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Archive for October 2006

Parting Shot — 10/31/06

Sparrows line up for breakfast on a Post Falls patio rail as they prepare for fall to turn to winter this next week — Kerri Thoreson/

Extra! Charges Filed in UI U-Place Scandal

Complete story here

Former University of Idaho Vice President Jerry Wallace has been charged with two counts of misuse of public money in the failed University Place project in Boise. Wallace, who was placed on administrative leave in 2003 and later resigned, is accused of wrongly creating a university financial account to be used for costs related to development of the planned UI satellite campus in Boise, dubbed University Place. Wallace allegedly created the account without approval from the Idaho Board of Education — and allowed money to be withdrawn from the account though there was never enough money deposited to cover the withdrawals — Associated Press.

Question: Has your support for University of Idaho wavered as a result of the University Place controversy/scandal?

Top Cutlines — 10/31/06

Two members of animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stage a protest against the meat industry in Henry Street, Dublin, today. The women posed in fake oversized meat packaging to draw attention to the industry’s treatment of animals. (AP Photo/Niall Carson,PA)

Top Cutlines:

1. A murmuring crowd soon assembled on the sidewalk despite a livid Jeffrey Dahmer’s loud insistence that how he chose to defrost his dinner was absolutely none of their damn business — Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel.

2. In the habit of attending protests, an onlooker suggests nun too soon that they find a very large skillet (aka PETA pan) to bring more reality to the event — John Austin.

3. Sister Ann is feeling a little better, realizing upon picking up her newest recruits of the convent, they weren’t selling themselves on the street like *that* — Bronx Boy; and: Frustrated by the increased competition caused by Ireland’s recent legalization of prostitution, two seasoned pros launch a new marketing technique — Bent.

HM: Deena

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

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

While at the stop light at Ironwood and Government Way Monday, a Berry Pickers saw this message hand written on the dirty rear panel door of a local plumbing truck which read: “I wish my wife was this dirty”“

Question: Did Judge Burton Exceed His Authority?

Issue: Inmate gets to leave jail for lunch: Travels to Rotary event at behest of Judge Burton/Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press

Quote: “We just got the order and I’m trying to get it squelched,” said jail Sgt. Bradley Cox. “At the very least it is kind of a frivolous use of manpower, but if the judge says it’s going to happen, there’s not much we can do about it.”

Question: Do you think Judge Burton is using his judicial powers correctly by inviting a jail inmate to have lunch at the Rotary Club to emphasize the meth problem in the area?

Family Phil: “Halloween Safety Rules”

Family Phil translates his 5-year-old daughter’s “Halloween Safety Rules?”

Go potty before you trick or treat.
And never touch a gun even if it looks like a gun that is fake.
And do not be afraid.
And have a fun time.

Bob: Our Kids Are Being Robbed of Halloween

Full post here

Happy halloween. I used to love this night when I’d hand out candy to literally hundreds of trick or treaters. It’s been many years since more than a dozen or so show up. The streets are pretty empty of kids. They’ve gone to the malls and parties. I really miss the way it used to be, buying bags of candy, hoping my supply would last as I dipped into it myself, counting the trick or treaters, complimenting the really cool costumes, telling some of the teenagers that I’ll give them candy this second time but don’t sneak back for a third trip to my door on the same night. I think kids are being robbed by their well meaning, well sanitizing parents. Robbed of the one night when children owned the streets, when the adults were at their beck and call…give me a treat or I’ll give you a trick — Bob/Unbearable Bobness of Being.

Quote of the Day — Bill Sali

““I’ve never claimed that I’m absolutely right,” Republican congressional candidate Bill Sali told The Spokesman-Review. “What I’ve said is I believe my position is true.”

BrodH20: A Hooters Girl in Waiting?

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20, The Otis and the rest of the game celebrated Halloween early here.

Related: Columnist Doug Clark has some suggestions for Halloween costume designs here.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Halloween Costumes Too Sexy?

Issue: ‘Naked’ PETA tigerlady: Halloween costumes much too sexy: Activist who stripped, then striped body urges gals not to dress as tramps/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think about today’s sexualization of Halloween costumes?

1. The costumes are not sexy enough
2. I don’t see it, you clowns are just too uptight
3. Halloween is supposed to be about fantasy, and costumes have always been sexy
4. It’s just harmless fun
5. Change in costumes coincides with change in clothing styles for children
6. Virtually every part of American culture is now oversexualized, so this is par for the course
7. I’m not surprised, sin has always been center of Halloween
8. Halloween is all about Satan, and this trend one more piece of evidence
9. It doesn’t matter what the costume is, there is nothing redeeming about Halloween
10. Other

DFO: No. 6

For the WorldNet news report, click here.

Parting Shot — 10/30/06

President Bush reaches out to shake hands with supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at Sugar Land regional airport today in Sugar Land, Texas. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 10/30/06

Stebbijo spotted this reward poster on the way out of her Coeur d’Alene trailer park en route to sample Bayview Herb’s fabulous salad.

*3-Fer: Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ relishes the quiet when he visits his old hometown of Kellogg, but he knows that the town was much more prosperous when it was noisy here. Also, he remembers his late father’s birthday here, and remembers his old NIC English composition teacher Annette Bignall here.

*Mari/Dogwalk Musings sez there’s good reason that Halloween and Election Day are so close together. Both can be very scary here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour remembers Sandpoint matriarch Jean Brown, whose husband, Jim, established the Pack River Lumber Co. and Schweitzer Mountain ski resort, here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise is matching news releases from congressional wannabe Bill Sali’s campaign to see why he insists he’s neutral about Proposition 2 today when he supported the “takings” initiative during the summer here.

*Greg Lee/Idaho Press sez playoff tickets for the Coeur d’Alene/Lake City High game go on sale Tuesday here.

Meanwhile, Jim talks to UI football coach Dennis Erickson about that 68-10 loss in Hawaii here, Nick asks his students if they’re fruit or vegetable here, Amyrebba is another voter driven to distraction by political ads here, CDADave provides random shallow thoughts that aren’t random or shallow here, and Sue graces us with her weekly Tumblewords poem here.

Inside Huckleberries — 10/30/06

*Bob reports that the new Spirit Lake Singles Page is up here. (You snookered me, Hoss.)

*Bonner County Clerk Marie Scott e-mails an advisory that the final election results for county commissioner might not be available until noon the day after election. The big write-in vote for incumbent Karl Dye, who opposes Repub Lewis Rich, is expected to gum up the works. Writes Marie: “The ‘Terminator’ is great at reading colored in ovals, but we can’t seem to teach it to read English.”

*The SR newsroom is experiencing an incredibly sad day, reacting to the death of colleague Laura Crooks. This morning, the newspaper printed her last feature story, about Halloween costumes, here. Laura’s husband, Gary, of course, is one the other three editorial writers for the newspaper. Great guy. Great family. How sad.

*Wondering: “Please Dave, can the blue rat disappear?” DFO: It will when another post or two pushes it down the blog far enough that it no longer appears on the blog’s front page. Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest should do the trick.

*Colleague Meghann Cuniff sends along a link that shows the changing political demographics of this country from 1960-2004 here.

*The Palm Springs Desert Sun has posted an official story re: the approval given to Duane Hagadone to expand his house pad from 44,000sf to 61,000sf here.

Local GOP to Media, Others “Pound Sand”

Why are the Republicans being so hush-hush about the VP visit? None of them are returning phone calls. The executive director of the Republican Party of Idaho, Jayson Ronk, hasn’t returned calls for days. Julie Chadderdon isn’t returning phone calls. Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Chairman Brad Corkill returned a call but knew nothing because he’s in San Diego visiting his son who is a Marine. When you call Republican Headquarters in Coeur d’Alene they are anything but helpful and claim that they don’t even know who Jayson Ronk is even though he’s been in town for days helping with the organization. A local television reporter was practically kicked out of the Sherman Avenue office when he went to get information about tickets for the event. Then there is the Secret Service, which also isn’t returning repeated phone calls. Perhaps they don’t want anyone to know Cheney is coming to Idaho …

DFO: And these guys want your vote?

101: Nos. of Dead Troops in Iraq in October

Complete post here

The American death toll for October climbed past 100, a grim milestone as a White House envoy turned up unexpectedly in Baghdad on Monday following a rough patch in U.S.-Iraqi ties. At least 81 people were killed across Iraq, including 33 in a bombing targeting workers. A member of the 89th Military Police Brigade was killed in east Baghdad on Monday, and a Marine died in fighting in insurgent-plagued Anbar province the day before, raising to 101 the number of U.S. service members killed in a bloody October, the fourth deadliest month of the war. At least 2,814 American forces have died since the war began in March 2003.

DFO: I’m beginning to think that we’re nearing the point of insanity by asking our troops to keep taking dying at the rate of 2 or 3 per day without any end in sight to the Iraqi internal fighting.

Question: I know where the Left stands on this one. But how about others in the middle or right? Is Iraq a lost cause?

Trib Poll: What Do You Think of Attack Ads?

Lewiston Tribune online question: How do you feel about negative campaign ads?

*I don’t mind them but they don’t affect how I vote.

*I don’t like them and I won’t vote for candidates who use them.

*I am willing to listen to what they have to say.

*I don’t care because I don’t vote.

Question: Please choose one, and tell Huckleberries your choice for nastiest attack ad of the fall election?

Technical Difficulties

DanG reports in this morning that we may be experiencing technical difficulties re: commenters being able to post. As soon as I can locate Blogmeister Ken, I’ll ask him to check things out …

Question: Will You Welcome Veep Cheney to CDA?

Issue: Tickets available for Cheney visit: Vice president will speak at Cd’A Airport on Thursday/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

Julie Chadderdon: “Within 48 hours, I had 750 tickets and 921 requests for them. My answering machine has been full every night since then.”

Question: Are you planning to see the vice president when he visits Coeur d’Alene?

Question: Do You Feel Safe in Inland Northwest?

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is part of the St. Louis skyline as a barge and tow make their way north along the Mississippi River Wednesday. Just days after the St. Louis Cardinals won the top honor in Major League Baseball, their hometown jumped to first place on a list no one wants to lead: the most dangerous cities in the United States. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Related: Spokane rates average in crime survey

Question: Do you feel safe in your hometown in the Inland Northwest?

JJ Rousseau: Proud to Be Young, Conservative

Bob: Let me cut to the chase, JJ. You are too smart to be a conservative. That is obvious. You will only grow frustrated forcing less than 1% of your brain to operate when talking with fellow conservatives. You will listen to Rush Limbaugh and realize your IQ has temporarily plummeted by a mean of 32 points. If you go to college, and you seem bright enough, you will find yourself friendless and mocked by the cool kids who are all Democrats. All the pretty girls look for boys in the Young Democrats on campus because they know they are the most handsome, intelligent, witty and caring. It’s not too late to change your political orientation, JJ. Get blue.

J.J. Rousseau: On the contrary, Bob, it requires a lot of my brain capacity to be a conservative in highschool. Especially at a Jesuit high school where the teachers are more liberal than the media. You must realize how ridiculous it sounds when you say I am being indoctrinated, because the majority of America’s youth are being indoctrinated by the liberal media. I bother to ask my techers about issues, and then i talk to my family. Furthermore, the economy is still recovering from Clinton’s recesion, give it a few years, and the low unemployment will fill everyones empty pockets.

Question: How have your political views changed since you were in high school/college?

WND Poll: Web Hatemonger Wants Assassinations

Issue: Assassinate half of Congress, urges Web-radio hatemonger: ‘If you re-elect people who have committed these wrongs against us … then we may have to simply kill them!’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of radio host’s idea to assassinate half of Congress?

1. He’s right! Thank goodness someone has the courage to say it
2. Why stop at half?
3. He was only speaking hypothetically
4. He’s just looking for publicity
5. This is one very seriously disturbed dude
6. If anyone needs to be assassinated, it’s him
7. I share his sense of frustration with elected officials, but assassination talk is going way overboard
8. Just when you thought political discourse in America couldn’t go plummet any lower …
9. This guy belongs in a padded cell, and I believe they’re coming to take him away, ha ha
10. Other

No. 10: I’ve never heard of the guy. But he’s stepped over the line and should be investigated by the FBI. On the other hand, I’ve lost my tolerance for talking heads of any stripe. They simply aren’t worth listening to. Sorry Rush.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Saturday — 10/28/06

There’s a lot for you to chew on below as we enjoy a last nice day of fall today before cold weather moves in Sunday. But there’s always room for a new thread. You can post it with this Wild Card …

For Those Keeping Score @ Home

Question: How do the state endorsements line up with those of the Coeur d’Alene Press?

Answer: We agreed on four of seven endorsements: Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R), Controller Jackie Grove Twilegar (D), AG Lawrence Wasden (R) and Treasurer Ron Crane (R). The Press then picked Repub Butch Otter for governor and Repub Tom Luna for Superintendent of Schools. We picked Demo Jerry Brady for governor and Demo Jana Jones for Superintendent of Schools. Additionally, we picked Demo Larry Grant for Congress. The Press hadn’t made its congressional pick as of Friday.

Question: Will 11th-Hour Charge Hurt Wannabe Marr?

Issue: Marr denies harassment claim/Richard Roesler, Spokesman-Review

More Info: State Senate candidate Chris Marr on Friday denied allegations that he and other managers at a local auto dealership ignored, for years, the sexual harassment of a saleswoman by male colleagues. In a lawsuit filed last year, former Spokane Lincoln-Mercury saleswoman Dawn Fowler said that she was subjected to frequent harassment and discrimination by co-workers while selling cars at the dealership from 1997 to April 2005. At the time, Marr was part-owner, vice president and then president of the dealership.

Question: Would a revelation like this in the closing days of a tight campaign affect your vote?

Raymond Pert: In Praise of Community Colleges

Raymond Pert: At Kellogg High School, I was too remedial in math to take a class from John’s dad, Gene Austin. His reputation was stellar. My most inspirational teachers remain, to this day, the NIC Holy Trinity: Virginia Tinsley-Johnson, Jim McLeod, and Tony Stewart. Each day I teach at Lane Community College I aspire to have the humane and intellectual impact on students these three teachers had, and continue to have on me.

DFO: I shudder when I think of where I might be if Butte (Calif.) Community College hadn’t been newly opened when I was 18 years old. Mebbe dead in some rice paddy. Mebbe stuck in a dead end job wondering what might have been. Who knows? I certainly wouldn’t have become a journalist. It was affordable. It provided a good transition for a small-town kid who wasn’t quite ready for a four-year college. I cannot say enough good about the two-year institutions.

Question: Has a community college played a significant role in your life?

DanG: Vote 3rd Party Rather Than Lesser of 2 Evils

DanG: Please O Please vote for the person, not the party. And no more of this “lesser of two evils” stuff. There are often more than two people in a race. Just because the big parties and their buddies in the media play the two-rule game doesn’t mean you have to toss your vote away.

DFO: I may vote for a third-party candidate for the first time ever in this election. He doesn’t have much of a chance of winning. But I’m going to vote for him to protest the opposition in the race. And to thank him for sticking his neck out and entering the fray.

Question: Have you ever voted for a third-party candidate below the level of presidency?

TGIF Wild Card — 10/27/06

A Token D has been judged winner of Jim Hagengruber’s name-that-blog contest for his new enviro blog. It will be called (drum roll, please) “The Back 40.” Jim sez Token D can check in with me re: arrangements to collect a bag of organic apples, picked by Jim, or a box of wood, hand-chopped by Jim. Congrats, D. Thanks to all of you who submitted names, including Dan of the County, who finished runner up with “The Sludge Report” (my fave). Now, onto your first weekend Wild Card …

Marianne: She’s One Friend I’ll Accept Forwards From

Full post here

Sue Brooks is one of my forward friends. She doesn’t send jokes. She doesn’t send recycled stuff you’ve seen a thousand times, and so far, I’ve never received a foreward which threatens that if I don’t send it to 13 other people within 30 seconds something bad might happen. Sue often sends thoughtful messages. She’s a local realtor who’s done well with her sales. She’s upbeat, positive and caring. So, when Sue sends me a forward, I usually check it out — Marianne Love/Slight Detour.

Question: Do you send forwards? Do you hate receiving forwards (as I do)? Do you tell the sender that you don’t enjoy forwards or simply grin and bear it?

Inside Huckleberries — 10/27/06

Colleague Erica Curless and nephew Lane Joseph Phelps earlier this week after she helped her brother-in-law coach her sister in delivering their first baby at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.

*Note from state rep wannabe Bonnie Douglas to SR newsroom: “Bonnie Douglas called this week to say that her NRA rating had been upgraded to an ‘A,’ from the previous ‘A-minus’ status.”

*From Marianne Love: Jean (Owens) Brown died at 11:45 a.m. today in Sandpoint. She was the wife of the late Jim Brown Jr., the founder of the Pack River Lumber Co. who helped establish Schweitzer Basin Ski Area in 1963. He and the Brown family became the sole owner of the ski resort by the mid-1980s. He died on April 17, 1989. Afterward, their daughter Bobbie Huguenin took over Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

*Another Group Opposes Prop 2: “The Post Falls Chamber Legislative Committee thoroughly researched and discussed this issue and then made a recommendation to the Board to oppose Prop 2. The board considered this issue and decided to oppose Prop 2. Prop 2 would have a negative impact on our community, furthermore, HB 555 already addressed the issue of Eminent Domain in a way that is satisfactory.”

*I’m reading through Taryn Brodwater’s break-out sheet re: the $400,000 in expenses run up by the Kootenai County Public Defender’s Office: $990.45 twice in February for a defense seminar in Monterey; $622 to run down a National Inquirer interview; $952 for a trip to Sun Valley by Public Defender John Adams and two staffers. Must be nice. Also, I now know what it costs for two orders of hashbrown and eggs, an oatmeal, side English muffin, soft drink and two lattes at the Coeur d’Alene Inn: $32.

*Frum Helen Back: “Heading south today on Pleasant View the Dixie Services sign was just advertising his business. On the other side it read: ‘Wanted: Pretty wife and pretty kids.’ It makes me wonder if Mrs. Valentine got fed up with her husband.”

*Just In: Jim Hagengruber’s been called downtown to the Death Star. So, he asked that he not be pressed for a final decision re: the blog name. A dark horse candidate has emerged to challenge: “The Back 40.” Ready? It’s “The Sludge Report.” Stay tuned.

*Sandpoint Sue is right when she e-mails that today’s Dilbert cartoon is a must read for bloggers/blurkers/commenters here.

*An online poll conducted by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce reveals that 83.3% of the respondents oppose New Yorker Howard Rich’s Proposition 2.

In Case You Were Having Trouble Posting This PM …

… the problem was just fixed. Sorry

Wild, Cuh-razy (Nekkid?) Post Falls Chamber Promo

Scanned for HBO by Eric Anderson

Seems some folks will do about anything to promote a fund-raiser. Here, six usually sane individuals give the impression that they’re not wearing a whole lot behind those surfboards for that Post Falls Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Aloha fund-raiser and live-and-silent auction. From left, behind the boards: Randy Oaks (Greyhound Park & Events Center), Pam House (Awards, Etc.), Eric English (English Funeral Homes), Tonya Bean (Dickinson Insurance) and Rich Henning (Chamber Sales & Marketing Consultant). Front: Sharon Sonrenson (Body By Scotty). Photo: Kerri Thoreson (Kagey Company).

DFO: Izzit it just me, or does Tonya Bean look most uncomfortable?

Question: Would you pose for something like this?

Paglia: Dems, Gays Backfire w/Foley Flap

Foley is obviously a moral degenerate, and the Republican House leadership has come across as pathetically bumbling and ineffectual. But the idea that this is some sort of major scandal in the history of American politics is ludicrous. This was a story that needed to be told for, you know, like two days. Mark Foley was never on the radar of anyone outside the small circle of news junkies. So his fall and banishment from Washington were nothing but a drip in the torrential flood of current geopolitical problems. The way the Democratic leadership was in clear collusion with the major media to push this story in the month before the midterm election seems to me to have been a big fat gift to Ann Coulter and the other conservative commentators who say the mainstream media are simply the lapdogs of the Democrats. Every time I turned on the news it was “Foley, Foley, Foley!” — and in suspiciously similar language and repetitive talking points — Camille Paglia/Slate.

Question: Will the page scandal involving U.S. Rep. Mark Foley hurt the R’s in November?

Update: The Hag Wins 3-1 OK for Desert House

Rest of report from Palm Desert Berry Picker here

Duane agreed to a legally binding relationship with the city of Palm Desert: in exchange for the Council approving a permit for his sport court, Duane will work with a committee of two Council members to tackle the “mitigating circumstances” (they are listed in the Desert Sun article you linked to); if satisfactory solutions are not reached on the mitigating circumstances, then Duane will rip out the sport court. The Council vote was 3 to 1 in favor and so Duane got his permit. … I (sat) right behind Duane and his cadre of attorneys. He spoke respectfully to the Palm Desert City Council and seemed unruffled when each Council member said they were misled on this project and so were distrustful of him. Lots of public testimony from people who have lived here for 50 years and believe that their view is spoiled. Lots of people wondering how this happened and imploring the Council to not let it happen again — Palm Desert Berry Picker.

Question: Anyone surprised?

APhoto of the Day — 10/27/06

U. S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, and, former President Bill Clinton, blow out the candles on a cake at Hillary’s 59th birthday party in New York Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Question: Should Both Drivers Face Same Charge?

Issue: Attorney says driver should face lesser charge/Spokesman-Review

More Info: The attorney for a young man involved in a fatal crash on a Coeur d’Alene street says his client should not be charged with vehicular manslaughter because his car wasn’t the one that plowed into the victim’s car. “I think at best the state has a case of excessive speed,” said Michael Verbillis, who is representing Daniel W. Cutting. Cutting, 18, and Dominick Salois, 19, were arrested on vehicular manslaughter charges Wednesday in connection with the Oct. 13 crash that killed a 14-year-old Hayden boy.

Question: Should both drivers face the charge of vehicular manslaughter?

10 Cool Names You Suggested for New Enviro Blog

12. O Kokanee Doke (Cabbage Boy)
11. James and Mother Earth (Marianne Love)
10. Jim’s Gems (Nick Geranios, AP)
9. Environmentally Sane Asylum (Bree)
8. The Back 40 (A Token D)
7. Coeur d’Wood (Jesse Tinsley)
6. Natural Selection (Kristin)
5. Uncommon Ground (Frank Sennett)
4. Landlocked (Family Phil)
3. The Planet Daily (Clark)
2. The Sludge Report (Dan of the County)
1. (Soon-to-be enviro blogger Jim Hagengruber’s choice, to be announced by noon today, with the winner getting a choice of either a box of wood chopped by Jim or a bag or organic apples picked by Jim)

DFO: BTW, these are among my favorites. There are some cool choices that you made that are not on this list that Jim could pick as the name for his new enviro blog. Muchas gracias for your suggestions.

Take 5: Your Picks re: Why VP Cheney’s Comin’

1. He wants to check out Duane’s house plans for his new winter retreat. (John Austin)
2. He wants to check out Mic and Macs for his daughter. (John Austin)
3. Cat fights at the shore lounge? (Cabbage Boy)
4. He heard that Coeur d’Alene is a place where you can be the most unpopular guy in town and still be the most powerful. He thought he would fit in well. (Eagle Eye)
5. To see if Dennis Franz will play him in the movies. (Cis)
6. Cheney must be coming to visit the compound in Hayden Lake. Has anyone told him Richard Butler died? (Keith S)
7. Mebbe he is here to recruit bodies into the Idaho National Guard. Some of the NGs are on their Third or forth trip to Iraq and enlistments are sagging.

Question: Any others? This might make a good print Huckleberries roundup for Monday.

AM Hucks: Rest of Story re: Condom Dress

Seems I didn’t address journalism’s five W’s and especially the “H” – how? – Wednesday when I wrote about Trish Gannon’s condom dress. Remember? Trish, the spunky publisher/janitor of the biweekly River Journal up north, won first prize at a Halloween costume party last year by sewing dozens of unused, unpackaged condoms onto an old dress. Alas, I failed to address some things that inquiring minds want to know, such as: How many condoms did it take? Answer: 147, not counting the two on the sides that were suppose to tie together under the bodice but broke. (That sometimes happens with condoms.) Quoth Trish: “Condoms are fragile little critters, and a number just drifted off the dress. I left a trail of condoms wherever I went.” Next question: How much did it cost? Answer: Nothing but the original $18 for the dress. Trish (shown in a trash sack that she used for another costume) sez she had a “source” for the prophylactics. Question: How do you transform a lubricated condom into a compliant apparel accessory? Answer: Carefully, because, ah, they stick together. First, Trish washed them inside and out in the sink. Then, she sprinkled them with baby powder to give them “a fluffy, solid kind of look.” Unfortunately, during the wash cycle, Trish’s mother saw what she was doing and told everyone about it. For the next week, Trish was stopped repeatedly by Clark Fork residents who snickered when they asked: “Got your laundry done?” That was as bad as her son admitting sheepishly to friends that the bag of condoms on the coffee table “belong to Mom.” Any further questions?

Parting Shot — 10/26/06

Mike Clabby, a teacher at Lake City High School, holds a new laptop computer and wags his finger at the cheering student body after he was announced as the new Idaho Teacher of the Year Wednesday. Along with the laptop, he received $1000, a plaque and some training money for himself and his program/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Question: Who Has Most Eye-Catching Pol Signs?

Stebbijo and her hubby spotted this sign in Sanders County, Montana, while they were out and about on Highway 200.

Question: Who has the best political signs in North Idaho this fall?

Inside Huckleberries — 10/26/06

*Jim Hagengruber and Blogmeister Ken (soon to be Features Editor Paulman) both like “The Back 40” for his new enviro column, suggested by A Token D. But I’m partial to Common Ground/Uncommon Ground, suggested by Arpie and Frank Sennett. There’s still time to beat them out of their prize — wood or organic apples. Jim sez he’ll pick one by noon tomorrow.

*You can find that Larry Grant ad on YouTube that’s driving Republicans for Bill Sali (both of them) cuh-razy here.

*Huckleberries hears … that former NIC student/UI grad/Sandpoint native Sarah Palin is leading the Alaska gubernatorial race polls by double digits.

*The latest edition of the North Idaho College Sentinel is now online here.

*A Bonner County Berry Picker reports spotting “Not Bud Again” campaign signs along U.S. Highway 95. Translation: Someone opposes the election of former uber-conservative commissioner Bud Mueller. The signs feature white lettering on a black background with the international symbol for “no” (circle with a slash through it) across Mueller’s name.

