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Huckleberries Online

Archive for May 2006

Hump Day Wild Card — 5/30/06

You can start your own thread with this Wild Card …

P.S. — 5/30/06

Issue: Study says Canadians are healthier than Americans: Americans 42% more likely to have diabetes/Associated Press

DFO: I’ve been pretty faithful to a New Year’s Resolution to take walking seriously. I’ve logged more than 300 miles so far this year. I’ve lost about 10 pounds since last fall and kept it off. Need to lose more. Feel good.

Question: Do you consider yourself in good health?

Top Cutlines — 5/30/06

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., left, talks with Trudy Mason, a New York State Democratic Committee member, after a breakfast speaking engagement at the Convention Center in Buffalo, N.Y., where she kicked off her U.S. Senate re-election bid earlier today. You write the cutline/AP photo.

Top Cutlines:

1. Hillary, after learning that she has the power to steal anyone’s lifeforce by mere touching them (like Rogue in the X-Men movies) set outs on her Presidential campign by touching anyone dressed in Republican Red — Idawa.

2. Is that Monica’s Blue Dress? — Thom George.

3. “Yes Hillary, anything you say Hillary, I will follow you to the ends of the earth Hillary, you are my queen Hillary.” So ends the mind control training — Whatever.

HM: Sider and Digger

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

PM Question: Best CDA Coffee Shop?

We’ve been having quite a debate today re: the best coffee in Coeur d’Alene. Below, you’ll find an expert’s opinion re: Starbucks. So, let’s keep the conversation brewing. Which coffee shop is best in the city of Coeur d’Alene:

1. Starbucks
2. Seattle’s Best
3. Doma
4. Java
5. Coffeeville
6. Other

Also, what’s the best coffee hut in town?

Pretty As A Picture …

Matthew Vezina, 2, holds up his first fish he caught at the Carol Ann Cross Park Wednesday in Fort Smith, Ark. Matthew was fishing with his mother, Nancy Vezina, for perch to use for catching catfish in the Arkansas River/Kaia Larsen, AP Photo/Fort Smith Times Record.

That looks like Judge Mitchell at age 3! — CDA Mom.

Question: Do you remember the first fish you ever caught?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/30/06

A pair of Canada geese take their goslings for an afternoon swim near the Fireside Lodge at Spirit Lake, Idaho, Tuesday/Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review.

Eye On Boise: Nevada to keep billion$$$ as a result of deal over Kempthorne confirmation here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI projects the high cost of gas prices this vacation season here.

2. Abuse and neglect may contribute to far more child deaths than previously acknowledged, according to a report released Tuesday. The report from the state’s Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman found that seven of every 10 children who died in the Washington state’s child welfare system in 2004 suffered from abuse or neglect that may have contributed to their deaths here.

3. A Bonner County, Idaho, deputy who was charged with disturbing the peace after repeatedly challenging a fellow deputy to a fight is expected to enter a plea and be sentenced today here.

4. David Matheson, the architect of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s rapid casino expansion, was fired last week from his job as the casino’s chief executive officer here.

5. Former Idaho Falls Prosecutor Kimball W. Mason has gone from putting people behind bars to sitting behind bars himself, after he was sentenced Tuesday in 7th District Court for stealing weapons from his city’s police department here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Mom’s Exhibit focuses on Iraq kids), D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Jim Risch’s interim legacy), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (Jim Risch: Efficient, pointed), Betty Richardson/Idaho Statesman (Public good should outweigh partisanship), and G. George Ostrom/Hungry Horse News (Kooky crime marches on).

Online Poll: Only 1.4% of 1035 respondents said they’d definitely pay $50 to have their business card flown into outer space here.

*Boise State wins its first WAC all-sports championship here.

*A candlelight vigil is planned tonight for the four Dayton, Wash., victims who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while boating here.

*Acclaimed Heronswood Nursery of Kitsap County, Wash., closing here.

Orbusmax Special: Washington smokers find secret nicotine dens here.

Extra! Dan of the County Demands HBO Access

Huckleberries has just received a copy of a letter from County Clerk Dan English asking that courthouse access to this blog be restored to him. Stay tuned for excerpts …

Mailbag: 2 Reasons To Subscribe To SR

Berry Picker (re: “Today’s Top 2 Reasons People Should Read the Spokesman”): The Coeur d’Alene Press got scooped big time on the firing of Dave Matheson by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and his arrest for alleged domestic violence here. The S-R also had much more indepth about the new Kootenai Humane Society executive director who’s been fired from his last two jobs and sued one of those former employers here.

DFO: Thank you for those kind words, Berry Picker. In the Matheson story, all the credit goes to Becky Kramer and Taryn Brodwater, who ran into stone walls at the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office and on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation. At first, neither the Benewah County sheriff or dispatcher would cooperate by providing booking information to verify that Matheson had been jailed, even after our reporter explained in little words that it was a public record. The tribe was tight-lipped. The story made it to Page 1 simply because we have very good reporters.

CDADave: An Ode To Gus

Gus went and lost the election
Time for a change of direction
‘til he goes, he has planned
To keep Huckleberries banned
From all courthouse computer connections.

CDADave

Never Too Late To Do Right Thing: Currie

It took Commish Rick Currie awhile to come around on The Great Gus Ban of ‘06. But he finally came down on the right side of freedom Tuesday. Still, he deserves a jab for siding with the Lame Ducks in the first place. Fly-on-the-Wall photoshopped a pair of flipflips to good effect here.

Mailbag: Moving Beyond Mitchell-Amaro

Tinfoilers for Gore in ‘08: Mitchell-Amaro is over but there are always more causes to champion. You haven’t seen the last of the tinfoil brigade.

DFO: Some tinfoilers have stuck around, although I’m not sure everyone has gotten over the recent judicial race. CDA Mom, Mike and Tinfoilers for Gore in ‘08 appear to be making the transition to regular contributors. We’ll see. The Tinfoilers brought a lot to the blog during their short, energetic life cycle here. And they made me more aware of the occasional strange sentence handed down by the District Court judges.

Tuesday/Wild Card — 5/30/06

If you have a thread you’re dying to try out here, you can use this Wild Card to do so …

Hat Tip (for illustration): Mary Mary Quite Contrary

P.S. — 5/30/06

Issue: Gore: Bush is ‘renegade rightwing extremist’: Ex-veep calls himself ‘recovering politician’/Guardian Unlimited

More Info: The new levels of attention he is receiving have led some Democrats to call on him to run again for president, while others have responded with anger that Mr Gore did not show the same level of passion in the 2000 campaign.’

Question: Could Gore become a viable presidential candidate again?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/30/06


Granati took this shot Thursday

Eye On Boise: Everyone wants to have a governor’s ball here.

*Put your hands together for Family Phil, who not only supplied the lead Huckleberry Saturday as a result of his close encounter with actor Dennis Franz, but celebrated the second anniversary of his blog, A Family Runs Through It, here.

*Mari Meehan has returned from vacation with her Dogwalk Musings and a post re: the new kid in the local blogosphere, the Inland Northwest Blogging Association here.

*Bayview Herb/Bay Views offers an option for Kootenai County worker bees itching to comment about the Huckleberries Online ban but can’t access the blog here. Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind has some thoughts about the ban, too, here. Ditto for Stebbijo here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps takes a look at the “other Kootenai County,” the one that the chamber of commerce doesn’t tell you about, here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour proudly thanked a young veteran — and former student — for his service to his country all over the world, including Iraq, here.

The Inland Northwest Bloggers’s Association site gets better and better here.

Meanwhile, the Golly Gals, Cis and Toni explore Bonner County together here, Toni’s Calico Girls wonders what an LOA is and where’s spring here, and JBelle discusses what’s missing along The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes here.

Extra! Judge Draws Line In Sanders Beach Sand

Sunbathers and swimmers wanting to use Coeur d’Alene’s popular Sanders Beach lost several feet of sand today when a 1st District judge ruled that the public only has access below 2,130 feet. That means Coeur d’Alene must get a survey and figure out how to mark the invisible line in the sand that is where the court has ruled the location of the ordinary high water mark, the place where private property ends and public land begins. But first, the city plans to ask the court to not enforce the 2,130 foot ruling until the Idaho Supreme Court makes a final decision. An August hearing is scheduled.

For the rest of Erica Curless’ story, click here.

Question: In the end, do you think sunbathers will win access to all of Sanders Beach below 2130 (the seawalls)? Or do you think the state Supreme Court is going to hand it over to the East Lakeshore Drive owners to close?

CDADave Keeps Tabs On Courthouse Situation …

… this afternoon under the iron-fisted rule of Gus, Katie and Rick. Here, we see Gus and Rick making sure that no employees are peeking at banned Huckleberries Online during their breaks or lunch hour. For the rest of CDADave’s Thin Air comment, click here.

Mailbag: Has Courthouse Ban Affected Hits?

Average Joe: Have the hits on HBO fallen off since the ban or is it too early to tell? Has a Spokesman reporter tried to get a comment from Rick or Katie on this topic? Katie seems like a smart cookie, too smart to go along with Gus on this.

DFO: HBO set a record to “unique views” (coming from different computers) on Friday with 4459, which surpassed the 4280 on Election Day. I’d guess that courthouse employees checked in after work to see what was going on — and to enjoy the photoshopping by Dan, Fly, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, and others. The Memorial Day Weekend affected traffic far more than the commissioners. (BTW, if any courthouse worker bees hear good in-house stories re: the ban, be sure to share them with your HBO family after dark.)

Pretty As A Picture — 5/30/06

A fawn lies at the base of a tree Monday at the Graceland Cemetery in Sidney, Ohio. The fawn was seen during Memorial Day services at the cemetery/Erin Pence, AP Photo/Sidney Daily News.

SR Switches Positions On Capital Punishment

Among the industrialized nations of the world, only the United States and Japan allow capital punishment. Of the 26 members of NATO, only the United States and Latvia allow capital punishment – and Latvia is perceived to be moving toward abolition of the death penalty. Because of the delays, the inconsistency, the drain on the public purse and the nightmarish possibility of executing an innocent person, it is time for the United States to end the practice.

For the rest of Opinion Editor Doug Floyd’s Sunday editorial against capital punishment, click here.

Question: Do you agree with the Spokesman-Review’s new stand, against capital punishment?

Remembering …

A U.S. Park Police officer is reflected in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as he stands at attention, Monday, during Memorial Day festivities in Washington/Haraz N. Ghanbari, AP photo.

Gus & Katie Shoulda Been Like Currie

Part of the better-listening equation is that, as we’ve recommended in two previous editorials, county commissioners should go out into all areas of the county to conduct business and hear what issues are important to their constituents. (Gus) Johnson and (Katie) Brodie operated too much in a vacuum. Tuesday, they paid for it. We will say that Commissioner Rick Currie has been the exception. No matter what you think of his bottom-line performance, he is miles ahead of his colleagues in getting out and learning what’s on constituents’ minds. We hope Rich Piazza and Todd Tondee will follow his lead there.

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

DFO: Izzit just may … or are the forces of Hagadone fattening up holdover Commissioner Rick Currie for the butchering later? Seems Currie, by design, has been the forgotten commissioner among the current threesome. But his star is rising. And there’s a chance he could become chairman next January. If Hagadone snags Rick with sweet talk and mebbe an A-List invite to a party or two, all he’d need would be one of the susceptible newbies to have things go his way at the courthouse. Then, I could be paranoid here.

APhoto of the Day — 5/30/06

A curious chipmunk investigates the shoe of a member of the military honor guard before the Memorial Day parade in Ames, Iowa, Monday. You write the cutline/Andrew Rullestad, AP, Ames Tribune.

Mailbag: Odds Against Idaho Demos

Dang: I’d also like to postulate that the Idaho Democrats have to face an electorate conditioned to think of the likes of Schumer, Rangel, Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi and other far-left liberals as being what the Party is all about. In my experience, many of the Idaho Dems I’ve met are as mainstream as anyone else in Idaho, sometimes even more conservative than the Republican candidate. The Big Government, Insider, Cushy-Life, Take-your-guns, Tax-raising, Anti-Father, Anti-Entrepreneur, Abortion-at-all-costs, Anti-Religion Democrat is a tough image to fight.

DFO: Dan of the County did a survey a month or so ago in which he matched the winning and losing percentage of every local race contested by the major parties. He discovered that a Demo starts out about 20 percentage points behind a Repub in every race. In other words, you have to be a strong Demo with bipartisan appeal to have any hope of prevailing locally. I might add that you’d better be running in Coeur d’Alene, too, because the Lake City appears to be one of the few places in North Idaho where a D has a fighting chance (read: George Sayler and a few years ago Bonnie Douglas).

Banned @ K-County Courthouse — Day 6

Dunno who predicted that it’d be sunny today — after a Memorial Day Weekend of rain — but you were dead on the money. You have a job in weather forecasting ahead. Now, we need to shift gears and get back to things that matter, like Gus, Katie & Rick banning this site only from the Kootenai County Courthouse. Will this be the day that Rick & Katie tell His Gusness to stick it in his ear and overrule the ban? Will this be the day that a trembling elected official sez nyet to Comrade Gus and demands access. Will this be the day that Der Underlings rise up and throw off the shackles of Der uber-Boss? Inquring minds want to know.

Hat Tip: Dang (Illustration)

Mailbag: Why Read Blogs During Work?

James Bond: Why would county employees need to be reading a blog during work hours? Is there a policy that governs this kind of thing? I mean, is it okay to cruise the ESPN.com website, a left-wing blog about politics in Boston, or eBay? For the sake of common sense, I’ll assume porn is off limits, but I’m puzzled why it would be okay to spend time reading or writing to a blog when you’re being paid to work?

DFO: It wouldn’t want courthouse employees to read this blog or kill time surfing the net when they’re suppose to be working. But they shouldn’t be blocked from doing so during breaks or their lunch hours. I check ball scores during my working hours. Takes but a minute. Then, I never work less than 9 hours a day at the office and probably another 1 at night on the blog. It doesn’t take long to read a post.

Mailbag: Democrats As Idaho Cannon Fodder

Thom George: DFO wrote:”You guys provide cannon fodder for legislative races. Why not the county commissioner races?” Did you really mean to imply that the Dem’s should provide “cannon fodder” for county races?

DFO: Indeed, I did, Thom; in truth, the D’s chances of winning a county commission seat aren’t usually good. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try. At least, they should field a candidate to force R candidates to defend their records and/or approach to government. This year, a good Demo candidate who truly believed in making developers jump through hoops mighta had a good chance to win. By not fielding candidates for courthouse positions, I get the impression as an evaluator that the local D’s still aren’t ready to be anything more than a superminority party.

Mailbag: A Pirate Station In CDA?

OrangeTV: Radio Free CDA! - This weekend I discovered that someone’s got a very nice pirate radio station going on here somewhere in the downtown CDA area at 88.1 FM. I can hear it just fine from my house but I doubt its reach is very far, it comes in and out driving around town. Great music, amazing variety…listening for an hour tonight I heard everything from The Shirelles to the Dead Kennedys to Jefferson Airplane to Public Enemy to Bjork to Primus to Bob Dylan. I other words, delightfully all over the map. I heard virtually no commercials or announcer interruptions at all, so it’s a total mystery who’s in charge, and a Google search brought up no clues. Anyone know anything about this too-cool-for-Idaho radio station?

DFO: Anyone?

Mailbag: Stebbijo Post Solidarity Banner

Save Huckleberries!

OrangeTV: Thanks for the banner, stebbijo - I put one up on my blog - I’m happy to spread the word about this ridiculous situation. I already sent a disapproving email to the Gusmeister himself. He should be embarrassed!

Stebbijo: Go ahead and take this image and put it on your blog and link it to this blog. Then on Tuesday morning pick up the phone!

Lily Tomlin: Is this the party to whom I’m speaking? Stebbijo, the 446-1000 number is to the county’s main switchboard. The direct line to the commissioner’s office is 446-1600.

DFO: Thanks, guys.

Question for Dan of the County, Other D’s

DFO: Can you explain to me … in little words … why the Kootenai County Demos haven’t mustered a county commission candidate in two consecutive elections? I would seriously be considering an alternative this November. You guys provide cannon fodder for legislative races. Why not the county commissioner races? You missed a golden opportunity this time.

Wild Card/Saturday — 5/27/06

Again, thank you for all who made last week a great one online, especially Gus, Katie and Rick. I’m going to prune the blog roll soon. Get rid of dead weight. And look for some strong blogs from other Idaho sites. Soon, too, we’re going to be reintroducing the rotating letters to block spam. We almost have the server problem fixed (so don’t roll your eyes). I’ll be checking in here later today. Enjoy the sunshine today, if we have any. Blog your heart away, if we don’t. Start your own threads with this Wild Card …

A Review: Thumbs Up For “Over The Hedge”

Family Phil: Saw “Over The Hedge” tonight… My son spent the whole movie clutching his side as he laughed uncontrollably at nearly every scene. I liked it too.

DFO: Great, I enjoy good animation. BTW, HBOers, if you haven’t seen Redford, Fairchild, and Lopez in “An Unfinished Life,” do so. It’s out in video. I saw it tonight. Two thumbs up from the Oliveria household. Any other new-release videos out there to rent?

APhoto of the Weekend — No Cutline Contest

After decorating the grave of their father, Bob O’Brien, sisters Karen Grissom of Blue Springs, Mo., left, and Kathy Johnson of Lee’s Summit, Mo., pause for a moment of reflection on Friday at Woodlawn Cemetery in Independence, Mo. The women said their father died on April 11. Independence will have a Memorial Day parade at 11:30 a.m. Monday beginning at Walnut and Osage/Keith Myers, AP Photo.

DFO: I’m not staging a cutline contest this weekend. But I wanted to run this wonderful AP photo by Keith Myers past you. Enjoy yourselves. And remember the vets and those in your family who are no longer here.

Mailbag: Dirk Will Do All Right In D.C.

Out Of Stater Tater: I think (Dirk Kempthorne will) do pretty well, actually. He certainly wasn’t perfect as governor, but I think he’s got the skills to do some good things at Interior. Getting state control of wolves, negotiating the Snake River Basin Adjudication, pushing through a major funding initiative to fix one of the problems Idahoans gripe about the most — our roads…Those aren’t peanuts, folks.

DFO: Don’t tell 007 this, OOST, but I think you’re right. Kempthorne did do some good things in Idaho, chief among which was getting the Legislature to fund reconstruction of a chunk of U.S. 95. I’ve always thought he was more suitable to D.C. then Idaho. He can’t do much harm in 30 months. And he might do some good.

Mailbag: Leg-Pressing For Jesus

UBob: I’m still chortlin over the story that Pat Robertson, when he was 73, allegedly leg pressed 2000 POUNDS! Some protein shake he drinks (you can’t make this stuff up). Pat is insane. He just so is.

DFO: You’d be frightened if you knew how much I agreed with your assessment. Out of respect for my godly mother who looks up to these charlatans, I don’t say much here. At the peak of my weight-lifting days, I’d do leg-press reps of 500 pounds or so. Never tried to max out. But I surely wouldn’t get anywhere near a thousand. Robertson, like Swaggart, Roberts and Bakker, has become a millionaire by bilking the faithful. I’d hate to be in their shoes on the other side.

Mailbag: ‘Where’s Gus’ Campaign Takes Root

The Edge: County employees are laughing their butts off at Gus. He’s a joke to them and they’re scurrying home (even on lunch breaks) to check out the blog. Don’t be surprised if some ambitious employee starts selling t-shirts and coffee mugs with the “Where’s Gus?” slogan. Worker bees are tired of his act. Somebody needs to create a countdown clock to put on the blog with a picture of him.

DFO: I wish I had a buck for every fellow journo who has congratulated me for having government leaders so thick that they’d issue a ban. A journalist lives to be banned — or carted off to jail for protected a source. I know CDADave has a countdown clock to the minute Dubya leaves office. I wonder if he could come up with one of those for Gus. Dave?

Wild Card/TGIF PM — 5/26/06

I apologize to the North Idaho bloggers. I’m winded tonight. And I don’t have time to compile HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs. Too much week behind me. Elections. Speaking to Leadership CDA. Getting banned by Gus, Katie and Rick. Great stuff. But it cut into my time. I want to thank you photoshoppers for knocking me off my chair a coupla times laughing, especially newby Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. You guys make coming to work fun. However, I need to shuffle off stage for a coupla days, including Monday. I’ll do some posting tonight. Mebbe see if I can come up with an APhoto of the Weekend. Until Tuesday, enjoy yourselves and have fun with this first Wild Card of the Memorial Day weekend. And watch out for the dang visitors clogging our waterfront …

UBob Goes Minimalist — Not

Turning over a new leaf in “I Lost 3 Verbs Today,” UBob tells readers that he’s going minimalist. He’s going to shed adverbs and adjectives. Then he wrote this wonderful never-ending sentence:

“I hope this change won’t drive my readers off like a pack of angry whores drunk on white hot vengeance and the purple bubbling pain of childhoods wreaked by abusive havoc-slinging parents and step-parents and mom’s boyfriends and now these furious sluts storm down to the railroad tracks -the hot rails to nowhere snaking along some nameless river in some nameless valley in some nameless town in Montana and these soul stained harlots with eyes reddened by avarice and yellowed by a wolfish sense of pack and narrowed by mission-critical needs to avoid value subtractive scope creep, climb down a steep bunchgrass covered hillside pockmarked by the dens of athletic jackrabbits and curious ground squirrels to their final destination where crushing doom will meet shrieking violence in roiling thunderheads of the cruelest storms of fate and those are the predetermined hellish outcomes awaiting six drunken hobos sleeping off a night of stealing antifreeze from Montana tractors and mixing it with a half bottle of Gibson’s White Port and thudding their cortexes into punch-drunk TKO’s next to the dying embers of a stunningly malodorous cowchip fire above the lazy meanderings of a muddy Montana river and now these deadly painted skanks are almost upon them as the sodden train-bums snore rhythmically like the wardrums of hell and … Oh my god. I can’t help myself. I’m sorry. I need an Excel spreadsheet. For a diet. Of words. God.”

DFO: And you wonder why UBob’s always welcome here?

Extra! Gus Speaks …

… On Kootenai County letterhead. In a press release, Commissioner Gus Johnson sent out this statement via fax re: his election defeat Tuesday:

“After reflecting on the last three days after the election, I would like to thank my supporters and those who voted for me in Tuesday’s primary election. It means a lot to me. Congratulations to those winners — I wish you well as you move forward with your public service. Congratulations and thank you to those candidates who were unsuccessful in their election. You provided debate and dialogue that is important in order for the county and state to grow. It has been a true honor for me to serve as your commissioner for these past five years. I look forward to doing my job for the next seven months. Thank you.”

