go vegetarian to avoid bird flu here, Poll: Most think illegal aliens are serious problem here, and The Smoking Gun: Kerry’s strange hotel demands here.

6. Opinion Fix: Sens. John Cornyn & Jon Kyl/Houston Chronicle (Don’t reward illegal behavior), Jack Kelly/RealClearPolitics (Sunday’s gunfight in Iraq), NY Daily News (He knew. He lied. 2749 people died), Rebecca Hagelin/Heritage Foundation (Video game violence & our sons), and Meghan Basham/Townhall (Review: “Inside Man”).

Wild Card/Monday — 3/27/06

For some reason, I’ve been outta step all day long. Off my game. Dunno why — other than the fact that it’s Monday. Well, Workday Monday is in my rear-view mirror. And I thank you guys for hanging in there with me while I got my feet on the ground. Now, I’ll leave you with a Wild Card while I head home for some grits and vegging …

P.S. — What To Do About Illegals?

50,000 rally against crackdown on illegal aliens in downtown Denver/AP photo

Issue: Senate panel OKs immigration bill: Legislation gives millions of illegals opportunity to seek U.S. citizenship/WorldNet Daily; and: Thousands of L.A. students walk out: Hispanics protest proposed crackdown on illegal aliens/Agence France-Presse; and: Study: Illegals land jobs, others pay: Meanwhile, more American-born workers unemployed/Cox News Service

DFO: Seems to be that the tide is turning in favor of the illegal aliens. Amazing.

Question: What advice would you give your congressman re: what to do about illegal aliens?

Top Cutlines — 3/27/06

A patient is squeezed below bags during a move from an old wing to a new wing at the Huaxi hospital in Chengdu, in China’s southwest Sichuan province on Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Color China Photo)

Top Cutlines

1. Mr. Chang was saved from the trash dump when the hospital remembered that he had good insurance — A Token D.

2. Mr. Chen goes undercover to investigate the theft of body parts at the Chengdu-bird-flu wing of the Huaxi Hospital — Paul Ferguson.

3. The last reporter to highlight the human rights abuse is being transported for disposal — KaleJ.

HM: Dave Tolle

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

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/27/06

Police and King Co. (Wash.) Medical Examiners Office workers remove a body from a house where a gunman opened fire in Seattle early Saturday, killing six before committing suicide when confronted by police. The house was a rental home occupied by 20 young partygoers at the time, police said, here and here. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, John Lok)

Side Bar: Alleged Seattle gunman had ties to Whitefish, Mont., here.

1. Seattle Times: “What is Washington State University’s athletic department doing about its baseball manager who lied on his job application and dealt with his former employer less than honestly? Nothing.” For the rest of the editorial, click here.

2. The same company that made mistakes on the scoring of 4,400 SAT college entrance exams will be grading this year’s Washington Assessment of Student Learning here.

3. “March of the Penguins” is a shoe-in for an award as judges are huddling in Missoula, Mont., to pick the best international wildlife films here.

4. In pilot programs at its alternative schools, the Meridian School District in the Boise area no longer is handing out D’s & F’s, favoring instead to grade students on a system involving A’s, B’s, C’s and work in progress, here.

5. Kirkland-based is getting a bad reputation among some consumers who say the site didn’t find them a perfect match at all here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/SR (Huckleberries: Zags make “Law & Order”), Frank Mieli/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (More mainstream media madness), Bill Virgin/Seattle PI (Don’t toss the clutter), Rebecca Nappi/SR (Wanted: Easier access to grave), John Wilson/WSU Daily Evergreen (Promoting free expression at WSU), and Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (George Mason stuns UConn).

Opinion Poll: A plurality of 33.2% among 1420 respondents to an Olympian poll now say that the best proposed motto for Washington state is “Washington: Left of Everything.”

*The brother of two Seattle men convicted in the shooting death of University of Idaho football player Eric McMillan has been found guilty on two counts of perjury here.

*Survey: Montanans less likely to pay $50 in taxes to help neighbors make ends meet here.

*WSU baseballers beat Stanford for first time since 1978 here.

Orbusmax Special: 7 or 11 Mount Hood glaciers have melted an average of 30% here.

CDADave: Remembering A Dark Day, Year

“At about 9pm tonight, March 27th, it will be exactly five years since my Mom passed away. And I can’t believe it’s been that long; the time has just flown by in a blur. Then, some 57 days later, Dad left this earth, too. 2001 was a really dark year for our family. My sister, who’s been a CNA, took care of Mom during her last painful months, and then she tried as hard as she could to console my Dad after Mom’s passing. What was I doing? Driving cab at the time, trying to keep the rent paid, trying to survive. During the final months in the lives of both parents, my sister gave everything she had, caring for the both of them. She mentally exhausted herself and is still recovering from everything she went through back then. I had periodically seen Mom and Dad during the last few years, touching base every now and then, but my sister was an absolute angel, there day in and day out for both of them.”

For the rest of the touching post by CDADave re: the loss of his mother (five years ago today) and the touching care provided her by his sister, click here.

Missoula Columnist: What Newspapering Is Like

“Putting out a newspaper is like making the movie “Ben-Hur” every day. The effort is intense. You’re never sure of the exact time you’ll get to the fat part of the crescendo. People who are key to a story could call you back at 5 p.m. Or 6. No one can ever really answer that question from family and friends on the phone, “What time will you be done?” The next day, the whole relentless business starts over. You start rolling the rock uphill again.”

For the rest of the terrific column by Ginny Merriam upon her departure from the Missoulian, click here.

Item: ISU Names Mr. H Top Biz Leader

“For 36 hours, the middle of Idaho disappeared. Northwest met southeast. The gulf between the southern tip of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the northern fringe of American Falls Reservoir wasn’t 300 miles; it was one smooth skipping rock apart. Cascade and Challis vanished. Salmon and St. Anthony got the squeeze. Our Republicans mirrored their Republicans. Their Mormons looked a lot like our Catholics. For 36 hours, Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello were more than sister cities; they were estranged siblings reunited in a fleeting but warm embrace by, of all things, a group of Idaho State University students.”

For the rest of M.E. Mike Patrick’s gushy story about Duane Hagadone being named ISU Idaho Business Leader of the Year, click here.

WorldNetDaily Poll — 3/27/06

Associated Press photo

Issue: Father of LaFave’s victim: Debra should have got jail: Says teacher shows no remorse: ‘It’s a horrible, ugly thing that she’s done’/WorldNetDaily

Question: Should Debra LaFave have received prison time for having sex with a boy, 14?

1. No, the sex was consensual, and the boy is a hero
2. No, she’s incredibly beautiful, so I’m glad she’s not locked behind bars
3. No, this was not a case of rape or exploitation
4. No, if the family is not willing to testify in court, then of course she shouldn’t face jail
5. While it was a ‘horrible, ugly thing,’ I’m not sure jail is the answer here
6. She deserves jail, and I’m disappointed the family cowered in fear of a public trial
7. Yes, what’s the point of statutory rape laws if no one goes to jail?
8. Yes, and the fact she didn’t reveals a glaring double-standard. A male teacher would have been sent up the river
9. Yes, the woman is a child rapist, plain and simple
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 6-9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/26/06

I’m taking a break today, HBOers; so, you’ll have to make do with this Wild Card. Sorry, after moving Mom from a house to an apartment Saturday, I want a day of complete rest …

My2Cents — Men Who Cry And Women Who Love ‘Em

We’ve been having quite a discussion about Adam Morrison’s tears after the horrible loss to
UCLA. I only have an inkling of how he felt, having lost important games at all levels of baseball and softball play, from Little League all-star into college. An inkling. I’d need a press pass to qualify to be anywhere near the level of game that Adam, J.P. and the rest of the Zags are routinely involved in. I can’t remember crying. In fact, you can count the times that I’ve cried as an adult on one hand, twice involved the death of loved ones and once each as I dropped my kids off at college for the first time their freshmen years. It bothers me when I hear men talk about crying. Are they trying to show their galpals that they’re sensitive? Or vulnerable? Do femmes like that sorta thing? It seems wussy to me. Bottom line? Men should be able to show strength and consideration without turning on the waterworks.

Question of the Day — UI Tabs One Of Its Own

Issue: Idaho to name Pfeifer as coach: Press conference scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Moscow/Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

Question: Does this mean that George Pfeifer, a successful Division II coach at Lewis-Clark State, is the best man for the job? Or the only man who’d hang in there while UI rebuilds?

HBO — To Chris Rodkey II RE: Fair-Weather Fans

Chris Rodkey: Is it possible for local teams to do anything but choke in the clutch? IMHO: The root of problem lies in the fact that most Spokane sports fans are not actual sports fans, but rather like to support the team that’s doing well at the moment. I remember “Go Eags” (sigh) mania when EWU got close a while ago … but so very, very many years go by when Eastern is just flat-out ignored by local sports “fans.” Would an Elite 8 appearance have added a few thousand dollars to the asking price for McCarthey season tickets? Maybe a final four would have set a minimum $10,000 per seat? I lost interest in Gonzaga when it became a high-minded, almost fashionable, thing to watch.

DFO: I began enjoying local college sports far more since I’ve become a front-runner, going with the local team that has the hot hand. I follow them all, including listening to the 4-25 Vandals when Utah State scored 30 or so points in a row against them this year. But I reserve the passion for the years WSU is bowl bound. Or the M’s play .500 ball or better. Or the Zags win the WCC and have a shot for a good tournament run. Otherwise, it gets too painful. That’s why I’ve never been a Seattle Seahawks fan. In the end, it always seems to get painful (even when the regional teams are good).

HBO — To Chris Rodkey RE: In-House Commenting

Chris Rodkey: I have just started to delve into this blog, even though it might not make sense for me to do so because it happens to be where I’m employed. But even just now I can see why people get turned off from it. As a journalist I have thick skin and can shrug off most things. But part of “shrugging off” means that I pretty much blow off unreasonable people. I’d hate to do that here, but I don’t want to get involved in pettiness. Discussions are great, and having opinions are wonderful, but there’s no need to insult people’s ideas, it’s just rude.

DFO: I’m glad you’re kicking HBO’s tires and checking under the hood, Chris. We generally have a good time here. And you hear things at HBO that you’d never hear in letters to the editor or even phone calls from readers. As journalists, we have ways to control disagreeable or upset people. I don’t try to control things here, unless someone gets too far out of line; then, there’s the cooler. As a result, you have bad days. Today wasn’t a great one in HBO history, although I learned much re: the reaction to Adam Morrison’s tears at the end of the UCLA game. I felt terrible for the kid. But others saw it another way, particularly PDX Pup, a former college athlete who has played in important postseason games. Her post was worth the price of admission today.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Vatican & the Crusades

Issue: Vatican changes heart over Crusades -– again: Reopens debate on war for ‘noble aim’ of regaining Holy Land for Christianity/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of the Crusades?

1. The Crusades represent a Christian holocaust
2. They show the danger of religious dominance of the state
3. The cruelty of the Christian crusaders is the root cause of today’s Muslim hatred of the West
4. They represent a chapter of history the Church would like to forget
5. I don’t think we really know the full truth
6. It’s a mistake to judge the actions of people in the past by today’s standards
7. Killing for God is never right – both sides were equally guilty
8. The Crusades represent a largely defensive war against Islam’s expansion
9. Despite some clear atrocities committed by the Christians, the Crusades were basically justified
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 5-7

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.


Issue: Blogger forced out amid plagiarism charges: Washington Post to hire journalist to take over conservative feature/Editor & Publisher

Additional Info: “Ben Domenech’s conservative blog Red America lasted all of three days at the Washington Post. He quit today after numerous examples of alleged plagiarism in his work surfaced. Yesterday, in a separate matter, he had apologized for calling Coretta Scott King a “Communist” the day after her recent funeral”/Editor & Publisher.

Question: Do you pay attention to laws re: copyright and plagiarism when your blogging? Or do you know them well enough to be concerned?

TGIF Top Cutlines — 3/24/06

Gonzaga forward Adam Morrison collapses to the floor after losing to UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen Thursday night. You write the cutline.(Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Top Cutlines

1. “Ahhhh, my life is Bruined!” — Family Phil.

2. “No, please don’t send us back to Spokane. Coach said we’d have to sit through the Spokane Symphony’s Showtune Extravaganza if lossed. Oh, the pain, the pain…” — Apple Sider.

3. No more pictures of the stache’ ! I’m gonna get Gillette to pay me to take that baby off! — Stopthecrazygrowth.

HM: JBelle

PDX Pup Has Felt Mo’s Pain, Sans Tears

PDX Pup: I gotta say I DO feel for Adam Morrison — I’ve been in his shoes exactly and then some. (My team suffered several heartbreaking losses in the NCAA tournament, but we were in the Final Four, not the Sweet Sixteen). Anyways, as I was watching the drama in Oakland, I was hoping Tom Hanks would come out on the floor and recite his monologue from “A League of Their Own.” (Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying, there’s no crying in baseball…) There’s a time and a place for everything—walking off the floor shedding a few tears is expressive and shows you have emotions, but flailing and rolling on the floor shows why JJ Redick may just be drafted higher than you, should you decide to go in June. You should’ve left the floor with your head held high and save the bawling/wailing/sobbing for the locker room, the team bus, your hotel room. When my team blew a 2-0 lead at halftime vs. Notre Dame in the semis at the Final Four and lost 3-2 (the 3rd year in a row we went out at the hands of ND, all 3 in the Final Four), there was no rolling around midfield wailing—just graciously accepting the consolation trophy in front of all the fans, and then as we were walking out of the stadium, out of sight, one of my teammates chucked her trophy into the cyclone fence and left it there (gotta love those kids from Boise!). Express your frustrations and sadness, but when you’re still on the court do it in a way that befits a player of your caliber—when was the last time you saw Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant flailing on the floor after a heartbreaking defeat? Those are two guys who are fierce competitors as well. Show all the fans that you can be a fierce competitor AND a gracious loser.

DFO: Pup’s sorta outed herself here, as a top-notch athlete and former member of the high-flying University of Portland women’s soccer teams, which in recent years have won two national championships. She knows whereof she speaks when it comes to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, probably more than anyone else who posts here. I’m humbled that she takes time to be part of our three-ring circus.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/24/06

A small cannon, taken from the back room of a museum in Dillon, Mont., by a compulsive antiques thief, has been returned nine years later here.

Go 2 Guy: Gonzaga fans slide from smug to shocked here.

1. Stinky, a young black Labrador who was buried alive in his owners back yard, is getting a second life at a Spokane County animal shelter here.

2. Mercury found at Lake City High has closed the Coeur d’Alene school for a second day here. Meanwhile, the culprit who admitted stealing 50 vials of mercury from a dental office is so sorry that authorities fear he might harm himself here.

3. The state of Oregon’s ability to prevent more billboards from sprouting up along highways was dealt a blow Thursday when the Oregon Supreme Court said a state billboard regulation law violates constitutional free speech protections here.

4. Believe it or not, “SayWA” is leading a five-way race for top Washington slogan in a tongue-in-cheek Olympian poll that includes my personal favorite: “Washington: Home of Wet Sweatshirt contests.” If you want to cast a vote, click here.

5. Arizona authorities have filed felony drug charges against two members of a family that was rescued from a snowbound motor home in southern Oregon earlier this week here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bud Withers/Seattle Times (Gonzaga loses heart-breaker), Dirk Kempthorne/Idaho Statesman (Invest in state parkland), Missoulian (Starbucks shouldn’t shake up Missoula), Joel Connelly/Seattle PI (Cantwell’s vilification by Left bizarre), Bardia Mehrabian/WSU Daily Evergreen (Feminists losing focus).

Online Poll: 88% of 606 respondents to a Helena Independent-Record poll say that all Web sites containing pornography should be required to have XXX in the domain name.

*Seattle CF Jeremy Reed breaks his wrist chasing down fly ball here.

*A year after drought worries, Northwest snowpack rebounds here.

*U-Dub replaces logo on its specialty license plates here.

Orbusmax Special: Rude 911 calls in Portland border on harassment here.

The Comforts of Home

Between daily mortar attacks and a seemingly endless succession of twelve to fifteen hour duty shifts, the resourceful members of this US Army maintenance platoon, nicknamed the “Pirate Platoon,” have managed to create a haven of home-style luxury in the middle of what was recently a combat zone. Soldiers of the Pirate Platoon celebrate the completion of their full-size “California-style” hot tub. (AP photo)

CDA Press: English Point Belongs To Public

English Point National Recreation Trail system near Hayden Lake is unlike any other 360-acre parcel in our gorgeous region. It’s irreplaceable. It’s clean, pristine and a joy to experience in any season. It is also targeted for potential sale to the highest bidder. English Point is on a list of properties the federal government would sell to temporarily fund a program that gives counties income from property-tax-exempt federal lands. We think Congress needs to find other ways to fund rural schools and roads than selling off prized public property.

Here’s the rest of the dead-on editorial by the Coeur d’Alene Press: Let them know it’s not for sale: You own English Point. Please, don’t sell it.

Question of the Day — CDA/Fernan Growth

Issue: CdA won’t hook up tower: Council decides against expanding Fernan sewer/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

Additional Info: Coeur d’Alene is unwilling to give Fernan Village additional residential sewer hookups, which will likely kill a proposal for a 30-story tower on Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive.

Whitecaps: Executive Session — Did The Council Decide?

Question: What do you think of Coeur d’Alene’s action in snubbing little Fernan re: this high-rise?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Easter Under Attack

Issue: Is Easter latest holiday hijack? Bunny gets booted from city council as some fear offending non-Christians/WorldNetDaily

Question: Do you sense Easter is under attack like Christmas?

1. No, Easter isn’t under attack and neither is Christmas – get over it
2. No – I agree Christmas was attacked but nothing’s happening to Easter
3. No, I still see plenty of Easter promotions in the stores
4. No
5. Both have pagan roots – it’s fine with me if they’re attacked
6. Yes, but the campaign against Easter is just in its infancy
7. Yes, but the attack on the real Easter began long ago with chocolate bunnies and colored eggs
8. Yes, I’m expecting hand-to-hand combat between the ACLU and the Easter bunny
9. Yes
10. Other

DFO: No. 7, but I’d like to say No. 8

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/23/06

I don’t expect anyone to be checking this blog or commenting here from 7 to 9 o’clock, accept possibly at halftime to post a “Go Zags” a time or two. ‘Tis a big night for the Inland Northwest. For those with an itch to post before or after the game, you can use this Wild Card …

Do You Know What Kind of Bear This Is?