*Also, in the Press today (front-page, opening paragraph): “Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to arrive at the Coeur d’Alene Airport in Hayden next Thursday, possibly to lend a hand to U.S. Senate candidate Bill Sali. Five points to reporter Marc Stewart for the skewp. Four points taken away for putting Sali in the wrong race. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I don’t screw-up in the next coupla days, which is easier to do in print than you think.

*As a blogmeister, I view our competitors, the Coeur d’Alene Press, differently today than I did when I was simply a print journalist. It has its niche in the community. We have ours. Viva la difference. However, I can’t help but poke them for that headline on Sholeh Patrick’s column today: “Newspapers include variety of information.” Ya think?

City Attorney Gridley Tells Prop 2ers to Pound Sand

Mike Gridley’s full response here

‘Laird Maxwell and his out-of-state handlers are political terrorists who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it walked up and bit them on their New York butts,’ said Mike Gridley in response to Prop 2 supporters demands for a retraction of his comments about Prop 2 limiting the ability to regulate sex offenders.”

Help Name Jim Hagengrubler’s Enviro Blog

Colleague Jim Hagengruber, our environmental wunderkind, is about to begin compiling an environmental blog for the SR. He sez it’s “meant to be a one-stop blog shop for anything to do with how we use/enjoy/abuse our region’s land, water and air.” Also: “Mostly, I want it to be a clearinghouse for ideas and news about the environment. This could be everything from the minutia (the latest wildfire-caused trail closure? The best spot to watch eagles chow on kokanee?) to hot-button issues of logging, aquifer pollution or the Priest Lake caribou fight. I’m hoping it will be a place for readers to share ideas, viewpoints and feedback.”

Now, Jim describes the problem: “We’ve had a hard time choosing a name for the blog. I liked Mud Blogging (combination of dirt, water and ideas), but was told this was too obscure. Chainsaw Love was also axed. So was Granola Head (I prefer frosted mini-wheats or, after payday, chicken fried steak and eggs). The winner of the name entry will have their choice of prize: either a box of free-range, semi-organic firewood (chainsawed and hand-split by me) or a sack of organic, hand-picked apples, which I hope to pluck this weekend from the trees at the Talache Apple Company.

DFO: So, name away. The winner of this little handy-dandy naming contest can enjoy hand-split firewood or a sack of organic, handpicked apples.

Question: Anyone?

The Belle of the Tupperware Ball

In this photo provided by Tupperware, CEO Rick Goings experiences a Tupperware dress, Wednesday in New York, during “The Translations in Tupperware” exhibit. Over 25 international entries of original art made of Tupperware were displayed at the unveiling event. (AP Photo)

Prop 2 Snake-Oilers Want CDA City Attorney’s Head

Full This House Is My news release here

Today, This House Is MY asked Coeur d’Alene City Attorney to Mike Gridley to resign his government post after he made false statements about public safety in order to lend support the anti-Prop 2 campaign. His statements were false, and rely on material inaccuracies on which the opponents of Prop 2 have been campaigning for weeks. In the Spokesman Review on October 22, 2006 Erica Curless wrote that Coeur d’Alene, “City Attorney Mike Gridley said Proposition 2 likely would cripple the enforcement of the hillside ordinance and any other land-use laws, including prohibiting registered sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a school. ‘It’s no secret that it would severely hamper the regulations of land use, and that’s the intent,’” Gridley told Curless. “The fact that Mr. Gridley would lie about sexual predators who assault children for political gain is disgusting and represents the lowest form of politics I’ve seen during my lifetime here in Idaho,” said Becky McKnight, spokesperson for the This House Is MY ballot committee.

Related: By 2-to-1, Oregonians wished they hadn’t OK’d their “Prop 2” here
Meet the rich New York Libertarian who’s pushing Prop 2 and other NW initiatives here

Question: What should Coeur d’Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley say to the Howard Rich’s Proposition 2 lackeys in Boise?

Race of the Day — North Idaho College Trustees

Issue: Five candidates seek seat on NIC board: Hopefuls represent wide variety of opinions on needs of college/Meghann Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Here’s one of those cases where I’d tell you who not to vote for: Stan Hess, former associate with racist David Duke and a self-described European-American civil rights activist. I’d favor either Jim Coleman or Dennis Conners.

Question: Who would you pick for the NIC trustee seat: Jim Coleman, Dennis Conners, Ron Vieselmeyer, Bill Brooks, or Stan Hess?

Eric Seaman: True Forgiveness Required

Eric Seaman: Unless something like this has happened to any of us, our comments and feelings are speculation of how we would “feel” should this happen to our family. You have to live the situation to truly react and that reaction will be a result of who we are and how we got to who we are at a moment of tragedy. I’d like to think I could forgive but, I love my children so much it borderlines on being unhealthy. This isn’t preaching but, I’m a Catholic and everything I read, hear, and expect calls for forgiveness. Severe forgiveness, not just saying that you forgive someone who wronged you by slight or by word because that’s easy. The forgiveness that faith speaks of is the big time stuff like murder, pain, and of course a situation like this.

DFO: The greatest single act of forgiveness that I’ve ever experienced/witnessed involved my father’s death. He was the foreman of a trucking company who, ironically, was killed by an inattentive trucker who, possibly blinded by the sun, turned in front of him near a freeway interchange. My mother never said an evil word about the trucker. From the moment she heard the news, she felt sorry for the poor trucker who’d have to live with his moment of inattentiveness the rest of his life. As a result, I believe, she was able to heal quicker than otherwise and continue on. I never heard one of my siblings express ill will toward the poor trucker either. Hate, bitterness, regret, etc., strangle life. Having said all that, there are times when I’ve struggled with hate and thoughts of revenge in other situations. It’s a waste of energy.

Poll: Can Brady Really Be 2 Points Up on Otter?

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, left, joined Jerry Brady, the Democratic candidate for Idaho governor, on Wednesday to release a Brady poll that shows the Democrat inching ahead of Republican Butch Otter. Brady’s internal poll shows him 2 points of Republican Otter in the Idaho gubernatorial race. (Associated Press)

DFO: Our newspaper endorsed Brady for governor, and I plan to vote for him — as a protest to Otter running a hide-and-seek campaign and believing he’s anointed to be guv, if for no other reasons. But I’m surprised by these numbers. I probably would be more skeptical of them, however, if Otter’s people had released their internal polling numbers. When they didn’t, I suspected that their numbers show the race close, too.

Question: Why isn’t this race a slam dunk for Otter, a man who has spent most of his adult life in public office in a Red State, including the last six years as its congressman?

Wondering: No Sympathy for Driving Thugs

Wondering: What can one say…and praying for Issac everyday will bring him back? Oh well, it looks good in print and in court. Clearly, I have no compassion for these 2 over privileged thugs. My compassion belongs to Isacs mother whose life will never again be the same. If the Cutting “thugs” father is a doctor, then he will probably have a high priced lawyer. He will hang his head in remorse and get some kind of community service. Boy that will teach him a lesson! Let us hope that, in this case, justice truly will be blind (to the slick lawyer) and these boys will get the sentence they so richly deserve.

DFO: I’ve thought quite a bit about this accident and the drivers who caused it. But for fortune, that coulda been me, as a kid. I remember racing my old ‘57 Ford back from a high school football game on a back road at 100 mph. I raced my 1968 convertible Camaro once or twice on city streets in college. In college, B.C., I also drove while intoxicated a time or two. Or three. I doubt that the racing drivers are monsters. They’re kids who committed a senseless crime as a result of an impulsive moment triggered probably by one of them revving their engine. Whatever happens in the judicial system, they’ll remember the accident with regret the rest of their lives. They’ll also be remembered for it. I mourn for the family of the victim. But I also feel sorry for the other families involved. They’re good people. And good members of this community.

AM Hucks: Hag’s Desert House Faces Vote Tonight

Complete Palm Springs Desert Sun report on the vote on Duane Hagadone’s Palm Desert home, plus photo here

This & That: Duane Hagadone’s monster expansion of his controversial SoCal home lands in the lap of the Palm Desert City Council tonight, with the city up in arms and the smart money betting on Coeur d’Alene’s native son. The Duane wants to expand the graded area of his Bighorn Golf Course home from 17,000 square feet to 61,000 square feet. The house itself is 32,016 square feet. The average house and graded area in the ritzy area is 10,000 square feet and 4,000 square feet. The obtrusiveness of the house, on a ridge of a natural view area, angers his upscale neighbors most. Cindy Finerty, a council wannabe who was the only city planner to vote against the proposal, wants to tighten up the city’s hillside ordinance. Quoth she, in the Palm Springs Desert Sun on Wednesday: “We need to tighten up the exception and variance part of the ordinance so we can never have a Hagadone house again.” (Huckleberries Online will provide a link to the story, a staff report and a good photo of the Hagadone house by 9 a.m. today) … Quotable Quote: “He won’t have no friends in here whatsoever. Nobody’s going to like him. He’s a target, he’s a target, you know what I mean … whoever gets their hands on him – they’re going to get fame from that, prison fame … they’re the one that got Duncan, ya know.” – inmate John Jones in a KTVB interview regarding the new inmate on his solitary confinement block: murderer Joseph Duncan … Poet’s Corner: “Now many months/have come and gone,/and yes indeed/they brought it on” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Be Careful What You Ask For”).

Extra! Teens Charged in Kathleen Avenue Fatality

Photo: A piece of the bumper of a late-model Ford Mustang sits on Kathleen Ave. after two of the cars involved in a fatal accident collided Friday morning, Oct. 13, 2006.

Full story here

Two Coeur d’Alene teens were charged with vehicular manslaughter today for an Oct. 13 crash that killed a 14-year-old boy and severly injured the boy’s mother. Dominick F. Salois (right), 19, and Daniel W. Cutting (left), 17, were allegedly racing their cars on Kathleen Avenue at speeds of 80 mph – well over the posted speed limit of 35 mph – when the crash occurred, according to Idaho State Police. Salois struck a Chevy Caprice as it was pulling out to make a turn onto Kathleen Avenue. The driver of the Caprice, 52-year-old Glenda Norris, was severly injured in the crash and her son, Isaac, was killed. Salois and Cutting were not injred in the crash. According to ISP, both young men were arrested earlier this afternoon and are being held on $50,000 bond each — Taryn Brodwater/Spokesman-Review.

Parting Shot — 10/25/06

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 and The Boo as Oompa Loompas during a Halloween past.

Trish G Answers Questions re: Condom Dress

Trish: Cameraman; If I remember the count correctly, we used 147 condoms on the dress. There were two more at the sides that came together and tied in the middle under the bodice of the dress - they broke. Another two were unrolled (but washed) and I wore them as earrings. Condoms are fragile little critters, and a number just drifted off the dress. So I left a trail of condoms wherever I went. (I kept finding loose condoms in the truck for weeks - which engendered some explanations when others were also present.) … DFO: I think I paid $18 for the dress the condoms are sewed onto … can’t really remember as I bought it years ago, to wear under another dress that was a little too brief for my taste. I had a ‘source’ for the condoms, so they didn’t cost me a dime. There’s probably about 12 hours of labor in putting it all together. Please note, I have refrained from all puns, even though there were several opportunities. … Sam and Wondering: Misty says thank you. … Cabbage Boy and AnyMouse: sorry for making you uncomfortable… but it WAS a costume. Maybe you had to be there. It won first place by the way… and the judges were a lot of conservative, Republican women.

DFO: Anyone else?

Top Cutlines — 10/25/06

Riot policemen shout as they scuffle with protesters during a rally against free trade between South Korea and the U.S. in Seogwipo, South Korea, today. Protesters marched to the beat of an ear-piercing gong. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-Joon)

Top Cutlines:

1. Just another day in HBO’s timeout box — Bree.

2. After Busan in from outside the city, riot police put their heart and Seoul into their work, just Incheon to fight the protesters — John Austin.

3. After several lawsuits filed by injured contestants, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge institutes a full body armor policy at Takeshi’s Castle — Katrina.

HM: Jesse Tinsley

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

Item: Pitbull Facing Gallows for Bestiality Tryst

Full article here

Pierce County Animal Control officials say a 4-year-old pit bull at the center of an alleged case of felony bestiality will likely be euthanized, prompting an outcry from animal-welfare groups. The pit bull, named Sara, has been kept in isolation at the Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County since shortly after a woman told police she photographed her husband having sex with the animal in the couple’s Spanaway yard.

DFO: Ah, shouldn’t the human assailant here be put down?

Question: Does it get much sicker than this?

Question re: Spokane judge’s reax to candidacy

Issue: Leslie’s filing surprised Tripp: Judge, wife admit losing their composure/Tom Clouse, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Spokane County District Judge Greg Tripp said he lost his temper July 28 when he learned that public defender Jeffrey Leslie filed paperwork to oppose him just minutes before the filing deadline. “I told him he could expect a vigorous campaign,” Tripp said of his comment to Leslie. Tripp’s wife then took it a step further. She told Leslie, according to both men, that his filing for election would cost the Tripps even more than the price of a public college education. “I mean Stanford,” Leslie quoted JoAnn Tripp as saying. The incumbent judge for Position 5 didn’t dispute Leslie’s account and said only that it was a moment of frustration that was not indicative of his temperament.

DFO: I’ve been around long enough to know that judge’s are every bit as thin-skinned as other elected officials. They don’t get caught as much acting out their thin-skinnedness because they’re not in the spotlight that much.

Question: Do you think most judge’s have a sense of entitlement to their jobs?

Hat Tip: JBelle

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/25/06

Brian Boeck, of Kirkland, Wash., left, and his friend Tim McGuiness clip into their snowboards at Stevens Pass, Wash., Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 24, 2006. The first measurable snow, about 3-4 inches at the base, fell at Stevens Pass during the day prompting Boeck and McGuiness to drop their rock climbing plans and see what the snow was like at the ski area. (AP Photo/The Herald, Jennifer Buchanan)

Eye On Boise 2-fer: Demo Jerry Brady’s internal polling shows him with 2 point lead over Butch Otter in Idaho guv race here. And: Bill Sali, Larry Grant exchange verbal jabs in final debate here.

1. Vacuum cleaner salesman from Hayden becomes the first person to be busted by St. Maries police for allegedly violating the city’s anti-soliciting ordinance here.

2. The real estate slump in Boise has Realtors desperate enough to turn to their patron saint, St. Joseph, and even try voodoo here.

3. Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho, has stopped publishing the names of newborn babies in local newspapers out of concern that the baby notices could lead to abductions here.

4. The principal of Park High School in the Livingston (Mont.) School District returned to school Tuesday after a six-day suspension for giving a student a “wedgie” here.

5. Spurred by the knowledge that Spokane’s Slavic community is using PCB-laden fish as a substenance source, Washington state has begun a massive cleanup of the Spokane River here.

6. IMHO-NW: Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Stuck with president’s course), Trish Gannon/River Journal (‘Tis fun to work with kids), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (2nd District D raises $$$ old-fashioned way), John Blanchette/SR (Coug defenders have adapted well), and Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Largent honored as hall-of-famer).

Online Poll: 37.3% of 899 respondents to a Seattle PI poll said it of equal importance to them in voting is a candidates’ qualifications and which party controls Congress.

*Boise State running back Ian Johnson is ranked No. 1 in the nation in Pat Forde’s column (at bottom) here.

*Spokane County assessor pulls property info from county database after real estate pros sound off here.

*UIdaho saves $123 million by cutting pensioners’ retirement benefits here.

Orbusmax Special: Eastern Washingtonian pleads innocent to trying to hire a hitman to kill unborn child here.

Kurt Cobain, Elvis Lead Dead Celeb Money Raisers

Full Seattle PI post here

A dozen years after he committed suicide at his Seattle mansion, Kurt Cobain is raking in the dough. The lead singer of Nirvana topped Elvis Presley in Forbes magazine’s 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities, with his estate generating $50 million in the past year. Nirvana’s music sold 1.1 million units in the U.S. last year and was used in the TV show “Six Feet Under” and the movie “Jarhead.” Several songs will be used in a “CSI: Miami” episode next month. Presley’s estate generated $42 million between October 2005 and this month, the magazine reported, followed by “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz at $35 million and the Beatles’ John Lennon at $24 million.

Question: Which dead celeb do you miss most?

CDA Press Poll: Can You Predict Congress Result?

Coeur d’Alene Press Online: Some people predict the Democratic Party will shake up the majorities in Congress. Your prediction:

*GOP will maintain control of both the House and Senate.

*Dems will take control of one.

*Dems will take control of both.

Your guess?

APhoto of the Day — 10/25/06

Riot policemen shout as they scuffle with protesters during a rally against free trade between South Korea and the U.S. in Seogwipo, South Korea, today. Protesters marched to the beat of an ear-piercing gong. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-Joon)

Milt: Condoms Are Perfect Lib Campaign Buttons

Milt Nelson (re: condoms on Trish’s Halloween outfit): These are Liberals perfect campaign buttons — as they allow for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of dorks, and gives you a sense of security while you’re actually being screwed!

DFO: Both sides of the aisle should appreciate Milt’s cleverness here.

007: No One Gets Executed in Idaho

James Bond: DFO, There is an AP article this morning about how yet another “death row” inmate (David Leslie Card) has been given new life by a court. He’s too incompetent to execute, as if that is an excuse! Seriously, though, I am exasperated by how so many law and order types don’t seem to understand the HUGE costs and TOTAL FUTILITY of the death penalty in Idaho. As a society, we need to start looking past our insatiable need for fire-and-brimstone revenge on killers and start looking at WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to them after the sentence is handed down. It’s almost as if people shut down their brains after a killer is sentenced to death, assuming he’s either already been executed or is about to be. The truth is, as I’ve repeatedly noted on this board, no one gets executed in Idaho, and very, very few people get executed in the western United States. Yet, we spend all this time and all this money when we could be locking them up until they die naturally in prison without all the appeals and costs automatically associated with the death penalty.

DFO: I firmly believe in an eye-for-an-eye, a life-for-a-life. But I also supported the editorial board’s switch when it took the position against capital punishment. The. System. Is. Broken. Few get executed in this country. Only one in Idaho in the modern era. 007 lays out the case perfectly above. It’s a waste of effort to fight to execute anyone in this state, even the louse Joseph Edward Duncan.

AM Hucks: Halloween, Thou & A Condom Dress

A photo of the condom dress and more comments by Trish here

My Huckleberries Online crew takes a back seat to nobody when it comes to Halloween costumes. Katrina Swaim and her hubby, Paul, set a high standard last year when they attended a costume party as binary code (black turtlenecks with a big white “0” and “1” on them). Sara Anderson, of Moscow, ordered a “bonnet thingie” on an Amish Web site to complete her transformation to Hester Prynne of “Scarlet Letter” fame, complete with a black dress that had a red letter “A” sewn on it. News Editor Holly Bowen at the North Idaho College Sentinel didn’t check with her boyfriend before she pieced together a devil outfit from items around the house for Halloween ‘06. She didn’t want to waste money on a costume she’d wear once. But she did give in and purchase fake horns – only to discover her guy pal’s going as a priest. Exorcism, anyone? But no one – no one – can top the outfit worn last year by Clark Fork’s Trish Gannon, owner/publisher of the River Journal. Trish described it to my blog readers Tuesday: “I made the most gorgeous dress I’ve ever seen out of … condoms.” (You can find a photo of it on my blog.) The dress made of unused, unpackaged condoms won rave reviews and a few ee-ews. People would praise her on the dress’s beauty while reaching out to touch it. Then, they’d jerk back when they realized what it was. At least, all but one did. A woman tore a handful of condoms off the dress and then handed Trish a $5 bill. Sez Trish: “I tried to point out to her that they were sewed onto the dress … and, therefore, all had holes on them.” Now, that’s scary.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10/24/06

We’re headed into the home stretch re: election endorsements. The legislative and local endorsements should start rolling out Thursday or Friday. Which means a lot of writing for me in the next coupla days. I’ll try to keep things lively here in the meantime. The comments section has been hopping today, but there’s always room for a new thread on the Wild Card …

Question: Have You Voted Absentee?

Issue: Election looks promising: Absentee votes have officials predicting 65 percent turnout/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Deedie Beard, Kootenai County’s election manager, said about 5,000 requested ballots have been mailed out to voters. Another 500 voters have already walked into the county election office to cast their ballot. “About 2,500 people (total) have voted already,” Beard said. “Absentee voting is much higher than normal for a non-presidential year. I’m surprised. It shows people are very interested in this election.”

Question: Have you voted yet?

Top Cutlines — 10/24/06

Actress Miley Cyrus appears back stage with sumo wrestler Manny Yarbrough during MTV’s ‘Total Request Live’ show at the MTV Times Square Studios Monday in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

Top Cutlines

1. Cyrus was so leary that Manny would bake her up into a delicious pie — Family Phil.

2. After this photo was taken, Miley was reported missing for several hours. The search was called off after Manny reached up to scratch his ear and the actress fell out of a fold in Manny’s blubber — Jesse Tinsley.

3. Manny patiently waits with Miley waiting for his cue to prance down the catwalk in the all new “Aint no Anorexics Here” fashion show of male intimate apparel — keithincda.

HM: Bronx Boy

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

Daily Bee: No to Mueller-Rich Commish Ticket

Full Sunday editorial by David Keyes/Bonner County Daily Bee here

Bud Mueller had an abysmal record as a county commissioner from 1998 to 2001. He proudly takes credit for axing the county’s building department and has the same plans for the EMS system and planning and zoning. Yes, that’s right. Mueller is advocating no planning and zoning in a county that needs planning and zoning. He also sees EMS as a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. He wants private firms to respond to medical calls. We have tried that here and it didn’t work. Rich would bring nothing to the commission but a mercurial temper and an inability to work through issues or hear opposing views. Unfortunately, the Republican faithful hoped that Rich might be a calming influence on Mueller if they are both elected. Rich has proven to be nothing more than a puppet (or Homecoming party crashing date) for Mueller — David Keyes/Bonner County Daily Bee.

Question: What have you done to encourage others to vote against the Mueller-Rich ticket?

Question of the Day — Lengthy Movies

Issue (from Ryli for the UI Argonaut “Off The Cuff” column): “I can’t stand going to the movies anymore because everything I see is far too long. Why does every filmmaker think they need two-and-a-half hours to get their point across? I blame Peter Jackson. That hobbit-loving nerd ruined movies for me. I mean, whatever happened to the 90-minute movie? Seriously people, if you don’t have anything to say don’t try to stretch it out to three hours.”

DFO: The last “Lord of the Rings” episode went a half hour too long. It shoulda stopped when Aragorn said to the masses after the destruction of Mordor that a Hobbit bows to no one. “King Kong” went on an hour too long. But the special effects were still cool. I can’t remember if “Pirates” 2 went too long. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess it depends on the movie.

Question: Are movies too long nowadays?

Quotable Quote — 10/24/06

Question: If you were going to compare the Mariners to a musical performer, who would it be? Some suggestions: Bob Dylan: Once great, currently great. Rolling Stones: Once great, currently living off of their past. The Kinks: Once great, currently MIA. Wilco: Good-to-mediocre now and will stay that way for the foreseeable future -— S.F., Bellevue

Answer (from Steve Kelley/Seattle Times): I would compare the Mariners with Motley Crue - all noise and no results. And like Motley Crue, which had one talented artist (Tommy Lee), the Mariners are thin.

Washington Post Datelines CDA in Grant-Sali Race

Full story by Blaine Harden/Washington Post here

It is, perhaps, the political equivalent of hell freezing over in the interior West. This red state where conservative Republicans routinely wipe the floor with hapless Democrats has a Republican running for Congress who just might lose. Democrat Larry Grant’s rise has attracted the attention of national Democrats — and Republicans. The suddenly competitive race is a delicious development for Larry Grant, a Democratic candidate for the House who finds himself transformed from sacrificial lamb to reason for worry among national Republican strategists. His Republican opponent is Bill Sali, an eight-term state representative with a corrosive reputation for irking his fellow Republicans. The Republican speaker of the Idaho House, Bruce Newcomb, said this spring of Sali: “That idiot is just an absolute idiot.” With an impish smile, Grant, who was a high-tech executive in Boise, took a moment from knocking on residents’ doors here last week and said: “Can you imagine Republicans sitting around in Washington and saying to each other, ‘Jeez, now we have to spend — Blaine Harden/Washington Post.

Question: Do you think Sali will pull it out in the end?

Hat Tip: Dan of the County

Cis: Why Can’t They Put Ads On Side Rails?

Cis: I for one don’t like the mid ads. Why can’t they put it on the side like the other blogs? (at least I don’t recall any with mid ads). It ruins the flow … just MHO.

DFO: As I said elsewhere, HBO is trying to enter a brave new world in which advertising is intruding a bit on our raucous, passionate debate. In one way, I appreciate that HBO is one of the trail-blazers for the new ads. (BTW, I believe the banner ads above from Coeur d’Alene Cellars and Stoneride are dyne-oh!-mite. Extremely classy.) Who knows? Someday, mebbe the paper can afford to make me a full-time blogger. Dunno if I’d want that. But it’s an idea. As you know re: blog-world, things are always changing. I’m willing to try things to keep what we have here intact. Let me know your thoughts re: the new ads (which are dropped in the text between the second and third posts).

APhoto of the Day — 10/24/06

Actress Miley Cyrus appears back stage with sumo wrestler Manny Yarbrough during MTV’s ‘Total Request Live’ show at the MTV Times Square Studios Monday in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

Bronx Boy: A Joke @ Boise State’s Expense

BSU student: Did you hear I finally graduated?
UI student: Yeah, and just a shade under a decade too, all right.
BSU student: You know a lot of people go to college for seven years.
UI student: I know, they’re called doctors.

Bronx Boy

Arpie: No Dancin’ Bears @ Spencer-DanG Show

I just got back from Spencer’s Forum. There were no dancing bears, unless you count Dang. They did sell popcorn though. There were about a hundred folks there. Most attendees seemed to be true believers. There was a lot of preaching to the choir going on.

Dang did a good job of laying out the URD problem. It was heartening to hear that legislators are already looking at making changes. The clearest part of his presentation was that these URDs are costing the rest of us money in increased taxes. That is a drum that is worth beating.

I respect that Larry is willing to spend his time and money to hold forums like this. That said, it was hard to sit through an evening of listening to him endorse candidates and urge votes on propositions that I disagree with 100%.