Question: Who wrote this for Gus? Rick Clarke? Or Cynthia Taggart? And how much did they get paid?

Eye On Boise: Ah, Make That Gov. Risch …

New Gov. Jim Risch had this to say in a statement: “The Secretary of State received Governor Kempthorne’s resignation letter by fax at 12:57 p.m. Friday and in accordance with the Constitution and statutes I became the governor. I am truly humbled by this opportunity. Vicki and I love this state and its people, and I will vigorously fulfill my responsibilities as the state’s Chief Executive.” He added, “This is a big day for Idaho and we are very excited for Dirk Kempthorne. I told him we are very proud of him, and he can be proud of his public service here in Idaho. I know that he will make Idahoans and the nation proud with his service as our Secretary of the Interior.” Risch said in a press release that when he told Kempthorne that, Kempthorne responded, ‘Jim, you will make a great governor for Idaho.’”

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise has the Kempthorne-Risch transition covered like the proverbial blanket. You can find Kempthorne (hiding a broken foot injured in a jogging accident over the weekend) with Larry Craig, Mike Crapo and Bill Frist here, statements about Dirk by Idaho’s U.S. senators here, what Risch was doing this morning before the announcement here, and what’s ahead for Kempthorne’s now-former PR flack Mike Journee here.

TGIF Wild Card — 5/26/06

You’re welcome to start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Fortier: “Speak To Me In English”

“You wanna publish articles in Spanish? Here’s an idea: PUBLISH A FREAKIN’ SPANISH NEWSPAPER! I know I’m a racist for only speaking English, but the language has served me well here in America. In fact, as intolerant as it may sound, I understand people a lot better when they speak to me in English. I remember this one time when I was having a conversation with another American citizen; without even thinking about it, we both just started speaking English to each other. It was weird. Note to the publishers of the Spokane-based rag: If I want to be immersed in the Spanish language, I can take a class at NIC, go on vacation to Puerto Vallarta, or catch a baseball game at Dodger Stadium. But when it comes to my local news, I’d prefer it if you used the same language they used to write the U.S. Constitution. Is that too much to ask?”

For the rest of today’s column by Marty Fortier/Coeur d’Alene Press, click here.

DFO: OK, Marty, I’ll speak to you in English. Your column today is an embarrassment to this community and to the newspaper that pays for your weakly (sic) attempts at humor. You went too far this time. Nah, it doesn’t bother me that you took shots at the SR. Better men have. Harry S Truman comes to mind. But you acted irresponsibly here by showing to the area and (via Internet) the region and the nation that a regular columnist for a local paper is Redneck at best. Mebbe something else at worst. The late Richard Butler would have been proud of your rant. Ditto for the handful of subscribers who quit our paper yesterday because they’re small-minded like you. Get a clue, pal.

Be Careful Out There — Seatbelt Emphasis

Seems there’s a patrol cop sitting in the parking lot of Idunnos (formerly Mad Mary’s) on Northwest Boulevard lookin’ to nail drivers for seatbelt violations. But, but, but … you stammer to Hucklberries … cops can’t nail drivers for seatbelt abuse as a primary regulation. You’re right. But the strategy here is to catch an unbelted leadfoot going faster than the posted 35 mph and then nail him for the seatbelts as a secondary offense. Only $10 in Idaho. But it’s still annoying.

Mailbag: What’s Happenin’ With Whittle?

Mike: Well, DFO, Have you heard what is going on at the Denise Whittle hearing for the violations of her probation for the death of Lizzy Goodwin and the forteen counts of theft.

DFO: The hearing has been continued until 2 p.m. today. Taryn Brodwater is covering it.

Coeur d’Alene Press Poll: How Will Newbys Fare?

Coeur d’Alene Press Online Q: How will the new county commissioners fare?


1. Worse than their predecessors, Katie Brodie and Gus Johnson

2. Same ol’ same ol’

3. A little bit better

4. A lot better

5. No idea

Question: Well, what do you think?


Hoaglands To Protest Judicial Slap On Wrist

Dave Hoagland and his family will be protesting the lightweight sentence handed down to DUI driver Luke Peterson by Judge Chuck Hosack Tuesday. The Hoaglands will be at the corner of 5th & Sherman at 4 p.m. today. They’re upset that Peterson received only 18 months in a work release center, after killing a father, a mother, and critically injuring their 2-month-old baby while driving drunk on Highway 95 in Boundary County last July. Comments Dave: “Drunk Driving is in fact and reality ‘domestic terrorism,’ killing over 16,500 each year in the U.S.A. Every 2 minutes a person is injured by an alcohol related traffic incident. Every two hours a person is killed in an alcohol-related traffic incident in the U.S.A.-Domestic Terrorism. I and hopefully others from this Blog will join with me during and after this protest. I can be contacted at 208-610-5462 (cell) and 208-265-9571 (evenings) to discuss the details of today’s protest.

DFO: Dave’s full comment can be found under the Thursday Wild Card.

Confirmed! Senate Gives Kempthorne Thumbs Up

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne won Senate approval as interior secretary on today after confirmation proceedings that highlighted the administration’s policy on offshore energy exploration. Kempthorne, a former senator, was confirmed on a voice vote to succeed Gale Norton as the steward of one-fifth of the nation’s land — including tourist magnets as diverse as Yellowstone National Park and the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa.

For the rest of The Idaho Statesman story, click here.

Question: Do you think Kempthorne will do a good job as Secretary of the Interior?

Mailbag: Banned Blog Envy?

Average Joe: you can bet that Press editor Mike Patrick is suffering extreme ban envy of DFO this morning. Or has the Press site been banned also?

DFO: Why would the Press be banned? Isn’t the whole purpose of a ban to block a controversial, annoying message? Can’t remember the last time Brand X fit that bill. (But I do here from courthouse Berry Pickers that Gus is giving the cold shoulder to Brand X reporters, too. Mebbe he thinks that they shouldn’t have published the election results Wednesday morning?)

Day 2: Banned @ Kootenai Courthouse

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary gets us off to a roaring start today with a little photoshopping from yesterday, featuring Todd Tondee aboard the Bavarian bull named Pauli and … well … the Blog Banmeister running alongside.

Internet Free CDA: Words From A Banned Blogger

I want to thank Gus, Katie and Rick for making my day today by banning courthouse access to my humble blog. Yeah, I know Gus was the main mover here. But Katie and Rick had to go along with the move to make it happen. Unless they’re so afraid of Gus’s temper that they let him steamroll them. Either way, I’m thrilled to be banned. I adhere to the old newspaper motto: Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Obviously the second element is in play here (although for the life of me I can’t understand what I’ve published in print or on the blog that’d make Gus’s head spin around and spit split-pea soup). Gus’s ongoing refusal to talk to the media since he was stomped by Todd Tondee in his bid for re-election is juvenile. His decision to blog access to this blog is … a gift. Gus might as well grab a sandwich board that reads “everyone should read Huckleberries Online” and go out on the courthouse lawn. He’s driving traffic here. No one’s going to pay attention to a lame-duck commissioner with a beef against a journalist. I’m happy with the free publicity and that the real Gus finally showed through to confirm our suspicions that it was time for him to start looking for another job …

Illustration Hat Tip: Dang, who observed: “Ah, government and censorship in the same sentence.”

P.S. — 5/25/06

Issue: Teacher accused of ‘strip poker’ won’t face charges

More Info: Kootenai County prosecutors are not charging a private school teacher accused of playing a strip poker-like card game with young boys during a school camp trip – because they can’t find a state statute under which to charge him. “This conduct, although alarming, does not seem to fit an Idaho crime,” Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lansing Haynes wrote in an office report. But the school principal who reported the allegation to police has been issued a citation – for not acting fast enough.

Question: Did the prosecutor’s office act responsibly here?


Blog-Banning Commish Back To Wearing Shorts

Huckleberries hears … that The Commissioner Who Isn’t There has resorted to wearing shorts again to represent us in the Kootenai County Courthouse. Seems he’d given up the practice last year when HBO started poking fun at the lack of professionalism.

Hat Tip/Illustration: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

County Computer Info Director …

… Refused to confirm or deny whether Huckleberries Online has been banned from Kootenai County Courthouse computer access … referred all questions to the commissioners office. Stay tuned …

Wild Card/Thursday — 5/25/06

I have to participate in a Leadership Coeur d’Alene panel from 10:30 to 11:45, so I’m dropping this Wild Card on you now. BTW, The Spokesman-Review online edition was named best in the Northwest during a Society for Professional Journalists competition this week. Huckleberries Online won an honorable mention in the best journalist blog competition. Best General News and Commentary blog. Top 3 were: 1. David Postman, The Seattle Times, “Postman’s Trial Blog”; 2. Brian Chin, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Buzzworthy”; 3. Jason Mohr, Independent Record / helenair.com, “Town blog”; HM: D.F. Oliveria, Spokane7.com / TheSpokesman-Review.com, “Huckleberries Online.” I didn’t know I was entered. Honorable Mentions are like kissing your sister. But it’s still nice for a dinosaur, like me. I must go lads and laddies. See you back here around noon.

Huckleberries Is Checking Out Rumors …

that Kootenai County Courthouse employees …

are having difficulty accessing this site.

Hat Tip: Dang (top) and Fly On The Wall (bottom). BTW, you can find more of Dang’s fine photo-shopping here.

PM Question of the Day — AIDS Impact

Issue: HIV origin ‘found in wild chimps’: Researchers have worked for decade to identify source/BBC News

Question: Have you ever known anyone personally who has died of AIDS?

Where’s Gus?

In the second day since he was unceremoniously dumped by Kootenai County voters, Commissioner Gus Johnson still is sulking. He hasn’t returned phone calls to reporters. He has ignored them when they’re sitting in the commissioner’s office waiting for him. He could learn from former Commissioner Dick Panabaker’s example and accept defeat graciously. It’s part of life. As is, he’s acting like a sore loser, and no one likes a sore loser …

Related: Great expectations: Commissioners-elect haven’t won voters over yet/D.F. Oliveria, SR.

Alice Rankin: You might add my husband as accepting defeat graciously in the 2002 Primary election. He went on the radio right after, at the courthouse with Dick Haugen, and said now that he was a lame duck, maybe he could go to work for AFLAC! He was immediately available to the press for comments. He took Rick Currie into his office in the next seven months to teach him the ropes before he took office and then supported him in the November election. You can’t get any more gracious than that.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/25/06

Mexican President Vicente Fox, left, lifts four-year-old Aron Feller, of Portland, Ore., following a breakfast Fox had with business leaders earlier today in Seattle. Aron was watching events unfold with his parents in the lobby when Fox spotted the boy and greeted him. The meeting is part of Fox’s three-state swing through the West. Later, young Aron was he center of media attention/AP photos.

Eye On Boise: Final Secretary of State election numbers change somewhat here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI welcomes Mexican President Vincente Fox to Washington state here.

2. The Montana Democratic Party is joining a trend of political groups who are turning to a fundraising tool long used by some nonpolitical groups and charities: the affinity credit card here.

3. Mexican President Vicente Fox touched down in the heart of Washington farm country Wednesday, greeting Gov. Chris Gregoire with a kiss on the cheek before heading off to visit a Hispanic-owned fruit orchard in the nation’s leading apple-producing state here.

Related: *The Spokesman-Review loses subscriptions after printing the story about Mexican President Vicente Fox’s visit in Spanish here.


4. When Angel Cella White of Battle Ground, Wash., started rescuing horses in 2000, she had no idea she’d end up with a broken heart and a failed business here.

5. A woman who accused her doctor of sexually molesting her — and of allowing his identical-twin brother to impersonate him to assault her — must pay the doctor $2.8 million because she fabricated the allegations and damaged the doctor’s reputation here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/SR (Inflammatory humor gets no laughs), Idaho Statesman (Sali’s win doesn’t assure victory), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Why Commissioner Peavey-Derr lost), Seattle Times (Cantwell should check oil slick), and Mark Nelke/Coeur d’Alene Press (An enjoyable bus ride home).

Online Poll: 70.9% of 484 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say they still care about the Enron case.

*The greatest high school baseball team in Washington state history? Click here.

*Idahoan Casey Burns finds his calling in Sumo wrestling here.

*Montana legislator Rick Maedje from Libby charged with partner assault here.

Orbusmax Special: Seattle’s Apollo Ohno mulling calling it quits here.

Why John Mitchell Carried Skateboard Crowd

“This is supposed to be TOP SECRET, but one of the courthouse insiders told me this is what he was doing last week when he was on vacation” — Thom George.

Extra! Enron’s Lay, Skilling Found Guilty

“Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling, the chief executives who guided Enron through its spectacular rise and even more stunning fall, were found guilty today of fraud and conspiracy in a case that led the parade of corporate scandals in recent years that emerged from the get-rich-quick stock market excesses of the 1990’s.”

For the rest of the New York Times story By Alexei Barrionuevo and Vikas Bajaj, click here.

Mailbag: Todd & Rich Will Do Great

Former Mike: Always hate to disagree with you Dave, but I think Todd and Rich will be effective over the next two years. They are both well aware of the major issues and I believe both are willing to do the right think for the right reason. Plus, they have the HBO crowd to hold their feet to the fire!

DFO: Former Mike, welcome back. I’ve been missing the insight provided by the last Demo to hold a Kootenai County commissioner position. With all of my being, I hope you’re right, Mike. I want to see Todd and Rich succeed, big time. And I’m hoping Rick sees what happened to his two colleagues Tuesday as a sign that it’s time to fulfill the potential that people thought he had when they elected them. All three of these guys are working stiffs who may be vulnerable to the siren call from Hagadone HQ and richy rich local developers. On the other hand, you saw what that siren call got Katie. I’ll be first in line applauding if these three become leaders of a citizen revolt to rein in taxes and truly hold developers feet to the fire.

Mailbag: GOP Purged Moderates Tuesday

Any Mouse: 34 contested primary county commission seats in Idaho Tuesday. 23 of them LOST. The GOP is purging itself of the middle of the road and left of center big government types.

DFO: Ah, Mouse, I don’t see any purging going on in Kootenai County. You’re switching 2 commissioners who didn’t accomplish much in the last 2 years for two newbies who, more or less, share the same philosophy and won’t be effective in the next two years. In Bonner County, you’re switching out two incumbents for radical Bud Mueller, who’s greatest claim to fame was his attempt in 1997-2001 to return Bonner County to the stone age, and another Larry Allen-type sidekick. If you think that’s a welcome purging, you and I, indeed, come from different parts of the conservative spectrum. And I can’t be purged because I’m the token SR conservative editorialist.

Mailbag: The Trip To Duane’s Office

Identity Thief: Has there ever been a politician who refused to make that trip to the office of Duane H???

DFO: There’s one who’s no longer welcome: Sandi Bloem. She lost yachting privileges (yeah, I know, His Duaneness no longer has the Lady Lola), pats on the head, Christmas card exchanges, etc., by not jumping high enough when Duaneness said: “Botanical Garden.”

Councilman Al Hassell: Yes.

No Wonder Mitchell Junior Won So Big Tuesday …

“Judge Mitchell is on a winning streak! First he retains his Judical Seat and now Tonight he wins American Idol!” — Thom George.

… Some HBOers thought he was running for “American Idol” rather than to retain his judge seat. It’s hard to get you guys to pay attention.

Hat Tip: Thom George

P.S. — Family Phil Meets Dennis Franz, Freezes

Louise Greek, left, of Coeur d’Alene, laughs and poses for a picture with actor Dennis Franz in the Plaza Shoppes in Coeur d’Alene in 2004 where Franz and other celebrities were autographing copies of the Coeur d’Alene Library Foundation’s 2005 calendar/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review photo.

“I was poking peaches at the grocery store today when an arm brushed by me and a strangely familiar voice said, “Excuse me.” I glanced up and came face to face with a celebrity! What is it about celebrities that make us go ga-ga? And when I say “us” I mean most folks… Their reactions to famous people can range from giggly to starstruck, but very few of us act non-chalant when meeting up with an actor or singer or other face that we’ve seen on TV or in the movies. Of course, I did not get all giggly. I went blank, as I usually do around people of fame. I turned and shuffled back to my wife and whispered in a conspiratorial tone, ‘Look. Over there. Don’t stare. The guy in the green shirt. That’s Dennis Franz.’”

For the rest of the comment by Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It, click here.

Question: Why do we behave strangely when we meet famous people?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/24/06


Cartoon: Jim Tibbs/Grants Pass, Ore.

*In Whitecaps, Bill McCrory asks: “Did the City’s failure to enforce its residential zoning ordinances facilitate the violence at the Lord’s House last weekend?” Bill’s at his best here.

*Betsy Russell was on hand with camera to cover the Demo Election Day Plus One hugfest on the capitol steps here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA remembers Father Joe Small from Missoula, Mont., here.

*CDADave sez that the kids on skateboards stealing coins outta the water fountains downtown may be a mixed blessing for park dwellers here.

*Stebbijo Unzipped sez there really is a topless carwash in Moscow, Idaho, and she has film to prove it here.

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb pinpoints the only losers in yesterday’s elections here, Idaho Native is surprised by how well the girls on her scavenger hunt team performed here, and Marianne voted with her thumb and forefinger pinching her nose yesterday here.

Young Crane Snags Dolores Crow Mantle

State Representative District 13 candidate Brent Crane, left, leans to take a look at some election results during an election day watch party Tuesday night in Garden City. Crane, son of Idaho State Treasurer Ron Crane, won the Republican nomination to replace outgoing House Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairwoman Dolores Crow, R-Nampa/Greg Kreller, AP photo.

Mailbag: Idaho Needs A Runoff System

Joe Average: Only in America could a person get almost a free ride into the United States Congress with only 25% of the vote. We need to have runoff elections in Idaho at all levels. If no one receives over 50% of the vote to win in multiple candidate races then the top 2 vote getters would have a runoff. Sali would have had to go head to head with Vasquez which would have been almost as much fun as the Mitchell-Amaro race.

DFO: You might have something here, if it didn’t require another election. Which would mean more yard signs and political ads pestering us in the diminishing time between elections. On the other hand, a race between Sali and Vasquez, who snuck into second when my back was turned last night, would be one for the ages. And such fun.

PM Question: What Type Of Park Next?

Issue: So, what’s next? Maybe a dog park: You can tell a lot about a community by examining where the people play/Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: I agree with the Brand X editorialist here. (Stop the presses!) Coeur d’Alene has developed a fine park system under the guidance of visionary Parks Director Doug Eastwood.

Question: What kind of park would you like to see next in the Lake City?

Interesting …

… A 48-hour financial disclosure report that was turned in Saturday shows Concerned Businesses of North Idaho pumped $1,000 into Todd Tondee’s successful commissioner campaign, with two checks: $25 on May 9, beyond the initial May 7 reporting deadline and $975 on May 18, to trigger the 48-hour reporting deadline for gifts of $1,000 or more. In other words, CBNI was flying under the radar in supporting Tondee. CBNI also offered Katie Brodie money, but she turned it down, stating that she had enough money already. So, what did that doughnation buy CBNI? Stay tuned …

Question of the Day — Who Really Won, Lost?

Everyone knows who won and lost at the polls on Tuesday. But who are the other winners and losers? People behind the scenes with a lot at stake in the election. Larry Spencer definitely has to be considered a winner. In the 1st Congressional District race, the Republican machine has to be considered a loser.

Question: Who also won, lost in yesterday’s Idaho primary?

Mailbag: Norm Semanko Checks In With HBO

Norm Semanko: I was the first fellow-Republican candidate to congratulate Bill Sali last night and will be supporting him 100%. Expect a true team effort and motivated voters in another low-turnout election to carry him to victory in November.

DFO: Semanko’s a class act. One of my regrets in the past campaign is that I didn’t recognize that sooner. I personally think he was the best of the six-way race. Thanks for checking in, Norm.

Southern Idaho Judge Finishes 2nd In 3-Way

DISTRICT JUDGE, District 7

DaLon Esplin 7,892 30%
James C. Herndon 9,072 35%
Darren B. Simpson 9,285 35%

DFO: Commenter B. Watson (izzat you, Judge Watson?) points out that the top two finishers will face each other in a runoff in November. So, this one ain’t over, yet.

Help! I Need Somebody — To Find My Body

The heads from the four waxwork models of The Beatles, Ringo Starr, top, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, bottom, left and John Lennon, bottom, right, are transported back to Liverpool to be placed in the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England earlier today. The figures were previously on display at a museum in London/Dave Thompson, AP Photo.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Commissioner Katie Brodie is in the dentist’s chair this morning, to have a tooth pulled, which may be a more pleasant experience than yesterday’s election in which she and Chairman Gus Johnson got bounced …

APhoto of the Day — 5/24/06

Sumo wrestlers are seen during a news conference on Tuesday in East Rutherford, N.J. The World Sumo League is in the middle of a 13-city, six-week tour and made a promotional stop at the Meadowlands. You write the cutline/James W. Anness, AP Photo/The Bergen Record.

Uberconservatives Carry Bonner County

In Bonner County commissioner races:

Marcia L. Phillips: 1810
Bud Mueller: 2040
Lance D. Lane: 810

and

Lewis Rich: 2377
Karl Dye: 1993

For the rest of the Bonner County results, click here.

Mailbag: You Did It, Indeed, Mr. Spencer

Will Larry Spencer (foreground) be the uberconservative power behind Todd Tondee’s throne?/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review photo.

Larry Spencer: For those who care, (all three of you) all my candidates won! :) Sali, Luna, Clark, Hart, Jorgenson, Tondee, Piazza, and in Bonner County, Mueller and Rich. These men ran good campaigns, and I am proud to say that they were the best of the pack. Luna was the nail biting wait, as before Bonner County posted it was Precincts: 879 of 916 ( 96%) reporting Tom Luna Vote total 49,086 (41%) Steve Smylie vote total 49,708 (41%) BUT I asked the voters in Bonner County (in thousands of letters, one to each voters home), to vote for Tom. And they DID!!! Vote totals in Bonner County were Tom Luna, 2,055 and for Steve Smylie, 1,045 for a lead to Tom Luna of 1,010. That is correct, they voted almost 2 to1 for Tom Luna! And Tom won by just 618 votes! Bonner County won the race for Tom Luna!!!! WOW!!!! I have never been so proud of Bonner County in my life! The final numbers are Tom Luna 53,115 Steve Smylie 52,497. I just got off the phone with Tom and he is extremely thankful to Bonner and Kootenai Counties. Thank you, voters, you did it!