We’ve been having a debate about what type of bear is sniffing the poppy below. The AP cutline said it was a black bear. But it doesn’t look like any kind of black bear that I’ve seen. So. Thom George provided a shot of the bear from another angle. Thom contends that it’s a Goedde Bear. There is some resemblance to the Coeur d’Alene state senator of the same name. Anyone else out there care to guess?

Top Cutlines — 3/23/06

Jack Nicholson, third left, watches a model walk the runway during his daughter/designer Jennifer Nicholson’s Fall 2006 fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in Culver City, Calif., Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Top Cutlines

1. Jennifer: You want dancers? Jack: I want the youth. Jennifer: You can’t handle the youth! — Bob.

2. (tie) Nicholson, never one to skirt an issue, to his daughter: “This is much better than watchin’ Kobe every night,” and: Looking for late-season help for the Lakers, Nicholson checks out the Supersonic’s leading scorer — both John Austin.

3. (In my best joker impersonation, while cutting out vicki vale) “i have to remember to stay inside the lines” — Granati.

HM: A Token D, Whatever and Thom George (that should cover everybody — not a lot of entries, but good stuff).

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

Meanwhile, Joy Richards Is Challenging …

Rami Amaro’s eligibility to be a judicial candidate here.

HBO — To Sue RE: Jerry Lee’s Run For Senate

Sue: As an aside, the Jerry Lees (his wife is named Jeri also) are former neighbors of mine. Really good honest people who have raised 2 wonderful children. Anyone would be fortunate to have someone like Jerry represent them. If its not the right time for him, though, I hope he gives it a try in the future. Well-educated, good hearts, good people.

DFO: Jerry Lee, the former Post Falls High football coach, is still on the Democratic primary ballot as the possible opponent for state Sen. John Goedde, R-CDA. Now, he’s simply serving as a place-holder for a substitute Demo. Mebbe someone should talk him into going for it. He sounds like a decent sort. And state Rep. George Sayler proved that a Demo can win in District 4, which encompasses the city of CDA boundaries. Goedde’s arrogance re: his I’mtheBear remarks and support of legislative secrecy give him two big issues to jump-start his campaign.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/23/06

After years of drought, the mountain pine beetle, among other pests, is tearing up Northwest forests here.

Eye On Boise: 75-75 homeowner exemption bill passes Senate 28-7 here, minimum-wage bill falls 12-5 in committee here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times doodles re: Dubya’s plan to get out of Iraq here.

2. Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene is closed today and Friday as federal and local officials clean up traces of mercury that a student brought to school as early as Monday. Students and staff risked exposed to the mercury for at least three days before officials decided to close the school here.

3. Spokane has returned to the Big Screen as filming for “Home of the Brave” has begun, starring Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent), Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, Brian Presley and Christina Ricci. Scenes will be produced in Spokane through the end of April here.

4. The nation’s largest professional association of wildlife scientists and its chapters in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have endorsed a proposal to remove Yellowstone grizzly bears from the endangered species list here.

5. Depending on where you look, Washington State University head baseball coach Donnie Marbut claims to have a master’s degree, a teaching certificate or both. In reality, he has neither here and here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/SR (Keep South Hill Rapist locked up), D.F. Oliveria/SR (Keep law-making in the open), Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman (Patrick McManus: Mystery writer), Missoulian (Save GOP’s fiscal conservatives), and Dave Boling/Tacoma News-Tribune (Groupies appreciate Morrison’s approach to life, free subscription required).

Online Poll: 61.7% of 193 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say they don’t believe in psychics.

*Tidy thief swipes $3,562 in soccer gear from Sammamish high school here.

*National Guard general sez Idaho was model here.

*Olympia bar fined $500 after “Girls Gone Wild” show here.

*Missing Oregon survivalist and family puzzled investigators here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon disputes dirty air ranking here.

PDX Pup: Morrison, Gonzaga Have Arrived

HaHaHa! You know you’ve arrived as a player/program when “Law & Order” is making fun of your star player:

(show opens CHUNG! CHUNG! with four college-aged guys watching “the ballgame” on TV)

College Guy #1: Baby Bird! Woooo!
CG #2: Did you see the Oklahoma St. game?
CG #3: Heh, 30-foot bank at the buzzer.
CG #4: Man, when is this guy going to lose his raggedy-ass mustache?
CG #1: After he goes Numero Uno in the draft!
CG #4: No way! Dude got no hops, no speed…
CG #1: You just can’t give a white man no props, can you?!
CG #4: He’s a good COLLEGE ball player. Period.

Then their TV gets shot by a stray bullet through the wall in the room next door, allowing the following exchange to take place (after they ducked and cringed for 3 seconds):

CG #2: What the hell?
CG #1: (whiny voice) I don’t wanna miss the end this game…
CG #4: Daaaamn. Somebody shot our TV.
(cut to detectives on the scene.)

Pup: this was the opening scenario that “revealed” the crime to be solved and prosecuted on the show. The college guys were watching the game, a stray bullet fired from the room next next door goes through the wall and hits their TV. Cut to the cops in the room next door looking at a dead body of a private milatry contractor. Alas, the show did not build on the opening scene; it ended up being a revenge killing of this contractor, stemming from the death of one of his group members when they were on a job in Iraq.

Question No. 2 — Lake City Development Corp.

Issue: Gravel pit plan shows signs of life: But CdA park’s price up $2 million/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review; and: The price of growth: Lake City Development Corp. agrees to pay millions more than orginally planned for Riverstone West development/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Deferred property taxes in the urban renewal area, of course, will be used to pay the additional costs. But the eventual payoff to the public sounds nice — a pond and park easily accessible along the Spokane River.

Question: Are you comfortable with the work the urban renewal district has done in using property tax dollars from increased downtown valuations for projects like this?

SR Editorial: 3 Blind Justices Blew It

In handing down the disappointing decree, Eismann, Copple and Schroeder resembled the biblical Pharisees who were mesmerized by the letter of the law but failed to understand its intent. That the Idaho Constitution intended that the business of the Idaho Senate and the Idaho House “be transacted openly and not in secret session” is without dispute. That the Legislature has farmed out much of the business of the two houses to their committees is without dispute, too. That 21st-century Idahoans desire that public business be conducted in full view has been supported by several polls.

For the rest of my editorial re: the 3-2 court decision to allow legislative committees to close meeting for whatever reason, click here.

And remember: North Idaho Sens. John Goedde, Dick Compton, Mike Jorgenson and Joyce Broadsword voted for secrecy, too.

(Hat Tip: Thom George for e-mail addresses)

Quick Fix 6 — 3/23/06

1. APhoto Fix: Connor Reidy, 13 months, of Boston crawls to the finish line during the American Baby Derby Warm-Ups for the title of Boston’s fastest crawler at Boston Athletic Club in Boston Thursday. The winning babies will be set and ready to go for the BabiesR Us Baby Derby at the 14th annual Boston American Baby Fair this weekend at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Peaceniks, then & now), Gary Varvel (Global warming), and Nick Anderson (Lobbying reform).

3. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman’s “25 Mind-Numbingly Stupid Official Statements About Iraq” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Western leaders step into case of Afghan Christian convert here, Missouri teen survives quarter mile tornado ride here, ABC News: Iraq document describes meeting with Bin Laden here, College board finds 27,000 unchecked SATs here, and Chef gets big send-off on “South Park” here.

6. Opinion Fix: Wall Street Journal (What a world without U.S. power looks like), Debra Saunders/SF Chronicle (Go Bush), Carrie Lukas/Independent Women’s Forum (Achieving peace in the Mommy Wars), and Stephen Moore/Wall Street Journal (Of mice and men), Justin Raimondo/The American Conservative (Hillary The Hawk).

P.S. — Another Blogger Bites The Dust — 3/22/06

Issue: Sagebrush Patriot calls it quits: Cites conflict between blogging and his spiritual work as a Boise area assistant pastor.

DFO: Blogging is hard, scary work, even when you have a background in journalism like mine. It took me quite awhile to get comfortable with the fact that all that stands between you and publication is the “submit” button. When you’re blogging at the speed of light, mistakes happen. Occasionally, you make a poor decision re: what you post. Then, there’s the refereeing job that comes with a blog like this. It’s hard to make the right calls all the time. Blogging isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Question: Has blogging or commenting caused you any personal conflicts?

In The Interest Of Fairness …

… HBO has spotted the new Strong Mothers Against Child Molesters Web site, which, among other things, plans to track sentences handed down by judges against sex offenders. The only judge listed so far is John Mitchell here. You can check out the Web site here.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/22/06

Family Phil gave winter one last spring before hanging up the inner tubes here.

Extremely Cool: There appears to be a move afoot by Mari, Stebbijo and others to form an Inland Northwest Bloggers Association (sign me up) here.

*Put your hands together for HBO’s Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, who has been named the outstanding senior journalist by the UI School of Journalism and Mass Media here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings has several tough questions for the CdA leaders pushing the Kroc Center here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind tells of the time that she played the Game of Zorro on her kids here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice is wondering how she can send a letter to First Lady Patricia Kempthorne and it ends up in the hands of an inmate in South Dakota here.

*Bearable Bob continues his investigation into the whys and wherefores of Scientology here and here.

HBO PageViews: 7136 per day for March so far which means HBO has a good shot at its first 200,000 PV month. Many thanx, HBOers.

*Meanwhile, JBelle is thinking about her mother who died too soon and other female pioneers in her family here, Sagebrush opines on the South Hill Rapist here, Granati does bonsai here, Marianne continues to learn life’s lessons here, and Justin/Sagebrush Patriot announces he’s giving up blogging because it conflicts with his spiritual work here.

Question: Does Demo LaRocco Have A Chance?

“Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco startled fellow Democrats with his last-minute move Friday to challenge GOP Lt. Gov. Jim Risch. Part of the surprise was that LaRocco didn’t let party Chairman Richard Stallings know until about noon Friday he was eyeing the race, which already included Dan Romero of Nampa. Romero, a 20-year Army veteran who ran for Canyon County commissioner in 2004, was recruited by Stallings and the party’s likely nominee for governor, Jerry Brady.”

For the rest of the column by Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman re: Larry LaRocco’s surprise entry into the lt. gov’s race, click here.

Question: Does Democrat Larry LaRocco have a chance to beat Repub Lt. Gov. Jim Risch? Or will Idaho’s Republican majority and past sex scandal do him in?

See Incredible Footage Of Cat Falling …

… 80 feet and living to meow about it here (scroll down about two-thirds of the Billings Gazette Web page and click on the broadband/dial-up link on the right, next to the falling cat).

DFO: I just fixed the link. Try again.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/22/06

Survivor: Oregon Style: Six family members who disappeared more than two weeks ago after setting out on an overnight trip were found Tuesday in a mountainous area of southwestern Oregon, surviving in their snowbound recreational vehicle on dehydrated food and other provisions. Shown left to right are Sabastyan, Peter, Marlo and Gabrayell. here.

Eye On Boise: Idaho Legislature exempts shooting clubs from sales tax here!?

1. About 87,000 acres of spotted owl habitat in state forests would be off-limits to most logging under a lawsuit settlement approved by the state Board of Natural Resources here.

2. Now Tank Carter has even more time to think about how much he enjoyed that Super Bowl party. A judge increased jail time from six months to five years for the brother of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Tyrone Carter because he failed to report to prison on time for driving with a revoked license here.

3. Washington guard Brandon Roy — not Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison or Duke’s J.J. Redick — is the best player in college basketball, according to Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun here (free Tacoma News-Tribune subscription required).

4. Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota breathe cleanest air, but Oregon’s air among dirtiest here.

5. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker said a decision whether to prosecute former Spokane Mayor Jim West on state charges for misconduct in office is still in limbo here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Kempthorne should make position clear), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Zags living own odyssey), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Larry LaRocco’s bid for lieutenant governor), Tony Park/Idaho Statesman (ACLU isn’t the enemy), and Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Interior Department “of Evil”?).

Online Poll: 34% of 1377 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they’ve read “The DaVinci Code.”

*All 101 aboard rescued as British Columbia ferry sinks here.

*Pipeline erosion is Alaska’s biggest worry 17 years after Exxon Valdez oil spill here.

*Avista opens Great Falls office to market natural gas to Montanans here.

*A North Idaho convenience store clerk who shot and killed a robber won’t be prosecuted here.

Orbusmax Special: Misbehaving UW students could pay price for posting photos online here.

Mark Few: What’s A Guy To Do?

Issue: Growth keeps ‘Northwest guy’ home: Big-time universities want Gonzaga’s Few, too/Steve Bergum, Spokesman-Review

Question: Do you believe Gonzaga coach Mark Few will still be a Zag when the 2006-07 season comes around?

APhoto of the Day — 3/22/06

Kyle Pembroke, of Montpelier, Vt., checks out a sneaker at the 31st annual Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker contest held in Montpelier, Vt., Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

WSJ Editorial: Sell Excess USFS Land

The Bush administration proposed a novel idea recently: Sell off a tiny fraction of National Forest land to save money and raise funds for rural schools. Far from a revival of the Homestead Act signed up President Lincoln in 1862 and which distributed some 80 million federal acres over the following century, the idea is closer to holding a federal yard sale to clear out some of the junk that has accumulated over the years.

For the remainder of the Wall Street Journal column by Holly Fretwell, click here.

Related Story: Craig against land sale: Bush wants proceeds for schools, roads/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

Quick Fix 6 — 3/22/06

1. APhoto Fix: Ava Gardner (shown with Frank Sinatra in Reno on Aug. 19, 1951, has now had a post office named after her, in Smithfield, N.C.,. President Bush signed a bill Monday to rename the post office in honor of the Oscar-nominated actress, who grew up in Johnston County.(AP Photo/Albert Riethausen)

2. Cartoon Fix: Robert Airial (Genocide victims), Daryl Cagle (What debt ceiling?), and John Cole (Barry Bonds and designer steroids).

3. Humor Fix: This bird flu is pretty scary. I spent an hour last night rubbing Vicks Vapo-rub on my parakeet — Jay Leno.

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

5. Alternative News Fix: New Wal*Mart: $500 wine, sushi bar here, Study claim: Confident kids become liberals, whiny ones become conservatives here, Gallup Poll drops CNN due to low ratings here, Box Office: “Vendetta” is no slam dunk here, and Bird droppings prompt Atlanta warning signs here.

6. Opinion Fix: Prime Minister Tony Blair/RealClearPolitics (Why we fight on), Michelle Malkin/RealClearPolitics (Who will save Abdul Rahman here, Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Humanitarian case for war), Katie Favazza/Townhall (Colonel Sanders of nicotine), and Colleen Carroll Campbell/National Review (Pope John Paul II at death).

P.S. — Idaho D’s Win Standoff — 3/21/06

Democrats brought the House to a standstill this morning, by refusing to go along with suspending reading of bills. The reason: They want a hearing on their bill to increase the minimum wage, which House GOP leadership has been sitting on all session. Because of the Democrats’ protest, bills had to be read in full – and at length – by House Chief Clerk Pamm Juker, who dutifully read, and read, and read. In an hour, the House got through only two bills, with a couple of breaks for huddled negotiations.

For the rest of the story by Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise re: the incredible showdown at the Capitol, click here.

Question: Does this mean that: 1. There are more Demos in the state of Idaho than previously believed? 2. That existing Demos finally developed a backbone? 3. Nothing really, except that they ticked off the powers that be? 4. The political pendulum is starting to swing back from the righ to the center? or 5. That House Speaker Bruce Newcomb will order the offending D’s shot at sunrise and today’s business past by acclamation?

Top Cutlines — 3/21/06

Basketball player Kristin White, age 13, cuddles her dog Zoe at the Lake City Shootout, an AAU basketball tournament at Woodland Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, before her team the Coeur d’Alene Sparks, played their second game of the day Sunday. Tom Davenport/Spokesman-Review.

Top Cutlines

1. After her dog was stomped by a referee with size 13’s, the team had a long zoe mourning — Bob.

2. Mascot for the middle school, Zoe can’t wait to grow up and be a Gonzaga Bulldog — John Austin.

3. (tie) “If someone else mentions Taco Bell to me, I’m gonna go POSTAL!” — A Token D; and: Even as a pup, the little dog played a feisty game and was already being touted as the next Charles Barkley — Apple Sider.

HM: KaleJ

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

Question No. 2 — Is Kroc Center Worth Effort?

Issue: Kroc Center has holes to fill: City officials say pit needs to be filled, scrambling to come up with $1.1 million/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

Good Opening Line: “It’s the gift that keeps on costing” — Marc Stewart.

Question: Is Coeur d’Alene dumping money into a bottomless pit in its pursuit of the Kroc Center?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/21/06

Kyra Devore, 8, left, anticipates a day of skiing in good snow conditions as she and her little sister Kenna, 8, center, head to the Silver Mountain gondola over the weekend with family and friends. The deep snow and cool weather could keep the ski season going a couple weeks past it’s usual end here. Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review.

Breaking: Coby Karl, Boise State basketballer and son of Denver Nugget coach George Karl, undergoes thyroid cancer surgery here.

1. An 18-year-old Spokane man stands accused of killing a 45-year-old and dumping him in the Spokane River over an autographed Beatles poster here.

2. A Vietnam war-era deserter who was caught crossing into the United States and held for a week recently says he made a mistake when he went AWOL from the Marine Corps in 1968 and fled to Vancouver here.

3. The operators of Spokane-based diploma mills used an Arizona man to pay three top-ranking Liberian diplomats more than $43,000 in a series of cash bribes, according to court documents filed Monday here.

4. WSU AD Jim Sterk knew what he was doing sounded crazy when he approached Wisconsin basketball coaching legend Dick Bennett about taking over the Cougars flat-lining basketball program a few years ago, but it worked here.

5. With convicted South Hill Rapist Kevin Coe’s scheduled Sept. 8 release date fast approaching, state prosecutors have begun contemplating whether to pursue a civil case that could keep the prisoner behind bars until his death here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (France’s high price for job security), Idaho Statesman (Court ruling doesn’t back public view), Missoulian (Bully for bully policy), Frank Mieli/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Good news, bad news), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Jojima has glove, bat, tongue).

Online Poll: By a plurality of 51% to 44%, 645 respondents to a Billings Gazette poll say U.S. troops should stay in Iraq until the job is done rather than bring them home now.

*Top UW doctor Richard Root killed by crocodile in Africa here.

*As they approach their first Sweet 16 appearance in five years, Gonzaga’s defense is getting no respect here.