I did find one area of agreement, I think. Larry spoke of the need to increase impact fees on new development so that they truly pay for themselves. I sure would like to see that happen. The first step, I believe is for the legislature to okay an increase in the way these laws can be used.

Anyway, I introduced myself to Larry and Dang. It’s nice to put faces to blog folks. Spencer, you spoke clearly, with humbleness and humor. You did a good job of speaking up for your beliefs. The carpetbagger from Michigan did a good job speaking for prop 2. Democracy sure is fun.


DFO: As I said last night, I admire Larry Spencer for putting his time and money into the causes in which he believes. Having said that, I’ve rarely encountered an individual who’s so uniformly wrong in what he believes. Proposition 2 is a stinker. Ditto for the Bonner County political candidates Bud Mueller and Louie Rich, who should make their county the laughing stock of Idaho again. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see DanG’s URData.

Parting Shot — 10/23/06

Dewayne Hammer of Nampa, Idaho, take advantage of the pleasant weather to do a little fishing as the ducks swim by earlier today at Rotary Pond in Caldwell, Idaho. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

Killer Duncan Finally Leaves Kootenai County

Full post here

Kootenai County’s most notorious inmate was transferred to the state’s maximum-security prison in Kuna today after 478 days in an isolation cell at the county jail. Joseph Duncan was moved just three days after an interview with Kootenai County investigators, something he agreed to as part of an Oct. 16 plea deal in which he admitted to a May 2005 triple-murder and kidnapping charges for binding the victims. Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said specifics of the interview will not be released until after a related federal case concludes — Taryn Brodwater/Spokesman-Review.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 10/23/06

Family Phil and dozens of his closest friends found some unsettling items as they cleaned the mess left behind by others on Tubbs Hill here.

*Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns tells us about a brave girl who not only survived a virus attacking her brain but also a nasty dog bite here.

*A close call about the time that John F. Kennedy was assassinated reined in the desire of Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ to be a firebug here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour admits she was a pretty good joke teller in her day, including a time or two that she was taken to the wood shed for letting the f-bomb dribble out of her mouth here.

*Toad/Synaptic Disunion remembers the college life that helped form him into the person he is today, both in word and music, here.

*Bronx Boy/The Perambulator has fallen in love in London. You can read all about it here and here.

Put your hands together for Bearable Bob, who celebrated being smoke free for a year on Sunday. He sez the urge to smoke is still there, but not nearly as overbearing as it used to be here. Congrats.

Meanwhile, JBelle hands over the recipe for her delicious meatloaf here, Mari’s back from New England here, MikeK posts again here, JeanC holds her nose as she heads south to Lewiston for a day of shopping here, Trish posts random thoughts while she’s waiting for her anti-virus to scan The River Journal here, and Bill takes note of an Idahoan who allegedly went bad here.

Top Cutlines — 10/23/06

American rock star Janet Jackson covers her face as she shows back of her bright red kimono for photographers in Tokyo earlier today. Jackson, marking 20 years after her hit “Control” album, said she is returning to her roots with her latest release, “20 Y.O.”, focusing on a dance and R&B style. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Top Cutlines

1. Is it Janet, or is it Michael? Only the kimono knows for sure — CDADave.

2. Moments later, to keep her Japanese followers abreast of her recent appearances, Ms. Jackson experiences another unfortunate wardrobe malfunction — John Austin.

3. Janet covers up her face in embarassment, she told her stylist she thought the kimono was much to revealing but he insisted she still wear it — Bree.

HM: Cabbage Boy

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

Afternoon Question: Is Boise State BCS Worthy?

KTVB question: Is Boise State worthy of an invitation to a BCS bowl game after struggling against UIdaho Saturday?

*Don’t know

Question: Is Repub Tent Big? Or Just A Pup Tent?

Full post by Joan Opyr/New West here

Gay activist Mike Rogers claimed Idaho Senator Larry Craig has had gay affairs on the Ed Schultz Radio Show (Wednesday). Craig denies the allegations. New West’s Jill Kuraitis reports that Craig’s press secretary, Sid Smith, says “The Senator says this story is absolutely ridiculous – almost laughable … . It has no basis in fact.” Who’s telling the truth, Rogers or Craig? Does it matter? Yes, it does, but only because Craig is a big wheel in the GOP, and that means he can’t be gay. The Republicans talk about a big tent, but in truth, it’s a pup tent. There’s only enough room for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and the Coleman stove of hellfire and damnation that serves as their Bible. If you’re not white, straight, Christian and male, out in the cold you go.

Question: Does the Republican Party have a bigger tent than the one New West writer Joan Opyr describes above?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/23/06

Jim Valentine, who runs a landscaping and excavation business called Dixie Services in Post Falls, stands near a sign he put up warning homosexuals that they’re not welcome in Idaho Friday. Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts reported in the Huckleberries Online comments section Saturday that Valentine had removed the sign. You can read the original story and comments about the sign here/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Stapilus: Washington Post doing story on Idaho’s 1st Congressional District race and quotes a tough question asked by our Bubblehead here.

1. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is expected to miss two to four weeks because of a sprained medical collateral ligament in his right knee here.

2. Missing Hunters: Spokane hunter found dead near Metalline Falls here, and Eagle man found safe after surviving 5 days in wilderness here.

3. Six weeks ago, an Olympia woman wondered where her fiance was. At the same time, a man on a Denver sidewalk wondered who he was. The woman, Penny Hansen of Olympia, identified the man suffering from amnesia in Denver as Jeffrey Alan Ingram, 40, her fiance, after national television news broadcast the man’s plight, hoping to find someone who could identify him here.

4. Long-haul truck driver Stephen Carney dug out his suit and tie from the cab of his semi parked near the University of Montana, polished his shoes and trekked over to Music Building to try out for the national Metropolitan Opera auditions Sunday here.

5. A Bozeman man has been charged in connection with last month’s sexual assaults near and on the campus of Montana State University here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Wonders that make you wonder), Jim Camden/Spokesman-Review (Political parties about to scare you), Spokesman-Review (Cathy McMorris endorsed), Idaho Statesman (Larry Grant endorsed), and Jimmy Blue/WSU Evergreen (Wal*Mart cons outweigh pros).

Online Poll: 70% of 999 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they are not as likely to invest in the stock market despite the recent records set by the Dow Jones Average.

*Idaho hunting is a $540 million industry here.

*Boise offices pull smash-and-grab burglary suspects from burning Jeep here.

*Boise State remains at No. 15 in BCS standings, despite 42-26 victory over UIdaho Saturday here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon has 75,000 problem gamblers here.

APhoto of the Day — 10/23/06

American rock star Janet Jackson covers her face as she shows back of her bright red kimono for photographers in Tokyo earlier today. Jackson, marking 20 years after her hit “Control” album, said she is returning to her roots with her latest release, “20 Y.O.”, focusing on a dance and R&B style. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

SR Edit: No on Proposition One

Complete SR editorial here

The Invest in Our Kids’ Education Campaign has identified a problem and appears to have gale-wind support for their proposition. But Proposition 1 has a fatal flaw. It is an attempt to mandate state spending at the ballot box, which is always a dicey proposition. To come up with the enormous amount of revenue required by this measure, the Legislature would have to raise the sales tax again. Or hike other taxes, such as the beer and wine tax, the income tax or even property taxes. Or cut spending dramatically. Or eliminate sales tax exemptions. Or approve a combination of these options. No one would argue against spending cuts. A review of sales tax exemptions would be good, too. However, a take-it-or-leave-it measure handcuffs lawmakers and removes the opportunity for a deliberative approach.

Question: What’s your position on Proposition One?

Question: Will You Support Aquifer Protection District?

Issue: Backers say aquifer district is vital: Kootenai County initiative designed to protect region’s water supply/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

More Info: If voters agree to the idea, the aquifer district could triple the amount of pollution prevention and monitoring programs aimed at keeping the aquifer clean. Households above the aquifer would pay $6 a year for its protection; businesses would pay $12.

Coeur d’Alene Press editorial in support of aquifer protection district here.

Question: Are you in favor of forming an aquifer protection district?

BrodH20: Spiders Are Comin’, Spiders Are Comin’

Full post here

The BrodH2O clan awoke this morning to find our entire backyard covered in spider webs. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. Our BBQ is draped in fine white webs. Our backporch swing is, too. And there’s a blanket of webs stretched over the blades of grass in our lawn. I have never seen anything like this. (I would take a picture, but my camera is broken) It looks like it would have taken millions of spiders to create the webs. I am deathly, deathly, DEATHLY afraid of spiders. Especially those hobos that like to hang out in our basement. They have eyes and they watch me — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

Question: Have the hobos come crawling into your home this fall, yet?

AM Hucks: Readerboard Message Provokes Reaction

Original thread with 120 comments here

My readers at Huckleberries Online weren’t pleased with Dixie Services owner Jim Valentine – you know, the Post Falls guy who posted this message on his readerboard: “Peds queers fags your (sic) in Idaho now …” When colleague Taryn Brodwater broke the story Friday, I asked HBOers for their comments. And I quote:

Jane Q. Citizen: “The unfortunate thing is that this will make the national news and once again ignorance will be the defining face for our entire state. I find people like Mr. Valentine to be nearly as frightening as the likes of Joseph Duncan.”

Moscow Minidoka: “He’s certainly entitled to be an idiot bigot, and I thank him for advertising his views so I can avoid his business. If he doesn’t want to sound like a redneck mouth-breather, though, he might consider using the correct form of ‘you’re.’ ”

JeanC: “Hmm, maybe someone in the area can do a ‘Lemonade-from-Lemons’ type campaign. For every day he keeps that sign up, people can donate money to groups that oppose such bigotry. Have some good come out of the further besmirching of Idaho.”

MommyJD: “One could feel sad and angry at Mr. Valentine for his views. OR one could be grateful that Mr. Valentine has saved us time and energy by adequately conveying who he is as a businessman. At least I didn’t have to drive there, park, haul two toddlers out of their car seats, walk in, see the racist signs, get disgusted, walk out, pack two toddlers back into the car and drive home.”

Wild Card/Sunday — 10/22/06

As you can see below, I posted some of the best comments from a pretty good string of comments over from Saturday and Friday night. Great stuff. You’ll also find good new stuff from Family Phil, BrodH20 (the spider’s are coming), Kellogg Bloggin’ (Why we hate WSU’s Cougars), Marianne (Sandpoint has a national champion), Trish and the rest of the gang on the blogrolls to the right. (In the interest of full disclosure, I watched “X-Men III” on video tonight while recuperating. If I had one of those turkey symbols, I’d place it here.) Now, for your Sunday Wild Card …

JBelle: HBO’s Smart Boys Completely Miss Point

JBelle: DFO, you raise a critically important point (re: being changed by the interaction on this blog). You experience here what educators have known for at least 15 years: interactive learning sticks to the ribs. When you can wander in, out, thru, under and about the data and slap it around and squeeze it as you go, you’ll keep it better than if you are doing a fly by via textbook. As wll, personal interaction is the highest form of persuaion. And that’s a point all you Smart Boys completely miss: duh. You have such an opportunity to make a case here, an incredible opportunity. But you waste it with cheap shots, personal attacks and jockeying for position in the guilty pleasure of all card-carrying North Idaho Men: peeing highest at the trough. That’s a rough extrapolation, but I bet you can derive the vernacular of origin. You wanna evangelize and make recuits? This is your place. But you gotta make your case. And to do that, people MUST be able to take you seriously.

DFO: Well put, JBelle. Some, I believe, are frustrated because they haven’t evangelized successfully here. This isn’t about winning a political war or words. HBO isn’t about winning a political war of words. It’s about interaction with individuals who don’t hum to the same politico-religio mantra.

Sandy: Fond Memories of Dr. Wood

Sandy: I have many memories of Bill Wood. Since he and his wife Dolores were best friends with my husband’s Aunt and Uncle,Eileen and Otto Litzenberger we saw them a lot. I have many memories of barbeques, boat rides and his stories. He not only had stories to tell you a lot of times he would go get the clothes he wore, (like yellow plaid pants). You need to know, Bill was a pack rat and he saved everything. But, then there were some sad times too that I shared with Bill. My Dr. was out of town and our little month old baby boy was sick. So I ran him down for Bill to check him. Bill discovered aftersome blood work the little guy had leukemia, but he could not bear to tell me when I was there alone. So he told me I had to take him to hospital in Spokane. Then he called for Dolores to go with me. My husband was out of town. It didn’t end there, but during the next few months both Bill and Dolores helped my husband’s Aunt and Uncle with my twins. Bill had a deep faith and he lived it. I attend the same church as he did so saw him every Sunday, until this last year when he wasn’t able to get out. He was a wonderful bible teacher and I was blessed to be in some of his classes. He was so proud of John, Jackie and Jenny. But he was especially happy that they all knew Jesus as their savior. Good bye Bill, I will miss you.

JBelle: omg Sandy! Thank you. That was phenomenal.

Bayview Herb: Enuf of the Extreme Partisanship

Bayview Herb: I have a heavy heart tonite, as I watch the owner of the Captain’s Wheel Reastaurant live out his final days. It kind of makes me want to puke. Listening to idealogues, egomaniacs strut their stuff, when much more serious things are happening out there. Has anyone thought about anything lately that resembles an issue other than the extreme partisanship that is taking place now? I don’t think so. What we have herea, over and over and over, is bull…t that doesn’t change the world one bit. I’ve seen wild turkey’s strut during mating season. None take a back seat to you people. Yes, let Green Libertarian back, with the provision that he can’t post after the fifth beer.

DFO: Herb has articulated two things that I’ve been thinking about today. What would happen if we dropped the extreme partisanship here and starting talking about: 1. Ways to fix things in our little spot in the world and even regionally/nationally; or 2. Sharing our expertise in various areas with others here. I don’t mind the elbows that are thrown re: politics and religion. But I enjoyed most Marmitetoasty’s show-and-tell with a bag of bones. And found most useful Bob’s thumbs up for the movie, “The Prestige.” My wife has been asking about it. BTW, GreenL’s free to come back here if he wants.

Family Phil: How About ‘Dem Vandals!

Wow, what a game! 28-26 late in the fourth quarter. Okay, so either the Broncos aren’t as good as they think they are, or the Vandals are better than people give them credit for. I didn’t see this huge talent gap that has been talked about in the press and on message forums. Other than the amazing Ian Johnson, I believe each team matches up quite evenly. So, yes, the Vandals can recruit talent to the beautiful Palouse. And Erickson can flat-out coach. What really impressed me, once again, were the roaring Vandal faithful. There’s a special kind of pride in being an Idaho grad. Go Vandals! — Family Phil.

DFO: Indeed, what an entertaining game. UIdaho definitely is on its way back under Erickson. But don’t forget the WSU Cougs. They knocked off Oregon in a big way at Martin Stadium and are a win away from a bowl bid. Very cool.

OrangeTV: R.I.P., Dr. William Wood

Coeur d’Alene Press story here

OrangeTV: R.I.P. Dr. William Wood, my childhood doctor who passed away yesterday in CDA. He delivered more babies than anyone else in the history of Coeur d’Alene, including probably some of you. He was a kind and gentle doctor, always smiling. Most kids hate going to the doc, but I remember actually looking forward to going to that weird little office on 11th and Mullan, he made it kind of fun, and I always left with an armload of goodies … Anyone else have fond memories of Dr. Wood?

JBelle oh, Patrick. You just can’t even imagine. Dr. Wood was another King of Foster Avenue. One among many. Funny thing? when I moved to Spokane, his brother was here, practicing pediatric dentistry. In that way it was a seamless transition, because they were dead ringers for each other.

Question: Who Would You Like to Vote Against?

One drawback to being a Washington resident is you can’t vote in Idaho elections. There’s no telling how many people living west of the state line have seen campaign ads on TV for certain Gem State political candidates and thought, “Man, I’d really love to vote against that nitwit.” It almost goes without saying that the reverse is true, too. Lots of Idaho residents must have wished at one time or another that they could cast a ballot in a Washington race. Of course, it’s not as if all of us get our way in the elections held in our own states. Still, it feels good to at least stand up and be counted. When all you can do is watch from the other side of the fence, it’s frustrating. But try not to obsess about this. You wouldn’t want people to conclude that you have a borderline personality disorder — Paul Turner/The Slice.

DFO: Paul brings up a good point. We Idahoans see the Washington candidate ads on the three Spokane TV stations. Mike McGavick’s voice drives me up the wall. But I’d probably vote for him over U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

Question: If you could vote in the Washington elections (Idaho elections, for our eastern Washington friends), who would you vote against?

It’s My 2 Cents — 10/21/06

Shortly before closing time Friday evening, I received an e-mail that complained that this blog has been thoroughly infiltrated by liberals. It was brief. Reading between the lines, I figured it was saying that several conservatives no longer post here due to that fact. I didn’t respond to the e-mail. But I’ve thought about it tonight. If the writer knew the individuals behind the pseudonyms here, he’d know how wrong he is. There’s plenty of Republicans on this blog. But few of them are across the board conservative as Facts or Larry Spencer. In fact, there may be the best balance of newbys, oldies, liberals, conservatives, and all shades of in between on this blog today than there ever has been. I’m starting to tire of the terms “liberals” and “conservatives” because most people have a bunch of ideological strains in them. After 20 months of compiling this blog, I realize that it shifts to the right sometimes, to the left at other times. People come and go. I welcome all who come and by and large behave themselves. (If anything, this blog has calmed down since I booted a coupla liberal guys off and a coupla the conservatives left. I don’t miss the flame wars.) Bottom line? I like where the blog is now. I’m not going to change what I’m doing because someone is over in the corner holding his breath until he turns blue. People are free to start their own blogs, if they think they can do a better job. If the day comes when it’s obvious that Huckleberries Online has become a bore, I’ll shut it down and get on with the rest of my life. Until then, onward …

Anti-Gay Sign Goes Up in Post Falls

Full post here

Jim Valentine lumps gay people and pedophiles together. And he doesn’t want any of them living in Idaho. The Post Falls business owner posted a message in bold letters on his reader board this morning: “Peds queers fags your (sic) in Idaho now…” That’s what northbound drivers on Pleasantview Road see when they drive past the sign for his landscape supply and horse-boarding business, Dixie Services. “Don’t fruit with Idaho kill yo-yo boy” is the message greeting southbound drivers — Taryn Brodwater/Spokesman-Review.

Tony Stewart, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations: “It sends a message of hate directed at an entire group of people. It’s stereotyping an entire population. It’s so unfortunate when that happens.”

Question: What would you say to Post Falls business owner Jim Valentine?

Parting Shot — 10/20/06

Letters 18-feet tall proclaiming Seattle’s newest tourism slogan, “metronatural,” are seen atop the landmark Space Needle today, just north of downtown Seattle. The new tagline was unveiled earlier in the day by the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote the city. Seattle PI story here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


From Latah County Sheriff’s Blotter

11:58 pm — A 48 year old Potlatch man was arrested for driving under the influence at the Silver Saddle Bar in Potlatch. The man was reportedly trying to physically remove his wife from the bar after she allegedly flashed people at the bar. A sheriff’s deputy spotted him driving in the parking lot, but he said he couldn’t get out of the vehicle because he was completely naked. He was arrested after police officers gave him a blanket.

Hat Tip: JeanC’s Cathouse and Shooting Society

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 10/20/06

Granati caught that cool lightning storm Thursday night here. Amyrebba/That’s Life. Life Goes On provides her own commentary on the lightning show here.

*Family Phil provides a progress report after two months of home-schooling Junior here and a video re: what things look like when Sis gets out her water colors here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 is surprised that her son, The Rev. Mr. Boo, is so religious when his parents are so heathen here.

*Idawa/Word Forge understands there’s a lot lacking in our country, but he loves it anyway here. And he’s probably on the road as I post the next link, headed back to the UI campus to root for his alma mater against Boise State here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA tells us about a conversation she had with her mother’s cousin, who was orphaned in recent years by the deaths of her husband (3 years ago) and her only son (in August) here.

*Toad had the answer on the tip of his tongue when his wife asked what he’d be if he could do anything else for a living — a writer here.

“What are these oaths, these promises we make to each other? We bargain ourselves away. I’ll trade you this little piece of me, here look, see this? This is my island. This is my place I go when the storms” — Bearable Bob (complete post here).

Meanwhile, Christine is having an I-don’t-get-it moment here, Marianne’s thinking about a special birthday girl here, Stebbijo feels like we’re returning to Orwell’s “1984” here, Cis has had it with phone calls from politicians here, and CDADave sez he’d enjoy baseball playoff broadcasts more if Jeannie Zelasko would stay home here.

Inside Huckleberries — 10/20/06

*Sheriff Rocky Watson’s announcement in the Coeur d’Alene Press that he’s writing a book about the Joseph Duncan case is attracting big-time heat in the Coeur d’Alene Press Online comments section here.

*The advertising department is calling me a revenuer now … because it has landed another advertiser for this site. Beginning this evening, Stoneridge Golf & Recreational Community/Blanchard will begin rotating with Coeur d’Alene Cellars. Check ‘em out.

*Huckleberries hears … there’s a shake-up at the Coeur d’Alene Press with reporters Marc Stewart and Dave Turner switching beats. Marc goes to cops/courts, Turner to county courthouse. Both are pretty good at what they were doing. Interesting.

*John Marshall e-mailed a link to Family Watchdog that allows you to figure out where the registered sex offenders live in your neighborhood here. I was happy to see that the one who lived 2 blocks away has moved. But a different one has moved a block away.

*Coeur d’Alene attorney Arthur Macomber provides one of the best break downs re: why Proposition 2 is deceptive and would create havoc in Idaho here.

*When she gets back to the office, SReporter Taryn Brodwater has a story that should cause a buzz here at Huckleberries Online (if we can pilfer it before tomorrow morning’s paper).

*An important PSA from Blogmeister Ryan: “I’ve added a new piece to our spam filter that lets users send us a message if they think their comment has been improperly blocked. Now, if you make a post that gets flagged as spam, you’ll see a button to click to send us an error report. These messages go to the webteam inbox, and will send along all the relevant details about the comment — username, comment text, IP address, etc. etc. Hopefully this will help us troubleshoot a little more effectively.”

*Holly Bowen of the North Idaho College Sentinel posted a link to the newspaper’s new, improved Web site last night — here.

*Huckleberries hears that there’s a flap going on in Bonner County between the Daily Bee and Repub commish wannabe Louis Rich. Seems the Bee is ticked that Rich has talked to storekeepers re: ad cards purchased by his write-in opponent, Commish Karl Dye, that are being displayed in Bee newspaper machines. Now, about a dozen of those cards have disappeared. And the Bee wonders if Rich has anything to do with that. Stay tuned.

Kellogg Bloggin’: Dad said, ‘Don’t Be Like Me’

Full post here

As I grew older, I began to realize that what Dad meant when he said, “Don’t be like me” was “get out of Kellogg” or “don’t do what I did and spend your life in the Zinc Plant”. I understood this even more when I turned seventeen and went to work in the Cell Room and worked as a stripper, pulling and replacing cathodes from electrolytic cells and then stripping and stacking the zinc from these plates. Dad had told me since I was about twelve or thirteen that I had to go to work in the Cell Room so that I would never want to stay “in that shit hole” and would be motivated to, in Franklin Simas Oliveria’s words, “make a living with [my] brains.” It was my dad’s form of revulsion therapy — Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’.

DFO: Raymond Pert used by post yesterday about the 30th anniversary of my father’s death to recall his own pop.

Question: Is there any advice your parents gave you during your formative years that you remember today?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/20/06

One of the nation’s newest citizens also is among its oldest. Nadezhda Ivanova Deynega, who turns 100 in January, loves everything about America. here. (Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review)

Daily Briefing: How SR’s Jim Camden got his skewp about Kathy McMorris’s tough eastern Washinton race here.

1. Washington residents can blame the oil refineries serving the Intermountain West for paying some of the highest gas prices in the nation — sort of here.

2. Attempting to shore up support in what she describes as a surprisingly close race, freshman Rep. Cathy McMorris held a phone-in “town hall meeting” Tuesday morning and enlisted a Senate ally Larry Craig to defend her actions on veterans’ issues here.

3. Sisters Marnie and Annelise Driflot from Eagle, Idaho, will cheer on opposite sidelines when Boise State meets Idaho Saturday here. Meanwhile, UI is looking to beat BSU for the first time since 1998 here.

4. University of Washington President Mark Emmert received an annual pay raise of more than $100,000 Thursday here. Shawn Vestal/Campus Commons discusses here.

5. Seattle boosters hope its new brand and slogan “metronatural” will help visitors equate it with something other than gloomy, overcast days here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review (Teacher meets moose match), Sarrah Benoit/UIdaho Argonaut (Obsession with boozing, partying), Billings Gazette (Memorializing a Montana war hero), Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (War withdrawal better than indulgence), and Jamie Kelly/Missoulian (Come fly with a geek).

Online Poll: 18.1% of 613 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say they’re now using Internet Explorer 7. Another 44.5% say they aren’t and they don’t plan to upgrade soon.

*Wild deer chases runner from Bend, Ore., during race (with video) here. Free subscription required.

*New power plants and conservation have led to a surplus of electricity in the Pacific Northwest this year here.

*A man who was dressed in a gorilla suit when he grabbed a 5-year-old boy at a Lakewood store two months ago has surrendered to police here.

Orbusmax Special: 26-year-old man accused of sex act with family dog faces Washington prosecution here

APhoto of the Day — 10/20/06

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina leaps into the arms of pitcher Adam Wainwright after the final out in the Cardinals’ 3-1 win over the New York Mets in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, Thursday at Shea Stadium in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Press: How Do You Get Kids to Heed Danger Signs?

Full editorial here

Accidents happen. Taking risks hastens them. We’re not accusing anybody of anything, but we feel an agony for the family and friends of 14-year-old Issac Norris and his mom, Glenda. Issac was killed one week ago when the car his mother was driving was slammed by a 2006 Ford Mustang driven by a local 19-year-old. Reports at the scene on Kathleen Avenue indicated the possibility that the Mustang driver and a 17-year-old driving a 2006 Subaru Impreza might have been racing, though police haven’t concluded their investigation and no charges have been filed. But here’s our point: Something horrible happened involving those three vehicles, one boy is dead and his mother is in a Seattle hospital, and we can’t help but think that today, they should both be alive and well — Coeur d’Alene Press.

Question (posed by the Coeur d’Alene Press editorialist): So how do we older people break through the veneer of invulnerability that has accompanied youngsters forever?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Tattoo Discrimination

Issue: Discriminate against tattoos, piercings at your own risk: Employers with appearance codes face suits from ‘body modification’ activists/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think about tattoos and body piercing?

