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Huckleberries Online

Archive for April 2007

Wild Card/Monday — 4/30/07

It’s hard to move on from the awful news that started the day re: the tragic motorcyle crash that claimed the life of local developer Tom Johnson and severely injured his wife, Cyndie. Please keep Mrs. Johnson and her two surviving daughters in your thoughts and prayers this week. Now, your Wild Card …

Christie: Priest River has Best Tomato Plants

Christie Wood: I am very excited about the weekly gardening tips. Good job DFO in setting this up. Maybe you could expand this a little and we could hear from other experts in their field such as health and nutrition. Just a thought. Alice, I drove to Priest River on Friday (as I do every year at this time) and purchased gorgeous tomato plants. Now that I have my plants I will tell the rest of you about Priest River Gardens. By far the healthiest plants around. They are organic gardners. I will now begin my month long ritual of putting them out in the morning, feed them and then in at night. I am not to the point of naming them yet but I do get attached. I am anxious to read your thread!

DFO: I ‘spose, Christie, you wouldn’t mind telling us where you pick huckleberries, too?

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/30/07

Noah Berger/Oakland Tribune

A section of highway lies burned and crumbled in Emeryville, Calif., after a tanker carrying gasoline exploded on Sunday, April 29, 2007. In the resulting blaze, a section of freeway that funnels traffic onto the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed. The truck’s driver walked away from the scene and called a taxi. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. The Road Unraveled — Side Note.

2. Inspector Gadget’s discussion between Butch Otter and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

3. (tie) After driving all night, an exhausted Larry Spencer (right foreground) lends his engineering and legal expertise to ensure the proper bid process is used to repair the roadway — John Austin, and: In a chilling warning to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali), terrorists bomb a Botox tanker in her own backyard — RSPA.

HM: KeithinCDA

Note: Excellent cutlines today, guys

Doug Clark: “Near Nature, Near Perverts” — Spokane

State lawmakers and prison officials want to add a $5 million treatment center for sex offenders at the Airway Heights Corrections Center. Speaking on behalf of the local tourism industry, I don’t believe this is the sort of attraction we’ve been looking for. Come on. The last thing the Spokane area needs is more sex offender attention. Our reputation is already so tainted that many residents believe the civic catchphrase is really: “Spokane: Near Nature. Near Perverts” — Doug Clark/SR.

Full column here

Question: What do you think of when you think of Spokane?

The Way We Were: Dubya, Tenet in 2004

Item: Former C.I.A. Chief’s Memoir Irritates Some High-Ranking Readers/Scott Shane, New York Times

AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

President Bush presents George Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2004. Now, of course, the Bush administration feels betrayed by comments made in Tenet’s book, “At the Center of the Storm.”

Question: Will Tenet’s Book Damage Bush’s credibility among party faithful?

A Matter of Opinion: You And Family Leave

RE: You can be part of the conversation at the SR Opinion Page blog, A Matter of Opinion, here.

In my Sunday column — read here — I reconnected with an early mentor of mine, Pat Schroeder, former Democratic Congresswoman from Colorado. I worked in her office for three months in 1983 as an American Political Science Association fellow. She outlined a radical vision back then, that parents could take three months unpaid leave to care for newborns or ill family members. Her vision, The Family Leave and Medical Act became reality, even though it took almost a decade. And just this month, the Washington State Legislature made history, too, by being just the second state (California was the first) to make part of that leave paid. Parents who take time off to care for newborns or adopted babies will get a $250 a week stipend. The funding source is being explored — Rebecca Nappi/A Matter of Opinion.

Rebecca Nappi: I support this 100 percent and wouldn’t mind some of my paycheck going for this. But I had my turn to weigh in. Now it’s your turn.

Question: Have you ever used Family Leave? Have you ever had a negative experience because of a coworker taking Family Leave?

Pat Schroeder photo courtesy of Association of American Publishers

Update: Developer Killed in Crash, Wife Recovering

Item: Developer Tom Johnson killed in motorcycle accident, wife Cyndie injured/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

More Info: North Idaho developer Tom Johnson died Sunday in a motorcycle accident in Mexico. His wife, Cyndie, is in stable condition today at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. A pickup struck the couple near the town of Valle de Palman, about 26 miles south of the U.S.-Mexican border, said Kaye LeFebvre, who is Tom Johnson’s sister. The couple was on a 1,700-mile motorcycle tour with friends. Tom Johnson, 50, was killed instantly. Cyndie Johnson, 49, suffered from a broken pelvis and leg. She was airlifted to San Diego and underwent surgery. Both of the couple’s daughters are with her.

Dining Guide Feted Johnson Family Before Tragedies

RE: A feature written by Guide to Dining North Idaho by Kerri Thoreson shortly before the Johnson family lost their 15-year-old son, Jordan in November.

The Johnson family…Tom, Cyndie and their children Desiree, Aubree and Jordan have always lived an active lifestyle and North Idaho has provided the perfect backdrop for that way of life. Tom and the family also enjoy dining out, at least twice a week by his estimate. One local landmark restaurant came to the forefront when the local builder was narrowing down a favorite. Tony’s Supper Club, just a few miles east of Silver Beach, has been a Coeur d’Alene staple for over half a century. It’s also a great place all year ‘round. “The location- being able to boat to it in the summer and enjoy the beautiful view while dining,” answers Tom when asked to list favorite features — Kerri Thoreson/Guide to Dining North Idaho.

Complete story here

Question: Was Baldwin’s Outburst Beyone the Pale?

Item: Baldwin’s snap a lesson to angry dads/Connie Schultz, Cleveland Plain Dealer

(Actor Alec) Baldwin is getting lots of attention, but I suspect it’s not the kind he was hoping for after he left a vicious voice-mail message attacking his 11-year-old daughter for not answering their prearranged call. The actor packed a lot of vitriol into two minutes and 19 seconds, and it’s a message that his daughter surely must be trying to forget. That seems unlikely now that millions of Americans have been able to hear her father’s rant, too, on an endless loop of broadcasts on TV, radio and the Internet. We got to hear Baldwin rant with breathtaking hostility toward his daughter, Ireland. His rage, peppered with profanity, was all her fault, he said. He told her he didn’t care that she was a child, and after adding that she didn’t have “the brains or the decency of a human being,” he ended his poor-Daddy diatribe with this snarling indictment: “You’re a rude, thoughtless little pig.”

DFO: We all get mad at our kids. I raised two extremely strong-willed ones. But I can’t think of a scenario that would justify calling them names or belittling them in the way Baldwin belitted his 11-year-old daughter.

Question: Can you?

Tragedy Strikes Developer Johnson’s Family Again

From: Nov. 28, 2006, edition of SR

The younger brother of Arizona State senior forward Aubree Johnson of Post Falls died from an enlarged heart while in St. Thomas for the Paradise Jam women’s basketball tournament, the medical examiner in Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands, said Monday. Fifteen-year-old Jordan Johnson died in his sleep either late Friday or early Saturday after traveling with his parents to watch Aubree and Arizona State play in the tournament. Medical examiner Michelle DuPre, who performed the autopsy on Monday, said the heart condition could have been genetic and likely was not diagnosed. DuPre said toxicology results were “completely negative.” Funeral services for Johnson are at 2 p.m. Saturday at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls. Because of the funeral, the Post Falls High School boys and girls basketball games scheduled Saturday at home against Freeman have been rescheduled for Dec. 18.

Gary Ingram: “To The Gallows, I Say”

RE: Item: Developer damages key spawning beds: Tiny kokanee die; no permit for pilings/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

The state should file every charge they can and the court should impose the most severe penalty according to law. No plea bargains. He should be required to restore the spawning beds and be enjoined from any further activity on this expansion. Any public official who had anything at all to do with his activity should be fired or recalled.Why so severe a response? Think of all the work that has gone into the Kookanee restoration over the last 10-15 years. Public agencies, hours and hours of volunters, tax money spent to head off an eminent demise of the kookanee fishery on Pend Orille Lake. This affects every red blooded sportsman in Idaho. To the gallows, I say!

Former State Rep. Gary Ingram

AM Hucks: You Know You’re from Kellogg, If …

If you’ve been following Huckleberries for the last week, you now know how you can tell if you’re from Coeur d’Alene or Athol. Today, Raymond Pert, an Oregon community college instructor and Silver Valley native, explains how you can tell if you’re from Kellogg. You know you’re from Kellogg if … “you were born in the Wardner Hospital – in Kellogg. You read all the comic books and baseball magazines at Dick and Floyd’s while waiting for your dad to quit drinking in the back so you could get home for supper, late. North Idaho College was your first experience with cultural diversity. The center of social activity was the Kellogg swimming pool parking lot. Your favorite T-shirt said, “Rainier: Breakfast of Champions.” The largest clothing department at J.C. Penney was for work clothes. You chewed Copenhagen in class in high school because you could swallow. You came to love the thunderstorms that rumbled in over Lookout Pass from Montana and scared you so bad as a kid that you hid under the covers. You learned to play baseball on AstroDirt©, great training for the bad hop. When you got drunk at the Kopper Keg and couldn’t finish your last beer, you dumped it down a pool table pocket. Whenever you went to the Gold Strike stamp store in Coeur d’Alene, you always got lost trying to navigate the tangled web of streets and heavy traffic. You left Kellogg, thinking you’d go far, went far, and now spend many of your waking hours wishing you were back.” Sometime next week: Sandpoint.

Wild Card/Sunday — 4/29/07

Alice Rankin left me with a valuable gift Thursday when we did our interview together — a pamphlet with her personal gardening tips. Immediately, I discovered why the onion sets I planted last year didn’t work. I planted them too deep. And most of the onion sets were too big or too little. I also learned I shoulda been dumping the ash from the fire place into the onion bed to act as a soil agent. Alice’s a master gardener. The pamphlet is short and to the point — the way I like it. I’ll be interested to see if I have a better year this year than last. Now, for your Sunday Wild Card …

Bayview Developer Holland Destroys Kokanee Spawning Beds

Item: Developer damages key spawning beds: Tiny kokanee die; no permit for pilings/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Illegal construction in Lake Pend Oreille near Bayview, Idaho, effectively “nuked” one of the last healthy spawning beds for the lake’s struggling kokanee salmon population, said Chip Corsi, regional director of the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Despite not having the necessary state permit, developer Bob Holland had steel beams pounded directly through the shallow spawning beds on April 17 as part of his large-scale marina expansion plan for the Bayview waterfront, Corsi said.

Question: What should be done to teach the developer a lesson?

Wild Card/Saturday — 4/28/07

Sometimes, monitoring HBO is similar to riding one of those mechanical bulls — not that I’ve ever done that. You get bucked in every direction and feel fortunate when the week comes to an end and you’re still aboard. That’s how this week was. Some took their marbles and went home. But the net result is that some old faces have resurfaces as the CAVE men and woman have faded away here. No more LCDC and “Dirtgate” 24/7. We’re back to having fun. Thanks for hanging in here while we went through the fog created by the True Believers who almost took over here. Now, for your Wild Card …

Question: Will Gas Prices Change Travel Plans?

Treasure Valley gasoline prices reached $3.05 a gallon at some area locations Friday. If gas prices continue to climb, will you change your summer travel plans?

*No travel plans

Question: Would You Back Otter Prop 13 Push?

Question: Otter considers property tax reform: Plan would lock in assessed values at the sale price of every home/Greg Hahn, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Otter described an idea similar to California’s Proposition 13, saying he is considering a plan that would lock assessed values at the sale price of every home, and then restrict how quickly the assessments can grow each year after that. The system means longtime homeowners pay less taxes than their more recent neighbors, even if their homes have equal values.

Question: Would you want a property tax system in Idaho like California’s Proposition 13?

Parting Shot — 4/27/07

AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Lisa M. Collard

Dignitaries, including Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, fifth from left, break ground for the restoration and expansion of the state Capitol on Friday in Boise. The project is planned for completion in January 2010 in time for the 2010 legislative session.

A Letter to Chew on for the Weekend — 4/27/07

Below: A post from Lynn Swanbom of A Matter of Opinion, the SR Opinion Page blog

Excerpts from another entry in the pit bull conversation (the writer did not include contact information for verification):

Today when we were walking we came upon a 20 something young man and his unleashed pit bull. The pit bull immediately started to bark and get aggressive. I stopped and so did my wife. The young owner put the leash on and smiled in such a way that he appeared amused that we were a little scared. I carry a very sharp box cutter with me almost always for just such occasions, occasions that happen too often. I had it pulled out ready to slice this dog open and battle the owner too if need be.

When I heard about the person that felt threatened today and shot two pit bulls, I completely agree and understand. Every time I pass one of these “dog people” that don’t use the leash they say Hi. I feel like saying “Hi Lawbreaker.” They always say how nice their dog is. How the heck am I supposed to know that he’s nice?

By the way, I called 911 at first to report the owner. They asked me to call the Spokane animal control and I got the answering machine. I left a message but have heard nothing. You can call 911, I think, once the pit bull has your neck in its mouth.

Several of our writers have made a similar point, that certain types of owners are the ones who own certain types of dogs. Some will take it as far as saying that for some reason most pit bull owners are irresponsible and dangerous.

Is this true? If so, is a citywide ban the answer or should owners like the one described be held responsible?

(Photo by Jesse Tinsley, The Spokesman-Review)

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/27/07

AP Photo

With a part of a mannequin which was apparently stolen from a shop by looters, in the background, Estonian police cordon a battle-scarred street of Tallinn shortly after riots early Friday. Overnight clashes, looting and vandalism were sparked by the government’s move to relocate the Bronze Soldier _ a monument to Red Army soldiers killed fighting the Nazis You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Lower your weapons! She’s unarmed — Nic.

2. Estonian police hoped they could get a leg up on the rioters, but the crowd soon lost their heads — A Token D.

3. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ henchmen found a small scrap of Lady Liberty left after their attempt to destroy her, and then closed in to finish the job — Brent Andrews.

Separated @ Birth: Tony Snow and Chris Carlson?

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow (left) and North Idaho College women’s basketball coach Chris Carlson.

Hat Tip: NIC Sentinel Sports Editor Josh Rasmussen

Cis’ Question: What Do You Tip Hair Cutters

Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind: We all know that at restaurants we are to pay 10% or 15% for a tip … but my question is what about at the beauty shop or barber? How do you tip? I am always afraid if I tip $5 I might be considered a cheapskate … and if I tip $10 then I feel that is over doing it. So what is the going rate? Personally, I wish companies would pay a decent wage and dump the tip system. In 1958, I was in Miami Beach, Florida with my grandfather … we came out of the grocery store and the young man from the store unloaded the groceries and took the cart back. My grandfather tipped him $5!!! I saw others doing it too. As a country bumpkin from R.I. I was blown away.

DFO: I tip $2 for a $12 haircut at Sure Cuts.

Cis Q: What do you tip a barber or beauty shop person?

Item: Kootenai County to Decide Real Life Permit …

… Mega-church outgrowing Post Falls facility (second story in briefs)/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

DFO: One of these days, I need to poke my head into Real Life Ministries on a Sunday morning, to see what it’s offering that so many people find so attractive. I’ve heard some taped sermons by the RLM padre Jim Putman (pictured above). He seems solid. But so are many other local padres. Is it the music? Is it an opportunity to go to a church and hide in the masses? What? I need some of you Real Lifers blurking out there to explain the phenomenon pushing this church’s growth.

Pony Does Weather: Upgrading Online SR Tries

I don’t know who writes the aggro weather headlines on the online S-R but they crack me up - here’s the one up there now:

You can’t have it all

Updated at 8:26 a.m.

OK. So it’s going to be cloudy today. Get over it because it’s also going to be almost 70 degrees in Spokane and Coeur D’Alene.

If the writer ever runs out of ideas I’d like to offer these as possibilities:

*Screw it, it’s raining out, let’s stay in and get drunk.
*You washed and waxed your Lexus? Sucker.
*Yes, it’s really hot. Yes, it’s been 15 days of 90+ heat. I don’t care, I’ve got a lake place, an air conditioned Honda and a girlfriend who makes killer Bahama Mamas.
*Oooh! It’s soooo cold. Oooh! It’s so windy. Go back to Kalifornia, losers.
*You know it just embarrasses us when the Spokane street people stand out in the hail and stare up with slack jawed mouths like domestic turkeys. Get a clue.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Blogspotter: Long-Running Blogs Gain Readership

BusinessWeek drills down into recent data suggesting the growth of blogging might be nearing a peak. It’s an interesting an analysis, and one that contains good news for bloggers who stick with the craft: “Excited to try out a new way of connecting with folks online, people flocked to blogging. But after 3 months on average, most bloggers realize that writing about their politics, launch haunts, or co-workers isn’t for them, says Adam Sarner, an analyst at researcher Gartner Inc. Sarner argues that, since the audience reading blogs continues to grow, this classic tech cycle of hype and maturity is good news for the remaining blogs. Those left standing are the influencers that attract audiences and advertisers.” As with most things, showing up might be 90 percent of the game — Frank Sennett/Blogspotter.

Question: (for bloggers) How long have you been blogging? Have you ever thought of Quitting? (for commenters) How long have you been hanging out at HBO?

Spirit Lake Councilman Gaddum Killed in Wreck

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Spirit Lake Councilman Steve Gaddum was killed Thursday when his SUV collided with a train at the intersection of Lancaster and Meyer Ave on the Rathdrum Prairie here.

Beachowner, Steve W: What Can We Do?

Beachowner: Steve W, i can certainly agree with you that you don’t want that parking mess in front of your house. I put up with it every day of the year. the city has enough room now at the Jewett House and Tubbs Hill lots to accomodate parking on all but the busiest days of the summer. You say closing Lakeshore to traffic is not a solution that works for you,but you don’t say why. If it’s not a parking lot, what is it? Why not a walking-biking path? by the way, could you ask the kids to slow down a little when they drive by. My grandkids are out there. I’m trying not to be self centered also, but we bought the beach all the way to the water line. If I kept that attitude we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Steve W: I agree with you that you bought the beach all the way to the water line. I respect that. But you also bought your property with an existing street in front of it. To close off East Lakeshore would put a significantly higher amount of traffic on Ash. That is what I am not in favor of. If it is my son who is driving by your house too fast let me know and I will deal with that ASAP. (Rest of Steve’s comment in “extended entry” section)

DFO: A discussion here between a Sanders Beach homeowner and a neighbor is. So. Dang. Cool. Thanks, you guys.

OrangeTV: Thumbs Up to Growth, “Faster” Buildings

I might be an odd case, but I like the faster buildings, the growing pains, and the maddening crowds that have developed. I grew up in CDA and hated it. I wanted nothing more than to turn 18 and escape this one-horse town for the big city. This was in the late ‘80s when it pretty much was still a one horse town, economically depressed and with nothing for a little punk rock dork like me to do but be bored or go record shopping (thank god we at least had Total Eclipse Record Shop, my connection to the outside world.) I craved city life, the bigger the better. Anyway, long story short, as soon as I could get out I did, and I lived in various big cities for around ten years until I basically went broke and had to move back to CDA, which I was completely dreading.

Hump Day Wild Card — 4/26/07

I’m going to edit the text of my Q-and-A session with Alice Rankin now. It’ll take about 30 minutes. Watch for a link to the complete text and some pretty terrific photos of Ron and Alice as young marrieds decades ago. Now, for your Wild Card …

MamaJD: Beware of the Mommy Cluster

Some people fear disasters like tornadoes. In the region where I live, we don’t necessarily worry about tornadoes touching down. There is something, however, that feels like it can leave a similar path of destruction. Something that can shake you just as deep, right down to your foundation and in turn forces you to “process” the aftermath. This is the dreaded Mommy Cluster. A Mommy Cluster occurs when there are a group of mothers chirping away over the latest thing. Usually Mommy Clusters attack with a smile. Most often the smile is genuine. Other times, the smile is just camouflage hiding purposeful intent to cause damage to the self esteem of the victim mommy. When the Mommy Cluster touches down, it can be detected when a group of 2 or more Mommies start bombarding you with questions usually beginning with, “Have you started …?” Or, “Your going to… aren’t you?” — MamaJD

Full post here

Question: Have you ever been the victim of a Mommy Cluster?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/26/07

AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Rex Larsen

Eli, an Australian cattle dog, leaps off the back of his owner, Josh Mumme, while chasing a throwing disk, Wednesday at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, Mich. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. In an Animal Planet adaptation of a popular childrens book, Griffon-dor seeker Hairy Otterhound chases the golden snitch past Rott Weasley during a Qimmiq match — Jesse Tinsley.

2. Hagadone’s editors say, “Jump.” Souza says, “Is this high enough?” — MamaJD.

3. Eli feels lighter than air after taking a monster dump on Sanders Beach — Family Phil.

HM: Deena

DFO: What Do You Call Some from Worley?

When I was news editor of the Lewiston Tribune (1982-84), we usually ended the swing shift (3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.) discussing the various issues of he day, while sipping a Miller’s offered to us for 50 cents by copy editor Mel Snow, who’d bring back a six-pack from a Clarkston bar. Occasionally, the talk turned to the proper reference to the residents of the various towns around Lewiston. A Lewiston resident, for example, was a Lewistonian. But a Clarkston resident was a Clarkstonite. I can’t remember the names we had for residents of Grangeville (which we called “Strangeville”), Orofino or Moscow. But I recall that we knew it was time to call home when someone brought up Peck, Idaho. So, here’s the question. What do you call residents of the varous towns around here? What do you call someone from Post Falls, for example? A Post Fallsian? I sometimes refer to local townsfolk as Coeur d’Loonians. But that’s when I’m being mischievous. I’d guess Rathdrum residents are Rathdrumites. And then there’s the Sandpointers up north. Any help on other names?

Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi w/Alice Rankin

Above, Alice Rankin as the Orange County campaign coordinator for U.S. Sen./former actor George Murphy; below, Ron Rankin as a machine salesman for his father’s machinist company in northern California.

DFO: What would be one thing that people would find surprising about you and Ron?

AR: Maybe that he was a logger at one time. When we moved up here, he said, “I’ve always wanted to be a logger.” He was a management consultant (helping businesses organize themselves and run more efficiently). He lost his job two days after he decided to run for the Idaho Legislature. He worked another management job and then got involved in logging. The day after Fathers Day 1973, he was working at Fighting Creek, falling a tree when it hit another one that had been partially cut. It was what they call a “widow maker.” He was hit on top of his safety helmet by a big limb of the second tree and got a spinal column injury. He was in the hospital for three weeks. He couldn’t move his arms and legs. I had to feed him three times a day. The doctors thought he was going to be paralyzed. But he was determined to walk again. He did. But he had to take a wheelchair out of the hospital. (The injury caused Ron to gain the weight he was known for and left him partially paralyzed on one side. That’s why he limped when he walked.)

For the complete Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview with Alice Rankin, click here.

Soaring, Nesting with the Eagles

AP Photo/The Gleaner, Mike Lawrence

An American robin nests in a safe and secure site on the eagle sculpture above the entrance of the Kentucky National Guard office in Henderson, Ky., earlier today.

U.S. Senate: Start Bringing U.S. Troops Home

Item: U.S. Senate OKs withdrawal legislation/Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass: “It is time to end the loss of American lives and to begin to bring our soldiers home.”

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho: “A time table for withdrawal from Iraq without establishing a stable environment in which the Iraqi government can function sends a direct message to our enemies that America does not have the resolve to defeat terrorist networks around the world. For too long, Democrat Administrations viewed the Middle East as ‘stable’ as long as there wasn’t too much violence. They turned away from the atrocities and dictatorships that instigated the terrorist movement and incubated their hatred of liberty. Terrorists brought this war to the United States and those terrorist groups are fighting us in Iraq. Now, terrorists are pressuring us to leave Iraq by murdering innocent Iraqis. America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. Unfortunately, Democrats are meeting their demands to declare defeat and withdraw. (Full statement here.)

Question (for the tweeners, not the ideologues): Is it time to bring the troops home?

Entire Gone Wireless Interview w/Alice Rankin Coming

Ron and Alice at their 50th wedding anniversary

I’ve copied the entire interview this morning with Alice Rankin onto Microsoft Word. I plan to edit it and provide some pretty cool photos of Ron and her after lunch. Now, I need to do the Best of the Northwest roundup. Stay tuned.

Question: What Did You Have for Breakfast?

It turns out that your mom was right when she constantly reminded you breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether your goal is to gain muscle mass, lose some weight or simply stay fit, health experts agree that a balanced breakfast is critical to reaching your goals. Breakfast recharges your brain and body, and provides you an extra source of endurance that lasts throughout the day. “Without breakfast, you aren’t going to be able to come close to performing your best, in the gym or in the classroom,” said Jon Odell, a university recreation personal trainer. “Your brain is a glucose hog, and without that glucose it’s not going to function at its best. This is why eating a good breakfast is huge on the mornings of large events such as tests or competitions” — Colin Kennedy/WSU Evergreen.

Full comment here

Question: I had a bowl of low-fat yogurt with cereal mixed in this morning. What did you have?

Question: Should LCDC Support Kroc Center?

Item: LCDC shifts $500K to Kroc campaign: Group must raise $1.2M in five weeks to meet goal/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

Mayor Sandi Bloem: “It could be (the Lake City Development Corp.) could provide some help there (meeting the target goal). The city will not.”

Dan Gookin: “This underlies my basic issue with LCDC, which is that they don’t have a plan. They can operate under whatever rules they see fit.”

Question: Do you have a problem with the Lake City Development Corp. chipping in $500,000 in new tax dollars for the Kroc Center?

Fotoman: Can Clock Be Rolled Back on Sanders?