*Mississippi AG tells human-rights crowd about bringing justice to the murderers of three human-rights workers 41 years later here.

*Montana teens to face charges for lighting classmate on fire here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon asks households to keep diaries of pesticide use here.

My2Cents — Do You Care About Freedom of Press

You saw my rant yesterday about the three clueless Idaho Supreme Court justices who voted in the 3-2 majority to allow the legislative committees to close its meetings willy-nilly: Daniel Eismann, Linda Copple Trout and Gerald Schroeder. I and my press colleagues are under the impression that we represent the people when we fight for open meetings at all levels of government, including legislative. However, these issues get little reaction from the public. Taxpayers, understandably, are more concerned about the property tax bills and tax exemptions than they are about a House committee meeting behind closed doors to hammer out a relatively obscure issue. Are we media types being arrogant when we contend we represent you? Do you think we underwrite a lawsuit against the state Legislature for you or merely to make our own jobs easier? I’m not pointing fingers. I simply want to know what you think about the media’s obsession with press freedom.

Question of the Day — Rapist Kevin Coe

Issue: State could keep rapist locked up: Civil action needed before Kevin Coe’s release/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review

DFO: If there’s ever a guy to keep locked up for the rest of his life, it’s Kevin Coe.

Question: Is there anyone out there willing to say that Coe has paid his debt to society and should be let out of prison?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Teaching 5YOs About AIDS

Issue: 5-year-olds forced to learn about AIDS: New York mandatory lesson plan called ‘effort to sexually engineer our children’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think about AIDS education in kindergarten?

1. It’s long overdue
2. It’s never too early to make kids tolerant and compassionate
3. Fine, as long as it is taught with sensitivity and age appropriateness
4. The idea makes me queasy
5. Maybe kindergarten is a little too young
6. With all these social programs, how is there time to teach counting and the alphabet?
7. Just one more reason government schools are a dangerous place
8. What do you expect from NYC?
9. It’s obvious this is about promoting homosexuality, since there’s no push for gonorrhea or syphilis education
10. Other

DFO: No. 10, this is all about social engineering.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Monday — 3/20/06

I need to go over to the print side for a coupla hours, HBOers. You should have plenty below to keep you busy, reading and commenting. If not, use this Wild Card to start your own thread …

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/20/06

Coeur d’Alene Lake used to be the home of the Diamond Cup Hydroplane Race. Yeah, old-timers may tell you that it was nothing but trouble, but I found it tremendously exciting. This is the program from 1964. At that time, President Johnson had been in office a short time, The Beatles invaded America, and I was 10 years old. I’ve found several “hydroplane brochure covers” from various years on the net, and I’ll post a different one every now and then. That oughta float yer boat! — CDADave/Thin Air.

Noteworthy: Bearable Bob takes on Tom Cruise and the “South Park” Scientology controversy here.

*Gracious, the HBO blog roll has experienced a first. Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense, who’ll be interning with the SR’s CDA office this summer, assigned his mother to report on the St. Paddy’s Day Parade in CDA Friday here. (Also, Sam notes that his mother, Julie, was an extra in “Heaven’s Gate,” which intrigues me because the floperoo was filmed in Kalispell & Wallace while I was the M.E. at the Kalispell paper.)

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides a wonderful reminiscence about learning to ride a bike as a 6-year-old here and a party that brought out “old Sandpoint” here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals reports that Don Verlin has emerged as the frontrunner for the UI Vandals men’s basketball coaching job here.

*In “It Isn’t Always Easy Wearing Green,” Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings wonders why Irish terrorist Gerry Adams is participating in a St. Paddy’s party at the White House when he’s on this country’s terror watch list here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps takes note of a catch-and-release sex offender in South Carolina who has reoffended in dramatic style, and Bill wonders about the reliability of the so-called experts in predicting which pervs will reoffend here.

Editor Steve Smith/Ask The Editors admits that the SR violated its own policy by not disclosing that Inland Empire Co. is a Cowles-owned business here.

Meanwhile, Granati provides a “click and draw” site that is as cool as he sez here, KaleJ proves a cartoon spoof is worth 1000 words when it comes to spam here, and JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA praises servant leadership here.

“Pregnant Woman” Robs Bank of America

“Coeur d’Alene police officers and local FBI responded to the Bank of America for the report of a robbery. Tellers inside of the bank related that the female suspect came into the bank and stayed for a while talking to one of the tellers. The female was nervous and had a list of bills she needed to pay on a post it note. The teller said the suspect appeared stressed as she told her that she has four kids to take care of with a fifth one on the way. The female was wearing a maternity top and appeared pregnant.

“That teller went to a different window and the suspect approached a different teller. She immediately demanded cash from the teller. She told her she had a gun but she did not display it. The suspect then left the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. She was last seen in the 100 block of North 4th St.

“The suspect is described as in her mid 30’s, 5’9, heavy set from pregnancy, dark hair in a bun, very blue eyes, and a fair complexion. She was wearing a teal colored maternity top with ¾ length sleeves and white pants. See the attached bank photo of the suspect. Anyone with any information on this crime is asked to contact the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 769-2320 or the Tip Line at 769-2296.”

Sergeant Christie Wood
Public Information Officer
Coeur d’Alene Police Department

CDADave (2:13 p.m. today): I don’t know how accurate this is, but there may have been a bank robbery at the Bank of America on south 4th Street. Police cars were parked in the middle of the street at 2nd and Front, and 5th and Front; an unmarked car with lights flashing was parked at 5th and Sherman. A couple passers-by told me there was a bank robbery there. (I found out while at Java on Sherman). Again, this is an uncomfirmed report, but YOU HEARD IT HERE!

March Magic

SR Photo/Kathy Plonka

and hocus pocus,
last week we had snow,
now we have crocus.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/20/06

Iraq war protestors march through liberal Portland on the Iraq war’s third anniversary. Meanwhile David Reinhart/Oregonian wonders if the “anti-war left who sally forth at every bit of bad news seem to want Iraq to fail?” here. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Eye On Boise: Idaho Supreme Court rules 3-2 against openness here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI offers his ideas what an Iraqi leader with a firm hand to united ethnic groups might look like here.

2. Okanogan County (Colville Indian Reservation) is dealing with an epidemic of border drug-running as they seize $5M worth of marijuana and cocaine in two different episodes here.

3. Some farmers in Eastern Washington are looking to hire as many as 1,000 seasonal farm workers from Mexico under a federal guest-worker program, as concerns about a labor shortage this season heighten here.

4. Search crews found the wreckage of a cargo plane that crashed on a flight from here to Butte, killing the two pilots on board. The wreckage of the twin-engine Beechcraft 99, owned by Ameriflight Inc., of Burbank, Calif., was discovered this morning south of Butte here.

5. Philanthropic Missoula high schoolers who donated prom money to a worthy local cause are treated to a five-course meal by an appeciative duo here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/SR (Huckleberries: Jenks whiffs stereotype), Missoulian (Don’t let Wyoming slow wolf delisting), Doug Clark/SR (Mebbe “SayWA” isn’t so dumb), Jim Camden/SR (Rodney Tom’s party switch), and John Blanchette/SR (Zags’ team of stars stops Indiana).

Online Poll: 54.8% of 2198 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne will be a good Interior secretary.

*A second body within 24 hours has been found in the Spokane River here.

*Montana is saving money by turning roadkill into compost here.

*Older coffee vendor chases down younger tip jar robber here.

*Police break up southern Oregon ring of poachers, all under age 21, here.

Orbusmax Special: Photos from the weekend’s anti-war protests that weren’t user-friendly for the media here and here.

Beware: Incoming Spam Today

Since we’ve abandoned the three-letter approach to spam control, the spamming has picked up, particularly overnight. HBO is manually handling spam today. Not a good process. It’s easy to delete this garbage, but I might not get to it as fast as it appears. So, bear with me. And may there be a special level of hell reserved for these (expletive deleted).

APhoto Photo of the Day — 3/20/06

Satine the cat has a stare down with a wandering moose that passed through Sara Coyne’s Newman Lake yard March 17, 2006. The stare down lasted 10-15 minutes. You write the cutline. (AP/Courtesy of Sara Coyne)

Quote of the Weekend — Dang

“Intolerance is a constant in the human being. Historically, when ‘tolerance’ is preached, it’s simply a prelude, setting the stage for the imminent new intolerance” — commenter Dang.

Quick Fix 6 — 3/20/06

1. APhoto Fix: Andrea Yates, center, who’s admitted drowning her five children in a bathtub at the family home, leaves the Harris County Criminal Justice Center with her attorney George Parnham, left, earlier today. A judge delayed Yates’ capital murder retrial for the 2001 drowning deaths of her children until June because of witness problems cited by her defense attorney. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2. Cartoon Fix: Steve Benson (Civil war), Chip Bok (South Park & Scientology), and M.E. Cohen (Mad cows & sick birds).

3. Humor Fix: As we mark the third anniversary of the Iraqi War, Daniel Kurtzman/Political Humor provides a whole catalogue of war humor here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Bush sees success on war’s 3rd anniversary here, Terror-supporting “Vendetta” tops weekend box office here, Rare baby monkeys stolen in zoo raid here, Justices pass on Internet obscenity case here, and Opera stars make UK chart history here.

6. Opinion Fix: James Zogby/Gulf News (Feingold’s challenge to Bush), Cathy Young/Boston Globe (Entrapments of unwanted pregnancies), W. Thomas Smith Jr./Townhall (Spinning Operation Swarmer), Fred Barnes/Wall Street Journal (A “third term” for Bush), and Meghan Basham/Townhall (V for Vendetta, T for Terrorist).

Question of the Day — 3/19/06

“Evangelical Christians at Vineyard Fellowship in Boise bring their trash to church on Sunday for recycling. They spend summer weekends pulling invasive weeds in the wilderness and rebuilding mountain trails. Vineyard-sponsored workshops teach members how to reduce pollution. Sunday mornings, Pastor Tri Robinson preaches about the love of Jesus Christ, God’s struggle with Satan — and the danger of global warming. For Robinson, the church’s environmental stewardship is a calling, like the Vineyard’s worldwide mission to serve the poor and operate its free local clinic.”

For the rest the story by Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman about the Vineyard Fellowship, click here.

Question: Should Christians be environmentalists?

HBO — To Apple Sider RE: Hair Length

Apple Sider: I need some grooming advice. For the last few years, I’ve worn my hair really short. Number three clippers at Supercuts. I have pictures of myself finishing a marathon and I don’t mind the short hair. But, for the past four months I’ve gone without a haircut and have grown a beard. The beard is staying. Now about the hair. I have a big thick head of wavy brown hair and no signs of baldness. If I let it grow out, well, I’ve got another month or two of wildness before it starts laying down into shoulder length waves. I haven’t grown my hair long for a few years but in the past the ladies really liked it. I work in a fairly creative profession so its not like I’m some beauracrat or something. My question: long or short?

DFO: You didn’t mention your age, Apple Sider. I’d guess fortysomething? Few men can pull off the long-hair look at that age, although some try — and they probably get backing from the femmes in their lives. After wearing my hair long, at times, as a college kid, and going 5 or 6 weeks between haircuts because I don’t like going to barbers/stylists, I’m finally starting to enjoy shorter hair. I’m glad the long-hair look for men has become an endangered species, particularly among men 30 and over. But that’s me.

Wild Card/Saturday — 3/18/06

Below, you’ll find your links to the print Huckleberries and state Senate candidate Chuck Thomas’ “Idaho Way” song below, plus questions and a list of Idaho and North Idaho candidates who filed before closing time Friday. If you want to start your own thread today, you can use this Wild Card to do so …

More Idaho Dreamin’ On Such A Winter’s Day

Issue: Idaho still a magnet for Californians: Allied Van Lines report: 61 % from the Golden State/Joe Estrella, Idaho Statesman

Question: Why are we so popular with Golden Staters?

HBO — To KaleJ, Dang, Sue RE: Public Art

Dunno which one Thom George is, but this is his gang with the feather directly across from his real estate office.

KaleJ: I can’t believe I forgot this one, but it is a major sore spot. Those hideous feathers on NW Boulevard. On hearsay, I understand them to cost $125 grand each. That seems outrageous, but hey, they are outrageous.

DFO: They cost about $50,000 total — and I like them. Beauty, indeed, is in the eye of the beholder.

Dang: And public art, Dave, is from the pocket of the taxpayer.

Sue: I think the feathers are beautiful. I’m sure there are others who know the specifics, but I’m sure they were financed in the same way other big federal projects are financed, and that is with a fraction of a percentage set aside for art specifically. The idea is that a civilized society can encourage art in public spaces, so that everyone benefits. Public art is one sign of an advanced society, and if you don’t love it, don’t look at it, just appreciate the fact that others do.

DFO: Indeed, a small percentage for public construction projects, like the new police station, is set aside to pay for public art, which Sue correctly points out is an enhancement to any community. Sometimes, people get so caught up in griping about every tax dollar that goes for something other than streets, cops and firemen that they forget to step back and see the beauty of such things as the feathers.

Senate Candidate Sings “Idaho Way”

“In Idaho not long ago
A man could take his pay
And buy a house for his kids and spouse
And have a little left to plahy
Then the Hog It Alls, the greedy jerks
Weaseled in the right to work
And took away all the workers perks
And the Fat Cats like it that way.”

First verse to “Idaho Way” by singing fireman Chuck Thomas, a Demo candidate for Dick Compton’s District 5 state Senate seat. To listen to Chuck’s song if you have broadband capability, click here.

TGIF Wild Card — 3/17/06

And another week comes to a close after an interesting day. Kootenai County races saw three last-minute filings from a Libertarian, an Independent and a Democrat. But no one filed against HBO’s Dan Of The County here. Meanwhile, there was one surprise at the state level whey former Demo congressman Larry LaRocco threw his hat in the ring for lieutenant governor here. In other news today, JBelle of The ‘Kan EWA fame dropped by with her hubby to introduce herself. And I wrote my first Huckleberries print column for the Saturday edition. All fun. As I fade off into Friday night, however, I’ll leave you with this Wild Card to remember me by …

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/17/06

Cartoon: Jim Tibbs/Grants Pass, Ore.

*CDADave/Thin penned a little song to the tune of Paul McCartney’s old “Honey Pie” after hearing the news that Dubya picked Gov. Dirk Kempthorne to be his next Interior secretary here, and he provides his usual dose of good Thin Air here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that the Statehouse is abuzz re: who’ll be Jim Risch’s lieutenant governor for the next 8 months here and about everything you want to know about the status of the property tax bills here.

*Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press has a coupla interesting Statehouse posts re: Jim Risch’s decision not to seek the governorship against Butch Otter here, and a report about Boise pro-lifer Brandi Swindell called House Speaker Bruce Newcomb a “bitch” here.

*Bayview Herb is ticked off at news that state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, intimidated the IEA into talking a Dem newcomer into withdrawing from their Senate District 4 race here.

*Oh no, Sam Taylor’s busted, his mother has discovered his Vandal Sense blog, which is a cause for introspection, here.

Don’t forget to check out the newsroom angst that has resulted from the “7” Top 10 list re: the firefighter sex scandal here and here.

Meanwhile, Mari looks at the week that was here, St. Paddy’s Day reminds Cis of an incident that went down in family lore here, and Granati wonders what it means to be told you look like a leprechaun here.

Dan of the County: All’s Quiet On The Election Front

Well, here’s another “behind the scenes” update from election central. We’ve had no new filings today. But, scores of election workers and technicians are feverously working to get the giant crystal ball shined up and ready to slowly descend down the flagpole in front of the elections office while candidates and workers alike are shouting 10, 9 ,8,…1, Happy end of the filing period! Just kidding except that we are on a countdown to EXACTLY 5 p.m. when the filing for county offices close. There will be a bit of anxiety and interest on the part of candidates (me included) to see if there are any last minute St. Paddy’s Day surprises.

Dan of the County

Extra! Vieselmeyer Drops Out Of Senate Race

Former state representative Ron Vieselmeyer handed HBO a prepared statement moments ago, announcing that he has dropped out of the Senate District 5 GOPrimary race against Jim Hammond. Quoth: “Circumstances have changed now that I have a different opponent. Also, due to the fact that my broken leg has not healed as fast as I had hoped for, I have had to carefully reconsider the practicality of campaigning for an elected office at this time. After much discussion with my wonderful, supportive wife, Kate, and other loyal supporters, I have decided to withdraw from running for the Legislature. Vieselmeyer told me that he had a long discussion with Hammond about social values and concluded that they agreed on most points.

Question of the Day — How Irish Are You?

Dang: Wait! There was really a guy named St. Patrick? You mean today isn’t an excuse for college students (present and former) to get blindingly drunk?

DFO: Yes, Dang, there was a St. Patty, and the History Channel tells you all about him here.

Question: Are there any Irish out there? And what percentage of Irish are you? Me? Zero.

Eye On Boise: Risch Won’t Run For Guv

“Lt. Gov. Jim Risch just announced that if Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is confirmed as the new Interior secretary, he’ll step in and serve out Kempthorne’s final term as governor, but he won’t change his plans to run for re-election as lieutenant governor”/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review.

Click here.

Extra! Culbreath To Take On Sayler

It was announced this morning at PACYDERMS that Sharon Culbreth, a CDA realtor and GOP activist will file today for District 4, Seat B, State Representative currently held by Rep. George Sayler — A Berry Picker.

APhoto of the Day — 3/17/06

Photographer Spencer Tunick frames his 300 nude subjects during a a photo session in Santa Maria da Feira, northern Portugal , on Sept. 13, 2003. Tunick has photographed and filmed masses of people in the nude in dozens of public places from Finland to Australia, and now he is looking for at least 2,000 volunteers in Venezuela. You write the cutline. (AP photo Paulo Duarte)

HBO — To Marianne RE: Hail Marys for Zags

Marianne Love: Don’t think I’ve ever said so many “Hail Mary’s” in my life. God must’ve been listening. Hallelujah! GO ZAGS!!!!

DFO: OK, as an ex-Catholic, I know that the heavens were being bombarded by Hail Marys from fans of both Catholic teams on the court Thursday night. So, what tipped the balance in favor of the prayers being thrown up by the Gonzaga faithful — some novenas and fund-raising pledges thrown in?