1. I’ve got mine and I want more
2. I love them – they’re a great form of self-expression
3. They’re not for me but I don’t have a problem if other people want them
4. In moderation they’re OK, but extreme body modification is creepy
5. People have a right to do what they want with their own bodies but employers should also have the right not to hire them
6. They represent a serious health hazard
7. It’s not going to be pretty in 30 or 40 years when all these bodies start sagging
8. They’re disgusting – going to the mall has become like visiting a Sodom & Gomorrah freak show
9. They’re a sign of cultural decay and represent a descent into paganism
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 4, 5, 7.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Parting Shot — 10/19/06

Launch Video Journal here

Shawn Wilcox, 17, was riding his bike across 4th St. in Coeur d’Alene back in August when he was struck by a car going 30 miles per hour. He was tossed like a rag doll and he came down head first on the sidewalk. The right side of his head was smashed, an ear drum burst and his leg was severely fractured. He was not wearing a helmet. A retired nurse was nearby and saved his life with CPR. Neurosurgeons pieced his head back together with a metal plate. Although he’s still healing and acts like a healthy teenager in many ways, his life is changed forever by the head injury. He will have frequent headaches for the rest of his life. Doctors say he will have cognitive impairments, hearing loss and problems with memory and vision from the massive blow the head. If he had been wearing a helmet, it likely would have cushioned the blow to his cranium resulting in less severe injuries. Wear a helmet, says Wilcox. He promises to wear one from now on — Jesse Tinsley/Video Journal.

Question: Do you know of someone who has been severely injured or killed because s/he wasn’t wearing a bicycle or motorcycle helmet?

Thom George: No Regrets re: Kids

Thom George: In so many ways our parents truly belonged to the Greatest Generation. My dad died October 21, 1987, 7 days before his 65th birthday. I made it back to his bedside and was with him when he died. During our last conversation he told me that despite growing up in a foster home, being injured in WW II, getting cancer at 38 years old, and losing a child when she was just 17, his only regret in life was that he didn’t spend enough time with his children because he worked so much to provide for his wife and five children. Thanks to him I had an easy decision to make when my daughter was born in March 1991, I quit my job and stayed home to raise my children. I may not have the career I might have had, but I know I don’t have the regret my dad did.

DFO: Fortunately, my job allowed me the wiggle room to always — always! — be there for my children, whether they were playing football in Orofino or performing in a high school play. My wife and I still joke about how we froze our tails off up and down the Idaho panhandle to watch Junior play football and baseball. When Sis played the femme lead in a Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lake City her senior year, we attended six of the seven performances. Probably the only thing I missed was a certificate presentation in which she was named to the National Honor Society. And someone chided me for not being there. I pity any of you who put work or recreation before “being there” for your kids.

City Plans Tubbs Hill Cleanup Saturday

Aaron Smith hikes around Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Wednesday. The city of Coeur d’Alene is gathering volunteers to help clean up Tubbs Hill on Saturday. Details here. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jason Hunt)

Question: Do you hike Tubbs Hill Often? Seldom? Never?

Ballot Issue: Idaho Gay Marriage Ban

Issue: Gay marriage ban on Idaho ballot/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

Pro: Backers of HJR 2, the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships in Idaho, see it differently. Rather than writing in discrimination against another minority group – gays and lesbians – they say the amendment will protect the institution of marriage.

Con: Today, some in Idaho – including the state Human Rights Commission – see a measure on the November ballot as a move to once again write discrimination against an unpopular minority into the state Constitution.

Question: Where do you stand?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/19/06

After about eight decades of being bandied about and lost for awhile in thrift-store storage, an 1891 organ finally is finding its way back to St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Spokane here. Video Journal slide show here.

Eye On Boise: Canyon County commish Robert Vasquez comes out against Proposition 2 here. Vasquez in his own words here.

1. Blogosphere fallout from gay activist Michael Rogers’ claim that Idaho U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has had gay sex continues: Frank Sennett/Hard 7 here, Columbia Journalism Review here, Andrew Sullivan here, Captain’s Quarters here, and Sister Toldjah here.

2. An itinerant preacher from Post Falls used his status to swindle investors out of $100,000. Michael R. Shaw visited congregations all over the country, encouraging the pastors and parishioners to invest in “Shattered Dreams and Broken Hearts,” a book he purportedly wrote in the mid-1990s and planned to re-release here.

3. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Tester leads incumbent Sen. Conrad Burns by 11 percentage points in a Montana State University-Billings poll released Wednesday here.

4. L.A. Times: America does not get much more Republican than Idaho. … But to keep one of Idaho’s House seats in Republican hands, the national GOP in recent weeks has poured in hundreds of thousands of dollars for television ads and brought in a parade of party bigwigs to campaign here.

5. The FBI interviewed a Milwaukee resident Thursday who officials believe was involved in posting Internet threats about dirty bomb attacks on NFL football stadiums this weekend, including Qwest Field in Seattle. The threats appeared to be phony here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dean Ferguson/Lewiston Tribune (Page scandal reaches Idaho’s Craig), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Clueless rebels get due), Spokesman-Review (Vote no on I-920), Brielle Schaeffer/WSU Evergreen (An open letter to men), and Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette Record (Versionary reporting).

Online Poll: 98% of 1617 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say that schools shouldn’t stop kids from playing tag at recess for fear they’ll get hurt and sue them.

*Judge rules in favor of Wal*Mart in the retail chain’s attempt to build a store in Pullman here.

*2 kids found safe after van reportedly stolen in Arlington, Wash., here.

*57% of Wyoming supports comprehensive indoor smoking ban here.

*Meridian man arrested for using cell phone to take photos of women in changing rooms here.

Orbusmax Special: Extra long ballot could mean that King County voters will have to put extra stamp on return envelope — or not — here.

Andrew Sullivan: Outing Gay Repubs Wrong

Andrew Sullivan is a gay conservative blogger. Below, he denounces the tactics used by gay activist Michael Rogers on Ed Schultz’s national radio show to claim Repub U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is a closeted gay. You can read his Daily Dish blog here.

The outing crusade gains momentum. Look: I loathe the closet. I despise the hypocrisy in the Republican party. But a witch-hunt is a witch-hunt. If the gay left thinks it will advance gay dignity by using tactics that depend on homophobia to work, that violate privacy, that demonizes gay people, then all I can say is: they are wrong. They will regret it. It will come back to haunt them. And they should cut it out. The fact that their motives might be good is no excuse. Everybody on a witchhunt believes their motives are good. But the toxins such a witchhunt exposes, the cruelty it requires, and the fanaticism of its adherents are always dangerous to civilized discourse. What you’re seeing right now is an alliance of the intolerant: the intolerant on the gay left and the intolerant on the religious right. The victims are gay people - flawed, fallible, even pathetic gay people. But they are still people. And they deserve better — gay blogger Andrew Sullivan/The Daily Dish.

Question presented by liberal Daily Kos: “Do you agree with outing gay Republicans? Response: Do you agree with outing Gay Republicans? Yes — 64%, No — 35%, Votes: 6887.

Idaho Statesman: LaRocco for Lt. Guv

Full Idaho Statesman editorial here

“We judge Risch’s time as governor by its defining moment: a one-day special legislative session to shift $260 million of school funding from local property taxes. We’re put off by the process — Risch lined up his votes before even convening the session. We remain unsure of who will benefit, and who will pay more, under a plan that eliminates the schools’ maintenance and operations levies while raising the sales tax by $219 million.”


“LaRocco also has flaws. The Statesman did not endorse his unsuccessful run for a third term in Congress in 1994, citing his “falsehoods and failure to accept responsibility for his actions in a sexual discrimination dispute.” In October 1994, LaRocco admitted to the Statesman that he had told an assistant to resign or be fired because they had an affair; his company eventually paid the woman at least a $40,000 settlement. As LaRocco looks to resume his political career, we’re troubled by the episode from his past. Still, we recommend he get a second chance.”

APhoto of the Day — 10/19/06

A visitor looks at the winning entry in the Shell Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition 2006 on display in the Natural History Museum in central London earlier today. The winning shot is of a Hispaniolian treefrog which had been caught in the jaws of a green vine snake. It was taken by Rick Stanley (17) from Maryland USA. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ Cathal McNaughton/PA)

Post Register: Prop 2: Fraudulent, Dangerous

Full Idaho Falls Post Register editorial here

Proposition 2 bills itself as a check against unbridled government control over private property rights. It copies the state’s new law protecting you against the government using its eminent domain powers to condemn your property and turn it over to developers. It morphs into a regulatory takings bill. The taxpayer would be forced to compensate a developer if zoning blocked his plans. Say goodbye to Idaho’s already minimal land-use planning — Marty Trillhaase/Idaho Falls Post Register.

Related: Prop 2 opponents file suit claiming organization violated campaign laws.

Christie Wood: Craig Was There When I Needed Him

I have not told this story before because it was so long ago and it really only mattered to me, but anyway…here goes. As a young enlisted member of the US Air Force I found myself in a situation I did not know how to deal with on my own. I loved the military (still do) and was proud to serve my country. The details are private but suffice to say when I contacted my local Senator Larry Craig he investigated what was happening at my base immediately. I still remember making the phone call to his office from a payphone and crying into the phone. He and his staff took immediate action and followed up with me personnally after the issue was resolved. The base commanders at the time did not seem to want a senator poking his nose around base. I will always be so grateful to him for the difference he made in my life. I got the opportunity 20 years later(last February) to meet him in person in his office in Washington DC. I was there on behalf of North Idaho College asking him to support Pell Grant legislation. I never told him I was that girl from so many years ago. All I know is Gay, Straight, Bi-sexual…who the hell cares as long as no laws are broken. He took care of a young girl from Idaho and he did it because he was my senator. In my eyes he will always be a great man, and he has proven himself time and time again to his constituents — Christie Wood.

DFO: I have a story re: Craig’s office (via former communications director Mike Tracy) coming to the aid of a family member in a desperate situation. May have saved her life. Mebbe I’ll tell it someday. I can testify first hand that the constituent service at his office is top notch.

AM Hucks: Cell Phones, Bathrooms Don’t Mix

‘m a cell phoneophobe. I’ve never owned one. I believe it should be illegal to talk on a cell phone while you’re driving. I believe someone should write a book of etiquette on cell phone use. But no one should need a book to figure out that it’s wrong – dead wrong – to talk on a cell phone in a public restroom. Take the moron who was lined up at the men’s urine trough just before halftime of the Washington State/California football game at Martin Stadium Saturday – puh-LEEZ. I didn’t notice the cell phone until I squeezed in beside him to take care of business. The goofball was blabbing about the game to someone who was oblivious that he was also peeing. I was tempted to tell him: Hang up and pee. But I didn’t want to startle him and become the victim of a little accident.

•A paper sign hanging near the entrance to the Human Rights Education Institute touts Idaho as being the only state with its own Anne Frank memorial. Thing is, someone left out the “e” in Anne.

•Almost everyone was relieved by Prosecutor Bill Douglas’ bargain for murderer Joseph Duncan’s guilty pleas, but none more so than the hired hands for the legal system and Sheriff’s Office. Why? In two words: hunting season.

•Can you believe it? There was actually a bidding war on eBay for two tickets to the Boise State-UI game this weekend. And a coupla ESPNers are predicting the Vandals will play in the MPC Computers Bowl against Miami or North Carolina State. What a difference a coach makes.

Wild Card — 10/18/06

There’s more than enough to get your interest today, HBOers. However, there’s always room for more topics. You’re free to suggest a new thread with this Wild Card …

Frum Helen Back: Dealing w/Hunting Widowism

I’m half way through my husband’s hunting getaway. I don’t know if I enjoyed it this much last year. So far I haven’t broken any appliances, something that’s easy for me to do. The sound was off on my favorite TV on the morning of day three, but my grandson told me that he had turned off the cable box by mistake the night before. It took awhile but I tried rebooting the box and back came the sound. Reboot is the word I use for unplugging something. Computers have changed my life so much. That’s another story. I have five small dogs that sleep with me. Since normally I have to share the king size bed with my husband, the dogs all sleep on my side. For the last four nights the critters are scatterd all over the bed, some under the covers, and I’m in the middle. Since we’ve had so much rain, the sheets are covered with little muddy paw prints. We don’t care. We’re sleeping so good with all that room. It makes me wonder if the great white hunter will mind sleeping on the couch when he gets home — Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts

Question: Can any of you gals out there relate?

Top Cutlines — 10/18/06

Models walk the runway during the Jennifer Nicholson fashion show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Calif., Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Top Cutlines

1. (tie) Followed by his loyal staff, Senator Craig walks into the press conference to deny that he’s gay — Family Phil. And: Followed by her “Porn Start Posse” Nancy Pelosi finally admits she’s a bi-sexual Dominatrix, cutting the Republican National Comittee off at the pass and announcing it before they could — KeithinCDA.

2. (tie) DeeDee realized with horror that she hadn’t gotten the memo about it being “little black shoe” day — A Token D. And: Legs face it, some women are hot, some are not — Denna Krobath.

3. After a spate of recent runway mishaps model schools begin a series of intensive classes to retrain their students in the discipline of one foot in front of the other — Thom George.

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

Daily Briefing: From Blog to Print in 24 Hours

Full post here

As evident in yesterday’s afternoon post, deciding how to handle the rapidly spreading assertions about Larry Craig’s sexuality had editors stymied well into the night. “We went round and round on that,” Steve Smith said. “It was not an easy call. I think in the end we decided that, given the political context, we couldn’t ignore it,” he said. One argument against running the story, which I posed yesterday and again this morning, is that it enables unsubstantiated assertions made on blogs and talk radio to become legitimized in the mainstream press. Sports editor Joe Palmquist shared this concern. “I worry about the precedent a little bit,” he said. “There’s crap like this all over the place - it never makes the paper.”

Mary Souza: Craig Posts Are Tabloid Trash

Mary Souza: DFO, it’s different to have a blogger here make some comment about this type of gossip, but when you, the newspaper-employed-opinion column-writer, post the lead thread and then continue to spawn related threads, then I think it goes over the line. This topic is all you can think of today? Let’s talk about some real issues that impact all of us in our community. How about the Sander’s Beach petition to go back to the State Supreme Court? How about Proposition 1, for school support that is asking for 2+ million when their base budget is about half that now? How about election compacting, so we can have all our local elections at once?…there are many important conversations, this one about Sen. Craig is tabloid trash.

DFO: I’m glad you’re not an editor, Mary. You might sweep unpleasant news or issues under the rug. I don’t recall ever ignoring a topic because I considered it unpleasant. Indeed, Huckleberries Online is an SR sponsored blog for North Idaho. But it’s also my blog. Editor Steve Smith. Never. Interferes. With it. (Although there are times I seek his advise about postings, as I did this one.) HBO is also a blog that has a regional audience that stretches to Seattle and down to Boise. I keep that in mind when I pick subjects. I posted things other than the Craig story below. But it is the top one, judging by the intense discussion about it in the comments section. Each day plays out differently on this blog. Rarely does a story carry over. I don’t suspect this one will last much longer, unless gay activist Mike Rogers backs up his claims with solid evidence. On the other hand, I post as the muse moves.

It’s My 2 Cents — What If It’s True?

As a newsman, I find it hard to think about much else today than the claims made by gay activist Mike Rogers/ that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is a closet gay. This morning, I asked a close friend who’s in the Evangelical community if it would matter to her if Craig, indeed, was gay. She said, “Yes.” I’m also an Evangelical. But I don’t think it would matter to me if Rogers claims are true. Craig, consistently, has voted Idaho values and been a force for conservatism in high places. There’s nothing in Rogers’ claims that hints that Craig did something illegal. On the other hand, I wonder about the truth of Rogers’ claims. After all, he’s a gay activist who’s dedicated to driving a wedge between the Republicans and the large Evangelical block that supports them. Before yesterday, I’d never heard of Rogers. Yet, Rogers wants us to trust him and his anonymous sources. His claims are interesting blog fodder, for now. However, he needs to provide real proof soon. Or go away.

SR: Prosecutor Douglas Won Good Duncan Deal

For the rest of my editorial this morning, click here

“In agreeing to the deal, which still includes a possible sentencing phase for the death penalty, Duncan spared Shasta, her family, family friends and Kootenai County residents an emotional roller coaster that had been expected to last into the holidays. He also gave Prosecutor Bill Douglas everything he wanted. Douglas, who was roundly criticized for not accepting a similar plea bargain offer from Duncan’s attorneys last week, deserves credit for winning a game of legal brinkmanship against Public Defender John Adams and possibly the most manipulative psychopath ever to face trial in North Idaho. Douglas couldn’t have asked for much more from Duncan, other than that he also agree to plead guilty to federal murder and kidnapping charges in the abduction of Shasta and her brother Dylan Groene, and the killing of Dylan in northwest Montana.”

National R’s Spending Big Bucks to Stop — Grant

Full post here

The National Republican Congressional Committee said it had spent more than $100,000 to boost Idaho Republican Bill Sali’s bid for Congress and attack Democrat Larry Grant as of yesterday, and spokesman Jonathan Collegio made it clear the group is poised to spend much more. Today, this popped up on the NRCC’s independent expenditure report to the Federal Election Commission: Another $135,442 for issue ad placement against Grant, paid to Strategic Media Services yesterday. Plus, there was another $10,000-plus over the past two days for phone banks against Grant. The Grant campaign is bracing for an expected flood of attack ads on TV statewide, to the tune of $400,000 worth – all as an independent expenditure from the NRCC, separate from the Sali campaign. If it’s that much, the national push would be nearly equal to Grant’s entire fundraising for the campaign — Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise.

DFO: This seat shouldn’t be in play in a bright Red Republican State. Is this the result of the candidate that the R’s fielded? Or the times? Or both? Do you think there’s a strong “throw-da-bums” out movement that’ll affect elections in Idaho?

Blogosphere Following Larry Craig Story

Not much else to say for now beyond what’s already there - on the airwaves, blogs and soon to be media - on the Larry Craig outing story. Briefly, a gay activist and blogger named Michael Rogers, who has written about gay members of Congress and congressional staffers in recent years, posted a blog entry and went on nationwide radio this afternoon to say that Craig participated in a number of gay sexual incidents. (Some reports notwithstanding, Rogers did not describe Craig as gay.) Craig has denied, to at least the Spokane Spokesman-Review and possibly other media as well, the substance of the allegation. (Note in the link the Spokesman’s take on dealing with the story.) Rogers does not offer any independent proof, other than his own assurances that he is certain; he does note that he has made earlier comparable allegations which proved accurate. Nor is there any suggestion of abuse of office or abuse of minors. The tough question here at the moment is: Does this story have legs - will it grow? - or, absent evidence, will it die away? For that, no immediate answer. Nor for now to the question of whether it might impact the hottest race in the state, the contest for the 1st congressional district — Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press. Full post here.

*The Daily Kos reports on the original story and runs a poll showing that 69% of 4805 respondents believe it’s OK to out Gay Republicans here

*Jill Kuraitis/New West posts her story, with Craig’s denials, and attracts a bunch of interesting comments here.

*Liberal Politics has a copy of the letter that Mike Rogers sent to Larry Craig’s office and a press release he issued entitled, “Gay activist calls on Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig to “be proud of who you are” and stop gay-baiting” here

Craig Dismisses Gay Claims As “Ridiculous”

Original Huckleberries post with links to audio of Mike Rogers interview from “The Ed Schultz Show” Tuesday and Rogers comments on his blog here

Issue: Craig calls blog’s claims ‘ridiculous’: Self-described activist says Idaho senator had gay relationships/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Craig, who is married, denied the allegations through his staff, saying they “have no basis in fact.” Sid Smith, spokesman for the Idaho Republican, said it would be hard to independently check Rogers’ sources, adding, “saying you have anonymous sources doesn’t seem very convincing to me.” A lawsuit “isn’t out of the question,” but Craig hasn’t considered it at this point, Smith said. “That would be taking it a little more seriously than it deserves,” he added.

Question: How should U.S. Sen. Larry Craig handle this flap?

Parting Shot — 10/17/06

Rep. Butch Otter, who is running for governor of Idaho, waves for his fellow candidates to get on a campaign bus today in Nampa. (AP Photo/Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig Outted As — Gay?

Full post of gay activist Mike Rogers’ accusation on his site here

I have been calling on gay Republican representatives, senators, and high-level staffers to stand up and be proud of who they are, to level with voters about the truth, and to let people decide on their politicians based on truth, honesty and openness. As this message is posted, I have apppeared on the Ed Schultz Show, a nationally syndicated radio program broadcast in more than 100 cities and on Sirius Satellite. On the show I have called on Senator Larry Craig to end his years of hypocrisy by leveling with Idahoans about who he really is. I am also calling upon several prominent Idaho social conservative leaders to ask them how they square their anti-gay positions with their support for this leader. I have done extensive research into this case, including trips to the Pacific Northwest to meet with men who have say they have physical relations with the Senator. I have also met with a man here in Washington, D.C., who says the same — and that these incidents occurred in the bathrooms of Union Station. None of these men know each other, or knew that I was talking to others. They all reported similar personal characteristics about the Senator, which lead me to believe, beyond any doubt, that their stories are valid — Mike Rogers/

DFO: In his interview with Schultz, gay activist blogger Mike Rogers ( sez there’s not a doubt in his mind that his information is valid. On his Web site, he posts videos to an investigation into a 1982 scandal involving Capital Hill pages in which Craig played a role. You be the judge on this information.

Reruns: Craig dismisses gay claims as ridiculous, Mansfield: Gay activists are bullies, brutes, Mary Souza: Craig posts are tabloid trash, and Blogosphere following Larry Craig story.

Top Cutlines — 10/17/06

Ralph Kluk stands next to his homemade rosary on that he created on the front lawn of his Jackson, Mich., home. The rosary is made of 59 bowling balls and is 71-feet long from the bottom of the cross to the top. It weighs approximately 700 pounds. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Jackson Citizen Patriot, Erik Holladay)

Top Cutlines

1. Ralph looks sadly at his homemade lawn rosary, as he had just been notified by his Homeowners Association that it isn’t acceptable in their bylaws of community home appearances — Cis.

2. When Ralph’s wife tells him to come in because it’s about to snow, he yells back, “Don’t worry, it’s only hail, Mary” — John Austin.

3. (tie) Ralph’s first attempt at marketing the “Holy Roller’s Pocket Rosary” was less successful than he’d hoped — MikeK; and: Not to be outdone, Ralph’s Lutheran neighbor, Harry Schmidt, erected a giant bowl of green potluck jello in his front yard — RSPA.

HM: Family Phil

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

300 Millionth American Born Today — 10/17/06

“The 300 millionth American was officially born on Tuesday morning – and faces a life of higher taxes and a mounting financial burden. The 300 millionth American will retire at age 67 in the year 2073. That individual will have a life expectancy of 80.6 years if a male and 84.5 years if a female, compared to those retiring this year, who have a life expectancy of 69.6 years for a male and 75.7 years for a female. That means at normal retirement age the 300 millionth American can expect to draw Social Security benefits for 13.6 years (male) or 17.5 years (female)” — NewsMax.

Question: Why aren’t we making a bigger deal about this national milestone?

Inside Huckleberries — 10/17/06

*A Berry Picker phoned in a Steve Groene sighting this morning, at 9:30 — exiting Duncan’s Donuts on Fourth. Said she: “He deserves a doughnut after the ordeals he’s gone through in the last few weeks.”

*I have a candidate for the most inappropriate use of a cell phone possible. I’m in the men’s restroom at the WSU/California game, almost shoulder to shoulder with other fans taking care of business at one of those trough setups, when I notice the guy to my right is talking on a cell phone. At that point, I was tempted to tell him: Hang up and pee. But he wasn’t finished and I didn’t know how he might react.

*SR colleague Taryn Brodwater tells Huckleberries that a Sanders Beach homeowner awoke one morning last week to find a message 3 feet high spray-painted on his seawall. The only word of the three-word graffiti that can be used here is “… Greedy …”

*Family Phil also sent along a link that shows that one bidder is willing to pay $71 for two tickets to the Boise State-UI game this weekend in Moscow in an eBay auction that’s been going on for more than a day here.

*Don’t look now, but a coupla ESPNers are predicting UIdaho — Idaho! — to play in the MPC Computers Bowl game this postseason against Miami or North Carolina State, according to this story passed along by Family Phil, here.

*Gotta call and an e-mail from readers today, noting that Libby is in Montana rather than Idaho. Of course. As you can see in the last sentence of the first item here, I refer to a woman’s “Own Private Idaho Grease Spot.” “Own Private Idaho” refers to the movie in which River Phoenix’s male prostitute character searches for a place to belong and often entered a dream world to escape. As this woman who hates Libby must do. Sometimes, I fear, I get to obscure with my three-dot column.

Sweet Lou Named to Take Cubs to Promise Land

Chicago Cubs baseball team general manager Jim Hendry, right, introduces the Cubs new manager Lou Piniella during a news conference in Chicago today. Piniella, of course, led the Seattle Mariners to prominence during his decade as their skipper. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Question: Do you think Lou will lead the Cubs to a World Championship? Can anyone?

APhoto of the Day — 10/17/06

Ralph Kluk stands next to his homemade rosary on that he created on the front lawn of his Jackson, Mich., home. The rosary is made of 59 bowling balls and is 71-feet long from the bottom of the cross to the top. It weighs approximately 700 pounds. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Jackson Citizen Patriot, Erik Holladay)

Take 5 — Rating How Smart NW States Are

Idaho Statesman story here

The Morgan Quinto Press has released its ratings of the smartest states here. Before you look, try to rank the five NW states, according to where the fall on the rating. (BTW, for those keeping score at home, the top-ranked state in the nation is Vermont.)

So, how would you rank in order of smartest?


Answer: No. 7 — Montana, 19 — Wyoming, 20 — Idaho, 33 — Washington, and 40 — Oregon. (Also: 27 — Colorado, 38 — Utah, and 46 — Alaska)

UI Argonaut: Send “Space” Way of “SayWA”

For the rest of the Idaho Argonaut editorial by Tara Roberts, click here.