Fotoman: beachowner, I am a baby boomer native, and I grew up enjoying Sander’s beach. But I haven’t been there in decades, and I’ve only vaguely followed the lawsuits. I sort of figured the new selfish owners were ruining it for the general public. But now I’m not so sure. You’ve brought up some interesting points. Just for the heck of it, what do you think would be the perfect solution to the beach issue? What if we could roll back the clock. And what if you could be the magic fairy and make everything right. What would you do?

Beachowner: Sorry, Fotoman, the lawsuit has made it impossible to roll back the clock for most of the owners. The city has a proposal from the owners dated April 23, 2004, allowing public access in exchange for no parking on east lakeshore drive. Sounds pretty simple and most of would accept that now. Apparently, that was too much to ask then. Even our own DFO called it loopy. (Remember that Dave?) Mothers with strollers would have to hike the steep side streets to the beach?

Hump Day Wild Card — 4/25/07

Rocket’s Brain Trust asked for an occasional update on my walking/diet route. So here goes. Last night, I walked Mile No. 1000 since New Yeark 2006. I’ve dropped 22 pounds since I began, from 250 to 228. I’ve never gained back more than 2 pounds during that time (measured in two-week segments). I’ve taken 3 or 4 inches off my waist. I’m reluctant to go back to lifting weights b/c I always gain a bunch of weight when I do. Mebbe light weights this time. I’d like to continue to take off a pound a month until I hit around 210. I like that weight, especially if the waist size is decent. Thanks for asking. Now, for your Wild Card …

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 4/25/07

The Goo and The Boo react to the “pizza eggs” concoction that Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 cooked up for them the other night.

Bayview Herb told me this week that the SR is picking up his column in The Voice (Saturdays) weekly now rather than bi-weekly. He was pretty giddy today when he paid a visit to the CDA office.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It enjoys watching his kids come out of their winter cocoons as they play their first soccer of the spring — and he can’t understand why another parent sees the recreation as a burden here.

*Bayview Herb reports on spring developments in Bayview, including this: “In other Spring like developments, Waterford Park is in high gear as they pound steel pilings into the about to hatch Kokanee spawning beds, on their way to creating a waterfront spa for the wealthy” here.

*Either Cis/From A Simple Mind has one of those alien things coming out of her chest (like those things that haunted Sigourney Weaver for the space trilogy) or something else is going on here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour weighs the pros and cons of the survivors on “American Idaho” and figures they’re all closely bunch. But she still likes Melinda best among the singers here.

*Amyrebba/That’s Life, Life Goes On and her hubby were the victim of tire-and-rim thieves who’ve been hitting the Coeur d’Alene and Spokane areas of late here.

Question: Did you guys notice that Dogwalk Musings made the newly formatted Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest today?

Meanwhile, Katrina/Notes on a Napkin celebrates her new dishwasher here, Sara/F-Words relates a weird dream here, Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts provides a cool link to penny postcards from Idaho here, MikeK/Idaho Kennedys posts about the newy Kennedy’s baptism here, JeanC’s Cathouse and Shooting Gallery discovers Bluetooths and washing machines don’t mix here, KaleJ/UnMuted Mumblings carries on HBO’s abortion discussion here, Shinie/This Is Growing Up shows why moms carrying purses here, and Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ is looking forward to his 35th Kellogg High reunion here.

ACI Dirt Movers Pause Long Enough to Picnic

ACI owner Bill Radobenko and the Salvation Army celebrated the good work that has been done so far filling in the hole at the future site of the Kroc Center. The work crews paused long enough to enjoy a picnic this afternoon.

29 Words: The House That D’vain Built

Thom George/Photoshop

Of Cd’A tycoons there is one,
Who’s been building a house in the sun,
But now as remarks stir up,
It’s said even in Europe,
“Vat has d’vain Haga done?”

Andy Michaels/29 Words Or Less

Question: Has Stock Market Surge Helped You?

Item: Dow closes above 13,000 for first time as earnings reports push stock market to historic heights/By Madlen Read and Tim Paradis, AP Business Writers

Question: What’s this mean to you?

1. Nothing, I don’t have a stock portfolio.
2. Hunh? I work at the resort.
3. I wished I’d started a 401k years ago.
4. Happy days are here again.
5. What goes up must come down


Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/25/07

Jesse Tinsley

A member of the Federal Protective Police uses a bomb sniffing dog to check the outside of Betty Kiefer Elementary in Rathdrum Wednesday morning in Rathdrum. Several bomb threat notes were found at schools around the Lakeland School District, forcing the closing of all schools for the day while police and fire agencies looked for threats.

1. Best of the Political Cartoons: Alberto Gonzales at home/David Horsey, Seattle PI.

2. 4. Best of the Online Polls: A plurality of 43% of 364 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they won’t support their school levy in their voting districts next month.

3. Best of Sports: Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Sonics should aim for the starts), and Start by M’s catcher Jamie Burke is encouraging, rain isn’t here.

4. Best of the Blogs: Orbusmax Special (BSU event worries campus Muslims), Mari/Dogwalk Musings (Boss Hog), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (Opinion bloggers, and paid for it), Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise (Chasing free marketers in Havana), and Karl/Leaning Straight Up (V-Tech paranoia brings accusations).

5. Best of the News: Idaho high tech had 11th fastest growth in nation here, Wage gap between men, women worse in Wyoming here, GOP leader sez Montana governor can go to hell, here, Wal*Mart gets Twin Falls OK here, and Iconic “Jesus Saves” sign comes down in Boise here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (A trip through hell without TV), Missoulian (Ugly feud threatens bison range), Norm Semanko/Idaho Statesman (Summit was open way to solve water problems), Murf Racquet/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (End fees at UI, embrace tuition), and Spokesman-Review (Washington income tax merits).

DFO: Reader’s Perception Less Than 20-20

Dave Oliveria’s rant against the “dark side of Coeur d’Alene” provided my Sunday laugh. He rails against those in his fine city who choose not to support higher taxes or are not willing to ante up money directly from their pockets to support the Kroc Center. He even gives a brief history of civic projects that have failed because of the efforts of those on the dark side. Hey, the bond passed, but not by a supermajority! Gee, Dave, you are starting to sound like a civic-minded person who believes that we all need to chip in for the greater good of our communities. But this concept is not one that the political majority in your state and in your party would support — letter writer Richard O’Brien/Spokane.

Full letter here

DFO: Richard’s wrong in so many areas that I don’t know where to begin. I was a Republican. But I’m not now. The social policies of the national Demo party and the good-old-boy policies of the Idaho Repub party have transformed me into an Independent. Beyond that, I’ve always supported public school bonds and levies, urban renewal, Indian tribe gaming, public access to North Idaho beaches, the Kroc Center — and a laundry list of other things that could be consider populist or even Democratic. Then, you wouldn’t know that b/c we no longer sign our editorials. Alas.

I just posted this on A Matter of Opinion, the SR’s new editorial page blog here.

Online Poll: Will You Support Spring School Levy?

Will you support the levies in your voting district in the May election? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, all of them
*Yes, some of them
*No opinion

Brand X: We Told You So, Neener, Neener

Sanders Beach has become much more than a dispute over several blocks of beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene. It is a poster child for what seems to be a city campaign to make public as much private property as possible, not always with regards to what’s best for taxpayers. With its increasingly powerful, well-funded urban renewal agency, the city pushes forward with purchases to create an expanded education corridor along the Spokane River, funneling current and potential tax dollars directly to the urban renewal agency and not the city’s tax base. The city also has given valuable property and is spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a community center that will be owned and operated by a church.

Full editorial here

DFO: Surprisingly, this wasn’t written by Larry Spencer or any of the rest of the CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) gang. Unless, of course, you consider Brand X M.E. Mike Patrick and his boss part of that gang. Which I do. This is part of The Duane’s campaign through his snoozepaper to get back at Mayor Sandi Bloem for not supporting his downtown garden. Bloem served this community well by finally forcing the Idaho court to decide the high-water mark on Sanders Beach. It wasn’t a Pollyanna attempt to swipe public property. Remember. A lower court ruled for the public. As a result of the city pursuit, there’s been peace on Sanders Beach for two years. The Brand X idiotorialist showed his true colors when he used the beach to take a swipe at the urban renewal agency and the Kroc Center. Indeed, Brand X is in bed with the CAVE men.

Noah Kroese: Legislature Keeps NASCAR Off Track

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Capt. Ben: Bomb Threat in Lakeland School District

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Rathdrum Police Department and the Spirit Lake Police Department are investigating a bomb threat in the Lakeland School District. Initial reports indicate that threatening notes were found a various school buildings in the Lakeland District stating that there was a bomb in two of the District’s schools. All school buildings have been secured and the Sheriff’s Office Explosive Recognition Team is in route to search the buildings.

Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger

AM Hucks: You Know You’re from CdA When …

How can you tell if you’re from Coeur d’Alene? Well, for one thing, you have attended (or had) a birthday party at Skate Plaza. For another, it’s always a treat to eat “gooeys” at the Coeur d’Alene Resort (and you remember that the Hagadone Corp. originally called it “The Coeur d’Alene: A Resort on the Lake”). These are among the how-you-can-tell bonafides making the rounds in MySpace bulletins. Shinie, who publishes the blog “Well, I Guess This Is Growing Up,” posted 30 ways from MySpace bulletins that you can tell you’re from Coeur d’Alene. Others: You have hiked and jumped off the rocks at Tubbs Hill. You know a Red Hot Mama. Every new person in your neighborhood is a Californian. You always wanted to parasail (but probably never have). One or both of your parents attended Coeur d’Alene High. You freeze your butt off the day after Thanksgiving to watch the lighting ceremony. You have been trick-or-treating on snob hill because you know they are all rich and have the best candy. You know “the floating restaurant” is not as cool as it sounds. As a teenager, you were kicked off Sherman Avenue at least once late at night. You always pay $1 to contribute to the Fourth of July fireworks. You were born in, or have been checked into, the “big blue hospital” (Kootenai Medical Center). You once had a pass to Wild Waters, but now you are putting it out of business by buying passes to Silverwood. You saw a movie for $1 at Riverstone Cinemas on opening day. I’m not a Coeur d’Alene native, but I still scored 13 out of those 16. How about you?

Parting Shot — 4/24/07

Another terrific photo from HBO newby Craig Moore/ from Montana’s Flathead Valley. This one earned Craig a second place in the Montana newspaper photography contest.

Study: Religion Good for Children

Study: Religion good for children: Scientific research finds kids develop better when both parents frequently attend services/WorldNetDaily

More Info: new study concludes children whose parents regularly attend religious services and talk about their faith have better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than children with non-religious parents. The research led by John Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociologist, is the first to look at the effects of religion on young child development, reports

Question: What do you make of this study?

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/24/07

AP Photo/Idaho State Journal, Joe Kline

Emma Hyde, 13, watches her hair stand up straight during a demonstration on static electricity by Idaho State University professor Steve Shropshire as part of his “Electrofying Physics” program in the Physical Sciences building at ISU on Saturday in Pocatello. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. After observing the science display, NIC critic Linda Cook ran from the room, visibly shaken and mumbling “No more witchcraft” — Side Note.

2. Mary Souza continues to catch some static over her Kroc Center comments until she feels the buzz of enthusiasm coming from the community — John Austin.

3. Emma’s reaction when she learned Spenser changed his tune and publically approved of the Kroc Center!!! — Dennis.

HM: Cis

Well, She Got It Right the Second Time

First, you should know that Mindy Cameron submitted the following press release to the SR and that she is the former opinion page editor of the Seattle Times. Next, you should know that I haven’t touched her copy at all below (other than to italicize the different spellings for Melanie Snider’s last name in the first two paragraphs). Finally, you should know that the correct spelling is “Snider.” Ouch.

Mindy Cameron and Melanie Snyder, now completing their first three-year term on the Lake Pend Oreille School Board, said Monday they are eager to continue the efforts now underway to improve fiscal management and education leadership of the district. Snider, who represents the Clark Fork, Hope and Northside areas, said she is proud of what the board has accomplished. She cited last month’s renewal by voters of the maintenance and operation levy, as the latest example.

29 Words: Ethical Dilemma (Red vs. Blue)

In Washington each party rips,
The other for ethical slips,
While mudslingers rejoice,
For the voter the choice,
Is like picking the Bloods or the Crips!

Andy Michaels/29 Words Or Less

10 Ways Teacher Knows It’s Spring in North Idaho

1. Forgotten jackets fill the hallway after dismissal (Students need them in the morning but not in the afternoon.)
2. The gloves and boots from winter finally go home.
3. Plants are growing in Dixie cups on windowsills.
4. Newly hatched chicks peep in at least one classroom.
5. Curriculum revolves around looking at bugs instead of spelling “bugs” and planting seeds instead of counting seeds.
6. Students get more and more “energetic” every day.
7. Recess gets a little longer every day. (Especially when I’m on duty!)
8. Students’ eyes stray toward the windows a little more than usual.
9. Teachers’ eyes stray toward the windows a lot more than usual.
10. The countdown to summer begins. (30 days left!)

Jen/A Butterfly Moment

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/24/07

AP Photo/ Independent Record, George Lane

House Republicans are concerned with the whereabouts of Gov. Brian Schweitzer and they have gone as far as issuing milk cartons with his photo on them throughout the House chambers Monday in Helena, Mont.

1. Best of Political Cartoons: Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald shows Mother Nature can hold her own at the Earth Day Arm Wrestling Championships here.

2. Best of Online Polls: 94% of 404 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say that in-depth media coverage of tragedies like the Virginia Tech slaughter increases likelihood of copycat murders.

3. Best of Sports: Spokane Indian logo named best among 12 new Minor League ones here, Rain washes out Mariners for record 6th time here, and Keeping an eye on Hargrove here.

4. Best of the Blogs: Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (Over, and some things done), Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise (Ex-Idaho prison chief gets national role), Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels (A chorus of yes men), Karl/Leaning Straight Up (Virginia Tech and flags at half staff), and Tom Forbes/Palousitics (The Gregoire record).

5. Best of the News: Gay pride parade group disbands here — Orbusmax Special, Montana 13-year-old killed after firing at lawmen here, Emmy-winning choreographer dies at 68 here, Principal accused of mistreating cats lands Idaho job here, Suspected Spokane Valley dog fighting base raided here, and woman accused of highest blood-alcohol reading remains in jail here.

6. IMHO-NW: Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Saying goodbye to David Halberstam), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Age of uncertainty), Travis Galloway/UI Argonaut (Bearing arms in modern America), Eugene Cho/Seattle Times (Koreans cry for 33), and Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Plan uses GPS to tax drivers at pump).

CPD Blue on Patrol: Be CAREful Out There

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department’s C.A.R.E. Team, will be conducting an aggressive driving emphasis patrol today through Saturday. Officers from the C.A.R.E. Team, as well as officers from other divisions within the department will be focusing on high accident areas throughout the city looking specifically for aggressive driving behavior. The areas the officers will be patrolling will be Kathleen Ave. between Hwy 95 and Ramsey Road, Highway 95 between Ironwood Dr. and Canfield Ave., Appleway Ave. at Govt. Way, and 3rd and 4th streets at Locust Avenue. The specific driving behaviors the officers will be looking for are following too closely, excessive speed, unsafe lane changes, failing to observe and obey a traffic control device, school zone speed violations, and inattentive driving. Those driving behaviors are the top causes for injury accidents in the City of Coeur d’Alene. Our goal on the C.A.R.E. Team is to reduce injury accidents, and we want to remind our motoring public that without their ownership, and assistance with this issue that goal is difficult to accomplish. We are asking our public that while operating a motor vehicle they simply slow down, back off, and be attentive.

It’s My 2 Cents — Christmas Lights in April

Can someone tell me why some people still have Christmas lights blinking — in April. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas lights. They’re a tremendous antidote to cabin fever and the darkness that takes over in the dead of our winters. I enjoy closing all the lights off in my house — and simply looking at our well-lit tree. I applaud neighbors and other townsfolks who brighten the season with enormous yard displays. Such generous people warm my heart. In fact, now that we have a fake tree, I’ve coaxed my wife into leaving the tree up until after the first of the year. I appreciate others who leave their displays into January, too. But April? After daylight-saving time? C’mon. Shouldn’t there be a city ordinance against this stuff?

Question: Izzit just me? Or are you bugged by individuals who still have Christmas lights blinking this time of year?

Sentinel Question: Refund for Linda Cook?

The North Idaho College Sentinel has a current poll asking students whether NIC did the right thing in granting a refund to former English student Linda Cook. Cook, as you may recall, created a hubbub when she demanded a refund b/c teacher Jessica ??? sniped at Republicans too much during class time. Cook is a former aide to the late congressman Helen Chenoweth-Hage. So what do you think:

*Yes, the college did the right thing by refunding the money because an English teacher shouldn’t be forcing her political views on students.

*No, the college acted improperly and undercut the teacher. A college teacher should have the academic freedom to say what she wants.

Author David Halberstam, 73, R.I.P.

Victor Maccharoli/AP Photo

Top photo: Author David Halberstam delivers the commencement address during graduation ceremonies at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass., in this Saturday, May 20, 2006, file photo. Bottom photo: Menlo Park firefighters investigate the scene of a fatal three-car accident Monday in Menlo Park, Calif. David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who chronicled the Washington press corps, Vietnam and the world of sports, was killed in the crash according to his wife and local authorities. He was 73.

Question: Which David Halberstam book was your favorite?

MamaJD: Thumbs Up for HHospitality As Employer

I have worked for Hagadone Hospitality in several areas and several positions. One of the best jobs I EVER had was as a caddie at the golf course. I was paid really well and the hours were great. It was a perfect job for a college kid. Duane Hagadone and his wife were always pleasant and would address my by name without the benefit of a name tag. The Resort is one of the largest employers in our area. This means that they are actually employing people - not enslaving them. There are plenty of opportunities at the resort and the employees are not competing with illegal immigrants as can happen in the hospitality industry. He has earned his money. It may be with the assistance of his employees (not on their backs as previously suggested) as he took the biggest risk with his investments. Who would have thought a floating boardwalk around an expensive hotel tied into a golf course with a floating green in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, would have turned a profit? I wouldn’t (and didn’t) bet my money on it but I did show up for the work he hired me to do and I took home a fair wage plus excellent tips.


Wild Card/Monday — 4/23/07

I spent some time thinking about Friday’s thread and what seems to be a never-ending obsession with the Lake City Development Corp and Larry Spencer’s “Dirtgate.” The seemingly coordinated attempt by a handful of people to undercut LCDC and the Kroc Center is important. But it isn’t what this blog is about. Huckleberries Online focuses on community events, slices of life, breaking news and having fun. Sometimes, I feel, the blog has been hijacked by individuals with an agenda. Some of those have left here for environs more hospitable to their narrow viewpoints. I don’t mind that at all. It was inevitable that there would be a break here, especially if some of the individuals seek city office this fall, as I expect. We’ll continue to discuss the issues of the day, including LCDC and the Kroc Center — and rededicate ourselves to correcting misinformation. But this blog will refocus on its original mission. Now, for your Monday Wild Card …

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 4/23/07

OK, this isn’t from the Local Blogs. It’s a winter ice-fishing scenic by talented Flathead Valley, Mont., photographer Craig Moore/, who graciously granted HBO permission to run his photos.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It proved what a great pop he is by treating his Looney Tune-lovin’ kids to Bugs Bunny on Broadway at the Spokane Opera House today here.

*In an amazing post, Mari/Dogwalk Musings describes herself as a Goliath, “a giant mass of female DNA filled with fears, insecurities, health issues and more contradictory traits than I care to list, who has four Davids in my life here(including one who hides behind his initials).

*Dr. J/CastMD sez there’s a reason clutterers save things and why teachers lead the pack when it comes to pack rats and savers here.

*Hubby Paul takes over for Katrina/Notes on a Napkin to describe his daughter’s first karate encounter with a black-belt instructor here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is about to introduce her new book, “Lessons with Love: Tales of teaching and learning in a Small Town High School” ($16 plus tax and shipping – Keokee Books at ( will become available for readers. The books are due to arrive within the first couple of days in May and will ship from Keokee by May 5. For more information, click here.

*Mrs. Mac Energetic/Whatever Happened To … writes: “I have too many dummy bells in my new home. You know, those annoying little ringing, buzzing reminders that something is done, left open, being opened, telling time, etc, etc. Sometimes, I’m a wee confused as to what I’m hearing” here.

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb laments a rock pile lost here, Cis/From A Simple Mind asks, “Are you laughing yet, taxpayer?” here, Starr/Go Figure talks about small-g god’s sliding scale here, Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts discusses autism and mohawks here, Melanie/Plaid Toaster celebrates her son’s 7th birthday with a bounce house here, Stebbijo loves to hate dandelions here, and KaleJ/unMuted Mumblings explains why he never buys a newspaper or watches TV news here.

Inside Huckleberries — 4/23/07

*Update: The SR has received permission from the L.A. Times to reprint the front-page story Friday re: the controversy surrounding Duane Hagadone’s mansion in Sun Desert, Calif. (w/photos). You’ll want to pick up a copy Tuesday.

*The SR Editorial Board launched its Opinion Blog, A Matter of Opinion, this weekend. You can check out the first posts here.

*Remember Brian and Tricia Frey, the Coeur d’Alene couple who lost their daughter Eden 10 days after birth? Nic Casey/Rants, Raves and Random Thoughts read Tricia compelling diary about Eden’s struggle for life and that the Freys loved music by the Christian contemporary music group Selah. Last night, Nic treated the Freys to second-row comp tickets to a concert by Selah in Spokane. Monster Hat Tip — to Nic.

*The Spokesman-Review has asked the Los Angeles Times for permission to reprint the story and photos about Duane Hagadone’s controversial Sun Desert Mansion. The story appeared on the Times’ front page Friday. Huckleberries Online linked to it Friday and again this morning. Stay tuned.

Ya Musta Been A Beautiful Puppy, Look @ You Now

Riggs sits on the throne after being crowned the winner of the 28th Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog Contest today in Des Moines, Iowa. Riggs is owned by Cordell Miller, of Prairie City, Iowa. The pageant kicks off the Drake Relays festivities at Drake University where a bulldog is the mascot.

Question: Have you ever owned a dog of an unusual breed?

KCSD Looking for Missing Post Falls Bear Hunters

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has activated their Search and Rescue teams to look for two missing bear hunters in the Bunco Road area in Northeastern Kootenai County. Initial information shows that Craig Wies, 49, and Russel Lowe, 65, both of Post Falls left the Post Falls area yesterday morning to hunt for bear near the Bunco Road Trail Head area. Neither hunter, or their vehicle have been found yet. They are reported to be driving a aqua color Chevy pick-up with a camper shell. The Sheriff’s Office is not looking for volunteers to assist at this time. If the need arises, further information will be sent out.

Capt. Ben Wolfinger (for Sheriff Rocky Watson)

Getting in Shape After Baby Makes Three, Four …

AP Photo/The Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dan Henry

Stroller Strides members, a fitness group for mothers, run down a set of stairs along the downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., riverfront as their babies watch this morning. The group, cosponsored by the city of Chattanooga and the Sports Barn, has been meeting twice weekly to since September 2005.

Question: Do you exercise regularly?

City Service Notice to Spencer re: Architects West Visit

re: text of a letter sent by the city of Coeur d’alene to activist Larry Spencer Friday.

Larry Spencer
3711 E. Tobler Road
Hayden, Idaho 83835

It has come to my attention that last week you visited the offices of Architects West, Inc. and may have held yourself out as a representative of the Mayor and/or the city of Coeur d’Alene. Your conduct, whether intentional or not, certainly led the people you spoke with to believe that you were there on city business. As I’m sure you are aware, you are in no way authorized to hold yourself out as a representative of the City of Coeur d’Alene or any of its officials. (In) some situations such conduct can be a criminal offense. Please be advised that in the event that a person wrongfully holds themselves out as a representative of the City, the City will take all necessary steps to protect the safety and integrity of its citizens and employees. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Warren Wilson
Chief deputy city attorney

Update: The letter came back to the city today b/c the address was incorrect. However, Wilson read the letter to Spencer Friday, so Spencer knows the content.

Responders’ Nightmare: Pennies from Heaven?

We almost didn’t believe it when the calls started coming into the newsroom. Money was falling from the sky on I-90 at Altamont (in Spokane). Bills flying from a camper traveling down I-90 caused a stir Sunday afternoon as people slammed their brakes for a chance to grab some cash. The driver of the camper didn’t even know the money was there. His boss stashed about $14,000 in the vents of the trailer. “He had stashed it … forgot about it.”

Complete KHQ story here

Question: Have you ever found money or something expensive?

A Matter of Opinion: Do You Know Current Events?

re: A post from the SR’s new Opinion Page blog by Associate Editor Gary Crooks follows. You can read the blog, A Matter of Opinion, here.

NPR had a story the other day on how the profusion of media hasn’t meant an increase in awareness of current events. The Pew people polled folks in 1989 and in 2007. Asked them the same questions. People aren’t any better informed now than they were then. For instance, more people back then could name the vice president (Quayle) than today (Cheney). Does this surprise you? Here’s the results. And here’s a short current events quiz. The neat part is that you can compare your results with those who were polled. I finished in the 91st percentile. And you? — Gary Crooks/A Matter of Opinion

Question: So, how did you do on the current events quiz?

Online Poll: Are You Concerned About Environment?

Sunday was Earth Day. How concerned are you about the environment? — Idaho Statesman.