St. Patrick’s Day QF6 — 3/17/06

1. APhoto Fix: Participants in Copenhagen’s annual St Patrick’s three legged race drink green beer in front of Kennedy’s Irish Bar earlier today. Contestants race to drink beer at each of Copenhagen’s 6 Irish pubs while tied at the ankle. (AP Photo/John McConnico)

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (New recruiting poster), Signe Wilkinson (Gale Norton goodbye party), and Jeff Parker (Monster growth).

3. Saddam Hussein took the witness stand for the first time in his trial…he spent most of his testimony ignoring all the evidence and insisting he was the real president of Iraq. Among legal experts, this is known as the Al Gore strategy — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Botanist: Irish shamrock a load of blarney here, Senator calls for 100% screening of seaport cargo here, Egg donor business booms on campus here, UK: Restaurants must allow public gay affection here, and blogger posts abortion instructions here.

6. Opinion Fix: E.J. Dionne/Houston Chronicle (Dems fumble Feingold grenade), Kathleen Parker/Townhall (Bringing Catholic Church to its knees), Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (R’s should hope Supreme Court upholds Roe), Noel Stanger/Townhall (The feminist mistake), and Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (More to morality than politics of sex).

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/16/06

My goodness. We have a lot of issues today. Goedde chasing off the IEA. Dems trying to rally around Jerry Lee. The Dirkmeister being elevated from his Own Private Purgatory to the national job he’s sought for more than 5 years. Gracious. What fun! But there’s always room for more. Here’s your Thursday Wild Card …

Peanut Gallery — Jim Risch’s Monster Decision

I posted about this possibilty the day Gale Norton resigned, and now here we are.

Risch isn’t the incumbent until Kempthorne resigns, which he probably won’t do until he’s confirmed, which could take a little bit of time.

But tomorrow is the filing day, and Jim Risch tonight is making the most momentous decision of his political career - does he stay with his Lt. Gov. slot since he said he wouldn’t run for Governor, or does he become a last minute entrant into a primary that Butch has all but locked up.

If he stays running for the Lt. Gov. spot he’ll be the shortest term Governor in history and probably remain a political player assuming he wins this fall (likely). If he decides to run for Gov, and loses the primary, he’s done with both jobs next January.

But if he does switch his filing, run for Governor, and throws, say, a million bucks into advertising between now and the May primary, hide your kids because it will be the wildest political scenario I’ve ever seen, and potentially a really bloody primary.

This is really, really fascinating.

Mike Kennedy
Coeur d’Alene

Montana, Ex-LCHSer Dlouhy Beat Nevada

Former Lake City High star Matt Dlouhy didn’t score any points in 30 minutes of play against WAChampion Nevada, but he helped the Montana Grizzlies to an 87-79 victory in their NCAA basketball tournament today here and here.

Top Cutlines — 3/16/06

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few waits in a interview holding area Wednesday in Salt Lake City as Adam Morrison is asked questions by the media. You write the cutline. (Brian Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

Top Cutlines:

1. Knowing Adam’s fondness for Napolean Dynamite, Coach Few reacts as the interview starts to sound strangely familiar:

Interviewer: Hey, Adam, What did you do last summer again?
Adam: I told you! I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines!
Interviewer: Did you shoot any?
Adam: Yes, like 50 of ‘em! They kept trying to attack my cousins, what the heck would you do in a situation like that?
Interviewer: What kind of gun did you use?
Adam: A freakin’ 12-gauge, what do you think? — Apple Sider

2. Hail Mary, Full of grace… — JBelle.

3. Ronny, Ronny, Ronny, wherefore art thou Ronny? — Whatever.

John Austin.

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

Extra! Kempthorne Selected For Interior

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne delivers his annual State of the State address before a joint session of the state legislature, Jan. 9, 2006, inside the House chambers of the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho. President Bush has chosen Kempthorne to be Interior secretary, Republican officials said Thursday, March 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Troy Maben, File)

The Story: Idaho governor named Interior secretary here

Related: Crapo praises Kempthorne appointment here.

Question: Good pick? Bad pick?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 3/16/06

Becky Banderob tried to call authorities the night her husband, Larry Banderob allegedly shot Miriam Waltch, but the effort ended in a tirade, according to Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette Record here. (Photo, Ralph Bardholdt/St. Maries Gazette-Record)

Eye On Boise: Idaho Senate votes 34-1 against president’s plan to sell public lands here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI doodles re: U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and Demo “Profiles In Courage” here.

2. Columnist Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review considers Spokane’s lame chamberesque motto, “Near Nature. Near Perfect” as Shakespearean verse compared to Washington’s “monumentally awful new tourism trademark, ‘SayWA’,” here.

3. With March Madness and office pulls upon us, you might like to know that Montana is one of only four states that allows some form of sports betting here.

4. Idaho Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, chased his Democratic opponent and the Idaho Education Association away from his re-election campaign by threatening legislative reprisals against their issues here.

5. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of their churches and schools, Roman Catholic parishioners have increased their financial support to their beleaguered Spokane diocese here.

6. IMHO-NW: Missoulian (No more Nortons), Jerry Large/Seattle Times (Human struggle bonds us all to Irish), Ted S. McGregor Jr./Inlander (Spokane’s bigger than you think), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Zags don’t need validation), Bud Withers/Seattle Times (Gonzaga starts its run), and Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Vandals should hire Dollar).

Online Poll: 50.1% of 1258 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they aren’t interested in the NCAA basketball tournament at all.

*Inlander Cover Story: Why Zag fans love Erroll Knight here.

*Boise 7-11 clerk disarms would-be robber with a squeegee here.

*Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson defends leasing two SUVs on taxpayer dime here.

Orbusmax Special: “Brokeback Boy” back on Oregon high school campus here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That local Democrats are trying to seize upon the controversy created by Senate Education Chairman John Goedde’s disclosure that he warned the Idaho Education Association about running a candidate against him. The D’s are trying to rally around former Post Falls High football coach Jerry Lee, who pulled out of the race after talking to IEA representatives but hasn’t withdrawn his candidacy petition. Methinks the local D’s discovered a backbone too late and this train has left the station. Better look next time. (Insert sound of bear roaring.)

State Sen. John Goedde: I Am Bear …

AP photo

… Hear me roar.

HBO — To CDADave RE: Ida-Opoly

CDADave/Thin Air: I read that there’s a movement underway to put together a “State of Idaho” version of Monopoly, with sponsors paying money to have their names on the gameboard. And the little dealies you move around the board would be in the shape of Potatoes. How imaginative … yawn … So I suppose that, instead of “Park Place”, the ritzy location on the traditional Monopoly board, you’d have, say “the Rezzort Golf Course”, or the old J.R. Simplot home, which is on tap to become the new governor’s mansion? If that’s the case, I suppose my little house is on Baltic or Pacific Avenues, the “poorer” sections of the Monopoly Board? And instead of “Go To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200”, it would be “Vote on Jail Expansion, Pay Taxes thru the nose, Go To Jail, Pay Thousands of Dollars To Get Out.”

DFO: CDADave brings up a fun subject in his daily Thin Air re: haves/have-nots in Coeur d’Alene. No question that the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Uncle Duey’s mansion on Stanley Hill would be Boardwalk and Park Place. Casco Bay, Black Rock and Riverstone would be the “green” properties, like Pennsylvania Avenue, just up the Monopoly Board. What would take the place of the railroads. And what side of the board would you be living on?

Question of the Day — Gonzaga Bulldogs

Question: How far will they go?

1. One & out
2. Two & out
3. Sweet 16
4. Elite 8
5. Final 4

Or, be the first kid on your block to pick the Zags to go. all. the. way.

Coeur d’Alene Press Poll: Why Levy Failed

What was the biggest reason for the Coeur d’Alene schools’ levy failure?

*They wanted too much money
*The projects weren’t high priority
*Property taxes are too high already
*None of the above
*All of the above 29.0%

Total Votes: 435

Related: For schools, time to regroup: Future uncertain in CdA after levy loss/Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review; and: Failed levy: Residents weary of taxes: District 271 heads back to drawing board to find funds for school improvements/Linda Ball, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Question: What size of levy would you support — and for what projects?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Press & U.S. Extremism

Issue: Muslim: I attacked ‘out of love for Allah’: Man who barreled SUV into 9 people sends letter to TV station, cites Quran/WorldNetDaily

How do you feel about the way violent acts committed by Muslims in the U.S. are reported?

1. It’s hugely overblown – Islamophobia reigns in the newsroom
2. There’s too much sensationalism whenever a Muslim is alleged to have committed violence
3. Ethic and religious identity are irrelevant – they have no place in a news story
4. They’re fairly reported as straight news – I don’t see a problem
5. For years the press has referred to ‘right-wing Christian extremists’ – why are they so deferential to Muslims?
6. Imagine what the media would say if a Christian drove his SUV through a crowd ‘for Jesus’
7. They’re underreported because the PC press is censoring itself
8. They need to be highlighted more so Americans understand the danger we face
9. The U.S. media is shameful in its inability to see the actions of jihadists in America
10. Other

DFO: No. 4, mebbe No. 5

For the WorldNetDaily news reports, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/15/06

Both papers should have an interesting story about a Kootenai County incumbent legislator tomorrow who basically stared down the teachers’ union. Good stuff. We’ll talk about it in the morning. Meanwhile, you can work on the threads below or start your own with this Wild Card …

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has a scheduling conflict that’ll keep him from attending the Kootenai County Lincoln Day celebration at The Coeur d’Alene Resort Sunday. But he made a point to tell the local R’s that it had nothing to do with the fact that he was assigned a seat at the same table as Spokane talkmeister Mark Fuhrman, the infamous LAPDetective. Fuhrman, meanwhile, had asked organizers if they were sure that the governor didn’t mind sitting next to him. At this point, no one’s sure of nothing.

IHillary: Youth Indoctrination In Colorado

Pennsylvania Blog Buddy Pete Weaver/IHillary had some fun with geology teacher Jay Bennish’s rant comparing Dubya’s State of the Union address to Hitler’s speeches (above) and added a link to Walter Williams’ column re: the same here.

DFO: I know, I know, this is gratuitous baiting of HBO’s Left Bank. But I’m weak …

Netherlands: So Much For Freedom Of Religion

A woman wearing a Muslim head scarf walks past a lingerie advertisement at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Wednesday March 15, 2006. Would-be immigrants to the Netherlands are expected to watch a film that has images of gay men kissing and topless women on the beach. Potential immigrants, who resist acknowledging Dutch liberal views will not secure a much-needed residence permit. (AP Photo/Evert Elzinga)

CDA School Levy Vote Breakdown

yes no (percent yes)

ATLAS — 142, 155, 47.81%
BORAH — 260, 278, 48.33%
KMC — 157, 241, 39.45%
HAYDEN LAKE CENTER — 90, 254, 26.16%
WINTON* — 187, 138, 57.54%
CANFIELD — 170, 276, 38.12%
WOODLAND — 205, 229, 47.24%
FERNAN — 200, 203, 49.63%
CDA HIGH — 177, 250, 41.45%
BRYAN — 120, 105, 53.33%
LCHS — 188, 163, 53.56%
HAYDEN MEADOWS — 349, 613, 36.28%
SORENSEN* — 232, 137, 62.87%
DALTON — 198, 275, 41.86%
MICA FLATS — 114, 215, 34.65%
RAMSEY — 232, 248, 48.33%
LAKES — 300, 366, 45.05%
SKYWAY — 135, 111, 54.88%

Hard to play this as a haves/have-nots thing when even the Lakes Middle School polling place failed to produce a 50% vote.

Extra! Rice Turns Down UIdaho Offer

Gonzaga assistant coach Leon Rice has pulled his name from consideration for the Idaho’s men’s basketball coaching job. Rice, who said Sunday he was offered the job, informed Athletic Director Rob Spear of his decision in a telephone conversation this morning. “He just thought that he needed to stay at Gonzaga so he’s withdrawing from the search,” Spear said. “Obviously we were very interested in him, but I want something in this position that wants this job and really wants the job and has a passion for the University of Idaho.”

For the rest of breaking story by Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals, click here.

Question No. 2 — Switching Parties

Issue: Washington state Republican switches parties mid-term: Tom says he won’t resign despite requests/David Ammons, Associated Press

DFO: We’ve had a coupla party conversions in Kootenai County, with Democrats becoming Republicans, out of political preservation, if nothing else. (Think: Pierce Clegg, Rocky Watson and Bill Douglas.) Then, we have some Democrats masquerading as Republicans in legislative offices. I’m not bothered by a candidate who switches parties. But Washington Republicans have a point that Rep. Rodney Tom should step relinquish his current post while he runs for Senate.

Question: What do you think of party jumpers?

APhoto of the Day — 3/15/06

Louis, a Bichon Frise, shares a chair with owner Barbara Allen during the Top Dog agility dog trials Saturday, March 11, 2006, in Elma, Wash. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Daily World, Kevin Hong)

CDA School Levy Fails To Break 50%

Issue: School levy fails/Linda Ball, Coeur d’Alene Press

Additional Info: The $39.8 million school plant facility levy did not meet to the approval of school district 271 voters, with 3,456 votes in favor, 4,257 opposed. The total approval rate of 44.81 percent fell shy of the needed 55 percent needed to pass the levy.

DFO: Coeur d’Alene school patrons have missed a monster opportunity to nearly end a series of construction projects that began 16 years ago. They were spooked by rapidly increasing property valuations and jumped on anything to justify turning down an increase of $6 per month (average) in property taxes. Construction costs will only increase as a result of this short-sighted vote. ‘Tis a sad day for the poorer schools in Coeur d’Alene — and the district.

Question: Why did it fail?

Quick Fix 6 — 3/15/06

1. APhoto Fix: Customers wait in line for free Starbucks coffee this morning in New York. Starbucks is offering a free cup of coffee between ten and noon in a promotion called the National Coffee Break. The offer’s good at the company’s 75 hundred locations around the country. It comes a week after McDonalds came out with a high-end coffee. (AP Photo/Shahrzad Elghanayan)

2. Cartoon Fix: R.J. Matson (Greenspan book deal), Henry Payne (Outsourced to India), and Monte Wolverton (South Dakota’s abortion law).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs The Government Is Running Out of Money” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Dems promise Broadband for all here, Japan builds robot to look after elderly here, Movie theaters want to jam cell phones here, Bode Miller breaks silence here, and UIllinois paper editor fired over Mohammed cartoons here.

6. Opinion Fix: Dick Morris/NYPost (Bush has to work to be popular), Wall Street Journal (Impeachment agenda), Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe (Kids take back seat to gay agenda), Chuck Colson/BreakPoint (Jason McElwain & respect for life), and Kathleen Parker/Townhall (Steak & ale soothe ailing soldiers).

P.S. — Flipping The Finger In Traffic

Issue: Pennsylvania man: Flipping bird ‘free speech’: Says police violated his constitutional rights after he used middle finger in public/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

DFO: Dunno if it’s free speech or not, but in this era of road rage, flipping someone off in traffic isn’t a good idea.

Question: Should flipping someone the finger be protected under free speech laws?

Best of the Local Blogs — 3/14/06

“The geese have returned to stake their claim on the nesting box. (You can see it behind them.) They are daily visitors, skidding across the ice on the pond. This picture was taken several days ago, before we got our latest big snow” — Toni/Idaho Nature Trails.

New Blog: Jeff/The Bodie Spectre will be added to the “Friends of Huckleberries” blogroll tomorrow. He lives just down the “crik” from the ghost town of Bodie, Wash., and took up blogging as a way to communicate from the boonies to the rest of the world. He’s an independent who leans waaaaaay right and has two children, including a National Guard son who has served in Iraq. For the Bodie Spectre, click here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings shares her thoughts about Amber Facer’s attempt to spread her “family friendly” Gospel to Hayden here.

*Amy Crooks/That’s Life. Life Goes On provides a Web site for all of you who are tired of dealing with computers and want to talk to a human here.

*I didn’t have time when Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense paid a visit to Coeur d’Alene Monday and Tuesday, but Mike Kennedy did. And Sam talks about it here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind discovered something that you don’t want to send to a minister’s wife here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour comes not to praise Caesar but to prepare for the Ides of March, which for the uninitiated is Wednesday here.

Meanwhile, Jim posts that UI has a contingency plan in case Gonzaga’s Leon Rice doesn’t accept basketball coaching job here, Bob speaks of his love for fluffy pillows here, and JBelle speaks of speaks of the near miss her son had with a sex predator here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That reps from the Post Falls Mafia were noticeably absent from Commissioner Gus Johnson’s re-election announcement at the courthouse today. And that none of the PFM signed his candidacy petition. Instead, Jim Putnam of mega-church Real Life Ministries was there — and signed Gus’s petition. All of which speaks to a strange alignment of the moon and stars that has Gus at odds with his former handlers and undergoing a religious experience. Underscoring this aspect is the final line of his annoucement speech: “My wife and I have been blessed to live and work and play here in Kootenai County. God has opened those doors for me to serve and give back to the county that has been my home my entire life, and I give him all the praise.” Have the Powers That Be in River City abandoned the former mayor? Has Gus had a Damascus Road experience? Inquiring minds want to know.

Breaking! Another School Shooting — In Reno Now

The victim of a school shooting is taken to a waiting ambulance by REMSA paradmedics today in Reno, Nev. The student was shot in the arm in the cafeteria of Pine Middle School by another student. Two students were injured Tuesday morning when another student opened fire with a gun in a hallway outside the cafeteria of a Reno middle school. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Mariln Newton)

A Funny Thing Happened At The Weekly …

… SR Editor’s meeting this afternoon. I brought up all the complaints re: our comment letters. And Editor Steve Smith mentioned how he’d tried to post a comment on “News Is A Conversation” — only to be blocked five times. “That’s unacceptable,” Steve roared. To which Blogmeister KenS responded that 18,000 spams per day (the actual number we were getting before Blogmeister Ryan installed the letters system) was even worse. Reluctantly, I agreed with Ken. But I did bring up the issue of going to registration ASAP. Stay tuned.

Property Tax Reform: Crow Vs. Bunderson

“Everyone at the Idaho Statehouse is expecting a final battle between two retiring political powerhouses — Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and House Speaker Bruce Newcomb. But as months of property tax debates around the state finally come to a head, two other key lawmakers may clash for their final time, too. Nampa Rep. Dolores Crow and Meridian Sen. Hal Bunderson each are stepping down this year. Crow is retiring after more than two decades in the House and Bunderson after his 13th session.”

Former representative Gary Ingram drew my attention to this fine piece by Greg Hahn/Idaho Statesman re: the legislative forces behind the Idaho property tax debate here.