DFO: Larry, if you’re bragging about Mueller and Rich, you have a long way to paddle until you reach mainstream. I can’t think of a worse candidate than Bud Mueller. If he gets into office and succeed in making Rich his waterboy (as he tried with Larry Allen), Bonner County government will again be the laughing stock of the state. Pat yourself on the back, Larry. If you, indeed, helped Mueller get re-elected, you deserve partial credit for pushing Bonner County back to the lunatic fringe.

Mailbag — All I’m Saying Is Give Currie A Chance

John Austin: Tom: I agree with most of what you said, but be prepared to see a different Rick Currie in the second half of his term. He has taken the time to understand the processes involved, studied the issues, and then was thoughtful of the consequences of his vote on his constituents. As you know, leadership at the county is a daily challenge, especially with all of the special interests involved with our explosive growth. I say, let’s give a Rick a chance to show his talents, starting with the next six months with Gus and Katie, and then working with two new commissioners next year. Meanwhile, thanks to the incumbents for their service. I think they did a good job in their thankless positions.

DFO: I hope you’re right, John; the clock is now ticking for Rick Currie and even Todd Tondee, who’ll both face the voters in two more years. If the election wasn’t a blunt statement that county residents are fed up with same-o when it comes to growth and taxes, I don’t know what was. If we’re in the same boat in two years, and the commissioners have made no move to rein in developers plopping their mega-developments in the rural areas around the county, Currie’s gone.

The Clock’s About To Strike Midnight …

… And then I’ll turn into a pumpkin. Wednesday begins the first day in the rest of our lives at HBO — a day without Mitchell-V-Ramaro. Alas. As Scarlett would have said: I won’t think about it today; I’ll think about it Amaro …

Election Night Wild Card

If you’re out and about at the parties. Or you have some news to report about the election. Or you simply have a question, use this Election Night Wild Card …

WWJD? Avoid Angry Political Rhetoric

“I guess Jesus isn’t a Tinfoiler” — Fly On The Wall re: that anti-Mitchell shrine on Third Street, just north of the Harrison intersection.

Jerry Brady: Bring It On, Butch — 61%

Jerry Brady, candidate for governor of Idaho, speaks at the Democratic primary election night headquarters in Boise tonight/Troy Maben, AP photo.

U.S. Representative, 1st District - Democrats
(X) Larry Grant: 73.02% (4463)
Cecil Kelly III: 26.97% (1649)


Precincts reporting: 61%

U.S. Representative, 1st District - Republicans
Bill Sali: 27.17% (10561)
Keith Johnson: 20.83% (8098)
Sheila Sorensen: 19.82% (7706)
Robert Vasquez: 14.19% (5515)
Norman M. “Norm” Semanko: 10.64% (4136)
R. Skipper “Skip” Brandt: 7.323% (2846)

Precincts reporting: 61%

Governor - Democrats
(X) Jerry M. Brady: 84.25% (16723)
Lee Chaney Sr.: 15.74% (3126)

Precincts reporting: 61%


Governor - Republicans
(X) C.L. “Butch” Otter: 69.33% (65156)
Dan Adamson: 22.43% (21083)
Jack Alan Johnson: 5.249% (4933)
Walt Bayes: 2.979% (2800)

Precincts reporting: 61%


Lieutenant Governor (Democrats only)
(X) Larry LaRocco: 67.81% (13090)
Dan Romero: 32.18% (6213)

Precincts reporting: 61%


State Controller - Republicans
(X) Donna M. Jones: 58.95% (48820)
Royce C. Chigbrow: 41.04% (33991)

Precincts reporting: 61%


Attorney General - Republicans
(X) Lawrence G. Wasden: 73.67% (61641)
Myron Dan Gabbert: 26.32% (22024)

Precincts reporting: 61%


Supt. of Public Instruction - Democrats
Jana L. Jones: 53.61% (10596)
Bert Marley: 46.38% (9166)

Precincts reporting: 61%


Supt. of Public Instruction - Republicans
Steve Smylie: 41.89% (37452)
Tom Luna: 40.49% (36202)
Steve Casey: 17.60% (15734)

Precincts reporting: 61%


Mailbag: More Mitchell DQs On The Way

James Bond: Couer d’Alene Attorneys: Fire up your motions to disqualify without cause!!!

DFO: Sounds as though the voters sided with John Mitchell over the DQ specialists in the publicly funded offices of the public defender and county prosecutor. Mebbe it’s time that Public Defender John Adams and Prosecutor Bill Douglas explain why their troops DQ Mitchell so much. Mebbe the problem is with them. But I don’t expect the DQs will go down any time soon, especially among the DQers who’ll have a difficult time meeting Mitchell’s gaze when they run into each other next.

Mailbag: Vote The Incumbents Out

Thom George: My wife was in Albertson’s and overheard a well-dressed businessman say to another customer “Let’s vote all the incumbants out”. The escalating property tax bills all homeowners are dealing with and the seemingly explosive growth across the county has not played well with the electorate. If the results hold with the current percentages and we have two new commissioners in the morning, their honeymoon period will be short-lived.

Question: It appears Tondee and Piazza are headed for victory. What would you advise holdover Rick Currie and them about what they must do to avoid another blood-letting in 2 years?

A Rough Night For Cecil …

Democrat Cecil Kelly III of Coeur d’Alene is experiencing a rough night. Not only is he losing his longshot bid for his party’s congressional nomination to Larry Grant, as expected. But he’s slightly behind TESH exec Ken Korczyk in the race for Precinct 55 committeeman, 20-18.

Kootenai County Commissioners — 100%

Top, Todd Tondee, standing, and his wife DeDe (cq) talk about the election returns that show him beating incumbent Kootenai County Commissioner Gus Johnson Tuesday night, May 23, 2006. Tondee and his supporters were meeting at the Sleep Inn in Post Falls. At right is Larry Spencer at the computer/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review. Bottom, Rich Piazza, right, who unseated Kootenai County Commissioner Katie Brodie, Tuesday, May 23, 2006, is congratulated by Dave Maiani during his election-night party in Hayden, Idaho/Jerome A. Pollos, AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press.

TODD TONDEE 6,852 58.73 %
S.J. (GUS) JOHNSON 4,814 41.27 %

and

RICH PIAZZA 7,412 62.28 %
KATIE BRODIE 4,490 37.72 %

DFO: Ouch!

1st Judicial District/North Idaho — 76%

X) John T. Mitchell: 58.87% (7157)
Rami Amaro: 41.12% (5000)

Mailbag: Siggy Tosses In Last 2 Cents

Siggy: Had a great time today with Lance, Spencer, joined with my daughter and her friend. Spencer was h—bent on showing me pictures of me and Mitchell signs…I was busy waving. Anyway, nice to see people have some good fun and perhaps a small miracle will happen—perhaps not, either way I believe not just Mitchell, but all of the judges will be more aware of the consequences of their activism, sentences, motions, etc. Mitchell had Duane Rasmussen and Barry McHugh out selling “Mitchell.” Those guys make close to $200/hr so it makes me think that we had their attention. Competition is good for the system. There hasn’t been any or enough as evidenced by today’s other four uncontested positions. I look forward to providing useful commentary in the future.

DFO: I wrote an editorial this morning that will run sometime later in the week. Indeed, the charge of the Tinfoil Brigade got the attention of the leading barristers in the county. As well as the judges. The premise of the editorial is that judges now can be held accountable by judicial reform activists with a blog site. I think the Tinfoilers went over-the-line at times with the posts, sometimes subbing rumor for fact. Then, they were acting in the best tradition of early American journalism, where every man (and in this case woman) with a few bucks could start a newspaper. Now, they can start a blog and monitor judges. If John Mitchell wins re-election, I’ll guarantee you he’ll be a harder-nosed sentencer in the future.

State Controller (R) — 33 of 917 precincts

REP Royce C. Chigbrow 1,252 36%
REP Donna M. Jones 2,252 64%


Governor — 33 of 917 precincts

REP Dan Adamson 1,026 26%
REP Walt Bayes 79 2%
REP Jack Alan Johnson 176 4%
REP C.L. “Butch” Otter 2,663 68%

DEM Jerry M. Brady 299 71%
DEM Lee Chaney Sr. 125 29%

Mailbag: Where Are The Parties Tonight?

Party Girl: Usually DFO posts where each candidate is gathering to watch the returns come in. Does anyone know where the parties are tonight?

DFO: Amaro (The Porch/Hayden), Mitchell (Crickets), Gus (moving from Templins to Sargeants), Katie (Sargeants) Bailey (Avondale), Piazza (Badabing), Jorgenson (his home w/Hart).

Election Day Wild Card — 5/23/06

There must be something more than Election Day going on today. If you can thing of it, you can start your own thread with this Wild Card …

It’s 4:46, And Do You Know Where Your Commish Is?

“”Oh man, I’m bored. Where is that Domino’s guy?!” — Family Phil.

HBO: A Chorus Line

Bob, Dang, DFO, Siggy, Mitch, and Ramaro, for one last encore performance.

Hat Tip: Dang

From The Front Lines — 95 & Appleway


Siggy @ 95 & Appleway

4:46 p.m., “Don’t know if this has been mentioned, but on 4th Street, somewhere in midtown is a giant anti-Mitchell display that basically says ‘What Would Jesus Do? Not Vote For Mitchell!’ No picture, was driving too fast” — Family Phil.

4:21 p.m., Lance Amaro checks in at HBO for the first time with this report of the Spencer/ITD employee dustup over Spencer’s sign: “After the Idaho Department of Transportation gentleman took the sign from Mr. Spencer I saw him on the other corner visiting with Mr. Johnson with a big smile on his face.”

4:09, HBO dispatches Mike Kennedy to Coffeeville to confirm reports that Bill Sali supporters holding signs are speaking in tongues and handling snakes in the parking lot of Coffeeville on Fourth.

3:14, “…from Northern Post Falls sites and a couple in Rathdrum, steady but light turnout, still haven’t had a precinct breaking 10% so far…down to about 5 hours to go…” — Dan of the County. (Note — to self, tell DOTC that an ellipsis requires a space on each end.)

3:12, HBO obtains proof that the elusive Siggy really does exist (see photo by Jesse Tinsley above).

3:07, Exiting polls show Dan of the County is headed for another resounding win as Kootenai County clerk. All 10 local Demos who didn’t cross over to vote Repub say they voted for DOTC. Congrats are in order.

3 p.m., La Gina Teuteberg reports that Ramaro’s headed for 4th & Appleway.

2:48 p.m., JesseT also sez Lance Amaro is a dead ringer for Adam Sandler.

2:47 p.m., SR photographer Jesse Tinsley reports back from the 95 & Appleway front that Sandy Johnson, indeed, said something to Mallary about the southwest corner. But he didn’t think her tone was contentious.

2:25 p.m. Tammi Martinez’s 12-year-old daughter Mallary called to say that she got run off the southwest corner of the intersection by Commissioner Gus Johnson’s wife. She was holding a Todd Tondee sign. Seems Johnson’s wife told Mallary that the street corner is reserved for Johnson family and supporters.

2:20, Ramaro is gone from NW/Garden Avenue by the time SReporter Taryn Brodwater arrives their to grab a few quotes.

2:10 p.m., ITD worker Tim Turrell snatched a sign from Larry Spencer’s hand that read: “Register & Vote.” Seems Turrell stopped his vehicle when he spotted the sign in the ground near the bike path near Fred’s Appliance and wouldn’t let Spencer keep it.

1:50 p.m., Dang spots Ramaro holding signs at Garden Avenue and Northwest Boulevard.

HBO Isn’t Forgetting Washington Friends

HBO may be caught up in the Idaho elections, but we’re not forgetting our good friends in Spokane. Here’s an AP photo for Bob & GreenL that should get the juices flowing.

DOTC Update: 95 & Appleway = Happening Place

Checked a couple of site right about noon, both slightly under 5% turnout so far … Also, a regular party going on at 95 and Appleway … saw Gus Johnson, Todd Tondeee, Siggy, Spencer, and several other volunteers … looks like the happ’n place to be.

HBO Correspondent Dan of the County

Update: Larry Spencer just called from 95 & Appleway, where Mitchell supporter Duane Rasmussen and Rami Amaro’s husband, Lance, are holding signs side-by-side and enjoying each other’s company. Also there, Larry said, are Siggy, Todd Tondee, Gus Johnson, Tami Martinez and Dusty Davis, the Mental Health Court grad who’s still hosed that the Amaro camp accused her of not having the smarts to write a letter of endorsement for the judge. Duane Rasmussen told me everything’s cordial because “it’s too late to worry about gamesmanship.”

Sightem … Mitchell-V-Amaro Takes To Street Corner

… A Berry Picker just called in to say she saw one of Rami Amaro’s sons holding a sign for her on the street corner at U.S. Highway 95 & Appleway — next to attorney Duane Rasmussen, who was holding a bigger sign for Judge John Mitchell.

Dan of the County Checks In From “The Road”

“Just found a wireless coffeeshop in Hayden … have been to several of the most northern precincts and it does seem fairly light for the first couple hours … hope it picks up … have had to use my laser range finder a couple of times to make sure political signs weren’t too close to polling site—they weren’t (at least by the time I got there) … that’s all for now …

Dan of the County

DFO: Dan, I woulda voted for you, but I didn’t see your name on my ballot. ;-)

Technical Difficulties

Obviously, I’m having trouble posting photos today … but stay tuned. I’ve asked the blogmeisters to step in …

This Is More Than Election Day In Idaho …

… It’s Turtle Day around the world. Here, a Flower Box turtle (a species native to the tropical forests of South East Asia) basks in the sun at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, N.Y., Monday. World Turtle Day was established as an effort to protect the number of turtle species that have become critically endangered due to their popularity in the food and traditional medicine trade. So, hug your turtle today — and then go out and vote. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Mailbag: A Word From Mitchell-Amaro Fans

Informed Idahoan: Many thanks for your time and consideration being the blogmaster. Boths sides of this race are dedicated to their candidate and you kept the blogging under control, again many thanks.

Siggy: We’ll have to have lunch over this one. I have enjoyed the opportunity to try and make my points. Either way, friends we’ll be.

DFO: Now, this made my day. Siggy and Informed Idahoan represent both sides of the Mitchell-V-Amaro divide. I admire the passion of both camps. And appreciate that they finally figured us out at HBO. We poke fun at everybody. But we also pay attention to the message. Both sides made its case for its candidate here and, largely, accepted our goofiness as we worked our way through this fascinating race. It’ll be interesting to see how many of them stay on after the election is decided today, to become part of this three-ring circus.

Mailbag: Voting Repub Doesn’t Make You One, Ma

John Austin: There was quite a moment at the Austin household yesterday. No, not my household, but the senior Austin’s in Hayden. My parents, diehard D’s who first voted for Truman as newlyweds, could find NO reason to vote in today’s election. No truly contested D races, either local or State, to intrigue them. So, I suggested the novel idea of voting Republican in the primary, where most local races will be decided. At that point, the look on my Dad’s face indicated I was no longer in the family trust. So, he probably won’t be voting today. This from a man who served his country 20 years as an Air Force officer, to ensure we all have the right denied to so many in his lifetime. My mother, who’s never voted for an R before, may be persuaded, however. She said “Would I have to register as a…republican?” stating the last word as if it was poison. No, I said, and God help us if we ever do. Of course, now she’s worried she’ll have to go under the cloak of camouflage, just in case her D friends are voting at the same time. And, the Chevy won’t pass muster, either, she feels. Anybody got a spare Hummer on ‘em?

DFO: Wonderful story, JohnA; thanks for the day-brightened to kick things off here.

Mitchell-V-Amaro: Top Ten HBO Hits

10. Rami reins in supporters to let things settle down a little on HBO.

9. Junior Mitchell tells newspaper (and later DFO) that he doesn’t read HBO because he doesn’t take anonymous posters seriously (but he supports an anonymous Idaho State Bar poll that made him look good, explaining that anonymity allowed attorneys to be candid and honest).

8. Bob launches short-lived Maam I Roar blog, using the letter’s in Ramaro’s name for the title. Then, he falls head over heels for Ramaro.

7. Siggy posts for the first time.

6. Those lips, those eyes, those … billboards.

5. Web site photo of Junior Mitchell and his fish are quickly replaced by Junior Mitchell and his dog, when either Sider or Bob go phallic in describing the fish symbolism.

4. The charge of the Tin Foil Brigade.

3. HBO and its menagerie are denounced twice in print as trouble-makers, once on the front page of DFO’s Spokesman-Review.

2. Rami Amaro metamorphizes into “Ramaro.”

1. Dang’s photoshopping.

P.S. — 10 Greatest HBO Mitchell-Amaro Moments

The Mitchell-Amaro judge’s race has been one for the ages. You’d think that it was the judge’s to lose. But Ramaro has done an excellent job shining a spotlight on his shortcomings. Win or lose, the two have been locked in an epic struggle that has provided much fodder for this blog. So, I’ll challenge you. What are the 10 greatest HBO Mitchell-Amaro moments of the campaign. I’m pretty fond of the judge’s original Web site photo, above, which Sider had fun with. Then, who can forget the emergence of the Ten Foil Brigade? So, forget about the race for the moment, and help me with a Top 10 list from this race.

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 5/22/06

“A Sunday stroll by the lake. It won’t be long before we’re swimming in that lake, all summer long. I can’t wait — Family Phil.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour switches to Spoonerisms to discuss another of her long list of former students who are making an impact here.

*What’s this? Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise is reporting that gubernatorial wannabe Butch Otter plans to spend tomorrow night in … Washington, D.C. here. Talk about not taking his primary race against Dan Adamson seriously …

*In Serephin’s Blog (reposted on 43rd State Blues, a Democrat blog), Idaho Democratic Chairman Richard Stallings is seeking 1000 other Democrats to write-in J.R. “Roger” Williams as secretary of state, so he can qualify for the November ballot here.

*”Oh. My. God. This is what poetry is” describes a commenter’s reaction to UBob’s latest here.

*Talent scout Stebbijo has discovered newby Nicholas Casey, 27, of Coeur d’Alene and his blog, Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts here.

Meanwhile, CDADave admits he’s been steamed up lately here, Bayview Herb bids adieu to the Annuals here, and Cis talks about a friend who writes a difficult blog here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Commissioner Rick Currie has told fellow Commissioners Katie Brodie and Gus Johnson that he is working to oust them. The theory is that Rick wants both of them out of office, so he can be commission chairman. Stay tuned …

CDA Pastor Spanks Sali For Rude Campaign Tactic

Dear Mr. Sali,

“It was brought to my attention that your election campaign personnel distributed voting flyers on the windshields of cars belonging to members of our congregation during Sunday Worship on May 21st, 2006. This was done without our permission, and without seeking our consent. Please do not do this again.

“Our congregation is vigorously pro-Life, and entirely apart from any flyers or other marketing tools, any pro-Life candidate would easily receive 95% of the available votes. At best your efforts were redundant, at worse disrespectful.

“I consider it a sacred responsibility to distinguish between the preaching of the Gospel – with all its power to change the hearts and minds of believers – and the preaching of any political candidate or agenda. When I teach the Bible, pro-Life votes flow naturally without the need for marketing, because I make no bones about right and wrong moral choices, including abortion by name. Your actions have made it more difficult for me to be an effective pastor by confusing the two agendas, and have therefore undermined the cause.

“Thank you for respecting the wishes of this Fellowship.

Greg Daulton, Lead Pastor
Coeur d’Alene Assembly of God

DFO: Sali supporters did the same thing at my small church, Hayden Bible, and many of the other churches in town. Bad form. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise writes about Bill Sali tactic here.

Edinger Twins Celebrate 70th

When I get old and losing my hair … when I’m … 70 … will you still be sending me some Valentine’s … Sunday mornin’ go for a ride? Congrats to the Edinger family and their two bouncin’ baby boys (Dick, left, and Ron, right) who have contributed so much to the local community.

Dang: “The Voters Come Out Tomorrow”

The voters come out
Tomorrow
You can cast your ballot on
Tomorrow, 23 of May
The final vote count
Amaro,
She may do well but I think
Judge Mitchell, takes the day
Tomorrow, Amaro,
Amaro, Tomorrow
It’s over a day away
For Rami Amaro,
No Tinfoil Tomorrow
Now please won’t you Go A-Way!

Mailbag: What About Commissioner Currie

Hypothetical Q: If Rick Currey was on the ballot tomorrow do you think he’d be re-elected?

DFO: Hmm. Currie defeated The Ronfather in the general election two years ago and then Independent Chris Copstead in the general. Two worthy foes. So, he won’t be easy to take out. He’s also known for attending a wide range of events in his off hours, which counts with voters. However, he struggles with public speaking and hasn’t particularly distinguished himself in office yet. It depends on the opposition — and whom he ticks off between now and spring 2008.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/22/06

Children wave flags as a small group of National Guard soldiers march past during the Post Falls Armed Forces Day parade down Seltice Way in the rain Saturday. The short parade was a first for Post Falls and was organized to thank members of the 116th Engineering Battalion for their service in Iraq/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Stapilus: Keith Johnson grabs 2 southern Idaho endorsements, Sheila Sorensen picks up one in North Idaho here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI contends that Seattle denizens freak out when wide swings of the weather occurs — say when the sun comes out — because there’s no real weather there here.

2. A wild bear, cornered just blocks from the frat and sorority houses near the University of Washington, died after leading more than two dozen Seattle police officers, state wildlife agents and university police on a wild chase here.

3. National graduation rates among Native Americans historically are lower than students in other racial groups. But the situation in the Plummer-Worley School District, near Lake Coeur d’Alene, where about 60 percent of the students are Indian, has reached a critical point here.

4. The Northern Arapaho Tribe and a man accused of shooting a bald eagle on the Wind River Indian Reservation say the federal government should make it easier for American Indians to apply to kill bald eagles for use in religious ceremonies here.

5. Vandalism and fire at a Roman Catholic Church in Crow Agency, Mont., didn’t keep parishioners away from Mass. Some 200 showed up for an outdoor service Sunday in the backyard of the St. Dennis Parish, which was vandalized early Saturday morning here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Huckleberries: Swingin’, missin’), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Oprah’s spirituality), Spokesman-Review (Waking Up to Darfur Genocide), Coeur d’Alene Press (Vote!), and Jim Miller/On Politics (Could this Drudge Report be true?).

Online Poll: 61.5% of 2118 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say the U.S. should keep Guantanamo Bay prison open.

*Idaho’s new specialty plate, boosting the technology industry, combines two winning designs (includes photo) here.

