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Archive for September 2006

Wild Card/Saturday — 9/30/06

I don’t have much more than this Wild Card for you today, HBOers. I need to go back on the garage roof to finish the re-roofing job from last week. That’ll take a chunk of the day. Fun, hunh? I also have a dead car to deal with because I left the lights on when I attended the CHS-LCHS game last night. Great game. But not so great dealing with the surprise afterward. Can’t remember the last time I did that. Good thing my brother lived nearby. I borrowed his pickup to get home. Oh well. Each day has it’s own difficulties, as the Bible sez. ‘Tis true. So, have fun here. Or enjoy what promises to be another nice weekend. There aren’t too many left. Here’s your Wild Card …

TGIF Wild Card — 9/29/06

Well, ladies and germs, I’m off for another weekend of work up. On. The. Roof. Yep, going to finish the garage re-roofing project with my brother-in-law, Tom, Saturday. Before that, however, I’m off to Lake City High tonight to watch the big game with Coeur d’Alene High. Hope my sister, Charlotte Mitchell, and her husband, Roy, don’t get mobbed as they try to save a seat for me. If they do, I’ll watch from the sidelines — the only way to watch high school football. I’ll post some things tonight, including the first weekend Wild Card. Until then, you can start your own threads to begin the weekend with this Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/29/06

“My daughter, walking through the stubble of a North Idaho wheat field. This picture reminds me of an Andrew Wyeth painting” — Family Phil.

*Above all else, make sure you check out the new blog started by Trish Gannon, ace reporter/editor/all-round-good-gal for The River Journal in Bonner County/northwestern Montana here. I’m excited to add Trish to the North Idaho Blogroll (when Blogmeister Ken returns Monday). She joins Marianne and Cis to give us even more good coverage from the north country. BTW, you can read the online version of The River Journal here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind shows why we don’t need the West Lakeshore Drivers’ steekin’ part of Sanders Beach to enjoy the north shore waterfront with photos of Tubbs Hill here and here. Meanwhile, Mari/Dogwalk Musings provides her account of the day with Cis here. And Stebbijo here. (Can’t believe you ladies didn’t swing by the SR office to say, hi.)

*”Another season has come. The fall palette is awakening with vibrant colors as life gradually disappears from the myriad of green leaves which popped into an expectant world from their birth buds just a few months ago” — Marianne Love/Sight Detour here.

*Sue Turner/Tumblewords shows us her way with words with the poem, “On The Cusp of Sunday,” here.

*Toad/Synpatic Disunion reacts to a package from HBO’s favorite Brit, Marmitetoasty, here.

Danger, Danger, Will Robinson. HBO notes that MikeK/Idaho Kennedys and newboy Cinnamon Spice haven’t posted in two weeks. C’mon, kids, we’re depending on you to make things even more interesting at HBO Central

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb bird-dogs Waterford Park homes here, OrangeTV enjoys Huckleberries print exposure here, CDADave’s still out there somewhere alookin’ for a new home here, Kale reacts to Congressman Foley’s resignation here, and The Perambulator sends YouTube greetings from London Bridge here.

Not Again! Another U.S. School Shooting

Weston High School students come back to the school to visit the scene today in Cazenovia, Wis. A teenage student brought two guns to his rural school and critically wounded the principal today after a struggle with adults and other students, authorities said. The 15-year-old was taken into custody, officials said. No one else was hurt. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Question: I wonder what steps the local schools have taken to reduce the risk of this kind of violence?

Extra! Fire Chief Orders Changes After Zehm Death

Spokane firefighters are under new orders to stop using a so-called “anti-spitting” device like the one strapped to the face of Otto Zehm moments before he lapsed into unconsciousness following a March 18 convenience store encounter with police. Zehm later died. The clear “non-rebreather” masks carried by Fire Department paramedics now can only be used with oxygen supply lines and a source of oxygen, Fire Chief Bobby Williams said in a departmental order issued last month. Under a new “mask utilization policy,’’ fire department paramedics will issue gauze masks if they are needed to prevent spitting by “violent patients.” The fire chief, in a Sept. 21 letter, also ordered his department to implement seven other policy and training changes in light of the death of Zehm. For the complete story by colleague Bill Morlin, click here.

DFO: Better late than never?

Gannon: How Can I Protect My Kid Driver?

My Amy is supposed to get her driver’s license in mid-October, just a few weeks from now. I confess, I’m wanting to ban her from getting it. This is my youngest child, and I worry enough with two other children driving on the roads - now I’ll have a third who will undoubtedly keep me up nights with fear. Although she’s a pretty good driver, she won’t be on the road alone - and not all people make good decisions when behind the wheel of a lethal weapon. So what’s the answer? In the 15 years I’ve been driving between Sandpoint and Clark Fork, I’ve watched an amazing amount of idiot drivers - mostly those who pass when it’s unsafe to do so, but also those who, in the winter, think four-wheel-drive makes them immune to the effects of ice on the roadway. Is there a way to make the highway safer, or is this just a reality we all have to live with? For the rest of the post by Trish Gannon/The River Journal, click here.

Question: Earlier in her post, Trish tells of three accidents near Clark Fork involving seven children in a 12-day span. Above, she shares the worry of every parent in dealing with their teen’s driving. How do you handle it?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/29/06

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Dive Team member Gary Dagastine, right, prepares to go into the water at Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene where a body of a 52-year-old man was pulled from the water this morning/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Eye On Boise: Partisans use video JibJab-like humor to comment on Idaho elections here.

1. Jurors in Joseph Duncan’s triple-murder trial can hear incriminating statements the suspected killer made following his arrest, 1st District Judge Fred Gibler ruled Thursday, here.

2. An initiative proposal that would allow residents to grow, sell and use marijuana within Sun Valley’s city limits can move forward, the Idaho Supreme Court has ruled, here.

3. Police patrols through WSU residence halls are expected to resume this weekend. But many students aren’t too happy about it. Some don’t think the patrols, which the university argued increase student safety, are worth a perceived invasion of their privacy here.

4. An Idahoan who rescues bear cubs is in the running to be “Animal Planet’s” hero of the year here.

5. At 15, Mike Ellenwood Sr. lived at Alcatraz on and off for more than a year, and took part in a takeover of the island that is credited with ending the government policies that forced his family from their tribal home in North Idaho. The Spokane man has now written a book about his experience here.

6. IMHO-NW: Joan Opyr/New West (I’ll never be Mrs. Idaho), Spokesman-Review (A right to remain silent), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (Scratched: liberty, freedom, justice), Rich Roesler/Eye On Olympia (Watchdog and sheep), Vivvi Pierce/WSU Daily Evergreen (Possessions don’t bring happiness), and Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (Bush v. Clinton and, sigh, more war on terror).

Online Poll: 49.9% of 1548 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they’d pay off their bills if they won a $200,000 lottery as a Boisean did recently.

*Spokane’s Met Theatre will be renamed in honor of native son Bing Crosby here.

*Missoula scalpers can’t get no satisfaction as they try to re-sell Stones concert tickets here.

*Caldwell High goes into lockdown after teen brings loaded gun to school here.

*Flashers reported in Moscow, UWashington here.

Orbusmax Special: E.coli sickens 2 kids who drank raw milk from Washington dairy here.

True Confessions: Katrina Enjoys Flame Wars

I get a shameful little thrill out of snarky internet feuds. It’s amazing to me that two complete strangers, upon meeting each other in cyberspace, can somehow generate so much animosity toward one another that, within minutes, they are flaming each other with an outlandish assortment of insults and accusations that they wouldn’t dream of saying to anyone in real life, and usually over nothing more substantial than a difference of opinion. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying it makes good theatre. For the rest of the post by Katrina/Notes On A Napkin, click here.

Breaking! Dead Man Found Near Independence Point

A dead man was found this morning floating in Lake Coeur d’Alene near Independence Point and City Beach, close to the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Coeur d’Alene police and Kootenai County sheriff’s investigators are on the scene. Few other details are available. Officials retrieved the body from the water after it was spotted by a passerby around 7 a.m. They pulled the body to the beach. It was an adult male, full clothed.

DFO: Taryn Brodwater’s on the scene. More to come.


Seeing Another Woman?

At the Women in Red luncheon at the CdA resort yesterday, Rep. Bob Nonini was seen chatting up the Grand Dame of the Property Tax Reform movement, Alice Rankin. Alice was seated. Bob was on one knee, so he’d be eye-to-eye with her. Glancing over, Bob’s wife, Cathyanne quipped when she saw the two: “He didn’t get down on one knee to propose to me!” She also informed Bob and Alice that she wouldn’t be throwing the “lingerie party” for their engagement. And you thought the Elephants didn’t have fun.

Duane Hagadone’s 32,016sf Palm Desert Home

You can catch a glimpse of Duane Hagadone’s controversial home in Palm Desert in the background of this photo, taken by a SoCal Berry Picker. (It’s located just below the crane on the secondary ridge, to the right). The Berry Picker couldn’t get closer because, after all, Hagadone’s home is in a big-time gated community. However, you get some idea why the locals are mad. Hagadone’s home sticks out by itself in a vista that includes a natural area sans homes. Yeah, those mountains aren’t the treed ones we’re accustomed to. But they’re still a thing of beauty to the natives down south — and they don’t like that house.

Idawa: Timberwolves Rule — at Least Today

Idawa: It’s nice to see that Troxel’s Timberwolves have gotten so much better than when I was at LC, our offense couldn’t get tear through a wet paper bag. Hopefully what happened for my High School can happen for my University (maybe Troxel’s ready to move on to an assistant gig at Idaho … ???)

DFO: I’m a man with two dogs in this fight. My played football for Coeur d’Alene High, graduating in 1997. My daughter graduated from Lake City High in 2004. I like both schools. CHS’s Shawn Amos is a good coach. But LCHS’s Van Troxel may be the best in the state. That’s why I tend to believe LCHS should be favored entering this big rivalry game, if everything else is equal.

Question: Anyone out there have a crysal ball? Can you tell us who’s going to win tonight?

AM Hucks: PFPD Blue Keeps Cool in Sticky Situation

Kids can be a distraction, especially if one is in the back seat of your car with a “snot rocket” hanging from his nose. Colleague Taryn Brodwater faced this situation recently. So she handed her 5-year-old son a tissue to blow his nose. Moments later, she heard: “Here, Sissy.” That’s when she saw her youngest wiping her face with the booger rag. And the flashing lights of a Post Falls PD cruiser in her rear-view mirror. She writes about what happened next in her BrodH2O blog. The PFPD Blue asked if she knew she was going 35 in a 25 mph zone. As she explained the situation, her son yelled from the back seat: “Mom, are you going to jail?” Then: “Mom, you know it’s OK to speed on go-carts, but you shouldn’t speed on the roads.” Luckily, the PFPD Blue understood Taryn’s predicament. He musta been a dad. Taryn got off with a warning. Then the patrol officer went above and beyond, giving the urchins certificates for free breadsticks and PFPD Blue stickers that they stuck to their shirts and wore proudly the rest of the day. May his kind increase.

•The Naked Guys at North Idaho College (Thursday Huckleberries) did well in the 15-way race for four ASB Student Senate seats, finishing fourth and fifth. Travis Temple nipped Spencer Butterfield by one vote, 204 to 203, to win the final seat. Both posed nearly nekkid for controversial campaign posters. Now Huckleberries hears that a femme candidate set up a kissing booth to promote her campaign. Dunno how she did. But her approach beats mud-slinging.

Wild Card/Thursday — 9/28/06

You know the drill …

Why Ask Why? — Catfights

Why do some people get uptight when you use the term, “catfight”? OrangeTV trotted out the term to describe that … ah … well … catfight at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Shore Lounge the other night. People instantly know that you’re discussing a clawing, scratching, hair-pulling battle between two femmes. “Seinfeld” did a skit about it a few years back. However, I was cautious when I reworked OrangeTV’s post for my print Huckleberries, putting the term in the mouth of the male boozers watching said fight. Some femmes are OK with it. Others give you that suck-your-breath-in, you’re-a-sexist-pig gasp.

Question: What do you think we should do with the word, catfight?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/28/06

Cis/From A Simple Mind published this photo with the note: “Well, someone was on Sanders Beach today.”

*Ken Paulman/Daily Briefing has done a superb job outlining the internal debate about the controversial Jack Lynch story this morning here and provides video of the discussion about it from the SR’s morning huddle here.

*Nicholas Casey/Rants & Rave lists 21 things that scare him about toddlers including this: “The average energy output of a two year old is roughly equal to one atomic bomb” here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 has a frightening experience when her 5-year-old gets his hand stuck in the work elevator here.

*Family Phil is six weeks into his new role as a home-school teacher and … so far so good here.

*Idawa/Word Forge, who tends to vote Democrat, isn’t particularly interested in joining the Democrats or any other club at Seattle University here.

Put your hands together for another HBO newby Sue Turner/Tumblewords, who introduces her latest post with: “I’m a participant in a local writers’ circle which defies academia. Without a strong political structure, words continue to emerge. Without a strong critique structure, technique improves by leaps and bounds.” Click here.

Meanwhile, Jim outlines UI’s injuries going into the football game with Utah State here, Mari found a cool cartoon of a “catfight” here, Frum Helen Back is armed with a TeeHee-Shirt and thoughts about aging here, OrangeTV reviews records here, and Marianne speaks of tree huggers, ham and cyber twists here.

Q: Should English Be Used for Geography Changes?

Issue: Change the names - but let’s use English/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record

More Info: In his column, Dan Hammes argues that the Coeur d’Alenes are correct to seek to change the names of places that are derogatory, like Squaw Bay. But he goes further by saying that the tribe and state officials should eschew Indian names that most can’t pronounce or know the significance behind them.

DFO: Dan makes a decent point because names for area creeks include Squeatah, Seastem, Spotwean, Awtskin or Shewtem. I can’t remember what the Coeur d’Alene name for NIC Beach is. And I just learned to pronounce Q’emiln Park in Post Falls (KA-mee-len). Is there a chance to honor the tribe without using jaw-breaking Indian names?

Question: Should Squaw Bay and other offensive geographical names be changed to difficult Coeur d’Alene ones?

Commish II: Tossing Around A Horseshoe

Monster Hat Tip: DanG

Question: Is Grant Ad Being Sneaky?

Issue: Grant campaign ad omits party affiliation: Candidate says point was his bipartisanship/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

Ad: “We need problem solvers in Congress, not problem makers,” 1st Congressional District candidate Larry Grant says in the ad, which has been running in the Spokane TV market to reach North Idaho for the past two weeks, as well as in the Boise and Lewiston areas. “My background is not partisan politics, it’s business and solving problems, the kind of work I did as vice president at Micron.”

Question: Is the a good approach for Grant? Or is he trying to be sneaking by hiding his party affiliation in a Republican state?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/28/06

“She’s such a joy,” said Valerie Stichweh of Spokane about her 18-month-old daughter Faith Ann while swinging at Finucane Park in Hayden on Wednesday/Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review.

Eye On Boise: GARVEE funds for Idaho highway projects coming up far short here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI believes the wild West will return if Washington passes Initiative 933, which is similar to Idaho’s Proposition 2 in requiring local government to pay developers when its action decreases the value of their property here.

2. For the first time in who knows when, property taxes in Kootenai County, Idaho, are going to drop significantly this year despite rapid increases in valuations here.

3. A suspended Washington state trooper facing felony unlawful imprisonment charges is accused of suggesting that two women should expose themselves to him during a traffic stop. The women complied and were let off without a ticket here.

4. A Gonzaga High School teacher went on to molest at least four more young boys after Jesuit leaders shipped the troubled priest to Seattle University in 1950 here.

5. The Baja 1000! It is arguably the most intense off-road race in the world and not the place you’d expect to see the executive team from a technology company. But this November, that’s exactly where Micron’s CEO and his company officials will be, racing 1,000 miles through the Mexican desert of Baja, California here.

6. IMHO-NW: Spokesman-Review (Gregoire shows poor dinner judgment), Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review (Issues abound for fragile hatcheries), Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette (Don’t use Indian names), Jinx Beshears/River Journal (Smartest women at “Man Show”), and Jared Downing/WSU Evergreen (Higher-ed needs practical focus).

Online Poll: 78% of 320 respondents to a Helena Independent Record poll support imposition of impact fees on developers.

*Family, friends dedicate statue to Spokane wastewater worker killed in 2004 accident here.

*Cable show to debut new Washington State dating show here.

*Stabbed Nampa woman alerts police before she dies in car trunk here.

*Bill Zadek of Great Falls, Mont., has won the world wrestling championship at 145 1/2 pounds here.

Orbusmax Special: Judge: Former AG John Ashcroft doesn’t have absolute immunity in lawsuit filed by ex-UI footballer here.

Commish Now Have Horseshoe to Toss Around

Kootenai County Commissioner Katie Brodie laughs and holds an old horseshoe after Commission Chair Gus Johnson, left, gave her the “golden horseshoe” award this morning during a hearing about the proposed Powderhorn Bay golf course development. The horseshoe, according to Johnson, is to be passed along to a commissioner who gets in trouble. Johnson, as you may recall, created a stir when opponents of a proposed upper-scale lake subdivision saw a proponent give him a mysterious box after a planning hearing. As it turned out, the box contained horseshoes for Johnson’s father. Brodie got in hot water this week when opponents of the Powderhorn subdivision saw her talking one-on-one with development team members Monday. The commissioners decided this morning to reopen the hearing on the subdivision proposal to allow opponents to counter what Brodie was told/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Question: Do you think Gus Johnson is making too light of possible conflict-of-interest appearances?

CDA Press Poll: More & More OK w/Sanders Ruling?

re: A strange thing has been happening to the Coeur d’Alene Press Online poll. Seems the numbers have turned around considerably since HBO reported yesterday that the public opposed the Supremes decision in the Sanders Beach case 53% to 31%. Now, it’s 43% to 41% opposed. Hmm. (Check below for the latest manipulated figures)

Question: The Idaho Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Sanders Beach belongs to the lakeshore property owners. How do you feel about the ruling?

*I’m happy with the ruling; it upholds private property rights — 40.6%
*I’m not happy with the ruling but I agree with it — 12.9%
*I disagree with the ruling; that beach belongs to the public — 43.4%
*Other — 3.1%

Total Votes: 877

Superintendent of Schools: Luna vs. Jones

Issue: Two vie for top schools job: Candidates differ on charters, Proposition 1/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A businessman and a longtime educator are competing to be Idaho’s next state superintendent of schools – a choice that wouldn’t even have been legal 12 years ago. Idaho long required that its state superintendent be a certified school administrator who was “actively engaged in educational work” in Idaho schools. But the Legislature repealed that requirement in 1994, leaving just a college degree as the minimum qualification for the job.

DFO: I haven’t decided how to vote on this one. I like Luna’s support for charter schools and alternative education. But I’m bothered that he has no on-hands educational experience. Jones, on the other hand, strikes me as a bit too bureaucratic.

Question: Should the Idaho superintendent of schools have hands-on experience as an educator?

And Another Spokane Official Under Scrutiny

Spokane Deputy Mayor Jack Lynch’s request to be placed on paid medical leave comes at a time of increasing questions about recent visits to a city park known for lewd conduct and drug abuse. What prompted the surprise medical leave remained unclear Wednesday but Mayor Dennis Hession, in an unusual move, personally addressed City Council members Monday night, saying only that the deputy mayor would be away for up to “several weeks” and is under a doctor’s care. Lynch’s sudden departure comes almost a month after reporters with The Spokesman-Review, acting on information from sources within law enforcement and close to City Hall, began asking about two of Lynch’s personal vehicles being spotted by police in High Bridge Park, a high-crime area where neighbors openly complain about the city’s inability to crack down on drug use and public sex. It also comes after Lynch (pictured) was spotted with a black eye and other injuries suffered the weekend of Aug. 25, which he blamed on a bicycle mishap. For the rest of the story by Bill Morlin and Karen Dorn Steele/Spokesman-Review, click here.

APhoto of the Day — 9/28/06

Maggie, an 11-year-old California sea lion, paints with the help of keeper Kesha Phares at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Sanders Beach Protest

There will be a peaceful public demonstration at Sander’s beach at 1 p.m. this coming Sunday.

The goals will be to:

1. Protest the decision of the Idaho Supreme Court
2. Show support for the community leaders who worked for the preservation of this public beach
3. Encourage the City Council to pursue all possible avenues to continue public access to Sanders Beach

Bring Signs and be prepared to stay on public property by walking in the water and in single file along E. Lakeshore Drive. Please spread the word and bring friends! For more information contact: Pat Pace at 665-1921.

DFO: I was slipped a copy of this flyer that’s circulating out there re: the Sunday demonstration.

AM Hucks: Leaf It, For Modesty’s Sake

North Idaho College sophomores Spence Butterfield, 22, and Travis Temple, 19, have nothing on John Goedde, as far as the Coeur d’Alene Republican state senator is concerned. Butterfield and Temple are the two candidates for the NIC Student Senate featured nearly nude (save for strategically located tree leaves) in posters around campus. One young man struck a pose mimicking Rodin’s “The Thinker,” the other, Michelangelo’s “David.” (David was classically posed sans leaf.) The posters and the ensuing sexual harassment flap were on state Sen. Goedde’s mind as he began his three-minute speech during a candidates forum in the NIC student union Tuesday. You’d never see me doing something like that, Goedde quipped, because (drum roll, puh-leez) “there isn’t a leaf big enough.” Huckleberries heard that the audience gasped. At least two witnesses interpreted Goedde’s comments to mean that he was bragging about … ah … well … you know. But Goedde had a different explanation after I posted online his comment and a Photoshopped image of him wearing only a tree leaf. (See what you miss when you’re not reading Huckleberries Online weekdays?) Quoth John: “You missed the point entirely. To be unoffensive (sic) at my age and in my physical condition, the leaf would have to be huge. It has nothing to do with private parts.” Ohhh … K. The NIC votes were counted last night. Dunno if the beefcake helped Butterfield and Temple. But Goedde remains the favorite to retain his Senate District 4 seat, with or without leaf.

Hump Day Wild Day — 9/27/06

If you work in or near the North Idaho Cancer Center tomorrow, be sure to give my sister, Charlotte Mitchell, a belated Happy Birthday. She turned the double-nickle today. She’s holding up well for her age. If you’re keeping score at home, she’s the third of six kids. I’m No. 1 son, No. 2 kid. The only male of the first 4. No wonder I was testy during the formative years when we lived on the dairy, hunh? Here’s your Wild Card …

Question: Who’s Influenced by Negative Political Ads?