The University of Idaho’s new ad campaign revolving around the slogan “Open Space. Open Minds.” has just been released into the wild, and it’s not surviving so well. Despite cheery reports from administrators and PR officials, it’s not hard to find someone who doesn’t dig UI’s new “brand.” Professors mock it in class. Students don’t understand it. ASUI doesn’t support it. Plus, it’s not even distinctive — Oregon State University’s slogan is “Open Minds. Open Doors.” … We’re paying for something that’s supposed to attract all sorts of money and attention to UI, and we get something people don’t like that isn’t unique. So what do we do now? Why not take a cue from the state of Washington? The state’s Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development introduced a new slogan, “SayWA,” last spring. The slogan was part of a “branding” campaign much like UI’s, albeit for less than half the cash. However, when members of the Washington tourism industry and people around the state didn’t like “SayWA,” the CTED did something remarkable. They dropped the slogan.

Question: Why do universities, cities and states spend so much money to develop a bland or even obnoxious slogan as part of a “brand” campaign?

AM Hucks: Arrogance Trumps Geography

A Berry Picker was midway through that Spokane half marathon Sunday when she overheard a conversation. Seems a fellow runner had overcome a great hardship to participate. And what was her challenge? She was a suburbanite forced against her will by her husband to live in Libby, Mont. As the pack slapped along on the wet pavement of the Centennial Trail, Mrs. High Society complained to a companion about her dire circumstances. And we paraphrase: “I train with wild animals out in the boondocks of Montana,” she whined. “There’s wilderness all around me.” She referred lovingly to Libby as a “grease spot.” But a coupla hundred yards down the path, she admitted that Libby was a beautiful grease spot. “See that river down there,” she said, pointing to the Spokane River, “that’s the same river that runs through Libby.” Seems geography is as much a hurdle for our City Girl as becoming accustomed to the wild rubes and wilder animals in her Own Private Idaho Grease Spot.

Lee McKenzie Wood learned again that she lives in a special place. After Joseph Duncan pleaded guilty to the murder of her son, Mark, his finacée, Brenda Groene, and her 13-year-old son, Slade, Lee dropped by the HiCo in Post Falls for her regular soda refill Monday. She was greeted by cheers and clapping. Lee was unaware that many in the community had watched her on TV moments earlier. Mebbe now she understands how many have been pulling for her and her loved ones during the past 17 months.

Wild Card/Monday — 10/16/06

Things are off to a fast start today, HBOers — with the announcement that scumbag Joseph Edward Duncan III has pleaded guilty to the Groene/McKenzie murders. ‘Tis nice to drop the “alleged” from all references to this creep. He’s a scumbag, not an “alleged” scumbag. Now, let’s hand him over to the feds for trial. But the Duncan case announcement isn’t the only thing happening out there today. If you have thread to start, you can do it with this Wild Card …

Question: What Were You Doing When Firestorm Hit?

You can read an excerpt about the Firestorm here.

(Today is) the 15th anniversary of a raging fire that swept through much of North Idaho. Hauser was the first community to fall victim to the inferno that came at us from Newman Lake, Washington. I have posted excerpts of the only book I believe written about that day. The book is titled Firestorm and is written by Connie House. I’ve been unable to contact the publisher and the author for permission to share with you just a small part of this history of the fire and the brave men and women who fought it. Fortunately I was in a location that was not evacuated, possibly because the first command post was at City Hall and also because of that, I had electricity and a telephone in my little grocery store at Westside Resort. The firemen would stop in for coffee and to use the restrooms and telephone. It was a very exciting time — Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts.

Question: What were you doing when the Firestorm hit?

Top Cutlines — 10/16/06

Brutus, a Labrador retriever owned by Tom and Lisa Burton, struggles in the deep snow after a major snowstorm in Clarence, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, Friday. A rare early October snowstorm left parts of the Great Lakes and Midwest blanketed with 2 feet of snow Friday morning. You write the cutline. (AP photo)

Top Cutlines:

1. Brutus, a purebred Interesting Cutline Contest Retriever, is sent out into the snow and cold to find some AP photos of chicks in bikinis and bring them back to his owner, Dave Oliveria — Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel.

2. At 1st glance it appears to be another successful drug bust by Brutus the drug sniffing dog, but really ends up being a resuce mission for the canine crime fighters owner who was buried after rear ending a truck full of Johnsons Baby Powder — KeithinCDA.

3. “Buffalo girls won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out…oh, forget it…snow kiddin’, Mr. Weatherman, you and your ‘major precipitation event’, my butt…” — John Austin.

HM? Deena Krobath

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

Steve Groene Spilled Beans Sunday to Geraldo, Fox

For the full post on Geraldo’s blog, click here.

Last night, I got a call at home from a man who’s become a friend over the last year — Steve Groene. He is the father of two Idaho children kidnapped by a convicted sex predator, and a man who has suffered more grievous pain than anyone I’ve ever met. Steve’s had every hurt imaginable, including cancer of the throat, which now forces him to speak through a voice box because his vocal chords have been removed. But Sunday night, he had what passes for good news in his ravaged life. Joe Duncan, the man who killed his children’s mother, her fiancé, and two of Steve’s children, 13-year old Slade and 9-year old Dylan, would be pleading guilty today in an Idaho court. FOX News broke the story last night.

CDA Press Poll: What Will Feds Do w/Duncan?

CDA Press: Now that a plea deal has been reached, do you think the feds will convict Joseph Duncan and sentence him to death?

*Not Sure

Family Phil: Gunman Sighting Causes CDA Lockdown

Following is a note from Skyway Elementary. You can read Family Phil’s full post here.

“Dear Parents:

“The (Skyway Elementary) school went into lockdown today at approximately 9:00am as two of our students reported to Mrs. Chadwick a credible safety concern. I immediately called for a building lockdown and the resource officer was called. A lockdown means that we keep all the children indoors and lock all our exterior doors and close windows and blinds. This is a safety procedure we do whenever there is an unsafe situation in the area. It could be weather related, a chemical hazard, or in this case a police matter.

“The police interviewed the students reporting the concern and conducted a search of the grounds and the woods. Both areas were clear of any problems and the police reported that the school could resume its normal school schedule.

“As an extra precautionary note students were not allowed outside the building without adult supervision and recesses were handled indoors.

“The staff and students handled the situation very well. We practice safety drills regularly so that we are prepared. The students were reassured throughout the morning that they were safe.

Family Phil: My wife just came home from Skyway Elementary, where she was volunteering. They were in lockdown this morning for 30 minutes because a man with a gun was spotted walking around the school. And: My wife just told me that the kids had to hide under their desks for the entire 30 minutes! And: Last tidbit from her… All of today’s recesses at Skyway will be inside the gym.

Inside Huckleberries — 10/16/06

*Family Phil reports: “My wife just came home from Skyway Elementary, where she was volunteering. They were in lockdown this morning for 30 minutes because a man with a gun was spotted walking around the school.”

*Dan of the County called with a proposal: How would you like to blog the election from the Kootenai County Courthouse? DOTC thinks it might be fun to get KVNI’s Dick Haugen and I together, with some candidates and political groupies at the courthouse on Election Night. Sounds interesting. We’ll see.

*I just finished interviewing Tom Macy, the Independent candidate for Kootenai County commissioner. He has the right message: Kootenai County should slap a moratorium on growth until it updates its comp plan and zoning ordinances. One comment jumped out at me. He said that the resources of North Idaho have been pillaged by the mining and timber companies — and now the developers are taking the one thing left: open space and beauty. Macy’s the first guy I’ve interviewed for either commish position this spring or now who actually has a solution to the problem. But he doesn’t have the money to get his message out. Game, set, match to Repub Todd Tondee.

Prosecutor Releases Joseph Duncan Facts, Plea Pact

Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review photo

Complete report re: finding of facts in Joseph Edward Duncan’s murder plea here

“At about 6:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies entered the home and found the bodies of Brenda, Mark, and Slade on the living room and kitchen floors. Slade was face down dressed only in underwear. His head lay at the feet of his mother, Brenda. Blood covered the bottoms of his bare feet. His hands were bound behind his back with a plastic “zip-tie,” and duct tape. Duct tape was wrapped around his neck appearing that it had initially covered his mouth. His bludgeoned head lay in a blood pool. Other impact injuries, scrapes, cuts, and bruises were also present on his body. His feet and legs were not bound.

“Brenda Groene’s body was found face down laying partially in the kitchen and living room. Beneath her head was a blanket saturated with blood and other skull matter. She was dressed in jeans, short sleeved shirt. Her hands were also bound behind her back with a plastic zip tie. Duct tape was wrapped around her ankles securing her feet together. Duct tape was wrapped around her head and mouth.

“Mark McKenzie’s body was found on the carpeted living room floor face down in a blood pool. He was dressed only in shorts. Obvious blood droplets and smears were on his body. His hands were also tied behind his back with two plastic zip ties, and his ankles were also bound with zip ties. Unlike Brenda and Slade, there was no duct tape on his body. His head also contained several penetrating bludgeon wounds.”

Related: Duncan murder plea counteroffer, media statement, and video of Douglas statement and Steve Groene reaction (free subscription required)

Hat Tip (for last link): Stebbijo

OfCoffee: HBO Criticism of Douglas Flat Wrong

OfCoffee: Looks like the criticism that we gave our prosecutor on this blog was flat wrong. It wasn’t a case of “ego” at all - apparently he had a deal in the works that is the best of both worlds i.e. Duncan gets a death penalty and Shasta is protected. This is another case where we should hold our attacks until we are sure we know the whole story.

DFO: Prosecutor Bill Douglas certainly pulled a rabbit out of the hat with this plea-bargain deal. And he deserves to be commended for that. However, the public pressure applied on Huckleberries Online, as well as the two newspapers, wasn’t a bad thing. He knew, in no uncertain terms, that the community wanted a plea deal. Not the trial. Douglas has a monster public relations problem in this community due to the still-unresolved controversy related to the Kalani flap of last year. As a result, the public wondered if he was up to the task of dealing with a major crime case like this one. Seems he was. This time. Fortunately.

Panco Provides Photo of Special Palm Desert …

… swimming pool project, which probably is the one belonging to The Duane, here.

Lewiston Tribune Poll: WSU, UI to Bowl Games?

“Six games into the season, which of the college football teams on the Palouse will qualify for a postseason bowl? — Lewiston Tribune.

*Washington State (4-2)
*Idaho (3-3)

Question: What do you think?

Alert! Duncan Announcement 7 Minutes Away

Issue: Duncan deal in works? Cancellation of jury selection may signal plea bargain/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Jury selection in the triple-murder trial of Joseph Edward Duncan III has been canceled, fueling speculation that a plea deal has been reached with Kootenai County prosecutors. Kootenai County sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger issued a brief statement late Sunday, saying that instead of jury selection, a 9 a.m. hearing will be held today in front of District Judge Fred Gibler.

DFO: Keep your fingers crossed that Prosecutor Bill Douglas has come to his sense.

Question: Would you like to see this case end today in Kootenai County?

Wild Card/Saturday — 10/14/06

My wife, three friends and I are headed for Pullman today to enjoy the visit of the California Golden Bears. Believe it or not, I’ve never seen the Cougars play a football game in person. I’m looking forward to the sunshine, good company — and mebbe an upset today at Martin Stadium? Who knows? The Cougs gave Southern California a run for its money a few weeks back. Anything’s possible. While I’m enjoying fall football, you can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Fatality: Young Teen Dies, Mom Lands in Hospital

Issue: Accident kills 14-year-old Hayden boy: Car struck while turning left onto Kathleen/Meghann Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Isaac W. Norris was traveling with his mother, 52-year-old Glenda M. Norris, in a 1987 Chevrolet Caprice when the elder Norris attempted to turn westbound onto Kathleen from Howard Street – a left-hand turn – about 11:10 a.m. A 2006 yellow Ford Mustang driven by 19-year-old Dominick F. Salois traveling eastbound on Kathleen struck the Caprice, and a 2005 white Subaru Impreza driven by 17-year-old Daniel W. Cutting, also driving eastbound on Kathleen, swerved to avoid the collision.

Question: We’ve already had a pretty good discussion of this accident Friday evening. Whatever the cause of it, traffic officials should look at ways to make that stretch of Kathleen Avenue, which fronts two schools, safer. Right?

Bubblehead: Iraqi Casualty Figures Way Outta Whack

Complete post here

There’s been quite a kerfuffle around the ‘net because of a study released by The Lancet saying there have been about 655K “excess” civilian deaths in Iraq since March 2003. Idaho überblogger Clayton Cramer got Instalanched for discussing the report, and Julie at Red State Rebels mentioned it in a supportive way. Many of those on the left who are reflexively supporting the study (because, while they might not admit it — even to themselves — it feeds into their preconceptions that the American military is full of blood-thirsty animals who are slaughtering Iraqis for fun) claim that those of us questioning the report’s outlandish conclusions aren’t finding any problems with the methodology — only the result. Well, here’s a critique of the methodology … Bubblehead.

DFO: Dunno much about Clayton Cramer. But he has a pretty good breakdown on the link in the text re: how the Lancet numbers are way over the top. Worth reading.

Red State Rebels: Here Come GOP, Sali Attacks

Full post here

We had hints last week that the National Republican Congressional Committee was preparing to unleash attacks on Larry Grant in the 1st Congressional District. Well, they have, augmenting a Bill Sali offensive that already included negative radio ads and fliers. On Thursday, the RNCC started two robocall campaigns against Grant, at least one of them cleverly worded to make people think it’s from the Grant campaign before it proceeds to trash him. The Grant campaign (for which I work part time) has been getting complaints from irate Idahoans since last night, and we just issued a press release to let everyone know: This is more of the same from Bill Sali, who has decided this past week that lying and distortion are the only ways he can save the ID-01 seat for the GOP — Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels.

Which race will be the nastiest in Idaho? Washington?

Parting Shot — 10/13/06

Dr. Robert West, the Kootenai County coroner, right, visits the scene of a fatal collision at Kathleen Ave. and Howard St. to examine the deceased, a 14-year-old boy who was killed when the car he was riding in, at right, was hit broadside by the yellow Ford Mustang at left this morning in Coeur d’Alene/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Daily Kos: Grant Added to Demo “Surging” List

Full post from Daily Kos here

As the news gets better and better for Larry Grant, the NRCC and Bill Sali get increasingly desperate. As kos blogged yesterday the polls are showing that the race is essentially a toss-up. As a reflection of this great polling, Grant’s hard work on the campaign trail, and the netroots who’ve helped make this a race, today the DCCC informed the campaign that it has been added to its list of “emerging races.”

BrodH20: Covering Queen Mother of All Murder Trials

When I was pregnant with my children (not both at the same time of course) I spent the months counting down to my due date. It seemed like it was forever away and I wondered if it would ever get here. For the past year, I’ve been covering the same story. For the last couple weeks, it’s all I’ve been doing. I watched as the weeks and months went by and the trial was set and reset and reset. Now it’s here. I dare to say the next few weeks will be interesting. Experience-wise, I’m sure I’ll learn a lot that will help me as I cover future court cases. I’m sure the trial is going to be exhaustive, though, and in the days leading up to jury selection, I’ve come to realize that I can only be certain of one thing: The unexpected. So, I’m getting ready to embark on perhaps the biggest assignment of my career. I’m still amazed that the bosses think I can handle it. They seem to have a confidence in me that I don’t have in myself. I’m a worrier. And the story that will be taking shape in the weeks and months to come remains an unknown. Sometimes I think a law degree would come in handy. At least then I’d know that Voir Dire isn’t pronounced Voy-eyer Dyer, but vwar deer. And a motion in limine is a motion in limb-in-knee, not lime-mine. I’ll get it eventually, I’m sure. Wish me luck! — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20

Top Cutlines — 10/13/06

A seagull sits on a “PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS” sign along River Drive North in Great Falls, Mont., Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Great Falls Tribune, Robin Loznak)

Top Cutlines:

1. “My phellow pheathered phriends, shout out your disagreement to this phelonius signs! We have just as much right to phish here as anyone else! Remember, election day in November, and you need to show your pherouchious protest now! DO NOT let these phoney politicitans ruffle your pheathers with signs like these!” — Thomas Beasley.

2. Albert tries to tell the tourist that the sign is for other birds, not him — Cis.

3. Just another noisy protest, not unlike most other protestors looking for a free handout — Cabbage Boy.

HM: DanG

Kim Jong-il

If he were six inches taller,
his armed forces would be smaller.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Today’s HBO Is Brought to You By No. 350,000 …

… or the number of George Washington, to date, that have been spent just on defense costs of the Joseph Edward Duncan III case. Or: Are you sure you still want Prosecutor Bill Douglas to seek the death penalty in this case? Or what a waste of money to end a wasted life.

Hat Tip: Taryn Brodwater

Q: Have You Ever Heard of 3rd-Degree Murder?

Issue: Caruso verbal gaffe draws fire: Candidate for prosecutor says he misspoke about Zehm charges/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review

More Info: (Spokane County prosecutor wannabe Bog) Caruso, trying to unseat Republican incumbent Steve Tucker, declared in a radio interview this week that he would charge police officers involved in the fatal March 18 confrontation with Otto Zehm with “third-degree murder.” But his plan, announced on the Mark Fuhrman show, has a rather glaring flaw: There’s no such thing as third-degree murder in Washington statutes.

Question: A tongue slip? Or just plain dumb?

Brady v. Otter: A Kiss for Luck and We’re On Our Way

Idaho Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady gets a kiss from his wife, Rickie, before his debate with Republican Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Thursday at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

Related: Brady, Otter spar in debate/Dean A. Ferguson, Lewiston Tribune; Brady, Otter spar over wilderness, taxes, marriage in debate/John Miller, Associated Press

APhoto of the Day — 10/13/06

A seagull sits on a “PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS” sign along River Drive North in Great Falls, Mont., Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Great Falls Tribune, Robin Loznak)

Coeur d’Alene Press: “There will be no justice for all”

This isn’t about Joseph Edward Duncan III. The triple-murder trial scheduled to begin with jury selection on Monday is no longer about the man accused of slaying a family so he could abduct two young children — one of whom he is alleged to have murdered in Montana. Nor is it about the lone survivor, the victims’ families, the community, the state or the justice system. This is about William J. Douglas.

DFO: Occasionally, I wish I had my name on an editorial that was written somewhere else. This one by the Coeur d’Alene Press editorialist today is just such an editorial. Prosecutor Bill Douglas, indeed, has had victory in the Duncan case gift-wrapped and presented to him on a platter. And he has botched the deal by refushing to accept it. Incredible. Dunno who wrote this, but I’d guess it’s Managing Editor Mike Patrick. Salute.

Question: Should Bill Douglas resign now or wait until the trial is over?

Sam The Reporter: Judge Gibler Afraid of Media

Issue: Duncan case gets gag order: Public statements end; lawyers want to pick jury in secret/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

As a person who someday would love to work in the Inland Northwest again, I hesitate to make these comments - but I have to say that Judge Gibler (who my parents know because he’s from the Silvery Valley and I went to college with his boys) seems very anti-media and it disappoints me. Everything I’ve ever read about him or experience in the Spokesman-Review newsroom shows me that he is very afraid of the media. But it’s more than just that. To me - it’s shutting out the public. It has nothing to do with the journalists involved but everything to do with the readers. Gibler can’t fit thousands of people in his courtrooms. That is the role the media serves - to inform people who can’t be there. And it’s their right to that information. Very disappointing - but not very surprising. Personally I wish more media outlets would embrace their connections with major news groups such as the Society of Professional Journalists to help make their case - no pun intended - in front of these closed-door judges. I understand that Gibler wants a fair trial for Joseph Duncan, but how can the PUBLIC guarantee fairness if they’re not privy to any information? Should we just trust the judge? I’d like to think in a better world we could do that - but a major function of the press is that of the watchdog.

Question: Can we trust Judge Gibler to ensure that the Duncan trial process is fair?

NH Poll: Hillary, McCain Frontrunners in ‘08

Full article here

The largest group of New Hampshire Republicans is supporting McCain, with 32 percent. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is next with 19 percent, followed by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with 15 percent. Ten percent said they would vote for Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Two percent favor some other candidate and 14 percent are undecided. Among Democrats, Clinton was the favorite, with 30 percent choosing her. John Edwards is next with 16 percent, and Al Gore is at 10 percent. Sen. John Kerry is the choice of 9 percent of Democrats.

Question: Who do you think will face each other in the 2008 election? Hillary and John McCain?

Parting Shot — 10/12/06

Harry Johns, of Twin Falls, Idaho, reacts after finding boots with the name of a 19 year-old man he served with in Iraq as part of the National Guard, during an exhibit Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006, at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, Idaho. The boots, one pair for each National Guard member killed in the Iraqi conflict, were part of “Eyes Wide Open” project (Vance Green/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP).

Top Cutlines — 10/12/06

Baker Valentyn Shtefano and his bride Viktoriya show off her wedding gown, which Shtefano made out of flour, eggs, sugar and caramel in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod. The edible dress, made of 1,500 cream puffs and weighing in at 20 pounds (9 kilograms), took the 28-year-old baker two months to make. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Top Cutlines

In A League of His Own

Known as a gluten for punishment, and to save some dough, Valentyn spent two months on a dress for the flour of his eye, causing him to eclair that his new bride was eggs-actly the sweetie he was looking for — JohnA.

1. like his brother the confectioner, whose wifes nickname after their wedding became Candy Ass and his other brother the sous chef whose wife is now teasingly called Poke Salad Annie, Valentyn hoped his bride would soon be remembered as the Beautiful Baked Bride of Uzhhorod — keithincda.

2. (tie) Your right, the dress does add about 20 pounds — Cabbage Boy. What you can’t see is that she also has a bun in the oven — Family Phil.

3. Baker Valentyn Shtefano and his bride Viktoriya march down the aisle to the tune of “Here Comes The Samonella” — Thom George.

HM: A Token D

OK, I laughed at a lot of the others. But they were a little too edgy for contest winners. (Ed Note: DFO, you’re such a prude.) For all of today’s terrific cutlines, click here.

Ask The Editors re: Dime-Sized Hole In Zehm Mask …

Question: I noticed in today’s Spokesman-Review (Sept. 30) that your newspaper’s description of the mask placed on Otto Zehm’s face does not match your verbal description in today’s and earlier editions of your paper. You have referred to the plastic mask having a “dime-size hole” for air to enter. However, both depictions of the mask illustrated in today’s paper and earlier editions show a “dime-size circle containing several smaller than ‘BB’ size holes.”

There is a huge difference in the amount of air intake available in the masks your newspaper illustrated and one with a “true” dime-size hole. Perhaps this fact should be mentioned in future articles about the Otto Zehm incident — William McKenzie

Response: Bill Morlin, one of the reporters who has been covering the Otto Zehm case, offers the following thoughts:

The main breathing hole in the “non-rebreather” mask is indeed “dime-sized.” There also are a few smaller, pencil-lead sized holes on the sides of the mask. The smaller holes are intended to limit condensation when pure oxygen is being supplied the patient) All this, however, is somewhat irrelevant inasmuch as the Fire Department (and the manufacturer) have said these types of masks are only intended for use WITH an oxygen supply that is being fed to the patient, NOT as “anti-spitting” devices such as was the intended purpose with Otto Zehm.

OrangeTV: Time Warner Takeover … Sucks

OrangeTV: Sadly, Adelphia is gone. Yesterday was my third internet outage in less than a month since Time Warner took it over. Is this the kind of service we should expect from this company? I’m not so enthusiastic about the changeover …

DFO: Anyone else out there having trouble with the conglomerate takeover of Adelphia? (If you’re able to answer this post, that is.

Editor Smith: Spokane Cops Trying to Single Us Out

Full post by Ken Paulman/Daily Briefing here

Shortly before midnight last night, the Spokane Police Department set a remarkable new precedent for openness and transparency by quickly releasing the name and place of employment of a man arrested on a misdemeanor prostitution charge. The release was sent out so promptly that other information about the extent of the operation, described only as a “prostitute/drug special,” or if any others were arrested, was not included. The release did note, however, that the man arrested was a Spokesman-Review security guard, who promptly resigned this morning. The news was broadcast on two local TV stations, and The Spokesman-Review is taking the unusual step of posting a breaking news story online today, whereas a misdemeanor prostitution arrest typically wouldn’t make the paper at all. Steve Smith said there is no excuse for the security guard’s actions, but questioned why the police department chose to take the unusual step of publicizing this particular arrest. “In my view, this was a clear and deliberate effort to mark the company and to single out one of our security guards,” he said. “Personally, I think it’s pretty damn outrageous.”

Question: How do you read this?

Souza: Why Allow Duncan to Have His Way Again?

Mary Souza: I see this from a different angle: Why allow Duncan to have his way again and manipulate his surroundings by dictating his terms? What if we appease him by agreeing to his plea bargain, then when it gets to the Federal level, all the Anti-death penalty groups march and demonstrate, and the Feds back down? Duncan deserves the death penalty for his crimes—probably more than any other criminal in the history of Idaho! Let’s do the right thing here and not equivocate or appease. Shasta, the family and the whole community will rest better knowing this psychopath can no longer ever “work the system” to get his way, he will be gone.

DFO: A solid opposing view. Thanks, Mary.

APhoto of the Day — 10/12/06

Baker Valentyn Shtefano and his bride Viktoriya show off her wedding gown, which Shtefano made out of flour, eggs, sugar and caramel in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod. The edible dress, made of 1,500 cream puffs and weighing in at 20 pounds (9 kilograms), took the 28-year-old baker two months to make. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

SR Edit: Jerry Brady More Effective As Guv

Full editorial here

In Idaho, Republican congressmen have had a sense of entitlement for the last eight years to return home as the state’s duly anointed governor. U.S. Sen. Dirk Kempthorne took the baton from Gov. Phil Batt and handed it off for safe-keeping to Lt. Gov. Jim Risch when Kempthorne left office early to become the Interior secretary in the Bush administration. If all goes according to plan for the Republicans, Risch will give the baton to U.S. Rep. Butch Otter in January – and then wait his turn until he gets a clear shot at the governor’s seat in four or eight years, if he’s still interested. Multimillionaire Otter is acting like the governor-elect already, opting for a Rose Garden strategy that keeps him away from Democratic challenger Jerry Brady and two other candidates as much as possible. In an Associated Press article, political science expert Jim Weatherby termed Otter’s strategy “good politics.” Weatherby said: “Otter is hard to pin down.” Otter may be pursuing a sure-fire strategy to win an election in a solid Republican state. But it isn’t a strategy that inspires confidence that he will be a “buck-stops-here” governor like Risch or that he’ll run an open government. Opponent Brady, meanwhile, has a long record of accomplishment in both the public and private arenas, ranging from his days as a law student who founded a small-business assistance program in Latin America to his role as a newspaper owner in establishing a job-creation program in southeastern Idaho. He’s a visionary in the mold of former Gov. Cecil Andrus. As governor, he’d be a check on a supermajority of Republican legislators who at times run amok. Brady’s not a career politician like Otter. He’s simply the better candidate.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with The Spokesman-Review endorsement?