*Spokane police are investigating a Sunday night cross burning here.

*A Spokane woman fails again in her quest to best Mount Everest here.

Orbusmax Special: UFO Festival in McMinnville, Ore., brings together abductors, abductees here.

Dan Of The County Supports “English Only”

Dan of the County, who’s running unopposed to retain his Kootenai County clerk’s position supports the kind of English only represented above. He produced the wooden tokens a few years back when the late Commish Ron Rankin was pushing fellow commissioners to adopt an English only resolution.

APhoto of the Day — 5/22/06

Miguel Gutierrez, right, dressed as a framed “Mona Lisa,” stops near the top of the Hayes Street hill during the 95th annual running of the Bay to Breakers foot race Sunday in San Francisco. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The San Francisco Chronicle, Carlos Avila Gonzalez)

Question of the Day — Does Courthouse Need PR?

Issue: Getting out the message: Commission races highlight spending debate/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Kootenai County’s recent hiring of a local public relations firm has become a hot issue in Tuesday’s commission races. Both incumbents, Commission Chairman Gus Johnson and Commissioner Katie Brodie, think it’s a good use of taxpayers’ dollars because it informs residents and county workers about what’s going on in their county. … Yet their opponents in the primary election criticize the decision, arguing it’s wasteful spending.

Question: Do Kootenai County commissioners need a public relations firm to get their message out?

Mailbag — Mitchell-V-Amaro On Fuhrman @ 9:30?

Interested: Mark Fuhrman’s show (today) - 9:30-11:30 - the judicial candidates will be on. Word on street is Mitchell refused to go on unless he got to go after Amaro.

DFO: Take this post for what it’s worth. I killed posts by Interested and Mike last night that were way over the line in their accusations against John Mitchell and his supporters. Beyond Tinfoil. The second sentence probably is more of the same. But he might be right about the two debating on the Fuhrman show in 15 minutes.

Reprise: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

When it’s all over, we all need to have a group hug and let bygones be bygones. Fly-On-The-Wall shows what harmony would look like in a perfect world, where judges’ races would be gentile — and HBO would be out of business. (I’m repeating this from the weekend because it’s. so. dang. good.)

SR Endorsement: Judge John Mitchell

“Most of the accusations are frivolous and will be forgotten after Tuesday’s election. Of more substance from the (Rami) Amaro camp are the criticisms that the judge has been disqualified without cause too many times, that too many of his rulings have been overturned on appeal, and that he opts for rehabilitating offenders rather than punishment and protecting society when sentencing molesters and other dangerous criminals. It isn’t easy separating fact from fiction in this race or deciding whose statistics are trustworthy. Each candidate has strengths and significant weaknesses. Amaro deserves credit for forcing a judge to defend his record. Yet, she has little to no criminal law experience and her eligibility to run was in question until Secretary of State Ben Ysursa ruled she met minimum practice requirements. (Judge John) Mitchell, who worked as a trial attorney for 15 years, is a better option.”

DFO: My personal preference was to take the runnerup for the appointment to the new 1st District Court position and dub him/her as the winner of this spot. Sorry, I can’t provide a link to the rest of the editorial from home.

Mailbag: What Happened To The Photo?

Siggy: I sent you a great pic of Free Tin Foil … I was disappointed that you didn’t post it!

DFO: Siggy, I never received it, although I heard you were sending it in. Try again.

Mailbag: Crotchety Oldsters Forgot How To Have Fun

Idawa: Cd’A needs to get over itself, there isn’t anywhere in that town that I don’t feel comfortable in at night. There are no drive by shootings, no muggings, no visible crime to speak of except for people out having fun. The problem is that some people want to define what type of fun other people can and can’t have. The entire town of Cd’A isn’t a retirement community, get over it.

DFO: I want to think you’re right, Idawa. But there seems to be something fundamental changing in Coeur d’Alene. The streets just a little bit meaner today than they were even five years ago. I don’t feel as safe today as I did five years ago, after hours — and even in daylight hours sometimes. We’re more crowded. The roads are jammed between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We’re still Pollyana compared to Puget Sound towns. But it’s not quite what you described either.


WorldNetDaily Poll — Black GOP Candidates

Issue: GOP pins hopes on black candidates: ‘Sometimes when I tell people I’m a Republican, they just automatically shut down’/Associated Press

Question: What are your thoughts on the growing number of black Republican candidates?

1. They’re Uncle Toms
2. It’s a Karl Rove trick to lure blacks away from the Democrat Party
3. It’s a token effort to make the Republican Party not look so white
4. It’s interesting, but the numbers are too few to be consequential
5. I don’t think color should matter
6. It’s only natural that as some blacks become wealthier, they’d be attracted the Republican Party
7. It makes sense – Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas were Republicans
8. The culturally conservative values of black families are better represented by today’s Republicans
9. Republicans need new candidates like Michael Steele and Kenneth Blackwell – whatever their color
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Mitchell-V-Amaro: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

DFO: As the HBlOgmeister, I’m getting sick and tired of the accusations that I don’t take the judicial race between Mitchell Jr. and Ramaro seriously. I simply don’t know where outsiders got that idea.

Hat Tip: Fly On The Wall (who wrote below this comment today: “Hope when this is over we can all just get along.”

Question of the Day: Official English

Issue: Reid calls language proposal racist: But 84% of Americans, 77% of Hispanics prefer English as official language of government operations/Washington Times

DFO: I guess 77% of the Hispanics are racist then?

Question: Do you agree or disagree that English should be the official language of government operations?

Family Phil: Soccer Rules To Live By

6 things Family Phil learned while coaching soccer for rec league 4-year-olds:

1. I have to say everything three times to other kids, too!

2. Some parents expect the coach to take over all of their responsibilities during practices and games.

3. The best way to perk up a tired kid is to remind them about the after-game snack.

4. Even the toughest 4-year-old boy cries like a baby when he gets kicked in the leg.

5. Four-year-old girls are tougher than 4-year-old boys.

6. Scoring a goal is fun, even if it’s in the wrong.

Question: Have you ever learned something about life and kids by coaching a sport?

TGIF Weekend Wild Card — 5/19/06

I’ve been thinking about expanding the blogroll to include more top-notch Idaho blogs, from Boise and other points — after I give it a good weeding of course. Too much deadwood there now. Do any of you know a handful of uberblogs from elsewhere in the state that should be on an expanded blogroll. I want solid stuff, like Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press. And the 43rd State of the Demos looks good, too. While you’re mulling this request, you can start new threads on this second Wild Card of the day …

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/19/06

Family Phil explains this photo of the fisherman on the rock on Lake Coeur d’Alene here.

*Sam Taylor/Vandal Sense has gone and got himself graduated here.

*Bayview Herb/Bay Views tells us about male bonding on the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille here.

*Sara Anderson/F-Words clears the air about her “endorsement” of Sheila Sorensen. And now she’s throwing her support to … Keith Johnson in the six-way horse GOP horse race for Congress here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind reports from the Kootenai precinct up north that uberconservatives Bud Mueller and Lewis Rich impressed a Bonner County grassroots audience last night here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is looking for a place to get lost from the crowds attracted to Sandpoint this weekend for “Lost in the 50s” here.

Meanwhile, Toad sees something beautiful up in the sky that wasn’t a UFO here, Stebbijo mulls living in a $6M Thomas Kincaid house here, and Betsy tackles the lying liars that met the press last night in Boise here.

Extra! NRA Denounces Sorensen Mailing

BOISE — The National Rifle Association told its Idaho members Friday that a campaign postcard distributed by 1st District Republican candidate Sheila Sorensen falsely implies the gun lobby has endorsed her in the hotly contested six-way GOP primary next week. AP story coming …

Some North Idaho Candidates Get Spring Pass

While Republican colleagues in District 3 face fierce opposition to retain their seats, state Sen. John “I’m The Bear” Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, enjoys his perch above it all. Goedde, the Senate Education Committee chairman who is running unopposed in Tuesday’s GOP primary, scared the Idaho Education Association off and a possible strong challenger by threatening repercussions against the teachers union if it backed an opponent. (Actually, this is an AP photo of a young bear from back East).

Mailbag: Who’s Worst Local Pol On The Stump?

The Edge: Here’s a question for you. Most of us know which politicians clean up well and speak well. How about those who don’t? I’d like to know your readers thoughts about which local politicians are the worst public speakers?

DFO: I could answer that for you, but I’ll let the HBO Brue Crue mull it over. OK, boys and girls, which local politician has all thumbs for teeth and makes you look at your wrist watch within a minute?

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest

Nez Perce descendant and Interpretive Ranger Kevin Peters of the Nez Perce National Historic Park gave a tour of the museum at the park near Lapwai on Thursday. The park will be one of the attractions to The Summer of Peace Among the Nimiipuu(cq), the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in Lewiston June 14-17 here. KATHY PLONKA The Spokesman-Review

Eye On Boise: Lively 1st Congressional District debate brings out the barbs here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI mulls the secrets behind the … drum roll, puh-leez … “Dick Cheney Code” here.

2. The Washington State Patrol has agreed to pay almost $2 million to nine women who were groped by a state trooper who’d pulled many of them over for drunken-driving arrests here.

3. A mudslide that gushed through a 24-unit condominium at Schweitzer Mountain near Sandpoint on Wednesday might have damaged the structure beyond repair here.

4. Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, the nominee for U.S. Secretary of the Interior, has moved out of his Statehouse office, and he does not plan to come back for state business here.

5. Luke Trerice, 28, a merry prankster from Olympia, Wash., who encased a friend’s room in aluminum foil, knew it was only a matter of time until he was paid back. He was right. You can find what happened to him in return here.

6. IMHO-NW: Erik Lindbergh/Seattle Times (Lindbergh’s higher calling), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (Tom Luna: The missing years), Joel Connelly/Seattle PI (Vanishing Northwest salmon), Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Stevens rides into retirement again), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Emtman paid highest compliment).

Online Poll: 44.8% of 1136 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they plan to see “The DaVinci Code.”

*Water’s rising in eastern Washington here.

*4 indicted in ecoterrorist attacks on Vail, Colo., ski resort here.

*Washington state foster parents are the first in the nation to join a labor union here.

Orbusmax Special: Trashed letter may provide clue to motive in one of Seattle’s worst mass murders here.

SR Edit: Idaho Endorsements For State Offices

Issue: Our view: Idaho endorsements: CdA principal among those who deserve your support/D.F. Oliveria, Spokesman-Review

Governor: Butch Otter & Jerry Brady
Lt. Gov — D: Larry LaRocco
Super of Schools: Steve Casey & Bert Marley
Attorney General - R: Lawrence Wasden
Super of Schools: Steve Casey & Bert Marley
Controller - R: Royce Chigbrow

Any Questions?

CDA Press: Wannabes List Fave Movies

The Coeur d’Alene Press printed its election guide in today’s paper. Of special interest to Huckleberries Online fans should be the wannabes favorite movies, a crucial piece of info in any election. So, here’s how they responded:

Judge
John Mitchell: “Remember the Titans.”
Rami Amaro: “Terms of Endearment.”

Commissioner
Rich Piazza: “Braveheart.”
Katie Brodie: “Sound of Music.”

Todd Tondee: “Crimson Tide.”
Gus Johnson: “Field of Dreams.”

3rd Legislative District
Mike Jorgenson: “Casablanca.”
Kent Bailey: “I like all movies.”

Jeri DeLange: “Apollo 13.”
Jim Clark: “Gone With The Wind.”

Phil Hart: “Trading Places.”
Wayne Meyer: “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.”

Question: Based on this critical piece of information, who would you vote for?

Mailbag: Mitchell Show, Amaro No-Show?

KDAY: Tallboy Mitchell had the Sandpoint Forum to himself last night. No Amaro. No Siggy. No mud tracked through the Elks Club. Sweet.

DFO: Oh no, I feel another complaint being filed against Mitchell by one of the tinfoilers. Are you sure Ramaro was invited?

Mailbag: Beauty Isn’t In The Eye Of Flat-Earthers

UBob: Fortunately for the advance of civilization, Eastern and Western, there were leaders with foresight and sensibilities above Spencer’s notion that people need not concern themselves beyond their grunting needs for a warm place to defecate and a fresh legbone of an ass to gnaw on. Because of these people who realized that governments and civilizations needed libraries and arts and culture and life was more than a brutish journey to trade seashells for goats, why Spencer and Dang get to type on computers these very days and pine for the days that civilization was about sniffing for pheromones and clubbing potential mates and dragging them home to the cave …

DFO: I’m not exactly sure what UBob said here but I agree with him 100%.

Wild Card/Thursday — 5/18/06

You know what to do with this Wild Card if you want to start your own thread …

We Shall Overcome Somed-a-a-a-ay

Hat Tip: Fly-on-the-Wall

Mailbag: Slick Campaign Mailings

Jane Q. Citizen: Some interesting campaign literature in my mailbox today. Very expensive full color oversize cardstock from Luna, Johnson and Sorenson, all three in a positive vein. The comes a full size four page full color attack piece paid by Club for Growth of Washington, DC promoting their guy Bill Sali while bashing Robert Vasquez and Sheila Sorenson. In a bit of karmic turnaround as fair play another oversized full color card, paid by the League of Conservation Voters with no address or other identifer, bashes Sali and Vasquez for having out of state contributors to their campaigns. I’m still undecided on this legislative race and here’s a message for those running campaigns, expensive mailed pieces do not sway votes, especially those that spend more space attacking an opponent than providing reasons to vote for your candidate.

DFO: I generally toss direct-mail campaign literature in the trashcan. But I’m not sure that I reflect Joe & Jane Sixpack. Do any of the rest of you have thoughts on the effectiveness of the type of literature Jane Q. discusses above?

SOS — From Ramaro’s Camp

Subject line: Rami needs Volunteers, Event on Sunday, Rami needs Volunteers, & Look At Everything We’re Doing - HOLY COW

Text: THIS IS NOT JUST ONE MORE POLITICAL EVENT. WE ARE IN SERIOUS DANGER OF LOSING THIS ELECTION UNLESS WE CAN ALL PULL TOGETHER AND MUSTER ONE GREAT BURST OF ENERGY BEFORE TUESDAY. JUDGE MITCHELL LETS CHILD MOLESTERS GO. AND IN 5 DAYS, HE WIL BE RE-ELECTED –— UNLESS YOU STOP HIM. I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW MUCH WE NEED YOUR HELP — Tamara Cougar/Smac’m.

DFO: This landed in my inbox earlier this p.m. Be careful out there.

Stapilus: Who Are Lefty Bloggers Against Johnson?

Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press: (State Controller Keith) Johnson’s web site includes several clever “enough said” videos. One of them says this: “2 out of 3 left wing, Idaho bloggers endorsed Robert Vasquez in the Republican primary for Congress. Because he would ensure the Democrats a win in November. The third endorsed Sheila Sorensen. Enough said.”

DFO: Could it be possible that Johnson believes this blog has made an endorsement, rather than The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board, as a whole? That he thinks HBO is a “left-wing blog”? You can see the video by following the link provided by Randy here. Johnson should have named names. On the other hand, his comment about 3 liberal bloggers in North Idaho show that he has no grasp of the blogosphere situation in the state. I figured he was out of touch when he said at that Post Falls forum that health insurance was a luxury. Mebbe to those who have always had it handed to them as part of an employee package.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 5/18/06

This undated image provided by the Oregon Zoo in Portland shows a Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit in their captive breeding program. According to a report Wednesday May 17, 2006, the last male purebred Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit has died, leaving just two females in a captive breeding breeding program created to try to save the endangered species from extinction here/AP photo from Oregon Zoo.

Stapilus: Keith Johnson campaign burnishes credentials by saying Idaho’s 3 “left-wing” bloggers support opponents but doesn’t name ‘em here.

1. Kitsap County authorities say two 14-year-old junior-high-school classmates who died in separate incidents in the past week may have been playing a choking game here.

2. A former Republican National Committee official was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months in prison for his role in hiring a Sandpoint, Idaho firm to jam New Hampshire Democrats’ telephones on Election Day 2002 here.

3. A Democratic candidate for Flathead County commissioner (Kalispell, Mont.) has another interesting facet to his life experience: A run-in with what he believes might have been a Sasquatch here.

4. A mudslide blew through a 24-unit condominium building on Schweitzer Mountain, near Sandpoint, Wednesday evening but the structure was unoccupied at the time and no one was hurt here.

5. A federal bankruptcy judge rejected a $45.7 million settlement offer between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane and a group of 75 people who were sexually abused by priests here.

6. IMHO-NW: G. George Ostrom/Hungry Horse News (Old maid maternity coverage), Bigfork Eagle (Ode to a Good Man), Idaho Statesman (Endorsements: Otter, Brady, LaRocco, Chigbrow), Hindu/Sagebrush (The DaVinci Turd), and Robert Herold/Inlander (Anyone But McMorris).

Online Poll: A plurality of 31.1% of 1039 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they don’t camp at all while another 28.5% say they camp once or twice per year.

*A Benewah County jury awarded $18 million in punitive damages Wednesday to the family of an 86-year-old St. Maries man it agreed was abused and medicated to death at a North Idaho nursing home here.

*Don’t look now, but Arena Football2 is expanding from Spokane and Everett to Boise here.

*Ronan, Mont., man faces 10th DUI here.

*Seattle drivers are rated among most courteous in the nation here.

Orbusmax Special: Unlikely allies fight King County all-mail voting here.

Mailbag: HBO’s Official Commenters

John Austin: MikeK: thanks a ton for the information on the City of CDA’s priorities for this budget year. It is a very impressive list (although CityLink expansion was only highly favored by two of you!). I encourage all HBO’ers to check it out. DFO, this is one of the real treats of this blog - the input we get from our public officials like Mike K and Al Hassell, Dan English, Gary Cuff, Tom Taggart and others. The public’s right to know is met head on by these folks, and that’s a good thing.

DFO: Um, there’s more public/elected officials on here than you think. Indeed, I’m humbled that this has become an online watering hole where The Powers That Be often respond to The Powers That Want To Be and others who are simply Curious. It can be bruising in here. But those, like those you mention above, have stuck it out and bring much to the discussion. Ditto to you, too, JohnA.

Question of the Day — Hazing

Issue: On the Web, College Athletes Acting Badly: badjock.com exposes hazing initiations at prestigious colleges/New York Times.

DFO: I remember being hazed as a freshman in high school. The seniors and bigger jocks at the time made me and other male classmates walk around our first day with our shirts turned inside out and crab walk on command. We thought we’d gotten off lucky.

Question: Have you ever been hazed?

APhoto of the Day — 5/18/06

All I’m going to tell you about this for now is that the AP photo was taken by Lee Jin-man. You write the cutline.

Mailbag: Is A Spiffy Library A Need Or A Want?

Eric Seaman: This library thing is like a spoiled kid not getting what they want. A rich spoiled kid. I know it not because I’m rich, because I’m not,but because I do spoil my children. Lets look at a parent, a regular CDA low paying job parent, who’s child wants that new game system for their birthday that costs $200 and you agree and promise them, but when you get to the day it seems the child changed their mind and really, really, really, wants a different game system but, this one is $400. Hmmmm what to do? I suppose if your well off you simply bump it up. If not, you love and build that childs understanding of responibility.
Or I suppose you could go into the families secret savings account and hope your water pump doesn’t break, or the washing machine continues to limp along.

DFO: I’ve thought about this one a lot. I don’t think the location picked for the library is the best possible, locationwise. I wrote years ago, however, that supporters could build their structure anywhere they want as long as they financed it themselves. Now, we’ve passed a $3M bond and just pumped another $300,000 into it. I guess I’m to the point that we’re too committed not to go ahead and finish this project correctly. I also believe a nice library is more of a need than a want, part of the city’s intellectual infrastructure. We’ve been bumping along with refurbished buildings since I got here. I remember new Mayor Ray Stone dedicating the old LP building on Harrison for the man that made the opening possible, Mayor Jim Fromm. And Fromm checking out the first book in the new library, Garrison Keillor’s “Lake Wobegone Days.” Bottom line? The library will continue to spur downtown redevelopment. It will become a source of pride. The City Council did right by tossing in the extra $300,000. And I thank everyone who made it possible through his/her fund-raising efforts. It hasn’t been pretty. Rugs have been pulled over people’s eyes. But that’ll be forgotten by most when the doors open.

Mailbag: Mount St. Helens Anniversary

Cynswm: I’d like to hear people’s stories of where they were, what they were doing when Mt. St. Helens blew.

DFO: I was near Kalispell, Mont., at a potluck lunch with friends when the sky began to get hazy. By the time we got back into town, the sky was falling. I still remember driving my VW Rabbit to Whitefish to take a photo of the giant Kentucky Fried Chicken sign with a makeshift breathing mask over its face. I’m glad the car didn’t stall on Highway 93. There was plenty of ash on the road and everywhere else. The Flathead Valley got hit pretty hard despite being so far away.

Question Where were you when the mountain blew?

WorldNetDaily Poll — 5/18/06

Issue: Keep Iran military option, says UK ex-official: Western ‘carrots’ to Tehran hardliners must be accompanied by credible ‘stick’/London Telegraph

Question: Who should strike Iran?

1. Nobody
2. Nobody – Iran is a sovereign nation pursuing it’s lawful right to develop nuclear power
3. Nobody – first use of force is always immoral
4. The U.N., but only after all attempts at diplomacy and international persuasion have been exhausted
5. Israel – they have the most at stake if Iran gets nuclear weapons
6. Israel – Iran’s clearly preparing to attack the Jewish state and Israelis have no moral obligation to wait for that to happen
7. The U.S. – a nuclear Iran will be in a strong position to cut off our oil and collapse our economy
8. The U.S. – like it or not, we’re still the defenders of freedom in the world
9. The U.S. and Israel - Iran’s already threatened revenge attacks against both countries if hostilities begin
10. Other

DFO: No. 8, if push comes to shove.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.S. — Students Asked About Sex Orientation

Issue: Students asked about sex orientation in survey: Kids queried how they’d know if they would not prefer having same-sex affair/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

More Info: Parents in Milwaukee, Wis., are angry and school leaders are promising action in response to a “Heterosexual Questionnaire,” approved by two teachers, that asked students questions such as: “If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?”

Question: What do you think of the “Heterosexual Questionnaire”?

Top Cutlines — 5/17/06

Former Vice President, Al Gore, poses with his wife, Tipper, as they arrive for premiere of his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” in Los Angeles, Calif., Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson)

Top Cutlines:

1. Tipper ya’ knew and the Liar, too — Thom George.

2. Tipper and Al model their new Baby Boomer Barbie and Ken apparel line, their success hinging on the fact that boomers are delusional about what looks good on their middle-aged bodies — Jane Q. Citizen.