Bumpersnicker …

… Sighted this morning by a Berry Picker (turning onto Prairie Avenue from Highway 53 near Hauser Junction) — an otherwise nondescript white pickup with a camper shell that appeared to be an Avista truck. A huge sign was plasted to the rear tailgate. It appeared professionally done and duplicated Avista’s logo, except it said: “Avista: We don’t care. We don’t have to.” Ouch!

CDADave: Welcome To Coeur d’Alene — in 1915

“Yep, we’re looking east from 1st and Sherman Avenue circa 1915; at left, you see the CDA Hotel (later, the Desert Hotel), but at right is the “HOTEL FRANKLIN”, a structure I never knew existed. As you can see, it’s sort of a ‘triangular’ building; you can see buildings like this in older downtown districts of bigger cities. I remember seeing a few of these in downtown Portland, for example. Click on the picture…it enlarges. What a quaint old scene” — CDADave/Thin Air.

APhoto of the Day — 3/14/06

Scullers lift a shell out of the Schuylkill River onto a dock along Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row Monday. Laid out on the dock, covered by a sheet, is a body that was found earlier in the day floating in the river. You write the cutline.(AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, Jessica Griffin)

SR Letter: Special Treatment for Skylstad?

Considering the unequivocal language of the diocese’s own policy, “in cases of alleged sexual misconduct – without assumption of guilt – the accused individual will be relieved of his/her duties with pay during the investigation” (Section 3, Subsection 4, “Administrative Policies for Responding to Allegations of Sexual Abuse and Inappropriate Behavior by Church Personnel”), who will be the acting bishop, or do different rules apply?

John Sjolund
Deer Park

Background: Skylstad denies claim of sex abuse in 1960s: Woman’s filing part of bankruptcy case/John Stucke And Virginia De Leon Staff Writers

Quick Fix 6 — 3/14/06

1. APhoto Fix: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gives Allison H. Eid a hug prior to her being sworn in as chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver, Monday. Eid was Thomas’ lead law clerk in 1993 and 1994. (AP Photo/Linda McConnell, Pool)

2. Cartoon Fix: Signe Wilkinson (Another Iraq body found), Gary Varvel (The poll vaulter), and Jeff Stahler (Milosevic’s eternal reward).

3. Humor Fix: Here is a very odd story. A woman in Tennessee is now suing a local pharmacy after buying what she thought were birth control patches. They turned out to be nicotine patches. The good news, her new baby is now down to a half a pack a day — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Isaac Hayes quits “South Park” after Scientology spoof here, Medical marijuana champion free here, Judge rules civil union invalid out of state here, Teen shot in fight over Tater Tots here, and “Brokeback” author slams Oscars here.

6. Opinion Fix: James Pinkerton/Newsday (McCain: Juggernaut or Juggernot?), New York Times (The death of Milosevic), Father Thomas Williams/National Review (Wanted: Pro-life Democrats), Cal Thomas/Townhall (The Tom Fox tragedy), and Molly Stark/Townhall (Review: “Shaggy Dog” remake).

P.S. — 3/13/06

Jane Q. Citizen: Back in the 1990’s when Post Falls went through a lot of upheaval in the school district and couldn’t pass a bond levy for anything I recall a controversy when the ballots were locked up in the school overnight before being counted and then passed by one or two votes. The fox should never be allowed to guard the henhouse, no matter which taxing entity it is.

DFO: Idaho’s school districts are attracting discontent by staging levies and bonds at odd times of the year rather than consolidating them with primary and general elections. Comments to HBO today by Dan of the County indicate that people are confused about the process.

Question: Is it time for the school district to consolidate its levy, bond and trustee elections with one of the major general election dates?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/13/06

Bomshel (See Marianne Love’s link below)

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is fulfilling her role as a self-proclaimed surrogate promoter for a new western sound called Bomshel, which features a young Sandpoint woman, here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps reacts to that letter to the editor from a Spokane police guild muck-a-muck defending the actions of the two cops who looked the other way in the firefighter sex scandal here.

*Greg Lee/Idaho Preps reports that former Lake City High QB Ben Widmeyer is opening eyes in spring football training as he enters his second year at Wofford University here.

*CDADave/Thin air spoofs UI Vandal coach Leonard Perry’s firing here.

*As a sign that he may be growing up, Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense admits he’s finally developing a soft spot for his alma mater, Coeur d’Alene High, where he’ll be Tuesday to sell the current crop of prepsters on the value of UIdaho here. (BTW, Sam, sorry that my schedule didn’t work to spend some time with you today.)

Meanwhile, Bob’s ranting about wingnuts and Milosovec here, Sagebrush Patriot posts a Milosovec piece that probably set Bob off here, and Betsy tells how Dirk Kempthorne signs a bill that would have limited use of campaign funds here.

Just In From The Levy Election Front …

… Kootenai County is getting a steady trickle of Seasoned Citizens coming into the Election Department to vote on tomorrow’s Coeur d’Alene School District 271 $39.8M election. And they’re pretty upset when they discover they can’t vote at the courthouse. Dan of the County tells Huckleberries that the Seniors believe they should be able to vote at the courthouse for a school election, which could mean they’ll be mad on Tuesday when they can vote.

You can find the info re: the $39.8M CSD levy election here.

Bobby Jenks: ‘A Middle Finger On Shoulder’

“Bobby Jenks (shown in 1998 as a Lakeland High pitcher) wanted to clear the air: Contrary to what people believe, he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder. Then again, considering the barrel-chested right-hander is listed at 6-3 and close to 270 pounds, a chip doesn’t quite do it for him. ‘It’s more of a middle finger sitting on my shoulder,’ he said. And not just a middle finger for the hitters who have the task of trying to time up a 100 mph fastball when facing the White Sox closer. It’s also for the ESPN the Magazine story in 2003 that painted Jenks as a member of the Aryan Nation, as well as a sadomasochist who took a lighter to his own arm; for the people who said he was in drug rehab; for the scouts who question his longevity in the game. There’s that middle finger his response to all the people who have piled on in his eyes.”

For the rest of the story by Joe Crowley/Courier News Online about the Spirit Lake kid who’s now closing for the world champion Chicago White Sox, click here.

Gonzaga Seeded No. 3, Draws Xavier

The Gonzaga Bulldogs drew a 3 seed Sunday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. They’ll play the 14th-seeded Xavier Musketeers on Thursday in Salt Lake City. You can find John Blanchee’s column about the Zags and Xavier, “No. 3 Zags not blasé about ‘Jesuit Throwdown’” here. And the complete tournament bracket list here.

Question: How far will the Zags go this year?

APhoto of the Day — 3/13/06

Fabiano, a 5-year-old gelding, and police officer Susanne Melisch pose during the presentation of the new mounted police squad in Dortmund, Germany, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Separated At Birth — Skeletor & Craig?

Craig has always been my favorite scary politician — Patrick/Flippy Floppy.

DFO: This is a holdover from the weekend in which the HBO crowd was discussing its smarmiest or scariest politicians. The focus was on Idaho pols. But Washington HBOers are welcome to chime in with their favorites as the week begins.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Dining With A Porn Star

Issue: Porn starlet Mary Carey to dine with Bush again: XXX movie actress who caused stir last summer eating dinner this week/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of Mary Carey’s 2nd dinner with President Bush?

1. Wonderful! Porn is big business in America, and it’s time it’s acknowledged
2. It’s fine, she’s being rewarded for all her great work
3. It sets a great example for our young people
4. Bush is president of ALL the people, not just so-called conservatives
5. I don’t like it, but this is how modern politics works
6. It sets a terrible example for our young people
7. Porn is among the most destructive forces in society, and Bush should not have dinner with its stars
8. It’s an outrage! Whatever happened to the Jesus Christ-supporting George Bush?
9. That does it. I’ve had it with these hypocritical Republicans. I’m definitely voting elsewhere
10. Other

DFO: No. 10 … What’s Laura think about it?

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Peanut Gallery: Alice Rankin’s Response to WWRD

Alice Rankin: I almost can’t stand it that Ron is not here at this time to be in the forefront of the current property tax fight. You better believe he would be down in Boise at this time and have another 1 Percent Initiative ready to go. And I would like to remind again, that the last one carried in Kootenai County and parts up North, where he had the opportunity to counter the propaganda put out by the tax-takers. Southern Idaho voters were conned. And we lost.

DFO: You can find Alice Rankin’s must-read response to the “Peanut Gallery” question “What Would Ron Rankin Do (about today’s issues) in back-to-back comment posts here (scroll down to fifth post).

Peanut Gallery — Smarmiest Politicians

Whippersnapper: JB says Kempthorne “creeps him out”, but I think every Idahoan who knows a little about politics here has a politician in mind who creeps him or her out more than Kempthorne. I think all politicians have a “smarmy factor.”

Question: Who “creeps you out” the most?

Butch Otter
Mike Simpson
Jim Risch
Larry Craig
Mike Crapo
A Washington state politician

Peanut Gallery — Blogoholics Anonymous

Dan of the County: A little earlier this evening my wife actually chastised me for wanting to put the DVD on pause and “just go check on the blog for a second.” Well of course I didn’t. I showed her that I actually have nerves of steel and waited clear ‘til the end of the movie to check back in. … but I am wondering if any of you regulars have had the same kind of “problem complaints” from your friends and family.

DFO: Even your HBOmeister has to be careful when to blog or not to blog at home. Then, there’s the addictive nature of this thing. Someone shoulda warned me before I signed on to do this thing more than two years ago. Now, it may be too late. Any of you have to sneak around to check HBO or some of the other North Idaho blogs?

Question of the Day — 3/11/06

Issue: Idaho Values Alliance sticks oar in Coeur d’Alene School District waters: Boise-based group wants voters to remember Lake City High Gay-Straight Alliance as they go to polls/Linda Ball, Coeur d’Alene Press

Additional Info: The recent e-mail warns that ‘the sanctioning of a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Lake City High School could create serious legal liability for the district.’ The close of the communication warns that ‘patrons should be asking Cd’A school district officials if they have thought through the legal risk issues before asking them to vote for a $39 million bond on Tuesday.’

DFO: (Unprintable)

DFO: Will this last-minute sucker punch by a Boise group affect Tuesday’s election?

Great Slogans for Idaho, Washington …


*A narrow haven between the shepherds and the horse trainers — KaleJ

*Where Californians go to spend their capital gains — Family Phil.

*Idaho-where you can make it if you have a job. And another job. And another job. And still another job if you can fit it in — CDADave.


*Sin City Spokane - where the Mayor did boys, the fireman did girls and where what you do here gets posted here — Any Mouse.

*Washington- Our firemen don’t just put out fires — TS.

*Where nobody makes less than $7.63 an hour — Stebbijo.


“Welcome to Spokane Valley: Home of Bearable Bob and AnyMouse” — Thom George.

Peanut Gallery — A Duncan Plea Bargain What If

Stebbijo: It has taken me awhile to comment on the proposed plea bargain concerning Duncan. The arguments are strong. Here is mine. If Shasta Groene and her dead and mutilated family were the grandkids of Duane Hagadone of CDA, Idaho — would there be one?

DFO: Our newspaper would have come down on the same side. But I don’t think the other one in town would have. Tough question.

Peanut Gallery — Typical California Immigrants

Family Phil: Our new next-door neighbors arrive tomorrow from the Palm Desert area. Definitely not rich nor snobs, simply a family of five who were looking for a better life for their children. They sold their 1800 sq. ft. 40-year-old home for 750k and are now moving into a house twice the size in a safe and clean neighborhood in an area where they can breathe a little easier when they send their kids to school. Wouldn’t you all do the same? Also, this family is quiet, Christian, respectful, conservative. This is the majority of Californians coming here, not the poofy-haired snooty SUV drivers we like to make fun of.

DFO: You just described my wife’s sister and her husband (sans the kids they’ve raised) who have already purchased a house in the Post Falls area and will be moving up in June, with a chunk of change in their pocket from the sale of a humble house in the Monterey area. Quiet. Christian. Respectful. Conservative. I wonder if this demographic is more typical of the California immigrants than the stereotype many have of upper middle-class snobs in Hummers demanding all the amenities of the cities they left behind?

WorldNetDaily Poll — O’Connor Slams DeLay

Issue: O’Connor attacks DeLay for targeting U.S. judges: Retired justice links impeachment call during Schiavo case to court violence/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of Sandra Day O’Connor’s attack on Tom DeLay?

1. Good for her
2. We now know what kind of person DeLay is
3. I’m glad she’s standing up for judicial independence
4. When they made O’Connor, they threw away the mold
5. Too bad she’s retired
6. Good thing she’s retired
7. Doesn’t she believe the courts should be held accountable?
8. Don’t blame DeLay – the Constitution provides impeachment of judges as a method of removal
9. If only Ruth Bader Snoozeburg would retire, my happiness would be complete
10. Other

DFO: No. 9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

TGIF Wild Card — 3/10/06

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, HBOers. The print Huckleberries will move from Mondays to Saturdays beginning after the Monday edition in three days. New Regional Editor Scott Maben wants to beef up the Saturday Idaho product, and he had no trouble twisting my arm by offering section-front exposure. I know that doesn’t affect many here because you see most of the column through the week. But I think it’s cool to get a shot at a Saturday location, after 21 years in the Monday desert. Behave yourselves. And I’ll check back in later tonight …

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/10/06

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour showcases Colin Moody, the responsible student way back when who helped her decide to become the adviser for Sandpoint High’s award-winning Cedar Post, here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings agrees with the local newspapers that the county prosecutor should take the public defender’s offer of a plea bargain for convicted child molester Joseph Edward Duncan III here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA tells of her community work with a child molester who is trying to learn right from wrong here.

*In the parental network of the Coeur d’Alene School District, Family Phil learns that your identity totally is tied up with your kids here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that violent sex offenders will be facing a 2 strikes law here and how Phil Hart got shot down on the capitol renovation debate here.

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb lobbies for protection for our airports and seaports here, Cis introduces us to the Wild Bunch and their big boy Tonka Toys here, and CDADave gives us Coeur d’Alene by the letters here.

Bush Basher Reinstated In Colorado

Jay Bennish, an Overland High School geography teacher accused of presenting biased views in class, talks to the media after being reinstated earlier today in Greenwood Village, Colo. Bennish had been on paid leave from since March 1 while administrators determined whether he violated a district rule that teachers must present balancing viewpoints in the classroom. During a Feb. 1 lecture, Bennish compared President Bush’s State of the Union Address to speeches by Adolf Hitler. (AP Photo by Jack Dempsey)

DFO: Score one for the Barking Moonbats. If this clown taught my children, I’d be living in his back pocket to make sure that he kept his politics to himself and taught geography. It’s bad enough that ideologues indoctrinate at the college level. High school teachers should teach not brain-wash. Related: Mike Rosen/Rocky Mountain News, “Intellectual Child Abuse” here.

A Breezy Morn In Pullman

He stepped out of
his house quite early
and came to earth
in downtown Worley.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Question: Will The $40 CDA School Levy Pass

Coeur d’Alene Press Online Poll: Will the Coeur d’Alene School District’s levy request pass on Tuesday?

Not sure

Total Votes: 21

Question: How are you going to vote? Will the levy pass?

Related: Both The Spokesman-Review (“CDA schools have plenty of need for levy funds”) and the Coeur d’Alene Press (“School levy request deserves yes vote”) favor the $39.8M capital facilities levy.

For Those Having Trouble Posting …

… Blogmeister KenP offers good advice:

“The problem you’re encoutering is because the site runs off of two parallel servers. Once in a while, one server will hand you a code and the other server will randomize a different code. We know it’s a pain, and Ryan’s working with our server tech on a way to resolve it. Meanwhile, my best advice is if you’re writing a long post, select the whole thing and hit ctrl-C before you post. That way, if you get kicked off, you can just paste it (ctrl-V) into the window and try again.”

Ken Paulman
SR Online Blogmeiser

APhoto of the Day — 3/10/06

An Iraqi army soldier shows his skill by breaking cemented slabs put on the back of a U.S. soldier during a ceremony to mark the handing over the control of northern Sadr city to Iraqi troops. You write the cutline. (AP photo/Khalid Mohammed)

SR Letter: Disproportionate Sex Scandal Coverage

“I am the vice president of the Spokane Police Guild. I wanted your readers to know, in the strongest terms, that the guild stands behind the detective and sergeant involved in the investigation of the incident involving the firefighter. The prosecutor’s office has already affirmed that the actions of these officers were proper and that no charges could be filed in this case. Once all information relating to this case is released, I am confident that the detective and sergeant will be seen for what they are: experienced and professional law enforcement officers.”

Dave McCabe

Quick Fix 6 — 3/10/06

1. APhoto Fix: A police officer eats an ice lolly as stands in a cordon outside the High Court in Johannesburg, where former Deputy President Jacob Zuma is appearing on rape charges. Zuma’s accuser told the court earlier today that nobody tried to influence her decision to file charges against the man who had been considered destined to become the next president of South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Ferrell)

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Carter pulling against U.S.), Steve Benson (A bone-headed port deal), and J.D. Crowe (Alabama church arsonist).

3. Humor Fix: Did you hear about this? Vice President Dick Cheney has donated $2.7 million to the hospital at George Washington University. This is very smart, he wants to make sure the next guy he shoots is taken care of first-class — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Washington Post to cut 80 newsroom jobs here, NYers won’t back Hillary run for prez here, Tennessee Senate opposes abortion here, 65% of Palestinians support al Qaeda attacks here, and GOP candidates wary of Bush here.

6. Opinion Fix: Mike Rosen/Rocky Mountain News (Jay Bennish & intellectual child abuse), Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Online (Dems hatchet job on religious leaders), John Podhoretz/NY Post (Bush saved by GOP revolt), Tim Kane/Heritage Foundation (Zogbys bogus poll on US troops), and Brent Bozell/Media Research Center (Thumbs up for pimps).

P.S. — Blue Plate Special Spotlights HBO Hound

“Getting into blogging wasn’t any easier for his coworker at the newspaper, Dave Oliveria. The associate editor and columnist describes the start of his opinionated blog Huckleberries as ‘a monstrous change.’ Oliveria is a newsroom veteran who says he has been involved in virtually every form of newspaper production ‘from the old linotype machines and hot metal presses to offset printing.’ Blogging has won him over. ‘I still enjoy traditional newspaper [journalism],’ Oliveria says. ‘But it’s so slow by comparison. We can have a broad discussion about a controversial subject online within an afternoon or an evening that would take weeks in the newspaper—and have a better interactive discussion.’