*Not at all

Sennett: Rhyme Time’s Prime Time for Limerick Blogs

News consumers too busy for crusading columnists and talk-radio screeds might find the bite-size commentary they crave in a Spokane Valley blogger’s biting limericks. Inspired by winning The Spokesman-Review’s annual Limerick Contest last month, Michael Andrews launched 29 Words or Less on April Fools’ Day to satirize current events in five rhymed lines. “I didn’t know why the limerick couldn’t be used just like an editorial cartoon,” he said via phone last week. “I wanted to take a form with a good rhythm and reinvent it for a fast-paced world.” A fast-rising readership and frequent mentions on the newspaper’s popular Huckleberries Online blog suggest he might just be onto something — Frank Sennett/Blogspotter.

Frank’s full column here

Question: Do you enjoy limericks?

SR Edit: “Dirtgate” Touches CdA’s Dark Side

No one, including Spencer, is willing to say flat out he opposes the center, especially as it enters the final stages of local fundraising to lock up the Kroc grant and endowment. The local effort must raise $1.6 million between now and the end of May to reach its goal of $6 million in local matching money. Spencer’s allegations about “dirtgate” and eleventh-hour concerns about church-state issues can be seen as an attempt to undercut those efforts. Why am I experiencing a sense of déjÀ vu? For some reason, the dark side of Coeur d’Alene’s generous soul emerges whenever an attempt is made to build a community center.

Full editorial here

Question: How important is a community center to Coeur d’Alene?

AM Hucks: Desert Not Big Enough for Haga-mansion

Los Angeles Times story, photos about Duane Hagadone’s mansion in the desert here

‘A blight.” “A monstrosity.” “A pimple.” “An abortion” of city planning. That’s how Palm Desert residents have described Duane Hagadone’s mega-mansion as it nears completion in the viewscape of the Santa Rosa Mountains that “enfold the city like a clamshell.” The words jumped off page one of the Los Angeles Times Friday. In the article, “Battling the monster on the hill,” reporter Valerie Reitman details the anger fueled by Hagadone’s mansion, which, at an original 32,016 square feet, was to be eight times larger than the community’s hillside ordinance allows. Only the finished product covers 64,000 square feet. It’s as strange looking as it is big, too. Seems nearby residents have dubbed Hagadone’s home “the flying saucer” and “Neverland Ranch.” The photos accompanying the Times article (which will be available after 9 a.m. today at Huckleberries Online) underscore how futuristic the mega-mansion is. The Times said Hagadone bought the land and built the $30-million-plus home above the 18th hole of the prestigious Bighorn golf course with proceeds from the $90 million sale in 2004 of his megayacht, Lady Lola, and his shadow boat. It was supposed to blend into the mountainside and be barely visible from below. But we all know that’s not Hagadone’s way. Seems neighbors are blinded by the desert sun’s glare glancing off the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of Hagadone’s office, which fronts the rest of the complex, according to the Times. Thought for today: Aren’t you glad Hagadone didn’t get permission to build a downtown garden?

Wild Card/Sunday — 4/22/07

I didn’t check in here much Saturday. Too busy gardening. Relaxing. And even watched “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” again tonight. Wow! I forgot how good that movie was. Ditto for the first two. All of us Tolkien fans owe director Peter Jackson a debt of gratitude for the perseverance and imagination to pull off those old classics. The same can be said for the “Star Wars” double trilogy. One of these days, I have to read the “Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” again. I’ve done it twice already — the second time just before Jackson’s trilogy began, so I could refresh my memory. Now, if he’d only do “The Hobbit.” As I think wishfully, you can play this Wild Card …

29 Words: California Reamin’

In Palm Springs there’s distress and dismay,
Because Hagadone’s gotten his way,
With sweet talk and lies,
Can Idaho sympathize?
“Here, have a geranium bouquet!”

Andy Michaels/29 Words Or Less

Item: Battling the monster on the hill: Publishing tycoon Duane Hagadone’s Palm Desert neighbors consider his dream castle a $30-million offense against nature/Valerie Reitman, L.A. Times (w/photos).

APhoto of the Weekend — 4/21/07

Labrador puppies swarm Tipsy the cat as she walks in the backyard Friday in Fort Smith, Ark. The 15 puppies are owned by James and Alicia Fisk. (AP Photo/ Times Record, Kaia Larsen)

Al Turtle: Takes Every Threat Seriously

Anytime you hear a threat, take it seriously. Ask for more information until you can determine what is behind the phrase spoken. Once you understand enough about what the person is really saying, you are in a better position about how to respond. Then act in a way you think is appropriate. I think it is folly to ignore what sounds like a threat.

Al Turtle/Al Turtle’s Relationship Wisdom

1900 Prophet Pegged Some Things Right Today

Item: Predictions of the Year 2000 from The Ladies Home Journal of December 1900

The Ladies Home Journal from December 1900, which contained a fascinating article by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years”. Mr. Watkins wrote: “These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from the most learned and conservative minds in America. To the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning I have gone, asking each in his turn to forecast for me what, in his opinion, will have been wrought in his own field of investigation before the dawn of 2001 - a century from now. These opinions I have carefully transcribed.”

Question: Can you make a prediction or two for the year 2100?

Hat Tip: CougCat

A Token D: HBO Ads Slowing Things Down

A Token D: Help! Ever since those moving advertisments started appearing on the left side of the screen, my Explorer keeps crashing when I browse HBO.

Green Libertarian: A Token D … I hear ya … I don’t use Internet Explorer, I use Firefox, and it’s not crashing per se, but since the new ads came on, my computer’s processor is nearly pegged to 100% when HBO is open on my computer, thus slowing everything down.

DFO: It was the Albertson’s ads. I badgered the techs all afternoon today to get rid of those things. And they finally did. I need two windows to post quickly. I couldn’t get the second window to open when the Albertson ads popped up. And the first window acted constipated. Those ads represent $10-12 per thousand page-views. But it isn’t worth it, if you can’t post and the readers have trouble opening the site. For the first time today, I uttered the words, “Thank goodness for my Mac.”

DOTC: Books Too Expensive to Read Fast

Dan of the County: I heard one of those radio ads on the way home from work (and often see them in print) where they are trying to sell you a speed reading program. They usually say something like, “wouldn’t you like to read x-times faster than you do now?” And I always answer to myself, heck no. Maybe it’s because I get so much practice at work where much of my time is spent reading all kinds of things but I when I go to read novels, etc. I already feel like I’m gulping them too fast as it is to really savor them. I have to make a conscious effort at times to slow down, enjoy, and even re-read the same section as I’m going along. This is especially true with the cost of books these days. On more than one occasion I’ve thought one looks good sitting on the shelf but when I pick it up I think, “aahh, this is pretty thin, I don’t think I’d get my money’s worth.”

DFO: Dan, I’ve finally finished reading the book you loaned me, “Next.” What else do you have on your shelf?

Question: OK, troops, it’s time to catch up on what you’re reading again?

TGIF Wild Card — 4/20/07

I’ve been enjoying another interesting week at Huckleberries Central. The numbers remain solid. The material is good. The clock is ticking down toward the weekend. I hope you’ve been enjoying the ride as much as I have this month. However, there’s always room for another thread. That’s why I play this Wild Card daily …

In The Believe It Or Not Dept …

… Huckleberries hears that Spencer visited the Press today to complain to Editor Mike Patrick that the city is picking on him re: the Architects West incident. A Berry Picker told me that Spencer’s trying to persuade Patrick to write a story about the fact that Mayor Sandi Bloem is upset that he may have misrepresented himself to gain access to Kroc Center drawings. (Goodness, was that the white rabbit that just ran by, fretting that he was “late, late, for a very important date.” We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow whether Patrick & Co. are part of the Wonderland aventure of Larry Spencer.) Meanwhile, Huckleberries hears that the city is preparing a letter asking that Spencer be careful not to misrepresent himself. However, that letter won’t be ready until Monday. (Now, off with everybody’s heads.)

BTW, can I charge Brand X a finder’s fee, if it does the story?

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/20/07

AP Photo/Channi Anand

Young boys ride buffaloes in the River Tawi in Jammu, India, Friday, April 20, 2007. With the onset of summer, several places in northern India have peaked above 40 degrees Celsius. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Some people found Global Warming provided some unexpected opportunities for new amusment rides — Ordinary Shark.

2. American dude: What the heck is Celsius? — Whippersnapper.

3. Riding a water buffalo: almost as fun as riding a zamboni — Nic.

Now, This Isn’t Politically Correct, But It Is Idaho …

… CdA office editorial assistant Sherry Atkins passes along a poster for the 3rd Annual Hooters on Scooters Dusty Cleavage Ladies Ride Poker Run. Seems the Panhandle Trail Riders Association is putting on the event Sunday, April 29, beginning at 7-Mile ORV Park, wherever that is. The poker run goes from 10 a.m. until noon. Riders receive a playing card per lap and are encouraged to ride as many laps as possible in those two hours. I suppose the Hooter on a Scooter with the best hand wins something at the end. I’d also guess that this is a ride for the gals.

4-20 Day?

I thought I’d heard everything. But did you know this is national 4-20 Day. 4-20? Indeed, it’s the high holy day of — pot smokers. Seems potheads are suppose to light up at 4:20 in the afternoon to celebrate their vice. That means the potheads in the Central Time Zone lit up about 10 minutes ago. I’d never heard of this until a few minutes ago. You can find out more about it here. I’m hoping you’re just as naive about this day as I was.

Family Phil: Spokane Built By … Vikings?!

My son and I cover so many topics of learning in any given week of homeschooling, it’s hard to know just what sticks in his brain and what doesn’t. Today we were driving into Spokane when my son said, “The people who built this city must like the Vikings. There are two streets back there named Thor and Freya.” We had studied Norse myths several months ago in a brief literature unit. It does a teacher’s heart good to know that his student is actually paying attention! — Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/20/07

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Pregnant Congresswoman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., 37, in her Capitol Hill, Office this week. While campaigning last summer for a second term, McMorris Rodgers learned that she was in the first term of pregnancy. She chose not to reveal the pregnancy until after the election, which she won easily.

Eye On Boise: Idaho Education Board approves fee increases for four-year colleges here.

1. A former Seattle police detective whose breath-alcohol content was measured at nearly six times the legal limit when police stopped her last week for drunken driving was arrested again Thursday on charges of being a “danger to public safety” here.

2. Payette County has had enough, no more pit bulls. That after commissioners passed an ordinance banning dogs deemed “vicious” here.

3. Is Micron Technology done expanding in Idaho? Depending how you read a recent comment made by Micron’s chairman, president and CEO Steve Appleton in the current edition of Business Week magazine, the answer may be yes here.

4. 282. That was the 2005 estimated population of Harrison, a small town to say the least.
But that small town produced two current University of Idaho track and field athletes, both of whom are expected to play a big role in the future success of the Vandals. And while freshmen Darcy Collins and Nikita Amy are taking different paths on their road to success, both are enjoying their transition to Division I athletics here.

5. Sandpoint’s Ray Miller became the first mayor in North Idaho to sign the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement on Thursday, committing the city to cutting greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession has already signed the nonbinding agreement, as have five mayors in southern Idaho and another 452 mayors nationwide here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Resource rich, cash poor), Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News (Food for thought), T.J. Tranchell/UI Argonaut (How hempfest can save world), Cody Croghan/WSU Evergreen (Daugherty could save WSU program), and Jinx Beshears/River Journal (One wolf at a time).

Online Poll: A plurality of 17 percent of 746 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll says its favorite reality show is “American Idol.” Fifty-one percent said it didn’t watch any reality program.

*Bus driver arrested in bomb threat against southern Idaho schools here.

*Cats dragged to their deaths for several miles behind vehicle here.

*Idahoan attacked by bear speaks out here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregan gay-rights law passes here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that City Hall is checking to see if antagonist Larry Spencer misrepresented himself when he asked Architects West recently to see plans for the Kroc Center. Reportedly, Spencer appeared at Architects West and said something to the extent: “The Mayor asked me to come down and look at the plans to see if I could save her some money.” He did not give his name, and the woman helping him told Salvation Army Major John Chamness that Spencer came across as someone from the mayor’s office. In a conversation with Spencer yesterday, I asked him about this situation. He assured me that he never said he was from the mayor’s office. He said he told the woman that he needed to see the plans in an effort to save the mayor money on the project. Seems Spencer looked at an older rendering of the site plan for about 10 minutes and then left. Major Chamness said later, “No one walked him through the site plan and since it was an outdated version it would not provide him with accurate information.” The Architects West worker told Major Chamness she didn’t recognize Spencer until she saw a photo of him in a Coeur d’Alene Press op-ed piece last Sunday.

AP: Joseph Duncan, V-Tech Killer Writings Similar

Item: Psychiatrists: Disturbing screenplays just 1 sign university shooter might turn violent/Associated Press

Cho is not the first killer to have his writing scrutinized in the aftermath of his crime. “Vengeance is coming,” Kimveer Gill wrote in a blog entry before shooting six people to death and injuring 19 more in Montreal last year. “A light drizzle will be starting up. The clouds will be grey, so grey. Just the way I like it. Disemboweled bodies litter the streets. Some have been decapitated, others hung off bridges and overpasses.” Joseph Edward Duncan III was much more explicit when he wrote in May 2005: “I am scared, alone and confused, and my reaction is to strike out toward the perceived source of my misery, society. My intent is to harm society as much as I can, then die.” Four days later Duncan allegedly killed three members of a Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, family and kidnapped two children aged eight and nine. He sexually assaulted both and later killed one of them before being captured in Montana with the surviving child. Investigators later tied him to four unsolved murders in two states.

Question: How do you know when to take a threat seriously?

L.A. Times: Hagadone Desert Home “A Blight”

Item: Battling the monster on the hill: Publishing tycoon Duane Hagadone’s Palm Desert neighbors consider his dream castle a $30-million offense against nature (complete with photo gallery)/Valerie Reitman, L.A. Times.

Hagadone’s place is being built in the hill above the home in the foreground. The times have good shots of it.

Before that vote in 2004, one City Council member envisioned write-ups “in every architectural magazine around the world”; another said he’d already inquired about using this “jewel in our crown” as a venue for fundraising events for the local theater. “We’ll all be bragging about it,” a third council member said. Instead, the home has brought a load of grief for this city now that it is just about complete. Visible from miles away and set on a prominent ridgeline, its frame resembles a wayward space station parked amid the picturesque foothills. Hagadone and his representatives declined interview requests. But upset residents have flooded the city with e-mails, branding the house “an unsightly scar on the hill,” “a blight,” “a monstrosity,” “a pimple” and an “abortion” of city planning. “We had an untouched ridgeline, untouched,” lamented resident Larry Sutter.

Question: Is it just me, or is there something ironic about this?

Andy Michaels: More Ways to Tell You’re from CdA

-You had no idea that the “Dike Road” was really named “Rosenberry Drive.”
-You remember Seltice as “the Highway”.
-You went to YJ’s for “smokies”, to see the elk in the pen, and have a free sausages as a kid.
-You ate at Little Big Man Pizza (now Tomato Street).
-You drank beer at the Fish Inn.
-You bowled at both the Cove Bowl (at the Y) and Lake City Lanes (now Lake City Auto Body on 4th).
-You can remember “Chicken Sunday” at Cloud Nine.
-You remember that Brucci’s was the Chelsea bar.
-You’ve parked on Rutledge Hill (now Armstrong Park) on a Saturday night.
-You’ve watched Hydroplane races from a barge on the Lake.
-The Rathskeller at Sherman and 14th was the wildest bar in town, and the drinking age was 19.
-You watched Bob’s Big Boy become the Rocky Mountain Canary, become Henry’s, become Dan Davis Realty on Sherman.
-You bought earrings for your girl from Dan Clark inside the Buttrey’s mall (now Hastings).
-You know that a buttrey is for butter, like a pantry is for bread, and were respectively managed by a butler and a pantler.

Andy Michaels/29 Words or Less

Joe Heller: Snappy Turf Ray

Joe Heller/

Wild Card/Thursday — 4/19/07

I’ve been office bound all week. No wi-fi’ing. But that’s OK. It’s been a productive week. And a lot of interesting things are going on behind the scenes. I enjoyed my chat with Harry Amend today. I need to finish up my editorial re: the Kroc Center for Saturday. And you thought Mary was the only one gauging the city pulse. Pshaw. Now, for your evening Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Friends Blogs — 4/19/07

Toadman/Synaptic Disunion introduces us to his third little pollywog with the words: “These are my eyes. I have never seen anything with them. Look into my eyes and see the mystery that is life. Hello, world here.

*Wayward Episcopalian Nathan Empsall writes from Dartmouth: “It’s hard for me to gauge reaction at Dartmouth, as I’ve been holed up in my dorm or office the last couple days, and did not attend last night’s vigil. From what little I can tell, the dominant reaction, in addition to sadness, seems to be one of “Oh my God, that could happen here!” here.

*Among his latest tidbits post, Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations sez: “I found three “sand dollars” when I was walking on the ocean beach the other day. This is noteworthy because most of the sand dollars that wash up on the particular beach I stroll on are usually broken to bits. Not these. And I thought, “how totally cool” here.

*Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table presents her “20 Ways You Can Tell You Grew Up in Kellogg, Idaho” here.

*Peanut sez there’s a reason she carries a cell phone around in her pocket and not her purse. It has the emergency numbers of the police and friends — and, yes, she’s called them in emergencies here.

*TUBOB describes his son, Shane: “He took to fishing at a very young age and was an expert caster in no time. He used to just fish and fish, casting and casting, and never seeming too upset if he didn’t catch anything. I think he just loved the mechanics of fishing poles and casting and reeling. This is the boy who at the age of 3 used to take my screwdrivers and remove hinges from inside doors and unscrew outlet covers. Always been an object related dude” here.

*Brent/Chronic Discontent recalls a worse massacre than Virginia Tech here.

Stork Stalks Pregnant Woman @ Bingo Casino

Scanner Talk: ER units are en route to the Coeur d’Alene Bingo Casino where a 23-year-old mother of three is in the process of delivering her fourth baby. Contractions are 30 seconds apart. She’s at the entrance to the hotel part of the casino. Today’s her due date. No word on her success at the electronic slot machines. Stay tuned …

Update: Ambulances are 13 miles apart and rushing toward each other to make a transfer before the baby is born. The baby’s head is crowning. An EMS driver sez: “I’m driving as fast as I can.

Update: The Coeur d’Alene EMS unit now has the expectant mother and is headed back to KMC. They’re on Mica Hill.

Update: Baby’s born, breathing on its own, doing fine.

Orbusmax: Nuts Out in Full Force Today …

DEVELOPING: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: Manhunt Underway In Yuba City After School Threats…
Police investigate ‘hit list’ at Portland middle school…
Bomb scare at Edmonds Community College…
Suspicious man with weapon at U of Washington turns out to be ROTC student doing drills…
13-Year-Old Boy Held In School Threats In Tacoma…
BLOGGER: Bill Gates is responsible for VT shootings!…
‘60 MINUTES’ THIS SUNDAY: Rapper says he even wouldn’t help police catch a serial killer because it would hurt his business, violate “code of ethics”…
Potential Copycat Cho In Florida Threatened To Kill 100+…
YESTERDAY: Threats Made To UW Gymnastics Team…
YESTERDAY: Lewis & Clark student apprehended - for wearing ammo belt as a fashion accessory!
YESTERDAY: WSU Vancouver evacuated due to threat…

Orbusmax links here

Shinie: How You Know You’re from Coeur d’Alene

“I don’t usually find the MySpace bulletins terribly entertaining or worth sharing,” writes Shinie/This Is Growing Up, “but I got a kick out of this one (“How You Know You’re from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho”). I’ve got to post something to get me back in the posting mood!

1. You were born in, or have been checked into the “Big Blue Hospital” (aka KMC)
2. You have attended (or had) a birthday party at Skate Plaza
3. You swear by Hudson’s Hamburgers (or you’ve been there more than once.)
4. It’s always a treat to get “Gooeys” at the Resort (or have eaten an entire one by yourself!)
5. You have been swimming at the steps
6. You have hiked and jumped off Rocks at Tubbs Hill
7. You know a Red Hot Mama
8. You always pay $1 to contribute to the 4th of July Fireworks, which you still think are the best in the world.
9. You saw a movie for $1 at Riverstone’s Opening Day
10. Every new person in your neighborhood is Californian.

Full post here

Question: Any other suggestions?

Extra! Buffet Castle Owners Arrested As Illegals

Police arrested the owners and two employees of a Post Falls restaurant for being in the United States illegally. The Buffet Castle at 740 N. Cecil Road closed early Wednesday after the individuals were detained. The action concluded a three-month investigation by Post Falls Police and Immigration Customs Enforcement. It was the most extensive illegal immigration investigation to date for Post Falls police, Lt. Greg McLean said Thursday. Those arrested included You-Yao Li, 36, and You-He Li, 34, two brothers who own the restaurant, which features international cuisine. The men were born in China and are Canadian citizens who are in the United States illegally, police said.

Full story here

Question: Have you eaten at the Buffet Castle in Post Falls?

Lewiston Trib: Does Being Dead Count as Personal Day?

When your deranged ex-husband threatens to track you down at work, douse you with gasoline and set you on fire, you really ought to be able to take a day off. And if your ex makes good on his threat - and you have to quit your job as a result - the nice thing to do would be to offer you unemployment compensation. This seems like common decency - and it is in some states as well as the District of Columbia. When Yvette Cade was set on fire, she had the misfortune of working in Maryland rather than nearby Washington, D.C. Maryland law offered her no protection from getting fired for failing to show up for work. Although the attack left her with third-degree burns on 60 percent of her body, state law also kept her from collecting unemployment compensation. Victims in Washington state face a similar roadblock. Washington is one of 22 states that fail to recognize domestic violence as a legitimate reason for unemployment insurance. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., wants to change that on a national level — Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Should the federal government mandate that states allow unemployment insurance to cover victims of domestic violence?

Question: What Do You Think of Latest LCDC Grant?

Item: LCDC gives boost to Northwest Place: Urban renewal agency to pay $118,000 to help prepare site; developers had sought $467,000/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Beutler, who was not at the meeting, later said he was disappointed that the board didn’t fund more of the $467,000 request. He said the request was based on pricey site preparation work, including moving water and sewer lines, correcting past hillside erosion problems, and pulling asbestos out of the old buildings. The developers followed LCDC’s application guidelines to come up with the $467,000 figure, he said.

DFO: Ya gotta give the anti-LCDCers their due. Their scrutiny of all things LCDC — and beyond — probably had some effect on the money handlers reining in the size of the grant.

Question: What do you think of the LCDC grant amount: Too large? Too small? Just right?

The Way We Were: Who Is This?

OK, HBO sharpshooters, can anyone guess who the young fella in this many-decades-old photo grew up to be?

Idawa: Abortion Ruling Narrower Than Some Think

Idawa: I have to admit, I’ve only given the decision a cursory review. I don’t think the decision is as dire as J. Ginsberg writes in the dissent. This decision only makes it illegal to abort a fetus after it leaves the uterus, a Dr could still give an abortion to a women at the same point in pregnancy if it was an in-uterus abortion. This is a pretty narrow opening that I don’t think anti-abortion lobbyist will be able to squeeze much into. Ginsberg, however, was more concerned about the language the majority did use. Although the law only outlaws this one procedure, the language used by the majority was about fetus right, right to life, etc … with little acknowledgment of a woman’s autonomy over her own destiny. It might be the opening of a door, but I think if the government were to try to outlaw all abortions, in effect the government mandating that women must bear their pregnancies, there would a backlash that would cripple the right wing.

DFO: I can see room for celebration here, even for pro-choicers. The Supreme Court has removed your albatross: partial-birth abortion. The extreme element of the pro-choice movement hung onto this dastardly practice as tightly as the extreme element of the gun lobby holds onto assault rifles. It’s hard to believe any pro-choicer truly accepts working across-the-spectrum to reduce abortions when partial-birth abortion is on the table.

AM Hucks: Make-Do Takes Keep Romance Alive

‘Tis been awhile since we peeked in at Katrina’s Notes on a Napkin (which is part of the North Idaho Blogroll at Huckleberries Online). Katrina is a young mother of two who can afford an occasional night out with hubby, Paul, especially since they have family in town (read: free baby sitters). In between those times out, however, they make do. Recently, she wondered which of her make-do dates with Paul could be considered a real date. Her creative list included: “Instant messaging each other sweet nothings from across the living room. Taking the kids out for burgers and playland time so we can talk and do origami together. Meeting each other in a fictitious online world (where, by the way, I assume in the form of a perfectly proportioned 6-foot-tall elf maiden) to battle orcs, dragons, and trolls, side by side. Writing notes to each other in sidewalk chalk on our front porch. Walking around Costco trying all the free samples and taking turns in the demo massage chair, pretending we might actually buy it. Picking out cards for each other at the grocery store, reading them, and then leaving them there. Doing housework together (because there’s nothing more attractive than a man loading the dishwasher). Lying in bed talking way longer than we should be up. Tag team grocery shopping. Blissfully collapsing on the couch under Willie Ford to watch a movie while the little whirlwinds that are our children rearrange the furniture and dump out every single toy they own. Scrabble.” You’re welcome to share your creative dates on the Huckleberries blog, too.

Hump Day Wild Card — 4/18/07

I’m continuing to experience technical difficulties as a result of the success this blog has had in recent weeks attracting display ads. It seems like it’s harder to scroll through the copy. Also, I know that the display ad in the left rail is bleeding over into the copy. The ads will make this blog self-sustaining. But we have to work out some kinks. Meanwhile, I’m not able to post the rest of Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs without taking another hour or so on the Mac Book. Ain’t gonna do that. I’ll find a Parting Shot photo and call it a day …

Kellogg Bloggin’: How You Can Tell You’re from Kellogg

Raymond Pert, Inland Empire Girl and Silver Valley Girl decided to make a list matching BrodH20’s (How You Know You’re from Athol) with their own list about Kellogg. Here’s How you can tell your from Kellogg.