Issue: New campaign ads have theme: Don’t be nice: At least 30 new spots unleashed in contested House, Senate districts – only 3 positive/New York Times

DFO: OK, gang, obviously attack ads and other mud-slinging works. Or the handlers wouldn’t recommend that their candidates go negative. I tend to tune out all advertising, including retail and classified. I’m simply not interested. (Don’t tell the boss that.) So, it’s not hard for me to tune out attack ads.

Question: If negative campaigning doesn’t affect any of us here at HBO, who does it affect?

CHS Coach Poff Doing Well After Surgery

I received a call from Coeur d’Alene High athletic director Larry Schwenke at 5 p.m. Dale Poffenroth is out of surgery and doing well, according to Poffenroth’s wife. Schwenke cautions those who wish to visit Poffenroth at Deaconess Medical Center in the next few days to please call the hospital first to see if he’s receiving visitors. For the rest of the post by Greg Lee/Idaho Preps, click here.

Bullwinkle Gets Tranquilized En Route to School

Conservation Officer David Beveridge is chased by a moose while trying to direct the animal toward another officer with a tranquilizer gun earlier today in a school yard at Wasatch Elementary School in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/The Standard-Examiner, Matthew Hatfield)

Q: Should Idaho Crack Down On Seatbelts, Too?

Issue: Study: Washington leads nation in seat-belt use/Associated Press

More Info: A higher percent of drivers buckle up in Washington than in any other state in the nation, according to new data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. The state’s drivers got a seat-belt use score of 96.3 percent, surpassing those in Hawaii, whose seat-belt usage dropped to 92 percent. The national average was 79 percent.

DFO: I buckle up almost every time I drive or ride in a vehicle. (Sometimes, I forget when I ride in my brother Ray’s old pickup.) I believe people should buckle up. But I don’t want to see Idaho adopt a law that allows patrol officers to stop drivers for not wearing a seatbelt. As a secondary offense and $10 citation, OK. But not as a primary offense.

Question: Should Idaho adopt Washington’s hard-nosed approach and cite motorists more than $100 for not wearing seatbelts?

NIC’s Bowen Lists Fave Conspiracy Sites

I love the Internet. How else can one waste away precious living hours entertaining oneself with delusional rantings and conspiracy theories? I guess there are always drugs and churchy, but drugs are expensive and church is … yeah. Enough said. When I’m bored, nothing gives me a good chuckle like looking for out-there racist, paranoid and doomsday theorizing Web sites. (Sorry, I can’t link to NIC Sentinel News Editor Holly Bowen’s column, but you can find her top 10 fave conspiracy sites below.)

Holly’s 10 Top Conspiracy Sites


Question: Can you add to the list?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/27/06

Rescue workers help an unidentified man, wearing white shirt, from his vehicle after it left a road, rolled and ended up in the Portneuf River near Pocatello, Idaho, Tuesday. The man was not seriously injured, according to authorities. (AP Photo/The Idaho State Journal, Doug Lindley)

Eye On Boise: Demo LaRocco sez Idaho Gov. Risch takes voters for granted here.

1. A higher percent of drivers buckle up in Washington than in any other state in the nation. The state’s drivers got a seat-belt use score of 96.3 percent, surpassing those in Hawaii, whose seat-belt usage dropped to 92 percent. The national average was 79 percent here.

2. A doctors group expects a serious shortfall of family doctors in Idaho and at least four other states by 2020. Population growth and rising numbers of elderly people in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Texas and Idaho will make the need in those states most critical here.

3. The Hepworths knew the house in Wilford, Idaho, would require some maintenance. But they never thought they’d need a snake charmer. Shortly after Lyman and Jeanine Hepworth began working on a rundown property outside of town, they experienced a trauma more fit for Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “Snakes on a Plane” than a pair of eastern Idaho do-it-yourselfers here.

4. Bridgette Teunissen was a homecoming princess as a freshman at Fruitland High. Now she’s a football player. Teunissen, a 5-foot-11 junior, made her varsity football debut last Friday against Weiser. She kicked three extra points in a 31-28 victory here.

5. The insurance company representing Spokane’s River Park Square garage has reached a settlement with the family of a woman who died when her Subaru fell from the structure’s fifth floor in April here.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho Statesman (Debating candidates deserve our thanks), David Horsey/Seattle PI (Brilliant strategery), Amelia Veneziano/WSU Evergreen (WSU search policy violates privacy rights), G. George Ostrom/Bigfork Eagle (Laughs with Lederer), and Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Roadless rule not about wilderness).

Online Poll: 75% of 167 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say Gov. Jim Risch was justified in authorizing the hunting of escaped farm-raised elk in southeastern Idaho in order to prevent genetic contamination and possible disease.

*Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer announces plan to freeze college tuitions for two years here.

*A veteran policeman was critically injured Tuesday when his motorcycle slid into a van here.

*A former employee has been awarded $114,000 after he successfully sued Mister Carwash Co., claiming he had been the victim of racial discrimination here.

*UI prof vies to create newest Ben & Jerry’s flavor here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon theater manager sez fire related to “Jackass” movie opening here.

APhoto of the Day — 9/27/06

Donald Diedrich, one of the 100 cheese company workers who won a Powerball jackpot worth $208.6 million in early August, wears a hat at a news conference earlier today in Fond du Lac, Wis. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

JBelle: Others Have Done More Than Hag

I have been very critical of Oprah in the past for parceling out certain sums here and there and exactly every gram of marketing and promotional benefit she could. I have to say that even Oprah has redeemed herself in my eyes, no small feat, with her commitment to schools for girls, beginning with a school in a very remote part of Africa. She said it’s the most meaningful thing of her whole life. This is what people with dense balance sheets do; they isolate what really matters to them and set about to make a real differece. I’ve lived in this area my whole life and would submit that the Bountens have done more for healthcare than the Hagadones; the Barbieris have done more for education that the Hagadones; the Cowles have done far more for art and music than the Hagadones. Except for the latter, there is a wide variance on the net worth of each to the other. What really matters to The Hag is that house in the dessert and keeping Lola in amusements. That’s what he’s known for. And to compound his self-indulgence, anytime he does slide a few shekels across the table, he makes sure he gets extensive press. Suuuuuch bad karma coming his way — JBelle.

Q: When Are T-Shirt Messages Over The Top?

Issue: ‘Your boyfriend is a good kisser’: Blatantly sexual messages on teen T-shirts make educators squirm/Washington Post

More Info: The T-shirts, which school officials say are racier than ever, are posing dress-code dilemmas on Washington area campuses. School systems typically ban clothing that expresses vulgarity, obscenity or lewdness or that promotes cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or weapons. For instance, T-shirts advertising Budweiser or the movie “Scarface,” with Al Pacino holding a tommy gun, are taboo. But sexually suggestive T-shirts often fall into a gray area that requires officials to evaluate one shirt at a time. Some messages are considered harmless — “Single and Ready to Mingle” or “My Boyfriend Is a Good Kisser.” Others are not.

Question: Where should educators draw the line between an acceptable T-shirt message and one that is too blatantly sexual?

HBO Gang Reacts to Senator’s Leaf Comment

The Huckleberries blogosphere was buzzing Tuesday about that comment at the North Idaho College forum by state Sen. John Goedde, who made reference to the political posters of two male ASB Senate candidates — you know the ones featuring them nekkid save for a tree leaf over the family jewels. John said he’d never be caught posing like that because (drum roll, please) “there isn’t a leaf big enough.” Later, after the crowd gasped and the quote was printed here, John explained: “You missed the point entirely, to be unoffensive at my age and in my physical condition, the leaf would have to be huge. It has nothing to do with private parts.” You can see the HBO gang’s reaction to the comments below:

Thom George: UGH! The other day I had to endure the mental image of Mike K and Eagle Eye in speedos, now it’s our State Senator in a fig leaf. Enough already! I give up!

Gordon Crow: The picture reveals a common trait among the state Senators from that District … wouldn’t everyone agree?

Dan of the County: Hey if just about any guy on this blog could still look that good in a fig leaf they’d probably go for it too. If you got it, flaunt it, but if you don’t…well then, now you know how the rest of us feel.

Cabbage Boy: Ah, John should just grin and bear/bare it!


Wondering: About Time Poor Driver Faces Music

Wondering (re: “Charges sought in Schrock tragedy”): It’s about time and then some!!! I have never understood the time lag and, admittedly, this horrific tragedy has really stuck in my craw. Time 15 to 18 seconds. If you can’t react in that amount of time, you certainly shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Helm has a proven record of “poor” driving skill. Had he blacked out, that would have been made public long ago. It would have been in Helms best interest to put that out there. The Schrock family, in an amazing act of forgiveness that simply takes your breath away, has forgiven Helm. In their place, I probably would have killed the man. They certainly are better people than I. But, their forgiveness should not preclude legal action. Clifford Helm is responsible for the death of 5 beautiful children. They will never live the lives God intended. The Schrocks have forgiven him … the law cannot.

DFO: Bingo.

Parting Shot — 9/26/06

The zipper on Julia Williams’ pants, shown here in Moscow Friday was blackened and partially welded shut when she was splashed by lightning. Williams was on the rim on the Grand Canyon on Aug. 13, 2006, when lightening struck a tree next to her and then “splashed” onto her. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)

Extra! Driver to Face 5 Counts in Schrock Tragedy

The Washington State Patrol forwarded its investigation today seeking five counts of vehicular homicide against a Deer Park man who crashed his truck into a pickup on Nov. 1, killing five children from the same family. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker said he spoke with WSP officials today and learned that the investigation had been delivered to deputy prosecutor Clint Francis seeking charges against 56-year-old Clifford Helm. “I have not even looked at it,” Francis said of the investigation. “It’s voluminous to say the least.” For the rest of The Spokesman-Review story, click here.

DFO: It’s about time.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/26/06

Sam The Reporter & Kat Taylor in Kathryn at Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham. Sam: “It’s a gorgeous place. They have more park space than Cd’A - which is so weird to think of - right in the city. It’s gorgeous here, too. Plenty of water (Bellingham Bay, which is the ocean right out front and three lakes in town). Hope all is well in North Idaho. I miss it, but I wouldn’t trade where I am now for anything.

*Family Phil learns it’s almost impossible to baby-proof a room here.

*Greg Lee/Idaho Preps stirred things up a bit by asking for comments on the upcoming big game between Coeur d’Alene High and LCHS here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals provides insights from another Monday chat with football coach Dennis Erickson here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour put the cart before the horse when she heard the siren call of an Amish Meadowbrook cart at that Idaho Draft Horse International Sale Monday here.

*Toad/Synaptic Disunion is remembering a young man who died too soon but mebbe not innocent here.

Meanwhile, Mommy Dearest surprises herself by enjoying a weekend with her extended family here, Cis figures we should all learn sign language here, Betsy reports that Sali & Grant are going to debate on the radio here, JBelle is looking forward to the feast of St. Francis this fall here, and The Perambulator is in London here.

John “The Bear” Goedde Responds …


“You missed the point entirely, to be unoffensive at my age and in my physical condition, the leaf would have to be huge. It has nothing to do with private parts.”

Idaho Sen. John Goedde

Hagadone Battle v. Palm DesertNeighbors Continues

Thought you might be interested in the latest from Palm Desert. It seems as though (Duane) Hagadone’s swimming pool — the very one reported in the Business Week article — wasn’t approved by the city prior to construction. So it was retroactive approval to accommodate the already-built pool that Duane was requesting and which brought all the opponents to last week’s Planning Commission meeting. Despite the Planning Commission’s unanimous approval (against the Building Department’s recommendation, as you recall), the Palm Desert City Council is scheduled to discuss Hagadone’s request at their meeting this week. More than 40 people in attendance, some representing thousands of unhappy homeowners, apparently didn’t go unnoticed by the Council members. Maybe they’ll take note of this, too: Didn’t the Business Week article refer to 4.5 million imported Italian tiles … and didn’t it sound like each and every one of them was already glued on on the pool? Pity if they had to be removed … or if Hagadone was fined a nickel for every one of them.

Palm Desert Berry Picker

Ingram: Who’ll Be First To Build Sanders Dock?

Gary Ingraham: How about an on-line poll on who will build the first boat dock on Sanders Beach?

DFO: The Sanders Beachers had better not count that chicken before it hatches … when it comes to docks. There’s already a court ruling on West Lakeshore Drive that applies to this case. Several years ago, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld a Land Board decision that a homeowner wasn’t entitled to place a dock in front of his place because it was in the middle of a designated public swim area. The same should apply at Sanders Beach, where public swim areas at the ends of 12th and 15th streets, bracket the private beach area.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/26/06

Part of a herd of harbor seals looks back after they fled from the beach on Gertrude Island in Puget Sound off the Washington coast on Aug. 30, 2006. For more than three decades, scientists have been rounding up harbor seals from Puget Sound, drawing their blood, sampling bits of blubber and running other tests to check for signs of disease. Their goal: to track how harmful concentrations of toxic chemicals are affecting the animals’ health/Peter Haley, Tacoma News-Tribune.

UBob: Coming to grips with 9 months of unsummer here.

1. In an effort to save the last remaining mountain caribou herd in the Lower 48 states, a federal judge has banned snowmobiling on nearly 300,000 acres of national forest near Priest Lake, Idaho, here.

2. Three Egyptian students who failed to show up at a Montana university and became the subject of a nationwide search will be deported, an immigration judge said Monday here.

3. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against Les Schwab Tire Center for allegedly allowing racial harassment against an American Indian employee in Kalispell, Mont, here.

4. The Anaconda school board won’t say what punishment trustees gave nine high school seniors who hit younger students with wooden paddles in two separate hazing incidents last spring here.

5. One recent week in the Gobi Desert produced 67 dinosaur skeletons for a team of paleontologists from Montana and Mongolia who want to flesh out the developmental biology of dinosaurs here.

6. IMHO-NW: Joan Opyr/New West (Debating torture), Paul Tong/UI Argonaut (The mind of a Vandal), Idaho Statesman (Fence hardly immigration reform), Missoulian (Celebrating ferret’s return), and Bruno Baltodano/WSU Evergreen (10 Rules for a Happy Marriage).

Online Poll: 76.6% of 1392 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they eat dinner together with their families. Idaho ranks No. 1 in the nation in this category.

*Idaho gubernatorial candidate starts campaign at UMontana here.

*A Spokane man was recovering Monday night after being stuck head-first in a hole for four hours here.

*Triplet calves defy odds in Princeton, Idaho, here.

*After 50 years, selfless boy gets pawned rifle back here.

Orbusmax Special: Tacoma drive to stop panhandlers forces firemen to stop Fill The boot campaign here (may need free registration).

If You Think Things Get Wacky Here … Try Reading

… some of the tinfoilers who post at the Coeur d’Alene Press Online. One anonymous commenter took me to task as part of a response to commenter “Niterider” posting under the Brand X Sunday editorial re: Sanders Beach. And I quote:

You sir (Niterider), are an idiot. Things on Sanders Beach were not as bad as you’d expect(unlike what you’ve heard from all the media) until Gridley caught the Mayor’s ear (probably during cocktail party) and explained how he was JUST sooo certain the city (eck!uhheck, excuse me, since the city, of course, has nooo interest in the case) would WIN the case, breathing life into the cold, dead corpse of Karl Marx. “Socialism lives!,” the corpse gasped. “My prophet is that Olivera (sic) guy at The Spokesman Review.” “Buuut, butt, I had a picture of Batman next to My words on My website, and that weirdo spencer guy with all the money supported me!!!, Olivera (sic) cried, “I had a picture of Batman! He looked so coooooolll! I must be right. Right?

DFO: This guy may be a tinfoiling loon. Or a bitter East Lakeshore Driver lashing back. But you should read the comment by Ed Javorka farther down the thread. It’s gold.

Flippy Floppy: Cat Fight @ Resort Shore Lounge

Photo: Patrick/Flippy Floppy

We were just settling into a rather screechy rendition of (I think) a Fleetwood Mac hit when suddenly a full cocktail flew across the room and smashed to bits somewhere near the stage. We looked over to see a not-so-petite brunette girl with her claws firmly entrenched in the blonde hairdo of another girl. They fell, knocking over several tables full of drinks in the process, and began speaking to each other in tongues that young ladies aren’t supposed to know. Some dude shouted the obvious: “Catfight!” as hunks of blonde teased hair landed hither and yon (see pic). For Flippy Floppy’s blow-by-blow account of the Shore Lounge cat fight, click here.

DFO: Ah, izzit just me, or is that a chunk of blond hair in the foreground of the photo? BTW, have you ever witnessed a catfight?

APhoto of the Day — 9/26/06

In this photo released by New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission, a Teddy bear is shown in Milford, N.H. The teddy clogged a drain blocking oxygen flow in a pool killing 2,500 trout at a state hatchery. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission)

Bree: Idaho Drivers 4th Best In US? C’mon

Bree: Uh … in regards to #5, Idaho drivers being #4 in the nation, did they just take accident stastics or did they actually drive the Idaho streets? Just driving to go get lunch today I had 3 stupid driver run-ins. Come on people it’s not that hard to use a 4 way stop!

DFO: Bree’s referring to a story by Jennifer Gelband/New West that had a link in Monday’s Best of the INorthwest. The crazy thing? The entire Northwest did well in the GMAC survey. Oregon drivers are the best in the country, followed by Washington drivers. South Dakota tied with Idaho for fourth, Montana came in sixth, Wyoming tenth, North Dakota eighteenth, and Utah placed twentieth. All of which causes me to endorse Jennifer’s opinion: “If we’re bad, and the rest of the country is worse – whoa, that ain’t good.”

AM Hucks: Student Editor Confronts Naked Truth

Alison Atwell didn’t get a honeymoon period to adjust to her new role as editor-in-chief of the North Idaho College Sentinel this fall. Before the first issue of the student newspaper hit the streets Monday, she had to decide whether to publish a story that involved student elections, nudity and possible faculty censorship. She opted not to do so. And not because she’s prudish. She simply didn’t want to give two ASB Senate wannabes an edge in today’s election by publishing a story about the controversy in which they were involved. Seems the pair caused a stir by tacking up campaign posters around campus showing them striking poses in the nude, except for a strategically placed leaf, which may or may not have been Photoshopped in. Travis and Spence (no last names are given) are buff. They look like wrestlers. But some instructors complained that their naughty humor was sexual harassment. Higher-ups ordered the posters taken down. However, they reappeared later with the wording “Censored by NIC administration.” The flap landed in Editor Atwell’s lap. She told Huckleberries that she listened as her editors weighed the pros and cons of running the story right before the NIC elections. She also considered veteran Sentinel adviser Nils Rosdahl’s recommendation to print the photos and the story. In the end, she opted not to do so, deciding instead to downplay the controversy in her Chokecherries column. She plans to tell all in the next edition in two weeks. Welcome to advanced journalism, Alison

Wild Card/Monday — 9/25/06

I was slammed today, so I didn’t get a chance to put together HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs. Sorry. I’ll try to make it up to you tomorrow. (I’ve been considering moving BOLB to Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I can get out of here earlier.) We had a nice start to the week today. Good material to work with. The numbers over the last two weeks were as consistent as they were solid: 34,463 PVs last week and 34,647 the previous. Cool. Thanx for checking in — and for putting up with me as I work through the Supreme Court decision re: Sanders Beach.

Question: Returning Americans Will Need Passports

Issue: Crossing border? Passports needed soon/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review

More Info: New regulations will require returning Americans to have passports for all air and sea travel from Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada to the U.S. starting Jan. 8, 2007. Americans traveling over the Canadian and Mexican border by land won’t need passports until Jan. 1, 2008. The time to get cracking on that passport application, though, is now, said Ellen Marsh with the Spokane County auditor’s office.

Question: What do you think of the new regulations?

County Decrees Day To Eat Meal w/Kids

Dunno how I missed this one, but … the Kootenai County commissioners proclaimed today “Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children.” Here’s the skinny: “Family dinners are a natural, effective way to reduce teen substance abuse risk and Family Day is meant to remind Americans of the value of parental engagement and encourage them to make family dinners a regular part of their lives.” No controversy here. The motion for the proclamation passed 3-0.

Question: I was tempted to pooh-pooh this. But the commissioners make a good point. It’s important to gather as a family around a meal. Do you make it a point to do so?


Track and field line judge Lia Mara Lourenco is helped after a javelin hit her in her foot during “Brazil Trophy,” a national track and field competition, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday. (AP Photo/Jonne Roriz, Agencia Estado)

UI’s Q: Is “Open Space, Open Minds” Worth 900 G’s?

Pretend you had $900,000 to spend at the University of Idaho.
Maybe you’d give scholarships to 900 low-income Idaho students. Or you could fund the recently axed Community Programs for the next 20 years. Or revamp run-down residence halls. Or put air conditioning in buildings in which temperatures reach 100 degrees. Or boost pay for a few under-funded professors. Or fund cutting-edge research.
Of course, you could always do what the UI administration is doing, and spend $900,000 on an ad campaign. The “Open Space. Open Minds” campaign is the administration’s attempt to improve UI’s image by improving its “brand promise” (any student can smell the bureaucrat-speak in that one). The campaign is supposed to make UI look better to potential students and their parents and potential donors. But here’s the thing — why make the university look better when you could actually make it better? For the rest of the UI Argonaut editorial by Editor-In-Chief Tara Roberts, click here

Question (from UI Argonaut): “Open Space. Open Minds” isn’t terrible for a slogan. But is it worth $900,000?

About That Sanders Tort Claim Against City …

As you know, attorney John Magnuson announced plans to file a tort claim against the city for bringing the suit against East Lakeshore Drive owners to settle the high-water mark. He plans to sue for “not less than $8 million,” according to the Coeur d’Alene Press. That’s when he made that loopy statement: “We’re not stopping until we get to Baghdad.” (Sounds sorta like Dubya declaring that the war was over aboard that aircraft carrier after we reached Baghdad. You remember how that turned out.)

Before you all turn into a quivering bowl of Jell-O that the city might owe the East Lakeshore Drive homeowners money for their, ahem, emotional damages and loss of beach use, etc., you need to consider first that the Supreme Court didn’t award then legal fees. That’s a ha-huge indication that the Supremes didn’t consider the case frivolous. (BTW, I sought Scott Reed’s opinion on this.) Secondly, Magnuson should know that once a lower-court judge rejected his motion for summary judgment that meant he found some merit in the case. That issue was underscored when a judge set the high-water mark at 2130.

It’s one thing to huff-and-puff about suing the city for $8 million or $20 million or a zillion, it’s another thing to collect when you weren’t even awarded legal fees by a court that reacted a warp speed to give you the legal right to kick neighborhood families and kids off the beach. At this point, the only one who’d benefit from continued legal action is … the attorneys. Of course.