3. (tie) Al Gore could not get that look off his face following Tina Fey’s wardrobe malfunction on the set of SNL — Whatever; and: Moments after this photo was taken, Tipper learned she had been photographed next to a cardboard cutout of her husband. “You could have fooled me,” she commented — Bill McCrory.

HM: Sider, PhilT, Bob and about everyone else. Everyone take a bow for terrific cutlines.

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

PM Question No. 2: More $$$ For New Library

Issue: CdA adds $297,000 to build library: Money to come from city’s reserves/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

Question: Has the new Coeur d’Alene library become a financial sinkhole? Or are you happy with the latest city move to shore up the project?

Mailbag: CDA Mom Tells What It’s Like

CDA Mom: As I sit here at my computer this morning, my thoughts have been on my son. My son is always on my mind, but this morning I was reading the rhetreic that was posted under another thread and the impact of those angry hateful words being thrown around was too much for me. It was my son’s 21st birthday two weeks ago today and I haven’t heard from him in 4 weeks. I do not worry to much because if something did happen to him I would get the knock on the door, so I worry, but I am ok. I understand how the Iraq war can bring up great discourse and debate. But PLEASE keep in mind when you are debating the topic that it is me — just a mom — that is trying to get through this war without being subjected to hateful and totally disrespectful discourse. I do not ask anyone to change the discourse or the debate, because it needs to occur. I just request that it be less hateful and angry.

DFO: I should save this e-letter when flamers on both sides are slashing and burning re: the war. It’s one thing to debate. It’s another to blaze away when there are a lot of people out there in this mother’s shoes.

Mailbag: Larry Spencer Endorsement Letter Impact

Dan of the County: Final update on the impact of Spencer’s mailing on absentee ballot requests. The elections office got about 40 of his cards in today’s mail requesting a ballot by mail down from about 200 yesterday. Today is the last day we can process requests for mail-out ballots. Although they didn’t keep any formal count, the clerks in elections said they may have seen around 20 of the cards in peoples hands as they came in to vote absentee in person. It will be interesting to see how the turnout in that District does compared to the rest of the county. However, it’s also the one with the most contested races so it’s probably hard to tell what affected what. I don’t agree with many of Spencer’s picks, but I certainly applaud his efforts to engage the public in the elections and governing processes.

DFO: I probably agree with half of Spen-sah’s picks. But I’m with you re: his citizen involvement. ‘Tis important. But he sure does have an expensive hobby.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/17/06

Crowds line the banks of the Snake River at Chestnut Beach in Clarkston, Wash., Tuesday, to cool off as a heat wave continues to bear down on the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. Spokane and Coeur d’Alene experienced record temperatures yesterday here and so did Missoula here/Kyle Mills, AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune.

Eye On Boise: Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s packing up his office for anticipated move to D.C. here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI sees a standoff coming on the US-Mexican border here.

2. A white construction worker is suing two Colville tribal corporations, alleging that he was harassed out of his job by racial slurs and abuse from Native American co-workers here.

3. A 66-year-old church organist has been charged with defrauding Washington state by collecting about $400,000 in workers’ compensation checks that were intended for her mother, who died 18 years ago here.

4. A suspicious Spokane Wal*Mart checker who questioned the use of a paper license to cash a $1,000 check has helped police bust an identity theft ring that could claim at least 750 victims here.

5. The decision is final — Boise will host the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The games will take place at Boise State University, Tamarack Resort, Qwest Arena, Bogus Basin and Idaho Ice World here.

6. IMHO-NW: Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (Good advice for job recruiters), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Payback time in Meridian district), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Tackling illegal immigration), Joel Connelly/Seattle PI (What will they say about Gorton now?), and Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Protect young pitchers’ arms).

Online Poll: 88% of 1014 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they know the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

*Seahawks announce that Coach Mike Holmgren will stay another two years here.

*Idaho expects low turnout for the primary here.

*An Ada County (Boise) Little Leaguer strikes out 24 batters in 9 innings here.

*A woman appeared to have been randomly shot while driving her car in Liberty Lake on Monday night here.

Orbusmax Special: Andrew Sullivan weighs in on Seattle schools’ definition of racism here.

Question of the Day — No More Discount Movies

Issue: Ditching the discount: Hayden Cinema 6 replaces cut-price films with first-run features/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Occasionally, I took my wife to the Discount Cinemas, to see a movie like “Narnia” for a second time. Or to see what I consider a second-tier movie for the first time. Movies at the mega-theater are simply too expensive, when you thrown in popcorn and sodas. However, it seems as though the mega-theater is doing good business. Dunno if there’s a market left for a Hayden theater that shows first runs.

Question: Will you be affected by the closure of the Discount Cinemas?

APhoto of the Day — 5/17/06

Former Vice President, Al Gore, poses with his wife, Tipper, as they arrive for premiere of his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” in Los Angeles, Calif., Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson)

Mailbag: Now, How About A Hall Of Fame Ring?

John Austin: Now, if only the NFL Hall of Fame would recognize Kramer’s contribution to the Green Bay Packers’ dynasty, and rightfully induct him, a major injustice will be corrected. He made the most famous block in NFL history in the “Ice Bowl”, clearing the way for Bart Starr to score the winning touchdown in the Championship Game.

DFO: One of the great injustices of professional sports. Jerry Kramer is the one star of those old championship Green Bay teams who wasn’t elected to the hall of fame.

Mailbag: Siggy Posts In Advance Of Victory

Robert Siegwarth: “In advance of the Tinfoil Brigade victory I have a few final thoughts and observations. I get to go long on this DFO—because, it’s about—us…Not one single Mitchell supporter, including the Judge himself has been able to address effectively the issues at stake—HIS RECORD. I will break this up in two parts for the blog. Also, I don’t want to hear “CRICKETS” I want an explanation for the Duwe case and Mendiola.” (For the rest of Siggy’s post, click here and go to 8:49 a.m. Wednesday post.)

DFO: Siggy, I have to hand it to you for being out front in support of Rami Amaro, with your name on the line. You didn’t use a pseudonym, like almost everyone else who dive-bombed in here to make statements and accusations about this race. I wouldn’t celebrate just yet, because Rami has an uphill battle to unseat Judge John Mitchell. In fact, I’ll be surprised if she wins. On the other hand, she has held Judge Mitchell accountable for his record and thrown a scare into every other sitting judge. She deserves a monster hat tip for that.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 5/16/06

You know what to do with this Wild Card …

P.P.S. — Will Richard Hatch Survive Prison?

Richard Hatch, the openly gay winner of the first “Survivor” reality TV show, was sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison May 16, a penalty harsher than he could have received because the judge in Providence, R.I., concluded that he committed perjury during his trial and lied to a probation officer here/AP photo.

Light-hearted Question: Who is your all-time favorite “Survivor” competitor?


P.S.: A Taco For Your Vote? — 5/16/06

“My campaign is offering all Idaho citizens voting in the upcoming Primary Election a certificate for one free taco, upon proof that they voted in the Primary Election. The best proof would be a digital picture of their ballot from within the voting booth taken via a cell telephone digital camera. The free tacos would be distributed via post election voting parties promoted by my campaign in eastern Idaho, western Idaho, and northern Idaho. All candidates whose campaigns were advanced by the Primary Elections would be encouraged to participate in these gatherings. This would give all candidates the opportunity to meet and mingle with the voters who helped them, and all winners of the Primary Election. Why FREE TACOS? Why not! Idaho voters are tired of politics and campaigns as usual. They want something different. Yes, we could offer them a free hamburger, but hamburgers, and yes, even free cheeseburgers, are boring and not sufficiently outrageous.” (For the rest of the offer at the Dan Adamonson for Idaho governor campaign Web site, click here, for KCBI-2 News story, click here.)

DFO: Mebbe a grilled stuft burrito for my vote, but only a taco? C’mon.

Question: What do you think of Adamson’s offer to give you a taco to vote?

Kootenai County Commissioners Financial Disclosure

Katie Brodie, $21,395, here

V.

Rich Piazza, $8,903, here

*****

Gus Johnson, $10,150, here

V.

Todd Tondee, $13,464, here

Mitchell-V-Amaro Financial Disclosure Statements

OK, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. You can find the following disclosure statements from the 1st District judicial race …

Rami Amaro here …

Judge John Mitchell here and here (48 hours).

DFO: I’ll be posting the Kootenai County commissioner financial disclosure statements later this p.m.

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling …

Canada Geese goslings try to chase away a swallowtail butterfly after it tried landing on them several times earlier today at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, Va. (AP Photo/The Potomac News, Peter Cihelka)

Dan of the County: 1500 Absentees So Far

Dan of the County: Things are picking up a bit in elections—up to around 1,500 absentees so far. And for those keeping track of what has been generated by Spencer’s mailing (I think it just went out go Leg Dist 3), we’ve had about 200 requests for an absentee ballot on one of cards he provided with his letter. All requests for absentee ballots BY MAIL must be received by the elections office by 5 p.m. Wednesday. People can still vote absentee in person through next Monday the 22nd and even on Saturday from 10-4 at the elections office.

DFO: The madness ends a week from 8 o’clock tonight. Sounds as though Spen-sah has made somewhat of a hit with his mailers.

Eye On Boise: Sali Leads Congress Race $$$ Parade

Talk about big bucks – and this is a primary election. But it’s also a hotly contested race for an open congressional seat. So here are the latest numbers from the FEC on campaign finances in the 1st District race:

Bill Sali: $401,699
Sheila Sorensen: $360,143
Robert Vasquez: $239,369
Norm Semanko: $202,917
Keith Johnson: $133,536
Skip Brandt: $83,629
Larry Grant: $134,619

Grant, of course, is a Democrat, and his primary opponent, Cecil Kelly, hasn’t raised enough to file reports. On the Republican side, that $400,000-plus figure for Bill Sali doesn’t even count the cost of his extensive television advertising campaign, which has been done entirely as an independent expenditure by the Washington, D.C.-based Club for Growth. That same organization has now come out with another TV ad attacking both Sorensen and Vasquez as alleged tax-raisers, this time without mentioning Sali.

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

The Philosopher Contemplates His Lawn

In spring the grass grows night and day
unceasing in its ancient way;
some day beneath it I’ll lie meekly,
until that time I must mow weekly.
\

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

SR Edit: Knock Off Bureaucratese, Legalese, Etc.

“Be it resolved that because 67 percent of government Web sites are written at a 12th-grade or higher level, whereas the average comprehension level in the United States is eighth grade, that henceforth government workers communicating with the public knock it off. And you in business, stop snickering. You aren’t doing anybody any favors with your synergies, paradigms and value-addeds either. Take it offline, please. Maybe you had a misguided teacher who told you that big words are better than little ones. Maybe you needed extra words to fill out those dreaded 500-word essays. Maybe your boss taught you that jargon is power. But, really, the rest of us aren’t impressed. In fact, we’re mighty irritated at your arrogance. It’s especially irksome to be treated this way by people on public payrolls.”

For the rest of Gary Crooks’ editorial about the problems with pompous, unintelligible writing, click here.

DFO: Recently, Idaho Justice Jim Jones wrote a legal opinion for the majority in that Sanders Beach case involving Jack Simpson’s fence that neither Erica Curless and I could understand. I couldn’t believe you could write that many pages of legal goobledygook. He didn’t even bottom-line his opinion at the back. I think that bureaucrats, lawyers, businessmen, etc., who use their own jargon or write incomprehensively are covering up their inability to use the language.

Mailbag: Disband The U.S. Post Office?

The Edge: I say disband the post office. It’s relic from a bygone era.

Dang: Maybe not disband the PO, but ending the monopoly is definitely in order.

DFO: I have mixed feelings about the post office. First, I’m in awe that they can get all that mail to the right place, almost every time. But I also suspect that there’s a whole lotta fat in the budget because, as a government entity, the post office doesn’t have to worry about balancing the books. It simply asks for another coupla pennies to process mail. It’s pricing itself out of business. Mebbe it’s time to look at another model to bring costs down before most people abandon this relic altogether.

Mailbag:

Gary Ingram: Well DFO, you can stomp on Butch Otter and raise up Phil Batt, but you should know that it was Phil Batt who encouraged Butch to enter politics in the first place back in the early 70’s and has supported him ever since.

DFO: Our newspaper has endorsed the other guy/gal in Butch’s races over the years, more often than not. But his stand on the Patriot Act has won him fans on the Editorial Board. He should win the governorship in this solid-red state. But he has tendencies that are bothersome, like deciding to mess with wetlands without the proper permits and co-sponsoring (for awhile) legislation that called for selling off public land to defray the costs of Hurricane Katrina relief. By refusing to debate his primary opponent, Otter seems arrogant, too. He thinks the job is his for the asking and he doesn’t have to go through the process of applying for it. Mebbe he’s right.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Immigration Speech

Issue: No militarization of U.S.-Mex border: Bush assures Americans: ‘Mexico is our neighbor, and our friend’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of President Bush’s speech on illegal immigration?

1. He went too far in restricting immigration
2. He solved most or all of my concerns, so I’m greatly relieved
3. Finally he’s on the right track, but these are only baby steps to what is really needed
4. A powerful start, but much more needs to be done
5. He didn’t even scratch the surface
6. Bush really needs to dump his idiotic guest-worker program
7. To tap the National Guard, but not really use them is a cruel joke
8. It was pathetic, nothing short of sealing the border and deporting illegals will solve the problem
9. I’m completely outraged. Bush just doesn’t get it!
10. Other

DFO: No. 10: nice words but in the end it’ll be status quo.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.P.S. — Seasonal Spokane Invaders

‘Tis the time of year when Spokane residents, who have been dissing us all winter re: our bumpkinism, studded tires, latent racist tendencies, invade our beaches, waterways and downtown. Check the license plates coming soon to the Dike Road around North Idaho College. Their arrival is usually announced by one of them motoring the wrong way on one of the two, one-way streets in town. Or by a Spokaner proclaiming loudly at a gathering at City Park that he’s almost a Coeur d’Alene resident because, after all, he grew up on Lake Coeur d’Alene. So, I need your help tonight. There’s too many Spokaners coming east for recreation to simply block the North Idaho borders. Then, there are a number of employers who welcome them with open arms, to present a united front against them. (Sorta sounds like the immigration problem this country is facing, doesn’t it?) So here’s the question tonight:

Question: How can conscientious Spokaners make themselves less annoying to the locals when they visit this summer?

P.S. — Bush Addresses Nation re: Illegal Aliens


AP photo

“One way to help during this transition is to use the National Guard. So in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Border Patrol will remain in the lead. The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems analyzing intelligence installing fences and vehicle barriers building patrol roads and providing training. Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities that duty will be done by the Border Patrol. This initial commitment of Guard members would last for a period of one year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online. It is important for Americans to know that we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, respond to natural disasters, and help secure our border.”

For the rest of President Bush’s speech tonight re: border security, click here.

Question: Will the president’s plan plug our pourous borders?

Top Cutlines — 5/15/06

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, center, dances with students during an after prom party for students of Brookwood High School, at the Governor’s mansion in Atlanta, from 12:30 AM to 4:00 AM Sunday. The party featured a host of activities and promoted safe driving and responsible behavior for teenagers. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Top Cutlines:

1. Not surprisingly, the blondes believed Governor Perdue when he promised them free tuition to the Indiana university named after him — John Austin.

2. It’s a party every night at the Captain’s Wheel for Bayview Herb and his salad bar groupies — Family Phil.

3. What do you mean he’s not of the famous Perdue chicken family? He’s been talkin’ nonstop about thighs and breasts since he got here! — Bob.

HM: Brent Andrews

For the complete list of cutlines, click here.

Rami Amaro Meets The SR, Does Well

Rami Amaro was on her game when she met with Taryn Brodwater and me for an hour just now. For the fashion hounds, she wore a dark pants suit with a blue blouse. On the positive side, she said she’d bring to the bench a more complex background of experience and more accountability than Judge John Mitchell. She mentioned small things like getting an answering machine to be more responsive to lawyers trying to contact Mitchell’s court. Seems Mitchell didn’t use to have one and that played havoc with communication. She said she’d be more approachable, patient, and respectful than Mitchell — and that she’d be more conservative and put more emphasis on protecting society than rehabilitation when it comes to dealing with child molesters and other dangerous criminals. She also had a good response to the attorney evaulations that ranked Mitchell higher, noting that only 53 local attorneys participated while 70 attorneys have DQ’d Judge Mitchell. She made an exceptionally good point that Mitchell should have found out early on why so many attorneys DQ’d him. Rami made a good case for her election. You can read all about it when Staff Writer Taryn Brodwater writes her story about the race later this week.

PM Question: Role Of Blogs In Elections

“Democratic congressional candidate Darcy Burner can’t match the public-service record of her Republican opponent, Rep. Dave Reichert, but she can make one claim in their contest that’s hers alone: She used to be a blogger. That experience, and the Internet savvy that goes along with it, has led Burner to reach out actively to the regional left-leaning blogger network — a connection that may have played a key role in helping her meet a crucial fund-raising target. The Burner-blogger relationship could point the way to the political future, in which Web-based activism exercises a growing influence over regional, statewide and even national elections.”

For the rest of the Seattle PI story re: the role of political blogs in elections, click here.

Question: Do blogs affect political races or is that aspect of this new medium overrated?

SMAC’m “Formerly” Endorses Amaro

Tamara Cougar, Director of SMAC’m will announce Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 2 p.m. that Strong Mothers Against Child Molesters will formerly endorse Rami Amaro. You all know that I go to the Police and Prosecutors and ask them what they need in order to convict child molesters, and send them to jail. When I started doing that, I expected them to say the problem was loop holes in the law. But they didn’t. They said we can pass all the laws we want, but if we don’t have judges who will enforce those laws, they’re worthless. Then they told me about Judge Mitchell. His nickname is “Judge Hug-a-Thug.” He earned that name because he is notorious for letting criminlas — especially sex offenders — go.

For the rest of SMAC’m director Tamaro Cougar’s press release re: her groups endorsement, click here.

DFO: Do you suppose SMAC’m formally endorsed Amaro, too?

Question of the Day — Graduation Ceremonies

Heather Anderson, left, of New York, takes a photo with friend Sarah Anderson, of Oxford, N.C., during commencement at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., today.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Question: What do you remember most about your graduation, from high school or college?

Mitchell-v-Amaro Minus 8 — Rami’s Interview @ 2 P.M.

Judicial candidate Rami Amaro will visit the office for her candidate’s interview at 2 p.m. today. No, I don’t need any suggested questions. After more than a month’s worth of suggestions, I can take it from here …

SR Edit: Independent Probe of Parking Garage Fatal

“A safety question has hovered over Spokane’s River Park Square parking garage for more than a month, and a city hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday to hear preliminary results of a study by international experts hired by River Park Square. Is the facility, where a wall section broke loose with tragic consequences, safe? The answer, whatever it is, won’t be 100 percent credible unless city officials take all necessary steps to attain independent assurance that the public is safe.”

For the rest of Doug Floyd’s editorial about the recent fatal accident involving Spokane’s River Park Square parking garage, click here.

Dan English: Blue Heron @ Twin Lakes

Hat Tip: Dan of the County

Mailbag: Most Respected Man In North Idaho?

The Edge: Is Ron McIntire the most respected man in North Idaho? I don’t think so. We all know it’s DFO (Blatant sucking up, but what the hey…)

DFO: I’m not posting this because my friend, The Edge, is blatantly sucking up. I’m posting it to welcome The Edge back to the fold. Everyone who’s been here for awhile knows The Edge brings much to this blog. Insider stuff. Good stuff. You’ll see. I’m also posting this so I can ask this question:

Who do you think is the most respected person in North Idaho?

So Far: Jack Buell, nominated by JimmyMAC; Wayne Knudtson, by Bayview Herb; Dennis Erickson, by Family Phil.

2006 Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre Lineup

Question: Do you attend at least one Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre show per season?

Hat Tip: Mike Kennedy

Saturday/Wild Card — 5/13/06

Sorry, HBOers, I was slammed last night and then hit the sack early. Didn’t post the usual. And I need to get out and about today. So, you might have to do with this Wild Card. BTW, the spambots are out in force today. I’ll check in and kill them when I do. But you’ll have to put up with them on the “recent comments” feature in the interim. Sorry …

P.S. — Mother’s Day — 5/12/06

Issue: Mother’s Day

DFO: OK, you guys came through for me when Brenda visited Portland recently and brought Amy Dearest back. Now, I have another dilemma. What to do about Mother’s Day? Dinner and flowers are a good standby. But it’d be nice to do something different. Unfortunately, the early part of the day is loaded with a coupla garden projects that have been rained out or illnessed out on recent weekends. Then, there’s the fact that my own 80-year-old mother lives in town, too.

Question: What to do?

Top Cutlines — 5/12/06

President Bush holds 7-month-old Lane Garrett Christenson before departing Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla., last Saturday. Bush spoke earlier in the morning during a commencement ceremony at Oklahoma State University. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Top Cutlines

1. Baby Lane Garrett Christenson reacts after learning the National Security Agency intercepted the signals from his wireless babysitter. President Bush proclaims the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping program a success as he hands accused terrorist Christenson over to the CIA for rendition — Bill McCrory.

2. (tie) Baby Lane reacts after President Bush tells him who is going to be responsible for paying the massive debt his administration has piled up — Eagle Eye; and: As the baby soaked his diaper, President Bush realized once again: Emission Accomplished — UBob.

3. “I don’t want to be a child left behind with this guy! Mommy!!!” — Toadman.

HM: Brent Andrews

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

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 5/12/06

In this March 2006 photo taken in Moon Township, Pa., provided by the Idaho Potato Commission, and taken by the family of Linda Greene, Linda Greene is shown holding a heart-shaped potato. The president of the Idaho Potato Commission says there’s no way a heart-shaped potato should have made it through the state’s inspection system without being pulled aside and turned into french fries. And yet, he’s delighted it did during Potato Lovers Month here/AP photo.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI looks at how TV dominates are culture from cradle to grave here.

2. Some 55,000 illegal registrations have been scrubbed from the new statewide voter database. That is the largest number of erroneous voter records found since the database began running at the beginning of the year here.

3. Mike Holmgren would like to continue coaching after 2006, and the Seahawks would like him to continue doing it for them here.

4. A DNA test has confirmed what zoologists, hunters and aboriginal trackers in the far northern reaches of Canada have dreamed of for years: the first documented case of a grizzly-polar bear in the wild here.