1. You were born in the Wardner Hospital, which was in Kellogg.

2. When you went school shopping at J. C. Penney you only cost your parents about $15.00 because all you needed was a new pair of Dickies, a pack of white T-shirts, and a pair of P.F. Flyers.

3. You got a ride to work drunk on day shift on Saturday morning from a friend whose floor you passed out on and then after your shift you had to ask a fellow worker if he had time to drive you around Kellogg and Smelterville to find your car because you lost it some time, some where on Friday night.

4. You had read all the comic books and baseball magazines at Dick and Floyd’s while waiting for your dad to quit drinking in the back so you could get home for supper, late.

5. You learned to play baseball on AstroDirt©, great training for the bad hop.

Full list here

Tumblewords: Headlines Parrot Night Tales

Ominous as storm clouds
coupling in the dark
shadows swoop
across the Wolf Moon face,

ravens fall from grace to ground
beat at window glass
rasp the wooden sill
rip shingled roof to shreds.

My Daddy always said
crowded creatures go mad
and humans likely will
as their numbers cross the bar.

Forests fill with people
clearing trees and game
life breeds Hitchcock scenes
mirrored in daily news.

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

DFO: Sue graciously has given me permission to publish her wonderful poetry. Here’s a new one.

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/18/07

AP File Photo

A farmer milks a cow during a protest to demand higher milk prices outside of Agriculture Ministry building in Lima, Wednesday, April 18, 2007. About 200 farmers participated with some of their cows in a national protest. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Top Cutlines

1. When the farmer offered a Holstein milk bath to the passing Ministry Secretary, the official asked if it was pasteurized. “No”, said the farmer, “Just up to your neck” — John Austin.

2. Having never had a milkshake, Ministry Officials do the Hokey Pokey putting their right foot in and shaking it all about — Paul Ferguson.

3. “Gosh darn it! I missed the bucket AGAIN!” — A Token D.

Update: Worker Critically Injured in Gozzer Incident

A 26-year-old construction worker was critically injured today in a possible nail gun accident on a job at Gozzer Ranch near Harrison, Idaho. The man was found with a nail in the side of his head just after 9 a.m. and was flown by helicopter to Kootenai Medical Center. Dispatcher reports indicated he was unconscious and that CPR was under way when authorities were called. A project manager with the man’s employer, Edwards Construction, Inc. of Coeur d’Alene, said he was in serious condition this afternoon.

Full story here

BrodH20: Yikes, Here Comes the Performance Evaluation

I have two days of work left until I head out of town on a ladies only scrapbooking weekend. In the meantime, there’s laundry to be done, three more stories about child abuse to be written, bags to be packed and a parent meeting to attend. Oh, did I mention that tomorrow is my first-ever performance evaluation in the five years I’ve been at the paper? Wish me luck. I thought I was having a panic attack tonight. The Otis says I always worry about things I shouldn’t worry about. Things that are not even likely to happen. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying about them — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

DFO: The Otis is right. Mommy Dearest will pass her performance evaluation with flying colors. Can’t remember when I last had a performance evaluation. But I do remember Opinion Page Editor Doug Floyd paid the bill for the top-of-the-line burgers at Riverfront Square. Burgers sound nice at this point in my diet.

Question: When is the last time you had a performance evaluation? Or: Are performance evaluation a good thing or a bad thing?

29 Words Responds to Criticism of V-Tech Limerick

Life’s easy when you are a critic,
Rippin’ off comments acidic,
But to try and create,
Instead of berate,
It’s a challenge - and not parasitic!

Andy Michaels/29 Words Or Less

I realize that I’m trying to do something unusual, but I didn’t think I was crossing the line of good taste. To me, poor taste would be to take a serious event like this and mock or make light of it. I had no idea that treating this with utmost sincerity - due to many readers expectation of the medium, I guess - would lead to such hostility. Interestingly enough, some of the most profound and positive comments I’ve received personally have come from the most serious topics.

Wikipedia Definition of “Rabbit Hole” …

… which fits quite well in Spencer’s claims that the Salvation Army and ACI’s Bill Radobenko are engaged in a fill-dirt cover-up at the future site of the Kroc Center:

“A rabbit hole is the entrance to a rabbit’s burrow or warren. In Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice follows a mysterious white rabbit into a rabbit hole to enter ‘Wonderland’, an absurd and improbable world inhabited by many strange characters. This usage has helped make the phrase refer more generally to any portal into a different or strange world, such as:

*”The character Morpheus in the movie The Matrix uses this metaphor when he offers the character Neo the opportunity to enter “the real world.”

*”In the film What the bleep do we know!?

*The term is used in alternate reality games to describe the initial page or clue that brings the player into the fictional world of the game. By extension, the term has also come to signify any event which triggers a completely unexpected, bizarre situation or paradigm.”

Coeur d’Alene Man: We Need More Guns, Not Less

Item: Can we prevent killings? Coeur d’Alene man says mass murders can be avoided if more people pack guns/Dave Turner, Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: A Coeur d’Alene man said the massacre at Virginia Tech on Monday could never happen in a nation like Israel, where many of the citizens carry guns. Bill Perkins said he feels more secure there because of the presence of so many weapons, most which are military issue. “It dawned on me yesterday it could not have happened there,” said Perkins, executive director of Compass International, Inc., based in Coeur d’Alene, which books tours for Christian groups to the Holy Land.

Question: Could the solution to the senseless carnage we are experiencing be more guns?

Inside Huckleberries — 4/18/07

*A little nugget spotted by Barb Scaroni in St. Maries Gazette-Record re: Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe: “In this case, a wealthy tribe seeks to avoid paying property taxes to a county suffering with significant growth issues, unfounded mandates and a 3 percent cap on taxes each year,” Thought you’d enjoy it, too.

*As I mentioned last night, Major John Chamness corrected the figure he’d given me for dirt moval for the Kroc Center project. The original figure was $2.38 per cubic yard, which Spencer, of course, questioned. That’s the original figure. The new figure is lower, $2.05 per cubic yard. That’s the total for every yard of dirt handled, coming and going from the center, and moved around the center — 1,456,873 cubic yards divided by the contract amount of $2,985,000 should come out to $2.05 per cubic yard. Dirt cheap. And certainly much cheaper than the airport boulders Spencer was so eager to foist on the center at $4 per cubic yard (just to crush).

*Mari/Dogwalk Musings asked this question the other day: “In this morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press it was announced that a group of civic minded developers have donated $300,000 bringing the total of the $6 million needed before June 1 to $5.4 million. Front page news. Now, the Spokesman Review reports the same donation, in a squib on the first page of Section B, but says the total is $4.4 million. A million dollar difference this close to ground breaking is huge. Which paper has it correct?” Megan Beck, who’s handling fund-raising/PR for the Kroc Center project answers in an e-mail: “Our fundraising total is at $4.4 million, the Press misquoted us in the story.”

Scanner Traffic: Gozzer Ranch Mishap

ER units are en route to the Gozzer Ranch site on Highway 97, where an industrial accident has been reported. CPR is under way. Stay tuned.

Update: 26yo male found unconscious by the side of the road with a nail in his head by his ear.

Update: Medical helicopter has been called in.

Online Poll: Should U.S. Change Gun Control Laws

The Virginia Tech shootings sparked worldwide criticism of U.S. gun control laws. Do you think the U.S. should change its gun control laws? — Idaho Statesman.

*No opinion

Salvation Army Responds to Spencer Claims

re: The response by Major John Chamness (pictured) and project engineer Steve Walker to claims made by Larry Spencer that dirt being used to fill the gravel pit for the new Kroc Center was of poor quality.

The Salvation Army is thrilled that after decades of local efforts to build and sustain a community center, there is a new world-class Kroc Community Center coming to Coeur d’ Alene. The goal of everyone working on the design and construction of this building is to be faithful to the vision of Mrs. Joan Kroc and maximize every dollar to give this region the best facility possible. This same commitment to financial stewardship has been used in analyzing the many options of how to structurally fill and compact the building site. Recently however, this commitment has been challenged. Questions have been raised concerning the dirt and fill process. As many of the questions are based on inaccurate information, it is important to correct that misinformation. So let’s walk through the facts about this process.

Al Turtle: Killer’s Parents Should Be Accountable, Too

I was musing over the news coverage of the killings at Virginia Tech and was struck by two things. There seems to be an almost obsessive attempt to find fault, blame, or responsibility. And there seem to be almost equally careful attempts to avoid responsibility. I have gotten fairly comfortable with the NRA-like response, “don’t blame guns.” And, by the way, I don’t blame guns. I have thought through those issues and find guns to be rather innocent. I personally like the probing into actions of the people who had information and did not act. I like looking at their logic. I think, as a culture, we really need to look at our tendency to see frightful things and passively do nothing. I think we could do better. What made me jump was a phrase, “No parents should ever have to face this.” The context was not about the grieving parents of the killed and wounded. The context was about the parents of the shooter. My reaction was, “Wow, those parents just received what they had earned! I wonder why they should
not have to face it?”

Ramirez: Who Needs Fat Gene in America Anyway?

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Tuesday — 4/17/07

I’ve lined up Coeur d’Alene schools superintendent Harry Amend for my weekly Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi gig. I’ll be asking you for input tomorrow re: questions. I’ll be interviewing Harry at 10-10:15 a.m. Thursday. Also, I let Spencer out of the cooler, as a result of your input. Gotta give the guy credit. He has the gumption to hang out here when others have gone screaming into the night. Also, I’ll be posting Major John Chamness’s response to his questions/claims about the fill dirt at the Kroc Center tomorrow. It’s only fair to allow Spencer to comment about that, if he cares to. Now, for your Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 4/17/07

Here’s another shot of that mountain goat photographed in Glacier National Park by Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographic.

*Toadman, Mrs. Toad and the two pollywogs welcomed a new arrival to their family at 10:59 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart here.

*Peanut, a Brit who has lived in the States for the last 15 years or so, is the newest member of the Friends of HBO blogroll. She started the week by saying she feels like a cat surrounded by dogs who want to kill her. Mebbe it was a premonition of awful things to come elsewhere on the East Coast here.

*TUBOB continues to reminisce about things that used to be by introducing us to Peanut, his second most favorite dog of all time who had the little-dog syndrome but bonded with the Alpha Bob here.

*Marmitetoasty/Twaddle didn’t think she had a ten million to one chance to nail a starling on a wire above her backyard with a BB gun. Well, that was one unlucky starling. And Marmitetoasty then had to figure a way to retrieve it when it got tangled up in the aerial here.

*Sam The Reporter’d better start sweating it b/c the in-laws visited and it’s apparent that The Lovely Kathryn enjoyed bouncing their baby boy on her knee. Three’s company anyone? Click here.

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Rumination offers thoughts about the late, great Don Imus and America’s “culture of meanness” here.

Meanwhile, Brent/Chronic Discontent spots his dream car here, Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table learns about her surroundings through the eyes of her pets here, and JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA Notes offers a guide to the levels of purgatory here.

Undersheriff Gary Cuff’s Farewell Address

“It has been a great career: challenging, exciting, humorous, and long. I have worked for great sheriffs who have had the highest regard for public safety. If not for family commitments that take us to Montana, I would have stayed for the rest of Sheriff Watson’s Administration. I will miss the staff at the Sheriff’s Department. All are dedicated public employees of whom the citizens of Kootenai County can be proud. It is my wish that the current Board of County Commissioners will be able to provide the leadership necessary to provide pay parity for our deputies. I want to thank my wife, Susan, for her support through all these years. Lastly, I would like to thank the citizens of Kootenai County for allowing me the opportunity to serve for 31 years.

Undersheriff Gary Cuff

Extra! K-County Hires New Planning Director

Scott Clark, planning director for Grant County, Wash., has been hired to fill the same position in Kootenai County. The board of commissioners made the announcement today. Grant has worked with governmental entities since 1992 when he started as an engineering technician with the Bureau of Mines. He’s an Eastern Washington U. grad who began his planning career in Okanogan County before moving to Grant County.

Extra! Tad Leach Tabbed As New Undersheriff

A retired North Idaho College law enforcement instructor and former Illinois police chief has been appointed to the No. 2 position in the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Edward “Tad” Leach, 61, is replacing retiring Undersheriff Gary Cuff, Sheriff Rocky Watson announced Tuesday. Leach started part-time Tuesday learning about the responsibilities of the position, which include overseeing the department’s 275 employees and managing a $16 million annual budget. He described his first day as a “whirlwind” — Taryn Brodwater/Spokesman-Review.

Full post here

Question: Any thoughts about Tad Leach or retiring Undersheriff Gary Cuff?

In The News: Faces of Virginia Tech Convocation

Suzanne Grimes, hand on top, holds hand with Susan Carney as they talk with reporters at the Montgomery County Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Va., today. Both had children injured in the shooting massacre at Virginia Tech on Monday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Bush is thanked by a family member of a shooting victim after his remarks during a convocation to honor the victims of a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech today. (AP Photo/Sam Dean/Pool)

Students consol each other before the start of memorial service inside the Virginia Tech football stadium a day after the worst shooting in U.S. history today in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Question: Should V-Tech Prez, Police Chief Be Fired?

Item: Parents demand firing of Virginia Tech president, police chief over poor handling of mass shooting/Fox News

More Info: Parents of a Virginia Tech student expressed outrage Monday at what they call an inadequate response by college brass to the worst mass-murder shooting in American history. John and Jennifer Shourds of Lovettsville, Va. demanded the immediate firings of University President Charles Steger and Virginia Tech Campus Police Chief W.R. Flinchum who he said “screwed up” the handling of separate shooting incidents that left 33 students dead, including the shooter. “My God, if someone shoots somebody there should be an immediate lockdown of the campus,” said John Shourds. “They totally blew it. The president blew it, campus police blew it.”

Question: Have you heard enough about the tragic massacre to form an opinion re: the police/university response?

Here’s the New Photos of Her Sandiness

Question: Which photo do you like better?

Question: Anti-Income Tax Hart: Hero Or Goat?

Item: Idaho lawmaker reports IRS deal: Back-tax agreement means disclosure of book sales/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A North Idaho lawmaker says he has reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service and has 60 days to provide additional financial information. The agreement brokered last week between Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and the IRS averted Monday’s hearing before a U.S. District Court judge. Hart, who owes thousands of dollars in back taxes, instead will divulge the number of self-published books he has sold. He also will disclose the sales of Liberty Dollars – an alternative currency that its maker claims is a hedge against inflation because it’s made of silver.

Question: Do you consider state Rep. Phil Hart a hero or a goat for taking on the Internal Revenue Service over the income tax issue?

Virginia Tech Massacre: The Face of Evil

AP Photo

This is a police handout image made available this morning of Cho Seung-hui, 23. The fourth-year student from South Korea was behind the massacre of at least 30 people locked inside a Virginia Tech campus building in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, the university said.

DFO: On the way to work this morning, I heard a woman caution a talk-show host that parents should be careful re: exposing small children to the horrific massacre at Virginia Tech. She recommended that adults opt for a one-dimensional info source rather than TV, where small children can see it — something like radio, newspaper or the Internet. Frankly, I watched a few minutes of TV coverage, read a few things on the Internet and gardened until dark last night. I wanted to get away from the dreadful news that’s becoming too common-place today.

Question: How much time — and via which medium — did you spend watching news coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings yesterday?

MamaJD: April Is Gun-Toting Crazies Month

I have always felt that Tax Time brings out the worst in people. I am surprised, however, that not one single talking head on the networks has mentioned that April is developing a reputation for being Gun-Toting Crazies Month. Or at least it has with me. With the recent Virginia Tech shooting added to the list, April is apparently dangerous. In addition to Virginia Tech, we need to remember Waco, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and Columbine. All occurring within a few days of each other. I am sure there are others if given more time for research and fact check. I am serious about personal concern in previous years during the month of April — MamaJD.

Question: Virginia Tech? Waco? Oklahoma City bombing? Columbine? Do you think MamaJD is onto something re: the attraction April has for the crazed killers?

Dr. J: Virginia Tech Brings Back Fairchild Memories

Pray for the families and the victims of this tragedy. My feelings immediately returned to the Fairchild Airforce Base shootings and how severely injured those patients were upon arrival. The officers, campus security, swat and EMS personnel run the frontline upon notification, but it is the often bravery of those randomly uninjured that also save worsening or even death by assisting the injured. There were true heroes in this cloud of harsh uncertainty.

Dr. J/CastMD

AM Hucks: Road to Fame Paved w/Plastic Bricks

For a stay-at-home, home-schooler who’s responsible for children 8 and 5, Family Phil Corless has been on a roll this month. As you may recall, the CdA resident was the first to mention the problems with greedy adults at the ha-huge Dave Smith dealership Easter egg hunt. On Saturday, Phil won an online contest as the best home-school father blogger for his blog, A Family Runs Through It. Now, he’s hanging with North American Lego prez Soren Torp Laursen and other jumbos from the popular Denmark-based toy company. In fact, Family Phil gets top billing in a six-page news feature in this week’s issue of Newsweek mag. He and wife, Karyn, are mentioned in the opening paragraph of Daniel McGinn’s article. And his family dominates text on the first page. Phil is quoted as saying that his kids are required to put away all their toys in a specially designated closet to prevent their home from being overrun by them. But their Lego toys are an exception to that rule. Quoth Phil in Newsweek: “They’re one of those toys that always stay out, because … when (friends) come over, you know they’re going to play Legos.” The article goes on to say that Phil has fond memories of building elaborate Lego mazes for his hamster. Quoth Phil again: “I’ve never seen a kid who didn’t want to build something.” Lego is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Phil and his family are also celebrating. For being part of the article, the Corlesses are getting “a nice little package of various educational items, from geography books to math software.” And more Legos?

Wild Card/Monday — 4/16/07

The awful news from Virginia Tech casts a pall on everything we do here today. These tragedies are becoming too common place. There seems to be too many nuts out in our society today. God have mercy on the wounded and their families as well as those wounded in this mad attack. Now, for your first Wild Card of the work week …

Idaho Escapee: Is It Time to Revisit Gun Laws?

I’ll say it again … I’m not anti-gun, but somehow we’ve fostered a climate in which too many people who shouldn’t have guns, have guns. Is there anything anyone can do about this? It’s too easy to commit mass murders with a firearm. I know the constitution mandates that we have a right to “keep and bear arms”, but is that provision outdated? On the other side, I suppose if someone who shouldn’t have a gun, wants to get a gun badly enough, they’ll get one regardless of what the laws are.

Question: What would you say to Idaho Escapee?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 4/16/07

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It has done us all a favor by snapping this shot of Stickman’s wonderful walking sticks, made generally from wood that he finds on Tubbs Hill. I have two of Stickman’s sticks — an autographed maple staff that I keep with me at the office and a smaller one that I take on my walks to keep the dogs away. You can read about them here.

*”The truly sad thing is,” JeanC/JeanC’s Cat House and Shooting Society sez about the Virginia Tech massacre this morning, “this could have been prevented if VT was not a victim disarmament zone. School policy disarms everyone on campus, even if they have a CCW, which means they are legally allowed to carry concealed in Virginia. Apparently a bill to do away with this policy never even made it out of committee, with one VT official stating that it was good this happened so everyone would feel safe on campus here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour writes: “The old guy looks pretty good, and it felt pretty good to take him for a spin down the road yesterday afternoon. My big bay gelding Rambo will turn 22 this year, which is hard to believe. It seems like just yesterday that he shot into the world in our barnyard around 2 a.m. the day after the Fourth of July in 1985. His mother was a huge black Quarter Horse mare named Mrs. Black” here. And she posts nice photos of spring flowers around the Love homestead here.

*Shinie/This Is Growing Up writes, “I love a good chunk of barbecued meat. However, actually cooking on the barbecue can be time consuming and hard to supervise with a small child running under foot. I’ve recently developed this easy, hands free version of baby back ribs. They might even beat out the barbecued variety” here.

*Cis/From A Simple Mind is trying to separate fact from fiction re: the e-mail scare that’s circulating about the Real ID act here.

*Sue Turner/Tumblewords knows what “albedo” is — thanks to word of the day. And she used it recently to describe what was happening to a 4-year-old when she peeled an orange here.

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb remembers Jackie Robinson and bygone days here, Dr. J/CastMD discusses a ship that was built to make us remember here, Mari/Dogwalk Musings knows something about the Virginia Tech campus here, Melanie/Plaid Toaster is fighting moderate dehydration here, and Stebbijo’s Place is offering linguine with shrimp, asparagus and basil here.

In The News: Faces of Virginia Tech Shootings

Virginia Tech students watch from the doorway of McBryde Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., as police infiltrate the area where a shooting took place earlier today. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times)

Blacksburg police officers run from Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., earlier today. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times).

In this image provided by WSLS TV, an unidentified man is held at gunpoint during a manhunt on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., earlier today. A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom on the campus, killing at least 30 people. (AP Photo/WSLS TV)

Q: Does There Come A Point When We Get Too Numb?

I’ve been trying to blog and go about my regular work today. But everything seems a bit surreal, with the awful tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech. The senses are somewhat overwhelmed. I wonder: Will there come a point when we become too numb to these tragedies. Consider:

*Iraq invasion (and nearly daily loss of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan)
*Hurricane Katrina
*Amish school shootings
*Now, Virginia Tech

Question: How do you cope with these things?

Extra! K-County Deputy Justified in Shooting

Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff Charles Sciortino was justified in shooting Victor Leon in the chest and right arm during a confrontation March 14, county Prosecutor Bill Douglas said in a report released today. Douglas said the officer, who fired his .45-caliber pistol four times at Leon, was justified in using deadly force when Leon, driving a Dodge pickup truck, allegedly drove in a manner that could have harmed bystanders. Leon, who led police on a long chase after he was shot, ignored repeated commands to exit the vehicle, Douglas said. A video camera in a police car depicted the suspect “violently backing up his truck and car dolly-type trailer, striking three vehicles,” including Sciortino’s patrol car, the prosecutor wrote in his report.

Full report here

29 Words Or Less: Beware the Ides of April

Associated Press

Each year in the U.S.,
We share a common distress,
On April 15,
We say “Good-bye” to the green,
and “Hello” to the IRS!

Andy Michaels/29 Words Or Less

Statesman: Bill Sali’s 1st 100 Days Surprisingly Quiet

Bill Sali knew he had some fences to mend when he got to Congress. One of his early encounters was lunch with fellow Idaho Republican Mike Simpson, the former state House speaker who had once threatened to throw him out a window. “I made the comment, ‘Hey, I need to work on this relationship with you,’” Sali recalls. “His immediate response was, ‘Hey, we’re OK, don’t worry about it.’” One hundred days into Sali’s term in Congress, the combative evangelical conservative remains as determined as ever to “reform” the Beltway culture, though so far with little of his trademark bluster. As if to prove the point, one of his first acts in Washington was to get himself elected GOP freshman class president. It’s a largely ceremonial post, but his press secretary, Wayne Hoffman, said it “says a lot about his ability to get along and build relationships” — Kevin Diaz/Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

Question: Are you surprised by Congressman Bill Sali’s performance during his first 100 days in office?

Virginia Tech News Conference in One Hour

Update here

ABC News will broadcast President Bush’s remarks at 4:15 p.m. EDT, followed by the officials’ news conference at Virginia Tech. Full coverage tonight on “World News with Charles Gibson” at 6:30 p.m. ETD and an extended edition of “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m. EDT

My 2 Cents: Community Center Always Attracts Boo-birds

I’m amazed that there are individuals in this community who are still trying to stop the construction of a community center — after more than two decades without one. I’m also amazed that the Coeur d’Alene Press published Larry Spencer’s claims about the so-called “Dirtgate” Sunday in an op-ed piece on the Opinion Page without checking out Spencer’s claims. But that’s another story. As you recall, Spencer made several claims here last week that were easily knocked down by Salvation Army officials, including one that money could be saved by simply putting the new center in the re-contoured gravel pit, which might make sense, except that the center is so big that it wouldn’t fit in the hole. But this isn’t about Spencer. He travels to his own misguided beat. It’s about individuals who are trying there darndest to stop the $64M gift bestowed on this community by the Ray and Joan Kroc Foundation, through the Salvation Army.

Inside Huckleberries — 4/16/07

*Huckleberries hears … that Salvation Army Major John Chamness and Kroc Center project engineer Steve Walker are preparing a response to Larry Spencer’s op-ed Sunday attack in the Coeur d’Alene Press. They’re amazed that they weren’t contacted by the Press to address the claims that Spencer made.

*There’ll be no APhoto of the Day in respect to those who were killed or wounded by the nut gunman at Virginia Tech.

*Question (from A Fan): Is the Ron Johnson (who was involved in the non-event “wild goose chase” by LCDC critics Thursday) the husband of Kristy Reed Johnson? That would make for some strange bedfellows. DFO: No, this Ron Johnson is a Repub and an engineer from Hayden.

*Erica Curless poked her head in the door a moment ago to say that Marina Kalani’s performance (the Dolly Parton role) in “Steel Magnolias” Friday night was (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) — fabulous. Erica, Taryn Brodwater and a group of others watched the play at the Lake City Playhouse. Erica’s critique: “Marina Kalani is a very talented local actress. Some of us girls went to see ‘Steel Magnolias’ Friday at the Lake City Playhouse and all agreed Kalani was fabulous in her role as Truvy Jones, the beauty parlor owner. The entire cast was great but Kalani especially stood out from mastering the southern accent to her hilarious facial expressions. Congratulations, Marina.” Marina, of course, is the individual involved in the prosecutor e-mail struggle with the SR that the Idaho Supreme Court is considering as I type. BTW, the play runs again this weekend.