Smart Bombs: The Transparency 500

The Washington State Grange’s never-ending quest to remove political party sway from election primaries has reached its absurd conclusion: all races should be nonpartisan. This is like removing labels from beer bottles. Sure, you’d figure out your favorite eventually, but you’re going to end up with a huge headache. I certainly agree that placing a “D” or “R” by a candidate’s name isn’t a tell-all sign, but that’s only because the labeling doesn’t go far enough. Candidates should be outfitted like NASCAR drivers, with patches. For the rest of Gary Crooks’ “Smart Bombs” column from Saturday, click here.

DFO: I like Gary’s idea: It’d be cool if political candidates wore stickers to campaign appearances and debates that indicated who made major contributions. I wonder what stickers Bill Sali and Larry Grants would wear?

APhoto of the Day — 9/25/06

Brides wait to take part in a mass wedding ceremony in Nanjing, China, earlier today. A total of 138 newly-wed couples from across the country attended the ceremony, held on the sidelines of the Forum of Historical and Cultural Cities. You write the cutline/AP photo.

You Be The Editor: Did NIC Staff Make Right Call?

Nils Rosdahl, adviser for the North Idaho College Sentinel, just dropped off the first copy of the newspaper this year. It was published without a photo of one candidate for student government — who was wearing nothing but a tree leaf. Over his, ah, privates. Seems a coupla teachers objected when Leaf Boy (I’ll get a name for him later in the day) put his posters up around school. And the posters were taken down. Nils thought the Sentinel should have published the nearly nekkid photo of Leaf Boy. But the Sentinel editors decided not to do so because the student body election is tomorrow. They didn’t want to give Leaf Boy an advantage/disadvantage.

Question: Did Sentinel editors make the right call?

Crow: Can’t Eagles Raise Money w/o Breaking Law?

Gordon Crow: Does it seem awkward to anyone that the Post Falls Eagles grouse in a Letter to the Editor that the raid of Sept. 10 will greatly curtail their ability to donate to the many organizations that they support? Should any organization be given a public opinion pass for breaking the law to benefit patently
good causes? How is this different than a group that is, by intent, outside the law that curries favor from the local citizenry with the intent to pressure law enforcement to look the other way? Are the gaming laws in Idaho so oppressively strict so as to eliminate the ability of fraternal organizations to raise funds for good causes?

DFO: Good questions, Gordo. Anyone out there have an answer?

AM Hucks: Notes On A Napkin Delivers Wit, Insight

If you’re expecting your first baby, you should click on the Notes On A Napkin blog written by talented Katrina Swaim/CdA for chuckles and common sense. Last week, she posted that there’s no need to hurry to the hospital when contractions begin a la “I Love Lucy.” She recommends a big plate of spare ribs, a baked potato and “the works” first because “there’s always a chance that you’ll end up with an emergency C-section, in which case those wonderful, loving maternity nurses who coached you through labor will be replaced by stern, unsmiling, ex-prison warden post-op nurses who sentence you to nothing but tepid broth and melted Jell-O for three days.” Natural childbirth is OK, continues Katrina. But epidurals are better. Again, Katrina: “Don’t be alarmed if, after your epidural, you experience a temporary compulsion to kiss (your anesthesiologist) on the mouth, set up a shrine in his honor, and/or name your baby after him.” Then, there’s the matter of weight gain. A woman enters the hospital nine months pregnant and leaves looking six months pregnant. After a C-section, Katrina was asked by a “friendly young man” on the elevator when she was due. “As punishment for his kindly meant comment,” Katrina recalls, “he was stuck for 20 more awkward seconds in the elevator with us, looking acutely uncomfortable while I sobbed and (my husband) glared at him.” Notes On A Napkin is one of three dozen locally produced blogs that comprise the North Idaho Blogroll of Huckleberries Online.

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/24/06

I got half of the garage re-roofing project done today, thanks to my brother-in-law, Tom. My neighbor poked his head out of his garage long enough to say that I was out of place. My reputation for being mechanically inept and anything but a handyman is well known among my family and friends. But we got ‘er (half) done. I didn’t break my neck. And I’m sore tonight. I’m posting this earlier than normal because I’m pooped and headed for the sack. Behave yourself Sunday. Here’s your Wild Card …

Wild Card/Saturday — 9/23/06

This has been a busy week. And I’m going to top it off today by replacing my garage roof. Fun. My brother-in-law will be helping me. So there’s a chance we’ll do it right. He’s quite a handy-man. While we’re up on the roof (almost sounds like the line to a song), you can use this Wild Card to post your own threads …

Beach Girl: Hagadone Ruining Palm Desert

Beach Girl: I am sputtering furious over the news of Hagadone’s decision to build his 33,000 sg. ft. castle ANYWHERE, let along in that gorgeous desert !!!! Who in the heck does he think he is to go ahead with his plans, blocking views of those people already there—who chose their properties because of the view??? So Ol’ Hagadone is saying “Srew It” to them, I have lived in Hayden Lake for 12 years (and still wonder why), but grew up at the beach in So Cal. Palm Desert is the dream come true of the developers, my uncles, and their brother-in-law,my Father, who was a land planner. He laid out the whole town, sited the original buildings and named the streets for starters. My family continues to live there and is having FITS over this whole situation.The bottom line here is that NO ONE in Palm Desert in the beginning years nor now WOULD DREAM OF DOING WHAT D. HAGADONE IS DOING. He is a selfish, self obsessed arrogant old sonofagun, and I pray that the city fathers let him have it in the scuppers.

DFO: I wonder if the Palm Desert residents cuss out-of-staters, particularly those from Idaho, for ruinin’ their views and traditions? Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

MikeK: A Sad Day for CDA Citizens

Mike Kennedy: You will hear “officially” that it’s good that we now have certainty in the lake level debate and that we can now define that point and move forward with some clarity. And on its face that position is correct.

But what I will say for myself alone is that this is a sad day for the citizens of Coeur d’Alene.

I’m beyond saddened to know that there are parents and grandparents in Coeur d’Alene going to bed tonight with heavy hearts because they can no longer bring their children and grandchildren to play and frolic on the same beach that Dr. Ted Fox let them play on, the place where they learned to love the outdoors and the public lands that are Idaho.

This ruling is but one chapter in an long and ongoing saga. For what it’s worth, though, I pledge to work, talk, beg, plead, negotiate, cajole, debate, and ultimately fight for the right of our citizens to access the public lands that they own - as hard as I can.

This isn’t going to be easy, and it isn’t going to be quick. But some things are worth fighting for.

Public access to the public lands that we all own as taxpayers is definitely one of them.

DFO: Thanks, Mike; your service to this community is very appreciated. Ditto for the service provided by Mayor Sandi Bloem, City Attorney Mike Gridley and the majority of the City Council for pushing for a decision on Sanders Beach. No one could know that the state Supreme Court was so clueless. For the first time in years, we have a City Council that considers the little guy when the movers and shakers come calling.

Parting Shot — 9/22/06

Evelyn Johnson, 19 months, of Tulsa, Okla., samples snow for the first time while visiting Vail, Colo., with her parents today. A fast-moving winter storm covered the Vail Valley floor with six inches of snow, with an additional six inches predicted by Saturday morning/Peter M. Fredin, Associated Press.

Stapilus: Grant Sounds Same, Sali Crankin’ It Up

Whether a matter of intention or slippage we do not know, but the one extended report of the Lewiston debate between 1st congressional district candidates Bill Sali and Larry Grant appear to have sounded a little different note. We weren’t there, and it wasn’t televised or streamed. But we do have the first debate, a week ago at Coeur d’Alene, to compare it to. The Grant performance at Lewiston sounds generally similar to the first in Coeur d’Alene. (It was quite solid.) The Sali performance sounds partly similar, partly different. In Coeur d’Alene Sali hardly took note of the Democrats - bypassed the opportunity to attack - and barely gave note to such signature issues as same-sex marriage and abortion. Apparently Lewiston was a little different in that regard. Sali described Grant as a “liberal,” which we do not recall him doing at Coeur d’Alene. He equated Democratic control of the U.S. House with, in effect, an automatic tax increase. And on abortion, he came back to this: “I do maintain there is an abortion, breast cancer link as far as I can tell from the literature out there.” So what will Sali’s debate sound like when it gets televised?

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise does a good job regurgitating the Lewiston Tribune coverage of last night’s debate here.

Top Cutlines — 9/22/06

The racing sausages make their way around the field between innings at a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday in Milwaukee. You write the cutline.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

1. Announcers at the Sausage Olympics: “Hey, Bob, this race is closer than anyone thought it would be!” “Yer right, Frank, in fact, I never “SAUSAGE” fierce competition like this before! — CDADave.

2. The recent attempt by Olympic organizers to switch to the “honor system” for drug testing was a complete failure — Family Phil.

3. Three head bangers race to the restroom, including two anonymous brats thought to be the wurst of the bunch — John Austin.

HM: Bree

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

CDADave: Anyone Seen CDA Rezzort?

I don’t know how CDADave did this, but it made me chuckle.

TGIF Easter Egg — Parking Cars

Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind has come up with another Easter Egg to test your mettle as you watch the clock count down to the weekend. In this one, you have 60 seconds to park a car in a crowded lot. Cis made it on the fourth try (because she accidentally bumped a car on the third one). If Sam The Reporter was here, he’d be obsessed by parking the car in the fastest time. Good luck. Click here.

Question: More TVs Than People in Your House?

Seattle PI Question: Researchers have found that there are more TVs than people in the average American home. Is this true for your household? (See related article.)



Not sure

DFO: Dunno how you can be “not sure” on this question. But I have one TV and one computer in my house. I spend far more time in front of the computer than the TV. How about you?

Wyoming Guv: Why Is Mountain West Gas So High?

Gas prices are falling in the South and the Midwest. So why do they remain so stubbornly high in the Intermountain West? That’s what Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal wants to know. On Wednesday, Freudenthal sent a letter to refineries asking for information about why gas prices have remained high in the Rocky Mountain states. For example, AAA reports the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Wyoming Thursday is about $2.70. Neighboring mountain states range from $2.72 in Montana to $2.86 in Idaho. But on the Plains, the price is just $2.44 in South Dakota and $2.35 in Nebraska. For the rest of the KTVB/AP story, click here.

DFO: The best price I’ve seen in town (for those without Costco cards) is at the Exxon on Appleway — 265.9 last night.

Extra! Supreme Court Favors Sanders Beach Owners?

Erica Curless is trying to decipher an Idaho Supreme Court ruling that seems to put the high-water mark on Lake Coeur d’Alene at 2128 feet above sea level, or basically, the summer level. You can read it here. Stay tuned.

Extra! 2 Young Boys Die In East CDA House Fire

Two young boys died in an early morning house fire in Coeur d’Alene today. Investigators believe the brothers, ages 4 and 5, may have started the fire by playing with a lighter and paper. Police this morning did not release the names of the victims or of three adults who escaped the blaze unharmed. The boys’ mother, her brother and her live-in boyfriend were asleep upstairs when the fire began in the basement, where the boys were, around 2 a.m., said Coeur d’Alene Police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood said. Wood said police learned the boys had a history of playing with fire and had started one previous fire in the house, located at 15th Street and Birch Avenue on the east side of the city, near Lakes Middle School

Meghann Cuniff/Spokesman-Review.

Sara: Whazzup w/Nancy Pelosi Phobia?

Sara: I really don’t get this. Why is everyone so afraid of Nancy Pelosi? What does anyone know about her? I barely know who she is, and I follow politics pretty closely.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: Why the GOP despises her: 1. She’s a woman, 2. She has a vaguely ethnic last name, 3. She’s from the Republik of Kalifornia, and 4. She’s the House minority leader.

DFO: Actually, Pelosi is from the uber-liberal precincts of California. San Francisco. As such, she’s uberliberal herself. However, I believe, she’s modified her positions somewhat to appear more mainstream since becoming the House Minority Leader. I applaud her for defending the office of the presidency from the scurrilous attack of Venezuela tin-horn dictator Chavez.

Orange TV: My Limit Is 2, No 3, Cats

Patrick/OrangeTV: My self imposed cat limit has always been two, but Ms. Ling-Ling’s last batch of babies(she’s fixed now) had one I just couldn’t bear to part with, so baby makes three. They are mainly “outside cats” and are very well trained. I can’t imagine having more, let alone hundreds: I’d go insane! These three are enough of a handful.

DFO: I’m not crazy about pets, although we own a 4-year-old Beagle/terrier mix. After being reared on a dairy, I don’t like to see animals cooped up in yards and houses. However, I’m definitely not a cat person. One of the principal jobs of our dog, Snoopy, is to keep cats out of our yard. He’s meticulous about it. And I appreciate it. Between dogs, cats on three sides of us moved into my yard, treating my garden area as their personal restroom. Now, I believe Patrick when he sez his cats are well-trained. But, seriously, can anyone keep an outdoor cat from wondering into a neighbor’s yard?

CDA Press: NIC, Open That Candidate Forum

We’re not going to spend a lot of energy arguing that North Idaho College is breaking the law by prohibiting the general public from attending a candidate forum next week. We will suggest, though, that the college is missing a great opportunity to build bridges with its critics. For years, NIC has hosted candidate forums focusing on issues of importance to students, staff, faculty and administration. For years, the media and campus figures, including members of the board of trustees, have been welcome to attend, while the general public has not. And for years, nobody has raised a stink. Until now.
Earlier this week, former state Rep. Gary Ingram objected to the general public’s exclusion from the forum. Ingram knows something about Idaho’s open meetings laws; he wrote ‘em. However, acting on a question from state Sen. John Goedde, the Attorney General’s office said the forum does not violate the state statute, and that NIC is well within its rights to admit and lock out whomever it chooses. For the rest of the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial, click here.

Question: Do you agree with Gary Ingram and the Press that the forum should be open to the public?

Peanut Gallery: BYU-Idaho Prof Dress Code

re: the requirement by BYU-Idaho prof Ryan Crisp that students in some of his classes wear suits, ties and dresses.

Three weeks ago, there was an address given to the student body here at BYU-I where President Kim B. Clark (who by the way, previous to coming to BYU-I was the dean of Harvard Business College) addressed students about dressing a better standard so that when we get out into the real world, regardless of it being in Idaho or the PACNW or anywhere else in the nation or world, we will be ready for whatever job that we apply for, and work at. The concept that is being taught by President Clark is that of starting a habit of dressing for the real world.

So that you know, we already do have a dress code here at the university. At the present moment today, am wearing jeans and a tshirt, though I do wear cargo pants and a collared shirt for the most part but there are other days that exceptions are made in my book, but I don’t strictly ahdere to the no jeans thing.
So that’s my few bits on the topic. I saw the article that was in the Idaho Falls Post Register but I was not able to read it because of lack of time. If anyone has any questions about the dress code down here, be sure to ask and to not assume.


AM Hucks: Hagadomain Becoming Talk O’ Town

‘Twas nice to walk into the Coeur d’Alene Starbucks Thursday morning and hear coffee klatchers discussing revelations about Duane Hagadone’s controversial mega-house in Palm Desert, Calif. The info came from my Thursday column. I answered a klatcher’s question about Hagadone’s proposed expanded foot pad of 61,000 square feet. (No, the house of 32,016 square feet doesn’t cover all that.) I told another he woulda gotten a jump on the story if he’d read this blog Wednesday. Much of what you see here goes online the previous day. (Editor’s note: Quit your shameless blog promotion.) I published more new material and a link to a photo of Hagadone’s desert digs yesterday. Huckleberries Online published part of a BusinessWeek article, labeled correctly “Very Conspicuous Consumption.” In describing the Hagaplex, it sez: “The house is nothing if not spectacular. Built into the side of a mountain, and overlooking 11 golf courses in three directions, the futuristic spread has 19 electronic, movable glass walls that can open onto the mountain air and the vast network of pools that weave through the property. The pools themselves are a work of art, tiled with 4.5 million tiles shipped in from Italy.” Hagadone is quoted: “I’m 74, and I’m not getting younger. I want to enjoy it.” The neighbors can’t say the same. They’re angry that the Hagadomicile defiles their historic mountain vista. I doubt that The Duane is losing any sleep about that. (My Palm Desert contacts – my Berry Pickers are everywhere – say they’ll provide more photos by Monday.)

Parting Shot — 9/21/06

City of Burlington, Iowa, Animal Control Officer Tim Orth uses a catch pole to bring in a raccoon on the sixth floor of the Burlington Apartments, Thursday in Burlington. The raccoon, which had been sitting on a fourth floor window ledge, started scurrying up the building side when Orth appeared and was finally captured on the sixth floor. Later, it was taken to the country and released. (AP Photo)

Mommy Dearest: Things I Love About “The Otis”

*He can play pretty music and sing pretty songs.
*He says things that make me feel pretty.
*He’s crazy and fun and outgoing.
*He knows I’ll fall asleep as soon as we put a DVD in, yet he still lets me choose chic flicks and romantic comedies when he really wants to watch something Sci Fi.
*He eats anything I cook. Even when it tastes so nasty that I can hardly choke it down myself.
*He’s a wonderful father.
*He loves me even when I’m cranky. Like I was this morning. (Sorry about that …)

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20

Question: What do you love about your significant other?

Oops … Forgot to Mention Peace Day Today @ NIC

Who: North Idaho College’s Diversity Events Committee, Diakonia interfaith organization, Students for Progressive Change and Peace Coeur d’Alene

What … are cosponsoring the International Day of Peace in Coeur d’Alene event, which includes two showings of the film “Peace One Day,” a documentary about one man’s efforts to sanction a global day of peace,

When … at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. today, officially the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Peace,

Where … in Molstead Library’s Todd Hall on NIC’s main campus.

How … The event also includes an interfaith celebration at 4 and 6 p.m. in Molstead Library’s Todd Hall and a peace parade on the NIC campus at 6 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. Information: (208) 769-3397.

Question: Does the Peace Movement have any relevance in a world that’s gone cuh-razy?

Rangel, Pelosi Attack Chavez for Bush Remarks

Democrat U.S. Rep. Chuck Rangel: “An attack on Bush is an attack on all Americans … You do not come into my country, my congressional district, and you do not condemn my president. If there is any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans, whether they voted for him or not. I just want to make it abundantly clear to Hugo Chavez or any other president, do not come to the United States and think because we have problems with our president that any foreigner can come to our country and not think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our Chief of State …”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug.”

Hat Tip: The Drudge Report

Q: Should Profs Require Students To Dress Up?

Issue: BYU-Idaho prof sets his own dress code: Jeans, T-shirts out; some suits required/Associated Press

More Info: Ryan Crisp, a Brigham Young University-Idaho professor, has banned students from wearing jeans and T-shirts in his medieval history classes and requires students in higher-level classes to wear business formal suits, ties or dresses.

Question: Do you think this guy’s on the right track?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/21/06

Dead fish are shown as fish biologists and research scientists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife survey fish populations and collecting dissolved oxygen readings in the Sund Rock Marine Conservation area near Hoodsport, Wash. Wednesday here/AP photo.

Hard 7: Commissioner Phil Harris is the Spokane County primaries second biggest loser here.

1. In the contentious aftermath of the escape of up to 160 domestic elk from a 200-acre game farm near Rexburg, Idaho, on the west edge of Yellowstone National Park, hunters in the Gem State have decided this is the time to go for a ban on these “shooter bull operations” here.

2. A Post Falls man accused of shooting at motorists near Darby last week was arrested with an arsenal of weapons, including two sniper rifles and a silencer in his vehicle here.

3. A federal court in California has overturned a Bush Administration rule governing America’s 58 million acres of roadless areas. But Governor Jim Risch, who unveiled Idaho’s plan for the state’s 9.3 million acres of roadless area today, says Idaho will move ahead anyway here. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise story here.

4. WSU has been named by the Advocate College Guide as one of the 100 best colleges in the U.S. for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students here.

5. A television commercial slamming Sen. Conrad Burns for cursing at a firefighting crew could be too vulgar for broadcast television, the Montana Broadcasters Association is warning its members here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Mail-in ballots kill election night drama), Ted S. McGregor Jr./Inlander (Reviewing the Review), Idaho Statesman (Schools suit grows murkier), Brielle Schaeffer/WSU Evergreen (More women needed in sciences), and Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review (Losing hunter access).

Online Poll: Given three choices, 51% of the respondents to a poll by the St. Maries Gazette-Record said they already have their minds made up re: who they will vote for. In second place with 41% were respondents who picked “what election?”

*8-time Washington rapist cleared for release with tight monitoring here.

*Central Washington linebacker stabbed after compying with request to leave party here.

*Almost every Alaskan to get $1,106 in oil royal checks here.

*Boise woman not chosen as finalist for “Biggest Loser” here.

Orbusmax Special: Woman who ran away with a Beaverton softball coach at age 15 is suing for severe emotional duress here.

Anyone Interested In Sali-Grant Race?

You and your family
are invited to an….
end of summer picnic
Date: Friday, September 22nd
Time: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Grand Pavilion in Q’Emiln Park
(rain or shine - a covered facility)
Spokane Street at the Spokane River in Post Falls.

Please join Bill Sali, along with local candidates celebrating Idaho’s
hard working families with and end of summer picnic.
There will be games for the entire family, free food,
awesome live music and lots more.
Don’t forget to bring your friends and neighbors

Paid for by Sali for Congress Committee

DFO: Nah, I’m not pushing Sali, by any means. But I’ve been wondering why it’s so hard to generate much interest in the political races this year in Idaho. Are we waiting for the last two weeks or so?

Photo of the Day — 9/21/06

Paul Ferguson writes: “Here’s a picture I took of a flock of turkeys that hang around my house off Thomas Lane. For a couple of days the neighbor’s cat followed the flock but was afraid to move in.” You write the cutline.

Question: Should Voters Have To Provide Photo ID?

Issue: House Takes Up Voter IDs: Democrats oppose a bill to require proof of citizenship; its sponsors say it would stop fraud. A similar law is struck down in Georgia/LA Times.

More Info: A measure requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls is expected to pass the House today, marking another step in a push toward stricter scrutiny of citizenship status in the U.S.

DFO: This did pass the House yesterday, I believe.

Question: Do you believe voters should be required to show photo ID at the polls?

Witt: Don’t Let Avista Sock It To Us Again

Shirley Witt: Doug Clark has it right about Avista: They raised their rates by more then 23 percent less then a year ago. Now, they want to “stick it to us again”, as if they aren’t making a big enough profit. Give us a break. They want to raise it again because the average Washingtonian has been conserving and not running their air conditioner this summer. (I’m one of those people) So “poor Avista” didn’t get their anticipated bigger profit. Hooray for the working class and the Senior citizens on a fixed income!! Don’t let Avista get another raise. They are forcing people to make the hard decision of moving away from the city and or state they were born in or love. I repeat, don’t let them.I will be thinking of retiring in 10 to 15 years and probably won’t be living here, primarily because of Avista. When is it going to stop. If you don’t think about the now how about future? I love this city. Proud to be part of the working class.