For the rest of the Blue Plate Special article about “Reporters As Bloggers” and the subsection about Yours Truly, “Leap of Faith,” click here.

Question: Do you read any of the other SReporter blogs? Do you have a favorite one?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/9/06

Digital Fog labels this one simply “Found Nemo.”

*Blogmeister KenP/Daily Briefing reports that Editor Steve Smith that the outrage over the Spokane firefighter story is proof that former mayor Jim West would have been out of office sooner had he been targetting girls instead of boys here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals notes that UI is a 23-point underdog in its WAC tourney opener against Nevada, the biggest deficit of any Division I hoops team playing tonight, here.

*Bayview Herb doesn’t like SR columnist Doug Clark’s gratuitous slap at neighboring Athol here.

*The big storm that blew through the area last night and this morning upset Marianne Love’s routine as well as her apple cart here.

*CDADave/Thin Air knows how that man feels who had a heart attack — you know, the guy who went through surgery, recovered, and then died of a massive coronary when he saw his bill here.

Meanwhile, JBelle sez she enjoys words including “pimp” here, Greg talks about former North Idaho stars who are excelling at college sports here, and JB/Sagebrush Patriot discusses the Hetero Bumpersticker issue in Boise here.

HBO — To JBelle RE: Blog’s Gen-Xers

JBelle: I really enjoy reading the GenX and GenY people on this board. Just how the heck did you get them to come around and stay? Ryan Hill is sooo feisty; I wish he’d come back.

DFO: Mebbe we should ask them why they hang out here. I’m not sure — other than their opinions are respected and enjoyed by most. I enjoyed the long abortion thread because the twentysomethings took the lead and tossed in some unpredictable things on Tuesday before giving way to the usual suspects who also had some interesting things to say Wednesday. Mebbe they hang out here because HBO provides a forum to talk things through and to ask questions that middle-agers seem to skip over. As far as Ryan Hill goes, he has been MIA since he got appointed to the CDA P&Z commission. Also, MikeK has reduced his posting on HBO since he got elected to the City Council. Seems folks get circumspect when they begin making friends in high places. In the future, I may have to require good commenters to sign a form promising they won’t run for political office or become too involved in the system.

Blogmeister Ken: Are Blogs Held To Same Standard?

An interesting, if a bit esoteric, discussion has been bouncing around the newsroom the last couple of days. In Sunday’s paper, we ran a news brief (third item) about a candidacy announcement that was attributed to Dave Oliveria’s Huckleberries Online blog. Oliveria got the tip from a good source on background, posted it to his blog, and notified the newsroom. The reporter, who was already working his tail off to file two stories for Sunday’s paper, wrote the brief using the blog as a source to meet editors’ demands to get the story into the paper quickly.

Of course, we can’t use ourselves as a source for a story. The conclusion was that we should have called the candidate for confirmation, and Oliveria acknowledges he should have included some information on the blog about how he heard the news. Bottom line: We hold all news to the same standards, regardless of whether its online or in print.

But that raises a question - do readers hold information they read on the Internet to a different standard? Do you trust a story more because it’s in black-and-white on a sheet of newsprint, or does it make a difference? What about things like typos and grammatical errors?

Blogmeister Ken Paulman

Breaking! Tax&Rev Roadblock To Step Down

Conservative Republican Rep. Dolores Crow of Nampa announced Thursday she will not seek re-election. Crow is Chairman of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee which is the first to consider changes to state tax policy. She is serving her twelfth two-year term in the Legislature making her one of the state’s longest serving lawmakers. Republican Lt. Gov. David Leroy appointed Crow to the Legislature in 1983.

DFO: Good riddance.

HBO — To Idawa RE: US Cultural War

Idawa: This thread, this topic, since it started that other day has been fascinating too me. Recently I have been asking myself if the secular and non-secular world can still co-exist. … Topics such as abortion, homosexual marriage, FCC censorship, and public decency laws are examples of this conflict. So, my question is this: Can the secular trust the religious to govern them wisely, basing laws on empirical facts and quantifiable impacts rather than believe and “values”? And conversely, can the religious trust the secular to govern them wisely without taking away their values and leading them to their perceived damnation?

DFO: I would answer “no” to both questions. I wouldn’t want to be subject to a religious junta any more than I would want religion expunged from our national consciousness and discourse. A theocracy is more vulnerable to the evil of the individuals running it than a republic or democracy. On the other hand, full secular license is a one-way ticket to the moral gutter. I want a tension between the two sides, a tug-of-war that keeps us somewhat in the middle.

HBO — To MikeK RE: Barry Bonds Scandal

MikeK: Barry Bonds has become a very tough subject for baseball fans. I don’t know that I entirely agree with Jon Saraceno of USA Today that the next time Bonds leaves the park he should stay out, but he isn’t alone in his views on this. I hope the late 1990s and early 2000s era in baseball don’t become a historical rival to the Black Sox scandal of 1919, but it sure looks like it will.

DFO: Dunno how many of you are interested in sports or cheating in sports. But this one is of interest to me since I’ve been a long-time S.F. Giants fan and have watched with interest and concern as scandal swirls around the best player on my team. I’d like to think it ain’t so. But the evidence has become overwhelming against Bonds. Meanwhile, the Giants are circling the wagons around their superstar here. Two questions: Does this scandal matter to you? If so, what should be done about it?

WorldNetDaily Poll — 3/9/06

Issue: Return of ‘Contract with America’? GOP lawmakers offer alternative budget to restore ‘dream’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think about the Republicans new Contract with America?

1. Don’t you mean the Contract on America?
2. I hope it suffers the same fate as the first one
3. It’s just a political ploy to fool Americans into believing congressional Republicans are doing something
4. They’ve had control of Congress for 12 years – what took so long?
5. Talk is cheap
6. Too little too late
7. Better late than never
8. It’s a great idea – I hope it catches on this time
9. What’s wrong with the original contract with America – the Constitution?
10. Other

DFO: No. 3, plus the Republicans have abandoned their fiscal values when it comes to the budget and their common sense as they do nothing while our borders are being overrun with illegals. This is just a ploy to keep power after 12 years in which they walked away from term limits and did little else than cozy up to lobbyists.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/8/06

Closin’ Time again, HBOers. Another good day on the writing and blog front. I haven’t heard any complaints since morning about the refurbished comments feature. So, I’ll take that as a good sign. If someone out there is being blocked, however, don’t suffer in silence. Or go away mad. Drop me an e-mail, and I’ll have the techs check it. Meanwhile, we all need to give a hand to Blogmeisters Ryan and KenP for pausing from their busy schedules to fix things here, so we didn’t experience any down time. Very nice job. Now, here’s your recycled Evening Wild Card …

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 3/8/06

Gordon Parks (right) died yesterday and he was a hero to many photographers, not just for making nice pictures, but for being a pivotal figure in 20th century photography (including photograph above, entitled “Children With Doll”), movies, music and poetry. He became the first black photographer at Life Magazine in the 1950s, in an era when he couldn’t even go into many stores and restaurants because he was black. He wrote books and poetry. He wrote piano concertos. He directed movies, including “Shaft” in 1971. Here’s a short biography at the Library of Congress website here — Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review.

*Judge delays ruling for Debra Lafave: Woman accused of sex with boy, 14, could face trial despite plea deal/St. Petersburg Times — Send ‘er to the pokey, judge.

*‘Roe v. Wade for Men’ suit filed: Dads want right to opt out of financial responsibility for raising a child/Houston Chronicle — Real men don’t shirk their obligations.

*Arizona governor sends more troops to border: National Guard helping federal agents deal with illegal crossings/Associated Press — Seems Gov. Janet Napolitano isn’t a fan of Dubya’s look-the-other-way policy for illegals.

*Walgreens prescription: ‘She’s really a psycho!!!’ Woman sues pharmacy after finding insulting message on computer printout/WorldNetDaily — Walgreens had better offer her free drugs for life or it’s going to pay big time.

*Attack of the bedbugs: $20 million suit filed: 500 bites: ‘My skin felt as if it was on fire and I wanted to tear it off’/Associated Press — $20M for 500 bedbug bites? And you thought the new math had gone the way of the dinosaur.

Top Cutlines — 3/8/06

Nadiah Gittens, left, and her twin sister Tracy workout with a podcast at Welleby Park in Sunrise, Florida. You write the cutline. (Judy Sloan Reich/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/KRT)

Top Cutlines:

1. The Stepford Sisters get N’Sync — Thom George.

2. When their iPod began playing the evil Hokey Pokey, the twins were forced to obey — Whippersnapper.

3. Typical of twin rivalry, Nadiah and Tracy try to get a leg up on each other as they work out. Neither started off on the right foot, so they were both left without a leg to stand on as the competition heated up — John Austin.

HM: Brent Andrews

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

Iraq Prayer

There’s light at the end of the tunnel they say,
just as they once said about Saigon and Hue;
may all of this suffering not be in vain
and that light in the tunnel not be a train.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

HBO — To SteveS RE: Election Start-Up

SteveS: “Wow … was I blown away … I was returning from taking Sophomore Son back to UIdaho (Sunday) … had just finished listening to Gonzaga squeak by USD (Senior Daughter’s
soon-to-be alma mater) … when I saw this ha-huge billboard for Sheila Sorensen for 1st District Congress … It’s visible northbound on US95, just before you hit the 4-lane at
Fightin’ Creek! The race is on!

DFO: Alas, the long winter of our discontent has given way to a gaggle of honking pols who now want to be our best friends — until they get elected to office and begin holding power lunches with future Abramoffs (Washington), using campaign credit cards to buy person items (Boise), kowtowing to state Republican leaders (legislative), or jumping at the command of the local Powers That Be. I’m beginning to wonder if it matters a heckuva lot re: whom we vote in.

Breaking: Coalition Calls for Fireman’s Firing

A women’s coalition which includes former Spokane Mayor Sheri Barnard is calling for the firing of Daniel W. Ross, the 35-year old firefighter who had sex in a Spokane firehouse last month with a 16-year old girl here/Spokesman-Review

Question: What do you think will eventually happen in this controversy?

APhoto of the Day — 3/8/06

Nadiah Gittens, left, and her twin sister Tracy workout with a podcast at Welleby Park in Sunrise, Florida. You write the cutline. (Judy Sloan Reich/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/KRT)

Question of the Day — 3/8/06

Issue: Poll: Moviemakers’ values out of touch: Survey shows readers think quality of movies in decline/MSNBC

Additional Info: “When asked if they thought Hollywood values were at odds with those of most of America, 60 percent agreed. When asked if they though the success of such gay-themed films such as ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ‘Transamerica’ and ‘Capote’ (all Oscar nominees) reflected Hollywood’s values or the growing acceptance of alternative lifestyles, respondents were fairly evenly split (50 percent thought it reflected Hollywood’s values, 44 percent thought it reflected changing attitudes).”

Question: Do you think Hollywood values reflect those of mainstream America?

Quick Fix 6 — 3/8/06

1. APhoto Fix: High school girls walk past the painted protection wall in the centre of Irbil, a city in the Kurdish controlled north 217 miles north of Baghdad Wednesday. Daily killings, bombings and escalating violence confine most Iraqi women to their homes and a tormented lifestyle, as the world celebrates March 8, International Women’s Day. (AP Photo/Sasa Kralj)

2. Cartoon Fix: Signe Wilkinson (Middle East N-partners), Drew Litton (USA sports distraction), and Henry Payne (The Oscars).

3. Humor Fix: Real shocker (Sunday) night was that “Crash” upset “Brokeback Mountain” to win best picture. They were not happy in West Hollywood. They were looting pottery barns, flipping over Volvos, smashing Liza Minnelli records. It was ugly — Jay Leno.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Study warns girls about spring break here, Abramoff: “I was a killer” here, Cheney donates $2.7M to center that saved life here, Internet tops TV as most popular Brit pasttime here, and Hillary adviser wants to data mine Dems here.

6. Opinion Fix: George Will/Washington Post (Academics get dose of Roberts’ medicine), A. Yasmine Rassam/Independent Women’s Forum (International Women’s Day), Mark Mellman/The Hill (Tide rolling Dems’ way?), Dick Morris/The Hill (Clintons pass in the night), John Stossel/RealClearPolitics (Inescapable facts on public education).

Pretty As A Picture — 3/7/06

Photographer Lisa Jones took this photo of a person walking on Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington at sunset. (AP photo)

Parting Shot — 3/7/06

Being old ain’t so bad, particularly when you’re being sexually harassed by a caller. Ask Frum Helen Back. A few weeks ago, an obscene caller dialed FHB’s number and was in the middle of his spiel, when Helen started dishing it back to him. She was enjoying herself, too. Helen: “The guy was getting so angry and becoming more obscene. I kept telling him to tell me more and he finally got so mad he slammed down the phone and hasn’t called back.” Incredibly, Helen wrote in her Hauser Thoughts that the phone perv “really made my day.” Helen’s husband was shocked when he heard about the episode, causing Helen to shrug and say: “I love being old.”

Question: Besides dissing phone pervs, can you think of any other benefits to getting older?

Top Cutlines — 3/7/06

“Brokeback Mountain” actor Heath Ledger, right, kisses galpal Michelle Williams during the game between San Antonio and Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ Francis Specker)

Top Cutlines:

1. Michelle thinks to herself “If he calls me Jake one more time…” — ErinG.

2. Heath Ledger hopes he can win next year’s Oscar by kissing a woman, since it didn’t work out that well with Jake — John Austin.

3. Heath Ledger, appearing in public,attempts to show he’s ambidextrous — Bayview Herb.

HM: Whatever.

Afternoon Question — Girls Gone Wild … In Moscow?

“The Beach had wet T-shirt and thong competitions. And women in bars throughout downtown bared their boobs in exchange for beads. I was one of those women. I exposed myself to strangers — and not-so-strangers — in exchange for beads, and I’m not ashamed (sorry, Mom and Dad). A few of my friends — some serious and others joking — challenged my decision to bare all. They said I was objectifying myself, that I am not just a pair of breasts, that I am a person, a woman, and not just a sex object. Fair enough, but that wasn’t how I viewed my public indecency. I felt that flashing was a statement of control over my body, as well as confidence and security in it. (For the rest of UI Argonaut Editor Cady McCowin’s column about her Mardi Gras excapades, click here.)

DFO: I wonder if she’ll feel the same way about the 2006 Mardi Gras exposure in downtown Moscow and on the Internet 10 years from now when she’s married and has a coupla kids?

Question: Would you ever … ah … never mind.

Question of the Day — 3/7/06

Coeur d’Alene Press Online poll: If the election were today, who would you support to replace Butch Otter as U.S. District 1 representative?

Larry Grant (D)
Cecil Kelly (D)
Skip Brandt (R)
Keith Johnson (R)
Bill Sali (R)
Norm Semanko (R)
Sheila Sorensen (R)
Robert Vasquez (R)
None of the above 1.9%

Total Votes: 6584

Question: Do you have enough information about any of these candidates to make an informed vote? Who are you leaning toward at this minute?

Gonzaga: We’re Number — What? — Seed

Gonzaga fans argue for a high seeding in the NCAA tournament by pointing out the results of the last two Duke games as they cheer Monday during West Coast Conference men’s championship Spokane. Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 68-67 to win the championship and an automatic trip to the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: Do you think 26-3 Gonzaga deserves a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament?

APhoto of the Day — 3/7/06

“Brokeback Mountain” actor Heath Ledger, right, kisses galpal Michelle Williams during the game between San Antonio and Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ Francis Specker)

HBO — To BigMac RE: Media War Coverage

BigMac (former combat soldier during peace time): “Right now our army and marines are fighting a series of battles aimed at closing the guerilla’s supply lines. Would you know it from reading the paper? Right now the Iraqi people are shrugging off attempts by foreign fighters to spark a civil war. Would you know it from reading Newsweek? Right now the infant Iraqi military is being bloodied and prepared to take over operations. Would you know it from watching the evening news? Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are winning this war. Casualties are down, Iraqi participation is up, and the country is well on its way to becoming a functioning republic. But that context is lost in the “if it bleeds, it leads” style of reporting. No wonder Americans don’t trust newsmen.

DFO: In last evening’s threads, Big Mac responded to an Idaho Statesman poll in which 84-85% of the respondents said the media haven’t covered the Iraq war well. Indeed, I look to alternative sources of news to get a fuller picture of what’s going on in Iraq beyond the bombings and occasional kidnappings that have fixated the world’s media. I applaud Big Mac’s service to country. His entire comment can be read on this thread from yesterday here.

Quick Fix 6 — 3/7/06

1. APhoto Fix: This undated file photo originally provided by DreamWorks, shows Wallace and Gromit the stars of “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” After they won a fourth Oscar for their creator, fans in the pair’s hometown of Bristol, England, called Tuesday for a statue to be erected of the balding cheese lover and his long-suffering canine companion. (DFO: This is a wonderful film for kids as well as grownup kids.) (AP photo)

2. Cartoon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Global warming), Steve Benson (Bowing media infidels), and Bill Day (Anna Nicole Smith’s day in court).

3. Humor Fix: Emcee Jon Stewart at the Oscars here and video of one of the funniest moments at the Oscars here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Vermont town to vote on Bush impeachment here, Swastikas fly in Berlin as Germany makes Hitler farce here, Ebert: “Brokeback” didn’t lose because of “gay things” here, California court overturns oral sex rule here, and Paper: 8000 desert during Iraq war here.

6. Opinion Fix: Leon De Winter/Wall Street Journal (Soft Europe), Meghan Basham/Townhall (If Hollywood had a hammer), E.J. Dionne Jr./Washington Post (Demos real problem), Cal Thomas/Townhall (Is McCain the one?), Victor Davis Hanson/American Enterprise (Back to ‘60s barricades).

P.S. — A New Comment Feature to Block Spam

Huckleberries Online has been getting cluster spammed today, by a tenacious creep pushing gambling. In a move to block this jackal and other spammers, the SR online tech team has added a step for commenters. It’s simple. But it still means another click or so. Now, when you post, you will be required to fill in the e-mail box below your name. Don’t worry. It is solely to confirm that a legitimate user is trying to post. Your e-mail address won’t appear on your posted copy. Next, you’ll need to go to your computer e-mail where you’ll find a message from the SR confirming your post. Click on the link, and your comment will be posted. Finally, you can see the posted comment by clicking on the “see your post” link at the bottom. Sorry, we have to do this. But I’ve had as many as 100 spams in a half hour period today. Let me know if you encounter any problems.