5. The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a sex offender’s attempt to send sexual messages to children was illegal, striking down his claim that no harm was done because the children were either too young to read them, or the notes were intercepted by parents here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Boxer fighting in political ring), Missoulian (Bush should use veto power), D. Parvaz/Seattle PI (Bush Number is about up), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Schools blow call on cheating girls’ BB team), and Jim Moore/Seattle PI (Welcoming Seahawks to Renton).

Online Poll: 86% of 1015 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they’ve never hired an undocumented worker.

*Gonzaga will face Duke in Madison Square Garden in New York Dec. 21 here.

*Missing mushroom hunter found alive near Coeur d’Alene here.

*Montana woman is sentenced to 5 years in prison for cleaning up blood after 2004 murder here.

Orbusmax Special: Web site for Troutdale, Wash., turns into pornography portal here.

Take 5: Mayor Bloem Meets The Press

Woody TV (local access Channel 19) aired the “Coeur d’Alene Now” media program last night, featuring Mike Patrick/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press, and Erica Curless/Yours Truly, SR — at the same time as “Survivor.” So much for winning the ratings war. Anyway, here’s some observations:

1. Where did I get that double chin?
2. I’m glad that chalk stain didn’t show on my shirt.
3. I shoulda returned fire when Patrick said something about the SR doing a good job with international news and national sports.
4. How can Woody have hair like that at his age?
5. Sandi did a good job herding the media cats.

The program is scheduled again at 1, 5 and 7 p.m. today. It replays a number of times throughout the month. You can find the schedule here.

Question of the Day — Electing Judges

Issue: Should we appoint or elect judges?

DFO: This question comes out of a brief discussion I had yesterday with Editor Steve Smith. He believe we should appoint judges because some really bad candidates can become judges with a good political campaign. He’s right. On the other hand, I believe I’m also right that judges can become arrogant and complacent if they don’t have to face the voters. Also, good candidates would be overlooked under an appointment system. Then, it’d be more important who you know or whom you’ve contributed to in political campaigns.

Question: What do you think?

District 3 Endorsements: Clark, Jorgenson, Meyer

Speaking of endorsements, you can find the SR’s picks for the legislative District 3 races here.

Mailbag: D’s Shouldn’t Get Hopes Up

Eagle Eye: If I were the Dems I wouldnt get my hopes up too high. Remember this is the party that lost to Dubya … twice. That proves that a party without direction loses to a candidate without a clue.

DFO: The D’s shouldn’t count their chickens due to the Incumbestan issue. Although Bush is in the tank with a 31% approval rating, the poll numbers don’t mean much in individual House districts, where the old bromide comes into play: All politics are local. Only a coupla dozen House seats are truly in play because most representatives are fairly secure in their own districts. On the other hand, the R’s picked up – what? — 50 seats in 1994 to gain control? It’s doable. But not as easy as it looks in May.

WorldNetDaily Poll — NSA’s Telephone Database

Issue: Poll: Most Americans support NSA’s efforts: Believe need to investigate terrorism outweighs privacy concerns/Washington Post

Question: What are your thoughts on the NSA’s massive database of domestic telephone calls?

1. It’s fine with me – whatever it takes to defeat the terrorists
2. I’m uncomfortable but we’re at war and sacrifices are necessary to protect our country
3. If you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to fear
4. Whoever leaked information to the press about this program should be charged with espionage
5. The NSA’s not listening to calls – only tracking who calls whom – I don’t see a problem
6. I’m uncomfortable with this development, even in light of national security
7. It’s one more unjustified intrusion by government into Americans’ private lives
8. This is a giant step toward ‘big brother’ government
9. I’m worried about what President Hillary Clinton would do with this information
10. Other

DFO: Dunno

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

P.P.S. — Coeur d’Alene Press Headlines Today …

… Jail committee wants $55M
… Kroc Center still needs $3.3 million
… New foundation looking to upgrade county fairgrounds: Hopes to raise $12 million or more for improvements to site

DFO: And pretty soon you’re talking about big money.

Hat Tip — to whichever HBOer who brought this to my attention earlier today.

Top Cutlines — 5/11/06

A mother black bear and her two cubs watch people from their treetop perch along Center Hill Road in Sugarloaf Township near Hazleton, Pa., Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Hazleton Standard-Speaker, Eric Conover

Top Cutlines

1. Senator Goedde stares ominously at the State Teacher’s Association, photoshopping in two cubs to drive down the message more forcefully — Dang.

2. Six months after Katrina three bears wait for FEMA to rescue them from a tree. They survived by eating the people trapped with them — Thom George.

3. after the momma black bear got a hold on huckleberries online quarterly and read the article on serving human, she got a hankering for the other white meat — Granati.

HM: Bob

For the rest of a very good collection of cutlines, click here.

Idaho Statesman: Superintendent of Schools Race

OK, troops, you’re always complaining about info for the election. The Idaho Statesman offers a lengthy story about the 5 candidates for the Idaho Superintendent of Schools position, including Coeur d’Alene High principal Steve Casey, and links to their Web sites here.

Impressions: Judge John Mitchell

I’m not going to go into detail now re: the hour I spent with reporter Taryn Brodwater interviewing Judge John Mitchell. But I am going to give you first impressions. Mitchell was deliberative, candid, prepared, honest, answered every question, and admitted he tried not to look at this blog. Regarding his many DQs, he pointed out that most (47) came from Brad Chapman, an attorney in the public defender’s office who has automatically DQ’d him every time since 2005 when attorneys were allowed to do so again without cause in the state of Idaho. He wouldn’t go on the record to conjecture why Chapman has done so. Mebbe that’s a question his boss, John Adams, should answer. Also, Deputy Prosecutors Jim Reierson and Marty Rapp are tied for second place with 25 DQs apiece, and our paper published a letter to the editor from Reierson in support of Rami Amaro. Reierson, I believe, lives in Spokane with a cat or two, ran unsuccessfully of a Spokane judgeship, and didn’t like it once when I said he was “unavoidable for comment.” So, you know how much stock I put in his letter to the editor. Mitchell said no attorney has told him why s/he DQ’d him. But he’s been told by contacts in the public defender’s office that he puts too many conditions on the terms of probation and by the prosecutor’s office that he’s “too rehabilitative.” As far as being overturned on appeal, Mitchell said he’s 3rd of the 4 other 1st District Court judges in this area, and not far behind the top 2. Bottom line: Mitchell has the demeanor and thoughtfulness of a judge. And the charges against him by some commenters here that he’s some sort of monster are even more absurd when you meet him.

Next up, Rami Amaro at 2 p.m. Monday.

Question No. 2 — Duncan Wants To Protect Shasta?

“Steve Groene has made it clear he doesn’t want his daughter to have to take the stand and face the man accused of murdering her two brothers, her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Now, the accused has weighed in. Joseph Duncan wants to keep Shasta off the witness stand, according to Duncan’s attorney. Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams said his office is ‘100 percent behind Steve Groene and his attempts to reach a settlement (in the case) to protect his family. We share those concerns and Mr. Duncan shares those concerns.’”

For the rest of the story by Taryn Brodwater and JoNel Aleccia/Spokesman-Review, click here.

Question: Do you give a rip what Duncan thinks?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Next President?

Issue: A 3rd President Bush? 1st 2 all for it: High approval: 55% of Florida voters surveyed last month say Jeb doing good job/Associated Press

Question: Whom would you like to see elected our next president?

1. Hillary Clinton
2. John Kerry
3. Mark Warner
4. John McCain
5. Condoleezza Rice
6. Jeb Bush
7. Lou Dobbs
8. Jim Gilchrist
9. Tom Tancredo
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 4, 5 or Mitt Romney

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Mailbag: Best Political Sign Ever

James Bond: I don’t know about this year, but the BEST political signs I ever saw in Idaho were in 1994, when Governor Batt’s campaign put up the huge billboard’s of Larry EchoHawk with his arm around Bill Clinton, both of whom were wearing their jogging gear. Then, the whole picture had a big red circle and slash through it with the slogan, “Not for Idaho.” It nailed EchoHawk. Jeff Malmen, Batt’s Chief of Staff and currently Otter’s campaign manager, was the mastermind behind that sign. Just a stroke of genius!!!

DFO: I didn’t see that one. But it sounds cool, 007. BTW, I wonder if Malmen was behind Butch’s decision not to show for his debate against his road-kill primary opponent? It won’t cost Butch in the short run. But it’s a tactic that I think stinks to the heavens. If Butch doesn’t have the time to face the voters and apply for the job in the primary, he might not be the man for the job. I hate arrogance like that by the incumbent.

OrangeTV Review: “Coeur d’Alene Now” re: Media

Patrick/OrangeTV: Well, I just sat through the CDA Now show. A few thoughts … They really need to hire a professional to put the graphics and music and everything together. So hokey! A real host would’t hurt either. Not that Sandi isn’t glam in her own way, but Oprah she ain’t. She needs to at least update her 80’s school-marm look. Dave, you’re photogenic, it’s not true what they say about the camera adding
extra pounds etc. Nice to see everyone get along so well. I half expected some type of mean-spirited debate to erupt, which certainly would have livened up this rather dry presentation.

DFO: so they finally got around to airing the show? Actually, I had a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A was to play nice unless Coeur d’Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick decided not to do so. Plan B was not to play nice. Early on, he started to say how the Coeur d’Alene Press was the local newspaper and that the SR did a good job with national/international news. At that point, you heard me say: “That’s a shot across the bow.” In other words, I told him ahead of time that he fired on me and I would come back at him. Notice how he played nice afterward? I’ll guarantee that the program easily coulda turned into a throw-down. But I wanted to avoid that, if possible, for Sandi and Woody’s sake. It was suppose to be an informational meeting, not one to see who could score the most points. After all, it wasn’t HBO After Dark. Thanx for watching, Patrick. (Future broadcasts: 1, 5, 7 p.m. Friday, Sunday, Monday and next Wednesday. At least, that’s what the schedule calls for.

Disclaimer: noanimalswereinjuredorkilledinfilmingoftheshow.

Mailbag: Another Tinfoiler Goes Off On Judge

Jackie: You’re not hearing any praise from the county defenders & prosecutors (re: Judge John Mitchell), nor will you cuz we know the “real” guy and sadly, he’s got serious problems — I’m not just talking about his light sentencings or personality clashes.

Bearable Bob: Jackie, you don’t work at the courthouse, you probably don’t even have a job at all other than being a smear pimp for the Amaro campaign … No matter who wins, and I have no dog in this fight living on the civilized side of the Idaho/Wa stateline, but Mitchell’s supporters have at least kept this on issues and haven’t chose to dip their pens into an inkwell of sewage to scrawl innuendo and smears on this blog. I guess when all that matters is winning, at any cost, going negative gets justified in the unhinged minds of the power hungry. Even if it hurts their community. Frankly, I’ve been reading these comments quite often and try to maintain a satirical sense of humor about it all, but to tell you the truth, you Amaro supporters make my skin crawl. Like snakes and spiders.

DFO: Tinfoilers like Jackie above aren’t helping their candidates with their below-the-belt shots at the sitting judge.

Pretty As A Picture — 5/10/06

This AP photo by Tom Worner/Tyler Morning Telegraph is so good that I had to run it by you at closin’ time. Here, baby birds wait for food from their parents in the Rose Garden in Tyler, Texas earlier today.

P.S. — What Women Want In A Man’s Face?

Issue: Study: Women Can Predict Good Dads, Good Lovers on Looks Alone/FoxNews.com

More Info: Experts said evolution has apparently programmed women to recognize men who might be interested in propagating the species by raising a family

Question: OK, ladies, is this study hookum, or can you judge a man’s paternal instincts by his face?

Top Cutlines — 5/10/06

Supermodels Karolina Kurkova,left, Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima, right, model self-designed angel wings at a Victoria’s Secret promotional event Wednesday in New York/AP photo.

Top Cutlines

1. What most suicide bombers expect to find in Allahland — Dave Tolle.

2. Wingnuts even liberals could appreciate — John Austin.

3. Albino ChickenHawks prepare for the “Sider HBO Fest” — Paul Ferguson.

HM: James Bond

Another Sign of the Times — Wrong State

Huckleberries hears … that congressional wannabe Sheila Sorensen has a nice big sign at Mission Avenue and Idaho Road, promoting her candidacy. Only problem is — it’s well on the Washington side of the state line.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 5/10/06

Gov. Jon Huntsman holds up a golden spike replica as he announces that Utah’s quarter will feature the connection of the transcontinental railroad during a ceremony today in Promontory, Utah. The coin is scheduled to be minted in 2007. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times ‘toons re: that letter to the U.S. by the whacky Iranian prez here.

2. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu placed a hold on Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s nomination as Interior secretary today after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved him. Landrieu’s hold means Senate leaders cannot bring the nomination to the floor for debate or a vote unless they can get 60 votes to override her here.

3. A 400-pound, green and yellow fire hydrant apparently spent more than 30 years in the upstairs bedroom of a Yakima couple’s home before it was returned recently to the West Valley Fire District, after the man’s death here.

4. A 9-year-old boy was rescued Tuesday from the Spokane River by a man who was pulled out of North Idaho’s St. Joe River when he was about the same age here.

5. A Spokane woman has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from her Liberty Lake employer to get her breasts enlarged here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Kempthorne could have done more), Missoulian (Soft drinks and education), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Lumber pact may restore fair trade), Idaho Mountain Express (Kempthorne changes stewardship view), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (EWU pair love track, each other).

Online Poll: In a 50-50 split, respondents to a St. Maries Gazette-Record poll were undecided whether Zacarias Moussoai’s sentence of life in prison was enough.

*Actor Tom Cruise’s stop in Aberdeen, Wash., thrills fans here.

*Nez Perce to open casino for miles east of Lewiston in July here.

*Boise State plans to add four sports over the next decade, including swimming and diving this fall here.

*An 18-year-old Portland man with autism, whose recruitment renewed questions about Army practices, was released Tuesday from his enlistment contract here.

Orbusmax Special: Gubernatorial candidates call Butch Otter “chicken” here.

Yard Sign: Et Tu, Ron Jacobson

Sightem (by a Berry Picker) … in the Chase Road front yard of Post Falls Councilman Ron Jacobson — a yard sign for incumbent Commissioner Gus Johnson instead of council colleague Todd Tondee. Should make for interesting council meetings.

Mailbag: Lewiston Barbie?

Bill Hochstatter/Colfax: After reading your article on the different type of Barbies that one could find in Idaho, I will describe what I saw last summer in Lewiston and suggest that she might be the Lewiston Barbie. As I was driving across one of the bridges from Clarkston to Lewiston, I was following one of those old fat SUVs that had a bumper sticker that said GODDESS ABOARD. At the next light I pulled up beside the SUV and the driver was a bottle blonde with a tattoo on her shoulder and she was smoking a cigar! From my point of view, she sure wouldn’t be my definition of a goddess. There used to be a saying that any female looked good when viewed in a moonless night! I enjoy your
column.

DFO: Thanks, Bill; the North Idaho Barbies, courtesy of Patrick/OrangeTV via Bob (Sandpoint Barbie) and an anonymous writer), got quite a reaction. I’ve had input re: Silver Valley Barbies and a Spokane Barb. Prolly use that in my Saturday print column, too. Welcome to HBO.

Mitchell v. Amaro — 13 Days And Counting

Issue: Amaro backer files third complaint against Mitchell: Judge’s endorsements improper, papers claim/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: (Robert) Siegwarth, (head of the political action committee endorsing Rami Amaro) accuses Mitchell of having Muriel Burke, a volunteer with the Mental Health Drug Court, “hand out pre-written letters (to the editor) to the defendants in that court to sign and return.”

Question: Has Siggy attracted more voters for Amaro and driven more voters into Mitchell’s arms with his complaints and posts here?

APhoto of the Day — 5/10/06

Supermodels Karolina Kurkova,left, Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima, right, model self-designed angel wings at a Victoria’s Secret promotional event Wednesday in New York/AP photo.

Mailbag: Whazzup With Adventist Academy

Jane Q. Citizen: In a bit of bad timing the story about the Lake City Jr Academy teacher who played strip yahtzee with students is just one page away (in the Coeur d’Alene Press) from a large ad for the school’s open house today. Ouch.

DFO: I’m surprised the Press didn’t pull the story to make sure it got the ad money. After all, His Duaneness has decreed that only good things happen in the Shining City By The Lake. BTW, what are you doing reading Brand X?

Mailbag: I’m Not Lazy, I’m Helping Working Man

Sider: I never put my shopping cart back, pick up my popcorn box at a movie theatre or clear my table at a fast food restaurant… Not because I’m lazy but because someone gets paid to do that. I’d prefer someone get a paycheck rather than provide a subsidy to the corporate chain of theaters, grocery store chain or fast food franchise.

DFO: As a person who worked his way partly through college as a checker/boxboy for a grocery store, I’ll assure you that the simple courtesy of putting the shopping cart back is appreciated. I was slammed with my regular duties, which included carrying out groceries in those days. I didn’t have a lot of time to collect shopping carts. But I appreciated those who brought them back to the store door. As far as leaving popcorn boxes on the floor of the theater, I thought that’s what the management expects. Then, I’ve never been an usher.

Mailbag: Tell Us About Rami’s Positives

Dang: Again, the Amaro fanatics continue to bash Mitchell while utterly missing the point: Tell us something ANYTHING about Rami that explains why you’re voting for her? Or does she really matter here? I mean, do you loathe Mitchell so much that you’d be happy with a warm body in his stead? Please stop bashing Mitchell and explain why Amaro is a better choice? Or can you?

DFO: Bingo.

Definition: Incumbestan

Definition: Incumbestan is a state of being that almost guarantees a sitting congressman re-election from his/her district.

Used In A Sentence: Incumbestan may be all that’s standing between the Democrats and their 12-year goal of winning back the House of Representatives.

DFO: I wished I could claim this word as my own. But I got it from a column by Mark Steyn of the National Review.

Extra! CDA Teacher Suspended For Strip Poker Game

“A teacher at Coeur d’Alene’s Lake City Junior Academy has been accused of playing strip poker with several boys during a recent camping trip. The teacher, 42-year-old Andy Armstrong of Coeur d’Alene, has been suspended with a dismissal pending, said Twila Brown, principal at the private Christian school”/Scott Maben & Jim Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review.

More here.

Top Cutlines — 5/9/06

Anthony Perez rests his feet on his bass speakers while rewiring the speakers in the trunk of his car Monday, May 8, 2006, outside his Garden City, Kan., residence. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Garden City Telegram, Brad Nading)

Top Cutlines

1. Following the Class Action Law Suit filed by Rami Amaro and Staff, the entire town of Garden City, Kan was required to install oversized speakers in every vehicle. The suit was filed on behalf of the Tinfoil Brigade who said they wanted the oversized speakers and corresponding magnets because, “It makes our heads tingle when these cars drive by our trailers and we like that” — Me.

2. Anthony’s neighbor, not the sharpest tool in the shed, takes his fish back to the pet store because they don’t sound like Anthony’s bass speakers — John Austin.

3. By hooking up his speakers to the flux capacitor Anthony will be able to annoy people he was he was stuck behind in traffic yesterday — HC.

HM: Westside Story

Sacred Cow Burgers: “Kennedy’s Elixir”

J.D. Dyson/Sacred Cow Burgers explains “Kennedy’s Elixir” here.

Stapilus: Butch Turns Tail On Debate

“It is true that (Butch) Otter’s primary opponent, Dan Adamson, has only the most distant of odds of winning; Otter will probably crush him in the primary. Adamson’s campaign has been imaginative and shown some energy, but Otter is the heavyweight favorite. Otter could have said, with some honesty, that the Adamson campaign simply wasn’t rising to the point of serious contention, and he’s not going to debate every sliver candidate in the field. If that was the concern. Or maybe the concern is that while Otter is on track for an easy primary win, a primary debate might raise some embarassing issue or idea or fact that could haunt him later. Or maybe he simply didn’t want to bother prepping for a debate in a race he knows he’ll win easily anyway. What’s reasonably certain is that calendar conflicts did not underlie the pullout, since he was offered three different dates for the event, and none were suitable. If appearing at the debate was a priority for Otter, he could and would make it happen.”

For the rest of post by Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press re: Otter pulling out of GOP gov primary debate, click here.

Mailbag: Claude’s Legal System Reform

What I ponder while watching the $125-500 per hour attorneys whiling away time:

1. If the law of the land is decided by scotus, why can’t juries be majority rule? Instead of 12 jurors, how about 5?
2. Attorneys operate out of tiny offices but the county provides their overhead for pennies ( the courthouse). Why not raise all the filing fees thru the roof? If the assessor can raise our taxes 30-50% a year, is this unreasonable?
3. Institute a loser pays system. This might stem the frivolous lawsuit mania.
4.In civil suits, have 10% of the monetary awards go to the county court/criminal law dept..Then pay jurors $75 per day out of those fees.
5. In criminal suits, if the defendant is offered a reduced sentence in a plea bargain and refuses and is subsequently found guilty, then he should automatically get the maximum sentence.
6. Mexico has a “habitual criminal” statute. Your second felony gets you 14 years of miserable jail time- in which your family has to pay for your food. Sounds good to me!
7.Contract with guatemala, mexico, el salvador or some other neighbor to house habitual prisoners.
8. televise court proceedings.
9. Carter made attorney advertising legal. Make it illegal again.
10. Make all court action/suits available on the internet.
11. Allow clients to sue their attorneys before city councils.
12. Allow pictures of defendants at the time of their alleged crime to be shown to juries. Or any other crime related picture requested by the jury.
13. Allow any juror to question the proceedings at any time. Remember, you are to be tried before a JURY OF YOUR PEERS.

Claude d’Waalz

Question of the Day — Downtown Outdoor Seating

Issue: Sidewalk seating proposal revamped: Only businesses serving alcohol would need permanent barriers/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: State law currently requires any business that serves alcohol to have a barrier, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. City employees have received complaints that restaurant patrons are pushing their seats out into the sidewalk and blocking pedestrian traffic. The law requires there be a 42-inch clearance.

Question: Would outdoor seating for restaurants, coffee shops and bars make downtown more appealing or less to you?

APhoto of the Day — 5/9/06

Anthony Perez rests his feet on his bass speakers while rewiring the speakers in the trunk of his car Monday, May 8, 2006, outside his Garden City, Kan., residence. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Garden City Telegram, Brad Nading)

2 Views Of Coeur d’Alene Yet To Come

The waterfront in 2015 by Patrick/OrangeTV

The skyline in 2014 by Dang

Hagadone Hostility comment: We don’t need no steekin’ height regulations.