DFO: Izzit it just me, or was Avista somewhat more human and caring when it was called Washington Water Power Co.? Now, the local utility seems interested simply in making profit.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Ahmadinejad, Chavez & U.S.

Issue: ‘It smells of sulfur still today’: Text of Chavez speech at U.N. where Venezuelan dictator calls Bush ‘the devil’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of Chavez and Ahmadinejad blasting Bush at the U.N. in New York?

1. I agree with virtually everything the pair said
2. This is America, and tolerating this kind of dialogue is what makes us great
3. Better to hear them than President Bush
4. Methinks they just wore out their welcome
5. Further evidence the U.N. should be out of the U.S., and the U.S. out of the U.N.
6. What these men said about Bush is, in reality, the truth about themselves
7. It’s an outrage, comparable to inviting Adolf Hitler to speak in America
8. Ahmadinejad should have been arrested, since he held U.S. hostages in Iran back in the 1970s
9. I think the sulfur Chavez was smelling was coming from his own behind
10. Other

DFO: No. 2

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card — 9/20/06

You know the drill …

Whitecaps: New Spokane Top Cops Pure Gold

Law enforcement badges are often made from a cheap metal base with a shiny plating that conceals the defects beneath the surface. With the September 11 swearing-in of new Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and the September 19 primary election landslide victory of Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, the badges of their respective agencies have been transformed symbolically if not metallurgically from plated pot metal to 22-karat gold. It will take some time to see if these 21st-century law enforcement executives can complete the transformation to be worthy of a 24-karat appraisal. There are likely to be some personnel changes at all levels in both departments. For the rest of the post by Bill McCrory/Whitecaps, click here.

Question: Obviously, Bill’s impressed by the new leadership at the Spokane Police Department and wisdom of the voters in the Spokane County sheriff’s race. Are you?

Today’s Cutlines — 9/20/06

The Coeur d’Alene High girls soccer team goes through a strange pregame cheer/routine Tuesday. It involves jumping on teammates’ backs, crawling between legs and running around like a Chinese fire drill. Many girls sports teams have pregame rituals but this one seemed a little more elaborate. You write the cutline/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

In A League Of His Own

Freshman player: Who’s the girl in the yellow jersey?
Coach: She’s the goalie.
Freshman: What’s she do?
Coach: She keeps anyone from scoring on her girls.
Freshman (sighs): Sounds like my dad…

John Austin

1. Well it was like this. I was in this mosh pit and a soccer game broke out — Cabbage Boy.

2. In an effort to comply with the provisions of Title 9; CdA H.S. formed a girls combo Polo, Wrestling, and Soccer team — Paul Ferguson.

3. They must have learned this from the girls soccer team at Orofino High — Family Phil.

HM: Brent Andrews

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

KJ: $5 in Urinal Brings To Mind Old Joke

KJ/Coeur d’Alene, a newby reader writes, “The five dollars in the urinal reminded me of and old joke (This isn’t the original but you’ll get the idea):

The County Agent was visiting a small dairy farm when he excused himself to use the facilities. He opened the door to the outhouse sitting at the top of a small hill and was embarrassed to find one of the farm hands already sitting within.

As the County Agent was closing the door, the hand cried out, “Hey! It’s OK, you can come in. It’s a two-holer!”

Sure enough, when the County Agent looked into the outhouse, there were two seats. The County Agent sat down just as the farm hand was finishing his business. When the farm hand stood and pulled up his coveralls, some pocket change rattled loose and fell down the hole. The farm hand cursed, then took his wallet out of his back pocket, fished out a five dollar bill, and through it down the hole after the pocket change.

The County Agent was shocked. “Why in the world would you throw five dollars down that outhouse hole,” he asked.

The farm hand looked at the County Agent as if addressing a slow child, “We’ll I’m sure as heck not going to go down in there just for thirty-five cents.

Nick Anderson: Thar He Blows

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took his verbal battle with the United States to the floor of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, calling President Bush “the devil” here.

Pigskin Picks: Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Sandpoint

Lakeland at Coeur d’Alene (tiebreaker): There’s no doubt the Hawks of Rathdrum are much improved under Tim Kiefer – even if they’ve played a toned-down schedule. But how much will be determined Friday. The Hawks are faster and stronger than they were a year ago. But they’re not fast enough to keep up with the speedy Viks. Lakeland has burly Bubba Bartlett, who is being recruited. CdA has several Bubba Bartlett-like athletes. CdA tunes up for its face off with Lake City next week. CdA 42, Lakeland 13.

Guest: Lakeland is much improved with some good athletes, but the Hawks’ only chance is for the Viks to be looking ahead to next week. Knowing coach (Shawn) Amos, he will not let that happen. The Vikings are too athletic for the Hawks. CdA 35, Lakeland 14.

Idaho Preps writer extraordinaire Greg Lee also picks Post Falls and Sandpoint to win Friday night. You can read his Pickskin Picks a day ahead of time by going to his blog here.

While You Wait for Best O’ INW, You Can Watch …

… Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 and The Otis in their version of the Space Camp Video on YouTube. Writes MD: “Well, The Otis and Ookie (aka Yer-A-Nation) have created their own punk rock version that includes a cameo appearance by Mommy Dearest. Filmed on location in our basement.” Click here (bottom clip).

Palm Desert Neighbors Angry re: Hagadone Shortcuts

re: Front-page story in this morning’s Palm Desert Sun

Palm Desert (Calif.) planning commissioners determined on Tuesday that an expansion of an already palatial complex in the foothills of Bighorn Country Club wouldn’t affect residents of Ironwood Country Club. A staff report recommended commissioners vote against the project, but they rejected that with a 4-0 vote. Duane B. Hagadone won approval in 2004 to build a 32,016-square-foot home on a 38,000-foot pad but has since sought approval to increase the pad to about 61,000 square feet. According to a staff report, workers have already graded the land without getting city approval. In addition, Hagadone’s engineer submitted plans for a swimming pool that was outside the previously approved grading area, the staff report said. Ironwood residents left the council chamber before the commission voted but shouted their displeasure in the process.

Colin Atagi/Palm Desert Sun.

Palm Desert Berry Picker: As you can see, Hagadone had the land improperly graded; then he had plans developed for the improperly graded area. When I spoke to a friend of mine who works at City Hall and asked why the City of Palm Desert rewarded Hagadone’s improper activities by letting him go ahead and build a blight on the face of our mountains, this source replied, The real story is in the Environmental Impact Report Hagadone submitted at the outset years ago; that report made up an entire mountain so that the conclusion would be that the house had no impact.

DFO: Welcome to our world, Palm Desert.

Question: When Is the Best Time to Hold Primaries?

You’ll notice the results of the Spokane County primaries in the post below. Idaho, of course, stages its primaries on the last Tuesday before Memorial Day in the spring. Washington holds its primaries in mid-September as a jump-start to the fall election. So which approach is better?

Question: When do you prefer to vote in primary elections — in the spring, like Idaho; in the fall, like Washington? Please explain why?

Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, RIP

(Top) Terri Irwin, center, wife of Australian environmentalist and television personality Steve Irwin with daughter Bindi, left, and son Bob attend the memorial service for her husband at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Australia, earlier today. (Bottom) A poem written on the back of a khaki shirt also was seen at the service. Irwin, known as the ‘Crocodile Hunter’ was killed Sept. 4 by a stingray barb during a diving expedition on the Great Barrier Reef. (AP Photo/Dave Hunt, POOL)

Kale: Media Should Ignore Muslim Planned Outrage

KaleJ: How about we ask the media to ignore the “planned outrage” of the Muslims this Friday. I don’t ask them to do it for the Catholics, nor for Western idealism. Just do it because planning to be outraged really isn’t news. It is more along the lines of play the patsy. So far the media has eaten it up, and why not? It sells papers. But what about freedom of speech? What about the freedom of the press? Pope Benedict’s words are not worth bloodshed. They aren’t even worth pretend outrage. And the press should be free to report news, not to be played as a political tool. But if they really must play some footage, just rewind to the cartoon reaction remind everyone how silly that reaction was. How utterly silly they look holding pre-printed ENGLISH signs for the western media. Don’t know if it will work, but it is worth asking.

DFO: First, an event like a “planned outrage” isn’t going to “sell newspapers.” The only stories that “sell newspapers” are ones involving a major catastrophe (9/11) or compelling major local event. Secondly, you simply can’t tell the media what to do — even if you’re in the media. They’re too independent. Thirdly, if this thing evolves in a significant attack on the Pope’s character, I’d bet that there will be a backlash in this country, with more people getting fed up with the extremists’ total intolerance. That will be good. It’s time that more people, including moderate Muslims, wake up to the worldwide threat that the extremists pose. The war on terror can’t be won by the U.S. and Great Britain alone.

AM Hucks: Paying As You Go In Bayview

So, what would you do – as a man, of course – if you spotted a $5 bill in the urinal of the Captain’s Wheel/Bayview? A broke college student who goes by the pseudonym of Cameraman, from Rexburg via Sandpoint, commented on Huckleberries Online that he woulda picked it up. Later, he said, he’d tell a clerk where he found the fiver after he’d handed it over for groceries. Others online said they would have looked for the hidden camera. “Bayview Herb” Huseland, however, said he grabbed the bill and washed it thoroughly, fearing his Depression-era father would rise from the grave and lecture him on thrift if he didn’t. After reading the thread, S-R colleague Taryn Brodwater was dead on with the response: “This is why I tell my kids not to put money in their mouth.”

• Note to KXLY: When illustrating a story about overcrowding at the Spokane County Jail, you shouldn’t use canned footage of Kootenai County Jail inmates in orange jumpsuits with the K-County insignia as you did Monday night. It distracts from the story.

• Dan Gookin, who shares my appreciation for the CdA post office branch, had a close encounter with the wrong clerk recently. Seems she didn’t respond well when Dan objected to receiving a Canadian quarter in change. Says she, “Those Canadian coins spend just like U.S. money.” Wondered Dan: “So, the U.S. post office has now declared Canadian currency legal tender. Can I mail a letter with the queen’s picture on the stamp?” Huckleberries double-dog dares Dan.

Parting Shot — 9/19/06

A gray squirrel found a way to get into a bird feeder full of sunflower seeds in Hibbing, Minn.,earlier today. (AP Photo/Mesabi Daily News, Mark Sauer)

JBelle: Time To Go Back To Mass Daily

JBelle: Well, okay, The Christ Child is leaving. Yes, I know. Here’s all the things I am gonna get done once he’s gone: get his room straightened up again, reclaim my car, give his clothes to the housekeeper’s kids, put his truck in storage, put his cell phone number on inactive status, read, read, read, reread all my favorites on the UK, plan Christmas, finish my new library, store my handbags on his bed, walk the Chows to Manito and back once a day, see how low I can get the grocery bill here, go back to mass daily. There.

DFO: JBelle’s talking about Bronx Boy here. He’ll soon be off to London. I love that last line: “Go back to mass daily.” I’m with JBelle. I have a youngun hop-scotching around Europe and another riding a motor scooter in Denver. Shudder. I don’t want to think about it. Then, there’s my friend, Big Earl, who put his daughter on a plane for a year’s study in Germany and has a son serving in the Marines in Iraq. And my in-laws who have a daughter serving near Kabul, Afghanistan. How did our kids get so mobile — and so capable of traveling and causing their parents sleepless nights?

Question: How do you deal with having children overseas or faraway?

Cy Chase, 88, Former State Senator, RIP

You can read the obituary for Cy Chase, former state senator and North Idaho kingmaker, here.


Did you happen to notice that canned footage used by KXLY last night to illustrate the overcrowding at the Spokane County Jail? Those orange suits the prisoners were wearing sure looked like ones from Kootenai County. Then, there’s the small matter of the “KCSD” insignia that was on the orange suits.


Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press was surprised to learn that the Idaho phone number on his biz card now connects callers to (drum roll, please) — Life Span Counseling. Randy hasn’t lived in Idaho for two years. He now lives near McMinnville, Ore., where he continues to be a political viewer extraordinaire for Idaho as well as Oregon and Washington.

A River Rivers Through It — Livingston Style

Erika Prahl, right, plays fetch with her black lab “Izzie” while a trio of fly fishermen float by in a drift boat on the Yellowstone River at Mayor’s Landing in Livingston, Mont., earlier today. (AP Photo/The Livingston Enterprise, Garrett Cheen)

Marianne Love Recalls Patrick McManus’ Funny Sis

I read in the paper this morning that my friend Pat had died. She’s also known as Patricia when speaking of her brother Patrick–—McManus, that is. And speaking of her brother Patrick, he has immortalized his older sister as The Troll. I never knew Patricia, The Troll, until the early 1980s, but I sure knew Pat Gass. When I read her obituary this morning, I chuckled. I know it’s not nice to chuckle when learning of one’s passing, but my friend Pat would appreciate those smiles because they grew out of good memories spent with a very funny lady. For the rest of the post by Marianne Love/Slight Detour, click here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/18/06

Idaho State Prison chaplin Cosmo Zimik breaks a pile of bricks with his foot during a martial arts demonstration today at Lakeview Park in Nampa, Idaho. Zimik will attempt to break a 1,000 bricks in 10 minutes for a new record on Saturday Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Idaho Press Tribune, Mike Vogt)

Report: Most Idaho jobs don’t pay enough to cover basic living expenses here.

1. Chefs across the Inland Northwest have spiked spinach dishes and tossed out pounds of the produce after it was linked to a nationwide outbreak of food-borne illness here.
Free-lancer Milt Priggee puts the spinach E.coli scare into the proper perspective here.

2. The Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center will show inmates its pulling for them by giving them a $40 handbag filled with hygiene products, creams, soaps, towels, bath sponges and other personal items upon release here.

3. Idaho’s attorney general wants to know why you are paying more at the pump than anyone else in the nation. Gas prices have dropped over the past few days, but not as fast as most would hope. We’re paying more for gas than every other state in the nation! here.

4. The instant replay official whose failure to overturn a bad call led to a narrow victory for Oregon over Oklahoma said he feels like he is under siege after receiving menacing phone calls and a death threat here. Bud Withers/Seattle Times comment here.

5. Marvin Richardson, the Constitution Party candidate for Idaho governor, has officially changed his name to Marvin Pro-Life, but he will still appear on the Idaho ballot as Marvin Richardson, according to Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Election bashing the way to go), Sarrah Benoit/UI Argonaut (Vandal fans, behave), Bruno Baltodano/WSU Evergreen (World needs more superheroes), Brandon Scheller/WSU Daily Evergreen (Lincoln lets Mariners crumbles), Jerry Hitchcock/Coeur d’Alene Press (A gamer is an athlete).

Online Poll: 74.8% of 1462 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say they’re planning to vote in Washington’s primary election today.

*Spokane’s Kristianne Blake – civic activist, accountant, and sister of Microsoft’s Bill Gates – has been named to the board of regents at the University of Washington here.

*The contractor running the Idaho National Laboratory has received more than $2 million in overly liberal bonus money here.

*A record Montana state pumpkin, weighing a biblically ominous 666 pounds, is touring the Bitterroot Valley here.

Orbusmax Special: Brady campaign claims Otter/KTVB have “Back-Channel Relationship” here. And: Meridian schools super apologizes for inappropriate letter here.


For those keeping score at home, Steve Hudson of Hudson Hamburgers fame was part of the officiating crew that was disciplined by the Pac-10 for blowing the controversial calls late in the game between Oregon and Oklahoma Saturday. That should make for some interesting over-the-counter conversation at the Sherman Avenue burger joint. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Poll: Bush, Repub Approval Ratings Up

Amid falling gas prices and a two-week drive to highlight his administration’s efforts to fight terrorism, President Bush’s approval rating has risen to 44% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. That’s his highest rating in a year. The poll also showed likely voters evenly divided between Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress, 48%-48%. Among registered voters, Democrats had a 51%-42% advantage. The results come seven weeks before closely contested elections for control of Congress. Republicans have struggled to overcome problems, including Bush’s low ratings, continuing violence in Iraq and the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina. … Bush’s approval rating has edged up largely on the strength of Republicans coming back to the fold — 86% with him now, compared with 70% in May. For the rest of the USA Today story, click here.

Question: Are you still confident/frightened that the D’s are going to win back Congress in November?

JBelle: When Is SR Going To Give Up RPS?

JBelle: When is the Spokesman Review going to give up the RPS reporting mess? Now they have commissioned an independent review of their coverage? oh my. This is soooo 5 years ago. Move on Steve! Move on Stacey! We have! Cover the County Commissioner like you’ve never covered anything else and you’ll get your self esteem back; please don’t beleaguer your errors and omissions any longer. If the employees’ self esteem is lagging, get the shareholders to give them a little extra with their Christmas bonus. Bet that’ll help. Otherwise tell them to buck up. We jus’ don’ need no more RPS. Nooooooooooo.

DFO: JBelle’s talking about Editor Steve Smith’s column in this morning’s paper in which he promised a thorough independent review of the newspaper’s coverage of the River Park Square controversy from 1994 through 2005. Steve made it clear that the review isn’t going to regurgitate the issue. Rather, the newspaper coverage is going to come under scrutiny. Many believe that we didn’t cover the issue properly because our bosses, the Cowles, were involved in the controversy. A review could give us a chance to study where we misstepped and learn from those mistakes, so we don’t repeat them.

Question: Could You Serve On Duncan Jury?

Issue: Potential jurors questioned: Eight hundred receive summons for Duncan trial/Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press

Two most important questions asked of potential jurors: Have you read about or heard about this case? At this time, do you have any opinion regarding whether Joseph Duncan is “guilty” or “not guilty” of any crime?

DFO: Yes, yes, and why don’t we just skip to the capital punishment phase of this case.

Question: How would you answer the two questions above?

In Pennsylvania As Well As DC, Pols Feather Nests

Democrat Larry Grant provided one of the best lines during the congressional debate Friday when he said Congress has given itself 8 pay raises since the last time it raised the minimum wage. I imagine our delegation of four fiscal conservatives gave its explicit or tacit approval to the raises. Politicians generally take care of themselves first. Here, a pedestrian walks past large inflatable pigs near the Capitol fountain in Harrisburg, Pa., earlier today. The pigs were assembled to highlight and protest the Pennsylvania legislative and judicial pay raise issue. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

CDAElephant: Market Place Decides Language

CDAElephant: I trust the marketplace to determine what language we are speaking rather than the government. When I go to the ATM and it asks me if I want to speak Spanish it tells me that a lot of spansih speaking people do enough business with B of A that they have made a business decision to include Spanish as an option. This is a free market decision that is not dictated by a group of govt. officials wanting votes. I trust the invisible hand of the market to make better decisions than our elected officials.

DFO: Bingo.

WorldNetDaily Poll: What Should Benedict Do?

What advice would you give the pope right now to deal with Islam?

1. Convert to Islam
2. Make sure the bullet-proof glass on your popemobile is secure and in working order
3. Completely disavow your controversial statement, and undergo sensitivity training
4. Ignore the current protests, they’ll go away like the cartoon controversy
5. Hold a summit with Muslim leaders to build understanding between the faiths
6. Keep quiet, and certainly don’t criticize Islam publicly
7. Continue to speak your mind, as you always have
8. Step up efforts to peacefully but forcefully confront militant Islam for the false faith it is
9. Speak Christianity, it is the truth
10. Other

DFO: No. 10, many Muslim leaders have accepted his apology; the ones stirring things up now simply want to grab onto every controversy to keep things stirred up. This’ll go away. But people could be hurt and killed in the meantime by the Muslim extremists.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Monday — 9/18/06

You know the drill …

Alison B: What Caused Crowd to Gasp

Alison Boggs, SR colleague: Hey, Dave,
What questions did you ask that “elicited gasps” from the audience?

DFO: I asked three questions. The first one was in way of an anecdote in which I told the story of my maternal grandmother’s struggle in America. She was here almost 50 years but never learned the language. She almost had her kids taken away as a new widow during the Depression because she didn’t know the language. She denied citizenship until 1954 because she didn’t know the language. Yet, her children were bilingual and my generation was so thoroughly assimilated into the American culture that we couldn’t speak Portuguese. I told Bill Sali that we’re suspicious of efforts like his to make English the official language because we have seen it used in our family to keep good people like my grandmother down. And unnecessary. I thought about using the word racist but didn’t. Question No. 2 came from Bill McCrory on this blog: When will you know when the war on terror is won or lost. Question No. 3 asked each candidate to describe and critique his opponents views on abortion and same-sex marriage. I guess you had to be there to understand the gasps.

Top Cutlines — 9/18/06

Claudio Paulo Pinto can pop his eyeballs at least 7 millimeters (0.3 inches) out of their sockets, a national record for eye-popping according to RankBrasil, an organization modeled after the Guinness Book of World Records that lists Brazilian records. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Top Comments:

1. Claudio realized too late that his mother was right when she said,”Don’t do that, your face will freeze like that!” and: Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel is apparently stunned to learn that Karl Rove did not leak Valerie Plame’s identity to Robert Novak — Thom George.

2. Popeye gets word of the spinach recall — RPSA.

3. When the Guinness people said they’d be over the verify the record for their book, Claudio said he’d keep an eye out for them — John Austin.

HM: A Token D, VFW and almost everyone else

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

Extra! F&G Bans Kokanee Fishing on Lake CDA

Kokanee fishing on Lake Coeur d’Alene was banned today by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in an effort to boost salmon population. The emergency closure applies to all but the southern end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, which is controlled by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. A record low number of the fish, also known as bluebacks, was found in the lake this summer. The department’s regional supervisor, Chip Corsi, said the closure is indefinite and that the department will review the populations in January. “We aren’t in danger of losing them but we are in danger of the population taking a big dip and we would lose a lot of fishing activity and opportunity for folks to go fishing,” Corsi said — Erica Curless/Spokesman-Review.

Idawa Reminds Us That It’s …

… Constitution Day in the United States here.

Yo, Snow Birds, Think Of This Before You Fly South

Smog and haze obscure the Phoenix, Ariz. skyline from Piestewa Peak Dec. 21, 2005, on the second-worst day of 2005 for particulate pollution in the area. Forecaster are predicting that the dry, stagnant conditions could return this year, meaning the metro area could be in for another winter of pollution records. (AP Photo/Arizona Republic, Deirdre Hamill)

Smart Bombs: Libs, Cons Both Suspicious Of Media

Political partisans can always be counted on to pump up the volume on their “media bias” rants during election season. It does me no good to tell them otherwise, but I’ve always thought it would be interesting to take two passionate critics and lock them in a room so they can listen to each other’s arguments.