Online Poll: Bible As High School Elective Course?

Texas could become the first in the nation to require all public high schools to offer an elective course on the Bible if a bill currently pending in the Texas Legislature becomes law. Do you think high schools should offer elective courses on the Bible? — Idaho Statesman poll.

*No opinion

Nappi: Catholics Will Raise $10M Reparation Money

To settle its claims, the Spokane Diocese filed for bankruptcy, and if a bankruptcy plan is approved in late April every Catholic in the Diocese will be asked to contribute to a $48 million settlement for more than 150 abuse victims. The parishes must come up with $10 million. This money will come from the people in the pews. It might surprise some non-Catholics, but strong-arm tactics and guilt aren’t used to collect money from Catholics, because neither works anymore. I may well be proved wrong, but I have a hunch that the $10 million will be pledged and raised quickly, even if, as expected, more than half of Catholics here don’t participate. Some who won’t participate are angry about the settlement terms. Some are angry that lawyers will get a chunk of the money. And some are angry at the victims, believe it or not — Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review.

Full column here

Question: Would you want to contribute to a $10M fund-raiser to pay reparations for victims of sex abuse?

Thom George: Spencer Got His “Dirtgate” Column

re: Larry Spencer’s op-ed column in Coeur d’Alene Press Sunday: “Dirtgate at Kroc Center.”

Do you think the editorial writer at the Cd’A Press knew what was going to appear on the page with their opinion? Spencer’s ‘Guest Opinion’ would seem to cross the very “lines of respect and decency” tat the editorial bemoans. And The Press has provided Mary Souza with the very “public arena” for “Allegations without one crumb of proof and rumors without substantiation” that they now speak against.
The anti-LCDC and anti-Kroc folks operate in a manner that does more harm than good. Instead of asking questions, obtaining answers and presenting the findings in a sane and factual manner, they instead level charges based upon suspicions, rumor and lack of information. They then proceed to spread vagues accusations through innuendo without actually presenting any proof. This muddies the waters of already complex and perhaps controversial issues and is a huge disservice to the public whom they claim to be concerned about. Some of the letters in the local paper are evidence that citizens are mixing up facts, confusing issues and reaching erroneous conclusions based upon the “rumors without substantiation” that are being spread.

Thom George

DFO: Spencer is incredibly persistent. But that doesn’t mean he’s right. As far as the Press goes … I’m sure the editorial writer knew what was going to appear elsewhere on the page. (BTW, since Ted provided a link to Spencer’s column in the HBO comments section, I provided a link above. Dunno if there’s anything in Spencer’s column that he hasn’t trotted out here already.

AM Hucks: Tip Sends Watchdogs Down Wrong Trail

The posse that’s been tracking Lake City Development Corp. activity for months stubbed its toe badly last week. It all started with a tip to LCDCritic Dan Gookin from someone with concerns about a Black Rock Development project. Seems the tipster had heard that developer Marshall Chesrown had illegally diverted the Spokane River in front of the Bellerive neighborhood along the shore next to Riverstone. To Gookin’s credit, he decided to check things out before spreading rumors. To the discredit of his associates, the local media was called, along with Beth Reinhart, an Army Corps of Engineers rep. Everyone met at Riverstone Starbucks – Gookin, Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter and Ron Johnson representing, ahem, concerned citizens; reporters and photographers from both local papers; and biologist Reinhart. Gookin led the group along the shoreline, where crews are building condos. Reinhart inspected the silt fences, the rock retaining walls and the pilings for the public boardwalk and said everything looked A-OK. “This looks like a good job, a really good job,” Reinhart said. She politely answered the questions and promised to make sure the property owner had the proper permits. Strike one. Then, the group moved downstream to the Mill River development to see if the alleged river diversion was there. It wasn’t. Again, Reinhart didn’t see anything wrong. Strike two. Finally, Gookin tried and failed to phone the tipster. Strike three. Gookin apologized for leading everyone on a “wild goose chase.” Next time, boys? We’ll call you.

Community Invited to Ace Walden’s 100th Birthday

Ace Walden will celebrate his 100th birthday on Thursday. Walden is well known for his volunteer work in the community and is a former recipient of the Coeur d’Alene Distinguished Citizen Award. The Walden House in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was named in honor of Ace and his wife Ellen’s volunteer work with Kootenai Medical Center and the community. Walden House is a nine-bedroom home that provides low cost lodging for outpatients and their families while receiving treatment at KMC or the North Idaho Cancer Center. Walden and his family moved to the area in 1911. He and his wife, who passed away in 1991, met when they were first-grade classmates in 1913. Walden worked at Idaho First National Bank for 42 years, starting as an apprentice bookkeeper in 1930 and retiring as bank vice-president in 1972. He was a member of the rotary club and the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce for over 30 years. A birthday celebration for Walden is scheduled for Friday, May 18 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.

Don “Tiny Bubbles” Ho, 76, R.I.P.

AP Photo/Lucy Pemoni, File

Don Ho performs in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 24, 2004. Ho died Saturday morning, April 14, 2007, of heart failure. He was 76. Ho came to international fame with hits like “Tiny Bubbles.”

Redux Q: Do You Prefer A Monster Or A Small Church?

Dozens of ushers hold trays of communion cups to serve during worship at the Friday evening service at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls Friday.

Item: Church seeks larger venue: Real Life Ministries wants to build campus on Rathdrum Prairie site/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: In the 10 years since its inception, Real Life Ministries’ congregation has grown from four people to nearly 7,500, prompting the nondenominational Christian church to seek more space on the Rathdrum Prairie for an expansive campus. The church, which claims to be the largest in the Inland Northwest if not the Pacific Northwest, is asking Kootenai County for a conditional-use permit to build a 3,500-seat worship center, children’s ministry, 300-seat chapel, field house and athletic fields on 116 acres east of state Highway 41, at the corner of Meyer Road and Wyoming Avenue.

Question: Would you prefer to attend a large church, like new life, or one in the 300 to 500 member range, or smaller?

It’s My 2 Cents — If Some Want to Leave, So Be it

People have come and gone here for most of the three-plus years that I’ve been doing this blog. Most of their own accord when they couldn’t bend me to their will. In the past week, LCDC critics Dan Gookin and Mary Souza have indicated that they’re through here b/c they didn’t like the treatment they’d gotten from me, you or you and me. Larry Spencer was booted Thursday night after he called Salvation Army Major John Chamness “a liar.” I don’t enjoy seeing people stomp off. But I’m not going to change the way I run things here. For example, if someone wants to throw elbows here, I’ll throw them back. I’d rather do that than ban someone. Some of those who stomp off to curse my name in their coffee klatches are individuals whom I have promoted at length via Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs or elsewhere on the blog front page. Yet, all they remember is that they crossed swords with me — and got the short end of the deal, in their estimation. They don’t realize that I’m dealing with the wild dynamics of this blog while facing print deadlines every day. I’m suppose to understand them. But they don’t reciprocate. As a result, I don’t lose sleep over someone who stomps off here. There’s always room to come back. I don’t hold grudges. You can ask individuals like Green Libertarian whom I used to battle several times a week. I tossed GreenL in the cooler so many times that he probably felt like a yo-yo. Then, I mellowed. And mebbe he did, too. I’m not concerned about those who leave. They’re replaced by others. Some come back — and are welcome when they do. However, those of you who watch the occasional pitch battles here should realize that I deal with too many people here, some with cranky attitudes, to allow anyone to dump on me too long. Things would get out of hand if I did.

Bent: Don’t Lump DanG w/Mary, Spencer

You know, I hate to see anyone stomp off like Mary did, but you have to expect to get put in your place on this blog — especially when you level allegations based in half truths and expect everyone to take them at face value. Then she continually insults Dave’s ethical and professional integrity using a conspiracy based on absolutely no facts whatsoever. When called on it, she claims victimization and storms off. Mary’s politics are so Jr. High. BTW, I agree with Cabbage Boy, I don’t lump DanG in with Spencer and Mary. Dang does the necessary work before he alleges anything. I may not agree with his take on most things, but I can count on him to stick to factual information. DanG also builds credibility in my book by admiting his errors, recognizing when he stepped over the line and apologizing when necessary.


Thom George’s analysis of the LCDC wars on HBO here

Harley Owners Debate Mufflers, Adequacy Issues

Harley Owner: People who modify their mufflers to get a big sound are usually the ones with inadequacy issues. When I see a little man climb down from his jacked up truck, I feel sorry for him and his. … shortcomings? Same thing with most Harley owners. If they had a good level of self confidence, the owners would not need to take the mufflers of to try to impress others with how “bad@ss” they are. When they rattle down the road, they remind me of Neanderthals giving society the finger. My Harley has the original muffler.

KeithinCDA: To say that if Harley onwers had little more self confidence they would not have the need to take the mufflers off shows you really don’t own a Harley. The mufflers are never taken off (as in no muffler at all) rather the confident Harley onwer/rider wants the bike to be a machine that performs to perfecion. No different than someone who wants a Bose surround sound system in your house or stainless steel sinks instead of porcelain in the kitchen or granite counter tops instead of formica.
Harley Owner, you must be the guy whose picture was posted earlier this week with the “VIAGRA” license plates!Get over yourself.

Help Family Phil Win Home-School Blog Award Tonight

Hey HBOers, Family Phil is in a neck-and-neck race to win the Best of the Homeschool Dad Blog award. He and another guy have 19% of the votes apiece — with voting to end at midnight. If you haven’t voted, or if you haven’t voted from your home computer, take time to vote for Phil and A Family Runs Through It tonight here.

Update: Family Phil wins 22% to 20% over The Mango Times, the next closest competitor in the Home-School Dad Blog awards. Congrats Phil.

Friday The 13th Wild Card — 4/13/07

Another long but productive week’s in the books (although I have voices buzzing in my head after dealing with LCDC critics and Spencer all week). The voices are telling me to fuhgeddabout my diet and stop by Wendy’s on the way home. I’ll try to ignore the voices — and mebbe toilet-paper LCDC exec Tony Berns’ house instead. Dunno why I have a compulsion to do that. Here’s your last Wild Card of the work week …

OrangeTV: Thumbs Up to Bakery-by-the-Lake

If you haven’t popped in to check out the new Bakery-by-the-Lake in the former insty-prints on 3rd St. in Cd’A, you just gotsta do it. I’ve been in twice just to grab some goodies to go, and the goodies were great. A good scone is a wonderful thing and they have many varieties to choose from. So far, I’ve tried the pumpkin scone and the orange-cranberry scone and they were huge and delicious. With a fresh cup of coffee it’s filling enough to be breakfast and for a buck and half, the price is quite right. Also, I had a chocolate cookie that was exactly the same as mom’s and that’s pretty friggin’ good. I also sampled a piece of fresh baked sourdough bread and *wow* - it was moist and perfect, as good as the best San Fran could offer. One suggestion: the seating area could use a bit of cozying up - all they have is a handful of cold square tables and stiff chairs in a room devoid of personality. Some plants and a bookshelf would do the trick — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Question: Where do you go for your pastry treats?

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/13/07

AP Photo/Daytona Beach News-Journal, Jim Tiller

Paul Lavine, rides his skateboard powered by his 2-year-old great dane, Zeus, on the sidewalk along Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Fla, Thursday afternoon. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Dang goes on another wild Zeus chase — Family Phil.

2. Why did the ADHD kid cross the road? Because he was riding his skateboard while being towed by his Great Dane, Zeus! — RSPA.

3. Paul discovers first hand that if you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes — John Austin.

HM: A Token D

Fortier: Talking Up Fidel, Getting A Good Tan

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter — referred to by Fidel Castro as his “cowboy friend” — is in Cuba discussing trade. Although I was not part of the Idaho delegation, with the help of my personal Cuban cigar contact, I was able to get exclusive access to the transcript of Otter’s and Castro’s private meeting. Castro: “Hola, my cowboy friend.” Otter: “Howdy, my bandito buddy.” Castro: “Es muy bueno to see you again. I am almost out of the potatoes you shipped me in 2004.” Otter: “Yeah, well, that’s why I moseyed on over. You see, if me and the new missus are gonna be able to fiesta and siesta with y’all, you’re gonna have to part with some pesos — Marty Fortier/Coeur d’Alene Press.”

Full post here

Question: Will Idaho gain anything from Butch Otter’s trip to Cuba?

BrodH20: Where Should We Go for Idaho Road Trip?

Every summer we load up the pop-up tent trailer and take a grand vacation to exotic places like the Oregon coast. Or, for variety, the Washington coast. This summer, we’re thinking of touring our home state. I was telling one of my friends of our plans to see Idaho in all its splendor and she made this awful face and advised me to avoid the nether regions of Idaho i.e. anything south of Boise. “It’s a wasteland,” she said. Neither The Otis or I have had a purely Idaho road trip and it’s hard to know which areas of the state truly are godforsaken wasteland (I find it hard to believe that any of that exists given what we have seen of the state). I’m a little nervous about ending up at an RV park in the middle of some dust bowl with a two-seater outhouse in 110 degree weather. We’re thinking of actually heading out of town, through Montana and down to Yellowstone, the Sawtooths, then back into southern Idaho for some home-state explorations, then north to home — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

Question: For anyone who’s been in the bottom-half of the state, what stops would you recommend (especially those that are kid- and tent-camper-friendly.

LastDemo: What Are Needed LCDC Tweaks, DFO

LastDemoinIdaho: What are those “tweaks” or changes or problems with LCDC that you allude to? It would be positive and helpful to all of us commenting on this issue to see you concede some specifics to those who are pointing out concerns. So far there has been too much defensiveness and blind support expressed here (much from you) for LCDC. This implies that all the rest of us are wrong or naysayers or worse. Some of us just want facts and answers. That’s all, not preaching about the virtues of growth or the honesty of all those involved. I know that Charley, the Chair of LCDC is a great guy, a wonderful businessman and has contributed much to the community. I worked with him extensively years ago, so I am not just butt-kissing. But that does not mean that every decision he or his board makes has the blessing of Heaven! Some of us believe they have made some mistakes, maybe not huge mistakes, but errors of judgement that should be owned-up to. And corrected. That’s all.

DFO: LastDemoinIdaho, others in the comments section have noted that I’ve been pointing out for almost two weeks concerns with which I agree with the LCDC critics. Mary, I believe, wrote a list of 5 two Saturdays ago. I agree to different degrees with 4 of the 5 changes she suggested. I’m too busy on a Friday to list them off the top of my headed, especially with the LCDC critics ready to pounce on anything said in favor of the agency. This morning, I began a dialogue with Tony Berns of the LCDC re: different concerns that the critics have raised. I’ll continue that in the weeks ahead, mebbe in a question-and-answer format, so people can print it out and keep it. Mebbe one issue at a time. Obviously, I agree with their concerns about keeping the school levy money.

29 Words: Happy Friday the 13th

Kirk Mastin

Friday the 13th is here,
But superstitions give me no fear,
With scissors I’ll run,
Juggle knives just for fun,
Maybe try catching a s

Andy Michaels/29 Words Or Less

Online Poll: Which Is Your Fave Ethnic Cuisine?

What is your favorite ethnic cuisine? — Idaho Statesman.


DFO: Chinese (before I began my Mother of All Diets).

SR: Government Has No Role To Play In Imus Matter

While we bemoan the utter lack of seriousness and perspective that permeates TV news, we don’t think the government has a role to play in the Imus matter. The free market, not censorship, decided his fate – and rightly so. Yet, civil rights groups pressed the Federal Communication Commission to get involved. If the FCC were to intervene, it would establish a tempting and ultimately chilling avenue for anyone who is offended – honestly or not – by the media — Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board.

Full editorial here

Question: Should the government intervene in media meltdown like Don Imus’ racial insult?

JimmyMAC: Give The Duane Credit for Kroc Support

JimmyMAC: In all fairness to The Duane, I don’t believe for a second that he is anti Kroc center. He pledged between $200-$250K to the SA for teh Kroc Center.

DFO: JimmyMAC; you are right to a big extent. Hagadone pledged $250,000. For some reason now, however, he has his tail in a knot about the project. And he has thrown his support to the Boys and Girls Club of Post Falls. All in all, he’s done good by the Kroc Center, which is well on its way to achieving the $6M, and his support for the Boys and Girls Club is a welcome thing, too. He undercuts the good he’s done somewhat, however, by telling Kroc Center supporters, through his newspaper minions, that they should expect little support via his news pages now. The Press would be wise to give coverage to the announcement of the $300,000 donation by the (Fall River Mills developers, I believe) today. Tongues are already wagging about the new Press approach to the Kroc Center (as it nears its goal of raising $6M) — and the weekly column devoted to the Boys and Girls Club. ‘Tis a shame that two good projects should get caught up in behind-the-scenes political turmoil.

Redux: Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi w/John Chamness

Many of you read the interview between Salvation Army Major John Chamness and me Wednesday, as it was happening online, or the full text a few hours later. If you haven’t, you can read the full text of the interview, plus Q&A from HBO readers, here. Below, you’ll find an excerpt from the interview.

DFO: Will The Salvation Army be spooked by detractors from finishing the Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center?

JC: No. I look at how many needs the Kroc Center will meet in this community and at the incredible support we have in this community. It’s just the right thing to do.

DFO: How much has been fundraised so far?

JC: We’ve raised $4.3 million, and we need another $1.7 million by the end of May to break ground this June.

DFO: Do you foresee any problems raising that?

JC: We’re right on target.

BTW, Tom Johnson, Cliff Mort and Jae Enos of the Fall River Mills development on the Spokane River will officially pledge $300,000 to the Kroc Center today. A photo op is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. today at the Neighborhood Inc. office, 3201 N. Huetter Road, Coeur d’Alene.

Parting Shot — 4/12/07

AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune, Robin Loznak

An osprey lands on a nest built high on a utility pole near Dearborn, Mont., along the Missouri River on Thursday, April 12, 2007. Also known as a fishhawks or seahhawks, osprey are fish eating birds of prey.

Noah Kroese: A Tribute to Vonnegut

Noah Kroese/Political Cartoon

Anti-LCDCers Lead Media on “Wild Goose Chase”

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Dan Gookin and biologist Beth Reinhart check out bad anonymous tip.

Apparently, Dan Gookin got a tip from someone with concerns that Marshall Chesrown and Black Rock Development had illegally diverted the Spokane River in front of the Bellerive residential project on the shoreline next to Riverstone. He told reporters that before he spread any rumors he wanted to find out the true facts. Afterward, he apologized for leading everyone on a “wild goose chase.”

After a few calls to the media, a meeting was set up this afternoon with the local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative. Environmental Resource Specialist/Biologist Beth Reinhart met Gookin along with Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter and Ron Johnson in the Starbuck’s parking lot so she could investigate the alleged wrong-doing. A CdA Press reporter, who set up the meeting, also tagged along as did a Spokesman reporter and photographers from both papers. Gookin lead the group along the shoreline, where crews are building condos. Reinhart inspected the silt fences, the rock retaining walls, and the pilings for the public boardwalk and concluded that everying looked good. “This looks like a good job, a really good job,” Reinhart said. She politely answered the groups questions and said she would investigate to see who owned the property and if they had proper permits.

Then the group moved downstream to the Mill River development to see if the alleged river diversion was there. It wasn’t. Again, Reinhart didn’t see anything wrong. Gookin and the group tried to get the anonymous tipster on the phone to get more specifics just to ensure they weren’t missing anything. They never got in contact with the person. After the meeting, Reinhart went to the Black Rock office, where George Schillinger presented her with copies of the required permits. “There is no issue,” Reinhart said in a phone message to the Spokesman. “They are in compliance with permit. It’s not really a story.”

Q: Will Ex-CASA Head Indictment Hurt Fund-raiser?

Item: Ex-CASA head indicted in thefts: Rhonda Naylor also faces 19 counts of wire fraud/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A federal grand jury has indicted the former head of North Idaho’s Court Appointed Special Advocates program for allegedly stealing about $2,400 from the nonprofit group’s coffers and lying to a federal agent. Rhonda Naylor, also known as Rhonda Richardson, allegedly told an FBI agent that she had purchased more than $200 worth of clothing at CJ Banks for a young CASA client who was “extremely heavy” and “had self-esteem problems.” Naylor actually bought the clothes for herself, the grand jury found.

Question: Will this hurt that big CASA fund-raiser being planned by downtown good guy Jim Elder and sponsored by John Beutler and his wife this month?

29 Words Or Less: “Foul Call”

Don Imus found Rutgers quite scrappy,
When his trash talk mentioned “ho’s nappy”,
Now he’s kissed on the air,
So much derriere,
Al Sharpton’s backside’s feeling chappy!

Andy Michaels/29 Words or Less

Money Mag: CdA Best Place for Young Retires

Non-French-speaking types tired of figuring out how to pronounce the name of this nice spot in Idaho simply call it “CDA.” No matter. Barbara Walters loves it here, as do the natives who never tire of the city’s babbling brooks and stunning scenery. Tourism has grown significantly over the years so traveling on some of the tight country roads can get a little slow. While there’s a natural ski environment here, something you probably don’t know about Coeur d’Alene (actually pronounced “core da lane”) is its prolific golf culture which features the world’s only moveable floating green.

More here

Question: Are you doing cartwheels about more exposure for Coeur d’Alene in a national mag?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/12/07

Meagan Thompson/Twin Falls Times-News, AP Photo

Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office Undersherriff Ed Gudgell talks on the radio Tuesday, while investigating the death of a BASE jumper in Twin Falls. The BASE jumper who died Tuesday, after leaping off Perrine Bridge, shown in background, over the Snake RivA BASE jumper who died Tuesday jumping from the Perrine Bridge may have entangled his hand while attempting to release his parachute here.

Tom Forbes/Palousitics: Congrats to WSU Young Repubs for screening “Outside the Wire” here and here.

1. Four prominent Spokane Catholics have asked Bishop William Skylstad to resign, saying the $48 million bankruptcy deal he struck to settle sex-abuse claims against the Spokane Catholic Diocese is a “complete disaster” here.

2. A 23-year-old University of Arizona student who police say was the first victim of John Joseph Delling _ and the only one who survived _ has described the early-morning incident in which he was shot in the face and chest here.

3. Montana U.S. Attorney William Mercer, who as acting associate attorney general also is No. 3 in the Justice Department, answered hours of questions in a closed-door session with congressional investigators Wednesday about his role in the firings of eight federal prosecutors here.

4. Druggists who think “morning-after” birth control pills are tantamount to abortion can’t stand in the way of a patient’s right to get a prescription, the Washington Board of Pharmacy ruled unanimously Thursday here.

5. The state Senate narrowly approved a “simple majority” measure for school levies this morning, breaking a years-long deadlock over whether a 50 percent or 60 percent majority should be required. Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign it here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rich Landers/Spokesman-Review (Mentoring kids serious job for hunters), Gary Kawamura/WSU Evergreen (Everyone has too much stuff), Mark Henckel/Montana Outdoors, Billings Gazette (Strutting at dawn), Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News (On cutting a finger tip), Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (But don’t dress like an individual).

Online Poll: 74% of 608 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they have a fixed-rate loan to pay for their home mortgage.

*Idaho Wildlife Federation eyes voter initiative on Idaho elk farms here.

*Evidence mounts against teen accused of setting Vallivue High schoolmate on fire here.

*Washington House OKs bill to penalize driving and talking with hand-held cell phone here.

Orbusmax Special: 14 of 20 endangered pygmy rabbits dead after release in eastern Washington here.

For the Curious, You Can Find The Link to Croc …

… with lower part of vet’s left arm in mouth here. You know you want to look.

Hat Tip: Thom George

What To Do (re: Graphic Photo)

The AP photo wire has a photo of a giant crocodile with a veterinarian’s lower left arm clutched in his teeth. Seems the croc bit off the vet’s arm while being treated. Should I publish it in HBO?

Smith Motors to End Easter Egg Hunt …

Dealer Ken Smith called Huckleberries Online a few minutes ago to say that he’s ending his annual Easter egg hunt in Coeur d’Alene. He said he’d made the decision before the two articles appeared this week in Huckleberries print b/c the thing has gotten too big. He guesstimated that 8000 adults and children attended the event Friday evening at the dealership’s service lot at Fourth and Locust. The dealership bought 550 prizes besides bikes to give away for the event. Ken said he saw one woman in the 0 to 4 age group without a kid shoveling hundreds of eggs into a large garbage sack in quest for the prizes. At one point, he said, “I was afraid an adult was going to run over a kid.” It was the sixth Easter egg hunt staged by the dealership. Ken ended by expressing thanks to those who supported the hunt, with the right attitude, and have supported his business in town.

Noah Kroese: Senor Butch Hablas Con Fidel

Political Cartoon: Noah Kroese

Arpie: Baby Left in Car Brings Back Memories

Arpie: A week after my first child was born my wife and I took him to the doctor’s for his first checkup. When we got to the receptionist we both realized at the same instant that we had forgotten our son in the car. I still remember the look we gave each other as we came to the same realization at the same moment.

DFO: I’m so absent-minded at times that I could see inadvertently leaving my baby in the car. I misplace things all the time — sometimes important things. I empathize with Uncle Billy in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I’m capable of leaving a deposit bag full of money on a bank counter. Of course, my wife never would leave one of our babies in the back seat. So, that’s how our babies were safe as they grew to adults.