James Bond: Otter Ads Have Sharp Edge

James Bond: DFO; Have you seen Butch’s latest commercial, where he talks about politicians getting haircuts, dinners on the state dime? It’s a DIRECT attack on Dirky Kemthorne’s gold-leafed, baroque, imperial reign. It’s a smart move for Butch. One of the primary problems Republicans have is that many base voters were turned off by the the Louis XIV-style leadership we’ve had. Butch’s campaign people clearly see this problem, and they are attacking it quite directly. His first commercial about the Statehouse underground wings was similar. He’s attacking the Legislature and Dirky. Good for him!!!

DFO: I’d be more impressed if Butch would keep his date with Jerry Brady at the League of Women Voters Debate later this month.

AM Hucks: Douglas Guilty of Ha-Huge Ego

Prosecutor Bill Douglas is nuts not to accept a penalty of life in prison without parole for suspected killer Joseph Duncan in exchange for guilty pleas to murder and kidnapping. So said my Huckleberries Online crowd:

*Bree: “It’s not strange, it’s down right stupid. It’s all about ego.”
*Marianne: “No trial; no Court TV fame and fortune. No brainer in more ways than one.”
*CDADave: “Normally, I would say, ‘Yep, try Duncan, give him the death penalty,’ but aren’t the feds gonna pursue the death penalty anyway? I think this is all about sparing little Shasta from more horrendous experiences.”
*Duffer: “If Douglas doesn’t accept the plea deal and insists on the high profile trial, I would suggest he retire from public service as he’ll not get many votes in a re-election.”
*Four Dog Mama: “Take the plea and let’s all get on to other things. Spare this community another visit from Geraldo!!!”
*Cis: “What the (heck) is wrong with this person? Did someone say brains and he thought they said trains and took one? Douglas, it isn’t about you. … Get with the program. … Stop this insanity. … Shasta has enough on her mind with her dad’s surgery recovery without your grandstanding!!”
*CoeurGenX: “So life in prison? Or sentenced to death over a lengthy costly trial? How much would it cost to house (imprison) Duncan for the rest of his life? I say TRIAL, then FIRING SQUAD. No more money for him to write books/get married and other freaky things they do from prison.”

Parting Shot — 10/11/06

Dorian Swanson, 2, chases a ball through the snow today in Rapid City, S.D. Swanson and her mother Lisa Burnham were on their way to the store for groceries when they decided to play in the first snow of the season in Rapid City. (AP Photo/Rapid City Journal, Don Polovich)

Best of the Local Blogs — 10/11/06

CDADave’s seeing pumpkins everywhere he looks and wonders if there’s a black market for pumpkins pilfered from outside store displays here.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ tries his hand for the first time at Sunshine Mine poetry here.

*Like the rest of us, Mari/Dogwalk Musings is having trouble figuring out where politicians stand as they say nothing or tell you what they think you want to hear here.

*Just in time for winter, when it’s tougher to roll out of bed and hop on her exercise bike, JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA applauds Forbes mag for rolling out an article on the most fattening foods of the fall here.

*Katrina/Notes on a Napkin was heavy laden with groceries and goodies for the family and didn’t see the hungry old woman hunched down by the bricks outside Albertson’s here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 confesses to colleagues about stinking up the newsroom this week by losing track of a half eaten eggroll under the papers scattered on her desk (I didn’t notice) here.

Meanwhile, Bearable Bob’s off to see he wizard in the Emerald City in hopes of getting a new upper respiratory system here, Sue pens another terrific poem here, Toad wonders where Junior picked up that new word here, Christine overcomes her urge to procrastinate here, Trish runs through a list of suggestions for the title of the new River Journal sports column here, and Marianne recommends a good book about a good dog here.

Inside Huckleberries — 10/11/06

*Holly Bowen (from the NIC Sentinel) reports: “Less than an hour ago I received word that possibly up to five NIC math instructors are quitting. Apparently one instructor went overseas, and another subbed for her. The college reportedly refuses to pay neither.”

*KVNI’s Dick Haugen has extended his biennial invitation to get together to discuss the SR endorsements on the day before the election. Our discussion will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6. Mark your calendars.

*I’m done with the day’s political interviewing. Steve Elgar, Chuck Thomas, Tom Malzahn and Jim Hammond today. Bob Wynhausen, Marge Chadderdon, Ray Writz (Constitutional candidate against John Goedde) and Sharon Culbreth tomorrow.

*I made a front-page story in the North Idaho Sentinel yesterday re: the flap about the two Student Senate candidates who posed nearly nekkid for flyers. Which prompted a higher-up to claim sexual harassment because the flyers made their way into the women’s restroom. Seems the Nearly Nekkid candidates were ticked at me for calling them wanna-bes in print Huckleberries. They felt that I wasn’t taking their candidacies seriously. Seems they didn’t realized that I call most candidates wannabes. And it’s hard to take a candidacy seriously when wannabe poses in the altogether to attract attention.

*Andy Hedden-Nicely, United candidate for Congress, via e-mail: “I’m just curious about your endorsement of Larry Grant since you didn’t bother to talk with me. Are you sure you made the right choice? How would you know? Since I was purposely excluded from the North Idaho Press Club debate that you cite as your justification in endorsing Grant I have serious concerns about fairness and openness in North Idaho. I can only hope that others in the media are as bothered about this situation as I am.” (I responded to Hedden-Nicely that I listened to him and other congressional candidates for 90 minutes during the spring debate in Post Falls. And that the SR was very comfortable with its endorsement of Demo Larry Grant.)

*I just about spit out my coffee when I opened my e-mail just now and saw that press release from Dan Whiting of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s office: “Craig accepting page applications.” ‘Twould be better to hold off on that one until after the November elections.

*Busy morning today: I interviewed House District 1 wannabe Steve Elgar by phone. I have interviews with Senate District 5 wannabe Chuck Thomas and county Treasurer Tom Malzahn pending and another one with Senate District 5 wannabe Jim Hammond this afternoon. The election season is upon us.

KeithinCDA: Walker Quits, Throws Ozzie Under Bus

KeithinCDA: How about the Cal Walker resignation? Anyone in the valley want to offer their opinion on this. Sounds like he is throwing Ozzie under the bus as part of his reason for leaving. (Story here.)

DFO: I pay little to no attention to politics in Spokane County. But I consider it odd that a police chief would quit simply because he lost a primary to the guy who’ll like continue as sheriff. Happens all the time.

Yankee Pitcher Killed In High-Rise Plane Crash

Flames are seen coming out windows where a small plane crashed into a 50-story residential apartment building in New York’s Upper East Side, today. New York Fire Department officials reported two deaths in the crash, including possibly New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle here. (AP Photo/Larry LeVine)

News Release: Craig Accepting Page Applications

Applications available here

“Idaho Senator Larry Craig is currently seeking page applications from Idaho students for the Spring 2007 term. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2006. Because of his seniority, Craig is allowed to appoint one high school student from the State of Idaho each term to serve as a page on the U.S. Senate floor in Washington, D.C. ‘The Senate Page program offers high school students the opportunity to work side by side with U.S. Senators. Pages also live, study, and work with fellow students from all across the country. They gain valuable experience and have a chance to be directly involved in their government,’ said Craig. Craig also wants to assure parents that the Senate Page program is valuable and safe, ‘I have worked closely with the Senate Page program for the past nine years and have continued to be impressed by their professionalism and care for the pages. I am confident the pages are safe, but I encourage parents to contact my office if they have any concerns.’”

DFO: I couldn’t help myself. Sorry.

Laird Maxwell — The Man Behind Proposition 2

Complete post re: Proposition 2 by Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise here.

“(Laird) Maxwell, pictured, a longtime Idaho activist and the man behind everything from the last-minute anonymous phone calls smearing Boise mayoral candidate Chuck Winder, to attack ads against Supreme Court Justice Linda Copple Trout when she was seeking re-election, to a round of nasty phone calls targeting Sandpoint Sen. Shawn Keough over gay marriage, gets a kick out of the whole thing and says his initiative is part of a “national effort.” After the election, he said, he’s moving to Arizona – home of his new wife, Lori Klein, who works on similar issues in that state. “I’ve already got work down there – same kind of stuff, fight for limited government,” Maxwell said. “Idaho’s gone very liberal.” But even after he moves south, Maxwell said, “I’ll still run stuff up here too” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

DFO: Colleague Betsy Russell’s blog from Boise is a must-read during political campaigns.

APhoto of the Day — 10/11/06

Usually, I wouldn’t publish a photo of a woman with a decolletage as extreme as this one. However, this model isn’t/couldn’t show anything that would be rated R here. She appears to be a death camp survivor. Can you say, anorexia, baybee? The model presented an ensemble by French fashion house Guy Laroche over the weekend in Paris. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

CDA Press: Currie To Pick New P&Z Director

re: Coeur d’Alene Press story that Commish Gus Johnson and Katie Brodie are going to let Commish Rick Currie pick new planning director.

TomT: The CDA Press story was not necessarily surprising, but it sure leaves you shaking your head. Are our three amateur commissioners trying to do this all by themselves? They should have sought help in putting together the selection\ interview process. Their legal\HR department should be on the interview team. They also have many experienced department heads that could assist in interviewing. Why not invite one of the city’s planning directors to sit in on interviews? If it is true that Johnson and Brodie have decided to just let Currie pick whomever he wants, I think it is time they resigned and let Rich and Todd get started. As long as we are paying their salaries they should stay involved in making decisions. Leaving this important decision to Commissioner Currie is incredibly poor judgment. Hold on tight we are in for a bumpy two years at the courthouse.

DFO: I don’t know which way I am with this one. Certainly, Currie shouldn’t be allowed to pick the new P&Z director on his own. There should be a process — one that started the instant Rand Wichman announced he was leaving. F’shame. At this point, Currie, by default, should look for a viable fill-in — mebbe someone like Cherie Howell who has the background — name a committee and begin a legit search. TomT’s right that it mebbe time for the lame-duck commish to step down to give their successors a running start at the job. Todd Tondee, of course, has third-party opposition that might not like it.

Spokane Has Highest Gas $$$ in Lower 48

Item: Spokane gas prices highest in lower 48: Only Honolulu gas prices higher/Melodie Little, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Spokane clocked in at $2.65. Only Honolulu’s gas prices were higher, at $2.87.

DFO: Do you suppose congratulations are in order?

WorldNetDaily: Amnesty for Illegal Aliens?

Issue: Legalization for aliens a ‘must,’ Bush announces: President keeps status talks going while entrance laws remain unenforced/WorldNetDaily

More Info: President Bush says that part of the solution to illegal immigration “must” include a way for those already in the United States but without legal authorization to be given that status.

Question: What do you think of Bush remark that amnesty must be part of immigration plan?

1. He’s right, you just can’t kick out millions of people
2. He’s right, but illegals need to go to the end of the immigration line
3. It’s time to think about ALL North Americans having equal residency rights
4. The activists are right, no one is illegal
5. This is the same song and dance we heard in 1986
6. There goes the election for the Republicans
7. Thank goodness Bush is a lame duck
8. I knew Bush was us when he previously said he did not want amnesty
9. Bush just doesn’t get it on immigration. What a numbskull
10. Other

DFO: Mebbe No. 1 and definitely No. 8

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

BrodH20: Spud All Grown Up

I remember my stepbrother Spud as the little pudgy guy who could do spot-on impressions of Fire Marshall Bill and Ace Ventura Pet Detective. He was like a little Jim Carrey. Always making everyone laugh. He was also the most sensitive of all the brood and the one who was friends with everyone. After my mom and his dad divorced, I didn’t see Spud for years. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I saw him for the first time. He had grown taller and stretched out and was getting ready to be married. He’s since completed a 7 1/2 month tour in Iraq and recently finished up four years in the Marine Corps. It’s one thing to read about the war. It’s another thing to hear about it from someone you love who was smack in the middle of the madness. For the rest of the post by Mommy Dearest/BrodH20, click here.

DFO: Four people from my small church, Hayden Bible, are serving in Iraq at this moment, including the son of a very good friend. I also have a favorite niece serving near Kabul in increasingly unsettle Afghanistan. The war has become very real. The inability of the governing authority to gain control of their country has become very frustrating. I wonder: How long, O Lord?

Question: Do you have a friend or loved one currently serving in the Middle East?

Lewiston Trib: McMorris Talks Good Game, But …

An 83-year-old man at a veterans clinic collapses from an asthma and emphysema attack. Not having the proper equipment to help him, clinic staffers rush him to the nearest hospital. It’s too late. Clinton (Foxx) Fuller dies. It’s a tragedy. From all the available evidence, however, no one did anything wrong. Everyone did his or her best to save Fuller’s life. So what is Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Wash., doing on her high horse? “This incident has raised questions about VA procedures and the availability of quality care for veterans,” she says. Really? How? For the rest of the Lewiston Tribune editorial by Tom Henderson, click here.

DFO: I learned to write editorials as a news editor at the Lewiston Tribune, a job in which I assumed responsibility for reading word-for-word the provocative edits written by Bill Hall and Jim Fisher. Fisher and I, for those keeping score at home, began work for the Trib on the same day, Aug. 22, 1982. I consider that liberation day, because it was the first time I worked for a newspaper that exuded the ideals that I expected when I got into the business 10 years before. Anyway, I finally figured a way to post Trib edits at Huckleberries Online, depsite the firewall, and JF has given permission to do so. Enjoy.

Inside Huckleberries — 10/10/06

*Among those called for jury duty for the Joseph Edward Duncan III murder trial? Lansing Haynes, the new district court judge and former Kootenai County chief deputy prosecutor.

*Family Phil’s a proud Stay-at-Home poppa today, e-mailing HBO an article about Dad in the Charlotte Observer to which he contributes here.

*I had an e-mail chat with Lewiston Trib opiner Jim Fisher this afternoon and figured out a way around the Trib firewall to begin running the Trib’s superb opinion pieces in Best of the INorthwest and elsewhere on Huckleberries Online.

*Note — from OrangeTV: “I want to thank you so much for the hook-up the other day - My first restaurant review should be published in the St. Maries Gazette in 2-3 weeks! I will keep you updated.” (I passed along OrangeTV’s name when St. Maries Gazette publisher Dan Hammes e-mailed to ask if I knew of anyone who does restaurant reviews. O-TV’s got a gift for review, and I’m sure he’s going to make us HBOers proud.)

*Capt. Ben Wolfinger responds to “Inside Huckleberries” post about Duncan media situation: “The Sheriff and the courts both tried to establish a media center across the street from the courtroom, but the BOCC decided not to sign the contract and/or pay for the space.”

*Today is the month-before deadline for campaign financial disclosure statements. The biggest surprise so far is that House District 5 Demo wannabe Chuck Thomas (v. Repub Jim Hammond) has raised almost $20,000 (most of it his).

*Dunno who to credit with the brain cramp for the lack of media facilities for the mega-trial of Joseph Edward Duncan III: Sheriff Rocky Watson, the courts, or the commissioners office. Ah, boys and girls, has anyone mentioned that this is the biggest trial in Kootenai County of the century, possibly forever? And you haven’t provided squat for the nation’s media to cover it? Not a room. Not a trailer. Nothing. Zip. Nada. You’re going to squander all the points you earned with your swell initial handling of this case. You’re being Bush League now.

*Do you recall the Sunday edit by the CDA Press arguing for better pay for key Kootenai County staff? Well, a Berry Picker called a few minutes ago to say that Brand X should practice what it preaches. Seems six newspaper types are on welfare because they don’t earn enough money. Some work two jobs to make ends meet. The source also noted that The Duane doesn’t pay vision or dental insurance and that Hagadone employees of all stripes (including the resort) are responsible for the hospital’s most indigency billings to the county. But that is a swell mansion in Palm Desert.

And Now A Word from Dan of the County …

Man, our elections department is hopping. We’ve sent out almost as many absentee ballots as we did for the 2002 general election cycle and we still have a month to go (over 2,400 so far vs. 2,800 in 2002). Also, you can now look our our website at sample ballots for all four legislative districts in Kootenai County plus one that includes the Aquifer Protection District formation election for those who are in the Aquifer recharge area (about 2/3 of the county as I understand) hereDan of the County.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming …

Question: What Can GOP Do to Address Pagegate?

Issue: Hastert: Anyone hiding page issue leaves: ‘If they did cover something up they should not have their jobs’/Associated Press

More Info: Hastert said Tuesday he’ll dismiss anyone on his staff found to have covered up concerns about Foley’s approaches to former pages.

DFO: Too little, too late?

Question: Can the GOP do anything to recover from Pagegate with the election looming over the horizon?

Offended: Triple Play Doesn’t Fit Your Stereotype

Offended: As an employee at Triple Play, I was highly offended by ‘Slacker jobs for lazy dogs.’ “Go work for minimum wage at a seasonal employer”?? I was under the impression that a business that is open 365 days a year, was not considered seasonal…and we don’t hire employees on at min. wage. Nicholas Casey must know a lot on the subject of having a job where you don’t have to work, since he didn’t even research before he slandered a business that donates to charities, participates in community events, and provides a safe and fun place for families to be entertained. Oliveria should also consider this, or he may be the next one at the top of the ‘Jerk list’.

DFO: Offended; I’m No. 1 on so many local “Jerk Lists” that I don’t mind you putting me on the top of yours either. It goes with the territory. Thanx for checking in here, however. The more commenters the merrier. And mebbe you’ll find something here that we can agree on.

Bill McCrory: What’s Press Set Up for Duncan Trial?

Bill McCrory: So if there is going to be a designated press area during the Duncan trial, where will it be?

DFO: Taryn Brodwater provided this link from the Kootenai County sheriff re: accommodations — or lack thereof — for the media here.

D’s Way Ahead in Congressional Poll: 59-36%

Full story here

“A Capitol Hill sex scandal has reinforced public doubts about Republican leadership and pushed Democrats to a huge lead in the race for control of Congress four weeks before Election Day, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. Democrats had a 23-point lead over Republicans in every group of people questioned — likely voters, registered voters and adults — on which party’s House candidate would get their vote. That’s double the lead Republicans had a month before they seized control of Congress in 1994 and the Democrats’ largest advantage among registered voters since 1978. Nearly three in 10 registered voters said their representative doesn’t deserve re-election — the highest level since 1994. President Bush’s approval rating was 37% in the new poll, down from 44% in a Sept. 15-17 poll. And for the first time since the question was asked in 2002, Democrats did better than Republicans on who would best handle terrorism, 46%-41%.”

DFO: Foley and Hastert and Bush, oh my.

Question: Is the fat woman singing for the House GOP?

Jerk List: Who Should We Send to Canada?

Buddy Doug Clark’s column today announces the winners of a jerk contest. And advocates deporting the idiots who annoy us to Canada. Below, winner Ted Anderson provides his personal “Jerk List” For the rest of the Clark column, click here:

•Politicians who get caught doing something illegal/immoral and then blame their childhood, addictions or the media.

•People who wear camouflage clothing but don’t hunt and have never served in the military.

•Drivers who take up two spaces when mooring their oversized rides.

•Costco shoppers who can’t locate their store membership cards when they get to the head of the checkout line.

DFO: Hands down, the biggest jerk on my list are the spammers who do everything they can to latch onto HBO for a few moments before they’re deleted, particularly the porn spammers. Forget about Canada, they can go straight to … (Ed Note: This post has been interrupted by the SR quality control police.)

Question: Who would be on your “Jerk List”?

SR: Risch, Wasden, Twilegar, Jana Jones, Crane

Obviously, (Gov. Jim) Risch has the qualifications to hold the part-time office of lieutenant governor. So does Democrat Larry LaRocco, a moderate who served two terms as an Idaho congressman in the early 1990s. However, Risch has already proved that he has the leadership and mettle to step into the governor’s office in case the state’s top executive is called away by federal appointment, illness or death. He has earned another term as lieutenant governor. For the rest of the Risch endorsement as well as those for other state executive offices, click here.

AM Hucks: Dog Parks & Slackers Jobs for Lazy Dogs

So, Spokane County has opened its first dog park – at the old Washington rest stop near the state line? La-de-da, sez CdA’s Eric Seaman. Quoth he: Coeur d’Alene “is loaded with dog parks. In fact the entire county has them all over the place.” Eric goes on to list local “dog parks”: McEuen Field, Tubbs Hill, Canfield ball fields, the soccer fields at Coeur d’Alene Place, Phippeny Park at Seventh & Montana. “Heck,” sez Eric, “any at all parks are dog parks here in CDA.” Eric, of course, is talking about “dog parks” by default (read: almost all local parks because there’s little or no enforcement of “no-dogs-allowed” or leash laws). ‘Tis been awhile since Your Huckleberry Hound circled Tubbs Hill. But I always count the dogs on leashes or not when I hike Tubbs Hill. It runs about half and half. A targeted dog sting might throw the fear of God into scofflaw owners. Or Kootenai County could build a dog park, like Spokane has, even if Eric isn’t cuh-razy about the idea. Eric: “Why waste money building actual dog parks when the city has piles of them (no pun intended)?” Good question.

•When a Center Partners employment survey asked, “What makes a job an enjoyable place to work?” an anonymous new hire answered: “Laid back, casual dress code, not so strict, & has games.” Blogger Nicholas Casey/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts translated that to mean: “I want a job where I don’t have to work.” And suggested: “Go work for minimum wage at a seasonal employer (i.e., Triple Play or Silverwood).” Next applicant.

Parting Shot — 10/9/06

The crowd cheers while state Rep. Bob Nonini, left, and Crystal Dean, right, stomp wine grapes in barrels at the Festa Italiana at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006. The grape stomping was a competitive event with three-person teams trying to squeeze as much juice from 100 lbs. of grapes as possible/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

CDA Press: Pay More for Certain County Positions

We commend Kootenai County for exercising fiscal restraint and adopting a 2006-2007 budget that is not just leaner than the law allowed, but leaner than some taxpayers had even hoped for. Having said that, here’s a suggestion: When it comes to hiring people for the very most important jobs, don’t be afraid to spend. The county is struggling to find top-flight prospects for its vacancies. Nowhere is this more apparent than the county planning director’s position, formerly held by Rand Wichman. When he resigned this summer, Wichman was earning $66,300 a year. The county is advertising the position at $55,000 to $65,000 — great pay for many of us, but probably not enough to attract someone with the vision and experience this job requires. For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial, click here.

Question: Should Kootenai County pay more for select high-profile positions, like the planning director? Or should it hold the line and find someone qualified for less money?

Top Cutlines — 10/9/06

Anna Smith, 2, left, hangs on tightly to an umbrella as Lily Young, 2, tugs at it during a stroll down a sidewalk in Durango, Colo. on Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Lindsay Pierce)

Top Cutlines:

1. “Girl, hand over that pink umbrella! It, like, totally clashes with your tuke! Who taught you to accessorize? You don’t want to end up on What Not To Wear, Preschool Edition, do you?” — Katrina.

2. Even at at young age, Lindsay Loman and Britney Spears fought over the littlest things — Cis.

3. Soon, a gust of wind lifts the two little girls and their umbrella above a circus popcorn stand, where they enjoy the merry poppings below them — John Austin.

HM: Mary Souza

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

Bayview Herb: McMorris All Wet re: Death @ VA

re: U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris questions VA about death of veteran in Spokane.

Swimming against the current, as I tend to sometimes, I have to disagree with the majority of folks that are chastising the V.A. for not reviving the elderly vet that collapsed in the parking lot, recently, in Spokane, Washington. Like most government installations, when quitting time comes, it is sudden and thorough. The V.A. emergency room had closed a few minutes earlier than the man’s arrival. Where the criticism is unwarranted, is that every Vet, including me, got a letter a few weeks ago, announcing the closure of the ER at 4:30, PM. This was due to budget restraints, and a lack of after hours use. If there is blame here, it belongs to Congress, which has consistently underfunded the VA, even while processing hundreds of Iraqi injuries. I read this morning, where a Congressman, McMorris was going to investigate. If this is the case, I suggest that this congresswomen use a mirror — Herb Huseland/Bay Views.

Extra! Google to Buy You Tube for $1.6.5B in Stock

Web search leader Google Inc. on Monday said it agreed to acquire top video entertainment site YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion in stock, putting a lofty new value on consumer-generated media sites. The deal, the first to value one of the new crop of user-participation Web sites at more than $1 billion, combines two of the most popular Internet brands: Google, synonymous with Web search and rapid innovation, and YouTube, a Silicon Valley upstart that has spearheaded the video-sharing craze — Reuters.

Huckleberries Best of the Northwest — 10/9/06

US Army Reserve solider Shawn Green sustained a back injury while serving in Iraq. The VA hospital has noticed a high rate of back injuries, most likely due to the weight of equipment they carry while fighting. Green is unemployed and living in north Spokane, Washington near the Division Street Y here/Dan Pelle, Spokesman-Review.

Stapilus Two-fer: SR surprises by endorsing Demo Larry Grant for Congress here, and guv wannabe Butch Otter muzzles possible critics by hiring them away from media here.

1. A Spokane man watched in desperation as his dying friend struggled for breath, but he couldn’t get immediate assistance from professionals just inside Spokane’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Instead those VA staffers dialed 911 to get help for the man in the hospital parking lot here. Related: Cathy McMorris questions VA about death here.

2. A Republican state lawmaker is criticizing Gov. Brian Schweitzer for comments he made to a newspaper here about the lawmaker’s belief that the planet is not millions of years old here.

3. It’s been 47 years since the state set jury duty pay at $10 a day. Next month, jurors in two Washington counties and one municipal court system will begin making $61.04 a day — the equivalent of eight hours at the state’s minimum wage — as part of a state-funded pilot project to see if boosting jury duty pay will get a greater number and more diverse pool of people to serve here.

4. ‘Tis hard to believe that anyone would glory in someone else’s tragedy. But the commenters who haunt the Democratic Underground Web site were rejoicing at the news of former Congressman Helen Chenoweth-Hage’s death in a vehicle accident last week, according to D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review, here.

5. A popular brand of lettuce grown in California’s Salinas Valley is being recalled in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and other states over concerns of E. coli contamination here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review (System leaves too many deaths uninvestigated), Frank Sennett/Spokesman-Review (Stripping down comics blogs), Frank Mieli/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (TV infection has no vaccine), David Horsey/Seattle PI (Disgraced congressmen don’t need lawyers), and Joni Balter/Seattle Times (Washington U.S. Senate showdown).