Liberal: “Bush lied. People died. He should be impeached. So why doesn’t The Spokesman-Review report that?”

Conservative: “Come on. Those anti-war pantywaists are on your side. Don’t you read the editorials?”

Lib: “They endorsed Bush. Twice! I don’t trust ‘em.”

Con: “Oh, please. Look what they did to Jim West! He was a Republican!”

Lib: “They endorsed him, too.”

More by Associated Editor Gary Crooks here

Question: Are the media liberal? Conservative? Unpredictable?

Doug Clark: Avista has answer — just ask ‘em

“Welcome to “Avista: Gonna Clip-Ya!” – the power company forum designed to answer your energy questions.

“Q: Last year Avista raised Washington gas rates nearly 24 percent. Electricity rates jumped about 9 percent. And now you have the gall to ask for 8-plus percent increases for both gas and electricity. Am I missing something here?

“A: Yes, you are. We also plan to stick it to Idaho.

“Q: People on a limited budget can barely afford to pay their current power bills. Any suggestions?

“A: Avista believes ratepayers always have two choices.

“Q: Two choices?

“A: 1. Pay up. 2. Or invest in candles and extra blankets.”

For the rest of Doug Clark’s Sunday column, “Avista has the answer — just ask ‘em, click here.

Question: Do you think Avista gives a rat’s behind re: how hard it’s making things on lower-income and not-so-lower income Inland Northwesterners?

Question: Pope’s Remarks Stir Muslims

I just don’t understand the Muslim outcry over the Pope’s recent remarks wherein he pretty much slammed everyone who’s not Catholic. I mean, he is the Pope, after all. He wasn’t about to say, “And Islam - that’s a pretty awesome religion. They’re probably right, and I’m probably wrong, but whatever.” What did they expect? — Sara Anderson/F-Words.

Question: Do you think the Pope should have apologized for his comments?

Stapilus On Debate II: Grant Generally Good

“Grant’s performance was generally good too, if a little less sweeping. From a launch that was a bit stiff, he gradually warmed to the audience and got better, it seemed, with every question or comment. By the end he was bordering eloquent, and beginning to convey well to the audience his passion for the race - his concern about the country’s direction and what needs to be done to correct it, “to restore this country to the greatness and respect it deserves” (a good line). Like Sali, he did all that without ever going on the attack, at least against anyone personally. This was Grant’s first real debate of this sort, and he did well. If he picks up next time with his end point in Coeur d’Alene, putting the corporate attorney further behind and focusing on the passion he clearly feels in this campaign, he will doubtless impress the next audience even more — Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press.

APhoto of the Day — 9/18/06

Claudio Paulo Pinto can pop his eyeballs at least 7 millimeters (0.3 inches) out of their sockets, a national record for eye-popping according to RankBrasil, an organization modeled after the Guinness Book of World Records that lists Brazilian records. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

CDA Press Poll re: Development In Kootenai County

How do you feel about construction and other development in Kootenai County?

1. It’s progressing about right
2. Too much, too fast
3. Too slow, too little
4. None of the above

And your vote?

Blogfest IV: A Good Time Was Had By All

I come away from these gatherings with a renewed sense of the value of bloggers. I have yet to meet one who is not interesting and well informed. Getting to meet personally seems to strengthen the bond we have with one another on line. No matter that throngs don’t come; its the substance that’s important. If every time we do this one or two new faces appear the circle as well as the influence will widen. For the rest of Mari Meehan’s post in Dogwalk Musings re: Blogfest IV, click here. Stebbijo gives her thoughts on Blogfest IV here.

WorldNetDaily: What Of Terror Attack Warning?

Issue: Al-Qaida warns Muslims: Time to get out of U.S.: Afghan terror commander hints at big attack on N.Y., Washington/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you make of al-Qaida’s warning for Muslims to leave the U.S.?

1. It’s a complete crock
2. I suspect it’s hype, though I’m not completely sure
3. It’s obviously a scare tactic, but there could be some truth to it
4. It should be evaluated like other threats, but there’s no need to panic
5. This has me really on edge
6. There’s no doubt al-Qaida is planning to hit America again, so it should be taken seriously
7. If I see Muslims leaving the U.S., then I know it’s time to really be concerned
8. I won’t feel better until al-Qaida agent Adnan el-Shukrijumah is captured
9. People need to wake up and smell the danger, al-Qaida is never going to give up!
10. Other

DFO: No. 4 (probably 1-3, too)

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/17/06

My squash and baby-pumpkin plants got frost burn last night. Probably was a result of all of you bad-mouthing squash Friday on that post about the E.coli packaged spinach. Bad karma. Anyway, I was going to hit the sack a coupla hours ago. But got snagged on the Stephen King short story. Almost done. Good stuff, as almost always with King. You’re going to have to make do with this Wild Card today, unless something big happens …

Planner Souza: City Hall’s Forcing Me Out

Mary Souza believes Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and politically motivated attorneys at City Hall are conspiring against her for being an outspoken planning commissioner. Souza said that over the last year, she’s been subjected to two separate conflict of interest investigations … and she’s not happy about either one. In both cases, she was cleared of any wrongdoing. “I feel targeted,” Souza said in an interview with The Press. “I don’t want to say it’s partisan politics, but that’s the only answer I can end up with because it makes no sense otherwise.” Bloem was flabbergasted by Souza’s claims. The mayor denies abusing her authority in any way. “I don’t know why she would feel that way and I feel badly she does,” Bloem said. “It’s just not true.” Souza said she feels like she’s being pressured to resign from the Planning and Zoning Commission because she’s been aggressive and persistent about updating the city’s land-use laws, creating sexual predator-free zones, and pushing the City Council to take a stand against eminent domain. You can find the rest of the story today at the Coeur d’Alene Press Web site: (sorry, I’m at home and can’t post links)

Question: What the heck is this all about?

A Debate Review — From Julie In Boise

Sheesh. I come all the way from Boise and don’t even merit a mention here on HBO.

I can’t believe you guys were at Hastings afterward. I came right back to my motel and wrote up my post. What sort of political junkies are you?

Seriously, I am impressed that NIC packed da house. And as a Grant staffer, I respect that Sali is at least willing to debate us, unlike the other Idaho GOP candidates who are bailing on the notion of face-to-face discourse.

I think Larry won, but it wasn’t a KO by any means. For people who don’t know the true extremes of Sali’s positions nor the antipathy he provokes, he mainly came across as a guy who doesn’t like government very much - except when he does (re: his answer on the FDA assuring presciption drug safety).

Click Red State Rebels (to the right under Idaho Politics) for the Grant blog.

Kristin: Scarlet, Grapes, Gatsby … All Depressing

Kristin: DanG makes a good point. My dislike of American Lit. is based on what I read in high school. Scarlet Letter, Grapes of Wrath, The Sound and the Fury, The Great Gatsby, it was all so depressing and meaningful it wasn’t enjoyable to read. The British, they write literature that’s enjoyable.

DFO: Kristin brings up a good point. I wonder how many of us have been turned off certain literature because we were forced to read it by an overbearing and/or boring English teacher? I hated “Silas Marner” by George Eliot — so much so that I read it again as an adult … and still hated it. I enjoyed “Grapes of Wrath” and about everything else Steinbeck wrote, particularly the “Cannery Row” stuff. But I couldn’t get into Gatsby. “The Scarlet Letter” was another downer. Can you think of any others that should be on the list?

DOTC: We’re Not Reading Any More

“Readership of newspapers is down from a high in 1964 of 81% of the adult population as daily readers of the newspaper to now 48%. This is according to the Newspaper Association of America and the Audit Circulation Bureau which gathers such data. In elections, we tend to focus our efforts on our newspapers to get our message out about elections, voter registration information and deadlines, about polling place locations, and voter information. But we haven’t adjusted to the concept that the majority of Americans are no longer reading newspapers. It dawned on me that if newspaper readership was down so extensively maybe it also affected all other forms of reading. Hang on to your voting equipment for these incredible stats that I found in my search:

•1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives
•42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college
•80 percent of U.S. Families did not buy or read a book last year
•70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years

Dan of the County

Question: What is the last book you read? And when?

DanG: Congressional Debate Was A Show

DanG: What a show! Highlights:
* Dave and I kissed and made up!
* Kent Propst gets my vote for Congress!
* Sorry, GOP, but the Dems still have the prettiest babes. Oo-la-la!
Now that’s what I witnessed that was important.

DFO: Indeed, it was good to see DanG and Dan of the County representing the HBO crowd. And to bury the hatchet with DanG. I’ve been missing his commentary mightily. And he’s right about Kent Propst, the spinmeister for NIC. Class act. He handled his moderating duties well for a first-timer. The tribe was well represented. I jumped at the chance to have lunch with Chief Allen next time he’s in town. He seemed confused when I asked him if we were going Dutch. Mebbe he’s too young to know the term. I thought for a minute that I mighta committed an un-PC faux pas. Then, I shrugged and figured that it wouldn’t be the last time if I did. I was trying to concentrate too hard on panelist duties and the candidate answers to verify if DanG’s right about the D babes outpulchrituding the R babes. I hope DanG follows up with his assessment of the debate in the morning.

WorldNetDaily Poll: Who Will Be Demo Nominee?

Question: Hillary? Tom? Al? Barack? Who do you think will win the Democratic nomination for president in 2008?

1. Joseph Biden
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Tom Daschle
4. Christopher Dodd
5. John Edwards
6. Al Gore
7. John Kerry
8. Barack Obama
9. Mark Warner
10. Other

DFO: No. 10: Howard Dean … arrrrrgggghhhh.

Blogfest IV Set Saturday @ Captain’s Wheel/Bayview

Hat Tip: Bob Stebbins/Inland Northwest Bloggers Association

Question: Have You Ever Been Bullied?

Issue: Schools take on bullying: Tougher policies, education help ease fear factor/Meghann Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: New laws passed this year make bullying an infraction and create penalties for students who threaten violence on school grounds. The (Idaho) Legislature also declared this week Bullying Awareness Week in Idaho, directing districts to look at their anti-bullying policies, make changes if needed and promote the policy to the school community.

Question: Have you ever been bullied?

Berry Picker: Are SCSO Deputies Dawging It?

Berry Picker: This morning at 9:44 a.m, I was at Shell gas station. When I pulled in, I immediately noticed the parking lot full of Sherrif’s cruiser’s and motorcycles. There are a total of 9 or 10 motorcycle Sheriff’s and 2 cruisers. I understand that employers give their employees a break for breakfast or lunch, but the whole shift typically doesn’t go all at once. This is an outrage!! No wonder we don’t get a response when there is a crime in one of our neighborhood’s. Obviously these Sheriffs have nothing to do? Why do we need this many if all they are going to do is go have breakfast? The woman at the counter said this happens all the time, and they are usually there between an hour to 90 minutes. If this were a couple Sheriffs, I would not even write in. I can only hope that someone makes note of this, it is after all, our tax dollars “hard at work.” I hope with the upcoming election this makes some sort of news. The tax payer’s have a right to see how their dollars are being spent.

DFO: Ah, there may be another explanation, according to colleague Jody Lawrence-Turner: “I happen to know there’s training going on this week for the sheriff’s office that probably accounts for the cluster of them at one place.” Still, SCSO officers should take into account that perception is reality — and this doesn’t look good.


Idaho Vandals Friday Notes

(Idaho football coach Dennis) Erickson was pleased with the week of practice, but openly admits he’s worried about the Bengals, who possess a quality quarterback, running back, receivers and a veteran line. “Every game scares me,” Erickson said. (For the rest of Jim Meehan’s pre-game post today, click here.)


Regular unleaded, $2.73 gal at the Exxon at I-90 and 4th Street. Anyone found it any cheaper in recent days? — Jane Q. Citizen

BrodH20: Songs To Cover Local Crime By

BrodH20: I’m trying to put together a CD to listen to while I’m working. I’m thinking things that go with the job. So far I’ve brainstormed some songs: “Janie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith, “Smooth Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm, “Maniac” … and some Artists: The Killers, Kill Hannah, Arrested Development, Johnny Cash. Any suggestions?

DFO: “I Shot The Sheriff,” “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” …

Question: Any other suggestions? (BTW, check out the latest BrodH20 posting by Mommy Dearest re: kids screaming in stereo here.)

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/15/06

Captured through a camera lens, morning rays peeking through a stand of trees near Crosswater Golf Course in Sunriver, Ore., creates a rainbow bubble effect Thursday. (Andy Tullis, The Bulletin/AP)

Randy Stapilus premieres the top 10 legislative races in Idaho this year here.

1. Eric Devericks/Seattle Times illustrates the housing situation in Seattle here, but it easily could apply to booming communities in North Idaho, too. Meanwhile, cartoonist Paul Tong and the UI Argonaut let’s us know what they think of the recent special session on property taxes here.

2. A Olympia, Wash., merchant’s call to police Thursday did nothing to stop Jasun “Thor” Easley from standing on the sidewalk at rush hour with a sign encouraging passers-by to “smile if u masterbate” here.

3. New research by Washington State University scientists suggests that a single exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy can cause cancer, kidney disease and other illnesses for future generations here.

4. A “cougar” sighting that caused a lockdown at a Cheney, Wash., elementary school turned out to be nothing more than a house cat here.

5. About 300 Idaho Army Reserve soldiers depart this weekend for hazardous duty in Iraq, where they’ll spend the year clearing roadside bombs that have been responsible for hundreds of U.S. troop deaths and injuries here.

6. IMHO-NW: Joan Opyr/New West (Mental illness in a Mason jar), Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Test golfers, too), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Gov. Judge’s legacy is secure), James Reavis/WSU Evergreen (Immigration issues cross oceans, cultures), and Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (The pendulum doth swing).

Online Poll: A plurality of 34.6% of 1926 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say they tip waiters 15% and 31.1% say they tip 20% of more.

*A coalition that tangled with the City Council over a 10 Commandments monument in a Boise park is putting its money where its mouth is here.

*2 men killed in crash near Pullman this morning here.

*4 in Idaho, Washington sickened by E.coli after eating packaged spinach here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon minimum wage to rise to $7.80 per hour, second highest in nation here.

Help Wanted: I Need 2 Q’s For Tonight’s Debate

Issue: Sali, Grant to debate in Coeur d’Alene tonight: Tribe co-sponsoring debate to boost role/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Each of us panelists are going to ask at least 2 questions of the congressional candidates. Mebbe three. I already have a pretty pointed question for one of mine. But I need help framing the other two questions re: the war and gay marriage. (I don’t think I’m giving away any deep secrets by letting the candidates’ handlers know that they’re going to be asked about these things.) The same question has to apply to both candidates. I’ll use yours if it’s a good one. But will come up with my own if I don’t get anything that sings.

Question: How would you frame questions re: the war and/or gay marriage for congressional candidates Larry Grant and Bill Sali tonight?

Seattle PI Poll: How Much Do You Tip?

In its online edition today, the Seattle PI asks readers about their tipping habits. The question is near and dear because my daughter worked at Tomato Street this summer. Some people are generous. Others are schmucks who stiff their servers and even try to obtain free stuff by complaining about everything. Waiters are paid below minimum wage, plus the tips. When you reward good service with a poor tip or no tip at all, you’re doing a disservice to your hard-working waiter. Now, the poll.

Question: How much do you usually tip when you dine out? (See related article here.)

1. 10% or less
2. 12%
3. 15%
4. 18%
5. 20% or more
6. Never tip at all
7. Never dine anywhere they expect tips

Fallen Soldier Memorialized w/Wiccan Symbol

Roberta Stewart, left, and Wiccan minister Selena Fox perform a brief ceremony at a memorial wall at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nev., earlier this week. Stewart, the widow of a Nevada soldier killed in Afghanistan a year ago won state approval Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006, to place a Wiccan religious symbol on his memorial. For story, click here. (AP Photo)

DFO: Wicca certainly isn’t my cup of tea. However, if this valiant man died fighting for his country, I see no problem with his loved ones honoring him in this way.

Hat Tip: Sara

007: Mebbe 3 R’s View LWV As Hostile Format

James Bond: DFO: Do you know the REAL story why the debates are being skipped? In other words, is something else afoot? Are the IPTV debates organized and controlled by a bunch of partisan left wing Democrats? At least some Republican candidates I know have been concerned for years — it’s like walking into the Politburo at IPTV. I don’t know the answers, but I think a reporter ought to find someone willing to talk more about it on or off the record. That said, I generally agree with your gut reaction to it.

DFO: If in a worse-case scenario the League of Women Voters debates were controlled by “partisan left-wing Democrats,” Republican candidates should attend and make their case to the people of Idaho. Remember. Idaho has more than just Republicans. In fact, Republicans aren’t even a majority in this state, although it seems like it. Democrats, Libertarians and Independents combined comprise about 60 percent of the population (although the latter two groups are conservative and tend to vote Republican). Methinks the Republican candidates are uncomfortable because: a. they don’t debate well (see Donna Jones v. Keith Johnson in 2002 LWV debate), or b. they prefer to have partisan cronies lobbing them softball questions, not neutral media types. It’s hard to feel sorry for them. Consider what it must be like to be a Democrat running in Red State Idaho.

AM Hucks: A Tip from Dan Of The County

Wanna know how to get all the candidate information you ever wanted to know and more? Kootenai County Clerk Dan English (also known as “Dan of the County” on my Huckleberries blog) recommends that you order an absentee ballot by mail from his Elections Department. Take it away, Dan: “Once we start mailing out absentee ballots – possibly by next Friday – then just about every candidate or (his or her) committee gets a list daily of those voters who have requested an absentee ballot. They then very promptly send out literature hoping to get it there before the voter fills out and returns their ballot.” You can request an absentee ballot on the elections Web site ( or by calling (208) 446-1030. Then, sit back and wait a few days, sez Dan, “and all kinds of brochures, et cetera, should show up like magic.”

•For those keeping score at home, Luke Malek’s parents have the Gospels covered. Luke’s the twentysomething North Idaho Man Friday for Gov. Jim Risch. His brothers are named John, Matt and Marc. Any more boys, and the Maleks would have been forced to turn to the epistles.

•Didja hear the one about the unruly kid who tried to file “child abuse” charges against her parents for spanking her? It happened – at 11:48 a.m. Monday in Priest River. A Deputy Dawg responded to Girl Crying Wolf. His analysis is printed in the Bonner County police log: “The report was unfounded.” Sounds as though the discipline was too little too late.

Thursday Wild Card — 9/14/06

You know the drill …

Eye On Boise: Idaho GOP Risking Voter Backlash

Here’s what BSU political scientist emeritus Jim Weatherby had to say today about the decision of three prominent Republican candidates – governor candidate Butch Otter, lieutenant governor candidate Jim Risch, and state controller candidate Donna Jones – to skip the usual live statewide debate this year on Idaho Public Television: “It’s the nature of the one-party system, I guess, but that may change too with that kind of approach. … When all you get for a statewide race is maybe one debate and maybe no debates at all, representative democracy is not well served. It probably makes smart politics, but it’s not good for representative democracy. At some point, I think the voters will start pushing back” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

DFO: I am totally turned off by this tactic. As I mentioned before in this space, I’m lobbying the Editorial Board to withhold its endorsement of any candidate who plays this game. Stay tuned.


“Shortly after my last e-mail to you yesterday at 5:04 pm (CDT), Sandy called and told me our baby boy, Andrew, was being transported from his 8th grade football practice to the Avera-Marshall Regional Medical Center. So … I beat feet over there. As it turns out, his leg is fractured, he will be in a cast 6-to-8 weeks, and is devastated that he will miss the remainder of the season” — former Idaho senator Gordon Crow, from Minnesota.


Stan Hess, the one-time leader of supremacist David Duke’s organization in California and a North Idaho College trustee candidate, is currently in his second year of employment by the Coeur d’Alene School District as a substitute bus driver, according to district Human Resources Director Kelly Ostrom.

Hat Tip: Meghann Cuniff


For those keeping score at home, Luke Malek’s parents had the Gospels covered. Luke? He’s the North Idaho Man Friday for Gov. Jim Risch. His brothers are named John, Matt and Marc.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/14/06

This year’s 10-acre corn field “MAiZE” in Meridian, Idaho, shown Wednesday, features a fish jumping for a fly. The attraction is to open to the public on Friday. Organizers estimate that visitors will need about an hour to trial-and-error their way through the 100 decision points and over two miles of twists and turns/Joe Jaszewski, Idaho Statesman.

Bubblehead: Bill Sali English-only proposal nothing but grandstanding here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI claims that Republicans are campaigning this year “on fear itself” here.

2. This summer has been the driest on record for Washington state, and some climatologists are betting that a mild trace of El Niño conditions will mean a dry winter as well here.

3. Nina Nelson, the woman injured in an auto accident in Eastern Montana that killed two of her children and critically injured a third, had fled Spokane to cope with traumatic personal memories stemming from Sept. 11, 2001, her husband said Wednesday here.

4. Former Aryan Nations member Keith Gilbert of Seattle was convicted Monday on 10 counts of conspiracy, machine gun possession and possession of unregistered firearms here.

5. Former Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone is accused in a lawsuit of offering a former business partner in eastern Idaho a $25,000 bribe to take the blame for an illegal elk hunting trip here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Security over politics), Idaho Statesman (Idaho misses $$$ in online sales tax), Mark Nelke/Coeur d’Alene Press (NIC volleyballers worth a look), Missoulian (Idaho elk breakout raises questions), Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette (Truth about American ugliness), and Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette (To bed without a movie).

Online Poll: 68% of 294 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say game farm owners, like the owner of the Idaho elk that escaped recently, don’t deserve compensation for their animals.

*Population of Bend, Ore., continues to soar here.

*In what a defense attorney says is a first for Washington state, a 10-year-old rape conviction has been reversed on the basis of DNA testing that was not available during the trial here.

*Washington has first confirmed case of West Nile virus here.

*UI enrollment down 6 percent here.

Orbusmax Special: An Oregon soldier who once ended a newspaper mortar with the words, “Got to run. Mortars,” has been killed in Afghanistan here.

Remembering Another Dead Former Governor

As you can see the death of classy Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, is receiving attention just below. But I’ve been thinking about another former governor who died in the last few years: Tom Judge of Montana. He was the first governor I met after moving in 1977 from central California, where I was a bureau chief covering the San Joaquin County Courthouse in Stockton, Calif., for four small bordering newspapers. I remember meeting Judge as he and his agriculture secretary deplaned at the small city airport in Kalispell, Mont. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t have body guards or an entourage. Only months before, I had covered an appearance of then-California Gov. Jerry Brown in Stockton, Calif. He was surrounded by bodyguards. Ordinary people couldn’t approach him. Meeting Judge in Kalispell taught me immediately that Montana elected officials are extremely approachable. (The same can be said of those in Idaho.) And that Montana (and Idaho) might be big geographically. But its easy to know the bigwigs in far-off Helena (or Boise). I like it like that.