AM Hucks: Another Parent Complains About Egg Hunt

Family Phil and his kids weren’t the only ones who wished they were somewhere else during the recent Easter egg riot, er, hunt, sponsored by the Dave Smith dealership in Coeur d’Alene. A Huckleberries Online commenter named April had a similar experience. First, a disclaimer: Dave Smith Motors deserves credit for trying to stage a wonderful event for the community. But greedy parents ensured that the dealership’s good deed didn’t go unpunished. Onward. April took her children (3 and 6) to the hunt in the Dave Smith parking lot, where they waited patiently for 90 minutes in their separate age groups. When the signal was given to begin, April was stunned: “What I saw shook and horrified me. My 6-year-old son was lost in a sea of adults – adults who I witnessed stomping on the eggs, stuffing them down their shirts, pushing and shoving. It was the worst thing I have ever witnessed.” April’s boy collected three eggs for his troubles – three more than his brother. The 3-year-old didn’t get a piece of candy or an egg. But he did get pushed to the ground. His father almost did, too, when he rushed to rescue the boy from the Easter mob. April: “We try to instill in our children that it is important to treat people with dignity and respect. I ask how am I supposed to show them (how people should behave toward each other) when they witness a mass amount of adults acting in such an appalling manner?” April said she has attended the Easter egg hunt every year since her oldest son was 1. And she has never seen such a horrible display before. F’shame.

Kurt Vonnegut, “Slaughterhouse-5” Novelist, R.I.P.

AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler

In this March 5, 1990 file photo, author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., right, leads a group of picketers outside the Random House Publishing Co. to protest the closure of their Pantheon Books division in New York. Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as “Slaughterhouse-five” and “Cat’s Cradle,” died tonight, his wife Jill Krementz said. (Wikipedia here.)

Transplanted Texan’s eulogy to Kurt Vonnegut here

Question: Which was your favorite Vonnegut book?

Parting Shot — 4/11/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Tammy Powell of Sandpoint pets a squirrel which her family has raised since it was found abandoned in their driveway as a baby. Its eyes were still closed and it was surrounded by curious neighborhood dogs. It now hangs out on their deck waiting for treats.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 4/11/07

Family Phil Photo

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It can’t get the grasp of his kids’ taste in veggies. They love carrots raw, but not cooked. They love broccoli cooked but not raw here.

*Mari/Dogwalk Musings writes: Let me begin by saying this is not a defense of Don Imus. But to paraphrase the quote by Captain Louie Renault in Casablanca, “I’m shocked, shocked to hear something outrageous and shocking from a ‘shock’ jock!” here.

*Melanie/Plaid Toaster writes: I went to the doctor’s today. I am very religious about my yearly girly visits. I hate them but never miss them. I went in and put on my paper gown. Why is it we can put a man on the moon but can not come up with a better way to cover ourselves during this visits? How bouts a nice terry cloth robe? here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour eulogizes about long-time friend, Betsy Foster, who finally succumbed to cancer here.

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb has announced he’s the grandfather of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter here, Cis/From A Simple Mind and The King go for a ride here, Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts recalls KISS and The Gorge here, OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy celebrates his 35th birthday (R-rated) here, Sue/Tumblewords offers “Painting Cold” here, Wondering has a primal urge to plant here, and Trish/Wading Through the River Journal provides a peek at the current issue here.

Press Edit: Brand X Reins In Uncivil Blog Posters

Item: Free speech, civility aren’t lethal enemies/Coeur d’Alene Press

More: We don’t mind a bit when discussion becomes vigorous, passionate or assertive. But some of the people attempting to post their opinions seem unable to do so without resorting to name-calling, vulgar language and threats. A story we posted last week, on the increasing Hispanic population in Kootenai County, brought out the worst of the worst.

DFO: Gee, how will Dave Walker, Tolle, Claude d’Waalz be able to express their hatred for all things Huckleberries and DFO now?

HBO Provides $2.85M Contract to Fill Kroc Center Hole

If you can open this .pdf file, you’ll find a complete cost breakdown for the $2.85M contract with Bill Radobenko’s ACI Northwest to cut and haul fill material to the future site of the Kroc Center here

BrodH20: Make My Toilet Paper 2-Ply or Bust

I’ve never bothered with those paper toilet seat liners that are meant to keep your butt and thighs from touching the pot. One of my friends called ‘em “ass gaskets” and if they weren’t available in a restroom he’d craft his own by placing sheets of toilet paper around the seat. I always figure that if everyone else at work is using the gaskets when they use the bathroom, the unprotected seat is probably pretty darn clean. And it’s more comfortable that sitting on a crumply, slidy ring of tissue paper. I’ve never understood is why businesses buy these toilet seat liners that probably aren’t really necessary anyhow and then stock the toilet paper dispensers with one-ply tissue, the kind that hurts to blow your nose with. I don’t know if everyone will agree with me here, but I could care less about protecting my cheeks and thighs. I’d risk contamination of the backs of my thighs in exchange for some two-ply TP — Mommy Dearest/BrodH20.

Question: Anything else bug you about public or workplace toilets?

One Last Question for the Major re: That Fill Dirt

Question: Could you have gotten the fill material for the gravel pit from the airport and got a hauler to move it more cheaply for you?

A — Yes, we could have gotten boulders from the airport, not pit run. The boulders would have had to be crushed and mixed with other dirt. The dirt then would have had to be hauled by conventional dump truck down Ramsey Road at a cost of around $14 per cubic yard. This does not include the cost to compact the dirt. Just to haul the dirt. The pit run that we’re getting from the Hawksnest site is free material. The only cost is for the haul and compaction, which is $2.38 per cubic yard. ACI is donating up to $150,000 in kind toward the hauling. Bill Radobenko is losing money on this haul. He’s doing this because he believes in the project and the impact it’s going to make in the community.

Q — Why didn’t you simply recontour the material on site?
A — The material on site was primarily organic material, which is unsuitable material to build a building on. What we thought was the bottom of the pit wasn’t the true bottom. The average depth of the pit is now 37 feet. We thought it was 25 feet. When we started to excavate dirt, we realized that we had to go down another 15 feet to get to native material.

Huckleberries Gone Wireless2 w/ John Chamness

Q — Have you seen “Guys and Dolls”?
A — Yes. But only on TV. Mebbe we’ll sponsor a live performance at the new Kroc Center chapel.

Q — What do you do for fun?
A — Boating. I grew up on boats. I did a lot of racing around the Pacific NW. I own a powerboat. I enjoy boating with my family on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Q — Is the Kroc Center directorship a dream job?
A — I grew up in Marysville, Wash., on a gentleman’s farm. I had no idea I’d be part of building an incredible community center like this.

Q — How much are other communities raising for their Kroc Centers?
A — Detroit is raising $48M for a $50M grant. Salem is similar to ours. They’re raising $8M for $50M. Phoenix: $15M (but can’t remember size of grant). Honolulu ($22M).

Q — What’s the strangest thing you had to do as a SA person?
A — In Micronesi (primitive, developing nation), our church resided in Mosquitotown. There were lots of sickness and injuries. People would come to me b/c they didn’t want to go to hospital. You only went to hospital to die. We were often bandaging people up. I haven’t had to deliver a baby yet.

Q — Why VW bug on sign near Kroc Center?
A — When I was in Seattle the VW dealership gave us a bug and we had it decaled as SA faces and program names. It was a PR tool. We had it in parades. We’d love a local dealer to donate a vehicle to it. A Hummer would be more in style with the NW, don’t you think?

Q — How do you get to be a major in the SA?
A — By growing old.

Major Chamness Arriving in 30 Minute for Q&A

As you know, I’ll be interviewing Major John Chamness of the Salvation Army this morning for Friday’s Huckleberries Gone Wireless (name still subject to change). I have a long list of my own Q&A. About a fourth of the questions involve the Kroc Center. The purpose of the interview is to find out about the man, not to pin his ears back with questions from anti-LCDC/Kroc Center types. I’m still looking for a coupla quirky Q’s. You can use this thread to post questions during the interview, which I’ll conduct from the office, to prevent another replay of last week’s technical difficulties. (That, or I’ll have to find out where Eric Seaman is hanging out with his laptop again.) The major and I will chat for about 15 minutes before going online at 10:30. Stay tuned …

Poll: Should State Liquor Stores Open Sundays?

Should state liquor stores be open for business on Sundays? — Idaho Statesman.

*No opinion

Pia: Dog Owners Need to Have Chain Yanked

One thing seems certain: Some pit bulls are dangerous, and it’s getting very tempting to just ban them all together. But I fear a breed-specific ban would be a quick fix to a complex problem. Over the years other breeds have had the vicious label attached to them: Doberman pinchers come to mind, as do Rottweilers and German shepherds. If we ban pit bulls, I’m sure someone will suggest a ban of one of these breeds, too. Breed-specific legislation is the wrong approach. What we need is a “one bite and you’re out” law, and if we want to ban anything it should be unfit dog owners who can’t contain their animals, or who beat and mistreat dogs to make them vicious — Pia K. Hansen/Spokesman-Review.

More here

DFO: I was bitten by a young Rottweiler that attacked my dog while we were walking on Ninth Street a few years ago. The Rottweiler came flying out of the open front door of a house, with his boozy owner about 20 feet behind him. The cad owner tried to say that my dog started it. I probably shoulda sued the creep for everything he had in his beaten down pickup. I filed a police report instead.

Question: Should laws be toughened to hold owners more responsible of dogs involved in vicious attacks?

April: Dave Smith Easter Egg Hunt Appalling

I, too, took both my children (3 and 6) to the Dave Smith hunt on Friday. They patiently waited an hour and a half for the “go ahead” to get the eggs, the signal was made and what I saw shook and horrified me. My six old son was lost in a sea of adults, adults who I witnessed stomping on the eggs, stuffing them down their shirts, pushing and shoving it was the worst thing I have ever witnessed. By the time I found my son, seconds after the hunt began, he had three eggs for his hour and a half wait. My husband had our 3-year old with him, after we met up, he pointed out that our 3-year old wasn’t even able to get a single piece of candy, let alone an egg. My husband told me that immediately my son was shoved to the ground and as my husband reached down to pick him up he was almost knocked to the ground, my husband is not a small man. We try to instill in our children that it is important to treat people with dignity and respect. I ask how am I supposed to show them that is the way people should be toward each other when they witness a mass amount of adults acting in such an appalling manner? What kind of message is that? It is shameful what those parents did, it was like “taking candy from a baby” and for what, a prize basket that had a couple little toys and a few pieces of candy? Was it really worth it?

AM Hucks: Snorting This Is Cheap, Has A Lot of Pop

With ap-hollow-gies to Keith Richards: You shouldn’t snort your father’s ashes as a complement to a more expensive drug, no matter what you think of the late, great paterfamilias. Richards, as you may recall, is the bad boy Rolling Stone who now denies mixing his father’s ashes into whatever drug he was using at the time, and inhaling. But local ER doc Jim Winter of the CastMD blog didn’t want to leave it at that. Jim got out his calculator and began Googling info about cocaine and cremated remains. (Disclaimer: Your Huckleberry Hound was a lousy math student. So, if these numbers don’t make sense? Oh well.) First, Dr. J (as we call him at Huckleberries Online) discovered that the average weight of cremains is 3,700 grams. Then, he sez on CastMD, he learned that a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine costs a dealer $25,000 to $30,000 – a significant hike from $15,000 six months ago when crackdowns on cocaine producers and smugglers began in Colombia and the United States. Then, Dr. Jim punched his calculator, concluding that the street price of cocaine is $100 per gram. That the average cremains would have a cocaine value of $370,000. That the most popular method of cocaine use is dividing a quarter-gram into a line 4 to 6 inches long – and then snorting it with a straw. Ultimately, he concluded that your father’s ashes would form 14,800 lines as a cocaine substitute. That the cost of snorting your father would be only 17 cents per gram since the average cremation costs $625. And that you’d have to be pretty sick in the head to even think about it.

Parting Shot — 4/10/07

AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach

A freshly-caught Maine lobster is seen on the wharf at Cundy’s Harbor, Maine, in a file photo from July 7, 2006. Lobster prices around the state have soared to apparent record highs, retailing for about $15 a pound in April 2007. Harsh winter weather, abnormally cold water temperatures and the timing of fishing seasons are blamed for the shortage.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 4/10/07

Rocket’s Brain Trust asked some time back for me to keep you appraised of my diet and weight loss. I officially touched 20 pounds lost about a week ago. I’d lost 16 pounds by walking. I’ve lost 4 in the last two weeks by watching my diet. I’m surprised that I’ve been able to switch over so fast without missing the type of food that I’d been eating. I’m also approaching a major goal re: walking — 1000 miles. I’ll hit that by the end of the month. And then I’ll consider dropping back a little on the walking and incorporating light weights a coupla times per week. I’m now 7 pounds shy of a weight I haven’t seen since the 1980s when I began lifting weights aggressively. I’ll keep you posted. Now, for your Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 4/10/07

Marmitetoasty/Twaddle took the nippers to a real cool castle, called Portchester, and returned with all the nippers in toe and a bunch of photos, too, here (BTW, that’s Jacob sitting just above a “do not climb” sign).

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations gives Don Imus credit for admitting that he stuck his foot in his mouth, which is more credit than he gives President Bush re: the Iraq situation, here.

*Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent sez there have been times over the Easter weekend in Tennessee that he’s had to dive into the lake to cool off. This wasn’t one of those years. Yes, the family still had its Easter outing, but the 23 degrees prevented them from jumping in the lake here.

*Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table tells of a neat Easter tradition that calls for getting off with her husband to enjoy nature after church services here.

*Southwark Lad/Perambulation and his friends are hanging out in Paris, looking up at the Eiffel Tower, acccording to photos posted in his blog, here.

Meanwhile, TUBOB remembers Half Moon Bay last summer here, Idawa/Word Forge catches up with things on his blog here, and Nathan/Transplanted Texan sez the Easter Vigil is the most beautiful service of the year here.

Stop The Presses: Father of Anna Nicole’s Baby …

… ID’d by DNA tests: It’s the former boyfriend/Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times.

DFO: Now, Americans can exhale and get on with their lives — unless, of course, they watch all-Anna Nicole-every-minute Entertainment Tonight on TV.

It’s All A Matter of Perspective

When Robin Redbreast’s song I hear
it fills me full of springtime cheer.
Poor Worm feels quite another way:
he fears he may be lunch today.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

In The News: Cook 2-3 Hours Until Totally Burnt

AP Photo/The Charleston Gazette, Kenny Kemp

Russell Parsons, of Hurricane, W.Va., shows off his tattoo in this undated photo. The 67-year-old had his funeral plans etched on his arm. It reads: Barlow Bonsall, Cook @ 1700 to 1800 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.

Question: Which route do you prefer re: your mortal remains: cremation or burial?

Question: Should Public School Kids Wear Uniforms?

Item: Borah High students organize to fight school uniform plan/Anne Wallace Allen, Idaho Statesman

Quote: Principal Greg Frederick: “Uniforms level the field for the haves and the have nots and equalize the status of all students.”

Question: Should public school students be forced to wear uniforms?

Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi — Hanging Out @ Java on Sherman

I’ll be at Java on Sherman for the next hour or so, wi-fi’ing and hanging out. Owner Sam Wallin’s handling the cash register. The place is jumping. Not an empty table. Sam asked who I’m going to interview next. I told him Major John Chamness of the Salvation Army — the man who will be in charge of the new Kroc Center. His suggestion for a subsequent interview? Someone from the LCDC. Hmm. The controversy definitely has made inroads on Sherman Avenue. BTW, it was a bit embarrassing that I ordered a 16-ounce coffee and then discovered that I only had a buck in my wallet. I coulda swore there was much more before Amy Dearest arrived Friday for a weekend stay. And after I’d stopped at the bank today to make a deposit.

Trib: Otter Insults Indian Tribes, Enfeebles Himself

How on earth could Gov. Butch Otter (pictured) have signed legislation requiring him to reach agreement with three Idaho Indian tribes on taxing tribal fuel sales by Dec. 1 or let the state impose its own tax on those sales? The bill he made law last week not only jabs an elbow in the ribs of tribes who rightfully say their sovereignty gives them some say over the matter, but it directly circumscribes a prerogative of the governor himself. That is something few chief executives are willing to do, and Otter’s office offers no good reason for him to have done it. “He wanted to bring everybody to the table and is hopeful that dialogue can continue and there can be resolution,” explains Otter spokesman Jon Hanian. How’s that again? — Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune.

More here

Tangled Up in the Red, White and Blue

AP Photo/The Wenatchee World, Don Seabrook

Wind creates havoc for Kyle Ikerd, 14, who tries to hold onto the United States flag while Jake Godwin, 14, ties the rope back on the pole in front of Eastmont Junior High School in East Wenatchee, Wash., Monday. They volunteer to take the flag down after school.

Mary Souza: Handlers of DFO, MikeK Back LCDC

Mary Souza (to: LastDemoinIdaho): To say that the Spokesman Review does not have a bias on this issue is ridiculous. Their attorney, Denny Davis, is on LCDC. The owners of the newspaper are planning their own riverfront development project right near Liberty Lake and they want Tax Increment Financing (the same method used by LCDC) to help pay for it. The Spokesman has run editorials heavily favoring the use of Tax Increment Financing. And the owners of the Spokesman are one of the 5 largest land owners in Kootenai County. Draw your own conclusions. … DFO gets his check signed by the owners of the Spokesman Review. City Councilman Mike Kennedy works for Steve Meyers, who also co-owns Parkwood Properties with Charlie Nipp—chairman of the LCDC.

DFO: We’re all bought and paid for except the lady who does business at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and writes a column for Duane Hagadone’s newspaper. Amazing. Mary, Stacy Cowles supports tax increment financing. Of course. Why? It’s a very good way to guide development in key spots of a community. Having said that — and I know you’ll find this hard to believe — LCDC hasn’t been discussed once in his presence at an Editorial Board meeting. You, Gookin, Rasmussen, Roetter, and Spencer are going to have to shout a little louder before he becomes aware there’s a controversy.

AM Hucks: Parents Trample Family Values @ Egg Hunt

There was a reason Family Phil Corless of Coeur d’Alene was stumbling around his backyard in his flip-flops at 2:30 Easter morning. He was hiding 100 eggs and trying to give his two kids a wonderful Easter Sunday memory to wash away the one from the hunt gone wrong on the previous day. Seems Phil took his kids to a ha-huge Easter egg hunt at the Dave Smith car dealership in Coeur d’Alene over the weekend. He’d heard great things about past hunts and the neat prizes handed out. Well, the dealership’s heart was in the right place. But the same can’t be said for some of the parents. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” writes Phil in his blog, A Family Runs Through It. “One mother even grabbed an egg right out from under a child’s hand.” The kids were satisfied with the candy, but the parents were after the “bling,” according to Phil. “Before the hunt began, the organizers repeatedly asked the adults to step back from the egg hunt entrances, to let all the children get to the front, but only a few parents complied,” Phil continued. “There were many sobbing kids who weren’t able to get past the wall of grown-ups.” In the end, the egg-hunt-turned-riot transformed a sea of eggs into a field of broken plastic and flattened candy. Phil: “I saw more than one parent throwing an egg and its contents to the ground when it didn’t contain a prize number.” Afterward, Family Phil said he felt rotten that his kids had witnessed such greed and selfishness. Dunno how Family Phil’s hunt turned out. But is sounds as though he’s instilling the right values in his youngsters.

Wild Card/Monday — 4/9/07

It looks like the sunshine is behind us for a coupla days, HBOers. On one hand, that’s bad. We all want spring to arrive in all its glory. On the other hand, that means you’re inside paying more attention to Huckleberries. As you were last week. Huckleberries busted through a barrier I didn’t expect to see until the end of the year, averaging more than 7000 page-views per day (including weekend days) — 7121. HBO topped 8000 PVs per day four times last week, topping off at 8560 on Tuesday when it also had 5005 unique views. Thanks for making this site a success. Now, onward to your first Wild Card of the working week …

Question: Is Idaho Getting Too Big for You

Item: Idaho’s cities grow fast as state becomes more urban/Gregory Hahn, Idaho Statesman

Idaho’s urban areas keep growing, and a new U.S. Census estimate shows the state’s 11 most populous areas grew almost three times faster than the rest of the nation’s cities.
Idaho’s 11 largest communities grew by 2.8 percent from mid-2005 to mid-2006, while the 927 similar areas around the country grew by just 1 percent. These larger cities now hold 84.9 percent of Idaho’s population.

Question: Will Idaho ever become so big that you’ll feel like moving on?

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/9/07

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

First lady Laura Bush, seated center, reads “Duck for President” by Doreen Cronin, to children during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. First Lady Laura Bush, while reading to children on the White House lawn, is pleased to find they are as entharled with the story as her husband was when she read it to him — Ordinary Shark.

2. The book is the second in the series after the educational “Duck for Vice-President” about the proper safety techniques for hunting with Dick Cheney — John Austin.

3. The first lady shows the children how far her husband got in the book before it was his bedtime — Eric Seaman.

HM: A Token D

In The News: As Scary As Any Boogeyman

Hasan Sarbakhshian/AP Photo

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks at a ceremony in Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, 300 kms 186 (miles) south of capital Tehran, Iran, earlier today. Iran announced Monday that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, a dramatic expansion of the country’s nuclear program.

Question: Should Imus Be Banned from Airways?

NEW YORK - After being criticized for his racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, radio host Don Imus said Monday that he’s a good person who said a bad thing and will check his acid tongue. “Here’s what I’ve learned: that you can’t make fun of everybody, because some people don’t deserve it,” he said on his nationally syndicated radio show. “Because the climate on this program has been what it’s been for 30 years doesn’t mean it’s going to be what it’s been for the next five years or whatever because that has to change, and I understand that.” Imus said he was “embarrassed” by the remarks, in which he referred to the mostly black team as “nappy-headed hos.” He said he had made the comments in the course of “trying to be funny,” but he was not trying to excuse them — Associated Press.

More here

Question: Has sarcastic Don Imus committed an unforgiveable sin with his racially charged comment?

Inside Huckleberries — 4/6/07

The headline for a press release from Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office: “NGA, CCSSO, NASBE officials to offer briefing on NCLB recommendations.” Translation? (Hat Tip: Jim Hagengruber)

Our own Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It is one of the nominees for the annual Homeschool Blog Awards (Proudly bringing you homeschooling’s best bloggers). You can read all about it here. And you can vote for Family Phil as the Best Homeschool Dad Blog here.

*Former colleague Susan Drumheller, who turned in her notebook for a gig as North Idaho coordinator for the Idaho Conservation League, sent along a link to a column she wrote for the Bonner County Bee here. And a nice note: “As you can see, I still aspire to one day be an editorial writer.”

*Colleague Taryn Brodwater reported Saturday: “I seriously have never seen a last name as long as the one in the press release below: Wael Morkosnakadamorkos. 18 letters - darn near the entire alphabet.” (Morkosnakadamorkos suffered a head injury and was transported to a Boise hospital after his disabled vehicle was struck on I84, near the Ada/Canyon County line. The ISP made the report.)

Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi to Q&A Kroc Center Chief

Huckleberries Gone Wireless has just lined up an interview with John Chamness, the Salvation Army major who will direct the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene when opened. The interview will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Dunno the location yet. But I’d like your questions for him. (I don’t want long, convoluted questions. Nor am I after “gotcha” questions. However, hard-hitting reasonable questions are OK. Also, I like offbeat questions.)

Question: Anyone have a question for the major?

29 Words: Spokane Medical Examiner

In Spokane we have Sally Aiken,
An ME who has heads a shaken’,
‘Cause though folks are persistent,
She’s inquest resistant,
Seems forensics are all but forsaken!

Andy Michaels/29 Words or Less

Story: Medical Examiner: No inquest.

Lewiston Tribune: Work Computers for Personal Biz?

Should you be allowed to use your work computer to conduct personal business? — Lewiston Tribune.

*I’m voting from work right now.

DFO: 2007 Legislature Was A Waste of Money

It’s difficult to say who had the worst session this year – Idaho legislators or new Gov. Butch Otter. In two online polls, readers from the Idaho Statesman and the Lewiston Tribune rained D’s and F’s down on the 2007 Legislature for its failure to accomplish anything significant, other than approve $250 million in GARVEE bonding in the closing hours, largely to upgrade Boise-area freeways. Only 6 percent or 7 percent of the poll respondents in those two readership areas considered the do-nothing legislators worthy of A’s and B’s. Amazingly, Gov. Otter was one of those who saw some good in the three months of wasted work at the state Capitol. In an opinion column to the Statesman, Otter said he had “nothing but admiration, respect and praise for each of the 105 men and women who put aside their private lives to participate as citizen legislators in a profoundly public process. Republicans and Democrats alike deserve our thanks and our support for the jobs they do on our behalf.” Otter then proceeded to fill up most of the column with a list of worthy lawmakers. But he was short on examples of their good work. In fact, Otter would be hard-pressed to point to anything important he accomplished himself. He deserves the D’s and F’s, too …” — DFO/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: I caught the first few minutes of the KVNI interview this morning between host Brett Bowers and Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde. Goedde was defending the Legislature against charges that this year’s session was a do-nothing one. He clicked off a list of bills that raised spending on education, created or expanded scholarship programs, and provided money for students in trouble. I’d say that’s all routine stuff. It’s easy for Legislatures to spend more when there’s more money to spend. But what did the Legislature do that was significant?

Question: What grade would you give the 2007 Legislature?

OrangeTV: Sherman Lofts Building Is Butt Ugly

I do have to agree with Mary (Souza) here that that that huge fake brick walled condo on Sherman Ave (Sherman Lofts) is 10 times fugly and then some. I can’t figure out for the life of me why they couldn’t have simply put some windows in the design, it would have made all the difference in the world. Maybe we can get a nice mural or something on that eyesore. Hrmpf. Like I’ve always said, the LCDC can go crazy with my tax money, whatever, I don’t care - as long as the result is tasteful and adds something eye-pleasing to the skyline. That ugly, boxy faux brick box certainly does not. Can anyone explain to me what were they thinking? Similarly, the prison-like new CDA Press Building has not a single window in its thick cement walls. My friend who works there in the circulation dept says that Hagacorp designed it that way to avoid the “distraction” that a window might provide to the worker drones. Sheesh.