Online Poll: 65% of 110 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say the Mark Foley scandal will help Democrats take control of the House this fall.

*Ski Magazine puts Sun Valley in top 10 here.

*Ex-Boise State defensive end charged with sexual assault here.

*Rev. Jesse Jackson sets MLK Day speech in Boise here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon boy awakens after 22 months in coma here.

Sayler: A Non-Event Becomes Front-Page News

re: GOP bellyaching that Coeur d’Alene High students seeking extra credit were only told they could help Demo George Sayler’s political campaign.

It seems one parent heard that teachers at CHS were promoting my campaign by offering extra credit to volunteer for me, but did not mention others. Twenty-one students showed up to help do a literature drop, all were asked if they were aware they could volunteer for other candidates or parties, and all said yes! … Teachers have been providing those opportunities to students for well over 20 years. For someone to now suggest that it is being done to support a particular candidate is a reflection of a lack of knowledge on their part, or deliberate misrepresentation. Mr. Rasmussen, as head of the Pachyderm Club and Vice-Chair of the Kootenai County Republican Party, should know that members of his own party, including Representative Chadderdon and Senator Jorgenson, have benefitted from student help in years past.

State Rep. George Sayler
District 4

Proposition 2: The Stealth “Takings” Proposal

Oregon, a national frontrunner in protecting public access to beaches and curbing urban sprawl, has become the vanguard of a growing Western backlash against land-use rules. Within weeks, voters in Washington and Idaho will decide measures patterned after Oregon’s. Montana voters may get a similar choice, depending on whether that state’s Supreme Court allows I-154 to go to voters, despite a lower court’s finding of “pervasive fraud” in signature-gathering there. California and Arizona also face similar measures. Washington’s been down this road before. Republican lawmakers in 1995 passed a similar measure in the Legislature, only to be overruled by voters that November. The measures in Washington and Idaho are somewhat different, although both target land-use restrictions. In Washington, Initiative 933 would force governments to either pay landowners for the lost value of their property or to waive the restrictions. In Idaho, Proposition 2 would require payment to any complaining landowner or outright repeal of the new land-use limits within 90 days. For the rest of the Sunday article about Proposition 2/Initiative 933, click here.

DFO: We need to begin a conversation about Proposition 2 (Idaho)/Initiative 933 (Washington). I consider it one of the greatest threats to orderly local planning out there. In Idaho, the clever leaders have posed this “takings” proposal as an eminent domain thing when beneath the surface it could make local governments gun shy to deny requests. What do you think?

Thanks to Arpie, you can find a link to the “No On Prop 2” organization here.

Q: Did CPD Blue Handle Serial Rape Case Right?

Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood said she would be shocked if anyone involved in the investigation of the serial rapist actually asked neighbors in his stalking ground a question as unprofessional as, “Have you seen anyone who looks like a rapist?” The local businesswoman in the main story, “One Who Got Away,” said law enforcement representations were asking just that, although three years later she couldn’t remember if it came from uniformed police, detectives, or plain-clothes volunteers. All she can remember is the question and the neighbors’ responses: “What does a rapist look like?” “The lead detective on that case is now retired,” Wood told The Press, “but I’d be disappointed and surprised, and I do mean surprised (if the question was put that way). I believe our detectives are very professional. For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press story, “Police: Everything was done to find rapist,” click here.

Question: Are you satisfied with the way the Coeur d’Alene police handled the serial rape investigation that led to the arrest of Paul Earl Hawkins, 33, of Spirit Lake?

Thom v. Truthseeker: North Korea Joins N-Club

Thom George: North Korea joins world nuclear club. Wow, who could have seen this coming? I mean, if we had any idea this was happening we could have negotiated with them, right? Oh, what’s that you say, we did? Condi Rice was working on an agreement? Oh, Cheney and Rumsfeld didn’t want it? Know I get it, the old with or against us, my way or the highway crowd won again and we all lost. Nevermind.

Truthseeker: Right On Thom! If only Churchill and those radical Poles had put on some Cat Stevens and had some chai tea with Hitler, we could have avoided WW II altogether. The world really is full of rainbows and unicorns if we’d all just talk to one another. Let’s give peace a chance. Let’s all sit cross-legged under the tress, hold hands and chant and the world will become full of chocolate waterfalls and pretty harp music. The North Koreans will kiss us on the lips and the radical Islamics will welcome those of a different faith as their brothers and stop their quest to turn them to dust.

WorldNetDaily Poll: North Korea N-Tests

Issue: U.S. detects seismic event in N. Korea: White House condemns reported test as ‘provocative act’/Associated Press

Question: What should U.S. response be to North Korea’s nuclear test?

1. Surrender now before the U.S. gets attacked with a nuclear weapon
2. Appease N. Korea with food, finances, or whatever it’s really looking for
3. Ignore it completely
4. Strongly condemn the action, with a warning about any future tests
5. Get the U.N. to pass a resolution
6. Hold urgent talks with N. Korea about the issue
7. Help Japan become a nuclear power to deter attacks
8. Stop pussyfooting around and take out N. Korea’s launch facilities now
9. Take out that insane nutjob Kim Jong-il before it’s too late
10. Other

DFO: No. 10, dunno.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday

I can’t remember the last time the two Palouse teams won twice in a row. But. It. Feels. So. Good. Looks like we had a little action on the Wild Card Saturday night. But, then, what are Wild Cards for? The kids are always testing the Blogmeister. As long as they step back when I blow the whistle … no harm, little foul. So, I’m playing another Wild Card wondering what threads it’ll bring …

Wild Card/Saturday — 10/7/06

You have a few things below to get you going today, starting with the WorldNetDaily poll that should get some action. I had another busy week. All of a sudden, the politicians from Boise are starting to call and drop by. They can be a nuisance when you’re on deadline. I didn’t know I had so many best friends from down south. I appreciate those who stop by at other times of the year. I’m not impressed with the ones who come around at election time with their hands out for endorsements. We should be publishing our list of state executive endorsements any day now — all except for the governor’s race. We’re still mulling that one. Now, for your Saturday Wild Card …

CHS Extra Credit Assignment Raises GOP Hackles

An extra credit offering in two Coeur d’Alene High School government classes has raised the ire of some parents and GOP officials concerned that one political candidate is being promoted over another. Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent Harry Amend said he received a call from a parent earlier this week concerned that students were being encouraged to help with the re-election campaign of state Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene. The students were told they’d get extra class points, while there was no mention made of Sayler’s opponent, Republican Sharon Culbreth, or any other candidate. Amend said he immediately called Principal Randy Russell, who spoke with the school’s government teachers and was assured students would be reminded that the extra credit applied for work done with any political campaign or public process. Government teacher Brian Holgate said he thought he had made it abundantly clear that Sayler’s campaign was one of the many opportunities students have to earn extra points. Sayler, a former government teacher at Coeur d’Alene High whose wife still teaches at the school, was the only candidate mentioned by name because Sayler was the only candidate who told Holgate it’s OK for students to contact him, the teacher said — Meghann Cuniff, Spokesman-Review.

Question: Legitimate beef? Or much ado about nothing?

Stallings to GOP: Don’t Call Me “Dick”

Issue: Idaho GOP, Democratic Party Leaders Spar Over Foley Scandal: Stallings Wants To Be Called By Christian Name/Tan Thanh, KCBI-TV

More Info: (Chairman Kirk) Sullivan and Representative Simpson referred to Stallings as “Dick Stallings” throughout the entire press release— a common nick name for those named Richard. This prompted yet another stinging press release from Stallings on Wednesday titled, “My name is Richard.” Idaho Democratic Party Spokesman Chuck Oxley wrote, “Stallings asks that in the future, Republicans refer to him by his Christian name in their communications with the media.” “My parents named me Richard, and that’s the name I go by,” Stallings said. “The least they could do is extend the courtesy of using my given name.”

Question: Are the R’s being nasty here? Or inadvertent?

Hat Tip: Orbusmax

Parting Shot — 10/6/06

Shauna Olson, an engine boss for the Nevada Division of Forestry, entertains Fritsch Elementary School students during a fire safety workshop at the Carson City, Nev., school today. (AP Photo Brad Horn, Nevada Appeal)

A Prairie Home Companion Comes to the Palouse

Garrison Keillor says he feels creatively “fertile, ambitious and restless” these days – and he will doubly demonstrate these traits in Pullman Saturday. He will present not just one, but two separate shows at Beasley Coliseum. The afternoon show will be a live broadcast of his public radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” featuring area musical guests Wylie Gustafson and Charlie Sutton. This show is mostly sold out – although you can hear it live at 3 p.m. on KPBX-FM (91.1) in Spokane and KWSU-AM (1250) in Pullman. The second is billed as “American Songs, Nattering and the Story of the Pontoon Boat,” featuring Keillor and the Guys All-Star Shoe Band. Plenty of tickets remain for that evening show. For the rest of Jim Kershner’s story, click here.

DFO: My family and I love traveling with a coupla tapes of Garrison Keillor’s “Lake Wobegon” best stuff playing on the car tape. We’ve laughed at the same stuff again and again — and keep wondering when the Coeur d’Alene Library will get new tapes from “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Question: Is there anyone out there who hasn’t had the pleasure of tuning in to “A Prairie Home Companion”?

Top Cutlines — 10/6/06

A tied-up goat looks in the window of a butcher shop in a village near the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP photo)

Top Cutlines

In A League of Their Own

“No kiddin’, son, your ma and I shoulda seen it comin’, when they promised to teach you cutting edge technology” — John Austin. And: Viewing the remains of the three county commissioners after a public hearing, Commissioner Elect Piazza wonders what he’s gotten himself into — Jane Q. Citizen.

1. It was at this point that Billy began to feel a little nervous and concerned and slowly, like the morning sun rising over the farm, began to realize that Farmer John, who moments before took a large wad of green paper from the butcher shop owner, might not be coming back — Bob.

2. “Keith Richards, left, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, right, perform during a Rolling Stones concert in Missoula, Mont., on Wednesday” — Brent Andrews.

3. Now Billy understood what was so upsetting about “Silence of the Lambs” — keithincda.

HM: Thom, Granati and everyone else. Nice job.

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

SR Pulls Plug on 7 Column Over Ethics Slip

Some readers may have noticed that Courtney Dunham’s “All We Never Knew” blog has disappeared from, and that her column did not run in today’s print edition of 7. Editor Nancy Malone, along with Steve Smith and Gary Graham, made the decision to pull the plug on the column after Dunham acknowledged on her blog that she accepted a free stay at a hotel in Hawaii in exchange for writing about it.

Here’s the first few sentences from the blog post, which was pulled after a few hours:

I just returned from a biz trip to Hawaii. I had to go after I was dragged to a Maui Tourism luncheon last spring where a marketing director from a major resort invited me to come and write about their luxury hotel. She was familiar with my column and freelancing projects, and said I was perfect to broaden the appeal of Maui to all people, not just couples. She offered it to me comp and said she’d roll out the red carpet for me. How could I say no after such pressure?

The blog post goes on to explain that after the intitial offer was retracted, Dunham then aggressively solicited similiar arrangements at another resort. Our ethics policies strictly forbid staffers from accepting freebies of any sort. The same rule applies to freelancers or correspondents when they write material for our paper (we can’t tell them what to do when they write for other publications). Smith noted that a staff writer who made a similar arrangement would probably be fired on the spot. For the rest of the post by Ken Paulman/Daily Briefing, click here

DFO: BTW, Blogmeister Ken also provides insight into how shocked SR Editors Steve Smith and Gary Graham were when they heard about the Cowles purchase of the Catholic bishopric here.

Riggs, Wilcox: Kroc, Boys/Girls Club Different

re: Following is an combined editorial by Jack Riggs and Cort Wilcox explaining why the Kroc Center and Boys and Girls Club are different and each deserves support.

Rapid growth in Kootenai County is evident on nearly every street corner. Community members and businesses are responding to the growth in many ways, including the creation of not-for-profit partnerships that will help support the families and youth of North Idaho. The Salvation Army Kroc Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County are both currently in the capital campaign process. On the surface, these facilities may appear to satisfy similar needs. However, they are actually complementary and equally essential to the positive cultivation of North Idaho’s family and youth foundation. We have come together to outline the distinctions between the organizations and express our mutual support of each other’s initiatives and missions. The editorial continues by listing the key features of each organization and facility here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/8/06

Taryn Veniegas, 6, right, buries her twin brother Morgan in leaves at Washington Park in Laramie, Wyo., on Thursday. The two first graders at Snowy Range Academy were occupying their time while a sibling played soccer at the park and hoped to scare a passer-by or a parent with a surprise attack using the leaves for camouflage. (AP Photo/The Laramie Boomerang, Barbara J. Perenic)

Eye On Boise: Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman encounters media buzzsaw when he arrives in Boise to push Bill Sali’s candidacy here.

1. A Post Falls teenager may have come down with Kootenai County’s second case of West Nile virus and perhaps the first locally contracted incident of the mosquito-borne illness this year here.

2. The move to file a class action lawsuit in an attempt to overturn Idaho’s property tax code is heading toward the front burner. Nearly 400 Bonner County (Idaho) landowners upset with their latest — and in many cases — higher property assessments without the right to appeal packed the Panida on Thursday night anxious to hear what legal action may be store for changing the structure of property taxation in Idaho as well as providing real tax relief here.

3. A 2-year-old boy who died from kidney failure last month had been infected with the same strain of E. coli bacteria that prompted a nationwide consumer warning on fresh spinach here.

4. Ten years ago, before he was hired as a vice president at Seattle University, the Rev. Tony Harris was among three priests who made repeated homosexual overtures to a young seminary student, according to allegations in a sexual harassment suit, here.

5. As chairman of the House ethics committee, Tri-Cities Rep. Doc Hastings finds himself at the center of the congressional page scandal and allegations that Republican leaders might have handled the case improperly here (free subscription required).

6. IMHO-NW: Joan Opyr/New West (Chenoweth died as she lived — reckless), Robert Taylor/UI Argonaut (Remember the fallen), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Twilegar best for Controller job), Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Contrite Lopes tries to rekindle career in Idaho), Cartoonist Paul Tong/UI Argonaut (Subtlety), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Promising season for Spokane Chiefs).

Online Poll: A plurality of 23% of 510 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll picked Snickers as its favorite candy bar.

*Moscow pastor arrested on southern California sex-crime warrant here.

*Dogs kill miniature horse in Hailey, Idaho, here.

*Garrison Keillor to tape show live at WSU’s Beasley Auditorium Saturday here.

*Coeur d’Alene woman dies on Oregon Coast when 10-pound rock hits pickup here. Video (free subscription required) here.

*Group from Rexburg, Idaho, wants to end liquor ban that prompted Appleby’s to walk away here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon baker “critical” after being trapped faced down in dough here.

Meanwhile, at the Free Republic …

… Helen Chenoweth-Hage is missed:

1. This is so sad, I do hope enough sanity can be reclaimed in the House of Representative to pay honor to her life. She was one special lady, I always loved to listen to her speak — Just My Thoughts.

2. One of my alltime favorites. RIP — Free Vulcan.

3. Helen and Wayne were both ‘Points of Light’ (Randy Travis song; “There is a time, when you cannot walk away, When you’ve got to stand up straight and tall and mean the words you say; There is a time you must do it ‘cause it’s right; That’s when you become a Point of Light”). The entire world is blessed for them having been here, if only for a short few years. It was my blessing to have been counted among their friends. With reddened eyes and a huge lump in my throat, I want to believe it’s not true, that somehow it’s a mistake, that I could drive out to Pine Creek Ranch and find them still there. God, how You blessed us by sharing these two with us! — Carry Okie.

4. Yes she was, and I was disappointed today that her passing got little media notice. Oh well the media has an election to engineer — Grandma C.

5. A true conservative. Salute — 1rudeboy.

DFO: For those keeping score at home, this may be the first time I’ve ever used something from the Free Republic. And, mebbe, the second or third time I’ve looked at the site.

APhoto of the Day — 10/6/06

A tied-up goat looks in the window of a butcher shop in a village near the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP photo)

CDA Press: Risch Wilderness Plan Too Big to Swallow

“You can’t help but admire Gov. Jim Risch for bulldozing bureaucratic barriers and accomplishing everything he possibly can in his eight months as the state’s chief executive. But in tackling the gigantic issue of what to do with Idaho’s 9.3 million acres of forest land, our good governor is biting off more than we can chew. Gov. Risch and some of his experts joined us in a recent editorial board meeting to go over Idaho’s petition for state-specific rulemaking for inventoried roadless areas. After studying executive summaries, topographical maps, Clinton’s rule of 2001, Bush’s rule of 2005, the Ninth Circuit Court’s reversal of Bush’s rule, and diagrams and descriptions of how Idaho’s forests might be designated, we arrived at one clear conclusion: This topic is too big to swallow in one sitting, maybe many.” For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial, click here.

Question: Do you think Gov. Risch is biting off too much?

Christie Wood: We Rocked w/Rolling Stones

Christie Wood: I was there! We went last night. My son is a student in Missoula. He called us and surprised us with tickets. We had pretty good seats where we were and then our friend Ken Smith from Dave Smith Motors called my husband and said we could have some extra tickets he had in case we wanted a better seat. We had no idea where the seats were and neither did security. After missing the first two songs we were finally wisked to the VIP seating right above the actual stage. We were 30 feet from them for the entire concert. We found out later those were very expensive tickets. Thank you Ken.(We just bought a car from him)I am not really a follower of the Stones ( I guess I was a bit sheltered listening to Donny Osmond and Barry Manilow)But they put on an amazing show and Jagger does not seem to know he is in his 60’s. I could not tell either! He was all over that stage with the energy of a hummingbird. My husband took some concert footage with his cell phone. If I can figure out how to send it some day I will.

DFO: Christie, if you were within 30 feet of the stage, I want to see those photos.

John Duh: Sick of Mark Foley Garbage

John Duh: I am so sick of this garbage already. Every newspaper, every channel, everywhere I look and listen. Let the courts take care of any illegal activity, and how about the politicians doing something about Health Care, Social Security, etc. … It is simply a diversion that the crooks, I mean politicians, dwell on and the media and others get locked into, instead of focusing on the real business of America, not this constant garbage about the other guys dirty laundry. Throw them all out and start over!!!!

DFO: Ah, John … we tried throwing the bums out. In 1994. All we got is more bums.

Parting Shot — 10/5/06

Keith Richards, left, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, right, perform during a Rolling Stones concert in Missoula, Mont., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Missoulian, Tom Bauer)

Question: When was the last time you saw a live rock concert?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 10/5/06

This squirrel (photo at Utah State campus provided by the Associated Press) may be in better shape, physically and mentally, to face the winter than CDADave here.

1. Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 is returning to her roots, after spending too many weekends house-cleaning. Yep, she’s hired her mother to do it for her here.

2. WAC officials admitted they made a mistake that helped Idaho score a touchdown in their win over Utah State, according to Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals, here.

3. OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy reviews three very bad, but addictive TV shows, here, and provides some funny YouTube links, including a dramatization of a conversation between U.S. Rep. Mark Foley and a congressional page here.

4. Marianne Love/Slight Detour admits she doesn’t always know what she’s doing, but she enjoys fall farming nevertheless here.

5. Amy Crooks/That’s Life. Life Goes On provides an example re: why parents get white hair here.

“Sometimes political scandals have legs and sometimes political scandals have low slung Kandy Apple Red 69 Corvettes with overhorsepowered v-8s and big fat rear tires and pure ethyl gasoline surging through huge thirsty carburetors. That would be the Mark Foley (R-Fl) scandal. Hastert’s office was warned, indeed implored, THREE YEARS ago to stop this pervert from trying to bag teenage page boys” — Bob. More here.

Meanwhile, Family Phil’s kids go to bed hungry here, Bayview Herb brags on the book his brother, Stan, wrote here, ErinG disses her Old Man, Granati, for turning 30 here, Trish confesses her age here, and Stebbijo challenges you to test your skills with “The Maze” here.

PM Question: Does CDA Need Huetter Bypass?

Issue: Huetter Road bypass study set to be discussed: Plan aims to ease congestion on highways/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A proposed Huetter Road freeway could carry 38,000 vehicles a day in 2030, easing traffic pressure on U.S. Highway 95 and state Highway 41. But building it would require significant right of way between Interstate 90 in Post Falls and state Highway 53 in Rathdrum, and could limit development along its length.

Meeting: Taking place as we speak in the Idaho Transportation Department District One HQ.

Question: Would you support this project to divert traffic off busy U.S. Highway 95?

Breaking! Steve Groene Sues Duncan

Joseph Duncan III, the man accused of killing three members of a northern Idaho family so he could molest their children, has been sued by the father of three of the victims here.

Update: Hag’s Desert Digs Clears Another Hurdle

The Palm Desert Planning Commission overruled city staff recommendations to approve a 17,000-square-foot expansion to a 44,000-square-foot project at Bighorn Golf Club. By a vote of 2-1, with Commissioner Cindy Finerty dissenting and Jim Lopez abstaining, the commission on Tuesday approved a recommendation to allow Duane B. Hagadone to increase the graded area on his Bighorn home to 61,000 square feet - close to 1½ acres. The project must go to the City Council for final action. The additional space would be used to add a large, 190-foot-long pool and a 1,500-square-foot sports court. The house is under construction, with completion projected for early 2007, said John Barlow, president of the Hagadone Real Estate Group. For the rest of the Palm Springs Desert Sun story by K. Kaufman, click here.

Don’t Look Now But Lake City No Longer No. 1

1. Highland (5), 5-0 48

2. Lake City (5), 5-0 47

3. Centennial (1), 5-0 30

4. Mountain View, 4-1 20

5. Skyline, 5-1 10

For the rest of the Idaho football standings, click here. For football statistical leaders in the 5A and 4A ranks, click here. For links to the rest of the Prep Page by Greg Lee/Idaho Preps, including a feature story re: CHS soccer goalkeeper Tyler Olmsted, click here.

Coulter: R’s ‘Fess Up, Quit; Dems Hunker Down

In 1983, Democratic congressman Gerry Studds was found to have sexually propositioned House pages and actually buggered a 17-year-old male page whom he took on a trip to Portugal. The 46-year-old Studds indignantly attacked those who criticized him for what he called a “mutually voluntary, private relationship between adults.” When the House censured Studds for his sex romp with a male page, Studds — not one to be shy about presenting his backside to a large group of men — defiantly turned his back on the House during the vote. He ran for re-election and was happily returned to office SIX more times by liberal Democratic voters in his Martha’s Vineyard district. (They really liked his campaign slogan: “It’s the outfit, stupid.”) For the rest of the Ann Coulter column, click here.

Question: Is there a difference between how R’s and D’s react to scandals in their midst?

CDA Press Q: Should Douglas OK Duncan Deal?

“Should Prosecutor Bill Douglas accept a plea deal from Joseph Duncan?” — Coeur d’Alene Press online here.

*Yes; Duncan will die anyway and a plea deal would spare Shasta having to testify and the county would save $1 million

*No; nothing but a death sentence in Idaho will do


Landers: Big Elk Story A Bunch of Bull

News travels fast by the Internet and e-mail. So do rumors and lies. The latest hunting-related fib to come across my computer screen is a photo of two hunters with a monster elk accompanied by this message: “This Elk was killed with a bow in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. He green scored 575. … He has an unbelievable outside spread of 79 inches. This is the biggest bull ever taken with any weapon.” The reference to the Selway is the first clue that at least some of the information is bogus. For the rest of the story by Rich Landers/SR, click here.

DFO: I’ve gotten suckered a coupla times re: bogus photos or stories on the Internet. Not in awhile, however. If something seems too far out there, you should check it out at here. You should also be careful what you forward to friends and relatives. No one likes to be thought of as a sucker. And it’s easy to fool some of the people all of the time.

CDADave: How About Fantasy Politics?

CDADave: Maybe someone should come up with something like “Fantasy Football” for the more politically-oriented. Each player would get, say, his/her choice of 10 politicians, any combination of Senators and Representatives. Then, whoever had the team with the least cumulative negative factors (sex scandals, mis-speakings, bribe acceptance, filibustering, etc) would win. That’d be kinda interesting.

DFO: Ou-ou-ou, I pick Sandi Bloem or Al Hassell. If we’re talking higher up, I want Frank Henderson or Shawn Keough. Higher still … like in Congress … ah … mebbe Mike Crapo.

Question: Who would you want on your sidelines for an all-ethical Fantasy Politics League?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Citgo Boycott

Issue: Chavez outrage fuels ‘boycott Citgo’ effort: U.S. motorists, businesses, states join protest of Venezuelan ownership/WorldNetDaily

Question: How does Venezuela’s ownership of Citgo affect your decision about gasoline purchases?

1. It makes me more inclined to fill my tank there
2. It’s silly to think I could make an impact on Hugo Chavez by which gas I buy
3. I would like to participate in a boycott but my budget won’t let me
4. Even though I don’t like Chavez, I’m going to buy the cheapest gas
5. It makes no difference – I already prefer another brand
6. I would only buy Citgo if it was the only station within 50 miles
7. There’s no way I’m putting money into the pocket of Hugo Chavez
8. I’m worried about Venezuela’s military buildup – a boycott seems like an effective way to deny Chavez money for weapons
9. Chavez is a blowhard and he really ticks me off – I’m joining the Citgo boycott
10. Other

DFO: Do we even have a Citgo station around here?

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 10/4/06

Some may think that the Wild Card encourages nothing but “shallow and meaningless opinionated rants” (Thom, go stand in the corner). But I happen to enjoy it when commenters are passionate (especially when they represent my view well). Last night was a hoot. (BTW, Facts, I don’t think there’s a problem with MyTube posts from last night’s thread because … that’s what MyTube is all about … exposure. But I’ll check it out.) Now, for your Hump Day Wild Card …

In Missoula — Chris Rodkey w/Stones Update

Chris Rodkey (w/front row tickets): Missoulians and Montanans alike are aghast at the enormity of the stage. It dwarfs the stadium, even. Currently crawling the streets of downtown are hundreds of baby-boomers, teeming about and wearing XXL t-shirts that cover their considerable guts. Cameras are not allowed, still. We’re wondering how feasible it will be to get a strategically-placed camera into the stadium.

Bob: If Mr. Rodkey or any other young whippersnapper talked trash to THIS babyboomer about his considerable gut, I’m guessing they’d find they were involuntarily smuggling their cameras in certain body areas not likely to be searched by minimum wage event security! ;)

Meanwhile, Bob challenges you to solve the Riddle of the Ex-Girlfriend’s shirt here.