Lee: Lake City Leads All Idaho Prep Grid Squads

1. Lake City (9), 3-0, 53
2. Highland (2), 2-0, 38
3. Centennial, 2-0, 20
4. Mountain View, 2-0, 18
5t. Meridian, 1-1, 13
5t. Skyline, 3-0, 13

Others receiving vote: Capital, Coeur d’Alene, Madison

Class 4A

1. Pocatello (11), 2-0, 55
2. Minico, 3-0, 38
3. Bishop Kelly, 1-1, 37
4. Skyview, 1-1, 14
5. Lakeland, 2-1, 9

To see how Timberlake fairs in Class 3A and the rest of Greg Lee’s links to today’s high school sports features, click here.

Jane Q. Citizen: Who Is League of Women Voters?

Jane Q. Citizen: Exactly who is the League of Women Voters? It’s been my observation that the group loans out their name to sponsor political debates but don’t actually facilitate the event.

League of Women Voters statement (courtesy of Thom George): “The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League’s enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels.”

Doug Clark: 10 Easy Steps To Recall Public Officials

The Spokane City Council voted unanimously Monday night to make it easier to recall city officials caught floundering in the cesspool of “moral turpitude.” This was prompted by last year’s sordid saga of Spokane Mayor Jim West, who used his office to enhance his dating life. Even that didn’t bother the business community until Jay Leno started cracking jokes about it. After that the mayor was political toast. Yet despite national outrage, West proved to be harder to recall than a high school geometry theorem. (For the rest of Doug Clark’s column, click here.)

Question: Obviously, Doug’s tongue is firmly cheeked in the column above. However, he raises a good point. How hard should it be to recall an elected official?

Police ID Shooter In Montreal College Rampage

A photo allegedly showing Kimveer Gill, 25, of Laval, near Montreal, is shown in this undated photo seen on a website called A police official identified Gill Thursday as the gunman who opened fire at Dawson College on Wednesday, killing one person and wounded 19 others before he was slain by police. Story here. (AP Photo/CP,

Question: Do you believe local schools have done enough to protect youngsters from savages like this?

Wondering: If They Were On Fire, I Wouldn’t Spit On ‘Em

Wondering had a great post re: people she wouldn’t spit on, if they were on fire. It includes:

Osama bin laden
Saddam Hussein
Adolph Hitler
Child abusers
Of course, animal abusers
Scott Peterson
Clarence Thomas and on and on …

Question: Who would you add to the list?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Comparing Muslims, Christians

Issue: Rosie: Radical Christians pose Islamofascist threat: O’Donnell maintains on ‘The View’: ‘We are bombing innocent people in other countries’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of O’Donnell’s likening of ‘radical’ Christians to Islamofascists?

1. Bravo! Rosie is right on the money
2. A little over the top, but Rosie makes a good point
3. Let’s face it, ‘radical anything’ should be a concern
4. What’s the big deal? It’s just another mindless comment from a confused soul
5. Off the wall, but what do you expect from a liberal, self-important personality?
6. Outrageous, but par for the course for the secular, anti-Christian worldview
7. There’s no way to compare a handful of ‘radical,’ dangerous Christians to the worldwide, bloody, holy war of Islamic terrorists
8. Rosie should be fired by ABC
9. Rosie O’Donnell is the antithesis of all that is good
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 4-6; anyone who’d compare America’s Christians with Muslim extremists who fly planes into buildings has lost touch with reality

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 9/13/06

For those keeping score at home, Coeur d’Alene Press circulation employees are lying about our situation in Coeur d’Alene again. Seems they’re telling people, including the mother-in-law of a friend of mine, that the SR has laid off its Coeur d’Alene staff and is pulling out of North Idaho. They’ve done it before. Do you suppose all’s fair in love and circulation? Bottom line? We aren’t going anywhere. Our staff hasn’t been reduced. In fact, there’s an expansion coming in a coupla months. Remember to tell the Brand X circulation guy that the next time he blows smoke your way. Now, your Wild Card …

Extra! 4 Arrested In Big Lots Heist

Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives with the assistance of the North Idaho Regional Violent Crimes Task Force arrested three adult males for the robbery of Big Lots that occurred on 090906 at 9:08 p.m. During the robbery, a male employee was battered and sustained injuries to his head. Three other employees were ushered at gunpoint into the manager’s office and restrained. The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The three suspects were identified to the North Idaho Violent Crimes Regional Task Force through an anonymous tip. Detectives have recovered some of the evidence connected to the crime.

Charged with robbery is Jeddy Allen Peko, 30 years of age, originally from Hawaii, now resides in Coeur d’ Alene. Dechaun Y. Dyson, 22 years of age from Seattle Washington, and Skyler V. Frenick, 21 years of age, originally from Great Falls Montana, now resides in Coeur d’Alene.

Suspect Jeddy Peko and suspect Skyler Frenick are former employees of Big Lots.
All three suspects have been transported to the Kootenai County Public Safety Building and are currently being held on the felony charge of Robbery. Suspect Jeddy Peko is also being held on a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. Peko was last registered as a level one sex offender in Washington State and has not filed a change of address in Idaho.

Update: At approximately 4 p.m., an additional arrest was made for the Big Lots Robbery. Arrested and charged with robbery is Kevin C. Searls, 24 years of age of Coeur d’Alene.

Christie Wood
Coeur d’Alene Police Department

Top Cutlines — 9/13/06

A model trips and falls during the Proenza Schouler spring 2007 fashion showthis week at Milk Studios in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Paul Hawthorne)

Top Cutlines

1. Organizers of the Proenza Schouler Fashion Show are second guessing their decision to require models to walk and chew gum,after model after model failed to successfully navigate the catwalk — Thom George.

2. Gigi put on her sunglasses and marched down the catwalk, determined not to show that she’d had a few too many nips at her flask to settle down her nerves — A Token D.

3. It’s the new fashion for ‘Fall’ — Toadman.

HM: Bree

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

Repub Controller Wannabe: I Won’t Debate Either

Donna Jones, who is the Repub running for Idaho controller, told the League of Women Voters this morning that she won’t debate on statewide TV. Seems she said that she doesn’t want to bother, if Gov. Jim Risch and Congressman Butch Otter aren’t going to debate. This, according to Betsy Russell, who’s visiting our North Idaho office today. Jones is running against Demo Jackie Twilegar. Meanwhile, the Editorial Board of The Spokesman-Review discussed today the possibility of not endorsing anyone who shirks his/her duty by ignoring this important debate. Click here.

Not Again: Gunman Shoots Up Montreal College

Evacuated students react during a shooting incident at Dawson College in Montreal, Wednesday. At least one gunman opened fire Wednesday in the cafeteria of a Montreal college and and wounded at least 20 people, six critically, before he apparently was killed by police, witnesses and authorities said. (AP Photo)

Pigskin Picks: Lee Tabs CHS, LCHS and PFHS To Win

“Coeur d’Alene vs. Mead (tiebreaker): This had the makings of a big showdown between undefeated teams. That is until the Vikings fell 34-21 at Centennial and the Panthers were knocked off 21-6 by Lewis and Clark. Still, this should be a battle as both teams want to regain some momentum heading into league play. Mead is trying to find a starting quarterback as two players will alternate series. CdA has a standout behind center. I’ll go with the proven QB. CdA 27, Mead 21. Guest (Sean Dorris): The question for CdA is can it protect (quarterback Shea) Vucinich? Mead will have to play a great game to slow down the Viking passing game, but the Panthers have some playmakers of their own. The bottom line for Mead is keeping the Viking offense off the field. CdA 28, Mead 21.

HBO: Greg Lee/Idaho Preps is now posting his Pigskin Picks online a day before they appear in the SR sports section. You can be the first in your ‘hood to know what the experts predict about the weekend games. For the complete roundup re: Greg’s prognostication, click here.

Eye On Boise: Please Answer Question, Mr. Sali

Congressional candidate Bill Sali held a press conference on the Statehouse steps to announce he’s endorsing legislation from an Iowa congressman to declare English the official language of the United States, require all official government business to be conducted in English, and require English tests for new citizens. He gave his statement, then fielded an array of questions from the media, including this reporter, about his position and the issue. At the end of that, I tried to ask him about Boise pollster Greg Smith’s poll, released last week, that showed Sali slipping behind Democrat Larry Grant in the 1st District congressional race. Sali said he was only there to talk about English. Asked if he had any comments on the poll, on which his campaign issued a scathing press release late last week, Sali said, “I hope it was in English.” Everyone laughed. Afterward, I asked him again for comment on the poll, but even after the press conference, he continued to say English was the only topic he was discussing today. Smith’s poll showed Grant leading with 22 percent to Sali’s 14 percent, with 61 percent still undecided in the contest that also features independent Dave Olson, United Party candidate Andy Hedden-Nicely and Constitution Party candidate Paul Smith. For the rest of Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise comment, click here.

Question: Is it possible that Demo Larry Grant really could be leading Repub Bill Sali in Red State Idaho? Remember, a poll primary to the primary showed Sali well back of the pack — and he won the — what? seven-way? — horse race.

Is This The Face That Terrorized Coeur d’Alene?

Paul Hawkins is led into court in Coeur d’Alene Tuesday awaiting arraignment on 24 counts of various kinds. He is alleged to be the serial rapist who terrorized Coeur d’Alene. Hawkins’ arraignment was postponed at the request of his attorney, who said negotiations, presumably with the prosecutor, are ongoing/Spokesman-Review photo by Jesse Tinsley.

Dogwalk Musings: Whattabout Gus?

Dogwalk Musings: Not much in the news lately about the Commish. What office is he currently occupying?

DFO: Yo, Courthouse Berry Pickers, can one of you let the HBO crew what Commish Trust Gus is doing now? Is he still ensconsed in the planning department? Are has he bee-lined back to the commish office where he belongs? Inquring minds want to know. But, be careful. Commissioners have a nasty habit of checking e-mails and blocking unwanted blogs.

Huckleberries Needs Your Input re. Sali-Grant Debate

Busy day, kids. I have a conference call for the weekly Editorial Board meeting today and a confab with Kent Propst, Tony Stewart, Mike Patrick, et al, at noon to discuss the rules of engagement for the Q-and-A part of the congressional debate Friday between Repub Bill Sali and Demo Larry Grant. Mike and I will be part of a four-person panel that will grill the congressional wannabes. So, here’s the deal. Do any of you have questions for the candidates. Yeah, I’ll make sure we nail the social issues, illegal immigration and the English-only flap. But what else do you want to hear raised?

Poll: How Likely Is Another Attack On U.S. Soil?

1. It’s not if, but when
2. 50-50
3. None; Homeland Security will prevent it from happening
4. No idea

You can see the results so far of the Coeur d’Alene Press online poll here.

She’s Still Kicking Up Her Legs @ 100

Billie Gordon, of Hampton, Va., is honored on her 100th birthday Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006, on stage at the American Theatre in the Phoebus neighborhood of Hampton. Though she celebrated her 100th birthday, Gordon is no sedentary resident of a retirement community. She’s still up and around, out and about. She still oversees the management of the apartment complex her late husband built. (AP Photo)

Question: How long do you want to live?

SR Edit: Supreme Court Botched School Decision

The state Supreme Court has failed Idaho’s children by washing its hands of a long-running lawsuit to fix school buildings. After 16 years of briefs, counterbriefs and foot-dragging by the state of Idaho, the Supreme Court has closed the case and decided to rely on legislators to rectify the problem of unsafe or inadequate school buildings. Apparently, the justices haven’t paid attention to the legal maneuvering by lawmakers to ignore or sidestep every adverse court decision they’ve faced in this 1990 case. This includes the decision last December in which the Supreme Court declared the school funding system unconstitutional. There is now clearly a final judgment,” Justice Linda Copple Trout told attorneys for the state and school districts. Only there isn’t, because the court has punted a remedy back to lawmakers. For the rest of my editorial about the Idaho Supreme Court decision, click here.

Question: What should the Idaho Supreme Court have done to ensure that public school children attend school in safe buildings?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Dreaming Of Assassination

Issue: Kill-Bush mania: Michelle Malkin highlights increase in leftist fantasizing about death of president/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of the film depicting President Bush’s assassination while in office?

1. What’s the big deal? It’s just a thought-provoking fictional story
2. I hope it’s a harbinger of things to come
3. It’s OK because if it were just a fictional president assassinated, it would have no impact
4. It’s edgy and over the top, but will be thought-provoking and valuable
5. I know it’s fiction, but it’s very creepy
6. We’ve seen too many things like this in reality for this to be entertainment
7. Obviously, it’s the work of a sick human being
8. The Secret Service needs to talk to the producers of this film
9. The movie should be banned in the U.S.
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 6-9

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9/12/06

For the first time in quite awhile, the photo function on my blog is acting up. I couldn’t post a photo from CDADave’s blog nor a terrific “Parting Shot” photo I found on AP. Alas. I’ll survive, however. And be back here tomorrow raring to go with another day of blogging at HBO. Feel free to use this Wild Card for your own threads tonight …

CDADave: “Awful-Awful” Sounds Good Right Now

My own little story about the Brunswick is as follows: It was the winter of 1968; over 100 inches of snow fell that year, burying our fair city. The snow berm in the center of Fourth Street was so high, that drivers put red flags on their car antennas so they could be seen. School was out for over 3 weeks in a row; all they could do to us later that year was take away our 2-day “Spring Break”…I thot that was a fair deal! Anyway, after shoveling out the driveway at our house, I’d take the snow shovel and walk all over Coeur d’Alene, looking for sidewalks and driveways to shovel. With my snow-shoveling money, I’d go to Woolworth’s (where Sherman Park is now) and see if they had any of their “4 for $1.00” 45-rpm singles for sale; I used to also go over and shop at P & L Vending, which was located in the Priano building near 2nd and Lakeside; I’d buy “juke-box” 45’s there for a quarter each. I still have some of those 45’s I bought way back then. After that, I’d go into the Brunswick Cafe, and I’d have a “Shirley Temple”, which sorta tasted like a mixed drink, but of course it wasn’t; it was a coke with a cherry or two in it, and there might have been some cherry syrup in it as well. Ah, the small pleasures in life. But I’ve never wanted for much, ever. Just let me buy “musical things” and I’m happy. For the rest of CDADave’s Thin Air post, click here.

Extra! LCHS Grad To Coach Timberlake Baseball

Greg Lee/Idaho Preps has broken another local story re: a 1998 Lake City High grad who has been named coach of the Timberlake High baseball team here.

Milestone: Ex-SReporter Rasha Madkour Marries

Some of you will recall former Spokesman-Review reporter Rasha Madkour, who covered the Post Falls beat earlier this year. A practicing Muslim, Rasha married her fiance Ramsey Ashour in Egypt this summer. And Holly Pickett of the SR was there to film the happy event. Writes Holly in Video Journal: “American citizens often see images of war, terrorist attacks and Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. They rarely get to experience or understand the rich culture and history of the Arab world or the religious traditions and beliefs of mainstream Muslims. It is just as important for readers to see joy and celebration in the Muslim world as it is for them to see conflict and anger. Even though it is unusual to write a story about a fellow reporter and to travel as far as Egypt to do it, I saw an opportunity to share something valuable with people in Spokane.” You can see Holly’s compelling slide show and hear her commentary by going to Video Journal here.

Jason Hunt/Press: Smoke Gets In Our Eyes — Again

Lance Deacon sprays water from the back of a truck to help keep a controlled burn contained on the Rathdrum Prairie on Monday, near Rathdrum. Bluegrass farmers have resumed burning field stubble on northern Idaho’s Rathdrum Prairie, drawing complaints from opponents of the practice who say they are still gasping from wildfire smoke in the region. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press by Jason Hunt)

Question: Has the field-burning this year bothered you?

Question: Are Starbucks Customers Stealing Milk?

Issue: Baristas are having a cow over dairy “thefts”: Starbucks employees hammer free-loading customers online/Melissa Allison, Seattle Times business reporter

More Info: If someone pays $2 for espresso, then fills half the cup with milk at the condiment bar, is that stealing? People are saving $1 to $2 a cup — sometimes more, if they use half-and-half or get extra shots — with creative ordering from the complicated menus of the coffee world.

Question: Well … are the customers stealing?

Hat Tip: Becky Kramer

Extra! CHS Picks California Cop To Coach Baseball

A former California police officer will be recommended for hire as Coeur d’Alene High’s head baseball coach. Chris Stangel was selected over three Coeur d’Alene assistant coaches, Coeur d’Alene athletic director Larry Schwenke said. Schwenke said Stangel’s hiring is pending approval by the school board. For the rest of the story, see Greg Lee’s Idaho Preps blog here.

Question: With three local candidates for the job, including former Seattle Mariner Rob Ramsey, do you think Coeur d’Alene High made a mistake by seeking someone from outside the area?

DOTC’s Right: Idaho Gas Prices 36 Cents Higher

Gasoline prices are falling — but not in Idaho. In Idaho, gasoline averaged 36 cents a gallon higher than the national average on Monday, defying a dramatic nationwide drop at the pump caused by falling crude-oil prices. A Washington-based industry analyst said Idaho’s stubbornly high gas prices might be attributable to the fact that Idaho receives all of its gasoline from a single pair of pipelines from a Chevron refinery in Salt Lake City. Where there is little competition between pipeline operators, refiners have been slow to slash the price of their products while offering discounts in other areas of the country where they do face competition, said Rayola Dougher, manager for energy market issues for the American Petroleum Institute. “Your wholesale price is not coming down like it has in other parts of the country,” Dougher said. For the rest of the Idaho Statesman story, click here (and Iowa gas prices at $2.05 here.

Hat Tip: Dan English

APhoto of the Day — 9/12/06

Paris Hilton, right, and her sister Nicky watch the Max Azria spring 2007 fashion show in New York City Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

SR: Sex Harassment At Colleges Alarming

Sixteen years ago, some clueless U.S. senators were taught a lesson on sexual harassment during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Many women were appalled by the dismissive attitude and general disregard for the charges leveled by Anita Hill. Since then, sexual harassment training has been an on-the-job staple for businesses and organizations. Thousands of offenders have been fired. The terms “hostile environment” and “unwanted advances” are well-known. Or should be. So it’s appalling to see some of the behavior exhibited by tenured faculty at colleges, as reported recently by Spokesman-Review reporter Shawn Vestal. Professors have threatened the employment of graduates students who rebuffed them, invited students to their homes for wine and sexual conversations, made repeated unwelcome comments about sex and students’ appearance, touched students inappropriately, gotten far too involved in students’ personal problems and on and on. In short, they flunked the introductory course to sexual harassment. For the rest of the Spokesman-Review editorial, click here.

Question: How should WSU, EWU and other colleges handle inappropriate sexual behavior involving tenured professors?

CDADave: UI Vandals Have Lost Charm

CDADave: Every year, people flock to Moscow, drink beer in the Kibbie Dome and watch the Vandals. The football team is an excuse for the Alumni Association to keep on functioning. I still have no idea of the purpose of an Alumni Association other than making money off old students who it hopes are quite affluent after all these years. I suppose Vandal football is the object of tradition; otherwise, what reason is there to watch them? (and I AM an ex-Vandal). Personally, I find it hard to care. I don’t even listen to the broadcasts now that Bob Curtis is retired. I met Bob Curtis, what a nice gentleman, and I remember listening to him as a kid back in the ‘60s. Time marches onward; things lose their charm; one of those ‘things’ is Vandal football.

DFO: I’ve noticed that a team regains its charm quickly … when it starts winning.

DOTC: When Will Red State Idaho’s Gas Prices Fall?

Dan of the County: I see gas in Iowa is down to about $2 a gallon and we’re still WAY above the national average at about $3. In fact, an article in the Statesman said Idaho is now higher than Caleefornia for the first time ever. While I suppose it’s just a coincidence that prices are dropping off right at this time after being at such artificially high levels (nice “October Surprise”), but you’d think a nice Red state like Idaho would at least get in on some of the action …

DFO: I ran a link last week to a Billings Gazette story that revealed that Montana gas was higher than any place in the nation but Hawaii and, I believe, California. Sounds like we’re pushing our way to the front of the line. Do you have a link, DOTC? BTW, Any Mouse predicted early this year that gas would be selling for $2 per gallon by the election, to improve Repub chances of keeping control of Congress. I laughed at the time. Now, it looks as though he may be right. I’d consider him a prophet. But I remember that he predicted on the day of Slick Willie’s re-election bid that Bob Dole would win.

AM Hucks: By Their Locks He Knew … Californians

Gripes about Californians are nothing new in North Idaho. Just ask Louis Pirillo. From 1943 to 1946, Pirillo served in the U.S. Navy as a barber at Farragut Naval Training Station on the south end of Lake Pend Oreille. He told staff writer Jim Hagengruber by phone that he didn’t mind the winter here because it “was about the same as what we had here in Iowa.” But the Californians were something else. Pirillo was one of 100 barbers assigned to keep 300,000 Navy recruits in shipshape during World War II training. Of the many recruits (called “boots” because of their distinctive footwear) who passed through the training station, the flashy zoot-suit-wearing young men from California stick out in his mind. “You think (young men) have long hair now,” Pirillo said, “the zoot suiters had really long hair.” A zoot suit, according to Wikipedia, has wide-legged, tight-cuffed trousers (tramas); a long coat with wide lapels and wide, padded shoulders (carlango); a felt hat with a long feather (tapa or tanda); and pointy, French-style shoes (calcos). Think Jim Carrey’s ‘toon character in “The Mask.” Continued Pirillo: “They’d come in there with hair 10 to 12 inches long. We’d cut it all off.” One of the barbers sold the long locks to a wig maker and then split the proceeds among the barbers. Pirillo was unable to attend this past weekend’s 20th annual reunion of Farragut sailors. He told several stories to Hagengruber while seeking info about the reunion. Pirillo concluded: “I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Farragut, Idaho.”