AM Hucks: Let’s Milk It for All It’s Worth

So, there I was minding my own business when Danelle Reagan and Tracy Shewmake stepped through our elevator – with Sophie, a brown-and-white goat from a Spokane Valley farm. Some old goats have visited the S-R over the years. But this was a young one, 4 1/2 weeks old – with my name on it. KCSD Capt. Ben Wolfinger had shipped Sophie my way, probably as a thank-you for well-intentioned Huckleberries that I’ve dropped at his doorstep over the years. Now, I could tell you about the time I spent as a pre-teen milking goats with my cousin in Manteca, Calif. – a never-ending night out of Dante’s “Inferno.” But there’s no shrink or couch nearby as I write this. So, I’ll lay out the options I faced last week: Allow the goat to browse in the S-R’s CdA office (which I considered seriously). Or make a doughnation to Wishing Star Foundation and send the drive-by goaters on their way. Or make a $75 doughnation to the foundation and ask Tracy and Danelle to goat someone else – say, city P&Zer Mary Souza with whom I have an ethnic connection (read: she married a Portuguese fella, and I am a Portuguese fella). Other names came to mind first: Sheriff Rocky Watson, Coeur d’Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick and Prosecutor Bill Douglas. I figured I should pass on goating-for-dollars with Prosecutor Douglas until after the Supreme Court renders its decision on his infamous e-mails. I settled on Mary, who has made headlines with her outspoken criticism of the city’s urban renewal district. In other words, she has gotten their goat. This week, she gets mine.

Easter Wild Card — 4/8/07

I’m just going to post this Wild Card today. I hope you all go outside and enjoy the sunshine — and Easter Sunday. It’s a day that matters to me. It has given meaning to my life for the last 35 years. He is risen. I’ll see you back here Monday. Now, for your Easter Sunday Wild Card …

It’s My 2 Cents: Help Me Tweak HBO Gone Wireless

OK, now that the we home boys and girls have the blog to ourselves, it’s time to discuss how to improve the Huckleberries Gone Wireless feature. First, what do you think of the name? Should it be shortened to Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi? Or mebbe even changed? I like it. A top editor doesn’t. It seems to fit.

Secondly, things ran so-so technical wise, after I couldn’t figure out how to unlock the Mac as the minutes ticked off until showtime. I heard from you that you don’t like having several different posts to cover the interview. At a minimum, I’ll keep the Q&A in one post. I found it difficult to conduct the interview and search for questions. Mebbe I could have an HBOer on a separate laptop fielding questions from the audience? Or mebbe I could advertise better here for questions prior to the interview and use those exclusively. Mary Souza asked about readers being able to ask questions directly to the interviewee. I don’t think that’d work on two levels. First, you wouldn’t get as many people willing to sit in the hot seat, if they were worried that some crank might hammer them with a question. Then, some of the questions are plain lame. Or written in a convoluted style. This isn’t about ambush journalism. It’s about asking good questions — and even quirky questions — along with some hardball ones. We’re still a ways from being able to do instant chat.

I need to look through the list of names that you suggested after the interview with Her Sandiness. The two that jump out to me right now are interim NIC prez Priscilla Bell and developer John Stone. But I’m going to wait until Monday to make that call. The interviews won’t be limited to Coeur d’Alene. I’m willing to take the Mac Book on the road to Sandpoint and other points, too. However, I’ll need wi-fi access wherever I go. Or the boss’ll have to break down one of these days and buy me one of those $60-per-month Verizon cards that’ll allow me to post from anywhere.

Anyway, I’m open to your ideas. The dry run was OK. The interviewee was good. But the technical aspect can be improved. We’re not ready to go to a different version of chat, yet. So, any suggestions along those lines won’t help. However, it’s a plus to have the print version reinforcing the online chat.


RSPA: Bond Wrote from His Painful Experiences

From previous thread about Bond here

Bond used to write for the S-R. He is an admitted alcoholic and wrote some astonishingly raw and painfully eloquent columns about his drinking and recovery. He was a rare columnist who would actually dip his pen in his blood and write with emotional truth. You’ll never read Doug Clark, for example, writing with 1/10th the heart that Bond was capable of. That’s cool, Clark has a thing he does and he does it well. But Clark’s emotionally constricted range goes from anger to outrage, with a little fussiness in between. Nobody ever remembers stuff Clark writes but I still remember a column by Bond where he describes drunkenly ruining his daughter’s birthday party and getting on the wagon. It was one of the most brutally honest things I’ve ever read. Obviously Bond’s not in recovery these days and his writing seems to be a pale shadow of what he did for the S-R years ago. Kinda sad, he was always a must read for me back in the day.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Downtowner: Many Young Families Live Downtown

Hello, DanG; I’ve been catching up on Huckleberries Online and the debate about LCDC. This may be out of place, but I wanted to let you know that you should explore, on foot, the downtown area near the new library. There are a lot of young families with children in this area, including mine. I live a mere six blocks from the library. The library is definitely not for the rich people in the tower. In fact, the folks at McKuen opposed it heavily in the planning stages. When we moved here, our first two realtors tried to steer us away from downtown saying that all the young families were moving out to Hayden or on the prairie and that there weren’t many children downtown. We wanted to live where we could walk to everything and did so. The first summer, we spent a good deal of our time wondering if the kids we saw playing on our street were phantoms or real. Anyway, I get pretty annoyed at the idea that no young families live downtown and wanted to set the record straight.

Downtown With Kids

MikeK: I Used to Think DFO Was An SOB …

MikeK: When I first encountered DFO in 1991 those three dots were not unlike three small but serious stab wounds visited upon those who’d embarrassed themselves enough to make it into the column. If you somehow made the ‘Sweet Potatoes’ section it was cause for temporary celebration and permanent rededication to not being in print the next week. There were three whole years when I loathed DFO and his column and was convinced he was a flat out SOB. Now, ten years later, as a father and hopefully more mature guy, I have come to realize that DFO is only truly evil when you’ve done something that you can’t quite explain in front of mixed company, and in those cases, well, Katie bar the door … ;_0

Green Libertarian: Well Mike, you know, DFO has mellowed, as Anymouse would tell you, it’s because he hangs out with all those librul reporters and editors at the Spokesman-Review.

DFO: MikeK; I try to keep my inner SOB under control. But it still lurks beneath the surface. Mebbe in the past I thought I had to perform and be the baddest Leroy Brown in town. Now, I’ve been here so dang long that I know too many people — and tend to like most of them. ‘Tis hard to drop the hammer when you like someone. I still do. But it’s harder. That’s all I’m saying.

TGIF Wild Card — 4/6/07

Another week is in the books — and what a week it was. Huckleberries Gone Wireless. A goat. LCDC ad nauseum. Print Huckleberries. And Amy Dearest landing on my door step at 10:40 p.m. Thursday. (Actually, she landed at the airport at 10:40 p.m., although her mother and I misread the clock and arrived an hour earlier. But that’s another story.) I’m looking forward to a Good Friday service at the church tonight. Mebbe some gardening. And a weekend with Sis and her mother. I’m going to kick back. But I’ll leave this Wild Card before I do …

Summer Phelps

Phelps family photo

Though no parent has an excuse,
For a child that dies from abuse,
The fact that CPS,
Already had the address,
Should have been put to good use!

Once a young child did depend,
On CPS her life to defend,
And tho’ her folks are arrested,
And the system’s contested,
This Summer has come to an end.

Mike Andrews/29 Words Of Less

Item: System under scrutiny: Summer’s death may eventually affect Washington law/Jonel Aleccia, Spokesman-Review

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutline) — 4/6/07

AP Photo, NOAA Fisheries, Karna McKinney

This March 2007 photo released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows Dr. Chris Wilson of NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, holding a 38-inch ruler up to a giant shortraker rockfish. The fish, according to NOAA, was caught in mid-March when the Kodiak Enterprise was trawling at about 350 fathoms in the Pribilof Canyon at night just south of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. I can’t play piano, but I can tuna fish — Family Phil.

DFO: Family Phil had the only entry today; fortunately, it was a good one — so, I don’t mind listing him here as winner.

Dining With Baby — The Bard

AP Photo

The little peas are green and round;
when squashed they make a squishy sound
and plop green goo upon the floor.
What child of two could ask for more?

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

David Bond: Leaving Las Vegas

We cruised along for another several billion flat straight Nevada miles until, off the left side of the highway, appeared an Olympia beer neon sign. The Ford van immediately veered in that direction, its occupants hugely thirsty. We bellied up to the bar in anticipation of buying a few cold ones. Suddenly indecently-clad girls appeared, apparently bent on obtaining our affections. We thought we had died and gone to Heaven, all this sudden and beautiful female attention with Oly on tap, but it turns out we had arrived at the Cottontail Ranch, Nevada’s famous house of ill repute. We paid several thousand dollars for a few cases of Olympia beer but not without getting a business card. If you wanted to call the Cottontail, the telephone number was Goldfields 3. You have to call the Operator to get the call plugged through — David Bond/Silver Valley Mining Journal.

More here

OrangeTV: Mik-n-Mac’s Open Mike Mondays

When I found out Mik-n-Mac’s was starting an open mike night, I volunteered to design some posters and flyers to get the word out and advertise the night. My motivation was partially self-promotional, since I have an ongoing electronic music project and told them I planned on performing as well, as soon as I could figure out how to pull it off. Anyway, I also saw it as a great chance for all kinds of local talent to emerge from the woodwork and display their talents in a cool, laid-back environment with absolutely no pressure to be perfect. American Idol it will never be – it’s actually more like Friends, when Phoebe sang her classic tune “Smelly Cat” — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy

More here

Question: Do you have enough musical talent to play at open mike night at Mik-n-Macs?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/6/07

AP Photo/Sparks Tribune, Debra Reid

Murder suspect John Delling, 21, waits in the Washoe County Jail before his video arraignment in Reno, Nev., earlier today. Delling, 21, is accused of killing a University of Idaho student and under investigation in the killing of a Boise State University student.

Breaking: Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney will meet with the news media at 1 p.m. (PDT) this afternoon to announce a major development in the John Joseph Delling murder case.

1. UI Murder 3-fer (from Argonaut staff): Murder suspect has history of questionable mental health here, UI students remember fallen friend here, and Argonaut Editorial: Moscow police deserve thanks for solving case so quickly here.

2. 12 UIdaho students arrested for trespassing while they were checking out rumors about a haunted hospital in Colfax, Wash., say police went overboard here.

3. Bill Condon of Moscow has another life stored on his computer under the name “Other Bill Condon.” Moscow’s Bill Condon is the director of writing programs at Washington State University. The other Bill Condon, who he is often mistaken for, is the Academy Award-winning writer and director of movies, including the recent “Dreamgirls” here.

4. House Republicans lambasted trial lawyers during raucous debate Thursday. But when one lawmaker singled out the Democratic House majority leader’s husband for scorn, the place erupted in shouts. An eventual apology was angrily rejected here.

5. After a three-year campaign that included platoons of determined school kids, a political deadlock with miffed potato growers and free onion-flavored sausages handed out at the state Capitol, the Legislature has declared an official state vegetable: the Walla Walla sweet onion here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tecla Markosky/UI Argonaut (Cancer scare brings perspective), Missoulian (Take pride in grizzly story), Idaho Statesman (Craig links immigration reform to economy), Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Denney’s ethics caught in revolving door), and Karl/Leaning Straight Up (PC, white privilege & racist furniture).

Online Poll: 52% of 543 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say Sanjaya should be the next to be cut from “American Idol.”

*Police “bust” tomato grow operation in Pullman apartment here.

*Missing Great Falls, Mont., man found living in a cave here.

*Boisean attacks kids with baseball bat (w/mug shot) here.

*Sharing famous name leads to interesting e-mails for North Idahoan/WSU prof here.

*Walla Walla kidnap suspect waives extradition here.

Orbusmax Special: Vallivue (Idaho) High school student lights schoolmate on fire, police say here.

Quotable Quote re: Journalists

“Almost half of the best people to ever push a noun against a verb in newsprint were debilitated by depression, serious anxiety, or bipolar disorder; over a third were titanic drunks, pill-poppers, or opium-addicts; nearly a third were serial philanderers, and a sizable bunch were misogynists, man-eaters, or violent bullies. In almost every case, the tendency to booze, carouse, or otherwise self-annihilate developed or seriously deepened during their days in journalism” — Doug Underwood.

From review of the psycho-sexual hang-ups of 187 famous “journalist-literary figures.” Story here.

Question: Worst Intersections in Post Falls/Rathdrum

Question (from East Kootenai County Voice today): What intersections in Post Falls/Rathdrum area do you think are the most dangerous? What do you think should be done to fix them?


WSJ: Did Globe-Trotting Pelosi Commit A Felony?

Syrian President Bashar Assad meets on Wednesday with U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi at Ash-Shaeb presidential palace in Damascus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may well have committed a felony in traveling to Damascus this week, against the wishes of the president, to communicate on foreign-policy issues with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The administration isn’t going to want to touch this political hot potato, nor should it become a partisan issue. Maybe special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, whose aggressive prosecution of Lewis Libby establishes his independence from White House influence, should be called back. The Logan Act makes it a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to three years for any American, “without authority of the United States,” to communicate with a foreign government in an effort to influence that government’s behavior on any “disputes or controversies with the United States” — Robert F. Turner/Wall Street Journal.

More here

Question: What do you think?

Noah: Tarzan Looks for Own Private Idaho

Political Cartoon: Noah Kroese

Green Eyes: Davis, LCDC Gives DFO Marching Orders

Green Eyes: Denny Davis sits on the LCDC board. Denny Davis is a member of the law firm that represents the Spokesman which rents space in the SR building. How can the SR ever be objective on the LCDC issue? Denny to DFO: As he shouts down the SR corridor from his adjacent law office: “Hey Dave, lay off the LCDC stuff.”

DFO: There’s more, Green Eyes. Denny Davis once was a state senator. As a reporter, I covered Denny Davis. Denny Davis allows the public to use his beachfront on West Lakeshore Drive. I appreciate property owners who allow the public to use their beachfront on East Lakeshore Drive. And here’s another connection between Davis, the LCDC and me. I once attended a postelection party at Denny Davis’s house, after an election in which Steve McCrea narrowly won re-election to the CDA city council. That, of course, was back in the mid-1980s. But, hey, I work for the SR. I wrote about LCDC last week. It all fits together nicely. Don’t you see. (Psst, pal, stay away from the Kool-ade at the Pachyderm Club.)

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Mayor Bloem

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review photo

You can read the complete Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview between DFO and Mayor Sandi Bloem from Coffeeville Thursday morning below:

HBO: What are you drinking?
Sandi: Short nonfat latte, compliments of DFO.

HBO: Will you seek a third term?
Mayor: I have two and a half years left to decide that. I enjoy what I’m doing enough that if you ask me today I would.

HBO: Does the city still have specific plans for Sanders Beach?
Mayor: The city’s position has always been to gain as much access to the water for the public as possible. Knowing that, we continue to look at all options for Sanders Beach. The decision helped us to know exactly what the private parties own. What the public owns. How we proceed. As long as all parties are open to communication.

DFO: Is there still a lot of ill will between the parties?
Mayor: There is no illwill on the part of the council toward anyone. Only the other party can answer their part.

DFO: What is your relationship with Duane Hagadone right now?
Mayor: We have an open line of communication. We meet occasionally as I do with many others to discuss issues, common challenges.

Wild Card/Thursday — 4/5/07

My wild day will continue until midnight, with a home Bible study that I lead at a friend’s house — and then off to the airport to pick up Amy Dearest for a short break. So, what started with a Mac Book freeze at Coffeeville at 10 this morning and continued with the goat gift later … is still going on. I’ll put together the Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview with Her Sandiness into one thread (w/a cool photo of us by Kathy Plonka) later tonight, to be published tomorrow morning. Here’s your Wild Card …

Dogwalk Musings: There Goes the Neighborhood

For the rest of Mari’s post, click here.

Man, I never thought I’d see the day that I had much of anything in common with the locals. But I find I do. A resentment toward newcomers! Heck, I’ve only been here six years myself. Still wet behind the ears. I’m beginning to see what drives them. Especially when those out of state developers come in with plans for their infernal high rises. Yeah, they’re good looking and entertaining over coctails, but oh, what they do to the neighborhood! No, it’s not Mr. Chesrown nor Mr. Stone - it’s Magpies! What slobs! How can such a pretty bird make such a mess! This is the first year I’ve seen so many of them here — Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings.

Question: Has your peace and tranquility been affected by wildlife?

HBO’s Best of the Friends Blog — 4/5/07

“So I’m sitting on my comfy couch in my comfy living room eating my comfy supper in front of my comfy TV when suddenly I feel not so comfortable because something is crawling on the back of my neck: I grab it, look at it, squeeze it with all my might until I feel the faintest little snap. Die, assassin!” (rest of story here) — Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographic, Muse You Can Use.

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations is aghast at the possibility that Rolling Stones bad boy Keith Richards snorted his father’s ashes along with whichever drug he was inhaling at the time here.

*Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table sings the praises of raised-bed gardening here and pens a coupla poems in recognition of National Poetry Month here.

*Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent had never heard about the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe before he moved to North Idaho to work for the Coeur d’Alene Press in 1999. What he learned about the tribe after that impressed him greatly here.

Meanwhile, Green Libertarian is solar installing in Cheney, Wash., here, Mrs. T/Meet the Taylors explains why she loves IKEA here, The Unbearable Bobness of Being continues to reminisce (complete with photos of his boys at a younger age) here, Sam The Reporter/Vandal Sense has been published on … Wikipedia here, and Nathan Empsall/Wayward Episcopalian offers another prayer for holy week here.

Old Goat Gets Goat Giver Danelle Reagan’s Goat

Danelle Reagan (background with DFO) was as nervous as a school girl at a high school prom when I discovered she was HHospitality jumbo Bill Reagan’s wife. For some reason, she didn’t want to be in a photograph (with DFO in the middle of he SR lobby. You can get shot for something like that back at HHQ.) But the shots were already taken by Kathy Plonka. Then, there’s the matter that she’d just dropped a goat on me (which, BTW, I wanted b/c the lawn in the back yard is getting a little high). Dave’s lair. Dave’s rules. (BTW2, I’m holding vanilla carmel candies that are suppose to resemble goat turds. One of these days I should tell you about the longest night of my life, as a high school freshman, spent milking goats with my cousin Ralph.)

Musings of a Journalist: We’re to Blame for Everything

I am a journalist. It is my fault that the majority of Americans do not support the war in Iraq. It was my fault when Americans turned against the war in Vietnam. I am the reason your teenaged girl dresses like that. I made “Lady In The Water” tank at the box office. I am unfair to the president. Every president. When you feel bad about the future, it is because of me. I do not know what is important. I am biased. I misspell your name and get your address wrong every time. I snoop around into your business and tell everyone about it. I am a dinosaur on my way to the dust heap of history. I am a pest — Dave Bakke/State Journal Register, Springfield, Ill.

More here

Question: Do you personally know a journalist?

City Pulse: It’s LCDC Time Again

Item: The City’s Pulse: Mary Souza LCDC says it wants to be transparent … we’ll see/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press

Charlie said “We are as transparent as we possibly can be. We don’t know how to be more transparent.” He went on to invite the public to offer ideas. That’s a great opportunity for participation. Charlie may sincerely think LCDC is already transparent. Let’s see, its meetings are held at 3 p.m. on a weekday. That makes it pretty tough for working folks to attend. LCDC meetings are not on TV. Its meeting minutes, while available online (good), are lacking in description or detail (not good). LCDC uses incredibly complex terms to describe their methods of operation and financing: OPA? DDA? Increment? LCDC is so deficient in transparency that it has no consistent method for making its project approvals or denials. As well, these important decisions are made behind closed doors in executive session.

DFO: Mary, didn’t you say that you were going to write about something other than the LCDC this week? Oh well, no harm it hitting the transparency issue. It’s a decent one.

Question (for those neutral on LCDC): Which issues brought up by Mary, DanG and their compatriots here concern you most?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/5/07

See Item No. 1.

Update: Suspect in UI campus murder had troubled past here.

1. Apparently none of the more than half-million residents of Wyoming can decorate an Easter egg. Neither, really, can the Illinois college student eventually chosen to do the work. A press release this week from the White House Office of the First Lady states that Philip M. LeDonne of Elmhurst, Ill., decorated the “Wyoming” egg unveiled this week at the annual State Egg Display at the White House Visitor Center here.

2. A former Oklahoma football player who was kicked off the team with quarterback Rhett Bomar says he believes his dismissal was unfair. Former offensive lineman J.D. Quinn, who transferred to Montana, and Bomar were permanently dismissed from the team the day before the start of practice last fall for taking money for hours they did not work at a Norman auto dealership here.

3. “Republicans in Idaho are full of swagger - and why not, given the fact Democrats hold no statewide offices and little sway in the Statehouse? Let’s just say things couldn’t be more different in the nation’s capital, where Idaho’s all-GOP delegation ranks 54 in the nonpartisan website. We rank below American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands” sez Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels here.

4. A judge refused to throw out evidence in the case against an 18-year-old man who was arrested in Montana after police found his mother’s body in a freezer at their Utah home here.

5. Two soldiers killed in Iraq in February — including Pvt. Matthew Zeimer of Glendive, Mont. — may have died as a result of friendly fire here. Related: Helena, Butte and Missoula joining arms in anti-war cause here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (A’s cast spell on M’s again), Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News (Tick-kill-ish), Karl/Leaning Straight Up (Women should bear arms against stalkers), Dave Carlson/Idaho Statesman (Solons dropped by on seat-belt bill), and Gary Kawamura/WSU Evergreen (Forget fad diet, try facts).

Online Poll: 51% of 680 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they miss work only when they’re “truly sick.”

*Lesbian couple in Wyoming denied communion here.

*Boise State football gets 5 ESPN/ESPN2 dates here.

*Final Tally: 1613 pairs of panty stolen in Pullman here.

*Jury trial set for former UIdaho footballer Tony Taupule here.

Orbusmax Special: More victims of woman who posed as boy come forward here.

Huckleberries Gone Wireless — Finale

DFO: Where do you go when you want to get away?

Mayor: If I told you where I went when I want to get away, you would follow me.

DFO: Correct.

That’s all folks.

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Mayor Bloem

DFO: Do you have aspirations for higher office?

Mayor: No. I like working in my own community and being home where my family is.

(BTW, Mayor Bloem, stylin’ as always, is wearing a blue denim jacket with bling-bling, diamond on a necklace … looking fierce as always)

DFO: How do you deal with criticism?

Mayor: I look at what has been said. I own it, if I should and disown it when I don’t think it belongs to me. I don’t lose sleep over criticism. I’m usually so busy that it’s easy for me to sleep.

DFO: Why isn’t the city more involved with Lake Coeur d’Alene’s water quality?

Mayor: We’ve been very involved and will continue to be. Examples: City Council and staff involvement in the Lake management plan; 2. The establishment of the storm water utility; 3. The hillside ordinance is very strong; 4. close communication with KEA in education for consumers and dollar incentives for water-saving devices; and very strong communication with all the Washington users. Sid Fredricksen’s involvement has impacted EPA decisions and partnerships for better water quality

Huckleberries Gone Wild w/Mayor Bloem

HBO: What are you drinking?

Sandi: Short nonfat latte, compliments of DFO.

HBO: Will you seek a third term?

Mayor: I have two and a half years left to decide that. I enjoy what I’m doing enough that if you ask me today I would.

Online Poll: Why do you call in sick to work?

Why do you call in sick to work? — Idaho Statesman.

*Truly sick
*Sick kids
*Need a break
*Nice weather
*Don’t call in

DFO: Unable-to-get-outta-bed sick.

Judge: Baughman E-mails Should Be Open to Public

Item: Baughman e-mails ruled open to public: But messages won’t be released for awhile/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

More Info: E-mail messages between a top Kootenai County lawyer and the women he is accused of harassing should not be kept secret, according to Idaho 2nd District Judge John R. Stegner. But the hundreds of messages involving former Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rick Baughman will not be made public anytime soon. After a two-hour court hearing Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene, Stegner said he would wait to issue a formal ruling until the Idaho Supreme Court acts on a similar case. The ruling from the state Supreme Court is not expected until summer.

Question: Now that Baughman has been fired, does it still matter what’s in the e-mails?

Observers: North Idaho Solons Did Their Job

Observer: I hate to see you so down on the Legislature. While I agree with you that the Session was overall a bust, there were some great strides made, and a few legislators, especially from the North, worked very hard trying to build consenus and do good things for our state. the ineffectiveness we saw was from poor R leadership. The Guv was sending mixed messages, and did not set a tone of team play. This split legislators into two groups, those willing to follow leaders into what they thought was right, and those set out to do what was right. The result … impasse.

DFO: Can you cite some specific examples, Observer?

Karen Roetter: Domestic Tiff Leads to Beautiful Girl

Transplanted Texan: This is the one thing I like about Mike Crapo - domestic violence and protecting our sisters is an issue he gets fired up about.

Karen Roetter: Texan, You are right about Mike Crapo getting fired up about domestic violence. I’ve seen my normally very composed boss get choked up retelling a story about a visit to a womens shelter. He is super passionate about this issue. On the witnessing domestic violence front, I have to confess to being a perp. myself. During labor with my first daughter some twenty four years ago I hauled off and hit my poor Husband during a particulary brutal contraction! At the same time I verbally lambasted him and claimed my painful situation was “all his fault!” To his credit, he took it all in stride and we have a beautiful daughter to show for our domestic tiff.