Top Cutlines — 10/4/06

Two models present an ensemble by Belgian fashion designers An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx during the presentation of the A.F. Vandevorst Spring-Summer 2007 ready to wear collection in Paris this week. You write the cutline. (AP photo)

Top Cutlines

1. Fashion commentator: “For this year’s mildly suggestive hostage apparel, note the long lines designed to show off the upper thighs without becoming too risque. And note the black cord around the waist, which can double as a tourniquet, or noose, if need be. Topping it all off, the fashionable muzzles so they can’t cry out in pain if tortured. Another clever fashion design from Bin Laden of Iran” — CDADave.

2. The audience at the International Plastic Surgeons Symposium gasps as the session on “Botox Gone Wrong” begins — John Austin.

3. Organizers of this Paris fashion show follow through on their promise to ban models from walking and chewing gum after last weeks accident in Milan — Thom George.

HM: Rainbow Pony Sparkle Angel

For the complete list of cutline entries, click here.

Pigskin Picks: Lakeland to Beat Timberlake.

Greg Lee: These teams may not be in the same classification, but that doesn’t mean a thing. They’ve developed a good in-district rivalry. This matchup could be the most hotly contested and entertaining ever. In a battle of Wing T-style offenses, Lakeland will use its size to stave off Timberlake’s speed. LL 35, Timberlake 27.

Guest: This is going to be a tight game, especially since Timberlake is hosting. It’s hard to win football games at Timberlake. Lakeland is much improved, but so is Timberlake. The Hawks will have the upper hand and rely on their seniors (Bubba Bartlett and Chase Roberts) to pull them through. LL 28, TL 21

DFO: Colleague Greg Lee has had a rough coupla weeks trying to keep up with his guest pickers in the weekly Pigskin Picks. The big game this week is Lakeland vs. Timberlake. (And can someone please explain to me why every other school in North Idaho has the word “lake” as part of its name?) Anyway, you can read all of Greg’s Pickskin Picks before they’re published Thursday here.

JohnA; DFO & I Go Way Back

DFO and I go back exactly twenty years, when I went to work for Shirley Deitz. From there, we traveled through his research and copyrighted articles on Sheriff Merf Stalder and its implications when Tom Taggart ran against Mrs. Deitz. Then, at the city, it was with the Mayor for Life, the delightful Ray Stone, to the great contributions of Al Hassell, to the unfortunate Boy Mayor, who shall remain nameless.

Along the way, it became clear to me that DFO not only gives readers what they WANT to read, but also what they NEED to know, often the first to report it, or to comment on it. Of course, he often gave readers what they DIDN’T want to read, especially for those of us who cared for the well-being of his various targets, but nonetheless it was always relevant.

I hope the guy can keep it going, even when he’s attacked for providing the content he does. It’s not always easy to read, but it’s vitally important to the community.

John Austin/Punster Extraordinaire

DFO: I didn’t post out front to air John’s gracious comments (although they’re nice and I appreciate them). I posted it because of the history he’s discussing here. Few go that far back any more. John, obviously, remembers my original column that was called Kootenai Grapevine. And he had a front-row seat to one of my two ha-huge investigative articles that resulted in three incumbents being bounced from office over the course of two years. I never expected to ever be in one place this long, to establish such a history with readers. But I’m delighted that it played out this way.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 10/4/06

A memorial service is scheduled Monday for former U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage (shown at an EPA hearing above in a Jesse Tinsley photo) in Meridian here. You can read my editorial and a column note about Helen here and here. KTVB/Boise provides more coverage a link for details of the accident that claimed Chenoweth-Hage’s life here.

Eye On Boise: Get a look at those “Jimmy Pennies” being handed out by lt. gov. wannabe Larry LaRocco and other Idaho D’s here.

1. House Speaker Dennis Hastert doesn’t smell the load of decaying fish that he’s been handed, according to David Horsey/Seattle PI, here.

2. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed Tuesday that his officers searched the wrong house last week when a detective got one digit of a telephone number wrong here.

3. At first glance, spending $400,000 of federal salmon recovery money to buy an automatic sprinkler system for a golf course appears to be a shot out of bounds. But salmon recovery experts say the plan to irrigate the Salmon Valley Golf Course from three new wells rather than from the Lemhi River in central Idaho will benefit salmon here.

4. Two significant holdings at the Washington State University Museum of Art are deteriorating so badly that they cannot be properly displayed and may be lost altogether here.

5. James Flavel, the Democratic candidate for Spokane County sheriff, was sued by his ex-wife for not paying child support in the 1980s, was under a temporary court order in 1993 for allegedly harassing a former girlfriend and pursued by a collection agency for not making payments on a computer here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Ex-Coug Swogger leads UMontana), Chelsea Wreden/WSU Evergreen (Christian speakers harmed campus), Gregory Taylor/New West (Chenoweth’s real legacy), Travis Galloway/UI Argonaut (Reality of the Long War), and Bruno Baltodano/WSU Evergreen (An illusion of voting for Martin Stadium).

Online Poll: A plurality of 17.6 and 15.9 percent of 1098 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll want to see the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

*A Seattle woman pleaded guilty to charges Wednesday in a firebombing at the University of Washington’s horticulture center in May 2001 here.

*Tip by small-town Washington police chief leads to arrest of serial bank robber here.

*A Washington State Patrol trooper who asked for a woman’s phone number for his personal use was put on paid leave here.

*A proposal by the small Canyon County town of Greenleaf, Idaho, to require all households to bear arms is getting national attention here.

Orbusmax Special: Demo dirty trick in Oregon House race causes Oregonian to switch endorsement here.

CDADave Rates Seattle Mariner Announcers

I’ve thought about longtime M’s announcer Dave Niehaus, and the conclusion I come to is, he’s probably a kid that never grew up, along with manic-depressive tendencies…his grand-slam home run calls are truly things of beauty…”get out the rye bread and mustard, grandma; it’s GRAND SALOME TIME!”…yet, when the Mariners fall short, Niehaus’ voice is laced with disgust and disappointment; yet he can turn around and rejoice soundly whenever the M’s do something right. A quality that Niehaus demonstrates is to bring the listener INTO the game; Niehaus lets the pace of the game dictate how much he says; oftentimes there are silent periods of 20 to 30 seconds where Niehaus won’t say anything, letting the crowd noise and general ambience of the game come through. Rick Rizzs, on the other hand, fills you up between plays with non-stop game details, history of baseball details and all kinds of baseball-related verbage, and sometimes I have screamed during a game, “RIZZS, SHUT UP, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!!!” For the rest of the post by CDADave/Thin Air, click here.

BTW, according to CDADave’s “Bush Term Ends” clock, the Bush administration has 838 days, 16 hours, 27 minutes, and 25 seconds left here.

Question re: Craig Mulling Another Election Bid

Issue: Facing GOP challenge, Craig undecided on ‘08 run: Illegal immigration foe announces candidacy/Associated Press

Larry Craig: “I take one election at a time, and right now my focus is on the 2006 election and ensuring that right-minded candidates are elected. I will be helping throughout Idaho and in Senate races around the country to ensure Republicans retain the majority. I hope my fellow Republicans do the same.”

Question: How would you rate Larry Craig as a congressman?

SR Edit: Chenoweth-Hage Was Woman of Principle

Helen Chenoweth-Hage was known for many things. Her hard-rock Western conservatism. A shoot-from-the-hip style. Black helicopters. An insistence on being called “congressman.” Property rights. Gun rights. Eyebrow-raising statements, such as the one she used to explain why few minorities reside in North Idaho: “The warm-climate community just hasn’t found the colder climate that attractive.” For questioning why salmon was considered endangered when shoppers could buy the fish in cans at grocery stores. The last item inspired the regionally famous bumper sticker: “Can Helen, not salmon.” Chenoweth-Hage, who was killed in a vehicle accident in Nevada on Monday, also will be remembered as a woman of her word who was gracious to political opponents and wasn’t afraid to answer tough questions from adversarial media, even at times after they mischaracterized her as dumb and anti-feminist. Her commitment to principle never was more apparent than when she kept her promise not to seek re-election to a fourth term. For the rest of my editorial, click here.

Coeur d’Alene Press editorial about Chenoweth-Hage here



Huckleberries hears (from a Berry Picker) that … Mike McLean is leaving the Coeur d’Alene Press for the Journal of Business. He’s been there well over a decade and was a real jack of all trades. Also, a coupla copy desk types are bailing. Stay tuned.

Rodkey: I’m in the Front Row for the Stones

Chris Rodkey: DFO, I’ll be at the concert as well, and I am not joking, I have front row tickets. Seriously. We lucked out and got them in the pre-sale for only $90 a pop. Once in a lifetime. I’ll try and snap a pic as long as the camera nazis don’t try to take it away. I’ll bus it over to you Thursday a.m. I eagerly anitcipate close-up views of colostomy bags and stage-trick-invisible walkers.

DFO: Chris and Erica Curless both are going to the Jumpin’ Jack Flash show in Missoula tonight. So, we should have some good HBO coverage in the morning and beyond. Anyone else going out there?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Whattabout Foley Sob Story?

Issue: Foley claims abuse by clergy as youth: Psychiatrist: Alleged act could have contributed to his own behavior with pages/Palm Beach Post

Question: What are your thoughts on the claim Foley was molested as a teen by a clergyman?

1. There’s nothing wrong with adult-child sex – it was consensual for Foley then and for the pages now
2. It makes me feel more compassionate – I was never molested so I shouldn’t judge him
3. It makes me sad – like most victimizers, he was a victim first
4. It’s just more devastating fallout from the clergy-abuse scandals
5. I don’t believe it – it’s just a smokescreen thrown up by his attorney
6. If it’s true, it puts the lie to the politically correct claim that homosexuals are born that way
7. Foley championed child protection in Congress – he knew he was doing wrong and he had the knowledge and resources to get help
8. It’s just an excuse like alcoholism – he’s responsible for his actions
9. Who cares – our prisons are full of ‘victims’ who belong behind bars
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 7-10

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10/3/06

Helen Chenoweth-Hage remains uppermost in my mind today as I think of some of the fun flaps she was involved in: black helicopters, can-Helen-not-salmon, Hispanics don’t like cold, etc. She was a western original. And a friendly acquaintance, if a journalist can designate a politician as such. I’m saddened by her lost. And mourning a bit. The blog, however, is insatiable and must be fed at almost all times. So, HBOers, here’s your daily Wild Card …

Whitecaps: Permitting Moral Degeneracy

“Compare the Republican Party leadership’s responses to the facts behind the US Representative Mark Foley resignation with the Catholic Church leadership’s responses to the priests’ sexual exploitation of children. Both institutions’ “leaders” knew of immoral misconduct by subordinates, yet instead of taking meaningful action to stop it, they concealed, they denied, and they lied. It’s pathetic how much we will let moral degenerates who wear expensive suits or turned-around collars get away with” — Bill McCrory/Whitecaps.

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

“It’s not just the leaves that fall from the trees this time of year… An autumn scene from a North Idaho farm” — Family Phil, who also explains in his latest post why he home-schools here.

The prodigal, CDADave, returns to the HBO fold and explains where he’s been here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 is afraid of birds; so, she had to muster a lot of courage to deal with the latest chapter in her family’s never-ending North Idaho soap opera here. (BTW, put your hands together for MD, whose superb new blog just topped 1000 total page-views.)

*Christine/Cinnamon Spice is thinking of loss today after learning that another soccer mom has succumbed to illness here.

*The Perambulator (aka, Bronx Boy) has learned quite a few things during his first week in Jolly Old England here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind has declared herself to be a member of the Cafeteria Party — and she makes good sense in describing its guiding principles here.

*ErinG/Idaho Native visits her father for a final time before he leaves to become a missionary to India here.

*Trish Gannon/The River Journal, our newest blogger at the HBO Corral, discusses her interaction with Huckleberries last week here and announces that she’s celebrating a birthday today (while studiously avoiding specifying which one) here.

For those who have been missing an old-time Bobness rant re: the current political situation (Beware: Republicans), click here.

Meanwhile, Sue posts another beautiful poem, “Crest of Chaos” here, Digital Fog posts a photo of “something every college co-ed needs” here, Mari provides a touch of fall beauty here, Katrina pays homage to geekdom in word here and in video here, JBelle celebrates that she finally has got her North Dakota coin (while DFO continues to look for West Virginia) here, and Toad confirms that parenting ain’t easy here.


A perfect world
if all could learn
to signal when
they make a turn.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Question: Is Home Work Good, Bad for Kids?

Issue: Parents, authors and even some teachers rebel against homework/Paul Nyhan, Seattle PI

More Info: Homework generally is worthless. It’s all pain and no gain,” said Alfie Kohn, author of “The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing.” “No study has ever demonstrated any academic benefit to doing homework before high school.” The anti-homework gang is not the popular clique on the school policy playground, with far more parents and teachers supporting take-home assignments. It develops study habits, reinforces lessons and builds self-confidence, educators say.

DFO: Sounds as though another loopy educational theory is trying to gain traction.

Question: Are you in favor of a good load of home work or not?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/3/06

In this 1956 file photo, New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen delivers a pitch in the fourth inning of Game 5 of the World Series Oct. 8, 1956 en route to the first World Series perfect game. The Yankees won 2-0 and went on to win the series. Larsen now lives in Hayden Lake, Idaho, and is the subject of a column by Rod Harwood/Coeur d’Alene Press in the IMHO-NW roundup below. (AP Photo)

Remembering Helen Chenoweth-Hage: Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press here and Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise here.

1. The U.S. attorney general’s office has given federal prosecutors the green light to seek the death penalty for murder suspect Joseph Duncan here.

2. Surgeons operating on Steve Groene had to remove all of his larynx, his sister said Monday night. Wendy Price said the father of Shasta Groene, the lone survivor of the Wolf Lodge killings, was expected to be placed into the University of Washington Medical Center’s intensive care unit following the surgery to remove the remainder of what is believed to be a cancerous larynx here.

3. A new poll conducted for KING 5 News by SurveyUSA shows that ballot initiatives repealing the estate tax and making governments pay when regulations affect property values would pass if the vote were held today. Both measures will be on the November ballot here.

4. An Idaho school district thinks the state standards don’t challenge their student athletes to excel in the classroom and they’re doing something about it here.

5. Hoping to emerge from bankruptcy protection by the end of this year, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane is selling its bishop’s office building to raise money to pay victims of clergy sex abuse here.

IMHO-NW: Dean Miller/Idaho Falls Post-Register (Darkest Idaho’s pitiful Hemingway cult), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Some people have to go), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Firm’s capital more than a commodity), Rod Harwood/Coeur d’Alene Press (A perfect World Series game), and Marjorie Smith/New West (Bicentennial: Success? Or flop?).

Online Poll: 50.6% of 1244 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say Treasure Valley schools would be safer with metal detectors.

*A man accused of embezzling $30,000 from the Post Falls Little League has turned himself in here.

*The Idaho Falls City Council has voted a 3 percent pay raise for full-time police officers who can speak Spanish here.

*Gonzaga, Idaho’s Albertson College among nation’s fittest here.

Orbusmax Special: Chorus of criticism grows over Cantwell’s decision to limit debates with McGavick here. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times here.

Warrant Roundup: Somewhat Wanted Felons

From left to right, Jesse James Johnson, Levi James Mann and Lesley Marie Miller. And heee-rrrr-eees your weekly Kooteni County Sheriff’s Warrant Roundup.

APhoto of the Day — 10/3/06

October may be a black cat’s favorite month, but presidential pets India, left, and Miss Beazley, right, don’t appear to be each other’s favorites as they square-off during a walk on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday. The dust-up was over quickly, and the cloistered companions returned peacefully to the White House. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Deputy Mayor Lynch: “Am I Angry, You Bet”

Spokane Deputy Mayor Jack Lynch returned to work Monday from an unexplained medical absence and criticized The Spokesman-Review for its coverage of his disappearance from City Hall last month. “Am I angry? You bet. Am I upset? You bet,” Lynch said in an interview Monday afternoon about newspaper coverage of his leave. Lynch left his job with undisclosed health issues on Sept. 18. Through his wife, he requested and was granted a medical leave on Sept. 25 by Mayor Dennis Hession. The leave came after Lynch had suffered a black eye and broken rib in a bicycle accident on Sept. 3 and two of his vehicles were spotted by police in August at a city park known for lewd conduct. Last Thursday, the newspaper reported that Lynch’s request to be placed on paid medical leave came at a time of questions about his visits in August to High Bridge Park at the confluence of the Spokane River and Latah Creek, a park long known for nude sunbathing, lewd conduct and drug use. The story was accompanied by a photo of Lynch with a blackened right eye. For the rest of Mike Prager’s SR story, click here.

007: Repubs Are Going to Lose Big in November

James Bond: James Bond will once again reiterate what some have teased him about: The GOP is going to LOSE BIG in November. For so many reasons, this is true. The Foley scandal may well cement the GOP’s loss, but I view it as more of a symptom than a cause. I sincerely hope that, after November, we can get rid of the syncophants and corporate welfare pigs and get back to being the party of the regular man and woman.

DFO: The experts say that winning or losing Congress boils down to a handful of congressional districts — and there doesn’t appear to be a tidal wave out there. The D’s biggest problem is their failure to articulate a national message a la the R’s in 1994. The R’s deserve to lose. They have provided little leadership in the last 12 years. And the lack of fiscal responsibility should be considered a scandal by the partisans. With the current uninspiring R leadership, the thought of Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker doesn’t bother me any more.

WorldNetDaily Poll: U.S. Rep. Mark Foley

Issue: Page disputes warning about Foley: Says they weren’t officially told anything about congressman/Palm Beach Post

Question: Which statement best exemplifies your view of the Foley scandal?

1. What’s the fuss about? He didn’t lay a finger on the kid
2. What he does in his private life is of no concern politically
3. Hey, it’s just an alternative lifestyle
4. An illustration of Republican corruption
5. More evidence Republican moralizing is hypocritical
6. It’s indicative of lower standards throughout the political system
7. The next big civil rights movement will be for lowering the age of consent
8. Disclosure was an eleventh-hour dirty trick by Democrats
9. Just one sicko congressman, no more, no less
10. Other

DFO: Just another sick-o congressman who was protected by partisan hacks, in this case Republican ones.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Breaking! Chenoweth-Hage Killed In Car Wreck

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage died Monday in a car crash, her daughter said. Chenoweth-Hage, a Republican who was elected to Congress from Idaho in 1994 and served through 2000, was 68. Her daughter, Meg Chenoweth Keenan, said Chenoweth-Hage was a passenger in the Monday morning crash near Tonopah, Nev. No one else was seriously injured in the one-car crash, she said. Background here.

Was It Just My Imagination, Or Was One …

…of the fifth-grade teams playing at halftime of the big Coeur d’Alene/Lake City high schools game nicknamed the (drum roll, please) — Redskins? I’m not into PC. But that’s over-the-top in almost anyone’s league.

BrodH20: Hot Rod, JBs Top Kid-Friendly Cafes

In our pre-kids days, The Otis and I used to go out to eat quite a bit. We still go out at least a couple times a month, usually with kids in tow. There are always a few places where you know it’s OK to take your kids. Like McDonalds or Carl’s Jr., or anywhere else with a playland or that serves up your meal in 3 minutes or less. As The Urchins have gotten older, we’ve become more comfortable taking them into sit-down restaurants. Places where there might be a little bit of a wait. And where there’s something on the menu more appealing to adults than a Big Mac. You can read a list of the top kid-friendly restaurants, compiled by Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 here.

Question: What do you consider the top kid-friendly, sit-down restaurants in the local area?

Top Cutlines — 10/2/06

Over 12,000 schoolchildren brush their teeth in an effort to set up a new world record of mass tooth-brushing and be registered by the Guinness Book of Records, in Budapest, Hungary, recently. The previous record was set up by 10,800 participants in the Philippines last January. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/MTI, Peter Kollanyi)

Top Cutlines:

1. Not wanting to gum up the record and confused as to why they’d get a plaque, the anticipation crests as school children brush up on the history of the tool, advised that it was probably first used in north Idaho; otherwise it would have been called a teethbrush — John Austin.

2. The children never knew why accountant Harry Black was hauled away by men in white jackets, screaming endlessly about “Red! Too much red! I’m ruined! Ruined!” — A Token D.

3. What seemed like a good idea turned disastrous as 12,000 children rinsed and spit — Paul Ferguson.

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

And Yet Another Nut Attacks School, Kills 4

Authorities investigate the scene in Nickel, Pa., of where a school shooting occurred today. A 32-year-old milk truck driver took about a dozen girls hostage in a one-room Amish schoolhouse Monday, barricaded the doors with boards and killed at least three girls and apparently himself here. (AP Photo/Lancaster New Era, Marty Heisey)

Smart Bombs

This week’s school shootings will inevitably produce chin-stroking analyses that attempt to put them into perspective: “Such shootings are relatively rare.” “Can’t guarantee safety in an open society.” “It’s a difficult balancing act.” Shut up. Fifty children have died in school shootings in the past 10 years in the United States. Thousands of kids have been terrorized. But society has determined that this isn’t enough. Before we protect schools the way we protect banks, offices and colleges, apparently more will have to die. This is crazy! For the rest of the Smart Bombs comment by Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review, click here.

Question: Have local schools done enough to protect students from armed attacks?

Question: Is WSU Prez Worth $500,000-Plus?

Issue: University leaders’ pay soars: Officials cite need to draw top talent/Shawn Vestal, Spokesman-Review

More Info: (Retiring V. Lane) Rawlins’ compensation for the 2006-07 school year is $514,450, and while he has turned down raises in earlier years, his pay has risen steeply since he was hired in 2000. He’s one of 23 public university presidents nationwide who earned more than half a million dollars in total compensation last year – salary plus bonuses and perks – according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Question: Should WSU pay its university prez $500,000 or more per year?

Extra! Suspected LL Embezzler Turns Self In

A man suspected of embezzling more than $30,000 from the Post Falls Little League has turned himself in after more than a month on the lam. James A. Harris, 37, (pictured) showed up at the Post Falls Police Department just before 11 a.m. Sunday with both of his parents, Police Lt. Greg McLean said Monday. Harris, the organization’s former treasurer, is being held on a $250,000 warrant for charges of grand theft. McLean said Harris wouldn’t talk with investigators about the missing money or say where he has been for the past month. “On the advice of his attorney, he’s not to talk to us,” McLean said. Harris didn’t say who his attorney was, McLean added. Little League officials are still trying to determine how much money Harris allegedly stole from the organization, McLean said. Harris is scheduled to appear in 1st District Court in Kootenai County this afternoon/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review.

APhoto of the Day — 10/2/06

Over 12,000 schoolchildren brush their teeth in an effort to set up a new world record of mass tooth-brushing and be registered by the Guinness Book of Records, in Budapest, Hungary, recently. The previous record was set up by 10,800 participants in the Philippines last January. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/MTI, Peter Kollanyi)

SR Edit: Rankin Deserves Credit for Tax Reform

Somewhere, Ron Rankin is smiling. Rankin didn’t live to see property tax reform take hold in Idaho. But he helped establish the anti-tax climate that kept the pressure on politicians to do something. In the late 1970s, he pushed the One Percent Initiative that was approved by voters and then neutered by legislators. In the 1990s, his attempts to resurrect the One Percent Initiative and a third-party run for governor prompted Gov. Phil Batt to ease the burden on property tax payers – somewhat. Gov. Jim Risch finished the job in August by calling a special session of the Idaho Legislature to reform property tax. The fruit of Rankin’s crusade was harvested this week in Kootenai County when Assessor Mike McDowell and Treasurer Tom Malzahn announced that property taxes would fall significantly this year despite rapidly increasing values. They credited several factors for the amazing news, including, most importantly, the vote by the 2006 Idaho Legislature to shift funding for school maintenance and operations from the property tax to the sales tax. Also important, they said, was the fiscal restraint by local taxing districts and the additional tax revenue provided by new construction. For the rest of my editorial about property tax reform, click here.

DFO: I gotta kick outta good friend John Rook’s comment over the weekend re: the SR treating Ron Rankin roughly in days gone by — mainly, I suppose, because I knew the edit was in the pipeline. Also, I knew that I personally have written several editorials applauding the late Ronfather’s exploits. I rapped him on the knuckles occasionally. For example, I disagreed with him about English only. (And still would, if he were alive.) I appreciated the fact that he embraced the use of pay-as-you-go capital facilities levies to construct new school buildings. That showed he wasn’t blind to the need. But opposed the use of interest-bearing bonds to get the job done. You don’t have to always agree with someone to appreciate him. Or miss him. Indeed, I miss the phone call in the morning and the inevitable one-liner from The Ronfather that brought a smile.

Sue: Partisanship Reins When Scandals Surface

Sue: It’s almost comical to me that some will yell loudly that this (Rep. Mark Foley) scandal shouldn’t be seen as a partisan issue. Almost immediately they will inject a statement to make it partisan: i.e., Franks (what was his scandal?); Congressman William Jefferson w/$90,000 in the freezer; still can’t believe Bill Clinton’s name hasn’t been brought up, but it will. Isn’t it enough to say that Foley acted in an abhorent way, was right to step down, and that there should be an investigation to see how this was handled start to finish? No politics there, just doing the right thing. In all of this, lets not forget the kids who got an unexpected education from their time in Washington.

DFO: Sue, the true partisans almost always take note of the other party’s mortal sins. But ignore their own party’s. I once was like that. But I’ve gotten to the point that both parties turn my stomach with their petty partisanship, especially when one of their own is in trouble. If Foley tried to hit on an under-age page, and it appears that he did, he deserves contempt. If Demo Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana is guilty of political corruption, he deserves contempt. These guys’ll get the message when hard-core partisans quit making excuses for them. Or quit hunkering down with them until the scandal blows over.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Should Rumsfeld Be Fired?

Issue: Rumsfeld says he won’t resign: Coming under renewed fire for management of war/Associated Press

Question: Should Secretary Donald Rumsfeld be fired?

1. No, he’s the best man for the job
2. No, he’s done as well as can be expected under extremely difficult circumstances
3. No, it would be political suicide to dismiss him now
4. No
5. Yes, he’s in over his head
6. Yes, he’s grossly mishandled the Iraq war
7. Yes, and he should face criminal charges for the war
8. Yes
9. Other

DFO: No. 2

For the rest of 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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