Wild Card/Monday — 9/11/06

I received this message from JBelle a few moments ago: “What a day. Never could get to work; was just too emotional. I think there’s a case to be made for re-structuring Labor Day and making 9/11 a national holiday. In fact, I think from now on, I will make it a standing paid holiday at my office.” You know … she has a good idea. Labor Day doesn’t mean anything more than a three-day weekend to end the summer. 9/11 deserves a time of reflection. I’ve certainly been melancholy today as I think about 9/11 — the awful attack, the way it changed out lives, and the uncertainty ahead. What do you think? You’re free to answer that question or pose your own thread with this Wild Card …

UBob: To The Dying Summer

Went to the dying summer yesterday. It gasped and spit and sprayed us with lake water as it coughed the exhaust of a V-6 stern drive. We burnt offerings of top sirloin to our lazy hazy stomachs as we smudged the mortally wounded season. Baptised in the blood of the sun, feet washed in sand. It was a holy melancholy day. At the funeral we circled our adirondack chairs and gave memorials. It’s always the saddest when they die so young. Summer, we hardly knew you.

Unbearable Bobness of Being

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/11/06

Family Phil writes: Instead of dwelling upon the sadness and horror of that day five years ago, I choose to remember the joy of having a new baby in the house. I took this picture of my daughter not long after September 11, 2001. May she grow up in a world that is safe and happy.

JBelle is one of 2998 bloggers who volunteered to commemorate one of the victims of 9/11. She introduces you to Judy H. Hernandez here.

*Katrina Swaim/Notes on a Napkin was already mourning a loss before the first plane hit the first tower five years ago here. Meanwhile, Granati/Orange Frog and his wife were in the hospital awaiting the birth of their first child here. And Toad remembers what he was doing when the planes hit here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings shares some thoughts about Hollyweird’s First Family of Dysfunctionality (Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie) here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals breaks down the UI collapse against WSU at Martin Stadium after his conference call with Vandal football coach Dennis Erickson today here.

*Nicholas Casey/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts recounts what he was doing each of the last five years on the anniversary of 9/11 here.

*CDADave/Thin Air has been introspective and a bit gloomy of late, thinking of individuals who were part of his life at one time here.

Justin Lamb, a Post Falls stock broker who served two stints in Iraq as an Army interrogator, caught the eye of his former teacher, Marianne Love, with a post on the Sandpoint High Web site re: where he was when he heard the news about 9/11. Definitely worth a read here.

Meanwhile, Frum Helen Back provides a link to a “Beautiful Planet” here, Greg tells us about the sports activities on tap in North Idaho this week here, Kristin encounters real boas on a grocery trip here, Marianne speaks of dirt roads, alfalfa ice cream and garbage transfer here, and Stebbijo sez goodbye to summer here.

Clark: A Slithering Orchestrated Scheme

And the Lord spake unto Moses. And the Lord saith: “Yo, Moses. Tell thy people thou SHALT NOT commit an artificial scenario.” I’m no theologian. I lack the follicles to qualify as a televangelist. But, by golly, I seem to remember the Good Book being more plain-spoken when it comes to the subject of lying. But thanks to the modern miracle of doubletalk, Jesuit leaders have spun that ugly L word regarding the shameful 1969 cover-up of sexual abuse charges involving a former president of Gonzaga University, John P. Leary. Good news, prevaricators. Lying through your teeth is now called creating an “artificial scenario.” Would that be a venial or a mortal sin? For the rest of Doug Clark’s Sunday column, click here.

Question: Do you think the Jesuits and the Roman Catholic Church is finally getting its house in order re: predatory priests?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/11/06

Allison Richardson, 4, of Inkom, Idaho, is tired out on her birthday Friday during a visit at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot, Idaho. (AP Photo/Idaho State Journal, Doug Lindley)

Stapilus: Jim Risch, Butch Otter torpedo Idaho’s tradition of debates here.

1. According to David Horsey/Seattle PI, Harry Truman was right: contractors are still holding the bag here.

2. In 1969, amid fresh allegations that the president of Gonzaga University had sexually abused young boys, the university, the Spokane Police Department and Jesuit hierarchy orchestrated a stunning cover-up that preserved the reputation of the institution and a man revered as a leader in Spokane here.

3. Republican Bill Sali disputes the legitimacy of a controversial poll that shows Democrat Larry Grant edging him 22% to 14% with the rest undecided about two months before the Idaho congressional election here.

4. Up to 160 domesticated elk that escaped from an Idaho hunting reserve remained elusive as a helicopter, an airplane and more than 25 state agents failed to locate any during the first day of an emergency hunt meant to keep the animals from mingling with wild herds here.

5. Police seized seven gaming machines and thousands of dollars Sunday in an early morning raid on the Post Falls Eagles club. The club’s board of directors could face misdemeanor criminal charges for allegedly allowing gambling at the club at 209 E. Railroad Ave here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (We still search for 9/11’s truth), Frank Mieli/Daily Inter Lake (A hard day to forget, but do we remember?), Sara Anderson/F-Words (The D-word), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Loving the Spokane River), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Cougs had something to gain).

Online Poll: 54.1% or 1403 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say 9/11 affected the way they live their lives today.

*Washington high school football star dies in car crash here.

*Ex-Miss Washington dead at 63 here.

*Idaho man arrested after nude dip here.

* The New England Patriots ended the holdout of receiver Deion Branch on Monday by trading him to the Seattle Seahawks for a draft pick here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregonians to vote on credit scoring for insurance here.

Remembering 2: 9/11

Members of various Arizona fire departments climb the stairway of Chase Tower, Arizona’s tallest building earlier today in memory of the first responders who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Remembering — 9/11

American Airlines flight attendant Margie Jarrendt rubs the name of American Airlines employee Mary Jane Booth on the memorial in Arlington National Cemetery to the victims of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks on the Pentagon this morning in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Bayview Herb: Farragut Wasn’t Just About Men

I met two wonderful Ladies this afternoon. They had just met, after 61 years of separation. You see, not all of the sailors at Farragut Naval Training Base were Guys. Phoebe DeGree of Bend Oregon, and Donna Lee of Portland, Oregon came to their first, and probably last reunion of Naval Personnel that trained here during the forties. It turns out that they were bunkmates during 1944-45. Both were clerical Waves, serving the permanent party, or as they were known, “Ship’s Company”. Donna had the upper bunk, Phoebe the lower. Fast friends for the last two years of the war, they separated to go their various ways. Phoebe married a sailor from the base. Both widowed now, they were charming company for an hour or so before it was time for them to leave. You see, they were both going out dancing at the Athol American Legion Post. Oh, if I could only keep up with the likes of them.

Bayview Herb

DFO: So, these widows eschewed the Bachelors of Bayview for the Athol legionnaires?

BrodH20 Rants About U.S. Mail Self Promotion

The only thing that sucks more than opening your mailbox and finding a stack of bills is finding a stack of junk mail. What’s really irritating is when the junk mail is courtesty of the US Government and paid for with my tax dollars. This week it was a full-color glossy postcard from the United States Postal Service, advertising their ATM-like “Automated Postal Centers.” I understand the ads I get from pizza places and credit card companies. The fact is, there are a lot of pizza places and credit card companies. They are at least competing for my business. Here’s the thing about the postal service, though. It’s them. No matter what. It’s not like I can call up the post office if I’m unhappy with my service and change to another provider. There are plenty of other places the government could spend money, other than advertising itself.

DFO: I can’t stand Hummers — and we’re not talking about sticker-price envy here. They’re big. They’re ugly. They’re impractical in town or on most roads. Their only purpose, that I can see, is to allow the driver with the cutesy vanity plate to say that s/he has money. Or a monster car payment.

Question: Do you have a pet peeve to rant about?

Question: How Has 9/11 Changed Your Life?

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush participate in a moment of silence at the Fort Pitt Firehouse in New York this morning. Today is the fifth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The door is from a fire truck that responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Question: How has 9/11 changed your life?

Family Phil: How Much River Beach Did Public Get?

Reading the Press article about the new Mill River development, this quote stood out:

The condos are only a block from a private beach that’s more than 300 feet along the river and has a gazebo for private functions.

I thought this 300-foot beach was supposed to be a new city park! Now it’s private? Mike K, can you fill us in?

Family Phil

Question: Family Phil and others are wondering just how much beach did the public get from the Mill River developers. Initial reports said 1000 feet. But provided by Duffer from the city of Coeur d’Alene appears to show considerable shrinkage here. Are we misreading the map. Or did the public get considerably less public beach than reported and a whole lot of rocky levee that the developer didn’t want to care for?

WorldNetDaily Poll — “Path To 9/11”

Question: What do you think of ABC’s ‘Path to 9/11’ miniseries so far?

1. Brilliant, it’s an accurate portrayal of what led to the terror attacks
2. If edits were made, I didn’t notice, because the Clinton administration looked blameworthy
3. Great, it shows how Clinton administration did not have the guts to get bin Laden
4. This movie needs to be shown in schools to educate kids how serious the threat really is
5. It does a good job of connecting the dots, but the acting is not that great
6. It would have been better had no edits been made to the original version
7. It’s obviously an inaccurate and unfair indictment of the Clinton adminstration
8. It’s a joke, it doesn’t even look close to the real events
9. I am purposefully avoiding it
10. Other

DFO: No. 10: I don’t watch “historical” schlockumentaries because they distort.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/10/06

One day before the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack — on HBO, we call them terrorists or murderers, not insurgents or revolutionaries — on 9/11. We’ll talk about that tomorrow. Meanwhile, you set the agenda today with this Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9/8/06

Actor Sylvester Stallone makes a fist in front of a bronze statue portraying the boxer Rocky Balboa from the film “Rocky III” after it was unveiled near the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia today. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Q: Why Are Some Christians Fatter Than Others?

Many Christians appear to be committing one of the seven deadly sins: gluttony. A new study surmises that among Christians in the U.S. – particularly Baptists, Pentecostals and Catholics – there is a significant relationship between being religious and being obese. Baptists were most likely to be obese, followed by Pentecostals, Catholics, Methodists and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Denominations that stress physical health – such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventists – show low levels of obesity — Religious News Network.

Question: Why?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/8/06

The title Pecky Cox gives to this photo taken Thursday for her blog, As The Lake Churns, sez it all: “Smoke At Priest.” You can read about it here.

*JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan enjoys jet-setting and adventure, but those advocations can play havoc with her garden in The ‘Kan here.

*Amyrebba/Untangled Family Roots looks like she’s getting her commercial genealogy biz off the ground here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour wasn’t surprised when the Pend Oreille School District levy went down in flames here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH2O learns the hard way that the battery-operated bug swatter that The Otis gave her last year isn’t a toy here. She’s also suffering from a severe case of calendarfillineritis here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals sez some of UI’s best former footballers were very impressed with Idaho’s play against Michigan State here.

Idawa @ Word Forge has a question to answer tonight: To keg or not to key? He writes: For some reason the notion of standing around a hot, smoky house while watching twenty somethings grind against one another doesn’t have the appeal that it used to. More here.

Meanwhile, Christine can’t believe she bought — pop tarts here, Toni survived a tough patch trying to help a vagabond cat and her litter here, Cis celebrates a family milestone here, Stebbijo is wondering if she’s a victim of a cable-TV conspiracy here, and UBob’s bemoaning a love lost here.

Top Cutlines — 9/8/06

Asiatic black bear takes a rest at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mainichi Shimbun)

Top Cutlines:

In A League Of His Own:

I don’t care what food joint rating OrangeTV gives Goldilocks! Stay away from the porridge!!


1. Gearing up for hunting season, cubs are sent to acting class to learn how to “play dead” — Bree.

2. TGIF — Kristin.

3. John Goedde relaxes after a long and tiring debate on property taxes — Family Phil.


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

Oregon Atheist Loses Cases Against Boy Scouts

Remington Powell receives a hug from his mother Nancy Powell following a news conference today in Portland, Ore. The Oregon Supreme Court rejected Friday the discrimination claim of Nancy Powell, an atheist whose son Remington was required to attend a Boy Scout recruiting session in a Portland public school. The Scout oath requires members “to do my duty to God and my country.” You can read about decision in the roller-coaster case here. (AP Photo)

NYTimes: Sandpoint = Old West, Sports Paradise

SANDPOINT has always emphasized the outdoors life, from its heyday as a 20th-century logging center to its current incarnation as a polestar for fresh-air recreation. Embedded in the far north of Idaho’s panhandle, the town sits snug against Lake Pend Oreille, a clear 43-mile-long lake that has no shortage of boaters in summer. Around the region are the Selkirk and the Cabinet Mountains, which attract skiers, hikers and mountain bikers. “The outdoors is a big part of why we came,” said Bill Friedmann, who moved to Sandpoint six years ago from Los Gatos, Calif., with his wife, Kathy, and their three children. For the rest of the New York Times Real Estate story, “Old West Atmosphere in a Sporting Paradise,” click here.

Hat Tip: Marianne Love (who passed along the link with the comment: “More publicity, damn!”

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/8/06

Gallyn Mitchell is thrown from his horse, Tough to the Max, in the fourth horse race of the day Thursday at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Wash. Tough to the Max suffered a compound fracture of the right front leg, which led to the fall, and was euthanized. (Matt Brashears/King County Journal)

Eye On Boise: What if a congressman (Butch Otter) wanted a clean-campaign pledge but didn’t tell the press about it here?

1. Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell helped arrange more than $11 million in federal money in the past year for projects benefiting clients of a lobbyist who is advising her re-election campaign and still owes her money from a personal loan here.

2. Former Gonzaga University President John Leary was involved in the sexual abuse of boys and young men in the 1960s, the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus said today. The actions of Leary, who died in 1993, were covered up by Jesuit officials and he was transferred to other jobs in the West here.

3. If actor Eric Schweig gives the impression he’s more comfortable on the Colville Reservation in northeast Washington than in Hollywood, it’s probably because the dress is more casual in the Northwest here.

4. Former “NYPD Blues” star Dennis Franz has appealed the $5M value placed on his Lake Coeur d’Alene home and property by the Kootenai County Assessor’s Office here.

5. Former Gov. Thomas L. Judge, the youngest person ever elected governor of Montana who presided over the state during its modern progressive era in the 1970s, died today here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (WSU’s Lynch enters hall of fame), Missoulian (Under-age drinking is an adult problem), Idaho Statesman (Breach dams to help salmon), James Reavis/WSU Evergreen (Rumsfeld needs to retire), and Frank McGovern/UI Argonaut (F for foreign policy = Failure).

Online Poll: By a percentage of 56.2% to 32.4%, 1405 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they liked the weather rather than football (and three other alternatives) as fall’s best feature.

*Idaho governor OKs open season on escaped trophy elk here.

*Another Eyman initiative falls short here.

*Boise was second only to Sacramento, Calif., for having the worst air in the country Thursday here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon nurse, 51, strangles to death intruder armed with hammer here.

Question: Why Don’t We Embrace Out Tackiness

We were discussing the story about Athol in the newsroom a few moments ago, particularly the fact that Athol Gear is getting publicity it couldn’t buy. Taryn Brodwater mentioned that Spirit Lake has a slogan to go along with its new teapot-motif water tower: Get potted in Spirit Lake. Then, the suggestion was made that North Idaho should embrace its tackiness and cash in, as Athol Gear founder Lynne MacKinzie has. It wasn’t hard to think of things that could be highlighted in a “Not Made For The Chamber of Commerce Or Hagadone Best of North Idaho Magazine”:

1. The VW bug that serves as a septic tank at the Pastime Bar in Athol.
2. Cruiser’s Butt Crack contest at Stateline.
3. Ruby Ridge.
4. The old whore houses at Wallace.
5. The Grail at Huetter.
6. Beyond Hope.
7. The peeing contest at the Lead Creek Derby
8. The Fighting Creek mayor’s election
9. “The Dufort Mall” in Bonner County
10. Stateline strippers

Any others?

Prussian Blue: There Goes The Neighborhood

In Huckleberries Best of the Northwest this week, you learned about Prussian Blue, the racist singing group featuring 14-year-old twins, Lamb and Lynx Gaede (above wearing “Happy Hitlet” T-shirts). The twins, their mother, April, and their stepfather received a cool reception from neighbors recently when they moved from Bakersfield, Calif., to Kalispell, Mont., looking for a place that was whiter. Neighbors circulated flyers to worn others about the family’s beliefs. I feel sorry for the girls who have been indoctrinated into the Gospel of hate. You can read about their Kalispell reception here.

Question: If you were writing an editorial about the reception given the family in Kalispell (as I’m about to do), what would you say? Notices North Idaho Athols

When Life Gives You Athols … Don’t go there. That place is full of Athols. Really. In this comically-named town in northern Idaho, having a reputation as the community’s “favorite Athol” is not necessarily an insult — in fact, it’s a moneymaking venture. When she first moved to Athol, Idaho, four years ago, Lynne MacKinzie was so shamed by the name she used an address stamp that said she lived somewhere else (which, she might later tell you, was a real Athol thing to do). MacKinzie realized she had two choices: continue to live in post office purgatory or embrace her new Athol home and let it be the … um … butt of some seriously lucrative jokes. She chose the latter. (For the rest of the story, click here.)

Question: Have you purchased or plan to purchase a product from Athol Gear?

Hat Tip: Bullitt

WorldNetDaily Poll — “The Path to 9/11”

Issue: ABC changes 9/11 show under Democrat pressure: ‘Very slight alterations’ in scene of Berger nixing plan to kill bin Laden/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of ABC’s decision to alter ‘The Path to 9/11’ under Democrat pressure?

1. The miniseries was outrageous – ABC should have sent the whole thing to the cutting room
2. ABC was irresponsible to fabricate incidents involving President Clinton and his staff
3. ABC made the responsible decision – the last thing we need are more baseless facts to feed the conspiracy crowd
4. This is a minor dispute over the details of the establishment’s version of the story – it has nothing to do with 9-11 truth
5. It’s just Hollywood entertainment – chill out
6. ABC deserves kudos for having the courage to expose Clinton and his cronies
7. The miniseries may have been truthful at the start but ABC has watered down its message
8. The Democrats’ complaints are a charade and a joke – the TV networks are firmly in their camp
9. ABC will never air a miniseries highly critical of the Clintons
10. Other

DFO: No. 10 … I’m stunned that the miniseries tweaked Clinton’s nose in the first place. I thought he was beyond reproached in TV media circles

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Parting Shot — 9/7/06

In this image taken from video and released by RMG News, Paris Hilton’s sister Nicky Hilton, right, and her boyfriend actor Kevin Connolly, center, wait for Paris to be released at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood station early this morning. Paris was arrested early Thursday for investigation of driving under the influence, police said. (AP Photo/RMG News)

“Ah, September”

Ah, September.

She’s the fair maiden of the lost summers of our youth and the usher of our fall.

A day stolen from her by an august ruler past, but still she shines.

Through smoky haze and lazy days, her crimson sun descends, reluctant to give light to her golden luna rising.

Ah, September.

John Austin

Inside Huckleberries — 9/7/06

*Don’t look now, but Boise State is leading Oregon State 28-14 with 59 seconds left in the second quarter.

*Taryn Brodwater and Meghann Cuniff are miffed because a snooty “Court TV” reporter horned in on their interview with jurors after the verdict on the Ellington case came down. You’ll read about it in tomorrow’s print Huckleberries.

*The jury deliberating on the fatal road rage case involving Jonathan Wade Ellington has broken for lunch.

*Hey, whazzup with that sign hanging in front of the controversial Grail bar at Huetter: “Gamble here”?

*Gene “Rawhide” Hide, author of “From Hell To Heaven,” called to say he enjoyed the Huckleberry about Athol Wednesday — and to say that he played against Athol High — yes, Athol High — as a kid at Hayden High, which had two grades, freshman and sophomore. He said the Athol High athletes wore yellow shorts, but he couldn’t remember the name of their mascot …

*I’m intrigued by this comment from PF Dad: “I was channel-surfing 2 days ago and came across the Reality channel. The show was “America’s Trashiest Weddings”. Coeur d’Alene came in 2nd with a Cd’A couple celebrating at The Torch Lounge. Wow, talk about putting us in a bad light.” Anyone have any more info re: this?

*Link Dedication: This link about Karl Rove’s innocence in the Plame leak (“One Leak And A Flood Of Silliness”) goes out to RSPA & Co. from The Heimlich Maneuver here. Writes THM: Can’t wait to see (RSPA) label David Broder as a GOP plant.”

*Sam The Intern is gone. His desk is cleaned out. I have my fingers crossed that his job interview in western Washington Friday will go well.

Breaking! Jury Finds Road Rager Ellington Guilty

“This is just a redneck railroad,” said Ann Thomas, Jonathan Wade Ellington’s fiancé, after she heard the guilty verdict at the Kootenai County Courthouse this afternoon/Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Wade Ellington was found guilty of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery Thursday in the New Year’s Day death of an Athol, Idaho, woman. A Kootenai County jury came back with the verdict just after 3 p.m. The jury began deliberations Wednesday afternoon. Authorities say 41-year-old Vonette Larsen was run over and killed by Ellington in an apparent fit of road rage on Jan. 1. The hairdresser’s death was the culmination of a confrontation that began earlier that morning between Ellington and two of Larsen’s daughters. (For the rest of the story by Taryn Brodwater/Spokesman-Review, click here.)

Question: What should they do with this cad?

Breaking! 500 Cats Removed From BC “Shelter”

In an apparent case of animal hoarding, animal welfare groups are working with Bonner County officials to remove more than 400 cats and kittens – many of them ill and dying – from six dilapidated trailers at a would-be shelter near Blanchard, Idaho. Authorities who served a search warrant at Voice of the Animals on Wednesday found the carcasses of 40 cats in freezers”/Jesse Tinsley photo. Story here.

Notes On A Napkin: The Joys Of Camping

The last dusty plastic dish has been washed. The ice chest has been emptied, rinsed, and packed away. All of the campfire-smoked clothes have been fumigated and the only remnants of our church’s annual family camping trip are our memories and the three dozen photos locked away in the bits and bytes of our Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Frankly, I hope a few of the memories fade into obscurity. Like the smell inside the tent when I was cleaning up Caleb’s latest monument to the inadequacy of my potty training techniques (Although, in all fairness, it could have been much worse. My multitudinous thanks go out to the inventor of Pull-Ups.) Or Katie’s allergy attack that woke me up at three in the morning and kept me awake for the next four hours listening to a rhythmic symphony of *sniff*…*cough*………*sniff, sniff*……*snort*….*cough*, punctuated by squeaks and rustles as she tried in vain to get comfortable on the inflatable plastic pillow that came with her new sleeping bag. The boys, being boys, slept right through it. (For the rest of the post by Katrina/Notes On A Napkin, click here.)

Question: Did you camp this summer?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/7/06

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer looks out the window of an airplane while flying over the eastern front lines of the Derby Mountain fire near Big Timber, Mont., Wednesday afternoon. Schweitzer was briefed by fire officials about the fire at the incident command post located about 10 miles east of Big Timber. Story here. (AP Photo/The Livingston Enterprise)

Bubblehead: “Bill Sali And The Underpants Gnomes” here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI puts his feelings about the Bush administration and the war to music in “Iraq, Iraq” (sung to the tune of “New York, New York”) here.