Another Easter Good Egg Naming Contest

Easter’s here again, which means Jane Q. Citizen rolled out another cartoon of Huckleberries Online “Good Eggs” to be named. The eggs remain the same. But some of the Good Eggs have come and gone over the years. A moment of silence for Any Mouse, puh-LEEZ. Anyway, have fun as you try to identify who’s who among the current dozen of HBO Easter Good Eggs.

Name That HBO Chat Feature

We want to run a logo/insignia/bug with the print Q&A version of my online chat with Mayor Sandi Bloem tomorrow. And we need a short name for it, that incorporates the cyberspace aspect. And we have about 16 hours to come up with a name. I hear “The City Pulse” has been taken (insert smiley face). Besides, it doesn’t have the online chat aspect. Anyone think of something of 2 or 3 words?

Herb, Bayview Celebrates Old MacDonald’s 85th

For the rest of Bayview Herb’s post, click here.

Tomorrow, April 5, marks the Eighty-eighth Birthday of Jim MacDonald. Long considered one of the Patriarchs of Bayview, Jim owns the family business across the bay. MacDonald’s Hudson Bay Resort was established in 1948 by Elvin Collier purchased from War Assets declared surplus after WW11. Alvin and Nina MacDonald bought the small strip of docks in 1951. Jim ran the mail boat from 1953 to 1965, delivering mail to points up the lake that were inaccessible by road. Stops such as Lakeview, a one-time Boom Town, and other smaller stops like Cedar Creek, Cunningham’s Castle, Whiskey Rock, Kilroy, and Cape Horn. The Resorts management was turned over to Jim’s two Sons, Gary and Scott in 1989.

DFO: Please extend the best wishes to the Huckleberries Online gang to Jim and his sons.

UI Argonaut: UI Murder Suspect Feared Lost Powers

For the latest from the UI Argonaut staff, click here.

“Delling was acquainted with Boss since high school, and had grown up together in the same neighborhood. According to a police report, Delling supposedly visited Boss at his parent’s Boise home during the 2006 Christmas break. Following the meeting, Boss allegedly commented he was concerned for Delling’s mental state and said he was acting irrational and was delusional. Three weeks prior to Boss’ murder during a meeting with his brother, also a UI student, Delling asked, “Do you think David is the one stealing my powers?” Delling’s brother said this was not the first time Delling mentioned someone stealing his power or aura” — Sean Garmire/UI Argonaut.

Gary Ingram: Stay the Course on Mayor Interview

Gary Ingram: DFO, when you first announced this interesting new approach to blogging, I thought you said it was going to be a Q & A session to help define some of the issues raised about LCDC at the Domocrat meeting last week. What happened? Some of your posters started talking about nonsense,ie her clothing, style, jewelery, etc. and now the focus seemed to have changed again. Could tell us what you really have in mind?

DFO: Gary, I’m trying to figure out how to do this thing. In fact, Sandy called a few minutes ago to ask about some of the questions on the thread. Mebbe the best way to do this is to open with 3 to 5 questions from the thread — and then field ones that come in? Or follow-up questions? What would you suggest?

In My Easter Bonnet With All The Bows Upon It …

AP Photo/The Times-Picayune, Rusty Costanza

Kristen Plaisance shows off her bonnet as 47 second graders from Gretna No. 2 kindergarten paraded Tuesday to a local restaurant for brunch wearing their hand-made spring bonnets, top hats and bow ties.

Question: What are you going to wear for Easter?

Reprise: Questions for Mayor Sandi Bloem, Day 2

I have received many good suggestions re: questions for my online interview with Mayor Sandi Bloem Thursday morning — so many that I might simply use those rather than keep checking back for new questions in real time. Regional Editor Scott Maben and I have discussed editting the interview down for a print Q&A version for Friday’s paper — and mebbe making it a weekly thing with other local officials and newsmakers. I’m posting this again today to give you a chance to ask a question of the mayor. And don’t forget to tune in live at 10 a.m. tomorrow here. (BTW, you can check the link above for the suggestion for questions to this point.)

It’s My 2 Cents: Of Heated Exchanges And Things

In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten into a coupla tussles with HBO regulars, online and off. Many of you know, of course, that DanG, Mary Souza and I engaged in a three-way bout over the weekend into Monday. Some tough words were exchanged re: the Lake City Development Corp. and DanG accused me of sliming him. Mary dropped outtahere Monday after she’d fired some sharp comments/questions at me and I asked her to quit “whining.” There’ve been other scrapes re: things I’ve posted and an occasional sharp response to a sharp accusation in an e-mail. I usually regret these dust-ups. I thoroughly disagree with DanG and Mary re: the value of the LCDC. But I value them both. Ditto for a coupla others who are cooling their heels offline.

Here’s the deal. I am the moderator here. Indeed. But I also have opinions and I plan to express them here. I’m human. Occasionally, I get just as passionate as you do. Sometimes, you write something that stings and causes me to respond in kind. Rather than counting to 10. You bloggers, commenters and blurkers are seeing something in real time here. You’re seeing a journalist who has been in the news biz 37 years being propelled into 21st century technology, warts and all. I make mistakes. I tire. I get in bad moods. I’m generally distracted while running this three-ring circus called HBO. Sometimes, I fire off a response on the blog and privately that’s too heavy-handed. Given the nature of the beast and the demand to post at the speed of light, I sometimes use loaded words in the heat of the moment.

I don’t know how I’m going to proceed with urban renewal district discussion here. Some of you blurkers view it as a growing evil. I view it as a good but currently flawed engine of progress. I view the LCDC as a vital cog in properly directing downtown and waterfront development. Others, good people with opposing views, see it as an unsupervised sugar daddy for developers. But I will proceed. I also will offend again. However, I wanted to pause to say that I’ll try harder to keep my discussion aimed at the issue rather than the personalities involved in the issue. It won’t be easy b/c I love a good fight.


Update: Al Williams’ Next Assignment

Huckleberries hears … that North Idaho College journalism wannabe Al Williams has almost two weeks to turn in an assignment re: the men’s and women’s golf teams. As you may recall, the dynamic college athletic director ignored his last assignment — what are students doing for recreation during the spring break — b/c he didn’t like it, no one had inventive answers, and the NCAAs were under way. Prior to that, my Berry Pickers say, Al had turned in his assignments for the first two spring editions of the paper, including a well-written piece on a former NIC basketballer who played for UIdaho this year. So, here’s the deal: Al has to have his assignment turned into Sports Editor Josh Rasmussen on April 16 to make the April 23 edition. He still has a shot at an A in the one-unit class b/c he’s already met the main criterion of turning in one story of 600 words. But, Huckleberries hears, Josh Rasmussen is holding his breath re: that April 16 deadline.

Craig Communication Director Disputes Rumor

Ah, political speculation. It is always more interesting to read past predictions to see who was right and wrong than to speculate about what we don’t know. The Hill called for comment on this yesterday. You can read the story here. Here is a prediction that will come true — no matter what Larry Craig decides, it won’t be because of what the Idaho Statesman writes or thinks. To quote a former governor, “I would rather win than be endorsed by the Statesman.”

Dan Whiting
Communications Director
U.S. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho

P.S. Craig’s best staffers are still around, and, for some reason, they are keeping me too. In fact, he probably has some of the most loyal and long-standing staff members in Congress.

Question: What Should PF Do w/Old City Hall?

Item: Post Falls approves City Hall contract: Council hires CdA buildersfor facility, set to open next spring/Hope Brumbach, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The long-awaited Post Falls City Hall project cleared its final hurdle Tuesday. The City Council approved a $7.1 million contract with Coeur d’Alene-based Ginno Construction on Tuesday evening, paving the way for the 41,000-square-foot facility. Construction may begin next week, city officials said.

Question: Seems there’s quite a flap going on re: what they should do with the old City Hall. Entrepreneur Bob Templin is leading a push to save it. What do you think they should do with the building?

Former UI Student Held in Moscow Campus Murder

Item: Suspect in Moscow death caught: Former UI student nabbed by Nevada cops may also be connected to another death in Boise/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: A 21-year-old former University of Idaho student was detained Tuesday afternoon by Sparks, Nev., police in connection with the Saturday shooting death of David Robert Boss. John Joseph Delling, with a last known address in Antelope, Calif., may also be connected to an apparent homicide discovered Tuesday morning in Boise, according to the Ada County Sheriff’s Department. Both victims were shot twice in the head at close range, according to authorities.

Hat Tip — to Moscow and Boise area police officers for some nifty police work.

007: LaRocco to Run for Seat Craig Will Give Up?

James Bond: It is being reported this morning that Larry LaRocco will run for the U.S. Senate Seat currently held by Larry Craig. I believe it almost certain that Larry Craig will retire. In fact, there are rumors that Statesman columnist Dan Popkey is working on some kind of column about Larry Craig that would serve to make it more than merely “almost” certain. Additionally, most of the best Larry Craig staffers have moved on to other endeavors, which is usually the best sign that a politician is done.

DFO: Interesting theory, 007; I’ll wait until my buddy Sid Smith sends out a press release saying his boss is done. But I won’t be surprised if you’re right.

Parting Shot — 4/3/07

This photo supplied by NASA and the European Space Agency today is a Hubble Space Telescope view of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672, showing up clusters of hot young blue stars along its spiral arms, and clouds of hydrogen gas glowing in red. (AP Photo)

“Bloody Woman” Re-emerges in Family Squabble

Bloody Woman is at it again. Remember her? Early New Year’s Day, she showed up on colleague Meghann Cuniff’s Cd’A doorstep, bloody and looking for aid after she’d put a limb through a glass door in anger b/c she’d been tossed from one or two parties in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. Now, the 21-year-old has been arrested for trespassing and battery, after a major blowup with her 15-year-old boytoy’s mother and sister. It all came unwrapped last month when the BT’s sister melted down upon finding Bloody Woman in the house after Bloody Woman had been told a half dozen times by the BT’s mother that she wasn’t welcome in the house. BT and his sister got into it, which prompted Bloody Woman to poke her head out of BT’s bedroom to see what was going on. After that, it was all shouting, grabbing, pushing and threatening until CPD Blue arrived and caught BT holding his girl’s — er, woman’s … she’s 21, after — purse. With a Budweister beer in it. He refused to say who the purse belonged to. But CPD Blue didn’t have problems connecting the dots after they found Bloody Woman walking in the street reeking of alcohol. She was charged with battery and trespassing. BT was charged with battery. Later, BT said he was happy to be headed for juvie. Quoth the CPD Blue report: “He told me it was better than being at home.”

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/3/07

AP Photo/Valley News, Channing Johnson

Simon Pendleton, 17, stays in the frigid Canaan Street Lake for two minutes with Sarah Dugan, 17, back left, and Alex Jopek, 18, back right, to raise money for the Mascoma High School Outing Club, on Sunday in Canaan, N.H. This is the eighth year the organization has held the event on April 1 to raise money for its trips. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Members of the “Good Government Group” shamefully use their children to demonstrate that Coeur d’Alene has plenty of recreational activities and doesn’t need the Kroc Center — Family Phil.

2. While the rest of the swimmers floated there freezing, Jim smiled and relaxed and lifted his hands as he relaxed in a warm spot of his own making — Brent Andrews.

3. Now I know what George Costanza was referring to when he whined about, “the shrinkage factor” — Truthseeker.

HM: Cabbage Boy

Capt. Ben’s Scofflaw Honor Society — 4/3/07

Left to right: Mireles, Peterson, Anderson

Capt. Ben Wolfinger has released his latest weekly list of scofflaws wanted by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. The biggest runners this week appear to be Lisa Mireles, 29, of Coeur d’Alene, who is charged with meth possession and faces a bail bond of $75,000 when caught, and Peggy Peterson, 54, of Dalton Gardens, who’s wanted for a theft and is facing a $25,000 bail bond. Gilbert Glen Leeroy Anderson, 28, of Post Falls, who is charged with attempted strangulation and destruction of telephone equipment, is the show horse in the bail-bond sweepstakes with $15,000. For the complete warrants list, click here.

A Mother’s Love: Donating A Kidney for A Child

AP Photo/Al Hartmann, Pool

Erin Herrin’s kidney is removed for transplanting into her daughter, Maliyah, today at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. The 5-year-old was separated from her conjoined twin last August. Below, Erin is comforted by her husband before surgery.

Question: Who would you donate a kidney to?

Question: What Value Is A Restraining Order?

Item: Protection order can’t stop person hellbent on doing harm: Months of stalking end with 2 dead on UW campus/Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times staff reporter

More Info: There’s no piece of paper strong enough to stop a person with a gun, an obsession and nothing left to lose, domestic-violence experts say. Rebecca Griego had moved and changed her phone number since her ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Rowan, repeatedly threatened her during and after their on-and-off relationship. A judge had ordered Rowan to stay 1,000 feet away from Griego and her sister, whom he had also threatened. Griego had circulated his name and photo among her colleagues.

Question: Is there any value to a restraining order?

Extra! Bill Morlin’s Report on Kalani-Douglas Hearing

For the defense: (Gregory D.) Horne said if the e-mails were deemed to be public record, that would violate the separation of powers doctrine, separating the judicial from the legislative branch. He also said Kalani, as a government employee, had a constitutional right of privacy that should prohibit the release of the e-mails, even if they were sent on a government computer during the work day.

For the SR: Newspaper attorney Tracy LeRoy told the Supreme Court today that a cash settlement agreement reached with Kalani also should be available for public inspection. The Idaho Counties Risk Management pool, which defended Kootenai County and reached the settlement with Kalani, opposed release of the settlement agreement.

For insurance company: ICRMP attorney Phillip Collaer, of Boise, argued that the public has no right to see such settlement agreements, even if they involved expenditures of public funds.

Full story in “extended section”

Idaho Statesman: Which Is Your Fave Team?

Baseball was back from coast-to-coast Monday. Which is your favorite major league baseball team? — Idaho Statesman.


DFO: Giants, followed by Mariners.

Noah: Spokane Oafishals Get Booty, Residents Shaft

Political Cartoon: Noah Kroese

Welcome to Root Canal Awareness Week

Item: Rooting out our dental fears: Week aims to take stigma out of root canals/Heather Lalley, Spokesman-Review

More Info: It’s become a cliché: “That was worse than a root canal.” “I’d rather have a root canal than do that.” “That was more fun than a root canal.” And, frankly, the men and women who perform root canals every day – the endodontists – are sick of your whining. So, the American Association of Endodontists has proclaimed this week the first-ever Root Canal Awareness Week to spread the word that this most-feared of dental procedures really isn’t all that bad.

Question: What’s really worse than a root canal?

RSPA: Someday Idaho D’s Will Vanquish Neanderthals

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: I’m curious as to if there is actually a “tipping point” for Idaho and we can expect to see the homo sapiens (Dems) actually start rolling boulders down on the homo neanderthals (Repubs) and send those bug pickers to the trash heap of lesser lifeform extinction or if Idaho will continue to be the sucking, gurgling La Brea tar pits for progressive and intelligent thought and governance. I’m guessing the Ice Age in Idaho ain’t ending too soon.

DFO: I think Pony just insulted us Potatoheads. But he sure do say it purty.

Alan: Treasure Valley Stretch Worst in Gem State

Alan: I live in Ada County and drive that corridor every day. I don’t get to N. Idaho as often as I’d like, and I am unable to compare N. Idaho roads and problems to those down here. But … I can tell you that the interstate between Boise and Nampa/Caldwell is a horrible problem. It starts to jam up at 3:30 PM, and stays that way usually until at least 6:30 PM. It is common to come to a complete stop several times on the 7 mile commute. This isn’t a problem for my convenience, so much, as I knew what I was getting into when I moved to Kuna. It is a problem for air quality in the valley (which the legislature denied the valley’s attempt to fix), it causes much unncessary fuel consumption to stop and go, and idle (we’re talking thousands of autos), it slows down business travel and deliveries, and it spawns many accidents that endanger locals and people just passing through. Maybe there’s a bigger problem for Idaho roads, but I doubt it.

DFO: That’s exactly what happens in Portland, Seattle and most major metropolitan areas. Basically, Boise’s asking to cut in line because it doesn’t like traffic jams, while Dirk Kempthorne conjured the whole GARVEE bond approach to highway funding to fix Highway 95 (if I recall correctly). ‘Tis hard to get killed in a traffic jam. But ‘tisn’t as hard to get killed in a head-on on the goat trail.

AM Hucks: Running Away/Around in Circles

That Huckleberry in which three Indian Meadows children ran away from home last week brought back memories for Mike Feiler, former editor of the Coeur d’Alene Press. E-mails Mike: “Years ago, before we moved to North Idaho from down by Twin Falls, our family was having supper and noticed a 6-year-old pal of our son’s walk slowly past the house. He had a classic stuffed red bandana on a stick slung over his shoulder. About 10 minutes later he walked around the block again, then again and again. We finally asked our son what his friend David was doing. His reply, ‘David’s running away from home but he isn’t allowed to cross the street’ ” … If Idaho legislators are wondering how they did during the 2007 session, they might not want to look at the online polling results of the Idaho Statesman or Lewiston Morning Tribune. In the Statesman Monday, 60 percent of the 716 respondents to the poll graded the recently concluded session with a D or an F mark. Only 7 percent rated the solons’ performance with an A or a B. Believe it or not, those grades were better than the ones provided by Tribune readers. In the Trib poll, 81 percent of the first 83 votes rated the legislative performance as D or F. Only five voters total picked an A or B grade. Me? I voted F twice in each poll – F as in total failure … For those keeping score at home, I’ll be interviewing Mayor Sandi Bloem online live from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday from Coffeeville. You can be part of the conversation by posting questions online. I’ll field them and type in Sandi’s answer

Potato Truck Crashes Hampers I-90 Traffic

A truck carrying potatoes is on its side near milepost 17 on Interstate 90 in Idaho. Scattered potatoes have closed one lane of westbound traffic there. An Idaho Department of Transportation front-loader was approaching the scene to scoop the potatoes out of the roadway at about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Opening Day: Seattle 4 Oakland 0 (Final)

ESPN boxscore here.

Seattle Mariners’ Richie Sexson is surrounded by teammates as he returns to the dugout following a sixth inning home run against the Oakland Athletics during an opening day baseball game today in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle is closing the roof of Safeco Field, so the Mariners must be experiencing bad weather, too. BTW, Jose Vidro just collected Seattle’s first base hit after 11 outs had been recorded by Oakland A’s pitcher Dan Haren.

Update1: Richie Sexon hits a 3-run HR to put Seattle ahead 4-0. Raul Ibanez knocked in the first run with a sacrifice fly.

Update2: Felix Hernandez has struck out 11 batters through 7 innings.

Update3: J.J. Putz closes out the shutout for starting pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Snow Bunny: Winter Wonderland in Post Falls

Snow Bunny: It’s a winter wonderland in Post Falls this afternoon. At least an inch on the ground and the snow’s still falling. Out on Prairie Avenue it was nearly a white out about 2 p.m.

Question: How are things out your way?

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 4/2/07

AP Photo/Jim Cole

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York reacts to seeing and old friend during a campaign stop at the National Education Association New Hampshire, in Concord, N.H., Friday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “What do yuo mean you saw Bill buying a bunch of cigars yesterday?” and: “I did not have sexual relations with that man” — both Keithincda.

2. Ms. Clinton is suitably alarmed when her Nancy Pelosi-inspired Botox treatments go terribly wrong — JohnA.

3. “What do you mean, you are a member of the National Education Association and you are a moderate!?” — Truthseeker; and: No way, Laura. One ex First Lady running is enough — Sweet Herb.

HM: MamaJD

In The News: Remembering Falkland Islands War

Children wave home-made Argentine flags as a war veteran holds a largest one with a drawing of the Falklands islands in the center which reads “Will be back”, after the Memorial remembering the Argentines fallen at the Falklands war in the southern city of Ushuaia, earlier today, some 700 kilometers (440 miles) southwest of the islands. The ceremony was to mark the 25th anniversary of the invasion of the Falkland Islands. (Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press)

Question: Betcha can’t remember what you were doing when the Falklands were invaded?

In The News: Obama As … Jesus?

A smiling, life-sized sculpture of Barack Obama with a blue neon halo circling his head is seen earlier today in Chicago. The work by School of the Art Institute of Chicago senior David Cordero, made for his senior show, has the phones ringing at the Chicago school as word spreads of the undergrad’s work depicting Obama as a messianic figure. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

PM Question: How Will Mariners Do This Year?

Item: Mariners believe big things in store: Newfound confidence apparent as Seattle sets out to improve/Jim Street,

More Info: A confidence that has been missing from the Mariners clubhouse for a couple of years now shows signs of returning. It’s not quite a swagger, something practically every pennant contender has, but there seems to be a belief among the players that if each one of them just plays to his capability, the streak of last-place finishes in the American League West will end at three and there will be another September to remember on the way.

Question: How do you think the Mariners will do this year?

Bad Cusstomer Serve Alert: Hastings — OrangeTV

For the rest of OrangeTV’s post re: Hastings cusstomer service, click here.

There’s only one thing that makes me happier than a bad customer service experience, and that’s writing about a bad customer service experience on my blog and exposing the rancid perpetrator to the whole world. Hastings here in Coeur d’Alene is not necessarily well-known for it’s outstanding employees, granted. On a normal day, the cashiers have two speeds: slow and stop, and the floor staff are severely lax in the product knowledge department. One of my favorite examples is the time I overheard a gentleman ask the kid working at the music desk where he could find a copy of The Band’s classic album The Last Waltz and the kid replied “You’re gonna have to be more specific about the name of the band, but you’ll probably want to look in the Classical section cuz that’s where all the Waltzes are.” Stuff like that. However, at least most of them are friendly, unlike the dismal little shit that totally ruined my Hastings experience the other night — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Question: What do you think of cusstomer service at Hastings?

Inside Huckleberries — 4/2/07

*Question (for my Huckleberries Online spies at the county courthouse): Are you having trouble posting comments on my blog? Or do you dare? One regular sez he’s now regularly blocked from posting on the blog. I’m trying to figure out if the problem is on my end or yours?

*Bayview Herb called after lunch to say that he experienced near whiteout conditions around Bayview at 12:30 p.m. and that it was snowing significantly at 1:15-1:30. A coupla flakes fell on me as I emerged from Java on Fourth around noon, after my meeting with Her Sandiness.

*The SR has encountered the “daylight-saving time” problem this morning that we had Friday — you know the one where a post for 9:30, for example, shows up an hour earlier out front or in the comments thread. We’re working on it.

*HBO closed March on a roll in terms of page-views and unique views. The blog topped 7000 four our of five weekdays last week, including more than 7500 on Thursday and Friday. Total for the month was 172,569 page-views for an average of 5567 per day (including weekend days). That average would top 2M for a year if sustained. As always, thanks for your support.

Question: How Would You Grade 2007 Legislature

How would you grade the 2007 session of the Idaho Legislature? — Lewiston Tribune


DFO: F for the Legislature and another F for Gov. Butch Otter. They deserve each other.

Another Sign of Spring …

Kerri Thoreson/

“A sign of spring in North Idaho … construction projects like the multi-story River View Terrace building on Northwest Blvd., are buzzing with activity” — writes Kerri Thoreson/

Question: Don’t Know Much About Civics Either

For the rest of the Lewiston Tribune editorial by Tom Henderson, click here.

Some people don’t even know the difference between Congress and their state legislature. And these are among the people charged with making decisions that affect us all in this experiment in self-government called the United States of America. Worried? You should be. The ranks of the politically illiterate are about to swell. Most of us learned at least the basic facts about representative democracy from the football coach who got stuck teaching junior high school civics. Now, thanks to the federal No Child Left Behind law, schools are focusing on reading and math and squeezing out such “nonessentials” as art, music and civics. None of those subjects should be considered frills, least of all civics — Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune.

Question: In terms of importance, how would you rate high school/grade school civics?

Noah Kroese: Parental Consent

Noah Kroese

Disclaimer: As a pro-lifer, I despise abortion. Since it’s the current law of the land, however, I believe, as many safeguards as possible should be erected to give the unborn baby a second and third chance as the pregnant mother is considering her options. My friend Noah sees those “safeguards” differently than I do.

TT: Binge Drinking Biggest Teen Concern

re: Idaho Statesman online poll question: What is your biggest concern about teens?

As a teen, I’d definently say underage drinking. There are other problems, too - sex, lack of attention to the news, too much noise (ipods everywhere, buds always in the ears, you never get to hear the birds chirping!) - but none have the effect on livers, relationships, or other drivers like binge drinking. I don’t know what it’s like at the average college, but my school is in the middle of nowhere, so has a long tradition of relying on the Greek scene for its social life. There are plenty of kids who don’t drink and even more who don’t drink much, and that’s fine, but students who black out three or four nights a week are not unheard of. No one bats an eye when they hear about kid waking up somewhere where they don’t remember falling asleep, outside of their rooms - it’s common, it’s old hat. It’s sad. It’s wrong. It’s stupid. But then again, this is the real Animal House, and we did invent beer pong … with paddles.

Transplanted Texan

Question: Are You A Spokane Shock Fan?

Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Above, Spokane Shock fans eye a kickoff heading for Stockon player Kenyatte Morgan Saturday night. The Shock successfully opened the defense of their national Arena Football2 title by defeating Stockton in the Spokane Arena. I caught the last 3 minutes of the game and saw 4 touchdowns. It was a bit more exciting that the Florida-UCLA semi-final NCAA basketball game. I guess I’m becoming a fan of the local team after spending last year mildly interested. A national title will do that.

Question: How many Shock fans do we have out there?

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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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