Best of the Local Blogs — 3/6/06

My car knows by heart its way to and past this scene captured by photographer Kerri Thoreson — at the entrance to the Spokane International Airport. It’s easily the Spokane place I visit most.

Always check Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise blog to see what’s going to be in the paper tomorrow morning here.

*”I’m thankful that Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession and County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Tucker are lawyers,” begins Bill McCrory/Whitecaps in his latest blog entry re: the Spokane firefighter sex flap. “If they didn’t have lawyers in these key elected positions, Spokanites might rely on their own common sense.” Bill gives ‘em heck here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA pens a think peace re: how a strong will can be both a blessing and a curse in a dyne-oh!-mite reflective piece here.

*If you add 312 and 7000 together, you’ll have the number of posts and blurkers Cis Gors has attracted in the past year as she celebrates the one-year anniversay of her blog, From A Simple Mind, here. Congrats, Cis.

*The Golly Gals take their camera and pen to the Kynrede Cafe on Government Way to review the fare and enjoy the huckleberry dessert here.

*Greg Lee/Idaho Preps reports that Coeur d’Alene High basketballers Cody Smith and Nate Bligh won Inland Empire League honors today here and that the District 1 basketball all-star rosters are set for both boys and girls teams here.

HBO Page-View Numbers: record 177,405 PVs for February; record 9580 PVs for Monday, Feb. 27; record 52882 for week, Feb. 26-March 4.

Meanwhile, Granati and ErinG enjoy a milestone as their 5-year-old enjoys her first birthday party outside the family ones here, Marianne chooses between the Zags and the Oscars here, and CDADave struggles with big questions as his arthritis continues to act up here.

Gotcha: How To Stop A B-Tournament Troll

re: Blogmeister KenP chuckled when he saw the following exchanges about a Washington State B Tournament game in Spokane that ended with a controversial call:

Zach (Wed, Mar 1, 8:28 PM): Does anybody think that Den Boer hit the 3? Anybody at all? MUAH HA HA HA I DO!!!! CAUSE I WAS AT THE GAME UNLIKE MOST YOU LOSERS WHO COME BACK FROM LIKE 10 years of graduating are you stupid SJE. I dont mean to be rude but the ref who was closest put the arms up. IT WAS GOOD. I hope you can sleep good at night b/c i know i will. Tootles.

Zach (Wed, Mar 1, 8:29 PM): P.S. Lets all cry about the loss anyways.

(several posts later)

Sun-Side (Wed, Mar 1, 9:48 PM): I hope you are not a student Zach. I am a SSC alum and will be calling the school Monday. That is not how people from our school should act, and i am sorry to the St John fans for his remarks.

Zach (Wed, Mar 1, 11:37 PM): I retract my previous statements please dont call the school.

You can find a link to the entire thread here.

Family Phil: Capturing Essence of Oscars …

Family Phil: I thought this was funny here. The rest of the night. … kind of boring. Indeed, Family Phil, offers a link to a big chuckle. Check it out.

What Makes Women In Marriage Happy?

Issue: In one of the most comprehensive studies of women in marriage, University of Virginia sociologists Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock tested egalitarian marriage — a partnership of equals who split duties inside and outside the home. “As wives went off to work and husbands took on new jobs at home, couples would supposedly have more in common and more to talk about. Husbands would do more ‘emotion work,’ as sociologists call it, and wives would be more fulfilled,” writes John Tierney/Madison County Journal here.

Conclusion: “Sure enough, they found that husbands’ ‘emotion work’ was crucial to wives’ happiness. Having an affectionate and understanding husband was by far the most important predictor of a woman’s satisfaction with her marriage. But it turns out that an equal division of labor didn’t make husbands more affectionate or wives more fulfilled. The wives working outside the home reported less satisfaction with their husbands and their marriages than did the stay-at-home wives. And among those with outside jobs, the happiest wives, regardless of the family’s overall income, were the ones whose husbands brought in at least two-thirds of the money.”

Question: Are you surprised by these findings?

HBO — TO I.B. Lurking RE:

I.B. Lurking: SO … if Hayden has snobs, and PF has mafia, who/what would you all associate with the rest of the towns in Kootenai County?

DFO: Including Athol?

Press Agrees w/SR RE: Duncan Plea Bargain

“We count ourselves among the many who want Duncan dead if he’s found guilty. According to investigators, Duncan personifies the very worst in mankind. As long as he breathes, an unspeakable evil also will remain alive. But some good might prevail if, as the defense is hinting, a plea agreement is reached and Duncan is given life without possibility of parole.”

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

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Post Falls City Councilman Todd Tondee‘ll be announcing for Commissioner Gus Johnson’s seat Tuesday — and that the tension between them was intense during a recent wine/stein event in the River City. Should make for an interesting Repub primary. Stay tuned.

JBelle Re: Oscars: She Loved It

I TIVO’d (the Academy Awards) as we were at the (Gonzaga-San Diego)game. It was a tad more thrilling than the broadcast. ;) Crash won; I figured it would. But I am going to hightail to the theatres to see Heath Ledger in BBM; had no idea he had acting chops of this sort. I was pretty impressed with him. His wife wore a beautiful dress, too. Reese (Witherspoon, shown in AP photo above as she wins Best Actress award) won! yay! (“I’m just tryin’ to matter.”) And I thought Stewart was wonderfully brilliant for the things you mentioned: he ripped on how serious Hollywood takes themselves, ripped on the endless clips,omG, the plethora of clips, and ripped on Jewish liberalism. And pulled it all off, nicely. I really enjoyed him. One of the high points of the evening was when the rappers beat Dolly Parton; they gave a high-energy performance of their theme from ‘Hustle and Flow’, um roughly, It’s not Easy Being a Pimp (I’m thinking of Kermit in It’s Not Easy Being Green); their name is 3 6 Mafia. ? yes? They set Hollywood back on its heels; and I laughed. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The rappers are young, cute, happy and by God, these days, members of the Academy! upward and onward!

JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA

Question of the Day — 3/6/06

Issue: Oscars Ratings Drop 10 Percent From 2005: “Crash” upsets “Brokeback Mountain” as best picture/Associated Press.

DFO: I didn’t watch a minute of it and still don’t know who won all the big categories.

Question: Did you watch the Academy Awards? And/or were you happy with the outcome of the big awards?

HBO — To Truthseeker RE: Post Falls Mafia

Truthseeker: Can someone shed any light on the alleged, “Post Falls Mafia” and if Mr Hammond is associated with it, if it even exists? I was told that this is a well-used term in PF by the residents there.

DFO: I’ve even used it in my Huckleberries print column. Basically, it’s an unofficial term for the movers and shakers who influence Post Falls politics. Their candidates tend to win elections. Then, they often field good candidates. I don’t want to name names because it’s a nebulous term for an unofficial group of citizens who have done much good for the community. Some, however, resent its influence. Hammond would be among them.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Sleeping Justice

Issue: Snorer in the court? Ruth Bader Ginsburg snoozes: Justice dozes off during political redistricting hearing, colleagues let her sleep/WND.

Question: What’s your reaction to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 15-minute Supreme Court snooze?

1. No big deal. The subject matter was boring, it could have happened to anyone
2. Justices nod off all the time. This one just happened to get some publicity
3. The mainstream media are the ones asleep. If Scalia, Thomas, Roberts or Alito snoozed, it would be mocked for weeks
4. I’m outraged! If justices on the highest court in the land can’t stay awake, they shouldn’t be there
5. Classic. I’m still laughing over Ruth ‘Buzzsaw’ Ginsburg (that’s Ruth Buzzi Ginsburg, for short)
6. Why should she be awake? Her mind is already made up on the issues before hearing them
7. Justices Alito and Souter are American heroes for not waking her
8. Unfortunately, she eventually woke up
9. Thank goodness! Anytime she’s awake and alert, the Constitution and our freedoms are in danger
10. Other

DFO: No. 3

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

HBO — To: Jim Hammond RE: The Future

Jim Hammond: And so it begins. It is not my intention if elected to continue to work as city administrator. With the Mayor still recovering from major surgery, its been a bit awkward to define the details of my departure but will provide those in the next couple of weeks. More later. Don’t you guys ever sleep?

DFO: I usually hit the sack around 1:30-2, which is about the time that CDADave gets back from listening to music around town and takes over the blog watch. Do we ever sleep? In shifts. HBO’ll be interested to see what your future plans are re: state Senate/city administrator. Thanx for checking in here, Jim.

HBO — To MikeK RE: Working Out

MikeK: Well, DFO, that’s a true statement that Marc (Stewart, of the Coeur d’Alene Press) and I have in theory been walking a few days a week. But I’ve been either late or AWOL the last few times, so I can’t say that the girth is declining. To your point about the enemy, of course I’d prefer to walk with Erica Curless any day, but since I know she’s a marathoner I have to keep a more manageable pace (sorry, Marc!) By the way, former reporter extraordinaire Keith Erickson is there every day I’ve been out and he’s running like a fiend looks to be in great shape. Don’t know what he’s doing these days, but whatever it is he looks prosperous and healthy.

DFO: I made a New Year’s resolution to take my walking seriously this year. So far, I have — almost 160 miles in a little over two months. I’ve been charting the miles because that gives me incentive to keep going. Not a lot of weight has come off. But I am down 10 pounds since the beginning of winter. And I’m feeling very good. So, here’s the question for you folks. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? And have you stuck to it?

HBO — To Grapevine RE: Hammond’s Decision

Grapevine: “What I heard from those in the know today is that Freeman Duncan, the sometime Republican, was the one who orchastrated with Compton the Hammond ticket — with no courtesy call to any of the GOP leadership. Could be a bad move right off the bat to alienate party faithful who are the ones who go out and stump for the candidates. This could bode well for the Dems since it looks like there will be much dissention within the rank and file of the Repubs over this race.

DFO: Jim Hammond lost the NIC trustee race to Kristy Wood; so, he’s beatable. Mebbe even in a Republican primary. And religious conservatives are Ron Vieselmeyer’s ace in the hole. If the moderates didn’t dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s, Hammond might have trouble on the campaign trail. He can’t lay back and when by default. ‘Twill be an interesting race.

Wild Card/Saturday — 3/4/06

I see you’re already busy on the various threads today. I remain humbled that you consider this site blogworthy on a Saturday morning. I’m going to head out for coffee with my brother in a few minutes. When I get back, I need to check re: that special political announcement coming outta Post Falls. BTW, I’ve heard rumors that the names of Joe Bodman, Skip Hissong and Todd Tondee have been batted around concerning a primary race against Commissioner Gus Johnson. Mebbe the announcement has something to do with this? While you’re staying tuned, you can use this Wild Card for your own threads …

Dogwalk Muser: Should We Have Another Blogfest?

Last Sat. Dave asked for comments regarding the direction we all would like to see his blog take. A parallel to that is the possibility of a Blog Fest; DFO would like to see one with some substance rather than the social, great as it was, of a couple of weeks ago Dave sez he doesn’t have time to organize it so I stuck out my pointy little chin and volunteered to take on the heavy lifting. So here goes. Is anyone interested and if so what would you like to hear discussed. How to get started? How to make your site better? How can our little community impact the growing phenom of blogging? Blogging etiquette? You get the drift. I think we’re going to do it; you’re input will make it better. If you want to e-mail me directly please do -

Mari Meehan
Dogwalk Musings

Prosecutor: No Foul In Fire Dept. Sex Caper

Issue: No charges in firehouse sex: Pictures of girl, 16, likely violated law, but prosecutor won’t pursue case/Bill Morlin, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Hate to break it to the city of Spokane, but this one isn’t going to go away.

Question: What would you say to the Spokane mayor and prosecutor?

Question of the Day — Renton High’s B+ Fans

Issue: Renton officials require B+ average for fans to attend state tourney day game: Many upset as only 6 of 1000 qualify for day game/Robert L. Jamieson Jr., Seattle PI

Additional Info: School officials made the controversial decision to put class work and student achievement ahead of fan frenzy and rooting for the team. In order for students to attend the contest in Tacoma, students could not have more than two unexcused absences this semester. They could not have outstanding assignments. They had to have a 3.3 grade-point average.

Question: Columnist Jamieson said school officials made the right decision. Do you agree?

HBO — To Family Phil Re: Daanen’s Deli

Family Phil: “Dannen’s Deli is now on my Hudson’s OVERRATED list.”

DFO: Why?

HBO — To Bre Re: Latest Blog Post


*It breaks my heart when someone asks for toilet paper and a bar of soap and I have to tell them that we’re out because we haven’t received any donations.

*It breaks my heart when a mother leans over the counter with tears in her eyes and whispers that her children have lice and she has no money for the treatment.

*Breaks my heart when an elderly gentleman waits 2 hours for a $10 gas voucher and cries when he finally receives it because he’s so thankful.

*Breaks my heart when a young mother of two has had her power shut off because she owes a measly $86 dollars to her utility company.

DFO: I’m not sure exactly what Bre’s new job is, but it sounds as though it has something to do with a local food bank. Above, you read some of her touching post about her new job. You can read the rest of the comment here, unless you want to remain oblivious to the poverty in this resort area. Bre doesn’t post often. When she does, however, she has something to say.

Wild Card/TGIF PM — The Huckleberries 500

Sorry, I couldn’t resist this photo from Family Phil. Is this a Drunken Frat Brawl, Phil? Or was it taken after one of the HBO Flame Wars during the last week? A coupla the brawlers look familiar (as does that little Mouse, bottom left). But you can’t be sure from this angle. Anyway, I’ve replaced the Great Falls mule shot with this one to kick off the weekend Wild Cards. Have fun. I’m going to watch “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” tonight. As CDADave sez in the comments section: “This is the Huckleberries 500: Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines …”

HBO — to Family Phil re: Wal*Mart

Family Phil: Sitting in Dannen’s Deli in Hayden today, I heard some people talking about the Wal-Mart planned for the corner of 95 and Honeysuckle. The gist of their conversation was: “Hayden is too nice a town for the class of people who shop at Wal-Mart.”

DFO: The elitism involved in dissing Wal*Mart bugs me, more than anything else. Some folks simply couldn’t make it, if they had to but exclusively at the main supermarkets. I hate when folks look down on one another, simply because they had a rich Daddy. Or married a rich Daddy or Mommy. Or combined have a good income. You’re well off? Big deal. None of us takes it with us. I’m glad I didn’t overhear that conversation, Phil.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/3/06

Without looking (or having looked at his blog), guess which one of the local bloggers this is … a few years back … here

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings examines the NIMBYism prevalent when Wal*Mart comes calling here.

*JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan EWA loves the season of reflection called Lent here.

*Family Phil’s son had on the right shirt when his second-grade teacher held everyone after class while she searched for a child’s missing $2 here.

*Bre’s new job is keeping her so busy that she barely has time to blurk at HBO — and breaking her heart, too, according to her latest post on To Blog Or Not To Blog here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice isn’t thinking happy thoughts about Sunshine Minting here.

Meanwhile, Cis recommends a blog here, Marianne’s gunnin for whoever is beheading her geraniums here, and CDADave wonders why things spin out of control at this time of the year here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That former state representative Wayne Meyer will run for the Idaho Legislature this year, but he isn’t sure whether he’ll take on state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who defeated him in the Republican primary two years ago, or … (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) — state Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden. Stay tuned.

TGIF Wild Card — 3/3/06

There’s been some discussion today re: the wild and woolly nature of the comments feature last night, featuring Any Mouse, Thom, Family Phil and a cameo appearance by CDADave (who quickly and wisely ducked his head and left). Some, of course, would love to see Any Mouse’s head on a platter. Then, there’s some on the right who’d like to see Lefty heads on a platter. Basically, I’m going to stomp on flames that occur during working hours, but I don’t want to spend my free time riding shotgun on the evening and weekend threads. You guys need to police yourselves better. If someone’s flaming, others should call him on it. Or ignore him. Or engage him. Does someone have a better way to handle this (besides banning this person or that)? I’d like your ideas. Or you simply can use this Wild Card to start a thread …

HBO — to One Lucky Girl re. Wolves

One Lucky Girl: “OK, you guys obviously don’t know the whole wolf situation. They were reintroduced into a part of idaho they were never native to in the first place. And they aren’t just taking some elk (which my the way is not pluralized by an “s”) and some cattle. They are taking half of people’s herds, and their pets, and attacking their kids. Trust me, I lived where they are. You aren’t affected by the wolves one way or another, and these people’s livelihoods are at stake. So, let fish and game do what is best, and until they prove they can part the seas, i don’t see them as trying to play God.”

DFO: I see you have your father’s fire in your belly, One Lucky Girl. I’m not going to tell you HBOers who OLG is, of course, but I will say that she lived in the Bovill, Idaho, area for some time with an Idaho original for a father who’s woodsman. In other words, she knows whereof she speaks. And she brings up some good points here. BTW, I also agree with her. The wolf reintroduction idea has got to be one of the dumbest ones that the feds have come up with.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/3/06

Ken Hutcherson, left, pastor of the Antioch Bible Church of Redmond, Wash., and an outspoken opponent of gay righs, and King County Executive Ron Sims, who is also a Baptist minister, speak at the same time early in a debate over gay rights, Thursday night at Town Hall in Seattle here.

1. Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald nails the problem of marketing newspapers today here.

2. An Oregon teen who pinched and twisted another boy’s nipple while standing in line at a deli has been sentenced to four days in juvenile detention because he refused to write a letter that explained his actions here.

3. Not only has Coach Bob Kavanaugh won three state championships with his boys basketball team from Cut Bank, Mont., but he is the publisher of four award-winning north-central Montana weeklies here.

4. A final decision won’t be made until today, but members of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission say they likely will ask the federal government for permission to kill up to 43 gray wolves preying on elk in the Lolo Pass region here.

5. Two Spokane police detectives are the subject of an internal affairs investigation after directing a Spokane firefighter to delete digital photographs he took while having sex with a 16-year-old girl while on duty in a city fire station here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Just say no to meth mom bill), Coeur d’Alene Press (Right to work alive in Idaho), Idaho Statesman (Fix school bond election process), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Zag Pierre Marie Altidor Cespedes), and Jerry Hughes/Pacific Northwest Inlander (Shively: A patriot passes).

Online Poll: 87% of 1173 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say that the voters should get a final say on any taxpayer-financed remodel of the Supersonics’ KeyArena.

*Missoula 18-year-old recovering after being trampled by deer here.