Mailbag: We Need Military Commander In Chief

Eagle Eye: My feeling is that in these times it is important to have someone who has had direct military experience to be commander in chief. My choice at this stage would be McCain or Colin Powell. I need to do more homework on Allen and I cant think of a viable candidate for the Demos.

DFO: Some would argue that Dubya has military background among the type of people now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan — the National Guard. Rather than go down that road, however, I agree with Eagle Eye to this extent: We need a consensus builder with some military background. I’d probably side with John McCain because he has legislative experience. As much as we denigrate politicians, someone in the middle with military and political experience might be the ticket to bring this country back together and get us out of the mess in the Middle East.

Today’s HBO Brought To You By No: 40,613 …

… Or the number of runners/walkers who finished the Bloomsday course in Spokane Sunday. Or the number of runners/walkers who finished the course — without Your Huckleberry Hound. Or HBO’s congratulations to all who enjoyed there time in the rain Sunday while this night owl was counting Z’s in bed with visions of uncrowded Coeur d’Alene streets dancing in my head.

P.P.S. — Rupert (Hearts) Hillary? — 5/8/06

“Rupert Murdoch has agreed to host a political fundraiser for Hillary Clinton this summer! Murdoch’s surprise decision to raise money for Clinton in July, on behalf of NEWS CORP., parent company of FOXNEWS and the NEW YORK POST, underlines a dramatic turn of relations between Murdoch and Clinton, who in 1998 coined the phrase “vast rightwing conspiracy” to denounce critics of her husband.”

See rest of Drudge Report skewp here.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/8/06

They say that pets and their owners sometimes begin to resemble each other — Family Phil

*Family Phil provides some stuff and fluff including a link to the pros and cons of pacifiers and the definition of a ‘grup’ here.

*Toni/Idaho Nature Trails captures some poignant pansies here while Granati/Orange Frog snares some silhouetted trees here.

*A vacation is in the works for Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings. However, the thought crossed her mind to pawn Bacchus off for gas money here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice spotted a wild Emu in the backwoods of Idaho this last weekend. The proof of the pudding here.

Bre/To Blog or not to Blog tells us about her friend, a 5th generation born and raised Idahoan, and her mistaken identity as a Californian here.

*JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan EWA teases our palattes with a menu for the chows with choices like Butterflied Coconut shrimp Luna served with orange marmalade, will spread anyone’s wings and then leave ‘em limp here.

Meanwhile, Bob talks about being young and secure here, Marianne had Bloomsday on the mind Sunday morning for good reason here and provides a follow-up report here, and Sam talks about the Idaho Press Club awards and provides a photo of the 2005-06 Argonaut staff here.

Protesting, pregnant in Fort Lauderdale

Carisa Reyes, of Fort Lauderdale, center, who’s nine months pregant, watches her daughter, Soliar, 4, and a friend while she explains why she’s protesting a visit by President Bush. Izzit me, or should a protester this pregnant wear different attire so her appearance doesn’t distract from the message? (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)

Free Room, Board @ CDA Resort?

A sure ticket for free room, board and drinks at the Coeur d’Alene Resort starts with a faux purchase of a luxury boat at the affiliated yacht club. Seems a scofflaw dinged the resort for $1,637 worth of room spa, mini bar, lounge, movies, etc. — all because he had the foresight to say he wanted to buy a $260,000 yacht. He even gave club salesman Roy Rice his bank account info to begin preparing the big boat for delivery while he enjoyed VIP treatment at the resort. Only the MIA skipper never bothered to transfer funds to cover the purchase or to show to pick up his boat. The Yacht Club is trying to hold him responsible for the $828 to prepare the boat. Only no one’s sure that a contract was signed. ‘Twould hate to be the one who explained this little mix-up to His Duaneness.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/8/06

Art Weltz and Debbie Hess of Spokane let it all hang out as the head toward Spokane Falls Community College along Fort George Wright during Spokane’s Bloomsday Sunday. Unfortunately, one runner collapsed and died (see asterisk items)/Dan Pelle, Spokesman-Review

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI pokes fun at our approach to immigration here.

2. Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden wins suit against Nevada FAX spammer who has been ordered to pay $80,000 in civil penalties, or $5000 apiece, for unsolicited spam sent to Idaho here.

3. A high-profile polygamist church leader and federal fugitive is now one of the FBI’s ten most wanted. Some of his 10,000 followers are believed to live in Idaho here.

4. A study by the Washington State Department of Transportation found that people would go along with tolls to fund specific projects, but they want reassurances that if tolls are used, they will be used efficiently and implemented fairly here.

5. A former Microsoft worker, Tasered last summer by a Redmond police officer who thought she was drunk, is suing over the incident, saying she was in diabetic shock when she was shot with 50,000 volts of electricity here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Huckleberries: North Idaho Barbies), Frank Sennett/Spokesman-Review (Blogging burnout), Frank Mieli/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (The good, the bad, the border), D. Parvaz/Seattle PI (Stephen Colbert is my hero), and Mark Johnson/KTVB (Kempthorne can do much in 1000 days).

Online Poll: 65% of 123 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say children are old enough for a cell phone when they can pay for it themselves.

*Interior secretary nominee Dirk Kempthorne gives feds financial disclosure report here.

*A motorist hit a Washington State Patrol trooper just off Interstate 90 at Ritzville at 10:10 a.m. today here.

*Bloomsday runner from Billings, Mont., collapses, dies, while running with wife here.

Orbusmax Special: Walla Walla doesn’t want to be overrun by growth, like Bend, Ore., here.

Gem State Voter Guide Hits Internet

The Gem State Voter Guide (think: Idaho Values Alliance, Idaho Chooses Life, Idahoans for Tax Reform, Education Excellence Idaho, and This House is MY Home.com) is now available online for statewide, legislative and congressional races here. This is the one that separates pro-lifers from pro-choicers on social issues and plays a significant roll in the religious conservative vote in the Idaho Republican primaries. As a rule, pro-lifers answer the questions, pro-choicers don’t. On the Republican side, Sheila Sorensen and Robert Vasquez were the only congressional candidates not to respond.

Sacred Cow Burger: “Oil Shortage Cause”

Sacred Cow Burgers by J.D. Dyson (“Oil Shortage Cause”) with commentary here.

Blogspot: Are You Blogging More, Enjoying It Less?

Issue: Burnout a sign that blog boom bogging down/Frank Sennett, Spokesman-Review

More Info: In print journalism, syndicated columnists offer the closest parallel to solo blog stars. But while columnists might file a couple of pieces a week and enjoy typical white-collar vacation schedules without harming their careers, top bloggers can see their traffic slip after taking even a few days off. Worn down by that constant need for feed, many long-timers are taking a long look at different creative outlets.

DFO: I know whereof Frank speaks. Blogging is one of the hardest disciplines I’ve known.

Question: Do you believe blogs have a long-term future in the media scene? Or will the constant pressure to blog and burnout reduce blogging to a short-term sensation?

Mailbag: Who’s Going To Win 1st CD Horse Race?

Gordon Crow: Does anyone have a credible prediction for the Idaho 1st CD GOP Primary?

DFO: Sheila Sorensen and Bill Sali have raised the most money and that should go a long ways to determine who’s going to win this race. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise tells me that Sorensen might have an edge in the current polling.

Mailbag: Sample Ballots Available Online

Dan of the County: I see our county web guy now has the scanned images of our sample ballots on the county website here. (Then click on “sample ballots” button.)

DFO: Our visionary Kootenai County clerk is always looking out for the best interests of his constituents. Join me this morning in giving Dan English a well-deserved — saaalute.

Wild Card/Sunday — 5/7/06

The rotten spammers have been aggressive all weekend, HBOers. You probably haven’t seen much of the action because I’ve been killing the spams whenever they rear their ugly heads. One of these days, these wretches are going to drive everyone offline, so they’ll have their cialis and gambling and porn spams to swap with each other. What wretches. If you’d rather talk to each other than play outside, you can use this Wild Card to do so …

Best of Huckleberries Online — May 1-5, 2006


See “Geraldo and Shasta” below.

So, what’s the difference between a Coeur d’Alene Barbie and a Sandpoint Barbie? The Coeur d’Alene Barbie has “a masters degree and double-majored, but has the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom with Ken’s generous salary. Comes with Percocet prescription and Botox.” A Sandpoint Barbie, by contrast, “just relocated to Sandpoint for a kickin’ job as a Graphic Artist at Coldwater Creek. Divorced but wants to be Coeur d’Alene Barbie, goes on long VW’s (Viggo Watches) with her single Coldwater Creek girlfriends.” The former drives a Mercedes 4WD SUV, the latter a 1993 Ford Explorer. All this according to an anonymous MySpace bulletin sent to blogger Patrick at Making Flippy Floppy. There are other “North Idaho Barbies.” Athol Barbie is a “tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie (that) comes with a pair of high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer Gut Ken out of Auburn Barbie’s trailer.” Versatile Moscow Barbie “can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or removing snap on parts. Walks to work. Likes to ‘experiment,’ but will never commit.” Post Falls has a Barbie, too. But Huckleberries doesn’t want to field a nasty phone call from Mayor Clay Larkin today.

Geraldo And Shasta
Shasta Groene loves “horses, the violin and the flute. She said she loves her daddy, but misses the rest of her family.” This, according to Geraldo Rivera. Yeah, that Geraldo Rivera. The flashy TV reporter has parachuted into Kootenai County on occasion to cover the Groene/McKenzie murders and now to talk to sole survivor Shasta. On his Geraldo At Large blog recently, Geraldo discusses what he learned about Shasta during a recent boat cruise from The Coeur d’Alene resort. Rivera: “Aside from sports, violin and flute lessons at school, and of course, homework, Shasta dreams of life on stage or the silver screen. Like so many other little girls, she wants to be on television and in the movies.” At cruise end, Geraldo noted that Shasta thanked everyone who’d made her feel special by sending cards, letters and gifts. Then: “Shasta jumped off the boat and ran down the dock, laughing all the way.” Mebbe she’ll be allright (if Geraldo and other grownups let her).

Huckleberries
Poet’s Corner: “So naked limbs/would not be seen,/the maple donned/her gown of green” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Springtime Modesty”) … Bumpersnicker (on a red pickup parked along Ninth Street Wednesday night): “Rome didn’t build a great empire by holding meetings. They did it by killing all who opposed them.” … Huckleberries hears that – Coeur d’Alene residents will be stunned when they realize how much of Tubbs Hill will be blocked when Monte Miller/Dick Stauffer’s 20-story Parkside Condominium tower is erected east of The Coeur d’Alene resort … Overheard: A man in a suit asking a clerk at CdA’s Only 1 Dollar Store: “Do you have pregnancy kits?” Yeah, next to the condoms and baby food … After reading about Avista’s $31.6 million first-quarter profit, blogger CDADave commented: “To add insult to injury, the ever-increasing-profit-motivated Avista utilities tries to get customers to contribute to ‘project share.’ I’m kinda thinking Avista should do that themselves!” But how’d Avista lavish extravagant pay/bennies on top execs and golden parachutes for not-so-good ones?

Parting Shot
Hagadone Hospitality partner Jerry Jaeger said – what (for the Coeur d’Alene Press story about the 20th anniversary of The Coeur d’Alene Resort ) Thursday? Quoth: When Bob (Templin) and Bill (Reagan) decided to sell the company, they went straight to Duane and asked if he had an interest.” And all the time you thought Duane had seized Bob’s old North Shore resort and hospitality empire in a hostile takeover? Funny thing? Bob believes that still.

Smart Bombs: Evangelicals Would Nix Romney?

“Many Republican Party leaders believe that Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the best bet to win nomination for president in 2008. But in a recent column, Robert Novak casts doubt on that: “Prominent, respectable Evangelical Christians have told me, not for quotation, that millions of their co-religionists cannot and will not vote for Romney for president solely because he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Novak notes that Romney’s father, George, was a Mormon and a presidential candidate in 1968, but his religious affiliation wasn’t as big a deal back then. Two questions: 1) Would you reject a presidential candidate because he or she is Mormon? 2) Is this sort of religion test a positive development for our democracy?”/Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: As an Evangelical, I’d have no trouble voting for Romney or any other Mormon, for that matter. Of course, Evangelicals in Idaho have a long history of voting for Mormons because we occasionally are presented with two running for the same statewide office. Obviously, I’m not lined up with them on religious doctrine. But I’ve known some terrific Mormon office-holders, including the late Ron Rankin and former 2nd District congressman Richard Stallings.


Mailbag: I Got Mine But What About My Kids?

Easymark: My concern as well is that with the cost of houses rising my kids can’t afford a house in their home town. I’m sure houses are cheap here compared to California. That does not mean I want to pay California prices. Ultimately we are going to become the playground for the rich. It is sad to see our area being loved to death. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

DFO: Given the medical/research career my son’s pursuing, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he can eventually settle down in Portland or Seattle. There are no medical schools closer. As for Sis, I dunno if she’ll be able to afford to come back here, if she wants to. No question our kids are being priced out of this place. Are any of you planning to help your kids stay or relocate here after college or a period of seeing the world?

Mailbag: Picking Up After Yourself

Bre: How much time do you have? Get rid of the food plates lining the counter and if you don’t have time for the dishes at least make sure they are all piled in the sink, not spread out everywhere. Then pick up your socks and shoes from throughout the house. If you’ve still got time, make the bed. Don’t tell her the drain is clogged, act surprised when she says it’s clogged, “Oh I didn’t know, honey, here let me take care of it” As for the dishes….you’re on your own, but hey at least the rest of the house is clean. =)

DFO: I went with 2. Dishes, 3. Pick up socks, tennis shoes, and workout clothes, and 4. Feed scraps off plate to the dog … as well as fresh-cut yellow daffodils and tulips on the dining room table and kitchen sink, and stuft burritos and joe-joes waiting for them when they got here. Not an HR. But not a single either. Thanks everyone for practical advice.

TGIF Wild Card — 5/5/06

It’s time to hurry home, HBOers, and take some of your advice on how to impress my Sweethearts with Stuft Burritos a la Taco Bell and cut yellow daffodils. Thanx for your suggestions on this matter of utmost domestic importance and your input this week. You can use this Wild Card to begin the weekend threads …

Razzberries to Butch Otter — For Dodging Debate

U.S. Rep. Butch Otter, who is giving up his seat in Congress to run for governor, has backed out of his scheduled debate next Thursday against primary election opponent Dan Adamson. The debate, part of a series sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Idaho Press Club and Idaho Public Television, was to be broadcast live statewide on Idaho Public TV. The three organizations have been sponsoring the Idaho Debates each election for the past 25 years. Otter’s campaign informed Idaho Public TV today that next Thursday won’t work because of votes in Congress. When three alternate dates were proposed – a Saturday, a Sunday and a Monday – the campaign rejected those as well, saying Otter was booked here“/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

DFO: I abhor when frontrunning imcumbents brush off long-shot opponents with the campaign rationale that they have nothing to gain and everything to lose if they make a misstep.

Top Cutlines — 5/5/06

Bearable Bob seemed surprised yesterday when the HBO Right Bank didn’t jump on that suspicious car wreck involving state Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI. All in good time, lad. Here, on Capital Hill this morning, is the green mustang reportedly involved in the early-morning accident Thursday in which Kennedy sez he was taking prescription drugs but a bar hostess sez otherwise. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Top Cutlines

1. Kennedys advisor was kicking himself in the butt Friday morning, he knew he should have put is foot down when Kennedy wanted to get customized beer can holders installed in his Mustang — Bre.

2. Patrick Kennedy wishes he had listened to those who had told him “Don’t let your Dad teach you to drive”. “Or drink” — Thom George.

3. Honest Officer… hiccup…..I was on my…hiccup…. way to vote…hiccup — Whatever.

In A League of His Own: Dang here.

Restaurant Review: America’s Cheesecake Cafe

“This young Canadian chain restaurant (Known simply as Cheesecake Cafe north of the border) has a menu that reads like an abridged Encyclopedia of International Foods. It seems like most boxy chain restaurants these days have rather limited menus mainly full of exquisite food photography but little substance. Not here - this mother doesn’t even include a single pic and still manages to be enormous. Seriously, this 5 pound, spiral-bound behemoth includes bottles of gourmet wine and orgasm-inducing cocktail fantasies (“Caramel Appletini”, “Ice Cream Sandwich”) and appetizers from around the globe listed in random fashion (“Tusan Bread”, “Chicken Nachitos”, “Shrimpcargots”) and that’s just the first 10 pages!”

For the rest of the restaurant review by Patrick/Making Flippy Floppy, click here.

Question: Agree with review? Or not?

Mailbag: Hits Keep Coming With Mitchell-Amaro

Court Jester: If you want more blog activite just mention the Mitchell Amaro race. It has sure been quiet lately. The tinfoil brigade must be out knocking down or stealing Mitchell signs to keep busy.

DFO: I needed to renew this thread because the partisans are still playing off a post from Monday, April 24. I’ve purposely avoided the race to allow things to settle down here. At this point, it seems the Tin Foil Brigade who backs Rami has become a bigger issue than the individual candidates. I sure wished one side or the other would make a pitch for their candidates rather than simply use this blog to tear down the other guy’s candidate.

11 Little, No 10 Little, No 9 Little Candidates …

Nine candidates for the first congressional district seat answer questions at a forum Wednesday evening at Post Falls High School. They are, from left, Robert Vasquez, Sheila Sorensen, Norm Semanko, Bill Sali, Dave Olson, Cecil Kelly, Keith Johnson (speaking), Andy Hedden-Nicely and Skip Brandt. Missing from the event was Democrat Larry Grant/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Mailbag: “I See HBO Commenters Everywhere”

Family Phil: I saw jbelle riding her bike on Centennial Trail. Or at least I think I did. I see HBO commenters everywhere. ;)

DFO: Yeah, it’s starting to get spooky re: who’s checking in here. At the Wednesday forum, state Sen. Skip Brandt from Stites — Stites, of all places! — was chuckling about the HBO treatment of state Sen. John Goedde, the self-proclaimed “bear.” And local Democrat Cecil Kelly was commenting on something he’d seen online. Afterward, Larry Spencer introduced himself to me. What’s happening to our tiny, tight-knit group of kibitzers? Everyone’s getting in on the action.

CDA Press Edit: Our Boss Is The Greatest

“Today marks two decades since The Coeur d’Alene Resort first booked rooms for the paying public, and even Duane B. Hagadone’s harshest critics grudgingly acknowledge that the man got it right when he built the place. It’s an understatement to say Hagadone took an enormous risk by investing $60 million in what Forbes magazine seemed to be snickering about in its July 1986 cover story. “Duane Hagadone has built himself a fancy resort in the middle of nowhere. Why?” the headline asked. Well, welcome to the middle of somewhere, thanks to Hagadone, his partner, Jerry Jaeger, The Resort and its accompanying golf course.”

For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial praising its owner’s vision in building The Coeur d’Alene Resort, click here.

Question: What were you doing the last time you spent money at The Coeur d’Alene Resort?

APhoto of the Day — 5/5/06

Bearable Bob seemed surprised yesterday when the HBO Right Bank didn’t jump on that suspicious car wreck involving state Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI. All in good time, lad. Here, on Capital Hill this morning, is the green mustang reportedly involved in the early-morning accident Thursday in which Kennedy sez he was taking prescription drugs but a bar hostess sez otherwise. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Mailbag: The Only Poll That Really Counts

Whippersnapper: Doesn’t the majority of Americans get a chance to share the “public sentiment” every two or four years?
I get tired of people who use approval ratings and polls to prove how badly the party in power is performing. Maybe it’s the smugness of those who believe the only answer to all questions is to switch from party A to party B. And neither party has the answers to the big questions: health care, middle east crazy people, energy shortages, massive entitlement programs.

DFO: Despite chest thumping here, there’s only a coupla seats really in play in the House of Reps this fall. And that should mean the R’s keep control of everything for another two years. I wouldn’t mind seeing the D’s control the House by a Rep or two because that might shock the R’s to abandon their wasteful ways.

Mailbag: A Proposition for Bloomsday Packets

MikeK: Odd place for this, but is anyone going to Spokane today to pick up Bloomsday packets? If so, I have a proposition for you (no, not that kind …)

DFO: Aha, you’ve stepped into my trap Councilman Mike. Not only am I not going to Spokane for Bloomsday packets, but I’m also not going to Spokane for Bloomsday. I avoid Bloomsday almost religiously. I’ve never written a story about it. I can’t stand when cheery Bloomies come waddling home from their big day with silly smiles on their face and a desire to tell me all about their adventure. I generally visit the lakefront and lament that soon many of the Spokane bloomies will be clogging Coeur d’Alene’s beaches, parks and street ways. Bah, humbug.

Question: Any other Bloomophobes out there?

Wild Card/Thursday — 5/4/06

You have much to keep you busy below and in the comments section, HBOers. But that shouldn’t stop you from starting your own thread with this Wild Card …

Is This What Idaho Quartermeisters Have In Mind?

“Hmmm … I wonder who complains more about Californians, the people in Idaho or the people in Oregon — Dang.”

Jerry Jaeger Said — What?

In the Coeur d’Alene Press coverage today of the 20th anniversary of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Hagadone Hospitality partner Jerry Jaeger said: “When Bob (Templin) and Bill (Reagan) decided to sell the company they went straight to Duane and asked if he had an interest.” And all this time you thought Duane had seized the old North Shore and the old Western Frontier hospitality empire from Templin? In fact, Bob still thinks that’s how it happened. Can’t wait for Jerry’s version of the time he ran his Lincoln into the back of a truck while trying to merge from 15th Street onto the Interstate.

Doug Fredericks: Another Purple Heart Ceremony View

That’s Councilman Ron Edinger, Councilman Mike Kennedy and Kerri Thoreson across the back. Is that Will Kennedy in the foreground?

Mike Kennedy: Indeed ‘tis 10 year-old Webelo Scout Will Kennedy in that shot. He had just finished leading the Pledge of Allegiance and I was bursting buttons with pride. Kerri and the County Commissioners put on a very touching event that was a credit to our veterans and purple heart winners. They really have done a nice job at honoring Kootenai County’s veterans at the courthouse. It’s a fine place to gather. Will is inspired to take on a research project and find out information on his grandfather Bill Morrow’s Silver Star award in Vietnam in hopes of adding him to the “Wall of Heroes” inside the courthouse. Met Doug Fredericks for the first time, too, in another Huckleberries connection. Nice guy, good photog, looking forward to seeing his work in lights some day.