2. In a case of a good deed gone bad, Bonner County officials have removed more than 400 cats from a makeshift shelter of six trailers in the Blanchard area here.

3. Remaining calm when a burly grizzly bear charges has been good advice for Tim Rubbert as he’s roamed Glacier and Yellowstone national parks the past 21 years here.

4. For reasons that remain unclear, Pierce County has had the highest abortion rate among women of childbearing age in Washington state since 2001, according to statistics compiled by the state Health Department here. (Complete report on pdf file here.)

5. A national report gives Idaho C’s and D’s on its preparation for kids going to college, higher education affordability and students completing degrees here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Riding into the wild blue yonder), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Washington clears air on workplace smoking), Missoulian (Immigration reform worth wait), Ed Symkus/Inlander (Review: Man of Unreel), and Bud Withers/Seattle Times (Montana State coach enjoys victor’s spoils).

Online Poll: Only 9.1% of 714 respondents to a Seattle PI poll said they feel safer today than they did a year ago.

*Miss Teen USA makes Montana swing to enjoy friends, family before beginning reign here.

*Boise pitcher Jeremy Paplebon has a famous brother on the Boston Red Sox, but he’s making a name for himself, too, here.

*Michelle Kwan to miss 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane to attend school here.

*A petition has recently been filed to grant federal Endangered Species Act protections for the giant Palouse earthworm here.

Orbusmax Special: Astoria, Ore., mayor undaunted by third DUI here.

Reprise: Why Are We Thinking About Winter Now?

Note: I’m moving this one up the line from last night because it bears more attention.

I was in City Park this evening, and you know, the place almost looked forlorn. The last gasps of summer were fast drifting by as the sun set, and I was just about the only person in that large expanse. Can it be only a month or so ago that the place was still teeming with activity at 8pm; tonite at 8pm, darkness had come by then and everyone cleared outta there. I view the shortening of the days with mixed emotions. On one hand, things will (hopefully) get back to normal around here. On the other hand, shorter days mean the passing of the seasons, and I for one, just don’t like the ever-earlier onslaught of darkness as it gets close to winter. Hmmm, how about that. I’m fretting about winter when fall isn’t even here yet. Doesn’t “summer” technically end sometime in September? — CDADave/Thin Air.

DFO: CDADave and Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings have both mentioned the coming of winter in recent blog posts. And most of us are thinking about the first blast of old Jack Frost rather then looking forward to another beautiful Indian summer.

Question: Why do we torture ourselves this way? Why do we greet Labor Day with a grim realization that winter’s on the way, rather than fall?

APhoto of the Day — 9/7/06

This image provided by the Direction of Penal Centers of El Salvador shows an x-ray taken of one of four prisoners at a maximum security Salvadoran prison in Zacatecoluca. Four cellular telephones were found in the intestines of as many prisoners in El Salvador’s maximum-security prison, authorities said Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Question: Should UI, WSU Gridsters Play Every Year?

They are not the most proximate campuses in NCAA Division I-A football, but they are the closest marooned in small towns – college towns. So you can understand the claustrophobia that has Washington State and Idaho thinking they don’t need to play each other every year. This Saturday, yes. Next year, too. After that, whenever it works out. “We’ve played each other how many years in a row? Ten?” said Idaho athletic director Rob Spear. “It’s nice to be able to play it once in a while. Playing every year is something we need to review.” (For the rest of the column by John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review, click here.)

Question: Should the football teams from Washington State and University of Idaho play every year or only occasionally?

Arpie: “Dufort Mall” Is Alive, Well

Arpie: I live a half mile from the Dufort Mall and want everyone to know it is alive and well. A roofed over area with shelves on the right when you enter the dumpster site even has a sign over it that says “Dufort Mall.” The stuff there is stuff that is too good to throw away. Most often clothes, old lamps and books. I’m reading one right now that I picked up there. My eight year old daughter is sure dissappointed when I don’t take her to the dump with me. She’s a sucker for anything pink

I have picked up every window I’ve seen there and now have enough to build a green house and let light into my kid’s treehouse. I’ve also picked up every ski I’ve seen there. I mostly use the skis for pea and bean trellises, but I have enough now to build a fence. My favorite pickups are two nice old bikes, a black english racer three speed, and an early seventies era Schwinn Suburban upright ten speed town cruiser.

I see all sorts of folks shopping at the mall and only get upset when I see folks coming to clear the shelves of everything to resell somewhere else. But’ I don’t get too upset, because I like the fact that the mall has no rules. A bit of anarchy is nice in our overly ruled world, even if I did see my old dining room light at the Sagle Swap a few months later. The Dufort Mall runs on karma.

DFO: The Dufort Mall is actually a dump between Sandpoint and Athol, where locals go to find used treasures. Arpie’s wonderful post is a follow-up to the one Mommy Dearest made on her BrodH20 blog here.

AM Hucks: Ignorance Tarnishes N. Idaho Image

In the “North Idaho Can’t Catch A Break” department, the region has received a glancing blow in the Aug. 28 edition of the New Yorker. Seems the major media can’t let go of their theory that North Idaho remains a haven for racists, despite the deaths of the Aryan Nations and racist Richard Butler, respectively. This time, writer Richard Ford does the dissing in “How Was It To Be Dead?” The story line involves a woman who marries another man after her shell-shocked Vietnam War vet hubby disappears for years – only to discover her late ex alive during a family reunion decades later. By then, she is estranged from her two children living in “northern Idaho” who believe she acted hastily “for having their dad declared a croaker – prematurely.” A line later, the writer draws a bead on North Idaho: “Both kids are neck high in charismatic Mormon doings (likewise whites-only) out in Spirit Lake, where for all I know they practice cannibalism.” A coupla lines in a 12-page article. No big deal, right? Yet, it feeds the notion that the Mainstream Media still view us North Idahoans as the spiritual descendants of the Old South. We, of course, poke fun at Athol and even Spirit Lake, and until recently had the strangest local politics this side of Louisiana. Mebbe I shouldn’t say that. I don’t know much about Louisiana other than the accusations leveled by political partisans from both sides after Hurricane Katrina. Seems we all stereotype other places. Wonder how writer Ford found out about Spirit Lake’s cannibals, though.

Hump Day Wild Card — 9/6/06

I’ve been sending out mass e-mailings this week promoting Huckleberries Online to North Idahoans in the SR database. About 300 a pop for the last two days. I’ll continue until I complete the list. The goal is to engage more people in what we’re doing here. I’d like to ask you to help, too — by telling your friends, family and neighbors about what goes on here. Mebbe e-mailing individuals on your own burst lists. I’d appreciate that. We do have fun, don’t we? Now, your Wild Card …

Inside Huckleberries — 9/6/06

*Dan Of The County has invited HBO to check out his vote-by-mail Web site. But he’s reluctant to share it with the rest of the crew here until county assessors around Idaho have a chance to check it out tomorrow morning. It’ll premiere here as soon as he gives the OK — mebbe tomorrow — because he’s very interested in your feedback.

*Sam The Intern, now a married man, informed the North Idaho staff a few minutes ago that this is his last day as an SR intern in the SR office. He’ll be checking out a full-time job prospect later this week. I wish him well. He’s a solid young journalist who should have a long career in this field.

*Dan Of The County is about to unveil a web site dedicated to the passage of legislation that would transform Idaho into a vote-by-mail state. He’s doing it on his own time and at his own expense. Stay tuned.

*Bayview Herb writes: “We have secured the meeting room at Kootenai County Administration for our “Bloggers” Meeting. The purpose of this get together is to help guide the County in determining the Master Growth Plan. The County Planning staff was so impressed with the bloggers, and with Huckleberries, that they invited me to get bloggers and blurkers together for a specific meeting. Dan English has offered to host us at the Ad Building. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13.

*For my North Idaho blogging compadres, I found that site that allegedly determines how much your blog is worth, based on Technorati criteria. HBO has a value of $67,180.26. (If only.) You can find out how much your blog is worth here.

BrodH2O: Fond Memories Of “The Dufort Mall”

I’ll never forget the time my mom hopped inside a dumpster - completely hopped inside - and came out with a pretty floral comforter for my bed. I remember crouching down in the seat of our car. Embarrassed that my mom would get in there with all the trash, rummaging in other people’s garbage. Now as an adult, I think back to what my mom did to provide for us — shopping the clearance racks, sewing our clothes or mending hand-me-downs or even going into a smelly dumpster. When I think of her standing in that filthy trash, proudly holding up her finds - a nearly new dress, an ice cream maker (still in the box), I can’t help but feel full of pride. It’s a reminder of the extent a mother is willing to go to take care of her kids.

For the rest of the comment by Mommy Dearest/BrodH20, click here.

Question: How far are you willing to go to take care of your kids?

Conservation Voters For Idaho Have Released …

… It’s 2006 Legislative Scorecard, and you might be surprised to know that the only solon scoring 100 percent represents a North Idaho district. You can see the scores (if you have the capability to view .pdf files) here. Before you look, however, guess which North Idaho pol ran the table with a 100% score:

1. George Sayler
2. Bob Nonini
3. John Goedde
4. Shawn Keough
5. Dick Harwood (just joking)

Question: Will Starbucks New Logo Bug You?

Issue: Starbucks’ old, new logo creates stir: Some claim mermaid with bare breasts shows too much skin/King5

DFO: I’d be curious to see how Amy Dearest would respond to this. She’s been in Rome for the last 10 days or so, viewing the major sculptures and works of art in and around the Vatican. I doubt that the topless Starbucks mermaid would create any ripple on that side of the Atlantic. Then, the morals or different between here and there.

Question: Are you going to be bugged by the new logo?

John Rook: Couric Debut Falls Flate

Even with months of preparation, Katie’s debut was about as exciting as David Lee Roth was for CBS radio. Judging from what I saw, expect many changes in the weeks ahead with Katie echoing DLR’s charge of interference as success sours. While we can expect some increase in numbers of viewers at first, I’m betting Katie won’t be the big success CBS had hoped for. The mutual admiration between Katie Couric and Rush Limbaugh will probably make him a regular guest commentator on the CBS evening news — John Rook.

APhoto of the Day — 9/6/06

A man jumps in the air and grabs hold of the the neck of a goose during the fiesta in the Basque town of Lekeito, northern Spain, Tuesday. The geese, already dead, are strung up on a line and the revelers try to rip their heads off. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

A Sign of the Times? Pols, Voters Tightening Belts?

Item: Coeur d’Alene finalizes budget: City will not hire three new firefighters until January/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

Item: No raises for Kootenai County’s elected officials/Spokesman-Review

Item: Post Falls to take 3 percent in tax revenue: Taking maximum amount from property taxes will net city roughly $180,000/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Throw in the overwhelming rejection last night in Bonner County of the Lake Pend Oreille School District levy election, and it seems as though the property tax rebellion is still in fourth gear. Many pols have gotten the message. Dunno why Post Falls bucked the trend. Mebbe Mayor Clay Larkin and his council have built up enough political capital that they’re willing to take a chance and take the full property tax amount.

AM Hucks: Athol Remains Butt of Local Jokes

My sister Charlotte claimed Silverwood as her address during the year or two she lived within the post office boundaries of Athol. In other words, she never embraced her Atholness as Lynne MacKinzie has – you know, the four-year resident who produces coffee cups, baseball caps and T-shirts with funny sayings about her town. “Prevent Colon Cancer, Get Your Athol Checked.” Et cetera. At Huckleberries Online on Tuesday, we discussed colleague Jared Paben’s Monday article about MacKinzie and the ill-named Athol:

*Athol blogger Digital Fog: “I correspond with people/customers from all over the U.S. The ‘snicker-factor’ is about 50 percent when they hear where I live.”
*John Austin: “It’s an old comment, but what does a divorce in Athol have in common with a tornado in Kansas? In either case, somebody’s gonna lose a trailer.”
*KaleJ: “Can you live in N. Idaho and NOT make fun of Athol? I have friends that live nearer to Rathdrum but have the Athol address. I guess they live in Rathol.” And: “What is the only thing good about living in Athol? You don’t live in Humptulips (Wash.).”
*Larry Spencer: “Question: How do you pronounce the name of the town? Answer: Very carefully.”
*Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: “Keep the name – For no other reason than the slim possibility that Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana may secede one day, form their own state, and need a capital.”

Quote of the Day — Crocodile Hunter

“Crikey, mate. You’re far safer dealing with crocodiles and Western diamondback rattlesnakes than the executives and the producers and all those sharks in the big MGM building”

Steve Irwin

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/5/06

Pecky Cox (left front) looks like she enjoyed herself at the Priest Lake Yacht Club Gin Fizz Sunday. Pecky, the “As The Lake Churns” blogger, posted photos of the event here and here. Check it out. You might recognize someone.

*Bayview Herb/Bay Views has scheduled Blogfest IV for all non-combative commenters and blurkers for the Captain’s Wheel in Bayview at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, here.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It bemoans the untimely death of Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals provides snippets from the weekly Q-and-A with UI football coach Dennis Erickson here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour explains why she never assigned her students to write an essay, entitled “What I Did Last Summer,” here.

*Bill McCrory/Whitecaps discovers an innovative fire prevention experiment under way near his Cave Bay cabin here.

Put your hands together for Katrina/Notes On A Napkin who is celebrating her one-year blog anniversary today here.

Meanwhile, UBob has learned a lesson “On Loaning Things” here, Mommy Dearest almost had fun despite working two of three days over the Labor Day weekend here, Mari has found snow in that thar Flathead Valley here, Cis discusses the first of the election avalanche here, and Idaho Native begins home-schooling her children here.

Inside Huckleberries — 9/5/06

Sam The Intern and Lovely Kat tied the knot Saturday, Aug. 26, while I was on vacation/Jesse Tinsley photo.

*I feared that I’d miss the 100,000 page-view mark for August for the first time since April 2005 because I had two weeks of vacation. Not to worry. Blogmeister KenP’s stint as backup blogger enabled HBO to finish with 122,392 PVs for the month. How cool is that?

*In the category of “It’s A Small World Isn’t It,” North Idaho guv’s aide Luke Malek confirmed today that his younger brother, John, indeed, is the John Malek who is part of the study abroad class in Rome, Italy, with my daughter, Amy Dearest.

*UI students Scott Falconer and J.R. Pelkola have created a travel Web site that has a wealth of information for those who want to get off the beaten path and find out-of-the-way, quirky places to eat, sleep or cliff jump in almost every part of the world here.

*Blogmeister Ken Sands informs HBO that the SR online product is one of the four finalists for the 7th annual Online General Excellence Journalism Awards (medium division, 100,000-500,000). Others are: New West,, Orlando Sentinel, and, We won the top prize last year.

*As you can see, I’m back after a week’s vacation. I posted two terrific comments that I saw last week. One from Mommy Dearest. The other, a restaurant review by Flippy Floppy. I’ll be playing catchup most of the day. Thanks for your continuing interest in this blog. I’m looking forward to a terrific fall together.

Kristin: Blogging Has Taught Me 2 Things

Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast: As hard as it is for me to believe, no one cares much about me or my opinions. That’s one thing blogging has taught me. Lesson two: people can hold opinions different from mine and not be minions of Satan intent on the destruction of civilization as we know it.

DFO: I don’t agree with your first premise, Kristin. I care about the opinion of other North Idaho bloggers and HBO commenters. They’re interesting. Some comments are transforming. As for your second premise, I agree 100%. Some HBOers take posts by others way too seriously. I regret that we miss important dialogue here because commenters are too intent on winning points rather than having a dialogue. One of the best discussions we ever had here involving the controversial subject of homosexuality. The usual flamers were distracted with other things. Unfortunately, that’s not the norm.

Thom George: A Regret That Lasted A Lifetime

Thom George: I’m an organ donor. Says so on my driver’s license. And my wife and children know as well. It’s too late when something tragic happens and the family is asked to make a important decision at a very emotional time. My sister died when she was 17; the doctor asked my parents if they would donate her organs, but my folks were so traumatized by the sudden nature of her death that they were beyond logical thought at that moment and refused. Years later, many years later, my mother said that was one of the things she most regretted about her daughter’s untimely death.

DFO: Good for you, Thom George; I’m also an organ donor. However, I can understand your parents’ call re: your sister. What am awful decision. By designating your wishes beforehand, you don’t force your loved ones to make that horrible decision.

And Now A Word For — Gozzer Ranch

Hello Dave,

I know it is kinda fun to poke and prod a big outfit like Gozzer. Everyone secretly enjoys hearing about bad behavior from those we might envy. However, the recent reports of misconduct such as speeding, crowding at the gas pump and worse is representative of bad manners of an employee or two. I know some of the principals in this company and they would never condone that type of behavior. They are considerate individuals and there is always more than one side to any story. For instance, they have in their employ a gentleman whose son competed and was a finalist in the television show “So You Think You Can Dance”. They generously provided him air fare, hotel, and ground transportation to Los Angeles to see his son in the final performance. If you are going to chortle at the bad, you might consider interspersing a story or two about the good.

Mary Lou Baker

P.S. By the way, I also forgot to mention the $80,000 they raised for the Boys and Girls Club, the $25,000 for the Library plus supporting other community charities. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Thoreson: Close Call Prompts Health Changes

A few minutes into the procedure it was obvious that I had nearly 100 percent blockage in two of my coronary arteries. At that point the decision had to be made to implant stainless steel stents or to schedule open heart surgery. That was the longest two minutes of my life but in the end, I received the implants. My color and energy returned immediately and except for the discomfort where the catheter had been inserted into a leg artery I was a new woman. A new bionic woman! A 53-year-old woman who now had better odds of living to see my 54th birthday. The euphoria was replaced a few days later with the cold hard reality of making huge changes in my lifestyle. I recall being taken aback when my caller ID showed the coroners office a few days after coming home from the hospital. My friend, Deputy Coroner Jody Hissong was calling to give me a hard time for scaring her and then Dr. Bob West got on the phone to ask me if I knew how close to the edge I’d been skating.

For the rest of the Main Street column by Kerri Thoreson/Coeur d’Alene Press, click here.

Question: When’s the last time you have a complete physical?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 9/5/06

Dolli Massender donated the funds to turn Spirit Lake’s water towers into a teapot with the addition of a handle and spout, plus a paint job. She stands in front of it recently in Spirit Lake here. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review)

Stapilus: Is there really a strong crossover movement of Republicans who plan to vote for Demo congressional wannabe Larry Grant here?

1. Free-lancer Milt Priggee eulogizes the late Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin here. And Ken Paulman/Daily Briefing explains why it wasn’t on The Spokesman-Review front page here.

2. The arrival of a white nationalist family, including 14-year-old twins who perform music as the group Prussian Blue, has prompted neighbors to distribute fliers that say, “No hate here” here.

3. Two Arlee (northwest Montana) High School teachers were disciplined a week ago for giving beer to students during an extended field trip in June. Now school officials are strengthening their rules restricting alcohol use here.

4. Idaho Gov. Jim Risch has shaken up several state agencies in his first four months as governor, and behind many of the moves, the governor has cited the analysis of a little-known forensic chemist who came to Boise from northern India here.

5. It happens in a flash as the afternoon Sounder trains carry commuters north from the city to Everett - a glance at an otherwise secluded beach frequented by mostly gay men who take it all off here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Cannibis cop has Hollywood potential), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Crane job takes nerves of steel), Cliff Harris/Coeur d’Alene Press (Dry summer = cold winter?), Missoulian (Photo-realism doesn’t win wars), and Frank Mielie/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (News only matters if it hurts Bush).

Online Poll: 59% of 1132 respondents to a Seattle PI poll believe Democrats can reclaim Congress this fall.

*3 Boise area residents talk about their struggle to overcome West Nile virus here.

*30,000 Washington motorists rack up multiple DUI offenses since 2000 here.

*University of Puget Sound student shot dead at black-tie party here.

Orbusmax Special: Issaquah company selling “man-skirts” here.

CDA Press Poll: Do You Support Proposition One?

Question: Now that property tax reform and a one-cent sales tax increase have passed, how do you plan to vote on Proposition 1, which would require the Legislature to add more than $200 million annually for public schools?

A. I’ll vote for Prop. 1 on Nov. 7 — 37.3%
B. I’ll vote against Prop. 1 — 47.9%
C. Undecided — 14.8%

Total Votes: 1043

Question: Where do you stand on this important issue?

Steve Irwin, “Crocodile Hunter,” RIP

Steve Irwin, Australian international media personality and environmentalist, reacts with a crocodile at his Australia Zoo, in this 2003 photo, died on the Great Barrier Reef in far north Queensland, Australia Monday. Irwin, known as The Crocodile Hunter, was killed Monday by a stingray barb to his heart while skin diving. Irwin pulled the barb from his chest before dying. (AP Photo)

BrodH20: My Blog Is A Form Of Therapy

I’ve had some mixed reaction to the fact that I’m blogging, even including pictures of myself, my husband and kids in the blog. One friend told my husband that, by putting our kids online, we’re making them targets for Internet predators. I think what The Otis was told is that it’s kind of like building a house on a runway at an airport. Just asking for trouble. I put a lot of thought into my decision to start a blog. The No. 1 reason I am doing this is because it feels good to write for fun. I love my job. I seriously love it. But as a cops and courts reporter, so little of what I write about is “fun.” I’m dealing with weighty topics like murder, child abuse and some of the worst sorts of things that could happen to people in their lifetime. This blog is a form of therapy for me.

For the rest of the post by Mommy Dearest/BrodH20, click here.

Question (for bloggers/commenters): Do you feel too exposed when you blog? Post comments?

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/3/06

For the first time in five years, Idaho Vandal fans may have more reason to be optimistic about the coming footballs season than WSU fans. A 27-17 loss to Michigan State might not mean as much this year as in years past when the Spartans were very good. But I’d wager Hawaii, Nevada, and even Boise State noticed. The impressive wins by the two Coeur d’Alene high schools and Post Falls also were reason for optimism. I truly enjoy the beginning of fall when football is in the air. And political candidates are circling one another like wolves. Can’t wait to get back. Two more days — and we’ll be lighting things up again. Now, your Wild Card …

Wild Card/TGIF — 9/1/06

A major hat tip to Blogmeister Ken and Cis for helping get HBO through most of my final week of summer vacation. Wild Cards are all I have to offer for today and the next three days as I finish the vacation. It isn’t much. But it’s there for those who have something to say while I finish visiting with my brother’s family and help my brother- and sister-in-law settle in at their new Post Falls home. It won’t be that long before this blog is hopping again.

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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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