*Gunman hijacks Spokane transit bus this morning here.

*Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb won’t seek re-election here.

Orbusmax Special: Portland home to world’s fattest cat here.

HBO — to LukeB re: Better Blog Software

LukeB: “I just wish this website ran better software. I’ve suggested Scoop a couple of times but I don’t know how interested DFO is in changing blogging software.”

DFO: I’m totally at the mercy of the techs, and they’re at the mercy of time constraints and in-house software constraints. If I was king and had great techs, like Ken Paulman, Ryan Pitts and Gina Boysun, at my beck and call, you’d have polls, forums, and other bells & whistles here.

Update: I just talked with Blogmeister KenP re: software updates. Seems we’re working off a 1998 version. And plan a major overhaul next year that will include comment registration. A “preview” button could be doable this year, Sara. But we’re limited in what we do. He wants me to keep a list of suggestions for the new, improved software for the site.

Photo of the Day — 3/3/06

Kindergartener Hailee Westover reacts with trepidation after her teacher, Jacque Dean, tells her class that everyone must try at least a bite of green eggs and ham — served in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, now celebrated as Read Across America Day — before eating their cookie Thursday at Dalton Gardens Elementary School. You write the cutline.

Question of the Day — Academy Best Movie

Issue: No sure bets: History proves that ‘Brokeback Mountain’ isn’t a lock to capture Best Picture/David Germain, Associated Press

The Contendahs: “Brokeback Mountain,” “Crash,” “Capote,” “Good Night, And Good Luck” and “Munich.”

Question: Who wins — and why?

Quick Fix 6 — 3/3/06

1. APhoto Fix: In this photo released at his retirement home in Tosny, western Fance, Friday March 3, 2006, Rene Riffaud is seen in either 1917 or 1918. France has rediscovered two centenarian veterans of the 1914-1918 conflict that killed millions, increasing the number of known survivors from five to seven and raising the possibility that there may be others that French officials do not know about.

2. Cartoon Fix: Henry Payne (Your family practitioner), Mike Luckovich (Barney Fife lives), and Drew Litton (Olympics TV ratings).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Signs You’re Not Going To Win An Academy Award” here.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Poll: Bush strength on terrorism falls along with job approval here, Harris Poll: Americans support “Crash,” “Walk The Line” stars for Oscars here, Study links mercury to autism here, Columnist Art Buchwald near death here, and Animal-rights activists convicted for harassment here.

6. Opinion Fix: James Klurfeld/Newsweek (Bush presidency falling apart), Diana West/Washington Times (Ports & pitchforks), Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (Has Washington gone insane?), Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (Free to hate … and dine alone), and Chuck Colson/BreakPoint (Which movies really are mainstream).

Spring Sign: The M’s Are Playing Ball

Fans hand baseballs through a fence for Seattle Mariners’ Carl Everett to sign as he leaves the field after playing against the San Diego Padres in the annual charity game between the teams that kicked off spring training baseball games for the two clubs earlier today in Peoria, Ariz. The game ended in a 2-2 tie after 10 innings. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Eye On Boise: Tribes Withstand Latest Idaho Attack …

… Thanks to help from North Idaho lawmakers.

“The House Transportation Committee split right down the middle after a three-hour hearing – killing legislation designed to impose state gas tax on Indian reservations. Every North Idaho member of the committee voted against the bill – Reps. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard; Mike Mitchell, D-Lewiston; Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow; Phil Hart, R-Athol; and Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene. They were joined by Reps. Joe Cannon, R-Blackfoot, and Kathy Skippen, R-Emmett. That meant a substitute motion from Skippen to kill the bill died on a tied vote, and then the original motion from Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, to pass the bill also died on a tied vote. That means the bill fails – it doesn’t leave the committee.”

For the rest of the post by Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise, click here and for all her latest coverage of the Idaho Legislature, including news of House Speaker Bruce Newcomb deciding to retire, click here.

Top Cutlines — 3/2/06

You’ve heard of Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride”? Well, here’s “BODIES, the Exhibition,” featuring real life preserved bodies. Jennifer Hartz, left, points out specifics to her daughter, 8-year-old Jessica Hartz, second from left, as Ann Scheraldi, standing, and Melinda Hartz, 5, right, listen to the audio commentary about the digestive system Wednesday in Atlanta, Ga. You write the cutline. (Photo provided by Bodies: The Exhibition)

Top Cutlines:

In A League of His Own: Why real men fear vasectomies, and: The outcome of Michael Jacksons 20th and final plastic surgery, and: Drawn but not quartered, and: Hagadone labor reform…split shifts — all Dave Tolle.

1. The recent California transplant who wants to cut his own firewood meets the Husqvarna 3120XP chainsaw, the most powerful Husqvarna sells — Whatever.

2. “See that heartstring over there, Jessica? That’s the one you have to tug to get your husband to buy you flowers, do the laundry and wash the kitchen floor” — A Token D.

3. Despite President Bush’s dire warnings about the dangers of human cloning DFO went ahead and tried to create the ultimate blog troll by cloning the ultra-left side (of course) of UBOB and the extreme-right side (what else?) of AnyMouse — Thom George.

HM: Whippersnapper

Zowee. Today’s competition was as fierce as it ever has been. Congrats, all. For the complete list of cutline entries, click here.

In SR Op-Ed, McCrory: Build Regional Jail

“Both Spokane County and Kootenai County experience jail overcrowding and want to build bigger jails. Spokane County’s could cost from $81 million to $410 million while Kootenai County estimates its jail expansion might cost as much as $50 million. State, local and tribal leaders from Idaho and Washington and from Kootenai and Spokane counties should discuss creating a regional criminal justice center near the Idaho- Washington border. A regional center with facilities for public safety training, state correctional programs, a combined post-conviction jail, emergency management and community education is ripe for consideration.”

For the rest of Bill McCrory’s (Whitecaps) comment on a regional corrections facility, click here.

Hat Tip: JBelle, for drawing this to my attention (I knew it was in the works, but didn’t know it had been published today. BTW, it looks like HBO commenters are starting to write the print edition editorial page, too.)

Question — from the Peanut Gallery

Issue: Dirty politics this ain’t: Senator saves rival’s life: Maybe this means we’ll see a more uplifting campaign’/ Offbeat News

Additional Info: “State Sen. John Giannetti was waiting for his take-out order of Italian food at a Maryland restaurant on Monday when he saw a man choking. He rushed over, performed the Heimlich maneuver and dislodged a chunk of seafood — saving the life of his political rival. The choking man, Jim Rosapepe, is challenging Giannetti in the Democratic primary for the suburban Washington district.”

Question (from Dan of the County): “Who would be the most/least likely politician in Idaho/Washington to save his/her political opponent?

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/2/06

Gotta earn my supper on the Dark Side of the force, HBOers. So, I’ll leave you with CDADave’s parody from yesterday’s cutline competition and urge you to look at his Thin Air blog for more LOLs he’s posted one handed, as he tries to recover from an arthritis attack. (Caution: Catholics with a sour disposition shouldn’t peek.) BTW, HBO has broken its single-day pageview record twice this week, almost hitting the once unthinkable 10,000 mark (9750). It’s definitely a pleasure serving you guys. Now, you can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/2/06

Parents and their babies, including 15-month-old Lillian Baumgartner, left, 14-month-old Theo Hefley and 8-month old Sebastian Bertrand, right, practice their underwater swimming technique during a swim class at the Stewart Aquatic Center in Eugene, Ore. Wednesday/AP Photo/The Register-Guard by Chris Pietsch (who has Sandpoint, Idaho, roots and is featured Marianne Love’s Slight Detour blog today here).

1. State lawmakers weren’t surprised that a bill outlawing bestiality — prompted by a Seattle man’s publicized death last summer after he had sex with a horse — all but became law Wednesday evening here.

2. Boris the Bison, a 2000-pound Yellowstone Park buffalo known for his legendary migration patterns of up to 200 miles round trip, has died here.

3. A Ferry County sheriff’s detective who saved a state social worker from a machete-wielding parent last year was put on paid leave Tuesday, pending a second investigation into his personal association with several troubled teenage boys here.

4. Fire has destroyed the Wolf Lodge Bay home of C.J. Buck, who recently moved his world famous Buck Knives business from southern California to Post Falls, Idaho, here.

5. The former director of the Children’s House Montessori preschool in Whitefish, Mont., was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexually abusing five young boys at the school here.

6. IMHO-NW: Actor Ted S. McGregor Jr./Pacific Northwest Inlander (Rethinking Tom Foley’s defeat), George Kennedy/Idaho Statesman (Don Knotts, R.I.P.), Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Reasonable VA care), Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette-Record (A walking soapbox), and Glenn Ferrell/Idaho Statesman (New definition of religious tolerance).

Online Poll: 49.6% of the respondents to a Seattle PI poll said they could care less if the Seattle Supersonics left town. (Meanwhile, the Sonics want no part of a public vote here.)

*Ex-Zag Ronny Turiaf scores career-high 10 points in L.A. Lakers win here.

*Kootenai County commissioners have asked Joseph Duncan’s public defender to get pre-approval for all expenses related to the triple-homicide case here.

*A University of Idaho student was injured this morning in an explosion in a chemistry lab here.

Orbusmax Special: Renton High uses B+ GPA to decide which students can cheer for basketball team here.

DFO — to Seamus re: “You’re An Idahoan When …”

Seamus: “I think you are an Idahoan when you put money down for a burial plot here.”

DFO: Seamus nailed it.

APhoto of the Day — Bodies R Us

You’ve heard of Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride”? Well, here’s “BODIES, the Exhibition,” featuring real life preserved bodies. Jennifer Hartz, left, points out specifics to her daughter, 8-year-old Jessica Hartz, second from left, as Ann Scheraldi, standing, and Melinda Hartz, 5, right, listen to the audio commentary about the digestive system Wednesday in Atlanta, Ga. You write the cutline. (Photo provided by Bodies: The Exhibition)

Question of the Day — Rez Gas Tax

Issue: Bill seeks tribes’ gas money: Tax revenue is state’s, leaders say/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Repub leaders in the Idaho Legislature can’t get it through their heads that they are not bigger than the courts. Attempts to snag gas tax from the Indian reservations have been shot down in court before. Yet, the lawmakers keep acomin’. They should be charged with squandering public money on a futile cause.

Question: Do you think the Idaho Legislature should keep trying to get its hands on gas taxes collected on Indian reservations?

Quick Fix 6 — 3/2/06

1. APhoto Fix: In a photograph released by the U.S. Treasury, the newly designed $10 bill is shown Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005. The $10 bill note became the third bill denomination to be jazzed up with colors as part of the government’s effort to thwart counterfeiters. The Federal Reserve began shipping the first of 800 million of the new $10 bills to commercial banks today. (AP file photo)

2. Cartoon Fix: Jerry Holbert (Rising retirement age), Sandy Huffaker (In the belly of the whale), and Mike Keefe (Dubya’s job approval rating).

3. Humor Fix: “It’s been cold! It was so cold in D.C. that Dick Cheney shot the weatherman!” — David Letterman.

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

5. Top of the News Fix: Ginsberg snoozes during political boundary case here, High school probes teacher’s left-wing rants here, Village Voice suspends writer for fabricating scene in story here, Alternative film group announces awards here, and Judge orders perv coach to pay student $63M here.

6. Opinion Fix: Howard Fineman/Newsweek (The un-explainer-in-chief), Ann Coulter/Townhall (Oscar predictions), Katherine Kersten/Wall Street Journal (Black flight to charter schools), Hendrick Hertzberg/New Yorker (Subverting the electoral college), and James S. Robbins/National Review (Afghanistan: Good work in progress).

Ash Wednesday Wild Card — 3/1/06

First, I’ll pass along a personal milestone before turning over the Wild Card and the afternoon to you. Today marks the 13th anniversary of my first day on The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. I replaced Marnie Lombard way back when and became part of a small troika of editorial writers that also consisted of Editor Doug Floyd and John Webster. As rumor has it, I believe, I was then Editor Chris Peck’s third choice. Two others turned him down before the idea hit him that it might be good to have someone from Idaho providing a Gem State perspective. It’s all been downhill for the Editorial Page from there. Actually, it was a career reviver because I was tired of covering local government. Two years ago, starting the blog was an energizer. See me in another seven or eight years to see what I’ve come up with to pep me up again. Enjoy your Wild Card …

Top Cutlines — 3/1/06

Bill Manning sits bundled against the wind as he watches spring breakers walk by, seemingly not bothered by the cooler temperatures at Daytona Beach, Fla., Tuesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Just because there is frost on top of the mountain doesn’t mean there isn’t fire in the belly…. Bill thinks to himself. And: Each year those bathing suits get smaller and smaller, God, I hope I live to 100, thought Bill — Both from Cis.

2. In 2056 Bode Miller is just another wannabe at the Winter Olympics as the members of the US Ice Volleyball Team ignore his pathetic attempt at geriatric coolness — Jane Q. Citizen.

3. Martha always wondered why Bill wanted to take his vacation in Florida at the same time every year. All he ever did was sit on the beach and mutter “The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak” — A Token D.

HM: Herb

For all the excellent cutlines today, click here.

HBO — to Jane Q. Citizen re: Good Californians

JQC: “I know this is all in fun with some tongue in cheek humor but I try to think of all of the people who move here from whichever coast who donate generously to community projects, who get involved to help make a difference, who volunteer at their kids’ schools and who are really nice people. I know transplants who are jerks and natives who are jerks. Also many of each catagory who are good people. It matters less to me where someone was born or last lived than what they do to make a positive difference in the community.”

DFO: Right on, Jane Q. Citizen. Now, let’s play “Californians Who Contribute Big Time To Their Inland Northwest Communities.” And I get to go first: Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Ron Edinger, Eastwide Highway Commissioner Dick Edinger, and Idaho Hall of Fame umpire Dick Edinger — three brothers who moved up here from Southern California in the mid-50s. I’ll let someone else nominate former County Commissioner Ron Rankin and his beloved wife, Alice. Game, set, match. Any others?

Toad: Of Branch Davidians, Timothy McVeigh

“In early April, 1993, I went to Waco, TX. with my future wife, and two friends, in order to try and fake our way into the media encampment around the Branch Davidian compound. Our intention was to interview the media that had been there since February 28th of that same year for our college cable access station. February 28th, 1993 was thirteen years and one day ago. We arrived later, and passed through the second ring of security, into the press encampment using our fake NTTV Press passes. We could see the compound, with our own eyes. We didn’t have to see it through the eyes of the media. We could see it. It was right there, about a half a mile away.

“We interviewed reporters from CNN, CBS, NBC and others. We laughed. We took pictures of the funny structures the reporters had set up over the intervening weeks of the ongoing raid. We laughed about the golden oldies that the government played at night for the Davidians who were cooped up in their compound with their leader, David Koresh. What we didn’t know was that, out in the outer ring of security, the one we’d passed through, among the protesters that we’d seen, was a young, fresh faced man, recently back from Iraq. His name was Timothy McVeigh. He saw something dreadfully different than what we saw that day, and acted on it two years later.”

For the rest of Toad’s commentary about his trip to the Branch Davidian media circus, plus video there, click here and (for the 1993 video) here.

Do You Suppose Barry Bonds Is …

… still denying he took steroids to enhance his, ahem, phsyique as he chased Henry Aaron’s HR record. Here, Bonds dresses in drag as Paula Abdul as part of a rookie hazing spoof of the hit “American Idol” television show prior to a baseball spring training workout today in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

HBO Insider re: Local Boyington Memorial

“There is a movement by local aviation buffs and marines to build a tribute to Pappy at the cda airport. Greg Boyington was born in cda, raised in st.maries and spent summers in the forestry service while attending UW. It is reported that he spent some years living in the hayden area in his later years. I’ll post info as it develops …”

Claude D. Waalz

Related (courtesy of Orbusmax): Washington State Senate passes resolution honoring Pappy Boyington, Shooting down the ace/James Thayer, The Weekly Standard, and blogger Karl Swenson/Leaning Straight Up locates student senator Jill Edwards ap-hollow-gy in notes prepared for the Honors Croquet League here.

HBO — to PDXPup re: HBO Chaos Theory

PDXPup: “Holy crackers — and i thought i had too much time on my hands by putting that thing together. If you guys really want to get serious, I’ll get started on the screenplay, and maybe we can get Russell Crowe to grow a mustache and play DFO in the movie! So to take this thread in a different direction, cast yourselves on the silver screen for “A Beautiful Blog: The Huckleberry Chaos Theory.” Of course, the charming and affable (and soon to be Oscar-winning) Reese Witherspoon will be playing me …”

DFO: Russell Crow? Gorsh!

APhoto of the Day — 3/1/06

Bill Manning sits bundled against the wind as he watches spring breakers walk by, seemingly not bothered by the cooler temperatures at Daytona Beach, Fla., Tuesday. You write the cutline.

Editor Smith: She Said, Cigars Or Me?

“Well, I know a special interest bill when I see it. But this is my special interest, so it is OK, of course. I smoked cigars regularly for more than 20 years (shortly after my first job in journalism where the city editor showed me how to bury them in a dinner expense reimbursement. I stopped more or less when I remarried five years ago and my bride said it was cigars or her. I still have a good cigar on occasion, but we have the 72-hour rule, meaning I have to be out of town for at least 72 hours after I smoke. But I still have a humidor with some good Cubans, including one from pre-Castro Cuba that will be smoked for some out-of-this-world occasion.”

Steven A. Smith

DFO: I didn’t catch this one until I was reading the threads last night. This guy has potential as an HBO commenter.

WorldNetDaily Poll — The DaVinci Code

Stan Planton, a retired librarian from Chillicothe, Ohio, who helped novelist Dan Brown conduct research for the mega-selling thriller “The Da Vinci Code,” said a lawsuit accusing Brown of stealing ideas from other writers is bogus. (AP photo/Eric Albrecht)

Question: What do you think about the ‘Da Vinci Code’ book and movie?

1. Fabulous work of literature based on truth
2. Fabulous fiction
3. It’s all just fiction, lighten up!
4. I know it’s fiction, but it’s interesting nonetheless
5. I’m interested in anything that discredits the Bible
6. Tom Hanks is in the movie, so I’m there!
7. It sounds like a fraud, but the movie will likely make as much money as the book did
8. It’s bad, blasphemous fiction that was plagiarized to boot
9. I could not care less about this whole hubbub, bub
10. Other

DFO: I enjoyed the book as a fictional thriller despite its attempt to undermine the Christian religion.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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