DFO: I see Will’s blessed with his mother’s looks.

Mailbag: Even Kempthorne Disagrees With Bush

James Bond: Seriously, though, you gotta love the current state of the Republican party, as exemplified by this news item of the day: Bush, a President battling popularity problems, nominates an Interior Secretary who publicly disagrees with Bush on a matter of policy. Do these people communicate? What a joke …

DFO: Sounds as though Kempthorne, as a U.S. senator, supported selling off public lands. But even the Dirkmeister can read the tea leaves. Only one Idaho legislator among the 105 in the most Republican Legislature in the nation voted against a resolution denouncing the sale of public lands. Bush might not understand the ramifications of that overwhelming vote. But Dirk still is close enough to Western values to do so. BTW, I’m sure he cleared his stand with the prez before today’s confirmation questioning.

Mailbag: Idaho’s Special Quarter

Dang: When do we find out which ugly ass coin will be selected for Spudland?

DFO: Dunno. But I have a sneaking suspicion that we aren’t going to like it. Why? Unlike Montana and Washington, Idahoans have no idea what the coin will look like. We don’t know which 4 or 5 ideas were submitted to the national Mint to pick. We should have had a chance to vote for our favorite kind, like our neighboring states have. What gives?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/4/06

The front and back of the new Washington State quarter. The U.S. Mint must approve the design, but it has so far not rejected any design selected by a governor here/Richard Roesler, Spokesman-Review.

Extra! Gov. Dirk Kempthorne differs with Bush administration on the sale of public lands here.

1. Baby Boomers check up on Medicare benefits, according to David Horsey/Seattle PI, here.

2. On Wednesday afternoon, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer granted posthumous pardons to 78 men and women turned criminal by Montana’s Sedition Act. One man had his sentence commuted in 1921 here.

3. The state of Idaho and a Seattle-based construction company agreed Wednesday to pay $895,000 in fines for a highway improvement project that ended up sending torrents of mud into Mica Creek and downstream to Lake Coeur d’Alene here.

4. Searchers using a specialized sonar device and robotic underwater cameras Tuesday found fragments from a military aircraft that crashed into Flathead Lake on March 21, 1960, here.

5. Kevin McCoy has been told he’s accomplished a seemingly impossible mission: getting actor Tom Cruise to visit this timber town of less than 17,000 people in Western Washington here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Exxon CEO primes pump), Robert Herold/Inlander (Urban warrior), Cole Smithey/Inlander (Review: Mission Impossible III), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Rebuilding Going To The Sun Highway), and Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Ex-Mariner Bucky Jacobsen).

Online Poll: 81.1% of 1336 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll believe it’s a good idea to ban sugary sodas from school vending machines.

*the average cost of waging a successful bid for the Washington state Senate has grown to nearly $150,000 here.

*Montana confirms first case of hantavirus this year here.

*Eddie Guardado no longer Seattle’s primary closer here.

Orbusmax Special: Idaho to tap fund used for grizzlies to pay Planned Parenthood bill here.

Cliff Notes Re: 1st Congressional District Debate

I attended the health care debate among nine 1st Congressional District candidates, including Demo Cecil Kelly and two Independents. Initial reaction:

*Controller Keith Johnson struck me as the Republican machine candidate, down to his conservative suit, red power tie, and firm handshake. His background in finance and budgeting provide solid credentials for the job. But I can’t believe that he thought health care was a luxury.

*Former state senator Sheila Sorensen looks like a middle-age Barbie with bangs, but dressed and spoke well (but in generalities). She’s sharp. And she’s easily the most liberal of the six Republicans in the race.

*Bill Sali was dressed in brown and orange and seemed bemused or distracted when others were speaking. He has solid credentials on pro-life and 2nd Amendment issues. He has all the right endorsements for religious conservatives, down to his wife sitting by Ron Vieselmyer and his wife. If Sali can’t get along within the Idaho Legislature, however, he’ll be eaten alive and ignored in Congress.

*Robert Vasquez: A distinguished looking man with a distinguished military background who is obsessed with illegal aliens and tends to bring every topic back around to this issue.

*Skip Brandt: A nice guy who runs a hardware store in the middle of nowhere (Stites) and a respected lawmaker. He has Helen Chenoweth-Hage’s endorsement but not a lot of money. He made the most favorable impression on me of the three hardline conservatives.

*Norm Semanko: An insider who knows the issues and spoke well. Attentive. He looks like a young former political aide who’s trying to graduate to his boss’s former office, which, of course, he is.

New System Drawing Blanks

We’ve switched over to a coupla new systems in house, involving the posting of photos and the page-view tabulations. That Urchin page-view number of 700,000 for the first four months of the year might be the only guide for awhile as far as how this blog is doing. Also, that blank shot of the Coeur d’Alene Resort below is something that’s been lost in translation. We’re still working the bugs out. Be patient.

Question No. 2: Latino U.S. National Anthem

Issue: House bill: English only for Pledge, Nat’l Anthem: Resolution result of recent recording of ‘Star Spangled Banner’ in Spanish/WorldNetDaily

DFO: The “Star Spangled Banner” is hard enough to sing in English, let alone Spanish. Dunno if there’s much of a market for a Latino version.

Question: Are you bothered that Latino stars have recorded our National Anthem in Spanish?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Media Or Gummint?

Issue: Americans trust government more than media: Fox News, CNN score high marks, with Big 3 networks, N.Y. Times among lowest/WorldNetDaily

Question: Whom do you trust more – the government or the media?

1. I trust government because it’s more accountible – we can replace our representatives if they don’t do a good job
2. I trust government because our elected leaders more closely mirror American society than do the liberal media
3. I trust government because it has the responsibility to protect us from those seeking to destroy us
4. I trust government – the media is just another business out to make a buck
5. I don’t trust any of them, they’re all cheats and liars
6. I trust the media because those in it have been trained to be objective, impartial and fair
7. I trust the media because all its different voices help us determine what’s true – they’re not a secretive monopoly like government
8. I trust the media because at least some of them are exercising their role as watchdogs on government
9. I trust the New Media found on the Internet, talk radio and cable news but not the old, dying big media
10. Other

DFO: No. 7

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 5/3/06

I’m bailing on you early today, HBOers, so I can grab a bite and then head out to Post Falls High to hear the debate among the Republican candidates for the 1st Congressional District. Dunno if I have time to make it over to the Purple Heart ceremony at the courthouse memorial plaza at 6. I have to hustle either way. You can continue to use this Wild Card for your evening threads …

Top Cutlines — 5/3/06

Michelle Ren pushes a buggy full of sleepy children through Kalispell, Mont. The children are enrolled in the Kid Kare child care program that serves the employees of Kalispell Regional Medical Center. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Karen Nichols)

Top Cutlines

1. HBO Wildcard commenters after an all night thread on the Amaro and Mitchell race — Bob.

2. A day in the park with a six pack, what a life! — Upclose.

3. Call OSHA: No helmets or bug screens — Dave Tolle.

HM: HC

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

PM Question: What’s A Stay-At-Home Mom Worth?

Issue: Study: US mothers deserve $134,121 in salary/My Way

DFO: No argument here, although in Right To Work Idaho the figure might be somewhat less.

Question: Do you agree with the survey?

Doug Fredericks: “The Weed”

For some reason, this viewtiful shot by Doug Fredericks/Hayden reminds me that I need to buy some weed-and-feed for the lawn this weekend.

Avista: Where Higher Rates Go To Die

Avista Corp. reported sharply higher first-quarter profit today, based on the exceptional performance of its utility arm. Avista posted a profit of $31.6 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with a profit of $10.2 million, or 21 cents a share, in the first quarter a year ago. Higher rates and lower-cost power from its hydroelectric dams spurred income of $26.2 million for Avista Utilities, up from income of $19 million a year ago, the company announced. Avista shares were up 65 cents in morning trading, to $21.65 a share.

Hat Tip: MarkR, for bringing this SR story to my attention. And for the dead-on observation: “Are you kidding me?”

Celebrating Good News

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, center, along with Lt. Col. Joann Brodin, left, Lt. Col. Harold Brodin, second from left, Maj. John Chamness, second from right, and Maj. Benton Markham, all from The Salvation Army, react Monday moments before announcing Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was selected to receive a $65 million Kroc Center grant/Jerome A. Pollos, Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: You experience few times in community life when you can just kicked back and belly laugh. The good news about the Kroc grant Monday was one of those times. And Jerome Pollos did a good job capturing the moment here.

CDADave: Putting Boomers In Their Place

“This’ll Put Baby Boomers In Their Place Dept.: Englebert Humperdinck (whose real name is GERRY DORSEY) turned 70 years old today! Actually, I kinda like his music. I also like Nat “King” Cole, Al Martino, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, all of those crooners. Don’t try to get me to listen to Jim Nabors, though; he has a voice that could PEEL PAINT! So what do I think Englebert’s best song is? I really like his version of “Am I That Easy To Forget”; it’s got a dynamite rhythm arrangement, and he literally THROWS himself into the song. I’ve got an interesting question…if Rock Singer Rod Stewart is now doing old torch songs, will Englebert, who’s made a career out of torch songs, be singing the “Led Zeppelin” songbook on his next album release?”

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

Question: C’mon, Boomer, admit it — you liked Humperdinck, and you can’t believe he’s 70, right?

APhoto of the Day — 5/3/06

Michelle Ren pushes a buggy full of sleepy children through Kalispell, Mont. The children are enrolled in the Kid Kare child care program that serves the employees of Kalispell Regional Medical Center. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Karen Nichols)

SR Edit: We Use Too Much Gasoline

“Congressional Republicans have come up with a more brazen solution: handing Americans $100 rebates in the hopes that they’ll chill out for the fall elections. Speaking of those elections, congressional Democrats are proposing a temporary suspension of the federal gasoline tax. That wouldn’t even get motorists back to last year’s gripe price, but it would mean a large drain on the federal treasury. All of these “fixes” have two things in common: they are short-term and they completely ignore why we’re in this mess in the first place: We use too much gasoline.”

For the rest of Gary Crooks’ editorial about gas consumption, click here.

Question: Do you think the feds are going to come up with a fix? Or is Gary right? We use too much gasoline, and it’s time to cut back?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Retaking America

Question: How concerned are you Mexico will eventually retake control of U.S. Southwest?

1. I’m not concerned, I would welcome the takeover
2. We’re nation of immigrants, so let whatever will be will be
3. It’ll never happen, America is too strong and unified
4. U.S. government would never allow it
5. The reconquista movement is only a fringe element among illegals
6. It seems improbable, but I am disturbed by declarations with that intention
7. It looks more likely demographics will deliver region to Mexican hands
8. It’s inevitable
9. Will the last American to leave the region please bring the flag?
10. Other

DFO: No. 10, as long as Los Angeles is included, no big deal.

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

Today’s Lucky HBO Number: 700,527 …

… Or the number of Page-Views for Huckleberries Online through the first third of the year. Or an average of 5838 per day. Or a potential of 2.1 million for the year. Or, as always, thanks for your support.

P.S. — $100 Gas Refund — 5/2/06

Issue: Republican senator: $100 rebate ‘insulting’: ‘Over the weekend I heard back from my constituents. They thought it was stupid’/Reuters

House Majority Leader John Boehner: “The really insulting part of this whole proposal is the fact that somebody is offering $100 to every American family over this. This is not going to solve the problem. I don’t like the proposal. And over the weekend I heard back from my constituents. They thought it was stupid,”

DFO: So, what’s Boehner want to waste the money on?

Question: Would you support a $100 gas rebate for every American household?

Mailbag: How Do You Protect Boys In Dating Game?

Ordinary Shark: Interesting that you asked the question of the women. I think Cyn’s egalitarian view was correct. But also why not ask the same question for our sons? From the tread, it seems the popular belief if that all the young men are motivated purely by hormones. (there is certainly that angle but it is not limited to the males, either) Why not start addressing this with out sons so we don’t worry so much about our daughters? We love them all equally and they are equally fragile when exploring new experiences.

DFO: Yes, boys are hormonally maladjusted during their teen years, and they’re encouraged to make wrong decisions by the “entertainment media” and sometimes adults in their life. I didn’t pry into my son’s dating life much. Then, there wasn’t a lot of it at the high school level. On the other hand, we spent a coupla hours a coupla times a month at the coffee house talking about any and everything he felt like. I tried to model respect for females for him by the way I treated his mother and his sister. Indeed, boys need to be protected as much as girls today, from themselves sometimes.

Geraldo At Large: Blogging About Shasta

“The father of the sole survivor of an infamous massacre here in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, asked that alleged mass murderer and convicted sex offender Joe Duncan, be spared the death penalty so that his 9-year-old girl won’t need to face the monster in court. The next day, that little girl told me that she wants to grow up to be an actress, that she loves horses, the violin and the flute. She said she loves her daddy, but misses the rest of her family.”

For the rest of Geraldo Rivera’s blog entry about his interview with Shasta Groene, click here.

HBO’s List Of 5 (Or What’s Next …

… Now that Coeur d’Alene has won Kroc Center funding): 1. Sanders Beach, 2. Education Corridor, 3. Midtown Revitalization, 4. An interconnected bike-trail system throughout town, and 5. (Be my guest and fill this one in yourself).

JBelle: You Don’t Date To Dump People Ever

“… If you are at the top of your game, you do not dump people. ever. Not in high school, not in business, not in the neighborhood, not in the community, not at church, never. At the top of your game. I myself, on any given day, screw up really well about 7 times before noon. Thankfully, there is redemption in the time after lunch and by evening, usually I’ve had a pretty good day. And so it goes with life. In dating, at the top of your game, you spend more or less time with a variety of people. Honest. And speaking only from my experience and that of my children, we did not date in high school to “find someone forever”. We dated to experience the best of our life, (GLib, do not let your daughter pass on the mixers with the developmentally delayed people from ARC; they are awesome)(oh yeah, and the Senior/Freshman mixer is huge), to learn more about our community and to learn more about ourselves. One of the best dates I ever had was after my senior year in high school …”

For the rest of JBelle’s terrific post re: dating, click here.

Mailbag: How Dads Can Help Dating Daughters

Green Libertarian: I would love to hear from some of the women here what it was that their fathers said/did that helped them to ease the pitfalls of the whole dating scene. And what their fathers did that was horribly wrong, I suppose too, i.e. what not to do.

DFO: I’m moving this thread up from 1:21 p.m. yesterday because there seems to be so much interest in it. I hope I don’t ruin things by doing so.

Cis Gors sends along a list of “10 Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter” here.

Steve Groene: “Shasta Would Have No Problem …”

Item: School may get plaque for Dylan: CdA trustees reverse stance on boy’s memorial/Rasha Madkour, Spokesman-Review

DFO: I could never figure out why the Coeur d’Alene School Board got all squirrelly about where the plaque should go. Mebbe the trustees were uneasy that a man from North Carolina was cheerleading for a fund-raiser. I doubt that kids would give a plaque honoring a murdered boy much of a thought beyond the initial ceremony. Sometimes, I think, grownups over-think things.

Question of the Day — Real Estate Signs

Issue: He changed the face of CdA real estate: But Marshall Mend says it’s time to scale back

DFO: Marshall and I go way back … to the early days of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. I’ve often told him that putting his face on his real estate signs was a form of visual pollution. But that didn’t deter him.

Question: Does it bother you to see a Realtors face on one of his/her signs? Question No. 2: Would it help political candidates to put their faces on their yard signs?

SR Edit: Community Center Funding Long Time Coming

Mayor Sandi Bloem and others who spearheaded the successful drive to land the Kroc Center deserve their city’s heartfelt thanks. Not only did they prepare a compelling application, raise $1.7 million in private funds, and jump through every hoop placed in front of them, but they did what previous community leaders have failed to do for more than 20 years – find funding for a new community center. Few capital projects have divided Coeur d’Alene more.

For the rest of my editorial about the Kroc Center funding, click here.

Question: Let’s have a show of hands: How many remember the old community center at Seventh and Montana? Or, for you newercomers, how many recall the bitter 1999 battle over a proposed community center?

Wild Card/Monday — 5/1/06

It’s May Day, HBOers, which means that we have 3 or 4 more weeks to enjoy our waterfront before the tourists and Spokane visitors move in to crowd us out. If you want to start a thread, you can use this Wild Card to do so …

P.S. — What Now?

Now that Coeur d’Alene has landed the $65 million Kroc Center grant and is in the process of breaking ground for the new downtown library, is there any major public project left out there to do? Other than some new school buildings? And (wink) a downtown botanical garden? Seriously, does the news of the Kroc Center grant today finally address the major public needs in the community? Or can you think of something that should be looked at for the next wish list?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/1/06

CDADave brings parodies with his Thin Air here.

*Family Phil doesn’t know what to make of his close encounters with mothers who accept him as a stay-at-home father here.

*Mari Meehan/Golly Gals goes calling on some neighborhood Alpacas here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour talks about a shower that occurred during dearly departed April here. Her bulleted post from Saturday is worth a read, too, here.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice wants to know if you’d work for a local place, called Psycho Therapy, here.

*Believe it or not, sez Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise, Abraham Lincoln had ties to Idaho here.

Mailbag: Where Is The Tinfoil Brigade?

Digger: I miss the Tinfoil Brigade! Please come back and make us laugh! Siggy, Mike, anyone?????

DFO: HBO is a tough crowd to play to, Digger. Not everyone can handle it. People have been known to run off screaming into the night, tearing their hair out, after being caught in a cross-fire here. I’d like to think I’m normal, after more than two years hosting this forum. But my wife sez that I didn’t twitch and drool unexpectedly before that fateful day on Feb. 16, 2004, when I thought I’d try my hand at blogging. Berry Pickers tell me that they overheard the tinfoilers grousing at the Mitchell-Amaro debate that HBO was too ornery for their tastes. It is what it is.

SR Edit: NIC Should Keep Alcohol Ban As Is

“Rather than open Pandora’s box and send mixed signals to NIC students, trustees should continue their total alcohol ban. There’s nothing wrong with consumption of alcohol in moderation. Or with serving alcohol at fundraisers at The Coeur d’Alene resort or the Coeur d’Alene Inn. School campuses are different, however. At elementary and high school levels, school officials don’t tolerate drugs, alcohol or weapons. At the college level, they struggle to control chemical dependency and alcohol abuse among students. A complete NIC ban reinforces the message to students that alcohol can be hazardous.”

For the rest of my Sunday editorial about North Idaho College’s alcohol ban, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/1/06

Ulises Galindo, 6, from Portland, Ore., holds a sign during an immigration rally in Portland earlier today/Don Ryan, AP photo.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI presents the Golden Nozzle Award to (drum roll, PUH-leez) vice president Dick Cheney here.

2. A Chinese businessman has bought a MiG-21f plane reportedly in Lewiston from a U.S. seller on the online auction Web site eBay for $24,730 and plans to use it to decorate an empty space at his offices here.

3. Pro-Hispanic rallies under way in Boise here, in Portland here, and in Seattle here.

4. Ryan Leaf, a name that has come to symbolize NFL draft day busts, has come to grips with his notorious celebrity and is prospering as a QB coach in a tiny Division II college in Texas here.

5. In a legally sanctioned game of courtroom make-believe, convicted child raper Jewell C. Walker, 30, of Spokane, avoided a potentially hefty jail term for robbery by instead accepting responsibility for a separate crime that never occurred here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Huckleberries: Scary places), Idaho Statesman (WNBA exec helps Idaho kids), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Bad neighbor Mexico), D. Parvaz/Seattle PI (Money-losing airlines), and Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Holmgren conflicted about future).

Online Poll: 84.8% of 1429 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say the “Star-Spangled Banner” should be sung in English only.

*WSU running back Jerome Harrison was the only Inland Northwest college football player picked in the weekend NFL draft here.

*A new party may appear on the Idaho ballot this fall even though it didn’t collect the required 12,000 signatures necessary to do so here.

*The Oregon Medical Association has passed a symbolic resolution declaring that access to universal health care for all state residents is its number-one priority here.

Orbusmax Special: Ex-Mariner, Kennewick lefthander Russ Swan dies at 42 after fall here.

Coeur d’Alene Lands Kroc Center

Mike Kennedy, Coeur d’Alene councilman and HBO regular, just called to say that the city of Coeur d’Alene has landed the $60M Kroc Center grant from the Salvation Army. That’s wonderful news for the Lake City, which has been in search of a community center since the old one shut down in 1984 or 1985. Monster Hat Tip to Mayor Sandi Bloem and everyone who made the center possible. Now, the city needs to come up with $5 million in matching money (some of which has already been raised) to make this a going concern. Suh-weet.

GreenL & TomT: The following sites were selected to begin development: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Honolulu, Hawaii; Long Beach, California; Phoenix - South Mountain, Arizona; Salem, Oregon; and San Francisco - Tenderloin, California. Link here.

Family Phil: The two cities not selected were Concord, Calif., and Aurora, Colorado.

SR story here.

Question: Do you plan to buy a membership when the new Coeur d’Alene community center opens?

Question of the Day: The Dating Game

Issue: Dating with an eye on safety: Verbal, mental abuse can often lead to violent interaction/Maryanne Gaddy, Spokesman-Review

DFO: I’m thankful for many things in life, and two of them involve this subject. As a happily married man of almost 31 years, I haven’t had to deal with dating for a long time. Secondly, both of my children survived their teen years with relatively few dating scars and one is now happily married to a wonderful young woman. We continue to pray that Sis will find the right young man when the time comes for her.

Question (for those whose kids are facing the dating game): Are you involved in helping your children make the right decisions re: dating?

WorldNetDaily Poll — 5/1/06

Issue: Founder of Minutemen targets run for president: Jim Gilchrist eyes bid with Constitution Party, claims Republicans ‘sold out our sovereignty’/WorldNetDaily

Question: Should anti-illegals activist Jim Gilchrist run for president?

1. No, America needs more immigrants, both legal and illegal
2. No, he hasn’t got a chance, it would be a waste of time
3. No, I fear he’ll siphon votes away from the Republicans, thus ensuring a Democrat victory
4. No, but he should back some like-minded political pro, such as Congressman Tom Tancredo
5. While I want to stop the border insanity, I need to know more about Gilchrist on other issues
6. Yes, I want him to siphon votes away from Republicans, thus ensuring a Democrat victory
7. Yes, I’d vote for him, even if chances are slim he’d win
8. Yes, and I’m willing to help his campaign in any way I possibly can
9. Yes, he’s the one man that can stop this illegal-immigration insanity!
10. Other

DFO: No. 10 — Yes, because someone needs to hold the two major parties accountable for border security.

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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